Friday, October 12, 2007

Daily Digest October 12, 2007.



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Missing the point

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Keeping our homes safe from fire print this article
Fire Prevention Week should remind us to do an inventory of our homes.

HALIFAX NEWS - Casey on the spot View comments

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Feisty Danny won't give up

Educating Tory


OTTAWA CITIZEN - Good use for technology

Mission accomplished

TORONTO STAR - The courage to run

People's verdict on voting reform

Tories better off in centre

NATIONAL POST - Re-electing a clown

So much for MMP

WINDSOR STAR - Vote aftermath
The job ahead for the Liberals

SUDBURY STAR - A toothless decision - Editorial

Canada fighting triple war

CALGARY HERALD - Rebalance the scales of justice
Police are at a disadvantage in battle against crime

Integrity was his watchword

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Fix our ailing health system
Nagging doctor shortage truly needs to be addressed

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Ontario's decision defies assumptions

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Maybe we are penny foolish

VANCOUVER SUN - Police can't eliminate every risk

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Everybody wins when ex-addicts learn to live again

Was 'Mr. Stinky' forced to hold his own nose?


Canadian Forces
Un entraînement inadéquat An inadequate training

Our man in Iraq
Did Canada really stay out of the Iraq War? The
answer is more complicated than Jean Chretien would have had Canadians believe

Afghan police complicit in kidnapping, victims say
Officers escorting contractors knew to expect Taliban

Silent service making noise in Afghanistan

Ottawa to 'work with' U.S. on passenger lists

One year later, Americans still threatening softwood deal

Monetary union?
Cutting exchange-rate volatility would come at a cost

Adult retraining falls behind in Canada

Canadian banks forced out into global arena
Forbidden to merge at home, they're buying elsewhere

Pine beetle -- Voracious pest's impact won't be
fully felt for years, but it's coming

Russia warns U.S. on missile plan

Chavez Strikes At Heart Of Planned North America Union

Five ex-communist countries sign oil pipeline deal bypassing Russia

U.S.-Turkish relations being pushed down a slippery slope

Judge's decision to lift publication ban hailed
as important victory in fight for open justice

Saskatchewan Election

Calvert opens campaign with pledge to introduce new universal drug plan

NDP's first pitch may strike back

Stelmach may call late fall vote
Response to Oct. 24 'Ed-TV' broadcast to be a determining factor

Stelmach promises security for Alberta oil companies

Royalty hike will kill pipeline

Repressive bill must be blocked

Williams no model for Stelmach to follow
Standing up to energy companies drilling off
Newfoundland a lot of risky bluster

Tory's defeat 'a tough blow' to party
Conservative members taking a wait-and-see
approach on whether leader should resign

How one proposal led core PC base to lose faith

Irate Tories point finger at Tory
Disgruntled PCs rush to blame leader for
`disaster' at the polls, fuelled by schools issue

Ontario results blur vote picture

Harper takes on Calvert

Harper picks one of Liberal party's hawks for Afghan panel

Harper names Manley to head Afghan panel; critics worry it's political ploy

Investigation launched into PM's mailing list

Former Tory staffer launches consulting company

Dion covers all bases amid word Harper plans booby-trapped throne speech

Throne Speech puts Dion behind 8 ball
With Bloc wanting an election, Liberals have a decision to make

PM 'lying' about open federalism, Duceppe says

Harper forces Liberals to abandon Kyoto

Harper, elections and the kitchen sink

O'Brien bribery probe reaches PM's inner circle

Manley to lead Afghan mission review

PM names prominent Liberal to head 'non-partisan' Afghan review panel

Ottawa urged to stop spending in provincial areas

CBC's Rick Mercer Says Canada's Social
Conservatives Have Been "Sold Down a River" by Harper Conservatives
Plight of the Endangered So-con

A manifesto in defence of liberalism and federalism in Quebec

Rights take a wrong turn in Quebec

They don't make hard-right politicians like they used to

Memo from a 'global warming agnostic'

Republicans on Canada

Ethical to end religious school funding

Harper s'adjoint les services de John Manley pour l'Afghanistan

Des lobbys juifs appuient les listes d'envois du gouvernement Harper

Les bloquistes font le point sur leur parti à la veille du discours du Trône

Un soldat canadien est accusé d'avoir causé la mort d'un collègue

Harper refuse de se mêler de l'enquête Iacobucci

L'effort humanitaire est la clé du développement

L'équipée d'un gouverneur afghan

Le retour

Pas de fusils canadiens pour les Afghans

Moscou ne veut rien savoir

Thomas Mulcair s'attaque au Bloc

Un entraînement inadéquat

Discours du Trône - Kyoto à la déchiqueteuse

L'équipée d'un gouverneur afghan

Dion prêt à toute éventualité


# 1
A positive statement. An extension of
which is thank you from our society to all who
"worked the election" in Newfoundland and
Labrador, in Ontario in the past month and
those in Saskatchewan presently and Alberta
perhaps shortly. And from my point of view as well to those who voted.

