Check the "Harper Index" for more details on the Reform-Alliance-Conservative hatred of the CBC...
Also, have a look at the Avaaz.org site. Almost 100,000 signatures on the petition over there!
Check the "Harper Index" for more details on the Reform-Alliance-Conservative hatred of the CBC...
Also, have a look at the Avaaz.org site. Almost 100,000 signatures on the petition over there!
I fully expect the "Sub-Prime Minister" to step forward in a few days and accuse "the Opposition" of holding up the business of the House... Isn't that what the Hypocrite Party of Canada (aka the Reform-a-Tories) usually do?
So Kramp (a fitting name indeed) wants to use his precious time in the House of Commons to make personal attacks against other MPs... rather than help Canadians...? Last we heard there was a horrible depression going on, and hundreds of thousands of Canucks out of work.
I suppose, for Reform-a-tories, partisan "gutter politics" is higher on the list than Canadians' jobs... For shame.
He was always the "reluctant leader" - or so say his "friends" (not sure if he really has these, but, I digress)...
You can see it now... First the sorry attempt at a majority. Denied that, the tyrant decided a tantrum was the best way about it... Bait a weak opposition leader, and hope for another election... We know how that went.
Now, the media has started to be forced to speak some truths... to report at least some of Harper's (and his caucus') warts. Harper doesn't look so strong, so "calculating", so cerebral, so... um... err... unbeatable anymore. He's being exposed for the shallow, hyper-partisan, angry rhetorical right wing vision he adores... His party is secretly working against him (in Calgary, in his Ottawa caucus, and, of course, in Ontario).
Is the end near? Only time will tell. But the signs... they say a lot:
The revisionist history... Harper and much of his inner circle - his "bunker buddies" - are busily recreating historical facts to change Harper's "views" and "opinions" on everything from the economy, to the war we are currently immersed in. Is Harper trying to build a "legacy"? Does he want people to write that he started Canada's real "action" on the environment? That he helped the North more than any other PM? That he was responsible for the economic recovery of the Western World - thanks to the great position our banks are in (not acknowledging that Paul Martin and Jean Chretien were the architects of that success - although he did hint at this in his US tour)?
The War in Afghanistan is "not winnable"? Where the heck did THAT come from? A Conservative's mouth? Stephen HARPER'S mouth? Gives the two words "Harper's Bizarre" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?
What about the US Tour? Is there any reason? There aren't any votes down there. I think the back room thinks that every Canadian Conservative watches Fox News religiously. I may be right about the religion - and the news... who knows? Maybe his base in Canada is hanging on his every word... sounding just like "Mr. Conservative". Maybe this jives with what they tell their base: "Steve's just posing for the liberal Canadian media. Don't worry, he's still one of us".
There could be something else. Seems like Stevo is lining up speaking engagements. Harper's going to be a rich m-n-f'er... You heard me. This arrogant, pompous prick will be the darling of the NeoCon world fairly soon. You see, John Howard is way down there in Aus. Dubya is a joke - and the world knows it - even his PENAC saw him as a "patsy". He's good for light comedy at best. Harper, on the other hand, becomes the "golden boy" of the right. He can be the greatest cheerleader for the "next" Republican President.
Harper stands to make more in one month on the US speaking tour, than he did in his whole life as a Canadian PM. The man who could never be a real PM of a majority of Canadians will go on to make his fortune on the speaking circuit.
Another great weekly update from Ralph Goodale... Ralph talks about the lack of vigilance and regulation that has led the US economy to the disaster it is currently embroiled in...
REGULATIONS: THE GRAIN BUSINESS VS. BANKING
The world is in big economic trouble today because greed, incompetence and corruption brought the massive U.S. banking system to its knees, triggering the worst global recession in more than three generations.
How did so much trouble go undetected for so long? One prime reason was the absence of effective regulatory supervision.
Thanks to a better legal framework and more vigilant regulation of financial institutions in Canada, our banking system has mostly avoided the U.S. disaster. It’s easy to be critical of red tape and regulations. But in this case, they served a vital purpose.
At the beginning of Canada’s economic boom back in the mid-1990’s, there were lots of pressures to loosen our regulations, reduce capital requirements and allow big bank mergers – in other words, copy the Americans. But under Paul Martin and Jean Chretien, Canada said no. And history has validated the wisdom of their prudence.
While Stephen Harper now praises that Liberal way of regulating financial institutions, his Conservative are less prudent in other fields – food safety and the nuclear industry are two illustrations.
Another area to watch is the grains industry. The Harper Conservatives have issued policy directives (including draft legislation) to weaken the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) and expose grain producers to higher risks.
The CGC was created to defend the rights of farmers with respect to the quality and weight of their grain, and to ensure they get properly paid.
The Conservatives are proposing to shift the CGC away from defending farmers, and more toward ensuring the commercial success of grain companies. So inspection services will be slashed and the requirement that grain dealers be bonded will be eliminated.This could leave many farmers holding the short end of the stick. Parliament will not allow the Harper government to ransack the Canadian Grain Commission.
More like "Jason The Not-So-Great"...
Just what IS it about Jason Kenney that attracts the scorn of much of the civilized world?
Is it his insulting of certain groups of South Asians, or his PATRONIZING and pathetic attempts at "currying favor" (pun intended in Kenney's case) with that community? You know how it goes: Conservative MP: "We like you, we need you, we love you... Immigration this, immigration that... blah, blah, blah..." Then - when actual policy is made: "Sorry South Asian immigrants, we're going to axe your favorite class of immigration - Family Reunification..." You can only say, "we like you, we need you" so much, then throw the proverbial shoe at the group with your actual policy. Kenney is lucky that there are pockets of people within the community who may not have a very clear understanding of politics in Canada - much less the ideology behind each party and what the members of that party really think of them...
