Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Week: Skeletons in the Closet

When a door is closed, a window is opened:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and other senior Cabinet Ministers will be subpoenaed and compelled to testify in the judicial review of the Liberal government's decision to kill the proposed Flamborough Quarry. The judicial review will help determine whether the government acted improperly in cancelling a quarry in the riding of Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin in advance of the 2011 provincial election. St Marys Cement has also filed a NAFTA claim based on the regulatory failure in this case, and is seeking damages of not less than $275 million.

Don't stop there.

File under CHINA, OCTOPUS:

By Wednesday, the Harper government is expected to ratify the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPA).

It's a deal that's been in the works for 18 years but has just recently seemed to raise the ire of opposition MPs, environmentalists and the anti-Harperites.

Environmental advocate David Suzuki wrote this on his Facebook page on Sunday morning.

"The China-Canada trade deal might be the most critical issue of our time. We only have a few days to stop a 31 year term deal that gives China power over Canada's environmental decisions. Now is the time for Canadians to stand together for nature and democracy."

Green Party leader Elizabeth May was on CTV's Question period, over the weekend, and said the deal will threaten Canada's security, sovereignty, and democracy.

And Lead Now, an independent advocacy organization, now has over 60,000 names on anon-line petition asking the government to stop "the most disturbing trade deal in a generation."

Critics of the agreement say that the deal is not reciprocal and that it would allow Chinese companies to buyout our natural resource sectors.

The most controversial issue, however, seems to be a provision in the treaty that would allow Chinese companies to sue Canadian governments - in front of a third-party arbitrator - if the government does anything that threatens the company's profits.

As loathe as I am to give China power over our natural resources or our government, how genuine is the anti-Harper band wagon that we should heed it? Has anyone raised the spectre of China's totalitarian state, its human rights abuses, unfair play and environmental pollution? Anyone? Has anyone seen the effect China has on this country? This is why we shouldn't trade with them though I am unconvinced that Harper's detractors would ever see or understand that.

Hurricanes bring out the best in everyone:

The Obama campaign sent out emails Sunday encouraging its volunteers to "phonebank" from Annapolis, Maryland on Monday at 5:30 PM.

The worst part of Hurricane Sandy is supposed to be hitting the region around that time.

In a true example of leadership, Mitt Romney has sent his campaign bus to aid in hurricane relief as Hurricane Sandy prepares to slam into the northeast as early as tonight. Donations were being accepted today at the Romney campaign Virginia headquarters. Ann Romney was scheduled to appear in New Hampshire tomorrow, but has canceled plans so resources can be spent helping people affected by the storm.

About that FEMA thing....

How FEMA works:

The governor of the state in which the disaster occurs must declare a state of emergency and formally request from the president that FEMA and the federal government respond to the disaster. ...

While on-the-ground support of disaster recovery efforts is a major part of FEMA's charter, the agency provides state and local governments with experts in specialized fields and funding for rebuilding efforts and relief funds for infrastructure by directing individuals to access low interest loans, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration. In addition to this, FEMA provides funds for training of response personnel throughout the United States and its territories as part of the agency's preparedness effort.

What Romney said:

What it means:

“Gov. Romney believes that states should be in charge of emergency management in responding to storms and other natural disasters in their jurisdictions,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. “As the first responders, states are in the best position to aid affected individuals and communities, and to direct resources and assistance to where they are needed most. This includes help from the federal government and FEMA.”

After all, the mismanagement and arrival of aid were some of the criticisms of FEMA. Why not trim the fat and allocate funds to where they are really needed?

If there is any mirth in all of this, it's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's pledge to re-schedule trick or treating:

If Chris Christie tells you you’re trick-and-treating in mid-November, then you’re trick-or-treating in mid-November....

He has secured the eight year old schoolkid vote.

South Korea has scraped the bottom of the morality barrel:

North Korean workers make soccer shoes as a North Korean manager stands supervising inside a temporary factory at a rural village on the edge of Dandong October 24, 2012. Top soccer-boot maker Adidas probably shouldn't be worrying just yet but a rare venture that marries South Korean money with North Korean labour in the Chinese city of Dandong aims to make its mark on the world soccer scene. At a temporary factory in a village on the edge of a bustling city that serves as a bridge between China and impoverished, isolated North Korea, 20 North Koreans hand sew soccer boots and dream of taking on the world.

Urban Outfitters is in the same category:

Now, during a highly-contentious political season, Urban Outfitters is purportedly taking a stand — at least when it comes to the themes portrayed on the clothing it carries. Numerous t-shirts feature messages that poke fun at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, while heralding President Barack Obama. Take, for instance, a $34 shirt being sold on Urban Outfitters’ web site. It reads, “Who the F**k is Mitt Romney?”

For the superficial, ever-hypocritical, knee-jerk reactionary hipster, these slave labour made t-shirts are a must.


Somewhat related:

In short, twenty-first century elite liberalism has become a psychological condition, not a serious blueprint on how to solve real problems. The president knows that — and so without ideas has been reduced to name-calling and sermons on Big Bird.

How true it is.

Compare and contrast:

A Channel 2 Action News investigation found that the State Department is sending millions of dollars to save mosques overseas. This investment has received criticism as the United States makes an effort to slash nearly $4 trillion in government spending.Plenty of outrage following the announcement made Thursday afternoon by a government commission that suggested huge cuts to the budget, including eliminating the interest education for home mortgage. This juxtaposed with the United States investing millions to refurbish mosques as a good-will effort in Muslim countries has upset many taxpayer groups.

A suicide bomber driving an SUV full of explosives crashed into a Catholic church in a Christian minority enclave of Nigeria during Mass yesterday, killing ten congregants and wounding at least 145.

If one was wearing one's thinking toque, one might come to the conclusion that building mosques for people who hate you and others is counter-productive.

The Vatican approves of the newest Bond film:

The Vatican has apparently caught wind of Skyfall mania and it even gave its opinion through its official l'Osservatore Romano newspaper. The 23rd James Bond pic even nabbed a rare review, calling it one of the best in its 5 decades.

l'Osservatore Romano's Skyfall green light is a sea-change for the publication which only has a print circulation of 15,000. Its influence is far higher, however, when its editorial which reflects Vatican policy, is splashed in papers and websites around the world.

For Skyfall l'Osservatore Romano published five articles, according to Reuters. The paper noted in its main article "007 License to Cry" that the latest installment presents the British super-operative in a less cliché manner, and "more human, capable of being moved and of crying: in a word, more real."

In another article, the paper compares the lineage of Bond actors from Sean Connery to the current Daniel Craig. Craig told the paper he feels "very different" from his predecessors, but noted that Connery is a "point of reference."

(With thanks to all)


Anonymous said...

A t-shirt that costs $34?!?!

"Who the f**k is trying to get as RICH as Mitt Romney?"


Osumashi Kinyobe said...

They are, apparently.

But when they do it, they are doing it "ironically".