Our opinions of and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.
Comments and suggestions can be sent to:
Dana - email@example.com
Bob - firstname.lastname@example.org
Syndicate this site:
The Stink Over Undercover Cops - Dana
On Chinese Goods - Dana
Tweaking The Template - Dana
If I Posted... - Dana
On Automobiles - Dana
The Grim Endpoint Of Public Healthcare - Dana
My Idea: Club His Sorry Ass - Dana
Robbed Again - Dana
Nothing To See Here - Dana
Finally Got Backlinks Working - Dana
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Jack Layton is wasting no time trying to screw the Canadian taxpayers and he's just getting warmed up. To start things off Layton doesn't want to continue to pay down the national debt with the yearly budget surplus that the Liberals have been having. He thinks the debt is manageable, so spend, spend, spend! Full story here.
Layton also says that he is going to block the sale of the government's share of Petro-Canada, which is going to cost the government 2 billion in revenue, where do you think the government will have to make up the short fall from? Yup, you guessed it, the taxpayers. Here Layton makes his feelings know,
"We have not supported the sale of PetroCan, particularly with such a pathetic percentage of the sale revenue going toward renewable energy and energy solutions. It's not a wisely cast policy as we see it at the moment,"But here Alberta Energy Minister Murray Smith, thinks that Layton may not know best, if you believe that,
"The industry has legitimate concerns to be quietly frightened, the NDP know very little about this industry. Even less than the Liberals, if that can be believed."Last but not least, Layton is thinking that maybe Paul Martin should give him a place in the Liberal Cabinet if the parties form a coalition. I hope things don't get any worse than this, Layton is acting like a spoiled brat already and its only been 2 days since the election. Little Jackie wants this, little Jackie wants that, he thinks the Liberals own him the world, when all he really needs is a spanked bottom and sent to bed without supper.
For once in my life I have some pity for Paul Martin, can you imagine having to deal with Jack Layton everyday of the week, as he tries to squeeze concessions out of you. I'd rather talk to a telemarketer everyday at supper time for the rest of my life, than have to go though with that. Anyway, I hope Martin gets sick of Jack real quick or else I see no good news coming the taxpayers way.
Eli Lehrer talks about an NDP plan to reduce gun ownership in the US. In the article he puts to sleep the myth of the peace-loving Canadian vs the gun-crazed American:
It's an easy bone for Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin to throw to his coalition partners, but it's a bad idea. While Canada has banned most handgun ownership since 1977, Canadians remain even more likely to hunt and shoot than their American counterparts. The NDP wants none of this: It proposes taking away vaguely defined "assault weapons" (this likely refers to hunting weapons, since private ownership of machine guns is already illegal in Canada) and lobbying U.S. state and federal governments to take away their own citizens' guns.This is all ironic given the campaign during the election. The Liberal and NDP campaigns spent a lot of effort in pushing the idea that the Conservatives would implement American style gun control (or lack thereof) and crime prevention methods. Scary! Fear!
In addition to being awfully arrogant, this plan is ironic, since more crime probably flows from Canada to the U.S. than vice versa: The nation has an overall crime rate half again higher than the United States'. Toronto, once the safest large city in North America, now has more muggings, car thefts, and violent assaults per capita than New York City. All of Canada's major provinces would rank among the 20 most dangerous American states. Since American crime rates peaked in the early 1990s, crime has fallen in 48 American states and over 80 percent of America's major cities. Meanwhile, it has risen in six of Canada's ten major providences and seven of its ten largest cities. The reasons for this divide are complex, but it's notable that the United States imprisons wrongdoers at about five times Canada's rate and has about a quarter more police on a per-capita basis. Canada, meanwhile, can boast only of a national gun-registration database that cost 1,000 times more than originally projected.
Why did the media never question the Liberal and NDP candidates on these claims? And if the media is so concerned about getting to the truth why would they not allow an honest debate on the level of crime in our cities?
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Well first off sorry I haven't been posting lately. Given the election and everything else going on in the world you'ld think I'ld be full of opinions I'ld love to share.
Anyways, I guess I'm in a funk or something which is probably something that most bloggers find themselves in once in a while. Blah blah blah...
So what can I say about the election? Not much I guess since the results didn't totally surprise me. I posted my predictions back in February and to tell you the truth I really didn't see a reason to update them since. My only real screw up in the whole thing was that 4 months ago, and one week ago, I didn't expect the Bloc to do so well.
I guess Quebecers can take the proud distinction of giving the Liberals the spanking they deserved (clapping of hands...). Ontario on the other hand (hissing and booing). I've lived in Ontario the last few years and this place is totally beyond comprehension for me. Short of the Liberal government killing off each families first born child, what exactly will it take for Ontarians to vote for someone other than the Liberals?
I'm convinced that native born Ontarians get secret cheques sent to them every year by the Liberal Party of Canada. I suspect the value of the cheques is probably anywhere's from about $400-600. Can I prove this. Well no. But if anything makes sense in this world it is the fact that Ontarians receive hush money from the Liberals.
Regardless we all knew we were going to have a minority government so for the pundits and media whores to tell us how shocking the results were can stuff it. Relax. Peter Manbridge on one of the CBC commercials refered to the election as the 'greatest event in modern Canadian history'. Really? It's an election Peter. We have one every couple of years. Drop the act. Peter should realize that we know how important he is to our lives. We would be hollow and shallow people without his guiding presense...
And for election coverage I watched CTV and it was very well done. The CBC induces my gag reflex so I've been avoiding it like the plague.
But like I said, the CTV coverage was really well done. It was funny when Martin left the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal after the vote was settled. The CTV guy on site tried to get a quote out of Martin who didn't say a word and just jumped into his limo. So the CTV guy is like 'Awe Mr. Martin at least smile for us. How about a wave. Come on.' At which point Martin flashes a wave and a smile. So the guy on site and the CTV panel in the studio all break out in cheers. Anyways you had to see it.
But all in all I would give the CTV coverage about a A-. I was quite impressed.
I'ld give the CBC a grade but I'ld probably get a call from their executives telling me how grades are unproductive and just cause low self-esteem among those being graded. They'ld probably give me a little speech about how grades are the means how our established patriarchical society oppresses women and minorities...
Who was the candidate that you most wished would have lost their seat?
Vote on the side panel to the right.
I need a topic for tonight's post and seeing that the election has left me not wanting to write about the Conservatives or the Liberals at the present time, this leaves me only one option. To make fun of the NDP, this always puts me in a better mood and plus its so easy to poke fun at people that are a little detached from reality, cruel, but fun.
First a little background information, NDP candidate Regina Russell who ran in Egmont in yesterday's election got a little over 2000 votes out of the 18000 that were cast, in my opinion not a very good showing. Liberal MP Joe McGuire broke the 10000 mark, he got more votes than the three other candidates combined, you might call it a total ass whipping.
Most people would agree with this assessment, but not our NDP candidate, Russell was very happy with the result. When there is a minority government and the possibility of another election within 2 years, she said she may be in a good position to win the seat in Egmont for the NDP in the next go around. Yes you heard it right, WIN the seat.
"I'm very energized by this result - I don't feel deflated by it at all, this has been a good trial run for a future campaign."By looking at the numbers, what you ask, could she possibly see as a sign to be optimistic about? Russell's reason, at the beginning of the election McGuire was predicted by some to take about 70% of the vote and the fact he "didn't just slide in there" suggests there is opposition to the Liberals in Egmont. "Didn't just slide in there", what on God's green earth would she call it then, getting in by the skin of your teeth, is she seeing the same numbers that were released by Elections Canada? As good a reason to be optimistic as any I guess, the Liberals never got all the votes.
Anyway, nothing like taking a swipe at somebody while they're down, I should be ashamed of myself, but I'm not. In my opinion the NDP were put on earth to be made fun of and that's what I'm going to do. If you aren't realistic enough to make a sound judgement about how you placed in the election, then I can't help you out.
That is the greatest asset of the NDP though, eternal optimism, any grounded person with similar success to the NDP would have given up long ago, but the good folks from the NDP just keep pushing ahead in their ignorant bliss and for this, you have to give them credit, lots and lots of credit. You just can't keep a New Democrat down.
The interim government of Iraq is going to take custody of Saddam Hussein on Wednesday and he could be in an Iraqi court by the very next day. Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had this to say,
"This government has formally requested the transfer (of the) most notorious and high-profile detainees to Iraqi legal custody, Saddam Hussein, along with up to 11 other high-value detainees, will be transferred to legal custody of Iraq tomorrow and will be charged by an Iraq investigative judge on the following day."Now that's good news, this will be a very important day for Iraqis, Saddam caused the nation much pain and they deserve a chance to bring him to trial.
If you are bummed out by the results of the election, don't be, things could be a lot worse, you could have had 165 million in the bank at one time and now be dependant on drug dealers for handouts.
You can read about Mike Tyson's fall from grace here and then see why the results from the silly little election aren't so bad after all.
[ Via Nealenews ]
Monday, June 28, 2004
Well its beginning to look a lot like a Liberal minority government, not that great of a result. As you may know I was looking for a little stronger showing from the Consevative party but as it turned out the Liberal scare tactics seemed to have worked well enough for them to hold on to power with a minority government.
