Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, October 27, 2014

Terrorists Win - Week 182 - Oct 20-27

It's been an interesting week.  Of course, everything has been over-shadowed by the most Canadian of terrorist attacks.  A French Canadian turned West Coaster turned Muslim attacked a War Memorial and Parliament with a rifle before being stopped by a retired gentleman.  I don't want to diminish the seriousness of this.  It is indeed a terrible event.  A soldier is dead (a soldier in place to prevent teenagers from spray painting a war memorial) and, well, two soldiers are dead, but one of them has already been largely forgotten.

But there's been a lot of "this changes everything!" going on.  I will admit that this does suggest we need better security at Parliament Hill.  Guards with guns, perhaps.  But if one crazed lunatic with a gun and one crazed lunatic with a car "changes everything" ...man, we're in trouble.

The response has been muted a bit more than I expected.  There's the right mix of discussion about "increased security" and "not caving in to terror".  But some of the first words out of Stephen Harper's mouth were about giving law enforcement more tools to do their job.  What does that mean, exactly?  Do we really need more surveillance?  Worse?  The hit and run terrorist was already being watched.  And the Parliament Hill terrorist had been denied a passport and was on somebodies radar.  Is "more tools" the answer to not doing a very good with the tools that we currently have?  "Making it illegal to condone terrorism online" certainly isn't a step we should be taking.  What does that even mean?

As well, we have this.  The PM got shoved in a closet and MP's were wielding flagpoles as spears.  And are keeping the spears as trophies.

CBC actually has this as an "Exclusive!".  The Parliament Hill shooter used a piece of junk mail as a license plate.  Conservatives set to announce new legislation seeking enhanced penalties for using junk mail as a license plate.

The Cons have decided that now isn't the right time to unveil legislation to make it easier to buy a gun.

This was written before the attack on Parliament hill.  Greenwald points out that we've been at war for 12 years and shouldn't be surprised that there are repercussions.

Of course, all of this is somewhat related to our "taking it to ISIS".  This Tyee article points out that most of the wars and/or saber rattling that we've completed over the last 10 years has been a disaster (Libya. Afghanistan. Ukraine).  Trudeau thinks it's Stephen Harper's ego that is the cause of our mission.

This is fairly damning.  Canada is ranked last of OECD Nations - 58th overall! - in dealing with climate change.  We beat Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia though!

A pretty fascinating interview with Pierre Polievre on partisanship.  It would be similar to interviewing Gretzky about scoring goals.  If Gretzky was a bit delusional and had insane ideas on how to score goals and painted himself as a non goal scorer.

I'm not super excited about the Christy Clark plan for LNG.  Accepting a pittance from multinationals making billions off of our resource seems like a terrible plan.

Home mail delivery for 74,000 addresses stopped this week.

The Conservatives have a new batch of out-of-context quotes/attack ads.

Great news!  Another Quebec only political party.  That will sort things right out.

Somebody points out that we're putting more effort into silencing bird watchers than we are into catching tax cheats.  This is a good point.

The Cons commissioned a "health report" on the effects of Marijuana.  It's fairly one sided.

There's another nomination skirmish over an easy Conservative seat.  In this one, the battle is against one guy selling Conservative party memberships out of his fathers Canadian Tire, and another guy who lives far, far away from the riding.

A story summarizing all of the companies that have recently pulled out of the Oil Sands.

There were warnings that our ability to deal with stranded ships on the North Coast is terrible.

Kinder Morgan doesn't really get it.  Tries to prove First Nations don't actually eat all that much fish, so why should they be so concerned about an oil spill in the Fraser, right?

America!  Fuck Yeah!  The Koch Brothers have a new batch of dirty tricks.  Now, they're running pro-pot ads to entice liberals/Democrats to vote for a Libertarian candidate so that their Republican candidate can win.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Threats to Society - Week 181 - Oct 14-20

It always takes a farcical story to drive a point home.  A group of Ontario birdwatchers have been threatened by Revenue Canada over "political activity".  They wrote a letter to several cabinet ministers expressing concern over bee deaths.

