Monday, April 06, 2009

Daily Digest April 6, 2009



Budgets critical

AG's report finds gaps in airport security

With capitalism dying, what's left to protest?

Information age fails among feds

Sticking behind the gun registry

The data deficit in real estate

Freedom of speech isn't an elective

Our embarrassing Afghan allies

War in Afghanistan not about helping women -

Tuition fee fraud

Tories right to end extra jail credit

Gov't obduracy over Canadian demands answers

Bring Abdelrazik home

What are we fighting for?

HIV honesty is everyone's right

First Nations join the table

Time to give the Mother Corp a divorce

As it happens, Canada really needs the CBC

Have the first Israelite sites built after Exodus been found?


Afghans 'reworking' marital rape law: Cannon

Karzai fights back as storm grows over rape laws

U.S. general says surge makes Afghan war 'winnable'

Canadians don't understand Afghan customs and culture

All roads lead to Pakistan

Karzai fights back as storm grows over rape laws
The Independent (04/06/2009)
The Afghan regime must tackle its own corruption
The Independent (04/06/2009)
Rally demands ex-U.S. ambassador to contest Afghan presidential elections

Heroic German shepherd dog sniffs out landmines for Canadian troops

Burned sub Chicoutimi poised for 30-day voyage from Halifax to the West Coast

No separate bailout in the works for auto parts suppliers: Premier McGuinty

Canadian air force to map Afghanistan

Canada sticks to plan to fix US lumber trade breach

Forecaster estimates Canadian unemployment will peak at 9.5 per cent in 2010

With economy so bad, Bank of Canada my revert to printing money

Iraq bombs linked to Sunni militias who fought against al-Qaida
• Thirty-four dead in seven Baghdad bomb blasts
• Explosions follow arrests of key Awakening figures

Canada stuck in the middle of Cuba summit snub

Proposed EU ban on seal products 'disappointing': Cannon

Pentagon spending cuts would kill big programs

Canada to 'stay course' on aid for Haiti

Feel safe in hospital? You're not

The health-care grass isn't always greener

Our justice system is a competitive edge

Feds grab goodies

HIV-positive man killed with hatred

Marriage Fraud Targeted

Enhanced driver's licences to cross into U.S. available soon in B.C.

What Conservatism Ontario Tom Long,
The following is an edited excerpt from Tom Long's recent presentation to the Manning Networking Conference and Exhibition in Ottawa

Newfoundland's profitable lesson on non-profits

Canada's banks soundest in the world, Flaherty says

Tories to fill in blanks on Ignatieff leadership questions

It's not just about Mulroney
How to spend your stay of execution
Mulroney v. Harper

Kennedy-Glans says Conservatives should change nomination rules in Calgary West

Playing Ontario against Quebec backfires

Ignatieff urges 'public park' to protect North Pole

Are Conservatives turning green?
Jim Prentice's appointment as environment minister is viewed as sign Tories now take portfolio seriously

Was bomber flap Tory ploy?

Ignatieff wades into Tory spat, praises Mulroney

Federal government says credit card grace period months away
Gun owners blast firearms bill

MPs slam government over CBC cuts

MPs try to figure out how to help worst-hit industries in global recession

Tobacco farmers to receive $284 million under transition program

Ottawa injects $100M into cultural festivals

Spy agency warns about complacency over al-Qaida

Canada still has no consensus on Alberta's tar sands GHGs
It's critical the government find an accurate way to measure GHG emissions from Alberta's tar sands, say experts.

Harper a laggard in grasping security risks of climate change

Greenpeace buries $600 to protest carbon capture spending

Harper's bizarre break and the nudist within

Not much of an information age

Where's old Steve-O?
Our PM's being outshined by Obama on world stage

Could PM be polishing resume?

Prospects for a large bank with a small country attached

Holocaust denier drops denial, says Jews are hated enough

Blue blood
I have not commented on the
seeming confusion about Brian Mulroney's current status with the Conservative Party.

Marriage of fear and xenophobia
Our criminalization of polygamy isn't about protecting women

The (Original) Natural Party Of Government

Educating a generation of jihadists

PERSONAL BAILOUT: Hot water options
Tap rebates, incentives to cool cost of hot water

Ignatieff should just keep ducking and weaving

The price of unchecked greed

Resist or Become Serfs
By Chris Hedges
America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite's rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state.

