Think of the children eh?

You’ve got to be kidding me. Apparently Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has put forth a bill allowing police vast snooping powers on the internet, forcing ISPs to implement hefty snooping equipment and allowing for warrantless retrieval of information on any person they claim to suspect as being part of organized crime, terrorism or child pornography.

All you have to do is imply that this will help stop any of the three, and you’ll get some asshat more than willing to give up privacy and other essential human rights in the name of Teh Childrens. And Mark and other PC leaners, I’m sorry to say, it’s most often the Conservatives that fall into this particular category — this was Stockwell Day’s whipping horse for years!

The worst part is, nobody’s actually implying that any current investigation is being impeded by a lack of ability to warrantlessly internet-tap any citizen. If this passes, expect vast dragnets along the same lines as the snooping that’s already taken place in America in the name of preventing terrorism, while they only really snooped on reporters’ and liberals’ e-mails.

Makes me sad that Ignatieff and Harper have hashed out a deal to avoid a Federal election this summer. With the NDP riding high in NS presently, who knows, maybe sentiment has swung leftward in other, less backwater provinces.

Blogging the Election, Part 3

new democrats ascendant

It was a complete and total rout.


An interactive version of this map is available via CBC.

Before the election — please note this corrects an incorrect tally for Liberal seats in my Part 1:

Party Seats Leader
PC 21 Rodney MacDonald (premier)
NDP 20 Darrell Dexter
LIB 9 Stephen MacNeil
GRN 0 Ryan Watson
IND 1 (Independent)

(1 seat vacant)


Party Seats Leader +/- Vote %
NDP 31 Darrell Dexter (premier) +11 45.26%
LIB 11 Stephen MacNeil +2 27.22%
PC 10 Rodney MacDonald -11 24.52%
GRN 0 Ryan Watson n/a 2.33%
IND 0 (Independent) -1 0.67%

Liberals have gone from “also-ran” to “official opposition party”. NDP has gone from “official opposition party” to “government”. The government itself has gone from minority to majority, majority being 27 seats. PC bled 11 seats, 12 if you count “independent” Fage who’s only independent because he was politically radioactive after his hit-and-run. Plus the vacant seat is now filled, finally.

Expect the Liberals and PC to develop an uneasy alliance in opposition to the majority NDP, and a lot of hand-wringing whether the NDP does a good job or a bad one. Also, like every single political party taking office for the first time, expect them to do a pretty good job at first, then suddenly and sharply hit a wall of some kind, whether of their own design or that of their opposition. How they handle the crisis is paramount. Setting expectations is important for holding a realistic worldview!

Blogging the Election, part 2

Here’s part 2 of my Blogging the Election series. Part 1 is here. About time I got around to polishing this up and posting, considering today’s election day! Part 3 is coming tonight, after Jodi and I hit the polls after work. Another long one, with some potentially wacky formatting and far too liberal of use of blockquotes, so join me below the fold.

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Blogging the election, part 1

I’m going to try something I haven’t ever done before, so bear with me while I try to put together as comprehensive an article as I can manage on the NS provincial election and info about my current riding. In order to make this a little more feasible for me, as this one already grew mammoth and it’s just covering the basics, I’m going to split this up into parts. Battle cries are for when you’re about to do something really stupid, so with that in mind: “FOR SCIENCE!!!”
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To the polls!

Rodney MacDonald’s Tory government will ask the LG to send Nova Scotia back to the polls, possibly on June 9th. This comes after the NDP and Liberals said “no way” to a proposed amendment to our budget laws where, in order to balance the provincial budget, the Conservatives actually wanted to miss two years of debt repayment. They couldn’t write a balanced budget, so they wanted to rewrite the laws so what they had planned, counts. This is like rewriting the rules of marbles after taking your shot, boys. No takebacks, no do-overs.

I’d love to vote NDP and flip our government if the local community would go for it (assuming all other districts remained the same), however our local area is pretty solidly behind Brison, the Liberal candidate, and frankly, he’s doing a pretty decent job of representing our area thus far. Hopefully enough people will be upset by this stunt that one seat will flip NDP (or even Liberal, or Independent) to change our house makeup — it’s 21 Conservative, 20 NDP, 7 Liberal, and 1 independent (and by independent, we mean ex conservative shunned by the party after he was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident).

On a related note, our area is more sickeningly religious than I’d thought. In the past week I have seen two distinct SUVs trolling around, one with two bumper stickers, “CSI: Christ Saves Individuals”, and “in case of rapture this vehicle will be unmanned”; and another whose license plate reads “RU4GIVIN” — either RU4GIVEN was taken, or they’re asking if we’re pro-gifting. Let’s not even mention the various signs on various churches asking such retardery as, “Do you think you’re worth dying for? Christ did!” I’ve noticed (and I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice this) that there’s a disturbing correlation between religiosity, scientific antipathy, and affiliation with the Conservative Party. I’m not saying you have to be religious to be Conservative, or Conservative to be religious, but it seems to go hand in hand around here. Uncanny, no?

Super Linking Post!