I know there were broken promises and wasted money under the Liberals, but I would rather have seen a Liberal majority than having them depend on the NDP for support, things couldn't get much worse than that. Having Jack 'the smiling weasel' Layton with any power in parliament is bad for Canada, at least the Liberals have had balanced budgets and slightly lower taxes, but with Layton pulling Martin's strings, I can see that starting to disappear real quick.
Paul Martin is the closest thing the Liberals have to a conservative and I could have lived with him for another four years, but knowing that Jack Layton is going to holding his 25 seats or so over Martin's head is making me sick to my stomach already.
As it turns out the sponsorship scandal never lost the Liberals the election, but it did win Jack Layton and the NDP more say in Canadian politics than they deserve, what a cruel twist of fate. Call me what you will, but I would rather see the Conservatives and Liberals working together on policy than let Layton anywhere near it.
Oh well, three months ago the Conservative party would have been happy with this result, so let's build on this bit of success and be twice as strong in the next election. Also, Stephen Harper should be kept as party leader and given a chance to build on what he started, let the people of Canada get to know him and his party, so when the next election roles around, the Liberals won't be able to use the same lies of a hidden Conservative agenda that they used this time around.
If you like election predictions, then go over and check out Daimnation. He's got all the biggest names in blogging like Coyne, Cosh and Mark Steyn all in one stop, see who's prediction is the closest to the actual election results.
This is the big day, get out and vote! Does anybody want to place any bets on when I'll be saying that very same thing again? Six months or a year, or maybe even 4 years from now, who knows when we'll have to do this all over again, that is unless a small miracle happens and the Conservatives or the Liberals win a majority, but not likely. Every vote is going to count so go and see if yours makes a difference.
Sunday, June 27, 2004
I have to admit that I don't know a whole lot about Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi but from what I am hearing from him lately, I am quickly becoming a fan of his. Allawi's main goal as Prime Minister is to return Iraq to the control of the people, a pleasant change from Iraq's last ruler don't you think?
"It's not my ambition to run Iraq, my objective all along has been to bring an end to Saddam's tyranny and establish a government in Iraq that is accountable to the Iraqi people."Allawi's life is always in danger, with former Ba'ath party thugs and terrorist groups like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's gunning for him, but that doesn't seem to bother Allawi at all. He is determined to reach his goals for Iraq and will not let those with evil intentions ruin this glorious chance for Iraqis to live under freedom. Allawi seems like he doesn't take any crap from anybody, my kind of guy.
Allawi is sounding and acting like the type of leader that Iraq needs to get it though these tough times. Once power is handed over to Iraqis he plans to crack down heavily on the terrorists who are operating inside Iraq and he also wants to bring Saddam Hussein and his thugs to trial as soon as possible. Let's just hope that Allawi is around long enough to see his hopes and dreams for Iraq become a reality, strong leaders like Allawi are vital to Iraq's success.
Saturday, June 26, 2004
If you loved "Bend it Like Beckham" then your in luck, there is going to be a sequel and its going to be call "Shank it Like Beckham". If you follow any soccer/football at all, then you already know the reason for the title, sad very sad.
Warning : If you are easily offended by male stereotypical behavior, then I suggest that you do not read the rest of this post.
There is a strange phenomenon that is starting to take place at anti-Harper rallies. The Winnipeg Sun was reporting from outside Conservative campaign headquarters of candidate Rod Bruinooge, where a group of about 30 demonstrators had gathered.
Some people in the group were protesting in just the same old boring manner, with signs with lame sayings on them, while others were just along for the ride. But the newest and coolest form of protest is the lesbian embrace. Here the Sun reports,
"A lesbian couple embraced and kissed for several minutes outside the Conservative gathering, held in the oversized campaign office of Winnipeg South candidate Rod Bruinooge, who is trying to unseat senior Manitoba Liberal Reg Alcock."Call me a pig, but I am speaking for most men on this issue, that is one great way to protest something, hopefully this catches on nation wide. We needed the Flames girls doing this exact same thing as a way of protesting the officiating during the Stanley Cup final, now that would have drawn some attention.
As we all know by now, Michael Moore has warned Canadians not to vote for the Conservative party, well add one more to the list, Ralph Nader is also pleading with Canadians to not vote for the Conservatives. Full story here.
Nader and Moore ganging up to warn Canadians, think about who these two guys are for a second, they are about as far left as you can get in the political spectrum which makes this no surprise at all. Then why is this news exactly, two socialists worried about a conservative party?
Anyway, Nader and Moore have had an effect on who I'm voting for, I was planning on spoiling my ballot because I'm not the biggest fan of the Conservative candidate in my area but now, I'm voting Conservatives all the way. Good jobs guys, you made it impossible for me to not vote for the Conservatives, simply because I wouldn't be caught dead doing anything that Nader and Moore told me to do, retards.
Update @ 1:53
Kelvin makes a good point in his letter to Ralph Nader over at the blue revolution.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
The following statement has to do with President Bush and the invasion of Iraq, give it a read and see if you can guess who said it.
You know, I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over. I don't believe he went in there for oil. We didn't go in there for imperialist or financial reasons. We went in there because he bought the Wolfowitz-Cheney analysis that the Iraqis would be better off, we could shake up the authoritarian Arab regimes in the Middle East, and our leverage to make peace between the Palestinians and Israelis would be increased.If you guessed Bill Clinton, then you are right. This does raise a question though, if the Democrat's very own superstar Bill Clinton gets it, then why don't the rest of them. Does Micheal Moore know about this?
At the moment the U.N. inspectors were kicked out in '98, this is the proper language: there were substantial quantities of botulinum and aflatoxin, as I recall, some bioagents, I believe there were those, and VX and ricin, chemical agents, unaccounted for. Keep in mind, that's all we ever had to work on. We also thought there were a few missiles, some warheads, and maybe a very limited amount of nuclear laboratory capacity.
After 9/11, let's be fair here, if you had been President, you'd think, Well, this fellow bin Laden just turned these three airplanes full of fuel into weapons of mass destruction, right? Arguably they were super-powerful chemical weapons. Think about it that way. So, you're sitting there as President, you're reeling in the aftermath of this, so, yeah, you want to go get bin Laden and do Afghanistan and all that. But you also have to say, Well, my first responsibility now is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material. I've got to do that.
That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for. So I thought the President had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, "Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process." You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks. I never really thought he'd [use them]. What I was far more worried about was that he'd sell this stuff or give it away. Same thing I've always been worried about North Korea's nuclear and missile capacity. I don't expect North Korea to bomb South Korea, because they know it would be the end of their country. But if you can't feed yourself, the temptation to sell this stuff is overwhelming. So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you're the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for.
Just a quick observation about Micheal Moore and his recent comments about Canadian politics, I'll get right to it after you read this quote,
"We're trying to get rid of our conservative, you know. We're going one way, you guys shouldn't be going the opposite direction, you should be saying, You know what? We don't want this country, Canada, to become like Bush's America,"Here's my observation, I would like to know who "we" represents in Moore's statements, he makes it sound like all of America wants to get rid of President Bush or by "we" does me mean tubby media-whores, who just happen to be left-wing crack-pots? I wish he would clear that up for me, it would be a great help.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
I'll give you two different statements from today, they each appear in a different local newspaper, both relate to Stephen Harper's plans for Canada's auto industry. They are both anti-Harper pieces but they contradict each other, take a read for yourself.
The first one is from Paul McNeill, the publisher of the West prince Graphic,
"Harper, who is quickly becoming one of the great hypocrites in Canadian politics, has promised to rid the country of what he calls 'corporate welfare'. What he means is he disagrees with business receiving any support from government (unless you are the auto industry in vote-rich Ontario, and then Harper has no problem handing over 500 million of the taxpayers' money)."The next statement is from Jack Layton and appeared in the Guardian,
"Layton said that if Harper wins the election, jobs will be lost in the auto sector. 'Harper wants to wash his hands of Oshawa, and of Windsor, and of Oakville,' which are major auto-producing communities, as well as dozens of other industrial communities in Ontario."One is claiming that the auto industry is the only business sector Harper is paying attention to because its worth a lot of votes, therefor its getting special treatment, while the other one states Harper is going to pay no attention at all to the auto industry and that jobs will be lost because of Harper's hands off approach to the industry.
Did I miss something, could both of these statements be true, could Harper focus his attention on one specific industry, while he pays no attention to it at the same time? Either I've missed too many nights of sleep or drank about 15 cups of coffee too many today or is somebody misleading me or worse yet, telling me a bold faced lie. Could somebody help me figure out which one it is?
[Via Absit Invidia]
David Frum takes Europe to task for it's anti-Americanism:
Where do we all go from here? I wish I knew. In 1917, Americans discovered that they could never be secure in freedom unless Europe was also secure and also free--and though Americans have sometimes forgotten that truth, they have never forgotten it for long. Do Europeans reciprocate? And will they back that reciprocation with anything more than words? I wish I knew the answer to that question too. But here is what I do know: For half a century, Americans accepted the risk of nuclear devastation to safeguard Europe. Then, by a very strange twist of fate, the first hostile blow on the soil of a NATO country fell--not on Germany or on Norway or on Turkey, but on the United States. Can Europeans honestly say that since 9/11, they have returned the United States even a portion of the help that Europe would have expected and received had the need been reversed? Can you not imagine why many in America would feel hurt and abandoned by Europe in our hour of grief and danger?This article could just as well be directed at much of Canada. Not those of us who aren't scum sucking, ungrateful wretches of course...
