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Alberta Diary: Ten Questions about the Harper Government’s embrace of war with ISIS-ISIL-IS

Ready, Aye, Ready! Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird whips up the War Party in the House of Commons. Below: Stephen Harper, the prime minister, and Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn.

Stephen Harper, John Baird, Laurie Hawn and the rest of the boys yesterday finally got the war in Iraq they’ve been pining for since 2003.

“We should have been there shoulder to shoulder with our allies,” Prime Minister Harper, who was still the leader of the opposition, complained back in April 2003. At the time, the United States had just invaded Iraq to punish it for having nothing to do (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Con Clown John Baird and the Dangerous Ukrainian Crisis

The situation in Ukraine couldn't be more ominous, with reports that some Russian troops have crossed into that country.World leaders like Obama are calling for calm, refusing to call it an invasion, and ruling out military action. The need for cooler heads to prevail has never been more urgent.So what is our ghastly Con Foreign Minister John Baird doing?Answer: blowing hot air out of every orifice, and fanning the flames of war.Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Con War on the Wounded Children of Gaza (Continued)

The ceasefire is holding. The kids are playing again on the beach where four of their friends were killed while playing soccer, by shells from an Israeli gunboat.But thousands of Palestinian children have been wounded…

The situation in the hospitals is so desperate they can't treat them in Gaza.“Palestinian health authorities are planning to refer more patients to hospitals outside of Gaza to access life-saving treatment as well as to reduce the case load in the hospitals to a more manageable level.And I still want to know why the Harper regime is STILL preventing 100 wounded (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: The Con War on the Wounded Children of Gaza (Continued)

Montreal Simon: The Harper Regime’s War on the Wounded Children of Gaza

The other day I told you about a tiny candle of decency in the darkness that is Gaza.Ontario's plan to bring wounded children to be treated in the province's hospitals. The Ontario government is willing to provide medical care to 100 injured children from Gaza, it said Tuesday – several days after a Palestinian-Canadian doctor made a public plea to bring kids to Canada for treatment.And I said that was MY Canada.But sadly my Canada isn't Harperland, and the Cons are no better than beasts. Read more »

Montreal Simon: The Con Clown John Baird and the Destruction of Gaza

As if the situation in Gaza wasn't bad enough. As if the need for serious diplomacy to end the slaughter couldn't be greater.As if Canada wasn't enough of a rogue nation in the eyes of the world.And the last thing anyone needed was the Con clown John Baird pouring more oil on the flames. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda McQuaig criticizes the Cons’ use of the tax system to try to silence charities who don’t match their political message: PEN now joins Amnesty International, the David Suzuki Foundation, Canada Without Poverty, the United Church and other groups that, having criticized an array of Harper policies, have been obliged to devote precious resources to defending themselves from a special probe of charities ordered by the Harper government.

This beefing-up of tax audits of charities is particularly striking when compared to Harper’s laid-back approach to auditing the real bad guys: corporations and (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Holding Our ‘Leaders’ To Account

It is almost impossible, I think, to feel anything but a dark impotence when it comes to world events today. Wherever we look, be it the Ukraine, Africa, the Middle East or our own backyards, death, despoliation and injustice prevail. At times, it seems assuming the fetal position is the only reasonable response to a world out of control.

Yet, even when there seems little we can do to ameliorate the world’s suffering, there is something all of us can do – refuse to be silent and passive in the face of atrocity – refuse to make (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Elizabeth May backs Green Party motion condemning ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements

Convention motion could attract support from disgruntled New Democrats, author suggests

By Kady O’Malley, CBC News

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has co-sponsored a policy resolution condemning Israeli settlements that is expected to come up for debate during the party’s policy convention in Fredericton this weekend. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)


The proposed resolution is on the list of policy proposals slated to come up for debate during the party’s weekend convention in Fredericton.

