Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Sound of Thunder

I usually leave my movie reviews for either the Friday Morning Movie Club site or the Ottawa Xpress, but after seeing 'A Sound of Thunder' in a sneak preview I felt the need to write a little something about it, so here goes:

Under NO circumstance should you see this movie. I would even go so far as to avoid any multiplex even showing it on one of their screens.

In all honestly, this post is more of a public service anouncement than a movie review.

For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT pay to see this movie.

Now please, return to your regular blogging.

Katrina Blogging - Part 2

It seems that after every catastrophe you get to see both the best and the worse of human nature. Such was the case with the Tsunami, where we got to see one of the largest relief drives in history, with billions raised in donations and physical aid, but then came the reports of orphaned children being collected and sold into slavery.

Now, in the wake of Katrina, while we are just beginning to hear some of the amazing rescue stories as well as seeing the relief effort begin in earnest, there are already reports of widespread looting in the evacuated areas. Michelle Malkin home some good links for news of the trouble New Orleans and the surrounding areas are facing.

I would suggest following all her links but the one that stands out amongst them all is definitely this one from the DailyKos. Flip Floss, the diarist in question, appears to be suffering from extreme leftist derangement syndrome of the worst form, even more than most over at Kos. How else can you describe someone who, when referring to fellow kossacks, says this:
"The people on this website are of a conservative bent and provincial it seems to me."
His unbelievable claims are, as usual, gleamed from 'reading between the lines'. What he sees between those lines can only be described as delusional.

Hopefully, these types of stories will be the exception rather than the norm and with groups like the National Guard and Police to handle the hoodlums and the American Red Cross to help the victims, all the communities affected by this disaster can start the very long rebuilding process. Even in a best case scenario, it will take years to get to the point where things actually look normal.

Damian over at Daimnation is compiling a list of Canadian Charities who are accepting donations for the victims of Katrina.

Jeff over at Protein Wisdom does a great job going after the Blame-Bush crowd.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Just a quick check in with 'Mother' Sheehan

In case you were wondering what the poor women has been up to as of late (in case you don't happen to ever watch the news) here is a picture taken just a day or so ago. A mother grieving with friends.

I didn't know Cindy knew Al Sharpton?

Hey, look in the background. Clearly visible over Sharpton's shoulder is a guy with a camcorder trying to record this tender moment. The nerve of some people. Maybe you can get a better view of him in this picture. (h/t to Little Green Footballs)

My only question was this taken before or after Martin Sheen dropped by for a chat with his old friend Cindy?

Don't forget to give her Diary at Kos a quick glance (h/t Protein Wisdom). I especially like how she talks about how "Camp Casey has healed my broken soul and heart" while on the same page asking "How do George Bush and other death-mongers live with themselves?". Ahh, can't you just hear the tranquility coming from her words. Like a gentle rain.

If you do happen to drop by Camp Cindy, you have to drop by David's tent or possibly take the time to stop and talk to one of the nice people from National Vanguard. I would link directly to their sites but apparently my firewall at work classifies these 'Mother' Sheehan compatriots' web pages under "Racism and Hate". I wasn't aware that Websense was part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy to stop the spread of truth. You learn something new everyday.

Here's a friendly reminder. If you actually want to talk to 'Mother', you may have to talk to some of these people first. Please, don't think of them as publicists, just think of them as a really pushy, overbearing neighborhood watch commitee just doing their jobs to keep out the riff raff, you know, like FAUX News reporters (I don't know why Fox chose to spell their News channels name like that but it must be right because I see it spelt like that everywhere. I always though that would be pronounced 'foe').

But before you go you should talk to someone who has actually been there for some survival pointers. Captain Ed and Brian Maloney (of Captain's Quarters and The Radio Equalizer respectively), each share the story of Curtis Loftis, a man who managed to survive the hardships of the Camp for a few days. You laugh, but Al Sharpton was only there for a few hours and he couldn't get out of there fast enough. Must be the proximity to Chimpy McHitlerburton.

Day 16 of the CBC lockout ...

... and no body cares.

The only thing this lockout has managed to show is that it doesn't matter who is in the right, management or the employees, they will all lose in the end. After more than 2 weeks with a large portion of their workforce not on the job, including several on air personalities, I can honestly say I have not heard one complaint by anyone around me. If you asked them I'm sure that most would be unaware there is even any type of job action going on. The truth of the matter is, in a world where every position of the FM dial has a station and you have more than 300 choices of what to watch on TV, the existence of any particular station, no matter how highly it likes to think of itself, is next to meaningless. With the exception of Saturday nights during the winter months, and a few other special occasions (although those too are mostly sports related) the CBC doesn't really bring anything to the table that is not being done by someone else.

If you've ever wanted to see exactly what is wrong with the CBC, as a whole, you have to look no further than the site set up to keep people informed on what's going on, CBC On the Line.

