Friday, March 31, 2006

And you thought the cartoon story was over

This week has been a flurry of Danish cartoon controversies.

First, a NYU students group proposed public discussion on the cartoons was given the choice of either A) showing the cartoons but closing it's doors to the public, or B) not showing the cartoons and allowing full public access to the event after a NYU Muslim group complained about the racist nature of the cartoons (I really don't think they know what 'racism' means) . The Objectivist Club chose B), so that they could at least listen to all of their off campus guests who otherwise would have been turned away. See Charles Mitchell of FIRE's response here.

Then came the news from Waldenbooks and Borders bookstores that their entire chains would refuse to carry the current issue of 'Free Inquiry' due to it's printing of 4 of the dreaded cartoons. See these LGF stories here and here including an open letter to Borders by Robert Bidinotto, editor of The New Individualist. Dorkafork over at INDC has one of the best rips of the book chains decision.

Then there was the complaint against The Western Standard, by an irate, and apparently barely literate, imam in Alberta. Amongst his complaints, the Western Standards publishing of the Danish cartoons has caused an influx of hate mail to the Imam, oddly most coming prior to the actual magazine being published. Now that's what I call being on top of the ball. Sadly, because the Alberta Human Rights Commission chose to accept this complaint, even though the RCMP dismissed the idea of filing any form of criminal charges against the magazine (and rightfully so), while the WS will have to foot a legal defense bill of up to $75k, the Imams case will be made on the taxpayers dime. (see the Western Standard article for full details and links as well as a legal defense fund drive)

And finally, in what can only be the strangest twist of all, Jyllands-Posten, the original publisher of the cartoons, is being sued by a collection of Danish Muslims. This after it was these same Danish Muslims who created their own booklet of Mohammed cartoons, including several they made up themselves as well as at least one picture from a pig calling contest in France (although they depicted it as a man mocking Mohammed including mocking Muslim prayer), and started a tour of the Middle East for the sole purpose of enraging the 'muslin street' and create the very reaction we have seen. If anything I believe the paper should sue any and all Muslim organizations that in any way participated or backed the Mid East tour of hate.

Allahpundit, by way of Michelle Malkin's blog, has more details on several of these stories and some good links. His best line, and one that sums up the North American definition of 'freedom of speech' perfectly:
"A group of Muslim students attended the discussion and held up a banner that read "FREEDOM OF SPEECH [does not equal] FREEDOM TO HATE" -- which, of course, it does,.." (emphasis mine)
It's really time for all Muslims, those in North America foremost amongst them, to grow up and start behaving like civilized human beings. If you are truly a moderate Muslim, instead of sitting quietly letting these extremists continue throwing childish temper tantrums, it's time to stand up and make yourself heard. Of course, being a 'religion' built on conquest and the subjugation of all non-believers to the point that the killing of anyone who changes beliefs is widely considered acceptable (outside of North America at least) it may be hard to voice such dissenting opinions and still remain in good standings with the religious leadership.

And the nonsense continues.

Black Gold

Well it looks official, Tetley has been replaced as Newfoundland's favorite brand of tea for that lovely black Hibernia brand.

For the first time ever, the government of Newfoundland & Labrador has managed to generate a surplus budget. This milestone in provincial history can be directly attributed to 2 things:

First and foremost, the Conservative driven plan to extend to NF and Nova Scotia the same rights to their oil revenues that Albertans enjoy. True, the actual legislation was enacted under the previous Liberal government but only the most die hard, kool-aid drinking Liberal could honestly say that it was not an attempt to 'steal' a Conservative party promise in order to retain their East Coast dominance. Even then, after running on a policy copied straight out of the Conservative playbook, the federal Liberals tried (and thankfully failed) to tie so many strings to their version (only after the election of course) as to make it almost meaningless. Then there is the small matter that it was also the federal Liberals, when in power a few decades ago, that enacted the federal legislation that forced Newfoundland to give up over 80% of it's oil revenues to the feds in the first place (I hope the bitterness in my typing isn't coming across too strongly).

Secondly, the current high price of oil. As long as oil stays over $54 a barrel, things will be looking up for the Newfoundland economy. So while I don't enjoy spending 98 cents/L for gas, I don't mind it as much as

Hopefully, with this sudden change in the economic situation of what is generally viewed as Canada's poorest province (but we still get to make fun of Cape Bretoners), the government can start to look into more ways to generate wealth within the province.

Things are looking good in the land of rock and surf.


Possible Al-Qaida leader captured in Newmarket, ON

This is big news.

According to today's Ottawa Sun, Raja Ghulam Mustafa, a suspected Al-Qaida 'captain' living just outside of Toronto, has been arrested just before fleeing to the US. After the arrest, a briefcase containing forged papers and a laptop were taken from his home. As far as I could see, no details as to how he was fingered were released and the same goes for what, if anything, he had be planning.

