Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Harper's attack on the census: Bad news for the poor | rabble.ca

Typical scene in an alleyway, in the downtown ...Image via Wikipedia
Harper's attack on the census: Bad news for the poor | rabble.ca

This article really get's to the heart of how manipulative, calculating and cold the Harper Conservatives are! They are transparent if you look at them with any scrutiny.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Canadian government adopts America's fear economy | rabble.ca

G20 Riot Police in formationImage by chris.huggins via Flickr
Canadian government adopts America's fear economy | rabble.ca

It really is reassuring to find others see what I see. In North America, with a few exceptions (G20), it is unacceptable to violently suppress the population, so governments have resorted to control through fear. This is not science fiction, this is a well documented means of control, just visit your library and look up social engineering, there are many books from as far back as 1800 - onwards.

Recent example; why would the US start an illegal act of aggression against Iraq (well documented fact based in reality) instead of going after Bin-Ladin? Well what better way to keep fear in the population than have this psychopathic mastermind on the loose, and then create more fear with false claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (by the way the US had every legal right to invade Iraq during the Gulf war but did not). Then with the population in this state of fear/distraction it is much easier to slowly erode civil liberties, help your corporate buddies get ahead in the world, cut social spending, health care, enact tighter and tighter restrictions on peoples free movement, ramp up military spending to protect from the ever present threat that could strike at any time (again helping you corporate buddies out), selling arms so more war and suffering can be inflicted on anybody that gets in the way of progress. And if anybody with in starts to question this line of thinking, as we saw immediately after 911, just call them a terrorist/traitor, or say your either with us or against us, this shuts them up pretty fast! Nothing like good old jingoism to rally the haters! "stink rising from the patriots nest. doing what's best, kicking in the face of a mothers son" Daniel Lanois.

Ohh and let's not forget a good oldie, marijuana. A substance on par with alcohol, both have negative health effects and addictive personalities abuse both. But the US government has to create fear and ignorance around marijuana, notice how no proper science is done on marijuana, other wise it would likely debunk all the myths the government has placed on this substance. Humans have had conscious altering substances around for at least 3,000 years or more, and it has yet to bring an entire society to it's knees. It's all just fear mongering by those have to control everything and distract the population while they do what they wish. Governments and corporations are in bed together and need to control and distract the population to mitigate any interference they cause to the power structure.

I've seen the conservative agenda from the beginning, Harper really took a shining to Bush, just like Tony Blair. Harper has the same public relations/spin Dr that served with Bush, so we clearly see his tactics when he dismisses anybody who disagrees with him (as if they are beneath him), the misinformation that get's spouted by the Conservatives and the US like policies that Harper has adopted. Such as the get tough on crime election platform and policy (even though crime is not a pressing issue in Canada, just look at the stats...oh wait we'll have a Tory puppet at the helm of Stats Canada soon!), cut off funding for women's advocate groups (but maternal health of third world is important, just not here), increased projects for building more prisons in Canada, manipulation of information (ie..,.Stats Canada debacle), continued underfunding of public health (services and wait times are unacceptable, not to mention no mental health care), ditching of Canada's honorable peacekeeping role, increased spending for military which gets us less jet fighters than our current retiring fleet (not to mention Government officials seem to have no idea what role they are to play, or that our navy is in a deplorable state of affairs), greater rights for corporations overriding that of citizens. But not to place all the blame on the Conservatives the Liberals have had a hand in a lot of this as well, they are not much better.


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shortened Censu Form equals less democracy and more spin Dr's

Canadians Against Against Prorogation | Vancou...Image by jesssloss via Flickr

This is just further evidence of this minority governments campaign of miss-information, ignorance and disdain for democracy.  When will Canadians wake up to the transparency of this government, who clearly want to fashion Canada after the US, with it's divisive politics that polarize the left and the right, engineering of information that is purposely miss-leading and ignorant, and dismissing any descent as radical and is therefore to be feared.  That's not the Canada I was raised in!

