Sunday, March 22, 2009

Daily Digest March 22, 2009



Evolution of a news story: From molehill to mountain

Providing clean water: It's a world priority

Offenders need consequences and rehabilitation

Ottawa must protect hard-earned pensions

How Canada can make the oilsands pretty again

Tragedy teaches us about head injuries

We don't need a 'helmet bill'

Aboriginal bill needs more work

A tale of two health care systems, and money


US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai

America floats plan to tempt Taliban into peace process

Obama wants exit plan for troops in Afghanistan

General Urges Confidence in Ability to Supply Troops in Afghanistan

Canada to boost RCMP presence in Afghanistan

Dozens of IEDs discovered during Operation Jaley

Chrysler and CAW to begin talks on worker concessions on Monday

Seeking new life as the old factories die

Seeing red over Russia?

US Fed's move is the bigger problem

Does immigration help or hurt during a recession?

Nanny 'blacklist' proposed

Spouse factor could determine new Tory boss

Déjà vu all over again for Ontario?

Resurrection of Harrisites boggles mind

Public at tipping point on bailouts

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay backs off NATO head campaign

'The red has returned,' Ignatieff says in Quebec

Red Chamber flush with change  New arrivals determined to shake up Senate culture as Harper gets ready to reintroduce legislation for reform

Few going postal over PM

Tories, stop being Liberals
Quit pap-spouting over shooting club's plan to raffle off a handgun and address the real issue

On a collision course toward the radical centre

Federal Liberals feeling confident

Ignatieff's message to Quebec voters: 'Give us a chance'

Organizers seek to overturn ban against British anti-war MP

Canada should let British MP speak

Galloway Ban Related Items
British MP says decision to ban him from Canada was inappropriate

$1B in rail upgrades to create unknown number of jobs: government

Human-induced global warming: past, present and future

Politicians get on the Twitter bandwagon

Ignatieff tend la main aux Québécois

Une autre charge contre le Registre des armes à feu

Kandahar et Petawawa en deuil

Afghanistan: Obama évoque une «stratégie de sortie»

MacKay préfère rester ministre

Les commandites semblent oubliées

Assemblées d'investiture: fini les passe-droits

Le commissaire de la GRC demande aux gens de ne pas juger trop rapidement

L'opération militaire de vendredi a été lancée pour dérouter les talibans

Registre: le PLC et le NPD demeurent prudents face à l'appel de Harper


Was Canada's opinion sought ?

US will appoint Afghan 'prime minister' to bypass Hamid Karzai

Of course this is not representative, is it.
Fox news show belittles and mocks the Canadian military

(be certain to read the COMMENTARY)


From: Michael Beach
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

And how was it that we allowed George W. to visit Canada just last week. Oh, I forgot, he was visiting Alberta oil, not Canada. Sick is how I feel being "protected" from a Scotsman with opinions I may find silly or offensive while being expected to accept former President Bush who has threatened my world view from his first inauguration.
Michael Beach

From: Roger Lagasse
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

Thanks Joe.  It's reassuring to read some sane ideas now and then.  Keep up the good work!

: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: RE: Four more dead - for what?

Joe--the reason for being of the CPC Party is 'to support israel and defend the jewish faith'.  Therefore, I believe that this is why George Galloway was prevented from coming to Canada.  Galloway went through hell to get food and aid to Palestine--but that was a terrorist act in the eyes of israel so therefore it is a terrorist act in the eyes of our great leader and his minions. 
The only encouragement I can take from this denial is that the masters of Canada, that being israel, are running scared and overshooting their mark.  What better publicity could Galloway get than this entry denial.  I bet people who have never heard of him will now know what is happening. 
The same over-reaction by israel to the appointment of Mr. Freeman to the Intelligence post in the US has raised the same theory--that being that israel(AIPAC) is running scared.  I guess we can only hope.
As for getting a passport to go to the US and Harper bragging about how compliant Canadians are.  I pray he gets a rude awakening soon.

