Saturday, March 31, 2007

Junk Science: Ethanol

So who benefits from the Conservatives push for Ethanol? Big Agri-business, the opponents of the Wheat Board, and the Blogging Tories and their pals run the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

You have seen the CRFA ads on TV complete with a nerdy goof promoting Harpers 5% promise. That we will have 5% ethanol for cars in Canada. The guy has to be a Blogging Tory.

Gee I have heard that 5% promise before,about the GST, but that still hasn't happened either.

But does ethanol help the environment? Well like the Conservative government's Clean Air Act, the answer is no.

Mowhak and Petro-Canada have been selling Ethanol for years in Canada as an additive, and we still have air pollution and greenhouse gas.

Ethanol auto emissions no greener than gasoline: study

The federal Conservative government committed $2 billion in incentives for ethanol, made from wheat and corn, and biodiesel in last week's budget.

But based on Ottawa's own research, critics say the investment is based more on myth than hard science.

Scientists at Environment Canada studied four vehicles of recent makes, testing their emissions in a range for driving conditions and temperatures.

"Looking at tailpipe emissions, from a greenhouse gas perspective, there really isn't much difference between ethanol and gasoline," said Greg Rideout, head of Environment Canada's toxic emissions research.

"Our results seemed to indicate that with today's vehicles, there's not a lot of difference at the tailpipe with greenhouse gas emissions."

The study found no statistical difference between the greenhouse gas emissions of regular unleaded fuel and 10 per cent ethanol blended fuel.

Although the study found a reduction in carbon monoxide, a pollutant that forms smog, emissions of some other gases, such as hydrocarbons, actually increased under certain conditions.

Bill Rees, an ecology professor at the University of British Columbia and longtime opponent of ethanol, has read the report and thinks Canadians need to know its conclusions.

"I must say, I'm a little surprised at that, because it seems to fly in the face of current policy initiatives," he said.

"People are being conned into believing in a product and paying for it through their tax monies when there's no justifiable benefit and indeed many negative costs."


Bio Fuel




ind blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gildan Sweat Wear

As I have reported Gildan Active Wear, North America's largest T-Shirt manufacturer , based in Quebec, has spent the last few years moving its operations to Occupied Haiti under the protection of Canadian/American/French and UN forces.

This week ,despite a two year tax break for manufacturers from the Conservative government, Gildan announced it is moving more of its operations to Haiti, Nicaragua and the Honduras. In fact the irony here is that because of NAFTA this move will mean that the largest impact of plant closings will be felt by Mexico.

Approximately 465 employees in Canada and the U.S. and 1,365 employees in Mexico will be affected by the manufacturing restructuring. The Company will make every effort to alleviate the impact of the closures on all of its employees in all of the communities affected. In addition, the Company will work closely with the Fair Labor Association and both North American and Mexican NGO’s to ensure that best practices are followed in managing the closure of its Mexican sewing operations. Gildan recognizes that the employees in the operations which are being closed have contributed significantly to the Company’s growth and success in recent years, and regrets that the relocation of its production capacity to its offshore manufacturing hubs is unavoidable in order to be globally cost-competitive in the intensely competitive North American apparel industry.

The demand of Fair Labour Practices and unionization campaigns for worker justice have made Mexico less attractive than Haiti where such practices are non existent. And the newly emerging Maquiladora's, Free Trade Zones, in the Honduras and Nicaragua are still relatively union free, meaning that the Fair Labour Standards are toothless. And even when there are unions Gildan subcontractors still violate their rights.

Five fired union leaders from the Nicotex factory in Sébaco, Nicaragua, a supplier of Gildan Activewear (t-shirts etc) have been reinstated at the factory following strong union action and an international campaign which followed their sackings in November 2004. NSCAG took part in this campaign.

But the crocodile tears shed by Gildan over it's need to move, are a bit much. As their bottom line shows, they have made mucho dinero over the last four years as they off shored more of their operations.

(in millions of $)

2006 $773.2
2005 $653.9
2004 $533.4
2003 $431.2
2002 $382.3
2001 $329.1

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
2006 $147.3
2005 $117.7
2004 $ 91.8
2003 $ 81.5
2002 $ 66.8
2001 $ 19.9

Net earnings
2006 $ 106.8
2005 $ 86.0
2004 $ 60.2
2003 $53.2
2002 $ 42.4
2001 $ 0.7

They are not being forced by globalization to do this, they are actively doing this in order to increase their bottom line.

And with the U.S. eliminating trade quotas on foreign-made socks as of January 1, 2006, Gildan is spending some $500 billion through 2010 partly to expand sock production facilities in Central America. Of two new Honduran factories, one will be able to make 20-million dozen pair a year making it the world's largest sock-making plant.
Resulting in the latest offshoring announcement from Gildan. One they have been planning for since last year.

