Something Stinks (And it’s Not Stockboy’s Wetsuit)

by matttbastard

Stockwell Day: the only person on earth who sucks at bullshitting more than Lindsay Lohan does:

The Bloc rebutted Harper’s criticisms, claiming that in 2000 then-Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day, now Harper’s trade minister, had proposed a coalition with the BQ the day after the Liberals under Jean Chretien won.

“My DNA would never allow me to do a deal with the socialists and my heart would never allow me to do a deal with the separatists,” Day said, claiming he never saw or heard about the document until last night.

Day dared the Bloc to repeat its allegations outside the House, where MPs are not protected against accusations of libel by privilege.

“Maybe he was dreaming this, but for me and Canadians this would have been a nightmare,” Day said.

But minutes later, a BQ official handed out the letter sent by Day.

It proposed “a new consensus government” that would be led by “Stockwell Day as Prime Minister of Canada.”

It referenced talks that had been held on ministers’ jobs, a speech from the throne, and what support the BQ would provide, as well as Joe Clark, then-leader of the PC party.

Come on now, let’s not jump to any conclusions. Maybe Stockboy had a heart transplant in the interim. Hey, I’m trying to be charitable here.

Related: More from the Globe and Mail on the 2000 Canadian Alliance separatist-wooing coalition plot, which, as reporter Daniel LeBlanc dryly notes, “undermines the Harper government’s line this week that it would never sign a deal like the current one between the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Bloc.” Make sure to check out this PDF copy of the letter that Stockboy so glibly dismissed as a kooky BQ fever dream (before reality viciously woke him up with a slap upside the head).

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More Cobblestones on the Road to Hell

by matttbastard

Here in the Great White North, accountability is out and banality is in as The Nuremberg Defence seems to be enjoying a resurgence in respectability.

CBC News:

The actions of Canadian officials contributed indirectly to the torture of three Arab-Canadian men in Syria, a federal inquiry has concluded.

“I found no evidence that any of these officials were seeking to do anything other than carry out conscientiously the duties and responsibilities of the institutions of which they were a part,” former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci concluded in his report, made public Tuesday, 22 months after the inquiry began.

The probe focused on whether the detentions of Abdullah Almalki, Muayyed Nureddin and Ahmad El Maati resulted from the actions of CSIS, the RCMP and the department of Foreign Affairs and whether Canadian consular officials acted appropriately in the cases.

“It is neither necessary nor appropriate that I make findings concerning the actions of any individual Canadian official, and I have not done so,” Iacobucci wrote.

More from The Toronto Star:

The Iacobucci report concludes that all three men were detained and suffered mistreatment that amounted to torture as defined in the United Nations convention banning torture.

El Maati, Almalki and Nureddin were, separately, detained and imprisoned in 2001, 2002, and 2003 respectively while travelling in Syria.

All were interrogated and, Iacobucci concluded, tortured at the same Syrian military prison as Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian who was deported by U.S. authorities to Syria.

El Maati was also sent to Egypt where Iacobucci accepts he underwent further torture.

The men claimed their interrogators relied on information that could only have been gleaned from Canadian authorities, and that Canadian security and police agencies were complicit in their mistreatment.

But Iacobucci stops well short of indicting the Canadian officials for complicity.

And what do the Little Eichmanns in Canada’s New Government™ have to say about the matter?

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day declined to apologize, telling reporters, “This government can’t take responsibility for processes in place under a previous government.”

He claimed the procedures and “deficiencies” identified in this and the previous Arar inquiry have been “vastly improved,” and suggested that if the reforms his government had made were in place at the time, the incidents might not have occurred.

But Day did not single out any agency or officials for blame. He pointed to the Iacobucci report which said people were carrying out “conscientiously” the duties of their institutions.

“It’s more a case of good people acting with deficient procedures and deficient policies.”

“Justice, truth, the value of a single human being”? Pfft–go back to your September 10th fantasy world, Haywood, and tell it to Jean and Paul. Partisanship über alles.

