Thursday, August 31, 2006 

Conservative Supports Has Big Drop in Quebec

Support for the minority Harper government has seen a huge drop in the key province of Quebec. The Tories received 33% in the last election in the province and that number has now fallen to 24%. If this holds, the Harper government will be in serious trouble. (Yeah!!)

Yahoo News

 

The REAL Reason For Harper's Saskatchewan Visit

Stephen Harper spent the last day and a half in Saskatchewan. He spent one hour doing a cameo appearance on ‘Corner Gas’, he rubbed shoulders with his 12 local Members of Parliament, and he re-announced the $161 million for the RCMP that was already announced in the spring budget. Then he left.

He didn't meet with any provincial politicians. He did not appear on any radio or TV shows. He did one tense scrum with reporters where the only topic they wanted information on was the outstanding Tory promise to follow through on the Equalization promise.

So with nothing actually achieved .... what was the point of the trip? Allow me to speculate.

Mr. Harper’s goal was simply to 'hold hands' with his very nervous 12 Conservative MP’s. Why are they nervous? There is a twofold reason:

The equalization promise IS a big deal for Saskatchewan. It could amount to upwards of $800 Million per year of non renewable resource money staying in this province. For a province of one million souls, that is not chump change. Since the election, people here have sensed a hesitation to deliver on the promise and the 12 Tory MP’s are under pressure to ensure things flow as hyped by their own campaign.

The decline of the Liberal vote in Saskatchewan during the election, allowed 12 of 14 seats to go to the Conservatives and any resurgence of Liberal support would knock some of them out, both directly and by allowing the NDP to go up the middle and claim some seats.

You have to understand Saskatchewan’s tenuous relationship with ‘conservatives’.

The last time this province had a ‘conservative’ government was under the Grant Devine administration during the 1980's and early ‘90's . During their nine years, they did not balance even one budget and grew the provincial debt by billions, nearly forcing the Province into receivership. The final cherry on the old conservative cake was the trials and convictions of 16 Conservative Cabinet Ministers and Members of the Legislature for fraud and breach of trust! There is NO functioning provincial wing of the Conservative Party. The official opposition, Saskatchewan Party is their heir. A few token fallen Liberals in their ranks allow them to deny any connection with the Conservative Party.

So back to the reason Mr. Harper was in Saskatchewan for a couple of days: To soothe and calm the nerves of his 12 apostles who are nervous about things that have been promised.

For a Prime Minster who may be trying to hold on to minority government status after the next election, every seat is going to count. A number of his Saskatchewan 12 may not be a sure bet.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 

Press Grills Harper Over Equalization

As his trip to Saskatchewan ends, Prime Minister Harper was grilled with questions concerning his plan to fix the Fiscal Imbalance. Reporters pointed out promises the Conservatives made during the election campign. Harper was vague in his answers, but told reporters to be patient.

During the election campaign, the Conservative Blue book was widely distributed with the following statement:

The plan
A Conservative government will:
• Work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of fiscal imbalance in a permanent fashion.
• Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.


The 12 nervous Conservative Members of Parliament recently wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to keep the election promise or risk potential political backlash to their fortunes in the next federal election.

CBC Story

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

Christian Zealots Destroy Ancient Arctic Petroglyphs

The recent destruction of ancient petroglyphs by Christian zealots in the Canadian Arctic reminded me of the Taliban destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. Without a lot of commentary, the point I want to connect between the two events, is the similar idiocy that is displayed by religious fanatics, whether they are Christian fundamentalists or Islamic fundamentalists.

Both of these events are very sad and contributed to a diminishment of human history and culture.

The Taliban proved that when fundamental religious beliefs become public policy, lunacy reigns. The strong influence that the christian Right holds in the White House and Administration makes this non fundamentalist very nervous. Enough said.

Christian Zealots destroy artifacts>

Islamic Zealots destroy statues>

 

New Brunswick Election Too Close To Call

You wouldn't know that New Brunswick was in the middle of an election campaign by the amount of blogging we are seeing. I am an election junkie so I've gone searching to see what the buzz is in NB. Angus Reid has just completed a poll that suggests it is far to close to call.