The Federal NDP Thomas Mulcair said:

“Since the start of the most recent tensions, the NDP has been in contact with Israeli and Palestinian representatives in Ottawa. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: The Horror of Gaza and the Shame of the Harper Regime

It's taken me a few days to summon up the strength to write something, anything, about the horror in Gaza.I just couldn't bring myself to look at the images of this latest war. As rockets from Palestinian militants in Gaza continue to fly into Israel and Israel continues to strike hard at Gaza, the options for each side are hardening. Both sides are employing brinksmanship, carrying out their biggest raids yet this weekend and threatening much more to come.Not when I'm still recovering from the images of the last one…Read more »

Alberta Diary: Advice to Canadian politicians and media: Proceed with caution on your support for Ukraine’s rebels

Anti-Government Ukrainians prepare to fight police in Kiev. Below: Rioters throw gasoline bombs at police in Ukraine; Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. (Wikimedia photos.)

You can bet money that when trouble is brewing abroad things are always far more complicated than local enthusiasts for one side or the other make them out to be.

Here in Canada we have many citizens, including a number of prominent politicians who ought to know better, proclaiming noisy support for the violent protests in western Ukraine, demonizing Russia and demanding Canada play an active role in in ensuring the success of the rebels’ (Read more…)

LeDaro: Harper’s Conservatives Further Damaging Canada

 Are Harper’s CONs completely out of touch? Don’t they realize this is a multicultural country? Harper’s CONs seem to have no use for Muslims, given statements by Harper’s Chief of Communications towards a leading Canadian Muslim group, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, deriding them as a group with “terrorist” ties. This derisive statement reinforces negative stereotypes against Muslims, and is unbefitting for someone speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister. The flippant attitude of the Conservatives is appalling, especially in light of a libel action by the Muslim group against the Prime Minister’s Office. The response of Foreign Affairs (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Real Reason We Need to Get Rid of Corporate Media


While I’m also sad that the Kamloops Daily News is closing, I think Warren Kinsella is over-simplifying a few things [see below] with respect to how the media climate will be affected by the closing of this for-profit business, earning shareholder value by producing mass media content, while sometimes allowing its corporate revenue-generating employees to produce some adequate-to-good journalism.

Let’s explore all this:

“Idiot bloggers, and idiot politicians, will continue to be happy about this sort of thing. The former will say the disappearance of the so-called MSM means more audience for them.” [read the rest of his (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: Quotes of the Year

Scroll to the bottom to vote on your favourite quote…

“I am Conservative. I am a traditionalist. I wish I left Cabinet in the traditional way – with a sex scandal!” -Stephen Fletcher, after being removed from Cabinet

“When I stand back and look at the cast of candidates, even I would pick me. I have to be plain about that.” -Sandra Pupatello

“You know, there’s a level of of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: John Baird and the Con’s New Foreign Policy

OK. Let me be clear, as we say in Harperland. I ALWAYS thought it was a bad idea to make John Baird Foreign Minister.I couldn't help but feel that he lacked the necessary diplomatic skills. I never believed him when he declared that the Cons were human rights champions.Not after the way the Cons are muzzling them in Canada. And not after he declared that human rights were good, as long as they were good for business.And sure enough I was right eh?Read more »

LeDaro: Canada Stands Alone – John Baird on Iran

Is John Baird trying to out-Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister? Canada used to be seen as a force for peace on the world stage, but Baird is opposing a widely supported deal that would see Iran eliminate its nuclear weapons program. President Obama and other world leaders played a key role in spearheading this deal, Secretary of State John Kerry is also to be commended for his efforts on this.

John Baird and Stephen Harper are an embarrassment to our country on the world stage, they are standing for war and belligerence rather than peace and diplomacy. This is not (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: In His Master’s Voice?

