Saturday, June 05, 2010

Daily Digest June 5, 2010



Fish and foul

Still more action needed

Taking time, taking care

Testing the law on cellphones and driving
Motorists who insist on defying the law must realize they may be caught

The Bank of Taxpayers: Where's Popeye?

Gulf gusher: Reckoning, remediation

Find the difference – taxes or fees

Atlantic Canada is increasingly marginalized

Clear the air around pot laws
Valuable lessons from the flu pandemic
We need to do more to keep our food safe

Political lessons
Ontario's pit bull

Condemning weapon shows won't stop wars
Love and war

G20 summit's fear factor

'When life's work is done ... '

Even reduced Afghan role remains a risky venture

Ugly dispute rages on with flotilla

Dangers and opportunities after bloody clash at sea

Parallels with '47 Exodus...

Expert explains Israeli tactics

Clarity on calories

Balancing rights on copyright

Unmuzzle the critics

Goar: Lawyers reach out to those who can't afford them

A lesson for educators: no half-nelsons

British shootings show need for mental health supports

Get ready for Africa, Inc.

Copyright bill takes a good shot at a moving target

Make it the Royal Canadian Navy

Empower the moderates

The Harper Tories put a steep toll on speaking out

Under the false flag of peace

Don't tax responsible banks

Jarring stats in report on long-term care

Good looks don't count for much in the mating game

Israeli commandos actions leave allies embarrassed

Liberals aren't laughing about a resurrected Chretien

All that salt is killing us

Falling short of CO target

Mr. Mulroney's punishment

Mr. Swan's pandering disreputable

Stealing creativity is a crime

Coalition scheme all talk, no walk

Aboriginal women show fire in their bones

Offshore wells need clear plans before drilling
Targeted funding for FNUC serves national interest
Blind ideology mustn't inhibit fixing system

First Nations University: chance for a new beginning
Private CT scans worthy of further investigation

Ending democracy
How green regulations helped create the SUV

Nuclear power should be key to ramping up oilsands

Good first step to protect grizzlies
Karzai tests foreign patience

Harper seared by Israel's fire; facing damage control

NDP pension-reform bill is fair and just

Public needs say on offshore uses
Smarter young kids and sex
Feds' cash sold Campbell on the HST


The geopolitical scoreboard
There are winners from the Gaza flotilla and losers. In human terms, the losses begin with the battered and injured IDF soldiers who boarded the Mavi Marmara. One may wonder if we should not tally as winners the nine militant blockade runners who gained the martyrdom they sought. .

Activists killed in flotilla raid shot multiple times

Cdn "brutalized" by Israeli forces comes home

Policy under siege: Aid agencies say Israel's Gaza blockade has led to worsening conditions

WHO under fire over handling of H1N1 pandemic

Controversial treatment creating bitterness in MS Society elections

MS patient has 'energy to burn' after new procedure

Father-in-law guilty of honour killing

Works committees shackled, gagged employees, angry ministers: the clash between the Harper Conservative government and opposition members has escalated this week in Parliament, to the point where even a bailiff complains of not being able to do its work.

Marjorie LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate, yesterday disavowed the director of communications for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

National Drug Strategy: few resources for prevention

 No winner in boat raid


MPs' secret spending scourge on democracy

Political lessons

Maternal health care plan endangered by PM's beliefs

Panicked Liberals ponder return to Jean Chrétien

What $1 billion buys you at the G8

PMO asks Tory MPs not to answer reporter's queries

Canada wins fight against bank tax

Layton launches health care plan

Showdown looms between feds, opposition

Military's no-sex fight in war zones called unwinnable battle by sexperts

Karzai welcomes jirga's call for prison release as step to peace

NDP gives its MPs licence to kill — or save — gun registry

NDP shreds Dalton McGuinty over HST

Safe childbirth still an issue in Canada, doctors urge PM

Liberal says G8 spending going down the drain

Why Michael Ignatieff should consider a coalition

Harper says end to Afghan mission still policy

Cap over Gulf gusher captures nearly 1M litres of oil

Obama secretly deploys US special forces to 75 countries across world

Israeli troops 'board Rachel Corrie Gaza aid ship'

Israeli commando who shot six dead on ship may get 'medal of valour'

