November 30, 2006

Nov. 30, 2006: Various


In memory of Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan , Moxie38, 11/29/2006 20:26:02

Update Dec. 1, 06: The Torch: Why Canadians don't know the trivia that's not trivial

The China principle , Peter Foster, Financial Post, November 29, 2006

[....] The United States will presumably like Mr. Flaherty's stand against state-owned takeovers, but Canadian shareholders might be less happy about cutting off anybody who is prepared to overpay for their companies.

[....] One of the United States' alleged main concerns is that the Chinese are running around the world overpaying for petroleum assets. But their bigger concern should be that even more of the world's supplies might wind up under state control. State oil companies just aren't as good at finding and producing petroleum as their private-sector counterparts, and they are inevitably subject to costly political pressures.

Peak oil, schmeak oil. The main threat to the world's petroleum supplies continues to come not from depletion, but from government control. Canada learned its lesson and the whole country has been the better for it. Meanwhile, the main point of Mr. Flaherty's message may have been preemptive: to warn off Chinese state oil concerns from making any takeover bids.

2006 Report of the Auditor General of Canada

"Demands on government are unlimited, but the resources available to meet them are not," said Ms. Fraser. "That's why the government needs an effective system to decide how much it can afford to spend, what to spend it on, and how to get the best results for the money." [....]

Update Dec. 1, 06: Scroll down to Nov. 30. 2006: Auditor General Denied Access ...

Treasury Board Secretariat has denied the Auditor General access to information from previous year(s), citing Cabinet secrecy, which "imposed a limitation on the scope of the Auditor General's examination". In other words, AG Sheila Fraser could not carry out the audit as planned.

Hard time to pay better? , by Louis Mathieu Gagne, Nov. 27, 06

Canada's prisoners need a raise, says the correctional investigator of federal penitentiaries. [Howard Sapers ]

[....] He said many people believe everything is free in prison, but that's not the case. Prisoners have to pay for plenty of things and if they don't have the means to do so a parallel economy is created, he said.

Many prisoners have to borrow from their fellow inmates and must assume all the risks that come along with those arrangements, he said.

The creation of a parallel prison economy often results in intimidation, harassment, and both physical and psychological violence between prisoners.

These debt grudges can also follow prisoners once they're on the outside as well and could even put the debtor's family in danger if the lender wanted his money that bad, said Bernheim. [....]

RCMP foils terror plots, but partners doubt intelligence, Andrew Mayeda, CanWest, November 28, 2006

[....] But Martin Rudner, a security and intelligence expert at Carleton University, said the results may not be fair to the RCMP, because it can take years to determine if intelligence is accurate. "The reliability can only be tested in five years, in some cases," he said. "That's one of the difficulties in doing performance assessments."

[....] By focusing on charities, the RCMP is likely hoping to fill an overlooked "lacuna" in the government's monitoring of terrorist financing networks, said Rudner.

"Some of it involves knowledgeable corruption, in other words a charity knows precisely what's happening. Sometimes it doesn't, when individuals within the charity divert funds."

The flow of money to and from terrorist organizations is already partially tracked by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. But FINTRAC focuses on cross-border transfers, not fundraising, said Rudner. [....]

Krauthammer: Borat looks in the wrong place for anti-Semitism , Commentary by Charles Krauthammer, - Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2006, Posted On: 11/27/2006

[....] Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Borat, revealed his purpose for doing that in a rare out-of-character interview he granted Rolling Stone in part to counter charges that he was promoting anti-Semitism. On the face of it, this would be odd, given that Mr. Cohen is himself a Sabbath-observing Jew. His defense is that he is using Borat's anti-Semitism as a “tool” to expose it in others. And that his Arizona bar stunt revealed, if not anti-Semitism, then “indifference” to anti-Semitism. And that, he maintains, was the path to the Holocaust.

Whoaaaa. Does he really believe such rubbish? Can a man that smart (Cambridge, investment banker and now brilliant filmmaker) really believe that indifference to anti-Semitism and the road to the Holocaust are to be found in a country and western bar in Tucson?

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world. [....]

LGF Exclusive: How Much Does It Cost to Buy Global TV News?, August 11, 2006

An LGF reader who worked for Associated Press TV News sent me the following article explaining how APTN works, and suggesting a reason why their coverage of the Middle East is so overwhelmingly biased against Israel:

[....] It is pretty much impossible, however, to operate a TV news organization without taking feeds from either APTN or Reuters or usually both. [....]

A Separate Service for Arab States

.... While most of the world takes news pictures with minimal interpretation beyond editing, the Arab Gulf States have asked for and receive a different and far more expensive service. .... full editing and voice overs [....]

[....] The slant of the stories required by the Gulf States ....

This full service feed is much more expensive for the customers than the usual service, but it is also much higher margin for APTN. [....]