TPS et TVQ: il faut avoir confiance en la bonne foi, dit Charest

Duceppe dénonce les visées centralisatrices d'Ottawa

Les hélicoptères canadiens devront s'adapter aux changements

Une condamnation qui soulève des questions

Amnistie internationale interpelle Ottawa

TPS-TVQ Duceppe tance les conservateurs

Traitement réservé à l'ancien premier ministre - Le cas de Mulroney divise le caucus conservateur

Une chienne est devenue l'héroïne d'un groupe de soldats canadiens

Un sous-marin endommagé à Halifax sera bientôt transféré en Colombie-Britannique

Admission de Cuba à l'OEA: le Canada est assis entre deux chaises


The number of subprime Canadian mortgage borrowers, for example, remains a mystery, as is the number of people who have lost their homes by power of sale and foreclosure; in the U.S., the equivalent figure is a matter of clear public record on a continuing basis.

How come for why when we follow the U.S. of A. in so may ways and have been expounding the calibre of our regulated financial system what's above is so!

Any one second the motion "THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW" disclosing foreclosings and related loss of homes?


(This might just get posted before mid night to-day!)

From: Charles Tupper
Subject: Two Poignant Comments

READER: Stalin once said that he didn't care who voted. It was who counted the votes that mattered.

In this country it doesn't matter who makes the news. What gets reported is the key.

READER: Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better. - Anonymous

From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Re Active thermitic material.


In the article by Charles Tupper re Active Thermitic Material in regards to The 911 explosions.
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

    The best way to find out more on this subject is to Type in "Active Thermitic Material" or "Thermitic
Material" or "Thermitic" on Google. There is all sorts of information to be found.  Then one can draw
their own concludions.

Ray Strachan

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,   Some pointed remarks to Saun H. Booiman, in reference to what she had written to Ministry Kenney.
"Canada. as we see it today, has become a country without principles, cheap to enter. easy to
be funded, all without demanding responsibility or commitment.
For years many in the country have put the blame rightfully on the dictatorial management of
P.E.Trudeau, but governments following his arrogance have played ignorance to realize where
this has brought the country.
One can draft a long list as to what Canada did and should stand for prior to the 1969 changes,
receiving no attention from the ministry, either elected or perpetual bureaucrats, sharply effected
by a minority ruling by threats. Founded on this other minorities have seen no necessity to
alter their life and become what they should have done with proper guidance of the government
to become a Canadian among Canadians, speaking the language and follow the lifestyle.
The question now is will there ever a government with enough courage to restore the
foundation it intended to be.
The truth is that no one stays for free in any hotel.
Well now, can you tell me what the foundation of this country was, before (in your words): "Canada. as we see it today, has become a country without principles, cheap to enter. easy to be funded, all without demanding responsibility or commitment."
What was the foundation?  What time era would you like to go to, where the foundation (your version) was solid, where immigrants had the " proper guidance of the government to become a Canadian among Canadians, speaking the language and follow the lifestyle."  Be careful, my family in the mid 1800s were part of the settlers that settled British Columbia.
Good luck in finding it, because Canada and its people since the 1700s, developed values that allow a person to keep their culture, language and traditions. I should know, since my family has been in Canada since the mid 1700s. Heaven forbid if the stern Irish-Scots of my family, were told upon arrival, by the British officials that they need to be guided, and become good citizens under the British Empire. Oh yes, thou shall not associate with any people who are of French blood, would be the second demand. You see, the British crown was always at war with the France.

We can always move up to a recent time, shortly after Confederation in 1867. Could this be the time you are talking about. The time of the massive Irish immigration, or any of the other nationalities that came after the Irish? You know, the Germans, the Poles, the Italians, and so forth. In any of these groups, only a few felt pressure in changing their name and their ways because it was a way to stop the racial comment and outright discrimination. I know now, you are going to tell me those were only isolated cases. Wrong again, I grew up in an area surrounded by recent immigrants. I seen and heard and the only saving grace I had, was my last name which is a English surname. Even though my Mother spoke perfect English, she spoke 3 other languages which  I heard more often by my mother outside of the home.

Even back in those days, government guidance was not needed. What was needed, as it is today is understanding from people like you. I grew up hearing many different languages, and seeing different cultures. Some I like and some I did not. At the end, I grew to be tolerant of people who are different from me. As an adult now, I have learned a long time ago that the world is composed of many different peoples and all have something to offer. Offers of learning another language, comparing religions, eating their food, or even adopting some of their dishes in your life. Canada is far richer to have many different cultures, as opposed to having only one culture.

So widen your mind and look for chances of exchanges with a new immigrant. You might be surprise.
P.S. I have some very Middle East recipes that are very good, or how about a dish from India, that one of my children cannot do without.

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: Sadaam Hussein was not as cruel as what Iraqis are going through now

Should Canada invade Iraq to save the women and children?  Oh, thats right--the US is already there for that reason.  What a horrid mess we are making of the world. 