In what I'm sure was meant to be a serious write up, they've managed to put into words everything that is the problem with the current state of affairs for the public broadcaster. In a survey of 1000 Canadians, 61% answered that the CBC lockout had little or no affect on their lives while only 10% considered it a 'major inconvience'. The remainder classified it as a 'minor inconvience' (mostly adolescent boys hoping for an artistic topless scene in some art house reject). The numbers were probably higher when they NBC decided to cancel 'Fraiser'.

In the face of that damning survey how did each party react? The employees, and their supporters, are trying to claim the survey is inaccurate (I don't really know what they are basing that claim on) while the CBC itself is trying to make it a positive by attempting to pat themselves on the back for their abilities to put up a replacement schedule. Denial is not just a river in Egypt folks. The reason for such a low rate of affected person is because in today's world of cable and satellite TV, the CBC is no longer the only choice of many Canadians. People simply are not affected because they probably haven't even noticed.

But the best part of the above linked article was the last line where it breaks down those most affected by party affiliation. According to this survey, most people affected by the lockout are either Liberal or NDP (not that that in any way backs up the long held belief by many of the extreme left leaning bias of the CBC). I guess the more center or right leaning people didn't have trouble just changing the channel.

My new 9.06339508

I finally broke down and bought a new cell phone last Friday, the LG 535 (hence the title of the post - my brother should get it at least). Going from a Motorola 120 with next to no features to the LG with everything was a bit of a jump.

Now I'll admit the menu controls are a bit small and there are some options that there just doesn't seem to be a way to change, but it's strengths more than make up for its few shortcomings. I don't know about you, but when you store and watch 4 or 5 episodes of Top Gear or Stargate on your phone, you know they've gone too far.

Now if only I can find a set of stereo headphones for my phone, I'll be all smiles.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Katrina Blogging

Unsurprisingly, Katrina is the biggest story of the last few days. Blogs of every stripe have become little weather stations with discussions about wind speeds and rain levels and for good reason. Katrina is one of the most devastating weather anomalies to hit North America in decades and with the fact that she may actually make New Orleans unliveable for a significant period of time, people have a very good reason to keep an eye on how she progresses.

For a good view on the more technical aspects of the storm you can check out WeatherBlog, while Michelle Malkin and BuzzMachine both do good jobs collecting bits and pieces from all over the place.

But of course, in today's world, you couldn't have a situation where lives are destroyed without somehow it becoming one persons fault. If you can't figure out who that person is, then you haven't been paying attention for the last 5 years.

As Charles points out in this LGF post, Bush is already receiving pre-emptive blame fro both the contributors of DailyKos as well as Swing State Project for any damage to New Orleans for reasons that range from either deploying members of the National Guard to Iraq (although apparently they still have a very large contingent left in Louisiana and it appears hard to point to any specific shortfalls) to failing to build better levees. Apparently many members of the left have a hard time understanding the way in which government works. They appear to believe that George Bush sits on top of some sort of throne dictating from on high how all government money is to be spent, and I do mean all. Every penny of federal, State or municipal monies that are either spent or not spent on emergency preparedness is his fault. There's just no winning with some people.

No matter who people manage to point the blame finger at for this mess, here's hoping that the earlier predictions of the complete devastation of New Orleans and surrounding areas turns out to just be the 'worst case scenario' that never comes to be. While without a doubt, Katrina will have caused billions in damage by the time she's done, all we can pray for is that the cost in lives is lower than expected and that the recovery time is shorter. I'm sure that the next few weeks will bring an outpouring of human kindness that only this type of disaster can.

It seems that The National Guard has so many additional personnel that almost half of those available are still on standby (LGF) and not actually being called into action. As I suspected, another of the lefts argument shot down when the facts are revealed.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Examples of an unbiased media

You ever have one of those days where you a stuck wondering just what are editors for? Apparently their main purpose is to go to power lunches with other MSM'ers or appear on television talk shows to discuss the issues of the day. Whatever they're doing, they don't seem to be reading their own reporters work. How else could stories like these make it to print.

The first is a AP story that John at Power Line noticed a slight mischaracterization occurring in. You know, the type where A is said to have cause B where in reality B occurred first. A simple Michael Moorism of the timeline really, nothing we haven't seen before. The fact that the AP article in question just happens to be another glowing report on Cindy Sheehans Crusade against the Bush Administration is just a coincidence I'm sure. Although most Sheehan articles just leave out material facts (like most of the rantings from Ms. Sheehan's speeches), Ms. Brown (the AP writer) decides to go for the double and outright drastically distort the truth to make her point. That Angela, never content with just keeping up, always looking to get one step ahead of her MSM competition.

The second is a bit more serious. Jack Kelly's article over at Jewish World Review shows an even more blatant distortion of the facts in order to make the war in Iraq look bad. In this case the story involved reporting on improvements to military body armor to make it even more resistant to enemy fire. The kicker, the improvements are for ammunition that the insurgence don't even have. They are merely improving the armor now, so that they are prepared for any future conflicts, where the hard to find, high powered ordnance may come into play. The current armor is quite capable of stopping everything, including a AK-47 at a 10 foot range, that the insurgents are firing at the soldiers.

