Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

First of all, I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Everyone can find something to be thankful for today. We are blessed with so much here in Canada, and the efforts of our brave troops in Afghanistan only serve to underscore that point. Even though many have fallen, and more undoubtedly will, we are thankful for their unselfish commitment to freedom.

However, one year ago things were not looking so great in this country. We had a bloated, complacent, self-serving government that was embroiled in all manner of scandals and a prime minister who thought solving a problem involved simply throwing money at it without any thought of accountability. The operative word was "entitlement" and David Dingwall made that attitude crystal-clear to us all.

Canadian-U.S. relations weakened as Paul Martin delighted in throwing insults at our closest ally just to score political points at home.

Today we have a very competent Prime Minister who is actually trying to make a difference. He recognizes that Canadian politics don't occur in isolation - that everything we do has a global impact. He operates with a results-oriented agenda designed to make effective use of taxpayers' money rather than simply use it to buy friends and create more government boondoggles.

The Sun's Licia Corbella, in an exclusive interview with our new Prime Minister, says Harper's the real deal.

If you are a Harper fan, enjoy the read.

Happy Thanksgiving, and GOD BLESS STEPHEN HARPER!!!

88 comments:

Sydney said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope that everyone takes some time to visit those loved ones and be thankful for the irreplaceable time that is spent together.

I am thankful for the great country that we live in and the loved ones that surround me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Sydney. Yes indeed. We must remember to appreciate each moment, especially in this glorious weather! I can't remember a nicer Thanksgiving weekend.

Anonymous said...

Stephen Harper is pretty impressive one on one, and Licia's pretty smooth too.

I guess it also doesn't hurt that the Liberals are determined to eviscerate each other...

"Rattus Liberalis, like its better known and cuddlier cousin Rattus Rattus, is a nonemetic species. One of the particular talents of Genus Rattus is its ability to not vomit, which conveniently allows it to feast on its own young."

KEvron said...

"....feast on it's own young"

oh! the irony!

KEvron

Cherniak_WTF said...

Joanne, this is a most ridiculous post.
The sentiment of Thanksgiving is a noble one but when you decide to politisize it.... Shame on you....

Harper is an a**monkey. He is a regressive dolt that will place Canada many years behind. His legacy will be one that will be marked by a bigger divide in Canada (in all aspects).

Mac said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Joanne.

I had to work today (sigh) so we did our Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night. Tonight, after a long day, I had turkey leftovers.

c_wtf, for someone who claims to have strong libertarian leanings, you're very intolerant. This is Joanne's blog and if she feels thankful for having Stephen Harper as PM, that's her opinion and it's rude and disrespectful of you to insult her by spewing your anti-Harper vitriol here.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

c_wtf, for someone who claims to have strong libertarian leanings, you're very intolerant. This is Joanne's blog and if she feels thankful for having Stephen Harper as PM, that's her opinion and it's rude and disrespectful of you to insult her by spewing your anti-Harper vitriol here.

Thank you, Mac.

There's just so much wrong with CWTF's last comment that I'm not even going to give it the time of day.

Everyone is free to comment here. Some language borders on being questionable but I'm trying not to jump on every four-letter word.

Oh, and BTW, one more thing I am thankful for: I started with site-meter this past April, and have now passed the 30,000 hit mark this week!!!

Total page views have surpassed 58,000 since April.

Hits to this blog average 180 a day; and about 340 page views.

So if CWTF wants to come back and leave comments like the last one, he is free to do so.

And BTW, GOD BLESS CANADA!

GOD BLESS STEPHEN HARPER AGAIN!

Cherniak_WTF said...

You know Mac, there is nothing wrong with Thanksgiving but when you decide to make it political (God Bless Harper), don't you think it's a little ridiculous?
It's a little like the Germans around the late 1930s saying their praises for Papa Hitler or the Soviets praising their glorious leaders during the Cold War.

"Happy Thanksgiving Canada!" is a quaint sentiment but adding a God Bless Harper makes her statements political.

God Bless Martin for leaving this country in a much better financial state than any Con could have.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

God Bless Martin for leaving this country in a much better financial state than any Con could have.

You are entitled to pray the way you want, and give thanks as you wish.

At this point we still have freedom of religion in Canada.

C. LaRoche said...

Joanne, I agree to some extent -- other than a point that needs to be made: Harper seems to have concentrated on Canada-U.S. relations to such a degree that other important relations have been left off the map. I speak mostly of the burgeoning China-Canada relationship, which, until recently, was looking like a realistic response to Trudeau's third option strategy of the 70s. The Harper government has let this political and economic opportunity slide to the point where Chinese officials and so on have become frustrated with cancelled meetings and so on. We should ensure that our relationship with the U.S. is strong, yes, but at the end of the day the U.S.-Canada trading relationship is a spot that could easily go sore. We should be looking beyond the U.S. for new sources of trade balance; China is the best thing our country has seen in a century.

C. LaRoche said...

Also, I apologize for using "so on" twice in one sentence ;)

More on Canada-China -- just look at the history of the tarsands. China was interested, now they may be getting the snub. We've got to watch whose tails we step on; China-U.S. relations could come to a head over Canadian resources quite easily.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Laroche - Interesting stuff. First of all, please don't feel you ever have to apologize for a redundancy in comments. This area should be free-flowing and not too greatly constrained by either grammar or spelling. (IMHO)

Regarding Canada-China relations, I wonder how much Paul Martin had accomplished on that front.

In any case, that is an area where Harper had previously pointed to for increasing trade, but I think the big problem is human-rights issues. Hard to deal with a country which is committing so many abuses.

Anonymous said...

hey, maybe cherniak_wtf has early onset alzheimers. I don't know about you, man... but I'm gonna go spark up a doobie... if I could just remember where I put my stash.

Cherniak_WTF said...

wow neo-con, trying to get hits on your site with drivel about the research that came out this week?

