Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Police Now Admit That They Were Told NOT TO STOP BLACK BLOC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Canada Day you son of a bitch. You GD Son of a Bitch.

I don't often get moved to swear but after watching this video I am so angry. I had seen this horrible assault from a distance but witnessing it up close I am sick to my stomach. These people were unarmed but treated like caged animals. You can see that they are completely surrounded and not allowed to leave.

Some get on their cell phones and call 911 only to be charged and beaten.





I am especially angry after reading that the police surveillance tapes had the Black Bloc in plain view but were told hands off. Stephen "the most vile creature on earth" Harper, needed to try to justify his one billion dollar price tag, so he let the vandals run amok while he had cops beat up those who oppose his fascist regime.

And inside, while lounging around "fake lake", reporters were treated to a split screen. One side with Harper's fat head, and the other the madness that the police, were trained to stop, but instead were told to stand down and attack peaceful protesters.

Warmington: Cops had hands 'cuffed

Who made the decision for police to stand down despite the fact the city was under attack? And why? Was it a police decision or political? These should be the cornerstone questions of an external review surrounding the chaos of the G20. After all, police officers were trained to stop the Black Bloc anarchists, were appropriately equipped and massively manned.

As downtown Toronto witnessed burning police cars and a small group of thugs on a rampage, a police source tells me the only thing that stopped the officers from
doing that was an order telling them not to. They tell me they could have rounded up all, or most of them, in no time. I have had several front line police officers tell me they were told not to get involved. But even before that decision was made, says one insider, there was mass confusion and indecision.

"The orders went from engage to, no, don't engage to engage to, no, don't engage,' " said an officer. "It was an absolute shambles. Everyone was talking over each other on the radio. Nobody seemed to know what to do. It was just a mess."

If you are not as mad as I am right now, then you are not Canadian. I'm sorry. But this is horrible.

Canadians Must Demand a Public Inquiry Into G20 Abuse

Canada Day is tomorrow and I'm finding little reason to celebrate. Jason Kenney spoiled it last year with his ridiculous beer bottles, and Stephen Harper this year with planned and sanctioned police brutality.

But the targets of this brutality was not those breaking the law, but peaceful protesters.

There is a group that has been started by Chris White, of CAPP fame. That young man is amazing. They are demanding a full public inquiry

There is also a national day of protest planned for July 17, so if there's one in your area be sure to attend. The more I watch the videos of abuse, the madder I get.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has prepared “A Breach of the Peace,” report on police activities during the G20 summit in Toronto. Amoung other things it requests:

Full independent inquiry into the actions of the police during the G20, in particular:

a.) The dispersal of protesters at the designated demonstration site in Queen’s Park on Saturday June 26.

b.) The detention and mass arrest on the Esplanade on the night of Saturday June 26.

c.) The arrests and police actions outside the Eastern Ave. detention centre on the morning of Sunday, June 27.

d.) The prolonged detention and mass arrest of individuals at Queen St. W. and Spadina Ave. on the evening of Sunday, June 27.

e.) The conditions of detention at the Eastern Ave. detention centre.

And the media have also launched a complaint with the police watchdog, but he is a Harper plant, so don't expect much there. We also learned that the police had no special powers as they suggested. Only word from HIM.

The CCLA is also seeking compensation for damages.

We thought that when he prorogued Parliament - twice - it was an abuse of power, but this defies anything ever seen in a democratic country. A very sad time for this country.

A Little Redemption For the Weekend From Hell

It's very easy for some in the media to refer to the demonstrators as anarchists, but most of the people on the streets last weekend were our neighbours, our co-workers, our family and our friends.

And they were marching for things that matter to Canadians. Things like health care, maternal health, education and the planet. They also marched for an end to poverty, homelessness and war.
Last Saturday, more than 30,000 people much higher than media estimates — from across Ontario joined the People First rally in Toronto during the G20 Summit. Our message was clear: we told world leaders — including our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to put the needs of human beings and the environment ahead of all other considerations as they deliberated over the weekend.

The rally organizers, including the Ontario Federation of Labour, worked diligently to ensure that our democratic right to lawful assembly would be respected, and that citizens could participate in a safe and peaceful event.
They may have braved the elements like heat and rain, but little did they realize that the biggest threat came from those hired by Stephen Harper to keep them safe. Those they co-operated with. But amid all the horror stories and disturbing videos, come some positive stories.

This group was wonderful. They made a statement about the damage of oil in a theatrical presentation, that you can't help but smile at.
The action, which was organized by the At the Table Coalition, was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on spending for the G8 and G20 summits when foreign aid has been frozen and Canada’s fair share on climate adaptation has yet to be paid.
But there is another story that everyone should read. It tells one couple's journey through hell, and while it clearly shows some of the worst of humanity, it also speaks to some of the best.

It starts out:
I’m not a young person (over 50) and I had no intention of protesting the G20 until I heard about the police trying to intimidate people into not exercising their democratic rights by obtaining sound cannons, rubber bullets and the new “law” that gave them the right of search and seizure within five metres of the security fence. I felt it was my responsibility to protect my rights and the rights of all Canadians by not being intimidated by the police threats and going out on the streets to demonstrate. I went to Queen’s Park on Saturday to join the labour-organized march with my friend M33 (almost 60).
This couple saw vandals being left completely alone by the police and took several pictures of various events as they unfolded. But they didn't expect what would happen as a result:

M33 had on a black t-shirt (we weren’t aware of the dress code imposed by the police) with Russian writing on it. One of the officers asked what it said. M33 said he didn’t know, he doesn’t speak Russian. The officer’s response was laughable. He said, “Are you sure?” as if it would be a crime if he did speak Russian. I thought the Cold War was over a decade ago.

After they let us go with many have a nice days, we continued west on Queen and got as far as the Sheraton Centre when a police SUV pulled up and the police aggressively blocked our way. We were so stunned, we didn’t realize this was for us. About 10 officers surrounded us, they pushed M33 against the wall *(remember he is 60), formed a barricade around him of about eight officers, separating us with the “nice cop” talking to me and another standing behind me.

M33 was having a much worse time than me. Some of what was said and done to him:

- Just give me a fucking reason to shoot you (this was said many times
and quietly)
- Put your hands at your sides or I’ll break your hands.
- Get your face against the wall.
- Give me that backpack before I cut if off.
- When are you going back to Montreal?
- Do you remember me from yesterday?
- So what if he has ID – ID can be faked.
- Get out of our city.
- The contents of his backpack was taken out and thrown on the ground
- His iPhone was given to one officer and camera to another and the order was to “go through these and see what he’s got”.- And a constant stream of profanity-laced verbal abuse.

The couple live in Toronto.

After being released (their IPod smashed and photos deleted) they were finally able to get a cab and find proof that not all human beings are like these officers who take an oath to protect.
There was no transit and I was cold, so I tried to get a cab. A cab pulled up, took one look at my drenched rat look and pulled away. We found a second cab and I got in and immediately asked the driver to turn off the A/C. He turned on the heat – bless him! We talked to him and he told us he was from Afghanistan. He was very disillusioned that this could happen here – a police state. He had left Afghanistan to get away from situations like this ... I didn’t have enough money on me to pay the cab. When we got home, I said I would go up and get money but the cab driver said he didn’t want our money – we were heroes. He said he had five babies or he would have been out there himself. I gave him all the money I had - $5 and change for a $10+ fare. We shook hands with him and he thanked us and then got home to watch the news.
Somehow it doesn't seem right, does it? It took a man from Afghanistan, a country we are destroying, to teach us of what it should mean to be Canadian.
And the aftermath. I’m looking over my shoulder when I go out. Anyone in a uniform makes me nervous. I’m hesitant to leave my apartment alone. I live at Queen and Jarvis, not the most upscale neighbourhood of the city and I have never been afraid. Today and for a long time to come, I am afraid and I cannot contact the police because it is them I fear. My opinion of the police has deteriorated as it has for many people that were on the streets this weekend. They and I know the truth.
But Stephen Harper, the man who created this mess, simply washed his hands of it and went off to see the Queen.

Jim Flaherty Hires Card Shuffler to Gamble Away Our Children's Future

Part of the economic meltdown in the United States was caused by AIG and the government was forced to rescue them or risk total collapse.

"The U.S. government seized control of American International Group Inc. -- one of the world's biggest insurers -- in an $85 billion deal that signaled the intensity of its concerns about the danger a collapse could pose to the financial system."

$85 billion ... we should be so lucky.

Because while Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper were blustering around suggesting that something like that couldn't happen here, what had really taken place was this:
In the first half of this year, as the subprime mortgage crisis was exploding in the United States, a contagion of U.S.-style lending practices quietly crossed the border and infected Canada's previously prudent mortgage regime ... 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.