I only make that last comment because Canada used to be a nation with a national conscience. I'm afraid that I can't say we have one anymore. I don't expect much more from most European nations but, loving my country as much as I do, I hate to see us throw away all the goodwill and respect that our country has earned this past century.
... the US could use a few more of them.
While the media was gloating (yes gloating!) that Muqtada al-Sadr's Madhi Army was going to take over Iraq and plunge it into chaos it seems the US military was kicking some serious ass:
Last week, Sheik al-Sadr surrendered. He called on what was left of his men to cease operations and said he may one day seek public office in a democratic Iraq.I'm to lazy to check at the moment but I can't imagine the US lost more than 100 troops during the whole operation. And at least al-Sadr is starting to learn how democracy works. Public office? Please.
Gen. Hertling said Mahdi's Army is defeated, according the Army's doctrinal definition of defeat. A few stragglers might be able to fire a rocket-propelled grenade, he said, but noted: "Do they have the capability of launching any kind of offensive operation? Absolutely not."
The division estimates it killed at least several thousand militia members.
And it seems US policy towards al-Sadr has had a very profound effect on other tribal or religious leaders in the country. You don't hear of any leader of significance openly challenging the US now do you?
Terrorist nutjobs are still challenging the US but they sure as hell won't stand out on the streets and do it. Regardless they can be dealt with... one at a time.
Here are a few good articles, with some memorable quotes, I came across today:
Will The West Survive - Walter E. Williams:
My colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell observes, "Those in the Islamic world have for centuries been taught to regard themselves as far superior to the 'infidels' of the West, while everything they see with their own eyes now tells them otherwise." He adds, "Nowhere have whole peoples seen their situation reversed more visibly or more painfully than the peoples of the Islamic world." Sowell adds that few people, once at the top of civilization, accept their reversals of fortune gracefully. Moreover, they don't blame themselves for their plight. For the Muslim world, it's the West who's to blame.Just Like Stalingrad - Bret Stephens:
Care for language is more than a concern for purity. When one describes President Bush as a fascist, what words remain for real fascists? When one describes Fallujah as Stalingrad-like, how can we express, in the words that remain to the language, what Stalingrad was like?Hawkisk Clothes Itch Doves - Jonah Goldberg:
George Orwell wrote that the English language "becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." In taking care with language, we take care of ourselves.
Removing Saddam has had unforeseeable bad consequences, as well as some foreseeable ones. But it seems to me that liberals who now think we shouldn't have done it, solely because we didn't do it "just right," are falling prey to their own historic pie-in-the-skyism. There is no "just right" way to do things like this. If there were, we would have toppled Saddam with nerf bats.Saudi Terror: Some Killing, Some Lunch... - Gary Brecher:
Beinart is right that conservatives should do some hard thinking about our experience in Iraq. But no matter how cathartic it may be for liberals to sooth their consciences by saying this isn't the war they signed up for, this is the war we've got. And the shoulda-coulda-wouldas can wait until we win.
The terrorists were trying to be very careful not to shoot Saudi Muslims, because they'd gotten a little slack, killed a few locals, and it turned out to be bad p.r. So what'd they do? Like any good people-person would do, they got the locals "involved in the process," which is how my asshole boss would say it: "We asked our brother Muslims, where are the Americans, and they showed us..." Now what's funny is that when the TV crews asked the locals about this, they all said, "What, me? Help terrorists? Why, that's crazy talk!" It all depends on who you believe. But put it this way: if you're a Muslim janitor working for American execs in the middle of the Iraq mess and the Gaza mess, and some Koran-quoting maniac with a Kalashnikov asks you where the Americans are, would you really get on your high horse and go, "No, I will never cooperate with terrorism! Avast, you villain!" Well, if you would, you should be teaching Sunday school somewhere. In fact I'm surprised you're still alive. Nature has a way of weeding out people like you.Update @ 9:05am
Throwing Stones - Steven Stalinsky:
Ahmad Jarallah, editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa and noted critic of the Syrian regime, responded in an editorial: "Dr. Buthayna Shaban, who is 'revolted'... should be the last to express her revulsion — because the kinds of torture carried out in the prisons of the regime of which she is a part and in whose services she acts are too numerous to count. No atrocity surpasses the kinds of torment and torture [in the Syrian regime]... We have gone overboard in our talk of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal... None has dared acknowledge that the U.S. behaved properly in uncovering [this] scandal, for having sufficient courage to apologize. It could have remained silent, or denied it — as is the custom of some Arab regimes that torture, assassinate, bury alive, rip out fingernails, and dissolve [people] in pits of acid, and appear before the world like innocent children with angels' wings."
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Martin knows nothing when it comes to telling the truth and Jaeger has a good post about it here.
On Monday Kim Sun-il was be-headed by a group of savages in Iraq. The story itself isn't totally shocking to those of us aware of what the civilized world is up against.
I wonder though how do these savages manage to convince themselves that they are brave and valiant warriors? The brave do not mask their faces. Nor do they proceed to saw off the head of someone who cannot defend themselves.
And yet they love to get on camera and tell us how they, the 'holy warriors', are bravely doing God's work. If you are doing God's work is it really necessary to mask yourself? Will God not protect you? Are you not proud of what you do?
A brave man will look his advisary in the face. These men apparently will not. Unless of course their advisary happens to be hog-tied ready to be served up to your twisted version of God.
And I guess what really troubles me is the reaction out of the Muslim world to these barbarous acts. First we have the governments. They of course condemn the murders in the strongest of language. Then they proceed to tolerate if not outright encourage the murder of Jews, Infidels, Christians, or Muslims of another sect.
As for the people of the Arab world my opinions of them at the moment are not much better than those I have for their governments. If a Westerner sticks a camera in his or her face they will of course condemn such murders.
And then whenever a survey is done of Arab opinion, usually vast majorities support these terrorists. If they don't support the terrorists themselves they at least support the causes in which they claim to fight.
And I'm left here able to do nothing else but shake my head.
Why can't Arabs see that they have been and will continue to be the primary victims of this hatred that they allow to grow within their communities?
Whether it is Iraq, Algeria, etc... Muslims are targetted by this hatred. And the sad fact is that though most Arabs would accept if that hatred was projected outwards towards Israel, the US, or the West in general, it is Muslims who are the most defenceless against it. We can close our borders and wage war. What can a Muslim do when these fanatics come after them? Who will protect them? Their governments? Their neighbours?
We all have our own opinions about Paul Martin and his attack on Stephen Harper's plan for the Canadian military, some agree with our PM and others like me, disagree strongly with Martin. How about a soldiers view on the subject, after all they are the ones who are affected the most by Martin's plans, seeing as their lives are on the line. Full story here
Recently a unnamed soldier met with reporter Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun and here are a few things he said during the interview,
"I voluntarily became a soldier knowing that it might one day mean me losing my life for Canada. Can Martin say that? When did he ever serve? He's a fat cat billionaire without a clue about what it means to be a soldier. What he said was an insult to every man and woman in this country in uniform. All of them better Canadians than him. But what's he care? Our military size has been so shrunk he figures the Liberals don't need their votes to win."
"I went ballistic. Harper never served, either, but he's a hell of a lot more understanding and realistic as to what the armed forces should be than that ignorant fool Martin. As for outdated, it's old Martin who's outdated. What does he think the role of Canadian soldiers is? To hand out candies? Carry toy guns? Just sit around and watch?
"Men and women aren't forced to sign up, they sign up because they're willing and want to be warriors, and somebody tell Martin they're damn fine people, not thugs like he makes it sound. He insults every soldier in this country as well as their families."I think you get the message, the soldier gets his point across very nicely. There's not much more I can add to that, because like the soldier says, he's the one with his life on the line and that means he knows best when it comes to the Liberal defence policy. It is clear that Martin needs to spend more on Canada's armed forces, not attack those who wish to fund them properly.
[ Via Nealenews ]
Senior Israeli officers state that there has been a 75 percent decrease in suicide attacks and attempted suicide attacks during the first half of 2004, in comparison with the corresponding period last year. Israeli officials say that the number of terrorist attacks against Israel has dropped for two reasons.
The first one is that IDF operations are taking effect on the terror organizations, hindering their ability to plan successful operations. Here is the statement from Israel's Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz,
"We are seeing a new trend. The level of terror is slowly declining. We must keep up the offensive operations. The pressure is working. The motivation of terror organizations is high, yet their capabilities have substantially decreased,"The second reason is the more important of the two, the PA is actually taking steps to prevent terror attacks. The PA has stopped funding the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and for the first time in a long time, have actually been working to prevent terrorist and suicide attacks. Yasser Arafat can stop the attacks when he pleases, simply amazing, all this time he lead us to believe he had no control over them.
