Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, January 30, 2012

Harper's Retirement Plans - Week 39 - Jan 23-30

I'm not even joking.  I saw "Harper's RetirementAgenda..." and I got really excited.  Unfortunately, they're just talking about his upcoming attempts to kill Pensions/Old Age Security.  It's funny that my generation has kind of grown up with the phrase "...but that won't be around when you retire anyhow."

Canada is actually catching on that the War on Crime is a bit of a joke.  What's going to happen now with public opinion changing?

This is why the Conservatives have it wrong on campaign financing.  Look at what has happened in the US over SOPA.  Essentially, Chris Dodd, ex-Senator and current head of the MPAA, has suggested that he will withdraw political support and dollars from Obama as he didn't support SOPA/PIPA.  It seems reasonable that you support politicians that hold values in which you believe in.  It seems reasonable that you stop supporting them if all of a sudden your values no longer line up.  It seems unreasonable that you pay them huge sums of money to get legislation that favours you and then threaten to withdraw future funding if you don't get your way.  That sounds like...gosh...a bribe?  In fact, somebody has launched a petition to have him investigated.

 Oh.  Tony Clement!  He tweets "As usual NDP confusing recommending with choosing."  (Which isn't really even a coherent sentence) Stupid NDP and their inability to grasp semenatics!  I didn't choose to sleep with that prosititute.  I simply gave her some money and recommended that she sit on my lap.  Naked.

Steve-O talks about something that I actually agree with, a revamp of the SRED program.  My experience with it is that companies go about their business and hire somebody to write things up in a way that allows for them to claim money from the Government.  I was shocked by the things we were able to claim for implementing technology invented by somebody else.

Richard Branson announces that he believes the "International War on Drugs" is kind of silly and should be stopped.  Which is a pretty ballsy proclamation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Series of Tubes - Week 38 - Jan 16-23

 Nice shot, Steve!  This comes from the announcement that Obama is throwing Harper a bone to extend the Softwood Lumber Agreement.  Yes, we don't quite want your oil but we'll take your wood and punish you for owning it as a nation!  Actually...why don't we just charge the forestry companies a bit more money and be done with it?

On to the real news.

I remember when I first discovered Boingboing a few years ago, it really resonated.  It was a prime example of how the internet can change things.  You would watch as a story rolled out and then within a few hours, a boingboinger somewhere would chime in and the story would evolve to encompass this first hand information.  I've watched as support has grown for protests and public perception has changed.  Today, it looks like the 24 hour Boingboing blackout (amongst others) is really having an effect on SOPA legislation.  It's pretty amazing.  A lot has been made of Wikipedia going black, but I don't think this would have been anything without the Boingboings and Reddits getting on board.

Similarly, it's been pretty amazing to hear mainstream TV news pick up on this over the last few days.  I guess the average person really doesn't have a clue that this was even out there or what it could mean.

Slate argues that a bit of Piracy is a good thing.  Minor piracy.  Like when the Pirate is Johnny Depp and there are high jinks involved.

This link shows the staggering amount of money donated to politicians by media interests to Politicians in support of SOPA/PIPA.  Just crazy amounts of money.  And some of these same Politicians are guilty of copyright infringement themselves.

And lastly (hopefully), this article debunks some of the bogus numbers, both in dollar and job losses, attributed to Piracy.  And the final point, that the US Government could end up spending $47 Million to become the Copyright Police for a bunch of private corporations, is a good one.  Oh, another one here.  With a great shoplifting anology.

Pipelines don't seem to be very popular right now, whether it's Keystone or Northern Gateway.  As well, a Salon article points out the absurdity of the Canadian Government lobbying hard within the US, being a mouthpiece for American Oil Companies, yet making a big stink about "foreign environmental interests" and telling Americans to mind their own business.

The Globe and Mail has an article that claims Stephen Harper has effectively shaped the discussion on health care transfer payments and pipelines.  Which seems to be an optimistic take on things, if you're a Conservative.  As it suggests that the fight is over already.  And...then...they start doing the dirty work to make sure that the discussion is shaped for Harper, digging in to foreign environmental interests.  If only they would work this hard on digging up info on the Conservatives.

