Monday, May 31, 2010
So let me see if I've got this right. Elmer MacKay was Brian Mulroney's bagman, who had dealings with KarlHeinz Schreiber, who paid Brian Mulroney cash in envelopes for weird unspecified services that may or may not have to do with promoting an armoured car plant at Bear Head, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, Peter MacKay, Elmer's son, a lawyer, "happened" to get a summer job in Germany working for Thyssen AG. Now Peter, our Minister of National Defence, is our representative in NATO, which might be a step up on Maxime Bernier, or not.
You can't make this stuff up.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Opposition balks at Tory loophole in detainee records deal
Globe and Mail, May 29
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
It's a funny thing, but you can't find these images at NASA or NOAA, despite a grillion dollars spent on space, and with a new space plane - of undetermined purpose - orbiting the Earth.
We can see minute details in northern Pakistan...but...somehow...when it comes to the Gulf oil spill - a catastrophic accident rather than an "incident" - North America is blind, deaf, and dumb.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
...is being organized by these guys...
View Larger Map
...which would seem to have something to do with these guys...
...but this (which already happened)...
...was organized by these guys.
View Larger Map
Who are any of these guys? And how did Carleton University get dragged into the mess?
Terrence Joseph Slater Clifford, C.M., M.Ed.
|Full Name||Honour Received||Residence|
|Terrence Joseph Slater Clifford, C.M., M.Ed.||C.M.||London, Ontario|
|Member of the Order of Canada||May 8, 2003||May 14, 2004|
|Terrence Clifford has dedicated himself to working with Canadian youth. Following a stellar career as a teacher and administrator, he entered politics, serving as a member of Parliament for several years. After leaving public life, he founded Global Vision International, a non-governmental organization that offers mentoring and educational opportunities. Regional training centres, located in universities across the country, have connected thousands of students with sponsor corporations and allowed many to participate in Team Canada trade missions to learn first-hand about globalization.|
Well the good news it is still going to China. The great news, it will also be stopping in Malaysia.
Here is the brief rundown, and yes Terry is the one who told me to prepare this little piece.
When: August 2nd -20th
August 2nd – Depart Canada for Beijing
August 9th – Teams Split Team A– Chongqing, Kunming
Team B: Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
August 16th – Teams Re Unite - Malaysia – As in Kuala Lumpur – Home of the Petronas Towers.
August 20nd – Return to Canada Deliver reports to sponsors, and spread the word. Get ready to give back and help Global Vision. (As in for the next mission)
What is your task: The task is to get your community in preparation for the mission, find commercial; government, and association interests who will support your efforts. Show them what you can do for their business; represent their products, promote them, look for manufacturers, make contacts and connections. Get the mandates that matter!
· You have to have submitted an application for this current program cycle.
· You need to raise $5,500.00
· Your account with Global Vision needs to show a total balance of $5,500.00 either through sponsorship or personal deposit by July 5th, 2010
· Deposited monies are refunded upon successfully raising $5,500.00 (Usually Late September is when the cheques come back)
· Students who raise more than $5,500 earn extra points. (IE for other future opportunities with GV) – Amounts over 5,000 go to help Global Vision cover the other half of the cost of taking participants. Raising more makes you a team player. And you get to be in the President’s Club
June 15th - Signed JTC Contract must be submitted by this date.: $1,000 is due
June 30th: Second $1,500 is due – Sponsorship monies raised AND SUBMITTED (We have to have the cheques) may be counted toward this instalment.
July 15th: Final $3000.00 is due – JTC account total Sponsorship (Which JTC has received) + Personal Deposits must be $5500.00.
Remember we are here for you, and will be able to help coach and mentor you. The first step in your search should be to sit down with parents, a JTC grad, and relatives to find out what your family/JTC network looks like. From there next steps include:
Be forewarned- rejection will happen but above all else Move On to the next!! Suck it up and charge ahead- fly with eagles do not let the turkeys keep you down!
1.) Meeting with your MP
2.) Meeting with your MLA
3.) City Councillor/Mayor
4.) Issuing a Press Release to the Local Papers
5.) Meeting with the President or Vice President of your University/ If you are in High School Talk to your Principal and your local School Board.
