Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

While Harper's Conservatives chase after single Mom's on EI ... they let affluent Canadians accumlate over $29 Billion in unpaid income tax ...


"But the leader of the Official Opposition didn’t have time to dwell on the inconsistency of billions potentially being spent on something other than that for which authority was granted. He was off on the next damning chapter of the report — “turning a blind eye to $29-billion hidden in tax havens” — followed in turn by another that criticized the Aboriginal Affairs department for failing to co-operate with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to create a historical record of Indian residential schools."
John Ivison

 

So Called 'Fiscal Conservative' Gov't Won't (or) Can't Explain Where Missing $3.1 Billion Tax Dollars Are!


Progressive Bloggers 

"Federal departments and agencies spent about $3.1-billion less on public safety and anti-terrorism activities than they were allocated, and no there was no explanation for the gap. In a report released Tuesday, Michael Ferguson revealed that the Harper government has been unable to explain why so much money set aside in recent years for the anti-terrorism initiative has simply gone missing. Furthermore, he found the government did not have a clear handle on whether it had met the strategy’s objectives of keeping terrorists out of Canada, and deterring attacks."


"Ferguson found that between 2001 and 2009, the Treasury Board allocated about?$12.9 billion to 35 departments and agencies to fund activities related to public security and anti-terrorism.
However, his auditors found that only about $9.8-billion was spent on anti-terrorism activities during that period — about $3.1-billion less than allocated.
The auditors asked the government for information to explain the $3.1-billion difference between what was set aside and what was actually spent.
However, no records were “available” to explain the shortfall, Ferguson was told"

-Auditor General Discovers That $3.1 Billion Tax Dollars Missing Under Harper's Administration

Friday, April 26, 2013 

BREAKING: RCMP Close to Arrests of Known Sociologists!!

Coop Média de Montréal )

When asked about the RCMP arrests made in an alleged terrorist plot, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a warning for Canadians who would “commit sociology.” *

The RCMP has confirmed that it is aware of several sociologist networks operating in a number of Canadian universities. Sources say arrests are imminent.

While most sociologists currently operating in Canada are thought to be of the home-grown variety, there appears to be a great deal of international coordination through various websites, social media and academic journals.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to introduce emergency minimum sentences legislation for anyone who commits sociology or provides material support to a known sociologist network. The legislation could be introduced as early as tomorrow.

Sources say the RCMP will likely make arrests of known sociologists in the coming hours. More details will be provided as the story develops.

David Bernans is a Québec-based writer and translator. He is the author of Collateral Murder. Follow him on twitter @dbernans.


4:30 pm UPDATE: This reporter was interviewing security expert Guy Lapoint on the extent of sociology in Canada when he was taken away for questioning by the RCMP. Just before the RCMP barged into Lapoint's office he was saying, "If only we had some way to find out what makes people commit sociology, some sort of macro-view of the whole society that could explain this phenomenon, we could..."

 (* An actual quote! This is a satirical article, but, believe it or not our Prime Minister actually said this. It has to do with the Harper government’s insistence that ignorance is the best policy when it comes to the root causes of evil. )

Thursday, April 25, 2013 

Political Fights - Marquis Of Queensbury Rules VS A Kick In The Nuts ........


(How some New Democrats would like to conduct Political Fights with the Right)




(How Conservatives and the Right actually conduct a Political Fight)


Quess who's winning .........


 Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 

Hacked Associated Press Twitter Feed Sends Erroneous Message About Explosions at White House .. Markets Plummet

(Hacked AP Twitter account .... )

(Stock Market reactions ... ) 




"The Twitter account of The Associated Press was hacked on Tuesday and erroneously sent out a tweet saying there had been explosions at the White House, injuring President Obama.

Within a few minutes, Twitter suspended the account, and Julie Pace, the chief White House correspondent for The A.P., announced at a White House briefing that the account had been hacked. Jay Carney, Mr. Obama’s press secretary, confirmed that the president was unharmed. 

Editors at The A.P. soon followed with a statement saying that “The (at)AP twitter account has been hacked. The tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise more as soon as possible.”
The Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 150 points when the news broke on Twitter — an indicator of traders’ presence on the social media platform — before immediately recouping the losses after it became clear that there had been no incident at the White House." NY Times Blog

Monday, April 22, 2013 

Oh .... Happy Earth Day!


