Friday, February 15, 2008

Daily Digest February 15, 2008



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - The science of salmon
MONTREAL GAZETTE - RCMP files: An outrageous invasion

OTTAWA CITIZEN - All eyes on Pakistan

         Without a prayer

TORONTO STAR - RCMP culture not mended yet

         Harper's crime bill trap

NATIONAL POST - 'Canada's mission has to change'

LONDON FREE PRESS - Child porn fight merits police resources

K-W RECORD - Legislature must reflect our diversity

WINDSOR STAR - Auto industry
Now that Harper's listening

SUDBURY STAR - Dion's way out; Deal with Harper would be good for mission and for the Liberals

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Dressed to kill

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Let high court define balance in charter cases

REGINA LEADER-POST - What will 'victory' look like?

CALGARY HERALD - Money where their mouth is

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Why we can't ignore U.S. credit crunch

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Perception of bias could be easily overcome

VANCOUVER SUN - Despite its drawbacks, patient-centred funding is worth trying

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - B.C.'s soft-on-crime judges should look at sentencing stats

         Proposed auto smoking ban reeks of Big Brother

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Real volunteers don't get paid


Phil Fontaine: Deal with us as First Nations

Three of four British-built subs to be operational within next 18 months

Web warning issued for soldiers in Afghanistan

Canada must up the ante
Prosperity depends on ability to change

Stumpage fee ruling may cost Ontario

Trade reality gap

Dec. manufacturing sales at lowest level in 3 years

December manufacturing slump revives talk of Canadian recession

Recession: a clear, but not present, danger

The star-spangled delusion

Vladimir Putin's nuclear threat to the West

U.S. justice has to fill UN void

Progress limited by lack of NATO troops: general

US denies Afghan mission troubled

Afghan journalist jailed for translating Koran

Flaherty worried about Ontario's economy

Feds go it alone with funds

Federal deadlock persists despite election fever

Fired nuclear watchdog boss asks court to review her dismissal

Fired regulator suing government

Fired nuclear watchdog boss wants judicial review

Former nuclear watchdog asks court to review firing
'Canada's mission has to change'

Conservatives target over 12 counties in Quebec

Dion urges Harper to accept Liberal position on Afghanistan

Harper Tories water down impartial budget post, insiders say

Windfalls would aid infrastructure, Dion says

Bloc has its finger on the campaign trigger

Mr. Bean's self-interest

A bad time for Harper to go to the polls

The Liberals' many Afghan policies

Dion's dumb gamble

Records raise questions about Doucet testimony
Documents obtained by German authorities are dated 1988, though the former PMO staffer said he began work for Schreiber in 1990

MPs ready to toss Mulroney saga to public inquiry

Hallelujah! Impending demise of the Mulroney-Schreiber hearings

Polling firms fear political interference

Row over refugee board rookies

'Conspiracy of silence' on tarsands, group says

The end of newspapers as we know them?

Harper No "Man of Courage"
By Tristan Emmanuel on February 12, 2008 10:37 PM

Let Me Say This Again....
By Tristan Emmanuel on February 15, 2008 1:42 PM

Ain't got a prayer? Not so

Schools must break the cycle of violence and failure
Assault and gun incidents at high schools indicate something must be done

Anti-American TV is a myth
Study indicates U.S. network is actually tougher on Bush than Canadian news

In search of a Canadian leader worth following

Polygamous marriages drain taxpayer dollars
Why should Canadian laws sanction an institution that enslaves women. . . ?