Is it his verbal shots? "Minister of Curry In a Hurry". Sorry South Asians, you won't be getting a Komagata Maru apology on the floor of the Commons like you asked for (and like we feigned asquiescence to), instead I'll just say, "that's your apology", and "you people are factioned" (admitting that all you're doing is playing one faction against the other).
Is it his "UnParliamentary Procedure"?
Is it his rabid reactionary Conservatism, which is preventing an outspoken British MP from entering our country? Hear all about the British MP's speech lambasting Kenney HERE.
Is it the lie that goes with the above point (ie: that the MP is a "security threat" to Canada, when he's just spoken in the USA - a nation that used to be far more paranoid about it's security back in the Bush Era. Guess Canada is still living in the Bush Era, with our Bush Era PM)?
For the rest of us... Join us in the Facebook Group:
Go back a few years:
Canadian Symbol #1:
- Diefenbaker's Conservatives kill the Avro Arrow
Canadian Symbol #2:
- Conservatives fight to oppose the adoption of the maple leaf as our national flag (and they were B-I-T-T-E-R)
Canadian Symbol #3:
- Sovereignty. Mulroney's Conservatives entered into a non-reversible Free Trade Deal, and inextricably linked us economically and militarily with the US. It will be VERY difficult for us to reassert our sovereignty.
Canadian Symbol #4:
- Parliament (where to begin? Senate, H of C?). Since their "conception" as the Reform Party, Canada's Conservative Party has been trying to destroy the institutions of our Westminister Parliamentary System - whether it be the rule of majority, or the decorum (hell, they actually were the first party - and only party - to create a book on how to disrupt Parliament), or the Senate. They just don't like any of it.
Canadian Symbol #5:
- Pay Equity for Women. Harper's Conservatives have been doing everything they can to destroy Canada's pay equity laws, and our long-standing tradition (begun in the Trudeau era) of equal opportunity for all.
Canadian Symbol #6:
- Multiculturalism. Harper's Reform-a-tories NEVER believed in multiculturalism, and today they are doing everything to destroy it - including implanting a "5th columnist" as Minister...
Canadian Symbol #7:
- Canadian Wheat Board. This is something Reformers have been railing about since the late 80s. Finally, now, they are beginning to insidiously take it apart, bit by bit, hoping Canada won't notice... in typical Conservative fashion...
Canadian Symbol #8:
- Canada Geese. This national treasure is now in the gun-sights (quite literally) of the Conservatives... What next? The beaver? The moose? Musk-ox? The Loon?
Canadian Symbol #9:
- The CBC. Canada's national network. The only network providing fair and unbiased reporting on national issues, and providing equal access to ALL parts of Canada - including the North. This network helps bridge the gap between East/West, North/South, French/English. It is a nation-builder in itself. Today, we hear Harper's Conservatives have made major cuts resulting in 800 job losses at CBC... in a deliberate attempt to slowly bleed the network to death... Shame.
Where will it stop? It seems we've come "full circle" from the 1993 election campaign. Back then, the Reformers were busy tearing down all these proud Canadian Institutions... Perhaps this is a last ditch effort to "re-activate" their militant base. At any rate, it must be stopped - at all costs...
We here - at WesternGrit - feel it is enormously important to protect our Canadian cultural institutions, freedom of the press (from big corporate "overlordship"), and Canadian JOBS...
That's why we support the Facebook Group:
Okay... so here's the deal...
We have a government, with fairly extreme (for Canada) right-wing leanings... Who "won" election to a MINORITY Parliament...
We have some large media chains, run by large multi-national corporations, who are very obviously "friendly" in their "editorial content" (loosely disguised as "journalism") to the governing party.
We have a proven history - and research (see McGill study) - showing how this governing party benefited from amazingly slanted positive "news/editorializing" from said chains...
We have a recession, in which a party - which was virulently opposed to "corporate welfare" - is in government, and is seriously considering a "bailout" of said media chains... while it wishes to destroy the state-funded (and quite "neutral") media by slowly choking off funding...
How is a "bailout" of "friendly" media chains ANY different than handing over cash for positive coverage? How? Oh, please do, tell us how, this is not some sort of conflict of interest... Something that borders on the heinous?
The "fifth estate" is supposed to be "independent"... I'm thinking that being tied to one global corporate master, or the other, pretty much kills the "independence"..., however, a bailout for these conservative rags pretty much tosses the idea of an independent media out the window...
Time to let the conglomerates fail, and let small, local independents come up and take over... It will be better for "freedom of press" in this country. NOTHING could be better for the state of media and reporting in this country than the failure of our major dailies. Time to get back to the golden age of journalism, when "journalism" and "reporting" meant something REAL, and not some copy/pasted "national" story inserted into a series of mirror-image local papers by a national editor who is very careful to do the bidding of the corporate masters (or the political masters)...
Reading the Surrey Leader today... Some concerning news for Lower Mainland Trucking and container handling:
"Slowing international trade due to the global recession is translating into fewer cargo ships calling on Vancouver-area harbours and more port workers and truckers being sidelined.
Port Metro Vancouver reported a 22 per cent drop in the number of containers it handled in February compared to a year ago.
And shipments of other types of bulk cargo are down 44 per cent so far in the first two months of the year.
