Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Meanwhile, allow me to offer the following to observe this day:
And my most heartfelt wish:
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Monday, June 29, 2015
The Trans Pacific Partnership is a zombie that refuses to die no matter how many stakes are driven through its heart. Today the Senate voted 60 to 37 in favor of “fast track” negotiating authority, and final passage of fast track is expected tomorrow – laying the groundwork for an up-or-down vote on the TPP without amendment or full discussion. The big global corporations and Wall Street banks that initiated and have lobbied hard for this anti-worker deal smell victory. Don’t let them have it. Please call your senators and representative now, even if you’ve phoned before, and tell them: No to fast-track and no to the Trans Pacific Partnership. Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121. Here, again, is what’s at stake:Posted by Robert Reich on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
For your Monday discernment, I offer this volley of wise observations about that unrepentant felon, Dean Del Mastro, from the usual suspects - Toronto Star readers:
Re: Ex-Tory MP Del Mastro sentenced to month in jail, June 26
Finally a crooked Conservative gets a jail sentence, proclaiming his innocence all the way. In fact, he has the nerve to say, “that’s her opinion,” when the judge declared him guilty of election fraud. Yes, Dean Del Mastro, that is her opinion, her legal opinion, that is.
When is Stephen Harper going to learn that blind loyalty to him isn’t half as important as being honest? I also wonder when all members of the press are going to stop slavishly following Harper around, hoping for some little crumb of a quote when most of us don’t care where he is or what he says.
In fact, since he seems to have a personal vendetta against the general public, why not just ignore him altogether and let his own spin doctors continue to spew the B.S. that he thinks we’re all going to believe.
I am really tired of the deterioration of my country’s standards and the chipping away of our democracy so that one person can wake up every day feeling in control. Mr. Harper, I can hardly wait until October when you face all of the voters whose jobs and rights you have so easily destroyed.
Of course then you will move on to all those oil and mining company boards whose stock holders you have so nicely taken care of. As long as you are not in Ottawa anymore.
Roseanne Quinn, Trenton
I find Dean Del Mastro’s behaviour in actively and most wilfully attempting to suborn the Canadian electoral process by committing electoral fraud and his failure to accept responsibility for his actions profoundly unsettling. Elections are a civic matter grounded in civic social trust and any breach in this trust is indeed most profoundly appalling.
Monte McMurchy, LL.D., Toronto
During his trial, and afterwards, Dean Del Mastro was not repentant and has shown no remorse for breaking the country’s election laws. His stupid, illegal behaviour has caused irrevocable damage to himself, his constituents, Parliament and the country.
That said, he should have been given a conditional sentence. The conditional sentence of imprisonment (or CSI) was introduced in Canada in 1996 as an alternate form of incarceration subject to specific criteria. It is not, as some assume, the same as probation.
In 2000, the Supreme Court clarified its use and differentiated it from probation. When the sentence is a term of imprisonment of less than two years, an offender deemed not to pose a danger to society is allowed to remain in the community, but with a more stringent set of conditions than offenders on parole. The offender must abide by a number of typically punitive conditions, such as house arrest and a strict curfew. If a condition is broken without a lawful excuse, the offender may well serve out the rest of the sentence in prison.
House arrest conditions can be designed to address the factors that led to the offence in the first place. Moreover, some conditional sentences force the offender to make reparations to the victim and the community while living under tight controls. Conditional sentences sustain Canada’s tradition of granting discretion and independence to the judiciary.
Canada’s growing prison population, mounting evidence that jail time does not reduce the chances of re-offending and other factors gave way to an increasing use of conditional sentences.
The illegal, stupid and irresponsible behaviour that Del Mastro indulged in that led to the charges can only be described as “tragic and senseless.” But the question must be asked: what would jail time accomplish that a conditional sentence could not accomplish?
In 2008-09, according to Statistics Canada, the number of offenders serving conditional sentences was 13,500 — a not insignificant number.
Denunciation and imprisonment satisfy society’s desire to punish offenders and reinforce shared values by deterring crime. However, there is little evidence to support the general deterrence argument — that is, that the more severe the punishment, the greater the deterrent effect. Research simply does not support that proposition.
Emile Therien, Ottawa
The Conservative law and order plan finally kicks in.
Bob Larocque, Carrying Place
Sunday, June 28, 2015
In the following video, which gets really interesting at the four-minute mark, a principled Tom Clark pursues the irritating gnat over his party's use of terrorist imagery in its latest political ad, an apparent contravention of his leader's Bill C-51 anti-terror legislation. You will see that Teneycke is no match for the tenacious Clark.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Change can only come when the young show that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. I discovered a site yesterday that makes specific appeal to that demographic. Check it out, and if you know any young potential voters, send it along to them. Below is a sample of how Harpoon 2015 is approaching the problem.
Friday, June 26, 2015
As reported by CTV,
A new Conservative attack ad takes aim at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s position on the mission against the Islamic State, but it uses the terrorist group’s own horrifying propaganda images.Given its pattern of skirting and breaking laws, this may be of no great concern to the Harper regime. But perhaps this will give the apparatchik pause:
In the online ad, posted on the Conservative Party’s Facebook page, Trudeau is shown in a CBC interview saying he would end the CF-18 bombing campaign against the terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
The ad uses Islamic State propaganda, including gruesome images of prisoners facing death by drowning and beheading -- and those images may actually violate the government’s own anti-terror law.
Advertising executive Tony Chapman wondered how the uses of ISIS imagery would help the Conservatives score political points.While the exploitation of fear is nothing new to the Conservatives, perhaps this latest example will provoke the backlash it so roundly deserves:
“Not only are they providing free advertising for ISIS, they’re completely offside and driving Canadian politics to a new low,” said Tony Chapman.
On the same day that ISIS releases yet another barbaric video, Justin Trudeau promises to stop bombing ISIS. He’s clearly just not ready for the serious job of Prime Minister.Posted by Conservative Party of Canada - Parti conservateur du Canada on Thursday, June 25, 2015