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Website updates

Friday, May 27, 2005
MOVED TO:

WWW.MKBRAATEN.COM

M.K. Braaten

Mail the Prime Minister a rock campaign

Thursday, May 26, 2005
Well, I have been reading a lot of blogs and it looks like there are a lot of pissed off bloggers out there that are either:

1) Fed up with corruption at the highest levels of government;

2) Rightlyfully do not respect the Government because they failed to respect the confidence vote;

3) Sick of having socialism forced on them;

4) Mad that Ontario wont vote out the corrupt government

5) Choked that the government carelessly spends our tax dollars

Therefore, what can we do about it? Well, how about we spend some of OUR tax dollars just to piss the less-than-Prime Minister Paul Martin off??

Well Aaron (grandinite.com) and I have developed a game plan. Since it requires no postage or return address to send the Prime Minister mail, what we are going to do, and we hope you join us, is mail the Prime Minister's office a parcel filled with a rock, brick, or whatever else you can think of.

The address is:

Office of the Prime Minister
Rt Hon. Paul Martin
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6

Dont forget to leave a note to tell him just how unhappy you are with him and his government! Although a room full of rocks wont make him resign I think its a funny way to make a point! And hey its free postage so what the hell.

WWW.MKBRAATEN.COM

My blog has a new address on the world wide web. It is:

www.mkbraaten.com

However if you access my page from the old address of mkbraaten.blogspot.com you will automatically be redirected to the new address.

Thanks for reading my site. I appreciate your comments!

M.K. Braaten

Kroll Report

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

UPDATE 2:

Grandinite blog points out that there are some interesting people running this taxpayer funded $1 million dollar Adscam damage control office for the Liberals:

Guy McKenzie - Was named last year by AG Sheila Fraser as someone who authorized sponsorship transactions involving departments and Crown corporations

Ursula Menke - Former inspector general of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and former deputy commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard . Also, she previously worked for Paul Martin in the Finance department as a superintendent of Financial Institutions. Ms. Menke has been providing ongoing advice to the PMO and Mr. Himelfarb in regard to the inquiry. She said the office was involved in providing all the required documents to the inquiry and has acted as a liaison for Judge Gomery.

So we have a former Finance/CSIS officer working for the PMO with the goal of minimizing the damage that the Gomery inquiry is revealing. This person is in charge for supplying all the required documents to Judge Gomery. And, we have McKenzie who has been implicated in Adscam by Fraser helping as well.

Check out Grandinite for more...

Update I:

In case you didnt realize, it has been revealed today that the Liberals are billing tax payers over $1 million dollars to handle the fallout of the Gomery commission. Incredible. So essentially we are paying the government's million bill so that we dont get mad at the fact that they stole our money. That makes alot of sense.

This Liberal Party press release says that since the Accountants said the money was 'purported' to be given to the Liberal party that it really wasn't in fact given to them and that it will be 'up to Gomery' confirm it. The Liberal party sure didn't wait very long to issue a denial. However, I guess when you pay over a million dollars to debunk fallout, those denials better be issued very quickly. So at the very least I guess we are getting our moneys worth in defending the Liberal party from ourselves.

Oh, one other note. Although the accountants revealed that they found over $100 million dollars more than expected, the Toronto Star website has a breaking story on their front page about a "rash of fireworks-related incidents across the GTA this holiday weekend." Now that is quality coverage.

A final note, why is it that the CBC was the first (and so far only) news corporation to have a copy of the Kroll report on their website? Also, the PDF document that I downloaded shows an error when you try to click on the "Appendices" or the "Schedules" sections (these are the best and most informative sections of any report from an Accountant). Anyways ill let you make your own inferences on that one.

Kroll Report:

Payments to the Liberal Party:

Source

Total reported amount donated to the Liberal party is $768,536, but if you include Jean Brault’s unofficial donation of $1,763,587, the total is then $2,532,123 donated to the Liberal party of Canada. But of course, the Liberal party was quick to deny this.

Contract Management Irregularities:
(excerpts)
-Billed more hours for professional services to PWGSC than were recorded in agency records for a specific event;
-Billed PWGSC for fees that were already paid by PWGSC via the AOR;
-Billed PWGSC based on approved estimated costs (a fixed fee) while the contract required billing based on approved hourly rates and actual hours incurred; and
-Billed costs incurred to PWGSC before a contract was in place.
-Charged 17.65% commission on work sub-contracted to related parties;
-Passed on to PWGSC a substantial mark-up on promotional items purchased from a related supplier;
-Billed sub-contractor labour costs at full agency contract labour rates instead of the actual cost plus 17.65%;
-Did not obtain competitive quotes for sub-contracted work in excess of $25,000;
-Charged a finder’s fee or commission to a sponsoree while collecting a commission from PWGSC for being the communication agency;

Also:

-Jacques Corriveau's company PluriDesign charged GroupAction $430,370 for services that could not be dicerned via documentation.
-The Finance department was responsible for 115.19 million of the sponsorship costs.
-From 1995-2002 Groupe Everest ‘earned’ $476.2 million dollars in revenues from Government of Canada related business (sponsorship).

One thing that is odd is that the Liberal party finances and its riding associations were not investigated.



Gomery Update

Well, I am watching the accountants presentation at Gomery, here are some updates:

The cost of the sponsorship scandal was $355 million, not $250 million.

Some programs were double funded, i.e. two government sources would fund a $3 million dollar initiative, twice. So Chuck Guite would have an extra $3 million to play with.

Developing...

4.5 million dollars paid to Montreal Canadians for advertising... (none to the other CDN teams)

6.0 million dollars paid to the Montreal Expos's (1.4 to the Blue Jays)...

Update:
The accountants just confirmed that money went to the Liberal Party of Canada

More updates on this post of mine. Dont ask me why im blogging two posts at a time.

Alberta Blogs

Monday, May 23, 2005
I have recently joined a new blogroll called "Alberta Blog." It looks pretty cool, its members are of every political stripe so it should be quite interesting. Anyhow if your blog is from Alberta click here to join up. Also, there is another blog that Aaron (grandinite.blogspot.com) set up called Non Corporate bloggers. Add the link to your site today!

Monday

What a gloomy day today.

Aside from the weather, this day isn't going well at all.

Some times when you make a decision it's not easy to deal with the consequences of it because your decisions affect another person -- and that's the worst part.

But sometimes something that affected you in the past can affect your current decision. And right now I am trying to figure out if it's best to learn from those past events so they don't occur again by deciding one way; or does deciding the other way demonstrate that what your trying to learn from the past shouldn't affect your current decision?

And no, this isn’t about politics.

Capitalism

Here is another interesting comment from a reader in response to this post:

Unfortunately, this is the result of the capitalist society we all 'buy' into. Essentially we are entering into an era that will reveal the ill-conceived notion that a free market economy could become so intricate, so scientific, as to affect every aspect of our lives. Think about it. Really step back and think about the possibility that our very lives are becoming more and more encompassed in the 'neo-American dream' of making money. Not houses with picket fences, not 2.3 children, for these have been 'discovered' to be the result of having, and making money. In the rational society we live in today it should come as no surprise that we, as a whole, have evolved into capitalist savvy consumers. After all, now that religion was 'discovered' to be a hoax, what else are you going to attribute the meaning of life to?

This is not to say that free market economy/society is or will be detrimental to our ever-expanding western society. One may even argue that it was/is a vital piece of the puzzle that is global democracy. It seems we have passed the point of no return on the road to a true 'global village' so the issue of global democracy will no doubt become a topic of world leaders. If we must now become members of the global economy/society it could be argued that the most congruent cultural symbol among the millions of formerly independent worldly cultures is the idea of money. In order for any society or economy to survive the players (i.e., everyone!!), must have their goals and objectives aligned. What other 'entity' exists that can objectively ensure everyone is ‘on the same page’?

It could also be argued that capitalistic societies/economies can better ‘control’ (for lack of a better word) certain social issues that are fast becoming epidemics. The solution to virtually every complex problem in recent history can be attributed to, in a capitalistic sense, the allocation of resources. Whether human, monetary, or knowledge, the solution to a capitalistic problem is resources. If the pervasiveness of capitalism is becoming so great as to effect our very way of life, then, logically, wouldn’t it be in the common interest of the people (as meant in its most general of terms) to harness the power of capitalism and use it to create the picture of the so called ‘utopian society’? Whether or not capitalism is the “ideal” basis on which to form a society or economy is not being contested in this argument. Merely it is professing that capitalism has become a dominant force in our lives and shows no signs of slowing. In capitalistic terms, this represents an opportunity to develop a tool that will put the organization in better position for future profits, after factoring the social effects into the NPV (Net present value).

And thus… I get to my point. In order to prevent negative capitalistic outcomes, such as the news media’s need for power or the mockery that is Canadian government, there needs to be capitalistic ‘punishment’ in an opposite and equal direction. Take for example the modern stock market, where every aspect of business is down to a science that theoretically revolves around information. If all information is known, no party is worse off or better off for reasons without merit. If we can adapt this capitalistic ‘science’ to society we may be able to better understand, and thus solve, the social/economic problems that plague the capitalistic ideology.

