Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daily Digest July 17, 2008



They've got a right to know

Young smokers: Are there more of them?

Easing the financial load of our seniors
It's getting harder for people on fixed incomes to pay the rising costs of oil, medication and other basic needs.

Waiting for better days in shipping

The easily offended are gagging free speech  

Taser uses and abuses

Not just victors' revenge

Here's something we very much doubt would ever happen in the United States

Stop deportation of war deserters

Cellphones and kids

Slow motion genocide

Afghanistan is not an easy sell

Keeping Ontario green

Keep Khadr where he is

Making a joke of the system

It's time to replace TGIF with TGIT

WastePlan accomplished a lot of the former, little of the latter

Tell people the truth about Afghanistan

Omar Khadr
A child with adult weapons

For the love of satire

Reconsider Khadr case

HIV precedent

Smoking bylaw crosses line

Hypermilers can be a hyperdanger

Small crimes can lead to big problems

Khadr's plight      

Tough audience

Courts need new mindset

Death and taxes

Auditor reveals a public betrayal

Coleman's credibility gap

Forestry deal gives lie to claims of openess


Decapitation campaign: tracking the liquidation of Afghan insurgent commanders

U.S. forces confirm Afghan civilian deaths

Doubts over US Afghan operation

'Dozens of civilians' killed in NATO strike in Afghanistan
ABC News (07/17/2008)
U.N. Expresses Grave Concern for Afghan Boys
World Politics Review (07/17/2008)
Childhood ends at 11 for some Afghan girls
Canadian Press (07/17/2008)
Experts question whether Afghan troop surge can work
AFP (07/17/2008)
Afghan Opposition Backs Obama Troop Plan, Has Doubts on McCain
Bloomberg (07/17/2008)
How to Save Afghanistan
TIME (07/17/2008)

Pakistani Army launches operation in Hangu; Taliban issue ultimatum

Dual attacks keep Canadians busy

This is no way to run a modern military

Two Canadians slightly injured in Kandahar blast

Standing up for Gitmo is not standing up for Canada

Khadr tugs at country's conscience

Khadr's prison video confirms Canada's disgrace

Gloves come off in Khadr fight
Dallaire lashes out at Harper for not intervening in detainee's case, says Canada's reputation at stake

No easy options in khadr case, experts warn
Prosecuting suspect in Canada would be complex affair

Whistle should have been blown, experts say of Khadr
Ethicists question Canadian officials' silence over teen's treatment at U.S. jail

Ex-official upset at misinformation over Khadr visits

Canada's spy agency says it acted 'appropriately' in Khadr interrogation

Welcome back Khadr

Canadian economy remains 'robust:' Mark Carney

Mounties seize bogus goods

Small exporters face border hurdles

Russian flags aren't the real threat to Arctic sovereignty

Medical technologists sought

Pathologists appeal to Ottawa for help

Inside the straightjacket: immigration's outdated requirements

Assault suspect in Canada despite convictions

A picnic feeling but big issues on table

Premiers agree on labour mobility

Revive Kelowna accord, leaders urge

Premiers clash over emissions plan
Prairie leaders willing to 'fight' against any climate program that threatens oil riches

Climate change rift immediately apparent

Shame on Bell, buddies for their dirty tactics
Forest minister lambastes auditor for his report

Putting the corporation's interests first

Ed draws a line in the oilsands

Some Tory candidates received ad rebates 
Reimbursement made before elections body raised 'red flag'

Shouts, insults at meeting of Commons ethics panel

Author ordered to testify

Dion pushes environmental virtues of carbon tax

In and out" of ex-cons must testify

$7 billion mad cow disease lawsuit can proceed

The price of carbon doesn't matter
Reducing emissions in Canada, however laudable, is irrelevant to fighting climate change unless doing so results in creating clean technologies to help power the developing world

Heated arguments
 David Suzuki preaches that setting our air conditioners just a few degrees higher will make a big difference for our environment.
And he's absolutely right.

Geothermal `not getting any love'
Canada has significant `earth energy' potential, but critics say it's not doing much about it

The carbon footprint belongs to ...
... the nations that produce the fossil fuels or the nations that consume them?

Ethanol does not take its promises

Misguided reaction to brilliant Obama cartoon shows brutal leftist intolerance

Voters primed to make gas prices main issue

The Order of Canada is ridiculous

From crime to virtue

Tough decisions on reactors
Risk factors have to be spelled out for multi-billion-dollar project at Darlington

Buffing America's tarnished image

Convicted terrorist dodges deportation since 1988

In search of a czar
Ninety years after the murder of Nicholas II, Scott Van Wynsberghe describes the confused, morbid search for the doomed family's remains

Less crime could hurt 'law-and-order' Tories at the polls, experts say

30 à 60% de plus en frais de transport et préparation d'une auto neuve au Canada

L'opposition remporte une manche; d'ex-candidats conservateurs devront témoigner

Les provinces demandent à Ottawa une rencontre nationale sur les autochtones

Les conservateurs reprochent à Elections Canada d'éviter les sujets difficiles

Économie canadienne
La Banque du Canada est optimiste

Le directeur d'Élections Canada accusé d'être partisan

L'éthanol ne tient pas ses promesses

La Teoria Conspiratoria



Their statement said a routine patrol came under sustained attack from machine-gun fire on Tuesday from houses adjacent to the road.

