Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daily Digest June 14, 2009



Butting in

Perils of protectionism: Buy America no bargain

A campaign with bounce

Words matter, especially spoken ones

The spread of sickness


The train is more civilized

Colombia's pitch for free trade

New help for Ontario

Ontario's ruinous medicare habit

Taxpayers have a right to see GM's spending


Get eHealth a real leader

Save the rainforests, save ourselves

Policing is about service, not power

Is that group think or groupthink?

YES: This is not simply a moral issue

Not for the faint of heart

Tossing out Rae from Sri Lanka disturbing sign

Who knew? Less wind due to global warming

Canada and U. S. in sync on more fronts

Five reasons why we want our politicians to take a break

Lighthouse shines beacon on culture of defeat


No need to get all panicky

Who knew? Less wind due to global warming


Harper out to lunch on economy

Economics is as simple as ABC -- er, make that V, W, U or even L

Stimulus short-sighted, but helping

Settle the science of climate change

Isotope crisis a political and moral failure

Use stimulus funds to cure homelessness


$126M land settlement approved by Peguis First Nation in Manitoba

Afghanistan is a Winnable War 

US general set for Afghan command 

Afghan Civilian Deaths, Our Greatest Vulnerabilities: Gates

Afghan villagers slain as they took cover

U.N. Official Calls for Review of American Raids

US-PAKISTAN: CIA Secrecy on Drone Attacks Data Hides Abuses

U.S.: Congress Reviews Military Contracts, Kabul Embassy Scandal

Blast kills Afghan tanker drivers

INTERVIEW - Taliban must hide among Afghan civilians - commander

Bomb kills Canadian soldier in Afghanistan

A veteran's life of self-medicated torment

Spare parts could keep Snowbirds aloft until 2020 

Navy may start supply-ship program all over again

Western premiers to press governors on 'Buy American' restrictions

Premiers, governors, promote Canada-U.S. energy corridor

We are increasingly under America's thumb

Canada seeing negative inflation: economists

G8 sees signs of economic recovery

Obama fails to impress

Canada, U.S., U.K. query election 'irregularities'

Docs shouldn't induce labour unnecessarily: pregnancy experts

Bolder Federal Court challenges Harper policies

Government ordered to bring home Abdelrazik

Court rulings blow to CSIS credibility, say experts

Ottawa may challenge Khadr repatriation order

Take over daycares, Ontario schools told

Dalton's farewell tour coming soon?

Fresh face, sound ideas for PCs

Prairie premiers look south to champion regional agenda

Anglophone band barred from festival on Quebec holiday

Latest : Election speculation

Liberals preparing in Quebec

Topple government if forestry industry not helped: union

'Virtually nothing coming' from Tory stimulus fund

Dan Cook: Election Speculation: All You Need To Know

Weston: PM stimulating 

Liberals continue to execute their retreat plan

Government's $3-billion 'special fund' not used for stimulus ...

'Virtually nothing coming' from Tory stimulus fund

IggyWatch: Ignatieff announces anticipated announcement

Liberals say all options open for confidence vote

Coderre signals Liberals could support budget

Appointment process reforms substantial: PCO

Canada injects $200M into global vaccine initiative

Catering to minorities puts pressure on foreign policy

Nonsense has me incensed

Scott's DiaTribes » Who do you believe more?

Delusions instead of solutions

Jason Kenney Says $ 40000.00 ...

A wasted Parliament

Fools on the Hill

Bungle battle: Baird vs. Kramer vs. Raitt

Un soldat canadien périt en Afghanistan

Crédits budgétaires: Duceppe demeure ferme, les libéraux hésitent

Les lacunes des conservateurs émergent plus que leurs forces

Michael Ignatieff: le poids d'un non

Les conservateurs veulent limiter les peines d'emprisonnement avec sursis

Jim Flaherty rejette l'idée que les déficits ne disparaîtront pas.


