Monday, April 30, 2012

Interesting question . . .

FROM OCCUPY CANADA. Makes you wonder . . .

The Ballad of Stevie . . .

JIMBOBBYSEZ IS BRILLIANT! The Ballad of Stephen Harper, à la Jed Clampett. Enjoy.

Mitchell's masterpiece . . .

Battle of Britain Spitfire II
MONDAY SURPRISE — 20 BRAND-NEW Spitfire XIV's! According to Victoria Ward at and Rowena Mason at The Telegraph, "Spitfires buried in Burma during war to be returned to UK". The XIV was a late-model Spit, with a R-R Griffon engine replacing the Merlin, and a laminar-flow wing, a much faster aircraft than the Battle-of-Britain Spitfire II with its 3-blade prop.

“They were just buried there in transport crates,” Mr Cundall said. “They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

Maybe we could borrow them while the chimps in Ottawa figure out what's going to replace our F-18's?

Are you awake yet?

Consider the cost of this.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has always vehemently denied bringing cheap foreign labour into Canada. Employers had to pay foreign temporary workers “the prevailing wage,” he pointed out.

That indeed is what the rules said – until Wednesday, when Human Resources Minister Diane Finley quietly changed them. Employers will now be allowed to pay foreign temp workers 15 per cent less than the average wage.

“We are taking action to ensure that the temporary foreign worker program support our economic recovery and effectively responds to local labour market demands,” she said at a manufacturing plant in Nisku, Alta.
Kenney chimed in from Ottawa. “Going forward our government will consider additional measures to strengthen and improve the program,” he promised.

Business leaders, eager to recruit low-cost workers abroad, were delighted. Immigrant support groups, already fighting to protect temporary foreign workers from exploitation, were heartsick. And labour leaders warned that the wage cut would bring down the pay scale for all workers and make it harder for Canadians to compete for jobs in their own country.
And as reprehensible as that is, Lorne brings up the other part of this and it isn't pretty.

Either you start working for less or we'll go outside the country and find someone who will. Once you're laid-off, you won't receive EI benefits unless you take a low wage job, which will end your EI eligibility.

Welcome to Harper's Canada.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another military procurement screw-up

Most Canadians can be excused for not having a clue about the Close Combat Vehicle (CCV) Project. It is, after all, only worth $2 billion.

This particular project, which is intended to provide the army with either a tracked or wheeled (who knows?) infantry fighting vehicle capable of accompanying the Leopard 2 main battle tank into combat, has been a cock-up from the word go.

DND requires that the CCV be a military-off-the-shelf equipment (MOTS). In other words, something that already exists and is in use by other armies.

So, when the various international companies who make such a vehicle submitted their bids, all of them were disqualified.

Why, you ask? Insufficient mine/IED armour protection. Except that everything that was MOTS qualified did not meet the armour requirement. Why? Nobody makes it.

So, drop that proposed procurement and issue a new Notice of Proposed Procurement (NPP). The original number of 138 vehicles was reduced to 108 plus options on 30 more. The underside armour requirement is suddenly removed from the revised NPP but the overall armour, speed and turret requirement remains.

DND insists that the vehicles and the turrets be MOTS. (From the 2010 revised NPP)
The CCV must be an integrated, supportable, existing or upgraded version of a Military Off-the-Shelf (MOTS) BASE VEHICLE and MOTS TURRET, each of which is in production for and/or in service with another military recognized by DND as of the closing date of this Solicitation of Interest and Qualification (SOIQ).
And ... we'd really like the armour we want, y'know.

So, the most qualified candidates with the system closest to what DND/PWGSC wanted ... stayed home. Others competitors submitted MOTS vehicles for evaluation, as is. In short, not quite what DND wanted.

Here's the problem in a nutshell: DND is insisting on a MOTS vehicle and gun turret, but DND would like it modified to create some kind of super-duper armoured delight and they want whoever is delivering such a thing to take all the risk and mix-and-match bits and pieces to create a wonderful Canadian creation which was originally something else so they can say they purchased off-the-shelf.

And, in terms of military hardware like Infantry Fighting Vehicles, its a very small order and not worth the trouble or financial difficulties for most companies.

So, for the second time under the Harper government, this project is getting another restart.

You can count on fewer vehicles in the order, (the price goes up as the years go by), and more finger painting exercises by DND/PWGSC boffins and, if these vehicles are so desperately needed, a continuing deficiency in the Canadian Army's order of battle.

The Harperistas are doing a heckuva job!

Playing for keeps . . .

CHRISTWIRE.ORG is a delightful satire site. Adam Nelson reports in "Game Of American Thrones" that atheists are responsible for this comparison with today's Presidential Politicking — "Pint-sized lump of pure evil" — hooooweeeeee!

Tribal suicide

Too many years of good rains and bountiful harvests have made the members fat and idle. They've lost the memory of droughts and hungry winters and with it, the wisdom to save the grain and salt the fish. They mock the wise ones who know the sky and the waters and say the soils are harder and the sea is wrong, then shun those who question the idolisation of merchants and warriors at the expense of farmers and fishers. The chiefs, to the cheers of the members sitting in their little palaces with no memory of huts, then say to the young ones, 'if you want to hear our elders and their silly babble go forth and bring us more meat and gold like the children of the other tribes who come here to listen to them. We need the tribute pay for our feasts and debts. Let the warriors punish those who question us.' 

It's funny, when many of us imagine the end of society, social disintegration, I think we get visions of Mad Max, Katrina, or something out an Atwood novel. You know, wide spread poverty, violence, and social strife, and not a lot of governance. If there is anything like the latter, it is some fascist type thing with plenty of goons to protect the elites.

Yet here we are watching society as a whole eat itself by attacking its youth, its poor, its disenfranchised based on some stupid narrative of 'entitlement'. No one has really seized power in a coup, there's relatively little wide-spread poverty or violence.

There's no sense of collective responsibility. Lesser sense of the social investment required to keep us all moving coherently through time. There's plenty of people thinking and encouraging investment in the future, but the bulk of that revolves around individual (corporations are individuals too) money-making schemes that often enough directly challenge those who favour environmental and social investment schemes.

The tribal identity embodying the survival-grade social capital that has sustained human groups since the caves is perishing like the pagan Earth gods before the violence of the blind emissaries of the skygod.

The ancient practice of passing wisdom and knowledge to the new generation is itself being attacked. The children of the tribe are being told by the members and the chiefs that if they to know how to perpetuate the group, they've got to find a way to pay tribute for the privilege. The shamans and elders, teachers, are also mocked, suppresed, and told to work harder for their keep.

