It shouldn’t be any surprise to you that I often agree with Paul Krugman–I’m both rational and occasionally shrill. For instance, I see a lot of sense in the compressed argument Krugman makes here, in his recent editorial: And right now, by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nation’s infrastructure. We have the need:… Read more →
Speaking of governmental douche baggery, don’t think that my lack of constant complaint about Harper and almost EVERY DECISION he makes means I’m not constantly enraged–I’m just deep in outrage fatigue at this point. Everywhere I turn there are utterly reprehensible decisions. Sending Canadian citizens to serve time in US prisons for things that aren’t crimes in Canada, refusing to do anything to help Canadian citizens threatened with death or torture in other countries, pushing terrible copyright legislation, pretty much everything about the G20 handling, indefensibly stupid action on the census (oh, and Tony, if one citizen’s complaints are enough to change government policy, well, I’ve got a LOOONG list for you), Lysenkoist interference with science, and… well the list goes on. Can we kick these bums out yet?
If you’ve read here over the last year, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much lost all hope that Obama is going to fix things–I’m willing to live with “won’t make it worse”, and clearly he was a better choice than the alternative, but I am labouring under no illusion now that he’s going to actually undo all the evils of… Read more →
Guess what the newly released Census data shows? U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations. There’s more at the article, like this: The top-earning 20 percent of Americans — those making more than $100,000 each year — received 49.4… Read more →
A couple of days ago I had a bit of a rant about police misusing (or at a minimum, appearing to misuse) authority to stifle criticism. A few minutes ago I had a nice rant about Harper’s proposed privacy changes, with an implicit text of “you can’t trust these people to handle private data correctly without strict legal oversight”. And… Read more →
Canadians who are interested in the conditions under which it’s legal for private information and documents to be shared might want to take a good long look at Bill C-29. I’ll quote a bit from the legislative summary below, but in essence one of the things this bill says is that any documents/information the police (or anything that meets the… Read more →
I had thought that three of the things that were important ideas in Canadian jurisprudence were: 1) That citizens had a right to free speech, 2) that the government in all its forms has a prescribed amount of power, with well delineated limits on where that power stops, and 3) that it was very important for the justice system to… Read more →
If I’m translating this French news story correctly, then the BQ thinks they can get Harper charged with obstruction of justice, an offence that could carry a 10 year jail sentence. I’m not holding my breath, but I am crossing my fingers. Le Bloc québécois estime que le premier ministre Stephen Harper pourrait être passible de 10 ans de prison.… Read more →
I’ve been following the UK elections with more than a mild interest this time around. Partly it’s because this is the most interesting election in Britain for a long time. Charlie can explain why, if you haven’t been following. I’m enough of an optimist to think there may be a swing away from a corporatist agenda, or towards a more… Read more →
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As a former resident of Nova Scotia, I believe it is within my remit to raise a glass today and toast the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years War. Among other things, the treaty essentially saw the French hand over claims to Canada–particularly Nova Scotia and Cape Breton (then called Ile… Read more →
So, did you read about Hugo Chavez accusing the US of causing the Haiti earthquakes with HAARP weaponry? I saw some discussion of that story, and thought it was a sign that Chavez had gone off the reservation… but it appears that it’s that the story is the result of some shoddy journalism and the Internet echo-amplification, not anything factual. Now the paranoid part of my brain is wondering if someone could cook up something like this on purpose specifically to reduce Chavez’s international credibility.
Looking at politics here, and in our neighbour to the south, I am starting to think that there’s maybe something to the depressive realism proposition. I am too rage-fatigued to post about today’s particular stories, but as usual Ferocious J has it covered, saying what I would probably say if I had the energy left to rant.
Over the last decade I’ve become increasingly cynical about, and frankly afraid of Americans. Not all of them–I know they’re not all the same, and there are lots of them I love–but Americans in the aggregate. I had some hope that things were changing there last year, but when I read statistics like 58% of US voters favour the use of torture in gathering information–specifically in a case where there is no ticking bomb–I am more scared than ever. Factor in that the rate is even higher for younger people and I’m left wondering if there will be anyone left who understands that this isn’t how things should be. Those numbers about how many people think the US legal system is too worried about individual rights make me despair for humanity, and for the American voting public’s ability to read.
Nice to see the Watts story get some coverage on one of the larger political blogs. I quite like this bit: It’s ironic, though, that the same day I was arrested one Mary Callahan, chief privacy officer for Homeland Security, was up here in Canada reassuring us that the border isn’t so bad a place after all, and the US… Read more →