Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Price of Feed

Do you ever wonder what the price of feed costs Zookeepers? The Italian government has just paid $1 million for the two female Italian aid workers kidnapped by "armed men."

The Daily Star:

Two female Italian aid workers have been freed by their Iraqi captors along with two Iraqi colleagues, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced Tuesday, after three anguishing weeks of captivity. Simona Torretta and Simona Pari, both 29, who were seized by armed men on Sept. 7 at their office in Baghdad, could be back with their families by Tuesday night, he said.


But earlier Tuesday, Italy's leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera, had reported the two Italian female aid workers could be released in coming days once a $1 million ransom has been paid.

The paper, citing a report in a Kuwaiti newspaper, said half the ransom money had been paid and the other half could be handed over Tuesday or Wednesday.

While I do not grudge Simona Torretta & Simona Pari their lives, nor hold any ill will towards them, I do hold the Italian & Filipino government responsible for inciting and pandering to these heinous barbarians. In buying the feed and filling the trough of these animals you have guaranteed that more innocents will fall victim to the slaughter. Are you now prepared to pick up the tab for the entire zoo? My question to the Italian government is: was Fabrizio Quattrocchi the last Italian man?

Tipped off by The Cool Blue Blog

Bias in my Bonnet

The second bias in my bonnet with the Globe and Mail’s editorials from September 28, 2004 concerns "Terri’s Law."

Contrary to what the Globe asserts multiple times in the article, Terri Schiavo is not on "life support." There are no machines breathing for Terri Schiavo, no air is being pumped into her lungs. There is no machine making her heart beat. Terri Schiavo is unable to feed herself. Currently, she has a feeding tube providing nourishment to her. If that tube is removed her heart does not stop beating and her lungs do not stop breathing and there is brain activity. Remove that feeding tube and Terri starves to death. Starving to death is not a humane way to die.

Here’s how Terri’s family describe her condition:
Terri's behavior does not meet the medical or statutory definition of persistent vegetative state. Terri responds to stimuli, tries to communicate verbally, follows limited commands, laughs or cries in interaction with loved ones, physically distances herself from irritating or painful stimulation and watches loved ones as they move around her. None of these behaviors are simple reflexes and are, instead, voluntary and cognitive. Though Terri has limitations, she does interact purposefully with her environment.
Do the homework that the Globe and Mail’s editorial board has not done. Go to Terri Schiavo website and view the videos and decide for yourself but I do suggest you hurry as Michael Schiavo, the husband of Terri Schiavo, has threatened legal action to have the video’s removed from the website.

If the piece was not questionable enough, the Globe closes with this:
There is no clean end to this sad business, but the courts, having heard, questioned and reviewed the evidence, are in a far better position to determine the most just course than a governor given extraordinary powers to toss those hearings and reviews out the window. The Supreme Court was right to overturn Terri’s Law.

We all know that Justices never err and one should one ever question the verdict of the court. That being the case, I am looking forward to the next editorial from the Globe to be a call for Canadians to take action and issue pink slips to all who toil in the Court of Appeals.

Would it be intemperate of me to suggest that the Globe and Mail’s real issue is that the governor of Florida (with the support of the Florida legislature) was moved to act is named Jeb Bush, as in brother to George? Perhaps the Globe and Mail has never met a Bush it could like?

Gee, I wonder why?

One of the alleged "perks" of my employment is that I have access to the Globe and Mail – dead tree version daily. After reading the editorials on September 28, 2004, I am considering asking for hardship pay.

The Globe’s editorial board weighs in on "CBS’s Severe Stumble" and I quote:

Diehard Republicans see dark political motives in the decision to broadcast a damaging story attacking President Bush’s military service in the middle of an election campaign. The reasons for this are obvious. The major US networks, with the notable exception of the Fox News Network and its staunch bias in favour of the Bush Administration, have grown increasingly critical of the administration’s handling of the Iraq war. And both CBS and Mr. Rather, the highly visible long-time anchor of its nightly newscast, have often been accused in the past of harbouring a liberal democratic bias.

What do you call it, when a news organization in the middle of an election campaign broadcasts a piece based on forged documents (that their own document experts warned were highly suspicious) which slanders the reputation of one of the candidates? Is fake but accurate now a valid defence?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Che Buzz

The Motorcycle Diaries is the latest "buzz" film romanticizing a murderous thug-o-crat. It does make me wonder what’s next? Love in the Gulag? Finding inner peace and harmony in the killing fields? I could go on and on, but I digress. The Motorcycle Diaries is based on the early life of Che Guevara and it is another film that I have added to my rapidly expanding list of films I refuse to support financially. I don’t wear the T-shirt, the watches or the even the Che thongs and I would not hesitate to piss on his grave – no dignified way to do that as a woman but there are times when dignity should be damned.