``It's an indication that things are going very well for the company offshore,'' Jessy Hayem, an analyst with Desjardins Securities Inc. in Montreal. ``The extent of the savings is very positive news in terms of 2008. The $45 million figure seems very substantial,'' Hayem said.

By March 2008, Gildan will have spent about $400 million since 2002 to shift production to new plants primarily in Honduras and the Dominican Republic, Chief Financial Officer Laurence Sellyn said in a telephone interview.

And the plants they are closing in Canada are their only unionized facilities.

Gildan respects all laws, including those relating to freedom of association in Canada and elsewhere. Our internal Code of Conduct ensures the right to associate and it is furthermore a key element of WRAP and FLA's Codes of Conduct. In Canada, two of our plants are unionized.

The irony is that when Gildan went public it was supported by union dollars.

The Quebec Federation of Labour invested $6 million in Gildan in 1996

And while they give lip service to workers rights the reality is quite different. They fail to protect their workers abroad. Instead they avoid compliance with voluntary labour codes they agree too. When they finally do it is too late for the workers.

Final update report on gildan activewear honduras

WRC Affiliate Colleges and Universities
Scott Nova (WRC), Lynda Yanz (MSN), and Maritza Paredes (EMIH)
September 27, 2006

Update on Gildan Activewear (Honduras)
This memo is the second and final update on the verification of Gildan Activewear’s compliance with an agreement reached in January 2005 with the WRC and the Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) aimed at remedying code of conduct violations related to a mass termination of workers that accompanied the closure of Gildan’s El Progreso facility in Honduras. Central to the agreement was Gildan’s commitment to providing priority hiring opportunities to former El Progreso workers.

The investigation found, in short, that Gildan did not comply with the agreement during a key early stage of implementation, though Gildan’s compliance with the accord improved in later stages and was accompanied by other constructive measures. Generally speaking, we must report that the agreement did not lead to substantial remediation of the wrongful terminations that the agreement was motivated to address. As discussed below, given the difficulties posed by the mass termination and the time that had elapsed between the closure and the agreement’s adoption, it is unlikely that the harm done to the workers involved would have been fully remediated even if the agreement had been fully adhered to.

Just like it is too late for their unionized workers in Canada. Despite the Conservatives corporate tax breaks and the Bloc's moaning and groaning about the harm this does to Quebec's textile industry.

Gildan is a capitalist success story. For Quebec, for Canada, the corporation Head Quarters and finances stay here while it ships production abroad. It is not a success for workers in North America, Mexico or at it's new sweat shops abroad.

While the Conservatives brag about closing loopholes for corporations using offshore tax havens, they have done nothing about Gildan offshoring production.

Also See:

Boom Times For Canadian Capitalism

Haiti Atrocities


Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , ,
, , , ,

Repeated Cover-ups by Mounted Police

Spells; R C M P.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer pro cop law and order government. Now of course they point the finger across the chamber and blame the Liberals. And for good reason. But let's first look at he who waves the fickle finger of blame.

The PM met with the Chief of Defense and the Commissioner of the RCMP as his first act. The government has been on a law and order kick since the election.

When the O'Connor Commission report was issued in the fall it was followed by questions raised by the Auditor General about the RCMP pension and health benefits privatization.

Then Commissioner
Zaccardelli told the Public Security Minister, Stockwell Day, all was well with the RCMP.

Except it wasn't and
Zaccardelli had to step down, falling on his sword for the RCMP and in effect the government of the day. The question is not what Zacredelli did or did not tell the Minister. The question is why the Minister accepted anything Zacradelli said at face value. Why did he not dig deeper.

And here is the flaw in the Harper government, it has made such a fetish of law and order and defending the police it aided and abetted the RCMP cover ups. That in itself is a serious enough charge that cannot be conveniently white washed with a Government appointed Investigator. A full public inquiry is required. Nothing less will do.

It is not just a case of a single cover up around pension and benefits and the privatization of those services. It is the rest of the O'Connor recommendations on the RCMP, it is the blunders that are being covered up by all levels of the bureaucracy around the public inquiry into the Air India disaster.

The current cover up is part of the culture of corruption that is the RCMP hierarchy. Which I have documented here before.

The parliamentarians in the NDP all parties praise the rank and file but the problem is the RCMP itself, as an institution and as a para-military force of the State.

What the Conservatives have inherited is the old Liberal government culture of we are entitled to our entitlements and don't ask don't tell.

How can we fault that small coitire at the top of the RCMP and their private sector pals who are accused of looting the rank and file pension funds and health benefits for retirees, because the company hired overcharged for work not done.

Auditor General's report

Among the report's findings:

  • The NCPC (National Compensation Policy Centre) Director established consulting contracts valued at over $20 million, overriding controls to avoid competitions for the contracts. These contracts resulted in some work of questionable value being performed, and excessive fees for administrative services of little or no value being charged to the pension plan.