Strategic thinking, or the open consideration for the future and how to sustain the group through the coming challenges is integral to the survival of societies. If those of us who think about this are shunned by our own tribe, perhaps we must now carve out our own space.

There is little point in continuing to petition people who put on blindfolds before they leave the house and attack their own children.

More in past and future posts.

A strong, stable conservative majority full of liars

This will get the Wurlitzer spinning:
Stephen Harper's Conservative government has won this year's Code of Silence Award from the Canadian Association of Journalists.

The annual award recognizing Canada's most secretive government or publicly funded agency was handed out in Toronto Saturday evening.

The federal government was named for keeping information out of public hands on files such as the F-35 program, avoiding questions at media events and for restricting both public and media access to contentious information.
You have to ask. With a "strong stable conservative majority", why are they still trying to hide everything?

(Gotta love the Maxwell Smart graphic)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hitler away!

Well, Stephen of Harper, you've just subverted a Law of the Internets. Godwin's Law no longer applies and well, we can now happily mock you with comparisons.

Can we get a warrant?

Here's a source of anti-Harper graphics: SIGNS

A salutary comparison . . .

Is this still a democracy?

Lawrence Martin asks the question and then lays out years of Harperist malfeasance.
Real democracies, as we learned in high school, are supposed to be open and tolerant of dissent and have checks and balances and run fair elections. Those kinds of things. 

But anyone who scrolls through recent media, conservative media included, might be forgiven for concluding that we have something more closely resembling the opposite. Something more akin to billy-club governance. Think of the ironclad controls, the scorning of accountability, the censorship, the smearing of opponents, the power unto one. The abuses are not just opposition talk. They’re writ large in Auditor-Generals’ reports, in internal documents and journalists’ investigations. Some of the abuses have happened in other governments but have they ever happened on the scale we’ve seen from this crowd?
Read. Weep.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Conservative Party of Canada ...

Reform Party.

Same difference.

Hey! I wouldn't have gone there until Harper told the Speaker that evolution leads back to the primordial slime.

Personal message for Harper: Have a good weekend you Alberta firewall, Reform party asshole.

It doesn't get better than ...

#HarperHistory - 


Honestly. Harper stands in the House of Commons and one-lines a pack of lies in an effort to discredit his political opposition.

Actually, he tried to smear them on the basis of "the fault of their ancestors". Except that their ancestors did not do what Harper said they did.

But Harper did indeed do this.
Today, the world is at war. A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet Prime Minister Jean Chretien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations.
This is a serious mistake. For the first time in history, the Canadian government has not stood beside its key British and American allies in their time of need. The Canadian Alliance -- the official opposition in parliament -- supports the American and British position because we share their concerns, their worries about the future if Iraq is left unattended to, and their fundamental vision of civilization and human values. Disarming Iraq is necessary for the long-term security of the world, and for the collective interests of our key historic allies and therefore manifestly in the national interest of Canada. Make no mistake, as our allies work to end the reign of Saddam and the brutality and aggression that are the foundations of his regime, Canada's largest opposition party, the Canadian Alliance will not be neutral. In our hearts and minds, we will be with our allies and friends. And Canadians will be overwhelmingly with us.
But we will not be with the Canadian government.
Modern Canada was forged in large part by war -- not because it was easy but because it was right. In the great wars of the last century -- against authoritarianism, fascism, and communism -- Canada did not merely stand with the Americans, more often than not we led the way. We did so for freedom, for democracy, for civilization itself. These values continue to be embodied in our allies and their leaders, and scorned by the forces of evil, including Saddam Hussein and the perpetrators of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That is why we will stand -- and I believe most Canadians will stand with us -- for these higher values which shaped our past, and which we will need in an uncertain future.
The fat little man, who had never darkened the threshold of a recruiting office door, ever,  was writing letters demanding the spilling of Canadian blood in support of a George W. Bush invented war.

He went nuts when we didn't dive blindly into Iraq.

He stuffed himself into the corner of the worst kind of moron the world has ever seen take the reins of the last surviving military superpower.

Not much has changed.

Harper is a whole lot less than what his spin merchants portray.

The truth is, he is a self-absorbed idiot.

Spiritual nutrition . . .



You really have to go read Kady's account of Harper's history. Like now. Just don't have any food or drink in your mouth.

There's a reason this guy doesn't do unscripted.

Harebell has another theory. Fear

PSA: "The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupré"

#AnatomyEdouardBeaupre #Canlit #book

For all you Canadian and prairie fiction aficionados who happen to read this blog, my wondrous and brilliant marvel of a friend has just published her first novel. The Anatomy of Edouard Beaupré is historical fiction centred on a Montreal doctor exploring the corpse of Saskatchewan's very real Willow Bunch Giant. From the publisher's (Coteau) description:
A Montreal doctor investigates the cadaver of the famous Willow Bunch Giant, trying to solve the mystery of why the preserved body is shrinking. His own physical limitations add an urgency to his research, as his body too is failing; a rare condition means it is gradually absorbing its own bones.

The giant’s body has been ravaged not only by the treatment it received immediately after Edouard’s death — being paraded in shop windows and in freak shows — but also by the attentions of a professor who in 1907 bought the body for his experiments and classes.

But the strictly clinical and physical isn’t enough, and the anatomist begins to reveal the story of the man through a series of events selected from his short life...
And from a review in Quill & Quire:

Despite this cruelty and tragedy, York manages to convey more magic and wonder than sadness, using biographical and historical research to recreate the lives of marginalized people like ranch hands, retired fighters, and circus freaks. She portrays Edouard as gentle, shy, handsome, and multilingual, and more intelligent than contemporary journalists gave him credit for being.
What is the relationship between the body and the life lived? And why are we simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by people who are exceptionally different from us? York raises these questions while encouraging the reader to imagine Edouard’s story from his own unique perspective. No small feat.

(I'll withhold my own review for reasons of bias.)

If this is your sort of thing, you'll be delighted to know Sarah will be reading from 'Edouard' in early May on a cross country tour with several other "Fictionistas":
TORONTO - May 3, Ben MacNally Books at 7pm (host: Heather Birrell)
WINNIPEG - May 5, NcNally Robsinson Booksellers - Grant Park at 2 pm (host: Charlene Diehl of THIN AIR)
CALGARY - May 6, Pages on Kensington at 11 am (host: Angie Abdou) * this event is a panel discussion!
EDMONTON-  May 7, Audrey's Books at 7 pm (host: Janice MacDonald)
VANCOUVER - May 8, Vancouver Public Library at 7:30 pm.