Progressive Bloggers

 

Why Are Trudeau's Liberals Supporting Two BIG Conservative Bills - 'New Anti-terrorism Measures' & 'FIPPA' (China-Canada Trade Deal) .... I'm not surprised


Liberal / Tory ... same old story...

The Liberal Party of Canada has a well documented historical habit of pretending to be 'progressive' while supporting or advancing Right Wing interests. Any progressive who supports the Liberal Party of Canada must live in what can only be called 'cognitive dissonance'.

"Meanwhile, the Chamber will devote the day to discussing the aforementioned S-7, which would restore certain provisions related to investigative hearings, security certificates and other procedural issues, as well as make 'technical amendments' related to future parliamentary review of the law, which would allow for either the extension, or, alternately, sunsetting of those measures. 

Given the government's reported desire to turn the two days now allocated for report and third reading consideration of the bill into a discussion of Trudeau's comments on looking for the 'root causes' of terrorism following the Boston Marathon bombings, it's worth pointing out that the Liberals have actually supported the bill, with the caucus -- including Trudeau -- voting with the government in support thereof at second reading last fall, and backing the Conservatives at committee"
CBC.ca


"FIPA hands over Canada's natural environment to corporate interests, and "puts legislative efforts to protect our land, air and water at risk of being struck down by corporate lawsuits.” The agreement would do “serious damage to Canada” if allowed to proceed in its present form, he told Parliament.[...] The Liberals have said they want to work with the current FIPA, and review it with public hearings across the country, rather than kill the agreement altogether.
Vancouver Observer.com


 Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, April 21, 2013 

k.d. lang inducted into the canadian music hall of fame at juno awards in regina ... she deserves it!





a little tribute to k.d. lang


Progressive Bloggers

 

The True 'Nature' Of The Harper Conservative Government ...



In their blind, unfettered drive to advance the interests of the Oil industry in Canada, Stephen Harper has slashed federal environmental protection budgets and put a choke hold on democracy in Canada. 


For Prime Minister Harper, Premier Brad Wall and Premier Alison Redford, the profit making ability of the big multi-national oil companies trumps your right as a citizen to clean water and a healthy, clean environment that we can hand to future generations of Canadians. 

You have been warned ... but are you listening? 

Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, April 18, 2013 

Saskatchewan Becomes First Province To Mandate Compulsory Asbestos Registration ... 'Howard's Law'



Progressive Bloggers

MLAs on both sides of the aisle have voted unanimously to pass a groundbreaking asbestos registry law.

Howard’s Law was introduced by NDP Leader Cam Broten in the fall. It will create a mandatory registry of public buildings that contain asbestos and require that list to be available online – the first system of its kind in Canada.


“Passing Howard’s Law means that working people and families will have more information when making decisions about their health,” said Broten. “Whether you’re choosing a seniors care home for grandma or getting ready to take on a construction contract, you deserve to know if there’s asbestos in that building, and whether it’s safely contained and recently inspected.”


The bill was renamed Howard’s Law by mutual agreement in a bipartisan committee on Wednesday evening. Originally named the Asbestos Right-to-Know Amendment Act, Broten requested the name change in reference to Howard Willems, who contracted mesothelioma by being exposed to asbestos as a public building inspector. Willems worked with Broten to bring forward the proposed law, but died from the disease last fall shortly after the bill was introduced in the Legislature.


“I was honoured to work with Howard and the many who have carried on his work,” said Broten. “He used the last months of his life to give voice to past and future victims, and to make our Legislature realize that information is a powerful tool when it comes to protecting health and safety.”


Broten said that the bipartisan cooperation shown in the latter stages of Howard’s Law is also a model for how he believes Saskatchewan people want politics to work. After initially rejecting Broten’s proposal for Howard’s Law, government MLAs supported the work.


“I appreciate the government’s cooperation in passing Howard’s Law,” said Broten. “I believe politicians should support good ideas, wherever they come from. The agreement on Howard’s Law shows that working together and putting common sense and people ahead of politics accomplishes more.”


Regina Leader-Post

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 

Photos from the public in Boston may show bombers .... WITH PHOTOS

Update: FBI release enhanced suspect pic
(Click on image to enlarge) 



Update: FBI release enhanced suspect pic
(Click on image to enlarge) 


(Click on image to enlarge) 


 (Click on image to enlarge)

 (Click on image to enlarge)

FBI release enhanced photos of bomb suspects

 Progressive Bloggers

 

We Lost Another Great Canadian With The Passing Of Rita MacNeil ...


