Friday, December 31, 2004

Only in Canada

I hadn’t a clue that Canada had its own national clown school based in Montreal but I should have known better. It does explain many things that eluded and puzzled me about certain Canadians. No doubt there is a certain kind of apt synergy in funding for the school coming from the Feds through Heritage Canada rather than the Ministry of Education for Quebec. The Toronto Sun is reporting:
FEDERAL TAXPAYERS are footing a multi-million dollar bill to send in the clowns. Heritage Canada doled out almost $1 million in the past two years to the Montreal-based National Circus School, according to documents obtained by Sun Media under Access to Information.

I cannot help speculating that if I started a school for strippers how much funding would the school be eligible for from Heritage Canada?

Thursday, December 30, 2004


I have been using a dial-up connections for years and was overall happy with it: low price, great service. I am running a very fast and relatively new Dell (Windows XP) and unless I was downloading something that was band-intensive I was not really inconvenienced and saved a great deal of money. Over the holidays I had an increase in user-ship of main computer in the house and a great deal of pressure was brought to bear to penny up and move back to the hi-speed age. Originally I had Sympatico and was so dissatisfied that I moved to dial-up when they changed their fee structure.

This being Canada my only other option was Roger’s. Initially the installation went well and everyone was happy but a few days ago the internet connect went mysteriously dead as I was surfing the net and attempting to use a hyperlink in a blog. I went through the hold standard shut down the computer, disconnect the power sources, re-start the machine etc and other trouble shooting measures that Roger’s issued. Nothing worked, so I called the tech support at Roger’s and they arranged for someone to come out the next morning (yesterday and check the line). Before the Tech arrived the connectivity came mysteriously back online. The Tech arrived and checked the incoming sources and cables and was just as bandoggled as I as to what the source of the problem is/was.

Early this morning I was again at a blog and attempted to use a hyperlink and the cable modem lost connectivity. I have called Roger’s and someone will come out again but I am running out of holidays and patience. My browser is Internet Explorer and I am using McAfee Virus/Protection/Firewall etc, and the modem is a Webstar provided by Rogers. Anyone else had this problem or knows of a possible solution rather than go back to dial-up?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What’s next, little green men?

This story is reported by the India Daily concerning the recent spate of UFO sightings at a low altitude over Iranian nuclear installation airspace.
Sources also reveal that Iranian Air Force have failed shoot down even a single UFO and many in Iranian Air Force are complaining about lack of technical ability in shooting these UFOs down.
I have heard rumours of wide-spread opium addiction among the ruling Mullahs of Iran but never gave it much credence until now.

(tipped off by the Cool Blue Blog)

Cutting off your nose to spite your face

Haaretz International is reporting:
A 150-member Israeli aid delegation canceled its mission to Sri Lanka on Tuesday, after the country - one of the hardest hit in the Asian tsunami disaster - refused to accept the Israeli team, Israel Defense Forces officials said.

However, Israel is sending supplies at Sri Lanka's request, including 10,000 blankets contributed by the IDF, tents, nylon sheeting and water containers. The IDF Home Front Command is organizing aid preparations.


The decision to send the Israeli delegation to Sri Lanka came despite the lack of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Sri Lanka said on Tuesday the death toll from the tsunami had risen to about 15,000 people, including at least 200 foreign tourists. Sri Lankan military spokesman Daya Ratnayake said more than 1.5 million people had been displaced from their homes - around 7.5 percent of Sri Lanka's population.

About 26,000 people were confirmed dead Tuesday in the wake of the tsunami that slammed into coasts from India to Indonesia two days before, with some estimates nearly doubling that toll.

The aid delegation that had been set to depart for Sri Lanka on Tuesday included medical teams and representatives of the IDF and Defense Ministry, who were planning to provide humanitarian assistance and participate in search-and-rescue operations.

The delegation was planning to assemble a medical facility comprised of specialist doctors, and set up emergency, internal medicine and pediatric departments, as well as laboratory and X-ray facilities in the southern part of Sri Lanka.

The tsunami earthquake disaster death toll raises hourly with no immediate end in sight, so that it more than a little disheartening to read that an Israeli aid delegation made up of search and rescue specialists, doctors, nurses and other emergency aid workers have been refused by the government of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka had broken off diplomatic relations with Israel during the 70’s in sympathy for the PLO platform. Though in May 2000 there were reports that Sri Lanka would resume relations with Israel and the Sri Lanka government has sought Israeli weapons and military expertise with its on-going battle against the Tamil Tigers but that appears to be the extent of relations that the Sri Lankan government is willing to resume. There has been a great deal of internal resistance to resuming full and open relations with Israel from Muslim politicians/population in Sri Lanka.

I can think of only a small handful of countries that possess the practical and technical expertise level that Israel has obtained; and it is the height of infamy that the Sri Lankan government cannot get beyond the No Jews Allowed bigotry. But kudos for Israel for maintaining its humanity despite the ongoing prejudice exhibited by the Sri Lankan government.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Feeding Frenzy

Just when I thought that artificial Christmas trees were a safer and hassle free alternative to purchasing a real Christmas tree the Toronto Star (registration required) reports this:
Two brands of artificial Christmas trees may be infested with a type of wood-eating insect, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warned today. The trees, exported to Canada and the United States by China-based manufacturer Polytree Hong Kong, are sold under the brand name Dakota Alpine Christmas tree or Cascades Prelit Alpine Christmas tree, said agency spokesman Alain Charette. The trunks of the trees are made of natural wood from China that was "improperly treated," he said. In some cases, live bugs were found in trees exported to the United States. The brown fir longhorned beetle, which munches on evergreens in China, would have no natural predator in Canada and could cause "extensive damage," Charette said.

Solution: Shop Canadian

How do you spell bad faith: IRAN

From Yahoo News comes this report:
VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's decision to keep preparing raw uranium for enrichment, a step on the way to making nuclear weapons, breaks the spirit though not the letter of its pledge to freeze all such activity, diplomats said on Tuesday.

Under a deal Iran reached with three EU nations to freeze all enrichment activity as of Nov. 22, preparing "yellowcake" uranium for enrichment is strictly prohibited. But the accord allowed Iran to finish some limited uranium conversion work that it had already begun before the suspension took effect. But Iran will now continue enrichment-related work until February, Western diplomats told Reuters.

I cannot fathom how anyone could conceivably believe that the Mullahs would live up to any international agreement governing a nuclear program when they have historically, routinely and consistently failed to live up to their obligations under the International Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child which expressively demands that all signatories prohibit the execution of children by the State.

(tipped off by Little Green Footballs)

Feeding Frenzy among Conspiracy Artists

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs posts about Iranian television running a drama series called "For You Palestine" or "Zahra’s Blue Eyes". It follows the fictional career of an Israeli General in his bid to become Prime Minister of Israel.

In Episode 1, Yitzhak Cohen lectures at a medical conference on the advances being made by Israeli medicine regarding organ transplants. Later in the episode, Israelis disguised as UN workers visit a Palestinian school, ostensibly to examine the children’s eyes for diseases, but in reality to select which children’s eyes to steal to be used for further transplants.

In Episode 2, the audience learns that the Israeli president is being kept alive by organs stolen from Palestinian children, and an Israeli military commander is seen kidnapping UN employees and Palestinians.

If this isn’t a case of arrested development, what is?

Alternative History in the Blogsphere

No need to read writers of alternative history novels as Abu Mazen, Holocaust Denier Extraordinaire & Palestinian Election Frontrunner has his own website!

(tipped off by Little Green Footballs)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Ultimate Social Climber

Okay, I bit and took the quiz via Tiger in Winter and who would have thought that my financially-challenged self would score:

You scored as Luxurious Upper Class. As a member of the upper class, you will always have the satisfaction that there are many underneath you to slave for your every need and want. Live the high life.

Luxurious Upper Class


Upper middle Class


Lower Class




Middle Class


What Social Status are you?
created with

I am okay with this as long as this does not make me a Paris Hilton wannabe.

