Saturday, May 23, 2009

Daily Digest May 23, 2009



It didn't add up

Windy weather and stormy times

One apology still owed

Liberal platform: So, whose dog ate page 34?

Curfew promise political window dressing

Attacks and counterattacks: That's politics

Time for a dirty look at the Grits

Will NDP gas tax proposal work?

Driving safety should trump convenience

We should let Rwanda try its own criminals

Tory attack ads continue anti-intellectual tradition
The ads are from the same instincts as last year's cuts to arts funding

Taxpayers left holding the bag

Politicizing our borders

OTTAWA SUN - Urban gun crime out of control

KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD- Urban gun crime grows out of control

Housing plan needs funding

For a pension summit

Troubling secrecy for witnesses

Eliminate the excuse

The nationalists are silent

Our credit card problem

Giving credit even where it's not due 
It's understandable that government would be keen on regulating the credit card industry. It's based, at least in part, on the hope that customers will be unable to pay their bills and will thus be trapped in a web of obscure fees and ruinous interest rates.

TORONTO SUN - Urban gun crime out of control

We must learn from tragedy

 We must do more to protect children

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW - Urban gun crime grows out of control

Wait to judge police in Tori Stafford case

LONDON FREE PRESS - Urban gun crime grows out of control

A 10-year passport

SUDBURY STAR - Urban gun crime grows out of control

TWINNIPEG SUN - Urban gun crime out of control

Don't force Canadians to the polls

Is man-made global warming real?

CALGARY SUN - Urban gun crime out of control

EDMONTON SUN - Urban gun crime out of control
Oil not our only precious resource

Taxpayers have a right to be totally outraged

Prejudice in hiring is folly economically, regressive socially
The dirt on cloth grocery bags: It's safe to keep them

Seizures don't cut drug use


As Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada gets set to move to France, he reflects on the mission in Khandahar and his relationship with the Harper government

Blame army for Pakistan's woes

Few on streets of Kandahar appear aware of Afghanistan's national elections

Hit U.S. where it hurts -- with threat of sanctions: industry leader

Arms across the border: a new plan to make pursuit easier

U.S. considering it's own isotope solution

U.S. banks hit with limits on credit card rates, fees

Oil sands no longer easy sell in Washington

B.C. welfare cases jump nearly 50% for those able to work

GM likely to seek U.S.-Canadian protection

CAW-GM pact 'a loan that will be repaid'

Support grows for Canada's spot on UN council

U.S. stirs a hornet's nest in Pakistan

Degeneration in all but reputation
Why do we habitually and foolishly believe whatever the UN tells us?

The UN speaks, and the world listens. Are we nuts?

Iraq: Relighting the Insurgent Fire

Ontario PC leadership
'It's a horse race'

Make EI work
Michael Ignatieff, National Post

Lowering EI qualifications an 'absurdity,' PM says

Ignatieff's EI Proposal Would Raise Taxes

Exclusive: The Liberal plan to respond to the Harper ads

Feds sell historic silver

New $1.25B crown corporation lacks staff, direction
Two years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government approved $1.25 billion in funding for an office to support infrastructure projects, a newly-created crown corporation still finds itself in temporary headquarters with a skeleton crew of 12, several vacant positions on its board of directors, and little public visibility to fulfil its mandate.

A made-in-Canada solution?

WHO under pressure from member states to rewrite pandemic requirement

Companies could vaccinate 4.9 bln against H1N1 - WHO

Where are the Al Qaeda Attacks?

No information' on whether Khadr cleared for release: Harper

Oil sands' impact on climate change 'overblown'

More questions than answers

Hate to say it What these crimes really are is open to debate

Trapped into serving the new Big Lie

First do no harm
Those who question the safety of vaccines are being unfairly attacked. Vaccines do both harm and goodVaccines do good and they do harm. ...

Dark virus infects budget office

Saint Barack bids adieu. Enter Bush lite

Hey, Mr. President! What did Canada ever do to you?

Score one for the Tories with attack ads

Jack Layton dénonce les politiques de Harper

Un chercheur canadien est accusé d'avoir entré du matériel génétique aux E.-U.

Aucune solution n'existe pour résoudre le problème d'approvisionnement causé par l'arrêt du réacteur de Chalk River

Harper à la conquête du Québec



You may have read articles under this heading and questioned in your mind why they were placed there.