"Rita MacNeil, the Canadian singer-songwriter from Cape Breton with the sweetly powerful voice, passed away Tuesday night following complications from surgery. She was 68.

MacNeil’s longtime promoter, Brian Edwards, says MacNeil had entered hospital a few days ago because of an infection. She was advised to undergo what he described as a “routine surgery,” but then developed complications during the recovery.

“The operation itself went well and then shortly afterward, she went into a coma and never actually came out of it,”  Edwards told CTV’s Canada AM Wednesday morning  from St Petersburg, Florida."
TV News Online

A few years ago, Buckdog reported on how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had mounted a campaign of surveillance on Rita due to the fact that she attended 'women activist' meetings. 

Rita MacNeil was a true Canadian and her sweet voice will be missed.

Saturday, April 13, 2013 

As Much As The Right Wing Wants Us To Love Margaret Thatcher ... 'Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead' Song Goes To The Top Of The British Music Charts ...UPDATE Liverpool Stadium Cheers Her Death



Following her death on April 8, the bitter row over Margaret Thatcher’s legacy continues – with a campaign to get the song “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead”, from the movie The Wizard of Ozto number 1 on the U.K. music charts.

The former Prime Minister, whose time in office was marked by battles with workers’ unions and the privatization of key industries, continues to be a divisive figure in Britain. On the day of her death a number of street parties were held throughout the U.K., some of which turned violent.

Encouraged by an anti-Thatcher Facebook campaign, people are now downloading the 1939 song, sung by Judy Garland and the cast of the movie, in an attempt to make it the top-selling track of the week.

The activist Adam Jung, writing for the Huffington Post, called it “a creative way for Brits to correct the national narrative” of Thatcher’s time in office.

But the music journalist Neil McCormick, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said that the campaign would make the song “the most inappropriate and gratuitously offensive number one hit single ever.” And  former Conservative Member of Parliament Jonathan Aitken told a British TV show: ‘People who have respect for Lady Thatcher and her views will not find this anything other than a distasteful affair,” adding that it was ”a pretty feeble form of protest.”

But distasteful and feeble as it may be, the campaign is causing a significant headache for the BBC. By Friday, “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead had hit number 1 in the U.K. iTunes store, and number 3 on the Official U.K. Chart. BBC Radio 1 ordinarily does a Top 40 countdown on Sunday afternoons, in which every song from number 40 down to number 1 is played in its entirety. But on Friday the broadcaster announced that the song won’t be played in full. Instead, a short clip of will be played as part of a news bulletin explaining that the track has reached that place in the chart. It called the decision ”a difficult compromise.”

Meanwhile, a large anti-Thatcher protest in London’s Trafalgar Square is being organized this weekend by a coalition of activists, anarchists and former coal miners, reports the Guardian. And the Sun reports that a London police officer resigned from his post after it was revealed that he had made a number of offensive tweets celebrating Thatcher’s death. Newsweek

UPDATE: Tens of thousands of Liverpool fans break into chant 'When Maggie Thatcher Dies' ... (must see!)

 Progressive Bloggers

Thursday, April 11, 2013 

North Korea Appears To Be Behind Cyber Attack On South Korean Computers ...


"An official investigation into a major cyber attack on South Korean banks and broadcasters last month has determined that North Korea's military intelligence agency was responsible. An investigation into access records and the malware used in the attack pointed to the North's military Reconnaissance General Bureau as the source, the Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) said on Wednesday. To spread the malware, the attackers went through 49 different places in 10 countries including South Korea, the investigation found. The attacks used malware that can wipe the contents of a computer's hard disk (including Linux machines) and damaged 48,700 machines including PCs, ATMs, and servers."

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea says an initial investigation has found that North Korean government agents were behind a March cyberattack that shut down about 32,000 computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks. 

An official at South Korea’s Internet security agency, Chun Kil-soo, told reporters Wednesday that the attack was similar to past North Korean hacking. He said investigators believe that six computers in North Korea were used to access South Korean servers using more than 1,000 IP addresses overseas. 

