Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daily Digest March 17, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
Cause for concern?
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=232568&sc=80

CORNER BROOK WESTERN STAR -
Tragedy at sea affects us all
http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=232595&sc=30

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Rioters obscure an important debate
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/Rioters+obscure+important+debate/1396419/story.html

OTTAWA CITIZEN -
Harper the pragmatist
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Harper+pragmatist/1397149/story.html

The real health care lessons from Europe
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/real+health+care+lessons+from+Europe/1396502/story.html

TORONTO STAR -
Poverty strategy belongs in budget
http://www.thestar.com/Opinion/article/603282

 How saving $45 million ends up costing billions
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/603366

GLOBE & MAIL -
The use and abuse of incumbencyComment5
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.weNominations17/BNStory/specialComment/home

The fragile rule of law
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.wePakistan17/BNStory/specialComment/home

NATIONAL POST -
Canada's next steps in Afghanistan
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1396155

Hope can only help
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1396156

ST. CATHARINES STANDARD -
It's controversial, but it's the right answer
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1481660

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW -
UN council makes mockery of 'rights'
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1481197

K-W RECORD -
A hope for peace in all of Ireland  
http://news.therecord.com/Opinions/article/504576

WINDSOR STAR -
The choice: Keeping Chrysler jobs here
http://www.windsorstar.com/opinion/editorials/choice/1396757/story.html

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Not a Great Depression
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/not-a-great-depression-41359227.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX -
No justification for democracy using torture
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/opinion/justification+democracy+using+torture/1396587/story.html

CALGARY HERALD -
Bush a shoe-in for Calgary
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=88bc86fb-1ac2-47b2-b74c-d021e2bc159a

Cutting red tape good for economy
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=592cffaa-ef0b-4fc4-ad5d-b7f0e34becba

Do you want trans fats or fascism with your fries?
http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=73882e16-3241-47fa-9521-80e6593c90c2

EDMONTON JOURNAL -
A fine initiative on homelessness
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/fine+initiative+homelessness/1396936/story.html

LETHBRIDGE HERALD -
Auto incentives need more power
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/content/view/41108/56/

VANCOUVER SUN -
Why take Psych 101?
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=e4c90186-afcd-4643-acc8-dfe0375f799b

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
Don't revive anti-terror law
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=dac5696f-80b8-4eba-9fb9-4553b2454ae1


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS -          
Bureaucrats indifferent to Indian Affairs fiasco
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/603385

First Nations power-share plan too radical
http://www.theprovince.com/Business/First+Nations+power+share+plan+radical/1397169/story.html


AF-PAK PROBLEM -
Afghan protests target NATO
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Afghan+protests+target+NATO/1396361/story.html


CANUSA/USACAN -
Border row overblown: minister
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1396149

Canadian accused at U.S. border of 'stealing American jobs'
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/03/16/bc-borderprotectionism.html


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Canadian banks begin to decline federal aid
http://business.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wrbanks17/BNStory/Business/home

Canada's banks rise in rankings amid credit crisis
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090317/canada_banks_090317/20090317?hub=Canada

Canada's banks rewarded for their prudence
David Dodge's new role evidence of our new clout
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Business/Canada+banks+rewarded+their+prudence/1396379/story.html


FOREIGN AFFAIRS -
France confidence vote over Nato
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7948133.stm


MIGRATION -
Anti-gay appointee for refugee board
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2009/03/17/8775716-sun.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
New Tory ads take aim at New Democrats
http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1111828.html


FEDERAL POLITICS -
Conservatives still ahead in voter support
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/603368

Announcements do not make a political vision
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.wcosimp17/BNStory/specialComment/home


PROGRAMMES -
Tories place two-year waiver on assessments
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090317.wassess17/BNStory/National/home

Prentice signals impatience with Mackenzie
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.wrprentice0317/BNStory/energy/home

Critics want crackdown as nannies exploited
http://www.thestar.com/parentcentral/news&features/article/603434

Chrysler already working behind the scenes to pull out of Canada: sources
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/chrysler_caw

Day and Cannon visit Kandahar; spend $21 million on Afghan cops
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090317/national/afghan_cda_ministers

