Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Daily Digest October 31, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:
The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN’S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - The best of intentions
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=236&sc=3

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Premier is right on wind power
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=7b016e03-f845-44eb-9eb6-5350992ffe58

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Making the list
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=79b13615-56d3-4ffa-a8ad-27660587c48f

OTTAWA SUN - Oust Liberal 'nation'
http://www.ottawasun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/10/31/2185796.html

NATIONAL POST - In praise of David Fraser
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=bfa91a7a-d62b-4765-b340-81526b6770b3

NATIONAL POST - A pathetic protest
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=a6b70f01-498e-4b6f-b760-48b0c7886d59

TORONTO SUN - How to preserve our unity
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2006/10/31/2185960-sun.html

LONDON FREE PRESS - Vital voice on climate
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Opinion/Editorials/2006/10/31/2185566.html

CALGARY HERALD - A virtuous 'problem'
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=c63d3964-811c-4b57-8440-ac62e058418e

CALGARY HERALD - A little chill not all bad
Decline in resource prices will help cool inflationary spiral
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=c54f7800-3f70-4a15-a022-73512802e880

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Paying our politicians
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/cat_index_28.php

VANCOUVER SUN - Passports will still allow entry to the U.S. once the dust settles
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=162102c3-f064-471b-a776-7731c47410b8

VANCOUVER SUN - Put a stake through the heart of that myth about demons
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=c8c7d267-23ae-45e2-984a-97c8fe90a84b

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - It's time moderation emerged in debate over climate change
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=32868a84-4e45-413e-aef6-29f5ebe87545


ISSUES

CANADIAN FORCES
Afghan customs chief 'removed by mafia'
The head of customs at Kabul airport claims he has been sacked for being too good at his job.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6101372.stm

US's Afghan policies going up in smoke
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/HK01Df01.html

Afghan mission big risk to NATO
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=a5b3d386-8cc1-4211-b9e5-96230dcbeff2

Two NATO soldiers killed, two wounded by roadside bomb
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=56d60113-bde2-4019-8c67-06413bcb8d83&k=7113

More troops at risk, general warns
Ottawa says CF-18s ready for Afghanistan
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxafghanfraser31/BNStory/Afghanistan/home

Hercs air-drop supplies on a wing and a prayer
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061030.AFGHAN30/TPStory

Canada commits six jets to NATO
CF-18s could end up in Afghanistan
Critics accuse government of flip-flop
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248614282&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Drawing battle lines: Afghanistan inflames Canucks on both sides of issue
London Winnipeg E dmonton Toronto Calgary

Taliban threat adds up
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2006/10/31/2185804-sun.html

'Declaration of war on Pakistan'
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?GXHC_gx_session_id_=94936ec386a68915&pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248615282&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112101662670

Protests condemn Pakistani attack on school
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wpakistan1031/BNStory/International

$1B needed to sustain Forces
Tories: Afghan mission, new equipment leave military short on funds for fiscal 2006
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=e8287a00-2e0d-46cf-945a-bb82a09efcd4



CANUSA/USACAN
U.S. dismisses Canada's claim to Northwest Passage
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/10/31/2186530-cp.html

Straight goods -U.S. consul speaks frankly about borderline issues
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Jackson_Paul/2006/10/31/2185949.html

Arar lawyer bashes U.S. letter
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2006/10/31/2185824-sun.html


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Hammering at skilled trades' 'bad rap'
Television home renovation star Mike Holmes urges students to pick up tools for the 'right reasons,
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/business/story.html?id=60dbb16d-749f-4837-902c-fc9f5803b969

The loonie's oil support disappears
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=bcf48c31-3e49-49fd-9c98-8dca5fa756bd

Ontario battling drug firms
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061031.DRUG31/TPStory/TPNational/Ontario/

Ottawa holding up emissions trading
Businessman touts Canadian exchange
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/calgarybusiness/story.html?id=24ef7237-f32e-4bb5-bb16-1732eeba8b96


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Rule of the jungle beats rule of law
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248613561&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Mideast nervously awaits U.S. election results
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3753454p-4339701c.html

Nuclear terrorism deterrent launched
http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/International/2006/10/31/2185681-sun.html


