Saturday, May 31, 2008 

Odds and Sods In The Bernier / Couillard Scandal



Stephen Harper continues to have a major scandal on his hands with the Bernier/Couillard mess. The Prime Minister has now dispatched his own officials to determine how the missing top secret NATO briefing documents remained unnoticed by Foreign Affairs for over 5 weeks!

Here are some odds and sods on the whole bloody mess:

-Conservative Bureaucrats Investigating Themselves!

-Canadians Want RCMP To Investigate Bernier Secret Document Scandal

-Bikers Considered Killing Julie Couillard

-Everything You Wanted To Know About Julie Couillard (whether you like it or not)!



Friday, May 30, 2008 

Thank Dion For Every Day That Harper Remains Our Prime Minister

Frankly I am getting a little tired of the totally phony position adopted by Stephane Dion and his Liberal Caucus on the Bernier matter.

Harper remains defiant and arrogant in the face of questions on the scandal for one simple reason - the Liberals are going to continue to vote/abstain strategically to allow the Conservatives to remain in power.

The Conservative Party of Canada has lost all moral authority to govern us. They were without a majority to begin with and have now descended into typical tory shenanigans. They should be put out of power today. Period. If Harper thought that his government could fall over this scandal, he would be singing a different tune and some form of official inquiry would occur simply to get the heat off of his administration. However, because the Liberal Caucus is going to continue to allow Harper to govern, he will continue to thumb his nose at Canadians over the Bernier matter!

Liberals will say, 'oh , Canadians don't want an election now' .... or privately they will remind each other that a Liberal majority is not in the cards at the moment so they will simply continue to let Harper do whatever he wants.

As bad as the Conservatives are, the Liberals are equally as bad for not doing the correct thing here and sending Harper packing, hat in hand to try and explain to Canadians why he should be given a new, fresh mandate.

Liberals can blame themselves for every misguided thing Harper and his incompetent crew do from here on in. As a New Democrat, I look forward to the day when I can remind Canadians that it was Liberals who allowed this nonsense to continue on unabated!

Liberals question Bernier timeline

Thursday, May 29, 2008 

Stephen Harper Placed Conservative Electoral Fortunes In Quebec Ahead Of National Security

The Bernier scandal has revealed some very deep and disturbing aspects of Stephen Harper’s performance as the Prime Minister of Canada.

It is clear now that Maxime Bernier was completely out of his league as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The very fact that he took top secret briefing materials to the home of his girlfriend, left them there and allowed five weeks to elapse without once missing them, says it all.

None of us need to be convinced of Bernier’s incompetence. He was incompetent. He was cavalier in his disregard for highly confidential materials and rightly lost his job.

But what does this say about our Prime Minister who placed Bernier in the portfolio and allowed him to remain there gaffe after gaffe after gaffe.

There is only one conclusion that we can arrive at. Harper saw Bernier as his key political lieutenant, chosen from a fairly slim talent pool in the Tory Quebec caucus. Harper wanted a Quebecois to be Canada’s key minister on the international foreign affairs stage. Harper’s goal of a majority government is only possible with the election of a number of MP’s from Quebec. Hence, Bernier was the suave, good looking key figure in connecting Quebec to Harper’s circle of influence. Nothing else mattered.

Harper has been able to turn a blind eye to all of Maxime’s mistakes because his performance as Minister of Foreign Affairs was secondary to his role as Harper’s Quebec lieutenant. Harper never dreamed that Bernier would screw up as badly as he did. That is obvious or Harper would have removed him after any one of the major gaffes.

Stephen Harper placed Conservative electoral fortunes in the province of Quebec ahead of Canada’s national security. Nothing was more important to him than sticking to his strategy to win seats in Quebec. The nation was placed at risk by our Conservative Prime Minister for his own partisan political ends.

Shame on Harper. He deserves all of the grief and misery this sad episode has brought to his front door!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 

The NDP's Cap and Trade Plan - Now We're Talking!

While the Liberals and Green's want to impose a new tax on average Canadian working families, the New Democrats believe that there is a much better way to fight high carbon utilization that does not harm low income Canadians!

The NDP plan calls for major industrial emitters, who account for 50% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, to pay $35 per tonne of carbon emitted. In one year alone, this would generate approximately $2.5 billion, which would be invested in developing green technologies and making them affordable for the average consumer.
New Democratic Party

 

The Maple Leaf Is On Mars!!

Aboard the Mars Lander is a $37-million Canadian weather station, about the size of a big shoebox. The station, wrapped in a thermal blanket bearing a tiny Maple Leaf flag, is to help in the search for water.

A Canadian scientific team hopes to spend 90 days studying data sent back from Mars. The daily weather reports will include temperature, atmospheric pressure, cloud height, humidity and wind speeds.

CP

AND courtesy of the eagle eye of Lord Kitchener's own ... here is a pic of the Maple Leaf on Mars!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 

Arrest In Rowbotham Murder!

"A one-time top adviser to former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow, has been charged in connection with the slaying of (his) wife in Manitoba almost eight years ago.

(Mark) Stobbe, 50, was arrested Tuesday in Saskatoon and charged with second-degree murder following the death of Bev Rowbotham in October 2000, RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said.

The body of Rowbotham, a 42-year-old mother of two, was found in her car at a gas station near Selkirk. Investigators said they believed she had been beaten to death in the backyard of her home in nearby St. Andrews, then moved to Selkirk."

