Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2 Senate Appointments in Doubt

Both Pamela Wallin's & Mike Duffy's Senate appointments are being questioned due to residence issues in their respective provinces - Saskatchewan & PEI. I knew about Duffy's but not Wallin's.

Here is an article from The StarPhoenix.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Tomorrow I venture outside of the small, country town where I live to join family members for the holidays. That is IF the roads aren't closed. Tons of snow, wind, & zero visibility at the moment. Will be heading to a city near Toronto so hope the soldiers are called out to clear the roads. ;)

I'll be gone for a week - with no Internet - but am looking forward to the break, seeing family that I haven't seen since last Christmas, & lots of company & good food!

I hope all you bloggers & readers also enjoy your holidays & I'll have lots to catch up on upon my return.

Have fun everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cop Bully's Blogger

Another instance of bullying tactics by our police forces. This one in Ottawa. Go here to read & see photos.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cons lying on leaving Afghanistan?

An interesting article in today's Gazette on "Canada getting Obama's attention". When factoring in Gates asking for us to extend the mission in Afghanistan past 2011 it comes as no surprise. Makes me wonder if the Cons are, as usual, lying.

"But if Ottawa has any hope of getting the ear of the world's most popular politician, it will have to think big and act even bigger. And that means dumping plans for the large-scale withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Afghanistan in 2011.

That was the underlying message this past week when dozens of senior bureaucrats, diplomats and analysts from Canada and the U.S. met in Ottawa to discuss a "blueprint" for getting the Canadian government on the radar of the incoming Obama administration."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Harper on CBC Today

Today, at 3:45 p.m. EST, Harper will be on CBC Newsworld, live, being interviewed by Peter Mansbridge. Apparently Harper wants to explain, & talk, about last weeks events. Gosh, wonder what the spin & talking points will be. Get ready folks for a whole lot of BS.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stop the Division

There's one heck of a lot of division as to how to install a new leader out there in the Liberal bloggersphere - with a lot of people's noses bent out of shape before anything has even been decided, or what's the best way to go about it.

As far as I'm concerned by focusing on this we take our eyes off the critical situation - Stephen Harper & what he wants to do to the country & to the Libs. As the saying goes: "Desperate times call for desperate measures".

And these are desperate times. There is a short time left until Jan. 26th when Parliament resumes. The Party needs to get its act together & do, quickly, whatever it takes to present a force of strength to stand strong against Harper. If it takes desperate measures then so be it. Infighting among caucus, grassroots, etc. just weakens & gives the Cons more fodder to use in any way they choose to.

I am neutral on who should be Leader but I know it needs to be done - FAST. We cannot allow Harper to control everything, take away our democratic processes & principles. We are fighting for our lives here & for the country we love & know as Canada. A united front is CRUCIAL. And if we don't have that before Jan. 26th all will be lost.

Addition: A most excellent post by THE FIFTH COLUMN

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Breaking News!

It has just been reported, on CBC Newsworld, that GG Jean has cancelled the rest of her trip & is returning to Canada today!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Be Cautious and Remember...

The entire purpose of Stephen Harper & his team, this coming week, will be to cause strife, division & distraction against a possible Coalition. Every media format will be innundated with lies, spin & "anonymous sources" supposedly quoting from within the Liberal Party. And the media WILL run with it. But they will not run it for long if we keep on message.

It's important not to make the lies the focal point. The NDP, for example, needs to basically lay low on talking lawsuits, at this time, yes, keep it in the public mind that the Cons "spied" on them with, to use the Con word "covertly" in their press statement, to listen in to, & TAPE, a caucus meeting & then distribute it. But, please, no loud, angry vocalizing. Act mature, steady & calm. Staying calm & acting maturely is what makes an impression on the public. And both Libs & NDP'ers MUST present this face. If there is to be a coalition people need to see calm & steady ALL the time.

Con propogandist Pierre Poilievre has been out there for all to see & hear using words like socialist instead of NDP, separatist instead of Bloc. And repeating them ad nauseum in each & every interview. Also using other Con talking points put forth by the War Room to all MP's & supporters across the country. Constant repetition does make an impact on the mind - like telling a kid over & over "You're bad" so often that they then begin to believe it. The Con-bots & trolls are out in full force messaging these talking points everywhere.

But I'm beginning to see that the public isn't buying it. Less so, anyway, than they have before. Quebeckers are now lost to the Cons. Using the word separatist instead of the Bloc is a ploy to frighten people - but it doesn't do that to those who live in Quebec. It is meant to demean & debase & this will backfire on Harper et al big time. How wonderful of the CPC to finally show their real feelings about Quebec! And Quebeckers have a long memory - mark my words.

Fear-mongering is what the Conservatives do. It's one of their favourite tactics, just like the Bush administration in the U.S. Same playbook, different country. And as I said earlier "divide & conquer". It's imperative that we not lose sight of these things.

We all know the Cons are backtracking on some of the items put forth in the Fiscal Economic Update (FEU) & that they are saying they will bring forth a budget the last week of Jan., moving it up.
Fine & dandy. Now we hear they are making concessions & that perhaps we should wait & see what the budget is like & let the Cons
continue to "lead", that the opposition is getting what it wants. Well it doesn't fly. Why? Because the Commons no longer have confidence in the Govt. They can no longer trust Harper & his MP's. And neither do a lot of the voters - including many conservatives.

Harper will continue his relentless quest for total control & power, & the decimation of all the other parties, only he will do it secretively & quietly & pounce at the first chance he gets. He will not make another horrendous mistake in public again.

I urge all bloggers to restrain themselves from arguing & fighting with one another at this time. We have our rights to our own views even if they are in disagreement with others. Standing united & presenting a solidified front to combat Harper & the Cons is what's needed now - more than ever! Our country, our freedoms, our democracy is at stake. Stand behind the Party no matter who is leading in the interim because they need our support 100% to make a coalition work. Please, let us stand for Canada!