If this turns out to be true, if may just force all those who make all their foreign policy decisions under the assumption that terrorism was only a US problem to have to re-think their views.

As far as I can tell this story still hasn't been posted on either the CBC or CTV news sites, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A sure sign that spring has sprung.

I just had my first frozen Caramel Latte at Timothy's.

Not that stuff made with fresh brewed coffee either, no, the 'real' thing made the way God intended it, with the ice cappacino mix that's been spinning in that machine for the past 6 hours. Hmmm hmmm good.

What do you get for the geek who has everything?

Well this would be a nice start

Just because everyone is doing it.....

Want a good example as to how not to win a debate?

Find a clip from last nights Hannity and Colmes and watch the segment where Alan Colmes and Bob Beckel are trying to disprove Hannity's claim that the Left in American have moved further and further from a group interested in ideas and have become a group more interested in personal attacks on the President and anyone who supports him.

Hannity made the claim that everyday Democrats are coming out to call the President a liar, incompotent, greedy, etc... and named Ted Kennedy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid as a few examples. To combat this claim Colmes makes the classic mistake of adding gas to the fire, instead of addressing the three examples given by Hannity, he instead references comments by Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean with a 'every time Hillary or Dean makes a comment the right tries to make is seem like every democrat is saying it'. Here's the problem, if you can so easily name every single leading Democrat in the country with regards to over the top personal attacks on the President or his administration, you're ability to claim it's only a fringe element of the party falls apart pretty damn fast.

Of course, when both Colmes and Bob Beckel pull out DailyKos as an example of a good upstanding political blog, in defense of their positions, then the battle is already won.

I guess this isn't really an update, since I found it before posting, but Expose the Left has the video.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What's become of this group?

When the boss is away and you still can't get all the guys from the group to head out to Jack Astor's for lunch because it's "too far" (despite the fact that they're not driving), that's a sign everyone's just getting too old; well that and the fact MacDaddy can't go five minutes without a bathroom break (I swear he has to go 5 or 6 more times a day if the humidity goes up 10%).

Is it so much to ask for a little time out on a Wednesday to enjoy some fresh baked apple pie and a very nice looking collection of waitresses? Not to mention their 20 beers on tap for those looking for a little bit of a 'liquid lunch'.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Great News out of Afghanistan

While it's not all good news, it looks like Afghani authorities have decided to drop all charges against Abdul Rahman. It's unclear as to the exact reasons for his release, but hopefully he should be out of jail soon. The sad part is that due to religious tensions being built up by local Imans, it is doubtful that he will be able to stay in Afghanistan so for the second time, will have to flee his home country.

If the reports of his receiving German citizenship aren't true, I hope Canada adds themselves to the list of countries offering him sanctuary.

Michelle has more.

Friday, March 24, 2006

"Greg Gutfeld's 29 Amazing Reasons why America Sucks!"

So far my favorites have to be:

#15. Replacing a dictator with a democracy doesn't sit well with my yoga instructor.
#19. Our constitution is simply too lenient and doesn't allow for beheadings.
#21. Our army shows up early to everything, which is awkward.
#22. Uniformly applied "right turn on red" traffic rule perpetuates a racist worldview instead a society that's a beautiful cultural mosaic. Worse, faster traffic flow puts off the day when we all must return to sheep-drawn carriages.

Read the rest for yourself.

And if you've never read a Gutfeld comments section before, don't miss Enders replies.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sometimes it's OK for a man to cry

I just installed my new Dell 20.1" widescreen LCD.

I'm really starting to feel sorry for my poor little mouse pointer.

Ottawa Traffic (part 7)

I guess you could also consider this part 6.5.

If you are relying on the rotation of the Earth and not the accelerator pedal under your foot to propel your car forward, please, for everyone's sake, buy a comfortable pair of shoes instead of an automobile.

(Previous Ottawa Traffic installments)

How to spot 'junk' science

If the sample pool consists 100% of UC Berkley faculty and staff children (a University with a 91% liberal rating), and is itself, performed by a member of that same university, it's probably not a useful study to base any conclusion concerning political ideologies on.

If the strongest correlation discovered, using this highly biased source group and unclear testing procedures, is .27 (indicating a roughly 7% affect on outcome), it's probably not going to be used as the basis for any Nobel Laureates work.

If it's results seem to directly contradict 30 years of ongoing research from the very respectable non-partisan Pew Research Center, it's probably got a little way to go before gaining credibility.

Michelle has more, as does Shrinkwrapped.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who's with me

I'm looking for people to join my crusade against Adobe pdf files.

How can something so simple take 10 minutes to load on a reasonable well powered computer. Is a gig of ram not enough for these people!

