Monday, March 31, 2008

Ralph Nader on Lou Dobbs (video)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Anti-Islam movie coming up, April 20th

As if one anti-islam movie is not enough:

Ehsan Jami, founder of the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims and PvdA-councillor of Leidschendam-Voorburg, announced today his anti-muslim animated cartoon will come out on April 20 , 2008.

In the film, the prophet Mohammed appears in the company of his 9-year old woman Aisa, while on his way to a mosque to deflower his wife.

- Elesevier: Wilders vraagt geld; Jami kondigt ook film aan (Dutch) (English translation)
- Wikipedia: Ehsan Jami
- Wikipedia: Central Committee for Ex-Muslims

Tonight: Ralph Nader on CNN's Lou Dobbs


[Ralph] Nader will appear on CNN's "Lou Dobbs This Week," Sat. March 29 and Sunday March 30 at 7 pm Eastern, 4 pm Pacific.

Mr. Dobbs and Mr. Nader will be discussing corporate globalization, its dire affects on the American people and the Nader/Gonzalez recipe to fix the problem.

This program may be repeated at other times in your region. Please check your local listings for details.

- Nader on Dobbs

Friday, March 28, 2008

Film Fitna pulled after multiple threats "of a very serious nature" to staff of web host

Film Fitna now on Google video!

Yes, after about 24 hours Geert Wilder's film Fitna was pulled by video-hosting site LifeLeaks, after receiving "a barrage of threats":

In place of the video Friday afternoon, a brief and poignant message appears on-screen: "Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature.... LiveLeak has been left with no choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

"This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net.... We would like to thank the thousands of people from all backgrounds and religions who gave us their support."

Google has picked up another copy, shown below:

Fitna (Google Video)

Click the start button (bottom left corner) to see the movie.

- Anti-Quan Film Fitna Pulled from Web Due to 'Threats'
- Google Video: Fitna the Movie

Amy Goodman questions Barack Obama on withdrawal Iraq (audio)

From the Democracy Now website:

Amy Goodman Questions Sen. Obama (click Real Audio to go to the interview directly) on Heeding Iraqis’ Call for Full U.S. Withdrawal

Following his speech on the economy at New York’s Cooper Union, Amy Goodman asks Sen. Barack Obama why he is not calling for a total withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in accordance with the 70 percent of Iraqis who say they want the U.S. out.
Another Amy Goodman interview with former American president Bill Clinton shouldn't be missed either.

- Democracy Now!: Obama questioned by Amy Goodman on withdrawel Iraq (click Real Audio to go directly to the interview)
- Democracy Now!: Bill Clinton Loses His Cool in Democracy Now! (interview starts about half way through the show)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Geert Wilders' anti-islam film "Fitna the Movie" (video) - Watch it, NOW!

Update: Due to serious threats made to the staff of LiveLeak, they decided to remove the movie. However, Google Video has picked up a copy: Fitna the Movie

About the movie (Wikipedia)

The sixteen minute movie shows a selection of Suras from the Qur'an, interspersed with partial newspaper clippings and media clips. The movie is accompanied by music from the Peer Gynt suite by Edvard Grieg, specifically Aase's Death (Aase is the mother of Per in the play written by Henrik Ibsen).

The movie starts with a warning, stating that the movie contains "very shocking images". During the title screen, a book is subsequently opened that resembles the Qur'an. A page in the book contains a cartoon from the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, showing the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb on his head. Next to the cartoon, a timer starts counting down from 15 minutes

The first Sura is introduced, accompanied with Qur'anic recital and English subtitles.

Suras are juxtaposed to video clips of Imams stating Islamic teaching, and videos of violent atrocities committed in the name of Islam. The source for the English translations is unstated.

Al-Anfal, the first Sura of the film, is translated as: "Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering, to strike terror, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies." Footage of 9/11 is shown, followed by the Madrid train bombings. An Imam declares, "Allah is happy when non-muslims get killed."

The next Sura, An-Nisa, is shown as a justification for Islamic antisemitism. An Imam raising a sword declares: "A Jew is hiding behind me, come and cut off his head. And we shall cut off his head! By Allah, we shall cut it off! Oh Jews! Allahu Akbar! Jihad for the sake of Allah!" An auditorium of several hundred people respond with approving chants and fist shaking.

