Tuesday, March 31, 2009 

By the way ... Happy 60th Anniversary of Newfoundland & Labrador In Confederation!


As a Canadian, I am richer in both culture, character and tradition because of the fact that 60 years ago today, Newfoundland joined Canada! Hip hip HOORAY!!

A word from my blogging friend, Edward Hollett

Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada!

 

Lessons in Contract Law, Sterility And 'Doing It' With Your Neighbor


Every once in awhile the media carries a story that is worth reading, if only to improve you knowledge of 'the Law'!

Monday, March 30, 2009 

WAKE UP and smell the coffee - Free Market Capitalism Has Failed!

In 1989, the theory of 'planned economies' failed and Soviet 'commune_ism' crumbled. The forces of 'free-market capitalism' shouted for joy and anointed themselves the 'winner' in the hard fought competition for supremacy as the world's ideal economic system.

Radical 'free-marketers' were emboldened and demanded that even more of their capitalist ideology be adopted and that markets be fully unfettered by regulation and public interference. They demanded that the 'yoke' of taxation be removed from both business and the wealthy. The 'trickle-down' was trumpeted as the solution to all of the world's economic woes and inequalities.

Well .. so much for that crap! Here we are in 2009, twenty years after the fall of communism, and we are witnessing the failure of the other economic 'extreme' - unfettered, unregulated free-market capitalism.

This 'binary' world view which sees Capitalism VS Communism as the only solution is short sighted and simplistic.

But take heart! Over the decades that Communism and Capitalism fought it out, a more balanced economic vision was quietly being articulated by Social Democrats all over the world. Social Democrats are totally committed to democracy but they envision an economy where:
-private enterprise,
-public enterprise
-cooperative enterprise

jointly work to bring about a more balanced environment for equitable, universal economic prosperity to occur. The goal is a 'just society' that is NOT 'just for the rich'!

Yes I am on the left side of the political spectrum, but I am not on the extreme left which advocated the failed system of communism. I believe that free-enterprise capitalism is a key and crucial part of a balanced economy. But I am also a strong advocate of Crown corporations and other public enterprise where the profits are poured back into government coffers to be used for the benefit of the people. Social Democracy provides public benefits like free public health care, which I and other Canadians enjoy as a right of our citizenship. It is a system which is far superior to a solely capitalist view of private health care where the wealthy get medical service and the poor do not.

Those of you who think that an unfettered, unregulated free-market is the solution to the economic ills of the world are living in an illusion.

Your ideology has failed just as surely as communism has failed.

Balance ... is what is needed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009 

Pssst ... Don't Tell Kate ...

"The Calgary skyline was almost unrecognizable Saturday night as several landmark buildings, including the Calgary Tower, disappeared into the darkness for Earth Hour. While it appeared a giant dimmer switch brought the city's light levels down a notch or two, and power consumption dipped slightly, some wished more Calgarians showed passion for the environment."
Calgary Herald

"TORONTO - And the environmentalists said let there be darkness. And – for an hour, at least – there was darkness: in downtown office towers and suburban homes, in stores big-box and mom-and-pop, at gatherings long-planned and impromptu."
The Star

By all accounts 'Earth Hour' celebrations went well all across Canada last night. In fact even the City of Calgary responded to the international observation of the wisdom of reducing energy consumption.

Now, it was reported that some near crazed individual was seen running around frantically in a small Saskatchewan town, idling motorcycles and old trucks with every light on the property turned on. While locals are used to such antics, others merely shook their heads and wondered at the unfortunate soul who was so desperately seeking attention. Oh well....

Saturday, March 28, 2009 

Canadian Court Orders Website To Reveal Identity Data Of Anonymous Posters

"An Ontario Superior Court judge has ordered a pair of website owners to turn over identifying information about eight people being accused of defamation after posting anonymous comments. "In my view, the defendants are under an obligation to disclose all documents in their power and control," Justice Stanley Kershman said in a ruling delivered Monday to defendants Connie Wilkins-Fournier and Mark Fournier of Kingston, Ont., who run the website Free Dominion."
CBC.ca

In this case, the Judge ordered that the website owners must provide the plaintiff with:
- Email addresses and all personal information.
- The IP addresses of their computers.
- Documents concerning the establishment and operation of the website, such as hosting agreements, billing information, and website registrant names.


I have been criticised many times on my Buckdog site for using comment moderation and not allowing comments that were clearly defamatory or libelous. Now you know why.

Friday, March 27, 2009 

Things Are Not Good In Fargo, North Dakota

Thousands of residents are getting out while they can and others continue to sandbag the miles of dikes that keep the flooded Red River at bay tonight in both Fargo, North Dakota and its sister community of Moorehead, Minnesota. This is the biggest flood North Dakota’s largest city has ever seen. The flooded Red River is expected to crest overnight and Saturday where the river could rise as high as 43 feet, nearly 3 feet higher than the record set 112 years ago.

Many people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba have friends or relatives in North Dakota. We are thinking of them tonight.

Photos from Fargo .....

SATURDAY UPDATE:
"Officials in Fargo said Saturday that frigid temperatures slowed the rising of the record-high Red River, but it is still unclear if the city would be submerged by major flooding. By Saturday morning, millions of sandbags were in place as National Guard troops patrolled the city, monitoring dikes that were built by locals, students and out-of-towners who volunteered to help. The troops spread out through the city to inspect floodwalls for leaks or weak areas. Sandbags were piled on top of 19 kilometres of dikes, which are buried under snow. The single-digit overnight temperatures have frozen the sandbags, which officials hope has created a watertight barrier. "Now it's time to stand and defend," said city commissioner Tim Mahoney."
CTV


Photo courtesy Brian Peterson ...

 

'The Good, The Bad And The Ugly' In Alberta's Proposed Human Rights Code Changes

Ten years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that gays and lesbians could not be discriminated against, the Alberta Conservative government is looking at including wording that says as much in their Human Rights legislation.

Now, if that was all that there was to this story, you could merely say, 'okay - 10 years was too long but finally they have acknowledged reality.'

HOWEVER (... and this is a big 'however'), two of the proposed changes need some scrutiny. The new act will strip the Alberta Human Rights Commission of the power to adjudicate cases involving hate crimes and free speech. The Alberta government insists that "those matters are better handled by the hate laws in the Criminal Code". HUH?! Did Ezra Levant write that section of the Act for them?

As well, proposed changes to the Human Rights Act will enshrine Alberta parental rights to opt their children out of basic science instruction in Alberta schools. "It's possible some parents would want children to opt out of classes about evolution," says Alberta Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett! Parents would also be able to remove their children from any sex education classes.

I will give credit (albeit ten years too late), to the Alberta government for protections to gay and lesbian persons. I will also point out that the only dinosaurs in Alberta are not in the Badlands, but in the ranks of the Government Caucus at the Alberta Legislature!

Pandering to fundamentalist nonsense is not becoming to a province that styles itself as being firmly rooted in the 21st Century. This is not '19th century' rural Dixie, .... or is it?

Canada.com
Calgary Herald

Thursday, March 26, 2009 

Trouble Ahead For Rob Anders At Calgary West Conservative Nomination Meeting?


Stephen Harper's favorite fundamentalist, commie-fighting, wingnut is dealing with his riding's AGM this weekend, with nomination and election of a new constituency Board on the agenda. Harper has already manipulated the rules of the party to try and protect idiot incompetents like Anders from any serious challenge. However, Mr. Anders may be in trouble in spite of all of Harper's help!