Stephen Harper fears that the people he's in charge of are trying to bring back the Long Gun Registry.  And all he needs is your money to stop it.

He also seems to be researching privatization of Canada Post and writing secret reports about it.

It's easy to form an argument that CSIS needs more power to track "terrorists".  (It might not be credible, but it's easy)  It's harder to understand how they decide who a "terrorist" is.

Fraser Institute economist thinks that he has solved science and proven global warming is a farce.  Science points out that he is an idiot.

Kinder Morgan pro-pipeline ads come at a time that can be seen as influencing upcoming municipal elections.

There are a truly insane number of foreign caregivers waiting for Permanent Resident status in Canada.

This might be getting complicated.  Sun News dug up some documents that suggest the major media companies (most of them) in Canada came to an agreement not to air attack ads that used copyrighted information originating from any of their broadcasts...Which may have lead to the Conservative political copyright law...and may be illegal...and Sun News views as collusion to put Trudeau into power.

Jason Kenney took it upon himself to decide that a niqab can't be worn during a citizenship ceremony.

One Russian cargo ship loses power on the coast of BC and exposes our "World Class" ship safety plans as a farce.

Canada's Indian status system seems insane.  And one lady is challenging it, as her status was revoked as she does not know the identity of her grandfather.

The Canada Food Guide kind of sucks.  And it's been put together by people closely attached to the food industry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thanks - Week 180 - Oct 6-14

I love Tom the Dancing Bug.  This is a pretty good one.
Jason Kenney uses his government staff to create anti-Trudea graphics.  But of course, they're doing it on their "spare time".

Oh fuck these clowns.  More pandering to gun owners.  Fuck off.  Nobody cares about your stupid "Swiss Arms rifles".  All announced at a shooting range.

The Europeans are upset about the Stephen Harper Airlines free flight to Europe as well.  Turns out bureaucrats accepting an unnecessary $300,000 flight has ruffled some feathers.  And they've pointed out that the whole thing was unnecessary and the excuses are probably bogus.

Joe Oliver thinks changes to EI premiums will create 25,000 jobs.  The PBO thinks it will cost 9,000 jobs.  Hmmmm...that's a bit of a spread.

Another Harper law will be challenged in court.  A group is suing to overturn the new election laws.  As well, they won't provide information on how much it cost to make changes.

Patrick Brazeau has more problems.  He has been arrested again.

Evidence for Democracy has released a report detailing the muzzling of Canadian scientists.  Basically, it's way, way harder for Canadian government scientists to present their research and speak out than it is for US government scientists.

The Cons new regulations on TFW's have no teeth.  Remember the Victoria area McDonald's caught abusing the program?  They were denied more TFW's twice...then phoned and complained and had the decision reversed and the TFW's fast tracked.  As well, a cafeteria on a reserve that suffers from high unemployment has brought in temporary foreign workers.

Let's just ignore your thoughts on the Harper Government response to global warming.  Not enough regulation?  Weak targets?  Needs to go further?  Irrelevant.  As this story details, the Environmental Commissioner thinks we aren't even on a path to reach our insanely low goals.  And even worse, the actual regulations are a secret!  And the reductions we have made have come primarily due to Provincial programs, not Federal.  Jeffrey Simpson is onto it as well.

An organization involved with treating addiction has come out in favour of legalizing marijuana.

Wow.  American TV networks are suggesting that if their business model isn't propped up by forcing their channels on people that don't want them, they're going to lose money and have to pull out of Canada.  I guess I see their point.  I mean, who wants to be forced to keep customers by offering them something they want for the money they're giving you?  And I would also be upset if people no longer wanted to give me money for something that they didn't want in the first place.

This is really interesting.  The Cons want to be able to freely use copyrighted news in political ads.

Great news.  There's not only a 1 percent for money...there's a 1 percent for booze consumption.  People wonder why macrobreweries still exist.  It's to service those guys.

