Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daily Digest February 25, 2009



Western warning

Debating an idea that's going nowhere View comments1
The notion of tax-included pricing seems to be a non-starter.

Like Canadians, hate moves on

Infrastructure spending: A little less talk, a lot more action

Goodbye, Mr. Dumont, we hardly knew you

A list to work from
 When Canada tries to make its foreign aid more effective, it's like the proverbial dog walking on hind legs
-- it might not be done perfectly, but it's impressive to see it done at all.
Age of technology

Economics and politics collide

Dollars-and-cents medicine

Harper wants to snuggle up to Obama


Technology can't solve every problem

Police stun guns need a high bar

Revolting, but no crime

Dangerously blank slates

An energy plan that won't help

Green audits won't work

A cold, dark place without our nukes

 Finally, a plan for renewable power

Another view: Stimulus plan is weak

 Governor-general could help cross-border dialogue

Real danger and restraint

Privacy nightmare

Ahenakew case tests boundaries of charter rights

Canadian officials need to grow some vertebrae

No advantage to re-brand

Policing speech is rightly tough

The nanny state to outlaw natural health products

Health care placed on critical list - Health Care Council of Canada  seeks input in 'how to get the biggest bang for the buck'

Health care placed on critical list
Police agencies wrong to shoot the messenger over Taser policies

Stress and success

Hearts of stone under red serge

Public betrayed on 2010 security
Taxpayers have been badly abused by the Olympic security cost con game.

Support for children in care lags, again
Picking winners and losers in international aid


President Karzai expected to call snap election

Afghan leader floats proposal for April election

Pakistan urges rethinking of U.S. drone attacks

Taleban reconciliation 'possible'
Reconciliation with the Taleban is possible, says Gulab Mangal, the governor of Afghanistan's troubled Helmand province.

U.S. will boost supplies for Afghan force - general

Canada's navy may soon be left with one supply ship -- for East, West coasts

Canada holds fire on new U.S. meat labeling rules

Canada cheers Obama remarks on U.S. farm subsidies

Canada joins U. S. call for help in Afghanistan

Khadr's lawyer barred from seeing him

Ottawa refuses to move on Khadr case

How the West undermines the system that made us rich

Canadian taxpayers face double pension peril

Canadians have the most to fear from fear itself

Federal reforms have corporate community fuming

A planet at the brink?

The ICC may soon take on Israel

Drug development raises ethical issues

Tory gang approach too little too late: critics

Expert doubts mandatory sentences effective

SARS outbreak shows nurses must be better protected for next pandemic: lawsuits

'War' mentality eroding human rights, report says

Canada's prison farm system being phased out

Mulroney will face 'closest possible scrutiny,' inquiry chair says

Green energy proposal has critics seeing red

Grits grow green and mean

250 years later, Abraham battle spreads to Parliament Hill

Provincial NDP obtain files related to sale of BC Rail

McGuinty says he hasn't given up fight for better EI

Ranks of Ontario EI recipients swell by 30%

Power proposal sparking friction

Ethics committee to resume investigation into In and Out scheme

Is this the end of the New New New Spirit of Nonpartisan Cooperation?

Your Fall 2009 Election preview

Tory wanted a PR spin after halting projects

Flaherty warns of stimulus stumbles

Tories, Liberals defend oil sands

Ignatieff defends Canada's 'world leader' oil sands

Ignatieff seeks to bridge rural-urban divide

Supporting our scientists

New anti-secrecy plan surfaces on eve of damning report

Last year's humongous stimulus package

No emergency loan for CBC: Tories

Canada says expects broadcaster CBC to cut costs

'Transparent communication' key to nuclear industry success: minister

Taxpayers to foot bill for candidates' daycare, mileage

PS must take risks in stimulus spending: expert

Democracy agency must be arm's length: expert

Life doomed by climate woes: Top British scientist

The speech with the hole in the middle

Let's trade on our G20 status to help the poor

Oil's not well in Canada

'Baby-seal moment' for the oilsands

Canadian firm may have cure for oil sands headache

The Right-Left Political Matrix

Le National Geographic publie un reportage peu flatteur sur le pétrole albertain

Violence des gangs de rue: l'approche conservatrice est éreintée

Un éditorial du National Post demande à Harper de tourner le dos au Québec

Le Canada ne réclamera pas le rapatriement d'Omar Khadr

Le rôle du Canada après 2011 demeure flou

Les policiers défendent l'utilisation du Taser

Jim Flaherty admet que des erreurs seront commises avec son plan de relance

La Teoria Conspiratoria
Kill The Messenger



You read it here first, massive change with no debate.  Glad to see others expressing concern as well.