I have a ton of links to share on a bunch of disparate topics, all of which deserve their own proper post but honestly I’m still swamped.  It pains me to know that I am depriving you, my loyal readers, of my opinion on everything, because I know how some of you live and breathe for those opinions.  So, I’ll give a short blurb with each.  Savvy?  And as an added bonus game, you can guess who or what led me to each link, and I bet you’ll be surprised.  LET IT BEGIN!

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If you think the Earth is flat, you fail at life!

If you’re a Flat Earther, then you’re an idiot beyond comprehension.  Explain Antarctica being one land mass that you can see the entirety of by flying a plane high enough over, explain the sun not shining on all parts of the disc at once, explain the eccentric orbits of the planets and stars (which in the 4th century BCE, scientists had already figured out, in the context of a round earth!).    Honestly, you can’t, you’re wrong, and should shut the hell up.  That the BBC published this with only a very slight modicum of criticism is galling.

Why is it the media today has devolved to the point where being “fair and objective” means reporting both sides to the argument without pointing out how batshit crazy one side is?  “Conservatives say the noon sky is a yet unnamed variety of plaid which is quite similar to the MacGregor tartan.  Liberals disagree, pointing out that the picture they referenced shows a solid blue sky.”  All you have to do is keep repeating the crazy stuff until one day it comes up in a debate framed as, “Some people say that your inability to describe the sky as plaid shows your liberal bias.  What do you say to that?”

But of course we all know reality, like the media, has a well-known liberal bias.  Some days I’m tempted to give up in the face of such a daunting task as to fend off the sheer stupidity that exists today.

Life, the universe, and everything (or, I’m An Atheist And So Can You!)

I feel the need to warn you right now, this is going to be an extremely long post, and I earnestly hope it spurs some honest and frank discussion amongst you, my loyal few readers.  And I’m going to try not to make the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy references too prevalent.  This all started on reading an interview with Richard Dawkins, prominent author and noted atheist.  Read it if you want, but it’s long too, and I’d prefer you read me first.  I worked hard on this!

In this post, I’m going to do something that, normally, I dislike, when I am on the receiving end.  I’m going to proselytize.  I will try to turn your fundamental beliefs regarding the nature of the universe on their ear.  I am going to attempt to convince you that you are an atheist.

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Conservative hate radio influenced UU Church shooter

Unbelievable.  Simply unfathomable.  Eight people were shot, one dying immediately and another dying later in hospital, when a man with a grudge against, well, liberalism itself, decided to unload several shotgun blasts into a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tennessee during a children’s production of Annie.  The rest of the injured are in serious or critical condition presently.

While liberalism is normally accused of creating radicals (an image it got, rightly or wrongly, due to opposition to the Vietnam War), we have today people setting fire to and bombing abortion clinics, destroying government buildings in revenge for the Waco Massacre, and now some jackass who was mad about “gays and liberals” supposedly taking jobs (THEYTOOKOURJOBS!) and preventing him from getting one himself decided to take matters into his own hands and went on a bloody rampage.

This time around, though, the media actually seems to be getting the fact that this guy was a radical conservative, whose Required Reading list included such philosophical giants as Bill-O The Clown, Michael Savage (born Michael Alan Weiner — I honestly can’t blame him for his pseudonym), and Sean Hannity.  The problem being, nobody’s going to call for these idiots to be banned from the airwaves for creating radicals — that particular tactic is generally only employed by conservatives, for starters.

He specifically picked the Unitarian Universalist church (which, by the way, if I had even a smattering of religious tendencies in my body, I’d happily convert to) because, though it finds its roots in Protestantism, it has a non-dogmatic approach to spirituality, and it is open to all walks of life, including (and prominently advertised on the sign outside its doors) homosexuals.  Don’t forget, gays “tookhisjoerbs”.  Of course he has to go shoot up a church full of good people because it’s tolerant of homosexuality.  That makes perfect sense, in such a xenophobic mind twisted by the conservative pundits’ Two Minutes Hate.  And because of the lies these pundits spewed, two people are dead, and six more are hanging by a thread.

I can’t wait to see how O’Reilly and Hannity (I don’t often get much exposure to Savage, being that he’s radio, moreso than television) try to spin this.  Well, no, actually, I don’t.  Anything they say short of apologizing profusely for categorically spreading fear and hate will likely make me vomit in my mouth, and you know as well as I do that they’re going to express their “heartfelt sympathies” for the victims of the tragedy, ignore completely their part in creating this monster, then turn back to their Two Minutes Hate of the day.

George Carlin, RIP

Be aware that below the fold, there’s a ton of videos embedded directly from Youtube.  I expect anyone who plans on reading this post, devote at least an hour so you can watch every one of them.  You are not paying George Carlin’s memory any honour otherwise.

The media has been rife these past few days with tributes to a personal hero of mine.  One would think that’s a good thing — it’s vindicating to have a personal hero lauded in the media, right?  So why is it I’m left with a bitter taste in my mouth, every single time someone on television or in the papers gushes about what an avant-garde, counterculture, brilliant comedian he was?

It probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t consider him a comedian.  He was a truth-teller.  And that’s why I, alongside the rest of the world, mourn his death.

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