July 31, 2003

My eldest son is safely

My eldest son is safely on the plane to California for a visit with my family (lucky kid will probably sleep off yesterday on the plane.) It's just stupid bad luck (mine) that aviation security concerns are heightened by the recent al Quaeda threat just before his trip, but an article he read here and with which he agrees reassures me that he knows what is important and what to do if he's ever in that situation.

Mind you, I'm still going to check my email a number of times tonight until I get the one he's been ordered to send once he arrives. Mothers have rights too, you know.

Anyway, I'm going to wrap it up for today and try to forcus better tomorrow after catching up with yesterday's as well as today's news and some rest.

Take care.

Posted by Debbye at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

I am tired in a

I am tired in a way I hope is repeated a few more times in my lifetime after yesteday's concert. There are a number of references to the concert in the media, but a few things struck me that I'll share.

First, the love and pride for our Armed Forces was evident in voices that, hopefully, were heard all the way to Ottawa. A parachuting team from the armed forces (I believe called the Sky Hawks with the Maple Leaf insignia on the chutes) did some beautifully executed maneuvers on their way down to the area behind the stage to the oohs and aahs of the crowd.

An F-18 (or F14?) jet did a low pass circling the crowd and to a thunderous, standing ovation. In fact, everytime the armed forces of both Canada and the US were mentioned, either by citing the the fact that the concert was being broadcast to them or by messages of solidarity with them by the performers, the crowd responded enthusiastically and passionately. (I doubt that will be mentioned in the media!)

You'll see a lot written about how friendly and neighbourly the crowd was. It's all true. The only down note was when some of the crowd was disrespectful to Justin Timberlake, but as I watched the really young kids (aged +/- 10) dancing and rocking to him I was glad he came. There really was something for everyone.

When the crowd was urged to hold their fingers up in a peace sign to the Beatles song "Revolution" a surprisingly large number of people got the political message and pointedly saw down with their hands firmly in their laps.

People listen to their guts, not a group of people commonly perceived as the neediest in the world when it comes to public approval and lurve. Just my opnion.

Norman Jewison came on stage and showed a filmed tribute to Canada on the big screens. The crowds cheered their lustiest for two shots of Mike Meyers: Toronto loves Mike as much because he's a native son as because he came through for Toronto when the sagging tourist industry threatened the fiscal health of the city.

The crowd was terrific for all of the acts (with the one exception) but the younger folks got a big education when the Isley Brothers came on stage. Most of the younger crowd had never even heard of them; at first the ones cheering and dancing were us boomers, but the brothers came through with pure soul and quickly won over the youngsters (heh).

I swear to God sometimes I think the younger kids think my generation listened to the Beatles and Stones and then we switched over to Frank Sinatra type music. Well, we didn't. We'll never be too old to rock and roll, and we are way too young to die.

AC/DC proved an impossibly tough act to follow. I can't find the words to describe how electric and energizing they are. They were indeed TNT, and as tired as everyone was there was no way anyone could sit.

The Stones were great once they got going. There is this love affair between Keith Richards and Toronto that even Mick Jagger can't compete with. Keith said a few words expressing his sorrow that Toronto has been hit so hard that brought tears to our eyes. I don't know why Keith loves Toronto, he could think "those bastards busted me," but the affection he feels for us is as genuine as the affection Toronto feels for him. He's an amazing man.

Food sales were down, especially chicken burgers (damned straight we all ate beef) mostly because it was too damned hot to eat. Yesterday was the only day (including today) these past weeks when there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was remorseless, but that's why they make hats and sunscreen.

As the sun finally set we were urged to put mosquito repellent on. I don't think anyone bothered; you've got 10 layers already of sunscreen and sweat and now you're going to dig through your bag to put more stuff on? Sure. No one around me did it either, and once again the people were right. We mock thee, West Nile. And, for whatever reason, there wasn't a single mosquito to be found on the field.

There's a pretty comprehensive news and analysis round-up at The Stones Rock Toronto if you want.

UPDATE: I had mispelt "Isley" and corrected it. Sigh. See what happens when you rock all night long?

Posted by Debbye at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2003

I won't be blogging on

I won't be blogging on Wednesday because I'll be attending the Toronto SARS concert.

The concert will be beamed to 2,000 Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Egypt and the Golan Heights and to US soldiers overseas as well.

See you Thursday, and God bless you all.

Posted by Debbye at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

Purported voice of Saddam mourns

Purported voice of Saddam mourns sons and calls them martyrs.

So he's purportedly still alive and ScrappleFace called it.

Posted by Debbye at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

No surprises here: President Bush

No surprises here: President Bush says that Sections of 9/11 report to stay secret.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday rejected calls to release classified sections of a congressional report on the September 11, 2001, attacks, saying his administration must protect intelligence sources during the war on terrorism.

The declassified material was sought by some lawmakers and Saudi Arabia, which says it has been smeared by the redacted report and unfairly tied to the hijackers by some members of Congress.

