Sunday, May 16, 2010

Daily Digest May 16, 2010



Caution: irritant

Parliament wins the day

PM reignites abortion fight

Abortion: Don't ask, don't tell

When rights collide
Wedded to equality for all

Loaded questions
Anthem Anathema
O Canada, we stand on guard for the, um, -- what was it again?
Auditor general frozen out by spendthrift MPs

Megadeth marauds Mozart

Art meets life, in the bathroom

Canada-Mexico trade not optimized

Emergency room doctors draft patients in public relations war with health minister

GG wanted


With NATO emphasizing political aims over military ones in the Taliban's base in southern Afghanistan, the insurgents have been assassinating the figures the West would rely upon most.,0,6239788,full.story

Debate over cross-border pipeline poised to heat up at U.S. town halls

Are we covering for Uncle Sam?

The surprising rebound of GM and Chrysler

Britain's PM wants relationship with U.S. re-evaluated

How US Weapons Grade Uranium was Diverted to Israel
Declassified GAO Report Exposes Fatally Flawed Israel Investigations

US Funds Israel's Apartheid Roads Plan

Unfair Trials
Silenced for Speaking the Truth About Guantanamo

Found: genes that let you live to 100

Think of the victims

Canadians are opposed to Stephen Harper's plan

PM's department cited for contract foul-ups in Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry

 Evangelicals clean up the mess: Goldstein

The opposition and media are out of touch

Michael Ignatieff's 25 per cent problem

Guergis unfairly targeted, says Liberal party president

Baie James: la Cour suprême donne tort à Québec
Duceppe: «Le Canada ne mérite pas un siège au Conseil de sécurité»

L'appui populaire au rapatriement d'Omar Khadr est en baisse au pays

Politique · Les intrigues du Parlement

Santé maternelle au G8 · Les Canadiens s'opposent au plan de Stephen Harper


What will the next election threat be?

The detainee things out of the way now.
Rahim and Helena thingy's near done.

What do YOU think will be the up next
to keep us on pins and needlea -and to
provide media with fuel for their articles?


From: Zeb Landon
Subject: Re: Daily Digest May 14, 2010

Hi Joe,

  I agree with Becky Gingrich who states, "Canada is on a precipice, and if we keep treating our 'leaders' and our Parties as our favourite sports team rather than an entity that controls our very life, we are in deep trouble."
       / Zeb

From: Larry Kazdan
Subject: Letter to Editor re:  Jeffrey Simpson:  Big deficits, mounting debt: It's time for hard choices, May 15

Re:  Jeffrey Simpson:  Big deficits, mounting debt: It's time for hard choices, May 15
Jeffrey Simpson says the electorate must be prepared for tough choices, but tough on exactly who?  A financial transaction tax, for example, would raise billions of dollars for domestic budgets and for international humanitarian relief.  This kind of levy might be painful for the bloated financial sector, but most of us would bear it quite well.  If, however, governments continue to coddle the big banks, and at the same time push service cuts, tax increases, and unemployment onto the shoulders of the citizenry, then expect resistance to mount and expect that riots in the streets may not be confined to Montreal.

From: Lorimer Rutty
Subject: Check out this article from DailyFinance

3090 friends?

From: Rebecca Gingrich

Subject: CWB  posted on DD

The legislation also aims to get payments to farmers faster by eliminating the need for Treasury Board to approve the payments.

Does this mean the farmer's payments are audited by the Treasury Board but the MPs and Senators see no need for their expenses to be audited?  Does this mean that the small farmers will be able to sell privately or will they just not be able to vote in the elections for the CWB?  Does this mean that all farmers are not equal?  If this is a way for the government to disband the CWB then good on them, but it smells  of something else.


Subject: Marijuana To Control Alcohol Abuse

If it can generate revenue for governments it is a 'good' thing?  I
 have nothing against marijuana but do have trouble with
government who lies  one day and makes a profit on it the next.

"Speaking about legalization of cannabis, Reiman added, "The economic hardship of the Great Depression helped bring about the end of alcohol prohibition. Now, as we are again faced with economic struggles, the U.S. is looking to marijuana as a potential revenue generator. "


Subject:From: "Efstratios \(Stratos\) Psarianos"
Subject: Sound familiar?

