Thursday, July 31, 2008 

Canadian GDP FALLS - Ahh ... the leadership of Stephen Harper!

The Canadian economy shrank in May, shocking economists who had been expecting at least modest growth and confirming that the commodities market is not enough to keep Canada humming when the U.S. economy is struggling. The question is: Can the stock market continue to lead the world when the economy is simply following?

In May, GDP fell 0.1 per cent from the previous month, versus a consensus expectation from economists for growth of 0.2 per cent – establishing what looks like an unsettling picture of, at best, an economy that is floating just inches above a technical recession.

“The setback was the fourth decline in the past six months, and leaves output up a meagre 0.6 per cent in the past year, far below the economy's 10-year trend of 3 per cent,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, in a note.

Of all things, energy production was the biggest source of the setback in May, due to a drop in natural gas extraction. However, mining activity, financial activity and auto manufacturing also fell during the month.

“If we assume a flat June reading for GDP, the second quarter might only be as high as 0.5 per cent. That suggests the Bank of Canada will not really be in a position to raise rates until well into 2009,” said Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist at TD Securities, in a note.
The Globe & Mail

GDP drop 'a bit of a shocker' ....


..... MEANWHILE, SHELL POSTS $11.6 BILLION Q2 PROFIT ....... ahhh ... the 'unfettered free market' ;)

 

The Myth of 'Fiscal Conservatism'

Figures released this week by the Bush administration places this year's federal US budget deficit at a record $482 billion! White House staff tried to spin the grim budget news as "fallout from the economic stimulus package approved by a bipartisan congressional majority in February". Clearly, Bush's $600-per-taxpayer rebate didn't help the economy, in fact, it merely added to the American national debt by costing the Treasury $168 billion, But that amount is minor when compared to the cost of the invasion and ongoing occupation of of Iraq. I can't even find figures that estimate the cost of the Iraq war but be assured that it is hundreds of billions of dollars. Add to these expenditures, the fact that Bush continued to cut business taxes.

The $482 Billion projected deficit figure actually understates the size of the shortfall because it doesn't include a further increase of $80 billion in war costs - the cost of the so called 'Surge'.

The recent mortgage crisis has not helped the overall American economy.

Canadians are also watching the Harper government run a fiscal deficit ... spending more than they are taking in.

The next time someone of Right Wing persuasion tells you that they are a 'Fiscal Conservative' .... laugh in their face! Mock them! Point out to them that when Republicans in the US or Conservatives in Canada get their chubby grubby hands on the public purse, deficits are sure to follow!


Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 

Radovan Karadzic Extradited To Face Trial In The Hague


Alleged mass murderer, Radovan Karadzic was extradited Wednesday morning from Serbia to the Netherlands to face trial for war crimes.

His extradition comes on the heels of a demonstration by ultra-nationalist right wing supporters in Belgrade. Dozens of his supporters clashed with police in a desperate attempt to prevent his extradition.

Here is a summary of the charges he faces:

- One count of genocide (Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia).
- One count of complicity in genocide (Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia).
- One count of extermination, a crime against humanity.
- One count of murder as a crime against humanity
- One count of murder as a violation of the laws or customs of war.
- One count of willful killing as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions governing wartime conduct.
- One count of persecution.
- Two counts of deportations and other inhumane acts.
- One count of inflicting terror upon civilians.
- One count of taking hostages.


-CBC News
-CTV News
-Lukewarm turnout at mass rally for Karadzic

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 

All Air Passengers Flying In And Out Of Britain To Be Fingerprinted Starting Next Year


"Millions of passengers flying from British airports will be fingerprinted from next year under the latest controversial Government anti-terror plans. The measures, which will apply to both domestic and international passengers, are being introduced despite opposition from the Information Commissioner, Britain’s privacy watchdog."
Mail On Sunday

Talk about controversy! A British government plan that will force all air passengers flying in or out of Great Britain to be fingerprinted is causing quite a lot of concern.

 

Barbara Amiel SLAMS Conrad's Critics


DOUBLE BARF ALERT - Warning .... only those with stomachs that can withstand complete bull droppings from spoiled, corrupt Right wingers like Barbara Amiel should read this post!

"If ostensibly privileged defendants like us can be baselessly smeared, wrongly deprived, falsely accused, shamelessly persecuted . . . what happens to the vulnerable, the powerless, the working-class people whose savings have been eaten up trying to defend themselves?"
Barbara Amiel

"It's a valid point, albeit one that doesn't take into account Conrad's apparent entrepreneurial recklessness -- especially of venturing into the U.S. where, some 25 years earlier, he'd tangled with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and escaped with a warning."
Peter Worthington
Toronto Sun

Ahh excuse me Ms. Amiel! Your husband is a CONVICTED FELON who has lost all appeals! He is a criminal ... Conrad wasn't persecuted, he was caught and HE WAS PROSECUTED!!

My advise to Babs Amiel is to take a cooking class ... learn how to bake a cake ..... put a file in it ...... send it to Conrad ..... maybe he can file his way out of the bars that confine his sorry Conservative ass!

 

The REAL Leftdog - BEWARE of Imitations!

This morning I found a post on my site, signed by someone who is using my handle, 'leftdog.' What is it that they say about imitiation is the best flattery? Oh well.

The individual who is also using my handle is from Saskatoon - here is their blogger profile - and here is my original 'leftdog' profile.

They are posting under IP Address 216.174.137.3 (SaskTel). I have notified both SaskTel and Blogger.

So, when you see a post signed off with the handle 'leftdog' take a look at the profile and be cautious of imitators.

