Monday, April 30, 2007

Liberals+Conservatives=Air India Coverup

Did I ever mention that Liberals and Conservatives are not that different as they would like you to believe? MPs crossing the floor is one example, the inaction on environment another.

But the latest example is about 22 years old: the cover up of the Air India bombing. For National Security purposes, naturally.

Did I ever mention that FPTP is making abuse by big parties more likely?

Oops, FPTP is just another example of Libs=Cons.

Big parties are boring.

Liberal bias at ProgBlog; it just keeps coming

This time it was the "tricky partisan wording" of the latest poll.

Should the opposition parties unite and vote no-confidence on the Conservative government over the Green Plan?

Yes. Take it to the people and let them decide what Green Plan they want
No - do the strategy of the NDP and have the opposition force Bill C-30 to be voted on and passed.
After being criticized by many, this is how the God-moderator responded:
Anyhow, I will not be making polls anymore. If other moderators wish to do so, they can.. but I'll disavow right now that any poll questions come from me.. and I will be formally asking Saskboy to disable poll questions in the new site (unless of course the Moderator Board overrules me, which is entirely possible). I dont need the hassle or the grief.

It looks like the moderator needs to grab some humour. It would help him live longer. :)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yeltsin Remembered; Challenging MSM's point of view

A POV you won't easily find in the MSM (the Nation):

Boris Yeltsin, who died on April 23, was a towering figure in Russian political history. But was he, as so many US obituaries and editorials have described him, the "Father of Russian Democracy"?

As though a wave of historical amnesia had swept over the media, few commentators seemed to remember that it was Mikhail Gorbachev, upon becoming Soviet leader in 1985, who launched the democratic reforms of "perestroika" and "glasnost"--ending censorship, permitting, even encouraging, opposition rallies and demonstrations, beginning market reforms and holding the first free, multi-candidate elections. (Indeed, Yeltsin was the chief beneficiary of those reforms.)

Those reforms provided Yeltsin with an opportunity unique in Russian history. In June 1991--when he was elected President of Soviet Russia in what remains perhaps the freest and fairest Presidential election the country has ever had--and again in August 1991 when he stood, iconically, on a tank to face down an attempted coup by Communist hardliners, Yeltsin could have seized the chance to become the co-founder of Russian democracy.

But if Yeltsin was any kind of reformer, it was in the undemocratic tradition of Peter the Great, with whom he often compared himself, and he quickly squandered--even betrayed--that chance. After August 1991, Yeltsin's anti-democratic policies polarized, embittered and impoverished his country laying the ground for what is now unfolding in Russia--though it is being blamed solely on today's Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
Read the whole article by Katrina vanden Heuvel here: Yeltsin--Father of Democracy?

Canada's Torture by Proxy

This doesn't look good, does it?

"His tormentors were the Afghan police, he said, but the Canadian soldiers who visited him between beatings had surely heard his screams."

- Is Canada's defence minister a war criminal?
- Torture by Proxy

Saturday, April 28, 2007

CBC website gets the facts wrong on the "emission" plan.

The CBC explains the latest Conservative environment scheme as follows (from the CBC website)

Companies [...] will be required to cut back their greenhouse gas emissions by 18 per cent by 2010. After that, they have to reduce amounts by two per cent a year.
True or false?


Fact: The current so-called "emission" plan requires polluters to cut back on "carbon intensity", not on "greenhouse gas emissions".


Update - Other media repeating the deceiving message:
Calgary Herald
So the Conservatives threw out a target -- [...] 18 per cent emissions cut [...] -- and called it their best compromise.

US intensity targets led to INCREASE of emissions by 14%

Read "Carbon Emissions Climbing" by Earth Policy Institute:

In the United States, the Bush administration's "Clear Skies" proposal requires a decline in carbon emissions per unit of economic output (known as carbon intensity), but not overall carbon emissions. [...] The U.S. economy has consistently improved its carbon intensity, yet emissions have continued to increase. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the carbon intensity of the U.S. economy was cut by 17 percent between 1990 and 2000, yet total emissions increased during that time by 14 percent due to a 39-percent increase in economic activity.

Reductions in carbon intensity do not mean a reduction in actual carbon emissions.

Repeat after me:

Reductions in carbon intensity do not mean a reduction in actual carbon emissions.

That's right. It's the "made in the US" fraud version of Kyoto. Don't fall for it.

See also: Rusty Idols

Friday, April 27, 2007

OIL INDUSTRY did nothing for over a decade; so why reward THEM with INTENSITY TARGETS?