Although it is heartening to see that honour and integrity still exist within the Public Service.  Munir Sheikh, now former head of Census Canada, is a man with these qualities, he obviously is not just working for a pay check and he believes his work to be vital.  So much so that when he sees how it is being undermined, by the changing of the census form to a shortened voluntary one, he resigns.  He is saying that this is unacceptable and that he cannot work for a Government that limits the understanding of our society, he is making a bold statement and is giving up his career to do so.  In his resignation, posted Wednesday on Stats Canada's web site, he indicates that the resignation is due to the voluntary census form and that it will not work!  Thus M.P. Tony Clements claim, that Stats Canada recommended the changes, is a lie.  Mr. Sheikh is someone who deserves our respect as he truly embodies the name Public Servant.  Hopefully he is a catalyst for others who see how wrong this is but who may not have the courage to speak out against this decision and other dismantling of our democracy.  One can only imagine what this Conservative Government would be like if they ever had a majority!
Many are speaking out against this, public and private institutions, citizens and community organizations.  They, along with Mr. Sheikh, believe the change will skew results and lead to bad information. And who better to be a judge of what will and will not work than Mr. Sheikh, he was a career Public Servant since 1976 and this was his job!  To add insult to injury, the Government frames this decision  as if it was a pressing concern for Canadians.  I heard one opposition M.P. address this so called "ground swell" of support from Canadians, he basically said "it's not as if neighbours are meeting at the local Tim Horton's saying, geez Census time is coming again, I don't want to do it, it's so invasive to my privacy, but I also don't want them coming to get me!".  This Government is relentless in it's spin, misinformation and lies!  Yes it's a mandatory Census form, yes it's long and time consuming...,.that's the cost to being a citizen!  It provides real life details, details that are true and can actually be used by the citizens to hold the Government to account.  But maybe that's it right there, It holds the Government to account!
The change to the form is especially detrimental to minorities, people who don't have the same power as others to make their needs and concerns heard.  Our democracy is based on majority rule, but with certain guarantees for minorities, precisely for the reason I just mentioned.  The mandatory long form has very pertinent questions that deal with income level, health, access to services, living arrangements etc...,.all of which help inform government policy.  I myself am part of a minority as I have a disability, muscular dystrophy, I don't hold as much power as a majority person and this form is one way that people, like myself, can have their situation documented and thus bring about policy's that help improve certain aspects of our lives or better way's to implement services.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The prescribed nonsense of modern life, disparity and terrorism

Is This Love (Bob Marley song)Image via Wikipedia
I suppose people want to believe they are with the good guys and are fighting the good fight.  But the reality is not so, and for most the idea of looking at it straight on would cripple them.  Are we sheep or are we human beings?

So much of what we enjoy here in Canada and other first world nations is dependent on the subjugation and suffering of those in the third world.  Even with in our own nations we have an ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, the have and the have not, those on the outside and those on the inside.  This relates not only to class divisions but also to politics.  Private special interests of corporations dictates our politics, laws and our societal ethos more so than the actual needs of Canadians, the environment, and a just and fair world.  As the G20 leaders are so quick to dismiss, the economy is indeed central to all these goals.

Our current economic system is based on the belief that resources are infinite, which is a rather infantile imagining of the world.  Even children, if given a brief overview of the system, could point out that there is a limited amount of resources contained within the planet.  Yes there are renewable resources, but the main resource currently being exploited is oil and it is not renewable nor infinite.  Not to mention the huge environmental and health costs involved in it's extraction and use.  Economists don't like to factor in these kinds of costs, colateral damage as they would call it, just another ugly truth that would expose their pseudo religion as a fraud.  You may claim this statement as rhetoric, but with the way economists adhere to economic teachings it's as if it is sacred text.  And as history has shown, recent and past, it is a bust and boom cycle that benefits those at the top, and then those of the lower and middle class are hardest hit!.

The World Bank, setup to supposedly help troubled economies, or others such as the European Union come into these nations and dictate that pensions, salary's, and social services be cut before they will lend assistance.  Basically, because of the high risk dealings that financiers, economists and bankers engaged in, the people have to pay and the elite feel no pain. On top of this we see corporate welfare, such as in Canada where corporate taxes were reduced by 13%, and in some provinces an increase in taxable items was instituted (HST in Ontario and BC) on the citizenery.  All of this is in line with neo-liberal economic policy's that Stephen Harper, and every other first world leader, adheres to so religiously.

We also see an exporting of labour and manufacturing to third world nations where the labour market and environment is more easily exploited, so we here in the west can buy really cheap stuff.  http://www.storyofstuff.com/   But at the same time this undermines any production here and thus undermines our labour market, a market where we see the poor having to work multiple jobs with less and less benefits and/or further reliance on social assistance.  Social assistance that does not permit the participants to eat healthy creating a cycle of poverty and a burden on an already underfunded health care system.

