Tag Archives: Politics

Was Egypt’s Gentle Coup an American Takeover?

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Gee … I can’t imagine what life under a dictator would be like (maybe Canada could do with a little regime change?), but I know this:  life under the military will likely be harder for Egyptians.

The “Walk Like an Egyptian” campaign staged by hundreds of thousands of people seems to be subsiding, but let’s repeat who’s in charge now:  The military.

In most circles, a transition of power from the leader (regardless of how he or she got there) is called a coup d’etat.  As defined by Wikipedia:

A coup d’etat is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military — to replace the deposed government with another body; either civil or military. A coup d’état succeeds if the usurpers establish their dominance when the seated government fails to disallow their consolidation of power.

In the case of Egypt, I would call it a gentle coup.  The military waited and they seemed to get what they wanted.  Not to sound cold, but few people died in the transition and right now, it actually seems like a responsible host of military leaders will help Egypt emerge from dictatorship.

Or will they?

In Egypt, we need to know to whom the military is beholden.  Are they representatives of Egyptians or an extension of the American military?

Don’t forget that Egypt is America’s second largest recipient of financial and military support – after Israel.  That kind of funding has to generate some kind of internal connections.

Did the turnover in Egypt occur because Hosni Mubarak wasn’t buying billions in new hardware?  In December, Wikileaks showed that the US made repeated attempts to encourage Mubarak’s regime to upgrade their military.  Substantial investments didn’t occur, resulting in Council of Foreign Relations expert Steven Cook to say this:

The cables reveal a military deeply reluctant to take part in regional counterterrorism efforts, and the focus on weapons necessary for desert battle is a reflection of that.  The Egyptian military is not good at or interested in, quite frankly, projecting power. It is there to ensure the survival of the regime and protect the country’s borders.

Not to defend Mubarak, but shouldn’t that be the priority of any government?

We also see that Israel was worried about Egypt’s commitments in the Middle East:

Meanwhile, Israel remains worried about Egypt’s current appetite for weapons. A July 2009 cable from Tel Aviv paraphrased political military chief Amos Gilad as saying “the Egyptian military led by Defense Minister [Mohamed] Tantawi continues to train and exercise as if ‘Israel was its only enemy.’ He added that … [Egypt’s] peace with Israel ‘is too thin, too superficial.’ ”

Looking at this information, one can’t help but wonder what was behind the activities for the last three weeks.  Was it a a pissed off Egyptian populace or an even more irate US industrial-military machine that was no longer getting support in Egypt’s upper echelons?  If bills weren’t being paid and hardware wasn’t being upgraded, could this have provided enough of a spark to overthrow Mubarak?

Other issues are at stake here, particularly the Suez Canal and the Gaza Strip.  The Suez is the most important oil asset to Europe and Gaza represents some of the most important real estate for Israel.  What happens next with these two locations will also reveal clues to why things happened the way they did in Egypt.

To sum up, as the military takes control, who they report to – the US or Egypt – will tell the full story.  Big, gluttonous upgrades and changes in real estate ownership will be the first sign to everyone that this had nothing to do with the will of the people.

Submit Your Complaint re the Conservative Party Attack Ads

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The new Conservative Party attack ads represent an all-time low for Canadian politics.  Here’s the “Do we really need an election?” and the “Does it make sense to raise taxes?” ad.

Taking someone’s comments and ‘exuberant’ pep rally comments and splicing these comments with outrageous claims should not only be deemed illegal, but should also be banned in this country.

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech.  It has everything to do with credibility.

The Conservatives now have none.

Submit your complaint to the following and demand that these ads be pulled immediately AND that a retraction and apology be submitted in equal air time during the same time slots that the original ads were aired:

Advertising Standards Canada

Also, I’m not 100% sure where the ads might have run, but you should at least follow the recommendations of the CRTC by following up with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC).  These broadcasters have profited by airing this garbage and they should be punished for it.

Here are the contact details for the CBSC:

  • online: www.cbsc.ca
  • email: complaints@cbsc.ca
  • mail: P.O. Box 3265, Station D Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6H8
  • fax: 613-233-4826
  • telephone: 613-233-4607
  • toll-free telephone: 1-866-696-4718

If you did see an ad on a specific network or show, be sure to note the date, time and approximate number of times you saw the ad.

To submit complaints to the individual networks, consider the following:

CTV Complaints

Global Complaints

CBC Complaints

Aside from suing the Conservative Party of Canada, it’s the quickest and most logical recourse.   People this corrupt should not be able to get away with this kind of chicanery.

Fair Game: Must See Movie

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The movie Fair Game, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts, captures the life of Valerie Plame-Wilson in the run up to the Iraq war.

It is a must see movie, but bear this in mind: it will piss you off.

It showcases just how corrupt the Republican government was in the years that followed 9/11 and clearly demonstrates that there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what happened to the Wilsons, why they weren’t believed, the shallow evidence that gave way for the Iraq war (something both Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff would have joined up with had they been in charge at the time), the morally bankrupt media infrastructure that fuels the lies and a tonne of other questions about the US political landscape.

Again, I’ll repeat:  it is a must see movie.

However, because of its topical nature, it leaves a simple Canuck like me wondering what kind of manipulation we face every day in Canada. The same people that ran the Bush Administration are extremely close to the Harper Administration / Regime.