At dissolution the House had 28 Conservatives, 26 Liberals and 1 Ind. If one seat should change hands between the Libs and Tories, there could be a change in government! New Brunswickers will vote on September 18th. It would be nice to see a few locals keep us up to date. It is a challenge blogging on your campaign from Western Canada!

Story

Monday, August 28, 2006 

Harper in Saskatchewan to Appear on Corner Gas

Stephen Harper could use a bit of a break from all of his troubles.

Therefore, our national Leader will be in Saskatchewan today to film a spot on the CTV comedy hit 'Corner Gas'.

Just look at the problems the Tories are facing: Afghanistan, falling poll numbers, Jason Kenney's little "I didn't know who I was speaking to" episode. It just goes on and on and on for the tories.

So the loyal Conservative troops could use a little comic relief and what better way then to piggyback onto something that IS popular in Canada.

After the filming, Mr. Harper will rub shoulders with the Tory faithful at a barbque. Ahh... the life of the powerful and famous!

CBC story

 

Bloc MP Killed in Car Accident Today

Bloc MP Benoit Sauvageau, MP for Repentigny was killed in a car crash earlier today.

Le député bloquiste de Repentigny, Benoît Sauvageau, meurt dans un accident de la route survenu dans sa circonscription.

CBC story

 

Tory MP Says They Are Ready For Election

Conservative Member of Parliament, Garth Turner, says the Federal tories are ready for an election and better prepared then the other political camps. However, news late last week that the Conservatives were down 9 points in Quebec may dilute Mr. Turner's enthusiasm.

Since both the New Democrats and Liberals have indicated that they will likely vote against the Softwood Lumber deal, will Harper continue his unholy alliance with the separatists? With a leap in their polling numbers, will the Bloc let the Tories fall?

The Hill Times investigates the Tory claim in an article dated August 28th, 2006.

Hill Times

Poll Story

Sunday, August 27, 2006 

smalldeadanimals trying to 'fix' Prog Blog poll

Due to the mischief making from the smalldeadanimals (or as some like to call them - smalldeadbraincells) - the poll has been suspended.

This is how Tories try to distract their supporters from the sins of Jason Kenney AND the photoshop masters over at the Conservative Party Website.

 

Ezra Levant Dispatched to Defend Kenney


You can be fairly sure that we have hit a nerve for Conservatives by exposing Jason Kenney's double standard. Proof of that comes in a dispatch by Western Standard editor, Ezra Levant, who's defense of Kenney is lame and actually kind of funny. The following defence was posted August 26th, 2006 on the Shotgun Blog:

Liberal counter-attack on Kenney

I have to disagree with conservatives for giving ink to the pretend news story about Jason Kenney's five-minute, off-the-cuff speech at a rally on the Hill that turned out to be organized by a terrorist front.

The differences between this and the Borys Wrzesnewskyj situation are so obvious, it's absurd that the conservative blogosphere has treated it as anything more than the transparent distraction that it is.

Wrzesnewskyj deliberately travelled to Lebanon; he deliberately met with Hezbollah; he deliberately called for negotiations with them; and he deliberately called for their legalization (though he later recanted, under great pressure). This was a thoughtful act on his part, over a long period of time. It wasn't a gaffe or a mis-step or an accident. It was really him.

Kenney, by contrast, popped by a rally on Parliament Hill between meetings, and gave his boilerplate speech on freeing Iran. That the rally was actually organized by a terrorist front, unbeknownst to Kenney, is embarrassing only in that it is a snafu. But that's the point: it's a snafu, not a thoughtful, pre-meditated act on the part of Kenney. It's clearly not his policy to support Iranian terrorists.

Kenney never endorsed the group; never mentioned its name (he didn't know it was behind the rally); he never called for dialogue with it, nor for its legalization. When informed of the identity of the rally organizers, he immediately repudiated them.