"The coalition returned fire and called for close air support on the enemy positions," the statement said.

"A house was hit - eight civilians were killed, two others injured. Coalition forces never intentionally target non-combatants, and deeply regret any occurrence such as this where civilians are killed and injured as a result of insurgent activity and actions."

Standard operating procedure is to call in close air support

The result is continuing collateral damage that is not seen as
being as "a result of insurgent activity and actions" by the   
Afghan civilian population.                                                     

This is not a criticism, the alternative would result in many more
casualties among ISAF and Operation Enduring Freedom  forces.


Concerned Citizens of Victoria
Saturday, July 26 - Family Picnic!
Eagle Beach Shelter 10 am - 4 pm
(Pat Bay Hwy by Canoe Club @ Elk Lake)
*Be Seen -Display Tables to
promote your cause
* Be Heard -P.A. System,
speak about your cause
* Be Friendly - Meet & Greet
new contacts
* Be Connected -Join CCoV &
boost future presentations
with support & numbers
* Be Happy -Enjoy our
Barbecue !
*Hot Dogs
It would be great to hear from you ahead of
Give us a call and let us know how many are
Contact: Brad Rhodes 250-889-7667 // Derek Skinner 250-381-7553


From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: Khadr

Looks like Canadians are not falling for the msm spin on Khadr! 66% of over
5000 votes think he should spend the rest of his life in jail!

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I've just noticed that I woke up this morning with a case of the I don't give a shits.  For example, the latest DD has the headline, this time from the Montreal Gazette, stating how "Omar Khadr is a victim, not a villain."  Wouldn't you know it, I just don't give a shit. I'm sure if my own papa dragged my ass off to get the bloody English out of Scotland, where dear papa gets himself killed and my brother gets paralyzed for his war efforts, where I supposedly get to send an American military medic to the Promised Land before my capture, I would want you to come save that sorry ass of mine. I would even want my mommy, though she wasn't much help in keeping me from getting in to this mess in the first place. Then again, apparently she kind of liked the fact the boy spent much of his life in Pakistan so he could avoid western influences.  Well, mission accomplished Mrs. Khadr. Well done.

From 1986, when Omar was born in Toronto, to his 2002 vacation with his new American friends, exactly how much time did this fine Canadian spend on our soil being Canadian? If you talk about bringing the 21-year old home, do we mean some maternity ward in Toronto or some spot in Pakistan? Where was home for our lad, who did not lose his freedom on a weekend jaunt to North York, but rather after a firefight in Afghanistan? Considering where he has spent much of his life, I wonder why Pakistan is not trying to get Omar free? Maybe I should be concerned as, but for the grace of God and the fact my own daddy was never a buddy of Osama bin Laden, go I.  I also wonder, if our positions were reversed, would anyone who is left in Khadar's family give a damn for me? No, they probably wouldn't give a shit, either.

Joe, did you know that there are more human feces polluting this nation that are created in Ontario and Quebec than in all the other eight provinces and three territories combined? How can such a situation be tolerated? Now, I admit that I didn't do a big study or go through too many statistics. It just seems logical that with more than 62% of the population, folks in central Canada are responsible for more crap than the rest of us.  Why do I mention this, you might wonder?

Well, as Ontario and Quebec are Poop Central in Canada due to that being where most of the people are, I'm guessing the reason Alberta and Saskatchewan are two of the top four greenhouse gas emitters in the country (along with Ontario and Quebec) is due to the fact that those two western locations happen to be where the oil is. What a revelation! Now, if folks in the other provinces don't want that oil, I'm sure there are close to 6-billion people, including the 5-billion not covered by Kyoto, who would be willing to accept it. Considering how many of our jobs are gone or heading to India and Mexico, happily not covered by Kyoto, oil is probably moving more and more out of your price range anyway.  Then maybe you don't give a shit.

Thanks for the opportunity, as always, Joe.

Ron Thornton

Subject: The end of illusions ... Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae go tits up (as it were)
From: "Efstratios Psarianos" <>
To: "Joe Hueglin" <>

Can you believe it, there's no END to the iniquity-incompetence in the US political-financial system. Have a read ... and look at the last line in this article.
On the positive side, this will make for an interesting Presidential campaign if the candidates step up to bat over this ...
P.S. Joe: starting to come to my view of the US political system? In brief, I feel that it stinks and that it's unworkable. And I'm NOT saying that because of bad laws and policies (of which there are myriads) ... the thing's hopelessly malfunctioning and unworkable. Time to scrap the US Constitution, go for a parliamentary democracy, and clean out the pigsty.