As for 'fearing the Taliban'.  The Taliban fought alongside the US to get Russia out of Afghanistan.  What in God's name made our arrogant leaders think that the Taliban would roll over and allow us to invade?  We are the invaders and the destroyers.  Would we not fight to protect our country from invaders?  That is a redundant question, I fear.  Harper believes we are totally under his control and would do what we were told.  I do not fear the Taliban, but I do fear any of those we have in place to 'lead' us.
Joe--thanks so much for this compilation of articles and your thoughts.  John Diefenbaker was the greatest PM we ever had.
This is Edgar Steele's comment re what is coming in America.  I have been reading him for two years now and he has been on the mark so many times.


Subject: FW: Galloway denied entry into Canada

Joe--this is the email I sent to Harper and Kenney.

Subject: Galloway denied entry into Canada
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2009 17:58:15 -0400

Mr. Harper--what more proof do we need that Canada is ruled by the Canadian Jewish Congress?
This is an excerpt from the article--
"His proposed visit prompted the Jewish Defence League of Canada to write an open letter to the country's government urging it to do "everything possible to keep this hater away".

Canada allowed George Bush, a man whose lies have killed over 1 million Iraqi people, and decimated the country, a man who condoned the torture and killing of civilians, and then denied it for years, into Canada.  But a man that speaks against genocide is a 'terrorist'?  Canada has well and truly lost it's way.  I applaud the courage of Mr. Galloway.  I wish we had at least one politician with his ethics and morals.  But instead, we denounce our beliefs in the sanctity of life to protect a foreign state that believes only jewish lives are worthy of protection?

Canada has just shamed itself beyond redemption.

Rebecca Gingrich

From: "Rick Hubbert"
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

I am no neocon, but I suggest that you buy that passport and take a little trip to Britain,
I suspect you might find it alarming how much the county has changed in the past ten years
The luckiest man in Canada is Michael Ignatieff, he can sit on his haunches and complain while
poor old Harper has to clean up the mess.
Cheers Rick

From: "Anne Dickinson"
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

Bravo Joe.
Now lets see the outrage of Rex Murphy,Mark Steyn and the other vociferous defenders of free speech
who declaimed from the rooftops when it came to the Human Rights Tribunal possibly stifling Steyns's
freedom to express inflammatory and controversial views of Muslims.
Are they truly devoted to free speech or only when it supports their views? .
Will  they now leap to their feet to defend this British MP's right to enter this country and
speak his particular view of things, no matter how rudely it may fall on their ears?
I wouldn't hold my breath.

From: "Eduard Hiebert "
Subject: To deplore and do no more is not enough  Re: Four more dead - for what?

                                    March 21, 2009 A.D.
Thank-you Joe for a well articulated review of how much of our true freedoms that come about by the universal and unbiased application of law and order have already been adulterated and threatened.
To deplore and do no more is not enough...
You have dropped all to review the current situation.   I did so as well for Sept 11, the begin of war first against Afghanistan, and later Iraq.  
I agree, simply going along to getting along with aggressors (acts of appeasement to aggressors) are doomed to failure and we must do our best to grasp a hold of the big picture, not be lead astray and seek out a path from here...
I believe you will find the article below of significant interest.
By way of background, the two dominoes that fell and helped unleash the current world financial crises avalanche are the US sub-prime loans and the credit default swaps (CDS) issued by AIG 
as first published by:
These two dominoes represent a tremendous transfer of wealth, a looting and pillaging actually, from the public to the private sphere.
For an excellent summary of a blue-print of how fascism is used as a lever of power to continue the looting and pillaging of the public good, please see the last 8 paragraphs in the article below.    The paragraph beginning with "Resentment and obstruction" pinpoint the tools of choice to make this happen.
Does America Face the Risk of a Fascist Backlash?
By Robert Freeman, AlterNet. Posted March 19, 2009.

My concluding statement is, by what tools of power will we avert this current march of attack on universally applied law and order?  While we still are able, my own sense is is the very means by which we still have a window to use our limited resources efficiently and fight a powerful enemy within and among us.

From: Tom Brewer

Unbelievable! They refuse this Scot's man but do not have the intestinal fortitude to really tell us why. He is allowed into the US! Ahhh... Duh!
In my mind we no longer have the right to make up our own mind. What really galls me is allowing George Bush into Canada. In my opinion he lied not only to his people but to the World. The USA does not torture! It seems while we are told this the facts prove otherwise. Our own Prime Minister wont address the problem of a Canadian held in the US facility in Cuba.
Hmm I dare think... Others have played a role in these decisions.
No fear my friends I would suggest we all buy a membership in Harper's party! As long as you keep your mouth shut and nod when told to do so you will be fine.
Freedom of thought you are next on the list!

