Flaherty Dies, Canada’s Contemptible Finance Minister

Most people are quite cautious about what they say, but a few people have said to me, ‘Do you have cancer? … What’s going on? Are you going to die?’ That kind of thing,” he told the Globe. “And, obviously, I am not. I mean, I will die eventually, but not over a dermatological issue.” – Flaherty 2013

“The treatment involved taking a strong steroid called prednisone, which is often accompanied by serious side-effects.”
It’s always unfortunate when a human being has health problems. I too have had to take steroids for a serious allergy.

Flaherty said in his [resignation] statement that he is “on the road to a full recovery” and that his departure from politics is “not related in any way” to his health.

Unfortunately for Mr. Flaherty, he was as bad at predicting his future health as he was at managing and predicting Canada’s economy. “[March 2008 budget] will also protect the fiscal framework from a Private Member’s bill that risks plunging the federal government back into deficit.”

Canada’s former Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, died suddenly today of a heart attack. He was the only Finance Minister of the Commonwealth countries, to have been in office while his government was found in Contempt of Parliament (for hiding financial information).

The second ruling found the Cabinet could possibly be in contempt of Parliament for not meeting Opposition members’ requests for details of proposed bills and their cost estimates, an issue which had “been dragging on since the fall of 2010.”[4][7]

Concerning the Speaker’s second ruling, on March 21, 2011, the committee tabled a report[9] that found the Government of Canada in contempt of Parliament.[7] As such, a motion of no confidence was introduced in the House.[10] On March 25, 2011, Members of Parliament voted on this motion, declaring a lack of confidence by a vote of 156 to 145 and forcing an election.[11][12] The contempt finding is unique in Canadian history. In a wider context, it is the first time that a government in the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations has been found in contempt of Parliament.[13][14]

For those who say I’m being too harsh, “a man has just died”, might I note that I didn’t know this man, and in most Canadians’ case, neither did they. He was a figurehead of a very deceitful and disastrous government for our country. He presided over actions that were ruled in contempt of the Canadian people’s representatives, why should we the Canadian people not hold him in similar regard? I do not feel sympathy for Flaherty, only his family. Why should I pretend otherwise? The chances of his family surfing along and finding my unkind words this year are negligible, and if I’ve managed to offend one of his friends, I’ll note that you should have picked better friends. (Fun Fact: Flaherty picked Rob Ford as a friend.)

“Canada would not be where it is today without Jim Flaherty,” said Ford. “

Could there be a more damning epitaph?

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Our Acidic Ocean

It’s incalculably high what this will cost us.

ADDED:

Canadian Woman Freezes To Death

I wonder if talk radio will be buzzing about how Manitobans let a young woman freeze to death rather than stop and see why she was trying to flag them down for help.

I bet John Gormley Live will be all over this scandal and worrying shift in Canadian values.

Family members of a woman found frozen in a snowbank over the weekend believe they aren’t getting the full story from RCMP about her death.

Rocelyn Gabriel, 20, was found at the recycling depot in Portage la Prairie, Man., just after 8 a.m. on Sunday.

What’s the spin talk radio will use if they do talk about it? Recycling kills?

He Didn’t See It Coming

Picking the exact date for the end of the world, without scientific evidence to back you up, makes you a fool. Harold Camping was a fool, and unscrupulous and foolish media gave him a spotlight he didn’t deserve. With the exposure, he cheated a lot of foolish people.

It is a little depressing that professional media get swept up in ‘end of the world’ predictions from nutbars, and ignore accurate, scientific predictions of destruction. Where is the fame for predictors who get it right?

Rob Ford is Not a Nice Man #TOpoli

If you defended Rob Ford during his election campaign in 2010, I would have simply said you made a mistake. His angry outbursts against the media, and his ridiculous comments about bike lanes placed him firmly in my political opponents category then. Plus he had a history of drunk driving by that point in his life.

It’s now 3 years later, and he’s admitted to smoking crack and being an angry, drunk driving, alcoholic. If you’re still defending the man as recently as this past Summer, or last month, you’re making a big mistake.

Today, you have even more egg on your face, if you hold more than a shred of human sympathy for this dangerous, oafish, thug.

Fukushima Keeps Staying The Worst

It’s always been /worse/. And it just keeps staying tragically the same. It’s remained a global crisis with hemispheric deadly consequences. Japan could still wind up largely uninhabitable (if it isn’t already). Canada could suffer directly a great deal.

Steam and non-water vapour has been off-gassed since the beginning.

The supporters of nuclear power have always been wrong about the extent of the damage to our environment. We have hundreds of tons of highly dangerous waste water piling up by the day at Fukushima, with no way to stop it. Can research and a better plan come soon enough to save us?

ADDED: May writes to ministers.

