Monday, June 15, 2009

Daily Digest June 15, 2009



Afghan economy should not be tied to foreign troops
What really happened in the Raitt tape affair

Harness full potential of the energy hub

Are our MPs chisellers? We'll never know

 Words matter, especially spoken ones

New role for old profession

Road to recovery

Tory baby steps on carbon gases

Youth and tobacco

Too many ifs cloud nuclear future

Getting young people onside could push Ignatieff to the top

Messages from the Dead Sea

Exports to statelets

Hatred inferred

One-sided probing of jurors

Courts blocking Tories on security

Great white threat

Poop power's no potty joke 

  Harper insists he's stimulating

Pakistan's leaders get it at last

Don't pull the plug, Michael Ignatieff 

Toronto's bad bid

Not much beyond grand shore plans

We need truth on isotopes

Jack and Gilles
Note to Her Majesty's loyal opposition in Ottawa: Give Canadians a break -- a summer break.

Academics have no special 'freedom'

Good families mean good kids

Protectionism starts erosion of Democrats
Vigilance, not panic

Saskatchewan's economic success an example for other governments

Faint-hope clause should have no hope of surviving
Second-class Canadians

Loose lipitis not rare at all

Syncrude's about-face 


Viking deserves fair chance
Isotope bungling betrayed patients' trust
For First Nations, flu remains a deadly threat


Mohawks defend sovereignty at Akwesasne

Ontario residents eye 'militia' as aboriginal dispute drags on

126 Attacks in a Week in Afghanistan: MoI

Forces to Safeguard Helmand Borders

Taleban under fire from all sides

Pakistan says offensive against Baitullah Mehsud imminent

Legal shield for Army chiefs in Afghanistan

DND has spent $44 million on ship program it may scuttle

The Fraser Institute: Canadian Political Parties Rising Sentiment Against U.S.-Canada Cooperation ...

Canada, the great northern threat

Harper should appeal to Obama, exporters say 

Harper calls U.S. deficit "dangerous"

Qualms remain in U.S. about oilsands energy

Household debt emerges as greatest risk to Canada's financial system

The meaning of the Tehran spring

Rafsanjani's gambit backfires 

EU to help resettle Guantanamo detainees

Iran orders election fraud probe

Why the World Should Be Watching Central Asia

Isotope shortage means more invasive procedures: Experts

Isotopes shortage a big crisis, say nuclear docs

Judge won't block findings in Taser inquiry

Full-day learning starts next year

Take over daycares, Ontario schools told

No going back on gas royalties: Alberta minister

The PC leadership sprint begins

Stelmach looks to grow US ties

Canada's opposition eases election tension

Ignatieff demands answers on EI, finances to avoid election

Ignatieff demands answers on EI to avoid election

Liberals say they don't want summer election

PM calls Ignatieff's demands 'unrealistic' |

Employment insurance showdown could force federal election

A summer session?

Ignatieff's decision is no decision

Tories say attack ads working, pollster says Grits could use them to their advantage

Canada says to balance budget without tax hikes

Decision day for Ignatieff

GM more a concern than Chrysler: Ottawa 

Harper, Ignatieff to hold talks on Liberals' demands
                  Capital Read
It's a date: Harper, Ignatieff

Special adviser appointed in the wake of isotopes shortage 

Government ethics rules work just fine: Justice Department

Btfsplk moments


Mentor delivers painful punch to Harper

 Do the Conservatives even care anymore?

How to: Build a Next-Gen Aircraft Carrier



Is there a difference between "conservative" and "new conservative" to your way of thinking?

From: "Phyllis Wagg"
I must thank Peggy Merritt [Daily Digest, June 14] for so clearly illustrating the difference between my conservative and her new conservative values.


From: "Phyllis Wagg"
I must thank Peggy Merritt [Daily Digest, June 14] for so clearly illustrating the difference between my conservative and her new conservative values.