Harper defends science strategy to scientists
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090316/national/harper_science

Now not the time to debate N.L. search and rescue readiness: MacKay
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2009/03/17/mackay-sar-readiness.html

Tories switching channels on CBC status quo
http://www.calgaryherald.com/columnists/Tories+switching+channels+status/1397539/story.html

Showdown for CBC
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Weston_Greg/2009/03/17/8777506-sun.html

Mother Corp's online future
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1396201


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
More than just race
Sociologist William Julius Wilson once again defies both right and left as he explains how to understand the culture of poverty in black America http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1396203

Obama's exploding cigar
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.wcowent17/BNStory/specialComment/home

An experiment mixing scientists, government
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090316.wcoscience17/BNStory/specialComment/home

Dogfight over religious dogma
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Jacobs_Mindelle/2009/03/17/8777526-sun.html


INFOS -
Pas de surveillance sous-marine à l'automne
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200903/16/01-837136-pas-de-surveillance-sous-marine-a-lautomne.php

La listériose fait une victime de plus
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2009/03/17/002-listeriose-victime-quebec.shtml

Des manifestants à leurs chaussures
http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/alberta/2009/03/17/001-bush-calgary_n.shtml

Québec n'inspecte plus les fromages importés vendus chez les détaillants
http://www.ledevoir.com/2009/03/17/240029.html

Formation des policiers afghans: le Canada y consacre 21 millions $ en deux ans
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/090317/N031740AU.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it.
Tell them something new and they will hate you for it.
http://www.monbiot.com/

One question: is the 2/3 necessary to hold a nomination in a member held riding that of those returning ballots or of total members?

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From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Women's Day a reminder of what still needs  to be done, Ruth Farquhar, Mar. 16

Women's Day a reminder of what still needs to be done, Ruth Farquhar, Mar. 16
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1480292
                    
The situation in Sierra Leona where girls are captured and used as sex slaves is indicative of the kind of abuse women face in many places around the world.  The majority of  those displaced by conflict or human rights violations are women and children. Deprived of the security of their community, they are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation, trafficking, mutilation, and disease.  Canada could make a major contribution to alleviating this situation by supporting change at the United Nations - the creation of  a major UN agency devoted to gender equality, headed by an under-secretary general with enough clout to fast-track education for girls, enlighten populations about the fundamental rights of women, and help end the culture of impunity that often exists around rape, honour killings, sex trafficking and other gender-based crimes.  Will our current Canadian Government  vigorously support action at the level of the UN?  In this regard, the actions of the Conservatives in undermining women's equality here in Canada is not a terribly good omen.

Larry Kazdan,

Vancouver, B.C.

===================================
From: "Brent Cameron"
Subject: Nominations Threshhold

Dear Joe:
 
I read, with interest, Zuhy Sayeed's comments on the altered nomination proceedures, as they pertain to incumbent Conservative MP's.
 
My riding, I believe, is very well served by my incumbent, Scott Reid, who would easily be re-nominated, regardless of the mechanism.
 
That, of course, is my point - if you are being well served by a sitting member, around who the consensus generally favours, then the rules surrounding nominations are moot.
From my experience, good MP's are hard to unseat, and the people who agitate for the ouster often suffer a political death, even if they are successful.
 
Most fair-minded people want to retain good local leadership, and they have no respect for those who wish to grab away nominations for their own aggrandizement.
 
This was, in short, an unneccessary and superfluous policy adopted by the Party.
 
I am not keen on this change, but, in fairness, a two-thirds vote to overturn is more democratic than a party leader naming a candidate above the concerns of the local association,
or placing qualifying features that summarily disqualify otherwise bright and talented individuals from contributing to the public discourse.
 
Sadly, that "perfect world" may never have existed. Hell, we run Heritage minutes celebrating the fact that, pre-Confederation, Baldwin parachuted Lafontaine into a Toronto riding in the 1830's!
 
Oh well, plus ca change...
 
Cheers to all,
 
Brent Cameron
Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington

===================================
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe, A couple comments to others.