If I suffer from Alzheimer's, what's your excuse? I suspect your natural state of mind....

liberal supporter said...

God Bless Everyone - our enemies that they may hate us less, our friends that they may love us more.

Blessing politicians is a good idea too. Many are in need of an intervention, divine or otherwise.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - Blessing politicians is a good idea too. Many are in need of an intervention, divine or otherwise.

That was inspired. :)

The first part of your comment would make a great Thanksgiving prayer. Might I add, that we learn to love our enemies more. The Amish taught us that lesson this past week.

Mac said...

c_wtf, that is one of the quickest incidents of Godwin's Law which I've ever seen! I would congratulate you but generally, the person who posts an instance of Godwin's Law is generally viewed to have lost the argument.

To make matters worse, you did not address my comments but chose to demonstrate more intolerance, trying to justify your original intolerance!! Nice!!

Joanne, here's an interesting conundrum for you. Many "progressives" champion the Charter of Rights & Freedoms as supporting their cause(s) yet they regularly attack one of the principle freedoms: the freedom of religion. Why is there such a dichotomy?

Cherniak_WTF said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Many "progressives" champion the Charter of Rights & Freedoms as supporting their cause(s) yet they regularly attack one of the principle freedoms: the freedom of religion. Why is there such a dichotomy?

-Because they're scared to death that maybe there really is an afterlife. If they can deny it, their cognitive dissonance can be resoolved.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Maybe Joanne is praying to her God called Harper, who knows for sure.

I find that extremely offensive.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Joanne, my apologies.
Can you take that line out - I just re-read it another way and see where it's offensive.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CWTF - Was that an apology???

I can't take out a line. I can't edit any comment, other than totally deleting it. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will forgive you. :)

Cherniak_WTF said...

Joanne, yes it was an apology...
I'll delete the comment...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Mac, it's creepy how you seem to misunderstand the basics of a conversation and try to rephrase everything...

Why is it that certain Cons need a father figure so badly? Someone to take care of them and place everything black/white so that they can get into a comfort zone?


So tell me Mac, where have I attacked freedom of religion? Try really hard here, because I'd like to see your pretzel logic at work...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CWTF - That's very nice of you. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

"-Because they're scared to death that maybe there really is an afterlife. If they can deny it, their cognitive dissonance can be resoolved."

This is simply facile, Joanne. Nevermind that there are literal millions of "progressive" Religious, or progressive agnostics. Nevermind that "religious freedoms" are selectively championed by the "right" - see such upstanding champions as RightGirl
or Kathy Shaidle, the latter blog being devoted to an endless index of the sins of Islam, when she is not smirking over the deaths of AIDS victims.

I have no congitive dissonance to dispell; in fact I am quite content to believe that death is final full stop in the story of my life. What I do object to - strenuously - is "religious freedom" being given one iota more protection under the Charter than it already has.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Penny said...

Disagreeing with someone's religious beliefs is not the same as attacking freedom of religion. We are - thank God! - free to believe or not believe, and free to express our opinions too.

However, we are so dang politically correct nowadays that saying anything negative about Jews or Muslims is considerd "hate"!! Thus it seems we are really only free to criticise Christians and atheists!

Joanne, I found the negativity a bit of a shock in a Thanksgiving message and on such a lovely day, but thank you for reminding me we need to pray for all who are in leadership. (1 Tim.2:1,2.)

But those of us who claim to be Christians also need to remember to love our enemies (if Paul Martin, a devout Roman Catholic Christian, can be considered an enemy) as well as our friends, and forgive men when they have sinned against us - as the Amish have so beautifully demonstrated.

Although why their forgiveness should be a surprise to other Christians is a sad testament to the way we practise our faith.

"Let your conversation be always full of grace..." Colossians 4:6

Mac said...

I articulated a conundrum and addressed it specifically to Joanne. The conclusions which you chose to draw are interesting but they're all yours, c_wtf.

Sara said...

Happy Thanksgiving Jo, our turkey was great and we still have half of it!

I'm in bed all day with a fever, can't think straight. I will blog when I'm better.

p.s. the magazine will be out tomorrow I think Canadian Business Magazine

Cherniak_WTF said...

mac, how cowardly of you.
Using innuendo to insinuate an accusation and when taken to task on it, retreating under the guise of "I did not really accuse you of that"....

Scurrilous little attacks.... I guess it's too much to expect honesty from a pseudo-Libertarian...

C. LaRoche said...

Joanne, re: China. Indeed, dealing with a country with the human rights record of China is difficult. I think the key here is to focus on what Chinese can do in China AND Canada to improve Canada-China relations. Ignoring China really won't do us any good, nor has publicly chastizing the chinese on their human rights record ever really worked. The key here is to do what we used to do with North Korea, only on a more civilized level -- offer China incentives to clean up its act. If it doesn't, we withdraw the incentives. Plus, we can do something we can't do with most illiberal regimes -- work on a personal level. Get chinese businessmen and Canadian businessmen working together, here and there. Intermingle our public servants. Do cultural exchanges. Organize academic exchanges -- China is a much more open place (especially for foreigners) than meets the eye. A lot of this is already going on, but I'd like to see it get a higher profile.

To be honest, this could be more of a waiting game, or a matter of priorities. Harper came in with a minority government and needed to fix a floundering U.S.-Canada relationship. Securing a shot at a majority government, engaging Washington, and dealing with campaign promises was obviously a higher set of priorities. And rightly so. I was happy to see the Chinese head tax apology... still, the Martin China boat seemed to be a lot bigger and better -- there have actually been reports since Harper came into office of complete confusion on the Chinese regarding meetings, strategies, and so on. Hopefully we'll see more of this in the foreign policy sections of Harper's election campaign come the next one...