"The number of vessels is down," said Port Metro Vancouver Chief Operating Officer Chris Badger.
"Clearly if the consumer is not buying, the demand drops," he said, adding that's playing out in reduced imports of containerized goods from Asia.
There's also been less demand for Canada's outgoing commodities.
The biggest declines so far in 2008 are exports of logs – down 62 per cent – and bulk potash, off 80 per cent.
Grain and food exports through the port are bucking the downward trend so far, up 18 per cent in the first two months of the year.
"People still need to eat," Badger said.
The port authority is projecting the decline will moderate later in the year, ending 2009 down about four per cent in general cargo and seven per cent for containers compared to 2008."
I sure hope the Olympics bring the crush of business that's expected... Looking forward to lots of "boomers" retiring in the Lower Mainland, as well... Something's got to keep this area of 3 Million-plus growing...
Another great Ralph Goodale commentary. This time he talks about the Conservatives' lack of credibility on the economy...
CONSERVATIVES LACK CREDIBILITY ON THE ECONOMY
In recent speeches, Stephen Harper has been asking Canadians to “trust” him on the state of the economy. According to him, everything is going to be just fine real soon.
But such a plea runs immediately into two big problems.
First, it flies in the face of hard evidence that everything is not fine. On the jobs front, for example, Canada’s economy has lost nearly 300,000 jobs since the election last October.
Mr. Harper claims we’re doing better than the U.S., but in fact this country is shedding jobs faster than the Americans. On a per capita basis, for every 10 jobs lost in the U.S. over the past two months, 15 have been lost in Canada.
Just last week – the Bank of Canada, the International Monetary Fund, Merrill Lynch, BMO Nesbitt-Burns, and the TD Bank all down-graded their forecasts for Canada’s situation, contradicting Mr. Harper’s foolishly rosy projections.
Perhaps most telling, the distinguished former Deputy Minister of Finance and former Bank of Canada Governor, David Dodge, describes Mr. Harper’s position as “totally unrealistic” and “dreaming in technicolour”.
Mr. Harper’s second problem is his own track-record for not telling the truth.
He didn’t tell the truth about Income Trusts or Equalization or fixed election dates.
Last September, he said a recession in Canada was unlikely. Last October, he said Canadians had “good buying opportunities” on a plummeting stock market. And last November, he said his government would run at least four more surplus budgets.
In each case, he was wrong. And he knew it. He did not speak the truth.
Real hope for Canadians cannot be built on Mr. Harper’s falsehoods and fantasies. He needs to be honest about what lies ahead, and he needs to deliver a recovery plan that matches the real magnitude of the problem.
I lived in Calgary for 7 years, and didn't appreciate much of the open hostility to those "different" from "mainstream" Calgarians - even recently. Still, I never expected I'd see the day where Neo-Nazis would be running wild in the streets... Of course, then I'd be forgetting that CALGARY is THE city with the highest number of hate crimes per capita in all of Canada...
Check out Warren's image for a better idea of what I'm talking about...
... Jason Kenney is STILL a federal minister in this "government about nothing"...
His continued existence in a post of such high stature just emphasized Harper's (and the Reform-a-tory's) full agreement with whatever he says about immigrants, or minorities, etc., etc....
Lately he's been pandering to the uber-right-wing on tougher requirements for "non-English/French" speaking immigrants... His "idea" may sound okay in principle (if the intent was to HELP these folks without language skills get in, and NOT to simply put up walls), but when you peel back the layers you see it is typical right-wing rightwingery...
There IS a Facebook Group dedicated to seeing the last of Kenney's backside... Please add to their list:
Conservative "gun nut" get's his wings clipped (clips clipped, to be exact...)...
Apparently Canada's very lax gun laws aren't enough for some Conservatives... This fellow decides that he needs to modify magazines to hold more bullets (I wonder what for?), and modify rifles to basically turn them into assault rifles...
This is exactly why gun-control activists are looking to get more gun control in Canada... I mean, just WHAT was he planning to do with said weapons?
Any gun owner (of his "caliber" - pun intended) should know the rules surrounding his vast collection... If he doesn't, then that's just pure negligence, and he shouldn't be allowed "people-killing-tools" anyway.
Latest news from the "Minister of Non-Immigration" - aka Jason Kenney...
Not really news, however: Conservatives don't want non-English/French speaking immigrants...
And, of course, he chooses Calgary to drop his message - not one of his "curry in a hurry" functions... Ya think they want to keep this news from getting out to those "juicy, plump suburban ridings" in the 905 (Brampton, Mississauga), or the 604/778 (Greater Vancouver)??? Too bad JK... we live in the age of the internet... You can try to dull your words a little when the press accosts you on this, but we know how you really feel, don't we?
All we can say to Kenney right now is: Be prepared to explain to all those immigrant extended families how they can't have their live-in grandparents anymore... You've cut the "family unification" class, and now you're saying bye-bye to older folks who may not have learned the language (but will soon enough on landing)... or the eager young ones who learn the language within months of arriving (or sooner - by the "standard" you've mentioned).
We can't begin to tell you how many South Asian families we know who have grandparents minding the home and taking care of the children - even preparing meals - while the other adults work up to 3 jobs that most Canadians wouldn't want. Since your government doesn't provide a daycare program, these inventive immigrant familes take that "burden" off you. This is how you repay them?
Too bad you run in "protected" Calgary SE, where one can basically fit all the non-white immigrants into a small community hall...
Here's the Canadian Press Story:
March 20, 2009
Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
CALGARY - Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship.
