Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why Does the Liberal Party THINK They Can Take Harper Down Whenever They Please?

That's the question I asked of Michael Ignatieff and others over the past few days. What kind of arrogance does one have to have to assume either the NDP or the Bloc would support a non-confidence motion whenever the Liberals decide to go to the polls?

Today Gilles Duceppe has telegraphed his intentions. I think he and Mr. Layton dislike Mr. Ignatieff a wee bit more than Mr. Harper right now.


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Friday, January 30, 2009

Who Says the OLO Doesn't Read Blogs?

Last week many a Liberal questioned the OLO and the Leader about their Critic appointments. This week it appears they have included the entire caucus on a million committees. That's a little better.



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LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes "Iggy baby, let's do lunch"

The most recent addition to the Featured Liberal Bloggers over at LiberalsONLINE.ca is Iggy baby, let's do lunch. Please offer up a warm welcome for our new Liberal blogging buddy.


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Liberal MP to Vote Against the Budget

How refreshing. Someone that is actually sticking up for their constituency. You know. The people that actually sent her to Ottawa to work for them.

Foote First Liberal to Say No
January 30, 2009



Random Burin St. George's MP Judy Foote has confirmed that if the equalization changes remain, she'll be voting no to the federal budget. Foote says a solution needs to be found to resolve this province's financial losses.

Liberal MP's from this province admit they have been hearing from constituents in the wake of the province's outcry over the damage caused by changes to the equalization formula. There have been talks with the federal Liberals to seek an amendment, and even to have the fiscal measure that impacts this province delayed for a year. Still, if nothing changes, Foote is prepared to cast her vote for Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. John's South Mount Pearl MP Siobhan Coady isn't as direct, but told VOCM Niteline with Ryan Cleary, she and her colleagues are working with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador is treated fairly.

Premier Danny Williams has asked Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to consider amending the implementation of changes to equalization.Williams says Ignatieff could do two things: ask Harper to withdraw the changes or add an amendment, which he believes would be supported by all 7 Newfoundland and Labrador MP's.

Williams has also spoken with the premiers of PEI and Quebec asking for their support.

He puts the numbers in perspective, saying the impact is about three thousand dollars per person. He says we already have the highest debt per capita, and the impact of the budget change only makes it worse.

Meantime, Premier Williams has confirmed Nova Scotia's side deal with the federal government. Williams says in talking with Premier Rodney McDonald to firm up support on the equalization issue, he learned Nova Scotia would not be be impacted by the offset losses. Williams says we are affected similarly, but have been offered nothing. Williams says it is his understanding the deal was struck following January's First Minister's meeting.

NDP Leader Jack Leyton says he is working with the Premier and Newfoundland and Labrador's MP's to provide fairness to the province.


She also might want to vote no to the budget for the lack of any support for the equality of women in this country...

...Women's issues? Something our previous leader championed. But that was then. This is now.




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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Canadian Silkwood (Day 55)

CANADIAN SILKWOOD
(Day 55)

And still nothing from the Canadian media!!!!

Aside from a few shots by Geof Regan, where is the rest of the opposition? Why hasn't there been any major press conferences about this?

Two days after the story breaks and still the story of a nuclear spill is on the back pages of the major papers if there is anything at all printed about it.

I certainly don't expect to hear anything from Stephen Harper or Lisa Raitt, given that they intentionally and conveniently waited almost two months to advise the Canadian public that one of their reactors had blown a couple of leaks and continues to emit radiation into the environment.

Folks, there was a Nuclear incident on December 5, 2008!!!!!!!!

Does anyone remember the front pages of the newspaper in any of our nation's leading cities on December 5, 2008?

You would think that if there was a nuclear spill (or two) at one of Canada's nuclear reactors that it would have warranted some coverage by the press and that the Canadian government ought to have made some kind of announcement about the incident - even more so when the leak happened at the very same nuclear facility that Canada's independent nuclear regulator
ordered shut down because of concerns over potential system failures (including the parts that we now know were related to the leaks)!

BUT NO!!!!! In Stephen Harper's world, political interests override public safety - even when it comes to a nuclear spill!

Almost two (2) months have passed since this incident occurred. TWO MONTHS!!!!!!!

And when does the Canadian public find out about it?? On the day the Harper Government releases its soon to be infamous budget. http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2009/01/27/8158161-sun.html

The nuclear spill story is buried in the newspapers by the Harper Depression and the Harper 'fudget'.

Why the two month wait to let us know about a nuclear spill Steve?

If you couldn't be straight with us back in early December are we getting the full story now????

Now that we have seen the results of Stephen Harper's gross negligence in refusing to heed the advice of our country's most senior nuclear regulator, I again call for a comprehensive public inquiry into this nuclear leak and into the politicization of and political interference with what was supposed to be an independent body.

Has anyone seen the movie "Silkwood"?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Silkwood. Well, it's the same sick mentality being demonstrated in Harper's decision to fire Linda Keen.

Stephen Harper, why did you fire Linda Keen for telling you that the reactor wasn't safe because its pumps needed to be replaced?

From his response to the listeria outbreak to his flat out lies about the true state of the economy, Stephen Harper has failed to be truthful with the Canadian public about the most serious issues confronting our national security and our national interests.

At every turn, Stephen Harper has made sure that partisan political interests override good decision-making.

The Chalk River/Linda Keen story stinks of political incompetence, gross negligence on the part of our government and now cover-up!!! Where is the media?? Where is the opposition???

Do we really need to go down the same long and tortuous road our American friends have so thoroughly rejected?

Do we need to let Canada's version of George Bush run our economy and our country into the ground?

Be it the budget, be it the endless lies, be it the continuous assaults and character assassinations leveled against his political opponents, be it the gross incompetence in handling the economy or the outright negligence of ignoring and then firing the independent nuclear regulator, please end this era of North American right-wing neo-conservative failure. End it now!!!!

Go back to the shadows of the backroom Steve!!! You are incapable of responsible and accountable leadership.

MPs of all parties (including Liberals, Conservatives and Reformers) still have a chance to vote against Stephen Harper's lies, deceptions and incompetence!

Vote against a budget that will do next to nothing to help the economy!

Vote against a Prime Minister who puts ideology and political games before good policy!

Let's get on with the real work of keeping Canada safe and strong.

Call your Members of Parliament today and tell them to reject Stephen Harper and to reject the budget

h/t to the author of the letter above.


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LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes Canadian Liberal Junkie

Canadian Liberal Junkie is the latest Featured Liberal Blogger to join LiberalsONLINE.ca. A warm welcome if you please!

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And You will Defeat them How Exactly Mr. Ignatieff?

Here's the thing. There's some guys out there that are touting the old "accountability" adage. The thought goes something like this:

What this amendment does is to give Stephen Harper an option: be accountable. Be open. Be responsive to Canadians. If you don’t take that option, pal, we will defeat you. That’s not a threat. It’s a promise.

It is fair to say that the budget has not passed. It is fair to say the budget will not pass – it will not pass if the Conservative Party does not do what Liberals, and Canadians, require of them.

Accountability isn’t just a word, you know. It is a cornerstone of our democracy. And the fact is, the Conservatives have not been accountable. They have not been straight with Canadians. The effect of this of amendment is to force them to be accountable. It forces them to be straight with Canadians. It keeps that sword hanging over their heads.

This amendment has ample constitutional, legal and political precedent, and those things are important. But what is most important is what Canadians want out of their government: a government that listens to them. A government that respects them. A government that remembers who is the boss.

Canadians, you see, are the boss. Not Stephen Harper. Today, with this measure, we are reminding him of that. And if he doesn’t change his ways, we will defeat him.


Now, I am no mathematician, but to defeat the Conservatives, doesn't one need around 144 votes in the House of Commons? I'm no Constitutional expert either, so maybe I'm wrong. The last time I took stock, the Liberal Party of Canada only has 77 seats in that House. Doesn't that mean in order to defeat the government you need 67 more votes?

I ask you: Do you really think Jack and Gilles are going to be excited about helping out Mr. Ignatieff's party at present to defeat the government when they both already have the massive seat totals in the House, the likes of which they may not see again? My guess is no.