Rendering onto Caesar

The man who owns the best pizza parlour in my neighborhood was originally from Iran. He loved his native land, his family and his religion. When the Shah was overthrown in Iran he did not flee; he did not flee after his son was born despite the on-going war with Iraq and concern for his son’s future. As the Mullah’s gripped tightened so insidiously on the everyday life of ordinary Iranians he became increasingly concerned for the safety of his wife, though the decision to flee was only made upon the birth of his daughter. He wanted her to have the opportunity to live and learn in a society that did not measure the freedom of its women by the size of the family home’s walls. He wanted his daughter to have a future that was not shaded and encased behind a veil and a wall but could be seen clearly and experienced freely. Canada became his refuge from the Shariah Law of the Mullahs.

It is not often that I am find myself in agreement with the Muslim Canadian Congress but today I am.

In 1991, the Rae NDP government introduced the Arbitrators Act allowing for voluntary faith-based arbitrators to negotiate settlements in Ontario courts. In truth, this was a frivolous piece of legislature. Prior to the introduction of the 1991 Arbitrators Act there was no legal impediment for two parties involved in a dispute to seek faith based arbitrators to help negotiate a settlement between the parties. Why the Rae government decided to introduce this piece of legislature in the first place is beyond me my keen but I chalk it up as another example of governmental meddling into the private lives of the ordinary citizenry.

Prior to Arbitrators Act, if I was a religious Jew, Christian, or Wicca, I could always appeal to my priest or religious authority/court for help in resolving a dispute. I did not need the government of Ontario to add official sanction to the process that is my right to exercise under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is one of the innate advantages of living in a relatively free society.

And I have to hand it to Marion Boyd who has just authored and submitted a report recommending the introduction of Shariah Law into the Ontario Courts to the Premier of Ontario and I quote:
"This is not Shariah law," said report author Marion Boyd, a former provincial attorney general. "This is using Muslim religious principles under Canadian law, within Canadian law, and that is the greatest protection that we think can be offered."

Excuse me Marion Boyd, but what do you think Shariah Law is; if it is not Muslim religious principals - the rules and principal’s governing animal husbandry? Furthermore, if the implementation of Shariah Law into Ontario Courts under the Arbitrators Act requires 46 principal recommendations to safeguard a person’s rights under "Muslim Religious Law"; then it would appear to be self-evident in my mind that the introduction of Shariah Law is contrary to the rule of established law in Canada.

If there ever was a case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions this is it. It’s time to repel this piece of legislation and allow all Ontario citizens to live under one rule of law in our courts as regulated, governed and safeguarded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Doing the Right Thing

I am often highly critical of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs but every once in a while the Foreign Affairs Ministry does the right thing. From the Globe and Mail:
The 44 North Koreans who were holed up at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing have been released and taken to a safe third country, Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
A spokesman for Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew confirmed the release.
"Mr. Pettigrew has confirmed the transfer of all 44 people from the Canadian Embassy," Sebastien Theberge said.
Today, I can feel better about being a Canadian.

Monday, December 20, 2004

"Be it Yours to hold it High”

Babbling Brooks hoists the latest issue of the Red Ensign Bloggers Brigade
I've seen my country east to west, north to south; urban, rural, and wilderness. I've watched the salmon run in Goldstream Provincial Park in Victoria, BC, and hiked four days from Halifax to Greenwood, NS on a dare. I've served my country, briefly and certainly without the distinction of my grandfathers, in uniform, and saluted our flag with tears in my eyes. I've screamed myself hoarse at the annual incarnation of the oldest international hockey rivalry in the world: RMC vs. West Point. I've even sacrificed time, energy, and money in a political campaign in the firm belief we should all participate in the process of governing ourselves. I'm comfortable calling myself a Canadian patriot.But that doesn't mean I'm satisfied with a snapshot of Canada as it is now any more than my grandparents would have been with a freeze-frame of the Canada they inherited. It doesn't mean this great nation can't become greater. And it certainly doesn't mean today's Canadians can afford to sit back on our laurels and announce arrogantly that we're somehow fated to enjoy the freedom and prosperity we had such a small historical part in creating.

I've struggled to explain to friends and family curious about my foray into the blogosphere what binds the disparate blogs of the Red Ensign Brigade together. The closest answer I can give is that we share strong feelings about the importance of Canada's past in charting our nation's future. We share a conviction that Canadian freedom and prosperity are not a birthright bestowed upon a lucky citizenry, but rather a reward for action consistent with longstanding Canadian values.
Damian Brooks, Canadian Patriot

Well said.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Pot, meet Kettle

Being a parent was never a goal of mine. Having children was for other people and not moi. I was so decidedly anti-children for years and years that my Mother took to calling my dog her granddaughter. No one was more surprised than I when I was blessed with 3 children. No one was more surprised than I when I came to the realization that I loved being a mother. Who would have thought that one of my chief regrets would be that I did not start having my children when I was younger and that I should have had more than three? Who would have known that I should have married that fighter pilot I loved to distraction; but who I ultimately rejected because he wanted to have at least six children and wanted to start right away?

There are downsides to parenting but the joys decidedly outweigh the negatives. Though when I read things like the Ontario Liberals wanting to introduce "character education" I am left to speculate how long before the state decides that parents are a failed institution and legislates us out of existence?

The Windsor Star reports:

"Premier Dalton McGuinty plans to put respect on the curriculum in Ontario schools in a bid to teach children "from the four corners of the world" a common set of values. McGuinty said the introduction of character education -- to teach respect, honesty, fairness and responsibility"

The whole arrogance of it leaves me just flabbergasted. The McGirlieman Fiberals think that they can design an educational character curriculum to teach elementary and secondary school student’s respect, honesty, fairness and responsibility. What’s next? Saddam teaching conflict resolution skills? What happens when 26% of the students fail the character educational component – will the Fiberals dumb-down the curriculum a la mathematics?

(tipped off by Neale News)

Quebec: you deserve better.

One of my pet peeves of shopping is that at certain stores there never seems to be enough sales/cashier people which is one of the reasons why I rarely go to stores like Wal-mart. I like Wal-mart and overall I think that they offer a decent selection of products for a reasonable price but I positively loathe standing in line at the cash register for longer than 10 minutes. My time is valuable and waiting beyond 10 minutes means that any savings I make on purchasing products at Wal-mart has to be balanced by the cost/loss of my time.

So to read a story like this in the Toronto Star about Quebec labour laws limiting the number of employees a store can employ on-the-job during the so-called off hours and my skin crawls.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Promises to Keep

Last Friday I had dental issues that resulted in emergency dental surgery on Monday. I have spent the last week in a codeine induced haze that has finally started to lift in time for part-two of the surgery scheduled for 2pm Saturday. What I can’t fathom is why people become drug addicts. I mean do they really enjoy lying prostrate on the sofa in a semi-comatose state and only rising for the express purposes of tossing one’s cookies? This is fun? The whole out of body experience with no fixed centre of gravity state is extremely overrated in my mind. I just don’t get it.

I did manage to ignore the pain long enough on Wednesday to take my son Montana guitar shopping - as promised. A year ago Montana got a guitar from his grandmother as a Christmas present. He wasn’t initially happy about getting a guitar and taking lessons. He just saw guitar lessons as another intrusion into his busy schedule. That all changed at his first guitar lesson. I don’t have to tell him to practice, he just does. This summer he started to experiment and write songs though to actually gauge his progress I have to relay on his teacher or sneak down the hall and listen through the door. He has a real phobia about playing for an audience.

A month ago I took him to Steve’s Music Store in Toronto. Now Steve’s has been a guitar institution in Toronto for decades. We walked in to pick up a few add-ons for my son. My normally cocky son retreated in full disengagement and left me to deal with the service people for his needs. Not surprising for the son who thinks that the formal dress blues of the US Marine Corps is the ultimate fashion statement. Now I admit Steve’s has some kind of wild looking sales reps; lots of weird coloured hair and styles, piercings, tattoos and bizarre clothing choices but friendly and helpful once you get over the visual assault on the eyes and senses.

So taking him back to Steve’s and buying a much needed decent guitar was just not in the cards as it would require that he actively play a guitar in a semi-public setting before purchasing. As much as he wanted a new guitar he was dreading the whole experience and only with the greatest reluctance agreed to go with me. What he did not know was that I had scooped out some of the stores weeks before looking for a store that carried reputable guitars with a Montana friendly environment. I found two.

