December 12, 2006

Dec. 12, 2006: Various

Tis the season to give

MADD's `exorbitant costs' anger charity's volunteers -- "MADD head office has taken a national tragedy and turned it into a fundraising machine" , Kevin Donovan, Dec. 9, 06

People who donate to Mothers Against Drunk Driving are told by the charity that most of the $12 million it raises annually is spent on good works — stopping drunk driving and helping families traumatized by fatal crashes.

[....] MADD Canada founder John Bates, ....

"... has become a money machine working on fear and scare tactics," said Bates .... "There are wonderful people doing great volunteer work in MADD chapters across Canada but MADD head office has taken a national tragedy and turned it into a fundraising machine."

[....] By the late 1990s the organization started becoming more corporate. More staff were hired, salaries were increased, nicer offices rented and contracts signed with companies to run telemarketing campaigns, knock on doors, send out mail and issue tax receipts.

The MADD story highlights an issue that national opinion polls have shown concerns donors: charities that hire professional fundraisers to do all, or almost all, their fundraising. Fundraisers typically take 70-90 cents of each dollar. That's what is happening at MADD, with the money turned over to the charity then being eaten up by administrative expenses and head office salaries. [....]

... 76 per cent ($4.1 million) was kept by the telemarketer. Part of the remaining 24 per cent ($1.3 million) was eaten up by other charity expenses such as administration, leaving little for good works.

[....] The CEO [MADD chief executive officer Andrew Murie] would not reveal his salary or that of other staff, saying it is personal information. Volunteers have been seeking an accounting of the $2 million-plus salary and administrative expenses at the charity's Oakville head office. [....]

Ambrose calls for auditor general's review of all federal climate programs , Dennis Bueckert, Canadian Press, December 12, 2006

[....] "On the trust of Canadians, the previous government spent and spent liberally but delivered precious little in return. In fact, the sole outcomes were soaring greenhouse gases . . . and a divisive, politicized debate." But Ambrose ran into trouble when asked whether Canada has paid $1.5 million pledged last year in support of the Clean Development Mechanism, a key feature of the Kyoto Protocol. [....]

Ratification likely to be painful and difficult for divided first nations, Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, December 12, 2006

[....] Ratification is a difficult process for first nations. Band politics, conflicting visions, holdout attitudes and a mistrust born of history -- all contribute to a reluctance to be the first to approve a modern-day treaty.

The process is likely to be especially wrenching for the Maa-nulth first nations, because their grouping arose from a split in a larger native community. [....]

"The theory is that Nuu-chah-nulth people will be better off concluding a deal with an NDP government than with the B.C. Liberals, who are poised to take power," wrote Wawmeesh (George Hamilton), a university student and member of one of the Nuu-chah-nulth bands. [....]

Conservative MP John Cummins blasts minister over Tsawwassen treaty
MP says native affairs minister has 'broken faith' with B.C. voters -- "$119-million Tsawwassen First Nation treaty ... "
, Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun, December 12, 2006

[....] Prentice announced in B.C. Friday a controversial $119-million deal that gives the Tsawwassen First Nation a guaranteed share of the Fraser River commercial salmon fishery and more than 200 hectares of prime farmland that can be used for industrial purposes. [....]

Search: Roberts Bank Superport, linked to the Asia-Pacific Gateway , outside the normal environmental constraints

FinCEN Assessment Notes Mortgage Fraud on the RisE, Sue Burt, Senior Attorney - Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, November 2006, via newsbeat1

FinCEN is continuing in its efforts to keep the financial services industry abreast of new trends and twists in the area of money laundering and other fraudulent activity. Recently, it released a mortgage loan fraud assessment that highlights some of the issues surrounding the growing problem of mortgage fraud. This article will highlight some of the information provided in FinCEN’s assessment. [....]

RCMP claim they can't investigate most criminal groups , Eric Beauchesne, CanWest News Service, December 09, 2006

[....] ``What we heard ... quite disturbing,'' committee chair Senator Jerry Grafstein said. ``... resource constraints, the RCMP is only able to investigate less than 19 per cent of these criminal organizations after conducting their threat analysis.''

[....] ``We are aware that there are 800 criminal organizations in Canada and we have a capacity to investigate perhaps 150 of them,'' Raf Souccar, the RCMP's assistant commissioner of federal and international operations told the committee.

``That's the criminal side,'' he said, adding that the police force's ability to investigate potential terrorist activity is also hampered by a lack of resources.

``It would be great to have a complete team of money laundering or terrorist financing (personnel) with every investigation, totally dedicated.''

[....] A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day expressed surprise at the complaint of a lack of resources noting in the last budget the government gave the RCMP $161 million over two years for policing activities alone, plus $37 million over two years for the RCMP training academy. [....]

Hydro One CEO Tom Parkinson resignation -- gets $3 million umbrella for his rainy day, "Grits kill $1.6B surplus", Christina Blizzard, TorSunm Dec. 12, 06

What leaves us all aghast, after the resignation last week of Hydro One CEO Tom Parkinson, isn’t so much his $1.6 million salary.

... his perks .... $45,000 ... $11,000 trip to his homeland, Australia.....

[....] Parkinson gets $3 million to go away.

Remember his predecessor, Eleanor Clitheroe? She of yachts and limo fame was just as caught up in her own pay and perks as Parkinson. What is it about energy-sector executives that they are so out of touch with reality? You have to wonder why it took an outside auditor and media outrage to force out Parkinson. Energy Minister Dwight Duncan said [....]

How much money are they losing if they don't get back into power and get back to the usual ... trough? We’re right, they’re evil -- It was a typical week for Canada’s Liberal party. On Thursday, former acting Liberal leader Bill Graham compared the Conservatives to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. , Sun, December 10, 2006

The topic and commentary are a hoot. Andrew Coyne Hypocrisy 101: Toronto Star demonstrates the correct method for calling a woman a bitch, via

Follow this link: ‘So Foul a Sky Clears Not Without a Storm'

Our cultural catechism: to have nubile availability for women old enough to be grannies via face-lifts, liposuction, implants, labiaplasty... more -- or via Arts and Letters Daily PROUD FLESH
The cult of cosmetic surgery.
, by Rebecca Mead, Nov. 11-13, 06 -- Posted by: maz2, Nov. 7, 06

[....] Restoration and repair do not much characterize the surgery with which Kuczynski is most concerned: she makes a distinction between plastic surgery, a term that may refer to the repair of a cleft lip or a face disfigured by an accident, and cosmetic surgery, which refers to an elective procedure that is medically unnecessary. Kuczynski’s interest lies in this more recent development. If Tagliacozzi’s purpose was to restore a semblance of normality to a face ravaged by disease or by swordplay (one of his patients had lost his nose in a duel), so that its bearer might go through the world somewhat less stigmatized, what is the purpose and meaning of cosmetic surgery today? [....]

Kuczynski has an eye for the telling detail—liposuction needles called the Mercedes, the Tiger Tip, and the PickleFork, each with “a name that sounds as if it belongs to some sort of vibrator or sex toy”—and an ear for the marketplace’s euphemisms: “Scars aren’t healed, they are managed. Pain isn’t stopped, halted, alleviated; it, too, is managed.” But “Beauty Junkies” is an anomalous literary phenomenon: a muckraking book that comes out, on balance, in favor of muck. [....]


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