Former oilpatch exec hopes to unseat Rob Anders

Rob Anders and Donna Kennedy-Glans don’t agree on much, but they agree on at least one thing: they haven’t seen much of each other since Anders was first elected in Calgary West under the Reform banner in 1997. “There’s no sense of relationship with the MP,” says Kennedy-Glans, a corporate lawyer and former Nexen vice-president. Like many other political observers, she describes Anders as a lacklustre representative who’s inaccessible, narrow-minded and lacking in empathy. “It’s been really hard to get involved in federal politics in this riding for the last little while,” says Kennedy-Glans, who’s lived in Calgary West for almost 25 years. “I’m finding that’s where a lot of people are at.”
FFWDweeekly.com

Meanwhile, Mr. Anders has sent a letter to all of the Conservative Party members in his federal riding. One of them has an interesting response to Mr. Anders idiotic arguments!

Buckdog readers will remember that Rob Anders is best known for condemning Nelson Mandela of being a 'terrorist' and for saying that the goal of Canadian foreign aid should be used to make recipients 'more like us'!

"Rob Anders' political views are again coming under fire, as a local lawyer and humanitarian said the Calgary West Conservative told her he believes that Canadian diplomacy and humanitarian work should focus on changing outsiders' language to English and faith to Christianity. [...] Rob Anders advised that if constructive engagement internationally could enable Canadians to influence 'others' (non-Canadians) to be 'more like us,' then he is supportive of such constructive engagement," Kennedy-Glans said in a signed statement. When pressed for details, Rob Anders indicated that 'more like us' had three components: One, ethnicity or race. Two, language, and three, faith. Rob said we couldn't change peoples' race, but we could change outsiders' language to English and faith to Christianity."
Calgary Herald

 

Michigan Police Kill 15 Year Old Boy With Taser

At some point, police forces everywhere, or the politicians who are supposed to oversee them, will realize that citizens are being killed by police use of Tasers. The death of the Michigan youth occurred while he was handcuffed and being tasered by a Bay City, Michigan police officer.

-Free Press.com

-MLive.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 

Newfoundland & Labrador " ... will speak up on our own behalf on the international stage.”


“Unfortunately, Newfoundland and Labrador is not convinced that the current federal administration, having ignored our best interests when developing domestic policy, will do any better in representing our best interests when developing foreign policy,” [...]

“If the current federal government is not prepared to represent the best interests of provinces like ours, then we as a province will protect our best interests ourselves.” [...]

“To lower tariff barriers to our exports, while safeguarding our fish stocks and securing markets for our seal products, we will speak up on our own behalf on the international stage.”
Speech From The Throne
Legislative Assembly
St. John's, Newfoundland

The Globe & Mail


Newfoundland's Native Flag

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 

Happy Birthday David Suzuki!



May there by many happy returns of this day David!!

Suzuki

 

Job Creation During An Economic Turndown - MORE Employment Insurance Staff!

One area that is seeing a huge increase in new jobs during these tough economic times is with the Canada Employment Insurance Agency, processing claims for all of the newly unemployed!

"Statistics Canada reported Tuesday the number of people receiving regular EI benefits rose to 560,400 in January, up 4.4 per cent — or 23,700 — from December."
CBC

Monday, March 23, 2009 

Things HAVE Changed In The White House .. no matter what the Right says!




Don't let any Conservative or Republican tell you that things have not changed in a big way at the White House!


... twitter? ...

 

Dangerous Breed Dogs


If you are an owner of a dog that belongs to a 'dangerous breed' category and you also have a small child please take this as a warning. Please don't leave your dog with a child unattended under any circumstances! It only took a few moments for this to happen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009 

Saskatchewan New Democratic Party Leadership Poll

The resignation of Lorne Calvert as leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party has triggered a campaign for leader that will conclude in June 2009. I am providing coverage of the race both here and on my dedicated 'Sask NDP Leadership Site'. (Please bookmark and drop in from time to time).

The ActUpInSask Website is conducting an informal poll on the current NDP Leadership race.

To date, 6049 people have cast a vote for their favourite candidate. This is NOT a scientific poll by any means, but the results are interesting none the less:

Dwain Lingenfelter 3653 (60.4%)
Yens Pederson 1824 (30.2%)
Ryan Meili 532 (8.8%)
Deb Higgins 22 (0.4%)
Don't care 18 (0.3%)

Saturday, March 21, 2009 

Will Stephen Harper Give Your Tax Dollars To David Asper And CanWest ?

"The lobbyist registry shows that David Asper of CanWest and Pierre Karl Péladeau of Québecor twice met Harper for talks in Ottawa. Not the sort of news Harper wanted to see come out right now. Especially since CanWest has hired Harper’s old friend, lobbyist Ken Boessenkool, his old campaign organizer, the guy who spent election night on a sofa next to Harper.
West Island Chronicle

On March 19th, CanWest Global's, David Asper, wrote an op-ed in the National Post defending Stephen Harper's Science and Technology Minister. In it, Asper slammed the Liberals and accused the opposition of trying to suppress 'religious freedom' for questioning the scientific beliefs of Canada's Science & Tech Minister. I'm not sure of the dates, but I have to assume that Asper's two meetings with Prime Minister Harper happened in the days leading up to his supportive editorial.

Welcome to the unhealthy state of journalism in Canada under Stephen Harper's administrative watch. Canadians have to wonder if there isn't a little 'you scratch my back - I'll scratch yours' going on here.

The only thing that could make the current state of Canadian megamedia worse, would be for Mr. Harper to hand David Asper millions of your tax dollars. There is truth to the old adage, 'he who pays the piper, calls the tune.' Dance Mr. Asper, dance!!

-Macleans.ca
-Ottawa Business Journal

Friday, March 20, 2009 

Popes Don't Resign ... But This One Should!


Vatican insiders declare the Pope a 'disaster'
Pope Benedict's repeated gaffes and the Vatican's inability to manage his message in the internet era are threatening to undermine his papacy, Vatican insiders have said.
Telegraph.UK

"Instead of spreading ignorance, the Pope should use his global position of leadership to encourage young people, who are our future, to protect themselves and others from HIV infection using all the tools we have at our disposal, including condoms,"
Julio Montaner
President International
Aids Society
Google News

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - "Pope Benedict rehabilitated Saturday a traditionalist bishop who denies the Holocaust, despite warnings from Jewish leaders that it would seriously harm Catholic-Jewish relations and foment anti-Semitism."
Reuters

 

If You Believe In CREATIONISM, You Might Also Believe .....

.... that the entire Universe has only existed for about 6000 years!!

.... that Noah rounded up 2 of EVERY land dwelling species on planet Earth, including all of the species in Australia, Asia, Africa, South America and North America, herded them to the Middle East AND placed them ALL on one BOAT with enough food to last for at least 40 days of a flood that engulfed the ENTIRE Earth!

.... that females of the Human species were made from a rib taken from the male of the Human species!

.... that women should be stoned to death for adultery and that men should have a bath if they are adulterous!

.... that 6 Billion humans spewing massive amounts of carbon dioxide and pollutants are having NO impact on the Earth's atmosphere!

.... that treating drug addiction as a 'health problem' is wrong and those so afflicted should simply be put in jail!

.... that Afghanistan is a war that Canada can 'win;!

.... that George Bush was a great leader and made the world safer!

Have you got some more? ..........

Thursday, March 19, 2009 

It's NOT About 'Faith' Mr. Asper - It's About 'Stupidity'!

Canadian media tycoon, David Asper has an op-ed today that defends the right of a senior elected official, with huge government responsibilities to believe in the utter nonsense of 'creationism' and other assorted fundamentalist myth.