Until we solve the inherent problems in our capitalistic society we cannot expect the government or economy to be without them. After all, isn’t a democracy meant to reflect the will of the masses?

DB

Hockey and Politics II

I had an reader post a couple well thought out comments that I feel deserve their own posts. Last week I wrote:

Being a member of the Conservative party is similar to being the #1 fan of the Vancouver Canucks.

You always have so much potential, often come so close, but in the end, you always lose.

Thank god there isnt playoffs this spring, I don't think I could handle both defeats.


Then in the comments section I had this comment:

As a loyal Canuck fan, I know exactly what you mean. Only difference is that hockey's merely a diversion from things that matter.

Then a reader posted this fine argument:

RE: "As a loyal Canuck fan, I know exactly what you mean.

Only difference is that hockey's merely a diversion from things that matter."

I argue that hockey is (was) one of the most uniting aspects of the mess that we call Canada. Surely we would all agree that our sense of 'national pride' is elevated when Canada unites for the common cause that is hockey. As depressing as it may be, hockey has become one of the few elements left in the Canadian culture that can be uniquely identified and shared by Canadians.

Thus, like it or not, hockey is one of the few things that we as Canadians can agree upon. I argue that the key to solving our social-policy and political woe’s lies within our national identity, the premise of which is based on our unique commonalities.

If we can find something to agree upon, maybe, just maybe, we can use it as a catalyst to develop and enhance the notion of a truly Canadian society. Too often we focus on the opposing interests of 'sub-cultures' that only involve meaningful consideration by those affected directly. We have become so tuned into the 'idiot-box' that our society views public policy as if it were a reality show. The viewers (i.e., the Canadian population), believe that someone else, someone more qualified, is looking out for their best interests, when in 'reality' this lack of motivation to construct and vocalize meaningful opinions is ensuring that our 'best interests' will become secondary.

Being the savvy diplomats that we are, Canadians are increasingly choosing to avoid conflict at whatever cost if it means the 'feelings' of someone else will be spared. This ideology has become so pervasive that we no longer have the ability, nor motivation to actively and meaningfully participate in democracy.

If hockey is something that a large group of us can relate to, understand, and render opinions upon, then we should embrace its spirit as it may be one of the few remaining Canadian 'entities' that actually represents a unified effort on behalf of the ADD plagued masses. If only we could incorporate body checking and power plays into the parliament… Maybe then Canadians would demand referees to ensure ‘fair play’.

DBB

Lost the battle to win the war

Saturday, May 21, 2005
Man, I hit up the Green Day concert the other night at Rexall Place here in Edmonton. What a concert! I’m starting to feel old, as I remember I was a teenager when their first album came out in 1993; there were so many young kids there that probably weren’t even around when their first album came out!

Sometimes life just passes you by. Too often are we so focused on the future, you know, 4 years till I finish my degree, 2 years till I earn my professional designation, 15 years till I become partner of the firm...were so busy focusing on the future that we often fail to appreciate the present. But the reason you focus on the future is to achieve your vision of yourself, to define your life, to become who you want to be.

And what disheartens me is that none of our country's leaders have offered us a vision for our Country. Pierre Trudeau, for all his faults, had a vision for our Country. And I respect that. Although his vision for Canada is not similar to mine, at least he had one.

Are our politicians an example of us Canadians?

Do we have no collective vision for our Country? And if not, why?

In business, if there is an industry that is lacking of innovation then the first company that offers a viable solution to the industry’s main problem, often the company will succeed. This is similar to Canadian politics. There is currently a market for a leader to offer a strong vision of Canada, based on principles and vision, and Stephen Harper should be capitalizing on that. He should be not be scared to be different then the Liberals. He should boldly proclaim to us his vision of Canada.

We live in a Country of apathy. And it makes you think, maybe apathy is a product of socialism? People are so used to having 'other' people do things for them, that they fail to care about anything.

The simple fact that a government can stay in power even though they are being investigated of stealing tax payer dollars is sad. The Liberals in Canada are abusing the trust of Canadians, and to tell you the truth, we know it but we don’t care.

Do you think that the accountants at Enron were allowed to continue practicing while they were awaiting their trial? I highly doubt it. Now think about the government, the simple fact that our Government is under investigation is enough to make me realize that they are not fit to govern. But they still are.

Think about it though, the Liberal government is only in power because the speaker had to break the tie in the vote last week. Conservatism has come a long way since its back was broken when they were reduced to two seats back in 1993. Soon there will be a Conservative government. Maybe not this summer, or maybe not next, but it will happen. There is a movement across the Country. More and more people are questioning Liberalism.

It’s funny to see Martin declare that he has a majority in the House of Commons. Several years ago, the idea that the party would be clinging to power by the vote of the speaker would be laughable. Paul Martin had to cling to power through vote buying and by fundamentally changing the budget; it’s pathetic. And I bet that Jean Chrétien is sitting in his chair, watching the news, and smiling. Laughing at how desperate Paul Martin has become, but likely sad that his party will be forever tainted.

When the vote on the Budget went to the Liberals on Thursday, I had to admit, I was right choked up. But, I thought, this is good for the Conservatives. The Liberals are only further destroying their chances of being re-elected. In a year’s time, after putting up with more BS from the Martin government, people will be looking for another party to vote for. And if the Conservatives do a good job selling their ideology and vision to Canadians, maybe, just maybe they will be elected.

Don’t fret, because as Stephen Harper correctly put it, we've lost the battle in order to win the war.

No election

Friday, May 20, 2005
Put away your lawn signs. I have just received confirmation from the office of Stephen Harper that there will not be an election this summer.

Alberta Blog Roll

Thursday, May 19, 2005
People are googling "alberta blogs", so I know there are some of you out there who want to read blogs from Alberta.

Starting a blogroll is tough, because it depends on network externalities - often the number of people willing to join is a function of people already in the blogroll. I need some good, pro-Alberta bloggers to answer the call.

Here is what I am finding: Blogs Canada is not that great when it comes to centralizing blogs on the basis of geography.

Having an Alberta blogroll identifies you as being from Alberta, and links you to a community of bloggers within the province. The blogroll will link you to fellow bloggers, regardless of content or political stripe.

Some potential members have expressed concerns that the blogroll would be dominated by right-wing bloggers, and have stated that they would prefer not to link to blogs of the opposite end of the political spectrum.

I say that this is precisely the divisiveness that Alberta Blogs hopes to overcome.

Instead of focusing on where people are divided politically, I think it is imperative that we focus on common ground. Everybody has something in common, and by sharing that we can be engaged in more civilized and enlightening blogosphere communication.

So join up! All you have to do is send an email to albertablogs[at]gmail[.]com stating why you want to join and tell me a bit about yourself. I will then send you the blogrolling code that will update automatically as others join in.

Posted by Aaron at Grandinite.blogspot.com

Hockey and Politics

Being a member of the Conservative party is similar to being the #1 fan of the Vancouver Canucks.

You always have so much potential, often come so close, but in the end, you always lose.

Thank god there isnt playoffs this spring, I don't think I could handle both defeats.

Liberals stay in power


Government wins vote, stays in power.

Cadman votes for corruption.

So, I guess, because the Liberals had their budget passed, there's no reason for an election in the spring? That's apparently what the media is saying. I guess the Liberal's are no longer corrupt. Hmm, its kind of hard to understand that logic.


The secret recording

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Apparently the Tories are going to release more tapes in the morning. The media seems eerily silent about this, though it is quite late.

Anyhow, go to Coyne's thread regarding this new twist.

Also check out what Warren Kinsella and Paul Wells have to say.


I dont get it

Well, it looks like this tape could hurt the liberals.

I dont get it.

The liberals have been implicated in the biggest financial fraud in the history of our Country, they have stolen money from us, they have not paid it back, they have sold off judgeships, they have presided over the biggest financial mismanagements in Canadian history (gun registry), and currently are now being investigated on how they handed out the $1 billion dollar Royal Lepage contract and now Paul Martin has bought off Belinda Stronach, bought off the NDP, bought off most voters in Ontario with a 23$ billion dollar spending spree, failed to respect the constitution by not calling an immediate vote, cancelled opposition days, and illegally attempts to bribe Tory MP's with cabinet positions.

And after all of this we still hear: "lets wait for gomery, we dont need an election."

I dont get it.

I just dont get it.

Fuzzy math

Ah the good old Canadian Press.

This amused me:

"Chuck Cadman said Wednesday that his riding constituents indicated in a poll that they don't want an election -- and that he must listen to them.

"That's what I'm getting from this (poll)," he told The Canadian Press. "It's only one factor. (But) it is a major factor because I have to represent the views of my constituents."

He said a poll of 600 eligible voters in his B.C. Surrey North riding indicated two-thirds of respondents didn't want an election.

Specifically, he said, 53 per cent of respondents didn't want an election this spring, 13 per cent didn't want one in the foreseeable future, and only 23 per cent wanted one immediately.


Update: Thanks to my readers for pointing out my mistake! It was a test...yaa....right..but anyways, 13% dont want a election in the forseeable future, I dont think they should be factored into his decision. What the hell is wrong with those people.

