Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

What Is It With American Politicians And 'Corndogs'?

There seems to be some unwritten rule that American politicians must be photographed eating a corndog. To a non-American, I have to wonder what this ritual is all about.

Perhaps it is a combination of two separate 'American' political messages:

1) The 'hotdog' is truly an American cultural icon
2) The American rural Midwest and South is all about 'corn' as an agricultural product - highly subsidized.

Put the two together and you have the definitive American political-culinary expression .. a corndog. Bon appetite.

-National Corndog Day! ... love the logo!


Harper Turns Blind Eye To Gazebogate - That Says More About Harper Than It Does About Tony Clement

Ethical Conservatives? .... simply a myth.

"On the Clement case, team Harper’s strategy appears to be to simply ride out the criticism. Stonewall the media and the opposition until fatigue with the issue has set in and everyone moves on. It has worked in the past. It will likely work now.

The ethical course for the Conservatives is to discipline the minister. If they don’t, they are sending a different signal entirely, one that shows no respect for the taxpayers who put up the $50-million."

G & M

Monday, August 29, 2011 

A Very Sad Day For One Newfoundland Family - Missing Daughter's Body Found In Saskatchewan UPDATED

This is a very sad day for one Newfoundland family and for the entire province of Saskatchewan. Local RCMP have now confirmed that human remains found in a farmers field are indeed those of a missing Nfld woman, Carol King.

For the last few weeks, Sask residents in the hundreds have been combing the area in an effort to find clues on her disappearance. Her vehicle was found (empty) submerged in a farmers pond here.

As it turns out, this young woman was on the way to an appointment with the RCMP at the time of her disappearance. She had complained of harassing behavior at her home recently.

Out here in Saskatchewan, we have no way to let the family and friends know that they are in our prayers at this time.

-The Regina Leader-Post ....

-CBC Saskatchewan report ....

-CBC: Sister of missing Newfoundland woman wants more info from the RCMP ...

Coverage from Newfoundland media ... The Telegram


Michele Bachmann Says God Sent Earthquake And Hurricane Because He Doesn't Like Gov't Spending

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Shortly thereafter, her very panicked press secretary tried to explan that she was just joking ... ahhh sure.

The Star

(Photo courtesy The Business Insider .... )


Brian Topp - Flashback To My July 28th Buckdog Post

It's not that I have the gift of prophecy. I don't. But when it comes to politics in Canada, I have a habit of being correct.

With that in mind, here is a post I did on Brian Topp, President of the New Democratic Party of Canada, dated July 28th, 2011 - 33 days ago.

-If you aren't familiar with New Democratic Prez, Brian Topp, you soon will be ...

-Brian Topp will step aside as NDP President if he decides to seek leadership ...

Saturday, August 27, 2011 

77 Year Old Jean Chretien Leaps Fence To Get To Interview

Former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, gave observers a fright after the Jack Layton State Funeral, when he easily leaped over a barricade to give a promised interview to the media.

I can only hope to be as strong and agile as Jean is when I'm 77!


The VILEST Canadian - Ezra Levant?

There is no person on Canadian airwaves who is more vile than Ezra Levant. The photo above is a screen capture of his show on SunNewsNetwork that attacked Jack Layton and those who are mourning him.

I challenge decent respectable members of the Conservative Party of Canada to end their silence on this loon. Is this how you want to be portrayed? Is this what the Conservative Party of Canada is all about?

There is a special place in hell for people like Ezra.

-Let Freedom Rain has more ....

Friday, August 26, 2011 

Hurricane Irene Satellite Imagery - UPDATED

Updated Hurricane Irene Satellite Imagery - Afternoon Aug 27th (Click on image to enlarge)

Hurricane Irene Satellite Imagery - (Click on image to enlarge)

-More Irene satellite photos courtesy Google ...

Thursday, August 25, 2011 

U.S. Department Of State Official Statement On The Passing Of Canada's Leader Of the Opposition - Jack Layton

Press Statement
August 24, 2011

We offer our deepest condolences to the people of Canada on the passing of Canada's official Opposition party leader, Jack Layton.

Canada has lost a dedicated political activist committed to promoting a platform of social justice through compromise, tolerance, and hope. A humble public servant, Mr. Layton was a man of principle, an optimist, and a pragmatist. He helped build the New Democratic Party into a vital force in Canadian politics.

He believed in standing up for those who could not stand up for themselves, and he was a proud Canadian who always practiced civility in politics. Just before his death, he left us with the following words: “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

Jack Layton embodied the values that we should all strive to uphold. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ms. Olivia Chow, and his family.

The Department of State of the United States of America


Sask Premier Brad Wall Uses Heavy Hand Of Government To Keep Wages Low For Working People In Order To Maximise Profits For Big Business

Statistics Canada is verifying what many in Saskatchewan already know - the so called 'Boom' is only being experienced by a very few.

"Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island saw the slowest wage growth, up one per cent to $854.60 and up 1.7 per cent to $723.15, respectively."
Montreal Gazette

You see, Premier Wall is one of those 'unfettered free-market' guys who believe that the more you stoke business the better off everyone will be. It sounds nice but reality proves otherwise in most real situations. Wall believes that if you keep wages low, resist any move by working people to increase remuneration for their work, it will help businesses improve their bottom line by holding labour costs in check.

