Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feigning Outrage - Week 95.5 - Feb 25-28

Good lord.  What a week.  I mean, we've got earthquakes, civil wars, European economies falling apart and massive gun violence all over the place.  But it seems like the biggest North American issues right now are a tasteless Oscar host and a bad Onion tweet.  And the outrage!  Oh, the outrage.  As somebody, somewhere pointed out in some comment about one of the many outrage(!) articles, it's like the Liberal Fox & Friends, where everybody trips all over themselves to be the most outraged about the largest perceived slight.

And what's awesome is that people have mis-interpreted a big chunk of the incidents over which they are so outraged.  This Tyee article offers an interesting opinion on the whole thing, but one commenter is outraged over the "Boobs" song and points at the actresses victimized by the song and the shamed reactions that they showed when the camera panned over their faces.  I'm surprised he didn't pull out the latest buzzword and suggest they were bullied!  And I get it, I guess.  I mean, I thought their reactions were real for about 15 seconds when I was watching as well.

But then there's people that should know better.  Joan Walsh, who seems to be leading the outrage brigade over at Salon points out the horrendous joke made about Jennifer Aniston being a stripper!  The outrage!  Only problem, it was actually a joke about Channing Tatum being a stripper.  Oh well.  Still outrageous!

That's not to say I'm completely condoning Seth McFarlane or suggesting that he's not sexist.  But I don't think some of this criticism is as simple as it's made out to be.  The boobs song was silly and outrageous, but wasn't that the point?  Isn't there something kind of amazing about a gigantic meta-joke that all at once makes fun of:
- Ridiculously unnecessary boobs in film
- Oscar hosting 
- Frozen faced, smiling reaction shots
- William Shatner
Was it sexist?  Most definitely probably.  But it was a joke operating on a level that I can't even comprehend.  And it probably moved the awareness of sexism in Hollywood a whole hell of a lot further forward than all of the faux outrage.  Outrage!  On to politics.

Update - One of the key points people seem to be making is that some of the boobs Seth McFarlane talked about were shown in rape scenes and this makes it poor form to joke about.  But isn't that a part of the point?  We're showing rape in movies, yet we still sexualize it by showing actresses boobs?  We're not even allowed to make a joke about a rape scene in a movie?  Can we comment on it?  Can we comment on it in a humourous fashion?

Some details have come to light about the arrest of "Senator" Brazeau.  No biggie.  He just spit in a woman's face, pushed her down some stairs and touched her in a sexual way.  Over an argument about "aboriginal issues".

Jason Kenney is pushing forward the citizenship stripping bill, and has said that, if it were legal, he would strip the citizenship of any Canadian convicted of terrorism, not just dual citizens.  This piece outlines why the whole thing is absurd and this case in Quebec shows how this could be abused.  A protester is facing "terrorism" related charges for comments made on social media.  So, in Jason Kenney's Canada, somebody making stupid threats on Facebook (and yes, carrying a Molitiv cocktail) would be set adrift on an ice flow as a non-Canadian.  Yes this guy is an idiot and yes he is a criminal.  But I don't think he should be thrown out of Canada.

Hey look.  The Conservatives lowballed another military purchase.  This time they're $1.43 Billion off on shipbuilding costs.  They said it would cost $2.6 Billion.  So only %50 more required.  Getting closer guys!

The Conservatives have created "targets" for the number of EI frauds that investigators need to discover.  They're not quotas though.  Merely targets tied to their job performance.  When questions in the House of Commons, Stephen Harper did his best to duck and weave.  Sad thing is, this whole thing will probably cause him to score points with Canadians.  Everybody thinks EI is a waste of money and everybody using it is a fraud.  Until they lose their job and make use of it themselves.  Even then, many people probably think this is okay but that everybody else using it is still a fraud.

Sick of Senators yet?  Four of them are facing further probes (3 Cons, 1 Lib).  This article highlights the ridiculous amount of money spend by Senators on travel, and creates an interesting theory that many of them could have saved a lot of money by taking the VIA rail train between Toronto and Ottawa.  Which would have been free.  But takes 4.5 hours, by the looks of it.  So maybe not.

