Monthly Archives: July 2010

Welcome To Conada: Woman Strip Searched and Humiliated

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This story about how a woman was abused at Vancouver airport is revolting.

The security establishment that Stephen Harper has created is destroying the very fabric of respect and dignity in this country.

When “people” get away with this kind of barbaric treatment of regular citizens, what’s next?

Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Conada:  humiliating one person at a time to intimidate the rest of us.

Making Sense of the Census

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Or … Dear Tony, Please Don’t Count Me In Your Numbers

There’s an insane level of noise happening with respect to the census and the Conservative plan to drop the mandatory aspect of the long-form.  There’s very little clarity.

As part of his defense, Tony Clement is suggesting that with the last census, several Canadians did not submit the long-form census on the grounds that they were concerned about their privacy.  This is only half true.

I am one of those Canadians, but allow me to explain myself.

I did not submit the long-form census because I was concerned about my privacy.  That’s a fabrication that’s being spread by the Conservatives because they don’t like statistics and the reality that they reveal (eg. lower crime rates or people dropping out of organized religion).

Unlike the Conservatives, I trust Statistics Canada with my personal information and also trust that it will be aggregated to show general trends and observations about our population, our needs as citizens and where investments should be made by our various levels of government, just to name a few ways in which we rely on this information.

That is a basic principle of statistics that I think Tony Clement and the rest of the Conservatives have failed miserably to understand:  statistics are about larger numbers, not individual details.  There are no privacy concerns if you trust the institution.

But let’s get to my personal choice to remain absent on the last census.  I refused to fill this document because the data is being stored and managed by a third-party called Lockheed-MartinYes, that Lockheed-Martin.

In fact, in 2006, there was a substantial grassroots movement that tried to stop the Canadian government from outsourcing this critical data collection exercise to a company that manufactures weapons of mass destruction.  It was called CountMeOut and details can be found here.

What’s fascinating to me is that the Conservatives have successfully taken a public protest against the government and turned it into some kind of libertarian boogie monster pep rally that has all deep blue Conservatives getting their pitchforks blabbing about the ills of big government coming to take my family away.

What’s worse is that this campaign makes all protesters of the original long-form census hypocrites.

The point of all this: when Tony claims that thousands of Canadians are refusing to submit to the long-form census because they’re concerned about privacy, maybe he’d better check his stats.

Oh yeah … he doesn’t have any.  Or he soon won’t.

Welcome to Stephen Harper’s “Conada”, where lies are truth and truth is terror.

Minister of Defense … of Ridiculous Wastes of Taxpayer Money

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I have come to realize that the Conservative Regime is built on three platforms:

  • Fear
  • Fear and
  • Fear

The Conservatives have nothing else of substance with their policy objectives and all Canadians will eventually feel the boot of fascism on their necks if we don’t get rid of this government.

In implementing these platforms, they have three essential budgets:

The latest announcement from our Minister of Defending Ridiculously Large Wastes of Canadian Taxpayer Dollars is towards an untendered contract to someone who’s likely very close to the Conservative fear machine.  And this interview on CBC is the biggest pile of bulls**t I’ve heard in a long time, using the rationale of ‘our neighbours are hyperspending on wasteful killing machines, so we simply have to hyperspend on even more useless killing machines’.

This stuff really pisses me off.

Where’s the ‘peace-loving, let’s move the world forward’ Canada that I grew up in?

Where are the ‘bake sales for bombers’ that companies like Lockheed Martin should have to worry about as opposed to corrupt back-room back-scratch deals that we’re seeing rolled out by the Cons?

Will Conservatives Start Running Out Of …?

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… losers?

The word ‘loser’ seems a little harsh, but when you run in an election and you’re rejected by the people of Canada, what’s an appropriate word to use?  Unwanted?  Destined for something bigger?

A BCer in Toronto has compiled a spectacular list of the appointment of Conservative candidates that failed to get elected in past elections.

It’s hard not to be cynical about what’s happening in Canada when you have someone in charge who made such a massive issue out of accountability, transparency and the end of patronage appointments and yet flips the bird at all three on a constant and near daily basis.

The corruption and hypocrisy is pretty much absolute now.

When will we get a break from this madness?

When will Stephen Harper finally run out of people that the people of Canada didn’t want to run our country … to run our country anyways?

Margaret Atwood: “A Second Change Or A Boot in the Face”

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What a great read I had when I was pointed to Margaret Atwood’s article in response to the brutish violence that Canada and the world had to endure last week (source:  another Progressive Blogger, although I can’t remember who).

What astounds me about this article is that it was published in the Glob and Fail.  Are they trying to protect themselves, particularly given the backlash they keep getting every time the let Christie Belchforth open her mouth?

Atwood hints at some important questions, which I’ll reformulate here:

  • Why didn’t the police forces arrest the few people who were actually destroying public property, including well-placed and abandoned police cars?  Did they not want to arrest their own kind?
  • Who was calling the shots on the whole affair?
  • To what extent was Stephen Harper involved with the decision making process?  The police were mostly provincial and municipal employees, but rumours are swirling that the operation was handled out of an office far from downtown Toronto.  Were Canadian politicians even remotely close to some of the decisions being made?
  • Why are we spending so much money on incarceration and security?  Are they signs of things to come for all Canadians, even if they are law-abiding and simply disagreeing with Harper?

Ultimately, here’s my issue:  last week, Canadians lost the right to free assembly.

What Constitutional Right will we lose next?

Demand and hold an inquiry, but make sure we’re asking the right questions and we’re not just pissing away more taxpayer dollars.  We need to find out why our government no longer believes in the Canadian Constitution because one right denied is the equivalent of ALL rights denied.