Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Norman Spector calls Belinda Stronach a bitch

Wondering what Victoria based Norman Spector is up to these days?

Norman Spector, a former Canadian ambassador to Israel and chief of staff to ex-prime minister Brian Mulroney, created a stir over the weekend when he said on the radio Belinda Stronach was a "bitch."

"Bitch is a word that I would use to describe someone like Belinda Stronach," said Spector, now a political pundit.


Here's the audio

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Israeli President Moshe Katsav refuses to resign

Israeli president refuses to resign.

The Israeli president, facing calls for his resignation pending a possible rape indictment, has refused to step down.

"I am the victim of a despicable libel campaign," Moshe Katsav said in a statement on Sunday, declaring his innocence. "The authorities must not let the media lynch disrupt the investigation of the truth," Katsav said, adding "I intend to fight to the end to prove my innocence”. The Israeli president also said he did not intend to resign and would await "the final decision" of attorney general Menachem Mazuz, who has recommended that Katsav step aside from his duties pending a possible rape indictment.

"The president is hurting, but is not afraid. The president is completely certain of his justice and innocence. All the authorities should wait for the end of the investigation, including the attorney general's final decision," Katsav said.


Katsav, a bland career politician who rose from obscurity in July 2000 to become Israel's first president from a right-wing party, has repeatedly denied the charges against him and has vowed to clear his name.

Police opened their investigation in July, after Katsav filed a complaint against a former female employee, identified only as A, saying she was trying to blackmail him. The employee in turn accused him of sexual harassment.

As the inquiry unfolded, police investigated complaints from no fewer than 10 women on charges ranging from rape to sexual harassment and abuse of authority.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Canada's Embarrassing Foreign Minister; by John Chuckman

I just found this article by John Chuckman:

A Man of Poor Character and Thin Talents

John Chuckman

Were a senior member of any national government to insult a woman in public, there would be reason for concern. An apology might put the act down in the public's mind to poor judgment in the fierce heat of partisan debate. Were the senior member then to refuse admitting what he had done, despite many witnesses, surely a question of character is raised.


We already knew there were serious flaws in MacKay's character. There was his unapologetic, hasty breaking of a written agreement made at the former Conservative Party leadership convention. He simply brushed it off with saying politics was a blood sport, a rather odd choice of words coming from the representative of a party trying to promote itself as doing business in a new and ethical way.

Following Stronach's crossing the floor to the Liberals, MacKay busied himself doing simpering interviews about being abandoned both as deputy party leader and as lover. In fact, without MacKay's bizarre little press blitz, most Canadians would never have known about his affair with Stronach.


Blogging Tories completely ignore a lying MacKay

One of my favourite places to hangout? It's the Blogging Tories Website! Whenever there's an issue of significance, our lying and not apologizing Foreign Affairs Minister MacKay sure is, then the Blogging Tories are the place to visit to get a good perspective.

You would think.

Well, look for yourself, it aint happenin' there.

It's sad to see that not a single blogging tory has the ability to understand the magnitude of the lying (this country can not have a lying Foreign Minister); and not one tory is addressing and discussing the possible outcome of MacKay's lying seriously with their peers.

What a narrow minded bunch of ignorant people!

You start wondering why they blog in the first place.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Israel admits using chemical weapons in conflict with Lebanon

Israel finally admits that it has used chemical weapons in the conflict with Lebanon:

Israel has admitted for the first time to using white phosphorus shells against military targets in southern Lebanon, an Israeli newspaper has reported.

Israel's Haaretz daily newspaper quoted Yakov Edery, the minister for government-paramilitary relations, as saying that the Israeli army used phosphorus shells 'in attacks against military targets in open ground'.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ambrose selling fantasy-land as a red herring

According to Ambrose:

"Industry has to be compliant by 2010 and if you think that happens the night before, it doesn't. They have to start making decisions today as to how they are going to make changes in their business."

But don't take "today" too litteraly; there are no agreed upon targets yet, and there's enough reason to believe these targets will be far less rosy (as far as the environment is concerned) than Ambrose makes them appear.

Now get this from the National Post:
"Aldyen Donnelly, a Vancouver-based consultant who does precisely this sort of analysis for large industrial emitters, says the Conservative plan on greenhouse gases is much tougher than most people in industry had anticipated. "Industry should be shaking in their boots," she said. "This is about shutting plants down."

Regardless of the absence of a hard cap to reduce emissions absolutely until 2020, industry now knows it has to reduce its emissions by half by 2050."
So I started thinking about myself. I'm self-employed, so how can I cut my own emissions by 50% in 2050, just to be "good" in the eyes of Conservative Canada?

Hmmm, 2050, I'm 34 now.....

