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Stephen Harper is a C*nt

1 Apr

And I’m shocked by how many people don’t seem to know it. I mean, seriously, look at this guy:

Oh yes, it's real.

It would seem that in an effort to avoid looking like he’s holding a puppy, Harper has decided to hold a kitten. This is like when I’m walking my dog and I tell her that it’s time to go home, but she tries to be tricksy by pretending that she’s sniffing at the ground like she’s gonna take a piss and then slowly beginning to walk in a different direction from home hoping that I won’t notice.

Trust me, dog, you’re not pulling a fast one on me.

Trust me, Stephen Harper, even a kitten can’t hide what a spunkdervish you are. Even your sweaters failed. But damn were they funny. And they give your opposition some great material:

Let’s start with a point that’s close to home for me.

Stephen Harper hates women.

Why? Well I don’t know why. But scrapping universal daycare; cancelling the court challenges program (because who really cares if we violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?); removing abortion from Canada’s G8 maternal health funding (“67,000 women die every year? Pfft, I eat more Cheerios for breakfast”); and revoking women’s right to vote all make a pretty clear statement on how Harper feels about the ladies.

Okay, maybe not that part about taking away voting rights. The first three are bad enough anyway.

Next, Harper hates the environment.

I don’t even want to talk about what happened in Copenhagen. It makes me want to throw up. He basically gave Kyoto the finger and not only has Canada NOT reduced our greenhouse gas emissions since then, they’ve actually risen by 26%. Our role in Copenhagen was so thoroughly disgusting that it prompted Ben Wikler of Avaaz.org to award Canada with the Fossil of the Year Award and this scathing comment:

“Fossil of the Year goes to CANADA, for bringing a totally unacceptable position into Copenhagen and refusing to strengthen it one bit. Canada’s 2020 target is among the worst in the industrialized world, and leaked cabinet documents revealed that the governments is contemplating a cap-and-trade plan so weak that it would put even that target out of reach.”

Which leads to my last point: Harper and his government have made Canada the laughing stock of the democratic world.

Ramesh Thakur through the Australian:
“Edmund Burke noted that all that was necessary for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing. At a time when Arabs risk life and limb for political freedoms, Canadians seem largely apathetic about the erosion of their democracy.”

George Monbiot of the Guardian (UK):
“This country’s government is now behaving with all the sophistication of a chimpanzee’s tea party.”

Even Obama knows what’s up:

Trust me, you don't want to see.

I should probably say that I do make a distinction between Harper the Politician and Harper the Person. I’m sure that Harper the Person is very nice. He probably really does love kittens and sweater vests. Maybe he even hugs a tree sometimes. And he had to be good with the ladies somehow because, seriously, his wife is HOT:

How did he do THAT?

It’s Harper the Politician I hate. Harper the Prime Minister. Harper the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. It’s the Harper who has made me hang my head when facing the rest of the world on environmental issues, who made me even more afraid as a woman in Canada (especially if I get raped–thanks asshole), and who has turned our democracy into a joke with his suspensions of Parliament, concealment of information, and outright lies, prompting a majority of MPs to vote that they believed the government was in contempt of Parliament (the first time in Canadian history) and ultimately leading to the federal election on May 2nd.

There are literally 100 reasons not to vote for Harper’s Conservative Party. But the number one reason for me was, is, always has been and always will be one thing:

Stephen Harper is a cunt.

The Vote Toss

29 Mar

But I'm voting Green.

I’m not particularly politically inclined. Or, at least, I never used to be. I remember turning 18 and telling my dad that I wasn’t going to vote. He promptly proceeded to haul my ass to the voting booth, forcing me to exercise my democratic right to bitch. What does that mean? It means that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch. You had the option of making your voice count, but you didn’t, so tough luck asshole, I’m not interested in your whining.

Seriously.

To this day I have no patience for people who don’t vote, especially now that I’ve been living in a country where people aren’t given the option.

Still, I didn’t exactly know much about what I was voting for. I didn’t mind the Liberals, didn’t know much about the NDP, and tended to strongly dislike the Conservatives, but I liked most of what the Green Party had to say, so I usually voted Green. I even voted Green in the 2006 federal elections when most people I knew blasted my decision to “waste [my] vote” by not voting Liberal to keep the Conservatives out.

And so began a battle I have been fighting ever since, namely, the defence of my belief that you should vote for who you truly want to be in power. Anything less and—similar to not voting at all—you don’t have a right to bitch. Almost everyone I know, including my closest friends and family, told me how stupid I was. Did I really think that Green could possibly win? Why was I wasting my vote on a non-starter when I could be putting my vote to good use by keeping the Conservatives out? THEY were going to vote Liberal. At least THEIR vote would count for something.

Lot of good that did.

We now have another election coming, and I continue to stand by my convictions. And so I answer the question so many asked me over five years ago: Do I really think that Elizabeth May is going to be the next prime minister? Not bloody likely. But having a couple of Green MPs couldn’t hurt. And like that proverbial snowball, once people start to believe that Green is a true option, more and more people will make their honest choice at the polls.

Because seriously, if every person that sat there and harped on me for “throwing away [my] vote” actually voted the way they wanted, things would look a lot different in Canada.

In fact, they might even begin to look like Germany. Germany, who on Sunday showed a 24.2% result in Baden-Württemberg and a 15.4% in Rhineland-Palatinate for Green. As Spiegel Online International put it:

“…the country’s political landscape experienced a profound shift over the weekend. Germany is no longer a country firmly in the hands of the SPD [Social Democrats] and the CDU [Christian Democrats]. As of Sunday, the Greens have crashed the party. And before long, they might be sending out the invitations as well.”