We are under pressures that have little to do with our every day lives but which we are to get into a panic about.

The Triune of Pressures to me are (in alpha-order) Global Warming, Pandemic, Terrorism.

Two of the three are considered in articles to-day.

None of them exert pressure on me, the rersponse of governments spending billions to deal with them, however, does.

Why? There are much more usefull ways to spend public funds.


WHO under pressure from member states to rewrite pandemic requirement

Companies could vaccinate 4.9 bln against H1N1 - WHO

Where are the Al Qaeda Attacks?


From: HS Sims
Subject: MPs' expenses

Hi Joe,


Makes one wonder if the same corruption is pervasive in Canada.

From: "Serge Crespy"
Subject: Abortion / Copyright Law

Dear Joe:
There must be no doubt that a father and mother, as co-creators, own the moral and design "Copyright" of a fetus; thus, when considering to abort the fetus, there must be an equal sense of responsibility; full consent by both parties must be obtained.
Two individual DNA blueprints amalgamate, to create a new "Life" design.  A moral bond and "joint-design" is established; a co-ownership, which is worthy of protection under the Canadian Charter and its Patent and Copyright Laws.
There should be no assumption that man donates his DNA during copulation; likewise, assuming that a fertile woman always offers her (ovum) DNA.  In the typical, sexual (recreational) act, glandular excretions are but a normal, physical and emotional function.  The participants are "taking" from the relationship for personal gratification, unless "disclosure of intent to create" is initially established. 
Upon deciding to discard a fetus, the Charter must allow and vehemently enforce one-hundred percent protection for the fetus; not one-half!
With hope of salvaging some fetus' and future Human Beings, I remain;
Serge Crespy
Collingwood, Ontario

From: Phyllis Wagg
Subject: Centralization verses Decentralization
                      I believe that the question as to whether Stephen Harper is a centralizer or de-centralizer is the wrong question.  Remember the well-know quotations from Harper's 1994 speech to the National Citizen's Coalition when he said:  "Whether Canada ends up as one national government or two national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion" and "whether Canada ends up with one national government or two governments or ten governments, the Canadian people will require less government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangement of any future country may be."

                 His attempts at deregulation have largely been a disaster especially in the food inspection system. Instead of less government under his administration we have ended up with more interference in the economy and more attempts at implementing a new era of "trickle down" economics illustrated by his resistance to temporary changes to EI while, at the same time, trying to revive the economy by creating higher levels of credit and debt by transferring more capital to specific "crony" private interests.

                 Harper only considers issues that might involve de-centralization under certain circumstances but primarily if he sees a political advantage in so doing.  In other cases he has been quick to try and undermine provincial power by using the power of the federal purse.  He has turned out, with a minority, to be nothing more than the pragmatic politician he once abhorred.  The problem is that now Canadians have no idea who he really is other than someone with a thrust for the absolute power a majority might give him.
                 It is a warning that he has been, behind the scenes continuing, deregulation through self-regulation without caring about the potential implications.  If he had a majority, would he push his original agenda much further and faster?
Phyllis Wagg

Should we look at the 20 Proposals and see which have been implemented without a majority, eh?

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  I don't know why I missed this one, but Professor Ayers was also denied entry into Canada in 2008. His article in the Ottawa Citizen, "The right to question" is what I would declared dear to my heart and my own ideology. Ideology is the wrong word. I would rather state it should be a way of life for everyone. I have often ran into great difficulties when questioning the status-quo or wisdom of  our education system or other systems, where new rules/acts are put in place that limits our freedom to question the status-quo or the wisdom, by inserting bureaucratic red tape where ever the walls that the bureaucrats erect are not high enough, to prevent people from accessing the services and prevents people from questioning their own politicians, officials of decisions/policies that are not based on the good of people, but rather on keeping people uneducated, uninformed and of course, keeping the information gates to one-way traffic. As he stated in the article, "The fallout from any of this will affect me only marginally. The primary job of intellectuals and scholars is to challenge orthodoxy, dogma, and mindless complacency, to be skeptical of all authoritative claims, to interrogate and trouble the given and the taken-for-granted, and I will certainly stay at it. The growth of knowledge, insight, and understanding depends on that kind of effort, and the inevitable clash of ideas that follows must be nourished and not crushed."

