Thursday, June 03, 2010

Daily Digest June 3, 2010


Israel's naval blockade pitches and rolls with the Law of the Sea

Turkey mourns dead Gaza activists
Turkey holds funerals for nine activists killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, as Israel rejects an outside inquiry.

Flotilla raid: Israeli reaction

Q&A: Israeli convoy raid

They shouldn't have been there
Israel's soldiers may have acted in self-defence, but boarding a flotilla of aid ships on the high seas violated international law

Turkey turns away from the West

Ship 'Rachel Corrie' Challenge Israel's Unjust Gaza Blockade and Zionist Myths

All At Sea

Israel Averts International Probe on Gaza Atrocities
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 2, 2010 (IPS) - Less than 48 hours after the Israeli attack on a flotilla of six ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, the most powerful political body at the United Nations acted most ineffectively: it opted for a shaky "presidential statement" instead of a demanding resolution.

Anti-STI campaigns inadequate

Myths of domestic violence

Reproductive agency losses alarming: expert

Guergis asks to see allegations against her

Spectre of Afghan docs showdown rises again

Clement defends copyright bill's stance on digital locks

A peek inside G20 war chest

What $1B could buy

Refugee reforms in doubt

  • Maintain the blockade

  • Oil isn't subsidized
  • Gary Clement on the UN inquiry into the Gaza flotilla
  • Turkey's dangerous Middle East game plan
  • Dignity in politics?

    'Losers don't get to form coalitions,' says Harper

    'Losers' can do more than PM thinks: experts

    Coalition talk simmers while Ignatieff drifts

    Jack Layton for PM? Just kidding

    Five things the Liberals must do to win the next election

    Mulroney inquiry link could hinder GG contender David Johnston's hopes

    What could be duller than our PM? Plenty, actually

    No pensions for old cons

    The power of shazam
    Kennedy: All it takes is a wave of the magic wand. Just ask Stephen Harper or any of his minions. Simply create the illusion, and, presto, the spell is cast.

    Powerless MPs vote by rote

    The G20 really can make a difference

    Why Harper is taking his bank-tax fight to Europe's doorstep

    A strange silence on Mulroney

    Pitfield's example
    Cit: The Senate lost one member this week, and Canada is poorer for it. Michael Pitfield retired at 72 because of declining health. He epitomized, throughout his marvellous career, what is meant by the phrase "public service."

    'The goal' is ours. Bring back #19
    Sun Media: Talk about a Canadian power play. Taxpayers gnashing their teeth at the prospect of the federal government doling out dough to bring Paul Henderson's iconic Team Canada jersey back to the land of hockey may be able to rest easy.

    Penny deserves doom
    TS: It's time to let the penny drop. Nostalgia is the only reason for keeping Canada's lowly copper coin and, as shown by testimony before the Senate finance committee last week, that's far from reason enough.
    Political aides play cat-and-mouse with bailiff from Commons committee
    Two government officials are playing cat-and-mouse with a Commons committee bailiff trying to serve them a summons

    MacKay lays out $30B shipbuilding policy

    Wanted: Jailhouse doctors for G20 summit

    Harper signals G20 battle over bank levy

    Canada, U.K. differ over bank tax

    Afghan deployment past 2011 possible: MPs

    Feds fail to hit greenhouse gas reduction targets

    Harper backs acting information czar to fill role

    Conservative support ebbs slightly: poll

    Taber: Poll shows Tories' support slipping

    O'Malley: EKOS of the Week: The return of the new old new normal!

    Bank of Canada payouts 'offensive'

    $2-billion mass flu immunization program a bust, figures reveal

    Mounties shun 'sound cannons' in urban settings ahead of G20

    Shipbuilding strategy ready for launch

    Food safety system unchanged: report

    Ban on tankers, offshore drilling not legally binding
    The Harper government has quietly affirmed that it isn't legally bound to maintain a moratorium on oil drilling off the coast of British Columbia.