The flaw in this Right wing economic theory is that if all the working people are held to the lowest wage possible, who exactly is supposed to consume the goods and services of the very businesses that Wall wants to promote?

One of the first things that Mr. Wall did when he became Premier was to enact a number of heavy handed anti-organized labour laws that remove the ability to strike for many working people.

Stats Canada's newest figures on wage growth shows that Wall has been successful in repressing wage growth on his watch. He can brag to Big Business that he is their friend and hold his hand out for political contributions. The problem is, this same wage suppression keeps average working people from prospering.

Wall (or his apologists) will quickly come forward saying that Saskatchewan people are currently spending at record levels. What they won't tell you is that most of this spending is on credit due to current low interest rates NOT because they have more disposable income.

The other thing that Mr. Wall and his cohorts need to be reminded of is the record profits(you could also call it 'obscene' profits) that are being gouged out of the province by the Potash Industry.

PotashCorp gets a 111% increase in profit over a 3 month quarter this summer. You, on the other hand, get an average of 1% for the whole year.

Whose 'BOOM' is this in reality?

Wall can do better. Wall should do better. Great Premiers are remembered for what they accomplished for the average citizens of a province - not what they did for the barons of industry, big business and the rich.

**sorry for typos ... I'm working with just one eye at the moment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

So long old friend!

Since the first time I met you in that empty meeting room in Yorkton, Saskatchewan during the summer of 2002, you have been a good friend. I feel honoured to have called you 'my Leader'. Thanks for everything! I'll never forget you.


No One Had More Fun Doing Segments On 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' Than Jack Layton

Thanks Jack


New Democrats Have A Broad Field Of Candidates To Consider For Leader

"The shoes are really big to fill."
Nycole Turmel
Acting Leader of the
New Democratic Party of Canada

I didn't want to do this post now ... I'd rather have waited until after Jack Layton's funeral on Saturday. However, in politics, if you don't define yourself, your opponents will do it for you.

With this in mind I wanted to point out the wealth of potential leadership that resides in Canada's New Democratic ranks.

The following list is in alphabetical order, not in any other intended ranking:

Robert Chisholm - Dartmouth--Cole Harbour
Robert is a former Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP and served as Leader of the Official Opposition in that province. During his watch, he took the provincial party from an obscure third place to almost forming government. The Dexter NDP government exists because of the work done by Chisholm.

Libby Davies - Vancouver East
Davies serves as Deputy Leader of the Party with Thomas Mulcair. She has been an MP since 2007. Born in England she came to Canada in 1968. She was elected to Vancouver City Council and has served as a community activist in a number of areas.

Paul Dewar - Ottawa Centre
Paul represents an Ottawa riding and is fairly well known to Canadians by his work as an MP in the House of Commons. He was an educator before being elected and is the son of a former Mayor of Ottawa.

Pat Martin - Winnipeg Centre
Martin has been an MP since 1997. His 'take no prisoners' style has endeared him to those who have little tolerance for Liberals or Conservatives in the House of Commons. A Journeyman carpenter by trade, he has served on the Manitoba Building Trades Council.

Thomas Mulcair - Outremont
Mulcair is a former Member of the National Assembly of Quebec. He is one of the Deputy Leaders of the NDP and serves as Opposition House Leader for the Caucus. Before becoming a politician, Mulcair acted as a lawyer in Quebec's Ministry of Justice.

Peggy Nash - Parkdale--High Park
Nash defeated Liberal Gerard Kennedy to hold her seat and serves as the Opposition Finance Critic in the House. She worked with the Canadian Airline Employees Association and later with the Canadian Auto Workers after the unions merged.

Brian Topp - President of the New Democratic Party of Canada
Topp is from Montreal and was elected party president earlier this year. He has served as a senior adviser to Saskatchewan's Premier Romanow and is employed by ACTRA. He is a brilliant political strategist and served as an adviser to Jack Layton until the end.

New Democrats and Canadians in general are mourning the loss of Jack Layton this week. In due course, we will select a new leader. I will have many posts on the topic in the weeks and months ahead.

(No comments will be posted until after Jack's funeral on Saturday)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

The National Post ATTACKS Jack Layton For the Second Time In The 36 Hours Since He Died !

The National Post is scum. For the second time in the day and a half since the death of Jack Layton, they are on the attack. Progressive Blogger, Jymn at Sister Sage's Musings describes it best:

"the reason you find the outpouring of sympathy for Jack offensive is that he is not a Conservative. You can’t stand to see a left winger get any press, let alone Jack Layton. A common undercurrent of bewilderment runs through these columns – how can Canadians show so much affection for a commie and socialist? You see this phenomenon in the US right with their desperate attempts to take away any credit for Obama’s successes. It’s more than jealousy or attempts to control the narrative; it is an emotional and psychological condition that plagues conservatives. To share is to fail. They want it all."

Monday, August 22, 2011 

Simon de Jong, Long Time Regina New Democratic MP, dies at 69 UPDATED

This is a very trying time for New Democrats. I just found out that my long time New Democrat Member of Parliament died a few days ago. Wow.

-Regina Leader-Post

Memorial Services For Simon ...


Updated: Canada's Right Wing Corporate Media CAN'T WAIT ONE DAY Before They Start Attacking Jack Layton ....

Christy Blatchford .... you are classless beyond belief!!