Corporate Responsibility

Do corporations kill? Unfortunately, yes, they can. A corporation is a person in our crazy legal system. How do we best punish a corporate person, for killing people?

Burkhardt had drawn criticism for forwarding the responsibility for the explosion on to others. He told the Toronto Star earlier in the week that it was the fire department shutting off the train’s engine to fight earlier flames that resulted in the brake failure an hour later. He also said that the conductor failed to apply all 11 hand brakes.

“I’ve been pointed out as blaming the engineer, blaming the fire department that shut down the engine. That’s not my intention at all,” he says. “My intention is to try and get the facts and the biggest fact of all that we have to confront is that this train ran away.”

All the while, he is steadfast that his company should not shoulder all the blame. “The words corporate responsibility are used from time to time, but what I think you generally find is that when mistakes are made… then it’s people that did it,” he says.

“A corporation is a bank account in a lock box at the post office. It doesn’t do things. People do things.”

Corporate structures cause people to do terrible things. From hiring lawyers [haha], right up to allowing atrocities because the corporation demands them. Would a train operator *choose* to work alone, or would he prefer to have a human companion in the train engine, and to help him apply brakes, and to cover for him during breaks? No he’d worth with a partner, a ‘co-pilot’, but Mr. Burkhardt’s corporation required him to work alone, unsafely. The corporation required the conductor to abandon the running train in order to get rest. Dozens died as a result of this corporate mistake (negligence by design). How can the corporation take responsibility and serve punishment for the crimes they repeatedly make?

Do individual Canadians even have the power to compel the Crown to levy this punishment? If not, consider that the Crown prosecutes crime in part so vigilantism does not grip our justice system. If the Crown is powerless to extract the pound of flesh or a corporate eye for human eye, will humans stand peacefully by, wronged, for long?

ADDED:

Harper’s “Public Event” “photo opportunity” (Cameras and photographers only) #cdnpoli

Where is this event you ask?

Lac-Mégantic, Québec

PM Harper photo op Lac-Megantic
3:15 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity.

Why is Harper there?

Close-up aerial view of site after explosion

You could say that Harper’s PMO has all the tact of a runaway train.


Hat tip to Daniel J.

Committing Sociology or Climatology

The Prime Minister infamously implored people to not “commit sociology” when Chechen-American thugs blew people up in Boston. The PM’s point was that he didn’t want people analysing the root causes of terrorism, out of supposed respect for the distant victims. With another deadly tragedy underway in Alberta, there are a chorus of complaints from people both local and quite distant from the disaster, asking people to not talk about why Calgary was subjected to a massively uncommon flood.

A really tiresome meme amongst climate change deniers is where they insist that someone can’t seriously understand climate science and be concerned about it, if they participate in using modern technology (that happens to be harmful when mass produced and mass-used).

Is it hypocritical? Possibly. Is it understandable, and necessary in order for environmentalists to spread their ideas on a level playing field to Deniers who use cars and the Internet and get on TV? It’s essential.

The Canadian political movement that made climate change denial a centrepiece of their economic ideology, was born out of Alberta. You’ll have to forgive some Canadians who conflate all prairie dwellers with climate change denying rednecks who all work for oil companies, vote Conservative, and don’t give a damn about the consequences. Westerners tend to make similarly unflattering assumptions about people from southern Ontario all voting for crack head Mayors, and that’s not fair either.

There’s also a host of extremely sensitive people on Twitter right now insisting that talking about climate change in the context of the disaster in Alberta, is tantamount to “victim blaming”. What utter nonsense that is. Not all Calgarians are innocent victims. All deserve emergency support, of course, no matter their political views, obviously. People living thousands of kilometers from a tragedy should not be told they cannot talk about the root causes destroying cities by natural disasters.

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Thawing Out

The world’s deep freeze in the north is thawing out quickly. As a result we’re making interesting discoveries as bodies get uncovered. There are two big problems. We’re losing thousands of years of preservation in short years, giving scientists only in our time period (and before) access to direct collection of this unique and precious data. Two, it’s an indicator of climate change being well under way.

As I explained to a friend the other day, if you’re not at least a little worried about climate change, you betray ignorance of the subject. I contend there’s no way an educated, and rational person could not be worried about the impending deadly situation which has few solutions, and most of those are not attainable by individual (only global) action.

We’re triggering a massive die-off, the extinction of countless plants and animals when we change their climate around them. The mutants which are adapted to the changed situation will survive as those species lucky enough to have adapted mutants always have throughout evolution. Humans have the luxury of adapting quickly in a lifetime to many environments, but most plants and animals do not. It’s going to be a difficult future to survive in, or rather it will be for most of the lifeforms on Earth at this time.

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GE scientists in as early as 1956 realized global warming (climate change) was being caused by pollution.