"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Harper-Cons "Whopper" of a Fish Story disguised as a Crime Study

The "study", compiled by former Harper aid and member of Mike Harris"s government, Scott Newark concluding "crime "is on the rise in Canada, is an erroneous bit of electioneering that satisfies the Harper "get tough on crime" agenda and is a weak attempt at justifying the multi billion dollar idealogical move by the government. 

Academics and experts in the field were not consulted and are scathing in their criticisms of the study and the Neo-Con's partisan spin on the facts. 

Scott Newark, if you'll recall was recently on network television touting this report. He is also the same Scott Newark who used to be the president of the Canadian Police Association and attacked our Charter of Rights and Freedoms by claiming it protected only "murderers, pedophiles and judges". And in the same breath, he also maligns the judiciary by putting them in league with murderers and pedophiles. 

 So once again, there appears to be no depth that the Harper-Cons won't sink to in order to justify their socially backward agenda. It's not like they haven't lied to Canadians or to parliament before, but this one is a real "whopper" of a fish story disguised as evidence based fact. When in truth, the only "evidence" in this study is of the unethical boldness of the Harper-Con misinformation network. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Harper, and MacKay, WAR CRIMINALS!

Remember in 2007, when opposition parties challenged the Harper Government about "rumors" of torture when Afghan detainees were handed over to Afghan authorities by Canadian forces? Harper himself, lashed out in question period  at the opposition for being more concerned about Taliban prisoners then Canadian lives. He branded the opposition as "Un-Canadian".-... And from some where, an applause light went on and Harper received a standing "O" from his surrounding caucus. The only thing missing from this "all Canadian" moment was the playing of the national anthem and scores of lily-white school aged children waving little Canadian flags and singing "alleluia".

Late in December of 2009, Harper prorogued Parliament for the second year in a row. Only instead of avoiding a vote of non-confidence, it was to avoid accountability over the detainee issue. 

Canadians have yet to be informed of the contents of the un-redacted copies of official documents pertaining to the detainee concerns. If members of the Opposition have viewed these documents and chosen to keep quiet, then they are also complicit in the torture of Afghan detainees. But the opposition has sat on it's hands around this issue. Either that, or  have chosen to let the Harper Government entirely off the hook. So now the chickens have come home to roost and Harper is being investigated for war crimes.

So not only are Harper and MacKay, as the heads of state who had full knowledge of torture of Afghan detainees, guilty of war crimes, but any parliamentarian of any party who had knowledge of abuse and chose to keep the acts secret, is also guilty of complicity and should be dismissed from government as a bare minimum.

But Harper and MacKay are not only guilty of keeping the truth secret, they are guilty of blocking any and all investigation into the affair. So they are guilty not just by way of omission, (failing to reveal the truth), but of "commission" as well (actively blocking the truth from coming to light).  Those pricks knew that people were being brutally tortured, and they encouraged it by allowing it to continue. They are more concerned with obtaining a majority government and covering their respective butts than of the well being of some "dirty Muslims" in some far off land. My what good Christians they both are. They could both learn a thing or two about "humanity" from the Egyptians.

I wonder if being guilty of war crimes is a "hanging" offense? Harper is in favor of Capitol punishment and will likely advocate for it's return at some point in the future, likely after the next election. I wonder if Harper would change his opinion of the death penalty if he felt a rope tighten around his neck.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Election Fatigue?

Election Fatigue! You've heard the phrase or a variation thereof. As I understand it, this is supposed to mean "voter burnout" or basically that the citizens of the country are tired of elections and that one more right now will plunge the entire electorate into the depths of depression and despair.

Mind you, putting a little "x" on a little piece of paper with a bunch of names printed on it is pretty tough work, but other than that, I'm just not sure I get the concept. 

It's been three years since the last general election in Canada. There has been a slough of municipal elections and bi-elections around the country. And Provincial elections are looming just around the corner.  But this is part of the ebb and flow of democracy in our country. Elections are the heart and soul of our heart and soul. They are our chance, as citizens of this wonderful country, to have a say as to how our land is to be governed. It's the time for our collective voices to be heard.

Elections, especially of the Federal variety, are exciting times. There are signs everywhere, the closer we get to d-day, the more signs seem to literally "grow" on every lawn and street corner. It's colourful, celebratory, almost festive. Like all the flags that were flown by the citizenry during the World Cup of Football.Everyone had a team. It's very tribal.

Then there are the TV ads. Granted, many of them are becoming more and more distasteful. But they are representative of the parties that have the temerity to air them. They should be a consideration when involved in the arduous task of placing that little "x" in the circle on election day. Would you, could you, should you, vote for anyone that would air such down and dirty commercials, completely devoid of any real content?

And then there's the Canadian media. During a Federal election, the air waves, print media and Internet are filled with election stories. Scribes and pundits all tripping over each other to get the best angle on the latest turn of events.

Personally, I find all of that pretty exciting. But then again, I may have just admitted to being a political nerd. But when I look at it all objectively, I'm just not sure how all of that can contribute to "voter burn-out". Why would signs, tasteless ads and news stories put our collective society on the edge of emotional collapse?

Several Journalists and pollsters have hypothesized that there is a "lack of engagement" on the part of our current political leaders. I would agree that there is no Pierre Trudeau or Barrack Obama to dazzle us with endless charm and charisma  and to instill into our consciousness the hope for better things to come. All that kind of stuff can make elections almost seem "sexy".

But such is not the case with the current Canadian political landscape.  The "charisma" factor is very noticeably lacking in most of our leaders. We're like the hockey team that lacks any real stars, we are functioning and scoring points with a team full of role players. But a team like that can make for some pretty exciting hockey. So is the game then about the Stars? Or is the game about the Game?

For anyone who has paid attention, there has been enough chicanery and intrigue going on in Ottawa to make for a pretty fair detective novel. And there is a battle being waged in Parliament that pits our traditional  Canadian values against the scourge of  Neo-Con ideology who's main tenants threaten to plunge us back into the dark ages. And this is boring??

So I would suggest that the concept of "Election fatigue" is a red-herring. It is a concept created by politicians to skillfully if not duplicitouslly  tell Canadians they don't want an election right now. Like the hypnotist telling us all "you are getting sleepy, very very sleepy". It is a matter of suggestion and the pollsters and media are unwitting dupes to this hypnotic ploy. The truth is more likely that our political parties, like most Canadians pay far too much attention to the endless number of polls that are being churned out on an almost daily basis now, all of which are "accurate to with in three percentage points  19 times out of 20". Truth be told, they would be better off charting their election hopes according to the stars. It makes about as much sense as the "election fatigue" theory.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Once Again, a Symbol of Hope from Egypt

Christian Youth Guarding Muslims Praying. TahrirSquare, Cairo Egypt

This is simply amazing. Pay attention world. Out of the flames and death comes images of hope and brotherhood.  And once again, the West should be humbled by this symbol of solidarity from this most ancient of countries. Once again, Egypt is showing us civilized folk what it means to care for your fellow man. Listen up Glen Beck! Listen up Sarah Palin! Listen up Tea Party! Listen up NRA! Listen up Steven Harper!