"It makes no sense to declassify when we've got an ongoing investigation. That could jeopardize that investigation," Bush said during a Rose Garden appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Heh. Interesting photo op when making that announcement with PM Sharon before meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister. I wonder if the funding of Hamas was discussed in either meeting.

It really pleases me that the Saudis are so nervous (however much they hide behind their deeply offended posture.) They could have figured out the game was up when former NYC Mayor Guiliani refused their sizeable donation but they too miscalculated what we're like when we're roused.

Well, too bad they are consumed with doubt. Too bad that our normally open, transparent political system has suddenly deprived them from learning what, if any, holes they have to plug to cover their sixes by the judicious use of a magic marker.

They are being forced to wonder not only what and how much we know, but how far up the chain our investigation has led us, and their main sources are speculations from Congress, the press, and their own paranoia!

I don't think President Bush is going to play partisan politics with this one however much the Dems try to draw him out. This is deadly serious, and if the stakes are between forcing the Saudi agenda into the open or them making much needed reforms in Saudi Arabia, so much the better. It will unwind slowly, and we'll build up Iraq in the meantime.

The part that doesn't exactly add up is the power distribution: the way the Saudis are acting, it's as though they feel they must maintain our good will, whereas the criticisms that have been leveled against Bush assume that it's us that need Saudi good will. What gives here?

I wish I could leap forward a few decades to learn how this is all going to play out, but for now I'll have to be content to rely on my untrustworthy crystal ball and predict that we'll see more arrests in Saudi Arabia as they strive to prove that they really are, you know, allies in the War on Terrorism. We might even see some cracks in the Royal family itself.

Just my opinion, of course.

Posted by Debbye at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

Right On! links and adds

Right On! links and adds some much needed snark to a innovative new scheme by the government Regulate me that, come to think of it, actually does sound like something dreamed up in Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and will undoubtedly stop street-racing much as the gun registry has ended violent crime. Or maybe just end the Auto-Pact.

Posted by Debbye at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

I'm still in the gray

I'm still in the gray in my views on gay marriage (although I support gay rights), and I take it as a given that I must try to reconcile my beliefs in the value of the family and equal rights under the law with the evolution of our society, but then along comes the CBC who found someone to speak against the issue because gay marriage violates women's rights:

>From Agnete Kay of Calgary:

Opposition to same-sex-marriage is generally thought to be a right-wing -religious concern only. Not being very right-wing, I see it differently. My personal perspective is that there are issues of women's right here. Something that was always theirs is being taken away, namely the right to be an essential half of the institution of marriage.

Our Constitution's phrases about "not discriminate" once meant "not treat unfairly," but is now re-interpreted as "not distinguish." It is taken to mean that men and women are the very same thing.

Okay, I'm with her so far. There has been a blurring of lines these past several years because equality does not equate sameness if only because biological realities get in the way. I'm not as strong as most men, and I couldn't carry fire-fighting equipment up 50 stories or a victim down a ladder. But there are women who are strong enough and men who aren't strong enough, so the issue has always been (to me) one of evaluating our abilitities as individuals.

... Over the last hundred years there has been good progress in getting women represented in such institutions as the courts and parliament. If it is now decided that a man can represent a woman, will there be any necessity to have women in other institutions? (Emphasis added)

Huh? Maybe she's just too subtle for me. Read on:

Men are physically stronger than women. They have more influence in society. They earn higher incomes with better pensions. They are employable even after age 50. They are not subject to the potential dangers of childbirth, one of the many uncertainties of a marriage. How can two men, two equally privileged persons, say they form a marriage?

I hope she isn't saying that women need marriage to be exclusively between a man and a woman because it is the only way women can make up for inequality between the genders. Does that mean that lesbians who marry will be at an even bigger disadvantage? Where does that leave single women?

If her argument hinges on the contention that a man married to a man supposedly has an advantage over a man married to a woman, what does that have to do with women's rights? Am I to suppose therefore that a heterosexual man will look at the comparative advantages and decide "Hey! I'm gonna marry me a man instead of a woman because then I'll be more privileged!"

I really, really appreciate the tireless efforts of CBC investigative reporters who uncovered this threat to women's rights and brought it to the attention of those of us who are actually trying to work out our attitudes on this issue rationally.

(via Daimnation!)

Posted by Debbye at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

>From FOXNews: Senators: Pentagon Plan

>From FOXNews: Senators: Pentagon Plan Would Allow Betting on Terrorism.

When I saw the headline, I thought it was an office pool thing, but it turns out to be utilising the talents of futures traders:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon ... views it as a potentially innovative way to get clues about terrorists' plans: a public, stock market-style exchange where traders can profit by correctly predicting terror attacks or assassinations in the Middle East.

M'kay. President Bush did warn us nearly two years ago that the War on Terrorism would be waged with both conventional and unconventional strategies but I'm really going to have to think about this one.

It does make sense to use the talents of traders, but I'm squeamish that they could actually profit on terrorism. It also raises an ugly picture when I think about market abuses like insider trading.

The article states that government agencies will not be allowed to participate and will not have access to the identities or funds of traders... but still I wonder if it is connected in any way to the ongoing investigation of the market dump of shares of American and United Airlines just prior to Sept. 11. (Emphasis added)

Read the article. I report, you decide.

