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Showing posts from July, 2008

Minuk reveals Court of Appeal undermined Taman case prosecution

The Winnipeg news media has been clamouring for an answer from the Taman Inquiry for why drunk driving charges were dropped against Derek Harvey-Zenk, the off-duty police officer who rear-ended and killed a young woman in East St. Paul. Tuesday, they got their answer. And they didn't want to hear it. Which is why the reporters missed the big story revealed at the inquiry. Special counsel Marty Minuk testified the evidence wasn't strong enough for alcohol-related charges against Harvey-Zenk to stand up in court. He accepted a plea bargain on the strongest case he had, dangerous driving causing death. And he stood behind the joint recommendation for house arrest, even though the Manitoba government's official policy is to oppose conditional sentences for serious crimes. That policy reads: "Generally Crown Attorneys should not recommend the granting of a conditional sentence, either as part of a plea arrangement or as a submission on sentencing or appeal in cases involvin

Who doesn't like a good show trial? Ummm, us.

Put down your pitchforks. Curl up the nooses. Extinguish the torches. Stop stirring the tar. Put the feathers back into the pillows. Winnipeg is experiencing its greatest explosion of mob fury in living memory. Listening to the daily howl for blood is frightening. Anyone who wants to know what it was like during the worst days of the French Revolution need only read the daily papers. Tom Brodbeck has become Madame LaFarge, cackling as the tumbrels roll by with new victims for the guillotine and calling for still more heads. Dan Lett has announced there's no need to dawdle any longer, the police are guilty, scrap the trial and let's get on with the executions. Reporters compete with each other as to who can express the greatest outrage, the utmost skepticism, the shrillest cry for a mass round-up of the accused. Radio talk show hosts sneer at and mock the same people they clasped to their bosom only weeks ago. All reason has been abandoned. There will come a day when the reporte

War in Afghanistan 2008 Week 30

The Western press can't decide if the Taliban is resilient (bouncing back, recovering strength) or resurgent (rising again). Regardless of the adjective, the message is the same---the West has failed again. The terrorists are back as strong as ever. As proof, reporters invariably mention that the number of coalition dead in Afghanistan is greater than the casualty total in Iraq for the nth month in a row. What they carefully fail to explain is---why? The answer is painfully obvious. WE WON. That's right. Al Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq. It took several years but the terrorists are on the run in Iraq. They're being driven out by a determined coalition of Iraq soldiers trained to fight a new kind of war, the local populace that got tired of being cannon fodder for the terrorists and American forces that refused to give up. And they're running back home to Afghanistan. What's more important, is they're making the exact same mistakes in Afghanistan that caused th

Forget Crocus. Now its about S-E-X

Is a sex scandal about to engulf Manitoba premier Gary Doer? That's one sentence we never imagined we would be writing. But there it is. And the teflon premier has only his handpicked Minister for Healthy Living to thank. It all started a week ago with a puff piece in the Winnipeg Free Press about Kerri Irvin-Ross and her amazing weight loss. She had, she said, lost 75 pounds and she was a new woman. "I walk taller." (Cue Burton Cummings music.) Readers didn't know whether to be more shocked that the five-foot-eleven Irvin-Ross admitted to being 75 pounds overweight or to the surprise revelation deep in the story that her 17-year marriage had ended. And ended badly, according to official documents. It turns out that Irvin-Ross was watching her marriage disintegrate even as she campaigned for re-election during the 2007 provincial election. Between knocking on doors, Irvin-Ross filed for a protection order against her husband five days before the election. (It was deni

Manitoba Tories to the poor: Freeze

Manitoba's Conservative Party demonstrated this weekend why they will never win an election in Manitoba. More to the point, they demonstrated why they should never win an election in Manitoba. Manitobans who heat their homes with natural gas are facing a 30 percent increase in their bills this coming winter. Heating is a necessity in Manitoba, not a luxury. The poorest Manitobans already have their thermostats turned as low as possible in the winter; a 30 percent hike in their heating costs will be devastating. NDP leader Gary Doer wants to ease the blow, maybe by using record Hydro profits to subsidize natural gas users. The Manitoba Conservatives, under leader Hugh McFadyen, say let the poor freeze. The Tories are opposed to helping them cover their heating bills by diverting Hydro money. "We should not be using a renewable resource to promote a fossil fuel. It's unforgiveable," former NDP premier and universally ignored crank Ed Schreyer blazed to the Winnipeg Fre

War in Afghanistan 2008 Mid-year Update

The drones are driving Pakistani villagers crazy. All night they can hear the buzzing of the engines of U.S. unmanned aircraft --- and they don't like it one bit. The Americans are filling the skies over the Afghan-Pakistan border with their Predator drones in a never-ending search for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. And that's got the villagers who shelter the fighters scared. The Predators can stay in the air for up 24 hours -- with their high-tech cameras providing their handlers with invaluable intelligence. They're flying over the border villages so high by day they can't be seen, but by night they come lower and the sleepless villagers have to listen to their engines as they make their passes. They carry two anti-tank Hellfire missiles each, with deadly consequences once the signal to shoot is sent. The villagers have big reason to be worried. The chickens are coming home to roost. The Washington Post is reporting that Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chi