Update 2: Source

Down but not out

Watch Peter Mackay's interview right here

Poignant Hypocrisy

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
You know, I was thinking about the technicalities of the non-confidence vote last week and according to the strict, literal interpretation of the constitution, the non-confidence vote was not technically an official non-confidence vote.

However, all the experts that commented on the matter raised the point that the spirit of the vote meant that it was a non-confidence vote, regardless of the technicalities of it. This is considered a liberal interpretation of the law: What it meant rather then what the law explicitly states.

So I thought, isn’t it funny that when it comes to reading the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Liberal judges will base its decisions (on human rights, etc) on the liberal reading of the constitution; what really it meant to say, not what it actually says.

But, when it comes to the Liberals and their grip on power, they chose to read the law (regarding the legalities of the non-confidence vote) in the strictest sense, the literal interpretation of the law.

So what does this mean? Well, apparently the new mantra of the Liberal party is to read the constitution in a literal sense. So, then, I guess that means that since the Charter does not explicitly support same sex marriage, then it is not constitutionally allowed? Hmm??

What hypocrisy.

The danger of newspapers in the blogosphere

Monday, May 16, 2005
The corporate takeover of the internet was inevitable the minute corporations figured out how to generate a profit from it. Back in the early 90’s, the internet was relatively free of corporate interests. Though, by the end of that decade corporate interests had largely taken over the internet in the areas of commerce, news, and marketing. Avid internet users, such as me, often gave up on the idea of the internet being a free and corporate-less world. But, then there was blogging. In the late 90’s blogging was as a relatively unused resource, except for the technologically oriented. But, it was a new medium, it was free from corporate interests, and it allowed internet users to say whatever they liked, do whatever they wanted to do, and voice their opinions to the world. Blogging creates a social opinion, one that is free of forced partisan bias (government influence) or corporate influence. Its our (common people) finest form of communicating with one collective voice.

However, today blogging is often characterized as a ‘new medium’ for information distribution. New mediums generally attract big business. Sure enough now there are more and more corporations entering the foray of the blogosphere; be it for human resource purposes or using it as a new medium to reach potential customers. But one thing that bothers me is that newspapers are now starting up corporate blogs. What’s the point of a newspaper having a blog if they have editorials? In my opinion, the newspapers should butt out of the blogosphere as they are only infiltrating this medium because most people are realizing that mainstream media is, especially in Canada, very partisan and very useless. By having journalists enter the blogosphere via corporate newspaper websites; a two tiered structure will develop in the blogosphere whereby independent bloggers will not be considered credible because they are not ‘professional.’ (More on that near the end).

In contrast, I for one find corporate (non-newspaper) blogs very interesting and useful. If anyone ever reads the blogs from the employees of Microsoft or from Google, you know what I mean. The Microsoft blogs often have very interesting information on them; whether its how to write a new type of computer algorithm or what it’s like to work in the Hotmail department, etc. These types of blogs serve a purpose; it opens readers to a world that very few people ever experience. Though, I do find it interesting when someone who is working for these tech companies has a blog and blogs about what its like to work there, or asks his/her readers for advice on various issues. Sometimes Microsoft uses its bloggers to test new ideas, it gets people involved with the everyday process, and that’s kind of cool. Now don’t get me wrong, these bloggers are forced to abide by a certain set of rules (don’t talk about pay, new products, etc), but at the same time, they are not a news organization, and therefore, these employees use it as a medium to voice their opinions about various issues.

But what really pisses me off is newspaper bloggers. No, not an everyday journalists that has a personal blog, such as Andrew Coyne, but blogs that are actually located at a newspaper website, such as the new Toronto Star blog. Firstly, isn’t this what editorials are for? Why can’t these journalists write these ‘blogs’ in the newspaper? I mean that is the essence of editorials! What real reason do they have to enter the blogosphere? None. Have our newspapers become so pro-big business that they won’t let their journalists be critical or say what they actually think? What benefit does corporate blogging actually have to a company’s profit? Especially for a news agency! Although, I can think of a few ideas such as advertisement, I cannot think of any way they could generate material revenues from a blog. Or, maybe they plan on making blogging a subscriber based business model whereby a reader pays a fee to access a blog. If that occurred, I would sell my computers, and never use the net again (ya right) but you get my drift, the one last medium us users have against big media would finally be ‘corporatized.’

But anyway, back to my point. The idea of blogging is essentially that you can write a post; share your opinion and thoughts. And if you write a really stupid post then your readers will leave you disparaging comments and you are kept in line. In addition, the purpose of comments is to generate discussions, to propagate the flow of information, to test ideas, and post theories. But these newspaper bloggers don’t have a comment section; they can just spout off their partisan tripe and not be held accountable for their opinions. They therefore fail to meet the essential element of blogging: propagating discussion through feedback and comments. To me, what they are doing is not blogging, its corporate propaganda. Harsh words, I know, but what else are they good for, especially in today’s age of a left wing dominated media industry (in Canada).

Journalists are considred professionals and therefore are considered more credible then bloggers. But that is a joke because journalists are not ‘professionals’. A professional journalist is different then the normal meaning of a professional. A professional, in general, is defined as a person with a technical skill who must abide by strict rules of conduct, guidelines, and are accountable to a governing body (such as a doctor, accountant, or lawyer). If they breach their respective rules, then they can have their designation taken away. A professional journalist is therefore not a professional in the truest sense, they are just good writers who fact check and investigate (usually they just steal bloggers ideas). But either way, journalists are still considered 'professionals' in the sense that they are deemed to be credible. Consider this, if you’re an accountant that doesn’t yet have his professional credentials, yet you are very knowledgeable and your work is impeccable, your work will not be considered as ‘good’ as the work of an accountant who has received his professional designation. Irrespective of the quality of work, the simple fact that you do not have a professional designation will cause others (who know nothing about the profession) to believe the ‘professional over the ‘non professional. That is what will happen if newspaper companies begin to dominate the blogosphere, a two tiered structure will emerge, and the average Joe’s opinion will become irrelevant. By ‘professionalizing’ blogging, corporate newspapers can then discredit any blogger who isn’t with a corporate newspaper; it will create a two tier structure within the blogosphere. Independent bloggers will be viewed with added skepticism because they are not ‘professionals.’

The only reason, in my mind, that newspapers are attempting to ‘blog’ is to attain market share and to control the influence of the blogosphere. Its not for money, no, there is no money in blogging, but it’s to eliminate dissent or crush any ‘rumors’ that may turn in to stories. Why would they do this? Well, same reason why none of these lazy ass ‘investigative’ reporters in Canada haven’t looked into the Oil For Food scandal and how it links to the Liberals, or Paul Martin’s 165 million dollar subsidy whitewash, or even the 2 billion dollar over costing of the gun registry. Newspapers have the power to bring these scandals to light, they have the power to hold our government to account, but they don’t, for whatever reasons you can think of. Unless some corporate blogger can give me unarguable reason why those stories are not front page news, then I will change my opinion on the topic. The beauty of blogging is that one blogger posts a rumor, other blogger’s research it and the rumor may eventually become a factual story, which then is usually mentioned in the media.

If there is a two tier structure, however, newspaper blogs can be used to stop rumors from developing into stories (i.e. Dan Rather), which could then hurt the interests of certain elites (John Kerry). This is what I believe, blogging is becoming an all too powerful means for the regular Joe, and unless your on cloud nine then you realize that media controls the masses, and is used to protect the interests of the elite. Blogging is powerful: Dan Rather was disgraced because of bloggers. They proved the big media wrong in the 2004 presidential election. The notion that journalists some how have an elite status over bloggers is stupid. In general, good, independent bloggers have proven to be just as good as professional journalists. But back to my point, by having ‘professional’ journalists enter the blogosphere, thus creating a two tier structure, the average blogger will be discredited and the power of the blog will be reduced to another tool of the corporate elite. And once again, the one medium that us ‘nobody’s’ have to voice our opinion will once again be taken over by corporate interests. And that just pisses me off.


-M. K. Braaten

Tory radio ad

Looks like the Tories know for a fact that they will win the vote. How do I know this? Well, they've already released election style radio ads. Though, the voice over kinda sounds a bit creepy: Click here to listen

One thing is for sure, based on this ad, I think this campaign is going to be 'R' rated.

Update, here's the other one:

Martin defends the PMO

Here is a photo that I made up. Its of Paul Martin, in the Prime Minister's Office on Friday after losing the non-confidence vote. As you can see, he doesnt want to leave:


Site update

I made some minor changes to the appearance of my blog. Let me know if it messes up your browser or anything.

M.K. Braaten


So much promise...

Sunday, May 15, 2005
Its funny how a picture speaks a thousand words. These two pictures, in my opinion represent Paul Martin of past and of present. A man who's future Prime Ministerialship was said to be of a future legend, but when he finally got there, he proved to be a dud.

So much promise back in 1990:





15 Years later, Paul Martin has proven to be a sad spectacle in the eyes of Canadians (even Liberals). Here is Paul Martin in 2005:


And here is Paul Martin in the House of Commons after losing the 2005 election.