Here's the truth. Michael Ignatieff could have been Prime Minister next week. He chose not to. I know two things for sure. Dion would have been PM next week and Bob Rae would have too.

There are people going hungry because they have to decide whether it's more important to pay their rent or buy groceries or keep their hydro on. Do you think they give a shit about tax credits? There are thousands of unemployed workers that will be losing their homes, their cars, their families because of the ridiculous EI system we have. So you think 5 extra weeks of EI if they qualify is going to help them save it all?

You could have asked for more Mr. Ignatieff in your amendments. You should have asked for more.





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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Failing Which What????

Text of the proposed Liberal amendment to the government's budget motion:

That the motion be amended by changing the period to a comma and adding the following:

"on condition that the government table reports in Parliament no later than five sitting days before the last allotted day in each of the supply periods ending March 26, 2009, June 23, 2009, and Dec. 10, 2009,

(a) to provide ongoing economic and fiscal updates;

(b) to detail the actual implementation of the budget;

(c) to itemize the actual effects of the budget with respect to the protection of the most vulnerable in Canadian society, the minimizing of existing job losses, the creation of the employment opportunities of tomorrow, the provision of economic stimulus in a manner fair to all regions of Canada, and the assurance that the government's deficit is not a burden to future generations or a detriment to economic recovery and finally;

(d) to provide details on any adjustments or new measures as may be required to benefit the Canadian economy."



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Time to Update all Your Blogs




All of you displaying these badges can now feel free to free up you sidebars. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

What's up next? Liberal 308.



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For All of My Friends That Laughed At Me....

That includes you over there in Cardiff. There's this!!! I suggested at the time that Darkness had gone over a line. And, compounded it with a live video. Ha.


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And What Do You Think The Reports Will Say Mr. Ignatieff?

The reports will say nothing. Just like they always do in the realm of Stephen Harper. Hidden truths not revealed is what they'll be. Just like when Harper told Canadians there would be no deficit a mere 90 days ago.

Is anyone else in this f--king party livid? Cause this - As Warren Kinsella would say - former Liberal activist (not) is. Unbelievable. Michael! You crossed the ocean to Harvard, then to Toronto, then to Ottawa, to be Prime Minister! What the hell are you waiting for?

More proof the kids in the OLO have no clue what they're doing, and that this party is lost for a generation. We have the conviction of nothing. Say what you want about Stephane Dion, he died fighting for the environment and some sort of principal attached thereto.

The other night a Liberal friend of mine suggested I leave the party for the party's sake and complain as a non-member. It was the 6th such suggestion by an Ignatieff insider over the last month. Let me just tell you something people. You've pissed me off. You're pissing off the rest of the party too. Just like you did in the 2006 leadership.

You know what else? I ain't leaving! Unlike some of the others that won't be heard, I'm gonna stick around and help change the bullshit attitude in this party. Know what else? I bet I'm not gonna be alone in my quest. Don't believe me? Just watch us!

While we're at it, let me ask what the hell the rest of the 76 Liberal MPs were thinking over the last 24 hours that would lead their leader to the undramatic decision he made today? What the hell are you thinking? You think that you're doing justice for your constituents? I have news for you people, your constituents sent you to Ottawa to speak up for them, not just so you can collect your $158,000 a year.

Where is the Liberal Party of Kelowna? Where is the Liberal Party of Health Care? Where is the Liberal Party of a National Childcare Strategy? Where is the Liberal Party of Kyoto? The Party of Trudeau? Of Laurier? Of Pearson? Of Chretien? We just sold out our convictions to keep this evil, vindictive Conservative government in power. We just let this country slip back into Mulroney years.

Unbelievable!




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Michael Ignatieff..."We're Putting the Conservatives on Probation"

"We're putting the Conservatives on probation."

What can I say? I told you the coalition was dead. I told you this budget would pass. End of story. Dion would have been Prime Minister next week. Michael could have been too. Oh well.

And, NO changes to the policies contained in the budget? NO CHANGES to the EI in the Liberal amendments? NO CHANGES to the housing clauses? NO CHANGES to help with day care and people on Social Assistance? What about green renovations instead of all renovations including your cottage?

WTF??? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

WHAT IS THE LIBERAL ALTERNATIVE PLAN? WHAT IS IT?

THE MEDIA AIN'T GONNA LIKE THIS TOO MUCH I BET.


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Dalton McGuinty Praises Harper Budget

Geez-us. He even uses the Conservatives tagline: "Shovels in the ground"

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Stephen Harper & Lisa Raitt Hide Nuclear Disaster in Budget

Welcome to Canada's own version of Silkwood.

Last year Gary Lunn fired Linda Keen. Her crime? She shut down a faulty nuclear facility for safety reasons. She warned Canadians about this a year ago - almost to the day.

On December 6, 2008, the new minister in charge, Lisa Raitt, was notified in an email exchange about the nuclear leak in Chalk River on December 5, 2008. Did anyone tell the Canadian public about it then? NO! Why? Because they wanted to avoid the controversy by burying the news on a budget day when nobody would be paying attention. That's why.

Sun Media didn't fall for the trap though and have published a report today. Notice the line:

Raitt said she and her departmental officials received an "e-mail briefing" on the leak the day after it occurred.

"There are some aspects that came out today that we weren't fully aware of," the minister said yesterday


What was the minister doing for two months that a nuclear leak wasn't worth making a priority of?



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Half a Trillion Dollars!!!

That's really the only number Canadians need to be presented with. In five years from now, that's exactly how far the Canadian taxpayer will be in debt.

The Liberal Party of Canada can no longer continue to support this ridiculously reckless Conservative government. Harper and his Harris clowns have continuously lied to the Canadian public and, with yesterday's budget, the lies are being perpetuated.

None of the money, save for home renovations, is going to make this economic storm go away overnight. Real Canadians that are down on their luck will not be getting help from this government. $2 billion for affordable housing doesn't really address the affordable housing long overdue in our major cities. Extending the EI to 50 weeks (if you live in the right region) does not address the need of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians that are and will be jobless this year. Those Canadians on Social Assistance won't benefit one iota from this budget. Not a dime will get to them.

Suggested infrastructure boosts involve the participation of cities that are already on the verge of bankruptcy matching the federal funds. In other words: it's not enough that the feds are going to be cash strapped, they want every level of government to participate in the ruination of Canada.

Every economist in the country warned the Conservatives not to cut the GST. But the Conservatives insisted it was the right move for Canada. So, out the window went $8 Billion a year. And for what? The average Canadian down on his luck never saw a difference in their life.

After 9 straight balanced Liberal budgets and surpluses and responsible Liberal fiscal management, this country has been plunged into the abyss. Michael Ignatieff would be absolutely wrong to trust this Conservative government with the financial future of Canada. Ralph Goodale and John McCallum forgot more about economics that Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty will ever know. This budget must not pass.

Anyway. Carry on. I know nothing. Hell, I don't even have a degree. Certainly not an economics degree from the University of Calgary and, I certainly don't have a degree from Oxford or Harvard either.


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And Then There Were Two

The vote to select the new banner for LiberalsONLINE.ca was a very close affair. We are down to two finalists. Cast your vote now for the one you like best.


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Fudget Day!!!

Well, we seem to already know much of the plan on how Harper is going to SPEND the money (and not even one hint of an RCMP investigation).

My question is how is he planning on paying it back???

Harper could get away with politically motivated gimmicks like cutting the GST when times were good, but there are no gimmicks available to pay back billions in debt.

Maybe Harper will once again follow the lead of his buddy George Dubya Bush and run the country's economy into the ground and leave it to the grown-ups to pick up the pieces.

We warned you this day would come. Here, here, here, here, here, here and here

Um. What do I know anyway

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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Blogging Tories Now Have a New Name

Wow! Big news people!

I thought Cherniak's message on Liblogs a couple of weeks ago may have gone over the line a bit. BUT, Stephen Taylor has gone one better and changed the name of his whole entire aggregator.

Yep. The new name of the blogging borings is now "The Blogging Tories Canadians for Israel.ca" Go figure.



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I Guess the Budget Will Pass

Canadians want budget passed: Poll


By Andrew Mayeda, Canwest News ServiceJanuary 26, 2009 3:01 PM

OTTAWA— Tuesday's federal budget is poised to plunge Canada into deficit for the first time in more than a decade, but nearly six in 10 Canadians hope it will pass, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll.


