Thursday, July 24, 2014

Prime Minister Said he Created a Million Jobs ... Oh! You Thought I Meant Our Prime Minister

I try to keep up with politics everywhere so follow political junkies from several different countries.

What I've discovered, in this mostly conservative sphere, is that the top news stories, no matter where they originate, are eerily similar. In fact, I often have to rely on the media source to assign it to a nation.

One headline that's popping up everywhere, contains the phrase "million jobs".

In the last Ontario election, Conservative candidate Tim Hudak, gave the term a life of its own, when he presented his Million Jobs plan, worked out on an abacus that was missing a few beads.

I think we can all agree that Tim Hudak is a few beads short of an abacus, but he did give us a new slogan "Hudak Math", that replaces things like "defies logic", "utterly senseless" and "you stupid moron".

One headline, while a bit older, comes from the UK Guardian, asking if British Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition 'really created one million private sector jobs?' Clearly something they had boasted of.

But when the numbers were crunched, and the analysis scrutinized, the million jobs was only true if you used the Hudakian theory of mathematics. You just make stuff up.

Stephen Harper uses the theory, when he boasts that his government has created a million jobs. Remove the Hudakian component from the computation, and the results are staggeringly different, as graphs from Press Progress reveal.

We are actually down 638,810 jobs. Harper must have thrown a bit of Rob Ford Haze into the mix, a dangerous and potentially lethal combination.

Another Conservative, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, believes that Cameron and Harper are amateurs. Why stop at one million, when you can promise to double that? After all, it doesn't have to be true. You just have to sell it with conviction.

Before being elected, under the headline: Fact checker: Can Tony Abbott create two million jobs in a decade? we learn that there is a whole lot of wishful thinking wrapped up in conservative bluster, but it seems to have worked.

However, doesn't his election promise sound a lot like that of Hudak's? Freaky.

Of course American Conservatives can't let any of them show up their nonsense. Under an L.A Times headline in response to Obama's employment strategy, they promised to create five million jobs. No time frame though for their Million Jobs Plan.

We know that Tim Hudak visited members of the U.S. Tea Party for insight, so would it be a stretch to imagine that Cameron, Abbot and Harper sat down for a spot of the brew?

Although, actually, I see them all in a cave, sacrificing a liberal on an altar, while dancing around a pot of steaming crude and rusty nails, chanting:

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Give us a slogan, the best selection
To fool them all in the next election.

I think they need a new potion, because this one is just making us ill.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Will Harper's Red Scare Become the Pink Blush of Embarrassment?

"The development of mutually advantageous and constructive relations with Israel in the political, economic, humanitarian and other fields was and will remain the priority of Russia's foreign policy." -- President Vladimir Putin

Journalist Jered Feldschreiber wrote recently of the friendly relationship between Russia and Israel, despite the fact that Putin was selling arms to nations that were hostile toward The Jewish state.

In fact, Israel has maintained neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and was absent for the March 27, UN vote, that called on members not to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Cautious of the new Ukranian government, that includes members of the anti-Semitic Svoboda Party, Feldschreiber states:
Deep-seated anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine, has marred Jewish history. Neo-Nazi elements have seeped into contemporary Ukrainian politics, a notion largely ignored by Western media. The rise of the Svoboda Party, for instance, founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine, and seen as a populist proponent of nationalism and anti-communism, remains a dangerous presence.
Israel had more friends in the government of Viktor Yushchenko, whose Communications Director, Yevgeny Chervonenko, held an Israeli passport and was vice president of the All-Ukraine Jewish Congress. In 2004, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Chervonenko warned of "anti-Semites" in the opposition coalition, and spoke of how he had accosted one of them, Vassily Chervoni, in a washroom in the Parliament building. "I put his head in the sink and told him, 'One more bad word about Israel and I'll really mess you up'".

Besides the fact that there are over one million Russians living in Israel, the mutual friendship goes beyond that.
In late June 2012, President Putin attended a special ceremony of the Victory Monument in the Israeli town of Netanya. The Victory Monument is a commemoration to the more than half a million Jews who fought for the Red Army in World War II. Netanyahu proposed the idea to President Putin, and it soon became a joint initiative between the two countries.
Despite his posturing with Russia, and often maniacal support of Israel, Stephen Harper cannot erase their shared history and mutual respect.