  • About $3.4 million in improper expenses were charged to the plan

  • "An estimated $1.3 million was charged to the pension and insurance plans to pay for commissions or products that provided little or no value, and for excessive payments to employees' friends and family members hired as temporary staff." About $270,000 of that had been repaid.

  • The RCMP persuaded the insurance carrier to subcontract work to a second firm to administer insurance plans on behalf of the RCMP. As a result, there was no competition for a $4.6 million contract.

Where have we heard of this before? Does the Gomery Commission ring a bell? Word for word we have charges that brought down the Liberal government of Paul Martin being echoed about the RCMP. And the RCMP were engaging in these activities for the past four years, during the public airing of the Ad Scam affair.

Taking a cue from their political masters, they too engaged in scams and demanding their entitlements for their efforts. And then they did what they always do, using the ideology of closing ranks to protect their venerable institution they covered up.

And the Martin Government probably had an inkling of what was going on, but the" don't ask don't tell" ideology meant two paranoid institutions had suspicions about each other but didn't dare confront it.

So paranoid were the upper echelon of the RCMP they pulled dirty tricks during the last election to lead the Liberals off the scent, and ensure their pals in the law and order Conservatives got elected. Teaching the Liberals a lesson about the power of the RCMP. It is a stunt they pulled before, and like then it's timing was perfect to through a spanner in the works of the last election.

Having a new government especially one that kowtows to cops, the RCMP establishment must have felt secure that their skeletons would remain hidden. After all every action by the Gnu Conservative Government has followed the old dictum don't tell even if we ask.

Unfortunately even with a pro-cop government the O'Connor report on the Arar case proved the RCMP's undoing. There we learned that once again just like in the bad old days of the Seventies, the RCMP had become a paranoid institution spying on Canadians, and then covering it up. Worse yet the culture of corruption at the RCMP was such that in order to cover up they close ranks and promote wrong doers.

So Stockwell Day and Harper stood in the house in the fall declaring for all to hear how much they supported the RCMP and its Commissioner. Three days later he resigned. Today they claim they fired him, according to a blustering Geoff Norquay on Mike Duffy Live on CTV yesterday.

Once again we hear Stockwell Day tell the house that when the auditor general revealed last November high crimes and misdemeanors in the RCMP right up to its Commissioner over the pension issue, Day asked the RCMP if they had fixed the problem, and was assured they had. And all was right with the world. This is of course like the famous question; when did you stop beating your wife.

Of course the RCMP fixed the problem, they buried it, covered it up, hid it under a bushel. The Minister of Public Safety didn't ask the right question, what reforms were put in place. But satisfied with being misled by the RCMP, Day and the rest of the Conservatives could happily chant at the opposition; "We Support the Police you don't." It should be a bumper sticker.

And while the Conservatives like to claim they have accepted all of O'Connors recommendations, like the Gomery Commission, they have accepted only the first report. They have left the second report recommendations in abeyance.

These are far more critical towards a full revamping of the RCMP.

And that is what is needed, not another single investigation into a single matter of wrong doing. Rather the RCMP needs to be overhauled.

It has been caught with not just once, nor twice, nor three times, but four times in as many years. And as years go nothing has really changed in the RCMP since the seventies and the MacDonald Commission, whose recommendations were not followed up on except to separate CSIS from the RCMP.

It's rank and file needs the right to unionize, something that has arisen because of the military hierarchy and its culture of corruption exposed this week when they were caught plundering the rank and files pension fund.

Worse yet the RCMP has failed to conduct full and fair investigations into internal charges of sexual and racial discrimination and harassment.

More than 100 RCMP officers across Canada were found guilty of misconduct during the last two years for offences ranging from having sex in a cop car and surfing Internet porn on the job to drunk driving, sexual assault and abusing prisoners.

They have failed to conduct proper investigation into pubic complaints, missing all important time lines that allowed criminal activities to be dismissed on a technicality.
RCMP scandals and setbacks since 2006

The RCMP have broken the law and used the ambiguity of that law to cover up its illegal actions as in the Arar and other anti-terrorism cases and when it attempted to misdirect the public that Arar was a terrorist according to its own self perpetuated leaks. Leaks which when were exposed for what they were led to a reporter being arrested and jailed for leaking the leaks.

A complete house cleaning is needed in the RCMP. A non RCMP commissioner needs to be appointed, the rank and rile should have the right to unionize, the definition of their purpose and structure should be changed from one of being a para-military force to being a federal police force with civilian oversight.

The reality is that this of course is the furthest thing from the Conservatives plan. They need police support for their law and order policies. They need to show they unreservedly support the police. Period.

This then is their weakness. Progressives and the left need to emphasize that the culture of corruption is inherent in the capitalist state in the 21 st Century, and that spreads its web of deceit through out all institutions including the police. That it is not simply a Liberal Party phenomena but is the actual systemic dysfunction of the state, then the Conservatives can be hoisted on their own petard for failing to do a wholesale house cleaning of the RCMP. Because they are not prepared to do that.

