Saturday, September 30, 2006

Oh Canada!

It's been a long time since Canada has taken the forefront in international politics but things have begun to change and if this week is any indication, it's a change for the better.

At the Francophonie summit in Bucharest, Romania, Prime Minister Harper did the country proud by strongly opposing a resolution that was meant to recognize the suffering of the Lebanese, to the exclusion of Israelis, in the recent war. Thanks to the work of PM Harper, with the help of Premiers Bernard Lord (New Brunswick) and Jean Charest (Quebec) a new resolution was drafted and accepted that recognized the suffering of the peoples from both countries.

According to the Lebanese representative Canada was the only opposing voice to the original draft.

For too long Canada has sacrificed it's position as one of the leaders in international affairs to instead be at most a significant second. It's good to see Canadian leaders stand up for what they believe in for once without requiring a international poll first.

It looks like Charles noticed this change in Canadian behavior too.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Viewing the past in the context of today

Even here in the Great White North we can't get away from the trend toward politically correct memorials or displays.

While the various high profile 9/11 memorials in the States definitely set a very high bar when it comes to designs in bad taste (see this post), here in Ottawa we've managed to generate our own little controversy with a collection at the Canadian War Museum. The focus of the display is the involvement of Canadian Bombers during the second World War and their attacks on civilian industrial targets but it's the statements that refer to the bombing runs as controversial and of little military value outside of demoralizing the civilian population that have veterans groups riled up. As the vetrans groups see it, it is essentially comparing their actions to that of war criminals.

While I'm sure there were people around at the time calling for a stop to the bombings of German facilities (though I'm sure very few lived anywhere near London) the fact was that civilian targets were generally seen as valid, on both sides, because it was only through the continued and active support of an entire nation that any country was able to keep their war efforts going. Demoralizing a population had a very real world impact on a country's ability to fight. Without people donating their metal objects for reprocessing much of the equipment needed to fight couldn't be made. Without people (mostly women) stepping up to fill position left vacant by deployed soldiers the economy would have collapsed.

It's simply not like that today. People do not have to sacrifice much, if anything, to allow their governments to go to war and can just generally sit back and watch from the sidelines, if they pay any attention at all. In today's world targeting civilian populations, even accidentally, causes international outrage because it is generally unnecessary. That's not to say that there aren't still situations where targeting civilian infrastructure isn't valid, just that while once it was the norm, today it is the exception and it is through that lens that the curators of the War Museum have decided to focus their display. As with so many of these type of inappropriate memorials, context is sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.

Let me just say, it's a good thing this type of mindset was not the predominant one at the time or we may still be fighting today.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Olbermann's off his meds again

I almost didn't post this due to my self imposed ban on gay porn but here it is; Keith Olbermann's defense of the Clinton explosion during the Chris Wallace interview:

Don't worry Keith, I sure Bubba is sending over a box of his special cigars as I type. I thought President Clinton's flying off the handle was a bit much but this, this takes the cake, hands down. I don't know how anyone can even pretend to be an impartial observer after a rant like that one.

If you haven't seen the interview that started it all yet just scroll down on this Hot Air page. Besides getting almost every single one of his assertions wrong (follow the 'Update' links for details) he also does a mean self-parody of his last great defense in which he blamed a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (of which apparently Fox News and Chris Wallace in particular, are now high ranking members) for his troubles:

So how'd that 'deflect and deny' strategy work out for you last time Mr. President?

The phrase "I think he doth protest too much" has never had more meaning.

As to the accusations of sandbagging, I don't know about you but 1 question about one of the hottest political issues of our day, preceded by a few questions on his charitable work, does not seem like sandbagging, more like a responsible journalist conducting an interview and covering all his bases.

To see Michelle's take on things check out her latest vent (and yes, I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure the freeze frame image they use for the vent is photoshopped to make Clinton appear redder, not that it's intrical to the point but I figured I'd clear the air before straw men accusations of hypocritical photo manipulation surfaced).

(h/t to Charles for the link to the K.O. clip)

What's up with memorials these days

Of all the possible designs for a 9/11 memorials why does it seem that crescents are so prominent?

And what ever happened to the idea of just remembering the victims instead of making political statements?
  • Then the insanely designed and titles Flight 93 memorial, Crescent of Embrace, which may or may not go forward as proposed.
  • And now the Arizona 9/11 memorial which manages to put all of the worse parts of all the other proposed memorials with it's crescent design and blame America messaging.
I have nothing against crescents for memorials per se, but when it happens to be the primary religious symbol of the very people who caused the tragic events you are trying to memorialize it simply makes no sense. And for the record, it is never in good taste to blame the victim.

