Thursday, February 05, 2009

BELOW(30) catch up.February 5th


Receiving a change of address is always a plus., please do as Sandy did should you change yours.

The remainder of the day so far was going back in the IN BOX to locate, copy and post POSTS OF OPINIONS received over the last two days.

Rather than wait until to-day's Digest they're being sent now.

Some may be of such a nature as to stimulate responses.

From: "Sandy" <>
To: "'Joe Hueglin'" <>
Subject: new e-mail has been changed to
. . . thanks.

You just started my day
on a positive note!

   Best regards,



From: "Derrall Bellaire"
Subject: Help Get the Ball Rolling

A Change of Shoes Can Change a Life

Joe Hueglin,

I'm bowling in the 2009 Bowl for Kids Sake for Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area. You can support me now and help at-risk children in our community reach their potential through Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs!

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Big Sisters of London

Some email systems do not support the use of links and therefore this link may not appear to work. If so, copy and paste the following into your browser:
Derrall Bellaire

From: "Elections Canada / √Člections Canada" <>
Subject: New on the Elections Canada Web Site

Dear Subscriber:

Please note that we have added a news release to Elections Canada's Web
site entitled: Chief Electoral Officer's Report on 40th General Election
and Official Voting Results Are Now Available.

The news release can be found at:

These documents can also be found under what's New on the home page.


The Web team
Elections Canada

From: "Paul Downie" <>
Subject: TFSAs and estate planning

A very good article on TFSAs and estate planning by Wilmot George:

 A  clear and succinct summary of TFSA issues.

From: Caspar Davis
Subject: [WFC-L] Afghanistan 1: Moyers & Guests

As he does so often last week Bill Moyers had wise guests talking seriously about an important issue. Last week it was Afghanistan,and the guests were Marilyn Young, professor of history at New York University and author, inter alia, of BOMBING CIVILIANS: A TWENTIETH-CENTURY HISTORY and Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon official, one of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's famous "whiz kids" who helped design and develop two of the military's most successful airplanes. But in the late 1970s, with a handful of Pentagon and congressional insiders, Sprey helped found the military reform movement. They risked their careers taking issue with a defense bureaucracy spending more and more money for fewer and fewer, often ineffective weapons.
Please take 30 minutes to watch this extremely important discussion at

Subject: [WFC-L] Afghanistan 2: Helping Afghan Women and Girls

For me, much the most persuasive reason for being ion Afghanistan is to help the women and girls who live lives of terrible abuse. Why then do effective Afghan women like Malalai Joya and the women in this article want western troops out?

From: "Mahmood Elahi" <>
To: <>
Subject: With most US manufacturing outsourced, "Buy Amercan" will be a futile gesture

The Editor
National Post
With most US manufacturing outsourced,"Buy American" is a futile gesture
Re "Saving Free Trade," by Derek Burney and Fen Osler Hampson (Feb. 3).

In this current debate about US policy of "Buy American" steel for infrastructure projects, it is forgotten that by outsourcing most of America's steel manufacturing to China, India and other so-called low-cost countries, there is hardly any American capacity left to meet its needs. The American steel manufacturing region is now a rust belt with cluttered factories and laid off workers.

Recently, I bought a laptop computer from Hewlett-Packard -- an American corporation -- marked "Product of China." How can a product desgined by an American company end up as a "Product of China?" I was willing to pay higher for a computer marked "Made in USA," but even the most expensive ones were marked "Manufactured in China."

China, with a billion-plus impoverished people, has become a magnate for corporations like Hewlett-Packard because of its huge pool of cheap labour. These profit-hungry corporations are setting up factories in China where they can manufacture even the most high-tech products cheaply to be sold dearly in America. In the process, they are exporting well-paid American high-tech jobs to China and creating low-paid service jobs in America. But they fail to realize that by replacing high-paid manufacturing jobs with low-paid service jobs, they are eventually undermining their own client base in America. With more and more Americans facing falling incomes, they can no longer afford to buy computers and cameras. The companies eventually pile up products they cannot sell. Ultimately, these companies go bankrupt, laying off workers in China. All become victims of short-term corporate greed.

