Showing posts from March, 2008

Opposition parties target Tories on immigration tactics

This is from the CBC. Tacking on things to bills is common in the U.S. As an admirer of the U.S. Harper has imported the practice into the Canadian parliament. It is a heinous practice since it usually lumps together matters that have nothing to do with one another and it is impossible to defeat one issue but pass the other. Not that this will make much difference since the Liberals will probably pass anything until their polls improve. No doubt the Liberals disapprove of the content of the immigration law changes and will wax eloquent about how horrible they are. This will give the new members of the Liberal team a chance to exercise their vocal chords before they sit on their hands.

Opposition parties target Tories on immigration tactics

Opposition members accused the government on Monday of using a parliamentary trick to push through sweeping changes to Canada's immigration policies before the House of Commons' annual two-week Easter break.

The proposed changes to the Immigrat…

A CBC without an orchestra can be sound step for Radio 2

This is from the Star. Terauds lauds Baird's defence of CBC management's decision. Yet Terauds never bothers to find out if as Baird seems to suggest that Radio Symphonies are archaic remnants of the past no longer necessary in the internet age. Did Terauds the Critic bother to critique Baird's defence. No. Not at all. I just Googled "radio symphonies". There are oodles of them and not just in large countries such as Russia but in cities and regions. For example in Germany there are: The Stuttgart Radio Symphony, The Cologne Radio Symphony, and the South West German Radio symphony. There are also many in smaller countries: The Danish Radio Symphony, The Slovak Radio Symphony, Austrian Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio symphony, Netherlands Radio Symphony. So I guess we are too small and poverty stricken to afford one CBC Radio Symphony.

A CBC without an orchestra can be sound step for Radio 2

Mar 29, 2008 04:30 AM
John Terauds
Classical Music Critic

Don't mess with…

No breakup yet for Dion, Ignatieff

This is from the Star. Hebert gives some insights into the Quebec Liberal situation. I don't know where Hebert gets the information that Ignatieff is anxious to have the next campaign over with. I understood that it is Dion who wants an election and that Ignatieff and Rae are holding him back because the troops are not ready nor are Canadians ready to vote for the Liberals. With Rae on the front benches Dion's "star" will be barely visible. To demote Ignatieff would simply cause more unrest. The best thing for Dion is to go for an election and at least be able to hold his head high. Maybe Canadians will forgive him for being so wishy-washy and vote for him.

No breakup yet for Dion, Ignatieff

Mar 31, 2008 04:30 AM
Chantal Hébert


By all accounts, the emergency meeting that Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion held with his demoralized Quebec team last week had an uncommon share of surrealistic moments.

Some of Dion's organizers were astounded by his repeated assertion…
This is from CTV. With the decline in the Quebec polls the threats from Dion are empty. Even though the Liberals are completely opposed to the new immigration legislation they cannot afford to oppose it. The tired old slogans about making parliament work and Canadians not wanting an election are already being trotted out by some Liberals.

Parliament to resume with more Liberal threats
Updated Sun. Mar. 30 2008 5:13 PM ET

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- The election guessing game resumes Monday with Stephane Dion continuing to hold out the possibility that he'll finally pull the plug on Stephen Harper's minority government.

The Liberal leader's threat rings increasingly hollow, coming in the wake of disappointing byelection results and a new round of internecine sniping among party militants in Dion's home province of Quebec.

Indeed, some top Liberals have urged Dion to cut the incessant sabre rattling and frankly admit the party is in no position to fight an election this spri…

Minimum wage in Ontario to go to $8.75 per hour

Typical negative reaction from business which is understandable given that economic conditions are already not that great for many businesses. Yet the minimum wage raise is hardly as large as the legislator's wage increase of 25 per cent in 2006! Strange that when there is so much concern about an economic decline that no one notes that the increased wages will stimulate the economy because it is likely to be spent rather than saved.

Minimum Wage Rises To $8.75/Hr, While MPPs Get Salary Hike Of Their Own
Monday March 31, 2008 Staff
Ontario workers in minimum wage jobs will see more money in their pockets starting Monday.

That's when their hourly rate jumps from $8 to $8.75, one of a series of planned hikes for the province's lowest paid employees. The next 75-cent increase happens a year from now, and the following on the same date in 2010, eventually bringing minimum wage to $10.25 per hour.

