Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daily Digest March 28, 2009



Play nice

Why not send western power to the east? View comments1
An east-west power grid sharing Canadian power sources would offer exciting potential.

Climate 'vote' a bit too easy

Government absent: The need for an election

N.S. only paying lip service to mental health issue

Banned British MP deserves right to speak

U. S. follows Canada's lead in Afghanistan

OK to block inappropriate websites at schools, libraries

NATO turns 60 with much to do

Ontario's nanny shame

Illuminating Earth Hour

Jail sentences without coupons

Focus restored

Unsung Arctic hero

The Week That Was

U.S. follows Canada's lead in Afghanistan

RCMP shamed by testimony

McGuinty had help with this scheme

When PM quits, watch for old loyalties in leadership race

Lights out, please

Complete sentences

Economic crisis spurs call for currency reform

Group of 20 needs to tread cautiously

Snowbird saga reflects neglect of national icons

As it happens, Canada needs the CBC
Before I was allowed to drive at 16, I spent quite a lot of time being chauffeured back and forth to a swimming pool with other kids in a carpool.
Broken RCMP needs overhaul

Pull down the Mother Corp

A good week for tolerance

$1.9B burned and gone

Frank talk with lenders will avert a mortgage problem

We need answers on Kinsella's role

The cheaper alternative
B.C. Rail needed management smarts

From Gaza, with lies

How IDF testimonies led to the 'Haaretz blood libel'


Obama now owns Afghan war and will be judged by it


Watchdog rejects government bid to delay Afghan detainee inquiry

Air force hits back at critics of search and rescue purchase

Military misfires shoot up: report

Military says Canadian-built planes don't meet specs

CAN Reportedly Upgrading New Tanks in Europe to Replace Tired Ones in AFG Quicker =

U.S. follows Canada's leadin Afghanistan

BMO caught up in AIG bailout probe
Could lead to U. S. attempts to claw back funds

Tata shows Big Three the way

CAW, Chrysler still far apart

 China-based spies target computers across globe

Obama retools Afghan war strategy

The slope was indeed slippery

NL to Address Labrador Boundary with Federal Agencies

McGuinty accused of betraying the poor

Photo op not necessarily the end of Ottawa-Quebec cold war

Layton urges PM to expand EI benefits

Van Loan 'alarmed' by terror cells

Kenney's crossroads

Controversial Calgary member of Parliament in nasty political fight

Ian Brodie offers a candid case study in politics and policy

Government attempts to ban pro-Galloway submissions from court: supporters

Organizers say Galloway's Canadian tour will go ahead

The trillion-dollar UN climate plan

How this man wants to reinvent Canadian multiculturalism

Galloway Ban Mocks Canadian Justice

Banning MP wrong

Conrad Black: The magnificent absurdity of George Galloway

Kenney's crossroads
Some call it intolerant, others like the Minister's muscular multiculturalism

Automakers' ultimatum overrides instincts

Crime and politics

Témoigner ou pas avec un niqab

Harper évite les médias canadiens

Jeunes criminels séparés des adultes

Échec des discussions entre Chrysler et les TCA

La crise sème l'inquiétude

Galloway aurait un plan B

Les organisateurs de "l'Heure de la Terre" veulent lancer un message clair

Des organismes sociaux du Québec sont inquiets à l'approche du G-20


From: Ron Thornton

Greetings Joseph:

The tidbit that drew me to the keyboard in your latest Digest was the Globe & Mail's article - "CBC to scale back sports coverage, prime-time shows." To be honest, my first reaction was to ask "Then, is there any reason to keep the CBC?" The article told us the outfit would make fewer episodes of "Little Mosque On The Prairie." Thank God for small miracles, as that sounds to me as money well unspent. It plans to reduce its gripping coverage of figure skating, swimming, and soccer. Just three more reasons I don't watch the network as it is. As for the news, as left leaning as it is, they are planning to slice jobs there as well. So, less Canadian programming, less sports, less news. So, just what in hell do these clowns spend their money on if the few items that give it any form of relevance are being cut?