But the prize for totally inappropriate, and classless behavior goes to the City Editor of the Calgary Sun ... Dave Naylor

Apparently the Calgary Sun has published the following concerning City Editor, Dave Naylor's tasteless attack on Jack;
""... the sentiments expressed by Mr. Naylor on his personal twitter account are not those of the Sun. I would ask that you judge us by our 10 pages of coverage on Mr. Layton's passing. As for Mr. Naylor, I have spoken to him at length today and he couldn't feel worse about his tweet yesterday. He deleted the comment shortly after it was posted and apologized. He has also volunteered to make a donation in Jack Layton's name to the Alberta Cancer Society. We don't condone the type of tone in Mr. Naylor's tweet but any further reprimands coming to Mr. Naylor are obviously an internal issue and not one I would be comfortable sharing beyond our immediate company. I assure you we don't take cancer lightly nor do we condone this type of tasteless social media commentary." - Jose Rodriguez, Edtor-in-Chief.

*** Don't expect anything from the National Post apologizing for the vile schlock they published by Christie Blatchford ***


My friend Jack Layton's death has caught me off guard. Here is his final letter to Canadians

August 20, 2011
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

Friday, August 19, 2011 

Saskatchewan Roughriders FIRE Coach Marshall And Assistant Coach Berry - Ken Miller Returns As Head Coach

(Ken Miller watches Rider practice on August 16th in Regina)
There is NO BIGGER story in Saskatchewan than this one. Football and politics are the biggest things that happen in this province ....

CBC Saskatchewan

Thursday, August 18, 2011 

As Head Of The CDN Taxpayers Federation He Bitched About Every Nickel Spent But As A Conservative MP ... SPEND SPEND SPEND!

"Once upon a time, John Williamson was president of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an organization that then and now rails against almost all federal government spending in the hopes that slashing spending will slash your tax bills. We all want lower taxes right? Of course, we do. And lowering government spending is the way to do that, right? Simple as black and white.

But now, Williamson is a Member of Parliament for the riding of New Brunswick Southwest and is apparently learning that the issue of government spending is not so black-and-white when your constituents expect some of their tax dollars to be spent in their riding.

Constituents of his in the town of St. Andrews (where Williamson's family is from, I believe) wanted to rebuild a local arena and expand some tennis courts. In his days as the head of the CTF, Williamson would likely have counselled the good people of southwest New Brunswick to find a way to raise the money themselves to do fix up these recreational facilities.

But when the recession hit, the Harper government set up something handy called the Recreational Infrastructure (RiNC) fund -- billions of tax dollars for tennis courts, arenas, playing fields, and so on. If you agree with this kind of Keynesian intervention -- and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a definite convert -- then the RiNC fund was a good idea."

David Arkin blog


Parry Sound-Muskoka -The $50 Million Dollar Riding!

"Municipal documents obtained by the New Democrats show Clement met with local mayors and councillors in the midst of the 2008 election campaign. They discussed how to identify projects that could be eligible for the legacy funding.

Twelve days after that meeting, a local news outlet reported that Clement had posted video endorsements from "local townspeople, mayors and council members" on his campaign website.

"It gave him a major advantage over the other candidates," New Democrat MP Charlie Angus said in an interview Thursday.

"I think the question has to be asked: Was this a $50 million price of an election?"

Clement, who had barely won his Parry Sound-Muskoka riding by a margin of only 28 votes in 2006, easily won re-election two years later with a whopping margin of almost 11,000 votes."

Winnipeg Free Press

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 

The Conservative Party Of Canada Howls Because Their Asbestos Policy Is Now Fully Exposed

"The mayor of Sarnia, Ont., has written a letter to the Conservative Party of Canada, accusing it of “absolutely shameful” behaviour in its dispute with the widow of an asbestos victim.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley reacted to news that the woman, Michaela Keyserlingk, received a threatening email warning her to stop using the party's trademarked logo in her anti-asbestos ad campaign.

“Your actions on the asbestos issue ... with threatening a widow whose husband died of exposure to asbestos are absolutely shameful,” Mr. Bradley wrote in an email to Conservative Party executive director Dan Hilton.

“I invite you to come to Sarnia Lambton and see the devastating impact asbestos has had on countless lives of the people of this community and why it is morally wrong for Canada to support and promote the export of asbestos.

“I look forward to hearing from you.”
Mike Bradley
Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

The Globe & Mail


Sign the Petition and tell the Conservative Party of Canada to Stop threatening Michaela Keyserlingk and stop exporting asbestos!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 

Hackers Post FALSE Story On Le Devoir Website Saying Premier Jean Charest Dead Of Heart Attack

MONTREAL — "The Quebec French newspaper Le Devoir had its website hacked early Tuesday morning, with a fake article inaccurately claiming that Quebec Premier Jean Charest had died.

The phoney article stated the premier had died of a heart attack at a Montreal hospital and that the health facility had confirmed the news — which turned out to be false.

The story was quickly picked up by radio stations and by individual subscribers on Twitter before it was declared a hoax.

LeDevoir.com was shut down between 2:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. while technicians tried to restore the website. Le Devoir denied the news at 4:56 a.m. in an apology published on its website.

"According to information we received this morning, our site was hacked," read the text.

"We are currently trying to find out what exactly happened. We offer our apologies, of course to the premier and to our readers. Le Devoir cannot comment further until the source of the problem has been identified."

