Friday, April 25, 2008

Daily Digest April 25, 2008



The perks of politics

Interesting times in oil and gas

Against the fiscal tides

High gas prices a fact of life

Airwaves must remain a federal concern

Why biofuels have backfired

For whom Dell tolls

Justice calls for quick end to Martin's ordeal

Pakistan's bold gamble

Not-so-hard time

Time to end double talk

Brenda Martin is just one of 1,750

Weed, Grass, Green, Roach

School system needs reform

A caution on NAFTA

A cautionary tale

Rosy picture could darken in a big hurry

Workplace safety needs improving

Hola to caution

Canadians don't want an election
We'd end up in the same boat anyway

The right NAFTA message

Let's be pragmatic about managing beetle epidemic

Health and safety zealots leave us, well, a little sick


Scientists find 17 descendants of 'iceman' found in glacier

Natives split on judge's special treatment of accused aboriginal rioter

Two police officers assaulted in tense native standoff

Canadian Forces looking at hidden head injuries in deployed soldiers

U.S. report on Arar useless, congressman says
Homeland Security's one-page chronology of case is the only part that isn't marked secret, complains Democrat who requested it

Bank of Canada sees lower growth, flags inflation

Global recession?

The age of scarcity'
Full brunt of soaring costs to hit Canada next year

New standards present challenge to Big Three

Why China's Burning Mad,9171,1734821,00.html

Deals with tribal leaders mean trouble for Canadians

Taliban bitten by a snake in the grass

Joint Chiefs Chairman Says U.S. Preparing Military Options Against Iran
The Washington Post (04/25/2008)
Afghan Riders Saddle Up for Buzkashi Season
IWPR (04/25/2008)
Protests against food scarcity, price hike continue
Pajhwok (04/25/2008)
Former Afghan minister opposes 'Talibanisation'
HindustanTimes (04/25/2008)
Afghan opium farmers follow the money
Reuters (04/25/2008)
India formally joins Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan gas pipeline project
Thomson Financial (04/25/2008)
US official: Iran boosting support for Iraqi insurgents and militants in Afghanistan
The Associated Press (04/25/2008)
Afghanistan wary of Pakistan-Taliban 'peace deal'
AFP (04/25/2008)
Big advance in war on Afghanistan poppy
Telegraph, UK (04/25/2008)
US to heighten Afghan role?
The Christian Science Monitor (04/24/2008)

Recruiting the bottom of the barrel

Search for AIDS vaccine proving a daunting task

Viruses play part in development of lung cancer: research

Random searches ruled breaches of privacy

[] Ruling: R. v. A.M. [] Ruling: R. v. Kang-Brown

Top court collars use of drug-sniffing dogs in random police searches

Ontario's top court rejects challenge to sex offender registry

No need to change spending rules

How many deaths are too many for Alberta Tories?

Canadian province bans uranium exploration

Government vetted health board's news releases

Temporary status of foreign workers questioned

More immigrant pork-plant workers arrive in Brandon

all 160 news articles »

Ex-electoral chief told Tories to supply ad documents before he abruptly quit

Former Tory candidate 'angry' over spending scheme

The Tories might have a point ...
Advertising comes back to bite the Conservatives

Liberals call on PM for proof

Grit MP denies Tory tit-for-tat

Harper mocks the opposition

PM touts party's economic acumen, ignores volatile election-finance issue

Harper tests a new Quebec message

Canada in best shape for coming storm: PM

Tories can deliver sound economic policies, PM says

Police ready to turn spotlight on Liberal officials

Do something about polygamy in Bountiful, NDP warns Ottawa

Control slipping away; Liberals ready to let Harper, Conservatives struggle with scandals, missteps

Federal plan leaves it to firms to disclose identity thefts

Canada's drug crime bill brings calls for caution from U.S.

Terror, without terrorists
The supposed 'existential threat' that has our leaders so hysterical turned out to be a
huddled handful in the Afghan hills and a shrinking number of hapless admirers

Biofuels are part of the solution

The Government of Canada is investing a total of $2.2 billion toward the goal of reaching an average of 5 per cent renewable content in gasoline by 2010 and 2 per cent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2012, and advancing next generation biofuel technologies.

Al-Qaeda suspect was given Canadian visa: official

One Canada or 10 Canadas?

