Thursday, November 30, 2006 

Convicted Murderer Colin Thatcher Wins Parole

He is the son of a former Liberal Premier of Saskatchewan. He is a former Liberal Member of the Legislature who crossed the floor to join the Conservative Party where he became the Minister of Energy. He was convicted of killing his wife. He served 23 years in a federal penetentiary. He is a free man today.

This is the life of Colin Thatcher, murderer.



Aboriginal Liberals Try to Advance Issue to Convention Floor

MONTREAL - As the federal Liberal party officially buried a planned debate yesterday on recognizing Quebec as a nation, its Aboriginal Peoples' Commission adopted a resolution calling for constitutional recognition of aboriginal nationhood.

Sparked by anger that aboriginals were ignored in the discussion over the recognition of Quebec, the emergency resolution says Canada's First Peoples should be granted status as a third order of government within Canada.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 

Health Canada Warns Of Hallucinations Among Tamiflu Users

OTTAWA - The antiviral drug Tamiflu has been linked with reports of hallucinations and abnormal behaviour, Health Canada said Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said doctors and parents should watch for signs of bizarre behaviour in children taking Tamiflu, after cases were reported overseas. Ten deaths have been reported in Canada as a result of reaction to Tamiflu.

WASHINGTON - Patients who take Tamiflu should be closely monitored for signs of abnormal behavior, health officials said in ordering an updated label for the flu drug.

The new precaution comes after reports of about 100 new cases of delirium, hallucinations and other unusual behavior in children treated with the drug. Most were Japanese children.

The Food and Drug Administration said that the relationship between the drug and the behavior had not been established.


Liberals Fail To Address Ethics Problem During Leadership Race

OTTAWA – NDP MP Pat Martin is condemning the Liberal Leadership candidates for virtually ignoring ethics during the Liberal leadership race.

A poll released this week found that 50% of Liberal voters believe that the Liberal Party is arrogant or corrupt,” said Martin. “And after ten months of watching the Liberal race we have seen no plan from any of the candidates to clean up politics.”
Leftdog's Diary


Tories Go After Chong

Everyone who watches Canadian politics is aware of how mean spirited some Tories can be if they feel one of their own has been disloyal to the party or their leader.

Former Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Michael Chong is about to find out.

The Star

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 

Jason Kenney Gets Involved In Alberta Tory Leadership Battle

Jason Kenney and a number of other hard right wing Conservative MP’s will travel back to Alberta this week to throw their political weight and organizational expertise behind Ted Morton in his fight for the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership and premiership.

Kenney, a former Reform Party Member of Parliament, now parliamentary secretary to Stephen Harper, strongly endorsed Morton’s hard right wing policies, "Ted isn't just seeking the premiership for the sake of being premier," said Kenney. "he's seeking it to change things -- which is the fundamental difference between himself and Jim Dinning."

Kenney is one of a number of Alberta Tory MP who've said they'll head back to Calgary from Ottawa as early as Wednesday, when the House of Commons adjourns for the week. Also in tow with Kenney will be another far right former Reform MP, Rob Anders.

"It's a Reform party takeover in provincial politics," said David Taras, political analyst at the University of Calgary, adding the city could prove to be a battleground of epic proportions between these "two very different" visions for the party.


Bush Says Iraq Is NOT Civil War

President Bush said Tuesday that the sectarian violence rocking Iraq is not civil war but part of an al Qaeda plot to use violence to goad Iraqi factions into repeatedly attacking each other.

Add this to the list of other nonsensical things that George Bush believes. Remember, he also believed that Donald Rumsfeld was doing a good job. He also believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. George W. believes a lot of things that are NOT true.

The White House refuses to acknowledge what is actually happening in Iraq. At least Bush is consistent at being wrong.

CBS News

Monday, November 27, 2006 

Saskatoon Police Assist in Arrest of Arizona Child Pornographer

The work of Saskatoon City Police investigating child pornography on the internet has contributed to the arrest of an Arizona man in the United States. This is the third time in as many months Saskatoon police have been involved in arrests made in alleged international child pornography cases.

Clearly more resources are required to assist police in fighting the organized creation and distribution of child porn.


Burglar Tips Cops Over Victims Porn Collection

RED DEER, Alta. (CP) — A Red Deer man has been jailed after an outraged burglar spotted massive amounts of child pornography on his computer and called police.

Chronicle Herald


Are Feds Rethinking Wheat Board Changes?

Chuck Strahl has been trying to sell western farmers on his proposed changes to the Canadian Wheat Board. Speaking to a Regina Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the Minister received only quiet, polite applause.

Strahl said in Regina that he has "no timeline" for ending the board's monopoly on western wheat exports, and can't say if the issue will be put to a farmer vote. We've moved on a plebiscite on barley because that's the best way to consult, so I certainly wouldn't rule that out (for wheat)," Strahl said.

