Sunday, March 30, 2008
"It'll never work," he said, not unkindly. "People will reject it on the grounds that somewhere somebody they don't know might benefit from it."
I laughed again when I read "Earth Hour's soft fascism" by Peter Foster in Wednesday's Fanatical Post.
"Take back the night!" he exhorts, and he's serious about it! but it's in Friday's "Don't lie down with pandas" that he gets down to it. There is, he warns, the likelihood that Earth Hour will give its sponsor WWF not only power but "the potential for earning big bucks" so "keep those lights burning brightly between 8 and 9 on Saturday night".
What a complete ass.
Canadian Cynic links to Foster's amusing blogging counterparts in the rightardosphere who apparently celebrated their own voluntary gesture of public engagement on Saturday night by running their dishwashers with no dishes in them and seeing how high they could crank the thermostat before they passed out in a pile of cheetohs from heat prostration.
From CC's comments :
"i suppose that means that when i launch 'world hygiene hour' we can expect matthew and kate's kult kids to shit their own pants in defiance. hmm, i guess i should get cracking on organizing 'no drowning in the toilet' hour too."
by pretty shaved ape
"Anyways, don't forget folks, Monday, April 7 is our first annual Lib-Left-sponsored "Don't Slash Your Wrists Day." And of course Friday June 6 is Latte-Sipping-Torontonians-sponsored "Don't Drink 750 ml of Vodka and Swallow Two (2) Fistfuls of Sleeping Pills Day."
Fall schedule should be available any time now."
Heh. Earth Hour has turned out to be more humorous than I expected.
H/T Vanity Pressfor the Foster link
Update : 30 million people worldwide turned out the lights at 8pm but they were still burning at Harper's house and his third floor office in the parliament buildings.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thanks for spelling that out, John.Yes, we did realize the main purpose of your panel of hawks and deep integrationists was to give the Libs the necessary cover to be able to vote with the Cons to continue Operation Enduring Freedom. As Thomas Walkom put it back in October :
"It is not about Afghanistan. It is about the US.
In 2004, Paul Martin's Liberal government decided that the best way to keep Washington happy was to commit combat soldiers to Afghanistan.
In effect, he decided to risk Canadian lives in Kandahar to keep trucks rolling across the Detroit River. As did Harper."
But, as Manley explains, we could be doing so much more in "winning the hearts and minds"!*
"To get the needed results, we recommended that the Prime Minister personally lead a diplomatic initiative, making Canada's voice heard to a degree commensurate with our sacrifice. The objective would be not simply additional troops in Kandahar, but a comprehensive political-military plan for NATO, the UN and participating countries."
World stage! World stage! Putting Canada on the world stage!
Plus that definite termination date is apparently totally negotiable :
"Afghanistan's development and governance challenges will not be fully met by 2011. Let's hope it's not necessary to create another panel in 2010 to advise on Canada's role after 2011."
*Yes, he really did say "winning the hearts and minds"
Ross at The Gazetteer is calling out all blogging muskateers and associates to help save Pacific Spirit Park from residential development. In yet another bait and switch real estate blackmail ploy from the premier's office, a long overdue settlement with the Musqueam First Nation is being twinned with building condos in the park. So do you want to see the Musqueam fairly recompensed for their land or don't you? It's classic Gordo.
Ross suggests there is a third way but today he's concentrating on getting a message to the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors who are meeting today - yikes! - behind closed doors, and he provides you with links to your reps. Go.
Friday Update : Well, that meeting didn't go too well.
"A provincial law that gives Victoria the power to expropriate chunks of Pacific Spirit regional park without any financial compensation to Metro Vancouver is unprecedented in B.C., a lawyer for the regional government says."
Plus the legislation includes this handy clause : " 'no legal proceedings for damages or compensation ' can be filed against the B.C. government."
The irony of Metro Van now being in more or less the same position endured by the Musqueam First Nation up till now will not be lost on anyone but that doesn't make it right. In fact the particular piece of expropriated parkland was not even in play until a campaign fundraiser for Premier Campbell kicked up unholy hell about losing the golf course : Give Musqueam piece of Pacific Spirit Park instead of golf course
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Israel and U.S. Sign Homeland Security Pact
Rebecca Anna Stoil, Jerusalem Post, Feb 8, 2007
"Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and his US counterpart, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, signed a joint memorandum in Washington DC on Wednesday evening, setting a series of goals and terms for security collaboration between the two nations.
