Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bhutto Killed Because of CIA Comments???

A thank you goes out to my friend on the West Coast for this little gem. Conspiracy theories are abundant. Here's another bunch of interesting facts.

"Al-Qaida" is already being blamed for Bhutto's assassination.

Watch this video with Sir David Frost, Benazir Bhutto reveals that Omar Sheik, the former MI6 agent now in a Pakistani prison killed Osama bin Ladin. She makes the revelation in an off-hand remark at about 6m12s and thereafter into the interview.

Is this why she was killed? Because she exposed the CIA fairytale of Osama Bin Ladin's videos and attributed quotes.

Further down the rabbit hole :
Retired Brigadier supervising Benazir's security was Osama's handler, says expert

Friday October 19, 04:54 PM

Chennai, Oct.19 (ANI): The retired brigadier who was given the responsibility of securing former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's car journey through Karachi on Thursday, used to be the handling officer of Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mulla Omar when he was attached with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Disclosing this information in an article for the rediff website, former Additional Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, B.Raman says that Brigadier (retired) Ejaz Shah, whose resignation is being demanded by Benazir Bhutto, is a close confidante of President General Pervez Musharraf.

Raman says that after Musharraf seized power on October 12, 1999, he had Shah posted as the Home Secretary of Punjab. He also says that Omar Sheikh, who orchestrated the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, surrendered before Shah because Omar Sheikh knew him before and was confident that Ejaz Shah would see that he was not tortured.

So close are the links between Shah and Musharraf that when several allegations were filed against him, Musharraf sought to send him as Ambassador to Australia or Indonesia. Both countries reportedly refused to accept him. Musharraf then made him the Director General of the Intelligence Bureau and he saw to it that the death sentence against Omar Sheikh for his role in the Pearl case was not executed.

The courts have been repeatedly postponing hearings on the appeal filed by Omar Sheikh against the death sentence.

Shah, according to Raman, also played an active role in the campaign to discredit Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Caudhury after he started calling for the files of a large number of missing persons who were taken into custody by the police and the intelligence agencies.

Shah is also a close personal friend of many Punjabi leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League (Qaid), which is opposed to Benazir's return.

According to these sources, the suicide bomber or bombers managed to penetrate the security cordon of the police and IB officers without being frisked, but could not penetrate the inner cordon of security guards of the PPP. When stopped on Thursday night, they blew themselves up at a distance from her vehicle. At the time of the
explosion, Bhutto had gone inside the vehicle to rest for a while. This seems to have contributed to her miraculous escape. Had she been standing on top she might have been injured, if not killed? (ANI)

>> ********************************
The rabbit hole deepens...... Bhutto fingered as Bin Laden's executor Omar Sheikh, who had given himself up to Shah, who was in charge of her security at the time she was killed and who had been Osama bin Laden's handler. Hmm! I guess Shah (amongst others) was feeling the icy cold breeze of being exposed and arrested if Bhutto became Prime Minister.

Letters For David Orchard

The momentum continues. I can't tell you just how overwhelmingly positive the response has been for my friend David Orchard's campaign. Lots and lots of letters and emails. Here's another letter from the left coast.

December 29, 2007

Dear Mr. Dion,

I am writing to you regarding the recent press reports regarding the candidacy for the Liberal Party of Canada of David Orchard in Saskatchewan. It is true one cannot always believe what is written in the press but if there is any truth to the report that you are possibly thinking of appointing a provincial NDP woman to run in his desired riding I wish to comment.

I was your very enthusiastic delegate from Victoria a year ago at the leadership convention. During that time I stayed at the apartment hotel in Montreal along with about 150 of your delegates who were inspired by David Orchard. His brother Grant had looked after all the bookings for us. Each day in the morning and evening David Orchard would invite us to gather and discuss how we could best get you elected. He was/is without doubt one of your greatest advocates and supporters. He is also a very proud, committed and loyal Canadian, deeply concerned about the environment as well as the country. It is for this reason that I am shocked to think you would consider replacing him as candidate. I realize that one must remain open to running a " winnable" candidate in a riding but this is certainly not the case with David Orchard. He is well known and respected and has a long and admirable history in this Saskatchewan riding. Somewhere in this picture there must be a place for loyalty. Mr. Orchard has demonstrated great loyalty to you Mr. Dion and I am encouraging you to return that to him as well. Without his 150 delegates it is very possible that you would not be leader to-day.

I have been acquainted with David Orchard for several years now and know of no greater Canadian. He deserves a seat in the House of Commons and will be an outstanding member of parliament for Canada and in Saskatchewan. I encourage you to offer him your full support on getting there.

I look forward to working hard in the next election to ensure that you become our next prime minister. My comments are written in the utmost concern and with great respect. Wishing you and your family a very happy and successful year in 2008.

Most Sincerely,
Patricia Houston
Victoria B.C.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Prince Albert Mayor writes for David Orchard

The former Mayor of Prince Albert (3 times a PM has been elected from that riding, Laurier, Mackenzie King and Dief) has written to Ottawa in regards to the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River nomination. I enclose it for you to absorb.