Let's focus on building bridges, not burning them

Institutions emptied out and the prisons filled up


Ottawa s'attaque aux phosphates

Dion courtise les municipalités

Les conservateurs ciblent 12 comtés de plus au Québec

Les libéraux dépenseraient des milliards en insfrastructures

Le Sénat ne fera pas tomber le gouvernement

Des documents contredisent le témoignage de Fred Doucet

Le quart des commissions d'Airbus devait aller à Mulroney, selon un comptable

Les partis accélèrent leurs préparatifs en vue d'un scrutin printanier

Le premier ministre est le plus puissant selon l'ambassadeur américain

L'armée donnera des séances d'information, mais gardera des secrets

La commissaire à la vie privée dénonce des banques de données de la GRC

Sécurité améliorée dans le sud de l'Afghanistan selon un général canadien


From: Jacob Rempel
To: "Editor, DAILY DIGEST"
Subject: arrogant or self-confident

Suan wrote
"No matter who and when, it will be again a matter of democratically electing a dictatorship. Places like the Senate and CHRC are asking for this power based on the Trudeau enforced arrogance. One of my grandsons, studying in Carlton, wrote a essay on electoral reform calling Canada a "liberal democracy" so did send him a note today asking to define "liberal democracy". To it me means a country without principles. wondering what he will say, but that is what we are today, we vote and than are kicked in the butt till the next election. The unfortunate part is that we have no right to recall a Member of Parliament when failing.
.... Suan
Okay, Suan B, quite true, but refer your grandson and me now to some practicing principled perfect democracy (liberal, conservative or any other style) so that we in Canada may emulate their practice of democracy. Shall we mock and boycott elections until "liberal" democracy corrects all its imperfections? We cannot, becausewe have no other process. Only the very politicians who come to power through our current flawed process of coming to power can improve the human rights legislation and election processes, among which recall may or may not be a useful reform. I honour our present imperfect system, and seek to improve it. We have no other option.
As someone declared (Winnie the elected bulldog dictator of the UK?) our democracy is the worst system of government except for all the other systems.
...Jacob Rempel
P.S. Trudeau enforced no arrogance. He and each of us asserts an
         arrogance every time we speak out with our opinions, as he did
         with greater? self-assurance than some of us do. Like Trudeau,
         we writers of LTEs also lack humility. I'm not sure you and I will
         qualify for the Kingdom of Heaven (See Matthew, Chap 5).
...Jacob Rempel

From: J. Edgar Robertson
Subject: Re: Daily Digest February 12-13, 2008

Dear Joe,
    The idea of the House of Commons dictating to the Senate: what bills to debate,when to debate on them, in which order to vote on them or to order the time by which the Senate must vote on any bill is unconstitutional, a waste of valuable time of the MP's and is repugnant beyond belief.  This stinks of political hubris.
J. Edgar Robertson
West Hill, Ontario.


Dear Joe and Mr. M. Elahi.
Canada's CAF is tasked with a three pronged mission.
Number one; is fighting the Taliban and other insurgents throughout Kandahar Province.  Most of the fighting we read about is on or near the border of Helmut Province in co-operation with British Forces.
What we are not reading is about is the very large contingent (+/- 4,000) of the Afghan Army troops currently in Kandahar Province.  They are positioned on the CAF's right flank down towards the border with Pakistan.
These troops are sustaining massive casualties on a scale such that no NATO nation would allow their own troops to remain in Afghanistan.
With the CAF on the British right flank there is a proportionately large contingent of Afghan National Army troops on the British left flank in Helmut Province.  Again they are stretched down to the border with Pakistan.  They to are taking massive casualties, which we rarely hear about except in passing.
Second; the CAF is attempting to secure its military base, Kandahar city, protect the PRT's and NGO's in and around the city.  The latter with a very large contingent of the Afghan National Army in support.  Again the Afghans are taking almost all of the casualties.
Third; the CAF is engaged in training Afghan Army recruits.  I do not know if they are using the mirror method of combat training.  This would greatly speed the trained higher rate recruits from trained but untried to blooded and then into a competent combat status. 
At that point NATO could begin to back off and turn over all combat missions to the Afghan National Army.  It should take two to three years for that to be finished.

From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: The real truth about Afghanistan

'The battle for hearts and minds has been lost, too. A statement from the
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) sums it
up like this:'

I found the above statement from the article particularly revealing--not
just for what it said, but the fact that we are in Afghanistan 'defending
women's rights' and they have an Association that puts out statements? 
What--those women can speak and write?  And they are allowed to do this?  I
thought women were kept barefoot and pregnant and under burkas in
Afghanistan?  What is the truth?