A massacre of arabs masked by a state of national amnesia
Sixty years on, the true story of the slaughter of Palestinians at Deir Yassin may finally come out

Nothing changes in the world--could these actions be perpetrated by the same people as mentioned in the posting above?

Is this our future also?


From: Richard Neumann

I find it interesting how quickly so many in the media are grasping at lessons to be found from the new Tory-LibDem coalition in Britain, and our own recent experience in minority governance.  What is most interesting, is an underlying assumption on the part of some that the British model is somehow more stable than what has transpired here.  The new Brit coalition has not yet produced a single piece of legislation.  The jury will be out for some time on whether this collection of quite divergent views can successfully govern for any period of time, but rather than look to the differences, perhaps we should be concentrating more on the common threads that the Brits are about to experience.
In Canada, we live under the constant threat of an election.  The governing party uses that threat as a hammer when it sees fit, and the opposition waits not so patiently for an opportunity to pounce when they have the best chance of success.  The overwhelming factor preventing another election remains the threat that the party seen to be forcing the issue will likewise be the one punished by the voters.  Until a sufficient critical mass of Canadians see the value, or perhaps fail to see sufficient harm, in another election it is unlikely we will have one.
In the UK, a similar situation is about to unfold.  The LibDems are flush with their new found influence, and the wheels are certainly already turning on how to expoit this influence to increase their relative position in the next election.  Until they can find a way to exploit the situation, they are unlikely to force an election.  The Tories are in a somewhat similar position.  They must be seen as accomodating, but they are also on the cusp of majority government and in turn will be searching for ways to tear apart their coalition, in a manner that leaves the blame firmly at Clegg's feet. 
Power is the common driver between both experiences, and stability is the measure of relative success.  Majority promises stability, but failure to achieve it risks power. 
It will be interesting to see in a year from now which method of dealing with minority governance has achieved the greatest level of stability, and that may largely determine how accepting Canadians become of coalitions.
The only certainty in Canada is that the very possibility of a coalition of the left increases the likelihood of a majority on the right in Canada, and therefor regardless of whether or not it might bring some relative stability to the mix, all four of Canada's current crop of leaders will have to answer the question of whether or not they would consider such an arrangement almost immediately after the writ is dropped.  There is only one leader who needs to consider long and hard how to answer that one, as the response has the potential to dominate the next campaign.
Richard Neumann

From: The Natroses

As Peggy has pointed out, another troubling aspect of the world, is how conclusions are formed first, than the data streams are made to fit the conclusions. Bad science methodology, but these days it seems to be the norm, especially in the field of social sciences. One sees it in government policies and certainly in the world of politics.
One has to be amused when Preston Manning, comes out of the closet, and becomes the defender of science.
"He"s the science guy in Canada," said Mehrdad Hariri, the young researcher who organized the Toronto talk, a science policy conference that Mr. Manning agreed to speak at without a fee. â"In Canada, basically, we do not have any other people of his stature when it comes to science policy. He knows the issues inside and out." In labs and lecture halls across Canada, Mr. Manning has reinvented himself, moving from a right-wing, populist political leader to a coach for the science cause, deciphering the mysteries of the political mind to some of the brightest researchers in the country."

I knew I like Preston Manning for some reason, as I was always willing to listen to what he had to say, even though I disagree with his politics. He always struck me, as a person who had common sense, a trait the is lacking among our politicians.  The Harper government complaining that they are not receiving full credit, bricks-and-mortar investments to attract top scientists. How anyone can conclude that having nice buildings with equipment, while at the same time, cut funding to science research, will only create a picture that the scientists are being sidelined, in favour of some political ideology of the government. "I think they would very much like a signal from the government that it really does see science and technology as important," Mr. Manning said. His interest in science is long held. He majored in physics before switching to economics in his final year at the University of Alberta. His political memoirs detail his teenage forays into basic research in a homemade lab, even convincing a hired hand on his family's farm that he was manufacturing "the Bomb". Mr. Manning jokes that he switched his major to economics from physics because he couldnâ't hack the math. A premier's son, he entered politics after a consulting career, quickly gaining a national profile as the leader of a powerful new Western populist movement."

