Sunday, May 24, 2009

Daily Digest May 24, 2009



Political ploys: Close border to inanity

This is no way to run a barnyard

Free trade with Colombia?

The truth about the attack ads will hurt -- the Conservatives

China's hot air and hypocrisy
Harper is a leader without confidants
Killing depressed people is insane
Why Asia will eat our economic lunch



McChrystal and the Afghan military "solution"
Porter: A civilian component to a counterinsurgency strategy
in Afghanistan is essentially empty talk view

Passports required for all U.S. travel as of June 1

Ex-NRC scientist wants his day in court

New home or just a base to settle scores?

Making human rights an issue for all the wrong reasons
The scary thing is scrapping rights body may work for Tory leadership candidates

Ontario passed a law last week making an energy audit mandatory when selling a home.

McGuinty to take on auto talks, economic portfolio as key minister departs

Consultants keep cashing in

Liberals, Tories threaten election over EI reform proposal Federal, Quebec Liberals begin rapprochement

Lowering EI qualifications an 'absurdity,' Harper says

Ignatieff has fighting words for Harper

Why, them's seriously close to fightin' words, them are.

Ottawa eyes crackdown on foreign worker program

MacKay's weapons to Pakistan idea shot down

Harper hands GM billions in apparent about-face

Canadian Food Inspection Agency gets CAJ's secrecy award for 2008

Cloak-and-dagger at StatsCan; is someone leaking secret data for profit?

Tory grip on moral superiority is slipping

Public ripoffs the snooty Brit way

Ignatieff trouve offensantes les pubs des conservateurs sur son patriotisme

Le PAJU s'attend à peu de l'entretien Abbas-Harper, mardi, à Ottawa

Les résultats de rapports de StatCan pourraient avoir fait l'objet de fuites

Aile québécoise du NPD: Jack Layton dénonce les politiques de Harper

Denis Coderre fait une visite remarquée chez ses cousins provinciaux


There being little in today's Digest I've included this.

Some might take it as an insult to civil servants..

My take is that it was composed by a philogynist.


Bubba and Ray were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking up.  A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.
'We're supposed to find the height of the flagpole,' said Bubba, 'but we don't have a ladder.'
The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a few bolts, and laid the pole down. Then she took a tape measure from her pocket, took a measurement, announced,'Eighteen feet, six inches,' and walked away.
Ray shook his head and laughed. 'Ain't that just like a    woman! We ask for the height and she gives us the length!'
Bubba and Ray are currently doing government work, supervising in Ottawa, Canada.


From: "Jacob Rempel"
Subject: fyi --  THE  FBI  BLOWS  IT ---

FBI Blows It: Supposed Terror Plot Against NY Synagogues Is Bogus
Further to trhis is an article I received:

FBI Agent on Synagogue Case Has Questionable Record

From: John Boncore
Subject: Fw: New stuff on Bush-Clinton

Bush deserves jail, says York professor

From: John Halonen

From  the left to the right (Liberal or Conservative) we continue to say that the parties of today rarely mimic those of the past.  Like most things, age rarely improves things that are stagnant other than cause those entities to use whatever means to stay and remain in power.

We need those other parties ,THE ONES THAT CAN BRING NEW BLOOD THAT IS SO BADLY NEEDED, to the forefront where Canadian citizens can see some future, rather than a corrupt past. Where are they, or their leaders.

The time is now, not in some distant future.

John Halonen

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,
Such a nice morning in NL, to opine.

To "Efstratios Psarianos"

Concerning the banning of religious garb and symbols in public work places, I disagree. Anyone should be allow to wear or show their 'colours' , as long as they do not show bias towards others who are not part of their religion. In today's world, wearing the cross does not necessarily mean the person is a Christian. In today's world it might mean a fashion statement. I have always worn a cross, but it is mainly due to my upbringing, where children who wore the cross were considered Catholics. Today, I am still wearing it but it is more out of comfort than a statement that I am Catholic. And even today, the cross is being worn by many other Christians who are not Catholic. In fact, I think it would be better for all, if one was alerted ahead of time - so one would not commit offenses against the other person. Offenses such as telling a off-colour joke about another religion or the Joe public filing a complaint that involves others who are not like Joe public, and where offenses might be committed if the public servants were of the same.