The CBC shows that the forms asking Senators to detail their primary residence isn't all that complicated.  Many Conservative Senators seem to think it is.  Are they slow?  Or deceptive?

So Stephen Harper said "I have looked at the numbers" with respect to Pamela Wallin's expenses.  But he didn't say that he had "personally reviewed" them.  And now he's backtracking ever-so-slightly in his defense as it has come out that she actually paid back some of the money.  No word on how much.  But some.

The Supreme Court may strike down laws "limiting free speech" in the name of limiting "hate speech".  Readers of the National Post seem pretty excited about this.  I find it interesting that all these people hate the "heavy hand of government", even though their cherished "free speech" is a function of government controlled law and order.  There's all this talk of "limiting government" but people still want all of the positive effects of said government.  Interestingly...

CBC - "Top court strikes down part of Sask. human rights code"  
NP - "Supreme court upholds Canada's hate speech laws"

Jesus Christ.  This is really weird.  A former Stephen Harper adviser (and current CBC contributor) is in a bit of trouble for suggesting that viewing child pornography is not harmful.  He also talks about being on the mailing list for the "National Man-Boy Love Association".  Talk about special interest groups!

An NDP MP bolted to the Bloc.

An interesting article on how US government regulations are killing certain categories of vehicles and having the opposite effect as intended - decreasing rather than increasing fuel efficiency.

So the guys behind Ipsos Reid are projecting Conservative majorities for years to come?  I know, I know, wait for the election.  But even with all the Conservative gerrymandering and riding creation, Ekos via 308 has the Conservatives projected at 135 seats.  Which is far from a majority.  The yahoos potentially stay in power, but perhaps we could get some election reform?

I feel a bit for Helena Guergis.  Here's my take on what happened.  The Prime Minister insinuated a whole bunch of bad shit, threw her out of the caucus, and then had the RCMP investigate her.  The allegations were all proven false.  So she sued for having her life ruined and her name dragged through the mud.  And now she has to pay over $100,000 in legal fees to the very people that she felt screwed her over?  Ouch.

Theresa Spence is asking the UN to step in and fix Canada's aboriginal problems.  I think the news here is that the only link to this that I can find is on the Chatham Daily News.

As an Engineer, I am awed by the improvised weaponry of the Syrian rebels.  Simply amazing.

Oh man.  This is disheartening.  A York Police Officer is facing a disciplinary hearing, and perhaps dismissal, for not properly investigating racial slurs.  Made against him.  I'm not even kidding.  We have cops that get caught driving drunk.  That shoot people.  That do all kinds of shit and keep their jobs.  But this guy is perhaps going to get fired because some guy hurled racial slurs against him and he didn't do enough about it.  Crazy.

The Real Estate Market is fine!  No problems at all!  We just don't want to let you know if that house, or any of these houses are in foreclosure.  Says CMHC.

I'm sick and tired of all these lazy hippies complaining about the 1%.  If they'd only get off their asses and do a bit of work, they could make it into the 1% as well.  What?  A rather large chunk of wealthy Britons got their money from government handouts when they were forced to give up their slaves?  Oh.

The American Copyright Lobby has teamed up with (bullied?) the major US ISP's to create a system for...I don't even know how to describe this?  A system for harassing people to stop pirating?  Better than suing the shit out of them, I guess.  How long before they want this in Canada?

This is just an amazingly awesome story about a kids hockey tournament in Turkmenistan and the politics behind it.  And a kid that has 140 saves in one game.

Wow.  Not one, but two Oscar related diatribes.  I think one of the saddest things about being a Canadian is how excited people get when American pop culture references Canada, and how angry we get at perceived slights from Americans when it comes to Canada.  People seem really pissed that Ben Affleck used creative licence with Argo.  I actually found a similar sentiment on the NP after I wrote this.  It's actually a pretty awesome little piece of writing.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Folksy and Amazing! - Week 95 - Feb 18-25

Awww!  How folksy!  Stephen Harper drinks Tim Hortons coffee too!
 I haven't paid much attention to the Quebec corruption stuff.  But this headline, and this photo, are too great to pass up.  "Mr. Sidewalk" tells Quebec corruption inquiry his "strictly social" Mafia contacts didn't boost business.  Awesome.

