canadiancomment

Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

No Big Surprise

1 comment:
A recent United Nations report has stopped short of calling the situation in Darfur, 'genocide'. Is anyone surprised by this? Full story here
"Diplomats at the UN's headquarters in New York confirmed to the Associated Press that the report stopped short of using the word to describe the killings of tens of thousands of civilians over the past two years. However, the diplomats said the report strongly criticizes the role the Sudanese government played in not stopping the killings and rapes of Darfur residents by armed Arab militiamen called Janjaweed."
Its not all bad news though, the U.N. did strongly criticize the role which the Sudanese government played in the genocide mass migration. I imagine those strong words will make any nation think twice about committing a similar crime.

Strongly criticize, that pretty well takes the cake. Next time someone kicks me in the nuts, I'm going to strongly criticize them, and if that doesn't work I'll do it again and again until my point is clear. What's the point of the UN, if it doesn't do the job it is supposed to do?

Visit Somalia

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I have another Mark Bowden quote for you today that is from his newest book, Road Work, which by the way I recommend. Bowden was at the Republican convention in 2000 and witnessed some of the street protests that took place, which made him wonder whether anarchists actually put much thought into what they believed.
"I don't know, but are anarchists supposed to make sense? I spent some time in Somalia in 1997, a country with no government, and encourage anarchists longing for the experience to check it out. Don't bring anything of value."
A very good point, don't you think? It would be very interesting to see how long some of those supposed anarchists would actually last in total anarchy. Reminds me of the old saying, be careful what you wish for.

What Do Ya Think Lefties?

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I wonder what all of the Lefties around the world, who think that president Bush is evil, think of the mayor of Baghbad, who wants to erect a monument to honor President Bush in the middle of the city. Full story here
"We will build a statue for Bush," said Ali Fadel, the former provincial council chairman. "He is the symbol of freedom."
I would like to see the look on Ted Kennedy's ugly mug when he hears about this story. He'd probaly have to go have a drink , or maybe have a couple more than he was already having anyway.

[ Via, who else, Neale News ]

Bravest Pilots in the World

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Canada has the best and bravest helicopter pilots in the world, believe me, we do. Not only do they fly old and unreliable helicopters such as the Sea King, but now these same pilots are getting fed food that is as old as the machines that they fly. Full story here

Starting in Sept of 2003, until now, there as been a few incidents where aircrews have been given box lunches that have contained spoiled food.
"During the past year there have been several incidents involving sub-standard aircrew box lunches provided to Shearwater flying units,"
"These include mouldy bread, rancid sandwich meat and expired milk. The consumption of spoiled food in aviation could result in an accident and, potentially, loss of life if aircrew experience incapacitation during critical flight phases."
We can blame the government for the old unreliable helicopters, but the food problem is the fault of inexperienced staff. I hope that the problem gets sorted out soon, the country's helicopter pilots are doing the country a great service and have enough to worry about, without having to worry about getting sick because someone gave them ten day old milk.

[ Via Neale News ]

Cheney's Parka

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Dick Cheney wears a goofy looking coat to a ceremony, in Poland on Thursday, marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and he's gets shit on by a whole bunch of people, including many major news sources. Full story here

First off, I agree, it is a stupid looking coat that I wouldn't personally wear to that type of ceremony, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Cheney was there and no doubt was deeply affected by the ceremony, just as many other world leaders were. A stupid looking coat doesn't change that.

Secondly, if this was anybody but Cheney or Bush, this wouldn't be a news story within the main stream media at all. If Putin shows up in a sweater his mother knit him, the media doesn't say a word about it, I guarantee it. Only Cheney and Bush could get this type of reaction from such a situation.

Here's a quick question. If someone showed up to a funeral for one of your family members with a coat on the same as Cheney's, would you berate them and make fun of them for showing up dressed differently from everybody else? Or would you just thank them for coming and paying their respects? My guess is that you thank them for just being there, that is unless you're a complete ass.

Some Situations Call for Coercion

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There has been much debate about whether torture or coercion, they are two different things in my book, should be used by the military to acquire information from terrorists that have been taken captive during the war against terror. I have given the subject a little thought over the last little while and have come to the conclusion that the following quote from Mark Bowden's new book, Road Work, sums up my position pretty good.
"The Bush administration has adopted exactly the right posture on the matter. Candor and consistency are not always public virtues. Torture is a crime against humanity, but coercion is an issue is rightly handled with a wink, or even a touch of hypocrisy; it should be banned but also quietly practiced. Those who protest coercive methods will exaggerate theirs horrors, which is good; it generates a useful climate of fear. It is wise of the president to reiterate U.S. support for the international agreements banning torture, and it is wise for American interrogators to employ whatever coercive methods that work. It is smart not to discuss the matter with anyone."
"If interrogators step over the line from coercion to outright torture, they should be held personally responsible. But no interrogator is ever going to be persecuted for keeping Khalid Sheikh Mohammend awake, cold, alone, and uncomfortable. Nor should he be."
I totally agree with Bowden, coercion is needed by the military to acquire time sensitive information from captives. I can live with the fact that a terrorist may have to suffer from coercive methods if it means saving the lives of innocents. I believe that its morally right, mind you there is a very thin line between coercion and torture and all efforts should be made to not cross that line. Doesn't that sound reasonable?

Gomery's Objectivity in Question

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Lawyers for the former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, want Justice John Gomery to step down as head of the inquiry into the sponsorship scandal because they say he lacks objectivity. Today Gormery, no doubt to make Chretien's lawyers squirm even more, announced that he is willing to take the federal government to court if he doesn't get access to all the government documents he thinks are necessary to put all the pieces of the puzzle, that is the sponsorship scandal into place. Full story here

It is possible that Gomery is biased, but I'd say it has more to do with the fact the Gormery is digging around in few places that Jean and his gang of lawyers don't want him to be. My guess is, that Jean is more worried that Justice Gormery is going to dig up something extremely embarrassing on him, more than he is actually worried about his objectivity. Would his lawyers care this much about getting rid of Gormery, if Jean has nothing to hide, or is that the problem, he does have something to hide?

Remembering the Wannsee Conference and the Liberation of Auschwitz

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The Holocaust, symbolized by Auschwitz, the worst of the death camps, occurred in the wake of consistent, systematic, unrelenting anti-Jewish propaganda campaign. As a result, the elimination of the Jews from German society was accepted as axiomatic, leaving open only two questions: when and how.

As Germany expanded its domination and occupation of Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, the Low Countries, Yugoslavia, Poland, parts of the USSR, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Italy and others countries, the way was open for Hitler to realize his well-publicized plan of destroying the Jewish people.

After experimentation, the use of Zyklon B on unsuspecting victim was adopted by the Nazis as the means of choice, and Auschwitz was selected as the main factory of death (more accurately, one should refer to the 'Auschwitz-Birkenau complex'). The green light for mass annihilation was given at the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942, and the mass gassings took place in Auschwitz between 1942 and the end of 1944, when the Nazis retreated before the advancing Red Army. Jews were transported to Auschwitz from all over Nazi-occupied or Nazi-dominated Europe and most were slaughtered in Auschwitz upon arrival, sometimes as many as 12,000 in one day. Some victims were selected for slave labour or 'medical' experimentation. All were subject to brutal treatment.

In all, between three and four million people, mostly Jews, but also Poles and Red Army POWs, were slaughtered in Auschwitz alone (though some authors put the number at 1.3 million). Other death camps were located at Sobibor, Chelmno, Belzec (Belzek), Majdanek and Treblinka.

Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army on 27 January 1945, sixty years ago, after most of the prisoners were forced into a Death March westwards. The Red Army found in Auschwitz about 7,600 survivors, but not all could be saved.

