Saturday, May 15, 2010

Daily Digest May 15, 2010



Chicken run

Forget the Quebec route

Audit denied: Betrayal of Canadians

Commons compromise: Elementary logic

N.B.'s nuclear opportunity

Financial industry needs a national regulator
And another thing ...

Playing with nature
We vote for Sir John A.
The danger of debt

Religion in the public square
Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion—we should hear all voices on issues that shape society's values

Shutting AG out of books a bad plan for Parliament

Government should open books to its own auditor general

Lessons for us in British deal

Reading and writing: the golden ticket

Now starring in the Commons: the mighty Milliken

The Mounties should clear the air over Helena Guergis

Open up the books

 Detainee endgame

Bias at the CBC? Who knew?

Dumb ...

... and dumber still


Making strides in the cyber space race

Food for thought

Renewable energy

Worth all the sound and fury

From Clegg to Stronach, it's about power

The culprit is human nature, not technology (or sofas)

First Nations right to protest HST

Second-best but a good deal for U.K.

Time lawmakers open their books for the auditor

Hiding their expense accounts:what are our MPs afraid of?

Bear hug for Banff
Today, we send a big, warm bear hug to the Town of Banff for its transparency and openness. It was among only five agencies in the country to receive an A+ grade in the Canadian Newspaper Association's annual freedom-of-information audit.
 Let's call a rape a rape
Over the years, I have interviewed dozens of rape survivors, or as the courts describe them, sexual assault victims.

Reefer madness

Spineless Natynczyk rolls over for minister


First Nation election report good start

Dusting off the Afghan manual

Beaufort Sea: Let's talk, Cannon tells U.S

West Bank's 'white' intifada gives peace with Israel a chance

Palestinian rivals march together to mark displacement in 1948 Mideast war

Premier insists he's not trying to oust outspoken ombud

Afghan detainee deal a pioneering compromise on national security

MPs dodge questions about barring auditor from reviewing expenses
Auditor-General notes law gives her mandate to look at Parliament's books

MPs want expenses sealed to keep lawsuits quiet: Szabo

Expense flap 'blown out of proportion'— MP Keddy

Auditor-General fires back on expense review as MPs turn tail

MPs' refusal of expense audit prompts the question: 'What are they hiding?'

Half want Jean back as GG: poll

Ottawa moves to revoke Wheat Board voting rules

Big deficits, mounting debt: It's time for hard choices

Who's to blame for the surge in populism?

The high price of information in Canada

How to reinforce Parliament's authority

Government funding for all (even jihadis)

The Saturday Interview: Danny Williams — Master of his own Destiny

Saving the Supreme Court
For Tories gloating about numerical control of the Senate, the bilingualism bill is a test of their new-found power's true-blue value

Taking Stock of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board at Ten

Stephen Harper and religion

Eyre: Guergis deserves impartial hearing

Did Harper act too quickly to dump Guergis?

Abortion vote 'inevitable,' MP says

Preston Manning: Proselytizer of science

Michaëlle Jean · Une majorité de Canadiens veulent qu'elle demeure en poste

Des scientifiques déverseront du pétrole dans l'Arctique

Documents sur les détenus afghans
Les partis s'entendent


The following articles quite independently of each other
ended up here for me to comment on as I often do.

On reflexion I leave it to you to judge the worth in them

Travers: Afghan prisoner safety a political fiction

Ending Afghan War the Pashtun Way


From: Peggy Merritt
Subject: re organized religion

Re Susan Riley's post    Hi Joe: I would refer you to Paul Wells article in May 24 issue of Maclean's (  I quote 'with screaming hysteria McDonald's book tries to fit data to conclusions not the other way around'  Nuff said  Peggy Merritt

From: Glenn Harewood
I disagree with  Robert Gautier's assumption which I've copied and pasted below.
Rather, the right to dissent does NOT supersede the right of freedom of expression: it is an inherent ingredient in the concept of the freedom of expression. But this must be tempered with the observation that freedom of expression does NOT mean that freedom to do or say anything is ABSOLUTE and irresponsible.  Today (21st Century) we frequently focus on our  "Rights" but ignore or forget that every "Right" must be balanced with its corresponding "Responsibility."

