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Showing posts from September, 2008

Tying together Lesley Hughes and her wacko conspiracy friends

The Winnipeg Sun headline reads "Dion Dumps 9/11 Nut." Ouch. That's gotta hurt. Lesley Hughes' world came crashing down in less than 24 hours. One morning she's proudly representing the Liberal Party of Canada, rubbing shoulders with leader Stephane Dion, and sharing the stage at a major election event with her fellow candidates, and the next she's incommunicado, dodging allegations of anti-semitism and reading her career obituary---9/11 nut. After being exposed as a 9/11 Truther, she got one chance from Dion to save her political hide. Convince the Canadian Jewish Congress you're okay, and you stay. Instead, Hughes issued an official statement through the Liberal Party of Manitoba in which she said: "I am a lifelong friend and supporter of the Jewish community in Winnipeg and I am deeply distressed by any suggestion to the contrary. I find any interpretation of my journalism as anti-Semitic personally offensive and I heartily apologize for that perce

"The MVP blogger of the election so far? The Black Rod" "The MVP blogger of the election so far? The Black Rod Posted: September 26, 2008, 12:26 PM by Jonathan Kay Jonathan Kay At 11:57am EST, St├ęphane Dion did the right thing — and the blogger who set it all in motion is apparently The Black Rod : From: "" Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 11:57:44 -0400 Statement from Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion The Liberal Party's commitment to tolerance and multiculturalism is paramount. I have reviewed the past comments of Lesley Hughes and it is clear they do not meet this standard. While I appreciate her apology, I cannot condone those sentiments in any way. I have therefore asked Ms. Hughes to step down as the Liberal Party candidate in Kildonan-St. Paul. " Thank you.

Manitoba reporters miss biggest Federal election news - cause it comes from the Legislature

Memo to future historians and chroniclers of elections: Yes. News coverage in Manitoba of the federal election of 2008 is the worst in history. There oughta be a contest to find the words that best describe how pathetic the reporting has been to date. The absolute nadir, so far (and we have to qualify this because the election campaign is only half over), came early this week. In the Manitoba Legislature ( note to readers : that's the place Manitoba politicians meet daily but which local reporters have abandoned to concentrate on not providing information about the federal election), the Opposition Justice critic Kelvin Goertzen (PC-Steinbach) revealed some absolutely jaw-dropping information. But then, the NDP government's response was even more stunning. It was, simply, the biggest election news locally in the campaign so far. And it will probably comes as news to you. Because NONE of the mainstream media reporters covering the federal election recognized the importance of w

When criminals are treated like "family", we're all in trouble

Shhh. Come closer. We have to whisper. It's what you have to do when you want to talk about the thing that nobody wants to talk about. This past week we saw how a cold-blooded killer was hidden from police for almost three weeks, first in The Pas and then in Winnipeg, before being recaptured. His arrest came a week after two other violent prison escapees were caught hiding in Winnipeg with friends and relatives. People might have been shocked at how easily it was for them to find support in the city. And how, in the case of Indian Posse co-founder Daniel Wolfe, the woman caught driving him around bragged of how proud she was to help him and how she would do it again for him and for any member of the street gang he started. But nobody is talking about an even more frightening aspect of that street-level support for criminals--- how it has infected the aboriginal population at large, spreading into the so-called native leadership, the media, and filtering through right up into the in

Manitoba Hydro Series Part 3: Subsidizing American buyers

Faced with reading 415 pages of nearly impenetrable bureaucratic jargon, the human mind begins to shut down in self-preservation. Maybe that's why it took so long to plow through the Public Utilities Board's latest explanation for why electricity rates have been hiked higher than requested by Manitoba Hydro. And why we almost missed the biggest shocker in the report. It was only when reviewing our notes that we realized what the PUB identified as the driving force behind Hydro's plans to spend more than $1 billion a year for the next 15 years on new hydro developments. Do you think it's to provide a reliable supply of electricity to Manitobans at a reasonable cost? WRONG. It's to assure power to Hydro's American customers AT ANY COST. Manitoba premier Gary Doer has said on numerous occasions he wants to turn Manitoba's hydroelectric power into the equivalent of Alberta's oil, a source of wealth from exporting a natural resource. The PUB says Doer has alr

Dion's Green Taxes. Don't ask. Don't tell.