An international embarrassment

Why on earth isn't Stephen Harper criticizing Paul Martin and the Liberal party for making our country look like an international embarrassment?

The international press has been reporting that Canada is doing this for political purposes. Now that Sudan has rejected Martin's recent ill thought out plans for invading Sudan, Canada just looks stupid.

Another Failed Liberal Promise

Saturday, May 14, 2005
Martin Breaks Promise to Restore Education Funding

Canadian Federation of Students, Ottawa, 23 Feb 05

Despite a record surplus, Prime Minister Paul Martin failed to deliver on an election promise to increase core funding for post-secondary education.


“During the election Paul Martin promised to restore core funding by creating a dedicated transfer payment for post-secondary education of $7 to $8 billion,” said George Soule, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “He broke that promise today.”


On June 4, 2004, during a nationally-televised federal election forum, Martin promised that he would divide the Canada Social Transfer to create a separate transfer for post-secondary education of “seven to eight billion dollars.”


“With the massive surplus to work with, we believed Martin would at least begin to honour his commitment,” said Soule. “We are shocked that this budget doesn’t provide a single new dollar of core funding.”


Federal funding for post-secondary education was severely cutback in the mid-1990’s when Martin was Finance Minister. As a result of cuts to federal funding, average tuition fees across Canada have increased to over $4000 per year and average student debt currently stands at $25,000.


“Federal funding for post-secondary education is a priority for Canadians,” said Soule, citing a recent Ipsos-Reid poll in which Canadians listed post-secondary education as their first choice for federal spending after health care. “Unfortunately, it is not a priority for the Prime Minister.”


Based on calculations from Statistics Canada’s Youth in Transition Survey, over 50,000 qualified young Canadians are denied access to post-secondary for financial reasons each year. Another recent Statistics Canada study confirmed that Canadians in the top fifth of income are twice as likely to go to university as those in the bottom fifth.


ALLERGY ALERT

This is just too funny.

ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared nuts in COCK brand MATSAMAN CURRY PASTE

OTTAWA, May 9, 2005 -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning people with allergies to nuts not to consume Cock Brand Matsaman Curry Paste described below. The affected product contains nuts which are not declared on the label. This alert is of concern to those individuals who are allergic to nuts.

The affected product, Cock Brand Matsaman Curry Paste, a product of Thailand, is sold in a 1 g package bearing UPC 84909 00382.

The importer is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The affected product has been distributed in Alberta.

Consumption of this product may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in persons with allergies to nuts. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time - Monday to Friday.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other food safety facts, visit our web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.

More bad news for Martin

Friday, May 13, 2005
Sudan rejects Canada's offer of military advisors

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Sudan has rejected a Canadian plan to send military advisors to the troubled Darfur region, saying Ottawa had not consulted Khartoum on its plan, the Sudanese embassy said on Friday.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin announced on Thursday a C$170 million ($136 million) aid package for Darfur, where thousands of people have been killed and two million displaced in a bloody civil war.

Martin also said Canada would send up to 100 military experts to help a African Union force in the region.

In a press release dated Thursday, the Sudanese embassy complained that Khartoum had not been consulted in advance about the plan.

"(We) would like to affirm that the unwavering position of the Sudanese government ... is categorically rejecting (sic) any deployment of non-African military personnel in the Darfur region. Any logistical and financial support is most welcomed," said the release, which was sent to Reuters on Friday.

"It is to be as well stated that any future efforts or plans on Darfur should be worked out and finalized with the satisfaction and full approval of the Sudanese government."

No one from Martin's office or the Canadian foreign ministry was immediately available for comment.

An African Union force of more than 2,300 soldiers and hundreds of civilian police are deployed in Darfur to monitor a shaky ceasefire agreed to in April of last year between mostly non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

A real translation

Thankfully, Chuck had the time to do a real translation:

I'd be careful of taking Google Language Tools or Babelfish too literally when attempting to parse for hidden meanings. Here's my best shot at a more colloquial translation, i.e. this isn't a transliteration, but it's the best I can do at preserving, in English, the meaning of the original French. Or at least the best I can do near midnight. =)

The prosecutor isn't sweeping aside or trivializing anything. When he's saying "Bon,..." he doesn't mean "Good,..." even though that's the word-for-word translation we all learned in elementary school. In that context, beginning a sentence, it means "OK...". Think of how in English we might say "Right, ...." even though we don't necessarily mean the preceding statement was correct -- it's just a way of acknowledging what's been said and passing to the next point.

Anyway, here's my colloquial translation. If there are inaccuracies, I'm not trying to slander/libel anyone:

Mr. Cournoyer: Did you have discussions with Mr. Paul Martin regarding the federal government program of visibility in Quebec, and if so, under what circumstances?

Mr. Corbeil: When Mr. Tobin left, I was the Québec organizer for Mr. Brian Tobin, and on January 14, 2001, Mr. Tobin retired from political life and -- pardon me, I said February -- excuse me, January 2002. At that time, Lucie Castilli (who was Mr. Martin's assistant) called to ask me if I wanted -- or that Mr. Martin wanted to meet me. So, Mr. Martin and I had a meeting on Parliament Hill when he was Finance Minister and I went to his office on the Hill and we talked of various things, particularly of the organization of our forces on the ground. We also talked about the ministers' regional tour because it came up naturally when discussing the elected officials -- one must understand that [he? -- meaning Mr. Martin? -- there's a word missing] is an elected official of Québec too -- of the ministers' regional tour, and of the federal government's presence in Québec.

These were things we discussed together, among other things.

[Note: I don't believe this tour had anything to do with the sponsorship scandal. These tours are common; they're usually fact-finding or public-consultation regional tours undertaken by ministers responsible for a particular portfolio; see for example http://www.lebulletinregional.com/rubrique/la_une/2005/cifq25042005.html and http://communiques.gouv.qc.ca/gouvqc/communiques/GPQF/Avril2005/15/c6061.html -- this would explain the prosecutor "writing off" the question.]

Cournoyer: So, an entirely normal discussion that you could have had and did have with someone who wanted to become leader of the Liberal Party?


Corbeil: Well, I mean, Mr. Martin, the big difference he had with Mr. Chretien wasn't the goals, it was the strategy for accomplishing those goals. Mr. Chretien leaned heavily towards, I'd call it a visible presence in Quebec, a federal government presence via the sponsorship program. Mr. Martin's strategy leaned much more towards integrating, I'd say parenthetically, "nationalists" into the heart of the Liberal Party of Canada.

[That, to me, is the shocker -- that Martin allegedly wanted to make the Liberal tent big enough to embrace Quebec nationalists! Mind you, I shouldn't be surprised: c.f. Mulroney and Bouchard.]

Cournoyer: But in practice, with Mr. Martin himself, did you have any discussion specifically relating to the sponsorship program and/or the federal government's visibility initiative?

Corbeil: My answer remains the same, Mr. Cournoyer. We didn't necessarily talk about sponsorships; we talked about visibility; we talked about the ministers' regional tours. Mr. Martin asked me: "Is this something we should keep doing? Is it something worthwhile [literally "interesting"] to Quebec?" I told him: "Yes, it's worthwhile." It was something that had borne fruit in Quebec.

------

Cournoyer: OK, when you say above and beyond the ministers' tour, what exactly did you discuss by way of visibility?

Corbeil: That it was wrong for the federal government to consider withdrawing. I didn't speak for the government, but I explained the situation. It was wrong to think that the federal government's strategy in local and regional media was negative. I told him on the contrary, it was something positive that we should maintain.

The ministers' regional tours were also worth keeping. It was a real plus to see elected officials in the regions, to have them present during activities financed by the federal government.

Cournoyer: So, once again, that was a normal discussion with someone who wanted to become leader of the Liberal party?

Corbeil: Listen, I don't want to trivialize when you call something "normal" but it was something that was there. It was something that was the same for Mr. Chretien as for Mr. Martin. It was clear that the the presence of the federal government in their mind, by way of the sponsorship program, that visibility, the ministers' regional tours, it was clear the program had to be maintained.

Corbeil talks about Paul Martin

Thursday, May 12, 2005

This past week, when I was watching the testimony of Benoit Corbeil, there was a part of the testimony that I figured would be on the front page of the news, but mysteriously, it wasn’t mentioned in any news story regarding Corbeil’s testimony.

I have found an online translator for the testimony, as it has yet to be translated on the Gomery website. Let it be clear, during the Testimony, Corbeil said that the Liberals would call what we call Ad scam/Sponsorship Program, they called the “Visibility Program”. I have put things in parenthesis to clarify what he is referring to in his testimony. Now, this translation is quite poor, but if you read it you can get the point. Here is how it goes:

Me COURNOYER:
Did you have discussions with Mr. Paul Martin about the programme of visibility [sponsorship program] of the federal government in Quebec, and if so, in which circumstances?