So when the fact that the military is using foresight and taking the precautionary step of improving body armor, even though there are no indications that the enemy currently has access to the few types of rounds that can penetrate the current armor, is presented to a NY Times reporter what do you think his article would say. If you bet on a dire warning that American soldiers are in harms way because of slow moving on the Pentagon's (aka Administration's) part, you'd be a winner. Just look at this statement:
"The ceramic plates in vests worn by most personnel cannot withstand certain munitions the insurgents use. But more than a year after military officials initiated an effort to replace the armor with thicker, more resistant plates, tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system."
No wonder people who only get their news from TV and papers like the Times have such a negative view of the war. As Captain Sherman Powell so eloquently put it, after Matt Lauer (during his recent trip to an Iraqi army base) unsuccessfully tried to put a negative spin on several soldiers' comments that morale was in fact pretty good over there:
"Well sir, I'd tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers also I'd be pretty depressed as well!"
You gotta wonder how long Captain Powell had that one ready to go and just looking for an arrogant media personality to challenge him. Funny, I don't remember that sound bite being replayed on any of the major news networks.

Michelle Malkin has some more links, including the two from above, of more 'oddities' in MSM reporting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sticking us with the bill

Saw an interesting article in the Sun today. It seems that while Paul Martin always seems to find a need to use the federal Challenger Jets, even when going on a family vacations, and passing the cost on to the Canadian taxpayer, his British counterpart, Tony Blair actually pays his own expenses whenever not on official business. And also unlike Martin, Blair actually uses commercial aircraft whenever possible unless specific security concerns arise. Apparently, if he is forced to use government aircraft he still pays for the flight, or at least what it would have cost him on a commercial flight, out of his own pocket.

Now is there anyone out there that seriously think that the Paul Martin is at more risk from attack than the British Prime Minister? I thought not.

Ottawa Traffic (well sort of but not really)

I was shopping at everyone's favorite wholesale store earlier today and all I could think of was, why is it that once a person enters a large indoor structure (a mall, department store, Costco, etc..) they totally throw out the very rules of the road they used to get there. Now I'm not asking for signal lights on shopping carts or anything, but just the use of some of the same common sense people use every day while driving.

Like driving a car, it's not a good idea to just pull out from a side aisle without looking for oncoming 'traffic'. Also, like driving, it's rarely a good idea to suddenly stop in the middle of an aisle or make a sudden change of direction without at least taking a quick second to see if anyone is behind or beside you. And then there is my all time favorite maneuver of the two line straddle in which a person attempts to be in two checkout lines at once, just in case they can get out 30 seconds earlier. Just like driving down the middle of a two lane highway, it's not a good idea and mostly just serves to tick off everyone else.

On a side note, what's with the 'helpful' Costco employees nowadays. I don't know about everywhere else, but the one near my place now almost always has two people at every cash and the non-cashier is constantly grabbing at your stuff to get it on the belt faster. That might be helpful when you have a cart load of stuff but today was a new experience for me as this new 'helper', without saying a word, actually began grabbing items right out of my arms; I don't mean that figuratively as I only had about five things so didn't even have a cart. The people in front of me hadn't even gotten to the point of giving their membership card to the cashier when she began this strange mugging. I don't know if this is their new policy but if it is I can't see it lasting too long.

Welcome to Ottawa Dany

I'm still not too sure what to make of the latest pre-season, post-CBA trade by the Ottawa Senators. While it's nice to see Dany Heatley coming to Ottawa, it's sad to see Marian Hossa going to the Thrashers.

Hossa has been part of the backbone of the Senators for years and is easily one of the top players in the NHL today. It would have been nice to see him stick with Ottawa for a least one more shot at the cup but if we were going to have to trade him for anyone, Heatley is definitely not a bad person to trade him for.

Well, I'd like to wish Marian luck in his new home in Atlanta. I'm just wondering if he'll take his theme music with him. His combo theme (one of the few player with two perfect songs) that was played after every goal would really get the crowd going. I wonder what they'll play after Heatley scores?

mini-update: Just correcting spelling of 'Marian'.

Wingnuts and Moonbats

This was originally going to be a post solely about Paul Krugman's latest attempt to re-create history using his New York Times article, but then Pat Robertson had to go open his mouth again.

Paul Krugman, for those who don't know, is the worlds most over rated economist. I'm sure at some point he was able to crunch numbers with the best of them, but in the past few years he has instead decided to replace the actual numbers with his political views. That of course leads to rebuttals like these over at the American Thinker which take him to tasks for essentially making up facts to suit his arguments even when all the evidence actually proves the opposite. It's not even a contest. The sad thing is, these are not isolated cases. Almost everything Krugman now writes is filled with these same types of either false facts or the oddest interpretations of events you will likely ever see in print in a major Daily. I've seen him on political talk shows where it's interesting, to say the least, to see him totally ignore facts that contradict his statements. At first I thought he was just another generic political hack, based on his lousy debating ability, but it was only later I found out he was supposedly a well respected economist (well, respected by some).