(via Neale News)

UPDATE: Instapundit has a good analysis and some additional links about this here so I'm going to live with my squeamishness and stick with "it's not as crazy as it sounds."

UPDATE: According to the New York Daily News, Pentagon pulls the plug on bet-on-a-threat Website.


Posted by Debbye at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

A bit of whimsey for

A bit of whimsey for the morning: Loch Ness monster does not exist, British Broadcasting Corp. says.

LONDON (AP) - The Loch Ness monster is a Loch Ness myth - at least according to the British Broadcasting Corp., which says a team that trawled the loch for any signs of the famous monster came up with nothing more than a buoy moored several metres below the surface.

Since the BBC has a poor track record on factual reporting, I'm going to continue to believe in Nessie.

Posted by Debbye at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

>From CNN Saudi official, Bush

>From CNN Saudi official, Bush to meet on 9/11 report:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A diplomatic source says Saudi Arabia's foreign minister will meet Tuesday with President Bush to seek the release of Saudi-related material that was kept out of the public version of the new congressional report on the September 11 attacks.

A White House official confirmed the meeting would take place, and another administration official said the Saudis are upset about recent verbal attacks in Congress against their government.
The diplomatic source said the Saudi government wanted "White House help" to quiet the dispute, and said the Saudi government was being "recklessly smeared" by some members of Congress who have said some material was kept classified because the administration is trying to protect the Saudi government and keep incriminating information out of the public eye. (Emphasis added)

Like the French, the Saudis don't get separation of powers, freedom of speech, or freedom of the press.

Asked whether the Saudis wanted the material declassified, this diplomatic source said, "That would be one way to stop some of the reckless things and one of the things to be discussed."

Looks like a case of soft diplomacy to me. The US government has put more pressure on the Saudis by what they didn't say than by what they did say.

I'm just speculating here, of course. Connecting the dots is a dangerous game which often leads to sticking my neck out.

Posted by Debbye at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

Progress slow in Kazemi case

July 29 - From the Toronto Sun, Progress slow in Kazemi case:

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham provided little assurance yesterday that progress is being made in the investigation into the death of a Canadian photojournalist. "What we want to do is make sure that those who are responsible for this tragic death are apprehended and punished for it -- whoever it is," Graham said yesterday of reports the lead prosecutor in Iran was involved.


"We wish to use the case both to open further democracy in Iran and also the protection of journalists," said Graham, whose son Patrick spent time in Iraq covering the war. But Graham has yet to speak with the Iranian foreign minister or confirm the reports surrounding the arrest of five security officials. (Emphasis added)

By George I think he's got it! Finally. This is, and has always been, the crux of the issue. (Maybe he finally learned the difference between international laws and covenants and why calling on Iran to adhere to a law that doesn't exist or a covenant they haven't signed put Canada's case internationally on shaky ground.)
Graham is expected to meet with Hachemi who has called on the Canadian government to impose trade sanctions, charge the lead Iranian prosecutor with engaging in terrorist activity and involve the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Stephen Hachemi has been relentless in his pursuit of justice. Maybe whenever we start to whine "There's nothing we can do" we should stop short and remember him. He's pulling people together to fight a stone-walling Ayatollocracy (TM Paul), and everyone who believes in freedom of the press should be cheering for him.

Over at the Reporters Without Borders website they are calling on Canada to take the initiative:
Reporters Without Borders urged the Canadian government to take the initiative of setting up an international commission of enquiry and to pressure the Iranian government into accepting the commission.

"It is clear now that only an international enquiry will be able to identify who was involved," [Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert] Mnard said. "The Iranian regime clearly has no desire to shed light on this case and prosecute those responsible for this murder."


A total of 21 journalists are currently in prison in Iran, 13 of whom were arrested in the past 40 days. This makes the Islamic republic the biggest prison for journalists in the Middle East. Thirteen of the detained journalists are being held by Mortazavi's staff and Revolutionary Guards in the same centre where Kazemi was interrogated.

These detainees are denied all rights (such as visits from their lawyer and family) and are kept in deplorable conditions. Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about their fate, especially as their relatives have referred to physical and psychological torture in a letter to President Khatami.

In another statement, they have issued a Call for European Union to break with Iran over journalist's death:
Reporters Without Borders called on the European Union today to break off the "constructive dialogue" it has conducted with Iran since 1998 until officials responsible for the death of Canadian-Iranian photographer Zahra Kazemi earlier this month had been brought to trial.

It said it was "unthinkable" that such talks could continue while such a serious crime remained unpunished. It also called on the EU to back Canadian efforts to have Kazemi's body returned to Canada and for an international commission of enquiry to be set up. (Emphasis added)


A total of 23 journalists are currently imprisoned in Iran, making it the biggest jail for journalists in the Middle East. Thirteen of them are believed to be held by Mortazavi's department and by the Guardians of the Revolution, in the same place where Kazemi was interrogated. They are not allowed visits from family or lawyers and are held in very bad conditions. Reporters Without Borders is very worried about their plight. Their families have written to President Khatami saying they have been physically and psychologically tortured.