Keebler Cousins

Either Foster has learned to use his paws to do more than beg for treats or I have an elf infestation.

I first suspected something was amiss when I woke up the yesterday to find the pajama pants that I had discarded before going to bed (I pretty much only use them for late night dog walking) half way up my legs. Not fully pulled up mind you, but well up over my knees.

But last night left no doubt about the existence of the late night helpers. I woke up this morning in an oddly elevated, yet comfortable, position that seemed very different from when I went to bed. When I finally got around to opening my eyes I found that one of my recently replaced pillows had found it's way from the floor at the foot of my bed to on top of my brand new pillow beneath my head. Even stranger, it's partner somehow ended up placed on top of my hamper, which not having a lid and almost the exact size of the pillow itself, required a perfect balancing act.

I've been living here for two years now and this is the first signs I've seen of these mysterious strangers. What made them finally come out? I'm not sure. Maybe it's just taken this long for them to get their nerve up to do more than steal the occasional sock or move my keys around, or maybe it's just been my hacking cough from this miserable cold that's been keeping them up and they just needed something to do to pass the time.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Today was the official "Wear Red" rally on the hill

I wasn't there but it looks to have been a great success. I was however wearing one of my red shirts I recently purchased just for this reason.

CBC has a rather small story but a terrible picture. For a professional Canadian Press photographer, this is possibly the worst picture of a rally I have ever seen. Thankfully, at least someone in attendance was able to take a picture that actually showed the crowd.

If you look you might notice that the rally story seems to be pretty well buried at both the CBC and CTV news sites. Not unexpected, but I was hoping that having between 4,000 - 10,000 people show up on the lawn of the nation's capital buildings for something as positive as a message of support for our troops would garner more national attention. Hopefully they'll be some better pictures on the news tonight.

On a related note, President Karzai spoke before a joint session of the Commons and the Senate earlier and did a great job in getting across his message as to why Canada needs to stay in Afghanistan. I hope his words managed to convince a few MPs that sometimes peacekeeping also means peacemaking.

Some more pictures of the rally by way of Autonomous Source.

Number Two

How best to describe the latest offering by the Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the Jackass crew? I think the fact the Miller Brewing Company has it's own movie credit pretty much sums up the general gist of the film.

If you thought the first one was painful you haven't seen nothin' yet. You'll have to see it a few times just to take in all the stupidity but it will be well worth it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Only in the Cali

So much for my theory that stupidity has a saturation point after which no more stupid can be absorbed.

In what has to be the single dumbest law suit ever filed in any court anywhere, the State Attorney General of California, Bill Lockyer, has filed suit against the major car companies for the environmental damages caused by their vehicles. Incidentally, Lockyer just happens to be the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer this election.

Don't be surprised if next year that Ford Focus you've had your eye on now costs $85,000.

But why stop there Bill, just think of the money if you sue each and every citizen of California that has aided and abetted these criminals by driving, buying or even riding in one of these environmental monsters; we're talking high 12 digits if we're talking a dollar.

Is this a case of life imitating art? You decide.
(Coincidentally, this just happened to be the Southpark episode on the Comedy Network this evening.)

(h/t Slashdot)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Oh what a wonderful day

The sun is hidden behind a solid bank of clouds, it's been raining constantly since I got up 3 and a half hours ago, and it's a lovely 8 degrees (that's Celsius and not Fahrenheit at least). Just the perfect weather for our divisional picnic. They sure know how to pick 'em around here.

See everyone at the VM Park.

Don't forget you sunglasses.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bias at the AP

Can anyone think of a reasonable explanation, except political bias, to switch these headlines? I always thought it was bad form for journalists to write negative headlines to begin with but this is just ridiculous.

Of course, this is the same AP who have such a problem seeing bias within their organization that they've actually written guidelines for reporting that are blatantly bias against the pro-life viewpoint.

From the 2006 AP stylebook:
Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice. Avoid abortionist, which connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.
By assigning the negative to the pro-choice viewpoint and re-defining the pro-choice side as the pro rights side, they have effectively chosen sides. Then going so far as to basically outlaw the term abortionist, which by it's very definition is simply anyone who performs an abortion, to simply remove any negative feeling someone may have when seeing it they have made an overt effort to prevent the pro-abortion side from being shown in a bad light.