One more thing. A commenter at Kady O'Malleys blog (ITQ) had this to say yesterday & it gives me heart to see that the average person is waking up to how the Cons operate:

Big Rig wrote:

"Recording another party’s private conversation? I am sick of this nonsense, and sick that Harper is our PM. I have never before posted on a political forum, nor have I ever donated to a political party, but as of today, I have done both, and neither were in favour of the Conservatives.

If a middle-of-the-road guy like me has been galvanized by all of this, I’ll bet plenty of other previously inactive men and women have been too - also not in favour of the Conservatives.

Bring Harper down. Raise an alternative. Move this country forward."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The REAL Stephen Harper



Stephen Harper is a VERY sick man. His hatred of the Liberals or anyone who is not in absolute, total agreement with him is what drives him - to the point where he has now crossed the line & is showing his insanity.


There is a lengthy post I bookmarked about a year ago on Harper that has a deep psychological profile on him titled: The Singular Face of Megalomania

by "the Ball". It's a long read but well worth taking the time.


I also found this article titled "Profile of the Sociopath" which is applicable to Harper. There's a lot there that fits him to a T.


Being Sunday & generally a quieter day, although these days seem to be more hectic than usual for obvious reasons, I hope you can find some time to read these excellent, insightful articles.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Breaking News!

From CBC Newsworld: Chretien & Broadbent are in talks, now, brokering a deal!

Good news!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Two Thirds Solution...

The Two Thirds Solution - An Industrial Strategy for Survival in Hard Times

Companies in the manufacturing sector need to re-organize if they are to survive hard times, according to Canadian management consultant Charles Fitzsimmons. "The way most are structured now makes them fragile. They're OK in boom times - who isn't? - but when their industry enters a down turn, they have no way of protecting themselves, and things can go bad in a hurry. Orders fall off, inventories rise, fixed costs stay the same, and the largest cost of all - labour - becomes a millstone around the corporate neck. Everyone knows what happens next - production is cut back, people are laid off en masse, the fixed costs are spread over an even small base, which makes the balance sheet look even worse. The firm begins to eat into its reserves; working capital dries up, credit becomes more expensive or disappears entirely.. If the local company is part of a larger corporate empire, then it may be closed, and everyone loses their jobs. We see this more and more. Manufacturing firm these days are like infantry walking into a fire fight standing straight up, and not wearing any body armor. How about some defensive strategies? Wouldn't it at least be a good idea to duck?

"The question of how to survive hard times is highly relevant now, says Fitzsimmons, "because we're in a recession now. But strategies to survive the down part of economic cycles will probably always be needed, because ups and downs are just part of life for manufacturers - and plenty of others, too."

So where are they, these strategies for surviving hard times? "One approach I find very interesting, says Fitzsimmons, "was adopted by some large Japanese manufacturing firms about 20 years ago. The principle is very simple: employees are only paid about two thirds of their wages in their regular paycheck. The remaining third is paid twice per year, in a lump sum, but only if the company is making money. Think about it. When times are tough, these firms can reduce their salary expense - always the largest cost - by one third without making a single lay-off. And when orders pick up again, all the trained staff are still in place so that production can be ramped up again immediately, while competitors who let their trained people go during the down times, have to recruit, hire and train new people to get back up to speed. And that takes time, and time is a competitive edge. The Two Thirds companies - that's what I call them - have the competitive edge is a number of ways.

A strategy that helps you survive in hard times, and gives you a competitive edge in good times. That's what this looks like to me. First, the Two Thirds Solution guys are able to give lot more loyalty to their employees than other companies - the quick-shedders, as I call them. Because they offer greater loyalty, they get more loyalty back. They reduce staff turnover, which is in itself a cost reduction. By having a strategy in place to deal with downturns, they can offer their customers quick response, because they're always ready to go with trained staff who are very keen to see the company make money, because when the company makes money, the employees make money, too. Everyone knows that when employees have a direct stake in the profitability of their company, you get the best out of your company resources - less waste, reduced absenteeism, a company-wide ethic that, hey, we're all in this together, so let's make it work. Also, the disruption and heartache of layoffs is avoided - but at a cost - people have to be willing to accept the potential of less pay when times are bad

Sounds, good, right? says Fitzsimmons. "So why is it just about unheard-of in North America? Here are some reasons that occur to me. Unions may not like it, because they see it as their job to protect the highest seniority, highest paid workers. If that means that junior folks go out the door in hard times, well that's just the way it's always been. Employees who are at the top of the seniority and pay heap may feel secure enough, or close enough to retirement, that they don't want to see their monthly pay go down just so that there won't be lay-offs that probably won't affect them anyway. Mind you, if the whole plant closes, they are out in the cold with everyone else. Management may not like it because they have to play by the same rules - meaning their pay goes down by a third when the company isn't making money, just as it does for the workers. Also, it implies a commitment to candor - letting employees see how the company is actually doing. That's a big change for most companies. Shareholders may not like it, because it actually puts the stability and profitability of the company in the long term sense something ahead of short-term financial interests, and for some of them the short term is what their compensation is calculated on, so that's the only term that matters."

Fitzsimmons says, "I think governments, when they are considering pleas for assistance from companies in the manufacturing and other sectors that are hurting right now, are entitled to ask whether these companies are doing anything like this to protect their own viability, as a condition for getting help. When someone asks you for a blood transfusion, it's seem a legitimate question to ask whether they are doing anything to stop the hemorrhaging."

So what's the bottom line on this? According to Fitzsimmons, "in the Two Thirds Solution, everyone involved may have to give up something. In return they get a better shot at their company weathering the economic storms, and also performing better in good times, too. But people generally don't like change, and often the people wielding the levers of power in companies, unions and the financial world measure everything with their own personal yardstick. It's like they'd rather burn the engine out and then junk the car than change the oil if they have to pay for the oil change themselves."

But is he optimistic about this idea catching on? "Well, hard times are a great teacher. Many companies are looking into the abyss right now. Winston Churchill said, 'the likelihood of imminent death concentrates the mind wonderfully'.

Final words: "When the interests of so many people and communities are at stake if firms go under, is it too much to ask people to act responsibly and consider the wider interest? After all, he says, "there are other people to consider in any situation, and there is such a thing as tomorrow."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyone interested in contacting Mr. Fitzsimmons for further information or discussion can reach him at:
cfitzsim@gmail.com

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Longer Angry & Upset...