6.) Don’t Forget, Different Departments have different Budgets!
7.) Your Student Union, they usually have funds for activities just like this! (Often for 6 and 7 they’ll only pay you after the fact – but they are reliable advance the funds to Global Vision on the organizations behalf, and we will issue you a receipt so you can collect
8.) If someone says no to sponsorship you, say thank you and ask them if they could suggest other people for you to contact.
9.) Use your network to make lots of calls. Remember you should be making 25 calls a day.
10.) Set a goal to have 5 meetings a week.
11.) Get creative.
From experience: If you put in the time YOU WILL Raise the money.
Last note: Cold calling is an absolute attribute of the JTC brand. Everyone wants it but only the best have it and it lasts a lifetime!
So – Are you in?
If you are in send an email to email@example.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org – Include your full name, phone number, address, and email – as well as a brief reason for wanting to go on the mission. We’ll check our records to make sure you submitted that application and then we will send you off the paperwork to sign and make a first deposit. It’s that simple.
I just want to make one more point. This offer expires soon. (As in likely toward the end of next week.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Welcome back to House of Commons Night in Canada. I’m Ron MacLean here with Don Cherry. Grapes, it’s been an interesting couple of days…
INTERESTING??!! I still think Luongo’s trying to kill me. Maybe I died and was brought back to life by CPR…
The Canadian Pacific Railway?
And now of course Montreal has bounced Pittsburgh out of the playoffs, knocking off the Stanley Cup defending champions after defeating the league-leading Washington Capitals…
You know, there’s nowhere left for me to put my nitroglycerine patches except my scrotum, and I heard expert medical advice that the absorption there is better than anywhere…
You should ask Sami Salo…
I'm not sure he can talk yet…
And now the Speaker of the House of Commons, Speaker Milliken, is waiting "patiently" for the House to produce documents about prisoners taken by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan...
Yeah, it's going to come down to a respect for the truth...
Exactly what it says. You can talk the talk, you can walk the walk, but there's only one guy holding up Lord Stanley's Cup...
And what about the fabric of Lord Stanley's Cup...?
It's available at Fabricland...
So what's your take on Pittsburgh's too many men on the ice penalty?
I knew you'd ask me that! It brings back a lot of bad memories...
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
May 11, 2010
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
1 Sussex Drive,
Canada K1A 0A1
I write as a respectful citizen, loyal subject, and an ardent defender of the Magna Carta.
Today, Tuesday, May 11, 2010, is D-Day (Documents Day), is the deadline set by the Speaker of the House of Commons for all parties to provide a workable plan for the review of documents, hitherto withheld, regarding prisoners taken by Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The possibility has been raised that the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, currently swanning around Europe at our expense when he should be at home taking care of business, might call an election on the documents issue. In my opinion, that would be a very stupid election on the single issue of the supremacy of parliament over the executive, which was decided some centuries ago, this apparently being news to Steve.
I am writing to respectfully – very respectfully – request that you not dissolve Parliament before the issue of contempt has been resolved. As a fan of British Parliamentary democracy I point out that you hold the Reserve Powers, which are considerable if ill-defined, and that you should not hesitate to use them in the best interest of the nation.
I recall an instance some decades ago when I was living in the United Kingdom, when a citizen, frustrated in every attempt to regain possession of his own house from a foreign tenant who refused to leave, and who had exhausted every means to regain lawful repossession, wrote to the Queen, and – fabulously – the tenant was on his way out of the country the next day as persona non grata.
I am not suggesting that you exile the Prime Minister to St. Helena, as would be my personal solution to the documents problem, were I to be Governor-General. I am suggesting you should feel free to say, “No.” I believe, speaking as an ordinary citizen, that you are well within your rights to tell the Prime Minister that there will be no election until the order to produce documents has been dealt with to the satisfaction of the House.
Go, Habs, Go.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
"The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics." All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find--this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify--that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years as a result of dictatorship.
"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient."
Politics and the English Language
Personnel were quickly deployed and more than 10,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
More than 270 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
Approximately 923,000 of feet of boom (regular and sorbent) have been deployed to contain the spill—and 1.3 million feet are available.