Related: Almalki, Nureddin and El Maati discuss how their lives have been upended by their horrific experiences, along with the sense of betrayal felt thanks to the (indirect!) actions of Canadian government officials; Amnesty International Canada condemns the inquiry, warning that the probe “extended secrecy to everything, not just the national security concerns” and, as a result, “[excluded] the suspects and public from the proceedings in their entirety“. The 544 page public (read: heavily redacted) version of the Iacobucci whitewash report is available here (PDF)

Update: More from Alison @ The Beav

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PSA: Demand Answers About ‘Agent Provocateurs’ In Montebello

by matttbastard

Demand a public inquiry:

Paul Manley, the Council of Canadians chapter activist whose video footage of three agents provocateurs at the Montebello SPP summit this past August made waves on YouTube and sparked cries for a public inquiry, has just released a new edit that clearly shows undercover Sureté de Quebec officers provoking a line of police officers.

According to an article in the Globe and Mail [this past Wednesday]: “Mr. Manly thinks there should be an inquiry into police activity at Montebello, a demand repeated in the House of Commons yesterday by his MP, Jean Crowder (NDP – Nanaimo-Cowichan). Rocks were thrown that day and he wonders who launched them. Could be protesters. Could be cops. Who knows?”

Exactly — who knows? There are many unanswered questions about police tactics at the Montebello summit, which is why several groups are calling for a public inquiry, including:

Click here to add your voice to the list by sending a personal letter to Prime Minister Harper.

h/t Berlynn @ Bread And Roses

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Mein Stock in Himmel!

by matttbastard

Holy humpin’ Himmler, Dave @ The Beav called out Stockboy, Godwin be damned:

This is what Day said.

One person was killed who didn’t have to be killed

Does that mean that Day believes there are those who should be killed? It is not acceptable that he misspoke. He is a minister of the Crown: equivalent to the vice-president of a major global corporation. Every word he speaks means something. And, it’s right there, he believes there are people who should be killed.

Explain yourself, minister.

Those words come right from the pages of Aufbau einer Nation, written in 1934.

Explain yourself, Mr. Day, or accept that sometime in the next 72 hours I will, without apology, hang you up there with one of the worst human beings of the 20th Century.

Hey now, let’s not be too hard on ol’ Stock. We should be grateful that he took off his wetsuit before shaking us up with his typically asinine blatherings–and without any props to further illustrate the utterly specious (if not passively eliminationist) sentiments to boot! Credit where credit is due, my partisan brethren (yes, yes, the soft bigotry of low expectations, etc).

UpdateMatt Guerin:

Every time Day opens his mouth and the super ‘Public Safety Minister’ appears below him on the news or in Parliament, a chill goes down my spine. I’ll never forget how much of a wacko leader he turned out to be. I don’t think most moderate Canadians will forget that either. The fact Day continues to hold such power in the Harper government scares the crap out of me.

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Stockboy’s Fish Market

by matttbastard

red-herring-web.jpg

Canadians want answers; instead, our Public Safety Minister offers logical fallacies:

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says he wishes Canadians were as outraged over impaired driving deaths as they are over the death of a Polish immigrant shot with a Taser by police.

[…]

The minister told a crowd in the B.C. Interior on Saturday [ie, the day of the funeral-mb] that Dziekanski’s death was “tragic.”

“Quite rightly, the whole nation is aghast…. One person was killed who didn’t have to be killed,” said Day, MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.

But he says drunk-driving accidents also claim the lives of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and other loved ones, “and where’s the shock and horror?”

Chet Scofield (h/t) explains how Stockboy is, in essence, concern-trolling the public conversation regarding the killing of Robert Dziekanski:

Red herrings can derail discussions very quickly if you’re not careful. But in this case, Day is not only trying to confuse the issue. He’s also attempting to create the illusion of holding the moral high ground. By invoking a different, unrelated, serious societal problem and accusing Canadians of not caring about it, Day is essentially trying to shame his listeners into shutting up: how dare you talk about problem A when you aren’t even mentioning problem B? You must be very bad people.