Now that I've cooled off, been given some excellent advice, had a chance to be more realistic instead of idealistic, I have decided to join the Liberal Party. This will be a first, ever, that I will join a Party & I feel, strongly, that the Libs are the only ones who can defeat Harper & do what is right for this country & its citizens.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me with ideas, common sense, & for letting me know that I was not alone with my feelings. The passion has returned!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm angry & upset with the Libs!

I've been quite depressed since the election & the fact that Dion will be stepping down. I don't like anyone, at the moment, who is running for the leadership. It's possible I will lean toward LeBlanc once I hear more from him & learn more about him.

I just don't see any of them as being able to rid us of Harper - who scares the shit out of me. Also, I'm already tired of the game playing that's already started with the leadership campaign. The media has already made a big deal out of Rae's press release saying he wouldn't attend the debate/meeting unless it was open to the media. And the MSM has picked up on it being "closed" big time.

The awful part is that the Cons had their Convention, which huge portions were off limits to the media & there was little complaint about it on T.V. - some in print, but not a heck of a lot.

But the MSM is making a huge deal out of the Lib one & already backstabbing the Libs & playing up "division & in-fighting" in the Party. Just what we bloody need! I'm mad as hell. What is wrong with the Libs????

The stunt Rae played doing a press release about not attending the debate unless it was open to the media & then SHOWING UP anyway just to do a media scrum in the hallway is revolting. At this juncture I don't care if this debate was open or closed, there will be many more debates, but to give fodder to the Cons & the media right off the bat is sickening.

Also, there's a lot of negativity in the blogger realm already with different "camps" for the different candidates attacking one another & the other candidates they don't want. It's too much. Totally sickening. This does NOT draw people to the Party but pushes them away. Myself included.

I was going to join the Party but I'm not sure I will now. Never joined a party in my entire life. And if this shit keeps up I will support another party instead in the next election. I'm discouraged, jaded, etc. I did not want Dion to step down & I'm angry, too, that he was basically forced to do so. It's unfair & he should have been given another chance - like most leaders are given. Not turfed after losing 1 election. But that is neither here nor there now.

If any of you Libbers out there have any constructive advice for me I'd appreciate it. If you want to bash me I will delete your comments. I need encouragement here - not put-downs.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


To all those who enjoy this day, & especially to those of you with young children, have a fun time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vultures

Immediately after the election the vultures came out. And I don't just mean the media & all their pundits. I'm talking about Liberals. Many, many of them swooped down & began attacking Dion, blaming him for the losses the Party engendered in this election.

Have they all forgotten about the Con attack ads that began immediately after Dion was chosen as leader? Two years of them. Non-stop! Do they think this did not have an effect on the public? It was hammered at us so thoroughly that it stuck like crazy glue.

And where was the response to these ads in all that time? There was none. Not by the Party. No responsive ads which did not need to attack Harper but which were needed to re-frame Dion away from how he was being framed by the bullies. These ads have been so effective that not only did the public buy them but so did all you Liberals who profess to "understand" & know better. How do I know that? Look at what you're writing.

Yes, yes I know - no money, no money, no money. The mantra we've heard continually, even through the election. Not enough money for anyone in the Party to present our candidates properly. I worked for my local candidate & it's true - there was a financial deficit in a lot of ridings for the Liberal candidates. Except the really high-profiled ones.

There are other reasons as well & I'm not going into the list right now - but the Liberal party did not do things in a proper, cohesive manner. And one man does not an entire Party make. It takes everyone - working together.

And now the vultures are picking at Dion's supposed carcass in a highly undignified & crass way. Which means we are taking our eye off the ball - Stephen Harper. Which is EXACTLY what he wants. He wants us divided, inward focussed so that we are not watching what he is doing.

Yesterday this is what he stated:
"The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, hinted Wednesday his re-elected government may look at cutting program spending as a way to avoid the risk of running a deficit."- National Post

So it's begun. Harper implementing, quickly, what he's always wanted to do - destroy Govt. & destroy Canada as we know it. He is also planning on stacking the Senate with appointed Tories if he can't get Senate reform implemented so that he can do it from within the Senate itself. He's made no appointments in his 1st term, other than Fortier who is now history - we hope, unless he's re-appointed by our megalomanic leader & then put in cabinet again (I wouildn't put it past him to do that, would you?), & from what I undertand there are a LOT of seats to be filled.

This article reflects my sentiments exactly. I suggest you all read it if you have time.

Wake up people & do not let Harper frame everything for you. Your smart - use your heads!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let's Not...


Let's not allow this one to be Krowned today.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

His goose is cooked!


...er, turkey that is.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Morning News Bites

Here are a few bits & pieces in the news this morning.

From James Travers in The Star:
"Political purpose is admirable when it's transparent. What's worrying in this election is that the extreme effort to hide that chaos beyond the campaign bubble radically changes how those purposes can be pursued. Deficit is such a dirty word that party platforms are built on the now ludicrous growth, revenue and surplus projections of the February federal budget. Chances are between slim and none that even Conservative promises, the most modest of the bunch, can be kept without raising taxes or slashing programs."

More vandalism done to Liberals in Toronto ridings:
"Senator Jerry Grafstein woke up yesterday morning to discover he had become the latest victim of election vandalism in the St. Paul's riding.
The Liberal senator and his wife, who live on a highly visible property on Spadina Rd., had their Cadillac's dashboard pried open, wires pulled apart and the remaining interior vandalized."


And more on the illegality of Harper calling this election:
"The unfairness of allowing Prime Ministers unfettered discretion to call an election seems to be universally accepted; it provides another ground for finding this election to be illegal. In several recent cases (e.g., Figueroa, Harper), the Supreme Court of Canada has held that section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees Canadian citizens the right to vote in "fair" elections. The unfair advantage that the Prime Minister has obtained for his party by choosing the election date might well be found to contravene section 3 of the Charter."