Two cops responded to a noise complaint, entered a house illegally, beat a bunch of people up and kept their jobs.  The people they beat up won their court case...but the City won't pick up their $66,000 in legal costs.

Well of course we're not going to support the Hong Kong protestors!  That would take balls.

This is sad.  The pot smoking mountie has been found dead.  Just a really sad, tragic story.

I'm going to be super fucking pissed if refusing to support a plan to bomb ISIS with six fucking airplanes results in 4 more years of the Cons.  Super pissed.  Here's my bold prediction: As the Cons receive a boost in support for their bombing the shit out of terrorists, an election is called.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fur Hats for Everyone - Week 179 - Sept 29 - Oct 6

This is just a perfect example of the Harper Government.  We've got accusations of extremism.  Overturning somebody else's decision because you know better.  Grandstanding.  Killing animals.  Jobs!  Jobs!  Jobs!  It's perfect, really.  The Conservatives decide to overrule the RCMP's decision to no longer wear fur hats.  Claim it's for the greater good of Canada.  Congratulate themselves for saving...like what?  10 jobs?  And stick it to the extremists, for good measure.

Jim Prentice feels like all Alberta really needs right now is a few more temporary foreign workers.  Seriously.  What an asshole.  I know this isn't science or anything...but a year ago all the Oil Sands companies were advertising for engineers in BC.  Now?  Not a one.  I'm not surprised that our CEO/worker pay gap is the worst in the western world.  Well...except for America.  And some more stories about TFW's getting taken advantage of.

Does anybody out there have a really good idea for how to deal with ISIS?  At this rate, I feel like if we go in and take them out it's going to be some kind of flesh eating zombies that take their place.  The west just keeps making shit worse.  Maybe blowing the fuck out of everybody isn't the answer?  But no, Trudeau is the asshole here for questioning things.

Somebody decided that there would need to be a prison lockdown if Omar Khadr is granted an interview.

Sometimes you make a mistake, admit that you're wrong, and then move on.  Other times you double down on awful.  The Harper Government decides to appeal the decision that struck down their cuts to refugee health care.

This story details the impossible decision members of our military face.  Admit that you have a mental health problem and get treatment...or keep quiet and keep your pension.

MacLeans has a take on the Paul Calandra affair.  And some more about stupid things he has said.

The Conservatives don't want a motion to go forward that would grant the speaker the power to make people answer questions.  This is all kinds of confusing.

Once again, the Cons explanations for spending a lot of money beg greater explanation.  There's no real logic towards last minute changes leading to Canada footing the bill for a private plane ride home for some European bureaucrats.

Stephen Harper's "Ra Ra Canada is Great so let's stick it to the Russians" Franklin expedition to enhance Canadian ownership of the North...had a Russian component to it.  Which kind of chips away at the justification for it.

We now basically have one newspaper owner in Canada.  Good thing nobody reads them any longer.

And lastly...Sun news apologizes to Justin Trudeau for calling his mom a whore.  Basically.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Backbenching - Week 178 - Sept 22-29

I begin this week with a pretty awesome article from Raif Mair.  Wow...I made about six typing errors coming to grips with that first sentence...Anyhow, Rafe talks about Dianne Watts running for the Conservatives.  Which isn't all that interesting.  Until he starts talking about how useless the life of a backbench MP are.  Makes you understand all the hooting and hollering in the House, doesn't it?  Wouldn't we be better off if we all just decided this was a farce?  If all MP's are there for is to vote how they're told...shit...must be a better way to do things?

I must admit that I have some strange tendencies.  All it takes to bring me on side is a bit of grovelling.  I love an underdog.  I think that's why I hated Lance Armstrong so much.  Now that he's sad and apologetic he's coming around for me.  And now Paul Calandra,  I can't help but feel a bit sorry for him.  I mean, his responses in Parliament were absolutely idiotic.  But there's no way he came up with that all on his own.  Now...hung out to dry.  This is the Conservative Modus Operandi.  My question is this: How come they put so many questionable people into positions of authority to begin with?  Bev Oda.  Paul Calandra.  Dean Del Mastro.  Mike Duffy.  Pamela Wallin.  That other guy.  On and on it goes.  And...we still don't really have answers as to what is happening in Iraq.