Not while chanting "We Support The Police", "You Are Soft On Terror/Law and Order." Their actions in appointing a limited non-public independent inquiry is simply an attempt to cover up for the RCMP. By failing to provide a full public hearing or Royal Commission on RCMP restructuring, they are in effect saying the problem is NOT systemic but a matter of a single issue; the pension fund controversy.

The Conservative government assurance that this limited government sponsored investigation will be made public is less than reassuring. We remember the last promise of government about making a report public, that was over the Lebanon War last summer. And we are all still waiting to see that report.


This is not some mythological NWMP under Sam Steele who dealt fairly with Sitting Bull and the native peoples of the North West, forgotten in this glorious mythos is the fact that it was a question of maintaining Canadian control of the West against American incursions. This is a paramilitary police force modeled on the British Imperial Army. Who had all the authoritarian and imperial biases of the British in Canada.

On January 1900, Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal) offered to raise and equip a mounted regiment at his own expense to serve in the South African or "Boer" War. His Regiment was recruited largely from cowboys and frontiersmen of Western Canada and members of the North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.). Command of "Strathcona's Horse" was given to the now famous Superintendent of the N.W.M.P., Sir Sam B. Steele. Lord Strathcona's Horse arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on April 10, 1900 and quickly became essential to the British Army.

The idea of the NWMP/RCMP was given birth during the Riel Rebellion in North West Canada as a force the Canadian State wanted to create to deal with Canada's original Separatists in Western Canada. Their purpose like their British Imperial Army counterparts was to pacify the Wests indigenous population and to open the way for colonialism and the railway.

In the same year that Canada acquired control of the Territories, a British army officer, Lieutenant William Butler, was commissioned by the government to survey the conditions prevailing on the new frontier. In his report, submitted in 1871, Butler stated: "The institutions of Law and Order, as understood in civilized communities, are wholly unknown." To establish order, he recommended the formation of a well-equipped military force of from 100 to 150 men, with one-third to be mounted. In 1872, a second Western reconnaissance was made by Colonel P. Robertson-Ross, the Commanding Officer of the Canadian Militia. His report confirmed Butler's assessment of the situation, concluding that "a large military force was not required, but that the presence of a certain force would be found to be indispensable for the security of the country, to prevent bloodshed and preserve order." He recommended the establishment of a regiment of 500 mounted rifles, and suggested that their uniforms include red coats.

Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, had intended to organize a mounted police force in 1869, the year that the North-West Territories were originally scheduled to be transferred to Canadian sovereignty. At that time, he conceived of a force of mounted riflemen which "should not be expressly Military but should be styled Police, and have the military bearing of the Irish Constabulary." In addition, the force was to be a "mixed one of pure white and British and French half-breeds," after the British model of counteracting religious and racial strife in colonial India. However, the Red River Rebellion forced the postponement of Macdonald's plans and the transfer of the North-West to Canadian control

It is the RCMP who during the 1919 General Strike shot unarmed workers. Who did it again in 1931 this time shooting workers and their families on strike in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Who spied on the labour movement in Canada, and on the radical left, who burnt barns and sabotaged the nationalist movement in Quebec.

While doing nothing about organized crime instead allowing gangsters to become corporate bigwigs like Sam Bronfman. Nor did they ever investigate or disrupt the fascist movement in Canada or the radical right which the Reform Party and Harpers Conservatives have ties too.

After all that would conflict with their motto;
Maintiens le droit.

The RCMP are a stale dated para-military force that should have been discarded back at the turn of last century. Without a frontier to patrol they became Canada's Stazi, Stat-Poliz by any other name. Their purpose was not crime fighting, but like the FBI in the U.S. they became a security force to deal with perceived enemies of the State.

This unorthodox but creative plan suited all parties until the First World War disrupted it. The war brought new duties for the Mounted Police in the form of security and intelligence operations directed at enemy aliens, radical labour unions, and, particularly after the Bolshevik takeover in Russia, left-wing political groups. By the end of the war the RNWMP were a major component in Canada's rather ramshackle intelligence organisation with responsibility for all of the country west of Ontario.

Meanwhile the atmosphere of moral fervour generated by the war helped prohibitionists convince all the provinces except Quebec to ban the sale of liquor. Between 1873 and 1891 prohibition had existed in the North West Territories and the experience of attempting to enforce abstinence had been difficult for the police. By the time the experiment ended, most senior officers were convinced that it had been both futile and destructive of trust between the force and the public. The announcement that the two provinces would outlaw the sale of liquor led the RNWMP to exercise the option both parties had to cancel contracts for provincial policing in Alberta and Saskatchewan on a year's notice. The official reason given was manpower shortages. This abandonment of their criminal policing roots left the future of the Mounted Police very much in question. The Federal cabinet debated integrating the police into the army, maintaining it as a small frontier force in the far north or disbanding it. In the end it was the great wave of labour unrest that swept the country in 1919, with strikes in most cities, that saved the Mounties. The most serious of the strikes took place in Winnipeg, where the city police themselves joined the strikers. The RNWMP were called in, and, after a major riot in which several people were killed by police bullets, order was restored.