From: "Greg"
To: "My fellow canadians" <>
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

your flag is not the Canadian, it seems your is the bed sheet!! similar to some European. And Although I am Conservative. The fight for freedom will go on without you. So count yourself with those who they leave behind. Diefenbaker was no better than Neville Chamberlain when it came to trust and security. It took the balls of a Churchill to say "I quote",  "Never Never Never give up"   breath this in!!!!!
Then ask yourself
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.
I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.
I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.
I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.
I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least, and leads the most.
I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.
I BELIEVE Canadians must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.
I BELIEVE Canadian value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.
FINALLY, I believe the Conservative Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.
How say you?
Greg Lumley

Subject: Fwd: OLG advert admits Lottery "an entertainment"
From: Robert Ede

Dear Ed,
I heard an Ontario Lottery Gaming (OLG) commercial on CFRB the other day.
After a "dialogue" wherein the husband wanted to "invest the wife's paycheque in a lottery", the ad stressed that playing lotteries/OLG games was "an entertainment" and that playing was not a "way to make a living" and that the odds/probabilities were very high AGAINST winning.
I congratulate the OLG for taking this new truth-in-advertising approach (unless they are just covering their corporate bottoms) and expect them either to discontinue all their other ads promoting the fantasy life resulting from winning their lotteries/games (eg "over $50 million paid out this yr!!) or, at the very least, include this "just an entertainment" caveat in all their promotions.

Robert Ede,

From: James W. McGillivray.
Subject: RE: Four more dead - for what?

Dear Joe;
In the better class of medical journals there is, from time to time , a review article which, as you would suppose, reviews the basic facts and history of a problem and the major questions related to it.  These are both historical and practical, as some of the problems and possible  solutions have been forgotten.  Maybe boredom has set in and futility has taken hold.

As far as Afghanistan is concerned, I suggest that it is time for a reappraisal, and review.  there are many questions to be answered.  What are we trying to do?  What do we consider is a stable government for them?  How will we know when we have succeeded?  Should we be there at all?  What if we stay there for 2 more years and the resulting puppet government is overthrown?  Would we go back?  Why is the Taliban a threat to us, or to the United States?  Has there been any increase in the safety of anyone as a result of the actions in the past 6 years?  Are we fighting for the safety of a projected pipeline, as has been alleged? Are we doing more harm than good?  Are we encouraging the new American Empire builders? 

The English General commanding in one of the Afghan wars in the 19th century, was described as 'the stupidest officer that could be found, of the requisite social rank'.   Are we ,collectively, just as stupid and stubborn?  Are we killing Afghans for their own good?  Has everyone forgotten Viet Nam?

James W. McGillivray.    Collingwood

From: "Richard & Alley Neumann
Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?

A couple thoughts on your post.
First, you are certainly "ready" for US passport requirements, as stated by the PM in that you've consciously decided that rather than accept the requirement, you would prefer to make a personal statement and deny yourself access to the US.  That is "ready", as far as I'm concerned.  Many other Canadians probably feel precisely the same way.  They are "ready" as well.  The reason I renewed my passport was much more mundane.  The store across the boarder offers a deal on the purchase of ten cases of beer that pretty much funds the cost of obtaining the passport.  There is little question I'll get my money back over the course of the summer...
Secondly, I agree entirely with the assertion that allowing the Scottish MP to enter the country and have his say would have posed no threat to National Security and probably better served the interests of those who oppose his view than the course of action adopted.  Using national security in this instance isn't so much indicative of a considered willingness to misuse well-intended policy as it is a demonstration of a knee-jerk solution to a short term concern without much thought to the decision at all.
On a more serious matter, I believe that the government has finally gotten it right in terms of rationalizing what can be accomplished in Afghanistan.  The eventual solution, if there is one, will of course involve some "negotiation" with elements of the enemy, but that negotiation must take place at the behest of the Afghan government, and it must take place from a position of strength, not weakness.  The PM is correct in his assertion put forward on CNN that there has always been an insurgency in Afghanistan, and there will be an insurgency long after we've left.  The question is whether we can make enough of a difference to contain that insurgency to a manageable level, allowing a minimum level of security to remain to protect ourselves from the territory again being used as a safe haven for extra-territorial terrorists, while at the same time protecting some of the humanitarian gains (ie. the rights of women).  I suspect that the government, both Liberal and Conservative, have always understood this fact, but to say so out loud at an earlier point in the conflict would not have served to inspire public support for the mission.  Now that the concern has shifted to an exit strategy, it is more politically expedient to state the obvious and even sounds "progressive", if a Conservative is allowed to use that word.  The debate in this country has now shifted from "why are we there" to "how do we leave with honour".  Soon, it will shift again to a more substantial question of how this particular conflict has affected the relevance of NATO, and subsequently how that affects Canadian defence and foreign policy.  The answer to those questions is likely not particularly encouraging.
Richard Neumann