The accusation comes as tensions run high on the Korean Peninsula, with North Korea delivering increasingly belligerent rhetoric in anger over UN sanctions and US-South Korean military drills. On Tuesday, the North said a nuclear war is imminent and recommended that foreigners in South Korea evacuate to safe places.
Technology.inquirer.net

 Progressive Bloggers

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 

Meanwhile .... In Labrador .....


Progressive Bloggers  

... a quiet campaign is underway .. vote by vote .... that will see Harry Borlase and the New Democrats surprise the hell out of Newfoundland / Labrador Liberals ....

"We have every intention of getting Harry Borlase elected." 
Thomas Mulcair, Leader
New Democratic Party

Labrador By-election is wide open - The Star

 

"Liberal / Tory ... same old story" - Stockwell Day Throws Support To Right Wing B.C. Liberal Party


KELOWNA, B.C. - A former federal Conservative cabinet minister says he'll be supporting the BC Liberal Party in the upcoming provincial election.

Stockwell Day served as trade minister and public safety minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper but didn't seek re-election in 2011.

This past October, he and former Conservative senator Gerry St. Germain told delegates at a Liberal convention that British Columbians had to unite under Premier Christy Clark to keep the New Democrats from office. 

Day says New Democratic policies will be bad for the economy, adding that when he was a provincial finance minister in Alberta in the 1990s, capital and human resources fled east from the NDP-governed B.C.
Now a current consultant living in the Okanagan, Day says he doesn't want to see that happen again and is volunteering in the most important election in B.C. in 50 years.

An Angus Reid poll released Monday found Clark and her governing Liberals had an approval rating of 25 per cent, down from 31 per cent just three months prior.Winnipeg Free Press
 
Progressive Bloggers

Tuesday, April 09, 2013 

World War One!! ..... it seemed like a good idea at the time



I see that the Conservative Party and their friends in the MSM are getting ready to try and brainwash you into thinking that World War One was a glorious moment in Canadian history. You are being told that Canadian soldiers died for Canada's 'freedom' during the First World War ... to 'protect and preserve our nation'. Nonsense!!!

Any one with even a fleeting knowledge of history will struggle with this interpretation of the pointless, meaningless conflict known as 'the First World War'.

Stop any citizen on the street and ask them what the reason for the First World War was ... and see if they know. Essentially, three Royal 'cousins' ... England's King George V - Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II - Russia's Czar Nicholas II (all three were grandsons of Queen Victoria) ... had a royal 'family feud'.

Here is what triggered World War One:
-In June, 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated by a Serb.
-The Austria-Hungarian Empire retaliated against the Kingdom of Serbia.
-The Russian Empire told Austria-Hungary to keep hands off Serbia.
-Austrian-Hungarian Empire said 'screw you' ... declared war on Russia.
-The German Empire joined with Austia-Hungary.
-England joined with Russia and France... Canada was automatically at war because Britain was in a state of war.
-All hell breaks loose ... 20 million people DIE.


In all of this, I am not sure how Canada was threatened as a nation. I am not sure why 60,000 Canadians died (4000 from Saskatchewan) in mud filled trenches in Europe. It seemed like a good idea at the time. In reality, it was an idiotic bloodbath.

Canada's victory in taking Vimy Ridge from the Germans was a moment of great pride for a young nation that found itself at war automatically because of it's almost colonial ties to Britain. Thirty-six hundred Canadians died at Vimy Ridge and almost 10,000 were wounded. Courage? Absolutely! Worth the sacrifice? In a conflict involving European royal families, corporate interests and imperial spoils ... I'd say no. Again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Nearly a century later, our government has been struggling to bring meaning and reason to the death of Canadian soldiers in the pointless war in Afghanistan. Our Conservative government  has a record of praising our troops while they are in uniform but promptly ditching responsibility for them when they arrive back in Canada as 'veterans'.

I do NOT doubt the courage of Canada's armed forces. I doubt only those who continue to propagandize the 'need' for armed conflict and the death of young men and women who get caught up in feelings of patriotism.

War is primitive. It is neanderthal. Shame on those, in the modern era, who jump to war as a first option, without any attempts at alternate resolution.