Great Lakes threatened by invasive species
University of Windsor ballast flushing program step in right direction: Experts

Politics' hidden heroes

Peak oil's a chimera. Dumb policies are the real problem

Rebirth of the piggybank?

Conservatives' strutting machismo turning women off

Has American Lost its Moral Authority?

Returning Freedom to Canada

The Supreme Court's strange sniffer dog decision

Condemned by the perversity of tariffs


Des experts craignent une catastrophique inflation des prix des aliments

Un juge maintient le registre de délinquants sexuels de l'Ontario

Le ministre Flaherty rencontrera les banquiers canadiens lundi à Toronto

La grippe aviaire est éradiquée des fermes de poulets en Saskatchewan

Crise alimentaire: Québec veut qu'Ottawa s'active à l'international

La Cour suprême balise l'utilisation de chiens renifleurs par la police

Visa à un présumé terroriste
Une erreur administrative, selon la ministre

La guerre de l'eau aura-t-elle lieu?

Dépenses électorales des conservateurs
Les libéraux exigent des suspensions

Pêcheurs semi-hauturiers
Ottawa fait une offre

Stephen Harper mise d'abord sur l'économie

La libérale Marlene Jennings nie avoir participé à du financement illégal

L'armée achète trois fois plus de médicaments


Respectfully, spending your own money? Not quite

        "We spend our own money, the Liberals spend stolen money," he said in a speech that made no reference to current allegations of election spending
         irregularities by his party in the last election.

        Your money? Up to $400.00 75% is a tax deduction to donors - so 75% is tax payer funded.  Add to this the 60% of the same dollars the in and out
        plan was to return to candidates which it has been rumoured but ot confirmed mind you was expected to go "back to CPC headoffice after the election"
        and very little (someone figure out the math) was your "own money".

Will the Montreal Gazette's admonition be followed?

        This week Charest revealed that he has sent a letter to Ottawa in pursuit of a scheme to push the federal government out of both
         telecommunications and culture policy in Quebec.

        Prime Minister Stephen Harper should tear this letter up. And privately, if not in public, he should reprimand Charest for foolishly fuelling
        such sovereigntist fantasies.

        Editorial is posted below.

Ron Thornton
Subject: Re: Daily Digest

Hi Joe:

In regards to the Supreme Court ruling that sniffer-dog searches are unlawful, I admit my first reaction was negative. On the surface, I'm with the cops. If there are drugs in my kids' school, I want them sought out. However, "slippery slope" considerations should not be forgotten.

For example, if the police can "sniff" the school, they can "sniff" your neighbourhood. If the dog smells something coming from your house, then you might soon be getting some company dropping by your home with guns drawn. For the law abiding citizenry, that should be no problem provided every cop was a good cop and every law maker and government officials was a saint. Unfortunately, the world provides many examples how the corrupt and incompetent can mess up even what on the surface appears to be a good law. 

There is a solution. If a principal has reason to believe there are drugs in his/her school, get a warrant and get the place sniffed. If there is an ongoing problem in the school, or the bus station, or the airport, or anywhere, for that matter, all we need to know is that such premises may get "sniffed" on a regular basis. If you know it could happen, then you shouldn't be surprised if and when it does.

Secret police do things you don't know are happening or could happen. However, if we all know that we might be subject to such an invasion of privacy, for very definable reasons, then it allows the public the opportunity to react so that pressure might be applied so a law may be changed or altered to their satisfaction. We already see examples of this in our airports for security reasons, so precedents have been set.

Meanwhile, so many are quick to point out their rights, be they real or imagined.  What I would like to know is what, along with those rights, are their responsibilities? You would think promoting measures that support getting drugs out of our schools and keeping bombs out of airplanes, even at the expense of loosening our right to privacy for very definable and publicly acknowledged reasons, would be a couple of responsibilities all of us should be willing to embrace. I mean, one's fellow students and passengers have rights, too.

Ron Thornton

From: Attila Lendvai
Subject: Check out "One Canada or 10 Canadas?" on Progressive Canadians for ONE Canada...

Check out "One Canada or 10 Canadas?" on Progressive Canadians for ONE Canada!

Rene Moreau"

Subject: Re: Daily Digest April 24, 2008

To Joe
From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)
re; genetically modified food
   A few points on the GMO foods;
   When the Norwegian Seed Bank was set up and opened a few months
ago, a program on CBC, the current, asked the supposed 'director' of
the Seed Bank, who incidentally had an American Midwest accent, was it
true that the sponsors of the seed bank included Monsanto and Dupont?
The answer was yes.