    Expert: N.L. spill unlikely

    As BP disaster grows, Canada's deepwater well faces scrutiny

    Committee should probe why feds blocked Mulroney payback bid: Grit MP

    Final arguments heard in Harkat case

    Ontario buys plagiarism detectors for schools

    JEUDI 03 JUIN 2010

    Affaire Guergis-Jaffer · L'ex-ministre contre-attaque

    Sommet du G20 à Toronto · Une arme controversée contre les manifestants

    Taxe sur les banques · Harper et Cameron en désaccord

    Flottille attaquée · Un Canadien arrêté par Israël maintenant en Turquie

    Les Canadiens pourraient rester après 2011

    «Droit absolu» de se défendre, dit le vice-président américain

    Construction navale
    Ottawa débloque 35 milliards

    Opposition à une taxe sur les banques
    Harper cherche des alliés en Europe

    Réforme des droits d'auteur, prise

    L'école anglaise ouverte aux parents fortunés

    Réfugiés: le gouvernement menace d'abandonner la réforme

     Stephen Harper rencontre David Cameron

     Ottawa appuie une enquête, mais défend Israël


    Pensions for caregivers warranted

    Published on June 3rd, 2010
    Topics : Calgary

    The case for removing pensions from convicted serial killers is a strong one. If the state is already housing them free, they 'have' their pension.
    But the case to give pensions to those who are still out in society serving others well is also important.
    What about correcting imbalances in how we determine pensions? Tying them to paid work only excludes and degrades those who do unpaid work, and the more time you spent selflessly raising the young, tending the sick or handicapped, the smaller your pension will be. How is that fair?
    It is as if we created pensions specifically to nudge all citizens away from care roles. And that is a policy that not only leads to poverty of caregivers, but also destroys a very important social ethic- helping each other.
    How about pensions for the caregiver years, not tied to paid work but to caregiving? Pensions for homemakers has been recommended by several commissions but never enacted. Pension splitting does not quite accomplish it since it only shares or splits the current pension of an earner. How about a pension specifically recognizing those years where someone actually served society without pay?

    Beverley Smith - Calgary

    From: Jared Milne
    Subject: For the Daily Digest
    Dear Joe:

    After reading the appalling comments by Suan Booiman and Anthony Silvestro, I felt I finally had to answer. Their comments on French Canada and bilingualism reveal a profound ignorance of Canadian history that would be funny if it weren't so sad.

    When it comes to Mr. Booiman's complaints about bilingualism and the supposed "waste" of money spent on what he seems to think is a tiny minority, it begs the question of what Mr. Booiman thinks of the English minority in Quebec. According to his logic, the English Quebecers should be stripped of all their minority and linguistic rights. Otherwise, what is the logic for spending money to support an English minority in one province, while all the others can do whatever they like? Why should Quebec bend over to accommodate the English? Let's not forget that if British Columbia or Alberta were to declare that all students could only go to English schools, Quebec would be well within its rights to insist that all students could only go to French schools.

    A waste of money? More like money well spent.

    What Mr. Booiman seems to be promoting, Joe, is a blatant double standard by which English Quebecers can enjoy all the rights they want, and Quebec has to accommodate them, but French Canadians in the rest of the country can go hang. How is that in any way conducive to equal rights?

    Oh, and let's not forget Mr. Booiman's ludicrous assertion that Lord Durham gave the French Canadians their own little territory in Quebec. New France was established for decades before Britain came along, it was guaranteed its civil law and language in the Quebec Act in 1774, and persisted as Lower Canada for more than fifty years before Lord Durham recommended that it be fused with Upper Canada. If anything, Lord Durham actively tried to get rid of Quebec and its French-speaking population altogether.

    And then there's Mr. Silvestro's comments on how Quebec was built by the Irish, the Scots, and the United Empire Loyalists. He's right on that, but he also forgets how the French played such an essential part in developing Western and Northern Canada. Father Albert Lacombe, Bishop Grandin, and many, many more. Whenever I look at a map of central Alberta, and I see the town names-Morinville, St. Albert, Vegreville, Legal, Villeneuve-and I open up a phone book and see all the French names in it, I'm reminded of the immensely valuable contributions that my Francophone kinsmen have made to my province and my heritage.

    And then there's the fact that French Canadians have made in our development as a country. Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine teamed up with Robert Baldwin to bring true democracy to Canada. George-Etienne Cartier teamed up with John A. Macdonald-the grandfather of Canadian conservatism, and a devout United Empire Loyalist-to establish Confederation, which would have been impossible without Quebec. Wilfrid Laurier thwarted the attempts by Great Britain to draw Canada into an imperial federation, which allowed us to progress and develop as a nation. Calixia Lavallee wrote the music to our national anthem, the same anthem Canadians have sung with pride for decades.