The perceived necessity to have a national police force that could be called upon to back up local authority when order was threatened brought about a new government plan for the police. In 1919 the RNWMP merged with another, much smaller, force, the Dominion Police, to form the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The primary mandate of the new organisation was to keep watch on potentially subversive labour and political organisations and to act as a mobile reserve in case local police forces could not cope. As it happened the Winnipeg general strike was the high point of radical protest. By the early 1920s the conservative craft unions affiliated to the American Federation of Labor had regained their dominance and had decisively defeated the militants of the One Big Union. Through the 1920s the RCMP dutifully kept track of unions, the Communist Party of Canada and a large number of ephemeral socialist parties. The only political resistance to the new national police force came, not surprisingly, from the tiny Labour contingent in Canada's House of Commons, led by J.S. Woodsworth.

The discovery of a large spy ring operating out of the Soviet embassy in Ottawa after the defection of a Russian code clerk named Igor Gouzenko in 1945 ensured that providing security checks for government employees would be the biggest growth area for the RCMP in the decades after the Second WorldWar. In 1945 the Intelligence Section was a small adjunct of the Criminal Investigation Branch, consisting of two inspectors and a handful of men. In 1947 it separated from the CIB and was reorganised as Special Branch. Continued growth led to its renaming as the Directorate of Security and Intelligence in 1956. By the 1970s the once again renamed Security Service employed well over a thousand policemen. The combination of rapid growth, Cold War tensions and increased Quebec separatism created unprecedented difficulties for the RGMP. There were a number of embarrassing and highly publicised incidents in which it was clear that the Security Service lacked the sophistication to distinguish between subversion and legitimate dissent.

After the murder of Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte and the kidnapping of British Trade Commissioner James Gross by Quebec separatists in 1970, the Security Service stepped up its efforts in that province. The most damaging Mountie blunder came in 1972 when several Mounties broke into the offices of a separatist news agency and made off with the organisation's files. No search warrants had been obtained and the operation was apparently not authorised by senior police officials. The Security Service, which had historically maintained close ties with the FBI, seems to have taken its cue from current practices in the United States. This was the era of Watergate: the golden age of `dirty tricks' and `deniability'. The Quebec misadventures in the 1970s led to a major investigation, the McDonald Commission, which demanded a civilian agency to handle such sensitive security work. In 1984 the RGMP finally relinquished its operations in this area to the new Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.

Articles referenced;


New Math

Why The Tories Want Tory Judges

More Foreign Affairs Incompetency

Statist Anti-Terrorism Act

Paranoia and the Security State

Fascists were CSIS Front


Canada’s Long History of Criminalizing Dissent

Also See:








Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , ,

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 30, 2007

Spot the Difference

Joseph Lavoie and Adrian MacNair have a joint blog project; Popular Doctrine is a project in political discourse; a place where a socialist and a conservative debate the day's issues in search of a healthy discussion.

The right side is generally represented by Joseph Lavoie, a 23-year old conservative activist and university student from Toronto.

The Left is generally represented by Adrian MacNair, a father of a 5 year old wonderkid from Vancouver, BC.

Except if you read this article you have to wonder which one is the socialist.

In fact Adrian's argument sounds strikingly like the Canadian Taxpayers Federations Revisionist History.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Farmers Reject Phony Plebiscite

That should be the headline in the papers today, but it isn't. The headlines are full of government spin on their failed barley plebiscite.

A total of 62 per cent of just over 29,000 farmers who cast eligible ballots said they wanted the board out of the barley market altogether, or for the board to participate in a competitive market. Another 38 per cent said they wanted to maintain the status quo.

Farmers overwhelmingly rejected Chuck Strahl's plebiscite as it was not sanctioned by the Wheat Board. About 86,000 ballots were mailed out based on crop insurance data.

Now at least in some reports those ballots were as high as 89,000. That means if 29,000 farmers voted even with my terrible reputation at math that works out to one third voted not even fifty percent as the government claims.

Strahl said KPMG, the firm that handled the plebiscite for the government, made every effort to ensure only eligible votes were counted. Voter turnout was just over 50 per cent. Strahl said many eligible voters said they didn't bother to vote because they only sell their barley to feed lots, not the wheat board.

So if two thirds of prairie farmers don't vote that means they support the status quo.

The real number that supports the Conservatives opposition to the existence of the farmer owned producer coop; the Canadian Wheat Board they can only muster up amongst their Reform Party base in Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, 15.2% of the total who voted. Not even the total who could vote.