   In one of the e-mails lately mention was made of how Monsanto was
in the process of changing it's name since the world is on the their
bull-shit ploys. Although they are still in Chatham, (1-866-593-1125)
Ontario and New Jersey, (1866-232-7127,  in the States, I do believe
they are using the name of CropLife, Canada. It's worth checking out.

Another point worth checking out. On  CBC, Friday morning the 25th of
April, mention was made, by Kairos,  that 1.2 billion dollars is given
out to Big Oil in subsidies to do the tar-sands and such.

    Since Nafta states 'thou shalt not discriminate against foreign,
American corporations' or some such words, does this mean that we
CANADIAN taxpayers are getting to help pay foreign, American
corporations to suck Canada dry of resources at the same time
that they use our good oil and gas to suck up an overly energy
intensive product, right away, fast, before we wake up and see
what the hell they're up to?

   We won't even be able to blame Harper for stupidity and subservience
and letting himself be infiltrated,  since most of out business types
and media are judiciously silent.

   Take for example how our National Energy Board is completely
infiltratable with no protections from Nafta  or 5th column maneuvers
and management that have no idea of what's happening.

   Boy, if this gets in to the Daily Digest, it will be a miracle!
   Joe, please call to confirm receipt, anyway.
   Echelon will be upset, but who cares?

(F.Y.I. Echelon) =

Few ideas recently proposed in Quebec have been as ominous for anglophones as the Premier's new plan to gain more control, even a veto, over telecommunications policy decisions.

Ever vigilant about the slightest federal intrusion into provincial jurisdiction, Quebec politicians are once again revealing unseemly eagerness to stick their fingers into federal matters, of which telecommunications is one.

The idea that broadcasting should be tossed out into the gusty slipstream of Quebec nationalist politics should fill everyone - not just anglophones, not just federalists - with foreboding. In 1995, for example, then-premier Jacques Parizeau vowed that after independence the Parti Québécois would correct the "imbalance" in the number of French and English broadcast outlets. He also talked about maintaining some English broadcasting, though he carefully didn't say how much. Few anglophones or allophones will have had any illusions, then or now, about where that was intended to end up.

The Liberals, stung last fall by francophones' concerns about "identity," set up a party task force which proposed a Quebec veto over decisions by the federal telecommunications regulatory agency, known as the CRTC. This week Charest revealed that he has sent a letter to Ottawa in pursuit of a scheme to push the federal government out of both telecommunications and culture policy in Quebec.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper should tear this letter up. And privately, if not in public, he should reprimand Charest for foolishly fuelling such sovereigntist fantasies.

We wonder, meanwhile, what Liberal MNAs from strongly anglophone and allophone ridings think of this idea, and how they will explain it to their constituents. As we regularly do when this government abuses the trust of anglophones and allophones, we invite those Liberal MNAs to explain, in our pages, how they justify their inertia. As they regularly do, they will decline to answer.

For a vivid illustration of just how badly Quebec might use greater broadcasting power, look at the TQS controversy in Quebec City this week: Charest demanded that the CRTC reject a plan from the troubled French-language network, now under new ownership, to wipe out 270 jobs, including closing news operations in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Saguenay on Sept. 1.

The National Assembly unanimously and abruptly adopted a resolution - proposed by Action Démocratique du Québec - urging the CRTC to demand that TQS keep the newsrooms open and the news shows on the air. That was a fine piece of bravado, but it reflects reality rather poorly. Is this the way Quebec will make broadcasting policy? By requiring companies to operate at a loss?

TQS loses $1.4 million a month, the new owners say. Its big problem has been a lack of hit shows; the owners claim the money saved by the cuts will be re-invested in cultural programming and high-quality entertainment. If they mean it, that does sound like a business strategy, at least.

It would not be reasonable for the CRTC, or anyone else, to demand that a private company keep losing money. On the other hand, the CRTC gave TQS a licence on condition that it maintain a robust news operation. Letting the company off the hook is not exactly a recipe for sound governance, neither in this case nor in the future. That's a dilemma with which the federal cabinet, which can over-rule CRTC decisions, might have to grapple soon.

Such issues are complicated and important. They should not be decided by a National Assembly stampede. And they should certainly not be devolved from the federal government to those who will be tempted to use such powers for ideological ends or for social engineering.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008