Since Canada's neo-cons love to come up with analogies, here's mine for intensity targets:

You own an old chevy, and you drive daily from Victoria (BC) to Sidney (BC) and back, which is about 60 kilometers. Now, you're asked to limit your reductions, but, you actually have ideas to travel around the world.

The Conservatives make both possible!

Just buy a small Toyota that will reduce at least 6% per kilometre and you can drive as far as you like, pollute as much as you like.
Yes, that's what intensity targets are about; make small improvements to your dirty industry, then you can pollute as much as you like. Who cares if the overall pollution rises?

Oil industry is like a dirty old Chevy
No wonder Canada's dirtiest industry, the oil industry, likes the new plan. They're the old chevy that should have been replaced over a decade ago, but now they can get away with polluting even more!

It's of course a lot easier for the Canada's neo-cons to blame Liberals for inaction (not enforcing emission regulations) than punishing the REAL source of pollution due to inaction; Canada's dirtiest industry, the oil industry.

footnote: It's interesting to see that both parties (Libs and Cons) are so much alike, even on environment; neither one is serious about Kyoto once in power.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

(video) Liberals on Environment: Lots of Tricks, No Action

Watch how David McQuinty uses a bag full of tricks to dodge the following question:

Peter van Dusen:
Is it fair to hold the Conservative government to a set of targets that the previous Liberal government didn't try to reach for ten years?


The Harper Government is getting nervous about warcrimes - here's why

The internet is a wonderful thing. It's big, fast, and, once you figure out how search engines work, one can find answers to questions quicker than ever before.

Of similar speed are current political/news blogs. Before you know it someone has already written on the very idea you were going to write about. written on what you were planning to say.

This is what was on my mind (by Eugene Plawiuk:

The Conservative Governments rejection of its international obligations under Kyoto are driven by its ideological messaging that this was a Liberal policy, when in fact it is an international Accord signed by the government of Canada, regardless of the party in power it is binding on the Canadian State.

Not unlike the Geneva Conventions, which the Harper government is now in violation of and is ignoring. Harper defends actions on Afghan detainees

But unlike Kyoto they cannot blame the Liberals for signing that accord. Canadian Politics: Canada Ignores Geneva Convention In Afghanistan

Instead Harper like Bush is ignoring Canada's international obligations by deliberately confusing sovereignty with isolationism. Since the Bush regime has ignored both Kyoto and the rule of International law in regards to war by refusing to recognize the ICC. But the US is not signatory to either accord, while the Canadian Government is.

This must be what is 'new' about the Harper government, that it believes it can ignore international commitments made by previous governments.
You can post your comments at the original post: Harper the Warlock (Plawiuk)

See also:
- my last post with CPAC video explaining what's going on: video: "New Government" linked to torture
- Vive le Canada: It’s official: Canada has turned its back on the world

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

video: "New Government" linked to torture

It looks like the new government support for the torture of "detainees" has reached new levels. Did I hear "war crimes"? Some professors don't seem so amused:

More to follow:

In case you missed what this is about, then watch this first:

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Latest climate report has one major flaw; it calls for inaction

You've got to admire the Conservatives; they have taken spin to a new level! But will it work? Below I will compare two prime examples of 21st century neoconservative spin.

How the Neo-Cons got the US into Iraq:
- they cherrypicked and even fabricated "intelligence" (WMD)
- the result is "evidence" for fear mongering (WMD can kill 1000s of people in less than 30s)
- this lead to an approval to action (go to war)

How the New Government tries to keep us out of Kyoto
- they cherrypicked and even fabricated "intelligence" (the "Climate Report")
- the result is "evidence" for fear mongering (Kyoto will cause a recession)
- this lead to an approval of inaction (stay out of Kyoto)

Flawed NeoCon Spin
If there's one thing Americans seem to admire in George Bush, then it's his decisiveness. Action makes you look strong. inaction makes you appear weak.
The call for inaction in the latest Conservative climate report is an underestimated strategic flaw in rhetoric; let's call them on it.

If Conservatives can't make Kyoto work, one way or another, then isn't it time for a "new government"?

Canada's New Government: Job losses only a crisis when WE call it a crisis

Good post by Robert McClelland:


I see John Baird has all the rubes worked into a high state of dudgeon because he claims that if Canada tries to meet its Kyoto targets 275,000 Canadians might lose their jobs.

Well if that’s the case I wonder what state they’re in knowing that Canada’s manufacturing sector has shed 250,000 jobs over the past 5 years. What’s that? They aren’t concerned about those lost jobs.

“On March 28, along with the leaders of Canada’s largest private sector unions, I met with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Labour about the fact that since November 2002, Canadians have suffered a net loss of over 250,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector. They acknowledged that they see the same numbers that we see but they did not see them as a crisis.”