December 27, 2007

M. Stephane Dion
Leader of the Opposition
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Sir,

It was with utter amazement that I read the story in the Globe and Mail on December 19, 2007. It had been said that there are some Liberals in this province that put self interest and the maintenance of personal influence ahead winning seats for the Liberal party. Please examine over the years the success of those in this Province who claim control over the Liberal Party apparatus in expanding the fortunes of the Liberal Party. There is a reason that those who exercise this control have been so singularly unsuccessful in enhancing the success of the Liberal Party in this province. Even when we have successful candidates their tenure is short lived. Self interest has been served well and the level of success achieved is by design.

I will assume that the matter of the appointment has been put to rest. I understand now that the Saskatchewan election committee is trying to circumvent the fair use of the rules by declaring an electoral emergency and having the nomination pushed forward. It has been related to me that, Mr. Dorion, the candidate in opposition to Mr. Orchard, has gone on Holidays to California declaring to some that “I (Mr. Dorion) have it in the bag”. The same forces that pushed for the appointment are pushing for an early nomination.

How possibly could certain Liberals in Saskatchewan convince the National elected people that this would be good for the party? Early nomination meetings have their place when an election is commenced and a candidate has not been nominated in a timely fashion. Early nominations should not be made to circumvent a proper nomination so that the powers that be in Saskatchewan can pick their candidate, especially one with doubtful electoral expectations, so they can maintain their power. This will lead to a huge demoralization of workers and supporters in a general election who support Mr. Orchard. The divisions caused by the sneakily manipulated nomination meeting will ensure electoral defeat. Those who are pushing for this eleventh hour change to the nomination would know that. This only serves the interest of those who cling to personal power ahead of service to people. This type of manipulation has been played over and over again in this riding by these same power brokers because the riding is winnable. The manipulation has been designed to create divisions and to keep our candidates weak or defeated. The history should be examined and the involvement of those to the south of here in the destruction is demonstrable. Someone has to bring it to an end. I told Mr. Orchard what would happen and he didn’t believe me. He believes me now. It is my hope that it will not take a defeat in a general election in this riding to convince you. Let the nomination run its course at the end of January 2008. The nomination will be when you want it to be. Two candidates working the North for an extra month will enhance the visibility of the party.

At the start of the candidacy of Mr. Orchard, it was felt by many that he was too far behind to be successful and the other candidate seeking the nomination was supported by the power brokers. The people in many places in the North and Rural communities have rallied behind Mr. Orchard and I would imagine the urgency and desperation of those opposing his candidacy have spectacularly increased in recent weeks in proportion to Mr. Orchard’s success. When this success became apparent the other candidate for the nomination was dropped like a hot potato and the appointment push began in earnest. Then when reports must have come back that indicated the falsity of what was being conveyed to you, namely that Mr. Orchard supported the appointment and so did the riding, then the backup plan for the early nomination was thrust upon Mr. Orchard.

The optics of this are terrible. It makes it appear that the National party and its representatives have capitulated to regional power brokers. What confidence does this give to Canadians that we have the strength to run the country again when we give in to the pouting of some who see their influence slipping away? It appears weak. It also appears disloyal. People will naturally ask themselves why they would put a big effort in when those efforts are so easily brushed aside. Regrettably, in politics, the ideals are often subservient to personal treatment.

I have represented large portions of this riding in 1993-1997 and was Mayor of Prince Albert for five years before that. I currently practice law in the City of Prince Albert . I understand the dynamics of the riding and the candidate picked by power players will not win the seat even if he wins the nomination fairly. If the nomination is stolen for him, he will lose even more handily. Someone must bring an end to the very destructive cycle initiated by those to the south of here. They have no business sticking their noses in the riding. If the riding is lost, of course those from the south will accept no responsibility but will blame others for yet another fiasco which was orchestrated by themselves.

We must see through the manipulations and see clearly the “real politick” behind the color and light of the push for the early nomination. I am personally very upset by this turn of events. I will tell you right now that if this early nomination is held we will win one seat in this province. If Mr. Orchard runs we will have our best chance at two. And two seats give us all more choices. And choices are good things.

There is no need for a response and I will observe the outcome with interest.

Best wishes,

Gordon Kirkby

Thursday, December 27, 2007

4 Dead at Nawal Sharif's Rally

Violence persisted in Pakistan today. Assassinated candidate Benazir Bhutto's rival, Nawal Sharif held a rally today that ended with gunfire. Reports say that even the police withdrew from the area as the gunfire lasted for over 30 minutes. Amazingly, only four have been reported dead.

Unfortunately I think this is merely the beginning.

Bhutto Dies

When Benazir Bhutto arrived back in Pakistan, I suspected hundreds, even thousands, would die due to politically motivated acts of violence. I also felt that sooner or later Ms. Bhutto would flee the country again for her own safety.

I didn't really ever think the end result would be her death.

Metis for David Orchard

If you were wondering just how much support David Orchard has from the aboriginal leaders in his bid to run as a candidate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, I've decided to post an open letter to Stephane Dion.

