Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daily Digest November 14, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Counting the injured

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Debating a provincial ban on pesticides

CAPE BRETON POST - Liberals seek policy voice
Armchair strategists said Opposition Leader Stephane Dion fumbled when he suggested his Liberals would consider raising the GST if they get the chance after the Tories lower it a second time.

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Mulroney's big mess

MONTREAL GAZETTE - A public inquiry will clear the air

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Coping with growing pains

         Another lost chance

         Neutrality matters

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER - No justification to fear large day-care chains

         Mankind seems to be edging closer to an era of famine

TORONTO STAR - Is Canada failing Afghan captives?

NATIONAL POST - Engineering terror

LONDON FREE PRESS - Banning plastic bags one answer

WINDSOR STAR - The Airbus inquiry

SUDBURY STAR - Mulroney won't damage Harper

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - PM joins stampede

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Claims demand public inquiry be fully open

CALGARY HERALD - Double standard

         Attacking the messenger 

Moving Remembrance Day message sets the tone

EDMONTON JOURNAL - What's wrong with this picture?

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Inquiry better late than never


VANCOUVER SUN - Protecting the integrity of the PMO requires an exhaustive inquiry

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - Angry parents must be watchful about vigilante justice

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Mulroney probe must go to the top


Opposition MPs demand inquiry into records on nuclear tests
Defence officials stonewalled us, ailing veterans say

'Horrible experience'
Couple 'cuffed by U.S. guards victim of mistaken ID

Strike three
Flaherty tables interest deductibility legislation

Foreign ownership myths

Manufacturing slows Canada's leading indicator growth

Beef sector burned by hot loonie

Soaring loonie hurts lobster industry as Maritime fishing season opens

Gender equality makes good economic sense
Study shows treating men and women equally pays real dividends

Ottawa negotiating pact with Israel

The rising Asian triangle

Musharraf clings to power
Pakistan clings to stability; West hesitant to hasten departure of military dictator lest Islamic extremists seize control of nuclear-armed nation

New Afghan prisoner abuse allegation uncovered: Bernier

Transfer of detainees is complicity ...

US eyes Pakistan's nuclear arsenal
The tiger that the US is riding is becoming harder to dismount.

Gangs, guns, top agenda as Canada's justice ministers meet in Winnipeg

Provincial justice ministers call for less jail time credit for offenders

What happens when family compact is broken?

B.C. to ask gang-war help at justice ministers talks

Alberta takes the lead on health-care spending

Tories' clean image at stake

SES-Sun Media poll finds Canucks not thrilled by leadership choices

Frank McKenna's eye on Liberal leadership?

                          L'affaire Schreiber
                           all 516 news articles »

Harper names law professor to set rules for Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry

Johnston's terms of reference

Canada scandal probe outline due by January 2008

Man in charge of Mulroney-Schreiber review once worked for former prime minister

Liberals trot out MacKay's resume
Defence minister once worked for Schreiber-connected arms maker

Despite denials, Moores worked on Airbus file

Gomery: Inquiry is a judge's nightmare

PM's story a bit of a stretch


The front of Brian Mulroney Yves Boisvert La Presse

Mulroney: `I am going to fight and win again'

Extradition put on hold?
Judicial Inquiry; Schreiber positions himself as key figure

Justice Minister rejects Schreiber's case
Arguments to halt extradition raise no new issue, Nicholson tells lawyer Edward Greenspan

Justice minister in conflict in Mulroney affair, Liberals say

Allegations 'not part of plan,' Schreiber insists

Author likely tops former PM's journalist list
Stevie Cameron has been writing about the pair since 1988

'Cold shoulder' edict is obeyed
Tory MPs seem to be going along with shunning affable Brian Mulroney

A veteran's advice: Probe won't clear the air
Sinclair Stevens spent 15 years under cloud of suspicion after inquiry

A public inquiry into Airbus affair would be a great show
People should be careful about Mulroney - he's not a guy you would want to mess with

Mulroney gets his wish

No guarantee all will come out in wash

Inquiries can be tricky political tools that can turn on their wielders

Scandal in the wind
Will 14-year-old story damage Harper, or those throwing the mud?

