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STEPHEN HARPER AS ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR?

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All of this year, our correspondents from Canada have been telling us what an asshole Stephen Harper is…What he has done to Paul Watson (Nature’s great friend) one of the great conservationists of our time is inexcusable….Here is Paul’s letter to the world…..

I am a Canadian.
Je suis Canadien.
I don’t often take sides politically because for the most part political parties everywhere are pretty much all the same when it comes to environmental and conservation issues. Of course many of you will disagree but that’s my opinion from a biocentric perspective.
But in Canada’s case it is very personal.
I don’t have a Canadian Passport.
Why?
Because Stephen Harper took it away from me.
Is it because I’m wanted for a crime in Canada or did I commit a crime in Canada?
No.
There is no Canadian warrant for me in Canada.
Stephen Harper took away my Canadian passport because Japan asked him to take it away.
Why?
Because we opposed illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean, a whaling operation that has been condemned as illegal by the International Court of Justice.
Stephen Harper decided that supporting illegal Japanese whaling was more important than defending the rights of one of his own citizens.
Now this would have caused me some very serious problems if not for one important consideration.
I hold two passports.
I am both a citizen of Canada where I was born, and I am a naturalized American citizen.The United States allows me to keep my passport and to travel and live in the United States.
I can still travel because I have the benefit of U.S. citizenship.
But I can’t go to Canada.
Without a Canadian passport I am not allowed to enter Canada because dual citizens may not enter the country with the passport of their alternative citizenship.
I was born in Toronto in 1950. My mother was born in Toronto in 1930. My father was born in Atholville, New Brunswick in 1928.
My father served in the Korean War as an Army cook and a Sergeant. (The Blackwatch) His father served in World War I in the infantry. My great uncle whom I am named after, served in the Canadian Navy during World War II. He died from his war injuries.
My mother’s father served in the Canadian Army as an officer in the Boer War in South Africa.I served in the Canadian Coast Guard between 1969 and 1974.
My great grandfather was born in Prince Edward Island. His father, my great great grandfather was born in Nova Scotia.
My father’s family came from Brittany, France on my Acadian side in 1587, first to St. Pierre Miquelon then onto Acadia. On the Scottish side, the first one to arrive was a soldier under the command of General James Wolfe in 1759. He married a French woman and that is why today on my father’s side Watson is the only Anglo name in a huge clan of Canadian relatives bearing the names Maillet, Boudreau, Babineau, Dorion and Arsenault.
My mother’s father was born in Copenhagen, but her mother, my grandmother was born in Ontario. Her parents were from Louisville, Kentucky. They emigrated to Canada in 1908 from California after her older brother was killed in the San Francisco earthquake when he was 6. My roots go back at least to 1850 in the USA.
Today I have family, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Also in New York, Washington, and South Carolina. I have no relatives that I’m aware of in Europe.
I am saying this to demonstrate that as a Canadian going back fourteen generations to 1587 I feel I am qualified to express my opinion on the current state of political affairs in Canada.
My position is quite simple.
In supporting and voting for Bill C-51 and making it law, both Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau have betrayed all past generations of Canadians.
Bill C-51 makes the Patriot Act looks fascistically shallow by comparison.
My family did not fight in five wars for Canada (Quebec 1759, Boer War, WW I, WWI and Korea) so that an authoritarian leader like Stephen Harper could convert our democracy into a police state for the benefit of the resource extraction companies.
There is no Islamic threat to Canada. There never has been. C-51 has been designed to oppose environmentalists and First Nations and to benefit the interests of corporations both domestic and foreign.
Canada has absolutely no business sending men and women off to Afghanistan. They are not being sent to defend freedom. They are being sent to defend corporate profits.
Canada used to be a peace-keeping nation under Prime Ministers like Lester Pearson and John Diefenbaker and the greatest Canadian politician of all was Tommy Douglas who gave the nation Medicare.
The next Canadian Federal Election is in October and if Canadians are to have a secure and free future the Conservative Party under Stephen Harper must be ousted. And the Liberals under Justin Trudeau are not the answer. Canada has been led down the smelly path to corporate whoredom by both the Liberals and the Conservatives.