From: "Phyllis Wagg"

From: Zeb Landon
Subject: Notes on medically useful nuclear isotopes

Gordon Edwards notes have been widely used by those supporting the government's decision to get out of the business of producing medical isotopes.  It is extremely difficult to evaluate his work because of his political agenda which is opposition to all uses of nuclear energy.  Dr. Edwards is a professor of Mathematics and has been opposing of all uses of nuclear energy for thirty years.  At times his arguments appear to be rather "far out."
For example, he writes:
(1) The vast majority of uses of radioisotopes in nuclear medicine
is for diagnosis, not for cancer treatment.  Thus a shortage of these isotopes may cause a lot of difficulties, but it is not in itself a "life-threatening" medical emergency."
That statement basically plays on words because it implies that the failure to timely diagnose a condition is not "life-threatening" when in so many cases it is.
(2) The fact that these diagnoses using medical isotopes are not life-threatening is supported by the fact that the tests are never given after regular hospital hours or on the weekends, but only during regular business hours.

One needs to clarify how Professor Edwards defines "life-threatening."  He clearly uses the term to mean something that will happen within minutes or hours not days, weeks, or months.  A condition that will kill you within weeks or months is still life-threatening.  His statement is inaccurate at the present time because the shortage in supply is forcing medical staff to work long hours to make the optimum use of the isotopes before their shelf life is depleted.  These tests are being carried out after hospital hours and on weekends to deal with the shortage. 
(3) McGill University used to produce all of its medical isotopes using a cyclotron located right on the university campus in downtown Montreal; this is not a nuclear reactor but a "particle Accelerator".  It does not use uranium at all.

Some reactors can make small amounts of specific isotopes.  However, I have heard that the only place in Canada that produces isotopes that can be used for the detection of cancer in children is the Chalk River facility.
In a paper published last year he admitted that there is currently no alternative for some of the medical isotopes in use but thinks that they would be developed if the production of these isotopes was banned because "necessity is the mother of invention."  He argues that the production of isotopes at Chalk River is dependent on the U.S. weapons production industry.  He does not produce evidence that this is the case and it appears to be based on speculation rather than hard evidence.
Anyone promoting Professor Edwards arguments needs to understand that he is not a medical doctor or an expert in nuclear science, but a mathematician who is a major opponent of all aspects of the nuclear industry.

From: Peggy Merritt
Subject: re Conservative priorities

Dr. Wagg's obviously has a different  point of view of the governments role in running a country than the current conservative government  I am a conservative and believe that the national government should set the standards and rules of how  to deal with national issues.  This is fine as long as the system works but what do you do when the system doesn't work.  In the case of the production of isotopes the system has been a dismal failure for a very long time.  What have all these high priced scientists.been producing over the years?  I draw the line at pouring tones more money into a losing project. Let's see what the global market place can come up with.  I understand that since this medical problem has come up we suddenly have McMaster University planning to start up their nuclear facility  to produce isotopes. Thing's change in this global world and the obviously the mismanaged automobile industry in North America is making victims of the many workers who depended on their jobs for survival.  I ask the union why they were not looking after the employee's pension plan and making certain they were protecting their fee paying union members.  Don't they get their inflated salaries to do this job? Does a government sit by and let a group of workers suffer almost fatal damage while manager's use corporate jets to run around the country. Government's shouldn't interfere in private business but in the case of the auto industry too many people were victims of poor management on the part of unions and 
owners. We can only hope that Canada doesn't become the victim  of misplaced trust and that the management will make good on the investment made by governments of the US and Canada.   My biggest worry today is that the Liberals may decide to bring down the government an put a stop to the current efforts to bring the country back to economic health. 
thanks Joe  Peggy Merritt