I'm again asking for more support from all of you out there that stop by this little ole blog to help in our larger-by-the-day Liberals for David Orchard campign. Write a letter, send an email, join his facebook group.

December 23, 2007

The Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 6M8

Dear Stéphane Dion,

I write to you with a heavy heart and mixed emotions today. Perhaps it is best to begin with an introduction.

My name is Jim Durocher, although often people call me simply Jimmy D.

I’ve been involved in the Métis movement in Saskatchewan for almost thirty years. I twice served as an executive member of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan and for eight years as its president. I’m a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and a life long active Liberal. I am proud of my record on both fronts.

In 1983, I stood as the federal Liberal candidate in Battlefords-Meadow Lake and as the provincial Liberal candidate in 1985. I currently serve as CEO of Saskatchewan Native Rentals, the largest Aboriginal property management company in the province.

My partner, Wanda McCaslin, is a legal research officer at the Native Law Centre of Canada and among other things editor of Justice As Healing, Indigenous Ways; Writings on Community Peace Making and Restorative Justice.

I was born and raised in northern Saskatchewan and know the area like the back of my hand, which brings me to the purpose of my letter to you.

I’m appalled — and there is no other expression I can use — at what I observe unfolding in my beloved northern homeland of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

By way of background, the North has been for decades on the receiving end of colonial attitudes and unforgiveable arrogance coming from the south and centre of our country. In my life I have seen many examples. We have had candidates selected and foisted upon the riding. We have had nomination meetings held outside the riding itself. I could go on, but I’m sure you are an intelligent man and understand something of colonialism and racism.

The central point is that the people of this riding resent, and I personally resent mightily, the attitude of certain southerners that they know what’s best for our riding.

I’ve followed with keen interest the race unfolding for Gary Merasty’s old seat for several months. In fact, this year I was asked to chair our major, annual Remembrance Day celebration held in Ile-a-laCrosse on November 11th. During the social event afterwards, I introduced the two candidates running for the Liberal nomination, John Dorion and David Orchard. I also chaired a Métis veterans’ event in Prince Albert about a month ago which featured David Orchard as a guest speaker. I observed the reaction to his presentation and afterwards interviewed him in my office.

I have noted with interest the number of memberships being sold in the party and the grassroots’ interest being kindled, not to mention that being expressed by chiefs, mayors and residents alike. Significantly, the vast majority of these memberships appear to be purchased by Métis and First Nations people. One can almost start to feel a rebirth stirring in the Liberal party in Saskatchewan and, heaven knows, it is long overdue.

So, I was stunned to read in my local paper that all of this is about to be shoved aside in Desnethé and a candidate imposed by the elite powerbrokers of our party.

To say that I am angry is an understatement, to say I am insulted conveys only a part of what I wish to say.

My people know in their bones about colonialism and I believe that you as a French-Canadian Québecer should be able to understand something of that.

I really do object to the idea that Ralph Goodale, sitting in Regina, can attempt to impose a sitting NDP MLA on our riding and expect the people to swallow that and play along.

There is an Indian Affairs mindset and this is it to the core, the old Indian Agent mentality we all know too much about. The idea that “we” know better than “you,” the people, what is good for you. It would be too much to expect those poor people who shelled out their precious $25 to join the Liberal party to be able to select their candidate. Mr. Goodale will choose one for us.

Let me tell you something bluntly. If you impose Joan Beatty, the Liberals will lose this riding. How do you think Ms. Beatty will be able to draw votes from the roughly 50% of the voting population that inhabits the white farm belt? How do you expect her to fare on the west side of the riding?

If I may ask, who exactly is it that you get your information about our riding from? This is a riding that is winnable by the Liberal party. It cannot be won by imposing a candidate in the middle of a functioning democratic process. The resulting controversy will blow her right out of the race and hand the riding to Mr. Harper.

If the democratic process is short circuited — and for no good reason other than the ambition of one provincial politician — then I can assure you that our people will stay home, they will give up on the hopeful process we have watched unfold here in the past months. They will simply not show up to vote.

Last time the riding was won by Gary Merasty by 67 votes and this with an all out united effort by the Métis and First Nations alike. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that many constituents were not happy that all their effort ended up for nought after a few short months when Gary Merasty stepped down to take a job in the corporate sector. Our riding for many years has not had a strong voice helping us deal with the overwhelming array of issues our people face every day.

If this travesty occurs in Desnethé, if you, Sir, lose sight of the basic proposition that the people of the north, be they my people, white, or First Nation, have the basic right to select their own candidate, unless some emergency, I personally will not vote Liberal. For those who know my history that is a significant statement. I suspect many others will in fact vote Conservative or stay home.

If you allow yourself to be led around by politicians with their own axes to grind, you will, I believe, live to regret it profoundly. I suspect how you handle this situation could have a major influence on your leadership, your career and the future of our party.

I urge you to recall words you yourself have been quoted as uttering about integrity, about citizens’ rights, about respect for our democratic processes and institutions and then act accordingly.

I strongly believe heads should roll in your inner circle over this, but I am writing in the hope that we don’t have to lose this seat for you to find that out.

In closing, may I say that I regret this letter and I regret the necessity for it.