Revaluing the Chinese currency will not solve the problem. If China becomes more expensive, Hewlett-Packard will simply move on to Indonesia and Vietnam where labour is even cheaper. With American industries sent overseas, "Buy American" will be a meaningless gesture as the United States will be obliged to buy steel from abroad. This is not free trade, but phony trade in which the manufacturing capacity of what was once the world's most productive nation has been decimated so much so that it has become a market for cheap Chinese goods which it cannot pay as evidenced by the massive $256 billion trade deficit the United States is running vis a vis China. Canada will only be engaging in a pointless criticism of American protectionism when there is hardly any American steel industry to protect.

Mahmood Elahi
2240 Iris Street, Ottawa.

 . . . and how much of many things is left in Canada either?
From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re: The tides have turned, Lawrence Martin,  Feb. 3

Re:  The tides have turned, Lawrence Martin,  Feb. 3                   

Stephen Harper's days may be numbered but what happens if the Liberals and Conservatives evenly split their seats in a new election?  Will the Lib-Tory alliance endure, or will the Liberals have a real leadership contest in search of a more coalition-friendly leader?  Maybe a Rae of hope for the progressives?

Larry Kazdan,
620 E. 23 Ave,
Vancouver, B.C.

From: "Grenville Rogers"
To: "PM Stephen HARPER" <>
Subject: Freedom of Expresssion

Dear PM Harper  - 
Being "Politically Correct" has become a weapon to prohibit expression of views at variance with those claimed , by some, to be held by 'the vast majority' of Canadians.
Freedom of Expression FOR ALL, is fundamental to democracy, and is the right of every Canadian.
This right is under attack in Canada, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), funded by Canadian taxpayers, is leading the attack.
CHRC has declared that "Truth is no defence".
For the sake of democracy, the CHRC should be abolished.
There is Freedom of Expression FOR ALL, or There is NO Freedom of Expression AT ALL.
Yours truly
Grenville Rogers

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: spring is coming

stepped outside for a moment to get some fresh
air between all the reading and taking care of my wife.
The first snowflakes are out and crocuses are showing.
In the political darkness there is hope, spring is coming.

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: PR-STV referenduum -again.