Progressive Bloggers

 

Not Even One Cent Of Taxpayers Money Should Be Spent On Margaret Thatcher's Funeral - Privatising her funeral would be a fitting tribute to her free-enterprise legacy




"The Iron Lady herself would surely agree that poor taxpayers should not be further burdened in these times of British austerity. Surely, the private sector, which benefited immensely from her time in power should foot the full bill for the public event of her funeral."

by Sunny Hundal

Margaret Thatcher's close ideological ally Ronald Reagan famously said the 10 most dangerous words in the English language were: "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."
Neither Thatcher nor Reagan were enamoured with the state and its role in society. They wanted private companies to be able to reach into every party of our lives. So why not extend this privatisation experiment into the after-life?
Now someone by the name of Scott Morgan has launched this e-petition:
'In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders. The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded."
This is a brilliant idea, and surely one even Thatcher will approve of. It can be a fitting tribute to her ideological legacy.
Let me be clear: it's isn't nice to wish death on most people, and I'm not doing that here for Thatcher. She deserves a degree of respect like other people, in my view, despite what she did as prime minister.
Surely the serious point behind this petition is to ask how far ideologues are willing go. Wouldn't Thatcher prefer the first privatised funeral instead of a state one? After all, why go out on a state subsidy?
Consider the endless possibilities, for die-hard Thatcherites, of privatising the event. I think we can agree it should be ticketed so it can turn a profit. Perhaps an IT company (let's call them Crapita for example), could sell tickets via the internet. You may have to wait a couple of months to get the system off the ground but at least it'll work … eventually. If it's anything like the privatisation of the railways, none of the funeral services would run on time and you'd end up with 500 people in a church meant for 200.
But there could be optional extras otherwise denied by the state. You could pay to have an opportunity to wail, as North Koreans seem to have perfected. Wailing while stabbing a picture of Arthur Scargill should obviously cost much more. Opportunities to sell Thatcher memorabilia (a picture of her with Pinochet, sir?) would be endless. It could even boost our sagging economy.
The television rights to the event should be auctioned off, perhaps for a private library dedicated to Thatcher (with John Maynard Keynes banned from the economics section of course).
Surely Thatcher herself would agree that poor taxpayers should not be further burdened in these times of austerity.

The Guardian.uk

 Progressive Bloggers

Monday, April 08, 2013 

Margaret Thatcher Will Always Be Remembered For Her Support Of Right Wing Military Dictatorship In Chile






On September 11, 1973, a military coup d'état led by fascist General Pinochet. violently removed the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende.

The military coup was extremely violent from the very beginning. The military surrounded the La Moneda Palace with tanks and infantry troops and bombed it with Hawker Hunter fighter jets. The president and some of his aides were besieged in the palace. Allende refused to surrender, and addressed the nation for a last time in a potent farewell speech. President Salvadore Allende was murdered by soldiers in the presidential palace. The coup was supported and aided by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The worst violence occurred in the first few months after the coup, with the number of suspected trade union leaders and members killed or "disappeared" soon reaching into the thousands. In the days immediately following the coup, the National Stadium was used as a holding tank for 40,000 citizens with labour or social democratic political leanings. 


Some of the most famous cases of "desaparecidos" are Charles Horman, a U.S. citizen who was tortured and killed during the coup itself; Chilean songwriter Víctor Jara, murdered while held prisoner at the Chile Stadium immediately after the coup, and the October 1973 Caravan of Death (Caravana de la Muerte) where at least 70 persons were killed.

Approximately 130,000 individuals were arrested in a three-year period. These were mostly trade unionists, social democrats, basically anyone whose politics leaned to the left. The number of dead and "disappeared" reaching into the thousands within the first few months. Most of the people targeted had been supporters of Allende.

This evil dictator was never brought to justice to account for the his crimes.  


The fact that British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher actively supported the murder of thousands of Chilean trade union members, is a crime in itself.

-Stephen Harper praises former British PM who supported Right Wing dictatorships

 Progressive Bloggers

 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 
UPDATE:  
Cher fans confused by 'Thatcher Dead" Twitter #hashtag ... think Cher died ...

 

Liberal / Tory .... Same Old Story ..... (and Justin Trudeau Knows It!)



“The biggest distinction between a Liberal Party led by me and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is one of tone …”
Justin Trudeau

(Toronto Star print edition, April 6, 2013)



Wow ...... just wow!!!