Focus, for example, on Articles 19 and 18 of  the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms:
Article 19
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
Corresponding Responsibility: R 19.
Everyone who has the freedom to express his or her opinions, and impart such information and ideas through any media, is directly or indirectly responsible for the content of such expressions, opinions, and ideas.
Article 18
" Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

Corresponding Responsibility: R. 18.
It is the responsibility of everyone within a State, as well as the government of that State, to accept and ensure that everyone is entitled to idiosyncratic or individual freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Such responsibility extends to one's freedom to change his or her  religion or belief, as well as responsibility for freely manifesting, singly, or in concert with others, in public or privately, his or her religion or belief through teaching, practice, worship and observance.
A full account of the corresponding Responsibilities for each of the 30 Articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and Freedoms may be seen in my unpublished paper entitled:
 "The United Nations 1948 Bill of Human Rights  and  A Proposed Bill of Corresponding Responsibilities (August 2009)."
Glenn Harewood

Subject: Re Mc Parland " Why Britain can and we cannot"
From: Robert Ede
To: "Letters (National Post)" <>

Re: Kelly McParland's "simplicity" (I didn't want to use the word 'idiocy') entitled " Why Britain can handle a coalition--and we can't"

Dear Ms McP & Editors,
The actual reason that the Lib/NDP/BQ potential "coalition" (the only mixed-party Confederal political-economic mash-up in recent memory) failed to win public approval is because the publicly-avowed separatists (well, ... avowed Quebec-First-ers anyway) the Bloc Quebecois was to be included AND by reason of the-then seat-mathematics was to hold a keystone, power-leveraged position -- quite un-deserved by their numbers, their narrow platform-focus, their socialist-bent and their one-region-based popular support.
The population has many times supported (ie not mass-rallied in the streets in protest) minority governments (King's Lib-Progessives alliance in twenties, Pearson & PET's Lib-NDP tit-for-tat deals in 60s & 70's) not forgetting the Peterson Lib-NDP minority "Accord" of the mid-'80's in Ontario.
The difference in the current UK example is the mixed-Party Cabinet that has been created (nevermind the gobblety-gook pablum of the joint-platform they published -with its arranged-future abstentions and future votes that-won't-be-considered-confidence-matters etc etc)
I fully supported the idea of an "All-the-Talents" cabinet in Dec 2008 and recommended to the GG at the time to force/allow/permit or just plain 'pragmatic sanction' Mr Harper to invite a few Libs & a few Ndp's into his government - instead she was bamboozled into agreeing to the the First Prorogation. She (and the country) could have used the institutional-memory and political-economic counsel of Her full Privy Council at that time.
'Tis a pity that Wm L M King usurped it in 1940 (Order in Council PC 1940-1121) - between Governor Generals and under cover-of necessity during Canada's vital efforts during the early War.
Read the Constitution/BNA Act - look up Privy Council -- it's in the Executive power NOT the Legislative power.
Robert Ede,
Thornhill ON

From: Rene Moreau <>
To Joe from Rene Moreau

re; Then and Now


1. We trusted some businesses and business men, and government, sometimes, which made life easier, even if we got caught sometime.

 2. Lying, cheating, stealing, flim flamming and spin were not considered ASTUTE BUSINESS PRACTICE as they are now.

 3. We were innocent, and naive , but we had safe-guards that worked, mostly.

 1. We trust hardly anyone, at least those who are awake, that is, don't.

 2. Harper, a gift to Canadians perhaps, and Harris and Klein, of Alberta and  Gordon Campbell, of B.C and Brad Wall, of Saskatchewan, are also gifts to us. They show us why it is so important to  guard against our government, our neighbours, our corporations!

3. Now we know it is essential to have defence mechanisms in our media, government, businesses, churches, regulators, banks, the U.N. etc.