Contrary to Strahl's math; where he combines pro-choice with anti-Wheat Board,and proudly announces that his side won with 62%, Wayne Easterly the Agriculture critic for the Liberals was justified in pointing out that the numbers could equally show support for the Wheat Board 87.2%. Since those that answered question number two wanted both choice and the Wheat Board.

As Neil Waugh points out in the Edmonton Sun;

Another 15.2% said get rid of the board altogether when it came to the barley business. Still, it was enough to carry the day.

In the four western provinces, where the CWB monopoly rules, the overall result saw only 37.8% back the so-called "single desk," while pro choice hit 49.4%.

But when the Saskatchewan numbers were broken out - where 15,327 farmers voted - 45% chose to extend the monopoly.

In Manitoba, where it appeared a boycott was in the works, 50.6% of only 3,703 barley producer cast ballots saying leave it be.

In B.C., the vote was 49.4% pro choice. But only 156 ballots were in the boxes.

Interesting that Waugh fails to note the Alberta number of votes, in his article.
Well in all the rest of the provinces, total votes other than Alberta; 19,186 That leaves Alberta with less than 10,000 votes and Waugh fails to break them down.

They were 9,881 total votes. It was in Alberta that the plebiscite got 15% support for getting rid of the Wheat Board, the same number as the national result. In fact all of Strahl's numbers are for Alberta.

They are not the reality of the prairie position on the Wheat Board.

Farmer support for Option 1 the Wheat Board was;

Manitoba 50.6%
Saskatchewan; 45.1%
B.C.; 42%

Farmer support for Option 2 market to Wheat Board or on my own;
Manitoba; 34.5%
Saskatchewan; 42.1%
B.C.; 49%

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan the majority of farmers support the Wheat Board, their farmer owned producer cooperative.

Only in B.C. is it the reverse, but the government in its desperation looks at percentages instead of core numbers. B.C. only had 156 votes compared to Manitoba and Saskatchewan's 19,0000 votes.

That's because the Conservatives included B.C. making this not a prairie farm vote but a Western one.

Just as Alberta's vote skews the numbers.

For Option 1: 21.4%
For Option 2: 63.4%

Prairie farmers face their battle to maintain their producer cooperative not with Ottawa, but with Alberta and its party in Ottawa.

The government asked three questions. Period. And there was no clear winner. The government has to resort to arithmetricks.

The reality is that 57,000-60,000 farmers abstained from voting, a boycott was called, and they did not vote in the governments fixed plebiscite. That is twice as many as voted, and a clear rejection of Strahl and the Alberta Reform Party Farm lobby.


Wheat Board

ind blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , , ,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ECHELON Spies on Greenpeace

The super secret joint US/UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand military intelligence monitoring operation known as ECHELON, which I wrote about previously, is used to spy on commercial transactions as well as on Greenpeace and other Canadian based environmentalists!

This is from an official EU background report on ECHELON published in 2001.

A note CSE stands for
Communications Security Establishment and is the intelligence and encryption section of the Department of Defense.

5.7.3. Mike Frost (former Canadian secret service officer)
Mike Frost worked for more than 20 years for the CSE, the Canadian secret service1. The
listening post in Ottawa was just one part of a worldwide network of spy stations.2 In an
interview with CBS, he said that all over the world, every day, telephone conversations, emails
and faxes are monitored by ECHELON, a secret government surveillance network.3
This also included civilian communications. In an interview he gave for an Australian TV
channel, he said by way of example that the CSE actually had entered the name and telephone
number of a woman in a database of possible terrorists because she had used an ambiguous
phrase in a harmless telephone conversation with a friend. When searching through
intercepted communications, the computer had found the keyword and reproduced the
conversation. The analyst was unsure and therefore recorded her personal details.4
The intelligence services of the ECHELON community also helped each other by spying on
each other's behalf so that at least local intelligence services could not be accused of anything.
For instance, GCHQ asked the CSE to spy on two British government ministers when Prime
Minister Thatcher wanted it to tell her if they were on her side.5

5.7.4. Fred Stock (former Canadian secret service employee)
Fred Stock says he was expelled from CSE, the Canadian secret service, in 1993 because he
had criticised the new emphasis on economic intelligence and civil targets. The
communications intercepted contained information on trade with other countries, including
negotiations on NAFTA, Chinese purchases of cereals and French arms sales. Stock says the
service also routinely received communications concerning environmental protests by
Greenpeace vessels on the high seas.6

1 Communication Security Establishment, subordinate to the Canadian Ministry of Defense, engaged in SIGINT
2 NBC TV interview '60 Minutes', 27.2.2000;
3 Rötzer, Die NSA geht wegen ECHELON an die Öffentlichkeit;
4 NBC TV interview '60 Minutes', 27.2.2000;
5 Interview on the Australian Channel 9 on 23..3.1999;
6 Bronskill, Canada a key snooper in huge spy network, Ottawa Citizen, 24.10.2000,

In fact the startling conclusion they come to is that ECHELON is NOT used for military spying, security or anti-terrorism but is solely interested in intercepting private and commercial communications, in other words corporate secrets and corporate spying.