Tipped off by Let it Bleed

Signs of the Times

I am reminded of the old Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times" and if nothing else, this new millennium has certainly been interesting.

A little over a year ago we saw crowds numbering collectively in the millions come out to protest the removal of a barbarous kelptocratic thug. We have the International Court of Justice rule that Palestinian convenience trumps Jewish lives or limbs. We have a German a movie just released showing Adolph Hitler’s softer, more human side. A group of Canadians in Nelson, B.C. want to have a festival celebrating moral cowardice and have commissioned a memorial of naked draft dodgers being helped by a naked Canadian to escape the consequences of their convictions.

And then in today’s Globe and Mail we have a US President ridiculed for saying "freedom is not America’s gift to the world; it is the almighty G-d’s gift to every man and woman" a la Rick Saultin. You know that the Summer of Love liberals have filed moral bankruptcy when they are reduced to ridiculing the concept of freedom being a divine right of every living human.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Fashion Crimes

Parental outrage can be a terrible thing. I have been known to enter an utterly psychotic state in under 10 seconds when it comes to children and an abuse of authority from others but I just can’t get the meter to move on this one.

An outraged father of a seventh-grader says an assistant principal duct-taped his son's pants to keep them from sagging then sent him back to class.

Scott Allison told the Concord School Board on Monday that his 12-year-old son, Spencer, said last week that a teacher asked him to lift his shirt after she noticed the boy's underwear was showing above his pants, a violation of Concord Junior High School's dress code.

She sent him to Assistant Principal Patricia Walters, who told Spencer to pull up his pants and tuck in his shirt, Allison said."She then proceeded to duct tape his waist, three times around the waist," said Allison. "Then she sent him back to class, in front of his peers."

It makes me want to send the Assistant Principal flowers and have her picture installed in school lunchrooms across the country for inspiration.

I suppose I should count my blessings, the Last Amazon’s taste in males runs to clean-shaven guys in combats with big guns and body armor. Isaiah likes his hair cut high and tight with his pants belted at the waist. Montana’s idea of a fashion statement is the dress uniform of a United States Marine.

Raising the Red Ensign

Once again, the Red Ensign has been hoisted. The Tiger in Exile has the latest round-up of brigade members.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Palestinian Affirmative Action Programs

The Jerusalem Post reports on the current Palestinian Affirmative Action Programs:

According to Shin Bet officials, terrorist organizations continue to believe that women are less susceptible to checks by security forces and are therefore more likely to enter Israel without raising suspicions.

Since the outbreak of violence four years ago, 40 female terrorists were recruited to carry out suicide bombing attacks. Of that number, seven actually carried out attacks, while security forces arrested the remainder.

Thirty-four of the women were not married; three were divorced; two were married with children; and one was a widow. Between January and July this year 10 female suicide bombers were recruited by terrorist organizations compared with 14 for the entire year of 2003.

Most of the women recruited to the cause are in their mid-twenties, and represent a cross section of Palestinian society, ranging from the well-educated to the poor and uneducated. Of the 33 arrested since 2000, 16 had completed high school education, and 11 were university students.

In order to avoid being noticed the women usually change their external appearance and adopt a modern style of dress that blends in with local Israeli fashion. In some instances, they pose as pregnant women by stuffing a pillow underneath their garments.

Fatah is responsible for recruiting 21; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Islamic Jihad recruited 6 each; and one was recruited by Hamas in Gaza and blew herself up at the Erez crossing earlier this year.

Palestinian society is not just progressive in the area of women’s rights but offers opportunities for children to take up "militancy" as well:

So far this year a total of 109 Palestinian minors have been arrested for their involvement in terrorist activities compared to a total of 102 in 2003, 54 in 2002, and 27 in 2001.

The youngest children sent by terrorists to launch an attack were two boys who were arrested in January 2003 by security forces in the Gaza Strip. Both carried knives and said they had been sent to place bombs in the area. One was eight years old and the other was 13.

Birds of a feather flock together.

Israel National News reports that the IDF has seized pamphlets, posters, CD’s from Hamas that has been distributed widely in schools and universities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza showing their support of their Chechen brethren’s "insurgency" efforts.

The CDs that contain support for the Chechen terrorists - who just 18 days ago massacred over 400 school children and adults in an attack on a school in southern Russia - were disseminated in the American University in Jenin last November, in Hebron College this past February, and last month in the Hebron Orphanage.

The literature describes the Russian military operations against the Chechens as "terrorist in nature," while lauding the Chechen terrorist leaders such as Shamil Basayev and the man code-named Al-Hatab.

One of the posters disseminated by Hamas features Osama Bin-Laden together with Ahmed Yassin of Hamas and several Chechen terrorist leaders. The literature includes a message of brotherhood and international Islamic revival of Moslems living as an "oppressed minority" under the rule of "infidels."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Summer of Love Democrats

Michael Moore rallies the troops with this:

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?