Kenney told an immigration conference in Calgary that more efforts need to be made to integrate individuals coming to Canada. He said newcomers should be required to have a working knowledge of either official language.
Kenney said rules are already in place and free language training is made available to new immigrants so there is no excuse."
So... what about the millions who learned English SINCE they got here? Obviously Conservatives don't speak with (or consult) immigrants much - except to try to grab votes.
Jason Kenney should resign. Join the Facebook Group:
GritGirl's latest, right here.
A lot of numbers in the video. Just what do those huge numbers mean to most Canadians?
Conservative Deficit: $81,500,000,000
Average Canadian home price (soon): $200,000
Harper's deficit COULD have bought and built 407,500 new homes!!!
That's the number of homes in ALL of Calgary!
Roughly 1/2 a million homes!!! That COULD have ended homelessness, and STILL kept the Liberal balanced budget numbers of 2005. Imagine the new construction starts! Imagine the construction jobs, jobs, jobs!
Here's another take on it: Entry level homes @ $100,000 per home would net us 1,630,000 new homes for first time buyers!
Our lumber industry would be booming. According to CMHC, at it's peak (2006) our market had 227,000 housing starts. Imagine 1.63 MILLION! That's like 7 years of housing growth!
Today we hear that he's appointed someone with quite an "un-accepting" background to an important refugee board post.
It's almost Orwelian... Well, actually it IS. The Ministry of Immigration is slowly becoming the "Ministry of Non-Immigration"... What better way to destroy a concept Conservatives abhor (Multiculturalism), than to take it apart from the inside. Now they get a "two-for": they can control the number of immigrants getting in, AND the number of gay people. Before the recession and slump in the oil industry they ALMOST succeeded, by pushing "skilled labor" immigration (which mostly came from European nations)... I guess if that couldn't be accomplished, this is the next step for them?
The wonders of this government never cease, do they???
We'll re-iterate our thoughts: Jason Kenney Should Resign.
Join the Facebook Group!
... (And may the door hit you on the arse on the way out)
St. Patrick's Day "address to Stephen Harper"... c/o WesternGrit.
Happy St. Paddy's Day everyone!
Tip back a few green ones tonight - and take a CAB home...
On the Economy:
Ted Menzies: "Eventually everything will be okay"...
Craig Oliver: "Eventually we'll all be dead..."
Menzies attempts - stutteringly - to explain the Harper government's "don't worry, be happy" approach to the looming economic disaster.
John McCallum holds Harper's feet to the fire on his "swings" - including how Harper criticized Obama's economic stimulus plan... McCallum went further, making a sharp point about how an invitation from the White House went to the Governor General and NOT Harper...
McCallum nails the Conservatives on the 0 down, 40 year mortgages and talks about the Liberal record of good bank management and regulation that our current bank stability is built on.
Harper thinks he can eventually fix the economy... and eventually we'll all be dead...
Yes, in name, Stephen (or "Steve") Harper IS the PM of Canada, but what is a REAL Prime Minister like?
Real Prime Ministers CARE about the people they govern - ALL the people (or as big a swath as possible) they govern. From day one Mr. Harper's hyper-partisan verbal diarrhea has been anything but "all-embracing".
Real Prime Ministers build bridges and show leadership when working WITH the rest of the world, rather than against it. Embarrassing Canada on Kyoto (and other environmental discussions), being a Bush "lap-dog" on international relations (particularly the Middle East), and showing contempt for all other nations - even if you had never stepped beyond North American borders before becoming PM - shows disdain for everyone and everything, except your own narrow ideology.
Real Prime Ministers respect Parliament. They don't have manuals made up that teach their MPs how to hold up committees, then turn around and blame the Opposition for doing so. They don't run crying to the Governor General - a representative of a foreign power - when they can't have their way... When the Opposition - united in speaking for almost 70% of Canadians - says, "no" Mr. Harper, you are being juvenile and reckless with the livlihoods of Canadians...
Real Prime Ministers talk with their detractors - not "talk down to" them... You don't call people "defeatists", you don't insult them by telling them they live in "ghettos", and you certainly don't urge your Finance Minister to say not to invest in their province...
Real Prime Ministers offer apologies to members of the public IN Parliament, and let those apologies be a part of Hansard - the public record of the land. Mr. Harper decided he would not accord this justice to South Asians in the Komagata Maru affair.
Real Prime Ministers have more than one solution (tax cuts) for problems facing the nation. Even conservative PMs had some vision for Canada. Sir John A. MacDonald used Eastern money to open the West. His West included BC, and the North. Sir John was a good one. Perhaps that's why his party was known as the "Liberal-Conservatives" for some time... Today, Harper's party revels in the tax cuts they've offered Canadians, not seeing that these very tax cuts are the reason we do not have today, a financial bulwark against the ravages of recession.
Real Prime Ministers are nation-builders - not fire-wall erectors. Harper wants nothing more than a continuous "war" between Eastern Canada and Western Canada. He governs like he is the Prime Minister of the mythical land of "Al-sask-itoba". The mythical "West" Conservative/Reform/Alliancers love to speak of. Where they falsely believe everyone is blanketly conservative. It's the "West" that doesn't include Vancouver Island, or the Lower Mainland of BC. It doesn't include the Norths of any of the provinces, or the Territories. It is a mythical "West" which also does not include First Nations, or men with turbans in the RCMP, or the "ghettos" in which we immigrants supposedly live in "Western" Canada...