On July 4, Fox News also fell victim to hacking, with its politics Twitter feed repeatedly announcing President Barack Obama had been shot dead.

And, in June, a hacker gained entry to the federal Conservative party's website and posted a news release falsely reporting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been rushed to hospital after choking on a hash brown at breakfast."

Montreal Gazette
Montreal Gazette

Monday, August 15, 2011 

Civilian Support For Gadhafi SOARS As A Result Of Canadian And NATO Bombing Missions In Libya

"Of the 2,335 tribes in Libya, over 2,000 are still pledging their allegiance to the embattled president. At present, it is the gasoline shortage due to the embargo and lack of electricity from NATO’s bombing that are causing the most hardship to Libyans inside Gadhafi-controlled sectors.

However, at present, the people still blame NATO — not Gadhafi — for the shortages. In an effort to combat that sentiment and to encourage a popular uprising against Gadhafi, NATO planes have taken to dropping leaflets in canisters over the streets of Tripoli.

Unfortunately for the NATO planning staff, the canisters are heavy enough to cause injury and damage roofs when they plummet to the ground.

As for the messages on the leaflets, the Libyans are quite amused at the clumsy translations. On one such note, the intended slogan is meant to urge civilians to go forward and "embrace" the rebels. Instead, it translates to encourage Libyans to go out and "copulate" with the rebels."

Halifax Chronicle


How Top Conservative Cabinet Minister Tony Clement Created A $50 Million Slush Fund And Spent It In His Riding Under Guise Of G8 Conference

Tony, Tony, Tony! Haven’t we learned any lessons from the Liberal sponsorship scandal?

"An auditor general’s report in June has already painted a disturbing picture of how $45.7 million in legacy fund cash was dished out with no bureaucratic oversight or paperwork. Reacting to that report, the government conceded there were administrative shortcomings but said none of the cash was misspent.

Yet new documents, obtained from Muskoka-area municipalities obtained by federal NDP researchers using freedom-of-information legislation, shed new light on how Clement’s own office stickhandled funding. Angus was expected to discuss the findings at an Ottawa news conference Monday.

Municipal records from Gravenhurst and Bracebridge show that as far back as 2008 Clement and his local Conservative political team in Huntsville began drumming up projects in the Muskoka area that would qualify for G8 legacy funds. Those who had a hand in shepherding the proposals through the approval process were Clement’s constituency team, staff in his ministerial office and government officials under Clement’s authority."

The Star

-Tony Clement's Riding Slushfund ....

Sunday, August 14, 2011 

When Prominent 'Liberal's' Go 'Tory' (OR) Warren Kinsella bows at the altar of Conservatism ..

Who's Tory now??? It's bad enough that he writes for the SUN. Oh well ... once again we see the truth in the old prairie axiom ... "Liberal/Tory. Same old story." Have a nice day Mr. Kinsella.

-Winnipeg Sun: Warren Kinsella bows at the altar of conservatism .."

Saturday, August 13, 2011 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Condemns Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's Statement!

"HALIFAX — The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada has added her voice to the legal profession's condemnation of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who sparked an uproar earlier this year on the issue of judicial independence.

Speaking on the matter for the first time, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin applauded the Canadian Bar Association on Saturday for protesting comments Kenney made last winter, when he said Federal Court judges weren't toeing the line of the Harper government's immigration policies.

In a speech to the CBA's governing council, McLachlin said:

"I was certainly — and I think all judges were — very pleased when an issue arose earlier this year when a minister of the Crown seemed to suggest that some judges were insufficiently solicitous to government policy. We were very, very gratified to see your president writing a powerful public letter to the minister in question, reminding the minister of the importance of public confidence in an impartial judiciary, that bases its decisions on the law and not on government policy."

In a controversial speech last February to the law faculty at the University of Western Ontario, Kenney said Federal Court judges, who preside over immigration cases, weren't doing enough to help the government remove immigrants with alleged criminal pasts, and other unwanted refugees, from Canada.

He accused judges of delaying such cases in the court, and of "heavy-handed" interference in decisions made by immigration department officials.

The comments were loudly condemned at the time by immigration lawyers and by Rod Snow, the CBA's president.

"Your public criticism of judges who follow the law but not the government's political agenda is an affront to our democracy and freedoms," Snow said in a letter to Kenney. "Judges cannot enter the public arena to respond to criticism."

On Saturday, McLachlin entered the arena herself.

"We live in a society with a strong commitment to the rule of law, and one of the elements of our commitment to the rule of law is a deep, cultural belief in and confidence in the judiciary.

"This goes beyond a general idea that we have good judges of integrity, it's the confidence that brings litigants to choose the courts as a forum for resolving their disputes . . . and it is what allows them to accept the resulting judgments.

"Citizens have to have the confidence that whatever their problem, whoever's on the other side . . . they will have a judge who will give them impartial justice and not be subject to pressures to direct their judgments in a particular way."

Speaking to reporters after her speech, McLachlin said she has not written or spoken privately to the government about Kenney's comments, nor will she.

"It's very important when the Bar speaks out and says this is an important, institutional, democratic value, an independent judiciary, and we need to preserve it. And we're grateful to the CBA for doing that."

The CBA is holding its annual meeting in Halifax this week and next."