B.C. hesitates to stop offshore drilling

Canada · Un Canadien «brutalisé» sur une flottille revient au pays

Soldats et rapports sexuels · La guerre perdue de l'armée canadienne

Conflits d'intérêts
Les libéraux veulent une enquête sur Paradis

Les forces israéliennes montent à bord du cargo d'aide Rachel Corrie

G8: Ottawa évasif sur le financement de l'avortement et sur l'environnement

 Afghanistan: Harper «intéressé» par une présence canadienne après 2011

Le sort du registre des armes à feu entre les mains du NPD

Empoignades aux Communes

Soudas accusé d'être mal informé

Stratégie nationale antidrogue: peu de ressources pour la prévention


How Israel planned the Flotilla attack
As the MV Rachel Corrie ship is dragged to Israel, TRNN investigates Israel's plan for Flotilla attack.
Go to story | Go to homepage


From: Larry Kazdan

Re:  Losers don't get to form coalitions: Harper,  Bryn Weese,  June 3, 2010

It wasn't the verdict of public opinion so much that determined who would form the current government in Great Britain but rather the decision of the third party Liberal Democrats who held the balance of power.  Stephen Harper either doesn't understand how parliamentary democracy works, or pretends not to, take your pick.
Re:  Vancouver school board could have avoided financial shortfall: report,  Jonathan Fowlie and Lori Culbert,  June 5, 2010

The provincial government has accused the Vancouver School Board of mismanagement and political advocacy.  This is the same government that blew the budget for construction of the Vancouver Convention Centre by hundreds of millions of dollars, the largest overrun of any public project in British Columbia history. This is the government that lied about their plans to bring in the HST and is now planning to spend untold amounts convincing the public of the merits of this unwanted tax.  This is the government that says there is no more money for education, yet spent millions of dollars on Olympic tickets for its friends and political supporters.  Who has more integrity - the Vancouver School Board, trying to advocate for students and prevent the slashing of educational services, or the B.C. Liberals, the ones who promised not to sell B.C. Rail?

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject:  Bravo to CTV for reporting on this
Israeli forces board Gaza-bound aid vessel

This made my day, however

Joe--can we expect the Queen to appear before the Committee when she visits Canada? 

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,

 Just a short word on Lorimer Rutty.  He states, " His synopsis of Canadian history forgot to mention Bill 101 as amended to Bill 104. Perhaps he does not understand the significance of 'The Notwithstanding Clause' nor the fact that Quebec has declared itself to be unilingual.
There have been astronomical costs in language wars, where linguistic fanaticism and jingoistic nationalism trumps economic realities.
 Quebec considers its self to be a 'nation' whose debt to GDP is approximately 94%. [Canada's is approximately 69%].  There is a direct relationship between language police, fewer immigrants, more exodus and higher taxation."

Now Lorimer should explain how the 'not withstanding clause' and Quebec declaring itself to be unlingual, has anything to do with rising debt in Quebec. Furthermore, how language police, fewer immigrants, and higher taxation are related to each other.
It seems to me Lorimer, is blaming Quebec for Quebec problems and in part, Canada problems. I am no fan of Quebec, because they have taken full advantage of Canadian federal policies and the Canadian Constitution, and use it to benefit themselves without regard of the impacts done to the rest of Canada. Take the eyes off the language, and move the eyes to the other Quebec and federal policies that have given Quebec economic powers.

Take a look at Quebec Hydro, than take a look at fishery policy, than take a look at mining policy, and let's not forget the agriculture policies, and other policies where the federal government dovetails with provincial governments on regulations and policies.  One can quickly conclude, that language and statehood are not the goals of Quebec. Language and statehood is the window dressing to keep some Canadians busy looking at, while Quebec is trying to extend themselves into the Atlantic provinces, by any means possible. One just have to take a look at the Upper Churchill and now the Lower Churchill, and how Quebec will do anything to prevent Newfoundland and Labrador from wheeling hydro in other parts of Canada and United States.

To understand, one has to go into the history books, to see how Quebec has played a pivoted role in federal policies from the beginning. It is the present and pass federal governments that have made Quebec more important than the surrounding provinces. Jared Milne states, "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."

So, Lorimer bilingualism is one of the outcomes of federal policies. The so called unity crisis, is part of the window dressing to have Canadians feast on. It is all about politics. Bilingualism did not cause the debt crisis in Quebec or Canada. The debt crisis in Quebec or for that matter in other provinces and as Canada as a whole, is in part cause by the federal and provincial policies. The federal policies do not treat each province equally, and each province is responding to federal policy accordingly to their economic goals, and in part the cultural goals.

Canada is a nation of different peoples. The French peoples are not only part of historical facts, but very much a part of the landscape today and will be in the future. Language is not the cause, but rather a symptom.  The symptoms are the window dressings. Dig further, by looking at federal policies and politics, and one will conclude, our parliamentary system is the blame for most of the woes that are affecting Canada, and not its people.