Now when Montana does not want to do something he turns into a low-level grumbler extraordinaire but he is easily bribed into a good mood with food – any kind but lots of it. Since the first of the stores was on Yonge Street just above College there are a wide variety of fast food joints. He decided on Wendy’s as he had not been there for a while. We walk in and the line is empty. I am trying to decide what I want and one of the cashier person’s screams at me to step up to the cash and order. I politely state that I will when I have made up my mind. While I am reading the menu another cashier person started hollering at me to make up my mind and order because I am holding up the line. I look at my son and turn my head to see who on earth I am holding up and low and behold; there is no one behind me and only Montana beside me. Now the third cashier gets into the act screaming that she does not have all day and hurry up. At that point I walk out without waiting for short order cooks to get into the act.

We go to MacDonald’s. The first thing the cashier says to me is; “Good afternoon, how can I help you?” I change my mind as the order is partially filled and ask if I can change it. She says, “No problem, Ma’am.” After she fills the order she hands me a tray saying, “Enjoy your meal.” I am not a fan of MacDonald’s food and call me over emotional but I am damned if I will spend my money in a place where people scream and holler at me.

Suitably bribed Montana feels ready to steel himself for the guitar shopping experience. We walk in and I send him to the back of the store to look at guitars while I get a sales person. I get a nice young man and ask for help in purchasing a new acoustic guitar for my son. He pulls a few down for Montana to try and Montana very tentatively strums. I whisper to the young man that if we chat and ignore him Montana might get more into it. The young man plays along and sure enough after a while Montana gets into it. Two hours later the pain is almost beyond my endurance and Montana is still going strong and unable to make up his mind because the entire sales staff (including the owner) keeps pulling down more guitars for him to try. Three hours later he finally makes a decision only because I refused to shell out the money for a ’68 US made Fender Telecaster. Personally, I have always preferred the sound of a Strat and find the Tele too twangie though I have often referred to Montana affectionately as my redneck son because his rather unusual taste in music for a Jamaican Canadian adolescent boy – Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He has two more years of lessons before I would even consider purchasing him an electric. Call me old fashion but if I am going to buy him an electric guitar, I want him to have a certain level of competence as well as something decent that will last him for years.

In the end, he settled for a Yamaha Dreadnought and because of the level of service and attention, I am sure that it will not be the last time we go there and it will be probably the first stop for any guitar needs purchases in the future - besides it beats sneaking down the hall to listen to my son play.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bomb Them with Love

Intellectual Intercourse has the last official post with "Bomb them with Love" for the Spirit of American Blogger Challenge. If you haven’t donated yet, please considerate sparing just $5 or $10 to help make happen a huge world of difference in the lives of others.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Cheesecake & Hugh Hewitt's Christmas

What do Rhianna’s cleavage and the Spirit of America have in common: Link here – make it happen by donating here:

Dean has the memo on the Hugh Hewitt shopping spree and Cowboy Boy has the scoop on the Hugh Hewitt does Christmas up Right with guest Christmas crafter Bill Maher set to air December 18 - you can protest your contempt for this by taking action here.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Coalition of the Can-do: Spirit of America

I have blogged on and on with my view of US army deserter Jeremy Hinzman who fled to Canada before his unit deployed to Iraq and is currently seeking refugee status in Canada. Hinzman was before the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board last week to plead his case. What might not be widely known is that Hinzman has decided to base his refugee claim on the presumption that American soldiers are committing war crimes in mass in Iraq; and if he had deployed as ordered, he too would have been guilty of war crimes against the Iraqi people. Hinzman's lawyer relied on the testimony of US Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, also known as the "Winter Soldier of the 21st Century" a la Michelle Malkin.

So what have US Service Personnel done in Iraq and what are they trying to do? We have heard the standard "Hinzman" answer to that question but there is another answer. After liberating the Iraqi people from 30 years of a brutal tyranny and continuing the fight to protect those Iraqi's who have no desire to put their chains back on, US service personnel have placed themselves front and centre with the help of the Spirit of America. What is the Spirit of America organization?
The Spirit of America helps Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan assist people in need. We fulfill requests from American personnel for goods that improve the lives of local people and thus help advance freedom and peace.

We have provided school and medical supplies, sewing machines, hand tools, water barrels, clothing, soccer gear and toys in response to needs identified by American personnel. We contributed equipment to Iraqi-owned television stations to establish a better alternative to Al Jazeera. We helped Iraqi men whose arms were amputated by Saddam Hussein get a new start on life.

We provide timely and effective assistance where it is needed most on the front lines. The Wall Street Journal says, "Spirit of America's organizational insight is to deploy the best practices of the modern U.S. economy - efficiency and speed - around the margins of the Iraq war effort." The Journal adds, "Spirit of America and the Marines are a coalition of the can-do."

Simply put, bloggers like the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom are requesting donations to allow those US service personnel to improve the lives of ordinary people of Iraq and Afghanistan. These service personnel have seen the need and want to help. The initiatives are made financially viable by the donations from the general public and delivered and administrated by US service personnel.

What kind of projects are the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom asking you to help US service personnel deliver?
Currently the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion is trying to raise funds to enable Yarmouk University and Baquba Technical Institute to buy computers, printers, copiers, video camera, DVD players, laboratory supplies, scientific instruments, library books, academic journals and textbooks.

Then there is the Library Book Fund for the children of Iraq. The Spirit of American is seeking to provide children's books identified by Iraqi's Ministry of Education. These books will be in children's libraries are located in community centres, hospitals and schools.

The 1st Marine Division has asked if the Spirit of America could help provide sewing machines in community centres being established by the Ramadi Province. These sewing centres include day care and help put economic power in women's hands by allowing them the opportunity to earn a living.

The Marines and SeaBees are busy training Iraqi men to be carpenters, electricians, plumbers and masons. Donations are needed to purchase tool kits to be presented to the Iraqi graduates from their trade school as a gift.

The Arabic Blogging Tool - Viral Freedom is an independent new media project seeking donations to support independent new media and free expression in Iraq. The Spirit of America is seeking funding for the development of Arabic blogging to help support independent media and free expression in Iraq. Your donations to this project allows Spirit of America to host blogs and it gives Iraqi's a voice and a say in their own lives.

This is but a short sampling of current projects, for a full overview read here.

When I received an invitation from the Imperial Armorer at Castle Argghhh! to enlist in the Fighting Fusileers and participate in the Spirit of America Bloggers Challenge it was a no-brainer decision to make. Across the banner of The Last Amazon is a quote by Victor Davis Hanson: "It is never wrong to be on the side of freedom - never." I believe in that with all my heart and soul but belief is only the first requisite of that creed. More important than the belief itself is the manifestation of that belief into action; for what is faith without acts? In that spirit I ask that you help with a donation in whatever amount you can spare for those who continue to work unceasingly to improve lives that are less fortunate than ours.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Fusileer Weblog Report

Random Fate has a weblog report detailing an intelligence report from a Fusileer in a strange land:
I’ve successfully infiltrated the heart of deepest, darkest France and what do I find?

Answer here.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Episode lV: A New Hope

In a galaxy far, far away writes Caltech girl:

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire

Read on here:

Friday, December 10, 2004

Juliette of Baldilocks:

Reminds us why there are some things worth fighting for and those that represent the collective best of our spirit are on the front line now and need our help. Please read what Juliette has to say and see if you can dig into your pocket to help the Spirit of America soar for those who have not yet learned to fly.

Christmas Kvetching Chapter 2

About 8 years ago I got a Soldier/Prince Nutcracker as a Christmas present from my boss. I admit that I was disappointed initially because I had hoped for money. Instead I got this foot and half stupid nutcracker and I didn’t even like walnuts. I brought it home and my boys pounced on it. They were simply fascinated by it. I got suckered into going to the grocery store specifically to buy walnuts so the little heathens could test it out. Pull out the jaw, place the nut in, shove the jaw back in, and pound down on the head and presto – walnut pulverized to smithereens; they were hooked, bag after bag, Christmas after Christmas. This year, The Last Amazon dug out the box of Christmas decorations on Advent and the Nutcracker Prince is a little worse for wear. He’s lost his boots, the paint is wearing off and his jaw is barely hanging on. One walnut later and his jaw dropped off. I would have thought that 8 years of pounding and the boys would have had enough but as it turns out, they want a new Nutcracker. Who would have thought? Go figure. Now I have to hunt for a new one.

And Dr. Monger, your problem is not a lack of culture but a failure of imagination. Dumbest, worst Christmas present ever: battery operated nose hair clipper currently on sale at Bentley’s for $6.99. Why would anyone want to stick an electric clipper up inside a nostril?

