Thursday, April 30, 2009 

Harper Turns 50 Today - Pink Flamingos At 24 Sussex Drive

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper turned 50 today and his staff marked the occasion by planting a flock of (50) pink flamingos on the lawn at 24 Sussex Drive."
David Akin

-Harper turns 50 with nowhere to go but down

If Today is your Birthday - April 30, 2009 (excerpt):
"Passions, feelings of jealousy, and possessiveness run high, and these emotions are in direct proportion to fear of losing someone. You are likely to have to deal with these emotions in yourself, but you may also need to handle the jealousies and possessiveness of a partner. Fear of betrayal may be strong this year. You might also experience compulsive attractions and attachments, or attraction to complicated love relationships. The need for deeper intimacy is present, but fear of this closeness may be just as strong. Something tiny can trigger all sorts of buried emotions, and this can be very revealing! If you find yourself dredging up old hurts, examine the emotional "slush" you've been carrying around with you. Avoid taking it out on your partner or on yourself. Because Venus also rules finances, you may have some tension over your personal finances, and/or need to make a large payment that necessitates changes in your spending habits. Finances may be complicated. Sometimes this aspect suggests power struggles with money."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 

'Bought and Paid For' Cardiologist Testifies At Dziekanski Inquiry

"There is no medical, scientific evidence to support the conclusion that [conducted energy weapon] discharges contributed to Mr. Dziekanski's death."
Dr. Charles Swerdlow
U. S. cardiac electrophysiologist
(who is paid to sit on Taser International's scientific medical advisory board)

"Mr. Dziekanski would still be alive if he had not been Tasered."
Dr. Charles Lee

-National Post

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 

The Photo That George Bush Did NOT Want Americans To See

Effective February of this year, it is the families of American military service personnel killed in Iraq or Afghanistan who now decide if they want photos of the repatriation of their deceased to be published. The previous ban, which prevented Americans from seeing the flag draped coffins of their military casualties, was lifted by the Obama administration.

Monday, April 27, 2009 

Democrats' 'Battered Wife Syndrome'

"In recent years, the Washington political dynamic has often resembled an abusive marriage, in which the bullying husband (the Republicans) slaps the wife and kids around, and the battered wife (the Democrats) makes excuses and hides the ugly bruises from outsiders to keep the family together.

So, when the Republicans are in a position of power, they throw their weight around, break the rules, and taunt: “Whaddya gonna do ‘bout it?”

Then, when the Republicans do the political equivalent of passing out on the couch, the Democrats use their time in control, tiptoeing around, tidying up the house and cringing at every angry grunt from the snoring figure on the couch.

This pattern, which now appears to be repeating itself with President Barack Obama’s unwillingness to hold ex-President George W. Bush and his subordinates accountable for a host of crimes including torture, may have had its origins 40 years ago in Campaign 1968 when the Vietnam War was raging."

Robert Parry
Consortium News

Saturday, April 25, 2009 

Looking For Details On Free Dominion Court Appearance??

On Thursday, the owners of Free Dominion appeared in court to request leave to appeal the decision by Justice Stanley Kershman, who wrote in his earlier ruling: "In my view, the defendants are under an obligation to disclose all documents in their power and control."

This case should be of interest to bloggers as it may be the new case law that deals with alleged libel posted online. In this case the owners of Free Dominion are being required to disclose the names and IP #'s of individuals who posted alleged libelous comments on their site.

The Fourniers appeared in court on Thursday to seek leave to appeal and it was determined that a ruling would come down on Friday, April 24th.

Neither the MSM nor any other blogger has carried the results of the request for leave to appeal. Since yesterday afternoon I have been trying to find out the results but I have not been able to access the Free Dominion site.

Does anyone have an update??

UPDATE (April 27th):
Connie Fournier from Free Dominion has provided an update today in the comments section of this post.

(As background, here is a month old MSM article concerning the details of the court case)

Thursday, April 23, 2009 

To My American Readers: The 9/11 Terrorists Did NOT Enter Your Country From Canada!

"She (U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano) was still suggesting this week that the 9/11 terrorists made their way across the Canadian border, despite the contrary having been publicly acknowledged dozens of times. This has even aroused our quiet man in Washington, Ambassador Michael Wilson, to arrange a private meeting with her to set the record straight."
Globe & Mail

Thirty percent of the readers of this blogsite are located in the USA. Allow me to use this opportunity to talk to you and to let you know, that despite widespread mythology amongst many of your fellow citizens, the terrorists who were responsible for the 9/11 incident in New York DID NOT enter your nation from Canada.

This is an issue that transcends 'Rightwing/Leftwing' thinking. It is all about what actually happened. Mythology is nice in a good novel or the movies ... but it is not acceptable when dealing with reality.

