Sunday, December 16, 2007
The Week That Was
I took some time off this week. I could say I was being productive, well sort of. I read, I shopped for Xmas. and I got caught up in playing an online multiplayer role playing game; Fallen Sword.
In other words besides being busy at work I goofed off instead of blogging. Mind you that does not mean I did not pay attention to the wonderful world of politics this week. And so I will do a little update here of the week that was. Or at least my interpretation of it.
Well after hearing Karlheinz Schrieber tell his side of the cash for Thiesen weapons systems story, apparently paying off Brian Mulroney after he left office but making the deal while he was in office. It got all very complicated. Before the Star Chamber of the Ethics Committee of Parliament Schrieber insisted that the Liberals had been wrong all along. As had Stevie Cameron. It had nothing to do with Air Bus. Nope it was all about Thiesen and their Light Armoured Vehicles that they wanted to manufacture in the Maritimes. It was about weapons. And Mulroney took cold hard cash to promote weapons. A weapons system that he himself kaboshed when it turned out that it would cost taxpayers a 100 million dollars.
So this week BM showed up before the Star Chamber and contradicted Schrieber. He didn't get $300,000 in thousand dollar bills, he got $225,000. And he kept $75,000, the initial retainer, in a safety deposit box. But he did eventually declare and pay taxes on $300,000. He did meet Schrieber twice while in office, once for coffee at 24 Sussex Drive and once at his PM get away cabin. But shucks that was just a social call, anyone of us could have visited him.
The whole thing showed that both these characters are liars and scoundrels. It just so happens that one of them was once the PM. The other a gun runner.
Now anywhere else in the world a gun runner putting a PM of a country on a retainer to sell weapons would raise an eyebrow or two.
But not in Canada. And it wasn't about Airbus. At least they both agreed on that. Nope it was about Theisen and promoting LAV's. And the deal was cooked up while Mulroney was still in office but concluded once he left. And with cold hard cash there is no paper trail.
Now lets not forget that this was the same Brian Mulroney who got appointed a director of Archer Daniel Midlands, and that company was plagued with a price fixing scandal at the time. And low and behold if ADM didn't buy out Robin Hood Mills of Canada, thanks to Mulroney's FTA with Reagan.
Thats the kind of guy Mulroney is and was. So we should be shocked that he would be a gunzel for a gunrunner?
CTV YOUR BIAS IS SHOWING
For weeks prior to and finally the week of the Star Chamber revelations of Karl and Brian, Craig Oliver of CTV Question Period and Mike Duffy sounded like Conservative hacks. First they complained this was all old news. Then as revelations were made by Karl, Mike dismissed them. Both of them characterized the hearings as a clown show. In fact they insisted, despite facts proving it was anything but, on reporting it as such. Now what got their knickers in a twist?
Surprising and shocking revelations that came from Karl as reported on all the other channels became irrelevant ramblings according Mike. He spent more time dismissing Karl than the Conservatives did.
SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Wednesday the Taser report on the RCMP was released but it was lost in all the news coverage of the 'Waiting For Brian' Story. On Thursday as the Mulroney Royal Entourage came before the Star Chamber, the Conservatives finally released their Pavier Report on Polling.
Remember that. Well this could be why they delayed the report and then released it on the day Brian was testifying. Tories spend more on polling now than Liberals did
Meanwhile Stockwell Day was nowhere to be found on Parliament Hill. Neither Wednesday when the damning Taser Report came out, calling it a lethal weapon.
RCMP watchdog demands tougher rules on Tasers
Canadians 10 times more likely to be Tasered to Death by Police then Americans
Nor was he around on Friday when the RCMP Investigation Report came out.
Task force says RCMP should be 'separate entity'
RCMP JUST ANOTHER PUBLIC SERVICE
The Task Force revealed that the RCMP is just another group of public sector workers. Yes there was the usual media and pundit comments about the iconic nature of the RCMP, blah, blah. But when you look closely at the report you see that the RCMP is no different than any other public sector workers. They are over worked, putting in unpaid overtime. The force has allocated for increased staffing but never hired personnel. RCMP officers are doing data entry that should have been done by data entry clerks, but of curse those positions were never filled. Working Alone is dangerous for most workers, and many provinces have Working Alone legislation. Of course the RCMP deaths recently in the North shows that these workers share something in common with their civilian counterparts. Due to cost savings, the bottom line, they are put in the way of danger that has ended up with fatalities. Cost cutting, cutbacks, unfilled positions are all the legacy of the neo-con attack on the public sector in the nineties. And the RCMP are public sector workers just like their civilian counterparts. The report talks about the need for civilian oversight, for making the RCMP autonomous and giving them access to the the oversight commission for complaints. What it failed to recommend was a real grievance procedure and an authentic new form of staff relations, that is they failed to recommend unionization of the RCMP.
CSIS BEAT THEM TO IT
The revelation that the CIA destroyed waterboarding torture tapes reminded me that CSIS did the same thing with its wire tapping of the Air India conspirators twenty years ago. Nice to know Canada leads the way. Of course the CIA says it did it to protect the identities of its agents. Did CSIS do it for the same reason?
HYUK, HYUK, IT'S HUCKABEE
As your faithful wag predicted here Huckabee has come from the second tier to be a real threat to the leading Republican Presidential Candidates. That's because they believed their own press. While Huckabee appeals directly to the base of the party. He is one of them. And while he is he is also a Red Tory. A socially liberal politician in right wing garb. The Republican establishment hates him and have begun attacking him, as have media pundits like MSNBC Chris Matthews, that reminds us Huckabee endorses the Second Amendment because folks need guns to protect themselves from the Government. Watch for more smears as Huckabee support rallies in Iowa.
On the Sunday Talk Shows south of the Border the has been McCain who polls below Paul sometimes and is neck and neck with Thompson for falling out of the top tier, is being lauded as the guy who will win New Hampshire. Don't count on it. I predict given New Hampshire's libertarian bent that Paul will surprise folks more than any McCain comeback. After all he raised $3 million dollars online, in one day. A record for any politician. And that money makes him richer than McCain. As for Thompson, glad he didn't give up his acting career.
As for Democrats, Iowa will go to the guy who looks like JFK and talks like RFK. No not Obama, John Edwards. He has the machine in the state, and is everyone's number two choice. In Iowa being number two makes you number one in the caucus's and he has the organization to pull it off. Look for an upset.
The death of teenage girl in Toronto made headlines. Her father allegedly killed her for being, well a Canadian teenager. You see she rejected her 'religious' faith. Or at least the symbol of womens oppression in that faith.The headscarf. No she wasn't Amish. She was a Muslim. Heck she could have been Christian or Jewish, or a Hindu. It matters not. These are all patriarchal religions who believe in the Father God, and God is the Father. Hence women and children and animals remain chattel to the husband. Secular, pluralist society is being besieged by the identity politics of the oppressors. Thousands of years of religious oppression led to the enlightenment and the revolutionary modernism. Today the forces of humanism face a determined opposition from those who would proclaim their backwards anti-human morality as justified in the name of cultural understanding and inclusiveness. Religion is Political, and always has been, and the battle for freedom is about freedom from religion, not just freedom for religion. Those who would claim that it is only Islam that is intolerant should look to their own holy books, to the divisions between men and women in their synagogues, temples, and churches that exist today. This could have happened to any teenage girl in Canada whose parents are religious zealots. In fact it is the reason we also have young girls and women having babies while denying they are pregnant, which has often ended in tragedy.
There we go a week of rants in one day.
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