There is no comparison here whatsoever. Wrzesnewskyj engaged in a thoughtful, meaningful, planned, sustained moral apology for terrorists. Kenney was tricked into speaking somewhere -- though he still delivered his party line.

I'm rather embarrassed that I've just given this subject so much time, but it's to point out the absurdity that much of the conservative blogosphere has treated this as anything more than the obvious attempt to shift attention off of Wrzesnewskyj. It's akin to treating Joe Volpe credibly when he complained that our Libranos poster was anti-Italian. Uh, nice try, but the public wasn't so easily distracted from Adscam.

Isn't this obviously a desperate attempt to change the subject by a Liberal party clearly at war with itself over foreign affairs?

Posted by Ezra Levant on August 26, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006 

Tory Blogs Try To Defend Kenney's Story

Jason Kenney has one of two options here - either he is a complete incompetent as a Member of Parliament (or)- he is not being honest.

Right wing blogs are desperately spinning to defend the well documented contact that Mr. Kenney had with an extreme right wing Iranian terrorist group.

According to Kenney's defenders, the poor fellow was merely walking along, minding his own business, when a group of people with funny looking flags and a megahorn stopped him in front of the House of Commons. When asked to take the podium and address them, he obliged, but, HE HAD NO IDEA WHO THEY WERE!

And now the evil left is picking on Jason and hitting on his character in an unfair manner.

'HORSE DROPPINGS I SAY'!!

If I give his story one second of examination, and if it were true, then the Prime Minister of Canada has a complete and utter IDIOT as his Parliamentary Secretary. Jason Kenney must resign his post. (Oh and Mr. Kenney, did your parents not teach you that honesty IS the best policy)?

For those with stomachs strong enough to venture into tory blogging territory, here are a couple of Mr. Kenney's defenders spinning nonsense:

Steve Janke's site

A step to the right

A Step to the Right has a very interesting angle to the Kenney story - 'while he DID address a group that was on the Terrorist List, at least he wasn't calling for them to be taken off the list'!!! Okaaaaay....

Friday, August 25, 2006 

Bullets fly. Ottawa ducks - Macleans.ca

Macleans.Ca has an incredible analysis of Canada's current mission in Afghanistan. Here is a very brief sampling:

"Gen. Rick Hillier, the charismatic chief of defence staff, who is deeply committed to helping Afghanistan find its feet as a democracy, recently admitted the obvious: the Taliban resistance in the south has been stiffer this summer than anyone expected. But Lt.-Gen. David Richards, the British officer who now commands all NATO troops in Afghanistan, has been far blunter. He openly speaks of the possibility of the Taliban winning if NATO forces fail to push back the insurgents sufficiently over the next few weeks, and unless ordinary Afghans see their own prosperity and security grow markedly better over the next three to five years. "If it doesn't visibly improve soon," Richards said, "people are going to say we'd rather have the certain security -- albeit the rotten life that goes with it -- of the Taliban than go on fighting forever."

Link to MACLEANS.CA site>

 

GOOD NEWS! Conservatives Down in Polls!

Finally some good news concerning Stephen Harper's government! They are sinking in the polls! That is great news indeed. The minority of Canadians who support them has declined and I predict will continue to decline as long as we watch these beggars incorporate Bush's policies into their agenda. The sooner they are gone, the safer we all will be. Results were: (SES): Con 36% Lib 30% Ndp 18% Bq 11% Grn 5%

Story

 

Conservatives Tough on Tamil Tigers

The Minister responsible for keeping us all safe was thumping his chest yesterday for what he claims was 'quick action' in dealing with the Tamil Tigers. I guess I should be happy that Stockwell Day is protecting me from the boogey man - forgive me if my joy and enthusiasm is not what the tories would like it to be.

What I would really like to see is some HONESTY from our tory overlords and maybe a bit of consistency. Consistency? Well, the question still remains: how it is that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Rt. Honourable Stephen Harper can hang out with a recognized terrorist group (the right wing version) while caustic criticism is cast upon oppositon members who merely suggested that Israel and Hezbollah enter into talks?