Finally, Ex-NHL' er, Mike Danton, who's in prison in the U.S., wants to come home to serve out the rest of his time here. The Cons Stockwell Day won't let him.
"The Ottawa Citizen has learned that Anne McLellan, the former public safety minister under the Liberal government, approved Danton's transfer in June, 2005, on the condition that U. S. authorities agreed.
The U. S. Department of Justice approved the Danton transfer in May, 2008, but Stockwell Day -- the Tory minister who assumed the public safetyportfolio-- has not, according to the jailed hockey player, Canadian prison officials and U.S. authorities."

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Nato to attack Afghan opium labs"

From the BBC comes this: "Nato has agreed its troops will be allowed to attack opium factories for the first time in Afghanistan."

Which means things are about to get a WHOLE lot worse there. Kandahar is a high poppy cultivation area. There's a map in the article that shows the density of production.

This just adds more to the spiralling downwards conditions in Afghanistan. And we will most likely lose more troops than ever when retaliation begins.

Harper Side-Steps a Question

At Harper's photo-op at a Con rally this morning, after his speech, he was asked, by 2 different reporters, if he was re-elected would he be "appointing" anyone to his Cabinet or the Senate. This was in reference to him having appointed someone to the Senate after the last election who was an unelected person. In both instances he answered: I will not answer who I would name to my Cabinet during an election. If I'm re-elected then I will answer.

In other words, by side-stepping, he has basically said, to my view, yes I will appoint anyone I want to. Which means that if he wins this election we can be sure to see Michael Fortier back in the Senate & back in a Cabinet post.

Some things never change.

UPDATE: This brief article from the Canadian Press, in The Star, shows exactly what I'm talking about.

"Stephen Harper has refused to rule out appointing another Quebec senator to his cabinet if Conservative election results in the province are as dismal as indicated by recent polls.
Campaigning yesterday in Brantford, Ont., the Prime Minister would not exclude a replay of his decision after the last election to name the unelected Michael Fortier to the Senate, and into his cabinet. That move gave Harper his only cabinet minister from the Montreal area, and added to his relatively tiny roster of caucus members from the province.
Harper was asked twice at a news conference if he would rule out installing another senator in his cabinet. He twice declined to do so."

Prejudice, hate, & rascism - alive & thriving in Canada

This morning I got up to the whole Dion, CTV video debacle. I do not watch Duffy, can't stand him, or CTV newsnet, & shamelessly admit I mostly watch MSNBC in the evenings. Or a movie.

Being an immigrant myself, from England as a young child, with a British father & a Polish mother, my parents decided to come here to have "a better life". And that they had - their dream come true for themselves & their 4, then 5, children.

My mother has a strong Polish accent, speaks fluent english but on occasion has difficulty, still, understanding some things, as do many other Canadians to whom english is a 2nd language. Mostly because of the way that they are phrased.

We kids grew up in La Belle Province on the outskirts of Montreal. Then after leaving home I moved into the city itself. I love Quebec & all Quebecoise even though I no longer live there. It's the most multi-cultural province in all of Canada - Montreal especially, & has been for a very, very long time. Now Toronto has about a 50% multi-cultural population. And is continuing to grow in that vein, as are many other areas of Ontario. And B.C. has an extremely large Chinese & East Indian immigrant population.

Since Stephen Harper came to power I seem to see divisiveness, hatred, & rascism growing & getting stronger by the day. His comments in the past on the Asian & East Indian immigrants here, that they should be separated from the rest of the country, "the Northern welfare state" & so many other nasties, to this day, are appalling.

He, along with many others of his party, seeks to divide this nation on many different fronts. Not just different ethnicities but also poor vs rich, corporations vs social programs, "straight" vs "gay", & on it goes.

Even his so-called First Nations policies have not been put into action. Yes, an apology but that's all. He's all talk. And talk he does. Now he has the audacity to criticize M. Dion for not understanding a question due to the confusing tenses used within this question. And Harper uses it to state that M. Dion cannot possibly lead this country as he isn't quick enough on his feet, so to speak. Ridiculous!

We are a 2 language country. English is not everyone's 1st language. This continues to show how prejudiced this man really is. He doesn't care about anyone who is not of his own "race", of his own financial income, or an Albertan. And no, I am not prejudiced against Alberta or Albertans. They, too, are "us".

We have witnessed, during this election, vandalism to people's cars, spray painting of hate graffiti on people's houses, destruction of election signs, threatening phone calls - all to supporters of the Liberal party. I'm not saying this is a concerted "Con" effort but it's the Con, & Harper, message of hatred that has instilled this in certain people so that they act out their thoughts & feelings. And those are some VERY strong feelings. Dangerous to life & limb. And Harper still has not spoken out against these actions. Not a single, solitary word. By not condemning these practices his silence gives tacit approval to them. In my riding, Perth-Wellington in Ontario, signs haven't just been bent, toppled over, or removed, they have literally been BURNT - over & over. The hatred is astounding.

Is this what we want to have continue in this beautiful country of ours? Prejudice, rascism, & hatred? If so then vote Harper & his Cons. If not then vote, strategically, to defeat these goons. M. Dion is a deep, caring man who loves this country - as a whole. Not as some divided up oil patch, tar sands horror. Let's give him a mandate to put this country back together for us - the people!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tar Sands & the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes will be adversely affected, on a grand scale, by the Tar Sands projects. Water needed for the process will be coming from the Great Lakes with all but one (in Sarnia, On.) processing plant built in the bordering States.

From the Globe & Mail:

"Proposed pipeline and refinery projects around the lakes are expected to lead to total investments of more than $31-billion (U.S.) by 2015, spending similar in scale to expenditures at many oil sands projects. For this reason, the report says the various projects, when taken together, threaten to “wipe out many of the pollution control gains” achieved around the lakes since the 1970s."

"This expansion promises to bring with it an exponential increase in pollution, discharges into waterways including the Great Lakes, destruction of wetlands, toxic air emissions, acid rain, and huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions,” it says."

This is very bad news & one more big oil project approved by Steve Harper, naturally. No blood in his veins, he runs on oil.