It is this kind of thinking that should not be reserve for professors, but should be a way of life for all citizens in a democratic country. If Canadians were more of the questioning kind, our politicians would not be able to get away with what they are doing to our democracy and our own institutions that affects our lives on a daily basis. "The right to question"

Today, I am very ashamed of our government that chooses to denied the intercourse and exchanges of ideas, that promotes, nourishes, and encourages active participation of their citizens.  It is a very sad day, when we allow our politicians to dictate to us what we should hear, see and read, that is not in keeping with the current dogma of governments.

From: "Suan H.Booiman"
To: "Stockwell DayOkanagan" <>,
Subject: how far do we bow
Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 10:01:48 -0700

And we bend over backwards to buy votes of French isolation and supremacy.
Tories revert to old habits in Quebec
May 22, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story [] (58)
Chantal Hébert

Only hours before a Conservative fundraising cocktail on Wednesday, the corridors of Montreal's Queen Elizabeth hotel were buzzing with the titillating rumour that Brian Mulroney would grace Stephen Harper's speech with his presence.

From: Rebecca Gingrich

The below article says it all.  Literally everything in the government that was created to serve the tax-paying public has been perverted to the task of either denying the public access to what they must have to survive, or to mandating the exact opposite of what the title of the agencies suggest they were created to accomplish.

The above sentence says it all and applies as much to Canada as it does to the US.  We are told to be happy that inflation is down--the after thought being added that just because food, energy and gas prices have risen dramatically should not concern us. What??  When was the last time you ate inflation or heated your home or drove your car with inflation?  I thought inflation was when prices rose dramatically and cost the consumer more than they could afford.  I guess not.  What is good for the government should be good for us???  We have no healthcare and can't afford to eat, but be happy, inflation is down!

Today Is Yesterday's Tomorrow

From: Ron Thornton
Subject: Democracy is dying in this nation...

Hi Joe:

What a wonderful democratic nation we live in. You have Members of Parliament who do not have to seek re-nomination to seek re-election, who essentially have to continue breathing to be MP's for life, provided the general public continues to vote for their party in their constituencies and not one of those other nasty ones.

As we know, Conservative MP's need two-thirds of every party member, living and dead, to cast a vote to oust them. If some poor dim soul; who got a ride to the meeting, maybe got their membership bought for them, and who needed instructions as to what an "x" was and where to put it during the last nomination; does not bother to cast a vote for a nomination meeting, that person in fact casts a de facto vote in favor of not having a nomination meeting. Again, vote "yes" to have a vote, don't vote at all and you are actually voting "no."  A thousand vote for a nomination meeting, but the other 516 members don't vote at all, and you have a "no" vote.

Don't like that? Well, you can join the Liberals and probably not have a nomination meeting either. If the MP is fortunate enough to live in a constituency with 400 actual members, with 10 of them contributing monthly to the party's Victory Fund, that sitting MP is in like Flynn. We are not talking about new members, either. What if those 400 members hate the MP's guts? Well, their only option is to quit the party to try and bring the tally below the 400 threshold. Otherwise, what you see is what you are stuck with.

If you think democracy is dying in this nation, you've just been handed some more ammunition for your argument.

Ron Thornton

From: "Jacob Rempel" To: "Jacob Rempel" <>
Subject:  the larger scenario ---

---by Jacob Rempel

I comment a lot (too much) about international interactions, but I am always conscious that the big changes and especially wars are always the result of big power interactions within and among smaller nations, conflicts which middle and small powers can influence only marginally. Moreover, in the great powers as well, the citizens have very small influence on foreign policy adventures. Even democratic elections do not influence international policies much in the USA, UK, and European powers. The powerful old private interests prevail, and they seldom correspond with our interests as citizens who vote, neither do they redound to our well-being.

In each of the great powers even now, wealthy private sector interests (read corporations) are very influential among political leaders. Co-opted politicians assure us that the interests of these corporations correspond with the interests of the Nation and the well-being of the people. They assure us that international expansion of mega-corporations, and even the consequent supportive wars, will protect and promote the well-being of citizens who vote. This is a very doubtful proposition in Canada (and the USA).

Because similar "real politick" regularly functions in all the great powers, the corporations and governments of several great powers will always compete for expansion into the resource economies of smaller nations. It's the old balance of power game.