But Strahl also said the Conservative government is still committed to its campaign promise to allow farmers to choose to market both wheat and barley outside the board.

"But it's not ruled in because there's no plans to move on it for the foreseeable future, so I can't promise a plebiscite on something I have no plans to move on."

"Wheat will still be marketed through the board this crop year, a message that needs to be driven home to farmers and international customers", Strahl told reporters.

Winnipeg Sun
Regina Leader Post

Sunday, November 26, 2006 

Democrats to Launch Investigations

Democrats in Congress are about to initiate a series of investigations after years of Republican rule in Washington. Considering that the Republicans held the White House, The Senate and the House of Representatives, only minimal oversight was possible by the Democrats.

High on the immediate priority list for investigation are:

* The new Medicare drug benefit.
* Spending on government contractors in Iraq, including Halliburton Co., the Texas-based oil services conglomerate once led by Vice President Dick Cheney.
* An energy task force overseen by Cheney. It is alleged that the task force was carefully cooked to provide only participation by oil companies and energy companies.


Saturday, November 25, 2006 

General Pinochet Finally Takes Responsibility for Regime

SANTIAGO DE CHILE (AP) - At a celebration of his 91st birthday,Gen. Augusto Pinochet took some responsibility for the first time Saturday for the actions of his 1973-90 dictatorship, which carried out thousands of political killings and is blamed for widespread torture and illegal imprisonment.

"Today, near the end of my days, I want to say that I harbor no rancor against anybody, that I love my fatherland above all and that I take political responsibility for everything that was done which had no other goal than making Chile greater and avoiding its disintegration," he said. Pinochet did not apologize for the excesses of his right wing dictatorship and used cautious language.

"I assume full political responsibility for what happened."

According to an official report, 3,197 people were killed for political reasons under Pinochet, including more than 1,000 who were made to disappear. Trade unionists, leftists and socialists made up the bulk of those executed by the Regime. Thousands more were illegally imprisoned, tortured or forced into exile.

Las Vegas Sun


Palestine and Israel Agree to Gaza Ceasefire

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli and Palestinian cease-fire in the Gaza Strip is to go into effect at 6 a.m. Sunday, a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Saturday.

USA Today



Republican Senator Calls For Withdrawal From Iraq

Chuck Hagel, Vietnam veteran and Republican senator from Nebraska has an article which will appear in the November 26th edition of the Washington Post.

In the article, he states: "There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis — not the Americans.

The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation — regardless of our noble purpose.

The United States must begin planning for a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq."

Washington Post


'NATO Could Fail in Afghanistan' Says Top General

"NATO could fail in Afghanistan"

What lefty peacenik says we could FAIL in Afghanistan? (asks right wingers in Canada and the USA).

Well, these are words spoken by General James Jones, the Supreme Allied Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Commander, United States European Command.

He said the enemy forces in Afghanistan — some 'Taliban' (the definition is fluid), the rest being warlords and farmers connected with the drug trade — were fighting a war of attrition.

Listen, it is not that I like the Taliban - I DON'T!

It is not that I want our forces to fail - I DON'T!

But since George Bush went into Afghanistan and then convinced Canada to join in, I and others like me have been asking hard questions about the strategy and tactics involved in this cursed mission.

Look at the abuse that Conservatives and other assorted, mindless right wingers have thrown at Jack Layton. Mr. Layton has simply asked the hard questions of Prime Minister Harper that need to be asked, and he has been replied to with abuse and nastiness.

Meanwhile, right wingers (Tories and some Liberals) have dinked around with words by shouting their 'support the troops' slogans when what they are really trying to convince Canadians to do is 'support the war'.

It's a war that can't be won - ask the Russians - and yet we have never even looked at an alternate, more realistic strategy, other than WAR.

Right wing politicians and their supporters all need a good swift kick in the ass for their mindless direction in Afghanistan.


Friday, November 24, 2006 

History Will Show Bush as Worst President

Many people consider Richard Nixon to be the worst American President in modern history. His infamous Watergate affair, the escalation of the War in Vietnam, topped off with the shooting of unarmed students at Kent State University in 1970 certainly qualify him.

In his favour, history will show that his bold trip to China to meet with Mao Tse Tung changed history and started China on a path of concilliation with the west.

Nixon left office in disgrace, but was he the worst President?

Let's take a look at current President, George W. Bush.

His fundamentalist beliefs have endangered the planet. He welcomes Armagedon as an article of his faith. He has stated that he believes he is being directed divinely. (God talks to me). How insane is that?

His cavalier war in Iraq is causing untold suffering and it was based entirely on what he 'felt' and what he 'believed.' Never once did rational intellect enter the picture.

By signing the Military Commissions Act, he has done away with rights that Americans have had since 1776. He continues to screw up every day of his presidency.

I would like to officially nominate George W. Bush as the worst President in the entire history of the USA.

Is there a 'seconder'?