    Mr. Silvestro also writes about the attempts to stamp English out of Quebec, but he seems to ignore-or perhaps he'd rather not mention-the attempts to stamp out French in the rest of the country. If we English Canadians had put half as much of an effort into actually accommodating French in the rest of the country as we have in trying to assimilate it, Pierre Trudeau would never have had to fight so hard for bilingualism and Quebec separatism would never have come up.

    As Mr. Silvestro says, just the facts, Joe.

    You know as well as I do, Joe, that Canada used to be part of the British Empire. We used to fly the Red Ensign. But those days are gone forever. The Red Ensign is a historic relic, the sun has set forever on the British Empire. As important as our British roots are, they are not the only part of our heritage. Our French and Aboriginal kin, and the many immigrants that have followed them, have made contributions that are just as valuable.

    The hogwash and the lies promoted by people like Mr. Silvestro and Mr. Booiman is a major reason why we still have the unity problems we do, Joe. How can they not be aware of the cooperation between Macdonald and Cartier that runs to the heart of Canadian conservatism, and that without which our country would not even exist? How can they not know that the federal system, which has done so much for us as a country, was so brilliantly fused with the Westminster parliamentary system in no small part thanks to French Canadian influence?  

    We are British, we are French, we are Aboriginal, we come from all over the globe.

                We are Canadian.


                Jared Milne.

    Subject: response to Winnipeg Free Press - Sen. Nolin -independence of Senators
    From: Robert Ede <>
    Cc: Rt Hon Stephen Harper <>, Governor General <Info@GG.CA>

    This may or not make it into paper.
    But I thought you could use it for ammunition.
    Re: Tory plan for elected Senate comes under attack from Tory senator -Winnipeg Free Press --spotted on
    Is anyone aware of the reason that Senators swear a special Oath (Sch. 5 of BNA 1867) and declare their property-ownership & net-worth qualifications for office?(and further swear that they have not collusively or colourably acted to qualify).

    If the BNA described an elected (Lower)House (that any voter could be elected to) ... WHY did the Confederation-crafters (here & in the UK) feel the need for an Upper House (ie superior in the power Hierarchy) that had this express property-ownership & net-worth qualification(and DISqualification) s.23 &s.31?

    Upper House Members (since we had no "Lords" to appoint) were to be relatively "well-to-do" folks selected equally from the 3(now 4) "Divisions"(now referred-to as regions) of the country NB with an allocation specified, province by province, within each divisional/regional representation area, where applicable.
    The intention was to have Senators represent the interests of the Propertied Class within their Div/Region - not at all about party, and not necessarily a 'whole province/division' either ... the Senate was intended to represent the property-owners OF that division/region - since everyone in every province has their own elected-for-any-old-dumb-reason reps in the Lower House.

    Senators were intended to represent this class of Canadian, because in pre-Income Tax times, this group (notwithstanding Customs Duties and Excise Taxes) would have to PAY for any initiative through their property taxes.

    All these as-written 1867 provisions are still perfectly valid - including s.26 wherein the Upper House may be augmented by 4 or 8 members by a recommendation of the Governor General, thus allowing the Executive (ie the Monarch-in-{UK}Council + the GovGen + the Cdn Privy Council) to overpower a legislative deadlock with the Lower House --recent e.g. the GST Senators.
    So, to Sen. Nolin's point ...YES Senators ARE independent of Party-irrespective of 'who brung 'em.
    Indeed Senators were specifically created to double-check and deny passage of ANY measure deemed unacceptable to the Senators -without any fear of retaliation at election time AND indented to deny/amend any fiscally "un-sustainable" Money Bill that must originate in the (now party-dominated) Commons.
    Sadly, the original $4,000 amount of Senator net-worth and property-qualification/disqualification has been eroded by inflation - it's the only dollar amount in Canada that's never been 'seasonally-adjusted'.
    Some folks say the adjustment would equal 60 times $4,000 others say 80 times - either way, if adjusted, the 2010 sum would be a more 'representative' figure for our property-owning & taxpaying class of citizens AND if adjusted would dynamically change the public preception of mandate the Senate.(NB we are subjects-of-the-Canadian Crown actually, only 'republics' have citizens)
    A pity!
    Perhaps a Plain Language version of the Constitution would make knowing the as-written provisions of our foundational Laws more accessible.
    Robert Ede,

    From: Rebecca Gingrich

      Joe--if this behaviour is considered 'tactics' then we are in ddp trouble.  This is nothing but loudmouthed yammering to impress the stupid voter and keep their place at the trough.  All of them are not worth listening to.  I agree, pensions should be discontinued while the criminal is in jail--hell, he/she gets more perks from the taxpayer than they do from the paltry pensions.  BUT--we know that this is nothing but smoke and mirrors.  Otherwise it would not have taken so long for any of the MPs to realize htis.  They are all trying to make political points, and nothing else.