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: DD--re comments by the Natroses and Zeb Landon

I doubt that israel even told the rest of the world what they intended to do to the aid ships.  Israel acts on it's own knowing that their bought and paid for lackeys in our governments will support them wholeheartedly.  They can kill a Canadian UN observer and an aid activist from the US and not one word is said by our respective governments.  We are expendable if israels interests are involved!  We are Palestinians in the eyes of our governments also.  It is not a crime if israel commits it, it is for 'defence'--tell that to Rachael Corrie and the USS Liberty crew.  Isreal is the epitomy of evil, but so are we for standing by and letting our governments of all stripes support them blindly.
Zeb Landon brings up an excellent point re the 'settlement' vs country for jews in Palestine.  He is absolutely right but that hasn't stopped our country's support for the theft of lives and land from the Palestinians.  Just like International Law re the high seas, that means nothing where israel is concerned.  NATO countries do not have the protection of other NATO countries if israel attacks.  And 'Canada stands with israel' is Harper's mantra.  Although I have never heard him state that he 'stands with Canada'!!!

From: John Duddy

Dear Globe & Mail, please ask the Prime Minister, RCMP and CSIS to research the below material from Veteran. Alan Sabrosky (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is a writer and consultant specializing in national and international security affairs. In December 1988, he received the Superior Civilian Service Award after more than five years of service at the U.S. Army War College as Director of Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, and holder of the General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. He is listed in WHO'S WHO IN THE EAST (23rd ed.). A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Sabrosky's teaching and research appointments have included the United States Military Academy, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Middlebury College and Catholic University; while in government service, he held concurrent adjunct professorships at Georgetown University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Sabrosky has lectured widely on defense and foreign affairs in the United States and abroad. You can email Dr. Alan Sabrosky at: "What we need to stand up and say is not only did they attack the USS Liberty, they did 9/11. They did it. I have had long conversations over the past two weeks with contacts at the Army War College, at it's headquarters, Marine Corps and I made it absolutely clear in both cases that it is 100 percent certain that 9/11 was a Mossad operation. Period." - Dr. Alan Sabrosky, March 14, 2010.

Subject: concerns to make note of re Tony Clement's new file sharing law
From: Playalndnews

What if I sell my laptop with tunes only I own ,do I have to wipe my hard drive if I resell my computer or any storage devices ?
Will i require a  government Secure wipe as files can be retrieved securely so no retrieval possible ?
What about Internet radio  that Allow listen and download?
what about peer to peer radio or TV that stores bits and passes them on to create a more efficient broadcast system ?
What about files that are "catched in the temp file while watching/listening ?
The recording of goodies to audio or video input to other media
shared jump drives or portable hard drives
online storage ? for retrieval and play or safe keeping
I get 5 authorizations from one purchase from itunes and can give one to a freind ,how will this change ?
Can I co own a Hard drive or storage devise with others out side my home ?
How about inside my home same idea ?

Will as claimed this new law cost ISP'S more and or be an excuse to charge more ?
How will yuotube /myspace be protected
can I Store files  at an on line server for safe keeping and or listening
Who is responsible for the  safe keeping or keeping out of hands of unlicensed hackers  for online storage of for your own systems ?
Will I be able to put units on all my own systems
What about shared or family systems PVR , hard drive recorders that are shared ?
Common jump drives / portable hard drives
Sent from my iPod via WIFI to home computer and reverse
Can I play tunes for others ?
Will let you know if I find more  concerns

From: "Serge Crespy"

Dear Joe:
Just a thought of "HOPE", for the Middle East:
Israel leases the West Bank to the United States of America for a ninety-nine year period (four generations); hopingly, at that point in time, the world will be much wiser.  
Such a lease is on the condition that Palestinians from the Gaza and other locations, will move to this "New, Promised Land".   The United States, with the assistance of the United Nations, builds the infrastructure for this "State-Of-The Art, (Trial) State", with its own Constitution.
Jerusalem remains almost entirely Israeli owned; however, a small area, (such as the Vatican being within Italy) becomes the location of this future, independent Palestinian State's headquarters.
We should reflect on Hong Kong, at one time being leased and eventually having been returned to China.
Just a simple, "no-harm meant" idea, Joe.
Best Wishes to a somewhat confused world, Joe ...... (myself included).
Serge Crespy
Collingwood, Ontario

From: "Efstratios \(Stratos\) Psarianos"
Subject: RE: Daily Digest June 4, 2010

From: The Natroses

Hi Joe,
Rebecca's videos on Turkey PM speaking at the end, "We are sick of your lies", with the gesture will catch on with the rest of the world. He states what most people feel, but more importantly that our world leaders have failed the world. Add the  video on the U.S. ship, the Liberty, one can conclude, our world leaders are more interested in amassing power, than spreading the words of democracy.

