Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Digest March 26, 2009



Demand answers

Co-operation key to survival of rural towns

A fitting rebuke for an unfitting comment View comments1
Canada was right to call for an apology from Fox News for a commentator's insensitive remarks.

MLAs trying to flex muscle

The Harnish Inquisition

Hey Tories: We're still waiting for that fiscal update

MacKay should explain scrambling fighter planes
Quebec to Ottawa: Give us money

Puppet politics

A fine balance

It's not our war

The costs of same-sex marriage

Luminaries don't yet see light

How Earth Hour can shine a light

Harper's Mideast test

Walking a mile in the wrong shoesComment

Aspects of championship

False economy

The perils of tax harmony

Harmonized tax dilemma

Shared grief can be powerful

Controversial MP a hypocrite

Rethinking a war

Tuition fees

Hang in there, another doomsday is around the corner

Not exactly harmonious

Israel shifts to centre

Business failures are part of a growing economy

Grit's Ignatieff dropped ball on accountability

Ottawa goofed on U.K. MP

Easing wiretap rules makes sense

Minister simply upholding Canadian standards

Province goofed with Bill 19

CBC deserves our support

Unemployment insurance crisis looms in the United States

Why Conservatives won't kill gun registry

A Charter of Responsibilities

Canadians can be proud of their military history

Loosen EI rules to stimulate economy

Don't stew over legal pot beef

Three Mile Island and five nuclear myths

Palestinian children sing for Holocaust survivors



Nothing new in U.S. taking Canada for granted

Female war resister gets 11th-hour stay from deportation to U.S.

U. S. won't budge on passport rule

Cut the bullish?

Lenders seek Ottawa's aid as thousands risk losing their homes

CBC to scale back sports coverage, prime-time shows

Massive spending will exact heavy cost: economist

U.S. Policy 'Way to Hell': EU chief

Vaccine refusals spur outbreak

Public use of medical marijuana faces review

Judge issues order that jurors not be contacted by the public

A step toward resolving our refugee mess

How do you abuse a refugee system with no rules?

Liberals buy goodwill before next Ont. election with $1,000 pay outs

Consumers will feel pinch of tax merger but economy will benefit: experts

Up to Ottawa to protect workers' severance when company goes under: McGuinty

The horror ... Harrisites rising from crypt

B.C. Premier's closest adviser drawn into BC Rail scandal

Ontario accepts deficits as way to boost economy

Newfoundland dips into the red

 Protectionist measures delay recovery

Pundit David Frum says Republican party needs change, but not Harper Conservatives

Clement alone at auto crossroads

Ottawa ready to revise budget forecasts: Harper

On the world stage, it's the Regressive Conservatives

Ottawa expands Afghan website in bid to sell mission

Jewish group proud of role in barring 'hater' Galloway
1 - 5 of 672 comments More...

Egyptian a key man in terror group: CSIS

Online not replacing print news, data show

What happens post-Harper?

Not up to scratch

New Crown agency to promote use of public-private partnerships

Compressions à Radio-Canada Les conservateurs montrés du doigt

Écrasement d'hélicoptère Les enquêteurs font le point

Contrats fédéraux à Gatineau De nombreuses réactions

L'opposition accuse les conservateurs d'avoir laissé tomber les régions

Le Canada est préoccupé par le différend opposant Washington à Mexico

Infrastructures: Ottawa et Québec investiront 2,3 milliards $

«Une atteinte à la liberté d'expression»

La commission «Mulroney-Schreiber» entendra son premier témoin

Il pourrait y avoir plus de 800 mises à pied, admet le patron de Radio-Canada

George Galloway pourrait décider d'entamer des poursuites contre le Canada

Day n'imposera pas de contraintes aux compagnies minières canadiennes


From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re:   A time for global action, Barack Obama, March  25

Re: A time for global action, Barack Obama, March 25
According to Barack Obama, all of our financial institutions, including global ones, need accountability, transparency and strong oversight. He also states we must extend a hand to countries and people who face the greatest risk.  But at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, who provides this oversight and who speaks for the disadvantaged?  Democratic countries have institutions that provide oversight and which provide input from all those who are affected by decisions.  That institution is called Parliament.  A Parliamentary Assembly could be created as a subsidiary body by the General Assembly under Article 22 of the UN Charter. This new chamber could act as a citizens' watchdog and monitor the impacts of international financial policies on sustainable development, food  security, universal access to education,  public health, human rights and the eradication of extreme poverty,  and also suggest remedial actions.  The UN and the Bretton Woods institutions must be given the tools and resources to deal with the enormous challenges we face, and which no country can solve on its own.  But while structural changes can be imposed, there will be great resistance unless those who will be most affected voice their approval.  A Parliamentary Assembly, as part of an invigorated UN system, can foster the enlightened cooperation the world so desperately needs.

