Wednesday, December 30, 2009 

Buckdog Books Off 'Sick' For Awhile

This will be short. Over the last few days, I have been having trouble with one of my eyes followed by a rapid loss of vision since yesterday. This morning I received the bad news that I have a Retinal detachment and risk losing sight in the eye without immediate surgery. I have just now finished surgery and am trying my best to use this keyboard with a bandaged eye and some fair pain and discomfort.

Since I have to lay prone for the next number of days while I heal, there will be no blogging from me until I get this all behind me.

Happy New Years to all of the readers of this blog. Take care, and have a happy new year.

Till later......

Leftdog

Monday, December 28, 2009 

Montreal Starting To Sound Like An Episode Of 'The Godfather'

-Nick Rizzuto Jr. son of Montreal Mafia Head - gunned down in Montreal

-Slain drug boss tied to mob: police

-Man, 19, charged in firebombing of Italian café in Montreal

Sunday, December 27, 2009 

Warren Kinsella ... the Prophet? .... not so much!!

At the end of 2008, Liberal guru, Warren Kinsella, laid out his political predictions fot the year 2009. Wow .. 12 months later, there is little that is even remotely accurate.

'TEN POLITICAL PREDICTIONS FOR 2009 - Warren Kinsella's Blog
-1. There’ll be an election
-2. The Liberal Party of Canada will win the election
-3. The Liberals will win the election for another reason ...
-4. The Reform Conservative Party of Parts of Western Canada will lose the election
etc etc etc ..........


POLITCAL TIP:
Predictions should NOT be those things that you WANT to transpire! They should reflect what your wisdom and life experience indicates WILL occur!

Thursday, December 24, 2009 

Merry Christmas - Seasons Greetings - 2009


Merry Christmas - 2009 from Buckdog!

Here's wishing a nice Christmas to all of my readers! I'm signing off for a couple of days. Stay warm and make sure that you have some fun as well!

All the Best!

Leftdog
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 

PS22 (Public School 22) - New York - 'Star of Wonder'



"The PS22 Chorus was formed in the year 2000. We are an ever-changing group of 5th graders from a public elementary school in Staten Island, New York. We are NOT a school for the arts or a magnet program.

The chorus has become a bonafide internet sensation over the last few years, singing choral renditions of classic & alternative pop songs. The kids have sung with Tori Amos, Passion Pit, Crowded House and Common! They have also performed for President Obama and the first family."

 

A 'Christmas Challenge' - Convince One Family Member Or Friend To NOT Vote Conservative Next Election

Over the next few days, most of us will spend a fair bit of time with family members and friends as we take a couple of days off during the Christmas / New Year Season.

Here's a challenge to all progressive thinkers. Over the holidays, find one family member or friend who either votes for the Conservatives or is leaning that way. In a friendly, non-threatening manner, slowly start talking to them about all of the idiotic things that Harper and the Conservatives have been doing.

-Point out to them that the Conservatives have labeled most of Canada's main religious denominations as being 'anti-Semitic'.
-Point out to them that the Conservatives are covering up something related to the torture of detainees in Afghanistan.
-Point out to them that Harper is not respecting the Will of a democratically elected Parliament and insists on doing whatever the hell he wants.
-Point out to them that Canada has moved from earning the world's respect as a peace-keeping nation to one that doesn't care about global climate change.
-Point out to them that 'Big Oil' OWNS the Conservatives and will do whatever it has to to advance their corporate interests.
-Point out to them that Harper has chalked up the largest deficits in Canadian history ... so much for 'fiscal conservatism'.
-Point out that even though George Bush is (thankfully) gone from the public scene, his biggest fan in Canada was Stephen Harper.
-Point out some of the nasty things Harper is on record to have said about Canada. He really HATES this nation as it currently exists.
-Point out that Harper has only won the votes of 37% of Canadians. 63% did NOT vote for him. He is a bully, but in reality, he only has a minority government.
-Point out that the the ones in power are NOT old style Conservatives, the power is in the hands of the old REFORM Party - Harper, Kenney, Day, Anders, Polievre, etc.

Be friendly, don't lecture and listen to the concerns of your target. Help your listener to find one of the other political parties to support. Even if you do not support that particular party, if you can get a Conservative voter to move to anyone else, you will have successfully contributed to the upcoming defeat of Stephen Harper.