"We've done it in a way that is aggressive but gradual to allow bu…

The Poverty of Ontario's Liberals: The 2008 budget

This is a detailed critical analysis of the Ontario budget from a left perspective.
The best that can be said about the McGuinty budget is that a Flaherty budget would be worse! There are a few good programs as well. But from the point of view of the working and middle class it offers little comfort in what seems a likely slowdown.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((( T h e B u l l e t ))))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Socialist Project e-bulletin .... No. 93 .... March 29, 2008

The Poverty of Ontario’s Liberals:
The 2008 Budget
Bryan Evans

The 2008 Ontario budget is a particularly revealing political statement. Until now, the McGuinty Liberals have had a comparatively stable economy to contend with. Year over year since 2003, they have been able to very modestly expand public spending. How times change. The crisis within the manufacturing sector has deepened and now threatens to spill over into other sectors from tourism to construction. March 25th, budget day, was an oppo…

Poll paints grim picture for Liberals in Quebec.

This is from CTV. Ignatieff seems to realise the necessity for unity. However the front bench of the Liberals will be expanded to include Rae and poor Dion will be the dimmest light of the three Liberal stars. He will have even more competition.
Given these polls I would predict there will be no election. Ralph Goodale on TV today was spouting the old line about Canadians not wanting an election and that Canadians want parliament to work. Goodale helped out Dion by plumping for Joan Beatty to run in Saskatchewan! Now he helps him out with garbage rhetoric.
It will be easy for Liberals to swallow their pride and support the Conservatives. They haven't any pride left.

Poll paints grim picture for Liberals in Quebec

Federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion speaks to reporters after a meeting in Montreal Friday March 28, 2008. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Jean Lapierre of La Presse speaks to CTV's Craig Oliver on March 30, 2008.

L. Ian MacDonald of The Montreal Gazette speaks to…


We have all heard of Stagflation. I just wonder if we will not see a period of Recflation (RECession and inFLATION) in the U.S. and elsewhere. By increasing the supply of money and lowering interest rates the Feds in the U.S. are making other goods more expensive. Add to this the fact that basic foodstuffs are increasing in price because of decreased supply, and increased costs for transportation, packaging, etc. The high price of oil increases the price of fuel, transportation, and all products such as plastics that depend on oil production. Diversion of agricultural production into ethanol does not help either.

Harper dampens expectations ahead of NATO summit

This is from the Globe and Mail.Actually the article makes it clear that there is no danger at all that the conditions set by Harper will not be met. If no one else will come through the U.S. will. They should since we are providing cannon fodder, and aid for their mission. We even are giving Boeing a big boost with Chinook helicopters. As a reward we will get them sooner than ordinary!

Harper dampens expectations ahead of NATO summit

The Canadian Press

March 28, 2008 at 5:03 PM EDT

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared to dampen expectations Friday that all of Canada's demands on Afghanistan will be met during next week's NATO leaders summit in Romania.

While he remains confident the military alliance will come through with 1,000 reinforcements and extra equipment, Mr. Harper suggested it all might take more time to accomplish than the two-day meeting among 26 leaders.

“I anticipate in the weeks to come there will be additional commitments made in Afghanis…

Chile, Cybernetics, and Socialism

Here are three articles on Socialism in Chile under Allende and the role of Simon Beer and others who attempted to use cybernetics in planning. The first is from the NY Times. The second is from the Financial Post. The final article is from the
National Post and was written by the son of Stafford Beer who was the cyberneticist who helped Allende.

March 28, 2008 / New York TIMES

Santiago Journal

Before '73 Coup, Chile Tried to Find the Right Software for Socialism

SANTIAGO, Chile — When military forces loyal to Gen. Augusto Pinochet
staged a coup here in September 1973, they made a surprising
discovery. Salvador Allende's Socialist government had quietly
embarked on a novel experiment to manage Chile's economy using a
clunky mainframe computer and a network of telex machines.

The project, called Cybersyn, was the brainchild of A. Stafford Beer,
a visionary Briton who employed his "cybernetic" concepts to help Mr.
Allende find an alternative to the planne…

Dion: Liberals to assess best odds..

Well at least Dion has dispensed with his usual rhetoric about Canadians not wanting an election etc.etc. anything but the real reason. However, it is unlikely he will dispense the sitting on hands ritual or dispense with the practice of letting bills pass that the Liberals abhor and vigorously and vacuously lambaste in parliament.
April is the cruellest month breeding limp Liberals out of the dead land. Pace T.S. Eliot.

Liberals to assess best odds, Dion says

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

March 29, 2008 at 8:16 AM EDT

OTTAWA — The Liberals will judge coming confidence votes in Parliament on their own self-interest and their shot at victory in the ensuing election, leader Stéphane Dion said yesterday.

"We will determine the timing of the election when we will have the best odds of winning," he said in an interview that will run on the French-language TVA network tomorrow.