The new rules encouraged the entry of such U.S. players as American International Group – the world's largest insurance company – and Triad Guarantee Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C. Former Triad chief executive officer Mark
Tonnesen, who spearheaded his company's aborted push into Canada, said the proliferation of high-risk mortgages could have been mitigated if Ottawa had been more watchful. “There was a lack of regulation around the expansion of increased risk,” he said.
During the 2008 campaign Harper said:
In response to a pessimistic Merrill Lynch report on Canada's housing market, for example, Harper said "We don't have the same situation here with the mortgages as was the case in the U.S. with the subprime mortgages there. So, therefore, I think that our market is in a much stronger position."
But of course he was ... how do I put this delicately? LYING THROUGH HIS FRIGGIN' TEETH!!!!
The thing is, the Harper government is responsible for pushing the envelope on deregulation both domestically and internationally despite cautionary events in the U.S. clearly indicating what could go wrong ... In his first budget as Harper's finance minister, Jim Flaherty invited "new players" -- that is, U.S financial corporations -- into Canada's mortgage insurance market and doubled the amount of government money available to back up private insurers from $100 billion to $200 billion. Flaherty's 2006 budget states that "These changes will result in greater choice and innovation in the market for mortgage insurance, benefiting consumers and promoting home ownership."

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has observed that "financial innovation" are two words that should henceforth strike terror into the hearts of investors. With the entrance of new private mortgage insurers into Canada after the Flaherty budget, Canada saw a dramatic weakening in the standards for mortgage insurance.
In fact it ended up being $125 billion dollars, making the Canadian Taxpayer the largest lender of sub-prime mortgages in the world. OH well. At least we're first at something.

So with Canada's finances on the brink, Jimmy and Steve must have learned their lesson right? And when an opportunity came along like the Robin Hood tax that took the price of a cup of coffee from the worlds' richest, they'd jump at it right? Nope.

But at least they are no longer going to gamble, right?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. You ain't seen nothing yet. Jimmy and Steve are getting us into derivatives. Yep.
Even the world's most savvy stock-market giants (e.g., Warren E. Buffett) have warned over the past decade that derivatives are the fiscal equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) - potentially lethal. And the consequences of such an explosion would make the recent global financial and economic crisis seem like penny ante. But generously lubricated lobbyists for the unrestricted, unsupervised derivatives markets tell congressional committees and government regulators to butt out.
Oh, but it gets better. Remember these guys?

US banks are braced for a massive sell-off of their shares this week, as the fallout of the alleged fraud at industry blue blood Goldman Sachs continues to spook the New York Stock Exchange.

Although the grand old institution of the US banking industry has been embroiled in a number of controversies – bonus rows and claims by the chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, that Goldman does "God's work", and angering critics by skilfully making money out of the start of the financial crisis in 2007 – few expected that the $45bn-revenue group would ever be accused of a scandal of this magnitude.

Well. Jimmy boy believing that any mess the Americans can get themselves into he can make an even bigger mess, has just hired a Goldman Sachs guy to handle our .... guess what? You got it. OUR DERIVATIVES!!!!!

Just bend over and kiss it goodbye folks.

Harper Regime To Remove Human Elements from Canadian Citizens

In attempt to remove any guilt from the Harper Regime, Canadians will now be thought of as mere numbers, and reduced to mindless drones.

Terrified that he might find a fragment of compassion within his government, Harper (aka Guy Giorno) is purging all personal data from government records so that he won't have to deal with who will be hurt the most from his new policies, now that he's abandoned a minuscule tax on the extremely wealthy, and throwing it clearly on our shoulders.

The PMO has not confirmed that these numbers will be tattooed on our foreheads, though I heard a rumour that Big Jake's Tattoo Parlour received four million dollars in stimulus money.

So cut those bangs, he's coming through.
Insiders who spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity decry a new world order within the agency since the Conservatives came to power in 2006 and legendary chief statistician Ivan Fellegi retired. Employees were told a little over a year ago that there would be less emphasis on analysis. A highly praised survey on immigrants to Canada, for example, has been axed. Other analytical jobs, in areas such as business and trade statistics, and the aging population, have been eliminated.

Some employees say the agency will lose its status as the best statistical office in the world.One Statistics Canada source said the move could have a negative impact on the dozens of provincial governments, community groups and other organizations that depend on the data for developing policy. “It will be a disaster. A lot of policy across Canada has been based on that long form,” the source said.

Canadians Must Now Get Permission From U.S. Before Flying to Mexico

For anyone who is still in denial that Harper's 'Buy America, Sell Canada' deal signed when he was on his two and a half month vacation, wasn't about trading away our sovereignty; this next story should convince you.

Canadians must now get permission from the United States before flying to any third world country, including Mexico(?!)
The Harper government has quietly presented a bill in the House of Commons that would give U.S. officials final say over who may board aircraft in Canada if they are to fly over the U.S. en route to a third country. "Canadian sovereignty has gone right out the window," Liberal Transport critic Joe Volpe told the Montreal Gazette in a recent telephone interview. "You are going to be subject to American law." Bill C-42 amends Canada's Aeronautics Act to allow airlines to communicate passenger information to "a foreign state" for flights over that country without landing.

... leaving Canada on a flight to Cuba or France, for example, while flying over the U.S. would have their name, birth date and gender subject to screening by U.S. Homeland Security, which involves running that information through various government databases to determine whether there is a terrorist threat. If you have the same name as someone on a no-fly list, you may be questioned, delayed or even barred from the flight. If your name does not match, Homeland Security tells the airline that you may have a boarding pass.

I'd stay home but things are getting worse here everyday.

How are you liking neoconservatism (fascism) so far?

Will This Past Weekend's Events Become the New Norm?

"In keeping with the lurch towards American right-wing politics, the focus is on the 'enemy within'" Brooke Jeffrey, Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neoconservatism in Canada

Murray Dobbin posted an excellent piece on Canada's new Police State, as it is becoming painfully clear that the one billion dollar price tag for the weekend's security, was not intended to provide "security", but silence dissent.

The Black Bloc, which undoubtedly included several police provocateurs, were allowed to rampage for an hour and a half, while innocent civilians and the media; the true 'enemies of the state'; were beaten up and arrested.
There was no spontaneous “over-reaction.” There were no cops “out of control” – the obvious fact is that were always in control. This was a very strategic operation from beginning to end. The decision to allow the Black Bloc to do its destructive work without any intervention at all was strategic as the police and their political masters knew the media would play their pre-assigned reactionary role and focus on the destruction of property. The mass arrest of 900 people was a message to those willing to take a stand: you could be next, and a criminal record is no laughing matter. There is no question that amongst the mob of window-breakers and car-burners were a significant number of agents provocateurs. How many we will likely never know as this time around none were exposed as they were in Montebello at the SSP Summit. (1)
The puppet prime minister needed those destructive images to justify the "over reaction" and the price tag, while his puppet master, Guy Giorno, scored a victory on two fronts. He has cleverly manipulated the situation to allow the Toronto police and the McGuinty government to take the fall.

This accelerates the west's contempt for Toronto, and shores up Harper's base, while helping Tim Hudak, the Mike Harris protegee; who would like to become premier of Ontario to finish the job started by Giorno, when he was pulling the strings for Mike Harris.

From 1998:
I tell my friend from Brampton that if he wants to get into the cabinet, like his colleague, he should be good to Guy Giorno and Deb Hutton. Deb's now been with the Tory caucus 10 years; celebrating her 33rd birthday in mid-August. She has all kinds of power .... All these people advise, so what I'm saying to the members of the Conservative caucus who want into the cabinet is, yes, be nice to Mike, laugh very loudly at the jokes, lead the applause when Mike speaks and give an answer that zaps the opposition, but the most important thing is to ingratiate yourself with Guy Giorno and the whiz kids. (2)
For those who don't know, Deb Hutton is now married to Tim Hudak.
Meanwhile, Deborah Hutton, who remained as the premier's legislative assistant, was given the nickname "Jabba the Hutt" by ministerial aides terrified of her legendary tantrums. One of these aides, like those working for the Conservatives, was willing to be more specific, only on the condition of anonymity. According to the disgruntled staffer, Hutton was and remains "a one-person Blitzkrieg against party morale. She guards her access to Harris jealously, and frequently speaks on his behalf." (3)
In 1999 when Mike Harris toured the province with a jar full of loonies, which some of us referred to as the Harris caucus, (the only time they were allowed out in public, but still silenced) Hutton followed him around polishing his jar. Not a euphemism:
Reporters like Robert Fisher remember the loonie tour with a little less reverence but concede that it was one of the more successful publicity stunts. "It became a bit of a joke really. He lugged this damn jar of loonies everywhere he went," says Fisher. "And Deb Hutton, one of Harris's senior advisors, it became her job to polish the jar. So help me, this woman - probably the most hated woman at Queen's Park, but very powerful - had a cloth and she would take the fingerprints off the jar and shake the loonies so they looked all even. Talk about being obsessive-compulsive." (4)
And this obsessive-compulsive wants to be the wife of a premier, while the other obsessive-compulsive, Guy Giorno, is now bent on destroying our country, rather than just a province. That was merely the opening act. Back then:
Guy Giorno himself continued to play a crucial policy role as director of strategic planning. Viewed by ministerial aides as a "true believer who toiled at the centre of the web, he could be rigidly inflexible if departmental initiatives failed to conform to his expectations and/or the CSR priorities. It was not long before he was given the nickname, "Rasputin" by Frank magazine and opposition MLAs. (3)
And today after learning that Giorno was behind the prorogation:
While discussing this jaw-dropping revelation with other Conservatives, one said he was not surprised. "Guy Giorno has been an unmitigated disaster. I'm amazed we're still leading in the polls," he said. "We're governing from crisis to crisis, managing issues as opposed to managing Parliament."