From: "Eduard Hiebert
Subject:  Israeli Soldiers Admit to Deliberate Killing of Gaza Civilians

Joe, your "posting" does an admiral job of pointing to an unequal application of law and order regard how the people from Israel are being treated by the Harper government compared to the "Scottish Member of the Westminster Parliament".   The following article will help underline the  double standard even further.
Israeli Soldiers Admit to Deliberate Killing of Gaza Civilians

Subject: We're (almost) the greatest, again ...
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Hi, Joe For the DD ...
The Economist has a sister form that's ranked countries for potential political instability. According to its measure, out of 165 countries, Canada is ranked 163rd for political instability (so 3rd for political stability, if you will). The US is ranked ... 55th! :-S
Time be proud of your country, folks! Again, the usual Scandinavian countries and Finland are in our league, but there are some others, too: Mauritius, Costa Rica, Australia, etc., all reputedly calm beyond imagining.
I'm particularly striken by the US' having an economic distress rating of 8 out of 10. It's no secret that FUBAR (F*cked Up Beyond Any Recognition .. thank you, Sylvester Stallone) right now. But still, its giving competition to such low-flyers as the Democratic Republic of Congo (!), Pakistan/Afghanistan (!!), and Haiti (!!!) is hard to visualize. I mean, how likely was anyone to believe until very recently that it could get vulnerability and economic-distress ratings identical to Iceland's?
Time for stoic, yet well-deserved pride and self-respect, folks. Scandinavian countries et al. get good ratings but are reputed too socialistic for the likings and habits of other countries, whereas Canada is a hybrid creature feels American-like to Europeans and European-like to Americans. Summarily, if we can draw very broad stereotypes, Canadians are level-headed pragmatists out to keep everyone reasonably happy; Europeans are meddling never-leave-things-alone types; and Americans are (kudos to Henry Adams for coming up with the following term 100 years ago) 'Christian anarchists'.
Even before all this worldwide mess boiled over, much research had been done in other countries (e.g., China) concerning what makes Canada tick, how its federalism works, etc. Canada was already considered as a workable model in many places, especially multi-ethnic ones. And personally, I feel that we'll be looking into a lot more as a model to be emulated. The world will be thinking about us and we'll become a reference concerning how things should be done, folks.
By GOD, I'm proud to be Canadian!
Re. the rankings
Here are the figures: (Canada's at position 163; the US is at 110, sidling France, Iceland (!) and ... Azerbaijan?!?!?

Anyone wanting the ranking list ? Ask and it shall be sent
From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Re "Why did they die"


When I first saw the photos of the latest Canadian kids killed in Afghanistan
what struck me immediately was "That these photos were taken long before they 
were killed, I defy anyone to look at those photos and describe any look of,
Happiness,Contentment,Pride,Sense of Purpose, any positive expression on their
faces whatsoever. LOOK,LOOK AT THEIR PICTURES. One link is   CTV NATIONAL
NEWS. Pictures shown there.  We are always fed " How much our soldiers Love
and Believe in their Afghanistan JOB"  I just don't see it in their
expressions. Make your own decision, ask a Psychologist, or Psychiatrist. Which
I am not.