This announcement came on top of my best friend—and loudest adversary in the vote-tossing debate—posting a blog entry in which he not only did a complete 180 of opinion, but actually denounced people who voted “for the lesser of two evils”! I added that exclamation mark because he hates them.

(Note: I love my best friend very much and he’s already laughed at the hypocrisy of his blog post after I did my best to scream at him over gmail chat. He’s one of the smartest people I know. He was bound to get there in the end.)

And so I’ve realized that things are changing. People are changing. They are opening their eyes and coming to the conclusion that this f*cking sucks. What we’ve been doing doesn’t work and when things don’t work, you need to stop what you’re doing and bloody well fix them. And if fixing them doesn’t work (as it obviously hasn’t), then it’s time to try something new.

Even if you are one.

I’m not saying that Green is the answer, but using your vote to represent your voice is a bloody good start. Vote Liberal, vote Conservative, vote Green, vote NDP, vote Independant, vote Bloc Québécois if you absolutely must, but just vote.

May 2nd my Canadian friends, May 2nd.
Get off your rat’s ass and vote.

You have to listen to Banksy.

UPDATE: The lovely Jo Jorgenson directed me over to an SFU site dedicated to elections info. Part of it discusses voter turnout and why our numbers seem to be dropping. It also touches on two of my other pet issues: education in Canada and whether or not it properly prepares students to become citizens of our country (i.e. teaching them about the different parties and what it means to vote); and whether we should make voting compulsory like Brazil and Australia. In regards to the second issue, an Ekos poll done in September 2009 found that 49% of Canadians support compulsory voting. I’d love to know who those 49% are. I’m one of them. You?

Are the arguments for UBB just BS?

23 Feb

Peter Nowak seems to think so. And I’ve got a HUGE crush on Peter Nowak. Huge. But let’s just pretend that’s not going to affect my opinions.

Honestly, I’m not going to be able to state the arguments against usage-based billing (UBB) for the internet any better than Nowak did when he talked about the 10 myths from usage based billing supporters. I suggest reading his article, especially if you’re not sure what the whole debate is about in the first place. He gives a completely biased view of the subject, with a nicely balanced selection of links that, if clicked upon, will give you all the both-sides-background information you need.

I’m obviously against UBB. I think it’s just plain dumb and greedy. Yet the media seems to be torn. So, the question comes, why?

Why the hell should we switch to UBB?

Is it, as claimed by the Financial Post, that “we must face the reality of the super-heavy user, who threatens to impact the Internet experience of all customers. Approximately 15% of users consume the vast majority of our bandwidth at peak periods — and most of them are customers of third-party ISPs. We estimate that these users represent less than one in 50 of the total Internet customer base in Canada. In other words, it’s almost certainly not you.”

Which, among other random numbers the Financial Post decided to spout in this article, has no statistical backing and has not been proven–at all. As one reader commented, “Break out the popcorn, the National Post are officially running two Entertainment Sections now, though notably, this newly anointed section section [sic] specializes in pure fiction.”

An editorial in Canadian Business discusses how the large ISPs are having a bad business model forced on them (there’s a terrible hamburger metaphor used), yet seems to forget that UBB would effectively neuter business models for internet start-ups. Concepts like Hulu or Netflix are basically impossible. And it fails to mention that even after all the money these large ISPs are losing by investing in infrastructure and giving handouts to the smaller ISPs, companies like Bell reported a 13% profit increase from 2009 to 2010.

Still not making enough money guys?

Don’t worry, I’m sure that you can still make some profit on media sales. Like, for example, Maclean’s, which seems to prefer advertising for parent-company Rogers than actually writing a piece of investigative journalism. And admitting in the article that you’re owned by Rogers doesn’t mean you’ve just written something unbiased. That’s like Hitler announcing, “I hate the Jews,” and then assuming his announcement now gives him the right to go ahead and commit genocide. Just ’cause you admit it doesn’t mean it’s okay.

But I digress.

“The internet should be fair–not free–to everyone” is Maclean’s opinion on the matter. Yet the internet–especially considering the duopoly of Bell and Rogers–is neither fair nor free in Canada, so I’m not sure exactly what point Maclean’s is trying to make here. They seem to be saying that if one uses lots of internet, one should pay more. It’s like any other utility, right?

Well, no, it’s not. Again, Nowak says this better than I can, but the point is that it’s not like we’re running out of internet. It’s not a finite resource. Once I use it, it’s not gone. It is, for all intents and purposes, limitless. Unless we randomly run out of ones and zeros.

So, no. It’s not like a utility at all actually. Yes, money is needed for delivery, but we’re already paying that.

In the end, it boils down to the last point on Nowak’s list and the thing that has been on my mind since the first time George Stroumboulopoulos told me about the whole UBB thing: no other country in the world seems to need UBB, so why the hell does Canada?

I’m left wondering exactly what the arguments for UBB actually are.

Does anyone know?

And please, make your voice in this matter heard before April 29th:

CRTC
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N2
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-249-2782
Fax: 819-994-0218

Sign the online petition that’s been provided by Open Media.

And don’t be afraid to harass Minister of Industry Tony Clement:

Industry Canada
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5
Canada
613-995-9001
Email: Minister.industry@ic.gc.ca