From: "Glenn Harewood"
To: "Joe Hueglin" <>
Subject: Re: Daily Digest February 12-13, 2008


"Harper at one time suggested that the Senate would provide a check on his power. Now he is trying to over-ride that check by using a vote in the House of Commons to try to railroad a complex omnibus crime bill through the Senate. Why is it so important to prevent the Senate from carrying out due diligence? Is it possible that the wording of parts of the bill, such those involved with dangerous offenders and the use of reverse onus, could be open to manipulation?Harper & Company's record of manipulating the meaning of the law necessitates a sober second look at everything he says and does. Consideration must be given to determining what terms within any Act are open to manipulation. " (Joe Hueglin).

With respect to Harper &  Company's effort to check the power of the Canadian Senate, Canadian voters "ain't seen nothing yet."

What we are placidly standing by and allowing to happen is the deliberate eroding, bit by bit, of the tried and true traditional constitutional powers of Canadian Parliamentary government.  If we allow Harper et al. to dictate to what, how, and when the Senate should operate -- under peril of triggering an election-- then, we will soon see these Neo-cons bypassing the Senate, and ordering that the Governor-General conform to their time schedule. The Fathers of Confederation created The Senate in order to counteract this very action of the House of Commons. An elected Senate would not be able to resist the pressures of the House of  Commons.  Such pressure by  House Leader Van Loan and his Harper colleagues is ample reason why an un-elected body of sober second thought is mandatory.

Many of the moves of this Harper minority government remind me of the Harris Ontario government of the 1990's. But there should not be any surprise. Many of the minister-players of the Harris government are now part of the Harper government: Van Loan, Baird, Flaherty, Clement. Van Loan was not a minister in the Harris government, but was President of the Provincial party, and exerted great influence. I recall sitting in training sessions with him, and observing his astute ability to work within the democratic system, to re-write, and twist the content of any political document to suit his own ends. I am fairly certain that the recently-discovered instruction manuals to H of C committees of how to stall and sabotage committee hearings were written or master-minded by Van Loan and his subordinates. A clear case that I recall is when Van Loan, in his function as President of the Federal PC party, neatly had  information circulated to the all constituency presidents of all national PCPC, with the clandestine -- but not illegal -- attempt to remove Joe Clark from the leadership of the PCPC.  Many of us will recall that when Joe Clark won the by-election in Scott Brison's riding for re-entry into the Federal House of Commons, Van Loan, as President of the Federal PC party, did NOT show up at the celebration for "his" leader.

If voters re-elect Harper and this Van Loan crew, they will  erode, bit-by-bit, the Canadian Constitution such that Preston Manning's Reforms will have been realized. These Neo-cons are least interested in the overall welfare of Canadians, and, like the 2004 George W. Bush administration, are only interested in being re-elected on a wave of threats and fear. What sort of demagogues do we have running our Canadian government who, in order to extend their tenuous hold on  power have to threaten that every piece of ill-conceived legislation must be hastily passed by subjecting it to a vote of confidence?  This Harper government reminds me of a set of little children playing, and each player wants to change the rules of the game to suit his (note that in the Harper Cabinet none of the powerful players is women) own wishes. If one player does not get his wishes, then he  seeks to sabotage and end the game.

Why  would one vote for these players again???

Glenn Harewood

From: "Phyllis Wagg"
Subject: RE: Daily Digest February 14, 2008


A Liberal democracy is the name once given to a capitalist democracy.  The
word "liberal" has nothing to do with political partisanship.

Originally the term "liberal" related to the capitalist system or hierarchy
created through the marketplace.  It was supposed to replace the
traditional, conservative aristocratic hierarchy that was created through
military power.

