Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Daily Digest May 9, 2012 030



Budget watchdog comes up empty handed in bid to detail Tory cuts
Most federal departments are giving Kevin Page the cold shoulder as the Parliamentary Budget Officer tries
to find out what is actually being cut in the push to balance the books.

Genereux dons de cadres de SNC-Lavalin au Parti conservateur

>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<<


Homecoming Vets

"Homecoming Vets" is a publication I signed up for.

To-day two articles came relating to the news: to a court decision and to cutbacks in Veterans Affairs.

There's "Talking" and "Walking" .

Read these articles and judge the degree of the latter being done in acting to meet our veterans needs.


CVA appeals for federal support of Nova Scotia Supreme Court's ruling that supports veterans.
Read more of this post

Harperites hang troops and vets out to dry
Read more of this post

From: Larry Kazdan

Subject: Letter to Editor re: Prime Minister Stephen Harper: A strong but hidebound economic manager, Carol Goar, May 8

Re: Prime Minister Stephen Harper: A strong but hidebound economic manager, Carol Goar, May 8

Carol Goar may think a government budget surplus good and unemployment bad, but the two are intimately related. When the government spends less than it receives, money is drained from the economy. With the government purchasing less and paying fewer workers, households high in debt, and exports stymied by a world-wide recession, for what reasons would Canadian firms expand and employ more people? Austerity has been a disaster in Europe. Expect the same here.

To: Vancouver Sun LetED <>
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Opposition leader needs to rethink position on resources, Barbara Yaffe, May 9, 2012

Re: Opposition leader needs to rethink position on resources, Barbara Yaffe, May 9, 2012

Brad Wall accuses Tom Mulcair of pitting one part of the country against another but the real division is between the public interest and the profits of Big Oil. Canada's national economic interests are not served well by those who, for the sake of temporary construction work, want to ship unprocessed bitumen overseas, risk damage to the B.C. coast, drive up the value of the Canadian dollar and thereby destroy permanent manufacturing jobs by rendering our products uncompetitive. The Harper Conservatives may try to pass themselves off as economic wizards, but underneath are glib salesmen selling toxic snake oil distilled from the Alberta tar sands.

Subject: Letter to Editor re: Dutch disease? Economic hypochondria, STEPHEN GORDON, We
dnesday, May. 09,

Re: Dutch disease? Economic hypochondria, STEPHEN GORDON, Wednesday, May. 09,

Canada's national economic interests are not served well by those who, for the sake of temporary construction work, want to ship unprocessed bitumen overseas, risk damage to the B.C. coast, and drive up the value of the Canadian dollar. Control over development of the oilsands should be taken back from Big Oil (much of which is foreign owned), and developed in a manner consistent with environmental protection, Canada's future energy needs, and the effect on other sectors of the Canadian economy, including manufacturing, tourism, and tradable services. Rather than Stephen Gordon's Panglossian "all is for the best", Canada needs to create an industrial and energy policy that is balanced and sustainable.

From: Robert Ede
Subject: Pictures of Dandelions - growing so fast the stems fuse together

Your "Realty Whisperer"

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." -Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860)

From: Mahmood Elahi
To: <>
Subject: Listen to Aristotle for changing the government

The Editor
The Vancouver Sun
Listen to Aristotle for changing the government
Re Op-Ed: "Harper government losing its sheen," by Barbara Yaffe (May 8).
Aristotle once remarked that all forms of government -- democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, tyranny -- are inherently unstable, that all political regimes are inherently transitional, that the stability of all regimes is "corrupted by the corrosive power of time." To promote long-term viability of democratic form of government, his advice was rapid turnover of leaderships -- "constant changing of guards before rot creeps in."
After six years in office, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is clearly showing signs of the "corrosive power of time." His policy of tax cuts for the rich and budget cuts for social spending are clearly out of tune of the exigencies of our time. His neglect of environmental protection is clearly short-sighted and will have negative impact on the economic growth. As Fukushima nuclear disaster has shown, environmental protection and economic growth are inextricably linked. It is time we listen to Aristotle and prepare for changing of the guards.

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
To: <>
Subject: Re: "Proposed hemp shop gets cool reception," Peace Arch News, May 8,2012

The Editor,
Marine Drive merchants and White Rock's reputation are being dealt a serious injury by council's decision to allow a man ordered to stand trial on a charge of marijuana trafficking to open up shop here.

Not only will it make Marine Drive an unsavoury place to visit even for locals, the alleged "hemp shop"will undoubtedly create suspicions about the kind of people and activity attracted to White Rock and South Surrey. It reflects badly on all of us.