Thank you ... we now return to regular programing .... OR NOT!

"Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know."
John McCain
April 24, 2009
-McCain Repeats False Claim That Sept. 11 Hijackers Entered U.S. From Canada

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 

Free Dominion In Court Tomorrow For Leave To Appeal Ruling That They Must Disclose Anonymous Posters ID In Defamation Lawsuit

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

The owners of the Free Dominion site will appear in court tomorrow seeking leave to appeal the ruling noted in the above article. My friends who are 'learned in the law' belief that the identification of the anonymous posters in this defamation case will be disclosed ultimately.

Many consider this to be the watershed case that will open the doors for a number of defamation lawsuits based on defamatory material posted anonymously on the internet in Canada.

For Canadian users of Google's 'E-blogger' service, Google has now set policy that they will comply with (and will not appeal) any Canadian court order concerning defamatory material and identities.

.... more .....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 

Yom Hashua Reminds Us All Of The Consequences Of Unrestricted Religious Persecution

"I am a believer in the truth of all of the great religions of the world. There will be no lasting peace on Earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but to respect the other Faiths as our own."
Mahatma Gandhi
March 24, 1938

During the spring of 1945 as Allied and Soviet forces marched deeper into Nazi occupied territory, they encountered the unthinkable as they discovered Auschwitz, Treblinka and other concentration camps.

Today in Israel and around the world, people stopped for a moment and remembered what happens when religious or racial persecution is practiced without any restrictions.

The hatred towards Jews that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad continues to express is completely intolerable. At the same time, the ongoing conflict between Israeli's and Palestinians benefits no one.

Every Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu should acknowledge that what happened to the Jewish people in the 1940's could just as easily have happened (or could happen) to them.

Fundamentalist intolerance, from any faith, is what must be challenged.


Saskatchewan Premier Writes To Harper Concening Afghan Law Against Women's Rights

I do not support the Saskatchewan Party. I will, however, acknowledge Brad Wall, the current Premier of Saskatchewan, for the letter that he wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper concerning the controversial Afghan law that affects Shia women living in that nation.

Violence against women, in any society, is a plague that affects everyone. It must be identified, condemned loudly and eliminated. Zero tolerance is not only a goal, it is a necessity. Any violence against women by men, is NOT negotiable. It is not acceptable.

Whether Brad Wall issued his letter for domestic political reasons, or not, does not overly concern me. Every man who speaks out in opposition to violence against women, should be noted and commended.

This having been said, it should also be noted that Mr. Wall leads a province which has a dismal record when it comes to aboriginal women who have gone missing, likely the victims of violence. All previous governments of this province should ask themselves what they accomplished in making life safe and secure for women.

Having commented on the situation in Afghanistan, it is time to look a bit closer at home and to ensure that all women in the province of Saskatchewan can live their lives without the fear of any violence - whatever that takes to accomplish.

Monday, April 20, 2009 

Harper Just As Phony As He Seems!

"Rational talk trumped ideology."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
(describing other national leaders
at the Summit of the Americas)

There are few politicians in Canada's political area who are more ideologically driven than Stephen Harper, leader of the right wing Conservative Party of Canada.

This is the same man who brought on a parliamentary crisis last fall by attempting to unilaterally change the rules that govern the funding of political parties in Canada.

This is the man who has described the nation he leads by saying, "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it."

This is the man who described Canada's Atlantic provinces as, "A culture of defeat..."

This is the man who described one of Canada's other opposition political parties this way, "The NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men."

Yet, this ideologically driven political animal has the nerve to comment on the political behavior of his peers on the international stage.

He is as phony as they come!

Thursday, April 16, 2009 

Afghan Men Throw Rocks At Women Protesting New Marriage Law

"A 300-strong group of Afghan women were pelted with small stones Wednesday as they protested against a controversial law that legalizes rape within marriage. A much larger group of about 1,000 Afghans -- both men and women -- swarmed the demonstration to throw stones and shout at the women."
CTV News


Saskatchewan Main Stream Media Attacks New Democratic Leadership Candidates Meili and Lingenfelter

If you hold any doubt that the main stream media (MSM) in Saskatchewan is trying to downplay or negatively portray the NDP leadership race, yesterday's news coverage will set you straight.

The most disturbing of two separate stories was an attempt by CTV affiliates to try and negatively portray Ryan Meili's attendance at the Summit of the Americas Conference in Quebec City in 2001. For starters, the issue that they raised occurred nearly a decade ago. A CTV reporter questioned Meili's protest activities towards globalization in what can only be described as an amateurish news segment.

For perspective, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix published an article in April, 2001 concerning the police brutality that Mr. Meili was subjected to while in Quebec City.