Monday, December 21, 2009 

Why Do Conservatives HATE Democracy So Much? Is it because it stands in the way of their version of 'totalitarian rule'?

-Supremacy of Parliament VS Harper Inc.

-'We do whatever the hell we want'!

 

Winter Solstice - December 21, 2009



Sunrise over Stonehenge - December 21st - Winter Solstice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009 

Tory 'Smear Jobs' Typical Of Harper's Governing Style

"Is everyone who disagrees with Prime Minister Stephen Harper a Taliban stooge, a raving anti-Semite or a loony-left extremist? You'd think so, to hear the shabby low blows Harper and his cabinet are forever aiming at any and all who dare to criticize federal policy.

In Jerusalem this past week, Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney took aim at a Christian aid agency, KAIROS, in a speech that lauded Harper's support for Israel and railed against "anti-Semitic despots, terrorists and fanatics." KAIROS's sin, in Kenney's view, was its "leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign" against Israel. That's why the Tories "defunded" the agency, Kenney explained. (KAIROS denies favouring a boycott or disinvestment.)

Kenney's attack, sadly, was anything but an exception.

All through the Afghan detainee affair, the Conservatives have sought to brand Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and other critics as unpatriotic, hostile to Canada's troops, and Taliban dupes. Yet everyone from the U.S. government to our diplomats to the Red Cross had warned that Ottawa was taking a risk detainees might be tortured.

And it hardly ends there. Last month the Conservatives circulated flyers in opposition ridings with lots of Jewish voters implying that the Liberals are anti-Semites who back Hamas and Hezbollah. That led Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, a Jew, to accuse them of "false, misleading, prejudicial and pernicious slander."

Last year, they scrapped a $4.7 million travel program to promote Canadian culture abroad because past recipients, including journalists Gwynne Dyer and Avi Lewis, were "left wing" and "radical."

And a year before that, the Tories defamed then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion with attack ads implying he was a "sellout" or "traitor" to Quebec's interests, not to mention a criminal.

The Conservatives invite contempt with these endless, over-the-top smears. They discredit their party and its policies."

The Star Editorial

A sample of victims of Conservative Party of Canada drive-by Smear Jobs - (Count the heads that have rolled in Ottawa):

Peter Tinsley, chair of the military police commission, who initiated the Afghan prison abuse probe – refused a second term.

Paul Kennedy, chair of the Complaints Commission for the RCMP, who criticized the use of Tasers – refused a second term.

Linda Keen, nuclear watchdog, who insisted on safety at Chalk River – fired.

Kevin Page, parliamentary budget watchdog, who rattled the Tories with several revelations – rendered ineffective with a cut of $1 million from his $2.8 million budget.

Marc Mayrand, chief electoral officer, who probed Tory election spending – publicly attacked.

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who dared criticize both the U.S. and Israel – refused support for a second term and publicly rebuked.

Jean-Guy Fleury, chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, who opposed the Tory politicization of appointments to the tribunal – frustrated into quitting.

Richard Colvin: Prime Minister Stephen Harper may hope to insulate his government from the charge that it winked at torture in Afghanistan by attacking diplomat Richard Colvin. But as a group of former Canadian ambassadors has just warned, Ottawa's rough tactics cast an ominous chill across our entire diplomatic service.

KAIROS, a Christian aid group,

Saturday, December 19, 2009 

United, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic and Mennonite Churches Condemn Jason Kenney For Idiotic Statement


What is wrong with Jason Kenney? Does he really believe the crap that comes out of his mouth or is he too stupid to understand what 'anti-Semitic' means?

In Kenney's world, anyone who disagrees with the Government of Israel is obviously 'anti-Semitic'. How idiotic is that?

Mr. Kenney, many Jews do not recognize the State of Israel ... are they 'anti-Semitic'?

-Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives denies allegations by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney that it is anti-Semitic -Newswire

-Churches want answers from PM after senior Tory levels accusation -The Star

... Scott Tribe has a great post on this ...

 

Exactly WHY Did Saskatchewan's Environment Minister Travel To Copenhagen??


It is a well known fact that Saskatchewan's current government is ideologically in bed with the Harper Conservatives. Anyone who needs proof of that should join in asking why it was that Saskatchewan's Environment Minister, Nancy Heppner traveled on the public purse to Copenhagen, Denmark.