Enough with the double standards. Enough with the chest thumping.

Harper's government has neither been honest nor consistent with us. May a swarm of criticism follow them every single day of their pathetic and somewhat dangerous term in government.

Story

Thursday, August 24, 2006 

Designation of National Council of Resistance of Iran under Executive Order 13224

Here is the United States Department of State Order which designates the Mujahedin-e Khalq, known as the MEK as a terrorist organization. This is the group that Mr. Kenney was addressing. Why has the Prime Minister of Canada NOT asked for the resignation of his Parliamentary Secretary? Why?

US State Department>

 

Kenney a déjà pris la parole devant un groupe terroriste

Le député conservateur Jason Kenney, qui a comparé le Hezbollah au parti nazi et qui a condamné les députés de l'opposition qui suggéraient d'ouvrir le dialogue avec l'organisation chiite, a lui-même déjà pris la parole devant les partisans d'un groupe terroriste iranien.

LaPresse

 

More Fallout On Kenney's Terrorist 'Double Standard'

Voices calling for the resignation of Jason Kenney as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister are being heard all across the nation as the day progressed. Here is an excerpt from maisonneuve.org and the CTV story:

From Maisonneuve:
HOW DO YOU SAY ‘HYPOCRISY’ IN PERSIAN?
The Star and La Presse go inside with the revelation that Conservative MP Jason Kenney, who serves as the parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, spoke at a rally sponsored by supporters of a banned terrorist organization called the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (or the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, better known as MEK). The rally in question was staged on Parliament Hill this past April. According to the MEK’s political wing (whose website boasts a photo of Kenney at the rally), the event was organized by a group called the Committee in Defence of Human Rights in Iran. The Star reports that Kenney first said he did not remember attending the rally, then said he remembered an invitation from a group with that name. He said he stopped at the rally briefly on his way on to the Hill and made some general comments about supporting human rights in Iran. The Star cites Kenney saying he knew of MEK’s status as a terrorist organization, recalling that he specifically asked the man who invited him to speak if the rally was connected to the terror group, “and he laughed or denied it or something.” The revelation comes at an awkward time for Kenney; earlier this week he lashed out at opposition MPs for suggesting Canada be open to talks with Hezbollah, who he then compared to the Nazi party.

CTV story

 

'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'!

Conservative MP Jason Kenney once attended a rally organized by supporters of a banned Iranian terrorist group.

The Toronto Star reports a photograph of Kenney appears on the website of the National Council of Resistance of Iran; the political arm of an Iranian rebel group, which Ottawa has declared a terrorist organization.

Kenney says he doesn't remember the rally.

Earlier this week, Kenney likened Hezbollah to the Nazis and condemned fellow MP's for urging dialogue with a terrorist organization.

Story

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 

Sask Tory MP's Come Out of Hiding


After hiding out for a few days, some of Saskatchewan's Conservative Members of Parliament have returned calls to the media concerning their election promise to bring fiscal fairness to the formulas used to calculate equalization in this country.

"Let me give you a 100 per cent guarantee, Prime Minister Harper will give Saskatchewan the best deal it's ever had from any prime minister ever". said Brad Trost, Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Humboldt.

Forgive me for being a 'doubting thomas', but we will see. (Buckdog wants to give a HUGE 'Tip of the Hat' to Giant Political Mouse for this story and graphic)!

CBC story

Original Buckdog thread

Giant Political Mouse

 

Jason Kenney and the Fine Art of International Diplomacy

Mr. Kenney, what the HELL are you doing?! Is the only tool in your 'Government Tool Box' a bloody hammer? Has your life experience never taught you that you can not put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it? Your international affairs strategy is something that we could have expected from the swarm over at smalldeadanimals.

What is the strategic logic behind your pronouncement on the Lebanese situation? If you intended to provoke, well, you hit your mark. If you intended to be bombastic in order to show the right wing supporters back home that your government is 'tough', well, (if smalldeadanimals is the barometer), you've probably hit the target. But if your remarks were intended to achieve a minisule centimeter of progress in this very dangerous region, which is your job SIR, well then, you screwed up, big time.