-CBC.ca
-Winnipeg Free Press


Here are some older stories on this unsolved case:

-Police probing woman's death

-Wife of former aide to Romanow found dead

-Police await autopsy results

-Autopsy reveals woman was murdered

-Murdered woman remembered

-Search for clues, killer, continues

-Police wrap up house search

-Police resume river search in Rowbotham murder case

-House searched, husband gave blood sample

 

Someone Needs To Tell Prime Minister Harper That Squirming Just Makes It Worse!

Good Gawd, does Harper not have any aides that can tell him that squirming and denying is only going to make this worse for him and his government?

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he has no reason to believe anyone planted electronic bugs in the home of disgraced former foreign minister Maxime Bernier's ex-girlfriend. "I have absolutely no information to suggest that's true," he told reporters in Paris on Tuesday, reacting to a question about the allegation by Julie Couillard."
CTV News

We need a public inquiry now!! If Harper thinks that ignoring valid questions from the press, bloggers and Canadians in general will make this go away, well, he is out of his mind!


UPDATE!
Government could have planted Couillard bug: former CSIS agent says ...





Photo courtesy Globe & Mail

 

Julie Couillard Claims Her Home Had Been Under Electronic Surveillance - (but she is not sure who was bugging her)

Canoe.TV has posted their exclusive interview with Maxime Bernier's ex-girlfriend, Julie Couillard. In the interview she relates how Bernier left secret government briefing documents at her home. It is this disclosure that prompted the rapid departure of Bernier from Cabinet.

But what is more disturbing is Ms. Couillard's statements that she recently had her home screened for electronic listening devices and was advised by a professional firm that she had been 'bugged' but that her home had been recently 'cleaned' of the devices - they had been removed. She could not speculate who had been conducting surveillance of her or if Maxime Bernier had ever been recorded while in her residence.

We therefore have to wonder if she was being monitored by a local police force, CSIS, the RCMP or possibly a more nefarious source such as organized crime of a foreign service.

This story is NOT done yet!!


Her comments concerning the wire tap can be found on the Canoe.TV tape at the 16:00 minute mark until 19:00.
Exclusive Julie Couillard interview video from Canoe.TV

Here is how the MSM is carrying the wiretap angle:

" Julie Couillard, the ex-lover of Canada's deposed foreign minister, says she learned her bedroom had been bugged with secret microphones months after the couple split.

The former girlfriend of Maxime Bernier, who resigned from as foreign affairs minister yesterday, could not guess who might have been behind the plants. But the 39-year-old Quebecer, who garnered international headlines for links to Hells Angels bikers before she met Bernier, made the startling revelation in an interview broadcast on canoe.tv last night.

"They could not find any bugs, but they definitely came to the professional conclusion that there was proof bugs that were there, that were taken out," she said. "And the worst part is there was apparently some in the box spring of my mattress in my bedroom."

Couillard said experts who examined her home recently found evidence it had been bugged. She could not say who may have hidden the microphones -- or why."

Winnipeg Sun

Monday, May 26, 2008 

Maxime Bernier RESIGNS From Cabinet - Everyone Hopes The Door Doesn't Hit Him In The Behind!

Federal Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier has resigned from Cabinet, (over a NEW scandal!)

"The resignation came ahead of Monday night's airing of a French-language television interview of Bernier's former girlfriend, Julie Couillard, in which she revealed the minister had left a secret document in her apartment sometime in April that she later returned to Foreign Affairs.

"Maxime came to my house, and the document stayed there," Couillard said during her interview with private television network TVA, without disclosing the contents of the document.

Harper said he accepted Bernier's resignation after learning late Sunday that Bernier had inadvertently left the documents in an unsecured location."

CBC News

Earlier Buckdog posts record the sad sorry tale that led to todays resignation ...


Progressive Bloggers

 

Conservative MP's Use Loop Hole In The Rules To Hire Each Others Kids!

The rules of the House of Commons do not allow Members of Parliament to hire their spouses or children. So, in typical Tory fashion, Conservative MP's have thumbed their nose at the rules and are hiring each others kids to work in parliamentary offices!

"OTTAWA - The children and siblings of some Conservative MPs have found work on Parliament Hill in the offices of other Tory parliamentarians, a review of government records shows. Under House of Commons rules, MPs are not allowed to employ their spouses or children. But there is nothing to stop MPs from hiring family members of their caucus colleagues and paying them from their parliamentary budgets."
Regina Leader-Post

Sunday, May 25, 2008 

Elizabeth May Lets Multi-Nationals Off The Hook With Windfall Oil Profits - Joins With Libs To Tax Average Canadians!

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May placed herself strategically close to Stephan Dion's butt today in support of the Liberal's proposed regressive tax increase on working Canadians - demonstrating that she's more interested in helping the Liberals than helping the environment.

In her interview with CTV's Question Period today, she said not one word against the obscene windfall profits that the oil companies are raking in every minute of every hour. Not one word from Elizabeth May on taxing the crap out of these windfall corporate profits from Big Oil and using them to help Canadians do the retro fitting and improvements that are necessary to cut down on individual carbon emissions! Instead, May wants to move the burden for the environment onto the backs of working families - endorsing Liberal tax alchemy.

CTV

 

Bush's War In Iraq Responsible For HIGH Oil Prices

"The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone.

The oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war."

The Independent

Considering that Bush was in the oil industry before moving into political office in Texas and Washington, you have to wonder if the overall goal of attacking Iraq (which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack) was to force up the price of oil and hence, profits for his industry.

Saturday, May 24, 2008 

Canadian Dollar Is Going To Soar

Some economists say it's currently undervalued. Oil prices are up, so are metals and agricultural products.

As rising commodity prices lift the dollar, the loonie's high value pushes down manufacturing output and exports. All of this spells good news for Alberta and Saskatchewan but terrible news for Ontario and Quebec where manufacturing will continue to decline.