So for the record, the Conservative position on job losses is:
275,000 hypothetical lost jobs = economic armageddon.
250,000 actual lost jobs = stop your bitchin.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Canadian Banks don't care about the poor

Getting tired of all the bank fees? I switched to Coast Capital Savings (credit union) a couple of years ago and I've never regretted it. Banks have made huge profits, often over the backs of the poor:

OTTAWA — Canada's big banks threw up a wall of silence today around their costs of providing automated teller machines and their profit margins on controversial ATM fees.

Whenever members of the Commons committee probing ATM fees tried to peer inside the world of banking, they were met for the most part with blank expressions or no comments.

"We won't comment on that," said the Royal Bank's Jim Westlake, group Head, Canadian Banking, when asked about profit margins on the ATM fees.

Representatives for the Royal, CIBC, Toronto Dominion, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal and even the central agency for credit unions strongly objected to any suggestion that the government regulate bank charges, which hit the poor and working poor particularly hard

Switch to a Credit Union, "and save YOUR money".

Toronto Star

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iraqi resistance bringing it on: 4 Blasts in Baghdad Kill at Least 183

Bush is still dreaming about "winning" the War in Iraq; Bagdad looks more like a nightmare.

BAGHDAD (AP) - Suspected Sunni insurgents penetrated the Baghdad security net Wednesday, hitting Shiite targets with four bomb attacks that killed 183 people - the bloodiest day since the U.S. troop increase began nine weeks ago.

The most devastating blast struck the Sadriyah market as workers were leaving for the day, charring a lineup of minibuses that came to pick them up. At least 127 people were killed and 148 wounded, including men who were rebuilding the market after a Feb. 3 bombing left 137 dead.
Guardian Unlimited

- Update: Death toll rose to at least 195

Monsters and Critics

a reminder

The Virginia Tech shooting is for me a reminder of why I chose not to study in the US. (Here's another one.)

The school board "forgot" to notify students after a deadly shooting earlier that day, which reminded me of this. Today's leaders already know exactly what's going on, even when everyone else is still in limbo. And they have it wrong time and time again.

Authorities identified a "person of interest" in the first shooting, Karl Thornhill, who was Hilscher's boyfriend. Hilscher's roommate, Heather Haugh, told authorities that Thornhill owned firearms and had taken both girls to a shooting range. Thornhill was pulled over while leaving Tech's campus after the first shooting, and made authorities suspicious by contradicting Haugh's account.[11] Because authorities quickly apprehended him, they determined that the threat of further violence was minimal and consequently did not justify additional action by the University.[12] He was released after cooperating with authorities, but remains an important witness in the case, according to police.[13]
The US is a society packed with violence; especially the liberal gun-laws, contributing to 30,000 deaths each year, makes the place as safe as the old Wild West was.Two students dead? Hardly a reason to cancel lessons for a day, right?

When protecting the public face becomes more important than protecting people, things tend to go wrong, dead wrong.

- Wikipedia: Virginea Tech Massacre

Monday, April 09, 2007

Samson, the terrorist?

DavidIt's easter weekend, and out in Victoria the latest performance of Handel's Samson oratorio, directed by Simon Capet (photo), seems to have struck the wrong chord with Rex Murphy. Simon Capet, artistic director, explains his production as follows:

"I have not changed Handel’s music nor the story set out in John Milton’s libretto of the original 1743 work. That is all intact. The action is still set, as Handel set it, in a square in Gaza. But rather than set it 3000 years ago we have placed it in the 1940s. Samson has been captured, blinded, tortured and humiliated. He is a man who is at the point of death who is put in the stocks in front of the Philistines so that they can jeer at him. And he decides to exact revenge on his captors in the name of his God. But instead of pulling down the temple with his chained arms, killing himself and the 3,000 Philistines, as in the original story, Samson blows the temple up with the same result."

So in this current production, Samson doesn't pull down a temple, but he bombs the King David Hotel, an actual attack by militant Zionists that took place in 1946 and maimed or killed over a hundred people (including the bombers).

According to Mr. Murphy, Simon is mischievous, perhaps even adolescent. Why? Two reasons. Simon turns "an old testament Jewish hero" into a "the prototype of modern-day sectarian slaughterman"; an artist can't do that, "never".

The other reason goes as follows:
The insertion of current politics into timeless masterpieces is a form of petty vandalism.
One can question how "current" the politics of 1946 are, but I'm not going to go there. It's the "timeless masterpiece", that has question marks all over it.