Disproportionately Negative Coverage of Israel

Anything involving Israel is a favorite with Gulf Arab states for showing to their viewers. Could this be the reason why Israel receives such a disproportionate amount of particularly negative coverage especially and increasingly ever since the early 1970’s? HonestReporting is usually unable to decide which is most biased: AP or BBC. As the BBC is often using APTN footage, the difference is minor. A significant twist to what is seen, concerns what is not seen. Footage such as the Palestinian mob joyfully lynching two Israeli reservists in Ramallah in October 2000 is held by APTN’s library: any attempt to license this film for reshow is carefully vetted. Requests for the use of “sensitive clips” are referred directly to the Library director. This is not the case with clips that paint Israel in a bad light. Likewise, the re-showing of Palestinian celebrations on 9/11 is considered “sensitive”.

The way in which raw footage such as APTN’s is compiled into a news report and sent round the world has also been analyzed. The Second Draft gives a comprehensive view of how editing can make all the difference. APTN is the gatekeeper that sits between you and the actual event. You will never see what the editors at APTN see before they compile your evening news. What do you think is cut out? [....]

Comments:># 27 via Michelle, former Reuters reporter Phillip Klein, spills the beans.

Whatever its editors' political inclinations are, there is also a practical reason why Reuters is biased against Israel. As a global news provider, Reuters has to operate in more places than just about any other news organization, with 189 bureaus serving 128 countries. Because Israel is a free society, Reuters is able to run articles critical of the government without endangering the lives of its journalists or losing its ability to work in the country. Were Reuters to start striking a critical tone against the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Arab governments, its reporters' lives would be at risk as would its ability to operate in those parts of the world. Pretty soon, it would cease to be a "global" news provider and it would struggle for a raison d'etre.

The irony of the situation is that Reuters expects us to give it the benefit of the doubt that the mistake was unintentional, yet its editors would never give the same benefit of doubt to Israel when it accidentally kills innocent bystanders when fighting an enemy that deliberately hides among civilians.

Louise Arbour: Israel may be more to blame than Hizbullah -- or here , Jerusalem Post Nov. 24, 2006, by Hilary Leila Krieger and Tovah Lazaroff^

Bozell Column: Who's Soft on Propaganda?, Posted by Brent Bozell on November 28, 2006 , NewsBusters, via newsbeat1

If we were to believe liberals, the last several years could be dubbed the Age of Propaganda, what scandalized columnist Frank Rich, who knows quite a lot about this subject, calls the “decline and fall of truth.” [....]

But the same left-wing crowd that claims to hate propaganda seems to be offering nothing but flowers and best wishes for the November launch of al-Jazeera English. The new network presents itself as a bold, adventurous news outlet to promote an Arab point of view, to redirect global news coverage to the point of view of the “South” -- left-wing lingo for Third World monarchs and dictators. Its sugar daddy is the Emir of Qatar, seriously wealthy and very much committed to an Islamic agenda.

Questions about the network’s radical ideology emerged quickly. CNN attempted to interview al-Jazeera talk show host (and former CNN International journalist) Riz Khan and discovered how al-Jazeera English won’t be speaking the truth to power, especially [....]

Take this from where it comes. The federal Liberal women's caucus ........ Tories want women ‘barefoot and pregnant', Liberal group charges , posted Nov. 27, 06, CP / Globe and Mail

Brilliant analysis

Liberal Women's Caucus Warns: "More Paris Hiltons the inevitable result of Tory cuts", SDA News by Kate

The Conservative government is taking women's rights back into the Dark Ages by .... Pink Book of policies...

"Speaking as a member of the privileged underachiever community, I can personally testify that mediocrity would have stood in the way of my goals, had it not been for the support and extreme wealth of my family. I would never have headed my father's company, nor had a snowball's chance in Hell of becoming a Member of Parliament. In our current patriarchal system, these jobs almost always go to college graduates." [....]

See the full post here

Thanks to W who gave me this glimpse of a moment in time, yesterday: a Globe and Mail poll -- the vote from a self-selected group.

Will you be watching the Liberal leadership convention this week?
Wall-to-wall coverage 513 11%
Will tune in for the speeches 404 9%
Final results only 3677 80%
Total Votes: 4594

Judge scolds spying suspect's lawyers -- Unprepared: Testimony only reinforces past available evidence , Paul Cherry, CanWest, November 29, 2006

[....] "You haven't been taken by surprise by anything you heard [yesterday]," Judge Blais told the defence lawyers, referring to the two witnesses who testified for the federal government. The witnesses merely supported evidence made public through documents released last week.

Dale Hopkins, a senior investigator for Ontario's office of the registrar-general, testified the Ontario birth certificate the alleged spy used to get three Canadian passports between 1995 and 2002 was indeed a fake.

[....] The analyst was only able to say that the man known as Mr. Hampel operated much like agents of the SVR typically do, by creating false identities and building up "legends" that help them blend into the country they are spying on.

He added SVR agents are normally used by Russia for counterterrorism and economic espionage.

Terms used in human-smuggling business, Jul. 23, 2006 12:00 AM

You might need to know these ... should you vote to bring back the same gang to govern, the ones who brought Canada to ... what it is today. Think about that.

