January 31, 2006

Updated: Helicopters, Socialism on the March, Regina CSI Lab, Hamas, Calgary School, Tainted Blood Victims

There is an update below with jpgs illustrating the tie-in among the arts, arts funding, Heritage, Foreign Affairs, and Liberal politicians. There is a reason for Liberal support by the arts groups, in addition to that of most of the mainstream media.

Note the arts aspect, a post which follows the one on a tainted blood victim crying out for help. The arts support, in my opinion, is based on sluicing taxpayer money to groups which, in turn, support Liberal governments. It, like much else, is well-entrenched, and insidious. Stephen Harper will have to be cognizant of this and act to get interested citizens involved in supporting Canada's best, in hope of weaning these groups off public assistance so that taxpayer money may be used for necessities.

This had been sent to Guy Lauzon, the Conservative MP who was voted in on January 23rd to represent the riding of North Stormont Dundas.

Tainted Blood Victims

[....] I have heard that Mr. Lemieux (Prescott Russell) has already pledged taxpayer dollars to help a struggling cultural group with funds. [See below] It is very disturbing to hear that an arts show that has lost taxpayers money will be getting more taxpayers money and yet Canadians of all cultural backgrounds that have been infected with tainted blood receive no announcement that once and for all, their issue will be resolved in a fair and dignified manner. How can this be more important than compensating the people that have been infected with tainted blood? Why has there been no announcement that this issue will be resolved and average Canadians of all cultural diversities will be looked after?

A bureaucracy that poisoned it's own citizens for fear of losing money needs to be held responsible and the people need to regain some sort of trust in their health care system once again.

I beseech you as a Canadian to lead the charge in the new government to make this right. We are overburdened with sorrow and mounting pharmaceutical bills that we just cannot afford. The lifestyles of victims and their families have been forever changed and the financial burdens become heavier with time. There is no social life. My wife cannot even go to a theatre. This death sentence issue needs to be resolved immediately. Canadian people were poisoned by Canadian people working for a bureaucracy more concerned with saving money than saving lives. This is immoral and unconscionable. No more posturing.

Accountability was one of your platforms. Here is your first test on that platform.
Please help us. This is a letter not just for my wife but for all of the people that were given poisoned blood. How can this be less important than funds for any other issue that faces Canadians?

Jurgen Vollrath

On behalf of Heather Shaw Vollrath and all other tainted blood victims.

Jurgen was upset because he had heard that the failed Francoscenie production of L'echo d'un peuple was going to receive more public funds after having spent at least $4 million from taxpayers in an ambitious production that didn't get the audience it expected.... Pierre Lemieux, the newly elected MP for Glengarry-Prescott Russell was quoted as saying that he would lend his support. However, in fairness to Pierre Lemieux, he was talking more about support from the public i.e. private funds donated by people who believe in the merits of this project and who would help by donating from their own pockets. Pierre Lemieux said he would be the first to donate ....

Update addition:

More on the above: I do not have a link. Thanks to a friend for this.

A vote of confidence -- MP vows to aid ailing production
Tom Van Dusen, Ottawa Sun, Jan 26, 2006

Before last summer's performances [of L'echo d'un peuple], then-Francoscenie GM Jacques Blouin suggested attendance could reach 40,000, up 10,000 over the inaugural summer of 2004. However, only 21,000 attended.

While numbers were shrinking in the bleachers, they were climbing on stage, from 180 to 320 performers last summer -- with all of the costuming and catering costs that entailed. Among other direct costs or lost revenues were an unexpected $40,000 for site drainage and $175,000 handed out in courtesy tickets. Last year, a $500,000 grant over three years promised from the Francophonie Games fund was withdrawn.

I wonder if the rise in the number of artists had anything to do with the intended Liberal payments to the arts, including taxpayers' money for travel abroad, as detailed in the Liberal 2005 budget?

Perish the thought. How utterly cynical of me. I must be too cynical by half to even think such a thought..... and yet, I do. I love these performances, most of the time, by the way. I just don't like the political involvement and gerrymandering of who get the perqs. Let the audiences decide; let these productions stand on their excellence and the money people think they're worth. In other words, let private citizens choose or not whether to support these groups.