Washington Post
The Star
Breaking News



Saskatchewan Opposition Caught Taking Tobacco Company Donations

The Official Opposition, 'Saskatchewan Party' tried to ignite a debate over tobacco on Thursday in the Saskatchewan Legislature, but the NDP fired back with a 'smoking' gun of its own.

The exchange began in the Legislature when the Government introduced legislation that would allow the Government to sue big tobacco companies to recover health care costs to the province.

However, it was revealed that the Official Opposition party accepts political donations from the tobacco industry. While being scrummed in the Rotunda of the Legislature after Question Period, Opposition Leader Brad Wall was confronted with evidence that his party receives large donations from a cigarette manufacturer.

Brad Wall, the embarassed Opposition Leader, changed the policy of his party on the spot.

The Saskatchewan Party continues to break the 'Golden Rule' of Politics - "accusing your opponents of doing things that you do!"

In Saskatchewan there is NO provincial wing of the Conservative Party after 16 Conservative Members of the Legislature were convicted of fraud and breach of trust in the early 1990's. The old Conservative Party joined with a few renegade Liberals and changed its name to The Saskatchewan Party.

Globe and Mail
NDP Caucus


First Nations Seek Clarity On Harper's 'Nationhood' Motion

OTTAWA, Nov. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - In reference to the motion made by Prime Minister Harper yesterday, the Assembly of First Nations calls upon the Prime Minister to clarify his position in a way that does justice to the status and role of First Nations in Quebec and within Canada as a whole.

Thursday, November 23, 2006 

Jailed American Blogger Denied Thanksgiving Furlough

Josh Wolf, the video blogger behind bars for refusing to hand over unpublished source material, won't be enjoying a home-cooked meal today.

A federal judge on Tuesday denied Wolf's request for a Thanksgiving furlough, according to a court order issued by a U.S. District Judge. Josh Wolf, a 24-year-old freelance journalist, made headlines last summer as the first known blogger to be thrown into federal prison for not cooperating with judiciary officials.

One of the Internet's earliest video bloggers, Wolf refused to testify before a U.S. grand jury and also refused to hand over unpublished video footage he shot during a clash between San Francisco police and anti-G8 protesters in July 2005.
Josh's blogsite


What the Right Is Saying About Harper's Motion

Reaction to Stephen Harper's motion which recognizes the Quebecois as a 'nation' is still coming in from across the political spectrum.

Here is what the Right has to say. The following quotes are courtesy of smalldeadanimals:

"This is the beginning of the end of Canada."

"This is a very sad day."

"I've had enough of the blackmail...kick them out. But Canada keeps what Canada owns, including the St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence Seaway and the hydro-electric infrastructure in Labrador."

"This was Iggy's idea a few weeks ago. It was stupid then, and it's stupid now."

"Ridiculous special treatment for Quebec."

"Yuck, I think I'm going to be sick."

"What a load of crap! Sellout to appease the Franco's of Kbec....."

"Harper must have got into some bad dope. This is the second moronic thing he's done in the last month. The end can't be far off."

"Quebec is a nation so what's a canada? Are nations entitled to transfer payments? "

"Quebec is a pain in the ass and if recognizing that they are an inferior part of Canada that needs to be isolated from the rest of us ... so be it."

"I do think that Mr. Harper's intention is foolish."

"I want the Swedes in Canada recognized as a nation. Anything less is discrimination."

"I think it is time to break this country up. It obviously isn't working anymore."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 

Harper Throws Wrench In Liberal Works

I am not a Liberal Party supporter. I have no real preference which of the many candidates ends up leading the Libs. I am a Dipper and PROUD of it!

Tonight is a lot of fun for me and my political addiction. I am watching my Liberal friends and fellow bloggers running around in utter chaos over Harper's strategic move in the House today. By granting recognition to the Quebecois as a nation (using a sociology definition NOT a political science definition) he has thrown a curve into the upcoming Lib leadership convention.

A number of Liberal camps have no clue how to react and respond. Here's an example

This is great fun!

See Liberals.
See Liberals run.
See Liberals run around.
See Liberals run around unsure what the hell to do now.

Harper is having a good night - at Liberal expense.
Calgary Sun


Atlanta Police Shoot and Kill 92 Year Old Woman

Want proof of how the 'war on drugs' has failed? Today, three plain clothes Atlanta narcotics officers went to serve a warrant on a home in an area with known drug trafficing. They went to the wrong house. While kicking in the front door, a frightened 92 year old woman, alone, fired at them thinking her life was in danger. They fired back and killed her.

A police official said narcotics officers were justified in returning fire on the old woman as they tried to serve a warrant at her house.

Neighbors and relatives said it was a case of mistaken identity, but Atlanta police said they thought there was no mistake concerning the address of the house. The 92 year old woman, identified as Kathryn Johnston, was the only resident in the house at the time and had lived there for about 17 years.