I remember Pierre Trudeau’s detestable War Measures Act. I was detained for writing a history article and questioned by the police as to why I wrote an article about the Quebec Insurrection of 1837?
My answer was that it was because it was a part of our history, to which they asked me how long I had been a member of the FLQ to which I responded that I did not speak French so I would not even be accepted into the FLQ if I even desired to join. To which they replied, that I should prove that I could not speak French, at which point I said they were being ridiculous and we were in Vancouver and a few thousand miles from Quebec and to stop being so mindlessly silly.
They finally let me go. That was in 1971, the year that I reckon that Canada began to slide down the slippery slope to corporate control.
C-51 has negated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.
We now have freedom of speech until we open our mouth. Harper now has a right to revoke citizenship without explanation something that he already effectively did with me.
The only parties that opposed C-51 it were the Green Party and the New Democratic Party.
And thus these are the only two parties that any freedom loving Canadian can vote for in good conscience.
And the most exciting thing is that for the first time in Canadian history the New Democratic Party is leading the other two major parties in the polls.
Last month the NDP threw out the Alberta Conservatives who have been in power in Alberta since 1972.
Albertans had enough. Canadians have had enough.
I can’t go to Canada but I do intend to vote through my Embassy here in Paris and I will be voting for the NDP.
You see Harper can keep me as a Canadian out of Canada but he can’t take Canada away from me.
I swam with beavers as a child. I’ve trudged in snow shows at 49 below in the Peace River Valley to protect wolves. I led eight campaigns to the ice floes to defend harp seals. I drove the Spanish trawlers off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in 1993. My greatest honour was receiving a shirt and a flag from the Mohawks and being received at their campfire in their longhouse in Kahnawake. I’ve canoed down the Fraser River and swam across the Georgia Strait in 1982. I supplied lighthouses on Vancouver Island and served on the Rescue hovercraft at Vancouver Airport. I’ve swum with Orcas in the Strait of Bella Bella. I helped build the seawall at Stanley Park. I worked at Expo 67 in Montreal and hitch hiked across the country 14 times and rode the rails across 6 times. I shook hands with John Diefenbaker as a child and Farley Mowat, Robert Hunter, Elizabeth May and David Suzuki have all been close friends. I co-founded Greenpeace in Vancouver in 1972 and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society also in Vancouver in 1977. I attended Simon Fraser University and High School in London and Markham, Ontario. I planted trees in British Columbia. I am an honourary citizen of St. Anne du Belleville, Quebec. I have publicly debated former Newfoundland Premiers Tobin and Peckford and former Speaker of the House John Fraser. I ran for Member of Parliment twice for the Green Party and ran for the office of Mayor of Vancouver. My daughter was born in Vancouver and I’ve read everything Leacock, Mowat, Burton, Atwood, Grey Owl, and Richler ever wrote. My favorite music is Tyson, McKennitt, St. Marie, Lightfoot, and Stan Rogers. My favorite poets are Robert Service and Leonard Cohen. OK, I hate hockey although I played it as a kid, but I love maple syrup on snow, steamed fiddleheads, habitat pea soup and dulse.
In other words I’m just as much a Canadian as that sanctimonious petro-ass kissing corrupt, scofflaw, smug, on-the-take, holier than thou, climate change denying embarrassment of a Prime Minister who needs to be kicked out of Ottawa on his dictatorial pseudo-Tory ass come October.
It’s not only time for a change it’s essential that there be a change and it’s time for us to return Canada to what we once were – a freedom loving, peace loving, beautifully wild nation, and what we need to be, a nation rich with First Nation heritage, true conservatives as in nature conservationists, instead of pseudo-conservative eco-terrorist right wing radicals, hell bent on selling the nation out to corporate marauders.
As a writer, I just donated my entire annual Canadian Public Lending Rights cheque to the NDP and come October they will have my vote.
Hopefully someday I will be able to return home to a nation that has not been enslaved to the oil companies, where I will be free to speak, to a place where I can once again proudly call myself a Canadian.
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Dolce & Gabana – will they survive their designer foot in mouth stupidity? Or does this give them favor in the courts to avoid their prison sentence?