Just two more nails into the coffin of 'impartiality' at the worlds leading news gathering organizations. As if AP and Reuters didn't have enough troubles trying to defend their reporting of Middle east events.

The proof is in the pudding

To recap, since the Pope gave his speech about how violence can not be used to spread religion we have had several churches attacked, an elderly nun killed, the ever popular general call for his beheading in addition to a death sentence from a powerful Islamic cleric as well as just general declarations numerous protests world wide.

Now I'm no fan of Catholicism, and we all know it's history of using violence and oppression to force religion on people, but the main difference between the two religions is that while Catholics have used the power of their church to spread their religion using violent means, those actions were in direct contridiction to the teachings of Christ. Jesus never spoke about forced conversions or handing out death sentences to those who would no follow his laws; his declarations of condemnation were in reference to eternity, not the here and now. Those actions were based solely the failings of the leaders of the church at the time. Some were power hungry, some honestly thought that forced conversions were the best way to spread the word, but no matter what the reasoning behind it, their actions had no biblical basis.

Islam on the other hand, based directly on Mohammad's teachings and actions, are not violating their beliefs when they partake in these types of activities. Mohammad himself routinely handed out just the type of sentences todays Muslims demand non-Muslims be forced to endure. Even when talking about living together in peace, Islam, when not villifying them, talks about Christians and Jews as second class citizens, only being allowed freedom if they pay their non-believer tax and respect Islam. At any time should a Christian or Jew show disrespect for Islam, their life is forfeit. Unlike Catholicism of old, those ideas are directly stated in the Koran and it's accompanying texts. While many 'moderate' Muslims tend to downplay those versus, many more, as seen by the almost constant state of outrage, demand the rest of the world follow them.

It seems like from the time the comments the Pope made reference to were written, some 600 years ago, to today, the only difference has been that the Catholic church has moved closer to the original teachings of Christ, and as such at least partially abandoned it's struggle for worldly power. Islam, on the other hand, seems to be carrying on the same today as it was then, with the exception that by way of modern technology, a perceived insult made thousands of miles a way can have a reaction on the 'Muslim street' within hours.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Quote of the day

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence",” - Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Tasnim Aslam, in regards to comments made by Pope Benedict XVI
For me, I would expect an insult to a truly peaceful religion to invoke sadness, some anger, and possibly a condemnation of the speaker, but outright violence would be so far down on the list as to be non-existent. What does it say about Islam that almost without fail violence is the first response by Muslims across the globe. Burnings in effigy, destruction of property, fatwa's of death are all considered normal responses for anyone, anywhere daring to point out that burnings in effigy, destruction of property and fatwa's of death are not the actions of a peaceful religion.

Islam may be capable of being a 'Religion of Peace', but only if you squint your eyes really hard and ignore the actions and speech of almost every one of it's leaders, much like so many people in the Western media do on a daily basis.

And that's not to say that all Muslims are violent people, but if the majority of Christians acted and supported the likes of Fred Phelps and his cult, I would have to say the same about Christianity, but the fact is they don't and instead routinely speak out against Phelps and his actions, unconditionally, something which just does not happen in the Muslim world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch

Seems Air America is finally broke. In addition to Michelle, as always the Radio Equalizer is on top of things with constant updates.

Since the beginning Air America has seemed to be running on the South Park style business plan and with about as much success as the poor gnomes:
  1. Bash Bush and Republicans in general non-stop
  2. ???
  3. Profit!
Even their modified version including the "Steal funds from underprivileged inner city youth programs" step didn't seem to work for them.

Perhaps they should have stuck to the original step 1: Collect Underpants.

Star Wars on DVD??

It's hard to explain how the man who created Industrial Light and Magic, the masters of post processing and special effects, could take so long to release his masterpiece works onto DVD in their original form and then only use Laserdisc transfers for the job but I think this is as good an explanation as any.

My suggestion, if you don't have a copy of the original trilogy, buy the newly released DVDs. If you still have your VHS copies, just buy a good head cleaner and keep your VCR is working order.

Some people just don't get it

and they never will.

This posting has to be read to be believed. It's long but you have to read the whole thing.

Don't miss his confrontation with "some Jew looking dude" or his 'boys' mad freestyling skillz while they were sharing a joint in some alleyway.