Mac said...

c_wtf, all of your remarks in this thread, whether directed at me or at Joanne, have been insulting and designed to evoke an emotional response. As I said in my original post, you claim to have Libertarian leanings but you're very intolerant. These two concepts are incompatible. You, c_wtf, are no Libertarian. You're a troll and I'm not going to waste my time feeding a troll.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, even the troll, and God Bless Stephen Harper!!

Cherniak_WTF said...

mac, for all your bleeding, you have to remember that it does not make it the "true".

Continue on with your distortions and outright lies - it's amusing to see how shallow and incongruous your reasoning is.

Your song and dance is akin to a little school boy that does not like to be scolded in public. You have insinuated a few generalizations but not once have you bothered to back them up. I guess the exercise of thinking and backing up any claims is just too strenuous for you.

Candace said...

cwtf, I also thank God, on a pretty regular basis, that Harper is PM these days. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you get over it.

c_laroche, I haven't read your blog (if you have one) so don't know how you feel about Arar and what happened to him. But many Chinese-Canadians are suffering (the lucky ones, the not so lucky just get "lost") when they return to China to visit family. Are you okay with us trading with China? and making trade with them a priority? Because I am not.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

but thank you for reminding me we need to pray for all who are in leadership.

Penny, I think I have to give Liberal Supporter the credit for that, but thanks for your kind comments and insightful reminder about how Christians should be acting if they truly want to model their faith.

Sara - Get well soon! I'll look forward to reading about you in the magazine!

Laroche - Yes, Harper would be wise to address the Chinese trade issue in the manner you have suggested. However, I suppose there are so many other foreign issues demanding his attention right now that it's hard to prioritize everything. I wonder what he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning...

Mac - Happy Thanksgiving to all, even the troll, and God Bless Stephen Harper!! Forgiving your enemies. Very commendable.

Candace - But many Chinese-Canadians are suffering (the lucky ones, the not so lucky just get "lost") when they return to China to visit family Are you referring to the Human Rights issues?

Cherniak_WTF said...

I'm really glad that some think that God is so political that he has chosen Harper.....

Even more telling that some would decide that God would seems to be a card carrying Conservative member.

Framing those that don't necessarily like Harper as the enemy. I guess we don't have Christian that are Liberals then....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CWTF - I know there is some kind of logic floating around there somewhere. I guess I'll just have to dig a bit deeper to find it.

Zac said...

Joanne, here's an interesting conundrum for you. Many "progressives" champion the Charter of Rights & Freedoms as supporting their cause(s) yet they regularly attack one of the principle freedoms: the freedom of religion. Why is there such a dichotomy?

Wow, what an utter generalization. I expected better of you Mac.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, I'm trying to think of one Liberal M.P. who champions the cause of Freedom of Religion. Just one.

Swift said...

For almost 50 years the left has dominated Canadian politics(Liberals, NDP and Red Tories.) Let us be thankful for their accomplishments.
1. For taking the second richest nation in the world tto the thirteenth.
2. For taking the second best national health care system to the thirtieth.
3. For introducing a pension plan that was guaranteed to go banktrupt.
4. For saving the pension plan by giving us another one that pays less per year than a legitamite one would per month.
5. For improving our education system to the point where one third of students do not have minimal standards in english and math.
6. For improving our education system so that universities are setting up remedial courses in English for Canadian high school grads.
7. For giving us double digit inflation.
8. For making over 6% unemployment seem low instead of high.
9. For spending so much more than we could afford that the interest on the national debt is the largest item in the federal budget.
10. For raising taxes by 50%.
For all these reasons and many more we should give thanks to the left.

liberal supporter said...

Which Freedom of Religion is missing and needs just one Liberal MP to champion?

You could say "we have no freedom of religion" because Islamic fanatics are not ruling us, though their "freedom of religion" to forcibly convert everyone and subjugate us all is being denied.

The point being that lots of things can be called infringements on freedom of religion. Depends on which religious practice or belief you want to consider.

A recent thread cited breaking contracts after you discovered you made a contract with people you don't want to do business with (after signing the contract). Is that the freedom you are concerned with being threatened? Freedom to repudiate contracts after the fact based on your religion?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift - That was an impressive list! Something along the lines of the Status of Women meme.

Anyone care to add to that? We don't have to restrict it to fiscal policy.

For example:

#11. For appointing left-leaning judges to the SCC in order to ensure that Canadian society and especially the institution of the family has been irrevocably and fundamentally weakened forever.

That should heat things up!


L.S. - Freedom to repudiate contracts after the fact based on your religion? I find the details of this particular event somewhat confusing, but as I understand it, it was somewhat of a clerical error. Once it was discovered that the couple was lesbian, the K of C made every effort to help with finding another hall, and with the costs of reprinting the invitations.

In any case, democracy is always trying to balance the various rights. It isn't always clear-cut. Hence we have polygamy in Canada even though it is illegal but nobody is ever charged if it is a religious group involved.

Anyway, my point was to challenge any of you to give me the name of any Liberal or NDP MP who is concerned about the right to Freedom of Religion. I agree with Mac, that the left is largely concerned with any other right in the Charter except that one. Prove me wrong. Please!

Cherniak_WTF said...

#11. For appointing left-leaning judges to the SCC in order to ensure that Canadian society and especially the institution of the family has been irrevocably and fundamentally weakened forever.
The old boogeymen....

You will have to prove your allegations Joanne, something that I suspect you'll likely pass upon...

Cherniak_WTF said...

Apart from showing an ignorance of the Charter (your religious rights are protected my dear), I'd like you to show me where your religious rights are being attacked.

If anything, I think that you'd like to take away rights from anyone that is not a Christian...

liberal supporter said...

"that the left is largely concerned with any other right in the Charter except that one."
Kind of difficult to prove a negative. How do you know they are concerned about all other rights in the Charter?

How would we know a Liberal or NDP member is concerned about Freedom of Religion? You would only hear from them if such a freedom was threatened. Since it is not, you might not hear from them.

