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Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't

Cathie from Canada - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 21:19
I expect Trudeau realizes that all of the people who are criticizing him for moving too fast on the Syrian refugee promise would turn on a dime and howl in betrayal if he announced he was slowing down.
Damn the torpedos, sir -- full speed ahead!

That NDP survey

Dawg's Blawg - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 17:39
Readers will recall my earlier comments on the post-election “survey” by the bruised Old Democratic Party. Well, the results are in! I publish this, in its entirety, without comment, other than to report that tears are running down my cheeks—but... Dr.Dawg

“There’s always a context in which these things take place.”

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 14:23
So says Toronto police spokesman and perennial apologist Mark Pugash about the beating administered by the police to Santokh Bola, a victim of what the authorities admit was a 'mistaken arrest.'

Sure looks to me like just another case of police brutality, something the Toronto constabulary is becoming notorious for:

Bola’s lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, told a news conference Wednesday that the video shows police delivering 11 punches to Bola in quick succession, and a total of 20 blows to his head.

“Officer, please, officer,” Santokh can be heard saying in the video. “Let me go, please let me.”

The incident took place by Bola’s car in the rear parking lot of his family’s store on Islington Ave., according to the lawsuit.

In the video, Bola can be heard begging to speak to his grandfather and twice says, “Let me talk to my parents.”

He also pleads, “Sir, I beg you.”

When the beating was over, Bola was held briefly in a police cruiser and then set free, Smitiuch said. No charges were laid.

He was taken to Etobicoke General Hospital by his grandfather, where he was treated for head and facial injuries.Recommend this Post

Legal loopholes - Bruce Carson, Nigel Wright, and Elections Canada

Creekside - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:51
Elections Canada declined to recommend the RCMP investigate and prosecute electoral fraud cases in both 2008 and 2011 elections because, in the *opinion* of Elections Canada, the perps were unsuccessful in their attempt to sway the election results. They were crap at it so no harm no foul.

Yesterday Bruce Carson was acquitted of influence peddling under Section 121 of the Criminal Code - which prohibits anyone from using their influence with the government to obtain benefits for themselves or someone else - because although he approached Indian and Northern Affairs government officials to help set his girlfriend up with a 20% fee to sell water purification systems to First Nations, he approached the wrong people. He was crap at influence peddling so again, no harm, no foul.

This also partly explains I suppose why the RCMP never charged Nigel Wright, who shares lawyer Patrick McCann with Carson, with paying Mike Duffy off with a $90,000 cheque to "make this whole thing go away". It didn't go away, Nigel was crap at making it go away, so again - no harm, no foul.   

Canadian law apparently requires certain standards of felony competence from white collar perps before it is willing to take them seriously. If you can't be arsed to attain a bare minimum of professionalism in your chosen felony, Canadian law just isn't interested.  

This must piss off bank robbers no end. Busted at 4am surrounded by their safe-cracking tools and cops and blaring bank alarms does display a certain wont of proficiency at their chosen profession, yet Canadian law does not offer them the same consideration shown to those who attempt to undermine our elections, take personal advantage of their positions of influence, or buy off political cronies.

Bruce Carson still faces charges of influence peddling and being "the secret sauce" that enabled tarsands/extractive industry lobby group EPIC, according to their own presser, to successfully rewrite government regulations thatwere holding up tar their permits. 
According to the RCMP ITO, Carson allegedly lobbied Nigel Wright and Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council, on behalf of EPIC for a salary of $10,000 a month. 

We await the court's decision on whether he was crap at that too.

Change of government in Ottawa

LeDaro - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:34
It is not going to be easy for Trudeau.

Climate Change Makes the Case for Renewable Energy Alternatives

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 10:23
Charleston, S.C., October, 2015

In America's southeastern states they call it "sunny day flooding." That's when coastal towns experience flooding caused only by high tides and sea level rise. That's distinct from the flooding triggered by high tides, sea level rise, hurricane force storm surges and deluge rainfalls - the real buggers that reshape coastlines and the houses that line them.

Coastal communities in America's southeast are just becoming accustomed to sunny day flooding, a.k.a. "nuisance flooding."  The population of Charleston is waking up to a problem that's only going to get much worse and sooner than had been imagined.

It's becoming more and more difficult to beat back the tides in Charleston. Not a month goes by now without city streets being washed out and closed off until the water recedes. Whether you call it nuisance flooding or a major threat may depend on whether you've had to abandon your car after stalling out in knee-high water. Either way, Charleston's flood problems are just getting started.

