Sunday, December 31, 2006 

1 in 4 Americans Believe Jesus Will Return in 2007



Associated Press Poll - “One in four respondents, a full 25 percent, anticipates the second coming of Jesus Christ in 2007”


I know that I run the risk of offending millions of people with what I am going to say in this post. I don’t care. The fact that 1 in 4 Americans, a full 25% believe that in the year 2007, Jesus Christ will return to the earth in a ‘Second Coming’ with trumpets and angels singing IS ABSURD! - IT BORDERS ON THE RIDICULOUS!

Who are these 1 in 4 persons? Who are you? How can you be so completely and utterly IRRATIONAL?

No wonder that an idiot like George Bush is the president of the most powerful nation on earth! When a quarter of your population is certifiable, should we be surprised?

-AP Poll
-25% of US adults are pathologically insane
-Here is what 1 in 4 of your fellow citizens believe will happen in 2007.
-The ESSENTIAL MESSAGE of the Fundamentalists


Image courtesy www.eborg2.com

Saturday, December 30, 2006 

Hey Flaherty - Where's All the Promised Tory Tax Cuts?

An editorial in the Regina Leader Post tells it like it is: for all of the hype we have heard from from Harper's Finance Minister, where the hell are the promised tax cuts?

"Here's one item we hope is high on federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's list of New Year resolutions: "I will deliver REAL tax cuts to Canadians in 2007."

We stress "real" because cutting taxes is a long-standing Conservative resolution Flaherty largely failed to keep in 2006. Despite Flaherty talking a good tax-cutting game when he delivered his first budget, the facts don't support him."

Canadians are getting used to the lack of substance of our Conservative government. They talk a good 'talk' on some issues, but 'delivery' leaves a great deal to be desired.

Regina Leader Post

Friday, December 29, 2006 

Saddam Hussein Executed

FROM BBC World - LATEST: Saddam Hussein executed by hanging, according to Iraqi media reports.

Three separate Arab media outlets say Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging. Also hanged at that time were Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court.

It is thought that U.S. military authorities had maintained custody of Saddam up to the time of execution to prevent him from being humiliated before his execution.

An Iraqi appeals court upheld Saddam's death sentence on Tuesday for the killing of 148 people who were detained after an attempt to assassinate him in the northern Iraqi city of Dujail in 1982. The court ordered that the hanging should take place within 30 days.

American Embassies around the world have been placed on alert. Preparations had been put in place around Iraq to attempt to deal with any civilian reaction to the execution.

BBC

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Photos of Hussein moments before his execution can be found in the 'comments' section below:


UPDATE:At least 80 Iraqis killed on Saturday

 

Scandal in Turkmenistan: Is Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov Illegitimate Son of Saparmurat Niyazov?


Is the acting president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, also the illegitimate son of former authoritarian president, Saparmurat Niyazov? That is what Pravda is reporting. If true, is there not a little 'conflict of interest' here? Is Turkmenistan adopting a hereditary presidency?

SABAH.com
Turkmenistan Election Rules
Related Buckdog post

 

DON'T FORGET - Harper Wanted Canadian Troops in Iraq

"It is inherently dangerous to allow a country such as Iraq to retain weapons of mass destruction, particularly in light of its past aggressive behaviour. If the world community fails to disarm Iraq, we fear that other rogue states will be encouraged to believe that they too can have these most deadly of weapons to systematically defy international resolutions and that the world will do nothing to stop them."
- Stephen Harper supporting the American invasion of Iraq, House of Commons, March 20, 2003. No weapons of mass destruction have been ever been found in Iraq.

As Canadians, let's NOT FORGET that Stephen Harper wanted Canada to join Bush in his military invasion of Iraq.

Harper and his Conservatives would have had us mired up to our necks in this disaster. Why is it that no one in the MSM is holding Stephen Harper to account for his statements on Iraq? Why is it that Kate and her 'smalldeadanimals' extremists are not being held to account for their support of Harper's position on Iraq?

Right wingers get off far too easy in the main stream media. Harper was wrong!

Canadians should be thankful that we are NOT losing lives in Iraq. REMEMBER THIS, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper WANTED CANADA TO SEND TROOPS INTO IRAQ! His judgement was flawed on this issue. I suggest to you that Stephen Harper's judgement continues to be flawed on any number of other important issues.

The sooner he is thrown out of office, the safer Canadians will be.


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Thursday, December 28, 2006 

Saddam to be hanged by Sunday


Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for his role in 148 killings in 1982, will have his sentence carried out by Sunday, NBC News reported Thursday. According to a U.S. military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, Saddam will be hanged before the start of the Eid religious holiday, which begins this Sunday.

The hanging could take place as early as Friday, NBC’s Richard Engel reported.

The U.S. military received a formal request from the Iraqi government to transfer Saddam to Iraqi authorities, NBC reported on Thursday, which is one of the final steps required before his execution.

MSNBC

-------------------------------------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS - Friday, Dec. 29th - Noon Eastern Standard Time
AMERICAN MILITARY AUTHORITIES HAVE HANDED SADDAM OVER TO IRAQI OFFICIALS
--------------------------------------------------------------

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US Soldiers In Iraq Say NO To More Troops

"In dozens of interviews with soldiers of the Army's 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment as they patrolled the streets of eastern Baghdad, many said the Iraqi capital is embroiled in civil warfare between majority Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs that no number of American troops can stop."
WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press.

On the heels of former President Ford's condemnation of Bush's failed Iraqi policy we have word that many US troops believe that no victory is remotely possible in the middle of a civil war.

Yahoo News
Washington Monthly
first-draft.com


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Harper's Tories Preparing for Spring Election

Those with stomachs strong enough to wander over to the Conservative Party of Canada website will see this logo advertising an upcoming election training seminar.

