Saturday, May 09, 2009

Daily Digest May 9, 2009


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.
ARCHIVED at http://cdndailydigest.blogspot.com/

EDITORIAL PAGEs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM -
More greed
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=249746&sc=80

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN -
Holding MLAs to a higher standard View comments4
Whatever criticism they receive, our elected officials must maintain their cool.
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=249765&sc=103

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD -
Still the real issue: to elect the NDP, or not
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1121020.html

Debate over power bills heating up
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1121127.html

Inquiry unlikely to unearth all secrets
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1121074.html

MONTREAL GAZETTE -
Money spent on science is money well spent
http://www.montrealgazette.com/opinion/editorials/Money+spent+science+money+well+spent/1578748/story.html

OTTAWA CITIZEN -
Domestic abuse
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/Domestic+abuse/1578835/story.html
 
No place for thuggery
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/place+thuggery/1578836/story.html

KINGSTON WHIG STANDARD-
Entrench compassion in the law
http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1560803

BELLEVILLE INTELLIGENCER -
Give mom gift of time
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1560557

TORONTO STAR -
`Buy America' starts to be felt
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/631561

NATIONAL POST -
A better way to reform EI
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1580180

HAMILTON SPECTATOR -
MPPs' inaction in Dhalla case shocking 
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/562367

ST. CATHARINES STANDARD -
 Is my education better than theirs?
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1561292

NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW -
Pension Plan Pay Critics Ignoring Some Facts
http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1560850

WINDSOR STAR -
Border file: Feds' involvement welcome
http://www.windsorstar.com/opinion/editorials/Border+file/1579148/story.html

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS -
Focus spotlight on nannies
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/editorials/focus-spotlight-on-nannies-44633502.html

WINNIPEG SUN -
Continental shift, or drift
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/continental-shift--or-drift-44633622.html

Ignatieff doesn't know who we are
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/ignatieff-doesnt-know-who-we-are-44633482.html

Nurturing self-esteem It has impact on how people work
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/nurturing--self-esteem-it-has-impact-on-how-people-work-44633392.html

Elevators' demise leaves bitter feelings
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/elevators-demise-leaves-bitter-feelings-44633537.html

RED DEER ADVOCATE -
What matters in Sri Lanka
http://www.albertalocalnews.com/reddeeradvocate/opinion/What_matters_in_Sri_Lanka_44606907.html

VANCOUVER SUN -
Standing in awe of motherhood, publicly and privately
http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=5777d191-38d3-401b-bca4-99d94c454dde

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST -
Voting only way to chart future
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=a693cc44-fcb1-4d11-befa-9602e3df0f15

Seal skins and free trade
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=33a41bdf-3b6d-4088-b387-dbddb24b5786

Leaders' lives show grit, determination
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=255e0ba4-9334-43db-b91f-fa5d3cb897da

The line between political vision and nightmare
http://www2.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=ee7ae02c-3eb8-4d09-96e1-c59f80f25706

ISSUES

AF-PAK PROBLEM -
Author tells of US special forces in Afghanistan
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-horsesoldiers,0,3912834.story

Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity
Witnesses say deaths of 147 people in three villages came after a sustained bombardment by American aircraft.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/afghans-riot-over-airstrike-atrocity-1681070.html

U.S. says civilians killed in west Afghan strikes 
http://www.nationalpost.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=1580932

U.S. blames Taliban for Afghans' deaths
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/631873

US denies 147 civilians killed in Afghan violence
http://eurasia.ro/?p=24782

'Collateral damage' in AfPak hurts the US too
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/may/08/afghanistan-pakistan


US strike in Afghanistan kills dozens
Afghan villagers yesterday mourned relatives buried in mass graves after US-led airstrikes view


Killing them softly with air strikes
Pepe Escobar on how the rebranded "war on terror" is being sold as a PAKISTANI war view


CANADIAN FORCES -
Rebuilding our forces
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=249634&sc=98


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS -
Debt holders battle political, judicial forces
http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/fp/Debt+holders+battle+political+judicial+forces/1578028/story.html

Stimulus funding slow to bloom
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1580160


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES -
Campbell stumbles heading to B.C. vote
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/631691


FEDERAL POLITICS -
Baird promises speedy funding of infrastructureComment53
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090509.wpolbaird0509/BNStory/politics/home