I would appreciate an early reply.

I am, sincerely yours,

Jim Durocher (Jimmy D.)
CEO Saskatchewan Native Rentals
1940 Ave C North
Saskatoon, SK
S7L 1M1
Tel 306-653-0384 (Office)
Cell 306-222-4144

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bad News for Niagara NDPers

One of Niagara's favourite daughters has been named Deputy Leader of the Provincial Green Party. Miss Mullen gained the Greenies 11.4% of the vote here in Niagara during the recent provincial election, eclipsing the NDP candidate by more than 2000 votes.

With Miss Mullen's new appointment, the NDP will be hard-pressed to find a candidate to battle her here for third place. Mullen hasn't decided if she'll run in the next federal election. The NDP certainly hopes not.

Melanie recently attended the environmental conference in Bali where Conswervative Minister John Baird embarrassed our country like no other ever has.

David Orchard for Liberal MP

With the call of four by-elections by the soon-to-be ex-PM Stephen Harper, we need to face the reality that David Orchard is our best hope to win Gary Merasty's seat in the House back for the Liberals.

Call the nomination Sask Liberal Party. Call it today. I'm betting Ms. Beatty wouldn't dare enter the race at this late stage. We need organized, seasoned veterans ready to fight in the trenches. David Orchard is that person.

Friday, December 21, 2007

David Orchard - From the Outside In

Having been a part of Dion's delegate accumulation during his leadership bid, I can attest to the fact that David Orchard can mobilize the troops better than anyone. Here's a nice little reflection on David.


Orchard's strategic influence

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Thursday, December 07, 2006

If delivering support to the winning candidate means anything in politics, then David Orchard's star must surely be on the rise in the Liberal party.

The longtime critic of free trade, two-time candidate for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party and new Liberal can be credited for playing a significant role in Stephane Dion's rise to the Liberal leadership.

Exact totals are unclear at the moment, but Orchard's organization managed to deliver close to 150 delegate votes at the Montreal convention -- 32 of which came from Saskatchewan.

In fact, every Dion delegate from Saskatchewan but one was part of the Orchard camp.

Some were prior Liberals, but many were personal supporters of Orchard from past campaigns. The Orchard camp helped many of them raise the money to go and most of them stayed together at the same hotel, where they had booked a block of rooms.

If Dion was the outsider from within the Liberal establishment, then it seems somehow fitting he should have the support of a consummate outsider like Orchard.

Their partnership could not have been more successful. As the record shows, Dion garnered 854 votes on the first ballot, beating out rival Gerard Kennedy by just two votes on the first ballot. As a result of their prior agreement, Kennedy wound up throwing his support to Dion, which sealed his win. Had the first ballot gone the other way, Kennedy might be the leader today.

There were many reasons why Dion won, but he obviously would not have had the horses to overtake Kennedy without Orchard's support.

Once again, the man many dismiss as a political gadfly has proven it's a mistake to underestimate his influence.

Through organizations dating back to the mid-1980s, from the free trade wars to two runs for the Progressive Conservative leadership, Orchard has built a huge list of contacts. His chief organizer, Marjaleena Repo, estimates they now have some 39,000 names in their databank.

There may have been other people supporting Dion with this kind of reach, but certainly no one who reaches the variety of people who tend to support Orchard. Some are environmentalists seeking pesticide bans; others want to promote organic farming and the Canadian Wheat Board. Still others believe Canadian foreign policy is tilted too far in favour of Israel.

What they have in common is that they see Orchard as a means of empowering ordinary people. In an era where party affiliation means little, Orchard has managed to construct a portable power base that has now influenced the outcome of three different national leadership campaigns.

This turn of events raises some very interesting questions about Orchard's future. There's no doubt he intends to remain active in Liberal politics, and there are a number of issues he intends to press.

The Canadian Wheat Board issue is one of those, as is tighter controls on pesticides and the ongoing problem of low farm income. At the convention, Orchard was rubbing shoulders with former agriculture minister Eugene Whelan, and he's now in conversation with John Turner's former ag minister, Ralph Ferguson, who wants his help on farm policy issues.

If Dion should eventually become prime minister -- and every elected Liberal leader since 1896 has -- Orchard will be well-positioned to play a role in a Liberal government.

How intoxicating the prospect must seem for him. The perpetual outsider who had so much diffi culty gaining the respect of the Progressive Conservative hierarchy now fi nds his opinion sought out by players in the Liberal party.

Should he decide to run for the Liberals and actually win a seat, he might even have a shot at a cabinet post.

Many will blanch at this prospect, but stranger things have happened.

Orchard is noncommittal at this point, but admits he's considering running.

In an interview this week, he said he has had invitations to run for the Liberals in a variety of ridings across the country.

"I have to take a look at all of them and decide where to go," he said.

However, his farm and his history are in Saskatoon Wanuskewin, where he recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of his family's farm.

Wanuskewin remains firmly in the grip of Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, but Orchard is clearly tempted by the prospect of running against him.

Whether it's the Conservatives' efforts to undermine the wheat board, or Vellacott's "whole-hearted support for the bombing of Lebanon," Orchard says his current MP leaves plenty to be desired.