Perhaps you are concerned that the "God Hates Fags" people are subject to the same hate laws as someone saying "We Hate Fags". Is that attacking their freedom of religion?


=====
We have polygamy in Canada? That is news to me if you are talking about groups of people becoming legally married. I think marriage is still legally only two people over 18 who are not close relatives. There is some case law in which some common law marriage rights regarding support have been confirmed. Since common law marriages do not have an officially documented beginning and end, you could be required to support more than one common law spouse anyway, so establishing support in obviouslt concurrent common law relationships is not really new. But you can't get a document saying you are married to more than one person.

Lord Omar said...

Maybe Joanne is praying to her God called Harper, who knows for sure.

I find that extremely offensive.

Really??
You have got to be joking.

Zac said...

Zac, I'm trying to think of one Liberal M.P. who champions the cause of Freedom of Religion. Just one.

Perhaps we could examine the Liberal MPs who defended the right of Sikhs to wear turbins at official events or to wear Kirpans, such as Navdeep Bains. But "Championing" religious freedom doesn't always mean championing your's Joanne. Every Liberal, including myself may not always "champion", so to speak, Catholicism or Judiasm or Islam or Buddism, or Wicken or, etc, etc, etc but we'll certainly defend your right to expression.

Either way, that is hardly the point of my comment. Mac made an outrageous statement that so-called "progressives" do not defend the Charter right of religious freedom. They do, and always will. Its basic.

I don't have a problem with you "God Blessing" anyone, that's your perogative and I'm more than happy that you live in a country where you can say such a thing.

Zac said...

Oh yes, and from the bottom of my jewish heart, I say God Bless you Joanne....

Lord Omar said...

My Jewish heart too.

Zac said...

Ah yes....from both of us.

Now lets go get a hearty bowl of matzoh ball soup Omar....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Shalom.

Swft said...

You are welcome, Joanne. Let me know when you want another ten things to be thankful for. Strange how our left leaning friends ignore my comments. By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You will have to prove your allegations Joanne, something that I suspect you'll likely pass upon. Well CWTF, I can think of several moral decisions that the courts have foisted upon us, but you would probably argue that they have in fact improved society.

So degeneration is in the eye of the beholder.

your religious rights are protected my dear Not necessarily so, my darling.


If anything, I think that you'd like to take away rights from anyone that is not a Christian...

That is pure garbage. I would have expected better even of you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. We have polygamy in Canada? There are people openly living in polygamous relationships in Canada.

Swift, yes it is strange indeed that the Left-Leaners don't seem to have an issue with your list. I guess they agree.

Zac said...

Strange how our left leaning friends ignore my comments.

It's because your list is factually wrong which renders it unworthy of comment.

liberal supporter said...

"L.S. We have polygamy in Canada? There are people openly living in polygamous relationships in Canada."


Those people are not legally married.

We had plenty of people openly living in same sex relationships before it became legal for them to be married. They were not married before.

It is only illegal to get married, while already married to someone else.

Changing the number of people who can enter into a marriage is a lot different than removing opposite sexes as a requirement.

The top 10 (or 11) list is probably being ignored because we are still waiting to hear which aspects of Freedom of Religion are being threatened.

Otherwise we must assume you agree there are no real threats to Freedom of Religion, and in that case your demand for the name of just one Liberal or NDP MP who is concerned about Freedom of Religion makes no sense, since MPs do not usually rant about non-problems.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Those people are not legally married.

Therefore common-law relationships should be discounted too?

liberal supporter said...

"Therefore common-law relationships should be discounted too?"

Discounted in what way?


"your religious rights are protected my dear Not necessarily so, my darling."

And we continue to wait to hear which freedoms are in peril.

counter-coulter said...

liberal supporter said...
And we continue to wait to hear which freedoms are in peril.


I wouldn't hold your breath too long for that list. My guess would be, at best, they'll rattle off some perceived threat that they read on one of their "Two Minutes of Hate" sites.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I wouldn't hold your breath too long for that list. My guess would be, at best, they'll rattle off some perceived threat that they read on one of their "Two Minutes of Hate" sites.

...And then you would discredit everything I said based on the source, and we would then have to agree to disagree, so let's save ourselves a lot of trouble and call it a day.

C. LaRoche said...

Candace, re:

"c_laroche, I haven't read your blog (if you have one) so don't know how you feel about Arar and what happened to him. But many Chinese-Canadians are suffering (the lucky ones, the not so lucky just get "lost") when they return to China to visit family. Are you okay with us trading with China? and making trade with them a priority? Because I am not."

Yes, I have a blog: informedconfusion.blogspot.com. It's mostly about East Asian politics, some Canadian politics, some of my life, some music, movies, art, and so on. My areas of specialty are broadly IR, foreign policy, security, and conflict studies, but more specifically East Asia, nonproliferation, and human rights.

I'll admit I've been out of the China loop for a few years. I used to study economic policies and migration there quite a bit (and how that affects human rights) -- but Canada-China relations (as far as I know) doesn't really have much of a body of literature to explore that's anything but collections of stories, stuff about pre-2000 Canadian policies (most of them racist), and the development of Canada's chinatowns.

I feel very strongly about Arar. What happened to him is horrible. It amazes me, and many others, that the sponsorship scandal -- an event in which no one was hurt -- completely bulldozed Arar in terms of media coverage.