In another article:
"University of Saskatchewan law Prof. Tim Quigley said it’s not clear to him how police were justified in arresting the three men unless some Quebec provincial or municipal law gave them a right to clear the alley. If they had no such authority, then they were not lawfully carrying out their duties and no obstruction by the protesters was possible, he said."
Saskatoon Star Phoenix
January, 2003

The second example of recent negative MSM treatment of a candidate for the NDP Leadership was the April 15th article by Murray Mandryk concerning Dwain Lingenfelter:

"Well, notwithstanding all the big and little "p" politics in play here, Lingenfelter does deserve to be taken to task here. For one thing, it's absolute nonsense for the one-time NDP privatization critic, who vowed at the time to make Saskatchewan "ungovernable", to suggest his party could have done more. The 100-plus hours of NDP filibustering on the legislation to privatize the Potash Corp. was the longest debate in Saskatchewan legislative history and resulted in the use of foreclosure at the legislature for the first time."
Murray Mandryk
Regina Leader-Post
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

You can follow the Saskatchewan New Democratic Leadership campaign HERE!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 

Susan Boyle - NEVER Judge A Book By It's Cover!

Susan Boyle, and what this is all about.


Someone Forgot To Tell The Saskatchewan Party Government That The U.S. Republicans Aren't In Power Any More!

Former Republican Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins and his law firm have been retained by the Brad Wall government to represent Saskatchewan in the United States.

"The law firm whose partners include David Wilkins, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, has been engaged by Saskatchewan to represent the province in Washington, D.C. The firm Nelson Mullins will be paid $400,000 per year to provide what the province described as "legal analysis and strategic advice on issues that could have an impact on the province's interests," according a provincial government news release issued on Wednesday."
CBC Saskatchewan

This move has left many people scratching their heads wondering why a former Republican Speaker of the South Carolina Legislature and the hand picked appointee of George W. Bush, was selected to represent and advise a Canadian prairie province in Washington, D.C. It is almost as if the Saskatchewan Party administration does not know that the Democrats are currently in power.

What influence Mr. Wilkins will have with the Obama folks is not clear.

Gov't of Sask News Release

Photo courtesy CBC ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 

U.S. Dept. Of Homeland Security Warns of Domestic Right Wing Extremism

"Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.
-(U//FOUO) The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.
— (U//FOUO) During the 1990s, these issues contributed to the growth in the number of domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups and an increase in violent acts targeting government facilities, law enforcement officers, banks, and infrastructure sectors.
— (U//FOUO) Growth of these groups subsided in reaction to increased government scrutiny as a result of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and disrupted plots, improvements in the economy, and the continued U.S. standing as the reeminent world power.
(U//FOUO) The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."

Dept. of Homeland Security

The report by Homeland Security describes “extremists” as those “that are primarily hate-oriented” and those that “reject federal authority,” not those who simply oppose abortion or immigration. Right wing voices will become shrill as the content of the report is more widely known. Some American rightwing bloggers have already accused the Obama Administration of targeting 'conservatives'.

Monday, April 13, 2009 

Obama Eases Restrictions On Travel To Cuba

"Washington -- President Obama is permitting unlimited travel and transfer of money by Cuban Americans to their relatives and is taking other steps to ease restrictions on dealings with Cubans, while keeping a long-standing U.S. embargo against trade with the neighboring island in place.

A formal announcement is planned at the daily White House press briefing this afternoon, a White House source has confirmed.

The president is attempting to aid Cubans in their pursuit of political freedom by making them less dependent on the Castro regime.

The steps taken today, announced in advance of the president's planned attendance at a weekend Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, will include allowing Cuban Americans to send gifts to their families and supports cellphone communications in Cuba.

The Bush administration had restricted travel, limiting passage to the island to two weeks every three years for immediate family members only. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives in Cuba, which hundreds of thousands have fled since Fidel Castro first claimed power in 1959."

LA Times


Preston Manning - Still Trying To KILL Publicly Funded Health Care In Canada!

There is a reason that Preston Manning was never elected prime minister of Canada with a Reform Party government. His hard right wing ideology was just too extreme for Canadian tastes. The only way that the Reform Party was able to 'form' government was to change their name to the Canadian Alliance Party and ultimately outwit Peter MacKay to forge a corporate take over of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Since that time, Preston Manning has been sniping from the sidelines, spewing his right wing ideology ad nauseam into the Canadian political area.

He is at it again:
"The answer for Canada lies in finally biting the bullet and doing what most of the world's other industrialized countries (with the exception of the U.S.) have done, and that is establish a well-balanced two-track health-care system, providing for both public and private health-care insurance, delivery and financing."
Preston Manning

Preston Manning HATES Medicare! He is one of those far right advocates of an 'unfettered free market' .. you know, the same folks who have brought the world to economic collapse with their drive for a completely unregulated corporate environment. No matter how he phrases it, ultimately, Preston Manning wants Canada to have the same private insurance format that is failing Americans in the USA!