Iraqi babies for sale: people trafficking crisis grows as gangs exploit poor families and corrupt system
• At least 150 children a year sold for £200 to £4,000
• Some bartered youngsters become sex abuse victims

Subject: An example of israeil control of our politicians.

"As ambassador in India in the 1980s he supported then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's policy of seeking some kind of neutral coalition in Afghanistan that would keep the American- and Pakistani-armed mujahedeen from establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state."

The above sentence in this article makes me ask for how long has the invasion of Afghanistan been planned by the West? 

American and Pakistani governments armed the mujahedeen and now they are killing innocent people because of their own previous actions?  And stupid Canadians are howling about Sharia Law that Karzai planned to put into writing?  We forget that our own McGuinty wanted to introduce Sharia Law into Ontario. 


US Envoy Writes of Israeli Threats
By Barbara Crossette

April 05, 2009 "The Nation" March 31, 2009 -- -In the wake of the accusation by Chas Freeman that his nomination to lead the National Intelligence Council was derailed by an "Israeli lobby," a forthcoming memoir by another distinguished ambassador adds stunning new charges to the debate. The ambassador, John Gunther Dean, writes that over the years he not only came under pressure from pro-Israeli groups and officials in Washington but also was the target of an Israeli-inspired assassination attempt in 1980 in Lebanon, where he had opened links to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

From: "Eduard Hiebert
Subject: Good Riddance to Harper's C-13  to gut the CGC   Re: Column # 714, April 6-09

Hi Joe,
With your coverage of readers opinion in your Digest, the following article may be of considerable interest to the silent majority of your readers.  This article is written by a Saskatchewan farmer who writes a weekly column in a number of papers.  This article does a good summary of how inappropriate the government intentions to gut the CGC were.
----- Original Message -----
Column # 714     Good Riddance to C-13    06/04/09

Farmers should be grateful that Bill C-13, a bill to amend the Canada Grain Act, failed to make it through Parliament. The Bill was removed from consideration for second reading last week by a motion supported by all three Opposition parties. The motion called for the bill to be brought back to Parliament in six months, but the likelihood is that this session of Parliament will be terminated before then, thus ending the path of this bill for now.

Bill C-13 has had a long history. It began as C-39, in December, 2007. It failed to make it through that Parliament and was re-introduced, in identical form, as C-13 in early 2009. Since re-introduction, it has been criticized by farm groups across Canada. That criticism arose, in part, because the government failed to change the bill at all, despite opposition from the ag community.

Throughout debate over the bill, the Conservative government has tried to sell it as an effort to "modernize" the Canadian Grain Commission. The Agriculture Minister, and others, have repeatedly said that the act hasn't been amended for decades, but agriculture itself has changed immensely in that time. Hence, the act must be out of date.

The talk about modernization is clearly an attempt to influence farmers by using jargon. Modern is good after all. What farmers would not want to be modern? The government also talks about eliminating "unnecessary and costly regulations". Sound good, eh? Farmers can ill afford anything unnecessary and costly.

But the bill fails dramatically to live up to its hype. Its proposed modernization includes ending the focus on furthering the interests of farmers. Rather than a regulator, the CGC becomes a service provider, working happily in the best interests of everyone. The bill ignores the fact that not everyone's interests are the same, and not everyone has equal power. The Canada Grain Act has traditionally focused on producer interests for a reason – producers typically lack power as they face massive grain companies.

The unnecessary and costly regulation the bill intended to end consists of two things. One is getting rid of bonding for grain companies. This part of the act ensures farmers will get paid in case a grain company goes bankrupt. Despite Gerry Ritz's comments that this hasn't worked well, it has worked quite well for the most part. The government move to get rid of this requirement is based on the ideology of privatization, since there is no practical replacement for this bonding. The Western Barley Growers Association was given huge sums of money by the government to develop an alternate mechanism, but has produced nothing concrete. Ritz appears not to understand the nature of laws when he says his government would not remove bonding until there was a substitute available. If C-13 had passed, bonding would be gone.

The second part of "unnecessary regulation" would have been the elimination of inward weighing and inspection at port. It is true that much of the grain that begins at an inland elevator ends at a terminal of the same ownership, but certainly not all. Take Prince Rupert for example. The terminal is owned by five grain companies. Do they trust each other enough to mingle their grain without independent inspection? Of course, there will be a need for inspection for things like producer cars. The bill contemplated private inspectors. Would both sides accept the verdict? The CGC would still do inspections on outbound shipments, but the force of inspectors would be greatly reduced and much expertise lost. The CWB would still require inward inspection for several reasons. It allows it to know what stocks are in the terminal, and allows it to capture a portion of the blending gains for farmers. Since CWB grain still constitute the majority of grain exported, inward inspection would still be needed. Only the faces would change, with privatized inspection being the order of the day. Not much streamlining there!