The Red Deer Advocate's "CBC Deserves Our Support" did bring up some decent arguments, though what they point out as the CBC's strengths are the areas these bozos are putting on the chopping block. With a very few exceptions, private media outlets can not be relied upon for independent news reporting. You need reporters for that and a dedication to news coverage, and a vast majority in radio do not, while hard news coverage in television is not what it was. Hell, most radio stations no longer have real operators at night and what you do hear either isn't live or doesn't originate anywhere near you. That is one area the CBC could be, though really hasn't been, of value. Cut the original programming, the sports, and the news, and you don't have much left of value either. As for the self-indulgent promotion of Canadian writers, musicians, and other cultural ventures that few ordinary folks seem to really give a damn about, might I suggest they be repackaged to interest a larger audience and regain some form of relevance. If what is being promoted has minimal mass appeal, then it either isn't been presented right or isn't worth our time. For a entity that gobbles up a billion of our taxpayer dollars every year, programming directed at the mass audience doesn't seem too much to ask for. If they want to present the obscure, then have somebody who value's such tripe pay the freight for the privilege of producing and airing it.

Everyone has rights, but no one seems to want any responsibilities. I've mentioned that before, so I appreciated the Prince George Citizen's "A Charter of Responsibilities." As it pointed out, "In Trudeau's Canada everyone has rights, but no responsibilities. This is the ethos and attitude that is at the root of many of the social ills currently plaguing this country." That statement is right on the money. Just take our kids, for example. Every time I come across a seminar that is focussed on how to deal with kids and their cell phones, their texting, their asses being parked in front of some kind of gaming screen, their lack of interest in school, the drugs, wondering who their friends are, what they are up to, etc I just want to scream. If your kid has such problems, odds are you are the cause of it through your failure of being a responsible parent. My kids can get their own damn cell phone when they turn 18. Until then, they can borrow the family phone when the need (note: NEED) arises. Texting? No such thing in my house. My kids gets time on the computer, but more on the ball field and the basketball court when the homework is done. Bad marks? Hey, part of my responsibilities is to motivate them, and my methods seem to work. I know who their friends are, I know where my 14 year old sons are, and I trust them because they give me reason to (and Lord help them if the give me cause not to). If there is a party, it better be for somebody's birthday with parents overseeing the festivities or they don't go. Because I love my children, I also have come to love the word "no." I use it a lot. My sons are very used to hearing it. They can't believe some of their peers don't hear it more often.

Until they turn 18, the conduct of my children is my responsibility. Mine. I'm the parent, they are the children, and we don't confuse the roles. Not once has my wife or I ever felt the desire to escape from our children. Never. Our children are our main focus, regardless of what else is happening in our lives. It is a responsibility we take seriously. If your current circumstances are a direct result of your own decisions, just make sure your children don't pay the price for your mistakes. That also is your responsibility.

So ends my sermon, Joe.

Ron Thornton

From: Charles Tupper
Subject: Bilderbergers to Meet in Athens, mid-May

The most powerful elite will meet in Athens

When is the Bohemian Grove Group meeting? Any one?
From: Larry Kazdan
To: Vancouver Sun LetED <>
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Canadians can be prou
d of their military history, Editorial, March 26

Re:  Canadians can be proud of their military history, Editorial, March 26
We can all be proud of our Canadian military history but don't pretend we are in Afghanistan despite a "commitment to peacekeeping".  The fact is, we now have only 24 soldiers and 40 military observers working on UN Missions.  This is not the fault of our military.  It is the fault of  politicians concerned more with US trade relations than with saving thousands of lives in Africa by providing troops and resources required for urgent peace missions.
Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