Another victory for hired guns 
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/631673

Ignatieff's Turner problem
http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/631587

Critics' reactions range from 'timeless' to 'banal'
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1580162


PROGRAMMES -
Refusal to offer emergency passport 'troubling': judge
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1580165

Ottawa appeals move to repatriate Khadr
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/story.html?id=1580174


PRESSURE POINTS -
WHO's credibility questioned as pandemic fears fade
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1578331


OPINION AND INFORMATION -
What's wrong with us? Not much, apparently
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090508.wcowent09/BNStory/specialComment/home

Fickle Gods of Global Warming
Comments ( 198
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090508.wcomurphy09/BNStory/specialComment/home

Canadian values boil down to liberal democracy
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090508.wcoorwin09/BNStory/specialComment/home

When coverage goes viral 
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/631563


INFOS -
Ruby Dhalla est victime d'une attaque à sa réputation, dit son avocat
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200905/09/01-854901-ruby-dhalla-est-victime-dune-attaque-a-sa-reputation-dit-son-avocat.php

L'argent du fonds d'infrastructure circulera à grande vitesse, promet Baird
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/actualites/quebec-canada/politique-canadienne/200905/09/01-855020-largent-du-fonds-dinfrastructure-circulera-a-grande-vitesse-promet-baird.php

La Cour fédérale saisie du dossier
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2009/05/07/002-abdelrazik-cour-federale.shtml

Un engagement de Michael Ignatieff - Quelle réforme pour l'assurance-emploi ?
http://www.ledevoir.com/2009/05/09/249606.html

Affaire Khadr: Ottawa confirme qu'il a fait appel
http://www.ledevoir.com/2009/05/09/249651.html

La SSJB et le MMF manifestent pour le français dans les organismes fédéraux
http://info.branchez-vous.com/graphics/textecomplet.gif

Chômage: trop tôt pour parler d'un tournant, selon Gilles Duceppe
http://info.branchez-vous.com/graphics/textecomplet.gif


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)

A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT

From: alan heisey <hize@earthlink.net>
To: Joe Hueglin <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: Re: Daily Digest May 8, 2009

joe, are you beland honderich's ghost rising from the grave to urge "tough screening" of the dreaded foreigners who want to offer jobs, competition, skills and points of view within your timorous country?

you don't speak for me, joe, i am the ghost of stan randall, former minister of industry in ontario tory governments who was fond of saying the only thing wrong with foreigin investment is that we don't have enough of it.

your confidence in our public servants begging investors to please add at least one job so we can approve your application, is laudable for some, pitiful for me. i know one canadian in such a situation who promised to add a secretary to shut the tough screener up! cz

On 2009 May9, at 1:29, Joe Hueglin wrote:
Except for takeovers under $1 000 000 000.00 to which no commitments will be demanded

=====
. . . short answer, "No".

        Joe
(Long answer in process. If this issue is of consequence to you please consider sharing your views on cz's position in his post)

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From: Bev Jaremko

Hi. That's lovely.

On the topic, if you look up momsrising.org there is a lovely little game thing a person can do to customize a greeting tribute award video to any mom.

It's adorable

Bev

===================================
From: Maurice King
Subject: News from Dialogue

A note from Maurice King

If you are one of the 60 to 70 percent of BC residents voting for neither the Liberal Party nor NDP Party, your vote under the present system is headed for the garbage bin.

You can change the system that prevents your vote  from having a meaningful result, by voting in the referendum in favour of the STV proposal.

         Maurice
BC HAS A CHANCE TO VOTE FOR CHANGE ON MAY 12.
SPECIAL ISSUE TO BC RESIDENTS

Please watch this video before you vote on May 12, in our BC election and referendum.

Christy Clark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhccpzI4lbQ

Popular broadcaster, columnist and former provincial Liberal cabinet minister, Christy Clark, 
called on her thousands of listeners across BC to join her in voting yes for BC-STV in the referendum

Dialogue's e-mail newsletter is produced by Maurice King, volunteer publisher of the not-for-profit Dialogue magazine.   Send your letters and comments regarding this Newsletter to: Maurice King

===================================
From: Tom Brewer

I just do not know what to say! The arrogance the outright ignorance of this Harper government bothers me no end.
 