There is a major fracking lawsuit going on in Alberta right now.  In a total coincidence, the judge overseeing it received a government appointed promotion and the case is going to see another round of delays.  Keeping with fracking, this Tyee article points to Wall Street speculation as the cause of all of this rampant Natural Gas Development.  That might explain our race to pull this stuff out of the ground as quickly as possible.

Remember when everybody got all angry and stuff about the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base getting shut down?  The Government decided to ease tensions by closing it a full 3 months earlier than planned.  What I really don't understand is how all of this is going to save money.  More burden is going to be placed on the Richmond Station.  We're adding a smaller rescue force.  The City Police Department is ramping up services to fill some of the gap.  I don't think this is anything more than shuffling money around.  Jim Chu breaks down why this whole thing is kind of insane.  And if it didn't seem sketchy enough, the Coast Guard just announced a massive investment in a Coast Guard base in Newfoundland.  And they're going to try to sell off the land that the Kitsilano base sits on so that there is absolutely no chance that it can ever come back.

The Harper Government is spending a lot of money on advertising, both for his "Economic Action Plan" and for spots that will encourage resource development.  It's crazy to spend money like this.  Can you imagine if the Liberals had done something like this to promote the gun registry?  I'm hoping somebody doesn't dig up a youtube video of just that.

The F-35 is starting to remind me of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  There just seems to be so much wrong with these projects, it's hard to figure out how we're still planning on pursing these projects.  More problems leads to more groundings by the Pentagon.

Some massive military cuts have been announced.  There are absolutely no details.  Soon we're going to have the best equipment in the world and nobody to run it or service it.

The Federal Government has started making surprise visits to EI recipients.  You know.  To make sure everything is on the up-and-up.  No word if they're carrying crowbars and allowed to break kneecaps if things seem sketchy.

If you're a Senator and you're caught doing something bad (like fraudulently taking money for a housing allowance that you're not entitled to), you get to just undo it and everything goes away.  Mike Duffy says he's going to pay his housing allowance back.

MPs and Senators racking up hundreds of thousands in travel expenses?  No problem.  Several Census takers causing $6000 in damage to one hotel room?  It's a bloody outrage!  We need to get rid of this whole crappy Census thing!  Oh, some of them may have been native as well?  Well that's a whole new ballgame of outrage.  Read the comments.  Holy shit this country is racist.

Somebody took the time to dig in to voting records in an attempt to figure out how often MP's were skipping out on Parliament.  I'll give the Cons this - they definitely show up to vote.  The majority of their MP's that were missing votes were the various Ministers.  I guess that is to be expected.  They pretty much own the Fewest Missed Votes list, though.  The NDP has a few as well, and Elizabeth May seems to be making an effort.  Must get tiring casting all those "no's".

The Ottawa Citizen doesn't think much about the Office of Religious Freedom.

A group of people are trying to do something about Stephen Harper's war on scientists.

David Suzuki is supporting Joyce Murray.  Is this going to sink her bid?  That's another Conservative attack ad right there.  There is actually a dude in the comments section talking some total Tea-Partylike revolutionary nonsense.

There seems to be less interest in the Ashley Smith case.  But it sounds like the insane findings keep coming out as the inquest rolls along.

Bernard Valcourt is named Minister of Aboriginal Affairs.

Holy Cow!  This country.  I finally understand where Rob Ford came from, and why we're stuck with Stephen Harper.  There's a tonne of mouth breathing xenophobes in Toronto.  And holy crap, Rob Ford actually comes out on the side of decency here, by agreeing that even illegal immigrants should have access to city services.  You know, stuff like the Police.  Food Banks.  Etc.  But no, according to the commenters every single illegal immigrant is a welfare grabbing criminal who should be shot back to where they came from in a cannon.  And they've got the support of Toronto councilman Denzil Minnan-Wong who, surprise, surprise is an immigrant himself.  But a legal one.  So, you know, fuck all those other guys.