Speaking of Reporters Without Borders, there was a disturbing development at the UN last Thursday:

Reporters Without Borders's consultative status with the United Nations commission on human rights was suspended on July 24 for one year at the request of Libya and Cuba because activists with the organisation staged a protest during the inauguration of the commission's last session in March against the decision to let Libya chair the commission. (Emphasis added)

Reporters Without Borders insists that granting the chair to Col. Gaddafi's regime has been a disgrace to the commission.


Reporters Without Borders today publishes a report which details the excesses, shortcomings and accelerating decline of this commission, which dictatorships such as Cuba and China have taken over in order to strip it of all substance.

The reports proposes a series of reforms that are essential if the commission is to be rescued : limiting the right to vote to those states that have ratified the main international human rights covenants, naming an independent human rights expert to chair the commission, and abolishing the so-called "non-action" motions that have repeatedly been used to block debates.

The results of the vote on the suspension of the consultative status of Reporters without borders :

In favour (27) : Azerbaijan, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Libya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Against (23) : Andorra, Australia, Chile, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.

Abstentions (4) : Argentina, Ecuador, Japan, and Senegal.

Posted by Debbye at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003

What can you say about

What can you say about this Bob Hope dead at 100 - Jul. 28, 2003 except "Thanks for the memories."

Posted by Debbye at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

How Trudeau fought terror

July 28 - A must read at Daimnation! How Trudeau fought terror, and why Cultural Protectionism doesn't work as he reminds us with a quick tour of history that Trudeau's legacy of fighting terrorism during the FLQ crisis differs greatly with Sheila Copps' views of appeasement and how her "cultural protectionism" views have impeded access to information in Canada.

It's not only instructive but hard hitting, so wear a helmet.

Posted by Debbye at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

Hachemi calls for case to go before ICC

July 28 - From the Toronto Star, Take case to world court, Kazemi's son says.

MONTREAL - The son of slain photojournalist Zahra Kazemi wants the Canadian government to take the case to the International Criminal Court.

In a letter sent Friday, Stephan Hachemi and lawyer Marlys Edwardh asked Ottawa to charge Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran's chief prosecutor, under the Criminal Code with engaging in "terrorist activity" outside Canada in relation to a Canadian citizen.

"It would seem clear that his conduct was in whole or in part for political, religious, or ideological purposes, etc. to intimidate a segment of the public with regard its security," the letter states.

Hachemi and Edwardh also asked the government to consider imposing trade sanctions against Iran and to use the court to ensure Kazemi's body is brought back to Canada.

Hachemi dismissed reports that five security agents were arrested in Iran this weekend. He called the arrests a "diversion" to throw the Canadian government off track.

"The Iranians have done that in similar cases; they arrest a few implicated agents so they can cover Mortazavi and cover high-ranking officers," Hachemi said yesterday. The International Criminal Court has the power to bring his mother's body back to Canada, he added.

Good for him. Keeping the pressure on both the Canadian and Iranian governments is essential.

(via Neale News because you know I don't read the Toronto Star!)

Posted by Debbye at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) Israel frees militants in 'gesture of goodwill'.

Israel yesterday authorised the release of more than 100 Palestinian militants from its prisons in a "goodwill gesture" designed to boost the "road map" to peace.

The decision to free members of Islamic Jihad and Hamas was passed in the cabinet by 14 votes to nine. It reversed an earlier resolution barring release of prisoners from groups behind the suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis in the past 33 months.

What the hell is a Palestinian "militant" or "activist"? Is it someone who carries a picket sign or participates in a sit-in at a government building? Or maybe someone who circulates a petition?

No, really, I want to know. Are the words "militant" and "activist" to be interpreted as meaning the same thing when we apply them to Canadians and Americans, or are they cowardly media-speak for those who recruit, plan or carry out terrorist actions?

I want to know if the road map is truly being served by releasing these "militants" or if I need to cross my fingers and hope I don't hear of new homicide-bomb attacks on buses or in cafes in Israel.

Posted by Debbye at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) Burglar shot by Martin to drop £15,000 claim.

The burglar wounded when Tony Martin killed his teenage accomplice is to drop his £15,000 claim for damages, his brother said yesterday.

The civil action cited "loss of income" as the basis for the suit.

The civil action by Brendon Fearon - with the assistance of legal aid - caused outrage among Martin's supporters. (Emphasis added)

Fearon, 33, a career criminal with more than 30 convictions, was released from prison on Friday after serving a third of an 18-month sentence for supplying drugs.

Martin, 58, will be freed today after serving two thirds of his five-year sentence for the manslaughter of 16-year-old Fred Barras. He opened fire with a shotgun during a burglary at his ramshackle farmhouse on the Norfolk-Cambridgeshire border.

Fearon's brother Joe, speaking at the family home in Newark, Notts, said yesterday that the civil action would be dropped in the next few days because of the distress it was causing Fearon's parents.