First of all, the young Khadr boy... Outright appalling. Look at the hoops we went through to bring back the Canadian jailed in Mexico... And if I remember rightly she was convicted in Mexico. How about the Canadian living in our embassy in whatever country it is. CSIS nor the RCMP have concerns yet our government boondoggles its butt.
 
I said it before I as a born in Canada as a Canadian I would hate to go anywhere on vacation fearing some Harper croonie would find something to bar me from returning.
 
The ignorance is appalling. Courts are telling our government to get off their butt.. But our government seemingly thumbs their nose at them.
 
This Harper government in my opinion acts as if it alone makes the decisions and damn the rest of you. Strange as it is Harper and his band of stalwarts allow the likes of George Busch to come to Calgary. I find it hard to believe but then dear Alberta is more like a US State than a province in Canada. Hard to believe the Red Cross have slammed Busch's government re water-boarding. I dare say he got away with a horrible crime and not only lied to the people in the US but the World. Harper and is croonies, in my opinion have watched what they did and figure they too can lie their way to whatever.
 
I'm sorry to suggest.. The only thing missing in our government are the jack-boots. What a sad state of affairs we have but then far to many Harper supporters only see to the end of their nose and fail to realize we have serious problems. The blind [no the stupid arrogant Harper hierarchy]lead the rest of us... God help us please!
 
Tom

=====
Hey people if you think Harper and not allowing nomination to take place in each riding is bad just wait my friends. In my opinion he will find reasoning wherein actual ele4ctions are a burden thus Harper will forever rule Canada!
 
I'm sorry to suggest he has already played that game and he has gotten away with it too. There will be no need to head to the Governor General anymore... That avenue of assuring our democracy is closed given what happened the last time. I would dare suggest Harper probably found pictures of sheep and the GG.
 
The people of Canada were robbed, not once but twice. The suggestion of set election dates was tossed out the window. Hmmm who introduced that? I do not know why the GG decided to opt to go with Harper, we will never know BUT in my opinion Harper must have strung a hearty tail to her too.
 
Democracy, just a word that had meaning until Stephen Harper took the reigns. Now... It need not matter he, in my opinion thumbs his nose at our courts, opposition MP's and you and I. It is his way or the highway.... And just wait my friends... His iron rule is mild now.
 
Tom

===================================
From: "Raffath  Sayeed"
Subject: Fw: Read this one and pass around
-----
When it comes to defining democracy, Mr. Plett and I differ sharply.  And what a lame excuse for their actions.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/todays-paper/Tories+call+nomination+rules+democratic/1568067/story.html

If you feel moved to write to the National Council of the CPC, here are their email addresses:

National President: donplett@conservative.ca <donplett@conservative.ca>

Council members: liamobrien@conservative.ca <liamobrien@conservative.ca>; ceciltaylor@conservative.ca <ceciltaylor@conservative.ca>; michaelmacdonald@conservative.ca <michaelmacdonald@conservative.ca>; marieclaudeblais@conservative.ca <marieclaudeblais@conservative.ca>

And a copy to the PMO just in case they forget to tell him: pm@pm.gc.ca <pm@pm.gc.ca>

Fascinating stuff on the Internet

===================================
From: Larry Kazdan
To: lettertoed@thestar.ca
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Education our only magic elixir, James Travers, May 07

Re:  Education our only magic elixir, James Travers,  May 07
http://www.thestar.com/canada/columnist/article/630362
At the end of WWII, the U.S. sent economists to Japan and Germany to predict when these nations would once again become formidable competitors. In 1961, one of these economists, Theodore Schultz of the University of Chicago explained that the estimates had been so wrong because economists had concentrated on the physical destruction, and ignored the highly skilled, disciplined, and educated work forces that had come out of the war essentially intact. Today, this lack of understanding continues when expenditures on education and social welfare are treated as current expenses and are slashed whenever there is a need to balance government budgets. We need to reform our way of thinking (and our practice of government accountancy) so that investments in people are recorded as human capital.  If we want to restore our economy, we must realize that ultimately our most important product is developing the health, skills and abilities of our fellow citizens.
Larry Kazdan,
Vancouver, B.C.
_________________________________________

