February 17, 2006

Roundup 2

It seems that the former governing Liberals are not concerned with good governance nor with the the wishes of a great body of Canadians; their sole concern is power. A local Liberal, with great confidence, has told me that there will be another election within six months. What does that tell you about Liberal concerns?

According to Graham (the stand-in for the ex-PM hovering in the background?), "It could lead to an election."

Liberals unwilling to prop up Harper -- Graham says onus now on Bloc and NDP to support Conservative minority -- "either accommodate Liberal positions on key issues such as child care and income-tax cuts or turn to the New Democratic Party and Bloc Quebecois" Campbell Clark, Feb. 16, 06

To join the Conservative Party of Canada , follow this link or contact the CPC directly at 1-866-808-8407. You may also reach our membership department by email at membership@conservative.ca

Prime Minister announces diplomatic nominations

Biographies: John McNee as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York, & Michael Wilson as Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America

Steven Edwards: Career diplomat next UN ambassador -- Mideast specialist

[. . . . ] Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada will be represented at the world body by John McNee, a former Canadian ambassador to Syria as well as former chief of the Middle East division of the Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa.

He will succeed Allan Rock, a former Liberal Cabinet minister whose term would normally have stretched at least until 2007. He will not, however, take up the post until July, allowing Mr. Rock to complete work pushing for management reform at the world body. [ See "Louise Arbour" below . . . . ]

The policy is that Canadian aid to the Palestinians may be withdrawn unless Hamas renounces violence, a condition already set by the Quartet, whose other members are the United States, Russia and the European Union.

Search: National Council on Canada-Arab Relations , Canada-Israel Committee

Canadian Space Agency scandal linked to Lansdowne Technologies Inc. Judi McLeod and David Hawkins, February 16, 2006

Millions of dollars in suspect contracts approved by Canada’s Public Works Department for the Canadian Space Agency may have links to Lansdowne Technologies Inc., the company that disappeared from former Prime Minister Paul Martin’s public disclosure statement, Canada Free Press has learned. [. . . . ]

Search: Canadian Space Station Program (CSSP) , "NASA, ESA, NASDA and Russia." $27.7-million in Canadian federal government contracts , Previous stories on Lansdowne Technologies [There are several with links at the bottom of this article. ]

Terence Corcoran: A thousand bad ideas Financial Post, Feb. 17, 06

Worth reading: “Consider a few of the shortcomings of existing forms of democracy:"
Klaus Rohrich: Feb. 16, 06

Globalization, the UN, the racism industry & Louise Arbour

The UN's Coming International Code of Unacceptable Speech Joseph Klein, CFP, Feb. 14, 06

[.... ] The first step on the way to UN-sanctioned censorship took place last December when Louise Arbour--the United Nations high Commissioner for Human Rights--appointed two UN "experts on racism" to investigate what Arbour characterized as a "disrespect for belief." She was responding to a complaint by the Organization of Islamic Conference over the Danish cartoons. [. . . . ]


a resolution against "defamation of religions." Its one-sided focus

The third step toward deepening the UN’s involvement in censorship occurred on February 5, 2006

This is lengthy, with links, a must read. Louise Arbour left Canada's Supreme Court because of plans, in my opinion. She would be able to harness the race industry at the UN for global guilt, global control and just maybe, a little more power for herself and the ones who would control us.

Dear Stephen Harper, keep Canada out of UN control. Some Canadians will not take being denied the right to comment because a large number of Muslims go berserk and the ones who want to lead them to violence capitalize on their lack of education, poverty, mindless parroting of "death" at the slightest provocation, and inability to reason, it seems on the issue of equivalence ... whether any cartoon merits the usual madness.

Terry Pedwell: Harper sets Palestinian aid rules posted by mmaxx, Feb. 15. 06

[....] "Future assistance to any new Palestinian government will be reviewed against that government's commitment to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations," Harper said in a statement released after the phone call.

The demands are in line with a UN Security Council call for Hamas to commit itself to a negotiated settlement of the Mideast conflict. [....]

Harper lays out conditions for further aid in talks with Abbas maz2

CRTC tells local phone companies to cut residential rates -- using the phone companies for social engineering?