Fifty-seven per cent of Canadians want the opposition parties to vote for the budget, according to the poll, conducted exclusively for Canwest News Service and Global National.


By contrast, 30 per cent believe the opposition should defeat the budget, while 13 per cent are unsure.


"People want the budget to pass because they're generally in tune with what the government is going to try to do with the deficit — they're not shocked by it," said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.


The Liberals and NDP threatened to topple the Harper government last month with their proposal to form a coalition backed by the Bloc Quebecois. Prime Minister Stephen Harper staved off defeat by convincing Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to suspend Parliament on Dec. 4.


Parliament reconvened Monday after a seven-week break, and the first test for the government will be Tuesday's budget. It is automatically considered a matter of confidence, meaning a defeat would bring down the government.


If that happens, Jean would have to decide whether to call the fourth general election in less than five years, or grant the coalition a chance to govern. But with economists warning of a deep recession, few Canadians are in the mood for another election or the prospect of a coalition taking power, said Bricker.


"They don't want an election and they don't want political instability," he said.


Government officials have revealed that the budget will push the federal treasury into a $34-billion hole next year and $30 billion the following year — the first federal deficits since the Liberals balanced the books in the late 1990s.


Tuesday's budget will forecast that it will take five years for the government to balance the books again.


Albertans are most likely to want the budget to pass, with 66 per cent wanting the opposition to support it. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are next, both at 65 per cent, followed by Ontario at 61 per cent and British Columbia at 59 per cent.


Forty-six per cent of Quebecers want the opposition to support the budget, while only 45 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada hope it passes.


Both the NDP and Bloc have strongly suggested they will vote against the budget.


Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has offered only broad conditions for his party's support, and party insiders say it is all but certain the Grits will let the budget pass. Nevertheless, Ignatieff has publicly held out the possibility that the Liberals might bring down the government.


Liberal MP John McCallum warned this weekend that his party would not support permanent tax cuts that would inhibit the government's ability to get back into the black. Harper said last week the budget will contain some permanent tax measures.


The poll, conducted by phone Jan. 20 to 22, contacted 1,000 randomly selected adult Canadians. It is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Regional margins of error are larger.





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If I were Stephen Harper and I had a Budget to Drop

What, oh what would I do to absolutely piss off the opposition and still make myself look not bad if I had to fight an election. You know what I'd throw in the budget? I'd throw that there party financing thing out the window again. Yep. I would. I'd do it simply because I think I could get away with it knowing the Liberal Party is not going to go through with a coalition of the damned and certainly aren't ready for an election in 38 days.

Nawww. Stephen probably thinks that's too risky.



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LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes "Four Strong Winds"

The Featured Liberal Blogger list continues to grow at LiberalsONLINE.ca. Welcome Four Strong Winds to the family.

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"Xin Nian Kuai Le" and Kung Hei Fat Choy

May the year of the ox be bullish for you.

Coincidentally, Barack Obama is an Ox.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes "Yappa Ding Ding"

Yappa Ding Ding is the lastest of Featured Liberal Bloggers to join LiberalsONLINE.ca. Welcome aboard.

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Two Brave Souls Step Up as Moderators for LiberalsONLINE.ca

We have our first moderator. Penlan has stepped up as our first moderator here at LiberalsONLINE.ca. Thanks Penlan for their incredible courage.

And, yeah!!! We now have our second moderator. Skinny Dipper has volunteered to come on board as a moderator for a period of time. An excellent source of moderation in our opinion. Thanks Skinny.

Let us know if you'd like to volunteer (cause that's what it is - volunteer).

Email ducky7777@yahoo.com if you're interested.


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tory Strategist Levant Questions Ignatieff's Loyalty

The ever-cunning EzRaw Levant has now taken a backstep about his love for Michael Ignatieff and is now questioning the Liberal leader's support for Israel.

The response from the Liberal War Room? And, Jason Cherniak? Nada.

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New Poll - Pick the New LiberalsONLINE.ca Logo


Click on any of the banners to see them on the LiberalsONLINE.ca site.
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www.liberalsonline.ca
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BannerFans.com
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These are some of the great designs that have been suggested for this young, growing aggregator.

Saskboy and The Native Canadian Join LiberalsONLINE.ca

LiberalsONLINE.ca is happy to announce the latest additions to their Featured Liberal Bloggers:

Abandoned Stuff by Saskboy

and

The Native Canadian (love the picture at the title portion of the blog)

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cherniak's MP Shutout Completely...Along with Many Others

I guess the OLO got the hint that some former liberal activists would like to know who the new lineup is.

Some notables have been totally shunned by the OLO. Cherniak's MP Bryon Wilfert goes from the main spokeshead to not even having a critic position. Ken Dryden, the sober thinker in the party, has been deleted completely from the critic spots. Ignatieff stallwort Albina Guarnieri, a former minister of Veterans Affairs also got squat. Naturally nothing for Dion. And, what would be the need to have someone like Ujjal Dosanjh in a leading role anywhere? Trudeau? Too green I guess. Paul Szabo? Nada.
At least McGuinty got environment - as I thought he would.

Seriously. No Dryden?


So, here's the list:

Liberal Opposition Critics

Michael Ignatieff - Intergovernmental Affairs
John McCallum - Finance
Bob Rae - Foreign Affairs
Denis Coderre - Defence and Quebec Lieutenant
David McGuinty - Environment & Energy
Carolyn Bennett - Health
Marc Garneau - Industry, Science & Technology
Mark Holland - Public Safety & National Security
Geoff Regan - Natural Resources
Dominic LeBlanc - Justice and Attorney-General
Scott Brison - International Trade
Martha Hall Findlay - Public Works and Government Services
Todd Russell - Indian Affairs
Larry Bagnell - Arctic Issues & Northern Development
Joe Volpe - Transport
Gerard Kennedy - Infrastructure, Communities and Cities
Maurizio Bevilacqua - Citizenship & Immigration
Judy Sgro - Veterans Affairs, Seniors & Pensions
Yasmin Ratansi - National Revenue
Gerry Byrne - Fisheries & Oceans
Jean-Claude D'Amours - Atlantic Gateway and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Pablo Rodriguez - Canadian Heritage & Official Languages
Maria Minna - Labour
Dan McTeague - Treasury Board, Consumer Affairs and Consular Affairs
Mike Savage - Human Resources & Skills Development
Anita Neville - Status of Women
Wayne Easter - Agriculture, Agri-food and Canadian Wheat Board
Sukh Dhaliwal - Asia-Pacific Gateway & Western Economic Development
Ruby Dhalla - Youth & Multiculturalism
Keith Martin - Amateur Sport, Health Promotion and the Vancouver Olympics
Alexandra Mendes - Economic Development Agency for Regions of Quebec
Glen Pearson - International Cooperation
Raymonde Folco - La Francophonie

Caroline Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo are Cousins

I bet most of you didn't know that!

There was much lament yesterday over Caroline Kennedy backing out of the race to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. Heck, David Paterson himself asked Kennedy to reconsider the decision.

The move by Kennedy clearly puts the new frontrunner as New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. You all remember Andrew's dad Mario right? The former New York Governor? Well, what you don't know is that young Andrew's ex-wife was none other than Caroline Kennedy's first cousin Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Bobby. Bobby held the same Senate seat Andrew is hoping to snag.

As for Andrew's relationship with the Clinton's? He was housing secretary under Bill Clinton when Bill was president. His wife Kerry, with her brother Bobby Jr. and sister Kathleen, endorsed Hillary as the presidential candidate.

It's an incestuous little group isn't it?

First it was "The" Green Shift, now It's "En Famille"

Some of you remember a little controversy over the naming of the Liberal environmental platform. Now the genius that prevails in our party has chosen a new name for its so-called renewal process (something we apparently already did in 2006). "En Famille". Better than Tous Ensemble I guess. Unless of course you have an infant child. Than, naturally, you would laugh at how eerily similar the new name of this - yet another - renewal group is to a famous baby food product.

Ironic I suppose because some of us have a tendency to believe that those choosing the members of these change and renewal committees are kind of acting like infants with their blatant disregard for a more balanced selection of members and a great, great failure to engage the youth of the party in the process.