Recently, I was asked to provide some questions to ask at meeting regarding the little understood proposal to replace our electoral system in BC with the complex mix of preferential balloting and proportional representation known as the Proportional Representation Single Transferable Vote (PR-STV) - again.  It's a complex system involving quotas, choosing candidates according to any number of scenarios, and other obscurities.  Incidently, there are at least two forms of STV. At the end of the day it is really all about partisan party support - which is perhaps the real problem which needs to be addressed - rather than empowering the people.
At any rate, I didn't and don't have the time, so I sent a "short" list written stream-of-consciousness.  The bottom line is that you will never please those who believe "whatever is, is wrong".  Here is what I wrote:
Why "BC" STV?  Isn't this just marketing, and chauvinistic marketing at that?
The "BC disease" in politics reduces elections to "us vs them", left vs right or right vs left, party vs party.  Party vs party is the real wasted vote.  We elect MLAs not political parties.  STV and PR are all about party.  Doesn't STV make the BC disease worse?   Doesn't STV and PR disenfranchise the voter by empowering the party and make the candidate secondary to the party?
Isn't "electoral reform" really about appealing to those who will always say "whatever is, is wrong"?  "Anything is better than what we have now?"  Regardless of what we have now (Is mud better than chocolate, just because what we have now  is chocolate?  After all, they're both brown and sticky?).  Doesn't a call for electoral reform appeal mainly to those who always oppose whatever they believe is the status quo?
Many in the last referendum on STV did not understand what they were voting for or against.  Many are reported to have arrived at the polls without knowing there was to be a referendum on changing how we elect MLAs or knowing anything about what they were voting for or against.   Why should we believe the vote was close because BC wanted change if so many didn't really know what they were voting for?
Terms like "electoral reform" imply positive change, yet the result is often far from positive.  Fixed date elections, for example, have made the governing party less accountable to the legislature, increased the power of the premier, and inclined the government side not to have the legislature sit except very briefly in two fall sessions?  Why?  Because the government side did not have legislation to bring forward.  But we elect all members of the legislature to serve, not just the government.  Don't sweeping changes like STV and fixed date elections have unforeseen consequences which distort democracy?  This is revolution not evolution.  Isn't this kind of radical change like crossing the street with your eyes closed?
This was supposed to be decided by the last referenduum, why are we going through this again?  Isn't this like the Bloc Quebecois saying the last referendum was close, maybe we can force through what we want next time?
PR-STV allows "hidden candidates" chosen by the party to be appointed by parties according to the proportion of the vote received by the party vote.  How can we be certain we are electing the candidate(s) we voted for? [This depends on the model.]
How would you prevent candidates running in multiple ridings? (Northern Ireland assembly: the leader of one party ran in several ridings.  Fortunately, if I recall correctly, he lost in all of them.)
How would you prevent multiple same-party candidates running in individual ridings?
Won't five same party candidates elected in one riding outweigh one candidate each of different parties elected in another riding of five candidates?  Doesn't this make some ridings more important than others?  How will it effect rural/urban splits?
Election financing: Same party candidates in individual ridings allows more spending per riding per party, according to the number of party candidates running in that riding.  For example, party A has 10 candidates with spending limits of $20,000 each in one riding.  Therefore party A has effectively a $200,000 spending limit in that riding.  But, party B, with 1 candidate has a spending limit of $20,000 for its 1 candidate campaign.  How is this fair?
STV is a complex system, difficult to explain and difficult to understand.  Won't this discourage voters?  FPTP is simple, you know who you are voting for.  Doesn't STV's complex party vote mean many won't vote at all and many won't know what they are voting for?  Isn't STV the really wasted vote?
Declining voter participation is tied to the belief that politics is all about parties and not the people.  Many, especially the young therefore ask "what difference does it make, what's it got to do with me?"  STV, like other forms of proportional representation, is a vote by party only, won't STV decrease voter participation?
Constituencey based single member pluralities, often referred to as first-past-the-post allows voters to vote party, candidate, leadership, policy, or by issue if they choose; doesn't STV prevent voters from making these choices?
This was settled.  Why are we going through this again?  Isn't this the pr lobby just forcing the issue on us?
I hope this helps.
Subject: RE: Daily Digest February 4, 2009
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Liberals raised $700,000 in three weeks under Iggy Google Translation
Which should suffice to pay off the campaign debts of the four candidates for the Liberal leadership in 2007. (*Funereal silence*)
U.S. Senate agrees to soften 'Buy American' plan
    • []  Executive pay: Obama targets Wall Street excess Y'know, there are some things that I find funny because they're absurd. (That's the kind of humour I favour, along with irony). A couple of years ago, I had a good laugh when I read in Wikipedia that Jello Biafra (!), the singer/leader of a US punk band called The Dead Kennedys (!!!) had run for an elected position (the US Presidency, I think) back in 1996-2000 or thenabouts. One of his campaign planks: while his antagonists were campaigning on raising the minimum wage (the Dems, of course) or maintaining it (guess who?), he campaigned on 'The others talk minimum wage ... I say ley's set a Maximum Wage'. Hahahahaha ... hey, he could've had MY humour-sympathy vote.
    • And now here I find myself laughing at the fact that he was prescient, hahahaha. 'Always something new out of America', to paraphrase what some guy said some time ago.
    • Cheers!
    • Stratos
    • P.S. To my chagrin, that Maximum Wage thing seems to be gone from Jello's Wikipedia page. Another bit of our culture faded away ... :-(
    • P.P.S. And I've just seen that Jello's real family name is Boucher. Tabarnaque, another Spawn of Quebec, hahahaha. What with Alice Cooper and Madonna (through her Mama), who knows HOW many of us Quebecers are pulling strings? For all we know, the current President of the US could be a descendant of the Quebec-Irish (O'Bama) or Acadians (Cajuns in the Southern US ... 'A la Bama').
    • P.P.(and final)P.S. Talking about Quebec-Irish .. I recently learned that the MicMacs of the Lower St,. Lawrence aren't a First Nation after all: they're a band of Irish-Scots who settled there three hundred years ago. No, REALLY!!!! Hahahaha ...

