Tuesday, May 30, 2006 

NDP MP Gets It Right On Harper VS the Press

Here's a tip of the hat to Mr. Charlie Angus, NDP Member of Parliament for Timmons-James Bay for his 'Member's Statement' delivered in the House of Commons on Monday, May 29, 2006.

FROM HANSARD

Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP): Mr. Speaker, while the PMO has declared war on the Ottawa media, some people are saying it is a spat and others are saying it is just the intransigence of a man who cannot dare to be second guessed.

I would suggest that the Prime Minister is following through on a carefully planned out strategy, because this is about deciding who gets to ask the questions of Canada's most powerful man. It is about taking the press's power here and putting it under the thumb of the PMO's spinmeisters.

We only have to look south of the border to see the absolute failure if the media acquiesced on such rights. When hard questions needed to be asked about the Bush agenda in Iraq, the U.S. media went along for the ride. Its failure to stand up to the Republican game plan made it complicit in a lie that was used to trigger an illegal war that has led to wholesale human rights abuses.

It is not good enough to simply get the clip or the photo op. To maintain a functioning democracy, we need to ensure that the press hold politicians to account, and politicians, for their part, have to be willing to stand up to the questioning without giving intimidation or contempt for the nation's media.


Bravo Mr. Angus!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 

Canada in Afghanistan: $4.1 Billion and Counting!

Figures released by the Polaris Institute show that Canadian taxpayers have spent over $4 Billion on the Afghanistan mission since 2001. As expensive as that is, it does not take into account the precious human cost of our men and women in uniform who have died during the mission.

Canadians need to ask themselves if we are getting value for our expenditure, or are we merely helping George Bush to move his troops from Afghanistan to Iraq?

Postscript: So where are our 'great defenders' at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation when you really need them!! (yeah right)!

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/05/17/1584398-cp.html

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 

Klein Takes Job With Fraser Institute

Well well well. Guess who's going to pack his lunch bucket and head off to work for the Fraser Institute? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. In an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, October 29th, 2004, Frances Russel wrote, "Earlier this month, the institute held its 30th anniversary dinner, attended by luminaries of the Canadian right like Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Alberta Premier, Ralph Klein, former Reform party Leader, Preston Manning and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Founder and president Michael Walker mapped out an ambitious plan for the future. Having won the battles against universality, deficits and debt, Mr. Walker said the institute will be turning its sights on privatizing health and education. With millions of dollars in its coffers donated annually by the Who's Who of business, get ready for more Fraser, more of the time."

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2006/05/09/klein-fellow.html

Actually, I am surprised that he wasn't hired by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Monday, May 08, 2006 

Fighting Ignorance - 'What is Genocide'

Buckdog has had first hand experience in the last few days dealing with ignorance on the meaning of the Holocaust and genocide. We took exception on Friday to a thread on the Canadian Taxpayers Federation blogsite (which has now disappeared). Discussion continued on Buckdog and we still have a blogger contributing his ignorance to the reasons why the Holocaust cannot - should not and will not be diminished. For the ignorant, take a moment and get informed by reading the following excerpt which we thank the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for providing:

What is Genocide?

The term "genocide," which did not exist before 1944, is a very specific term, referring to massive crimes committed against groups. Human rights, as laid out in the U.S. Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals.

In 1944, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) sought to describe Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of European Jewry. He formed the word "genocide" by combining geno-, from the Greek word for race or tribe, with -cide, from the Latin word for killing. In proposing this new term, Lemkin had in mind "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves." The next year, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg charged top Nazis with "crimes against humanity." The word “genocide” was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.

On December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust and in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Lemkin himself, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This convention establishes "genocide” as an international crime, which signatory nations “undertake to prevent and punish.” It defines genocide as:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

* Killing members of the group;
* Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
* Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
* Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
* Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

While many cases of group-targeted violence have occurred throughout history and even since the Convention came into effect, the legal and international development of the term is concentrated into two distinct historical periods: the time from the coining of the term until its acceptance as international law (1944–1948) and the time of its activation with the establishment of international criminal tribunals to prosecute the crime of genocide (1991–1998). Preventing genocide, the other major obligation of the convention, remains a challenge that nations and individuals continue to face.

With thanks to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
http://www.ushmm.org/conscience/history/

Friday, May 05, 2006 

Taxpayers Federation YANKS Offensive Blog

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation have yanked an offensive blog entry posted by their Saskatchewan director, David McLean! Rather than doing the right thing and extending an apology and retraction, the group simply pulled the thread and are now crossing their fingers and hoping that it will all just go away. In the offensive blog entry, Mr. McLean posted the following words:

"Yet in 1938, according to both William Shirer and John Toland, the Nazi regime held no more than 20,000 political prisoners. Political executions up to the time might have reached a couple thousand, and most of these were of renegade Nazis themselves during the indiscriminate butchery known as the "Night of the Long Knives." The famous Kristallnacht that horrified civilized opinion worldwide caused a grand total of 71 deaths. This in a nation of 70 million. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1959. Within three months in power, Castro and Che had shamed the Nazi prewar incarceration and murder rate."

Buckdog has recorded ALL entries in the offensive thread and will post them here in the near future. Essentially, Mr. Mclean got himself into trouble by advocating the false notion that post revolution activites in Cuba were equal to the Nazi Holocaust. This type of 'Zundelesque' trivialization of the Holocaust cannot be tolerated by anyone. Mr. McLean and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation owe us all an apology for this bizarre attempt at historical revision. Shame on them!

Thursday, May 04, 2006 

Taxpayers Federation Minimizes Holocaust!

Wow! The following words appear on the Canadian Taxpayers Federation blogsite:
"Yet in 1938, according to both William Shirer and John Toland, the Nazi regime held no more than 20,000 political prisoners. Political executions up to the time might have reached a couple thousand, and most of these were of renegade Nazis themselves during the indiscriminate butchery known as the "Night of the Long Knives." The famous Kristallnacht that horrified civilized opinion worldwide caused a grand total of 71 deaths. This in a nation of 70 million. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1959. Within three months in power, Castro and Che had shamed the Nazi prewar incarceration and murder rate.

In an example of the motto "The best defence is a good offence", the CTF has decided to attack anyone criticising David MacLean's promulgation of Holocaust trivialization as "communist anarchists". Are true colours being shown here?

Here is the URL to this bizarre trivialization:
Canadian TaxPayers Federation Blog story
NOTE: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation have deleted the blog thread.



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