Web Source Photo: A barn burning in May 1972, was just one event in a series of criminal acts committed by Canada’s Security Service in the decade following enactment of the “War Measures Act“ during the “October Crisis” of 1970.
Concerns about Bill C51 and other terror Bills introduced since the “September Crisis” of 2001, follow a pattern very similar to that in which domestic ‘terrorists’ challenged the Governments of Canada and Quebec in the 1970′s. During that ‘crisis’ the Federal Government also turned loose Canada’s elite Security Service to act in a manner they saw fit.
So began a campaign of harassment, dirty tricks, illegal arrests, criminal acts and dozens of nefarious deeds that went far beyond the original intent of the law. Many at the highest levels of the RCMP and Government were aware of what was happening, but did nothing to reign in the Security Service. It was a decade of illegal police action that led to a break-up of the RCMP Security Service.
If anyone thinks our National Security Agencies – CSIS, CBSA and the Federal arm of the RCMP is above such tactics today, they would be wrong. There are plenty of examples since September 2001 and it has taken place because there is a wilful lack of oversight and because new laws such as Bill C51, support what might otherwise be illegal in Criminal Law or, at the very least, violations of personal privacy. (Detective-Sergeant Harold McNeill, Retired)
Note: If you wish to skip the background discussion surrounding police, security services and terror, go straight to section #4 for the summary of events that followed invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970. (573)
Photo Collage: A few of Canada’s notorious terrorists: The Bacon Brothers (BC), Maurice Bouchard (PQ), Eric Dejaeger (Nunavat), Vito Rizzuto (r)(PQ), Alan Legere (NB), Clifford Olsen (died in prison)(BC), Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka (Karla served 12 years after a plea deal) (ON), Willy Pickton (BC) and Russell Williams (ON).
Note: Just in case a few may think I am a left wing apologist for terrorists, you would be wrong. Terrorists, whether they be of the criminal type or of the religious type, are despicable scum who deserve to be removed from civil society wherever in the world they may seek to practice their murderous ways. What I do not think we should do is give them a platform on which to spread their vile messages, nor should we re-direct billions in scarce funds away from those things that could make a real difference in reducing crime in whatever form it may present itself.
The Politics of Fear: Much has been written on how fear is used to manipulate, yet few seem to take the time to think about whether their fear is based on real time event (e.g. a man with a gun pointing it at you) or whether the fear is built from images or stories of others (manufactured fear). Statistics make it clear that infrequent events (e.g. a man with gun, a terrorist attack) will cause more irrational fear than, say, smoking, something which will very likely will lead to serious illness and possible premature death.
February, 2015. This post is brought forward as the amount of ‘fear mongering’ (mainly on terrorism in the present day) has increased exponentially as the Conservatives get ready for an election. Today, February 27, six pages of the National Post carried terror related stories. It has been much the same over the past several weeks as preparations were made for introducing a new terror bill. Several months back when crime legislation was on the agenda, the fear mongering included ‘crime, drugs and sex offenders’. Murdered, missing and abused aboriginal women (an ongoing crime problem) barely rated a mention by the government or the press. More will be said on that in an upcoming post.
First, this earlier post: (197)
Alysha and Sean unroll the gift (more photos below)
Crafting a Gift of Love
Over the past few months, Lynn and Sheri (Mom and Mom) have been working with small squares of fur fabric that Alysha had passed along to Lynn. It was a challenge to work with – not your usual quilting material. Over a few weeks they came up with an idea – going all out with a new design. (167)
PAX Canadiana: In the 20th Century the term PAX Americana came to indicate the pre-eminent military and economic position of the United States in relation to other nations, just as PAX Britannia was used the 19th Century (Wikipedia background). In the 21st Century Canada will eclipse the United States and PAX Canadiana could become a reality. This article provides a satirical look at the alternate path we may choose to follow.
1. Corporate Taxes
What got me thinking of this was the whole issue of “Corporate Tax Reductions.” With our Federal rates approaching 15%1, I checked the G20 major economies and found none below 25%. Then I checked on Ireland – poor little Ireland (not a G20 by the way) – they went bankrupt – just when they achieved a Corporate Tax rate of 12.5%, lowest in the EU and lower than the rest of the world, save for a few OPEC countries.
This happened even after Google and dozens of big companies moved to Ireland to catch a piece of that generous corporate tax pie. As supply side economists, trickle down theorists3 and deregulators predicted, unemployment shrank to near zero and “things were booming”. Ireland was sitting at the top of the EU financial world. Then bang – the crash – banks folded and massive debt took the country down. The prescription for a sound financial future sounded great but the patient was dying. On their knees, they went to their EU partners for a bailout.
Could this happen in Canada? With a projected national debt exceeding half a trillion, with further tax cuts promised and cash being handed out for everything but the kitchen sink (well that too if the Conservatives reconstitute their billion dollar “home improvement program”) it could happen. We might very well be headed down the same path as Ireland and our good neighbour, the USA, whose move to supply side economics and deregulation over the past several decades has lead to the worst economic meltdown they have ever experienced. They are now printing money so fast many of their presses have overheated and, if the rumours are correct, may have broken down4.
