Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, June 23, 2014

Nice Shirt - Week 164 - June 16-23

I'm not even going to talk about the elephant in the room.

This picture is fabulous!  From here.
Let's start with a boatload of Cons who like to just make shit up.

The Conservatives seem to attract the sickest of weirdos to run in the Vancouver suburbs.  This isn't the first time Wai Young has made shit up about another candidate.  Her anti-marijuana attacks on Justin Trudeau are seriously over the top.  And done via taxpayer funded mailouts to all her constituents.

Julian Fantino claims injured veterans receive $10,000 per month.  Which is true...for four injured veterans.  The rest receive far, far less.

Chris Alexander continues to come up with creative ways to not answer questions.  Turns out he has a reason to hope nobody finds out how many government sponsored Syrian refugees have made it into Canada.

Mark Adler decided to invite several lobbyists to his fundraising dinner.  Nothing wrong with that.  Oh, sorry...Conservative MP Mark Adler.

The Conservatives have created a doozy of attack ads, and it seems to suggest that it came from a former Liberal MP.

The Conservatives have finally done something about temporary foreign workers.  It's taken a few years, but it's something.

Who knew that government cuts could have repercussions?  DFO cuts mean that it's really, really easy to poach fish in BC.  And I'm not talking about slowly cooking them in liquid.

Why is our government so terrible at military procurement?  There's a Sea King replacement contract, finally.  But the winning bid doesn't meet a key safety requirement.  Speaking of bad decisions...This guy was involved in the design of the f-16. He rips the f-35 a new one. Too many things for too many people. Good at nothing. Fifth generation is a scam. Stealth doesn't really work.

It has cost Canada $4.5 Million dollars to return to the old style of ranks and insignia.  Which isn't a whole lot of money in the grand scheme of things, I will admit.  But seeing as there's no plausible benefit to this change, it's a bit of a waste, and a nice reminder that even the smallest of decisions cost a lot of money.

The CBC figures the Cons are trying to get the drop on the other parties for an early election call.

A study suggests that the more you pay your CEO, the worse he will probably do.

Another oil comparison to Norway.  Norway built pipelines in order to haul their offshore crude onshore, to be refined in Norway.  Not the opposite.

A look at Enbridge's donations to BC political parties.

I thought that major music labels were dieing?  But no.  They're getting propped up by Google, of all things.  Youtube is promising to cut off independent label music videos from Youtube if they don't pay for a licensing agreement with Youtubes new service.  I sense a business opportunity for somebody.

I think that this story perfectly shows how Steve goes about his business.  Quietly make shit difficult for people until they reach a point where they can't compete/complete and laugh as an enemy is quietly defeated.  It's no secret that Conservatives hate the CBC.  And you can spend a lot of time talking about privatizing the whole thing.  Or you can just slowly turn back their funding, until they can't compete for important show contracts and just slowly disappear.  Maybe the end of Hockey Night in Canada isn't a big deal?  Maybe Don Cherry will finally just disappear into a basement to yell at his TV?  But I think this is a turning point.  And a montage.  I feel Steve must be at lest the tiniest bit torn about this one.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Killing it softly - Week 163 - June 9-16

I feel like a few months from now, a psychiatrist will be able to look back on this blog and track my slow descent into madness.  Or apathy.  Slow descent into apathy.  As each post gets shorter and posted later.  Oh well.

This story perfectly shows how Steve goes about his business.  Quietly make shit difficult for people until they reach a point where they can't compete/complete and laugh as an enemy is quietly defeated.  It's no secret that Conservatives hate the CBC.  And you can spend a lot of time talking about privatizing the whole thing.  Or you can just slowly turn back their funding, until they can't compete for important show contracts and just slowly disappear.  Maybe the end of Hockey Night in Canada isn't a big deal?  Maybe Don Cherry will finally just disappear into a basement to yell at his TV?  But I think this is a turning point.  And a montage.  I feel Steve must be at lest the tiniest bit torn about this one.

Should I just end it there?  One post about hockey and we're done?

Steve and his Australian buddy have decided to double down on their anti climate change agenda.  Their distant relatives held a similar press conference years ago about refusing to kill jobs with a response to the nay-sayers and their made up asteroid impact.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association makes a fatal assumption when they say things like "Back to the drawing board" with respect to privacy legislation.  That assumption being that the Conservatives give even one fuck about what anybody thinks or whether or not something is legal.