 

New Democrats Serious About Electing Harry Borlase In Labrador …

 
NDP CANDIDATE HARRY BORLASE ON THE LAUNCH OF THE LABRADOR BY-ELECTION

LABRADOR - "On May 13 Labradorians will have the opportunity to tell the Stephen Harper Conservatives that it's time for a fresh start in Labrador. Conservatives will have to answer for short-sighted cuts to services and programs, along with a dismal record on accountability, as Labradorians have been asked to judge whether or not the Harper Conservatives are serving their best interests.

The latest budget is another reminder that the Conservatives have taken Labrador for granted. There is nothing in this budget to help improve the lives of seniors or Aboriginal youth, and it continues to plow ahead with EI changes that disproportionately impact seasonal industries. While claiming to be increasing infrastructure dollars, the Conservatives are actually reducing funding by $4.7 billion over the next four years.

While May 13 provides the opportunity for a fresh start, it is important to remember that this by-election was only necessary because the Conservatives failed to play by the rules in Labrador during the 2011 election. Instead of a costly by-election, these precious federal taxdollars could be going towards investments to strengthen our communities.

When the Conservatives formed government in 2006 on a platform of accountability they said they were an alternative to the scandal plagued Liberals. But we have only gotten more of the same thing with the Conservatives, scandal after scandal.

I believe Labradorians deserve an alternative to the tired, old style politics the Liberals and Conservatives have to offer. As the NDP candidate I am offering them that alternative: change you can trust.

I look forward to meeting with people across this beautiful land during the next few weeks. Labradorians will have an opportunity to send Ottawa a message, and I would be honoured to serve as their voice in the House of the Commons."

-30

-Harry Borlase On Facebook

Sunday, April 07, 2013 

China Rebukes North Korea - Says No State Should Sow Chaos






BEIJING/SEOUL | Sun Apr 7, 2013 7:58pm EDT

(Reuters) - China's leaders issued thinly veiled rebukes to North Korea for raising regional tensions, with the president saying no country should throw the world into chaos and the foreign minister warning that Beijing would not allow mischief on its doorstep. The weekend comments were the strongest yet by China in response to more than a month of North Korean rhetoric that has included threats to launch a nuclear attack on the United States and to wage war with Seoul.

 
No country "should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain", President Xi Jinping told a forum on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. He did not name North Korea but he appeared to refer to Pyongyang.

Former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said Xi's comments were unprecedented.
"It suggests to me, as I've watched the ratcheting up of frustration among Chinese leaders over the last many years, that they've probably hit the 212-degree boiling point as it relates to North Korea," he told CNN on Sunday. North Korea kicked off its latest round of threats after U.N. sanctions were imposed for its February 12 nuclear test, the country's third.

Despite the rhetoric, Pyongyang has not taken any military action and has shown no sign of preparing its 1.2 million-strong army for war, indicating the threats are partly intended for domestic consumption to bolster young leader Kim Jong-un.

South Korean media said on Friday the North had moved two medium-range missiles to its east coast, but there has been no confirmation of such a move. Washington has said it would not be surprised if the North conducted another missile test.

North Korean authorities have told diplomatic missions in Pyongyang they could not guarantee their safety from Wednesday - after saying conflict was inevitable amid joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises due to last until the end of the month. Staff at embassies appeared to be remaining in place over the weekend. South Korea said it was ready for any kind of action - including a possible missile launch - by Wednesday.

Analysts are also looking ahead to April 15, the birthday of the late Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founder and the grandfather of its current leader. The anniversary is a time of mass celebrations and occasional demonstrations of military prowess. 

CHINA SAYS WON'T ALLOW TROUBLE-MAKING
China, North Korea's sole financial and diplomatic backer, has shown growing irritation with Pyongyang. Beijing negotiated the new U.N. sanctions with Washington and has said it wanted them implemented. The measures tighten financial curbs on North Korea, order mandatory checks of suspicious cargo and strengthen a ban on luxury goods entering the country.

"We oppose provocative words and actions from any party in the region and do not allow trouble-making on China's doorstep," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, according to a ministry statement on its website late on Saturday, relating a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

On Sunday, the ministry expressed "grave concern" at rising tension and said China had asked North Korea to "ensure the safety of Chinese diplomats in North Korea, in accordance with the Vienna Convention and international laws and norms".

