Thursday, August 31, 2006

Freedom of expression: film of fictional Bush assassination

Freedom of expression meets George W. Bush. I'll be looking out for this one. I'm wondering when Pick-a-Flick (Victoria) will have it.

"British television channel More4 plans to broadcast a dramatic film, documentary-style, about a fictional assassination of U.S. President George W. Bush, the network's head said Thursday.

The program uses actors and digital manipulation of real footage to show a fictional account of Bush being gunned down after delivering a speech in Chicago, Peter Dale, the head of More4, told a news conference."


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

AIDS - Clinton and Gates care, Harper does not.

What's wrong with Stephen Harper?

Bill Clinton can do it. Bill Gates can do it. Bush can't do it, and neither can Harper.

Both Clinton and Gates have shown to feel compasionate about fighting the AIDS pandemic. The New York Times has a great article great article on Clinton, showing a caring Clinton, a stark contrast with Bush and "Steve" Harper.

“George Bush has actually delivered more resources, but Clinton is ten times more popular in Africa,” said Princeton Lyman, who was American ambassador to South Africa under Mr. Clinton. “That’s because, just like he does everywhere, he portrays that sense that he cares.”

Harper obviously does not present that sense, hence the "missing in action" on the International AIDS conference:

"We are dismayed that the prime minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, is not here this evening," Wainberg said Sunday.

"The role of prime minister includes the responsibility to show leadership on the world stage. Your absence sends the message that you do not consider HIV/AIDS as a critical priority, and clearly all of us here disagree with you," he said.

Many in the audience stood up to cheer.

While Harper declined to attend the event, Health Minister Tony Clement was present to deliver a speech. But as he addressed the crowd, a group near the stage stood up and chanted "Where is Harper?"

The whole world knows there's something really wrong with George Bush. But what's wrong with Stephen Harper?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Der Fall "IslamoFascist": Welcome to Neo-Fascism 101

Getting worried about fascism after hearing G.W. Bush's speech? You should be! Although maybe still in it's embryonic form, some think it's a lot closer to home than you might think.

Read: Welcome to Neo-Fascism 101

Jason Kenney, Stockwell Day and ties to PMOI/MEK

Cerberus has the following conclusions to the Jason Kenney and Stockwell Day ties to the "terrorist organisation" PMOI/MEK.

His bottom line:

  • It is extremely unlikely that Jason Kenney did not know that he was attending a rally organized by a listed terrorist group.
  • Our Minister of Public Safety has a close personal relationship with members of a terrorist organization and has lobbied the government on their behalf.
Read the whole story: Jason Kenney, Stockwell Day and ties to PMOI/MEK

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Are ALL Conservatives Hypocrites?

Yes, the Conservatives "caught" the MSM photoshopping images. Although nothing new, I thought it was a fair remark, until they were caught doing it themselves.

Then there is Jason Kenney. He's the Conservative who accuses opposition MPs from talking to groups similar to Nazi's, while later on, doing it himself.

Are all Conservatives hypocrites? Why are "the good Conservatives" not standing up and saying; this cannot be, Jason has to resign." Why is the photoshopped image still on their website?

PS1: I emailed the following message to the "contact us" address:
"I would like to respond to the homepage. The image of Kennedy that has been used for days now has been photoshopped. By leaving the beer bottles and Kennedy in focus, while leaving the rest out of focus, you make Kennedy look like some kind of alcoholic. I don't think anyone is served by this representation, or is there? "

PS2: Other Conservatives already have a contest going.

PS3; What's with this post?; did Harper "encouraged Hezbollah to come to the negotiating table?" Isn't Harper supposed to oppose any contact with a terrorist organisation?

Friday, August 25, 2006

The use of cluster bombs can be illegal; no exception should be made for Israel

Many groups (including the Red Cross and the UN) hotly oppose the use of cluster bombs, since these weapons are a major threat to innocent civilians. Now the US is investigating whether Israel has broken secret agreements with Washington with its use of cluster bombs in the Lebanon conflict.

A cluster bomb in southern Lebanon. Many of the cluster bombs that Israel used in the war were made in the United States.<br />According to a UN spokeswoman, "there are about 285 locations across southern Lebanon [where cluster bombs have been found] , and our teams are finding 30 new ones every day" a UN spokeswoman said. "A lot of them are in civilian areas."

Of course, Israel sees no problem at all. An army spokesman said that Israel has done nothing wrong, since the weapons used in the war were legal under international law.

As a matter of fact, the army spokesman is right that these weapons in itself are legal, so to speak. But at the same time, the weapons can be "used" illegally.

Here's a simple analogy;
It's legal, once you have obtained your drivers license, to go for a nice ride, even drive about 80 km/hour on some parts of the highway. But a drivers license does not give you the right to drive 80 km/hour in a school zone (don't try this!). People who do are likely to be punished (when caught) since it's considered irresponsible to drive that fast in a schoolzone; it is considered too dangerous to drive this fast, because innocent people, in this case children, are too likely to be hit.

You might think that this analogy sucks since the context of war is more likely to bring about death than driving a car. Think again.

We've somehow accepted that a certain amount of people die in traffic accidents every year; it's part of participating in traffic. Sure we could limit the number of deaths occurred by traffic accidents dramatically, for example, by changing the speed limit to 15 km/hour everywhere. We choose not to and therefore accept the negative consequences (accidents) of driving 80 km/hour at some "safer" parts of our road system.

Israel is indeed granted, under international law, to use cluster bombs. But not everywhere.