The joint understanding included partnership on flight security, including passenger and cargo inspection and information sharing on the topic of emergency planning, response, recovery and damage control.
Dichter, who is on a four-day diplomatic visit to North America, was recently officially appointed as Israel's diplomatic counterpart to Chertoff. The former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head is widely recognized in Washington as an expert in counter-terrorism, particularly following a nine-month stint as a fellow at the D.C. Brookings Institute think tank.
"Iran is the largest terrorist state in the world," Dichter said late Tuesday night to members of the public security committee of the Canadian parliament. Moving from discussing geopolitics to talking shop with the Canadian lawmakers, Dichter laid out what he believes to be the guidelines for Canadian-Israeli security cooperation in the future, possibly similar to the agreement that the minister signed a day later in Washington DC."
Minister Dicter and Canadian counterpart present joint statement
State of Israel Ministry of Public Security, Oct 30, 2007
"A meeting was held on the 29th of October, 2007 between the Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Mr. Stockwell Day, and Minister Dicter.
...for preventing and fighting home land securities issues....
...to maximize the exchange of information, technology and operational activity...
...cooperation in home land security and counter terrorism issues.
• Counterterrorism and Crime
• Emergency preparedness
• Border crossing security, focusing on biometric identification"
Canada and Israel Sign Declaration to Cooperate on Public Safety
Public Safety Canada, Mar 23, 2008
"1. To prioritize and manage cooperation in the following areas within the responsibility of the Ministries:
Border management and security, including biometric applications
2. To achieve the following objectives:
Build on their shared commitment to facilitate and enhance cooperation to protect their respective countries’ population, assets and interests from common threats."
Just an agreement by a couple of US client states, both of whom make war on their indigenous populations, signed in the wake of Dick Cheney.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
The Consumerist takes on Complaint Remover, a company that advertises it will rid the internet of "defamatory" and "negative links" about you.
How? Apparently "by positioning links on the Search Engines and by appeals to law to remove negative information. We send cease and desist letters and if necessary, file legal actions against the perpetrators and Internet service providers contributing to the unjust defamation of our members".
Holy googlebomb! Does the worst president ever know about this?
The Consumerist hits the Complaint Remover chatroom. :
"Hello My name is Kelly. Is there something I can help you with today?
Consumerist : Does your company work on all of the internets?
Kelly: Yes we remove negative links from all erch engines google or aol, or yahoo
Consumerist : How does that work? How are you able to get another company to get rid of something that's part of their business?
Kelly: We push the negative links back in serch engines so nobody will see that ones
Consumerist : So you like make new internets and push the bad internets down?
Consumerist : My keywords are lolcats. I have a cat breeding business and people keep making pictures of cats with derogatory phrases on them. It's hampering my ability to attract new clients
Kelly: just a seccond please. ok wich one of those you want to be pushed back ?"
Oh noes. But what about the unfettered democracy and free speech of the intertubes? And spelling?
Commenters at Boing Boing and The Consumerist go to work pranking CR and uncovering IPs and holy shit! this version of CR is a giant ethical leap forward from an alleged previous incarnation which included sending nasty death threats on behalf of its "members".
Go read the rest. Why? Well, because it's very funny, especially the commenters' forays into the CR chatroom, but also because if The Consumerist story gets enough hits, anyone googling up Complaints Remover will continue to get The Consumerist instead.
I luvs teh intertubes. Srsly.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
"(3/17/08) On Tuesday, March 18, EPA Administrator *Stephen L. Johnson will give the keynote address at the Global Chemical Regulation Conference, attended by more than 300 chemical industry regulatory, environmental and health officials, in Baltimore, Md. The administrator will outline the agency's commitment to the North American chemical cooperation goals included in the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Meeting last August in Montebello, Canada, between President Bush and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts. [snip]
Jim Gulliford, EPA's Assistant Administrator for the Office of Pesticides, Prevention, and Toxic Substances, will also give presentations on the specifics of the SPP chemical assessment and management goals.
Facilities will be set up to accommodate members of the press."