      =================================== Bill Casey related posts. ===================================

      From: "Diane Duttle" Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Joe, Thank you for getting this out. I am appalled. Diane

      =================================== From: "Edward C. Corrigan" Subject: Conservative Dirty trick? "Tories" and Black Ops Blackout on Independent MP Bill Casey

      Here is an interesting item that received on a Progressive Conservative list that I am on. It is "alleged" that a "Black Op" or "dirty trick" was employed against Former Conservative M.P. Bill Casey now Independent MP in a failed attempt to discredit him. Casey was the nominated Conservative MP and his Campaign team was required to transfer the money from the Riding Association account to a special account for the election. This is Elections Canada's rules. All of this was legal and required by law. However when Stephen Harper kicked Bill Casey out of the Conservative Party a question arose who had the right to the money. Casey did the politically and probably legally correct thing and returned the money to the Conservative Riding Association. In my view there is an argument that Casey's Executive and campaign team had a claim on the money as they raised it and it was raised for the express purpose of re-electing Bill Casey, but that is an argument that would have given Casey's Campaign team at least a "colour of right" to the money which at minimum could be considered disputed. Casey consulted Elections Canada and returned the money his team raised to fund the campaign of his Conservative Opponent. This would have made an interesting legal case. In my opinion this smear tactic says more about Stephen Harper and his Conservative cronies then it does about Bill Casey the independent Member of Parliament who has a lot more integrity then most M.P.'s in the House of Commons. Bill Casey was elected with, if memory serves me correctly,  69% of voter support in his riding running as an Independent. Ed Corrigan

      =================================== From: "Rebecca Gingrich" Subject: RE: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Joe--I missed this today.  I have a hard time watching QP or anything else to do with 'politics'.  I would rather watch kids in a sandbox--they make more sense. Odd that this comes out today.  I have noticed a trend of reports against RCMP operations lately and just wondered to myself if the CPC is trying to justify getting rid of the RCMP.  The thought just crossed my mind but I didn't give it any credence.  Now with this report today I can see the RCMP taking the fall for this too. I am sad for Bill Casey.  Have always thought he was one of the few honest politicians.  That the CPC would sink this low is not surprising. The only reason I can think of for the CPC doing this is they are afraid that other MPs may have the backbone of Mr. Casey and stand up for their constituents rather than toe the party line?  No matter their 'reason,' this is despicable, but not surprising.  They say the CPC was showing it's Liberal stripes when they presented this budget.  I think that all Parties would do something similar.  As I have stated many times before, politics is not about Canada and Canadians, it is about power.  And the despicable people we have 'representing' us would do anything in their power to retain control.  Even to defaming an honourable person like Mr. Casey. Welcome to Canada--where anything goes, the end justifies the means, and honesty is a hindrance to advancement.  How low can we go? Becky

      =================================== From: Zeb Landon Subject: Independent MP accuses Tories of campaign to discredit

      Dear Joe, I read the forwarded text of independent MP Bill Casey's "question of privilege" that he raised in the House of Commons.  It is truly grievous what has been done to him.  Mr Harper (and anyone in the Conservative Party of Canada who believes in integrity--and there are some) must try to undo as much of this terrible damage as quickly as possible, surely.  (I first met and was impressed by Mr Casey some years ago when he was a PC and chaired a meeting in Toronto.)