Ok, so I've got 44 years to deal with this. Now let's see; in 2050 I will be.... 34+44=78 years; I'm really "shaking in my boots". I better make some plans, fast! I'm sure the "old white guys telling us what to do" (in this case the boards of Big Business) are peeing their pants right now since most of them will not make 2050....

We need change now, and change that's achievable. It's a wonderfull idea to work towards a clean environment for when I'm 78, but most of us know that there's little chance this will happen, at least not with Conservatives at the helm; it's a red herring, selling fantasy land instead of dealing the issue head on. Even Aldyen Donnelly, "a self-confessed Liberal" agrees:
"A 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 is really, really, really hard to achieve."
Too bad the National Post keeps interviewing the wrong people (liberal or not). You would almost think there's something wrong with this paper.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

U.S. uses attack dogs on their own people

Planning a trip to the U.S.? Here are some places you probably want to skip.

In the prisons of Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, South Dakota and Utah attack dogs are used against prisoners; when a prisoner will not voluntarily leave his cell when ordered to do so, officers may bring a trained attack dog to the cell front to terrify the prisoner into compliance.

We've probably all seen these aggressive, unmuzzled dogs on TV; attack dogs were also used in Abu Graib, to terrify and even attack prisoners. But U.S. prisons use these dogs on their own people too. Nice thought.

Human Rights Watch
Democracy Now!

Stephen Harper's comments are anti-Canadian

Harper tells us that "most of the contenders for the [Liberal] party's top job were "anti-Israeli."

Bob Rae had the correct response:

"I think to suggest that there is a pro-Israel party in Canada and there's an anti-Israel party in Canada is something of which he should be thoroughly ashamed."

So why label a party anti-anything? It's a simple act of mud-slinging. Yes, sometimes the Liberal Party agrees with Israel and sometimes they don't. But is Stephen Harper suggesting the Liberals have "prejudice" against Israel or discriminate against "the Jews" in general?

Stephen Harper's comments, although given as a serious response to Michael Ignatieff 's "war crimes" comments, cannot be taken seriously. And that's unfortunate. We need a prime minister we can trust, worthy of the country's "top job"; the latest comments by Stephen Harper's are anti-Canadian.

Latest Lancet Study: Iraq death toll over 650,000

Front Page News that doesn't make the top 5 in the so-called "mainstream" media of North America, including CNN, Fox News, CBC News, CTV, Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star.


BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- More than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a consequence of hostilities in Iraq as of July 2006, according to a new study by a respected British medical journal.

The Lancet estimates that 654,965 excess Iraqi deaths have occurred since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of the country. Of this total, just over 600,000 were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire.

The death toll amounts to 2.5 percent of the population in study areas surveyed, according the journal. Between May and July 2006 some 50 clusters were randomly selected from 16 Iraqi Governorates, with each cluster consisting of 40 households where information was gathered.

The proportion of Iraqi deaths attributable to coalition forces has diminished but actual numbers of persons killed have increased every year, according to the study. Gunfire remains the most common cause of death though a surge in car bombings has been documented.

Iraqi Body Count, the best known tracker of Iraq casualties, estimates that up to Sept. 26, 2006, between 43,491 and 48,283 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion. Figures from the Iraqi Ministry of Interior were 75 percent higher from the same period, while an Iraqi non-governmental organization, Iraqiyun, places the number at about 128,000.

Violent death totals have typically relied on hospital data from the Ministry of Health, mortuary tallies and media reports.

The Lancet says it relied on household interviews to gather more in-depth feedback, taking into account indirect causes, such as displacement and deteriorating health services. Period mortality rates were then calculated by regression models."

Ignatieff needs a strong program

I'm no fan of Ignatieff. I've tried to read his book "the lesser evil" this fall and, to be honest, I was not able to finish it; I can't think of another non-fiction book I've read the last couple of years that is so full of fallacies, regardless of how and why they are presented (this could be a much more interesting debate, but I've got other things to do too :))

I'm not surprised that Ignatieff is in trouble. In his book he tries to find the fine line between good and evil. And that's where his problem is; it doesn't exist. You either (1) try to do good, (2) you try to hide that your evil, or (3) you're an ever balancing politician.

Most politicians are a mix of these three. But Ignatieff is predominantly in the last category, where his "nuanced and intelligent balancing" is supposed to represent the "good". And without upholding clear principles this is a tough starting point, proven by his latest troubles.

But Ignatieff does have a heart:

"I demonstrated a lack of compassion, it was a mistake. And when you make a mistake like that, you have to admit it. And I admit it, because I was a human rights professor, and I'm a professor of the laws of war, and what happened at Qana was a war crime. I should have said that, it's clear," Ignatieff said.

But a heart is not enough. The guy needs a strong program, not questionable cheerleaders who couldn't acknowledge war crimes unless they were a victim themselves.

Stephen Harper, Jack Layton? Like them or hate them, but we do know what they stand for. Ignatieff? Anyone?