As other high-profile candidates such as Chris Axworthy have learned, Vellacott is not easy to beat. But there's a certain symmetry to the idea. Who better to take on the ideologically driven Vellacott than the equally hard-nosed Orchard? It would pit Vellacott's disciplined group of evangelicals and pro-lifers against Orchard's coalition of greens, anti-free traders and social democrats.

In many ways it would be a microcosm of the national campaign, right here on our own doorstep.

You could sell tickets to a contest like that.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My David Orchard Line in the Sand

Let me get this straight. Ralph Goodale - who I happen to like a great deal - doesn't want a proven grassroots organizer that could put us on the map in western Canada to run for the Liberal Party of Canada. In addition, he asks Senator Smith for support on the notion.

The same Senator Smith that lead the Liberal Party to three consecutive majority governments, including an almost perfect victory in Ontario once. Surely David Smith fully understands the importance of grassroots campaigns and how profitable they can be to a party.

My memory doesn't fail me often but, until Gary Merasty, wasn't Ralphie a one hit wonder in Sask? The Liberals are good for one whole seat in the province. And it's been that way forever in that province.

In David we have a grassroots, environmentally and aboriginal friendly, money-raising, people-organizing machine. Imagine what he can do for us in Western Canada. he's already won 1.5 leadership contests federally. Just maybe he can be a huge catalyst for Liberal membership in those western provinces.

Here's another article in today's paper.

David Orchard, Dion's dilemma

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Thursday, December 20, 2007

After three federal leadership races, you would think the federal political structure would begin to get the idea.

When you sign on with David Orchard, you're not forming a partnership with a guy who is prepared to lie down and be run over if the leader thinks it advisable.

What you get is a practised grassroots politician with a flair for organization. You also get a committed activist who expects to be treated with some respect for his abilities. It sounds simple enough, but for some reason, this equation does not seem to compute easily in Ottawa.

The scene now unfolding in Liberal circles bears all the hallmarks of a movie Orchard has seen before. The script goes something like this:

Ambitious politician seeking his party's leadership sees an opportunity for a come-from-behind victory by running a low-cost, network-heavy campaign. In order to succeed, he enlists the help of a nationally known political maverick long on principles but short on compromise. After achieving an unlikely victory with the maverick's help, the candidate turns his back on his unlikely helpmate, freezing him out of the inner circle he yearns for.

If this sounds familiar it should. Orchard played the maverick's role opposite Peter MacKay in the old Progressive Conservative party and he seems to be repeating the role in Stephane Dion's Liberal party.

This is what's happening.

For the past six weeks, Orchard has been campaigning for the Liberal nomination in the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, which was vacated by former Liberal MP Gary Merasty last September. Unless a general election is called first, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a byelection for Churchill River within the next couple of months.

With his typical work ethic, Orchard has already sold hundreds of Liberal memberships at $25 apiece, no small feat in the poorest federal riding in the province. However, it may all be for naught.

Anxious to increase the number of women running for the Liberals in the next federal election, Dion is considering appointing former provincial NDP cabinet minister Joan Beatty to be the party's candidate in the northern riding.

So far, she hasn't said anything about this one way or the other beyond the fact that both the NDP and the Liberals want her as a candidate. I suppose it would be hopelessly old-fashioned to suggest she has an obligation to the voters who just re-elected her to the legislature, but that's another issue.

However, it's pretty clear that unless she's appointed, she doesn't have a snowball's chance in Phoenix of becoming the Liberal candidate in northern Saskatchewan.

That's not to say Orchard would be the obvious winner of a contested nomination, given that he would first have to get by local consultant and educator John Dorion. But there is no doubt he would have an insurmountable head start over Beatty should she choose to run.

What's particularly interesting about this is that the only reason Beatty is a consideration is because Saskatchewan Liberal heavyweight Ralph Goodale does not want Orchard as a candidate. He is also said to have made this crystal clear to Liberal campaign co-chair David Smith, a senator from Toronto.

Exactly why remains a mystery.

It may be that Goodale doesn't want the Liberal brand to be confused with Orchards' long-standing concerns about free trade and what that might do to the Liberals' chances with the business community. It may be that Orchard represents something of a wild card in terms of public messaging. Not all of his issues are necessarily Liberal issues, and he is unlikely to express his views in Goodale's trademark opaque manner. It may also be that Goodale doesn't want to be supplanted as the province's most influential Liberal should Orchard wind up getting elected to Parliament.

Whatever the reason, this turn of events puts Dion in a bit of a pickle, given that neither of his options are particularly attractive. He can accede to the demands of his parliamentary House leader and short-circuit Orchard's run for the nomination. But to do so would be to poke a stick in the eye of the man who played a crucial role in his successful run for the leadership last year. It's clear that without the 150 delegates Orchard delivered, Dion could not have won.

If he cared about that, Dion would stay strictly out of the nomination and let the chips fall where they may. But if he does, he runs the risk of alienating Goodale, the only Liberal MP in Saskatchewan who actually has a winning record.

