Cyberwanderer’s Blog

January 31, 2008

The 1,000 troops con game

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 6:04 pm
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Does Harper think we were all born yesterday? He promised to accept whatever Parliament decide on whether to extend our Afghanistan mission beyond 2009. But now he is busy giving the impression to everyone (NATO, U.S.) that if they would just produce 1,000 extra troops, everything will be alright and Canada will stay indefinitely. The fact is all opposition party and majority of Canadian have consistently said no to extension. What game does he think he is playing? He is acting like a con man trying to pull a quick one on Canadian. So what if Manley report says 1,000 troops is all we need. Like I mentioned before, Manley’s opinion is as good as other Canadians and certainly no better than majority of Canadians.


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It’s all Greek for Harper

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 1:06 am
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There’s a new scandal brewing related to …… Harper (surprise) and his deputy press secretary Dimitri Soudas and fundraiser (then awarded position in Via Rail) Leo Housakos. In characteristically Harperist fashion, when he gets in trouble and comes under question and pressure, he throw a fit and spew hate languages. I guess for him, the best defense is offense. Some of the more prominent tantrum incidence includes: Labeling Liberal as Taliban sympathizers, Media conspiracy / media bias and CNSC conspiracy. Now today, under intense questioning regarding his senior officials interference on a case in the court, he said:

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The Bloc member mentioned two people who are of Greek origin, one who was an employee here in Ottawa and another one who is a supporter of Conservative party in Montreal. The fact that there’s two Montreal gentleman of Greek origin does not mean there is a conspiracy here.
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No one in the opposition said anything about the people involved being Greek. I did not even know until Harper said it. MP demand apology for Harper’s snide remark about Greeks.

Harper’s diversion aside (and his attempt to portray the controversy in question as nothing really happened), the allegation is they try to intervene in a case that is before the court. “Try to” being the keyword because they did not succeed. But if true, just because they did not succeed should not absolved them from any wrongdoing.


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January 29, 2008

Harper still in denial, Hillier upset

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 5:48 pm
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Globe and Mail reported at 2:00 AM that Rick Hillier were pretty piss off with Harper for always using him in his political game (see update after this post). And it is amazing how they use the reason of “operational secrecy” to refuse to answer any question (relating to the detainee transfer) yesterday. It appears they decided to use that line after their “strategy session” over the weekend. This effectively shield them from having to answer to why they misled Canadian about the detainee transfer.

harperhillier.jpgThe military answered the question Harper and his party refused to answer. If it is really such a high security sensitive issue then why did the military reveal the details. According to latest Globe and Mail article (updated 4:24 PM EST), Harper still refused to answer the question today and (knowing that the military have already revealed the details) said military can disclose the details. There’s got to be a point when this government should be held accountable and accept responsibility rather than constantly shifting blame and firing people, and refusing to answer a valid question. Here’s the details revealed by the military:

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The Canadian Forces are holding insurgent detainees at their Kandahar Air Force base rather than turning them over to Afghan authorities, are taking fewer prisoners and are quickly releasing some of them.

The information, provided to The Globe and Mail by sources, answers questions about Canada’s new policy for handling detainees that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other ministers repeatedly refused to provide Monday, citing the need for combat operational secrecy.
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Even news in Germany already reported the halt to prisoner transfer.

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Mr. Harper told the House of Commons Monday that his government will “never” answer questions about how many prisoners Canadian troops take or where they are kept. He also said the bilateral agreement governing the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities is still in place.

However, on Nov. 14, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted German General Egon Ramms as saying NATO was aware that transferred detainees were being abused by Afghan authorities and that Canadian troops in Kandahar had stopped handing over prisoners until their safety and human rights could be guaranteed.
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So while Harper is in denial about abuses and was (and still is) keeping Canadians in the dark, Germany’s General have already told their media everything. Now that everything have been revealed here through our military, Harper still refused to admit he was wrong but instead lied about not being told by the military.

Update for January 30, 2008:

CFRA 580 is reporting that General Hillier denies he is ‘furious’ and defended Harper, saying the government is not scapegoating military. If true, Hillier is defending Harper as not blaming military when they were caught red handed doing just that. So this is despite the fact that defence officials talking to reporters were so mad and shouting over the phone after Sandra Buckler lied about military not informing them (see my previous post about Sandra Buckler for more about this).