Mark Evans: High tech's abuzz -- television, satellite radio, wireless data, blogging and podcasting

[....] As cable companies such as Rogers Communications Inc., Videotron Ltee and Shaw Communications Inc. move into the telephone market, carriers such as Bell Canada and Telus Corp. hope to penetrate the television market by leveraging their high-speed Internet networks. [....]

A big issue within the VoIP industry is an appeal launched by Bell against a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decision that regulated incumbent carriers in the VoIP market. Bell argues its ability to compete is being marginalized because it has to seek approval for pricing changes while the cable companies are free to price their services however they want.

[. . . . ] The blogosphere .... more than 27 million blogs in existence with more than 70,000 new blogs created daily. It is estimated the blogosphere is 60 times larger than it was three years ago. .... Podcasting is also exploding as new tools make it easier for people to create their own radio shows. [. . . . ]

Those who would control the dissemination of information would control us ... certainly make life difficult for those who note anomalies and such.

Politicians lash out at tech firms over China Declan McCullagh / Anne Broache, CNET News.com, Feb. 15, 06, via newsbeat1

Update: Politicians lashed out at U.S. Internet companies on Wednesday, accusing them of collaborating with China's "regime of repression" and pledging to enact a law soon to make such cooperation illegal.

During a House of Representatives hearing, members of Congress offered repeated condemnations of Google, Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Microsoft that were the most antagonistic so far in an ongoing dispute about how U.S.-based companies can offer services in China while protecting the free speech and privacy of Chinese users. [. . . . ]

The short answer? In my opinion, they can't unless China allows it.

Gates: End to passwords in sight

InfoCard attempts to address the complaint many critics had with Passport, which was that people's information was managed by Microsoft instead of by the users themselves and the businesses with which they dealt.

[. . . . ] Internet Explorer 7 will support InfoCard, Gates announced. The technology will also be available for Windows XP, Microsoft said. InfoCard is one of several technologies Microsoft is developing for Vista, but the company is also making it available for XP.
[http://news.com.com/Microsoft+revamps+its+plans+for+Longhorn/2100-1016_3-5327150.html?tag=nl . . . . ]

[. . . . ] As expected, the company on Tuesday released a second beta version of Windows AntiSpyware, now called Windows Defender.

[. . . . ] A public preview of IE 7 was released in late January. [http://news.com.com/Microsoft+releases+IE+7+beta+to+public/2100-1032_3-6033116.html?tag=nl ]

Lauren La Rose: Migrants shelled out up to $40,000 to be smuggled over border: RCMP Feb. 15, 06

TORONTO (CP) - ... nearly 100 migrants captured ...

[....] The RCMP partnered with Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to crack the international ring after a two-year investigation.

... Windsor-Sarnia area .... China, Korea, Albania and Eastern Europe ... car trunks, on rail cars, in the back of transport trucks or on small boats ...

Canadian, U.S. authorities charge 23 people in alleged human smuggling ring Feb. 14, 06

17 accused of human smuggling Doug Schmidt, CanWest, February 15, 2006

[. . . . ] Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told reporters at Windsor's RCMP headquarters. More than 100 illegal aliens from China, Korea, Albania, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and elsewhere were rounded up at the Windsor and Sarnia border crossings over the past two years as part of Operation O Boy, which relied heavily on intelligence gathered from more than 2,000 intercepted wiretap conversations in multiple languages. [. . . . ]

85 guns tied to smuggling network -- U.S., Peel Police effort: Some of the weapons used in Ontario crimes Natalie Alcoba, National Post, February 15, 2006

A two-year, cross-border investigation into a "significant" gun smuggling operation ... Project Bluegrass -- named for the Kentucky origins of many of the recovered weapons -- has identified 85 guns that were purchased in the United States, with the intention of smuggling them into Ontario.

[. . . . ] Riccardo Tolliver, 29, a U.S. citizen, was picked up by police on Feb. 7 while in a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire in Toronto. He had with him a semi-automatic .45 calibre handgun that he produced and was trying to sell, police allege.