Mr. CORBEIL: At the time Mr. Tobin left, I was the organizer in Quebec for Mr. Brian Tobin, and January 2001, Mr. Tobin left the federal political life and -- sorry, I said February -- excuse me, January 2002. And at this time, Lucie Castilli, who was the assistant to Mr. Martin, invited me to ask whether I wished or that Mr. Martin wished to meet me. Therefore, I had a meeting with Mr. Martin at the parliamentary Hill. [The] Minister for Finance [Mr. Martin} and I went to his office on the Hill and we discussed together, Mr. Martin and I, of various subjects, articularly of the organization of the troops on the ground. We also discussed theround because it was something as well as the elected officials -- it is necessary to include/understand is an elected official of Quebec also -- regional round of the minister, and the presence of the federal government in Quebec. These were things that we discussed together, and other things.


I have been trying to figure out what he means by ‘regional rounds of the minister(s). From what I can figure, I think he means that Ministers were supposed to tour around the regions and involve themselves with sponsorship programs that were in their respective ridings. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the Prosecutor was quite soft on Corbeil about his answer to his previous question, almost to the point where he seemed to write off the question:

Me COURNOYER: Then, a completely normal discussion that you could have and that you had with somebody who wished to become the chief of the liberal Party?

Mr. CORBEIL: I.e. Mr. Martin, with the great difference which it had with Mr. Chrétien, it is not in the finality but the strategy to achieve these goals. Mr. Chrétien was centered much on, I would say, a presence of visibility in Quebec, a presence of the federal government via the mixed liability [sponsorship] companies in Quebec. Mr. Martin, his strategy was centered much on integration, an opening of forces, I would say, "nationalists" with the centre of the liberal Party of Canada.


Now, this is where the translation gets tricky. What I get out of is that Chrétien’s strategy was focused on the presence of the sponsorship program in Quebec whereas Corbeils explanation of Martin’s strategy is convoluted at best. I’m not sure what he means by integration and nationalists, but either way, he had a ‘strategy’ for the visibility (sponsorship) program.

Me COURNOYER: But in practice, with Mr. Martin himself, did you have some discussion that it is relative specifically to the [sponsorship program] ompanies and/or the initiative of visibility of the federal government?

Mr. CORBEIL: Always the same thing, Me Cournoyer. One necessarily did not speak about mixed liability companies; one spoke about visibility; one spoke about regional rounds of the ministries. Mr. Martin did ask me the question "it is something which we must preserve? Is it something which is of interest in Quebec?" I said to him "Yes, it is something which is of interest". It was something which bore fruit to Quebec.


So at this point, it seems that Corbeil explains to Martin that the program reaps dividends, and that it should be preserved. At this point, one begins to believe that Martin has knowledge of what the program does and that it’s important but perhaps now how it actually works. This brings up the question, were the leaders (Chrétien and Martin) aware of the program, but perhaps it was specifically designed to keep them out of the loop in how it works, or that there was an intentional ‘Chinese wall’ of sorts, in order to excuse their liability in case this illegal program ever became public. Or, on pure speculation, people were never to actually tell Martin or Chrétien how the scheme actually worked.

Me COURNOYER: Good, when you say beyond the round of the ministers, what concretely you discussed like element visibility?


Good? As in, perfect answer, just like we practiced it? I’ve never heard a prosecutor, say ‘good’ to a witness after he answered a question, unless of course, they had practiced it. It seems odd that Bernard Roy wasn’t questioning this witness, but I digress. The inquisitive mind in me wonders why these answers are so convoluted; yet they seem to be successful in covering topics, for example, let’s talk about Martin but not actually talk about him, if you know what I mean. But this is just my opinion, you can make yours.

Mr. CORBEIL: That it was wrong to consider a withdrawal of the federal government. I did not speak for the government there but I explained the situation. It was wrong to believe that a withdrawal of the strategy of the federal government in the local and regional media was something of negative. I rather said to him it is something of positive that it is necessary to maintain. On the level of the regional round of the ministers, it was something which it was necessary to preserve. It was something which was very positive to see elected officials in area, to see the presence ministers to be present at the time of activities financed by the federal government.



So Mr. Martin was informed that it was wrong to end the sponsorship program?

Me COURNOYER: Therefore, once again, it was a discussion there normal with somebody who was interested in becoming leader of the liberal Party?



Therefore, once again, it seems that the prosecutor is doing his best to rationalize this conversation. Odd.

Mr. CORBEIL: Listen, I do not want to standardize when you say "normal" but it was something which was present. It was something which was as well as Mr. Chrétien, as well as Mr. Martin. It was clear that the presence of the federal government in their spirit, via the program of the mixed liability companies [sponsorship], that of visibility, that regional rounds of the ministers that it had to be maintained (the program) was clear.

This is what I think he is trying to say: Listen I do not want to say it was a ‘normal’ conversation that a person interested in becoming the leader would contain, but those elements were obviously part of it. This seems double speak for, yea we talked about the sponsorship program, but there were other aspects of the conversation that one would expect to have with someone who is aspiring to be a leader of a party. But this is what caught my ear, Corbeil made it clear that in his conversation, it was clear (inferred?) that the program had to be maintained in order for the LP of Quebec to maintain itself, nudge, nudge, wink wink.

I don’t know about you, but this conversation about Mr. Martin and his involvement with the sponsorship program either says two things, that it was an unspoken rule that its mechanics are not to be discussed in detail, for whatever reasons, or this testimony was practiced. His responses seem to be quite convoluted, but this is just conspiratorial thinking on my part. But it does seem that the prosecutor is being overly too conclusive about what the meeting was about. Three times he tries to rationalize it as a ‘discussion’ that was normal between a party executive and a Cabinet minister. Make your own conclusions.


Harpers hurting his chances

At first when I read that Stephen Harper is aligning himself with the Bloc to bring down the Liberals, I didn't think the negative publicity about would stick. However, I forgot about how the Canadian media would react. Right now, in the media, Harper is looking like he is 'in bed' with the separatists. Reading this link tells me that this alliance is not helping Harper, only hurting him. Although, I think it is quite a double standard that when the Tories supported the other Liberal bills, yet the NDP and the Bloc voted against them, the Canadian media was not making headlines about a NDP-Bloc Alliance.

Furthermore, although I think it is quite obvious that Harper is right when he says the Liberals are planning to have the vote so that a sick Tory MP will not be able to make the vote, the common Canadian thinks he has sunk to a new low. Further proof of just how dirty Team Martin really is right here. Warren Kinsella, a Liberal, mentions that he almost quit the Liberal party when he found out that Team Martin took advantage of a fellow Liberal who was out of town, due to a illness in his family, and essentially hijacked the MP's nomination in favor of a Martin Liberal.

I don’t think this current claim about sick MP’s that Harper is advocating is helping his case to become Prime Minister, especially to the glazed over eyes of the Ontario electorate. In contrast, the NDP are looking angelic in eyes of left wing voters because Layton is refraining from joining the alliance between the Bloc and the Tories. I think it is quite ignorant of Layton to even think that his budget measures will ever be implicated. But as of right now, he is too deep to change his position, and therefore, is further hurting the Tory chances. Although this is good strategy for Laytons party, siding with the corrupt, free spending Liberals will probably even that out when a vote comes.

I am so sick of Canadians complaining that a election shouldn’t occur because its either too expensive or that they simply don’t want one because of last vote was so recent. Well, suck it up people. Two hundred and fifty million dollars for an election is justifiably because the Liberal have been proven to be guilty in the eyes of the voter. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, the simple fact that our government is under criminal investigation is enough for me to ascertain that they are not fit to be in office. Forget Gomery, he may not even report, and under his mandate, is not even allowed to point fingers. Secondly, who ever wants an election? Really, no body does. But the reason we are going to have one is because the electorate gave us a Minority government. These are the benefits/non-benefits of a minority government. Deal with it.

Getting back to Harper. Although in a educated voters eyes, what Harper is currently doing is just and deserving, most of the electorate are so ill-advised, that they think that he is being 'mean' and 'opportunistic'. Well, the leader of the Opposition is supposed to hold the government to account, and this is exactly what he is currently doing. However, I think he must to become a bit less obvious in his quest to bring down the government and rise to power, because to the average voter, this looks 'opportunistic'. We have to remember, there are a lot of voters that base their vote on headlines, and as we all know in this country, headlines are usually soft on Liberals and harder on the Tories.

So, I guess I may be proved wrong, though, rather I hope I am. Because if Canadians begin to belive that Harper is a power hungry politician (but name me one who isn't) then he may lose a lot of the left wing vote. Though, I could not fathom how any left wing voter could vote for the Liberals, but I do realize there are many out there, and those are the ones that are going to hurt Harpers chances of becoming a PM if he continues this type of strategy.

In Paul Martin's own words

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"If a nation violates all accepted standards of responsible behaviour, the question is: do we, the international community, have a responsibility to protect – in this case, to protect a country’s people from their own government?"

--quote from Paul Martin on his visit to Washington, D.C., 29 April 2004

Thanks to http://eitherorr.blogspot.com/ for that info.