No expert on North Korea has suggested China would abandon Kim or even implement the new sanctions to the letter, but China appears to have run out of patience after years of trying to coax Pyongyang out of isolation and to embrace economic reform. China's new leaders, including Xi, do not have the emotional ties to North Korea that their predecessors had.

The 30-year old Kim has also failed to pay fealty to China as his father, Kim Jong-il, and his grandfather did, according to North Korean experts. He has not visited China since taking over when his father died at the end of 2011.

U.S. LAWMAKERS SAY CHINA HAS NOT DONE ENOUGH
U.S. politicians said China should do more.

Republican Senator John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, criticized China's "failure to rein in what could be a catastrophic situation" and said Beijing could step up pressure by using its influence over North Korea's economy. "Chinese behaviour has been very disappointing," McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation" program.

"More than once, wars have started by accident and this is a very serious situation," he added.
The United States said it was postponing a missile test to help calm high tension on the Korean peninsula.

In Washington, a defence official said a long-scheduled test of the Minuteman III intercontinental missile, due to take place at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, would be postponed.
"This test ... has been delayed to avoid any misperception or miscalculation in light of recent tensions on the Korean peninsula," the official said on Saturday.

The South Korean president's office said the country had a "firm military readiness" for any eventuality. It described as "planned behaviour" the North's call for South Korean workers to leave the Kaesong joint industrial park, just inside North Korea, and for diplomats to evacuate Pyongyang by Wednesday. Pyongyang has blocked entry to the factory park since last Wednesday, jeopardizing one of its few sources of hard currency.

The North has always condemned the annual joint military exercises off the South Korean coast, but its rhetoric has been especially furious this year as the United States sent nuclear-capable stealth bombers from their home bases.

North Korean state television showed a military training session, with soldiers putting dogs through their paces, including one seen tearing to pieces an effigy of South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin. Soldiers were shown firing at pictures of the minister and a depiction of a U.S. serviceman.
"As you all know, on the Korean peninsula, it is not a matter of whether we will have a war or not, but whether it will take place today or tomorrow," an unidentified soldier said.
(Writing by Dean Yates; Additional reporting by Koh Gui Qing in Hainan and Phil Stewart, David Morgan, Aruna Viswanatha and Mark Felsenthal in Washington; Editing by Mark Bendeich)


 Progressive Bloggers

Friday, April 05, 2013 

Billions In Tax Cuts To Canada's Corporate Sector Has Resulted In 54,000 Job Losses This Month ..

 

 A pillar of Conservative and Right wing ideology is the belief that 'tax cuts to the corporate sector will create jobs as these savings are re-invested in the economy." #FAIL!!

Stephen Harper lives and breathes conservative economic ideology .... and he is an idiot. Why? Because his ideology is inaccurate and does not work in the Canadian economy. The Billions in tax cuts that have gone to Canada's corporate sector are being hoarded and stashed away with no benefit to the economy at large.

Canada loses 54,500 jobs in March, unemployment rises to 7.2 per cent

OTTAWA -- Canada experienced the worst jobs performance in almost four years last month as 54,500 full time, private sector positions disappeared -- an unexpectedly big drop that erased a gain in February.
The loss was the biggest since February 2009, and along with a small retreat in the number of Canadians looking for work, helped lift the unemployment rate two-tenths of a point to 7.2 per cent.

Economists had expected a weak March to even out the above-trend gains of February, but few saw such massive bleeding, leaving the country with about 26,000 fewer jobs than at the beginning of the year.

To make matters worse, all the pay-back was in the full-time category.
The losses in the economically important private sector were mammoth -- with 85,400 workers joining the ranks of the unemployed.

The only gain was in the less desirable self-employment category, where almost 39,000 Canadians created their own employment, likely an indication many could not find permanent work.

Over the past 12 years, only about half the 203,000 jobs created have come in the private sector.
The latest numbers -- and particularly the longer-trend three-month record -- suggests the economy is still struggling to find lift following the stall that occurred in the second half of 2012, when growth averaged only about 0.7 per cent. January's gross domestic product did advance 0.2 per cent, but some other indicators have been soft, including housing.
CTV News.ca

-Here's 5 Questions That Harper - Flaherty And The Conservatives WILL NOT Answer About Corporate Tax Cuts!  