Preston has been after this goal for a long time. In an article published in the Winnipeg Free Press, in 2004, Frances Russel wrote:
"Earlier this month, the (Frsaser) institute held its 30th anniversary dinner attended by luminaries of the Canadian Right like Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, former Reform Leader Preston Manning and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris. Founder and president Michael Walker mapped out an ambitious plan for the future. Having won the battles against universality, deficits and debt, Mr. Walker said the institute will be turning its sights on privatising health and education. With millions of dollars in its coffers donated annually by the Who's Who of business, get ready for more Fraser, more of the time" (Wpg Free Press - 29/10/04)

Canadians have rejected direct overtures from Preston Manning to kill Canada's publicly funded health care in the past. We should not listen to him (nor his successor) now.

Manning is getting quite an 'ass kicking' in the comments section of his article.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 

If You Are An Ignorant Fundamentalist, Why Not Drop Into Alberta's Creationist Museum?

Big Valley Creation Science Museum
Built from the foundations up, for the glory of the Creator,
to display the evidence of his handiwork and refute the lie of evolution.

For those who are too stupid to understand what 'science' is and who have a fundamentalist belief that the Bible is a literal and exact recording of the history of planet Earth and the Universe, you will simply love this bizarre museum located in rural Alberta.

Featured are displays that argue in favour of warped concepts such as:
-Man walked with dinosaurs
-Some dinosaurs made it onto Noah's Ark
-Some fossils are created in mere weeks
-Genealogical proof of a 6000 year old world

Here is my problem with 'fundamentalists'. While they are likely hard working, law abiding individuals, they seem to be so insecure in their existence that they have a deep need for ABSOLUTES! They cannot abide doubt or curiousity. They crave to live in a world with clearly defined, black and white - good and bad differentiations.

I feel sorry for them. I wonder who people like this vote for ...... ?

Saturday, April 11, 2009 

Why Are Some Liberals Setting Their Youth Wing Up As The 'Fall Guys' ?

When the Liberal Party of Canada meets in Vancouver for their biennial convention they will be debating a constitutional amendment that may allow them to institute a convoluted ‘one member one vote’ mechanism for selecting their future party leader. The amendment will require the approval of a 2/3rds majority of convention delegates to pass.

‘One member, one vote’ is old hat to New Democrats. As a New Democrat, I will be casting a vote for the next leader of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party at the June leadership convention. My rank and file membership will allow me to cast a vote for my favorite candidate. I did the same in 2000 when the Saskatchewan NDP leadership was last contested. I also had the benefit of voting for the federal leader of the New Democrats back in 2003.

‘One member, one vote’ is supposedly a very contentious issue within Liberal Party ranks. Those who advocate it are working hard to push the amendment over the top.

However there is a very disturbing scenario playing itself out in Liberal circles over the constitutional amendment. The Young Liberal wing of the party has submitted their own amendment to the constitutional amendment. The Young Libs have decided to broaden the internal debate and are asking the convention to consider increasing the voice of the youth wing in the affairs of the party. Not an unrealistic request by any means. Every political party should welcome and embrace an active and vocal voice from youth in the affairs of the party.

But what is this! There seems to be a very organized move within some Liberal circles to defeat the proposed Youth amendment! These anti-youth activists have created a group on Facebook called, I am Opposed to the YLC One Member One Vote Amendment. The anti-youth group states the rationale for their opposition to the youth motion:
“There is already a long journey ahead for the supporters of One Member One Vote to obtain a 66% majority at the convention. Now we're going to complicate the matter more by sticking in an amendment that could be debated for hours on end.

Huh? .... the youth amendment “could be debated for hours” and that is the reason it should be defeated? What a scary scenario! A political party may have to have a ‘debate’!

I have no hesitancy in labeling the Liberal Party of Canada as merely a quasi-democratic political party. The fact that ‘one member, one vote’ is contentious within Liberal ranks should be sufficient to prove my point. The fact that most Liberals want to cling to a 19th century style ‘delegate’ leadership convention proves that these folks merely want political expediency to rule the day ... democracy be damned!

What disturbs me the most about what is happening with this attack on the Liberal Youth should be evident. The Youth are being set up as the ‘fall guys’ should the constitutional amendment fail to receive the 2/3rds vote it needs to pass. Rather than go after those in the party who resist a true ‘one member, one vote’, this group of Liberal activists will blame the YLC amendment as the reason for their own failure. Shame!

Any party that resists democratic debate should not call itself ‘democratic’! Any party that sets its Youth Wing up as the reason for democratic failure, does not deserve to have the support of youth!

Shame on those Liberals who are actively setting up the Youth wing as the reason for the failures of the main party itself!