Note in the jpgs:

Who appoints the Canada Council for the Arts? The Heritage Minister who at that time was Min. Lisa Frulla. No wonder the arts and artists' unions supported Liberal government -- a neat quid pro quo. We along with the mainstream media support Liberal government(s) and you support us. The funding would keep rising. Is it any wonder, as I mentioned within the last day or so, that Air Farce would be attacking the Conservatives with a vengeance? (Sunday morning program with Evan Solomon and Carole MacNeil)

The Department of Foreign Affairs budgeted for international touring; the funding would keep rising. One could argue that this is important in placing Canada's best face before the world, but it is hardly an arms length process, is it? There are more political tie-ins if you but check further.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Should one government be able to hamstring its successor? Should a new government be able to cancel contractual obligations incurred by the previous one? Jean Chretien cost Canadian taxpayers $470-million to satisfy his desire not to allow a Mulroney contract to proceed. Now, taxpayers may have to pay even more.

Harper may face $1B claim over Liberal purchase of helicopters -- Maker of EH-101 alleges political interference David Pugliese, CanWest, January 30, 2006

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper's new government could face a $1-billion legal penalty after a European aerospace firm filed a claim for damages citing political interference by the Liberals during the 2004 purchase of naval helicopters.

Aerospace giant Agusta-Westland recently filed the $1-billion claim for damages in Federal Court, alleging its EH-101 helicopter didn't win the competition to provide Canada's military with a maritime chopper because of political interference by the Liberal government. The company is also asking for $1-million in punitive damages. [....]

A misspent Liberal youth -- "it took a couple of incidents in early 2000 to convince me the Liberal party was the last place I wanted to be." Adam Radwanski, NatPost, Jan30-06

This is not a pretty picture of the Martinite crowd's control nor of Paul Martin's hold on people and power positions at all levels of the Liberal Party. There was no room for those who differ from the leader even a bit. It was swear fealty ... or else.

Manning fans promote former Reformer as next ambassador to Washington -- "Former Reform MP Deb Grey said Stephen Harper could lift the spirits of the Conservative party's populist wing by naming Mr. Manning to the post." -- makes sense to me Jan. 30, 06

National Post Series: a must read

Peter Goodspeed: Chavez dreams of a continental shift National Post, January 30, 2006

Once governed largely by right-wing military dictatorships, 360 million people in South America have used their democratic rights to elect seven left-wing governments in the past six years, with several more expected to win power in elections this year. In the second of a three-part series, National Post reporter Peter Goodspeed looks at Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, the vehemently anti-American protagonist of the continent's new socialism.
- - -
All last week, tens of thousands of left-wing activists from around the world paraded through the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, under banners reading "Forward to Socialism."

In workshops, lecture halls and over dinner, 60,000 delegates to the sixth annual World Social Forum earnestly criticized free trade, denounced the evils of capitalism, attacked the war in Iraq, complained about U.S. imperialism and debated the plight of the poor, debt forgiveness, indigenous people's rights, gender issues and the international sex trade. [. . . . ]

Socialism's hothouse Peter Goodspeed, National Post, January 28, 2006

Once governed largely by right-wing military dictatorships, South America's 370 million people have used their democratic rights to elect seven left-wing governments in the past six years, with several more expected to win power in elections this year. In the first of a three-part series, National Post reporter Peter Goodspeed examines the causes, and likely consequences, of this political transformation.
Nearly four decades after Che Guevara was executed in the foothills of the Bolivian Andes and his dismembered body buried in an unmarked grave near an abandoned airfield, the arch-revolutionary's dream of a socialist revolution sweeping through Latin America is back.

The latest advocate of radical change isn't a gun-toting Communist guerrilla, but a 46-year-old Aymara Indian who never finished high school or even read Karl Marx.

Evo Morales, who was sworn in as Bolivia's President on Sunday, is a former llama herder, coca farmer and union organizer who is rapidly becoming an icon for leftists around the world.
[. . . . ]

For the past two years, the front-runner for Mexico's presidential elections has been Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor. He sprang to public attention by launching ambitious public works programs and giving pensions to the elderly.

Mr. Obrador is a critic of free-market policies, which he says have done nothing for his country's poor. His campaign pitch targets the 50% of Mexicans who live on less than US$5 a day.