Anyways, I hope this trend continues, peace and security are the best and only answer to the Palestinian question, suicide bombers and hatred are not. Its about time Arafat figured that out for himself.
Last week Iran was at odds with the international community over its nuclear program and this week Iran has detained eight British sailors who were mistakenly about 1000 meters inside of Iranian territorial waters as they were delivering three unarmed patrols boats to Iraq's new Riverine Patrol Service as the port of Umm Qsar. Full story here.
The incident happened on the Shatt-al-Arab waterway which runs along the border between Iran and Iraq. The British Foreign Office is down playing a link between last week's tension over Iran's nuclear program and the detainment of their sailors. But if you ask me, it looks looks like a calculated move by the Iranians. They see the coalition bogged down in Iraq and realize they can get away with a little more than they usually could.
The British sailors were shown on Iranian television and are being questioned as to why they were Iranian territorial waters. No access to the men has yet been granted to British officials. This statement was released from Al-Alam television,
"The vessels were 1,000 meters inside Iranian territorial waters. The crew have also confessed to having entered Iranian waters, they will be prosecuted for illegally entering Iranian territorial waters,"We can expect the Iranians to be royal pains in the rear for now and the foreseeable future, as the Mullahs are scared to death of seeing Iraq turn into a powerful Muslim democracy. As you can imagine, the Mullahs don't want Iranians to see the living standards of Iraqis flourish under freedom, that would be a very bad thing for them.
Update @ 10:08 AM
For a good article by Michael Ledeen about Iranian intentions, click here.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Let's pretend that you're Paul Martin, I know you may not want to but humor me for a second, there is one week to go in the election campaign and Liberal candidates are starting to take off or cover up your name and picture on their campaign signs. Would you consider this be a good thing or a bad thing? You said a bad thing, me too!
I suppose you what to know why I'm asking you about this hypothetical situation? I'm asking because its not a hypothetical situation at all, its a true story. Poor Mr. Martin has really fallen off his pedestal, my only compaint is that it wasn't Chretien going though this instead. For full story about Martin, click here.
If there is one thing I admire about Americans; it is their ability to do things like this.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Go and read this so that you can end the day a little bit wiser.
What would be the worst possible outcome of the election?
You'll find the poll on the sidebar to the right.
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Here are some quotes that I think are relevant as to how we deal with the threat of terrorism. The following quotes are all from Alan Dershowitz.
"An act of terrorism should be the occasion only for punishment and incapacitation, not for negotiation and consideration of root causes."
"The search for 'root causes' smacks more of after-the-fact political justification than inductive scientific inquiry. The variables that distinguish aggrieved groups willing to target innocent civilians from equally situated groups unwilling to murder children have far less to do with legitimacy of their causes or the suffering of their people that with religious, cultural, political and ethical differences."
"If you resort to terrorism, we will try harder to understand your grievances and respond to them than we would have if you employed less violent means, is the wrong message to sent."
"Repression and desperation are not the 'root causes' that people become terrorists, the 'root cause' is that terrorism is often rewarded."
"Terrorism will persist as long as it continues to work for those who use it, as long as the international community rewards it, as it has been doing for the past thirty-five years."
"How we deal with international terrorism is quickly becoming the defining issue of out age."I hope they gave you an idea as to how I feel about how we should deal with terrorism, I would have given it to you in my own words but posting quotes is easier than writing it myself, especially if the person you are quoting gets your point across as good or better than you could do.
Here is the best way that I have heard to date on how to explain to people why rewarding terrorism is counterproductive. People with children will understand this perfectly.
Suppose you have two children, each of whom has an equally legitimate grievance. One of them discusses it rationally with you, while the other one hits you over the head with a stick. The latter will surely get your attention, but only a terrible parent would give preference to the grievance of the violent child over the peaceful one. To do that would be encouraging more violence by both children.
Does that make any sense, sounds logical to me? So why is this such a hard principal to follow for most of the world? Appeasing terrorism only leads to more terrorism, simply as that.
I was sitting here thinking of a few things and I started to wonder what causes me to dislike certain political leaders, political parties, and global organizations.
Looking back, I used to be a proud member of Greenpeace. I remember hating Brian Mulrony but for the life of me I don't have the foggiest idea why. I used to hate the Catholic Church even though at the time I wouldn't have considered myself a Christian. I used to think gay marriage was a great idea. I used to think all war was evil. Heck I even liked Bill Clinton when he first appeared on the scene.
So what happened to me? How? When? Frankly I don't have the slightest idea.
I suspect that it started to happen around 1993 or 94. I remember disliking Bill Clinton around the time of the Lewinsky scandal and I remember bitching about the May Day parades they hold at UNB every year. That's not much for me to go on though.
In reading all the tributes to Ronald Reagan the last few weeks it seems that many people's political leanings have shifted due to a single event or the actions of a single person. Whether it was a certain war, social event, many people seem to shift quickly. Maybe I'm generalizing. Or maybe it is due to how people write these 'tribute' pieces that cause me to think their political leanings have changed quickly when in fact they haven't.
Regardless, it still doesn't answer the question of what caused me to change.
The best I can do is make educated guesses why my politics changed. I don't particularly favour any one of these over the other so don't get the impression that they are in some kind of order.
1) In 1994 I was 20 years old and like Winston Churchill liked to say as a person ages they naturally become more conservative. Perhaps I had conservative leanings all my life and it was just a matter of aging before they would dominate over my more liberal leanings. This reason of course removes all dependencies on myself or the world around me and hence I'm not particularly fond of it. Perhaps it really is this simple though.
2) In the mid-90s I started reading a lot of Greek classics. I was simply facinated by them. Up till that time I was certainly a history buff but more in the military sense, who fought who and who won. After reading the classics my analysis of history started to take a more cultural bent to it. Instead of seeing the rise and fall of the Greeks and then of the Romans I started to see it as the rise of Greek culture and its decimation through the ages to ourselves, their cultural progeny.
As Greece rose in power they sent colonists throughout the Mediterranian landing in many places like Italy, Spain, and North Africa. As Greece declined we see the rise of Rome who sent out its own colonists. As Rome declined we see the rise of its colonists in Gaul, Spain, and Britain. Regardless this entire process started by the Greeks ended up with me being here.
The fact that I am sitting here in Ottawa, Canada, can be traced straight back to the actions of the Greeks. Over two thousand years ago Greek republics and city-states existed which contained Senates where the activities of the state were discussed. These Senates voted on and put in place trading colonies. These in turn had to be defended causing these same Senates to then send out armies in their defense. And all through the ages it results in me being here. Now.
This point is getting a bit long so suffice it to say that at around this time I developed a much greater appreciation for my cultural heritage which I think has a great deal to do with my political opinions.
3) Moral relativism. I hate it.
I don't think I always did because when I was younger I probably used it plenty of times in trying to win an argument. Perhaps I still do and I'm unaware of it. Regardless, today I hold anyone who uses it with utter contempt. And since the left is quite fond of using moral relativism to win a debate it's only natural that I loath them and many of the things they believe in. As current examples you can use the 'George Bush is no better than Saddam' or the 'US is no better than the terrorists' phrases that anti-war folks like to throw around.
I HATE PEOPLE WHO SAY SHIT LIKE THIS! The moment someone says something like this I want to reach over and strangle them. I'm not kidding on this point. If I thought I could get away with it I probably would. I repeat I AM NOT KIDDING.
As far as I am concerned anyone who can say something like this is one or two genes away from being a monkey. Someone who is beyond contempt. When phrases like this are thrown out there every word that the person then utters becomes meaningless... the words of someone who is deranged.
Maybe this isn't fair since they may make many valid points aside from the relativistic crap. I may miss those valid points but it is simply how my brain is wired. Once they speak those magic words they might as well be a dog as far as I'm concerned because nothing they say is going to register in my head as being of any value.
4) Here is another simple one similar to #1... I started paying taxes in the mid-nineties. Sweet suffering what are they spending my money on! Nuff said.
5) My mother.
She raised three kids on her own. She had a low wage job, and not once did she take anything, charity or otherwise, from anyone. When I was younger I had no idea we were poor. I knew we weren't as well off as my friends but never did the thought that we were poor ever cross my mind. My mom was a magician when it came to hiding it. And being young I never cared to understand our money situation but when I got out to university and started having serious discussions with my mother about when we were growing up I suddenly realized how tough my mom had it.
I guess then I really started to judge social and welfare programs and the people who benefited from them based on my mother's example. I'm well aware of how brave and determined my mother must have been during those years but it seems now that I judge everybody on the standards that she set. Perhaps this isn't fair since she set the standard so high but once again that is how my brain works.
So thats it. I can't think of any other reasons. And like I said it may have been none of these or perhaps it was a combination of some of them that caused my opinions on things to change.
Whatever. I'm not sure it really matters either way.
Yesterday Kofi Annan told Security Council ambassadors that renewing US immunity from international prosecuation would undermine international law.
Simply put, thats pretty rich coming from our dear friend Kofi. Sudan sitting on the Human Rights Commission is, as far as Kofi is concerned, NOT in violation of international law. The fact that they are committing genocide as I write this apparently is apprently of no concern to the Human Rights Commission.
