Six in the Morning

1. HARPER NUKES UP G8 AGENDA: Most expected the G8 summit coming up in Huntsville would grapple with the international economic catastrophe. Environmentalists hoped it would tackle climate change seeing as Copenhagen was a washout. But Canada, as host, gets to set the agenda and it looks like Harper wants to spend the time worrying about dirty bombs. Dirty bombs? It's hardly a top-of-mind concern for people these days but you can see why Harper and his scandal-plagued Conservatives would want the summit to go in that direction. "We could spend our time dealing with a real, current global disaster like the economy. Or we could spend our time working out a solution to a real, impending global disaster like climate change," goes the thinking, "But Canada's doing pretty well economy-wise thanks to the tarsands. And, because we don't want to screw up our economy doing so well (thanks to the tarsands) we suck at dealing with climate change. So... what made-up, not-yet-impending disaster that'll really freak people out can we be seen talking tough on so people won't notice that we're completely procrastinating on dealing with the problems they're actually facing? Hey! How about scary-sounding weapons that terrorists may or may not someday in the vague future get their terrorist mitts on!" (Globe and Mail)

2. TIMES ARE GOOD FOR ONLINE SHOPPING: The Canadian dollar has shot up to $96.46 US as commodity prices climb and high-financiers recognize that Canada will lead the G7 in economic recovery. Remember to quietly thank Alberta's tarry backside when you're buying those books off Amazon at par. (Globe and Mail)

3. DEBATE ON BODY SCANNERS A PROROGUE CASUALTY: The NDP is saying the decision to go ahead with the installation of full-body scanners in Canadian airports is something that should have been debated in parliament. Should have been, but wasn't because Harper's scandal-plagued Conservatives prorogued parliament. At the very least, Dennis Bevington, NDP MP for the Western Arctic, says the pros and cons of the system should have been considered by the Transport Committee. (Globe and Mail)

4. CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL TO INCREASE: One of the world's leading authorities on climate change expects to see denial of the science behind it to increase in the new decade. He also says the delay on acting to curb it that the deniers are promoting will cause serious hardship for the world's poor. (Guardian)

5. WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT E-READERS? Seriously. Why? Word is they'll be the talk of the upcoming Vegas tech show. But, I handled one of these things recently and it left me profoundly underwhelmed. Clumsy to use, ugly to look at, an uncomfortable shape and an awkward size -- neither small enough for a pocket nor big enough so that the screen won't feel crowded. Plus, the display reminded me of a first-generation Macintosh from 1984. The technology has a long way to go, if you ask me. And with a $300 plus price tag, I'd rather spend the cash on, I don't know, an ipod and some paper backs. And yet, every time I open the newspaper, the tech reporters are gushing about the damn things. Has tech news really devolved into advertorials for whatever new gadget needs a boost? Has tech news ever been anything but advertorials? Why am I even wasting my time writing about these things? (CBC)

6. NO CRIMINAL RECORD FOR PERVY RIDER GM: Tillman plead guilty to sexually assaulting a minor and while his conviction will stand, for doing so he's getting an absolute discharge. So, no jail time and no criminal record. Pretty sweet deal. Have to wonder what the sentence would have been for someone too poor to hire a decent lawyer or for someone who wasn't, you know, leading our beloved Riders when they won a much-coveted Grey Cup. Personally, I think the guy should spend some hard time getting grabbed by the belt loops by someone larger and more threatening than himself. What? Was that crass? I'm sorry. I'm high on pain killers. I don't know what I'm typing. (CBC)

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