"It's also worth noting that the Charter of Rights -- created under a Liberal government --begins with an acknowledgement of the supremacy of God. Our national anthem also calls on God to keep our land glorious and free. So please, enough with the facade of outing people who believe in a higher power. This stuff has to stop. It debases politics generally, and constitutes a reason why good people often stay away from elected office. I have absolutely no problem with vigorous criticism of government policy, which is of course essential to our democracy. But what happened this week is part of a larger and more insidious political strategy designed to make voters fear Conservatives on the basis of individual religious choices. There's just no other way to view it."
David Asper

Mr. Asper misses the entire point of the recent outrage at the prospect of Canada's Science and Technology Minister believing in nonsensical notions of a 6000 year old universe. It is NOT about denying someone the right to believe in a 'higher power'. No! It is about replacing scientific fact with fundamentalist myth and calling it SCIENCE!

Fundamentalist belief holds that every single land dwelling land creature on Planet Earth, was gathered together from every continent on an Ark, and survived 40 days of torrential rain that flooded the entire world. The logistics of this animal 'round up' reveals the entire notion as ridiculous. No proof of a completely flooded 'Earth' exists anywhere in science. Fundamentalist mythology holds as science, that humans walked with dinosaurs. By the way, if the story of Noah's Ark was historical 'truth' why did the dinosaurs not make it onto the Ark?

Fundamentalist belief holds that a single male of the human species was created and then later, a rib was taken from the male and a woman of the human species was created. Creationist belief completely ignores the vast fossil record of the Neanderthals, the Cromagnon and Australopiticus on the planet.

If Canada has a Science Minister who believes such nonsense, then we are in serious trouble.

Asper is smoke screening the real issue here. Believe in any religion or higher power that you want .. but if you are going to be responsible for science in Canada's government, you should not believe that myth or fairy tale is scientific fact.

Amen!

 

Come And Hear Saskatchewan Conservative MP Speak And WIN A HANDGUN!!


"OTTAWA–A Saskatchewan Conservative MP is coming under fire for his starring role at a gun lobby dinner in the Greater Toronto area next month where the raffle prize is a Beretta semi-automatic handgun.Garry Breitkreuz is the guest speaker at the Canadian Shooting Sports Association's (CSSA) annual general meeting and dinner on April 18 in Mississauga, where he's to be lauded for his private member's bill to abolish Canada's controversial long-gun registry and relax rules on prohibited and restricted weapons.

The "special dinner draw" of this "very rare and valuable collector's item" is advertised on the association's website. Raffle tickets will be sold at the dinner for $20 each or three for $50."

The Star

UPDATE!!
-Gun lobby withdraws dinner invite for Tory MP

An invitation for a Conservative MP to attend a gun lobby dinner near Toronto next month has been withdrawn after a controversy erupted over a handgun being raffled off at the event.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 

Every Right Wing 'Unfettered Free Market' Advocate Stands Accused!!

You know who you are! You damn Conservative Party, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Republican Party, Fraser Institute, Manning Centre types! You have been ideologically incorrect and should be mocked and reprimanded for what you have done to the world's economy!

-You advocated and worked towards a world where the corporate elite has been able to operate without sufficient regulation, without laws that would protect the average citizen who goes to work every day and earns a wage.

-You advocated and worked towards a world where you put money and capital over any other aspect of human life, like health care and other social measures to help the 'people'.

-You advocated 'Greed' as a virtue to be practiced without any intereference.

-You maintained an economy and society where the golden rule is 'Buyer Beware'! (If an entrepreneur can screw you ... too bad for you!)

The hard working wage earners of the world have not even begun the retribution that you deserve.

Repent while you still can!!


-Go, Grassley, go! AIG execs should kill themselves!

 

Bipartisan Move In Congress To TAX BACK The AIG Bonuses!

Edward Liddy, American International Group Chief Executive Officer shed crocodile tears today and said that his hands were tied and he had to issue millions of taxpayer dollars to his staff because of the "cold realities of competition." NONSENSE!

But what is this? Has public outrage advanced to the point that members of Congress have decided to finally conduct some bipartisan activity?

".... several Democrats and Republicans in Congress sought to force AIG to disclose details about the bonuses, and proposed taxing them so heavily that the recipients could wind up with nothing. Representative Barney Frank, the Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said he intended to ask Liddy to name those who received bonuses. "If Mr. Liddy declines to give us the names, then I will convene the committee to vote a subpoena for the names," he said. "We do intend to use our power to get the names." Separately, three Republicans asked the Senate Banking Committee to subpoena for documents related to the bonuses.

The House hearing room was filled to capacity, with more than 80 people in the seats inside and dozens more waiting outside. The line to get in was already 40 deep more than an hour before the hearing began. Frank warned at the start that hecklers would be escorted out. The first portion of the hearing proceeded peacefully, but as lawmakers stepped out for a break, a handful of pink-clad protesters called after them."

Reuters


UPDATE:
Some AIG execs returning bonus money ....

MORE OF AN UPDATE!
Congress 'Taxes Back' Huge AIG Bonuses!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 

Attempt At A 'Citizen's Arrest' Of Bush Gets Protester Arrested

Police arrested a protester today who attempted to make a 'citizens arrest' of former US President George Bush who was speaking to a group in Calgary, Alberta. The man was arrested for obstructing police officers in the course of their duty.

Bush was speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Press were excluded from the speech.

Nearly 500 loud protesters marched, booed and threw shoes at an effigy of George W. Bush outside the hall. Bush is expected to return to the United States this evening.


-3 arrested in Calgary as Bush event begins
-Protesters arrested outside Bush’s speech in Calgary

Slideshow .. Bush protesters in Calgary (Courtesy CBC)

 

George Bush SNEAKS Into Calgary Ahead Of Protests

Without prior announcement and with no fanfare, George Bush quietly slipped into Calgary yesterday in an attempt to escape anticipated protests;

CALGARY -- Former U.S. president George W. Bush touched down here yesterday ahead of a planned speech today organized by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Bush was greeted by customs officers on the tarmac at Calgary International Airport just after 6 p.m. before being ushered to dinner downtown in a Cadillac limousine."
Edmonton Sun

-Protesters prepare for Bush's Calgary speech
-Pasta on the menu as Bush arrives in Calgary

Leftdog's DailyKOS Page ....

UPDATE:
Attempt At A 'Citizen's Arrest' Of Bush Gets Protester Arrested

 

Happy St Patrick's Day




Thousands throng capital for Dublin parade
"Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world have thronged the streets of Dublin today for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade. The two-hour spectacle, which got underway at noon, included street theatre troupes, artists, giant puppetry, dancers and marching bands from Ireland and further afield as they weaved the 2.5km route across the capital. The parade, made up of around 2,000 performers and over 900 marching band members, began from Parnell Square North and is the highlight of the capital’s six-day St Patrick’s weekend festival."
The Irish Times

Monday, March 16, 2009 

Conservative Party Changes Rules - Yet Again - To Ensure Rob Anders Wins Nomination

"Governing Conservative MPs will have to face nomination challenges before the next election only if two-thirds of their riding association members call for one, in a new and unusual arrangement the Tories came up with to deal with the controversial issue.

National political parties normally either open up nominations or freeze process to protect their incumbent MPs, but the Conservatives are now saying they want some protection after the Liberals offered some qualified security for their incumbents.

"Riding association members can ask us for a race and if two-thirds or more of the membership in any riding asks for a nomination race then there will be a contest. The membership will get to decide whether they want to have a nomination race or not and if two-thirds of the membership decide they want a nomination race, then there will be a nomination race," Don Plett, president of the Conservative Party, told The Hill Times in a telephone interview.