My view is that if you do not vote YOU HAVE NO DAM RIGHT TO COMPLAIN!

Should you get into a
debate/discussion/argument determine if the
person voted. If not, walk away saying "We'll talk again after you vote.
'Cause without it your opinion ain't worth diddly-squat!"

There is a # 2 and #3 and #4 but reckon they'll wait.


# 1
The courage to run

Their motives and abilities vary, but candidates
who put their name forward and stood for election
in Ontario this week share one important quality:
a willingness to act on their aspirations and
political beliefs. For that they deserve a nod from all Ontarians.

About 600 people, in total, sought public office
through Wednesday's vote. Each voluntarily
accepted the risk and challenge of political
battle, a challenge most fellow citizens would never dare undertake.

In an election where almost half of eligible
voters failed to muster the will to even cast a
ballot, these candidates – of every political
stripe and opinion – offered up themselves and tried to make a difference.

That warrants a full measure of respect.

They didn't just complain about the system, or
tune it out and give way to apathy. Win or lose –
and, indeed, the great majority lost – these
people took a stand. They showed that they cared.

All candidates can take pride in that, whether
first in the polls or trailing in last place.
They dared to step forward where so many others
held back. Our democracy could not function without them.

From: "Ian Berg" <>

I think it's a mistake by Prime Minister Harper
to not include anyone with a professional
military career at a senior level on the panel
investigating the Afghanistan mission. Lewis
MacKenzie, Romeo Dallaire or one of several
retired Chiefs of the Defence Staff would have
answered the call. Instead it's major players
are John Manley and Pamela Wallin!?!!

Ian Berg
Calgary, Alberta

From: "David E Code"

The voters of Ontario have soundly rejected the
option of switching to the MMP electoral system.
And that was not because of any lack of advance information.
It was because the MMP notion was a) too
complicated, b) no discernible improvement over
First past the Post, and c) intended to give
power to the scattered and disorganized minor
factions, whether they deserve it or not.

What the minor parties ought to do is form
coalitions and merge into a smaller number of
stronger groupings. Three parties is all we
really need. Otherwise, the fringe folk may
expect to see themselves forever relegated to last place.

David E. Code

From: "Keith Coghlan"

Subject: ONtario Election Comment

HI Joe:

Comment yesterdays referendum
vote in Ontario for electoral reform.

I hope Ontario voters understand yesterdays vote.
Because it was very certain to see many many did
not understand the question on the ballot.
Yesterdays vote killed any type of Electoral
reform in Ontario. So I really do hope that like
Sean Conway comment on TVO last night "this vote
shows Ontario voters liked and understand the
present system". Interesting to note that 48% did
not vote. Is that a show of support for our democratic system.

I think many voters expected that once MPP was
out of the way with this vote, other choices
could be looked at. I dont see any reason or
advantage for the Liberals or PC's to move in
that direction. So maybe in 10 or 15 years
someone my try again but it is clear that without
a government leader that is going to push the
issue during a election. Ontarios two main
parties will continue to share goverment between
each other over future and any chance for more
parties or views in the Provincial Parliament are dead.

The fine traditions of " FIRST PAST THE POST" since 1792 will continue.
I hope Ontario voters will not regret the chance
that was lost yesterday. Maybe the next generation will take up the challenge.

Keith Coghlan
Belleville Ontario

From: Mary-Sue

Subject: Flanagan's "Canada"

In the Oct. 11th Digest, Ron Thornton expressed
some jaded views on the notion of any lofty
ideals. People are in politics to win, no matter what. And Ernest Raymond said:

"I DON'T believe PM Harper is a benevolent
dictator. I believe he is a game-playing
manipulator. And there is a difference between
winning and governing responsibly. One that PM
Harper has not shown he is even aware of.

"Prove me wrong, anonymous, don't ask me to BELIEVE."

That's an interesting choice of words. Having
been at the 2003 convention, it was exactly this
undefined "BELIEVE" that was the slogan for Peter
MacKay. It made me wonder, "Believe what?" He
demanded we all "believe" that he was making an
honest deal with Orchard, then of course said he
didn't mean it and did the opposite.

We don't have to "believe" anything about what
Harper stands for and what he will do. It's all
been spelled out in Tom Flanagan's recent book Harper's Team.