Tories will be lectured, instructed and indoctrinated on the following topics:

* Candidate Training
* Campaign Manager Training
* Outreach Training
* GOTV Training
* Agent Training
* CIMS Training
* Hosted Policy Sessions
* EDA Workshops

Perhaps a couple of workshops could be added:
* 'Ethics' in fundraising
* 'Promise keeping' on Equalization
* Democracy 101 (or) How to obey the existing Canadian Wheat Board Act

This event is called:
2007 CPC Political Training Conference
March 15-18, 2007
Toronto


More tory crap on the topic.

 

Same Shit - Different Nixons

BUSH ON FORD:
CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush on Wednesday remembered former President Gerald Ford as a "man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts ..."

FORD ON BUSH:
Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President Bush launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration. In a four-hour conversation at his house in Beaver Creek, Colo., Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the current president's justifications for invading Iraq ...

So .... Ford opposed Bush's decision to go into Iraq.

Same shit, different Nixons.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006 

U.S. Government Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened

A Washington Post report states that the Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This is good news for those who understand what global warming is doing to the planet.

Could this mean that the Bush administration is finally acknowledging the overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is real?

Now if only Stephen Harper and his cronies could use their bloody brains and stop being so ideologically bound up with their right wing nonsense, perhaps this country could start acknowledging reality as well!

Washington Post


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Saddam's Baath Party Threatens To Hit U.S Targets


Iraq's Baath Party has issued a release stating that there will be retaliation against American interests around the world if Saddam Hussein is executed.
"If Saddam is executed!

AT the same time, a letter said to be from Hussein himself, has called on Iraqis not to hate the invaders of their country.

“I call on you not to hate because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking,”
"Do not hate the invaders" Saddam

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 

LA TIMES: American Health Care System Does Not Work

A Los Angeles Times Op-ed entitled, 'Going Universal' makes the clear argument that the American health care system does NOT work. Remember, this is the system that Canadian right wingers want to force on this nation.

Here are some very good points that we need to put in the face of any Reformer-Conservative or Taxpayers Federation lobbyist who wants our medical system in Canada to be market driven as it is in the USA.

"THE STATISTICS, by now, are well known. Forty-seven million uninsured Americans. Premium increases of 81% since 2000. Small businesses failing, big businesses foundering, individuals priced out and, amid all this, skyrocketing profits for insurers, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers. The American health system, put simply, is a mess."

LA Times

Monday, December 25, 2006 

Legendary Soul Singer JAMES BROWN Dies

James Brown 1933-2006

James Brown, legendary soul singer and songwriter has died today (December 25) at the age of 73 after being admitted to the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta suffering with pneumonia.

His agent Frank Copsidas confirmed that he had died at 1.45am local time Legendary Soul singer, James Brown died overnight.

One of the greatest tributes to James Brown's legacy was his single handed mission to end the rioting that occurred across America afer the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968. In the days following the murder of Dr. King, James Brown went from city to city trying to quell the rioting that was occuring in America's black ghettos. Here is an excerpt from an 1968 editorial that appeared in Billboard Magazine:

Hail, James Brown
Billboard Magazine Editorial
April 27, 1968
Amid the looting and rioting in Washington., Brown came to the people and told a live television audience, "Get off the streets. Go home. Nothing can be gained by looting and burning, only sorrow and misery." A few hours later, those who were not at home to see Brown make an appeal, were at home watching the continuous rebroadcast of Brown’s plea. Washington and the rioters withdrew into their homes taking the advice of James Brown, who is not a politician but a singer. Brown went to Washington at his own expense just as he went to Boston and other riot torn cities...


James Brown was to play Regina on January 8th and I have tickets to a show that will not occur now.

News Update - Dec. 26th

James Brown Biography

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PEACE Temporarily Delays WAR - Sorry For the Inconvienience


-Ethiopia declares war on Somalia
-UK forces kill 7, blow up Iraqi police HQ
-No Christmas break for troops
-British troops kill 7 gunmen in Iraq
-6 US Soldiers Killed in Iraq this Weekend

Sunday, December 24, 2006 

Wikipedia to Launch Search Engine in 2007

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is planning to launch a new search engine next year, to be called Wikiasari . He's clearly aiming for Google. He says: "Google is very good at many types of search, but in many instances it produces nothing but spam and useless crap."

techcrunch.com

Saturday, December 23, 2006 

Christmas Tag

Oh Thanks Dawgs Blawg and Merry Ho Ho to you also.

OK, I've been tagged with:
-three things I want for Christmas,
-three things I don't want, -
-tag five others, who I am sure have nothing better to do.



1) I want bloggers to check their facts before they blog it. Especially right wing blogger types.

2) I want MORE and BETTER technological advances on all fronts that are accessible by the people in general, that makes our lives better and perhaps smarter. In this I include Information Technology, health initiatives, space exploration, genetic understanding; all sciences. Let's truly move into the 21st Century and abandon 'middle ages' nonsense like 'creationism', fundamentalist ___ (place name of religion here) ___.

3) I want continued health and life in a compassionate Canada -
-----------------------
I DON'T WANT:
-----------------------

1) A 'self centred' - right wing - 'winner take all' type of Canada - the one that Harper and his Conservatives are trying to force on us!

2) Health care to be turned into a commodity with profit and loss / winners and losers. Period.

3) Bush and Harper.

 

POLL: Britains Believe Religion Causes More Harm Than Good

Here is a tip of the hat to the progressive British people. More people in Britain think religion causes harm than believe it does good, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today. 82% say 'faith' causes tension in the country where two thirds are not religious. The poll reveals that non-believers outnumber believers in Britain by a vast majority. The findings are at odds with attempts by some religious leaders to define the country as being deeply religious.

The Guardian

 

Who Is Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov?

