You Can Vote, But You Can’t Travel in Canada

This situation is BS.

A Manitoba MP is crying discrimination after two aboriginal women were not allowed to board a plane with her, even though they had tickets.

Niki Ashton, who represents the Churchill riding for the NDP, said Gail and Joyce Nepinak were scheduled to fly to Ottawa from Winnipeg with her on Sunday evening.
niki-ashton

MP Niki Ashton said the Nepinaks were embarrassed when they were not allowed to board the plane. (CBC)

​ The Nepinaks had been invited by the House of Commons to speak at the special committee on missing and murdered indigenous women on Monday.

If an MP (with ID) cannot vouch for a passenger, then the whole point of security is exposed for what it is. It’s not to ensure that the people boarding are who they say they are (or who a trustworthy public figure says), it’s to demand red-tape obedience from lowly people not afforded the human dignity to travel freely. It exposes the system’s racism.

Manitoba to Ottawa is an in-Canada flight. There should be no requirement to have photo ID to travel freely within Canada (especially at the request of Parliament).

Ashton asked to speak to an Air Canada manager but one never showed up.

She said that in many ways this situation is symbolic of the systemic discrimination aboriginal people face in so many areas of their daily lives.

This doesn’t just show Air Canada’s horrible customer service, it shows our airline industry and culture around airport travel is very sick and inhuman.

F-35: Don’t Need No Stinking Accountability

I am genuinely concerned that there is no viable alternative party for conservatives in Canada who have, to this point, put all of their eggs into the Harper basket(case) Conservative Party of Canada. It’s staggering, the amount of intellectual fortitude (dishonesty) it takes to justify the crimes, the lying, the harassment, and general bad-neighbourly things the Harper Conservatives have done to Canadians.

It must taste awful to have to claim that Stephen Harper is a sound fiscal manager, while there are indisputable lists everywhere showing how he’s not even close to such a title.

The Harper Cabinet is filled with liars, habitual ethics violators, and hypocrites. Cynics will say it’s always been this way, but it doesn’t have to be, with this group of distasteful, mean people ruling by fear, while simultaneously ^NOT fearing an early end to their own cushy jobs. “If you vote NDP, they’ll destroy the economy and you’ll lose your job,” can’t you hear the Info Alert emails spreading that line? “Strong, Stable, National Conservative Majority Government”? How many strong and stable people do you know who describe themselves that way? Isn’t it a bit like someone driving a Hummer or Corvette to compensate for, uh, intrinsic shortcomings?

There are so many millions of Canadians willing to put up with the abuse, but it really should stop. There are people without proper shelter, or enough food or hope, but the rail line is luxury travel these days, so good luck seeing a fruitful On To Ottawa march in the world’s second largest country. What will be the flashpoint of democratic change, if RoboCon and the F-35 $10B+ lie haven’t been it?

It’s been more than a month that many ministers of the government should have resigned or been fired in disgrace for openly lying to the House of Commons. What happens when mere commoners like you and I lie in court? For Conservative MPs, there is special treatment from the Speaker. If you find yourself on the stand entering your words into the public record, and are caught in a lie, see how far you get claiming it’s your constitutional right.

Has the media been pushed too far to accept the Harper government as acceptable, and even endorsement worthy? Still, it’s been months since RoboCon became widely known among well informed Canadians (like journalists), and still there is great hesitation in their papers and shows to identify Poutine, or mention that his scheme took place in only half a percent of the ridings affected by similar democracy-stealing crimes. That kind of forgiveness is really Christ-like. Maybe they’re all Christians before Canadians, or before journalists, or before people who want to live in a free country with a functioning democracy. Who among them are not cowards, or are edited by cowards?

==
Continue reading

What The F-35?

A lawsuit, jets, lies, no accountability?

[Canadians] “feel completely manipulated, completely lied to and they are pissed off; they want a corporation like Air Canada to be accountable for misleading them.”

Oh, nope, sorry that’s Air Canada, not the F-35 story, my mistake.

“In my view, no clear evidence has been presented beyond this, and thus the chair has no choice but to conclude that it cannot find that ministers knew or believed that what they were telling the House was not true or that it was intended to be misleading,” Scheer said. “In other words, the criteria of demonstrating that ministers knew their statements to the House were incorrect, and that they intended to mislead the House, has not been met.”

