Live Long, And Prosper – Nimoy Dies at 83

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on Star Trek, is dead from COPD. He quit smoking 30 years too late.

Of the original Star Trek cast, Scotty and Bones have also passed away.

And Now, For the TFSA Switch!

Following up my blog post of 4 years ago about Harper’s tax break for the wealthy are stories on CBC and elsewhere regarding the TFSA folly. The increase benefits only ~39% of Canadians who’ve managed to open such a savings account.

“Harper pledges to double tax-free savings limits – but not till deficit is beat
And you have to give him credit, he’s going to be right. Because he won’t be in office when the deficit is beat, a Conservative government doesn’t know how to go out of deficit (history shows they only go into them).

“TFSA limit could swell to $10,000 when Tories balance budget”
(FP article shows a picture of a piggy bank, which should be a flying pig instead.)

Balance what budget? Harper and Oliver have indefinitely postponed this year’s budget in part because Oliver is incompetent, and also due to oil’s somewhat unexpected drop in value.

More Debates, Not Fewer Debaters

The unethical fools at the Broadcast Consortium will probably gladly keep Elizabeth May away from the debates this year too.
Especially amusing is the Conservative spokes-tool saying more participants would make it a gong show. Mulcair wanting a debate focused on women, while angling to keep the only female leader out of the room, is special too.

What’s wrong with the Star and Robert Benzie to write an article about debate controversy and not even mention the Consortium considering blocking the Green Party again because they got away with it last election?

Why would it be up to the Conservatives to decide how many televised debates there are? Clearly, the Broadcast Consortium isn’t actually in charge here. It’s known that Layton and Harper conspired to keep May from debating previously.

The Pony Express Government

CSE has undertaken a domestic spy operation that is illegal in Canada, because it’s spying on communication of Canadian citizens. CSE is supposed to only spy on foreigners, and the Commissioner overseeing the signals intelligence agency is supposed to put a stop to any overstepping of that mandate. Something clearly has gone awry in a grave way.

PONY EXPRESS should not exist in Canada nor should every (paper) letter mailed by Canadians be photographed, as the US is doing. Claiming the mandate CSE has to protect government computers overrides its restriction on conducting a mass surveillance operation of Canadians’ communications, doesn’t pass even a smell test.

Under the Criminal Code, CSE is barred from targeting the content of Canadians’ emails and phone calls, but it gets special ministerial exemptions when protecting government IT infrastructure.

The restriction on spying on Canadians is precisely for preventing twisted ‘logic’ to allow this sort of violation of Canadians’ privacy.

IT security analysts at CSE only use and retain information “necessary and relevant to identify, isolate or prevent harm to government of Canada computer networks or systems,” the agency told CBC News in a written statement. Data that poses no threat or is not relevant to that goal “cannot be used or retained, and is deleted.”

Civil liberties lawyer Vonn argues that there’s “much more” Canadians should be told about the agency’s collection of their data, such as how long it’s held, without putting national security at risk.

We need a more aggressive civil liberties lawyer to sue our government to stop this sort of breach, but with a bill like C-51 on the table, I see why they’re too timid.

C-51 Being Pushed by “Fascist” language

A former Mountie and CSIS operative thinks Harper’s so called anti-terrorism bill is scary and unnecessary.

Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.

He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.

“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”

(-link added by me)

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s advisers must tell him that using inflammatory language increases the risk.

“When our leaders start talking about tentacles and jihadis and barbarians, it’s adding fuel to the fire. It’s actually increasing the likelihood of that happening.”

Mr. Lavigne said the prime minister’s language reminds him of fascist leaders like Mussolini and Franco.

“Some of these tactics are taken right out of the fascist playbook,” he said.

“They’re not crossing the line. They’re using the language to appeal to the emotions, which is one of the first stages. Disinformation being the second, which I think they also use. But they’re not fascist. I’m not saying the government’s fascist.”

He laughs.

“Don’t detain me.”

Ha. Ha. Don’t detain me, either.

Hot Room Politics

Media in Ottawa are too busy eating each other alive to focus on the main course passing authoritarian Bill C-51.

Glen McGregor takes the proposed Press Gallery changes apart.

“Anti-Petroleum” RCMP Explodes Gasoline In Their Cars’ Engines

The RCMP have displayed Climate Change Denial symptoms. This is bad for Canada, because if the police tasked with interfering in climate change related activism do not understand the science that drives the determined actions of peaceful activists, then they’re more likely to act against protesters without a measure of human sympathy.

Remember that RCMP bombed an oil installation just ~15 years ago.

Their lawyer produced evidence that the RCMP bombed a wellsite and that they did it with the full support of the energy company that owned it. The Crown admits the allegations are true.

The Royal Canadian Motorized Police will be seeing you.

ADDED: Some response to the RCMP.

Meanwhile, the NSA continues to break everything, and spy on everyone.

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.