Sunday, February 15, 2009

Daily Digest February 15, 2009



Ottawa still lacks rational priorities on art

Saddling Obama with carbon talk

Holster those stun guns Feb. 15, 2009

Canadians can't afford price of justice

Canada's star left-winger

Cleaning up Alberta's 'dirty oil'

Flattery's nice, success better

Obama uses scare tactics to promote stimulus bill

Oilsands strategy is just good public relations

Time to make all drugs legal?

Harper's weakness is a Grit opportunity


Afghanistan to take part in U.S. strategic review

Army returns to an old tactic to defeat resurgent Taliban: sniping

'Pashtunistan' holds key to Obama mission

Pakistan to end military operation and implement sharia in Malakand Division

US-Afghan pact to reduce deaths

Obama unlikely to raise Afghan mission publicly during Ottawa visit

Alaska gas pipeline to be on U.S. agenda for Ottawa visit

It's time to renegotiate NAFTA, critics tell Harper

Ottawa or bust

Are Harper and Obama going to be buddies?

Obama and Harper should get along very well

Dam Yankees: Heading North, Buckets in Hand

G7 sets sights on new world economic order

G7 ministers pledge to avoid protectionism

G7 ministers offer few fresh solutions for economic downturn

Restructuring talks between GM, union fail

CIBC eyes Trinidad acquisition

Is a recession a good time to give homes a new look?

U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship

West keeps Iran on the run

CRTC to review hands-off approach to unregulated Internet, cellphone content

Government spending Alberta into trouble

Ontario's small businesses bear cost of Family Day

Separatists claim victory on Plains of Abraham

Battle of the Plains: the "soldiers," nothing has been canceled =

Stelmach the gambler made the wrong bet

Fiscal house of cards thanks to Tories

Harper's weakness is a Grit opportunity

Ignatieff has chance to shine in Obama meeting

Ignatieff has friends in Obama's White House

Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates

Our right to offend being eroded

Fort Mac holds its own in tough economy

What my Uncle Joe taught me, and you

Booming bourgeoisie has changed the world

Bataille des Plaines: pour les «soldats», rien n'a été annulé

Montcalm pourrait tomber en Ontario?!?!

Il y a 170 ans étaient pendus les Patriotes, le 15 février 1839

Flaherty presse ses collègues du G-7 de résister au protectionnisme

Le Canada et les E.-U. partagent des convictions au sujet de l'environnement



cz and J disagree as you'll see
accept this invitation to join in


From: alan heisey <>
Subject: Re: Will "far-reaching amendments" in the Budget Act be passed "with limited, if any, meaningful debate."

very comfortable. i can't believe joe that you are hinting at a 
revitalization of the foreign investment review act. i am long past 
prejudices against domestic minorities and foreign majorities but it 
took a long time to get to our more open, welcoming and successful 
economy. i am with stan randall who said the only thing wrong with 
foreign investment is that we don't have enough of it. cz

. . . there are two issues.

(1) not debating the far reaching changes to the Acts but rather having them imbedded in the Budget Act.

(2) most capital flowing in for buyout rather than building.

I have difficulty with both.

You do not, I gather.



j, are you really insisting that any (dreaded) foreigner proposing 
taking over a canajen owned plant, even one about to go under, should 
be the preserve of canadian investors? what about the canadian 
workers? can't they be offered more jobs by the dreaded foreigners, 
particularly the most dreadful ones, them yankees???

you know we could go back to a an allacandian banking system where the 
canadian worker  gets his bank loan from a canadian investor /banker 
or goes without? is that where your head is, joe, back about 20 years 
ago or more with walter gordon and those crazies??? say it ain't so!cz

j, are you really insisting that any (dreaded) foreigner proposing 
taking over a canajen owned plant, even one about to go under, should 
be the preserve of canadian investors? what about the canadian 
workers? can't they be offered more jobs by the dreaded foreigners, 
particularly the most dreadful ones, them yankees???

