Saturday, June 30, 2007

Seeing Blue

Something I find both amusing and annoying, is the need for some Conservatives to defend any slight, (perceived or real), leveled at their leader or party.

It's one thing when they defend the indefensible, (Fortier, Income Trusts, Emerson, Atlantic Accords, etc.), but when they feel the need to defend an intentionally light article suggesting that the Harper & co. is changing our national colours to better reflect his party on Canada Day, well that is just hilarious to me.

I really think spending all those years in opposition is something the conservatives are just never going to get over.

Capt. (retired) Ron Bezant felt it important enough to write a letter to the editor but as far as I can tell, he didn't check his facts. Red and white are our national colours and have been since 1921. I presume the red, white and blue he refers to are the Canadian Red Ensign, which of course was used as our former flag, however, it was never adopted as official by the Parliament of Canada.

I haven't seen the stage for tomorrow's celebrations yet, but if indeed it is decidedly Conservative blue, more fool them. Such a public display of their peevishness will not go unnoticed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Day of Action

Anyone who ventured to the BT's today, would have witnessed many a vile and uneducated rant about the point of today's action, not to mention a jaundiced view of what actually happened.

Thankfully, their view of what would occur, was as fictional as how they see other issues in this country.

Yes, there was one fire-brand who disrupted things in eastern Ontario, but in the rest of the country, large urban centres to small communities, we saw education and unity.

I'm not speaking to unity only among First Nations, but unity among Canadians and I sense a different mood now.

The issues are huge and complex and will not be satisfied by one day, nor by taking a black and white view, but there seems to be a sea change and I think that is a good sign.

It's time we all educated ourselves about this issue and allowed a real dialogue to happen. I for one hope this is a good step forward.

Oh, oh!

Something tell's me that this is not going to go over well in BT land. Just a hunch mind you.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

This is Progress?

Hamid Karzai was visibly angry and in my opinion, took the only position he could take. He blasted NATO and the US for their tactic's.

"You don't fight a terrorist by firing a field gun 37km (24 miles) away into a target. That's definitely, surely bound to cause civilian casualties," he said.

In a piece I heard on the radio, he went on to say what I think needed to be said, "You cannot bring your Western standards to Afghanistan and expect them to work. This is a different society and a different culture."

Well, finally someone has said it and it's about time. I'm well aware that there are valid criticisms to be made of Karzai, but the man is in an untenable position, imo. How can he support the mission's in his country to his people, if they are being considered "collateral damage" by the West? How can he support their tactics, as it becomes clear, there has been little effort made to understand the people and culture?

That said, I have read some pretty impressive stories about how Canadian troops are making an effort to "get" the culture and I do think we go about in a different way than the Americans. However, I believe that we in the West delude ourselves by believing that everyone on the planet wants what we have.

Unintended arrogance? I'm not sure, but now that Karzai has spoken those words, it is time for us to reassess.

Here is more of the story.

Wishing Her Well

I have read a number of blogs and comments lately, that have been highly critical of Belinda Stronach for not being in the HoC much since she announced that she was leaving politics.
Here is why.
I'm not going to link to any of the sites that were foolish enough to assume that they knew why she wasn't in the House. Their assumptions and pettiness deserve no publicity.
Perhaps this story will be a reminder that there is a difference between expressing an opinion on something and stating that view as fact, with nothing to support it.
I wish her a speedy recovery.
Update - There is a bit more to her story here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Silly Season Extended

If this is the kind of poll we'll be dealing with through the summer, I suggest the polling firms take a nice long vacation.

Sleazy Strategy No Surprise

It would seem that the Conservatives have decided to take Bill Graham's words about civility to heart.

Yes indeed. If this news is to believed, it would seem that their latest strategy is to encourage fratricide amongst Liberals and get it underway as soon as possible.
Fair enough I suppose, if they honestly believe that there is genuine dissent in the party. I still have not seen evidence of that however. Oh, Jane Taber seems to take weekly, giggly, delight in insinuating there is some plot afoot, but, absent any other solid information, her claims amount to nothing more than gossip.
I hope they have moved up the by-elections because if this story is true, I think they have it wrong. I think this will bring a strong team together, united in their message about the current government. Not sure about the timing though. Can they really call them that quickly?
Interesting, isn't it, that they seem to have no doubt that these candidates will win?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Forget Your Doctor, Just ask Tony

I thought this government was intent on being small and less intrusive in people's lives.

This story seems to run counter to that idea.

I suppose it is reasonable that the government should have safeguards in place, in an effort to catch any abuse of the system. Challenging Doctor's on their decisions seems to cross the line though.

Oops there goes another...

Oh dear. Yet one more file being bungled by this government.

Harper supporters had such High Hopes for their leader and his agenda. I'm afraid I'm hard pressed to come up with very much that they've done well.

Restoring the Reputation

It's difficult not to feel some sadness when reading this. I know some have nothing but negative things to say about the RCMP, but I think this institution deserves to have it's reputation reinstated.

Having said that, I completely disagree with Brown and think that a Public Inquiry is needed. Having watched some of the committee meetings dealing with this issue, it's clear that what has gone on at the RCMP cannot be remedied by a mere change at the top and an over-sight group.

Watching some of the testimony, it's pretty clear to even me, that some sort of coverup has gone on.

I know the government line will be that an inquiry will cost too much money and take too much time, but this not some simple little "petty theft" case that can easily remedied. As NDP MP Christopherson says, "they said that about Air India too".

For reasons that elude me at the moment, the government has been very reluctant from the beginning to have an inquiry and that is disturbing. From the time that the RCMP launched an investigation into Ralph Goodale, during an election, something seemed wrong.