"It's rare that the population wants an election, but we can feel it when the frui…

Sask. government to release nuclear power report

On nuclear power the Sask Party and NDP are like two peas in a pod. The NDP did not release the report because they wanted to develop nuclear power but the report probably shows many of the problems with such development. Now the Sask. Party which out of power clamoured for its release has yet to release it. Imagine the minister of Enterprise and Innovation hasnt been enterprising enough to read the report yet!
The Environment Minister can't find the report! What sort of half-awake half-baked ministers are these? One minister had read the material and poos poos its importance and says that it may not even be made public. You can gather from all this that the report is important in that it shows the problems with nuclear power, the last thing either the NDP or the Sask. Party wanted to hear. Will the NDP take up the task of a good opposition and like the Sask. Party demand the report's release?

Sask. government to release nuclear power report
Last Updated: Thursday, March 27, 200…

U.S. fears over honey bee collapse..

This is from the BBC. Maybe some good buddy of Bush needs to get into bees before much will be done. At least around my area in Manitoba there are also quite a few problems with bees.

US fears over honey bee collapse
By Heather Alexander

The US bee population fell by about 30% last year
The pollination of crops by bees is responsible for a third of the food produced in the US.

One in every three mouthfuls has been touched by their tiny feet; but our six-legged friends are in trouble.

They are getting sick and leaving their hives. Without bees, food gets more expensive - some products could disappear altogether.

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) emerged last year, and by spring 2007 bees were dying in huge numbers - over the year as a whole the total bee population fell by 30%.

Some beekeepers lost closer to 90%, and the fear is it will get worse.

Beekeeper Gilly Sherman says: "It's worse than last year, and last year was worse than the year before, so it's bad, and there ar…

The Conservatives giveth and the Conservatives taketh away

The Conservatives seem to be very smart at being stupid. They don't just not invite the opposition in the first place but invite them and then disinvite them. Duhhh.. The communiciations woman for the Conservatives doesn't know why! Might we suggest because they are stupid. At the last minute someone suggested that they should not give the opposition a chance to make points. So we invited them who cares. The press doesn't like us anyway and the Liberals are self-destructing so there is no alternative to us. The Conservatives do not seem to even care that they lied about the reason for uninviting the opposition. Vote for a third party come election time people. Neither of the main parties deserve anyone's support.

Opposition miffed at being uninvited to NATO meeting
Last Updated: Friday, March 28, 2008 | 1:51 AM ET Comments32Recommend14CBC News
Opposition MPs are irate that they were invited, and then promptly uninvited, to next week's NATO leaders summit in Romania.


Liberal leader urges 'discipline'.

The Liberals are a disaster not waiting to happen but happening all the time. Dion fumes in fury at Conservative legislation and then lets it pass. Ignatieff and Rae are front row prima donnas waiting for their chance at center stage. Liberal rhetoric is so transparently driven by the state of the polls rather than anything else such as principles that it is embarassing to see politicians who are otherwise quite intelligent trying to convince the people of what is obviously false. For the life of me I can't see why more people do not vote for third parties both right and left.
Dion should bite the bullet and defeat the Conservatives before Liberal stock enters the Great Depression.

Liberal leader urges 'discipline' - Canada - Liberal leader urges 'discipline'

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion talks with reporters after the caucus meeting on March 12, 2008. "We will decide when an election shall come," he says. Dion im…

Campers not terrorists: Lawyer

This is from the Star. It really sounds as if this group had grandiose schemes but little practical sense of how to carry them out. They sound like a bunch of incompetent blowhards who are such hardened disciplined jihadists that they can't even poop or piss outdoors.
This is the first information we are getting from the defence side. Of course just as the police wants to picture the group as very dangerous well organised terrorists the defence wants to give quite a different view. However, the contrast is certainly stark. Nevertheless it seems clear they certainly had violent plans in mind even though it sure looks as if they lacked the skill and means to carry them out. I don't quite understand why the names are withheld to ensure a fair trial. How would releasing names cause the trial to be unfair?

Campers not terrorists: Lawyer - GTA - Campers not terrorists: Lawyer

March 27, 2008
Isabel Teotonio
Staff Reporter

In the dead of winter, the terror suspects ventured…

Top court questions Ottawa's motive on Khadr file

This is from the Globe and Mail. Other articles have pointed out much more clearly that the interrogation itself was illegal. In spite of the pleas of Canadian lawyers and being the only country not to intervene on behalf of its citizens imprisoned in Guantanamo Harper does nothing. Canada has reduced itself to the level of the U.S. That is not compliment. Fortunately, there are still many in the U.S. and Canada who recognise the irony of two countries who claim that they stand for human rights nevertheless supporting a legal process which resembles the Star Chambers of old. It is fortunate that we still have some legal basis to challenge the government. The U.S. lawyers for Khadr have also done excellent work on his behalf. Whether it will make any difference at all is in some doubt. When the process failed the U.S. earlier and charges were thrown out because the accused had not been shown to be enemy combatants the authorities just rewrote the script.

Top court questions Ottawa's…