To Peggy: Your statement, "I appreciated the Michael Hudson article.  I have always wondered what sense it made to turn people out of defaulted mortgage homes when the market can't sell the empty home. This take on economics is very interesting.  What it tells me is that Canada is on the right page and that the conservatives are doing a fabulous job under the global circumstances and I can't imagine what any of the other political parties would do if they were at the helm. "

Homes are indeed being sold by the banks, when the mortgage is in default. The stats are not available country wide, and is a hit and miss on the provincial side. The people who default here in Canada, are also made to leave, but it is done on a nicer level, than what is happening in the U.S. The only indicator that might be useful to gauge the amount of power of sales by banks/mortgage is the check the personal bankruptcy rate. This has been increasing, and more than likely will continue to rise.

Now as for Harper and his economic policies, besides giving lots of money to the banks for their bad loans, and funding the CHMC to insured more mortgage loans that are over-priced properties, or were below the 5% equity conditions. Properties purchased without a downpayment. All costs went to the taxpayers of Canada.

At the same time, the Harper  government has chosen to ignore the rate hikes on service charges, interest rates charged by credit card companies, and financial institutions, while the Bank of Canada prime rate has now drop down to .5 %.  Two weeks ago, a CEO from a major bank, tried to justified the interest rate being charge to us regular folk, by stating that they need to do this in order to pay down our bad loans. Not a peep from our goverment, nor our opposition parties on his comments.

Do you still think that Harper is doing a fabulous job?
 
To Casper Davis: Georgian economics and their main concept of a land tax, would solved the current economic crisis, plus a host of other parasites in today's society that only exist in our form of capitalism, deregulated, corporate welfare, the winner takes all attitudes that is so prevalent today.

I took the time to find out more about Georgian economics. I was curious what and how a land tax could be used. How the money would be distributed throughout society. I found my answers to the questions I posed, and quickly came down to the conclusion that this is the answer to no more economic troubles, like the one we are experiencing. No more hand outs to big business. Big business would have to concentrate on being competitive, productivity would increase among society, because everyone will get to keep whatever they earned minus the land tax. I think this one incentive, would work in all parts of the world, because it would move towards a society where all of the basic needs are taken care of first, and move away from a consumer-driven society where there is plenty of have and have-nots.

===================================
From: Caspar Davis
Subject: Monbiot: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Posted March 17, 2009

If you think preventing climate change is politically difficult, look at the political problems of adapting to it.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian, 16th March 2009.

Quietly in public, loudly in private, climate scientists everywhere are saying the same thing: it's over. The years in which more than two degrees of global warming could have been prevented have passed, the opportunities squandered by denial and delay. On current trajectories we'll be lucky to get away with four degrees. Mitigation (limiting greenhouse gas pollution) has failed; now we must adapt to what nature sends our way. If we can.

This, at any rate, was the repeated whisper at the climate change conference in Copenhagen last week(1). It's more or less what Bob Watson, the environment department's chief scientific adviser, has been telling the British government(2). It is the obvious if unspoken conclusion of scores of scientific papers. Recent work by scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, for example, suggests that even global cuts of 3% a year, starting in 2020, could leave us with four degrees of warming by the end of the century(3,4). At the moment emissions are heading in the opposite direction at roughly the same rate. If this continues, what does it mean? Six? Eight? Ten degrees? Who knows?

Faced with such figures, I can't blame anyone for throwing up his hands. But before you succumb to this fatalism, let me talk you through the options. http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/03/17/a-self-fulfilling-prophecy/

===================================
Subject: Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims
From: Robert Ede

Whose opinion should prevail now?
 
Spotted today on www.bourque.com
 
"Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science…It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomena which is statistically questionable at best,"

Austin told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on March 2, 2009.
Update: More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

===================================
From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I notice by the time stamp somebody was up into the wee hours to get our the March 16th edition of the Digest. While I know that it is not unusual for you to put the roosters to bed and wake them up for their morning crow, I'd just like to say thanks for your diligence.

It is not often that I read the comments of a Liberal senator and find myself in support. The Charlottetown Guardian's - "Removing the barriers to education, what keeps young people from pursuing a post-secondary education" provided a rare example of this. In this day and age, Senator Catherine Callbeck is right to wonder why more are not furthering their education. I mean, I am shocked whenever I hear that 10% fail to finish high school, though the figures I'm hearing are actually higher than what at least one report suggests.