London Free Press

Friday, May 23, 2008 

Maxime Bernier Screws Up Again With Pledge To Help Burma Victims

"Canada is there to help the people of Burma and we have a C-17 available."
Maxime Bernier
Minister of Foreign Affairs

But sources said the Department of National Defence could not deliver on the Minister's promise because two of Canada's four C-17s are undergoing maintenance work and the other two are in pre-scheduled use.

As a result, the Government of Canada had to scramble to rent an expensive Russian plane because they could not deliver on Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier's public pledge to provide Canada's new C-17s for the task in Burma.

Globe & Mail

 

Tory MP Tom Lukiwski Will NOT Meet With Gay And Lesbian Groups

In spite of his crocodile tears and pleadings that he is not a 'homophobe' a few weeks ago, Regina Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski will not respond to written invitations from a Gay and Lesbian group to meet and talk.

Lukiwiski's actions (or lack of action) demonstrates that homophobes and those who preach hatred and intolerance of the GLBT community have a comfortable home in the Conservative Party of Canada!

" ... a member of the local gay and lesbian community said Thursday that Regina organizations are still waiting for Lukiwski to respond to their written request for a meeting. Lukiwski sidestepped reporters' questions about whether he has specifically reached out to local groups to address their concerns, but said he'll continue to speak to individuals about the incident.

But Nathan Markwart, a member of the Regina Gay and Lesbian Community, said Lukiwski has not sought out members of the "B-Team," a coalition of groups that rallied outside the MP's Regina office in early April."

Regina Leader-Post

More Buckdog on Lukiwski's homophobia ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 

Premier Wall Would Jump Through Hoops If Prime Minister Harper Asked Him To

OTTAWA -- "The federal government says it's encouraged by Saskatchewan's move to hold Senate elections.

The Saskatchewan Party government has said it will likely introduce draft legislation this fall to become the second province after Alberta to elect Senate candidates.

Federal government House leader Peter Van Loan says Saskatchewan's plan echoes Ottawa's aim to hold national consultations on reforming the Senate."

CTV News

 

Saskatchewan Party Does Most Of Its Political Fundraising In Alberta


There is an old saying ... 'He who pays the piper, calls the tune.' You have to wonder if there is a political equivalent of that saying. If there is, it exists in the weird relationship between Alberta's oil patch and Saskatchewan's governing right wing political party.

The governing party of Saskatchewan is doing some very major fundraising one province over in Alberta. In fact, the Alberta corporate oil sector simply LOVES Saskatchewan's new Premier Brad Wall and are giving him truckloads of oil cash to take back and use for his electoral purposes in Saskatchewan.

There ought to be a law that prohibits out of province donations. However, since it is Wall's government that makes the laws in the Saskatchewan legislature, don't hold your breath.

Sask Party Funds Coming From Alberta Oil Industry (this little story was buried at the bottom of page A9 in the Regina Leader-Post)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 

Leader-Post Columnist Bob Hughes Writes Last Column

Bob Hughes's career with The Regina Leader-Post began in 1962 as a copy boy. He has worked in both news and sports as a writer and columnist. He has also held a number of management positions with the paper. He was Editor-In-Chief during the dark days when Conrad Black owned all four daily papers in Saskatchewan. During those years, the Leader-Post went out of its way to condemn the Roy Romanow government on a daily basis. Fortunately, the New Democrats long outlived Conrad Black. When Black sold the Leader-Post, Hughes was 'fixed up' by becoming an honorary editor with his own column. He technically retired but continued writing a twice-weekly freelance column. He had two topics that ran over and over like a skipping vinyl record: -Daylight Savings Time and anything to attack the NDP. In February of this year, Mr. Hughes was charged with impaired driving - a topic he wrote about in his column - 'I drank, I drove, I got caught' Feb 19, 2008

I won't miss him. His attempts to denigrate Roy Romanow and praise of Grand Devine and Brad Wall were sickening. If ever there was a right wing-nut in Saskatchewan, it was Bob Hughes. In fact, Bob, for those hard working, law abiding people who live in this province and support the New Democrats, your ongoing attacks on us with your acidic, venomous political nastiness will long be remembered ... good riddance.

Bob Hughes last column

Progressive Bloggers

Photo courtesy Regina Leader-Post.

Monday, May 19, 2008 

72,000 Attend Rally For Obama In Portland



Over 72,000 persons turned up at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland Sunday to watch Barack Obama wrap up a busy weekend in Oregon and a historic campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Photo courtesy PoliShifter from PissedonPolitics.

 

Conservative 'Bully Boys' Go Too Far With Attacks On Romeo Dallaire

"If you want black and white, and I'm only prepared to give it to you. You're either with the law or not with the law. You are not allowed to go against conventions and if you do, you're going down the same road as those who absolutely don't believe in the law."
General Romeo Dallaire

"In what has been an increasingly testy parliamentary debate season, Tory MPs Jason Kenney, Pierre Poilievre and John Baird spent last week attacking Liberal Senator Dallaire over his strongly worded criticism of the government's handling of Canadian child-soldier and Guantanamo-prisoner Omar Khadr. [...]

First, (Jason) Kenney compared the most decorated Canadian soldier of his generation to a "mob of wacky protesters." A day later, John Baird, the environment minister, tried to shout down Liberal MP Marlene Jennings who came to Dallaire's defence and loudly applauded when 29-year-old Tory MP Pierre Poilievre suggested that Dallaire sounded like a member of the Khadr family, an insult so stupid and infantile that Rob Anders' slur against Nelson Mandela immediately came to mind."

