Thursday, March 30, 2006

Cancún cowboys


The Canadian press was very quiet about the Cancún summit today.
Fortunately, the American papers are full of it...but not as 'full of it' as usual.
From the Miami Herald : italics mine
Bush will find soul mate in Canada's Harper
"While meeting in Cancún, Mexico, President Bush should find he has a lot in common with Canada's new prime minister, Stephen Harper.
CANCUN, Mexico - President Bush arrives in Cancún today for a two-day summit with Mexican President Vicente Fox and new conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a political soul mate who is bent on improving his country's frosty relations with Washington.
While talks with Fox about immigration are expected to dominate the session at this Yucatán vacation resort, Harper will be pushing his own agenda, and when Bush sits down with him on Thursday, he'll see a mirror image of himself.
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Harper, a 46-year-old economist, rose to Canada's highest office by talking about his religious faith, vowing to cut taxes and end government corruption and promising to reconsider a same-sex marriage law that Canada's Parliament approved last June -- all themes that Bush campaigned on in 2000 and 2004.
In addition, Harper said he'll consider the White House's offer for Canada to join in fielding a continental ballistic missile shield, an invitation that former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin rejected.
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''If George Bush can't get along with Stephen Harper, he can't get along with any world leader,'' said David Taras, a political science professor at the University of Calgary. ``They're ideological cousins, if not twins.''

Sworn into office last month, Harper borrowed a page from Bush's playbook and secretly traveled to Afghanistan earlier this month to meet with Canadian troops, highlight his country's contribution to the war on terrorism and buck up domestic support for the mission.
The trip also sent a message to Washington, according to John Hulsman, an analyst for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
''That was to show the cavalry is back in town, that they're not going to be anti-American,'' he said. ``Harper, like Bush, has a black-and-white, good-and-evil view of the world -- they're cut from the same cloth."

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Now why can't we get great press coverage like that in Canada?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Anschluss Watch

Michael Wilson, the new Canadian Ambassador to the US, helped bring in NAFTA as Mulroney's Minister of International Trade and has been a tireless advocate of privatizing public corporations. More recently he favoured Canada joining the US in the Iraq adventure.

He was one of a dozen Canadians who brokered The Task Force on the Future of North America into the more watered down Waco Pact signed by Paul Martin, Vicente Fox, and George Bush in March 2005.

The original Task Force of which Michael Wilson was a member made the following recommendations:

  • a North American resource pact allowing greater trade and investment in non-renewable resources, such as oil, gas, and water
  • an integrated N.A. electrical grid
  • a common N.A. currency
  • a N.A. passport
  • a N.A. security perimeter
  • an educational project to teach the idea of a "shared N.A. identity" in schools
  • a harmonization of immigration and refugee policies with the US
  • a trilateral threat intelligence center with the US and Mexico

And this is the guy who is going to "Stand Up For Canada" ?

Anschluss Watch 2

At the UN Economic and Social Council Commission on the Status of Women, 41 countries voted in favour of a resolution to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes.

And Canada and the US voted against it.

"Welcoming the report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that addresses the issue of Palestinian pregnant women giving birth at Israeli checkpoints owing to denial of access by Israel to hospitals, with a view to ending this Israeli practice".

"Israel's representative said she recognized the difficult situation faced by Palestinian women, but the text failed to assess the multiple causes of those difficulties : If terrorism did not exist, Palestinian women would live without the detriment of security checkpoints and the security fence. She called on the Commission to vote against the text."

In favour: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, China, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania.

Against: Canada, United States

This valiant siding with the US in refusing to allow Palestinian women to go home represents Canada's first UN vote since the Cons took office.

Link at UN, but I first read about it at the Gazetteer

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We never forget who you are either

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Lockheed Martin, the largest war profiteer in the world with 80% of its business contracted to the US Department of Defense, is providing the software for the next Canada Census.
Their company motto is "We never forget who we're working for".

Countmeout has some helpful suggestions as to how to protest both deep integration and NAFTA while still legally counting yourself in. Before the volume goes up way past Chapter 11.

Omission Accomplished

George Bush - March 2, 2006 in The Star Phoenix :
"I assure you this government of yours will not blink, we will not yield. . . . The United States doesn't cut and run,' Bush said to enthusiastic cheers and applause [in Afghanistan]."

Stephen Harper - March 8, 2006 in The Calgary Herald :"Canadians don't cut and run at the first sign of trouble. That's the nature of this country. And when we send troops into the field, I expect Canadians to support those troops," said Harper."

Fucked that one up, eh Harper?
Are there good reasons to deploy Canadian troops in Afghanistan? Because you're going to need something more substantial than merely your ability to perfectly parrot whatever Bush says.
Bush has made extensive use of the "if you don't support my wars then you don't support the troops" rhetoric.
What a fucking crock. Don't you even try that bullshit up here.
All Canadians support the troops. Got that, Harper? All Canadians.
Disagreeing with your or Bush's use of them does not mean we don't support the troops.

Ok, you can wipe Bush's bullshit off your chin now.

And in other news in Afghanistan, I see opium rations are up again...

Thursday, March 2, 2006

The Thing with Two, or Four, Heads

"Health Canada is looking at the idea of conducting joint reviews of new drugs with the American government, an idea long promoted by the pharmaceutical industry as a way to get their products on the market more quickly.
"Four heads are better than two ... You're exploring the possibility of real-time dialogue with the FDA," said Jirina Vlk, a Health Canada spokeswoman."

Canadians who generally like to see only one head per body will remember that after FDA scientists in the US approved an over-the-counter morning-after pill, the Bush administration over-ruled them and required women to get a doctor's prescription first.

"Unless Health Canada can show that an independent review process is essential to the health and safety of Canadians ... why not piggyback?" asked Jonathan Goodman, a spokesman for Canada's Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D), the brand-name-drug makers' association."

Because, Mr Goodman, Canada hasn't yet developed a morning-after pill for deep integration with the US. And even if we did, we're pretty sure you and Bush would try to prevent us from getting access to it.