Guy Giorno-- or Double G, as he's known in government circles -- is probably the most powerful man you've never heard of. The 44-year-old former lawyer is the Prime Minister's chief of staff, a position he also used to fill for former Ontario premier Mike Harris. He is closer to the Prime Minister than any other individual in government and his counsel is sought on decisions that affect millions of people and billions of dollars. (5)
Those words were written by John Ivison and it's interesting that back in the Harris days, Ivision also had an opinion:
"They would also, in their more strident moments, convey the sense of ideological fervor, of harshness, of lack of compassion or forethought, that would darken the government's record and alienate some of its core supporters." (6)
And for more Deja Vu, Again and Again and Again:

Brooke Jeffrey opens her 1999 book, Hard Right Turn, by saying that in Toronto there were rallies and demonstrations at Queens Park because of Mike Harris' cuts to health care, education and social services. Her cab driver volunteered the information that he had been fooled into voting for Mike Harris' "Common Sense Revolution", which he learned made no sense at all. "I didn't expect them to pick on blind people and little old ladies."

Not long after she was in Alberta and found the same demonstrations and rallies targeting Ralph Klein. "The premier and his controversial treasurer, Stockwell Day (now our treasurer (7)), were adamant the cuts would go forward as planned. They didn't need to, because Alberta was in the middle of an oil boom and had money to burn ... The striking thing about Klein's comments was his choice of language. It was almost identical in tone and content to arguments Mike Harris had used to defend his actions in Ontario a few months earlier. Klein's refusal to consult in any meaningful way with the affected groups was equally firm." (8)

Now this may have been striking to Jeffrey, but there is a simple explanation. Two words: Guy Giorno.

We know that he pulled the strings and pulled them tight for Mike Harris and is pulling them just as tightly for Stephen Harper. But what wasn't as well known was that he often put words into the mouth of Ralph Klein. Wearing his other hat as emperor of lobbying:
... cabinet ministers partied last week with Kyoto-bashers the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, a lobby group with close ties to both Ralph Klein and the energy industry .... it was interesting to learn that this meeting was organized by Guy Giorno, Mike Harris’s old chief of staff and ultimate Tory party insider. Giorno now works with National Public Relations (NPR), the coalition’s high-priced lobby firm. Two days after the meeting, Giorno sent every MPP at Queen’s Park an e-mail suggesting what they might say in op-ed news pieces or letters to their constituents about Kyoto. (9)
Wow, huh? Deja Vu over and over and over again. And as Murray Dobbin writes:
Will this increasing pressure on Canadians’ quality of life and economic security be the trigger that creates the conditions for social unrest? There is no way of knowing that ahead of time but it will certainly present the conditions for a rejuvenation of social movement efforts to mobilize against the corporate state. Labour will be forced from its self-imposed slumber and have to take a real stand – and not just show up a single demonstration.

When resistance does increase that corporate state hopes to have created a new a normal where demonstrating is seen as vaguely threatening, the demand for civil liberties is the recourse of scoundrels, and criticism of governments naïve at best and dangerous at worst. Economic insecurity does not necessarily lead to greater resistance. It can also lead to passivity out of fear that things could get even worse. That passive part of the population is the classic ground for fascist politics and the desire for a “strong” leader, in the mode of a father figure. Harper, of course, has always played that role. (
my emphasis) (1)
Richard Bessel in his book Germany After the First World War, suggests that the German people were looking for a father figure amid so much chaos. (10) While many had supported the overthrow of Kaiser Wilhelm, they felt like orphans with no one to protect them. In this way the time was ripe for someone to play the role. And they found that someone, or thought they did, in a man by the name of Adolf Hitler.

Many mistakenly believe that Hitler was a socialist, but he hated socialists. He only added the name to entice the masses. Prior to 1933, all newspapers and magazines referred to the party as the "fascist Brown Shirts". (11) Author of Hitler: Profiles in Power, Ian Kershaw, also reminds us that the communist party of Russia always referred to Hitler as a capitalist, and accused him of selling out to big business. (12)

But let's hope that this does not become Deja Vu:
"In a few weeks time brown shirts will again dominate the streets of German towns. ... Correspondents who dashed about Berlin while the speech blared from loud speakers reported that it seemed to be received by the populace with unusual apathy. (13)

1. Is this what a police state looks like? By Murray Dobbin, June 29, 2010

2. Official Records for June 23, 1998, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Discussion Bill 25

3. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 170

4. How Mike Harris and his minions manipulate TV news, By Kali Pearson, Ryerson Press, June 2000

5. Judging Giorno, By John Ivison, National Post, February 2010

6. Jeffrey, 1999, Pg. 169

7. PM makes Stockwell Day chief cost-cutter: Cabinet shuffle hands ex-Alliance leader job of directing which programs are to be cut, By Les Whittington and Bruce Champion-Smith, Toronto Star, January 20, 2010

8. Jeffrey, 1999, Pg. 1-6

9. Big Oil's Kyoto Party: Harris whiz kid pulls strings at wine and shrimp fete, By Josh Matlow, NOW Magazine, October 24, 2002

10. Germany After the First World War, By: Richard Bessel, Clarendon Press Oxford, 1993, ISBN: 0-19-821938-5

11. Including here: GERMANY: Strap Helmets Tighter! Time Magazine, September 29, 1930

12. Hitler: Profiles in Power, by: Ian Kershaw, Longman House UK, 1991, ISBN: 0-582-08053-3

13. GERMANY: Purge Speech, Time Magazine, July 23, 1934

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Were the Black Bloc Allowed to Rampage While the Police Turned Their Heads?

At the end of the above video you'll see how in 2007 provocateurs were used to stir up trouble and justify police brutality against peaceful protesters. What first tipped off the civilians then was the fact that while the three masked police officers were rampaging, one with a huge rock in his hand ready to hurl it, the riot police stood quietly by and watched. They only moved in when the crowd blew the cops' cover after discovering their police issue boots.

So with 20,000 police officers at the G20, why were the Black Bloc allowed to damage so much property without a cop in sight? Why were so many cops and so much force used against peaceful demonstrators and none at all against the "anarchists"? And why were the three police cars simply abandoned at a busy intersection?

Is this Montelbello all over again?

Guy Giorno whisked his cardboard cutout off to see the queen, but he's got some explaining to do. First off, why was a multinational corporation based in California, given a 453 million dollar untendered contract to provide security and yet they could not protect property.

Did Guy Giorno hire them just to beat people up? Did he want to silence dissent and couldn't care less about people's property?

This is a very dark time for Canada and we should not let this go without a full inquiry. And I want Stephen Harper to sit down, unscripted and explain himself. Make sure Giorno is nowhere in sight. I had enough of him when he spoke and acted for Mike Harris, almost destroying Ontario in the process. I remember scenes like this with riot police then too.

The Ontario Provincial Police moved in on the protesters to remove them from the park. The police say they had no choice but to draw their guns because the protesters were armed; the protesters say the opposite, that they were unarmed and that police - dressed in riot gear - used unnecessary force. And they pointed the blame squarely at then-premier Mike Harris, claiming he issued the go-ahead order for the police to rush the barricades in a nighttime raid.

Google Guy Giorno and Ipperwash and see how many time his name comes up. In that incident a young native man was shot and killed but they also used the riot squad against striking teachers:

The bloody confrontation - one of the most violent in Ontario's political history - will not be quickly forgotten. After a heated debate, deputy premier Ernie Eves called an inquiry into the incident. The OPP also faced sharp criticism from other police officials who said the riot squad may have even provoked the confrontation.

Those scenes this past weekend were disturbing but not unique for neoconservatism, which is as close to fascism as you're going to get. There seems to be a lot of blame going to the McGuinty government for allowing the police free rein, but they're claiming they did no such thing.