While Senator Callbeck wants barriers identified and removed, I don't think we need to spend millions on what most of us could figure out for free. No high school, no post secondary, and if there are high standards for the marks required to enter post-secondary, that is the ball game for many. By the time they hit 17 years of age, their lofty hopes get dashed. As someone who has been a part of parent school councils for the past decade, it isn't the intellect of the child that proves to be the biggest problem. Let's face it, "teen" is a code word for retarded. A 13-19 year old can be pretty smart for their age, but for my age, they are rather retarded. They need support, direction, and encouragement, and if that isn't coming from home, it doesn't take long for those grades to tumble and the die to be set for their life at too, too early a stage in their lives.

They are asked to make decisions at 14 that will reflect where they want to be, at least in their minds at that moment, by the time they reach their early 20's. Little is done to understand and identify their aptitudes or interests or talents, or even the motivations behind their vocational aspirations. In my view, it is all done in a haphazard and amateurish manner. That is one area I would encourage Senator Callbeck to investigate.

Of course, education should mean more than a piece of paper at the end of the trail. We all know those who are school smart but world stupid. Anyone remember Stephane Dion? You need a degree of education, followed by some practical experience, to be anything. What form that education comes in, how best to transfer the knowledge necessary to begin, should also be reviewed. Abe Lincoln never went to school to become a lawyer, but he seemed to do fine. Many a farmer learned his craft working beside his father, and many seemed to have done alright. In fact, many of these folks with a basic education also have been among the most sensible, reasoned folks I've ever met. Personally, I firmly believe we need to elect more farmers and fewer lawyers. That piece of paper can be a great thing, but it can also mean nothing when it comes to intelligent application of that knowledge.

The education models today seem to be driven to determine what vocational direction a child should follow by the time they reach high school so that they might continue to follow that path right into post-secondary. As many a parent can tell you, you can shell out for such an education only to find the 22-year old graduate abandoning it all in search of a new direction, a new vocation. Don't forget, not everyone can pay the big bucks for that higher education. More scholarship opportunities based not only on academic results but other factors as well would be helpful.

In fact, basing one's eligibility primarily on the results of tests and assignments is an easy, lazy way of determining this. Measuring intelligence, passion, ability, character, and other such considerations would be very helpful in producing a new generation who might actually contribute to our society. In fact, there is no reason for a person of intellect, passion, and ability to be lost in the shuffle if we had any desire to find them and assist them along the way to become the best they can be regardless as to their situation. I don't think we care enough, and we wind up paying the price for that neglect later on.

Thanks, Joe.

Ron Thornton

*Greetings again, Joseph:

After commenting on the article concerning Senator Callbeck and her concerns about barriers in regards to post-secondary education, I thought I would wrap up that novel before commenting on the Below 30 contributions. Sometimes too much Ron isn't a good thing. Hey, I'm as surprised at that as you are!

I have already made my comments (okay, it was another novel) in regards to the Conservatives pretty much guaranteeing re-nomination for their sitting MP's. However, writing from one of my former haunts, Lloydminster's Zuhy Sayeed introduced us to a new wrinkle. Under the guise of being democratic, a concept they seem to be drifting even further from, the National Council decided that a two-third majority of existing members would trigger a nomination meeting in any riding. Now, if that meant, using Zuhy's example, that a nomination meeting would be triggered if the ballots came in with 921 voting in favor and only 4 did not (99.6%), then the National Council might be on to something. Unfortunately, it does not. When they say two-thirds, they mean two-thirds of every (hopefully still...) living, breathing member as of a certain date. If there are 1400 members, and 475 of them did not bother to participate, then the 921 would only represent 65.8% of that membership and the call for a nomination meeting would fail. What kind of draconian bullshit is that? Most of the membership are one trick ponies with little or no commitment, who only got signed up to vote in the previous nomination meeting. Yah, they are the kind of folks who will take an active part. Mind you, the irony does not escape me that that local membership will start to tumble once there is no reason to sign up these political transients, so I guess the news isn't all bad.