China is quite different from Syria, depending on how you look at it. There is a legal system in China that, on paper, is fair, with some (major) exceptions. The real atrocities happen in that grey area between what's on paper and how police, local officials, and whatnot use those documents to advance their own interests. Falun Gong members are not thrown in jail because it is looney, promotes something that is ideologically opposed to the CCP, or whatever the usual reason is. The Falun Gong is "threat" because it has 100 million members. The CCP has 60. And they're paranoid of losing power. Paranoia -- and the government's obsession with legitimacy -- is one element of what drives almost every bit of the Chinese political reality, right down to migrant labourers, human rights violations, and the lack of freedom of speech. The other element is decentralization -- China is nowhere nearly as centralized as most people think. Local officials, in their little pseudo-principalities, essentially run the show. China has environmental laws, workers' rights laws, and so on -- but most of the time local officials ignore them so that their region does better, economically or whatever, than the next. If Beijing officials come knocking, they put up a straw house, paint it, smile, and take it down when the officials are gone.

In fact, a loose interpretation might be this: organizations that threaten the CCP are tantamount, in the Chinese Communist Party's purview, to terrorist organizations that could potentially attack the U.S. Americans are worried about security. The CCP is worried about legitimacy. Now think of what the U.S. does to unconvicted, untried, potentially innocent detainees in Guantanamo.

I'm not familiar with what happens to Chinese Canadians when they go to China on the whole, other than I have Chinese friends and counterparts who have been there with no real problems. I have two friends who at different times have worked in Hong Kong and Beijing tracking this sort of stuff, and they haven't mentioned disappearing Canadians. Mind you, the people I know who have visited have never done anything "wrong" to the CCP in a public setting, like staging anti-CCP protests in Ottawa. I am familiar with cases of Chinese businessmen and whatnot fleeing China and hiding out in Vancouver (and elsewhere), and I do regularly check the (Antioch?) Times (the name escapes me, but it's printed in Chinese and English most places in Canada). Do you have any links on Canadian Chinese that I could check out?

RE: trade. Ignoring China would kind of be a let down. Their human rights regime isn't going anywhere if we simply ignore them. In fact, I think getting more and more Chinese students into Canadian schools and universities, and vice-versa, could create a generational change in China. The number one issue cited by most young members of the CCP is the need for political reform. And I'd be hard-pressed to think that this need has nothing to do with the fact more and more Chinese are being exposed to better media, exchanges with foreigners, and foreign schools.

As far as the macro issues go, China is very interested in our oil and water. They'll come to blows with the U.S. over it if the U.S. wants both exclusively. I think we have a very practical decision to make: do we want 80%+ of our trade (and, in the end, the majority of our economy) to be tangled with the United States, where a Canada-related terrorist attack or the whim of a Northern Senator can literally shut down chunks of our provincial economies? Or do we want to try and diversify?

Our reliance on the U.S. has been a major point of assembly in Canadian Foreign Policy literature. Our relationship with what is a benign hegemon and mostly friendly neighbour is one of a kind, to be sure. We benefit immensely from it. But, insofar as we are an export economy, putting all of our eggs in one basket is an extremely dangerous thing to do, especially if the economy in the U.S. begins to lag, or if we have future trade/border issues with the U.S. Imagine if tomorrow someone from Canada, either homegrown or passing through, attacks New York, Washington, Chicago, whatever. What sort of conversation do you think will go on in the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Represenatives? Thinking that George W. Bush can fix any U.S.-Canada trade relations underlines the woeful misunderstanding that most Canadians have about the separation of powers in the U.S. When it comes to trade issues, the Senate is essentially king. It is also the place where lobbies that would benefit from cutting out Canadian trade -- lumber, beef, pharmaceutical, you name it -- have a large and omnipresent voice. Combined with a security incentive, they will win, every time.


I am reminded of a story of a DFAIT employee -- perhaps high up in Canadian Embassy in Washington, maybe one of the Ambassador's top staff. After 9/11, he found that to discuss trade issues with any American senators, Congresspeople, or whatnot, he had to recruit a Canadian military official. He would book an appointment, and get the official to follow him in. He would then give a little preamble, with the military officer sitting down next to him, in full uniform, on the work Canada is doing in regards to Afghanistan, border security, and the War on Terror. He would then talk trade. He found that if he didn't do this, American officials and representatives would change the subject to security, anyway. The bottom line is that the security threat, insofar as it entails Canada, is priority No. 1. And we're working with them on it. But don't think for a second that, without a batting an eye, that the U.S. wouldn't significantly reduce trade with Canada if it were in its security interests. And in the event that occurs, I hope to God with have a more diversified trading portfolio. There are many options out there, but China is the biggest, best, and most interested. And I think we can do the Chinese some good, too.

C. LaRoche said...

Oh, and to clarify, this paragraph:

"In fact, a loose interpretation might be this: organizations that threaten the CCP are tantamount, in the Chinese Communist Party's purview, to terrorist organizations that could potentially attack the U.S. Americans are worried about security. The CCP is worried about legitimacy. Now think of what the U.S. does to unconvicted, untried, potentially innocent detainees in Guantanamo."

...does not mean that CCP torture, detainment, etc. of civilian Falun Gong members is of any moral equivalent to the similar acts committed against terrorists who have made it a point to kill civilians. Rather, it is meant to explain the sort of reasoning that goes behind "bending" China's laws and human rights dialogue in favour of political gain.

Swift said...

"It's because your list is factually wrong which renders it unworthy of comment."
Which facts are wrong, Zac? Be specific!

Zac said...

Well for starters you mention items that are clearly not federal jurisdiction and then you state that the Liberals raised taxes by more than 50% while neglecting the fact that Jean Chretien brought down the largest tax cut in Canadian history.

Swift said...

Total taxes paid in 1960 by the average Canadian was about one third of their income. Total taxes reached almost 50% of Canadian's total income before the recent on or two percent reduction. It makes no difference which level of government takes the money out of your pocket. When it's gone, it's gone. If you had read my post you would have realized that I did not single out the Liberals but also included the red Tories and the NDP. The recent slight reduction in taxes at the federal level only occured after the Reform made tax reduction a high profile issue.
CPP contributions are a tax, not a real pension plan (see points 3 & 4.) The great tax cut you mentioned as almost nullified by the CPP increase, leaving little extra in Canadians pockets. And it does not come anywhere close to reducing the total tax to one third of Canadians income.
By the way, the Liberal's of the fifties would be considered radical right wingers by the current Liberals. Try again!