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MILAN (AP) — Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana drew applause for sending a pregnant model down the runway as part of their tribute to mothers, but their endorsement of traditional families in a recent interview unleashed harsh criticism and calls to boycott their label.

The designers, under growing social media pressure, issued a statement Sunday saying their comments in an interview with Italian magazine Panorama supporting traditional families with a mother and a father weren’t intended to judge the choices made by others.

Elton John added his voice to the call to boycott the designers’ Dolce&Gabbana label, expressing offense at their skepticism about the use of in vitro fertilization and surrogate mothers to create families. The musician’s two children were conceived by in vitro fertilization.

Singer Ricky Martin, the father of twins born by a surrogate mother, called on the pair to “wake up” in a message on Twitter, admonishing the designers that their voices were too powerful to spread hate.

Gabbana said in a statement Sunday that “it was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.”

Dolce says he was expressing his view about family based on his experience growing up in a traditional Sicilian family “made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.”

Dolce said he was expressing his personal views “without judging other people’s choices.”

The designers, who are gay and formerly were a couple, have put the traditional family at the center of their last two collections, sending a pregnant model and models with their own children down the runway to celebrate motherhood for next winter’s womenswear collection, while featuring grandmothers with their grandsons for menswear.

Dolce and Gabbana were found guilty of major tax evasion in 2013. They’re still technically facing prison time and $440 million in fines.

Stephen Harper – Asshole #1 for Canada?

Many of our Canadian friends keep asking us to highlight Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harpers escapades and questionable practices….Here is the first in a series…..

Bill for Stephen Harper’s annual Arctic trips tops $3.4M
Canadians paid more than $2.65 million, excluding RCMP costs, to send Stephen Harper on his annual northern sojourns between 2006 and 2013.

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OTTAWA—The Canadian public paid more than $2.6 million — excluding security costs — to send Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his annual northern trips between 2006 and 2013.
Federal departments and agencies reported $2,650,442 in costs for the August Arctic trip, which Harper has made every year since taking power in 2006.
The total cost of the trips to taxpayers is likely much higher, however. The RCMP, which adds hundreds of thousands of costs to the trip, refused to disclose the cost of security because their internal systems couldn’t track the price tag.
“Therefore, given the current time constraints and the excessive amount of resources that would be required for such a search, the RCMP is unable to provide the requested information,” the force wrote in response to a written question from Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner.
But previous disclosures to Parliament showed Harper’s RCMP protection cost $252,921 for the 2014 sojourn alone, for a total bill of $786,442.
The accumulated tab for the Arctic pilgrimages is at least $3.4 million
“I think what you have to consider is value for money. What (the trip) evolved into is really a million-dollar photo op,” Cuzner said in an interview.
According to the documents the cost of the trips ballooned from $111,875 in 2006 to $535,095 in 2013. The costs are mostly borne by the Privy Council Office, the non-partisan bureaucrats who support the prime minister, and the Department of National Defence.
Over the eight-year timeframe, the PCO spent $1.24 million on the northern trips. Their submission does not break out exactly how those costs were incurred, but several PCO employees typically travel north to provide technical assistance during the trip.
The cost to National Defence came in at $1.23 million, largely connected to flights in Airbus and Hercules aircraft, which ferry around the prime minister, his staff and cabinet ministers, as well as the handful of journalists who accompany them on the trip.
Media organizations, including the Star, pay their own way to travel with the prime minister.
The costs reported to parliament also exclude several federal government operations that coincide with Harper’s visit to the north, such as the massive military exercise Operation Nanook.
In response to media reports last November about the cost of the 2014 trip, the prime minister’s director of communications defended the tab.
“To suggest that money spent profiling and celebrating Canada’s northern communities is somehow a poor investment demonstrates that only our government can be trusted to protect and advance the needs of northern and rural Canadians,” Jason MacDonald wrote in a statement to the Star last year.  (courtesy of the Toronto Star).

 

 

What ASSHOLE led the team to cut down the “World’s Oldest Tree”?

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A group of illegal loggers at the edge of the Peruvian and Brazilian border cut down the ‘World’s Oldest Tree’ after assumedly not noticing that they were deep within the Matsés Indigenous Reserve (a place where logging is illegal). In effect of this offensive act, the local conservation organizations and native indigenous communities are infuriated.

If it is not startling enough that in the last 40 years loggers have deforested approximately 20% of the Amazon rain forest, the latest news claiming illegal loggers have cut down what experts claim to be the “oldest living tree in the world” will shock and infuriate many.