For a long time, the Allies were well aware of the mass murder, but deliberately refused to bomb the camp or the railways leading to it. Ironically, during the Polish uprising, the Allies had no hesitation in flying aid to Warsaw, sometimes flying right over Auschwitz.

There are troubling parallels between the systematic vilification of Jews before the Holocaust and the current vilification of the Jewish people and Israel. Suffice it to note the annual flood of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN; or the public opinion polls taken in Europe, which single out Israel as a danger to world peace; or the divestment campaigns being waged in the US against Israel; or the attempts to delegitimize Israel's very existence. The complicity of the Allies in WW II is mirrored by the support the PLO has been receiving from Europe, China and Russia to this very day.

If remembering Auschwitz should teach us anything, it is that we must all support Israel and the Jewish people against the vilification and the complicity we are witnessing, knowing where it inevitably leads.




The list of sites crossposting this memorial can be found here.

Red Green Would be Proud

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The passengers aboard Flight 2161, which was traveling from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to West Palm Beach, Florida would have made Red Green a very proud man today. Not only did the passengers subdue a man, Christopher Egyed, who had tried to force his way into to the cockpit during the flight, but they duct taped his ass up in the process. Full story here

FBI spokeswoman Judy Orijuela put it plain and simple,
"They used duct tape to tie him up,"
To top things off, the pilot didn't even call an emergency and cut the flight short, they just continued on to the next destination with Egyed taped and secured. That would be pretty amusing, having that moron all taped up and stuffed in an overhead compartment for the rest of the trip.

Iran is Talking Tough Too

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There has been plenty of talk lately about a military strike by the United States and/or Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Today Iran responded with a little tough talk of its own,
"Iran will retaliate against any stupid moves by Israel,"
"We will counter any stupid action by Israel and its master with firmness and in an astonishing way," - Iranian Brigadier-General Mohammad Ali Jafari
Fair enough, I guess, you'd have to expect a country to defend itself against an attack against its national interests. But Brigadier-General Mohammad Ali Jafari seems a little to over confident to me, when he was talking about the capabilities of Iran's military.
"We pushed the Baathist enemy from our country within [18 months],"
Really Mohammad, you fought the Iraqis to a stand still in the 80's, and this is your reason for being confident in your abilities to punish America and Israel if they are foolish enough to attack your country? Please tell me you have another reason, you did see how the Iraqi army has done in two wars since then? Here's a little hint Mohammad, not very stinking good.

Here's a little helpful advice for the good General and the Mullahs, if you are actually working to create nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, then open up your facilities to inspection teams and prove it. If everything is on the up and up, then you're free to continue on your way, if not, then expect some trouble in the future, its your decision.

Putting Words in his Mouth

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Yesterday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, where they were commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps by Allied forces during WWII. He spoke of defending the rights of all humans who suffer harm because of their race, religion and colour.

This is what Mr. Pettigrew had to say,
"For collective security there must also be collective responsibility. And there can be no indifference to crimes of hate. It is why we have championed the establishment of the international criminal court and international legal instruments such as the conventions on genocide."
But this is what I actually think he meant,
"For collective security there must also be collective responsibility, by this I mean, only if it suits our national interests or if there is a major public outcry over our inaction, will we help. And there can be no indifference to crimes of hate, unless these events take place in Africa, then of course, we do nothing. It is why we have championed the establishment of the international criminal court and international legal instruments such as the conventions on genocide, not that it matters, we'll never put the 'genocide label' on any situation because then we'd be obligated to act, and we don't want that now do we?"
I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have my politicians tell me how it is, instead of blowing smoke up my ass. I can't except the fact that Canada and every other nation of the world doesn't care about human rights quite as much as they let on. Please, don't tell me that you care about, and will assist all those who suffer, then not back up your rhetoric.

To hear the governments of the world tell it, they would go to any length to stop genocide from taking place and protect the rights of all the oppressed in the world. But if that's the case, what happened in Rwanda and the Sudan? Why do world leaders ignore China's human rights abuses so they can secure business contacts?

crossposted to The Shotgun

La La La

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Well I'm heading out of town for the next week so my posting will be fairly light (or more accurately, non-existent). While all you suckers are freezing your rears off I'll be soaking up some sun in Texas (with my luck I'm walking straight into a natural disaster). Now I must say that I will be working so it won't be all fun and games but at least I'll be able to walk outside without ski goggles and a parka.

Alright. I don't wear ski goggles or a parka all day. Small details but you get my point.

Anyways before I bail and leave the ship to Bob I'ld just like to throw a few things out there.

First off due to Grahame's suggestion I've torched the non-blog links that were on our sidebar. I'll admit they were a mess but it just became so convienient to stick links there. Back to bookmarks I go. Hopefully it'll clean the site up a bit. Plus now I can add more links! Get yours now! 20 bones! Any takers?

Alright, you've got me again. There is no need to send cash. Just a kindly worded email will do.

Also, thanks to Andrew, I'm now a big fan of Thunderbird. This thing kicks ass as an RSS reader. It does use a bit more memory than it probably should but considering that it downloads the actual linked post, HTML and all, it's not bad.

I also like Thunderbird because the writer of a blog gets credit for a visitor in their site statistics (due to the download of the actual post). Tools like Bloglines, which I like very much, don't give the writer that recognition. Also since it downloads the actual post the writer gets some eyes on any advertising he/she may have on their site. If the writer took the time to write something you should at least take the time to ignore the advertising, right? Fair is fair. No?

Anyways, thanks for visiting, and I'll see you all in a week or so.

That Old Economic Genius

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How often have you read a newspaper article telling you how the great Paul Martin has been your economic saviour? Well it turns out that he wasn't as sharp as your government or the media would have had you believe:
The financial well-being of Canadians has barely advanced in the past 15 years, even though we're working harder than ever, says a new study by Don Drummond, chief economist of TD Bank.

The economy has steadily grown over that period, yet the take-home pay of the average Canadian has hardly budged, Mr. Drummond said in the study released Tuesday.

...

The average Canadian worker is only about 3.6 per cent better off now than they were 15 years ago — “that's virtually nothing, really,” Mr. Drummond said in an interview.

“Extra effort doesn't necessarily make you feel better off and taxes have been going up so much faster than your before-tax income,” he added.
One of Paul Martin's strong points going into the last federal election was his supposed outstanding job of managing our economy. Well that like many other things was apparently nothing but a lie. Surprise!

This makes me think of the media response to economic conditions under the last two American presidents. Under G.W. Bush as 5.4% unemployment rate is reason enough to predict the end of the world. Under Bill Clinton of course the same rate of unemployment is reason enough to predict everlasting prosperity and unending happiness.

I'm not really surprised though that things would be any different up here. The media makeup in Canada nearly exactly mirrors that of the US. The major media players are dominated by liberals with a few conservatives thrown in to show their impariality.

And since when did it become 'brilliant' to just manage to keep the economy from shrinking over a 15 year period? I wonder if any of the editorialists who told us what a wonderful job Martin was doing with our money will write an 'Oops I Screwed Up' editorial anytime soon?

Request For Input

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Well folks it's about that time that I ask for your opinion of canadiancomment.

I'm not looking for input as to our content or writing ability (though I'll take any in this area if you're got it). I'm more interested in the technical side of things such as:

1) Site layout
2) Readability
3) Text size and font
4) Browsers that massacre our layout

Basically how does the site compare to others that you visit? Better or worse? Is there anything about the layout that really annoys you?

Any input you can give will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

As a little background information as too why I'm asking these questions, I tried to make some modifications yesterday that would allow me to increase the number of outgoing links to other sites. I tried decreasing the text size on the sidebar but I found that to be ugly. I also considered adding a sidebar to the left of the main column (three column layout) but I found that it made things appear crowded.