Quixotique and John Lennard wrote about this yesterday to some degree, and they both bring up very important thoughts on the matter. In my humble opinion both posts are must reads. In fact, John takes it a step further and asks all of you to write various people to express your opinions. Both authors are big time Liberal activists and one is running to be youth president. So, when they write...I read.

Another anxious Liberal writes a blurb today. Strong-worded at that.

Personally, I feel there is more than one or two people on the committees that are part of the problem that exists in the party. Two that I can think of took various opportunities, when given the chance, to undermine our previous leader, from within and without. So, I'm baffled as to how I can even begin to think that this is a serious discussion with the grassroots of the party about renewal or change.

There are far too many grassroots Liberals and youth representatives missing in these committees. Not to mention gross neglect of certain regions across the country. John addresses that in his post.

Anyway, that's the opinion of this so-called former Liberal activist. What do I know?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes "The Winding Road Ahead" and "RGL: Canadian Thoughts"

Welcome two new Featured Liberal Bloggers to LiberalsONLINE.ca. The Winding Road Ahead and RGL: Canadian Thoughts have come along for the ride.

IAEA to Look into Gaza Uranium Ammunition Claim

But they're just like every other bomb. Only they can pierce armour. Remind me again, did the opposing side in the Gaza conflict have an armoured division or something?

Red Canuck joins LiberalsONLINE.ca

The hits just keep coming.

Red Canuck has now joined the LiberalsONLINE.ca group of Featured Liberal Bloggers. A big welcome to you big Red.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blues Clair and Tilting at Windmills join LiberalsONLINE.ca

It never ceases to amaze me when it comes to the talent in the Liberal Party. These two bloggers are going to be great contributors to LiberalsONLINE.ca.

Many of you are familiar with Blues Clair already. Tilting at Windmills, however, is a new, Quixote-esque blog that I'm certain will contribute some excellent, thoughtful ideas in Liberal blogger circles.

A warm welcome to both if you will.

A Change is Gonna Come

And today is the day my friends. Today is the day. 45 years later. Today is the day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Starting Lineup

When you're on a team, you always want to know who the starting lineup is. For the Liberal Team, here is the starting lineup.

$1 Billion for Gaza

I asked some questions yesterday about who will help rebuild Gaza. Saudi Arabia is first on board with a pledge for $1 Billion. Kuwait has offered up a mere $34 Million, but it's a start. Hey. I wonder if Chaney's company could help out?


Here's some interesting notes from the article:

Livni:
"Now Hamas knows what Israel does when it is attacked. Also the world knows what Israel does when attacked, and even accepts it."


The world "accepts it"? Does she read the papers?

At the conference in Kuwait, even leaders of Arab states friendly to the U.S. lashed out at Israel for using excessive force. "Our weaponless families in Gaza are facing an atrocious Israeli aggression targeting innocents and demolishing all pillars of life," said Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Ahmad Sabah, calling Israel's offensive a "crime against humanity" and a "blatant violation of the simplest principles of human rights."


I guess he didn't get Livni's memo.

Mubarak:
"We support the right of people to resist the occupation," he said. "But a resistance is responsible in front of its people . . . for the victims and suffering it leads to."


The reverse of what many say about Israel.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
"This is the outset of the victory and the resistance would complete it with making more achievements in the future," the news agency quoted the president as saying. "The occupiers' withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, removal of the Israeli blockades from the besieged area and reopening of the border crossings would pave the grounds for a complete victory."


He missed the victory speech from Israel.

Big City Lib Joins LiberalsONLINE.ca

A warm round of applause please for Big City Lib Strikes Back. This dynamic blog has joined the many Featured Liberal Bloggers at LiberalsONLINE.ca. Drop by to have a peek.

Canadian Rosebud and Tory Tattler Join LiberalsONLINE.ca

Canadian Rosebud and Tory Tattler are the latest Featured Liberal Bloggers to join in the fun at LiberalsONLINE.ca.

Check out the new logo submissions at LiberalsONLINE.ca.

I Stand With the Pope

Since I am a Roman Catholic, I guess it's only right.

Who gets to rebuild Gaza now? Where will the contractors come from? Who gets to pay for it?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Red Tory and The Wingnuterer Join LiberalsONLINE.ca

Another busy day for LiberalsONLINE.ca. This time we welcome Red Tory and The Wingnuterer.

It's been busy over at LiberalsONLINE.ca and we wish we knew how the heck you can take a plain old picture and write an HTML code for it to show on an aggregator. Jeebus what a pain in the backside.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

For Those Liberals Supporting "Liberal 308"...

...Your opinion is welcome...as long as it's the exact same opinion as ours.

In other words, you can have a say as long as you supported Michael Ignatieff. What a crock. Where's Axworthy?

Liberals announce the establishment of special renewal committee
OTTAWA –
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff today announced the establishment of a special committee to ensure the Liberal Party is well equipped during this critical period of reform and rejuvenation.

“Renewal will take many forms,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “It is my hope the Liberal Party of Canada will be guided by the views of each and every one of its members as we think about our policies, our structures and our methods of engaging with Canadians.”

Mr. Ignatieff said the special committee on party renewal will take into consideration the implementation of the 2006 reforms undertaken by the “Red Ribbon” task force and the ensuing constitutional amendments adopted at the Montreal convention.

It will also make key recommendations on common areas of inquiry suggested by grassroots Liberals from across the country. These include:

• the leadership selection process;
• the federated structure of the party;
• the contributions of Commissions to achieving equitable representation in the party and the pursuit of our electoral objectives; and
• the development of a clear process and tools for connecting grassroots policy development to all levels of the party. This, plus a mechanism for the review of these ideas, will facilitate feedback and encourage grassroots involvement.

The committee will be chaired by former national director Steve MacKinnon and will be co-chaired by the Honourable Navdeep Bains. It will be comprised of prominent Liberals Mike Crawley, Kelly Regan, Nancy Girard, and Joan Bourassa, as well as caucus members Bonnie Crombie, Pablo Rodriguez and Senator Grant Mitchell.

“Liberals are committed to the democratic principles that underpin our party,” said Mr. Ignatieff. “Today, as we look to the future, I look forward to working together to strengthen and rejuvenate our party in time for the next federal election.”

Israel Stops Shooting.....For Now Anyway

And Britain is relieved. No statement from the Liberal Party as of this newsflash.

The Liberal Party Finally Makes Human Rights Statement

Finally, we hear an official statement on Human Rights from the Human Rights critic himself.

In other news, another UN school was "targeted" in Gaza. Only 2 male children were killed this time. Acceptable by any military standard.

LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes MORE New Featured Bloggers

Yesterday was a big day for LiberalsONLINE.ca. 7 new Featured Bloggers joined in the fun.

The most recent:

A View From the Left


Sinestra

Far and Wide

Scott's Diatribes


Liberal Arts and Minds

A big warm LiberalsONLINE.ca welcome to all of you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looks Like Michael Ignatieff will be Challenged for Leadership

You just knew that it would happen. Somebody would have to come out of the woodwork sooner or later.

In the spirit of fairness, and toward a more free and democratic Liberal Party of Canada, I will lend this fellow a leg up. I do this because, as you will read in his letter, he would like us to share his feelings wih all Liberals.

Here's his letter:

Will all Liberal Riding Associations please forward this to the Liberal Candidate in their area and all concerned Liberals within the Association. There are attachments to this email. Please open them, read them and forward them as well. Thank you.



To All Concerned Liberals and Liberal MP's:



The Liberal Party has a serious problem. It needs an immediate fix or we'll never win the next election with a majority government. Please read all of this and you'll likely agree with me as to what the cure is. Then all you need to do is take some small actions to make it happen. We'll all appreciate your input and your efforts in this regard.

As we are all aware, the last election was a disaster. What it wasn't, was a wake up call to the party. It should have been, but it wasn't. It seems we are stuck in a 'same old, same old' routine and nothing can shake us out of it. Well, almost nothing.

Everyone seems to be agreed that our biggest detrimental factor is the lack of a charismatic, exciting leader who can take this party and forge ahead to an election win. There is another factor. We don't have any platforms that the people like and will vote for.