Malcolm Starr, Martin's most prominent supporter, said: "This action should never have been brought, let alone funded out of legal aid. (Emphasis added)

(Paul has the story here of the death threats that have accompanied Tony Martin's release Life in the U.K..)

Does anyone doubt this lawsuit could happen in Canada or the US?

DEPRESSING UPDATE: The lawsuit was evidently not dropped after all. Sigh. Well, I can still hope a sensible judge tosses it out of court.

Posted by Debbye at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

For a second time from

For a second time from the National Post (sans computer crash) Iraq looms as terrorist magnet: U.S.:

Iraq has become a "terrorist magnet" for guerrilla fighters wanting to attack U.S. troops, a senior American general said yesterday following the fifth death of a soldier in 24 hours.

"We've got terrorist activity, we've got former regime leadership, we have criminals and we have some hired assassins that are attacking our soldiers on a daily basis," said Army Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of ground forces in Iraq.

"This is what I would call a terrorist magnet, where America, being present here in Iraq, creates a target of opportunity, if you will."

First, to give credit where credit is due. David Warren articulated this as a strategy July 5 in his essay Flypaper:

The U.S. occupation of Iraq has done more to destabilize Iran than the ayatollahs could hope to do in Iraq; and then something. This "something" has befuddled the various "experts" on regional security, trapped within their Pavlovian assumptions. They notice that the U.S. forces in Iraq have become a new magnet for regional terrorist activity. They assume this demonstrates the foolishness of President Bush's decision to invade. (Emphasis added)

And, only last February, Osama bin Laden released a tape which declared his partnership with Iraq and urged resistance to US forces and occupation by the faithful.

A senior Bush administration official who listened to the tape said that, if authentic, "At best it is a terrorist making common cause with a brutal dictator and at worst it demonstrates a burgeoning alliance of terror."

Read "Flypaper" by David Warren again, and ask yourself: If self-styled jihadists and terrorists weren't in Iraq, where would they be now and what would they be doing?

Never doubt the sincerity of people like me who voice their gratitude and respect for the brave men and women in Iraq. They are protecting all of us from terrorist attacks by "bringing it on" themselves and being the targets as well as the hunters.

God bless them and keep them.

Posted by Debbye at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

Canadian Bruce Balfour held in Lebanon

July 28 - From the National Post Canadian held in Lebanon:

A Canadian citizen has been detained for the past three weeks in a Beirut prison in Lebanon without any formal charges, CanWest News Service has learned.

Bruce Balfour, a 52-year-old Calgarian, was stopped on his arrival at the Beirut airport on July 10 and brought to the Rumy prison, where family and friends say he is being held without formal charges.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said a staff member from the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon visited Mr. Balfour in prison on July 24 and a diplomatic note has been sent to the Lebanese government requesting further information about his detention.

Marie-Christiane Lilkoff said the Canadian government is trying to find out the reasons for Mr. Balfour's detention. She did not know whether there had been any delay by the Lebanese government in informing the Canadian Embassy of Mr. Balfour's detention, as is normally done in these cases.


Mr. Balfour's sister, Laura Mackenzie, said the Canadian consulate in Beirut was not made aware of Mr. Balfour's detention until 10 days after the fact when "an informant" in Lebanon contacted friends in Canada about his situation.

In a letter written July 22 to the Canadian ambassador in Lebanon, Mr. Balfour says he was arrested at the airport because Lebanese computerized records indicated he had once visited Israel.

You should read the article in its entirety because there are differing opinions as to how effective the Canadian government has been in this case before jumping to any conclusions, but it is very troubling that we don't know on what charges or suspicions he is being held.

Posted by Debbye at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2003

First, I guess I should

First, I guess I should mention that Idi Amin came out of his coma. It is regrettable, in retrospect, that his comatose body wasn't sent to Uganda after all because he'd now be under arrest and facing Ugandan justice.

Mark Steyn in The Sunday Telegraph (UK) has a non-obituary in He will not be missed and, with vintage Steynness, finds the absurdities and takes a free shot at the Saudis:

A convert to Islam, he escaped to Saudi Arabia, where he's been on "pilgrimage" ever since, living on a stipend from the royal family. At least in this instance, unlike their more recent subventions, the House of Saud began giving money to a mass murderer after he'd stopped killing.

Posted by Debbye at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

After a brief (and sporadic!)

After a brief (and sporadic!) vacation, News Junkie Canada is back and posting with the same uncompromising sanity I look forward to each day.

Today's post include Multicult 101, a sharp inditement of the Federal government's refusal to give local and provincial police the information they would need to track down 59 war criminals loose in Canada. (These 59 are not leftover Nazis but recent would-be refugees who failed to appear for deportation as ordered.)

Refugee status is that which is granted to people who are fleeing such creeps. It perverts the whole notion of refugee status that the violators of human rights are not put on the first plane back to stand justice in their own countries.

Posted by Debbye at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

A sobering piece of news

A sobering piece of news from The Canadian Cops that serves to remind us that those who patrol our streets and answer our calls for help are in constant danger and are entlitled to strong community support.