As crews dismantle the massive security fence from the G20 summit, questions are piling up about a secret cabinet decision giving police immense power to search and arrest anyone within five metres of the barrier.

Legal experts say a regulation authorizing the searches could be vulnerable to attack not just for potentially violating Charter protections against unreasonable search and seizure. It could also be challenged on the grounds the public was not given adequate notice of the sweeping changes that required them to identify themselves to police officers or agree to be searched.

There are several testimonials but one says it nicely:

“I am embarrassed for my city, embarrassed for Toronto Police and embarrassed that this could happen.”

I agree. Below is a video (a little long) describing the bizarre law that may have allowed violations of our human rights. It's worth watching right through.

Guy Giorno Wins by Reviving Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

What does the article say about Guy Giorno? "Any discussion with insiders about control from the centre quickly turns into a debate over the relative strengths and weaknesses of director of policy Guy Giorno ... Nicknamed `Rasputin'...he is, some say, the ultimate insider, a right-wing true believer who sidelines any ministerial move that doesn't jibe with his ideology ... I am concerned when I see that nothing can get through without the thumbs up from Guy Giorno. I asked before, what riding does he represent? What constituency elected him? (1)

Guy Giorno, as many are no doubt aware, is not just a consultant or chief of staff for Stephen Harper. He is Stephen Harper. It's only been since 2008 that the media has started calling Harper a brilliant strategist. Before that he was kind of a lunk head. Always putting his foot in his mouth.

Then along comes Guy, and nothing is left to chance. I'll bet Harpo has a little chip embedded somewhere with Giorno choreographing his every move. "Watch out for that step" ... "There's a car coming" ... "You forgot to zip up."

I've realized that I have to do the same with Stephen Harper as I did with Mike Harris. Ignore him and go straight to his puppet master: Guy Giorno.

So when I learned that Canada is going to continue with tax breaks for the oil patch I was not at all surprised. Giorno is a lobbyist. In fact he is the king of lobbyists. Maybe even the emperor of lobbyists.

And when Canada was adopting the Kyoto Protocol this emperor of lobbyists swung into action creating the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, which was an astroturf front group for National Public Relations (NPR), the lobbyists for ... you guessed it ... the oil patch.
Some of Ernie Eves’s top cabinet ministers partied last week with Kyoto-bashers the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, a lobby group with close ties to both Ralph Klein and the energy industry ... It took place in the Queen’s Park dining hall and was a very chummy shrimp-and-wine gathering, a chance for members of the coalition -- the Canadian Association of Oil Well Drilling Contractors, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, etc -- to schmooze Tory heavies. (2)
And guess what hand picked former federal environmental minister was on hand for the festivities?

There were speeches by coalition organizers, and a particularly passionate Ontario energy minister, John Baird, made his anti-Kyoto rallying cry. Needless to say, the audience was very receptive. Baird’s parliamentary assistant, Scarborough MPP Steve Gilchrist*, who at one time helped block developers’ plans for the Oak Ridges Moraine, was busy propping open doors with chairs to give relief to a very hot and stuffy room. I couldn’t help remarking to him that perhaps the room was so unbearably hot because of climate change. He was not amused. (2)
And of course we find the big guy, 'Big Guy', lurking in the shadows:
While Eves has been slightly slippery on just where he stands on Kyoto, it was interesting to learn that this meeting was organized by Guy Giorno, Mike Harris’s old chief of staff and ultimate Tory party insider. Giorno now works with National Public Relations (NPR), the coalition’s high-priced lobby firm.

Two days after the meeting, Giorno sent every MPP at Queen’s Park an e-mail suggesting what they might say in op-ed news pieces or letters to their constituents about Kyoto. Then Liberal and NDP members, for whom the missive was obviously not intended, were sent a second e-mail that read, "Unfortunately, materials from the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions were sent to your office in error in a previous e-mail. I do apologize for any inconvenience."

So now we have Mike Harris’s former number-one man trying to dictate environmental policy to our government members. It might make you wonder if the Eves government is really any different from Harris’s where the environment is concerned. It certainly doesn’t seem to be. Then there’s Klein’s relationship with the coalition, which is kind of like that of an organized crime boss and his "legitimate business activities."
Leaves me asking the same question as they asked in 1997 about Guy Giorno: "What riding does he represent? What constituency elected him?"


*Steve Gilchrist was the former boss of Harper MP Paul Calandra: "The Conservative minister of municipal affairs and housing is under Ontario Provincial Police investigation after allegedly telling developers to go through his own personal lawyer, Tory fundraiser Peter Proszanski, to get an audience with him — a privilege that'd cost them $25,000 each ... Even juicier, Gilchrist has a criminal record for tax evasion dating back to 1984, shared with his father, who was at the time a federal Tory MP." (3)


1. Ontario Legislative Assembly, Official Records for December 2, 1997

2. Big Oil's Kyoto Party: Harris whiz kid pulls strings at wine and shrimp fete, By Josh Matlow, NOW Magazine, October 24, 2002

3. How Mike Harris and his minions manipulate TV news, Ryerson Review of Journalism, Summer 2000

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Very Sad Time For Democracy Indeed

Steve Paikin was in the area when the Guardian reporter was beaten up by police and peaceful demonstrators were treated as criminals.

Someone got the whole thing on videotape. What a horrible display. They tell the people to move and yet they have them boxed in. If I saw this video without knowing, I would never believe this was Canada. Never, never, never.

I guess that's what a billion dollars buys these days.

Two National Post photographers were arrested:

Two National Post photographers were arrested Saturday night during anti-G20 demonstrations in downtown Toronto. Brett Gundlock, a staff photographer for the Post, was tackled and taken away by several police officers in riot gear as they attempted to disperse protesters hanging around near the Ontario legislature.

Kier Gilmour, a photographer for Canwest News Service who witnessed the arrest, said the officers knocked Mr. Gundlock to the ground and then dragged him away. He had been standing with several other media photographers at the time. “They slammed him down, onto his ass so to speak, then they dragged him back up and pulled him back to the police line,” Mr. Gilmour said.

This young man I love.

The Village Voice:

Thank god for the internet. Raw Story is collecting some dispatches from the ground and -- would you believe it -- the press and the protesters are on the same side, because the police are beating them up.

More Here

Young gay man stereotyped.

And we get to pay for it.

Joe Warmington wrote an excellent column, and for the Sun, no less.

It’s not everyday one is witness to martial law on the streets of Toronto. It happened Sunday at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. If it wasn’t that, please tell me what it was. Thanks to the G20 Summit, the rules of protesting and how police deal with it, have been changed forever. The tactic may be effective. But was it right?

In 25 years as a reporter, I have never witnessed anything like what transpired. Nor have colleagues like AM 640’s John Downs and Toronto Sun veteran Rob Lamberti, who were locked down, as well.

A sad time for democracy indeed.

Guy Giorno Uses Threats and Intimidation to Pass Omnibus Bill

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

"This is an omnibus bill. This is a very extensive bill. It may not have blockbuster issues in it, but it has a number of provisions which affect almost everyone in Ontario

"There was a period of time that could have been allocated for that. But Guy Giorno, who runs the government from the back rooms, decided that he wanted to see rule changes in this House. You see, the House was working too democratically to suit the backroom boys and the government, the people who are impatient with the democratic process, the people who feel the opposition is just some irritant to be shoved out of the way, the people who believe that if there's any opposition out there, they must be misguided or misled people. They wanted to see the rule changes brought through the House instead of dealing with legislation." (1)


"In the dying days of the spring session, which started last January, by the way, and ended in June some time, I can well recall those of us in opposition saying, "Bring forward your legislation." But no, the government House leader of the day, Mr Johnson, was instructed by Guy Giorno and those who have the real control in this government to deal with changing the rules of the Legislature to grease the skids for the government to get its legislation through." (2)

And further still:
"Any discussion with insiders about control from the centre quickly turns into a debate over the relative strengths and weaknesses of director of policy Guy Giorno, who was all of 29 when the Tories came to power. Nicknamed `Rasputin'...he is, some say, the ultimate insider, a right-wing true believer who sidelines any ministerial move that doesn't jibe with his ideology."

"I am concerned because I know many of the members of the cabinet, even some of the newer people. I am concerned when I see that nothing can get through without the thumbs up from Guy Giorno. I asked before, what riding does he represent? What constituency elected him? What group of people in this province elevated him to this position so that he can dictate to my friends who are in the cabinet? I am here on your side when you fight against the Premier's office.

"There is one I haven't mentioned, John Toogood: "The Premier's economic policy adviser, he was recently promoted to assistant director of policy. The Tory Youth graduate and Giorno protégé still looks too young to shave."