.... [There are concerns he may] damage Mexico's economy with overly generous social programs.

Evo Morales -- an uneducated coca farmer and an icon for leftists?

Perhaps he could benefit from an education. Then think of Chavez' concern over the evils of capitalism.

Are these leaders a product of the "feelings industry"? The idea that the uneducated poor have wisdom and nobility deserving of leadership in today's world? That one who is able to whip up the feelings of the poor makes a good leader? The global guilt mafia? -- the UN and the champagne socialists who talk a lot about "the poor", those whose poverty keeps the lefties on the speaking and cocktail circuit ... with all the other goodies?

I find the talk of too generous social programs interesting.
There will always be those who need help, people who have had misfortune, but with these leaders, anyone who worked hard enough to rise above the rest would be paying for the others.
Come to think of it, something like the left's ideas in Canada.

The balance has shifted so that too many expect a handout, that people may spend profligately or not husband their resources, and somehow, be taken care of. There is always a price to pay in loss of freedom when someone else provides for the individual. It would be more effective for most people if government would just get out of the way and stop trying to fine-tune who gets the jobs and hence the goodies. It might allow many more to prosper. In Canada, for what seems like forever, it has been expected that the citizen fit in with and go along with Liberals and leftist ideas, or fail to thrive, which might include losing a job or simply not rising in the hierarchy. The people who don't mouth the platitudes aren't found in the lists of award winners, particularly those having a government component. To get ahead, they were expected to pay their political dues. I hope this changes.

Now, with a new government, it is time for freedom. Get government's heavy hand out of the way. Let people work without Big Government's control over them. Loosen the reins so that we won't see the obvious hand of government providing loans, awards, preferment, perqs, the usual that the Pork Purveyors have been in charge of for years.

Incidentally, as for the UN and the champagne socialists, you don't see many of them getting their hands actually dirty helping anyone; they would rather talk about it. Why is the West supporting such balderdash? Why not go it alone and direct? Help those who profit from that help, who just need a bit of help and will sail on from there? Help actual individuals abroad, instead of contributing to talk fests and groups that help themselves first. Help abroad, once the people at home have been helped. Take care of our own first. See the item about hepatitis C victims.

Massive tunnel found under U.S.-Mexico border -- Two tonnes of marijuana discovered AFP, January 27, 2006

SAN DIEGO - U.S. authorities said yesterday they discovered a 700-metre tunnel under their border with Mexico -- and found more than two tonnes of marijuana in it.

The tunnel, lined with concrete and equipped with ventilation and lights, is cut a staggering 26 metres below ground, directly under a heavily protected sector of the frontier.

"We believe this tunnel is, in fact, the largest tunnel ever found on the Southwest border," said Michael Unzueta, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. [. . . . ]

World-class crime-busting at CSI Regina -- Police research centre: New lab will create 40 jobs and $250M in spending -- "for the past two decades, its operations have been scattered across the country" Colleen Silverthorn, CanWest, January 30, 2006

REGINA - Rotting pigs and dope-sniffing dogs will help to inject $250-million into the local economy when Canada's new CSI lab opens here later this year. [. . . . ]

School for paranoia: The not-so-scary 'school' behind Stephen Harper Peter Foster, Financial Post, January 28, 2006

[. . . . ] Shortly before the election, certain high-profile Toronto journalists started playing up a group of academics from the University of Calgary with connections to Stephen Harper. The implication was clear: If there was a hidden agenda, these were the guys who were hiding it. [. . . . ]

Prospects for Peace -- A panel of experts tells TIME what Hamas' victory might bring.

Dennis Ross, Moises Naim, Abdul Sattar Kasim, Ziad Abu Amr, Richard Haass, Daniel Pipes

[for the responses of the other panelists, see http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,1154218,00.html ]

... far stricter, more religious, more disciplined ...

Second, Arab Islamists have already achieved electoral success and takeover in Iraq, but Hamas represents the first Arab Islamist terrorist group to be legitimated through the ballot box. Comparable groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco will watch and be encouraged, should there be any show of acceptance of Hamas by the U.S. and other governments. [. . . . ]


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