The Prime Minister’s New Budget

Check out this great article, adapted from the tale "The Emporer's New Clothes" and written by Aaron at grandinite.blogspot.com, here is an excerpt:

MANY, many moments ago lived a Prime Minister, who thought so much of his government that he spent all his money (and more) in order to maintain it; his only ambition was to be always in power. He did not care for his backbenchers, and the House of Commons did not amuse him; the only thing, in fact, he thought anything of was to drive out and show some governmental legitimacy. He had a policy position for every hour of the day; and as one would say of a Prime Minister, “He is in his cabinet,” so one could say of him, “The Prime Minister is in an emergency cabinet meeting.” (link)


Harper moves to adjourn the house

Harper moved a motion to adjourn the house. The vote will be at aprox. 4:00 MST.

Non-confidence

The people have spoken.

Call an election.


Beryl Wajsman tells all

Monday, May 09, 2005

Whoa. Everyone must listen to this recent radio show, Rob Breakenridge: The World Tonight. When Beryl Wajsman (who is going to testify this week at Gomery) was a guest he talked about how we should be demanding an investigation about:

  • As Finance Minister, why Paul Martin systemically changed the tax code to loosen the rules for off-shore corporations, transferring jobs to 3rd world countries (and how these changes will hurt our country far worse then misspent money on sponsorship).
  • CSL, How a accounting error went from 165,000 to 165 million.
  • Gun Registry, how went to 1 billion.
  • Contracts with Earnscliffe and Team Martin
  • How Paul Martin took the balance of the EI fund and essentially bankrupted it.

Quote: "Its hard to imagine that men at that level, men in Cabinet, did not know, from 1995 on...it would be hard to imagine that any man of consequence at the political elite did not know about 'programs.'"

On his website he writes:

But the impetus that led to Gomery was not justice. It was to deflect attention from Mr. Martin's own questionable activities that were beginning to attract attention.

For months prior to the Auditor-General's report - which itself was a strange reprint of two previous ones excluding only the part that confirmed that the problems had been repaired and was curiously accompanied by verbal commentary for which Fraser was criticized by her own professional body - stories began appearing about Prime Minister Martin's questionable actions in relation to CSL, Earnscliffe, Lansdowne Technologies, Bombardier, Barbadian tax shelters, Liberian flags of convenience and Indonesian port rights. They began attracting investigative attention. Two events pre-empted any negative fallout.

The first was Mr. Martin's Quebec lieutenant, Bloc Quebecois co-founder Jean Lapierre, compromising the ongoing RCMP investigation by suggesting criminal charges be speedily laid before the last federal election in order to help the Liberals. The second was the establishment of the Gomery Commission with a mandate to focus solely on sponsorship. The reasons were simple. To deflect attention from Mr. Martin, and to smear any Liberal of importance who had not pledged obsequiesce obedience to the Martin cult.

This is not to defend those we may have taken advantage of taxpayers’ dollars for private gain. But with the implementation of his strategy, Martin brought to an end the legacy of Trudeau Liberalism. A Liberalism grounded in fidelity to a faith - whose hallmark was the Charter of Rights - that each individual was superior to, and had sovereignty over, the collectivist interests of the state. A faith of foundational principles that rule of law must never be prejudiced and due process never politicized. That the state would always be compelled to act within these two boundaries of restraint. The dagger that was raised at the twin pillars of justice by Prime Minister Chretien in the Beaudoin affair, and wielded by Jean Lapierre at the RCMP, was finally driven home with vicious fury by this Prime Minister when he established his McCarthyite witch hunt.

It gets better:

When was it decided that federalist propaganda was illegitimate yet the cost overruns of $1 billion in the gun registry; the bilking of National Defense by Hewlett-Packard of $165 million; and the hundreds of millions of dollars of contracts to Prime Minister Martin’s firms and friends warranted no scrutiny?

For the sake of continued Liberal hegemony Chrétien suggested to Martin that he delay his departure past the agreed upon date so that he could defend the policy once the Report came out and leave the party with as clean a slate as possible. But Martin was anxious for the transfer of power to take place in late 2002 and felt he could handle the fall-out just as well. But between November 2002 and the A-G’s report in February 2003 other stories began to hit the front pages. Stories about Martin’s private interests not about Chrétien’s public agenda.

The reported $167,000 that Canada Steamship Lines had benefited from through a variety of considerations during Martin’s tenure as Finance Minister was corrected to $167,000,000. Mr. Martin claimed it was a bureaucratic error not a cover-up. Earnscliffe Strategies, the Ottawa government relations firm located in a building next door to the Langevin bloc, where so many of Mr. Martin’s operatives worked on payroll, was revealed to have received millions in government contracts including work from the Finance Ministry during Mr. Martin’s tenure. The explanation was that he was never directly involved. Lansdowne Technologies, a fully owned sub of CSL, based in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata and the recipient of millions of government grants, subventions and credits, was left off Mr. Martin’s disclosure statements in 1993 and 1994. An accounting oversight the public was told. The EDC supplied a $1.5 billion guarantee so that Air Wisconsin, a near-bankrupt company, could buy six jets from Bombardier represented by Mike Robinson, Martin’s national campaign co-chair, who collected a tidy commission. Robinson stated in a television interview that though he communicated with staffers of the then Finance Minister, he never talked to Mr. Martin himself about this.


Eastocracy versus Westocracy

Aaron at grandinite.blogspot.com writes an excellent peice on the current geo-political make up of Canada:

The Canadian political landscape these days can best be decribed as a fight between Canada's older, more established Eastocracy and its newer, wealthier Westocracy. The Eastocracy has made Prime Ministers of rich, Quebec-affiliated Lawyers such as Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien and now Martin, whereas the Westocracy has been trying to install folks like Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and now Stephen Harper.

Click here for the full article

Non-confidence vote on Tuesday?

Today in the House, the Tories tabled a motion of non-confidence that could be voted on as early as tomorrow. The House Leader stated that the motion was valid even though the Liberal party objected to it. Perhaps this was the threat that Harper mentioned earlier today when he stated that the "(Liberal) decision is unacceptable...and there will be consequences as soon as (Harper) returns."


Corbeil intimidated before testimony

According to Benoit Corbeil's testimony, he mentioned that he was threatened via a phone call about talking to the inquiry about judicial appointees.

Corbeil names current Liberal MP's

So far Corbeil has implicated the following for taking dirty money:

Bourassa Riding - Current Liberal MP Denis Coderre

Two of Jean Lapierre's special assistants: Irène Marcheterre, director of communications, and Richard Mimeau, a Martinite who is Mr. Lapierre's special assistant for Quebec.

Update:

Corbeil says that he felt that in his meetings with Chretien and Martin, that they inferred the 'program' should be kept in place...

Developing....


Rooting for the Right

Now this is an excellent article:

Secular liberals show open contempt for traditionalists.

BY JAMES TARANTO, Opinionjournal.com

I am not a Christian, or even a religious believer, and my opinions on social issues are decidedly middle-of-the-road. So why do I find myself rooting for the "religious right"? I suppose it is because I am put off by self-righteousness, closed-mindedness, and contempt for democracy and pluralism--all of which characterize the opposition to the religious right.

One can disagree with religious conservatives on abortion, gay rights, school prayer, creationism and any number of other issues, and still recognize that they have good reason to feel disfranchised. This isn't the same as the oft-heard complaint of "anti-Christian bigotry," which is at best imprecise, since American Christians are all over the map politically. But those who hold traditionalist views have been shut out of the democratic process by a series of court decisions that, based on constitutional reasoning ranging from plausible to ludicrous, declared the preferred policies of the secular left the law of the land.

For the most part, the religious right has responded in good civic-minded fashion: by organizing, becoming politically active, and supporting like-minded candidates. This has required exquisite discipline and patience, since changing court-imposed policies entails first changing the courts, a process that can take decades. Even then, "conservative" judges are not about to impose conservative policies; the best the religious right can hope for is the opportunity to make its case through ordinary democratic means.

In the past three elections, the religious right has helped to elect a conservative Republican president and a bigger, and increasingly conservative, Republican Senate majority. This should make it possible to move the courts in a conservative direction. But Senate Democrats, taking their cue from liberal interest groups, have responded by subverting the democratic process, using the filibuster to impose an unprecedented supermajority requirement on the confirmation of judges.

That's what prompted Christian conservatives to organize "Justice Sunday," last month's antifilibuster rally, at a church in Kentucky. After following long-established rules for at least a quarter-century, they can hardly be faulted for objecting when their opponents answer their success by effectively changing those rules.

This procedural high-handedness is of a piece with the arrogant attitude the secular left takes toward the religious right. Last week a Boston Globe columnist wrote that what he called "right-wing crackpots--excuse me, 'people of faith' " were promoting "knuckle-dragging judges." This contempt expresses itself in more refined ways as well, such as the idea that social conservatism is a form of "working class" false consciousness. Thomas Frank advanced this argument in last year's bestseller, "What's the Matter With Kansas?"

Liberal politicians have picked up the theme. Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, in a January op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, mused on a postelection visit he made to Alabama, wondering why people from that state "say 'yes' when the increasingly powerful Republican Party asks them to be concerned about homosexuality but not about the security of their own health, about abortion but not about the economic futures of their own children."