The fact that the Competition Bureau and Investment Canada bills are even before the finance committee also reflects the strangeness of the situation: both pieces of legislation fall under the purview of Industry Canada and minister Tony Clement, who reportedly did not support including them in the budget.

How would you rate the odds of the 10 000 extra coming from Europe?

Nato commanders are looking for European nations to provide 10,000 extra soldiers for the vote. No leading political figures have put themselves forward for the presidency. A private phone poll of 6,500 voters indicates that Mr Karzai is the most popular figure likely to run, with about 15 per cent support.

And what are the percentages we seek to regain our status or follow the U.S. lead?

If Canada wants to be a major player on the world stage, and we are to regain our status as an independent middle power, we need to focus on retaining the moral high ground. That will not be achieved if we continue to blindly follow the U.S. lead.


Hi All,  this is from a really reliable source - not exclusive in the US    Sally





Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating... You walk
across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You
start the engine and shift into Reverse.

When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your
parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle
of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your
doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or
whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach
the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out
of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically
mow you down as they speed off in your car.

And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.

So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your
money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are
now compromised!


If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just
drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you
read this e-mail. I hope you will forward this to friends and
family, especially to women. A purse contains all kinds of
personal information and identification documents, and you
certainly do NOT want this to fall into the wrong hands.

Please keep this going and tell all your friends

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

As I was going through the Feb. 24 Digest, imagine my surprise as a few thoughts popped into my head. It was quite the experience, as you might imagine. You might also see a bit of a theme running through this.

I read that "Green energy" now includes nuclear power. Each such plant produces more than 20 tons of radio-active material annually that will take 240,000 years before it decays enough to be rendered harmless. We have nearly 440 such plants currently in operation world wide, with another 40 under construction, so you can do the math. Yet, this is considered a green form of energy. I have tried to analyze why such a conclusion could be reached, and I can only come up with only one possible answer. Those who advocate that nuclear power is a form of green energy must simply be f*cking retarded.

Which brings me to David Ahenakew. His comments in regards to Jews that got him in hot water were retarded but thankfully he was judged not guilty of a criminal offense. Some may think Ahenakew a stupid, dirty little Indian and they should be able to state that, as long as those who think otherwise may have the opportunity to indicate that such people are wrong and why they are wrong. They should be able to use their own arguments to humble and humiliate those who are retarded enough to spew such vile nonsense in a public forum by using facts and rational argument. It can't be that hard to do.

Recently, a Catholic priest made headlines when he questioned the validity of the holocaust. One argument he had was that the gas used could not have been contained in the killing facilities and would have not only killed the victims, but made victims of the guards and other prisoners anywhere in the vicinity. It was an interesting argument, but instead of addressing it, or using facts to discredit it, all we heard was the condemnation of the priest for even bringing up his theory. Again, it shouldn't have been hard to discredit him, but I heard of no one who did. Why? If the man is wrong, and I'm sure he is, then prove him wrong instead of censoring him. Don't we have the ability for reasoned, informed debate anymore or are we just f*cking retarded?

Then again, how many times have we heard that some industry or business sector has been given the power to police itself? No oversight, no scrutiny, no wonder we find ourselves in the current world wide economic mess. If self-policing worked, it would be left up to us to drive the speed limit and not run red lights instead of having speed traps and cameras installed at intersections. I wouldn't give the Pope himself the power to police himself. Every time I hear that an industry or profession will be so empowered to follow certain guidelines, I simply tell myself that there is no use seeking out what possible logic might be behind such a decision. I just remind myself that some folks are just f*cking retarded.

Finally, as we cough up billions to the auto industry, and others, what is the first thing our government should say as it hands over our tax dollars to those who have pissed away their own?

"Hello, partner."

Thanks, Joe. I feel better.