"I'm mad as hell! The neighbors know where the drugs are — ask the neighbors!" Johnston's niece, Sarah Dozier, shouted to reporters. "I'm sure she panicked when they kicked that door down, there were no drugs in the house. There was no reason they had to go in there and shoot her down like a dog."

Assistant Chief Alan Dreher said the officers had a legal warrant and "knocked and announced" before they forced open the door. He said they were justified in shooting.

CBS News


Letter From FLQ Threatens 'Anglo-Saxon Imperialism'

MONTREAL - A letter claiming to be from a new cell of the Front de liberation du Quebec and threatening to take action against "Anglo-Saxon imperialism" is being investigated by police.

The letter, from someone identifying themselves as the "Camille Laurin Cell" of the FLQ, was sent last week to media organizations and city halls in the western part of Montreal Island.

national Post


John F Kennedy Assassinated November 22, 1963 -

On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die. Fourty-three years ago today.

The only known film of the event was the Zapruder film which many still believe shows a bullet striking the President from the back and then again from the front. Two shooters.

The official Warren Commission insisted that there was only one shooter, who shot from behind Kennedy. The final shot that struck him in the Zapruder film is clearly from in front of the car as the force of the shot throws his head back.

The Zapruder film is very explicit. Warning.

Zapruder film


Tuesday, November 21, 2006 

Get You Passport For Flights To The USA After January 23rd

Travellers flying to the United States will officially need passports starting Jan. 23, according to the Homeland Security Secretary.

Michael Chertoff told the Associated Press that the department would officially announce plans on Wednesday.

The requirements will also apply to all Canadians and Americans entering the United States by land and sea by mid-2009, more than a year earlier than originally scheduled due to complaints from business groups and politicians on both sides of the border.



USA Has Highest Incarceration Rate in the World

Since we have been on the topic of human rights in China, I want to agree that there is much the Chinese need to do. However, there are a few things that the Americans could be working on as well:
Incarcerations per 100,000 population (sample):

1014____Texas (in 1999) (governor George W. Bush)
1013____Louisiana (2001(
715_____United States of America (2001)
584_____Russian Federation
402_____South Africa
189_____Hong Kong (China)
178_____Czech Republic
177_____Greenland (Denmark)
161_____New Zealand
158_____El Salvador
142_____United Kingdom: England & Wales
125_____Republic of (South) Korea

-In the USA, Blacks and Hispanics make up 62 percent of the incarcerated population, though comprising only 25 percent of the national population;

-Between ten and fifteen percent of black men are incarcerated in twelve states (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming);

-Black women are incarcerated at rates between ten and thirty-five times greater than the rates of white women in fifteen states (Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming); and

-Hispanic youth are incarcerated at rates seven to seventeen times greater than those of whites in Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, while the incarceration rate for black youth is between twelve and twenty-five times greater than those of whites in Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, and New Jersey.

Incarceration rates website

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Civilian Contractors to Train Canadian Military

Canada's top soldier says the army is stretched so thin by the war in Afghanistan that it will rely increasingly on civilian contractors to train new recruits.

"There's no doubt the army is under tremendous pressure," Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie told an all-party Commons defence committee on Monday.

More and more it seems that our federal Conservative government is making up military policy as it goes along. You have to wonder how well they thought out their overall strategy in Afghanistan.

Add this to the fact that right wingers love 'war economy'. They see it as good for business and for the economy overall. With control of the public treasury, they simply can't resist and billions are now being spent on the mission to Afghanistan.

I am actually looking forward to the Auditor General's future reports on the spending that is currently underway for the Department of National Defence.


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Monday, November 20, 2006 

Harper Slammed on Foreign Affairs - Ezra Levant Comes to His Defence

During Question Period in the House of Commons, the opposition slammed the Tory government over its recent performance on the world stage, especially the Prime Minister's meeting with the Chinese president.

Parliamentary secretary and official mouth piece for the Prime Minister, Jason Kenney, tried to defend his boss, saying they were extremely proud of what the prime minister has done internationally.

"This country defended the interests and values of Canada on an international scale," Kenney said.

Kenney was not convincing anyone least of all the opposition (nor informed Canadians).

So, it was time to bring in the 'big guns' and as we have seen in the past, mister 'Fix It' for the Conservatives is always Western Standard editor, and right wing ideologue, Ezra Levant. In an article in the Calgary Sun, Mr. Levant was literally gushing with pride at the performance of Mr. Harper on the international front.

"Harper dug in. Then an amazing thing happened. After Harper's statement on human rights, his declaration of his plans to speak openly about China, Beijing called Ottawa, and asked for the meeting again. They blinked. There are a few lessons here. First: China, like any bully, respects strength more than weakness."

Yeah... right Ezra.

Calgary Sun

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British MP Slams Harper's Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's foreign policy strategy is a joke and is causing Canada to be hated around the world, British politician George Galloway said Monday.

The Member of the British Parliament, said Harper's actions at the APEC summit in Hanoi show he lacks diplomacy skills and doesn't understand Canada's place in the world.