Years ago when I use to go out to the nightclubs with my girlfriends I would be approached by men and eventually they would ask me what I did. At first, I never thought anything of saying dancer. This would inevitably bring on the – are you really? No, come on, what do you really do? Show me something. One night, one man was making a particular pest of himself with his cynicism and his lack of appreciation for classical ballet. I tried to explain that ballet was about beauty and form, about emotion and sexuality. He just wasn’t getting it. So I hiked up my dress, leaned against the bar, lifted up my leg straight up in the air and rotated my leg till it was behind my head. Before you could blink, Colleen and I were six deep in men at the bar and never had to buy a drink after that. From that time on, whenever I went out with the girls, they were the ones pestering me to do the leg thingy.

And that is why the King of Snow wears pants that tight.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

In the heart of a Patriette:

The Patriette defines the mission:
Under Saddam Hussein, hundred of thousands of Iraqis were killed and tortured. The signs of his brutal regime are being uncovered by our soldiers on a daily basis. There were torture chambers, slaughterhouses, and mass graves. Yes - the war has been difficult, but nothing on the scale of what the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein inflicted on his own people.

The Spirit of America is an effort to build hope and goodwill towards our country among the people of Iraq, to show them that we are not the imperialist thugs that parts of Europe would have them believe. America does not want Iraq as its 51st state - we want a free Iraq, a country without tyranny, free from fear. America wants an Iraq that is self-sufficient and able to work through the struggles of being a country coming out from under a dictatorship. It happened in Japan. It hap in Germany. Iraq can rise again as well.

In addition to helping the people of Iraq, donating to the Spirit of America is also a way to help our troops. The Spirit of America is a slap in the face to those terrorist insurgents who seek to undermine the will of the Iraqi people. By enabling Iraq to rebuild, educate its children, train its people, and foster improved relations between ourselves and Iraq,

Finish reading the rest and check out the video here.

A Scamada to Call his Own

reports Chris Doucette of the Toronto Sun:
U.S. ARMY deserter Jeremy Hinzman admits the idea of an American claiming refugee status in Canada sounds "preposterous." But the paratrooper remains convinced he and his family will be persecuted if he is sent home to face the music for going AWOL on the eve of his unit's deployment to Iraq.

The 26-year-old's three-day refugee hearing wrapped up in Toronto yesterday. Afterward, Hinzman said he believes his life would be at risk in a military prison -- and the danger likely wouldn't end once he had completed the estimated one- to five-year sentence he could end up serving.

"I think we all know the climate of the States right now is kind of hostile to any sort of dissent," Hinzman said, explaining he expects he would encounter "social persecution" that would make just finding a job difficult.

What I fail to comprehend is why this young man thinks dissent should come with a free ticket to ride. Though I have to give him credit for pretty much getting a free ticket up to now. He voluntarily joined the US Army primarily for the government funded college education -- never sparing a moment of thought for the implications of what a life based on soldiering means. In return he received subsidized housing, food, medical & dental benefits and a pay cheque. When the US army required him to deploy to Iraq, he packed his family and hightailed it for the Canadian border. Responsibilities, obligations, commitments, and honour be damned - I'm off to fleece another land.

He's arrived in Canada and has never had to hold down a job, and yet; he still has found a means to provide his family with an apartment, food and clothing. He has a lawyer willing to take on the job of defending him and receives donations via his own website.

In his own words:
"I've been here almost a year and it feels like home. I love it here," he said, adding he would like to attend university in Toronto.

Well, why wouldn't he? It's a Scamada after his own heart and the potential for more is limited simply by your imagination.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Techography Is in the House and Has the Spirit

'Twas the night before Blogothon, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that John Donovan, our Beloved Leader soon would be there;

Read on here.

How on earth did I make the list?

Neale News is carrying the story of a Detroit area woman who tried to refuse a telemarketer solictation for donations. When the telemarketer refused to take no for an answer then she hung up the phone by slamming it down on the hook. Two weeks later she received this letter in the mail:
The letter arrived postmarked from El Paso, Texas. The first lines read, "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address. Many of them live in your own state and most don't give a (expletive)!"
That got me to pondering what should be my response to this email solicitation from

Dearest in the Lord,
Compliment of the season? i wish you arehealthy.Brother in christ, don't be dismay to get mymail, it is of God's likeness.

I ought to describe myself to you.i'm fromLiberia, as you know and universally known we havesuffered ,due to of civil war and our nationals fled-out of the country and i travelled to Ivory-coast ourneighbouring country in order to escape from the warand rightnow the battle is over and we are trying togo back to our country ,atleast to see whether we will get something.

However,I aspired for assistance to getatleast my transport fare($300)to go back.And withheart-in pain,i loss my lovely parents b/c of thewar.In fact,my dearest ,if i explain my burdens toyou,it is numerous.In fact,I am alive but a dead person is better than me.What encourages me is theword of God which i hear from well wishers and somepreachers saying "God's law shows us a need that onlyGod's grace can supply and also,God's word is thecompass that keeps us on course.


Ideas Anyone?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

For the Love of Freedom

The Cool Blue Blog lets it be known to all - what the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom stand for; and the reminds everyone one that Fighting Fusileers do not support the harming of kittens.

Please, Spare the Kittens!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Jeremy Hinzman - Elite War Dodger???

December 6, 2004 represented the first day of hearings scheduled for Jeremy Hinzman’s claim for refugee status before the Immigration and Refugee Board. Yahoo News reports on the first day:
An American war dodger who willingly joined the U.S. army because it would pay for his university education testified Monday that the birth of his son was the final step in his realization that he didn't want to be a killer. Jeremy Hinzman, 26, fled his airborne regiment in January and has requested refugee status in Canada on the grounds he would be unfairly prosecuted if returned to the United States.

There’s more and the link is above. My first issue is that Jeremy Hinzman is not an AMERICAN WAR DODGER; he is a deserter from the US Army. The Globe and Mail has carried a report on Hinzman’s first day before the Board. The Globe and Mail recognizes Hinzman as a deserter but then goes on to elevate him as an "elite" US soldier:
An elite U.S. soldier is applying for refugee status in Canada this week, arguing that he would be forced to commit war crimes if deployed to Iraq. Jeremy Hinzman, a ‘White Devil' with the 82nd Airborne, deserted from his unit only days before it was sent to Iraq.
I first blogged about Jeremy Hinzman’s outrageous claim for refugee status in Canada back in July 2004.

It becomes a travesty of justice for Mr. Hinzman’s case to take up so much of the Board's time when there are literally hundreds of thousands of legitimate refugees fleeing war and genocide in their native land who are in legitimate need of the protection of the Government of Canada - think Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Ivory Coast, North Korea.

(Tipped off via Neale News)

The Red Ensign Rises Again, and Again

Paul at Ravishing Light has hoisted the Red Ensign:

I raised the Red Ensign before there was any formal association to go along with it, and I still stand by what I said at the time. It's good to see more and more have joined in since, those who - whatever disagreements we may have on every other topic - long for the days when Canada was actually a strong and capable world power, rather than an ineffectual and deluded grumbler. We used to sit with the United States and Britain on matters of global importance. But since those halcyon days, our largely Liberal leaders have decided it's better to throw tantrums and be relegated to the responsibility-free sanctuary of the kiddie table.

Read more here.

Are you the kind of person -

that feeds the hungry or will you teach the hungry to fish?

It is not often that I quote directly from another’s blog, but Eric at the Straight White Guy so succinctly captured what the Spirit of America is all about:

The Spirit of America is doing is incredible… it is multi-faceted, and what’s more, it is necessary…. and of course, it is noble… . actually making a difference in the lives of people…. is there any more noble charge that can be gifted to us?… very few that I can think of…. and yes, I meant to say that… gifted… because, truly, we are a gifted bunch…. Providence has put in a position where we can assist in helping people to help themselves… regardless of how you feel about the War… be it right… or be it wrong… donate now…

Read the rest here.

Can Toronto Star Reporters keep a straight face?

I read Powerline regularly. It’s a great blog. Today I found a posting commenting on a Toronto Star article and Hindrocket asks the question:

I assume that liberals don't actually believe the drivel they write. But what possesses them to write such nonsense with a straight face is beyond me.