MIA


As most of us know a lot, & I do mean a lot, of Conservative candidates have been missing in action. Not attending all candidate debates, hiding from the press - Gerry Ritz, Rob Anders come to mind - & many others right across the country. And some of those who do attend the debates are not well-recieved & many make gaffes or are combatant (h/t to Kady O'Malley).
There is now a list of MIA Con's with more being added daily. It started with the BC Lib team only listing those in BC but has now incorporated all the Provinces. Go see if there's any Con in your riding who seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

More CFIA News

It seems that in May of this year the Harper govt. wanted the CFIA to change the the phrase in any correspondence from "Government of Canada" to "Conservative Government". That looks like Steve wanted to eliminate every other party in Canada & make us "a country under him". What a sick bobblehead he appears to have become.

Read about it here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bobblehead Steve

This is too funny!

Courtesy of the latest marketing tool by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

It seems that our boy Harper really has adopted "Steve" as his moniker. He must REALLY like his buddy Bush because Steve's mom was offended by GW calling her boy Steve, way back when.

And here's an article by Greg Weston on Bobblehead. Yes, in these dire financial times this is what Steve is spending our taxpayer monies on. What a narcissistic fool he continues to be!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Listeria "reporting rule" dropped

"Four months before the Maple Leaf outbreak started claiming lives, Canada's food safety agency quietly dropped its rule requiring meat-processing companies to alert the agency about listeria-tainted meat, a Toronto Star/CBC investigation has found."

"One Toronto inspector said there had been a "trend" in positive listeria tests leading up to the outbreak that was never reported by the plant to federal inspectors. The inspector, and three others across the country, spoke on condition of anonymity because they fear disciplinary action if they spoke publicly. "There's something wrong, that an inspector isn't aware of a trend in their own plant," the inspector said.

So the Listeria problem was well known before the outbreak occured. Self-regulation by industry does NOT work & Harper has plans to continue deregulation of the food industry & who knows what else.

Electing Harper & his Cons is a recipe for death - no doubt of that in my mind.

You can read the entire article here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Couillard Yummies

Julie Couillard's book has been pre-released to certain reporters & has some interesting info in it. Here's an excerpt from the Globe & Mail:

"Could you put all this in the garbage for me," he asked, before asking her to wait for the actual day of the pickup. "After all, they are confidential documents," Mr. Bernier said.

Enjoy the read.

Also, I've had no time for blogging lately as all my time is taken up with volunteering for my local Lib candidate, Sandra Gardiner.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A broken promise




click on image to enlarge
Harper made a big deal about announcing 3 new Navy supply ships back in 2006. The announcement was made by then Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor who said:
"These ships are an essential component of our maritime forces," said Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier, who attended Monday's announcement along with Public Works Minister Michael Fortier."
On August 21st of this year the plan was cancelled along with 12 badly needed patrol ships for the coast guard.
"Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn announced last year that $324 million had been set aside for the purchase and maintenance of six new vessels for the coast guard fleet. The plans included the purchase of 12 new mid-shore patrol vessels."
I find this interesting in the sense that Harper is big on all the various dept's/services that make up the military, wanting to beef them up & promising funding & then suddenly taking it away. And this announcement, like so many other backtracks, is released quietly on a Fri. evening, as usual, in hopes that the media will make little play of it & have the weekend for it to disappear off the radar.
In this day & age I do believe that the patrol vessels are badly needed for our protection It's been 7 years since 9/11 & from what I have heard it takes the Al Qaeda about 7 years to plan some kind of larger attack. And don't think we are immune. With our "mission" in Afghanistan we are part of the Western culture that this group, & others, abhor. We are a part of the NATO coalition that kills civilians, not just Taliban, & we are hated for it - & rightly so. We are sheep following the U.S. on all things "war". If Harper had his way when the U.S. invaded Iraq we'd be in Iraq as well as that is what he wanted while in opposition. Let's make him the opposition again in case we end up in Pakistan, or even Iran, fighting alongside U.S. troops there. There have already been U.S. forces making invasions into Pakistan chasing after Taliban, & others, & the U.S. is about to take over the entire NATO operation in Afghanistan & I feel sure that Harper will be very happy to extend operations beyond Kandahar no matter what he says about withdrawing in 2011. I don't believe him. Nor should you. All of his broken promises are proof of that & there are many of them.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scandalpedia!

The Liberal Party has launched a new website: Scandalpedia!

It's an encyclopedia of Conservative scandals & more will be added daily, I'm sure. Go take a peek!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Election Time!

Image courtesy of Zorpheous



This is the last, & final,
act of Harper's before asking the GG to dissolve Parliament. And this last act is one of breaking his own law that he had legislated so that a PM could not "use" dissolution when things looked favourable for their Party in a possible election.

Harper has broken so many promises since he was elected that it would take a book to list them & describe them all. I will be mentioning some of them in upcoming posts.

Happy Election everyone!!! May it NOT go Harper's way.









Friday, September 5, 2008

More Cadman Details!

According to Dona Cadman, widow of Chuck Cadman, in documents filed with the court, she said her husband was offered 10 incentives by Conservative operatives 2 days before the confidence vote in the House on May 17th, 2005. A vote in which Mr. Cadman voted with the Liberal govt. at the time & stopped the fall of said govt.

"Chuck Cadman was not only offered a million-dollar life insurance policy in exchange for helping bring down the Liberal government in 2005, but also a spot as the Conservative deputy justice critic, the late MP's widow has said, according to documents filed in court."

You can read more about it in the Globe & Mail.

The timing of this release is excellent as it will remind the voter of the heated denials initially made by Harper, James Moore, & other Con MP's on this & jog the memories, of everyone, on the many other scandals in the Con govt. that have not yet been resolved. People are back from summer hiatus & are now paying attention. It's time for the other parties to run with this, as well as the other secret dealings of this govt., now, & once an election is called. Remind, remind, remind - relentlessly!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Petulant PM

Petulant: adj.
Unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered; peevish.
Contemptuous in speech or behaviour.