You thought you were doing well when you had learned how to pronounce the name of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Well, you will now have to learn to pronounce an even more challenging name, the new acting President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. (That is pronounced Gur - ban - gooly -- Ber - dee - muk - hammed - off). Berdimukhammedov steps in to replace the recently deceased former Turkmenistani dictator Saparmurat Niyazov.

Okay political bloggers everywhere, let's try that name one more time together, Gurbanguly Berdimukhammedov.

Globe and Mail
Turkmenistan Website

Friday, December 22, 2006 

al-Qaida in Iraq Offers USA One Month Ceasefire To Leave Iraq

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State of Iraq, believed to be an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group, has offered U.S. troops a one-month truce for withdrawing from Iraq.

In a twenty minute audio tape appearing on an Islamic website Friday, al-Baghdadi, who claimed that 70 percent of Sunni Muslim tribes in Iraq were supporters of his group, said, "We are offering you the opportunity to withdraw your troops in complete safety and we are expecting your response within two weeks."

Al-Baghdadi continued on to say, "We appeal to President George W. Bush to seize this historic opportunity which should allow your troops to pull out in safety."

ABC News
allheadlines.com


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New York Times Publishes Op-Ed Censored by White House


A editorial opinion by Flynt Leverett was published in the New York Times today and in a bold move was published complete with the White House censored portions blacked out. The censored essay is what remains of an essay criticizing Bush's policies toward Iran.

According to the NYT, it elected to run the censored version after the White House claimed that portions were classified (this, please note, is after the CIA, which has cleared over 20 other pieces by Leverett, cleared the entire piece). Wednesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter sent a letter to Bush asking whether the redactions were politically motivated.

The Times delayed the essay's publication last week but apparently decided that this censorship deserved a public challenge; meanwhile, Leverett and co-writer Hillary Mann have promised to fight for the publication of the redacted parts.

So what ever happened to the 'land of the free'? What ever happened to 'freedom of the press'? Welcome to Bush's America.

Article from the New York Times

 

London Braces For Terrorist Attack

British authorities seem convinced that there will be a terrorist attack on their soil over the Christmas season according to ABC News.

British police have been quietly carrying out a series of key arrests as they continue to track at least six active "plots" tied to what they call "al Qaeda of England."

Officials said they could not cite any specific date or target but said al Qaeda had planned previous operations during the Christmas holidays that had been disrupted.

"It is not a matter of if there will be an attack, but how bad the attack will be," an intelligence official told ABCNews.com.

ABC News
Terror Alert

 

Afghan Opium Production Broke All Records In 2006

"Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing US-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday . . . White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing"."

Washington Post, December 2, 2006

indybay.org

Photo courtesy W.P. Armstrong

Thursday, December 21, 2006 

Rebel Monks Holed Up at Chapel in Greece

The title of this story is so cool, someone should blog it - so here goes.

THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Police posted a guard Thursday outside a chapel at an Orthodox monastic sanctuary where rebel monks remained barricaded following clashes that left seven people injured.

Wednesday's violence involved rival groups of monks carrying crowbars and sledgehammers -- and is part of a long-standing dispute between legally recognized monks and a rebel monastery that opposes efforts by the Orthodox Church to improve relations with the Vatican.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, has ordered the monks to leave Athos for refusing to recognize his authority.

Greece's highest administrative court has also ordered their eviction, but the monks have refused to budge.

Newdsday - story by By COSTAS KANTOURIS - Associated Press Writer

 

8 US Military Charged For Haditha Massacre

Four Marines have been charged with murder in the 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians, and four of their Officers have been charged with failing to investigate and report the deaths, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.

A Marine investigation found initial reports of the killings -- including a press release that blamed the civilian deaths on a roadside bomb -- were "inaccurate and untimely," Marine Col. Stewart Navarre told reporters at Camp Pendleton, California.

cnews.canoe
Backgrounder

 

Iranian Students Will Not Be Deterred From Protests


The begining of the end for the Shah of Iran in the late 1970's was the ongoing protests by huge numbers of students. What started as open defiance against the American backed dictator spread throughout the nation and ultimately led to the Islamic revolution that threw the Shah out of power.

Is it too much to hope that we may be seeing a similar situation in Iran with the courageous university students who are in open defiance towards the current Iranian leader, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

The students’ complaints largely mirrored public frustrations over the President’s crackdown on civil liberties, his blundering economic policies and his harsh oratory against the West, which they fear will isolate the country.

New York Times

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Photo courtesy New York Times

 

Hamilton Suspect Arrested in Youtube Case


HAMILTON (CP) — Hamilton police have made an arrest in the stabbing death of a Grimsby man. The case made progress after police posted a surveillance tape on YouTube from a hip-hop concert where 22-year-old Ryan Miller was killed November 17.

Police said they hoped the minute-long video would draw out witnesses. The video DOES NOT show the actual stabbing, but shows the individual who is accused as he came into the club.

A suspect turned himself in to police yesterday, accompanied by his lawyer, and will be charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. The unidentified suspect was expected to appear in court Wednesday.

canada.com
Club 77 Hamilton security video

 

Google and NASA Partner To Bring Mars and Moon To The World

Google and NASA are about to boldly go where no space study administration and Internet search engine have gone before...Space!

They have signed a formal agreement to collaborate on a number of projects that could include virtual flyovers of the Moon and Mars. Are you ready for Google Moon - how about Google Mars? The project will also cover space and weather which will make data widely available on the Internet for us humans here on earth.

"This is going to bring the excitement of space travel to people that hasn't existed," said Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames center at Moffett Field in Mountain View.

marketingvox.com

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 

The Blog Mob: "Written by fools to be read by imbeciles."

The Wall Street Journal editorialists have decided to weigh in on the relevance of blogs - bloggers - blogospheric conditions. A little good - a little bad. You decide.