Ray Strachan

Subject: Mr Kenny vs Mr Galloway


Mr. Jason Kenney, the 25 watt bulb and Mr George Galloway former British
Politician a very bright man have crossed paths. Mr Galloway wanting to enter
Canada to do some speaking (FREE SPEECH).   MR. Kenny OUR Right Wing war
monger and Canadian Minister of Immigration is barring his entry. Just as an
aside Mr Galloway has very often had critical things to say about Israel. Mr.
Kenny of course nary a word.   Reason for barring Mr Galloway, "He could be a
security risk".  Yes,of course ,Peace Makers always are in the eyes of war
mongers, aren't they? . Today on CBC News, Mr Ignatieff, Liberal leader was
asked by a reporter what he thought of this situation. Mr.Ignatieff
replied "If he is being held out to control Freedom of Speech,  he should be
let in, we must have freedom of speech, but if he could in fact be a security
risk, that would be a different matter. Now Mr. Ignatieff ,I guess, is an
expert on "Freedom of Speech"    He tried it, he criticized Israel for
flattening part of Lebanon.     Do you remember folks,   do you remember? the
heartfelt apologies to OUR CANADIAN JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS.   Could there be a
connection to Mr Kennys stand.    What a rotten country we have been made into.

Ray Strachan
JDL sent a letter. It was acted upon.
On the VIDEO watch for the promise of government action against anyone attending a meeting to hear Galloway.

From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Banning British MP a clumsy, dangerous move, Thomas Walkom,  Mar 21

Re:  Banning British MP a clumsy, dangerous move, Thomas Walkom,  Mar 21
Scottish MP George Galloway has been banned from Canada on grounds he is a national security risk.  Alas, Galloway was not rendered to a third country where he could be interrogated under torture to determine his nefarious plans for Canada.  If my suspicions are correct, were Galloway given a public platform to speak in Canada, he would not hesitate to recite the poetry of Robbie Burns.                
Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

From: Zeb Landon
Subject: Four more dead -- for what?

The Scottish Member of the Westminster Parliament had been denied admission to Canada "as a threat to national security".
The Scottish MP, thought to be a bad influence on us, may sympatize with Hamas or with the oppressed in Egypt who want to get rid of their dictatorial government there. (For the record, I don't think either Hamas or the Israeli Defence Force are my kind of friends.)

I don't think the Harper government really believes this man is a threat, but they believe they will score points with the Canadian public for doing this.  So we don't have "one law for all", but instead the over-sensitive politics of the 'sheriff' up for re-election.

I must confess to being a "hater" with frequent sinful thoughts of hate from time to time.
-I hate that a Canadian MP, Irwin Cotler, goes to Israel to advise them on how to maintain public support for their war; (I guess he wants us to hate the fighters in Gaza more than the IDF.)

-I hate that we use military means to fight a cultural war;  I hate that our short-sighted approach only breeds more enemies;  I hate that refugee camps breed hopeless and dissatisfied youth who see violence as the possible solution to injustice;

-I hate that many of our business and political leaders mislead us, basically telling us that Canada should and must forever keep the status of a natural resource colony, that we can only thrive as a submerged part of a continental (read US) economy;

-I hate that our best jobs and careers, the most creative jobs, the management jobs, the R&D jobs, -- all trickle to the location of corporate head offices, which move to the states when US companies are allowed to buy up our biggest corporations;

-I hate that even past Canadian icons, like Tim Hortons, Canadian National Railway (renamed CNR), and Hudson Bay Company, are now owned state-side.  I think it is a shameful betrayal of the citizens who built this country, that our leaders could not find a way to preserve Canadian-ness of the companies that run this country.

-I hate that my taxes get wasted on politicians who cow to the big money interests rather than serving the people.

There's just too much hate, eh?

Have a happy Spring.


From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject:  Embattled Senator paid to stay home

Again we get the excuse that 'the rules are written'.  One has to ask who wrote these rules and who translates them.  Is this our own AIG scandal?  Canadians are losing their jobs and their homes and this more equal pig is still at the trough? 
Oh Canada indeed!