It is nice to know that my posts tick off some of the Saskatchewan Party and Conservative Party types we have here in Saskatchewan, that they feel bound to try and make mischief with my name.

Monday, July 28, 2008 

20 Of 30 Shootings By RCMP Did NOT Meet Standard For Deadly Force



"Of the 30 RCMP shootings nationwide in 2006 (the most recent year for which data was available), only 10 met the RCMP's test for using lethal force."
Vancouver Sun

 

Casualties Of War - When Canadian Troops Accidentily Kill Children

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — "Canadian troops have killed a two-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister by opening fire on a car they feared was about to attack their convoy in Afghanistan, the Canadian Forces announced Monday."
Globe & Mail

War sucks. Big time. War is illogical, violent, primitive and allows little children in a car with their father to be shot through the head by men who have good intentions of fighting 'evil'.

Blogging Tory types will shrug and suggest it was the fault of the father for not adhering to signals to stop his car in the vicinity of nervous and gun shy Canadian troops.

Simple rural people, in a remote and unsophisticated country, living almost as if it is still the middle ages, who don't understand the English being shouted at them. Boom! Two little children, dead.

For what? .... oh well .... at least we remain rigid in our policy to NEVER speak to the Taliban .... we do NOT negotiate with 'terrorists'!

.... the Canadian military will give the family some money - and we can all get back to living our nice little Canadian lives.

Sunday, July 27, 2008 

If The Free Market System Works So Bloody Well - Why Does The Private Sector Always Seem To Need Billions Of Tax Dollars To Bail The Bastards Out?

I take a lot of heat on my blog from some fairly extreme right wing voices who denounce 'socialism' and praise "private enterprise and personal initiative." However, it seems that none of the right wing bloggers ever acknowledge that their precious unfettered 'free market system' seems to survive on the backs of average working taxpayers who constantly find themselves bailing out big business. David Lewis called them 'corporate welfare bums'! And yet, those of us on the left are constantly attacked by the mindless ideologues of the Right .... I still can't determine if they are dishonest or just stupid?

So here we go again. In a desperate attempt to keep hundreds of thousands of families from foreclosure in the mortgage meltdown south of the border, the US government is making billions of tax dollars available to bail out irresponsible companies.

"The Treasury Department gains unlimited power, until the end of 2009, to lend money to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or buy their stock should they need it. The Federal Reserve takes on a new "consultative" role overseeing the companies. [...] The Federal Housing Administration, (FHA) could insure $300 billion in such mortgages, which would be available to homeowners who showed they could afford a new loan.

Billions in bailout tax money for Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac .... (so much for the 'unfettered free market') ...

Friday, July 25, 2008 

75th Anniversary Of The Founding Of The CCF



During the Great Depression, few places in Canada were harder hit than Saskatchewan. Not only did the free market economy completely collapse, but prairie people had to deal with a prolonged period of drought, wind and dust now known as the 'Dirty Thirties'.

In response to the failure of the free market system, political movements like the Social Credit Party and the CCF emerged in response to the desperation of the times.

75 years ago this weekend, in Regina, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation was formed. Their founding document, the Regina Manifesto is an interesting peek into the mood and attitude of the times. The fact that people were in such a desperate financial situation resulted in loss of faith in free markets and capitalism. Out of these conditions, the CCF began a large organizing drive that led to the election of the Tommy Douglas' CCF government in Saskatchewan in 1944.

Over the years, the position of the CCF softened as the world's economy came back from the brink. In the 1960's the CCF merged with the Canadian Labour Congress to form what we now know as the New Democratic Party.

The Regina Manifesto is an important Canadian historical document because it allows us to see and hear the desperation of the times in the words written 75 years ago.

The New Democratic Party is currently being attacked by some extremist right wing voices who want to spin the Regina Manifesto as the current philosophy of the New Democrats. What naive nonsense!

Some right wing thinkers refer to the document in the 'present' tense as opposed to the historical period it represents. Most progressive political observers have grown accustomed to the dishonesty or stupidity of the hard Right.


New Democrats are proud of their history (unlike the Reform Party that morphed itself into the Canadian Alliance Party and aftewards, into the Conservative Party of Canada).

We are today the product of the times that have come before us. When Canada's free market system failed Saskatchewan, the people responded. We have come a long way.

Happy 75th!

 

Artist Roger Ing Dies - Creator of 'Rogerism' Will Be Missed - Updated


Renowned Canadian artist, Roger Ing died in Regina on July 22nd. The creator of a unique style of painting known as 'Rogerism', he was a legend in avantgarde circles for many years.
Roger practiced his art in Regina's New Utopia Cafe on Dewdney Avenue in Regina. Those who came in contact with Roger were not sure if he was a restaurateur who painted or an artist who owned a cafe. Vic Cicansky, another well known Canadian artist from Saskatchewan commented that visiting Roger was always an artistic adventure - drinking coffee and having good conversation with just the faintest whiff of paint in the room.

Roger's aggressive use of colour and bold assertive style is famous. His work was featured in a documenary film entitled, Roger Ing's Utopia (1998) - produced by BRAVO / SCN. *(UPDATED) Please note that the documentary was not produced by Bravo/SCN...it was televised there, but it was produced by Judith Silverthorne of Spiral Communications Inc.


I had the great pleasure of knowing Roger. His wit, style and humble flamboyance were a complete joy. He will be missed by progressive artists and art lovers everywhere.