Now Putin is hoping to broker a peace settlement between Russia and Palestine. The cease fire proposal, rejected by HAMAS, gave no consideration to justifiable grievances. Will the Russian proposal work to satisfy both sides? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Netanyahu first has to rein in members of his own Party, like Moshe Feiglin, who is calling for nothing short of genocide.

"After the IDF completes the ‘softening’ of the targets with its firepower, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations,” ... Following the reconquest, Israel’s army “will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrongdoing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave... "

“Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever,” Feiglin concludes. “Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel.”
When Canada's Independant Jewish Voices protested Feiglin's visit to Canada, Jason Kenney suggested that it would be an attack on free speech.

Canadian citizens should be afforded the same right to free speech, when we suggest that Israel needs to stop the senseless killing and horrific mistreatment of the Palestinians, without being branded as anti-Semites.

And the Canadian government should be seeking a peaceful solution to this conflict, if for no other reason than to not allow Russia the opportunity to challenge Harper's statement that they are a threat to world peace.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Will Mike Duffy's Chickens Come Home to Roost in Harper's Backyard?

“Because my family has no money, I’ve decided to become a prostitute. That’s right, I’m going into politics.
” ― Jarod Kintz, The Merits of Marthaism, and How Being Named Susan Can Benefit You

During the final days of the 2008 Canadian federal election campaign, the Liberals were starting to climb in the polls. Stephen Harper had not done well in the debates and Climate Change was increasing as an election issue.

According to Nik Nanos
The fallout from the French and English debates shows the previous pre-debate 10 point Conservative margin is now four percentage points. Tracking shows incremental movement in favour of the Liberals and Stephane Dion. Dion registered his highest score as the person Canadians think would make the best Prime Minister.
Stephen Harper was in trouble and he knew it. Attacks on the carbon tax were losing traction, and his "bubble campaign" was about to burst.

Enter CTV and Mike Duffy. (Insert drum roll)

In the now infamous interview with Stephane Dion, Steve Murphy, an anchor with CTV Atlantic, presented a question that many linguists have called convoluted at best, and intentionally crafted at worst. I believe the latter to be true.

The French speaking Dion, who is also hearing impaired, struggled to make sense of Murphy's verbal diarrhea, asking several times to start again. Murphy assured the Liberal leader, that he would be afforded the same courtesy as many others who needed restarts, and that the "out takes" would not be broadcast. He lied.

Tripping over themselves for headlines, CTV included them in their nightly news.

Mike Duffy used the incident as a panel topic on his program, mocking Mr. Dion and steering the conversation away from his defense, and toward simply sticking it to him. Days later Stephen Harper won his second minority.

However, the stunt pulled by Duffy, Murphy and CTV had a more dire affect. Not more dire than being stuck with Harper for another term, but Canadian democracy was struck another serious blow. The Liberal votes did not go to the Conservatives, or even the NDP. Instead those voters simply decided to stay home on election night.

The players, Mike Duffy and Steve Murphy, were charged by the CRTC with ethics violations. Yet Murphy was given a rare one-on-one interview with Stephen Harper, and Duffy a Senate seat, along with CTV board member, Pamela Wallin.

Early Warning Signs

Many in the media were aware of how badly Mike Duffy wanted a Senate seat. A once respected journalist, he had become little more than a gossip monger, willing to prostitute himself for the chance to sit in the coveted Chamber. They even nicknamed him The Senator.

So his manipulation of the "news" to worm his way into the good graces of Stephen Harper, came as no surprise to them. They would finally be afforded an opportunity to expose the scam, when just a few months later, Duffy's expense claims would be brought into question.

NDP MP Peter Stoffer, drew attention to the fact that Duffy had racked up $44,000 in travel costs in just three months. Odd, given that much of his travel was for speaking engagements on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, for which he charged a fee.

Duffy was livid and called Stoffer a "faker", prompting Don Martin to write a piece, Mike Duffy Jumps the Shark.
It takes considerable effort to become a complete embarrassment. Congratulations Senator Mike Duffy, you've finally done it.