Excerpt:

"Blogs are very important these days. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has one. The invention of the Web log, we are told, is as transformative as Gutenberg's press, and has shoved journalism into a reformation, perhaps a revolution.

The ascendancy of Internet technology did bring with it innovations. Information is more conveniently disseminated, and there's more of it, because anybody can chip in. There's more "choice"--and in a sense, more democracy. Folks on the WWW, conservatives especially, boast about how the alternative media corrodes the "MSM," for mainstream media, a term redolent with unfairness and elitism.

The blogs are not as significant as their self-endeared curators would like to think. Journalism requires journalists, who are at least fitfully confronting the digital age. The bloggers, for their part, produce minimal reportage. Instead, they ride along with the MSM like remora fish on the bellies of sharks, picking at the scraps."


Wall Street Journal

 

AHMADINEJAD: Iran Is Now A Nuclear Power

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who made headlines last week for sponsoring a conference on the accuracy of the Holocaust, is once again back in the spotlight.

During a speech in the Western Iranian province of Javanroud, Ahmadinejad declared "Iran is now a nuclear power, thanks to the hard work of the Iranian people and authorities."

The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) also quoted Ahmadinejad as saying that "Iranian young scientists reached the zenith of science and technology and gained access to the nuclear fuel cycle without the help of big powers,"

ynetnews.com

Photo courtesy Time.inc

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Santa Attacked By Pie Throwing Children


Santa Claus was hit on the head by mince pies thrown from a balcony as he handed out gold chocolate coins at a shopping center in the town of Paisley, near Glasgow.

Yahoo.com
The Sun


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Tuesday, December 19, 2006 

BUSH: We Are Not Winning - We Are Not Losing

American forces are not winning the war in Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush said Tuesday for the first time. "We're not winning, we're not losing."

CBC

Photo courtesy interet-general.info


tag Bush

 

Federal Conservatives FIRE Wheat Board President


Proving that they are blinded by extreme right wing ideology, the federal government fired the president of the Canadian Wheat Board on Tuesday, amid a controversy over the Conservatives' plan to end the agency's monopoly.

Just days before Christmas, Adrian Measner, a thirty-two year veteran of the Canadian Wheat Board was issued his termination notice Tuesday, officials with the Winnipeg-based grain marketing agency said.

There is no doubt that the pre-Christmas firing has occured at a time when the least amount of criticism could be directed to Scrooge Strahl and Scrooge Harper. Not only are they totally undemocratic in their approach to the CWB, but also, both Strahl AND Harper have demonstrated that they are gutless and totally without ethics!

Canada.com
Globe & Mail
CBC.ca

 

Marijuana Top U.S. Cash Crop

So what is the largest American cash agricultural product? Corn?... nope. Wheat? ... nope. Tobacco? ... nope.

The number one cash crop in the good old United States of America is Marijuana!!!

Yesiree ... that will probably drive all of the fundamentalist, right wing, reactionary, mid west, Republican nutbars crazy!!

It also demonstrates that we are in the middle of a 21st Century 'Prohibition' and perhaps it is time that the lawmakers take their heads out of the sand, and recognize that a huge portion of the population is going to use cannibas.

The ongoing criminalization of this product makes absolutely NO sense. The legal system and jails are plugged up with individuals who have broken existing laws against marijuana. It is time to be realistic, to be practical and find a way to decriminalize marijuana. To not do so, is illogical.

Yahoo.com

Monday, December 18, 2006 

Iranian Students Hide in Fear After Protests Against Ahmadinejad

A week ago, I wrote about student demonstrations against President Amadinejad at an Iranian university.

"Iranian student activists who staged an angry protest against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week have gone into hiding in fear for their lives after his supporters threatened them with revenge.

Last Monday's university demonstration triggered violent clashes between student activists and crowds of Basij militia, who were there to support the president. A shoe was thrown at Mr Ahmadinejad while a student had his nose broken by an aide to a cabinet minister.

Protesters later surrounded the president's car, prompting a security guard to fire a stun grenade to warn them off. Four cars in the presidential convoy collided in their haste to leave."

The Guardian

 

2006 Weblog Awards Announced


The Weblog Awards are the world's largest blog competition, with over 525,000 votes cast in the 2006 edition for finalists in 45 categories. Nominations ended November 24, and voting was conducted between December 7 and December 15. Final results are now available.

The only negative for me is that an extreme right wing blogsite, smalldeadanimals was chosen as the 'Best' Canadian blog.

As an example of the extremist opinions you will find there, here is a typical statement made by the site owner on her blog yesterday, "We already have a United Nations for murderous Jew-haters, Jules. It's called the United Nations."

2006 Weblog Award Winners

 

Colin Powell Says USA Losing War In Iraq

The following is an excerpt from the International Herald Tribune:

WASHINGTON: The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help.

International Herald Tribune

Sunday, December 17, 2006 

RCMP Spied on Tommy Douglas For Three Decades

From Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- RCMP spies shadowed Tommy Douglas, the fabled Prairie politician, for more than three decades, from his early days as a young firebrand through a tumultuous tenure as NDP leader.

A newly declassified file on Douglas shows the Mounties surreptitiously attended the witty orator's speeches, dissected his published articles and, during one Parliament Hill demonstration, eavesdropped on a private conversation.

CTV.ca

Tip of the hat to Left Coast Rant

 

Americans Support Independent Palestinian State



Most adults in the United States support the creation of the State of Palestine in the Middle East, according to a poll by Zogby Interactive. Sixty-five per cent (65%) of respondents agree that an independent Palestinian state must be established.

You have to wonder why George Bush continues to be resistent to something that could work towards peace in this war torn area?

Polling Data
Do you agree or disagree that an independent Palestinian state must be established?

Agree 65%
Disagree 15%
Not sure 20%

Source: Zogby International
Methodology: Online interviews with 6,316 likely American voters, conducted from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2006. Margin of error is 1.3 per cent.