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: GW cap and trade

Joe and Tom--What a load we are being asked to swallow.  Change the name from 'carbon tax' to 'cap and trade'--it doesn't matter--it is, as Bob Mills, a former CPC MP stated, a WEALTH TRANSFER!!!  And you know what that means--we get to pay more for less.  Our tax dollars have gone to bailing out GM and what did we get for that?  This will be no different.  We lose, the elite win.  No mention if we, the taxpayer, can sell our 'carbon credits'  But then, I guess we would have to stop breathing to be able to do that?  Since we are no longer consumers we should have lots of credits to sell.  But that will be ignored. 
The 'science' that this scam is based on is totally flawed.  Our governments cannot keep an economy functioning but we are supposed to believe they can control the climate?  How ridiculous can we get?  They can't keep a nuclear reactor functioning but they will save the planet by taxing us more?
The cap and trade fiasco has failed in Europe.  It is rife with muddle--and we expect something different here?  Look at eHealth in Ontario.  When has any government of any level run anything successfully?  NEVER!!! 
Remember when we had to get rid of aerosol spray cans because they were causing Global Cooling??  That was in the 1970s.  Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper for them to bring back those products rather than the cap and trade fiasco?  Just asking

ps--is Carbon and C02 assumed to be the same thing???

From: Bob Taubman
Re: Tom Brewer - Tossing the Liberals' butts out;
Tom's right about why the Conservatives were voted in.  But, to listen to them during question period, or any time for that matter, their answer is always referring back to what the Liberals did or didn't do.  It seems that if it was OK for the Liberals to do something, then it must be OK for the Conservatives to follow suit.  Why did we bother to have an election if the result is more of the same but from another party? What is the real difference?
The Conservatives are the ruling party at this point in time, and it is not OK with me to have them simply do nothing and blame everything on past governments.  If their, the Conservatives, bar is set at the same level as previous governments, maybe it's time they had their sorry a$#@#@ kicked out as well.
Bring it on!!
Bob Taubman
Ottawa, ON

Thems fightin' words Bob. Cons the same as Libs?
From: "Anne Dickinson"

Hi Joe-
I am responding to the remarks of Gordon Edwards who  dismisses the importance of the use of isotopes as not so important after all as they are used for diagnoses and not treatment and also goes on to note that they  can't be life saving as the tests are carried on  during working hours...
To start with Mr. Edwards, I have had those tests and treatments; an operation , radiation and chemotherapy. and all tests and treatments were carried on during working hours. I think you are confusing cancer treatment with emergency  room treatment for a car accident or heart attack..
I can tell  you that those isotopes are vitally important as cancer treatment cannot start until the medical team know if the cancer has spread and, if so, the extent of the spread. And the sooner the test is done, the sooner the life saving treatment can begin, and it is very important that it begins as soon as possible.All treatments are dependent on the results of the tests.
The other methods of testing that are mentioned-PETA and MRI's and CAT scans-  are extremely expensive and there is already a long wait for the use of those machines. Of course. expensive tests and long waits play into Mr Harper's hands.
Phyllis Wagg says that health concerns are a low priority with Mr Harper. I think that she is being far too kind.
The health industry is a high priority for a man who was funded in his early  career by the insurance industry , his one job as an adult outside politics after all was for the insurance funded , anti universal health care, National Citizens Coalition. That organization and his work there probably explain the shrill cries from the Harper supporters when there is any mention of  his body of work before he took over the Conservative Party. Even to mention n anything he did or said is considered to be vilifying him (and these are people who know a lot about vilification).
 Harpers  followers prefer to have him described by his college major rather than his body of work,as though studying  economics trumps his actual work as lobbyist for the insurance and oil industries.
Harper is singing from the same hymn book  as Michael Harris. who trashed the health system and laid off thousands of nurses during his tenure in Ontario. Making tests expensive and hard to get would perfectly fit Mr Harper's neo con philosophy and satisfy his supports and former employers.

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"

Subject: Economic View - Obama's Difficult Choices on Medicare Spending -

Subject: Editorial - Doctors and the Cost of Care -

Subject: Policy and Profit - Following the Money in the Health Care Debate -

Subject: Many in Congress Hold Stakes in Health Industry -

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I can't begin to say how much I applaud the government "moving forward with its Offset System for Greenhouse Gases." Of course, I can't because I consider the whole thing bogus nonsense.

