Monday, December 18, 2006

Daily Digest December 18, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


HALIFAX NEWS - Don't abandon Afghans in their time of need

HALIFAX HERALD - What’s next: Elvis probe?

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Elected Senate bad for democracy

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Even good news can be humbling

OTTAWA SUN - Passport please

TORONTO STAR - Harper suddenly likes look of green

NATIONAL POST - Taking political correctness to a Christmas extreme

TORONTO SUN - Greens’ time has come

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - A dumb, dumb, dumb decision

LONDON FREE PRESS - No need to fear Christmas

K-W RECORD - A poor way to fix our broken Senate

K-W RECORD - The pension question - the long-term ramifications of the abolition of mandatory retirement are not as clear as the actual law.

WINDSOR STAR - Senate reform: Tories step in right direction

WINNIPEG SUN - U.S. should put up or shut up on Arar

REGINA LEADER-POST - Security changes urged

CALGARY HERALD - Rona needs room to operate
Still-green MP struggling under tough environment spotlight

CALGARY SUN - Let’s home in on crisis

EDMONTON SUN - Disappointing

VANCOUVER SUN - MPs abdicated their responsibility to make prostitutes' lives safer

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Putting women at risk


Ruling could help Manitoba First Nations

Cdn troops to join new offensive against Taliban

Propaganda precedes Afghanistan assault

Warning from the sky
Leaflet bombardment urges Taliban fighters to flee ... or surrrender

Four-legged 'troops' on guard

France willing to send troops to Afghanistan's front lines

Courage and ruin in Afghanistan
Women's director who faces down fear gets a quiet boost from Canadian team

Soldiers fear JTF2 to get Nazi name
Defence minister's proposed new moniker for elite unit can be shortened to 'SS'

NATO needs to negotiate with some Taliban

Pakistan: Problem or partner in Afghanistan -Hugh Segal, Freelance

Business as usual in procurement wars

The Department of National Defence just put out this news release:
    Write to the Troops, No Packages Please

Afghan MPs struggle to find voice

American ambassador refuses to explain comments on Arar status

U.S. Coast Guard withdraws plans for live fire on Great Lakes

Bank mergers get another thumbs up

Canadian Wheat Board Overhauls Its Supply Chain

Recognizing Africa's success stories

Canuck chemo combo the best
Breast cancer results clear, study finds

Preparing for a pandemic

Hooker law fight goes to court

Migrants 'shape globalised world'

Global migrants reach 191 million

Find out how many people are on the move - and why they leave their homes

Calvert, Williams to campaign across Canada in equalization fight with Ottawa

FORESTRY Log export policy ignores Cariboo concerns: MLA =

Health crisis brewing in Quebec

Dion, Layton criticize Bloc confidence motion

Canada ruling Conservatives may get breathing room

The Conservative agenda

Harper's ride getting rougher in Quebec
Tories out of favour again despite efforts to woo votes

Stéphane Dion makes his Bay Street debut

Deputy Iggy

Stéphane Dion is the minority among Quebec federalists when it comes to two issues: the recognition that Quebecers form a nation in one form or another and the recognition of the existence of a vertical fiscal imbalance. http:/

Harper moves to shore up Tories in Quebec

Bolstering Dion's social pillar

Bloc, NDP outsmart themselves in House

This 'neo' nasty is a pseudo-insult

Ambrose brushes off talk of demise

A Quebec full-court-press day for Harper

On global warming, Britain's Thatcher was ahead of her time
Harper should study her environmentally enlightened conservatism

NDP looks to regroup with climate change, waffles on Afghan vote

Ottawa to investigate alleged tax-record leaks

Emission rules have holes

Top newsmaker tag goes to PM

Ottawa man in vanguard of Internet revolution

Fighting words fly over Lord's Prayer
Group mulls suit to silence city councils' prayers

Mounties kept eye on Douglas

Beetles not only pest plaguing our nation =

Time for the Mounties to get modern
Federal force should deal with countrywide crime and terrorism


#   Stephen Harper annonce la mise en vente de terres agricoles à Mirabel
# Le PLC rejette l'idée du Bloc de faire tomber Ottawa sur la mission afghane

Washington cesse le feu

Une permanence à Québec

Le NPD veut des changements

Afghanistan - Modifier le mandat canadien serait une erreur, selon Hillier

Document secret rendu public - La GRC a espionné Tommy Douglas pendant plus de 30 ans

Afghanistan - Un soldat de Valcartier hospitalisé après avoir marché sur une mine