Angus Reid.com

 

Ex-soldiers Break `Silence' On Israeli Excesses

The following are excerpts from an article by Haroon Siddiqui which appears in the December 17th edition of the Toronto Star.

"Yehuda Shaul was born in Jerusalem to an American mother and Canadian father (from Toronto). Shaul went to school in a West Bank settlement and served in the army from 2001 to 2004. He did a 14-month stint in Hebron, guarding about 650 settlers living among approximately 150,000 Palestinians."

"He is one of the founders of Break the Silence, a group of ex-soldiers speaking out about what they saw and did during their tour of duty in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."
[...]
"Other soldiers who had served in the West Bank and Gaza came forward. More photos were gathered, as well as about 400 audio and video testimonies.

In them, soldiers talk about the total power of the occupiers over the occupied — throwing Palestinians out of their homes; making them stand for hours for disobeying the curfew or trying to bypass a checkpoint or even smiling or arguing at the wrong time, Shaul said."
[...]
"It struck him, he said, that he had become "a monster," doing things that were not right. "It was a frightening moment."
[...]
"He spoke to fellow soldiers. "They were feeling the same: `Something's rotten here.' Israelis don't know what goes on here, and we must tell them.'"

Toronto Star (copyright 2006)

Saturday, December 16, 2006 

Government Agrees To Reimburse Wounded Soldiers For Lost Danger Pay

Canadian soldiers wounded in combat will no longer suffer the insult and financial injury of having their danger pay prematurely cut off.

The Conservative government announced Friday it will reimburse the operational allowances soldiers lose when they're forced prematurely out of combat zones by injury or illness.

In an interview Friday, Defense Minister O'Connor defended the two months it has taken to create the new allowance for loss of operational allowance, saying it was quick work for the federal bureaucracy. "It's retroactive, so nobody lost," O'Connor said. "We're making sure we're looking after our soldiers."

Back in October, Buckdog ran a story entitled, 'Conservatives Support Troops by Stripping Danger Pay From the Seriously Wounded.' It took two months for the Tories to fix this little slight of hand, but - it is fixed now!

canada.com

 

Climate Change Melts Kilimanjaro's Snows

While Stephen Harper and other political dinosaurs continue to question the scientific evidence of global warming, satellite photos show definite evidence.

From mile-high Naro Moru, the locals have watched as the great glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro have retreated into shrunken white stains on the rocky shoulders of the 16,897-foot peak. The ice on the summit, which formed more than 11,000 years ago, has dwindled by 82 percent over the past century with massive melting over the last 20 years.

NASA photos show the steady decline of the glaciers that once covered the mountains summit.

Newsday

 

Rumsfeld's Last Act is a Crazy Memo


Joined by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney at his farewell ceremony, Donald Rumsfeld defied critics of his conduct of the war, saying, "A conclusion by our enemies that the United States lacks the will or the resolve to carry out missions that demand sacrifice and demand patience is every bit as dangerous as an imbalance of conventional military power." Yeah right... you're out of a job Mr. Rumsfeld because you are a stupid old fool and you have NO idea what you are doing.

And do you want proof that the outgoing 74 year old Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld is a CRAZY MAN who is completely out to lunch?!

Well here is his very final, official memo as Secretary. It is entitled, "Snowflakes - The blizzard is Over".

Rumsfelds crazy last memo

POSTSCRIPT:
And for anyone out there who continues to doubt the sanity of the President of the United States of America as well as the Vice President of the United States of America, here are their final words concerning Don Rumsfeld.

"Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had." -- Vice President Dick Cheney

"One of America's most skilled, energetic and dedicated public servants." - President George Bush


POST POSTSCRIPT:
And because BUCKDOG is SO bloody fair minded, I am going to give the last word on this topic to Donald Rumsfeld himself;

"As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know."

Donald Rumsfeld
Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Seattle Times

Friday, December 15, 2006 

Federal Provincial Finance Ministers Meeting Called 'Dog & Pony' Show

At least one Finance Minister, Andrew Thomson of Saskatchewan, has dismissed the meeting as a "dog and pony show" after indications Harper would backslide on an election promise to exclude provincial natural resources revenues from any formula on dividing up funds to the provinces.

The equalization program dividing up the cash is a C$12 billion plan designed to allow poorer provinces to offer social programs comparable to those of the richer provinces.

Yahoo.com
Star Phoenix

 

Republican State Senator Says Let Teachers Carry Guns In School

The Right Wing never fails to amaze me. So many of them seem to think that carrying guns will fix problems.

A Nevada state senator and also-ran in this year's Republican primary for governor says the Legislature should consider letting teachers carry guns in classrooms to stem a rise in school violence.

I wonder what grade he believes teachers should start packing 'heat'? Grade 1? Grade 2? Grade 3?


Yahoo.com

Graphic displayed with kind permission of (and a tip of the hat to):
Y O U T H C H A N G E- The Problem-Kid
Problem-Solver - 275 N. Third St., Woodburn OR 97071
dwells@youthchg.com Phone 1-503-982-4220
Fax 1-503-982-7910

Thursday, December 14, 2006 

Laura Bush Slams Media For Ignoring Good News In Iraq

A BIG tip of the hat to blogger Think Progress for this ....

"On MSNBC this morning, Norah O’Donnell asked Laura Bush about a new poll that found "only 2 in 10 Americans approve of the job that the president is doing on Iraq."

Mrs. Bush placed the blame squarely on the media. She said, “I do know that there are a lot of good things that are happening that aren’t covered. And I think that the drum beat in the country from the media, from the only way people know what is happening…is discouraging.” Mrs. Bush added that she hopes there is “more balanced coverage by the media” in the future."

thinkprogress.org

And more on this one .... Editor and Publisher

 

Wpg Free Press - Harper Could Pay For Wheat Board Abuse

The Winnipeg Free Press offers a warning to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his abusive tactics towards the Canadian Wheat Board.