Then there's the case of Pat Robertson. Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters has a good write-up about Robertson's latest controversy in which he actually called for the assassination of Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez. I'm sure a lot of people have thought about how easy it would be to simply assassinate foreign leaders who present problems as opposed to going to war with an entire country, but there are two main problems with the way Robertson choose to do it. First of all, most sane people while possibly making statements like these jokingly, do not make those statements in a public forum and in a serious manner as he did. Secondly, Robertson used his 700 Club television show to offer up his plan. The 700 Club is suppose to be a Christian news and discussion program and I can't personally think of anything less Christian than calling for the assassination of someone. Sure you can say the person should be brought to justice, but an assassination is a sentence without trial or defense, something even Saddam has been given.

The big difference between these two characters, besides their political leanings, is their level of acceptance by their political brethren. While Robertson has always been viewed by large numbers of the right as a bit of a maverick and a rarely taken seriously, Krugman is still accepted by the majority of the left as a economics expert, even if he rarely has any proof to back up his opinions.

Apparently the good Reverend Robertson has seen the error of his ways and has apologized for his earlier comments about Hugo Chavez, you know, when he called for the use of covert US operatives to 'take him out'. But of course he can't simply admit his mistake and be done with it. By the end of his press release, his 'apology' basically turns into a pat on the back for bringing this tyrants actions to the media's attention. I don't know about Pat's edition, but my Bible does not include a 11th commandment about 'the end justifying the means'.

Canada's next Governor General

There can be no other explanation for Paul Martin's choice for the next Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, than the Liberal love of politically correctness. Once he found a French immigrant who also happened to be female his heart must have been all a flutter; not just two, but three PC birds with one stone. With the added benefit that she has public speaking experience and the choice must have seemed like it was making itself. No need for any research into her background, or to bother looking further for someone who may actually have a history of community service, that would just be a waste of time when you obviously already have the best candidate. After all, just look at her.

Of course, if he had spent even a few minutes looking into her background he would have uncovered her and her husbands multiple ties to the Quebec Separatist movement, including a toast to separation caught on video. While none of which need be considered a 100% indictment of the pair, they do put their dedication to Canada, as a whole, into at least some doubt. And then there's the fact that Ms. Jean is a dual citizen of France and Canada and apparently is not required to surrender her French citizenship to take the position. So the official highest position in Canadian Government, the Queen's Representative in Canada, is also a French citizen. Nice.

I have no problem with a person with dual citizenships being made GG, but I do believe that once the appointment announcement becomes official, unless the second citizenship is to another Commonwealth country, it should be surrendered. Even if it doesn't technically hinder a person from doing the GG's job, it looks bad, in my opinion, to have someone who's allegiance is suppose to be first and foremost to be to the Monarchy in England, splitting that allegiance with another country. The fact that in this case the other country is France is immaterial.

But, sad to say, none of this will in any way affect Ms. Jean from becoming the next Governor General. It would be too much of a public defeat for the PM to withdraw his appointment of her at this time, and seeing he alone chooses who becomes GG, that is pretty much the end of the debate. So we may as well get used to seeing her jet setting around the world as Canada's official representative. At the end of the day there is really not too much that she will do to affect the political landscape in Canada. Gone are the days when GG's helped push for social programs and used their influence for the good of the people. Now the job is basically a rubber stamp process with the occasional State Dinner thrown in. At least she'll probably cost us less than the last one.

David Frum has a good piece over at AEI about Ms. Jean's now complete transformation from journalist to Liberal appointee.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Left finally finds someone worth fighting ... themselves?!?

If you ever wondered why those of us who lean more to the right, politically speaking, often seem to be making fun of those on the left, wonder no more.

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, the founder of The Daily Kos, one of the most read of the left leaning blogs, is declaring an all out war on fellow lefties, the Democratic Leadership Council, for not being far enough to the left. Their major crime seems to be asking fellow Democrats to play a little less to the extremists in their party and to tone down the rhetoric. In answer to this, Kos has declared that he has a plan to make the DLC "radioactive". A plan he intends to put into action within the next two weeks.

Just look at his second to last paragraph if you want a clear example of the very type of talk the DLC is trying to combat:
"No calls for a truce will be brooked. The DLC has used those pauses in the past to bide their time between offensives. Appeals to party unity will fall on deaf ears ..."
While in this case Kos is using this to refer to his fight with the DLC, this type of war like language peppers almost everything said by those of the extreme left when they discuss the GOP, the Administration, corporate America or as in this case, fellow Democrats who they disagree with. It's even stranger considering most of the extreme left are very anti-war, no matter what the reason. Kos just doesn't seem to get the message that the DLC is trying to send out, mainly that the left is becoming it's own worst enemy. And then just read some of the comments by fellow his fellow 'Kossacks'. Priceless.

