Friday, June 6, 2014

On Harper's Unhealthy Interest in Us

Even though we are away, I arose early enough to peruse The Toronto Star, and offer the following as additional evidence of its readers' perspicacity:

Re: Harper nominates next privacy watchdog, May 29

Keep an eye on our spies, Editorial June 1

I applaud the Star for taking a robust stand against the systematic corrosion of Canadians’ privacy rights under the proposed Tory legislation, as well as standing against revelations of already widespread snooping into our private data without proper oversight. This activity is the definition of governmental abuse, and reeks of opportunism of the vilest sort in a democracy.

That this very nightmarish matter is being confronted and denounced robustly by the opposition parties, with their call for an official, mandated panel of oversight that reports to parliament, is reassuring. As is Hugh Segal’s Bill S-220, which seeks to legislate this very type of panel.

I can’t help but see an analogy in the 2000 movie The Perfect Storm, the story of an ill-fated voyage where an unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

In a key scene, the crew has battled the first phase of the storm all night, but are buoyed when they see a break in the dark skies and a ray of sun penetrating. Unfortunately, there is worse to come.

Senator Segal’s Bill S-220, and the loud denunciations of opposition members, privacy commissioners, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and ordinary Canadians alike from coast to coast are analogous to that ray of light and hope amid the intensifying storm of surveillance mania unfolding today.
Will we consolidate this opportunity to save freedom, or will our tired, demoralized and broken ship of state sail to its doom in the face of madness and the ascendancy of Big Brother?

Ted Nasmith, Bradford

Harper nominates next privacy watchdog, May 29

It’s now official. “Following a rigorous process,” the fox has been nominated to guard the henhouse.
Why is it that I am losing investor confidence in my poultry and egg futures?

David Klarer, Oakville

And on another aspect of Dear Leader's psyche:

Temper? PM's isolation is the bigger issue, May 30

Bruce Carson, who served as a senior aide to Stephen Harper from 2004 to 2009, is only the latest ex-insider to write an unflattering book about Canada’s current prime minister. Apparently Mister “My-Way-or-the-Highway” Harper has an insatiable appetite for gnawing off the hands of those he once employed to help him scale the ladder to the pinnacle of political power in this country.

Megalomaniacs are known to demand unquestioning loyalty without giving any in return. Inevitably megalomaniacs surround themselves with deferential toadies. Obviously that kind of environment would not be an agreeable workplace for any intelligent well-seasoned advisor who sincerely believes in discussion and debate as well as competency and ethics.

No wonder Stephen Harper’s present team of unseasoned advisors is dismissively referred to as the “boys in short pants.”

Lloyd Atkins, Vernon, B.C.

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