Here follows his obituary from the Regina Leader-Post of this date:

Roger Ing
Roger Ing passed away with his family by his side on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at the age of 75 years. Predeceased by his parents, Victor and Chew Jone Ing, older brother and sister-in-law. Left to cherish his memory is his wife Mei and four children, Yvonne (Marco) Granello, Maureen (Kevin) Sinclair, Suzie, and Mitchell (Gloria) Ing and seven grandchildren. Special thanks to the doctors, nurses, and staff on 36 at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, the Emergency Department and the Renal Dialysis Unit at the Regina General Hospital. A visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday, July 25, 2008 from 6:00 8:00 p.m. in Speers Funeral Chapel, 2136 College Avenue, Regina. A Funeral Service will be held at Speers Funeral Chapel on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Gershom Ng officiating. Interment in Riverside Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers donations may be made, in memoriam, to the Regina General Hospital, Renal Dialysis Unit, 1440 14th Avenue, Regina S4P 0W5.

-New York Times review of 'Roger Ing's Utopia (1998)
-Spiral Communications on 'Roger Ing's Utopia (1998)

For those who are interested, you can join one of two Facebook groups that acknowledge Roger's work: UTOPIA CAFE (OR) ROGERISM.


(Very special thanks to Unclemeat for his 'Rogerism' website)

Thursday, July 24, 2008 

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell - The 6th Man To Walk On The Moon Verifies That Aliens Have Visited Our Planet



American scientist and former Astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell is now in his 70's. As other prominent individuals have done in their latter years, Dr. Mitchell is now disclosing that our planet has been visited by a race not from this place and that they appear to be non-aggressive towards us.

This verifies what former Canadian Minister of Defence, Paul Hellyer, said in 2005.

Unfortunately, the MSM still is hesitant to carry this story.

Paul Hellyer - Former Canadian Minister of Defence - Verifies that Aliens have visited our planet

Excerpt of an interview of Astronaut, Dr. Edgar Mitchell by Lisa Bonnice:

Mitchell: "When I went to the moon, some of the old timers from that period, some locals, and others military and intelligence people, who were under rather severe oaths to not reveal any of this and kind of wanted to get their conscience clear and off their chests before they passed on, selected me and said, independently – this wasn’t a group effort – independently that maybe I might be a safe person to tell their story to. And all of them confirmed, and what I’m saying is they confirmed the Roswell incident was a real incident and they in some way had some part in it that they wanted to talk about."

LB: What is it that they told you?

Mitchell: "Well, that the crash of an alien spacecraft in the Roswell area was a real event and much of the lore, I can’t say all of the lore, but much of the fact that dead bodies were recovered and live ones were recovered, that they were not of this world, was the story. And of course it was reported in the Roswell Daily Record one day and promptly denied the next day and a cover story of a weather balloon, and that was pure nonsense. That was a cover-up."

 

No Disguising Karadzic's Role In Brutal Ethnic Cleansing

The Regina Leader-Post has an article by Richard Holbrooke today that recollects his meeting and negotiations with Radovan Karadizic during the war in Bosnia. Holbrooke is an American diploma who served under President Bill Clinton. He achieved public prominence by brokering a peace agreement among the warring factions in Bosnia that resulted in the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.

"The capture of Karadzic on Monday took me back to a long night of confrontation, drama and negotiations almost 13 years ago, the only time I ever met him. It was 5 p.m. on Sept. 13, 1995, the height of the war in Bosnia. Finally, after years of weak western and U.N. response to Serb aggression and ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia, U.S.-led NATO bombing had put the Serbs on the defensive. Our small diplomatic negotiating team, which included then-Lt. Gen. Wesley K. Clark and Christopher Hill (now the senior U.S. envoy to North Korea), was in Belgrade for the fifth time, trying to end a war that had already taken the lives of nearly 300,000 people.

These three men, Milosevic, Mladic and Karadzic, were the primary reason for that war. Mladic and Karadzic had already been indicted as war criminals by the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. (Milosevic was not to be indicted until 1999.) [...] Karadzic was silent at first. He had a large face with heavy jowls, a soft chin and surprisingly gentle eyes. Then, when he heard our demand that the siege of Sarajevo be lifted immediately, he exploded. Rising from the table, the American-educated Karadzic raged in passable English about the "humiliations" his people were suffering. I reminded Milosevic that he had promised that this sort of harangue would not occur. Milosevic said something to Karadzic in Serbian; he sat down again, and the meeting got down to business."
Regina Leader-Post

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 

'Who's Tory Now?' - Many In The Sask Party Caucus Hold Membership In The Federal Conservative Party

"I think we have a good working relationship and it bodes well for us. If anybody's going to cut somebody some slack they're going to cut us slack and I think it will do us more favours than the other way around."
Don Morgan
Justice Minister of Saskatchewan
(and card carrying member of Stephen Harper's Conservative Party of Canada)

Think back a couple of weeks when I told you how the Government of Saskatchewan had dropped their equalization legal challenge against the federal Conservative government.

The recently disclosed fact that 11 of the 36 members of the governing Saskatchewan Party Caucus hold membership in the Federal Conservative party, raises questions of conflict of interest.

The Saskatchewan Party goes to great length to stress that they are NOT Conservatives - even though Premier Wall worked for the Grant Devine government and sitting MLA's like Jeremy Harrison is a defeated Conservative MP. The Saskies DO NOT want all of the votes that they received last fall from Saskatchewan's screwed up provincial Liberal ranks to fall away.

You really have to wonder if this cozy relationship between Harper and his country cousins is good for Saskatchewan in the long run. The Sask Party insists that it is - although the only thing they have to show for it (and something that they trumpet over and over and over again) is a paltry $80 million given to Saskatchewan as infrastructure money to replace one bridge in Saskatoon!