Specifics? Facilities for the press?
Well then that's great because if some reporter from Baltimore happens to write about it for their paper, then there's a chance that Canadians will also get to hear what "the North American chemical cooperation goals" and "the specifics of the SPP chemical assessment and management goals" are all about!
*Why, yes, Stephen L. Johnson is the Bush-appointed idiot head of EPA who just "justified blocking California from cracking down on auto emissions by saying global warming isn't unique to the state", yes, indeed he is.
Monday, March 17, 2008
James E Cayne, CEO of Bear Stearns, made $38.31M last year.
He retired in January.
His retirement package was estimated in late February to be worth $560M...
although it's probably worth somewhat less now since Bear Stearns was bought out by the Federal Reserve Bank and JP Morgan this weekend to prevent it from going into bankruptcy.
I ran this in January but here it is, now even more hideously relevant, again :
How the markets really work
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"The crisis of Sept. 11, 2001, provided a perfect opportunity to seize the moment to re-imagine the border, but Canada blew it."in which he bewailed the loss of this unique opportunity to implement "the structural and institutional changes of deep integration" because of "nationalist phobias". Silly us.
"We have made a political choice that we wanted a more deeply integrated North American economy," Hart said. "That means a willingness on our part to, for example, strengthen the perimeter around North America in order to deal with security issues that are uppermost in American minds."
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thousands of Canadians filled the streets across the country today to mark the upcoming five-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and to protest Canada's continuing involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and....
hello, those five rings look very familiar...
From the desk of the Chief
Friday, March 14, 2008
As expected it was the ConservaLiberals vs the NDP and the Bloc by a vote of 198 to 77. Only one lone Liberal, Newfoundland MP Bill Matthews, and Blair Wilson, the Sea-to-Sky Lib MP currently sitting as an Independent, showed up to vote against it.
20 Libs were absent.
An NDP amendment seeking a diplomatic solution for immediate withdrawal was defeated 244 to 30 just prior to the vote.
Well at least attendence was up this time round and more MPs came to the debate.
Flashback to the Great Parliamentary Afghanistan Debate of 2006. : In April 2006, out of a possible attendance of 308, there were 58 Conservative MPs dropping to 14 after O'Connor finished speaking; 21 Liberals dropping to 10; 2 Bloc Quebecois; and 8 NDP rising to 20.
Yesterday Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the vote "demonstrates that our democracy works", while Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have a stronger mandate to push allied countries at a NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania, early next month.
Well done, CAE Inc., General Dynamics Canada, SNC-Lavalin, Bell Helicopter Textron, Bombardier, and of course, ConservaLiberals. See you for another warbiz renewal vote in 2010!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
From a height of 800 km, the Radarsat-2 uses cutting-edge cloud penetrating radar to monitor foreign ships which approach Canadian waters. Its presence ensures that our control over our Northern islands and waterways is beyond dispute.
The satellite also sends a clear message to the other nations of the world that, after thirteen years of Liberal neglect, Canada is once again serious about protecting our Arctic sovereignty.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to protect Canada’s sovereignty in the North. Investing in this innovative and powerful space technology is another way the Conservative Government is strengthening Canada’s place as a leader on the world stage.
Firm priorities. Strong decisions. Real action. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a leader who takes decisive action to protect Canadians and keep the true North strong and free."
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
The rehearsal, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is code-named TOPOFF 5. Canadian troops were among the 15,000 participants involved in last October's TOPOFF 4 in Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Ariz. and Guam.
"Exercises provide unique training opportunities to strengthen our ability to deal with potential emergencies," said Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in an e-mail statement responding to 24 hours' interview request. "They are important tools to strengthen Canada's ability to deal with real incidents."
An undated Public Safety Canada report said up to $22.8 million was needed to fund emergency management, counter-terrorism, cyber security and critical infrastructure protection exercises, "leading to a trilateral full-scale exercise prior to the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, as outlined under the Security and Prosperity Partnership."
Now because I'm just not used to finding groundbreaking information about 'deep integration' military wargames in a free newspaper blowing around a bus shelter, I looked on the Public Safety Canada website. Unsurprisingly they don't mention it but the always frighteningly helpful US Dept of Homeland Security website does. Their National Exercise Program (NEP) page has a five year calendar and the June and July 2009 boxes read:
"National Level Exercise 09 Terrorism
TOPOFF 5 (Olympics Prep)."