The AG repeats his points on the F-35

#F35 #Cdnpoli -

Michael Ferguson repeated the points he made in his report to Parliament on the F-35 boondoggle at the public accounts committee and then added this:
So far, the government has talked about a $25-billion cost over the first 20 years of the program, even though the jets are predicted to last 36 years. 

“There were some significant things that were missing from the life-cycle costing in this, for example attrition, for example upgrades, and the fact that these aircraft were going to last for 36 years, not just 20 years,” Mr. Ferguson told MPs. 

“When we raised the issue of life-cycle costing and the fact that it was not complete, I don’t believe that we were nitpicking in any way. We were saying that there were significant elements that were missing,” he said.
What he did make clear, for the record, is that the $25 billion number, the one the Harperistas were not willing to divulge until someone divulged it for them, had made the trip to cabinet. Harper and MacKay were fully aware of it before the last election.

Then there's this little bit of information
The September, 2011, briefing note was signed by deputy defence minister Robert Fonberg.

“The purpose of this trip is to demonstrate the government’s commitment to the JSF program, while impressing upon key interlocutors Canadian concerns with cost, production schedules and the need for transparent communication to JSF partner nations,” the note said.
There was enough concern at DND to shove Fantino down to Fort Worth. That must have been illuminating for them since, before that trip, the F-35 fly-away cost had already ballooned. By March of this year the Harper cost per plane (acquisition only) of $75 million was so obsolete to have become a near joke.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bob Rae fail. Gordon O'Connor scores one

 #M312 #Cdnpoli -

Who woulda thunk it?

The Harperist government whip stood better ground against Woodworth and his anti-abortion crusade than Liberal leader Bob Rae.

Rae's decision not to whip his party's vote, should it ever come to that, is opening old wounds. And so it should. Spineless sonofabitch.

In contrast, and beyond surprising to me, was government whip Gordon O'Connor.
Woodworth insisted that his motion is only meant to provoke a "respectful dialogue and an open-minded study of the evidence."

But O'Connor disagreed, saying "the ultimate intention of this motion is to restrict abortions at some development stage in Canada." If the legal definition of when a person is considered a human being is changed, and a fetus is then considered a human being then homicide laws would apply, and abortion, as a consequence, would be considered homicide, O'Connor said.

He was the only other Conservative MP to speak during the debate, and he urged everyone to reject his colleague's motion whenever it comes to a vote.
Smack down by your own whip. I believe I just caught a whiff of a closed-door fight that's been going on for a while.

As for Rae, well, here it is spelled out for him in nice clear prose

Timmies country

A great many of the comments below the CBC pieces on the student tuition protests in Quebec demonstrate what I think is wrong with Canada these days.

The students are apparently ungrateful, lazy, and unwilling to work hard to pay for their education. The ferocity of their resistance, the disruption is alarming and they should be respectful and the pinnacle of decorum. Quebec has the lowest tuition in the country so what are they complaining about? As if a good education is an idle trip to Bahamas and not critical investment in the health of the whole nation.

That's whats wrong with us, I think, underneath it all. There are too many of us now who have known no real struggle, and strive for little more than short queues their nectar of half-burnt coffee, sugar, and milk fat served in oversized paper cups. There are too many of us who strive to do little more than sink into the couch yelling millionaires with sticks chasing a bit of rubber around some ice. We're wealthy beyond historic measure, and sloth it blindly like French royals. Today's middle-class are yesterday's nobility. We've been doing that so long now that we've forgotten when the day began with drawing water and hewing wood for warmth.

We've forgotten when living required knowledge beyond operating the debit machine and TV remote. We've forgotten why politics matters, and what democracy is for. We've forgotten community and the necessity of knowing and caring for our neighbours.

We won't fix things until we're torqued off the couch.

Oh, and the flag for those interested. 

My ISP ate my post

I absolutely hate it when that happens. It also ate a couple of important emails. (Well, important to me. The intended recipients will have to decide for themselves whether they can continue on in life without them. I suspect they will have to kill themselves).

My ISP tells me the reason for eating all my profound words is "minor maintenance". Hmmm. For the imperative of "minor maintenance", at an hour of the morning when the cable-people should still be sitting at the breakfast table reading their morning whatevers, we have probably lost the solution to a whole host of problems.

And now, I'm out of time.

So, I will move on, having waved at the cable-guy on my way to the harbour, and suggest that you read this and do follow the links.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The universe's perspective . . .

Odious Oda's perspective . . .

It was a typo!

#F35 #Cdnpoli - 

Elmer's little boy is at it again. Peter MacKay has quietly sneaked in an erratum to the Department of National Defence Plans and Priorities report delivered to Parliament a few months ago.(Emphasis mine)
In an “erratum” note, it says the 2011-12 report wrongly described the F-35 purchase as being in “definition” project phase, which generally means an item has already received preliminary approval from Treasury Board, the gatekeeper for federal spending.
That would mean, (and there are a few of us who write here who really know this), that we would have before us, available for perusal, full life cycle costs and full life cycle material management costs. And the trade-off of industrial regional benefits.

But now ... ?
Instead the decision to buy a next-generation fighter is being reclassified as being in “option analysis” phase, which means Ottawa is still determining what it needs in terms of a plane.
Which means working up the LCC and LCMM on not only the F-35, but also any other contender out there, based on a comprehensive Statement of Requirements. As the Auditor-General pointed out, "5th generation fighter", is not an SOR.

This, however, gets even more precious.
In the note, National Defence blames an unknown bureaucrat for the snafu, saying someone made a “typographical error” in the 2011-12 “Report on Plans and Priorities.”
A typographical error? A typographical error?!!

Look at how your fingers would have to be misplaced on your qwerty keyboard, presumably in complete darkness, to make that significant a typo.

Tack on another lie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Not good enough

Until caught, Bev Oda was happy to indulge in excesses at the taxpayers' expense. But now that she's been caught ...
“The expenses are unacceptable, should never have been charged to taxpayers, I have repaid the costs associated with changing hotels and I unreservedly apologize,” Ms. Oda said during the Question Period. 
Unacceptable? Correct.

Should never have been charged to us hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens? Correct.

Repaid the costs? That's merely reparations for having intentionally committed an offence. That is not punishment and that is not rehabilitation.

Apologize? That's it?!

Let's see ... back in March 2011 ... right!

Bev Oda breached parliamentary priviledge when she lied to parliament after altering a document.