"even one about to go under,"

This would be of benefit to Canada, which was the basis of agreement
by the Government of Canada.

"can't they be offered more jobs by the dreaded foreigners,"

Yes.  Through growth investment new or in maintaining/expanding
purchased companies.

No.  Not if purchased firms reduce production and become outlets
for foreign production.

you know we could go back to a an allacandian banking system where the 
canadian worker  gets his bank loan from a canadian investor /banker 
or goes without? is that where your head is, joe, back about 20 years 
ago or more with walter gordon and those crazies??? say it ain't so!cz
On 2009 Feb15, at 9:26, Joe Hueglin wrote:

Canadian banks to this point have not had same degree of difficulty
as foreign.  Due to their wisdom or regulation limiting their leverage?


For anyone who has read this far a reward - British comedians
explaining the genesis of the current economic crisis.



From: Charles Tupper
Subject: The New Book Banning
Children's books burn, courtesy of the federal government.

From: "Anne Dickinson"

Hi Joe-
Nobody nails it like Robert Fisk.
Anne Dickinson

A fair point: Everyone is equal in their suffering during wartime

From: Ray Strachan
Subject: With Billions Being Passed Around


With the billions being passed around, would you  think "Canwest Global,The
Aspers and Goldman Sachs" would not use their Old Testament Guile to line up
with their "Tin Cup" to beg for cash? I do not think they will be denied this
Golden Opportunity .When you have the politicians running scared of you,as
they do ,in our fair Democracy, why would they miss this great flow of Manna?

Ray Strachan

From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: DD

Joe--I well remember the Bronfman's and their  tax free gift from the government of Canada.(email from Ray Strachan).  I wonder how many of us would get away with taking one cent out of the country tax free?  NONE OF US would have that pleasure.  You have to be 'chosen'?

As for Canwest.  Not to worry--they are getting from us, the Canadian taxpayer, $100M dollars front money for they 'human rights' museum.  This to be followed by $25M/year for upkeep--and this money does not have to be accounted for so I am sure they will muddle their way through somehow.  If not, they will probably get bail-out money from the taxpayer also. 

Interesting that only the money masters are allowed to whine 'poor' in these hard times and we have to cough up the money.  All for the spin of 'creating jobs'!  Will there be an accounting of how many jobs are created?  If jobs are 'created' can they be essential?  Why is the taxpayer  accountable for the mismanagement of companies that did not prepare for times like this? 

And who will bail us out?  Who will help when we have lost our homes, can't feed our kids and yet have to pay back the deficit money?  I doubt if we will see Bronfmans or Aspers giving back to the taxpayer of Canada.  They will just spirit their money off shore and we get left holding the empty bag.  But then, 'whoever controls the money controls the country', eh?


From: John Duddy


Thanks to Raymond Danson, below 30

From: Joerge Dyrkton
Subject: Two Cheers for Minority Government: A Comment

Hello Joe,

Here's a piece some of your readers might wish to consider. Thanks very much.
Joerge Dyrkton

Peter Russell, emeritus professor of political science at the University of Toronto, has written an important and timely book: Two Cheers for Minority Government (2008).

Published just before the simpering tempest of our very own prorogued parliament (brought on by none other than our rogue prime minister), Russell makes it very clear, in his first page, what all Canadians should know and understand by heart: "We don't elect a government; we elect a representative assembly."  And his concluding remarks about our "Educational Deficit" strikes at the heart of our faltering democracy: "the vast majority of Canadians know very little about the nature of parliamentary government and its virtues." (p. 162).  We need to read his book.  The lackadaisical attitude with which most Canadians approached their prorogued parliament speaks volumes about the lack of adequate political discourse in this country.  We not only do not have an Obama; we are now missing in a political culture.

Canadians, at least those who can afford to, are so busy amusing themselves by means of television, internet, ipod, and Nintendo game, that they are not taking the time to be informed and critical citizens, which is a responsibility, not just a right.  We are all members of this vast, diverse community called Canada, and I implore (as does Russell) that every intelligent adult take part – and certainly newcomers, as well.   Remember (and it cannot be said too often) there once was a man, democratically elected to power, named Hitler, who closed the Reichstag and demonized the Jews.  What's so different about Harper effectively closing parliament (upon request) and demonizing the separatist vote?