Me too, but what is even more incredulous is that the Toronto Star has a weekly paid circulation of 465,000.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Spirit of America Moment

Dogsnot Diaries has posted the low down on the Northern Alliance.

Remember no kittens are harmed if you give through the Fighting Fusileers.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Friday, December 03, 2004


Discouraging news from Reuters:
The New York Times reported on Thursday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) believes satellite photographs show that high explosives are being tested and that procurement records show equipment has been bought that can be used for making bomb-grade uranium, citing unnamed diplomats.

The intelligence came from several sources, including nations that are members of the IAEA, the Times reported. But the military sites the inspectors would like to inspect -- the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran and Lavizan II in northeastern Tehran -- are legally off limits to the IAEA, which only has the right to monitor civilian nuclear programmes. "The IAEA simply has no authority to go to sites that are not declared nuclear sites," a diplomat close to the IAEA inspection process told Reuters. He said that the IAEA had not asked to inspect Lavizan II, although they would like to.
Diplomats and weapons experts said that the IAEA inspection process had been dealt a severe blow this week when France, Britain and Germany gave in to Iranian demands that a clause demanding Iran grant the IAEA "unrestricted access" to sites in Iran be removed from a draft resolution. The resolution passed by the IAEA board only calls on Iran to grant access "in accordance with the Additional Protocol".

"It was a terrible blow to this effort to find these potential nuclear weapons sites," David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and head of a Washington-based think-tank, told Reuters. IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has asked Iran many times for access to another military site called Parchin, also suspected to be a location for nuclear weapons activity. But a November report by the IAEA said it had received no response from Tehran. ElBaradei has said that it could take at least two years to resolve all the issues surrounding Iran's nuclear programme

The Washington Times reports on a statement issued by Rafsanjani, a top Islamic Mullah:
Tehran, Iran, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A top Iranian cleric said Iran will soon join the international nuclear club, saying the suspension of uranium enrichment will last for four months only.Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, said at Friday sermon Iran "will be member of the club grouping countries that possess nuclear industry very soon," the Iranian News Agency, IRNA, reported.
"After that period is passed, Iran will discuss seriously the implementation of its uranium enrichment program and the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes," he said."Tehran does not want to produce nuclear arms but will not give up its right."

Nuff said. So who is prepared to wait for incomings in the backyard?

Extraterrestrial Threats

As if the dangers from Mad Cow, SARS and Aids weren’t serious enough; now there is a group of scientists warning us of the potential threat to life on earth posed by potential extraterrestrial life forms from Mars reports Times Online:
EARTH must take precautions to avoid contamination from life forms that must now be presumed to exist on Mars, leading scientists gave warning yesterday. Potentially deadly microorganisms could be returned to Earth on a probe which is being planned to collect samples from the Martian surface.

The warning comes after a detailed scientific analysis of data sent back by the roving vehicle Opportunity which landed on Mars on January 25.
Jeffrey Kargel of the US Geological Survey said that protection of our own planet from alien forms of life requires the assumption that Martian life exists. 'Before proceeding with sample returns or human missions to Mars, we must review measures for planetary biological protection."

It makes me just long for the summer days when it was so much simpler worrying about the ursine threat to civilization.

Declaration of Intent?

Two items caught my attention yesterday. The First from the CBC:
Some 200 masked young men and women gathered at a Tehran cemetery Thursday to pledge their willingness to carry out suicide bomb attacks against Americans in Iraq and Israelis.

The ceremony was organized by the Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a shadowy group that has since June been seeking volunteers for attacks in Iraq and Israel.

A spokesman, Ali Mohammadi, described Thursday's group as the "first suicide commando unit," though another official has claimed members already have carried out attacks in Israel. "Sooner or later we will bury all blasphemous occupiers of Islamic lands," Mohammadi said.

Sunday, Iran's deputy interior minister for security affairs told reporters the movement had no official sanction and said such groups could operate only "as long as their ideas are limited to theory." The group, though, has the backing of some prominent hard-line Iranian politicians.

In the absolute totalitarian grip of Mullah Iran you would have to be utterly naïve to buy the official line that these groups do not have state sanction. If the Mullah's grip extends to the selling of women's panties; it breaks the bounds of incredibleness to believe they would not control or regulate political and/or paramilitary groups? But the question, we in the west, should take be asking ourselves is; why now?

The second item came from the Washington Times:
Recent intelligence shows Iran has been working to produce a missile re-entry vehicle containing a small nuclear warhead for its Shahab missiles and has encountered problems developing a reliable centrifuge system for uranium enrichment, U.S. officials said.

Suicide bombers and nuclear warheads. The first wild guess off the top of my head would be that the Mullah's are not only readying their military for war but also preparing their people psychologically for war - but hey, that's only my two cents.

Operation Cowbell

Ben's world has launched Operation Cowbell. Find out why here.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Banned in Canada

From the Toronto Star: (registration required)
Canada will close its ports to Denmark tomorrow, an escalation in a dispute between the two countries over shrimp caught just outside Canadian jurisdiction, federal sources say.
There goes the beer, cheese, and cookies.

(Tipped off by the Cool Blue Blog)

Bush, And Chaos, To Be Given Second Chance

Advent began last Sunday and in keeping with the theme of a fresh start, I feel compelled to acknowledge what many of my email accusers have long suspected, and at times, hinted at. I am, indeed, a member of the vast International Jewish Conspiracy.

The meaning of words

Dean’s World asks the question, and challenges you to answer what words mean to you?

What a difference a few days make.

Marwan Barghouti has now decided from his Israeli prison cell (where he spending the next 5 consecutive life terms plus 40 years for murder) that he will now throw his hat into the ring for leadership of the Palestinian Authority. The Jerusalem Post reports:

In a dramatic turnaround, imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti registered as a candidate for the Palestinian Authority election on January 9, running against Fatah nominee and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, his wife announced shortly before the midnight Wednesday deadline.

Fadwa Barghouti submitted the registration despite her husband's announcement last Friday that he was stepping aside and throwing his support behind Abbas. He said at the time that his aim was to maintain unity within Fatah.

Last Friday, Baghouti, announced to the world that Fatah unity would prevail and he would not run against Mahmoud Abbas. Now Barghouti announces:
Barghouti said he is running "to protect the intifada," Barghouti associate Ahmed Ghanem told The Jerusalem Post. He and other Fatah leaders received a letter from Barghouti Wednesday in which he accused the Fatah leadership of trying to discredit the uprising and blame the late PA chairman, Yasser Arafat, for the misery of the Palestinian people. Talking about the possibility of achieving true peace now, after Arafat's death, is tantamount to discrediting his path, Barghouti wrote.

Personally, I am waiting for Yassir Arafat to rise from the grave and announce that rumours of his demise were a Zionist plot and he will run in the next Palestinian election on the platform as President for Life and Beyond.

Banned in Canada

From the Toronto Star (registration required):
Canada will close its ports to Denmark tomorrow, an escalation in a dispute between the two countries over shrimp caught just outside Canadian jurisdiction, federal sources say.
There goes the beer, cheese, and cookies.

(Tipped off by the Cool Blue Blog)

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Message from the Imperial Armorer:

The D-Day has arrived, H-Hour is upon us; time to let your spirit soar.

Talk about passing a buck!

Picture this. You are standing in line, patiently waiting for your turn at a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ATM machine. Finally, it is your turn. You plug in your bank card, enter your pin number, hit the cash withdrawal button, plug in the amount, press okay. Hit the yes button after the CIBC machine informs you that you will be charged an extra $1.50 for using their machine. Then kaboom! Instead of receiving Canadian legal tender you get Canadian Tire Money! That is exactly what happened to a New Brunswick woman and the CIBC explained it this way:
Officials with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce believe the ATM dispensed 11 bills that were supposed to be real $20s but were instead Canadian Tire bills in denominations ranging from 10 cents to two dollars. It appears the Canadian Tire money came from a night deposit bag.

How anyone could confuse Canadian $20 bills and Canadian Tire Money is simply beyond my ability to comprehend. Only in Canada, only at the CIBC.

The Fighting Fusileers for Freedom Need You!

Last weekend I received an invitation from the Imperial Armorer at Castle Argghhh! to enlist in the Fighting Fusileers and participate in the Spirit of America Bloggers Challenge.