Calgary Herald

If Conservative Party strategists believe that attacking General Romeo Dallaire is a wise political strategy, they may want to think twice. Dallaire is a respected and well liked Canadian personality. The three 'fascista' pit-bulls in Harper's stable, may want to rethink their tactics.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 

The Real Danger Is Fascism Not Appeasement

"Like Newt Gingrich and the Conservative Revolution of the early 1990's that blamed liberalism for the Columbine Massacre, President George W. Bush and the Neo-Conservatives are now trying to smear and destroy the idea of appeasement-the policy of giving concessions in exchange for peace. By linking appeasement with an isolated event before World War II and claiming it caused the Jewish Holocaust, President Bush has discredited himself and not "the real comfort of appeasement." Throughout history it has been appeasement that has prevented thousands of conflicts, averted nuclear wars (Korea, Vietnam, The Cuban Missile Crisis), and established a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt at Camp David.

Several days ago President Bush spoke before the Israeli Knesset and said, (in relation to diplomatic talks with Iran, Hamas, Syria, and Hezbollah), "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

President Bush was specifically referring to Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's 1938 visit to Munich when Adolf Hitler threatened to regain the Sudetenland. In order to preserve peace, Chamberlain gave-in to Hitler's demands. Chamberlain's policy of appeasement prevented war until one year later when German troops invaded Poland. Hitler's vision for a hegemonic and unified German-speaking people, along with a powerful and dominant military, however, started much earlier. It began at the end of World War I and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles when Germany was severely punished, forced to pay war reparations, and portions of its territory were seized.

As a result, Germany experienced political instability and a smoldering vengeance towards the Allies. Hitler's fascism-an aggressive, patriotic and militant nationalism, resonated with most Germans and right-wing political groups. With their anti-communist rhetoric, goals of rearming Germany, and threats in overturning the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler and the Nazis eventually rose to power. In 1936 with support from conservatives, Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland with German troops. He then announced his Anschluss (unity) plan annexing Austria and later the Sudetenland, both former German territories. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and seized the Baltic Port of Danzig, also once a part of Germany, Britain and France declared war.

It was not appeasement but fascism, masquerading as liberty and self-determination for all German-speaking peoples in the Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, and Poland, that caused World War II and the Holocaust. Hitler also wanted "to make Germany secure and preserve the racial community and enlarge it" which was "conditional upon the need for space" and resources, as stated in the 1937 Hossbach Memorandum when he met with his military staff. One could also argue that because of appeasement, Britain bought more time to institute a draft and speed up its rearmament programs preventing Hitler's goal of invasion and conquest. Furthermore, was it not a lack of appeasement, when the Allies forced the Versailles Treaty on Germany and the Ottoman Empire, that started World War II and many of the present day conflicts in the Middle East?

Finally, remember when President Bush rejected Hans Blix's appeasement to forgo a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue its inspections (there had been over 700 with no cases of weapons of mass destruction); and when he denounced Saddam Hussein's appeasing overtures weeks before the bombing of Iraq; and when he degraded President Ahmadinejad's appeasing letter to the United States. President Bush has yet to understand that fascist and hegemonic ways of thinking are the real enemies, along with the belief that the United States can conquer and Americanize the Middle East with its powerful military and corporate security forces.

If President Bush's message was supposed to be a trial balloon, it has instead turned into a bombshell. Until he sees the real enemy as poverty, humiliation, unemployment, illegal military occupations, and the refugee crises from past and present wrongs, the Middle East will continue to experience turmoil and wars. Yet, history has proven and will show that appeasement and the establishment of diplomatic relations, instead of fascism and aggression, will bring justice and peace to the Middle East. If you do not believe me, just ask former President Jimmy Carter, Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin."
Dallas Darling
darling@wn.com

(Dallas Darling currently teaches U.S. and World History and writes for World News. He was a pastor in rural America for ten years and worked in a Guatemala Refugee Camp, the barrios of Panama, and in Mexico. Dallas was active in the Central American Peace Movement and currently works with Pastors For Peace in delivering humanitarian aid to foreign countries. He has a Masters in Pastoral Theology and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religion. Dallas is a regular contributor to www.worldnews.com. You can also read more of his articles at www.beverlydarling.com.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008 

Is Little Tory Piggy Going 'oink oink' All The Way To The Political Patronage Trough?

"It's just one more illustration of how who you know gets you to the bench."
Vic Toews, MP
(criticising political appointment of judges to the bench)

"Vic Toews repeatedly lambasted the Liberal party for appointing judges with strong Liberal ties, including in November 2004 when a former chief of staff to then Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler got a judge's seat.

At that time, Toews called for an overhaul of judicial appointments. But he backed away from the idea six months after taking office, calling the system a "relatively well-working mechanism." Just weeks later Toews appointed the co-chairman of the Conservative election campaign in New Brunswick to a federal judgeship, the first of several judges with Tory ties moved onto the bench since 2006.
Toews himself may be the next.

This week the Free Press has learned the MP for Provencher and president of the Treasury Board is being considered for an appointment to the Court of Queen's Bench in Manitoba."

Winnipeg Free Press

Friday, May 16, 2008 

Jet Setting Maxime Bernier's Extravagant Travel Costs

The Conservative government's resident playboy and controversial cabinet minister sure likes to throw taxpayers money on his travel. In spite of assurances from the Harper government that they were going to be frugal with public money, Bernier is jet setting at record levels:

"Bernier, who has been foreign affairs minister since last August, took a $22,573 airline flight to attend a two-day conference in Laos last November, with a stopover in Paris, according to travel records posted by the foreign affairs department on its "proactive disclosure" website. The Star checked airfares and found that the minister could have made the trip to the Southeast Asian country comfortably for under $7,000.