At the moment I'm kind of at a loss.

Hat's Off

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I'ld just like to take the time to congratulate Theodore Dalrymple on his retirement from Britain's National Health Service.

His latest article, in which he announces his retirement, discusses how doctors have lost their integrity and status at the hands of government bureaucrats. His experience is from Great Britain but I suspect you could find similar sentiments from doctors here in Canada:
The now ineradicable managerialism so insouciantly introduced into the public service by the Conservatives, and that serves so well the megalomaniac centralising ambitions of the current government, for whom increasing bureaucratic clientelism is the key to eternal power, has created a Kafkaesque atmosphere in the health service, in which it is impossible to point one’s finger at precisely who is responsible for what latest idiocy. The very expansion of management — 17.6 per cent in one year alone — dilutes responsibility to the point when it can no longer be said to exist with anybody. A miasma of intellectual and moral corruption hangs over every hospital and, though itself intangible, its effects are tangible, such as the decision of a very famous hospital to keep patients brought to casualty waiting in ambulances rather than allowing them inside, so that the waiting time in the casualty department could be brought into line with a target.

The doctors are not entirely blameless for the spread of this corruption. As the late and much lamented Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko once pointed out, it takes two to be corrupt: the corrupter and the corrupted. As a group, doctors have not put up much resistance to the erosion of their integrity that has accompanied managerialism: either they have remained entirely supine, or they have been bought off with promises of extra cash, dispensed by managers. Thereby the doctors have developed the same vested interest as the managers in keeping quiet; and once they have accepted this, they have lost both their independence and their moral standing. They have sold the status of their profession for a mess of personal pottage.
Go read the whole thing.

That's The Way To Do It

No comments:
Today Rural Revolution is suffering through the bitter cold in order to shut down part of the 401:
In bitterly cold temperatures, a protest by Ontario farmers began as planned Friday morning on Highway 401 near Ingersoll, Ont.

“We're under way. Tractors have left the staging area and converging on the Putnam Road interchange,” said Randy Hillier of the Rural Revolution Protest group, which organized the protest.
For the most part I agree with the Rural Revolution and their concerns.

Being from a small farming community myself it is easy to see how 'city slickers' try to impose their beliefs and regulations on people they know nothing about. The sad part is that rural communities have willingly conceded their rights and way of life without so much as a wimper. Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ron Bonnett, is more than willing to go along with the charade:
This may only serve to alienate the people we need support from, rather than get their support.
This seems a lot like the response to Danny Williams back in Newfoundland: Get back in your place or else.

Alienate? You don't say Ron? Who is alienating who here anyways? If cities want to impose themselves on rural communities then it is about time that someone pointed out the consequences. The reality is that rural folks could bring our cities to a grinding halt quicker than it takes to read a press release.

How willing would city folks be to impose gun control on our farmers if the consequence was that the city folks wouldn't be able to get to work the next day? If unions can block roads and end up getting what they want then why can't a community?

It is a simple concept. If rural communities want to maintain what they hold dear then they better make sure that city folks understand the consequences of their meddling.

The Iraqi Vote

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Given that the Iraqi vote is scheduled for January 30th I think I should get a few thoughts down on paper (or in this case spend some time organizing electrons).

While most surveys of the Iraqi population have about 80% of people saying they intend to vote we are still bombarded by the 'talking heads' telling us how much of a disaster Iraq is and how the country is about to decend into civil war.

If the 'talking heads' want to keep changing their story (which I think they have but I'm not going to waste my time showing it) then that is fine with me. Regardless of their opinions I think I should just state how I will determine if the elections are a success.

The first criteria I have is that over 70% of the population should have taken part in the process. Heck if less than 60% is good enough for Canada or the US it should be plenty for Iraq.

The second criteria I have is that at least 80% of the representatives in the National Council should be selected. I suspect that at the end of the day the vast majority will be selected but as far as I'm concerned it isn't a requirement.

That ladies and gentlemen is it. If those two criteria can be met then I'ld consider the entire process a success. Will there be bombings? Most likely. So what? Will some parties complain about the results and claim that fraud took place? Probably. Once again, so what? Election irregularities happen in Canada and none of us claim that the sky is falling so why should be have such a higher standard for Iraq? We shouldn't and to expect otherwise is foolish.

Are my criteria to slack? I guess I'll know in a couple of weeks.

crossposted to The Shotgun

Don't Forget About Israel

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There has been plenty of speculation lately about a possible strike by the United States on Iran's nuclear facilities. Plenty of rumors have been making the rounds lately about American special forces on the ground inside of Iran, as well as America fighter aircraft doing reconnaissance of possible Iranian targets, these are just two of the most popular stories that I've read lately.

But it seems to me that the attention of most people is being wrongly placed on America, I think that its much more likely that Israel will be the ones doing the bombing, not America. Israel has much more to lose if Iran develops a nuclear option than America does, that plus we all know what Israel will do if it sees a nation that is hostel to it on the verge of making the bomb. Anybody remember what happened to Iraq's Osiraq reactor?

Today Dick Cheney expressed similar thoughts on the subject,
"If, in fact, the Israelis became convinced the Iranians had significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards,"
Maybe Cheney is just trying to take some of the heat off of the Bush administration by placing some of the spotlight on Israel, but I think his statement is legitimate.

Soon after the holocaust, Israel's leaders made a vow to never suffer from a situation such as the holocaust again, where the survival of the Jewish people was in doubt. Today many Israelis see Iran's development of nuclear weapons as a potential threat to their survival and will do whatever is in their power to neutralize that threat, even if it means starting a shit storm to do so.

I just can't see Israel leaving the destruction of a target as important as Iran's nuclear facilities to someone else, even if it is the Americans. They have come too far as a country and fought too many wars of survival to take a back seat to someone else when it comes down to something this big.

crossposted to The Shotgun

Europeans Still Disgust Me

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You just gotta love them.

A couple of days ago we had Chirac and Schroeder telling us how the A380 Airbus confirms European superiority and way of doing things.

And how do Europeans intend to sell their 'oh so superior' aircraft? By coersing tsunami devastated countries that's how.

It just seems so very European doesn't it?

And I can't wait to see the CBC investigation into this disgraceful behaviour by the Europeans. They'll have 'man on the street' interviews and everything. It'll be awesome!

[Via Best Of The Web Today]

Censorship

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Here is a list of lefty sites complaining about censorship because Rolling Stone Magazine won't publish an ad for the Bible:

...

OK so I don't have a list but that surely isn't my fault is it?

According to Rolling Stone Magazine ads about sex toys are fine but an ad for the Bible goes too far? Sure... makes sense.

Now I'm not complaining about Rolling Stone Magazine itself because as far as I'm concerned a magazine should be able to publish anything it damn well pleases. I would never buy an issue of the magazine but that's their business.

My point is that if instead a magazine refused to print an ad promoting some lefty cause I suspect my list would be a wee bit longer.

One Tough Car

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Volkswagon outperforms!

[Via The Kallini Brothers]

The Weekly Poll

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Since Bob has recently mentioned a poll of Canadian political support I figured I should revive our weekly poll. You might say that the 'Weekly Poll' here at canadiancomment should instead be titled the 'Ramdomly Selected Month Poll' but that just doesn't have much of a ring to it does it.

Anyways, this weeks poll question is:

What would you do for democracy:

1) Nothing.
2) Vote during elections.
3) Let someone kick you in 'the junk'.
4) Kick someone else in 'the junk'.

You can leave your vote in the comments.

Please note that the results of this survey ARE scientifically valid and will be considered during Canada's next foreign policy review.