I joined Reform because I thought the party and its chiefs wanted to do just that, reform the system. What a crock of shit that turned out to be. It seems many of the cooks behind the ingredients of that pungent stew remain stirring the pot.  These people Zuhy describes are to democracy what fecal smears are to clean underwear.

Sorry about the visual.

Ron Thornton
*
===================================
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Hi, folks.
 
Voting, US corruption, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Leviticus, Moravian invaders, lending practices, and pork for minorities ... we've got a load of goodies for you today.
 
Pull up a chair and have yourself some.
Stratos
 
P.S. All part of a healthy mental diet. Lean, and full of carbs.
 
-----Original Message-----
From: "Joe Hueglin" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Sent: 17/03/2009 3:18 AM
To: "CONSERVATIVE/COMMUNICATIONS/NET" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: Daily Digest March 16, 2009

"Riding association members can ask us for a race and if two-thirds or more of the membership in any riding asks for a nomination race then there will be a contest. The membership will get to decide whether they want to have a nomination race or not and if two-thirds of the membership decide they want a nomination race, then there will be a nomination race," Don Plett, president of the Conservative Party, told The Hill Times in a telephone interview.
He said that the party headquarters will start to send out ballots either late this week or early next week to individuals who were party members as of March 10 in which a clear question will be asked about whether they would like a nomination contest or not. Mr. Plett said that as of last week, the party was still working on the wording of the question.
  http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=2009/march/16/tories_nomination/&c=2
Hey now, this IS sensible. A two-thirds majority AND secret balloting held by mail.
 
The 2/3 majority ensures that MPs are protected only if their riding's members show a strong-enough consensus. And that includes 'members in the background' who don't speak out much. The secret balloting means that no one can be cajoled or intimidated into voting a particular way, or into voting at all. And it being all handled by mail makes participation possible to everyone, including members in out-of-the-way places and those of limited mobility. Add to that the fact that the membership cutoff date is already past, and an MP can't rally his supporters to pack the membership ... only 'true, high-quality' members can participate, which makes membership more worthwhile.
 
Very good, all this ... the CPC will have to get some additional details right (e.g., in a given riding, how many members have to vote for there to be quorum?), but the thing is fundamentally sound.
 
If things work out right (and we have reason to be optimistic), perhaps this process can serve as a model for Leadership selection or Leadership 'confirmation' (?!? or 'challenge'?!? What do you call that thing when a Leader has to get a certain percentage of votes if he's to avoid having his LEadership contested before the next election?).
 
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From: "Zuhy Sayeed"
To: "Joe Hueglin" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: democracy??
If 921 voted for a nomination and 4 voted against--- there will NOT be a nomination meeting. ALL 1400 must mail in a vote to hold a nomination meeting...

Uuuummmm ... in a case like this, saying that 1,399 members voting and one not doing so is beyond belief. AS IO said above, there'll have to be some rules concerning how many members must vote for there to be 'quorum', but 900-odd out of 1,400 can be expected to be (way?) above the cutoff.

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Re: How the West undermines the system that made us rich, Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun, February 23, 2009
http://www..canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=3c029707-14f8-4956-a2ab-02f44c85cc61
                    