Once again, I defer to Greg Weston’s by-now rhetorical (if not requisite) question: “Why is Stockwell Day still in charge of the Mounties?”

Related: More from Leftdog on how Stockboy is “comparing apples to snowmobiles” with his ridiculous and intellectually offensive statements.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

“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)

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Slacker Friday: Message Received, Loud And Clear

by matttbastard

“We will not actively pursue bringing back to Canada murderers who have been tried in a democratic country that supports the rule of law… .

“It would send a wrong message. We want to preserve public safety here in Canada.”

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, announcing on Thursday that the Canadian government would no longer seek clemency for Ronald Allen Smith or any other Canadians facing the death penalty abroad

“People should be held responsible for their crimes in other democratic jurisdictions and we will not interfere with their process when there has been a fair trial.

– slimy Conservative toady Peter Van Loan in Parliament on Friday, once again nimbly attempting to defend the indefensible via rote repetition of empty Tory talking points

“We have no desire to open the debate on capital punishment here in Canada and likewise we have no desire to participate in the debate on capital punishment in the United States… .

“Were we to intervene, it would very quickly become a question of whether we are prepared to repatriate a double-murderer to Canada… . In light of this government’s strong initiatives on tackling violent crime, I think that would send the wrong signal to the Canadian population.”

PM Stephen Harper, once again showing where his principles reside (apparently somewhere south of Stalin)

“Foreign policy is always a mirror of our domestic values.”

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, pointing at the elephant standing on the Tory platform

Let’s not mince words: Uncle Steve, Stockboy [insert now-requisite Gord Weston quote here, paraphrased thusly: “Why is Stockwell Day still in charge of anything?”] and the rest of the Stephen Harper Party have, in essence, callously reopened the death penalty question by proxy (possibly unsealing a diplomatic can of worms in the process). As Mark Warren of Amnesty International-Canada observes, the abrupt decision “puts Canada in the unenviable position of being the only country in the world that’s abolished the death penalty that now refuses to seek clemency on behalf of its death-sentenced citizens abroad.” Yep, the Tories are willing to throw away “decades of Canadian foreign policy,” simply to gain a little pre-election partisan traction (yeah, yeah, tough on crime, yada yada — we fucking get it, already).

In light of the less-than-stellar record of the US as of late with regards to the whole ‘liberal democracy’ racket, pogge wonders “how bad would it actually have to get before Canada resumed its previous opposition to the death penalty when the country in question is the United States?” Considering what little effort thus far the Tories have put into assisting squicky Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, I don’t think we’re even close to kissing the line.

Related: JJ throws down the gauntlet and sez ‘put up or shut up’ to purportedly ‘pro-life’ Papists:

[I]t’s not unreasonable to expect Canadian Catholics to ask the big cheeses at the Vatican to make the same threats of excommunication, denial of communion etc. [to Catholic CPoC MPs who support the new death penalty policy] that they’ve been making against pro-choice and pro-gay marriage politicians.

And via both pogge and JJ, Chet Scoville drops mad science on tha nail-meets-head tip:

Can we please pull the plug on this government now? The most basic function of any government is securing its citizens’ rights, at home and abroad. Citizenship is supposed to mean something. When a government abdicates that responsibility, it has no business being in power any longer.

[Update: Chet hones his point further:

This has nothing to do with politics in any usual sense. This is not about tax policy, or about any of the other matters upon which Canadian parties have disagreed and will disagree. This is a basic principle that has been upheld by all parties and by Canada as a whole for decades. It’s what government is for. This is about right and wrong, and is not relative to the situation or to expedience. This new decision introduces relativism into an area where it has no place.

That’s why this matters.