[Link added by me to story that's titled "Cabinet aware of full F-35 costs, MacKay says"]

Instead, Ministers can lie to us? Scary. That means 0 accountability.

Scheer is a Harper patsy, because he’s missed the point about Ministerial accountability and failed to act where the Prime Minister didn’t. If Ministers can lie to Parliament, then they can cheat and steal too. Their Constitutional right to lie, cheat, and steal might have more than a few duped Canadians contemplating class actions (too bad they don’t just vote better in the first place, or at all).

ConCalls – Globe & Mail Should Blush

IMG_9174There are days I worry that the Globe and Mail is unfit for birds to poop on it. If their endorsement of the Harper Conservatives prior to last year’s electoral fraud riddled election wasn’t enough of a credibility hit, there’s their more recently published Ibbitson column claiming Harpercons wouldn’t openly lie. I don’t think Ibbitson’s latest reversal makes up for that, because it’s not only the Conservatives’ reputation that has been shot to pieces by fighter jets.

Dave reminded me of how disappointed I am in the Globe and Mail. He thought of the same Ibbitson column, but put it in relation to the F-35 lies that are flying faster and more furious than any vapourware JSF jet. (hyperlinks added are my additions):

Remember when Ibbitson wrote this about Harper and others in relation to electoral fraud in the last federal election?

As a general rule, politicians never openly lie, because the consequences of being caught in one just aren’t worth it. (Think Watergate, Monica Lewinsky.) Neither of these men would take that risk.

We have absolutely no further reason to accept that premise in any way. Harper is a liar; his minister of national defence is a liar; his associate minister of national defence is a liar; and his minister of public works is a liar.

Hands up if you think Harper didn’t know about the voter suppression effort in May 2011. Because he says he didn’t?

Right. Thought so.

The only people worse than liars in power, are those who defend them (while entrusted with the media’s role to defend Canadians). Well, the liars are maybe worse. Can we agree they are both worthy of our scorn?
Continue reading

September 11 Lost To Terrorism

This article appeared on PostMedia websites in the lead-up coverage of September 11th, Ten Years Later.

A new generation is dawning, and they have no direct grasp of what it means to have lived through September 11, 2001. My experience may have been first hand through live TV, but like most Canadians, my life was never in danger on that day even though our country’s course was about to be changed. Our leaders swore our way of life would be protected, but instead it’s been changed by those terrorists who succeeded in many of their objectives. That morning it felt as if the world was changing as I watched with horror as smoke filled video rolled on the 24 hour TV news channel, and the second plane slammed into the second World Trade Center tower. Then in the coming days, weeks, and years, our world did change as laws were passed, a decade (unending?) long war began, and western society began to act more and more afraid of terrorist threats above any other legitimate concern. New generations will be born into this new “post 9/11 world”, not knowing the care free days when people dreamed of having their own flying cars. Do you remember when the biggest concerns at an airport were the cost of the ticket, lost bags, and air sickness instead of the body scanner/gropers, water bottles, shoes, and hijacking threat?

As we’ve refocused our attention away from peacekeeping to the so called “War on Terror”, we’ve ceded victory to those who sought to strip Westerners of their civil liberties and care free days. Terrorists act to initiate political change, and now we live in a “post 9/11 world” instead of just live. We define eras by major events, sometimes violent attacks, and also the end of oppression. The fall of the Berlin Wall is certainly a landmark used to define the end of the Cold War, but what will signal the end of the War on Terror? The violent death of Bin Laden could certainly be seen as such a turning point, if we wrap up our occupation of Afghanistan and the Americans leave Iraq. I think that’s why many people crassly celebrated the death of Bin Laden this year in America’s streets; it was a major event signaling a possible turn for the better in Western nations. We can scarcely afford another decade of fighting.

A standard line for letting security paranoia shape our country is the George Bush excuse, “They hate our freedoms“. Ignorance shapes us too; many Americans still incorrectly blame Canada for giving the hijackers access to our shared continent. Rather than truly preserving our legendary and historical freedom to easily cross from Canada into the USA and back, we’ve failed. The terrorists shouldn’t hate us as much now, because we’ve given up many freedoms due to their calculated attacks, despite our hollow insistence that we’re not giving in. This bothers me, and it should bother you too. It bothers us that thousands died a decade ago in a terrible surprise attack on civilians.