4. The Christian idea of love for all, now has far too many exclusions, and love is not profitable, and hence ir-relevent, corporately, it would seem. It isn't. but that impression is passed on, by current events.

5. The divide and conquer ploy of left wing and right-wing, and religion, is working, on the human race.

6. The teamwork efforts of a  human race striving to work together to cope with a finite planet and six billion population could be dis-empowered by the  different ploys. OR NOT. OUR CHOICE. IF WE WORK TOGETHER!

7. We have seen what intentionally undermined government can do. Does this not make us stronger?

                                                              Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

From: Bearzerker
To: Jay Hill MP <>
Subject: disclosure of social insurance numbers

Is it ok for  Telus to ask or have my social insurance number?
I was phoning them about my account and they asked for my last 4 numbers to my SIN to confirm I am, who I say I am.
I asked them several times if it was the last 4 of my SIN and not my access number and they insisted on the last 4 on my SIN.
This indicates they already have this information and if they do, how did they get it and why do they have it?
IF they have do have it, others in the information collection industry must also have it and I have not given them or anyone [other then my bank] the authority to have this number... where did they get it from?
I'm not comfortable having my SIN passed around like this.
I thought there were laws limiting this information to financial institutions and employers only
for issueing income tax reciepts for revenue canada.
This information is highly sensitive and personal, and opens a whole new can of worms WRT security and its potential abuses.
Can you tell me if this data mining of my Social insurance, driver licence and employee numbers for identification is legal ?
And if its [still] illegal, why it's openly disregarded & widespread by the corporate data miners [do they make money collecting this info by selling it to others, and is it legal for them to have it?]
SIN, drivers licences and other numbers like credit card and bank numbers are supposed to be protected by law... whats up?
Barry Blackman, CD
PO Box 805
Tumbler Ridge, BC
From: Rebecca Gingrich

Subject: we are bringing them democracy???

Afghan civilian shot dead during protest against NATO over killing civilians

Subject: WHO did such a fine job with Swine Flu, now they are going to tell us what we can eat? 
Wonder if there is a vaccine for the Global Epidemic of obesity?

Controlling the global obesity epidemic

The challenge

At the other end of the malnutrition scale, obesity is one of today's most blatantly visible – yet most neglected – public health problems. Paradoxically coexisting with undernutrition, an escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity – "globesity" – is taking over many parts of the world. If immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders.

Subject: World Health Organization Moving Ahead on Billions in Internet and Other Taxes

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations' public health arm, is moving full speed ahead with a controversial plan to impose global consumer taxes on such things as Internet activity and everyday financial transactions like paying bills online ­ while its spending soars and its own financial house is in disarray....[Read full article ]

Subject: Twit

Joe--how dumbed down we are.  Do those on Twitter not know the meaning of the word twit? 
And our politicians are some of the biggest twits on the planet.


twit  (tw[] t)
tr.v. twit·ted, twit·ting, twits
To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults. See Synonyms at ridicule.
1. The act or an instance of twitting.
2. A reproach, gibe, or taunt.
3. Slang A foolishly annoying person.

vb twits, twitting, twitted
(tr) to tease, taunt, or reproach, often in jest
1. US and Canadian informal a nervous or excitable state
2. Rare a reproach; taunt

Informal chiefly Brit a foolish or stupid person; idiot
[from twit1 (originally in the sense: a person given to twitting)]

Noun 1. twit twit - someone who is regarded as contemptible
twerp, twirp
simpleton, simple - a person lacking intelligence or common sense

2. twit twit - aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
taunt, taunting
provocation, aggravation, irritation - unfriendly behavior that causes anger or resentment
Verb 1. twit twit - harass with persistent criticism or carping; "The children teased the new teacher"; "Don't ride me so hard over my failure"; "His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie"
bait, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, razz, tease, cod, rag, rally, ride
bemock, mock - treat with contempt; "The new constitution mocks all democratic principles"
jeer, scoff, flout, gibe, barrack - laugh at with contempt and derision; "The crowd jeered at the speaker"
banter, chaff, jolly, josh, kid - be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around"