Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, October 28, 2013

How much longer can this go on? - Week 130 - Oct 21-28

This Senate thing is just dirty.  And the more I think about it, the more it seems like this effort to throw Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin out is an effort by the Conservatives to whitewash the parties participation in the events that lead up to this fiasco.  I hate to say it, but I agree that they shouldn't be suspended.  It's just too easy for the Conservatives to use this as a tool to dig themselves out from under their own mess.  "See.  We're the good guys.  We suspended the bums."  Even though they employed the bums.  And told them it was okay to do what they were doing.  And tried to help them avoid the scandal.  And helped them try to cover up the scandal.  But then pulled the ripcord when it got too messy.  It seems to me there are some definite parallels between the stories Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin are telling.  Mac Harb may end up being the worst off though.  More.  And more.  And more.  And more.

Oh Environment Canada.  When will you learn?  You're not supposed to suggest things that are critical of the government.  Such as that we're nowhere close to meeting emissions targets set out by said government.  So not only have we not committed to meaningful cuts, we're nowhere close to meeting our unmeaningful promises.  But don't worry.  Jobs!  The Economy!

I guess you're not really Conservative unless you loooooove scrapping databases.  This time, the Conservatives are scrapping their new campaign database that they spent millions on.

This sounds like a reality show.  Come up with a great business idea, win permanent residency in Canada!

Oh man.  Whatever you think about the Ontario gas plant decision, this seems like a terrible idea, drafting a motion to have the party pay back the money.  Pretty much every decision is a political one.  How many stupid decisions are made each year by a political party looking to benefit themselves?  You want to start charging them for all of that?  God.  We probably would need a new Federal department just to do the calculations.  And that's what is so absolutely ridiculous about today's politics - The revisionist history.  From the Sponsorship scandal to the Senate scandal to BC Rail to the Fast Ferries.  A party is in power until it fucks up monumentally and then the next party comes into power until they fuck up monumentally and it's always just the greatest tragedy of all time but we're going to do a better job.  Honestly people.  Proportional Representation is the only answer to this.  How do we do it?

Okay.  I've been reading "The Notorious Bacon Brothers" by Jerry Langton.  It's very interesting, and not very well written.  But it's impossible to read it and not come away with the idea that perhaps Canada is too lenient on criminals.  The amount of drugs, weapons...heck, murders these guys are caught with/doing is staggering.  But here's where the Conservatives have it all wrong.  You want to stop guys like this?  Fund police systems that go after them.  Put money into anti-gang programs.  Perhaps change legislation to increase jail time for violent crime.  But by creating mandatory minimums for any drug crime you're almost diminishing the effectiveness of what the courts can do.  Keep the little shit out of the courts and trivial criminals out of prison (except for white collar financial crime - those guys need more jail) and focus the attention of the courts on the bad stuff.  In my opinion.  Anyhow.  Interesting book.  Changed my perspective a bit.

Oh.  Boy.  Apparently the Koch brothers might make $100 Billion if Keystone XL goes ahead?  No wonder dropping a few hundred million to (attempt to) buy an election is no big deal.  Good lord.  Not to mention all the money they pump into clouding the climate change debate.  But no.  It's scientists clinging to their $60,000 per year jobs that are making shit up due to their greed.  Thousands of them.  All that grant money has them rolling in it and they just can't be stopped.

Another piece on the ridiculousness of the Conservatives pseudo-scientific "no drugs to treat drugs" decision in banning heroin experiments in BC.

"Everything to make a bomb except for the explosives."  So...like some wire.  A battery.  A container.  "Not dangerous by itself, but police took no chances."

Every time David Suzuki says something, Conservatives dismiss him.  Well, apparently he is "admired" by 57% of Canadians.  That might not sound like much, until you consider Rick Hansen only has 50% of the country, and our buddy Steve-O only has 23%.  Maybe there is hope for Canada?  Honestly, Trudeau, get off your fucking ass and work with Mulcair on electoral reform.

Do you ever get phone calls from your credit card company offering to protect you from identity fraud for an extra fee?  I always ask them something along the lines of "Sooooooo....you need extra money from me to protect people from stealing my credit card information?"  They generally have well rehearsed responses to this.  But this is worse.  Experian is an organization that offers to help protect people from identity theft/fraud.  And they sold databases full of people's information to identity fraudsters.

I have no idea who Darrell Dexter is.  But I wish I lived in Nova Scotia, just so I could have not voted for him.  Always classy when you blame voters for "not understanding" when you lose.

"Sleepy Time" Rob Anders is still at it with his delusional claims/rhetoric.

Fox News has it's own army of commenters used to pepper anti-Fox blog postings.

More Russell Brand.  I don't agree with everybody on this one.  It seems to me the interviewer is a bit "in on the joke" with this one.

File this under "Life Lessons from Unusual Places".  Somebody asks former referee Kerry Fraser about missed calls.  His response is very educational, and a bit of a lesson on making mistakes and owning up to them.