      Zeb Landon, Simcoe, Ontario.

      =================================== From: "Roger Christianson" Subject: Black operatives

      Joe: I have remained quiet these past months after one of your grammatically challenged correspondents opined that my use of the word "hate" should not have been used to describe certain apparent motives of those who organized the old reform/alliance/wing ding party. Of course I have no personal knowledge of Bill Casey's situation, however he used the words vindictive, malicious, and hurtful in his motion in the house. He has more personal knowledge of the operations of the new wing ding party than I have, since I only personally observed how they infiltrated my local riding association (with the help of a few Quislings) and destroyed the old PC party. More power to Mr. Casey. Perhaps the truth, or what passes for it these days will come out. Include in the digest if you wish. Best wishes. Roger Christianson. Vernon, BC

      ===== I wish. And hopefully your "remained quiet" period has ended. =================================== From: Ray Strachan Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Joe.....I just hope that Mr Casey can and will sue every one of the Fascist, Neocon CPC Party Leaders Personally, for as much as possible.  They are the lowest form of life that I have ever seen in Canada. Bar NON....They must be awakened to some semblance of civility. They don't possess it by nature.... Ray Strachan

      =================================== From: "Anne Dickinson" Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Hi Joe-   Stephen Harper is despicable and base.   This sort of thing reflects his character perfectly.   This is all of a piece with Harper and his shenanigans  with Cadman and the Dion attack ads etc. New lows all round with this bunch.   This is not politics as usual, this is borderline criminal and completely unethical behaviour.   Thankfully the La Press  reporter did have ethics.   Bill Casey is a brave and  honourable man, a concept that is alien to Harper and his gang except as a meaningless sound bite. . .   Anne Dickinson

      =================================== From: Reid Chittick Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Dear Bill: Re: Bill Casey's question of privilege. I'm not sure if this is the correct response procedure but include this in your news net if you like. Are some Conservatives waking up to the fact that the present incarnation of your party is an Orwellian nightmare? This party was formed through a lie. Peter McKay became the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party through the backing of David Orchard on the condition that no merger would be entertained with  the Alliance cum Reform Party. As his first official act Mr. McKay set in motion the discussions which led to the amalgamation of the two parties. The next thing that happened was that the Alliance Party closed it's membership while membership to the Progressive Conservative Party remained open. The PC Party was flooded by Alliance members and the vote to amalgamate was a overwhelming. Now most PC party members stood by and let this happen and so it was a democratic process. I guess. I attended my riding associations meetings to speak and vote against this take-over, primarily on the basis that there was no honour in the process and that this was exactly the kind of behaviour we could anticipate from the new party in the future. It does my heart no good to know that I have been proven right in this prediction. How many candidates has the national party parachuted in against the will of the riding associations? I've lost count. The disgracefull  treatment of Belinda Stronach. The attempted bribery of Chuck Cadman. Now an attempt to disgrace someone who likely deserves the title 'Honerable Member'. The pork barrel antics which brought the Liberals down and which both major parties have participated in with delight in the past pale in comparison to these misdeeds. I fear that no deed is beyond people who can perpetrate such actions. Members take control of your party. Reid Chittick

      =================================== From: Ron Thornton Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Joe: In regards to your subject of "Tories and Black Ops Blackout" on Tuesday, let me just say this.  I left the Progressive Conservative Party nearly 20 years ago to support the Reform Party. One of the promises was that Reformers would do things differently. By the end of Reform's run, I discovered that they did a lot of things that would make a good Liberal proud. The Conservatives of today are the same animal, which makes them no better and no worse than the Liberals in that regard. If the law in this country actually operates to ensure that justice is done, then this entire issue regarding Mr. Casey would be given a full hearing with full disclosure. However, we both know that this probably won't happen. Just as the present economic crises was the spawn of sleazy, greedy, corrupt sons-of-bitches, I am equally confident that many of the roles within government (and the opposition) are being played by the same type of people. I have come to the realization, sadly, that this is just the way things are.