Certainly a lack of regulation is the major cause of the economic meltdown.  But what is Don Cayo implying when he reports that "as the Third World struggles to adopt the better practices of the West, we've fallen for one of their worst".  The lack of regulation of derivatives and financial instruments such as futures, options, convertible bonds, sub-prime mortgages and the securitization of same were never the practice of Third World countries.  These were part of packages and programs developed by Wall Street, justified by the theories of Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, and forced on other economies by the "Washington Consensus" imposed by international financial agencies.  Neo-Conservative laissez-faire policies have been echoed locally for decades by the Fraser Institute and journalists at the Vancouver Sun.  Surely we don't need to blame the Third World for our excesses. In fact, instead of patting ourselves on the back for our "better practices", we might recognize that greed and the refusal to accept responsibility are some Western traits not terribly worthy of emulation.
<![end if]-->
Larry Kazdan ,
Vancouver, B.C.
The main problem comes from the nature of the US' political system. Since politicians are much more directly 'responsible' to their constituents (that is, they have to answer to their constituents, in particular to party activists within their constituency), and since the American system is based on checks and balances (so no one can do anything without some other's consent), what American wind up with is domestic protection within the US (i.e., groups and companies getting free rides), trans-national protection from economic competition, and Let's Make A Deal retail-style politics. Despite the Americans' always trumpeting that they're for free markets and all that, the US is actually like Gulliver tied down by the Lilliputians ... there are so many regulations, subsidies, anti-competition practices, and such that it's a wonder that the damn hulk doesn't sink more often. And to tell you the truth, I've been concerned for the past two years with what I see to be the increasing frequency of economic devastation in the US ... if we disregard the external oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, within my living memory we have: 1981-82 (the Reagan deficit and bubble); 1987 (a stock bubble, plus the US Savings and Loan scandal sometime around then ... $200 billion late-80s dollars to clean that up back then); 1991-92 (I don't know quite what happened then to trigger a major recession); 2001 (the tech stock, 'dot bomb' stock crash); 2008 (the US-real-estate-triggered worldwide fiasco (with significant contribution from Europe). And if one wants to go international, we can also consider Japan's economic stagnation of the past 15 years, the 1994 Mexican peso crisis, the 1997 SE Asian and Korean meltdown, Argentina's reneging on its debt (somewhere around 2002-2004?), the 1998 Russian stock and rouble collapse and the list goes on.
 
The international scene aside, the US is piling fiasco upon fiasco as a result of it's political system, which induces corruption, misfeasance, and malfeasance. And Heaven to Gawd, I don't know if that can be corrected.
 
As concerns the Europeans ... they're harder to figure out, but the in the large sense they face an even more complex problem than does the US: their 'federal' government is much weaker than the 'state' governments. That being said, the federal government shows and admirable bent towards getting everyone to work together more and more and to level trade barriers within the EU. The individual states are a different matter, in that there's less trust between them than there is between Canada's provinces (Canada's federal government does a decent job of keeping things from getting out of hand, and the provinces have a more enlightened view of their role since the economic scares of the 90s). Then again, there's so much variety in the nature of Europe's states (from ultra-corrupt ex-Commies in Romania and Bulgaria, to ultramodern 'sensible' Finns and Scandinavians), so much history (including wars without end that culminated in the mass murder of the Europe Suicide of 1914-18 and 1939-45) that that's not entirely surprising.
 
Kinda makes you wish that the entire world were more Canada-like, eh?

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe, That Hudson fellow is right on the nail about what the world's countries have to do. Plus it is the first time, outside of my 13 year old who keeps on saying, that we could learn from the people of ancient times. Her little hobby is reading ancient history and the people of the times. She has quite a collection of books, which includes economic descriptions of models among many things that today's world has long forgotten.
Pull up stakes and migrate into new territory ... y'know, there just might be something in that. Imagine my surprise last week when I read on Wikipedia that my Mom's maiden name (Boyer) actually means something. It's derived from the name of a people called the Boii who rose out of Moravia (now in the Czech Republic) in Roman times and settled in Northern Italy and in Southern Germany.

 
From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: Professor Michael Hudson's ancient remedies
REFERENCE :
The forwarded article:"How To Fix The Economy" ( The DAILY DIGEST)-
http://pimpinturtle.com/2009/03/15/prof-michael-hudson--how-to-fix-the-economy.aspx

Joe,
Professor Hudson is on solid ground with his proposals. I have often referred to the ancient Jewish Jubilee rules as an appropriate model for resolving modern problems. Rabbi Jesus also announced a Jubilee the first time he is reported to have stood up in the synagogue to read the scripture lesson. He read from the book of the prophet Isaiah, which in turn referred to the jubilee principles written about in the Book of Leviticus, especially Chapter 25, which in several places admonishes the lenders not to oppress the borrowers. Professor Hudson also refers to Babylonian business practice of writing down loans. Leviticus writes about forgiving loans after seven years of delinquency. There's a lot more.
Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics (I think), pretty much agreed that 'usury' (that is, making money from lending money) was oppressive and ... uuuhhh .. unethical. So did St. Thomas Aquinas much later, as did the contemporary predominant Christian opinion. The thing is, though, that lending, at the time, meant something completely different from what it does now.
 
