More diplomacy…

 Aug. 15, 2014

 CBC News
Retiring Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare says the world needs more diplomacy 

Canada’s top military operations general retires with unusual military advice for the rest of Canada and the world:  Practice more diplomacy.   Beare offers his assessment of how Canada’s Armed Forces and the world have both changed since 9/11.  Related article:  CBC News   Canadian planes to help shuttle weapons to combat ISIS in Iraq

 Toronto Star – Scott Simmie
Critics decry ‘militarization’ of police in wake of Missouri death 

The third killing of an unarmed black person in the US in recent weeks has led to five nights of protest and the presence of the state police replacing the locals in an attempt to de-escalate the tensions and provocations.   Simmie uses the Missouri scene to raise questions about the militarization of the police, seen in weapons, equipment, tactics and escalation in violence as a response to crisis.  He sees the problem creeping into Canada as well. /14/critics_decry_militarization_of_police_in_wake_of_missouri_death.html  Related article:  CBC News – Amber Hildebrandt    Michael Brown shooting: The police’s military-like response to Missouri riots –  Rising militarization of police in U.S. proves deadly and costly

 Ottawa Citizen – Glen McGregor
Sona verdict: Judge believes he didn’t act alone 

The robo call verdict is in – guilty in Canada’s first election fraud conviction!  But who is guilty and where is the campaign manager?  The judge says Sona did not act alone but Andrew Prescott got immunity for testimony that the judge did not believe.  The campaign manager Ken Morgan refused to speak with Elections Canada and went to Kuwait three years ago;  his whereabouts are unknown.  Related article –  Huffington Post (Canada) –  Althia Raj and Ryan Maloney    Michael Sona: ‘I Thought This Would Turn Out Different’    Related article:   Michael DenTandt     Michael Sona’s conviction no victory for Tories   Related article: – Tasha Kheiriddin    Sona may be guilty — but it won’t do Harper any good    Related article:  Toronto Star:  Editorial   Greasy ‘robocall’ scandal will haunt Conservatives at the polls

 CTV News – Jesse Tahirali
Trudeau responds to Fantino’s potshots on marijuana stance 

The pot issue is back.  Trudeau is getting flak from both sides.  The return of Marc Emery, the prince of pot, his wife seeking the Liberal nomination for her riding, and the Tories ramping up allegations about the impact of legalizing marijuana for school kids have led to a sharp counter-attack by the Liberals:  World Health Organization says proportionately more teens in Canada use marijuana than in 29 other developed countries studied.  Conclusion: Trudeau says our marijuana policy is a failure.   Related article:  National Newswatch – Will Leroy, Canadian Press      Justin Trudeau opposes spending taxpayer money on anti-marijuana ads

 Toronto Star – Jennifer Wallner and Daniel Béland
Fraser report conceals big picture on taxes  

Taxes are a part of all politics but rarely an explanation for our prosperity as a nation.  This article picks apart a Fraser Institute claim about the cost of taxes to the individual household but, say Wallner and Béland, without counting the improvements in the services and quality of life and education that Canadians enjoy.   What we now know as the necessities of the good life are now less expensive and far more readily available due to taxes.

 Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
Lawyers for wrongfully convicted urge review of ‘Mr. Big’ convictions

There have been hundreds of convictions based on a police sting known as “Mr. Big.”   In the light of the recent ruling by the SCC that the results from the tactic are inadmissible, the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted is asking Peter MacKay to review systematically these convictions and apply the court ruling in retrospect.

 Globe and Mail – Shannon Kari
Taxpayers in Ontario cottage country face soaring policing costs 

Cottage country politicians and residents are reeling with the latest on the cost of policing and how those costs are to be assessed.  Some places will see a doubling of costs in five years, others as much as a 75% increase.  The controversy is not limited to cottage country since municipalities everywhere are struggling with large increases for policing.   Haliburton and Muskoka counties are the focus of what the provincial government call a review – the first since 1988 – and re-allocation of policing costs.   Related article: Toronto Star – Richard J. Brennan     OPP introducing new billing model for municipalities

 L. A. Times (Ca)
Child’s detention despite citizenship reveals immigration case woes 

An eleven year old boy has been held in an immigration detention center, though a US citizen, it seems because no one asked him the right questions.  Critics think the lack of respect for those held in custody is at the root of the problem; the system functions only to deport people and ignores the myriad of problems in a complex immigration system and set of confusing laws.

 The New Yorker (US) – Andrew Solomon
Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness 

Solomon describes the frightful stats around both suicides and attempts at suicide and relates the problem to mental illness.  The reflection is cast in the light of Robin Williams and ponders why a person who has accomplished so much would contemplate an attempt or commit suicide. Says Solomon: “The same qualities that drive a person to brilliance may drive that person to suicide.”

 Eco-Business (AU) – Opinion
Climate change will widen the social and health gap 

The impact of climate on income inequality is the focus of this editorial coming out of Australia.  The most likely scenario is that as the income gap widens the impact of climate change will be most adverse towards the poor.  The appraisal looks at health, natural disasters and food scarcity and anticipates vulnerability to food shortages, particular vulnerability to low lying geographic sites and the impact of more frequent and more intense weather events.