Oda is a liar, a cheat and a thief. Nothing seems to sink in to that self-entitled skull. The apology is disingenuous crap.

Perfect continuing cabinet material for a political gang that gained power by cheating, stealing and lying.

Political minders


Not in my country.

Hey government scientists, why not get together and hold a press conference to introduce your research and your political minders to the world? Let them be photographed and invite the international media to interview the 'media relations contacts' and get their names. Make sure there's an upside-down Canadian flag in the background.

Don't be afraid of these vampires. Go on the offensive and stick'm in the sunlight.


#cdnpoli #vikileaks30 

Go visit Kady's play by play account of #vikileaks30 tweeter Adam Carroll deftly dispatching his committee interrogators.

Oh, and Dean del Mastro, maybe you should ring up Senator Brazeau so he can explain to you the complex difference between winning and losing to a Liberal. But only after you show us your party research office's squeaky clean files on opposition members.

More please. That was fun.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tom Flanagan gets a wedgie


A little.

Alberta's Progressive Conservatives have won yet another resounding majority, brushing aside the upstart Wildrose Party with a near-sweep of the province's major cities.
The victory means Alberta voters -- one-fifth of whom were undecided in the final days -- opted for Alison Redford's progressive, big-government vision for the province at a time when it's an economic leader of Canada.
As a Lotuslander, I have no real reason to cheer for Alison Redford and her Alberta PCs. She was the lesser of two evils and, as Rick Mercer once made clear, that's the choice voters have to make.

If there is a reason to cheer it is that Wild Rose Alliance campaign director, Tom Flanagan, just got his firewall politics stuffed up his ass.

I'm probably wrong here, but something drifted through my mind earlier in the day. With a civil service, public employees and a contract public service the size of Alberta's the value of that vote could not be dismissed. And those people, those who depend on the Alberta government remaining stable were looking at two things:

- Danielle Smith promised to attack them and the security of their livelihoods; and,

- Stephen Harper, a reformer armed with a majority government, demonstrated a ruthless disregard for the people who staff the civil service. In fact, he has exhibited a pathological hatred for the civil service.

If there was ever a reliable litmus test for Danielle Smith, it is Stephen Harper.

Added:  Dana's comment is germane. Overnight the professional media will be tripping over their own genitals trying to decide how they got it so wrong and blaming Alberta's voters for making them look like idiots.

Bonus! Link Byfield loses. Ezra Levant is now rooting through the fruit bowl for his next new hat.

OK Alberta

Go on, elect the noxious weed children. With this sort of thing, and the stuff about how awesome it is to be a white dude, etc, you'll be lucky to still have an economy by the next election after all the non-bigots flee the province.

The weekly headlines in the rest of the country will interesting to say the least. Watching your newly bloomed Roses discover there's a) a Constitution and b) a Charter within it, and c) it means they can't ban non-whites and gays from owning property and having jobs will be interesting.

Exposing the Western flank

Added (ht Ann Harvey in comments): Laila Yule's "Playing with the Dragon" post is an excellent primer for what I say below. 

MoS highlighted a couple of things this week which warrant a bit of attention.
Early last week it was announced that Harper's EnviroCan was relocating its Pacific emergency oil spill operations to Quebec which a suspicious mind might connect somehow to Harper's insane obsession with ramping up British Columbia's probability of massive oil spills from his bitumen oil tanker initiative.

But Quebec wasn't far enough for the Canadian navy Acoustic Data Analysis Centre (Pacific) that collects and analyzes acoustic intelligence from the Pacific Ocean.  ADAC-P is now being shut down and moved to, wait for it, Halifax.   Just as British Columbia's emergency oil spill problems are to be left to a team in distant Quebec, so our Pacific naval intelligence can be left to the Atlantic Command.
And then over at Dawg's, there's a link to this piece of interest. What does the Chinese propaganda minister have to do with us?

Like the Northern Gateway, there's a strategic purpose to all this. One does not reduce local oil spill response capacity at the same time one is forcing through a massive new oil pipeline and export facility. Reason would suggest the two go hand in hand. Throw in dishonesty about navigation safety for the 300 000 ton tankers that would navigate to Kitimat, and one has to start thinking the unthinkable.


If I were to hypothesize, all of this centres on turning Canada into THE Chinese resource storeroom mixed with the Harper scorched-earth/play-the-system-against-itself MO for getting things done.  The growth potential for China is massive, and in the eyes of power-fetishist like the present prime minister, there is no place quite like that state. Canada's comparative advantage of being a sparsely populated (by China standards) landmass full of oil, trees, and minerals is like no place on Earth. Russia, the South American continent, and Africa are politically complicated.

Russia is nationalist, well armed, and has its own sphere of influence in Europe, which makes unsuitable for China to even attempt to exploit. South American and Africa are multistate and politically volatile. Chinese investment in the latter especially is high, but a rapid shift in government or the disintegration of a state could see China evicted overnight.

Canada is simple and wealthy, under a leader with a style the Chinese might appreciate. With his demonstrated willingness to subvert democracy and crush dissent in order to consolidate power. Morever, he is willing to dismantle obstacles, like environmental assessment, that get in the way of resource access.

By stripping protections against oil spills, the government is ramping up the chances of losing control of such a spill. If a spill happens and cannot be effectively mitigated, that portion of the coastline can be written off and used indefinitely without issues. There's no ecosystem left to protect and the livelihoods of a few fishers and foresters and the cultural value of the landscape means nothing to the wealth and power that comes with oil.

I don't know what goes on at Pacific naval intelligence but common sense would suggest relocating the geographically-specific centre to different ocean speaks to some serious reduction in capacity and experience of local conditions. This could mean the loss of capacity to know what goes on above and below the waves off our coastline. It's not like you could just wander over to the sub or frigate skipper's office if you needed to talk about something important. Who would want to study our coastline or benefit from increased capacity to operate on this side of the Pacific unnoticed? If the Americans have a problem with it they've got resources and its a opportunity for Harper's Canada to play two co-dependent rivals off each other.

What I've said here is speculation. I don't really know why they're doing what they're doing, but I'm convinced there's calculation to the madness. These people have convictions and visions for Canada that are alien to many of us, and reprehensible to anyone but them.

High crimes and misdemeanors . . .

— The Holy Goat of Sincerity —

DUBYA AND THE NEO-CONS have got a lot to answer for, according to SLATE's Larry Siems, whose article, "How America Came To Torture Its Prisoners", is a fascinating over-view of the whole criminal process of this sad slide to fascism. High crimes and misdemeanors, indeed. The question remains: will anybody ever be called to account?

