Over the last eight years I have written almost a hundred posts about the case of Omar Khadr, Canada’s child soldier.
For I consider it one of the greatest cases of injustice in the history of this country, a shameful episode that should haunt us forever.
So you can imagine how I felt today when I read that he may finally be free.
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It’s been a cold miserable spring that feels more like fall. After the winter from hell.
And it is Harperland.
Where a depraved would be dictator is trying to buy the next election, turn us into a police state, and lead us into one war after the other.
After running the economy into the ground, and doing his best to torch the planet.
So I must say I was surprised to see that so many Canadians are so happy.
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Did you hear the news? Pakistan has inked a deal to buy eight modern Chinese submarines. Pakistan, yeah. And the Pakistan navy is looking at developing nuclear warheads for the torpedoes and cruise missiles those subs carry. What do you think of that? Does it evoke any sort of visceral reaction in you? I wouldn’t bet on it.
Those familiar with this blog know that I devote some time monitoring arms races underway in many corners of the world but especially in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and, of course, Russia and Eastern Europe. They’re all little beehives of martial adventurism and incipient mass mayhem.
Interesting piece in today’s Guardian about how the West’s mega-billion dollar annual arms sales to our ‘Middle Eastern allies‘ (snicker, snicker) is destabilizing the region. On this score even Canada gets special mention.
The Middle East is plunging deeper into an arms race, with an estimated $18bn expected to be spent on weapons this year, a development that experts warn is fuelling serious tension and conflict in the region.
Given the unprecedented levels of weapons sales by the west (including the US, Canada and the UK) to the mainly Sunni Gulf states, Vladimir Putin’s decision last week to allow the controversial delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran – voluntarily blocked by Russia since 2010 – seems likely to further accelerate the proliferation.
That will see agreed arms sales to the top five purchasers in the region – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt and Iraq – surge this year to more than $18bn, up from $12bn last year. Among the systems being purchased are jet fighters, missiles, armoured vehicles, drones and helicopters.
…“It’s crazy,” says Ben Moores, author of IHS Jane’s annual report on arms buying trends. “The one Canadian deal alone – to supply Saudi Arabia with light armoured vehicles – will account for 20% of the military vehicles sold globally in years covered by the contract. And this is just the thin edge of the wedge. Saudi has booked enough arms imports in 24 months for them to be worth $10bn a year.”
…as Tobias Borck of the Royal United Services Institute points out, states in the Middle East are now more prepared to use the weapons they are buying.
“[The] Saudi-led military operations in Yemen [are] the latest manifestation of Arab interventionism, a trend that has been gaining momentum in the Middle East since the uprisings of the Arab spring,” he says. “Middle Eastern countries appear to be increasingly willing to use their armed forces to protect and pursue their interests in crisis zones across the region.”
Referring to the inconsistent approach by key security council members towards arms control in the region, he adds: “There are a lot of different streams feeding into this arms race.
“On Syria’s chemical weapons and the Iranian nuclear programme the two issues were ringfenced as pure arms control questions. When it comes to how we perceive our arms sales – whether they are British or US or whatever – it tends to be seen as a domestic economic issue – protecting our factories.
“That neglects the regional political dimensions, with arms sales taking place with a lack of regard for that context and without long-term strategic awareness.”
…Omar Ashour, an expert on Middle East security issues at Exeter University, adds another caution, this time over the intentions of the new Saudi-led Arab coalition, warning that its interventions are unlikely to contribute to stability.
…Speaking to the Guardian last week, he added: “On top of that, the increases in arms sales are bound to be extremely destabilising. At the moment most of the interventions have been against softer targets – Saudi Arabia targeting guerrillas in Yemen; Egypt against Bedouin in Sinai; or strikes against ragtag armies in Libya.
“But if the ‘soft’ keeps being hit hard they won’t remain soft. They will find their own patrons and proxies and hit back and it will lead to a vicious cycle.”
Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at Sipri, which maintains a database tracking arms contracts, raises another concern. “Something that doesn’t get mentioned is the complete lack of interest in arms control among the countries in region. It is not in the minds of leaders and decision-makers except for the need to arm to defeat any potential opponent.
“There is already instability in the region on several levels. You have instability in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. There is instability between Iran and the Gulf states. What is important now is how the massive expansion of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar will be seen as posing a clear threat to Iran.”
