Tuesday, June 30, 2009 

Minnesota Supreme Court Gives Senate Seat To Al Franken

Unanimous. The Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota has awarded a challenged Senate Seat to Democrat Al Franken.

"We affirm the decision of the trial court that Al Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled under (Minnesota law) to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota."
Supreme Court - 5-0 ruling.



Former Regina Conservative MP Dies At Age 39

Dave Batters, 39, died at home in Regina on Monday night, the family said in a news release.
CBC Saskatchewan


Refunding 750,000 Michael Jackson Show Tickets


LONDON (June 30, 2009) – "At this time of mourning for Michael Jackson, we are together in our sadness at the loss of one of the greatest entertainers ever.

"The world lost a kind soul who just happened to be the greatest entertainer the world has ever known,” said Randy Phillips, President & CEO, AEG Live. “Since he loved his fans in life, it is incumbent upon us to treat them with the same reverence and respect after his death."

AEG Live (UK) Ltd, concert promoters, announced that full refunds will be available to fans who purchased tickets through authorised agents for any of the 50 Michael Jackson 'This Is It' concerts which were to take place at The O2 Arena in London.

These refunds will include all ticket service charges.

Ticket holders requiring information about receiving a full refund should go to www.michaeljacksonlive.com from Wednesday, July 1, 2009. The refunds will be processed by each of the authorised ticket agencies (e.g. Ticketmaster, Viagogo, See or Ticketline).

It was also announced that fans will have the option to be sent the actual tickets they would have received to attend the shows in lieu of the full refunds which are being offered.

The tickets printed with the special lenticular process, were inspired and designed by Michael Jackson for the fans attending his shows. Images of the specially created tickets will be seen on www.michaeljacksonlive.com. The special offer to receive the actual tickets that the purchaser would have received to attend 'This is It' will remain valid thru 23:59 GMT, August 14, 2009."

-Refund details .....

Monday, June 29, 2009 

Nova Scotia Greens About To Be Deregistered For Failing To Provide Financial Disclosure

The Green Party of Nova Scotia missed an April deadline for filing financial statements with the province's Chief Electoral Office and are facing removal as a registered political party. The Green Party won only 2.33% of the vote in this months provincial election.

CTV News


'Brent's Cross-Canada Underwear Drive' - Delivering 25,000 Pairs Of Underwear To Homeless Shelters Across Canada

Brent King wanted to make a donation to his local homeless shelter so he asked them what was the #1 thing that they needed. He was told ... new, clean, men's underwear. Hmmm ... so he bought 25,000 pair and is now delivering them by mobile home to shelters in 10 cities across Canada.

-Brent maintains a blog of his cross-Canada underwear adventure.

-Saskatoon Star Phoenix

-980 News

Sunday, June 28, 2009 

It's Sunday - If you haven't been to church ... maybe this will help!

Just see all of the fun you miss since you stopped going to church on Sunday!!


Stonewall Riots - June 27-28, 1969 -The Day That Gay Persons Fought Back

On the evening of June 27th, 1969, New York City police did as they had done many times before, raided a known 'Gay' bar when it was full of patrons on a busy Friday night. But on this night, something unusual happened - the patrons of the Stonewall Inn refused to be arrested and taken away in paddy wagons for the 'crime' of geing gay. They fought back. Riots in front of the Stonewall Inn in the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, quickly became an emblem of the modern-day Gay pride movement.

-The Stonewall Riot And Aftermath
-Stonewall Riot: A Gay History Video

But what's this!! 40 years later police are STILL raiding Gay bars!!!!
"Jun 29th, 2009 | FORT WORTH, Texas -- Two city officials are seeking an investigation into a police raid at a gay nightclub that ended with the arrests of several patrons and the hospitalization of a man with a head injury."

Friday, June 26, 2009 

World Wide Web Trembled Following Michael Jackson's Death

"The internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson's death. Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack.

Millions of people who searched for the star's name on Google News were greeted with an error page. It warned users "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application".

"It's true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page," said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker.