Mr. Plett said the 25-member national council of the Conservative Party made the decision on March 9, and was announced at the Conservative Party's regular national caucus meeting on the Hill on Wednesday. [...]

The riding of Calgary West went through a messy and prolonged nomination contest prior to the last federal election. Rob Anders eventually was acclaimed as the party's candidate leaving a number of riding association members frustrated because they were of the view that the party headquarters favoured the incumbent MP and failed to conduct a fair nomination contest.

Mr. Anders, who is well known for making controversial statements, has been winning elections with comfortable margins in the riding since 1997."

Hill Times

Stephen Harper interfered in the Calgary West nomination in the spring of 2007 when Anders faced a serious challenge for the Tory nomination. The Conservative Party has a history of protecting Stephen Harper's good buddy .... Rob Anders!

 

George Bush Attempts Image Rehab By Visit To Canada


History has already set the record on former president George Bush as a war monger who suspended Habeas Corpus in the United States and authorized the use of torture for certain prisoners. If 'anyone' is undesirable for admission to our nation, it is George W. Bush.

(By the way, how typical of the 'Calgary Chamber of Commerce' to be the group that is bringing this disgraceful person to our nation).

London Free Press

-Bush Should NOT Be Allowed In Canada! ... Buckdog

-Former US Attorney General says Canada should arrest Bush! - Rusty Idols


... twitter? ...

Saturday, March 14, 2009 

Right Wingers KNOW They Are In Trouble In Canada!


"Conservatism is not dead in Canada"
Preston Manning
Former Leader of the Reform Party ...
which morphed into the Alliance Party ...
and then further morphed into the Conservative
Party of Canada)


Canada.com

 

Insights Into Curtis Dagenais Case - Convicted RCMP Killer - Guest Blog Post

The following is a guest blog post by an individual who had been a minor acquaintance of Curtis Dagenais in the past. Dagenais wrote to him prior to his trial. Mr. Dagenais was convicted of the first degree murder of two RCMP officers in Saskatchewan this week:

When Curt Dagenias was first arrested, I commented on a blog that he deserved a fair trial. Apparently Dagenias read this and felt that I was defending his actions, which I was not, nor am I doing so now.

Mr. Dagenias sent me a letter in March of 2007. That letter sat on my desk, unread, for almost two years. When his trial began I finally decided that I had to read it. While containing some very interesting information that I was surprised never made it into court, the letter basically rambles. And while also angry, the letter definitely has an overall tone of regret. Parts of the letter are available on this blog; some parts have been withheld to protect the names of people who have no involvement.

When talking to people about the Dagenias trail and the verdict I have found that while everyone agrees what Dagenias did was wrong, no one could bring themselves to completely absolve the RCMP of blame. In an e-mail correspondence with the writer of this blog I came to a conclusion in my own mind as to what bothered me so much about this tragedy and he agreed with me. I was then asked to guest blog and share my views, to which I agreed. Following are my thoughts on the Curtis Dagenias affair.

Through out my working life I have been primarily involved in construction and trucking. When ever an accident happens on a construction site or on the highway an investigation takes place and the conclusions are almost always the same; a series of small mistakes, over sites or events lead to one big screw up with tragic results. The focus of the investigation then moves to whether or not everyone involved did all they possibly could to prevent the accident; simply being with in the law or with in ones rights is not enough, you must be proven to have taken every possible step to have prevented the accident.

When this standard is applied to the Dagenias case I have to conclude that not everyone did all that they could to prevent the tragic result. While the guilt for the crime of murder belongs solely to Curtis Dagenias, as he was the person pulled the trigger, the RCMP officers involved disobeyed an order from their Sergeant not to arrest Dagenias and instead proceeded to charge in on Dagenias like a pack of wild dogs going after a rabbit. It is clear that neither Curt Dagenias nor the RCMP officers were thinking rationally that evening, but the RCMP officers are trained to deal with irrational people; doing so is a large portion of their job, and therefore they are to be held to a higher standard than the generally public.

It is very difficult to raise this point without appearing to defend Curt Dagenias, which I do not, but I do think this entire fiasco has to be examined impartially so that it never happens again. There are so many questions about how things were handled, but now is not the time to ask them. In time the public will demand that this case be looked at openly and honestly, but for now those involved should be allowed to be angry and to grieve.

Excerpts from the letter to my guest blogger from Curtis Dagenais appear below. Some of the names have been deleted at this time - but may appear here in the future along with the full transcript of the letter, IF Justice Gerald Allbright approves an application from CBC to release the actual tape of the RCMP radio transmission of the police chase prior to the shooting: (Spelling errors are as they appear in the original letter from Dagenais)


"So after numerours run-ins with mostly 1 DOT (Dept. of Transportation) officer "________" I was sitting at the Husky Truck Stop in Lloydminister ALBERTA and I was aproached by a bunch of Sask D.O.T. & R.C.M.P. pulled from my PETE & the shit kicked out of me by 3 R.C.M.P. while another stood and watched. You might know the main asshole as he was sent to Buffalo Narrows till things cooled off (like about 4 yrs (________ HYWAY patrol) sent complaints to commission in Ottawa & waited 4 yrs for reply. Now commission is denying to C.B.C. reporters that they ever heard of us (myself & Dad) but have proof otherwise." [...]

"Have a witness that has contacted me & wants to help. This person is from a small town near "OUR HOMETOWN" and owns a scanner and is willing to testify. I do not know this person & have never met just from written correspondence. Says radio communication overheard from Seargent _____ of Spiritwood detachment were to "SHOOT ME" this was heard before the chase occured. As there was no assault (I AM NOT A WOMAN BEATER) just an excuse to come after me because of accusations against R.C.M.P. Now the town of Spiritwood is held hostage by this Seargent ________ as there is all new officers except himself & one __________ that lives in Rabbit Lake. I've heard from a few different sources that between $20-30,000 dollars was paid out to the "CAFE'S" not so much for info but in case someone was to hear something. Lots of people in the R.M. are sure not happy with the R.C.M.P. as a lot of "HOMESTEAD BUILDINGS" & HERITAGE BUIDINGS were damaged for no reason while seaching for myself, windows smshed -doors that wore padlocks from the outside smashed down, door frames ruined. All kinds of farmers mad but scared to complain. Our house at the farm (NELSON HOME PACKAGE) was built in '76 and I can't remember ever locking the doors, both doors were unlocked yet the R.C.'s smashed out the front picture window to get inside! With no warrant Dad's (Art) charges are bullshit as he was no where near where the cops said he was, everyone who lives down that road were still at home just an excuse to get him out of the way."
Curt Dagenais

Friday, March 13, 2009 

In Private Speech To Manning Center Conference - Harper SLAMS Obama - Blames Financial Crisis On Consumers!

Look into the eyes of a very contorted man ........ and then read on ....

"OTTAWA – Stephen Harper made two very different sales pitches for his economic plan this week: one a public pep talk to jittery Canadians, the other a private smoothing-of-the-feathers for uneasy conservatives. The marquee speech Canadians saw on television Tuesday or read about the next day was about how the economy would recover swiftly and strongly through targeted spending in the budget.

The other was behind closed doors Thursday evening to a group of key conservatives – sharply partisan remarks that ripped into the Liberals, libertarians, the Obama administration's tax policies and Wall Street. The prime minister spoke at a conference sponsored by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a conservative think-tank run by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning.

The prime minister's office did not signal beforehand that he was giving the speech, and refused to make his remarks available afterward. In a recording obtained by The Canadian Press, Harper goes after the Liberals in a election-campaign style attack, saying the current situation would be much worse had they been in power.