Embattled senator paid to stay home

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,
It is no wonder why the Harper government banned Galloway from entering Canada. What Galloway has done, has put in words, the reasons why Canada or for that matter other countries why we should not be in Afghanistan or Iraq. Galloway is a direct threat to Harper's ideology and agenda to world affairs and within the country. He would represent a problem for Harper and his stance on Israel, the reasons to continued in Afghanistan, his insistence of calling the war a honorable war and the general direction that foreign affairs have taken in the last few years. By banning Galloway, whatever their intentions were, will backfired on them. It is another example of trying to control information flow, that may change the opinion of many. One of the ways of doing this is banning people from other countries, who have a different opinion, different dogma or ideology that is contrary to the ruling government.
If there is anything to learn from this, the media must start to shine the light on the Harper Conservatives and start digging on what they believe in.  A spot light needs to be shine on the beliefs, that appears to be the engine that runs the Harper government, and their policies.

From: Peggy Merritt
Subject: Re: Daily Digest March 20-21, 2009

Hi Joe:  This is a man who was thrown out of the Tony Blair Labour party caucus because of his disruptive actions.   The Anti semitic issue  is very hot in Canada right  now particularly in Toronto.  We don't need this guy stirring up additional problems with his pro terrorist theories.  I just wish people coming to this country would leave their racial and religious  problems  back in their country of origin.  We all know is because they are taking advantage of the freedom we grant everyone coming to the wonderful country Canada and they wouldn't dare speak out with  disrespect or actions against politicians or  government in any Muslim country for fear of losing their lives.   Why would we import trouble?   Peggy

"This is a man who was thrown out of the Tony Blair Labour party caucus because of his disruptive actions. "

 . . . he was thrown out for holding these views he presented to the US Senate.

On which one was he in error that males him personna non grata?As he speaks
 count the ones you agree with and those in which you find him in error

As aleays,


MP George Galloway Telling the truth of Bush-Blair hype. to the US Senate

From: "Jacob Rempel"
To: <>,
        ...snip... "SenatorSergeJoyal" <>
Subject:  The American Way of War AND March on the Pentagon's Industrial complex -- Must Canada be part of this war culture ?

To Members of the Parliament of Canada:
The Real News:"The American Way of War AND March on the Pentagon's Industrial complex"
Is Obama following Lyndon Johnson's example?  Accepting the imperial mandate as given?
Must Canada be part of this war culture ? Must we share in the industry of war?
Can we not lead with peaceful cooperation and development?
Can we not stand on our own feet?
As an independent nation?
-- Jacob Rempel, Vancouver
The American Way of War
"Why We Fight" E. Jarecki: Obama is moving towards Washington view against moderation in defence view

March on the Pentagon's Industrial complex
Protest demands that US ends military occupations and universities divest in Lockheed Martin view

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
To: <>
Subject: Ablonszcy

Diane is also the person that, with Harper,  delivered a speech
in Ontario in French.
Just had several emails telling me they are returning their CPC
membership, I did not buy a new one.
One does not support treason. My MP stands for nothing all
releases he offers are dictated from the PMO. Empty shells.
Does anyone in their constituency know where their CPC MP
stands for besides abortion?
Has anyone a better experience from their CPC MP?
If they do stand for anything let them speak out now publicly,
without holding Harper's hand.
Or are they too busy taking French courses paid for by the tax-payer.
Tired of hearing openly that English speaking residents are second
class citizens. that all those of French heritage are more important.
Suan H.Booiman
White Rock BC

From: "Jim Calvert"
Subject: Passports

"Steven Harper is quoted as saying Canadians ready for U.S. passport requirement, but Americans not so.  Well, this Canadian is not.  The Americans have turned themselves inside out internally, on the previously undefended border, and in attacking Afghanistan and Iraq in their reaction to the events of 9/11. "
As much as we would like to think otherwise, the United States is a separate country.
They are entitled to create their own laws regarding travel and immigration.
Most of the countries of the world including Canada require a passport for international travel.
I don't like it, I seldom ever travel there anyway, but it's a lot closer for you than it is for me.
Would I like the world to return to the way it was when I was a kid? Absolutely, but I don't think you'll see Obama change a thing.
Keep up the good work.
Jim Calvert
Parry Sound Muskoka

Thanks Jim,

Contrarians sometimes cut off their nose to spite their face.

Some conservatives in the sense of not wanting change do too.


From: "Peter Robertson"
Subject: RE: Four more dead - for what?