It was around this time that the singer was officially pronounced dead. Google's trends page showed that searches for Michael Jackson had reached such a volume that in its so called "hotness" gauge the topic was rated "volcanic".

The BBC news website reported that traffic to the site at the time of Jackson's death was 72% higher than normal.

Google was not the only company overwhelmed by the public's clamour for information.

The microblogging service Twitter crashed with the sheer volume of people using the service. [...]
Early reports of Mr Jackson's death and the confusion surrounding it caused a rash of changes and corrections to be made on his Wikipedia page as editors tried to keep up with events and the number of people trying to update the page.

TMZ, the popular celebrity gossip site that broke the story following a tip-off that a paramedic had visited the singers home also crashed.

There was a domino effect as users then fled to other sites. Hollywood gossip writer Perez Hilton's site was among those to flame out.

Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.
BBC World

Thursday, June 25, 2009 

Michael Jackson DEAD

"Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. We're told when paramedics arrived Jackson had no pulse and they never got a pulse back. A source tells us Jackson was dead when paramedics arrived."

"Paramedics were called to a home in the 100 block of Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard. Jackson had rented the Bel-Air home for $100,000 a month. It was described as a French chateau estate built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater.

The home is about 2 1/2 miles, about a six-minute drive, from UCLA Medical Center. An earlier version of this post incorrectly described the time to travel between the home and hospital as two minutes.]

The news comes as Jackson, 50, was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.

In May, The Times reported that Jackson had rented the Bel-Air residence and was rehearsing for a series of 50 sold-out shows in London's O2 Arena. Jackson had won the backing of two billionaires to get the so-called "King of Pop" back on stage.

His backers envision the shows at AEG's O2 as an audition for a career rebirth that could ultimately encompass a three-year world tour, a new album, movies, a Graceland-like museum, musical revues in Las Vegas and Macau, and even a "Thriller" casino. Such a rebound could wipe out Jackson's massive debt."

Los Angeles Times

June 26th Editorial Cartoon ......

Photo courtesy Lennox McLendon/Associated Press

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 

We Now Know Why The Feds Tried To Conceal The Cost Of The War In Afghanistan - Ouch!

"OTTAWA — The Treasury Board says that the cost of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan for the next two years will be $1.35 billion higher than projected a year ago by the Defence Department. [...] The Defence Department, citing national security provisions, censored an Access to Information request by the federal NDP that asked for those figures three weeks ago."
Montreal Gazette

Harper's Conservative Government Will Not Disclose Cost Of Afghanistan War

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 

Public Consultations 'Be Damned' - Premier Wall Wants Nuclear Reactor Built In Saskatchewan

"The Saskatchewan Party government isn't waiting for the outcome of public consultations on the future of the uranium industry to pitch the province as a potential place to build a nuclear research reactor that could produce medical isotopes."
Regina Leader-Post

Premier Brad Wall's government simply can't resist the construction of a nuclear power reactor - under any guise - for purely ideological reasons

During the 2007 provincial election, Wall's election campaign platform said that if elected, he would investigate ways to add value to Saskatchewan's uranium resources but would consult widely with the public before any action occurred.

Public consultations have started but Wall is being criticised for the rapid timetable of the process.

Now, out of the blue - without Legislative approval or budgetary allocation of any kind - Wall has proclaimed that he wants to build a reactor (public consultations be damned), so that Saskatchewan can save the planet with the manufacture of medical isotopes. Right!

"Mr. Wall told the Globe and Mail on Friday the reactor would produce medical isotopes, topping up shortfalls created by the closing of Ontario's Chalk River facility. But the statement comes as the provincial government is holding public hearings to gauge public sentiment on reactor construction. Many people involved in those hearings said yesterday that Mr. Wall's comments suggest the public consultations are token efforts."
The Globe & Mail

Monday, June 22, 2009 

Harper's Conservative Government WILL NOT Disclose Cost Of War In Afghanistan

Do you pay taxes to the Government of Canada? If so, you are paying for the war in Afghanistan. As a taxpayer living in a democracy, you are entitled to demand information and accountability from your elected government concerning the expenditures of the nation.

