Monday 20 August 2012, 07:42
Folks, I'm sick of hearing about Todd Akin. Yes, he said something stupid and ignorant. But religious-conservative politicians do stupid and ignorant things - things that actually directly hurt and kill people - every day. Just saying something, with the only direct real-life consequence being the end of his own career, is not in the same league as let's say passing a Federal budget. There is no comparison.
I've been warning you about people like him for years, and my comments have been generally ignored. Others have been warning you for even more years; some people with views similar to mine get links and re-tweets, but not many, and people like Akin continue getting elected and taken seriously. And when the Net finally does get angry, what makes the Net angry? Not the real-life policies that actually do directly harm and kill people. No, what makes the Net angry and fills my Twitter and Facebook feeds with venom from all quarters is an idiotic throw-away comment that didn't directly harm anybody but Akin himself.
I think Akin is getting special treatment, and his comment is getting publicity far beyond that given the real harms of religious-conservative politics, just because his comment was about rape. And rape is sacred to many of you. It's the one subject that will cause you to discard all sense of proportion and reality.
Rape is not sacred, and I want nothing to do with people who treat rape as sacred.
Saturday 21 April 2012, 12:24
The latest evidence regarding the Conservative Party's fraudulent activities in the last Canadian federal election hits close to home for me because I live, and voted, in Winnipeg South Centre, one of the ridings subject to a court challenge by the Council of Canadians. The affidavit of Annette Desgagne is quite damning; people are calling it a smoking gun. One small ray of hope is that it's pretty clear this was all coordinated centrally, and probably by a small conspiracy. Much as I dislike the Conservative Party as an entity, I think there are some decent people within it, and it's likely a whole lot of them didn't know about the fraud and are as shocked by it as the rest of us. Most of the checks and balances of Canadian democracy have been emasculated under Harper, but it still remains that we can try appealing to the decent people within the Conservative Party to weed their own garden. Below is what I'm mailing to Joyce Bateman, CPC Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.
Friday 17 February 2012, 14:48
最近与党は、新しい法案の提案しました。警察権を上げてインタネットの盗聴を作って法案んです。対決法案ですね。ヴぃっク・テーヴスさん（Vic Toews）と言う政治家は、その法案のスポンサーをします。公安相です。月曜日に、国会に、テーヴスさんは「[critics] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.」と言いました。もじ公安相たちを支持しなければ、児童ポルノを支持しているということになりますよ！（@_w_deeさんの翻訳の介助ありがとう）英語のことわざは、「That's when the shit hit the fan.」です。たくさんの人は怒気になりました。
Wednesday 18 January 2012, 13:40
As you probably know by now if you live under a rock and get all your news through the Net, several popular sites are protesting current US proposed Net censorship laws. I'm glad to see that happen, and I'm glad that a lot of people are paying attention, and I don't want to understate how glad I am of those things. But I'm also disappointed by a lot of what I'm seeing, too.
Friday 13 May 2011, 07:04
I've been hearing a lot of grumbling about gasoline prices recently. People who ought to know better on my social-networking friends lists circulated that asinine one-day "boycott" message a little while back. My alarm clock wakes me with CBC Radio every morning, and today they were talking to someone from Consumer's Union who was hoping to pressure the Federal government to Do Something. I'm of the opinion that the Federal government has already Done way too Much in this matter, and they ought to butt out already.
One of Harper's talking points in the recent election was to accuse the Liberals of pressing for a "tax on everything" (a scary renaming of the carbon tax that anybody who cares about survival of the planet, including a clear majority of Canadians, actually supports). But when you fill up your car's gas tank and pay today's prices for it, you are paying the Conservative tax on everything, which they implemented without a vote and which never received proper discussion or coverage. Let's put the blame where it belongs.
Disclosure: I don't own a car, and I do own units of a real-return bond index fund, which makes more profit in nominal terms when the price of everything (including gasoline) goes up. I don't think that really means I benefit from higher prices, only that I lose less than some other people. I've written about inflation-indexed bonds before. I'd rather have prices stay low and my bonds not make so many dollars.
Sunday 1 May 2011, 17:07
This is going to be a heck of an election. It already has been, in fact. I'm not going to do an astrological thing - and in fact I took down the one I posted for the 2004 election - because I care too much about the outcome to do it properly. I'm also probably not going to post a whole big thing about the issues and how I feel about them; by this point, anybody who could be swayed by my writings on that stuff already has been. But tomorrow night I'm going to attempt to sit back and watch the proceedings as entertainment, and for anyone planning to do the same, here are my top three picks for ridings to watch.
Saturday 16 April 2011, 11:45
Planned Parenthood is an activist pro-abortion organization. No matter which side you're on yourself, you're stupid if you seriously expect that someone who strongly opposes abortion should support PP, and the government should fund PP, because PP spends less than 90% of its budget on abortion and does many other worthwhile things. That is not how human behaviour works. It's like saying someone who supports GLBT equality should support the Boy Scouts of America, and the government should fund BSA, because BSA spends less than 90% of its budget on discrimination and does many other worthwhile things. One showstopping issue can and routinely will override others; that is what "showstopping" means.
Both sides of the abortion debate agree that abortion is a matter of overriding importance, something that really matters. If abortion didn't really matter to Planned Parenthood, then PP could and presumably would forget its abortion advocacy and have a lot more support for its other activities. Since they don't do that, their opponents should be expected to similarly treat the issue as important. That is basic human behaviour, and anyone who can't form and act on reasonable expectations about human behaviour will certainly lose in any effort that involves human beings, regardless of the moral high ground they may think they stand on.
Tuesday 15 March 2011, 10:13
This chart, reproduced as fair dealing from Yahoo! Finance, shows the price of one Japanese yen in Canadian dollars for the last five days. See below for why I think this is an amazing chart.
Sunday 27 June 2010, 16:52
There are probably as many reasons to save money as there are savers. One of mine is as follows: I don't want to be forced to change my lifestyle. In particular, after I'm retired and living on the savings I create today, I don't want to find myself in a situation where, because of changes in the world beyond my control that affect prices, the money I put aside to buy goods for myself during retirement is no longer enough to cover the kind of lifestyle I intended for myself, and so I'm forced to cut back. I want someone else, not me, to be accountable for cutting back to make sure I don't have to, and I'm willing to pay money up front in order to remove belt-tightening from the list of things I have to take responsibility for.
Wednesday 6 January 2010, 21:24
I should be allowed to set up a hidden camera at the doorstep of the
Dundas West subway station in Toronto, which is across the street from the
local Catholic school, and take photos up the skirts of teenage girls (or
anybody else wearing a skirt) as they enter and leave the building.