The Star

-David Arkin's Blog
-Canada.com

 

Protesters Will Greet Bush When He Arrives In Calgary!

Disgraced former US president, George W. Bush, will be greeted by a large number of protesters in Calgary on March 17th when he arrives to address the local Chamber of Commerce.

-CBC
-660 News
-Calgary Herald
-Edmonton Sun

More Buckdog on Bush in Calgary .....

 

NASA Earth Observatory Site - Frozen Lake Superior

NASA has a great site where they feature a new photo of an Earth location each day. This site is worth bookmarking. Every day, I take a quick look at their photo and for a few moments, remember that what happens here on Earth is only a small part of a much larger picture!

Thursday, March 12, 2009 

George W. Bush Should NOT Be Allowed Into Canada To Speak To Calgary Chamber Of Commerce

Lawyers Against War, an international association, sent the attached letter to the RCMP War Crimes Section requesting them to:

"... begin an investigation of George W. Bush for aiding, abetting and counseling torture between November 13, 2001 and November 2008 at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other places; and, advise the Prime Minister, Attorney General of Canada and Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety that the George W. Bush administration is a “ government that has engaged in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity and therefore G.W. Bush, as former President, is also inadmissible under section 35(1)(b) of the IRPA."

While the investigation is underway, George W. Bush, former president of the United States of America, should not be allowed into Canada. His trip to Calgary, scheduled for March 17th to address the Chamber of Commerce, should be postponed or canceled.

LAW's letter to the RCMP went on to state:

"We are writing to report that:

-George W. Bush, former President of the United States and Commander is Chief of the Armed Forces, is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), section 35(1)(a) because of overwhelming evidence that he has ‘committed, outside Canada, torture and other offences referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWC); and,

- the George W. Bush Administration has engaged in “systematic or gross human rights violations, or a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the CAHWC. We request that the RCMP War Crimes Section immediately take the following steps:

- begin an investigation of George W. Bush for aiding, abetting and counseling torture between November 13, 2001 and November 2008 at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Bagram prison in Afghanistan and other places; and,

- advise the Prime Minister, Attorney General of Canada and Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety that the George W. Bush administration is a “ government that has engaged in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity and therefore G.W. Bush, as former President, is also inadmissible under section 35(1)(b) of the IRPA.

Overwhelming evidence of these allegations against both G.W. Bush and the Bush Administration is widely available. These allegations have triggered Canada’s duty to act to use all legal means to ensure the appropriate investigations, remedies and responses. Canada’s international legal duties specifically prohibit treating these acts as legal, as ignoring the IRPA and allowing Bush into Canada would do.

Under sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, "crimes against humanity" include murder, enforced disappearance, deportation, imprisonment, torture and imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, committed against any civilian population or any identifiable group. War crimes include willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment, unlawful confinement and willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of fair trial rights.


-Montreal Gazette - Anti-war lawyers want to bar Bush from Canada


Photo courtesy CBC.ca ...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 

Does The PMO Phone Jeffrey Simpson And Tell Him How To Rewrite History Or Does He Do This On His Own?

Prominent Canadian columnist, Jeffrey Simpson has obviously NEVER heard of Jack Layton being labelled 'Taliban Jack' for asking some very hard questions about the Afghan Mission back in 2006.

In an attempt to rewrite Stephen Harper's role in our history, Simpson offers some journalistic nonsense in his column: 'Yes, the Afghan mission is 'failing' and, yes, the rituals continue,'

The goal of Simpson's article is to paint General Hillier as 'an enthusiastic general' who hoodwinked well meaning politicians like Stephen Harper into a war that that the 'experts' advised was winnable!

"Truth, which a wag once said is so precious in war that it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies, is too painful to bear: They died, as will many more, in an ill-defined mission that defied all the rules of counterinsurgency, sent by an enthusiastic general who has curiously become a kind of media hero, and by gullible politicians who did not ask the right questions, did not know the country, the nature of the war, the precise aims, the equipment required to fight it, and how to define success.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says a military victory is not possible in Afghanistan and, of course, he is right. It took a long time for this elementary truth to be spoken. As in everything political, truth will always attract as much, if not more, criticism as illusion."

Jeffrey Simpson's Historical Revision - Globe & Mail

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 

Stephen Harper - A Very Small Petty Prime Minister

The following excerpts are from the article, 'He just can't help himself' by Adam Radwanski:

"It's true that the Prime Minister probably could have offered a little more empathy to Canadians suffering the effects of the recession, particularly given that he was speaking in shouting distance of a Chrysler plant.

It's also true that the rah-rah boosterism rings a little hollow. (Yes, Canada is in good shape relative to everyone else, but that doesn't mean we're in good shape relative to our own expectations and our own standards.) [...]

There's aggression, though, and then there's antagonism. For 90 per cent of today's speech, Harper managed to stick to the former. Then, out of nowhere, he proceeded to announce that he's "been very frustrated with the opposition since the election," took a trip down memory lane to attack the coalition and encouraged his audience to tell the dastardly Liberals that it's time to "stop the political games."

This was possibly the sincerest part of Harper's speech; he absolutely loves this stuff. But it also undermined everything else he was trying to accomplish.

Set aside that his attacks weren't all that grounded in reality (without the coalition, this vaunted economic plan would not have been produced), since every leader takes liberties in bashing his or her opponents. The real problem here is that when these broadsides land like a lead balloon at the end of his text, they serve to cast the entire thing in a different light.

Suddenly, it's no longer about rallying Canadians around a common purpose; it's about positioning himself against his opponents, about scoring points that nobody should be tallying right now. [...]

What's baffling is why Harper felt the need to include the opposition stuff at the end. That message can be just as effectively delivered by, say, Jim Flaherty, and it's highly unlikely anyone who's not a card-carrying Conservative came away from that speech in Brampton today seething at the Liberals' unwillingness to hop on board with the government's amazing plan. Probably, they just came away - at least from that part of the speech - wishing a plague on the houses of all our parties, since even now they can't stop behaving like children.

Clearly, there's still nobody around the Prime Minister who's both willing and able to curb his partisan instincts. As today's speech showed, he's poorer for it.


Adam Radwanski


... twitter? ...

 

NDP Leadership Candidate Releases Nuclear Power Policy Proposal

Failing the People — The Wall Government and Nuclear Power
A Policy Proposal by Dwain Lingenfelter

"For nearly fifty years, the policy of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the New Democratic Party has been to support the mining of Saskatchewan uranium and the export of that uranium to other jurisdictions around the world to be used for nuclear power generation. I support that policy. A few years ago the Calvert government decided that it would pursue opportunities for value-added refining of uranium within our province, and I support that decision as well.

Today thirty one countries around the world use nuclear energy to generate electricity, many using uranium mined in Saskatchewan. Many highly developed countries such as France (75%), Finland (27%), The United Kingdom (20%), and Japan (27.5%) rely heavily on nuclear energy to generate power.

I make these points to emphasize that neither I nor the New Democratic Party enter the debate about our energy future with a closed mind toward nuclear power or any other potential energy source. It is clear to me that Saskatchewan will need a renewed commitment to energy conservation and a mix of both renewable and conventional energy sources to meet our energy needs in the immediate future. Even the European Union, whose member countries are global leaders in the area of renewable energy, envision producing only 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. Therefore, while renewable energy options such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and biomass are an important part of Saskatchewan’s future energy plans, some conventional generation of electricity will remain necessary for the foreseeable future.