The people of Saskatchewan wanted change after 16 years of New Democrat administrations. Fair ball - this is a democracy. However, the assurances we get from Premier Wall that his government is NOT tied to Harper's Conservatives is going to wear thin very soon.

I hope this helps the process.

Update:
As well this morning, Kate at smalldeadanimals is ashamed that ALL Saskatchewan Party Members of the Legislature are not card carrying Conservatives ... "My question is simple. Why aren't all members of Saskatchewan Party caucus members of the Conservative Party of Canada? As for the Conservative Party, get to it... you're leaving money on the table. Find those other 25 members, and get selling!"

Regina Leader-Post

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 

RCMP Investigators Went To Poland To Find 'Dirt' On Robert Dziekanski

GLIWICE, Poland -- One of the people interviewed by RCMP investigators who went to Poland in April to talk to people close to Robert Dziekanski described the experience as an "ordeal." [...]

Ivona Kosowska said the questions the team was asking about Dziekanski struck her as odd. "What kind of person was he, was he a drinker, drug user? Was he aggressive?" said Kosowska through a translator. "Most questions were to expose him as not a nice human being -- not to find out what kind of person he really was."

Canada.com

Monday, July 21, 2008 

Robert Mugabe and Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai Sign Agreement To Power Share!

Holy crap! International pressure - especially from fellow Africans - has seen the two sides in Zimbabwe sign a memorandum of understanding to share power!

"Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have agreed to hold talks within two weeks to try to resolve the country's political crisis.

The two signed an agreement in Harare Monday afternoon to begin formal talks aimed at hammering out a power-sharing deal months after March's disputed presidential election and the widely discredited runoff vote last month.

Mugabe said the talks will "chart a new way" for Zimbabwe but urged negotiators to act without influence from Europe or the United States.

Movement for Democratic Change leader Tsvangirai said he will be "putting the interests of Zimbabwe at the forefront."

The agreement, which marked the first face-to-face meeting between the two in a decade, was signed in the presence of mediator South African President Thabo Mbeki"

CBC

Photo courtesy CBC

 

And You Wonder Why Egyptian Women Wear Hijab! - Because Many Egyptian Men Act Like Pigs!

CAIRO (Reuters) - Nearly two-thirds of Egyptian men admit to having sexually harassed women in the most populous Arab country, and a majority say women themselves are to blame for their maltreatment, a survey showed Thursday. [...] The survey of more than 2,000 Egyptian men and women and 109 foreign women said the vast majority of Egyptians believed that sexual harassment in Egypt was on the rise, citing a worsening economic situation and a lack of awareness or religious values. [...] "Out of Egyptian women and men interviewed, most believe that women who wear tight clothes deserve to be harassed," the survey said. It added most agreed women should be home by 8 p.m.
Yahoo News

Sunday, July 20, 2008 

Canada's Top General Finally Admits That Afghanistan Situation Is Worsening

I do not like posting blog stories where I have to challenge Canada's top military leader. All Canadians are asking for is HONESTY concerning the military situation in Afghanistan.

Today, General Walter Natynczyk admitted the overall situation there is worsening.
CTV News

-Taliban Attacks Up 77% In Afghanistan But Gen. Natynczyk And Harper Insist Things Are Peachy!

-Canadians Are Being Lied To About War In Afghanistan

 

If Stephen Harper And the Conservatives Want A Legacy That Even I Will Praise Them For .... FIX THIS!

OTTAWA — "Canada’s national archives building is so prone to leaks that it sprang another one last month just as workers were cleaning up the mess from a flood days earlier. The showcase building near Parliament Hill was given a second soaking June 1 when a cold-water valve in a women’s washroom failed, internal documents show.

The leak triggered a fire alarm, and flooded two corridors as well as an area where books are stacked, though no volumes were damaged because a tarp had been thrown over them by workers cleaning up a May 20 flood.

The first flood, caused by a broken pipe in a washroom, also set off a fire alarm and damaged more than 400 books in the basement. Some of them required freeze-drying but nothing was lost.

Although Library and Archives Canada staff played down the May 20 flood, and never issued a release about the June 1 incident, leaks have become a way of life at the nondescript structure, opened in 1967 just west of Parliament Hill.

In the last 20 years, there have been at least 83 soakings at the facility, with causes ranging from burst pipes and overflowing toilets to faulty roofing, documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act show."

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald

The bloody Liberals had 12 years to fix this mess before they were thrown out in 2006 - here is the Conservatives chance to try and bring a bit of salvation to themselves ....

Saturday, July 19, 2008 

Sask. Company Locks Out Workers - Starts Threatening Organized Labour!

The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was one of the largest grain companies in Canada. It has now reorganized and goes by the name of Viterra. The new company recently locked out its employees in Regina during contract negoitiations. The workers are attempting to have the lock out lifted by court order.

In the meanwhile, Progressive Blogger (and President of the Sasktchewan Federation of Labour) Larry Hubich is now being threatened by Viterra for publishing a blog post that showed the company's logo!

A copy of the letter threatening Larry appears on his blogsite.

During the first few months of the new Saskatchewan Party government, things are starting to get nasty after Brad Wall initiated an outright assault on organized labour.

 

"Bush And Harper Are A Threat To Democracy"

The Halifax Chronicle Herald has an op-ed today that tells it like it is concerning the Bush Harper 'Axis of Anti-Democracy.'

"People’s eyes tend to glaze over at the full litany of indictments against the Bush regime, which would fill a book, but here’s a bit of a re-cap.

There’s the lifting of habeas corpus, the justification of torture, the ripping up of the Geneva Accords governing the treatment of war prisoners, and the re-definition of "child soldier" from the international norm of 18 down to 16, not to mention starting a horrendous war without just cause.