Following this, a three year old Muslim girl, named Basmallah, calls Jews "apes and pigs" during an interview on Saudi Arabian television channel, Iqra TV[6]. More antisemitism is shown by another Imam, who states: "The Jews are Jews. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed." Child soldiers are shown uniformed and holding guns.

Still pictures of demonstrators holding banners declaring "God Bless Hitler" and "Be Prepared For the Real Holocaust" are shown.

Sura 47, Verse 4 is shown in relation to the murder of Theo Van Gogh, committed by Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyer is reported as saying: "If I had the opportunity to get out of prison, and I had the opportunity to do it again, what I did on November 2nd, Allah I would have done exactly the same." Protesters are shown supporting Van Gogh's murder, warning others to heed lessons or "pay with your blood".

Dutch newspaper headlines are reproduced, outlining intimidating threats of murder to prominent questioners of Islam, followed by footage of Jack Hensley's beheading. Hensley's decapitated head is shown held up by Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Sura 4 is heard, and is used to demonstrate Islam's Ummah ideal. The Sura is translated here as: "They but wish that ye should reject faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing as they, so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah. But if they turn renegades, seize them and kill them wherever ye find them, and take no friends or helpers from their ranks." This is shown through a Vox pop: "If someone converts to Christianity, he deserves the death penalty."

An Imam declares: "Islam is (more) superior than the Jews, than the Christians, than the Buddhists, than the Hindus. The only (law) Allah accepts is Islam."

-Live Leak: Fitna the Movie
- Wikipedia: Fitna the Movie

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

US Democrats on Iraq (image)

our only Iraq deadline

- Nader: Corrupt Democrats

Monday, March 24, 2008

Harper Government to blame for increase of Taser usage

Not the RCMP. Well, at least according to Kate McMillan's analogy.

Anyhow, tasers are in the news again, and it ain't lookin' pretty:

OTTAWA - The RCMP is stripping crucial details about Taser firings from public reports as use of the controversial stun guns skyrockets across the country.

A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC found the Mounties are now refusing to divulge key information that must be recorded each time they draw their electronic weapons.

As a result, Canadians will know much less about who is being hit with the 50,000-volt guns, whether they were armed, why they were fired on and whether they were injured.
Sure, holding back a taser video isn't that easy these days, but "stripping crucial details" still works, as long as some conservative liberalist party rules this country all is good.
Taser report forms obtained under the Access to Information Act show the Mounties have used the powerful weapons more than 4,000 times since introducing them seven years ago.

Incidents have increased dramatically, topping 1,000 annually in each of the last two years compared with about 600 in 2005. The overwhelming majority of firings took place in Western Canada, where the national force often leads front-line policing.
East, West.....damn, I'm in the wrong corner of Canada.
As Taser use escalates, however, the RCMP has tightened the lid of secrecy.

Information stripped from the forms includes details of several Taser cases the Mounties previously made public under the access law. In effect, the RCMP is reclassifying details of Taser use - including some telling facts that raised pointed questions about how often the stun guns are fired and why.
Good for you, RCMP, I mean Harper Government, transparency rules!
A Canadian Press analysis [...] found three in four suspects Tasered by the RCMP were unarmed.
A majority unarmed? WTF?
Several of those reports suggested a pattern of stun-gun use as a handy tool to keep drunk or rowdy suspects in line, rather than to defuse major threats.
This doesn't surprise me, really. Why would someone who is paid in stock by Taser not use it whenever he can?

There's more:
Stun guns have swiftly become the go-to weapon for scores of police and correctional officers across Canada. The RCMP has more than 2,800 Tasers and some 9,100 Mounties are trained to use them.
Getting it right knows all about why the RCMP lovers the Taser.
Public wariness about the weapons turned to full-blown anger last fall when amateur video showing the death of Robert Dziekanski was released. RCMP were called last October when the Polish immigrant became agitated at Vancouver International Airport after spending hours in a secure section while his mother tried in vain to contact him from the public side.
Exactly. We need MORE transparency when it comes to Taser use, not less. And then perhaps, one day these torturous devices will become history too.
Although Dziekanski appears more confused than threatening on the video, the officers waited less than 30 seconds before they zapped [...]. Within minutes, he was dead.
Thank you, Stephen Harper. I'm sure you meant well (and so does Kate).