Regardless, I wonder if Annan understands the consequences of not renewing US immunity? Like many things at the UN, war crimes law is a wonderful thing to support, plus it allows you to claim the moral high ground and to claim to others that you care for the less fortunate.
Still though, the UN has to accept that any good it wants to do in the world can only be done through the barrel of a gun. We may not like this fact but it is a fact nonetheless. Getting back to Sudan, how exactly does the UN plan to end the genocide there unless they go in armed against the wishes of the government of Sudan? The past decade of 'dialogue' with the Sudanese government has failed to end the genocide leaving the souls of perhaps over 1 million people sacrificed due to UN in-action.
Could any of you UN supportors out there explain to me how this is a perfectly valid means for the UN to live up to its mandate?
The same goes for when the Taliban controlled Afganistan. How did the UNs public denunciations of the Taliban have any affect on the number of crimes they committed? Did the UN have any plan to end these crimes before the US invaded?
Same story regarding Saddam and Iraq. If the US didn't invade and Saddam remained in power, what plans did the UN have to prevent him from abusing his people?
I guess in its simpliest terms I don't understand when the UN assumes that dictators and thugs will live up to the standards that it tries to apply to democracies. OK, maybe that isn't fair statement. What I should say is that I don't understand how the UN expects to stand up to dictators and tyrants by requiring the people who do the dirty work to act like angels.
Take our police forces for example. As police, they are expected to live up to very high standards of personal conduct. But the fact remains that we give them special privilages/responsibilities we do not give to the general public. If we didn't we'ld have chaos on the streets.
While we don't allow citizens to kill when performing the duties of their job we do give that responsibility to our police. And we rightly do not hold police to the same standards as we do citizens or criminals when they must exercise that responsibility.
The list of responsibilities we bestow on our police forces that we do not extend to every citizen is endless. Most people would agree that as a whole this is a good thing and necessary to ensure the peace. They still agree with it even though they know that out there somewhere is a 'bad' cop.
Getting back to the UN, it is amazing that so many people assume good things can come by denying the US war crimes immunity. If it prevents some members of the US military from committing war crimes, how many lives will be saved? A couple of hundred? A thousand?
Since denying the immunity will prevent US military action for fear of politically motivated prosecutions, is that a high enough total knowing that you'll never be able to prevent another genocide again?
The UN has to learn that angels don't do the dirty work.
Friday, June 18, 2004
Is America underreacting or overreacting to the threat of international terrorism?
Well, to start with, many people have totally different opinions when it comes to that very question. The population is divided on what they think should be the correct response to terrorism, half of America thinks that the government is overreacting while the other half thinks that the government is underreacting the threat posed to America by those who wish to do them harm.
Can both groups within of the population be correct with their assessment? Yes it is possible, for now anyway, because only time will tell us which group of people, the under or the over crowd, were correct. We simply have no way of knowing at this time what the correct answer is, there is not enough proof one way or the other that supports a conclusion just yet.
I think that if there is one or more major terrorist attacks, worse or similar to Sept.11th, in America or against American interests then the measures that were taken by America will likely by perceived to have been an underreaction to terrorism. People looking back on history will see in full view the threat that America faced, not just the partial view that we see now, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
On the other hand, if the terrible events of Sept.11th are the last major terrorist attack against America or its interests, then the measures that were taken by the government to combat terrorism may well be judged as an overreaction. Future generations would have the whole picture available to them, making their judgement easier, again hindsight is very important.
So in my humble opinion we do not yet now the answer to the above question, we simply don't see the whole picture that history will provide us. We can only hope that America if doing enough to combat terrorism without crossing the fine line of morality in its fight to end the evil that plagues it, and only time will give us the answers.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Jonah Goldberg's take on the Geneva Convention is right on the money.
There was an interesting quote today from the NDP candidate in Winnipeg center, when asked if the NDP would help the Conservatives form a new government, Pat Martin responded,
"I'd rather not breathe the same air as the Tories, never mind support them in a government,"Doesn't want to breathe the same air as the Tories, really, I didn't think anybody in the NDP breathed the same air as most Canadians anyway. I always thought that the air up in NDP land would have been a lot thinner than most people's, because lack of oxygen would explain a lot about the NDP. Maybe that's way Jack Layton is always smiling, not enouogh air getting to his brain so he doens't know any different.
A plan to help reduce poverty in the world was talked about and endorsed at last week's summit of the Group of Eight in Sea Island, Ga. The plan is simple, for poor people to succeed, let them start small businesses and then let them evolve over time. Full story here.
The basic thesis is that in developing countries the removal of red tape and other obstacles to private initiative and entrepreneurship has great potential to help speed up economic growth and in turn reduce poverty. Gees, I wonder what the NDP would think of that?
That's a novel idea, let people help themselves, give them the incentive to make their own lives better. Sounds like its worth a try to me. Seeing as for decades richer nations have been pouring foreign aid into poor nation with not all that much success, seeing as half of the world's population still lives in poverty. Almost 3 billion people make $2 per day or less. And that $2 is measured in a way that takes account of lower living costs in poor countries.
Of course this is not the only step that is needed to end poverty but it is essential that people are not depended on foreign aid or handouts, its helpful to start with, but for the long term success of people, they themselves must have a means to continue improving their living conditions.
Starting small businesses, along with free trade will bring much needed capital to developing nations. William Cline, a senior fellow at both the Center for Global Development and the Institute for International Economics in Washington calculates that global free enterprise would add $200 billion per year to developing countries, pretty impressive numbers done you think.
Here Colin Powell makes his thoughts known on the Palestinian question,
"What we need is, I believe, more responsible action on the part of the Palestinian Authority in order to bring terrorism under control - to make sure that violence is being brought to an end."Wait a second, Powell's right but he's a diplomat so he can't say anything that might offend Arafat or the Palestinians, so maybe I could say it better.
Let's start by saying that all support for terrorism must end, yes that means Yasser Arafat, violence is not the answer to the Palestinian question anymore, especially not after Camp David, when Arafat had a chance to give his people their own state, he proved without a doubt that he is not a partner for peace. Arafat should be treated as the terrorist that he is, jailed or killed, makes no difference to me. Getting rid of Arafat one way or another is essential to peace in the region.
Let's only reward the Palestinians who seek peace through nonviolent action, giving into Afarat and his demands only gives him incentive to use more violence, which has worked for him since the 70s. Arafat is only using the occupation as a excuse, to not create jobs, an education system and to delay much needed democratic reforms. Arafat is one of the major reasons that the Palestinians suffer as much as they do, he must go and from now on all Palestinian leaders must be held accountable for their actions as all of the world's leaders should be.
Its a shame to see so many people die on a daily basis, when all the Palestinians needed was a decent leader who cared about their well being and all of this death and destruction could have been avoided. They could have been four years in on rebuilding projects, creating a stable economy and a more stable life for millions of Palestinians, but no. One man and his corrupt gang of self-interested thugs destroyed that chance so they could continue to line their pockets and keep themselves in power, very sad indeed. Arafat must go!
Today Iran is threatening to renew its program to enrich uranium which is an important step on their way to making nuclear weapons. The Iranians say they will do this if the International Atomic Energy Agency passes a resolution rebuking it for not cooperating with the UN. Full story here.
Iran’s president, Mohammad Khatami had this to say about the threat,
"With the ongoing trend, we have no moral commitment any more to suspend uranium enrichment,"In response to the threat, Kenneth Brill and ambassador to the agency said this,
"They're trying to intimidate the board and the individual states. It really makes us question their claims that they have nothing to hide."Don't you just love nuclear blackmail, I'm having a flashback, its June 1981 and the Israelis just bombed and destroyed a nuclear reactor, gees, I wonder why that thought popped into my mind?
Update @ 10:37
For more on Iran's nuclear blackmail, there is also a good article over at MEMRI, check it out.
As it turns out, the governor general Adrienne Clarkson's five-year term is due to expire in October and there is a good chance if the Conservatives win the up coming election that they will not have her back as governor general. The Conservatives are not fans of Clarkson's reckless spending of Canadian tax dollars and a change would surely be in the works, just one more reason to vote Conservative. Full story here.
The number of refugees in the world has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years. Credit for the large numbers of refugess returning to Afganistan goes to:
"The phenomenal return of Afghans to their homeland over the past few years underscores the benefits of sustained international attention and support for the work of UNHCR and its partners," Lubbers said. "The impact is felt as far away as Europe, where the numbers of Afghan asylum seekers have plunged."Hmmm... I seem to remember an imperialistic war, waged by a hegemonic power intent on securing central Asian oil. If I remember correctly they as well wanted to kill Afgani babies for the entertainment value in it. Oh well seems like we've encountered a few unintended side effects.
But how the UNHCR can take credit for the return of Afgan refugees is quite comical. The Afgani's are tough people and the presence of UNHCR employees probably wasn't a consideration when they decided to return to their homeland. I can just imagine, somewhere in the Pakistani badlands, a father of an Afgani family standing their with his wife, children, donkey, and several AK-47s... he just doesn't seem like the type who would give two figs about the UNHCR. Anyways... if it makes the do gooders at UNHCR feel good about their jobs then all the power to them.