Flaws of logic in Schreiber Affidavit hint to possible Mulroney defence strategy

New bill to give Alta, B.C., Ont, extra Commons seats

McGuinty Seeks Fairness For Ontario
Federal Legislation Would Weaken Ontario Representation In House Of Commons

'I just had to get on with it'
As his 60th wedding anniversary approaches, Prince Philip is the very model of dutifulness

Canada doesn't need mandatory minimum sentences

It's no holiday
Companies try to make medical tourism seem like purchasing any other consumer item, but consumers should know how kidneys are bought and sold

Different ways to give

The corruption of oil money

Military needs funding for inevitable surprises Colin Kenny

You are what you think you're eating
Pity poor consumers -- the more they learn about marketing, the more confused they become.

Why is so little being done to tackle the problem of violent females?

Accidents prove tankers don't belong off our coast

An ethnic staple makes news (DOMINION/PROVINCIAL FOUL UP)

Time for judicial spine

Low-caste Indian villager lynched
A low-caste Indian man has been killed for shooing away cattle belonging to upper caste people in the western state of Madhya Pradesh, police say.


Une fondation de recherche rendra hommage jeudi à Brian Mulroney

Journée mondiale du diabète: 2 millions de Canadiens en souffrent

Des experts examinent la prédation des stocks de poisson par les phoques

Un biologiste craint pour l'avenir du maquereau dans le Golfe St-Laurent

Le premier ministre annonce une enquête publique sur l'affaire Mulroney

Marc Lalonde verserait volontiers une nouvelle caution pour Schreiber

Les conservateurs mènent les sondages; l'impact de Mulroney reste inconnu

Afghanistan: Bill Clinton demande aux Canadiens de persister

Des attachés politiques occupent des postes fictifs dans la fonction publique

Le gouvernement Harper fait fi de Québec et réintroduit sa réforme du Sénat

Enquête publique Opinions partagées

Affaire Schreiber-Mulroney David Johnston à la barre

Affaire Mulroney-Schreiber Mulroney entend se battre

Énergie Les grands acteurs se réunissent à Rome

Mulroney: enquête publique

On réforme le Sénat ou on l'abolit

Le front de Brian Mulroney

Les conservateurs tentent de se distancer de Mulroney



On the Senate reform or abolish it

The Harper government ignores Quebec and reintroduced his Senate reform


                          The English-language.papers had one focus to-day L'affaire Schreiber . Not so the French-lanhguage press.

                          "On the Senate reform or abolish it " is an absolutely inane statement.  The Senate could not be abolished by a
                          majority Harper government without agreement of the more populous provinces.  It's dumb stupid to make threats
                          you can't carry out.
                          "The Harper government ignores Quebec and reintroduced his Senate reform", for why? 

                          Most improbably to ensure continuing support in the west where the concept of Effective Equal and Elected began
                          but where the abolition of the Senate would be rejected for reasons stated earlier by Preston Manning when he was
                          Leader of the Reform Legacy Party .

                          Frankly, there's nothing to gain politically by pressing the issue - and potential down sides in Quebec.

                          But this is all from my perspective. Perhaps someone who has access to Marjorie and Peter's thoughts might
                          ask them and inform us what the rationale is.


From: Eugene Parks

Subject: RE: Daily Digest November 13, 2007

Dr. Carson, I have to vigorously challenge the historical vacuum you speak from and the vacuous analogy you made when you, James Carson, wrote. "
history shows that John A and The Progressives were diametrically opposed in policy. Progressives of the twenties were for free trade, John A was against, and for high tariffs that enslaved western farmers to the Toronto establishment. Now Progressives seem to be Anti-free trade, anti-American, anti-capitalism. They seem to be for unbridled socialism and Big Tax Big Government, central command and control economy,
[Eugene Parks Responds]: At the time of John A, my Canadian empire loyalist family, my Canadian French ancestors, and my Canadian indigenous forbearers did not want integration with the US; instead they set out to build the Dominion of Canada. Notably, Liberal opinion of the time wanted to put colonial and revolutionary conflicts, and consequential divides, somewhat behind Canada-US relations (not an unreasonable position to take if implemented in moderation). Accordingly, the Progressive of that day supported both building Canada and moderately relaxing US-Canada relations. Conservatives of the John A era wanted to preserve loyalist sentiments and build up the dominion without much risk-laden involvement with the US (also not an unreasonable position to take if implemented in moderation).  Both Progressive and Conservatives of John A's time wanted to build the Dominion of Canada – notwithstanding your belief they had nothing in common.
Today, "progressives" are arguing that we have gone too far in integrating with the US and so we need to re-emphasize building up Canada and take back US and global relationship excesses.  I also argue that conservatives also are those that want to emphasize building up Canada.
In contrast, Harper conservatives want integration with the US and show no interest in redeveloping a uniquely Canadian national interest. They prefer provincialization of the country and integration with the US – from Mr. Harper himself.  Notably, Mr. Harper's view is not found in either historical progressives or conservatives. Harper's uniquely new perspective (for a *Canadian* Prime Minister) is not about Canadian national interests. He has broke faith with both Canadian progressive and Canadian conservative values.
Aside: As for  your painting of Harper's political opponents as unbridled socialist, or this that or the other slur you can think of… being attack addicted is the Harper team's way… just partisan trash talk… so move along to something more meaningful, please. But, I most point out that *you* hypocritically wrote
 James Carson said,
but rail against Harper exhibiting any leadership over his party, even though in the current discussion Re; Warner, it is clear that Warner was determined to set his own policy agenda, contrary to conservative policy and basically dared the party to do anything about it."