Read. Whole. Damn. Thing.]
Elsewhere: Rachel looks at the recent attempt by aid workers representing a European NGO to take 103 purportedly orphaned children from Chad and bring them to France, where it is assumed that the poor, pitiful wittle darlings would have all been placed with nice (most likely white/middle class) families. One burdensome problem with this narrative: “virtually all” of these children are not orphans. The aid workers now stand accused of child trafficking and violating international laws:

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called the attempt to separate the more than 100 young Chadian children from their parents and then take them to France for adoption an “illegal and totally irresponsible move.” The UN said the children had family in the country.

“They are not orphans and they were not sitting alone in the desert in Chad, they were living with their families in communities,” Annette Rehrl of U.N. refugee agency UNHCR told Reuters in Abeche.

UNICEF spokesperson Veronique Taveau told journalists in Geneva that what happened had violated international rules, such as The Hague Convention on international adoption and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

[…]

“My parents had gone to work in the fields. As we were playing some Chadians came and said here are some sweets, why don’t you follow us to Adre and then we’ll take you home. We were taken to the hospital in Adre,” said a young boy who gave his name as Osman. Adre is a town on the Chad-Sudan border.

“We spent seven days in Adre and I’ve been here in Abeche for more than one month. We were well fed by the whites, there was always food. I would like to go back to find my parents,” he told reporters at the Abeche orphanage where the children are being cared for by local and international aid workers.

As Rachel aptly notes, “[i]ncidents like this contribute to the destruction [of] black families, and I suspect these aid workers felt no need to respect the rights of poor black African families.” Hey, if Madge can get away with it

Finally: via Donna Darko, an important PSA:

International Day of Action for Community Response to Sexual Assault

November 30th 2007

We are calling for people to organise in their own towns and cities to take action on this day. This means whatever it means to you – maybe organising in your school, occupying an office or a court or a police station, holding a rally, making a publication, talking to people, or anything you can think of.

The government has used sexual assault to justify the military invasion, removal of land permits, and denial of Indigenous autonomy in the Northern Territory. But this is not a way of dealing with sexual assault – fear, intimidation, and military and police presence as a “solution” shows no understanding of sexual assault or ways of dealing with it. The police and military have been perpetrators of sexual assault in communities around Australia, in Iraq, around the world. Some communities have themselves called for police involvement in dealing with sexual abuse, but not all. What is most important is that communities themselves direct the way they want to deal with sexual violence.

The Northern Territory intervention is a racist intervention. It is ridiculous that our white government thinks that Indigenous communities are unable to respond to sexual assault themselves, with their own processes and understandings, especially when we look at the way sexual assault is dealt with across the rest of Australia, by relying on an alienating, adversary and difficult to access legal system.

Almost no sexual assaults are reported to police, and most reported cases result in no conviction. This is not because they are “false claims” but because the legal system forces someone who has been assaulted to try to “prove” their claim, doubting them, disbelieving, pressuring them to relive their assault and undergo invasive medical examinations. Most assault happens in private – it makes it the survivor’s word against the perpetrator’s. The court system is designed so that survivors of sexual assault are attacked and broken by defence lawyers who only want to win their case. In the rare case that a perpetrator is convicted, prison does nothing to confront and challenge the behaviour and underlying assumptions and understandings that foster a culture of sexual assault.

We want a day of action calling for community – not military, not legal – responses to sexual assault. Our government shows no interest in trying to engage with the real issues of sexual assault and how to confront it, so we need to do it ourselves. We are calling for support for survivors of sexual assault, and a process of community response that prioritises their needs and safety. We are calling for processes that try to change the underlying myths and power dynamics that lead to assault, before it happens. We want processes that deal with perpetrators in a way that challenges their beliefs and behaviours, and gets them to take responsibility for their actions and trying to change.

For more information, or to add your own:
communitiesresponsetosexualassault.wordpress.com

Email: ida_2007@graffiti.net

Other links for info on community response, the Northern Territory intervention, etc:
http://www.worldwithout.org
theoryoftheoffensive.blogsome.com

Wow. Cynical death penalty politicking in Canada, mass child kidnapping in Africa, and sexual-assault-as-casus-belli-for-racist-military-intervention in northern Australia.

Happy Friday?

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