So our dear leader wants an election. His talking point? Parliament is dysfunctional. Are you sure about that Steve? After meeting with all 3 leaders of the opposition to "discuss" the so-called problem nothing has changed. Of course it hasn't. Harper made his up his mind about this long before the meetings.

When Dion came out & talked with the press after the meeting he stated that Harper wanted the opposition to accept every piece of legislation without exception. In other words, forget democracy, forget even having an opposition. We have an opposition to counter, when necessary, any unfair legislation, etc. As usual Steve wants to rule like a dictator. No room for discussion on anything.

After Dion out came Kory Teneycke, the PM's spokesman, & said: "It's obvious the opposition want an election." Say what? All the leaders went into these meetings looking to resolve differences. Harper would have none of it. Steve started all this talk of election, persisted with it, & it's the opposition that wants it? Feed me more lies Harper. You're very good at it.

As far as the "dysfunctional" Parliament goes here's the truth from an article in the The Star today:

"Parliament can boast a legislative track record: there have been 65 bills passed by the House of Commons since the Conservatives were elected on Jan. 23, 2006.
Since last October, the government has even survived about 40 votes it declared matters of confidence in an effort to tempt the opposition to bring it down."


When Harper made the pronouncement that Parliament is "dysfunctional" he did it when they aren't sitting, when they are all on summer break, & after calling 4 by-elections just prior to making this announcement, 3 of them slated to take place on Sept. 8th. More wasted tax-payer monies now as it's doubtful they will happen. And they are only 5 days away & all that time, energy, & money is wasted. Or maybe not so much as those ridings will already be uppermost in the voters minds. A head start so to speak.

So our Petulant PM will be calling an election. So be it. Let's get rid of these goons, who've been trampling all over OUR democracy, once & for all.





Sunday, August 31, 2008

MORE self-policing by food industry

On Fri. there was an article in the Ottawa citizen that seemed to drop off the radar right afterwards & wasn't picked up by any other MSM. The CFIA is in the midst of rolling out self-inspection to the abattoir industry - after already doing a test-run for 3 months earlier this year.

"Meanwhile, government veterinarians stationed at hog slaughterhouses are no longer responsible for inspecting stool samples; this responsibility has been transferred to plant staff under a program known as HIP-HOG, with vets required to check twice over an eight-hour shift to see if company employees are doing it properly.
These incremental changes to the way food inspection is done in Canada, quietly made during the past year, are being implemented as the country wrestles with a food-borne outbreak traced to the listeria bacterium at a federally regulated meat-processing plant in Toronto."


So it seems even more has been implemented by the Con govt. than has been revealed since the Listeria outbreak. Disgusting! Read the complete article for yourself. It's more proof of the underhanded way this Harper led govt. is "cost-cutting" in favour of big business. Privatizing parts of it in a sense.

In even more news on the LISTERIA outbreak the Fed. govt. & the Ont. govt. knew back in mid-July about the Listeria problem but kept it to themselves, no notification to the public until at least a month later.

" When Canadian public health officials first twigged to a listeria problem in mid-July, they weren't so forthcoming with the public. It would be another month of testing, conference calls and quiet deliberation before Canadians would know anything about it. Officials now say there was miscommunication between levels of government that delayed the message.
All the while, Canadians continued to consume deli meat we now know to be potentially deadly."


This is a travesty of epic proportions. As we continued to consume all these tainted meat products & more people became sick, with some dying, it would have been possible to stop this sooner - causing less danger to the public. The incubation period for Listeria is 3 months, so we are looking ahead to seeing more sickness & possible deaths. Read about it here.

This focus on changing rules to the CFIA without consultation in Parliament, or with the public, shows the utter contempt Harper & his Cabinet, etc., have with democracy. He governs as though he has a majority & makes changes in secret because he has a minority. No one gets in HIS way.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Conservative "Ugh"ly's

There's some interesting news out there today on a few different events involving our "wonderful" Conservative govt.

LISTERIA:

For starters it seems the Con govt. lobbied the U.S., in Apr. 2006, to relax their tougher rules to prevent listeria. A quote from the G&M this morning:

"The Canadian government strongly opposed tougher U.S. rules to prevent listeria and lobbied the United States to accept Canada's more lenient standards, internal documents reveal.
Briefing notes prepared by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for an April 7, 2006, meeting with the board of directors of the Canadian Meat Council outline how both industry and the Canadian government were frustrated with the increased precautions the United States was demanding."
Read the complete article here. More obfuscating on the truth of not changing CFIA rules & standards. Looks like they had it planned out quite some time ago.

LOBBYING:

Two officials in the Con govt. are now seeking exemption from the new lobbying law that went into effect on July 1st of this year. This law states that anyone leaving a govt. position has to wait 5 years before they can take a position to lobby the govt. You can read about it in the Ottawa Citizen here. Well that didn't take long - not even 2 months & already the Cons want out. And they are using the Cons ethics law to make their pitch! And remember this? From the article:

"While they were in opposition and during the last election campaign, the Conservatives denounced what they called a revolving door between ministers' offices and the lobbying industry during Liberal governments."

BERNIER, COUILLARD & THE RCMP:

It seems the RCMP have been investigating a real-estate deal that Couillard was lobbying for. And that same deal was cancelled by the Con govt. only YESTERDAY! Amazing what can happen when you want an election. Here's
the info at the G& M.

ABORTION: deal still on the table!

Private member Bill C-484, from Ken Epps, is still alive & kicking! A group of Con MP's have issued a press release supporting it. Read Big City Lib's good post on this. They just won't let it go & this seems contrary to what Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stated just a couple of days ago:

"In place of C-484, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said he would bring a new bill that would make it an aggravating factor for the judge to consider when sentencing those who attack pregnant women. He told reporters the bill "leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

I'm not sure this is really "contrary" to what Nicholson wants, but, of course, it's election planning to not rock the boat in the eyes of the voter, & whatever Nicholson really has in mind won't be known until after an election & only if the Cons are re-elected. Heaven forbid! Interesting to see a small faction of MP's going against the stated backtracking on this bill because Dion questioned where Harper really stood on the abortion issue. Next thing we know Bill C484 was scrapped immediately.