Canadians - a vast majority of them - rejected Harper as PM. Their elected representatives in Parliament were ready to toss him out late last year. These Canadians never truly accepted Harper as PM. Men like Joe Clark, John A. MacDonald, and Robert Borden may not have been "loved" by all Canadians in their day, but they did cultivate our respect, and continue to do so after office. Mr. Harper, on the other hand, has presented such a vehemently partisan "face" to the land, and to those who oppose him, that he will never receive the respect those other great leaders have cultivated.
Even in the mythical land of "Al-sask-itoba" Mr. Harper is being doubted. His killing of income trusts created some enemies in the energy sector. His "loss of ideology" should not be confused with a "shift to the center" as many Albertans and right-wingers are suggesting. No... he is still a right-winger. His "spend, spend, spend" philosophy is a hallmark of NeoConservatism. It is the Reagan/Bush/Bush view of economics and smaller and smaller government coupled with more and more spending. Observers like Andrew Coyne would like to pass this train-wreck of a PM off onto the center or left... Nice try.
"Al-sask-itobans" are starting to realize this is all about "him" (Harper). The egomanical "leader" has festooned the corridors of power with his images. True PMs actually shared the walls with portraits of other leaders... Not Harper. As "L'enfant terrible" he monopolizes the spotlight from his caucus collegues. He lays blame on others - party operatives and backbench MPs - even when he is the cause of the problem.
Stephen Harper will never be the Prime Minister of Canada, based on the true measures of the role described above. He will go down in history as a divisive, angry, and scornful man, with an agenda that he could not ram through because Canadians would not let him. History will show his deceptions, his misdeeds, and his rabid partisanship did more to drive Canada into the past... than any person's, or group's, actions since Confederation.
So this is what accountability and action for working (and out of work) Canadians looks like to Conservatives! Shame on that pathetically partisan bunch of children.
The Conservative Party - in this time of economic "disaster" (for lack of a better word) - see it fit to attack the OPPOSITION and backroom Opposition staffers (Party staff - not even Hill staff)??? Last time I checked, the LPC - like the Conservatives - was a private organization. And, seems to me, these Conservatives don't even want tax-payer funding for parties - which further accentuates their belief in the political party being a private, independent organization. What does all that mean? It means, they have no right to question anything going on in the LPC, or any other party for that matter.
Canadians should be pissed... And they will be... When all this starts getting out...
Some pertinent facts about Saskatchewan and the current recession from Ralph Goodale...
The amount of money we've poured into the Big 3 is a sin. It is also a good down-payment on their plants in Ontario. Imagine the Ontario and Federal government coming together and creating a "national auto company". We did a similar thing creating Petro-Canada. India created "Maruti". Both highly successful companies now.
Edit: Note, there is a HUGE opportunity to have the unions involved in a purchase of the facilities, and basically have a "union buyout" situation, where the unions could own the company - the "new" company.
Very interesting NY Times op-ed piece... Basically, our system creates "false wealth", and we, our children, and our environment will all pay for it... It's a great read. Have a gander:
Sometimes the satirical newspaper The Onion is so right on, I can’t resist quoting from it. Consider this faux article from June 2005 about America’s addiction to Chinese exports:
FENGHUA, China — Chen Hsien, an employee of Fenghua Ningbo Plastic Works Ltd., a plastics factory that manufactures lightweight household items for Western markets, expressed his disbelief Monday over the “sheer amount of [garbage] Americans will buy. Often, when we’re assigned a new order for, say, ‘salad shooters,’ I will say to myself, ‘There’s no way that anyone will ever buy these.’ ... One month later, we will receive an order for the same product, but three times the quantity. How can anyone have a need for such useless [garbage]? I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”
Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”
We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese ...
We can’t do this anymore.
“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.
“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate ...’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”
Over a billion people today suffer from water scarcity; deforestation in the tropics destroys an area the size of Greece every year — more than 25 million acres; more than half of the world’s fisheries are over-fished or fished at their limit.
“Just as a few lonely economists warned us we were living beyond our financial means and overdrawing our financial assets, scientists are warning us that we’re living beyond our ecological means and overdrawing our natural assets,” argues Glenn Prickett, senior vice president at Conservation International. But, he cautioned, as environmentalists have pointed out: “Mother Nature doesn’t do bailouts.”
One of those who has been warning me of this for a long time is Paul Gilding, the Australian environmental business expert. He has a name for this moment — when both Mother Nature and Father Greed have hit the wall at once — “The Great Disruption.”
“We are taking a system operating past its capacity and driving it faster and harder,” he wrote me. “No matter how wonderful the system is, the laws of physics and biology still apply.” We must have growth, but we must grow in a different way. For starters, economies need to transition to the concept of net-zero, whereby buildings, cars, factories and homes are designed not only to generate as much energy as they use but to be infinitely recyclable in as many parts as possible. Let’s grow by creating flows rather than plundering more stocks.
Gilding says he’s actually an optimist. So am I. People are already using this economic slowdown to retool and reorient economies. Germany, Britain, China and the U.S. have all used stimulus bills to make huge new investments in clean power. South Korea’s new national paradigm for development is called: “Low carbon, green growth.” Who knew? People are realizing we need more than incremental changes — and we’re seeing the first stirrings of growth in smarter, more efficient, more responsible ways.In the meantime, says Gilding, take notes: “When we look back, 2008 will be a momentous year in human history. Our children and grandchildren will ask us, ‘What was it like? What were you doing when it started to fall apart? What did you think? What did you do?’ Often in the middle of something momentous, we can’t see its significance. But for me there is no doubt: 2008 will be the marker — the year when ‘The Great Disruption’ began.”