Here is a brief quote:
"PRIME Minister Stephen Harper's purely ideological assault on the Canadian Wheat Board is a textbook case of abuse of power. And the solid rebuke from Prairie farmers in last weekend's CWB biennial director elections could mean he will pay a steep electoral price."

The Head Offices of the CWB are in Winnipeg Manitoba.

Winnipeg Free Press

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 

International Business Community Backs the Canadian Wheat Board - Shocked at Harper's Plans

The Canadian Wheat Board and its President, Adrian Measner, are receiving support from the business community around the world in the midst of the Conservative governments plan to end the single desk selling aspect of the CWB. Businesses from China, Mexico, the UK, Singapore and Switzerland have all voiced their shock at the Harper government’s plans.


We cannot believe Ottawa is putting all of this (the CWB) at risk.”

“We would hate to see you adopting the U.S. model where we have to deal with the large trading houses that always try to take advantage of both farmers and clients like us and very seldom, if ever, deliver what they promise.”

Roberto Servitje
President, Grupo Altex
Mexico



“With our concern over the position of Adrian (Measner) and the Board in general, we feel that we would be ultimately forced to look elsewhere in the world in order to confidently ensure a continued supply of high-quality wheat.”
Brett Warburton
United Kingdom



“We find the timing and reasons for Mr. Measner’s potential dismissal to be very concerning. With the current state of uncertainty at the CWB, we feel it’s important not only for the Canadian farmer, but for the industry as a whole, that the CWB maintains as much continuity as possible, especially at the senior executive level.”
Canada Malting Company

Letters of concern from the international business commuity can be found here.

Rifts Deepen in Wheat Board Fight

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 

Washington Post Praises Chilean Dictator Pinochet

I may be ill after reading an article in the Washington Post that praises Augusto Pinochet, former military dictator of Chile:

"AUGUSTO PINOCHET, who died Sunday at the age of 91, has been vilified for three decades in and outside of Chile, the South American country he ruled for 17 years. For some he was the epitome of an evil dictator. That was partly because he helped to overthrow, with U.S. support, an elected president considered saintly by the international left: socialist Salvador Allende, whose responsibility for creating the conditions for the 1973 coup is usually overlooked. [...} To the dismay of every economic minister in Latin America, he introduced the free-market policies that produced the Chilean economic miracle -- and that not even Allende's socialist successors have dared reverse. He also accepted a transition to democracy, stepping down peacefully in 1990 after losing a referendum."

Washington Post

 

Prosecutors Outline Court Case Against Conrad Black


Federal prosecutors in the USA released an 81 page document on Monday which spelled out their criminal fraud case against former media baron Conrad Black. Here is an example:

In 2001, Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel, flew to Seattle on the corporate jet to see a performance of an opera. The trip to see the Ring Cycle was apparently an add-on to a 2001 trip to Bora Bora, French Polynesia, for a vacation, the documents suggest.

The Blacks flew on the corporate jet from Toronto to Bora Bora, back to Seattle for the operas, then back to Toronto. The cost for the trip was $565,326 (Canadian) and when Hollinger International's controller asked where the flights should be charged, the document alleges, Lord Black replied that because the flights were mainly within the U.S., "let's charge them to [Hollinger International]." He went on to say "I'm happy to pay, as to half, personally, if [this will] cause difficulties." Later in 2002, when the firm tried to charge him for the entire trip, Lord Black wrote in an e-mail that "needless to say, no such outcome is acceptable."

The documents quote Lord Black as asking that the firm pay most of a $54,000 birthday party he threw for his wife. On the invoice, Black wrote "Let's call it one-third personal and two-thirds corporate."


Chicago Tribune
The Star
The Globe and Mail

 

Inquiry Sought Over Evangelical Video


A military watchdog group is asking the Defense Department to investigate whether seven Army and Air Force officers violated regulations by appearing in uniform in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization.

In the video, much of which was filmed inside the Pentagon, four generals and three colonels praise the Christian Embassy, a group that evangelizes among military leaders, politicians and diplomats in Washington. Some of the officers describe their efforts to spread their faith within the military.

Washington Post
sfgate.com
Christian Embassy

Monday, December 11, 2006 

Iranian Students Heckle Ahmadinejad During Protest

TEHRAN: Iranian students disrupted a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a prestigious Tehran university on Monday, setting fire to his picture and shouting "death to the dictator," media reports said.

Ahmadinejad was giving a speech to students at the Amir Kabir University, the scene of a protest the day before by hundreds of students to denounce a crackdown on a reformist-led university association.

Aljazeera
Breitbart.com

tag

 

Lawyer Gets $2.5 Million For Residential School Deal

Wow! I know that lawyers are well paid, but the lawyer who negotiated settlements for aboriginal persons who were sexually or physically abused in Canadian Residential Schools has received $2.5 million for his services.

Frank Iacobucci, a retired Supreme Court Justice, was appointed in June 2005 to negotiate with the federal government, the Assembly of First Nations and the various churches involved to reach possible settlement packages.


CBC Saskatchewan

 

Ezra Continues Attacking Dion - here we go again


Ezra has another article slamming Stephane Dion's dual citizenship in the Calgary Sun. Even though I am NOT a Liberal, this attack is mean spirited, it is calculated and it is offensive to ALL progressive Canadians!

Ezra writes, "Dion got a pass on this scandal from most of the mainstream media, because they are sympathetic to the Liberal party and believe that undivided loyalty is an archaic quality.

But for millions of Canadians, his foreign citizenship, his indignation at being asked about it, and his graceless climb-down are deeply disturbing."