Have you cleared that statement with your Leader?


Only one leader in my camp and that's me, hahahahaha ...
Plus, Liberal leadership and Ministers are just as politic in their opinions when faced with this kind of thing. Doesn't mean that no one has a private opinion, though. Even Americans within the US political system know that it's unworkable.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac  End of illusions

Jul 17th 2008
From The Economist print edition
A series of articles on the crisis gripping the world economy and global markets starts where it all began-with America's deeply flawed system of housing finance

THERE is a story about a science professor giving a public lecture on the solar system. An elderly lady interrupts to claim that, contrary to his assertions about gravity, the world travels through the universe on the back of a giant turtle. "But what supports the turtle?" retorts the professor. "You can't trick me," says the woman. "It's turtles all the way down."

The American financial system has started to look as logical as "turtles all the way down" this week. Only six months ago, politicians were counting on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's mortgage giants, to bolster the housing market by buying more mortgages. Now the rescuers themselves have needed rescuing.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Commentary: So much for spending restraint

Below you will find this week's federal commentary.
John Williamson
Federal Director
July 17, 2008
So much for spending restraint
By John Williamson
The lazy, hazy days of summer are here and Conservative MPs are crisscrossing the country and showering it with money. According to news stories, the federal government has announced some $3-billion in spending priorities since Parliament recessed for the summer less than a month ago. That is roughly $100-million a day or more than $4-million every hour. Weren't the Conservatives elected to root out waste in government and spend tax dollars judiciously?

Conservative partisans will insist these funding announcements were made adhering to all the proper rules and guidelines. Of course, these would be the very same oversight measures they loudly protested in opposition when the then-governing Liberals of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin spent wildly, hoping to buy votes. Another favourite Conservative talking point is Canadians are getting more value for their tax dollars because Ottawa is better managed today. Taxpayers therefore shouldn't fret over a few billion dollars in spending. But there is little evidence of this improved management. In fact, it is no contest between the Harper government's spending and that of Mr. Chrétien's government. The Grits exercised greater fiscal discipline.

Perhaps this judgment is unfair since Mr. Chrétien governed with a House of Commons majority and Stephen Harper does not. So how does the Prime Minister match up with Mr. Martin, another minority leader? Mr. Martin's fiscal recklessness grew the size of government by 14% over two years. This certainly qualifies him as a big spending Liberal. The Conservatives have controlled the government purse strings since early 2006. After their first two years, Ottawa had grown another 14.8%. This is higher than Mr. Martin's appalling record, making Mr. Harper a bigger spending Conservative.

Many Canadians were encouraged by the Conservative's apparent new direction shown in their third budget that limited spending growth to 3.4% this fiscal year. So much for that. It now appears bribing taxpayers with their own money remains a higher calling for them.

Of the $245-billion Ottawa collects annually in taxes an astounding $26-billion is allocated to grants, contributions and subsidy programs. According to the finance department, the government's total grant/subsidy budget accounts for just over 11 cents of each tax dollar spent. Even if government MPs argue this level of spending is necessary, it is not credible to assert politics does not influence who gets the cash. Canwest News Service discovered many of the recent announcements were targeted to regions where the Conservatives hope to pick up seats to gain a majority. Meanwhile, little money flows to ridings that loyally vote Tory or are reliable Liberal seats. For example, Ottawa confirmed that Quebec-based Bombardier will receive $350-million to build a plane with no confirmed buyers. (According to the Wall Street Journal, air carrier Lufthansa's letter of intent to purchase 60 of the small planes is nonbinding.) Nova Scotia, the lone Maritime battleground province, will receive an additional $867-million in energy royalties. Meanwhile, the Calgary Stampede was handed $432,300 to help Alberta visitors celebrate Quebec City's 400th anniversary.

Fuelling these expenditures is Ottawa's surplus, which comes from the taxes paid by Canadians. Some might believe the high taxes that generate budget surpluses are acceptable so long as lawmakers use those dollars to reduce debt. Yet, Canadians are more likely to witness horses flying than a government capable of exercising restraint while sitting atop a mountain of excess tax revenue. As a surplus increases during a fiscal year so do expenditures because politicians cannot resist spending irresponsibility in an attempt to win votes. Canadians do not yet know the size of this year's surplus, but it is a safe bet that tax receipts are running ahead of the budget's projections.

Unhappily, there is nowhere for voters to turn for reform. Opposition Liberals might decry today's spending levels but these protests cannot be given serious weight. The Liberals in government behave the same.

This summer's spending spree is another reason why taxes need to be cut. It is more evidence governments don't tax to collect the money it needs, instead politicians always find a way to spend revenue that is collected. Cut off the money and government officials will find it necessary to prioritize spending and make decisions about how best to use scarce tax dollars. This would be a laudable project for a government committed to taxpayers.