Throw together some paper mache heads (a necessary staple at any protest), grab some old cardboard boxes and some markers, and lets storm Adobe headquarters until they bow to our demands to not, by default, preload every single available extension when you just want to read a small local newspaper's classified ads section to see you mother's birthday announcement.

Who's with me!

(If it helps, I hear the weather in San Jose is pretty nice this time of year)

The courage of his convictions

If you haven't heard of the story of Abdul Rahman you should take the time to read this Chicago Tribune article (h/t Michelle Malkin).

For the short version, Rahman is a former Muslim man in Afghanistan who while living outside of the country several years ago converted to Christianity. Today, due to that conversion he is on trial for his life, as it is considered a death sentence in many Islamic cultures, for anyone to leave Islam. Even with the removal of the ultra strict Taliban regime, much of Afghanistan follows the more hard lined Islamic traditions so the possibility of Abdul of paying the ultimate price for his faith is very real.

Personally, I think this speaks volumes about a religion that requires threats of death to anyone who would choose to leave. While in the West, many religions use a form of excommunication to punish people who leave, I believe fundamentalist Islam is one of the few, if not the only one, who actually consider it a crime worthy of death.

Please pray for Abdul.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A debate you'd never see anywhere else

It's because of this type of out of left field stuff (or should that be right field where Jeff is concerned), in addition to his well thought out analysis on various subjects, that I've given one of my cherished homepage tabs to Protein Wisdom.

We're #1 and #2

This weekend saw some jumping around in the NHL standings. With Ottawa winning both of their games over the weekend, they've managed to finally pull back into the Eastern Conference lead but because Detroit also managed to win both of their games we remain 1 point out of first overall.

Looks like the race for the President's Cup this year will be a real nail biter.

Canadian Military spending

Looks like Harper's finally coming through on his promises to build up the Canadian Military. Of course, being only a minority government he has to start small.

Sex and Politics

According to today's Ottawa Sun, the big news story hitting the country this fine day is a new 'report' released by the Sex Professionals of Canada, or SPOC for short. They've rated each political leader as to how they think they perform behind closed doors.

So the final rankings come down like this (and I can't believe I'm actually going to type this out):

Former PM Paul Martin: Hot in the bedroom

Prime Minister Stephen Harper: a 'dirty boy' looking for something a little kinkier in the bedroom

NDP leader Jack Layton: a little narcissistic

Former PM Kim Campbell: Truly good in bed

Liberal leader hopeful Belinda Stronach: demanding and boring like an amateur dominatrix

Alberta Premier Ralph Kliein: prefers masturbating (hey don't blame me, I just type 'em as I see 'em)

Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris: a little selfish

Current Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty: lacking 'follow through'

So there you have it, that's how the professionals call it but I don't know about the first one. I would have called it more alone the lines of promising big things but once he gets called to perform, just lies there; not that I can say I've ever thought of Paul Martin's sex life before.

Excuse me while I go wash my brain out with soap.

"Random Sampling" MSM style

I just saw the Today Show's response to the 3 year anniversary of the Iraq war and I have to say, they weren't doing a very good job of covering up their bias. First, almost every question was the "What went wrong?" type, although I will admit they did have a good mix of guests to answer them.

Second, as is the usual MSM MO, their reporter from Baghdad talks about people he's met and their overall negative outlook (do they even know about the other 21,000,000 people in Iraq? You'd never know it from all the reporters based in the Baghdad hotel.) not bothering to mention the millions of other Iraqis who for the first time in 12+ years have been able to get access to clean water and electricity that had previously been the restricted to the few cities Saddam chose.

Then the stats they showed were once again, all negative (number of deaths and wounded type thing) with few positive stats which took far less physical forms like "held 3 elections". Somehow the number of schools built, power generation, oil production, etc.. were all missed. Once again, standard MSM fair.

But the last, and most blatant show of bias was their "random sampling" of New Yorkers about their opinions, so random that Katie stressed it was random both before and after showing the respondents. The first was a man who supported the war, but the second was an ANTI-WAR PROTESTOR actually at a demonstration and even HOLDING A PROTEST SIGN! The third was a man who was opposed to the war. Then for some reason they just kept showing those same three respondents, although on repeated showing of the protestor, they kept closing in to finally make it impossible to tell she was holding a sign.

So according to the Today's Show "random sampling" you could only assume that on any given day at least 2,666,667 New Yorkers are in the streets protesting the war.

I know it was only a small informal survey, but with distortions like this I think the Today Show has managed to take away the crown from the CBS survey group as most overtly biased polling; up until know, an accomplishment most people thoght impossible. Congrats Today!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

It's the little things in life ...