As to your opinion that immigrants to assimilate more in Canadian society, the answer is not to asked newcomers to give up their cultural traditions, and become more like other Canadians. I believe it breeds intolerance, and does not promote understanding. I went to a school, where I was the only Catholic, with one Lutheran and about 5 Anglicans and the rest were Mennonites. Compared to the Catholic school down the road who only admitted Catholic school children, I and the others in the public school setting became more tolerant of others and had a measured respect for other people's beliefs. If people are exposed to different cultural traditions, there is a greater chance of understanding one another. When people are exposed only to a specific cultural or traditions, the odds are against understanding one another at any level. I believe this is where we get biases, bigotry, and society as whole is less enrich when all are acting, talking, and looking like all the others. You can see this in Middle Eastern societies, where the only voice that is heard is the Islam voice, and other voices are banished. I would rather see this approach as stated int he article, "Focussing on cultural differences is the wrong approach," Mr. Antonius said. Cultural communities need to achieve economic equality by having access to education, social services and job opportunities, he said. "If there is greater economic integration, that is what is going to change things," he said."

This brings me to your last article on a friendly fellow saying hello to his neighbours a Muslim wife and husband, in a Toronto apartment building.  For his troubles the Muslim husband files a complaint against him, claiming as stated in the article; " East, my landlady clarified -- to feel I had broken a cultural taboo. The incident started an awkward feud which has involved warnings not to repeat my indiscretion and one face-to-face shouting match, which included allusions to my impending death."

The type of incidents by immigrants who carry a lot of baggage concerning taboos, are done every day somewhere in Canada. Some groups are more prone to it than others. This is where I would draw the line, and it would be at the immigrant line-up of those wanting to enter Canada. All should be required to be tested in their own language, to root out the outright biases, bigotry and other cultural traditions that run against general Western cultural. Traditions that will not do nothing to assimilate the immigrants into Canadian society, but rather breeds intolerance and it certainly does not even come close to a two-way exchange in understanding.
On IE benefits, I beg to differ. The unemployed worker is not the typical seasonal worker. It is is the worker that has worked for many years or the 20 something worker who are out of work. The seasonal worker, are the workers who are more or less found in the rural areas of Canada. A typical seasonal worker, is a worker who will do several different jobs during the course of a year and works in job sectors that are seasonal such as logging, fishing, farming, and the odd construction job. The difference between both groups are the wages, where the newly unemployed were making top dollar, they have skills, and are more educated than the typical seasonal worker. For this new kind of unemployed workers, they also have bills to be paid, mortgages to meet, rent to pay to keep to their standard of living. Getting the full IE payment, will not even begin to cover the important basic living expenses such as shelter, utilities, and food and still have money left over to pay other expenses that have been racked up such as repairs to a car, or insurance costs, or paying the ever-increasing property taxes.  I do not think the IE payments are incentives to sit at home, and not bother to look for a job. Low IE payments is the incentive to make people look for another job.

Now Harper is playing a dangerous game with the newly unemployed who are far more educated and fear more of losing their present lifestyle. Some will take up the offer of being retrain in a different field, and why not since the government is paying the expenses up front, and under the condition of the retraining to be paid back to the government once new employment commences. No skin or draining of the coffers of IE. Others will find other jobs in lower paying positions that will help them retained some of their lifestyles, which means they will displace other workers who have less education, but has the know-how and skills to do the job. Still others who live in rural areas mostly, will displace the average seasonal worker as a stop-gap measure to wait out the bad times. You are seeing this now in the big cities where workers making 12 to 15 dollars an hour are being laid off, and are now working in the Tim Horton's, MacDonalds, and other employment that are just above the minimum wage, and by doing so displacing other workers who normally worked in these areas, plus the students who work part-time in these places. What Harper is doing, is making sure the IE coffers will constantly produce  a surplus no matter what is happening on the ground. The provinces will be picking up the costs, where people will end up on welfare, becoming homeless or going bankrupt to eliminate the debts. It has already started in BC and Alberta, where the list of people on welfare is growing very strong. It is a matter of time for Ontario, if it has not started already. Policies such as the Harper government, will do more harm in the long run, and create more debt at the individual's level. It also creates the optics that only the individual is responsible for their fate in life, and leaves all governments off the hook in dealing with the social consequences, the economic upheavals, and the environment to restrict the movement of people from one place to another, without paying a heavy price to someone else when one wants to.

I was born and raised in Ontario for most of my life and at the present time living in NL. I would invite you down, and live here for six months and judge for yourself. After 6 months, you would be on the other side where you see Harper's policies in action and the effect it is having in the rural parts of NL and in some cases urban NL. You would see the biggest make-work project of infrastructure that will be coming across Canada, is code for keeping the big construction companies and other companies that supplied the materials into maintaining their profits. As for jobs, there are all short term jobs. Where is the government, when it comes to long term jobs in the new economy? No where, because that would cost the government time and money and the greater benefits would be given to the people, rather than corporations or add to the coffers of government. Harper does not want an educated work force; he would rather have the opposite because you can extract more money from a less educated person than one from a more educated person.