Let's deal with the first issue. During the last leadership campaign everyone was hoping for a new Pierre Elliot Trudeau to arise and lead us to a new majority government. But we did everything we could to make sure that couldn't happen. We auctioned off the leadership. Whoever got the most people to sign up or rejoin the party got to be the leader. Only those who had been in the party a long time and had a large group of friends built up could possibly hope to accomplish that. Unfortunately, the winner in that category turned out to be a less than dynamic leader who couldn't take us to a win. Even more unfortunately, there wasn't anyone better who might have won. I don't mean to knock some very good Liberals. Stephane Dion is a good man, just not the kind of man we needed, not for a leader.

Today, we have a 'same old, same old' situation yet again. We have made it virtually impossible for our 'hero' to come forth. By charging the phenomenal fee of $90,000. to run for the leadership, we have effectively blocked anyone except the 'old guard' from running. We only get to vote for those that a lot of us didn't want to vote for the last time around. How are we ever going to get our new P.E.T. if we won't let him/her in?

Because of the issue with a coalition government the Liberal Executive took some pretty extreme steps in panic mode, appointing a new leader. But this is not the way democracy works. Most Canadians polled dislike our method of choosing a leader. The good news is that our new leader isn't our new leader unless no one challenges him before Feb. 23. So he can still be unseated in an election. Remember, this is a man that we DIDN'T choose during the last leadership race. This is a man that didn't excite the party, the media or the public. He might be a better choice than Stephane Dion but he isn't the right choice for our party leader. Here are some more reasons why.

Let's discuss platforms. Some Liberal MP's have said, "We learned that you don't go into an election promising a new tax." Well, we didn't learn it when we got trounced by, of all people, Joe Clark. We went into that election promising a new tax and he simply said, "I won't tax you, yet." and he won the election.

There comes a point when we actually have to learn a few things. I think we've reached it. First, we need to get some real platforms that will excite the population. We can't grab just one and hang our hats on it. We need a whole spectrum of them, something for everyone. There isn't anyone in the party offering anything like this, well, almost no one. We need someone who can take on the Conservatives and beat them at their own game. We need someone who can take on the NDP and beat them at their own game and we need someone who can take on the Greens and the Block and beat them at their own games.

So what we need is a charismatic, dynamic, intelligent leader who has lots of great platforms and can trump all of the other party's plans. If this all sounds impossible, take heart, there is someone out there who is offering all these things.

Attached to this email you will find a partial list of new platforms that are all designed to excite Canadians to come out and vote for us. All of these platforms are achievable and, while some sound pretty simple, in reality, they are massive programs encompassing major changes to the way Canada does things. Every one of them is carefully studied and planned in great detail to fit exactly what Canadians have been asking and hoping for, for many years. There is truly something for everyone in them. As we get closer to the election we will expound on what we are actually offering Canadians, in full, both amazing and exciting all Canadians. It's a great election ploy.

The problem is, the person who developed these platforms, the person with the charisma who is a dynamic, intelligent and very capable leader, isn't in a position to pay $90,000. to run for the leadership and doesn't have a long list of highly placed and influential friends to turn to.

What seems like a great idea to raise funds for the party is yet another way to ensure we don't get this new leader that we so desperately need. We need to all be aware of one thing especially. The one sure way to raise a LOT of money is to get a LOT of the Canadian people on our side. If we offer Canadians what they want and need, they will send us exponentially more money than we can ever hope to raise by charging exorbitant fees for leadership entrants. With the right charismatic leader and lots of great platforms, we'll have more money in our coffers than anyone can imagine. People will support us if we offer them what they want and need. They will send their money to us in order to get what we offer. With nothing to offer, why would they send us money, which is our situation now and this will continue if we elect a new leader from the ranks of those who have already proven that they have nothing new to offer and can't excite the public into a fervor to vote for us.

Such a potential new leader does exist. All you need to do to find out who it is and what you can do to have such a leader is to read the attached list of platforms and decide if you'd like to be Canada's governing party for the next thirty and more years. If you do, first, demand that the fee for people to run for the leadership be either dropped entirely or reduced to a tiny fraction of what it is now. Second, do whatever you can to assure that he has a riding to run in. Third, gather some signatures for him from within the party to ensure his ability to run for the leadership position. Fourth, donate some of your money towards paying the entrance fee and for the election campaign. That's all it takes to turn this party into an unbeatable, unstoppable, election winner. With this leader and these platforms, you'll not only help to change Canada into a much better place, you'll help to change the world into a much better place.

If everyone who reads this gets their riding association to agree to put up money for this new leader, we can easily raise enough money for him to run.

There is another factor here that you must consider. If this new leader excites the people, your job of getting your MP elected will become much easier. When the Canadian people get all excited about him and want him for a Prime Minister, they have to vote for their local Liberal as MP and they will, in great numbers. So electing this person as leader of the Liberal Party doesn't just assure that he will be the next PM, it also assures that your MP choice will be the next MP in your area. If you had a tougher campaign or you received less voter support this time around, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

It's time for change, time for someone new to lead the party, time for some great new platforms to excite the public, time for us to take our place as the rightful leaders of this nation. We can't do it with the 'old guard'. They have failed to excite the public or come up with anything new to excite the public. Sticking with any one of them because we've blocked out anyone new is political suicide. We must decide what we want, to govern the country or to keep fighting on with little to offer and hope for the best. Please help make some changes that will get us back to where we should be. Read the attachments and decide for yourself if they will excite the public and get us elected with a majority. Be sure to send them to all your members so they can make their own decisions about who to support. Thank you.



Sincerely,

Richard Dubeau
newprimeminister@gmail.com

Address witheld by TWDIKG


Anyone wishing a copy of Richard's platform and educational platform, please leave a comment and I'll forward them to you.

LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes Maxwell's House and The Rational Number

Two new Featured Liberal Bloggers have joined LiberalsONLINE.ca today.

Maxwell's House and

The Rational Number

Join one. Join all. LiberalsONLINE.ca

Hamas Injures 7 Year Old Israeli Boy

URRRRRRGHHHH!!!!! This has to stop. An immediate ceasefire has to be imposed.

If Only Canada had a Real Leader

Someone to voice an opinion similar to this guy. Would that be asking too much?

LiberalsONLINE.ca Welcomes New Featured Bloggers

LiberalsONLINE.ca welcomes its new group of Featured Liberal Bloggers. Give them all a big round of applause folks!!!

There is some confusion around the blogworld about the new LiberalsONLINE.ca aggregator. Some would lead people to believe that as a member of Liblogs, you have to quit that aggregator to become a member of LiberalsONLINE.ca. NOT TRUE my friends. There is no reason that you cannot belong to both. Unless, of course, the aggregator admins reject your blog.

1 Anxious Liberal

A Blog By James Curran

Bowie's Blog

CuriosityCat

Five of Five

Hell, Upside Down

Hopefully worth writing down

If necessary blogging but not necessarily blogging

John Laforet’s Blog

LeDaro

Let Freedom Rain

Morton's Musings

Offal News

Politics - for the people

Random Noise

Runesmith's Canadian Content

Take off, eh?

The Disaffected Lib

The Sleveen Institute

WesternGrit

Without A Net

Woman at Mile 0

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ignatieff/Harper/Canada Offside with the Rest of the World

The Star offers up a piece by Haroon Siddiqui on Israel's unpopular war (unless you ask the new Liberal war room) and Canada's (non)leadership on the issue.

Some intersting assertions:

The Israeli assault on Gaza shouldn't have come as a surprise.

There had been wide speculation that in the dying days of the Bush administration, either Iranian nuclear facilities would be bombed by U.S./Israel, or the Gaza Strip attacked, with American backing.

Not only did the White House give the green light – no surprise – but Ehud Olmert is boasting that he telephoned George W. Bush to order Condoleezza Rice to abstain from voting on the Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire and an Israeli withdrawal.

"She was left shamed – a resolution that she prepared and arranged and in the end didn't vote for," Olmert said Monday.

The Israeli-U.S.-Canadian axis is at odds with the United Nations and much of the world where there's near universal condemnation of Israel.

As during the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, which Stephen Harper famously described as "a measured response," his government is flying in the face of facts.