As Flanagan told the interviewer on CBC Radio's
"The House", he wants to get rid of all the
"liberal outrider" organizations. The reason for
this is to exclude natives, women, and other
"interest groups" from access to politicians!
(This will be allowed only if those pesky females
and aboriginals approach properly through
approved channels such as big business, not as
housewives or ordinary folks.) He complained that
organizations representing these liberal losers
(well, I can't recall exact wording here, but it
amounted to that) shouldn't be able to get on a
permitted list to lobby politicians or to attend
functions such as dinners where cabinet ministers
might have to meet someone who isn't a CEO or a party organizer.

There it is from the horse's mouth. (Or the
horse's ass, depending on from which end you see
Flanagan.) Everyone should read this book and
decide whether his idea of Canada is one we all
want to live in, because unless people
effectively stand up for any different vision,
we'll get Flanaganism by degrees. Harper is the
pretty front man -- just as Layton was a pretty
front man for helping Harper get elected.

Oh, Flanagan (with a bit of help from his team)
is not going to do it all at once, or people
might notice and object. It will creep in, bit by
bit (like cutting the tail off the dog one
vertebra at a time so it's supposed to hurt
less?). Well, I suppose by then we're supposed to
be fully amalgamated into the New North America
and to forget about having any problematic
"national identity". We'll be numbed by all those
amputations of our heritage and stop objecting.

Or not?

Only Flanagan's way of thinking will be
permitted, and the red carpet will be out for oil
company execs and their cronies in Ottawa.

And not only in Ottawa. It's interesting to see
that the (re-elected) premier of Newfoundland IS
an oil executive. Astonishingly (to me) because
he's passed up a salary (being independently
wealthy, I suppose) this is taken to mean that
he's acting in the public interest. Well, if the
sum total of "public interest" is the oil
business I suppose that could be one
interpretation; in that view, what benefits the
oil industry couldn't possibly be described as
making his nest so comfortable that he can afford
to manage the province too, kind of as a sideline....

So, accepting a salary means that politicians are
just out for themselves? The salaries and
benefits paid to our current PM and cabinet
members are just encourage self-interest, so I
suppose we should cancel them.... But if I recall
correctly even the most die-hard Reform
parliamentarians eventually accepted the pensions and salaries.

This kind of reflection does tend to end up in cynicism....

Mary-Sue Haliburton

Ottawa - West Nepean


Tories may be considering new submarines, say military sources
Fair enough, what with those ones that we
recently bought from Britain being able to go
down but not up. I exclude those that tend to catch fire, of course.

Beef, pork sectors oppose U.S. labelling plan
(From the article): The proposed country of
origin labelling, to become effective in
September, would force U.S. importers of Canadian
cattle and pigs to slaughter them separately from
U.S. animals and package the meat with a sticker
reading "From Canada and the United States."
Not a problem ... as long as ALL beef from EITHER
Canada OR the US gets labelled like that. Or, if
one's being churlish, negociate that that kind of
labelling be enforced ... on a state-by-state
basis. Slaughterhouse operators in Chicago and
Cincinnati (ex-"Porkopolis") will be delighted to
segregate their beasties, no doubt. (I can see it
now ... "Raised in Montana, feed with North
Dakota grain, processed in Illinois". Yikes!).

Ex-Mexican prez: Yes, there will be an amero
Vicente Fox confirms long-term plan worked out with President Bush
Dang, let them Spics (<-- for humourous effect,
no disrespect here) into NAFTA and they think
that they're North Amuuuuricans like us. Damn
dagos jest don't git that they'll NEVAH be Yanks or Canucks ...

Note that this is a US-Mexico thing, with no
Canadian involvement. After all, why would Canada
want to couple to the US dollar? If we really
want to, we can peg ours to theirs when it's
convenient and de-peg when conditions require it.

Plus, Vicente ... Hombre, remember Argentina and
what happened to ITS pesos, pegged to Yanqui
dollares for too long. 'Nuff said, we're not buying.

Note: I suspect that this thing has to do with
Mexico's low-cost manufacturing "advantage"
getting hit with the US dollar's drop in value.
Either that, or it's China-envy ... after all,
the yuan IS largely tied to the greenback, so why
not fight fire with fire? (Cuz one can get
burnt?). I could go on about this, but I'll wait for some other time.

Politicians ignore U.S. health fiasco
Corporate control of Congress prevents reform
A. Federal Congressmen and Senators don't ignore it.
B. Corporations don't control Congress. People
and businesses with money and voting influence in
a given Congressman/Senator strongly influence
him (Mayor of somewhere in Alaska: "Why, Mr.
Congressman, without that $213-million spending
on a bridge to straddle the bay between a
1,500-person community (I think ... the figure's
small, anyway) and its airport, you can't
POSSIBLY expect the good people in my community
to vote for you!"). Congressmen/Senators exchange
favours (i.e. their votes) between themselves to
get projects paid for and everyone's happy. At
least in Congress, anyway ... something like 95%
(!!!) (and certainly more than 90%) get
re-elected in a given election. And given that
Congressmen are always in election mode (they get
eelcted every two years, can you believe it!),
there's a lot of dealing going on.

