This Canadaland podcast with freelance journalist Septembre Anderson is well worth a listen:
By PAT WATSON
A person would have to care about what goes on inside the halls of greatest political power in this country to give any attention to the trial now taking place into disgraced Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s improper spending claims.
The cross examination of former Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister Nigel Wright by Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne would prove to be an eye-opener for people outside the industry town of Ottawa – if such people were even a little interested.
The revelations should be enough to remove trust from the Stephen Harper collective seeking to be elected again to run the government, or, depending on your political bent, ruin the government.
But, I have talked to some everyday people about both the ongoing trial and the upcoming federal election and can report that they know absolutely nothing about the trial. Nothing. There are people who may have a vague sense that there is an election coming. And, to suggest that it is a vague sense would be perhaps to overstate their awareness, interest or concern.
Ethnic vilification: fear, hate and political gamesmanship
By PAT WATSON
Stephen Harper, pragmatic arch-conservative and the current prime minister of Canada, has put a considerable amount of resources, meaning tax dollars and legal maneuverings, into denying legal rights to Canadian-born Omar Khadr.
Khadr, now 28, has just been released from a Canadian prison, after serving time for his involvement at the age of 15 in a gun battle between U.S. soldiers and al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. During the battle, Khadr, who was taken to Afghanistan by his father, is said to have lobbed a hand grenade that killed an American soldier.
The Khadr family had a history of close ties to the 9-11 boogieman, Osama bin Laden, and history will show that, at 15, Omar Khadr was the youngest person held in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba among purported Islamist terrorists and various others thought to have been involved with al-Qaeda.
More recently, after Khadr’s imprisonment and legal battles arose in the public mind, the threat of the Islamic State (IS) movement has also emerged. Before long, Canadian soldiers who had been returning home from their mission in Afghanistan were then assigned to respond to the IS threat.
A striking feature in all of this to many observers regarding the Omar Khadr case is
Harper budget signals need for a new kind of public servant
By PAT WATSON
Dear group of people who will become the next federal government of Canada, we the struggling class would like you to do something for the votes we are trustingly about to give you in our desperate attempt to sweep aside the current group.
We want you to know that we are in need of your absolute commitment to our wellbeing. We are having a hard enough time meeting all the financial demands to keep maintaining the basics of life placed on us daily.
We want you to know that the reason we can’t take advantage of the current government’s tax-free savings plan, now being increased from the generous $5,500 annually, is that we can’t even save $500 annually. That’s why we don’t go to the movies; that’s why we don’t buy magazines; that’s why we don’t even dare to buy a bunch of flowers to brighten up our homes.
We want you to know…