                 Good editorial. 
                No one can compel those Afghans who desire to live in the eleventh century to adopt the values of the twenty-first century by force of arms.  Afghanistan shares one thing in common with Scotland: it has never been successfully conquered.  As you point out, sooner or later the troops will leave and the Afghans will work out their own future in their own way.  The United States and NATO will have spent billions for nought.
                As for George Galloway, I have begun wondering lately whether "Canada's new government" is comprised of dinosaurs who escaped from the island on which Jurassic Park was situated.  We have a Minister of Science who is a creationist; a Prime Minister who apparently places "family values" above practicality, and generally a government for which short-term fixes trump long-term systemic solutions.
Mr. Galloway is entitled to express his point of view; to deny him this opportunity to do so in Canada is to deprive Canadians of an opportunity to exercise freedom of speech.  Of course, our benighted government doesn't see this.  Then again, this is the same government that thinks that $100 per month is an adequate alternative to real day care for working women.  As Don Harron, a.k.a. Charlie Farquarhson, once quipped, " you have your Fiberals, and you have your Regressive Conservatives."  We need intelligent change in Ottawa.
Peter Robertson.

Subject: Re: Four more dead - for what?
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe:
Comment on Understanding Neocons: The Power of Nightmares
Goes hand in hand with the latest questionable remarks from the Harper's conservatives. Goodyear's beliefs on evolution, based on beliefs by ultra-right Christian groups, obtain by twisting the words of the Bible. DItto for the Islamists who do the same thing by twisting the words of the Koran, to suit their purposes. Comments made by another minister just this week, on new immigrants who should have a greater knowledge on English, before becoming Canadian citizens. There is no mention of the French language. This has a bearing on the ideology of neocons, where if this became law. The ability for a minister to turn down citizenship very easily without going to citizenship courts on the basis of language. And what is worse is that the English language is the hardest to learn,  requires a lot more time to learn the language,  and it will make it that much harder for people who come from countries that have a simple language and alphabet to learn the complicated rules, grammar of English. This is not anything different than some Islamist countries and other non-Islamist countries who do the same thing with language, but also with religion.
Now the same minister has used his powers to banned Galloway on basis of the immigration act.
"He said the decision had been taken by border security officials 'based on a number of factors' in accordance with section 34(1) of the country's immigration act.

The act states: 'A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for:

'(a) engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;

'(b) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government;

'(c) engaging in terrorism;

'(d) being a danger to the security of Canada;

'(e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or

'(f) being a member of an organisation that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).'

This act is so vague and open to interpretation, that will allow a minister to make decisions based on their own belief system, and not the rule of law.
The latest comments from a Canadian retired general is telling, where once upon a time his comments were more balance on the Afghanistan issues. Now he is supporting that we should stay and fight the Taliban, or if we don't - the Taliban will come to us. 
Since the new year, it appears everyone is singing from the same hymn book. If you do not support the government's position and their ideology, one is insulted, berated for being so stupid or daring to have a different opinion that is expressed through words. Throughout this country, citizens keep quiet to save themselves a lot of grief from the neocons and their belief systems. The media is a prefect example, where even the CBC has stopped asking the tough questions. Opposition parties in Ottawa are reduced to playing political games and one-up-man-ship, because accusations of not being a Canadian, not being patriotic, and not being on the right side.

Free speech is being muzzled in this country. Our right to having a different opinion, no matter how ignorant it is, is at risk. When free speech is muzzled, a country's citizens runs the risk of having other freedoms being taking away from them. When words from the Harper cons are expressed in terms that the Harper cons must liberalized Canadian society, and in the same breath announced new regulations to controlled  ordinary Canadians. Such as a minister stating that there will be no more changes to IE insurance plan, since we do not want it to be lucrative for the unemploy.

The Harper government is using the very same tactics as the radical Islamists. They are both advocating fear and their ideology. In order for their agenda to be carry out,  the people's freedoms must be curtailed, or taken away. The Harper cons are while on their way to curtailing our freedoms, it is just a matter of time.
Just heard that Transport Canada may have not been doing their job, in not grounding the helicopters in January to replace the support studs. The company notified all concern, but in the letter it stated one has a year to do it. Again, where is the oversight of Transport Canada when it comes to the safety of workers.  Is it deregulation that has cause this oversight? Or the mindset express in ideology of the current government? Or both?