Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Daily Digest November 21, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Making time for the new slime

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Keeping in touch with the grassroots


         Double, double, oil in trouble

AMHERST DAILY NEWS - Getting tough on youth crime

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Failures on Kosovo boomerang

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Against the elements

        Modest proposals

OTTAWA SUN - Security borders on ridiculous

TORONTO STAR - Climate change a test for Harper

        The beauty of anonymity

NATIONAL POST - Day of the skeptics

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - We can do more for our children

WINDSOR STAR - The Olympics
A boost for our athletes

SUDBURY STAR - Odds on Mulroney; Little evidence that anything was wrong, and Harper had no role

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Mindless officials endanger lives

REGINA LEADER-POST - Troubling Questions
Mounties jumped the gun

CALGARY HERALD - Old-fashioned staying power

         Technology not the problem

         Higher, faster stronger, richer
        Canada's best Olympic athletes deserve a national thank you

A little technology could have prevented Taser tragedy

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Taser 'vacuum' intolerable

         Olympic cash

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - The RCMP's perception problems

VANCOUVER SUN - When it comes to buying and selling companies, Canadians strike it rich

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - B.C. police services must be made more accountable

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Forest-land deal overdue for audit


B.C. band wins landmark land claims case

Two land claims take two very different paths
Negotiations led to the Maa-nulth Treaty, while a court is set to decide who owns the Nemiah Valley. Is one way superior to the other?

Army stocking up on essentials for Afghanistan: guns and bullets

Mishandled-weapon cases alarm military's top judge

Harper talking reconstruction during spending spree on arms

Allies losing the battle for Afghanistan, think-tank says

U.S. to put 10-digit fingerprint scanners at border

Canadians paying more to recoup currency losses in the U.S.: Retailers

R&D key to revitalizing, transforming region

Exporting expertise to the world

Harper set to visit `forgotten' continent

Europe slams Canada's new stance on death penalty

Putin rattles nuclear sabre in battle with NATO
U.S. missile shield plan denounced as 'muscle flexing'

Then and now, self-interest trumps principle every time

Canada edges toward deadly nuclear embrace

Stem cells made from human skin

Independent reviewer named to report on RCMP Taser use

A look at the controversial guns and how they work.

Taser manufacturer wants role in review process

Prisoner rate rises first time in decade: StatsCan

RCMP watchdog worries about 'dehumanizing' aspect of stun gun use

Montreal immigrants fuel debate on accommodation

McGuinty called small for bid to get better Commons seat deal

Quebec taking action on gas prices #

Opposition blocked from Canadian delegation to Bali climate talks

Tories widen lead despite Mulroney-Schreiber flap

Casey: Cancellation of Atlantic accord briefing snub to N.S.

Accord meeting cancelled for fourth time
Politicians looking for information about the new offshore agreement were left hanging yesterday when finance officials abruptly snuck out the "backdoor" before the briefing began,

Spat over seat numbers hits Commons

Commons ethics committee in chaos over Mulroney hearings

Flaherty a bit less worried about lofty loonie

Bernier opts out of meeting on Pakistan's fate
Harper set to attend leaders' summit, but junior minister will join discussion considering suspension of South Asian country

No price tag on Dion poverty plan

Europe right to criticize Canada, Rae says

                         L'affaire Schreiber

Mulroney admits to making a 'colossal mistake' in taking cash

Mulroney broke when he took Schreiber payment: spokesman

Extradition will be delayed, Liberal claims, as committee bickers

No regrets over $2.1M payment, Chrétien says

Didn't know about payments, Chretien says
RCMP kept him in the dark about $300,000 Schreiber paid Mulroney, ex-PM says

Let's get ready to rumble!
Inquiry into Mulroney-Schreiber affair will be one big grudge-match