- Canoe/Canadian Press: Taser News
- Wikipedia: List of torturous devices
- Getting it Right: Taser use in Canada (all posts)
- Wikipedia: electric shock
- Wikipedia: Electrocution

The cost of Iraqi oil

4,000 dead American soldiers / 5 years.
800 dead American soldiers per year

800 dead American soldiers / 365 days (I get my calculator out)
2.2 dead American soldiers per day

This 2.2 soldiers per day for ALL THAT OIL? How can that be bad?

- Wikipedia: Oil reserves Iraq
- Democracy Now: U.S. Deaths in Iraq Reach 4,000

Friday, March 21, 2008

Screening of Anti-Koran Film Fitna the Movie explained by Radio the Netherlands Worldwide (video, in English)

Whoever wants to understand the context of Geert Wilders' anti-Koran movie "Fitna", please watch this YouTube video (just under 10 minutes). Highly recommended!

From Radio The Netherlands Worldwide

About Fitna, the Netherlands and Wilders

Very rarely has a film sparked off as much pre-release controversy as Dutch MP Geert Wilder’s ‘Fitna,the movie’. Even without knowing what’s in it, 'Fitna’ has got the world asking questions. Questions about the man who made it and his motives, about the country he lives in where his film is allowed. Questions about that country’s government – which issues warnings about the film but does nothing to stop it. And questions about the position of Muslims in The Netherlands. The central character in this film is also struggling with these questions, and decides to travel to The Netherlands in search of answers.


- Fitna the Movie
- Wikipedia: Geert Wilders
- Radio Netherlands: About Fitna the Movie

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Winter Soldier 2008: War experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan

From The Real News

Winter Soldier: Clifton Hicks and Steven Casey

Hicks and Casey: Indiscriminate killings in Iraq

Saturday March 15th, 2008


ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER: Clifton Hicks and Steve Casey were privates for C Troop of the 1st Squadron of the 1st US Cavalry Regiment in the Abu Ghraib neighborhood.

CLIFTON HICKS, US SOLDIER: My name is Clifton Hicks. This is Steve Casey to my left here. We were both privates in C Troop of the 1st Squadron of the 1st US Cavalry Regiment. First item, April 2004, free fire zone in Abu Ghraib neighborhood of Baghdad, during Operation Blackjack, my troop was specifically instructed by our troop commander, a captain, that a particular sector we were moving to recon enforce was now considered a free-fire zone. I specifically recall him telling us that there were, quote, “no friendlies in the area,” and then he specifically said, “Game on. All weapons free.” It's important to understand these are not unusual orders. These are not even unnecessary orders. In the nature of war and this particular war, these are necessary whenever a situation gets unusually dangerous or confused, which happens quite often, as I'm sure you can imagine. Upon arrival in the area, we found the streets, besides being littered with wreckage of, you know, vehicles, who knows if it's a civilian or an enemy vehicle? There's on way to tell. But wreckage of vehicles. There wasn't a single building in this neighborhood that hadn't had a hole shot through it or something explode inside of it. This place was totally destroyed. The streets were littered with numerous human and animal corpses, not just men, but all manner of humanity. I personally saw no military gear or weapons of any kind on any of the bodies that I came across. I personally did not fire my weapon on this operation. But I do know that other members of my unit embraced the weapons-free order, for example by firing indiscriminately into occupied civilian vehicles and at civilians themselves, using both personal weapons, such as rifles, and cruiser vehicle-mounted weapons, such as machine guns, coaxial machine guns of various caliber.

STEVEN CASEY, US SOLDIER: I'm Steven Casey. I was in the same unit as Cliff. We went to the city, where we were supposed to secure and patrol. One of the first things that I noticed is that several buildings had been bulldozed by American engineering companies, two had been flattened and piled everything from rubble and vehicles up on the side of the road and set them ablaze. And that's how they cleaned up the area and weeded out the bad guys. And we were sort of a cleanup crew after that. And we eyewitnessed several different occurrences where people took advantage of the free-fire order. Specifically, over 20 different vehicles were disabled. I witnessed personal weapons being fired into the radiators and windshields due to the fact that these vehicles were coming up the correct side of the road that we were going down the wrong way. Our orders at this point in time were to have one vehicle on each side of the highway and ensure there was no one on the highway besides us. So with all the hand-waving you can really do from a vehicle, those who didn't turn around, unfortunately, were neutralized one way or another, into the vehicle there were shots fired, into the windshields, the radiators.