Always sucks when you provide a reference for a criminal.

Monday, October 21, 2013

War on Expensive Cheese - Week 129 - Oct 14-21

So a train derailed and then exploded.  Again.  I guess we couldn't even get that barn door closed after the first horse left.  We're still talking about it in the throne speech.

The Globe rounds up the throne speech.  More "tough on crime" and a highway to the arctic.

Great news everybody!  The Conservatives are on our side!  Un-bundled cable TV!  Cheaper cell phone plans!  They're saving the world and all about the "middle class"!  In additional "Stephen Harper Saves the World by Making Things Marginally Cheaper" news, now they're going to tackle the US/Canadian price gap.  Slashing tariffs?  No, no.  Nothing like that.  After all, it's all the fault of suppliers.  Good luck on that one, buddy.

I feel like somebody is trying really hard to make us think the EU trade deal is nothing more than an easier way for us to buy cheese and send more pigs and cows to Europe.  Perhaps there is more to it than that?  This guy suggests that they're coming to steal our water, and points out the always lovely "Corporations can sue the Canadian government if they pass harmful (economically harmful, that is) environmental legislation".  Call me crazy, but if I'm running a country, I don't sign anything that allows people to sue us if we decide to better protect our environment.

This sounds like a reality show.  Come up with a great business idea, win permanent residency in Canada!

I had no idea the Federal Information Commissioner was such a radical.  She must be, because she's suggesting that our government is doing bad things with access to information.

Edward Snowden points out that people that suggest that China or Russia have stolen his files seem to be full of shit.

I have no idea who Darrell Dexter is.  But I wish I lived in Nova Scotia, just so I could have not voted for him.  Always classy when you blame voters for "not understanding" when you lose.

Liberal MP's have started posting their expenses.  People have started questioning every single thing.  Why do people become so irrational when talking about politicians expenses?  They have a job that requires lots of travel.  That will cost money.

The Senate is hoping to suspend Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy.

Some protests in New Brunswick have erupted over fracking of shale gas.

Unfortunately, when you're a blowhard, people will work to tear you down.  As Rob Ford mobilizes to fire a sleeping City worker, a photo is dug up of him sleeping while on the job as a City worker.  I'm sure his situation is totally different.

This is just the coolest thing I've heard in a while.  For anybody who doesn't know Greg Gillis/Girl Talk, he's awesome.  He's a musical genius that justifies the mash-up craze of a few years ago.  And...a study was just released that tracked sales of songs that he sampled both before and after he released an album in 2010...and...sales went up after his album came out!  So much for the has been musicians suing the shit out of samplers.

This is great.  A journalist followed up with several people that Sean Hannity interviewed about "Obamacare being a disaster" and pointed out the holes in their theory.  Of course, absolutely not one single person that watched the Sean Hannity piece will read this debunking.

Buried in Laura Dzendri story...Police used an undercover operation to illicit a confession from a murderer.  Would be interested in hearing the details of that.

There's some definite legalese here...but the MPAA seems to be arguing that a judge shouldn't consider actual damages to their bottom line in awarding them a judgement, just the imaginary ones that they made up.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanksgiving - Week 128 - Oct 7-15

This is pretty awesome and we're going to use it to start our week.
Great news everybody!  The Conservatives are on our side!  Un-bundled cable TV!  Cheaper cell phone plans!  They're saving the world and all about the "middle class"!

Man.  This Brazilian spying thing is going to get ugly.  (can we just start calling it The Brazilian?  That's what I'm going to tag it as)  The denial sounds suspiciously like a confirmation.  It's going to get really, really ugly if we find out that a taxpayer funded spy organization is working on behalf of Canadian mining companies.  And here's the other shoe.  CSEC met with energy companies?  What about?  Sharing some Brazilian intelligence perhaps?  Other corporate espionage?  The head of CSEC says a whole lot of nothing.  The ex-Director of the SCEC claims that it needs the oversight of an MP.  Which is a troubling statement...but honestly...which Conservative MP would you want to oversee your national spy organization?  And supposedly more to come.  Speaking of Glenn Greenwald...here he takes a BBC reporter to task about government spying.  There's things to be learned here.

Judges are already starting to defy Stephen Harper's minimum sentence legislation, pointing out what people have been saying all along - It's not going to work, it's not going to help, and it's not fair.

Our "Science Minister" sent out a fundraising letter asking for money to combat "radical ideologue" scientists.

Mike Duffy is in more trouble for hiring a friend to do a waste of time job.

The Tyee puts into words the ridiculousness of Rona Ambrose and her crusade against prescribed heroin.

Apparently Columbus was a real dick.

Russia and China both have legions of...god...what to call them?...trolls?...writing comments on behalf of the motherland on online news articles.  Stephen Harper probably has the same thing.