"There are lots of people in there, I guess, who have input and I think what's bad for our system, what's bad for our democratic system, is that these people are now in control of this government. My friend Al Leach, when he wants to bring something forward, has to pass it by the whiz kids. When my friend Noble Villeneuve, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, whom I have known for many years, wants to bring forward an initiative, it's got to be approved by Guy Giorno and John Toogood." (3)

Now let's fast forward to 2010: (all emphasis mine)

Mr. Malcolm Allen (Welland, NDP): "I believe it was Yogi Berra who said that it was déjà-vu all over again. The front bench opposite, the Conservative government, for the most part was the front bench in Ontario back in the 1990s when we would see things like this omnibus bill. We know the havoc that wreaked on the province of Ontario when we had all those omnibus bills under the previous premier, Mike Harris, and some of those members on the front bench, including the Minister of Finance who is in the federal government today. They did the same thing then that is being done today. They rammed things through because the provincial Conservatives had a majority government, and the province was the worst for it.

"What the federal Conservatives are doing today is going to make Canada the worst for it as well. The pieces that are in that omnibus bill that do not have anything to do with the budget are things that really should be debated before us today. Let me mention the things that are missing.

"What is missing is a pension increase for those seniors living in poverty. The Conservatives decided to talk about getting rid of the environmental regulations, instead of increasing the GIS so that seniors could live in dignity and live without poverty. There was no mention of that.

"I would ask the hon. member to comment on what he sees is missing here that really should be a budget item instead of all the other bits that make it an omnibus bill. I have to say that in large part this is very much like a trip down memory lane for me because I have been here before with a Conservative government in the province of Ontario, and interestingly, who was the chief of staff to Premier Mike Harris who brought in the infamous omnibus bill 26? Guy Giorno, the same chief of staff to the current Prime Minister." (4)

"Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the chance to comment on the bill. My colleague from Sault Ste. Marie is nodding his head. He remembers what went on when we had that bill. It was the same sort of thing. Bring in a bill that is meant to be one thing and then load it up with everything else that is problematic, that is going to involve a lot of debate, that is controversial and ideological. Just stuff it all in there and refuse to talk beyond the cover page. The government wanted it to go through. It was massive. It led to a major upheaval, which is putting it mildly, of our health care system. It brought in a massive review. It really set the stage for what became the dark years of the Harris regime in Ontario, years of governance which we are still trying to climb out of in terms of the damage that was done." (4)

And back to 1997:
"Oh, I heard all about it. I heard there was a lot of trouble because you didn't get Guy Giorno's permission to go on. That's what I heard Robert Fisher say, and you will recall that Robert Fisher was the person who asked the Premier during the 1995 campaign, in May, "Is your health care policy going to result in any hospitals being closed in Ontario?" The Premier said-you'll recall this quote yourself-"Certainly, Robert, I can guarantee you I will not close hospitals."

... "It is not my plan to close hospitals." That's what he said. I'm glad the Minister of Education brought that to my attention. I will repeat it again, because it was not word for word. He said, "Certainly, Robert, I can guarantee you it is not my plan to close hospitals." And what happened? We've had over 40 hospitals forced to merge or close in this province as a result.

"So what is happening now is we're seeing an erosion of many public institutions and many public services. It is the agenda of the right wing, and I note for my friends on the government side that either today or tomorrow the Premier of this province will be speaking to that mainstream, Main Street organization, the Fraser Institute, which of course is as right as Guy Giorno, who runs this government. We will have a situation with the right wing now where they're endeavouring to destroy the confidence in public institutions so that people will accept radical changes they wouldn't normally accept." (3)
This new omnibus bill of Guy Girono's will be just as devastating to this country as his Omnibus bill was to Ontario. Once again this most famous fallen Catholic since Lucifer, will put seniors into poverty and drive as many people from their homes as when he carried around Mike Harris' cardboard cut-out.

And should it be any surprise that he is now using threats and intimidation to get what he wants? This fire breathing mammal is stomping his feet and threatening to bring the wrath of his new cardboard cut-out upon the nation.

I'd say pray for Giorno, but that man no longer has a prayer, and if this omnibus bill passes, neither will we.

It's the end of Canada Post and our atomic energy will be sold. I need to repeat that. Our ATOMIC energy will be sold.


1. Ontario Legislative Assembly, Official Records for June 23, 1998

2. Ontario Legislative Assembly, Official Records for December 11, 1997

3. Ontario Legislative Assembly, Official Records for December 2, 1997

4. 40th Parliament, 3rd SESSION EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 055 Thursday, June 3, 2010

New York Times Also Questions Actions of Harper's Storm Troops

The use of police provocateurs are becoming all too common, not only in Canada but everywhere. Like me, the New York Times wonders why vandals acted unimpeded while peaceful protesters felt the wrath of Stephen.

An escalation of aggressive police tactics toward even apparently peaceful protests at the Group of 20 summit meeting led to calls for a review of security activities.

After allowing a small group of people to burn police cars and smash windows unimpeded on Saturday afternoon, many of the 20,000 police officers deployed in Toronto changed tactics that evening and during the last day of the gathering.

There was a notable increase in both the numbers of police officers who surrounded demonstrations as well as more use of tear gas and rubber or plastic bullets. At the same time, there was a visible drop in the number of demonstrators in the city streets.

This wasn't the first time for Canada, and won't be the last unless we demand an independent investigation, and not by the police or the government.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association agrees:

Reporters arrested, CCLA civil rights monitors arrested, over 500 people in detention, police unwilling to provide access to lawyers, cellphones seized, what is going on? Police will say that 4 to 7 police cars were set on fire and that there was much looting and spray painting, pop cans and rocks were thrown and more vandalism was planned at the fence or elsewhere. Is the policing proportionate to the threat?

CCLA is concerned about the conditions of detention: people are being denied access to lawyers, they are unable to contact their families and we have heard that there are no plans for prompt release.

A UK Guardian journalist was beaten and arrested:

Jesse Rosenfeld, a Canadian activist journalist who has written opinion pieces on the G20 for the Guardian newspaper, has been arrested and possibly beaten, his friends and father say. His girlfriend, Carmelle Wolfson, called Mr. Rosenfeld late Saturday night, only to have him tell her he was in police custody at the Novotel, where dozens of protesters were arrested en masse after a protracted sit-in.

“He said, ‘The cops are telling me that they’re going to arrest me. I’ve told them that I’m a journalist, but they’re not recognizing my press badge and they’re telling me that they’re going to arrest me,'” she said. “Then he told me to get on the phone with his editor.”

And this case of mistaken identity while a six-month-old was in the house

A Toronto veterinarian says he awoke around 4 a.m. Saturday to the sight of a gun pointed at him by a black-clad police officer standing at the foot of his bed.

Then, says John Booth, he was told to keep his hands visible and to produce identification, asked questions about a man named Peter he had never met, detained on his lawn in handcuffs for half an hour, and informed he would be charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit mischief — before being released by apologetic officers who belatedly realized he had no connection with the alleged anarchist organizer they were seeking.

I'm with the Star. It wasn't worth it.

Promised a chance to twinkle on the world stage, the centre of this City of Neighbourhoods became a ghost town, an armed camp and a fiery anarchists’ playground. As smoke clears from a G20 weekend that saw unprecedented
mayhem continue Sunday, with tense protests and mass arrests a day after police cars were torched and shop windows smashed, it’s hard to find a Torontonian who says hosting the G20 was worth it.

What scares me the most is that this will happen: a speech made after a violent purge:

"In a few weeks time brown shirts will again dominate the streets of German towns. ... I should like to offer forgetfulness from this moment to all who were in part guilty of this act of insanity! . . . May they all feel themselves responsible for the most precious gift that can exist for the German people: order within and domestic peace."

And not the words of Hitler so much as this:

Correspondents who dashed about Berlin while the speech blared from loud speakers reported that it seemed to be received by the populace with unusual apathy. (GERMANY: Purge Speech, Time Magazine, July 23, 1934)

If the Police are Going to Smash Windows and Set Stuff on Fire, they Should Change Their Damn Boots!

In 2007 at Montebello, when an otherwise peaceful protest turned violent, it was determined that it was the dirty work of police provocateurs.

In fact they would later admit that they were behind it, and yet it justified the use of brutality.

Global Research has again examined the boots and other 'gear' on the vandals, and it would appear that again the police are behind the violent acts, of both the 'rioters' and the uniformed brigade that used rubber bullets and brutality to subdue a crowd that was already peaceful.

As I asked in another post, why were there so many uniformed officers surrounding the peaceful protesters but none surrounding the vandals? Not a single one.

This government has given me many reasons to be ashamed over the past 4 1/2 years, but for the first time I am a little frightened. I've never lived under fascism before but I'm pretty sure this is what it looks like.

"Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong." Joseph Grcic

"Fascism is a political philosophy that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader and severe economic and social regimentation." Merriam Dictionary

"Fascism, especially in its early stages, is obliged to be antitheoretical and frankly opportunistic in order to appeal to many diverse groups. Nevertheless, a few key concepts are basic to it. First and most important is the glorification of the state and the total subordination of the individual to it. The state is defined as an organic whole into which individuals must be absorbed for their own and the state's benefit. This "total state" is absolute in its methods and unlimited by law in its control and direction of its citizens." Fascism Watch

G20 is Canada's Disgrace But Not Because of the Rioters

Don Martin wrote a piece for the Vancouver Sun, Harper's symbolic win costs Toronto a black eye.

It should read The Mess that Harper made of Toronto gives Canada a Black Eye.

How many police have surrounded these peaceful protesters, and why weren't they surrounding the real criminals? Why was so much vandalism possible, when there were 19,000 police officers providing "security"?

Of course publishing an article in the West where you can slam Toronto and praise Stephen Harper, will invoke all of the warm and fuzzy feelings, that while divisive, will probably hit their mark. The one billion dollar price tag was justifiable given the outcome. It was all Toronto's fault.

What I find appalling is when you scan the photos with this piece, where the obvious criminals are smashing things, there are NO police. And yet they are storming civilians kissing and giving the peace sign. What is wrong with these pictures?

John Hilary wrote for the UK Guardian:

To a foreigner, the Canadian police are a confusing bunch. With Toronto locked down for the G20 summit, several of them have been cycling around the deserted streets on mountain bikes presenting what we would see as the very picture of community policing. Yet side by side with this benign image is an intimidating, militarised presence that many Canadians feel has been deliberately cultivated in order to undermine their right to protest against the G20 and its damaging impacts.

The security operation on the streets of Toronto has provided Canadians with the greatest single talking point of the G20 gathering this weekend. Many locals are furious at the $1bn price tag for policing a summit which they never wanted to host in the first place. ... The high level of militarisation that has been witnessed over the past couple of days has also been a major talking point, as Canadians are not accustomed to seeing such weaponry being so openly paraded at civil demonstrations. One small protest against poverty and homelessness in Toronto itself was quickly surrounded by vast numbers of police in full riot gear, including mounted police. More chilling still was the visible presence of heavily armed officers touting tear gas rifles and other firearms; police have also confirmed firing
plastic bullets and pepper spray capsules at demonstrators on Saturday night.

"One small protest against poverty and homelessness in Toronto itself was quickly surrounded by vast numbers of police in full riot gear, including mounted police ... " And yet there are only civilians surrounding these guys.

Amnesty International is calling for a review of the security measures, which were clearly in place to stifle dissent and not act as protection.

In a statement today (June 27), the organization expressed "very deep concern" that human rights have "suffered considerably" during the protests in Toronto.

According to Amnesty, the heavy police presence in the city—as well as acts of vandalism and violence by some protesters—has helped to create an atmosphere of fear that has kept many people from participating in peaceful demonstrations. "At a time when the public should be encouraged to actively engage in debate and discussion about pressing global issues, the security measures that were put in place in Toronto in the lead up to the G20 Summit held in the city instead narrowed the space for civic expression and cast a chill over citizen participation in public discourse ..."

Well respected journalist Steve Paikin stated that he has lived in Toronto for 32 years and had never seen anything like this, and tweeted news as it was happening.
Journalist Steve Paikin, calling it an awful night for democracy, witnessed quite a bit in yesterday's demonstration(s), including being "escorted" away by police - so the police just started arresting people .... i stress, this was a peaceful, middle class, diverse crowd. no anarchists ... the demonstration on the esplanade was peaceful. it was like an old sit in. no one was aggressive. and yet riot squad officers moved in ... i saw police brutality tonight. it was unnecessary. they asked me to leave the site or they would arrest me. i told them i was dong my job ... ppl standing around with hands in air. this was peaceful. it won't be now. unprovoked attack by police ...
It was a horrible 72 hours for democracy, as ordinary peaceful civilians were intimated and beaten by police, while vandals were allowed free rein, only being rounded up after the fact. Yet these peaceful demonstrators must now share jail cells with ruffians and be painted with the same brush.

Was this an attempt to ensure that we never speak out now? When just the threat of this kind of behaviour by men and women in uniform will be enough to make us compliant citizens rather than concerned ones?

No Mr. Martin, Toronto does not have a black eye, only our country, and nothing can justify the expense or mobilization, of so many uniformed hooligans.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stockwell Day: Flat Head, Flat Tax, Flat Out Wrong

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

The image to the left is of Stockwell Day, two years before he and Jason Kenney decided they would like to make him prime minister, to push a new constitution based on the Old Testament.

It is taken at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the group Jason Kenney left when he decided to run for the Reform Party, to help carry out the mandate of the Canadian Christian Coalition, and infiltrate all levels of government.

Mark Milke took his job but is now with the Frontier Centre, another prop for the Harper government.

These guys move in and out of these so called "non-partisan", "non-profit" backdrops so often, that they are never quite sure who will be giving them a pay cheque in any given week. Could be the Fraser Institute. Could be the Frontier Centre. Could be the Canadian Taxpayer Federation. Or it could even be Stephen Harper, which means us.

But back to the flat tax.

You can't read a bloody bio of Stockwell Day without someone singing his praises over coming up with this wonderful system of taxation. But if you read the caption under the photo upper right, it states. "Marke Milke meets with then Alberta Treasurer Stockwell Day to present a single rate tax proposal ... The proposal was adopted almost verbatim."

Not his. But is it Milke's? Nope. Not his either.

We have to go back to the history of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

It was the brainchild of Kevin Avram, after attending a conference in Austin, Texas where he met a representative of the “Association of Concerned Taxpayers” which was then headed up by Grover Norquist. The association was "established to promote a flat income tax..." And if you want to know who benefits by it, they get a lot of their funding from Exxon.

In 2005, Milkes wrote an article on the flat tax, something he's still flogging. In it he mentions:
Think back 20 years. Any suggestion that eastern and central Europe were desirable economic models came only from Western socialists, university professors and others with an eternal grudge against free markets. What a difference perestroika, McDonald's in Moscow, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact makes. "New Europe" moved on, saw the future, and decided not to include in it tax regimes that punish wealth creation. The region is now something of a darling for tax reformers.

In January, Romania scrapped its multiple-bracket system with marginal rates as high as 40% for a single 16% tax rate on personal and business income. Romania, once home to one of the most repressive communist regimes, was country number nine to jump on the flat-tax express. Existing riders include Estonia (first, in 1994), and Georgia (also in January), Latvia, Lithuania (wages and salaries only), Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. But it's not just Europe. Alberta added itself to this list when it switched to a single rate of provincial income tax in 2001. (1)
Fast forward to 2009:
Over the last decade, Eastern European countries became darlings of the far right by instituting free-market economic policies designed to break convincingly from their Communist past. The so-called Baltic Tigers—Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia—garnered worldwide plaudits for a number of free-market reforms, led by the imposition of a flat-rate income tax, especially from the American right. "The flat tax is making a comeback," trumpeted the conservative National Review. The three nations are "leading a global tax reform revolution," said the right-leaning Heritage Foundation.

... Too bad for them that it hasn't worked out. Latvia, which has a flat tax of 25 percent, and Lithuania and Estonia, which have 21 percent tax rates, are all in deep economic trouble. They all have huge government budget deficits, a sign that they took in too little in tax revenue to cover their costs, primarily state expenditures to provide a generous welfare state. Conservatives might argue that they didn't slash welfare benefits enough, but there is no dispute that the flat tax didn't provide the expected revenue. (2)
That's why the neocons love this system, because it gives them an excuse to "slash welfare benefits" .... again. And I don't mean corporate welfare ... bite your tongue (or a neocon will do it for you). Just the country's most vulnerable.

And if you still think there's a very slim chance that it might work, the tea baggers have added it to their battle cry.

So the biggest dream of any of these nut job Tea Party folks is a flat tax, of about 15%. That's the number I see most often as being a "fair" tax. So this idea is that everyone, no matter what they make (except those below the poverty line I assume) pays x% for my purposes I will use 15%.

... But where this "brilliant" idea falls flat on it's face is when you realize what is left over and what can be afforded with it. It turns out that this "fair and flat" tax actually turns out to be regressive, not in that it puts the burden of funding the government on the poor but those hurt most by it, are the lower income. So poor people have less money then wealthy people, this is obvious. Though they are not rich, they still have to live: buy food, pay for electricity and phone, pay for medical bills, and yes taxes.

