Sunday, March 29, 2015 

"We're Number 11 ... We're Number 11" ... (Canada slips to 11th place of developed nations in the world under Harper)


Canada drops out of top 10 most developed countries list

The United Nations human development index now ranks Canada as 11th

Canada has slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation's human development index — a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade.
The 2013 report, which reviews a country's performance in health, education and income, places Canada in 11th place versus 10th last year.
A closer look at the trends shows Canada actually did better than last year, but other countries such as Japan and Australia improved at a greater rate.
When the numbers are adjusted for gender inequality, Canada slumps to 18th place. The United States fares even worse -- sinking from third to 42nd place.
"I think it's really sad to see that we've dropped so far under the Conservatives," said deputy NDP leader Megan Leslie.
"And I think it reinforces what the NDP has been saying, but also what organizations like the Conference Board of Canada have been saying, about the fact that there's a growing income inequality gap in Canada.
"That gap creates serious problems, and I don't think the Conservatives have been taking it seriously."
The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to a request for comment on the rankings.
CBC

Thursday, February 05, 2015 

Sask Premier Brad Wall May Use 'Notwithstanding Clause' To Sidestep Supreme Court Decision On Right To Strike ...





Premier Brad Wall continues to hold firm to the base ideology of a 'businesses over persons' ideologue and says he may invoke the Canadian Constitution's 'notwithstanding clause' to suppress a working persons right to strike in Saskatchewan.
CBC
The notwithstanding clause was used previously in Saskatchewan by Wall's former employer, disgraced Conservative Premier Grant Devine. 

"In 1986, the Saskatchewan legislature introduced back-to-work legislation to end a strike by public service employees. The government introduced the legislation based on the grounds it needed to protect the general public from the harm associated with the disruption of government service caused by the strike. The legislature went a step further by making a Notwithstanding declaration to protect the back-to-work law from any Charter scrutiny by the judiciary (in particular, to protect the legislation from being found unconstitutional on the grounds it violated a possible right to strike under the Charter). "
Mapleleafweb

Tuesday, February 03, 2015 

Sask Premier Brad Wall Trivializes Supreme Court Ruling That Protects A Person's Right To Strike In Canada ...




"... while Friday’s ruling could embolden the union moment, Wall senses that the rest of the public will be indifferent or even resentful of the unions’ legal win. At least, that sure seemed the case Friday afternoon, when he quite literally laughed off the potential multi-million loss by posting on Twitter that re-signed Rider Weston Dressler “was one essential service the Supreme Court can’t take away.”
It was an ill-thought tweet, considering Wall’s own political game-playing and anti-labour partisanship may have just cost us millions. But he’ll likely get away with it.
If Wall’s good at one thing, it’s doing just enough to downplay his failings — even when they are coming right from the Supreme Court."
Murray Mandryk

Mandryk is the political columnist for the Leader-Post

Thursday, January 15, 2015 

With Oil Prices Tanking, Thank Gawd That Premier Brad Wall Set Aside Some Royalty Money For Saskatchewan's Hard Times

... oh wait!!! That never happened!! Brad Wall blew a multi billion dollar surplus left to him by the former government AND he allowed the Oil industry to extract Billions of dollars out of the ground in the last 7 years with only a pittance in resource royalties paid to the province AND he spent every nickel that came into the public treasury!!

So much for the 'Saskatchewan Advantage' Brad !!!! :(

Monday, December 22, 2014 

New York Times Editorial Board Calls For Prosecution Of Bush, Cheney And Torturers !

"Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed, or even any accounting of why they were not filed.

Mr. Obama has said multiple times that "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards," as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.

Americans have known about many of these acts for years, but the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality: In addition to new revelations of sadistic tactics like "rectal feeding," scores of detainees were waterboarded, hung by their wrists, confined in coffins, sleep-deprived, threatened with death or brutally beaten. In November 2002, one detainee who was chained to a concrete floor died of "suspected hypothermia."

These are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of "severe physical or mental pain or suffering." They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.

So it is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were. As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal.

In July 2002, C.I.A. lawyers told the Justice Department that the agency needed to use "more aggressive methods" of interrogation that would "otherwise be prohibited by the torture statute." They asked the department to promise not to prosecute those who used these methods. When the department refused, they shopped around for the answer they wanted. They got it from the ideologically driven lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, who wrote memos fabricating a legal foundation for the methods. Government officials now rely on the memos as proof that they sought and received legal clearance for their actions. But the report changes the game: We now know that this reliance was not made in good faith.

No amount of legal pretzel logic can justify the behavior detailed in the report. Indeed, it is impossible to read it and conclude that no one can be held accountable. At the very least, Mr. Obama needs to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch are to give Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. a letter Monday calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears increasingly to be "a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes."

The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? That will depend on what an investigation finds, and as hard as it is to imagine Mr. Obama having the political courage to order a new investigation, it is harder to imagine a criminal probe of the actions of a former president.

But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen.

One would expect Republicans who have gone hoarse braying about Mr. Obama’s executive overreach to be the first to demand accountability, but with one notable exception, Senator John McCain, they have either fallen silent or actively defended the indefensible. They cannot even point to any results: Contrary to repeated claims by the C.I.A., the report concluded that "at no time" did any of these techniques yield intelligence that averted a terror attack. And at least 26 detainees were later determined to have been "wrongfully held."

Starting a criminal investigation is not about payback; it is about ensuring that this never happens again and regaining the moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions
The New York Times

Thursday, December 11, 2014 

Like A Rat Fleeing A Sinking Ship, Dick Cheney Throws George Bush Jr. Under The Bus On Torture Responsiblity


This is freaking hilarious! Dick Cheney, the former Vice President of the United States, has dismissed a key point in the report on CIA torture and has, as a result, thrown his former boss under the bus!

"Dick Cheney discussed the newly released Senate torture report Wednesday on Fox News, and in particular challenged a finding that former President George W. Bush hadn't been briefed on the CIA's harsh interrogation methods until years after they'd already been in use.

Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked the former vice president whether the agency deliberately kept Bush in the dark about its so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.
"Not true. Didn't happen," Cheney responded. "Read his book, he talks about it extensively in his memoirs. He was in fact an integral part of the program, he had to approve it before we went forward with it."
Asked if there was ever a point where he knew more about the CIA's activity than the President, Cheney said "I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program."
Baier then asked if the former President knew about the "details" of the program. The report -- which Cheney called "full of crap" -- described brutal interrogation methods including waterboarding, extensive sleep deprivation, threats to harm detainees' families and "rectal feeding."
"I think he knew certainly the techniques, we did discuss the techniques," Cheney said. "There was no effort on our part to keep him from that."
"The notion that the committee's trying to peddle, that somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis, and we weren't being told or the President wasn't being told, is just a flat out lie," he later added."

TPM

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 

St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is the son of a police officer who was shot in the line of duty. In his 24 years as prosecutor, he has never recommended charges against any police officer


(Michael Brown's body was left uncovered on a Ferguson, Missouri street for hours by police. )

So why should we be surprised that NO charges will be laid in the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown?

"McCulloch gave the jury no instruction on what charges they should consider. [...] Giving the grand jury no instruction is equivalent to throwing them into the deep end of the pool with no swimming lessons. They had to work it out for themselves. It's not unusual for the prosecutor to not suggest a specific charge, but it's almost unprecedented for the prosecutor to dump all the evidence on the jury and leave them to figure it out for themselves."
Daily KOS



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