However, I do not support the construction of a nuclear reactor to generate power within Saskatchewan’s borders unless a public, transparent study has been conducted by a blue ribbon panel of independent experts, showing the people of Saskatchewan that such a project could be sustainable, from both the financial and environmental perspective. This blue ribbon panel would hold public hearings around the province so that every citizen could have their say on the future of electrical generation in Saskatchewan. The panel would explore the costs and benefits of nuclear power compared to both renewable energy options and conventional electrical generation sources such as coal, natural gas and hydro. The energy options we choose for the next twenty years will impact everything from our provincial finances to our economic growth, from our population’s health to our quality of life. These decisions cannot be made without full, public input and understanding.

The Wall government has refused to let the people of Saskatchewan help plan their own energy future. It has stumbled and bumbled into a flawed process that clearly favours a single new energy source, provided by a single, private sector player, while freezing out the people of Saskatchewan.

Much of the Wall government’s information about the nuclear power option has been based on a feasibility study commissioned by the very company that proposes to build the nuclear power plant. This is a little like commissioning General Motors to ask if you really need to buy a new car.

The Wall government’s special committee reviewing the nuclear option, the $3 Million Uranium Development Partnership, has conducted its work behind closed doors, is dominated by nuclear proponents and has a limited mandate by the government’s own admission to “make recommendations on Saskatchewan-based value-added opportunities in the uranium industry”. Where is the comprehensive, even-handed, public review of all the energy options available to the people of Saskatchewan?

Meanwhile, the Wall government is negotiating in private with a single private sector company (Bruce Power) about the potential for a Saskatchewan-based nuclear reactor. How can we trust the Wall government to negotiate such a complex agreement on our behalf, when this same government mishandled the annual purchase of natural gas supplies for SaskEnergy customers this winter, requiring us all to pay $55 Million more than necessary for natural gas?

Even worse, the power company owned by the people of the province, SaskPower, has been reduced to an observer’s role in these closed-door discussions. Meanwhile, Bruce Power has been running extensive advertising in favour of nuclear power throughout Northwestern Saskatchewan, where they say they would like to locate a nuclear power reactor. In the Lloydminster area, local farmers have been visited by Land Agents working on behalf of Bruce Power. These agents are attempting to take out options on land in the area, while trying to swear local landowners to secrecy. Why would this type of activity be underway if the Wall government truly intended to have a public, comprehensive review of all the energy options open to Saskatchewan people?

As the Bishops of the Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic Churches in Saskatchewan said in a joint statement recently: “It is critical that any recommendations be made only after full and open consultation with the people of this province.”

This is just one more reason why Saskatchewan people want public hearings, full transparency and widespread public involvement, before any deals or Letters of Understanding are signed with any potential supplier of new power generation.

I see much more support across the province for additional conservation measures before any new power generation is decided upon. While we have made strides in this area in recent years, there is much more that can and should be done. I also see growing support for building renewable power generation (wind, solar, geo-thermal and biomass) in Saskatchewan communities, perhaps producing up to 10 megawatts of power each, and selling their excess generation to SaskPower. If the provincial government supported renewable power generation of this size in 30 communities across the province, we would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for power generation, empower local communities to build a greener future, and still provide SaskPower with the additional generating capacity needed to serve our growing economy over the next few years.

The Wall government is failing the people of Saskatchewan by refusing to have a comprehensive, public review of our future energy needs. Energy decisions are too important for politicians alone. We must find ways to involve all the people of the province in making these decisions."


Dwain Lingenfelter Website


... twitter? ...

 

Saskatchewan New Democrats Are Choosing A New Leader

You can follow all the developments in the Saskatchewan NDP Leadership race at this dedicated blogsite. There you will find Candidate profiles, links to candidate sites and other interesting links and news!


... twitter? ...

Monday, March 09, 2009 

By Next Week Harper And The Conservatives Will Be Trying To Convince You That They Have ALWAYS Advocated Talks With The Taliban

"OTTAWA – The Conservative government says its policies are in line with those of Barack Obama's on talking with the Taliban."
The Star


... twitter? ...

 

The Conservative Party Quietly Stopped Breaking 'The Election Act' During The Last Election

"The Conservative party appears to have dropped the contentious strategy of transferring money through its candidates' campaigns to fund advertising purchases, after arguing in court that such "in-and-out" transactions were entirely legal.

None of the 192 Conservative candidates whose expense reports have been published to date channelled their advertising purchases through the national campaign during last fall's election, as many Tories did during the previous campaign.

In 2006, Tory candidates paid about $1.2 million in advertising expenses and listed the Conservative Fund of Canada as the supplier, with payments as high as $50,000. But none of the radio or TV expenses claimed last year were paid to the party."

The Ottawa Citizen

The Conservative Party of Canada continues to insist that its 'In & Out' scheme is totally 'legal' despite the fact that they have quietly stopped doing it. By moving funds from its central office to local campaigns and then back again (all within a few hours or days), Conservative insisted that they what they were doing was perfectly legal.

Well, actions speak louder than words, and they have stopped doing what they still insist was appropriate. I think this is what is known as 'hand in the cookie jar'!

... twitter? ...

Sunday, March 08, 2009 

Why Dziekanski's Killers MUST Be Charged!!

- RCMP Officer Millington claimed in his Oct. 14, 2007, report on the Taser discharge that "The male swung the stapler wildly with his arm at the members."

- Shown the video, Millington admitted Dziekanski never raised his arms above his waist and the stapler can only be seen when it flies out of his hand after the first blast of the Taser.

- Millington claimed Dziekanski was "defiant," that he disobeyed the officers and moved away from them.

- Shown the video, Millington had to admit Dziekanski moved toward a counter because Robinson pointed him to it. "I didn't see the hand [pointing]," admitted Millington.

- Millington claimed on his Oct. 14 Taser report that "the [Taser] was cycled once for the full five seconds, which stopped the male from moving, but he continued to walk towards members with his arms raised once the cycle was completed."

- Shown the video, Millington admitted Dziekanski is seen to hit the floor after the first employment of the Taser. The Taser record shows Millington waited one second, then gave Dziekanski another 50,000-volt "probe," another, and then two in "push-stun" mode while the man was on the ground, for a combined 31 seconds of electrical jolts.

- In his Oct. 15 statement to investigators, Millington claims: "I believed I cycled [the Taser] twice when he was standing . . . once it stopped, the members moved in because he hadn't gone to the ground, and were able to wrestle him to the ground."

- The RCMP did not "wrestle the male to the ground," despite claims by RCMP Officers Bentley, Rundel and Millington that they did.

The video clearly shows Dziekanski falls after the first Taser blast and is howling and writhing in pain on the floor.

- Millington told investigators: "He was on his stomach and Const. Bentley said something about his ears turning blue. So I said, 'Let's turn him into the recovery position,' which is a better position to allow for breathing and circulation. We just basically stayed with him in the recovery position until EHS arrived. Periodically checking."

- The video does not show any RCMP officer checking Dziekanski's pulse or monitoring him. The only person seen on the video to check the pulse, once, is airport security guard Trevor Enchelmaier.

Shown the video, Millington admitted that he saw Enchelmaier check Dziekanski, but not any RCMP officer, nor did he see any of the officers remove their black gloves, which he admitted would make checking a pulse "difficult."

As for the recovery position, Dziekanski is shown motionless on the video, face down, hands cuffed behind his back.

(The first-aid recovery position involves putting a victim on their side, head tilted, arms raising the body, legs slightly bent and crossed below the knee.)

"He wasn't in anything remotely resembling the recovery position," testified Richmond Fire Capt. Kirby Graeme, the first responder to reach Dziekanski.

- Rundel testified that Dziekanski "picked up a stapler and clenched his fists, put the stapler above his head . . . and took an aggressive, combative stance."