Footnote:
Theodore Schultz

5 Mar 1998 ... Theodore Schultz. Charles Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor ... of such nations as Germany and Japan grew so quickly after World War II. ... At Chicago, he was Chairman of Economics from 1946 to 1961 and was ...
chronicle.uchicago.edu/980305/schultz.shtml - 8k - Cached - Similar pages -
           =====
In a generation, with corporatists outsourcing production as they are, many skills will be lost among us.
===================================
From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject:  DD

Joe--How long before it will be necessary to send even more troops to Afghanistan?  Harper ignores the fact that we shouldn't be there in the first place.  There is no justification for anyone to invade a foreign nation, whether we agree with their policies or not.  Democracy at the point of a gun is not democracy, no matter who is promoting it.  As for 'irreversible progress'--what the hell is that???  More dead Afghanis?  More dead Canadians???  Does that mean that Afghanistan will always be obligated to follow the dictates of the West, even if those dictates change?  A country is only a 'democracy' if it follows the dictates of the self-appointed controllers of the planet???  What country is next on our hit list?  Oh, I forgot--that would be Pakistan and Iran!!!

As for Fuller's article--he makes some statements that are questionable--ie--'The Taliban represent zealous and largely ignorant mountain Islamists'?  And yet we need a 'troop surge' and the most modern killing machines in the world to 'defeat' them?  Now tell me who are the really ignorant?  We hear the excuse that the Taliban knows the area--well, is it not totally ignorant of our governments for any troops to be deployed to an area that they have not investigated fully before deploying??? 

Fuller still promotes the fable that al Qaida carried out 9/11--this even after some of the named perpetrators of that event have been found alive in other parts of the world.  9/11 was an inside job--don't try to justify the killing of innocent people on the other side of the world as the reason for our own atrocities.  9/11 has nothing to do with Afghanistan--al Qaida was an ally of the US in the fight to remove Russia from Afghanistan.  This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, the US uses its former stooges to justify their actions.  Sadly, Canada does not have the courage to stand against this.

Pakistan was given nuclear assistance by Canada, as was India.  Now we use that as a reason to destroy Pakistan also.  Why would there be anti-American feelings in Pakistan??  I guess they will soon be named as another ignorant and terrorist nation because they stand for their country against the power of the West?  I do agree with Fuller that most of the angst created in Pakistan and Afghanistan are created by the West's troops invading and killing them.  But then I guess only terrorists fight back?  They would only be non-terrorists if they let their country be co-opted by the West?

We will never hear that debate.  How do you debate a lie without the truth becoming visible to all the sheeple of the world?  You can not defend the indefensible.  We are the real terrorists in this invasion.

becky

===================================
From: John Kruithof
Subject: Keep Jobs in Canada

Joe,

Re: Daily Digest May 7: Keep Jobs in Canada

Not only do Canadian corporations farm out jobs to wherever it is cheaper, in their reckoning, but the Canadian Government does the same.  Look up the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) website at http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreign_policy/cnd-world/chap7-en.asp, and see the gobbledygook it uses to justify the practice:
  • Similarly, streamlined administrative practices, compatible with high standards of accountability, will allow smaller missions and offices abroad to function with reduced administrative staff. Significant savings will be registered in foreign operations through greater reliance on foreign nationals employed in positions previously occupied by Canadian staff.
John Kruithof
Ottawa South

===================================
From: "John Duddy"
Subject: Amazon.ca: Customer Reviews: Sheeple: Caucus Confidential in Stephen Harper's Ottawa
              http://www.amazon.ca/product-reviews/1554701791/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Garth is our shepherd., May 4 2009
By John Duddy (Calgary, Alberta.)
  
I enjoyed this eye opener from Garth Turner.
Garth is a good writer and the topic is super-important for voters.
The book convinced me that members of parliament switch from representing the voters to being homogenized followers of the party line as soon as they get to Ottawa; they become sheeple. He was turfed out of the Conservative Party for running his blog letting his constituents be heard. This is a No-No; the party leader wants to run the show and not be bothered by the opinions of the common herd. Beware the power of the Religious Right which threatened Garth's nomination; he shows the damage done by a one-issue lobby groups who disagreed with Garth's failure to toe the line on abortion and same-sex marriage. I look forward to the day when independents like Garth form the majority in the House of Commons giving voters more say in running Canada democratically.