I guess essentially losing power to the Republicans in pretty much every way possible is not enough for Democrats like Kos. They will not give up until their Federal presence is somewhere behind the Independants.

Keep up the good fight.

Monday, August 22, 2005

MSM, finding the cloud around the Silver Lining

Betsy Newmark, who is guest blogging over at Michelle Malkin's site while she is away, has a very interesting look at how the media portrays the US economy during different administrations.

The gist of the story, according to several studies, no matter what a Republican administration does, or how good their numbers, the media at large will always find a way to make it look bad. Is it any wonder why so many people, from the left, the middle or the right, actually think the US economy is in such trouble when in fact it boasts some of the strongest financial indicators in years.

It's like the entire MSM are taking their talking points directly from Paul Krugman.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Air America

I haven't really written about the whole Air America scandal but today's 'Day by Day' cartoon so perfectly points out the MSM's position that I just had to bring special attention to it. Chris, as he so often does, captures in three simple frames what so many people can spend days trying to put into words.

If you don't really 'get it' because you have no idea what the whole scandal is about, well one, you've just proven Chris's point, and two, you owe it to yourself to check out Brian Maloney's The Radio Equalizer, as he is the one who first brought this to everyone's attention and really get's down to the nitty gritty details. Michelle Malkin also has been doing a lot of blogging on the subject. In fact the two have teamed up in an effort to get to the bottom of the financial mess that they lovingly refers to as 'Air Enron'.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Chrenkoff's 'Good News From Iraq, Part 33'

Chrenkoff brings us another installment of his 'Good News from Iraq' series. Just doing his part in helping to fill in the holes the ever pessimistic MSM leaves in their Middle East reporting.

If you get all your news from TV and the newspapers, you'll be quite surprised at the length of accomplishments in this edition. Enjoy.

More insanity in New London*(**)

And you thought that the seizure of private family dwellings to let a large, and privately owned, pharmaceutical company have cheap land to build a laboratory facility was crazy. Now, thanks to the Fairfield County Weekly we hear that having their houses seized may actually only be the beginning of the troubles of the Kelo Seven. Apparently, not quite content to just make these people temporarily homeless, the city of New London is doing everything in their power to make that situation permanent.

First, they have decided to follow the law in such a way that is most beneficial to them, of course, meaning that the 'just compensation' that is required by the law will be based on the 2000 property assessment (the year this whole mess started) which is far below the current market value. And as if that wouldn't be insult enough, and if true would require an impeachment of the New London city council, they are now charging the residents who fought the (now legalized) theft of their homes rent from the date the seizures would have originally taken place. Yes I said it R E N T! That means that many of these people may end up owing the town money for having the audacity of living in their own homes while fighting to not have them taken from them.

That's pretty much all I can say on the subject without blowing a gasket but you can check out Dafydd's take on the subject over at Captain's Quarters for more.

*As Dafydd points out, as of the writing of this post the only source for this information appears to be The Fairfield Weekly. So until there is some additional independent confirmation of this, there is still a chance at least part of this was based on some type of misunderstanding either on the reporters part or the people he talked to. We can only hope.

** Update: Jeff, over at Protein Wisdom links to this USA Today article which repeats the claims made in the Fairfield Weekly report. So it looks like the possibility of these poor people being charged 10's of thousands of dollars of back rent (or more) for living in homes that they owned, until a SCOTUS ruling last month, are indeed true.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A quick note about the Crawford Crazy

Or at least that's what I'm calling him.

I'm referring to Larry Northern, who, for reasons I can only guess at, decided to run down a large number of the crosses that Cindy Sheehan and her followers had set up around their protest site (see the Reuters story here).

First let me say that I'm not a big fan of the anti-war groups using crosses bearing the names of fallen soldiers as part of their protest, unless that soldier's views against the war were made clear enough as to be certain that they would have been ok with it, but (and this is a big but) they have every right to do it and with the exception of direct family members, such as parents, spouses, children etc.. who directly request their loved ones name be removed, no one should forcibly remove them. Mr. Northern took it upon himself to attempt to destroy this 'memorial' and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for doing so.

Feel free to disagree with Ms. Sheehan and the various other protesters converging on Crawford all you want but no matter what the original intent of these crosses were, they still represent brave men and women who gave their life so that others could enjoy even a partial taste of the freedoms we in the West enjoy in abundance (although that's not exactly what Ms. Sheehan's wants you to think when you look at them).

Angry in the Great White North has a little twist on this story while Michelle Malkin brings up some of the other acts of cross desecration that you won't hear those on the left complain about.

And as always, the regulars at the Daily Kos put their 2 cents in (although I think most of them get back change) and somehow manage to project the acts of one lone nut to the entire GOP, President Bush and of course, Karl Rove. It's always interesting to see them try and give the what they believe will be the conservative response while most admit to having very little exposure to actual conservatives (I've actually debated people who used that as a badge of honor while still telling me what conservatives think). I especially love their views of people like Bill O'Reilly when it's obvious from their comments that they have never watched his program or read anything he's written.