Prepare for "Real Estate is on the Rise!" articles.  The long view...shit's been pretty flat for 2 years.  Another great Garth Turner post where he points out that all these Real Estate statistics are really, really suspect.

A lady in Saskatchewan phoned 911 because she thought her neighbours fire pit was out of control.  The fire chief showed up and yelled at her and told her to go back to Quebec.  Which is bad, yes.  But then read the comments (I know.  A mistake).  People seem to think it's justified because "Quebeckers treat anglo-Canadians badly all the time."

Leave it to Matt Taibbi to explain just how fucked the United States is.  With American politics run by wealthy donors, it seems nothing is going to get fixed and income disparity is going to really take off.  In this example, a public pension is gutted and money flows to Financial organizations.  Shocking numbers here as well.

Malala Yousafzai points out to Barack Obama that bombing the shit out of people with drones doesn't bring them over to the American way of thinking.

More US Law Enforcement Entrapment.  This time, an undercover cop encourage an autistic kid to buy drugs for him.  Then arrests him.  Fucking hell.  Thankfully, this kid was re-instated in his high school and got off with only some community service but "he other special needs students arrested remained expelled and at least one served a year in jail."  Posting Onion stories seems cheap and easy.  But this one about cops seems on point.

Is this not a lesson that our copyright laws are plunging towards absurdity?  Harvard Business Review has determined that professors are not allowed to assign things out of their books without a specific license.  Just wait until they start employing undercover students to help enforce their copyright.

Monday, October 7, 2013

We sold our souls for rock and oil - Week 127 - Sept 30 - Oct 7

In a way, I get it.  We use Malaysian money to build an LNG plant and then we sell it to Malaysia.  But wouldn't we be better off building our own plant and then selling the LNG to whomever pays the most?  I thought everybody was begging us for the stuff?  Why do we have to let foreign companies own our resources?

So we used one of our spy agencies to spy on the Brazilian Mining Ministry and we got caught.

Oh these fucking assholes...Enbridge seems to think they'll have their pipeline up and running by 2018.  What a bunch of fucking cocks!  Arrogant cocks.  "Let's disregard all these people that fucking hate us and are accusing us of being a shit company that can barely run an office, let alone a pipeline, and just kind of show them that we don't give a fuck what they say because we've already bought and paid for the decision from the government."

Who knows best about prescribing heroin for a clinical studies?  The doctors who designed the study, hoping to find some specific results that will in turn help society in general?  Or a bunch of ignorant politicians?  Doesn't really matter.  Politicians get their way.  Fuck.  She actually lectures them about treating heroin with heroin.  Because everybody knows cold turkey is the only way, right?

There's not too many things/people in this world that blindly inspire me to think that the other side of the story is the correct one.  Fox News.  The NRA.  Chris Brown.  Anyhow.  The Canadian Gun Lobby thinks we should not sign a UN arms treaty.  So we probably should.  I also love that they think Harper signing this thing might cost him votes.  Yep.  I can just see that Albera farmer voting Mulcair because Harper caused his ammunition prices to go up a bit.  And the fuckin' shitheads caved in and didn't sign.

John Baird continues to tilt at windmills.  No shit we shouldn't blindly accept everything that Iran is selling.  Is anybody suggesting that?  Meanwhile, you're grandstanding at the UN while our fearless leader attempts to marginalize our place there?  What's the point?  Nobody is listening to us anyway.

Another Conservative MP steps out of bounds with letters to the CRTC on behalf of...I think on behalf of Sun News?  And the Province classifies it as "Entertainment".

Don't they know that it's the will of the lord? Christian Paradis announces that Canada won't fund programs to provide abortions to victims of war rape or forced childhood marriage.
So we've decided to take a human rights stand against Sri Lanka.  I'm guessing they don't sell us much stuff or want any of our oil, lumber or natural gas.

And Harper might be trying to blacklist a journalist that asked him a question.

Oh boy.  Our new Supreme Court appointee is a 64 Year Old White Man, who argued strongly against repatriating Omar Khadr.  And then lied about getting drafted by the Detroit Red Wings?  This is roughly the Canadian equivalent of claiming you walked on the moon.  What an idiot.
An 89-year-old lady is going to court after refusing to fill out the census.  Kind of an interesting story, actually.

Awesome!  Pirate Joe's won his legal fight!

Rob Ford continues to be Toronto's main carnival attraction.

Patrick Brazeau still exists, is taken to hospital.  May have done something stupid beforehand.  Maybe not.

Another Conservative Senator is in the shit.  This one accused of illegal fundraising in Quebec.  Kickbacks from Construction companies, really.
The London School of Economics has determined that piracy isn't hurting the entertainment industry.

Alex Pareene has an interesting take on his appearance on CNBC.  He seems to have generated a bunch of positive news though, contrary to his own opinion that he botched it.

Should Canadian public archives be stored behind a paywall?  Probably not.