For me, it was a no-brainer decision to make. Across the banner of The Last Amazon is a quote by Victor Davis Hanson: "It is never wrong to be on the side of freedom – never." I believe in that with all my heart and soul but belief is only the first requisite of that credo. More important than the belief itself is the manifestation of that belief into action for what is faith without acts?

Some of you may be wondering what the Spirit of America is. Simply put, bloggers are raising funds to benefit the ordinary people of Iraq and Afghanistan. The money raised is used to support current initiatives made by US service men and women who are currently serving on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq now. These service personnel have seen the need and want to help. The initiatives are made financially viable by the donations from the general public and delivered/administrated by US service personnel - not one of these projects have been determined by the US government.

Here is a brief description of just some of the projects these service personnel want to implement:

U.S. Marines and SeaBees are training Iraqi men as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and masons. Donated tools will be presented as gifts of friendship when they complete trade school. Your contribution will support Iraqis who are working with the Marines to rebuild their country.

The 1st Marine Division asked if we could help women in Ramadi by providing sewing machines for centers being established by the Province's director of economic development. The sewing centers, include day care, and provide women in the area with the opportunity to earn a living - some for the first time.

A few months back, we posted a request from Special Forces who wanted to help in Afghanistan. Donors responded so overwhelmingly that we received enough funds to implement a second project. This time, Sergeant Tredway is bringing school supplies and sports equipment to children in Afghanistan. His goal is "to increase the receptivity of Americans in Afghanistan to foster democratic ideals and to broaden the spectrum of activity for Afghan youth."

U.S. Army Special Forces request shoes, clothes and tools for villagers in remote Afghanistan. "We're currently working on a project for early spring time. We especially need shoes and shawls. Women usually get nothing in these areas. We'd like to help that."

We are providing children's books identified by Iraq's Ministry of Education. The books will be used to create children's libraries in community centers, hospitals and schools.

At the Spirit of America website is a full listing and description of all current funding projects. You can donate directly via pay pal or credit card to the project of your choice or just direct your money to the general pot wherever the need is greatest.

All US donations are tax deductible and Canadian funds are accepted gratefully.

Use this link to donate by Pay Pal or Credit Card directly or you can mail in your donation to:

Spirit of America
12021 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 558
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Please write your e-mail address on your check and indicate the project of your choice in your check's memo area.

Please understand that No AMOUNT is TOO SMALL for people in NEED.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Who are the humanitarians?

The Monger’s in fine form and has a succinct summation of the only credible anti-war positions for the invasion of Iraq.

For all those out protesting in Ottawa or wishing they were there: I give you the words of Omar over at Iraq the Model:
You cannot tell a man that saving him and his family from torture, humiliation and death was a mistake and it should have not been done because it is illegal. This is almost an insult to Iraqis to hear someone saying that this war was illegal. It means that our suffering for decades meant nothing and that formalities and the stupid rules of the UN (that rarely function) are more important than the lives of 25 million people.
Now whatcha gonna say? Put your chains back on?

Canadian Moonbats in Action

Paul at Ravishing Light is deep undercover in Ottawa covering Canadian Moonbats in Action protesting against the visit by US President George W. Bush. He has posted pictures of the 8am action here. The 10-11:30am pictures are here. Paul promises more pictures by 3:00pm here.

Monday, November 29, 2004

What Famous Leader are You?

I only took the quiz because that is what all the cool brigade leader's were doing - now my secret is out.

Bush Busters! Who you gonna call??!!!

Just watched a CNN report on the "Canadian" perspective on US President George W. Bush and what kind of reception the US President can expect on his arrival in Canada. The CNN piece brings up the idiocy of indicting George W. Bush for war crimes. The piece explains the strife is the result of the Iraqi war. Here's a thought for the lefties - arrest George W. Bush and what do you think Dick Cheney, (who then becomes the acting president) would do while Bush sits in the hoosegow? How quick can you cry "Uncle"?

What would you call "Bad Faith"?

The ongoing negotiations with the Mullahs by England, Germany & France has my head spinning. The Mullah’s wouldn’t deal, then they would, then they wouldn’t, then they would, then they issue their demands, then the demands are rescinded, then the agreement is signed, then they issue new demands, then they back down, then they go ahead anyway with their on-going nuclear enrichment program, then they issue demands, then they rescind them.

According to this Jerusalem Post article the Iranians are going to enrichment at least 20 centrifuges.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Tehran was not worried about the threat of UN sanctions - a possible outcome if the deal falls through - telling reporters "referral to the UN Security Council would not be the end of the world."
"The issue of research and development is separate from discussions about suspension," Asefi said at a press conference. "We always had research and development in the past and we will continue that in the future. We will use the 20 centrifuges for research."

Iran insists using the 20 centrifuges purely for research is not banned by a Nov. 7 agreement worked out with Germany, France and Britain on behalf of the European Union to suspend all uranium enrichment and related activities. The European Union disagrees.

Today the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Mullahs have backed down just before the matter was referred to the UN Security Council – which should be a good thing, right?
Backing down before a Monday deadline, Iran apparently has given up its demand to exempt some equipment from a deal freezing uranium enrichment programs that can make nuclear weapons, diplomats said Sunday.

Diplomats from the European Union and elsewhere said on condition of anonymity that the International Atomic Energy Agency received a letter from Iran containing a pledge not to test some centrifuges during the freeze it agreed to Nov. 7 during negotiations with Britain, France and Germany on behalf of the European Union.
Except buried near the end of this article is this line:
The diplomats told The Associated Press on Sunday that the letter still needed close examination to determine what exactly the Iranians had agreed to.
Let me get this straight. The Mullah’s sent a letter late Sunday night to the IAEA saying – well, that’s just it, no one really knows what the letter says because the IAEA has to study the letter to understand what the Mullah’s intentions are.

Based on the Mullah’s track record I would cite this as just another example of "Bad Faith" in action. Are you prepared to believe that the Mullahs will live up to the letter - let alone the spirit of any agreement signed with our Eurporean allies?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Wankster Blogger Alert!

The problem with falling asleep at 7:30pm is that you are up at 3:00am with far too much time on your hands. I thought it would help the cause of sleep if I read. I logged in to peruse the headlines at the Toronto Star and this bloggy by-line caught my eye (registration required):
Why `Weenie' may start with a capital Dubya

This is pretty much the standard Bush fisk but it is written by an alleged journalist, writing an alleged column for a major Canadian newspaper. Now I have no problems per say with journalists who hanker to be bloggers but Slinger needs to spend some down time reading and learning how the real bloggers do it. Memo to Slinger: Read Frank J at IMAO.

I have no problem tuning out the outrage factor on the Bush is a Weenie diatribes but I have nothing but blatant contempt for the man who would write this -- or for the newspaper that would publish it:

“He can't quite tell the difference between the gallant Royal 22nd Regiment that has just returned from making Afghanistan safe for opium growers”

I wish I had said, sleep be damned and finished playing Halo 2. Next time I will know better.

The Legacy of Arafat

Today I learned the name and fate of Aziz Tzalha in the Israel Insider. Tzalha was found complicit in the truly horrific lynching of two Israeli reservists who had the misfortune of taking a wrong turn in the West Bank. Tzalha is pictured below with his bloodied hands raised in triumph that was shown throughout the world in October 2000.

A Palestinian man photographed with his bloody hands raised in triumph has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in killing one of two Israeli reserve soldiers lynched by an angry mob in 2000, the army said Monday.

The brutal killing of the two Israelis by the mob in the first weeks of the current violence became an iconic image of the hatred between Palestinians and Israelis.

A military court sentenced Aziz Tzalha, 24, to a life sentence plus one year on Sunday. Tzalha was "convicted of the murder of Cpl. Vadim Norjitz in the Ramallah lynch," the statement said.

The article gives his age as 24 which made him just 20 years old when he willingly and joyous participated in this infamous lynching under the Ramallah sun. I cannot begin to comprehend the pathology of such a warped young man, in truth, I have no desire to, it is sufficient unto the day that I recognize that such evil exists; independent and nursed by those like-minded ones who seek pleasure in another’s torment for whatever political agenda.

I admit to a certain ambivalence towards the death penalty because I want to believe in the possibility of redemption and I am concerned that in life there is not always certain knowledge that the convicted is the one to be put to death. But when there is no absence of innocence and one is so young and already well versed in evil what hope exists for redemption?