Story

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 

Israeli Leaders Fault Bush on War

“Amid the political and diplomatic fallout from Israel’s faltering invasion of Lebanon, some Israeli officials are privately blaming President George W. Bush for egging Prime Minister Ehud Olmert into the ill-conceived military adventure against the Hezbollah militia in south Lebanon.”
Baltimore Chronicle

“There is increasing evidence that Israel instigated a disastrous war on Lebanon largely at the behest of the United States. The Bush administration was set on crippling Hezbollah, the radical Shiite political movement that maintains a sizable block of seats in the Lebanese parliament.”
FPIF

FPIF Article

Baltimore Chronicle

Margolis Article 1

Margolis Article 2

Monday, August 21, 2006 

Israeli Editorial Says It's time To Talk To Hezbollah

After the recent hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, some voices in Israel are saying that a military solution is not working, it is time to find a way to talk. This will not go down easily for those who lust for war.

Read more

 

Canadian Opposition MP's Tour Lebanese War Zone

Considering that the ruling Harper Conservatives hold only a slim minority government, the majority of us who didn't vote Tory can be proud of 3 Opposition MP's who are touring the the Lebanese war zone. "This time we were not a voice of moderation, we were echoing what United States foreign policy was dictating," said NDP MP Peggy Nash.

Read story>

Sunday, August 20, 2006 

What the Right Has to Offer - Haaretz Editorial

There is an an excellent editorial today in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. (Excerpts): “Israel has always chosen the Right's approach, through armament, settlement, and hunkering down behind a wall, clinging to the territories and their residents though brutal military force and taking pleasure in the graces of a failed and ephemeral American administration. Nothing endangers Israel's existence more than this approach”

“It is amazing to see how a failed and dangerous approach, which only makes things worse for Israel, wins increasing popularity after a war that proved just how ineffective that approach has become.”

“We have been trying the right's way for nearly 60 years. Its results are written in blood and horror. Isn't this the time, if only once, and terribly belatedly, to try the alternative we never tried?”


Haaretz editorial

Saturday, August 19, 2006 

Editorial Slams Harpers 'No Show' at AIDS Conference

“Mr. Harper - you are the Prime Minister for ALL Canadians - Not just the ones you approve of.” That is the message in the main editorial of the Regina Leader Post today. In a scathing criticism of Harper’s ‘no show’ performance at the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, the editors tell our ideologically bound PM that he has made a huge political error.


Huge error by Harper

The Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, August 19, 2006

In Brief: Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a big mistake in not attending the International AIDS Conference.

For a supposedly savvy politician keen to show ordinary Canadians they have nothing to fear from his brand of conservatism, Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed a colossal error of judgment this week.

Bad enough that Harper snubbed the 58,000 Canadians living with HIV and the 13,500 who've died from AIDS when he failed to show up at the six-day International AIDS Conference in Toronto. But from a purely political view point, he spurned a glorious opportunity to court the voters he needs to help win a majority government.

Big city residents are socially liberal by inclination and Harper's failure to win a single seat in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal at the last election confirmed a lingering suspicion those voters regard Harper as a social conservative -- read "redneck" -- out of touch with their views.

What could better counter that than a) rubbing shoulders at the conference with the likes of former U.S. president Bill Clinton and billionaire AIDS activist Bill Gates, b) expressing compassion for the 25 million who've died around the world from AIDS, and c) delivering increased financial support for the fight against HIV/AIDS?

Instead, while 20,000 of the world's top doctors, scientists, politicians, business and community leaders addressed the issue, Harper jetted off to supposedly more pressing engagements in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

As well as angering delegates, Harper's no-show prompted Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf -- who was to represent Africa -- to cancel.

Compounding Harper's snub was his government's equally lamentable performance. Health Minister Tony Clement and International Co-operation Minister Josee Verne attended the event, but cancelled promised news conferences and an expected "good news" announcement.