Stephen Harper and his Conservative government will not disclose the cost of the war in Afghanistan to the taxpayers.

"The Defence Department cited a national security exemption when it censored a request under Access to Information by the federal NDP for the military costs of Canada's military participation in the NATO-led, United Nations-sanctioned military mission to Afghanistan. [...] Section 15 of the act allows the withholding of any "information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to be injurious to the conduct of international affairs, the defence of Canada or any state allied or associated with Canada or the detection, prevention or suppression of subversive or hostile activities."

I guess this is 'democracy' .... Harper style!

Hell, even the Editorial Board of the 'Harper friendly' National Post agrees with me!!
"The federal government should compel DND to release the figures to an NDP researcher who has requested them.
National Post Editorial

Saturday, June 20, 2009 

Nova Scotia's New Democratic Government Sworn In

A large crowd turned out to witness Nova Soctia's new leader, Premier Darrell Dexter, take the Oath of Office with his small 12 member cabinet.

Meet 'Team Dexter' - Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Video courtesy T. Kinch ....

Friday, June 19, 2009 

Newly Disclosed RCMP Email Shocks Dziekanski Inquiry On What Was To Be The Final Day!

"The inquiry into the RCMP's fatal confrontation with Robert Dziekanski was put on hold today until September after a potentially explosive e-mail exchange between RCMP brass surfaced just as closing submissions were about to begin.

Inquiry Commissioner Thomas Braidwood says he's “appalled” that the information didn't come out until now and said further testimony is needed to sort through what the exchange means.

The Braidwood inquiry was thrown into disarray with the release of a previously undisclosed e-mail between two senior Mounties which suggests the four RCMP officers who went into the fatal confrontation with Mr. Dziekanski were planning to use a taser before they even saw him.

That would be in contrast to testimony from the Mounties that they did not talk at all en route to the confrontation at Vancouver International Airport.

Commission counsel Art Vertlieb, who outlined the e-mail between a chief superintendent and assistant commissioner, is proposing to recall the Mounties to testify again.

The e-mail, written on Nov. 5, 2007, was disclosed only recently by the federal Justice Department to commission counsel."

Globe & Mail

-CBC News has more ....


Saskatchewan Party Government Prevents Reporters From Attending 'Public Hearings' On Right Wing Labour Bill

The Saskatchewan Party government is trying to make changes to the province's labour legislation and is required to bring their changes before a legislative committee that holds public meetings.

Bill 80, The Construction Industry Labour Relations Amendment Act 2009, would allow major changes to various construction trade unions and allows a new group, The Christian Labour Association of Canada to operate in the province's various construction sites. Murray Mandryk is a columnist with the Regina Leader-Post. He writes today:

"For the first time in a quarter century of covering events at the legislature, I witnessed reporters being barred from a room where elected officials were publicly debating law. Ostensibly, the reason the media wasn't allowed in was because there was no room for them" [...]

"The closest thing we've heard from the government this week to a completely honest admission might have came from Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris who let it slip Wednesday that his government "predominately listened to business" in preparing this bill."
Murray Mandryk
Regina Leader-Post

Thursday, June 18, 2009 

Remember When Michael Coren Advocated That 'We Should Nuke Iran'?

In 2006, extremist Right Wing commentator, Michael Coren, who writes for the Toronto Sun demanded that 'we' drop nuclear weapons on Iran. Coren's article has now completely disappeared from the Toronto Sun's website and archives.

Why is this terrible article noteworthy? Well, for starters had Coren's advice been followed, the people of Iran would not be able to struggle for their own political destiny as they are now doing.

Clearly, it is up to the Iranian people to determine what form of government they will have and what type of society they will live in. The current struggle in the streets of Tehran is important because Iran is 'self-determining'. Had they been 'nuked' as the irresponsible Mr. Coren wanted, democracy would have had no real chance to struggle and bloom.

The total irresponsibility of Coren's demand should not just evaporate away as a footnote of Canadian political commentary, remembered by only a handful of political junkies. Since the Toronto Sun has attempted to sanitize itself by dropping Coren's awful article, here it is in its entirety, the full text of Michael Coren's call for a nuclear attack on Iran.