Peter Kent's was only the most egregious example, parroting the Israeli spin on the bombing of a school that killed 43, a version that has since been doubted.

Now Michael Ignatieff is parroting Harper. An ostensible lifelong advocate of human rights, he is defending what human rights groups are condemning as possible war crimes.

Given the disparity between the Harper-Ignatieff position and Canadian public sentiment, we face a growing democratic deficit.


As I said: For Christ sake Michael! Say Something!!!

LiberalsONLINE.ca Searches for a Logo

Day one in the life of LiberalsONLINE.ca was fairly successful. 400 hits to the sight (thank you to those that linked to it) and 11 new Featured Liberal Bloggers.

Typical of the growing pains for a new aggregator, LiberalsONLINE.ca is in need of a new logo and a blog badge so that it may spread the word. The site does have an embed badge that can be transferred onto any blog and acts as a mini feed.

Anyone that has submissions for the new logo and badge can email your ideas over to me, and our little panel of naysayers will have a peek at 'em.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

For Christ Sake Michael! SAY SOMETHING!!!

Sometimes I am beside myself when I read more and more about the Gaza offensive. The Liberal Party of Canada has a leader that was the former director of the Carr Center for Human Rights. HUMAN RIGHTS for Godsake!!

So what the hell is he thinking? If Qana was a war crime in his brain, what the hell is Gaza with 1,025 dead and 5,000 wounded? Is it simply that the quest for power has made the deaths of so many innocents so trivial for the Liberal leader? Where are the other 76Liberal MPs who have yet to say a word? What the hell are they doing?

This is a full-blown human tragedy, complete with all the ugliness of war one can think of. It's time the Liberal Party got off its ass and called for an IMMEDIATE ceasefire!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

LiberalsONLINE.ca

Imagine that. POOF. A new Liberal aggregator springs up out of nowhere. It's experimental, but you're welcome to drop by and have a peek.

liberalsonline.ca is the address.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Math in Gaza Doesn't Add Up

A couple of days ago the Israeli spokesheads said that Israel is nearing the end of its offensive in the Gaza strip. Today is day 18 and the death toll is now at almost 1,000, with another 4,000 wounded.

Israeli officials suggested the end might be close to its offensive despite its rejection of a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

"The decision of the (UN) Security Council doesn't give us much leeway," Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told public radio.

"Thus it would seem that we are close to ending the ground operation and ending the operation altogether."

Earlier, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel was nearing the goals it had set for its operation, but that fighting would continue for now.

"Israel is approaching these goals, but more patience and determination are required," Olmert told a cabinet meeting.

Israel has "dealt Hamas an unprecedented blow," government secretary Oved Yehezkel quoted him as telling ministers. "It will never be the same Hamas."

Israeli forces have demolished some 200 smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border -- Hamas's main resupply route -- representing two-thirds of the total, military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said.


My question is: If the reports are true, and Hamas has nearly 20,000 fighters in Gaza, how on earth is Israel near the end of its ground assault?

The invasion could also spark a bloody, prolonged war pitting Israeli soldiers against Hamas fighters in winding streets, alleys and apartment hallways. Hamas is believed to have about 20,000 armed fighters and has been preparing for an Israeli invasion.


My math says 20,000 minus the reported 450 militants killed equals 19,550 Hamas fighters still ready to roll.

And if it took 18 days to kill 450 Hamas fighters, how long will it take to kill the other 19,000?

Israeli Reservists Refuse to Go to Gaza

Courage to Refuse is a group of Israeli army reservists that have refused to report for duty. I wonder if they are now labeled as anti-Semites.




h/t


Disclaimer: I don't speak the language. I trust the translations as they are written on the video. Should anyone note any desrepancies, please leave a comment here.

Now I'm a Pro-Terrorist???

Of late, nothing surprises me on the internet. The slanderous nature of the blogworld is reaching an alltime high. I am, however, never surprised by this guy's blatant moronic views on things.

Give your head a big shake Patels!

Egypt Lets Foreign Doctors into Gaza

Amen. Perhaps journalists will be next.

Monday, January 12, 2009

UN Rights Council Condemns Israeli Action in Gaza

The one vote against? Canada.

Imagine, China is condemning someone's human rights acts?

New York Young Dems Have a New Poll up for Hillary's Vacant Seat

Go on over and vote for your choice. Because democracy matters. As an aside, I voted for the daughter of a former, very popular, president.

Israeli bomb shrapnel wounds 4 Egyptians

It's not a good idea to inflict some collateral damage on somebody backing your position.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Formally Resign from Liblogs

Dear Jason, Ted, Jeff and Denise

Please accept this blogpost as my formal resignation from your blog aggregator "Liblogs".

I have taken a good long time over the past week to make this decision and I have made it with a certain degree of regret.

I have been a member of Liblogs since December 2005/January 2006. I have always thought it to be a great place for Liberals to exchange, at times, contrarian views with one another.

The recent events in the middle east has drawn an incredible amount of difficult debate to this forum. A debate that hadn't taken place before within the confines of this forum. The debate spilled into the public realm and took a turn that none of us could have conceivably predicted.

It seems we are not alone. The world is in one giant, massive debate over the same issue at present.

I do feel, as some others have already expressed, that some of the debate was stifled and/or censored on this site. In hindsight I can honestly say that perhaps one or two of the incidents warranted it. For the most part however, I feel the debate was well represented - even educational at times.

I did not appreciate the notice that Jason posted on the aggregator suggesting the "official" position of "Liblogs" on the mideast debate. An official position would have been that of an aggregator that is the sum of its parts. Your message claimed to be the sum of 5 parts out of hundreds of members.

For this reason I tender this resignation.

I thank you for allowing me to participate on this site for as long as I have and I look forward to your continued acts of Liberalism that may help a party in need of a change for the better.

Yours sincerely,

James C. Curran
The "What Do I Know Grit"

Bob Rae, The Adult in the Sandbox.

Here's the clip.

Today Mr. Rae shows why he is the true, legitimate, elderstatesman of the Liberal Party of Canada. NDP MP Paul Dewar also makes sense on his stance on Israel. Bob thinks Canada should be part of the group looking for a quick ceasefire. Dewar agrees that foreign media should be allowed into Gaza immediately. Why didn't I think of that? Oh. I did. Perhaps Bob Rae has his head in his ass too? I'll have to ask the war room strategist.

While I agree with the statement of the Leader of the Liberal Party about the situation in the Gaza, I feel our party should have mentioned the extreme concern over the loss of civilian death, in particular the children of Palestine. I feel we as Liberals should call for an immediate ceasefire which is needed to allow for the delivery of much needed civilian and medical supplies. I also feel a need for a call for the ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza to be lifted immediately as per the Supreme Court of Israel's own decision.

J. Curran - January 10, 2009


I'm looking forward to the new statement by the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada supporting an immediate ceasefire and expressing a "deepening concern for the loss of civilian life".

Israel, we support you - but hear our plea!

Here's the letter.

So Which is it? Israel Blew up the UN Truck, or They Didn't?

This article says they did. This one says no way Jose.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Resignation from Liberal Friends of Israel

Here is a copy of a letter I have sent today to the Liberal Friends of Israel. The group is small in size, but I have supported it since its very conception.

(emails witheld)
Dear Michael, Meredith, Jason and Ken,

There is no need for me to say that I, as a Liberal, and as a citizen of the world, am concerned over the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip. I am, as I'm sure all of you are.

As you all know, I have been an avid supporter of Liberal Friends of Israel, emotionally, physically, mentally and financially. I have rallied to the cause as often as time and money allowed. As a person that has always considered myself "pro-Israel", I have very rarely called into question the actions of Israel. Least of all have I never called into question Israel's right to defend itself.

Over the past weeks I have expressed, at great length, my opinions that I do not support the current military mission that Israel has undertaken in Gaza. Since the expression of said thoughts, I've been called an anti-Semite, a Jew hater, a bigot, a neo-nazi, a liar and a terrorist supporter.

As a life long Liberal, I have always been of the impression that we, as Liberals, belong to a party that encouraged debate and did not try to censor, stifle or end said debate. Yet, over the past week alone, I have heard rumours of our own MPs being told not to speak about Gaza, I have witnessed firsthand our new War Room adviser stifle debate on his blog as often as possible (even referring to me as a "former liberal activist'), I have witnessed the Chair of Communications for Liberal Friends for Israel stifle debate on his Liblog aggregator and his one-sided participation in comment sections across the internet.