With his wild rant on a CBC national politics show this week, the television icon has accomplished the difficult feat of offending all those in his parliamentary orbit -- his former journalistic occupation, the Conservative party, senators, MPs and even the prime minister who appointed him ....

...Now, Duffy calling someone a faker equals pot calling the kettle black. This is the same Duffy who, as host of his own politics show, presented himself for decades as journalistically neutral, then accepted Harper's $130,000 appointment ten months ago and now devotes his energies to shamelessly shilling for the Conservatives.

That's the definition of fakery for you, particularly given he was appointed after airing that infamous CTV interview with then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion, a bumbling performance credited by some as the turning point of the 2008 election campaign for Stephen Harper.
Duffy's on air political views were already becoming increasingly right-wing, perhaps recognizing that hitching his wagon to the Conservative Movement would be better for his career.

In 2004, when there was concern over a coalition attempt by Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe, that would have made Harper Prime Minister then, Duffy was one of the few to hail this as a good thing.
On the day in October 2004 when Mr. Martin’s government delivered its throne speech, CTV journalist Mike Duffy — later appointed by Mr. Harper as a Conservative senator — reported that some Conservatives saw the Liberals’ troubles as a chance to make Mr. Harper prime minister. “It is possible that you could change prime minister without having an election,” Mr. Duffy said on CTV on Oct. 5, 2004. “If you could put Stephen Harper — and this is some of the thinking of Conservatives — in 24 Sussex Drive, even for five or six months without an election, it would make the Conservative option much more palatable to Canadians because they’d see that they don’t have horns and a tail.”
Unfortunately, it would turn out that he did in fact have horns and tail. In 2004, Canadians were concerned with his threats to Public Healthcare and our Charter of Rights. Touché.

But Duffy was now true blue, hitting the circuit with neocon diatribe against anything remotely liberal, even warning journalism students not to read Noam Chomsky, for fear they might be inflicted with critical thinking. The horror!

When They Fall They Fall Hard

Now Mike Duffy is facing 31 criminal charges of fraud and breach of trust, despite enormous efforts by the PMO and Conservative Party, to sweep this under the rug; including money to pay for his defense.

What were they afraid of? Surely not just the scandal. They were already facing enough scandals to sink their ship.

However, well aware of Duffy's penchant for gossip and need to stay in the limelight, they were probably afraid of what he already knew and what he would share, and indeed, he has promised to do just that.

There is already overwhelming evidence that Harper knew of the Duffy payoff, just as he knew of the Cadman payoff, and Porter's criminal record. A continuation of controlling everything but being accountable for nothing.

Besides dreaming of a Senate seat, however, Duffy also had designs of one day being awarded the Order of Canada. Says former drinking buddy, Linden MacIntyre:
“Mike developed ‘host’s disease,’ ... That's where you start to believe all the flattery, believe you’re bigger than the story. The affliction gets worse, the head swells up and anything that threatens your celebrity becomes a problem.”
Duffy now has a very big problem, and instead of ending his career in glory, he will be remembered as a "faker", a fraud and a cheat.

But he will not be alone.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

When Did the Government of Canada Become the Government of Alykan Velshi?

When British Member of Parliament George Galloway was barred from entering Canada in March of 2009, because he worked for a relief agency that provided food and medication to Gaza, it was discovered that Conservative staffer, Alykan Velshi, was behind the move.

Galloway was painted as a terrorist, and threatened to sue the Canadian government. In a related case, brought about by an anti-war group, Federal Court judge Richard Mosley would state: "one might hope that a ministerial aide would exercise greater restraint in purporting to speak on behalf of the government ... "

In the same year that Velshi barred Galloway, he was instrumental in revoking the funding of the Arab Canadian Foundation, erroneously stating that they promoted hatred toward the Jewish people. Said Velshi: "Groups that promote hatred and anti-Semitism don't deserve a single red cent of taxpayer support. End of story."

What Velshi no doubt saw as anti-Semitism, was an article that ACF director Mohamed Boudjenane had published in the Toronto Star, where he suggested that HAMAS was gaining ground because of Israeli aggression, challenging the notion that Israel was only aggressive because of the strength of HAMAS.

There was nothing anti-Semitic in the piece.