Justin Trudeau is setting a bit of an odd precedent.  He suggests that male legislators shouldn't be making decisions on a females right to abortion.  Which I kind of agree with.  But what other responsibilities is he going to try to shirk off next?  Is he just going to sit in an office with a giant stamp that says something like "Sorry, I can't deal with this because I'm white and male"?  Shit.  If only Steve had a similar attitude.

Click through on this sucker and listen to the full interview.  Chris Alexander is a master of not answering questions.  And he sounds so hard done by.  And then he hangs up the phone.  Jason Kenney is also a master at not answering questions (about Temporary Foreign Workers).

The Robo-calls trial has given an insight into how political campaigns act in Canada.  Like children.  I'm surprised they aren't ordering dozens of pizzas to show up at the opponents campaign office.  Actually, that would be a bit of a morale booster, wouldn't it?

I feel like I'm slowly descending into madness with respect to Vancouver real estate.  It's easy to feel stupid for not buying a shitty house as values continue to rise into the stratosphere and an entire industry works to convince us that we're incompetent humans for not over-paying for a house already.  So, the 2013 breakdown of incomes in Canada is very interesting.  If you make more than $191,000 per year, you're in the top 1% of all income earners in Canada.  So....if you are just barely in the top 1% of all Canadian income earners, you can barely afford the average Vancouver detached house (at $1,000,000+)?  What's considered affordable?  5 times annual earnings, right?  Less?  It gets way, way worse when you look at median individual income ($27,600) and median family income ($76,000).  Of course, you're thinking the median Vancouver income is higher than the median Canadian, right?  Sorry.

MacLean's points out that we're really, really terrible at protecting our marine habitat.  Like worse than Russia and China bad.  Worse than the US, even.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Australia - Week 162 - June 2-9

Man.  I haven't been this excited about something in a while.  A comment was left here last week that I just loved.  I'll share it with you, so that I don't have to write anything myself this week:

Orstralia calling here. Just wanted to give you the hands up that our recently elected PM is winging his way towards your bonza country on what can only be fact finding mission on the wonders of conservative government in Canada. Now Tony Abbott is the leader of the Liberal party of Australia but don't be confused because that's our version of the conservative party in Oz ( might be because we live in the opposite hemisphere).
Unfortunately for Tonnes his recent budget hasn't gone down to well with the general public. Those lower class types are getting upperty about inequality between the rich and the other ninety percent of the population. Even the septic tanks south of your boarder have made fun of him.

Now if Mr Harper could just show him some of the nuances on how to rule within a conservative framework, just some pointers well....it would be much appreciated. Having said that he does have a handy guide put together by the Institute of public affairs of Australia, a prestigious group of Bankers, Miners, Captains of industry all thought to be under the guiding hand of our very own Rupert Murdoch.

Even though Rupe has gone on to bigger and better things ( now an American citizen by crickey ) I like to think he still reminisces of his early days at the Adelaide Advertiser. Just wondering if your fair country is lucky enough to have any News corp publications or is it just us with wall to wall Murdoch media. Anyhow I better get out of your way now. Oh! If you do run into Tonnes he's the kind laconic bloke who will fell right at home with a cheeky greeting of ' Cheers big ears

The second link is a work of magic, and perhaps the work of a sociopath.  Who else could spend the first few paragraphs talking about all the wonderful left wing changes of the past and how they've become thoroughly appreciated (Universal Healthcare, free tuition, etc.)...and then prescribe these changes as the way to move Australia forward?  Banish the carbon tax, pull out of Kyoto, abolish the Department of Climate Change and the Clean Energy Fund, abandon parental leave, privatise, privatise, privatise.  I mean, it's some kind of Koch Brothers wet dream.  Anyhow.  Thanks TaxiLurker...I really needed that.

On with the real news.

Perhaps this was the plan all along, but it seems like the Robocalls trial is coming to the conclusion that Michael Sona is guilty as hell, but not capable of executing without help.  And probably some help on a National level from the party.

Ha ha.  I almost just pasted this link in.  And I'm going to share it anyhow.  Because who doesn't want to read about the trainwreck of the Kimye wedding?  A lesson in the excesses of the 1%.

Damned scientists.  Getting in the way of progress again.  Here pointing out that the science used to justify the Northern Gateway project is "flawed".  The logic too.  And again with the Scientists....Great news on Fracking in Canada.  A University of Waterloo report finds that wells are poorly capped, barely monitored, and leaking all over the place.  Thank god our decisions aren't peer reviewed, says Steve.

Jesus.  This is a bit troubling.  The "Government" is imploring its departments to track every protest across Canada.  The Optimist would assume they want to keep their fingers on the pulse of Canadian opinion...

