This and that for your Thursday reading.
- Olga Khazan writes about the connection between lower incomes and obesity in the U.S. And Truthout discusses how poverty and other stressors can directly affect individual and communal genetics for generations: (A) study by researchers at University College London’s Institute of Child Health found that, thanks to epigenetics, children whose parents and grandparents were born into poverty can, themselves, carry the scars of that past poverty with them for the rest of their lives. That’s because children born to families who’ve lived generations in poverty inherit genes configured to help them (Read more…)
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- John Abraham and Dana Nuccitelli discuss the worrisome spread of climate change denialism, particularly around the English-speaking developed world. But lest we accept the theory that declining public knowledge is independent of political choices, Margaret Munro reports that the Cons are suppressing factual scientific information about Arctic ice levels to avoid the Canadian public being better informed, while Tom Korski exposes a particularly galling example of their vilifying top scientists for reporting their results. And John O’Connor reminds us what’s been done to anybody who’s dared to speak out about the effect (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Glen McGregor reports on Michael Sona’s conviction as part of the Cons’ voter suppression in 2011. But both Michael den Tandt and Sujata Dey emphasize that Sona’s conviction was based on his being only one participant in the wider Robocon scheme – and that Stephen Harper and company remain fully responsible for covering up the rest of it.
- Meanwhile, Carol Goar duly mocks Tony Clement’s attempt to talk up open government while serving as one of the least accountable ministers in the most secretive Canadian government ever.
- And Justin Ling discusses (Read more…)
While Sona’s been found guilty of one charge, questions remain about how he would have managed to have log files removed from CPC Headquarter’s computer database known as CIMS.
"There is no record of the accused accessing that database at anytime" Hearn says, but notes others did, incl. Ken Morgan.— Glen McGregor (@glen_mcgregor) August 14, 2014
Sona did not have computer access, or skills to perform that part of the cover-up, so how did those log files go missing. How did unnamed Conservatives in Ottawa avoid obstruction charges for their apparent participation?
So, Judge Hearn is methodically dismantling evidence (Read more…)
.@kady @KrankyKanuck @Mary_OGrady @1223Chuck Wouldn't you rather unmarked envelopes tell you where? twitter.com/LibPressSec/st… #PCloadLetter— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) June 11, 2014
(PC Load Letter is from printer displays of the past, and the comedy Office Space. It indicates the paper tray is empty. It was the best pun I could come up with on short notice.)
@AshleyCsanady front and back of London PC letter and envelope. No PC identifier. Hudak was flat wrong. http://t.co/GtGel61DSb— Press Office (@LibPressSec) June 11, 2014
Looks like a blatant vote misdirection scheme, akin to RoboCon used (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Jim Armitage discusses how the privatization of public services in the UK is being mashed up with the principles behind subprime lending and debt bundling – leading to a bubble which promises to take down investors and the public alike.
- Dylan Matthews offers what would seem to be a natural conclusion about the simplest, most effective answer to poverty: As solutions to global poverty go, “just give poor people money” is pretty rock solid. A recent randomized trial found that Kenyans who received no-strings attached cash from the charity GiveDirectly built more (Read more…)
An important trial in Canadian history is underway in Guelph, Ontario. Michael Sona, the only person accused by prosecutors of carrying out the illegall robocalls in Guelph to redirect people to the “Old Quebec St. Mall”, faces jail and fines. However, he could not have carried out this crime by himself, calling into question the accuracy of the investigation by Al Mathews.
Mathews is accompanied by Chris Crawford, a former CPC staffer and former Guelph campaign worker. http://t.co/ZKDBAihkwQ— Robocalls trial (@robocallstrial) June 02, 2014
From #robocalls trial via @stphnmaher: "Agreed statement of facts: No record of (Read more…)
Counsellor Shrybman: The Doubter
One thing is for sure: for the next two decades or more, constitutional law professors in every law university in Canada will be rubbing their hands in delight at being able to present to law students the report of a commissioner into electoral fraud, and a point-by-point analysis of the commissioner’s report by a lawyer with experience in electoral fraud cases. Once can just imagine the glee of the law professors when they ask their students to contrast the methodologies used by a Federal Court, by the Commissioner, and recommended by the practising lawyer, to determine (Read more…)
A lawyer central to the Federal Court challenge of election fraud in 2011, has made a list of deficiencies in the Elections Canada Commish’s report.