- None of the officers could identify on the video where Dziekanski raises the stapler, nor does it show raised fists.

Millington and Bentley tried to show on the video Dziekanski advancing on them, but that action could not be seen.

- The RCMP officers testified they tried to "calm" and communicate with Dziekanski, but had to Taser him.

- The video shows the four RCMP officers hopping over a railing to get to Dziekanski and the first Taser jolt hitting the man within less than 30 seconds of their arrival.

It shows little or no attempt to calm Dziekanski.

- The RCMP said Dziekanski was howling incomprehensibly, but they knew he spoke no English and didn't try to find someone who could communicate with him.

- Polish translator Kris Barski testified at the inquiry, based on enhanced audio from the Pritchard video, that Dziekanski first welcomed the officers, calling out "Polizia, polizia!" to get them to help him.

Then he shouted at the first Taser jolt: "Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Are you out of your minds?"
© Copyright (c) The Province

 

Change Your Clocks Back ... UNLESS You Live In Civilized Saskatchewan!!


All over North America this weekend, people will be setting their clocks back an hour, fixing their DVD / VCR's and getting their schedules adjusted to the time change ....... unless of course you live in the Province of Saskatchewan ... one of the very few remaining civilized places where such nonsense is ignored!

Saturday, March 07, 2009 

Harper Has Been 'At War' With Saskatchewan For Some Time Now!

OTTAWA – "Saskatchewan residents may have been surprised yesterday to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper muse publicly about what it would take to defeat the province. The Prime Minister appeared to be on a war footing while at a press conference to announce a highway project in Nova Scotia.

"We have to define what victory means in Saskatchewan," said Harper, when he was asked about Canada's role in Afghanistan. He quickly retreated from the slip of the tongue.

"I don't know why I said that. I have no idea," Harper said.
Saskatchewan easily mistaken for Kandahar - The Star


Either some Saskatchewan political bloggers are starting to get under the Prime Minister's skin ... (or) ... his ongoing 'hate-on' for Saskatchewan was disclosed with a Freudian Slip at a Nova Scotia news conference!

Need proof ..... ?

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

-CABINET DOCUMENT CONTAINED DETAILED PLANS FOR DESTROYING FARMER CONTROL OF WHEAT BOARD!

-Under 100 Come Out For 'Pro-Harper' Rally In Regina

-New Democrats Challenge Premier Wall To PROVE That Cozy Relationship With Harper Financially Benefits The Province

-Premier Wall Gets Testy With Reporters Over Dropped Equalization Court Challenge

Friday, March 06, 2009 

NDP-Haters Are Going To Have To Come Up With Some New 'Talking Points'

"It is said that during a lunar eclipse werewolves merely get sideburns and a goatee. So when, I wonder, will Jack Layton cease to be the monster of Canadian politics?

In these dark days, with the economy going down faster than Carey Price on a breakaway, NDP-haters are going to have to come up with some new talking points. The usual knock against the party of Tommy Douglas is that it doesn't know how to manage the economy. The NDP equals financial Armageddon, *(Editors note: even though the Sask NDP delivered 14 consecutive Balanced Provincial Budgets 1994-2007).

In contrast, the Conservatives and the Liberals just somehow innately understand the mysteries of fiscal management. What they don't understand is best left to their buddies -- the guys in the pin-striped suits, the captains of industry.

No wino on welfare ever sucked more public cash than the banks, the stockbrokers, and the car companies now are on a daily basis. Worse, they want more. And those sober custodians of the national bank book (or should I say credit card) are giving it to them.

So if Jack and the NDP are would-be wastrels, what can be said about the truly big spenders, Dalton McGuinty, Stephen Harper and even Barack Obama? Do the people who decry giving millions to ordinary Joes really support dishing out billions and even trillions to the guys with the $16,000 shower curtains?

Even stranger, these millions, billions and trillions are going to people who close plants, cut jobs, refuse to make loans to the great unwashed and then complain the handout was too small.

To those who believe the NDP would beggar the rich to pay for EI louts, social programs, and every tree hugger with his hand out, dissing the socialists is harder than it used to be.

The alternative has now become political parties who would tax and torment average citizens to shower a king's ransom on those who have already plundered the vault and stashed their boodle.

But there are reasons aplenty to portray Jack as the Bald Godzilla of Canadian politics. After all, he doesn't know a thing about international politics, does he? That's why they called him Taliban Jack, because he thought the war in Afghanistan was both a poor cause and a lost cause. He even had the socialist chutzpah to say it would be best to negotiate an end to this futile war. What a quitter!

But even that argument is suddenly dubious. Now that the prime minister has put on his flip-flops and declared that the insurgency can't be defeated and there is no military solution in Afghanistan, we can conclude at the very least that both Taliban Jack and Taliban Steve have it right. It's just that Taliban Jack had it right from the get-go.

Even if Jack Layton is looking a little better on the financial management and geopolitical side, there is still that nagging suspicion that he is an old-fashioned, backward-looking wobbly dude who listens to Woody Guthrie songs as he dreams up ways to wreck the country.

Take the environment. Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff have become the Double-Mint twins in support of the Alberta oil/tar sands project. The Liberal leader even called it a national unity issue.

Jack Layton and National Geographic call it a national disgrace. According to the most recent Ipsos-Reid poll on this subject, 64% of Canadians (and 47% of Albertans) think the mining should be stopped until a more sustainable method of extraction can be found.

Damn that Taliban Jack. He's so out of touch with this country's elites."


Michael Harris

-Harper And Other Assorted War Mongers Owe NDP An Apology

 

Leadership Blog - Sask New Democrats

For the duration of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party leadership race, I will be maintaining a dedicated blog HERE!
Why not bookmark it and return often?

 

Sask NDP Leadership Race - PROFILE - Deb Higgins

Moose Jaw MLA Deb Higgins has announced she will seek the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan. “People have asked me why I want to be leader. Simply put, I want to continue my commitment to the NDP and our great province by taking on this important role and I know I am up for the job,” she said.

Higgins said New Democrats have a lot of work ahead of them, to reconnect with members and reach out to future members.

"We need to make sure we are listening to all Saskatchewan people and we need to find new solutions to old and future problems. I believe my experience, my passion and my true commitment to the NDP will allow me to work with all New Democrats in order to move our party, and our province forward.”

“These are interesting times in Saskatchewan,” said Higgins. “We have a newly-elected government who told us that the best times were yet to come. In reality, we’ve seen layoffs, soaring costs of living, a lack of child care and dwindling pensions. And we’ve seen a government that is either too arrogant or too misguided to care.

"Saskatchewan families deserve better. New Democrats, under my leadership, can and will do better. In 2011 we can and will defeat Brad Wall, not only for New Democrats, but for all Saskatchewan people.”

Deb and her husband Don have lived in the Moose Jaw Wakamow constituency all their lives, where they have raised their two daughters, worked and enjoyed participating in many community activities.

Deb started working at the Canada Safeway in 1979 and became involved with the United Food & Commercial Workers union in 1982. Deb served as the President of the UFCW Council from 1993 to 1999 and was a table officer for the Moose Jaw & District Labour Council during that same period.

Deb Higgins was first elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in 1999 representing Moose Jaw Wakamow. She was re-elected in 2003 and 2007. In the previous NDP government, she served as Minister of Labour and Learning. In the Saskatchewan NDP Caucus, she currently serves as Municipal Affairs, Liquour and Gaming and Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation critics.

Deb's Facebook Page

Buckdog is doing a series of 4 New Democratic leadership candidate profiles over the next week. New Democrats will be electing a new leader to replace Lorne Calvert in June. Profiles will be done in the order that the candidates entered the race.

