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July, 2010:

Russian bombers “happen” to demonstrate why the Forces need new toys…

I cannot believe THIS is just a coincidence!

I mean, what are the odds of something like this going down just at the time where there is increasing attention on the Cons’ sole source purchase of brand new fighter jets at a cost to the Canadian taxpayer of 23 gazillion dollars?

Pretty long, eh?

Cool! But I wonder if we need them...

I’m not saying that this is a made up news item or that somehow during the Gee-Ate or Gee-Score Stevo passed Dmitry a C-note to “make it happen”. But what I am saying is that these “close calls” are likely pretty commonplace – DND just isn’t in the habit of telling the public this. And they shouldn’t – for diplomatic reasons. Sure we should huff and puff at the bear when it happens, but through the appropriate channels so as to not piss them off in public. That is the way diplomacy works.

But leave it to The Robot to spin these things to his own advantage, right?


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Friday miscellany

I’m in holiday mode and lovin’ it! Time with the kids. Beautiful weather. ReformCons blowing up in every manner imaginable. Good times, good times!

Now that I’m running for public office, I need a volunteer to jump into the Rideau River and almost, um, drown. That way I can save them and become a hero and divert attention away from all the stupid things I have done lately.

Thanks Tony!

Speaking of stupid people, seems like some of the locals around Peace River are getting tired of foul smells – though the province says it isn’t toxic – stillborn calves and dying trees, and they’re making a “stink” about it.

But this ranch is not what it was in 1929, when Mr. Langer’s father homesteaded it. An odour has rolled in, a heavy smell of tar that hangs low over the land some mornings, depending on wind patterns. Residents blame nearby oil operations, and some fear its effects.

The Langers say they had 11 stillborn calves this year, double the number they’ve ever lost before. Mr. Langer has found himself overcome by dizziness on occasion, confining the ranching patriarch to his bed on haying days. His doctors say his lungs are a patchwork of scar tissue, though he has never smoked.

His wife is begging him to leave. His grandchildren have already gone.

The stupid peeps in this case are the successive provincial governments who have put their own greed ahead of the welfare of their people and the planet. Someday the piper needed to be paid for the over exploitation of the province’s resources. And I guess for some, that time is now.

When I set my status on fb to ...has successfully reached the end of the tunnel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in reference to the beginning of my two weeks of holidays. My brother-in-law had a great comeback:

Due to budget constraints, cost saving measures and environmental concerns the government has decided to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel. We would like to thank light for all it did in the past, but we feel that Canadians deserve a made in Canada solution.

Good one Steve!

Good post today over at Accidental Deliberations on how the Cons (well, their version of Pravda, anyhow) are saying tsk-tsk to those provinces and municipalities that are in a bit of a fiscal pickle. After pushing the lower levels of government to match infrastructure money of shovel-ready (read “photo-op ready”) projects, the Harperites are saying that the provinces got themselves in their collective mess and now they should not expect help from the feds.

Typical Con shell game. Shift the fiscal burden to the provinces and municipalities and then take credit for the economy doing oh-so-darned-well.

Taking the weekend off blogging, I think. Headed off to my hometown for a couple of days… but if there is another Harperism™ over the weekend, I may just find some time to scribble something.


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Jack is looking pretty worn down…

Haven’t seen a picture of him in a while. Due to the cancer treatments, I think he has been laying low. Hopefully his re-emergence is an indication that things are going well.

But man, he has lost some weight… and he was not a hefty man to start with.

Keep at ‘er, Mr. Layton… might not always agree with you, but I hope to hell that you beat this thing!

And yeah – Harpy – listen up and meet with the guy! Maybe, just maybe, someone might have opinions on the latest issues that are better than yours!

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All out war…

on the Federal Public Service…

I don’t know of any better way to put it.

Salary freezes. Talk of pension “reform”. Removing or watering down sources of information on our economy and society. They are going all-in… and not looking back folks.

So, what is Iggy doing about this? Let’s look at the latest post on the Grit site:

Hey! That’s actually pretty witty! Go figger!

Props.

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The Harperites stumble along…

As the summer trudges along, the Iggy bus is making it’s stops in Ontario with reports of several dozens of well-wishers along the way.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff delivered a feisty election-style speech during a mainstreeting stop in Stratford Sunday.