Another interesting quote:
A key reason for the drop was the continued return of refugees to Afghanistan. More than half of the 1.1 million refugees repatriated last year returned to Afghanistan; large numbers of refugees also returned home to Angola, Burundi and Iraq.Funny, more people are moving into Iraq than are moving out. Now I'm certainly not an expert in population studies but if people are moving to Iraq could it really be as bad as the left and their friends in the media are making it out to be? As the saying goes... people vote with their feet.
Damn Americans! Making countries safe for people to return to their homes. Have they no shame!
Why do you think that the Palestinian cause gets so much more support from the International community than similar groups (Kurds, Armenians) which also have resorted to terrorism as a means to further respective causes?
Well for starters, wouldn't it be nice if the other groups were just simply over looked instead of being ignored like they are, but that's simply not the case. To support the Palestinian cause, one must support them over a small country that has no oil, has a very small population and also a country that is full of Jews, a very important fact. On the other hand, to support the Kurds or Armenians, one must support them over a very large Arab population that's rich in oil reserves and as mostly Muslims, tend to stick together against other groups.
Put those factors into play and its not hard to see why the Palestinian cause is supported throughout the world over other groups of displaced persons. Its too bad there's support for any group who uses terrorism as a first resort when trying to further their cause while nonviolent groups such as the Tibetians are ignored simply because its so easy to do so. Supporting violent groups is a bad precedent to set, it only encourages more violence.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
David Wolpe has a great article on why people hate the Jews. He provides this quote from Konstantyn Jelenski, a Polish author:
Poles have never come out against Jews "because they are Jews" but because Jews are dirty, greedy, mendacious, because they wear ear-locks, speak jargon, do not want to assimilate, and also because they do assimilate, cease using their jargon, are nattily dressed, and want to be regarded as Poles. Because they lack culture and because they are overly cultured. Because they are superstitious, backward and ignorant, and because they are damnably capable, progressive, and ambitious. Because they have long, hooked noses, and because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish them from "pure Poles." Because they crucified Christ and practice ritual murder and pore over the Talmud, and because they disdain their own religion and are atheists. Because they look wretched and sickly, and because they are tough and have their own fighting units and are full of Khutspah. Because they are bankers and capitalists and because they are Communists and agitators. But in no case because they are Jews.Very revealing... and very true.
The recent Canadian Community Survey reports that gays in Canada make up about 1% of the poplulation.
Thats fine and dandy I guess but this from a Globe and Mail article on the subject reveals their inability to report things in a non-biased manner:
When a number is attached to a gay community, ideological battles emerge, said Michael Botnick, a lecturer on sociology at the University of British Columbia.This supposed expect on the subject says some people would like to see the numbers being 'more accurate, or higher'? Where do they find these idiots?
"Clearly, from a right-wing perspective, they'd like to see the numbers lower," he said. "From the more libertarian perspective, they'd like to see the numbers more accurate, or higher. So nobody's going to be satisfied."
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
I am going to grade each of the four party leader on tonight's debate and give a short comment about what I thought of each one.
Bloc - Gilles Duceppe, A minus, I don't agree with his politics but he asked some tough questions and got his message out, will stand up for Quebecers. Of course he did have the easiest position to debate from.
Conservative - Stephen Harper, B plus, Remained calm and answered most questions honestly, what more could you ask. Needed to get his points across a little more forcefully at times.
NDP - Jack Layton, B minus, He's a good speaker and seems like he truly cares about Canada but reality may be a problem with him. Why is he so happy about wanting to raise my taxes?
Liberal - Paul Martin, C minus, His strategy was to talk though all of the other leaders questions until time ran out, that way he didn't have to answer those questions, add in a few lies about the Conservatives and that about wraps it up.
There you have it, agree or disagree with my opinion or not, I hope the debate helped you make your decision easier come election day.
Paul Martin's comment concerning how he could have swept the sponsorship scandal 'under the carpet' was probably his most confident and most self-assured moment of the debate. It was very revealing and it would look great repeated over and over as a 30 second commercial.
Oddly enough, that was the only thing he said all night that I actually believed.
Update @ 10:30pm
Marzi has some takes on the French debates of last night. Her runup of each candidates smile is classic.
Update Wednesday @ 6:43am
I don't think that Jack Layton did particularly bad during the debate, but if anyone up there looked like a used car salesman it was certainly him. And whats with that goofy smile of his anyways? Everytime the camera spun towards him I started to crack up. As scary as an NDP governement would be its surprising that I find their leader so funny.
Anyways, back to Paul Martin's comment concerning sweeping the sponsorship scandal 'under the carpet'. First off, I'm surprised that it hasn't become the single most repeated soundbite of the debate. Oh well. The repercusions of that comment are quite revealing though:
-If Martin has such faith in the Ethics Councelor, how exactly would he do this sweeping? Does he think the Ethics Councelor could be bought off or influenced in some manner?
- It of course implies that he feels all party members who know anything about the sponsorship scandal could be convinced to go along with any illegal scheme. It should be saying alot if a party leader knows his party would be so willing to sweep something 'under the carpet'.
- It also seems quite likely to me that if he thinks it would be so easy to sweep it 'under the carpet' it pretty much implies that he's swept something else under it. How else could it seem so easy to him unless he's had some experience at it?
Did everyone enjoy the leadership debate this evening? I hope you did, I thought it was alright but it could have been better seeing as I think that Paul Martin forgot his hearing aid batteries at home. Martin seemed to have a hard time hearing the questions from the three other party leaders because he never answered any of their questions, at least that's what I hope was wrong. Either that or he has one of the most acute cases of selective hearing I have ever seen.
How about a quick update of last week's post about the destruction of some of the NDP's campaign signs in Charlottetown. This week the damage to the signs has continued and the NDP are getting the RCMP involved in the matter.
Imagine that, run an article in the local newspaper stating that the two main political parties are damaging your campaign signs as a strategy to scare voters away from your party and then not expect more of your signs to be destroyed because of all the publicity. All the NDP did by going public was to encourage more people to vandalize their signs. How many teenagers would now find destroying NDP signs to be simply irresistible?
Most people would have seen this coming from a mile away, but not the good folks over at NDP headquarters. Michael LeClair, the campaign manager for Deloras Crane thought that by going public with the news, the vandalism would end . Think again Michael. Who in their right mind would think that? Only the utopians of the NDP, that's who.
To expect a bunch of teenagers, the most likely culprits, to stop vandalizing campaign signs after you already have made a such big deal about it is highly unlikely. Especially since the NDP are blaming the Liberals and Conservatives for the damage, think of the fun the teens are having bragging to their friends about it, there is no way they could stop now.
Anyway, back to my original advice to Deloras Crane and her campaign team, move on, fix the damaged signs and stick to politics. Stop digging a deeper hole for yourself by getting the RCMP involved in your illusions, chances are there isn't a grand conspiracy to stop the NDP from winning a seat on PEI. Voter confidence is an important thing, just ask the Liberals, they'll tell you.
First the Ontario Liberals raise our taxes after explicitly saying they wouldn't during the last provincial election. Bad enough that they raised taxes but by implementing a 'health levy' they were able to avoid the requirement that all tax increases be put to a provincial plebicite.
Now we find out that this money, so desperately needed by our health care system, is going to fix sewers!
Nearly $200-million brought in by Ontario's new health-care premium will be spent on sewer, water, wastewater and other programs, a move the Health Minister defended yesterday as necessary for improving Ontarians' well-being.Now I'm all for clean water but to suggest that this is a 'health care system' related expense is a lot of smoke and mirrors. I haven't been a big fan of the Liberals for a very long time but its now come to the point where I don't believe a single word that comes out of their mouths.
Health Minister George Smitherman said the government can't improve people's health "if Ontarians are drinking water that's unhealthy or continuing to breathe air that's problematic for them."
He said the water-care expenditures are included in the $2.4-billion that will be entering provincial coffers annually as a result of the new premium instituted in last month's budget.
All the funding will go toward improving health care, he added.
For all those of you who wonder if the Liberals are sincere when they say they will shorten waiting lists for health care services... well I guess you now have your answer.
Monday, June 14, 2004
I always wanted to know who has the best military forces in the world, mind you I had a pretty good idea of who would be in the top 10. There was only one minor surprise, Russia was a little farther down on the list than I though, I figured they'd be in third. These rankings were based on combat power, not just on the size of the army.
1. United States
6. South Korea
7. North Korea
8. United Kingdom
There they are, any of them surprise you? The list came from Strategy Page, if you're interested in the military, this site has a lot of information, check it out.
[Via John Hawkins]
Does anyone think that Liberal fearmongering has worked so far in this election campaign? Most Conservative and NDP supporters would tell you it has worked just fine, but wouldn't you think the Liberals would have figured it out by now that their fearmongering is only making them sink deeper in the polls and even farther away from even forming a minority government. You would think, but no.
It turns out the Liberals are really slow learners, recent proof coming from the Liberal MP from Malpegue, Wayne Easter. Easter is claiming that the Conservatives under Stephen Harper will eliminate EI (employment insurance) protection for seasonal workers, including fishermen and workers such as farm employees. Easter has stated he wants proof that the Conservatives will not eliminate EI and that he is very serious, he really is... believe me.
