Monday, August 04, 2014 

World War One ... historical stupidity that seemed like a good idea at the time

I see that the Canadians are being brainwashed into thinking that World War One was a great and glorious moment in Canadian history. You are being told that Canadian soldiers died for Canada's 'freedom' during the First World War ... to 'protect and preserve our nation'. Nonsense!!!

Any one with even a fleeting knowledge of history will struggle with this interpretation of the pointless, meaningless conflict known as 'the First World War'.

Stop any citizen on the street and ask them what the reason for the First World War was ... and see if they know. Essentially, three Royal 'cousins' ... England's King George V - Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II - Russia's Czar Nicholas II (all three were grandsons of Queen Victoria) ... had a royal 'family feud'.

Here is what triggered World War One:
-In June, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by a Serb.
-The Austria-Hungarian Empire retaliated against the Kingdom of Serbia.
-The Russian Empire told Austria-Hungary to keep hands off Serbia.
-Austrian-Hungarian Empire said 'screw you' ... declared war on Russia.
-The German Empire joined with Austia-Hungary.
-England joined with Russia and France... Canada was automatically at war because Britain was in a state of war.
-All hell breaks loose ... 20 million people DIE.

In all of this, I am not sure how Canada was threatened as a nation. I am not sure why 67,000 Canadians died (4000 from Saskatchewan) in mud filled trenches in Europe. It seemed like a good idea at the time. In reality, it was an idiotic bloodbath.

Canada's victory in taking Vimy Ridge from the Germans was a moment of great pride for a young nation that found itself at war automatically because of it's almost colonial ties to Britain. Thirty-six hundred Canadians died at Vimy Ridge and almost 10,000 were wounded. Courage? Absolutely! Worth the sacrifice? In a conflict involving European royal families, corporate interests and imperial spoils ... I'd say no. Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

A century later, our government has been struggling to bring meaning and reason to the death of Canadian soldiers in the pointless war in Afghanistan. Our Conservative government  has a record of praising our troops while they are in uniform but promptly ditching responsibility for them when they arrive back in Canada as 'veterans'.

I do NOT doubt the courage of Canada's armed forces. I doubt only those who continue to propagandize the 'need' for armed conflict and the death of young men and women who get caught up in feelings of patriotism.

War is primitive. It is neanderthal. Shame on those, in the modern era, who jump to war as a first option, without any attempts at alternate resolution.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 

How Stephen Harper AND The Conservative Party LIE To You Every Day And The MSM Backs Up Their Bullshit ....

REGINA — So much of what many Canadians consider conventional wisdom is what Henry Ford used to call 'history': mostly bunk.

I’m talking about statements like the Harper Conservatives are the best party to manage the economy, or that internal trade barriers are costing the Canadian economy $50 billion a year, or that carbon taxes are killers of investment, economic activity and jobs.

Each of these statements has been widely circulated in the media recently, so much so that they appear to be self-evident truths. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s look at the first proposition: That the Harper Conservatives are the best party to manage the economy. This assertion is based on the assumption that Canada is doing well, economically speaking, and that the Conservatives deserve much of the credit for that.

The Harper government has repeatedly boasted that Canada has the best job creation record in G7. Recently in Calgary, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated: “Since the recession, the Canadian economy has created almost 1.1 million net new jobs, … overwhelmingly full-time, high-paying, private-sector jobs …”
Unfortunately, recent job numbers cast doubt on that assertion. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reported the economy actually lost 9,400 jobs in June and the unemployment rate increased to 7.1 per cent. But let’s look at the bigger picture.

In the past year, Canada’s economy added just 72,000 net new jobs — most of that in Alberta. That compares to the average level of job creation of 214,000 per 12-month period dating back to 1977. In other words, Canada is creating jobs at one-third the average rate of the last four decades.
What kind of jobs? Looking at January’s job numbers, of the 99,000 jobs created in 2013, 95 per cent were part-time jobs. Hardly the “full-time, high-paying jobs’’ of Harper’s description.

What about the statement that internal trade barriers cost the Canadian economy $50 billion a year? Industry Canada recently used the figure in a press release. Premier Brad Wall gave lip service to the number in a recent story in the Globe & Mail. But where does the number come from?

Well, Canadian Press reporter Julian Beltrame recently tracked down the source of the $50 billion figure to some off-the-wall comments in 2006 by former Conservative senator David Angus. “It may be $50 billion,’’ Angus told a senate committee, but later admitted he was “taking high numbers out of the air” to make a point. In other words, it’s pure, 100 per cent baloney, according to Canadian Press’s Baloney Meter.

Likewise, comments last month by Harper and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott about “job-killing carbon taxes’’ are also based on purest thin air. Last month, Harper praised Abbott for promising to cut Australia’s carbon tax, which was brought in 2012, but met with widespread consumer resistance because of disinformation campaigns by industry, public misconceptions about the cost of the tax (they thought it was twice as costly as it was) and steep increases in electricity bills by utilities investing in infrastructure.

But closer to home, B.C. has had a carbon tax since 2008, which has successfully lowered fuel use by 16 per cent, while actually lowering B.C. taxpayers’ income tax bill by $760 million a year, thanks to personal and corporate income tax cuts to offset the carbon tax revenue.

In fact, the revenue-neutral carbon tax has done exactly what economists predicted it would: reduced the burning of fossil fuels and shifted economic activity away from carbon consumption and production. Since 2008, B.C.’s economy has slightly outperformed the rest of Canada. “The idea that a carbon tax hurts the economy is a myth,’’ said Stewart Elgie, a University of Ottawa law and economics professor and chair of Sustainable Prosperity.