The only comment that came from Saskatchewan's Environment Minister at Cop15 was:

"The federal government has a very large job to do here as the negotiator on an international agreement and I think what would be helpful is that we are supportive of what federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice is trying to do on behalf of Canada."

HUH???!

-Regina Leader-Post
-Sask Gov't News Release Urging Support for Harper


Photo courtesy Niall McKenna / CBC .....

Friday, December 18, 2009 

COP 15 ... A Political Compromise Dressed Up As A Deal?

Is this going to be the deal that will be called the Copenhagen Accord?

-CBC World

(Here's the complete draft text of the proposed final Copenhagen climate treaty:)

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties and the fifth meeting of the Parties to Conference of the Parties to the to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change,

In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article 2,

Recalling the provisions of the Convention,

Being guided by Article 3 of the Convention,

Affirming our firm resolve to adopt one or more legal instruments under the Convention pursuant to decisions taken at COP13 and this decision as soon as possible and no later than COP16/CMP6.

Have agreed on this Copenhagen [X] which is operational immediately

1. The Parties underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The Parties emphasise their strong political will to combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature ought not to exceed 2 degrees and on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, the Parties commit to a vigorous response through immediate and enhanced national action on mitigation based on strengthened international cooperation.

Ambitious action to mitigate climate change is needed with developed countries taking the lead. The Parties recognize the critical impact of climate change on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. Deep cuts in global emissions are required. The Parties should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be
longer in developing country Parties and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing country Parties and that low-emission development is indispensible to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is a challenge faced by all Parties, and enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation is urgently required to enable and support the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing country Parties, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least developed countries, small island developing States and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods.

The Parties
agree that developed country Parties shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing country Parties. The Parties further endorse -/CP.15 on adaptation.

4. Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to implement, individually or jointly, the quantified economy-wide emission targets for 2020 as listed yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005 ensuring that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention resolve to implement mitigation actions, based on their specific national circumstances and in the context of sustainable development. Mitigation actions taken and envisaged by Non-Annex I Parties shall be reflected through their national communications in accordance with Article 12.1 (b) of the Convention.

The frequency of submissions of the national communications of Non-Annex I Parties shall be every two years.
Mitigation actions taken by Non-Annex I Parties will be subject to their domestic auditing, supervision and assessment, the result of which will be reported through their national communications.

Clarification may, upon request, be provided by the Party concerned at its discretion to respond to any question regarding information contained in the national communications. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions supported and enabled by countries in terms of technology, financing and capacity building, will be registered in a registry, including both action taken and relevant technology, financing and capacity building support.

These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions shall be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines elaborated by the COP. The Parties take note of the information on enhanced mitigation action actions by Non-Annex I Parties as listed.

6. Developing countries Parties should, in accordance with the provisions contained in decision /CP.15, contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities:
reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forest, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

7. The Parties decide to pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote, mitigation actions, in accordance with decision -/CP.15.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding shall be provided to developing country Parties, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including REDD-plus, adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for
enhanced implementation of the Convention. Parties take note of the individual pledges by developed country

Parties to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010-2012 as listed and with funding for adaptation prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods.

In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, the Parties support a goal of mobilizing jointly 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

9. A High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of then Parties to assess the contribution of the potential sources of revenue, including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. The Parties decide that the Copenhagen Climate Fund shall be established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacity-building, technology development and transfer as set forth in decision -/CP.15.

11. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology the Parties decide to establish a Technology Mechanism as set forth in decision -/CP.15 to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation that will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. The Parties call for a review of this decision and its implementation in 2016 including in light of the Conventions ultimate objective.

13. Capturing the progress achieved in the work by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action and Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol under the Convention the Parties by continuing
negotiations pursuant to decisions taken at COP13 and this decision, with a view to adopting one or more legal instruments under the Convention as soon as possible and no later than COP16.

Deciding to extend the mandate of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention and continue the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under Kyoto Protocol to negotiate one or more legal instruments under the Convention.


CTV News

 

Canada's World Junior Hockey Team Put Through 'Boot Camp' At RCMP Training Depot In Regina




Readers of my blog know that I have been very critical of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on a number of issues over the last year. However, I also believe that they should receive kudos when warranted.

Canada is about to host the 2010 World Junior Hockey Tournament - with games being played in Saskatoon and Regina between Christmas and New Years.