This was called the "Great Game" when Russia and Great Britain played the game in old greater India and Afghanistan, shooting it out by proxy on the Khyber Pass. Even now, when the US is the world's only super power, the same old balance of power interactions continue in the same locations by the same proxies, with the same victims, the same resistance movements, and the same terrorists. Now as then, leaders gain more wealth and power. More people suffer now and will continue to suffer when we forget the war.

Especially in each great power, the big corporations have international expansion ambitions supported by the political leadership in political parties. Globalised interests of these corporations are assumed by national governments to be national interests. In each great power, there is a closed circle called the industrial military complex.

More correctly, it could be called a political/industrial/military matrix. Leaders in the three components often exchange roles to help the matrix to function more efficiently to advance the interests of the Matrix.

The United Nations does many operations well, but not in mediating great power competition. The USA, Russia, China, UK, EU, India, Middle East wealth, and soon Indonesia, are all powerful enough to intervene in the internal politics and domestic economies of smaller powers. And they all do.

There are some promising initiatives to make the UN more helpful in mediating power struggles. There is a growing initiative for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to make the UN more accountable to people. Check out their website at

 There are moves to change the membership of the Security Council to make it more representative of all the great powers and some middle powers. In my opinion, this would only perpetuate the balance of power game for the great powers and their so-called national interests. What they need is a consensus about, or else fair rules for international trade and investment policies to promote sustainable ecologically sound domestic economies, and the elimination of poverty.

If and when the great powers agree to fair rules, and also decide to accept UN mediation to resolve their competing interests, and to accept the priority interests of people in small nations, then more justice can happen, peace can prevail, and the world may yet achieve our greatest common priority --- restoring a sustainable world economy and eliminating poverty.

Historically and in the present, middle and small powers alternately invite great power alliances (read direct investments and military installations), or else they resist such entanglements. Canada even as a middle power also has a political/industrial/military matrix which has international (imperial?) interests, but Canada is undergoing a process of integration with the USA military/industrial/political matrix.

Canada's present international policy and role is largely determined by this deepening integration with American operations. I profoundly regret this, and I want to see the process reversed as soon as possible before we become a helpless puppet in the American imperial enterprise. We still have the resources and power to restore our independence and act for peace and justice internationally and at home.

There is also a significant initiative to have The Government of Canada set up a Department of Peace. See the website Such active government policy and effort by Canada could shift the Canada's trend away from active war toward creative initiatives for international peace and justice. and toward ecologically sustainable economies.

I rather despair of people's democratic power to force political leaders to prioritize people's well-being instead of the interests of international corporations. Such a change will require massive political involvement to control political parties, and some very determined smart new leaders to manage the transition to peace, justice, and ecologically sustainable economies. I hope that the optimism of activists prevails.

Jacob Rempel, Vancouver

Subject: RE: Daily Digest May 22, 2009
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"