Time Canada - Harper est choisi personnalité de l'année

Péréquation: Calvert et Williams s'associent

Ambrose rejette les rumeurs d'un départ hâtif

Wilkins refuse de détailler ses propos au sujet d’Arar

Le NPD s'attaquera aux profits des banques

Half don't know new tax breaks
CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, December 18, 2006
More than 50 per cent of Canadians are unaware of new tax breaks included in the first Conservative budget, a survey shows.
Fewer than five per cent know about credits such as the Canada Employment Credit, the public transit credit and textbook tax credit, according to polling by Environics Research Group.
Only the GST cut and universal child-care benefit score better, with 28 per cent and 17 per cent awareness, respectively.
© The Windsor Star 2006


         Courtesy of Leo Chisholm

Subject: FW: THIS IS SCARY!!! - in less than 1 minute... (safety reminder)

That time of year, remember to keep your tree watered, it helps!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years To You And Your Family,
christmas_tree_fire.wmv  Christmas_Tree_Fire.wmv

        Courtesy of Pat Cross

        Do you remember the original Hollywood Squares and its comics?
        These questions and answers are from the days when game show responses were spontaneous and clever, not scripted and dull as they are now.
      > : Q. Do female frogs croak?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.
      > :
      > : Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.
      > :
      > : Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
      > : A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes
      > :
      > : Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep.   Are you probably a man or woman?
      > : A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.
      > :
      > : Q. According to Cosmo, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
      > : A. Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.
      > :
      > : Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.
      > :
      > : Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
      > : A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.
      > :
      > : Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
      > : A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.
      > :
      > : Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
      > : A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter,  and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.
      > :
      > : Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
      > : A. Paul Lynde:  Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.
      > :
      > : Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.
      > :
      > : Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
      > : A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.
      > :
      > : Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.
      > :
      > : Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or. in the closet? 
      > : A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.
      > :
      > : Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
      > : A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.
      > :
      > : Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?
      > :
      > : Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to? 
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.
      > :
      > : Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.
      > :
      > : Q. While visiting China, your tour guide starts shouting "Poo! Poo! Poo!" What does this mean?
      > : A. George Gobel: Cattle crossing.
      > :
      > : Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused but it certainly isn't neglected.
      > :
      > : Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
      > : A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.
      > :
      > : Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?
      > :
      > : Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.
      > :
      > : Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
      > : A. Charley Weaver: His feet
      > :
      > : Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Point and Laugh
      > :
      > : Q. Is it possible to make a monkey cry?
      > : A. Paul Lynde: Yes. Tell the monkey Tarzan swings both ways.

Peter Ineson

Subject: Comment / Quotas

There can be nothing more demeaning to any person than to be told, directly or indirectly, you were hired because I have to meet my quota of....(females, non-whites, handicapped, etc.). The voters will decided at each and every step of the process who they wish to represent them, politically, and employers ( in both public and private sectors) should only be concerned about hiring the best candidate for the available job, rather than meeting someone else's quota.

Ian Berg

Prime Minister Harper's political philosophy is pragmatism, not conservatism.  He is not pursuing sweeping changes and avoids taking an extreme position on anything.  He is reducing the GST just one percentage point at a time. No big spending cuts like his Reform and Alliance predecessors advocated when they led a portion of his current caucus have been implemented. Rather than a Triple E Senate, he's advocating a popular vote to inform him about who he should ask the Governor-General to appoint. He's had a free vote on same sex marriage which his government "lost" yet he won because he wanted the issue to go away and it appears to be dead now.  I suspect that despite his record of attacking the Wheat Board monopoly he would also like that issue to go away with a victory for the pro-monopoly side in the upcoming plebsicite promised by Chuck Strahl.
The Prime Minister supported the deployment of Canadian troops to Afghanistan while pledging no assistance to the Americans in Iraq. He's in the middleground on the environment with a Clean Air Act that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions with incentives, rather than penalties, to make big business act. He struck a compromise deal with the Americans on softwood lumber to settle the issue and vindicate the floor-crossing of David Emerson.  His bold decisions so far was to close the income trust tax loophole and recognize the nationhood of the Quebecois but in both cases he received more criticism from his own party than from the opposition or shapers of popular opinion.  
We do not hear much from this Prime Minister about reforming Medicare. I mean, when was the last time the federal Health Minister was even in the news?  The reason is that any proposal for change would be seized upon as a radical move towards American two-tier health care by his opponents. This seems to be the only place so far where he has not clearly outlined a moderate, conciliatory policy somewhere between the status quo and privatization. Expect fear-mongering in the build up to the next election day about Harper's "hidden agenda" because it'll be the the best strategy the Liberal, NDP and Bloc can come up with against the Tory government of 2006.
Ian Berg
Calgary AB

Robert Ede"