I may not agree with everything O'Reilly says, but he does usually back up his statements with at least some facts and doesn't appear to be afraid of any subject, despite what those from Kos would have you believe. In fact, when Ms. Sheehan cancelled her appearance on his show last week he quickly got another anti-war mother of a soldier killed in Iraq to come and present her case, even going so far as to give her 'the last word'. Now compare that to, say Sheehan herself who only appears on heavily left leaning programs like Hardball where the interviewer will allow her to say anything she wants without the slightest challenge.

They grow up so fast

I never mentioned this before, I was actually waiting to get my camera back from a friend who has been using it to create his own personal Ebay store so that I could add a photo, but about 2 and a half weeks ago, just days before going on 'vacation', I got a new dog; a 6 month old Shi Tzu. It basically all resulted from a call from my sister-in-law that essentially went like this:

SiL: "Hey, you want a dog?"
Me: "How much?"
SiL: "Free."
Me: "How old?"
SiL: "I think about a year."
Me: "Sure."

There was some additional talk about why they were getting rid of him but as it turned out what I was told (he was a barker, bites, etc) hasn't really presented itself. All in all, Foster (had to keep my pet naming pattern going and besides even he didn't seem to like his original name, Lancelot) seems like the perfect puppy. Loves the ferrets (although the ferrets haven't yet decided if they in turn love this overly energenic bundle of fur), loves all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood (a little too much in a couple cases), stays out of the garbages (even when there is food inside), and in most cases listens.

There is one problem though, despite my assurances to the contrary, he is not quite housebroken yet. That leads to the reason for this post. Today, for the first time he actually decided to use the puppy training pad instead of the carpet to relieve himself. Then to make the morning all the more surreal, as soon as I was finished getting ready for work he walked into his kennel and just sat there until I closed it up. (Normally, when I go off to work he sits in his kennel pleading to be let out, however, unlike the dog that used to live beneath me, even on those normal days he stops barking after about 5 minutes and then spends the rest of his day chewing on his toys or sleeping.)

Could this be a sign of things to come? Could all my prayers have been answered so quickly? Can I finally put away my Little Green Machine carpet cleaner instead of leaving it plugged into the dining room outlet? I would like to think so but my first guess is it's just some type of evil plot that Foster has gotten himself caught up into. I'm not accusing Foster, as he is only a puppy, but he was spending a lot of time with Miller this morning and I would never put anything past him.

Harper Chief of Staff "Resigns"

I have to say I like Stephen Harper, but his PR department is a mess. No matter what the man does, the Liberals and NDP have convinced the country that he is a monster just looking for power so that he can throw grandma out on the streets and make your children work in his friends coal mines (I'm paraphrasing here but that's essentially the message they've been sending). In fact, by all accounts I have read he is an honest, intelligent, straight forward politician (a rare breed in Ottawa) who just has a hard time selling himself to Canadians on the personal level.

Like many honest politicians, he seems to be more focused on doing the Country's work then trying to look good in the press. For me, that's good enough, but for most people they want to see their leaders out shaking hands and kissing babies, policies be damned. So it was with mixed feeling that I heard this morning about the fact that Harper has essentially asked his Chief of Staff to leave ( I just hope whoever comes in to replace Mr. Murphy does a better job of 'selling' Harper to Canadians but doesn't make him a laughing stock by putting him into totally unnatural positions. It's ok to try and get your face out there but not at the expense of your ideals or your credibility.

Of course in Canadian politics, the more popular a Conservative candidate the more the opposition parties attack. Remember Stockwell Day? While a lot of his problems arose from internal party politics (and an unfortunate Sea-Doo appearence), it's amazing how much he was attacked personally for such things as just being a Christian (amazingly enough by people who, when the need arises, have no trouble flaunting the fact they are devout Roman Catholics). The sad thing is, under Canadian Rules Journalism, the hypocrisy of those attacks are just lost.

So here's to hoping that whoever Harper chooses as his new right hand man (or woman), they know how to walk that fine line.

(H/T Captain's Quarters)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

'Mother' Sheehan*

I've basically stayed away from the whole Cindy Sheehan mess, with the exception of a short reference to her in the FrontPageMag link from yesterday, but it's damn near impossible to watch any news program now without seeing her face. She posts to Michael Moore's web site, has almost every anti-war celebrity writing about her on the Huffington Post site (and has a post on there as well), and has the majority of the MSM bending over backwards to tell her 'story'.

While you have to allow the women to grieve for her son, her campaign against the Bush administration has long ceased to be about Casey Sheehan and has almost certainly turned into the Cindy Sheehan show.

