Saturday, February 25, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Conservatives... oh wait I meant Stephen Harper Party loyalists.
Again with their fingers in the pie.
stunning revelations that people were misdirected to incorrect polling stations or non-existent ones, Elections Canada has traced the Election Day calls to Racknine Inc. an Edmonton company.
A quick peek at their site, 2call.ca, tells me they can process over 200,000 calls per hour as long as the destination phone grid can handle it. The best part is you only pay for the calls that connect.
I’m not a fan of these guys, I doubt you are either. Most of us have had meals interrupted by autodialers with Important Messages that we promptly hang up on, but they are a legal business. I don’t know how much responsibility these folks have in this case, but I do note that on television, those paid ad shows often have a disclaimer protecting the Channel.
After the News broke, the Harper Party Loyalists from Lord Stephen on down went into action in their best Sergeant Schultz voices crying out “I know nothink!”
And yet, within hours, the Stephen Harper Party machine had sweated out a confession from a young staffer, 23 year old Michael Sona. This is the same guy who tried to steal the ballot box at the University of Guelph during the last election. What was his punishment for that transgression? He was made a staffer for Stephen Harper Party MP Eve Adams.
So in a nutshell, a tainted Harper Party Loyalist is trotted out to take the fall for this. Any bets on whether money changed hands? Think the Party will help him secure employment for his “honesty” in coming forward?
All of this within hours of the story breaking. No one in the Stephen Harper Party knew a thing about it and now we have a patsy. Amazing.
In order to pull this off, Mr. Sona had to acquire an (almost) untraceable cell phone in Quebec, set up an account with Racknine Inc, encode a phone list of people who were not going to vote for the Stephen Harper Party, send that information to Racknine Inc, and finally change his voice to that of a young woman to record the message in both English and French.
All of this done in the midst of an election campaign, in a closely contested riding.
And he did it for 12 ridings?
That’s what they want us to believe.
Follow the money would be appropriate here…
The phone was a cash deal so it goes nowhere other than they should be able to find out where and when it was bought.
But someone paid Racknine Inc for their services.
Michael Sona may have had access to the polling done for his riding, but for the others I think not. It’s not like his candidate was a high profile Cabinet Minister.
There is just far too much stink for it to come from such a small fish.
What of the penalties for his actions. I gather he could be fined $5000 for Election Fraud. Can we multiply that by the number of calls made? If this was a punchup and he hit 5 people it would be 5 counts of assault. If he had 10,000 people called, shouldn’t that be 10,000 counts?
At $5K that would be $50 Million dollars. Bazinga!
For12 ridings? $600 Million. Double Bazinga!
For that kind of cash I’m sure he’d name names and give dates.
The skill and access to information needed to pull this kind of thing off is beyond what a 23 year old History student acting as Communications Director for a failed candidate would have.
You can call them Spooks or Black Ops or Dirty Tricks Committees but there was something going on and it wasn’t at the front line. It was much further up the food chain. How many Communications Directors for failed candidates got aide positions with the Government… not too many I’m sure. Maybe he was being rewarded for his actions that no one knew about.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is probably a duck, and Stephen Harper is in charge of the farm.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Here is a picture from the CHQR news story, I took the liberty of cropping it to show the rifle better.
I also added the inset to show the name of the rifle a bit better.
Click on the picture for a larger view.
Recently two RCMP officers were injured in an attempt to serve a search warrant to recover a handgun near Killam, Alberta.
The CBC reported the two officers received wounds to their torso and were transported to the Killam Hospital and then airlifted to Edmonton for surgery for their wounds.
From the news reports there appears to have been a gun fight between the officers and the people at the house but you have to wonder what the bad guys were using to seriously wound the officers. The police wear body armour in Alberta don’t they? They do everywhere else.
Later, Calgary radio station CHQR reported that the police had found a truck belonging to a suspect in the shootings and it held a rifle. The article mentions that although the rifle was unloaded, a five round clip on ammunition was found nearby.
Did I mention it was a 50 caliber “Sniper Rifle”?
It is a Steyr HS .50 M1 and is legal to own in Canada. It is classed as a “Non-restricted” weapon and can be had for around $6700.00 + tax but the scope costs extra.
And with the changes recently enacted by the Stephen Harper Party, you won’t even have to register it anymore. Only you and your friendly neighbourhood firearms dealer will know for sure.
Does this bother you? It gives me the willies.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
When this picture was taken in 2008, Stephen Harper was extolling the virtues of his tax programmes and how the $5 Million tax break for buyers of locomotives as part of His $1 Billion corporate tax cut plan was going to ensure more jobs in communities such as London that are home to factories like Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD).