Anti-Semitism is real and its results can be horrifying, but broadening it's scope to include any criticism of Israel, diminishes its true nature. If we criticize the policies of an African nation, it doesn't mean we are bigots. But the issue here is why does a political staffer have this much power?

In the latest controversy over the Harper government's targeting of charitable organizations that oppose their policies, it has come to light that Velshi is also apparently behind that.

In a column by Carol Goar, she discusses a paper written by Garett Kirkby on the subject.
Here are Kirkby’s conclusions: “I find that an advocacy chill is affecting charitable organizations that advocate on public policy issues though it varies in intensity and extent from organization to organization. I find that there is evidence in the data that the government is attempting, with some successes, to narrow society’s important policy conversations. Finally I find the data suggest that the current federal government is corrupting Canada’s democratic processes by treating as political enemies these civil-society organizations whose contributions to public policy conversations differ from government priorities.”

There is one development Kirkby noted but did not highlight. Many of the “political activity” audits launched by CRA since 2012 were triggered by complaints from Ethical Oil, a lobby group with strong ties to the Harper government and the petroleum sector.
And who is the founder of Ethical Oil? Yep. Alykan Velshi.

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

It is well known that Alykan Velshi is a member of the American Enterprise Institute, where George Bush drew many members of his staff. However, Canadians should be more concerned with his ties to a Neoconservative think-tank; the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Right Web, a group exposing war mongers who influence American foreign policy, says of FDD:
Founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks with the goal of pushing an aggressive "war on terror" in the Middle East and a hawkish "pro-Israel" line in Washington, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a neoconservative think tank that claims to defend democratic countries from "radical Islamism." It is the successor organization of a group called EMET, an education initiative founded earlier in 2001 as part of an effort to gain support for Israel's response to the Palestinian Intifada and to diminish public outcry against Israeli actions.
Think Progress adds:
FDD’s position consistently fell in line with the Bush administration’s militant “war on terror” and policies espoused by Israel’s right wing Likud party. In recent years, FDD has become one of the premiere DC organizations promoting more aggressive actions against Iran.
And after revealing their donors:
... Most of the major donors are active philanthropists to “pro-Israel” causes both in the U.S. and internationally. With the disclosure of its donor rolls, it becomes increasingly apparent that FDD’s advocacy of U.S. military intervention in the Middle East, its hawkish stance against Iran, and its defense of right-wing Israeli policy is consistent with its donors’ interests in “pro-Israel” advocacy.

While FDD has a 10-year history of engaging in alarmist rhetoric and fear mongering — e.g. in 2002 FDD aired a series of ads conflating Osama bin Laden, Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein — and helped promote the “Bush doctrine” which led to the invasion of Iraq ...
The FDD saw an increase in support after Barack Obama was elected president, including a ten million dollar boost from Home Depot founder, Bernard Marcus, a critic of the Obama Administration, blasting it as “amateurs in the White House” and “amateurs surrounded by amateurs."

They claim to be non-partisan, but looking at its roster of directors, advisors and supporters, it's clear that they are simply another vehicle for the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement.

Founding Members include Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich and James Woolsey; and Clifford D. May, former Republican National Committee Director of Communications, is on the Board. Advisors include Gary Bauer, Bill Kristol, Mark Foley, Richard Perle, Andrew C. McCarthy and Eric Cantor.

Journalist John Walbridge went on a junket to Israel sponsored by the FDD, and reveals just how one-sided the group and its Israeli allies are.
There is a striking unwillingness to see things from the point of view of the other side or to recognize that the other side has legitimate interests that need to be taken into account. Apart from not asking the most obvious questions (“Why do people hate us so much that they are willing to blow themselves up to kill random Israelis on the street?”), I didn’t hear anyone talking about what Iran’s interests might be, what Hezbollah’s interests were, or how they should be taken into account.
They believe that Iran wants to take over the entire Middle East and that while "God was going to back up their property titles", in the meantime they are simply doing God's work for him.

The FDD applauds Stephen Harper's stand against Iran, and unflagging support of Israel's right wing.

They have also provided the Canadian government with an FDD representative, Sheryl Saperia, who like George Bush's former mouthpiece Ari Flescher, claims ties to the Canadian government. She is everywhere, consulting on immigration and foreign policy.