Like most people commenting on this story I never knew Specialist Casey Sheehan but there are some things about his character that are pretty easy to pick up from his personal history. For the record, something Ms. Sheehan seems to always manage to ignore in her tirades against the administration, Casey Sheehan voluntarily joined the army in 2000, after serving 3 years he decided to continue his career in the military and in 2003 re-enlisted (once again voluntarily), even though he knew that might mean a deployment to Iraq. While that doesn't necessarily make him an avid Bush supporter, it does seem to indicate pretty strongly that he did not share his mother's anti-war viewpoint. In fact it has been reported that Ms. Sheehan had attempted to get her son to go AWOL to Canada prior to his deployment but that he refused.

To make his character all the more clear are the facts about the tragic mission that resulted in his death. As a mechanic he was under no orders to enter a 'hot zone' and was therefore not required to enter into a situation where he might have to engage enemy forces, but when members of his unit found themselves under fire from insurgents he quickly volunteered (there's that word again) to join the rapid rescue team and attempt to save his fellow soldiers. It was during that rescue operation that he was killed by the insurgents (not President Bush as Ms. Sheehan repeatedly claims). Without ever having personally met Specialist Casey Sheehan, I can tell you this, he was a man who was willing to put his life on the line to save others without a moments hesitation. That, by all accounts, makes him a true hero.

But you will rarely see a story that focuses on Casey Sheehan whenever his mother gets involved. Instead, she requires all eyes and ears be on her, with the exception of a baby picture of Casey she pulls out from time to time, so that she can spout her anti-war message while claiming to just want to meet with the President to ask a few questions (can't be any harm in that can there?). She, as well as the vast majority of her supporters, rarely mention the fact that she has already met face to face with the President last year** and less than a month ago she met with the National Security Advisor and the Deputy White House Chief of Staff, that meeting lasting over 45 minutes. Can you name any other grieving family member who can make those same claims?

From all accounts even a great number of her own family members are getting fed up with her antics even going so far as to having to release a statement distancing themselves from her to the press. Now in all fairness this seems to be mostly from Casey's father's side of the family which, since they appear to be predominately Bush supporters, are not permitted to air their displeasure at what they see as shameful abuse of a beloved family members name to promote a personal agenda; or so says the anti-Bush crowd. It's truly amazing how hypocritical these people can be without ever realizing it. Apparently anti-war family members of a volunteer soldier are more justified in using that soldier's death to promote themselves and their cause then other family members are to simply ask them to stop.

The outrage with Ms. Sheehan's 'grieving' (while I believe she is still grieving for her son I, as stated above, also believe this has long stopped being about Casey) has been pretty widespread across the right side of the blogosphere. Here are just a few of the posts that finally pushed me over the edge and inspired me to break my Sheehan silence (for good or bad, you decide):
  • Varifrank has probably one of the most heartfelt posts on this subject you will ever read.
  • Although it's already linked above, I figure I'll add a second link to the post over at the left wing echo chamber, Attytood just so you can see the compassion that the anti-Bush crowd truly feel toward Casey's family members.
It's only been a few hours since I wrote this original post but since that time I've been reading a few of my regular websites and boy oh boy, the Sheehan posts are just piling up. Just thought I'd add a few more quick links to help save you time:
  • Jeff over at Protein Wisdom continues to add his particular style of discourse to the party here, here and here.
  • Little Green Footballs has some pretty good links focusing on how the other side views the Sheehan story as well as some more of Ms. Sheehans more controversial, and little publicized beliefs, here, here, here, here and here. (warning: some of these posts directly display the mad rantings of Daily Kos members. Just thought I should warn people in advance.)
  • Michelle Malkin has an interesting post pointing to a new Newsweek article that appears to paint a slightly different view of the President and how he deals with the grieving families than the one Ms. Sheehan is currently presenting to the press. Although it is oddly reminiscent of Ms. Sheehans original comments about her meeting with President Bush; odd coincidence that.
Update II:
Just a quick welcome to everyone coming over from the MSNBC/Newsweek 'BlogTalk' page.

Update III:
Just adding a few more links:

* For an explanation of the title 'Mother' Sheehan and to see what depths anti-war protestors are willing to do to use Casey Sheehan's sacrifice see this LGF post. It's almost too sad for words.

** You can look up innumerable web sites (Michelle Malkin has a good summary) that go into detail about how her recollection of her and her husbands Presidential meeting changed from him being 'sincere' to him acting 'like it was a party'.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Week in Review - August 13th