New Poll Numbers

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The newest poll numbers are out, the Liberals and the CPC are still numbers one and two in party support throughout the country, with 37% and 29% respectively. Not very shocking at all, the Liberals with the underwhelming Paul Martin at the helm, have fallen two points since the last poll, while the CPC have gaining one single point.

Not much to talk about at all, except for the fact that the NDP are still pulling down 20%, that plus the Bloc Québécois are solid at 11%. Isn't that wonderful, socialist fruit cakes who's ideas have been outdated since Micheal Jackson's first plastic surgery, and people that want to separate from Canada are pulling down over 30% of the country's support. Throw in a few percent for the greenies and it turns out to be a pretty ugly little picture.

Just goes to show you how much more work the CPC still has to do to broaden its support base across the country, when the combines total of the NDP, Bloc Québécois and Green Party bests the CPC by about 3 or 4 points.

The Last Nazi

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Saddly I've got to agree:
It seems to me that any outrage going ought to be deployed against the media for trivializing the Holocaust by pretending to think that such "symbolism" betokened anything real. As Mick Hume pointed out in the Times, "the farther into history the Second World War retreats, the more obsessed with Nazis the news seems to become." This, he thinks, is because the Holocaust "has become perhaps the last moral absolute in an uncertain world. At a time when it seems hard to create a consensus about what is right and wrong on anything from euthanasia to GM food, it is comforting to remind ourselves of the one issue on which we can agree: that there remains a clear line between good and evil." He goes on to decry other familiar uses of Nazi symbolism in the media, such as comparing any stray bit of authoritarian behavior as "fascist" or the slaughter of chickens as a "Holocaust." He might also have mentioned the comparisons in recent weeks between the Asian tsunami and the Holocaust.
Go read the whole thing.

The author does bring up a good question: Do lefties in general throw around the Nazi/Facist label because those are the few remaining things that lefties in general can identify as evil?

Quote Of The Day

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"Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will turn vegetarian." - Heywood Broun

Gotta Love The PM

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Check out this post about Paul Martin's visit to Asia from Autonomous Source.

As Bruce says:
It's frightening to think of, but the most important consideration on any government action is how it will play to the press, and to those special interests that influence the press. Not how much it will cost, whether it will work, what other consequences the action will have -- just what it will look like. What the spin will be. What it will say about what the government values are. It's how we've allowed an ineffective and massively inefficient gun registry to be established, and it's why we're unable to look at market-based solutions to our crumbling health-care system. And we've gotten so used to it in this country that seeing our Prime Minister cynically inserting himself into a devastating tragedy is somehow not seen as being crass.
Indeed. Our Prime Minister is a disgrace... what else can I say.

Lazy Bunch of Bums

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The marketing team from Subway have to be the laziest bunch of bums on the planet. This whole Jarrod thing has been getting old now for about two years, its time to put an end to Jarrod. Get off your lazy asses people and come up with a new ad campaign, for the good of the company and the sanity of those who live on this wonderful little planet. Jarrod should be in about as many commercials as Robert Blake, he has that kind of effect on people.

The only team of ad gurus that are worse than the Subway gang, are the morons from McCains who thought it would be a good idea to bring back the little kid who eats fries and doesn't talk. The adult version of the kid will sell about as many fries as showing your uncle Carl chewing Red Man and spitting in the bags of fries before they're sealed. Are these people in the right line of work? Are they trying to get fired?

It takes a real clunker of a commercial to turn people off your product, but it seems that there are more and more of them all the time. I know, I need something better to do with my time than complain about the sorry state of advertisements, but with some of the shit that some of these companies are coming up with, its really hard not to notice the lack of quality. Anybody else notice this too?

Link Updates

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Some changes to our sidebar...

Added:

All and Sundry
Strong World
Minority of One
Blue-Eyed Infidel
Free Iraqi

Removed:

Allah Pundit
Erik Svane
USS Clueless
piquant rants & sassy imprudence
The Daily Recycler

If you feel a site has been removed in error please let me know and I can put it back up.

Same Issue - Different Response

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While travelling in India Paul Martin has had to defend his same-sex marriage legislation:
Just two days before Martin arrived in New Delhi, the spiritual leader of Sikhism directed his religion's followers worldwide to reject the legalization of gay marriage, as proposed by Martin's Liberals.

The unprecedented edict by Joginder Singh Vedanti – likened by one Sikh Liberal MP to the Pope – followed a lively debate in the Indian press this month in which it was speculated that Mr. Martin had cancelled a planned visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar because of political concerns about the controversy.

Mr. Martin had to defend the legislation Tuesday after a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“I would point out that we are a country of ethnic and religious minorities,” Mr. Martin said in response to a question about the controversy at a news conference.

“And the purpose of the Charter of Rights is to protect minorities, to protect them against the oppression of the majority.”
This is all fine and dandy but the story got me to ask a question.

Why is it that only Western people who oppose same-sex marriage are called bigots, oppressors, haters of minorities, homophobes, etc...?

All over the world there are entire cultural groups who would laugh at the thought of allowing gay couples to marry. Hindus, Muslims, and Africa, are all places where homosexuality, for the most part, is totally supressed if not outright forbidden.

Yet I've never heard a gay-rights activitist use such loaded language with these groups of people.

Just an observation.

crossposted to The Shotgun

On A Roll

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Is it any wonder that The Diplomad has been voted one of the best up and coming blog for 2004. I have only been reading the site for a short time now but am amazed by the high quality work that is being done over there. Read some of the finer work, Here and Here.

Communication Needed

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A man from the United Arab Emirates, beat his wife after he read her outgoing messages to a friend of hers and was fined 3000 dirhams for the offence. There's more to this story than that though, so keep reading. Here are a couple of the messages, which the man thought were directed towards him. Full story here
"He doesn't listen to me. He doesn't like the food I give him."
"He ruins the furniture. The apartment is always messy because of him. He has become very naughty and disobedient lately."
First of all beating your wife is bad, and secondly beating your wife because you thought she was talking about you when she was actually talking about the family dog is totally stupid. If there was ever a need for some communication between a wife and husband, this was it.

What gives anyway? Guys like this need to smarten the hell up and talk to their wives instead of smacken them around like an old tire. Its people like this guy who give men a bad name, they have no respect.

The Ten Commandments

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P.J. O'Rourcke has written an inaugural address for G.W. Bush which ends with:
And then there is the Tenth Commandment. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." The Ten Commandments are God's basic rules about how we should live--a brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts. The first nine Commandments concern theological principles and social law. But then, right at the end, is "Don't envy your buddy's cow." How did that make the top ten? What's it doing there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose as one of those things jealousy about the starter mansion with in-ground pool next door?

Yet think how important the Tenth Commandment is to a community, to a nation, indeed to a presidential election. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't be a jerk and whine about what the people
across the street have--go get your own.

The Tenth Commandment sends a message to all the jerks who want redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, more government programs, more government regulation, more government, less free enterprise, and less freedom. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.
[Via Spin Killer]

Kyoto Enforcement

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According to this story Canada is even further behind in meeting it's Kyoto obligations than previously thought:
Canada's rapidly growing energy-intensive economy could make it significantly more difficult for this country to meet its obligations under the controversial Kyoto accord, senior officials are warning Ottawa.

They have alerted the Prime Minister's Office that the magnitude of the greenhouse-gas emissions cuts Canada must make under the treaty has already jumped 25 per cent because of rapid economic growth.

This could mean a bigger political headache for Paul Martin, whose officials are scrambling to fulfill his promise to "honour Kyoto" but not overburden Canadian business.

Since 2002, the federal Liberal government has described its Kyoto obligations as a requirement to cut output of greenhouse-gas emissions by 240 megatonnes.