What's also interesting is FDD's attack on OXFAM, because of their criticism of Israeli occupation and human right violations. Alykan Velshi is simply following their mandate. Attack the NGOs and charitable organizations that stand in their way.

We believe that Stephen Harper's devotion to Israel is simply to garner the Jewish vote at home, but I think it's more than that. Aligning himself with such a well connected Conservative group, feeds his narcissism, and with growing criticism at home, he needs their praise to fuel his ego.

When he claims that Islamicism is the biggest threat to world peace, he may or may not believe it, but he knows his credibility with the American neons just went up a notch.

The biggest threat to peace comes from those who believe that Islamicism poses the biggest threat and sell the notion of preemptive strikes "just in case".

The Americans did not rid the Oval Office of George Bush and his ideologues. They just shipped them north, where they have taken up residency in the PMO.

Alykan Velshi is only an employee. No one elected him to any office, and in fact, if the Canadian people had a say in his hiring, we would probably reject his application given his strong ties to the U.S. Radical elite.

He does not get to say who can visit Canada, who can emigrate to Canada, and what charities we can support.

If Jason Kenney, John Baird or Stephen Harper can't function without him, they need to resign.

Velshi's Ethical Oil is only ethical in the Orwellian sense, and it's time he took a hike. Stephen Harper can destroy this country all by himself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Happens When a Tyrant Holds the Purse Strings and a Harridan Carries the Purse

During the Haiti earthquake relief mission, columnist Carol Goar wrote of a disturbing practice by the Harper government, when it came to charitable organizations.

We had already seen funding slashed to KAIROS, a Religious organization that advocated for the poor and disenfranchised, because they spoke out against Israeli aggression in Palestine.

But they were not the only group in Stephen Harper's crosshairs, brought to light during the Haiti crisis. Said Goar:
A shadow hangs over Canada's exemplary earthquake relief mission in Haiti. Several of the charities working heroically to deliver food, clean water, health care and shelter to the victims of the disaster fear their federal funding will be cut.

As long as they stick to pure humanitarian assistance, they'll be fine. But the moment they take a public stand – criticizing the government's decision to shift its foreign aid focus from Africa to Latin America, or its inaction on climate change, or its militant pro-Israel stance or its refusal to include contraceptives in its new campaign to improve maternal health – they risk losing access to taxpayers' dollars.
Several organizations had already received warnings.

Recently, Jason Kenney attacked OXFAM because of their opposition to illegal Israeli settlements.
One of Canada’s largest charities has found itself on the defensive after being singled out by a federal Conservative cabinet minister over its opposition to Israeli settlements. The apparent flap between Employment Minister Jason Kenneyand international development group Oxfam Canada is noteworthy because the Conservative government has previously cut funding to other charities that spoke out against the settlements.
Enter Kerry-Lynn Findlay

Bev Oda, the shrew behind the KAIROS defunding, may be out of politics, after scandals finally caught up with her, but not to worry. A new she-devil has taken her place: Kerry-Lynn Findlay, who is already outpacing Oda for controversy, opportunism, and pure malice.

Her riding of Delta-Richmond East has been a Reform Party stronghold since 1993, so Findlay only had to win the nomination to be assured of her position. Delta-Richmond is being split as part of the Conservative gerrymandering, and the new riding will no doubt go the Party, so we can expect another Neocon clone to join her in the House.

Although, Findlay herself may be vulnerable. Protestors opposed to the (un)Fair Elections Act, delivered a petition with 80,000 signatures to her office.

There was also a scathing letter in the Richmond News, drawing attention to a "ridiculously childish" notice she was sending to her constituents, in an obvious attempt to identify supporters; part of their taxpayer funded "patriotism" contest.

Findlay was not in her office to accept the petition. She was too busy sticking pins in the dolls of Canadian charity leaders, vowing to outdo Kenney and Oda, in her sweep of those who oppose her tyrannical leader and his policies.

No one is safe.

On her list of subversive activities: animal welfare, poverty, education, anti-Israeli sentiment, environment, healthcare, and human rights.

So don't even think of advocating for the poor. You will probably end up on a list and risk a tax audit.

