Oh Stephen. "The major threat to Canada is still islamicism"? Is that even a word? According to this, I have a 1 in 650,000 chance of being killed by a terrorist attack (while travelling...which must dramatically increase the odds). I have a 1 in 56,000 chance of being struck by lightning. Doesn't that make lightning the major threat to Canada? Add in forest fires caused by lighting...geez...this lighting stuff sounds pretty bad.
Sticking with the terror theme, September 11th has cost Canada approximately $92 Billion (the US is at $1.1 Trillion). And counting. Which is a crazy amount of money. As a Slate article said (or something along these lines) "there's no question that we aren't safer...but at what cost?" I guess it's easier to slam the barn door shut and tell everybody they're going to die if they don't nail a few boards up on the outside as well. Wouldn't we be better off if we spent even a portion of this money on other things?
Since I wrote the above, Slate has taken it a step further. There's tonnes of questions raised by this article, but the basic point is that the cost/benefit ratio of terrorism security spending is a joke. And we'd save far more lives if we spent that money someplace else. As the headline says, "How many terrorism plots would we have to foil to jusity our current spending on homeland security? 1,667 Time Square-Style Attacks Every Year." It actually goes on to suggest that blindly spending this money is immoral.
And what better time than on the 10 year anniversary of a terrorist attack that didn't happen in this country to announce that you're planning on introducing legislation that will allow you to imprison people without a warrant and imprison people if they don't testify in your secret trial?
The Harper Government rears it's ugly head again. This article claims to cite a directive issued by the Privy Council Office to start using the label "The Harper Government". Unfortunately, it's no smoking gun, but a reference to an unseen "directive". Hopefully some direct proof comes out at some point.
Apparently we're re-hanging portraits of the Queen in our embassies. Which is just bizarre. We're going to hang Charles goofy mug all over the place when he takes over? And their justification for doing so (other nations hang a portrait of their "Head of State")...this is a pretty awesome takedown, showing that other Commonwealth nations do no such thing.
And here we go. The first vow to re-introduce Copyright Legislation...exactly as it was worded before (and couldn't get passed). This will make it an offense to remove digital locks on devices and media that you "own". Want to transfer all of your kindle books to another device?Well, you'd have to break the Amazon DRM and that would be illegal. iTunes albums? If it's one of the small number that aren't DRM'd, you're fine. Otherwise...illegal. Oh, you want to jailbreak your iPhone that you paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars for because you don't like the way Apple forces you to run things? No sir. That would be super illegal. But why attempt to work with people and hear their opinions when you don't really have to?
And more copyright, more Wikileaks. Wikileaks cables indicate what we suspected all along, Canada is in the pocket of the US when it comes to copyright legislation and cares a lot more about what the US Government thinks than about what Canadians think. Tony Clement urges the US to add us to a piracy watch list, and then the piracy watch list is ussed to justify copyright reform? That's just scandalous.
Lastly, the Conservatives get to work dismissing concerns as "Ridiculous". The problem? One of their MP's used his official parliamentary e-mail address to tell an employee of the official Chinese State Media that she "looks so cute" with her "cheeks puffed." John Baird thinks you're an idiot if you have a problem with this.