From: "Phyllis Wagg"
Subject: RE: Daily Digest March 26, 2009

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).
The problem is that the use of coupons is the same as increasing the money supply inside the country without generating the necessary legal tender to pay for imports
.  Since most of our consumer goods are now imported, supply would decline and prices go up creating inflation.  In small communities it has worked as long as the trade remains within the confines of the community (e.g. this was done in a town in England).  The coupons could only be used for items produced locally, not for goods produced elsewhere and most consumer goods today are not even produced nationally.  Hopefully will we not get to the point of creating these micro economies but given the reactions of our politicians to situation it could possibly become a survival mechanism. 
The objective behind globalization was the maximization of profit for those who could participate by moving investment capital to parts of the world where labour costs and environmental and other regulations are minimal.  In order to product this form of "free capital market" governments had to give up a great deal of control.
Many of the old theories of how the economy works no longer seem valid.  For example, lowering interest rates at one time could actually help reverse a national recession or raising them could reduce inflation.  Today policies such as this are becoming less and less effective on a national basis because of globalization.  Our economic theories and models have not kept up with global integration and the growing power of financial capital.  The concept of "free market" is nothing more than the freedom of global capital to maximize its financial return.
History suggests would be more effective to distribute the money that is being transferred to financial capital directly into the hands of the consumers that need it via programs such as improved unemployment insurance.  Why should the banks and their shareholders have more right to the "wealth of the nation" than other citizens?  The underlying assumption of today's capitalism is that they are the entitled.     
What the government is basically doing is creating new money for the banks to "lend" and then borrows that money to invest in things such as infrastructure.  In return taxpayers end up rewarding financial capital both by the created money and the interest on borrowing.  The reason that the money is allocated in this way is because of the fear that politicians will print too much money and cause inflation decreasing the value of the currency if not controlled by the free market for financial capital.  Financial institutions are most interested in lending to government rather than business because it is less risky.  Remember that the right wing argument in the past has been that government borrowing money for programs leaves less money for business.  We no longer hear that argument nearly as often.
The system is based on the assumption that the market will control the amount of money in the system preventing inflation.  In theory, there should be little excess money in the system other than what is required to keep the real economy operating and inflation low.  Theories don't always hold in practice, especially in a global economy.  Estimates are that there is eight to ten times more money in the global economy than is required to keep the system operating.  Where is that money and how is it being used?  Is it being hoarded or is their far more "junk value" in the system then has so far been rooted out?  I am afraid that the latter is more the case than the former.
People should not be fooled by the increases in the Stock Market. It appears that a great deal of it is been used to manipulate stock and other markets.  That makes investing for the ordinary person highly risky.  For example, in my experience increasing employment triggers a rise in the stock market.  This is based on the assumption that the eliminating wage costs will increase profits.  Eliminating labour costs only increases profits when labour costs are replaced by other efficiencies such as new technology.  It does not work that way in a recession.
I believe we are in a long-term transitional period when market ideology will undergo major changes and the end result will be a vastly different system.  At this point, governments are resisting the inevitable correction and transformation making the situation worse.  Whether our political and economic class will realize that in time to prevent a total collapse causing massive poverty and social unrest is impossible to predict.        
Phyllis Wagg   

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Sent: Fri 3/27/2009 9:48 AM
To: Christina Blizzard
Subject: Taxes not up one cent

Christina--Every move our provincial or federal governments make is to grab more money from us taxpayers.  That is their only reason for being.  I defy anyone to name one instance where any of this money has bettered life for any of us.   We hear the spin 'working together' but it is us that do the heavy lifting.  No matter what our governments do it costs us more money, not just in taxes but in costs.  The GST was instituted to get rid of the Manufacturers Sales tax but none of the products were cheaper--the cost just went up 7%.  So where was the saving for the consumer and the taxpayer?
But not to worry--this harmonization is just one of many tax reforms--HUH???  We know there is only one winner, and it isn't the taxpayer.  This is supposed to be for job growth--but where will the jobs be when there are no consumers?
He will freeze MPP salaries?  Probably just increase the perks?  I have yet to hear of any costs incurred by being an MPP  not paid for by the taxpayer, right down to their food and drink.  So perhaps their 'salaries' are just icing on the cake?
I like calling it what it is--the SH$T tax.  Truth in government--what a concept.

To: Becky

Good point. Would you like me to forward your e-mail to letters to the editor?