How much longer should we allow that to continue?

I’m going to start lying now … because the CRTC says I can

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This update from Michael Geist speaks to the CRTC decision to modify their rules concerning false or misreading news.

In effect, what is says is that the CRTC will now allow our media companies and broadcasters to lie to the general public, assuming that no one gets hurt in the process.

They are lowering their standards when standards don’t need to be lowered.  Did you call the CRTC and ask for permission to lie to the public?  How about your friends and family members?  Did they request more lies with their vitriol?

September 1, 2011 will be a sad day for the Canadian public as this will be the intended day for implementing these new ‘dumbing down’ rules.

It’s crap like this that makes most Canadians believe that the CRTC should be scrapped.  It’s nothing but a Con and large media mouth piece.

To voice your disgust with this change, submit your comments here:

https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/instances-proceedings/Default.aspx?Status=Open&PubArea=Brd&PubType=All&PubSubType=All&lang=eng

Scroll to the bottom and click on Notice # 2011-14.

It’s unlikely that your comment will be heeded, but it might make you feel better.

No New Nukes in Ontario Please

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Dalton McGuinty is trying very hard to erode any support he has from the middle and left core that supported him in the last election.

The latest blow comes now to current voters, but to voters for the next 1,000 generations.

It’s very likely that Dalton McGuinty will announce a massive and glutonous investment in nuclear power later today.  The word is that Dalton’s plan will be to greatly increase the dominance (and spending) on nuclear, likely to the tune of $30-$50 billion dollars over several years (likely decades).

This translates to a cost of roughly $3,000 to $5,000 for EVERY SINGLE ONTARIO RESIDENT.

This is a waste of money and is a foolish way to develop a hydro plan and future for this province (and for Canada).

Instead of tossing good money into technology that has yet to work efficiently in this province, there are changes that the McGuinty fiberals should consider implementing immediately that will put a cap on electricity demand in this province.

The first thing to do is shift the mind-set from provincial generation and wasteful distribution to local independence.

These may seem like a pipe dream, but it can be a very simple reality.

Now that they have a majority (and it’s unlikely they’ll return to office given the volume of SNAFUs that have affected this government), they should create a legal mandate that ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT (residential housing, industrial, manufacturing and other activities that will increase future demand) be 100% sustainable and capable of producing energy rather than demanding it.

This is a simple implementation and all it takes is the will to make it happen.

There is no new investment required.  There is no new cost to taxpayers.

People that complain can stuff a sock in it.  If you aren’t interested in never paying for electricity again, then don’t bother looking to Ontario to invest.  This is a unique opportunity and we need to jump on it.

Renewable technologies and sources are ubiquitous and this legal mandate would create a turbo-boost to the renewable energy sector.  It wouldn’t just include major suppliers, but also instigate small and medium-sized businesses to respond to the challenge.  Installers, engineers, electricians and mechanics – just to name a few professions – would all have the opportunity to rise to this new challenge and to do what’s right for this economy.

New housing developments would become local power grids.  You wouldn’t need vast and wasteful distribution systems because the ‘node’ approach would satisfy local demand and would in fact be developed according to what might be demanded by a local community.

The core production would be based on solar, some wind and lots of geothermal.  Most of our residential costs in the summer are related to air conditioning and most of our costs in the winter are related to our furnaces.  Geo-thermal eliminates the need for both of these excessive formats.

Houses would have better standards applied and would cost more, but again, most people could be convinced to pay more if they weren’t confronted with monthly bills for the following:

  • Natural gas
  • Gas for your car
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • etc

Over the life of a mortgage, the cost is marginalized and the potential revenue opportunity from excess power could easily outweigh the initial upfront cost.  If you don’t like the extra cost, rent an apartment downtown.

Of course, this strategy doesn’t account for existing property, be it residential or commercial.  Again, this problem could be solved with legal requirement, but there are admittedly a lot of issues that arise from this.

  • What about those on fixed incomes?
  • What about businesses that simply don’t have the cash-flow for an initial outlay?
  • How do you find qualified people?
  • What if my house or building doesn’t have room for geo-thermal or doesn’t face south for solar?

And so on.  I don’t have a magic bullet solution on this, but I’m sure a few dozen smart policy wonks would be able to cobble together some ideas.

Despite that potential road-bump, I’ll remind you that there are two other ways to look at this broader strategy:

  • Encourage local communities to become net energy producers for the oncoming age of electric cars
  • Complete transfer of power to individuals

As we enter the age of the electric car, this will prove to be an excessive point of demand for electricity.  This is why McGuinty and the fiberals are panicking and why they’re ready to dump good money into the world’s most wasteful electrical production method (nuclear).

The only way to satisfy demand for electric cars is to make individuals responsible for creating that energy.  More importantly, communities that are effective at encouraging local production will become magnets for new investment, as people will seek out those communities that are making it easy to produce your own energy.

19th century laggards will get punished and will suffer a long slow economic death.

Finally, the most important realization in all of this is that power will be transferred to the people in more ways than one.  Giving people the ability to generate their own independence translates to exactly that:  independence.  A bold government will realize this and give the people what they should have.

If they don’t, they’re just another pack of control freaks that see us as peons rather than people.


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