13.2. Conclusions
The existence of a global system for intercepting private and commercial communications
(the ECHELON interception system)

That a system for intercepting communications exists, operating by means of cooperation
proportionate to their capabilities among the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New
Zealand, is no longer in doubt. It has been established that this system is operated on the basis
of the UKUSA Agreement. That its name is in fact ECHELON seems likely in view of the
evidence, but this is a relatively minor detail. What is important is that its purpose is to
intercept private and commercial communications, and not military communications.

Which really should not surprise anyone, since President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared fifty years ago that America was run by the Military Industrial Complex,in this historic epoch of state capitalism.

All intelligence is corporate intelligence in search of advantages for a national capital against its competitors. War is military expansion of that capital in search of markets and resources.

This then is the real Anglo-American Imperium protecting its capital interests against the rest of the world. Three of the allies went to war in Iraq, and the other two abetted it.

H/T to Skillluminati Research a fun little conspiracy theory blog in the tradition of Robert Anton Wilson.

And a further H/T to Dream's End another fun little conspiracy theory blog

All courtesy of UFO Review and their news aggregator.

Which I would not have found it they had not picked up
The Origin of American Conspiracy Theories



Statist Anti-Terrorism Act

Paranoia and the Security State

State Security Is A Secure State

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Origin of American Conspiracy Theories

Americans are fascinated with conspiracy theories, in fact they generate the majority of them. Along with religious revivalism, conspiracy theories are second nature in the body politic of America.

Here is a fascinating thesis that shows that the conspiracy theory meme began in America with its founding during the revolutionary war. And since then conspiracy theory has dominated American politics.

Be it in the religious revivalism of the 1800's, the anti-Masonry movement, or the later Know Nothings, through out the history of American politics conspiracy theories have abounded, and have had major political impact. They are as American as apple pie.

This is a PhD. Thesis and is a full length book available for download as a PDF.

Conspiracy Theory and the Society of the Cincinnati, 1783-1790

At the same time, I became aware of a tradition of radical political dissent in
modern America, an abundance of conspiracy theories that also extended into popular culture. It was the time of Timothy McVeigh and the militia movement, of Waco, Ruby Ridge, Pat Robertson, and the X-Files. Suddenly conspiratorial explanations for current and historical events seemed everywhere. From Richard Hofstadter’s writings I realized that conspiracy theories occurred in episodic waves throughout American history, and from Bernard Bailyn and Gordon Wood I learned that the founding fathers believed in a secret English plot against American liberty. I decided to investigate, but soon became aware that other scholars were already writing on conspiracy theories in post-World War II America. Clearly, I had to look off the beaten path for a case study in American political “paranoia.”

It was then that I remembered a somewhat obscure document from my studies
on the Connecticut ratification debates. Just before the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, Dr. Benjamin Gale, an eccentric physician from Killingworth, wrote a long letter to Erasmus Wolcott.

In this diatribe, Gale complained about the machinations of the Society of the Cincinnati, a veterans organization of officers of the Continental Army. Gale charged that all the talk about the weakness of the Articles of Confederation was merely a smokescreen for the treasonous ambition of the Cincinnati. According to Gale, this society planned to establish a military dictatorship or monarchy and assume the mantle of hereditary nobility for themselves. Gale was obviously an Antifederalist, one who not only attacked the movement for a new Constitution as unnecessary and dangerous, but who felt it was the result of a deliberate conspiracy against American freedom.

I had found my topic. Apparently, a conspiracy theory existed in the 1780s, the
very period when the political culture and system of the United States was taking
shape, and it accused the leaders of the Continental Army of anti-republican subversion.

Small wonder then that such discourses of radical suspicion surfaced periodically
over the course of American history. If some American revolutionaries felt that even George Washington and Henry Knox could be traitors, we should not be surprised that so many Americans question the report of the Warren commission or distrust the federal government and the United Nations. The Deepest Piece of Cunning is a journey to the origins of conspiracy theories in the United States. It should shed some light on the political controversies of the 1780s as well as the persistence of conspiracy theories in American political culture.


In May 1783, the officers of the Continental Army of the United States of America
organized themselves into the Society of the Cincinnati. Soon after, the veterans
organization became the focus of an elaborate conspiracy theory which falsely accused the officers of trying to establish a hereditary nobility and subvert the young republic.

Over the course of the mid-1780s, prominent revolutionary politicans such as John Adams and Elbridge Gerry joined in the outcry. The conspiracy theory became a major political controversy, and even impeded efforts to reform the Articles of Confederation.