Debbie Schlussel: OUTRAGE: New Jersey Cops Disciplined for Helping ICE Arrest Illegal Alien; Embarrassing "Timing/Environment"?! , By Debbie Schlussel, Nov, 28, 06

Why are we losing the war on illegal immigration?

Well, it might have something to do with the fact that we go after those who try to protect our borders. Or it might have something to do with the fact that politics, not law enforcement, governs the behavior of cops trying to help stem the illegal alien rising tide.

Take the absurd case of Rajnikant Parikh, an illegal alien who used multiple identities. He was ordered deported. Yet, he remained here. On August 2nd, two Edison, New Jersey cops helped Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest him at a political protest.

Instead of hailing the two cops for helping ICE to enforce immigration laws, the cops have been found guilty of wrongdoing and sentenced them to counseling. Their crime: they shared information with ICE and they arrested this lawbreaker in front of others at a protest, which was very embarrassing to him. [....]

Embarrassing to an illegal? This decision concerning the cops is the absurd. How is it possible?

Another MP who gets it, November 28, 2006

Michael Gove, one-time journalist, author of ‘Celsius 7/7′ and now a Tory MP who absolutely grasps that we are in a war to defend the free world, made an excellent speech in the Commons yesterday. He had taken the trouble to investigate Gordon Brown’s claim to be clamping down on terrorist funding and had found it seriously wanting. Because of the importance of his speech, I reproduce it here in full:

[....] There are some 1,600 mosques in Britain, most of them exemplary houses of instruction that provide spiritual nourishment to our fellow citizens, and that teach them in a tradition that all of us would think admirable. However, there are mosques—some with direct relationships with Saudi Arabia—that do not cleave to the moderate mainstream path taken by the majority of British Muslims. I shall mention two of them. One subject of concern is the East London mosque, which is one of the largest in Britain. Its president, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, is the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain, but the speaker invited to open the mosque, Sheikh al-Sudais, had preached sermons in his native Saudi Arabia in which he described Jewish people as pigs and monkeys. He has called Hindus idol-worshippers to whom it would be wrong to speak sweetly. That is an example of Saudi influence raising profound concerns. [....]

Canadian Journalism Foundation: The Media, the Military and the Pollsters: Who’s got the story on Afghanistan?

Join L.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, Chief of Land Staff and Commander Land Forces Command of the Canadian Forces, Lisa LaFlamme, National Affairs Correspondent with CTV, John Wright, Senior Vice-President with Ipsos-Reid and moderator Paul Knox, Chair of Ryerson University School of Journalism, for a lively discussion on news coverage of the war in Afghanistan. See panelist bios below.

After the panelists have made their presentations, there will be an interactive discussion with the audience. We hope you will attend the reception immediately after the discussion for an opportunity to talk to the panelists.

Date: Thursday December 7, 2006
Presentation: 6:30 p.m.
Reception: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Robert Gill Theatre, University of Toronto

The Kremlin’s Killing Ways -- A long tradition continues. November 28, 2006, By Ion Mihai Pacepa

Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking intelligence officer ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. His book Red Horizons has been republished in 27 countries

There is no doubt in my mind that the former KGB/FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated at Putin’s order. He was killed, I believe, because he revealed Putin’s crimes and the FSB’s secret training of Ayman al-Zahawiri, the number-two in al Qaeda. I know for a fact that the Kremlin has repeatedly used radioactive weapons to kill political enemies abroad.... Ceausescu, via the KGB and its Romanian sister, the Securitate, .... a new generation of the radioactive thallium weapon .... Its Romanian codename was “Radu” (from radioactive), and I described it in my first book, Red Horizons, published in 1987. The Polonium 210 that was used to kill Litvinenko seems to be an upgraded form of “Radu.”

Assassination as Foreign Policy [....]

.... Laszlo Rajk and Imre Nagy of Hungary; Lucretiu Patrascanu and Gheorghiu-Dej in Romania; Rudolf Slansky, the head of Czechoslovakia, and Jan Masaryk, that country’s chief diplomat; the shah of Iran; Palmiro Togliatti of Italy; American President John F. Kennedy; and Mao Zedong.

Bolton: Future of Mideast 'may well be decided' in days , November 27, 2006

[....] "A successful re-emergence of democracy there is being directly challenged by the terrorist Hizbullah and those who support them, Syria, Iran and others."

The U.S. dilemma is whether or not to provide up to $200 million in military aid to Lebanon over the next year. [....]

Canada Joins Running of the Jew at U.N. for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Canukistan*

Toronto, Thursday, November 30, 2006 – The Canadian Coalition for Democracies (CCD) is disappointed by the voting of the government of Canada in yesterday's slew of anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations.

"Canada has again legitimized the use of UN resolutions to demonize one nation, while ignoring the truly serious human rights violations of other member states," said Alastair Gordon, president of CCD. "Until resolutions are applied even-handedly to all UN members, Canada must express its condemnation by voting 'no' on all such resolutions." [....]


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