Michael Moore

The problem with the "Michael Moores" of the world is that they have never moved beyond the Summer of Love and they make the assumption that the rest of us hold that time sacrosanct as well. There very well may be a "long-hair soldier/protestor" residing in the core of John Kerry and that possibility is what frightens and turns independent/democratic voters against John Kerry.

What is to stop the inner "long-hair soldier/protestor" from emerging from John Kerry’s core once elected as the President of the United States? If past behaviour is the best barometer of future performance; electing John Kerry to the presidency could well be a harbinger that when the going gets tough that "long-hair soldier/protestor" might enter into secret negotiations with Osama bin Laden/Al Qaeda a la Madame Win Thi Binh, Paris, circa 1970-1971?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Associated Press

No doubt this Associated Press report would meet with the approval of the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations and the Canadian Arab Federation:

A video posted Monday on a Web site showed the beheading of a man identified as American civil engineer Eugene Armstrong. The militant group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the slaying and said another hostage — either an American or a Briton — would be killed in 24 hours.

The grisly decapitation was the latest killing in a particularly violent month in Iraq with more than 300 people dead in insurgent attacks and U.S. military strikes over the past seven days. Earlier Monday, gunmen in Baghdad assassinated two clerics from a powerful Sunni Muslim group that has served as a mediator to release hostages.

The video of the beheading of the man believed to be Armstrong surfaced soon after the expiration of a 48-hour deadline set earlier by al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group for the beheading of the three civil engineers. The men — Armstrong, American Jack Hensley and Briton Kenneth Bigley — were abducted Thursday from their home in a wealthy Baghdad neighborhood.

A militant whose voice resembled al-Zarqawi, who has been linked to al-Qaida, read a statement in the video saying the next hostage would be killed in 24 hours unless all Muslim women prisoners are released from U.S. military jails.

"You, sister, rejoice. God's soldiers are coming to get you out of your chains and restore your purity by returning you to your mother and father," he said before grabbing the hostage, seated at his feet, and cutting his throat.

In Washington, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Armstrong's body had been recovered, but the official would provide no information about where or when. The taped beheading appears to be of Armstrong, but the CIA is still reviewing the tape to be sure, the official said.

The 9-minute tape, posted on a Web site used by Islamic militants, showed a man seated on the floor, blindfolded and wearing an orange jumpsuit — similar to the orange uniform worn by prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — with his hands bound behind his back. Five militants dressed in black stood behind him, four of them armed with assault rifles, with a black Tawhid and Jihad banner on the wall.

The militant in the center read out a statement, as the hostage rocked back and forth and side to side where he sat. After finishing, the militant pulled a knife and cut his throat until the head was severed. The victim gasped loudly as blood poured from his neck. His killer held up the head at one point, and placed it on top of the body.

What further lengths of depravity does a militant or insurgent have to go before the Associated Press warrants that it can safely use the term "Terrorist" to describe the perpetrators? On second thought, and for the sake of clarity, let us refer to them as barbarians.

(via Little Green Footballs)

The Common Sense Revolution has been Quelled

How ironic that the Ontario Conservative party has now elected John Tory, a "left-of-centre" Tory to lead them against the ruling provincial liberal party; when it was a "right-of-center" Tory who won 2 back-to-back majority terms for the Ontario Conservative Party and a "left-of-centre" Tory who lost that majority to the Liberal party in the first place.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Terrorist Defense

The Ottawa Citizen mounts their defense:

The chief complaint is that this newspaper freely uses the word "terrorist" to describe certain groups and acts. The CBC and some wire services prefer terms such as "activist," "militant" or "gunmen." These media organizations argue that "terrorist" is a subjective term, laden with too much emotion, and that the imperative to be impartial prohibits journalists from using it.

We reject the argument. Terrorism is a technical term. It describes a modus operandi, a tactic. We side with security professionals who define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of civilians in pursuit of a political goal. Those who bombed the nightclub in Bali were terrorists. Suicide bombers who strap explosives to their bodies and blow up people eating in a pizza parlour are terrorists. The men and women who took a school full of hostages in Beslan, Russia, and shot some of the children in the back as they tried to flee to safety were terrorists. We as journalists do not violate our impartiality by describing them as such.

Ironically, it is supposedly neutral terms like "militant" that betray a bias, insofar as they have a sanitizing effect. Activists for various political causes can be "militant," but they don't take children hostage.

There is a popular misconception that violence committed for a legitimate cause cannot be terrorism. That's incorrect. Sikhs may, or may not, have legitimate complaints against the Indian government, but the 1985 Air India bombing was a terrorist act, because it deliberately targeted civilians. Journalists betray neither a pro- nor anti-Sikh bias to report it as such.