Reading Russell one gets the sense of how much Harper oddly mimics Trudeau (and his expanded PMO), only without the charisma.  Trudeau's War Measure's Act maybe even compares with the unconstitutionality of the Prorogued Parliament – only the latter is far worse, because there was no crisis.  (Coalitions exist elsewhere, why not Canada, asks Russell in a central thesis.)  Both Trudeau and Harper showed disdain for parliament; and both prefer, in terms borrowed from Richard Gwyn, plebiscitary type leadership.  In terms of party discipline, mass advertising and "public management", Harper excels, especially when the PMO, overriding the Finance Department, "leaks" budget details to Bay Street (as well as to mainstream Canada).

By seeking popular approval from the people and the TSE, Harper undermines parliament, and it underscores why his cabinet ministers, whose names and faces one keeps forgetting, still do not matter in the public's eye.  For modern politics television matters most, not, it appears, the august political institutions themselves, and it explains why the federal subsidy for the shift from analogue to digital TV remains so important to presidential politics in the USA.  But deliberately leaking the budget is ruinous towards the House of Commons.  First of all, as the great British Liberal thinker L.T. Hobhouse explained a century ago (in a footnote): "financial measures are entirely unsuited to a referendum."  Secondly, Harper is taking financial control away from the House of Commons, which is why control is there in the first place, for those of us interested in history.  Harper's moves were not "reforms" or "new rules"; rather these manoeuvres can be seen as on the slippery slope of parliamentary destruction, by the PMO's duping of the media – and we must be made aware of this abuse.

The increase in prime ministerial power is more marked in Canada than in any other parliamentary democracy, Russell explains, and I am not surprised at the revelation.  Jean Chrétien was our Louis XIV, and Stephen Harper that other seventeenth century figure: Cromwell, our Lord Protector.  Canadians should read Two Cheers, before they have nothing to cheer about.

Joerge Dyrkton, D.Phil.

Book Catalogue
Two Cheers for Minority Government: The Evolution of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I have a few comments in regards to some of the headlines from the St. Valentine's Day edition of the Digest. For example, "Families Are Key To Solving Dropout Crisis." Well, duh! Families are key to a hell of a lot, like taking the time to actually raise, care, guide, and love the kids you have. Come to think of it, raising your child right is one of your responsibilities, and it should be a child's right to expect it. Just a thought.

Another suggests "Clarify Rules, Don't Ban Tasers." Let me see, if  the alternatives are to get the crap beat out of me because I'm out of control, or be shot, I'm thinking taking a few volts might be the way to go. Of course, avoiding situations where the cops feel they have to deal with you in such a fashion might be something to also consider.

Another says "Harper Likely Hoping Obama's Visit Will Buff Up His Own Imagine." Now, I admit that the US President and his family are attractive, the President is charismatic, very well spoken, and inspires hope. So, can anyone outline what, to this point in his life, has he accomplished, what body of work can you point to, that makes him worthy of his current heroic status? Anyone? Anyone? I didn't think so.

"How To Erase Your Carbon Footprint" might be well meaning, but I'm starting to think I'm greener than I thought. For example, one way to accomplish what the headline touches upon is to not follow the example of Al Gore or Prince Charles. In any one year those two green guys manage to leave a bigger carbon footprint than I'll ever manage in my lifetime. It would seem I've already done my part. When will they?

As for below 30, there are those who suggest that 911 was an inside job, that the Twin Towers fell due to a controlled demolition. I do not wish to believe them, but it is hard to argue against the fact that the videos of their fall does show that those two towers both fell just as you expect from a controlled demolition.  I'm glad there is a forum where such observations and such questions, even those we are first inclined to dismiss, can and are asked.

Thanks for that, Joe.

Ron Thornton