We Should Nuke Iran
Toronto Sun
Saturday, September 2, 2006


"It is surely obvious now to anybody with even a basic understanding of history, politics and the nature of fascism that something revolutionary has to be done within months -- if not weeks -- if we are to preserve world peace.

Put boldly and simply, we have to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.

Not, of course, the unleashing of full-scale thermo-nuclear war on the Persian people, but a limited and tactical use of nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's military facilities and its potential nuclear arsenal. It is, sadly, the only response that this repugnant and acutely dangerous political entity will understand.

The tragedy is that innocent people will die. But not many. Iran's missiles and rockets of mass destruction are guarded and maintained by men with the highest of security clearance and thus supportive of the Tehran regime. They are dedicated to war and, thus, will die in war.

Frankly, it would be churlish of the civilized world to deny martyrdom to those who seem so intent on its pursuance. Most important, a limited nuclear attack on Iran will save thousands if not millions of lives.

The spasm of reaction from many will be that this is barbaric and unacceptable. Yet a better response would be to ask if there is any sensible alternative.

Diplomacy, kindness and compromise have failed and the Iranian leadership is still obsessed with all-out war against anybody it considers an enemy.

Its motives are beyond question, its capability equally so. It is spending billions of dollars on a whole range of anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-personnel missiles, rockets and ballistic weapons:

The Shahab 3ER missile, with a range of more than 2,000 km, and the BM25 and accompanying launchers, which are so powerful that they can hit targets in Europe. Raad missiles with a range of 350km. The Misaq anti-aircraft missile, which can be fired from the shoulder. The Fajar 3 radar-evading missile and the Ajdar underwater missile, which travels at an extraordinarily high speed and is almost impossible to intercept. The Zaltal and the Fatah 110 rocket, the Scud B and Scud C and the BM25 with a range of 3,500 kms.

Iran is also developing enormous propellant ballistic missiles and began a space program almost a decade ago that will enable it to bomb the United States. It is also assumed in intelligence circles that Tehran has Russian Kh55 cruise missiles stolen from Ukraine which are now being copied in large numbers by Iranian scientists.

Comparisons to the Nazis in the 1930s are unfair -- to the Nazis. Hitler had the French army, the largest in Europe, on his border and millions of Soviet infantry just a few hours march away. Iran has no aggressive enemies in the region.

Its fanatical leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, controls a brutal police state, finances international terror and provokes bloody wars in foreign countries. It is unimaginably wealthy because of its oil revenues and is committed, in its leader's words, to "rolling back 300 years of Western ascendancy" and wiping another nation, Israel, from the face of the earth.

A conventional attack would be insufficient because Iran and its allies seem only to listen to power and threat. Better limited pain now than universal suffering in five years.

The usual suspects will complain. The post-Christian churches, the Marxists, the fellow travelers and fifth columnists. But then, the same sort of people moaned and condemned in 1938. They were clearly wrong then.

They would be just as wrong now."

One year later, in the October 20th, 2007 edition of the Toronto Sun, Michael Coren gave a qualified retraction of his call for nuclear attack on Iran:
"A little over a year ago I wrote a column in this newspaper that caused a major controversy. I advocated a tactical nuclear strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. I did not, of course, call for all-out nuclear war, but I did support what would be a massively destructive campaign against the Tehran regime's military ambitions. Thirteen months later I feel obliged to say that I wish I had never written such an article. I was wrong."

Mr. Coren WAS wrong. He continues to be wrong on many, many of his conservative opinions. He is an extremist in his political and social views. Shame on the Toronto Sun for continuing to carry his radical opinions!


Harper's Infrastructure Stimulus Spending Tied To Patronage

The Harper government has been widely criticised for the 'snails pace' it is taking in actually spending the billions it has promised as infrastructure spending to stimulate the Canadian economy. There is a simple reason for the delay - it takes time to review, accept or deny a proposed project based on Conservative political patronage priorities.