“If you own a home and you have a wife, you will probably be doing home renovations this year.” - Stephen Harper, self-written speech, March 10, 2009.
Sometimes stupid is more than a way of being.
As hard as he tries to show he's imitating Obama, he still comes across as Bush...
I guess if you spend 8 years imitating Dubya and draconian "terror speeches" intended to frighten your citizenry into acquiescence, it's really hard to create "hope".
But then that's what happens when you're full of $hit, and basically think the Canadian public will look the other way, when you completely disown your childhood ideology and philosophy you've held through adulthood, just to score political points.
"Steve" (to quote your best buddy, G Dubya), we all know that all you want is a majority, so you can bring in your real extreme right wing platform.
"Me... me... me... Me! Look at me!"
It's even better with Barack's hand across Harper's face... One could almost think it was deliberate. Certainly on the photographer's part...
Watch the Harpa-Cons start censoring images taken... I mean, they already censor which journalists get to speak/as questions at events... Not too far a stretch to imagine them asking for all images to be "verified for security reasons"...
Stephen Harper... wants to pretend to like the new US President. It has been said, "politics makes for strange bed-fellows"... Somehow I don't see these fellows getting anywhere past "1st base"...
It's like he actually resigned! Been remarkably quiet lately. Perhaps years of spewing vitriolic trash finally catches up with you...
Just in case it rears it's head again... join the Facebook Group:
A Public Service Announcement by the writers of WesternGrit...
Wondering if someone can shed some light on what the difference is between these two forums?
Forum Liberalis... http://forum.liberal.ca/en/forums/
I dunno... maybe I'm missing something, but they seem to be covering very similar topic areas...
Tell me again... besides proximity, why DO we keep all our trade "eggs" in the American "basket"? Is it laziness? Convenience?
We are currently witnessing what happens when our economy is hopelessly and helplessly tied to the "elephant next door". While it is good to trade with our friends and neighbors to the South, is a whole-sale "sell-out" really necessary?
Should we be more protective of our "home" industries and business? Our home-bred creative talent?
Is "NAFTA", or "free trade" the best plan for Canada? And, IF free trade, with whom? How can we avoid the financial pitfalls of the global (American controlled) finance system?
It seems India could be an answer to many of these questions... A land of opportunity for Canadians. Our multicultural strength (thank you Mr. Trudeau) has blessed us with many South-Asian-Canadians with strong links to India and the surrounding region. We have large populations of Asian/South-Asian Canadians in Pacific-Rim cities like Vancouver, Victoria, and even Duncan and Nanaimo. These Canadians have a natural "in" with politicians and business people in their ancestral homelands.
With the fast-growing middle classes, there is incredible opportunity in putting Canadian talents to work. For certain there is simple "trade". Beyond trade, however, lies the "new economy". We cannot let the Developing World make the same economic and environmental mistakes we have in the West. WE are still responsible for a vast majority of global greenhouse gases. Our technologies and expertise are required in the Developing World, to ensure our mistakes aren't repeated. To teach new ways. We can export our expertise by sending Canadian-born 2nd and 3rd generation South Asians to a land they understand and can communicate with. We can bring their best and brightest over here, to teach, and hopefully to keep some of that expertise.
The "lessons learned" could go both ways: they can gain knowledge, and an understanding of our "industrial revolution experiences", while we can learn how to protect our home grown businesses, how to have a strong bureaucracy, and how to live with less - in a "post-consumerist" world... Maybe NAFTA isn't such a good idea. Maybe the WTO is NOT good for everyone? Remember, India is one of the few "power-broker" nations to stand against the WTO...
This from today’s New York Times:
India’s trillion-dollar economy remains a relative bright spot, some say, in part because the country’s bureaucracy and its protectionist polices have kept it insulated from the fallout of the global downturn…
The market capitalization of the State Bank of India recently surpassed that of Citigroup, a fact heralded by the local media….
India added 15.4 million cellphone users in January, a record….
And this from the Feb 23 issue of Newsweek:
Though it may not look it on the ground at times, India is one of the few bright spots in a global economy with decidedly dim prospects in 2009. It is forecast to grow at 5 to 6 percent this year-which is more than it averaged in the 1990s. Yes, its stock market has crashed, unemployment is spiking, swaths of the real-estate market have more than a passing resemblance to Miami Beach and it now turns out that Satyam Computer Services-one of the country’s top five IT companies-has been cooking its books. But a one-off incident of fraud in the flagship IT sector won’t knock the country off the rails. India boasts an unlikely growth driver all its own: legions of poor whose incomes have risen just enough in recent years to create powerful demands for basic goods and services.
The rise of India’s aspiring middle-a group that lives above the poverty line but hasn’t yet attained true membership in modern consumer society-is hardly a new story. But what’s surprising is the resilience of this cohort, and the extent to which it has counterbalanced the global credit crisis and the slump in the global export economy of which India is a key player…
I'm a big fan of the RCMP. The fact that my "home" is also "the home of the RCMP" has something to do with that. The fact that several of my closest friends are officers also has something to do with that. But, sometimes the RCMP just add fuel to the fires of fear, mistrust, or hatred... Taser incidents notwithstanding...
For the past couple of months we've watched some horrific - but still "over-hyped" gang violence in Greater Vancouver. For all the prior events police didn't identify anyone's race... The shooters (probably), and the vics (for sure) were white males and a white female.