And while you're at it ... vist the Saskatchewan New Democrat Leadership Campaign Blog!

... twitter? ...

 

Sask NDP Leadership Race - PROFILE - Ryan Meili

Ryan Meili is the third candidate to throw his hat into the Saskatchewan New Democratic leadership race. The following bio is taken from his leadership site:

"Ryan Meili is a family doctor and community organizer; for years, he has been working to build healthier communities in Saskatchewan. Currently employed as a rural relief locum, Ryan’s job as a family doctor takes him all over the province to give doctors in small communities some much-needed and well-deserved time off. When not on the road he lives in Saskatoon’s core community of Riversdale.

Ryan also works for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. As the chair of the Social Accountability Committee, he’s responsible for helping ensure that Saskatchewan’s future doctors are equipped to meet the health needs of the diverse communities they will serve. Among Ryan’s focuses are aboriginal, international, rural, and inner-city health.

Ryan is perhaps best known for his role as a co-founder of SWITCH, the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health. Ryan helped spearhead this student-run, interdisciplinary, inner-city clinic, whose mandate is to bring students from nursing, medicine, social work, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nutrition, and numerous other disciplines together to serve the residents of Saskatoon’s core communities. Ryan was also the clinic’s first coordinator, and continues to work there as a supervising doctor.

Ryan also runs the College of Medicine’s Making The Links program. This program gives medical students the opportunity to work in Northern Saskatchewan (Ile a-la-Crosse and Buffalo River Dene Nation), in the SWITCH clinic in Saskatoon, and in the rural communities of Mozambique in South-East Africa. One of the program’s goals is for students to gain firsthand knowledge of the social factors influencing health by living among and working with diverse peoples."

Ryan Meili Site

Buckdog is doing a series of 4 New Democratic leadership candidate profiles over the next week. New Democrats will be electing a new leader to replace Lorne Calvert in June. Profiles will be done in the order that the candidates entered the race.

And while you're at it ... vist the Saskatchewan New Democrat Leadership Campaign Blog!

... twitter? ...

Thursday, March 05, 2009 

'Chickens Come Home To Roost' With Harper's Antagonistic Relationship With China

The world's struggling resource companies find themselves looking to cash-rich investors from China to help rejuvenate the global economy. However, Stephen Harper's antagonistic relationship with China has hurt business in this country by minimizing the resource deals that China is willing to make with Canada.

"Canadian assets are generally not high up on the list."
-Regina Leader-Post

Wednesday, March 04, 2009 

Small 'c' Conservatives Will Meet To Navel Gaze - General Hillier Guest Speaker

Conservatives ensured that Canada became entrenched in an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and left corporate foxes in charge of the economic hen house. After two years of disastrous economic policy, small 'c' conservatives are going to meet over a $195 a plate dinner, to make Preston Manning just a little bit richer than he already is and to navel gaze on their failed and ridiculous ideology!

"OTTAWA — Rick Hillier, Canada's outspoken former chief of defence staff, will headline a conference next week in Ottawa where grassroots activists as well as Conservative members of Parliament will gather to discuss the state of conservatism in this country. Hillier is being billed as the star attraction for a $195-per-plate fundraising dinner on March 12 to toast a conference organized by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, a think-tank founded by former Reform party leader Preston Manning. According to the centre's website, Hillier will speak about the "need to have properly trained and prepared political practitioners to better run our government, just as we need to have well-trained soldiers on the battlefield.""
Canada.com

And allow me to be bold and offer a resolution for the delegates to discuss:

MOVED: That this Assembly acknowledge that the reason for the Conservative Party of Canada's failure to secure a majority government (time after time after time) is 'Stephen Harper'.


... twitter? ...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009 

Harper And Other Assorted War Mongers Owe An Apology

Stephen Harper will NEVER come forward and admit that he was WRONG on the Afghanistan military mission and that New Democrats were not being 'unpatriotic' when we said that 'winning' in Afghanistan was going to be impossible. But he should!

As a New Democrat, I was told that I was unpatriotic and that by wanting to be realistic and pragmatic about the lives of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, I was not as worthy a citizen as those who actively supported the war. Harper insisted that as a New Democrat, (who said that since all wars end eventually, let's skip the killing and bombing phase and see if we can go directly to some form of talks), I was supporting the enemy.

To score partisan political points, Harper, his Conservatives and those Liberals who support the war in Afghanistan, have insulted and denigrated fellow Canadian citizens in order to advance their own political interests.

An apology is in order ... but I won't hold my breath in anticipation of it.


Stupid people still think military victory is possible in Afghanistan.


... twitter? ...

Monday, March 02, 2009 

'Daily Newspaper Industry' - Rest In Peace!

"It’s widely agreed that there are a number of factors dragging down American newspapers, including the economic recession and the impact of the Internet, but a reason rarely mentioned is that the national news media failed in its most important job – to serve as a watchdog for the people."
Robert Parry
March 2, 2009

Robert Parry of Consortium News is hitting the nail on the head with his analysis of the problems that North America's daily newspaper industry is facing.

His analysis is also applicable to the Canadians scene, where much of the industry is monopolized by supporters of the political Right. For many of Canada's daily newspapers, their ongoing dishonesty and strong affiliation with the Harper government has left the majority of Canadians who DON'T vote Conservative no choice but to abandon them in droves.

Doing my own little poll by talking to my paper delivery boy, I have found out that of the 28 houses on my street, only 3 get the daily paper. So much for 'the power of the press'.


... twitter? ...

 

'Taliban' Harper Says Victory NOT Possible In Afghanistan!

"Coalition troops serving in Afghanistan will never rid the country of insurgents and won’t win the war simply by maintaining a presence in the area."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Canada.com

Remember how Stephen Harper and his Conservative MP's went after Jack Layton for trying to get the nation to focus on the reality of Afghanistan? What goes around - comes around. It is difficult to know whether Harper should be criticised for being dishonest or just late in recognizing reality?

If Layton and New Democrats had the War in Afghanistan figured out 3 years ago, why has it taken so long for Conservatives and others to come to the same conclusion?

-Did We Not Learn Anything From the Vietnam Experience? - March 5, 2006

-What Tories Said 'Then' vs What Tories Say 'Now' - April 11, 2006

-Liberals on Afghanistan - A Deafening Silence - September 10, 2006


... twitter? ...

Sunday, March 01, 2009 

Is Stephen Harper The New 'Bush'?

"The ideology of the Iranian government is "evil," Prime Minister Stephen Harper says."
Reuters News Agency

I don't like the regime currently in power in Iran. I don't like 'fundamentalist' Islam nor Christianity when it is in control of a government. But for a sitting Prime Minister of Canada to label another government as 'evil', I have to wonder about his motives.

We know that Harper loved George Bush, both ideologically and as a fellow right winger. Bush used to throw around the 'evil' label at countries like Iran and North Korea when he was President. Most observers generally just rolled their eyes and attributed it to Bush's simplistic country bumpkin incompetence.

Harper sits in the front pew of his Christian Missionary Alliance church every Sunday, but I was never sure if he actually believed all of their fundamentalist nonsense or not. By using completely undiplomatic language as he has done with Iran, he imitates the worst of George Bush's style and makes actual diplomatic initiatives to try and temper Iran's extremism all the harder for real diplomats.

This idiotic jab at Iran, coupled with the phony 'threat from Russia' that the Conservatives fabricated earlier this week, makes me wonder what the hell Harper is doing?

Is he simply playing to his base support by calling Iran evil and exaggerating a new Cold War with Russia?


-Why Stephen Harper keeps his evangelical faith very private ...


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