"We now think the gap is more like 300 MT," senior officials warned the PMO and other departments in a recent critique of climate-change abatement proposals titled "Project Green: Overview and Summary Analysis."
Now I've always said that Canada won't meet it's obligations under the treaty but my question is what enforcement mechanisms exist under the treaty?

I honestly don't have any idea and I've seem very little discussion on the subject.

Gay Bomb?

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Well no one can accuse the American military of not thinking outside the box:
The Pentagon was considering developing a 'homosexual sex bomb' designed to make enemy troops gay, it has been revealed.

The bomb would release a chemical aphrodisiac that would get the soldiers frisky and make them irresistible to each other.

It was hoped their "distasteful but completely non-lethal" homosexual behaviour would hit moral in the barracks, the New Scientist reports.

The plan was just one of many ideas put forward by scientists looking at new kinds of fighting.

Another proposal suggested spraying enemy troops with a chemical that would make their breath smell.

The "severe and lasting halitosis" would allow American troops to work out who was a foreign fighter and who was a civilian once combat was over.

There were also plans to coat soldiers with chemicals that would attract angry wasps and rats.

Another idea suggested making the skin of soldiers hypersensitive to the sun.
Now that's just mint. It would be kind of hard to fight the jihad with little Mohammed stuck in Ahmed's backside wouldn't it?

Either way, I wonder if pacifists would consider these developements good or bad? On the plus side less people would be killed in combat. But of course you'ld have all kinds of people (i.e. lefties) complaining and saying that the Americans weren't playing fair. Of course no one ever said war was fair. As Dennis Miller once said:
There are some people who have said that America isn't playing fair by firing missiles at human targets from miles away. Who said war had to be fair? I don't want fair. I want to win. You want hand-to-hand combat? Rent a Jackie Chan video OK.
Indeed.

[Via Nealenews]

You know it's becoming obvious that if it wasn't for Brian I'ld have nothing to write about. Thanks again Brian.

Michael Moore is Embarrassing

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Micheal Moore has won an Oscar, but he can't get into into his high school's hall of fame. Moore has been rejected all four times he has been up for induction and is down to his last chance. Why has Moore not been selected yet, here's what one member of the selection committee thinks.
"Would you want him as a role model? Would you want your son or daughter to be like him? I haven't talked to anybody yet who's for him. The word to describe Michael Moore is embarrassing. He embarrasses everybody."
Poor Mickey, why would anybody think he's an embarrassment? Is it wrong that people pick on Moore just because they don't like his politics, HELL NO!

[ Via Neale News ]

The Downfall Of Big Media

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Peggy Noonan writes about the state of big media and what the future holds:
Some think bloggers and internet writers of all sorts are like the 19th century pamphleteers who made American politics livelier and more vigorous by lambasting the other team in full-throated broadsides. Actually, I've said that. And there are similarities. But it should be noted that the pamphleteers were heavy on screeds and colorfully damning the foe. The most successful bloggers aren't bringing bluster to the debate, they're bringing facts--font sizes, full quotes, etc. They're bringing facts and points of view on those facts that the MSM before this could ignore, and did ignore. They're bringing a lot to the debate, and changing the debate by what they bring. They're doing what excellent reporters would do.

They will no doubt continue to be the force in 2005 that they have been the past few years. Meantime the MSM will not disappear. But it will evolve. Some media organs--Newsweek, Time, the New York Times--will likely use the changing environment as license to be what they are: liberal, only more so. Interestingly they have begun to use Fox News Channel as their rationale. We used to be unbiased but then Fox came along with its conservative propaganda so now just to be fair and compete we're going liberal.

I don't see why anyone should mind this. A world where National Review is defined as conservative and Newsweek defined as liberal would be a better world, for it would be a more truthful one. Everyone gets labeled, tagged and defined, no one hides an agenda, the audience gets to listen, consider, weigh and allow for biases. A journalistic world where people declare where they stand is a better one.

Networks, on the other hand, may try harder to play it down the middle, and that would be wise. The days when they could sell a one-party point of view is over. No one is buying now because no one is forced to buy. But everyone will buy the networks when they sell what they're really good at, which is covering real news as it happens. Tsunamis, speeches, trials--events. Real and actual news. They are really good at that. And there is a market for it. And that market isn't over.
With all the talk about how media is evolving with blogs, talk radio, etc... it is worthwhile to consider if the changes taking place in the American market will be seen here in Canada as well.

It goes without saying that the media market in Canada is not as diverse as in America. Between the CBC and the CRTC new media in Canada will have a much more difficult time gaining ground. As well due to our smaller demographic base, it is only natural that there are fewer opportunities to target 'key markets'. These difficulties are certainly not insurmountable and in tme will probably be overcome.

Political Donations

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Check out the listing of corporate donations to the Liberal and Conservative parties over at brock: on the attack.

I could make several points but instead I'll make just one: Shouldn't it be illegal for a corporation to make donations to a political party if they have received government funds due to the actions of that same party?

Bombardier anyone?

People should go to jail for shit like that.

Tsunami Aid

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I don't want to discourage people's generosity in any way but does anyone doubt that there will be charities that are short of funds this year because everyone has been donating to help the tsunami victims?

Several organizations had a hard time after 9/11 and I suspect the same will hold this time as well.

Dallaire Thinks its a Travesty Too

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Add retired Gen. Roméo Dallaire to the growing list of people who think that its wonderful that Canada is doing so much to help the Tsunami victims in Asia, but also thinks its a travesty that Canada has done little or nothing to help those suffering in Darfur. Full story here
"I applaud the enormous work that we're doing and we must do with the catastrophe that is going on in Asia. But I am guilty and distraught by our ability to totally abandon a whole other group of humans,"
"As we pour ourselves into the great sense of commitment to humanity in Asia ... we must also have that same courage and determination, and demand of our politicians the same commitment to areas where the crisis is not by natural catastrophe but by human catastrophe,"
And the absence of Canada in the forefront of Darfur, in Sudan is a travesty."
Retired Gen. Roméo Dallaire is right, the government of Canada and the rest of the world's governments can not ignore problems like Rwanda and Darfur just because they are difficult tasks to solve. Shame on our politicians for skipping out on the hard tasks, while they pat themselves on the back for taking on the easy ones.

[ Via Neale News ]

For Your Viewing Pleasure

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For those of you who like foul-mouthed comedy I suggest you check out Chappelle's Show.

They had a 'President Black Bush' bit last night that had me in tears.

The show has possibly the funniest stuff on TV at the moment but be warned that the show isn't suitable for kids or those easily offended.

Enjoy!

Update @ 3:51pm

The 'President Black Bush' bit I mentioned earlier can be found by going here and scrolling down a bit.

Just An Observation

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The poll of the day at The Globe And Mail is asking what type of health-care system Canadians would like to have.

I know that these online polls aren't very scientific but as on this morning 42% of respondents wanted a public/private system.

I just want to mention it since I find it amusing that even though a significant minority of Canadians (a majority depending on how the question is asked) would support major changes to our health-care system the topic is still consided taboo and in bad taste. I'm sure you all remember the 'in-depth' and 'groundbreaking' discussions on the subject during our last few election cycles. Don't you?

I'm not sure if such a state of affairs is funny or disturbing.

crossposted to The Shotgun

Space Fetish

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Michael of The Blue Maple Leaf has a post up about Jack Layton and his obsession with the 'weaponization of space'.

Like Michael, I find Layton's harping on the subject quite amusing for a bunch of reasons.

The first reason is that countries all over the world are working on anti-missle systems and yet Layton only finds time to complain about the proposed American system. Russia recently tested a system and Layton for some bizarre reason didn't find a need to comment on it.