On the home front, there’s the politicization of the justice system to reward Republicans and punish Democrats, the manipulation of regulatory bodies and scientific commissions, and the cooking of intelligence reports.

There’s also military "justice" – and even getting a phoney trial before a military tribunal only happened because the Supreme Court decreed it.

If all of that doesn’t sound too good, let us remember that the Bush administration is not alone. It has at least one fan in the international peanut gallery cheering madly – Canada’s Stephen Harper. Harper says he can’t bring Khadr back to Canada, as Britain and Australia have done with their nationals at the Guantanamo Bay prison, because there’s a judicial process underway, and he has full confidence in it.[...]

Bush/Harper are a hazard to democracy. At least the U.S. constitution is still intact enough to get rid of Bush when his term is up next winter – although it’s deeply unfortunate, for the U.S. and the world, that he’ll make it to the end unimpeached. In Canada, lumbering behind, the least we can do is get rid of his buddy."

Ralph Surette
Halifax Chronicle Herald

Friday, July 18, 2008 

Time to sit in the lawn chair!



Time to sit in the lawn chair and veg! Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008 

RCMP Commissioner Denies That Dziekanski Investigation Is A Whitewash

RCMP Commissioner William Elliott is denying that the investigation into the death of Robert Dziekanski is rigged despite emails obtained through a freedom of information request by CBC which show that the four officers were contacted personally by Elliott.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Association and lawyers who represents Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, say they're worried about comments made by the the commissioner when he phoned the four officers to reassure them that they were on "safe ground."

CBC News

 

RCMP Whitewash Of Dziekanski Killing Started Immediately - Premier Campbell Offered Support To The 4 Mounties

You would think that at some point, Canadians would get sick of being lied to by our national police force.

"Documents obtained by CBC News cast doubt on the RCMP's sincerity in vows to get to the bottom of the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski, according to a civil rights group and the lawyer for Dziekanski's family. [...] Dziekanski died after being zapped with a stun gun at the Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007, by RCMP officers who were called to help deal with the Polish immigrant, who apparently became agitated from spending 10 hours at the airport. From that day, RCMP e-mail exchanges obtained by access to information requests suggest the force moved quickly to create a strategy.

The strategy involved all answers being vetted in Ottawa, including ones described by RCMP Commissioner William Elliott as "tough or dirty questions" from the media.
[...]
In another e-mail from Bass, dated Nov. 24, he describes bumping into B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell at the airport, saying the premier also expressed support for the officers and the continued use of Tasers. Campbell said Wednesday that he offered support out of compassion for the officers, not as a signal he was siding with them."


CBC News


More Buckdog on Dziekanski killing ......

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 

Premier Wall Gets Testy With Reporters Over Dropped Equalization Court Challenge


"But when asked if he feels the Sask. Party government's new relationship with the federal government is generating enough cash to make up for not getting the $800 million that had been expected from equalization, Wall balked at answering.
"I'm not going to have this debate again," he said.

Regina Leader-Post

Saskatchewan's new young right wing Premier is getting testy in the face of ongoing criticism for dropping a court challenge against the Harper government for a broken promise on non-renewable resources and equalization.

Wall's testiness does not come as a surprise to anyone who understands exactly how deeply the Saskatchewan Party government is in Harper's hip pocket.

Buckdog has more ...

 

Guess Who Harper Is Leaving In Charge Of Canada's Food Safety?!

Yesterday I told you how the Harper government was putting Canadians health at risk in order to save $24 Million from Canada's food safety inspection budget.

Claiming that they are merely 'unfettering' Canada's food industry ... you may want to take a look at exactly WHO IT IS that Harper and the Conservative government is leaving in charge of monitoring your food safety and that of your children! The huge food industry will now monitor safety itself. This comes on the heels of a major academic study which finds that by and large, 'honesty' is a commodity that is unknown to many food processing companies.

"Food products marketed to children have poor nutritional content 90% of the time, even though some of the manufacturers still make health claims, shows the research of a University of Calgary professor.

Charlene Elliott is also a trustee of the Canadian Council of Food and Nutrition and studied 367 products, grading them on a 36-point scale, including such criteria as nutritional content and how packaging was designed to appeal to kids and parents. [...] Elliott found nine out of every 10 regular food items aimed at kids had poor nutritional quality stemming from high levels of sugar, salt or fat."

Study says food marketed to kids not good for them!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 

Conservative Ideology Puts Canadian Food Safety At Risk

A cornerstone of right wing thinking is that the Federal government should not interfere with the private sector. The less interference the better. However, the citizens of Canada expect our Federal governement to facilitate the security and safety of its citizens.

Last week, Harper and his Conservatives took major steps to place responsibility for Canada's food safety in the hands of the corporations who process, package and distribute what we eat. The Conservatives care nothing for the health and safety of Canadians if there is a 5% budget savings that can be made.

"OTTAWA - A government plan to transfer key parts of food inspection to industry so companies can police themselves will put the health of Canadians at risk, say leading food safety experts who have reviewed the confidential blueprint.

The plan, drafted by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and approved by the Treasury Board, details sweeping changes coming to food inspection in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also ending funding to producers to test cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) as part of a surveillance program, the document indicates, a move that is expected to save the agency about $24 million over the next three years.

The new system, part of a push to trim the agency's budget by five per cent, was approved last November, but a public announcement "has been deferred owing to significant communications risks," according to the confidential Treasury Board document obtained by Canwest News Service."

Edmonton Journal

Monday, July 14, 2008 

Taliban Attacks Up 77% In Afghanistan But Gen. Natynczyk And Harper Insist Things Are Peachy!