Not to miss out, it even concludes with the standard leftist pat on the back while putting down those not so enlightened:
"Another thing I couldn't help but notice was the respect, concern, and love that the 9/11 Truth Movement represented. And on the other side, the hate and anger and wickedness of the so called "ordinary" people."
It never seems to don on him that using a solemn occasion such as a national day of remembrance to push your extreme political beliefs on others is not the best way to show respect, concern and love. It's that same type of self centered mentality where 'sharing my opinions matters above all else' that makes the Phelps family feel they have a right to protest military funerals.

(h/t LGF)

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11th, 2001, as we saw it

CNN (via Allahpundit)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


MSNBC - follow the "Archival video" link on the right hand side about half way down. (requires IE)

FOX News coverage

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Since the war began in Afghanistan 4 years ago thousands of Canadians have sacrificed their time and energy into helping make that country a better place for all Afghanis in the hope that one day they too will be able to experience the freedoms and oppourtunities that we so often take for granted here in Canada.

As of this date, 32 Canadians have made the ultimate sacrifice to help bring that dream a little closer to reality. Please take a minute on this anniversary of September 11th to say a prayer for their friends and families as well as for the service men and women and diplomats still serving and yet to serve in that country.
Sgt. Marc Leger, April 18, 2002

Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, April 18, 2002

Pte. Richard Green, April 18, 2002

Pte. Nathan Smith, April 18, 2002

Sgt. Robert Alan Short, October 2, 2003

Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger, October 2, 2003

Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, January 27, 2004

Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield, November 24, 2005

Diplomat Glyn Berry, January 15, 2006

Cpl. Paul Davis, March 2, 2006

Master Cpl. Timothy Wilson, March 2, 2006

Pte. Robert Costall, March 29, 2006

Lieut. William Turner, April 22, 2006

Cpl. Matthew Dinning, April 22, 2006

Cpl. Randy Payne, April 22, 2006

Bombardier Myles Mansell, April 22, 2006

Capt. Nichola Goddard, May 17, 2006

Cpl. Anthony Joseph Boneca, July 9, 2006

Cpl. Francisco Gomez, July 22, 2006

Cpl. Jason Patrick Warren, July 22, 2006

Cpl. Chris Reid, August 3, 2006

Pte. Kevin Dallaire, August 3, 2006

Cpl. Bryce Jeffrey Keller, August 3, 2006

Sgt. Vaughn Ingram, August 3, 2006

Master Cpl. Raymond Arndt, August 5, 2006

Master Cpl. Jeffrey Scott Walsh, August 9, 2006

Cpl. Andrew James Eykelenboom, August 11, 2006

Cpl. David Braun, August 22, 2006

Warrant Officer Frank Robert Mellish, September 3, 2006

Warrant Officer Richard Francis Nolan, September 3, 2006

Pte. William Jonathan James Cushley, September 3, 2006

Sgt. Shane Stachnik, September 3, 2006

Pte. Mark Anthony Graham, September 4, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

You can't say that on television!

So in the same week that progressives are defending the right of Harvard University to bring in the former leader of one of the world's most abusive theocracies (and just to add insult to injury the US taxpayers are forced to cover the bill), Democratic Senators abuse their positions to issue thinly veiled threats to ABC for having the gall to present a docudrama that may be critical of the Clinton White Houses handing of terrorists. (to be fair they take a lot of shots against the Bush White House too but Republicans in general seem to be accepting that criticism)

I find it a bit troubling that Khatami was given an entry visa to begin with, but I do believe Harvard should be able to invite anyone to speak at their campus that they want to, I also believe they should be responsible for all related costs.

I also believe that people should be able to voice their opinions against anything on television they feel so moved to speak out against but once a public official begins doing so, and repeatedly mentions a broadcast license, which had absolutely nothing to do with the situation at hand but is vital for any broadcast television company to exist, it's not hard for the average person to see that the line between exercising one's right to free speech and attempting to stifle someone else's has been crossed.

Anyone else think the timing of these two event are a little too coincidental to not be a Rove driven plot to expose the hypocrisy of the Democrats?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Straight from the Dan Rather school of Journalism

I give you the graduating class of 2006; Greg Mitchell, Sarah Smiles, Jo Chandler and Martin Chulov.

It was a tight race for class Valedictorian but Mr. Chulov was able to snatch the honor by going above and beyond with his amazingly well written defense of his own original "Ambulance Attack" story which simultaneously claims to prove the original allegations correct while at the same time changes almost every important detail. Truly a great work of journalistic art.

If ever a class lived up to the school motto 'Fake Tamen Sagaciter', it was this one. Congratulations.

Now if only they can stop Zombie and his/her accomplices from dismantling every one of their arguments.


And speaking of dear old Dan, it appears his repeated use of the CBS review of the much maligned TANG story may be on shaky ground. While the report itself stayed as far away as possible from actually declaring the Killian documents forgeries, it appears the experts that they contacted to review the documents had no such problem making their opinions known. Ace points to a very interesting article from the January issue of the Weekly Standard which takes a closer look at the reports footnotes and pays special attention to the part concerning document expert Peter Tytell who in no uncertain terms states:
"The Killian documents were produced on a computer in Times New Roman typestyle."
I guess like the Bush/TANG story itself, Dan hasn't looked to closely at the document he continually tries to use to clear his name.

In answer to your question Alan ...

... I give you the Democratic nominee for Florida's 15th district congressional seat.

Not that this will stop Mr. Colmes from his constant denial that no Democrat ever says any of the outrageous comments they continually make in order to pander to the extreme left of their party.

For those keeping track at home here's a quick list of topics covered by Dr. Bowman:
  • Bush et al. knew about 9/11 beforehand
  • Bush et al. probably had a hand in planning 9/11
  • Bush et al. are covering up the real story (the lack of evidence to the contrary being his main evidence of a conspiracy)
  • Bush et al. invaded Afghanistan for an oil pipeline (a Clinton proposed pipeline btw)
  • Bush et al. started the war to make Haliburton rich
  • Bush et al. should be impeached
  • Bush et al. are destroying civil rights
I didn't hear him use the term "cut and run" so Alan may still be able to hide behind that technicality. Although I'm still having trouble discerning the difference between "immediate unconditional withdraw" and "cut and run" except for semantics.

I'd like to see Hannity play back this video on their show tonight and ask for Alan's thoughts. It also wouldn't hurt to have any of the myriad of scientific reporters who have debunked the conspiracy theories. Perhaps someone from that little magazine Popular Mechanics.

H/T My Pet Jawa by way of LGF

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin: February 22, 1962 – September 4, 2006

Early this morning, while filming a new documentary, Steve Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, was fatally wounded by a stingray.

It's odd to feel sadness while thinking of Irwin. He always managed to have a smile on his face even when dealing with some of the worlds most dangerous animals and that smile was contagious.

He fit the image of the stereotypical Aussie, as made famous by Paul Hogan and the Crocodile Dundee movies, to a tee; relaxed in the face of danger and always in control. In fact one of my favorite scenes was when he was bitten by an unknown snake and he had to walk back to his jeep to retrieve his encyclopedia to try and find out what type it was; all the while the snake was still attached and he continued to crack jokes.

It's hard to think of the Crocodile Hunter as anything less than invincible, but sadly that was not the case.

As of the time of this post the Australian blog post regarding Steve's death had over 2300 comments from fans sharing their thoughts and memories of how he impacted their lives, and the memorial site is receiving so much traffic that they are warning people to expect problems when trying to connect. He truly was one of the few people who could claim a worldwide fan base. But of all the quotes I have seen regarding Steve Irwin's life and legacy today, I believe Russell Crowe put it best when he described Steve as:
"The Australian we all aspire to be".
Steve leaves behind his wife Terri, as well as his two children, Bindi, 8, and Bob, 2.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Looks like someone has a secret admirer

Well maybe not so secret.

Apparently Michael Moore is #1 in the hearts of the Al-Rashedeen Army. You can check out the insurgent love letter at Hot Air.

I tried finding Mike's response at but if it's there it's well hidden amongst the "Impeach Bush" and Anti-War rally posters. You'd think having a glowing tribute produced by the Iraqi 'Minutemen' would take top billing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Textbook Example of IDS

You can't get a much clearer picture of Israeli Derangement Syndrome than the defense of the ambulance attack story being put out by The Australian newspaper.

A quick summary: Just because some pro-Israel web site (and yes they actually say that) happens to put up a detailed analysis of publicly available photos (well those the Red Cross sees fit not to remove from their servers are still publicly available) that completely and utterly destroy all claims that an Israeli missile or rocket caused the damage to the Lebanese ambulance doesn't mean it didn't happen. Our own reporter has reviewed his original second hand account of the story and has decided that it is completely true (except of course for all the key details that he choose to change without any acknowledgment).

So there!

P.S. If anyone is interested in opening up a chapter of the Flat Earth Society down under, I would suggest starting recruitment at the press room of The Australian.

Just adding an official h/t to Tim Blair for helping provide most of the links.
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