    As for Baird being named Parliamentarian of the year--I thought the law in Ontario was that pitbulls had to be muzzled when in public???(no insult meant to pitbulls)


    From: "Suan H.Booiman"
    Subject: Jail vs. nursing home.

    Novel idea!!!!

    Food for thought:

    Let's put the seniors in jail, and the criminals in a nursing home. This way the seniors would have access to showers, hobbies, and walks. They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc. and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

    They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly if they fell, or needed assistance. Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

    A guard would check on them every 20 minutes, and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

    They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool, and education. Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, P.J.'s and legal aid would be free on request as well as private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

    Each senior could have a P.C., a T.V., radio, and daily phone calls. There would be a board of directors, to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct, that would be strictly adhered to.


    The "criminals" would get cold food, be left all alone, and unsupervised, lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. They'd live in a tiny room, pay $5000.00 per month and have no hope of ever getting out. Justice for all.
    From: "Anthony Silvestro"
    Subject: Re - Coalition talk current again

    Letter –
    Who really cares what these clowns in the Liberals, Bloc and NDP do?
    The entire system is a disaster from the top down and the bottom up. Nothing will be fixed or corrected. We will get a lot of spin from politicians and the media, a lot of foaming at the mouth, blah, blah, blah, and things will remain the same as they usually do.What a joke this country has become. We now have over 3.5 million people working for government across the country. Just sickening! Average salary in government is about 70 thousand yearly and rising. Average salary in the private sector is around 45 thousand yearly and dropping. Over 10% of government employees now make over 100 thousand yearly. In the private sector the number is under 2 %. Nice eh? Look to Greece and Quebec, this is where Canada is headed if we don't stop equalization and get spending and government growth under control. This tax and spend, union, socialist, big government, social engineering that has been destroying this country has got to stop. Yes, it has left Quebec and has been spreading throughout the rest of the country since the 1970"s. Thanks Trudeau.
    The Liberals and Conservatives have spent the last few decades destroying Ontario and Canada's economy, its English speaking history and culture,not to mention the racism, bigotry, ethnic language cleansing and human rights violations going on in Quebec, bills 22, 178, 101…What are they really up to? "First Quebec, then we take over the rest of the country, one step at a time…through bilingualism…" PT, "How to take over a country through bilingualism…" SD. That's what's really going on. Wake up, people! High taxes, high salaries, big government, social engineering - expensive forced bilingual and multicultural policies (only outside Quebec of course), unions controlling just about everything, new programs and new departments yearly, the size and growth of government and salaries have been out of control for decades with no end in sight. Lie after lie, spin, propaganda from politicians and all government officials on a daily basis, scandals, corruption, billions of dollars being wasted on all sorts of socialist nonsense, again with no end in sight.
    Both parties have created the mess this country has become and they do not have the ability to fix, or correct anything. They just create more problems. We need a new party and a new system now or else things will only get worse.
    Anthony Silvestro
    Ottawa, Ont

    From: The Natroses

    Hi Joe,

    The Human Factor, Bordering on Insanity, World's Unmeasured Response, The Commons Anatomy of an Outrage are headlines, from the House of Commons circus, to the Israel state, to Gulf of Mexico oil disaster to border security. The messages coming from just the 4 articles, is that governments can do no wrong, and disasters are caused by human error. More importantly, the people, the citizens are set up to be potential terrorists, in order for the State (the government), to justify their actions onto its people.

    The Human Factor:
    "We don't know yet what happened on the Deepwater Horizon to cause one of the world's most magnificent machines to burn and sink, resulting in the deaths of 11 people, injury to many others, and enough fear for a lifetime for every survivor. The environmental consequences of the blowout will remind us for years of whatever did go badly, quickly wrong. No set of government regulations, equipment redundancy, additional technology, permits, licences or inspections can prevent human factors from destroying what was never meant to be destroyed. Only human failings of judgment and/or behaviour can explain some of the great tragedies of our time."