It is illegal to use cluster bombs in civilian areas. And that's for everyone, including Israel.

Bush sometimes happy about Iraq War; Fair

Ever wondered if Bush is happy about the Iraq war? Well, he is! He told reporters that he's "sometimes happy", but CBS and NBS watchers never got to see this since they "cleaned up" the happy talk:

Bush's unedited comment was as follows:

Q: But are you frustrated, sir?

BUSH: Frustrated? Sometimes I'm frustrated. Rarely surprised. Sometimes I'm happy. This is -- but war is not a time of joy. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times, and they're difficult times, and they're straining the psyche of our country. I understand that."

But the viewers of CBS News saw a different edited version:

Frustrated? Sometimes I'm frustrated, rarely surprised. These aren't joyous times. These are challenging times, and they're difficult times. And they're straining the psyche of our country. I understand that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Harper's Pollution Strategy May Delay Emissions Cuts to 2025

The so-called "environmental strategy" by Stephen Harper and friends (Conservatives) may push targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions back to more than 20 years.


When the press does their job right, things can get ugly; military recruiting in the US

The Associated Press has done a 6 month nvestigation into the recruiting practises in at the US Military. They found that "more than 80 military recruiters were disciplined last year for sexual misconduct with potential enlistees".

More than 100 young women who expressed interest in joining the military in the past year were preyed upon sexually by their recruiters. Women were raped on recruiting office couches, assaulted in government cars and groped en route to entrance exams.

Read the whole story: Military recruiters cited for misconduct

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We must demand electoral reform; Toronto Star

People seem to get tired of a PM who doesn't listen to the people of the land. Richard Gere told everyone at the AIDS conference:

"If ( Stephen Harper) doesn't change, don't re-elect him"

Stuart Rogers from Toronto recognizes the problem with this statement; -- we DIDN't elect Harper, the electoral system did.
It's not Harper we have to change, it's our outmoded, perverse electoral system that handed power to a party that almost 65 per cent of voters "opposed." Wake up, Canada! If you don't want your country represented — and embarrassed — by people you didn't vote for, you must demand electoral reform. Write your MP, join Fair Vote Canada, raise your voice. We must replace this crazy system that consistently turns our democratic will on its head.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

War and money: Leaders blamed for war failings;

Leaders blamed for war failings - World -

"While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised to take personal responsibility for the shortcomings of the military campaign, the public's attention also turned this week to the conduct of defence chief of staff Dan Halutz, after reports he told his stockbroker to sell tens of thousands of dollars worth of shares on the way to advise the Government to go to war."

So far Halutz has resisted to resign.

In an editorial headlined "First Halutz Must Go", the Israeli newspaper Haaretz yesterday called for his immediate resignation. "No failure can occur without someone taking responsibility, and no failure can be disguised as a victory with empty words," it said.


PM should be standing shoulder to shoulder with Bill and Melinda Gates, former president Clinton; Toronto Star

Harper missing in the fight against AIDS (2)

For the life of me, I cannot understand how Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government fail to understand and appreciate the significance of the International AIDS Conference currently happening in Toronto. Canada has been given the international spotlight for a moment and, with it, the opportunity to boldly affirm its dedication to helping eradicate this disease that has taken 25 million lives, and is currently infecting 65 million more.

Fox producers resign in protest of network's coverage; Democracy Now!

When slanted news reporting becomes too slanted:

Two weeks ago, two producers working for Fox News in Amman, Jordan resigned in protest of the network's coverage. In their resignation letter, Serene Sabbagh and Jomana Karadsheh wrote "We can no longer work with a news organization that claims to be fair and balanced when you are so far from that." We go to Amman to speak with producer Serene Sabbagh.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Missing in the fight against AIDS: Stephen Harper

Activists decry Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper's refusal to attend the opening ceremonies of the Sixteenth International AIDS Conference during a rally in support of women's and children's rights as part of the global battle against HIV/AIDS in Toronto August 14, 2006.


Wainberg said he believes Harper was afraid of being booed over his opposition to same-sex marriage by the gay-friendly AIDS research and activist community.

"Mr. Harper, for better or for worse, is perceived as being a right-wing fellow who is not a mainstream politician," [Wainberg, head of the McGill University Centre for AIDS and the conference co-chair] said.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Stephen Harper, ignorant or afraid?

Many are wondering why PM Stephen Harper will not appear at the International Aids Conference in Toronto. Some say he's afraid of being booed, others complain about Harper's ignorance when it comes to Aids (read the whole article: Harper chooses Arctic over AIDS).

"I think part of the problem is that he's ignorant about the issue," said Laurie Edmiston, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. "I wanted him to have a presence here so he could listen and learn."

Lewis has been trying to find a better explanation for why Harper won't show, calling contacts on Parliament Hill. But the New Democrat, who was Canada's ambassador to the UN in the '80s, said he hasn't received a satisfactory explanation.

"I've asked time and again why he isn't coming, and the answer I keep getting is that he doesn't want to be booed," he said.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Unannounced pay increase far from transparent

So much for transparancy by Canada's Conservatives.

The Harper government has quietly pushed through pay increases for senior government officials, sparking criticisms that it is failing to live up to its pledge for disclosure and accountability.

Senior executives, which include deputy ministers, have been given a 2.5 per cent raise on their base salary, while heads of Crown corporations will receive increases of 3 per cent.

The government executives will also get a boost of 1.1 per cent to their bonus packages -- money known as "at-risk" pay that is due to them should they meet a series of goals and objectives.