Both COMPAS, the company that studied the issue for the feds, and the Standing Committee on Agriculture recommended the government set up an office of farmer advocacy, since the CGC would no longer have farmer protection as its main mandate, and since the government has apparently eliminated the Assistant Commissioners to the CGC by refusing to appoint any. The failure to set up this office has much to do with Opposition party condemnation of the bill. 

The Conservatives believe that getting rid of bonding, limiting farmer protections and reducing the scope of the CGC means they are modernizing it. Instead, it is just more of the same. Leave farmers to deal with the market, in an environment where they are divided and ultimately conquered. This might be the modern way, but it is hardly one we should aspire to.

© Paul Beingessner

From: "Rose Dyson"

The Hon. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada &

The Hon. Peter Van Loan
Minister of Public Safety

Dear Ministers:

On behalf of Science for Peace, Canada and Canadians Concerned About Violence In Entertainment, I wish to express strong opposition to Bill C-301 and any other bills, such as that introduced in the Senate recently to end the long-gun registry. We believe that any measures to weaken existing gun control laws are a retrograde step that ignore the facts on how gun violence in our communities has been reduced by their implementation.

Research shows that every illegal gun begins as a legal gun. All gun owners need to be regularly screened and licensed and all guns, including rifles and shotguns, must be registered. Rifles and shotguns are the guns most often used to kill - in domestic violence, suicides, accidents and in the murder of police officers. The powerful semi-automatic used to murder 14 young women at l'Ecole Polytechnique is still sold as an unrestricted "hunting" rifle.

While handguns are the major problem in urban gang crime, rifles and shotguns are also misused. Surrey police, for example, recently reported seizing 200 rifles and shotguns compared to 100 other guns. In Toronto, rifles and shotguns are often stockpiled by gangs. This has led Mayor David Miller to call for a gun free city. And every sawed off shotgun began as a "duck gun". Any gun in the wrong hands is potentially dangerous.

It is odd that the experience of law enforcement officers and highly respected organizations such as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian Public Health Association, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, women's organization and victims groups who have steadfastly supported gun control laws, are being ignored.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police opposes Bill C-301 and insists that all gun owners should be licensed and all guns should be registered. Among their reasons are the following:

- Registration makes gun owners accountable for their firearms and helps reinforce the licensing provisions of the law.
- It is key to taking preventive actions and removing firearms where there is a risk.
- It helps police investigations (police from coast to coast use the firearms registry nearly 10,000 times a day)
- It allows police to differentiate between legal and illegal firearms.
- It reduces the chances that legal guns will be diverted to illegal markets.

Illegal guns flowing from the U.S. and Mexico are a growing problem. The proposed bills will only add to the problem. It has been emphasized in recent news coverage that the drug wars in North America, spilling over into Canada, particularly in B.C., are in part due to easy availablility of guns and lax controls in the U.S. In addition, 5 major shoot-outs such as those that occurred in Pittsburg, Penn., Birmingham, New York, and Washington State have be reported in the last month alone).

It is true, that there have been cost overuns in developing the gun registry but these have since come down following the initial outlay. Furthermore, that money is a sunk cost and nothing is to be gained by dismantling the existing system. Current expenditures are for screening and licensing gun owners, not registering guns. The RCMP estimate that if the registration of rifles and shotguns were discontinued, only $3 million per year would be saved. If the Conservative Government was to stop waiving gun registering and licensing fees, taxpayers would save an estimated $20 million annually.
Any attempt to relax controls on restricted and prohibited guns such as handguns, assault weapons and machine guns, we believe, is a mistake. Similarly, any measures that  would allow civilians to take military assault weapons such as the AK-47 to shooting ranges mitigates progress being made toward reducing the attraction of such entertainment. The latter is still fuelled by popular culture such as violent video games that glamorize the ownership and use of dangerous weapons. In many cases this kind of harmful entertainment is supported by our own tax dollars. In the interests of public safety a much more practical initiative would be to eliminate funding for audiovisual productions for entertainment purposes, known to contribute to destabilization of communities through youth gang violence.

No one measure is the entire answer for ensuring public safety. A number of strategies are required. One is  for better public education on the use and misuse of firearms. Another is for them to be strictly controlled. Long overdue is the need for the reduction in the commercial exploitation of children through the production and distribution of harmful war games that encourage violence as a form of conflict resolution.

Yours very truly

Rose Anne Dyson Ed.D.
Consultant in Media Education
Chair: Science for Peace (Media Working Group), University of Toronto
President: Canadians Concerned about Violence in Entertainment