#cdnpoli #MUSTread Dancing with Mr. Côté over the Fair Elections Act & PDF assessment of #robocalls case. rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers… #muckreads— Judyth Mermelstein (@GadflyQuebec) May 10, 2014
What led the Commish Cote to ignore obvious evidence and conclusions. Hopefully it’s not a factor of being appointed by Stephen Harper, but any reason still leaves Canadians with an unsolved crime. The Commish failed to carry out his duty to protect Canadian elections from crime.
The Commissioner (Read more…)
Some behind the scenes numbers about Elections Canada’s impotent investigation into illegal robocalls…
[note Prime Contact, which came up in the blogosphere earlier this week.]
81. At the national level, the Conservative Party, using data from its Constituent Information Management System (CIMS) database, called through two primary telemarketing companies: Responsive Marketing Group (RMG) for live calls, and RackNine for automated calls. Individual candidate campaigns used a variety of telemarketers. For its part, the Liberal Party used its Liberalist database and called electors through two telemarketing companies, Prime Contact and First Contact, while individual candidate campaigns used several telemarketers …
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Alex Himelfarb and Jordan Himelfarb comment on the dangers of failing to talk about taxes: The tax debate is often muddied by disagreement about whether taxes have actually gone up or down. As the economy grows, so too do tax revenues and spending, which is why many (though not all) prefer to measure tax as a percentage of the economy (GDP). The only good data on this come from StatsCan in a survey discontinued in 2008. These numbers show a decline in the scale of tax and spending over the last several decades, (Read more…)
If Canada’s “SIGINT” (Signals Intelligence) agency doesn’t have records to share with Elections Canada of malicious #robocalls made outside of Canada aimed at disrupting our federal election, then what good is CSEC doing for our democracy? Tracking Brazilian terrorists?
Production orders were obtained for records from Rogers, Shaw and Videotron. Together, they provided records of 6,051 incoming calls received by the 129 complainants named in the production orders. Investigators determined that these calls originated from 1,597 different numbers. Each number was matched to a subscriber where possible. Some service providers gave subscriber information, but others refused to confirm subscribers without (Read more…)
Despite audio evidence of widespread illegal robocals, the Commishioner of Elections Canada has announced “no offenses committed”!
@DonMartinCTV @nspector4 "We didn't find anything because we weren't allowed to find anything"…. oh well. #cdnpoli— Out of Order (@muddywolfking) April 24, 2014
Canadians have had a heaping helping of obvious crime going unpunished, where Conservatives are the apparent benefactors.
I sadly predicted this ludicrous situation with a satirical piece I wrote last year that many people mistook for reality.
@glen_mcgregor With the NSA saving every phone call, how is that even possible!? #RoboCon— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) April (Read more…)
Andrew Prescott’s immunity deal is a strange development. The loyal party worker and born-again Christian had for two years categorically denied any knowledge of or involvement in the robocall affair. But why do innocent people need immunity deals? One of the people Prescott professed his innocence to was Michael Sona.
“I looked Andrew dead in the eyes outside church. He was in his car in the parking lot. I asked him if he knew anything. He said, ‘I don’t know anything.’ That’s why I defended him when I went on the CBC. I took him at his word. (Read more…)
After giving some immunity to a man who either lied to me, or to Elections Canada’s investigators, Canada’s election agency has no new charges to announce against the perpetrators of 2011′s Guelph or national election fraud robocalls.
Andrew Prescott’s information fingers the already charged Michael Sona, and the exiled Ken Morgan who is living in Kuwait. Prosecutors will have to decide if he is telling them the truth, or if he was telling me the truth when he told me in an email conversation he’d asked me to share on my blog last year:
Feel free to think whatever you (Read more…)
Assorted content to end your week.
- Mitchell Anderson discusses Canada’s woeful excuse for negotiations with the oil sector – particularly compared to the lasting social benefits secured by Norway in making the best of similar reserves: Digging through the numbers, it seems Norway is considerably more skilled at negotiation. By charging higher taxes and investing equity ownership in their own production, the Norwegian taxpayer was paid $46.29 BOE in 2012. That same year, the U.K. taxpayer realized only $20.08 per BOE — less than half as much.
What about Canada? Much of our production is bitumen, (Read more…)
It happens with plenty of Harperites. They Resign, no wait, they were Fired. Depending on who you are, there’s a different tale of what caused the undesirable to fall under the Harper Omni-Bus.