With him on the trip were three staff, two whose flights were also pricey – about $18,500 each – plus one who reported flying to Laos for just $2,676. With the additional cost of hotels and meals, the total bill to taxpayers was about $70,000. Bernier's flight was the most expensive flight taken by a government minister or official since the Harper government took power two years ago, according to government records."

The Star

Thursday, May 15, 2008 

Look Look. See Liberals Scramble!



As a confirmed and committed NON-LIBERAL, I am being totally entertained by the way Liberals are scrambling around in reaction to Dion's recent political policy 'death wish'. I can hardly wait for the next federal election - this is going to be fun!

"It's bad politics. It is already confusing voters. It therefore gives the Tories a Hell of an opening to swift boat the Liberals on the environment - again (a six-year-old could write the attack spots). It reinforces the impression that federal Libs are utterly disconnected from the day-to-day lives of real Canadians, sipping lattés at Starbucks and listening to CBC Two, while the Tories are down at Tim's with 30 million other regular folks, talking hockey."
Warren Kinsella

"I think the crowd started with some hesitation and ended with a belief that Dion can do it. As we all know, it is not going to be easy to convince Canadians. We will be fighting against a Conservative spin machine that will do everything it can to cloud and confuse the issue. The answer for Liberals is not to get scared and back off; but to sell the idea because it is the right thing to do. We all know it's risky, but everything in life is risky. If it works, it will be well worth it."
Cherniak on Politics

 

Police Psychologist Likens RCMP To Putin's Russia

“I'm embarrassed to be associated with organizations that taser sick old men in hospital beds and confused immigrants who are arriving in the country,”
Mike Webster
Police Psychologist

Mr. Webster is a registered psychologist who deals exclusively with law enforcement agencies. His expertise in conflict resolution has been sought to help resolve some of the most volatile situations in recent years, including the showdown with Branch Davidian followers in Waco, Tex., in 1993. He was widely credited with helping avert a bloodbath during the RCMP standoff with native protesters at Gustafson Lake, B.C., in 1995.

He has worked on a contract and fee-for-service basis with the RCMP for more than 30 years. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, much of his work with the Mounties has been in the area of intelligence gathering. After Mr. Dziekanski died at the Vancouver International Airport last October, media outlets in B.C. sought Mr. Webster's opinion on the incident. He was honest: he thought it was a disgraceful display of policing. The officers had blasted the troubled Polish immigrant without making any attempt to resolve the matter peacefully.

"The expectation is that if you work for the Mounties you align your values with the corporate culture and if you don't that's being disloyal and is unhealthy.”

“As a psychologist, I know it's not healthy for people to live in such an oppressive climate,” Mr. Webster said. “Being a member of the RCMP today is like being part of Putin's Russia; they don't tolerate any opinion that doesn't reflect the party line.”

Globe & Mail

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 

Stephane Dion - Hands Off Senator Romeo Dallaire!

"Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said he disagreed with Dallaire's choice of words, and hinted the senator could be disciplined. "This is a matter to deal with the (party) whip, and we'll deal with that,'' Dion told reporters."
Canadian Press

Every day in the House of Commons, the weak kneed character who currently leads the Liberal Party of Canada abrogates his responsibility as Leader of the Official Opposition and allows Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney types to run rough shod over the nation!

And yet, when someone in Liberal ranks finally says something that is sane, just and righteous, Dion threatens to discipline them!

Well Stephan Dion, if you want to truly drive your once great party completely into the dumper, go ahead and rap Senator Dallaire's knuckles .... and see what happens!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 

Burmese Military Government Officials Selling Emergency Aid Supplies In Local Markets

Ahh ... the sweet smell of free enterprise and unrestricted 'free markets'!

"Officials in Burma's cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta area are selling donated emergency aid supplies in local markets, it was claimed on Monday."
Telegraph.uk


General Than Shwe (the criminal who leads the military government of Myanmar/Burma

Monday, May 12, 2008 

New Democrats Will Try To Topple Harper Today - But His Liberal Coalition Partners Will Save His Butt Once Again!

Liberal - Tory, (same old story) ...

"OTTAWA–Federal New Democrats will make a last-gasp bid today to topple the minority Conservatives, citing the country's growing "prosperity gap" as the reason Canadians should go to the polls.

But the political move is destined to fail, all but eliminating the chance of an election in the coming weeks and opening the door to a summer of campaigning by all political leaders in preparation for a possible federal campaign this fall."

The Star

And why will the New Democratic motion fail ... you ask? It will fail because dozens and dozens of Liberal Members of Parliament will quietly slink out of the House so that when the matter comes to a vote, Harper will have sufficient numbers to survive. Why don't we simply call the current Parliament what it actually is ... a coalition government of Conservatives and Liberals!

Shame!

Sunday, May 11, 2008 

Retirement Investment Advice To Bloggers

Retirement Planning

If you listen to the Harperite 'Free Market Radicals' and have decided that you need to invest in the stock market in order to have a little nest egg when your blogging career is over, please consider these points:

- If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock a while back, it would now be worth $49.00.

- With Enron, you would have had $16.50 left of the original $1000.00.

- With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

- If you had purchased $1000 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left.

However, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminium recycling REFUND, you would have $214.00 left and at least you would have had a better time wasting your money!

 

RCMP Warned Officials 8 Years Ago Of Attempts By Organized Crime To Infiltrate Parliament And Politics

"The Conservative government continues to dismiss security concerns over Bernier's relationship with Julie Couillard, and accuse the opposition of unfairly opening up his private life.