Opposition not buying Mulroney's explanation for accepting Schreiber cash

Sorry, Lavoie - It Is Our Business, Your Boss Mulroney Made It Our Business

Revived crime bill sails through committee without amendment

Tories move to tackle identity theft

Tory move gets green-thumbs up
N.W.T. wilderness area to receive wetlands status

Tories dismiss concerns over city infrastructure

Crumbling cities' plea fails to sway Ottawa

Flaherty tells mayors to 'stop complaining' about infrastructure woes

Official languages watchdog backs minorities against government
Will intervene in court-challenges case

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Harper sur la sellette Harper under fire

Maintenance contract for submarines likely to be cancelled, sources say

EI short-changes women, study suggests

Copying California

Scientists' global warnings shouldn't be ignored

Taxes beat red tape
Carbon tax propelled Norway to global leadership

Wherever tried, taxes failed environmentally

Learning to fight a long war

Diversity in public education largely a myth

We're no bigots
Don't confuse the defensive proclamations of an anxious minority with mainstream Canadian opinion about immigrants

The price of gas

Internet 'brownout' imminent, study warns

Officers seem to use Tasers as substitute for effective policing

A despicable smear campaign

Sense of history lacking

Taser tragedy has dealt heavy blow to folk-hero status of famed RCMP

New details add questions to Taser case
Immigrant's troubled past might have caught up with him at the border

The college campus: Anti-Semitism's last North American refuge

Former prime minister speaks
Joe Clark delivers annual lecture

Trying to save the world, one idea at a time

Quebecers don't know what to make of Mulroney

A tour of Stephen Harper - Brian Mulroney "friendship"

Harper, among others, has ignored a lot about Airbus over the years


Mulroney distille sa version des faits

Prix de l'essence
Projet de loi critiqué

Supplément de revenu garanti
Harper sur la sellette

Comité d'éthique
Les esprits s'échauffen

Recherche - 210 millions pour neutraliser les bombes des talibans

Les libéraux doutent de la motivation de Mulroney

Le SCRS critique le laxisme du Canada en Immigration

Contestation judiciaire: Fraser veut intervenir

Albright plaide pour la poursuite de la mission en Afghanistan

Deux cents cas de drogue par an dans les Forces canadiennes


From: Ron Thornton
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 20, 2007

Hi Joe:

I read the article you posted from the Amherst Daily News headlined "Fighting Global Warming The Wrong Way."  In it, the writer concludes by stating "It seems that our responsibility should be aimed toward adapting to ultimate consequences, not in attempting to alter the unalterable. "  That writer, John McKay, is not only a member of the paper's Editorial Board, but it appears he is also an intelligent man. 
We need more intelligent men like him.


From: "John Halonen"
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 20, 2007

Trying times these days.
Like many I had to step back and consider the options when the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform joined to form the new Conservative Party. I was fortunate to have the Progressive Canadian Party step up and fill the void.
Once again another decision must be made as we are in midst of another upheaval. This time unfortunately there is no other party that seems to fill most of
my requirements.  I hope that for many they will be able to make that decision for themselves but for now I look forward to the thoughts and perspectives of many Canadian citizens that were part of the Progressive Canadian mentality.
John Halonen

. . . there is almost always speed bumps in every enterprie.

The Progressive Canadian Party (PC Party on the ballot)
continues though some have joined others in becoming
Liberals .

For those who find it repugnant to support either of the
party of Prime Minister Harper or Opposition Leader Dion
the PC Party is but an e-mail away on your PC (hate puns)


From:Jacob Rempel, Vancouver
Subject: Fighting global warming the wrong way, by John McKay in the  Amherst Daily News

Dear Joe Hueglin, Editor DAILY DIGEST:
I was pleased to read John McKay's editorial piece which you included today in your DAILY DIGEST.