Statoil is backing out of an OilSands project.  This is interesting for two reasons.  First, does this signify a larger problem within the OilSands?  Second, how come every other fucking country on this earth is allowed to have a state oil company invested in our OilSands, except for us?

Is there anything worse than somebody who wants to "advise" on an issue and not get involved in any other way?  I laughed a bit when our contribution to the ISIS fight was 60 or so military advisors.  Now we might send some planes...really fucking old planes.

The Canadian 1% is still a bit sad.  $191,000 in yearly salary gains you entry.  I mean...must be nice.  But you're basically an American shoeshine boy with that money.

Andrew Scheer does not respond kindly towards questioning of his impartiality.

I actually kind of like Jason Kenney's recent responses on Temporary Foreign Workers.  We'll see if there's any substance to it.  If we're going to sell out the country in the name of jobs, let's at least make sure people can get jobs and salaries go up a bit.  Nobody should have sympathy for Alberta companies complaining that they can't hire cheap foreign labour.

It's tough to figure what Steve is thining about the UN these days.  I mean, don't show up for the climate conference, but show up for dinner?  And then re-announce an announcement that we already announced a few years ago?  That basically does nothing but bring us in line with US Regulations?  At least we brought some cash...Canada forks out a bit of UN money for Ebola...and some more UN money for a maternal health initiative.

This needs to be read because it's just too weird.  A murdered man in France had stolen the identity of Glenn Miller...and was living the life of a washed up Canadian "rockstar".

I'll start by pointing out the obvious.  Nobody thinks this is a good thing or should have happened.  The question is what we should do about it?  The response to the murder of a Surrey teen by a recently released High Risk Offender has been about what you would expect.  I'd like to see a happy medium between keep-everybody-in-jail-forever and do-absolutely-nothing-once-high-risk-offenders-are-released-except-deliver-a-warning.

The Cons look to shaft everybody by re-introducing their union finance law, ignoring the recommendations of the Senate, and limiting debate on the whole sordid affair.  Nothing to see here, folks.

So, ya, there is an argument for stripping terrorists of their passports.  But that comes at a cost.  And I don't trust these assholes enough to give them the right to start stripping citizenship, especially with the loose definition of "terrorist" these days.

Some more info on North Korean refugees.  The reason we don't accept them?  Well, Chris Alexander sucks.  And the loophole seems to be that since South Korea will accept North Koreans, they're no longer considered to be refugees in Canada's eyes.  Which is some fucking loophole.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chinese Overlords - Week 176-177 - Sept 8-22

Sorry.  Missed a week.  Looks like there was a lot going on.

Steve got his free trade agreement signed with China.  Opinions vary from "China will take over our country" to "Doesn't really matter...everybody else can already sue us over trade issues anyhow."

Our performance in several key metrics for child health is terrible.  Out of 29 countries assessed, we're 27th in child obesity, 22nd in infant mortality and 21st in child poverty rates.  967,000 children live in low income houses/poverty.  I think what those families really need is another tax cut.  Put a couple hundred dollars in their pockets and I'm sure the problem will fix itself.

Steve loses another court battle.  The Ontario Court of Appeal rules a tough-on-crime law unconstitutional.

Steve likes his secrets.  A growing number of topics are considered "Cabinet Secrets" and won't be released for 20 years.

The Department of Justice suggest that Peter MacKay and Steve were wrong to criticize the Chief Justice and that she had every right to comment on Supreme Court appointments.  Man.  Somebody is not getting a mother's/father's day e-mail this year.

Great week for Canada.  Bad week for Rod Anders.  Sleepy Time loses another nomination battle.  Could this be the end for him in Canadian politics?  I bet he shows up as a Wild Rose candidate soon.

