Monday, July 31, 2006 

Harper's Disastrous Foreign Policy

At some point, it has to be said, that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't have a clue what he is doing with regard to foreign policy! Immediately following Israel's attacks on Lebanon, Harper said that he considered this to be a 'measured response'. Within days, eight Canadians in Lebanon were dead as a result of Israel's bombing AND tens of thousands of Canadians abroad were in physical peril because of the conflict.

Historically, Canada's foreign policy has been pragmatic and sensitive to the complexities of the world we live in. Since the election of the Conservatives, our foreign policy is now determined primarily by Harper's extreme ideology. With typical right wing thinking, he is trying to reduce extremely complex issues down to 'black or white' simplicity. This is the tory way. They do it all the time across this country. Conservatives always seem to have simple solutions to complex problems ... and they are usually wrong!

So in Harper's simplistic world view, Israel is always 'good' and arab states and entities are always 'bad'.

Canada's foreign policy has changed a great deal since Harper was elected. How are you liking it so far??

Sunday, July 30, 2006 

War fever wins elections, or, Lebanon: the prelude to Armageddon?

"Americans, steeped in deep ignorance and prejudice about the Mideast, are now being misled by the administration and its media allies that Lebanon is a new front in the so-called war on terrorism. As I recently learned doing radio shows across the U.S., a great many Americans cannot distinguish between Hezbollah, al-Qaida, Taliban, the PLO, Hamas, etc. All are terrorists. Listeners even called in to ask if the fighting in Lebanon was the prelude to Armageddon."

An interesting take on the Republican agenda, and some interesting ideas about the manipulative nature of right-wing politics.

"Attacking Hezbollah also serves as the long-predicted (by this column) "November surprise" to boost sagging Republican fortunes in U.S. mid-term elections."

Read the column here

Thursday, July 27, 2006 

Will Harper Continue Fiscal Inequity?

Canada's 10 provincial Premiers are meeting with Stephen Harper at the Council of the Federation summer meeting in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, July 26th-28th. The main topic is the ongoing inequity in the calculation of 'equalization'.

To make it simple, here is the main issue: Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin created a massive imbalace in the time honoured method of calculating the amount of federal tax money that goes to each province. In his desperation to try and win re-election, two ATlantic provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Nova Scotia were allowed to REMOVE the revenues they receive from natural resources (oil, gas, coal) when their entitlements are calculated. The inequity is that the Western provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta are required to INCLUDE the revenues they receive from natural resources when their entitlements are calculated.

During the recent federal election, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives promised that they inequity would be corrected. Harper is now reneging on that promise. His 12 Saskatchewan MP's have gone silent on the issue and are ducking all questions and enquiries on their election promise.

You see, Harper believes that he has Alberta and Saskatchewan federal constituencies in the bag, so no action is politically necessary. However, his record in the Atlantic region is not as good, so politically he is now prepared to make the inequity status quo.

It can be argued that the current price of oil is bringing new found wealth to the province of Saskatchewan. It can also be argued that Saskatchewan is still paying for and recovering from nine years of conservative rule in the 1980's and 1990's that virtually bankrupted the province when the provincial conservatives left a $14 Billion provincial debt. Debt repayment costs Saskatchewan hundreds of millions every year.

So, here is the big question. Is Stephen Harper a man of his word who keeps his promises, (OR) is his political agenda such that equity amongst the provinces is the last thing on his mind. We shall see.

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

UN's Top Human Rights Official Warns Killing Civilians Could Be War Crime

UNITED NATIONS—The UN's top human rights official issued a strong warning yesterday that killings of innocent civilians in Lebanon and Israel could amount to war crimes.

"International humanitarian law is clear on the supreme obligation to protect civilians during hostilities," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour. "This obligation is also expressed in international criminal law, which defines war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Louise Arbour is a former Canadian Supreme Court Justice, and is former chief prosecutor in the Slobodan Milosevic war crimes trials.

Toronto Star Story


Poll: Support For Afghan Mission Falls Sharply

"Opposition to the Canadian presence in Afghanistan is intensifying, as almost half of voters surveyed say they want Prime Minister Stephen Harper to immediately withdraw troops from a conflict that is becoming a potential voting issue."

Read the Globe and Mail story

Foreign policy may become Harper's Achilles heel. It is never safe for a Canadian Prime Minister to be a toady to a U.S. administration - especially when that administration has the lowest ratings of any administration since tracking began...

Harper still enjoys a level of confidence, but that is waning.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 

Bush Closes Environmental Protection Agency Technical Research Libraries: Massive Volume Of Environmental Research To Become Suddenly "Unavailable"

In a blatant ideological move, the Bush Administration has decided to shut off access to public research materials maintained in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency libraries. Valuable environmental research will be unavailable to anyone.