===================================
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe, Spin, spin , and more spin.  I am just wondering when all this stimulus money is going to hit the streets. If this is their efficient method, I would hate to see what methods that would be employed using less efficient methods. Either way, ordinary citizens are taking the hit in their pocketbooks, their retirement investments, and the increases in the cost of living, and than we get punished by our would-be-leaders, for not following performing as we should - trained seals in lock-sync, barking the same tunes.

===================================
From: Charles Tupper
Subject: In the Name of Venality

Editor's Letter In the Name of Venality
http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2009/06/graydon200906
It can fairly be said that the chain of catastrophic bets made over the past decade by a few hundred bankers may well turn out to be the greatest nonviolent crime against humanity in history. They've brought the world's economy to its knees, lost tens of millions of people their jobs and their homes, and trashed the retirement plans of a generation, and they could drive an estimated 200 million people worldwide into dire poverty. In other words, never before have so few done so much to so many. And has there been even one major, voluntary resignation by an American financial executive? One sincere apology? One jail sentence? Why the American public hasn't taken to the streets in revolt is a mystery that can be linked only to our inherent belief in the virtues of capitalism.
. . .

=====
Leaked 1955 Bilderberg Docs Outline Plan For Single European Currency
http://www.infowars.com/leaked-1955-bilderberg-docs-outline-plan-for-single-european-currency/

=====
Media Censoring Lethal Side Effects Of Flu Remedies
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/flu_remedies_177.html

=====
Populism is Not a Style, It's a People's Rebellion Against Corporate Power
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22584.htm
===================================

Subject: RE: Daily Digest May 7, 2009
From: "Efstratios Psarianos"
From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,
To Zeb and others  that are interested in the War of 1812, and other events in our history that led to Canada becoming a nation in 1867.
It is a real shame, that across Canada - the history between the first settlements of Canada and Confederation are mainly blanks, or have been discounted where there is little informative tidbits and tangible history that would inform people what Canadians are made of. We have seen tidbits of it throughout history and into present days. Tidbits of bravery in WWI and WWII, where people from other countries learned, don't ever under estimate the skills and the cleverness of Canadians. How about the tidbit, of the Canadian embassy employees rescuing Americans, and sneaking them out of Iran?  Remember that one, where any Canadian traveling to state-side, a free night of drinks and congratulations, for Canada having the balls to pull it off. What the Americans were most surprised, is that the PM of the day, OKayed the adventure. The ordinary Americans, seen Canada's politicians as not having enough principles to stand up and take action. They see Canada, where our history is only displayed in some dusty history book or museum and is not worthy enough to be under full display for their own citizens to see and the rest of the world to see. It would do some good, for Canadians to know how the White House, got its name. How we made the Americans run, or think twice when making plans to invade. It was one war they lost, and it would tell would be terrorists or other countries in the event of being attack, the Taliban would look like a bunch of grade-schooled children, compared to what Canadians would do to those who would attack or invade us.
As for the current federal government, history of our country, has been downloaded onto the provinces, and than downloaded unto the citizens of the provinces and territories. Politicians and government talk a lot about how Canadians respect the rule of law, but never why and how the history of Canada has reflected it. Canada was not formed because we wanted rule of law; it was formed to protect our lands from would-be invaders, it was formed to give us a greater say in foreign affairs; it was formed to claimed to the world, that Canada was its own nation. Rule of law, was a given, where people who settled this land, often settled their affairs on their own, with a sense of what is right and fair. There were settled more times than not, without having higher authorities such as the ruling British officers standing over us, to ensure the settlers were following the laws of Britain. Our anthem, Oh Canada expresses the very same things. We stand on guard for Canada, not standing on guard for the government of Canada. It is what our politicians and governments have forgotten, or have chosen to ignored - the people of Canada and how they work and unite in good and bad times, without the need for a bureaucratic government telling us how to do it, when to do and what not to think, and so forth. So, I have my doubts that governments will come up with the cash in a timely fashion, and where the celebrations will be once again lopsided, with the American version of the War of 1812 events. But then again, it will suit the Canadian government purposes, since it will not be telling Canadians of a past where the builders of this country were ordinary people,with humbled education backgrounds and not the politicians of today, with their demanding hand in everybody's back pocket.