The second reason is that the weaponization of space started long ago. Most advanced nations have some sort of military application that is dependent on GPS. Examples would be precision missiles or the guidance systems used by both our air force and navy.

Once a military is dependent on satellite technology they have just encouraged the 'weaponization of space'. That technology is a valid target during conflict and it should be expected that hostile nations will try and interrupt its operation. A country like Canada certainly can not go to war and then whine and complain because somebody neutralized our GPS capability can we? Jack? Any thoughts?

So since Canada uses and is dependent on such technology aren't we directly responsible for the 'weaponization of space'?

Something for Layton to chew on I guess.

In Need of an Answer

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Last week MEMRI reported on many of the conspiracy theories circulating around the Middle East that blamed America and, of course the Jews, for last month's Tsunami. Here are a few quotes from that story,
"The oppression and corruption caused by America and the Jews have increased. Have you heard of these beaches that are called 'tourists' paradise?' You have all probably heard of Bangkok. We read about it, and knew it as the center of corruption on the face of this earth. Over there, there are Zionist and American investments. Over there they bring Muslims and others to prostitution. Over there, there are beaches, which they dubbed 'tourists' paradise,' while only a few meters away, the locals live in hell on earth. They cannot make ends meet, while a few meters away there is a paradise, 'tourists' paradise.'
"These countries, in which these things occurred – don't they refrain from adopting Allah's law, which is a form of heresy? Man-made laws have been chosen over Allah's law, which has been deemed unsuitable to judge people?! Whoever does not act according to Allah's law is a heretic, that's what Allah said in the Koran. Don't these countries have witchcraft, sorcery, deceitfulness, and abomination?"
"The problem is that the [Christian] holidays are accompanied by forbidden things, by immorality, abomination, adultery, alcohol, drunken dancing, and … and revelry. A belly dancer costs 2500 pounds per minute and a singer costs 50,000 pounds per hour, and they hop from one hotel to another from night to dawn. Then he spends the entire night defying Allah."
"Haven't they learned the lesson from what Allah wreaked upon the coast of Asia, during the celebration of these forbidden? At the height of immorality, Allah took vengeance on these criminals."
I guess I sort of get the point, Allah caused the earthquake, which caused the Tsunami, because America and the Jews are corrupting the world. These people were punished because they were infidels and never lived by the laws set by Allah.

Simple enough I guess, I think I understand how they view the situation. But I have one question for one of those clerics to answer for me. Why does a nation that lives by Allah's laws, such as Iran, get hit by an earthquake itself just yesterday? Is it fair of Allah to punish his supporters?

The Continuity Of History

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I just came across this article (thanks to Brutally Honest) by David Gelernter describing the religious roots of Americanism.

The title of the article is quite misleading since it rarely deals with the 'enemies' of Americanism. It deals primarily with the religious roots of the American experience:
Anti-Americans are still fascinated and enraged by Americans’ bizarre tendency to believe in God. In the months before the Iraq war in spring 2003, a Norwegian demonstrator waved a placard reading, “Will Bush Go to Hell?” An expatriate American wrote recently (for the FrontPage website) of being instructed by Londoners that “the United States is one giant fundamentalist Christian nation peopled by raging Bible-thumpers on every street”; that America is “running wild with religious extremism that threatens the world far more than bin Laden.”

And we needn’t go to Norway or Britain to find angry denunciations of President Bush and the Americans who support him in religion-mocking terms. The President’s faith, said one prominent American politician in September 2004, is “the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in Kashmir, and in many religions around the world.”

The speaker was former Vice President Al Gore. His comments were offensive and false. Today’s radical Islam is a religion of death, a religion that rejoices in slaughter. The radical Christianity known as Puritanism insisted on choosing life. Americanism does, too.

Puritans took to heart these famous words from the Hebrew Bible: “I have set before you this day life and death, blessing and curse: therefore choose life and live, you and your children” (Deuteronomy 30:19). On board the Arabella, John Winthrop closed his famous meditation of 1630 by citing that verse from Deuteronomy, centering his words on the page for emphasis:

Therefore let us choose life

that wee, and our Seede,

may live; by obeying his

voice, and cleaveing to him,

for hee is our life, and

our prosperity.

No Saudi fanatic, no Kashmiri fanatic could have written those words. John Winthrop was a founder of this nation; we are his heirs; and we ought to thank God that we have inherited his humanitarian decency along with his radical, God-fearing Americanism.
I only want to comment on this theme because I just finished two books (Born Fighting and How The Scots Invented The Modern World) that touch greatly on the religious founding of America.

Both of these books describe the religious mission that the Scots took upon themselves during the 17th and 18th centuries. This mission naturally matured in America and led to the type of country that America became.

Anyways I just figured I'ld mention the article and the two books because I often find it amusing how far some people will go to deny the religious foundations of the United States. I'm not saying in any way that you must be religious to be American I just think that those who ignore the religious dimensions of American history or being willfully ignorant.

Also it article and two books help to remind us that events affect the world for centuries after they occur. Born Fighting details how the ancient Romans had to deal with the same kind of people that now fight America's wars. How The Scots... details how modern Scots created the ideas that shaped American religious, economic, and public life.

Anyways I may not have said anything useful here but at least you have an idea of what has been on my mind lately.

Funny Or Pathetic

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I'll leave it up to you to decide.

One of the best features of Best Of The Web Today is when they find a letter to the editor submitted to various newspapers under different names. The latest they've come across is:
President Bush is endangering my retirement and the retirements of millions of Americans by taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security.

Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed, whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.

For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25 percent cut in the retirement benefits they're counting on; for their children, it guarantees a 46 percent cut.

We can't stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republicans cut our promised retirement benefits--especially when so many of us are counting on Social Security to help us lead a happy, healthy life when we retire.
Given that the left thinks of itself as being intellectually superior to the right you would think they would have the ability to compose their own letters. Is that too much to ask?

Government Compassion is Conditional

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I would like to start by saying that I'm happy to see so many governments around the world providing much needed assistance to the victims of last month's Tsunami. That being said, I think its shameful that the compassion of the world's nations, Canada included, is conditional on the ease of the task at hand. Not on whether their help is actually needed or not.

For example, take the outpouring of generosity by most governments around the world to help ease the suffering of the victims of the Tsunami in Asia, which was good. Then compare that to what the world's nations did to help the people of Darfur, which was bad. Sure one tragedy was man-made, while the other was a natural occurrence, but the end result was the same. Thousands of people died, many thousands more were left homeless and starving, yet one problem only received lip service, while the other brought the nations of the world together to help.

Why the difference? Simple, the crisis caused by the Tsunami was a far easier task for governments to handle. Donate money, offer assistance, meet with other donor nations and get your picture taken while doing so. All in a days work for today's robotic politicians. On the other hand, Darfur required military intervention, making it risky enough, so that many of these so-called compassionate governments could ignore it without blinking an eye. How's that for morality?

I tend to agree with Paul Martin when he says that caring for, and helping those who have suffered from unbearable circumstances around the world, is the "Canadian Way". But I'd like him to explain to me why this only applies some of the time. I think the world needs a kind and compassionate Canada more than ever, I just wish we had the means to provide the world with more of what we have to offer.

Most governments came thought with flying colours this time around, but will they the next time the suffering of the world need their assistance? Well, that all depends now, doesn't it?

Crossposted to The Shotgun

My Thoughts On Women

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Why am I thinking about women? Good question.

Well I just thought I should take a moment to point out that I'm not of the 'female persuasion'. Not that I'm aware of but if I was I'm convinced my wife would have pointed it out to me by now.