Nearly 2.1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
More than 290,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed. More than 185,000 gallons are available.
10 staging areas have been set up to protect vital shoreline in all potentially affected Gulf Coast states (Biloxi, Miss., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Pascagoula, Miss., Dauphin Island, Ala., Port Sulphur, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., Port Fourchon, La., Venice, La.).
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Why aren't we having a national debate?
By Paul Weinberg
Global Research, August 31, 2005
In a season of extreme heat and parliamentary vacations, there's barely a murmur among the political classes about Canadian soldiers hooking up with a failed American-led coalition of counter-insurgents in the volatile Kandahar region of southwest Afghanistan.
But those closely following on-the-ground developments in Afghanistan are astonished that Canadians have sent their military into a stepped-up mission the aims of which have not been debated. They also worry that our military doesn't truly understand the nature of the conflagration.
The latter issue is the concern of Dr Seddiq Weera, a Canadian peace educator who was born in Afghanistan and is currently stationed in Kabul advising the Afghan Ministry of Education and the National Independent Commission on Strengthening Peace (INCSP) in Afghanistan.
Many Afghans, not just the Taliban, have been infuriated by outside forces occupying their country.
He finds General Rick Hillier's comment that Canadian troops will be targeting "detestable murderers" and "scumbags" a dangerous simplification of Afghanistan's political situation. It's not just the Taliban who are opposing foreign troops, Weera argues. Locals in the country's south and east have been infuriated by the performance of outside forces in their areas.
"Some people have stories of unjustified bombings, harsh treatment during house searches, wrongful imprisonment, mislabeling as al Qaeda, and so on. Also, lately, many members of the former Northern Alliance who have lost power express dissatisfaction or act in such a way that threatens security," he notes in a May 2005 discussion for INCSP.
There are many reasons why members of the above groups openly oppose the presence of US and international forces, he writes. "Many Afghans, especially villagers, are confused about the role and aims of these foreign troops."
Peggy Mason, former UN disarmament ambassador, thinks Canada should maintain some distance from the US-led sorties.
Speaking from Kabul by phone, Weera, who is affiliated with McMaster's Centre for Peace Studies, says "[Hillier] focuses on a good-guy, bad-guy approach that does not reflect the realities. There's a large number of discontented people, and many groups have at least some legitimate concerns, and there is a very small number of spoilers who exploit these unhappy people. One needs to isolate the spoilers by addressing the discontent of theses people and groups through dialogue and reconciliation."
But Peggy Mason, Canada's former ambassador for disarmament and arms control affairs at the United Nations, wonders if there is any chance of actually defeating Taliban forces through search-and-destroy missions. More terrorists, she says, have been found internationally through "the hard slogging of information-sharing and policing efforts" than by the US-led forces, who have failed to root out remnants of the former Taliban government and their al Qaeda allies.
"If you look at where the big arrests have been made, the military has not been particularly successful. I think there is a tacit recognition of that by the Americans," she says.
Mason also argues that Canada, with its peacekeeping experience, should maintain "some distance" from the American-dominated sortie. The US strategy of overwhelming force, insensitivity to civilian casualties and deal-making with local warlords has not contributed to an improved security situation.
And she can't understand why Canada was so willing to jump onboard Operation Enduring Freedom rather than wait until later next year when a NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) peacemaking force in Kabul, of which Canadians have been a part, will be charged with providing stability for all of Afghanistan.
"There is a serious possibility that we will actually end up capturing people, so we have to be concerned about complicity in torture," says Michael Byers.
"The war fighting has to end, period. And you have to get into this other mode [assisting peacemaking]. Canada is playing both roles, which is not helpful," says Mason.
One critic of the Canadian Kandahar mission from academe, Michael Byers, a lawyer and a Canada research chair in the political science department at the University of British Columbia, notes that the Canadian military is essentially returning to the combat role it played in January 2002, when it sent the Joint Task Force 2 commandos to Afghanistan.
At that time, human rights advocates like Byers raised concerns about Canadian soldiers handing over prisoners of war to American soldiers after US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated that the Geneva Convention would not apply to alleged perpetrators and sympathizers of the September 11 terrorist actions.