Lets not also forget the economy of arms, weapons and machines of war.  If we look at the world and see all the conflicts going on, well somebody has to make all theses weapons, sell them and thus make a profit.  Whom do you suppose that somebody is, Cuba? Afghanistan? Burma?  No, it is first world and emerging economies such as the US, Canada, UK, Russia, China, India etc..,.  And man business is good!  They get to sell arms to both sides of a conflict, they are such swell guys to sell to everybody like that!

It is the exploitation of third world nations, the disparity of wealth and self interest that is the breeding grounds for attacks against the first world.  Are these terrorists or freedom fighters?  And this question isn't just one to be asked of "them" but of ourselves as well.  All we have to do is look at the evidence and history to see the shortsightedness of self interest, greed and ignorance.  What we need is character and integrity "Most people can bear adversity.  But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power".  Robert G. Ingersoll.  We in the first world nations have the power, maybe I'm jaded and pessimistic but what I'm seeing is that we are  greedy and don't want to give any of it up.  And if we can't see the suffering right in front of our face, then as the saying goes "out of sight and out of mind".  The biggest part of the battle, of bringing these truths to light, is how do you combat the constant bombardment of the material life that is sold to us, which apparently leads to ultimate happiness & fulfillment, as well as the propaganda put forth by corporations and governments (they are pretty much one in the same).  The idea that we are so righteous and good, and that it is the other that causes all the problems.  The problems, more often than not, are self inflicted and/or purposly engineered to keep power where it remains and the subjugation of everyone else.  As a wise sage once said "You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."  The Matrix.  There is a better way that will lead to equity for all, a clean environment and peace.  The choice is with the individual, "emancipate your self from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind." Bob Marley.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GM plants and foods, the risks to Canadians

Diagram showing development of pesticide resis...Image via Wikipedia
For this blog I've pasted some correspondence I've had with my local MP regarding GM regulations in Canada and how inadequate I believe them to be.  It's literally from a general concern emailing through the Canadian Biological Action Network  "http://cban.ca/" with my name and contact info inserted, so you'll need to start at the bottom in order to follow the correspondence properly.

Blaine Cameron

 to PoiliP

Pierre Poilievre,  M.P.; Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture:

Thank you for your prompt reply.  I would like to address the response
you have provided from Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture.
There are a number of woeful oversights in the regulation of
genetically modified plants that lead me to believe that they are
inadequate in protecting biodiversity, public health and the

Firstly the designation of novel foods is simply a product of industry
lobbying, this designation is a mechanism to avoid that particular
product from being scrutinized and studied scientifically.  As to my
knowledge it simply states that if the genetic modifications to a
particular plant is not significant (a very relative term), then it is
considered the same as a similarly unmodified plant and thus does not
have to be subject to further scrutiny.

Secondly there is no requirement for these genetically modified
plants/novel foods to be labeled, again a clear indication of industry
lobbying, this leads one to the belief that regulators must believe
the Canadian public to be of limited intelligence.  If any individual
has an adverse reaction to these modifications they have no way to
track the source of what it is that is causing this reaction.  This
leaves the government and industry free from any liability, no way for
the public to verify the safety of these GM/novel foods, and no choice
in what it is consumers are buying and eating.  And if one looks at
groups involved in the development of the "National Standard for the
Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not
Products of Genetic Engineering", we see that the majority are from
the food industry and related individuals who have a principle
interest in getting the products to market and profit earnings.
These are not necessarily those who are concerned with public safety,
choice and the environment.  As well one cannot help but think the selection
of these groups and individuals is the result of industry lobbying, lobbying
which benefits industry and elected officials.

Thirdly most of the GM crops being approved are Round up Ready.
So the claim of reducing pesticide usage is simply not true.  These
particular crops can withstand high amounts of pesticide usage, and
most individuals who have taken a basic science course or through
simple observation can tell you is that pests can and will develop a tolerance,
and thus higher and higher amounts of pesticide will be required to
control them.  Simple farming techniques such as crop rotation or the
technique of placing plants near by that insects find more desirabl
than our crops.  These are just two environment friendly examples among many
that can help reduce or negate pesticide usage.  Many municipalities in Canada
have banned cosmetic pesticide and chemical fertilizers due to the scientific
and common knowledge ofthe damage to the environment and human health.
Why would our government at all levels continue and encourage it's usage on the
very foods we ingest, and it's usage on the vast swaths of
agricultural land that are part of
the environment that sustains us?