Tonight, along the Surrey-Delta border, another shooting. This time, the RCMP spokesman identifies the victim as an "Indo-Canadian" male. What does THAT have to do with anything? The only thing I can figure is that he felt if the public knew the victim was "Indo-Canadian", they would not care about the victim and assume "just another dead brown gangster". It certainly seems to be a message sent by this aging RCMP officer...
There is no need to identify criminals or crime victims by race. No reason whatsoever...
The RCMP is changing - slowly. With retirements, the new, more diverse RCMP will emerge. Maybe then we can avoid such verbal gaffes...
Upon election, Harper gave a "victory night" speech that was rapt with lip-service to accountability and "competent" governance. The very next day (or very shortly there-after), he uncorked the "book of lies and skulduggery".
The Conservative PM - who had railed against the very existence of the Senate, patronage, and floor-crossings - in one day completely reversed his views on all 3:
- He appointed a Liberal floor-crosser DIRECTLY into his first cabinet (Emerson)
- He appointed a Conservative hack to Senate
- He appointed said "hack" to Cabinet
Competence in spending tax-payer's dollars was a rallying cry for many Reformers - and even Harper himself in the months leading up to the election... What did he do to build "competent" government? This:
Harper appointed the entire Mike Harris Class of '95 - that "competent" bunch who destroyed Ontario's economy. Flaherty, Clement, Baird... sound familiar to Ontario voters (who remember Walkerton, teacher's strikes, and the almost catastrophic collapse of Ontario's economy under Harris.
Fast-Forward through the past couple of years, and we have the following:
The Cadman Affair. Harper threatened a lawsuit, then apparently withdrew it - without even asking his Liberal accusers for an apology (because none was needed, when all they had done was stated the facts as they knew them...)
"In-and-out" scheme? Who will be accountable for that? Along the same lines, why does the tax payer have to pay for their partisan "10%ers"? These are sending a very CLEAR POLITICAL MESSAGE...
Income Trusts - What was in the "redacted" document that Flaherty provided with his "proof" of "tax leakage" (when all experts have indicated there IS no leakage)... This scandal is FAR from over... and the incompetent Minister of Finance has a lot to answer for...
The Bernier Affair - and lack of subsequent inquiry - Remember, this was when it came to light that the Cons had a BOOK on how to hold up Parliament. Just what was in the documents Maxime was leaving around other people's homes (and potentially in public places)?
Listeriosis... Bad enough that the Harper Conservatives scaled back on inspections (you know, it's all "bloated big government bureaucrats"), but when people die and the Minister Responsible jokes about it... Why is the Minister still a Minister???
Various Ministers and Conservative MPs attacking, insulting, or further marginalizing minorities... Sask MP joking (quite acidically) about gay people; Jason Kenney snapping rotorts at South Asians demanding an apology on the Commons floor for the Komagata Maru incident (couple this with his earlier statements about "hot-headed Sikhs" and we wonder why he is still in Cabinet - I guess Harper likes Kenney's take on the situation?).; Carrying on the assault on Sikhs, Mr. Harper's party jumped on Liberal MP, Navdeep Bains with accusations of "terrorist connections". Total horseshit (coming straight outta that Alberta caucus, I'm sure). Here is what Tory-friendly editorialist, Don Martin of the "National Pest" had to say about that: "Only a creative Machiavelli could link the Liberals' stand against investigative hearings to the possibility a junior MP's relative might eventually have to testify before one, but that's the grassy knoll Mr. Harper's dark side spotted as he entered the Commons… Mr. Harper should apologize and distance himself from the unseemly linkage quickly. But he won't. When his dark side seeps into the spotlight, being this Tory means never having to say you're sorry."
Don Martin, National Post, February 22, 2007
Conservative MP lashing out at a teacher about the singing of "Oh Canada"... adding to a series of events eventually leading to the teacher being physically threatened, and being practically run out of his town...
Mulroney-Schreiber. The Harper Cons have done everything possible to prevent anything from tarnishing the Conservative "good name" - including denouncing any inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. I guess you're not allowed to criticize former Conservative PMs either, eh? This one's still being "looked into" too... stay tuned for more info.
Isotope-Gate. Who can forget this scandal? Harper's crew - as typical Conservatives do - cut back on inspections at government facilities (including nuclear plants). The nuclear "watchdog" indicated a plant had to close for saftey reasons, and shut it down. Harper and crew forced the plant to open - with the public at risk. In the process they took the name of an expert in the field through the mud. They attacked her, and chased her from the job. Very typical Conservative tactic: If you don't get what you want, bully and attack someone - preferably a public servant. Even if they're telling the truth, lie, distort and bully until you have your way. Doesn't hurt that the right wing of the media wants to tell "both sides of the story" - even when one side is a bunch of conjecturing liars, and the other "side" of the story is the expert in the field...
Bullying, threatening, and generally taking the discourse of Parliament down into the gutter. Gutter politics is Harper's "by-line". He can't live without it. It's all he knows. Keep watching for more of the same in the months to come. More importantly, keep watching him blame it on an Opposition that he claims won't let Parliament work.
Misleading Canadians on the Recession/Depression that already existed... Harper said Canada wouldn't even run a deficit (even though we were), let alone head into the worst "recession" on record. During the Fall 2008 election the INDEPENDANT Parliamentary Budget Officer was pretty clear that the Conservatives running a deficit ALREADY. At the time Harper and his "incompetent crew" had demolished the 12 Billion dollar Liberal contingency fund (just the thing we would need for the current financial mess) by giving Canadians useless and meaningless tax cuts (I'm talking about the GST cuts). The GST cuts, in turn, got even MORE Canadians into debt - and DEBT is at the heart of the very issue causing the financial crisis today.