Our highest government officials, up to and including President Bush, broke international and U.S. laws banning torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Worse, they made their subordinates in the military and civilian intelligence services break those laws for them.

When the men and women they asked to break those laws protested, knowing they could be prosecuted for torture, they pretended to rewrite the law. They commissioned legal opinions they said would shield those who carried out the abuses from being hauled into court, as the torture ban requires. “The law has been changed,” detainees around the world were told. “No rules apply.”

Then they tortured. They tortured men at military bases and detention centers in Afghanistan and Iraq, in Guantánamo, and in U.S. Navy bases on American soil; they tortured men in secret CIA prisons set up across the globe specifically to terrorize and torture prisoners; they sent many more to countries with notoriously abusive regimes and asked them to do the torturing. At least twice, after the torturers themselves concluded there was no point to further abuse, Washington ordered that the prisoners be tortured some more.

They tortured innocent people. They tortured people who may have been guilty of terrorism-related crimes, but they ruined any chance of prosecuting them because of the torture. They tortured people when the torture had nothing to do with imminent threats: They tortured based on bad information they had extracted from others through torture; they tortured to hide their mistakes and to get confessions; they tortured sometimes just to break people, pure and simple.

And they conspired to cover up their crimes.

Just like Stevie and Vickie and Airshow and the rest of the CON chimps.

Yours, mine and not theirs

#m312 #tellyourmpeverything #cdnpoli - 

On April 26th, on the floor of the House of Commons, the rights of over 1/2 of this country's citizens will be placed on the table in a motion to "study" whether that block of citizens should have their inalienable human rights stripped away.

No matter how you interpret Motion 312, in this century, in an age where we have spent countless lives in the struggle to progress human rights, the women of this country, without their consent, are to have their right to choose a medical procedure debated.

Stephen Woodworth, a right-wing, religiously motivated, Harper Conservative male back-bencher, is going to have at Canadian women.

All Canadian women.

He would like to discuss when "life begins" and would like to strike a special parliamentary committee to investigate that "issue".

Not one of the members of such a committee would be a scientist or a bona fide physician, but you can bet that most of them would come from male-dominated "churches", the likes of which promote the subjugation of women by laying claim over their reproductive organs.

In this century, in this supposedly enlightened age, we are allowing a bunch of superstitious males to bring their religious beliefs into the secular environment of Parliament to seek the "answers" to "questions" which they could find at any walk-in medical clinic.

It goes beyond disgusting. It is dangerous in the extreme.

The reproductive organs of every human in this country belong to the individual. The immorality of placing them on the table for debate should sicken you. 

Take action. Download and sign the petition. Support the Radical Handmaids. Stop Stephen Woodworth dead in his tracks.

Entitled to their entitlements

The screaming hypocrisy of the Harper Conservatives continues unabated. If you don't know what I mean yet, go read Nancy's morning post.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pipeline provocations

Looking back, Toronto looked a lot like the trial run. The first protests began outside Enbridge's offices, the BC legislature, and several places along the route.  Then access roads to the workcamps were blocked by protesters. Spiked trees on the route and the usual suspects chaining themselves up, followed by the subsequently largely peaceful arrests. The RCMP were initially surprised at the numbers of protesters, however, and reinforced their local detachments. Soon they ran out of enough people, and like Toronto a few years earlier, imported police from other forces around the country, eventually commandeering entire hotels and motels. Several town councils took symbolic votes to expel the police, who then began to fortify local detachments or move them out of communities. 

Enbridge subsequently complained that they couldn't proceed with construction due to security concerns for its brigade of $10 000/month 20 year old pipeline workers who found themselves blocked from worksites, cursed by protesters, and a number had their pick-up trucks vandalised. In response, the federal government passed the Protection of Canadians and Eco-Terrorism Prevention Act, which expanded security budgets and powers of arrest and detention within zones designated by the minister for public safety and minister of natural resources. The Public Safety minister stated "this well help protect hard-working Canadians from the seditious BC separatists and eco-terrorists."  The charitable status of most environmental organisations was suspended, with some prominent groups listed as terrorist. Greenpeace was banned outright.  Activists from all over Canada and around the world poured into BC, although many were stopped at the border by immigration officials. A permanent concrete riot wall was placed around the BC legislature building and painted with cartoon whales and fishes so as not to scare away the summer tourists.

Armed road blocks appeared, and construction equipment was torched. After a brief exchange of fire between police and locals, the government brought in the Army and blamed the problem, for the first time, on "Cascadian separatists" who "like the FLQ, hated Canada." Police door-kickers backed up by the army went through neighbourhoods and detained and questioned virtually anyone who had signed a petition or held membership a blacklisted organisation. Reconnaissance drone aircraft loitered high overhead. Aircraft hobbyists identified them as Reaper aircraft, which Canada curiously did not possess. Further investigation by the media and a leaked DND memo revealed they were flying from Comox, controlled from Nevada, and deployed under the Canada-US Civil Assistance Plan. When confronted with Opposition demands for an explanation, the defence minister responded, saying "the valuable experience of interoperating with our American allies in fighting terrorists in Afghanistan is now helping us defeat the terrorists at home."

How far are they willing to go?

The sellout of British Columbia's sovereignty

 #NorthernGateway #BCpoli #Cdnpoli -

On 21 June, 2010, soon-to-be-ousted-premier Gordon Campbell allowed the signing away of the sovereignty of British Columbia and any right to intervene on the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project to Stephen Harper and his petro-masters in an unannounced back-room deal.

This past Thursday, Robyn Allan, an economist and former CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, wrote a letter to Campbell's successor. I post it in its entirety:
April 19, 2012

Dear Premier Clark,

Your government has not spoken out for or against the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc., rather preferring to wait until the National Energy Review Board process is complete.  I am writing to you today to explain that, unfortunately the current Northern Gateway environmental and public interest process is flawed and as a result the public interest of BC is not protected.

The Federal government, as I am sure you are aware, has publicly endorsed the project, stated it is in the national interest of Canada, and has systematically demonized individuals and groups who oppose the project.  This behaviour has made a travesty of the necessary arms length relationship between government and an independent regulatory body.

As long as there was some sense that the Joint Review Panel (JRP) was independent and had the authority to reject the proposal regardless of the political pressure imposed by the Prime Minister’s Office, a semblance of due process was maintained. That necessary condition was violated when Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver unveiled proposed legislation on April 17, 2012.