Christina Blizzard
Queen's Park Columnist
Sun Media

From: Lorimer Rutty
Subject: at the check-out

I was standing in line, the woman ahead of me was fumbling with her 
food stamps.
The cashier was having a bad day. It was therefore a good day to 
carefully scan the 'check-out' tabloids.
My eyes glazed. I thought for a fleeting moment that I had seen a 
front page piece co-authored by a
Rogers, Rempel, Gingrich rant.
The cashier smiled as she stacked the food stamps. Reality returned 
and I wondered on which shelf
they might display Joe's DD.
Gosh; I hope he is able to hire a good cartoonist....... it might help 


From: Patricia Beecham
Subject: Fwd: Canada's Military

Hi Joe,

Here is a letter that was forwarded to me that your subscribers might be interested in. 

Pat Beecham

  I thought you might be interested in this e-mail I just received. I don't know who the writer is but sure hits hard.  

Subject: Fw: Canada's Military
Below is the letter I have sent to Greg Gutfeld of FOX network's "Redeye" regarding his comments on Canada's military and which I will be sending to my local newspaper.  If you are as incensed as I am, please forward it to others on your e-mail list; if not, or if you are satisified with his apology, feel free to delete it.
  ----- Original Message -----
From: peter salter
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 1:01 PM
Subject: Canada's Military
Dear Mr. Gutfeld;
As a Canadian, I find your lame duck apology for your despicable comments on Canada's military to be totally inadequate.  Perhaps you and your ignorant, redneck audience would find the following to be just as humourous should you care to share it with them, which I don't imagine you will.
Your comments and those of your "commentators" were not only an insult to the men and women of the Canadian armed forces but also demonstrate once again the appalling arrogance and ignorance of Americans such as yourself.  Let's take a quick look at American military prowess as seen from a non-American standpoint.
Invade Canada because they have no army? You tried that back in 1812 and got your American butts kicked.  The only significant battle that US forces won in that war was the Battle of New Orleans which was actually fought several weeks after a peace treaty had been signed in Europe.  And even in this battle, your Old Hickory (was that a reference to his head) depended on the support of a French pirate and his men who betrayed the British.  How's that for an amusing play on Andy's nickname?
Actually, when it comes to winning wars on your own, the only one you can lay claim to is your Civil War, which Americans of one side or the other pretty well had to win, didn't they?  In the Revolutionary War you had the French to help you.  In the Spanish American War, you had the local indigenous populations to help you.  Are you finding this amusing?
You largely took a pass on World War One until it was three quarters over and then sent only a token force most of whom saw no action before the spring of 1918.  Canada, by contrast put 10% of its entire population in uniform and these men were invariably given the most difficult objectives which they always achieved, unfortunately with the loss of a full 10% of its force - that's killed, not just wounded.  And who were your great heroes?  Eddie Rickenbacher who managed to shoot down a total of 26 enemy aircraft in about the same amount of time that the Canadian ace, Billy Bishop, shot down 72.  Where did your guys learn to fly?  Then there was that hillbilly hick from Bear Creek Hollow, Tennessee named Alvin York.  What the hell kind of name is that for a soldier?  Alvin's a bloody chipmunk's name!  Am I being funny yet?
Of course in World War Two you Americans jumped in when it had only been going on for two years and a quarter years, but you made up for it by taking all the credit.  Again, it was mainly the Canadian forces who took the brunt and who were given the toughest assignments in areas like the Italian campaign and at Normandy.  Why do we never hear anything from Hollywood about what the Canadians achieved at Juno Beach, generally regarded by most historians, other than Americans, as a tougher objective than Utah or even Omaha Beaches?  Why don't you American know that the Canadian Division was held back from entering Rome on June 6, 1944 so that Georgie Patton's ego could be satisfied, his ego and propensity for slapping Privates being his two most outstanding leadership qualities. Are you bozos laughing now?   "But we Americans won the War in the Pacific," I hear you saying.  Yes, after the Australians and Chindits showed you how to defeat the Japanese at jungle warfare. 
Unfortunately, those lessons in jungle warfare seemed to have been forgotten by the time you got to Vietnam where about the only things American troops did were drugs and young Vietnamese women.  Isn't this just hilarious? 
And now you're going to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan where, given your extremely limited success in Iraq (another war you don't seem to be capable of winning), it's just possible that the Canadian and other lesser UN forces there may feel they would be better off without.  You Americans are just a laugh a minute!  No wonder the rest of the world loves you so much!
As I suggested at the outset, I doubt if this will be shared with your audience (which, by the way, doesn't and never will include me), but if you do, I'm sure you will all take it in the humorous vein in which it is intended.  Excuse me now while I extract my tongue from my cheek.
Peter Salter
A justifiably proud Canadian    