So the Cons have unveiled their prostitution bill.  The "Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act".  Man.  What's their budget for thinking up over-the-top bill names?  Anyhow.  I'm not sure people are going to buy into this one.  It seems to make everybody angry.  I guess I have some Libertarian in me.  It seems like making things that people really want illegal is kind of stupid.  Doesn't it make sense, as New Zealand has done with prostitution, to accept that things will happen and bring it out in the open?  This Nordic model sounds like a step in the right direction, but seems to add an unnecessary shroud over things.  How can you ensure things are safe when people are still forced to do it in secrecy?

More veterans more angry with the Conservatives.

Don't worry.  Nigel Wright is going to be okay.  Mike Duffy probably won't be.

Vice chimes in on our "You're not a citizen any more" legislation.  Pointing out that it sucks.

There's just so many links about why we shouldn't buy the F-35, I don't even know where to start.  But apparently, we're going to.  Okay.  One link.  Basically, this airplane is so complicated and compromised because of the vertical takeoff/landing requirements.  Which Canada doesn't need.  So in summary.  We're spending insane amounts of money on an airplane because some variants require something that we don't, and the whole design is kind of compromised because of it.  Well done.

Somebody from Peter McKay's office is most likely behind the "bozo eruption" recording.  More Peter McKay (christ, what an asshole).  The Conservatives still seem intent on making the Marc Nadon fiasco about anything but them.  Peter McKay suggests documents were leaked?  How does that in any way impact what happened? 

Harper found an actual Quebec judge to appoint to the Supreme Court.

Elections Canada hasn't made up their mind about NDP guilt with respect to mailouts.

People give Garth a tonne of shit.  But this post is really beautiful.  He lays out quite clearly how our Real Estate costs can have an impact on where businesses set up.  And that we shouldn't be excited when a factory closes down and we build over-priced condos on the land.  "In Canada, this is progress. Who needs useless, noisy, downscale factories full of people with rough cuticles and bad tats when all we need is to sell real estate to each other at ever-higher prices with ever-larger mortgages? Then everyone benefits. Obviously we’ve found a new economic reality. It’s so good to be different. And smart."

I really don't understand what Steve is going to accomplish with his Russian saber rattling.  Send more troops to Europe?  To do what?  With what?  It's a bit of a symbolic sham of a gesture.  Especially when we still seem happy to take the money of Russians when we really need it.

A study has shown that states that primarily vote Republican have a far higher dependency on Federal funding than do states that vote primarily Democrat.  Damned Liberal freeloaders, keep wanting to give money to real 'Merican 'publicans.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fat - Week 161 - May 26-June 2

Canada.  Getting fatter.

The NDP points out that the new Privacy Watchdog is supposed to be protecting Canadians from the very laws that he created...which might be a bit of a conflict.

Fuck these guys.  "We have worker shortages because we don't pay very well and we treat people badly so we need to bring people in from outside of the country to flip burgers."  And we need a special meeting with the PM to talk about it.

A report suggests the obvious - with terrible data on jobs and employment, the Government has no idea whether or not there are labour shortages and Temporary Foreign Workers are required.  Also, bringing in people at minimum wage deflates wage growth.  Coincidentally, this article tracks the decline of StatsCan.

I agree that political parties should not be sending partisan mailouts using government resources.  But it seems like the Conservatives do this all the time.  Maybe what the NDP did is worse, and that's why they have to pay this back (maybe)?  But it seems like a bit of a double standard witch hunt.

Russia has a paid army of internet commenters, ensuring a pro-Putin comment isn't too far away in Western news articles about the Ukraine.

The US (finally) appears to be making some stabs at reducing this whole "Climate Change" thing we've been hearing about lately.  Canada, of course, isn't impressed.  And doesn't feel the need to do anything similar.

This seems too crazy to be true.  Former Liberal MP Sheila Copps found a Nato briefing binder in an airport lounge that was left behind by a Conservative MP.  And then she spilled all the gory details in her column for the Hill Times.  Of course, the Conservatives don't respond to the allegations...they question the messenger.

This is kind of interesting...but knowing a bit about procurement, a company can't just enter midstream and say "We can do this way cheaper" and expect the government to respond to this.  Did they put a bid in during the required time period?  If not, they need to just go away.

A Canadian Muslim group is suing the PM for libel.

A Tyee article on the impact of the Russia/China Natural Gas deal on BC's plans.  The short story: not good.  I'm sure Christy will figure out a way to make us "get to Yes!" though.  Notice how official pipeline dudes are saying the same phrase now?