Calgary Sun - Ezra Levant

Sunday, December 10, 2006 

Taliban NOT Backing Down In Afghanistan

Canadians have been told that the fighting in Afghanistan was supposed to slow down during the winter months. The opposite is the truth. Fighting is intensified in parts of that country. On the heels of a British retreat late last week, it is fair to say that this war IS NOT going the way that our elected leaders said it would:

-Taliban will fight through the winter, warns British commander
-Taliban and Allies Tighten Grip in North of Pakistan
-Taliban stepping up attacks on Canadian troops
-Taliban reject Pak-Afghan jirga: report
-Karzai: NATO bombs, terrorists kill kids
-British Troops Retreat From Battle With Taliban
-Afghan War Nears Tipping Point

 

Pro-Monopoly Farmers Win Canada Wheat Board Vote


From Reuters: WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - "Farmers who support the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on wheat and barley sales will continue to hold a narrow majority on the agency's board of directors, election results showed on Sunday.

Pro-monopoly candidates won in four out of five districts, leaving a total of eight farmers on the 15-member board who support the agency's monopoly on sales of wheat and barley from the Canadian Prairies to millers, maltsters and export markets.

"I think it's time for the government to pause and have a result at what these results really mean," said Ken Ritter, CWB chairman."

These results will make it more of a challenge for the Stephen Harper government to continue with their bullying tactics in the unilateral dismantling of the Board's single desk mandate. There seems to be a desperate drive by the Conservatives to kill the Board. These director election results will make it more difficult for Harper and Strahl to justify their heavy handed approach.

Reuters - Board Director Election
Winnipeg Free Press - 'Harper may Be Selling The Farm'

 

Mandatory Retirement Ends - Now What?

Virginia Galt has an interesting piece in the Globe & Mail, analyzing the consequences of ending madatory retirement. To what age will people now work? At what point does diminished capacity become an issue in the workplace?

"Those who decide to stay on, however, will be under greater pressure to perform. Some law firms have privately advised employers to document the lagging performance of older employees “who can't cut it” and to, in effect, “performance-manage them out,” say workplace consultants."

Globe and Mail

 

Canada's Political Road Map


Saturday, December 09, 2006 

The Simpletons Who Advocate Right Wing Thinking

Most progressives are well aware of the high level of ‘self righteousness’ that is found in right wing thinking. They thrive on reducing everything down to a basic differentiation. ‘This is good / and this is bad’ - ‘this is right / and this is wrong’. Simple. That is how they want life to be.

Where right wingers really get screwed up is when a progressive thinker infuses a bit of ‘grey area’ into their thinking. It is great fun and we should never hesitate to shatter the deluded ‘black / white’ rationalizations of these political simpletons.

There are numerous political simpletons that I could demonstrate my theories with. I could pick Ezra ... or how about Michael Coren, one of my favorite right wing thinkers who writes for the Toronto Sun. Remember Mr. Coren? He’s the columnist who insisted a few months ago that we needed to drop nuclear weapons on Iran.

In his latest column, Mr. Coren makes the following statements: “We need a restoration of stigma. We need to reintroduce the concept of sin. We need to become more judgmental.”

He elaborates further, “Marriage is not living together and a common-law marriage may be common but it's not a marriage. It goes without saying, of course, that while homosexual couples may be happy and loving, they can never be married in spite of what politicians and legal zealots try to tell us.”

Oh really? Tell us more, Mr. Coren, “Nowhere is this more obvious than in the area of sex and sexuality. We're told we should now call prostitutes "sex-trade workers" and strippers "exotic dancers." But they're not. They're prostitutes and strippers. And "Johns" are fornicators.”

See how the right wing mind works? They thrive on dividing people into different groups - ‘these are the good people / and these are the bad people.’

Right wingers always need someone to hate, to blame, to scapegoat. When taken to an extreme, right wingers force the stigmatized ones to wear yellow stars or pink triangles. And that is just the beginning of how they deal with the ‘bad people’.

But in the spirit of the season, Mr. Coren finishes his illuminating piece of nonsense off with very charitable Christian wishes for a “Merry Christmas.”

Well, I would like to extend the best wishes of the Season to Mr. Coren and tell him to 'Bite me'!

Toronto Sun - Michael Coren

 

In Politics - When You Are Explaining - You Are Losing

Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow used to say that 'in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.' These words are proven true again when you consider the brilliant stroke that Ezra Levant and the Conservatives sprung on Stephane Dion concerning his dual Canadian / French citizenship.

After days of rational explanations as to why dual citizenship is okay, that it is no problem for a future prime minister, Monsieur Dion himself is now saying that if it is an issue, he will renounce his dual French citizenship.

This was a setup. Period. It was a brilliant setup, masterfully played.

Tory watchers now recognize the role that Ezra Levant plays in the Harper government. He is as much a lieutenant to Stephen Harper as fellow Calgarian Jason Kenney is. Harper has used Levant's skill set strategically a number of times since taking office. As the editor of his own publication, Ezra is well positioned to add a voice that is always in support of the PM but sounds like it is coming from the community.

This relationship is calculated. It is effective.

All being said and done, in a number of main stream newspapers there is now a cry for Dion to give up his French duality. A few days were wasted wherein his followers fought the good fight explaining that the dual citizenship was 'not a problem', 'many others have the same duality', 'Canadians shouldn't care', etc, etc, etc.

In the end it has become the first major challenge that Dion has had to deal with. While it will likely have almost no lasting negative impact, it allows us to acknowledge the the Tories are not a spent political force and to acknowledge how they can still deliver a strategic attack on their opponents.

None of this was by accident. From a Conservative point of view, it was a well thought out plan, expertly delivered and definitely hit the target. Just ask Stephane Dion.

The Star
Globe and Mail

 

John Lennon, 9 Oct. 1940 – 8 Dec. 1980










Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
and the world will be as one.

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.