MIGRATION
Immigrant selection process should favour people with skills, jobs
The current system is an economic disaster for Canada, says researcher
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=c11ea117-de8b-4681-9fd0-62ae98515744


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
Passing the buck on Caledonia
McGuinty's Liberals are discovering that applying different laws to different people is expensive
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=05060aab-d710-4c6d-8cb6-7b5efd4ef122

Federal ministers shoot back at McGuinty
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxontario31/BNStory/National/home

Tory leadership contenders ready to tell Alberta to butt out
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061030.waltatories1031/BNStory/National/home


POLITICS
Election fever high
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=0b856ef7-e9e8-4a81-8797-67811df4dfba

PM, Layton to negotiate over clean-air legislation
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxparliament31/BNStory/National/home

Layton declares Tory Green Plan 'dead in the water,' proposes alternative
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061031/n103115A.html

Canada in violating international law on climate issue, critics allege
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061031/n103123A.html

Ruff going for MacKay
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2006/10/31/2185940.html

Grit hopeful says no jail for under-12s
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2006/10/31/2186135-sun.html

Justice boss says jail right for young criminals
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2006/10/28/2155217-sun.html

Run, Fortier, run
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=5868c6b6-82c7-409b-bc57-fc22f8f56b1a

Quebec ties Liberals in knots
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxliberals31/BNStory/National/home

THE QUEBEC QUESTIONS
DANIEL LEBLANC examines where the top four Liberal leadership contenders stand on a controversial topic
IS QUEBEC A NATION? http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061031.LIBSQUE31/TPStory/TPNational/Quebec/

Mr. Ignatieff's elephants
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061031.LETTERS31-2/TPStory/TPComment/Quebec/

Dion hunts Ontario support
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248614233&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467
968350116467

Conservatives pick friends for judge jobs
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/canada_world/story.html?id=10ba3e43-98f5-446d-be99-89902ad818af

Conservative ideology dressed in rhetoric of fiscal responsibility
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/537740.html


PROGRAMMES
Flaherty revives pledge to slash capital gains tax
Earlier Tory initiative abandoned amid worries about costs to Ottawa
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxrcapital31/BNStory/Business/home

Tories plan to police pay equity on gender
Caucus divided by Labour Minister's proposal
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=def7ad68-1959-43d6-b4e2-f501d3862937&p=2

Task force proposes grain marketing choice ... Following is an edited extract of the federal task force report that proposes eliminating the Canadian Wheat Board and replacing it with a new agency (CWB II), while permitting marketing choice for western farmers. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3753455p-4339711c.html

Wheat board dead? Federal ag minister likes task force's report
http://www.edmontonsun.com/Business/Columnists/Waugh_Neil/2006/10/31/2185554.html

Task force recommends four-stage plan to end wheat board’s monopoly
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6bcbe3c8-ffd4-4c15-8ee2-abd4a69c38a5&k=4192

In Churchill, open market in wheat sparks fear
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061031.wxchurchill31/BNStory/National/home

Open up grains market
report: End wheat board monopoly by '08, says federal plan
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/calgarybusiness/story.html?id=b5e8bf23-ce0c-45d4-b466-8fd11f899e3b

Task force lays out transition plan
Government study foresees farmer-owned firm within two years
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061031.WHEAT31/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

CWB monopoly in limbo
Farmers could sell barley outside board in Feb. 2008, task force recommends
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/business/story.html?id=b47a0422-5360-4da3-b905-957a5fced637


PRESSURE POINTS
The new green totalitarianism
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=0671887a-cd99-4edd-86f6-d72107274d52


OPINION AND INFORMATION
RCMP has a duty to provide answers
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248613569&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Former CSIS chief says RCMP kept him in dark on mistakes in Arar case
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/061031/n103119A.html

What the Devil?: Among the trick-or-treaters who visit you tonight, little devils will be well-represented. Just where did they get the idea for the horns and pitchfork? http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=05b2f9f4-8ae2-4314-8ae8-d2e526dd40a7

WWF report wrong about Canada's 'print'
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=93d1520d-a55d-4f69-af2d-2f6240ce5832

Expo 67 left a stunning legacy
Called Montreal's finest hour
Event successful but deficit huge
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248614163&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Canada shows its strength
Contrary to popular belief, this country is emerging as a powerhouse
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162248613566&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Canada cannot afford to send troops to another bloody Muslim conflict
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/editorial/story.html?id=7fbc7234-7fe3-4817-b678-13dd250e638e

