Monday, December 31, 2007

Peace: Here's To The Future (Let's Have One)

Well, another year has passed. We Liberals do have a lot to look forward to this next year. The Mulroney-Schreiber-Harper-MacKay Scandal should get some more play. We'll need to hear from Harp, his Justice Minister, and MacKay as well (both of them). There are a lot of reasons for Opposition Parties to want to defeat this gov't., and we'll just need to be patient and play our cards when the time is right.

What does the world look like right now? Hundreds of small wars, populations starving or lacking clean water, ideological warfare abounds, an increasingly toxic environment. We really need to wake up as a species. We need to appreciate that this is not OUR planet any more than it was the dinosaurs' planet. A burgeoning population and limited resources mean we have to make some REAL efforts to clean up our little corner of the Universe. Humankind has to rethink our basic most fundamental ways of life, to ensure future humans will have lives at all. Science fiction movies often have hordes of aggressive aliens who pillage planets for their resources, then move on. We need to realize WE are those aggressive aliens laying waste to any newly exploitable resources we find.

As a party that strikes a balance between fiscal responsibility and caring for our world, neighbors, and surroundings, we need to be leaders in the fight for our planet. We need to be leaders in peace, responsibility, and humanity. We need to stand out as liberal democrats. Our political principles are a perfect fit for this needy world right now.

The best of the Season to everyone, and a very happy and prosperous 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When You Send A Bonehead To Do A Statesman's Job

So Peter MacKay gets shipped off to Afghanistan to lay on some classic conservative military patronizing - and keep him from commenting on Schreiber-Mulroney-Harper-MacKay-gate. So what does "el-dorko" (he of the inappropriate comments about a certain lady from down South) do? He decides he should spout off about Iran backing the Taliban with supplies.

There are a few serious problems with this: You don't come out to give a message of peace and support to the troops, and use the time as a platform for your own political gain (the cons LOVE to pretend the military is their baby - even though we know Pierre Trudeau spent more on defense than they do); You don't use such an occasion to take random potshots at another sovereign state - without the appropriate diplomacy and evidence; Looking like some imbeciles simply carting in the standard US messaging has never been Canada's place - we've always been more objective, and it allowed us (even being a NATO and Commonwealth member) to be respected for our opinions. Joining in blindly with the "you're with us, or you're 'agin' us" mentality is a sure-fire way to get hated really fast.

There are ways to approach a nation which could explode at any time - and being the schoolyard bully is not it. Someone will step up and be the peace-broker in this region. Unfortunately, a nation that is shamelessly aligning itself with one of the aggressor sides is not going to be that broker. A nation like Sweden is more likely.

I hope fellow Canadians are starting to realize what a shameful mockery these Conservatives are making of Canada's proud international reputation.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Partisan Witch Hunt, My @$$

Canada's Conservatives.  How can these guys pretend they're different from the federal PCs of old - when they always WERE federal PCs?

So the Cons want to try to tell the world that the Mulroney-Schreiber-Harper Inquiry is a "partisan witch hunt". Hmmm... I thought (according to Harpies everywhere) Mr. Mulroney was part of a party which ceased to exist a few years ago when they united with the Reform-Alliance? I mean the "new" conservatives keep stating how they are not the same as the "old" conservatives - even though they spent much of the last couple of years trying to convince voters they were just that... a "united right". So now, when the obvious relationship between the two (actually one and the same) is hurtful to the government, they want to distance themselves.

Thing is... they keep saying the Opposition trying to find the truth is a "partisan witch hunt". Which means, as is obvious to all Canadians, they are admitting Mulroney is one of theirs'(as is obvious to all Canadians). Mulroney is a conservative, and so are they. A "united right".

"Conservative MP Russ Hiebert (South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, B.C.) last week emerged from the committee meeting with Mr. Mulroney and read from a prepared statement, which said further committee hearings into the affair were not necessary because they amounted to a "partisan witch hunt." Mr. Hiebert said the views were his own, not scripted by the PMO, and were written during the committee meeting. But CP reporter Jennifer Ditchburn aptly pointed out that Mr. Hiebert read from computer-printed notes with bullets. (thanks Yappa Ding Ding).

If this is a "partisan witch hunt" as the Conservatives say it is, then it is truly a Conservative scandal - linked to their party and their name.

Is This... What They Call Poetic Justice???

