Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily Digest June 24-25, 2012 0



_____JUNE 25TH

Is it time to gather round Justin Trudeau?
The Liberal's star attraction has the name, the buzz and loads of Twitter followers.
But who is in his inner circle?
Is Justin Trudeau really the Liberals' best option?
An MP who can think for himself

Environmental crisis? We have a democratic crisis
Render unto Caesar ­ but leave church politics alone, Mr. Harper

How to bring Canada's sky-high air fares back to earth
Creepy guys and border guards: privacy under siege

A bridge too far? Not for Canada
Kenney is right to speed up deportations

Economist Paul Krugman writes a repair manual for this depression
Time to end Canada's milk, egg and poultry protectionism

Libya descending into chaos after NATO 'success'
With NDP riding high, Tories at last hit Mulcair with attack ads

Conservative party lawyer says challenge to election results is too little, too late
How Obama lost Canada

Opposition MPs slam feds' $1-million to $5-million move to contract out independent review of F-35 costing forecasts; Parliamentary Budget Office could have done it

Constitutional expert calls Stephen Harper government officials "disgusting rather than ignorant"
Conservative party lawyer says challenge to election results is too little, too late

Election result challenge in federal court today
Budget offers new tools to "authorize" water pollution, says Harper minister

Harper was warned Syria ignoring outrage over massacres: memo
Would a united left really be able to topple Tories?

Cabinet shuffle buzz, gaffe: moving MacKay would create a ripple effect of senior Cabinet ministers
Tim Harper: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's summer of cabinet making

Ottawa creates new honour for Bomber Command
Marc Garneau could have the right stuff for Liberal leader

Harper still treads lightly in Quebec
Tories zero in on Quebec with olive branch to separatists

Tories prepared to work with Parti Québécois
'Parks Canada is being gutted,' former deputy minister warns

Why neglecting Europe is dangerous
Conservatives happy with PMO chief of staff Wright, but speculating on timing of his departure

Calgary Centre nomination heats up in 'centre of Conservative Party's strength'
Page says he's not going out 'guns blazing,' just doing his job

Tories made a 'major mistake' in their approach to the euro crisis, Paul Martin says
Taxpayers spend millions on food, rent for Canadian Forces members separated from families

Moving Canadian Forces Staff and DND Employees To the Former Nortel Campus – Is It Worth The Effort?
'Call my lawyer, not me,' MacKay tells military inquiry head

The Treasury Board's inefficient mission for efficiency
Mulcair says Tories damaging Canada's reputation

Time to end supply management – but it won't go quietly
Bitter battle rages over Canada's sugar industry

Atleo facing accusations of a too-cozy partnership with Harper in AFN election
War of 1812 re-enactors recall a forgotten invasion: The Battle of Frenchman's Creek

Bondage and betrayal: inquiry on whether judge should lose job over naked photos
Veteran journalist Craig Oliver hosts his final CTV Question Period

B.C. Conservative Party tests free-enterprise message
Alberta Tories consider changing rules for leader-selection process

Sask. NDP leadership hopefuls test the waters
Calgary cops investigate bath salts

_____JUNE 24TH
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's summer of cabinet making
Crafting a cabinet is tricky business. Overhauling that cabinet can be trickier still,
but Prime Minister Stephen Harper is preparing to do just that this summer.

Hair-raising Liberal leadership race
Stephen Harper created his own worst enemy in the parliamentary budget officer

What's Behind Canada's Entry to the
Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks?