I can't say for sure that it was me, for all I know it was just a supply problem, but just one week after I used the Cineplex Odeon online comment system to write a complaint about the spoons at their Silver City theater (they've sucked for quite a while but I waited until actually being injured by one to write) they've been changed.

Since they've been the same crappy pieces of plastic for as long as I remember I find the timing a little bit coincidental to be from anything else.

It's not like cancer has been cured or anything, but hey, if I can be a least partially responsible for the prevention of another cut lip, especially mine, than I'll consider it a job well done, and even though that's suppose to be it's own reward, I won't say no to any coupons they happen to want to send me.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Inside the ISM

An Amazingly detailed look inside the not so public face of the International Solidarity Movement (by Lee Kaplan of FrontPage).

A perfect example of what investigative journalism should be.

(h/t Powerline)

Crashing the Gates

Dean Barnett has a great review of Jerome Armstrong ( and Markos Moulitsas's ( new book over at The Daily Standard.

While I haven't read it myself, and due to an annoying habit I have of fact checking non-fiction books I read (something I'd assume would keep me very busy with this particular work) I probably never will, from Dean's short summary I actually managed to find that surprisingly enough, Kos and I agree one something; one of the key problems with the progressive movement of today is a severe lack of central guiding principles.

Of course we totally disagree on the solution. Kos and crew believing the best way to develop a strong set of core principles is to have a think tank tell everyone what they are, while I believe that beliefs are a personal matter and cannot be forced on to a person by an outside source and until that is made clear, too many people will continue to look outward for help defining what they believe instead of looking inward.

(h/t Powerline)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Barely Legal

Any other fans of 'Boston Legal' out there.

Despite the fact every episode is guaranteed at least one good anti-Bush rant (it always amazes me how every legal case in Boston has something to do with the Dubya) I keep on tuning in; well technically my PVR keeps tuning in and as we all know, you must watch what the PVR tells you too or risk offending the PVR Gods, who if displeased have been known to banish unworthy subscribers to basic cable; a fate worse than death.

Somehow, his extremely ill-informed and simplistic political speeches notwithstanding, I even continue to like James Spader's, 'Allan Shore' character, although hands down Shatner's 'Denny Crane' steals every scene he is in. But the cherry on top is definitely Alan's assistant, YOWZA! (I'm talking current episodes here, not the re-runs with Betty White in that position, although I'm sure in her day......)

It all just makes me want to tune in next week to see how they turn a case of public urination into and indictment of FEMA's handling of the Katrina crisis.

Did I mention Alan's assistant yet?

Must say, I'm impressed

My data recovery program is finally complete and out of a possible 200GB of data, lost to the ether, it managed to recover 1 TB. Yep, that's a 'T' as in terabyte. Honestly, I didn't think it had it in 'em.

Needless to say there is a little duplication on the recovered files. Luckily I have another Duplicate File Finder program to run against the recovered files and delete all the extras. Of course, not having a free terabyte of space (I knew I should have bought those extra 200's) I'm having to recover in chunks of 100GB or so.

Oh well, at least it looks like I'll be able to save all the good stuff (and get your mind out of the gutters).

And the Meek shall ...

... not join the Liberal Party of Canada.

Another lesson in 'Liberal diplomacy'. (by way of the Captain)

V for Vendetta

Just went and saw 'V' as part of our regular Friday Morning Movie Club schedule (finally getting back to normal) and I have to say, it was quite good.

I'm not writing a full review, since I'm letting Mac do that (he still owes me a couple), but I will say this, don't go in expecting any subtlety. The point of the movie is repeatedly drilled into your head through a series of very straight forward speeches and scenes; not leaving a lot of room for interpretation. After seeing all the previews I was prepared for this, but if you're not, it might make the movie less enjoyable. So be forewarned.

I did notice two interesting things about the movie though. The first is that the Britain in 'V for Vendetta' is eerily similar to the far left's current vision of the US. After seeing a true fascist state depicted on the big screen however, you see just how far away from complete government dictatorship the US truly is. I'm sure people on the left end of the political spectrum will think differently, but to me, Vendetta's Britain is a perfect example of everything the US isn't.

The second was the several references to Muslims and the Koran. I found this mildly amusing because in the movie, it appears both are outlawed, as well as homosexuals and several other 'fringe' groups, due to strict religious code put forward by the government. Oddly enough, Christianity, which I can only assume is the religion in question, is one of the only religions in which there is an implied separation between church and state "Give unto Caesar what is Caeser's ..." and in today's world, the only nations I know that actually consider homosexuality a crime or outlaw other religions, are in fact Muslim nations. Islam itself is based on the idea that church and state cannot be separated and Mohammad was in fact both a religious and political leader in his day.