Friday, April 10, 2009 

Just another step towards a Republican style conservative party in Canada

I don't know who 'Joe in East York' is, but his comments on a web posting on The Star's website is something that Canadians need to hear from a discouraged Conservative. Joe in East York is articulating what MANY Canadians feel, and it is nice to finally hear some Conservatives actually saying it publicly:

Just another step towards a Republican style conservative party in Canada

"As I have pointed out many times in past postings, the biggest fraud the current so-called conservative party has fostered upon the Canadian public is that it is the party of John A. Macdonald, John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney. The truth is that Harper and his gang of Alliance/Reform American styled right-wing ideologists hijacked the Progressive Conservative Party when it was at its weakest. Betrayed from within its own ranks by Peter Mackay, the hostile takeover resulted in the deliberate purging of much hated Red-Tory and Quebec Tory elements from the party. The intention was to break the traditional control exerted by moderate conservatives in the east and to replace it with dominance by Republican styled neo-conservative ideology. The purging of Mulroney is yet another betrayal of traditional Canadian conservative values in favour of the extreme rightwing ideology that Harper and his supporter wish to impose on Canada, while pretending to be moderate “Tory” conservatives."
Submitted by Joe in East York at 8:33 AM Friday, April 10 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009 

Kim Jong Il WINS ELECTION - Third Term As Leader Of North Korea!

"SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's Kim Jong Il ascended Thursday to his third term as leader of one of the world's most reclusive nations, buoyed by a rocket launch heralded in state media as "historic" but assailed elsewhere as provocative. State media said lawmakers re-elected Kim chairman of the powerful National Defence Commission at the opening session Thursday of the new rubber-stamp parliament, an appointment that under the constitution makes him the nation's top leader."
CTV News

Here are the official vote counts:
Kim Jong Il 23,790,000

And to mark the occasion, here is a SPECIAL 1 minute video that you must NOT miss!

'Election Victory Parade For The Dear Leader'!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 

'Bush's Republican Administration Used Torture Routinely' - REPORT

If you look at the table of contents for the report on CIA torture practices, prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross, you don't need to look any further into the report, the headings alone say it all:

"Under the chapter "Main Elements of the CIA Detention Program" the subheadings list: "Suffocation by water; prolonged stress standing; beating by use of a collar; beating and kicking; confinement in a box; prolonged nudity; sleep deprivation and use of loud music; exposure to cold temperature/cold water; prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles; threats; forced shaving; deprivation/restricted provision of solid food."

Venture further into the report by the International Committee of the Red Cross and details lay bare the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on 14 prized captives, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Excerpts were previously leaked, but the entire 43-page report was made public Monday by author and journalism professor Mark Danner on the website of the New York Review of Books."

"The Star


The Myth of the 'Fiscal Conservatives'

I am laughing at those smug types (from both the Conservative Party and the right wing fringes of the Liberal Party) who label themselves as 'fiscal conservatives'. Yeah right! Fiscal conservatives.

"EDMONTON — Alberta expects to post a $4.7-billion deficit this year — the largest in provincial history — as the former darling of the Canadian economy sinks into the red over four consecutive years."
Globe & Mail

"TORONTO - Finance Minister Dwight Duncan delivered a budget in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns that Ontario has seen. The highlights are below - 2009 Ontario Budget:
•Total deficit of $56.8-billion over seven years - including $3.9-billion for fiscal 2008-09, $14.1-billion in 2009-10, $12.2-billion in 2010-11, $9.7-billion in 2011-12, $8-billion 2012-13, $5.8-billion in 2013-14, $3.1-billion in 2014-15. •Balanced budget projected for 2015-16. "

National Post

"OTTAWA - The hits kept coming in the final document, that proposes a budget with its total expenses running some $258.6-billion, including a $33.7-billion deficit. What’s that deficit made of?
National Post

No one yells louder about the evils of 'socialism' or the perils of the 'New Democrats' than these so called 'fiscal conservatives.' If you listen to them, the world would go to hell in a handbag IF the worst should happen, and 'New Democrats EVER get their hands on the public purse.'

I have heard it all over the years.

What these same 'fiscal conservatives' will NOT tell you is how an NDP government in Saskatchewan balanced 14 provincial budgets IN A ROW! Oh no, they are far to busy pointing their fingers at Bob Rae's administration in Ontario ... which according to 'fiscal conservatives' is the bench mark of New Democrat fiscal prudence. They don't tell you which party Bob Rae actually belongs to ... nor the fact that he should have been a Liberal all along.

No, you won't hear any of that from 'fiscal conservatives'. In fact, because of the reality of what is happening in the nation, you aren't hearing very much from them at all.

The truth about 'fiscal conservatives' ....