Finally as to the claim of producing healthier food alternatives to
Canadians, in the way
of cooking oils with lower amounts of trans fats, this is simply not
necessary as healthy
cooking oils already exist.  Oils such as safflower, peanut, olive,
sunflower and
flax seed oil (I've left out corn and canola oil due to the fact that
these crops generally
have high amounts of pesticides sprayed on them due to the fact that
they are Round up Ready).
The other oils I've mentioned are low in trans and saturated fats and contain
polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats which are good for us.
Again one can not
help but see the hand of industry lobbying playing a part in the
statements that your
Ministry has put forth.  Creating a need where none exists in order to
increase industry profits
and opportunities.

I am disheartened at how little the Canadian public is being served by
your Ministry
and the related Ministry's involved in the development of the
regulation of GM plants and food.
A Government after all has the sole purpose of serving all citizens,
not just a select few with
special interests that only benefit them while at the same time
putting Canadians, the environment
and biodiversity at risk.

Genetic manipulation, forcibly inserting parts of DNA of unrelated
species into another,
is not the same as traditional breeding and cross pollination.
Traditional breeding and cross pollination only work with related species.
This idea, that the techniques are the same, is used by Government and industry
 to further the argument that all is okay with genetic manipulation,
as we've been
doing this thousands of years, which is simply not true  We need to
behave conservatively
and error on the side of caution, we are after all talking about DNA
the very makeup of all life on earth!


Blaine Cameron.

On 7/6/10, PoiliP@parl.gc.ca <PoiliP@parl.gc.ca> wrote:
> Blaine Cameron
> blainecameron@gmail.com<
> Blaine,
> Thank you for your comments concerning modern biotechnology and food safety.
>  Like all Canadians, I share your interest in Canada having an abundant and
> safe food supply.
> I want to send you this information that comes from the Hon. Gerry Ritz,
> Minister of Agriculture:
> Canada has one of the most stringent and rigorous regulatory systems in the
> world. This extends to crops or foods that are modified or contain genetic
> modification—all of which must undergo a comprehensive science-based
> approval process involving both Health Canada and the Canadian Food
> Inspection Agency (CFIA).
> Canada’s regulatory system for products of agricultural biotechnology is
> designed so that every possible precaution is taken. The safety of new
> products is carefully and cautiously assessed before they can be cultivated
> by a grower, used in livestock feed or made available to the consumer.
> Agricultural products of biotechnology require three separate safety
> assessments and authorizations prior to commercial use. The CFIA assesses
> the safety of the end product for release into the environment and for use
> as a livestock feed, while Health Canada assesses the safety for use as food
> and its effect on human health.
> Over the past number of years, Canada and several other countries have
> carefully considered the topic of mandatory labelling for products of
> biotechnology. While broad mandatory labelling policies may be in place in
> other countries, it should be noted that there are issues regarding the
> practicality and enforceability of these requirements and the number of
> claims that may actually appear on food.

> I support the principle of providing consumers with credible, useful and
> clear information about the foods they buy. Recognizing that consumers
> wanted more information regarding the application of specific techniques of
> genetic engineering, federal departments and agencies (including the CFIA
> and Health Canada), along with consumer groups, food manufacturers, grocery
> distributors, provincial representatives and farm organizations,
> participated in the development of the National Standard for the Voluntary
> Labelling and Advertising of Foods That Are and Are Not Products of Genetic
> Engineering. This standard can be viewed at
> www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/032_0315/standard-e.html<http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/cgsb/on_the_net/032_0315/standard-e.html>