The Federal Government now intends to further weaken environmental protection and favour large oil companies operating, primarily, in Alberta.  This has betrayed any remaining trust in federal energy decisions as they relate to the province of British Columbia.

With the overhaul of the environmental assessment rules and process, and making final decision on oil pipelines—such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway and proposed Kinder Morgan projects—a Federal cabinet prerogative, there is no confidence that the Government of Canada will make decisions that will be in the best public interest of the residents of this province.

A major change in policy in the midst of nation breaking events such as Northern Gateway or Kinder Morgan requires deliberate action on the part of your Office to protect the public interest trust and rights of BC residents and First Nations.

Certainly when the NEB process for Northern Gateway commenced in June 2010, the BC government thought the JRP would be objective and have the power to recommend a binding decision which would reflect the public interest of British Colombians and Canadians.  I can imagine that the safety and efficiency inherent in one independent review body—which the NEB was believed to be at the time—and the belief that our public interest would be protected were reasons why the Liberal government of BC under the leadership of Gordon Campbell, felt it acceptable to sign away our right to conduct an environmental assessment under B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Act.

During my review of the Enbridge economic documents as part of their Application to the NEB, I wondered why there was no real or meaningful review of their case by various ministries of the BC government.  The deliberate intent in the Enbridge documents to increase the price of oil for Canadian consumers and businesses, and the lack of concern over the impact our petro-currency has on forestry, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, appeared to be glaring examples of an economic case intent on presenting only the benefits to the oil industry without due consideration to the economic costs for the rest of us.  The development of a strategy to export raw crude to Asia at the cost of value added jobs and control over environmental standards also seemed worthy of provincial comment.

I felt surely, there should be professional economists, paid by taxpayers, that would stand up and present a fair picture of the macroeconomic impact rapid resource expansion and export has on the economy of British Columbia, not to mention the threat to the environment and First Nations rights.   That is when I discovered that BC had signed away the right to actively assess the project.    I then understood that not only have you, as Premier, elected to remain silent on the issue, but our provincial departments have effectively been muzzled as well.

I draw to your attention the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement signed between the NEB and BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on June 21st, 2010.  I have attached a link to the agreement for your ease of recall.

Essentially the agreement states that the EAO will accept the NEB’s environmental assessment for four proposed projects, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which would otherwise have to be reviewed under BC’s Environmental Assessment Act.  The NEB’s review would be treated as an equivalent assessment.

If the province of BC had not signed away its right to the NEB, under the terms of the legislation the EAO would have had to undertake a review.  According to the EAO, it is a “neutral agency that manages the review of proposed major projects in British Columbia, as required by the Environmental Assessment Act.  The environmental assessment process provides for the thorough, timely and integrated assessment of the potential environmental, economic, social, heritage, and health effects that may occur during the lifecycle of these projects, and provides for meaningful participation by First Nations, proponents, the public, local governments, and provincial agencies.”

We have the power within BC to undertake meaningful environmental assessment within provincial jurisdiction, but signed it away.   However, not all is lost.   Clause 6 of the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement states:  ”Either Party may terminate this Agreement upon giving 30 days written notice to terminate the other Party”. 

May I recommend that the Government of British Columbia inform the Government of Canada that the province is now exercising its right with 30 days notice in order that it may undertake a proper environmental assessment under the terms of the provincial Environmental Assessment Act, for the Enbridge project, and it will not entertain signing such an agreement for the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.

This action will ensure that the public interest of the people of BC will be protected and will not be severely curtailed by the actions of the Government of Canada favouring primarily Alberta’s oil producers.


Original Signed by Robyn Allan

Robyn Allan

cc.  Dr. Terry Lake, Minister of the Environment
Mr. Adrian Dix, Leader of the Opposition
Mr. Rob Fleming, Environment Critic
Mr. John Cummins, Conservative Leader
Mr. John van Dongen, Conservative MLA
Mr. Bob Simpson, Independent MLA
Ms. Vicki Huntington, Independent MLA
Since the signing away of the rights of the citizens of the Province of British Columbia, Stephen Harper and Joe Oliver have labeled First Nations and activists opposed to the project(s) as terrorists, unpatriotic and only stopped short of declaring them treasonous.

They have also moved the goalposts.

Where we might have been able to view the surface activities of the Independent Joint Review Panel as being able to provide a reasoned assessment of the Northern Gateway proposal, Harper has now gutted that process and placed the final decision in the hands of the federal cabinet.

If you have any doubt as to the shape of the final decision now, you've been living under a rock.

As Laila points out, we have less than a month to exercise the withdrawal option provided in Clause 6 of the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement.

Christy Clark has been telling us that she won't have a BC government position on the Northern Gateway project until the JRP completes its work. Even she knows that by then it will be far too late.

All of this provides an even better explanation as to the sudden influx of Harper operatives into the inner circle of the office of the BC Premier, and why Christy Clark's chief-of-staff is a former Enbridge lobbyist. 

People of the Province of British Columbia, you've been fed a massive bill of goods. And we've all been had.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Elmer Derrick appointed to Prince Rupert Port Authority Board

Elmer Derrick doesn't live in Prince Rupert. His Gitxsan Nation's land isn't in Prince Rupert. What makes this so "odd"? Well, take a look at this:
The northern B.C. First Nation chief who signed a controversial deal to support Enbridge's $5.5-billion oil pipeline has been appointed by the federal government to the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
They're not even attempting to hide the corruption.

Defund Catholic Schools

I've never agreed with the public funding of schools run by an organized superstition in the first place and this just reinforces my reasons why.

While we're at it, let's remove the tax-exempt status from the entire so-called "church".

Hunsperger syndrome


I normally wouldn't pay all that much attention to Alberta politics. In turn, I'm pretty sure that most Albertans would likely ignore the rants of a lotus-lander pointing a finger eastward from the tidal high water mark of the Pacific.

All that changes when the good people of British Columbia are faced with the prospect of Alberta becoming a neighbour governed by a political mash-up which gives the US Republican Tea-Baggers the slightest tinge of sanity.

I don't think Danielle Smith is an Alberta-variant of Sarah Palin.

Palin is an incoherent, randomly-educated moron. Smith is hardly that.

What Smith isn't, however, is a realistic leader.

While she declares that, if she leads a government, she would not legislate on "contentious social issues", she has yet to provide one shred of evidence that makes that proclamation believable. In fact, her public statements suggest that she is at odds with the charted course of her own party.

Defending the positions of the likes of Allan Hunsperger and Ron Leech is simply another way of endorsing their behaviour. And she attracts support from some of the most repugnant elements of Alberta's social fabric.