Yet whenever anybody, like Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, talks about the need for carbon pricing, the Harper government comes down on them like a tonne of GHG emissions. Recently, Finance Minister Joe Oliver called Trudeau’s call for carbon pricing a “multi-billion tax on everything’’ that will undermine Canada’s competitiveness.

This is an exact echo of Harper’s demonization of former Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s carbon tax as a “tax on everything.’’

But just because somebody repeats something doesn’t make it right.
Bruce Johnstone
Business Editor
Regina Leader Post

Friday, July 18, 2014 

As Bad As Things Are For Mike Duffy ... They Look Even Worse For Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper, without public consultation or election, hand picked and anointed Mike Duffy to be a Canadian Senator. No matter what Mike Duffy did .. Stephen Harper committed the undemocratic actions that set this whole sorry mess in play.

He should bear considerable responsibility.

'Mike Duffy's defence could put Harper on hot seat' - Kady O'Malley, CBC News

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 

Tax Revenues Up - Crime Down in Washington and Colorado With Pot Reform ..

Too bad that Stephen Harper doesn't take note ...



Thursday, June 05, 2014 

Thoughts On The Murder Of RCMP Officers In New Brunswick ...

I live within two blocks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. Every single member of the RCMP has received their training here at the RCMP Depot. The history of this facility and location dates back to the days of the old North West Mounted Police and the Riel Rebellion.

Living in such close proximity to the training academy, it's a routine sight for me to see the raw, short haired recruits jogging their daily quota of kilometers as part of basic training.  I own two dogs and we walk twice every day along the banks of Wascana Creek beside the RCMP property.  It's been 19 years that I have been waving to these energetic young trainees. Some say hi .. some stop for a moment to pet my dogs .. all give a nod of the head or some other acknowledgement.

On days like today, when Canada mourns the tragic murder of three RCMP officers in New Brunswick, I always feel real sorrow.  Seeing and interacting with these young dedicated recruits, i know well what has been lost.

I don't know the names of the three murdered RCMP officers. I don't know if we've ever waved or nodded. But I lost three old neighbors today.

Sunday, June 01, 2014 

Leader Cam Broten Receives Massive Endorsement At Sask NDP Convention

Saskatchewan NDP gives leader 98.7 per cent approval at party convention

MOOSE JAW, Sask. – The leader of Saskatchewan’s Opposition has received an overwhelming endorsement at his party’s convention in Moose Jaw.

NDP delegates voted 98.7 per cent to approve Cam Broten’s leadership on Saturday.
The leadership review by secret ballot was required by the party’s constitution. 

Broten says the party will continue to focus on what is important to Saskatchewan families, including health care and education.

A detailed platform will be released closer to the next provincial election expected for 2016.
The Saskatchewan NDP currently has nine seats.

“I’m very happy to have the strong support of the party in the vote that we had,” said Broten.
“I feel we’ve made a lot of progress over the last year.”

Broten said in addition to health and education, the party will focus on what he called a “sense of entitlement” that has taken hold with the Saskatchewan Party government, pointing to expense scandals in the recent spring sitting.

He said people raise those issues to him as he travels throughout the province.

“Members are excited and looking forward to carrying on the work in local communities,” he said. “It’s been a really good time for us as a party here this weekend reflecting on the hard work that we’ve done last year, the building that we’ve done and really looking ahead to the work that we have to do.”

Friday, May 30, 2014 

'Holding Brad Wall Accountable' - Sask New Democrats Meet In Annual Convention

Saskatchewan's New Democrats are holding their annual convention this weekend in the friendly city of Moose Jaw. Party Leader Cam Broten has signaled that New Democrats are ready and able to hold Brad Wall accountable for the fact that his so called 'boom' has busted for many citizens of the province. The hype built up about the prosperity simply does not match with reality. 

The following letter to the editor appears in the Yorkton News Review:

To the Editor:This spring session, the Saskatchewan NDP’s focus was on the government’s neglect of the basics in health care, seniors care and education.I believe people should be benefitting more from our province’s strong economy, but the reality for far too many hardworking families right now is that extra costs just keep piling up while the services we should all be able to count on are getting worse because of this government’s dismissive approach.The government’s own statistics show that health care is getting worse under its watch. With more and more concerns being raised about the quality of seniors care, the NDP pushed the government to fix the basics in health care and seniors care, instead of investing well over $100 million into its Lean pet project.As a positive step toward fixing the seniors care crisis, the NDP introduced legislation that would have required the government to establish minimum quality of care standards and a residents-in-care bill of rights. The government voted unanimously against the NDP’s bill, despite its own Law Reform Commission recommending such legislation.The NDP also pushed the government to fix the basics in our education system, like overcrowded classrooms, schools that desperately need repairs and students that are not getting the one-on-one attention they need.The NDP called on the government to reverse the “Lean initiative claw back” – the government’s new plan to rip education funding out of classrooms to force teachers and students to do more with their already stretched budgets.The government’s growing sense of entitlement was also on display during the spring session. The NDP exposed inappropriate travel expenses of Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz and Social Services Minister June Draude.Throughout the spring session, we worked hard to bring forward the important issues we’ve been hearing about from Saskatchewan families. Over the coming months, we will continue reaching out across the province, listening to concerns and ideas, and holding the government to account, not only for what it does but also for what it neglects to do.Cam Broten, Leader of the Official Opposition, Sask. NDP.

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