Wow.  If you want to see the racists poke their heads out of their holes, write a story about an Atheist with non-lily-white skin complaining about a Christian prayer at the start of a public meeting.

Does anybody else feel like there is no consistency in how real estate numbers are reported.  Recently, there is a lot of discussion about benchmark price, not average price.  This article points out that prices are up...relative to January of last year.  But falling in general.  There is no consistency.  The Real Estate associations cherry pick numbers to make things sound less bad.  I've heard stories around town of massive, massive drops in tax assessments.  I think there is some massively un-reported drops in housing value.

I commented on an article a few weeks ago about an ice fisherman paying for his rescue after being trapped on melting ice.  I played upon the absurdity of paying for emergency services and perhaps suggested that we wouldn't expect people to pay for car accidents and other things that are often largely the result of personal decisions.  Well.  A City in Texas actually thinks this is the right thing to do and will soon start charging people for response to accidents (via charges to their insurance company).

And finally, from Grantland:

Cherry’s Coach’s Corner appearances this week were feisty but predictable — among other things, he defended Zac Rinaldo for hitting an opponent when he was down and praised the Maple Leafs for dressing a good squad. So now seems as good a time as any to spend some time talking about his Twitter feed.

If you’re not following Don Cherry on Twitter, do it now. I’ll wait. The feed is a masterpiece of harmless observations combined with classic Cherry-style vitriol, as if Andy Rooney had a love child with the crazy old lady yelling at empty seats on the subway. He’s been tweeting for about three months, already telling a rambling story about being attacked by bees and causing outrage by complaining about relief aid to Haiti.

And if you’re wondering if that’s really Cherry typing out his update, it’s not — which, somehow, makes the entire thing 10 times better. It turns out that he phones a producer and dictates his rants, and they have to type them out as he goes.

Is there a worse job in the world? Every 21-year-old self-proclaimed social media guru patiently trying to explain Pinterest to a 60-year-old CEO for the ninth time should fall on their knees and thank a deity that at least they don’t have to be Don Cherry’s Twitter proxy. Can you imagine being the person who has to enter stuff like this in real time? Or his recent seven-part masterpiece about meeting an especially energetic dog in Peterborough?

I love Don Cherry. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tough times for the RCMP - Week 94 - Feb 12-18

A report came out early this week that suggested that the RCMP was raping and abusing women in Northern BC.  The report stresses that it's not every member of the RCMP, but a few bad apples.  Really bad apples.  The National Post isn't buying it.

I'm not sure the Prime Minister is, either.  "Let them eat cake" says the Prime Minister.  No.  Wait.  "Let them file reports" says the Prime Minister.  So...you know.  Walk in to the RCMP detachment and file your report that they raped you.  Seems logical.

And then a day later, another report is released with bad news for the RCMP.  This time, bullying and sexual harassment.  Ya.  Nothing new.

And then...Another RCMP "difficulty".  An officer faces child sex charges.

They're not the only bad cops out there though.  Details are coming out about the random people the LAPD shot in search of the cop killing ex-cop.  It touches on a couple of thoughts.  First, police feel as if they are above the law.  Second, a cops life always comes first.

Surprise, surprise.  Tar sands processing activities are contaminating groundwater.

At first, I thought it was really noble that John Duncan resigned over an issue where he improperly lobbied on behalf of a constituent.  But then I thought about it.  And he's resigned as a minister.  But he is still an MP.  And it suggests that he may have been on his way out anyhow

And here is the inevitable backlash to Justin Trudeau banking huge sums of money while making speaking engagements.  Apparently he missed Parliament "events" (votes, sittings, etc.) in order to do some of these speaking events.  So...he basically skipped out on his job to go make money elsewhere.  I think the Cons just booked an agency to start making some attack ads.  This seems like a tough one to justify.  Hey!  Justinfy!  I only wish the Sun news dug this hard into sordid Con behaviour.  Oooh....Yikes.  There's more.  Apparently one of the speeches was to federal government employees.