HICKS: It was later estimated, later reported to us by our platoon leader—Steve and I were in separate platoons. He was a scout. I was a tanker. But my platoon leader later reported to me that some whiz kid somewhere had estimated that between 700 to 800 enemy had been killed on that operation. And as you just heard, and I'll agree to that, and I'll agree to swear to that to the day I die, I didn't see one enemy on that operation, but 700 to 800 of them got killed. Judging from what I saw on the ground, I'm willing to swear under oath in all honesty that while many enemy combatants were in fact killed, the majority of those so-called KIAs were in fact civilians attempting to flee the battlefield.

CASEY: I'd like to bring up something that Hicks brought up earlier, and that is the raids and the way the raids are conducted. And usually the—. What happens, to go on into raids, and typically, in many, many instances, it is what the military calls a “dry hole” or “whoops.” Several times this happened, specifically at one event I would like to talk about, and I'll be providing some video evidence, sort of a truncated version of the raid. But you can get the gist. It was just a typical night raid. It was my platoon, a couple of Bradleys. We rolled out to this house, and the procedure for getting into the gate, 'cause typically there were concrete walls with metal gates closed and secured. So we would pivot and steer the Bradleys into the walls to knock down the wall and tear down the infrastructure, whatever security infrastructure that the person's home had, sometimes even crushing the vehicles parked right behind it, 'cause you can't see over it. After doing that, we dropped the ramp and continue inside. We go to the right door, which happens to be the wrong door. You can't get into the house through this door. There was a deep freeze behind the house. So in all this chaos, everyone's screaming and trying to find another way to get in. We go through the front door. And then we started hearing a lady screaming from the inside, her and her children. And we get to the door and bust the door in, and take her and her children to what we call the EPW Roundup Area, which is where lower enlisted soldiers would take the enemy prisoners of war, like this lady and her children, at gunpoint, hold them until the raid was complete. So moving on through there, we entered their house and destroyed it. We rummaged through her personal effects and touched things no one should ever probably touch looking for weapons, puncturing the walls, looking for soft spots. That was the new thing at that point in time, that they were putting things in the walls. So that was our order. So I guess to make this a long story short, we destroyed this lady's house and we find nothing. We've scared her to death and her children. We were off by a number—it was the house across the street. And we didn't go. [inaudible] I mean, at the time, I actually say, “Hey, we've got time. Why don't we go?” However, we didn't go. We chalked it up, as he says, [inaudible] went home and maybe went to bed.


- The Real News: Winter Soldier: Clifton Hicks and Steven Casey
- Wikipedia: Winter Soldier 1971
- Wikipedia: Winter Soldier 2008: Iraq Veterans Against the War

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Danish Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard: "A totalitarian power threatens us in Europe"

'A totalitarian power threatens us in Europe'

By Nanda Troost in de Volkskrant
gepubliceerd op 10 maart 2008 01:07, bijgewerkt op 01:07

ÅRHUS - ‘If you want to satirise, you have to provoke first. Satire doesn't come out of the blue.’ Kurt Westergaard gives an old example. During the Spanish Civil War, Nazi Germany, an ally of Franco, bombed the holy Basque city of Guernica. In 1940 an officer in the Luftwaffe asked the artist Pablo Picasso, 'Was that you, did you do Guernica?' 'No,' says Picasso, 'it was you!'

Kurt Westergaard (72) became a political cartoonist late in life. His parents made him get a real job first. 'They used to say that if I was a teacher, I would have the whole blackboard to draw on every day.' As a teacher and later as a head teacher, he drew illustrations for schoolbooks for handicapped children. 'Learning by doing was the philosophy.'

No, Westergaard has no regrets. He wouldn't do anything differently even though he now knows that there are people who want to kill him, more than two and a half years after the infamous 12 cartoons were published in Jyllands-Posten. He still draws every day. He turns to the opinion pages with his cartoon: KW.

– Did you expect this 'second' cartoon crisis?
Westergaard laughs sarcastically. 'Nobody expected this. After the riots in 2006, the deaths, the 5,000 hate mails and the false bomb alerts the paper received, the cartoons were history. But now, papers that were critical at the time have also printed the cartoons. That meant a lot to me, and to Jyllands-Posten. The papers are standing shoulder to shoulder. Jyllands-Posten is a liberal newspaper. People who don't agree with us call us conservative, nationalist even. But we don't run away from a debate. We have always responded to religious obscurities. That's not always easy for the Christian readers we have. I have received messages of support from all over the world. People offer me their homes, in Germany, Israel, the Faeroe Islands.'