Jim Flaherty, mortgage destroyer
Green 'drivel' exposed

Bring Omar Khadr home to Canada from Guantanamo Bay
Not abuse, it's politics

Harper government prepared to work with sovereigntist Parti Quebecois
In wake of Mulroney meeting, Harper slammed for being anti-Quebec

Three reasons Stephen Harper is going easy on Thomas Mulcair
Tories made a 'major mistake' in their approach to the euro crisis, Paul Martin says

Mulcair says Tories damaging Canada's reputation
'Call my lawyer, not me,' MacKay tells military inquiry head

Veteran journalist Craig Oliver hosts his final CTV Question Period
Government secrecy could lay groundwork for future economic crisis, Page warns

Harper Government Rebranding: Taxpayers Spent Over $86,000 Helping Tories Rebrand Federal Government
Explaining the 2011 Federal Election II: The Recipe for Orange Crush

A long, long list of Liberals are dreaming about leadership this summer
Russia no threat to Canada's Arctic interests, analysts say

Government analyzing its surveys
Quebec town renames park in honour of Jack Layton

RCMP discipline: new powers will help police deal with "cultural challenges," Commissioner Bob Paulson says
Top cop concerned with Mounties airing problems in public

Politics is personal for female Canadian politicians, studies find
Canada weakens but all eyes on Europe

Rolette's easy first win at the start of the War of 1812
MPs float idea of canal user fees in bid to avoid shortened season

A Greener Way to Get Bitumen?
Legalizing Brothels Splits Women's Rights Advocates

Why I'm Training to Be a Teacher
No Souls but Lots of Cash

VIDEO: A day in the life of your taxes
Harperites Seek to Silence the Churches by Anglican bishop of Quebec


"Netanyahu has Decided to Attack Iran Before the U.S. Elections in November"
        US and Israel to Hold Largest Ever Joint Military Exercise
Eyeballing Iran? US Commissions 361 Cruise Missiles

Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi wins Egyptian Presidency
Thousands of Israelis Join "Citizen's Mutiny"

House Passes Energy Bill, Allows Drilling on Public Lands
Honduran Scholars Call on US to Cease Support for Military and Police

Real Rio Action is on the Streets
Pt3 - CO2, the Sun, and Warming in the Middle Ages - Viewer Questions on Climate Science

Brotherhood Threatens Uprising as Egypt's Generals Postpone Election Results
Will Ecuador Give Assange Asylum?

Max Blumenthal Resigns Al Akhbar Over Syria Coverage
Thousands in New York March Silently Against Racial Profiling

Right Wing Billionaires Push Israel Agenda in Democratic Party
Pt2 - CO2, the Sun, and Warming in the Middle Ages - Viewer Questions on Climate Science

Israel's J14 Movement and the Occupation
CO2 , the Sun, and Warming in the Middle Ages - Viewer Questions on Climate Science

Greece's biggest hospital struggles as austerity cuts bite
Growing National Movement Against "High Stakes" Public School Testing

Crisis in the Eurozone: Spanish Bailout to Seek 70 Billion Euros for Banks
Why Pass Indefinite Military Detention Law Now?

What Did the Greek Elections Decide?
Pro-Bailout Party Wins Most Seats as Majority Reject the Deal

Assange's Ecuador asylum bid may not succeed
Wikileaks, Assange & Ecuador

Ecuador to decide on Assange asylum bid
For Julian Assange; Ecuador or Guantanamo

UK police say Wikileaks founder faces arrest
The State Department Goes Bad

Hero On The Run
Killer Drone Attacks Illegal, Counter-Productive
War of Words Over Turkish Aircraft Incident

Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning
Plenty of G- 20

Are Palestinians Being Scapegoated Over Army Killings in Lebanon?
World Refugee Week

Our Muslim Brothers
An Impossible Dream

How to Get Money out of Politics
Sheldon Richman

Will Putin's Israel Visit Calm Middle East?
Making Sense of China's Political Crisis

Chinese Regime's 'Maintaining Stability' Policy Actually Threatens Stability
Promoting Human Rights in a China in Transition

Cambodia Says it Won't Extradite French Architect to China
Romney's Bid To Become Liar-In-Chief

FOCUS: What Sheldon Adelson Wants
FOCUS: Monsanto Faced With Paying 7.5 Billion Back To Farmers

Prisons, Privatization, Patronage
FOCUS | The Vast, Corrupting Power Of Money In Politics

Why I Hope Congress Doubles Student Loan Rates
Wall Street's Bid-Rigging Scandal

FOCUS: Grant Asylum To Assange
JPMorgan Gets $14 Billion A Year From The US Government

" Not Explaining the Why of Terrorism"
" How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap"

" Declaring War on 'Political Islamism'"
" Obama Gets Tough, Finally"

" Hiding the True Jesus"
" A 'Treason' Trial for Barack Obama?"