"Since then, the justification of torture in some cases by US government lawyers, as well as horrific revelations from US-run prisons at Abu Ghraib and Bagram should have given Canadian officials pause when considering new requests to send Canadian soldiers into the US-led coalition," says Byers.
"There is a serious possibility that we will actually end up capturing people, so we have to be concerned about complicity in torture," he says.
"Canadian soldiers anywhere in the world are legally obligated to follow both the Canadian Charter of Rights And Freedoms and the international 1984 Convention Against Torture," Byers explains.
These requirements may be put to the test when Canadian soldiers in Kandahar hand over prisoners to the fledgling Afghan forces, whose members have been cited for abusing civilians, extorting from businesses and kidnapping locals for ransom and even sexual purposes, says a Human Rights Watch official. Thousands of Afghanis have been arrested and detained during the insurgency. "We have been saying that the coalition forces have to work harder at actually monitoring the behaviour of the people they are working with," says John Sifton at the New-York-based HRW.
The Department of National Defence has stated that the rules of engagement for the Kandahar mission must be kept secret for security purposes.
Major Darren Steele of the Department of National Defence says he has difficulty commenting on reports associating the US-led coalition with abuse of civilians or torture. "I can't speak to that. How much of that is simply impressions and what people are reading into it?"
Steele says he expects Canadian soldiers to be engaged in reconstruction and peace-building work in Kandahar, as they have been under NATO in Kabul. "Once ISAF merges with the US-led Enduring Freedom coalition force next year," he says, "Canadian troops will be part of a multinational brigade."
"There is a continuity between the two missions," Steele says. " We are aware that the situation will be different in Kandahar and is going to be dangerous for many reasons. I would suggest that you take a look at the drug trade. That is a very significant risk and danger."
However, Steele also says that only about 250 Canadian soldiers will be part of a provincial reconstruction team (development work) and at least another 1000 members of the Canadian Forces will join US counterparts in patrols and security work.
Peace activists might have been shocked to hear NDP leader Jack Layton defend General Hillier's aggressive statements, but Layton says he was merely attempting to explain the general's remarks about "scumbags" in light of the London bombing, rather than supporting them. "I certainly never made any high praise of General Hillier when he referred to killing people. I was never asked about that quote."
In fact, he and his party are keen on having a national debate about the mission's altered mandate when MPs return to Parliament. NDP MP and defence critic Bill Blaikie adds that he does not agree with a DND statement that the rules of engagement for the Kandahar mission must be kept secret for security purposes. "I don't think that's a decision for the minister of defence to make, and if he wants to say it's something we can't know about, then he has to make that case."
Meanwhile, Sifton is skeptical that proposed dialogues with the disgruntled will succeed until the government of Hamid Karzai and its NATO backers come to grips with who is backing the attacks by the Taliban and other forces. "The solution would be a combination of pressuring leaders who take part in the violence as well as the Pakistani and even potentially the Iranian agents who fund the insurgents," Sifton says.
Paul Weinberg is a Toronto based freelance journalist. This story first appeared in NOW magazine.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.To become a Member of Global ResearchThe CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: email@example.com www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.For media inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org© Copyright Paul Weinberg, Global Research, 2005 The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=891
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May 5, 2010
Excellent groundwork for a judicial inquiry desperately needed to hold the guys at the top - who got us into this mess - accountable, and save Canadian Forces from themselves.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
May 2, 2010
Subject: New Democrats to the Prime Minister: You can't run from torture allegations
Date: Fri Apr 30 14:58:39 PDT 2010
I appreciate your e-mail, and I also appreciate that the NDP were concerned about this matter from the very beginning, particularly Dawn Black’s questions to Gordon O’Connor in early 2006 which are a matter of public record in Hansard. I also like Jack Harris as NDP Defence critic.
I absolutely agree with the position that the House order to produce documents is one of fundamental importance, the supremacy of Parliament over the Crown. I’m not very worried that the Conservatives are going to call an election on this issue – is Harper going to offer a John Yoo-like pseudo-legal opinion that the Magna Carta is “quaint”? Of course he’s not a lawyer, as is painfully obvious, and he’s getting a little more erratic now that his government is fraying not just at the edges, but everywhere.