Nigel Wright who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office until last year was also Resign-Fired. Fired.
Michael Sona was Resign-Fired too. Maybe this needs a name or hashtag? #HarperFired? Resigned.
Here, on how the Cons’ explanations for the Unfair Elections Act reflect a disturbing attempt to rule out any voter motivation other than partisan interests – while excusing future Robocon-style deceit by placing all responsibility for accurate information on Elections Canada alone.
For further reading…- Alison documents the Con MPs who have already been caught fabricating stories to excuse vote suppression.And James Di Fiore apologizes for a single experiment which is now being pointed to ad nauseum as the basis for preventing hundreds of thousands of Canadians from voting.- Pierre Poilievre’s talking points are here (among (Read more…)
Ever wonder why Elec Canada didn't raid CPC hq. On robocalls? I know I do. See ipolitics @HarrisAuthor #cdnpoli— Michael Harris (@HarrisAuthor) March 24, 2014
In early March 2012, I asked the same, putting the question to major political parties and Elections Canada.
“Why doesn’t Elections Canada just check the Conservative’s voter information database (CIMS) for who queried the phone numbers used for illegal robocalls? “
Elections Canada can’t explain the indefensible stupidity in their “investigation”.
If the CPC was cooperating with the investigation, why did it take nearly three months for Hamilton to arrange an interview (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Yves Smith notes that a short-sighted focus on returns for shareholders generally represents a poor allocation of resources even on the level of a single corporation – while also pointing out what that mindset does when shared across the business sector: As the Occupy Wall Street movement correctly recognized, the concentration of income and wealth of the economic top “one percent” of society has left the rest of us largely high and dry. Corporate profits are increasingly going to share buybacks or dividend distribution, but very little is going back into research and (Read more…)
It’s time for a federal election. They want to change fundamental Canadian rights, and oppose laws in our Constitution that they didn’t get a mandate for in their crooked 2011 stable victory.
A not-so-radical proposal: If the government wants to make major changes to the Supreme Court, the Senate, and how people are elected to the Commons, why not let the people decide?
“Normally, electoral reform is done with wide, multipartisan consent, simply because our democratic rights are so basic. (They are often why wars are fought, for instance.) But there’s been no wide consultation — much less consent (Read more…)
Ask why no by-elections were triggered by Elections Canada following the finding of a coordinated nation-wide election fraud scheme detected in 247 ridings.
What could possibly more serious during an election than the majority of polls being compromised and attendance being influenced by election fraud conducted using the winning party’s voter database?
Brad Butt is an ass. Look what other election fraudsters are working with him to reshape Canada’s Election law.
Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the former Liberal MP in Etobicoke Centre, successfully went to court to have the May 2, 2011, election results in the riding overturned due to ballot irregularities. Conservative Ted Opitz, who won the riding by 26 votes, has appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The seniors’ home incident, which Wrzesnewskyj dropped from his case before it was heard, happened at the St. Demetrius Seniors Residence, a large apartment building in Etobicoke offering assisted living and long-term (Read more…)
Conservative media pundits are happy to be able to say “fair” and “election” in the same sentence as “Conservative”, because saying “fraud” was getting old even 2 years ago.
@kateheartfield War is peace.— Dan Gardner (@dgardner) February 04, 2014
1. Conservatives did not consult Elections Canada. [The Conservatives avoid and work against Elections Canada, said the Federal Court.] 2. Elections Canada wanted investigative powers: request denied and then some. 3. The bill “closes loopholes to big money”… by raising donation and spending limits?
Also, the costs of calling past donors who gave $20 or more will not (Read more…)
Andrew Prescott has reportedly worked out an immunity from prosecution agreement in the Pierre Poutine Robocalls (RoboCon) election fraud of 2011. Presently Michael Sona faces charges as the only Conservative charged in Guelph with the Pierre Poutine conspiracy to misdirect voters by fraudulently claiming to be Elections Canada.
“Why would Prescott need immunity, if he’d not done anything wrong?” is what I expect Conservatives to ask. Well, actually I don’t expect it from Conservatives, but I’d hope they’d think about it.
Guelph robocalls immunity deal struck with ex-Tory worker Andrew Prescott fw.to/yPzB4Cl— CBC KW (@CBCKW891) January 15, (Read more…)