In conclusion:

Osama bin Laden would have us believe that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Nonsense. If you deliberately target civilians in pursuit of a political goal, you are a terrorist. Journalists should not, and the Citizen will not, be afraid to say so.

Here, here.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A rose by any other name

If you quack like a duck, and you walk like a duck, and you look like a duck: I am not going to call you a dog.

From the Toronto Star:

The National Council on Canada-Arab Relations and the Canadian Arab Federation made their demands yesterday after CBC Radio reported that CanWest publications, including the Post and the Ottawa Citizen, inserted the word "terrorist" into a Middle East story reported by wire service agency Reuters, and substituted the word "terrorist" for such words as "militant" and "insurgent" in an Associated Press story.

"This is another troubling example of clear bias by CanWest publications like the National Post and the Ottawa Citizen in applying different standards towards Arabs and Muslims when reporting," said the council's executive director, Mazen Chouaib.
Federation president Omar Alghabra echoed the concern.

"CanWest, one of the largest media conglomerates in Canada, is failing its responsibility towards all Canadians, not just Arabs and Muslims," he said. "The media has moral and ethical obligations to report the facts when it comes to news reporting, not the opinions of their editors.

So Canwest Newspapers and Ottawa Citizen dared to call the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade TERRORISTS instead of militants or insurgents! It is about time. This is the kind of labour your "so-called militants or insurgents" do:

This was the August 31, 2004 Beersheba bus bombing in Israel. 16 people were murdered and over a 100 wounded. Hamas claimed responsibility but Al-Aqsa Marty’s Brigade has participated in more than their fare share of bus, school, coffee shop, restaurant and supermarket bombings. As a matter of fact Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade has the singular distinction of producing the first female suicide bomber who elected to terrorize by imploding herself in a Jerusalem supermarket.

Attacking civilians in their homes, in their cars or by imploding yourself in a city street, bus, supermarket, school, restaurant, or nightclub does not make you a martyr, a hero, or a patriot; what is makes you is TERRORIST.

My message to the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations and the Canadian Arab Federation is that your issue is not with Canwest or the Ottawa Citizen; though it is far past your time to register your complaint with Hamas, Islamic Jihad,Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and Herzbollah.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Feeding the Monkey on your back does not make you clean and sober

I kept having this "Jerry 'SHOW ME THE MONEY' MacGuire" moment every time I tried to read or watch Canadian news today commenting on the alleged coup Paul Martin pulled off by obtaining a health care fix agreement with the provinces to the tune of $41 billion.

Another Day in Baghdad

Another day, another car bomb goes off at a police checkpoint in Baghdad, murdering 8 Iraqis and wounding at least 41 others. There is only one anecdote for this --surf over to Iraq the Model. Omar has a Hearts & Minds post based on a BBC forum piece for Arab readers to voice their thoughts and feelings concerning Americans. Omar has taken the time to translate from Arabic the Iraqi contributors.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Sailor Mike

There is something about the inanities of life that will happen in such a completely inconsequential way but it will still somehow manage to reach up and stick in your craw. Your instinctive response will be to fight back in the vernacular. For instance, I work in a "secured" environment. An electronic pass card is needed for access to the building and the floor that I work on. The first time I forgot my pass card I presented myself at the security desk. I knew the guard on duty quite well and he knew not just me, but my children by sight and name. We passed the general pleasantries and then I explained that I had left my pass card at home. The guard said, and I quote "No problem, Kate, I can issue you a temporary card right away. I just need two pieces of identification to prove your identity."

At first, I thought the guard was joking, as it was not like he needed to record or copy my identification in any way, and this was a man who speaks and sees me several times a day. Much to my disbelief he was deadly earnest; and though I applaud his dedication in carrying out his duties there comes a point when adherence to a rule falls flat in the face by the dictates of common sense.

My first instinct was to cuff him with my handbag and shout "wake the f*** -up, then there maybe a few more "f**** words and give me the bleeding card", but I restrained myself, only because I knew I would have to continue to face him on a daily basis and I really didn’t want to spend the energy and effort to keep up the hostilities.

So when I read this story in the Toronto Star about the former premier Mike Harris, I knew just how he felt.

"Harris has been given until next Monday to apologize or face possible expulsion from the Vaughan-King-Aurora Conservative Riding Association. He also faces a lawsuit launched by riding president Gabe Spoletini.

"It was the kind of language you would expect from a sailor, not a former premier," Spoletini said. Spoletini said the incident occurred Monday when Harris, who lives in Woodbridge with his girlfriend Laura Maguire, became irate over being asked for the required two pieces of identification at the advance poll, including one that showed his address and signature.

"I heard yelling ... and I heard him say `Just give me the f------ ballot' and then he grabbed it from the woman who was the DRO (the deputy returning officer)," Spoletini said.