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 

The Citizens Are Watching Big Brother - Police Forces Better Understand The Power Of The Citizens That They Work For!

Editorial: Cops do themselves no favours harrassing Province photographer
"It is not Big Brother who is watching every move of every citizen; rather, it is every citizen doing his or her damnedest to watch Big Brother. Understandably, this does not sit well with the authorities — in particular, the police, who now must wonder what was or was not captured on camera every time they make a public bust.

If the police routinely acted by the letter of the law, then it wouldn’t matter what was captured with a cell camera, would it? Unfortunately, as we all know too well, police aren’t exactly embracing cameras in the hands of anyone these days — professional journalist or Joe Citizen with a cellphone."

Statement from Province photographer Jason Payne
Jason Payne explains police conduct as they confiscated his work camera after a man was shot by police.

At approximately 5:20 p.m. I heard a loud sound from outside my house, went to the window and looking out, saw two uniformed VPD members with a dog, jogging north on Jackson St. to the Union St. intersection. I grabbed my camera and ran towards the Union/Jackson intersection. As I got there it was a chaotic scene and I couldn’t discern exactly what was going on although I knew something significant was happening by the amount of police officers in the immediate area. I started photographing — at the corner of Union/Jackson, heading in a northwest direction to Jackson. I was photographing the scene in the parking lot as I walked up Jackson Street.

There was no police tape anywhere. I noticed a police officer talking to a woman on the sidewalk — the west side of Jackson Street — and when I asked her what happened, she said something along the lines of “the police have shot a man.” At that point, the female officer told me to stop what I was doing and leave, and she gripped my shoulder and shoved me backwards. I brushed her arm away from me, telling her I am a press photographer for The Province newspaper and I had a right to be standing there, taking photos. A male officer arrived and said “you can’t be here,” and something to effect of “you’re obstructing justice,” and he was going to take away my camera. As this was happening we were backing up and entered a private front yard on Jackson Street. I told the officer a number of times I was a press photographer and would not give him my camera.
.... Read More from the Vancouver Province .... and from the Globe & Mail ....

-More Buckdog on 'watching Big Brother' ... in this case - the Calgary City Police!

-And even MORE Buckdog on 'watching Big Brother ... this time abuse of a young teenage boy ...

Progressive Bloggers

Photograph of Vancouver City Police Officer manhandling photographer from The Province was taken by a conscientious citizen journalist and submitted to the paper.

Monday, April 06, 2009 

Thoughts On Stephen Harper's NEXT Job

Even the Calgary Herald (a paper that is NOT unkind to Mr. Harper) has commenced speculation on his departure from 24 Sussex Drive:

"The usual retirement refuge for former prime ministers tends to be fat-cat law firms where they're given a corner office, a few legal assistants, an appointments secretary and told to charge outrageous fees for client face time when they're not delivering stock speeches at $25,000 a pop.

Being a lawyer has been the norm for every prime minister since Wilfrid Laurier, except for Joe Clark and Lester Pearson. Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien returned to law and still tours the world with business leaders in tow. Paul Martin has megamillions from his pre-politics business interests and didn't require billable hours to survive as an aboriginal-cause philanthropist enjoying his own six-hole golf course on the farm.

But Harper is not independently wealthy and only armed with an economics degree that he's never actually used as an economist. Besides, being an economist these days isn't exactly a profession worthy of a prime ministerial retirement, given that most of them missed the when and how hard this recession would hit. Harper obviously can't go back from whence he came, running the modest National Citizens Coalition advocacy group. And merely languishing on blue-chip corporate boards won't satisfy this human energizer. That suggests the greenest pastures lie beyond Canada's walls. In other words, he might have to follow Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's career path in reverse."

Calgary Herald

AND ... even Adam Radwanski is piling on ......!

Sunday, April 05, 2009 

Federal Conservatives Fighting In The Caucus Room ... (just like I said they were)!

Even die hard Conservatives are starting to realize what some of us have been saying all along .... Stephen Harper needs to be taken down a notch or two by his Caucus!

OTTAWA — The Conservatives' iron-clad discipline suffered several cracks last week as party members bickered behind closed doors over Brian Mulroney — the former prime minister who divides them still. MPs and senators feuded privately over the Harper government's treatment of the former leader. Some are now going public.

Sources in the Conservative caucus have told The Canadian Press that their meeting last Wednesday was pocked with bitter exchanges about the man who delivered the last Tory majority government. Several MPs pointedly criticized the way Mulroney was being treated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's staff.

A cabinet minister was heckled when she attempted to explain the PMO version of events to Mulroney's defenders. One outraged Mulroney supporter strode into the caucus room and straight to the podium to address fellow Conservatives after consulting with the former PM by phone.