These autocratic manoeuvres are being met with the expected outrage and concern.
The current crop of political-activity audits has prompted a sharp rebuke from the Canadian Council of Churches, which in April wrote directly to the prime minister about the "chilling effect of threats to revoke the charitable status of organizations that draw attention to policies that harm our world."

Similarly, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada wrote to a United Nations group about what it calls the "shrinking space for dissent in Canada."
We do need more women in politics, but Findlay and many of her female colleagues, are not so much women in politics as soft touches who just happen to be in politics. What a fine example she sets.

Besides, how did she qualify to run Revenue Canada anyway? In 2001 she declared bankruptcy, leaving her creditors on the hook for $382,000. Maybe she needs a little audit.

Or maybe the Fraser Institute that shills for tobacco companies, foreign and domestic. Of course, it's more likely that the Canadian Cancer Society would be scrutinized for opposing the Fraser Institute.

Remind me again why Canadians still believe they live in a democracy. If this isn't fascism, than nothing is.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

If a Tsunami Was Coming Our Government Would Warn us Right?

Last month the Australian Broadcasting Corporation released the findings of the International Monetary Fund's study of house prices in developed nations.

They were ranked by affordability based on income. The worst three countries were Belgium, Canada and Australia.
Australia is specifically mentioned by the IMF's deputy managing director Min Zhu - along with Belgium, Canada, Norway and Sweden - as one of the countries where house prices are out of whack with where history suggests they should be.
When countries are ranked on how they are moving in the right direction, Canada is 26th.

We all know what the housing bubble did to the United States, so we should take heed:
The IMF says boom-bust house price patterns have preceded more than two-thirds of the 50 most recent systemic banking crises. And when you have a banking crisis in a modern, debt-fuelled capitalist economy it is almost impossible to escape a recession.
The ABC suggests that Australia faired better during the 2008 economic crisis because none of their banks failed, primarily because of a government bailout. In Canada our banks also survived because of a 114 billion dollar bailout; one that our government kept hidden, to make themselves look good.

The U.S. also engaged in massive bailouts, but faired poorly because of sub-prime mortgages. This brings us to another Canadian government "secret"; the fact they have also infected our once sound mortgage industry with these high risk transactions.

From a special Globe and Mail investigation, How high-risk mortgages crept north.
New mortgage borrowers signed up for an estimated $56-billion of risky 40-year mortgages, more than half of the total new mortgages approved by banks, trust companies and other lenders during that time, according to banking and insurance sources. Those sources estimated that 10 per cent of the mortgages, worth about $10-billion, were taken out with no money down.

The mushrooming of a Canadian version of subprime mortgages has gone largely unnoticed. The Conservative government finally banned the practice last summer, after repeated warnings from frustrated senior officials and bankers that the country's financial system was being exposed to far too much risk as the housing market weakened.
Canadians continue to lead in household debt and while house prices continue to rise, and borrowing on equity escalates, we could be heading toward a financial tsunami.

Stephen Harper, with the help of a complacent media, and millions of dollars in tax-payer funded ads; has painted himself as a strong economic steward, but it's all smoke and mirrors.

Instead of bogus feel good ads and cautious reports, we need to have a serious conversation about the true state of our economy.

With rumours of an early election, are the Conservatives hoping to get it over with before the you know what hits the fan? Remember during the 2008 campaign, Harper claimed that there would be no economic crisis, despite knowing full well that one was imminent.

In fact, he even went so far as to suggest that there would only be a recession if the Liberals won the election.

How much longer can he mislead Canadians? I guess he's hoping at least as long as another election campaign.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Peter MacKay Vows to Eradicate the Penguin Population

When Captain Robert Scott visited the Antartic in the early 1900s, his crew was shocked when they witnessed the "depraved" sexual conduct of the penguin population.

Scott's medical officer, George Murray Levick, called them "hooligans", and wrote a paper describing in detail, necrophilia, coercion and "non pro-creation sex". The times were not right to distribute his findings among the general population, but a few were printed for scientific research.

Since then further studies have been conducted, revealing something else about the sex lives of these flightless birds.

Sometimes they paid for it.