Their are those that would say where there is life and time; hope of redemption is still possible but the true legacy of Arafat is that time will only nurse and feed this young man’s and other like-minded ones warped pathology.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Against All Flags: Hate, Fear & Smear

I fly the Red Ensign on my blog, I am a proud member of the Red Ensign Bloggers and I do so without hesitation, apology or regret. I harkened to the Flea’s call:
This country has also been a force for liberty. The third largest navy in the world fed Britain through the dark days of the Blitz and Hitler's north Atlantic wolf packs. This is the country that took Vimy Ridge and that stormed Juno Beach. Let's bring back that Canada.

I have read all the Red Ensign Bloggers blogs and there is not one member that I am not honoured to be associated with – even the so-called liberal ones (Do you know that Alan has a fish on his Red Ensign?)

Against All Flags seeks "to warn those might belong or those thinking to join this Brigade: don’t. There is a chance you could be connected in the public mind with these hate groups."

Against All Flags warns Red Ensign Blogger Alan: "Well, just you wait Alan until one of these guys claims to be a member of your ‘Red Ensign Brigade’. They tried to worm into the Reform Party and the Alliance. Why wouldn’t they try to associate themselves with your group?"

Really, Flynn, if you expended half the time you spent wading through hate groups by reading the Red Ensign Bloggers the answer would be self-evident.

Against all Flags asks: "I have yet to see one of you post a condemnation of the racists groups who are also flying the flag."

Flynn, unlike you, I do not have to denounce the fringe groups that claim the Red Ensign because everyday that I live and breathe is an act of denouncement of those very same fringe hate groups you chose to link to in your blog. Every day I blog is a denouncement.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t submit when I taunted as a child, I didn’t submit to the hatred of those who denounced me for being a "mud-person" or a Jew, so I shall certainly not submit to your politics of fear and smear.

And I shall blog proudly under the Red Ensign.

Shop Canadian

The current Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, has had her budget slashed and New Democrat MP Pat Martin opinioned(Yahoo News):
"It's not too much to ask for the Governor General to have to switch brands of caviar and find a more efficient way of running Rideau Hall," Martin said.
I am all for budget cuts to stop the feeding frenzy of the federal purse but “slashing, dicing and paring” the annual budget from Cdn$19 million to Cdn$18, 683,000 is not what I had in mind when I think "slashed".

(tipped off by Nealenews)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Question of the Day

Whenever I see articles like this piece in the Windsor Star:
Canadians are smoking pot more than ever before and the majority want police and government to leave people to indulge in peace.

It makes me wonder if the majority of Canadians realize that the most common form of marijuana consumption is by SMOKING. If the general consensus is that smoking cigarettes are harmful for the individual and society; why would the smoking of marijuana be a safer alternative? If you can’t smoke cigarettes in public in peace, why should you be able to smoke marijuana in peace? If you think cigarettes smell bad then the smell of a spliff will simply overwhelm you. If a public health goal is the cessation of smoking while would you support the legalization of another smoking substance?

Fiberal Resolve

Yesterday, I was dealing with a multitude of family issues and this slipped under my radar but fortunately for me, it did not pass under Debbye’s at Being American in TO.

The Toronto Sun reports this story of Liberal perfidy:
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced in Ottawa yesterday that Gordon Venner will assume duties as Canada's ambassador to Iran. Ottawa recalled its ambassador in July to protest Iran's injustice in the Kazemi case.
Insisting Canada remains "deeply committed" to the case, Pettigrew said it's important to resume full diplomatic presence to press human rights concerns and Canada's views on Iran's nuclear program.

Of course, Canada did have a diplomatic presence in Iran when photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was bludgeoned to death by the Mullah’s agents so I fail to see how having a diplomatic presence will improve the cause of human rights or save from bodily harm any Canadian who has the misfortune to run afoul of the Mullah’s sense of justice in Iran. Certainly Cuba’s record on human rights has not improved despite having had the benefit of Canadian diplomatic relations for decades.

Membership has its privleges

The Israel Insider is reporting that a Palestinian-Canadian arrested in November 2003 has pleaded guilty in an Israeli military court for conspiracy to commit manslaughter:
Jamal Akkal, 24, was arrested in Gaza on Nov. 1, 2003, and charged by the military with conspiracy to commit manslaughter. Prosecutors said Akkal planned to carry out attacks against Israeli officials traveling in the United States, as well as bombings against Jewish targets in North America.

Akkal had denied the charges, claiming a confession he gave was made under duress.

Under Wednesday's plea bargain, Akkal was found guilty of conspiracy to commit manslaughter and receiving paramilitary training, the army said. He was credited with time served since his arrest, and a second charge of receiving paramilitary training was dropped. Akkal, who was also fined 2,000 shekels (US$450), had faced up to 21 years in prison, the army said.

Akkal was born and raised in the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza and moved to Canada in 1999, where he received citizenship. He was arrested in Gaza after he fired eight shots in the air, his lawyer said.

During the trial, Akkal claimed he had come to Gaza to get engaged. The army said he met with militants from the violent Islamic group Hamas, received weapons training and planned attacks. According to the indictment, Akkal was to buy an M-16 rifle in Detroit and bomb materials to carry out the attacks in cities where many Jews live.

It would be germane to remember that Akkal has Canadian citizenship and all the rights and privileges that ensues. In four years time he will be released from an Israeli jail and deported to Canada.

Jeremy Hinzman, US Army Deserter, Canadian Resident

In a rare bit of sanity the Immigration and Refugee Board has turned down Jeremy Hinzman’s claim that the US led Iraqi war was illegal posts Daimnation quoting this National Post article:

In a decision released to the National Post yesterday, an adjudicator ruled former U.S. soldier Jeremy Hinzman's claim that the Iraqi conflict was "condemned by the international community" is irrelevant to his refugee claim.

"Evidence with respect to the legality of the U.S. embarking on military action in Iraq will not be admitted into evidence at the hearing of these claims," wrote Brian Goodman, the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board panel hearing the case.

The question becomes how many years will it actually take to deport Hinzman?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Canada Honest Broker?

Not according to this Jerusalem Post article:
But is Canada's involvement in any peace process really in Israel's best interests? Although Canada claims to be a friend of Israel, an examination of Canada's actions both internationally and domestically should raise a few eyebrows and generate some hard questions.

Let's begin with the United Nations. Here Israel's friend, Canada, has voted against Israel 78 times, abstained 38 times, and voted in support of Israel, by its own admission, only once – although a phone call to Israel's UN delegation in New York was unable to confirm even that.

In spite of evidence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are on UNRWA's payroll and have taken full advantage of UNRWA funds and facilities to further their own unholy agenda, Canada continues to contribute $10 million annually to UNRWA. When asked directly whether he can state categorically that Canadian dollars are not being used to finance terror attacks against Israelis, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs was unable to do so. Canada has also given a quarter of a billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority, a goodly percentage of which, no doubt, has been used to subsidize Suha Arafat's opulent Paris lifestyle; or perhaps found its way into the coffers of the terror networks.

Yet, when pressured, Foreign Affairs refuses not only to produce an accounting of how its funds are being used, but also to demand an accounting from UNRWA and the PA.

While mouthing platitudes about Israel's right to defend itself, Canada has managed to condemn just about everything Israel does in its own defense.

And if all the above was not sordid enough, how is this:
Canada's porous refugee and immigration laws have allowed PFLP terrorist Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Mohammed, convicted in the hijacking of an El AL plane and subsequent killing of one person at Athens Airport in 1968, to live comfortably in Brantford, Ontario, while enjoying refugee status.

Mahmoud Issa is a convicted terrorist and murderer, he lied his way into Canada in 1987. Thirty appeals later and he is still here and running a candy store in Ontario. According to this Stephen Brown article it has cost the Canadian taxpayer $3 million and counting. The most recent news I could find on the status of Mahmoud Issa’s case was reported here on November 10, 2004. I need to go take a shower.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Peacekeeping UN Style

Yahoo is reporting that the UN is investigating as many as 150 allegations of sexual abuse by UN personnel in the Congo Peacekeeping Mission:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations is investigating about 150 allegations of sexual abuse by U.N. civilian staff and soldiers in the Congo, some of them recorded on videotape, a senior U.N. official said on Monday.