" Honoring a 'Terror War' Architect"
" Reflecting on Mother's Day and War"

" How the US Press Lost Its Way"
" Applying the Six-Day War to Iran"

" Contemplating the Abyss"
" America's Early Wars of Empire"

" NYT Admits Lockerbie Case Flaws"
" The Enduring Secrets of Watergate"

" Memorial Day Gas Lower Than Bush's"
" The Bible's Vile Standards of Marriage"

" How al-Qaeda Exploits Palestine Cause"
" Pope Paul VI's Error on Birth Control"

" The Moral Challenge of 'Kill Lists'"
" Steering from the Abyss"

" GOP's Strategy of Deception"

Greek Prime Minister to Miss EU Summit Read more
Immigrant Council Welcomes New EU Strategy to Combat Trafficking Read more
Neighboring Countries Have Poor View of Syria, Poll Finds Read more
Turkey Warns Syria Over Shooting of Jet  Read more
Protests in Japan Over Nuclear Plant Restarts Read more

Monsanto Trumps Food Safety and Democracy (Again) Read the Article
Banks Were Selling Phony Mortgages
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Supreme Court Upholds Key Part of Arizona Law
Read the Article
The Real Reason Conservatives Always Win
Read the Article

Supreme Court Declines to Revisit Citizens United
Read the Article
Metaphor and Health Care: On the Power to Make Metaphor Into Law
Read the Article

The Regulation Monster
Read the Article
Why We Fight
Read the Article

There Is an Alternative to Capitalism: Spanish City Mondragon Shows the Way
Read the Article
Lawmakers Got Inside Information From Bush Officials During the 2008 Financial Crisis, and More
Watch the Video and Read the Transcript

Albert Einstein: Radical Citizen and Scientist
Read the Article
Click here for more Truthout articles

The George W. Bush Pet Goat "Dereliction of Duty" Video From 9/11 That Won't Go Away Read the BuzzFlash Commentary
Mitt and the Junk Bond King Read the Article at The Boston Globe

Local US Governmental Units and Educational Districts in Financial Crisis Read the Article at the Pew Center on the States
Republican War on Food Stamps Is Just More Race Baiting for Votes Read the Article at BuzzFlash

Report: White House to Issue Executive Orders if Health Care Reform Act Overturned Read the Article at Wonkwire
Why Did the FBI Gut a Bill Requiring the Cruise Industry to Report Sexual Assaults and Rapes? Read the Article at Salon

Study: Warmer Seas Are Rising Faster and More Along US East Coast Than Rest of the Globe Read the Article at The Associated Press
Scalia's Scary Thinking Read the Article at Salon

>>>>>>>>>>INFOS <<<<<<<<<< []
LUNDI 25 JUIN 2012

19h45 - Humoristes indignés · Une décision mardi
        a CLASSE saura mardi si elle pourra finalement toucher les 25 000 $ qui devaient lui revenir à la suite du spectacle-bénéfice   organisé par la         Coalition des humoristes indignés (CHI) la semaine dernière au Théâtre Saint-Denis, à Montréal, pour aider les  quatre fédérations étudiantes à         contester la loi 78 devant les tribunaux. Agence QMI
18h34 - Charest-Marois · Le ton monte
        Le premier ministre Jean Charest et le Parti Libéral lanceront sur les grands réseaux de télévision cette semaine, une seconde  publicité. Agence 
02h15 - Police de Montréal · Tension au syndicat
        Querelle à la direction. JDM
02h05 - Aliments · Des entreprises qui trichent
        Les enquêteurs de l'Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments en voient de toutes les couleurs. JDM
20h50 - Visite de Harper · Jean Charest a récemment rencontré Harper     
        Il a confirmé qu'il a récemment rencontré le premier ministre Stephen Harper à propos de la tenue d'élections   prochainement. Agence QMI
19h12 - Harper · Sur une ferme de Lotbinière pour la Saint-Jean
        Stephen Harper a célébré la Saint-Jean-Baptiste à la ferme laitière de Denis Dion, le maire de Saint-Narcisse-de-Beaurivage. Agence


Warring with Syria?