But even the RCMP has warned about criminal infiltration of politics. As long as eight years ago, then-RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli shocked MPs by publicly stating that organized crime was targeting Parliament and other national institutions.

A former CSIS agent whose investigative work has been referenced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper backed up the Bloc position Friday."

The Star


Here is what needs to happen in this case:
a) Harper MUST remove Bernier from Foreign Affairs and allow him to stand down for now.
b) A CSIS / RCMP probe must be launched to determine if national security has been compromised in any way.
c) All three Opposition parties: NDP - Lib - Bloc must keep the pressure on Harper politically concerning the Conservatives arrogant and cavalier position that this is a case of 'intrusion into Bernier's personal life'. Bernier set aside aspects of his 'personal life' when he accepted the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
d) The public needs to be reminded of the MANY RCMP investigations going on concerning the Conservative Party of Canada:
-Chuck Cadman matter
-In & Out scheme
-Bernier and Couillard
-Bernier and Michael Chamas
-The Mayor O'Brien / John Baird matter

Saturday, May 10, 2008 

Hell's Angels Dealing With Embarrassment Of Connections To Harper Government

It is widely rumoured in biker circles that the Hell's Angels are trying to cope with the embarrassment of possible connections to the the Conservative government of Stephen Harper!

The ongoing adventures of Maxime Bernier ....

Friday, May 09, 2008 

Media Fallout Continues On Bernier's Lack Of Good Judgment

Bernier Affair IS a security Issue: Experts Say!
OTTAWA - "Some security experts are taking issue with the Conservative government's characterization of the Maxime Bernier affair as a private matter, saying questionable personal links could leave the minister - and Canadian interests - vulnerable."
Cnews


Harper Dismisses Revelations About Minister
" ... a former CSIS agent told CTV yesterday that Couillard's romantic past would have been "red-flagged" even though Couillard has not been convicted of any crimes. Michel Juneau-Katsuya said the situation would have been considered so grave that Canada's spy agency might have recommended to the government that Bernier not be given the foreign affairs post. The Canadian Press reports that sources say Couillard had a significant influence on her boyfriend's moods as well on his public image. The agency, citing unnamed government and Tory sources, said she started trying to influence his speeches, contradict government policy and speak publicly at every opportunity. If she heard anything negative about Bernier on Montreal talk radio, she would call him and tell him to phone into the show, the report said."
The Star


Bernier’s Ex-girlfriend ‘wanted to control things’
OTTAWA - "The cabinet minister’s girlfriend always stood out in the genteel diplomatic crowd that inhabits the foreign affairs building. Bernier’s ex-girlfriend ‘wanted to control things’. Whether smoking cigarettes in an ambassador’s limousine or striding into meetings snapping bubble gum and clad in leather boots and tight jeans, Julie Couillard raised eyebrows. [...] They became annoyed at other aspects of the relationship. They say she started trying to influence his speeches and urged him to contradict government policy and speak publicly at every available opportunity."
Halifax Chronicle

Thursday, May 08, 2008 

Maxime Bernier's Girlfriend Tied To Underworld - Why Is He Still At The Cabinet Table?

UPDATE - BREAKING NEWS!!
MAXIME BERNIER RESIGNS FROM CABINET OVER SECURITY LEAK!

(Original post)
"OTTAWA - After his diplomatic faux pas in Afghanistan which revealed Canadian meddling into Afghan internal politics, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier is hogging the headlines again.

This time over a former girlfriend who has been linked to a biker gang. Bernier's ex was Julie Couillard, a former model and aspiring actress, who had relationships with two men linked with the Hells Angels biker gang.

One of them was Gilles Giguere, an underworld figure, who was suspected together with two other men of involvement in a murder and extortion plot on Hells Angel head Maurice (Moms) Boucher. Couillard was arrested with Giguere in a pre-dawn raid, but was eventually released."


-Canadian Press
-AHL

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 

American Or Israeli Attack On Iran Is Coming Soon

The former US Ambassador to the United Nations is calling on President Bush to attack Iran!!

"John Bolton, America’s ex-ambassador to the United Nations, has called for US air strikes on Iranian camps where insurgents are trained for war in Iraq. Mr Bolton said that striking Iran would represent a major step towards victory in Iraq. [...]
Mr Bolton, an influential former member of President George W Bush’s inner circle, dismissed as “dead wrong” reported British intelligence conclusions that the US military had overstated the support that Iran was providing to Iraqi fighters."

Telegraph.uk

So even though British intelligence sources have concluded that the Bush Administration is overstating the role of Iran in Iraq, Bolton's puppet masters are going to attack Iran regardless of any facts.

 

'No Science Please .... We're Conservatives'!

"Investment in scientific research performed by the federal public service has been "eroded" to the extent that some government labs rely on industry funding to "simply keep the lights on," says the union representing public service professionals. [...]
This year alone, ... Health Canada must fill 600 scientific positions, of which many are professional jobs dealing with regulatory roles requiring experienced mid-career professionals."


Federal scientists in 'full-blown' crisis

It should come as no surprise, I suppose, that those who reject science in favour of mythology, fairy tales, literal scriptural nonsense and climate change denial ALL seem to find a comfortable home in the Conservative Party. There is a word for those who chose to 'ignore' science ... that word is 'ignorant'!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 

Why The Conservative Government Will Ultimately Not Allow Safe Injection Sites

The Harper government wants to get rid of safe injection sites for people afflicted with the serious disease of drug addiction. They want to get rid of them because they simply will not recognize that drug addiction is a disease. They see it as a moral deficiency. They can't understand why an addict simply doesn't put the cap on the needle and walk away from their 'habit'.