Assuming for the sake of argument that Democratic economic policies really are better (or at least more politically attractive) than Republican ones, why don't politicians like Mr. Feingold adopt conservative positions on social issues so as to win over the voters whose economic interests they claim to care so much about? The answer seems obvious: Mr. Feingold would not support, say, the Human Life Amendment or the Federal Marriage Amendment because to do so would be against his principles. It's not that he sees the issues as unimportant, but that he does not respect the views of those who disagree. His views are thoughtful and enlightened; theirs are, as Mr. Frank describes them, a mindless "backlash."

This attitude is politically self-defeating, for voters know when politicians are insulting their intelligence. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, recently framed the abortion debate in this way: "What we want to debate is who gets to choose: Tom DeLay and the federal politicians? Or does a woman get to make up her own mind?" He also vowed that "we're going to use Terri Schiavo," promising to produce "an ad with a picture of Tom DeLay, saying, 'Do you want this guy to decide whether you die or not? Or is that going to be up to your loved ones?' " Many voters who aren't pro-life absolutists have misgivings about abortion on demand and about the death of Terri Schiavo. By refusing to acknowledge the possibility of thoughtful disagreement or ambivalence, Mr. Dean is giving these moderates an excellent reason to vote Republican.

Curiously, while secular liberals underestimate the intellectual seriousness of the religious right, they also overestimate its uniformity and ambition. The hysterical talk about an incipient "theocracy"--as if that is what America was before 1963, when the Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools--is either utterly cynical or staggeringly naive.

Last week an article in The Nation, a left-wing weekly, described the motley collection of religious figures who gathered for Justice Sunday. A black minister stood next to a preacher with a six-degrees-of-separation connection to the Ku Klux Klan. A Catholic shared the stage with a Baptist theologian who had described Roman Catholicism as "a false church."
These folks may not be your cup of tea, but this was a highly ecumenical group, united on some issues of morality and politics but deeply divided on matters of faith. The thought that they could ever agree enough to impose a theocracy is laughable.

And the religious right includes not only Christians of various stripes but also Orthodox Jews and even conservative Muslims. Far from the sectarian movement its foes portray, it is in truth a manifestation of the religious pluralism that makes America great. Therein lies its strength.

Mr. Taranto is editor of OpinionJournal.com.

Link


Republicans about to blow lid off Oil-for-Food scandal

Sunday, May 08, 2005
And you think the sponsorship scandal is about to heat up, check out the Oil-for-food scandal!

In April two investigators resigned from the UN oil-for-food inquiry because they believed that the Vocker report was a whitewash.

However, since then, the US Congress subpoenaed all of the documents from the investigators.

Now, the US Congress is about to name names regarding who is involved in the Oil-For-Food scandal.

This could get very interesting.

Check this Time magazine story on the scandal.

Minority Report: Inside Election 2004

Did anyone see the documentary Minority Report: Inside Election 2004 last night? It would make even made Michael Moore cry just for its sheer liberal propaganda type of direction! It was aired on CBC NewsWorld last night at 8 MST.

Basically the documentary gave the impression of how the 'underdog' Liberals fought back the big bad Tories to win the election at the last minute. The whole thing was pretty much an interview with Liberal strategist Scott Reid and an NDP communication director. This documentary was so one-sided it seemed like it was directed by Michael Moore. Throughout the film, if Stephen Harper wasn't being criticized by Reid, he was also being lambasted by journalists featured in the film.

I was watching this documentary with someone who in the past has voted Liberal and even she said that it was ridiculously one sided. To me this was a propaganda film of epic proportions. Bringing back all of those ‘scary’ allegations so close to the next election has only one goal: to remind the Ontario voters why they didn't vote the Tories into power. They even played the footage of that one ex Tory MP who was talking about the not withstanding clause; Even though the Tories have stated at their convention that this is not an option.

The documentary focused on the gaffes of the Conservative party but it did not once mention about the Liberals and its scandals. Near the end (the climax) when the Liberals won, the documentary seemed to paint the victory as an epic battle to keep the radical, Canada destroying Conservatives at bay. I mean I couldn't believe it. At the end, all the Liberals were joyful in that they seemed think they were Gandalf and Frodo beating the Saruman and retaining the Ring. It was so pitiful, in the end, Scott Reid was crying, yes, actually crying in his interview because of the joy he had at not allowing these crazy Tories in having power.

I guess, once again, it’s just another example of how CBC provides 'balanced' journalism to our Country.


Fiscal Smoke & Mirrors

Aaron at grandinite blog, wrote this interesting piece about the latest deal between McGuinty and Martin. Its a pretty good analysis on how Paul Martin made himself look like he solved the problem when really he didn't do much at all. Here's an excerpt:

I'll tell you what - Ontario is about to get even more alienated once it finds out that these promised funds are not "promised" at all. There is nothing substantial to the 5.75 Billion promised to Ontario, as it can be obliterated altogether and yet still remain within the contractual obligations implied by the agreement... Click here for the link.

Mindless mayors

Saturday, May 07, 2005
These mayors (edmonton, vancouver, and toronto) that are sending out dire warnings in the media about how a non-confidence vote will kill the "new deal for cities' makes me laugh at how stupid they look.

First of all, these same mayors were whining last election about this apparent 'new' deal for cities. Yet a year later, and likly an election later, they are still complaining. Whats the big rush? Perhaps if they were smart they would campaign for a PM that would actually make good on his promises, unlike PMPM.

This is just getting ridiculous. Mayors should simply shut up and mind their own partisan business.

Martin trades blood for votes

Less-than-Prime Minister Paul Martin has allegedly offered to send troops to Sudan in an attempt to buy off David Kilgour so that he will vote for the government in a non-confidence vote.

How bad is it that our current Prime Minister, so desperate for power, sends our troops -- who are undoubtedly under trained, under funded, and under prepared --to a country where over 300,000 people have died in the past two years just so that he can stay in office.

What a spineless leader our Country currently has. The blood will be on Martin's hands if any of our troops die because of this agreement.

Incredible.

SES POLL is misleading

Friday, May 06, 2005
Many of todays papers are saying that the Liberals are bouncing back from a their low points in public perception based on this SES research poll that was released yesterday. In my opinion, this is a seriously misleading question. And using elementary econometrics theorem I will attempt to explain why its misleading.

Firstly, the question is an indirect, stated preference type of question and it could produce a wide array of opinions. Stated preference data can be flawed because it produces a moral hazard to the person responding to the question.

For example, if I asked you:

"How much would you be willing to pay to save kids in war torn countries?"
a) 100
b)50
c)0

Most likely you, as a moral person, would choose the highest amount you could possibly think of and choose 100$.

However if the question asked:

"How much would you pay right now to save the kids in war torn countries?"
a) 100
b)50
c)0

What would you choose? Well, this decision is more complicated, in that you actually have to pay right now. Therefore, in this decision there will several factors that will influence your decision such as if you just got paid, is your rent due, etc; these moral hazards directly affect your decision, wheras in the previous question, they dont, because its more hypothetical then practical. As a result, your true preference is revealed, because the factors affecting your decision are calculated into your response. However your stated preference is in your answer to the first question.

Stated preference responses are based mainly on what you would like to do, or what currently is going on in a particular instance (ie what current political party is in power).

So, getting back to the SES question. This is what they asked the respondents:

For those parties you would consider voting for federally could you please rank your top two current local preferences?

Like in the aforementioned example, the natural response to the question of helping war torn children was $100 because it is the most obvious choice; its a stated preference. However, in this SES question, on average, what do you figure the 'natural' and obvious choice would be? Most likely to the average person it would be the governing party. People's true natural preference, wouldn’t be the Conservatives because they aren’t in power. They are the opposition, the un-natural variable in this question. Therefore, in a stated preference question, they are the losers, because in current reality, they are not the governing party.

The question doesn’t directly tell the person reading/answering the question to rank them one and two, just for them to rank their top two parties. This is where their natural preference causes them to likely choose the Liberal party as #1 and the Tories as #2, this is also their realistic ranking in the current power structure in Ottawa so again, it’s a natural choice to choose the Liberals and Tories as 1 and 2, respectively.

A better question would be: As of today, which political party would you vote for?

However, this SES poll is an another example of misleading statistics. What is even more stupid, is that all the newspapers picked this poll up and are now using it to prop of the Liberal party of Canada.

M.K. Braaten

Volpe's change of heart

The National Post writes today that "a woman who launched a three-year battle against the television mob show The Sopranos says Joe Volpe shrugged off her complaints that the show stereotyped Italian-Canadians when she approached him for support five years ago."

and:

"He told me The Sopranos hadn't caused him any problems -- it hadn't hurt his career or affected him at all," Ms. L'Orfano told the National Post yesterday. "For Mr. Volpe to stand up now and attack a parody on the original, when he refused to lift a finger to address the offensiveness of the original is pure hypocrisy."

$100,000 stuffed in envelopes

Mr. Corriveau brought envelopes filled with cash in the amounts between $75,000 and $100,000 in $20 and $100 bills to the Liberal offices of the Quebec wing.

And why this isn't front page news today?

The Usual Suspects

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Well, since everyone else is doing this, I figured I would make a photo as well.



Daily rant

We should wait for the Gomery commission to report, after all, the Liberals are the ones who started this commission.

B.S.