From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Earth Hour is a joke, Editorial, March 27

Re: Earth Hour is a joke, Editorial, March 27
If Earth Hour is a joke, then National Post editorialists should lighten up a bit, even while others are lighting down.  Turning off the electricity for an hour is hardly a renunciation of ourselves, nor the inter-twined march of technology and the free market which the Post so idolizes. Even Coco-Cola recognizes that Earth Hour is but the pause that refreshes. But while we're sitting in the dark, maybe a light bulb will go off, and we'll see the light.  There is only one earth; we can't live on it as if there were six.
Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  If I could spit nails, it would describe my angry towards Day and the Harper government. The implications are far reaching, where it would change our fundmental values, our beliefs, and a shift to force people of any stripe political or religion that one must take the side of Israel. If you did not, there will be consequences. It will start with the Muslims, than include anyone with Arab descent, than other peoples whose religion is not based on Christian or Jewish dogma, and finally the people of any stripe including Christians who are openly protesting and making their opinions, statements publicly that they do not support Israel either on a political or on a religious base.

This is how Hitler came into power, by making it very uncomfortable for German citizens to object when the consequences would be harsh. It was better to keep quiet. By keeping quiet, it allow Hitler to continued on his mad path of taking over Europe. In German it began with statements that generalized and put Jewish people in a bad light, and today we are seeing it in the form where  voicing another point of view that is not in keeping with Israel or Canada's political and social mandates of governments has now been extended to being hate speech regarding the Jewish people so people are made very uncomfortable when voicing another opinion.

Are not the same tactics being played as Hitler did before 1936, to his country? Hasn't the Harper Cons used these same tactics in trying to change voters minds to vote Conservative, by first telling us we are under delusions to have opinions that are not in keeping with conservative ideology, and if that does not work, attempts are made to insult and belittle the person in question. Is it not the same tactics the JDL is using in Canada, as Hitler did to them? Isn't the agreement using the same tactics, but in this case making it country wide and firmly placing Canada out of the neutral zone in world politics?

There is a quote I read the other day, that the only way to peace, is to have open dialogue. To have open dialogue, all must come to the table to understand the other side. The leading governments are so far away from the table of peace, because they all demand to take sides. Understanding does not take place in environments where there is only one right side.

From: Bernard J Finestone

Dear Grenville,
I agree with everything you have said. I have just retired after over 70 years in the military including living in officers messes for 3 1/2 years overseas in WW2, under the restrictions you have described. I would like to point out that we were free to discuss anything that did not breach military security any time we wished to. The restrictions applied only to the mess because this was everybodies home for years on end and the military wanted every member of the mess to feel comfortable and at home.
They may have been incorrect but the intention was commendable. Speaking for myself I preferred not to discuss some of these subjects in a public forum.
HCol  Bernard J Finestone,  CD, CdeG (Ret)

Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2009 8:24 AM
Subject: FW: Call to action from Stewart Wells

Hi all, Sorry for any duplications, but please contact the 3 MP offices below by email before Monday, and if you send them an email please copy the email to the NFU as well.  The Bloc is an important player in this so don't forget to email Andre Bellavance.  Thanks, Stewart Wells

Emergency Call to action from NFU President Stewart Wells

Please help us change the course of history, again!