Harper had a difficult time arranging a meeting with the Chinese president, which many experts said was a snub for the government's continued criticism of China's foreign policy.

"The idea of Canada threatening China is absurd," Galloway said at an event sponsored by the Syrian Canadian Club. "The whole point of politics is to talk to each other, even if you hate each other."
National Post

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New Democrats Push Conservatives to Get Real on Environment

The NDP is proposing a series of comprehensive changes to Bill C-30 that re-commits Canada to meet its Kyoto Protocol commitments in the short-term, and ensures a comprehensive plan to meet science-based and internationally recognized medium and long-term goals as well.

"We think it needed to be completely rewritten and if I can borrow a football analogy today, the Conservatives really fumbled the ball here on the whole issue of air pollution and climate change, and we're going to pick it up and run with it," Layton told The Globe and Mail's Jane Taber, co-host of Question Period.

CTV News

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Sunday, November 19, 2006 

Henry Kissinger: Military Victory Not Possible in Iraq; U.S. Must Talk to Iran

Right wingers in the USA and Canada will be reeling from comments made by Henry Kissinger concerning Bush's disastrous war in Iraq. Mr. Kissinger is a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

He served as National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State in Nixon's Republican administration. He also served as Secretary of state after Gerald Ford became President in the aftermath of the Nixon-Watergate scandal.

Only the hardest right wing ideologue still clings to the notion that any type of 'victory' is possible in the region. American Republicans and Canadian Conservatives have been proven totally wrong in their military strategies for the middle east situation.

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Stephen Harper's Fortune Cookie

The 'on again - off again' meeting between Prime Minister Harper and the Chinese Leader seems to have been a brief affair - and if they didn't have time for a quick cup of tea, there likely was no opportunity to have a little lunch and open a couple of fortune cookies.

Take a look at what Prime Minister Harper might have found in his fortune cookie

Hu and Harper (China and Canada) Meet

Online fortune cookie courtesy Meiwah Restaurant - Washington D.C.

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Harper Wants to be Tough Guy in World Affairs

Our esteemed Prime Minister is away at the Asia Pacific conference in Vietnam and he is trying to impress his peers with his new 'tough guy' image.

I am sure that the major nations of the world are trembling in their boots at the prospect of Stephen 'the Hammer' Harper's new 'no nonsense' brand.

Harper said his Friday meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao is evidence of his government's tough, front-line approach to international politics. Harper told reporters that the informal 15-minute meeting on Saturday, which is known as a "pull-aside," is an example of his 'pull no punches' approach.

Canadians are hopeful that this new political strategy by the Prime Minister's Office will not be embarrasing for the nation. A new 'get tough' approach by Canada better have a well thought out strategy and a solid tactical approach that does not make our nation a laughing stock in world affairs.

There is no doubt that Harper and his little inner circle band of neo-Reformers (Stockwell Day - Jason Kenney - Rob Anders) believe that this is the formula for further electoral success in Canada.

This blogger is not convinced that they have a clue about what they are doing.

CBC News

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Saturday, November 18, 2006 

Sask NDP Convention Unanimously Passes Wheat Board Resolution

Delegates to the annual convention of Saskatchewan New Democrats meeting in Saskatoon, unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Canadian Wheat Board. Prior to the vote, a special presentation was delivered to delegates on the historical benefit to farmers of single desk marketing in Canada.

Here is the text of the resolution:

Whereas the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) returns hundreds of millions of dollars over and above what the grain trade would return to producers if the CWB was gone;

Whereas any change to the inclusion or exclusion of crops in the CWB require a farmer vote;

Whereas the American government realizes the CWB’s importance to farmers and continues to challenge the CWB legally and continues to lose;

Whereas the CWB provides a strong advocacy role for producers on transportation, grading, farm income and GMO (genetically modified) wheat;

Whereas the CWB is the major commercial users of the Port of Churchill and with the CWB’s demise the port’s future is very undefined;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the 2006 NDP Annual Convention go on record in support of the farmer’s right to have a democratic vote on the issue of single-desk marketing of the Canadian Wheat Board and the retention of the monopoly powers for wheat and barley under the Canadian Wheat Board.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
November 18, 2006

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Friday, November 17, 2006 

Jack Layton Addresses Saskatchewan NDP Convention

Delegates to the Saskatchewan NDP Convention in Saskatoon gave a rousing welcome to national Leader Jack Layton.

Addressing delegates, Layton raised issues of concern to Saskatchewan such as fiscal fairness and Harper's lack of action on campaign promises to the people of Saskatchewan.

Concerning the Canadian Wheat Board, delegates were pleased to hear that the federal party is determined to ensure that any changes made to the CWB must be approved by producers.

The Convention continues this weekend.

Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Thursday, November 16, 2006 

Newly Discovered Poem Marks Anniversay of Execution of Louis Riel

121 years ago today, in Regina, Louis Riel, the leader of the Metis was executed by the Government of Canada.