The "democratic" element was added when the capitalist economic system began
to exhibit negative tendencies (worker exploitation, environmental
degradation, increased wealth inequality, etc.).  These negative
implications of capitalism were to be kept in check by representative

Those on the right of the political spectrum have become increasingly
impatient with the concept of democratic checks on their power.  Stephen
Harper opposes the concept of liberal democracy although it is not entirely
clear what kind of a system he wants to replace it.

Many like-minded conservatives, on the far right of the economic spectrum,
believe that democracy is a failed political system and that it should be
replaced by a "pure" form of capitalism.  They are frustrated by democratic
institutions placing checks on their economic power.

This kind of capitalist governmental system is sometimes referred to as the
"democracy of the marketplace."  In this system, those who are successful in
gaining control of the greatest amount of capital would be entitled to
control government.

It is easy to see how this new system is being incrementally introduced.
The movement to undermine the checks and balances in the system is part of
the strategy to create the new political order.  This involves the
centralizing and strengthening of the role of political oligarchies, the
legitimizing of the power of these oligarchies through law, the gradual
undermining of the public service and the strengthening of private capital
interests by transmitting the formulation of government policy from the
party and the public service to bodies representing these private special

Gradually the power placed in the electorate is being eroded and placed in
the hands of a capitalist hierarchy.  Ironically, populism has been used to
as a force for destroying the influence of the people.
To be opposed to "liberal democracy" is simply to be opposed to
representative democracy.

From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: Record Funding for Status of Women Canada under Harper Conservatives

That didn't take long for the CPC to change it's 'mind' did it?  Is there
anything this Party really stands for?

 Record Funding for Status of Women Canada under Harper Conservatives
Called an "outdated, ideologically driven sink-hole of tax money that exists only to perpetuate a militantly pro-abortion and anti-family feminist agenda"

From: Randall Garth McGunigal
Subject: Did you know what's taking place? Do others?


Attached are two items (variations on a theme)
which I am sending in for possible puublication,
the longer one as an op ed , the shorter one as a
letter to the editor.  I don't know if they are
of any use to you, but feel free to post either
or both on your site.


Randall McGunigal

(Thanks Randall One a day, eh?)

If we find ourselves in a federal election in a few weeks, it will because Stephen Harper wanted it.
With this PM, it's all tactics, all the time.  The desire for an election does not come from a belief that he can win a majority. The numbers simply aren't there. Rather, it is likely his calculation that he needs to secure a new mandate, even another minority,  before things go sour and his government is forced to bear the blame. Based on the bill passed in the House today setting a deadline for the Senate to pass anti-crime legislation, he even appears to be willing to create a constitutional crisis in order to set the stage for the election he wants. Parliament has no constitutional right to dictate to the Senate, however one may regard that institution.

The nation's finances are now  in peril, as acknowledged by Finance Minister Flaherty recently. A nation which posted a 13 billion dollar surplus last year is now at risk of going into deficit, should the economic woes of the US economy affect us any further.  This is entirely due to decisions made last Fall by the current government. An unprecedented  10 billion dollar payment on the national debt and massive  tax cuts have both done away with the financial cushion and reduced future government revenue. There may be no money in the treasury to fund current programs, to soften the effects of a possible recession or to fund the military effort in Afghanistan. There will be no money to pay for Harper's loudly trumpeted promise of putting 2500 more police officers on the streets and, ironically, no money to pay down the national debt, which was such a high priority of this government  just a few months ago. No, Mr. Harper does not want to run in a time of financial distress. He would rather run now, before he has to bring down a new budget.

He would much rather   create a scenario where he can label the Liberal Party as soft on crime and the Senate as obstructive.  Inflammatory Conservative brochures delivered in the riding of Winnipeg South Centre by Vic Toews and Rod Bruinooge are dishonest and very personal attacks on the sitting Liberal MP and they give a clear picture of just how negative and divisive the coming Conservative campaign will be. 

Mr. Harper may find to his surprise that the Canadian people are not so easy to fool and that  they know that clever tactics and good government are not one and the same thing.  

Randall McGunigal
621 Elm Street