'Islamo-fascism' is Islamo-bull ...
The term "Islamo-fascism" used by President George W Bush and other Iraq warriors is sheer nonsense and demagoguery. Historical fascism is a merger of state and corporate power in time of crisis that has nothing to do with Muslim life today, although the germs of it can be seen in the US. -
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/HK01Aa01.html


INFOS

L'opposition entre Washington et Ottawa persiste
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20061031/CPACTUALITES/61031085/1019/CPACTUALITES

Nouvelle souche de tuberculose
http://sante.canoe.com/health_news_details.asp?news_id=2247&news_channel_id=0

Trois soldats de l'OTAN tués
http://lcn.canoe.com/lcn/infos/lemonde/archives/2006/10/20061031-102427.html

Harper accepte de rencontrer Layton
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2006/10/20061031-100400.html

Un « enjeu gonflé à l'hélium », selon Stéphane Dion
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/Politique/2006/10/31/001-dion_calme.shtml

Le Canada veut revoir Kyoto
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2006/10/30/004-kyoto-revision.shtml

London byelection attracts another parachute candidate
By CHIP MARTIN, LONDON FREE PRESS POLITICS REPORTER

The promise of upcoming national media attention for the byelection in London-North-Centre has produced another parachute candidate.

Robert Ede, 53, a real-estate sales representative from Thornhill, says he’ll stand as an independent candidate and will file his papers once he garners the required 100 signatures. http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2006/10/30/pf-2175551.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

Phyllis Wagg

Subject: RE: Daily Digest October 30, 2006
===================================
STRATOS
===================================
Where have the nationalists gone?
With iconic Canadian companies being sold off willy-nilly, where's the hue and cry over the loss of our sovereignty
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1162072211424&call_pageid=970599119419

Yes, well, maybe we're all grown up now and no longer think in terms of "Canadian-company executives are our saviours".
===================================

I find Stratos statement here ironic.

One of the major assumptions behind capitalism was that investors would chose to invest as close to their places of residence as possible so they could monitor their investments. This was supposed to be the major check and balance on the system. Today those checks and balances do not exist. Unethical business practices are rewarded because as long as investors get their money they ask no questions nor do they see the results of their investments. Canadian company executives are just as prone to this kind of behaviour as foreign executives.

Globalization allows those who control the capital of investors to seek short term maximized profits because the remuneration of many the CEOs depends on current profits. Within a short period of time these self-interested CEOs can co-opt high levels wealth and move on before they have to be accountable for their actions. This short term thinking encourages environmental degradation, the marketing of potentially dangerous products, and the destruction of the viability of the business in the long-term.

Unfortunately, our Prime Minister sees Canadian and other CEOs as the “superior” class and as such “our saviours.” He quite naively puts a halo over the heads of corporate executives. If you look at the decisions that Stephen Harper has made over the past few months a clear pattern emerges.

One of his first actions as Prime Minister was to lure former Canfor CEO and Liberal MP, David Emerson, into his cabinet. Emerson was then put in charge of negotiating the softwood lumber agreement with the United States, clearly in conflict of interest. Harper then put unelected investment banker, Michel Fortier, in charge of Public Works. As an investment banker with a vested interest in the profitability of certain corporations he is another Cabinet Minister in potential conflict of interest.

Harper followed this by announcing his selection of
former EnCana CEO, Gwyn Morgan, to take charge of government appointments. In a speech in Ottawa on 26 May 2006 he complained that “the opposition recently voted against Gwyn Morgan and his team of private sector executives who were prepared to provide arms’ length oversight to the process.” Anyone familiar with Gwyn Morgan’s prejudices would realize that only other economic fundamentalists would gain any access to government. Harper never suggested that the culture of entitlement would disappear under his leadership but that he would “replace the culture of entitlement that thrived under the previous government.” As evidence shows he replaced it with the concept of entitlement by economic class.