PGP said...

Wow! So much discourse from such a little musing and one swell wish!

BTW- Swift...I think you've got it!
Both the list of Liberal Blessings and the summation re taxation.
However if you count all taxes paid by Canadians you will find that the average Canadian pays 50% plus.
Now I'm not saying that things like property taxes and hidden levies in municipal or provincial structures are the fault of the feds because that's just not the case.
But you do have to figure them into real taxation calculations.

Bottom line though for the Liberals is increased taxes net....that's how they got to 13+ Billion surpluss.

This is a situation that needs to be redressed.

Zac said...

Total taxes paid in 1960 by the average Canadian was about one third of their income.

And the total taxes paid in 1917 when income tax was created was barely 1/10 of their income. With social programs, come taxes. It's a given my friend.

The recent slight reduction in taxes at the federal level only occured after the Reform made tax reduction a high profile issue.

Your giving credit to the Reform party for those tax cuts? I'm sure that Stephen Harper created the Clarity Act as well. I also heard that Al Gore invented the internet.

In your list above you deride the left for mismanaging health care and pensions plans by saying that, "for all these reasons and many more we should give thanks to the left" but you seem to forget that without the left, we wouldn't have either of those systems.

Also, you haven't told me how the education system was mismanaged by the Liberal/NDP tag team of destruction.

Try again!

That's cute....

Crabgrass said...

Joanne - what a wonderful thought.

Thanksgiving has always been such a political time....

Joanne (True Blue) said...

PGP - I'm just going to sit back and watch Swift and Zac duke it out. This is great!


Crabpants - Obviously that was a sarcastic comment. Interesting that I refer to an interview with our Prime Minister, mention that I am grateful that he is at the helm of our country and ask that God bless him - bless in the sense of asking for guidance and wisdom for him as leader of our wonderful country. I am then rebuked for doing so by various members of the blogging community. They take it to mean that I see Harper as some kind of Divinity.

I can only assume that my thoughts and comments are to be vetted by those who obviously hold themselves to be mentally and morally superior.

Common folk such as myself should remember our place in society, I guess.

counter-coulter said...

Joanne (True Blue) said...
...And then you would discredit everything I said based on the source, and we would then have to agree to disagree, so let's save ourselves a lot of trouble and call it a day.


Not true. I would discredit everything you said based on the reality of the situation. ;-)

You seem to want to keep taking this tack of "discredit the source" as a means of ending discussion rather than expressing your own opinion. The problem is is that these sources you cite for making some of your more extreme arguments tend to base their position on nothing more than conjecture and hearsay. Then you take the next "logical" step and make some sort of sweeping generalization based on those cites.

In this case, for instance, rather than putting up some example of a supposed "religious right" that's being repressed, you put up the "you're only going to discredit the source anyways" smoke screen. Sorry, Joanne, but I think its more of a cop-out than anything else.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The problem is is that these sources you cite for making some of your more extreme arguments tend to base their position on nothing more than conjecture and hearsay.

So you're referring to Lifesite?

Swift said...

I have not come across a figure for the percentage of taxes paid by Canadians prior to the post World War Two era. However just a moments reflection would show that it would have increased, but not because of social programs. The incresed percentage of urban population meant that many more people had such things as sewers, municipal water, full time fire departments, and increased policing. In 1917 Grade 8 diploma was considered an adequate education for many occupations. In 1917 automobiles were relatively rare, and good allweather roads even rarer outside the major cities.
The increased government spending in this era made huge improvements in the lives of most Canadians. It was money well spent.

Starting in the late fifties, the left introduced a greatly expanded government designed to cure all our social problems and produce a utopia within a generation. The first priority was to eliminate poverty. The success of the huge amount of spending on these programs can neatly be summed up by a 2003 study that made the following headlines "Record level of child poverty." It has been more than a generation, yet the poverty level has gone up! Billions spent yearly, benefits to Canadians: negative.

Health Care

Before universal medicare most Canadians enjoed the worlds second best health care system. There were four problem areas:

1. The very poor who could not afford proper medical care and received substandard medical care as charity cases.

2. Remote under serviced areas.

3. Poeple who could afford medical insurance but foolishly did not buy it, and then were faced with large medical bills.

4. Poeple with long term chronic illnesses that needed expensive long term treatments.

The right wing opponents of the current medicare system did not dispute the fact that improvements should be made. But yhey said that medicare would result in ever increasing costs with ever decreasing quality of medical care for most Canadians.

The reslts of our left wing medical medical system.

1. Quality of care;

The last rankings of all United Nations member nations health care systems in the year 2000 placed the Canadian system at number thirty. The only worse performance by a national health care system during the medicare era is the US system, which dropped out of the top thirty from number one. Which explains why the left wing so often claims that we have only two choices in health care systems, our way or the US way. It's the only one that makes our sytem look good by comparison.

Doctor shortage. The doctor shortage has spread from the remote areas to cover all of Canada.

Waiting times. Waiting times in emergency rooms have increased dramatically. Waiting times for nonemergency procedures have increased even more dramatically.

Family doctors. An ever growing number of Canadians cannot get a family doctor.(reversing the innitial improvement.)

Low income families could get insurance through pSI, a geared to income low cost, non profit, insurance provider run by the doctors themselves. This enabled most people to get access to the second best health care system in the world. Now only the rich can afford to get that kind of treatment by going outside the country and paying for it themselves. Apparently you should include in number Paul Martin, who reportedly pays for US health insurance.

the cost.

