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Loose cannons sometimes blow holes in their own defences

Everyone is aware by now of the farce known as the Omar Khadr showtrial and it’s conclusions by the military jury deciding to not only accept the prosecutor’s recommendation of 25 years, but to go 15 years over that. A symbolic gesture, not only because it was meaningless with Khadr’s plea bargain (a move that appears now to have been correct; the Defence council obviously knew how this would end up), but of how everything was stacked against Khadr from the beginning in this carbon-copy of a Stalinist show-trial (minus the executions). I’ll only note that it’s very interesting to me that this military jury asked to hear the testimony […]


The PMO’s/Dimitri Soudas’s stupid statement of the week

Question to the PMO and Dimitri Soudas – who decided to turn a potential terrorist incident yesterday into partisan politics by claiming Ignatieff’s Liberals wanted to defend Canada with kites, because of their questioning of the costs of the F-35 Stealth Fighter jet, as well as not putting it up for a competitive process bid:

How exactly do 18 billion$ (or more) of 65 F-35 stealth fighters defend Canada against a bomb hidden in a printer ink jet cartridge in the cargo hold of a passenger plane? Do the F-35’s have X-ray vision and can detect bombs in mid-flight? Can it escort a plane to a safe airport or shoot […]


Pick your poison is what Omar Khadr faced.

Given a choice between a stacked military tribunal/kangaroo court, presided over by a Military Judge who had been hand-picked by Bush (who replaced the former Military Judge who had actually given Khadr’s legal team some procedural victories, and was suddenly “re-assigned” in the middle of the trial without explanation) which was going to almost certainly give Khadr life imprisonment (this is the system after all that was set up so that there would be no acquittals, which a former Bush official infamously said), or to do a guilty plea bargain that allowed him to get out of Guantanamo after a year and able to serve the rest of his sentence […]


Hmm.. doubt this occasion will be celebrated much at 24 Sussex today.

Today is United Nations Day; a day that would normally receive disdain in this particular incarnation of the Conservative Party anyways, but probably is getting more antipathy then normal in those quarters after the resounding defeat in the vote at the UN over the rotating Security Council seat to Germany and Portugal.

UPDATE: I just got reminded World Statistics Day was last week – which is another day not circled on this current government’s calendar – seeing as they would rather do away with accurate data and statistics in their decision to cancel the mandatory long-form census.


Conservatives trying to avoid another Maher Arar payout

You might remember Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen who was detained in Sudan on terrorism suspicions, who was then released by the Sudanese when they could find no basis for the charge. The Harper government then tried to keep him out of Canada, claiming he was dangerous (but doing so while they allowed him to take refuge in the Canadian Embassy). A judge would have none of it, and forced the government to allow him to return home. Mr. Abdelrazik understandably decided to sue the government – in this case, 27 million $ for his (mis)treatment. The Conservative government has decided to dig in and claim they owe Mr. Abdelrazik […]


Some Harper hubris coming on UN seat election? We’ll see.

Briefly this AM, and as a short follow up to Impolitical’s thoughts on Canada possibly losing out on the rotating UN Security Council seat up for election, one of the reasons I’ve read that might cost Canada votes – and possibly the seat – was the fact several nations didn’t think Harper should have skipping out on the speeches at the UN over climate change, and questioned Canada’s commitment to tackling serious issues. As you might recall, Harper chose instead to spend part of his time at a Tim Horton’s donut shop, and sent Environment Minister Jim Prentice instead (as I recall, he was at Timmy’s the same day President […]


I hope he takes them to the cleaners.

Not to steal Galloping Beaver’s thunder, but I think this bears repeating:

Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Montreal man who was stranded in Sudan for six years, has been given the green light to sue the federal government and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. In a written ruling released on Monday, the Federal Court gave Abdelrazik the right to proceed with the lawsuit, which is seeking $27 million in damages…

and a bit more:

“The government was arguing that individuals could not sue for torture and they were also arguing that there was no legal duty on the Government of Canada to protect Canadians detained abroad..”

So apparently, the Conservative […]


That coalition trying to take power in Australia is pretty illegitimate, isn’t it, Harper?

Just an aside on the Australian general election that took place over the last few days. Australia’s electoral setup is a modified Westminster-parliamentary system similar to Canada’s (the main difference being they use preferred ballot or Instant Runoff voting to elect their lower house, and Single-Transferable Vote to elect their Senate). The election has resulted in a “hung Parliament”, or a minority Parliament – the first since World War II. The battle is between the Labor Party and the conservative Coalition.

What’s that? A coalition you say?

A coalition of 4 parties actually. It’s led by the Liberal Party (which is not very “liberal”; think of it in the same […]


Monday’s macabre

A few things today:

The Sun Media chain, apparently not content with its one loathsome editorial on the G-G, decided to engage in an almost similar loathsome one on Omar Khadr today (I’d rather link to my progressive colleague Pogge then directly to it). Kory Teneycke has been rather bored, it appears, and decided to dally in the editorials for a couple of days.

Speaking of macabre, this fits the definition nicely too:

Alligator bites off man’s hand in Florida canal

Florida wildlife officials say a 10-foot (3-meter) alligator bit off a man’s hand while he was swimming in a canal with friends..Officials managed to catch the gator and retrieve […]


A sticky topic on a sticky Ontario day

So the PRIDE Toronto parade is over for another year. The topic of controversy again this year was whether or not QuAIA (Queers Against Israeli Apartheid) should be allowed to march into the parade or not. First, they were disbarred; then after considerable pressure, they were reinstated, much to the dismay of some folks – a lot of them who happen to be Toronto mayor candidates (more on that later).

The subject of Israel and Palestine is a hot potato topic I don’t wade into that often, because like the abortion debate, there is often no seemingly middle ground between the 2 sides of the issue. It is polarized into […]

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