"I said, `What's going on here?' He turned around and said, `You can challenge my f------ ballot, you jackass.' I said, `Don't be an a------' and he said to me `You're the biggest a------ of them all.'"

Harris was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Harris spokesperson Deb Hutton disputed Spoletini's version of events, saying the ex-premier did supply two pieces of identification but was asked for a third."

There might be no excuse for rudeness as my grandfather use to say, but I think there should be some kind of dispensation for the rest of us when confronted by the stupidity of others.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Globe & National Post Merger???

Take a gander at the dead tree versions of the Globe & Mail and the National Post for September 14, 2004. Both newspapers have run the exact same picture of Kitsault, BC on their front page. The Globe headlines with this: Premiers blast PM's "silly" offer - the National Post headlines with this: PM's offer, "silly," say Premiers.

Have the Globe and National Post merged and no one told me?

Monday, September 13, 2004

Grab and Bail

The problem with the Globe and Mail is that it operates on the same fiscal premises as the Liberal government. The Liberals will raise your taxes under the guise of saving "whatever" and then cut services. The Globe and Mail has just instituted a fee service for its online comment section but there is no added value. Do they really think that anyone will want to pay extra online to be able to read Heather Mallick? Or how about an editorial staff that cannot grasp that the pre-1967 "borders" of Israel were not borders at all but an Armistice line?

Today’s editorial recognizes that Iran’s nuclear ambitions do pose a serious threat to the free world but the editorial also contains this little gem:

It’s fair to ask whether the United States has contributed to this situation. It invaded Iraq, claiming there was an imminent threat, and found none. This makes it more difficult to make similar claims now about Iran. Likewise, the United States is over-extended militarily, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given this, and the looming presidential election, the mullahs who rule Iran may feel they can proceed with impunity.

I cannot comprehend why as Canada’s "paper of record" it must insist on perpetrating the "imminent threat" myth of the invasion of Iraq. President Bush never stated that Iraq represented an "imminent threat" to the United States. What George W. Bush said in his State of the Union speech was this:
"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."

Though in fairness, US Senator Edward Kennedy did say:

"There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."

Personally, I always find it helpful in distinguishing between the two men to remember that Bush quit drinking and got the job in the Oval office whereas Teddy’s the Oval office wannabe who is still hitting his cups.

The Globe and Mail ends it editorial with this:

That’s why the IAEA, which meets today to consider Iran’s nuclear program, should refer the matter to the UN Security Council without delay. The sooner strong diplomatic and economic pressure can be brought to bear on Tehran, the better.

Yep, Strong words, a la Bill Graham/Pierre Pettigrew coupled with threats to cancel those Prairie wheat contracts should make those Mad Mullah’s curl up in the corner and purr like a kittens.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rathergate Memos: Rove Plot?

Terry McAuliffe, Democratic National Committee Chairman, quoted from the Washington Times:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe today said neither his organization nor John Kerry´s campaign leaked to CBS documents questioning President Bush´s service record, which may have been forged.

He suggested White House adviser Karl Rove could be behind the documents. "I can unequivocally say that no one involved here at the Democratic National Committee had anything at all to do with any of those documents. If I were an aspiring young journalist, I think I would ask Karl Rove that question," Mr. McAuliffe said.

I have no idea who was the original source for the CBS memos, but if it was a Karl Rove plot; then he’s my nomination for Director of the CIA.

Are we safer?

I tried to write something for 9/11 and no matter how I tried the words just didn’t seem to come together. After many false starts I conceded defeat. 9/11 was a watershed moment in western history. It was also a personal watershed moment to me. Prior to 9/11, I was willing to let everyone go to hell in their own fashion as long as I did not have to pay for your ticket to ride. 9/11 changed that.

This morning I was listening to Capital Hill Gang on CNN (at 4:30am it is either that or infomercials) and one of the talking points was "Are we safer now than we were three years ago?"

So few of us study war anymore that most people have lost the capacity to understand what war is, and to comprehend that like life, warfare can and does evolve and change. It is a Herculean task to explain what 4th generation warfare is when you have no basis of understanding what 1st, 2nd or 3rd generational war was.

Western civilization is under attack and the West is at war. I realize that many would rather put their head between their legs and say, I can’t see you, I can’t hear you. I don’t know what you are talking about as there are no incomings in the backyard, the bus still runs, and I don’t have to take my ration card to the grocery store to shop for milk and butter. War, what war? To those whose heads are firmly between their legs, the War on Terror is a product of delusional thinking. The only time their heads will rise is when the blast from the incoming does it for them and then it will be too late.

To ask if we are safer now than we were 3 years ago is like standing on the beaches of Normandy and saying "Are we safer now than before we came?" If we are safe at all it is because (to paraphrase Orwell) rough men and women stand ready to do violence on your behalf. Al Qaeda has not been vanquished. The real question should be "Are we ready?"

