Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daily Digest April 16, 2009



A budget for difficult economic times View comments1
If today's provincial budget features a deficit, as is expected, hopefully it will also include a plan for getting out of the red.

Keep Tamil Tigers on black list

Apply pressure to blood loss

An unenforceable law won't save any kids

Zardari mistake threatens Pakistan's stability

A Canadian symbol
Separating for the better
Politics of protest

Success one step at a time

Ignatieff makes sense on EI rules

Ignatieff has the right idea about taxes

 For-profit won't heal health care

 How the rich and powerful win again

 World is watching as China decides how to play its cards

Homeowners ought not to bear the risk

Hunger-striking for terrorists

Wrestling with Afghan mission

Time to return stranded Canadian

Michael Ignatieff's taxing problems

Chrysler's future

Ezra Levant's 'Shakedown' a lesson on free speech

Selling out to China

Local low-budget film thriller divulges 'real reason' for Iraq war

Government wise to maintain ban on Tamil Tigers
Taliban brutality grows unchecked by cowardly West

A heart of darkness

Helping the homeless the practical way

Treating a sick health system

Keeping faith in Afghanistan

Afghan women deserve equality

Put parks protection first

Opening fire on thieves neither safe nor sane

Let's be honest about alcohol

Review needed of Taser cops

Liberals swap Wii fun for online fluff

Obama learns the world is a dangerous place

NDP's 'environmental plan' just a gimmick



The difficulty of dumping Karzai

Foreign Advisors 'Inefficient'

Afghan Mission At a Tougher Stage: Mullen

Karzai asks Nato to explain civilian toll

Afghanistan's decisive days

Ottawa toughens stance on U.S. meat dispute.

'American approach to Cuba has not worked': Harper

Will U.S. stay the course in effort to scuttle piracy?

ANC planning to walk over constitution - Helen Zille

US-Israeli differences over Palestinians emerge

Obama shields CIA interrogators from charges

Monsanto considering legal action against Germany after corn-banning

Homeland Security backtracks on report on extremism

Harper to champion free trade at Latin American summit

Lawyer asks Supreme Court to hear pit bull ban challenge

Province must police conflict law

Liberals take lead in new poll

Liberals import Obama software for election preparations

Alberta leader fatigue is Tories' next big test

Liberals publish roadmap to rebuild party

Despite setbacks, these Conservatives won't fade away


Consumers face $4,000 cost to cover greenhouse gas measures: Panel

Climate panel presses for cap-and-trade system

Forget the scary eco-crunch: This Earth is enough

In tough times, can food firms sacrifice quality to reduce costs?

Soins de santé Contre la privatisation

Ottawa coupe 162 millions

Un organisme fédéral conseille à Ottawa de mettre un prix sur le carbone

Maher Arar demeure toujours persona non grata aux Etats-Unis

Un amendement à la Loi sur la citoyenneté entre en vigueur vendredi

L'aide internationale devrait être refusée aux pays ayant un gros budget militaire

Tony Clement défend les coupes dans le budget aux projets scientifiques

Chrysler doit réduire les coûts de sa main-d'oeuvre pour recevoir de l'aide

Ottawa investit dans la recherche dans le domaine de l'automobile au Canada


From: The Natroses

Hi again, Just a few thoughts on tax cuts. In a New Brunswick article, where a flat tax was introduce is having a major impact on services. Premier Graham is ticked off that the teacher's union refused to rollback their wages, and at the same time reducing funding in vital areas of education system. He is even offering teachers $1000 dollars to ignore the class size minimum ruling. Why is it when government reduces taxes, the average taxpayer pays for it through reduced services in education, health and added costs in living expenses?

Speaking about funding, the federal government seems to playing another game of giving funding, and than taking it away. This time it is the Atlantic Gateway project, and it appears to becoming null and void.

Another broken promise by the Harper government.

Minister Kenny is set to change the citizenship program. He states, "

"His department is conducting a complete review of the citizenship program to improve its content, "with a focus on Canadian values," Mr. Kenney told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

The government wants to ensure that people becoming Canadian citizens have a full appreciation of the country's values -- such as the rule of law and the equality of men and women--as well as its symbols and institutions, he said."

I decided to take a look on the government site, what is being taught. Although, I could not find the actual material being taught - I took a look on other sites. Here is a link to one of many, that has more or less the same things.

Just a little worry,about what Canadian values are they talking about. The Cons speak of having immigrants know more history of this country. Through what lens will the history be taught? The lens of our political institutions?  History from what I was taught is all the collective parts plus the individual's personal history and experiences. It is about people, and not the trappings of institutions, symbols and the bureaucrats who work within promoting only one aspect of the collective whole. If Harper and Kenney wanted change, they should start within the very institutions that they desire the immigrants to learn. A starting place, should be to correct how Newfoundland and Labrador's history starts in 1949. NL, along with the other Atlantic and Quebec provinces - all started out in the same era. The first correction should be, the oldest city in Canada is St. John's, NL. NL, has played a pivoted role in the history of Canada, yet our history books and our own government has discounted, downplayed the role of NL.