The accused marijuana trafficker is reported to be an executive director of the so-called Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Quite apart from any legitimate case for medical marijuana, such non-pharmaceutical dispensaries are argued by, among others, the Obama administration to be simply fronts for the illegal drug trade, according to the Manchester Guardian (8/11/2011).

The US FDA has acted swiftly in the last two years to shut down what is clearly understood to be an abuse of privilege for illegal purposes under the guise of medical use in California, in particular, where such "dispensaries" are said to have come to rival Starbucks in number - well beyond any potential real medical need - since they were approved through a "citizen's initiative" referendum in 1996.

What now will be our reputation? Will a quick trip across the border come with suspicion and unprecedented questioning? Are those who, today, wilfully use marijuana for other than medical necessity knowing they are subsidizing organized crime, gang violence, prostitution rings, smuggling of narcotics and guns claiming it is the law which creates the crime more than just hypocritical?

On the larger question implicit in these matters and this decision, will legalize, regulate, and tax merely legitimize, expand, and subsidize a growing illegal market including international narcotics and gun crimes in which marijuana is reputedly the currency of choice.

Large questions hang on council's small decision, not least our reputation.

Brian Marlatt

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: Taxpayers on hook for Harper's high-powered legal defence in
Guergis case DD

Is there anything these criminals pay for themselves??? We have to pay for lawyers at the beck and call of government and then have to pay for outsiders to 'defend' the PM and three others? This is just the tip of the iceberg--there will be more private lawyers added to the list. I thought we only hired the best--that is what we are told--we have to pay through the nose to get 'the best'. Now we find out that 'the best' isn't good enough for Harper and he goes outside to find 'the best'? And if Harper loses will we also have to pay the compensation plus all the court costs???

Good for Guergis. Maybe if Harper et al had a drink of Oda juice they would feel better? Will this contempt for taxpayers ever end? Maybe the jobs part of Bill C38 means more lawyers at the beck and call of government?

Subject: [Environment laws getting facelift to accelerate projects: Joe Oliver DD

Sadly the only thing in Canada that determines environmental laws is those that can make the most money for corporations and the banksters. Name one 'environmental' law that has done anything for the well-being of the environment and Canadians? At least after this Bill is passed we won't have to pretend that government gives a damn about the environment. Don't get me wrong--I am totally against the GW crap but while everyone is focused on that our environment is being destroyed through greed and theft. Does anyone actually believe that after all the actions from dumping toxic waste, mining, radioactive emissions, and on and on that any government cares about any part of the environment? We are now supposed to 'trust' the Env. Minister to make decisions on what is health for the environment? The truth is that it depends on who donates the most money(under the table or not) to the Minister and it is a go. Anything is acceptable as long as tax and royalties keep rolling into the government? These government ministers are NOT accountable to the people, they are only accountable to those who control the country. All nice sounding words that are just another pollutant in our environment.
Subject: Christians in Israel
For Further Research: CBS 60 Minutes: Christians of the Holy Land act=post&id=529
Subject: disgusting
Kiddie Porn Is Now Legal in New York

From: Joseph <>
Subject: Deepak Chopra & Gotham Chopra on The O'Reilly Factor - YouTube

Worth watching to see how to deal with certain types of questions and verbal attacks from violent communicators such as O' Reilly.


From: The Natroses

"Inmates in Canada will pay more money for their room and board, and some offenders employed within institutions through a popular job skills program will no longer be paid, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said today.

Toews also announced changes to the way inmates can buy goods, and that they will be charged more for using telephones.

The public safety minister said the changes are designed to increase offender accountability and will also save taxpayers more than $10 million per year.

The new measures also include:
  • Eliminating "incentive pay" for inmates working at CORCAN facilities. The CORCAN job-training program is in 31 institutions, and gives employment to offenders in textiles, manufacturing, construction, printing services and laundry operations. Toews said there is a high demand to participate in the program, and therefore there is no need to offer an incentive.
  • Transferring responsibility for operating canteens from prison staff to offender committees. Currently, about 85 per cent of canteens are already run by inmates, and now the other 15 per cent will also be transferred. Inmates buy goods such as books, food and clothing at the canteens.
  • When inmates want to buy goods from outside stores, they fill out a request form and a staff member makes one trip at a time as the requests are processed. Now, staff will only go to a set list of stores and will do so at designated times to make multiple purchases for the inmates. Inmates will also be given the option of ordering through catalogues.

Some of the changes will help reduce the administrative burdens on staff, Toews said. "Institutional staff are not personal shoppers," he said."

Well, one would think the inmates were running the facilities, taking advantage of the good intentions of Canada Corrections and its CORCAN programs. Keep in mind of the savings of 10 million dollars, and make the connections in the below links, consisting of background information dealing with the realities. One can only come to the conclusion that the move to no longer having prisoners being paid, is model like the prison camps of China, that amounts to working for free, and goods produced are shipped out to the consumer market at the highest market value that the market can bear.