Hey!  Let's cut those meat inspectors!  Who cares about food safety!  I mean, it's been years since a bunch of people have died from improper food inspection.  Let's rely on the free market.  People will simply refuse to buy meat that kills them, so it will all sort itself out.

I remember when I was young that I thought MP pensions were a good thing.  After all, you're asking people to leave their past lives behind to serve their country.  If somebody has to leave a good career, they should be compensated for taking on such a risky job, right?  That was before I realized Politics was an exercise in triple dipping:  Accepting a bunch of cash from Industries to create self-serving legislation, banking the above mentioned fat pension, and then taking a high paying job from the same people that paid you a bunch of cash to write laws on their behalf.  Ya, I no longer thing that MP pensions are such a good thing.  I'd imagine Steve-O is kicking himself for railing against them for long.  "If only we'd talked more about bureacrat pensions rather than MP pensions!"

Steve-O has a plan to outsource Government communications and advertising.  To save money.  Because profit driven corporations can always do things cheaper than focused government departments.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Radically Incorrect - Week 37 - Jan 9-16

I like this photo.  Two of my favourite people, sharing a moment.  Steve-O looks like he's made out of plasticene.  Is that even a real photo?  The National Post is using the same photo as well...with the same story.

Turns out the West is starting to get angry about the Conservatives plan for health care financing as well.  Christy Clark detaches her lips and speaks out against Steve-O.

This week gay marriage did what Conservatives have said gay marriage will do: confused everybody and wreaked havoc with the justice system.  First there was an uproar that people weren't actually married (or something) and then it was all fine and the fault of the Liberals.  Neat tactic.  Say something that pisses everybody off and then blame it all on your enemy.

Stupid "radicals", concerned about boats filled with oil driving around a stormy, rocky coastline of pristine wilderness.  I heard some of them are foreign as well.

An ex-Bloc MP has decided to sue the government for pulling out of Kyoto...and proves what Gilles Duceppe never could - that the Bloc Quebecois isn't completely useless.

I know it's early, but as Lise St-Denis breaks ranks with the NDP and joins the Liberals, I think this could be a candidate for political quote of the year"They voted for Jack Layton.  Jack Layton is dead."  Indeed.

I think the Globe and Mail recently wrote a similar article, but I like the Puck Daddy take on the posturing of Stephen Harper as a hockey lover in order to create a populist persona and score votes.

I know that this is an amazing concept for reporters to grasp, but tax cuts generally have a cost.  Namely, reduced government revenue.  Surprisingly, this is what has come to pass with some recent Conservative tax breaks.

I thought Real Estate was supposed to be smooth sailing.  Forever.  A bubble?

Here they come!  Backbench Conservative MP is talking about his "duty" to the unborn.

I think there must be some research somewhere suggesting that election night blackouts are actually hurting the Conservatives because they've decided to do away with the process.  Perhaps they figure they can get rid of those pesky 1 or 2 Alberta Liberal seats if they can show everybody in Alberta that they've already won? 

Blah blah...Liberal vs. Conservative donation gap...blah.

Irwin Cotler!  Still working and now writing stuff for the Huffington Post!  What, I'm not sure.  I didn't read it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A New Year - Week 36 - Jan 3-9

I'm starting something new this week.  An awesome Conservative Government photo for each week.  Here, our buddy Steve waves at us.

FEMA Canada announces that the 3rd Party Manager appointed to the Attawapiskat Reserve (at huge expense) might miss payroll.  Way to handle a crisis, Steve.

Steve warns us that "foreign environmental interests" could delay approval of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  Ummm...Ahhhh....what about all the foreign oil money?  And, these "radical groups" are so scary, he's going to change the environmental review process, because the current process takes too long.  This seems to be a theme developing here...too many people asking questions, shorten the period for discussion.  Surprisingly, people aren't happy about it.

Great story about the decline of public institutions in the US. There's just so much in this article.  What really stood out for me is how wealthy some of these American politicians are.  Romney is worth $200 mil?  That's crazy.  These guys are getting paid millions and millions of dollars by corporations to convince the average American that spending government money on things that will help them is a bad thing.  I think the key problem is that the average American thinks they're just a lucky break or two away from the 1%.  Are any Canadian politicians super wealthy?  Paul Martin had a few bucks.  Belinda Stronach had money (and strange taste in men).  But I can't really think of any in the same league as the Americans.