Subject: State Religion

Reacting to one small bit from Stratos in DD
Our DD friend Stratos commented "Indeed. Despite my being religiously oblivious (I'm an agnostic at heart), I can't help but be angered at this kind of stupidity. Conscious, active suppression of religious symbols and practices, as a general rule (<== which doesn't cover obnoxious exceptions!), amounts to "anti-religion", which is itself an ethical (and thus a religious-like) creed in itself. I mean what's next ... no more Chinese New Year's celebrations because festivities are noisy?"
Indeed! What we all need to realize is that there IS a "state religion" in Canada. It's secular humanism.
Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. Like other types of humanism, secular humanism is a life stance or a praxis focusing on the way human beings can lead good and happy lives (eupraxsophy ).
Humanism is a broad category of active ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities­particularly rationalism. Humanism is a component of a variety of more specific philosophical systems, and is also incorporated into some religious schools of thought. Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, Humanism rejects transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on faith, the supernatural, or divinely revealed texts. Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of human nature, suggesting that solutions to human social and cultural problems cannot be parochial.

Notwithstanding all that 'intellectual' blather, it boils down to a belief system, with tenets similar to : Humankind IS God, Humankind AS God, Humankind IN PLACE of GOD and Humankind as ALL THERE IS.
"Science" NEEDS secular humanism to support ITS claim to being "the way to the truth".
"Great thinkers" NEED secular humanism to support THEIT belief that there is no thinking and no 'mysteries' beyond their ken.
(Welfare-State)"Government" NEEDS secular humanism to support ITS claim to being the "source of help & salvation".
Political Leaders NEED secular humanism to support THEIR claim to Ultimate Authority.
Sadly for all of these, in Canada our country's traditions of thought and law are based on humankind being frail mortals (not super/wo/men) susceptible TO the push and pull of "Human Nature" (which I will define as being a propensity to selfishness - an attraction to the forbidden, a desire for more-in-exchange-for less etc etc)
Canada was built on the assumption that good wo/men CAN be tempted to do wrong, CAN be tempted to abuse the powers of their offices AND CAN fall prey to schemes 'that hurt no one save the treasury'.
Canada's "operating system" was approved by experts on Human Nature - the Privy Council of Great Britain and the pragmatic Canadians who found THEIR ambitions and visions statemated.
The 1867 plan was to terminate British responsibility for military defense of the B.N. American territory in face of the (inevitable) American strength. BUT all the participants KNEW that Canada was not ready to be a country. -the laws were a mish-mash, the territory was sparsely populated/barely explored, the people simple and accustomed to following instructions from on high.
The British system of authority of the Crown stems(ed) from the Divine Right of Kings - which is fine so long as the citizen/subjects belief in the Divine (and the SAME Divine)
Canada and Canadians pretty much agreed on this til after the second world war and until the plenty of the post-war period (50-60's).
This plenty (?attributed to being as a result of benevolent gov't central planning?) made faith in the Divine and deference to the traditional Code of Conduct of "the Book" seem unnecessarily restrictive to "the flock" and an unncessessary "power-partner" for the government Leadership to need to share 'loyalty' with.
Pearson, Trudeau et a thought "If the people wanted to be tempted by the forbidden, wanted to fall off the wagon, wanted more-widespread moral laxitude ... who are WE to tell them it's wrong?"  AND if the churches think they'll fight the slippery slope of societal decay ... let them try ... all they'll do is lose parishioners."   Leaving US in charge.
We win the battle and do not even have to fight.
The Divine Right is gone.
The Queen is gone.
The British Privy Council is gone.
The Churches are subservient tax-break beneficiaries.
The tenets of the Christian faith are undermined.
Grandparents are off on their own somewhere
The Family is now a 'temporary' thing of convenience.
The kids are besotted with TV morality and pop music promiscuity
Who's to say ANYTHING is right or wrong?
Give it two more generations and no one WILL KNOW what's right or wrong.
Unless ...
Unless you ...
Unless you do something about it.
What is your Code of Conduct?
What is right and wrong to you?
How many excesses before YOU take a stand?
Canada was founded on trust in honourable people, behaving honourably within a system that made it impossible for dishonourable people to amass too much power, thereby limiting their ability to mess up the basic system.
Canada's written 'operating system' was designed to split and share power so that Human Nature could not become 'King'.
Nobody dreamed that the government Leadership would decide NOT% to follow the supreme law and Nobody dreamed that the people, the pundits, the papers and the courts would go along.
But it happened.
How shall we live in 25yrs?
Will we get there if we to continue on this path of Humankind as God?
How shall we live?
Who will decide?
Whose 'Dominion' IS this Dominion of Canada?
Merry Saturnalia.