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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tell me why (I don't like Mondays)

Or "National Post deathwatch part 23"

National Post stops Monday editions in summer

As CanWest sinks further and further into debt and tries desperately to stave off its creditors the company has announced that its flagship newspaper will not be publishing on Mondays through the summer. Think of this as the Aspers' version of "Rae Days".

Post publishers Paul Godfrey and Gordon Fisher are trying to put the best face they can on this move stating in their Note to Readers that "this change is in some respects simply a return to what used to be the norm. Financial Post, the 102-year-old heart of our newspaper, prospered for years as a Tuesday-to-Saturday publication." Somehow, I think most Post employees and readers don't see this retreat as a nod to nostalgia.

As CanWest tries to sell of non core assets and dead weight in an attempt to remain solvent the Aspers will have to, sooner rather than later, decide the ultimate fate of the National Post which has never once returned a profit in its ten year history. Chances are that by the end of the summer it won't be just Mondays on which the Post won't be publishing.
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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Order of Canada revoked from disgraced recipient


No, convicted felon Conrad Black still has his gong.

The disgraced figure who has been stripped of his Order of Canada is T. Sher Singh, a prominent Guelph lawyer who was appointed to the order in 2001. Singh was expelled from the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2007 after he "failed to serve clients, mishandled trust funds, misappropriated $2,000 from a client and continued to practise after being suspended in November 2005." The Toronto Star reported earlier this week that Singh's Order of Canada was revoked in December 2008 "pursuant to the Law Society of Upper Canada finding Mr. Singh guilty of professional misconduct and revoking his licence to practise law."

There is no indication that Singh was either criminally charged or convicted for his misdeeds.

So here's the question, if someone can have their Order of Canada taken away as a result of being disciplined by a professional body for misconduct then why does Conrad Black still have his Order when he has been rendered a much more severe judgment by a criminal court?

If you are no longer deemed worthy of an honour for having misappropriated $2,000 and being expelled from the Law Society of Upper Canada, then certainly committing a $6.1 million fraud and being sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison is automatic cause for being de-orderized?

Conrad Black has lost every appeal and the Supreme Court of the United States appears to have passed up its option to consider Black's case a month ago. So why does Black still have the Order of Canada?
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Friday, 3 April 2009

Meir Weinstein of JDL nailed by CBC Radio News World at Six



CBC Radio News has a report this evening on Meir Weinstein and the Jewish Defence League. Where other media outlets have failed to dig further into Weinstein's past or that of the JDL the CBC managed to put Weinstein on the spot. Weinstein tries to wiggle away with some rather disingenuous excuses as well as outright lies but I'll provide a dissection a little later. But first, here's a rush transcript of tonight's CBC Radio News report on Meir Weinstein and l'affaire Galloway:

Bernie McNamee: There's another twist tonight in the George Galloway saga. The controversial British MP was refused entry to Canada because of his alleged support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. now it turns out the man claiming credit for tipping off immigration officials is Meir Weinstein. Galloway's supporters say Weinstein himself was a spokesperson for a Jewish extremist group on Canada's list of banned terrorist organizations. Our security correspondent Bill Gillespie has the story.

Channel 4 News presenter: Banned from Canada and branded a threat to national security George Galloway says he'll fight a shameful decision.

Bill Gillespie: Britain's Channel 4 led their newscast this week with the Galloway affair. In fact, they brought Galloway and Meir Weinstein together to butt heads on a trans-Atlantic video link.

Meir Weinstein (on C4): We are extremely determined to uncover any proxy agents of Hamas.

Galloway (on C4): You don't have to uncover me, I'm an open book.

Bill Gillespie: Ottawa's decision to ban Galloway came four hours after Weinstein held a news conference alleging that the British MP had provided material support for Hamas, a banned terrorist organization in Canada but Galloway's supporters in the blogosphere say Weinstein himself was once a member of a Jewish terrorist group. In 1994 he was identified in a Canadian Press article as a spokesperson for the Kach Party, also known as Kahane Chai. A Kach member in Israel had just massacred more than 50 Palestinian worshippers. Weinstein refused to condemn the attack. He doesn't deny making the statement but he denies ever being a member of Kach.

Meir Weinstein: I've never been a member of Kach or Kahane Chai.

Gillespie: Canada, the US, and the European Union later put Kach and Kahane Chai on their list of banned terrorist organizations. Weinstein denies any connection between Kach and his present group, the Jewish Defence League of Canada. But left-wing bloggers who support Galloway point out that the logos of both groups - a clenched fist in an embedded Star of David - are almost identical. Weinstein says Kach stole the logo from the JDL.