Keeping the above in mind, the Ottawa Citizen, titled; Turkey turns away from the West, one can conclude that Israel's actions was already pre-approved by the powers, and which would explain the weak response from United States. The weaker response from the United Nations sealed it, and pushed Turkey into the arms of the Muslim Middle-East nations. " But in addition to the human casualties, which have created a nightmare for Israel, there also is another casualty that could have extremely long-term consequences for both Israel and other countries, including the European Union and NATO: Relations between Israel and Turkey will never be the same again, especially since Turks were key figures in organizing the aid flotilla and were among those killed or wounded during the commando action."
Read more:
You know, the more I think of this, the more I come back to the idea of separating Gaza from the West Bank for the present time. If Gaza can't behave itself, why not negociate and strike a deal with a separate West Bank and argue that Gaza can be federated or fused to it later when its sets up a sensible government?
As for the Israelis: I've run out of patience with their 'violence as a first resort' approach to things. Their internal politics may be complicated, bla bla, but comes the time when a Gordian knot just has to be sliced; if that means a kick to the face of Israel's government, so be it. The West is Israel's sponsor, which also makes it its monitor and guardian to some degree ... time for it to step up 'rod of correction' in hand, if need be. That's no longer out of the question.
If the West (that is, to a large degree the US, but it's not alone) is to maintain its security guarantee, Israel will have to play ball, too.

From: "Peter Robertson"


                The idea of removing the right of prisoners to receive pensions sounds superficially attractive, but:

(a)    Does it not contravene The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it pertains to equality rights?

(b)   Assuming that such a plan is constitutionally valid, if a prisoner has served his or her time, then is there to be a mechanism to reinstate the pensions of liberated prisoners?

(c)    If those pension funds are being used to care for dependants, then is the state going to step in to look after those people?

Once again, the Tories haven't thought it through.

Peter Robertson.
Good points. In my mind, suspending pension payments can be argued persuasively but there are 'what ifs' that have to be clarified. Perhaps they're already dealt with in the proposed legislation, but (like usual) the papers have done a (non) job of informing us of what's in it. Case in point: the language I've heard suggests that payments are suspended while prisoners are in the klink, but are those payments restarted once a prisoner is released back to nature? Also, I presume that are actually stopped and not redirected to a trust account or something; is that the case?
As concerns equality rights: not a problem in this case, as long as no one is the target of illegal discrimination (gender, sexuality de facto, ethnic origin, etc.).
Dependents ... interesting! I hadn't thought of that. That, plus support payments, etc. Perhaps the proposed legislation already covers that? Or existing legislation enables dependents to garnishee payments that otherwise get suspended? Better journalism needed for this, too.

May I think "New Tories" or "Harper Tories" rather than just "Tories"?
Only when thinking of 'Old Tories'; otherwise, thinking or saying 'Tories' in the present tense implies our contemporary ('Harper') Tories. Unless one's talking about factions, of course ...

From: Lorimer Rutty
Subject: a reality check
Num num num ... A few things to set straight on this one.