The ultimate choice he makes will say a lot about whether Dion represents generational change in the Liberals or merely new management.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What on God's Green Earth!!! Is this a Joke???

Imagine my total disbelief when I read this article this evening. As many, many of you know, I am a very strong supporter of Mr. David Orchard. I'm also a very strong supporter of seeing David get to Ottawa as a Liberal MP.

To that end, this blog will become an unofficial campaign blog for Mr. Orchard's nomination campaign...and there better be a campaign dammit. Peter MacKay screwed David Orchard, and I'll be damned if it happens to him in our party.

So, let the games begin shall we.

Here is a letter from a new member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He joined because he believes in Mr. Orchard. Understandable.

Following is a letter sent from a well-known member of the Canoe Lake First Nations (and well-known family in the North), and supporter of David's candidacy in the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River. He sent this letter which he entitled, "Liberals beware", to the Liberal Party to warn them on hearing that the incomprehensible was about to take place (as you read in this morning's Globe).

Canoe Lake
December 16, 2007

My name is Joseph D. Iron. I live in Canoe Lake with my wife Dianne and family. When I heard that Gary Merasty was stepping down I was worried. It was a very close election last time. Gary won by only 60 some votes, I think, and we don’t like Harper and the Conservatives.

When I heard Dave Orchard was running I felt good. I said I’d help right away. I joined the Liberal party with my wife and two boys. I paid 40 dollars for a family membership. This is the first time I paid for a membership in a political party. It’s the first time I’ll be voting in a federal election.

Each of my girls also paid for their memberships. This is the first time I ever saw that. It’s the first time they took any interest in politics. They did that because Dave is well known and because we know him in the north.

We had a blockade in 1992 when they were clear-cutting our forest. Two hundred police were coming in that time with guns and dogs and everything. The police put a perimeter, a 50 mile radius all around our camp, so nobody could come in to help us. The elders phoned Dave to ask if he would help us. He came up from his farm in his truck and got through 3 police roadblocks to our camp. They arrested 31 of us, my wife and I included, and put us in a bus, handcuffed behind our backs. We were almost all Aboriginal. Dave stood with us. Two of the women arrested were pregnant. Dave told the police to take the handcuffs off at least the pregnant women. In the end, they moved the handcuffs from behind their backs to the front so it was a little less painful. At the police station in Meadow Lake they took all the Aboriginal people off the bus and left Dave alone and handcuffed inside. Then about 8RCMP took out their sticks and went to the bus for Dave. We all thought he was going to get a bad beating but a head RCMP ran out from the office and the police talked a while. Then they just threw Dave into the cells with the rest of us for the night.

The next day they let us out. They later dropped the charges. Dave and his adopted brother Tyrone Tootoosis contacted David Suzuki and the three of them came up in an airplane to support us. There was lots of media there that time. We have the photo of David Suzuki, myself, Dave Orchard, Tyrone Tootoosis, Irene Durocher and others. Quite a few families in Canoe have that photo.

Our elders say that we were right. The courts have now ordered that there is a duty to consult First Nations. We were protecting our forest, our land, our rights and Mother Earth.

My oldest daughter was 17 then, she remembers Dave coming. My other girls were 6, 7 and 9 and my boys 2 and 3, but everyone still talks about that. One of the pregnant women was Irene Durocher. After her baby was born she and her husband Joe named him Tyrone David because of Dave. He is now 15 and his whole family bought memberships to help Dave. The people here still talk about how the RCMP treated Dave that time.

When we heard about two months ago that Dave was running, our community put on a soup and bannock for him and lots of people bought memberships. They paid from their own pocket. Forty dollars for every family is not easy to find on the reserves. Joe Iron Sr. was there. He is about 93. He bought a membership. Leon Iron is about 80. He was the first one at the hall. He was there before Dave got there. He took out his money and bought the first membership.

Now lots of young people want to buy memberships for Dave. Some cannot afford 10 dollars. They are asking if they can put in one or two dollars, as much as they have, and pay more as they get it.

My wife said to me “what other white person would have went to jail with us?”

I saw one of the chiefs from north of Meadow Lake the other day. He gave me forty dollars. He told me to give it to Dave to pay for a membership for him and his family. He is a long time chief, very well liked. He told me “we’re going to send a white guy to Ottawa this time. He knows our issues, he’s a strong voice and he is a fighter.” Several of his councillors bought memberships too. “We like that white boy,” one told me.

On that chief’s reserve they remember that Dave came up over 10 years ago to warn them about the plan to bury American nuclear waste in our territory. Dave came and spoke in their band hall that time. That plan was stopped. And they want to take memberships to help him now.

The other day I heard people saying that some big people in the Liberal party are going to try to stop Dave, that they are going to appoint an NDP woman who I never heard of over top of Dave. We were in a restaurant in Meadow Lake. I said Dion is not stupid. One other guy said, Dion appointed his friend in Montreal and he lost. If they do this and they hurt Dave I won’t bother with the Liberals anymore. I will go with the NDP. And my family too. I think the chiefs will have something to say
about this too. And that is without even talking about democracy.