Calgary Herald

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 

Anonymous Pledges To Take Down Facebook On November 5, 2011

"Members of a group of activist hackers known as Anonymous say they're planning to "kill Facebook" because the popular social networking site purportedly abuses the privacy of users.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, a digitized voice announces that "Operation Facebook" will take place Nov. 5 and issues an appeal to "join the cause and kill Facebook for your own privacy."

The video claims that the California-based company "has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world."

Some of the security firms work for authoritarian regimes such as those in Egypt and Syria, the voice claims."

CTV News


Conservatives (and their corporate media partners) Desperately Scrambling Over Cabinet Minister Lebel's Former Bloc Membership

It is humorous watching Conservative Party spin doctors (and their official MEDIA surrogates) desperately trying to defend Transport Minister Lebel's former Bloc membership on the heels of their attacks on Nycole Turmel.

Humorous I say!

The fact that Monsieur Lebel is privy to National Security briefings, Planning & Priorities reports of Privy Council and finance briefings puts him in a position where he is far more a 'security threat' than any Opposition MP could ever be.

Spin spin spin .... that's the only way Conservatives (and their corporate Media partners) know how to operate.

It's going to bite them in the ass eventually.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 

Looks Like Stephen Harper Locked Himself In Bathroom In Dispute With President Of Brazil ......

"On a trade mission to Brazil this week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apparently engaged in some pretty undiplomatic behavior, according to Brazilian newspaper Folha. On Monday, Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff asked that official speeches and toasts take place after a lunch with Harper. Harper, however, reportedly had a different idea. He wanted the speeches to happen before his lunch, and Folha says he decided to lock himself in the private bathroom of the foreign affairs minister until he got his way."
Washington Post

"According to a Brazilian report, Prime Minister Stephen Harper locked himself in a bathroom when discussions with President Dilma Rousseff went awry over the timing of toasts during a state lunch. The Brazilian news website Folha says Harper, in Brasilia for trade talks, took to the bathroom of Brazil's foreign minister in a mini-protest over the toast issue, and refused to come out until his South American counterparts relented. The alleged use of this stalling tactic (get it? stalls? bathrooms?) follows a previous protocol scuffle between the Brazilians and Canadians, as the former refused to have media photographers attend a photo op. Of course, the Prime Minister's Office denies this happened, but as you may recall, Harper missed a group photo at the G20 meeting in London in 2009 due to an extended trip to the bathroom."
The Mark News

Here is a reputable translation of the Folha story linked above:

"Canadian Prime Minister goes to bathroom and comes out only when requirement met

Natuza Nery
Eliane Cantanhêde
Folha columnist

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put Brazilian diplomats in a difficult (embarrassing) position this Monday, demanding a change in the Brazilian diplomatic protocol and only accepted to come out for lunch after his request had been accepted.

The official speeches and toasts can take place before or after lunch. Dilma (Rouseff, Brazil’s president) prefers to have these after lunch, so this is what is being done during her presidency. But Harper was adamant that it should take place before lunch. He did not explain why.

Harper had already irked Dilma’s advisors and diplomats when he announced that he wished to speak to journalists at the Palacio do Planalto (the Presidential Palace) when the protocol is generally that foreign dignitaries talk to the press at the Itamaraty (the Foreign Affairs palace).

Since Brazilian diplomats denied his request to speak to the press at the Presidential palace, Harper was already in a bad mood when he arrived for lunch. He demanded the shift in protocol at the lunch event, and locked himself in the private bathroom of ministro Antonio Patriota (Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister) while he waited for a reply.

Brazilian diplomats were taken aback and did not know what to do – if they should listen to Dilma’s request or to Harper. Harper arrived at the room (in the Foreign Affairs ministry) where the lunch was taking place only when Brazilian diplomats confirmed that the speeches and toasts would take place before lunch, as he had demanded.

The Canadian Embassy in Brasilia does not confirm this version of events, but the Folha has confirmed with diplomats present at the event."

Centre Block Blog

-Business Insider has more ...


Here's Another Phony Baloney PRO-CONSERVATIVE Journalist Who Needs To Explain Why He Attacks Turmel BUT NOT Lebel!

-Rob Silver: "Questioning Turmel’s motives isn’t audacious -- it’s our duty"


I Might Be A Small Blogger With No Influence - But I Can Still Kick The Globe And Mail Editorial Board In The Ass For Their Anti-New Democrat Bias!!

The Globe & Mail trumpeted the following editorial headline on August 2, 2011:
Nycole Turmel and the NDP have some explaining to do. The outrage was clearly defined. The G & M editorial board simply could not abide the fact that the acting Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition had once held membership in the Bloc Quebecois! The editorial went to great length to reprimand Jack Layton (cancer be damned) for his affront to the nation! Blah blah blah.

But what's this? It just so happens that a member of Her Majesty's 'Government' is also a former member of the Bloc Quebecois! One would think that similar outrage will be forthcoming from our very patriotic Globe & Mail Editorial Board! .... ahh ... not so much.

With the revelation that Canada's Transport Minister once held membership in the Bloc, here is the headline in today's very biased Globe & Mail:
Tories On The Defence Over Lebel’s Bloc Ties by Jane Taber (LOL)

The Editorial Board of the Globe & Mail has a clear and well defined bias against the New Democratic Party of Canada. It is blatant and it is obvious. Period. Any pretense of objective journalism on their part is a joke.