The accusations include pedophilia, rape and prostitution, said Jane Holl Lute, an assistant secretary-general in the peacekeeping department.

Lute, an American, said there was photographic and video evidence for some of the allegations and most of the charges came to light since the spring.
Kofi Annan, in the best UN doublespeak makes his position crystal clear and is quoted at the end of this article:

"I have long made it clear that my attitude to sexual exploitation and abuse is one of zero tolerance, without exception, and I am determined to implement this policy in the most transparent manner," Annan said.

But the reality between Mr. Annan’s words and deeds lays bare the bold-faced hypocrisy of the Secretary-General of the UN. It was just a little under a month ago when the news broke that Kofi Annan cleared Ruud Lubberg, UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees from charges of sexual harassment despite an internal inquiry that backed the victim.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was embroiled in a new scandal yesterday after it emerged that he cleared a top official of sexual harassment despite an internal inquiry which backed the victim’s claims.

Annan cleared Ruud Lubbers in July after a woman on his staff claimed she had been groped by the ageing Dutch former foreign minister, who has been the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva since 2001.

But red-faced UN officials were forced to admit yesterday that an investigation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), an internal watchdog, had backed the unnamed woman’s allegations in a report to Annan.
Canada’s contribution to the United Nations General budget is approximately Cdn$53.1 million with an additional Cdn$77.8 million paid for peacekeeping contributions.

Lack of Condolence

The Toronto Star is taking Stockwill Day to task over an internal memo written by Day and sent to party colleagues outlining why he did not send condolences or sympathies to the Palestinian Authority on the death of Arafat (registration required):

Stockwell Day is pointing to a report that Yasser Arafat may have had AIDS in explaining why he didn't send condolences on the death of the Palestinian leader.

"Some of you have asked why I have not released a statement of condolence or sympathy," the Conservative party's foreign affairs critic wrote in a Nov. 16 e-mail to party colleagues.

"As you know, there are two sides to the Arafat story. You pick."
The e-mail then provides an article by conservative commentator David Frum in FrontPage Magazine which highlights Arafat's terrorist past and the possibility he had AIDS.

Now the Toronto Star wants to suggest that Stockwell Day did not send condolences to the Palestinian Authority because Arafat might have had Aids based on Day’s pointing to a David Frum article. The Frum column focuses on Arafat’s failure as a leader and highlights his career as a terrorist; and the sum total of speculation on the cause of Arafat’s deteriorating health is limited to six sentences. But maybe, just maybe, it is because he was a serial murderer/terrorist with the blood of many on his hands, and hence, Stockwell Day felt that the world was better off with the old bastard buried and encased in concrete. I concur.

Obviously, this view of the former Palestinian leader is foreign to the folks at the Toronto Star hence it is easier for the Toronto Star to describe the opinions of Arafat’s detractors as evidence of homophobia. Memo to the Toronto Star: it is not evidence of homophobia if you do not mourn the passing of terrorist thugs and heterosexuals get Aids too.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ministerial Extension: Strippergate

The CBC comments on the latest "Strippergate" twist:
Embattled Immigration Minister Judy Sgro is fending off demands by opposition MPs to step aside while the ethics commissioner investigates allegations that her office helped a campaign volunteer get on the immigration fast track.

The volunteer, an exotic dancer from Romania, was given a temporary resident permit three days before the June 28 election.

But really "Strippergate" is nothing more than then the ministerial extension of the Visa Buffscam.

"The Lady doth protest too much, me thinks".

Blogs by nature are peculiar things and are no more or less whatever the blogger desires them to be. Some are devoted to this or that hobby, some are political, others cultural, some are a mix of this and that, and others are the seemingly "private" musings of an online journal. No matter the blog, what we should never do is presume the blogger is the blog - for this is nothing but the folly of the daft.

I was going to blog a defense of a fellow Red Ensign Blogger after another blogger decided that she was unduly slogged off because her comments were deleted from a post at Ghost of a Flea but Babbling Brooks and the Monger have enacted an effective pincher maneuver and there is very little left to be said except that hell hath no fury like a woman blogger scorned....

Nor should anyone presume that commenting on anyone’s blog is a "right" and there is no "right of entitlement" to communicate your two cents to the blogging classes on a fellow blogger’s comment section. In the spirit of enlightenment, I would direct the reader to my own bloggy code:

All e-mails are presumed to be for publication on the site unless otherwise indicated. Please note that postings to the comments section may be edited or deleted for racism, defamatory content or just because I don’t like you.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Raising the Red Ensign, Vol. 9

Dust My Broom has hoisted the Red Ensign with a round-up of what my fellow Red Brigade members are writing and ranting about now.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Suha Arafat: Quick Change Artist-but not small change

Now you see her, now you don’t. The Israel Insider reports:
Yasser Arafat's widow took possession of his much-sought medical dossier on Friday. She fled with the files after Palestinian TV broadcast a Friday sermon which threatened her life. She reportedly flew to Tunis in Arafat's jet, defying PA orders. Although the French defense ministry decided Nasser al Kidwa could access information on his uncle's mystery illness, Suha's lawyers claim only his widow can.

Suha Arafat obtained the file from the Percy military hospital in suburban Paris in mid-afternoon, attorney Jean-Marie Burguburu told The Associated Press by telephone.

Burguburu declined to give any details about the content of the file, but said the Palestinian leader's widow was considering whether to release the information to the public.

"The decision is in the process of being examined," he said. "The problem is, on the one hand, to try to stop all these false ideas about the death of President Arafat - these rumors."

"Secondly, it's to make sure that there is not any abnormal exploitation of this medical file," Burguburu said.

Earlier, Palestinian leaders dispatched an emissary to Paris to pick up the records and promised to make public the cause of Arafat's death.

It wasn't immediately clear how the latest development would affect the mission of the emissary -- Nasser al-Kidwa, Arafat's nephew and also the Palestinian representative to the United Nations. He had confirmed to the AP late Thursday that he would be traveling to France.

Debkafile is reporting that she is also refusing to return the plane:

French defense ministry says al Kidwa is entitled to access medical information on Arafat’s never-publicly-diagnosed illness. But Suha’s lawyers say only children and widow

She took the files and ran after Palestinian TV broadcast Friday sermon threatening her life. She used Arafat’s plane, flouting Palestinian Authority’s demands for its return.

PA hoped to publish record and lay to rest rumors of foul play, including Israeli poison. DEBKAfile’s Paris sources convinced widow will hold onto medical files as collateral for agreed PA payments and as leverage to help radicals Kadoumi, Mussa Arafat and Force 17 commander foil Abbas’s bid for succession.

I am starting to wonder if Suha Arafat is suffering from "bad boy syndrome". First Arafat, now; Pierre Rizk, Kadoumi, Mussa Arafta, Force 17 or maybe its just a case of the material girl securing the money supply.

Canadian Forces to train Iraqi Troops?

The Toronto Star reports that Canada may train Iraqi soldiers(registration required):

Canada is considering a request to provide military instructors to help the United States train Iraqi officers but would only do so if the training took place outside their wartorn homeland, officials say.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Bill Graham and a military spokesman said officials are considering the request and may be willing to provide trainers to work in a third country, such as Jordan.
"It would have to be outside of Iraq," said Isabelle Savard, Graham's chief spokeswoman.
Why do you think that is? It would not have anything to do with not being able to afford the cab ride from the Airport to downtown Baghdad would it?

Penny wise Navy

Canada's navy has hired a private contractor to fly civilian helicopters out to its ships at sea, as a way of reducing the flying pressures on the military's aging Sea Kings.

In a major naval training exercise this month, the navy hired an American civilian helicopter service to make transport flights to the four helicopter-carrying Canadian ships, sailing roughly 100 kilometres off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia.

Civilian helicopters and pilots have been ferrying people, mail and other supplies to and from the fleet -- creating the unusual spectacle of shiny, blue Bell helicopters landing on the decks of naval ships in the midst of military operations.

The head of Canada's East Coast fleet says it's the first case he knows of in which civilian helicopters have been hired to service the navy's ships. "I'm trying to save money," says Commodore Tyrone Pile, "and I'm trying to save Sea King flying hours, by contracting a helo-delivery service."

I could rant and rave but unless this becomes a major issue in the next election it will not do any good. What’s next? Contract out our peacekeeping commitments to the French Foreign Legion? But really people when is enough, enough?