Please read the two articles that follow. One of the scenarios being spun is warring.
The scenario seen for Canada in the second, by my reading, is waging war once again.

Your reaction? Attack Syria or not?

Canadian military planners spin Syria scenarios as UN suspends mission

We must act now in Syria or pay later

From: Lorraine McLennan
Subject: FW: 1907 Photo on Immigration (This one needs to circulate)

Definitely my views of immigration.

1907 Photo on Immigration (This one needs to circulate)

This one needs to circulate
I think this is one email that needs to be forwarded until every
Canadian with a computer receives it.
The year is 1907, one hundred and 5 + years ago.


Wilfrid Laurier ideas on Immigrants and being a Canadian in 1907.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in

good faith
becomes a Canadian and assimilates himself to us,
he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else,
for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed,
or birthplace, or origin..
But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet a Canadian,

and nothing but a Canadian...
There can be no divided allegiance here.
Any man who says he is a Canadian, but something else also, isn't a

Canadian at all.
We have room for but one flag, the Canadian flag...
And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the

Canadian people.'
Wilfrid Laurier 1907

Every Canadian citizen needs to read this!

From: Gord Elliott 
Subject: Jason Kenney's immigration revolution chalks up another success

Mr. Kenney's latest legislation is intended to put a stop to widespread abuse of Canada's ridiculously lenient refugee laws by foreign criminals who delay being deported by utilizing a lengthy appeals system. It would reduce access to the appeals system, reduce the time they can stay in Canada and block appeals by people sentenced to lengthy overseas prison terms. Applicants considered inadmissible because of concerns about crimes related to security, human rights or links to organized crime would no longer be able to seek delay on humanitarian or compassionate grounds. "This is a serious problem," Mr. Kenney said on CTV's Power Play. "We've had hundreds of cases of foreign criminals convicted in Canada to six months or more of a prison sentence and they've managed to delay their deportation for years and sometimes more than a decade."
Subject: Don't blame Canada for Europe's problems

Everyone in North America and Western Europe except the German bloc and Canada is floundering, back-pedaling, or treading water. They are like drunks grasping a lamp-post, for support rather than illumination, as they ask Canada's assistance. Stephen Harper acquitted himself and Canada well at the G20 meeting in denying the request.

Gord Elliott
Alberta Member Representative
National Council
Conservative Party of Canada

From: "rory j. koopmans" <>
To: <>, <>
Subject: Executive Dissertations: Potholes By Piss Poor Governing Officials

From: Mahmood Elahi
To: <>
Subject: The New World Economic Disorder led by America

Letters Editor
Ottawa Citizen
Copy to: Prof. Terry Glavin.
The New World Economic Disorder led by America
Re So much for the New World Order, by Terry Glavin (June 21).
While U.S. President George W. Bush and his neo-con acolytes were plotting a New World [Political] Order, backed up by the U.S. military might, a New World Economic Disorder was unfolding almost unnoticed. In a surprisingly chilling parallel, the world financial collapse can be likened to the failed U.S. military venture in Iraq, ending in the global financial meltdown in 2008, and the collapse of such iconic American institutions as Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, the insurance giant AIG and other financial institutions.
Two decades in coming, this financial debacle was apparent only recently and resulted from tragically flawed assumptions and ignorant decisions. Led by the Wall Street bankers, instead of soldiers, their financial weapons of mass destruction were the sub-prime mortage market, collaterized debt obligations (CDO) and credit default swaps (CDS).
In a series of stupendously disastrous bipartisan blunders by a succession of White Houses, Republican and Democrat, the American dream of home ownership became the deus ex machina for obliterating the global financial system. Separation between commercial and investment banks was removed that had been in place since the Great Depression, to prevent the latter from speculating with the former's savings and legalizing CDS that were banned in 1908 and were in essence bets made on the price of stocks without having to own them.
Mortgages made to millions who could not afford them led to a massive proliferation of financial intruments that were packaged and sold as securitized loans to the institutions and investors who naively believed that the housing market will never contract. The Wall Street saw the sub-prime market as a perpetual money-making machine. Today, the contagion has spread across the pond and Euro-zone is facing a financial crisis of epic propotions. This is the New World Economic Disorder led by the U.S. of America. Terry Glavin missed the total picture by only talking about so-called New World Order that never arrived and ignoring the New World Economic Disorder that surrounds us.