By the end of the altercation, the Conservative House leader glumly buried his face in his hands. “It was an uncomfortable thing to see the family fight,” said one Conservative member of caucus.

“We've had it out before from time to time — over issues, like same-sex marriage, like the gun registry. But it's never personal. It's usually very collegial. “It's strange to see us have that type of discussion."

The Globe & Mail

April 6th - The Star has more ....

Saturday, April 04, 2009 

It's Pow Wow Time In Regina This Weekend!

2009 First Nations University of Canada Pow Wow
April 4th & 5th, 2009
Brandt Centre, Evraz Place
(formerly Regina Exhibition Park)
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Over 700 dancers and more than 5,000 visitors who attend from across North America.
Plus Trade Fair Show
Over $56,000 in cash prizes!
Dance Specials!

Everyone Welcome!

If you are in Regina this weekend and miss the FNU Pow Wow .... well, you will really miss something!! I've attended every year since 1986 and it just gets better and bigger every year!

Photo courtesy Leftdog ... taken on my SaskTel cellphone ... April 5, 2009, Regina


Peter MacKay Symbolizes The Dilemma For Canada's Conservative Party

Cracks are beginning to show in the coalition of Canada's right wing parties known as the Conservative Party of Canada.

In 2003, the party was born of a union by the Canadian Alliance Party (formerly REFORM Party) and the Progressive Conservative Party. Stephen Harper led the Canadian Alliance Party into the union and Peter MacKay led the Progressive Conservatives. Harper was selected as leader of the new party.

The new Conservatives have had three electoral shots at government since the union. The 2004 election left them as Official Opposition. The results of the 2006 election gave them a minority government. They gambled in 2008 by calling an early vote, but just couldn't go over the top sufficiently to win a majority.

Future majority prospects are now diminishing daily. In fact, the Conservatives will lose government the next time that Canadians go to the polls. (You heard it here first)!

Stephen Harper cannot be accused of being an 'inclusive' leader of his party. He is dictatorial and operates with a 'my way or the highway' motto when dealing with his Members of Parliament as well as his central party structure and Riding associations. Harper does not accept internal criticism well.

In his dealings with his party, he has surrounded himself with political ideologues who act as his goons. John Baird, Pierre Polievre, Jason Kenney, Rob Anders; these are the backroom boys who have Harper's ear and who do his bidding.

So back to the cracks. I will use two examples of how Harper's rigid control of his party is beginning to show some strain.

The first example revolves around the plight of his pal, Rob Anders. Anders is an MP from Calgary who seems to be consistently challenged by Conservative members of his riding association. Anders has been called the most ineffective MP in the whole nation. His lack of accountability is touted by some as the reason he must step aside and allow someone more competent to run for the Conservatives in Calgary West.

But who is it that consistently comes to Anders defense? Why Stephen Harper, of course! Anders is his buddy and there is no place for democracy in the Conservative Party of Canada when it comes to challenges to Rob Anders.

Harper's tactics in protecting Anders has alienated many local Conservatives but Anders is in more trouble with his own riding association than is being reported. In spite of Harper's interference, Anders just may lose the nomination this time around.

The next example of cracks in Harper's party revolves around former Prime Minister (and Progressive Conservative leader), Brian Mulroney.

Harper has tried to move his party away from any connection with Mulroney. He has ordered all of his MP's to have nothing to do with Mulroney.

That edict is not working out very well for Mr. Harper. Veteran MP's like Peter MacKay are balking at the order and they are doing it publicly. This will not sit well with Mr. Harper. His arrogant style simply will not allow criticism of any kind, particularly when it comes from within his own party.

It looked for awhile this week that Peter MacKay may have found a way out of Harper's political death spiral. Had MacKay been selected as the new head of NATO, he could have stepped out of Harper Inc. and kept his reputation intact and at arms length from the Conservative Party as it begins a trip to the dumpster of former Canadian governments. The loss of government and the end of Harper's leadership, could well have left MacKay as the heir apparent to lead the Tories.

The fact that Peter MacKay did not get the spot as NATO head, means that he will have to slog on in Harper's cabinet and caucus.

Get ready for more cracks to appear.

Thursday, April 02, 2009 

Opposition Blocks Conservatives From Gutting Canadian Grain Commission

Rejection Of Legislation To Gut The Canadian Grain Commission applauded

Ottawa – Canada’s grain inspectors and their union applaud the move today by the opposition parties in the House of Commons to reject Bill C-13, an act that would gut the Canadian Grain Commission and undermine the interests of farmers.

“The government has known since last year that this bill was fatally flawed so it should come as no surprise that the opposition pushed today to remove it from the agenda of the House of Commons,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC which represents grain inspectors.