-Halifax Chronicle Herald


Monday, June 15, 2009 

Wake Up And Smell The Stench Coming From America's Angry Right!

"Part of America’s ongoing political crisis is that Official Washington remains cowed by the angry Right, even as it engages in subtle and not-so-subtle appeals to bigotry and invitations to violence. As the outrages mount, most of the national press corps prefers to look the other way [...]

Even as the rhetoric from right-wing and neoconservative voices has crossed the line into bigotry and implicit advocacy of violence, most of the U.S. news media continues to act as if nothing out of the ordinary is happening. [...]

No one even blinks an eye when Washington Post neo-con columnist Charles Krauthammer slyly promotes the bigoted right-wing canard that Obama is a secret Muslim by referring to the President’s recent trip to Cairo, Egypt, as “his ‘Muslim world’ pilgrimage.” [Washington Post, June 12, 2009]

There’s barely a shrug when Fox News star host Glenn Beck (who was a long-time feature on CNN’s Headline News) muses about an armed insurrection, denounces Obama’s efforts to salvage the U.S. auto industry as “progressive fascism,” or invites on right-wing guests to define “progressives” as people who want “to progress” away from the U.S. Constitution. [...]

Official Washington often acts like some primitive community living in the shadow of a rumbling volcano, eager to demonstrate obeisance to the volcano gods and fearful that any show of defiance might start a full-scale eruption.

It seems that the only time mainstream U.S. journalists beat their breasts is when they detect a challenge to the still-prevailing free-market theology.

For instance, CNBC – the premier U.S. business channel – has become home to a growing fury toward any “government” interference in the market, as if the theories of self-regulating markets and the perceived wisdom of financial gurus like Alan Greenspan hadn’t been blown apart by a financial meltdown that threatened to create a new Great Depression."

Robert Parry
'Excusing Outrages Of The Right'
Consortium News
June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009 

Blogging Day Off

We finally got one nice spring day here in Saskatchewan. Going to sit in a lawn chair on the deck for the whole day (8 days from now, the days start getting shorter)!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009 

Still Awaiting Results Of RCMP Investigation Into 4 Saskatchewan Conservative MP's For Illegal Use Of Voters List

On January 9th, 2009, the RCMP opened an investigation into the illegal use of Canadian Wheat Board Voters lists by 5 Conservative Members of Parliament - four of them from Saskatchewan.


-RCMP Open Investigation Of 5 Conservative MP's

-More Details On RCMP Investigation

After 6 months, we are still awaiting the results of the investigation.


How The Right Is Desperately Trying To Blame Obama For Bush's Mess

"But one of the ironies of the early Obama administration is that the Republicans and their many allies in the U.S. news media have succeeded in shifting much of the blame for the ocean of red ink onto Barack Obama, leading the new President to scale back programs and to scramble politically. A recent Gallup poll found 51 percent disapproving of Obama’s handling of federal spending.

That GOP success is a reflection of the Right’s massive investment in media over the past several decades and the audacity of Republicans to tick off talking points regardless of reality. A steady propaganda barrage, especially when it’s ineffectively countered, can create perceptions that influence the electorate and thus constrain political options.

If Americans think Obama is responsible for the massive deficits, they will be less willing to support his recommendations for addressing a host of pressing problems, from the environment to health care to the economy."

Robert Parry
Consortium News

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 

If Harper Fixed His Moat With Tax Dollars, Would We Ever Find Out?

James Travers asks some hard questions about transparencey in Canada when it comes to expenditures by our elected officials:

"Stifle that rising laugh about British politicians stretching expense accounts to cover the crippling cost of pet food, toilet repairs and scrubbing the moat. Even if the laugh lines are Monty Python hilarious, we in the colonies have no reason to roll on the floor. [...]

Canadian taxpayers would never know if federal politicians were plunging their snouts so ear-deep into the public trough. Repeated appeals from the auditor general have yet to expose that level of expense detail to the astringent effects of fresh air and sunlight.

Worse still, our right to know is stuck in reverse. Last week MPs agreed – in secret, of course – to keep private any cash or benefits flowing their way from the party or riding associations.