Harper and his crew shot the $12 Billion contingency fund, who knows when, in 07/08, then added $13 Billion in further deficit. This money would have been a HUGE benefit to out-of-work assembly plant workers in Southern Ontario (of course, we know what the Alberta Party thinks of Ontarians - see the next entry on this list)...
Government Openly Advises NOT To Invest In Ontario - In keeping with their partisan bent, Jim Flaherty advised investers NOT to invest in Ontario. This wasn't good for the Ontario economy... Certainly it cost many thousands of jobs. It seems that the message coming across was something straight from a Calgary Reformer's mouth...
Atlantic Accord Take-away - Harper insensed Danny Williams (a Conservative Premiere) and the rest of Newfoundland with his "go-back" on the Atlantic Accord. Apparently Harper would like to take more away from the people he said had a "culture of defeat"...
Komagata Maru "Swindle" - South Asian groups were looking forward to an apology in Parliament for the early 1900s incident which led to the wrongful imprisonment and deaths of several countrymen. Harper went to Surrey, BC, to a South Asian festival, and instead of offering a public apology in Parliament, eked out a pseudo-apology in front of a local crowd - knowing full well that it was not public, not in Parliament (and hence written into the record of the land), not sincere, and NOT what the group had asked for... To add insult to injury, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister - Jason Kenney - basically blurted, "that's your apology" and there won't be another one. What an asshole way to deal with a group!
2008 "Fiscal Farce" (Fiscal Update) - Harper, knowing full well (he claims he knew since 2007 about the recession, but then claims in the 2008 election that we won't even run a deficit... hmm, hmm, hmm-hmm... pants on fire...) that the economy was in trouble. So... what does he do? He attacks women by moving to eliminate pay equity programs. He also goes after unions, with legistlation to prevent their freedom of expression... And finally, among piles of "lack of action" on the fiscal front, he decides to attack the Opposition parties' legal funding.
The principle of tax-funded party apparati is a good one. It ensures that "special interests" don't dominate politics, that parties are accountable to the public, and that the rich don't dominate politics (which is what would happen in Harper's little world). Harper sought to destroy this in the most partisan way, and even though his very pretext was extremely undemocratic, he tried to insinuate that the parties in question were doing something wrong. That's bastardhood at it's finest. That could rank up there with "King of the Pricks". At a time when Canadians at large have finally "found out" about a recession which we were already in; at a time when a government has finally flip-flopped again and admitted a recession; at a time when the public needed leadership the most, MR. HARPER CHOSE, INSTEAD, TO PLAY PARTISAN GAMES.
NAFTA-Gate - "Someone" in Harper's office decides it's important to interfere with the Democratic nomination process in the US. They accuse Barack Obama of saying something he didn't, and created a scandal which jeopardized Mr. Obama's chances of winning the Democratic Party's nomination for President. Lucky for Liberals everywhere, the Obama juggernaut was too much for such juvenile Conservative games.
Original Ideas R Us - Harper copies anything "good" that he does. The speech to support the invasion of Iraq (yeah, don't let him lie to you on that point too - he DID support Iraq being invaded), while he was still "Bush Lite", was cribbed from John Howard (Aus PM). The first Conservative budget included "NEW" plans from "Canada's New Government" which looked suspiciously like the old Liberal Programs - just re-rolled out under new names, at cost to taxpayers like you an me.
The "Grand Stroke of Incompetence" - Harper and Flaherty kept telling us "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" and it's a good time to buy stock (or, "there's some good deals out there", or something like that), when the World economy, but ESPECIALLY that of our biggest trading partner was in full recession (80% of our trade is with the US). Mr. Harper - who professes to being an "economist" would not listen to the advice of the top economists in Canada. He can't say he never heard them, as they were speaking out in every major paper, on TV, and through the Opposition in Parliament. Harper is either the most incompetent "economist" AND PM in History, or he WILLFULLY mislead Canadians through an election, all the time knowing the government had a serious deficit on it's hands, and the economy was tanking. I'm one to believe the "willfull deception of Canadians" theory, because Harper himself is telling us now that he knew of the recession back in 2007! On top of that, he and Flaherty bailed out Canadian Banks to the tune of $79 Billion!
Bank Bailouts - Anyone hear about this? Good. I thought I was the only one. The $79 Billion taken "per capita" is actually LARGER THAN THE US BANK BAILOUT!!! Are we all asleep that we missed this momentous event... an event that said clearly, "Hey Canada! We're in a little bit of deep shit here..." This is truly a scandal, because it is another sign of a government that KNEW, BUT HID THE TRUTH FROM CANADIANS. It is also adding to the theme of Conservative incompetence.
The "mis-truths", "redactions", and outright lies are so numerous that this government actively re-writes history AS IT HAPPENS, and seems to get away with it, as corporate media friends look the other way.
Here is a good listen of "questionable" ethical activity (unethical activity?) by the Harper Conservatives JUST IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF THEIR 2006 GOVERNMENT: http://polunatic.blogspot.com/2006/01/harper-scandals-ethics-and-ministers.html
At Scandalpedia, you'll find a litany of Conservative Scandals under Harper. Lot's of detail there for "Mr. Integrities" fateful rule of Canada...
Years from now, we'll be looking back at the Harper government, and calling it the most incompetent, most corrupt, and most juvenile crew since RB Bennet. The anger, bullying, and incompetence are more than any awake and aware citizen can fathom - or put up with.
Time to throw the bums out.