Then, to my great relief, two newspaper articles appeared – one in the National Post, the other in the Globe and Mail. The first was a three page spread in the Post entitled: “Global Warming – Bring it On” and, the second, in the Globe, “Republicans Urge New Pipelines.” Republicans? Republicans? It was no surprise to see the National Post calling ‘Global Warming’ a “good thing”, but US Senate Republicans calling for help from that great white, socialist enclave called Canada; that was when the loonie (our new penny) finally dropped.
1 Between 2000 and 2006, the Liberals reduced the Corporate Tax Rate from 29% to 21%. From 2006 to 2011 the Conservatives further reduced to 16.5%. The Cons indicate further reduction to 15% is needed to boost investment and reduce unemployment. Now the question, if a reduction from 29% to 15% was needed to boost investment and decrease unemployment, would not a further reduction from 15% to 0% be even better? We might wish to ask: “For whom?”
3 Referencing “trickle down theory” humorist Will Rogers, said during the Great Depression (known as the “Dirty Thirties”): “the money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy.” (partially Wikipedia)
4 Unless the US Congress takes drastic steps they will be dead broke and shutting down parts of government by early spring 2011 when they reach their debt limit. Debt default by the USA will have worldwide implications. (3630)
It would not be many days into our visit that we understood food would become a key part of our China experience.
Here we were hosted to a sumptuous home cooked meal by the cousins (centre) of Lorin and Jin.
Hello China, Here we Come Part 1 (see footnote 1)
This past August Lynn and I had an opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of China. As it worked out, our amazing nephew Lorin (2), his wife Jean and son Laur were living in Beijing, so it was an easy decision. We often wondered about that mysterious country and felt a visit was a perfect way to sort fact from fiction.
Is the country completely polluted and is the traffic any worse than Vancouver? Are the people pushy or polite? Are the Chinese so clever and determined they will one day dominate the world? Could anyone or anything stand in the way of a technologically advanced country with a population of 1.5 billion and so much money they have no idea how to spend it? Are they on their way owning the United States as well as all the oil in Canada? How about a simple question – can a stray dog or cat survive in China?
Insert (Web): Top 10 in China: Nezha Conquers the Dragon King. The flower, bottom centre, was often observed floating in water filled ponds in many temples.
Fiction, fact and myths about China are so thoroughly intertwined, that no one seems to know for sure and everyone has an opinion. While we cannot explore every facet of life in China, we will sort out what we can.
So with Passports, Visa’s and maps in hand, we donned our ‘rose coloured glasses’ and caught an Air China flight out of Tokyo. Just to make certain we could see things clearly, we each grabbed a pair of polarizer clip-ons. Thank you for joining us in Part I of this three-part series. PS We have taken plenty of pictures to back up our observations.
As you will find, (2911)
Harold and Lynn in August 2013 waiting to board the Bullet Train for Shijiazhuang, China. Join us for the continuation of our adventure with nephew Lorin Yochim.
April 12, 2014, This post is currently under construction. Photos to be added by Sunday, April 13.
Introduction to Part II
As a partnership between a senior ‘wannabe’ and one who is well established, Lynn and I are pretty adept at handling ‘free-style’ travelling. China, however, presented a few challenges, not the least of which was the language barrier.
While foreign tourism in China is growing at an exponential rate, most tourism is still domestic; therefore, the need for local English and other language service remains very low. Even at the main airports and train stations, it can be difficult to find an English-speaking attendant so, for a visit shorter than five years, learning the language is not an option.
Because we had such close contact with Lorin, his family and friends, our trip was turned from one in which we would have been stuck in the usual ‘tourist’ pack to one filled with continuous adventure. Join us for Part II as we head out from Beijing on a train that will soon touch a third the speed of sound and take us through a countryside filled with the old and new. In our travels to date, China provides the best example of a country where modernity is extinguishing the past at the breakneck speed of a Bullet Train.
What if this man choose to die rather than live? Having choose the latter even in the face of a debilitating disease, he went on to became an extremely influential scholar. Every person who reaches such a crossroads in their life deserves the opportunity of reaching out to others before making the final decision to end life. Wrapping a potentially serious criminal charge around such discussions makes no sense and the Supreme Court of Canada got it right.
To Live or Die: Another choice along the path of life.
On the evening prior to the Supreme Court 9-0 decision overturning the Criminal Code sanction against ‘assisted suicide’, I attended the movie “A Theory of Everything”, a biographical account of the life of Dr. Stephen Hawkings. The movie was adapted from a novel written by Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde Hawking, the mother of their three children (family photo in footer). It was an excellent movie so if you have a chance drop in and enjoy.
As many know Dr. Hawking became a world-renowned mathematician and cosmologist who wrote a number of best sellers including A Brief History of Time which sold over ten million copies. Part of Hawking’s wide popularity was his ability to write about highly technical mathematical and scientific theories in terms a layman could understand. (111)