From: Rebecca Gingrich
Subject: psychiatric examination/buying guns    DD

Joe--just what we need--more government control of our lives.  Most guns used in the commission of crimes are done with illegal hand guns--the 'legal' type of guns that have been 'controlled' by our government since 1934.  At least 20 years ago in Canada, it was proven that illegal handguns are tossed after a crime to prevent the shooter from being found with the hand gun on his/her person.  It is so easy to get illegal hand guns that it is better to toss them than keep the one used in the crime.  Maybe if more energy were spent on stopping the entry of illegal hand guns into Canada rather than punishing us all things would improve?
Insanity is a ploy used by killers to get lighter sentences.  Now, why would a killer get a lighter sentence--is he/she not still insane???  It is not a surprise that Magnotta would want to come back to Canada to be sentenced--he knows that insanity is a free pass for criminals.  Check out the killer on the Greyhound Bus. 
The Martin case has been turned into a racial issue.  Zimmerman was beaten by Martin but because Martin is black he is incapable of this??? 
The main ones that should have to undergo psychiatric examination are our politicians and our judges.  To suggest that a psychiatric examination would prevent crime is insane.  But it would give the government another choke hold on the citizen.  Will we never quit giving our very life over to Big Brother?

Subject: Fwd: "Ghosts of Quebec debate haunts Liberals," by Chantal Hebert, National Affairs Writer, The Toronto Star, June 21, 2012.
From: "Robert G. Gauthier/The National Capital News Canada" <>

Hello Joe and Congratulations and continued happiness to you and yours.
I thought this letter concerning the the failure of the Parliament of Canada to protect the fundamental rights of Canadians living in the Province of Quebec and allowing (supporting) Bill 78 that infringes on the Right of Assembly among others continues to further alienate them. The English mainstream media do not provide coverage of this orphan part of Canada as the Canadian family disperses.
All the best on Canada Day to you and the contributors and readers of The Daily Digest - a great asset to Canada.
Bob Gauthier,

---- Original Message ----
From: Robert G. Gauthier/The National Capital News Canada <>
To: lettertoed <>
Sent: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 9:32 am
Subject: "Ghosts of Quebec debate haunts Liberals," by Chantal Hebert, National Affairs Writer, The Toronto Star, June 21, 2012.

The Editor,
The Toronto Star,
June 21, 2012
Re: "Ghosts of Quebec debate haunts Liberals," by Chantal Hebert, National Affairs Writer, The Toronto Star, June 21, 2012.
  The Toronto Star's lone voice in Quebec, Chantal Hebert, has it right, as if anybody in the rest of Canada cares anymore: "There can be no recovery in the province without coming to terms with modern Quebec's view of itself as the home of a distinct nation."
  The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery clique of journalists and their employers who have exclusive monopoly access to the services provided by the House of Commons for the media are missing the historical political and cultural break-up of a Country whose blessings and privileges many people around the world are still fighting and dying to share.
  The practice or non-practice of the Media of under-reporting important concerns unique to Canadian culture such as the routine disregard of the Rule of Law as a fundamental principle of our Democracy combined with the juvenile tyranny, rudeness and dictatorial tendencies of Cabinet Ministers have alienated the electorate as evidenced by the low turnouts in elections.
  This simply to say that Sunday, the 24th of June, "La Fete de la Saint-Jean," will be the turning and tipping points for the establishment of the Nation of Quebec and its subsequent application for independent status at the United Nations.
  That the Parliamentarians in Canada failed to protect the fundamental rights of Canadians resident in Quebec by allowing the passage of Bill 78, an atrocity that would not have been tolerated in any other Province of Canada, a final straw, further if not completely alienating Canadians living in Quebec.
  For the soon-to-be former Canadians living in Quebec, their new Ship-of-State sails on Monday, June 25, 2012, leaving behind the "Ghosts of debate" that have haunted all of us for too long.
  Canadians and Quebecers together can finally look forward, this Canada Day, July 1st, 2012, to welcome a peaceful future celebrating our fundamental freedoms and differences from Coast to Coast to Coast in friendship and mutual respect.
  It is a great ride...too bad the Canadian mainstream media is missing it!
Robert G. Gauthier,