Borck adds a final warning: “If you are going for an ever-bigger hammer, then the more desperate you are to make every problem a nail.”
In summary, Stephen Harper just inked a massive deal to perpetuate the Middle East conflicts and ensure that the region remains destabilized for years, possibly decades to come. Yet, at the very same time, we’re over there bombing one bunch of bad actors in order to restore stability to the region. Neat trick, eh? What do we have in mind for a third act? It should be pretty exciting for laid back Canada.
While I’m on the topic of warmongering and this insane global arms bazaar, I thought I’d share with you an investment analysis that arrived in my inbox yesterday concerning industry giant, Lockheed Martin. The title speaks volumes:
“Lockheed Martin: Well-Positioned To Take Advantage Of Global Destabilization”
With the huge ramp up in geopolitical tensions and global conflict, the international markets are becoming much more relevant for Lockheed Martin. As such, Lockheed Martin’s decision to put increasing emphasis on international expansion is extremely smart. The company even plans to have its international segment account for at least one-quarter of its total sales. Given how much worse geopolitical tensions and conflicts have gotten in the last few quarters, Lockheed Martin will very likely be able to follow through on its international ambitions.
The Middle East, in particular, represents huge opportunities for Lockheed Martin. With conflicts in the Middle East escalating, the company’s sales to the region will surely constitute a huge portion of its international business segment. Just recently, another Middle Eastern conflict emerged in the form of a rapidly destabilizing Yemem. The Yemen situation has gotten so bad that Saudi Arabia is now basically in a proxy war against Iran. Given Lockheed Martin’s somewhat close relationship with Saudi Arabia, this conflict should present the company with plenty of new opportunities. In fact, CEO Marillyn Hewson met with several senior Saudi Arabian leaders to discuss new business opportunities.
The Middle East is just one of many promising international markets for Lockheed Martin. From increasing missile defense system sales in conflict zones such as Eastern Europe (e.g. MEADs sales to Ukraine) to jet deals in the APAC region(e.g. F-35 sales to South Korea), Lockheed Martin is building a formidable international presence. As international tensions/conflicts are only getting worse, Lockheed Martin has an opportune chance to cement its global presence.
Maybe Harper should dispatch Old Leatherback, Joe Oliver, over to the ME as Canada’s ambassador for warmongering. This is just getting started and there’s countless billions to be had with the race going to the quickest.
It was a frightening sight, and for a moment I thought Stephen Harper had finally gone off the deep end.
For there he was, on the day when he was supposed to be celebrating the launch of his new budget, screaming at the opposition, waving his arms around wildly, trying to explain why he’s trying to bribe the rich.
While simultaneously trying to shrug off what Oily Joe Oliver had to say about his granddaughter.
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It is without a doubt one of the most irresponsible statements I have ever heard, and it comes courtesy of the old Con zombie Joe Oliver.
Who not content with delivering a smoke and mirrors budget worthy of a Con artist as I pointed out yesterday.
A so called balanced budget which is intended only to give them an excuse to try to buy the next election, by bribing some of the wealthiest Canadians.
Now says take the money, suck it up, and let future generations pay for it.
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As the community partner for the DOXA screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, we have a pair of tickets to give away to the screening on Tuesday, May 5 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cinematheque in Vancouver. For more on the film, which Ms. has called “a feminist masterpiece” that “offers an inspiring account of the women’s liberation […]
Dalhousie University is in the news again, to the dismay of its administrators. Following the scandal earlier this year in which male dentistry students made comments on social media that joked about rape and generally debased women, a more recent report told of how male students in a university residence shared explicit images of female […]
It won’t happen of course, not in this corrupted Harperland, where decency goes to die.
But if there was any justice, Boss Harper, Oily Joe Oliver, and the rest of the Con mob would be in a police lineup.
Preparing to be charged with crimes against democracy and electoral fraud.
For conspiring to bribe voters, and trying to con Canadians into believing that what they presented us with yesterday was a budget.
When in fact it was nothing more, as John Geddes points out, than a 518-page campaign pamphlet.
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She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, the new documentary about the women who founded the feminist movement in the United States from 1966 to 1971, has been collecting rave reviews for months. Ms. Magazine called it: “A feminist film masterpiece” that “offers an inspiring account of the women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s.” Samantha Updegrave at Bitch said about watching the film: “Within […]
Well let’s put it this way, his PMO handlers did their best to turn it into a glamorous photo-op, but it wasn’t exactly Cinderella slipping on her dainty glass slipper.