Meir Weinstein: Um, that's the logo of the Jewish Defence League so they took it from the Jewish Defence League but again I don't dictate to them what they're going to do or anything like that.

Gillespie: But bloggers also discovered a link on Weinstein's Facebook page to a chat group called "Death to Arabs". Weinstein says the link was sent to him in Hebrew and he added it not knowing what it said. He has since deleted it. But despite his best efforts he didn't succeed in keeping Galloway from his speaking engagements in Canada.

Galloway (Toronto speech): You won't be able to hide behind your immigration officials who can't speak up for themselves.

Gillespie: The pro-Palestinian group in Toronto that invited Galloway beamed him into a packed church on an internet video link. Bill Gillespie, CBC News, Toronto.

1) Kach stole the JDL's logo? Come on Meir, why not give the actual explanation which is that the JDL was founded in 1968 in New York by Meir Kahane who moved to Israel in 1971 where he founded the Kach Party a few years later. They have the same logo because they are both founded and led by Kahane (who remained the JDL's mentor long after he founded Kach). Is Weinstein accusing Kahane of stealing the logo from himself? Secondly, as Bill Gillespie reported Weinstein himself was a Kach spokesperson in North America (Weinstein didn't deny this, he simply equivocated by saying he was never a Kach "member"). As for there being no connection between Kach, Kahane Chai and the JDL - that's just a bald-faced lie. Apart from having the same founder and leader in the person of Kahane, even after Kahane's death his successor as JDL leader, Irv Rubin, raised funds for Kach/Kahane Chai and promoted the terrorist group.

2) Unfortunately Bill Gillespie didn't report on the JDL's own well documented history of terrorism or the fact that JDL leader Irv Rubin and his deputy, Earl Krugel were arrested in 2001 for plotting to blow up a mosque in Los Angeles (Rubin had been in Montreal months before trying to set up a Montreal JDL chapter). Krugel was convicted - Rubin escaped justice by killing himself in prison.

3) "Weinstein says the link (to join the "Death to the Arabs" Facebook group) was sent to him in Hebrew and he added it not knowing what it said." Now I just laughed when I heard this. Weinstein has been an observant Jew, by his reckoning, since the late 1970s and even claims to have served in the Israeli military but he can't read Hebrew? I have to give him credit though, this was somewhat more believable than Weinstein's original explanation which was that the Iranians somehow planted the link on his page.

Let's hope Gillespie, and the rest of the media, follow up on this. According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START) the JDL was for many years the second most active domestic terrorist group in the United States. There's no reason for the Canadian media to let them off the hook or for any of us to tolerate their attempts to influence Jason Kenney or the Canadian government.

UPDATED: The report is now up on YouTube:

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Galloway sues Farber, CTV, Kenney, Velshi

On Wednesday, I was the first to report that British MP George Galloway was suing Bernie Farber and CTV for libel. Today, Canadian Press reports on this and adds that he will also be suing Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Alykhan Velshi for remarks they made about him.

This should get interesting. Let's home he finds cause to add the human troglodyte Meir Weinstein to the list.
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Wednesday, 1 April 2009

George Galloway suing Bernie Farber and CTV

Word out of Montreal tonight that George Galloway made public during his webcast to Concordia tonight that he has launched a devamation lawsuit against Canadian Jewish Congress CEO Bernie Farber and CTV for defamation uttered in an interview.

UPDATE: Galloway repeated the news in his webcast to Ottawa and the National Post has picked up the story.
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Friday, 20 March 2009

Kenney vs Velshi

Reading the New York Times' lexicological take on Canada's decision to bar British anti-war MP George Galloway from entering our fair land, I'm left wondering about the dynamics in the relationship between Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney and his aide Alykhan Velshi. It's quite clear who the brains is in the outfit. Velshi reaches back three centuries to find what he feels is the right word to describe Galloway as an "infandous street corner Cromwell." Infandous, which according to the Oxford English Dictionary hasn't been used in English since 1708, means something approximating 'unspeakable' or 'too odious to be mentioned'. Meanwhile Kenney, in an interview with Channel 4 News in Britain was somewhat less articulate telling the presenter that he isn't going to let Galloway "pee on our carpet". Kenney's language better reflects the actual thought processes of the government as the decision to bar Galloway from entry is infantile. Of course, we shouldn't assume that Velshi's seeming ability to find just the right arcane word is a result of a love of language - it may be the product of a love of death metal which, given our government's ideology, is not out of the question.
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Saturday, 7 March 2009

NDP Convention: 3rd ballot - Horwath wins

Third Ballot

Andrea Horwath 6732.34 (60.4%)

Peter Tabuns 4420.66 (39.6%)
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NDP convention: second ballot