Anyways, I figured I'ld point this out because in the last couple of weeks I've had at least six sites refer to me as 'her'. It's not that this is particularly insulting or anything like that, I just figured I should try and nip it in the bud before any of you sicko's start fantasizing about me blogging in my pajamas. Perhaps some of you still will. I really hope you wouldn't though cause I'll start to get the creeps everytime I go near my computer.

Growing up I always assumed that Dana was a guys name since the only other people named Dana that I knew of were both guys. After leaving I soon realized that in fact the vast majority of people named Dana are female (damn mainlanders). Maybe PEI is just more messed up than I thought. Perhaps. Or maybe my mom was smoking the 'magical weed' when I was born. Who knows.

Regardless, I even have to deal with this foolishness at work. I do a lot of email correspondence so I get to know people quite well just through our email discussions. Well after trading 10 or more emails with someone people's assumptions about you can get pretty set. Well I always get a kick out of the silence when we talk on the phone for the first time. Meeting people in person can be even more amusing.

Anyways I hope I've cleared that up.

You Gotta Read This

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He may have been unprofessional but he was a heck of a lot more dignified than I would have been.

[Via Instapundit]

So Which Is It?

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The end of the world or nothing to do?

Moral Authority

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David Frum takes issue with the United Nations and it's self-proclaimed moral authority:
The UN's authority is instead one of those ineffable mystical mysteries. The authority's existence cannot be perceived by the senses and exerts no influence on the events of this world. Even the authority's most devout hierophants retain the right to disavow that authority at whim, as Ms Short herself disavowed its resolutions on Iraq. And yet at other times those same hierophants praise this same imperceptible, inconsequential, and intermittently binding authority as the best hope for a just and peaceful world. An early church father is supposed to have said of the story of the resurrection: "I believe it because it is absurd." The same could much more justly be said of the doctrine of the UN's moral authority.

Whence exactly does this moral authority emanate? How did the UN get it? Did it earn it by championing liberty, justice, and other high ideals? That seems a strange thing to say about a body that voted in 2003 to award the chair of its commission on human rights to Mummar Gaddafi's Libya.

Did it earn it by the efficacy of its aid work? On the contrary, the UN's efforts in Iraq have led to the largest financial scandal in the organisation's history: as much as $20 billion unaccounted for in oil-for-food funds. UN aid efforts in the Congo have been besmirched by allegations of sexual abuse of children; in the Balkans, by charges of sex trafficking.

Is the UN a defender of the weak against aggression by the powerful? Not exactly. Two of this planet's most intractable conflicts pit small democracies against vastly more populous neighbouring states. In both cases, the UN treats the democracies – Israel, Taiwan – like pariahs.
You know, if I had writing skills... I would have written that long ago.

Crosbie On Newfs

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John Crosbie writes today about why Newfoundlanders are angry about Canada's handling of issues related to natural resources.

Now I must say that I'm not a Newf, though I often get mistaken for one, but I've got to side with the Newfs on this one. Most provinces have had some sort of conflict with Ottawa over resources and one time or another. Except Ontario and Quebec of course.

In the case with Newfoundland Crosbie says:
The 56 years since 1949 have seen the vital interests of Newfoundland and Labrador ignored by Canada, with the resources either poorly administered and depleted -- as in the case of the cod and other fish species -- or with the province's economic and revenue needs ignored, as in the development of the offshore and hydro power resources.
And I know some of you will think it odd that a guy writing at a site called canadiancomment would agree with someone removing Canadian flags from public building but... to hell with you all I'm gonna do it anyways. Danny Williams was right.

And any of you smucks who cry 'Oh my God my Blessed flag' can go and stuff it. The government of Quebec has pissed all over the Canadian flag and no one gives a damn. Yet when the Newfs do the same everyone gets uppity and offended. Please. Consistency folks, consistency.

Anyways as a Maritimer I understand the emotions that would cause Williams to do what he did. The federal government through it's various programs have turned a strong and independent people (I'm speaking of Maritimers in general here) and turned them into slaves. Those may be strong words but as far as I'm concerned they are the truth.

In the case of PEI, whenever federal elections come along, ACOA ramps into high gear throwing money around like it grew on trees. And the sad part of it all is that Maritimers now climb all over each other trying to get their share of the riches. It is enough to bring a person to tears.

Before anyone complains about Williams removing the flags they should consider what they would do if their pride and independence had been ripped out from under them. When the cards are stacked against a person all they have left are symbols.

And symbols are very powerful.

crossposted to The Shotgun

And The Race Is On

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You'll find good election news over at IRAQ THE MODEL.

I must admit that I haven't taken the time to familiarize myself with the elections themselves. From what I understand the elections will select the 275 members of the National Assembly. Is it safe to assume the National Assembly will have a function similar to our Parliament? Will separate voting be done for a President? Some sort of Senate? Or will the National Assembly be responsible for determining the remaining structure of the government?

Anyways, in all the blabbering about the upcoming Iraqi elections no one has given any sensible reason why the outcome in Iraq should be any different than it was in Afganistan.

I'm just saying...

Long Or Short?

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I know a few people check out canadiancomment via RSS so I'm just wondering if anyone prefers a summary text or the entire post in the feed. Currently we provide entire posts via our RSS feed and I'm considering changing it to the summary only.

Any preference?

UN Smackdown

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The Diplomad comments on the UN and Tsunami relief:
This Embassy has been running 24/7 since the December 26 earthquake and tsunami. Along with my colleagues, I've spent the past several days dealing non-stop with various aspects of the relief effort in this tsunami-affected country. That work, unfortunately, has brought ever-increasing contact with the growing UN presence in this capital; in fact, we've found that to avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit. As we come up on two weeks since the disaster struck, the UN is still not to be seen where it counts -- except when holding well-staged press events. Ah, yes, but the luxury hotels are full of UN assessment teams and visiting big shots from New York, Geneva, and Vienna. The city sees a steady procession of UN Mercedes sedans and top-of-the-line SUV's -- a fully decked out Toyota Landcruiser is the UN vehicle of choice; it doesn't seem that concerns about "global warming" and preserving your tax dollars run too deep among the UNocrats.
Go read the whole thing.

The Family Business

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As far back as four generations of my family have owned and/or operated a Pharmacy. My father, his father and his grandfather all were in the business, a couple of his uncles were also pharmacists. My Sister is also thinking about taking Pharmacy, I guess you could say its sort of a family tradition in the Matheson clan.

But as Dana pointed out to me over the holidays after he finished reading a book about the history of the Scots and the effect that they have had on the world, it seems that the Mathesons may have been involved in another kind of drug business, the Opium business to be exact.

So I decided to do a little research on the subject, I dug out my parents 'History of the Mathesons' book and did some searching around the net and bingo, its true! Back in the 1800's the Jardine Matheson Shipping Company operated out of India and they made a small fortune running Opium.

Alexander Matheson, who worked for the company, moved home to Scotland and built the semi-famous Duncraig Castle, near Plockton, with the money he made from the Opium trade. He also bought over 200,000 acres of land in the area, hoping one day to be able to walk from sea to sea across Scotland on Matheson land.

But soon after Alexander purchased the vast lands and built the castle, he went bankrupt and the family lost all what the Opium trade had brought them. I guess it is true, crime doesn't pay. In more recent times, the film Hamish MacBeth was shot inside Duncraig Castle, which still stands today. Here are a couple pictures of the area, they're beautiful!

So I stand corrected, all this time I've told people that the Mathesons have been in the drug business for four generations. How wrong I was? It turns out that the Mathesons have been in the drug business since the 1800's and counting. Now that's a family tradition!

Coincidence or Not

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Tucker Carlson is having a pretty bad run of luck lately, first he can't get into the canadiancomment Christmas party and today he gets let go by CNN. I don't know which of the two things would be worse.