We then go to Harper’s selection of the Canadian representatives on the North American Competitiveness Council. This private sector Council has been mandated with creating the regulations and laws governing North American integration. The members of the Council are Dominic D’Alessandro, CEO of Manulife Financial; Paul Desmaris, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Power Corp; David A. Ganong, President of Ganong Brothers, Ltd; Richard Lee Gorge, President and CEO of Suncor Energy; Hunter Harrison, CEO of the CNR; Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corporation; Michael J. Sabia, President and CEO of BCE; James A. Shepherd, President and CEO of Canfor Corporation; Annette Verschuren, Canadian Division President of Home Depot Canada; Richard E. Waugh, President and CEO of Scotiabank.


At a meeting in August this Council tasked its Canadian Secretariat, made up of five members of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, with “border facilitation” which is a wide ranging mandate including security, infrastructure, supply chain management, transport and logistics, and customs reform. The U.S. Secretariat is looking at regulatory convergence and the Mexican Secretariat at energy integration. How the decisions of this body will be made legal is unclear but any government with a majority (or even possibly with a majority of Liberals and Conservatives) would have no problem with getting it passed.

The purpose of integration has nothing to do with the well-being of the bulk of the North American population. In fact, they will be expected to make considerable sacrifices. The purpose is to help the selected corporations become more competitive (dominant) in the global marketplace. This is not different from Paul Martin’s plans for corporate globalization and in fact is simply the next step in what he put in place before being defeated.


The Softwood Lumber Agreement is also an agreement designed to assist CEOs of the larger corporations further consolidate the industry. Since the restructuring of the industry has left it one of the most efficient in Canada government had to take a firm hand in making sure that companies like Canfor, already a multinational, will have an advantage in securing a potential monopoly in Canadian production. Although, Canfor believed that its U.S. acquisitions would help it weather the short term problems the deal would create in Canada it appears to have over-estimated the value of the strategy. It may be prone to a takeover by U.S. interests. In fact, the agreement was apparently meant to facilitate U.S. corporate control over provincial crown lands. Since the purpose is to make North American corporations competitive (dominant) in the world market, it does not matter who owns them.

The latest government strategy to give more influence to corporations is the plan to create a revolving door between the private and public sector for senior public servants. This is to transform public servants into the servants of special private sector interests.

There is no hue and cry over our sovereignty because in the Canada of today the establishment could not care less and they control communication.
They see their self-interest as tied up with economic class just as do our political leaders. In fact, the elite is suspicious of democracy and have been working within the political parties to control and manipulate the political agenda to make sure that democracy is a sham.

Consolidating corporate economic and governmental power in the hands of a few is rapidly replacing democracy as the paradigm of the Canadian and North American governmental systems. It makes no difference whether the Liberals or Conservatives (Republicans or Democrats) are in power the paradigm is the same. Corporate and political power is merging to destroy democracy.

Sadly, most of those who are pushing this agenda lack the ability to see the broader implications of what they are doing. They think that what they are doing is moral because they are people of “faith” in both economic and religious fundamentalism. Unfortunately, if they continue in the current direction they will be sowing the seeds of discontent that could lead to revolutionary movement in the opposite direction to restore balance

===================================
W. Mike Atkinson

Subject: A very moving poem by a Canadian soldier named Josh Forbes - Please send this to everyone you know!

Ole Jack Layton ~ Thoughts From A Soldier

Dear Jack Layton,

You sit there in your quiet home, no fear is in your heart,
You sleep soundly certain that it won't be blown apart.
Your children they can go to school and play out in the park,
They've never seen a bomb explode, heard air raids in the dark.

They've never seen dead bodies piled up on the street,
Your wife, she won't be beaten, treated like a piece of meat.

You are free to form opinio ns, read any news print you can see,
You enjoy your rights and privileges in this country wide and free.

The reason you can live like that is because I fight your wars,
I fight and push the enemy back, I keep them off our shores.

I am here and you are there pretending you know best.
Well Ole Jack now listen close while I get this off my chest.

You have the right to criticize, you have the right to complain
You don't have the right to drag me down in a stupid political game.

The thing about your rights Ole Jack, the part you can't comprehend
Is you work in the very system, the democracy I defend.
I stand on fences around the world protecting those that need it,
It is not for you to determine Jack whether or not it's worth it.

Ask the people in Afghanistan if they want me to stay,
Women and children depend on me - you say just walk away.

I don't need your changing policy, trying hard to not lose face,
What I need is you behind me, helping protect this place.