From: "Dr. Raymond Denson"
To: John Duddy
Cc: <>
Subject: 9/11 and all that

Have you come across the two excellent books by Christopher Bollyn, "Solving 9-11; The Deception that Changed the World" and "Solving 9-11; The Original Articles" ?
Bollyn is the only writer on 9/11 (as far as I am aware) who has revealed the Jewish component in the attacks and the cover-up. This aspect of the affair has been carefully ignored by such writers as David Ray Griffin, presumably because they wanted to avoid being charged with anti-semitism.
I appreciate your efforts to keep the topic alive. I must admit that I have become discouraged. The forces which prevent the truth from being released to the general public are so overwhelming. And why do our elected representatives in Ottawa, whose salaries we are paying, all believe or pretend to believe the official account? We are submerged in lies and deceit from top to bottom.
Kindest regards and best wishes, Raymond Denson

From: Rebecca Gingrich <>
Subject: Obese man ruled unfit for fatherhood   DD

This is so sad.  No wonder the man has a 'hatred for the CAS'--anyone who has ever dealt with them and the Injustice System probably also holds the same hatred.  So now Big Brother will also decide who can be a father and who can't?  How many children are abused by 'thin' fathers? 
More on CAS in Ontario


From: John Duddy <>
Subject: Fwd: "Former Head of Star Wars Program says Cheney Main 9/11 Suspect"

Laura Tyco ~ Former Head Of Star Wars Program Says Cheney Main 9/11 Suspect


From: "Tommy"
Subject: Quote from the Digest

I fully endorse Barbara Reid's comment cited below:
From: "Barbara Reid"

After many years of enjoying this Digest, and being a very active volunteer in the Conservative Party, both Federal and Provincial, for a great many years also,  I'm finally running  out of patience with all the negative rants.  I'd far rather be living here than any other country but wish there was a lot more praise around.
I happen to like what Harper has done for us and grateful that we got through the really tough time most of the world has been suffering with their finances.  With voting for him, we gave him permission to make decisions and I'm pleased that he does what he's supposed to do.

From: Larry Kazdan
To: Courier <>,
Subject: Letter to Editor re: Central Park, Sandra Thomas, June 22, 2012

Re: Central Park, Sandra Thomas, June 22, 2012

Residents want to use the Lord Byng Pool. The facilities have been built. There is no shortage of life guards in a country with that has well over one million people unemployed. So why is the pool closed for longer than a normal maintenance period? It is shut because of dysfunctional economics. Certainly the City of Vancouver and the Province of B.C. are constrained because they are merely users of the currency and are dependent on tax revenues. But the Federal Government is the monopoly issuer of Canada's money and can afford to guarantee that every lifeguard, and for that matter anyone who wants a job, has one. Think about it. If there were a war, would Canada ever surrender because we couldn't afford to pay our soldiers? For those indoctrinated to argue that federal government deficit spending would automatically lead to inflation, please note that Canada's debt to GDP ratio is about 35%. Japan's ratio is 233% and there is no sign of any inflation there. As John Maynard Keynes put it many years ago: ""The Conservative belief that there is some law of nature which prevents men from being employed, that it is "rash" to employ men, and that it is financially 'sound' to maintain a tenth of the population in idleness for an indefinite period, is crazily improbable – the sort of thing which no man could believe who had not had his head fuddled with nonsense for years and years…"
Canada's Debt to GDP ratio

Subject: The Latest from Impolitical
From: Impolitical <>

Friday night
Posted: 22 Jun 2012 04:59 PM PDT

Have a good night!