Second ballot results

horwath 5259.06 votes - 43.6%

tabuns 3819.82 votes - 31.7 %

Bisson 2988.12 votes 24.8%

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NDP convention: First ballot results

total weighted vote and percent
Horwath 4625.29 votes, 37.1%
Tabuns 3437.93 votes, 27.6%
Bisson 2954.23 votes, 23.7%
Prue 1438.44 votes, 11.5%

Prue just went to Bisson
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NDP Convention (5): Horwath

Marie Kelly from Steel nominates Horwath. Andrea understands how important it is to stand up for working people and keep good jobs in Ontario. Now more than ever we need a strong leader who can protect the interests of working people and the right to join a union, who will pass anti-scab laws, cares about working people. It's time for Andrea.

Tyler Downie of SEIU seconds nomination. This will be the most important decision we make as NDPers. we must take community organizing to a new level, engage young people, communities. it takes a commitment to on the ground organizing and andrea can engage and bring people together. we don't need another politician, we need an organizer.

Chris Charlton, MP: I've known Andrea for 20 years, we've been on picket lines together, fought for housing, pensions... she has enthusiaism to get the job done. she was cochair of hamilton days of action and succeeded in bringing 50,000 workers out. succeeded in getting on city council and in the legislature. now is the time.

Kormos introduces Horwath [sorry I lost my notes of what he said due to a technical glitch]

[video]

[drum band walks Horwath in]

Horwath: thank you so much. There is no other place i would rather be than right here with you because i believe the people in this room hold the seed for ontario's future. great change started in rooms like this. people like you decided that every child deserves an education... this room is filled with real people who work in hospitals, day care centres, factories... we are students, retirees... but we all came here because we are committed to change. we may not be rich but we are powerful. we believe in building a better world. you can knock us down, ignore us, write our political obituaries but we are the people who will keep on going. knock us down and we will get up again because we are new democrats. like every ontarian we are experiencing change. a week ago the steel mills in the skyline represented work. now they represent people out of work, an economy ripped apart by neo-liberalism. an economy with a gutted industrial base. those mills represent steel no longer made but also autos no longer made in windsor, a devestated forestry sector... when we look we see all of ontario. i was a caw brat. i went to university because my father had a good job. i would not be here today if it wasn't for my father's well paid union job. this economic and social crisis will effect everyone of us. when good jobs disappear how many children lose their future? when we lose child care how many families become working poor.

look at the difference a year has made. the middle class is disappearing and the working class is largely unemployed. we could accept this and adjust, that's what the other parties say, but adjust to what, growing unemployment lines and growing food bank lines, adjust to this growing . discrepency. adjust so that those who stole our money can get more of it? We refuse to adjust!

we'll invest in ourselves, our workplaces. it's our money we will demand an equity stake. it's our money. smart investments, targeted investments in products of the future. light rail. we'll build green cars. we will produce once again and we will buy our own products. we'll buy farm products grown in ontario.

we'll put light rail systems in our cities and invest in our work by making ontario a transit hub. we'll make every job a good job. we will make sure minimum wage is a living wage. we'll get rid of scab labour. we will make sure part time, casual and migrant workers are all treated like the real workers that they are and we will bring our workforce back to health. we will stop eating away at our public system. we will expand our public system. let's make child care and post secondary education fully public.

the neo liberal experiment has exploded. the invisible hand doesn't work. it never existed and we should not trust invisible hands to take care of us.

we won't adjust to the growing misery. we will change. we will think for ourselves and won't trust a few greedy individuals to take care of us.

i'm a community organizer and i trust people but it's not a blind trust. i've seen what people can accomplish together like the days of action. when i think about our climate crisis i do so with the mind of an organizer. people want a cleaner environment and i trust people will make the changes they need to make to get that. we must help them by making environementalism affordable with loans for [environmental retrofits]

we won't check our socialism at the door when it comes to building a better future. let's do for the environment what we did for health care 50 years ago. let's make environemtalism universal.

we owe people a real choice. we have to be ready to change ourselves. we have to set internal goals for our party that seem impossible. we must double our party membership by 2011. we must reflect ontario with more women, young people, diverse communities. we must work in communities like organizing by listening and working together on issues that are relevent. let's be truly representative as a party. put regional organizers on the ground. change the financial relationship between ridings and the parties. make ridings vibrant. i will spend half my time on the road to make us vibrant. it's time for us to believe in ourselves again. we can make this province a better, fairer place where the avg working woman gets the child care she needs and McGuinty gets the pink slip he deservces and that is what we owe the people in ontario in 2011.

things aren't working at queen's park. it's time for new voices, change. it's time for the NDP, in 2011 we will bring change to queen's park and i am the woman to do it.
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