Over this coming weekend (March 28 and 29) and into Monday (March 30), I am asking people to contact – either by phone, fax or e-mail - the offices of the following Members of Parliament:

Wayne Easter
(Liberal Agriculture from Prince Edward Island)

            Phone 613-992-2406,

Fax 613-995-7408,


 Ralph Goodale, (Liberal MP from Saskatchewan)

            Phone 613-947-1153,

Fax 613-996-9790,


André Bellavance (Bloc Quebecois Agriculture Critic from Quebec)

            Phone 613-995-1554,

Fax 613-995-2026,


Please urge these MPs – and their respective political parties - to support the NDP's "hoisting motion" pertaining to Bill C-13, An Act to Amend the Canada Grain Act. Bill C-13 has serious implications for the Canadian Grain Commission. The "hoisting motion" could be introduced in the House of Commons on Monday, March 30.

[A hoisting motion will put Bill C-13 "on ice" for approximately six months.]

·          The list of reasons is very long, but here are a few points to consider:

·          Everyone knows that the deregulation of the financial sector has been an absolute disaster, and Bill C-13 is just deregulation of the grain industry in Canada;

·          Bill C-13 eliminates licensing and bonding of grain companies and places farmers at greater risk;

·          Bill C-13 fundamentally changes the mandate of the Canadian Grain Commission and removes farmer protection;

·          Given the grave consequences if Bill C-13 is passed, any party that doesn't support the NDP's hoisting motion is actually supporting the Conservative government's bill.

Thank you for your assistance on this very important initiative.

Stewart Wells
, President, National Farmers Union

From: "John Dowson"

----- Original Message -----

From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: POLL Will the new Afghanistan plan work?

POLL Will the new Afghanistan plan work?
President Obama's new strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan represents a major shift from
the policies of the Bush administration. But given the determination of the Afghan insurgency,
and the growing threat from Pakistan, is there any way the US can succeed?

1.Yes. Afghanistan will finally get the attention and support it needs.

 NOT EXACTLY, but the USA empire may get a forward base for their power and oil, even though they don't need it for prosperity at home..

 The presence of US military and civilian people for a few years can establish a certain significant number of "westernized' citizens, and some physical, commercial, and perhaps educational institutions. It is possible that some accommodation can be made with hinterland ethnic groups. I don't know what is possible. But if the adjacent big powers of Russia, China, Pakistan Iran and India all abjure support for the Taliban, then the USA may gain a centre of secure influence. Such is the interplay of balance of big power politics. I wish it were not so. -- If this happens, USA oil interests will build the pipeline they want.

I would much rather see all the big powers go home with all their heavy artillery and soldiers to build plowshares and carpenter's saws and hammers to grow food and build homes.

Many nations have had empires. The Mongols, the Persians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Carthagians, the Romans, the Austrians, the Germans, the Swedes, the Danes, the Belgians, the Dutch, the British, the Portuguese, the Japanese, the Russians, In every case after they lost empire, each of these nations prospered, especially Japan, Germany, Britain and France. No nation needs an empire for the people in such nation to prosper. Obama is accepting the old imperial failed formula for greatness --- military domination.

2. No. Afghanistan isn't called the "graveyard of empires" for nothing.

The Taliban has little external support if Pakistan is separated from Afghanistan, which is possible. The USA power can do what they want to call success, but both Afghanistan and Iraq will be expensive fairly short term power bases. --I believe the empire is in decline, but not in collapse. The present new emperor will preside over somewhat more civilized international leadership.

[[ It's not YES or NO. Almost nothing ever is. ]]

-----Jacob Rempel, Vancouver

Thanks Jake
From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: on his knees

Wonder what Harper is giving Quebec this time to improve

his image ?????


QUEBEC - Officials with the Prime Minister's Office have asked for a meeting with Premier Jean Charest during Stephen Harper's visit to Quebec City this weekend.

From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Canada will 'not be bullied' by Russia: Cannon
'And if Russia tries to pull off that stunt again, Canada will answers from the mouth of its Cannon', declares Stephen Harper-Frontenac.
Halton Liberals to Garth -- come back; we miss you
Note that 'Liberals' doesn't mean 'voters'. So says my un-partisan sister, who lives there.
Requiem for Rob Anders. If we're lucky
RA: forgotten, but not gone. Time to get Phase II underway.