"In an extraordinary letter of protest, representatives for 10,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists are asking Congress to stop the Bush administration from closing the agency’s network of technical research libraries. The EPA scientists, representing more than half of the total agency workforce, contend thousands of scientific studies are being put out of reach, hindering emergency preparedness, anti-pollution enforcement and long-term research..."

"In his proposed budget for FY 2007, President Bush deleted $2 million of support for EPA’s libraries, amounting to 80% of the agency’s total budget for libraries. Without waiting for Congress to act, EPA has begun shuttering libraries, closing access to collections and reassigning staff."

"The Bush administration apparently decided that it was politically easier to close the libraries than to burn the books, although the end result will be the same..."

"In their letter, the EPA scientists cite library closures as 'one more example of the Bush administration’s effort to suppress information on environmental and public health-related topics.'"

The conservative authoritarian agenda continues. Any means to silence those who disagree with you is apparently A-OK.

Read the full story

Monday, July 17, 2006 

Harper's Foreign Policy - Ideologically Driven

Once again we get to see how Stephen Harper's ideologically driven agenda works. When other nations (France and Russia) cautioned Israel on its incursions into Lebanon, stating that the actions were disproportionate to the problem, what did Harper say? He stated, in his capacity as the Prime Minister of Canada, that the incursions were 'measured'. So now this 'measured' response has resulted in the deaths of 8 Canadians (4 of them young children!!) what does our fearless leader have to say now? NOTHING!

Read More

The problem with this guy is that he is an extreme right wing ideologue. It is his way or the highway. He doesn't want facts to get in the way of his beliefs and now he has a major problem on his hands. This guy has to go. The sooner the better.

He has made a major blunder and he will continue to blunder as long as his ideology and right wing dogma directs Canadian foreign and domestic policy.

Shame on Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his BAD handling of the situation in Lebanon!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Guantanamo Prisoners: US bound by the Geneva Conventions

Well, it's always special when the run amok President of the world's "sole remaining superpower" discovers that he is still bound by the Geneva Conventions. It's also special when George Bush is also forced to update his military policies so that they "more clearly rule out torture".

"Geneva protections applied to Gitmo detainees

The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that all detainees held by the U.S. military, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are entitled to protections under the Geneva Conventions.

The White House announced the policy shift on Tuesday, almost two weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down the military tribunal system set up by U.S. President George Bush because it did not obey international law."


"The instruction manuals used by the Department of Defense already meet the terms of the humane-treatment provisions of the Conventions' Article 3, Snow said.

They are currently being updated to reflect legislation to more clearly rule out torture."

Read the whole article here

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

Desecration of War Memorial claimed a "Leftist thing"!?

Buckdog loves to demonstrate how completely over the top the rightwing is in Canada these days. You are likely familiar with the unfortunate episode in Ottawa on Canada Day when an armed forces veteran snapped photos of three young guys urinating on the National War Memorial. There has been lots of deserved outrage, BUT take a look at how the extreme rightwing nutbars out there are trying to play this as some sort of 'leftist' disregard for our military and our veterans. The following posts were extracted from 'smalldeadanimals' a well know extreme rightwing blogsite:

July 03, 2006
Desecration Da y

Ottawa Citizen;

A retired major snapped digital pictures of several people relieving themselves on the [ National War Memorial] around 11 p.m. on Saturday, as thousands poured into the streets following the fireworks.

Most cheered and laughed when they were photographed using the memorial as a toilet on the nation's birthday.

The Legion is again calling for a guard to be stationed at the memorial to prevent such occurances. That shouldn't be necessary.

There was a time when a public assault on the memory of war dead would have been quickly addressed by witnesses taking the offender into the street for a discussion with closed fists.

Today they take digital photos. Mark up another victory for the left.
Posted by Kate at July 3, 2006 10:54 AM

Posted by: leftdog at July 3, 2006 05:37 PM

Leftdog is desperately attempting to claim that desecration of the War Memorial isn't a leftist thing. But... to oppose all war without exception is a patented dogma of the left. Therefore, desecrating the National War Memorial is a leftist thing.

And to whip one's nozzle out in public and exrete urine upon the War Memorial in front of war veterans... on Canada Day?! Would Leftdog like to make a case for such behavior being done by conservatives, despite the fact that it would be the exact opposite of anything a conservative would ever do, knowing the essence of conservatism?

Kate's not the only one to understand it to be a leftist action. I do, too. Only an imbecile leftist would deny that it has nothing to do with their dogmatic ideologies, namely to be anti-war, to expose their gonads in public (like in "pride" parades), and to piss anywhere they so desire as if it's an inalienable natural human right. No genuine conservative would do such a thing.
Posted by: Canadian Sentinel at July 3, 2006 06:20 PM

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