None of this should stop you from seeing the movie. Even without such a good story and action sequences, a few Natalie Portman scenes alone are worth the price of admission. See the movie and you'll know what I mean.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New study links Bush to Hitler

The Right Place has managed to compile some pretty damning evidence.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

100,000,000 bottles of beer on the wall ....

I am now 67 hours in to my data recovery of my main hard drive.

Ah the joys of new hardware installation. I installed 2 new 200GB drives last weekend and somehow, in the process of unloading 2 or my older drives, and partitioning the new ones my current 200 was wiped clean. 199.7 GB of data, all gone with only the dreaded "The disk in drive I had not been formatted. Would you like to format it now?" message to greet me.

To add insult to injury, after watching my data recovery program scan the drive for 40+ hours, I went to work, expecting everything to be waiting for me after I came home. Instead all that greeted me when I entered my condo was Foster, in his usual hyper excited mood, and a bunch of digital clocks all blinking various times. From what I can tell, at almost the exact time I was expecting the scan to be completed, my area of town had a minor power outage. Just minor enough to cause all electronics to shut off and reset.

So I'm now 19 and a half hours into scan#2 hoping that by this time tomorrow I can begin the fun process of sorting out the 100,000+ files it's found, since apparently, it can't recover the FAT table to get me my directory structure back.

Things were so much simpler in the days of the 5GB drives.

Her father's daughter

This story, over a Michelle Malkin's, is just incredible. Not so much that it occurred, but because, as Michelle points out, how little attention it's getting.

The saddest fact of all is that this girl is only 7. If I had my way indoctrination like this would be considered a form of child abuse.

It's is a great example though of how the 'New Black Panther Party' is nothing more than a better dressed version of the Klan; same rhetoric, different target.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Those who stand for nothing ...

I was browsing HuffPo this afternoon (I know, I know but I was really bored at work) when I wandered into this post. Just to save you the time of reading it, Bush is Bad, Feingold was a little too energenic, but 100% correct in calling for censure, and the Dems are losing because they refuse to lower themselves to the Republican's level. (In what world does one have to living where they think Democrats have been playing to nice? Have you not read a paper or seen a TV for the last 6 years? All one has to do is Google "Howard Dean" to see just how kind and loving the Dems have been towards the conservatives.)

He did make one good point though, conservatives groups and officials do tend use similar talking points when explaining their views on an issue while liberals are routinely all over the map. As usual, he attributes this to conservatives all reading from some form of central play book or 'script', as if we all need to be told what we believe. His mistake is to attempt to use liberal logic to understand a conservative mind.

Conservatives, in general, share a similar set of values and beliefs, with the cornerstone being self reliance. This set of moral certainties, which help define what is good and what is bad, act as a moral compass. Using those values as a decoder-ring type tool, any person could look at a situation and 99 times out of 100 come up with the conservative stance; no outside influences necessary.

Liberalism, as practiced in North America, by it's very nature stresses the individuals feelings and as such introduces a much larger emotional quotient in it's decision making process. As everyone brings different emotional baggage to the table, it is nearly impossible for any two people to come up with the exact same view of a given set of circumstances. They may agree on the final outcome they want, but they both arrived to that opinion through very different means. This leads to a more case by case review of a situation and to moral relativism, as certain groups or individuals try to explain why something that was considered good or bad in one situation, is entirely different when put in a different setting.

This helps explain why at the various left wing rallies you routinely see groups who should be mortal enemies, marching side by side. How else do you explain hard line Islamists groups marching next to women's rights groups, or supposed racial rights leaders sharing the podiums with open anti-semites. These groups have learned long ago that because there is no uniformity within their ranks, to take whatever assistance they can get, whenever they can get it.

Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the why is as important as the how or the what. You and I may both agree that border security is important, but if your main reasoning is that you just want to keep all foreigners out, then you won't be invited to my march.

Just think of how many times a conservative has been ostracized by their own organizations for expressing what are considered to be unacceptable beliefs (racial attacks for example). Now compare that to the number of times liberals have publicly rebuked a member of their party for anything, with the exception of defending a conservative viewpoint.

Liberals may appear to be more tolerant of each others beliefs but it's really a false tolerance as is quite easily seen when reading any of their views of conservatives. They allow so much dissent within their ranks not because of a special ability to accept people for who they are, but because they understand that the time may come when they will need that other person's aid. This generally makes it easy to get together large numbers of people to fight against something, but much more difficult to get those same people together to fight for something, where motivations become such an important factor.

"Expect less, get less"

John over at Right Wing News has posted what he considers the 20 best quotes from Larry Elders "Ten Things You Can't Say In America"

My personal favorite is #7 with #3 coming in a close second.

Monday, March 13, 2006

From the 'How did this get a patent?' files

Read it and weep, eBay in 'Buy It Now' Patent Dispute (

It's like the US patent officers are just playing one big game of 'in bed', that old fortune cookie trick. Just add the word 'online' after any concept and voila, a brand new patent.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Am I alone on this?