My reason for writing is to make a case that the documents disaster is one of three themes that should be combined into one. First, is the inquiry into what exactly has happened and may still be happening to prisoners taken by Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Apart from the supremacy of Parliament issue, I’m asking you to support a judicial inquiry, which as Justice O’Connor showed, can be conducted almost entirely in public, with certain materials heard in camera. That would solve the government’s alleged fear that it might compromise national security, as defined by Section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act, of which Sections 38.01 and 38.02 should probably be repealed, given their overall uselessness except for the intimidation of civil servants.
Second, is that the Minister of National Defence has just announced that General Andrew Leslie is going to conduct a review of Department of National Defence operations, as “Chief of Transformation” – it sounds like something from Harry Potter. The question is, transforming into what? Canadian citizens should be part of any review of the Department of National Defence, particularly about what we want it to do, what our role in NATO should be, and how closely we want our military to be involved with the American, given the appalling performance of the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and repeated government obfuscation behind the screen of “sensitive international relations”. You know, I for one don’t think protecting “sensitive international relations” includes protecting criminal behaviour on the part of our allies. As you might know, the Supreme Court had something to say about that as well [2008 SCC 28]:
“The principles of international law and comity of nations, which normally require that Canadian officials operating abroad comply with local law and which might otherwise preclude application of the Charter to Canadian officials acting abroad, do not extend to participation in processes that violate Canada’s binding international human rights obligations.”
Third, there is the ugly unfinished business of Somalia, and secrets that may still be lurking that should now, after the Afghanistan debacle, be flushed out for once and all. I note in passing that before it was aborted, the Somalia Inquiry encountered massive resistance from the Department of National Defence (does this sound familiar?) and there was serious evidence of attempts to shred documents (destruction of evidence), that I fear might occur again ‘inadvertently” in General Leslie’s proposed “transformation”, or might already have occurred. As noted by the Somalia Inquiry Commission:
“Many of the leaders called before us to discuss their roles in the various phases of the deployment refused to acknowledge error. When pressed, they blamed their subordinates who, in turn, cast responsibility upon those below them. They assumed this posture reluctantly - but there is no honour to be found here - only after their initial claims, that the root of many of the most serious problems resided with "a few bad apples", proved hollow.
“We can only hope that Somalia represents the nadir of the fortunes of the Canadian Forces. There seems to be little room to slide lower. One thing is certain, however: left uncorrected, the problems that surfaced in the desert in Somalia and in the boardrooms at National Defence Headquarters will continue to spawn military ignominy. The victim will be Canada and its international reputation.”
I believe ignominy has arrived. I also believe Canada needs the Canadian Forces, proud and capable of course, but accountable to Canadians citizens and independent of creeping encroachment by NATO.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
AFGH Meeting No. 7
Centre Block - 253-D
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010
03:31 PM - 05:20 PM
1 Hour 49 Minutes
Actual Start Time
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 03:31 PM
Actual End Time
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010 05:20 PM
1 Hour 49 Minutes
Meeting No. 7 AFGH - Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan
It was in fact very mysterious to Mr. Buchan that Graeme Smith of the Globe and Mail, a person of no official position, turned up evidence of abuse, but then the allegations were promptly investigated, found to be true, and led to a new "transfer agreement" which was much more robust than the first agreement, the question of whether either agreement was worth anything at all being unasked, and the answer obvious. Neither agreement was worth anything, just like the Brits' "Memorandum of Understanding" wasn't worth anything, either.
Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention. When prisoners of war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the application of the Convention rests on the Power accepting them while they are in its custody.
Nevertheless, if that Power fails to carry out the provisions of the Convention in any important respect, the Power by whom the prisoners of war were transferred shall, upon being notified by the Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the prisoners of war. Such requests must be complied with.
People were hung at Nuremberg for not knowing the difference between right and wrong, and a guy from Rwanda was just put away for 25 years for war crimes by Quebec Superior Court. International law is not "a framework for discussion." I give the last word to the Secretary-General's Bulletin:
Violations of international humanitarian law
In case of violations of international humanitarian law,
members of the military personnel of a United Nations force
are subject to prosecution in their national courts.