Now, since big dollars$ control individual
members of Congre$$, the resulting politics has a
big component of $$$-to-$$$ negociation and
arm-twisting, which most federal politicians find
hard to resist. There ARE notable exceptions,
though ... Bill Bradley, former basketball star,
New Jersey Senator, and contender to represent
the Democrats for the 1992 presidential election,
(and who got walloped by Clinton in an ugly case
of political character-assassination ... well
hey, that's US polityics for ya!), was such an
individual. As is John McCain, ex-POW (Vietnam
War, during which he was captured, tortured,
malnourished, and kept captive for five years in
a hell-hole), sitting Senator from Arizona, and
current candidate to represent the Republicans in
the 2008 presidential election.

U.S. politicians of all stripes wrap themselves in the protectionist flag
Hhhmmm, let's see ... this headline is from the 1780s, right?

Physiotherapists troubled by technology-induced pain
Excessive use of laptops, cellphones leads to host of 'modern-day maladies'
(Headline c. 1780s again): "Excessive use of
horse-drawn, steel-edged ploughs leads to host of 'modern-day maladies'.

The public has to be involved in the debate on biobanking
I'll say! Why should those Norwegians setting up
their bio-bank in Svalbard get to choose what
goes in it? For all we know, they're stocking up
thousands of Lapp reindeer embryos and not a
single one of hogs designed for high yields of
Canadian bacon. And let's not get started on the
kippered-herring versus Grand Banks cod issue!

Even if your kids don't like you now, they may be grateful to you later
"What was I THINKING when I electrocuted myself
in the electrotech-lab experiment when I was 23.
Thank Gawd Mom set me straight on that!".

Note 1: I really did it. I put both hands on the
end of a 240-volt transformer because I'd read
(the day before) that dry skin has a high
resistance to electricity. After a quick
calculation, I figured that the electric current
would be very low, so there was nothing to worry
about. Wrong ... it turns out that our nervous
system needs VERY little current to drive our
body. On the positive side, I did get the
pleasure of almost passing out, of being
completely anesthetized along my arms and above
my sternum (if I'd been whacked with a hammer, I
wouldn't have felt a thing), and of hearing my
heart pounding in my ears at what felt like 200+
beats per second. Don't try this at home, folks!

Note 2: And no, Mama didn't set me straight on
that. I managed to that on my very own. Until I
stung myself on electric cow-fence the next year,
that is. Then I REALLY went into retirement, zap-wise.

Note 3: And to think that I'm still an
electrical engineer after all that. On the
positive side, I CAN speak from experience when
it comes to the downside of electricity.

Inequality in society means the poor are sick more often
Tautological: inequality means the poor are sick
more often, and the poor being sick more often means there's inequality.

All very nice, but I'd appreciate more
illumination on why the poor get sick more often,
etc. We've heard precious little about that.

Reject MMP, Conservatives tell voters
"Reject the MMP ... or reject what I stand for". 'Nuff said.

Blame me if Liberals win another majority, Tory says
Conservative leader vows to fight on, puts McGuinty on spot over taxes
"Reject the Liberals ...". Oh, you've heard that one already.

Harper Tories lead sagging Grits by 7 points: poll

And to think that Quebec is contributing a good
chunk of that. It's "man bites dog" payback, with interest.

Liberals won't force an election, Dion says
105 news articles
Now that the CPC knows this, it has plenty of
time to decide what to do. Ah, the possibilities ...

Canada 'not for sale,' Industry minister says
This is the kind of nonsense that eventually
comes back at you. Oh well, if it's the thing to do for now ...

Liberals ready for a fight, Dion warns
... but they won't force an election, so I
presume that they're thinking of kazoos outside
the House of Commons. ... What? The Senate does that?

Canada to set new foreign takeover rules
"I come to you bearing money!" ... "That's all
fine, but where's the bridal kit?".

There could be darker, xenophobic reasons why
Ontarians have rejected John Tory's call for funding of faith-based schools
Since when have Darker Xenos been kicking up a
fuss? It's been a loooong time since I've heard
"Hail John Carter, Warlord of Barsoom!". (<--
Special recognition goes to those who know who
John Carter was. Hint: Tarzan. Hint: no relation to Cheetah or Tantor).

Arrogance is Liberal undoing
Thing is, most of the time it's their doing. But when it stops working ...

Depleted uranium: enduring risk
Guess we'll have to launch an "Operation Enduring
Freedom from DU". ... Pass the hat, Jawj.