RCMP Training Depot in Regina is hosting this year's Canadian team for a team bonding 'boot camp' which will see the teenage players go through much of what a new recruit would experience. Players have been learning how to line up and march in parade just as a recruit would. The team is rooming in regular RCMP barracks quarters.

Here's a tip of the hat to the RCMP for contributing to this year's tournament by helping these young Canadian players learn a few extra things about 'team work'.

-Regina Leader-Post


Photos courtesy Roy Antal - Regina Leader-Post

Thursday, December 17, 2009 

Canadian Judge Speaks Bluntly About 'Insanity' Of Canada's Pot Laws

"Nobody has been deterred. People have been going to jail for drug offences for - for a couple of generations now and the drug - the drug plague is worse than it ever was.... If something doesn't work, do I try doing it again and again to see if it does work? Isn't that the definition of insanity?"
Justice Elliot Allen
(Ontario Judge)

Kudos to Mister Justice Elliott Allen who spoke openly and bluntly about the complete failure of Canadian drug policy. Using the justice system to administer jail time for marijuana possession and cultivation simply is not a deterrent in society at large.

Justice Allen questioned why, when a form of sentencing "doesn't work," he would try it again and again. "Isn't that a form of insanity?" he asked.

Justice Allen pointed out the complete failure of deterrent in the United States where a huge number of people are serving life sentences without parole for growing or trafficking in moderate amounts of marijuana.

All society is really doing by prohibiting the production and consumption of marijuana is "giving the Hells Angels several billion dollars worth of income every year," Allen said.

The Globe & Mail

-Tory pot smokers should be first to turn themselves in to police
-Liberal Party hypocritical on marijuana reform

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 

Provincial Audtior SLAMS Saskatchewan Party Government

Readers of this blog know that I have pointed out a number of cases that dispel the myth of 'fiscal conservatism'. The Right continues to believe their own political lie that they are somehow 'responsible' when it comes to administering public tax dollars. Bull feathers!

More proof of this myth was provided in Saskatchewan yesterday with the release of the annual report of the Provincial Auditor.

Here are a few choice excerpts from the report on how 'fiscally conservative' our Right wing Brad Wall government actually is:


"Because the errors significantly impair the usefulness of these financial statements, we have qualified our auditor's report on the GRF (general revenue fund) financial statements published in Public accounts 2008-09 Volume 1. 'Qualified' audit reports are not normal and should cause concern for legislators and the public. Our audit report advises readers of the errors in the financial statement."
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts


"Because the government uses inappropriate accounting policies, the GRF financial statements (for 2008-09) report net debt and annual surplus inaccurately. If the government had accounted for all transactions properly, the statements would have recorded net debt of $8.07 billion instead of $3.85 billion on March 31, 2009, and recorded a surplus of $1.62 billion instead of $2.39 billion for the year ended March 31, 2009."
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts


"The [Social Services] ministry continues to not be able to tell us how many children are in care, who they are and where they live." Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts


"Environment (the ministry that was ripped off for nearly $500,000 by an employee), where "public money is still at risk" because it still "does not segregate the duties of employees".
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts


The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority that "still does not promptly reconcile transactions with automated teller machines to its bank accounts" even after losing $1.2 million in 2009.
Report of the Provincial Auditor on the 2008-09 Government Accounts


-Regina Leader-Post

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 

Violent Attacks Against Elected Leaders (Real or In Jest) HURT Democracy!

I am no fan of Italy's President Berlusconi. Yet, the violent physical attack on him this week was disgusting, vile, and totally without any justification. Those who do not like his politics, should ensure that he is defeated at the polls. The assault left him injured and bloodied just like Italian democracy. A bloody disgrace.

I am no fan of Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Yet, the disgusting portrayal of him on the Liberal website, [image] being assassinated is beyond any civil words! The fact that the website of Canada's Official Opposition hosted the photoshopped image of Harper superimposed on the body of Lee Harvey Oswald at the moment of his killing, is outrageous beyond belief! It is an attack on Canada's democracy as well.

I am encouraged to read words condemning this idiocy by some Liberal bloggers and it is right for them to do so.

Any nation, that spirals into violence against its political leaders -actual or threatened - clearly should be very concerned for its democracy. No Canadian, of any political stripe should tolerate these two unforgivable incidents. We are better than this.

