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 →
OK, my open tab situation has got to the point where I was forced to research new Firefox plugins. I might talk about that soon, since that old “favourite plugins” post is waaaay out of date, and due for an updating. Right now, though, I want to run through a bunch of these things, attaching short, and hopefully pithy, comments… Read more →
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 →
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.
OK, the latest round of crazy TSA rules had solidified my resolve to not fly into America again (at least not until there are substantial changes in the way border and airport security are run)–not that this is a big deal, since my basic hatred of airports has had me driving to Boston and such locales rather than flying for well over a decade now. But now I have to see my own country make even more STUPID security theatre rules than the Americans? Argh. No books or magazines on the plane? Seriously? The directive is specific to “US-bound” planes, and as I said, I wasn’t planning to get on any of those, but still this kind of stupidity actually makes my cranium ache.
I’ve spent some time thinking about religion today–primarily as part of working on my argument that Christmas as practiced in North America is essentially a secular holiday1, and thus something I can celebrate non-hypocritcally. So I was already primed to appreciate the new map at Lapham’s Quaterly (for the religion issue, which I hope will arrive here sometime soon since… Read more →
What you’re looking at there are the results of the 2009 Global Peace Index. (The full ranking is available online, as are details of the methodology used.) Canada is #8, and for the third year running is “the most peaceful country in the North and Central America and Caribbean region”. That’s a kind of exceptional result, especially considering our neighbour,… Read more →
Today I ordered a copy of Possibilities, an EP by Sierra Noble. I’d never heard of the ridiculously young Métis from Manitoba prior to today–which actually kind of surprises me–but as soon as I encountered her on the web today I knew I was going to buy the album. What I encountered today (indirectly, via Penguin Eggs) that made up… Read more →
And now, from the This-Is-The-Best-Thing-I’ve-Read-All-Week department, an open letter sent by Bob Rae to Stephen Harper. Just let me quote two little bits, which should be enough to get you to go read it. First, from the beginning: I am writing you in my former role as Deficit Poster Boy and Punching Bag. This title was bequeathed to me by… Read more →
You know, when representatives of over 30 countries agree on something… it’s kind of miraculous. All the agendas, and internal bickering, and differing philosophies, etc. Hell, just getting the government of a single democratic country to take a position on something is an achievement, since every firm position is bound to offend some power group “at home”. So something that… Read more →
I was… um… unthrilled to read this story in the Globe earlier this week: MP wants to reopen abortion debate December 28, 2008 at 11:59 PM EST WINNIPEG — The abortion debate is about to enter a “new era” of advocacy for the rights of the unborn, says a Conservative MP who recently took over the chairmanship of a secretive,… Read more →
You know, between the Heritage Minutes, Hinterland Who’s Who, and now the National Film Board’s online archives, it’s possible to have a really weird Canadian culture flashback online–at least for people my age. I don’t expect the Yanks to understand this post. Read more →