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/worlds-oldest-tree-accidentally-cut-down-by-loggers-in-amazon/

Fact check: The great health care premium debate continues….Michele Bachmann is “Just an Asshole” today!

 

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In the latest round of what’s-happening-to-health-care-premiums, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann wrongly claims that we’re seeing “huge increases” in employer-sponsored plans, while President Obama touts historically low health care inflation, which experts say is mainly due to the slow economy, not the health care law.

Both Bachmann and Obama were making competing arguments about the success of the Affordable Care Act, specifically on costs to consumers.

We’ll start with Bachmann, who made her comments on Fox News’ On the Record on Nov. 17.

Bachmann: We are seeing huge increases in these premiums, not only in the Obamacare exchanges, but in the private market. Because remember, a lot of times it’s the private market where we are getting health care through our employers. It’s the private market that has to offset government programs, whether its Medicaid or whatever government program. So the costs are going through the roof.

Her comment that there have been “huge increases” in the private market “where we are getting health care through our employers” is low-hanging fruit for fact-checkers. Employer-sponsored insurance premiums have been growing at low rates for the past several years. The average annual family-plan premium went up 3% from 2013 to 2014, according to the latest annual employer survey from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust.

As the press release on the survey says: “Premiums increased more slowly over the past five years than the preceding five years (26% vs. 34%) and well below the annual double-digit increases recorded in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This year’s increase also is similar to the year-to-year rise in worker’s wages (2.3%) and general inflation (2%).”

We’ve explained before that a small increase in employer-sponsored premiums from 2010 to 2011 was linked to the Affordable Care Act’s elimination of preexisting condition exclusions for children, coverage of dependents on their parents’ plans up to age 26, free coverage of preventive care, and an increase in caps on annual coverage. At the time, experts estimated premiums had increased 1% to 3% due to those requirements.

Despite that, there has been a slow rate of growth for premiums for the 48% of Americans on employer plans recently.

While premiums have gone up slowly, deductibles also have increased. The percentage of covered workers on plans with a deductible was 63% in 2009 and had increased to 80% in 2014.

As we’ll explain, it’s unclear how much the Affordable Care Act has affected this slow growth of premiums. But, at any rate, it’s clear Bachmann is wrong when she says there have been “huge increases” and “costs are going through the roof.”

Meet ‘Dr. Chaps’ Gordon Klingenschmitt – ASSHOLE OF THE DAY!

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Former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt will be taking his special brand of anti-gay nuttery to the Colorado State Capitol starting next year – having been elected to the state house in Tuesday’s election.

Klingenschmitt trounced his Democratic opponent, Louis Fornander, by nearly 40 percent in the race for district 15’s seat.

In response to Klingenschmitt’s victory, we just want to refresh your memory on some of his more radical views and how “scary nuts” this guy is:    (You can “Google” these to watch these videos)

Gordon Klingenschmitt: Gay People ‘Want You To Disobey God So You Go to Hell With Them”

Gordon Klingenschmitt Warns Same-Sex Marriage Allows Gays to ‘Recruit Your Kids’

Gordon Klingenschmitt Warns Christians Are Being Forced to “Worship Sodomy”

Gordon Klingenschmitt Says Rep. Jared Polis Wants to Behead Christians, Nominates Him in Ice Bucket Challenge

And while it’s possible voters were unaware of Klingenschmitt’s more incendiary anti-gay rhetoric, the scarier alternative is that perhaps voters were aware of all this insanity and honestly believe he’s the best candidate to represent the district’s ‘values’ in Denver…

After Klingenschmitt won his primary race in June, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call disclaimed, “Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest.” His predecessor, former House Minority Leader Mark Waller (R), said that his own 11-year-old son could identify Klingenschmitt’s rhetoric as “hateful speech.”