I have no knowledge of any ranking of the cost of all national health care systems comparable to the World Health Organization ranking for quality. However we are the second highest spending nation in the Group of Seven. This could mean that we are still paying for the second best health care system in the world. Again the only worse record is the US. More on the cpp and education later. There's a few things I've got to do today.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CC - Would you accept this as evidence that parents who feel their religious and moral values are being overrided have something to complain about?

counter-coulter said...

Joanne (True Blue) said...
CC - Would you accept this as evidence that parents who feel their religious and moral values are being overrided have something to complain about?


Since we've already discussed the issue you cited in a previous thread, I won't attempt to rehash it here.

But to answer your question, No. A group of people doing some moral hand-wringing over the concept of diversity being taught in the classroom does not constitute a violation of anyone's religious rights. No more than the teaching of evolution, legalized abortion or same sex marriage is a violation of one's religious rights.

How has the example that you cited violated anyone's Freedom of Religion? By which I mean their ability to worship as they choose. You seem to want to equate one's moral outrage at something as being on par with a violation of their religious rights, which is just not the case. Or worse yet, that everyone subscribe to a set of moral standards that your religion affords you to the exclusion of everyone else's beliefs, which would definitely be a violation of others religious rights.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Set our marriage commissioners free

Source - National Post
Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Re: The Endangered Homophobe, John Moore, Oct. 6.

Physicians in Canada -- whose duty is to provide medical services and who are paid to do so with public funds -- have the right to refuse to provide non-emergency medical services if it conflicts with their values, beliefs or conscience. In such cases, they are required to help patients obtain the services from another physician. It is ludicrous that marriage commissioners can't be guaranteed the same right.

Dr. Christiane Dauphinais, Toronto.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

National Post

Published: Saturday, October 07, 2006
Re: The Endangered Homophobe, John Moore, Oct. 6.

One of the reasons I disagree with Mr. Moore's views is that many of those who are provincially licensed to perform marriages were given their appointments before the same-sex marriage issue became an issue. Therefore, requiring these people to bend their beliefs to keep their appointments is a very nasty imposition that goes again their Charter rights. Those commissioners who did not want to perform gay marriages should have the right to refer gays to those who will. The only problem is the prevailing intolerance of the gay community to exclude those whose beliefs do not align with themselves.

And before members of that community begin to shriek, I was one of those who attended seminars and brought back information to my church community so that they would understand that having gays marry in the church would not result in an incendiary ending.

Freda Stewart, Calgary.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

National Post

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Your editorial makes a crucial distinction that many failed to make in recent comment pieces on the proposed Tory legislation to protect religious opinions. On one hand, you question the validity of the federal government intruding on provincial jurisdiction in "seeking to regulate the procedural aspect of marriage ceremonies." Fair point. But on the other hand, you also insist that the second aim of the legislation, "to protect Christians (and other religious types) who articulate church doctrine in regard to homosexuality" is necessary. I agree.

There are many in Canadian society who do not concur with the Church's teachings on homosexuality. But that does not mean that adherents of the Church should not have the right to express and believe the teachings of their respective faiths. However, labels such as "homophobic" are commonly attached to anyone who dissents from the gay lobby's efforts to make their lifestyle mainstream.

Here is a news flash for those who think religious dissent on this issue is just an expression of backwardness and should be censored: It is possible for someone to disagree with the homosexual lifestyle and not be guilty of a hate crime. Since it appears that many refuse to accept that as a fact, Canadians need a law to protect them from that particularly insidious kind of intolerance.

Charles Bernard, Burlington, Ont.

counter-coulter said...

Joanne (True Blue) said...
Wed Oct 11, 01:07:45 PM EDT
Wed Oct 11, 01:10:26 PM EDT
Wed Oct 11, 01:15:21 PM EDT


A bunch of letters to the editor on an opinion piece is evidence of what exactly? That some people disagreed with Moore's take on DORA? And this is a violation of Freedom of Religion how???

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Argue with the editors of the National Post.

(From Oct. 6 editorial)

"...The federal Parliament has wide power over the federal human rights commission (though not its provincial equivalents). More importantly, it controls criminal law, and Canada's Criminal Code deals with hate speech. Given the current climate, DORA would be of value in making clear that expressions of moral and religious opinions about sexual orientation do not amount to hate speech.

Already we have seen unfortunate examples in Canada whereby religious Christians who simply have been articulating Church doctrine in regard to homosexuality and gay unions have been censured and punished by human rights tribunals. It is not fanciful to imagine that these same individuals might, in future years, be thrown behind bars for expressing their religious beliefs.

Any new law should specify clearly that those who oppose same-sex marriage should not be at risk of hate-speech charges. More broadly, Canadians should be free to say that homosexual practices are forbidden by God or contrary to natural law, or that they are symptoms of a mental illness or amount to a disorder, as the late Pope John Paul II put it.

While we do not believe any of this to be true, millions of traditionally minded Canadians do -- and it is not the role of the criminal law to prohibit the expression of views that, however unfashionable in the modern era, are deeply rooted in true religious faith and conviction, and indeed defined mainstream thought within living memory.

True, hate speech against homosexuals does exist, however. Incitement to assault or kill any group of human beings, or to make them subject to murderous hatred, should remain illegal. The history of the 20th century shows that extremist rhetoric -- calling any group "a cancer on society," for instance -- leads down dark paths. But not every expression opposing homosexuality is or should be criminal.

New federal legislation protecting freedom of speech and conscience in this way might seem merely declaratory. But a measured, well-worded and authoritative statement from the Parliament of Canada would help to shield the Canadian people from our homegrown fanatics of political correctness."

counter-coulter said...

Joanne (True Blue) said...
Argue with the editors of the National Post.


Argue what? Some editorial that makes slippery slope arguments over hypothetical scenarios in favor of proposed legislation to combat some phantom PC menace? Yeah...that's real solid evidence of individuals' Freedom of Religion being violated.

You know for all this bleating about the PC mob, it seems to me that it is the conservatives that tend to be the hyper-sensitive ones where outrage pours at the drop of a hat.