Because these less fortunate people make less money, a greater percentage of there income goes towards those necessities. So what this means is that if the poor are paying the same as the rich, the hit being taken by them is still much greater then it is for the wealthy .. Now I know, these people are entitled to their wealth they worked hard... BLAH BLAH BLAH. But lets remember here so did the poor man, and yet they are the ones who suffer from taxes. The rich are the ones who most complain about taxes and yet many of them do not even pay. They shelter it in Swiss and Cayman bank accounts. (3)

The flat tax is a bad idea. But even if it were a good idea, the next time someone credits Stockwell Day with this initiative, set them straight. Or do what I do and scream.


1. New Europe's New Flat Taxes, By Mark Milke's , Financial Post, March 11, 2005

2. The Flat Tax Is Flat-Lining: The meltdown of Baltic countries shows what a bad idea this gimmick always was, By Charles P. Wallace, The Big Money, March 31, 2009

3. Why the Flat Tax is not so Flat, By Jake Nieman, Open Salon, April 21, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How Will Harper Fight His Way Out of the Most Expensive 72 hours in Canadian History

The New York Times ... yes, the New York Times ... has published an article about our overkill on security for the summits that nobody wanted, except Herr Harper.

His plan was to sing his own praises about his handling of the economy, while hoping nobody finds out about the 125 billion dollars worth of "rotten paper" that Jim Flaherty bought up on our behalf. He calls them sub-prime mortgages. Most in the financial world are just calling them "rotten paper".

I'll bet Harper whimpered after hitting the punching bag. It's a good thing he's not really boxing, or he'd probably bite his tongue off.
The latest government estimate is $897 million for three days of summitry. That comes to about $12 million per hour, or a total near what the government spends per year in the war in Afghanistan. “The cost of these summits is completely out of whack and extravagant and exorbitant,” said Don Davies, a New Democratic Party member of Parliament. “This might be the most expensive 72 hours in Canadian history,” Mark Holland of the Liberal Party was quoted as saying.

Canada’s security expenses are several times larger than those of other recent summit meetinghosts. The security costs for the Group of 20 meeting last year in Pittsburgh, for example, was about $95 million, slightly over a tenth of what Canada is spending, according to a study by Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer. Until this weekend, the highest security cost for a Group of 20 summit meeting was $345 million for the 2008 meeting in Hokkaido, Japan, the report said.

The French president Nicolas Sarkozy is planning to spend 1/10th of that amount next year.

With any luck Harper won't be there.

So Now That Old Liberal Ad Isn't Looking so Silly, is it?

Remember the ad that got Paul Martin in trouble, with the suggestion that Harper would turn Canada into a police state? Guess Martin is a prophet after all.

Vinay Menon thinks Harper just hates Toronto, but he's wrong. He hates all of us. But Melon did hit on what the Liberals were saying in 2006, though he does it with humour.

My goodness, if you could climb into Harper’s skull as he dreams at night, Fortress Toronto is exactly what you would see, right there next to a CN Tower made from jelly doughnuts and clouds that are scowling. Toronto the Good has morphed into Toronto the Caged. We are animals in Mr. Harper’s riled kingdom and he’s the one growling.

... Now let me ask you something: What if the G20 is just a trial run for Toronto’s eventual enslavement? That is, what if this geopolitical charade is just a dress rehearsal for the main performance, circa 2012, in which Harper takes to the Sun TV News airwaves to make a historic announcement: “My fellow Canadians, I am declaring Toronto a police state. Freedom comes at a price, namely restriction by me. So from now on, Torontonians will be asked to wear numbered sweater vests and do nothing without written approval from me.” Am I the only one who sees what’s going on here?

No you're not.

But Menon is trying to be funny. This isn't.

However, a news release issued by Niki Thorne, a G20 activist and a resident of one of the raided homes, said officers arrived at her residence around 4:45 a.m. ET and entered through the back door. The activists allege officers dragged unclothed people from their beds, kicked people who were asleep on the floor, demanded identification and refused to show a warrant or badge, or let the people in the house call for legal advice. They also said warrants have been issued for the arrest of other G20 protesters.

I know there have been some trouble makers, but most of the protesters are peaceful. Good heavens, the police outnumber them 3 to 1. And they have guns. Big ones.

And this one from 2004:

They could almost run these again during the 2010 election campaign.

Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper is Growing

Not long ago Dimitri Soudas described us as radicals. I love it. But obviously Dimi Witty is paying attention.

Canadians Rallying to Unseat Stephen Harper now has over 4,000 members and the great ad you see here, was published in the Globe & Mail today. Just in time for the summits from hell.

So come join us "radicals". The funnest bunch you'll ever meet.

We share stories, links, videos, and offer support for all those living through the dark days of Harper.

But not for long. The buzz is that there will be an election this fall and I'm pumped.

Neoconservatism is the god that failed. And what a right mess it made of things.

Michael Den Tandt Don't You Dare Bring up Martin Luther King

Boy if you could bottle arrogance and sell it, Michael Den Tandt would be a wealthy man. Whenever, Harper is in trouble and needs a poison pen to poke his way out of it, he calls in Den Tandt or Peter Worthington, to talk absolute trash.

There may be a job for him yet at Harper's Fox News North. Just keep spitting it out.

There is nothing quite so smug, contemptuous and vainglorious as a G8 (now G20) protester. If you’re an honest grunt looking for someone to blame for the bloated mess this weekend in Toronto, look no further. And if you’re a fellow traveller who thinks there’s cachet in running amid the teargas, think again. You’re full of it.

You have no credibility. You are not on the side of the great reformers of modern history — Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mohandas Gandhi. You are not striking a blow in defence of the poor. You are not helping women, blacks or aboriginals.

How do you know what they are protesting? Did you go down and talk with them? Did you talk with Jim Flaherty's pal, Charles McVety? He's down there protesting because sane countries won't support Israel launching a nuclear attack in the Middle East. Fine Christian fella', huh? If you can't convert 'em, just kill 'em.

Under a steady rain, several thousand people marched peacefully through downtown Toronto Saturday to protest the world summits.

Marched peacefully. There were 4200 protesters and 19,000 police officers. The whole country has gone nuts.

"Somewhere I read about freedom of assembly" Martin Luther King

So instead of suggesting that these people find jobs, Mr. Den Tandt, maybe you should get a real one.

Implosions Help Jason Kenney's Christian Coalition to Explode

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

By 1996, Preston Manning was in trouble. The tight control he attempted to keep over his caucus was crumbling and the party was rife with dissent. Early party members who feared that extremism would prevail, were being proven to be correct, and yet absolutely nothing was being done to curtail it.

Manning's anti-government rhetoric that inspired Newt Gingrich, may have helped in his political success, but at some point you've got to prove that you can actually govern if given the opportunity. But instead the Reformers were only proving that the opposite was true.

Upon his retirement, Don Newman, former Senior Parliamentary Editor for CBC, was asked about the toxicity of politics today, and when it changed. Calling it the "politics of suspicion", he stated:

Of course, Parliament worked because elections in those periods also produced majority governments and sooner or later majority governments get their way. But it also worked because MPs made it function. They seemed to understand that they were there to get things done. That is not the case today ... The fraying was not — it might surprise some I'm sure — the fault of the Bloc Québécois who, while preaching their own view of both history and the future, always treated Parliament with respect. Rather it came from the Reform Party led by Preston Manning. (1)
His comments wouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone following politics then, including many of the early Reform Party members. They saw what was supposed to be a populist party turning into a totalitarian regime:
"Dissidents in the party ... openly claimed that the party was being run by a 'Calgary clique' "A lot of people are frustrated - we're seeing the inevitable erosion of grassroots politics into a smaller more domineering group at the top...' " One of the key members was thirty-two-year-old Stephen Harper, a founding member of the party, it's Chief Policy Officer, and the man who became known as Manning's chief political lieutenant. (2)
In fact he was challenged for the leadership in the beginning, because many feared that something like that would happen.

Manning left nothing to chance. He was determined to defeat his only opponent, Stan Roberts, who was not only more charismatic and eloquent but better known and better equipped financially. Reluctant to enter the race, Roberts was finally convinced by [Francis] Winspear that a leader-ship contest was necessary to ensure the legitimacy of the outcome. Roberts also was becoming increasingly concerned about the direction the fledgling party's supporters appeared to be taking, fearing it was becoming too extreme on both economic and social policies. He also was greatly concerned that the anti-French sentiment of some of the delegates in Vancouver was being given free rein. (3)
But a dirty trick would secure his leadership bid.
The hall was filled with his people when, nearly a day ahead of schedule, Manning urged the organizers — including the chair, staunch Manning supporter Diane Ablonczy — to cut off registration of delegates. When Francis Winspear took the floor to protest this action, moving a motion to reopen registration and noting many of Roberts's delegates had not yet arrived, he was soundly, defeated by the Manning forces. Astonished and shaken, Winspear left along with a furious Roberts, who later withdrew his name.