Among the charges Mr. Tolliver is facing are conspiracy to import firearms, conspiracy to traffic firearms and firearms trafficking. [. . . . ]

Border trial -- Judge says lawyers can't bring up violence Louie Gilot, El Paso Times, February 15, 2006

The jury in the case of the two Border Patrol agents who shot a man in the buttocks last year will get to hear about the victim's alleged drug-smuggling activities but won't get a picture of the border as a violent place for law enforcement.

U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone partly granted the motion by the U.S. attorney -- who is prosecuting the agents -- to exclude any mention of border violence, in particular the recent standoff in Hudspeth County. Lawyers will have to advise all witnesses of the prohibition. They will be able to ask the judge to allow mentions of border violence on a case-by-case basis, but they will have to approach the bench every time and speak out of earshot of the jury, according to the ruling issued Monday evening.

However, defense lawyers for agents Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos have a right to cross-examine the victim, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, about being an undocumented immigrant and an alleged drug smuggler "but only related to his immunity agreement with the government," according to court documents.

I just do not understand the law and its application; I suspect I am not alone. So often I read of omission of what would seem to be germane to a case ... but the evidence is disallowed. Why?

"Success will be measured not by events that happen but by events that don't happen." "Long Twilight Struggle", Posted 2/6/2006

[....] Today we find ourselves in a not-unfamiliar situation. China is rising to become the global threat the Soviet Union once was. Iran seeks to join North Korea as a nuclear power even as it reigns as the prime state sponsor of terror, with Syria running a close second. Together they finance the terrorist group Hezbollah. And the equally dangerous and virulently anti-U.S. and anti-Israel group Hamas now rules the Palestinian state.

In our own hemisphere, thugs like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales have become the allies and heirs of Cuba's Fidel Castro. And then there are the terrorists who set off bombs at weddings in Jordan, discos in Bali, train stations in Madrid and subways in London, and who fly passenger jets into buildings in the U.S. [....]

Greg Weston: Hill is alive with the sound of lobbyists -- "Harper, on the other hand, is already seeing results from his promised five-year ban on senior political staffers becoming lobbyists: Some of the best and brightest are refusing to work for the new government." -- Does this prove how lucrative lobbying has been? Why are lobbyists necessary?

Gunter on civil servant: "they have promoted Maryantonett Flumian and missed another chance to show there are new sheriffs in town."

Gunter is not amused and gives reasons.

[Warren] Kinsella Sues for One Hundred Bazillion Dollars* -- The lawsuit has to do with commentary made concerning Kinsella, Dingwall, Chuck Guite, sponsorship kickback scandal and Paul Martin

Captain's Quarters: "I expect that Kinsella will regret filing this lawsuit. His role in this scandal appears to have flown under the radar until now, and Bourrie's defense will have a field day answering Kinsella with these quotes." -- Is this another test of free speech? ....

ABC News has obtained 12 hours of tape recordings of Saddam Hussein meeting with top aides during the 1990s, tapes apparently recorded in Baghdad's version of the Oval Office.

ABC News obtained the tapes from Bill Tierney, a former member of a United Nations inspection team who translated them for the FBI.
Brian Ross & Rhonda Schwartz, Feb. 15, 2006

This WAR is for REAL! To: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, October 25, 2005, By: Major General Dr. Vernon Chong, USAFR


[....] First, let's examine a few basics:

1. When did the threat to us start?

Many will say September 11, 2001. The answer as far as the United States is concerned is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:

* Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979;
* Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983;
* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
* Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
* Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
* Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998;
* Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
* Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000;
* New York World Trade Center 2001;
* Pentagon 2001.

(Note that during the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide). [....]

This is excellent, lengthy, definitely worth reading. h/t newsbeat1

U.N. report urges Gitmo shutdown Sam Cage, AP, Feb. 16, 06

GENEVA - The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

[. . . . ] The report's findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the U.S. government.

[. . . . ] The five investigators, who come from Argentina, Austria, New Zealand, Algeria and Pakistan, were appointed by the commission to the three-year project. They worked independently and received no payment, though the U.N. covered expenses.