Harper claimed Thursday the issue was "so politicized" that word on new AIDS funding would not come until after the conference was over.

Little wonder calls of "shame" echoed through the assembly Friday when conference co-chair Dr. Mark Wainberg of the McGill AIDS Centre in Montreal lamented Harper's absence.

Being prime minister means representing all Canadians, a task Harper conspicuously failed to do this week.
© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006 

Saskatchewan's Missing Conservative MP's

There must be a rule in the Tory Member of Parliament Official Handbook that says, 'when you are in the middle of a hot political situation, RUN AWAY'... (and make sure that your staff tell 'whoppers of a lie' as to your whereabouts').

Those of you who do not live in Saskatchewan should be made aware of the fact that in this quiet little prairie province, politics is a blood sport!

Read story

SP Editorial

Leaked Correspondence

Thursday, August 17, 2006 

Saskatchewan Conservative MP's Appeal to Harper

After ducking and hiding for the last number of weeks, Saskatchewan's 12 Conservative Members of Parliament have written a letter to Stephen Harper outlining their concerns over the question of 'Equalization'. In correspondence leaked to the media (see link below) Tory MP Brian Fitzpatrick tells Harper that the 12 met recently and are extremely concerned about the issue. Fitzpatrick indicates that the promise was made and if broken by Harper, there will be serious political repercussions for them in the next federal campaign.

CBC Story

Leaked Correspondence

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 

Three NEW Planets Added - Pluto Retains Status!

Taking a break from politics for about 5 minutes - The group of scientists who had been contemplating removing the status of 'planet' from Pluto, have compromised and actually added a new class of 'planets' - uping the total number to 12! Rip up your old science texts!

Read story

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

It's Time To Read the Funny Papers #3

In todays installment we examine reaction to the electoral fate of poor old Joe Lieberman - failed Democratic Primary candidate in Connecticut.

Today's comic

Monday, August 14, 2006 

Schneier on Security: "It's not security, it's security theater"

A Buckdog reader suggested the following newer Schneier post:

"Hours-long waits in the security line. Ridiculous prohibitions on what you can carry onboard. Last week's foiling of a major terrorist plot and the subsequent airport security graphically illustrates the difference between effective security and security theater.

None of the airplane security measures implemented because of 9/11 -- no-fly lists, secondary screening, prohibitions against pocket knives and corkscrews -- had anything to do with last week's arrests. And they wouldn't have prevented the planned attacks, had the terrorists not been arrested. A national ID card wouldn't have made a difference, either.

Instead, the arrests are a victory for old-fashioned intelligence and investigation. Details are still secret, but police in at least two countries were watching the terrorists for a long time. They followed leads, figured out who was talking to whom, and slowly pieced together both the network and the plot."

Schneier on Security: Last Week's Terrorism Arrests (August 13, 2006)



Mike over at Rational Reasons has some really good references on the whole security as theatre issue in a post titled: From the real experts on security

 

Do Terror Alerts Work?

"A terror alert that instills a vague feeling of dread or panic echoes the very tactics of the terrorists."

"It's instructive to look at the European countries that have been dealing with terrorism for decades, like the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, and Spain. None of these has a color-coded terror-alert system."

- Bruce Schneier, "security guru"

In contemplating the U.S. terror alert system, I found myself questioning the efficacy of such a system. Does it make sense to have a vague "Ooh! Someone might attack us" warning in place? Does it make any sense to tell people to be alert, but not change any of their plans? So I poked around on the net and found an interesting essay by a security expert that outlines a case for questioning a terror alert system. He asks the questions: "How effective have they been in preventing terrorism? Have they made us any safer, or are they causing harm? Are they, as critics claim, just a political ploy?"

The essay is from 2004, but the problems with terror alert remain the same:
"In theory, the warnings are supposed to cultivate an atmosphere of preparedness. If Americans are vigilant against the terrorist threat, then maybe the terrorists will be caught and their plots foiled. And repeated warnings brace Americans for the aftermath of another attack.