– But there have also been unfavourable responses. You had to leave the hotel you were staying in. Your wife was no longer welcome at the kindergarten where she helped out.
'When that happened I did wonder whether we were still welcome here. But the hotel's decision was taken by someone in Brussels. Some years ago in Amman, Jordan, people died when a wedding party was attacked at one of the chain's hotels. And two overzealous civil servants in Århus thought my wife would put the crèche in danger. They apologised later. There is a lot of support for us here, and there's no objection to the costs. Security is expensive, I realise that. It takes 13 people for me to have one bodyguard. How is it with Ayaan Hirsi Ali by the way?'

– Guernica or a bomb in a turban, does everything really have to be said?
'Yes, that's the way we do it here.'

– Even if you know it's offensive?
'Offensive? That's something they'll just have to learn to live with. Politicians are insulted by cartoons every day. We live in a tolerant country and we can do that. Anyone who lives here must accept democracy the way we do it. In Europe, we didn't give in when the Nazis and fascists threatened us or when the communists were at the door. Another totalitarian force is attacking us now. Not the Muslims as a group, of course, but a handful of radicals. You don't give in to them. I am an atheist but I'm not anti-religion. Muslims as a group must realise that religion is a private matter.'

– Aren't you afraid of polarisation?
'If it hadn't been the cartoons, it would have been something else. It was inevitable. The cartoon crisis was a catalyst in a process of adaptation between Muslims and ethnic Danes. There's friction between two cultures: the democratic Danish culture and the religious Muslim culture. The tension will last for many years to come. But the Danish, the west European culture will win.

'Have you heard the joke about a country in the Middle East that has got a rocket to attack the West. When they come to fire it, it won't leave the ground. There are too many people holding on to it so that they can go to the West. And that's the way it is. Muslims want to live here because we have got such good public services. In that respect, this second crisis is a setback for integration. Danes who are tolerant will become less tolerant. The ordinary Dane will wonder why they have come here and we know the answer: the prospects are much better here.'

– There is a fear in the Netherlands that the riots will be repeated, but this time against the Dutch. The film hasn't been released yet but flags have already been burnt in Afghanistan, Danish flags as well.
'I'm very, very sorry that people suffered. But we – I – can't accept any responsibility for what happened. The riots in 2006 were incited by regimes that can't satisfy the needs of their own people. That's where the problem lies, not with us. I wonder just how religiously aware all those young men were. Most of them hadn't even seen the cartoons.

'Muslims have to stop seeing themselves as victims. We've made mistakes, too, I won't deny that. Politicians, including those on the Left, have failed. But that's changing and most Muslims live a very decent life here. They are accepted and we need them. But they have to understand how democracy works and they have to accept our system.'

– Not every Kurt Westergaard is happy.
The cartoonist bursts out laughing. 'No, apparently there are about 16 people called Kurt Westergaard living near here.' Then seriously, 'It is very bad that other people are also being threatened. I said on television that if they want to threaten anyone they should threaten me. I'm the only real one.'

– And you're not scared?
'No,' he repeats, very definitely. 'No. You have no choice but to be brave and you get used to it. It helps that my wife is so supportive. She has never said I shouldn't have drawn that damned cartoon.

'But what does scare me, really scare me, is the role of the Muslim elite. The spokesman for the largest Muslim organisation says that Jyllands-Posten is in the hands of dark Jewish forces that will close the paper down if we don't criticise Muslims. Or the Afghan foreign minister who comes to thank us for our support and soldiers in Afghanistan but talks about extremists in Denmark being of the same calibre as Osama bin Laden. And he's talking about us! If that's how the elite think, what must the ordinary Muslim be thinking?'

– And that damned cartoon?
No, no, no, I am not sorry. I still draw what and how I want to. But this will never end. I have accepted that I will have to live the rest of my life under the protection of the Danish security service.'

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The NDP and the Cadman bribe: "Tommy Douglas must be spinning in his grave like a lathe"

Not my words, but those of Don MacNeil:

Tommy Douglas must be spinning in his grave like a lathe.

The former leader of the New Democratic leader, chosen as the Greatest Canadian of all-time, would be shocked to find out what his party under Jack Layton has devolved into.

This week the New Democratic Party of Canada has decided it will not support an Ethics Committee investigation into the Chuck Cadman Affair.
Yes, yes, we know this. Anything else about the NDP?
Pat Martin, an NDP representative on the House of Commons Ethics Committee, says the Cadman affair is not “a good fit for the ethics committee” and that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should investigate.