I got a call last Sunday with a subscription offer from the Globe and Mail, sign up for 3 months @ their regular rate of $23/month and get two free two way tickets to your choice of a number of Canadian and American cities.

So far I'm the only person I know that's gotten this offer. Is there anyone else out there whose heard of this?

My paper started showing up today (2 days late btw) but still no sign of my airline tickets but I have faith they should be here soon. I haven't made up my mind for 100% yet but lets just say, I'm feeling a strong urge to watch this movie again.


Just thought I'd share my opinions on the three biggest Canadians news stories this week.

Issue # 1: Canada's involvement in Afghanistan
I definitely think we should be there but I don't agree with the blocking of an open debate in the House of Commons on the issue. At least let the MPs who oppose Canadian involvement a chance to talk first. If the whole things breaks down into political grandstanding and uncontrolled ranting then close the subject, but until then elected officials should at least be able to question the decision.

That being said, all those who want to pull out because of the deaths of 10 members of Canada's military really need to look into the definition of a soldier. They have been brainwashed with the whole 'peacekeeper' moniker. These men and women have been trained, and equipped, to fight, not hand out toys and candies to children in various 3rd world countries. While meeting the locals may be an added side benefit to their jobs these people chose an occupation that by it's very nature puts them in harms way.

The sad thing is that decades of left leaning propaganda have managed to make the average Canadians forget that the primary role of an army is to defend a countries interests, whether foreign or domestic, and in the course of doing that, actions may have to be taken that could result in the deaths of members of that military or others. They have been convinced that the military is nothing more than glorified policemen. Not to take anything away from the brave men and women of the various police forces across the country, but in a general day most police officers do not have people engaging them with heavy machine gun or artillery fire.

My cousin once told me about his time in Bosnia where members of his unit were forced to sit inside a bunker being shot at because the Canadian rules of engagement at the time were 'you cannot return fire until you or another member of your unit are in mortal danger', essentially requiring someone to be hit first before allowing any action. Or another time when snipers were quite opening targeting them, but as they were not actually being fired upon, they were not even permitted to aim their own weapons in the snipers direction. Of course that all changed the day a British soldier just happened to join them on their patrol, and after spotting the sniper instantly aimed his gun directly at him. The sniper never returned to that spot again.

So while every soldier killed in action should be mourned for their sacrifice, it is an insult to them and their remaining brothers and sister in arms to try and use their deaths as an excuse to surrender. And have no doubt about it, that is what those calling for a full recall of Canadian troops are in fact making a case for, surrender.

Personally I'd like to see more Canadian involvement in Iraq too, but even without the general negative sentiment towards that war, personnel and equipment issues make that a low probability move at this time,

Issue # 2: Who gets the Rav 4
Something few people bring up in the whole "Roll up the Rim to Win" controversy is that neither the 10 year old who retrieved a winning cup from the trash, not her 12 year old friend who helped her 'rrrrrroll up the rim' are legally permitted to claim the prize of the new Rav 4. You have to be 18 years old or older in this country to partake in almost any contest with prizes. Of course, Tim Horton's would be crazy to make that case and generate all the bad press that would be associated with a decision to challenge the legality of the win. I'm just saying.

Fro the CTV account, both families originally agreed to share the prize and it was only after the 10 year olds father filled out the claim form that things began to turn ugly.

I'll have to side with the two girls on this one, everyone should just go to Disneyworld. $29,000 can buy both families a nice trip with plenty left to over for souvenirs.

Issue # 3: The Canadian Tire Family gets fired
Now what will I do when I need advice as to what portable solar generator is best for running my Surround Sound system, XBox 360 and 50" Plasma TV while enjoying the great outdoors?

I feel so lost.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Port Deal

I truly hate politics for politics sake. And by that I mean proposals, legislation, initiatives, etc.. meant only to appease people with little or no regard to valid concerns.

In Canada we have had a long history of this type of legislating, for example, just from the last 12 years of Liberal rule we've had the cancellation of much needed replacement helicopters for our armed forces aged fleet to a multi billion dollar gun registry for hunting rifles to an ethics commissioner whose job was 100% reliant on the good will of the leader of the ruling party. But I think the Republicans in the US have managed to top even those examples of needless, reactionary legislation. Their latest move to make the transfer of the port contracts to Dubai Port World must rank pretty high up on the over reaction scale.

If you are worried about what might happen when one of the most successful port operation companies in the world get their hands on the money pits that are the handful of US port contracts in question, use the agreed upon waiting period to do some deep investigation into the company. Otherwise, stop trying to one up the Democrats in the knee jerk rhetoric department and let capitalism do it stuff.