Monday, December 14, 2009 

Please Explain To Me That Don Cherry Is Not Crazy!


In a few short minutes of this clip, he talks about Baby Jesus - Santa Claus - how Ruutu NEEDS to get 'smacked' - "Natives" - David Suzuki is a left winger - The troops.

Believe it or not, some of our more insane fellow citizens want this guy to be Canada's next Governor General!

-Is Don Cherry preaching the wrong hockey message - The Star

Don Cherry Speaks Out On Criticism

Friday, December 11, 2009 

Greenpeace Logo BANNED On Parliament Hill

-T-Shirt with Greenpeace logo banned on Parliament Hill
-Even rightwing blogs condemn the ban ...

Thursday, December 10, 2009 

One day the Conservatives will not be the government ... We will hold the Inquiry THEN!

No one describes the situation better than Scott Tribe does here.

Update:
At the end of the day, KirbyCairo was right and the Tories dug in with their usual inflexible, dictatorial, self serving style.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 

Calgary Mining Company Says It Was 'In No Way Involved' In Murder Of Vocal Environmentalist In Mexico

"Canadian mining firm at centre of Mexican murder probe"
Globe & Mail


CALGARY–"A Canadian mine in Mexico has been shut down over environmental concerns, while new details are emerging about how three men arrested in the death of a vocal anti-mining activist are connected to the Calgary firm.

The temporary closure of the Blackfire Exploration mine, revealed by a government official Tuesday, is another twist in a case some say symbolizes the anger of local people who feel Canadian companies are destroying their pristine ancestral land for profit."

The Star

 

CALL THE DAMNED INQUIRY!

-In about face, top general admits Canadian captive was abused -Globe & Mail

-Natynczyk makes major reversal on detainee story - CTV News

Enough bullshit, spin, posturing and political tricks from our Rightwing federal government! Call the damned inquiry!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 

RCMP Complaints Commissioner SLAMS Mounties For Killing Robert Dziekanski

A scathing attack by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP for killing Robert Dziekanski was released today. The key findings in the 200-page report are:

* While they were in the lawful execution of their duties as police officers, the four officers failed to adopt a measured, co-ordinated and appropriate response to Dziekanski's reported behaviour.
* The senior on-scene RCMP member failed to take charge of the RCMP's response.
* No meaningful attempt was made to de-escalate the situation.
* No warning, visual or otherwise, was given to Dziekanski prior to him being hit by the conducted energy weapon (CEW).
* Use of the CEW against Dziekanski was premature and inappropriate.
* The CEW was used multiple times on Dziekanski without any significant effort made to determine the need for further use.
* The RCMP members present should have more actively provided first-aid and monitored Dziekanki's condition.
* The four RCMP members inappropriately met alone after the death of Dziekanski prior to giving their statements.
* The versions of events given to investigators by the four RCMP officers involved in Dziekanski's death are not deemed credible.
* The senior on-scene RCMP member should not have been present at the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) briefing held at the Richmond Detachment on Oct. 14, 2007.
* No bias or partiality toward the involved RCMP members was present in the IHIT investigation of the death of Dziekanski, but the video shot by a member of the public should have been shown to the members before taking statements from them.
* The RCMP should have released certain information to the media which would have served to clarify information pertaining to the death of Dziekanski and corrected erroneous information previously provided without compromising the IHIT investigation.

No charges were ever laid in Dziekanski's death. A coroner concluded he died as a result of the stress from both the Taser stuns and the struggle with police as they pinned him to the ground and handcuffed him.

CBC.ca

NOTE:
We are also waiting for the results of The Braidwood public inquiry which was set up by the B.C. government and wrapped up in October. Justice Braidwood is expected to report early in the new year.

ALSO:
My blog is nominated for Best Blog Series on the death of Robert Dziekanski in the 2009 Canadian Blog Awards. You can vote HERE!

Monday, December 07, 2009 

Gnome Chomsky


I love this pic. I think Noam does as well.
Chomsky Website

Sunday, December 06, 2009 

"An 8% ripoff for Canadians" - Jack Layton

The following is an article by Jack Layton:

"Next summer, if the Harper Conservatives and McGuinty Liberals have their way, a haircut will cost you 8% more. Burying a loved one will cost 8% more. Vitamins, a pair of sneakers, postage stamps, vet fees for your dog, and an oil change for your car will all cost 8% more. Even the price of gas will go up.