Monday, August 08, 2011 

Conservative Cabinet Minister Who Held Membership In Bloc Will Be Resigning Now ... won't he????

(Photo shows Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper openly fraternizing with KNOWN former Bloc member - who happens to be Minister of Transport for Canada!)

After the mindless MSM frenzy that went on over Nycole Turmel's former Bloc membership, one would think that the resignation of Conservative Transport Minister Denis Lebel will be demanded within the next 24 hours. Seems he held membership in the Bloc Quebecois in the 1990's.

Ottawa Citizen


British Columbia's Liberal Gov't Fails To Protect Victims Of Pedophilia Practiced By Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints In Bountiful B.C.

"More than three years after government officials were first notified about at least one under-aged Bountiful girl in Texas, there has still been no move to repatriate or protect any of the underaged girls who were illegally either taken to the United States or brought from there to Bountiful.

Even excluding the girls who have already been raped, there are more than 400 children in Bountiful's two, government-funded schools. Half of them are certain to be children who need protection.

More than four months after the list of 31 girls was filed in B.C. Supreme Court, no charges have been laid against the fathers, mothers and brothers who transported child brides into the arms of middle-aged men or against the middle-aged men who brought child brides home from the United States.

The question must be asked: Why not? The B.C. government has a moral and legal responsibility to protect children and prosecute their abusers.

Protecting children and charging child abusers has nothing to do with the constitutional reference case or Chief Justice Robert Bauman's ongoing deliberations.

It seems officials are still stymied by a notion that somehow that might infringe on these pedophiles' religious rights"

Vancouver Sun

Sunday, August 07, 2011 

....... so why didn't Harper speak out when the Teaparty Republicans were playing 'chicken' with the global economy?

Flaherty warns global troubles could affect Canada

Remember when Stephen Harper said that a Canadian election was a threat to our economic recovery? We knew it was nonsense at the time ... BUT when his ideological soulmates were playing 'chicken' with Canada's economy in the US Congress, did you hear even one word from him or the Conservatives?

Saturday, August 06, 2011 

Swedish man arrested trying to split atoms in his kitchen ....

"STOCKHOLM—A Swedish man who was arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as a hobby.

Richard Handl told the Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police.

“I have always been interested in physics and chemistry,” Handl said, adding he just wanted to “see if it’s possible to split atoms at home.”

The police raid took place in late July, but police have refused to comment. If convicted, Handl could face fines or up to two years in prison.

Although he says police didn’t detect dangerous levels of radiation in his apartment, he now acknowledges the project wasn’t such a good idea.

“From now on, I will stick to the theory,” he said."

The Star


Elizabeth May Is To Be Commended For Defending Nycole Turmel From Political Gamesmanship

Here's a BIG 'tip of the hat' to Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May, for her position on the Media hysteria over Nycole Turmel.

"First, she wants everyone to stop beating up on Nycole Turmel.

The interim NDP leader was eviscerated by the media and other political leaders this week after revelations that she used to be a card-carrying member of the separatist Bloc Québécois.

“I know Nycole Turmel and I have always been impressed by her,” Ms. May said. “I think people are overreacting, and I think that they should drop the issue now. I support her as a choice. It doesn’t speak well of people in other parties to have jumped on this and find ways to beat up on her and the NDP at this point.”

Jack Layton, the NDP leader, pushed for Ms. Turmel to be interim leader while he is battling a new cancer. He expects to be back to work when the House resumes in September.

Ms. May suggests if politicians are sincere in their wishes for Mr. Layton to get well, they must get over this fixation with Ms. Turmel’s political past.

“The Bloc Québécois has been a valid, legal parliamentary party. The exaggeration of what it means to be a member of the Bloc will insult Quebeckers,” she said.

Like other leaders (Stephen Harper has been a young Liberal in high school, a Reformer, a Canadian Alliance member and a Progressive Conservative; Bob Rae was an NDPer), Ms. May has had past allegiances with other parties.

She once took out a membership in the NDP and admits to joining the Liberal Party briefly to support a friend in a nomination meeting.

For 17 years, however, she remained politically neutral in her position as executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. And despite her political attachment now, she’s again having to play non-partisan politics with a new project she has taken on this summer."

Globe & Mail

Friday, August 05, 2011 

"Playing 'gotcha' with the NDP" - by Gerry Caplin

"It never stops and never will. The moment the NDP seems even close to power, the knives come out.

The election was May 2. The NDP's rise began barely two weeks prior. Here's what it faced in these past three months:

"MassageGate." Suddenly, just before the election, it became necessary for the Sun media to smear Jack Layton over a massage he had 15 years earlier, and for Christie Blatchford to repeat the smear, even agreeing it was a smear.

"LasVegasGate." The NDP makes history in the election. It sweeps Quebec and emerges as Official Opposition. But its new MPs are immediately dismissed as a joke. Like a gang of bullies picking on someone who can't defend herself, reporters fall all over themselves to mock a candidate who spent part of the election in Las Vegas. She becomes a symbol of the immaturity of the new NDP MPs, even though few reporters had ever spoken to a single one of them. Having finally met them, these stories abruptly ceased.

