Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day drive-by blogging

Well it's a holiday of some kind in Ontario today, that Family Day thingy. Whatever you may be doing, have a good one. Here's a bunch of reading material, for lack of better terminology, for your day off. Most of it is a break from Canadian politics.

1. This seems like a biggie: "Canada threatens trade war with EU over tar sands."
Canada has threatened a trade war with European Union over the bloc's plan to label oil from Alberta's vast tar sands as highly polluting, the Guardian can reveal, before a key vote in Brussels on 23 February.
New reference for Joe Oliver found in the article, "oil minister."

2. This is kind of a fun thing: "A Visit to London's Inspiring Olympic Velodrome." Great architecture and the building is environmentally friendly too. Canada is doing well in a world cup event there: "The British deemed it to be the best cycling track ever and they have been doing very well, with two golds and a pair of new world records. To everyone's surprise, the Canadians led the way." Surprised? Wha?

3. At Balkinization, an interesting theory on what the U.S. Supreme Court might do in response to an appeal of the Prop 8 case to it. An author suggests that they might refuse to hear it on the grounds that the supporters of Prop 8 don't have standing. In other words, who are these people to act on behalf of the people of California?
Proposition 8 proponents were never actually chosen by the people, nor designated by any of California's elected representatives, to speak for the state's electorate. Of course, the measure that the proponents proposed was adopted, but that does not mean that the electorate decided — or intended — that these particular proponents ought to speak or act for the voters in any representative capacity. [I]nitiative proponents not picked by the voters may lack credibility, and may in fact be rogue actors whose current views, sentiments and desires bear little relation to those of the electorate that adopted the initiative in question, much less the electorate that exists at the time litigation is conducted.
Very interesting and it makes a heck of a lot of sense.

4. Some speculation that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg might step down from the court in 2015 based on comments she has made to the effect that she'd leave the court at the age of 82. That report is interesting due to the inclusion of this idea:
In "The Case for Early Retirement: Why Justices Ginsburg and Breyer should retire immediately" in the April 28, 2011, edition of The New Republic, Harvard professor Randall Kennedy said: "Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer should soon retire. That would be the responsible thing for them to do. ... Both are unlikely to be able to outlast a two-term Republican presidential administration, should one supersede the Obama administration following the 2012 election. What's more, both are, well, old: Ginsburg is now 78, the senior sitting justice. Breyer is 72."
That way, Obama would be assured of appointing replacements for two aging members of the liberal wing of the court before the 2012 fall presidential election - just in case. Sounds like Ginsburg is not down with it though.

5. The latest on the internet surveillance bill, C-30. Solid commentary there by the Assistant Privacy Commissioner and also a great quote by Michael Geist at the end:
'"The notion that the government can screw this up, that they can install that sort of surveillance capabilities, that they can dispense with basic notions of privacy on the internet, I think is something that would stick for literally decades in the minds of many Canadians," Geist said.
6. Finally, love this: "Using Rap to Teach Pithy Lessons in Business." The bidness school kids just aren't getting how to stand up to the difficult board member, fire executives, etc. Ben Hurowitz is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley with a blog who connects rap with various issues he's writing about.
“All the management books are like, ‘This is how you set objectives, this is how you set up an org chart,’ but that’s all the easy part of management,” Mr. Horowitz said in an interview in his spacious office here on Sand Hill Road, the epicenter of tech investing.

“The hard part is how you feel. Rap helps me connect emotionally.”
The difference between what's in the noggin and what's in the heart. Applicable in your various political character contexts too.