"Right now in Charleston, you get somewhere around 20 or 24 tidal flooding events per year, and that is really just when the tides get so high because you've got high tide on top of sea-level rise, they cause flooding, even on sunny days. Then when it rains, it just makes it much worse," says Nicole Hernandez Hammer, Southeast climate advocate with the Union of Concerned Scientists. "With the mid-range sea-level rise projections, you'll probably get around 78 of those events by the year 2030, and you're going to be looking at 187 of those events per year by the year 2045. As problematic as it seems now, this is the beginning of living with sea-level rise impact."

Hammer says her home state, Florida, is in more dire straits.
"What we're doing here in Florida is we're putting in pumps and we're putting in barriers and sandbags, not very sophisticated stuff, and that's in the high-end places. The areas with very few resources, they're getting nothing," Hammer says. "The city of Miami Beach, which is just 18 square miles, a very tiny piece of Florida and Miami-Dade County, is spending half a billion dollars to deal with sunny-day flooding, and that really just amounts to pumps, raising roads, and those are the two kinds of things that are being done. You can imagine the costs associated with adapting an area if those are the figures you're looking at for a small stretch of Miami."
A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that a great deal of the power infrastructure and grid is susceptible to storm surge inundation, which, it claims makes the argument for alternative, clean energy.
"You reduce the importance of any one asset on the grid the further you get away from a centralized system, and I think one of the great things about resilient, renewable resources beyond them being clean is that they can generate money for you even if the power hasn't gone out," says [UCS researcher Julie] McNamara. "You can still be making money off of your solar panels when everything is fine. You can't say that for diesel generators. It's been widely reported that during Hurricane Sandy some 50 percent of diesel generators failed in New York City. When you aren't running them very often, you have a higher rate of failure just because of inactivity or failed maintenance."

Cimate change stickers mandatory on North Vancouver gas pumps

LeDaro - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 10:01
Stickers to warn that burning fossil fuels causes climate change

On Prudent Spending

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 09:04

Now that the former fiscal masters of the universe, a.k.a. the Harper government, has left us with a structural deficit that will mean $3 billion to $5 billion in each of the next five years, the usual ideologues are suggesting that Justin Trudeau needs to reign in his deficit-spending plan. Financial probity is nothing to be lightly dismissed, but The Star's Carol Goar has some suggestions on how that deficit can be made more manageable:
... clean up the tax credits, deductions, exemptions and deferrals (known collectively as “tax expenditures”) that cost Ottawa billions of dollars. The Conservatives brought in at least 70 of them. But past Liberal governments created them, too.

These hidden expenditures cost approximately $150 billion a year in foregone revenue.

A second alternative is to stop spending money on Conservative priorities. The Liberals were never in favour of jailing young offenders for drug possession and other non-violent crimes; detaining unsuccessful refugee claimants; building mega prisons; auditing charities whose leaders spoke out against government policies; buying top-of-the-line stealth fighter jets; or airing prime-time government ads.

A third choice is to terminate, or substantially scale back, corporate subsidies. Right now, there is a request for $1 billion from Bombardier sitting on the prime minister’s desk. Chrysler came calling last year. Over the last half century, Industry Canada has disbursed $22 billion to businesses ranging from oilsands developers to ice cream parlours, high tech manufacturers to pizzerias. The assumption is that these handouts boost growth and create jobs, but no government has provided credible evidence to back up this proposition.
The cupboards need not be bare as long as ideology no longer trumps strategic expenditures that will benefit the many instead of the favoured few so slavishly courted by the former regime.Recommend this Post

While Paris Mourns, Netanyahu Makes His Move

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 08:34
With all eyes weary from trying to follow the Paris attacks, the G20 and APEC summits, our favourite peace lover, Benjamin Netanyahu, marked the occassion by "authorizing the marketing of (stolen Palestinian) land for the construction of 454 homes in occupied East Jerusalem."

That'll teach ISIS, right Binny? Or maybe it'll just give them more fodder for recruiting and raising funds.

Well played, Benjamin, you're all class.

Olympic Cheating? Not us, mate.

Dammit Janet - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 08:14
Now that the dust has settled, we get a glimpse (courtesy of CP's Paola Loriggio) of what was going on in Mayor Dad's office over the limp musings on an Olympic bid after the Pan-Am track-meet.
Toronto officials saw public resistance as the main threat to a possible Olympic bid and worried holding a referendum on the issue would “allow critics to overstate and inflate opposition” to hosting the 2024 Games, documents reveal.

Emails and briefing materials written by Toronto Mayor John Tory’s staff, obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information laws, suggest a lack of public and government support were seen as the “greatest risks” to a Toronto pitch.No opposition groups are mentioned in that story but I am proud to have been part of NoTO2024 and it's gratifying to think we may have had a small effect on Tory's long-drawn-out but finally sane answer.

