“You can only take these as signs of how the government wants to be seen.”

by matttbastard

After Stockwell Day announced last week that the Canadian government would no longer seek clemency for Canadians on death row “who have been tried in a democratic country that supports the rule of law” (ie, the United States), Uncle Steve tried to assure a skeptical public that he harboured “no desire to open the debate on capital punishment here in Canada.” My black ass; as Harry Sterling recently wrote, Harper “is a leader who increasingly appears to base his foreign policy actions more on his personal or ideological biases than on what may be in the best interests of Canada.” Liberal MP Dan McTeague nailed it when he said that “[f]oreign policy is always a mirror of our domestic values.

Yesterday, Harper’s hidden domestic agenda was once again betrayed by its international reflection:

Canada said Wednesday that it will not co-sponsor a United Nations resolution calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty, breaking a nearly decade-old tradition by a country that has long prided itself on its opposition to capital punishment…

Canada will vote in favor of the U.N. resolution in December, but will not sponsor it, Foreign Affairs Department spokeswoman Catherine Gagnaire said Wednesday.

“There are a sufficient number of co-sponsors already, and we will focus our efforts on co-sponsoring other resolutions within the U.N. system which are more in need of our support,” Gagnaire said.

That’s right, ’cause cosponsoring a UN resolution is such hard goddamn work:

Cosponsorship does not involve much more effort than a phone call or raising a hand during a meeting, said Canada’s former ambassador to the U.N., Paul Heinbecker.

“You can only take these as signs of how the government wants to be seen,” Heinbecker said.

With this latest bullish diplomatic gesture, Uncle Steve and Co. again come across as all-too-eager to visibly sacrifice longstanding Canadian principles in order to incrementally further a marginal, far-right ideology, while simultaneously satiating the Old Testament bloodlust of their theocon base. All, it should be noted, entirely contrary to the will of the majority.

To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, every decent Canadian should be ashamed of the government we live under.

(h/t Scruffy Dan)

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I Am Beginning To Heart Toronto Sun Family

by matttbastard

Their latest Marsden update is absolutely delicious:

One respected op ed columnist tells TSF: “You may also want to note on Sun Family that Marsden actually alleges some sort of Liberal conspiracy headed by Lou Clancy as the reason for her firing. WOW – I was always taught to leave a job graciously.”


TSF also received these “anonymous” comments and we’ll leave it to our readers to judge their merit:

“Be real. This blog has never liked Marsden because she’s not a “day one-er” and shows up the old-timers. Warmington, Granatstein, Goldstein, Williamson, Jennings, Pyette, and everyone who has actually worked with her has always liked her and have nothing but good things to say about her.

And she didn’t get “thrown out” of Fox. She left a variety show to do politics with CNN and got escorted out, as did Paula Zahn and Kiran Chetry when they left Fox.

You’re making stuff up that doesn’t exist. And your seething jealousy and hatred are all too evident.”

(TSF: Jealousy and hatred? We have barely mentioned Rachel since we launched this blog. Toronto Sun readers repulsed by her flippant attitude about torture have said more about her in two days than we have in the past year. Good luck in her new ventures.)


“Marsden always lands on her feet, at CNN for example. Controversy sells, she’ll do just fine, as usual. You have to applaud those who stand by their principles, as she does.”

Well, TSF does applaud Toronto Sun management for standing by their principles, siding with readers and showing Marsden the door. They will most likely avoid Ann Coulter-style writing in the future.

A (capital ‘L’) ‘Liberal conspiracy’ spearheaded by her (now former) boss. Riiiight.

Also: TSF has a poll up on the main page asking readers how they’d like to fill the column space formerly occupied by Marsden. Go vote!

Finally, Dave @ The Galloping Beaver recommends sending emails to Sun editor-in-chief (and apparent co-conspirator) Lou Clancy thanking him for the swift, decisive response, and rejection of ‘Ann Coulter-style writing’ in the pages of the Sun.  Hats off to you, Lou!

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PSA: Solidarity With PWF

by matttbastard

Via LabourStart:

ITUC joins Pakistan Workers’ Federation in Calling for Restoration of Democracy

Brussels, 5 November 2007: The ITUC has joined its Pakistan affiliate, the PWF, in calling for the immediate restoration of the rule of law, the country’s Constitution and the fundamental democratic rights of its people. Fundamental rights including freedom of association and of assembly have been suspended under the state of emergency imposed by Pakistan’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, heavy restrictions have been imposed on the media, members of the opposition have been detained, and the government is placing further pressure on lawyers and the judiciary.

“The Constitution, rule of law and proper democratic processes must be restored”, said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “General Musharraf’s actions represent a huge step backwards for the whole country, and any attempt to deal with the tensions which exist within Pakistan cannot succeed unless it is based on the full exercise of democratic rights by the people of Pakistan”.

Restrictions which are being imposed on the holding of meetings and demonstrations will have a particuarly heavy impact on Pakistan’s workforce, as their trade unions will be unable to function freely and effectively to represent workers and support their rights. The ITUC calls on the authorities to respect Pakistan’s international obligations, in particular concerning freedom of association, and to take immediate steps to end the state of emergency and enable the elections scheduled for January 2008 to take place in full freedom and fairness.

Related: IUF – “Trade Unionists Arrested In Pakistan Clampdown”:

On November 5; in Karachi, trade unions took the lead in organizing, together with civil society organizations, a protest at the Karachi Press Club. Police arrested the convener of the PC Hotel Workers Solidarity Committee, Liaqat Ali Sahi, and two members of the Solidarity Committee, G. Fareed Awan, Assistant General Secretary of the All-Pakistan Trade Unions’ Federation (APTUF) and Ayub Qureshi, Information Secretary of the Pakistan Trade Union Federation (PTUF). Police also baton charged and arrested journalists and press photographers. The journalists and photographers were released later but not the trade union leaders, who were remanded by court decision to remain in police custody for two days.

More from the PTUDC; full Pakistan coverage @ LabourStart.

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V-Day: Rachel Marsden Turfed From The Toronto Sun!!11

by matttbastard

From Toronto Sun Family:

“Attention terrorists and Islamofascists: You can now read the Toronto Sun without having your delicate sensibilities offended, as my weekly column is no longer with Sun Media. I am currently exploring US syndication and other venues for the column. In the meantime, you can continue to read it here at RachelMarsden.com, every Monday. And yes (to respond to some of your queries), after more than 2 years of writing weekly for the Sun, I’ve been under a new Editor-in-Chief, Lou Clancy, since October 5th, who comes from Canada’s most liberal newspaper: The Toronto Star. My column about Islam was spiked on his first day at the job. Best of luck to any principled conservatives who remain.”

– Rachel Marsden, November 7/07

Her ass must have a thick layer of callous from doors hitting it so often. 

 (Nice  work, brethren.)

Update: pale @ ACR: “The Man With No Point, who started all of this has a diary on the KOS rec list this morning, in celebration. he deserves it. Go give him some love.

Big ups TMWNP for kickin’ off the campaign.  Without you none of this would have been possible.  Good show, old bean!

Update 2: h/t exposedmusic for passing along the good news.

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