"I do not make this allegation lightly. I have reached this conclusion based upon what is stated in the Conservative Party platform document where it states. 'The Employment Insurance program should provide adequate income protection to Canadians in all regions in the event of unexpected income loss'."Put into plain english, Easter is telling us that the Conservatives are going to end EI and perhaps, as Liberal MP Joe McGuire put it, "starve us out" of the Maritimes and make us move to Ontario. Vote Liberal or the world is going to come to an end, you'll have no job without ACOA, no money without EI and Canada as you know it will end and add to that the "sky is falling". Easter might as well come out and tell us the Conservatives are planning mass genocide in the Maritimes, if you're gonna make stories up, you might as well make em good. Really scare the crap out of everyone!
Isn't it funny to see the true character of the Liberal MPs coming out now that they are desperate. Remember its always easy to be gracious in victory but your true character always comes out in defeat. Its the true measure of man and the Liberals are failing the test in a big way.
Friday, June 11, 2004
I know that the former President, Ronald Reagan wasn't fully responsible for the downfall of the Soviet empire but he did have a role in its demise. I would like to tell you about another major event that Reagan also played a small but important part in.
This Reagan accomplishment isn't nearly as well known but extremely important none the less, since it has to do with saving many lives in the Middle East and possibly beyond. The event I'm talking about is the destruction of Saddam Hussein's Osirak nuclear reactor at al-Tawaitha, that was accomplished by the Israelis in the early eighties.
During the Carter administration the Israelis only had restricted access to America's top secret satellite, the KH-11. Carter only let the Israelis use the detailed imagery from the KH-11 for defensive purposes, by tracking Eygptian, Syrian, Jordanian and Lebanese military movements within 100 miles of Israel's border. Surveillance photos of the entire Middle East and especially as far away as Iraq was out of the question and not available to Israel.
When Reagan came into office, this all changed. Reagan and then CIA director Casey were far more sympathetic to Israel than Carter ever was.They allowed the Israelis more access to the KH-11's real-time imagery than Carter ever had.
Up until Reagan took office, Israel only had ground level photos of the Osirak reactor, which had been smuggled out of Iraq by Mossad agents at great risk. The overhead imagery provided by Reagan played a key role in the decision making process of the Israelis, who had been debating if they should attack the reactor for some time before the photos were made available to them by the Americans. Destroying the reactor by air was extremely difficult and the photos proved to be very valuable to the success of the historic operation.
Who knows what kind of damage Saddam would have done had he been armed with nuclear weapons? He may have used them in attacks against Israel, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia or anybody else who stood in the way of Saddam's dream of controlling the entire Middle East. Who knows how many people would have died in his quest? It just goes to show how important the Israeli mission was, with or without knowing at the time, Reagan helped save many, many lives.
Most of the credit should go to the Israelis for the daring raid, but Reagan did supply the F-16's and the vital imagery the Israelis needed to pull it off. Much the same as his role with regards to the Soviet empire, Reagan played a small but vital role in the overall success of this world changing event. You have to give credit where credit is due and Reagan did more good than most, that's what Reagan should be remembered for.
As most of us know, the campaign signs for all political parties fall prey to vandalism during an election. It happens every election no matter who is running or who is going to be in power. Most candidates shrug it off as something that's going to happen and don't pay much attention, they just replace the signs and more on, but not the NDP candidate in Charlottetown.
Michael LeClair the campaign manager for Deloras Crane has claimed that several of their signs have been slashed with box cutters and that the vandalism is politically motivated.
"We know this is politically motivated. We don't know who to blame but we know it was one of the other camps. Someone has to pull in their troops before somebody gets hurt."That's quite the claim, we don't know who it is, but its one of the other parties... really. Only the NDP would think that the Liberals or Conservatives are out to get them. Did they think their claim though, the two other parties are so desperate that they're going around destroying and defacing NDP signs as a last ditch effort to keep them from winning the election... really!
Here LeCLair continues his rant,
" It seems so widespread, we're left wondering if its an act of desperation on the part of someone. We just hope people will respect the democratic process. An election should be won by the people and ideas, not dirty tricks."Who would have guessed, a conspiracy to scare off supporters of the NDP. It just may be plausible except that both the Liberals and Conservatives have also lost several of their own campaign signs to vandalism. But they probably just did that themselves so it wouldn't look as bad, wouldn't just want the NDP signs damaged, better get a few of our own too or somebody might begin to wonder.
I hope its a fair election and Crane gets a fair chance but this type of whining is not going to win the NDP any support, to make these kind of claims without any evidence is just stupid. Being an alarmist is not going to instill confidence in the voters to support your party. My advise to Crane and her team, just repair the signs and go about your business, talk about your platform and stick to the issues, being a conspiracy theorist is not going to help your cause, believe me.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
No big surprise here, French President Jacques has disagreed with President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair on NATO taking a bigger role in Iraq. Chirac went on to say,
"It does not fit within the vocation of NATO to intervene in Iraq."No of course it doesn't Jacques, in your opinion NATO was formed to serve France and France only, it never involved France taking on a role that didn't suit French interests. That would just be a pain in the ass, right Jacques.
Sell reactors to Saddam, weapons to who ever can pay cash or give us oil, spend on social programs, no worries the Americans will bail us out if we get ourselves into any trouble. Good old uncle Sam. Maybe if America would have let the Russians have France after WWII, the French might be a little more cooperative than they are today, maybe they might appreciate their freedom a little more.
The French are like a spoiled child, they lived under the protection of American military might for generations, with very little asked of them in return and when the time comes to repay the rest of the world, they act like it was their God given right to have been protected by America all those years. How's that for gratitude?
It appears that the short lived success of the Conservatives in the polls is over, Joe Clark has spoken out again against the Conservative party, surely this will end all hopes of them ever winning the election. Stephen Harper and the his team might as well pack it in right now, the jig is up. Full story here.
Poor old Joe says he doesn't have a party anymore and doesn't know who he'll vote for.
"I'm not encouraged by either party. I think the judgment at the end of the day is which party would be least bad for Canada."You know as great a man as Joe Clark is, its a wonder we never appointed him King of Canada and did away with our democracy, can you imagine how much better off we'd be with Joe Clark having the only say on all issues involving Canada, one can only dream... God give me strength.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
O.K. this is what you need to do, go over to Spin Killer and read the list about the 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army. It's so funny, I was crying by the halfway point and couldn't stop until after I was done of the list for 5 minutes. Extremely Funny!
This is a true story about a conversation I had the other day with someone I'll call Tim, who was concerned about who will win the race for the White House in the U.S. This was surprising to me because Tim never really kept a close eye on politics and wasn't all that bright. Here is how the conversation went.
"So who do you think is going to win the Presidency in the U.S." says Tim
"I don't know Tim, it's pretty close. Who do you like?" replies Bob
"I having a hard time deciding between George Dubya and that John Waffles guy."
"John Waffles, Tim who are you taking about?"
"You know the guy who was in Vietnam with the funny looking head."
"No, no, Tim that's John Kerry."
"Yeah Bob, John Kerry Waffles, that's him, I forgot his middle name."
"Tim, his middle name isn't Kerry, that's his last name, and his last name isn't Waffles, although maybe it should be."
"Really, all this time I thought his name was John Kerry Waffles, every time I had read about him in the paper that's the way it was written down. I thought Waffles was a funny last name to have."
"Are you straightened out now, Tim?"
"I think so Bob, his name is really John Kerry, you're not just yanking my chain are you?"
"Yes Tim, its the truth, those people in the paper were just talking about Kerry's decision making process, it isn't his last name."
"Well that's good because I thought all those newspapers were making the same spelling error by not capitalizing John's last name."
We hear those three words so often all strung together like that, it wouldn't be hard for someone with below standard reading to think the same way as poor Tim. Of course that's not a true story, but don't you think it could happen?
In a strange sort of way, wouldn't that help Kerry. If everybody thought his last name was Waffles and not for the other reason. Maybe he should change the direction of his campaign, turn the tables on the Republicans who like to exploit his flip flopping on key issues. It could turn the whole waffles fiasco into a election victory. Vote for John Kerry Waffles!
If you enjoy reading stories that support your belief that the U.N. is completely screwed up, then read this. It will comfort you greatly, believe me.
Shrek 2 has made over 300 million since its release. This raises a question, when was the last time an "Ass" (the donkey) has made that kind of money in such a short time period? The answer is simply, when John Kerry married Theresa Heinze.
Originally that joke came from Jay Leno but he used Harry Potter instead of Shrek. I changed it because I thought the "Ass" suited John Kerry better than Leno's "young boy" one, what do you think? Maybe Jay could hire me for his staff... or maybe not.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
After reading up on all the fear mongering the Liberals have been up to this past week I thought I'ld lend my sharp political mind to help the Liberals out in their campaign.
My first piece of advice is that as much as you may try to avoid the fact this election is about you. The credibility of your party is in shambles and ranting and raving about imaginary devils will not win this election for you.