Pat Martin and the NDP may be the last people who still have faith in the Mounties. The Liberals have also asked the RCMP to look into the matter as well, but have also proposed it go to the Ethics Committee. The Bloc Québecois support the Liberals but Jack Layton and the Conservatives oppose public committee hearings into allegations of bribery leveled against the prime minister.
I agree, it's weird for the NDP to fully trust the RCMP. By the way, on other corruption files the NDP had no problem handing it over to an ethics commission first. Double standards for sure.
The Cons motives are obvious. The same could be said about the Liberals and Bloc but the puzzling thing to some is why the Dippers aren’t willing to get to go along.

The conventional wisdom has the NDP in league with the Harper Gang in trying to silence the Chuck Cadman Affair, because they are afraid the only beneficiary, politically, of the whole scandal will be the Liberal Party and the New Democrats would rather be complicit in a cover-up than risk being hurt politically.
Indeed, we can't trust the NDP on the Cadman file. Shame on the NDP!
Pretty strong language, I agree, but then again it’s a pretty strong topic. This has the makings of the greatest Canadian political scandal since the Pacific Scandal that brought the end to the first Conservative government of John A. Macdonald.

So the question (again) is why is Jack Layton running interference for Stephen Harper? If the answer turns out to be for purely personal partisan gain than Layton and Martin have hands as dirty as they allege the Harper Gang’s are.
Exactly! Dirty hands are appearing everywhere I look.
Also the NDP are coming off a bribery scandal their own.
One where they had to apologize in the House of Commons and pay a cash settlement to a Liberal candidate in the last election that they accuse of trying to bribe one of his rivals. The story was a complete fabrication by a NDP candidate and the party paid a heavy price, both financially, and what would be more important to Tommy Douglas, to their reputation as being the conscious of the commons.

It might be something they want to avoid as the Cadman Affair may do collateral damage to Jack Layton’s political objectives.
Read the whole story: It's not too late to build a better world

Stephen Harper the briber: when will he be removed from office?

It's time for our elected members to act. Canada is currently being governed by a Prime Minister who has been caught bribing. How much longer will it take before he's being removed from office, one way or another?

Leave your estimated number of days in the comments section; thank you

Wanna topple the Conservative Government? Focus on the Cadman Bribery, Stupid!

Adam Radwasnki in the Globe and Mail today:

In the same Question Period that Jack Layton calls for the head of his chief of staff, Stephen Harper praises the NDP leader for asking good questions.

Naturally, this was in the context of the Liberals not asking good questions. One is left to draw two conclusions:

1.) If the Prime Minister enthusiastic about questions on the NAFTA leak, and angry about questions on the Cadman affair, that's a pretty good indication which topic the opposition should be focusing on. (Hint: not NAFTA)

2.) If you're the leader of an opposition party, and the Prime Minister is saying nice things about you in Question Period, it's pretty obvious you're not doing your job properly.

He couldn't be more right.

- Globe and Mail: Too cute by half

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Reading Stephen Harper's mind: "Chuck Cadman is a liar"

Yes, Chuck Cadman is liar, at least for Conservatives he is. It's the only option available after deductive reasoning.

Let's take the following Conservative views for a fact:
- Chuck Cadman has told family members that a million dollar insurance policy was offered in return for a vote. We can trust Dona on this since nobody is arguing this to be false, not even the Conservative Party; she's still the nominated candidate for the Conservatives.
- The Conservatives "categorically" deny having offered anything close to a million dollar life insurance.

Well, then there's no other option available then that Chuck Cadman has been lying about what had been offered to him by Conservatives.

So just say it, Stephen, just say what's on your mind: "Chuck Cadman is liar"

Update 1: searching Technorati I just found this article: Why is Chuck Cadman being called a liar?
Update 2: an other option I didn't think off (read the comments)

- Wikipedia: deductive reasoning
- National Post: Harper won’t be pinned down on ‘financial considerations’ for Cadman

Anti-Qur'an Film "Fitna" from Geert Wilders given own website

Wilders' film website goes online

From Radio Netherlands
The Hague - The website for the anti-Qur'an film Fitna by Geert Wilders is online under the name fitnathemovie. There is little to see at the moment: only the cover of the Qur'an with the text "Allahu Akhbar", which means "God is Great" and "Geert Wilders presents Fitna - Coming Soon" against a black background.
Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders announced two weeks ago that his film will be shown on this website. He is also negotiating with television stations to broadcast Fitna.