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Harper speech, a prelude to election lies

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 2:00 am
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harperlook.jpgHarper delivered a speech during the celebration of his party’s election victory anniversary. His speech gave us a taste of what lies he plan to sow if there is an election. Starting from his December interview, he have been hinting about hard economic times ahead. There were already fear of economic slow down in U.S. when Harper was busy cutting GST to boost his party in the polls. Economist have called the GST cut wrong-headed and won’t help the economy. But Harper and Flaherty ignored their advice. In his speech today, he said this of the Liberal:

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They never saw a tax they didn’t like. Never saw a tax they wouldn’t hike.
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Which of course is not true and the person saying that is either ignorant of the fact or intentionally lying. Looks like Harper would try to use that as a theme in an election thinking he can deceive the people. He have tons of money from political contribution and have a large war chest to spent on advertising. As sellers of consumer product knows, marketing works. So expect to be bombarded with these false message over and over again through TV, radio and other media ads. As one official of the great brain washing propaganda machine in history have said:

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“A lie, repeated often enough, will end up as truth”. – Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda)
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Alexander Panetta of Canadian Press points out in the news article “Harper sets economy as key theme in election-style speech” that

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The previous Liberal government cut taxes by $100-billion, eliminated the deficit, presided over years of uninterrupted economic growth, and tabled more tax cuts in a 2005 budget the Tories later reversed.
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A research reported by Washington Post talks about how human brain develop biases based on persistent myth and

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Indeed, repetition seems to be a key culprit. Things that are repeated often become more accessible in memory, and one of the brain’s subconscious rules of thumb is that easily recalled things are true.
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And for those who likes to believe Harper lies even if a quick search of fact reveal what he says is not true, they likely belong to these group.

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The mind’s bias does affect many people, especially those who want to believe the myth for their own reasons, or those who are only peripherally interested and are less likely to invest the time and effort needed to firmly grasp the facts.
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I don’t find the previous Liberal government faultless. For that is why a lot of traditional Liberal supporter voted them out in the last election so that they can elect a new leader. Now they have a new leader in Stephane Dion. He might not be as charismatic as other leaders but he is not stupid like Conservative would have you believe. Harper would like to keep blaming everything on past Liberal government and act like Dion was on the helm at that time. But since Harper constantly engage in lies and taking opposition word out of context, always treating non-partisans bureaucrats with contempt for not towing their partisan line, then I’ll take my chance with Dion. When you filter out the noise from Harper’s hack repetitive talking point discrediting Dion, you would realize that what Dion says makes more sense than what Harper have to offer.

Harper also said in his speech:

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Their reckless spending would – in one budget – push the country back into deficit, adding to the federal debt and putting upward pressure on interest rates,
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So expect Harper to accuse Liberal of overspending if they offer any money for health and social services, which are considered an abomination by Harper. He would probably claim Liberal are being irresponsible and it is not possible to spend for all these health and social services. Of course, Harper conveniently gloss over the fact that under previous Liberal government, Canada’s economy was resilient even during times of economic slowdown in USA. Contrast that with the present government where economist are projecting a possible deficit this time around even for just a mild slowdown. They also willfully ignore the fact that economist calculated that GST cut won’t be noticeable and that they support Dion’s plan to cut personal income tax instead of GST.

He also kept saying “Canada is back” like we were on a decline. What is closer to the truth is under Harper, our international reputation is on a decline. He embarrasses Canada in more ways than one. Not the least of which range from environment / health issues to human rights issue, from taking sides in international conflict to ignoring established law.

Reading the speech you would think he was talking about a different government. Phrase like “To working parents, we said: we get it……. To seniors, you will be respected…. To those unrepresented by lobbyists and special interests: We hear you.” As those links shows, what Harper said is opposite to what he does. It’s worse than saying you are going to do something and not do it. Here, he said one thing but did the exact opposite.


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January 28, 2008

Could the isotope crisis have been prevented?

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 7:17 pm
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In today’s question period, Liberal MP Marlene Jennings said Canadian officials told European supplier of medical isotopes not to increase their production of isotopes. Then the next day, Minister of Health Tony Clement claimed he is trying to find isotopes.

So if he is trying to find isotopes, why would they ask European supplier not to increase production to cover for isotopes shortage here? Clement claimed he did contact the company to supply the medical isotopes. MP Marlene Jennings fired back saying they waited 19 days before asking for supplies from the European company.

The 19 days lapse was reiterated by Bloc Quebecois MP Claude Debellefeuille and she also points out France, Belgium and Netherland was capable of filling the gap. Clement answered by singling out Belgium. He claims Belgium can’t fill the gap but failed to mention whether France, Belgium and Netherland together could have filled the gap as claimed by the Bloc Quebecois MP.


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