November 23, 2006

Nov. 23, 2006: Various 1

Updated -- a couple of items and more information.

Canadian Leopard Tanks, Kandahar, Afghanistan , Added November 08, 2006. From Protonotairaire

Hot Air from the UN , by Joseph Klein, , Nov. 20, 06

In a last-minute bid to create a positive spin for his legacy, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is promoting the United Nations’ role in saving the world from an imminent global warming catastrophe. Here is how he so modestly put it in a speech at this month’s International Climate Change Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya:

[....] The Nairobi climate change gabfest is yet another in a long series of UN sponsored global environmental conferences that promulgate biased studies, produce alarmist statements that exaggerate the magnitude of the problem, devise wrong-headed solutions and end up ritually blaming the United States. Rather than try constructively to amass the world’s leading scientific talent, with sufficient funding and dedicated commitment for the purpose of researching and developing alternative renewable sources of energy and fuel efficient technologies at competitive prices, millions of dollars continue to be wasted on existing UN programs and conferences. [....]

ADQ would favour ban on burkas , Kevin Dougherty, CanWest News Service; Montreal Gazette, November 20, 2006

[....] The ADQ also passed a resolution saying that Quebec should stop taking equalization payments from the federal government by Jan. 1, 2015.

... Quebec now gets $5.2 billion a year in equalization from Ottawa ....

The resolution did not explain how Quebec would become a ''have'' province, like Ontario and Alberta, paying out rather than receiving equalization.

The ADQ is strong in rural areas, where large-scale pig farming creates pollution problems.

Delegates adopted a proposition calling for converting pig manure into electricity.

They also revived a plan from the Robert Bourassa era, proposing a $5,000 baby bonus for families with a third, fourth or more children. ....

N.L. minister implicated in spending scandal breaks half-year silence -- This actually crosses party lines ... but you would have to read the whole article to know -- re: Tory Ed Byrne, former Liberal cabinet minister Jim Walsh, current Liberal Wally Andersen and New Democrat Randy Collins , Tara Brautigam, November 16, 2006

[Ed] Byrne submitted his resignation June 21 after auditor general John Noseworthy alleged the Tory member of the legislature spent nearly $327,000 from his constituency allowance during the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years - more than 10 times the approved limit.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is now investigating after Noseworthy found $3.9 million in questionable government spending by four politicians, including Byrne.

The auditor general concluded that Byrne, former Liberal cabinet minister Jim Walsh, current Liberal Wally Andersen and New Democrat Randy Collins overspent their constituency allowances by $1.1 million.

Noseworthy also issued a report saying that $2.7 million in public funds may have been misappropriated to buy a variety of keepsakes, including customized gold rings, fridge magnets and key chains.

The report said Newfoundland's legislature was plagued by "basically non-existent" financial controls and there was no way to determine if the province actually received all of the items it paid for. [....]


Jennifer Ditchburn: Clueless about partisanship
Future Liberal senator Jennifer Ditchburn laments the bureaucratic cuts imposed by the Conservatives in this "news" story...
, 10/02/06 by ferret

Tory cuts show new attitude for shaping public policy

The Canadian Policy Research Networks, which is described by Jennifer [Ditchburn] as a "non-partisan think tank", was among the bureaucratic agencies whose budget was cut.

The president of the CPPN is Sharon Manson Singer. Mrs. Singer has a Ph.D in "welfare economics" from UBC, a master's of Social Work from UBC, and a bachelor's in Social Work from UVic. She was a board member for the Canadian Council on Social Development before she was Deputy Minister of Human Resources for the New Democratic Party of British Columbia. Now she heads up an organization described by Jennifer Ditchburn as "non-partisan". I'll give you a chance to stop laughing before I continue... [....]

Harper’s opaque communications strategy stymies reporters at APEC summit , Jennifer Ditchburn, NatPost / CP, Nov. 19, 06

HANOI, Vietnam -- Canadians first learned one of their senior diplomats had been dispatched to the hermit kingdom of North Korea courtesy of the South Korean government.

The diplomat had been in North Korea for three days.

When officials travelling with Prime Minister Stephen Harper provided skimpy details of his first contentious meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chinese officials were happy to fill the information void. [....]

How would Ditchburn know whether it was a contentious meeting ... or simply reported that way later? A mole? Guessing? Telling people what to think?

Vancouver Olympics

I just found this again. Worth reading.


Andrew Coyne: Who is Bob Rae? , NatPost, Nov. 18, 06

Is it unfair to hold Bob Rae's record against him? Is there a statute of limitations on bankrupting a province?

[....] the likeable Mr. Rae has long since disavowed his NDP past as a youthful indiscretion. You don't like my record? I don't like it either!

Except he hasn't disavowed it. Not really. What he's disavowed is responsibility for it. [....]

And what, precisely, has Mr. Rae learned from this experience? We know that he now thinks that deficits are to be avoided -- as a matter of preference. But as a rule? What if compassion came calling again? To this day, Mr. Rae boasts of his decision to bail out Algoma Steel and De Havilland, seemingly oblivious of the opportunity costs of these decisions -- the jobs that were destroyed in unseen ways across the economy to save the jobs that were right in front of his nose. This is what worries me: not that Mr. Rae is an unreconstructed socialist, but his pragmatism. I don't have the first clue what he would do in a given situation, and I suspect neither does he.

Mr. Rae has a favourite rhetorical trick [....]

Whistle-blower 'correct' , Alan Cairns, TorSun, Nov. 21, 06, via newsbeat1

See link for this on the website: 'Brass ... buried it'

A second Toronto cop who was on a corruption task force now makes public assertions that a list of serious issues have been either ignored or overlooked by police brass.