Stevie Harper and the Reform-a-tories fought long to convince moderate Canada that they were really, truly, a united right, and the rebirth of the old Mulroney 'populist rush'. They ceaselessly argued with anyone who tried to say that the right wing Reformers had taken over the old PC/Conservative Party. They even paraded the great Brian Mulroney around during the last election, to help with federalist votes in Quebec. The tireless efforts and millions of dollars spent by the Conservative campaign machine did help them convince enough voters to win a small minority.

Recent revelations in the Mulroney-Schrieber-Harper affair are causing some serious problems with Harper's remade 'Mulroney Coalition'. Mr. Harper would like to extricate himself from the PC/old conservative ties. Unfortunately (for him) his team did too good a job convincing Canadians that Harper's "new" team and the Mulroney team were one and the same. The Conservatives now expect Canadians to separate the two conservative parties in their minds. C'mon. These two are "kissing cousins". They all came from the same conservative beast. If one looks at who works in the backrooms of Ottawa, you'll find a lot of old Mulroney era Tories working under Harper and his MPs.

This scandal didn't require Opposition MPs pointing out links to the Harper PMO - Stephen Harper basically created those links himself. A fate well deserved. Let's hope the mud continues to stick to this idea-less, regressive group of neo-cons.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Turkish Bombs Good For Kurds? Saddam's Bombs Bad?

Yes... a preposterous headline. Yet, it seems this is what the American-block would like the world to think about the plight of Kurdistan. If it's an American enemy bombing the Kurds, then it's "deplorable" and a "crime against humanity", BUT if it's an American ally...

Let's see:

Saddam I (Pre-Kuwait): "Good Saddam" (hugs for Rumsfeld, etc.). Go ahead and bomb the Kurds Saddam - we'll even provide the bombs and helicopters.
Saddam II (Post Kuwait): "Bad Saddam". Saddam is the anti-Christ. He is an evil dictator, and he'll pay for these crimes.
Iran (under the Shaw): Kurds? What Kurds?
Iran (under the mullahs): The plight of the Kurdish people is of the utmost importance to the American people.
Turkey (NATO member state): Bombs away! We don't see you. The Kurds being bombed are "terrorists" conspiring to destabilize Iraq and the whole region.

Sometimes the overt geo-political hypocrisy is so obvious it's a wonder "Joe Public" doesn't just see right through it. It seems the days of competent, concerned leaders - who actually cared about the plight of the weak and suffering - are gone. No more great statesmen in the world anymore. You can't speak out on an issue without being colored a color (left, right, capitalist, socialist, terrorist fighter, terrorist supporter, God-fearing, atheist, etc.).

The world needs more true statesmen... not empty-headed ideologues who only care for themselves, their corporate/industrial backers, or their marriage to some oblique philosophy which doesn't work in today's world. We need brave leaders not afraid to speak out against the status quo.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Harpo-Mularkey Image of the Day...

Harpo: "Not now, Brian. Get your hand out of my hip pocket."
Mularkey: "Remember our meeting with Boeing grasshopper? Gordie O worked hard to arrange that. Aren't those transports just what we needed?".
Both Laugh Vigorously...
Harpo: "How could I forget? George whispered it in my ear when we got up this morning".
Mularkey: "Does George do that funny thing with his hip like my Cowboy Ronnie used to do?"
Harpo: "Ever wonder why Georgie's bow-legged?"
Both: "Snicker, snicker..."
Mularkey: "I had to sleep with Maggie to try to score those Harriers... Never did materialize"
Harpo: "Ain't workin' Maggie's farm no more... (snicker, snicker)? I guess that beats being a target for the Godfather (Cheney) when I went to ask for them to recognize us as friends last year..."
Mularkey: "Yeah, I had to pull buckshot outta my backside for a year after I met him in the 80s. Why are you Reformer-types so high on guns again? We almost banned them in the 80s"
Harpo: "Brian! Gun's are our God-given right. You can't take away our guns. Outta our cold dead hands Brian!"
Mularkey: "Temper, temper. What did I tell you about hiding that temper in public? Every time you throw a tanturn you lose poll points".
Harpo: "Those polls are great, aren't they? We're trying to hide the cost, but that stupid report came out..."
Mularkey: "Don't worry. You'll be at least 2 yrs out of gov't before the media decides to tackle you over that one. Ask me... or better yet, lil' Kimmy."
Harpo: "She really took the fall for you guys, didn't she? I still laugh when I think of that... 2 seats... LOL".
Mularkey: "Hey! Show some respect Shrub. Without my 'populist rush' plan, you guys wouldn't have a sniff in Quebec. We know how your Reform buddies sponsored all those anti-Quebec bumper stickers in the 80s and 90s"
Harpo: "Yeah... I had one. 'No to C68, No to Wheat Board, No to Quebec' Looked good on my Suburban..."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Steve & Brian - Best Friends... A Photo Album