That's going to hurt a lot of families, seniors, young people and small business.

From the outset, we New Democrats said the HST (harmonized sales tax) is the wrong tax at the wrong time. The recession is still being felt, unemployment is still rising and this regressive tax will take $2.5 billion out of the pockets of those least able to afford it.

To be clear, Stephen Harper is giving Premier Dalton McGuinty $4.3 billion in exchange for his agreement to tax you more.

B.C., which is also getting the HST, is being paid too, so I can understand why Quebec, which has already harmonized its sales taxes, will want compensation.

But these payouts are all money that drives Canada further into debt and for which the government hasn't budgeted.

At the same time, big companies are winning the jackpot with yet another $1.5 billion in corporate tax cuts and, as McGuinty and Harper boast, the HST will cut business input costs even further. In other words, the HST will drive up taxes that families pay and lower them on big business.

Harper and McGuinty say we need to look at the bigger picture. When we do, here's what we see. This recession was caused not by high wages or a lack of initiative on the part of working Canadians. It was caused by a carnival of greed among bankers, financiers and others who took reckless risks and triggered a worldwide financial crisis.

Yet you and your family are the ones taking it in the neck. Pension funds are in difficulty. Retirement savings tucked away in RRSPs have lost much of their value. And from next summer onward, big business will pay less and you will pay more for everything from Internet services to gasoline.

Is that fair?

We don't think so. That's why we are currently locked in a battle in the House of Commons to block the legislation that will allow the federal government to foist the HST on Ontarians.

Michael Ignatieff's Liberal party has sided with the prime minister, who has launched an underhanded gambit to ram the law through the House before the holiday break.

It's his way of saying, Merry Christmas.

There will be no consultations on the HST law. No committee hearings. No opportunity for Canadians to have their say.

Harper doesn't want to hear from retiree groups, real estate associations, minor hockey organizations, First Nations Chiefs, provincial premiers and many, many others who have declared their opposition.

He wants this out of the way as quickly as possible. He wants you to hang this tax on Premier McGuinty. He wants you to get used to this tax grab so you won't blame him for it in the next election.

We won't let Stephen Harper skip the blame."

-- Layton is leader of the federal New Democrats
Toronto Sun

Saturday, December 05, 2009 

I Am Glad That The 'Tiger' Wood's Nonsense Seems To Be Quieting Down

*(The following graphic may be in bad taste for some viewers ...)

All quiet on the home front!

 

Michael McCafferty's World Remembered

Michael McCafferty was a fellow political junkie from Saskatchewan. He died on December 2, 2009 and left a colourful political legacy. He and I were as opposite as you could be politically. He was a Progressive Conservative ... always lining up on the right wing side of any debate. I on the left.

He had an interesting political career and had served as the personal assistant to former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. He had a vast knowledge of American politics as well and travelled to Washington D.C. to witness the swearing in of three US Presidents (Jimmy Carter - Ronald Reagan - George Bush Sr.).

Michael was a huge collector of political memorabilia. I got a mint condition Diefenbuck from him and I provided him with an old Diefenbaker 'prosperity dollar'. Both he and I traded a few other items over the years and even though we could never agree on anything political, there was a mutual respect because of a shared love of the Province of Saskatchewan.

Michael hadn't blogged for sometime, his last post told us of his diagnosis of cancer. He also maintained an eclectic political site that he called Michael McCafferty's Politics International. That site on GeoCities is now gone (including a wealth of historical political photos), but I found the site in the archives of the Way Back Machine and have put it here for the time being.

He was a real character and had numerous friends in Saskatchewan political circles on all sides of the spectrum.

He loved politics and he loved Saskatchewan.

Michael McCafferty 1951 - 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009 

'Never Forget' - Part 2 - Harper Padlocks Parliament - December 4, 2008


One year ago, our Conservative Prime Minister suspended the Parliament that Canadians elected and locked the doors on our democracy. He did this to save his own political ass. No Canadian should ever forget the complete disregard Mr. Harper demonstrated for democracy. Never forget!

Progressive Bloggers

-CBC News - 2008

Thursday, December 03, 2009 

Canada And China Issue JOINT Statement


BEIJING: China and Canada issued a joint statement in Beijing on Thursday after the official talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Following are the highlights of the joint statement:

Core-Interest

Both sides reaffirmed the fundamental principle of respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, core interests and major concerns. Neither side supports any attempt by any force to undermine the principle.