As the Canadian points out,

This release does not tell us nearly enough about what happened and it is interesting to note that while the media across this country is screaming about same sex marriage and legalization of pot a young policeman fights for his life and faces a fate worse than death (total paralysis) for simply trying to do what people pay him to do. Not a damned word anywhere has been mentioned about his situation that I can find but I would be willing to bet that there will be plenty of words wasted on the jerk that caused this to happen.

Who can argue with that?

The post also gives information about where we can call to give our support by helping this young officer's family during this horrible time.

READ THE POST, MAKE THE PHONE CALL AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT! When there's trouble, do you call the Toronto Star or 9-1-1? It's a no-freakin'-brainer.

Posted by Debbye at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

>From CNN Chirac denies nuclear

>From CNN Chirac denies nuclear tests harmed workers

PAPEETE, Tahiti (AP) -- French President Jacques Chirac, making his first visit to Polynesia since ordering a final round of nuclear tests in the South Pacific in 1995, on Saturday defended the decades of testing that some islanders claimed gave them cancer.

Chirac, making a five-day visit to the French territory of Tahiti, said the atomic tests that generated international outrage helped establish France as a world power.

"Without Polynesia, France would not be the great power that it is, capable of expressing in the concert of nations an autonomous, independent and respected position," he said.

And that's a good thing because ...


France detonated at least 123 nuclear weapons in the volcanic rock beneath Mururoa Atoll, about 750 miles southeast of Tahiti, between 1975 and 1996. The French exploded another eight under nearby Fangataufa Atoll. (Emphasis added)

Chirac broke a three-year international moratorium on nuclear testing shortly after coming to power in 1995, sparking a global uproar. The testing was stopped a year later.

But workers vowed to stage demonstrations during Chirac's four-day visit to the Pacific region to force the government to "recognize the health consequences of the military nuclear tests."

Sheesh, the poor guy left France to get away from demonstrating workers. He just can't get a break.

He also declared that French agents who, in 1985, blew up the Greenpeace ship "Rainbow Warrior" in Auckland, Australia, helped establish France as a unilateral world power.

Okay, I made that last bit up. I defend the second-to-the-last bit because I'm entitled to snarky speculation.

Posted by Debbye at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

>From the French Libertarian In

>From the French Libertarian In Quebec Sending them back is inexcusable is justifiably critical in the incomprehensible decision by the US to return to Cuba the innovative people who turned an old Chevy into a boat.

What's happened to the USA? People with that kind of imagination should have received a heroes' welcome, for heavens sake.

Posted by Debbye at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

>From Daimnation The Abu Mazen

>From Daimnation The Abu Mazen Drinking Game.

Maybe it should be played in the evening. This one would definitely be more intoxicating than the Star Trek Voyager drinking game (which I had to give up for, er, health reasons.)

Posted by Debbye at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

Go here for a look

Go here for a look at Paul J.'s look at Life in the UK.

Why should Canadians (and Americans) care? Because the Tony Martin case is one of relentless logic as to where we are headed given the goofy way our courts handle criminals and how we too may lose our right to self-defense.

Posted by Debbye at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Toronto Sun's Lorrie

>From the Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein Our justice system is a continuing disgrace:

Sometimes I can't believe what I'm reading - the media criticism Toronto mayoralty candidate John Nunziata faced recently for daring to lead a previously planned community protest at the Keele Centre halfway house after it was learned Correctional Services Canada had made an eleventh-hour decision to reverse itself and move Jacobson to a prison near Gravenhurst - for now. Of all the issues that outraged the public over the Jacobson affair, does anyone really think people were angry at Nunziata - who has a long and consistent political record of fighting for tougher sentencing?

I can't believe it either. I mean, I can, but in a twisted, cynical way.

Such is our system. Such is our disgrace.

And with that, it's obviously an ideal time for me to take a vacation, which I am. See you again in early September.

Is it wrong to feel a sense of loss when your favourite columnists go on vaction? Oh well, being a semi-nice person I will wish him a terrific vacation and look forward to his return.

Posted by Debbye at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

My friends and family are,

My friends and family are, well, weird. They think it essential I wear an American flag pin to the concert to show US unity with Toronto. They may have a point, especially given the American Friendship rally last April. It just seems like false-advertising, somehow, because I live here so of course I support Toronto.

Rollin' out the red carpet

I can see why everyone is fixated on the Stones. I saw them at the Cow Palace (or was it Keysar Stadium?) in San Fran back in the 60's. I actually made it to a Stones concert before I made it to a Beatles concert. My mother was really freaked out about it too because she had seen them on the Ed Sullivan show and was horrified by Mick Jagger, but at least it swung her over to thinking the Beatles weren't so bad after all. I had to hide my album "Her Majesty's Satanic Service". Mothers.

But I am more excited about seeing AC/DC. My kids introduced me to their music, and I love it. Maybe they were repaying me for all the Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen they heard when they were helpless infants.