The problem is that the warnings don't do any of this. Because they are so vague and so frequent, and because they don't recommend any useful actions that people can take, terror threat warnings don't prevent terrorist attacks. They might force a terrorist to delay his plan temporarily, or change his target. But in general, professional security experts like me are not particularly impressed by systems that merely force the bad guys to make minor modifications in their tactics."

"Bruce Schneier is an internationally renowned security technologist and author. Described by The Economist as a "security guru," Schneier is best known as a refreshingly candid and lucid security critic and commentator. When people want to know how security really works, they turn to Schneier."

The full essay: Do Terror Alerts Work?

Sunday, August 13, 2006 

Maybe the Corporate CEO's Should Go To Jail

The federal Conservative government is getting ready to 'name and shame' companies who receive taxpayer funded financial subsidies and then break their contracts with the federal government. Even the CTF is shocked. But rather than take legal action against the companies - they advocate merely 'killing' the program. I will acknowledge that the CTF has been vocal in their criticism of the guilty companies.

The minor reprimand being considered by the Federal government, however, only proves once again, that in Conservative Canada there is one set of rules for average citizens like you and I and another set of rules for big business.

From the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail link is now broken. Text of full story appears below:

Ottawa Business Journal

(Globe and Mail Story)
Ottawa to 'name and shame' contract breakers
More accountability for TPC is the goal


OTTAWA -- The federal government says it will "name and shame" companies that break the rules of Ottawa's most controversial corporate subsidy program, part of an effort to clean up the embattled Technology Partnerships Canada.

Industry Minister Maxime Bernier announced yesterday that Ottawa will begin publicly disclosing the names of companies that receive money from TPC and later break the terms of their contracts.

Ottawa has previously said there was little it could disclose about specific TPC clients and contracts because of confidentiality requirements. That will still be true for existing recipients. For future contracts, though, the names of rule-breakers will be posted on-line.

The changes will ensure "that companies that behave inappropriately will be held publicly accountable for their actions," Mr. Bernier said in a written statement.

Donald Savoie, a University of Moncton professor whose specialties include industrial policy, said the changes are a step in the right direction, though the program has a spotty history. TPC has been a lightning rod for taxpayers' anger since it was launched a decade ago. The program, which provides venture capital for corporate research, has invested about $3-billion in companies but has been dogged by a miserable repayment rate.

Mr. Bernier has said he's open to the idea of killing the program. Isabelle Fontaine, the minister's spokeswoman, said yesterday the changes don't preclude a broader overhaul of TPC or its cancellation. The previous Liberal government announced changes to the program last year, including a new name, but they never happened.

An audit released earlier this year found that more than a third of 47 companies that got money from the program broke their contracts by using unregistered lobbyists or paying inappropriate fees to lobbyists.

Adam Taylor, research director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says TPC isn't serving the public's interests: "The program doesn't work and should be killed."

Simon Tuck
Globe and Mail

Saturday, August 12, 2006 

It's Time To Read The Funny Papers #2

Sunday morning, got your cup of coffee. No work today. Nothing needs immediate attention. Time to relax - got some time to take a look at the Funny Papers. In today's story - we imagine (with a shudder) what it would be like to live in a right wing universe! Dedicated to everyone over at smalldeadanimals.

Today's comic

Friday, August 11, 2006 

First Cracks in Tory Solidarity On Middle East Policy

I admire the courage of Conservative Senator Anne Cools, who will most surely receive the wrath of the Prime Minister's Office for voicing concerns over Harper's Middle East policy. Now that takes courage!

read more

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

His Majesty - 'Stephen Harper'

I want to acknowledge three other bloggers who are breaking this amazing story about how our Prime Minister did not want to co-operate with the request of a pilot on a recent Prime Ministerial flight. A big thank you to Dawg's Blog!! - The Galloping Beaver and to The Dan Report:

Dawg's Blog

Galloping Beaver

Dan Report

 

It's Time To Read the Funny Papers

As a kid and now as an adult, I love reading the comics in our local tabloid. Today's theme is 'If you don't have anything to hide - then why hide from the press?'. This has application for both the Bush administration and now also the Harper crew. The PMO hand picks which reporters get to ask questions, dates and times of cabinet meetings are not divulged to the media - and if a reporter wants to question a Minister, well, good luck. If you have nothing to hide, then why hide?? Anyway, without further delay - let's read the funnies!