Right on! When I get a good, rollicking 'Your nation's so silly' conversation going with an American, I always bring up the War of 1812. I tell them that they declared it (although, to be fair, they had some grievances ... invading Canada was out of proportion with the irritants, though), invaded Canada, captured Montreal, attacked Quebec City, fought at York (Toronto), and ... got chased back past their borders by British troops and Canadian militia, had Washington DC cannoned and fired by the British Navy, had the US President's residence (not yet 'the White House') burnt and looted, etc., etc. They (and pretty much all Canadians) are always surprised to learn that British regulars and Canadian militia have been the only ones to 'successfully' invade and beat up the US during its short history (so don't mess!).
 
Add to that that we invaded Russia in 1917 (the US did, too) and that we fought from the first during WW-I and WW-II, and you've got one martial nation in your mind all of a sudden. (Interesting fact: during WW-II, per capita, Canada paid more in the war effort than any other nation). Yow!
 
We're a lot more about peace, love, and milk-and-honey these days, but it's always interesting to know what we've been up to so far.

===================================
From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

Just one of the silent majority here (okay, who am I kidding) looking to make a small contribution to the Digest. Among the issues...

*The Seal Hunt* - you know, seals are cute. A turkey is not, and we kill millions of those ugly dumb birds and nobody says anything. What we need are some ugly seals. The Europeans want to ban the import of North American seals, yet they allow their own members to continue playing wack-a-sealy. I'm guessing that this is just protectionism or they got some ugly seals up in Scandinavia.

Hahahahaha. Or seen another way, we need cute turkeys to make us go vegan.
 
My main hangup with the seal hunt is the motivation behind it (getting white fur with minimum damage to said fur, thus whacking seal pups on the head), the fact that it's to harvest an expensive luxury, and that (let's face it) it's kind of disgusting. That being said, does anyone here know how many pups get harvested every year? And how much the sealers get out of the whole thing? (Real questions, not rhetorical ones, by the way). Also, is there another 'benefit' that Canada gets out of this (e.g., a reduced seal population, which means less fish gets eaten by it)?
 
Offhand, this strikes me as the kind of thing that Canada could be easily be rid of at reasonable cost. Though I'm no pro-subsidy man, this case just might be one where local subsidies would act for the greater good.

*Swine Flu* - unless you and I start dropping like flies, the WHO has just become another of a long list of alarmist organizations that scream bloody blue murder to achieve some level of relevance only to prove that they haven't a clue. 165 Canadians out of 33 million have had this flu, and China locks up all Canadians visiting there. NASA wants me to believe it found a piece of Mars in the Antarctic that was blown off that planet by a meteor, delivered to Earth, only to be discovered within a couple of hundred of years of us sifting  through the ice. Al Gore and David Suzuki want us to believe man is causing the earth of heat up and believe the solution involves sending money to places that never developed much beyond the stone age and tribal conflict. I can't even take my vehicle to Canadian Tire for a tune up without some twit there trying to soak me for all sorts of parts to make it run to his high standards, rather than my own. As for political parties being the bastion of democracy, I guess we already know the answer to that one. Now, if there is somebody out there who I can actually trust, someone who might actually have a clue, please let me know. You get the feeling that if they are not trying to screw you, that they are simply being retarded, and there seems to be an awful lot of them who are "they."

Well, Dr. Stratos is always pleased to Let the People Know His Wisdom, hahahaha. Here goes:
 
The Mars meteor thing is plausible, in that it's made up of minerals similar to parts of Mars' surface and different from those of Earth's. Also, the meteor's known to have fallen to Earth because its minerals are different from others in Antarctica and because it's been scorched during entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
 
Al Gore is a putz. And any scientist who came on board with him in saying that Earth is CLEARLY on a lasting trend to heating up and that it's all driven by high atmospheric CO2 ought to be shot and pissed on. For one thing, when Mr. Gore started his crusade, this 'global warming' thing had only started about what ... five years earlier? Any climate honest climate scientist will tell you that we have no clue of whether that's just a short-term blip or whether it's significant. With climate trends maybe becoming discernible with the passage of perhaps decades or maybe several centuries or millenia, we simply don't know what a five-year blip means, what its effects are or will be, etc. etc. Add to that that we simply don't know how the Earth works climate-wise, and that despite some smart-alecks' computer models predicting Cosmic Doom. Add to that that we have no clue on what's driving global heating if heating there is. For all we know, the cause is external to Earth and there's nothing for us to do about it.
 