The simple fact is that you've gone through the fear mongering routine for the past three elections and in every one of these elections the conservative parties in combination have polled equally with you. So if all your fear mongering would not have guarranted you a majority in the previous elections why do you think it will make a big difference this time. I'm sorry but that train left a long time ago.
My second piece of advice is to start reaching out to NDP voters as quickly as possible. With the merger of the conservative parties it is most likely that this election will show that our political environment is shifting back to its historical norm. That is, we'll have two large parties competing with each other and a few stragglers tagging along. This shift won't be complete in this election cycle but it probably will be after the next.
The next four years will probably see a dramatic fall in support for the Bloc. This is for the simple reason that Quebecors won't have anything to gain by doing so. As well a fall in NDP support can be expected as well. Basically there is no reason to believe that things are significantly different than they were before the PC Party split.
My final piece of advise is that the leadership of your party is out of control and must be reeled in. When a party leadership starts to publicly over-rule local nominations you are setting yourselves up for a lot of internal party conflict. Once the top of a party begins to ignore the people in the trenches bad things are soon to follow. Who exactly do you expect to put up those signs, drive people to the polls, etc... when you've shown that you look down at them and don't trust their judgement.
That's it for my advice to the Liberals. I'll try and give the Conservatives some pointers in the next few days.
With the polls getting worse for the Liberals in each passing week Paul Martin is getting desperate. Instead of addressing his record or explaining his new programs, he's hoping to win the election with some good old fashioned fear mongering:
The Liberal leader, after a one-day trip to Europe for the D-Day commemorations, cut short what was originally supposed to be a day off to do a series of media interviews.Well this is all great print but what basis does any of this have with reality? The Liberals apparently believe that Parliament is subservient to the courts. And of course since the current arrangement benefits the Liberals this mistaken belief is obviously what they want to present to the average voter.
Throughout the interviews, he repeated his message, sharpening the contrast between the parties by condemning Mr. Harper's apparent willingness to use the notwithstanding clause to legislate the traditional definition of marriage and his support for free votes on moral issues such as abortion.
"I don't believe that in today's multi-ethnic, multi-religious society Parliament should take away fundamental rights. When Stephen Harper says that the Charter is flawed, I say I fundamentally disagree with him," said Mr. Martin.
The Liberals also dispatched Mr. Cotler -- one of the country's pre-eminent human rights experts -- into the fray.
In a stinging attack of his own, Mr. Cotler said Mr. Harper has displayed "appalling ignorance" and an "utter disregard" for the Charter, and warned the Conservative leader will use every opportunity to "undermine the judiciary by stacking the (Supreme) Court with politicized choices."
Mr. Cotler said Mr. Harper is in effect proposing a "counter-revolution" of civil rights and said any attempt to use the notwithstanding clause would be "a moral failure of leadership."
My question to the prospective voter is who can be trusted more, an elected body of our representatives, or judges appointed as political cronies? I'ld go with the elected representatives any day.
And why don't any of these idiot journalists interviewing Martin ever ask him how he intends to get rid of the 'democratic deficit' if he wants our MPs to be subservient to the courts? And once again if he is so concerned about reasserting the rights of Parliament why won't he let MPs vote on these issues? Does he not trust their judgement? Or is he just trying to pull one over on us?
I'm bringing the War Nerd back for some insight into the war in Sudan:
This time it's Darfur, in Western Sudan--yup, that's right, a whole new front in the multi-war hell-on-Earth that goes by the name of "Sudan." Whenever there's a competition for worst place in the world, Sudan always makes the top five. It's got pretty much everything going for it, hellhole-wise. It's in Africa, and worse yet, the Sahel, where things are bad and getting worse even by African standards. It's an ex-British colony. It's connected at the top to the Middle East, and at the bottom to the Rift Valley, where there's always a massacre or two going. It's got the classic North/South, Muslim/Christian divide, and a mixed-up kind of racial divide, Arab/Black, to top that off.Once again people are getting massacred while the UN sheds a few crocodile tears. How Kofi Annan sleeps at night I'll never know.
So where does a bunch of mostly-black Northern Sudanese river-rats get off acting superior to the noble Dinka? I don't know, but they do. And with a lot of cash help from those Wahabbi morons in Saudi Arabia, who fund the whole miserable war, they're winning. The Northerners already starved and bombed the Dinka into surrender, and they're using the same tactics on the Fur right now.
It's an ugly way to make war. Basically it consists of putting a whole province under siege. Here it is in nice easy steps:
1. Arm the nomad militias so they outgun the farmers. The Sudan government sent 50,000 automatic rifles and machine guns to the Arab militias in Darfur. Also provide them with Army advisors and air support, and force them into effective cross-tribal alliances.
2. Block off entry for the foreign aid agencies, so nobody'll see what's about to happen. This is something the Sudan government has learned to do REAL well. They managed to almost wipe out the Dinka without a word from our democracy-loving government.It helps that southern and western Sudan are so hard to reach. Like I've said before, inland peoples are out of luck. Ask the Kurds.
3. Send the nomad militias in to burn the villages. Tell them they can have whatever they can grab, and rape anybody they happen to like the look of. Tell them to be sure to burn the village real thoroughly, so nobody can live there again. (Lots of Fur villages have been burned two, three, four times.)
4. Once the Fur are pushed off their land, squeeze them into concentration camps, with the militias coming in to rape and kill the inmates every few hours, just to keep them scared.
5. Keep all food away from them. This is the key technique. It's not an "atrocity" or an "excess," it's the whole point. Read up on ancient warfare if you need to see how sieges work. Even if you don't wipe out the whole tribe, you'll have killed or stunted the children, so you're changing the balance in your favor in the next round of fighting.
We're already well into stage 5 in Darfur now. The nomad militias, united in a government-sponsored organization called the Janjaweed (which isn't nearly as fun or Rastafarian as it sounds) now have 20,000 men with automatics, RPGs, and CAS from the Sudan air force. Not bad for a camel-mounted mobile rape squad.
The Fur are dying in big numbers, and run off their land in even bigger. Right now maybe 800,000 of them are on the run, stumbling around the desert or hunkered down in concentration camps hoping the Janjaweed cowboys don't feel like coming inside the wire for a little rapin' and killin' tonight.
You know, somehow I can't enjoy this one as much as I do most African wars. I guess I made the fatal mistake of rooting for the underdog here--the blacks, the Fur, the tall skinny folks. You think I'd know better. In the movies the underdog always wins. In Africa--never.
Fred has an interesting take on the Israeli-Palistinian situation:
Anyway, I’m willing to grant that Israelis are uniquely terrible folk, ‘bout like everybody else, and no end monstrous, and eat babies. Being as I am a simple-minded country boy, though, I keep thinking of simple-minded questions. Like, what exactly do we expect the Israelis to do? I mean, I know they’re terrible and all, but they’re there. Maybe a better question is what would you do if you were where they are. It’s easy to solve problems you don’t have from Cleveland.Well you can't say that he isn't original.
Now, any discussion of what the Israelis ought to do bogs down in about three seconds into arguments about whether Israel should ever have been allowed to exist. That’s easy. No. Things would have been lots easier for almost everybody. But then, maybe the Apaches don’t think the United States should exist. Maybe the Dravidians think the Aryans should high-tail it back to Iran. The Mexicans want California back, which they stole by force of arms from the Indians, who probably want it back too.
Thing is, Israel does exist. Should and ought to have don’t matter. It’s like saying Aunt Penelope shouldn’t have married a drunk and had seven feeble-minded kids. But she did. You gotta deal with it.
Best I can tell, the Israelis have these choices:
1 March into the sea and drown. It would be a solution of sorts, but the smart money doesn’t like it.
2 Emigrate to Brighton Beach. If they had wanted to, they would have already, so they probably won’t. Leaving isn’t really a choice. Who would take more than some of them?
3 Give the land back and retreat to the borders of 1967. This sounds like a nice idea, from Cleveland. You know, like Mikey grabbed Billy’s ball on the playground, and he should give it back and learn to share and be all friends with Billy.
Maybe it would have worked, once. This isn’t once. There is too much bad blood. It doesn’t follow that because the Israelis do bad things, the Palestinians don’t. They blow up shopping malls.
Leaving aside territorial ambitions, which exist, returning the land would be dangerous on military grounds. For example, look at where the West Bank fits into what is today Israel, note the shape of what remains when they are removed, and reflect on the range of a .105 howitzer. If returning the land would guarantee that the Palestinians would live peacefully with the Israelis, and grow olives, and invite them to drumming circles, OK. But it ain’t likely. Everybody hates everybody else too much. If I were an Israeli, I wouldn’t risk it.
4 Kill all the Palestinians or, in the less brutal school of ethnic cleansing of, say, 1493, shove them into Jordan. I’ll get email disagreeing, but I don’t think, despite Sharon and Kahane and such, that the Israelis would go for the former, even if they could get away with it, which they in all likelihood couldn’t. Expulsion would be a lesser but a huge gamble. I wouldn’t do it.
5 Build that fool wall. I guess that’s what I would do. It’s a bad idea and probably won’t work, which distinguishes it slightly from bad ideas that certainly won’t work.