Dr. Dawg (fellow blogger and poet) puts my idea a lot better in words than I could ever do myself, so here's what he had to say about this:
Has [Rex Murphy] never been to Stratford, to witness the endless interpretations, many of them good, of William Shakespeare's plays? Does the strength of art not lie precisely in its capacity to be endlessly reinterpreted, made real and immediate for audiences across centuries and cultures? Its "timelessness" consists of its almost infinite adaptability, not its persistence as one thing while history and culture eddy around its vast, immovable bulk.
Indeed, it's the adaptability to a more current time that makes these pieces timeless. Poor old Mr. Murphy got it backwards.

But read on, Dr. Dawg has more:
The latter isn't art--it's just another version of that vulgar notion of God that's causing so much trouble. It stems from the self-same desperate clinging to the authority and stability and order that totalitarians promise. It is founded on fear and self-deception, and there is no shortage of politicians and preachers to exploit both for their own ends.
Is Mr. Murphy one of THEM, who can not see that the current "war on terror" is a contradiction in terms? Is Mr. Murphy one of THEM, who can only apply the term terrorist to those who read from another book than the Book of Judges? Is Mr. Murphy one of THEM who cannot see any of the evil deeds for what they are, regardless from what time or people they stem? Is Mr. Murphy so pro-Jewish and backwards that he has lost his mind?

It is one thing to criticize a production; call it tasteless, perhaps even disrespectful. But it's certainly a "sour mode of Chutzpah" for a national icon (or a Goliath of Canadian journalism, if you will) to vilify a young and aspiring director by writing an article full of personal attacks. Did Mr. Murphy think at any point of the vandalizing he has committed himself? Did Mr. Murphy forget that personal attacks are most often the result of a weakness or inability to reason with valid arguments? Is Mr. Murphy intentionally trying to ruin the reputation of this "living" young artist?

GoliathMr. Murphy does give the answer to what must have spawned his mischievous tirade:
[Members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam] can [be called terrorist]. But Samson -- not even with the licence that an activist imagination and all the revisionist relativism of this dreary postmodern age allows -- never."

I must applaud Mr. Murphy for at least being able to see his own limitations. Mr. Murphy's opinions don't stem from THIS time (yes, dreary postmodern age), but rather from a time when only THOSE were called terrorists, who followed the readings of other books than the Book of Judges. From a time when timeless masterpieces were considered too "sacred" to touch.

This makes Mr. Murphy's own production, the latest attack on a young artistic director published in the Globe and Mail, far from a "timeless masterpiece". It's the product of an old fool, with dated views, displaced in time. What God will relieve someone from this mental suffering, before we find him homeless on the streets of "beautiful" Victoria?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

O'Reilly uses tragedy to attack immigrants

I never watch O'Reilly. And that's not only because I don't have Fox in my "tier" (thank God for that).

But "The Raw Story" advised me that Geraldo [Rivera] slams Bill O'Reilly for making 'cheap political point'.

Enjoy the rage!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Harper's Transformations Explain his Flip-Flops and Broken Promises

Steven Harper's transformations explain his flip-flops and broken promises.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Conservatives trying to control the message at a not so "Open House"

On Saturday, March 31st, 2007, Scott Ross visited MP Ron Cannan's Open House, and found out it wasn't all that "open" after all.

Where Steve Harper insisted that he has the right to choose who asks questions at press conferences, Ron Cannan doesn't want to answer questions at all, especially not from non-conservative members.

A nice bunch of people, those conservatives. Great catch, Scott!

Understanding How Good People Turn Evil: The Lucifer Effect

In 1971, psychology professor Philip Zimbardo created the Stanford Prison Experiment in which 24 college students were randomly assigned the roles of prison guards and prisoners at a makeshift jail on campus.

The experiment was scheduled to run for two weeks. By Day Two, the guards were going far beyond just keeping the prisoners behind bars. In scenes eerily similar to Abu Ghraib, prisoners were stripped naked, bags put on their heads and sexually humiliated. The two-week experiment had to be canceled after just six days. Zimbardo tells the full story of the landmark study in his new book, "The Lucifer Effect." (Democracy Now! (video - real player) - Recommended! | Read the rush transcript)

Lucifer Effect website; putting the torture architects on trial
On the new Lucifer Effect website you are given the freedom to judge four US leaders who approved of the policies on which the abuse and torture [in the current "war on terror"] are based: George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush. The charges for each leader are taken from public documents and analyses by Human Rights Watch. Vote here.

- See last Friday's broadcast of Philip Zimbardo on Democracy Now! (video - real player) - Recommended! | Read the rush transcript
- The Lucifer Effect website,
- Lucifer Effect Voting Booth
- The Stanford Prison Experiment on Wikipedia