Riel is widely considered by many to be a father of Confederation because his vision and fight for the rights of First Nations people led to the entrance of both Manitoba and Saskatchewan into Confederation.

This week, a poem the Métis leader wrote in the days before his hanging, becomes a prized part of the archives at the University of Saskatchewan.

"It's a beautiful piece of writing," says Maria Campbell, a Métis author and playwright who has studied Riel extensively.

Globe and Mail

Riel biography

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Harper Hits Chinese Wall

The editorial in today's Regina Leader Post has a strong caution for Prime Minister Harper and the risk he is taking concerning Canada's trade with China. His stance is being portrayed by tory spin doctors as 'moral leadership' but will it turn out to be ideological 'folly'.

The Leader-Post
Thursday, November 16, 2006

In Brief: Prime Minister Stephen Harper needs to rethink a confrontational approach to relations with China.

China signed a series of multi-billion-dollar aid, trade and investment deals last week as part of a sweeping diplomatic and economic initiative designed to increase its political influence and strengthen its trade ties in Africa.

The initiative's importance goes beyond the obvious benefits that will accrue from these new partnerships. What the deals also signal is the growing international influence of a country that until recently focused much of its energies on domestic matters.

It is within this context that western nations, including Canada, should reassess how they deal with this complex nation of a billion people. No longer can western nations simply scold China for its faults and treat it as if it were a marginal player on the international stage.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper discovered this week just how much Canada's relationship with China is changing. Since coming to power, the Harper government has been quite critical of China on a number of fronts, including matters related to human rights and trade. And it has done so in a very public and direct way.

On Tuesday, in what can be interpreted as a diplomatic snub, China cancelled a meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Harper that was supposed to take place prior to the start of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation conference. The cancellation not only indicates that China is miffed with how it is being treated, but it also suggests that diplomatic harmony is less important to China than it is to Canada.

China remains a country of stark contrasts, a nation of widespread poverty and human rights abuses, but also a land of great wealth and growing political and economic influence.

The Harper government, however, does not seem to fully appreciate China's evolution on the world stage. That was reinforced Wednesday when Harper said, despite the meeting cancellation, that Canada would continue to be frank and direct in its concerns about human rights.

Granted, China's human rights record should not be ignored, but neither should its value as a trading partner. These days, quiet diplomacy on the former and active engagement on the latter would be the preferred strategy.
© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

Regina Leader Post

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006 

FOX NEWS INTERNAL MEMO: "Be On The Lookout For Any Statements From The Iraqi Insurgents...Thrilled At The Prospect Of A Dem Controlled Congress"...

Despite ongoing denials, FOX News Network is totally in the hip pocket of the Bush White House. There is NO unbiased news reporting from FOX, ever! With a tip of the hat to, here is an internal Fox News memo written by the network's Vice President of news. The memo details Fox's game plan the day Democrats won control of both the Senate and the House.

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You Will Like the War - OR ELSE!!

Stephen Harper and his band of right wing ideologues believe that they know better than the majority of Canadians. Here is how they see it. A resounding majority of Canadians do not like the current military mission we are undertaking in Afghanistan.

But Stephen Harper thinks Canadians are wrong and he is right. So, at YOUR expense, he has dispatched his Defense Minister, Gordon O'Connor on a Canada wide promotion to 'sell' the war to us.

Mr. O'Connor kicked off a cross-country public-relations blitz on the Afghan war by arguing in Vancouver that terrorists must not be allowed back to the country where the Taliban and al-Qaeda once flourished.

During the next election campaign (the sooner the better) Mr. Harper and his neo-Reformers will be shown that Canadians have it right and he has it wrong.

Globe and Mail

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China Snubs Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not have an official meeting with his Chinese counterpart during this week's APEC conference in Vietnam. Canadian and Chinese officials had tried to organize a meeting between the two leaders before the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation conference in Hanoi that is set for Saturday and Sunday.

No one should be surprised. Since becoming Prime Minister of his shaky minority government, Harper has done everything possible to agitate China. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently cautioned Harper to not risk billions of dollars worth of trade.

Harper and his inner circle 'Reform' MP's who run the government, are ideologically determined to antagonize China. Harper, Jason Kenney, Rob Anders, Stockwell Day and others are still fighting their own version of the 'Cold War' with the People's Republic of China.

Harper's lack of judgment on this file is becoming more apparent.

(Other Buckdog Stories on this issue:)

China concerned over chill in relations....
Canadian Chamber of Commerce cautions Harper....
Harper asks Jason Kenney ......

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 

Harper Gov't Won't Meet With Arab Groups

Another Tory 'double standard'.

The following is an excerpt from CBC.
Some of Canada's largest Arab organizations say they are being frozen out by the Conservative government. Although the Tories have run an active outreach campaign to several ethnic communities — including the Hindu, Sikh, and Chinese communities — Arab groups say the party appears to have made a decision to write off the Arab community in Canada.

Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper — who earlier angered some Arabs over his support for Israel during the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict — and Foreign Minister Peter MacKay have headlined fundraisers for Israeli causes in the past month.

As well, a number of Conservative MPs have visited the Middle East on tours sponsored by the Canada-Israel Committee. Justice Minister Vic Toews has gone on one of the trips. Other visitors included Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Loyola Hearn."


NATO, winning the respect of Iraqi and Afghanistani civilians

A picture is worth a thousand words.


May I See Your Papers?

A majority of Canadians support the idea of a standardized identification card.

A recent survey of over 1000 persons indicated that 53 per cent of Canadians like the idea, according to a study released Monday by Queen's University.

Still, 48 per cent of the study's 1,001 Canadian respondents expressed concern that post-9-11 laws aimed at protecting national security are too intrusive - exposing a Canadian public "polarized" on issues of privacy, said one of the researchers behind the study.


Monday, November 13, 2006 

BUCKDOG Gets Visit From US Senate Sergeant at Arms

No one should ever wonder if the blogosphere is making an impact on the 'real' world.

On Sunday, November 12th, Buckdog published a post entitled, "Congress Should Open the Books and Jail the Crooks"

In the post, we included two published articles, one from Consortium news and the other from an article, "25 Censored News Stories".

Buckdog believes that the new Democratic controlled House of Representatives and Senate should immediately review, examine and have audited the books of the Bush administration. The cozy relationship that Halliburton Inc. has with the White House requires close examination.

So it was NICE to see the Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate on Buckdog today for 6 1/2 minutes, closely examining our demand for an accountability audit.

Here are the original articles in our November 12th post:

Consortium news
Cheney's hand in the cookie jar
Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms


Tory Agriculture Minister Strahl Steps In Cowpie

In the House of Commons on Thursday, Strahl was again under fire for his decision to only hold a plebiscite on the open marketing of barley and not wheat.

"Every time the agriculture minister makes a wheat board decision, he steps in what Prairie folk politely call a cow pie," NDP agriculture critic Alex Atamanenko said.

"The minister has denied wheat farmers the right to vote on the board's future. He set up a sham task force with the sole goal of dismantling the single desk.

"Does the minister want to wipe some of that meadow muffin off his shoes and announce today that he will hold a fair vote on the future of the wheat board and announce that wheat farmers will also have a vote?"

Winnipeg Free Press


Garth Turner MP Wants To Spill Beans On Tories

Media Advisory
Hon. Garth Turner, PC, MP, will be holding a media conference and availability as follows:

Tuesday, November 14
2 pm ET
National Press Building
For more information: Esther Shaye (905) 693-0166, (905) 699-1902.

OTTAWA—Garth Turner, the Halton MP ousted from the Conservative caucus, plans to "clarify" his plans about possibly becoming Canada's first Green party MP at a news conference tomorrow.

He also says he has some "disturbing" news to convey about recent messages he's been receiving from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office. "I do have some information which I find very disturbing, which I will be releasing on Tuesday," Turner said in a phone interview last night.

"Obviously it's an evolving story. I do want to keep people abreast of this as it unravels. Because it is quite an interesting chapter in Canadian political history and I think it's somewhat uncharted territory I'm in. I'm doing things for the first time here."

The Star
Turner's weblog

Sunday, November 12, 2006 

Baghdad's Morgues Are Full

In October, a particularly bloody month for Iraqi civilians, about 1,600 bodies were turned in at the Baghdad central morgue, said its director, Dr. Abdul-Razaq al-Obaidi. The city's network of morgues, built to hold 130 bodies at most, now holds more than 500, he says.

Around the city, men are tattooing their thighs with names and phone numbers, fearful of an anonymous burial.

This is the reality of George Bush's failed Iraqi strategy.



Congress Should Open the Books and Jail the Crooks

After securing a second term in November 2004, George W. Bush was asked by the Washington Post why no one in his administration had been held accountable for the problems facing U.S. troops in Iraq. Bush replied dismissively, “We had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 elections.”

Halliburton Inc, which was formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney, benefited greatly from the Bush administration.

The Texas-based company has profited handsomely by securing no-bid contracts for everything from rebuilding in Iraq, to supplying U.S. troops with food, to repairing government facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina, to building detention facilities in the U.S.

According to an analysis by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, these no-bid contracts have contributed to the value of Cheney’s Halliburton stock options rising by more than 3,000 percent. In 2005, Cheney’s stock options increased in value from $241,498 to over $8 million.

Buckdog gives you two articles today which stress the point that it is time for the Bush administration to be held accountable for their unsupervised ABUSE OF OFFICE.

Consortium news

Cheney's hand in the cookie jar

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Court Rule Ottawa Did Not Consult Dene - Pipeline Stops

EDMONTON (CP) - The future of hearings into a $7-billion natural gas pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley has been thrown into doubt after a Federal Court judge ruled an aboriginal group on the southern end of the proposed route had been unfairly shut out of the regulatory process.