You know its hard to do this when I think I'm all alone.
I hear stories of young punks pissing on memorial stones.

I read the papers over here and they tell me what is said.
Canadians are losing faith I can't get it through my head.

You say that it is hopeless, it really brings me down
Don't tell my mother we're losing, don't spread that rumour around.

I'm doing good, were winning here but no-one will believe
Because we are way over here where no one there can see.

Women here can work you see, children starting school.
We built a working government, we've broken Taliban rule.

We are so close to winning this, it's not too far away
History will show that we were in the right to stay.

When that brilliant day arrives, victory you'll claim is ours
You'll forget you said to run away - forget you are a coward.

On that day just thank me for my courag e and my trouble,
Find another place that needs help, and send me on the double.

===================================
STRATOS
===================================
MONTREAL GAZETTE - Women not meat: men not animals
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=1a24bbd0-4bde-4e44-9dbe-0451d3871e3e
You know that you're advancing in political maturity when you start foreseeing things before they pop up. Fifteen-odd years ago, before I became a Tory, I was purely reactive. But now I find myself "foreseeing" issues and ideas a few months before they get into radar range. The idea to be drawn from this (as many DD readers already know): read (forget TV and radio) from a variety of sources and about a variety of subjects; understand the reasoning behind what you read; do some personal research / attend courses; form your views so that you can justyify them to others; challenge your views or have them challenged by others (argue (as in make arguments, not have them) with others or subscribe to the DD ;-) ); and refine your views as appropriate.

So, what does this all have to do with meat and animals? A few months ago, I came around to thinking that when it comes to man-woman relations, both
"modern" values, and most of the "traditional" ones, have undertones of "man is a predator" and "woman is prey". Where modern and traditional values diverge, however, is in what each recommends be done about it. For traditional values, the answer lies in keeping the prey hemmed so that predators can't get to it and so that prey won't arouse a predator's hunger, as it were. (<== This isn't a universal "traditional" attitude, mind you, but it's common enough). Modern values emphasize that the onus shouldn't be on keeping women penned up like domesticated animals but rather than man-predators be tamed instead. Big difference: don't tempt the beast vs. tame it instead. Same unspoken assumptions, but different reasoning that leads to different conclusions.

So, when some man comes along lauding the merits of keeping women chaste through social coercion, bulky clothing, or whatever, tell them what that says about that man's view of his brother men. I'd imagine that he won't be too pleased to hear that.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Canada: Israel?s new friend in North America
Conservative government shows signs of pro-Israeli stances after 12 years of liberal reign. Canadian foreign minister: A threat on Israel means a threat on Canada http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3321392,00.html
You know, much of the resentment people feel towards the Jewish community arises from some of of its spokesmen(people) being obnoxious. This kind of thing isn't new, if we read what's been written in times past. Edward Gibbon, in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire writes (concerning why Nero decided to persecute Christians instead of others for the burning of Rome):

" We may therefore presume to imagine some probable cause which would direct the cruelty of Nero against the Christians of Rome, whose obscurity, as well as innocence, should have shielded them from his indignation, and even from his notice. The Jews, who were numerous in teh capital and oppressed in their own country, were a much fitter object for the suspicions of the emperor and of the people: nor did they it seem unlikely that a vanquished nation, who already discovered their abhorrence of the Roma yoke, might have recourse to the most atrocious means of gratifying the implacable revenge. But the Jews possessed very powerful advocates in the palace, and even in the heart of the tyrant; his wife and mistress, the beautiful Poppaea, and a favourite player of the race of Abraham, who had already employed her intercession on behalf of the obnoxious people."

In brief, Gibbon goes on to say that the "majority" Jews (that is, those of the "obnoxious people"), through well-placed connections, managed to pin the blame on the Galileans, which they considered to be a renegade Jewish sect. It seems that Jewish-conspiracy theories/facts have been around for quite a while now. And that Jews being thought of as an "obnoxious people" isn't anything new.

Getting back to obnoxious spokesmen in the Jewish community, the newspaper article offers a fine example of what they can write:

"When it comes to dealing with a war between Israel and a terrorist organization, this country and this government cannot and will never be neutral," said Harper. "Those who seek to destroy the Jews, who seek to destroy Israel, will ultimately seek to destroy us all. It is why Canada's new government has reacted with speed and spoken with clarity on the recent events in the Middle East."