On a positive note

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 04:02 PM PDT
I tweeted the other day about Michael Harris at being one of the gutsiest columnists going in the Canadian political media scene. That was prompted by this column.

There's another columnist who really brings it at times in asking tough questions about this government and it's Lawrence Martin. Today's was a reminder of that: "Lessons of Watergate: why our media should heed them."
In some instances the media have become jaded. They are so used to sleazy behaviour by politicians that they tend to under-react. Some buy into the Tories' morally and intellectually infantile rationale that other governments have done these kinds of things, so we can do them too.
Then there's the argument put forward by the Conservatives that these are just process stories that voters don't care about. Watergate, you might say, was just process too, a slaying of the process.

Also published at iPolitics, by the way. A few to read on the weekend if you missed them.

A little positivity about some sparks in the bubble of Canadian politics to end the week.

(h/t )

More Europe bashing from the Harper crew

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 01:30 PM PDT
From the "Today's Must Reads" on the Globe's Politics page, an op-ed from Conservative Senator and former Harper campaign chair Doug Finley with a familiar refrain: "Europe needs to take responsibility for its own mistakes." This is what we've been hearing from the PM, from Jim Flaherty and various other government supporters. It is interesting that they feel the need to keep saying it.

So what does Senator Finley have to add to the conversation? Well, not unexpectedly, he punches back at European Commissioner José Manuel Barroso who got a lot of attention in Canadian media this week when he stated that he didn't go to the G20 to be lectured by nations, etc. Widely taken as a shot against Harper. So you can understand that Finley would say something about that. Says, ever so diplomatically, that Barroso's statement was made "In typically arrogant fashion..." Lovely.

Also something there about our banking sector being one of the strongest in the world. The Royal Bank was included, however, in the Moody's downgrade yesterday that was characterized in the New York Times' leading business story of today in this way: " Already grappling with weak profits and global economic turmoil, 15 major banks were hit with credit downgrades on Thursday that could do more damage to their bottom lines and further unsettle equity markets. The credit agency, Moody's Investors Service, which warned banks in February that a downgrade was possible, cut the credit scores of banks to new lows to reflect new risks that the industry has encountered since the financial crisis." RBC was lumped with Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and others. There is a tremendous push back on the downgrade, saying Moody's is out of date, etc. Nevertheless, it's strange to see a Canadian bank there given the sense that our system is safe.

Finley also takes a run at European welfare states with all their high taxes and bloated bureaucracies leading to bankruptcy. See Paul Krugman on that where he captured quite effectively what the right wing and the Finleys are really doing as they pile on Europe: " Whenever a disaster happens, people rush to claim it as vindication for whatever they believed before. And so it is with the euro."[...]"Sweden, with the largest social expenditure, is doing just fine. So is Denmark. And Germany, which is the up side of the pulling-apart euro, has a bigger welfare state than the GIPS. Not that the facts will convince anyone on the right, but the blame-the-welfare-state meme is nonsense." Finley...or Krugman.

Repeats the canard about spending Canadian taxpayer money on Europe. Linked to disproof of that earlier this week. And of course, lots of red meat abounds: "culture of entitlement," "big-government approach," Europe as an "irresponsible teenager," etc.

Guess we can look forward to the continuation of this unsophisticated and tactically questionable message. You would think that if they're going to go big on this position, at the very least, they might listen to those who support them and might help them in credibly articulating it. But I guess they're not listening to such voices. Meanwhile, Finley's sledgehammer diplomacy can't be helping us much at all.