The lavender colour coding indicates it is "Tier 1: White House directed, U.S. Government-wide Strategy and Policy Focus, Full Participation".
These TOPOFF exercises occur every two years and if this next one is going to take place in Canada around the Olympics, it might explain this news item from a couple of weeks ago :
Canada, US agree to share troops in civil emergencies
"Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency".
I wonder what qualifies as a "civil emergency".
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Live it up, flyboy. Good of you to show up.
Where the fuck were you this afternoon when Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, aka the Stealth Act to Recriminalize Abortion, passed its second reading in the House today?
The vote was 147 to 132 in support of allowing the bill to proceed to committee stage, meaning that just a few more Libs showing up for work today and voting Nay would have ended this bullshit.
As Kuri at Thought Interrupted put it : "The Liberals failed to stand up against the Conservative agenda they warned us against."
And a big fuck you to NDP Peter Stoffer who voted for it as well, courtesy of Mattt at bastard.logic
So off it goes to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where six of the twelve members including Chair Art Hanger distinguished themselves by voting Yea.
That's six for and six against.
And now a debate on granting fetal rights under the law can begin - which was what this was always about from day one.
Don't believe me? Horse's mouth right here.
Bill C-484 is the ninth private member's bill attempting to regulate abortion tabled by theReform/Alliance/Con party. Their last attempt to make the "murder of an unborn child when a third party murders a pregnant woman" a new criminal code offence, M-560, was introduced on March 11, 2004.
Today marks the first time such a private member's bill has reached second reading.
It was under your watch, M. Dion, and you didn't even show up for the vote.
Thursday update : Red Tory lists the 27 Liberals who voted for this piece of shit plus the 10 who were "conveniently absent".
H/t to Godammitkitty at Hope and Onions
Monday, March 03, 2008
52.69% of the total vote gave the Cons 73 seats,
while 26.31% of everyone who voted garnered the Libs only 8 seats, and the NDP pulled 2 seats with 8.53%.
So half the vote equals 88% of the seats!
Then after factoring in Liberal Catnip's report on voter turnout -
Urban ~ 43% and Rural ~ 39%, it's really more like
21% of all eligible voters elected 88% of the seats.
And it looks like this :
I imagine Idealistic Pragmatist will have something to say about this.
Tuesday Update : Kuri at Thought Interrupted made us all pie!
Ok, Kuri actually made us pie charts, but they're really really good pie charts which include the vast all-powerful Alberta non-voting bloc.
On Wednesday Harper's office released a statement : "The then-leader of the Opposition [Harper] looked into the matter with party officials and could find no confirmation."
"I'm not involved in politics anymore,"said Mr. Reynolds. "I have no comment at all."
Later Reynolds remarked to CBC : "the story seems fishy." and "Sounds to me like some kind of fiction story."
OK then, anyone else?
"Ryan Sparrow, a Conservative party spokesman, refused to comment on the allegations."
"Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he's never heard anything about any buyout. "I've never even spoken with Chuck Cadman," he said."
"Jay Hill, now the Conservative government whip and Opposition whip at the time of the vote in question, told NaPo he had never heard of the events," which he also characterized later as a case of "unfortunate miscommunication" and "a so-called make-believe fairy-tale scandal."
Con MP and Treasury Board chairman Vic Toews : "He [Cadman] cared about legislation not money. We've heard this story for years. It's bullshit."
Defence Minister Peter MacKay was deputy Con leader at the time of the alleged offer : "I don't know anything about how this has come about. Certainly it was something that I was not involved with,'' said MacKay, "I think it's sad, quite frankly, that this seems to have come up. It's very unfortunate.''
Ok, so it didn't happen but if it did, it isn't true. Got it.
Update : Chet reminds me in comments that the $1M meeting and the Flanagan/Finlay meeting are not one and the same meeting. Allegedly two days apart in fact. Quite right, my bad. I think I keep forgetting that little detail because it has that - oh no, it was two completely other guys who did that - whiff about it. Thanks, Chet.
Upperdate : Ok, now we're back to just one meeting again. Allegedly.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
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