I think its pretty sad that in this country, people are worried about which parts of the government are charged with criminality. In my opinion, the simple fact that our government is under criminal investigation is enough for me to discern whether they are fit to be in office.

Furthermore, we dont even know when or if gomery will file a report. One side of the liberal party (Chretien) is trying to have Gomery removed. And the other side (Martin) seems to be a bit to confident in what he will report.

Also, doesn't anyone remember how long it took the tainted blood scandal to report? It was supposed to be one year, but legal ranglings kept it from reporting for 5 years. What's not to say that this wont happen again?

To say that Mr. Layton is helping our country is absolutely stupid.

Thanks to Jack Layton, we just spent 4.5 billion dollars to avoid an election, rather then spending 300 million to have one. Regardless of that argument, the only reason we are spending 300 million dollars is because of Liberal corruption.

Its truly sad that blockhead Canadians need to have someone like Judge Gomery, who by the way doesnt have legal authority to charge anyone nor actually name names in his report, tell them whether or not the government wont be held accountable by the investigation that they themselves commissioned.

To all of you people who still think that the Liberals are fit to govern, then for God's sake, please pull your heads out of your arse!

M.K. Braaten


The importance of the next federal election

What Western Canadian's fail to grasp is the concept of what voting against the Conservative Party and for the Liberals means for our bargaining power at the table of Confederation...

For far too long, Western Canadians have never truly had a say in the matters of our country. Except for the rule of JohnDeifenbaker and a short term of Joe Clark, Prime Ministers for the most part have been from Quebec. I don't count John Turner asbeing a Westerner as he was parachuted into a safe Vancouver riding after he was elected as the leader of the Liberals.

Eastern Canada does not understand our loathing of what is called Federalism, of what suits Ontario and Quebec best, at the expenseof Western Canadians and our distinct feeling of being left at the alter as a jilted bride or groom.

Ontario appears entrenched to hand back to the Liberals either a minority government supported by the NDP party who may increasetheir own seats, rather than entertain the possibility that the center of their long held strangle on the machinations of governmentcould swing to the West.

This election should not be fought on what Adscam was, what the Liberal corruption was and still is, or any other myriad of Liberalsleaze they have been associated with. It is not about gay rights, it is not about more money for whatever program that is fancied.

No, Western Canada stands at the brink of taking their rightful place within Confederation with a Western Prime Minister whounderstands our feelings of alienation as well as understanding the factions that range completely across the country from sea tosea.

Never mind the rhetoric of mumble jumble and lies that the Liberals will ratchet up once the campaign is underway. This election isnot about the fear mongering of a party that has no other concept of governing, other than their perpetuity to believe they have theinherent right to do so.

This is why it is so important that Western Canadians understand what this election truly means; Western Canada's time to be notionly included in Confederation, but to lead.

Written by: Warren Kommishoner


WK: The Socialist 'Ho and the Capitalist Pimp

When we talk about the sleaze of Canada's Liberal government, it is now apparent the No Down Payment Party of Smilin' Jack Layton is not adverse to his own form of prostituting himself to sleep around for money in the guise of supporting the Liberals. In return, this socialist ho' gets his hands on the public's tax dollars to obstensibly 'make parliament work' which is why we all came to Ottawa he states...

It's bad enough that Canadians have had to put up with Liberal pie in the sky schemes of the past including the Adscam scandal, now Canadians will be subject to more robbery of the public purse by Smilin' Jack to fund his wild socialist fantasies on a already over taxed nation.

HoJack just doesn't seem to get it. Two weeks ago he slams Martin for the Liberals waste of money and sleaze of the Adscam mess, yet sees his opportunity to 'ho himself' out to grab onto the unrealistic dream of pretending he represents the best interests for all Canadians.

Meanwhile, Pimpin' Paul does not want to lose his influence on the street corner and seeing that his position has been weakened as he lost some of his own 'ho's in the last roundup, casts his glances around and sees a stray ho wanting to work on his street corner.

Seeing this as a chance to hold onto the power on his street corner a little longer, Pimpin' Paul and Hojack come to an 'arrangement'. Hojack wants to spend a bigger portion of the share of the street profits, (i.e. taxpayer dollars) and spend it on providing more social benefits for other ho's on hair-brained ideas.

Pimpin' Paul agrees to the proposal, cause this new 'ho he needs to help him try to hold onto power a little longer so he can whitewash his past, and his gullible customers will forgive and forget and reward him with a stronger position on the street corner again.Pimpin' Paul and the rest of his ho's are so afraid of facing the man (voters) again because of all their past sleazy dealings, readily, but reluctantly as he tells us, they need to keep the street corner working for the benefit of all.

So, with all this new found money, the rest of the pimps and ho's will be sportin' new flashy baubles and will be again smokin' big cigars and wheelin' around in fancy motor cars.

Smilin' Steve who wants to clean the street corner of all that sleaze, may have missed his opportunity to do so if he had moved prior to the 'arrangement' the ho and pimp made to keep the con going a little longer.

And, according to the talk on the street (polls) the gullible Canadians again will have bought the big lie from Pimpin' Paul and reward him with a stronger position on the street corner again.

Canadians, you are one messed up group of people. Kind of like masochists without the whips and paddles being applied to you.

later gators

From NewZealand, Warren K


Economist:Harper's high-wire act

The Conservative leader prepares to try to oust Paul Martin, a prime minister who is down but not quite out.

Click here for the economist's article


Musings

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
What do I want to write about tonight? There are so many things to talk about in Canada regarding politics and our current government.

But who cares? If I write about it, what will it do? It certainly will not change the voting patterns of a certain province.

Whats the point? Continualy, Canadian citizens are served with scandal after scandal, and continualy the majority of Canadians re-elect this party. Why you ask? Well, its because our Country has become complacent in its requirement for an accountable government.

Im not sure what to think anymore.

What on earth do the Liberals have to do in order to get kicked out of office? Apparently stealing money from its citizens isn't enough.

Here in Canada we have a party (the Liberals) that considers itself the natural governing party, yet its destroying Canada through its arrogance and corruption, supported by a particular provinces incredibly block headed voters, who keep using its majority seat count to vote this party back into power.

I was down in the USA last week and I had some interesting conversations with some democrats. Since most Americans dont pay attention to our Country, I had to fill them in on what was going on in Canada. When I told them that our government is under criminal investigation, yet the majority of Eastern Canadians dont seem to think its a problem, the amercans said "well why not vote them out!?". After telling them that Canadians in the east were scared of a opposition party that was about as right wing as American democrats, they were amazed that we havent stormed 'our version of the Whitehouse.'

How about this. Liberalism is partially about giving minority groups the same equality of the majority. But I was thinking, isn't it odd how minorities in Canada (the west, etc) are not given the same equality (in senate, seats in the commons, etc) as the majority (Ontario)? Seems kinda odd.

Speaking of Alberta, whats gonna happen if Paul Martin Co. win the next election? I have lived here in Alberta for many years, transplanted from BC, but I consider myself a true Albertan. I went to school, college, and University here and worked in the oilfield (true Albertan initiation). I can't deny that I, like most Albertans, get personally offended when PM Martin uses our Province as a scapegoat.

I mean, our province sends Ottawa 11 billion dollars per year in transfer payments, were on the verge of dynamically changing how healthcare is run (and yes us Albertans have probably the best healthcare system in Canada, albiet some is private...yet its still largley free) and our province has the most robust economy in Canada. Yet, were the bad guys? The scape goat? Everytime Less-than-Prime minister PM needs someone to critisize, he takes it out on Alberta.

I think that is a great way to eliminate Western alienation btw.

But I digress.

My fearful assertion is that if PMPM wins another election, Albertans, if given the chance, would in my opinion, vote to separate from this god-forsaken Country we like to call Canada. Cause really, what reason do we have to stay? I am an ardent Canadian, but, jeez, sometimes I even wonder which way I would vote given the chance. This is getting to be too much.

If the Liberals get back into power then Canada is a symbol of corruption. And, for myself, I want no part of that association.

I just hope that Ontarians realize how devastating another Liberal government will be for our great Nation. Quebec goes, then Alberta goes, then what? Perhaps then Ontario really can be the center of the Canada, because Ontario will be the only province left.

The smoking gun


Mr. Paul Martin, please resign.


WOW

Man, I come back home to Canada only to find out the the left wing has reneged on their 'disgust' for the Liberals? I am absolutely disgusted!

What happened?

Martin fundementaly changes their budget, and now Ontarions (according to the Tor Star) are saying that its a good deal and that Harper is pro-big-bad-business because he is not supporting it?

Wow.

Less tax cuts for business mean less foreign investment in our economy which means less trade, which means, less jobs, which means......ahh I dont want to even bother.

My question is, what will Alberta do if Liberals regain power, even after all of this?

Miss a week, miss alot

Monday, May 02, 2005
After two days in Las Vegas *sheesh* and two days at the Coachella music festival, I have landed in San Diego, California. Though I have been trying to keep tabs on what has happened the past week; it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. Liberals are back on top in Ontario? Jeez. Anyhow I will post later when I am back home in good o'l Canada...but right now I gotta go surf!



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