Posted by Debbye at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Security agents detained in Kazemi death

July 27 - This could be good news. From the Toronto Sun 5 held in Kazemi case:

TEHRAN -- Five Iranian security agents have been detained in the death of a Canadian photojournalist who died in police custody, the state-run Tehran radio reported yesterday. The officers were detained Friday after "comprehensive investigations" into Zahra Kazemi's July 10 death, the radio report said, quoting a statement released by Iran's judiciary.
But the propaganda war goes on:
Meanwhile, the Iran government summoned Canada's charge d'affaires yesterday to protest the shooting death of an Iranian teenager in a Vancouver suburb and the youth's father threatened to sue the police officer who pulled the trigger.
Maybe it's customary in Iran to use a machete to charge someone who's holding a firearm. What's that old joke about bringing a knife to a gunfight? Anyone charging at me with a machete is going to be shot. Period. We call it self-defense.
Gilles Poirier was summoned to Iran's foreign ministry to discuss the July 14 shooting of 18-year-old Keyvan Tabesh by a plainclothes officer in Port Moody, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. He did not elaborate.
UPDATE: This news may be premature. According to the CBC, Canada waits for Iran to confirm arrests in Kazemi case because they haven't received official confirmation of the arrests from the Iranian government.
Iran's state-run radio reported on the weekend that the men had been rounded up after "comprehensive investigations" into the fatal beating of Zahra Kazemi while she was in police custody. (Emphasis added)

All five had been "in close contact" with her during her detention, the report said. Their identities were not released.

Ottawa said it had not yet received confirmation of the arrests. A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Department told CBC News that if true it would be "a welcome development."

Posted by Debbye at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Toronto Sun's Bob

>From the Toronto Sun's Bob MacDonald, Canucks unite thanks to feds an interesting take that the dithering and inaction of the Feds may have united Canadians at the grassroots level.

He may be onto something: it's an old saw that nature hates a vacuum, so this may be the political application of that truism.

Posted by Debbye at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

I've focused a lot on

I've focused a lot on the Australian-led multi-national operation because I think it is setting an example to other regions on how neighbours help neighbours, and because it contrasts sharply with the French-led intervention in the Congo. In the former, the troops are spreading beyond one city and trying to bring stability to the country. In the latter, the forces are staying close to one city, Bunia, but massacres continue in the rest of the Congo.

US insistence that any intervention in Liberia be conducted in concert with neighbouring countries seems, to this observer, to be taking that tack. Just going into Monrovia will be a nice, public relations, cooperating-with-the-UN or (obeying the UN?)type of operation but will it actually save lives or bring stability to the country as a whole? Ask the people in the Congo and the Solomons which type of intervention they need.

>From Australia Troops spread through islands (July 27, 2003).

THE Australian-led intervention force revealed it would move beyond the Solomon Islands capital within days, as the troubled nation's police chief urged rebel leader Harold Keke to surrender.

The intervention force today took an angle grinder to 28 illegal firearms surrendered in the week leading up to the deployment of troops and soldiers to restore law and order.

More than 1,000 intervention force personnel were already on the ground in the Solomons, where supplies and equipment continue to arrive by Hercules transport planes.

Australian warship HMAS Manoora, which has finished unloading at historic Red Beach, sailed closer to Honiara today to become a backdrop for the small city.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Ben McDevitt said the intervention force could soon establish bases outside the capital.

He said the force was planning to set up a number of outposts, initially on the islands of Malaita and Guadalcanal.

Yes, that Guadalcanal.

Intervention force chief Nick Warner said that in just two days, the force had won the confidence of Solomon Islanders.

His remarks were echoed by Paul Tovua, the head of a long-established Solomons peace monitoring group, the National Peace Council.

Tovua said the intervention force's arrival on Thursday had prompted 'many more inquiries' from people wishing to surrender firearms.

"This is a clear sign of the rewards and the trust that the people of Solomon Islands have in the (intervention force)," Tovua told reporters.

Among the weapons destroyed today were six military-style rifles and a 40mm grenade launcher.

The rest of the weapons, which included a cross-bow, were home-made.

Earlier, on national radio, Police Commissioner William Morrell told rebel Harold Keke to give himself up and set free six hostages.

Keke has been operating on the remote Weathercoast of Guadalcanal, resisting calls for a truce.

Posted by Debbye at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Chicago Sun-Times Mark

>From the Chicago Sun-Times Mark Steyn takes a look at the international media and dead-end strategy of the Dems Bush playing his cards right in Iraq.

He finds space to trash the CBC too:

Meanwhile, in Canada, the CBC's main national news found time to give its viewers just one ''typical'' reaction from an ordinary Iraqi to the demise of Saddam's kids. This lone representative of public opinion was outraged at the vicious cruelty meted out to two respectable upstanding mass-murdering torturing psychopath rapists. The CBC had to get its microphone pretty close in to its sole man in the street in order to hear him above all the cheers and celebratory volleys from his fellow Iraqis.

(Via On the Third Hand)

Posted by Debbye at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2003

I can't believe the graphic

I can't believe the graphic and gruesome and even colour pictures in today's Sun (UK) which accompanies the story 20 bullets in each body.