Alongside his support of Israel, Harper emphasized that the Palestinians also deserve a fair and just future and that he hopes a two-state solution can be found so that Israelis and Palestinian can live in peace alongside one another.

"Issues of human dignity, of giving people the opportunity to build their community, to realize their own dreams - as long as they respect the rights and dignity of others - are values we also share," Harper added in regards to the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

No problem with these quotes, except that the article's editor at Ynetnews.com (an Internet newspaper covering / aimed at / whatever the Jewish community) puffs this up into the headline "Canada: Israel?s new friend in North America - Conservative government shows signs of pro-Israeli stances after 12 years of liberal reign - Canadian foreign minister: A threat on Israel means a threat on Canada". Whooooooa, Nelly. He said no such thing ... Saying this kind of thing doesn't win over anyone to the "Jewish cause". Pity the Jewish community who's stuck with these ... uuuhhh, obnoxious people ... as spokesmen.

POLITICS
Prime minister offers to meet with NDP leader to talk climate change
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061030/national/harper_climate_change
Interesting to see what Jacko (sans lantern this Hallowe'en) has to say on short notice (he said he'd be willing to discuss climate change withi Mr. Harper, within 24 hours). Is Mr. Harper calling his bluff?

'I represent New Liberalism': Grit candidate Kennedy
Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy says it will take two elections for federal Grits to make big inroads in Quebec again
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&amp;full_path=/2006/october/30/kennedy/&c=1
Good stuff. Now tell us what's bad about Old Liberalism. It'll give us an odea of what the other candidates are thinking.

New Liberalism: a handy thing, that. Seems that New, New-New, New-cubed, Newer, More-Newer, etc. Liberalism is needed every ten years or so.

Layton won't rule out no-confidence vote
http://www.politicswatch.com/layton-oct30-2006.htm
From the article: "In 2004, Layton successfully negotiated billions of dollars in new budget spending with then prime minister Paul Martin in exchange for NDP support on confidence votes."

"Negociated", indeed. To be fair, though, he WAS in a good position, what with him holding a gun to the Liberals' head, as it were. Ms. Stronach wasn't available for last-resort support, y'see.

So, "no-confidence" = "no cash on offer". Interesting, that the NDP this kind of thing never resorts to "I'll huff, I'll puff, and I'll bloooow the House down" when it comes to legislation having nothing to do with spending. Think anyone will notice?

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Ron Thornton

*Hi Joe:
Our fertile minds filled in the rest. Actually, it was amusing put down, at least according to my wife, mother, and mother-in-law. As for being sexist, if one asked Leanne Domi where he dog was, she could also reply "You'll have to ask Belinda, as she has him." As put downs go, this one was universal, not sexist.

Hahahaha. Excellent point. Bravo!

As for this insult toward Ms. Stronach somehow being a put down of all women, let me just say that the lumping the women in my life in the same category as Belinda should be cause for an apology from the Liberal caucus to those women.

Yes, indeed. Somehow, the "I won't get into plotics because someone might call me a dog" argument doesn't go very far these days. AT least not in more circles ...

Should Belinda have been offended? Yup, that was the intent. Should all women be offended? You must be kidding.

Quite right. Ms. Stronach and womankind aren't the same thing and the "dog" comment (which most of us assume WAS made) pertained to Ms. Stronach, not womankind.

How do I know I am blessed? I could have had the life of Conrad Black.
Aye, ain't THAT the truth. Ability + good fortune (as in fair-sized $$$ fortune to start with) + take-charge entrepreneurship = success. Success + craving for recognition from High Society + incontinence = hubris. Hubris + time = turpitude + very public failure (plus impenitence, it seems, in this case). Fun with moral math.

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Ron Thornton

Harold Fletcher
Subject: RE: Nation
Whoops! Looks like text Harold's text in the same colour blends too well with my comments. I figured that the different fonts would distinguish us but here's what should be understood (Harold's comments in red, mine in blue):

Re "Nation". No one seems to object to Indians referring to themselves as First Nations. Why all the fuss about Quebec? Don't forget that the Quebec legislature is comprised of Members of the National Assembly (MNA's). The word Nation carries a different meaning in French than it does in English, perhaps that is where the misinterpretation comes in.