From: "Grenville Rogers" <>
Subject: Border guard lesson
Hello Joe  - 
Thanks to Stratos for sage advice on crossings and Border Guards.
Sage, moi? Heartfelt thanks, Grenville. I'm just a guy who believes that keeping one's eyes open (which includes copious reading), directly experiencing stuff, and speaking about it (and getting one's pants pulled down when shown to be in error .. very beneficial, that). Plus, I like to contribute to the DD for several other reasons:
   - the folks here are genuinely interested in socio-political debate, and I learn to think in ways previously foreign to me;
   - I keep getting reminded that politics aren't an objective thing (i.e., where everything can be thought of as being moved by socio-historic forces) as opposed to a subjective thing (i.e., where the things and people being dealt with have a will of their own and move accordingly .. sort of like playing chess with pieces that have minds of their own);
   - I get to practice my style, grammar, and punctuation (<-- for real! I write a fair bit as part of my work, and I'm always looking to improve them whenever I can ... believe me, mastering commas, colons, and semicolons, among others, really DOES make for clearer reading .. now, if I could just get more concise, hahahahaha ....).

Someone wrote on the inside cover of a book;
Meekness - A willingness to go unnoticed and unpraised.
Lowliness - An uncomlaining disposition of mind.
Wish I could be like that. It's a goal, anyway.
Back to soapbox philosophizing ... I actually believe that seeking meekness and lowliness can end only one way: in one's becoming meek and low.
My wife tells me that she finds me 'immodest' (bless her soul!), in the sense that I feel a need to always question things, reframe them, and seek argument (in the positive sense ...) with others. By immodest she didn't mean arrogant, she meant non-self-effacing, so unmeek. My reply to her (inspired by Churchill): 'The only people who ought to be modest are those who have reason to be so'. I actually consider modesty, meekness, and lowliness to be VICES if fully accomplished. My personal philosophy is generally that of Greece's old Stoics (stay above it all in spirit, stay serene and indifferent in the face of success and difficulty, damper your passions), but with a good dose of old Epicureanism (moderation in everything ... including moderation). In my mind, for example:
   - modesty is the opposite of arrogance, and neither is to be aimed for; I prefer considering things (including myself) in proper proportion (i.e., no matter how good a person is, he/she's only a man or woman) and context;
   - meekness and self-importance ... same reasoning as above; an example: when John Paul Getty, an oil billionaire was asked why he was so unostentatious with his wealth, he answered that he may be a billionaire, but he can still only eat one steak at a time;
   - lowliness and personal aggrandizement ... same again; one shouldn't avoid the just praise of other people (unless there's good reason to), but one shouldn't be too much of a self-promoter, generally speaking (although this isn't always true ... witness Donald Trump from self-promotion).
So, as my brother once told me "(I) JUST don't like to say 'yes' or 'no', (I) always want to ARGUE" (back in 2005, after I answered 'Well, when it comes to certain things ...' after he'd said 'George Bush is a bunghole'), he was right. But I still have to learn to behave in context, which means I should say 'yup' and 'nope' more often. DOn't y'all here expect much of that from me, though ... those answers don't cut it in public forums, where one has to justify oneself.
All that to say: "LET the PEOPLE know my WISDOM!", hahahaha. (<-- A stylistic trick I've developed during my DD tenure .... the 'haha' turns the self-praise around and turns it into nudge-nudge-wink-wink bombast).
 Thanks for all your work re DD, and thanks to each contributor. I've learnt a lot from them. It's a good thing we're not all the same. If all men were the same, each would want the same woman. Big problem! The differing opinions of DD contributors makes one think more. Lo, and behold! I've been wrong at times.
Likewise from me.

There are a few subjects which are rarely freely and openly discussed. I would like, very much, to have them discussed in a forum such as DD. Opinions would certainly vary. They would be strongly held by some, and strongly opposed by others. But I think it would be a very healthy exercise to have them fully, frankly, honestly and fearlessly expressed.
My feelings exactly, as long as things don't get out of hand. Far be it for us Canadians to fall into shrill, US-style pseudo-debate.