[Eugene Parks Responds] James, you are on the record stating that Stephen Harper is not believable. So forgive us all for not believing Harper's team when they say the issue is Warner setting his own policy agenda. And forgive us for not accepting that a potential MP cannot bring forward issues of interest to his constituency.  And forgive us for thinking that Mr. Harper's platform has nothing to do with preserving Canada. Mr. Harper's direction is his own, as you are on the record stating. In contrast, I am inclined to believe Warner was thinking of his constituency and his country…. but was sadly mistaken in believing that Harper conservatives are of the same conviction.

From: "John Dowson"

Subject: Re: John . . .

Correction Fred Doucet Mulroney Advisor.  Mulroney probably waited until Manning and Joe Clark left to engineer the so called merger, using the excuse that as long as there are two parties on the right they will split the vote and the Liberals will always come up the middle. This was and is Harpers position, and now that they are all in one caucus they shall speak with only one voice "Harpers" Why have cabinet meetings..The US Republicans have progressive and social wings in their caucus as do the Democrats, but in the CPC it is forbidden to express progressive views because your looked on as a traitor. So you must put up and shut up. Since I was isolated as Progressive in my riding association (Opps I must use the CPC term Electoral District) I was looked on as not only a traitor but I was physically attacked by a member of the riding associations executive for asking to have the merger decision debated by the directors. As I see it the only way to change the party is to do what Alliance did, join the CPC and work from within to take it back. John

----- Original Message -----
From: Joe Hueglin
To: John Dowson
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 6:48 PM
Subject: John . . .
. . . the name in maroon?    Fred Doucet Globe and Mail , Friday November 9 2007

Dunno who you means.
Reading the Saturday Globe and mail about the Mulroney affair and the connection with Fred Doucet and Elmer MacKay it becomes painfully clear that Brian Mulroney was in all probability the architect of the demise of the Federal PC party. I believe that Peter MacKay was selected and hand picked by Brian Mulroney to become the leader of the PC party with the understanding that he would had it over to the Alliance. The leadership campaign went according to plan, but they hadn't figured on Orchard He was the fly in the ointment. According to the Globe Doucet Peter MacKay was counseled by Doucet and I can only assume he was told to sign anything because the fix was in to join the Alliance. I believe that Mulroney was the broker, and the planner of the secret clandestine meetings of the Merger Captains in each riding and the fix was in. There were no discussions on the December weekend the papers were all written just waiting signatures. When it came to running for the leadership of the New party MacKay did not run, the question is why, who paid off his campaign debts, and was that the payoff of his debts the cost of leaving the new party to Harper who was the only person who could keep those yahoo reformers quiet. There you have it, speculative, but plausible John Dowson

From: Caspar Davis

Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 13, 2007

Caspar Davis, Victoria

Hi Joe,

I've got too much to do to respond to your list, but got sucked in by Dr. Carson's post, which I answer interspersed with the original:

From: "Dr. James Carson"

Subject: Legacies

But why would the 'Progressives' care where the Conservative Party ends up.
Because we care about the future of Canada, is rapidly dwindling under the combined assaults of P. Martin (as Min Fin and PM) and S. Harper.

From what I have seen 'progressive' and 'conservative' are mutually excusive concepts.

That may be so in terms of political history, but is certainly not so in terms of common semantics - nor was it so politically in Joe Clark's day (hence, I guess, the loathing he seems to have inspired in many 'conservatives'.) The plain meaning of 'conservative' would seem to be "inclined to conserve" - to conserve the best of society, as well as the natural environment. A conservative conserver would not forget that the economy is a subset of the environment, not the other way around. However, political 'Conservatives' have proven to be very radical over the past 40 years, using all their wealth, power, and influence not to conserve the best of human society (let alone the environment) but to undo the progress of the first 2/3 of the twentieth century and return us to the dark times of Dickensian England and the robber barons. The only thing they seem determined to conserve (and enhance) is the disproportionate wealth of the mega-rich.