Along with opening a useful funding loophole, that adds to the already long list of oppressive levers under the Prime Minister's command and control."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 

Nova Scotia Election Results

The polls are now closed.

RESULTS: Leading or Elected

Conservative Party 10
Liberal Party 11
New Democratic Party 31
Green Party 0

Interactive Constituency Map

There are 52 seats in the NS Legislature. Twenty-seven (27) are required for a majority government


-Liberals Become Official Opposition

-Conservative Party Vote Completely Collapses!!


Nova Scotians Go To The Polls

If you are following today's Nova Scotia provincial election, here is a sampling of the morning news:

-Nova Soctians Go To The Polls - CBC

-Call For Change Will Create NDP Majority

-McNeil Pleads With NS Tories To Vote Liberal - CBC

-Halifax Libs & Tories Fear NDP Sweep

I will be back later today to liveblog the riding by riding results.

Monday, June 08, 2009 

Canadians Dying Of Cancer .... 'Sexy'!!

"OTTAWA — Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt called the medical isotopes crisis "sexy," said she wanted to take credit for fixing it, and expressed doubts about the skills of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq on a recording obtained by The Chronicle Herald."
Halifax Chronicle

Canadians dying of cancer .... 'Sexy'? I guess if you are one of Harper's Cabinet Ministers it is!!


Saskatchewan New Democrats Now Roll Up Their Sleeves And Get Down To Work

After facing what I will call 'tepid' opposition since they were elected in 2007, Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party government is now going to get what they asked for ... a New Democratic Opposition led by Dwain Lingenfelter.

And serious opposition is what Mr. Wall and Co. needs. Let me illustrate. During this last winter, Saskatchewan businesses and residents paid the highest natural gas rates in Canada due to the sheer incompetence of the Wall government locking us in at record high prices. As a result. the province that produces most of Canada's natural gas was paying more than anyone else to heat their homes and businesses. The free ride is over and Mr. Wall is now going to face some serious opposition.

But first things first. Mr. Lingenfelter will have to name a new Deputy Leader of the Party as well as an acting Leader of the Official Opposition to act on Legislative matters until he can take a seat in the Assembly. Critic responsibilities will need to be reviewed and there may be some shuffle of duties.

Brad Wall has instituted Reform Party style 'fixed election dates' in Saskatchewan and the next one is 882 days from now. Mr. Wall is going to regret that he ever wanted Mr. Lingenfelter to lead the Saskatchewan New Democrats!

Final thoughts:
The media (and certain others) are trying to make a big deal out of what they claim are divisions and challenges that the NDP faces after Mr. Lingenfelter's 'narrow' win over Meili by 55% to 45%. For the record, during the 1991 leadership race, Calvert defeated Axworthy by a margin of 57% to 43% on the final ballot. The NDP went on to a resounding win over the Sask Party in 2003 ... there were no damaging 'divisions'. Leave that nonsense to right wing apologists at the Regina Leader Post like James Woods.

Saturday, June 06, 2009 

Saskatchewan New Democrats Choose Dwain Lingenfelter As Leader

Saskatchewan's Official Opposition New Democratic Party elected a new Leader today to replace the outgoing Lorne Calvert.

Here are the results of today's leadership election held in Regina:

First Ballot - (9444 Votes cast)
Dwain Lingenfelter: 4360
Ryan Meili: 2401
Yens Pedersen: 1380
Deb Higgins: 1303
(Higgins falls off and Pedersen withdraws)

Second Ballot - (9130 Votes cast)
Dwain Lingenfelter: 5028
Ryan Meili: 4102

CBC Saskatchewan has more ....

Friday, June 05, 2009 

Angus Reid Says New Democrats Poised To Win Nova Scotia Majority

HALIFAX – June 4, 2008 – Riding a wave of intense dissatisfaction with Rodney MacDonald’s tenure as Premier of Nova Scotia, Darrel Dexter appears set to become Atlantic Canada’s first New Democratic Party (NDP) premier, a new Angus Reid / CTV poll has found. [...]