We beg your pardon but we're going to interrupt our Hydro Series temporarily to turn our attention to the federal election. When the election comes to your doorstep, as it did with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Winnipeg on Tuesday, you can't ignore it. In the last election, The Black Rod took the Peter Kent Challenge to monitor the mainstream media coverage for anti-Conservative bias and we could hardly keep up. This time, with no challenge on offer, we'll concentrate on the general quality of election reporting, starting with the Harper visit. Sadly, we can't say we're impressed. The story: Harper announced that if elected he intends to cut the tax on diesel fuel in half, from 4 cents a litre to two cents. The coverage: CBC Winnipeg Donna Carriero went to truckers for reaction. Good idea. Trucker #1 was lukewarm. A tax cut was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. But saving $1400 a year wasn't enough to keep him for going broke, he s

Manitoba Hydro Series Part Two: Wuskwatim boondoggle

The Wuskwatim power project is such a boondoggle that the Manitoba Public Utilities Board is begging the government not to use it as a model for its future hydro developments. The PUB dissected the Wuskwatim project in July in its formal explanation as to why its raising electricity rates higher than Manitoba Hydro requested. The utilities board started by noting that everything Manitoba Hydro told the Clean Environment Commission to get approval for Wuskwatim has turned out to be wrong. * They said the project would cost about $900 million. It's currently estimated to cost $1.6 billion. (And it's already a year behind schedule because Hydro can't find a general contractor to take on the job...ed.) * They said it was needed "to serve export markets" for nine years before its power was needed for Manitobans. Manitoba Hydro now says it needs Wuskwatim built by 2012 "to meet domestic needs and firm export contracts." * They said the profits from Wuskwatim w

Who will go broke first, Manitoba Hydro or the Manitoba taxpayer (part 1) ?

Manitoba Hydro is a utility in crisis. It's been so mismanaged---not by its directors, but by its political masters---that Hydro's financial stability is at risk. And if that goes, it will take the Province with it. The Manitoba Public Utilities Board tried to raise an alarm in July, only to be ignored. Blame the Olympics. Blame the late start to summer. Blame the bureaucrats who think the way to get your attention is to give a report a sexy title like: AN ORDER SETTING OUT FURTHER DIRECTIONS, RATIONALE AND BACKGROUND FOR OR RELATED TO THE DECISIONS IN BOARD ORDER 90/08 WITH RESPECT TO AN APPLICATION BY MANITOBA HYDRO FOR INCREASED RATES AND FOR RELATED MATTERS. But after wading through 413 pages of jargon-ladened, soul-sucking, mind-numbing gobbledy-gook, we were left with one message: BE AFRAID. BE VERY, VERY AFRAID. With virtually no public debate, the NDP plans a series of mega-projects right out of the Sixties playbook, projects that will result in literally 25 years of no

War in Afghanistan 2008 Week 37

Spec-fugging-tacular. (Pardon our French.) We haven't been this excited since Mullah Dadullah was blasted to Hell early last year. What was looking like the Taliban's biggest victory of the year turned out to be their biggest defeat. In five days the British accomplished the impossible, with the help of Afghan, American, Canadian, Australian, Dutch and French soldiers and air power. What we're babbling about is the delivery to the Kajaki hydro station in Helmand province of a 242 ton turbine, plus a 90 ton crane to lift it into place, which will be the tipping point of the Afghan war. A convoy of 100 vehicles protected by 5000 soldiers brought the giant turbine across 115 miles of mined roads in six days protected by an armada of fighter jets, Apache helicopters, AC-130 gunships, and unmanned drones. It was the largest route-clearance operation by British forces since World War 2. Taliban fighters tried to stop the convoy, which stretched 4 kilometres. And more than 200 wer