Although Mr Hueglin, as I recall self-described as a conservative
 in the John A vein, and refers to the party of Harper not
being the Party of John A MacDonald, history shows that John A and The
Progressives were diametrically opposed in policy. Progressives of the
twenties were for free trade, John A was against, and for high tariffs that
enslaved western farmers to the Toronto establishment. Now Progressives seem
to be Anti-free trade, anti-American, anti-capitalism.

I can't speak for 'progressives' or indeed for anyone but myself, but I do consider myself to be progressive, in that my greatest desire is to see the human race progress in terms of survival and happiness.

I am not against free trade, but I am against corporate domination masquerading as free trade. I am against the system in which corporations denounce government assistance to the poor but themselves receive billions in fossil fuel subsidies in most countries and farm subsidies in the USA (among many other subsidies) and then demand "free trade" so that they can compete "on a level playing field" with unsubsidized subsistence farmers in Canada and in almost all of the global south. I am against countries like the USA and England, which built manufacturing economies behind tariff barriers, telling poorer countries that they are not entitled to do the same. I am against a global corporatism that has abandoned even the places where its member corporations were born, and which blackmails cities, states, and countries to drive environmental and human rights standards to an ever lower level. I am against a system that allows Halliburton to cheat taxpayers out of billions of dollars in Iraq and elsewhere, and then to move itself to Dubai.

I am myself an American by birth, a descendent of prominent colonial Americans. I am not anti-American, but I am ashamed of and revolted by the actions of recent US administrations which have befouled the principles of anti-colonialism, independence, and human rights on which the US was founded.

Even 10 years ago, let alone 30 or 40 years ago, the idea of an America that celebrates "pre-emptive war" and unabashedly tortures people would have been unthinkable; now it is the sad reality. We know from former insiders like William Blum and John Perkins that the military industrial corporatocracy (warned against by American presidents from Jefferson to Eisenhower) has long used both the CIA and the Bretton Woods institutions (and their predecessors) to pursue a largely clandestine colonialism that for a full century sucked dry less fortunate parts of the world; but in those days they did it largely in secret shadows, not in the daily headlines. I am ashamed that so many Americans have been duped by Bush and his neo-con co-conspirators. Lincoln, one of those who warned against the corporations, also observed that you could fool all of the people some of the time.

I am if anything even more disgusted that my adopted country, which for decades was a courageously independent voice in the world, supporting the ideals to which the USA pretended but which it honoured mainly in the breach, that Canada has, at the very time that the US government has most degraded itself, gotten a government that seems determined to aid and abet the USA in its self-degradation and in its military adventures in the rest of the world.

I would note that the steep moral decline of the USA began with its imperial adventure in Vietnam and that it was greatly accelerated when the elite decided that the rebellion against that stupid war represented "an excess of democracy" and marshalled its stupendous economic and media resources to undo that "excess" - resulting in regressing history by a century or so, and creating the economic and social conditions that made Al Qaeda and its ilk inevitable.

I am, I confess, anti capitalist as well as anti socialist because both if left unchecked lead to the same result - a self-serving elite that appropriates most of a nation's resources and occupies itself with playing futile games of one-upmanship while the great majority see their material lives decline. In my youth we had achieved a synthesis of capitalism and socialism that served us well, but it was not liked by those who felt it was their inherent right to rule and to monopolize the wealth of the world. Today we can see what that has brought - a world in which some people have far more of everything than anyone needs, except as a display like the peacock's tail, while the majority are racked with debt despite the fact that both partners are working longer and more stressful hours, and the environment - on which we all ultimately depend - is stretched to and beyond the breaking point on a number of fronts.

They seem to be for
unbridled socialism and Big Tax Big Government, central command and control
economy, but rail against Harper exhibiting any leadership over his party,

I am not for unbridled socialism any more than I am for unbridled capitalism. I am for tempering each with the other, as was done in my youth. "Big tax" is very much in the eye of the beholder. I have never seen a tax small enough to satisfy a tax-hater. It is clear that many things can be provided cheaper and better by cooperative action through the government than in any other way, That includes sickness care, basic research, and myriad other things. It is cheaper, but it isn't free. The greatest problem with "health care" in Canada is that - like almost all publicly funded services - it has been starved for over a decade. It is still pretty good considering that it uses a much smaller percentage of the economy than the US medical industry while covering everyone to a great degree, but it needs more funding to provide better service. Just as importantly, it needs a much greater emphasis on the much less profitable stream of prevention. It is notable that the hardships caused by funding cutbacks fall not on doctors but on those who do the nastiest jobs at the bottom of the food chain, in the hospital laundries and in trying to keep things clean.