INMATE TRANSFERS:

A judge has ORDERED Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to reconsider his decision to block a prisoners request to serve out his sentence back home here in Canada. From The Gazette:

"Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day's crackdown on transferring Canadians from U.S. prisons has been dealt a blow by a judge who has ordered the minister to reconsider his "wholly unreasonable"decision to block a convicted child molester's request to serve out his sentence in his home country."

Here is what Day wrote in a newspaper column in 2006:

"B.C. dope dealers busted in the U.S. are demanding to be transferred back to cosier Canadian jails and reduced prison times," he wrote. "Memo to drug dealer: I'm no dope. . . . Enjoy the U.S."

There have been many instances of requests for a transfer home from prisoners out of the country & most all have been denied. Even those who have not been found guilty of anything at the time of their request but incarcerated without hearings. Think of the woman in Mexico, remember Brenda Martin, who had been imprisoned for more than 2 yrs., without trial, hearings, etc. The Cons did nothing about her situation until a big stink was made about it in the media. It got so bad the Harperites had no choice but to lobby for her release & it was finally done. Here's some info.
Also, Liberal MP Dan McTeague had been trying to bring her case to the attention of all & sundry & was virtually ignored by the govt., until the MSM began running with it.

We all know there will be so much more upcoming & I can hardly wait!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Isotope Shortage!

All 5 global nuclear reactors that supply isotopes used in cancer treatments & diagnostic tests have shut down - all at the same time, creating a crisis. And all shutdown for different reasons.

The one here in Canada, Chalk River, is not scheduled to be back online until Aug. 29th. & was shut down for maintenance. The shortage will affect cancer patients world-wide causing delays & who knows possibly death.

A quote from the article says this:

"...distribution of the medical isotopes from Chalk River is entirely up to private companies, and Canadian government officials admit there may well be shortages in some regions of the country. "

Private companies are out to make money, & lots of it. What this means is that once up & running again isotopes will go to the highest bidder - not necessarily Canadian & most likely to very few, if any, regions in our country. This is wrong. And it's also wrong that all should be out of production at the same time. It's a disaster waiting to happen. And I'm sure
the Con govt. will not step in & insist that the isotopes produced be used/distributed here 1st. After all they are for big business first above anything else.

Our Health Minister, Tony Clement, is out of the country, in the U.S., observing the Democratic National Convention. This at a time when we have a serious outbreak of Listeria that is killing & sickening people here. Guess what Harper's priorities are - why an upcoming election! & let's learn as much as we can there so we can manipulate the people here so we can win a majority.

Read the article here: http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2008/08/27/6583931-sun.html



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hissy-Fit Harper

As we all know our PM started election talk when he said that Parliament was "dysfunctional" in a speech he gave around the middle of Aug. After lots of bashing done by the media & in op-ed pieces Harper backed off a bit but then started ratcheting up the rhetoric even more.

Then he stated he wanted to meet with the leaders of the opposition before Parliament resumes sitting on Sept. 15th. He gave no particular time-frame other than that one. Now he is DEMANDING to meet the leaders before Sept. 8th, the day of the by-elections in 3 ridings. Both Liberal leader Dion, & Bloc leader Duceppe have stated which days they would be available. Well that's not good enough for Steve who, it seems to me, has really gone off the deep end. The latest salvo from Harper is here:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080826.welection26/BNStory/National/home

This is totally unbelievable!!! The control freak is out of control as far as I can see & I only hope the electorate really gets a good look at how this bully of a man operates. I am disgusted.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Budget Surpluses & Boats

Well ships really. Navy ships. The govt. has cut their plan, of which they made a big deal about at the time, to get new ships for the navy. These ships were supposed to be deployed to the Arctic. In their usual underhanded way of trying not to make it known to the public they released the announcement to the press on Fri. at 8:30 p.m.

You can read about it here: http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hXcwPOV37fH9Y3JIcwgLvnA2XcAw

And then we have this article with David Emerson very concerned about Russia's "plans" for the Arctic: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080824/emerson_arctic_080824/20080824?hub=TopStories
It's almost like these 2 items are at odds with one another.

Now let's skip to Jim Flaherty who has just come out touting a budget surplus after stating there was a deficit of $500 million in the 1st trimester of this year. You can read that here: http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCAOTW00011720080822

Hmmm...so now where did this surplus suddenly appear from? Maybe knowing that the spending for the ships would not be taken out of the budget coffers?

Just connecting some dots here...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meat Recall - & the Ag Dept.

First, here is a link to the list of meat recalls: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2008/20080819e.shtml

This comes just a few days after there were 2 hearings at the Ag Committee on a leaked document that had the Cons specifying cuts to the Food Inspection Agency.

For more info you can go here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080821.RECALLOTTAWA21/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

and here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080820.wmeatrecall0820/BNStory/National/home?cid=al_gam_mostview

This document was so-called "leaked" by scientist & food safety inspector Luc Pomerleau, who actually brought it to the attention of his union boss. The document had been left on the CFIA's computer network that many people had access too. M. Pomerleau was subsequently fired from his job for his action. Here is a link to more on that: http://www.canadians.org/action/2008/28-Jul-08.html

Last week at the hearings the opposition was asking to see the document as it still has not been released. And it still hasn't.
You can read about the 2 hearings at Kady O'Malley's (ITQ) Liveblogging the events.
Meeting 1: http://blog.macleans.ca/2008/08/18/liveblogging-the-agriculture-committee-good-things-grow-in-ontario-and-were-hoping-it-stays-that-way/
Meeting 2: http://blog.macleans.ca/2008/08/19/liveblogging-the-agriculture-committee-we-join-this-three-way-stare-down-between-the-union-the-government-and-the-opposition-already-in-progress/
They both make for interesting reading, for some it may be boring, but it's just another look at how the disruptive Cons work.

After the horrifying events that happened in Walkerton, ON. under the cuts to the Food Inspection Agency here under the Mike Harris govt., it just re-inforces the danger of making cuts on the federal level as well.
And in Steve's cabinet are 3 Ministers who were also ministers at that time in Harris's govt.: Jim Flaherty, John Baird, & Tony Clement. This is like deja vu all over again.