I would disagree with her on one important point. Peggy Merritt claims "In the case of the production of isotopes the system has been a dismal failure for a very long time."  In fact, the system was working very well for a very long time.  The Chalk River reactor has simply worn out after decades of good service while technical problems have emerged with the replacement reactors.  New Conservatives allow far more leeway for errors and mismanagement in the private sector than they do in the public sector.

There is no doubt that the cost of developing facilities is extremely high, so high in fact that the production of isotopes around the world have been in government, or government subsidized, facilities.  Not only that, the use of weapons grade materials for some of the most important isotopes makes government control of such facilities essential.  There have been technical problems and cost over-runs leading to the current crisis.  That does not mean that the solution is to abandon Canadian health care providers and their patients to the uncertainties of the global isotope marketplace.

One can only hope that the new reactor in Australia runs into no technical problems as it gears up for production.  Our government appears to be afraid to deal with problems after they occur, even problems of their own making.  Their tendency is to give up.  It is easy to provide other examples of the government giving up on issues rather than fixing the problems.  The income trust issue could have been resolved by putting in place regulations that would have solved the immediate problem and protected the investors' money.  Rather than do that they eliminated the business model entirely resulting in investment losses.  When their rebate program for environmentally friendly automobiles turned out to be a boondoggle, instead of fixing the problems they eliminated the program.  
One of the things that I have learned about new Conservative thinking is that priorities are different from mine and that separates old conservatives from new conservatives.   The new conservative thinking is that if the private sector cannot do it than it is not worth doing and if the private sector mismanages its affairs, and the corporation is large enough, they see the role of government as to step in and try to protect it.  The result is that government becomes the handmaiden of multi-national "crony" corporations and not the servant of the electorate.  Remember that federal government money is going directly into GM, an American owned corporation, with no strings attached.  It is not targeted to protecting workers pensions or even Canadian jobs.

As an old conservative I see it is as far more important for government to use our money to provide those goods and/or services directed at the "common good," that the private sector cannot or will not provide, then to use that money to bail out poorly managed "crony" corporations to directly compete with enterprises in the same sector that have been better managed.

Canadian Human Rights Commissioner tries to muzzle Ezra Levant

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about Jennifer Lynch, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Many of you may not know her though as she tends to stay out of the spotlight but she carries a very heavy hand when dealing with free speech and human rights.

As they say "a picture is worth a thousand words". Take the time and watch this video clip from Tom Clark's Power Play on CTV. Jennifer Lynch refused to go on any panel with Ezra because she knew she would get destroyed in any reasoned debate with respect to the total hypocrisy of the Canadian Human rights commissions and many of their outlandish rulings.

When you finish watching this you must wonder how these Human rights commissions still exist. They sure are not protecting average hard working Canadian. From my vantage point all they are protecting is their cushy overpaid positions. Let us know what you think.

You can read more about our Say to the Free Speech police campaign by clicking here.

From: Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I see that the Edmonton Journal published a story that states some folks in Iowa and Indiana have come out with a report stating how we have less wind now due to global warming. Well, it is unfortunate these dear people were not up in Edmonton this spring where the damned wind has just managed to quit blowing in cold air sometime over the past week. If only that report were true, we might not have been attending ball games wrapped up like we were out ice fishing.
I did not realize that getting rid of those hair spray cans were to prevent global cooling. If that is the case then Becky is right to suggest we bring those products back to fight global warming. I might not have much hair on my head, but maybe I can try to keep what I got where I got it to stay in place. Too bad I'm not a nudist, or it might really come in handy.

So, as David Bell points out, to save the planet we will take money from our pockets to transfer to third world countries in exchange for nothing more than a fantasy and make believe, while having no impact what-so-ever on the global environment. Hell, what's not to love about the plan? No doubt there is some twit with drool pouring out of the corner of his mouth who figures this to be the best thing put forth since that crayon he just ate.


From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: election/no election

Am listening to Ignatieff spouting his virtues.  He has no plan other than to bash the CPC.  We are truly a lost country--we have no one to vote for.  We have lost.