I was prepared to be quietly pleased until someone posted a link to GamesBids's spin on the story.

The author and website owner, Robert Livingstone (more about that in a minute), did mention us by name.
As the bid decision loomed, vocal opposition with social-media savvy emerged including the loosely organized NoTO2024 group that mimicked the strategies of No Boston Olympics.  The latter successfully cast enough doubt about a Boston 2024 Olympic bid during the previous months that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) eventually parted ways with the Massachusetts group and moved forward with Los Angeles instead.

But the Toronto opposition often relied on erroneous and unsupported outdated “facts”, and in some cases inflammatory Website comments that bordered on libel, to try to get their opinions heard.
Ooooh. "Bordered on libel"?????

He quotes from the NoTO2024 website:
“Myth 7: The IOC is reformed
Nope – it’s still the same old cabal of unelected and often corrupt failed politicians, super-wealthy princes and the odd despot. They still demand five-star service, right from fruit in their hotel suites to private lanes on the highway. Millions of our tax dollars are poised to go directly (or rather, extremely indirectly) into their pockets.”I personally sourced and documented every -- yes, somewhat snarkily presented -- fact in that quote.

Where, exactly, is the libel-bordering there, Mr. Livingstone?

I would have let that go too. Some kind of sour grapes or something at work there, poor guy, but here's the last paragraph.

It seems the citizens of Toronto and Canada were cheated out of a fair Olympics debate. It’s up to the IOC to continue to work on improving its messaging and the Olympic brand so that more informed discussions can happen in the future.
"Cheated out of a fair Olympics debate."

When the standard line from Olympics boosters and officials to ordinary residents is "don't worry your purty little heads about details," NoTO2024 was the ONLY citizen group trying to put some real facts in front of Torontonians and Canadians.

But hey, it's not like GamesBids had anything to gain from a Toronto bid (the author is based in Toronto, by the way). Have a look at its About page.
Our membership includes the world media, members of bid city committees around the world, IOC officials and key stakeholders in the process as well as Olympic fans, businesses and athletes. You can join too!

Please explore and send us a note to tell us what you want to see.Ya gotta love it. The Olympic Spirit consists of telling people what they want to see/know.

And "cheating" consists of telling some uncomfortable truths.

And let's not forget that spot of bother Canadian Olympic Committee macho-honcho, Marcel Aubut, found himself in shortly afterwards.

Previous DAMMIT JANET! coverage of NoTO2024.

The Not So Nice Cons and the Bitterness of Candice Bergen

Montreal Simon - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 06:37

When Rona Ambrose became the interim leader of the defeated and humiliated Cons, she promised that they would adopt a "new tone."

I predicted that wouldn't last long, and sure enough it didn't.
Because now Candice Bergen has made it only too clear those were indeed hollow words.
And she for one REALLY hates Justin Trudeau.

And that only about ten days after she herself promised to engage her opponents in a more respectful manner.

Which can only make some wonder if she has any idea how most Canadians felt about her and her depraved leader...

But then who can blame Bergen and the other Cons?
When Justin Trudeau is systematically dismantling the foul legacy of the Harper regime.
He has ordered the return of the long-form census, he has unmuzzled scientists and civil servants, he has given directions that all Charter challenges be scrapped.

And yesterday at long last his government buried the Great War on the Niqab. 

The federal government has formally withdrawn a controversial court challenge involving the niqab, says Jody Wilson-Raybould in her first act as Canada's attorney general and justice minister.

Whose passing deserves to be marked, because it was without a doubt one of the worst things Stephen Harper ever did.

Using bigotry as a political weapon, and stirring up hatred that along with the events in Paris, is still poisoning our country.

Teenage Muslim girls at a north Toronto mosque have a new rule this week: Don’t walk alone to Islamic night school. And whatever you do, don’t jaywalk – you don’t want to give drivers any excuses, cautioned Aleemuddin Syed, director of Darul Khair Islamic Centre.

The warnings came after the Islamic State’s co-ordinated killings in Paris and an ensuing spate of anti-Muslim hate crimes in Canada. The incidents this week include the burning of a mosque in Peterborough, Ont., and racist graffiti and many reported verbal encounters across the country, leading Muslim and police groups to offer safety advice.

Which couldn't be more disgusting.

But of course the real reason Candice Bergen and the other Cons are so bitter is that it is finally sinking in that after ten years their time is really over.

And that Justin Trudeau is dismantling the Harper regime like Keir Dullea dismantled the evil computer HAL in the movie 2001 Space Odyssey...

And although Trudeau still has a lot more work ahead.