Ron Thornton

From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Technological advances


When I was a lad ,technology  somehow didnt include the internetPeople went
from oxen to tractors,horse and buggy to trains,airplanes etc etc. Now we have
the greatest destroyer of manhood that there ever was.    THE TAZER   First I
will tell you a little store. Im Old, Ive lived, I seen and experienced quite
a lot. Now the Tazer, Well it does away with both Phbysicalo and Mental
requirements. I am a graduate of a twelve step program. Years ago I was call
to go see an ex RCMP Officer who had a drinking problem. He was then in
Business on main street of my town.I answered the call ,walked into his store
and met a man with the most wild expression in his eyes,glassy,vacant.  He
asked,what do you want. I said I came to see if I can help you. He had a
hatchet in his hand which he used to open boxes under different circumstances,
He said "Im going to kill you" I didnt panic, I should have I guess, but I
didnt. I just stood in fron of him and said, "Well if you want to kill me I
guess thats what you want to do, but before you do, I want you to tell
me , "One Thing, That I have Ever Done To You". That was all. He stared at me
for some-time?, turned and threw the hatchet against the wall at the back of
the store. No ,no RCMP Academy training for me,No psycology,no Psychiatry.
Just common sense and a bit of courage. Of course now, its like when I worked
on the Railroad and 110 lb girls demanded to be SWITCHMEN.  Pardon me,
SWITCHPERSONS. When it snowed, they didnt have the physical strength to turn
the switches. A stronger male would have to walk back half the train length to
do it. It was not at all that the women were stupid, it was simply that they
were not strong enough physically. Now we has 110 lb RCMP. The 210 lb males
have brought themselves down to that level with the advent of PROGRESS, "THE
TAZER".   "No, No, Finish your coffee, it wont take long, we will just use the
Tazer." Im not saying there is no legitimate use of this Progressive Tool. But
its use sure as hell can over-ride ,having to pretend to be able to defend
ones self, Even with 4 ones-selfsyou know what I mean?And dispenses with
having to have any human logic or common sense.    Sooo lets cut expenses by
doing away with the Musical Ride and The RCMP POLICE ACADEMY.

Ray Strachan

From: "Rebecca Gingrich"
Subject: DD

Ray--I have nothing but the greatest respect for our RCMP. They are great
human beings. The episode in the Vancouver airport 'security' area is being
blamed on the RCMP, when the real responsibility rests solely with the
airport authority. A 'stranger' in a 'secure' area for 9 hours and no one
did anything??? How secure is this? Then, after the poor man goes bonkers
the RCMP are expected to fix the problem? Yes, he didn't speak English, but
it was the responsibility of the airport to have a translator present. The
taser the RCMP used was legal and much safer than a bullet. Also it kept
the RCMP from close contact with a deranged man. Would it have been better
if they had tried to subdue him and an officer get hurt or killed? Can you
imagine the howling if they had used brute force to subdue him? No, they
did the only thing possible. That the man died from the taser is
unfortunate. But pointing fingers of blame at the RCMP absolves the real
problem--the airport did not exercise due diligence and were part of the
problem, not part of the solution.

As for Ahenakew--I am so relieved that he was not convicted for stating what
he knew to be the truth. He was right in what he stated. Why is this group
so afraid to have any of their claims investigated? Do they have something
to hide? We are supposed to treat the holocaust as a religion rather than
allow investigation which would put to rest the angst that occurs every time
someone speaks against the matter. If it is the truth it will stand up
under any light shone on it. Therefore I can only conclude that we are
being lied to. We have Jewish 'archeologists' finding the body of Christ
and 'proving that he was not our Messiah' but we dare not question the
holocaust? We are such fools.

I would like to add my support for Mr. Ryan for his stand on Israel's
genocidal attacks on Gaza. Ryan is a brave man. He has stated the truth
and the truth dare not be spoken in Canada.
I hear Jason Kenney on the radio ranting against Mr. Ryan and his statement.
Me thinks Kenney doth protest too much. When was the last time you heard
any of our politicians defending our rights? NEVER! But let someone speak
the truth about this special interest group and all hell breaks loose. I
stupidly thought our governments were for Canadians, but the more I read and
hear the more I come to the conclusion that our government works for Israel.
"Canada stands with Israel" and "Canada defends the Jewish faith" are the
two latest statements that come to mind.

From: "Serge Crespy"
Subject: RECESSION'S  "wee - ME"

Dear Joe:
Socialism enhances the "WE"; Capitalism promotes the "ME".  I get it ! ..... We have to muddle through a "wee - ME" period; a recalibrating process until early 2011 (Canada) / 2010 (U.S.)
Best Wishes,
Serge Crespy
Collingwood, Ontario

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: News Analysis -
In Climate Debate, Hype Is a Pitfall -

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  Just read the article "There will be Blood" on the G/M site, where an economist was interview. Niall Ferguson, has some very interesting comments on the economic crisis. I heard him on TV, but the CTV reporter did a poor job (or maybe it was done on purpose) in presenting his ideas. What I did not hear, I read in the interview. The fact he presented, as I have argued in the past - that figures used to calculated growth, inflation and other items related to a country's growth are missing key parts that would present a rosier picture. If key parts are returned to the calculations, the economic picture for the last 10 years would show little growth, high inflation and market bubbles ready to burst, such as the real estate market.