Retired only a few months after three years on an RCMP-led task force probe into allegedly rogue Toronto Police drug squad cops, former Sgt. Neal Ward told the Toronto Sun that self-professed "whistle-blower" Sgt. Jim Cassells is "mostly ... quite correct." [....]

Rae the real Tory bogeyman, Segal believes , Joan Bryden, CP, Nov. 14, 06

OTTAWA — Veteran Tory strategist Hugh Segal fears his party is underestimating the political damage Bob Rae could inflict if he becomes the next Liberal leader.

Many Conservatives, including national campaign chief Doug Finley, contend that Mr. Rae would flop in Ontario, where he served a single, turbulent term as NDP premier from 1990 to 1995. [....]
Mr. Segal said young voters and new citizens won't remember Mr. Rae's tenure as premier, when taxes and deficits soared during the worst recession since the Dirty Thirties.

He predicted the Tories won't be able to use his record against him as effectively as they think. “It's interesting but it's about as relevant as the Vietnam war.” [....]

Would a Canadian education help young peoples' memory? ....... I jest.

Parachute arts magazine to cease publication

Globe and Mail, R2, Nov. 22, 06
Parachute, a contemporary arts magazine based in Montreal, will cease publication with its January 2007 issue.

Half of Parachute's budget came from grants. This included $80,000 a year from the Canada Council, $80,000 from the Quebec government, $22,000 or so from Montreal, and an additional $20,000 scraped up from other sources. The magazine was told that the main Canada Council grant would fall to $40,000 which [editor Chantal] Pontbriand made publication untenable.

I am sure this will be a crushing blow to the 450 Canadian subscribers.

My comments on government funding

There is always a political component when "free" money floats ... taxpayer money.

Multiply the above by thousands ... and we would find that taxpayers have been supporting numerous activities which, if they could choose, perhaps they would not.

Let the market decide ... not some politician who wants votes from the "arts community" ... and is willing to buy them with taxpayers' money. As for the arts community, produce something which people will want to support or buy. Oh, yes, and the arts community might also want to reconsider the travel stipends which, I believe, were in the planning stage ... EI, as well ... any other perquisites in the minds of sleazy pols courting power and votes ... or is that votes, then power ... and business?

Globalization and Arctic

Arctic voyage ends with deportation , Donna Casey, Ottawa Sun, Nov. 21, 06

A 32-year-old Romanian man who weathered a 1,000-km Arctic Ocean trek in a fibreglass boat to reach Canadian soil will soon be booted out of the country.

... 7 1/2 months in jail ... Greenland to an Inuit village in Nunavut in September.

[Florin] Fodor, who was arrested by RCMP officers under the Immigration Act in Gris Fiord, has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 18 ... Canadian border officials, who will put the illegal immigrant on the next flight back to Romania.

[....] Fodor was deported from Canada in 2000 for a series of criminal convictions and had also been kicked out of the U.S., said Kealey.

Canadians, he has family here. Make a prediction. Or has he already been kicked out?

Why do so many Globe headers start with a negative for the Conservative government of Canada? Let's see, parent company, BCE, income trusts ... anything there?

Climate Action Network in headlines -- negative
The key is the last three paragraphs
, by Scott Deveau, Nov. 20, 2006, entitled Liberals accuse PM of being a “laughingstock”

[...] Canada also received two “fossil of the day” awards at the conference. The awards are distributed by the environmental group Climate Action Network to countries deemed to have contributed the least to progress in the climate talks.

Mr. Kenney also rejected the criticism of Ms. Ambrose and the government's stance on the environment.

“We are honest when speaking to the world and Liberals were dishonest,” Mr. Kenney said. “When they said they intended to reduce green house gas emissions, they increased them by 30 per cent and this government, the current government, is honest when we say that the Liberal's environmental policy was a disaster and we are trying to improve our environment.”

PM, McGuinty, Miller united over bail system plan

Whistleblowers -- Nova Scotia / NS

It reminds me of the statute of limitations Jean Chretien's government set in place concerning the findings of the Gomery Inquiry. CYA is alive and well ... and a new wrinkle comes out of the East.

Does this mean the government may ruin a whistleblower ... legally ... using regulations the government wrote ... keep the corruption in-house ... or else?

Whistle-blowers told complaints stay in-house
[You might have to link to first; then input the above url.]

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia government employees who want to blow the whistle on wrongdoing or corruption now have new rules to follow. Cabinet minicsters have approved a new set of regulations, which require workers to take their complaints up the bureaucratic chain of command. The whistle-blower is not allowed to make the complaint public or enlist help outside the bureaucracy. (CBC) [....]

Memory Lane: Poisons such as digitalis

It may be time for a review of this post:

News Junkie Canada July 3, 2004 -- Compilation -- from the Society of Creative Anachronism --

Link to Florilegium flyer PDF
/UNCAT/poisons-msg.text [text file]

the smell of "bitter almonds
Medieval poisons
Foxglove (Digitalus purpura) produces digitalis
various cyanides from things like peach pits
"Ergot contains the alkoloids ergonovine and ergotomine, both of which are composed of lysergic acid, the precursor of LSD" ...
sold as ornamentals
castor plants (from whence comes castor oil and ricinine, a powerful poison)

Do you remember reading of ricin connected with alleged Al Qaeda cells in the UK?

Memory Lane -- CRTC and more

Frost Hits the Rhubarb Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 2006

Search: You will learn to love Big Brother's Choices


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