And it wasn’t pretty.
It was just Ol’ Joe Oliver, pulling on his new pair of Made in America, New Balance running shoes with Con blue laces.
But as bizarre as that spectacle was, it did mark the beginning of Stephen Harper’s final push for another bloody majority.
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They are one of Stephen Harper’s favourite photo-op props. The thin red line of Canadian Rangers who guard Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic.
He even likes to dress up as one of them…
But now that there is news that the Rangers may be in trouble.
A “significant number” of Canadian Rangers in the Arctic have died in recent years, a trend that is causing concern about the strains on those tasked with being Canada’s “eyes and ears” in the North, according to documents obtained by CBC News.
There is no comment from him or the Canadian military.
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As we all know Stephen Harper is no Great Warrior Leader, no matter what his faithful flunkies, and the voices in his head tell him.
And we’d be crazy to trust him with our safety, when he’s the greatest threat we face.
But it seems tomorrow’s long delayed budget, won’t just be a crass attempt to buy votes, it will also be a Great War and Security Budget.
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OK. I realize that Joe Oliver doesn’t know what’s he’s doing. And that the budget he will finally deliver tomorrow was written in the PMO.
But you’d think the Cons would have stopped promoting his absurd balanced budget bill, which would punish cabinet ministers with a five percent wage freeze if they dared run a deficit.
After the NDP pointed out how much it would cost them and their Great
Economist Buffoon Leader.
He must be so excited. In just a few more days his monstrous anti-terrorist bill C-51 will become law, Canada will become a police state.
And he can start going after all his enemies real or imagined. For by now in the final stages of his mental and moral degeneration, his paranoia knows no limit.
And his depraved desire to jail even more Canadians can barely be restrained.
But if he thinks he is going to get away with it he is sadly mistaken, as tens of thousands of people all over Canada made clear again yesterday.
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Yesterday I wrote about how Stephen Harper is invoking a clause in the anti-terror act to try to prevent a court from revealing his family’s secrets, in a case brought by a former RCMP officer.
And today the Judge in that case reserved her decision.
But that’s not the only secret Harper is trying to conceal.
He also doesn’t want us to know how the Cons came up with the slogan they are now bombarding us with: “Strong, Proud, Free.”
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Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of A Rally for our Right to Accessible Abortion. As painful as it was to be standing outside in the cold asking for the right to control my own body, the rally was the best day of my tiny young life.
As we know Stephen Harper is preparing to pass Bill C-51 so he can turn Canada into a police state and spy on us all.
Because he does want to dig up as many dirty secrets as possible, use them against his opponents.
And finally achieve the state of Total Control the voices in his head have been demanding for so long. Because they don’t call him Ol’ Handcuffs for nothing eh?
But it seems that Great Ugly Leader doesn’t like the idea of Canadians finding out his dirty secrets. So he’s making that a terrorist offence.
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Uh oh. Somebody call an ambulance, or his make-up artist, or the guy who fixes his hair helmet.
Because it seems the Supreme Court has just given Stephen Harper, our Dark Lord of the Flies, another massive slap in the face.
The Supreme Court has delivered a major blow to the Conservative government’s crime agenda, striking down a mandatory minimum sentence for illegal gun possession in a way that suggests other laws could also fall.
Or *KAPOW !#@!!! as Batty Harper’s faithful Robin, Ray Novak, might say…
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As you know, the thought that the old oil pimp Joe Oliver is Canada’s Minister of Finance keeps me awake at night, with my wallet under my mattress.
Because I don’t think he knows what he’s doing, or even what year it is.
And his balanced budget proposal couldn’t be more absurd.
Joe Oliver won’t table his next budget for two more weeks, but the federal finance minister announced today that he’ll table a second bill this month — one to force future governments to keep their books in the black.
Especially this part:
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I try not to watch too much American TV news, because what’s happening in this diseased Harperland is crazy enough.
And because every time I do watch it these days, it seems another black man is being killed by a white police officer for no sane reason.
And when I see someone handcuff a human being after shooting him six times in the back, as the South Carolina police officer Michael Slager did to Walter Scott, makes me almost physically ill…
Brian Lilley compares the “wall to wall” coverage of Senator Mike Duffy’s trial versus the relatively scant coverage of Liberal and convicted child porn offender, Benjamin Levin: And, at Crux of the Matter, Sandy compares Mike Duffy’s treatment with th…
They were already the worst government Canada has ever known, a freakish horror show and a fascist circus.