Much like our provincial governments on improving education, by building pretty school buildings, fully equipped, keeping the progressive education policies, based on a education philosophy, intact, and where the science of education is ignored.  By ignoring the advances that have been made in education, based on sound science principles, Canada's illiteracy rate stands at 48 %. The majority being just poor readers and writers. In the world of public education, teachers no longer, nor did they have to be, well-versed on the reading processes, since progressive education theory, states that reading is a natural process. Failure to read well, is cause by outside factors in the social economic indicators. Crazy eh?  But than again, common sense has never been in plentiful supply, in the upper levels of the public education system. Common sense was brought to the forefront, for the Ontario Liberal government. "Gladwell, who was raised in southwestern Ontario, spoke at the Imaging Ontario's Future conference at the Blue Mountain resort here."  "Gladwell, whose books include The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers, is a graduate of the University of Toronto's Trinity College. He spoke of making the case for a "new kind of liberalism" and the importance of a proactive government with a clear message and agenda."  Gladwell, says reducing class size is a waste of time, and money. It is is the quality of the teacher. Gladwell states,
"Everything the world has learned about education shows that the quality of the teacher is the most important factor in a student's success, Gladwell said.", and further down the article, "Even if you were to cut every class in Ontario in half, you'd improve the performance of Ontario's schoolchildren by about 5 percentile points," Gladwell said. But changing teacher quality has a "massive impact" on student outcome, he said. "If a child is unlucky enough to have a bad teacher three years in a row they will fall three years behind a child lucky enough to have a good teacher three years in a row."  The question is how do you improve the quality of teachers, Gladwell said. Raising academic requirements isn't the simple answer. Teaching is complicated in this modern world, he said. "We are asking them to play six, seven, eight different roles in the classroom. The best thing we can do for teachers is to simply let them teach. That requires a government that is activist ... that is not afraid to try something radically new" he said."

Now that is common sense, with science data in behind it. It is not new in any sense, but to politicians and the educators it is radically new. Let the teacher teach, and they will raise a nation of readers, who can read well, basing it on the science of reading.
The World Health Organization (WHO), is another organization that lacks common sense. The solutions of the health problems, is based on a whole series of variables. The latest being the obesity problem.  Here is the latest quote, "WHO began sounding the alarm in the 1990s, spearheading a series of expert and technical consultations. Public awareness campaigns were also initiated to sensitize policy-makers, private sector partners, medical professionals and the public at large. Aware that obesity is predominantly a "social and environmental disease", WHO is helping to develop strategies that will make healthy choices easier to make. In collaboration with the University of Sydney (Australia), WHO is calculating the worldwide economic impact of overweight and obesity. It is also working with the University of Auckland (New Zealand) to analyse the impact that globalization and rapid socioeconomic transition have on nutrition and to identify the main political, socioeconomic, cultural and physical factors which promote obesogenic environments.."

Such nonsense, devoid of common sense, but speaks loudly on who they are working for. The main solution would be to lower the price of healthy food, so all can partake in a diet of healthy food. Eating healthy, can be very expensive. One just has to look at the basics, milk, bread , eggs, meat, fish and vegetables,  to see that in the world of recessions, good times, and bad times, food prices increases, no matter what. One just have to take a look at the big food processors, and their healthy profit margins, to see that it is bullet-proof against the economic ups and downs of the market. Since globalization, more so.  The farmers who produces the raw product, are the only ones who suffer from the ups and downs of the market. As for the family doctor, he can preach all he wants that his patient has to loose weight, but it is difficult when the patient has only enough money to buy food, that is loaded with chemicals, preservatives, bone meal, artificial ingredients, pesticides, and the list goes on, including government policies that hinders eating healthy, to make it a waste of time on the doctor's valuable time.

Let's hope the Mannings, the Gladwells, and others with the same stature, put common sense back with science behind it, back into the world. The world certainly needs it, in my eyes.