At the end of the article he states, "One of the facts is if you subtract mortgage equity withdrawal from the Bush years, the real underlying rate of growth of the U.S. economy was 1 per cent. So much of the consumption has been fuelled by mortgage equity withdrawal. So that seems like a reasonable growth rate for 10 years. … We just don't have an improvement of standard of living of the sort we're grown used to. And indeed if you have a more equitable redistribution through the tax system, which Obama is committed to, it might actually be no discernible downside for middle America and lower-class Americans. So many of the benefits of the boom went to the elites. If you have a lost decade plus redistribution, it may not be that dramatic a change for many, many people. People just have to get over the fact that their wealth wasn't worth what they thought it was in 2006. Whether it's their stock market portfolio or their housing. If we simply go back to where we were, in 2005, that's surely not the worst thing that could happen to us."

I really do think the above is the solution is a redistribution of wealth from the elite to the middle and lower classes. Much like the speech of the President that I heard last night.  too bad the Harper government is not moving in the same direction as United States. Read the article, it is very revealing and interesting, because it may tell you why the Harper government has done or has not done in the last 2 years. I really do think that the Harper government has their blinders on, and are intent to do nothing - praying for a miracle that Canada will  not be touched especially with real estate prices dropping like a lead balloon. LOL - It is going to happen, but the question is when will it happen.

From the Natroses

Subject: Is PST/GST Harmonization more like a "Same-Tax Union" or a "Single Payer, One Tier System"?
From: Robert Ede
To: Von Palmer <>, trebpres <>
Cc: torstar <>, Mauro Ritacca <>, Jim Flood -OREA- <>, Bob Linney -CREA- <>, Rt Hon Stephen Harper <>,

Dear Von & Maureen,
(& a few cc's)
I read the OREA letter re: Ontario's possible PST/GST Harmonization and it got me thinking ... should we examine this choice of tax methods as we did the Same-Sex Marriage issue or the debate over private vs public Healthcare provision? -i.e. one size fits all, has economies of scale, but has real-world problems that befuddle the best intentions of any legislation.
It's hard to assess all the ramifications of a PST/GST "Same-Tax Union" without knowing the exact details (although looking to other "harmonized" jurisdictions IS a pretty good predictor of how the gnomes & publicans in will proceed).
In principle, I support harmonization for two reasons - it's simpler to have one rate and logic dictates that on a "broader base" that single rate can be lower than the former combined two and still produce the same revenue.
The real tricky aspects are 1) the Value-Added element of the GST that the PST does not have and 2) the politics of what goods/services are "exempted" and/or "zero-rated".
If this Value-Added concept is still "vital to keep our exports competitive" (as we were told when the Manufacturer's Sales Tax was phased out), then perhaps the harmonized tax will have to be a Value-Added Tax (VAT) too. To me the fact that another province as harmonized as a VAT makes no difference - until now Ontario (and others) are not full-VAT
and Alberta (currently) has no PST - we should have the BEST system, whether it "matches" or not.
It is a shame if we must have a Same-Tax Union as a VAT ... because the GST with its "grossed-up" cash register rate (that contributes to "sticker shock" at the checkout) and its added-but-not-compensated expenses/aggravation for goods/service providers in calculating their Input Tax Credit claims (averaging about 50% of the grossed-up amount Canada-wide) means that the ultimate consumer pays a much higher cash register rate higher than it need be (while everyone down the supply chain collects Input Tax Credits offsetting the Grossed-up tax they have paid.
If we think as we do re: Healthcare and in this case consider that the Single Payer within a One Tier tax system is the consumer ... then lowering the real cost "to the single payer" (at the cash register AND at the Personal Income Tax wicket) should be the paramount objective of the harmonization.
If absolutely every good & service had that harmonized tax applied AND the input credit system was eliminated, logic says that on both counts (broader base, no inputs) the rate could be reduced - perhaps by as much as one-half ... and if this IS the case the harmonization would be very easy for consumers to adjust to.
While they might be paying the Harmonized tax on somethings that were formerly exempted/zero-rated, they'll be paying a far lower rate at the cash register on a wide variety of products/services.
Yours truly,
Robert (Rob) Ede,

From: "Edward C. Corrigan"
Subject: "Another War, Another Defeat: The Gaza offensive has succeeded in  punishing the Palestinians but not in making Israel more secure.," By John  J. Mearsheimer, The American Conservative
, January 26, 2009 issue

Interesting article from one of the US's most prominent political scientists and experts on the Middle East. Published in a leading American Conservative publication.

Ed Corrigan

Another War, Another Defeat

In same publication
Captive Nation