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The Iggy Coronation

iggycoronation (38K)

Andrew Coyne wrote a blog that appeared on the Macleans website a couple of days ago called On Ignatieff's Speech. It included this picture. I thought it was pretty funny.

The only specific policy commitment I could find was “a common national standard for employment insurance.” Otherwise, it’s just a laundry list of things it would be nice to have:

A Canada where every child gets an equal start!

Where every student who gets the grades gets to go to the best education in the world!

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Political Madness

Abdelrazik (2K) Harperstein (4K)

I can't stop blogging about the political madness in Canada. Over the last few days I have learned that donating airfare to a Canadian stranded and abandoned in the Canadian embassy in Sudan puts one at risk of being convicted of supporting terrorism.

We have a government that makes up new rules as it goes along. Canada signed an agreement with Israel that co-ordinates the exchange of national security information and border management policies.

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Canada and Human Rights

wienstein4 galloway3

I've been obsessed and distressed with the Canadian politics ever since the George Galloway controversy erupted in the news. I have scoured countless news and web sites for more information. I joined a Facebook group, signed a petition, done blog pages to protest, joined discussions, and posted many comments to newpapers. My opinions about Canada, Israel and Hamas have certainly changed in that time.

It saddens me to see this happening in Canada. George Galloway is a five time elected Member of Parliament in Britain in good standing. He is a brilliant orator and debater. He is a peace activist. He is a humanitarian.

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Canada High Commission's letter to George Galloway

JasonKenny (6K)

Here is a facsimile of the facsimile sent to Galloway's office informing him of his inadmissability to Canada. Note the reasons given here are very different from those published in Rupert Murdoch's trashy Sun tabloid that same morning, which is how Galloway learned of the ruling.

It is made quite clear in the letter, delivered 10 days before Galloway is scheduled to speak to an anti-war group in Toronto, that even if Galloway follows the procedures stated in the letter there is little chance he will be allowed in the country. The allegations are very serious.

I am guessing Mr. Robert J. Orr, of London's High Commission Of Canada, was biting his lip as he prepared this letter. It is rather unusual, after all, to bar a British Member of Parliament from entering Canada alleging he engages in terrorism.

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Manufacturing Consent: Made in Canada

NoamChomsk2

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was first published in 1968. Written by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, its thesis, in part, was how the media reported the news in a way that best served its masters, the corporate and political elite of the time. The authors compared the press coverage given to Vietnam and East Timor in the New York Times newspaper, tabulating the column-inches in the paper for each subject. Similar political events were happening in each region at the time, but there were American business interests in Vietnam and virtually nothing of the sort in East Timor.

The Vietnam war was first presented by the media and government in 1964 as an ideological conflict. Framed as a nation's effort to defend a noble cause, there was almost no opposition to this war when it began. By 1968, cracks were appearing in this facade as stories began to emerge of secret carpet bombing raids in North Vietnam and atrocities against civilians. The facade crumbled completely in 1971 when newspapers across the country began publishing excerpts from the top secret Pentagon Papers. An excerpt from the wikipedia page:

The most damaging revelation was that the US deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks - which had all gone unreported in the US.
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Flowers

flowers1 (67K)

We live in Holland now and have discovered that the Dutch know a thing or two about flowers, gardens, and growing stuff. In Calgary, many of us who attempt gardening become highly skilled and experienced at watching plants die.

There are only two types of flowers on this page, which shows you how much we have learned since we arrived.

The flowers in the picture below are the very first to appear in spring, similar to the crocuses in Calgary. They spring up like dandelions; mainly in parks, boulevards and areas that are usually just grass.

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This Is Not About Freedom Of Speech

galloway3 (5K) wienstein2 (36K)

Last month George Galloway, a British Member Of Parliament for 25 years, was banned from entering Canada to give a talk to a peace activist group sponsored by a Toronto church. The original reason given by the government of Canada was that they did not like his views on the war in Afghanistan.

Realizing that this line of reasoning goes against all principles of Freedom Of Speech, the government quickly changed it reasons. They now have claimed that George Galloway supports terrorism, specifically citing his recent "material and financial aid" to Hamas. Hamas is "recognized" as a terrorist organization by Canada, the US, Britian, some European countries and, of course, Israel.

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In Brugge

brugge12 (79K)

Brugge is a old town in Belgium that has be one of the most beautiful in Europe.

The canals, the shops, the bridges, the boats, the courtyards, horse drawn carriages and the majestic trees. It's all so perfect.

Most of these shots are panoramas of 3 or more shots stitched together. There is so much to take in that one photo never does it justice.

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Canada's Harper Announces New Coalition Government

HarperCedesControl JasonKenny3 (5K)

In a surprising new development in the Canadian political landscape, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of a minority government that faced an opposition party coalition challenge less than 4 months ago, made a surpise announcement that the Progressive Conservatives have formed a coalition with the Jewish Defense League and the Canadian Jewish Congress.

When asked how that could be, as the JDL and CJC did not run any candidates the last election, Mr. Harper explained that he had it on good authority that the JDL was, in the opinion of government officials, a bonafide legitimate party with important representation across the country.

He then handed over questions to Minister of Deportation, Facism and Xenophobia, Jason Kenney, who went on to explain that officials within CBSA, CSIS, RCMP, FBI, CIA, MI6, MOSSAD, IRS and other undisclosed departments had determined that if the JDL had and CJC been on the ballot in the last Canadian Federal election, they would have won a number of seats, thus making it possible to form a stable coalition government in Canada.

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Oh! Canada! Who Stands on Guard For Thee?

Meir Weinstein George Galloway

Chances are that you not have heard of George Galloway until recently. He has made the news because he has been denied entry to Canada on the grounds that he supports terrorism, specifically Hamas. This was controversial because Mr. Galloway is a long standing British Member of Parliament, has been to Canada before, and was scheduled to speak at a number of engagements, some sold-out, at the invitation of his supporters here. He has many admirers in Canada, but they call him a peace activist, anti-war campaigner and humanitarian.

His speaking tour also includes 8 stops in the US, which has NOT banned Mr. Galloway. The plan now is to fulfill those commitments while fighting the Canadian ban in the courts.

Jason Kenney, Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, is supporting the decision made by unnamed officials of Canada's Border Services Agency. Mr Kenney has stated unequivocally that the reason behind the decision was that George Galloway recently gave cash to Hamas.

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