I'll give the National Post some credit here.  They'll pursue the Cons when they smell bloodPamela Wallin sounds pretty ridiculous, but why not?  Stephen Harper sees no problem with (roughly) $350,000 in travel for one Senator in a (roughly) 2-1/2 year period.  Oddly, I'm anticipating that this is going to work to Harper's benefit?  "Is it my fault that I appointed these useless buffoons?  Of course not.  We just need to reform the Senate and this will all go away."

The National Post is calling out Thomas Mulcair for his stance on International Aid.  Apparently he's not singling out enough international aid organizations for their anti-gay stance?

The Federal Government is seeking confidentiality agreements on some arctic research.  Is this another way to muzzle scientists findings on global warming?

The National Post talks about how nationalizing military procurement is a bad idea.

As always, Matt Taibi gets the blood boiling.  Here is a long piece on the failure to prosecute HSBC executives for money laundering.  I think he had a short piece up on his blog a month or two back.

Oh gawd.  We should probably just have a few credit card terminals at the border.  Let anybody in for, what?  A hundred thousand?  The Conservatives have decided that Mexico is a "safe" place and that nobody could have a valid reason to seek refugee status.  I mean, there's only been a few million people murdered there, right?  They most likely all deserved it.

This sounds similar to another story a month or so back.  The Conservative cuts seem to be affecting front line services the most.  In this case, military reserve units are seeing deep cuts that are having a big effect.

A Conservative MP has made an out-of-court settlement with a convicted money launderer over investment money not paid back.  No further elaboration required.

This article brings up a point that there are black football players in Manitoba, and even another black hockey player, that don't have the difficulties of Evander Kane.  And then points out another hockey player who is hated for his attitude.  And who is also black.  It seems to me that there is always another "reason" for a reaction other than race.  But there's probably something to a whole bunch of people claiming they hate two black hockey players not because they are black, but because they are "arrogant".  There's lots of arrogant hockey players that don't take this much shit.

I think I might have said this a few months ago, but what exactly is the "Office of Religious Freedom" supposed to do?

Grandstanding blowhards.  I remember how embarrassed I was when my then-MP Nelson Riis made a giant speech in the house of commons when Wayne Gretzky retired.  Now we've got two parties wasting time talking about the zombie apocalypse?  I'm all for lightening the mood and I tend to treat everything like it's a bit of a joke.  But I guess I draw the line with Parliament.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Lot Happens When You're on Vacation - Week 93 - Feb 4-12

Go away for a few days and the world goes crazy.  The pope quits?  Brazeau is facing charges?  Stephen Harper's stupid hockey book is coming out?  Okay.  I guess those are the only major things, but still, it seems a bit shocking.  Incidentally, where does the Prime Minister of the country find time to write a book?  Imagine if Obama released a book on basketball in the next few months?

It's interesting about Brazeau.  The Conservatives seem to have no problem when he is accused of fraud (ya, I'm calling cheating on your Senate housing expenses fraud) or does a major sexist freak-out on a journalist.  But they're tripping all over themselves to kick him out of their party when he is accused of assault?  This Tyee article nicely puts what I've been thinking in to words:  Harper really knows how to cut and run.

There are some interesting nuggets contained in this story about Brazeau getting suspended from the Senate.  The other Senators seem pretty pissed that they have to deal with him.

The Conservatives have edited out criticism by the Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Auditor General in a report on the F-35 fiasco.

Remember the Saskatchewan Robo-Calls thing last week.  Turns out it is in no way the fault of the Conservatives.  It was done by their employee.  Who they hired.  And who reports to them.  But it's her fault.  Not theirs.

I tried to post a link about how the Conservatives are funneling funding to aid organizations with religious ties, but I couldn't find a link.  Well, they finally got caught funding a really terrible one with horrendous anti-gay beliefs.  And somehow claim that it doesn't matter.