More on income inequality, with the richest 100 CEO's of publicly traded companies making $8.38 Million per year.  I'm okay with that, actually.  I'm got more of a problem with the average wage of $44,366.  It is shocking that the CEO's will have earned that $44,366 by noon on Jan. 3rd.  But does that include the stat holiday?

Copyright reform gets even worse.  Canada seems to be quietly considering extending copyright terms from lifetime + 50 years to lifetime + 70 years.  You really can't argue that it will help artists make a living by tacking on an extra 20 years in earnings after they have been dead for 50 years.

Friday afternoon.  Time for some Senate Appointments!  Hey, gotta reward those police chiefs that agreed to your crazy tough-on-crime legislation somehow.

What is the Office of Religious Freedom and why does it fall in with Foreign Affairs?

I realize that this is a completely useless poll.  And it's kind of a stab in the gut, seeing that this majority government was really a perfect storm of bad things.  Anyhow, if an election were held today (with no debates, advertisements or dirty tricks), there would be no majority.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best of the new Harper Government - 2011 Edition

What a frighteningly awful year it has been in Canadian politics.  If you had told me at the start of this year that we'd end the year with a Conservative majority...well, I would have gotten very angry.  However, that turn of events did inspire me to create this blog - my attempt to document our slide down the slippery slope. 

Here are my top political moments/events/happenings in our new Conservative Canada, where nothing is ever the Government's fault and no question is worth answering or acknowledging and...screw that...you're an idiot for even asking.

Broke their campaign promise to balance the budget by 2014-15 - Actually, we're not going to balance the budget and create a surplus in 2014-15 but we might get around to it in 2015-16 or 2016-17.  And, actually, we're pretty awesome for showing such remarkable budget flexibility.  Hey, it's been 28 weeks since the election when we made that promise.  A lot has changed.  And it's not like this was an important part of the platform or anything.  Heck.  It's way down there at number 3 (of 5) on the list of "key priorities".  The most awesome thing.  It took them only about a week to break the promise.

Introduced copyright legislation that nobody in Canada really wants, except for a bunch of media conglomerates (and the US Government) that aren't really suffering all that much due to piracy - But don't worry, it's not really practical for us to enforce some of this stuff, so you shouldn't really worry about it too much.

Brushed aside a scandal whereby one of their MP's may or may not have had an affair with a woman who may or may not have been a Chinese spy (looks like she probably was) - But you're the idiot for asking about it.

Ignored youth advocates and statistics and lawyers and some of the Provinces (maybe even judges too?) and decided that the key to a better country is a really expensive batch of "tough on crime" laws - What do those "experts" know about anything?

Announced that if British Columbia (and Newfoundland and PEI) didn't immediately sign their RCMP contract as is, then they'd withdraw RCMP services - Just because we call it a "negotiation", it doesn't mean you get to have any input.

Made a series of increasingly baffling announcements and law proposals to stir up Canadian nationalism and remind us of our links to the monarchy - From a crazy law that would forbid you from preventing somebody else from flying a flag, to creating special laws about mischief around war memorials, to re-introducing the "Royal" into our military, to ensuring that the Queen's picture is hanging in our embassies, to War of 1812 re-education...I'm sure I missed one somewhere.

Thoroughly embarrassed Canada by joining up with pillars of the international community (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Vietnam) to ensure that asbestos didn't make it on to a UN list of controlled substances...so that they could support a mine in Quebec that may or may not have enough asbestos to stay open past 2012. - Hey, small town Quebec votes are more important than an international reputation.  Or a bunch of poor people dieing.

Made a gigantic, huge big deal out of the fact that the temporary head of the NDP had past ties to the Bloc Quebecois...which is fine, except when you ignore the fact that members of your own cabinet have past ties to the Bloc Quebecois.

Created a new form of governing whereby anything that suits your list of priorities that you happened to mention during your campaign warrants no debate whatsoever.  Things that you didn't mention during your campaign don't get much discussion either.  And things that you promised during your campaign but that you can't deliver on, get ignored.  See item #1.

So.  That's it.  All that stuff happened.  4 more years.