Today's comic

Monday, August 07, 2006 

Tories Try To Portray Harper as a 'Leader'

Those of you who have the stomach to travel in tory blogging territory will be familiar with a new theme being pushed by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO). They want to portray their guy as a 'leader' - a 'statesman' - a '21st Century John A. McDonald'.

So in their creative political wizardry, many blogging tories are posting a nice little side banner with their hero, thumb raised in victory - reminding us exactly how many days we have so far endured his term in the PMO. It's worth a laugh, (but not much more). The last thing I want to be reminded of is exactly how many days Harper has been our 'leader'.

Buckdog is pleased to offer ALL Blogging Tories a few more banners that you can also paste on your sites!

Harper banner

Bush banner

Reagan banner

Nixon banner

Federal Tory Cabinet banner

Saskatchewan Tory banner

Friday, August 04, 2006 

No Deal for Child Molester

Here is a big thank you and a ‘tip of the hat’ to Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank Quennell for his stand with the perverted child molester who kidnaped and sexually assaulted two young males in the province this week.

I also extend thanks to the RCMP who did whatever was necessary to get the victims to safety.

Read story

Thursday, August 03, 2006 

Harper! Hands Off the Canadian Wheat Board!!

Demonstrating once again that they are driven by right wing ideology, the Harper government is preparing to kill the Canadian Wheat Board. Prairie farmers have benefited from the single desk marketing of the CWB for decades. It is farmers who should decide the fate of the Board, not the Federal Tories.

The Harper government is using crafty language to outline their position. They will tell you that they do not want to kill the CWB, they merely want to give farmers more ‘choice’ by adopting a dual marketing system. They are hoping that for the Canadian public, a ‘dual’ system, where farmers can opt in or out of the Board, will sound reasonable. The only problem is that since the CWB itself does not have facilities to move, hold and store grain, the large multinationals will be the sole buyers and sellers of grain commodities produced in the West.

The Canadian Wheat Board sells grain to more than 70 countries and returns all sales revenue, minus the cost of marketing, to Prairie producers.

Recent studies on the issue of a dual market system, especially one recently
commissioned by the Government of Alberta, consistently indicate that the Canadian Wheat Board would not survive in a dual marketing situation.

Farmers want to vote on the future of the Board. Stephen Harper’s response has been to hold private, ‘by invitation only’ meetings to create the impression that they are consulting with producers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Holding meetings to determine the future of the CWB where only the dual marketing point of view is represented is an insult to both farmers and the democratic process. (I thought, as a Westerner, Harper would at least hold farmers in higher regard). However, it appears the decision has been made and nothing is going to get in the way of the Federal Conservative’s ideology. They want the Canadian Wheat Board to be gone and that is that.

The future of the Canadian Wheat Board must be decided in a vote by all farmers, not just by Stephen Harper.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006 

Canada's INSANE Policy on Lebanese Ceasefire

Let me paraphrase what our Conservative government's official position is on a ceasefire in Lebanon:
The killing must continue in Lebanon until the killing can be ended with a long term ceasefire.
Read more for yourself and tell me this is not INSANE!!
The Star Story

 

Rolling Stones Announce Second Regina Concert!

Holy Heck! Buckdog is dedicated to political discussion. However, I am going to break from our mandate and tell you that the Rolling Stones have now announced a SECOND concert for Regina, Saskatchewan! The originally announced date is Sunday, October 8th. Due to the fact that 40,000 tickets sold out in about 12 minutes, the Stones have suggested a second concert and the concert promoter is able to comply! The additional show will be held on Friday, October 6th. Should be fun! Tickets for the second gig come on sale at 10:00 am - Friday on Ticketmaster!



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