I'm still not quite over whatever it is that I caught at the end of my 'vacation' last week so I haven't been writing too much this week. I've still been browsing however, and there have been a few stories of interest this week so to both post them to my site and save a little typing time I've figured I may as well do another 'week in review' type post. So here goes:
  • FrontPageMag has an intersting look into just some of the guest lecturers brought in to San Francisco State University by the various groups on campus. A veritable who's who of the Moonbat elite.
  • In what has got to be one of the most amazingly hypocritical campaigns ever, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate has produced a cartoon for kids featuring a 'hero' who basically kills everyone with opposing viewpoints to their ideology. None of the people who are drowned or blown up in the cartoon ever appear to threaten anyone with violence, it is merely their voicing their opposition that earns them death. Another example of the 'tolerant left'. It appears they have removed the link to the cartoon from their main site but you can still see it on the direct link here. Thanks to World Net Daily for the original link. Dawn Eden over at The Dawn Patrol has more.
  • Got this useful and informative link to from of all places a Stargate SG-1 forum after reading about Richard Dean Anderson's lending his star power to the despicable Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (something I actually felt the need to create an account and comment on). Thanks to Murray 303.
  • And finally, PETA once again tries to put animals on the same level as people. When will these people ever learn. Earlier this year they used a series of photos to dare and equate the treatment of the Jews, and other Holocaust victims, to the treatment of farmyard animals and now they are using the same technique to show pictures of the torture, killing and selling of slaves with what they consider is similar and morally equivalent, treatment of animals. Someone really needs to hit these people with a clue bat. Hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day by Day

As Chris Muir's 'Day by Day' strip from August 10th explains, he is trying to get some attention for a small cancer clinic that is helping his sister.

I know there aren't too many people dropping by my site on a daily basis but if both of you would take the time to visit Chris's site and click on the 'Click4Cathy' banner, that would be great.


Just added a link to the original 'Day by Day' strip and modified the sentence to reflect it is no longer the current strip.

It appears that Chris's Click4Cathy campaign was an amazing success. Just check out his follow-up strips here and here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"The Backstroke of the West"

Thanks to this post at Matthew in Beirut for pointing out

If you just browse through winterson for a bit you'll find some hilarious stuff captured from some DVDs bought on the streets of Shanghai. You just gotta love these English -> Chinese -> English translations.

So for you're reading pleasure, I present you:

1)Star War (not a typo) Episode iii: The Backstroke of the West: Part 1, and Part 2

and as an added bonus

2)Fahrenheit 9/11

My vacation 'Round Up' post

Well I'm back from my 'vacation' (5 days of moving, 3 days of vegetating, 2 days (and still going) of some kind of stomach bug) so I've decided to write a quick 'round up' post of some of the things I've bookmarked while I was gone. (I like writing using my own keyboard at home or at work much more than using my parents.)

On the politics side:
  • Daily Kos: GOP spin on Roberts starting to unravel: I'm beginning to think that no matter who Bush nominates for SCOTUS the krew at Kos will have a problem with them. I think anyone more conservative than say the lead coucil for the ACLU will be considered extreme by these guys (and gals (wouldn't want to be accused of being sexist)).
Media Bias and/or PC madness:
  • Patterico'’s Pontifications� When Race is “Relevant” at the Washington Post: although I've seen this type of thing before it is still incredibly insane to think that a newspaper has this type of reporting as part of their guidelines. When armed suspects are running around robbing and killing people apparently it violates Washington Post guidlines to include the full desciption as provided by the police because the suspects are all black and they want to be politically correct. Apparently race is not an issue at the Washington Post (unless of course you're white as Patterico later points out with help from Ankle Biting Pundits)
  • LGF: What Media Bias?: Another example of MSM math where A + B = Bush is evil. What does the last statement have to do with anything else in the article?
On the funny side:
Just killing time:
  • Blast Billiards: Warning, this game can be quite addictive (which my brother can attest to first hand, if I can ever get him away from it long enough to type up a comment).
And that's all for last weeks browsing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Day Six of my 'vacation'

In case anyone was wondering why there hasn't been a post in the last few days, as of last Friday afternoon, I officially started my summer vacation.

So here is a breakdown of my first 6 days of 'vacation':

Day 1:
  • Loaded a 26' U-Haul with the entire contents of my brother's storage locker and half of the furniture from my apartment (well all the stuff that belonged to him anyway)
  • Got 4 hours sleep
Day 2
  • Drove for 11 hours in a minivan with two kids under the age of 9 (who love to pick at each other)
  • Got 6 hours sleep
Day 3
  • Drove for another 7 - 8 hours in the same minivan over a road that while only 600 kms, is either built like a snake's back or dirt (about half and half)
  • Got to Labrador City (Newfoundland) and had a nice home cooked meal
  • Got 6 hours sleep
Day 4
  • Drove 8 hours in the 26' U-Haul (this time I wasn't actually driving) to get to Goose Bay (about 530 kms on an all dirt road and not well plowed)
  • Unloaded the contents of a 26' U-Haul into my brother's new house (everything covered with at least an inch worths of dust)
  • Got 6 hours sleep
Day 5
  • Turned around and drove another 8 hours on the same road to return to Labrador City (after about 50 kms the muffler fell off so we were driving in a 20 year old standard diesel beast of a truck with no muffler)
  • Got back to Lab City
Day 6
  • Started my first day where I wasn't required to drive or do work since last Friday
And in 4 days I get to fly back to Ottawa so I can get back to work on Monday. Now, if I can only find some of my old friends who still live here to get a good game of Monopoly on the go I can say it was all worth it.

P.S. I may be on later this week but otherwise I won't be doing any regular posting till I get back to Ottawa and my own computer.
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