On Tuesday, Mr Wilders said he was prepared to show the film to the national terrorism coordinator Tjebbe Joustra one day ahead of it being broadcast on the condition that it would not be banned. The MP stresses that his film does not contravene Dutch law.
- Radio Netherlands: Wilders' Film Website Goes Online
- Wikipedia: Geert Wilders
- Wikipedia: Film Fitna

Stephen Harper owes us an explanation (2)

From the Toronto Star: Unanswered Questions

Mar 05, 2008 04:30 AM

Why does this have to be so hard? Why can't Prime Minister Stephen Harper stand up in Parliament or go before the House of Commons ethics committee and provide clear answers to simple questions?

It's no secret that Conservative party officials back in 2005 tried to persuade independent Member of Parliament Chuck Cadman, who was dying of cancer at the time, to rejoin the Tory caucus and topple Paul Martin's minority Liberal government in a confidence vote.

But what exactly did the Conservatives offer for Cadman's support?

Three Cadman family members – his wife Dona, his daughter Jodi, and his son-in-law Holland Miller – all say Cadman told them, in separate conversations, that he was offered some kind of million-dollar "life insurance" deal. If so, that might constitute a bribe and a crime.

Harper fiercely denies any wrongdoing, and he has threatened to sue Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and others who suggest as much.

Yet when asked two years ago about the policy by Cadman biographer Tom Zytaruk, Harper replied that party officials had "discussions" with Cadman about "financial issues" and "financial insecurity." He also said: "But the, uh, the offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election, okay? That's my understanding of what they were talking about."

What offer, exactly? What financial issues? What insecurity?

Did anyone from the Conservative party, or claiming ties to it, offer Cadman a million-dollar benefit, with or without Harper's approval?

Instead of casting a libel chill over the Cadman affair, Harper should tell Canadians what he knows. What led him to conclude there was "no truth" to the insurance story when he looked into it? And party insiders Tom Flanagan and Doug Finley need to shed light on precisely what help they offered Cadman and on what terms.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been asked to look into all this by the Liberals. But Parliament needn't defer to a police probe. The ethics committee should be calling Flanagan, Finley and others to testify. If the Conservatives truly have nothing to hide, they should not be standing in the way of such an inquiry.

- Toronto Star: Unanswered Questions

Monday, March 03, 2008

A question for the Prime Minister of Canada that needs to be answered

Prime Minister,

Doesn't the Zytaruk tape tell us that you asked two of your officials, probably Flanagan and Finlay, to make the case that Chuck Cadman could possibly be receiver of financial considerations for supporting the Conservative Party?

If so I can only conclude the following:

Prime Minisiter Harper, (a) being the holder of a judicial office [...] directly or indirectly, [...] [attempted] to obtain, for another person [Chuck Cadman], [financial] consideration, [in return for support of the Conservative Party][...]

And that's a crime: 14 years maximum.

- Buckdog: Transcript Of Harper Interview With Author Zytaruk Shows Contradictions With Tories Current Claims
- Wikipedia: Chuck Cadman
- Wikipedia: Tom Flanagan
- Audio: Zytaruk recording
- The Turner Report: "Shame"

Stephen Harper owes us an explanation

How can any Prime Minister start suing members of an opposition for libel when this same Prime Minister is caught on tape, admitting he took part in bribing a member of parliament?

Only a desperate Conservative named Stephen Harper could do that.

UPDATE: Read my "Question to the Prime Minister that needs to be answered" too.

- Getting it Right: Harper's ordering of Cadman bribery is a criminal offence
- Audio: Zytaruk recording

Stephen Harper sues Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff and Ralph Goodale over Cadman bribery allegations

From CTV
Harper files notice of libel over Cadman allegations

Updated Mon. Mar. 3 2008 9:46 AM ET News Staff

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has filed a notice of libel against Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and other top Liberals over allegations they've made about him in the Chuck Cadman affair.

Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief, told Newsnet that Dion was served this morning at his Stornoway residence in Ottawa.

"The prime minister is not only suing the Liberal leader, he's suing the deputy leader, Michael Ignatieff; Ralph Goodale, who is the House leader; and the Liberal Party of Canada," he said.

"Mr. Harper's notice of libel says they've accused him of knowing about Conservative bribery in the Cadman affair," he said.