Penguins need stones to build their nests, and since there is often a shortage of stones, female Adélie Penguins will trade sex for them. Shocking!

Conservative Penguins

There has been a lot of media attention recently over Peter MacKay's Bill 36, legislation that will allow the selling of sex, but criminalize its purchase.

Apparently MacKay has fashioned the bill after the Nordic or Swedish model of dealing with the sex trade. However, what makes MacKay bat s**t crazy, is that he believes he will single handedly end prostitution in Canada.

Even if the Swedish model was working in Sweden, which it isn't, (it has only driven the trade underground), the motivation behind the manoeuvre differs greatly between the two countries.

In Sweden, it was feminist driven, seeing prostitution as the objectification of women. That is certainly true. However, there is a difference between being forced into the trade and choosing it as a career.

Terri-Jean Bedford, the Bedford in Bedford Versus Canada, that resulted in the Supreme Court decision that rendered our out-dated laws unconstitutional, wrote a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking her not to participate in MacKay's nonsense until the Supreme Court can examine it.

The fact is that implementing the law is already proving to be a challenge in Sweden, as police are reluctant to make arrests and the courts reluctant to prosecute. I don't think it will survive.

In Canada, the Conservative government is motivated by misguided morality, emphasizing the stigma placed on any sex outside of the marriage. Unfortunately, Vic Toews didn't get the memo.

Neither did their provincial counterpart in Alberta, Mike Allen, who was arrested in a sting operation, while on government business in Minnesota. Maybe it's okay for Conservatives if you don't actually pay for it yourself, but can get taxpayers to foot the bill.

Conservative MP Robert Goguen, did get the memo, and while on the committee discussing Bill 36, he told the victim of a gang rape, “What I’m saying is you weren’t freely expressing yourself by being raped by three men … If you were rescued, you wouldn’t feel like your rights were violated? You don’t get it. OK.”

The only thing missing was the high fives from his colleagues.

Clearly this government is not concerned with the objectification of women, but simply putting an end to a practice that they find morally repugnant, evidenced by MacKay calling the Mike Allens of the country "perverts".

There are many reasons why men, and even women, seek professional sex services. Few because they are in need of perversion. But as columnist Michael Den Tandt recently suggested, it's none of the government's business.

A better model for this country to have adopted, is that of New Zealand, that has legalized prostitution. It has taken women off the streets and empowered them to set the rules, protected by law enforcement, rather than having to hide from it.

The Conservative Free Market Sex Trade

There are many ways to sell sex and many ways to prostitute yourself.

There is no denying that advertising has become more suggestive, as companies are increasingly pushing the boundaries of sexual content. One area that has seen a move in that direction, is the marketing of children's clothing.

The Canadian Counselling and Physiotherapy Association calls it the Hypersexualization of Tweens and Teens. There's no doubt that this is intentional, and the results troubling to say the least.
Pre-teen clothing market is worth an estimated 150 billion dollars a year. A survey of 15 major pre-teen clothing sites found that 1/3 of apparel was considered ‘sexualized’.

A recent survey showed that 22% of teenage girls report anal sex in the last 60 days.
 It’s estimated that 70-80% of teenage boys watch pornography.
 Another survey showed that 1/3 admit to sending a naked or near naked picture to their ‘crush’

One clothing company actually came out with a line of thong underwear for children with suggestive phrases imprinted on them.

So why are conservatives not attacking the corporate sector's 50 billion dollar child sex trade and unlimited profit from nearly nude sexual advertising?

It is essential to provide an out for those entrapped in the exploitation of sex, but that has to include tackling the root causes of that entrapment, including drug addiction, poverty and abuse.

We can't confuse that with those who willingly have made the sex trade their profession. They are Canadian citizens who need to be treated as such, not vilified when they seek protection from violent acts.

I watched the Doczone documentary Selling Sex, and one sex trade worker suggested that she felt less exploited doing what she was doing, than she did when she was working at a minimum wage job.

This is not a Religious argument, given that apparently God was Ok with it. Concubines, who were usually slaves, were part of the Christian culture. King Solomon had 300 of them.

A nest can be built in many ways, and if a few stones have to be traded in the process, when it's her choice, it's none of our business.

Why should only corporations be allowed to make sex a commodity?