Addiction is a serious life threatening disease whether the Conservatives agree or not.

The Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health is Winnipeg MP Steven Fletcher. He is on record as saying, "Science alone will not be the only factor in the government's decision whether to extend Insite's funding." Insite is Vancouver's safe injection site.

Federal Health Minister Tony Clement told reporters that a decision on the fate of Insite will be made by the end of June. However, he rejected suggestions that the government has already made up its mind to say no. I disagree. The decision is already made. The Federal Conservatives will close the site and there will be no more safe injection sites as long as they are in power.

The right-wing mind simply cannot get over the hurdle of their own prejudices on the issue of addictions. In their world view, they refuse to acknowledge that addiction is a complex health problem where the afflicted individual simply cannot stop their use of drugs without a major coordinated effort from both themselves, health professionals and others.

The Conservatives will NOT agree to continue funding Vancouver's Insite ... you heard it here first. Their policies will send addicts back behind the dumpsters and into public washrooms in Vancouver's downtown. Conservatives refuse to comprehend that to an opiate addict, the fear of overdose and the fear of AIDS are trumped by the physical urgency within them to use more drugs. Drug addicts are not logical because they are sick. They are not bad or evil or lazy as most right wing thinkers assume.

When Tony Clement makes his announcement sometime between now and next month, it will be to say that the Federal government will no longer fund nor tolerate safe injection sites. If I am wrong, (and I won't be), I will acknowledge it here with another post.

-Expert: Safe injection site improves 'public order' - CTV

-Study backs more safe injection sites in Canada - National Post

-Vancouver injection site doesn't promote crime: criminologist - Canadian Press

Monday, May 05, 2008 

Why oh Why Is Harper Adopting FAILED American Drug Policy?

OTTAWA -- The Harper government is embracing tough-on-crime policies even as the United States backs away from similar approaches that have produced record levels of incarceration, huge taxpayer costs and racialized prisons, says an American expert on sentencing policy. [...]The Harper government pushed (a) bill through even though crime rates in Canada have been falling steadily since the early '90s and are now at their lowest level in 25 years. [...] In the United States, three-strike laws and widespread use of mandatory minimum sentences have resulted in a record 2.3 million people behind bars -- 700,000 more than China, which has four times the population.
Regina Leader-Post

China, a nation of over 1 billion persons, has 1.6 million individuals in jail while the United States with 1/4 the population of China has 2.3 million in jail! When you add the costs of incarcerating such a large number plus the cost of the failed Iraqi invasion, you can see why the American economy is going down the dumper.

Sunday, May 04, 2008 

Remembering Kent State - May 4th - 1970



On May 4th, 1970 at Kent State University in Ohio, students protesting the escalation of the War in Vietnam into Cambodia by the Republican Nixon administration, were gunned down by members of the National Guard. Four students were killed by rifle fire from the troops and 9 were seriously wounded.

The shootings led to protests on college campuses throughout the nation, and a student strike - causing over 450 university campuses across the United States and Canada to close with both violent and non-violent demonstrations. A common sentiment was expressed by students at New York University with a banner hung out of a window which read 'They Can't Kill Us All.'

Just five days after the shootings, 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C. against the war and the murder of student protesters. Ray Price, Nixon's chief speechwriter from 1969-74 recalled the Washington demonstrations saying, "The city was an armed camp. The mobs were smashing windows, slashing tires, dragging parked cars into intersections, even throwing bed springs off overpasses into the traffic down below. President Richard Nixon was taken to Camp David for two days for his own protection and safety. Charles Colson (Counsel to President Nixon from 1969 to 1973) stated that the military had to be called up to protect the nations's administration from the angry students.

Remember Kent State because 'war culture' continues!

More Photos of Kent State on May 4th, 1970.

National Geographic on Kent State ...

tag

 

Harper's Plan To Salvage Maxime Bernier As Foreign Affairs Minister

Foreign Affairs Minster Maxime Bernier is too incompetent to be sitting at the federal cabinet table. He proved that amply with his recent major foul up in Afghanistan politics.

However, since Conservatives are incapable of being honest and acknowledging ANY errors, Stephen Harper stubbornly continues to keep Bernier as Canada's spokesperson abroad.

Harper has kept Bernier under wraps since the April 14th screw up and is now gently putting him back into circulation with a little diplomatic announcement about Zimbabwe that quietly allows the failed minister to start working his way back into the public eye.

My question to Prime Minister Harper remains unanswered, why is Maxime Bernier STILL Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs?

-Maxime Bernier Resurfaces

Saturday, May 03, 2008 

War Mongering Tory Cabinet Minister Proves That Harper Government Only Interested In War Not Peace

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN -- Members of the Canadian military who have been encouraging low- and mid-level Taliban to talk with Afghan authorities were out of line, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday.

A Toronto newspaper quoted Lt.-Col. Gordon Corbould, the new battle group commander, and Sgt. Tim Seeley, a civilian-military co-operation officer for Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team, on Thursday as saying that channels were being opened to moderate Taliban.

Other officials in Kandahar, who spoke privately, backed up the military's assessment, calling it creative thinking.

But they were sternly corrected by the minister.

"They certainly don't speak for the government of Canada," MacKay said from Halifax. He repeated the Conservatives' hardline stand that Canada does not negotiate directly with terrorists.

Ottawa Sun

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper and all of his Ministers go to church tomorrow, mouthing words of 'peace' and the love of gawd ... I hope that all of the other church goers realize what a phony bunch of war mongers they are sharing pews with!