The U.S., which is a member of the commission, has criticized the body itself for including members with poor human rights records.[. . . . ]

They interviewed some who had been released but did not go to Gitmo to see for themselves, which the Red Cross has done.

Algeria and Pakistan would have no bias, of course.

Politics 101 for David Emerson Arthur Weinreb, CFP, Feb. 14, 06

Restaurant toilet water purer than ice water, student finds -- Science fair test turns 12-year-old off fast food Mary Vallis, National Post, February 15, 2006

A 12-year-old Florida student has determined it is better to drink from a fast-food restaurant's toilet than eat the ice in its soft drinks. [. . . . ]

Jasmine conducted her research with the help of a University of South Florida professor at the H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center. Her experiment did not determine why the ice samples were contaminated with more bacteria than the toilet samples, but she has several theories. Restaurant bathrooms are cleaned regularly, she said, while the ice dispensers may have been overlooked. The bacteria may have festered in stagnant water in the machine's water lines, she added. [. . . . ]

Time taken to investigate fraud case inordinate David Baines, Vancouver Sun, Jan. 25, 2006

The magnitude of the fraud perpetrated by former Vancouver lawyer Martin Wirick and his developer client, Tarsem Gill, is breathtaking. So is the amount of time it is taking police to investigate the case.

So far, the B.C. Law Society has approved 347 claims totalling $32.5 million. Another 157 claims with a face value of $16 million have not yet been resolved. I have no idea how many of these remaining claims will be approved, but if just half are validated, the final payout would be more than $40 million. [....]


Gill's method of operation -- as described in the latest edition of the Benchers' Bulletin (the law society's in-house publication) ....

assumed he had obtained a first mortgage ....

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an ardent critic of the U.S. government, is backing Iran's right to develop nuclear fuel despite international community opposition to Tehran pursuing its atomic program.

"Although we have not had any conversations until now with Venezuelan authorities, we would be willing to study the possibility," Iran's parliament speaker, Gholamali Haddadadel, said when asked by reporters in Caracas whether Tehran could offer cooperation to Venezuela.

Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, last year said it was interested in developing nuclear technology with the possible help of Argentina, Brazil or Iran for civilian energy and medical purposes.

Why not just let the market operate freely? Why are the costs for Canadian wines not much lower than imports, since there are not the same shipping costs? Why must Canadians protect Bombardier and keep feeding it money but penalize our own vintners? Why is government selling alcohol and wines at all? Shouldn't it be privatized?

Quebec accused of snubbing own vintners -- Provincial liquor stores said to favour foreign producers Graeme Hamilton, National Post, February 15, 2006

Quebec allows the sale of Quebec-bottled foreign wines in its supermarkets and corner stores, and in 2000, some independent grocers began adding locally produced wines, ice ciders and liqueurs to their selection. They were using a loophole in provincial regulations that allowed the sale of homegrown wines in "public markets."

But in 2004, the SAQ complained to the provincial body responsible for liquor licensing, the RACJ, and the products were ordered removed from the shelves.[....]

It's not right that we have producers here who can sell their products in Chile and around the world, but they cannot sell them in Quebec."

The SAQ, which is facing a public backlash after it was found last month to be inflating the prices of European wines [kickbacks alleged also], says it supports Quebec producers. [....]

Feminist Middle East Studies by Alyssa A. Lappen, FrontPage Magazine, February 17, 2006
-- or -- Feminists do not speak for me; check for yourself.

It is a sad fact that many feminist academics "have adopted a pro-PLO and pro-terrorist line of thinking."[1] Middle East Studies specialists are among the worst [. . . . ]

Shields' 2002 course on "Women in the Middle East" was no better. It focused on things that "enable and circumscribe women's roles and choices" but assumed an almost entirely Islamic perspective. [. . . . ]

"There are Palestinian terrorists," she admitted. But she excused them because they were raised "under occupation." Humiliation gives people "no alternative to violence." [. . . . ]


a card-carrying member of the "root causes" crowd

blamed the U.S. "for the current tragic impasse, by virtue of our massive economic and military support for the Israeli government: $500 per Israeli citizen per year."

Would it be politically incorrect to repeat myself? Blinkin' nuts!


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