Harper said the allegations, made outside the House of Commons and on the Liberal party's website, are false and misleading. He is asking for an immediate retraction, Fife said.

The notice asks for two allegedly defamatory articles to be removed from the website and provides wording for an apology to be read out by Dion in the House of Commons. The notice requests the apology be given in English and French.

If the Liberals don't provide an apology, the Conservatives want the Liberals to preserve all records and e-mail traffic, Fife said.

Last week, a new book made the claim that former Conservative MP Chuck Cadman was essentially offered financial inducements by Conservative party officials to vote down the Liberal government's 2005 budget.

Cadman ultimately voted to support the budget.

Dona Cadman said her husband, who was sitting as an Independent MP and was terminally ill with cancer, was offered a $1 million life insurance policy to vote against the budget. Her daughter Jodi has also said her late father told her about the offer.

According to a interview with Tom Zytaruk, the book's author, Harper -- then the opposition leader -- said in 2005, "The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."

The Conservatives have said there is no truth to the life insurance allegation.

The Liberals are pushing for the RCMP to investigate the matter.

- CTV: Harper files notice of libel over Cadman allegations
- CBC: PM suing Liberals over Cadman allegations
- Globe and Mail: Harper threatens to sue Dion, key Liberals
- Getting it Right: Harper's ordering of Cadman bribery is a criminal offence
- All of my Cadman bribery posts

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why Geert Wilders' movie Fitna is acceptable to Europeans

The movie that everyone in the Netherlands has been talking about but nobody has seen yet is called Fitna. The coverage of this 10 minute movie by Dutch MP Geert Wilders has been immense, and not only in the Netherlands. Remember the ban on YouTube in Pakistan? And even NATO Boss Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is worried about the possible fallout of the movie.

Many Dutch MPs want the government to do a better job of communicating why the movie will not be banned at forehand. Dutch MP Alexander Pechthold explained it this way:

"The cabinet constantly warns Mr Wilders about the film's consequences. We should address ourselves more to other countries. Here we are accustomed to democracy and freedom of expression but not everyone abroad is.

Elsewhere fundamentalists seize on these sort of films to preach hatred against the West. We have to explain what our fundamental rights represent. Maybe the prime minister should explain the matter on Al Jazeera. Or Mr Ahmed Aboutaleb [the deputy minister for social affairs], who speaks Arabic."
The Netherlands should join forces with other European countries, which have a stake in it too:
"The protests sparked by the Danish cartoons, for example, show this can happen to any country. In fact, we should now form a common front at the EU Council of Ministers. Democracy and freedom of expression are European inventions. But it now looks like each country is left to fend for itself."
No word yet from the Dutch government if they will actually follow suit.


- Radio Netherlands: Europe should explain Wilders to world
- NRC Handelsblad: De Hoop Scheffer warns of consequences Wilders film (Google translate from Dutch)
- Wikipedia: Film Fitna
- Wikipedia: Geert Wilders

Harper's ordering of Cadman bribery is a criminal offence

Doesn't Harper know that ordering the bribing of an MP is a criminal offence?

Just read the Criminal Code of Canada, section 119:

Corruption and Disobedience

Bribery of judicial officers, etc.

119. (1) Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who

(a) being the holder of a judicial office, or being a member of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by them in their official capacity, or

(b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by that person in their official capacity.
Yes, you read that right, directly or indirectly. And although Stephen Harper did not bribe Chuck directly (which explains Chuck's denial that money was offered when conversing with Harper directly), he surely ordered two of his party members, Conservatives Tom Flanagan (close confidant of Stephen Harper) and Doug Finley (Director of Political Operations, Conservative Party of Canada), to do so.

The evidence can be found in the Zytaruk recording (mp3).

When the author asked Harper if "there was an insurance policy for a million dollars", Harper explained his own involvement with Chuck Cadman as follows:
Um, I don't know the details [...] but [several individuals legitimately representing the Conservative Party] were [...] convinced there [were] financial issues. [...]

I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and [...] if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it. [...]

But the, uh, the offer [of an insurance policy in return for Chuck's vote] was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."
"Make that case but don't press it", doesn't that sound like an order coming from the top? And that's an order for bribery.

- Criminal Code of Canada
- Buckdog: Transcript Of Harper Interview With Author Zytaruk Shows Contradictions With Tories Current Claims
- Wikipedia: Chuck Cadman
- Wikipedia: Tom Flanagan
- Audio: Zytaruk recording
- The Turner Report: "Shame"