'War is good for business and NO ONE is going to screw with what's good for business'
Motto of the Harper Cabinet!


Photo courtesy CBC ...

Friday, May 02, 2008 

Stephen Harper Returns To His Reform Party Roots To Pay Tribute To Preston Manning At NCC Dinner



On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Stephen Harper quietly slipped into Calgary's Bow Valley Club, as a surprise guest at a National Citizens Coalition dinner which was honouring Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party. Stephen Harper previously served as a Reform Member of Parliament under Manning and he was once also head of the National Citizens Coalition.

Of Manning, Harper said, "He is to be recognized by history as one whose actions have defined Canadian politics for the past couple of decades and whose legacy will define Canadian politics for decades to come. Once controversial ideas, balanced budgets, tax cuts, liberalized trade, Mr. Manning made common policy wisdom. It is hard to imagine how the current course of national politics could have occurred without Preston Manning,".

While all of this probably plays well to Harper's base in Western Canada, you have to wonder what old Tory Conservatives in Ontario and the Maritime provinces think about Harper's Reform past. It is clear to most political observers that the old 'Reform' party has taken control of both the Conservative party and its policies.

National Post

Photo courtesy Peter Jones, Reuters File Photo ...

 

Saskatchewan Party In The Pocket Of Corporate Donors

Contributions to Saskatchewan's political parties demonstrate that the new governing Sask Party is 'beholden' to the province's corporate sector. Documents from the Chief Electoral Officer showed that the Saskatchewan Party received $4.79 million in donations, 63%, or $3.02 million of which were from corporations. Only 37% of donations to the Sask Party came from individuals for a total of $1.77 million.

The New Democrat Party received $2.28 million in total donations. The NDP took in $585,502 from corporate donors while over 8,600 individual donors gave $1.28 million. The Saskatchewan Party is less than honest when it daily accuses the NDP of being puppets of organized labour for its 'reliance on union donations'. Only $165,999 came to the NDP from labour groups.

The first legislation that came forward from the new Saskatchewan Party government were two bills that strip organized labour of many basic rights that are traditional in collective bargaining.

'He who pays the piper calls the tune.' When it comes to the corporate 'unfettered free market' approach of the Saskatchewan Party government, they are clearly in business's hip pocket.


-Regina Leader-Post
-CBC Saskatchewan

Thursday, May 01, 2008 

Saskatchewan Working People Rally Against Brad Wall's Labour Legislation




Saskatchewan's new right wing government got their first taste of the wrath of working people in Regina today. A large rally of citizens flooded over the steps of the Saskatchewan Legislature and grounds to let Brad Wall know that his plans to strip working people of basic labour rights will not be tolerated.

-CBC Saskatchewan has more ...

Photos courtesy Leftdog's trusty SaskTel cellphone ....

 

Today is Yom Hashoah

"It has been over 60 years since the Holocaust. To survivors, the Holocaust remains real and ever-present, but for some others, sixty years makes the Holocaust seem part of ancient history. Year-round we try to teach and inform others about the horrors of the Holocaust. We confront the questions of what happened? How did it happen? How could it happen? Could it happen again? We attempt to fight against ignorance with education and against disbelief with proof.

But there is one day in the year when we make a special effort to remember (Zachor). Upon this one day, we remember those that suffered, those that fought, and those that died. Six million Jews were murdered. Many families were completely destroyed.

On April 12, 1951, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) proclaimed Yom Hashoah U'Mered HaGetaot (Holocaust and Ghetto Revolt Remembrance Day) to be the 27th of Nissan. The name later became known as Yom Hashoah Ve Hagevurah (Devastation and Heroism Day) and even later simplified to Yom Hashoah.

This year, the Yom Hashoah will be on May 1, 2008."

Jennifer Rosenberg
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today we Observe Yom Hashoah

 

Anyone Who EVER Called Layton 'Taliban Jack' CAN KISS MY ASS!!

After years of refusing to negotiate with insurgents, Canadian forces in Kandahar put word out they want to talk to the Taliban:

KHENJAKAK, AFGHANISTAN — "Canadian troops are reaching out to the Taliban for the first time, military and diplomatic officials say, as Canada softens its ban on speaking with the insurgents.

After years of rejecting any contact with the insurgents, Canadian officials say those involved with the mission are now rethinking the policy in hopes of helping peace efforts led by the Afghan government.

The Canadian work on political solutions follows two separate tracks: tactical discussions at a local level in Kandahar, and strategic talks through the Kabul government and its allies. Neither type of negotiation appears to have made progress so far, though efforts are still in the early stages."

Globe & Mail

 

Harper's Move To Control Independent Officers Of Parliament Is Unprecedented In the British Parliamentary System

In a move that is fairly unprecedented in the British Parliamentary System, our control freak Prime Minister is trying to bring Independent Officers of Parliament under his thumb.

"Auditor-General Sheila Fraser found allies yesterday who condemned the Conservative proposal, which could mean that Parliament's officers must vet their public statements through a wing of the Prime Minister's Office, as an unprecedented attack on the independence of the officers, who are supposed to work at arm's length.
The draft proposal would lump in Fraser, along with other officers of Parliament such as the head of Elections Canada, and the privacy, information and ethics commissioners with all other government departments and demand they get high-level approval before speaking out."

The Star

At some point, Canadians need to wake up to the fact, that this minority Conservative government is making moves towards an authoritarian society where the Office of the Prime Minister trumps Parliament.

"Well, I can tell you there is no way that my press releases about my report are going to go to Privy Council Office or our communications strategies are going to be vetted by Privy Council Office."
Sheila Fraser
Auditor General



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