Conservatives Win Friends and Improve Policy…

…Or that might be what the usually compliant and forgiving media would say if they hadn’t been pissed off about being locked out of policy meetings at the Conservative Convention last weekend in Calgary.

the weird, unsettling vibe that hung over the whole event. (We’ve grown used to seeing prime ministers sealed inside an impenetrable bubble, but a whole party?) That reporters were constrained from doing their jobs is perhaps a side issue. But that a democratic political party, at its national convention, would go to such lengths to hide from public view is just a bit creepy.

Election Stockholm Syndrome is alive and well in Canada, especially in Toronto.

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Where Canada Is Going

It’s very important to Canada’s economy that we send a resource (we can’t use without killing the planet) to Communist China so their economy can continue to pollute at record pace as they ship unneeded goods to the United States and Canada so we can bury them in our landfills when we aren’t burning them to create electricity to power our other throw-away devices.

*whew*

Rogue PM

Rogue PM

I’ve predicted for a year or so that the power brokers in Ottawa will soon sense that Harper isn’t their meal ticket any longer and jump bandwagons to Trudeau because they are not loyal to the toxic CPC brand, they are loyal only to power and those who hold it for the immediate future.

This includes many in the Main Stream Media too, by the way. Watch for increasing reluctance to handle Harper with kid gloves, and a fawning honeymoon for Trudeau that lasts well past the next election. The good news is Sun News won’t be able to convince its viewers that it is now loyal to the Liberals when that power shift comes, so it will take a bigger nose-dive than Harper as his head hid in the sand this past week.


Hat tips to Mark H. and Nadine L. for the image idea.

To Vote, Or To Resolve Change

I noticed maybe a month ago that this Brand guy had a brain, and it’s a good one.

Paxman: “You’re not going to solve world problems by facetiousness.”
Brand: “We’re not going to solve them with the current system! At least facetiousness is funny.”


To detract from Brand’s point, there is still value in democratic elections, and voting. Where it’s lost value, is in races where consent to power by the majority is not really granted by anything other than their staggering ignorance of the issues and the candidates’ stances on them.

He Called Himself a Journalist – UPDATED

The Independent got a black eye today from a former editor who shamelessly confessed to being an authoritarian.

Blackhurst, in explaining why he would never have allowed his newspaper to publish any of the documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, actually wrote:

If the security services insist something is contrary to the public interest, and might harm their operations, who am I (despite my grounding from Watergate onwards) to disbelieve them?”

Most people, let alone journalists, would be far too embarrassed to admit they harbor such subservient, obsequious sentiments.

Greenwald sums up:

But it does still surprise me when people calling themselves “journalists” openly admit to thinking this way. But when they do so, they do us a service, as it lays so vividly bare just how wide the gap is between the claimed function of establishment journalists and the actual role they fulfill.

Caution about The Guardian*. While they may be publishing Greenwald right now, I don’t expect that to go on forever. Blackhurt gives a clue as to why:

The former Labour cabinet minister was incandescent with rage. [...]
I was puzzled as to why she would be so angry – normally she and The Guardian would be of one mind.

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Rogers Is So Bad…

It ruins credit scores for people who aren’t even their customers!

Bell isn’t much better. They sought unowed money from my parents, after my parents regularly paid their bills to Bell, and had credit card statements to prove it, but Bell’s accounting department was in such a mess, it had multiple places to send money to, and didn’t communicate balances across their offices apparently.

The comment section of the CBC story about Rogers is littered with other people who’ve had similar disasters with national wireless companies. Yet the Con’s ‘thrown’ speech they are tossing at Canadians is said to make it easier for people to get into billing arrangements with these vampire companies. Pick-and-Pay? More like Pay-and-Pray you don’t rue the day you signed away your money to these cable and wireless goons.

Blog Action Day 2013 – Human Rights #BAD13

On Friday I was invited to talk about blogging, on Regina’s community radio station CJTR. The show was Human Rights Radio by Jim and Gord, and we spent the hour going over what a blog is, why it’s useful to have one, and how it could be used to promote human rights. You can give a listen to it!

The second half of the show is on YouTube too, if you want to look at the ceiling for most of it:

Also, if you’re in Saskatchewan, check out the “Get Active with Amnesty” 2013 conference. I was a guest speaker for it last year when it was in Regina. This time it is in Moose Jaw.