After enlisting in what was then (1952) the RCAF, we went through an orientation (indoctination) course, during which we were told that certain subjects were not appropriate for discussion in the officers' mess. If one successfully passed the training program, he would be commissioned, and thus a member of the officers' mess. The verboten subjects were: women, politics and religion. It was obvious that the examination following the 'orientation' course would include the question, "What matters should not be discussed in an officer's mess?" It was.
After dutifully listing each forbidden subject, I submitted an"However".
'You JUST don't like to say 'yes' or 'no' ...' ... hahahaha. Carry on!

For example, after "women", I commented that women comprised at least half the world's population; my mother was a woman, my sister is a woman, some friends are women, many of my teachers were women and many women I know are very nice. Women make the best mothers, and have more influence on the course of the world than do most men.
After "Politics", I said that politicians really affect our lives and our country, for good at times, and for evil at times; and they send us to war; they tax us; they prohibit things and they demand things. They promise, but don't often keep.
After "Religion", Every man is religious, without exception. What he believes affects how he treats his fellow creatures, and influences what he does as a politician or at work or in his home. Some have killed in the name of religion.
I think we should be able to discuss such important matters as women. politics and religion.
Yes, Sir!

I would be pleased to read the opinions of your many DDers on some of the present-day forbidden subjects. I can list them if you wish.
What do you think? 
By all means, do so, Grenville. And I'll contribute one right now ... I feel that it's OK to call knuckleheads 'retards' in private, but not in public. It's not a question of self-censorship, it's just a question of good public manners, in the sense that one should be mindful of insulting the mentally challenged. 'Retards' is a word of contempt, and using it is thus a matter of self-command and of acting in accordance with one's context.
What say?

From: "KONKEL"
Subject: Fw: - The 2% Solution not 4 % tax hike... please read this and forward to your friends in toronto

 ----- Original Message -----
From: alan heisey
Cc: joe hueglin, daily digest
Saturday, March 28, 2009 12:45 PM
Subject: Re: - The 2% Solution not 4 % tax hike... please read this and forward to your friends in toronto

chuck i think you should forward all such communications to joe hueglin whose daily digest reaches some 4,000 email readers across the country, cz
On 2009 Mar27, at 18:58, KONKEL wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: Councillor Ootes
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2009 5:37 PM
Subject: E-News Special Update - The 2% Solution

e-News Special Update
Do you want Toronto Council to approve a 4% Property Tax Increase Next Week?
If you don't, we need your help to fight it!
Please read this message to find out how.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, Mayor David Miller and his Executive Committee unanimously supported, and are recommending to Toronto City Council, a 4% RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.
I have been working with ten other City Councillors to present a realistic, responsible alternative, that demonstrates leadership, fairness and restraint. The 2% SOLUTION was released to the City Hall Press Gallery. We have identified $85 million in cost reductions.
We are continuing our fight to get our message to all Torontonians and to our colleagues on Council before the vote on Wednesday, April 1st, 2009.
What YOU can do:
   1. Call or email the Mayor & Councillors today and let them know you support the 2% SOLUTION.  Click here for their contact information 
(see sample wording below)  
   2. FYI - The Responsible Government Group are: Councillor's Milczyn, Stintz, Ootes, Feldman, Nunziata, Palacio, Jenkins, Parker, Shiner, Lee, and Ashton.  We need to reach the other Councillors and Mayor Miller.
   3. Forward this e-NEWS to your contacts living in Toronto as this tax increase effects everyone across Toronto. GET INVOLVED!
   4. Please read the attached presentation to review the 2% SOLUTION DETAILS, and The Responsible Government's PRESS RELEASE.
Thank you. If you have questions, please do not hesitate in contacting me at 416-392-4032.
Sample message to Councillors:
I do not support the 2009 Operating Budget as proposed by Mayor Miller, the Budget Committee and the Executive Committee.  I do support the Responsible Government Group at City Hall.  I support their 2% Solution, alternative budget plan and the cost savings identified.  I ask you as elected officials to show leadership and approve a responsible budget. Please support the 2% SOLUTION.
Add your own comments
Name/Address etc.
 <2 percent solution media presentation.ppt><Press Release - 2% Tax Solution.pdf>