      ==== The probability increases the more he rank and file demand it. =================================== From: "Brad Thomson" Subject: BELOW 30

      Brad Thomson

      Open Letter to Bill Casey: Mr. Casey, What did you expect? You supported Peter MacKay in the most disgusting lie and swindle in the history of Canadian politics. You went along with his outrageous power grab without concern for morality and decency. You helped to destroy the Party of Confederation. It should come as no surprize that if you turn against these liars they will turn against you. Say all you want about your integrity and honesty, but it is all absurd. You made a deal with the devil and now you complain about being burned? If you want true vindication, true redemption, then admit what a terrible mistake you made by supporting Peter MacKay after he broke his promise not to unite the Progressive Conservatives with the Alliance. Then maybe you will be worthy of some sympathy. But for now, what goes around comes around sir. You were complicit in MacKay's stabbing of thousands of us in the back. But you only speak out when he does it to you? I am sorry Mr. Casey, but this is what you deserved and should have expected. Brad Thomson Gatineau

      =================================== From: "Ross McLean" Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Joe:       You may remember me from working on the Policy Conferences in the 1990's.  I was Riding President here then.  I remained P.C. until we all became Conservative.  I am back as Riding President in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound again.  I completely agree with you, although I am open to accepting that involving the RCMP was more lame-brained than malicious, if that is the case.      If someone in the party thought that the funds in the riding association should be turned over to the party, why not pick up the phone and make the appropriate arrangements with Mr. Casey or his riding association executive?  Reporting the funds as stolen was 'way over the top and Mr. Casey deserves an apology.      Provincially, in this riding, Bill Murdoch quit the P.C. caucus.  The Ontario party and John Tory, as leader, have been most gracious - in touch with the association, but not demanding or threatening.  Our Association checked with Elections Ontario, and as I understand it, was told that the riding association could retain the funds and continue to assist Bill with his expenses, if they wished.  At Christmas, Bill helped with fundraising for the association, even though he knows that some of the money will likely be used on the campaign of the next P.C. candidate in this riding.  That sort of open-mindedness and generosity between the Ontario Party, the riding association, John Tory, and Bill Murdoch reflects the standards I expect as a Conservative.   Ross McLean Chesley, Ontario

      =================================== From: "John Dowson" Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      This is not the Conservative party and anyone who has been a member for 40 years knows this is a top down dictator who will not allow anyone to "dis" him and as those who are MP's and staff have said. They don't respect him , they fear him. The attitude of the party dictator and PMO reminds me of Henry II and Archbishop Becket, ( most of those red necks from the west wouldn't even know who the Archbishop was) Nixon had the same fixation it borders on Paranoia and vengeance. John Dowson 

      =================================== From: Joseph Subject: Re: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Hi Joe This one caught my attention. Is there more to it than it all being an unskilful blunder , .. or is it as Bill implies that it is a smear on him/ What would be the motive to do this, and who would benefit from such an act? Joseph

      ===== It's that the report was obtained from the RCMP, blacked in parts and given to a reporter last week that's the concern. Why? No national political purpose I can think of. An example of cost for not following? Who knows at this point. =================================== From: Douglas Schroeder-Tabah, financial agent, Chicoutimi-Le Fjord Subject: RE: Black Operatives must be found and expelled.

      Ouch ... so hurtful I feel hurt in reading the transcript. I can feel Casey's hurt. I'm a member of the same party that allegedly has black operatives. It will hurt us all if they are not outed and expelled. Nobody is perfect but in this case Casey seems perfectly right and the others imperfectly wrong. Douglas Schroeder-Tabah, financial agent, Chicoutimi-Le Fjord