Fighting global warming the wrong way
...concluding paragraph:
"It seems that our responsibility should be aimed toward adapting to ultimate consequences, not in attempting to alter the unalterable."
John McKay is a member of the Amherst Daily News Community Editorial Board
I was impressed by John McKay's cogent summary of the global warming science information, except that he omitted the information that we can in fact ameliorate the damage
by changing our ways of extracting and  processing the natural products of planetary resources. The scientists also present the information that necessary old and new
technology exists and is already being applied but not yet quickly enough. But there is time to reduce future damage.
McKay also writes,
It seems that our responsibility should be aimed   toward adapting to ultimate consequences..."
Like McKay, I believe this is imperative. What concerns me is that the public debate must also educate us all about what governments, the corporate private sector, all other nations,
and we individual persons must do to adapt without getting badly hurt more than necessary.
What also concerns me is that the debate and campaign to reduce harmful emissions from all energy uses is delaying the discussion of and correction of other terrible modern technological errors and political changes which threaten the well-being of life on our planet, including the health of our vulnerable human bodies.
[ Yes, modern technology has improved my life, perhaps saved my   life with vaccinations and with quick and easy surgical intervention. ]
Nevertheless, the use by industry of chemical interventions in plant and animal husbandry, the use of these same chemicals in war industries, interventions in plant and animal reproduction by genetic engineering, the control of these technologies by mega size international corporations bigger than and not accountable to governments, God, or the people, corporate leaders who appear to influence and even control the policies of government including decisions to go to war in support of corporate interests -- these are great new technologies and industrial forces that threaten not only democracy, but our health and welfare in Canada and around the entire planet.
I am encouraged by the fact that those who seem to deny human responsibility for climate change do now recognize the change, and verbalize the need to adapt to the inevitable change.
What we need now is government , political, corporate, individual, and international leadership to make the necessary changes in industry and in personal lifestyles for all people everywhere to improve their ways as we all adapt to changing climate and social/political circumstances.
Human individuals and societies change slowly, hence conservative politics will always have a role. However, the swords of Damocles hang over all our heads like guillotines, and very forceful progressive politics is necessary to recognize and deal with the great issues that confront us all. Partisan debating points in our discussion of these issues can prevent us from finding policy solutions and implementing them.
Political parties are necessary organizations to develop policies in a democracy, as Dalton Camp insisted, but he also accepted and  insisted on the need to work together creatively in parliament. No one party has all the knowledge and ideas that we need now.

...Jacob Rempel, Vancouver

Mulroney says accepting Schreiber cash payment 'colossal mistake'
Jack Aubry , CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I can accept this specific explanation.
My grievance with Mulroney is the fact
of the FTA and NAFTA as national policy
implementation of deep integration with USA.
This advanced process will be hard to reverse.
Smaller matters can be resolved more easily.
...Jacob Rempel, Vancouver
From: Michael Watkins
Subject: Re: Daily Digest November 20, 2007

I'm in the mood to write. For DD, if you please:

(I always am)
Michael Watkins - Vancouver Kingsway

Someone, presumably Joe, posted an article by John McKay, a member of the Amherst Daily News Community Editorial Board:

> The human ego knows no bounds. Documented periods of glaciation
> over hundreds of thousands of years, followed by interim stages of
>... that this present warming trend
> is entirely our fault, that through co-operative effort we should
> be able to change it.

It is not ego that permits the mind to investigate, measure, and conclude, but instead a willingness to look past ego, superstition, religious belief, ignorance, self-interest, and arrogance.

Putting aside thousands of person-years worth of scientific study which has led to the climate-change conclusions that some would like to overturn, what is so difficult to believe of the premise that humankind's actions have been the principal causative factor in the noted acceleration of planetary warming and resulting climatic change?

Over the course of the modern industrial age, scientists and lay-persons alike have witnessed many disasters in the natural world which are directly as a result of humankind's activities. To name but a few we've directly caused the extinction of many species, contaminated vast areas, acidified the rain, polluted and killed waterways, destroyed once vibrant fisheries, and starved great stretches of the Gulf of Mexico of that life-giving gas, oxygen.