We weren't surprised when Mr Harper made public in the last election campaign that one Brian Mulroney was his mentor and key Quebec advisor. Harper served in the Mulroney/Campbell gov't - as an MP's assistant. We're sure the youngster left a mark on big Brian. We know the relationship goes back further than either will admit publicly. Then there is the MacKay link. We wonder why Peter MacKay went back on his written agreement NOT to break up the old PROGRESSIVE Conservative Party. What did Harper have on MacKay that made him turn back on his written agreement? Did the Harper crew threaten to destroy MacKay's political career if he didn't help destroy the PCs? After all, under a young, non-lying Peter MacKay (the old PC's "golden boy"), or Bernard Lord, the PCs' collective hopes were on the upswing. The Reformers had been around along enough, and unsuccessfully, that they were really ready to bust after another election loss - or continue to be relegated to a "regional rump".

Is there a deeper relationship than what appears on the surface? Isn't there always?

Canada's Role In Global Warming - Next Steps...

We've had some challenges (to say the least) in beginning our battle on global warming and greenhouse gases. The Conservative gov't is creating even more roadblocks on the way to undermining the whole Kyoto process - simply to appease their American "overlords".

What comes next for Canada? The obvious choice is a liberal-democratic gov't., versus a neo-conservative one with clear designs on stopping any real movement on climate change. The best bet for the world would be this: All nations who want to sign, sign on. The ones who don't sign would be such a small number (US, China, India, maybe Canada), that practically the whole world would be united in the plan. One further step would assure us that the US, China, and India would sign on. It's really simple if the world really wanted to see real action: Trade measures or levies on goods produced in "non-green" countries. Even the US would come onside with this last measure, with the amount of production they're losing to China. The "new Kyoto" agreement would supercede the WTO, so China would have no recourse but to move quickly to becoming green. Just don't buy their stuff. I'm sure American and Canadian manufacturing sector workers would love this plan. The speed-bump will be the large, US-owned multi-nationals - like Walmart. They are hooked on cheap Chinese stuff. It's time our MNCs' "needs" come after our citizens'. After all, the MNCs are the ones who pushed all the production to China in the first place - leaving millions of North American workers out of work.

I do have further details on how such a plan would work - and work "extra-WTO", and will post more on future "New Kyoto" blog posts...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dinosaurs: Big Oil Stooges, Or Do They Really Believe This Stuff?

For years the Canadian Conservative Movement (backed by Big Oil) has shouted down Kyoto. With help from their big media supporters the Cons were able to make substantial noise about "the science" they didn't agree with, to create some public doubt - especially in Alberta. After creating enough noise and blockages in Parliament (while in opposition), they proceeded to turn around (once elected as "Canada's New Gov't.) and blame the Liberals - who ratified Kyoto (signing on to an international agreement) for "inaction". That's like the bully who kept the school kid from coming in from recess, then pointing out to the teacher that "he was late".

Luckily most Canadians support Kyoto, and feel strongly about our environment.

Now, in a new - most likely American-inspired - effort to appease Big Oil, the "Reform-a-Tory" bullies are trying to "disrupt class" by being the most vocal opponent of reasonable attempts to stop climate change. Once again being shills for Big Oil, the "Reform-a-Tory" bullies are loudly screaming out their opposition to Kyoto, or anything Kyoto-like, instead pushing for the useless shell-game efforts the US and Australia also support. Do nothing, rather than anything that might hurt the deep pockets of Big Oil.

Looking at the "Reform-a-Tory's" "evolution" (devolution?) from Federal PCs, to Reformers, to Reformers who destroyed and took over the last vestiges of "progressive" on the right, one wonders if they are just happy to be on the corporate payroll (via political support and future jobs), or are they really dull enough to believe what 2.13% of oil-company sponsored scientists say?

We always knew Conservatives were heavy on the corporate cheer-leading, but could it be that they really believe this stuff? Being a former resident of Alberta, and knowing a lot of conservatives personally (yeah, I'll admit it - they were nice when we were talking sports - except for their unnatural hatred for Toronto-based sports teams), I'll have to say "yeah" a lot of these guys actually do believe it. Cerebral, intellectual Liberals scratch our collective noggins when we attempt to fathom the victory of "pop culture/pop science" over real science. Being someone who has a science background - right up to grad school - I find it easy to read and understand "the science" (I hate when they call it that) of Kyoto. Perhaps a lot of the loudest, angriest (don't know why they're still angry - they've been in power for 2yrs now) conservatives just don't have the aptitude to understand Kyoto, or climate change and global warming. Like the slowest dinosaurs they didn't realize the world was changing around them until it was too late... And, isn't that what we call conservatives that are non-progressive and stuck in their early 20th century ways? Dinosaurs.