For all you conspiracy theorists out there here's some of the details of the deal that rarely get mentioned on the evening news:
  • The port of Dubai happens to be the most heavily used US Navy port outside of the US and by all accounts, one of the best run ports in the world.
  • All security over the 6 ports in question will continue to be handled by US Customs and DHS agents as well as the US Coastguard.
  • The majority of inspections of shipped goods is actually done in the country of departure, not arrival. That is why a relatively small percentage of arriving containers are thoroughly searched on US soil, it has already been searched at it's departure point.
  • DPW is buying out the British firm in question to gain control of their lucrative foreign port contracts. The US contract are more of a deterrent than a bonus as the various government regulations and union issues make the US ports very expensive to operate.
  • DPW was involved in a bidding war with a Singapore based company for their purchase of P&O (the British company with the port contracts) which is the reason the final price was so much higher than the current stock price would seem to dictate.
  • The vast majority of US ports are currently operated by foreign nations, including such bastions of freedom as China and Saudi Arabia.
  • There would have been relatively few changes to current local personnel except for cases of reductions or increases in required workers necessary to make the ports more efficient.
Let me be clear, it's ok to want national ports run by domestic companies. They are an important entry point into the country and most people would feel safer if they were run by a local company. That being said, this has not been the case in the US as most of their port operations contracts are foreign owned. The relative lack of control (in some countries the companies actually run the entire port and not just the loading and unloading operations) and poor profit margins make the US ports very unattractive for smaller domestic firms. The only companies generally willing to buy up these contracts are ones which have large foreign operations capable of bearing the cost.

I still haven't seen anyone satisfactorily explain one very important question, if China and Saudi Arabia are able to run ports in the US with nary a grumble from politicians of either stripe until this deal was announced, and the deal itself did not remove any ports from US control, merely transferred operational contracts from one foreign company to another, what was all the fuss over. Unless someone can point out how the UAE is more of a risk than any of the other countries with contracts I cannot see any justification for the outrage by those on the right or left. This is as simple a case of racial profiling as you could hope to find. For no other reason than because they are Arab, DPW is being prevented from performing a standard legal buyout of another company.

If politicians want to make a stand on port security, it's time for them to announce a large scale buyout of all current foreign owned contracts, not just focus on a single company for quick political gain. Of course, once they realize that a take over of US ports by US companies would result in drastic inflation (to make a profit these US companies would most likely have to increase fees as they do not have the plum foreign contracts to help cover their costs) or large scale subsidizing by the government, then they may realize the reasons behind the current domination of US ports by foreign companies.

According to Michelle, and probably with the overwhelming approval of their accountants, DPW has announced they are willing to transfer the US contracts to a US entity. While the domestic company has not yet been named, I wouldn't be surprised if the Feds will be stuck with a huge bill in order to make this thing happen. There was a reason no US companies even bid on these port contracts in the first place, they are highly undesirable. If I were an American company being asked by the Federal government to help them out by taking over these ports I can assure you some form of tax break would be high on my list of demands.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


It's a sad news day with the announcement of the deaths of both Kirby Puckett and Dana Reeve, the widow of Christopher Reeve.

While I didn't know a lot about Mrs. Reeve, having only seen her a few times in interviews, she seemed a very nice lady, and her death at the early age of 44, coming so quickly after the death of her husband, was unexpected, even with her announcement a few months ago of her lung cancer. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family, especially her son, who at the age of just 14, has had to go through the pain of watching both of his parents die from lingering conditions.

I can't really explain why, but I have always been a fan of Kirby Puckett. Although my favorite team, when I actually watch baseball, has always been the Blue Jays, I liked players from all different teams and Puckett was always one of them. While his personal life may have been a bit of a mess, he always came across publicly, as a nice guy and that's how I'll remember him.

What has the world come to ..

... when Yanni gets arrested for assaulting his girfriend. I mean it's Yanni for crying out loud!

The NBC Bennish interview

I must say Bennish came over as a pretty personable guy; the type of teacher you can see why the students like. Of course, none of that counters his obvious attempt at indoctrination of his students, it just implies that he's not on the same level as Ward Churchill (although they share the same lawyer) in that his style may in fact be his honest attempt to foster debate, just that he stinks at it.

For example, if you want to raise the question "Is America the most violent nation on earth?", which is valid, to remain neutral you should offer a counter question, such as "Or, is our use of our military strength a valid way to spread democracy?". That generates a discussion.

Spouting a one sided diatribe and requiring a student to challenge what are obviously your deeply held beliefs to offer any balance, is a passive form of indoctrination. Bennish appears to allow dissent but requiring dissent to teach your class is not, in my opinion, a good method. In most cases, the students are not as informed on the subject matter as the teacher, and as such might not feel confident disagreeing with him or her openly.