However, despite their frantic tone and lack of a factual basis, the accusations were not merely a fringe phenomenon created by political crackpots. Instead, the conspiracy theory was deeply embedded in American political culture. When the political and economic problems of the 1780s threatened to disrupt the republican experiment, many revolutionaries looked for a threat that might explain the crisis. They found that threat in the Cincinnati, whose military background, federal organization, and aristocratic trappings made them suspect.


1666 The Creation Of The World

Once More On the Fourth

Conspiracy Theory or Ruling Class Studies


Conspiracy Theory


Ruling Class


Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,

National Minimum Wage

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has issued a report calling for a National Minimum Wage of $10 an hour indexed to inflation.

Something the NDP has been calling for in Parliament as well as for Ontario.

Ironically last week on Don Newman's Politics show on CBC Newsworld Ontario Finance Minister Sorbara told Don that the reason the Liberal government was unwilling to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour immediately was because he had a report telling him it would mean the loss of 90,000 to 100,000 jobs. Now what report was that?

Back in January Sorbara claimed a $10 an hour minimum wage would lead to a loss of 66,000 jobs. So which is it? Why none of the above of course, it's all speculation.

The reality is that workers in Canada have not had a real increase in our wages since the 1980's. Yet our productivity has increased. Which is why there have been increasing job losses in manufacturing replaced with low paying jobs in the service industry.

MINDELLE JACOBS, writes in the Edmonton Sun today;

Wondering why your money doesn't go as far as it used to? There's a good reason: The median wage has only inched up a mere 1% over the past couple of decades.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) offered up that startling figure, along with an assortment of other disheartening financial tidbits yesterday, in a study calling for a $10 minimum wage.

Unemployment may be about the lowest in 30 years but that masks the hand-to-mouth reality faced by a substantial minority of Canadians.

Take that 1% increase in the median wage over the past two decades. We keep hearing about stagnant wages. Well, the median wage (in 2001 dollars) barely moved between 1981 and 2004 -- from $15.16 to $15.33.

Lots of Canadians are working but huge numbers of them are living from pay cheque to pay cheque. Sure, only 4% of Canadians earn minimum wage and most of them are teens. But there's a whole other block of workers who are making between the current minimum wage and the CCPA's proposed $10 minimum.

As has been pointed out in previous studies, 19% of workers earn less than $10 an hour. While we weren't looking, Canada became a country where almost one in five workers is barely getting by. The lucky have permanent full-time jobs, pensions, sick leave and a host of extended medical benefits. Many others can only dream of such a lifestyle. So how do you like globalization so far?


Minimum Wage

Living Wage


Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , ,
, , ,

Criminal Capitalism: OLGC

Report reveals fraud in Ont. lottery corporation

So what is the punishment a CEO gets for a culture of criminal fraud?

Ten years, twenty?


CEO hit the $720Gs severance jackpot


Corporate Crime

White Collar Crime

Criminal Capitalism

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , ,

Pain In The Butt

Anna Nicole Smith died because of a pain in the butt.

Seriously that is what the Medical Examiner reported yesterday. And her autopsy revealed, that after complaining of a sore butt after yet another injection of growth hormone, she came down with a fever while flying from the Bahamas to Florida.

So there was Dr. Perper on Monday, standing on two concrete cinderblocks behind a podium in the parking lot, the microphones in front of him covered with logos of Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, CNN and Fox News.

His words were broadcast live around the globe as he ticked off the laundry list of prescription drugs found in Smith's system, including methadone, Valium, Clonopin, Ativan and chloral hydrate, a sleeping medicine that played a role in the suicide of her idol, Marilyn Monroe.

He spoke of Smith's "injections into the buttocks and thighs" of human growth hormone, vitamin B12 and immunoglobulins.

"When many drugs act together, they may often have unpredictable and dangerous effects," Perper said.

The reason was that the latest injection had burst an abscess in her butt leading to bacteriological infection of her blood.

Vickie Lynn Marshall February 9, 2007 10:36 a.m. 07-0223

Dissection of the buttocks reveals diffuse subcutaneous scarring and fat necrosis of the adipose tissue bilaterally with three subcutaneous cystic structures containing light yellow, clear, thick liquid within the left buttock.

The right buttock contains similar cysts with similar content, with

at least one cyst wall being calcified.

The left and right buttocks have foci of recent, hemorrhagic tracts within the subcutaneous
adipose tissue and the superficial and deep muscular layers extending from the skin surface.

There is a deep-seated 3 x 2.5 x 2 centimeter abscess within the musculature of the left buttock with a creamy, yellow-green pus on sectioning. A recent, hemorrhagic, needle tract extends into the abscess wall from the skin surface.

This was followed by opportunistic flu symptoms, leading to her psychiatrist to dosing her with antibiotics and and her own self medication with various prescription cocktails.

The latter leading to her death by accidental overdose.

But like the media coverage of her death, it was all about a pain in the butt.

ind blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, ,