I am very much against centralized command and control of anything, but it is very clear that (as Rene Moreau points out below) the foxes cannot adequately police themselves. To ask them to do so is to fly in the face of human nature. To take a fairly trivial example, I used to have a boat which had a leaky engine that leaked a certain amount of oil into the bilge. I know that oil is very bad for the other creatures with whom I share the marine environment, but it was a hassle to deal properly with the oil. I am not proud of it, but it is a fact that it was the regulations dealing with oil discharge rather than my rational mind or my conscience that kept me more or less on the straight and narrow in dealing with the oil in my bilge. I am sure that it is the same for corporate leaders, who are not only human but immersed in a culture that (despite mostly calling itself Conservative) is generally hostile to conservation, and who are always aware that the "shareholders" - i.e. the managers of the wealth of (primarily) the very rich are keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line with a mentality that regards a quarter as the long term and a year as a financial eternity. To ask them to regulate themselves is ridiculous, if your intent is to keep them from doing great harm to the public interest.

In short, proper regulation is absolutely necessary, not only to protect the public interest but also to keep capitalism itself functioning properly. Lack of regulation brought us the S&L scandal, Enron, the mortgage debacle, and environmental destruction. Capitalists love to talk about 'free enterprise', 'competition', and entrepreneurship, but in recent years we have seen (once again,as we did 100 years ago) that unregulated capitalism leads to monopoly, to stifling competition (look at how Microsoft has squelched almost all competition to its mediocre software except for the public-minded open source community) and to de facto command and control not only of the economy but of all government policy including war and peace by a small coterie of elite capitalists who control everything from the media to the grain market (except for the significant but bitterly attacked wheat board).

By all accounts, Harper is not "exhibiting leadership" over his party but rather exercising a heavy fist that comes down with as much force as possible on anyone who dares to express a dissenting opinion. Those who rail about "central command and control" when they are referring to the proper regulation of a mixed economy are often the very ones who shut down popular demonstrations or confine them to "safe areas" out of the public eye and consciousness.

even though in the current discussion Re; Warner, it is clear that Warner
was determined to set his own policy agenda, contrary to conservative policy
and basically dared the party to do anything about it.

   And who calls themselves 'progressive' anyway? seems to be a very
rhetorical, empty, self-aggrandizing, and sanctimonious term; as in; "I'm
progressive because I say I am, therefore everything I believe is by
definition a 'progressive' notion, and anyone who dis-agrees is therefore,
by definition 'regressive'."

I think that what progressives have in common is a strong desire to achieve the greatest happiness for everyone, not just the greatest wealth for the well to do. Having grown up in the society of the well to do, I can say with some assurance that wealth beyond what is needed to assure the necessities and some modest comforts is seldom a source of happiness, other than the glee of owning more than someone else. In my experience, happiness comes primarily from ones relationships with other people, and with ones community. Those who believe - like Margaret Thatcher - that there is no such thing as society are unlikely to lead satisfying lives, however large their bank accounts or their third and fourth houses.

Speaking for myself, what I see as progress is the lessening of suffering in the world - of hunger, of disease, of inadequate shelter, and especially of intentional cruelty such as war and torture. The advocates of corporate globalism used to chant that a rising tide lifts all boats. After 30 years of increasing inequality between and within countries, the plague of AIDS in Africa, famines, the destruction and intentional abandonment of the poor of New Orleans, the privatization of essential public services from water to the military, the growth of world-wide blowback against the smug self-satisfaction of the well-to-do in the richest countries, the only rising tide we hear much about is that in the oceans which is already eating away at the low-lying areas of the planet where a huge proportion of humanity lives.

Should the rest of us change our party name to Regressive Conservative
Party? Regressive Liberals? Regressive New Democrats? (who are neither new
nor democrats, but that is another post. ;/)
carpe diem, james carson -vancentre

I think that Regressive Conservative is a very apt name for a party that embraces and rejoices in the destruction of the very real progress made in the first two thirds of the twentieth century.