So, when a UN organization comes up with an alarmist report based on short-term data that probably doesn't suffice (and isn't known to suffice), on computer models whose comprehensiveness is nowhere near ... uuuhhh .. comprehensive (with models not known to be difinitely accurate) , and whose conclusion is that it's 90% certain that rising atmospheric-CO2 concentrations are behind it all, one can only conclude that the report is a political figment of the imagination and NOT something based on science.
 
That being said, there may be something behind all this (apart from underdeveloped nations having found a pretext to get money out of rich nations ... remember, each one gets one vote at the UN concenring these matters, and there are a lot more Burundis, Seychelles, and East Timors out there than there are rich nations that would be called to pay out), we should consider taking reasonable precautions, this may be a good psychological opportunity to clean up our polluting act, yada yada. But then it should be framed and presented like that, NOT as a Chicken Little attempt to Save The World.
 
Tune-ups and stuff: the way I see it,  there's actually a positive aspect to all that. When we're told endless, through various marketing ploys, that we've got to use so-and-so brand of soap to get all the girls, that this product's better than that other one (or useful at all, for that matter) because it ionizes the air around you, or that wearing such-and-such perfume will make you The Perfect Woman (when all it really is, objectively, is high-priced deodorant), one eventually gets around to realizing that many things CAN'T be trusted and that one should stay on one's guard and use one's judgement. Think of it as psycho-evolution in action ... I mean, why does each generation these days seem to differ so much from preceding ones in its psychological makeup? On the other hand, the psychologically impressionable (i.e., ones whose fear makes impressionable ... will my wheel REALLY fall off if I don't change that shock absorber? will my car engine really snap off its supports because its bolts are overtorqued? eh, what?). Might as well face it, life's veeeery complicated these days .. but if one takes these things as growth opportunities that help build character, one's better off after years of exposure. (Give yourself ten years to come to grips with it comprehensively, if you set your mind to it. And if you don't ... well, contemplate on why ladies' clothes, hairystyling, car-repair bills, etc., cost more).
 
*Nannies* - I had one when I was a child. I called her Mom. Nice lady. Too bad everyone can't have a nanny like that. Her husband is a nice guy. I call him Dad. However, if you are too busy to look after those you are supposed to love the most, then it probably is not a good thing to ship your child's parental surrogate in from some foreign land, take away their passports, pay them less than minimum wage, make them wash the car, clean up the family business, along with doing what nannies are supposed to do. If this is what you do to your nanny, then your ass should be grass. I never was big on slavery. Those who are should be locked up no matter who they are or who they know. Then again, having such folks work alongside some honorable people in a senior's facility changing adult diapers might allow them to gain some perspective and maybe some real class.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with having nannies around. The issue at hand concerning Ms. Dhalla is whether employer-employee relationship was an exploitive one.
 
These things DO happen. Someone I know, for example, got into trouble when the live-in nanny in his employ kind of discovered that getting paid $3-4 an hour (or less?)here in Canada was illegal, etc., etc. He's a pure-bred French Canadian, his wife's first-generation Indonesian-Chinese (they met in Singapore), and when they returned to Montreal, they brought a nanny with them. They paid her what was a decent wage in Indonesia, gave her room and board, etc., for say four years. Sometime at the end of that, the nanny, who didn't go out much, learned that the minimum wage in Quebec is ... uuummm .. substantially higher than what she was receiving. You can imagine the rest ... threat of lawsuit, yada yada. Add to that she'd been kept incognito in Canada after her work visa expired (I think that she may not have been aware of that ... the fellow and his wife conveniently forgot were holding her passport for safekeeping and they conveniently forgot to mention the visa thing to her), and imagine the rest.
 
In the end, the nanny got $5,000 in an out-of-court settlement and thus a nice sum for a nest-egg in Indonesia, the employer got dinged by the nanny and the tax man, and it all worked out.
 
As for me, I learned a valuable lesson: personal impressions CAN be trusted once one's developed the ability to interpret them. The employer and his wife came across as grasping, money-focused folks who lived above their means, so it made sense that they'd come up with something like this. That being said, I WAS surprised that they didn't consider themselves to be acting unethically in doing so. Lesson learned: self-justification can be a powerful thing, and one should always watch out for it when one's appetites push one towards it.
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