From: "Robert Ede"
Subject: Bloomberg news: Treasuries Rise as Fisher, Evans Downplay Monetization Deficit

What a lovely turn of Phrase "monetizing the Debt"

Particularly after so many yrs of "debt-ifying the money
Bloomberg –June 15 - Treasuries Rise as Fisher, Evans Downplay Monetization Deficit

Subject: FYI - Bloomberg news: Carney May Be Swayed to Buy Bonds as Dollar Hits Canada Economy

 Carney May Be Swayed to Buy Bonds as Dollar Hits Canada Economy

 The best parts -

"Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, who says a strengthening currency could choke the economic recovery,
may be pressed into creating dollars and buying assets such as government bonds to offset the dollar's rise.

…pursuing so-called quantitative easing ….

…does increase the chances" of Carney purchasing assets with
new money, …

Carney has refrained from such measures. That helped boost the dollar, which appreciated in May at the fastest monthly pace since Canada floated its currency against the U.S. dollar in 1950…

… A problem for Carney is that
he can't use the tool he would normally use to counter the stronger dollar -- lower interest rates. The bank's key policy rate is already at the 0.25 percent, which Carney has called "the lowest-possible level."

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,  I must respond to Peggy's  viewpoint, and opinion regarding Chalk River and the GM bailout. Quite frankly, to compared both is like comparing apples and oranges. Two completely different industries, producing two different products. One is unique and the other is a common consumer product. As you stated:

" 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."
First point, uranium is not a common mineral such as iron, nickel and copper. Canada holds the position in the world, as being number one in deposits of uranium. Canada also supplies most of the world's uranium in other countries. It is foolish, to have our isotopes being made by another country, using our very own uranium as the source and than have the isotopes being shipped out by plane across oceans, only to be charge the current market value. Since Harper has come into power, exported raw natural resources have increased, where the raw resources are processed into products and than the products are shipped out to Canada, for retail where it is the highest price that the market can bear. You see this in your fish products.  You see this in your wood products. You see this in your canned fruits and vegetables. You see this in your oil products. You see this in your iron-ore products. Now Harper, wants to shut down Chalk River, effectively putting isotope products on the global market, where it will be exposed to the same manipulation as it is done in other markets such as fish, oil and pork bellies.

The global economic crisis did not happened in a vacuum. The fault lies at the top, where global leaders and I might add from the democratic countries, and top CEOs, has applied a faulty economic model. The greatest fault lies in the supply and demand chain, where it is manipulated where all products no matter the supply and demand - the highest price the market can bare. When it is applied on a global scale, asked yourself why when pigs are being killed because of disease in a far away country, the next day pork prices rise once more again - never returning to the previous price. The same thing can be seen in the oil industry, where the barrel of oil depends more on crisises caused by man than on the demand and supply of oil. Ah, than you will state that price of oil did come down. It certainly did, but it is now on the rise again. Where airlines, and hydro utilities will now tack on surcharges or apply for an increase. Our very hydro authority, give us a decrease in January but has now applied for a increase which effectively wipes out any savings for the consumers. In fact, in the last ten years hydro utilities have benefited greatly using a economic model where supply and demand no longer has power and influence over retail prices.

Second point, is the words, of high priced scientists. Check out the post from Zeb and earnings of private uranium CEOs. "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."
These guys just mined the stuff, the real work is being done by the scientists who is dealing and working with the most dangerous natural substance known on earth. If you do not think uranium is dangerous, maybe you and others like you move and live next door to an uranium mine. An uranium discovery and it is a big one,  is located just 45 kms from my community. The only thing that I am grateful, it is not in my back yard. Also this explains why the federal government shut down our natural spring resources due to the high count of radiation. I believe the water was passing through the uranium deposit. So, if you think scientists are not worthy of a good salary, are the CEOs worthy of  their salaries and bonuses?

You have  assumptions that is worthy of discussion. The main theme is to trust the government, and the belief that the government should set the standards and rules on national issues. The belief that a global economic system, can be trusted along with the governments. As I have said to my children, and as I have done in my own life - governments and big coroprate interests should not be trusted to look after our needs. With the Harper government, the only people sitting at the government table are the big corporate CEOs, where their interests over-rides the interest of the people and their common good.