This is the conference site.
And there is also a facebook event page you can use to invite friends.

Jeffrey Simpson – Live blog

Rick Kleer giving introduction to Simpson.
7:01pm non fiction book writing award winner. Written many political books since the early ’80s.

7:05 Simpson starts.
Was a baseball fan. Persuaded the Jays were going to be contenders, so arranged for viewing them in Minnesota. Got the Riders’s colors wrong as Green and yellow. Pitcher was from North Battleford.

Simpson

Interested observer to the university scene. The hardest job in the country can be university president, besides PM or Premier. Going outside their ranks to find a leader. Private sector does this if something is wrong. He’s often wondered why talent isn’t groomed from within. It’s partly the
politics inside is so tough, the prospective candidates get beat up so badly. Devil we don’t know as opposed to the devil we do.

There are counter examples.

Simpson says Saskatchewan like an easterner.

7:13 “series of financial challenges on our plate.”
Talking economic projections. I’ve tuned out a little.
He praises Sask economy as if we aren’t in deficit budget. Says Alberta depends on oil revenue. Doesn’t acknowlage we do too.
Alberta “took a big whack” out of university budgets.

“Universities are good at adding, but not so good at subtracting.”

ON universities were being cut 3% per year. Cutting across the board was not his preferred strategy. Identify the weak areas and where they are strongest over other universities. It’s unbelivably hard. “Administrators shy away from the task” it leads to unpopularity.

7:27
Education is an investment in the future.
“Healthcare is an investment in the accumulated ills of yesterday.”

A situation…
The government’s principle priority is to get students into universities.
We have more demand for university, and less teaching supply because professor supply can’t keep up. Class sizes at bigger universities is a serious problem. Interaction between profs and students is poor. UofT is down at the bottom of Macleans survey because of this.

He lists the silliness that can go on at universities, as being a primary challenge to overcome. The general population not involved doesn’t get that stuff. They don’t like it.

Citizens instead of widget makers.
(no money to be a citizen, it’s all debt now, I note)

Graduation rates being too low…
Another objective.
Outcomes based financing model in the USA.
Trying not to duplicate other university outcomes.

If uni is squeezed financially, governments may think they’ll make the hard decisions on cuts and priorities, so the government doesn’t have to directly.

Doing video now…

No more ten cent Globe in hotels, it costs a dollar to put that paper together. No more northern BC or Newfoundland $1M delivery.
If newspapers stick with old model, they are done for.
Uni must change too.
7:48

Fukushima Keeps Staying The Worst

It’s always been /worse/. And it just keeps staying tragically the same. It’s remained a global crisis with hemispheric deadly consequences. Japan could still wind up largely uninhabitable (if it isn’t already). Canada could suffer directly a great deal.

Steam and non-water vapour has been off-gassed since the beginning.

The supporters of nuclear power have always been wrong about the extent of the damage to our environment. We have hundreds of tons of highly dangerous waste water piling up by the day at Fukushima, with no way to stop it. Can research and a better plan come soon enough to save us?

ADDED: May writes to ministers.

Paul McCartney Rocks Regina

*Goosebumps* I got goosebumps up the back of my head when he played Hey Jude.
Paul McCartney concert in Regina


Crash.

A music legend played in the Queen City for the first time, and seemed to love it. The crowd sure did. What perfect weather, and a perfect night! A quick cheering poll identified most of the stadium’s audience as being from outside of Regina.

Paul McCartney concert in Regina

His Out There tour wrapped up.


My cell phone has pitiful audio quality, but my good camera has much better sound and some clips will be on YouTube soon.

ADDED:

ADDED EVEN MORE:


- For Sheila

ADDED SET LIST

Indian Head #sask Concert

I ended up at a house concert in Indian Head. It’s interesting where life takes you when you don’t plan your day.

Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen are on their way down to southern California and across the USA touring very soon.

Part 2

More may be coming later if Brien remembers to find time to upload when he’s back in Toon town.

Frechette
The home is among the oldest buildings in the province, having once served as a hospital.

Storm
Earlier in the day, on our way to pick raspberries, the clouds were not co-operating. The mosquitoes made us pay for them, in blood, too.