Klingenschmitt regularly publishes videos featuring rather loose-lipped rants on a number of topics. In particular, he is virulently anti-LGBT and is dedicated to running the country according to Christian beliefs. RightWingWatch posted its own round-up of videos they’ve curated over the years in honor of his election. Here is a collection of choice Klingenschmitt quotes:
1. “Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty…who recently issued a press release attacking me personally… Let their days be few, and replace them with godly people. Plunder their fields and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants. And remember their sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
2. “She gave her life to Jesus. She welcomed the Holy Spirit. And I looked into her eyes as she began to weep and I said, “You foul spirit of lesbianism, this woman has renounced you, come out of her in Jesus’ name,’ and she began to wrestle with that and suddenly her eyes began to bug out and then she began to weep, and weep, and weep as the Holy Spirit forgave her sins… She was baptized the next day and then she became one of the best evangelists in our church, started carrying around her Bible telling all of her friends about Jesus and she started dating boys.”
3. “Almighty God, please bless Lowes Home Improvement stores for their wise decision to stop advertising for the TV show All-American Muslim, which is nothing but Islamic propaganda designed to whitewash the fact that practitioners of militant Islam not only slaughtered over 3000 American civilians, but routinely kill millions of Christians worldwide.”
4. “Sen. Franken recently released a video in which he blames the high rate of suicide among homosexual teens on school bullying, by abusing these sad tragedies as his own propaganda tool. By spreading even more lies to more teens, Franken is ultimately causing more suicides. Teen suicide is tragic enough without Senator Franken recruiting more kids into homosexuality, which causes depression, self-hatred, self-rejection and self-murder.”
5. “Sexual harrassment [sic] is banned in the military, unless you’re a homosexual abusing a Christian, then it’s openly encouraged.”
6. “Federal bureaucrats will enforce Obamacare to exterminate the elderly, systematically. We must take a stand.”
7. “Picture this: four NFL players coming out as gay, and then this whole youth movement of coaches recruiting children into the homosexual lifestyle and punishing Christians because they voice an opposition to that sort of thing in the locker room… that is a demonic use of the sporting industry.”
8. “Is bestiality now a perceived sexual orientation? Well since it’s not defined in the ENDA bill, yes it is!”
9. “An atheist chaplain would be the perfect vehicle for convincing wounded warriors that they should end their lives because there’s nothing in the future and there’s nothing now, so why not just save money and kill themselves.”
10. “In other words, it doesn’t matter what your skin color is, it matters what’s inside of your heart. And if your heart is full of corruption or sin or immorality — in this case, homosexuality — then you should be discriminated against.”
11. “You know what, citizens, if you don’t have a gun, I’m telling you — as a Christian chaplain — sell your clothes and buy a gun. It’s time.”
12. “I want to put up there again this picture of this gay couple, these two men, holding up a baby. I want you to notice that one of them, one of the men, almost has his tongue hanging out, like he’s licking his chops, like, ‘This baby is ours now!’ And that’s fine, you may call that love, but it looks to me a little bit like lust.”
13. “These abusive parents now have used this little boy to try and claim that he’s a girl to try and tell the world that they ought to let transgender adults into your little girl’s public bathrooms… There is a demon of rape inside of this movement to violate your daughters.”
14. “There is NO mention of sexual orientation in the Constitution, and any judge who imagines one is a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and should be impeached and removed from office.”
15. “Child molesting is therefore a favorite “recruiting” tool of adult homosexuals. They violate children, and when the victim is later confused, they lie and say ‘you were born that way.’”

RUSSELL BRAND THREATENED WITH ARREST BY FOX SECURITY….

Sean Hannity had invited Russell Brand to come onto his show and then cancelled on him. So, to make good on his trip to the studio, Brand attempted to film an episode of his “Trews” (True News). During the filming though, Brand was interrupted by security guards and threatened with arrest for filming outside the building.

At the beginning of the episode, Brand start in on a rant against Bill O’Reilly for helping to spread Islamophobia.

“Bill O’Reilly is helping us to be more Islamophobic,” said Brand. “You might not feel that Islamophobic today. You might think ‘Ah, nah, people that are Muslim are basically same as us. They just have a different religious perspective.’ Bill will help you to find some hatred in your heart for people just like you.”

About the time the Brand finishes with his indictment of O’Reilly and starts to break down the ways that O’Reilly misuses statistics, Brand is confronted by security telling him that he is not allowed to film on the premises.

“Excuse me,” says the guard. “You can’t film here. This is private property.”

Brand responds, “Whose property is it?”

“The building’s,” answers the guard.

Brand continues, “Who does the building belong to?”

“It doesn’t matter,” says the guard.

Brand finishes, “It does matter. I’ll just stay here then.” He then walks back to the front of the building, we can only assume, to continue filming.

You can watch the encounter and more here: