Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daily Digest February 22, 2009



Netanyahu needs Livni

Cutting research money is a false economy

Picking a leader for Ontario NDP

Alberta bishop is right about oilsands

Sentencing circles shown to be farce

Small reforms will whet saudi appetite for more

Will cautious canada be the new switzerland?

Yet more reason to curb embryonic stem cell research

Talk on gangs, but little action

Obama comes up short on climate

Protecting Canadian content in online world


MacKay praises troop surge, but NATO concerns remain

Nato allies split over Washington's call for more troops

Troops try to end Afghan distrust

Britain to Send More Soldiers to Afghanistan

Taliban Under Harsh Assault in the Afghan South

Soros Says Financial Crisis Marks End of a Free-Market Model

Europe backs hedge fund oversight; haven crackdown

Taxpayers have a right to know

Gorby smarter than Obama

IRAQ Why 2009 will be even tougher than 2008
Even under the most optimistic scenario, there is an expectation of more violence

PCs see opportunity in hard times
'People smell blood' as McGuinty Liberals struggle with weak economy, insider says as Tories gather

PM must come clean in Cadman affair
The lawsuit may have been settled but nothing has been settled as far as I'm concerned.

Ottawa needs more detail on Chrysler: Clement

Clement says auto bailout will be the last

Harper government withholds listeriosis notes

Obama gives Canada opening to redefine role in Afghanistan

Fox News "war games" the coming civil war

Melting pot 1, Multiculturalism 0

Jean Charest et Stephen Harper se rendent aux USA lundi



I commend Richard Neumann's post to you as thought provoking.

A question of mine has been asked.

You may have one as well or an agreement or disagreement .

Please peruse it and consider all three.


From: "Richard  Neumann"
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) CATCH UP FEBRUARY 17-21ST

There is little question that many who prefer to describe themselves as "c"onservatives lament the actions of this government as a betrayal of principle.  Likewise, many like yourself tend to view the past three years of Conservative minority government policy as not indicative of the true leanings of the Party, but rather pragmatic necessity.  This argument between those who oppose Conservative policy and those who oppose conservative policy is immaterial when the argument is made within  the backdrop of the antiquated traditional political spectrum.
The spectrum seeks to simplify political discourse into a linear framework.  In its infancy when debate centred around a philosophical argument of the role of government in our lives it might have been a useful tool, particularly when political parties tended to organize themselves around that principal.  Today's political parties are far more complex beasts, with size of government rarely in the forefront of policy decisions, having long since given way to a more practical debate regarding the affordability of government, irrespective of size.  The question has been further complicated by imposing on the debate questions of divisions of responsibility between layers of governance.  The political spectrum has long strained to accommodate this change and has been found wanting, but its simplicity as a visual reference has ensured its longevity, if not its accuracy.
One can no more describe the political nuance in a democracy such as Canada using the political spectrum than one can describe the majesty of the Rocky Mountains using an atlas.  The political spectrum is linear, our politics is multi-dimensional.  The new Conservative Party cannot be a betrayal of the conservative movement because conservatism is not itself a static concept, but rather adapts itself to new definitions, usually created by the defining issues and leadership of the day.  Conservatism doesn't change overnight, but it does change, an interesting concept for a movement that counts as one of its most endearing qualities a healthy suspicion of change.
It is true that the Conservative Party of Canada is not the Progressive Conservative Party of 2003, as you suggest and as some former Reform Party would have us believe.  It is equally true that the PC Party of 2003 was not the PC Party of 1984 or the PC Party of 1979.  The Conservative Party today is a vehicle, just as all other political parties are vehicles.  The relative attractiveness of the vehicle is dependant on what one expects from it.  For many former Reformers, the CPC represents the best of several very poor options to slow or even reverse societal change on the burning ethical and moral issues of the day.  For others, the CPC represents the best of several poor options to slow the growth of government and its intrusiveness in our daily lives.  For more still, the CPC is the vehicle of choice to defend regional interests not against the national interest, but against other more pressing regional interests.
For me, I no longer can reconcile myself to being on the right or left of some political spectrum.  To do so only serves to disappoint because such a measure cannot be satisfied by any political entity.  The former Progressive Conservative Party appealed to me in part because of the very contradiction inherent in its name.  The old PC Party was, and remains, an expression of contempt for the political spectrum and the very notion that who we are and what we believe as individuals can be quantified in such a manner.  Today, I find myself reconciled to the fact that I am not a conservative, because there is no meaning attached to the word.  Far better to change it from a noun to an adjective, or be done with it altogether, so that we can move on to questions of greater import, namely in which direction do we wish take our vehicle, and how quickly do we want to get there. 

My Conservative Party must consider it a strength, not a weakness, an ability to navigate public opinion to achieve not only governance, but substantive public policy.  Strict adherence to ill-defined ideology might bring some purity to the ranks, but it most certainly does not bring about change.  This is not to suggest that there is no difference between the CPC and the other parties, for there most certainly is.  Rather, it is recognition that in Canada, the debate is not about the destination, it is about the journey. 
Tomorrow, in ridings across the country, individuals who care about the most pressing issues of the day will meet.  Collectively, very few will discuss policy.  Instead, debate will centre on strategy, on internal organization and governance, on the resources needed to achieve the only measure of success the political animal understands unequivocally, electing one of their own.  This discourse is both a necessity and a tragedy.  The very best and most engaged of our citizenry are today so focused on the mechanisms to achieve influence, we no longer concern ourselves with what we want to accomplish should we ever succeed.  The political spectrum has become a warm blanket, an illusion that we need not concern ourselves with debate on substantive issues because our position on those issues has already been neatly reconciled and packaged.  Nothing, of course, if further from the truth. 
Richard Neumann
Thunder Bay

. . .many thank you for your thought provoking post.

Is it reasonable/accurate to suggest that through individuals' positioning in debates
on substantive issues their place on the political spectrum can be determined ?


 The political spectrum has become a warm blanket, an illusion that we need not concern ourselves with debate on substantive issues because our position on those issues has already been neatly reconciled and packaged.  Nothing, of course, if further from the truth. 
Richard Neumann
Thunder Bay


From: "Serge Crespy"
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) CATCH UP FEBRUARY 17-21ST

Hi, Joe:
Having some glitches with my computer, earlier today,  I unplugged its electrical source; voila ! .... it's back to its normal function.  
I am confident that temporarily pulling the plug on the economy (recession) will recalibrate our system to "Capitalism with a Conscience"......... (Better Times?: Early 2012 for Canada / mid 2011 for the U.S.) ....... after the Great Seal of America's Timeline is quietly renewed.
Best Regards,
Serge Crespy
Collingwood, ON

after the Great Seal of America's Timeline is quietly renewed.

Serge, I'm igornant as to this - and Google didn't help me.

From: "Alex Langford"
Subject: Re: BELOW(30) CATCH UP FEBRUARY 17-21ST

Dear Joe
I am a consrvative, not as the US Republicans define it, but a real one. Therefore, understanding the example of history, I disagree with governing according to dogmatic principles, whether socialist, communist, or reforrm.
Reform amuses me. It descends in direct line from the willd men from the frontier who came into power with President Andrew Jackson. They believed passionately that all men are equal so they ruined courts in many states by insisting on the election of judges. They rejected the idea that some were better fitted for judicial office. Compare with Reform were electing Senators. They believed that the capital was corrupting and that elected persons should not stay there too long. Compare with Reform re eight year terms for senators.
I am with Plato. You get the best government by having the best people in government. Since we never can agree who is "best" we choose democratically but then we ought to defer to their greater knowledge, and opportunity to know even more. Longterm MP's ( or US Senators and Congressmen or English MPs) have absorbed a great deal over time, learning it often the hard way, by making and having to live with mistakes.
Of course I believe the government in Ottawa has performed well for the most  part and it is partly because they have shed sect oral ideologies in favour of a more centrist pragmatism. Canada is hard to govern. WE are amused by MacKenzie King's retreat to a crystal ball, or John A;s retreat to a bottle, but iin both cases, the unbearable stress was in incompatible political rigidities of different regions.
Remember John A struggling with Louis Riel's punishment, Quebec's view  vs Ontario's view. Or Laurier trying to keep his party together in the Borden years, and having no way, despite his great commitment to national unity, to reconcile views about conscription. It was easier for Borden to reconstruct his government drawing in most of the Ontario and Western Liberals/
Those are all examples of great Canadians trying to go forward from the Centre,
Alex, Langford

From: "Mahmood Elahi"
To: <>
Subject:  With most of America's industries outsourced to China, there is little to protect

The Editor
Financial Post
With most of American manufacturing outsourced to China, there is little to protect
In their outcry over the US House of Representatives' policy of "Buy American" for steel needed for infrastructure projects, the critics seem to have forgotten that by outsourcing most of America's steel manufacturing to China, India and other so-called low cost countries, the American steel industry has been decimated to the point that most steel needed are imported. The American steel manufacturing region is now a rust belt of cluttered factories and laid off workers surviving on low-wage service jobs. You cannot protect an industry which no longer exists. And this is true about other industries.
Recently, I bought a laptop comupter designed by Hewlett-Packard -- an American corporation -- marked "Product of China." How can a product desgned by an well-known American company end up as "Product of China?"  I was willing to pay higher for a computer marked "Made in USA," but even the most expensive ones were marked "Made in China."
China, with its billion-plus impoverished people, has become a magnate for corporations like Hewlett-Packard because of its huge pool of cheap labour. But manufacturing a high-tech product like computer is capital, not labour, intensive. Relatively small numbers of highly trained workers are needed ro manufacture laptop computers. Then I realized that in order to circumvent Chinese protectionist measures which demand that products for sale in China must be made locally, Hewlett-Packard has set up factories in China while shutting down factories in the United States. By this way, Hewlett-Packard is killing two birds with one stone -- they have set up factories in China for the Chinese market, while using the same facilites in China for the American market, multiplying their profits.
But Hewlett-Packard and such other companies fail to realize that by replacing well-paid factory jobs by low-paid service jobs in America, they are eventually undermining their customer base in the U.S. With more and more Americans facing falling incomes due to factory closures, they can no longer afford to buy computers and cameras even though they may be cheaper. The Chinese-based U.S. companies eventually face falling demands. Ultimately, these companies face huge losses, laying off workers in China. All become victims of corporate greed.
With American manufacturing outsourced, "Buy American" will be a meaningless gesture as the United States will be obliged to import most of steel needed for its infrastructure projects. The better way will be to treat Hewlett-Packard and other companies who sell their products as "Product of China" as foreign companies for tax purposes.
2240 Iris Street. Phone: (613) 228-9600

Do Mahmood views apply to "Buy Canadian" as well?
Subject: Voice for the Homeless and disadvantaged.

What does it matter of what race the President of the USA is! Organise a community of land where people
can build a new city with start up capital.
When I was "over there" Europeans would say to me, "Why would you want to live here when there is so much land in your country for so few people."
Have you ever tried your hand at winning the 6/49? ... and the Banks are so helpful.
Inclusivity of disadvantaged fellow Canadians is an experience our culture has yet to develop. They tell me the term is civility.
Sir Gilbert Schramm

From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: Your digest

Your digest of articles and videos is getting bigger and better.
I'm glad you're including the REAL NEWS video items.
I find them especially helpful for insightful commentary
Paul Jay and company are trying hard to bring
some "reality politick" context to the events so
poorly explained by the billions dollar media.

Thanks Jake, had more time to-day


From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Sometimes


Sometimes Geniuses are referred to as idiots.

Sometimes Idiots are referred to as geniuses.

Take your pick.    But do it hopefully,never expecting to win the jackpot.

From: Ron Thornton
Subject: Re: Daily Digest February 21, 2009

Hi Joe:

In regards to Bill C-10, lots is being said about what Harper is doing and what the media is not. However, when Wayne Pietz mentioned that maybe Jack Layton's distrust of the PM has some basis, I was reminded of something. No matter what Harper does, the opposition can get all the media attention it wants by just screaming to the heavens over any issue. I don't hear much screaming.  Maybe that in itself should cause us some concern.

Ron Thornton


The Game being played is gaining and maintaining

Little to nothing to do with serving the citizenry well.


From: David Bell

With regard to the question below:
I suggest that part of what we're struggling to articulate is the left-right political spectrum metaphor has become arcane
The real political struggle­the real spectrum today, (showing up in our economics) is between legacy politics and cities. More than 50% of us on the planet live in cities today.
We spend most of our political attention on national and geopolitics, some on State/Provincial politics and what's left on municipal politics. But if you ask what people really care about -- water supplies, law enforcement, pollution, drugs, traffic and education -- the focus reverses.
We live in cities, not countries.
We hear about Afghanistan, Iraq or Korea every day­we spend billions on that stuff and months talking about it, but we drink filtered, bottled water and drive to work on streets cratered with potholes and littered with garbage, graffiti and the comatose bodies of the homeless.
The state of our cities is a compelling political, economic and operational horror story. But we don't hear about it.
If you want to know about water, don't ask a fish.
David Bell

From: John Duddy
Subject: Re: Daily Digest February 21, 2009

Greetings Joe.

I thank you for your persistence and especially for sending this to your readers:-

I have sent similar material to my MP, to the PM as well as to many Canadian MPs and Senators.

Please ask Canadian political leaders to explain Canada's part in NORAD on 9/11 2001. 

Keep up the good work.

John Duddy.

Subject: Obama - Appoval Index of 110%
From: Robert Ede

Dear Fellow Sick&Tired of all this Hope/Change Rhetoric (and sycophantic news coverage),
We may be wrong ... Pres Obama may be much more than he seems (ie glib politico-charlatan) and he may become known as the greatest US pres of all times ... responsible for "fixing" the fiscal & ecological ills and monetary & economic infirmaties afflicting our large southern neighbour.
We hear that this week's whirlwind visit to Ottawa and the Byward market (that was spontaneous ... right?) has boosted his popularity index in Canada.
Marvellous! Canadians have also become enveloped in the same aura of Hope/Change that enthralls the progressives in the USA and motivated so many new voters to give the presidency to Barry, the neo-Lincoln, Obama.
So in the tradition of over-the-top (mathematically illogical) enthusiasm raters and gung-ho motivational speakers, let's assign a value to Pres Obama's current popularity of say 110%  (on this same scale, Geo W Bush left office at 11-14% as did Mr Myron Baloney in 1993)
And then watch and see how things turn out.
Disappointments will come ... he is human.
Promises will have to be broken .... times (2009 Q1) have changed from when platform policies were drafted (2007-first half 2008)
Reasons for believing a candidate are sometimes "dreams" too ... some folks will drawn down their expectations, given the circumstances.
Grand objectives will be put aside ... folks will understand priorities change & monies are reallocated.
Some people may see him in a greater or lesser light in 18 months.
Some may wish they'd listened harder .... to him and to those who agree with and/or pander to him.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: solomon - too bad about the enthusiasm generated by "what it sounded like"


Canada: End the Net Threat, Tell the CRTC NON!/NO!
Written by Press Release   
Sunday, 22 February 2009 10:45

A handful of companies are threatening to change the way Canada's Internet works. They want to replace the open network Canadians enjoy today with a discriminatory or "gatekeeper network" -- where they decide which content and services get the fastest access to our homes.
They want to take away access to the open Internet. You can help stop this encroachment on our right to open communication by taking a second to send the CRTC a message.

Submissions made to the CRTC before the FEBRUARY 23rd DEADLINE will be considered in the "traffic management" hearings held later this year.
More info below....

In the space of just over 10 days, nearly 3,500 Canadians have written the CRTC demanding the federal communications regulator put a stop to discriminatory Internet throttling by big ISPs. You've let your voice be heard that you will stand for nothing less than full and open access to all the Internet has to offer, free from ISP control.


The CRTC should be looking to the U.S. where President Obama just signed an economic stimulus bill dedicating $7.2 billion to get fast, affordable, neutral Internet to the nearly half of American homes that don't have it! Obama announced that telecoms receiving money through his broadband stimulus package must adhere to Net Neutrality principles.

The longer Canada allows ISPs to throttle Internet traffic, the more we risk becoming the backwater of online innovation and free speech as web entrepreneurs increasingly migrate to the U.S. where the open Internet is embraced by politicians and policymakers.

We have just a few days left until the CRTC's submission DEADLINE on Monday, February 23rd. We are asking that you please take a moment to reach out to friends and family before it's too late. We also have a great informative video for you to share: < >
Action Items:
1. Send your comment if you haven't already:
http://www.unionvoi crtc_submission>http://www.unionvoi crtc_submission
2. Watch and share this informative video: < http://saveournet. ca/why>http://saveournet. ca/why
3. Take a second to email 3 of your friends with our easy to use form:
http://www.unionvoi media/join- forward.tcl? domain=your_ media&r=_pqAbqFqfy_
4. Spread the word online using Facebook and our online promo materials: < http://saveournet. ca/content/ share>http://saveournet. ca/content/ share

I heart the Internet: < http://saveournet. ca>http://saveournet. ca
Find me on Facebook: < http://FacebookStev>http://FacebookStev
Find me on Twitter: < http://SteveOnTwitt>http://SteveOnTwitt
See my Democratic Media Blog: < http://medialinksco>http://medialinksco
Canadian Media News: < http://democraticme>http: //democraticme
From Professor Bob Hackett
Prof. Hackett has taught in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University since 1984. From 1993 to 2003, he co-directed NewsWatch Canada, a news media monitoring project based at SFU. Prof. Hackett is on the editorial board of Journalism Studies. He has conducted numerous media interviews and public talks, written policy briefs, and has helped to found several community-based media action and education initiatives, including Vancouver's annual Media Democracy Day.