He took aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper over plans to change affirmative action programs in the public service sector and ridiculed the Conservative plan to do away with the long-form.

“I never thought in my political life in this country I’d have to defend knowledge, I’d have to defend information against a government that seems to want less of it, that prefers ignorance to knowledge,” Ignatieff said.

Righteously indignant sounds he. But the line “defend information against a government that seems to want less of it, that prefers ignorance to knowledge” does resonate with me. Unfortunately for M.I., I doubt if the Timmies crowd really gives a rat’s ass about knowledge. They prefer the Robot, who, in the words of someone I overheard on the bus last week “is at least doing something…”

Grrr… I hate that.

Meanwhile, back at the factory, the Chief Robot is nowhere to be seen – leaving his minions to to the dirty work for him. A bit cowardly, of course, but what does one expect from this guy anyway?

Any bets on how many times Clement says the words “jail-time”? I say 11. Any takers on the over/under?

The hearing today might be interesting as we may, just may get some of the truth out in the open. Especially the part about the experts not wanting anything to do with the ideologically-driven decision to shorten the form…

And here’s hoping the Grits pounce on this. But I’m not holding my breath.

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Harper is listening… be careful

In case any of you forgot this when it was reported in May.

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – The Harper government has been monitoring political messages online, and even correcting what it considers misinformation.

They spent 75K to track discussions about the seal hunt… one can only guess what they have spent monitoring the discussions about their latest shenanigans.

So for those of you who think that certain things a certain government department may choose to do are “intrusive”, please re-read this story, k?

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Proof positive that the Cons have jumped the shark

Doris Day himself has addressed the important issues of the “day”.

For example, he contends:

  • Who need statistics when a 12 year old can get the information for you from Wikipedia!

“We live in an information age where any 12-year-old kid can push any button on the Internet and find out any information he or she wants without threatening a citizen that they’re going to go to jail.”

Well, darn it! Yer right! I can look up just ’bout anything there, Doris! This dad-gummed interweb is all we need!

  • The national stats bureau is staffed by thousands of Colonel Klinks and Sargent Shultzs.

Treasury Board President Stockwell Day suggests prisoners of war face less onerous legal obligations to divulge information to the enemy than Canadians did under the old census regime.

“And you know, even prisoners of war only have to give their name, rank and serial number.

SHULTZ!!! Bring me Colonel Hogan right way! Schnell!

Now, it’s about time that Pierre Poilievre and John Baird make an appearance! Then all of the attack dogs will be gainfully employed!

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Clement really has a knack of getting himself into hot water

And he should stay away from Sudbury and Hamilton for a while… like forever! I know both of those towns moderately well and can say that it wouldn’t turn out well…

Good article by Carol Goar on just how big a whole Big Tony can dig himself…

Tony Clement is rapidly alienating large swaths of the population.

Folks in his goody-strewn riding of Parry Sound Muskoka think he’s a fine politician. But across the country, a large — and growing — segment of the electorate blames the industry minister for throttling Statistics Canada, allowing foreign acquisitors to pick off Canadian companies, chopping federal funding for dozens of tourist attractions and using last month’s world leaders’ meetings to funnel $50 million into his constituency.

In less than two years, Clement has chalked up a surprisingly long — and disparate — list of detractors. It extends from corporate boardrooms to church basements.

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Friday miscellany

Montreal Simon has a good take on why the ReformCons are taking a quick veer to the libertarian right… abandoning, at least momentarily, their courting of the centre soccer moms in order to win that elusive majority.

In short, to pander to the centre as well as the Christian right, the Harperites have had to put aside some if the principles espoused by their Libertarian supporters. And not just put aside, but downright demean them, most blatantly in a speech given by Harper in March of 200:

… Over the next twenty minutes or so, we would be treated to one of the most bewildering speeches I’ve ever heard Stephen Harper give.  After launching into a sweeping defence of conservatism he would direct his attention towards classical liberals and libertarians who he acknowledged, some of whom were in the very room he was speaking.

The speech also contained a definition of what conservatism is.  In his words it is made up of the “three Fs: freedom, family and faith”–a definition which might leave some libertarians feeling even more uncomfortable with it’s social conservative undertones.

Harper took the gloves us last night.  He made it clear who’s in his tent.  The message was clear: libertarians need to get on board or get out of the way.