I didn’t realize that John Baird and Benjamin Netanyahu were so close:

The 2:20 mark especially shows their affinity:

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LeDaro: John Baird is unhappy about the Iran nuclear deal and very skeptical

John Baird is not happy with the Iran nuclear deal. The deal with Iran is signed by six nations which are the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China -and Iran. I believe it is a foot in the door for future negotiations and stopping nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. I don’t understand Baird’s point of view. Baird’s view is:

He said that because of previous Iranian leaders had made hostile comments toward Israel, “we’re deeply skeptical of the deal and the work that’s brought us to this stage.”Read more here. A clear message to the world

FB.Event.subscribe(‘edge.create’, function(response) { _gaq.push(['_trackEvent','SocialSharing','Facebook - like button',unescape(String(response).replace(/\+/g, " "))]); }); Share this: Regardless of one’s political predilections, one’s attitude toward the policies of Israel’s current government, or one’s view of Benjamin Netanyahu’s strengths and weaknesses as a retail politician, one has to admire the Israeli prime minister’s ability to make his point. His speech before the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 will long be […]

LeDaro: John Baird in his Santa’s lap

“I am concerned that there is a little bit too much enthusiasm as a result of the different tone. And what we hope is, the world won’t take the pressure off the regime (Iran) to make the substantive changes that are needed.”

“The stakes are so high, we have to stay focused on what actions they take,” Baird said.I believe that Iran must not develop nuclear weapons. But by the same token Israel must hand over its nuclear and chemical weapons to U.N. to be destroyed. U.S. must demand the same from Israel what it is (Read more…)

LeDaro: John Baird does not trust Iran

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Canada remains ‘skeptical’ of Iran despite a historic telephone call between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President  Hassan Rouhani on Friday. (Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press)

He only loves Israel. What about Israel’s over 200 nuclear warheads? Israel used chemical weapons on Palestinians and Lebanese yet Baird only trusts Israel. Iranian President said categorically that his country is not interested in developing nuclear weapons.

“I am concerned that there is a little bit too much enthusiasm as a result of the different tone. And what we hope is, the world won’t take the (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Barbara Kay on REAL Women Canada’s Outburst

In one sense, I was very happy to read Barbara Kay’s column excoriating Gwen Landolt and REAL Women Canada for their attack on Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird this week.  I was pleased to see that at least someone on the far right could see the ridiculousness of Landolt’s position.

That said, there are a couple of aspects of Kay’s column that I find somewhat troubling.  Superficially, it gives off the impression that she is truly outraged by Landolt’s statements.  But, there is an undercurrent of a parent scolding a wayward child for doing something phenomenally stupid … like throwing a (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: John Baird and the Hoggy Homophobe

Lordy. It's taken me a day to recover from this stunning sight. I haven't seen such a match up since El Macho met La Cuca in the finals of the Tijuana Wrestling League.And I still can't believe it eh?Was that really John Baird doing the right thing for once? By denouncing the anti-gay repression in Russia? Brother John?And was that really the old homophobic haggis Gwendolyn Landolt, spewing and farting in his general direction? Read more »

Scott's DiaTribes: Do you consider folks of a different political ideology your ‘enemy’?

I ask that because apparently John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Minister, does.

Mr Baird has been rightly praised for condemning Russia’s anti-gay laws and for taking on the social conservative REAL Women group for their condemnation of him doing so. His one day of praise, at least with me, is over for this quote he did today when asked to comment on whether his friend Tim Hudak of the Ontario PC party should have a leadership review or not:

Former MPP John Baird, now federal foreign affairs minister, said Klees and Hillier “should be focusing on the real enemy” instead of (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Summer of Discontent

Well I see Stephen Harper is back in Canada after his disastrous performance at the G8 Summit.He was wrong about a Syria agreement. The other leaders did manage to cobble one together.He was wrong about Vladimir Putin. He wasn't the odd man out at the meeting, Harper was.He couldn't get a trade deal. Wherever he went Old Duff followed him. And when it was over all reporters wanted to know was, why is his PMO using OUR tax dollars to go after Justin Trudeau? Read more »

Cowichan Conversations: Canada-We Are Being Governed By Thugs in Suits

Richard ‘Hub’ Hughes- Political Blogger

Canada has changed and is still changing before our very eyes. We are being governed by ‘thugs in suits’ and we are going downhill at an alarming rate.

Who will stop them?

Well the NDP and Liberal’s are trying, but of course joining forces to derail Harper and take Canada back seems not to be as enticing as pretending that one or the other could become PM one day.

Their ‘Canada can wait policy’ is worrisome and could play into the Harper crowds hands.

Well in any case it seems as though ‘Harper and his Wrecking (Read more…)