That said, watch for Harper and his gang and how they will handle the issue of France, St. Pierre with NL caught in the middle, over France demanding extending the boundaries to take advantage of more oil and gas rights in the North Atlantic. It should not take too long, before Harper and the gang insults all parties and shows their ignorance on the history between all parties.

Lastly, Harper has hired two American talking heads in an attempt to get more press time in the American media. How much is it costing the Canadian taxpayers for this little number. As stated in the article,

"Harper's bid for more face time before the American public is part of a long-term government strategy to "brand" Canada in a positive light, at a time when Ottawa is seeking close relations with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama."

How can Harper seek a closer relationship with United States, by openly boasting on national TV that Canada's way is much better and therefore superior. It could be very true, but I am sure there is a better way. Like using good old-fashioned methods such as talking and having regular meetings with the American officials. Making use of our Canadian ambassadors, and other institutions that has close contact with the American government. Plus, it looks as though the PM is aiming for a seat in another country, and not taking care of business at home.
Hi Joe, 
I have no idea of what Robert Gauthier is talking about. How he connects the three articles, "They should have been stopped," by David B. Harris, "Obama takes a bow," by Leonard Stern, and, "Low status now high status," by Josh Freed, in The Ottawa Citizen, April 15, 2009; and, "Gains made cannot be lost," by Kerry Thompson, in The Ottawa Sun, April 14, 2009," to his statement - " The continued "taunting of Canadian law and standards" by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Parliamentarians is "an insult to the parliamentary governmental system," as David Harris describes our democracy and that protects our "humanitarian principles and Canadian's security."
Threw me for a loop, trying to understand the connection. In one statement, he states - " How can the Prime Minister advocate and promote respect and protection of human rights in less fortunate countries while his officials, in particular, Canadian Parliamentarians led by Speaker of the House of Commons, the Hon. Peter Milliken, by their silence, acquiesce and consent to his public demonstration of contempt for the rule of law and for the Institution of the United Nations, not to mention the provisions of our own Canadian Constitution to enforce the Rule of Law.
If we can't assure the protection of human rights within Canada, guaranteed for every individual Canadian citizen, without exception, there is not much hope for other less fortunate countries.
We should not tolerate further delays that will inevitably continue the regression that is clearly taking place in Canada by politicians and bureaucrats with immunity and impunity." 
And than at the end of the article he states - " The intolerable affront by the Speaker of the House of Commons and by Canadian Parliamentarians, by their silence, to the dignity of our parliamentary institution and the undermining of the most important efforts of the Prime Minister of Canada, in his international quest for human rights equally for all people, must end."  
Since when did Harper acquire a taste for human rights for all people?  Last time I check, Canada has a few human rights abuses over the years, but Canada is not alone. Leaving a Canadian citizen stranded is one that brings to mind, how our government twists the rule of law to suit their political agenda, regardless of what rights are trampled on to satisfy the agenda. How about two European countries who made deals with a Somalia warlord to dump their toxic waste in their waters for big money? I guess a few poor nobodies who may or may not die from toxic poisoning does not matter to save a few dollars for the money hunger corporate crowd. Between the political and corporate crowd, they are just a guilty as the warlord who is killing his own people; the only difference is the choice of weapons.
I think Robert protests too much, and it makes me wonder if he is afraid that the human masses of this world will start to stand up and start to protest the political leadership of this world and how they operate, using the very same tactics as the local crime boss or the warlord.

"Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: Keep it clear and simple
Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2009
STV ballots not confusing? ("Don't be confused by STV," April 7, Gordon Fyfe). Maybe to some.

STV will elect from 2 to 7 MLAs per riding, depending on the riding, according to mathematically calculated "droop quotas" of 12.5% to 33% of votes received, again depending on the riding, in single rounds of votes or recalculated after redistribution of votes received if not enough candidates achieve quota.

The Weighted Inclusive Gregory Method of vote transfer is used to redistribute "surplus" votes over quota to other candidates according to their preferential standing as 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and so on candidates.

Never mind that few are likely to take the time to consider candidates at that level of complexity - life is busy, after all - except the 2% of voters who are said to be politically engaged and they will vote strategically. Votes over quota, the "surplus" votes in WIGM jargon, transferred to other candidates reduce the value of a single vote for a first round candidate to less than one as votes are transferred to other candidates - although the net value remains one. There is no second round vote, but instead rounds of vote recalcuation until enough candidates achieve quota to fill the 2 to 7 quota of MLAs assigned to the riding.

And there is nothing to prevent a party running multiple same-party candidates, so solid support in one riding can outweigh the vote in a riding of more diverse opinion, particularly if the solid support is in a riding with 7 elected MLAs while the riding of diverse opinion is allowed to elect only 2 MLAs.

The vote is historic and it could change democracy in BC and Canada forever. Consider this too: democracy in Canada is respected around the world because it works even if nothing in life is ever perfect

Simple, clear, democratic and well understood, our existing system, first-past-the-post, is a truly democratic choice.

Brian Marlatt

White Rock