In the next election, which will be happening soon according to Steve's threats of one, it is time to demolish the Cons before they demolish us.

Update: There are now more than 200 meat recalls. Here is the updated list: http://files.newswire.ca/464/RecallList.pdf

Another update: Here is an interesting article on the changes that the govt. made to the CFIA. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080827.wmeat27/BNStory/National/home

Now these changes have not yet been made public nor made available to the opposition. Done in secret AGAIN. Here is one quote from the article:

"A leaked cabinet document that outlined plans for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to give the food industry a greater role in the inspection process raised the ire of opposition politicians last week.
However, some of the plans have been in place since March 31, according to a CFIA manager and an official from the union that represents the federal inspectors."

So some of these changes have ALREADY been implemented without anyone knowing - other than the govt. & the CFIA. There is something very, very wrong with this "behind-closed-doors" attitude of the Con govt. & this is only one area where changes are being slowly being revealed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Big Oils' Best-est Buddy

On July 2nd of this year access to the "Registry of Lobbyists" became open to the public under the Federal Accountability Act. This is where we get to see who's been lobbying Steve & the PMO. So, in the month of July, when gas prices at the pump were rising phenomenally & hurting everyone in their pocketbooks, TEN, yes 10 lobbyists from various energy companies & their associated industries had separate meetings with senior Harp advisors. This is almost 1/2 of the entire lobbying that went on for July.

You can read about it & a list of who lobbied (not just the oil industry) here:
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=b8f77e7b-9d3f-46ee-81dc-b2be44a5b755

As I stated in a previous post, Steve is a front man for big oil. That our PM comes from Alberta, whose economy is totally oil-based, it makes sense to me. This is the same Steve who wrote, a few years ago, that "a fire-wall should be built around Alberta" to keep the rest of the country away from all their money. After all Cons don't share. They are incapable of it.

In the same article Kory Tenycke, the PM's Communication spokesman stated: "The environmental regulations we're bringing out will be very tough on industry." Yeah, sure Kory. Just like I believe everything the Cons have said they will do. It's been a constant say-one-thing-but-do-another from them. And if they do get tougher on the industry we all know who will pay for it. The consumer. The costs will be passed/shafted onto us with no relief of any sort in the way of tax reduction or tax credits, unlike the Liberals "The Green Shift" plan.

You can go here to read about the Green Shift plan: http://www.thegreenshift.ca/default_e.aspx

It will be interesting to see who will be lobbying the PMO in the future & to see if there is a predominance in any particular sector. Now that the information is available to all perhaps Steve & boys will put a brake on tipping any lobbying in any one area. We shall see.

You can access the Registry of Lobbyists here: http://www.ocl-cal.gc.ca/epic/site/Lobbyist-Lobbyiste1.nsf/en/h_nx00274e.html

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whiplash

The other day Steve (our PM) was hinting that he would end this Parliament, even though he set, in law, a fixed election date for every 4 yrs. His reason? - this govt. was, in his words, "dysfunctional". That business could not be done due to the antics, basically, of the Libs. Oh yeah?

Well, when he started getting lots of bad press & op-ed pieces on who within the govt. actually was "dysfunctional", his Party, he has suddenly done a 90 degree turnabout.

You can read the 1st article here:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080817/national/parl_functional

And the 2nd one here:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080818/national/harper_dysfunctional_parliament

Now which one does he want us to believe? Both. The 1st when it suited his agenda. The 2nd when he got called on it & thus "changed" the message.

We are going to be seeing a lot of this as election fever hits us, so get ready for plenty of sore necks from all the whiplash we will be subject to.

Enough Already!

After watching last weeks Ethics Committee hearings on the In & Out scandal by the Conservatives in the last election I was horrified to see the antics of the Cons.


Running on a platform of accountability & transparency, a little more than 2 1/2 yrs. ago, they were definitely "transparent" in what they were doing & who they really are. And it was stunning!


They lied, manipulated witnesses into not appearing, interrupted constantly with "points of order" but instead made statements that were unrelated & not a point of order. In questioning witnesses they, again, made statements instead of asking questions. By prefacing with a statement they were able to "frame" the content of their question in such a way as to lead the witness into their desired answer.


There are too many events that occured during these hearings for me to list at the moment but suffice it to say that we need to make everyone aware of the Cons agenda for this country. And it is a dangerous one.


In the time they have "governed" they have cut numerous programs, especially those that aid the poorer citizens, disrupted committees & the nations' business by stonewalling, filibustering & on & on - with a handbook compiled for all Con MP's on just how to paralyze these committees.


They did away with the Kelowna Accord, lied on the Income Trusts, thus hurting seniors & others who had relied on this for their retirement incomes, lied, or hid actually, reports on the torture of detainees in Afghanistan that had been handed over to the Afghan govt., & extended the mission in Afghanistan (albeit with the help of the Liberals), have done nothing on the Environment front even though they have touted a plan which they did not give any details of until recently. And now when speaking of it they still twist & hide the truth as to how much it will impact Canadians without helping us with tax-breaks, etc. like The Green Shift does. They have no plans to lessen the impact. After all, they are a front for big business & especially the oil sector.


And one more thing: we are now in a DEFICIT. Yes, a small one to start but if you witness what the Harris PC Govt. did to Ontario it will soon be in the billions. Flaherty (Finance Minister), Baird (Environmental Minister), & Clement (Health Minister) were all an integral part of the Harris govt. & now they are decimating the country.


These are just a few things they have done along with many scandals which we are unable to get to the bottom of yet. Like Cadman, Bernier, Nafta, & In & Out. And there are many other nefarious doings by the CPoC.


They refuse to give out info when requested & when they do most is blacked out using "security reasons" as an excuse. Even in minor situations. So much for accountability.


None of this is new to anyone who follows politics closely but if the general public really knew what was going on these creeps would be booted out pronto.


I'm angry. Very angry, & will be posting as much as I can on the ongoing devastation that is being imposed on us & with links as well as I go deeper into issues.