Saturday, September 11, 2004

To know us is to love us, NOT.

"People in Ontario will come to understand the benefits of the Liberal government and their policies over time, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday"

Not as long as I see your fiberal fingers dug deep into my paycheque every pay day, I won’t forget.

Fat chance, McGirlie.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Memo to Rathergate

When I watched Dan Rather being interviewed on CNN’s Wolf Blitzer earlier today, he appeared to be trying to duck the issue of the memo’s authenticity by saying the larger questions of the story are the issue, not the memos. The issue raised in the blogsphere is the memos’ authenticity and the memos are the foundation for which the National Guard story rests on.

Watching CBS News tonight I experienced one of those lost in space moments. What I wanted to hear Dan Rather address did not happen. Dan and I weren’t on the same page as they say. It was interesting that CBS did a brief interview with Marcel Matley, who from what I have been able to determine is a well known handwriting expert. How a handwriting expert can speak with any kind of authority on the issues of proportionally spaced fonts, typeset, typewriters and kerning is one of those little mysterious of the universe I suppose. And if the signature on some of the memos was cut and pasted from an original authentic signature, how would he know?

What I wanted to learn was; who was the graphics expert that 60 Minutes ll used to authenticate the memos. I wanted to learn how 60 Minutes ll came to be in possession of those documents, and who was the source for those documents? Just telling me to trust you just isn’t good enough after age 10.

The "who" and "how" 60 Minutes ll came by those memos are important. Lt. Col. Killian’s wife and son both deny being the source; furthermore, both deny that Lt. Col. Killian would have typed those memos because he couldn’t type. Lt. Col. Killian is deceased so that we cannot ask him, and I would think that the wife and son’s grasp of their husband/father’s thoughts, abilities and opinions would be more accurate than colleague’s.

What I cannot comprehend is how those memos came to be found amongst the private papers of Lt. Col. Killian and ended up in the hands of some anonymous third party. The source of those documents is of paramount importance to the authenticity of the memos. Time to play it again, Dan.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

MSM caught with their pants down?

Little Green Footballs and Powerline are leading the investigation on the new documents that CBS 60 Minutes allege have just come to the light of day and offered as proof that US President George W. Bush was negligent in performing his National Guard duty.

Due to the fonts, proportional spacing and punctuation marks used in the documents all bear the earmarks of being created on a modern MS Word computer software program. Hence, they could not have been typed by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian or his aid in 1972-1973. Lt. Col. Killian died in 1984.

World Net Daily carries the official CBS denial of forged documents.

Read the links and make your own decision on whether or not mainstream media have been caught with their pants down.

Red Ensign Also Rises

BumfOnline has raised the Red Ensign this week. It is well worth your time to visit and read how the Red Ensign Bloggers have cultivated the seeds that the Flea has sowed.

The School Year Begins

Blogging has been light due to the homework demands of the Last Amazon and the fact she gets home before me and entrenches her position before the machine and will not be budged. This means that I must resort to frequent, shameless, and relentless begging of the computer guys to hurry up and repair her machine. This is the Last Amazon’s first year in a private prep school and already I see a profound difference between public versus private education. First day of school is not only a full day but there is homework from every course. Math homework is not just the standard algebra etc., but she must research a famous mathematician and write a biography. I just think that is too cool for words.

Monday, September 06, 2004

To be, or not to be: Zookeepers

Reuters is reporting that a website run by the Islamic Army (who allegedly have 2 French journalists in their custody) have posted a demand for a $5 million ransom to be paid in 48 hours for the safe release of the French journalists.

Beslan School Hostage Siege

Stan at Logic & Sanity is still providing updated translations from Russian sources and has current information regarding Kulov, the only terrorist taken alive from the Beslan School Siege -just keep scrolling down.


Oleg Gordievsky who was the "highest ranking KGB officer ever to work for MI6" has an opinion piece in the Telegraph with some thoughts on the "Spetsnaz" or Russian Special Forces today. Though I do not agree with all of Mr. Gordievsky’s conclusions, I think it is worth noting his opinion on the Spetsnaz:

"The Russian "Spetsnaz", or Special Forces, who surrounded the school and who were in charge of containing the hostage crisis and bringing it to an end, have a reputation for fearsome, if brutal, efficiency. That reputation helps to sustain the belief, at least in the West, that there was very little that could have been done to prevent this disastrous outcome.

This is simply not true. Only part of the Spetsnaz's reputation is justified. They are certainly brutal. But they are not efficient, and never have been - even in the old days of the Cold War, when they were well financed."