"Jack'sCancerGate." Within seconds of Mr. Layton's announcement that he was temporarily stepping aside because of a new cancer but intended to return in the fall, the burial of the NDP began. The NDP was finished without Mr. Layton, even though he hadn't resigned. He was irreplaceable. Day after day for an entire week, the rhetorical question got asked and re-asked: Can the NDP make it Jack-less? The answer was seen to be self-evident.

"ComeCleanAboutCancerGate." Out of nowhere, the cry goes up that Mr. Layton must divulge everything about his cancer. What was he hiding? The world had a right and a need to know every single detail. Soon the rest of the pack picked it up. Everyone wanted to know something that was none of their business and of no conceivable use if they did know.

And now, finally, "TurmelGate" -- the scandalous truth that the new acting leader, Nycole Turmel, had been a Bloc Québécois member and that she was therefore a separatist.

All other parties have thrown themselves into the ganging-up with great indignant gusto.

Underlining once again the Caplan Rule that shamelessness is the secret of a successful leader, Stephen Harper -- the Firewall Kid himself, a man who explicitly wanted Alberta to secede from many of the operations of this country -- has the gall to shed crocodile tears of disappointment about Ms. Turmel.

This is very much a teachable moment both for the NDP and for the country.

It was a serious mistake for the NDP not to be transparent about Ms. Turmel's past BQ affiliation when she was chosen interim leader. I'm sure they know that now, after much damage has been done. But they must know too that every day is a potential gotcha day for the NDP and they shouldn't be offering easy ammunition.

On the conservative/business side, there is a fierce determination to make sure the party is not a serious challenger four years from now. In the case of the media, there's the perception of an easy victim, not yet ready for prime time, one that will furnish many a juicy story. Unless it's truly on guard 24/7, instead of being able to pursue its own agenda the party may well find itself permanently on the defensive, warding off blows from every corner.

There's a separate lesson for the country. Quebec is different from the rest of Canada in ways we often ignore. Ms. Turmel is one symbol of this difference. For Ms. Turmel -- Québécoise, Canadian, federalist, trade union leader, New Democrat -- to carry a Bloc card for a few years was no big deal.

Some thought that lesson was learned election night. The reason so many Québécois could move en masse from the Bloc to the NDP was not just because Mr. Layton was a great guy to have a beer with. He also shared and represented their values. Mr. Layton was progressive, a social democrat, committed to social justice. So were many Bloc voters who didn't want Quebec to separate. Those were the social values that the two parties shared and that allowed the massive voting switch once it was clear that the Bloc was an exhausted force.

Maclean's writer Martin Patriquin provides some useful insights. "... it's amazing how few people have clued into this head-smackingly obvious point, but Turmel willingly ripped up her Bloc Québécois membership card to run for a dyed-in-orange federalist party [emphasis in original]. That alone should be evidence enough that her sovereigntist credentials weren't quite Parizeau-calibre. If anything, Turmel's (temporary) ascension to the head of the party, like the NDP's overwhelming victory in May, is proof positive that detaching the left from the sovereigntist movement isn't as impossible as it once was. How far we've come."

It's only a matter of time until Quebec realizes the province and its interests are no longer a priority for much of Canada, especially for a right-wing government that Québécois repudiated and where the west and Ontario dominate. For all of us who can't envision a Canada sans Quebec, there is dangerous potential here. Unexpectedly, the NDP has emerged as the best federalist bridge between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Jack Layton and Nycole Turmel are the embodiment of that bridge.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011 

Conservatives - Liberals - All REJECT Former Supporters Of The Bloc Quebecois Who Wish To Re-Engage With Canada

The New Democratic Party of Canada has achieved what the Liberals and Conservatives never could. They have nearly relegated the Bloc Quebecois to the dustbin of Canadian history.

The results of the last federal election clearly demonstrates that a large number of Quebecois who previously supported the Bloc are rethinking their engagement with Canada. That is the beauty of a democracy - you are free to change your mind.

But Conservatives, Liberals and Greens are all rejecting former supporters of the Bloc. They don't want to have anything to do with them - persona non grata to them. Progressive Canadians and the Quebecois need to pay attention to this revelation.

At the moment, there is only one federalist party that is interested in working with former Bloc supporters as they re-engage with Canada.

-Turmell was courted by Liberals before last election ... than labeled a 'separatist' when she rejected their offers .....

En francais ...


Stephen Harper's Silence On The Tea Party Is An Endorsement Of Their Tactics And Beliefs

While the Republicans (especially the fanatical Teaparty wing) played Chicken with the US economy, we didn't hear one word from Harper. Remember a few months back when Harper cautioned that an election 'was a threat to Canada's economic recovery'. Yet when the Teaparty actually threatened the Canadian economy, Harper had nothing to say.

Well, let's look at what he has said when he wasn't the PM. (Excuse me Harper, but your Teaparty ideology is showing):

"Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States."
- Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Your country [the USA], and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world."
-Stephen Harper, then vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition, in a June 1997 Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing American think tank.

"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status, led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task."
- Stephen Harper in his article "It is time to seek a new relationship with Canada," December 12th, 2000.

"A culture of defeat..."
- Stephen Harper, describing the Atlantic provinces, May 2001.


Canadians Should Be Thrilled That The Bloc's Day Is Done And Former Supporters Are Re-engaging With Canada!

... but don't be surprised if blood enemies of the New Democratic Party try to denigrate Quebec and the Quebecois yet again in an attempt to score cheap political points.