Until the birth of trade and industry, when there were no banks, people always used their own economic means (barter, coins, tobacco (<-- used in the US for almost as long as the dollar has!), or whatever) to obtain what they needed from local markets and merchants had to use their own funds to buy stuff somewhere, to carry it, and to sell it somewhere else. Thus, the only time when someone needed to borrow money was when he'd had a stroke of bad luck or if he'd been profilgate or otherwise incontinent. In the first case, a then-'ethical' person with excess cash was considered to have a duty to give out charity, or to lend his money, rather than making money by taking advantage of another's misfortune. In the second case, giving money to the incontinent meant supporting their vice in order to subjugate them later. Either way, lending was a bad thing.
 
When trading expeditions and other undertakings started to get too large for personal funding, the proscription on lending weakened: after all, if one's to risk one's money in helping another make a profit, shouldn't the lender be compensated for his risk, not to mention his not having his cash on hand when he might need it? So, as the Western world progressed, lending and borrowing became well-accepted, and the arguments against them stated by several Fathers of Christianity slipped away obsolete and now forgotten to a large degree.
 
As for Leviticus: well-regulated societies like Canada's don't oppress down-in-the-heels borrowers in outrageous manners (no more debtor's jails, for example), and loans are pretty much forgiven waaaaay before seven years have elapsed, except for certain never-say-die collections agencies.

From: "Don Keir"
Subject: World Crises
Hi Joe:
 This might be an interesting topic.
 Solving the Crises
 Fact: For generations the whole public monetary system has been operating on money that wasn't there. That is; Money that hadn't been earned yet. Money that was being borrowed from the future or as it is normally labeled "debt". All of this so-called wealth was not (is not) real for 90 percent of the population.
Question: How is it possible to convert this phoney money to real money?
Answer: It cannot be done.
Sure it can! All one has to do is to print the stuff and distribute it, which is something that a government is well able to do. Thing is, though, that what that ends up doing is diluting the value of previously-existing cash, which isn't particularly convenient to people who have cash savings, or who have fixed incomes that aren't adjusted for inflation (e.g., annuities?) get a haircut (dare I say a scalpcut), or who are creditors. This works out governments 'taxing' cash by progressively forcing its value down so that the government's debts lose their value and become easier to pay off.
 
This kind of thing is actually a useful way for governments to tax its people when 'normal' taxation would be hard to manage or to enforce. For example, if a government whose citizens don't take kindly to taxation (say, modern-day India and Pakistan, where only a small percentage of people pay income taxes because their governments have the hardest time enforcing tax laws), doing this is one way among several (another being import tariffs) to fund itself.
 
One thing that has to be understood is that this isn't just a way used by backward countries to oppress their people: it was the method used by the Americans to fund their War of Independence and their Civil War, what with American having been crotchety about taxes since Day 1 of the US. Still, this technique IS open to misfeasance and malfeasance: witness Zimbabwe right now.

It will be necessary to wrest control from the powerful 10 percent of the population who have utilized this phoney money to gain fabulous wealth from the previous system.
Starting from this premis, What is the next step?
Personally, I'm open to becoming a member of the New 10%. If it helps, I'll even swear to be quiet and unostentatious about it.

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From: "Suan H.Booiman"
The Hon.Mr.James Moore, CPC MP
Minister of Heritage and BILINGUALISM.
 
Mr.Moore,
 
                CANADA IS A BILINGUAL COUNTRY
        WE WILL FINANCE THAT ACROSS THE COUNTRY
 
By the way were is your money to enforce English in Quebec.
 
1. There's no need to 'enforce' English in Quebec, there's just a need to make federal services here available in English. Which they are quite satisfactorily, I must say.
 
2. As a member of the rare English-French-Greek-speaking Greco-Quebecois minority, I'M STILL waiting for someone to come up with a decent price for my vote. I mean, I've got MY thick slice of pork due me, dammit!

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