Amazing how opinion polls are a Conservatives best friend when they align with their specific plans.  But is Mali really "another Afghanistan"?  I guess it could be, in the sense that it could drag on for years and people could get killed.  But the reasons for going into Afghanistan vs. the reasons for going in to Mali seem worlds apart.

The Federal Government claims that they have killed their internet snooping bill and promise that they won't bring it back.  Didn't they already kill this thing once?  Why should we now believe their promises?

What bothers me about the Conservative "tough-on-crime" agenda is that it's just tremendously easy politics with no real benefit.  It is tough to argue against the stance that criminally insane killers spend more time in custody.  But there are two things wrong with this.  Number one, we're talking about an incredibly small handful of cases here.  Why do we spend so much time worrying about this shit?  (answer - easy politics)  Number two, if we would perhaps spend some time worrying about support systems for the mentally ill, perhaps we wouldn't have to worry so much about this stuff as the crimes wouldn't happen in the first place.

Rona Ambrose suggests that Canadian Companies should get more involved with defense procurement/manufacturing.  Okay.  After witnessing British Columbia attempt to create a fast ferry manufacturing industry I'm going to suggest that this is perhaps a bad idea.

HD Mining reached out to the Union to end the foreign workers dispute.  To me, it reads like "give us everything that we want and then we can start negotiating".  I just can't agree more with the union.  Canadian Resources should be used (well, they say to create Canadian Jobs) for the good of the country.  If the country isn't benefiting to the maximum possible extent, then what the fuck are we digging this stuff up for in the first place?  Why is it a race to dig shit out of the ground?  It's not going anywhere.

Did you know that there is a native polar bear hunt and that they're allowed to sell the hides on the international market?  Man.  That seems a bit fucked up.  We're also apparently responsible for dwindling wolverine numbers in the USA.

So not just the Conservatives are making questionable decisions on Queen's Jubilee medals.  The NDP awarded one to a guy facing firearms charges.  And they're standing by it.

(Since I wrote this, the Cons clarified that they only want to banish people with multiple citizenships.  But I think this still stands.  It's still war on brown people.) So, we're going to strip the citizenship of Canadians who commit "acts of war against Canadians" or "terrorism".  On the surface, I guess this sounds fine.  This would justify the Canadian government doing nothing in cases like Omar Khadr.  But here's my thought.  Once you're a Canadian, you're a Canadian.  Good or bad, you're a Canadian.  There's lots of Canadians that do really stupid shit.  They remain Canadian.  So, we're going to strip the citizenship of somebody who, what?  Donates money to the wrong people?  Does something that the US doesn't agree with?  What about somebody who blows up a Canadian pipeline?  Are they a "terrorist"?  Are they no longer Canadian?  Oh.  Wait.  They're probably white so no problem.

And now CSIS is talking about "domestic terrorism".  Is it just a coincidence that the Cons are talking about revoking the citizenship of "terrorists"?

Certain Copyright focussed Organizations are lobbying for the ability to install monitoring software on your computer to track their interests.  That's right.  Not only do you not really want you to own the stuff that they sell you (by holding on to a piece of it with their crazy, crazy requirements), they want to be able to tap in to the computer that you (thought you) own(ed) to make sure you aren't doing anything that upsets them.  Fuck these guys.  Honestly.  The companies associated with these associations need to be punished.  I'm sick and tired of companies making obscene demands that will impact my life.

This doesn't really compute with me.  We're drastically cutting our military budget.  We're forcing senior officers out (that can't be cheap).  And we're spending tonnes and tonnes of money purchasing new equipment.  This doesn't add up.

So apparently the LAPD is just shooting random people on their manhunt for a cop killer.  You don't hear about that much in the news.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Robo Calling Again - Week 92.5 - Feb 4-5

Amazingly, the Conservatives seem to still be doing sketchy things with robo-calls.  Push polls.  Not identifying the source of the call.  Phantom companies.  What the hell?