Justice Michael Phelan ruled that Ottawa failed to consult with the Dene Tha' from the beginning of the process. He ordered hearings on any aspect of the project affecting Dene Tha' lands in northern Alberta to cease.

That means the entire process is dead until the Dene Tha's concerns are met, said their lawyer, Robert Freedman.
Globe & Mail

Saturday, November 11, 2006 

Two Premiers Demand Vote On Wheat Board

Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert and Manitoba Premier Gary Doer met in Saskatoon concerning proposed changes to the Canadian Wheat Board that are being contemplated by the Federal Conservative government.

In no uncertain terms, the two prairie premiers have demanded that farmers be given a vote to either reject or ratify any change as the current law requires.

Both Calvert and Doer have said that if the Federal government does not hold an immediate vote then the two grain producing provinces will hold their own.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
Winnipeg Sun


There Will Be Peace

There will be peace:

when attitudes change;
when self-interest is seen as part of common interest;
when old wrongs, old scores, old mistakes
are deleted from the account;
when the aim becomes co-operation and mutual benefit
rather than revenge or seizing maximum personal or group gain;
when justice and equality before the law
become the basis of government;
when basic freedoms exist;
when leaders - political, religious, educational - and the police and media
wholeheartedly embrace the concepts of justice, equality, freedom, tolerance, and reconciliation as a basis for renewal;
when parents teach their children new ways to think about people.

There will be peace:
when enemies become fellow human beings.

David Roberts


Friday, November 10, 2006 

Youtube Exposes LAPD Brutality During Arrest

LOS ANGELES Nov 10, 2006 (AP)— An FBI investigation prompted by video footage of a man being punched repeatedly in the face by police has demonstrated anew the power of the Internet sensation of the year,

This week, a clip on the post-it-yourself video Web site triggered a police-brutality investigation by the FBI. The footage shows the Aug. 11 arrest of alleged gang member William Cardenas, 24. Two Los Angeles officers can be seen holding him down on a Hollywood street; one punches him several times in the face before they are able to handcuff him.

The Los Angeles Police Department is also investigating the officers' conduct.

Caution - the youtube clip is violent.

ABC News
youtube video

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Hatred of Gays Unites Jews - Muslims - Christians

JERUSALEM — Jerusalem's lesbian and gay community has unintentionally succeeded in doing something that has eluded the world's greatest thinkers: Unite the three major monotheistic religions.

Orthodox Jews, conservative Muslims and prominent Christian leaders are united in their opposition to a gay-pride march in Jerusalem, a city that's holy to all three religions.

The pope called for today's march to be canceled. Muslim leaders criticized it as a disgrace. Orthodox Jews organized weeks of violent demonstrations.

Jerusalem police warned that violent opposition could lead to tragedy and urged Israeli leaders to call it off. As a result, organizers have canceled the Gay Pride March in Jerusalem.

I think there is something very twisted and very sick at the core of religious belief systems that can only find unity in shared hatred.

Seattle Times

Thursday, November 09, 2006 

Rumsfeld and Saddam

RUMSFELD: "Is it just me or is this a shitty week"?

SADDAM: "Don't get me started!"


Bill Stickers IS INNOCENT


What Right Wingers Are Saying About the Election

Every once in a while, I grit my teeth, settle my stomach, grimace up my brow and take a look at what the right-wing bloggers are saying over at smalldeadanimals.

After a few seconds, it becomes evident that the right-wing part of the blogosphere is NOT very happy!

So here is a sampling of their read on the American mid term elections:

"The Democrats stole this one. Let's wait to see all the demands for vote recounts this time around."

"The Republicans probably did throw this election."

"Ah, but the forces that control the Bush Aministration still won this election...:-) I admit, I thought the GOP would've done better."

"It's just not possible that this election wasn't tampered with - I mean, there were all kinds of news reports about funny stuff even before the ballots were cast! They just couldn't be wrong, could they?"

"As long as he still has the veto power, he's fine."

"If I remember my politics courses, isn't it true that the President can still veto Congress and it takes 2/3 of the vote to overturn his veto. Not sure what issues affected by this."

"..but now the real fun begins . . the dumbocrats have to DO something instead of just finger point & whine."

"Kate, The answer is YES they threw this one."

"Who are the Liberals and NDP going to accuse Harper of caving in to now, a Lame Duck or a Democratic Congress and Senate majority?"

"The media has short memories. Either that, or they weren't around to remember their own vitriol and scorn for Ronald Reagan. Because, when I listen to them talk about Bush, it's like deja vu all over again...."

"Go [to Hell] Democrats!"

"The Democrats now have enough rope and a couple of years to hang themselves."

"I think Republicans lost this election because they had a majority and blew it."

"I sadly fear that the United States may slowly be turning inward,"

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