It is also our collective concern that the world known to the departed victims of those attacks is gone. It’s been replaced with security certificates, mandatory passports, NEXUS cards, a decade of Canada being at war, and mass arrests of people who publicly protest these changes. The very same politicians who promised to uphold our rights, freedoms, and preserve the world our honoured dead left too soon, have failed to deliver. We’ve failed to hold them accountable. It’s well past time we do a better job of honouring the pre-9/11 world we admired so much.

So Angry

Are you so angry you’d:
a- consider bombing a plane?
b- leak a secret classified document?
c- vote for Jason Kenney?
d- all of the above?

If you answered d-, you’re a Muslim man who has been accused and terror blacklisted, CSIS employed, Conservative. In other words, your life is shitty and effed-up by hate.

It’s beyond effing ridiculous that Kenney is still a minister. He’s been caught in so many televised lies, his constituents may be collectively the dullest in the country for putting him back in a position to be selected for cabinet. It’s a close race with Oda’s constituents though. I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because Harper would have simply appointed the liar to the Senate if he’d lost his seat.

Adil Charkaoui says he was “beside himself” with anger at the story last week, which cited a secret intelligence document that alleged he discussed attacking the plane with Abousfian Abdelrazik in 2000.

Charkaoui’s supporters are now calling for a public inquiry into why the CSIS report was leaked to Montreal’s La Presse. They say they have reason to believe high-ranking government officials are behind its release.

Gee! I wonder who that could be? Could I speculate for a moment and guess they have the previously sued Minister in mind? It’s how he operates – with dishonour.

“If this is what Mr. Kenney calls ‘very robust evidence’, he should consider sitting down with a Department of Justice lawyer to get straight on a few of the finer points of the legal system in this country.

“Frankly, it is dangerous to have someone like that in public office.”

She also accused Kenney of trying to intimidate her group into remaining silent — a gambit she said would not work.

Where’s WikiLeaks when we need it to tell us what really is going on in our effed-up and angry government?

Flight

April and I are on our way home from Halifax. We woke up at 4;15 to catch the shuttle, which after a short cab ride to catch it was probably not a better deal for two adults going to the airport, than a cab would have been.

I slept through most of the five hour flight, but woke up an hour ago hungry. I brought smores with me, but they wouldn’t let me heat them up for some reason, oh well.

Yesterday we drove from the north shore of PEI, east of Shaw’s beach to the Confederation Bridge. On the way we saw three large foxes in the ditch, near our campsite in the National Park. The bridge was about $20 cheaper than the ferry anyway, and it gave us the chance to go through Amherst to visit Gerry and Inez at their apartment in the Villa. We drove south with the intention to visit the Bay of Fundy, but when we got to Parrsborough, our tourist inclination had declined to the point where we simply drove on to Halifax. We got a good deal at the Atlantica on Hotwire, booked a reservation at The Bicycle Thief restaurant, and walked down the boardwalk. The night started out cool, but got muggy as the sun came out. I walked back to the hotel after getting fuel and dropping off the rental car.

==

On the plane the top story is of course the tragic shooting and bombing in Norway. When I first looked at the story on CNN the predictable comments all over it were blaming Al Qaeda, when of course this attack had no hallmark of the Islamist extremist group. The angry anti-Muslim commenters were ironically accusing their ideological brethren of the same thing he claims to have killed 100 people for – perpetuating a war with Muslims in European nations. If you take a look at the KKK in SK during the 1920s, you’ll see these sorts of culture struggles are nothing new, and neither are the whack jobs who exploit ignorance and Christian fundamentalism, and hatred to extend their twisted causes. The right wing needs to look in the mirror and ask if they are willing to again be led by madmen, into random hate killings. The USA is not untouched by this, from the Oklahoma bombing in the mid nineties, to the Giffords shooting a few months ago.

Ontario

Flew to Toronto on Monday morning, and slept along the way, still only giving me a few hours of sleep, as I was wound up and doing chores I hadn’t done due to wedding preparations. Rented a car downtown after taking the TTC, and went back to the airport to pick up our friend who was on layover to Madrid.

We shopped at Yorkdale, and at at an Italian place with good food and good rating on Urban Spoon, and went back to the airport. We drove up to Richmond Hill and spent the night after talking in tbe Man Cave.

On Tuesday we met ACotta, drove to London, and camped at a friend’s.

Wednesday we went to Niagara Falls, then met Scott in Woodstock, and ate at East Side Marios. We almost ran out of gas, and put $59.59 into the tank of our Mazda 5.