Bilingualism in Canada is a red herring.
Yes and no, depending on context. Federal parties and politicians overall haven't exploited to any large degree the 'forced bilingualism' issue because:
   - there are things that they won't stoop to these days;
   - there's not much a fuss to be made about it.
The simple fact is that Canada comprises vast areas whose inhabitants speak predominantly either English or French. Some places might speak a First Nation language, but the fact that there are so many and that most members of First Nations speak either English or French makes it safe to say that Canada's 'people' make up a French- and English-speaking country/nation/whatever.
Even the Bloc doesn't use it. In specific instances when Canada's Auditor General (or whomever) finds federal institutions to be remiss in establishing or implementing bilingualism, the Bloc and OTHER parties will make noise about it and insist that the job be done right. They do NOT insist on certain institutions being captured by speakers of one language bent on blocking speakers of the other from being hired, promted, etc.
So, the red herring: it's a tactic used NEITHER by the federal Government NOR federal parties; it's a tactic used by self-perceived 'outsider' groups that have little substantive evidence to base pseudo-arguments on. (I say pseudo-arguments, because no arguments are ever made. For example, "Unilingual anglophones aren't treated fairly when being hired or promoted." Followed by the question "Which numerous, egregious cases do you mean? In what manner aren't they treated fairly? Whom do you know who's been treated unfairly?" Followed by [funereal silence]).
So, what ARE Canada's 'bilingualism' practices and policies, crimson fish issues aside? Basically, this: that residents will have reasonable access to federal services in both French and English; that federal Government statements and communications will be available in both English and French, with the original being either one; that the inner workings of federal institutions will, in reasonable manners, on pan-Canadian issues (which include both regions whose residents are predominantly English-speaking and other whose residents are predominantly French-speaking), those institutions will host higher-ups that are proficient in one language and have a working knowledge of the other. Note that this does NOT mean that unilingual folks won't be given regular-grunt government jobs; what it DOES mean is that people in the upper ranks be able to work with their peers nationwide, which means that they're expected to learn the other language to a reasonable degree.
And what if a person can't be bothered to learn the opther language, has no time for it, or just can't come to grips with it? Sorry, chummy, but being able to work with your peers nationwide is a job requirement and you're just not qualified (able to do it); and that applies to both unilingual English speakers from deepest (stereotypical) Alberta AND unilingual French speakers from deepest (equally stereotypical) Lac-St-Jean in Quebec. hIf dey want to be bosse and dey no can spick hInglisch good enoff, den dey can't work wit' dere colleegues so dey don't get da bosse job and c'est comme ca. Clear enough?

His synopsis of Canadian history forgot to mention Bill 101 as amended to Bill 104. Perhaps he does not
understand the significance of 'The Notwithstanding Clause' nor the fact that Quebec has declared itself to be unilingual.
Unilingual ... like every other province except New Brunswick and Manitoba (originally, in the latter case ... remember that kerfuffle that popped up when someone said that the Government of Manitoba was obligated by its constitution to be fully bilingual like New Brunswick is now, and that all laws entered in the statute books in English only were argued to be unconstitutional  ... ooooops, what happened with that, eh? License plates there are still only in English, yes?).
Who remembers that the (admittedly sparsely populated) Manitoba of the mid-19th century was predominantly French-speaking, and only became predominantly English-speaking in the latter half of the 19th century? Remember Louis Riel et Compagnie giving Canada trouble because of a surge of hInglische-spicking himmigrants, some of whose leaders had bad intent in a stick-it-to-the-(Metis)-Catholic-Frenchies kind of way? That Orangists giving Catholics a hard time, and vice versa, was a fact of life back then, and that blood was spilled as a result?
So, Quebec's 'declaring' itself unilingual ... it's been like that since Confederation, just like Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were; and all other provinces confederated thereafter (save for one ... Manitoba again) 'declared' themselves unilingual (New Brunswick 'declared' itself bilingual late in the 20th century ... memory fails concerning precisely when); and the only province that came into Confederation 'declared bilingual' IN ITS CONSTITUTION (Manitoba in 1870) became de facto AND DE JURE unilingual in a fit of absent-mindedness (if one's interpretation is kind).
Conclusion: Quebec's being (by implication) particularly iniquitous in passing Law 101 (a Bill only when in the legislative works, by the way) ... argument invalid.

There have been astronomical costs in language wars, where linguistic fanaticism and jingoistic nationalism trumps economic realities.
Economic realities = everyone speak and work in English because doing so in French too is just too much to be bothered with, including in places where everyone speaks French? No problem ... peoples forced to speak, work in, and address their Governments in alien tongues resolve that quite simply by fighting for very broad autonomy (thus to a large degree making a federal government irrelevant) or out and out political independence.
Having Quebec in Canada = necessary bilingualism; and NOT because 'Quebec demands it' ... for practical reasons too.

 Quebec considers its self to be a 'nation' whose debt to GDP is approximately 94%. [Canada's is approximately 69%].  There is a direct relationship between language police,
fewer immigrants, more exodus and higher taxation.
So? Newloundlanders (I leave Labradorians out of this) have a particular sense of identity too; Newfoundland-Labrador's debt-to-GDP ratio would have been MUCH higher if it had been built up on NL's resources (including human) alone, else it would be grindingly poor by our standards right now; immigration is low there; emigration is very high; and either taxes would be woefully high, or government would be woefully underfunded and NL would be very underdeveloped. What's ITS problem? Too many b'yoes hell-bent on fishing and speaking English with that charming lilt to it?

Jared Milne's history lesson might placate elementary levels. Closer analysis calls for a rewrite.
Mine is a partial (as in fractional) one.

Cheers! And Happy Birthday to me! 47 today, and only 53 years more to go for my Century of Madness and Mayhem Medal!