NDP - The "No Damn-use Party": Masters of The Witch Hunt? I Guess Not...

So now NDP MPs are falling over each other to get some of the spotlight that fellow brethren, Pat Martin is getting... Hmmm... Where do they start? How about accuse a Con MP of looking at pictures of his girlfriend. Now, being someone who's worked in the corporate/business world for quite a few years, I would say it is entirely inappropriate to be looking at anything like that in a workplace - no matter whom it comes from - let alone in our nation's Parliament. So, while their heart's were in the right place, their tactics were all wrong. I do stand behind the member's offense taken at having to see the images while at work. Pictures of scantily clad women - or men - are unacceptable in the workplace. I'm thinking that the MP was trying to openly display his lack of interest in the debate that was going on. He chose the wrong way of displaying it. The NDP MP should have made a better case about inappropriate images in the workplace... She failed to do so, and ended up apologizing to Parliament.

Next case: NDP candidate in Abbottsford, BC accuses Liberal candidate of trying to buy him out of running. Allegations turn out to be false, but the Liberal candidate's reputation is tarnished, and so are his chances of being elected. Just goes to show, you need to get your facts straight before randomly accusing people of things. In this case there should be more than just an apology from the NDP to the former Liberal candidate... They should be apologizing to the people of the riding. We also should be looking into what role the former NDP candidate is playing in the party. Is he still in the position to influence voters? To campaign and disseminate campaign information?

NDP marching orders must be something like: "Let's pretend we're the non-corrupt ones, while we accuse the other guys of being dishonest and sleazy... Use any means at your disposal... All we need to do is sling a lot of mud and maybe we can finish 3rd in the next election."

Men of substance - like Tommy Douglas - must be rolling over in their graves. Where is the NDP of the 60s and 70s - the party that used to focus on issues that mattered to average, working class Canadians?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Harper Not Nearly As Tough As Trudeau On Defense

Well, the National Pest - Conservative PR-rag that it is - has finally given Liberals our due when it comes to the field of national defense. Like in every other field, we Liberals are true patriots when it comes to defense:

(from the National Post):

"Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau may still be widely reviled in the military community as a "pinko" who slashed the budget of the Canadian Forces in the '70s, but a new analysis done by Parliament's research branch ranks him as the top spender on defence in the last 37 years.

The figures, detailing the defence budget as a percentage of the country's gross domestic product, indicates Trudeau even outspent Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, who brought in a hawkish defence policy in the late '80s.

The figures also show the Harper Conservatives, who have portrayed themselves as being strong on defence, have a long way to go to match Trudeau's levels.

The spending dipped only slightly in the first few years of Mulroney's tenure and then started dropping as cutbacks were brought in under the Conservatives.

Liberal Senator Colin Kenny said the figures show the Harper government has to start doing more in terms of military spending.

"They talk the talk but when it comes time to walk the walk they're just not there," said Kenny. "They don't even come close to the so-called pinko days of Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Harper's got a long long way to go to match that."

In terms of spending on national defence as a percentage of federal government expenditures, Trudeau again leads the pack at 13.3% in 1970.

The Defence Department has made presentations to Treasury Board which would see its budget increased from a little more than $18-billion to $36-billion by 2025.
That figure would be about 1.3% of the country's projected GDP.

By comparison, Trudeau's defence spending came in at 2% of Canada's GDP."

We all know where that Liberal swagger comes from - not to mention our Party colours. Kudos to other bloggers who've pointed this out as well!

Anyone See The Size Of Schreiber's Harper File? Is Mr. Harper Lying?

This morning I watched in awe as Mr. Schreiber handed the committee a large (3"?) binder containing his correspondence with a certain Mr. Stephen Harper - who happens to reside at 24 Sussex Dr.

As with any Canadian with even a shred of intelligence, I find it VERY hard to believe that one piece of stationary did not find it's way to the PMO, considering it would have been delivered there. It is totally unbelievable that Mr. Harper was not at least AWARE of the letters via updates from staffers. I've been around political circles long enough to know that staffers will always update MPs, Ministers, and PMs on any matters of urgency, matters which may cause ... eh... "problems", and persistent writers. We know that Mr. Schrieber contacted Harper's office repeatedly.