-Canada's Corporations Are HOARDING Half A Trillion Dollars Cash YET Harper Wants To Give Them Even MORE Tax Cuts!

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013 

Recently Retired Federal Researcher Says Harper Conservatives ARE Muzzling Scientists ...




A retired federal researcher based in Saskatoon is going public with concerns Ottawa is muzzling scientists like her.

Marley Waiser, 59, spent more than 25 years with Environment Canada, most recently with the National Water Research Institute in Saskatoon.

She retired last year, about a year after CBC News did a story about pollution in Regina's Wascana Creek that referenced her research.

In an interview, she says she wasn't allowed to talk to a CBC reporter about that story, but now wants her voice heard.

"I was reticent to come forward for fear of losing my job, or the repercussions," she said.
Waiser wrote two scientific papers for Environment Canada that were published in 2011 that looked at chemical pollutants (such as phosporus and ammonia) and pharmaceuticals (such as trace antibiotics) in Wascana Creek.

Both kinds of pollution were found downstream of the Regina sewage treatment plant west of the city. 

Waiser says when CBC contacted her to talk about the research, Environment Canada higher-ups lowered the boom.(Cont'd)...
CBC.ca

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013 

Michael Sona Charged By Elections Canada In Connection To Robocall Scandal

Lawyers for Mr. Sona released the following today:
Neither Mr. Sona or I will be making any public statements beyond the following statement at this time.
Although the charge is disappointing, it represents an opportunity for Mr. Sona to finally address the allegations in a court as oppose to in the media and resolve it permanently. I cannot help but comment, that if the government was interested in the public being fully informed and the issue of robocalls being properly addressed, a Full Public Inquiry would be called, rather than a charge laid against a single individual who held a junior position on a single campaign and who clearly lacked the resources and access to the data required to make the robocalls. I am confident the public agrees.
Norm Boxall
Counsel for Michael Sona
Bayne Sellar Boxall
Ottawa

Elections Canada has filed a charge against Michael Sona, the ex-Conservative staffer fingered by the Tories in the so-called robocalls scandal, The Huffington Post Canada has learned. Elections Canada would not confirm the charge, detailed Tuesday in a provincial court filing in Guelph, Ont., but HuffPost has learned he is charged under section 491.3(d) of the Canada Elections Act, which relates to willfully preventing or endeavouring to prevent an elector from voting. The date of the alleged offence is April 30, 2011 -- two days before the last federal election day.

Sources say the charge relates to phone calls made to voters during the election. A court staffer confirmed a charge was filed against Sona Tuesday.

In a statement, Sona's lawyer, Norm Boxall, called the charge "disappointing" but added it will afford his client the opportunity to address the allegations in court, rather than through the media.
"I cannot help but comment, that if the government was interested in the public being fully informed and the issue of robocalls being properly addressed, a full public inquiry would be called, rather than a charge laid against a single individual who held a junior position on a single campaign and who clearly lacked the resources and access to the data required to make the robocalls," he said.

Sona was unavailable for comment. He is due to appear in court May 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Elections Canada spokeswoman Diane Benson refused to comment.

"We don't comment on Commissioner investigations and we would not comment on matters before the court," she said.

Sona could face fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison if the Crown chooses to prosecute the charge as an indictable offence. The Crown, however, could chose to issue a summary conviction, which could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.

The charge was filed on behalf of the director of public prosecutions, following the advice of Yves Côté, the commissioner of Elections Canada, who’s been investigating thousands of illegal robocalls made in Guelph on election day, May 2, 2011.

The calls instructed unlikely Tory voters to cast ballots at non-existent polling stations. Sona’s name was leaked to the national media after the story emerged in February, 2012, and he was fired from his job on Parliament Hill as an assistant to Conservative rookie MP Eve Adams.

In his version of the story, first told to The Huffington Post Canada last fall, Sona said he was a scapegoat who had been thrown under the bus, first by the Conservative Party and then by Elections Canada.

Sona, now 24 years of age, told HuffPost last October that he had no access to the Conservative database, the constituent information management system (CIMS), which is widely believed to be the source of the telephone numbers used in the robocall affairs.

Elections Canada began its investigation into the voting irregularities in Guelph nearly two years ago. It appears only Sona has been charged.

Calls to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Brian Saunders’ office were referred back to Elections Canada.

Huffington Post

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