I have been ridiculed to no end over these past days.

I will repeat to you all my assertions that I have stated openly on my own Weblog:

1. I support the independent State of Israel and its right to exist.

2. I support Israel's right to defend itself from any and all enemies of the State of Israel

3. I do not support the use of rockets and/or any other use of force by militant and terrorist groups against the State of Israel

4. I do not recognize the duly elected Hamas government and do not support the ideology of said Hamas

5. I do not recognize or support Hezbollah or condone its use of rockets and/or the use of any other force from Lebanon directed at the State of Israel

6. I do not support the current military mission by the State of Israel that is taking place in the Gaza Strip.

7. I do not support the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip

While I agree with the statement of the Leader of the Liberal Party about the situation in the Gaza, I feel our party should have mentioned the extreme concern over the loss of civilian death, in particular the children of Palestine. I feel we as Liberals should call for an immediate ceasefire which is needed to allow for the delivery of much needed civilian and medical supplies. I also feel a need for a call for the ban on foreign journalists entering Gaza to be lifted immediately as per the Supreme Court of Israel's own decision.

With the amount of rhetoric, and, given the stifling of the debate by this group's Chair of Communication, I feel I must resign from Liberal Friends of Israel. I will forthwith continue my support of Israel through the active group known as J Street.

I thank you all for your continued work towards just causes in the Middle East.

Yours Sincerely,

James C. Curran
Liberal Friend of Israel

Friday, January 9, 2009

President Carter Calls Gaza "An Unnecessary War"

Compliments of the Washington Post

An Unnecessary War



By Jimmy Carter
Thursday, January 8, 2009


I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.

After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I declared their launching from Gaza to be inexcusable and an act of terrorism. Although casualties were rare (three deaths in seven years), the town was traumatized by the unpredictable explosions. About 3,000 residents had moved to other communities, and the streets, playgrounds and shopping centers were almost empty. Mayor Eli Moyal assembled a group of citizens in his office to meet us and complained that the government of Israel was not stopping the rockets, either through diplomacy or military action.

Knowing that we would soon be seeing Hamas leaders from Gaza and also in Damascus, we promised to assess prospects for a cease-fire. From Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who was negotiating between the Israelis and Hamas, we learned that there was a fundamental difference between the two sides. Hamas wanted a comprehensive cease-fire in both the West Bank and Gaza, and the Israelis refused to discuss anything other than Gaza.

We knew that the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza were being starved, as the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to food had found that acute malnutrition in Gaza was on the same scale as in the poorest nations in the southern Sahara, with more than half of all Palestinian families eating only one meal a day.

Palestinian leaders from Gaza were noncommittal on all issues, claiming that rockets were the only way to respond to their imprisonment and to dramatize their humanitarian plight. The top Hamas leaders in Damascus, however, agreed to consider a cease-fire in Gaza only, provided Israel would not attack Gaza and would permit normal humanitarian supplies to be delivered to Palestinian citizens.


After extended discussions with those from Gaza, these Hamas leaders also agreed to accept any peace agreement that might be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the PLO, provided it was approved by a majority vote of Palestinians in a referendum or by an elected unity government.

Since we were only observers, and not negotiators, we relayed this information to the Egyptians, and they pursued the cease-fire proposal. After about a month, the Egyptians and Hamas informed us that all military action by both sides and all rocket firing would stop on June 19, for a period of six months, and that humanitarian supplies would be restored to the normal level that had existed before Israel's withdrawal in 2005 (about 700 trucks daily).

We were unable to confirm this in Jerusalem because of Israel's unwillingness to admit to any negotiations with Hamas, but rocket firing was soon stopped and there was an increase in supplies of food, water, medicine and fuel. Yet the increase was to an average of about 20 percent of normal levels. And this fragile truce was partially broken on Nov. 4, when Israel launched an attack in Gaza to destroy a defensive tunnel being dug by Hamas inside the wall that encloses Gaza.

On another visit to Syria in mid-December, I made an effort for the impending six-month deadline to be extended. It was clear that the preeminent issue was opening the crossings into Gaza. Representatives from the Carter Center visited Jerusalem, met with Israeli officials and asked if this was possible in exchange for a cessation of rocket fire. The Israeli government informally proposed that 15 percent of normal supplies might be possible if Hamas first stopped all rocket fire for 48 hours. This was unacceptable to Hamas, and hostilities erupted.

After 12 days of "combat," the Israeli Defense Forces reported that more than 1,000 targets were shelled or bombed. During that time, Israel rejected international efforts to obtain a cease-fire, with full support from Washington. Seventeen mosques, the American International School, many private homes and much of the basic infrastructure of the small but heavily populated area have been destroyed. This includes the systems that provide water, electricity and sanitation. Heavy civilian casualties are being reported by courageous medical volunteers from many nations, as the fortunate ones operate on the wounded by light from diesel-powered generators.

The hope is that when further hostilities are no longer productive, Israel, Hamas and the United States will accept another cease-fire, at which time the rockets will again stop and an adequate level of humanitarian supplies will be permitted to the surviving Palestinians, with the publicized agreement monitored by the international community. The next possible step: a permanent and comprehensive peace.

The writer was president from 1977 to 1981. He founded the Carter Center, a nongovernmental organization advancing peace and health worldwide, in 1982.

Former Liberal MP Omar Alghabra Speaks Up on Gaza

Today former Liberal MP Omar Alghabra had this note posted on his Facebook page:

History repeats itself
Today at 8:16am


On August 1, 2006, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Standing Committee had an emergency meeting to discuss the escalation of violence in the middle east. I participated in the debate then and here's part of what I said.

"Canadians expect their government not to be neutral like you said, Mr. Van Loan, but to be fair and to condemn violence against civilians by all parties and the best way to do it is by calling for an immediate ceasefire, and not to talk about it as an abstraction. It's not an abstraction to the civilians, including Canadians who are caught up in the crossfire over there. It's not a philosophical debate. It's a real tragedy where Canadians and other civilians are being subjected to ongoing violence on both sides, in Israel and in Lebanon and also we can't forget the Palestinian territories.

We must have the moral courage to ask for a ceasefire immediately and then bring all the sides to which you're referring to the negotiating table. We can set the conditions that are needed to make a sustainable ceasefire. But you cannot, for anybody who has an ounce of heart, watch the civilian devastation and destruction and say I'm reluctant to ask for a ceasefire right now......it is imperative to send a message, a signal, that Canada unconditionally always stands on the side of protection of civilians on all sides."

UN and IRC Vehicles being used for Weapons Transport

That's the new argument of some pro-Israel/Israel can make no mistake support types here on my blog. Here's argument by Neal on the post "Trapped Like Rats":
Neal said... :

So is this your typical "debating" style - just change the subject? Not sure what a UN truck bombing has to do with the conversation we are (or were) having.
The UN and IRC have been known to "allow" their vehicles to be used for weapons transport. So - was the UN truck bombing on purpose due to some intelligence suggesting that it was being used for some nefarious purpose - or was it a tragic mistake? I don't know - and neither do you. Are YOU suggesting that the Israelis intentionally targeted a UN truck and killed an innocent man for the pure amusement of it? Sure seems that way.

All snark aside - you are a bigot and an anti-semite. The fact that you don't see that and try to present yourself as the exact opposite is amusing, but unconvincing.

Jan 9, 2009 3:06:00 PM


I love that last line qualifier there. So life-like.

UN rights council to debate 'grave violations' in Gaza

So it's being reported.

GENEVA (AFP) — The UN Human Rights Council was due to hold Friday a special session on the conflict in Gaza Strip to examine a motion by Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba seeking condemnation of the Israeli offensive and of "grave" violations.

The three countries, backed by members of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Conference, non-aligned and African states, gained the support of 32 of the 47 Council members for the special debate, twice as much as required.

An unofficial copy of the draft resolution expected to be presented to the world body's rights assembly called for "international action to put an end to grave violations by the occupying power, Israel, in the occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip.

It also demanded an immediate end to the military operation and that Israel "stop the targeting of civilians".