<![end if]--> Larry Kazdan ,Vice-President,
World Federalist Movement Canada – Vancouver Branch

Brad Thomson
Someone should tell Mr. Finestone and others that the Palestinians are semites, just as the Jews are.
Brad Thomson

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject:  DD
Joe--is this the democracy that Finestone is discussing in his post to the DD???  What Mr. Finestone fails to mention is that Sderot was stolen from Palestine.  The picture I remember most about the 'rockets' (am not sure many of them are not false flag ops) is the one of the Jewish woman crying because her flowerpot had been broken by a rocket.  I have seen pictures of small holes in pavement made by these rockets.  Then I see pictures of limbless, bloodless, shredded Palestinian children that were killed when walking home from school during the first strike by Cast Lead.  Democracy--you gotta love it???

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  Comment to "The Final Decision" The key words are ""Someone who has been flagged with a preliminary assessment of inadmissibility is obviously going to get bigger scrutiny."  It is obvious that someone higher up, is red flagging potential security risks on the basis of political ideology. Within CRAP (Conservative Reform Alliance Party) , they must be a few people who work away, scanning media, Internet and other resources looking for people who dare to voice, put in words or  by their actions a stance that is not in keeping with CRAP's thinking, policies and ideology. My question is, how many people are red flagged outside and inside of Canada?  Is a person red flagged, when having a heated debate on politics by one of the CRAP's faithful.

Some may think I am wrong, but when you think about the idea of having thought police on our campuses, the presence of money being funded by CRAP to influence policy decisions of student unions, the appearance of JDL having powerful influence over government policy, and the ever-growing list of  anti-semitism actions and thoughts - all design to limit free speech by way of policing thought. It makes people uncomfortable and are less willing to voice their own opinion, when organizations/individuals who hold the same views as CARP, have the total backup, blessing of the CARP government, to the exclusion of all others, we are well on our way to a society where the ruling government is dictating the norms of thinking. A prime example is Goodyear and his views on evolution. Not a peek or a word from our scientists, who should have put them in their place. Perhaps they felt that if they did, whatever funding they did have would disappear.

It is one of the consequences when a ruling government choose to limit free speech, to change society values by implying that there is consequences to your thoughts and actions, that run contrary to the government.  Perhaps for me, and others who choose to write letters - the consequence will be a delay in our IE, old age or maybe a yearly audit from Canada revenue. For others, it is their funding that will be remove, as it was with the Canadian Arab Federation.

It is just a matter of time, when Christmas lights on homes cannot be put up, until the Jewish celebrations start.

From: "Bernard J Finestone"
Subject: Re: Daily Digest March 25, 2009

Dear Joe,
Greville Rogers having insulted Stephen Harper, Jason Kenny and indicated scorn for my military record decides we should have George Galloway as Prime Minister. This does not even require a comment, it speaks for itself.
As for Becky Gingritch, she ignores the fact of 8,000 missiles being fired at Israel and discusses only the reponse She also ignores the fact that missiles are being fired again.
 As I spent 3 1/2 years in The Canadian Army in WW2, including 11 months in combat followed by 3 years and 4 months recovering from my war wounds, defending freedom of speech among other Canadian values, I guess I should not object to these individuals using and abusing this freedom. We triumphed over the Nazis so we have reason to hope that we will in the end triumph over maliciousness and intolerance however and wherever expressed
HCol BJ (not Bernie) Finestone, CD, CdeG (ret)

Dear Joe,
Do you think Jacob Rempel would like to comment on the fact that all of his stories have now been proven to be false. Or does he live only on a one way street.
HCol BJ Finestone, CD, CdeG, (ret)
HCol  Bernard J Finestone,  CD, CdeG (Ret)

Subject: Obama's message: Glory days of open border are gone
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Now, will we hear anything more from anti-SPP conspiracy theorists? ... (*Funereal silence*) ... Carry on, then!

 Obama's message: Glory days of open border are gone

Subject: Tax haven hypocrisy

When looking for a tax haven, one goes to Switzerland, right? Or Liechtenstein? Matbe the Caribbean?
Even better, how about ... Delaware, Nevada, and Wyoming?!?

The G20 and tax Haven hypocrisy
Big economies are leaning on offshore tax havens. But greater abuse may be taking place at home

Subject: Worldwide reserve currency

How about that? This kind of thing was recently brought up in the DD.
The dollar as a reserve currency

Handle with care
China suggests an end to the dollar era

Subject: RE: Daily Digest March 25, 2009


 Amazingly, the final decision in a case that has involved several government offices, two national Parliaments, and drawn media attention on both sides of the Atlantic, will belong to one person.
A uniformed border guard.
"(People trying to enter) have an interview with a CBSA officer," Kenney said.
"Someone who has been flagged with a preliminary assessment of inadmissibility is obviously going to get bigger scrutiny.
"But that border officer . . . makes what's called a fresh decision. That border officer looks at all the information and makes a decision on admissibility."