A realistic leader intent on being able to provide good government is aware of the extremist elements in her presence and either reins them in or boots them out. She hasn't even come close to doing that. Instead she portrays them as victims of attacks by her political opposition, ignoring the fact that they make public statements which are attacks on others.

While we're at it, be reminded that Hunsperger is a high-order authoritarian who has no intention of engaging in persuasive governance. He is simply another unaccountable asshole intent on controlling the lives of others with the hammer of the state.

Danielle Smith can deny global warming and deny that she will legislate away freedoms. She cannot deny, however, that Hunsperger is the real face of her political party.

He gained that position because Danielle Smith is no leader.

Update: Danielle Smith is "taking personally" accusations of racism and bigotry aimed at her and her party. Good. Because that's exactly what they are.

Inertia . . .

Then there's Opera. Great prog.

Friday, April 20, 2012

1812 and the bullshit attached to it

You will read Lawyers Guns and Money.

You will visit the links.

You will then utter, in the quiet of whatever space you occupy, " Fuck you Stephen Harper"

You will have commemorated the fact that, if Harper considers the war of 1812 a Canadian exercise, then we Canadians probably started it.

And if you think "we" won, well then, cancel your weekend cross-border shopping trip.

Derivative debacle . . .

DEMON•OCRACY.INFO is a site that proclaims itself to be devoted to economic infographics; you may have seen some of their work previously. Well, now they have a page that outlines the problem with derivative trading, and it's really, really scary to look at. Click on the link to check these illustrations.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? Well, there might not be much you can do about it, but at least you can be aware of the giant trap-door that could spring at any time (remember, we have never lived in an electronic economy before, and nobody knows what the rules really are, for how it really works), and maybe, just maybe, start organizing those around you to work for change.

JP Morgan Chase has a derivative exposure
of $70.151 Trillion dollars.  $70 Trillion is roughly
the size of the entire world's economy.
The $1 Trillion dollar towers
are double-stacked @ 930 feet (248 m).
What's a derivative?

A derivative is a legal bet (contract) that derives its value from another asset, such as the future or current value of oil, government bonds or anything else. Ex- A derivative buys you the option (but not obligation) to buy oil in 6 months for today's price/any agreed price, hoping that oil will cost more in future. (I'll bet you it'll cost more in 6 months). Derivative can also be used as insurance, betting that a loan will or won't default before a given date. So its a big betting system, like a Casino, but instead of betting on cards and roulette, you bet on future values and performance of practically anything that holds value. The system is not regulated what-so-ever, and you can buy a derivative on an existing derivative.
Most large banks try to prevent smaller investors from gaining access to the derivative market on the basis of there being too much risk. Deriv. market has blown a galactic bubble, just like the real estate bubble or stock market bubble (that's going on right now). Since there is literally no economist in the world that knows exactly how the derivative money flows or how the system works, while derivatives are traded in microseconds by computers, we really don't know what will trigger the crash, or when it will happen, but considering the global financial crisis this system is in for tough times, that will be catastrophic for the world financial system since the 9 largest banks shown below hold a total of $228.72 trillion in Derivatives - Approximately 3 times the entire world economy. No government in world has money for this bailout.
H/T with special thanks to Harold at Frenchman's Bay.

This should make for a an interesting caucus meeting


BC premier Christy Clark will have some music to face in the coming days and it won't be a pipe band playing Amazing Grace.
B.C.’s New Democratic Party swept two crucial byelections Thursday, taking commanding wins in both ridings and building on its momentum as the party of change in the run-up to next year’s general election.
It wasn't just a sweep. It was a slaughter. 
The NDP’s Joe Trasolini took the Port Moody-Coquitlam byelection with nearly twice as much support as Liberal Dennis Marsden.


Chilliwack-Hope — a Liberal-friendly riding never before held by the NDP — the results confirmed a clear split in the right-of-centre vote.
New Democratic Party candidate Gwen O’Mahony won the race convincingly with about 41 per cent of the vote.
That sound Christy, is your Harperite communications director snapping chewing gum in your ear.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Joe Oliver attempts to lampoon Saturday Night Live


Jebus H. on a popsicle stick, take a read of this fool:
Environmental groups that don’t have particular expertise to offer shouldn’t be able to participate in environmental review hearings, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday.

That also goes for ordinary citizens concerned about projects like the Northern Gateway pipeline but who don’t live or work near the project, he said.

Oliver was defending his government’s plan unveiled a day earlier to “strengthen environmental protection” by limiting participation to members of the public who are “directly affected” by major projects.

“We don’t see the need” to allow testimony from Canadians outside the project areas, or from environmental groups without specific expertise, Oliver said in an interview.
So what Oliver is actually saying is that you, citizen, because you don't live directly in the path of the right-of-way falling machines and the bulldozers, have less say on the Northern Gateway tar moving project than the Chinese investors.

Not. Fucking. Likely.

“We’re not telling the NEB what to say, we’re not influencing their decision. They will come their decision independently, objectively, based on science. Then we will draw conclusions from it.”
Oh good. Now they're tossing out a "science" line. That's rich coming from a bunch of clots who regularly reject science when it doesn't suit their ideology.
“We’re not undermining the integrity of the process.”
He's right there. They're destroying it.


These guys are intent on laying waste to British Columbia. It's time government of BC took a stand. British Columbia has little to gain from this project. Alberta has dabbled with the idea of sharing infinitesimal amounts of petroleum royalties with BC in exchange for support.

Big deal.

I have a better idea. Get the legislation in place now. What's the most effective means a government has of altering behaviour? Taxes. 

Impose a Bitumen Transfer Tax on all terminal transfer points in the province. Make it worth everyones' while. The equivalent of what Alberta takes in royalties is a good place to start. Make every drop of diluted bitumen pay back to the citizens of BC exactly what Alberta is stuffing in their coffers.

Hit 'em where they'll notice. Right in the profit margin.

Canadian Progressive Voices

Like that?

Thanks to Pale of A Creative Revolution we have a new and exciting blogrol in the 'verse.

Canadian Progressive Voices is a gathering of people who believe, above all else, in the principles expressed clearly in the masthead. We share the belief that the inalienable rights established through centuries of slow progress are not to be taken lightly.

We are all human and each of us culturally different in our own way. Where we as a group do not differ however is in the defence of human rights. If I may, I will quote Dr. Dawg:
But when it comes to our unequivocal commitment to human rights, there’s no daylight between any of us. And what better basis of mutual agreement—our defining characteristic, if you will—could there be for folks who consider themselves progressive? That, in any case, is what brought us together.
Join us if you will. If you share that single most important commitment, the portal opens without further demand or the solving of puzzles.