    The stories of the oil disaster, in the last few days, and be repeated in the far off future, will be blaming human error for the spill. The government decisions and corporate decisions  will not be up for debate, not be held accountable in any shape or form. The above story, describes living on a rig, as though the workers have no regard for their safety. What is described, is not the reality of living on a oil rig.

    Bordering on Insanity:

    "So without evidence of wrongdoing from Canada to the U.S., Washington deploys more border guards and heaps more red tape on us to impede trade and travel. This affects Americans, too. The most insulting case involves a Vermont farmer, Clement Rainville, who's fighting Homeland Security, which wants to expropriate 4.9 acres of his family farm to build a big, new facility to bolster security. "We're not at war.... I have no problem with Canadians and with my neighbours," Rainville was quoted as saying on the InformationLiberation blog site. Last time I looked we weren't at war with the Yanks either, but you sure wouldn't know it."

    Border security is another issue, where governments trumps over people, their own citizens to justified their actions. Border security is all about confining human traffic, controlling the human factor. And not about the flow of goods and services over borders.

    World's Unmeasured Response:
    "A "measured response" on their part would have been to say, "Let's not jump to any conclusions or condemnations until the facts come out in an inquiry." They manifested no such measured response. Instead, their ferocious and instantaneous condemnation of Israel's actions, without waiting for a single fact to surface, gives the lie to their specious argument that their attitude toward Israel is based on their quarrel with its government's policies, and not on anti-Semitism. On the contrary, this is about anti-Semitism and the Jew-haters are all crawling out from under their rocks, rubbing their hands in glee."

    The message here, like in other articles is telling citizens not to over react, to what we see, hear, and read. It is telling us to await for the outcome of the inquiry. Inquiries that are of the government kind, one can predict without having any psychic abilities at all, what the outcome would be. Inquiries are a favourite ploy by governments to calm the people, their citizens, while the government deploys their PR guys to send out misinformation, that once again, the people will be blamed and held accountable, while the governments and international corporations will be get another free pass from being held accountable and responsible. One could change the above cited paragraph, to another old news story, where a corporation got off once again. "A "measured response" on their part would have been to say, "Let's not jump to any conclusions or condemnations until the facts come out in an inquiry." They manifested no such measured response. Instead, their ferocious and instantaneous condemnation of the ABC actions, without waiting for a single fact to surface, gives the lie to their specious argument that their attitude toward ABC is based on their quarrel with its government's policies, and not on anti-Oil. On the contrary, this is about anti-Oil and the Oil-haters are all crawling out from under their rocks, rubbing their hands in glee."

    The Common Anatomy of an Outrage:
    "The afternoon culminated in a protracted and passionate debate, the crux of the discussion being perhaps the most profound question facing Western democracy and human discourse as we enter the second decade of this new century: To what extent should one be allowed to stand and publicly accuse another of evil?"

    What can be said, when our own MPs rise above the common laws of the land, to spew out poison darts, where the ordinary citizen did that to their next door neighbour, would certainly be sued in civil court, or even dragged into a Human Rights commission hearing or at the very least, be held in contempt by their neighbours. "This is how this now goes. This is the game­the rules of play now so accepted these allegatiions of moral contempt passed quite unremarkably, passively accepted by everyone within earshot as fair or unavoidable or predictable or something." The House of Commons should have their name change, to the House of Circuses. The three-ring circus, where at any time in any of the three rings, there is MPs squealing like pigs, pushing one another to get their fair share of  publicity voicing their righteousness and their moral indignation over who said what, when it was said, and why it was said. Setting an example for their citizens is not in the cards, because if they did that, it would mean standards. Standards are for the common citizen, who need to regulated and control, and certainly not for MPs and their gold-plated pensions.

    From: Rebecca Gingrich

    Erdogan:  "We are sick of your lies"
    Priceless gesture at the end of this video:
     Remember that Erdogan is a leader who often loses his temper.  He is incredibly eloquent and restrained.  Why?

    Subject:  if only Canada's government had the courage of the Turkish government

    Subject:  WOW--please watch and pass around to everyone--VERY POWERFUL