Without greenhouse gases, which mostly consists of water vapor, the earth would be much colder. I'm guessing that wouldn't be a good thing. I do not live near an ocean, so I don't care if they rise. Up until a couple of days ago, the clouds and winds have made this less than a sun tanners paradise. Again, a little more warming would be welcome where I live.

Over time, the prairie on which I live once was the bottom of a lake, was once ground down by the glaciers above it, and none of these phases of climatic change had a thing to do with man-made global warming or cooling. The climate changes, so the reasoned approach would be to find ways to adapt to it. Carbon credits are not a form of adaptation, they are a form of taxation.

Yet, this Conservative government wants to get into the business of selling indulgences to folks who produce greenhouse gases so they might be forgiven for their perceived sins, with the cash going to God knows what. To grow a new tree, to simply pad the general account? I would sit down over a nice cup of tea to try to figure this all out, but the steam from the pot would contribute to adding even more greenhouse gases. So, if you have a restaurant or a methane producing farting cow, you might have to pay the tax man for your sins.

If this is what we get from a Conservative government, imagine what would come with those led by barking mad socialists. What a truly goofy world we live in.

Ron Thornton

From: David Bell
Subject: RE: Daily Digest June 13, 2009

Re: the carbon offset system and as an old regulatory and policy swamp alligator:
The global impact will be to siphon money from Canadian consumers (as increased costs) and invest this money in developing offshore (3rd world) carbon generating industries
The global environmental impact is zero
Even David Suzuki admitted this in an interview 3 years ago
But it's good politics …
David Bell

From: Ray Strachan
Subject: Multiple Choice Questing for DD Readers

If and when it becomes manditory, which of the organizations would you
choose to join

1.B nai Brith

2.Canadian Jewish Congress

3. Anti Defamation League.

Yout Vote Matters

Ray Strachan

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: radioactive products in homes

I guess it is easier and more profitable for our governments to worry about GW(Climate Change) than it is reality???

Subject: Cap and trade working already???  Comments from readers are interesting

Crops under stress as temperatures fall

Subject: [On-Guard] radioactive products in homes

I guess it is easier and more profitable for our governments to worry about GW(Climate Change) than it is reality???

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  Lots of things to get a bee in one's bonnet. On the question of cap and trade, but here in Canada it is called an offset system, and as the link below suggests a step toward a carbon market.
My research  which I had to do, since the gobbledygook on the government site is just that, another name for cap and trade,  but it is voluntary in the beginning AND in the end will resembled the American cap and trade.
My next link is the American one, where you will see how profitable it will be for the American government. It will become an important revenue source, where in the end if will generate revenue from all industry, businesses, and all individuals.
The first link is a quick review what is a cap and trade system, and the next one comes from the American government's site, the Environmental Protection Agency.
As for Canada, as stated in the Sun's article directly taken from the government site; "

The Offset System will establish tradable credits and encourage cost-effective domestic greenhouse gas reductions in areas that will not be covered by planned federal greenhouse gas regulations, like the forestry and agricultural sectors. For example, potential offset projects could include methane capture and destruction from landfill gas, the creation of new forests, or agricultural soil management.

Companies subject to the greenhouse gas emissions regulations will be able to purchase offset credits on the carbon market and use these credits for compliance with their regulated targets. In addition, other parties, such as small businesses, individuals and travellers, will be able to acquire and use these credits to voluntarily offset the greenhouse gas emissions from their activities."

What Canada is doing is really sneaky, but politically smart. Since it is voluntary, farmers and the forestry sector will jump in right away where excess carbon credits are generated, and can be sold to the bigger polluters who are in need of carbon credits to offset their greenhouse emissions. Provincial governments will go along, seeing another potential revenue source coming from the crown land, where most if not all reforestation is taking place.