For Mr. Harper to stand up in Parliament and state that he knew nothing of this, is blatantly false. He - at the very least - knew that his office was receiving letters, and his staffers would have updated him on details - even if he never opened the mail himself. If his staffers (all loyal Conservative hacks) did not apprise Mr. Harper of the details, then there is a Conservative cover-up of this affair. It's that simple. Harper either lied - or his "Team Conservative" is busy covering up his involvement (or protecting him from involvement). Either way it's a Conservative scandal.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Conservative Language Bigotry?

Being a "son of the Prairies" I not-so-fondly recall Conservative hatred for our second national language. I recall the bumper stickers (which can still be seen on some pickups in AB and SK), and buttons. The anger that swept the Reform/Cons into seats across the Prairies included this anti-French, anti-immigrant, and pretty much anti-anything different xenophobia...

Reading this story today, I was reminded that the xenophobia still exists... Oh yeah, anti-political correctness mavens like to call these bigoted comments "jokes". Ha ha.

If a child in a school playground was subjected to such insolence and hatred, we'd be hauling off the instigators into counseling sessions and race relations seminars.

While I also feel that "political correctness" can be taken a bit far sometimes (for example, the Australian Santa's "ho-ho-hos"), there IS a point where the movement against political correctness/social justice crosses the boundary between "saying it like it is", and bigotry. While the media now-a-days seems to agree with these "straight-shooters" who "say it like it is" (in their perception), a lot of their comments are hateful, and do perpetuate racism, sexism, etc.

Harper To Danny Williams: Suck On This, Danny Boy!

After a "cordial" (according to PMO staff) meeting, Danny Williams and PM Harper "agreed to disagree" (according to Williams) on issues concerning offshore resource revenues and "revenue sharing".

Newfoundland feels it is being deprived of $10 Billion over the next 14yrs due to Harper's refusal not to honor a promise to exclude oil and gas revenues from formulas used to calculate federal support payments under equalization.

Harpo - in typical Harpo fashion - refused to speak to media after the meeting.

Is Caesar unhappy?

*Thanks to the blogger who posted this image... ; )

Kudos To Australia! Fresh Thinking Pushes Aside Big Oil Conservatism

In what is most likely to be a HUGE embarrassment to Conservative big-oil backers everywhere, the newly elected Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, pushed forward with his first major policy initiative today - ratifying Kyoto.

Like the podium in front of Mr. Rudd says, "Fresh Thinking". Fresh, as in the opposite of "conservative"...

Take that Shrub & Bush! Your Big Oil masters must be shaking in their boots...

More Conservative Scandal

J-P Blackburn - Federal Conservative Labour Minister feels he can tool around the country on taxpayer's dollars. According to Torstar, Blackburn used private jets (no Air Canada for us, no sir!) to travel between his riding and Ottawa, and sent the bill to Canadian taxpayers via the Economic Development Agency of Canada - a department under his responsibility, no less.

According to Torstar Blackburn spent around $68,000 of our tax-paid dollars to shuttle mostly himself - all alone on most flights - on 14 aircraft rentals between April and August - not even a whole year. To put that in perspective a Federal Cabinet Minister generally earns roughly $150,000 per year. To add (from taxpayer's coffers) almost 50% to your salary - in only 5 months - in the way of perks is a crime against taxpayers across the country. Flight records - according to Torstar - indicate JP was the LONE PASSENGER on most of these flights.

Where's the accountability Mr. Harper? Maybe it only matters when Liberals are in government? Don't let the bitter irony bite you on the ass in your search for "accountability".

Liberal House Leader, Ralph Goodale Visits Surrey

STAR Liberal MP (and former multi-role Cabinet Minister) Ralph Goodale visited Surrey this past Friday to attend Sukh Dhaliwal's annual riding appreciation dinner. The event was very entertaining, and well-attended by a large (several hundred people) and diverse crowd. Several key Lower Mainland Liberals were in attendance. The Grand Taj Banquet Hall put on a good spread - as usual - and the service was exceptional.

Mr. Goodale's speech was well-received, as he shared stories about his involvement in the South Asian Community, the Liberal Party's strong ethnic support, and missed opportunities by the Harper Conservatives. He also touched on the perils of the conservative agenda.

I laud Mr. Goodale on his efforts to spread his message of liberal moderation right across Canada. He has taken considerable time on his weekends to share the Liberal message of progress and nation-building with Canadians who are eagerly searching for an alternative to the angry neo-con government we currently have in place.