Quebecers want newcomers to assimilate: poll
Which, to a large degree, is how non-Quebecer Canadians feels about it, too. The question is: 'How much?'
Quebec group calls for religious wear ban
Some of the leaders behind this are immigrants themselves. Their reasoning is that the provincial government should ban 'overtly religious" jewelry, clothing (and presumably body marks?) so as to ensure that the civil service be 'religion free' as opposed to 'religion neutral'. This means no wearing 'religious' stuff at work, no 'religious' stuff hung on walls, none on computer-screen displays, etc.
Think of it what you will.
Lowering EI qualifications an 'absurdity,' Harper says
all 95 news articles » Langue : Français
In my judgement, Mr. Harper's correct on this one. If being too lenient on EI requirements were to just cost more only in the form of higher payments, this might not be the case. Unfortunately, there are other costs involved, namely: encouraging people to stay put rather than going to where the work is; encouraging people to rely on seasonal work that doesn't pay enough to keep one going over the year; encouraging people to rely on EI not as insurance against temporary unemployment but as an entitlement that allows people to accept to rely on payments in the face of recurring unemployment; etc., etc. The result is forms of 'structural unemployment', where people who can work don't get jobs that are available because they have too much incentive to keep carrying on rather than adjusting to economic realities.
In brief: the federal government pays out for more EI benefits; jobs go unfilled; some of the unemployed prefer to stay as they are rather than go find work or rely in seasonal work, etc. Everyone pays and everyone's worse off (except the unemployed, of course).
On the other hand, provinces can benefit from higher EI disbursements by having to pay out less 'social security' for their indigent residents. Given this, it's no surprise that MPs from 'have not' ridings and provinces (that is, net EI-receivers) are more interested in lowering EI requirements than those from more affluent ones.
Take my word for it on this one: I've met unemployed French citizens who (in my opinion) have it too easy this way. If my memory serves well, they were receiving 90% of their normal salary (!!!) for two years (!!!!!!!!) while unemployed. No need to set money aside for rainy days with that kind of protection. And no wonder that France's fiscal deficit was 4% of GDP BEFORE the current economic crisis struck. Gak!
But the French, and those who subscribe to that kind of thinking, love those privileges. My wife and mother-in-law get in a huff every time that I tell them that the French government isn't living within its means when it has humungo-deficits in GOOD times. I tell them that France is mortgaging its future (borrow now, pay for excess, get lower economic performance inthe future (gotta pay the debts instead of investing!)) like Canada was until the mid-90s.
Stick to your guns, Mr. Harper!
Taxpayers fork out billions for GM pension aid
Gaaaaaaaahhhhh! Now, if I EVER hear auto unions complaining about something, I'll strangle the neighbour's chihuahua.
Ottawa turns to Australia, South Africa for isotopes
A national disgrace, doubly so when it comes to Australia. Atomic Energy Canada devised the MAPLE-X isotope-generation series of reactors to take over radioisotope production from the antiquated NRU reactor (how antiquated? try commissioned in 1947 or something like that!!!). The project wandered around, didn't come out of engineering because no one was steering with a firm hand, and it gobbled VERY large sums before being euthanatized. Plus, amusingly enough, almost no suceurity measures were implemented during the engineering (trust me ... I worked on the MAPLE-X project ... in 1993!!!!), and only in 1993 (when I worked there on a short-term contract) was there some mumbling about there being need for security (locking office doors, closing windows after work, securing the network, keeping strangers from wandering around in the engineering offices, can you believe it).
So, sometime in the late 1990s, Australia called for bids for a radioisotope reactor. AECL puts forth a bid ... whose price is undercut by 40% from China (all right) with a design IDENTICAL to the MAPLE-X's, down to the last detail (uuuuhhhh ...). Embarassment all round :-S
Chalk River reactor faces long shutdown
A God-damned disgrace, this thing. We dodged a bullet a while back (2007?) when the dingdongs at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (or whatever it's called) shut down the damn thing for a long time because it's nuclear-water-pump's backup (!!!) power supply wasn't designed to survive large earthquakes. The result: medical radioisotope shortages worldwide,  a Commissioner squawking 'it's my job to do that', and national disgrace.
Now, I'd be more understanding if our elected MPs had seen to it that the federal government had done something to secure the radioisotope supply worldwide (i.e., either move pronto get either a new reactor built or to get some other place to do it). But what do I read? 'We'll have to discuss with the worldwide community what is the best way to secure supply worldwide'. God-damn RETARDS!!!!!!!! (<-- Apologies to the mentally handicapped ... they're not 'retards'. The fellows who've handled this radioisotope thing are). This should have been done YEARS (dare I say, DECADES ago) and it absolutely MUST have been done since the latest shutdown fiasco.
Time to step up to the plate, my CPC fellas. If something's been done and is BEING done about this, whoever the Minister responsible for it should step forward and tell the people what's going on (helloooo, Ms. Raitt ... your Oakville, ON riding's next door to the Mississauga one where AECL's offices are located, yes?) and GET THINGS DONE! I mean, this is a menace to health worldwide, fer Heaven's sake. :-S
And if nothing's BEEN done since the last NRU shutdown and near-crisis ... HEADS have got to ROLL!
Hallway culture clash
In a Toronto apartment building, a feud has broken out over a neighbourly 'hello.' What hath multiculturalism wrought?
Multiculturism wrought nothing here. The offended husband is a badly-behaved retard (!!!) who should distinguish between innocent 'hellos' and 'active disrepect' aimed at him when in Canada. And the husband would be a retard, multiculturarism or no, while in Canada
That being said, back where he came from (presuming that he's an immigrant), he would be more justified in behaving in accordance with local norms and expectations, since a 'hello' would take on a different meaning. In the fellow who said 'hello' were to do so there, he could rightfully be considered to be out of touch with local customs or to be outright provocative. But his not knowing about local customs would palliate his offense.
In other words: the husband's reaction wasn't so much condemnable as it was out of place. And Canadian multiculturalism has nothing to do with that.