But as the economy heads south, and their desperation grows, Stephen Harper’s Con clowns are sinking to new levels of depravity and incompetence.
Because everywhere you look they are making fools out of themselves…
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“Because it’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news. True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself.” ― Joss … Continue reading →
Ever since the trial of Mike Duffy began, I keep getting asked the same haunting question:
If Duffy is being charged with accepting a bribe, why wasn’t Nigel Wright charged with bribing him by cutting him that $90,000 cheque?
And I have to explain that the RCMP has yet to explain that decision. But it seems that they didn’t believe that Wright obtained any “personal benefit” from that blatant bribe to try to keep Ol’ Duff from opening his big mouth.
And then I have to explain that yes it’s true, and no I’m not insane, and since I’m not a lawyer, and legalese gives me headaches, I’m really glad to see that Democracy Watch is still demanding justice.
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One of the reasons I hate living in Stephen Harper’s corrupt, morally depraved Canada is that you can’t trust anything his Cons say, because they lie all the time.
They spend billions trying to brainwash Canadians, they distract and confuse them. They muzzle their critics, and force government departments to synchronize their messages with the ones from the PMO.
Until the truth becomes some sort of twilight zone, and a democratic nightmare. Because without truth there can be no freedom.
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Well he’s off to the Summit of the Americas in Panama, along with his travelling photo-op.
But despite the
cheery forced smile, and the fact that nobody in Latin America wants to see him, Stephen Harper must be so glad to be leaving Canada.
Because he couldn’t have had a more horrible and disastrous week.
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Shugs & Fats, a.k.a. Nadia Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, are a comedy duo self-described as “two Hijabis striv[ing] to find themselves by adopting the latest Western trends of self expression and personal growth” in Brooklyn. In thi episode, Shugs & Fats take to the street to interview passers-by about feminism and judging women based on […]
“People want responsible leadership. On big issues, they are not going to sit in their homes. They will act and press for action.” Kofi Annan It’s a hard job being a politician. From the moment you announce you are running … Continue reading →
Dear Readers: Coming soon to a city near you ………,stupid laws and regulations! Yup, they’re doing it in England and the States, BUT, we got them all beat!! In England, Councils creating ‘bizarre new criminal offences’ &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp; &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;img alt=”PA Wire” src=”http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/629342/article_update_img.jpg”A campaign group has criticised a new law which allows councils to ban activities such as […]
Remember the big kerfuffle because the Republicans in the States claimed Obama was ineligible to be President because he was born in Nigeria, or Slobvania, or somewhere else ……… anywhere else except the United States? (Wrong, and that asshole Donald Trump is STILL going on about that!) Well kids, apparently what’s good for the goose is […]
Senator Ted Cruz announced over the weekend that he would run for President, and the liberal internet has by and large taken the opportunity to laugh at Cruz, because Ted Cruz’s positions are utterly crazy and should (in theory) make winning a presidential election extremely difficult. But I have a problem with this, and the […]
Scottish Sceptic issues A personal apology to Obama and Cameron:
Any Democrat, Tory or any other politicians who are still extolling the virtues of Global … will now know that they have been very mistaken: the public are no longer swallowing the
global warming lies!
… What a shame you didn’t listen to us sceptics
… Did it never occur to you that you were being led to attack vast constituencies of your own voters?
… So, sorry Obama, sorry Cameron, sorry to the hate-mongers like Kerry, sorry to the gullible idiots like Milliband. Sorry Jo Swinson my own MP. Sorry … to every politician who were so keen to jump on the bandwagon of hate directed against vast swathes or your own electorates.
On the heels of the whole “Toy Of The Year” fiasco, we now have this: Lego is handing out beauty tips to girls aged 5-12. Yup. If you remember, back in 2011 Lego introduced their Lego Friends line. Aimed at […]
According to Paul Rimstead (I think), Bud Grant, the old Winnipeg Blue Bombers coach from the USA, used to say that “Canadians should be more like Texans.” Today it might be said that Stephen Harper from Alberta has now realized this dream. And whether you approve or not is the main ballot question in this […]
Image via My husband asked me the other day if I had changed the password on his phone. My negative reply caused us to pause for a moment before turning to our daughter. Let’s just say that she needs to […]