What will happen in either system, is an important revenue source for governments but costs to individuals/consumers will increase in goods and services, and in the end carbon reduction is done on the backs of the individuals, with no real incentive for industries to reduce their carbon emissions, since all costs would be passed down to the consumer. Eventually, a head tax would be placed on all individuals and the price would depend how an individual conducts his life, where carbon credits can be deducted from the head tax.

Now, how much do you want to bet that only the well-to-do will benefit over the vast majority? The well-to-do can purchase the latest technology such as LED lighting in their home, and by doing so amassing more carbon credits and can continue to live as their did before the cap and trade system. As for people like you and me, we are less able to purchased the new technology, because of costs, and we are force to buy products and services that depend heavily on the use of oil and industries that emit great amount of carbon emissions.

Both systems, also protects big industry and business and their profit margins. The example of LED lighting systems in homes, would be a disaster for utility companies who would see their profits cut in half, due to a massive reduction  in the number of kilowatts used for lighting in homes across the country. When you throw in the new technology in heating, products that actually reduces water/hydro by more than half,  the retail costs are priced high enough to keep most consumers from buying or turning their homes into environmentally- friendly environments.  By putting in a cap and trade system, it will allow industries to adjust themselves where technology advances threatens their profits, and in the end keep all companies and businesses profitable as technology keeps changing, by moving most if not all costs unto the backs of the individuals. In 20 years or so, when LED lighting is the most common source of lighting in homes - the hydro bill will reflect this, by charging 35 cents a kilowatt or more.

From: Zeb Landon
Subject: NUKE:  This is a wowser!  Southwest Booster Letters to Editor Greed driving uranium business

Forwarding this, which may be of interest to you as a perspective on uranium mining.

Greed driving uranium business
The Southwest Booster


On the issue in the Uranium Development Partnership Report of making more competitive Royalty arrangements for the Uranium Industry, I would like to refer to the Cameco Manageme Proxy Circular April 10,2007 that you can find on the Internet titled Driven to Succeed. It lists the salaries and bonuses of five of their top 20 officials for 2007.

Gerald Grandey's salary was $950,000 with bonuses amounting to $2,781,058. O. Kim Goheen's salary was $440,000 with bonuses amounting to $1,226,029. George Assie had a salary of $530,000 with bonuses of $1,505,477. Timothy S. Gitzel's salary was $440,000 with bonuses of $900,000. Gary S. Chad's salary was $415,000 and bonuses of $1,063,819.

At the site you can get similar information on the top 20 executives for Cameco. I did a spread sheet using both sources and found that Cameco paid out over $8,000,000 in bonuses to their top 20 executives. It must also be remembered that some of the 20 individuals are also executives with other big corporations such as Nexen Inc., Agrium Inc. Sun Life Financial, Murphy Oil, Constellation Energy, Roger's Communications, Helca Mining.

The Cameco motto "Driven to Succeed" is a misnomer. I believe that it is driven by the greed of a handful of individuals. They are not satisfied with being millionaires. They want to be billionaires.

In The Vancouver Sun on February 19, 2009 article "Cameco uranium war chest at $700 million ", Gerald Grandey the President of Cameco claims to have a "war chest" of $700 million to buy out competitors who are suffering from the down turn in the economy. They are looking at UEX a smaller company active in Northern Saskatchewan and a Namibia uranium mine owned by Rio Tinto Ltd-a company experiencing financial difficulty.

Between 2002 and 2007 the GDP rose significantly. Employment earnings went up by 34%. Sounds good right. Government earnings went up by 44% also sounds good right. Corporate profits went up by 160% outrageous right. Read Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Saskatchewan's multibillion dollar give away by Erin Weir. Although he talks mostly about oil and potash as examples the above statistics for corporate profits represents ALL corporations.

The Uranium Development Partnership Plan that Gerald Grandey one of the 10 experts helped write, claims that Saskatchewan royalties are unfair. That is ridiculous. In my view the Uranium Development Partnership Business Plan is about making a handful of Cameco executives very rich and nothing else. They are not green and they are conning us about our future energy needs which are easily achievable with renewables.

William Gibbs - Swift Current