If we could be free of the soul killing tyrany of religion and the mindless hatred of the selfish, it would be a better world.

Friday, December 08, 2006 

Has Harper Broken Election Promise To Saskatchewan?

During the Federal Election, Stephen Harper promised to fix the Equalization Formula inequity between Saskatchewan and other provinces such as Newfoundland / Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Saskatchewan's Premier Lorne Calvert met today with Prime Minister Harper and no progress was made on the Tory promise. In fact Premier Calvert believes that the election promise may now, officially, be broken.

CBC

The well known blog, 'Vues d’ici' had a very good article in August.

"The Conservatives did indeed campaign on the promise to change equalization by returning to a 10-province standard but exempting non-renewable resources such as oil and gas and other minerals. In case you’re clueless, the current equalization formula uses a 5-province standard and includes non-renewable resources as one of the 33 tax bases used to calcuate how much provinces should get from the program. (For a complete overview of the equalization program, please click here)"

 

It's Not What You've Got - It's What You Do With It - Or Reasons for the Kama Sutra


BBC

 

Want to Meet Harper? Got 1000 Dollars?

From the Hill Times:

The Conservatives will hold a reception on Monday for members of the party's exclusive Leader's Circle, those who gave $1,000 this year, but opposition critics were quick to slam the move last week, saying the government isn't practising what it preaches in the Federal Accountability Act's world of politics.

"The Laurier Club and the Conservative equivalent are all about buying access and buying influence and, believe me, a lot of those $1,000 donors are people who are interested in self-promotion of their issues and interests. There'll be a lot of lobbyists there, there'll be a lot of people who want the cooperation of the government and if you can't get a meeting with the minister you can buy a meeting with the minister for a $1,000 and that's what's so offensive," said NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, Man.) in an interview with The Hill Times last week.

"Back in April, when the Federal Accountability Act was introduced, the Conservatives told us that they were going to change their behaviour right away as if the new laws were in effect. Now it's not their fault that the law has not taken force; that's the fault of the deliberate obstruction by the Liberal Party. The Conservatives are certainly within the law but certainly playing fast and loose with the spirit of the law."

Hill Times

Thursday, December 07, 2006 

US Defense Sec Says Israel Has Nuclear Weapons - Israel Waffles

Israel held firm Thursday to its policy of not admitting it possesses nuclear weapons, in the face of a clear statement from the incoming US Secretary of Defense that Israel has the bomb.

In his confirmation hearing before the US Senate, Gates was explaining Iranian motivation to acquire nuclear weapons. "They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf," he told the Senate committee.

Though Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear weapons arsenal, it has stuck to its policy of ambiguity on the subject, insisting against all the evidence that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East.

Jerusalem Post
Washington Post

 

TORNADO Rips London - Hundreds Lose Homes - 6 Injured

A tornado ripped roofs off homes and tore down walls in a residential area of northwest London today, injuring six people.

Television footage showed a trail of destruction in Kensal Rise, with numerous trees uprooted and cars damaged by falling debris.

Hundreds of people have been displaced from their homes.

Tornadoes in Britain are almost unheard of. "It was very large and certainly very powerful," said BBC television. "You could see it ripping up heavy chunks of mortar and smashing it into cars."

Exclusive Photos from the BBC

Reuters
CTV News

 

Gore Verbally Attacks Bush

Calling the Iraq war "the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States" and "worse than a civil war," former Vice President Gore urged President Bush to find a way to get U.S. troops out of Iraq "as quickly as possible without making the situation worse" while appearing this morning on NBC's "Today."

The same could also be said towards the utter stupidity that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has displayed in foreign affairs. Harper totally endorsed Bush's strategy in Iraq and has got us into a miltiary quagmire in Afghanistan.

These two simpletons are a menace to the world because of their utter stupidity.

Neither Bush nor Harper operate on facts. They operate on some ridiculous faith based (not fact based) right wing ideology. It is time to start calling a spade a spade and condeming these two dangerous buffons.

ABCnews

Wednesday, December 06, 2006 

British Troops Retreat From Battle With Taliban

(Reuters) - British Marines attacked a Taliban-held valley in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday but withdrew after a ferocious counterattack that withstood air strikes and artillery fire, witnesses said.

One Royal Marine was killed and a second wounded during the battle, the UK Helmand Task Force (UKTF) reported.

In other news from Afghanistan, a report from the German military, the Bundeswehr, warns that the Taliban is approaching Kabul and that attacks on the capital city are likely to increase. Security in nearby districts is already deteriorating.

So much for all of the bravado from Canadian authorities who continue to tell us that progress is being made in Afghanistan.

Washington Post
depka.com
urukenet.com

 

Weasel Words From Agriculture Minister

Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl must be feeling the heat in his battle to neuter the Canadian Wheat Board. In a 'letter to the editor' in Canadian newspapers, he plays weasel word games concerning the Tory plan to end the CWB's single desk monopoly.

In the letter, Mr. Strahl says, "Western grain farmers have told us that they wanted new opportunities. So we delivered." What western grain farmers is he referring to? Are these the ones WHO DO NOT have a vote in how the CWB will operate as the current Act states? Are these the same thousands and thousands of wheat producers who have been taken OFF the voters list?

Strahl plays more word games when he states, "Additionally, farmers have asked for consultation when it comes to the future of the CWB, so that is exactly what we are doing. We will be having a plebiscite on barley in the new year. I will be developing a plebiscite question that is clear, and that will be decided on by a broad base of voters." HUH?! A vote on 'BARLEY' - we are talking about the marketing of Wheat here Chucky - not a much lesser marketed grain like barley! TORY WEASEL WORDS! - TORY DISHONESTY!

Shame on Chuck Strahl for his nonsense on this matter!

Regina Leader Post - letters to the editor
Buckdog on the Canadian Wheat Board



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