Instead of helping Canada’s grain producers in these troubled economic times, the amendments to the Canada Grain Act in Bill C-13 would:

- Shift the purpose of the Grain Act away from protecting producer interests
- Expose producers to financial harm by eliminating the requirement for grain buyers to post security bonds
- Dismantle the Grain Appeals Tribunal which protects producers from unscrupulous behaviour on the part of grain companies
- Eliminate Commission inspection services that independently determine the quality and quantity of grain grown by individual farmers and introduce new safety concerns.

“Today’s development will give the government an opportunity to do the homework and make improvements to this bill that so many have called for. We welcome this development and urge the government to go back to the drawing board,” Kingston said.

“These changes will hurt grain producers just like the Conservative’s effort to strip farmer control of the Canadian Wheat Board which has been vigorously opposed by grain farmers,” Kingston concluded.



Tardy Harper MISSES Group Photo With G20 World Leaders!

LONDON — Looks like they finally found Waldo. The leaders of the world's most powerful economies assembled early this afternoon for a photo do-over after Prime Minister Stephen Harper missed the first family snapshot this morning.

Summit organizers hustled the assembled leaders out of their assembly hall some time after lunch so they could re-take the family portrait, this time with the prodigal Mr. Harper in the frame. The PM apparently missed the first picture after losing track of time while being briefed by one of his advisers.

Where IS Stephen Harper?

Harper Missed G20 Leaders Official Group Photo

Wednesday, April 01, 2009 

Saskatchewan Party Attempts Mischief 'Motion' In The Legislature ... (they aren't quite as smart as they think they are)!

Jeremy Harrison, (defeated Conservative MP and currently the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Meadow Lake), is attempting to cause some mischief with the following Private Member's Motion which will be debated and voted upon in the Saskatchewan Legislature on April 2, 2009:

That the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan supports the consideration of further value-added development of Saskatchewan ’s uranium industry including nuclear power generation and recognizes the potential benefits to the growth and prosperity of the people of our province.

By bringing forward this motion, the right wing Saskatchewan Party is trying to see if they can create some division or sparks in the New Democratic leadership race. All four NDP leadership candidates are well aware of what the Sask Party's thinly veiled intent is with the motion.

The New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan has pragmatically dealt with nuclear/uranium issues during the government terms of Premier Allan Blakeney (1971 - 1982), Premier Roy Romanow (1991 - 2000) and Premier Lorne Calvert (2000 - 2007). The party is not about to fall apart over the issue at this time.

Jeremy Harrison is the Sask Party designated 'mischief maker' but he is generally not very articulate on weighty issues.

New Democratic candidates are all anxious and willing to debate the nuclear question or any other issue that the province faces. In fact, the Caucus has some very clear and pointed questions that the Wall crew needs to answer!

-CBC Saskatchewan has more ... and they also have even even more ....


Mulroney's Membership Conflict Causes Some Conservative MP's To Challenge 'Reformers' Control Of The Party

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ordered members of his government not to have any dealings with him."
Ottawa Sun

OTTAWA - A number of Conservative MPs are springing to Brian Mulroney's defence today, saying the former prime minister is still a member of their party.

On Tuesday, senior party sources told reporters that Mulroney was no longer a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. But Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn say there must be a mistake because Mulroney will be a member for life. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of his team have been trying to distance themselves from Mulroney over the past two years.CNews

Here is the key to this story. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney asked the Conservative Party to remove his name from their phone contact and fundraising lists. The crew that runs the party (the PMO) interpreted this as including the membership list.

"Senior Conservatives contacted select reporters Tuesday to tell them Mulroney had effectively torn up his party card. "I can confirm he is no longer a member," said one Conservative source. The source said Mulroney called a senior party official two months ago to ask that his name be pulled off all party lists and materials and that communications with him cease."

The key word in the above quote from 'senior conservatives' is the word EFFECTIVELY.

The traditional old style 'Tories' in the Conservative Party are not in control. Harper's Alberta gang (Jason Kenney, Stockwell Day, Rob Anders, Pierre Poilievre, etc) have completely hijacked the policies, communications and control of the party. They want distance between Mr. Mulroney and themselves for obvious regional political reasons.

We will see if the Mulroney membership conflict finally brings the issue of who controls the Conservative Party to the surface.


'Desperate' RCMP Try To Smear Dziekanski!

"What has that got to do with the investigation of the police and their conduct?"
Don Rosenbloom

The lawyer who is representing the Polish government at a public inquiry into Dziekanski's death, said yesterday that Poland is "troubled" by a motion made by one of the RCMP officer's lawyers for copies of Dziekanski's criminal records and any complaints against him reported to police.

-RCMP Investigators Went To Poland To Find 'Dirt' On Robert Dziekanski - July 22, 2008

-RCMP Commissioner Denies That Dziekanski Investigation Is A Whitewash -July 17, 2008

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