Mike Duffy is a Conservative Senator.  His primary residence is supposed to be PEI, both so that he can claim living expenses in Ottawa, and so that he actually qualifies to be a Senator representing PEI.  Yet, somehow he doesn't have the proper medical documentation for somebody who is actually a resident of PEI?  And he tries to pull some strings to fastrack the documentation that "proves" that he lives there?  Well, maybe he had to do this because he doesn't really live there.  He lives in Ottawa.  And therefore he probably shouldn't be a Senator representing PEI and he shouldn't be receiving living expenses.  The only thing left is for him to call the reporter who dug this up a bitch.

Who exactly is the Environmental Commissioner?  Well, whoever he is, he sees fracking as a risk and is also concerned with east coast offshore drilling.  That's a good way to get your budget cut.

Along similar lines, what is the Conference Board of Canada?  Whoever they are, they're not impressed by our direction on poverty and income inequality.

You thought I was going to leave you hanging there, didn't you?  Well, the Conference Board of Canada is "non-profit Canadian organization dedicated to researching and analyzing economic trends".  Oh.  Wait.  I remember these guys.  They plagiarized a report from the IIPA.  It's bad enough to listen to the IIPA, but to plagarize them?  Yikes.

What is going on in Real Estate in Vancouver right now?  Whow knows.  It's impossible to get a straight answer out of anybody involved in the industry.  This post indicates that prices are slightly down, volume is down, things are slow, and people are opting to just not sell, rather than lower their price.  This post suggests that things are a bit murkier than that.  Regardless, homes sitting on the market and people opting just not to sell is not sustainable.  At some point, people are going to have to sell for a variety of reasons.  It will be interesting to see what happens then.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wasting Time - Week 92 - Jan 28 - Feb 4

The first half of the week is covered here.

Hey Canada.  You voted for these guys.  Tory backbenchers have asked the RCMP to investigate late term abortions.

I don't really know what to say about this.  Israel bombed a military target in Syria.  Canada doesn't seem to have expressed an opinion about this yet.  I'm not against military intervention into Syria.  I'm a bit cloudy on bombing shit in another country just because.

So, the Supreme Court is going to decide if we can abolish the Senate?  Could this really happen this quickly and this easily?

Well this is a step in the right direction.  Actually charging companies what it costs to repair the environmental damage that they create.  However, there's some pretty great logic represented by an environmental organization in this article.  If we had reasonable environmental safeguards in place, it wouldn't be as necessary to put mechanisms in place to recover vast amounts of money for environmental disasters.  You know...try to prevent them in the first place.

I'm getting sick and tired of the pseudo-Libertarian brigade insisting on people paying for their own rescue.  Emergency Services are there to bail people out of emergencies.  People sometimes make questionable decisions that lead them to trouble.  I would suggest that most emergencies are the fault of a questionable decision.  If we become a society where we punish every victim with a massive bill for bailing them out, Canada will be a very sad place to live.  Are we going to require 911 operators to run credit checks?  Will we need a questionnaire to be filled out before a rescue is made?  If this guy had burnt his house down after falling asleep with a cigarette nobody would be saying anything right now about repaying the fire department.

I think it is probably too early to accuse the Conservatives of planning a partisan celebration for Canada's 150th Birthday.  However, it's not too early to wonder why they refuse to plan it using an independent committee.

I love this Tyee article.  It points out that the price gap Oil companies keep talking about is largely imaginary.  I also love that the standard response by oil companies to low oil prices is "We should dig up more of it and send more of it away, faster."  Canadians need to remember something.  This oil belongs to the country, not to the oil companies.  Well.  Alberta would argue that it all belongs to them.

I'm glad our National Revenue Minister is concerned with dealing with really critical matters important to Canada.  Like getting a Revenue Canada employee fired for creating a game that made fun of stupid things said to him on the phone while on the job.

Wait.  What?  Georges Laraque is the Deputy Leader of the Green Party?  You'll probably get kicked out of this link by the terrible Vancouver Sun paywall.

The Alberta PC Party seems to be doing all sorts of bad things lately.  It has just been disclosed that they received 45 illegal donations over the last few years.  The scary thing is that if these bozos get thrown out, the guys waiting in the wings (Wildrose) are even bozoier.