In an angry press conference the next day, Roberts not only accused the organizers, and implicitly Manning, of "compromising" the new party's commitment to "honesty and integrity," but also alluded to a significant sum of missing funds and accused Manning's supporters — almost all of whom were from Alberta — of being "a bunch of right-wing Christian fanatics." (3)
They were being referred to as "a bunch of right-wing Christian fanatics" even before the real fanatics joined them. A great deal is made over how the opposition is "anti-Christian", but accusations of religious fanaticism were more common within the party itself.

Enough was Enough
Preston Manning was having major troubles with his caucus ... The carefully orchestrated and near-absolute control of the party he had exercised for nearly ten years began to dissolve ... but his unsuccessful attempts to rein in his caucus were already widely known and ridiculed long before then. .. The conflicts with Stephen Harper were not the only problems Manning encountered with the leading lights of his caucus. For many of his critics, these conflicts were further proof of Manning's inability to tolerate dissent and his need to be the only one in charge. (4)
Harper would leave Reform before the next election to join the National Citizens Coalition. There has been a lot of speculation as to why. Did he feel he could do more to help the movement on the outside? The NCC spent a great deal of money advancing Reform during the 1997 election.

Or was it because of a battle for control with Preston Manning? I suppose it could be either. However, the final showdown came about when he went public with accusations that Preston Manning was abusing his expense account and the party sent him a four page letter (4) criticizing his actions. I suspect that was the trigger, because Stephen Harper never could stand criticism.

However, he wasn't the only one to exit stage left (or right?)

The cases of Jan Brown and Jim Silye were typical. Among the most progressive and cosmopolitan of the Reform MPs, they also became known for their ability to shine in Question Period. Both were urban moderates and excellent communicators who developed positive relationships with the media and, in the case of Brown, a degree of national name recognition. Both were often unhappy with the "racist redneck" element in their caucus, and endured much criticism from other caucus members for their continuing attempts to broaden the base of Reform policies.

By early 1996, Brown, Silye and Stephen Harper were all reportedly reconsidering their future with the party. When Art Hanger announced he was going on a "fact-finding mission" to Singapore to explore the use of caning and other forms of corporal punishment in the penal system, most Canadians were astonished and amused. Brown and Silye were humiliated, and said so publicly. "I don't want to be campaigning for caning and whipping," said Silye, a millionaire Calgary businessman and former Stampeders star. Brown, another Calgary MP and a corporate consultant with two degrees, agreed with Silye and suggested Reform would lose mainstream voters if it did not shake its extremist image. For their comments the two were raked over the coals at a lengthy caucus meeting in which one MP after another took the floor to lambaste the two, accusing them of betrayal ...

Brown left the three-hour meeting "ashen-faced," escorted by Rick Anderson past the waiting media and saying nothing at the time. Silye stayed to speak with reporters but broke down midway through his mea culpa, in which he apologized to his colleagues for hurting their feelings. Later, however, Brown indicated she did not plan to apologize and refused to be a scapegoat for the party's evident difficulties ... In the end this only delayed the inevitable. The split between the moderates and the rednecks was serious and apparently irreparable. (4)

Brown left the party, citing the rampant racism of the "God Squad" and stating that there was no room for women in this party. Eight others followed suit, all moderates, paving the way for new, even more radical members to take their place.

Jason Kenney and More So-Cons on Steroids

Barely two months later, during debate on the government's proposed amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act protecting homosexuals from discrimination*, the Reform caucus erupted again. When B.C. MP Bob Ringma** told reporters he would move gay or visible-minority employees to the back of the shop if they were costing him business, colleagues such as Dave Chatters, Leon Benoit and Myron Thompson agreed. In fact, Thompson went further, saying "If they were costing me business, I would remove them." Asked for her comments, Jan Brown replied, "I'm so saddened by this," while another moderate, Ian McClelland, suggested Ringma should apologize and promise not to say such things in the future.

Sensing the whole affair was getting completely out of control, Preston Manning decided to come down hard on the miscreants. His decision proved to be the final straw. Not only did he suspend Ringma and Chatters from the caucus for six weeks for their alleged deviation from party policy, but he dealt the same penalty to Brown for publicly criticizing her colleagues. Thompson and Benoit, meanwhile, were unaffected, as was MP Grant Hill, a doctor who said the bill "will produce and allow the promotion of an unhealthy lifestyle," a comment which drew immediate and public disapproval from another Reform MP and the only other doctor in the caucus, Keith Martin.*** (4)

It was this amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act protecting homosexuals from discrimination, that encouraged the formation of the Canada Family Action Coalition by Roy Beyer and Brian Rushfeldt, and the Canadian Christian Coalition, which included Jason Kenney. Both groups were inspired by a Washington Conference of their American counterpart, where the speaker was Ralph Reed.

And with so many new openings in the Reform Party, these motivated fundamentalists saw an opportunity to take control and join the other "extremists" from the "God Squad".

Jason Kenny himself took Jan Brown's seat. Rob Anders, whose nomination was brought forward by Hermina Dykxhoorn (5), president of the Alberta Federation of Women United for Families, an anti-women's rights group and affiliate of REAL Women of Canada, claimed Stephen Harper's.

Other hand selected social conservatives included Maurice Vellacott, Gerry Ritz and Jim Pankiw, who would later get into trouble after writing a letter to the president of the University of Saskatchewan condemning their affirmative action policies and comparing them to the KKK.
Following the Dec. 20, 1999 signing of an agreement between the U of S and the provincial government forming a partnership to work to increase the number of aboriginal people in the University’s workforce, Saskatoon-Humboldt Reform MP Jim Pankiw wrote a letter to U of S Pres. Peter MacKinnon and Saskatchewan Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Jack Hillson condemning the move. Pankiw said it smacked of racism and bigotry, and resembled the former segregationist policies of the southern United States. He said proponents of the agreement could be seen as "modern-day Klansmen". (6)
But besides the influx of fundamentalists, this was also a period that saw an enormous number of non-profit groups emerge, that would back up the agenda, including the Civitas Society. This group was founded by William Gairdner, early Reform Party member, and the hierarchy includes many other far-right Harper supporters: David Frum, former speechwriter of George W. Bush, Link Byfield, Ezra Levant and of course, Jason Kenney.

There was an attempt by some in the party to combat this infiltration of religious extremists, including Nancy Branscombe.
Nancy Branscombe was not successful as the Reform candidate for Peterborough during the 1997 federal election. In response to the CLC election questionnaire,he indicated that she considered herself to be pro-choice, did not oppose the sale and listing of the abortion drug RU-486 and supported legalized doctor-assisted suicide. During that election she was also the Reform party's organizer for 23 Ontario ridings and became known by the pro-life community for her intense social liberal views. Branscombe was one of the party chiefs who forced the removal of a reform candidate's campaign manager simply because the manager was pro-life. (7)
And when she attempted again in 2000, the so-con infrastructure was in place and they took immediate action:

An anonymously published pamphlet titled "Who is Nancy Branscombe?" was mailed to some Alliance members and handed out at the nomination meeting. Among other things the pamphlet claimed:

- "Nancy states she stands for strengthening the traditional family, yet she refers to herself as a feminist and openly supports the killing of unborn children".

- "Many members report that she has demoralized the riding association, manipulating the membership lists to ensure her control."

- "She has repeatedly dishonoured herself, the people she represents and her party with crude, off-colour comments".

In the end Branscombe lost the October 21 nomination by a wide margin of 970 to 555. (7)

These people are now in control and the late Stan Robert's predictions of "a bunch of right-wing Christian fanatics" taking over, have materialized.


*Stephen Harper voted against the motion and would later say that Bill C-38 to redefine marriage would prevent religious schools from firing gays and lesbians if it was discovered that they were in a same-sex marriage. (7)

**Ringma repeated his remarks at the next caucus meeting and received a standing ovation.

***Keith Martin is now a Liberal MP


1. Stephen Harper and the politics of suspicion, By Don Newman, CBC News, November 19, 2009

2. Preston Manning and the Reform Party, by Murray Dobbin, Goodread Biographies/Formac Publishing, 1992, ISBN: 0-88780-161-7, pg. 121-122

3. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2, Pg. 295-296

4. Jeffrey, 1999, Pg. 318-319

5. Hold your fire, National Post Thursday, July 03, 2003

6. In response to Pankiw’s attack letter, Pres. says no Aboriginal hiring quotas". On Campus News. University of Saskatchewan. January 21, 2000.

7. CA Parachute Candidate Nancy Branscombe Severely Criticized, LifeSite News, November 9, 2000

8. Harper’s speech makes case for firing gay people … where does Conservative leader stand? Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, February 17, 2005