If the NDP woman wants to run she should sell memberships just like everybody else.

The people bought memberships because we believe in Dave. If they block him I think we will organize for a refund of our money.

But right now, this just makes me want to go out and sell memberships for Dave. Lots of people want to buy them now. We sold 11 memberships this afternoon.

Joseph D. Iron
Dianne Iron

Ignatieff to Fight McGuinty?


It never ceases to amaze me how writers at national newspapers continue to underestimate STEPHANE DION. In this article, Ian Urquhart of The (sun, the moon and the)Star goes above and beyond the realm of fiction.

In real time news today, Dion is set to take on his new job as Prime Minister.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Baird Needs his Head Read?


Does Baird know what he's saying?

The Toronto Star
Tue 18 Dec 2007
Page: AA08
Section: Opinion
Byline: Mark Abley
Source: Special to The Star

Poor John Baird. I know it's getting close to Christmas, when we should all show charity, but perhaps the federal environment minister needs to spend the festive season in a secure psychiatric institution.

I say this because of the radical disconnect between what Baird appears to see and what the rest of the world sees. That kind of disconnect gives psychiatrists a major part of their income.

The minister spent last week in Bali, at the United Nations conference on climate change. Business leaders, diplomats, environmentalists and politicians all knew where Canada stood. Along with Russia and Japan, we lined up behind the U.S. in opposing binding commitments on greenhouse gas emissions for developed nations.

The Americans at least had the lucidity to grasp their own position. Baird, however, seems to believe in calling a spade an important agricultural breakthrough.

Last Thursday, when he addressed the gathering, he declared that "Canada is committed to developing a new international framework, driven by the science." "Let me be clear," he said. "Canada is determined to honour our commitments."

Poor man. Just like someone watching the traffic inch toward the Gardiner and muttering that the zebras are moving at high speed, he uttered words that are wildly at odds with reality. Under the Conservatives, Canada has no intention of honouring the commitment it made when it ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.

The power and pace of climate change are now beyond debate. For Baird to claim that science was shaping Canada's position is on a moral and intellectual par with Japanese whalers announcing that their work is motivated by compassion for humpbacks.

If science were really driving the framework (Baird's incoherent metaphor, not mine), then the 2007 assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have provided a basis for the final accord. That report made the need for prompt action blindingly clear. But in Bali, the European Union's attempt to establish binding targets for emissions was shot down.

And, in fact, the IPCC report may already be outdated. It predicted that Arctic sea ice would probably vanish by the summers of the late 21st century. A newer report, from scientists at the Naval Postgraduate School in the U.S., suggested this may occur as early as 2013.

While Baird was blathering on ("Canada is committed to the United Nations process and these discussions"), his delegation was fighting hard to keep verifiable targets for developed nations out of the Bali agreement. We won the battle, even if we helped ruin our children's lives.

Emilie Moorhouse, of the Sierra Club of Canada, was in Bali last week. Describing this country's stance in her blog, she used the following adjectives: "extreme ... undiplomatic ... absurd ... disruptive ... ridiculous . .. shameful ... embarrassing."

"Canada is committed to action," said Baird. True, if stalling and polluting can be defined as action.

Or perhaps Baird meant that Canada is committed to sabotage. That was the verdict of Hans Verolme, global climate-change director of the World Wide Fund for Nature. "The U.S. government," Verolme stated, "aided by a small group of nations including Canada and Japan, has ... thrown up several roadblocks in the negotiations."

Of course, it's also possible that Baird isn't mentally ill at all. It's possible the minister was lying through his teeth. But that wouldn't be a charitable thing to say at Christmastime, would it?

Montreal journalist and author Mark Abley appears fortnightly.

markabley @

The Next Niagara Falls MP

Joyce Morocco takes a moment with Stephane Dion and Rev. Marya Buckingham at a breakfast in Niagara Falls.

Joyce Morocco has been selected as the candidate here in Niagara Falls to take on Conswervative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson in the next federal election. Joyce has been a constant community activist for many charitable organizations and, recently, oversaw the building of the new ambulatory care centre at Greater Niagara General Hospital as chair of the GNGH Foundation.

A past city councillor, Joyce is more than ready, willing and able to take on Mr. Nicholson and return Niagara Falls to its favourite Ottawa colour - RED.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Harper Toast in the New Year

Another short session in the House has come to an end. So too has the second year of this Stale Conservative government's mandate. The New Year will spell the end of Harper and his cronies and their lack of governing ability.

It's quite clear that Stevie Harpo has lost his sense of control over all things political. The Mulroney debacle is making life very different for his right honourable dictatorness. And if any of you think this Schreibergate thing isn't going to affect the Conservative Party and that Canadians are tuning out, you'd be sadly mistaken.

Not to mention the fact that this government has done nothing in two years of their mandate to address global warming. Mr. Baird have embarrassed this country beyond belief this week. When has Canada ever been referred to a "minion of the US" in the past?

The end of the month will also mark the beginning of the Liberal climb in the polls.
You see Mr. Harper has to call a by-election (or two, or three, or four) for Toronto Centre. I can assure you Mr. Rae is quite ready to take his spot in the House.