The Chinese side emphasized that the question of Taiwan concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Canadian side reiterated its consistent and long-standing one-China policy, which was established at the founding of diplomatic ties. The country underlined its support for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, including the efforts from both sides to increase dialogue and interactions in economic, political and other areas.

Trade, investment

The two countries reiterated commitment to maintaining an open investment and trade policy, opposing protectionism in all its manifestations, reducing barriers to investment and encouraging cooperation between the two countries' enterprises.

Both sides undertake to expedite negotiations of a China-Canada Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, to offer predictable and stable legal framework to boost confidence of investors.

The two countries also agreed on the need to encourage further growth of bilateral trade from its current levels, increasing trade in goods and services in all sectors, including energy and resources, infrastructure, telecommunication and transportation, advanced technology, tourism, agriculture and financial services. They also agreed to enhance cooperation on clean energy.

Cross-border crimes

The two sides pledged to strengthen cooperation on combating transnational crime and repatriating fugitives in accordance with their respective laws.

They agreed to sign a MOU on cooperation on combating crime at an early date and carry out negotiation on an agreement on the sharing of the proceeds of crime.

Human rights

Both sides acknowledged that differing histories and national conditions can create some distinct points of view on issues such as human rights. They agreed to increased dialogue and exchanges on human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to promote and protect human rights consistent with international human rights instruments.

Visit destination status

China and Canada welcome two new channels to increase people-to-people interaction, through the opening of a new Chinese Consulate General in Montreal, and China's announcement of approved destination status for Canada during Harper's visit.

Climate change

The two sides agreed to enhance policy dialogue and cooperation on climate change and clean energy technologies as a complement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.

Vancouver Olympics, Shanghai Expo

China welcomes the approaching of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and will send a large team of athletes to the games.

The Canadian side expressed its support for 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Starting in May of 2010, the Canada Pavilion at the Expo will provide large numbers of Chinese citizens the opportunity to visit and enjoy numerous Canadian arts, cultural and other public events.

China Daily

 

HST - Liberal / Tory ... Same Old Story



Conservative Party of Canada and Liberal Party of Canada VOTE to RAISE taxes in Ontario and British Columbia!

"Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says his caucus is united on the harmonized sales tax, even though several (28!) of his MPs were not in their seats when the votes were cast. (roll your eyes here)

There is a fair bit of mystery in the hallways of the House of Commons as to what exactly happened today.

The government can call a vote on a ways-and-means motion like this one at any time. It did so today around 1:20 p.m., and the official 30 minute countdown clock appeared on the Parliamentary television channel indicating the vote would take place at about 1:50 p.m.

However, the vote took place 10 minutes early, catching many MPs and staffers off guard. Liberals say the Speaker moved up the vote so that it would not interfere with the afternoon Question Period. New Democrat staffers, meanwhile, are whispering conspiracy theories of a Tory-Liberal plot to give certain MPs an excuse for abstaining on an unpopular issue.

The motion passed and will now turn into government legislation, with future votes at second reading, report stage and third reading.

When asked if some of the Liberal MPs abstained on principle, Mr. Ignatieff blamed the absences on the timing and said his caucus will be united on future HST votes."

The Globe & Mail

Photo courtesy Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press ....

 

Harper's Adherence To Reform Party Ideology Has HURT Commerce With China!

With a federal government full of Alberta Reform Party extremists like MP Rob Anders and Jason Kenney, is it any wonder that Canadian businesses have been trying for four years to alert Harper that his rigid ideology has hurt Canadian commerce with China?

Stephen Harper certainly deserves the official rebuke that he received from China today!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 

What The Chinese Are Saying About Stephen Harper

"Ottawa has aggressively criticized Beijing for its human rights record and for alleged spying. Harper was not among world leaders at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and he irritated China by embracing the Dalai Lama. However, an aide to the prime minister signaled a shift in Ottawa's China policy ahead of the visit, telling media "new global realities demand a modernized Canada-China relationship".

"The prime minister's visit will be a key opportunity to extend our presence in China and to promote Canadian interests," Dimitri Soudas, said on Sunday.

In another positive sign, the spokesman avoided responding to a question about whether Harper will ask for the value of the yuan to be allowed to rise, a request that premier Wen Jiabao rebuffed during Monday's summit with European leaders.