However, when the picture was taken, Caterpillar was not “in the picture” as EMD was owned by Equity Groups.
In June, 2010 Caterpillar decided to buy EMD and in order for the sale to proceed, the purchase had to be reviewed by the Cabinet of Stephen Harper to ensure a net benefit to Canada.
Now you might remember this “net benefit” review as it occurred when the Potash Corporation was up for sale to foreign interests and the Harper Party blocked the sale. They had no qualms with Caterpillar buying EMD on 2010 and it slid quietly through.
This is where I get confused.
If EMD was so important to Canada that its sale had to be reviewed by Cabinet before it could proceed, why then does the closure of this plant some 18 months later not evoke an outcry from Ottawa? Not even a “Tsk Tsk”?
No, the only thing we hear from the Stephen Harper Party is more casting of blame. The Ontario Government should have stepped in and mediated. The workers should have taken the new contract.
Mediated what? CAT laid out its offer and told the CAW to take it to the workers who rejected it. CAT promptly locked the doors. I seriously doubt that CAT had any intention of keeping this plant open and lowballed their offer to ensure that it was rejected.
Of course they waited until after the “Right to Work” Legislation passed in Indiana. Go figure.
As for the chattering right who say the workers should have accepted the “offer” I have one question. What would you do if Your boss told you your wages and benefits were being cut by over 50%? Now you can’t afford your mortgage? Now you can’t afford your car payment? Now your kid can’t have braces?
For an economist, Stephen Harper sure doesn’t seem to get it. Our economy revolves around the middle class and the middle class is disappearing. The tax cuts aren’t working.
Most of the EMD employees who had their jobs taken from them will find work eventually, but not at the wages they were earning. They will spend less, the grocery stores will carry more ground beef and less steak. The restaurants will layoff staff and raise prices to adjust, or they will just disappear. The economy will suffer.
All the while Stephen Harper waves from the window of the Stephen Harper Party train as it roars past, acting like Casey Jones… but remember what happened to Casey Jones?
He died in a train wreck.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
How have I come to be in this strange place? The world is changing and it is happening in strange ways.
Countries that for decades and longer were Dictatorships of all different stripes are becoming Democracies in different ways and the Democratic Nations seem to becoming less Democratic by the day.
In Canada we have always appeared to have an open Government. Whether one agreed with the Governing Party or not there was always communication, conversation, and debate. When the Parties comprising the House of Commons met there was rhetoric and rancor but it was Political. It stayed in the House.
The Press was also a part of this, back when they were for the most part independent they were free to ask questions of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries and their Opposition counterparts, but that seems to have disappeared too.
Now when the Government wishes to announce something it seems to just be a press release or a Photo Op far from the House of Commons, far from the questions of the Opposition and neatly packaged for the Press so they don’t even need to ask a question. Not that they get much chance of that. Between their Corporate Bosses who want the Harper Party shown in the best light possible and the Harper Party’s unwillingness to speak outside of their talking points there isn’t much to report.
Here’s the speech, here’s the Press Kit, don’t ask nasty questions or you won’t be invited to the next “Press Conference”.
The actions within the House of Commons are beyond belief. Have we had one piece of legislation moved in the House of Commons under the current regime that hasn’t had the invocation of “limit debate” tossed in? How many times are we hearing of the Harper Party wanting Committee Meetings moved in camera? Should I even mention the Marionette Theatre part deux formerly called the Senate?
Amazingly even the members of the Harper Party are starting to ask questions. The announcement of (possible?) changes to OAS caught most of them flat footed. It wasn’t even raised in Caucus? His own members knew nothing before Lord Stephen announced it in Davos? This doesn’t sound like the Canada I was born into.
No it sounds more and more like the Government from another place where the Party Leadership decided what to propose, informed the Caucus who would support it without question and it was passed into law by their House with no debate.
But the Soviets only had One Party so the debate was usually pretty brief.
Is that a nasty comparison? You bet your boots, but it fits far too well to be ignored.
The fact that some of the Party Faithful are wondering out loud about Lord Stephen and the Harper Party gives me hope that some of these folks remember their Conservative roots. Or at least their constituents have.
Joe Clark was not evil, nor was Robert Stanfield or John Diefenbaker. I may not agree with their given visions for the Country but to my knowledge they did not attack any groups with Canada, they sought to govern Canada and represent all Canadians for the betterment of Canada.
These people earned the right to be called “Right Honourable”. The members of the Stephen Harper Party have not.
I, for one, would like MY Canada back.
I want to be able to refer to the elected leader of my country as “the Right Honourable Prime Minister” and I am unable to do that as long as Lord Stephen and the Harper
Party Regime are in power.
I miss my Country.