From: Robert Ede
Subject: CBC "Ideas" -Fri June 22 --Analysis of Multicult Gov't Policies

54 minutes, broadcast last night
Kenan Malik - destroys 3 myths and examines the chicken-egg of the divisiveness of 'official diversity'

From: "Brian D. Marlatt"
Subject: SURETTE: The conservative conscience is in turmoil | The Chronicle Herald
Subject: Siver Donald Cameron on Harper and corporate interest
Subject: Harper's colour - from blue to black's+colour+-+from+blue+to+black.str?20448
Subject: Democracy gone Astray: The conservative conscience is in turmoil
Chronicle-Herald article picked up by a blog


It is time to ask ourselves whether Syria will be our generation's Czechoslovakia.

Syria has not been invaded by a foreign power. But foreign powers and a brutal Syrian military are deeply involved in the killing of thousands. Aside from pious declarations and failed attempts by UN observers, the world stands idly by. Children and mothers massacred, tortured and used as human shields by government forces. The world stands by. Apartment blocks shelled until all are dead. We stand by.

Norwegian Major-General Robert Mood, chief of the United Nation


Video: UN observers in Syria suspend operations

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's courageous and sincere efforts were used by President Bashar al-Assad to buy more time and kill more people. Armed by Iran and Russia, and protected by UN Security Council vetoes wielded by China and Russia, Mr. al-Assad, his army and armed thugs have become the poster boys for brutal impunity.

Recent U.K. media reports that Russian shipments of arms and jets are in the works only serve to highlight the strategic cost to the West and the Arab League of remaining disengaged. Syria is known as an Iranian client and proxy state that supports regional and global terrorism. The Russians, in a desperate effort to maintain their Syrian naval base and foothold in the region, are beefing up their presence there and implicating themselves more fully in the proxy support system upon which Mr. al-Assad depends.

The Syrian military will have little to fear until NATO and the Arab League declare and enforce a no-fly zone to keep Syrian helicopters from attacking their own civilian population.

Until NATO ships with sea-to-shore missile capacity and helicopter forces patrol off the Syrian coast, and until Syrian command-and-control systems and centres are neutralized, the Syrian army will have no reason to demur from orders that are war crimes in their very transmittal and execution.

Our Turkish allies, Jordanian trade partners and Lebanese friends deserve our logistical and tactical support for the refugee burdens they have embraced or will face. Ceasefire negotiations in Syria cannot start until Mr. al-Assad and his Iranian puppeteers understand that the time frame for impunity has passed.

Promoters of inertia, arguing that the risks of intervention are too high, seem inured to the real risks of their strategy. A victory through the killing of thousands of his own people (an old Assad family tradition) would keep in place a murderous dictatorship that uses terror to stay in power, steals from its people and advances Iranian regional aspirations and Russian geostrategic initiatives at the expense of stability and peace in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel. If the bloodshed continues with no Western or Arab League military presence, the genocidal risk to minorities not aligned with the now more radicalized opposition to Mr. al-Assad increases substantially. And a lack of engagement only increases the potential for a conflagration between the region's Sunni and Shia populations.

If the UN is paralyzed, that is an institutional issue. If the world uses that paralysis as cover to avoid responsibility, that is a moral issue and a deep abdication.

Allowing the Syrian violence to continue says to all authoritarian and rogue governments that U.S. presidential election years are good times to mow down your own people.

That a Western and hopefully Arab League-led intervention will be hard, complex and messy is a given. Important gestures of humanity and civility usually are.

Standing by and watching is not hard, complex or messy. It is simply criminal.

And it says to Iran, Russia, China and all their client states that there is really no one with the "responsibility to protect" anyone else from atrocities or state-sponsored mass and lethal violence.

And that is how the dogs of war and global violence are truly unleashed – as they were when Czechoslovakia was ceded to the Nazis decades ago without a fight.

From the Middle East to the Indian Ocean, from the South China Sea to the Arabian Gulf and Korean Peninsula, sending a message that the West and its partners will avoid engagements at all cost is the best way to invite adventurism and rogue state aggression.

Syria is the canary in the coal mine of a new cold war. It should remind us all that the price we pay for not acting is often far greater than the actual price of deciding to act in the name of humanity.

Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is a former chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.