In my opinion this is no coincidence, after getting snubbed at our party, his bosses at CNN must have realized that he was a lame duck with no future at the station. Like I said, all the movers and shakers were there, and Tucker was on the outside looking in, out of the loop so to speak. Its really too bad, Tucker is a nice guy, I hope he lands on his feet.

Back To The Pictures

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I was perusing Thoughtcrimes.ca today and came across a link to this article by John Ross.

The article deals with the pictures taken of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. John has an interesting take on the controversy by saying it is quite possible that the pictures were taken and released to the public as part of a phychological-warfare operation. John first discusses cultural differences between Arabs and your average Western and explains how these differences can be used to create an operational advantage. Without reproducing the entire thing I'll just leave you with the money quote:
Those pictures said volumes. They said "We're your worst fucking nightmare: We're Americans. Our women are stronger than your men. Our littlest women will strip naked the strongest men you can muster, and make fun of their puny cocks while enjoying a cigarette. Our women love to get naked, love sex, and revel in the sexual prowess of their American male partners. They'll put impotent "men" like you naked on leashes whenever they want. America is the most powerful country in the world, and guess what? Women control 70% of its money and 100% of its pussy. What are you going to do about it? Behead some Jewish "contractor"? Fat lot of good that's going to do. We'll put on some hearings for show, but you know the truth: we'll do whatever we want whenever we want, and we'll have our women do it. Just for fun. Think we're kidding? Wait 'til you see our beer ads."
I should mention that there is no proof that the whole controvery was intentionally staged (nor do I believe there was) but John's reasoning is quite solid.

Warplanes Buzz Iranian Airspace

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If you like stories that are exciting but are not proven fact yet, then today is your day because I have another for you.

Today, Iran claims that U.S. fighter aircraft have been buzzing Iranian air space, leading them to believe that the U.S. is preparing to strike at their nuclear facilities. Full story here

This story is not a proven fact yet, but it seems that the U.S. has been flying low altitude missions from both Iraq and Afganistan in the direction of Iran's borders. These flights could be used to test Iran's air defence systems and to map the location of Iran's nuclear facilities. Very interesting indeed.

Does anybody think that this is the real deal? Or is it possible that the U.S. is just trying to scare Iran into making concessions with regards to their nuclear programs? Or could it be that the U.S. is just creating a diversion so that it will be easier for Israel to carry out the attack? What's your opinion.

Zarqawi Arrested ?

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A few minor news sources are reporting that Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq, may have been captured. Iraqi Kurdistan radio is one of those reporting the capture. They were one of the first to report Saddam's capture when it happened, which gives me a little hope that this story is actually true. Full story here
I'm not getting my hopes too high that Zarqawi has been captured, seeing as there have been a couple of false reports of al-Qaida members being captured before. So I'm going to wait and see if this story is confirmed before I celebrate, but it would be pretty big news.

His capture won't cure all of Iraq's problems, but it could be another small step in the right direction. Taking someone out of the picture who wants to turn Iraq into a "new Afghanistan" can't be a bad thing. What kind of idiot thinks that's a good idea anyway? I think Zarqawi needs a better set of goals.

[ Via Neale News ]

Update @ 11:30

It turns out that the U.S. military is denying reports that terrorist Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi has been arrested in Iraq. Update from the Drudge Report

Only In America

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The harrowing story of a veteran of the Iraq War:
A Lake Elsinore man allegedly chased down and shot a soldier home on leave from Iraq early Thursday, after catching him with a group toilet-papering his yard and other homes in the neighborhood. Aubrey Weldon, 34, a construction worker, was so angry about his Riverside County neighborhood being festooned with toilet paper that he chased down the group in his truck on the 29000 block of 3rd Street, started fighting with them and then pulled out a handgun and opened fire at 12:30 a.m., said Sgt. Earl Quinata of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Army Spc. Daniel Alvarado Jr., 25, of Temecula was shot in the head and was in critical condition in Loma Linda Medical Center, authorities said. Robert Limon, 22, of Temecula was grazed by a bullet and was treated at another hospital.
Just imagine the looks at the Legion (or whatever the American equivalent is) when Alvarado tries to explain how he got his head wound.

[Via Nealenews]

Language Police Ride To The Rescue

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[Via Nealenews]

Mike Del Grande of Scarborough has commited the most terrible of mistakes:
Some Toronto councillors and a race relations expert say published comments by Scarborough Councillor Mike Del Grande that "white people" are moving out of his ward are divisive and unacceptable.

Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) says he was only reflecting on the "reality" of demographic changes in his ward when he told the Scarborough Mirror last week that "a lot of the white people are moving out" of the area.

But he's upset after seeing how his remarks were portrayed in the media.

"I'm physically sick because it (the story) is painting something that I'm not. I feel really betrayed. I'm exasperated. I'm on the verge of tears I'm so upset," said Del Grande in an interview.

But colleagues aren't offering the first-term councillor any sympathy.

Councillor Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches-East York) said Del Grande's statement smacks of racism and is "not acceptable by any elected official."

"We should be celebrating the diversity of our city, the richness, talent and vitality," Davis said.

Tam Goossen, past president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, called the remarks "really concerning" and "totally divisive," referring also to comments where Del Grande said Chinese from Hong Kong and those from the mainland are clashing with each other in his ward.
Heaven forbid!

So stating a fact that 'white people are moving out' is now a reason to censure someone? How sensitive have Canadians become?

Did any of these, for lack of a better word; idiots, consider that there may be a reason that 'white people' are leaving the community? Is housing to expensive? Are the schools having problems? Are there actual racial issues causing them to leave?

But I guess in modern Canada it is best to ignore these problems that to deal with reality. The lesson to any other community leaders out there is: If your community has a problem of some sorts it is best to leave it unresolved than to suffer at the hands of the language police.

Del Grande also got in trouble for stating that Chinese from Hong Kong and mainland China are clashing with each other. According to the 'race relations expert', Tam Goossen, these remarks are 'really concerning' and 'totally divisive'. Really now? How so? I spent a couple of months in Hong Kong a few years ago and it was quite clear that those from Hong Kong looked down upon the mainland Chinese. But once again we better not talk about such things.

And before I go what the heck is a 'race relations expert'? How does one become one? Does the job pay well? Are there any qualifications? If you know a lot about the Tutsi and Hutu communities in Rawanda does that make you a 'race relations expert'?

crossposted at The Shotgun

5 Second Poetry Contest

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In order to attract some visitors from you 'artistic' folks out there canadiancomment is having a poetry competition.

Clear your mind (this will be easier for some than others) for a moment and then write a 4 line poem. My first attempt is:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I have a bike
But can you swim?

The peom doesn't have to amount to Nobel Laureate material, it just has to be good enough to out-do me. The winner will benefit from Bob and I channeling some of our positive karma their way.

Leave them in the comments.

Happy New Year

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Well folks another year has passed and it is time to evaluate the past year and do some holiday cleanup.

First off I'ld like to introduce a few sites to our blogroll:

Right-Wing & Right Minded
Tout le monde en parle
Skeet Skeet Skeet
TheRant.us
John the Mad

So how did 2004 go for canadiancomment? According to eXTReMe Tracking we had a total of 33414 unique visitors. Those of you who actually know how to write (and hence have high traffic) might be saying 'So what?' to which I'ld respond by saying that my goal for this year was to hit 20000 so all in all I'ld consider that a success. Last year was the first full year for canadiancomment so I didn't have any illusions that we would conquer the blogosphere.

Anyways, so what does 2005 have in store for us? I guess our goal for this year is to reach 50000 unique visitors in 2005. We've averaged over 4000 visitors for the last couple of months so if we can keep that up then 50000 is achieveable.

Anyways, enough of that. On to normal things.

Happy New Year.