I heard Chantal Hebert's speech to the Union of BC Municipalities. she is a newspaper writer living in Quebec and she thinks the whole thing is a tempest in a tea pot. I agree with her.

Re. tempest. I agree. Very sensible woman, Chantal (I met her once - not often that I detect her kind of journalistic integrity right off the bat).

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From: alan heisey mailto:hize@sympatico.ca
Subject: Re: "earthworm" 06 10 30 monday.pdf

Publisher comments: questions or comments? Direct them to the address above

Exactly who can read “package”?

The answer to this question is in the form of an OPEN LETTER to Michael D. Donison, executive director of our party:

Mr. D, I write as a recently elected director to the St. Paul’s Association, though a longtime director and officer elsewhere in our party and in the Progressive Conservative Party. I write as a publisher by trade who publishes this informal, fortnightly email newsletter to some 700 Tories and media offering my own views, mostly, on the strengthening of our party, government and leaders.

I congratulate you on the very welcome, friendly tone attached to your October “Package” of information sent to EDA presidents. Your introduction makes it clear that the package can reasonably be forwarded to all the directors of all our 308 electoral district boards, which means some 9,000 caring citizens.

I think, however, that you need to make it much clearer that the package is directed to all those people through the good offices of the individual eda presidents.
I also submit that you miss a great opportunity to bring the entire membership of the party along with the party’s leaders’ plans and objectives by not asking each eda to forward it as an email package to all party members who have the capacity to receive it.

I believe from my own experience in St. Paul’s that the understanding that the June package was to be forwarded to all members of the board was not at all clear, although it was discussed in the June board meeting.

This meant that our generally lively group did not at that time pick up the need to smartly establish a policy committee and start assessing the existing policy positions of the party as the first step toward the planned national policy convention in November of next year.

It so happens that from outside my board I received a copy of the October 1 note to presidents and policy chairs setting out the October 30th deadline for completion of stage one of the process..in fact I had it before the riding president! In my edition of the first of that month I chided some ridings for being slow off the mark, but I think a goodly chunk of the slowness lies with an unclear policy regarding distribution of your information package in June! (besides which I got chewed up a little for my comments at the October board meeting - about which more later).

One reason why you guys need to think through exactly who you WANT to have get your package was the reference to members-at-large in associations being encouraged to serve on the policy committee of their riding. This infers that it desirable for all members to be fully aware of this incredibly interesting policy process in time to consider how they could contribute. As it is I don’t think our board feels clear to distribute these stone tablets outside our own ranks, which is a pity since they have such interesting information in them.

If you get a look at my October 15th edition you’ll see that I think our policy process is one of the bedrock strengths of the party and should have been introduced at a press conference for that purpose only in downtown Toronto by the national leader and prime minister, as a way of doubling paid up memberships ++! Cordially, amh

P.S. The following item may be of interest.

GTA policy buffs: h.q. is squeezing!


St. Paul’s founding policy committee met last Saturday, to meet the party’s set deadline for formation of a committee, but not yet anywhere near evaluating the individual sections of the present document, theoretically also required for October 30!

One point of interest at the above meeting was the recognition that there may be policy issues on which there are regional variations. Thus coordinating policy evolution through stages one and two, including drafting proposals by late December, would be assisted by contact and coordination with other GTA edas and their policy chairs.
The policy document includes the following clarification: “It may be useful to meet jointly or communicate with other EDA Policy committees in your region in order to share views and to avoid duplication of effort. Please be aware that unlike the policy process in 2004/05 it is not necessary for a resolution submitted in this phase to be endorsed by other EDAs.”

This strikes me as incredibly naive, since only if the same core themes appear in a whole series of eda proposed resolutions are they likely to get substantial consideration from the national policy committee siftings.

Unlike the situation about two years ago the GTA presidents council can be considered dead at the doorstep, so the policy chiefs of the 45 ridings involved need make common cause, and quick, if they propose a policy conference early in January, for example, to collectively muscle some regional views forward for national ratification - or whatever.

I continue to publish sketchy data about presidents and secretaries of the 45 edas and very few policy chairs have been identified in my attachment, which I understand to be the only list available to the unwashed. Consider that I can keep this list up to date daily, and republish weekly, even while on an Indian Ocean cruise during most of the month of December!