Perhaps the best example in relation to Mr. MacKay's faulty premise is the apocalyptic, completely human-caused, disaster relating to the destruction of the planet's ozone layer. Chemicals produced with profit, not safety, in mind and with no regard for their ultimate impact on the broader environment were found to be lingering in the
upper atmosphere for years, morphing into their component and even more destructive parts which then attack ozone layer which protects the earth. There were zero such halo-carbons in the atmosphere prior to modern industry.

Despite the persistent (and familiar in this day and age) lobbying efforts of scientific skeptics and their self-interested industrial sponsors, humankind got to live another day solely because of international adoption of the Montreal Protocol and treaty of 1987/1989.

It was not ego but rather a willingness to look past ego which led scientists, and supportive governments, to champion the Montreal Protocol and create an international political climate which helped ensure broad compliance.

A quick aside: Industry, instead of being grateful that a catastrophe had been avoided through the use of logic and science, used the experience instead to prepare itself for subsequent environmental challenges.  It learned from the CFC battle that its best weapon was to discredit science. When science began to highlight another global atmospheric challenge tied strongly to industry, industry fought back by working to discredit science with uncertainty, straw man arguments, and misdirection. The tactic was entirely too successful for far too long; despite many western governments having ample data at their hands which would have - decades ago - justified action, "doubt" gave enough wiggle room for policy makers to avoid doing their job.

Note to MacKay: those days are long past.

Back to MacKay's premise, extrapolating his assertion and according to him, we puny humans should have adopted Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neumann's 'what, me worry?' approach to life and kept on using our CFC filled air conditioners, sending our laundry out to be dipped in tricloro/trifluoroethane, and spritzing up our hair with TFE-filled aerosols. What, we worry?

Despite comparatively small amounts (CFC/halocarbon concentrations of roughly 1,000 parts per trillion as compared to 377 parts per million CO2), ozone depleting emissions and emissions growth, unchecked, were marching humankind and indeed all life on the planet onward inexorably to utter oblivion under the destructive
ultraviolet rays of the sun which would have killed off all life more surely than thermonuclear war.

Quite contrary to Mr. MacKay's argument, humankind was then and is being led down the path to destruction by "ego", institutionalized in human ethos by religious, cultural or political beliefs, manifested in mankind's continuing campaign for the domination of each other in the name of land, wealth, and power.

Lobbyists working on behalf of climate-change skeptics and their self-interested clients frequently trot out the wooden dummy argument which suggests that we humans are puny as compared to the forces unleashed by icecaps and age-old glaciers, thus suggesting our impacts must be tiny in comparison.

While we are puny, we are many, and our technological know-how has evolved a billion times faster than the formation of planet itself.
We have developed many ways of destroying the ecologies of vast stretches of the earth, and, sadly, have on more than one occasion done just that.

Even in our own backyard MacKay's notion is disproved as a small army of massive earth moving equipment is, right now, 24 by 7, 365 days a year, changing the very face of northern Alberta by altering the landscape far more rapidly than any glacier there has ever done in the history of the planet.

I may have earned part of my respect for the earth by coming from a farming family in Ontario and from having also grown up literally next door to wheat fields in Manitoba. But by far the most profound example impressed upon me at an early age was the destruction of marine life I witnessed in Lake Ontario when we Hamilton area kids
dared venture along beaches, hoping here and there to avoid masses of dead fish.

Those images have stuck with me always, and, despite being in grade 4 when we left the area, I recall thinking that the battle between industry and the environment was not an equal one as one side had very few speaking on its behalf. One of my uncles, a steel mill worker, represented another dimension to the issue that I would only later
start to contemplate from an economic perspective, and again when he contracted cancer which, he feels, was workplace induced. Images of dead fish come to mind readily.

Are humans too puny to affect the all-powerful mother earth? No, we are too numerous and too well equipped and armed to believe that lie.

We've not been making progress, with care.