"According to The Canadian Press, which cited statistics from a prominent security firm that provides analysis of the region, the number of attacks in Afghanistan has actually increased by 77 per cent from 2007."
CTV

-Deadly attack on US base sends worrying signal

-24 die in suicide bombing at Afghanistan market

Ahh... but our senior Canadian military General says 'all is well'!

 

US And Britain Moving Troops From Iraq To Afganistan While Harper Blows 'Smiley Face' Smoke Up Our Butts!

"Both the United States and Britain are hoping to reduce their military commitment in Iraq to focus on Afghanistan.

The US is considering cutting American troop numbers to below 120,000, compared with 170,000 last year. Up to three combat brigades could be withdrawn in September.

Britain is also looking to cut troop numbers by almost a half in Iraq, from 4,000 to about 2,500, although not until next year. This would give the Government the option of deploying more units to Helmand province, where the Taleban has intensified its operations, using suicide attacks, roadside bombs and mines.

More American and British troops are now dying in Afghanistan than in Iraq, and with both countries committed to supporting the Kabul Government, the availability of additional troops to fight the Taleban is becoming an increasingly pressing issue."

Times Online

Canada's military and political masters are telling Canadians that all is well in Afghanistan - YEAH .. WE ARE WINNING! That good old fashioned Canadian 'can do' attitude is winning the day in Afghanistan!

Meanwhile, the United States and Britain are preparing to move troops from Iraq to the much more dangerous war zone in Afghanistan.

Something is VERY wrong with the message that Canadians are getting from our Conservative government.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 

Canadians Are Being Lied To About War In Afghanistan

"The first casualty of War is Truth"

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Canada's newly appointed top soldier has completed a five-day visit to Afghanistan and offered the uniquely upbeat assessment that any increase in violence this year has been negligible.

The cheerful prognosis from Canada's new chief of defence staff, General Walter Natynczyk, flies in the face of an independent analysis that shows a 77-per-cent surge in Taliban attacks in Kandahar province this year.

The comparatively sunny assessment from Gen. Natynczyk after his tour of Afghanistan is also at odds with the increasingly grim portrait being painted by Canada's allies.

The Pentagon has cited a 40-per-cent increase in insurgent attacks in eastern areas of Afghanistan where U.S. forces operate, and notes that it is now losing more soldiers here than in Iraq.

Globe & Mail

Canadians are being lied to about the state of the war in Afghanistan. The Conservative government wants us to believe that we are winning and that huge progress is being made in reconstruction of the nation.

Canada's allies are being much more honest and pragmatic about the situation with the Taliban. Hard questions should be asked of Harper and all Conservatives by both Canadians and New Democrat and Liberal Members of parliament.

Why are we being lied to?

Saturday, July 12, 2008 

Regina Leader-Post OpEd Slams Harper As Bully - Wall As Weak

Province bows to PM's bullying
Murray Mandryk
The Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, July 12, 2008


"For a few obvious reasons, no one (other than the NDP Opposition, perhaps) is terribly outraged over the decision by Premier Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government to drop the equalization lawsuit against the feds.

One can see why:

Despite the unfair national perception from certain quarters of the country that Saskatchewan is filled with whiny, greedy farmers, the opposite tends to be true.

Recently, a Winnipeg Free Press columnist had the audacity to portray Saskatchewan people as selfish and greedy for their general condemnation of federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion's Green Shift that specifically robs this province of its resource revenue through a carbon tax. This from a person who earns her living in a province heavily subsidized for its supposed "have-not" status to the tune of $2 billion in equalization money this year!

article continues in the Regina Leader-Post

Friday, July 11, 2008 

40,000 Mark 13th Anniversary Of 8000 Killed In Srebrenica Massacre -



Some 40,000 Bosnians converged on the town of Srebrenica on Friday to commemorate victims of a massacre in which some 8,000 Muslim civilians were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. No one should try to minimise the gravity of the crime committed at Srebrenica - which was termed genocide by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Srebrenica massacre (photo viewer caution) was the worst atrocity since World War II.

"Every year, more victims' bodies are found in mass graves around Srebrenica. DNA tests and other forensic methods have led to the identification and burial at the memorial center, which consists of a huge cemetery, a small museum and a row of marble blocks on which the names of the victims — those unearthed and those not — are engraved. Beyond the sea of 3,300 graves lies a huge field awaiting another 5,000 bodies yet to be found."
Associated Press

 

Harper Says 'Jump' - Premier Wall Asks 'How High'? - Saskatchewan Drops Equalization Court Challenge

No one is very surprised in Saskatchewan this morning. The new Sask. Party government has bowed to Prime Minister Harper's request to drop a court challenge on how equalization has been calculated across the nation. You see we live in a country where some provinces have natural resources included in the calculation ... provinces like Saskatchewan, and other provinces do NOT have their natural resources included (like Quebec and Manitoba). So just chalk it up to another inequity in Confederation - something that the court challenge initiated by Saskatchewan was supposed to answer.

However, Saskatchewan's new right wing (neo-Reform) government has bowed to Harper's demand.

The question of how equalization should be calculated in Canada will not be resolved. Inequity built into the very fabric of our nation will continue.

The rationale given by both Harper and Premier Wall runs like this .... 'Saskatchewan has lots of money at the moment because of windfall oil revenue, they don't need equalization'. Well, next time you owe a bank money, refuse to pay them and simply advise them that 'banks have lots of money ... you don't need my loan payment'! See how well that works!

This is a sad day for the province of Saskatchewan. Stephen Harper and Brad Wall have conspired, for political reasons, to deprive this province of equality in Confederation.