I also urge all associations to address the desirability of secrecy about their policy deliberations. I dared to propose to the St. Paul’s initial committee members that the riding should welcome media coverage of their proceedings and also the silent participation of observers, not yet members of the party.

They were overwhelmingly opposed, totally lacking any sense of professionalism on the part of the media to give them fair coverage.

As a member of the media, and one who understands how the professional politicans “milk media” for all they are worth, I think this widespread mentality among amateur members of all polticial parties, is plain wrong, and so unfortunate. If not changed, fast, it means that 45 of the most interesting political gatherings in Toronto in the next two months will be kept secret, because we don’t trust ourselves and our chairmen!

One inkling of light in our little meeting was the suggestion that just possibly the Toronto-wide regional meeting just might be open to the press! Zounds, chillun, be brave!
There are two issues of substance I draw to your attention. First is the waverings of S on the subject of fairer representation of Ontario, particularly, in the house of commons. The subject is of no interest to our mass media, although to be fair the Star gave it a small play in a Sunday edition quite some months ago, but no pickup from the media commentators or editorial pages. And the Post has had a couple of articles on the under-representation of Ontario.

Rather, the pressure from the west is to strengthen the roles of the Senate, which is clearly intended to downplay the population realities of Ontario and Quebec. And we in Ontario are particularly badly served by the three political party leaders provincially who unanimously exacerbate the longtime over-representation of the northern electoral districts, grossly, compared with voters in the rest of the province. With indifferent media and hostile provincial party leaders, one person one vote either gets a serious slug of attention only from our GTA policy discussions or we get used to more beating up by under-representation, which p.r. will not begin to address.

The second issue is what about possible changes to the national party’s constitution and when do we get an opportunity to discuss them? A committee apparently surveyed all 308 edas for views on the individul constituency constitutions and publishing nothing of what they heard proceeded to tell us what they will permit. Indifference to urban realities persists in their refusal to permit more flexibility in the number of directors who may live outside the constantly shifting urban borders. When and where, please sirs, may we further address desirable local and national changes?

I’m keen to publish any and all letters addressing these interesting aspects of our governing party.


Two views on c.p.c. e.d.a. boards

I almost regret to say that I think I am the only Tory in the whole country who chooses to write, hopefully affectionately, extensively and at large about the party in Toronto and elsewhere while purporting to serve as a director on an eda or any other party board.

This creates a certain amount of heartburn both for those board directors who value total secrecy about their successes and otherwise, and for myself.
I think I knowingly stepped over a fine line recently when I jabbed a couple of boards’ lethargy (I think I called it “torpor”) in getting policy activities under way - one of which sprang to life very convincingly thereafter!

It triggered an apology from myself for stepping over the line with what amounts to too-specific criticisms, but a lively chat remind me and others who might need to be reminded that the board can remove for cause.

I found that discussions enormously interesting because it gave me a chance to state clearly what I think the nature of my stewardship is: I see myself as a sort of urban councillor representing an electorate on an urban political council where I report, as best I can to my electorate. In the case of my own riding I have amassed over some five years only about 50-60 names of party members and adherents, and I know that I have absolutely no access to the riding membership lists, tightly controlled as they are everywhere.

Please understand that I recognize that most of the 15 present for the discussion prefer the concept of the corporate board where secrecy on deliberations of all sorts is the mode until a formal report may be issued to the membership.

So in a discussion on the issue 11 endorsed the more conventional requirements, three opposed and one abstained, all of which made for a very lively discussion.
I came out of that discussion more persuaded than ever that within most healthy groups of 20-30 individuals there is more than one school of thought on most things political. I’d like to see such philosophical distinctions better recognized by caucuses, which I think do emerge gradually if groups address major questions substantively.
I hate to say this out loud, but I even think that in Toronto where the centrists so outnumber the real conservatives, all our edas and boards should meet like the house of commons, facing each other. I can warm to this idea in Toronto because I don’t think without some recognition that the town is loaded with independents who are not about to join us, as conservatives, we are likely to win the 13 of our 23 seats which would be a real, local, majority government.
I understand totally that singing from the same sheet does not jibe with this heretical view of vital political party operations, but I see Trawna as different from the rest of Ontario, as Quebec is!

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