Some general observations I made while watching the hostage taking unfold was that the perimeter did not appear to be effectively established or patrolled. Soldiers were grouping together and socializing. Why were civilians allowed to be so close to the school? Watching CNN I saw a civilian shot in the crossfire and he was behind the barricade. Where were the ambulances or fire trucks?

Many of the soldiers were not wearing helmets or protected vests, the uniforms were a mix and mash of this and that. I saw a sniper dressed in jeans and a t-shirt and running shoes…I first thought he was an armed civilian but reading the Reuters caption it said he was a Russian Army Sniper! I watched with a growing sense of the incredulousness when a Russian soldier was running back to the barricades under fire carrying a wounded child in his arms with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. These were not the Marines.

"Russia's army and its security forces aim to inculcate an attitude of total indifference to the loss of human life, and they certainly succeeded in the case of Vladimir Putin. For example, for at least as long as he has been president, the Russian press has published stories about the more than 1,000 Russian army conscripts - they are teenage boys - who are killed every year during training, often as a result of being viciously bullied by other soldiers."

I have read many of those stories Mr. Gordievsky alludes too concerning the state of morale in Russia’s forces and it certainly appears to be the case of survival of the most ruthless and vicious. Promotion relies on a soldier’s ability to thug it out rather than be an effective fighting team leader. This gives new meaning to an "Army of One."

During the 1994-1996 engagement in Chechnya, Russian officers were selling arms, explosives and equipment to Chechen rebels by day and then sending their men in by night to fight against those same rebels armed courtesy of Russian officers.

I have no doubt that the Breslan School Hostage-taking would end in bloodshed but it becomes a question of "how many" rather than there being a peaceful conclusion to the siege. In the age of terror globalization we in the west have to care about how our allies fight in this struggle. Failure to win on one front encourages the terrorists to open new fronts. This is the time to institute reforms in the Russian forces. There is a role for countries like Canada in helping the Russian Forces transform themselves into an effective armed force. Certainly, Canada has much expertise to offer on how to create an effective fighting force on the cheap.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Everyone has a point of view.

Though some view points are more to the point than others. Take the case of an Islamic cleric Omar Mohammed from the Telegraph:

"An extremist Islamic cleric based in Britain said yesterday that he would support hostage-taking at British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause.

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the spiritual leader of the extremist sect al-Muhajiroun, said that holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action for a Muslim who has suffered under British rule.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Mohammed said: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts of terrorism in Iraq."

And Mr. Omar Mohammed’s position on collateral damage:

"As long as the Iraqi did not deliberately kill women and children, and they were killed in the crossfire that would be okay."

Isn’t diversity a wonderful thing!

And since I am celebrating diversity it is worth noting the statement released from the Office of the Presidency of the European Union before the first child was buried:

In a statement in the name of the presidency of the 25-nation EU, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said on Friday that all countries should work together to stop such tragedies.

"But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened," he added.

Then there is the Toronto Star, whose reporters who cannot tell the difference between a rebel and a terrorist, but want to imply that there is some confusion as to the identity of the "hostage-takers" at the Beslan School Siege.
It's unclear who the hostage-takers were, but Russian authorities are blaming extremists linked to the separatist rebellion in Chechnya. They also say that some attackers were of Arab origin.

Let me take a guess - the Russian government is suppressing evidence that it was a rebellious act carried out by a Quaker/Lutheran coalition with ties to the International Zionist Conspiracy Movement.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


I was going to comment, but Let it Bleed got in the first fiskings on University of Waterloo Professor Mohamed Elmasry and his call to ban alcohol from university pubs and at all university off-campus events published in the Globe and Mail’s opinion page.

The only thing left to do is note that Prof. Elamasry‘s article was published a few days after a research survey was released on August 30th, 2004, by the Canadian Centre for Social Norms and Research which published that the majority of students were drinking two times a month or less, and the majority consumed between 1-4 drinks per occasion.

According to this survey, it does not appear that the majority of students are in danger of falling victim to the demon rum or that Canadian students even have their boots on the road to rummyhood. I would suggest to Prof. Elamasry and his colleagues at Canadian Islamic Congress that they applaud the restraint and maturity of the majority of Canadian students in their alcohol consumption habits and propose they re-direct their efforts and be the first to lead the call for a ban on alcohol consumption by bears.

Friday, September 03, 2004

But for the Grace of G-d, go I.

When I was young, I was afraid of nothing, I was reckless and free. I had no knowledge or experience of fear. I look back now and reflect that I lived a charmed existence and I think that the old saying about the Lord watching over drunks and fools must be true.

But nothing stays the same forever and one day a change came into my life. I learned to know the face of fear. From the moment that my first child was born, I have been held captive to my fear. I have learned to cope but fear always lies just below the surface. All it takes is for just one of my children to be as little as twenty minutes late and my mind runs over various scenarios, all frightening, all brutal. My imagination seems to know no limits, nor my fears.