. . . will take how much time for the final decision maker to arrive at if "all the information" is looked at?
The decision can come mighty quick. My brother got into trouble once and got banned from entering the US, for life. Very fortunately (as it were), he was able to get that reversed. Here's what happened ...
My brother, who lived in  Toronto at the time, was to fly to a trade conference somewhere in the US. At Pearson Airport, the US border officer whom he faced asked him if he was off to the US on business. My brother, who was only to attend the conference, said no. The officer opened his bag .. and found a laptop computer's communication cable. He asked my brother what the cable was for, to which my brother answered that it was to exchange some files between two computers. Well, the border officer decided on the spot that this 15-minute process was 'work' and therefore told my brother that he couldn't enter the US for that. Okaaaaaay ... you can see where this is going.
My brother wasn't happy about this, but he could do nothing ... the officer's decision is law, and it can't be overturned, even by a judge in the US. There is NO appeal.
But things don't stop there ... the officer looked into my brother's file to see if he has a criminal record. My brother didn't (and doesn't) have one ... but the officer found something anyway. The officer, upon seeing this, told my brother that since my brother had answered 'no' to 'do you have a criminal record', my brother had lied and therefore tried to enter the US under false pretenses. The officer decided, on the spot, to ban my brother from ever again entering the US for any reason. Yow! And his decision was unappealable ... again, even a judge in the US would be unable to overturn that decision. This, of course, wasn't terribly for my brother.
What to do? First, my brother found out what his 'criminal' record had on it. It turns out that when he had just moved to Toronto when he was 17, he'd bought a second-hand guitar amplifier from a neighbour. How was my brother to know that the fellow had stolen it from another neighbour? (Duuuuuhhh .. we've allread stories of some thieves not being terribly bright. But you still don't expect to have something like this happen to you). So, a few days later, my brother gets a visit from the Toronto police, gets entered in the police database as having been in possession of stolen property, etc. Later, in court, my brother explains what happened and the judge quashed the charge of theft and possession, effectively meaning that my brother had never been charged with anything. So, he didn't get a criminal record out of all this. BUT (and there always is one), there was still a record that stayed in the police records. (Dum .. de-DUM-dum!)
BUT (again!), every silver lining has a black cloud. Years later, our doughty US border guard looks into my brother 'criminal' record and sees that he's been charged with theft and possession ... and my brother gets banned from the US. It turns out that what border officers see on their computer screens AREN'T criminal records ... they're POLICE records. This is why my brother got slammed.
To get out of all this, my brother had to hire a (Canadian) lawyer who helped him with getting his police record expunged (i.e., to get the quashed charges removed from his police record), who helped him an official letter stating that his record had been expunged, and who instructed him to send the letter to the US Border Security Office (or whatever ... this was pre-2001, so there was no Department of Homeland Security).
Six months later, my brother got back a letter. The first line of the opening paragraph read: 'Despite evidence of moral turpitude ...' (a fovorite stock-phrase of the Americans, that) yadayadayada ... the US government was (relunctantly) granting my brother permission to enter the country as if nothing had happened. Hahahaha ... even where a mistake's been made, the border security folks are into tough-guy intimidation.
All's back to normal again (it took about six months for everything to get worked out), but you can be sure that my brother's still on the US' border-watch list. He gets stopped for inspection every time, and once his entire family (him, wife, two young kids) were kept waiting for 12 hours in a US airport, after they'd flown over from the UK.
In retrospect, I can only conclude that:
   - it's a good thing that I've never been into playing guitar; and
   - it's a good thing that (except for a three-year period in my late 20s), I kept my hair short and didn't draw suspicion to myself.
Which, of course, doesn't mean that I haven't had any scrapes with US border security myself. My boss, two colleagies, and I were crossing by van at the Sarnia-Port Huron border crossing back in 1993, which ole Dingdong here at the wheel. Came the border officer, who was actually the only friendly one I'd ever run across. He asked me if everyone was a Canadian ciizen, and rather than let everyone answer for himself, I say 'yes' on their behalf. How was I to know that one of the two fellows of Chinese heritage sitting in back was a landed immigrant from Singapore?
Eee-YOW! I have NEVER seen someone's face and tome change so quickly: for my lasting education, I got a shouted 'DO YOU KNOW, SIR, THAT YOU HAVE STATED SOMETHING FALSE TO A BORDER OFFICER AND THAT I COULD TURN YOU AROUND RIGHT NOW AND PREVENT YOU FROM ENTERING THE US?'. Uuuuhhh ... and just a second earlier, he'd been a nice guy :-S. In the end, he DID let us through after checking all of our papers. But yours truly learned a valuable lesson (never speak on others' behalf at a border crossing), and DEFINITELY be alert when dealing with border officers.
Y'know, I look back upon these stories and I tell myself that they're definitely on the terrifyingly funny side. But I must admit that I'd laugh louder if they had happened to other people, hahahaha ...
P.S. To any DDers who have a police record ... GET IT EXPUNGED, if you can, PRONTO!
From: Ron Thornton
Hi Joe:
In regards to the March 24th Digest, the story from the GLOBE & MAIL - "Cold blood and adult penalties", where a 15-year old girl urges her boyfriend, over a long period of time, to kill a 14-year old girl she had not even met. She got life, though there is a chance she could get probation in 5 years. As I read this, I wondered if this was the type of sweet innocent the good folks in Quebec got all upset about protecting from bad ole Stephen Harper's vision of justice. Funny, my own reaction seems a bit in the other direction.
Interesting ... I must say that in practical terms, I doubt that any Quebec politician would want to touch this one. Which makes me wonder, as a Quebecer, whether all the racket made by QC politicians about rehabilitation being better than punishment is meant for less serious crimes.
My corrections-officer cousin feels that generally speaking, in his experience, there's nothing to be done about the hardballs who've been locked up for violent crimes.