Moving isotrope  production, off-shore is a recipie designed to create a crisis in our universal health care. Diagnostic testing that requires isotopes will become more centralized, and as result more and more people across Canada would have to travelled into the big cities for testing. This will create more line-ups, more and more waiting time and than and only than - the government or the politicians will solved the problem by allowing private health care into Canada. One just have to look at England, where the average citizen does not have the luxury of accessing private care due to high costs of insurance premiums. As a result the common person must wait for life-saving procedures and testing, as well as basic health care. In some areas of Canada, this is already happening, the centralization of medical testing and procedures.

How would you like to have an x-ray taken at the local hospital, but the cast must be done in a far away center that is 4 hours travel by car?  How about waiting for the results of an x-ray for six weeks? In my province this is happening every day, where our own ER doctors are not permitted to read the x-ray, operated the x-ray machine, much less put on a cast. Yet, all doctors are trained and can do many of the basic medical procedures, yet are not allow to unless we are under a terror attact or a natural disaster. I have to laugh, when the government has training exercises for natural disasters or a terror attack. What makes any government official think, that when a disaster occurs where there is injuries - that the local health system can take care of it? What makes any one think that what is not practice on a regular basis, will translate into expert care when a crisis does happen? 
Back to the isotope issue, and other issues where Canada loses control over our natural resources and in many cases the expertise coming from the sectors - and leaving it to the global market is not only short-sighted but foolish. Only fools suffers the ailment that others above them will take care of their needs. Only fools will think that the elite of this world cares about the everyday lives of the common person. Only fools will think that the elite of the wealthy and powerful are looking out for the best interest of the common masses.

This includes politicians, where you professed that you are a conservative, but did not explain further your conservative ideology. I also can professed that I am conservative in most things, but my ideas of what makes a conservative falls in line of the Davis regime in Ontario. The Davis government did some wonderful things, when it came to health care, education and access to the court system. My generation grew up in a wonderful time, where politicians actually cared about the state of the people and their welfare. The Harper government is the opposite, where the fine art of fooling people is being practiced and refined, where the con-men and their scams are put to shame.

It is one thing to stand up and state you are a conservative. It is another thing, to keep on standing up and stating you are a conservative , when conservative governments  like Harper makes moves without debate, creating crisises when there was none, creative accounting, telling people one thing during an election and doing the opposite thing once elected. Above all, pertending to care about the people of Canada, when their only concern is extracting the most amount of money out of your pocketbook.
And by the way, do not fall for the so-called decreases in taxes, nor the decreases in consumer goods or for that matter any decrease. One can take numbers, and make them look good. A prime example is in the public education system, when in reality students are doing without, as it is in the health system, where the cuts take place on the backs of the students and patients and their needs are no longer a priority. As for the consumer index and the pace of inflation, take the numbers with a grain of salt since oil and food has been removed from the index. The inflation numbers would be a lot higher if basic necessities were included. I suspect inflation is running at 5 to 6 percent, and one just have to look at a person who has retired 5 years ago. Their pension is covering less and less of their day to day needs. Of course, I might add that their is a certain sector that is called federal employees including politicians who have pensions index to the cost of living. The private sector has removed the cost of living a long time ago.

So Peggy, stopped thinking in a way that it is short-sighted and does not include what the long term implications are when making a decision today. If I thought in terms of only today, and not of the future, my child who has a learning disability would not be a honour student today. Politicians of Harper's ilk, the question is and has always been, their short-sightedness has always been with the people of Canada and their welfare. They do a great job in look after the big corporations and elite of this country over their long-term needs and profit margins, but for the common or average citizen it is questionable, unless you are fortunate to fit a particlar criteria to take advantage of a service or tax break.

It is time for people to stop thinking in terms of conservative, liberal, NDP and so forth - and start to take back our governments and insist on policy formation that will benefit people over the long term, and in years in the future. A good policy that was formed after WWII, is Canada's nuclear policy that turned nuclear technology into good things that will benefit people world-wide, instead of building nuclear weapons. It is time to take back our democracy, before it turns into a democracy that is in name only.