Like so many others I have been held captive by the Russian School Siege. Neither my children nor my love ones are held hostage in this fear or grief but I am unable to look upon the images of these children and their families and remain calm and detached. I have cried myself a river reading Logic & Sanity’s translations of the drama.

In the days and weeks to come there will be many stories published and much analysis offered. All possible root causes will be held up to the light of day. Blame will be assigned liberally around to all but in this whole monstrous saga the one thing I have yet to hear or read in Canada is; why we will not call a spade a spade? These people were not militants, or rebels, nor heroes of a revolution. These are not the modern Minute Men and this was not the Alamo. This outrage was an act of extreme terror perpetrated against the most innocent and vulnerable members of any society.

This was planned, designed and implemented with only one objective: to perpetrate terror, death and grief to the greatest number possible. There was no reasonable objective or hope that this outrage would lead to anything other than to manufacture mayhem and destruction. The intended consequences were to cause acute anguish and set in motion a million new fears. This is the face of terrorism and those who commit such acts of senseless barbarism are terrorists.

I realize that my countrymen are a smug lot. We think that it could never happen here, we are just too nice and our very niceness will insulate us from harm. We are not Americans or Israelis, or even Russians. We are a nation without sin, and yet, how long will the bubble last as long as we refuse to acknowledge that the infectious ideology that preaches terror and death as a tool of social engineering remains unacknowledged in our midst?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Corner on Carpetbagging

Last Saturday night I went to what I believed was a small gathering of old friends for dinner and drinks. It was going to be one of those “friends” moments where old friends reconnect after having been guilty of being so caught up in the daily grind that we have let the social side of friendships drift. In retrospect, it seems likely I had been invited as the lone “Thatcherite” to an attempted hazing by moonbats rather than as a long lost friend whose acquaintanceship they longed to renew.

If I had suspected that I was being set-up for a hazing, I might have attempted to arm myself with Niall Ferguson’s "Colossus":

"Anyone who invested in the oil field engineering company Halliburton in late 2000 in the expectation that the company would benefit from a Republican election victory has been disappointed. In the three years to Nov. 2003 the company's shares declined by more than a third and did not benefit significantly from the more aggressive Middle Eastern policy supported by its friends in high places. An investor who put his money in Wal-Mart shares in late 2000 would, by contrast, have made a capital gain of a fifth."

Who would have suspected that Dick Cheney was a failed carpetbagger?

(Tip: This quote is taken from The Corner: [John Hillen])

School Hostage Drama

Logic & Sanity is following Russian news broadcasts and is posting translations on his blog.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Déjà vu, all over again.

In my house I will give them a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters, an everlasting name which shall not perish.
Isaiah 56:5

In light of the events unfolding in Russia it is evident that Chechen terrorists have taken a leaf out of their Palestinian brethren’s operational play book:

Dateline: 1974 Ma’alot, Israel

Ma’alot is a town located in western Galilee. The Israeli government originally built up the community in the 50’s to settle Jewish refugees who had fled from hostile Arab nations.

A school trip to the Golan Heights was to commemorate Independence Day activities and celebrations on May 15th resulted in over 100 students and their escorts sleeping over night in a school in Ma’alot.

During the night, terrorists from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine infiltrated the school disguised as IDF soldiers. In the attack a guard was killed and some of the children.

The demands presented by the terrorists for the release of the children required the Israeli government release of 26 Arab terrorists held in Israeli prisons by 6:00pm. In an emergency session of the Knesset, it was resolved to negotiate with the Arab terrorists. The magnitude of this reversal was unprecedented but the children’s lives were held to be sacrosanct; the cost of not negotiating for their freedom was a price too high for the Knesset members or the nation to endure.

At 3:00pm government negotiators asked for an extension of the DFLP’s deadline. The DFLP was firm in their refusal to extend deadline. At 5:45pm, a selected detachment of the Golani brigade stormed the school. In the end, all DFLP terrorists were killed. The death toll for the Israelis was 21 children, 5 adults, and over 70 children injured. Nineteen children were permanently crippled as a direct consequence of the DFLP’s actions.

School Commencement begins with Terror

The madness from yesterday goes on unceasingly, from the Telegraph:

Armed men seize Russian school
Up to 400 hostages, including 200 schoolchildren, are being held by armed men who have seized a school in the Russian region of North Ossetia.

There are reports that at least one person had been killed at the school in the city of Beslan.

The seizure took place on the first day of the Russian school year, when it was likely that a large number of parents had accompanied their children to class.

Beslan, about 10 miles north of Vladikavkaz, is the capital of North Ossetia, a republic that borders Chechnya.

There is no cause, there is no political agenda, there can be no claim for mercy that can be used to justify the unleashing of terror on civilians