I came across the article in the Calgary Herald - "When science gets religious, watch out" and I was reminded that those who are part of the Global Warming cult continue in their attempts to hijack the whole concept of scientific study and debate when it comes to their "religion." I guess I would have to agree with the headline.
Hear, hear! As a reputed holder of minority opinions, I fully sympathize. The scientific foundation for considering 'climate change obviously being driven by greenhouse gases' as established fact, let alone very probable, is nowhere near firm and complete.
And I must say that when I see the UN Council on the Environment (or whatever it's called) state in a major report that the consensus is that it's 90% probable that we're undergoing major climate change, that it's man-made, and that it's cause by greenhouse gasses, I'm shocked out of my mind.
Lots of irresponsible silliness comes out of the UN, but I'd figured that some of its key Councils would have been better behaved. But hey ... except in the Security Council, where the five Permanent Members have vetoes, everything's decided upon by majority vote. And if a gang of countries (whose votes are often bought) decides to go for national advantage (i.e., $$$ from rich countries, and no criticism from international moralizers, etc.) instead of 'doing the right thing', one gets this kind of stupidities.

Thanks again, Joseph.
Subject: Citizens' Forum For Better Government In Canada
From: Charles Conn <>
Hi Joe. I wonder if I could prevail upon you for a second-time favour regarding our upcoming Forum. The last date for the early bird rate is March 31, so we need a last-minute push.
The purpose of this one-day meeting is to hear speakers, exchange ideas and propose ways to improve governments' responsiveness to citizens¹ voices.
Now, here's something worthy.
And of course, my doubtful-humour impulse gets the better of me. The TAPC's phone number ... 905-212-9111.
905 ... OK
212 .. New York City's area code
9111 ... '911', lengthened
Is this a coded message, or what?
(Hahahahaha ..,. forgiveness, please).

From: "Phyllis Wagg"
Subject: For the Digest
Moving in the Wrong Direction?
There has not been a great deal of comment here recently on the way governments are handling the economic crisis.  In my opinion, both the Canadian and U.S. governments are going about the issue in the worst possible manner.
  I had great hopes for Obama but they have been dashed.  He does appear to understand the problem but not the solution.  He is eager to cater to those elements in the U.S. that have led to the crisis and he has given them even more rope to hang the United States.  The public display of disgust over the financial compensation for executives rewarded by government bailouts does not alter the reality that they are being rewarded.
Y'know, Professor Brainiac here's been wondering if there might be another way to stimulate the economy. Government taxation amounts to forced saving, and government spending amounts to forced consumption or investment. One way to increase national investment and consumption is for a government to spend, with it possibly being financed by borrowed funds as opposed to ones raised by taxation.
That being said ... if consumption's to be raised, could it be done by the federal government's issuing time-limited scrip? For example, if the the government were to issue to everyone coupons ('scrip') that could be used to buy any good or service in Canada for a limited time, Canadians would logically spend as much as they can before their scrip becomes worthless. There'd be issues to deal with, but one can imagine Canadians buying all sorts of stuff and getting consumption up again. ('A TV in every living room, a computer in every home office' ... handy for the poor, that. Or, if you're cynical, make that 'a case of 2-4 in every fridge' ... which is perfectly legitimate way to consume, patriotically).