It could be argued that attacks on Nycole Turmel for CHOOSING CANADA are highly unpatriotic!


"The NDP's sin in the Turmel business was assuming they were dealing with people who have an internal moral compass. They should have known better. The Liberals made the mistake of thinking there was a low point past which the PMO wouldn't stoop and they lost two leaders as a result. The NDP have to realize they are dealing with a group of sociopaths, led by the Prime Minister himself. They will literally do anything to destroy anyone who opposes them. The NDP can either fight back or not. It won't matter to the PMO, either way."
They Call Me Mr. Sinister Blog


When Stephen Harper Was A Western Nationalist - (Read his famous 'Firewall' letter)

Here is Stephen Harper's famous 'Firewall' Letter ..... advancing Alberta 'nationalism' in an unpatriotic statement AGAINST Canada.

Dear Premier Klein:
During and since the recent federal election, we have been among a large number of Albertans discussing the future of our province. We are not dismayed by the outcome of the election so much as by the strategy employed by the current federal government to secure its re-election. In our view, the Chretien government undertook a series of attacks not merely designed to defeat its partisan opponents, but to marginalize Alberta and Albertans within Canada’s political system. One well-documented incident was the attack against Alberta’s health care system. To your credit, you vehemently protested the unprecedented attack ads that the federal government launched against Alberta’s policies – policies the Prime Minister had previously found no fault with.
However, while your protest was necessary and appreciated by Albertans, we believe that it is not enough to respond only with protests. If the government in Ottawa concludes that Alberta is a soft target, we will be subjected to much worse than dishonest television ads. The Prime Minister has already signaled as much by announcing his so called “tough love” campaign for the West.
We believe the time has come for Albertans to take greater charge of our own future. This means resuming control of the powers that we possess under the constitution of Canada but that we have allowed the federal government to exercise. Intelligent use of these powers will help Alberta build a prosperous future in spite of a misguided and increasingly hostile government in Ottawa.
Under the heading of the “Alberta Agenda,” we propose that our province move forward on the following fronts:
• Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan offering the same benefits at lower cost while giving Alberta control over the investment fund. Pensions are a provincial responsibility under section 94A of the Constitution Act. 1867; and the legislation setting up the Canada Pension Plan permits a province to run its own plan, as Quebec has done from the beginning. If Quebec can do it, why not Alberta?
• Collect our own revenue from personal income tax, as we already do for corporate income tax. Now that your government has made the historic innovation of the single-rate personal income tax, there is no reason to have Ottawa collect our revenue. Any incremental cost of collecting our own personal income tax would be far outweighed by the policy flexibility that Alberta would gain, as Quebec’s experience has shown.
• Start preparing now to let the contract with the RCMP run out in 2012 and create an Alberta Provincial Police Force. Alberta is a major province. Like the other major provinces of Ontario and Quebec, we should have our own provincial police force. We have no doubt that Alberta can run a more efficient and effective police force than Ottawa can – one that will not be misused as a laboratory for experiments in social engineering.
• Resume provincial responsibility for health-care policy. If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in the courts. If we lose, we can afford the financial penalties that Ottawa may try to impose under the Canada Health Act. Albertans deserve better than the long waiting periods and technological backwardness that are rapidly coming to characterize Canadian medicine. Alberta should also argue that each province should raise its own revenue for health care – i.e., replace Canada Health and Social Transfer cash with tax points as Quebec has argued for many years. Poorer provinces would continue to rely on Equalization to
ensure they have adequate revenues.
• Use section 88 of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to force Senate reform back onto the national agenda. Our reading of that decision is that the federal government and other provinces must seriously consider a proposal for constitutional reform endorsed by “a clear majority on a clear question” in a provincial referendum. You acted decisively once before to hold a senatorial election. Now is the time to drive the issue further.
All of these steps can be taken using the constitutional powers that Alberta now possesses. In addition, we believe it is imperative for you to take all possible political and legal measures to reduce the financial drain on Alberta caused by Canada’s tax-and-transfer system. The most recent Alberta Treasury estimates are that Albertans transfer $2,600 per capita annually to other Canadians, for a total outflow from our province approaching $8 billion a year. The same federal politicians who accuse us of not sharing their “Canadian values” have no compunction about appropriating our Canadian dollars to buy votes elsewhere in the country.
Mr. Premier, we acknowledge the constructive reforms that your government made in the 1990s – balancing the budget, paying down the provincial debt, privatizing government services, getting Albertans off welfare and into jobs, introducing a single-rate tax, pulling government out of the business of subsidizing business, and many other beneficial changes. But no government can rest on its laurels. An economic slowdown, and perhaps even recession, threatens North America, the
government in Ottawa will be tempted to take advantage of Alberta’s prosperity, to redistribute income from Alberta to residents of other provinces in order to keep itself in power. It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.
Once Alberta’s position is secured, only our imagination will limit the prospects for extending the reform agenda that your government undertook eight years ago. To cite only a few examples, lower taxes will unleash the energies of the private sector, easing conditions for Charter Schools will help individual freedom and improve public education, and greater use of the referendum and initiative will bring Albertans into closer touch with their own government.
The precondition for the success of this Alberta Agenda is the exercise of all our legitimate provincial jurisdictions under the constitution of Canada. Starting to act now will secure the future for all Albertans.
Sincerely yours,

Stephen HARPER, President, National Citizens Coalition

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