> It is important to note that Health Canada could require mandatory labelling
> for foods, including those derived through biotechnology, where there are
> health or safety concerns that could be mitigated through labelling, or to
> highlight a significant nutritional or compositional change.
> A list of novel foods that have been assessed for safety and approved in
> Canada can be found on the Health Canada website at
> www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/appro/index_e.html<http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/appro/index_e.html>
> . For further information about how the Government regulates products of
> agricultural biotechnology and how the CFIA assesses these products for
> safety, please visit the CFIA’s website at
> www.inspection.gc.ca/english/sci/biotech/bioteche.shtml<http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/sci/biotech/bioteche.shtml
> .
> The CFIA has three main priorities regarding the commercialization of new
> crops: to contribute to a safe food supply for Canadian consumers, to
> determine whether new products pose an environmental risk, and to ensure
> that varietal identity and, where applicable, agronomic, disease and end-use
> quality requirements for the various crop kinds are met. As part of the
> environmental safety review, the potential for cross-pollination with
> traditional crops is assessed, as is the potential environmental impact of
> cross-pollination, should it occur.
> As noted previously, Canadian laws require that genetically modified crops
> undergo safety assessments and be authorized before they can be cultivated,
> used as food, or used as livestock feed. When needed, specific conditions
> that support the responsible and sustainable long-term use of a genetically
> modified crop are applied at the time of its authorization for cultivation.
> The CFIA is responsible for regulating the environmental release of
> biotechnology-derived plants, which must undergo thorough safety assessments
> before they can be commercialized in Canada. These safety assessments
> consider the following five criteria: the potential of the plant to become a
> weed of agriculture or to be invasive of natural habitats; the potential
> consequences of gene flow to wild relatives; the potential to increase the
> activity of a plant pest; the potential impact on non-target organisms; and
> the potential impact on biodiversity.
> It is also important to note that biotechnology applications can contribute
> to advancing the sustainability of agriculture by creating solutions not
> only to increase food production, but also to respond to a number of
> environmental challenges and risks to human health. Around the world,
> biotechnology developments in agriculture are already helping to do the
> following:
> • conserve water and adapt to climate change;
> • reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizer and improve soil conservation;
> and
> • produce healthier food alternatives for Canadians, such as cooking oils
> with lower amounts of trans fats.
> Sincerely,
> Pierre Poilievre,  M.P. Nepean-Carleton
> Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
> and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
> LP
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blainecameron@gmail.com [mailto:blainecameron@gmail.com]
> Sent: June 30, 2010 11:01 AM
> To: Poilievre, Pierre - M.P.
> Cc: Ritz, Gerry - M.P.; Atamanenko, Alex - M.P.; Easter, Wayne - M.P.;
> Bellavance, André - Député
> Subject: Please Support Bill C-474, Support Canada's Farmers
> From: Blaine Cameron
> To: Pierre Poilievre
> Re: Please Support Bill C-474, Support Canada's Farmers
> Date: Wednesday 30 June 2010
> Cc: Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
> Cc: Alex Atamanenko, NDP Agriculture Critic
> Cc: Hon. Wayne Easter, Liberal Agriculture Critic
> Cc: André Bellavance, Bloc Québécois Agriculture Critic
> Dear Pierre Poilievre, MP
> I am writing to ask you to support Private Members Bill C-474 in order to
> protect Canada’s family farms.
> Bill C-474 would support Canadian farmers by requiring that “an analysis
> of potential harm to export markets be conducted before the sale of any new
> genetically engineered seed is permitted.”
> This Bill is important because the introduction of new genetically
> engineered (GE) crops can cause economic hardship to farmers.
> On June 7, the House of Commons Agriculture Committee heard a clear
> message in support of Bill C-474 from alfalfa growers represented by the
> Manitoba Forage Seed Association and Manitoba Forage Seed Council as well
> as the president of a forage seed company. Kevin Einarson from the Manitoba
> Forage Seed Association told the Committee, “Bill C-474 is the first step
> in offering some protection in the future for Canadian family farms. Market
> acceptance must be made a part of the evaluation process.”
> All three of the witnesses stated their opposition to the introduction of
> GE alfalfa because it is unnecessary and would ruin their markets. The
> issue is also highly controversial in the U.S. where the Supreme Court
> ruled on July 21st that it is still illegal to plant GE alfalfa in that
> country, until the USDA finishes its environmental review.
> Farmers are at risk when GE crops are commercialized in Canada without
> also being approved in our major export markets. For example, flax farmers
> in Canada are paying the price for unwanted GE contamination that damaged
> their export markets. Flax farmers, like alfalfa growers, foresaw that GE
> contamination would close their export markets. This is why they took steps
> in 2001 to remove GE flax from the market. Despite this measure, farmers
> were not protected.
> It’s the government’s responsibility to protect Canadian farmers from
> predictable problems caused by the introduction of new GE crops that have
> not yet been regulated in our export markets. Bill C-474 would help our
> government meet this responsibility.
> Pierre Poilievre, please examine the important testimony from alfalfa
> growers to the Agriculture Committee. Please support Bill C-474 to make
> sure that alfalfa growers and other farmers do not face the same market
> harm caused by GE contamination that continues to hurt our flax farmers.
> Yours Sincerely,
> Blaine Cameron
> blainecameron@gmail.com
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