Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, August 15, 2011

Harper Gets a Brazilian - Week 15 - Aug 8-15

Oh. I wish it was true. Some Brazilian newspapers have reported that Stephen Harper locked himself in a bathroom and wouldn't come out until the Brazilian government agreed to change the schedule for lunchtime toasts.

This whole South/Central American junket is confusing to me. He's gone to Brazil and encouraged trade. He's gone to Columbia, signed a free trade deal (coffee and cocaine?), suggested human rights concerns are a "front" and anybody opposing this is a "protectionist". Then he went to Costa Rica and announced that our free trade deal will be re-opened (why was it closed) and "security aid". On to Honduras, where he is working on a free trade deal with a country that underwent a coup in 2009. Is he living out his childhood dream to backpack through the Americas?

Awesome. The Harper Government actually has their own ex-Bloc member that they forgot about. But don't worry. It's okay because he's not their leader. Just a cabinet minister.

It doesn't get talked about much, but the Omnibus crime legislation that will be "rushed through" (by parliamentary standards) includes a whole lot of Internet monitoring under the heading of "Cyber Investigation". Some people are advocating that we hold off on that and talk about it a little bit. Which sounds reasonable. Unfortunately, it will be pretty easy for the Conservatives to paint anybody that questions any of this as "soft on crime". Because if you don't blindly go along with something sold as "tough on crime" you're automatically for child pornography. Because those are the only people that use the Internet, right?

You know who else doesn't think that Stephen Harper's "Tough on Crime" bill is a good idea? The Canadian Bar Association. But what do lawyers know about the law, anyhow? The Conservative response? No, no. You're wrong. Mandatory sentences are "reasonable". International experts seem to agree with the lawyers as well.

More asbestos. The Conservatives are threatening to sue a widow whose husband died of asbestos related ailments over unauthorized use of the Conservative logo in an online ad. I almost feel a bit sorry for them. There's not really a way to come out of this one looking good. Other than doing the right thing and phasing out the export of asbestos. Don't worry though. The mayor of Sarnia has her back.

Food inspection services are being cut. Shouldn't the meat producers be paying for this sort of thing? Meh. What's a bit of e-coli floating around in our meat if we can save a few million bucks.

Sorry. More copyright. But honestly, if you think this doesn't affect you...Please just read the first page of this article. This is where the US is with copyright. A legally blind man with children 4 & 6 years old is being sued for downloading a porno movie because he left his wi-fi open. The cheap option: pay a few thousand dollars in shakedown money to make the case go away. The expensive option: spend a few months in court fighting it. The more expensive option: spend a few months in court fighting it and then pay $150,000 if you lose the case. Luckily even Canada proposes to limit the amount of damages in the event of a copyright lawsuit. But you can't want this. You can't think that this is a good model to use for our system of copyright laws.

I'm going to get way, way off topic here. God, there's just so many great articles out there about what is wrong with the world economic system. This one is about how Germany ties in to the whole European economic mess. Money quote, from the head of Commerzbank - “Why should you pay $20 million to a 32-year-old trader? He uses the office space, the I.T., the business card with a first-class name on it. If I take the business card away from that guy he would probably sell hot dogs.” That's just priceless. And the article will make you cry.

Wow. There's a Toronto City Councillor that makes the Ford brothers look sane. Ranting about "layabouts" and "communists" is never a very good idea. And all of them snubbed a library opening. At least these guys aren't running the country. No, that job is left to their idealogical BBQ buddies.

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