Sigh!

-Regina Leader Post
-CBC Saskatchewan
-Canadian Press

Whatever Happened To Saskatchewan's $850 Million Equalization Dollars That Harper Reneged On?

Thursday, July 10, 2008 

Michigan Police Clamp Down On Crack (Butt Crack That Is)!





Flint Michigan Police Chief, David Dicks (I am NOT making this stuff up) has instructed his officers to clamp down on sagging pants that expose boxers or butt cracks.

"Some people call it a fad," Dicks said. "But I believe it's a national nuisance. It is indecent and thus it is indecent exposure, which has been on the books for years."

On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: "This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression."

The crime, he says, is disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, both misdemeanors punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.

Free Press

And you still think that we are not moving towards Police State in the 21st Century? At the very least, plumbers everywhere should be nervous!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008 

State Official Quits Rather Than Lowering Flag For Senator Jesse Helms

A State official in North Carolina has quit his managerial job rather than follow the Governor’s directive and lower flags to honour former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. The state Department of Agriculture director instructed his staff not to fly the U.S. or North Carolina flags at half-staff Monday, as ordered in a directive to all state agencies by Gov. Mike Easley.

L.F. Eason e-mailed his employees in the state standards lab and said, "Regardless of any executive proclamation, I do not want the flags at the North Carolina Standards Laboratory flown at half staff to honor Jesse Helms any time this week." He told his staff that he did not think it was appropriate to honor Helms because of his "doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice" and his opposition to civil rights bills and the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

When his own superior ordered the lab to follow the Governor’s directive, Eason decided to retire rather than pay tribute to Helms. After several hours' delay, one of Eason's employees hung the flags at half-staff..

News Observer

Right wing Senator Jesse Helms was a member of the Republican Party. He was an unapologetic racist with fans in both Canada and the United States .... here are the kind of things that he liked to say on the floor of the United States Senate Chamber:

"Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced."
Senator Jesse Helms

"The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."
Senator Jesse Helms

 

Quebec Margarine War Ends!

"It's over."
Jean Vigneault
Quebec dairy producers federation

The Province of Quebec has finally moved to end a ban on producing and selling margarine that is the same yellow colour of butter.

After decades of debate, margarine sold in Quebec may now be coloured to look like real butter, something the rest of Canada enjoys.

At one time, a number of Canadian provinces had similar laws that they believed protected dairy farmers. Saskatchewan had a similar law to Quebec's but it was abandoned in the 1960's. Quebec, however, has retained the policy until this week.

When margarine first appeared on grocery shelfs, it was considered an inferior product to butter. It was also recognized that the corporate manufactures of margarine had dairy farmers at a disadvantage because of the huge quantities they could produce at a cost much less than actual butter.

Not much of a stigma remains with the use of margarine, but at one time, use of it was considered to be somewhat primitive.

A snippet from an old song by the Irish group, The Clancy Brothers says it all:
Ahem, Ahem,
Me mother has gone to church.
She told me not to play with you
because you're in the dirt.
It isn't because you're dirty,
it isn't because you're clean,
it's because you have the Whooping
Cough and eat margarine.


-Winnipeg Free Press
-The Star


Graphic courtesy Oukosher

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 

Two Thirds Silent Majority Support Morgentaler Order of Canada

OTTAWA -- Two out of three Canadians either support or somewhat support the appointment of Dr. Henry Morgentaler to the prestigious Order of Canada, reveals a new poll, which points out Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the minority by voicing his "personal dissatisfaction" with the controversial nomination.

The survey, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National, showed 65 per cent of Canadians favour awarding the high honour to the Toronto abortion doctor, while 35% are against it.


National Post

 

Whatever Happened To Saskatchewan's $850 Million Equalization Dollars That Harper Reneged On?

Buckdog did a number of posts last year concerning the Conservatives broken promise to Saskatchewan concerning natural resource revenues.

Harper reneged on the promise, Saskatchewan lost $850 Million and for the moment, Saskatchewan is still proceeding with legal action against the federal government.

But the question still remains ..... Whatever Happened To Saskatchewan's $850 Million Equalization Dollars That Harper Reneged On?


.... guess what boys and girls .... Harper has already done to Saskatchewan what Dion is only threatening to do!!!

 

Iran Says If It Is Attacked There Will Be War

"Iran's response to any military action will make the invaders regret their decision and action."
Mohammed Jafari
Head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Officials in Iran have said that if it is attacked, they will retaliate and a state of war will exist. I suppose that with all of the sabre rattling that Bush is doing concerning a military strike on Iran, we shouldn't be surprised. Jafari warned that if his country is attacked, by either the United States or Israel, Iran would launch a barrage of missiles at Israel and close the Strait of Hormuz, the outlet for oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf.

The Independent

Monday, July 07, 2008 

Right Wingers Who Failed Science Class Think George Bush Saved The World

It is obvious that right wing bloggers, Don Surber and Kate McMillan either failed high school science class or skipped out so much they have no idea what 'yellowcake' is.

On Surber's blogsite, he is proclaiming that George Bush Saved the World!

Perpetually inaccurate Kate McMillan, from smalldeadanimals, has jumped on her Right Wing bandwagon again and is also trumpeting that Bush is the world's saviour.

Yellowcake currently sells for $11/lb and is processed all over the planet.

Oh well, the extreme right wing has been WRONG about so many things over the last few years, this is just one more to chalk up on the list. Pity that they didn't take highschool science classes.

Postscript:
Surber also proclaims the following ... "That’s good enough for me and the other 30% of America who has stood by the Best President of the 21st Century — George Bush."