F-35 for cheap

TGB News, Ottawa, 34 September 2012: Today the defence minister announced that the government has inked a deal with the United States that will provide a mixed fleet of F-35s, F-15s, F-16s, and F-22s to the RCAF at the bargain cost of pilot salaries and fuel.

Under the agreement, Canada will pay the USAF to employ RCAF pilots in USAF squadrons and allow those units to be based in Canada. Chief of the RCAF, Lt.Gen. A. R. Head, praised the deal stating it "enhances interoperability with our closest ally and provides Canadians in uniform with the state of the art tools they need" and "guarantees that Canadian pilots will be at the forefront of international missions."

Opposition critics, now confined to the plexiglass enclosed Parliamentary Opposition Zone behind the House of Commons, deplored the move, calling it a surrender of Canadian sovereignty that came very close to treason and that they would ask the prime minister's receptionist to deliver a letter of protest to cabinet and the PMO.

F-35 fading into the future

#F35 #CdnForces #Cdnpoli - 

Here's a syndrome that can only make matters worse for all sides on the F-35 imbroglio. As David Pugliese points out:
Previously, the Canadian government determined it would receive the F-35 during peak production – the so-called “sweet spot’’ that Defence Minister Peter MacKay and others have repeatedly talked about. That was to be 2016, according to DND and government officials.  According to Mr. MacKay and others, the “sweet spot” is the year the jets are to achieve their peak production rate, thus coming off the assembly line at their lowest cost. Over the last year DND officials have extended the “sweet spot” to include a wider range, expanding the period to focus on 2016 to 2021.

But in a March 29 report sent to Congress, the Pentagon’s plan for near peak production rates for the Lockheed Martin jet is now set for 2018. In that year, U.S. F-35 program officials say they will be able to purchase 110 jets, according to a recent article by my colleagues at Defense News. By 2021, the production rate will hit 130 jets, which includes versions for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

So from that congressional report it appears that the “sweet spot” has moved from the original 2016 to at least 2021.

But there are concerns that the peak F-35 production year could shift even further. And Defense News is reporting that there are serious concerns within the U.S. Air Force and Navy about whether they will be able to afford the number of aircraft projected to be bought around 2020 and the years following.
Which creates whole garden boxes of problems for the troop-supporting, standing up for Canada, Harperites.

By the time the first operational F-35 goes wheels down at CFB Cold Lake the F-18 airframes will be so fragile that they won't be able to perform a half of their expected roles. So what happens in the period between when it became critical to start replacing the F-18s and the unbelievably late arrival of their replacement?

The short-sightedness of putting all their eggs in the F-35 basket, (and giving other options less than a passing glance), will have created a huge defence gap. If the kids at DND and their political masters actually believe Canada needs to field a fighter air-force with strike and air superiority capabilities, they're doing little more than mouthing the words.

By the time Canada can take possession of enough F-35s, (at a cost which doesn't put a mortgage on our great-grandchildren), to become an interoperable, coherent element of any combined fighter force, any of the technological advantages attached to the plane today will have evaporated in a multitude of technological countermeasures.

As the price goes up, and it just keeps going up, we will be able to afford fewer and fewer of these so-called advanced weapons platforms. We've already seen the initial acquisition estimate drop from 80, (a rounded down, one-for-one replacement of the existing F-18 fleet), to 65, with no plan for contingencies. When we finally take delivery, because the Harperites and RCAF are so wedded to this one airplane and the ability to fly out front in whatever US-led adventure comes along, we may well have sacrificed our own sovereign air-space protection. And that's not just in the interim - it's forever.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Robocon and election fraud

#robofraud #elxn41 #elxnfraud #cdnpoli #RMG #Xentel #CPC -

So we'll start with ... no.

Just go read Alison, and make sure you're sitting down. Or you could make some popcorn and then take a seat.

Juan Cole gives David Frum a whack

David Frum gets a well deserved smack down from Juan Cole.
Frum helped beat the drums for war with Iraq, and maybe he favors another war, this time with Iran. But for him to tell the American people that such unambiguous warmongering would *lower* the price of petroleum is nothing less than a Big Lie.
 Read the rest.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peter MacKay and the revolving money

 #Cdnpoli #F35 -

On Sunday, 15 April, the Department of National Defence sent out a press release which David Pugliese posted.
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Lead Minister for Search and Rescue, is pleased to announce an $8.1M federal investment in search and rescue prevention and response in Canada.

“Our government understands the importance of investing in new initiatives aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of search and rescue in Canada,” said Minister MacKay. “This money will support projects that build search and rescue capacity and strengthens the response of search and rescue.”

In 2012-2013, this new funding will allow for the purchase of life-saving equipment and tools; the development of training standards; collaborative interoperability exercises between the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada, and the over 15,000 specially trained air-ground-marine search and rescue volunteers; the development of outreach prevention and awareness programs to targeted audiences like flight safety for private pilots; the building of search and rescue capacity in the marine environment on the coasts; and the development of virtual trainers for the air and marine search and rescue environments.
All very nice, except for one small problem. This is not new money. This has been around for well over a decade. David Pugliese started to get a raft of emails.
As mentioned, Defence Watch readers took issue with the claim about new funding. They say the funding is awarded each year and has been for more than a decade.
In fact this fund was started back in 1988 and has been allocated annually since then. It also has never really grown from the amount originally set aside. 

Pugliese went to MacKay's office for an explanation and discovered ...
So it isn’t exactly “new” money after all. It’s the same money and each year the list with the $8 million worth of new projects is issued annually.
This is nothing more than MacKay trying to generate some "good" press. Here, however, is the best part.  (Emphasis mine)
That quest is, at times, reaching desperation, sources say. As an example, they point to the March 20th press release issued by DND, which NDHQ communications specialists are still talking about. That one had Mr. MacKay announcing a contract for $5,943 for a firm to put some barriers up.
This useless boob needs to be taken to lunch. Somebody can clean out his office while he's gone and remove his name from the DND telephone directory before he gets back.



I bet they've already inked the approval stamp.

Northern Gateway is before a Joint Review Panel (JRP) of the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Under the new rules, a review panel would have to be finished within 24 months, which could mean the Northern Gateway review would have to wrap up in May of this year — a full year-and-a-half before it was scheduled to end.
I don't know if they grasp just how much anger this is generating. Countrywide.

Wicked things be stirring in the woods and waters.