"Just like he doesn't comment on the value of the Canadian dollar, he doesn't comment on the value of other currencies," Soudas said.

Chinese experts have said the apparent change in Ottawa's attitude was driven by criticism from Canadian businesspeople seeking opportunities in China in the face of losses brought about by the sluggish US economy.

Pang Zhongying, an international affairs expert at Renmin University of China, said that following the financial crisis and US president Barack Obama's four-day visit to China, Canada had "second thoughts about its attitude toward China".

China Daily Online

 

'Never Forget' - Part 1 .... (Harper's Flag Fib)



One Year Ago ....

"Here we have these three parties signing a document, and they wouldn't even have the Canadian flag behind them! They had to be photographed without it, because a member of the coalition doesn't even believe in the country."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
December 2, 2008
House of Commons

-Huh? ... The Flag Was There!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 

Hey Conservatives .... RESPECT Our Democracy!

The following Motion was introduced and debated in the Canadian House of Commons on December 1, 2009:

Mr. Dewar (Ottawa Centre)That, in the opinion of the House, the government should, in accordance with Part 1 of the Inquiries Act, call a Public Inquiry into the transfer of detainees in Canadian custody to Afghan authorities from 2001 to 2009.

Coming to a Vote, the Motion was passed by a Majority of Members of Parliament, by a vote of 146 to 129

The Conservative Government of Stephen Harper, ignores this motion at their own peril.

Either you RESPECT democracy or you DON'T!!


Progressive Bloggers

 

The Chinese Perspective On Harper's Tour To China


Here is an editorial from the China Daily on Harper's visit to the Peoples Republic of China:

"Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make his first visit to China since taking office in 2006. He is aiming to not only boost trade but repair a strained relationship.

Harper, leader of his nation's Conservatives party, will be in China from Dec 2-6, a trip that former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien, a Liberal, said is "better late than never".

Foreign experts noted that Harper's rationale to visit China is based on the global economic recession.

"Canada is committed to a strong relationship with China that reflects our mutual respect and the need for practical cooperation," Harper said in a statement.

Trade has been developing between the two nations recently. Oil producer PetroChina agreed in August to purchase a 60-percent stake in two oil sands projects in western Canada for $1.7 billion. The MacKay River and Dover oil sands projects owned by private Athabasca Oil Sands Corp are located in the northeastern part of the Alberta province - Harper's base of support.

Trade volume between China and Canada reached $22.9 billion, an increase of 2.9 percent, during the first half of 2009."

China Daily Online

Background ....
-Harper's Hard Line With China Is Costing Canada Millions

-Chinese paper reports Harper snub

-Harper's Conservative Ideology Has Hampered Business Relations With China


and .... 'How do you talk to a dragon?


Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay
at mackaycartoons.net

 

New Democrats Table Motion For Inquiry To End Conservative Torture Cover Up

Today is the New Democratic Party’s opposition day in the House of Commons. The federal New Democrats have used the day to table a motion asking Parliament to implement a special public inquiry into the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

"Peter Mackay has gone from not knowing Mr. Colvin, to demonizing him, to blaming respected bureaucrats and generals for filtering Colvin’s warnings. The only thing made clear by Peter Mackay’s shifting defence is that we need a public inquiry to get to the truth."
Jack Layton

New Democrats hope that both the Liberal caucus and the Bloc Quebecois will support the motion.

Calls for a public inquiry have been coming forward since federal diplomat Richard Colvin appeared before a special parliamentary committee where he testified that he had warned of torture concerns dating back to 2006. Amnesty International is also calling for an inquiry.

Colvin testimony claimed that Afghan detainees captured by Canadian troops were being handed over to local authorities where they were beaten and subjected to electric shocks. Three top retired Canadian generals, including Rick Hillier, have denied knowledge of detainee abuse in that time period.

As well, Members of Parliament on the special committee have not yet been given copies of Colvin's emails on the issue. The Federal Conservatives, however, seem to have leaked highly censored copies of some of the emails to certain right leaning journalists in the MSM.

-Pressure mounts for Conservatives to allow inquiry into Afghan torture allegations - G&M


UPDATE!!
"Opposition MPs have passed a motion in the House of Commons calling on the government to launch a public inquiry into the handling of detainees in Afghanistan."

Globe & Mail



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