Compared this move to the other revelation of yesterday, "
According to an iPolitics  report, the government has tied about 40 per cent of executives' 2012 bonus to how well they cut costs in their departments during the government's strategic and operating review."

Make the connection of the image of eager beavers of the top civil servants kind, working hard for their bonuses at the expense of the inmates, to where no incentive pay equals increase profits of well over 70 million dollars in sales, by the CORCAN program. that has achieved the status of a private medium-sized corporation.

CORCAN is a key rehabilitation program of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). It is mandated to provide employment training and employability skills to offenders in federal correctional institutions in support of the social policy of the Government of Canada.

By providing offenders with the employment experience and skills they need to become productive citizens when they return to the community, we play a key role in CSC's mandate to enhance public safety.

By contributing to institutional operation and maintenance, offenders also help to reduce the costs to the Government of their incarceration and rehabilitation."

Purchases and guide lines for CORCAN

"Prison Call Centers May Re-Launch in Canada"

A 2003 article, but shows the emphasis of profit activities, and the concerns of having the programs become profitable entities. Remember, the prison farms were closed, because they were no longer profitable.

The 2007-2008 annual report on CORCAN

This year our sales reached an all-time high of $70.6 million. In a competitive marketplace there is no clearer evidence that our goods and services are meeting our customers' needs. Moreover, it is a testament to the hard work of our instructors, staff, offenders, operations managers, warehouse and sales staff. For CORCAN, increased sales are never an end in themselves, but a critical means to a far more important end "providing more hours of training and employment for more offenders. "

Has the penny dropped yet? Now take a look at the realities of the inmates, and than just imagine the newer realities when the pay incentive disappears, and please do take in the consideration of the closures of prisons, and no new plans to build new prisons. Than reread the CBC article again, and the quote of the minister, ""Once we have these individuals in prison I want to emphasize education, training, and mental health and that is exactly what we are doing," he said."

The realities are found every where else, except on the federal government sites, who have omitted the realities of the inmates, the limits placed on the prisoners and their wages, and only emphasize the positive benefits for the inmates and the CORCAN program. All done on the pretence of safety and increased accountability by the inmates.

"An Information and Resource Guide:

A summary of the criminal justice and correctional systems for
family members or significant others who are supporting someone in custody."

The above link will provide a blow by blow on the restrictions and freedoms dealing with the monies earned, and what can be or cannot be purchased. It also will provide the background information, to understand that the inmates are a captive labour source, with the heavy use of negative incentives. Either work for the little empire of CORCAN or depend on the charities of others inside and outside of the prison network, to buy the tube of toothpaste. And no doubt when the inmates are no longer paid, the prison canteen will increase the prices, to pay for the bonuses of the inmates who increase the dollar sales and not the number of units of toothpaste.

And the last article an interesting take on Capitalism, prisons and valid points - "Inmates are paid between $5.25 and $6.90 per day. Inmate pay increases based on the time an inmate works, their behaviour, and their work performance. This structure is constructed in such a way as to use disciplinary principles in order to regulate inmate behaviour. Inmates can be arbitrarily disciplined or restricted in their pay increases because while prisoners have the legal right to have access to counsel in disciplinary hearings, they often do not have the resources, and because of a general lack of resources for inmate law, not very many lawyers have experience in this area.

Inmates also have no vacation time or vacation pay, and need clearance from a health profession to take a sick day. Overtime pay is just over $1 per hour and inmates are required to hand over 25 percent of any earnings over $69 biweekly for room and board. It is also important to mention that inmate wages have not been increases since the mid 1980s, and between 1981 and 2005, the average cost of two week's work of canteen goods increased from $8.49 to $61.59. Even accounting for inflation, prices have almost tripled.

In the 2008-09 Fiscal Year, inmates worked about 2.8 million hours collectively. Unlike rights granted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that are intended to apply to all people, inmates are excluded from the statutes and regulations that define labour laws.

Prisoners are assigned to work programs in their correctional plan. A correctional plan is an outline of a program that determines the work, training, and activity for an inmate's sentences. Inmates have little ability to refuse to work, even in poor conditions because an inmate's adherence to their correction plan is part of decisions on inmate privileges and parole."

What can be said, when most people have no real knowledge on prisons, and those that do have the knowledge, are more apt to keep the things hidden from the public, so that they can take full advantage of the inmates and free labour. What will be next? Perhaps, medical treatment based on costs, to where the inmates will have to work for free to repay the health services rendered. After all, health services in the outside world, has steadily increased, and it would only be fair for the inmates to pay their way by way of free labour, to where ever the prison warden assigns the work detail.