Steve's precious Museum for Human Rights has opened up.  And the Cons seemed concerned about the contents of the exhibits.  I'm surprised Steve hasn't been spending weekends there, working on his diorama on how the Charter of Rights ruined oil development.  Interesting that as they trumpet human rights, there's been a lot of the work in the background to deny them for trans-gendered people.

Canada appears to no longer be granting North Korean refugee claims.  Because we all know how safe and effectively governed that country is.

The MP who proposed a law to empower MP's has been pressured into amending the bill.  What we really need to stop things like this from happening is some sort of something...a bill perhaps?...to empower MP's.  And you know that a bill that when the PM blesses a bill that is supposed to reel back a little bit of power from said PM....well...maybe it's a bit of lip service.

There's some proof that the government has been tracking hundreds of peaceful protests, panel discussions, etc.

No money to investigate the effects of global warming.  Lots of money for an expedition to support Steve's pet project/fascination with the lost Franklin expedition.

This article speculates that the Conservatives have something to fear over mandatory voting laws.  Which would explain why they've made such an effort to suppress vote participation.

Apparently our fighter jet choice is down to the F-35 and the Super Hornet.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nice Abs - Week 175 - Sept 2-8

A Jewish group nominated our illustrious leader for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Which sounds horrible.  But...I mean...sounds like just about anybody can nominate anybody for one of these things.  So no biggie.

We're #1!  We're #1!  Canada leads the world!  In deforestation of pristine forests.  And it's not even close.

A request to interview a government scientist about Rock Snot spurred a giant round of e-mails and confusion within the government.  And no interview.  Lots of discussion about what he should be allowed to say if there was an approved interview request though.

Some details on the Tory plan to embarrass the Liberals.  Surreptitious recordings...baited questions...and they appear to have no shame over it.

I'm a bit scared.  If we consider the number of people on our no fly list to be a State Secret...Shit.  It's like a boy guarding his precious beans.  If that is the information we think will prevent terrorist attacks, we're screwed.

Brian Mulroney suggests that he would create a national inquiry over the missing women issue.  And suggests Harper shouldn't have picked a fight with the head of the Supreme Court.  For any American readers to make sense of this...imagine voting in a really terrible Conservative President in 20 years time...and then George Bush Jr. steps out of the woodwork to talk about how terrible a job that new guy is doing.  Meanwhile...Numerous government reports contradict Steve's assertion that the missing aboriginal women's issue is "not sociological".

This is amazing!  Last year, Employment and Social Development Canada put together a report that suggested the Canadian middle class has seen wage stagnation.  Finance Canada is angry because this  "appears to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings", so they put together a new report that says the opposite.  Man.  What the fuck are these guys up to?

America has decided that our anti-counterfeiting law doesn't suck enough.

Are the Liberals floating mandatory voting laws?  Fuck.  The Cons are going to freak the fuck out about this.  If the census is a totalitaran overstep, imagine forcing people to vote.

Do we really have something to gain as a society by preventing convicts from reading?

A story about oil advertisements and environmental records and how spending money to convince Americans Keystone XL is great doesn't work.  Probably because nobody in the US gives a shit about how this affects Canada.

More problems with more tough on crime legislation.  There's a known error in a bill, but the Senate approved it anyway.  It's a stupid law anyhow.  And I think this proves the point that the Conservatives are more concerned with the optics of their stance than with actually accomplishing anything.

Chicken Hawk Steve derails added military spending requirements for NATO.  Why spend your own money when you can talk tough and hide behind the US?

Mobilicity is suing the government for screwing things up with respect to their potential sale to Telus.

I'm okay with a Mr. Big sting being used in extreme circumstances, with regulations and controls in place.  But it seems like it has become the go to tool for the RCMP and some of the tactics they use are bound to produce false confessions.  That's not a "loophole".  That's illegal.  Details of numerous recent Nova Scotia murder trials that involved these stings.

Why would you go to England as the PM of Canada and give your opinion that Scotland should remain in the UK?  What can you possibly gain from that?

This is a horribly depressingly awesome list of things threatened by climate change.

Omar Khadr is once again trying to sue the Canadian government.  For $20 million.