I can also tell you, my friends that the Liberal Party will make up for all that shitty press they received in the Outremont debacle by soundly crushing the NDP and the CONS in Toronto Centre and Willowdale. Harper's only chance to stay in front in the polls would be to have these by-elections occur as part of a general election. If he can't achieve that, the Liberals ride sweet, huge victories into a general election.

And, of course, the Mulroney fiasco will be perpetuated as the public inquiry will be spelled out in January. The Liberals will be blessed with an election win right in the middle of that inquiry a la the same strategy as the Conswervatives used during the ADSCAM/Gomery farce. All the links will be established by then between the current government and the Mulroney government. McKay, Bernier, Nicholson to name three.

Anywho, we here in the Liberal Party have some good reasons to ring in the new year in a loud and celebratory fashion.


Friday, December 14, 2007

I Couldn't Agree More

Below is an article that appeared in the Owen Sound
Sun Times.

Tories leading us to climate disaster
Posted 1 day ago

Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls the tune. His ministers dance. His
back-bench MPs? It's hard to imagine them having much say about anything, at
any time.

But perhaps the current Conservative caucus - including Bruce-Grey-Owen
Sound MP Larry Miller - will begin to speak with a louder voice, now that
their jobs are all at risk.

For that is precisely the case. The Harper government's intransigence at the
UN climate-change conference in Bali this week is striking. It puts the
Conservatives on a collision course with Canadian public opinion, on the
most important issue of our time. It hands the opposition parties a lever
that, if handled skillfully, could topple this government.

Here's what's happening in Bali, in a nutshell. European nations are
pressing hard for a commitment to binding, greenhouse-gas emissions cuts of
between 25 and 40 per cent by 2020. Canada, the United States and Japan are
resisting that effort. Canada used to bill itself internationally as an
environmental do-gooder. No longer. Nowadays, we wear the black hats.

Why are we playing this role? Harper's environment minister, John Baird,
says it makes no sense for anyone to cut emissions until the world's biggest
economies - the United States, China, India, to name three - do so as well.
Harper and company want a binding global climate-change deal, they claim,
but one that's fair.

This doesn't hold up, for this reason: The Tory government is doing little
or nothing, within our own borders, to combat climate change. This country
could be leaping ahead, technologically. Instead, we're taking baby steps
for the cameras. A bit of money here, a bit of money there, a photo op, a
speech. But major, concrete action? No.

There is no federal consumer carbon tax to make it more expensive for
urbanites to buy those big, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles. There is no
ambitious federal plan to induce consumers to hybridize their vehicles.

There is no project to build large, industrial wind farms on the Great Lakes
(as the British, for example, are doing now off their coasts).

There is no plan to build a fast, modern train for the Montreal-to-Windsor
corridor, a train that could be designed to carry the massive numbers of
transport containers now being hauled by trucks.

There is no great national project to build a series of newer, more
effective nuclear power plants.

In short, there is no leadership in Canada on this file. Therefore, we have
no moral or political authority to preach solutions to anyone, anywhere.
We're among the wealthiest people on earth, in relative terms, and we're not
taking climate change seriously. Why should the Indians and the Chinese do
so, when they're still struggling to pull hundreds of millions of people out
of poverty?

Here's what might achieve results: Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan,
Australia, acting in concert, agree to slash emissions by 40 per cent by
2020. We then exert moral, and economic pressure on the Chinese and the
Indians to do the same. As a sweetener we offer them access to our own
mass-produced, efficient, clean-energy technology - cars, generating
stations, wind turbines. Yes, that might work. But thanks to Stephen Harper
and his government, it looks as though we're not about to find out. So far,
Canada's obstructionist role at Bali has been critical: We've provided
political cover for the United States to continue to resist any global move
forward. The Chinese and the Indians will in turn, use that to justify their
own stands. And around we go. Without strong pressure from government,
industry has little incentive to mass-produce Green power. So we will
continue to stumble toward disaster - not for ourselves, so much as for our
children and grandchildren.

John Baird's performance at Bali has been worse than shameful. Every single
Conservative Member of Parliament should be made to answer for it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bloggers are Citizen Reporters

Well, we have certainly come a long way. The Niagara Falls Review writes a front page story today on Citizen Reporters and how the public and media perceive their presence.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Gonna try with a little help from my friends.

With a little help from my friends.

With a little help from my friends.

Thank you to the hundreds of you that have dropped me a line today. It was all of you that have kept this calm and cool for me.

UPDATE: And this friend too.

Remembering the Pearl

FDR's Speech

To the Congress of the United States:

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peter MacKay, LLPOF

Minister Peter MacKay stood up in the House of Commons yesterday and stated, " I was all but 21 or 22 years old when I took that job in Germany." Then, in a Clintonesque move, declared "I had never met that man in person" (referring to Karlheinz Schreiber).

Above is a picture of Karlheinz with Petey's dad and Brian Mulroney. So how did Petey get that job in Germany?

UPDATE: Peter MacKay, in fact, says he was all but 26 or 27. The actual hansard notes are contained in the comment section below.