Zac said...

Starting in the late fifties, the left introduced a greatly expanded government designed to cure all our social problems and produce a utopia within a generation.

So, your basic complaint is with the post world war II expansionist welfare state?

And by left, I would assume that you're including Dief, Mulroney and Clark? Because they are "red tory's"?

Your critique of universal health care, is accurate, but you place the burdon of that onto only Liberals and NDPers, forgetting the fact that most health care is conducted by the provinces, albeit dependant on transfer payments from the feds. The majority of directives concerning health care come from the provinces which actually administer the programs, with little federal intrusion.

So, every problem with the health care system, considering the substantial time in office of PC governments, both federal and provincial, is still the fault of the so-called "left".

I'm also wondering how the "left" screwed up the education system so badly. Plus, I would still like to know which universities in Canada have set up remedial courses in English for Canadian high school grads - who do not have learning disabilities.

Swift said...

There is life outside the
blog universe, but I'm back. Just a quick comment on zac's last post. You can start your search for remedial English classes with Queen's. Jackpot!
Not all problems are caused by the left. I pointed out that health care in Canada was not perfect before medicare. My problem with the left is that their solutions don't work! The only people who have better health care are those few who could not afford even reduced premium health care, or those who were too cheap to buy health care insurance they could afford and were unlucky in their health needs. The rest of us have worse health care. The left wing solutions to poverty have not reduced poverty.
Be back after dinner with the CPP comments because I'm SOOOO glad you asked!

Zac said...

You can start your search for remedial English classes with Queen's.

The program at Queens is for students whose first language is not English. Most universities have such a program for international students and students who have learning disabilities but I have no idea what that has to do with the state of the public education system in Canada, of which you have yet to tell me how exactly the "left" screwed up.

The left wing solutions to poverty have not reduced poverty.

And the policy from the "right" have?

Be back after dinner with the CPP comments because I'm SOOOO glad you asked!

Spare me. I have a copy of "tax me I'm Canadian" as well that I can just as easily thumb through.

Swift said...

Canada Pension Plan
The origional CPP can be summed up in one word: Ponzi.
For those of you not familiar with the venacular of a certain segment of the criminal element, a Ponzi scheme is a FRAUD which promises the investors in it returns that cannot be met. The scheme appears to be legiamit at first because the promised payments are made from the investors capital, not the promised earnings. If a private individual had set up a pension plan with the exact same terms as th CPP, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN FACING FRAUD CHARGES.
Since I was too young to retire before the mid nineties, I was forcerd to p-ay into a pension plan that Iknew would haver no money to give me any retirement benifits.

The new improved CPP.

The new CPP has one big advantage. It's not guaranteed to go bankrupt. this takes it out of the absolute fraud category and puts it into a hell of a lousy deal category.

If you invested $2000 a year at about 8% return for 45 years you would end up with about %750,000. This is the empoyee contributions for a person earning slightly under $24,000, and the expected returns of many pension plans.

During the average 20 year retirement the money will double making your yearly pension $75,000 from your own contributions alone.
Is the CPP going to pay you this much? Not a chance! Even with your employers hefty contributions you will get far less money for your retirement than your own contributions should get you.


Is there any hope of getting the CPP benefit to a reasonable level?
Not from the Liberals or the NDP. They keep saying that the CPP is a great deal. The Conservatives have two different proposals thaat I know about.

Swift said...

special for zac

The Queen's reference was based on a radio interview with a Queen's official. Could not find a referance to the course on their website. However I can not guarantee that it is not there.
Giving up on that site I went to the U of Waterloo and visited the Math department. A requirement for ALL students is a passing mark in a special English test. Those that fail have five options. A free non credit writing clinic or one of four credit courses. Read the course descriptions and weep.

Zac said...

A requirement for ALL students is a passing mark in a special English test. Those that fail have five options. A free non credit writing clinic or one of four credit courses.

Those are mostly for students with english as their second language. International students must pass the TOELF test to gain admittance to a Canadian university, but that only covers basic reading and writing skills. Domestic students have to acheive a mark of at least 70% in English courses for admittance. Given the number of transfer agreements that the University of Waterloo has, such a program is expected.

All university's have remedial courses in english, math and science for students with learning disabilities as well as courses in essay writing, proper test taking, project management, and time management but mostly reflect the difficulty transitioning from high school that most students experience and, in my estimation, do not in any way show a drastic meltdown in our public education system.

Swift said...

Let me put this very simply.

1.All math students must take the test.

2. Only those who fail must take one of five different options.

3. Only one of these options is for ESL students

4. These course do not have to be taken by those students who pass the entrance test

5. The special needs of students with disabilities at U of W and Laurier are handled by offices on an individual basis as each case is unique. There are no special classes for these students that I am aware of. I have attende both and their general policy for handling students with special needs has not changed for years to my knowledge.

Tere are five options for those who fail the test. One of them is for nonenglish speakers. none of them are special classes for the disabled. None are required courses for those that pass the test. Who takes the other four courses other than english speaking highschool graduates?


One of the problems in the educational system is the gradual errosion of standards in the system. An essay thatgot a bare pass 40 or 50 years ago would get a much higher mark today. This has even creeped into the university level.
Several years ago I read an essay in a first year university course that I had taken previously. Shining through the abysmal English was the students complete lack of understanding of the subject matter. Yet yhis essay received a passing mark. Your minimum 705 mark in English(if true, I have not checked) does not imply the same proficiency in English that it would have 40 years ago.

Zac said...

One of the problems in the educational system is the gradual errosion of standards in the system. An essay thatgot a bare pass 40 or 50 years ago would get a much higher mark today.

Oh, so it's a conspiracy from the "left" to dumb our kids down and then make them feel smarter by raising their grades. How silly of me to have not seen your point earlier.

Consider my earlier comment retracted fine sir.