46 per cent of respondents who voted for the Progressive Conservatives in 2006 saying they will not do so again this time around. These so-called PC ‘defectors’ tend to be older, better educated males and are sharply critical of Macdonald (87% disapprove of his performance as premier). [...]

The NDP is drawing about a third of voters (31%) who backed the Liberals in 2006.

Angus Reid Strategies


Saskatchewan New Democrats Pick New Leader This Weekend

Saskatchewan's NDP are picking a new leader by means of a true 'One Member - One Vote' process this weekend. Card carrying party members have been able to vote by mail - phone - or online. Delegates to the annual Provincial Convention can vote on the convention floor tomorrow.

More to come .......

-Meet the Candidates - Regina Leader-Post
-Saskatchewan NDP Leadership Blog

Thursday, June 04, 2009 

Grammy Awards Board KILLS Polka Category To Stay 'Relevant'!!

This is an outrage! While I do not go to a lot of polka hangouts, I do polka at family weddings and anniversaries because that is what we do here on the Canadian prairies.

The Board of Directors of the Grammy Awards have unilaterally decided that Polka Music is no longer relevant thereby dropping the category for its usual annual award!

Think of the Schmenges!!

CBC News

Progressive Bloggers

Video of Walter Ostanek live in Regina, Saskatchewan with the Western Senators courtesy the WOstanek YouTube Channel .... (Walter Ostanek has won the Best Polka Album of the Year Award Grammy 3 times!!)


Conservative Government Auctions Off Silver On Loan To Canada From Buckingham Palace

In their haste to liquidate whatever they can get away with that is publicly owned in this country, someone in the Conservative government sold silver items that were on loan from the British Royal family to Canada.

"OTTAWA -- Three sterling silver flower baskets sold off by the government at bargain-basement prices on a government website were on loan to Rideau Hall from Buckingham Palace, Sun Media has learned. Richard Legrand, who worked at the governor general's residence for 35 years, says he was told when he started at Rideau Hall in 1968 that the ornate pierced silver flower baskets were among several items borrowed from the British royal family.

"Those three baskets were on loan from Buckingham Palace, including two huge candelabra that we used on the diningroom table for state events." Whenever Queen Elizabeth II visited Canada and stayed at Rideau Hall, the silver baskets filled with flowers were placed in the suite where she slept, said Legrand who retired in 2003. "This was a special treat because we knew they were English, we knew they were from Buckingham Palace." [...]

"The baskets were among several pieces of silver and china from Rideau Hall sold two weeks ago for a fraction of their value on the Crown Assets Distribution website usually used to offload surplus filing cabinets and old computers."


Wednesday, June 03, 2009 

People's Republic Of China Buys Hummer Brand From GM

DETROIT and SICHUAN, - Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd (Tengzhong) and General Motors Corp. today confirmed details of their proposed transaction, pursuant to which, Tengzhong, a major industrial machinery group, will acquire the rights to the premium off-road HUMMER brand, along with a senior management and operational team. It will also assume existing dealer agreements relating to HUMMER's dealership network. It is contemplated that Tengzhong will, as part of the transaction, enter into a long-term contract assembly and key component and material supply agreement with GM. In an earlier statement, GM said it expects the deal if successful to secure more than 3,000 US jobs. The final terms of the deal are subject to final negotiations.

Based in the Chinese province of Sichuan, Tengzhong is a privately-owned company and a leading domestic manufacturer of road, construction and energy industry equipment. It will expand into the premium off-road vehicle segment through what will be a strategic acquisition for Tengzhong and a catalyst for HUMMER's growth in the U.S. and around the world.

"The HUMMER brand is synonymous with adventure, freedom and exhilaration, and we plan to continue that heritage by investing in the business, allowing HUMMER to innovate and grow in exciting new ways under the leadership and continuity of its current management team," said Yang Yi, CEO of Tengzhong. Mr. Yang continued, "We will be investing in the HUMMER brand and its research and development capabilities, which will allow HUMMER to better meet demand for new products such as more fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S."