I think the RCMP and Canadians deserve to know all of the truth. Without it, real trust in the organisation won't be restored.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yale say's: Let's Call the Whole "Global Warming" Thing Off

Global warming? No worries. Let's look at the bright side. When I first read this I thought it was a spoof and to be honest, I still can't quite tell. If it is, cute. If it's not, what on earth are people being taught?
Oh and where did Dubya go to school?

Standing Committee on the Environment, Falls Down

Bob Mills, the chair of the committee has just stepped down and the committee is adjourned. Why? Well it's a long story, 2 hours long in fact, but here are the highlights.

While doing other work this morning, I tuned into listen to the hearings, as I'd read they were going to discuss what happened at the G8 meeting.

As the meeting opened, David McGuinty put forward a motion, stating that the chair had re-written the agenda, without consulting the committee and that contravened the motion they had previously passed (vote 10-0) to hear witnesses on the substance and impact of the G8 declaration.

I know, yawn, but hear me out. The motion asked that the agenda be reinstated and that the chair, Bob Mills apologise. McGuinty clarified that it was not a confidence motion, simply an acknowledgement that the chair had erred and that in the future, such unilateral decisions would not be taken.

Well, all hell broke loose, with the opposition supporting the motion and of course the government not. 2 FULL hours of idiotic rhetoric flinging then ensued, with the government side, dragging this out in every conceivable way.

I now have heard for myself how their "manual to disrupt" works.

For the first 90 minutes, they had witnesses sitting at the table listening to this, for the remaining 30, they had gone to the trouble of hooking up with 2 other witnesses by phone, only to finally vote on the motion, it passed and Mills stepped down.

Witnesses who had been holding on the phone were unceremoniously dismissed. The con's in a snit, would not appoint another chair, so "meeting adjourned". Even when opposition members put forward conservative names, they each declined. I have heard 6 year old's argue in a more intelligent fashion. What a bloody embarrassment.

So my friends, how serious is the government about the environment? Tough to say, given we now have no committee to ask.
UPDATE - Apparently the party whips have met and the committee will re-convene on Tuesday with a motion to reinstate Mills. Jay Hill say's that Mills did not resign. I heard him say, "well, I guess I'm done". Sounds like a resignation to me.
UPDATE 2 - Hmmm. It seems the HoC visited my site after this post. I wonder if it was the good guy's or the bad guy's?

Monday, June 11, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

As this story progressed today, we first saw Harper threaten provinces, by suggesting he'd sue them, because they have called him out on his deception. Now we see another Conservative member, Gerald Keddy, having second thoughts.

What suddenly hit me is this. Why all of a sudden is this coming out? Afterall, the con's have known the facts of the budget for months. I understand that Casey had raised the issue a while back, but I don't have the sense it was all that long ago.

I suddenly thought, what is Harper and Co. good at? Deception. I think they sold their own members a "bill of goods" and now that the deal is being scrutinized a little more closely, the MP's are waking up.

Now, no matter what your political stripe, it seems a bit odd that an MP wouldn't have done more homework before committing to such an important measure, but in the absence of any other information, it's difficult to come to any other conclusion.

We know that Harper runs a tight ship, (one with a plank apparently) and we know that they live to "message"their ideas. Why would he stop at the general public? Why wouldn't he dupe his own group?

Will MacKay cave too? Doubtful. Me thinks he's grown accustomed to the perks of his position.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flaherty's Fairy Tale Fails

Well now. It would seem that someone else agrees with my previous post, :).
Update - MacDonald responds to Flaherty's lies.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Flaherty's Fairy Tale

We've become accustomed to being misled by this government, particularly when watching them answer questions during Question Period.
We also see them dancing around the facts when being interviewed.
To be fair, this behaviour is not exclusive to just the current government. Many politicians employ this tactic.
When I read this article though, I was taken aback by the unmitigated gall of Jim Flaherty. This bit in particular struck me:
" I often wonder how an urban myth comes to be treated as fact. I suppose if people repeat it or read it often enough, they assume it must be true. "
Huh? This is coming from a Minister of a government, that relies on that method of messaging almost exclusively. He's apparently perplexed as to how this happens, as he proceeds to do just that. Unbelievable.
He goes on to say, "Let me be clear, Canada’s New Government is honouring the Atlantic accords fully in its budget. " Word games. Harper had promised 100% deductability of non-renewable natural resource revenues. The budget caps it. He can play word games all he likes, the bottom line is they are not living up to what they said they would.
The details are not the point though. Citing your own preferred method of messaging, as being the cause of what is preventing you from getting your own lie out, while employing it, well, it boggles the mind.
I have little or no time for Flaherty, but I'll give him this. In the arrogance department, the man has few equals.

Harper featured on US television

Our PM's reputation just gets better and better.

Watch the video here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Activists are more concerned about our reputation than the PM

Watching a press conference, with Bono, Geldof and other activists today, I was struck by something Geldof said.

Bono at one point mentioned Canada, saying it was blocking progress on aid to Africa. Geldof piped up and corrected him. He said, "Harper is blocking progress, not Canada". I found it interesting that he cared enough not to smear all of us with Harper's actions, indicating that he is more in tune with Canada and it's residents than Harper is.

A commenter at Red Tory's recently said, "Harper is not the Prime Minister of Canada but merely the Prime Minister of Conservatives." I have to agree.

Here's more on the press conference.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Finally a use for "Big Brother"?

This is an interesting site. At present, even with the zoom function, it is a little difficult to make things out, but apparently they are working on it.

It's about time we had more Eyes on Darfur.

Saturday, June 02, 2007