The session comes on the heels of the near unanimous approval on Thursday by the 15-member UN Security Council to a resolution calling for an "immediate, durable" ceasefire leading to the "full withdrawal" of Israeli forces.

The text also "calls for the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment" and welcomes initiatives aimed at "creating and opening humanitarian corridors and other mechanisms for the sustained delivery of humanitarian aid."

It was unclear what impact the Security Council resolution would have on the Human Rights Council text.

Traditionally the Human Rights Council takes its decisions by consensus, but the current proposals for a resolution were regarded as one-sided, diplomats in Geneva indicated.

The text does not mention rocket attacks by Hamas militia on Israel, a key requirement for European Union and some Latin American countries in the assembly.

The session beginning at 11 am (1000 GMT) is expected to spill over into Monday after a weekend break because of the degree of interest from member states and observers including several leading human rights organisations, sources close to the UN rights body said.

Israel is not a member of the Human Rights Council, but has the rights to take part in the debate as an interested party.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki was expected to attend the meeting.

A senior Israeli official Amos Gilad was in Cairo on Thursday for crucial talks on an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. But some Palestinian groups including Hamas, described the proposal as "not valid".

Also on Thursday, he international Red Cross accused the Israeli military standing by and failing to help wounded people in an area of Gaza, while a UN relief agency suspended its operations in the territory halted after a UN-flagged truck convoy was attacked

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Israel Blows up U.N. Truck - Kills Driver

Not exactly a good PR week for Israel so far. Death toll in Gaza over 700. Wounded over 3000. Shelling of a U.N. school. The U.N. and the ICRC speaking about poor conditions of the people in Gaza. Doesn't make for good news coverage. EzRaw LeRant would have you believe it's the western, anti-semitic media being influenced by Hamas.

But news today of the UN ceasing all relief efforts because Israeli soldiers opened fire on one of their trucks killing the driver is the ultimate PR nightmare for the Israelis. Apparently the truck was marked with a UN flag.

Lebanon Fires Rockets at Israel

...and Israel fires back. And round and round it goes. Luckily no deaths have been reported. Thank some deity for small miracles.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Prayers for Gaza

Montreal Simon has already posted on the Muslim/Jewish prayer sessions taking place.

I'd like to post the entire prayer here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Jewish and Muslim prayers for Gaza
http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2009/01/jewish-and-muslim-prayers-for-gaza.html

The following seems to speak for itself.

A Jew's prayer for the children of Gaza By Bradley Burston

If there has ever been a time for prayer, this is that time.

If there has ever been a place forsaken, Gaza is that place.

Lord who is the creator of all children, hear our prayer this accursed day. God whom we call Blessed, turn your face to these, the children of Gaza, that they may know your blessings, and your shelter, that they may know light and warmth, where there is now only blackness and smoke, and a cold which cuts and clenches the skin.

Almighty who makes exceptions, which we call miracles, make an exception of the children of Gaza. Shield them from us and from their own. Spare them. Heal them. Let them stand in safety. Deliver them from hunger and horror and fury and grief. Deliver them from us, and from their own.

Restore to them their stolen childhoods, their birthright, which is a taste of heaven.

Remind us, O Lord, of the child Ishmael, who is the father of all the children of Gaza. How the child Ishmael was without water and left for dead in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba, so robbed of all hope, that his own mother could not bear to watch his life drain away.

Be that Lord, the God of our kinsman Ishmael, who heard his cry and sent His angel to comfort his mother Hagar.

Be that Lord, who was with Ishmael that day, and all the days after. Be that God, the All-Merciful, who opened Hagar's eyes that day, and showed her the well of water, that she could give the boy Ishmael to drink, and save his life.

Allah, whose name we call Elohim, who gives life, who knows the value and the fragility of every life, send these children your angels. Save them, the children of this place, Gaza the most beautiful, and Gaza the damned.

In this day, when the trepidation and rage and mourning that is called war, seizes our hearts and patches them in scars, we call to you, the Lord whose name is Peace:

Bless these children, and keep them from harm.

Turn Your face toward them, O Lord. Show them, as if for the first time, light and kindness, and overwhelming graciousness.

Look up at them, O Lord. Let them see your face.

And, as if for the first time, grant them peace.

With thanks to Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman of Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem
Amen - and protect our children too. Both the little ones in Beersheba and Sderot, and the bigger ones who are inside Gaza defending us - Jews, Druze, Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel.


I won't bother with the rest of the article, but I'll say it is not as wonderful as this prayer.

The Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Commonly known as the OLO. Being a "former Liberal activist" with his head in his ass, I won't say too much about it.

1. Everyone mentioned in the article is capable and intelligent. Certainly Don Guy and Warren Kinsella will put the fear of some deity in people like Tenyake, Giorno and LeRant.

2. Not enough Quebec. Not enough west.

3. Greg Fergus is a very capable individual and I wish him great success wherever he's going.

4. I don't see much reaching out.

5. Too much Toronto, giving rise to the Conservative axiom "The Liberal Party of Toronto".

6. As Ted says, "It's early", but I hope there is a larger outreach to some more capable, intelligent people in the Liberal Party from other areas and from the Dion, Rae, LeBlanc leadership teams and a place for some guys and girls that gave up jobs to be part of a leadership race that never happened.

Here's the Article:

Ignatieff’s inner circle starts taking shape
By THE CANADIAN PRESS


OTTAWA — Michael Ignatieff is starting to put a Toronto-heavy stamp on the Liberal party, surrounding himself with loyalists who helped him secure the leadership.

Almost a month after being installed as leader, Ignatieff has begun filling key posts in the Opposition leader’s office, the party and its campaign machine.

He has yet to hire a chief of staff to run his office. But insiders say former New Brunswick MP Paul Zed will effectively take on that role — without the title — until a permanent top aide can be found.

With the notable exception of Zed, Ignatieff’s inner circle thus far appears to be top-heavy with Torontonians, most of whom played key roles in the Toronto MP’s two leadership campaigns.

Ian Davey, who was instrumental in wooing Ignatieff back to Canada from Harvard and who ran his 2006 leadership campaign, has been named principal secretary.

Sachin Aggarwal, operations director during the leadership campaigns, will take on the job of deputy chief of staff.

Jill Fairbrother and Leslie Church, both of whom handled media relations for Ignatieff’s leadership bids, will share communications responsibilities in the Opposition leader’s office as well.

Ignatieff is also poised to name another Torontonian as the party’s new national director.

Rocco Rossi, CEO of Ontario’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, is expected to assume the party’s top administrative job, replacing Greg Fergus. Fergus, who was appointed national director by former leader Stephane Dion, tendered his resignation Monday.

Rossi’s expertise as an innovative fundraiser could be a huge asset for the cash-strapped Liberals, who’ve been struggling to adapt to the ban on corporate donations imposed in 2004.

The Tories have proved much more adept at raising small amounts of money from thousands of individual donors, raking in almost five times more money than the Liberals in the last few years.

Rossi is also an experienced political organizer and longtime Liberal.

Two more Torontonians are expected to take key roles on the Liberal election team.

Don Guy, a former chief of staff to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, is expected to be named campaign director while Warren Kinsella will manage the war room, as he’s done in the past for McGuinty and former prime minister Jean Chretien.

Ignatieff has not yet put his stamp on the Liberal shadow cabinet and Fairbrother said there has been no discussion about the various roles caucus members will play. She said Ignatieff may choose to make no significant changes to the lineup of critics assigned by Dion.

Privately, some Liberals are wondering why Ignatieff has waited almost a month to start assembling his team.

After a tumultuous fall parliamentary session that almost toppled the Harper government and led to Ignatieff’s hasty coronation as Liberal leader, Fairbrother said: “I think everybody took a break over the holidays and I don’t think we need to apologize for that.”

Now that he’s started pulling his inner circle together, some Liberals are privately worried that Ignatieff is simply importing his leadership team into the Opposition leader’s office — much as former leader Paul Martin did, with disastrous results. Leadership campaign organizers aren’t necessarily best suited to policy development and preparing to govern.

Moreover, some Liberals are grumbling that Ignatieff has made little effort thus far to include supporters of his former leadership rivals, Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc, in his inner circle.