Now, with the decision on the length of the form thingy, and on the questioning of affirmative action in the hiring of public servants, he is paying the piper in an effort to get the Libertarians back under the tent.

Of course, they chose to blow these horns in the summer with the expectation that Canadians wouldn’t hear them over the din of loons and motor boats.

Oops.

In other news…

I dunno if Iggy’s super cross Canada tour will truly have any impact on his popular support (he has yet to take my advice on what to do next), but Justin Trudeau is sure doing his darnedest to get in on every photo-op possible!

A BCer in Toronto has more!

Been a crazy last week before my Holidays… and I am left with one question:

  • Why are they called “pairs” of pants or “pairs” of underwear?

There are two legs or leg holes, but that is all of the “pairishness” I can find. Anyone?

What is $700 million? The size of the OCDSB budget.

What weighs over 5 pounds? The information package just sent to me by Board Services… and I’m thankful, but they coulda sent me a CD instead to save paper and postage.

Conrad Black is out on bail! And he might come back to Canada! Woo-hoo!

I am not being completely tongue-in-cheek here.  Despite the fact that I really have never felt warm and fuzzy for the guy, I think he was railroaded somewhat by the American “justice” system… and he, like anyone else, is entitled to due process. And this due process says that he can go free on bail… so no bitchin’ about it…

Obscurantism. (French: obscurantisme, from the Latin obscurans, “darkening”) is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known. I just love this word.

Glenn Beck – why not his voice?

Sarah Palin– why??

Helena Guergis – The PM should say sorry and buy her some nice flowers… um, sure….

Tony Clement– here’s hoping that folks in my old stomping ground have the sense to turf this moron at the earliest opportunity. But I’m not holding my breath.

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    Will the writ be dropped over this?

    If someone had told me a month ago that the future of the Harpy government would hinge on something that had anything to do with the only government department in the news these days, I would have slowly backed away and not turned my back until very, very far away.

    But what now? Will Harper take this to the mat in spite of all that is happening… the opposition by everyone and anyone, the poor optics during the summer months – typically a time when politicos are given a bit of a break by Canucks – all of this must be proving tiresome for the Robot and his Roboteers.

    But will he back down? The RLG pointed out to me this morning that until old dead eyes states himself that we ain’t going back, that there still exists the possibility of a reversal. Twittering Tony might get the fall guy label and all would unravel as these things do. But once the emperor himself proclaims the issue dead, it is dead. And no number of fb groups or editorials will change it.

    But you know, I can’t see Harper letting this go on much longer. His advisers must be counselling an abandonment of the issue. Pushing it further will only lose them votes and it wouldn’t be wise going into a fall election with such a prosaic cloud hanging over the ReformCon camp. How would they fight such a fight? The Libertarians and Albertans and the small town/minded are already solidly behind them, so what could they gain?

    Let’s switch sides and consider the options that the Opposition have before them. On the one hand, it might be a good idea for Iggy to hitch his wagon to this and prepare to make this the election issue. It’s not such a bad idea as it would allow the Grits to, for the first time in a long time, spell out the policy agenda.

    The other choice is for Iggy to continue his bus tour, shake the babies and kiss the hands (or is it the other way around?), smell the cheese and update his fb status now and then.  In other words, don’t take a position. Jack would normally be leading this charge, but I suspect that he is dealing with his prostate cancer and trying to let his body and mind heal for the summer… can’t blame him for that.

    And Gilles? Well, what does he care? This is a Canadian issue!

    So, Mr.  Ignatieff, it is up to you. Call a press conference today and announce that it is the Liberals’ intention to, immediately after the House reconvenes, introduce a Bill that would effectively reduce the government’s decision.  Undoubtedly, Harper would see this as a matter of confidence and the writ would be dropped. This would be an election that would show the schisms that exist between the educated and uneducated, the Starbucks crown and the Timmies gang, those of us who understand the importance of information and those who wonder what all of the fuss is about.

    So my advice to Iggy, Jack and Gilles – make a big deal outta this! It’s a win-win for you guys!

    And my advice to Stevo – though I am loathe to give it – tell Tony to make a statement that in light of all of the concerns raised about the government’s decision, we will go ahead as originally planned and will set up Task Force /Working Group / Collection of Experts Who Think Like Us to examine the issue in more detail.

    That is their only way out of this mess. It isn’t just going to disappear.

    Stephen Harper's "ideal" re: information management

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