On Harper’s watch Canadian law grew ever more heedless of civil rights, contemptuous of the judiciary, unreasonably punitive, and unfriendly to minorities and refugees. Canadians voted for something better on Oct. 19. The Liberals have work to do, restoring the public’s trust. The niqab was a start. It must not end there.

That is the good news.

It was a horrible nightmare. He was a real monster.

But Stephen Harper's ghastly regime is being taken apart.

And he's never coming back...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.

Anger And Wisdom Don't Go Together

Northern Reflections - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 06:16

Writing in yesterday's Globe and Mail, Bob Rae repeated some advice he once received from a good friend: It’s hard to be smart and angry at the same time. Justin Trudeau needs to take that advice to heart as he wrestles with the problem of ISIS. Rae writes:

More than a decade ago, September 11 generated an angry response from the United States. The assumption was that eliminating the Taliban, which had without question aided and abetted al-Qaeda, would be a quick, surgical operation, to be followed by the democratic reconstruction of Afghanistan.
A short two years later, George W. Bush decided that regime change needed to happen in Iraq as well. Several hundred thousand casualties and trillions of dollars later, Mr. Bush’s ally Tony Blair admitted that the ham-fisted way the invasion of Iraq had taken place contributed directly to the creation of Islamic State and the brutal chaos in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Afghanistan remains deeply unstable.
The invasion of Iraq -- which was supposed to be a demonstration of Shock and Awe -- created ISIS. We would be foolish to repeat Bush's mistake. Rae writes:
We are indeed in a war, because of the violent and extremist ideologies and techniques of jihadi extremism and their incompatibility with any kind of world order. A statelet that enslaves, oppresses, kills and tortures is an affront not just to “the West,” but to every conceivable standard of decency and the rule of international law.
But it is not a war like others in our past, and it will require imagination, solidarity, courage and extraordinary resilience for us to succeed. We need to learn from our mistakes. The urge to strike back is human and entirely understandable. But it has to be matched by a full range of non-military responses that thus far we have not been capable of in any systematic way.
This is the opportunity for Canada – we have been engaged in this struggle for the past 15 years, and have learned much. Our soldiers are wise, as are our aid officers and diplomats. We have to share these experiences with others as we wrestle with the choices ahead.
This is a time for wisdom to prevail over anger. 

Wednesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 05:53
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Randy Robinson points out that while it's worth setting a higher bar for all kinds of precarious work, it's particularly problematic for governments to try to attack protections for the people charged with delivering public services:
These are many more examples of public sector jobs gone bad. And let’s not forget all the contracted-out services paid for by government but now delivered by private employers. When it comes to these services, government is no different from any company that aims to dodge union wages for its “non-core” functions by sending work to the lowest bidder. Cost, not job quality, is what matters most.

The ritual punishment of all public employees after recessions is cyclical and—we hope—soon coming to an end. But the growth of a precarious public sector workforce is a structural transformation that mirrors what is happening right across the economy. If the current government is serious about helping precarious workers, it can’t ignore its own.- Leslie Young reports on a spike in food bank usage among other indicators of poverty and precarity in Canada. Matt Bruenig breaks down the face of poverty in the U.S., while Bryce Covert looks at the added difficulties facing single mothers trying to raise children without any secure source of income And Ina Jaffe discusses how gender inequality continues into retirement.

- Danyaal Raza, Steve Morgan and a group of health experts make the case for a national pharmacare program.

- David Climenhaga takes a look at the University of Calgary's corporate influence scandal - and why we shouldn't be the slightest bit surprised.

- Finally, John Klein duly slams John Gormley, Brad Wall and everybody else seeking to create a mob against convenient minority targets. And Paul Orlowski highlights the fact that Saskatchewan as a whole is more than ready to welcome refugees even if its current premier wants to foment suspicion, while Climenhaga is optimistic that Wall's cynical attempt to play to bigotry will lead to political repercussions.

Well That Wasn't Very Polite. Putin Outs ISIS Supporters.

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 00:10

This is certainly awkward. The West's favourite Bad Boy, Vlad Putin, brought some interesting info to the G20 summit. He brought intelligence data naming what he claims are the 40-countries that are funding or aiding ISIS. Some of them, according to Vlad, are members of the G20. Oh, yes, I think I see one right over there.

Muslim, Jew, Doesn't Make Much Difference. We Don't Like Them When They Come Looking for Help.

The Disaffected Lib - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 23:59
A timely reminder from the Washington Post about how compassionate we are to refugees fleeing murderous persecution. It comes in the form of a flashback to
1938 when European Jews tried to escape Nazi controlled Europe. Some things, it seems, don't change.


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