And one thing I noticed, as it was very hard to miss, is the number of times Matt Lauer said 'conservative' in what appeared to be an attempt to trivialize the argument as being a conservative over reaction. Once again, the MSM at it's best.

I'd like to welcome any Pirate Ballerina readers to my humble home on the web. I was wondering why my stats suddenly shot up so fast. Thanks for coming.

And for those not visiting from Pirate Ballerina who are interested in more Bennish or Churchill related info, you should really check out the site. It has everything you ever wanted to know about Ward Churchill, with plenty of links.

Developing stories

Why do all 'new developments in Iraq' involve bombings or assassinations? Pretty much every morning or at least every second morning, that is the line used to 'update' people on the Iraq situation, by NBC at least.

For some reason you never hear good news after the phrase 'new developments in Iraq'. Like, "yesterday in Iraq the town of Jimbodad celebrated the opening their first ever public school" or "Jimbodad's power has been restored for the first time in 12 years.". No, those types of stories are relegated to the blogs keeping track of actual developments in the region whereas news agencies only seem to care about the violence. I guess it's the whole, "if it bleeds, it leads" attitude of journalism.

The best part, after bombarding viewers with every negative story they can find, and generally not even making the symbolic attempt to be balanced by even throwing in an occasional feel good story, they then poll their viewers and act surprised that the overwhelming negative replies.

Whatever happened to the supposed, impartial media?

Random Bedtime Thoughts

- Is it just me or does the CTU on 24 have less security than the average grade school?

- What is it about 24 that even though it's scripts are so far beyond the realm of possibility that it should almost be considered a sci-fi show, I continue to watch it ever week, religiously?

- Is 24 the television equivalent of crack?

- Do ninjas ever accidentally wake up their dogs when returning home after a mission?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Great moments in Irony

Despite Charles assurances to the contrary, I still find it hard to believe that this Rachel Corrie tribute isn't a joke.

No one could be that stupid could they?

I can already picture next years Rachel Corrie Memorial Demolition Derby and Tractor Pull.

Friday, March 03, 2006

David, didn't you momma teach you ....

... never drink and call into a nationally broadcast talk show.

There is no way David Gregory was in full control of his faculties on this call into Imus In the Morning.

Drunk, a case of school girl giggles, Maureen Dowd making funny faces at him, whatever, it's just good radio.

(h/t Protein Wisdom)

Rathergate: The Next Generation

It's been several months now and I'm still amazed that people can't distinguish between the words 'breech' and 'over topping' with regards to the NOLA levees.

In the latest episode (h/t Power line) to try and make a federal case out of this, literally, the AP has reported on meetings held prior to the levee failures and how the possible breeching of the system was discussed. The only problem is, in their usual blame Bush first, gets facts later style, they somehow fail to notice the only discussion about the levee breeches occurred after the fact, and with full knowledge of them having happened. Prior to that day all discussions were focused on expected over topping areas which, according to the experts, should have resulted in minor and controllable flooding in certain New Orleans zones.

What's worse is that other organizations, including CNN and the Democrats themselves, have been jumping on the AP bandwagon when the available transcripts clearly show the APs story is false.

Just when it couldn't get any worse for the AP, Whizbang noticed an interesting coincidence; the author of the original AP piece just happens to have the same name as a 60 Minutes II producer who happened to work there during the whole Rathergate fiasco. If they are the same person, you'd think they would have learned their lesson by now.

The sad thing is, despite the relative ease that this story can be debunked, you just know it will be quoted as fact by every far left wing blogger from now till the end of time whenever Bush's handling of Katrina comes up.

A State of Mind

That's about as close as this rant by a teacher in Colorado ever gets to his actual course material, Geography. (h/t Michelle)

It teachers like this who give others in their profession a bad name. Hold to whatever political views you want, but once you're in the classroom, you're on the tax payer's dime and your opinions are not what they are paying you to teach their kids. And while open discussion is important to a good education, Bennish's rant is clearly less about discussion and more about indoctrination.

Hey, but if he wants to hold a voluntary after school bash Bush/bash capitalism meeting, even if it happens to be in his classroom, I'd say go for it, that is once his suspension is lifted. I guess it sucks to be a left wing radical teacher when you don't have tenure at a State run College.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Dream Come True

I saw Jason McElwain's story a few days during what I refer to as "the dark time" but thanks to Jeff over at PW I managed to get the link again.

There are several videos covering this incredible story, but if you have to watch just one, make it the CBS video hosted over on EBaum's.

For those of you stuck behind office firewalls that filter sites or streaming media protocols, here's some shockwave video of Jason's story.

It's good to be back

You never realize how much something means to you until you lose it. Welcome back Sympatico, welcome back.

Please don't ever leave me again.
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