Aahhhhh ... excuse me ... George Bush is the ONLY president who has served in the 21st Century!? ...

Unambiguously Ambidextrous has more ....

 

BUSH: "Yo Harper"!



"Yo Harper"! 'Sup dude? Keepin' it real'?

CTV News

Sunday, July 06, 2008 

Canada's New Top General's Optimism Borders On Stupidity

JUNE was the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the war there began in late 2001. [...] The Pentagon's first congressionally mandated report on Afghanistan last week predicted increased violence throughout this year.

But Canada's new top military leader, General Walter Natynczyk, doesn't agree with the Pentagon report. He has no facts or report of his own to challenge the Americans, only his good old fashioned, Canadian optimism to guide him in the war zone!

What is it with our senior Canadian Generals? Do they think that putting their best 'Don Cherry' bravado forward is going to cut it with the public? (Well ... actually it does work with the Canadian public) ... but not with this blogger!

General Natynczyk is starting off on the wrong foot by not being honest with Canadians. I was very critical of General Hillier for doing the same and I was hoping that our new chief military leader would be more pragmatic; more honest with Canadians. I guess not.

His optimism (in light of recent Pentagon assessments) is stupid!

-Ottawa Sun
-ThaiIndian News

Saturday, July 05, 2008 

National Farmer's Union President Calls Harper 'Dangerous'

Stewart Wells, President of the National Farmers Union, has a scathing letter in today's Regina Leader-Post, attacking the Conservative plan to kill the Canadian Wheat Board"

"After being found guilty of breaking Canadian laws three times in the last 11 months, my prime minister vowed that any opposition to his plans to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board would be 'walked over'.

This from the prime minister -- the person most responsible for safeguarding Canadian law and democracy.Why do I call Stephen Harper "dangerous"? [...]

Throughout attacks on the CWB, ignorance has been the trump card played by my PM. The shining example is the appointment of Gerry Ritz as point man on the CWB file. A June 12, 2008, article in The Manitoba Co-operator, headed "Ritz's colourful quotes not always factual," lists seven untrue statements about the CWB to the Senate's Standing Committee on Agriculture on June 3."

Stewart Wells
NFU President

Friday, July 04, 2008 

What do you call the death of a Right Wing conservative racist??

........... A bit nicer day!!

Here is why:

"Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced."
Senator Jesse Helms

"All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction."
Senator Jesse Helms

"Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches."
Senator Jesse Helms

"The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights."
Senator Jesse Helms

"To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing."
Senator Jesse Helms


............... but don't just take my word for it .....


Progressive Bloggers

 

I Bet Conrad Black Hasn't Sent His Order Of Canada Back Yet!

Without discussing Dr. Morgentaler's Order of Canada, I still want to know why the committee that administers the Order has NOT revoked the award given to convicted felon and fraud artist, Conrad Black!

Those who want to return their medals - should feel free. I bet Conrad Black has not sent his back yet!

-Some right winger at the Ottawa Citizen ....

-Buckdog's earlier outrage at Black's unrevoked Order of Canada ...

 

Happy July 4th!!

My maternal grandfather was born in Minnesota and came to Saskatchewan in the early 20th century. As a result, I had a number of great aunts and uncles in the US that I spent some wonderful summers with.

To all of my family and friends who live south of the 49th Parallel, I would like to wish a very happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 03, 2008 

Quebec City - HAPPY 400TH!


At 11 a.m. this morning, bells will ring out in Quebec City while across the country, Canadians will observe that 400 years ago today French explorer Samuel de Champlain landed in what is now know as Vieux Québec to establish the first european settlement in New France.

I've had the good fortune of travelling to Quebec City six times in my life and I look forward to visiting there again. It is arguably, the most beautiful city in Canada and some would say in the entire world.

Happy Birthday Quebec!

-Canada .com
-Saskatchewan Marks Quebec's 400th Anniversary

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 

Free Market Math: How a 2.3 Cent Carbon Tax Raises Gas By 10 Cents A Litre!

Using the kind of 'unfettered free market' mathematics that are loved by Conservatives, and right wing Liberals, B.C. has raised the price of gas by 2.3 cents with a new 'carbon tax' which has resulted in the oil companies raising the price of gas by 10 cents a litre! (2.3 cents = 10 cents)

Why did the gas companies do this? Well, since the public is going to be ticked right off at B.C.'s Premier Campbell, why not go for it and grab a bit more for the pigs at the trough!

Vancouver Sun

 

As Of Today Police Can Now Require Drivers To Submit To Roadside Tests

Creeping Conservative authoritarianism took another step forward today to regulate the behavior and 'morals' of Canadians. As of today, Canada's police forces now have more reasons why they can detain and perhaps tase their fellow citizens.

Canadian Press

Tuesday, July 01, 2008 

Stephen Harper On Canada - On Canada Day

Our Prime Minister is a firm believer in the idea that people should be held accountable for the things they say - On Canada Day, let's hear what Stephen Harper has said about Canada in the recent past:

"Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."
- Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Your country [the USA], and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."
-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status, led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task."
- Stephen Harper in his article "It is time to seek a new relationship with Canada," December 12th, 2000.

"A culture of defeat..."
- Stephen Harper, describing the Atlantic provinces, May 2001.

"In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance."
-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"What we clearly need is experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in health care]."
- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.

"We also support the exploration of alternative ways to deliver health care. Moving toward alternatives, including those provided by the private sector, is a natural development of our health care system."
- Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, October 2002.

Let's face it boys and girls - Stephen Harper HATES Canada the way it is! He wants it to be ideologically more like the Bush's America!


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