HUMMER will continue to maintain its headquarters and operations in the U.S., and will continue to be managed by its existing leadership team. The team intends to expand HUMMER's dealer network worldwide, particularly into new and underserved markets such as China.

"Today HUMMER is a globally recognized brand with excellent growth prospects, both in terms of new markets and new products for our existing markets," said James Taylor, HUMMER chief executive officer. "With Tengzhong's investment and strong support, we will be able to make our visions a reality. This transaction, if successful, will secure more than 3,000 U.S. jobs, and allow us to embark on a more aggressive global expansion, ensuring a successful future with our new partners."

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed at this time.

Credit Suisse is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Shearman & Stearling is acting as international legal counsel to Tengzhong on this transaction. Citi is acting as financial advisor to GM.

New York Times

Tuesday, June 02, 2009 

Generational Polarization - Not Ideological - Main Feature Of Sask NDP Leadership Race

There are four candidates actively seeking the leadership of the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. This Saturday, June 6th, the decision will be made in convention in Regina.

A key distinguishing feature of this race has been the breakdown of candidates, supporters and issues along generational lines as opposed to what usually would be along ideological lines.

During the last Saskatchewan leadership race in 2001, traditional Left/Right factions polarized around Lorne Calvert and Chris Axworthy. Calvert won and Axworthy eventually left the party to run federally for the Liberals. The departure of Axworthy ultimately proved that the Saskatchewan NDP made the correct decision by not selecting him as leader.

This time around, old ideological divisions seem to be taking a second seat to the desire for generational change that is being demanded by the ‘non-babyboomer’ demographic in the party. New Democrats of every ideological persuasion should be ecstatic about the vibrant and articulate youth element that is alive and well in the party. If anything should send shivers through the ranks of the currently governing Saskatchewan Party, it is the sheer size of the youth component active in the NDP.

Candidates Ryan Meili and Yens Pedersen have both clearly articulated their desire for generational change this time around. What they lack in long time experience and activity in the party is largely supplemented by their commitment to social democratic principles and policy. Both are to be commended for making this race a race of ideas.

Dwain Lingenfelter and Deb Higgins have both articulated a vision for the party based on their hard won experience and active service as Members of the Legislature. What they lack in youth is supplemented by the battle scars of active political combat that they have won in the trenches.

Regardless of who wins on Saturday, (be it a veteran New Democrat or a ‘new gen - New Dem’), the Saskatchewan NDP will rally around the new leader. No one has a monopoly on righteousness in the NDP. As a result, our Leader must submit to being a servant of the party. Anything short of that they do at their own peril within the mechanisms of the party. We are a party of ideas and we continue to offer the only real alternative to those on the Right who have damaged the world’s economy with their ongoing commitment to ‘unfettered free market’ nonsense.

The Wheatsheaf has more on Leadership 2009.

Monday, June 01, 2009 

This CBC Television Translator Is Having A VERY BAD Day!!!

Yikes!! (Perhaps a little less caffeine?)


Western Standard Readers Encouraged To Vote For The 'Real' Right Wing Party In Nova Scotia ... The LIBS!!

Oh those whacky Nova Scotia Liberals! (This is priceless!) The folks who hang out at the Western Standard's Shotgun Blog are encouraging Nova Scotia Conservatives to avoid the Progressive Conservative Party and to vote for the REAL Right Wing party in that provinces's election .... the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia!!!


Nova Scotia Liberals Run To Chief Electoral Officer To Tattle On The NDP - He Tells Them To Go Fly A Kite!

"The Liberals have asked Nova Scotia's chief electoral officer to look into whether labour groups violated the Elections Act by launching an online campaign endorsing the New Democrats."
May 31, 2009
Google News

"There's nothing in the Elections Act that deals with part of a Liberal complaint about union material possibly contravening provincial laws, an Elections Nova Scotia official said this morning."
June 1, 2009
Chronicle Herald

Nova Scotia's Liberals are SO DESPERATE as their vote collapses, that they are starting to embarrass themselves as well as Liberals across the nation!

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