(Of course that was sarcasm! Sheesh.)

EVIL brothers Uday and Qusay Hussein were each riddled with more than 20 bullets when killed by US troops, it was revealed yesterday.

But, on a sadder note:

Peter Rudorf, 25, of Salisbury, Wilts, has died while helping to clear mines off the coast of southern Iraq. He was part of a team of civilian experts hired by the US government.

My condolences and gratitude goes out to his family. In a sane world, this would be the top news story over the puerile outrage being bleated by some over the validity of releasing photos of the Evil Brothers carcasses.

Posted by Debbye at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

How does he keep producing

How does he keep producing these gems? and why hasn't a Canadian newspaper contracted to publish him?

OK, Steyn doesn't answer those questions but he does take on scare quotes, Andrew Gilligan, Howard Pinter and Robert Fiske as well as Euro-skeptics and German polls in his column in the Daily Telegraph (UK) BBC World News - now with all content guaranteed sexed down.

(NB: hitting the refresh button helps get rid of the pop-up ad.)

Good evening. Reports that the former Italian leader Benito Mussolini is "dead" and "hanging" "upside down" at a petrol station were received with scepticism in Rome today. Our "reporter" - whoops, scrub the inverted commas round "reporter", the scare-quotes key on the typewriter's jammed again. Anyway our reporter Andrew "Gilligan" is "on" the scene "in" Milan. Andrew...

Posted by Debbye at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

News Junkie Canada has a

News Junkie Canada has a satirical (I think, but maybe not?) piece at The Canadian webiste called Review: Marijuana for Dummies.

I laughed all the way through it because true or no, it does represent the epitome of how the Feds deal with everything, i.e., they take the simplest thing and elevate it to the absurdest degree.

Of particular concern is this item:

You don't get their weed--delightfully packaged in black shroud-cloth material with an embossed death's head--until you make 60% on knowledge of the manual.

Could that be for real? I wonder if our friendly neighbourhood dealer will soon be required by law to distribute this manual with every sale (not that I, well, you know, I ... I mean, oh never mind.)

Posted by Debbye at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

>From CNN: Three killed in

>From CNN: Three killed in grenade attack

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three U.S. soldiers guarding a hospital northeast of Baghdad were killed in a grenade attack Saturday, U.S. Central Command said.

The soldiers, from the 4th Infantry Division, were guarding the Ba'qubah Children's Hospital. (Emphasis added)

I don't usually blog about US casualties in Iraq because other bloggers do it (and do it well) and because it stirs a personal pain that is hard to convey. These brave souls are dying to protect not only us but our children's futures, and words of respect and gratitude seem empty next to the feelings and tears that spring from their familys' sacrifices.

But, as NY Times guest columnist Paul Bremer pointed out last week in The Road Ahead In Iraq -- and How to Navigate It (unfortunately only available for purchase from the NY Times archives but I blogged and quoted from it here), many of these attacks target successes in Iraq.

The US was villainized internationally for being responsible for the deaths of thousands of infants due to the sanctions against Iraq. Of course, revelations about the true nature of the Oil-for-Food program revealed that Saddam used the money from oil exports not for food and medicine but for palaces and to enrich his own coffers, and the UN signed off on all his purchases.

But the stain on US honour remains because attitudes rarely change when facts come out. (It would be useful if the UN or French government investigated those companies that violated the sanctions but that is not going to happen.)

So US troops are in Iraq guarding a Children's Hospital and they are attacked. Does it escape the media's notice that this attack has a supplementary goal of keeping Iraqi parents from taking their children to this hospital due to their legitimate concerns over safety?

Shouldn't every self-respecting human rights advocate be denouncing this attack?

That paragon of Western journalism, Reuters, in this article mentions but doesn't focus on the location of the attack either but on the prospect that it was retaliatory in nature:

Fourteen soldiers have been killed in the past eight days, including eight since Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay were killed by U.S. forces in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday.

At least one shadowy organization has vowed revenge attacks although U.S. officials hope that in the longer term eliminating the former ruling family will undermine a campaign against their troops which they put down to Saddam loyalists.

Baquba, in the Sunni Muslim heartlands that once supported Saddam, has been the site of attacks on American forces in the past.

Explain to me again why I'm supposed to care about what Europeans think of us. Ask me rather why I am disgusted that Reuters doesn't have a problem with a grenade attack that occurs in front of a children's hospital.

Does it occur to any Europeans to wonder why many Americans are starting to have so much contempt for them? Actually, I think maybe some of them do, and I think that each mass grave uncovered in Iraq may bring back memories many of them wanted to suppress and now can't.

I don't say that as a cheap shot at Europeans, in fact far from it. I say that as a reminder that Europeans of all people should be the ones determined to stand up and denounce the forces that allowed the brutality of the Saddam regime go unchecked. They might find they restore their self-respect far more quickly by doing that than by denouncing the USA for ending Saddam's reign.

Just my opinion, of course.

Posted by Debbye at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

The Iranians sure know Canada

July 26 - I am really angry. From CTV.ca: Graham promises to investigate death of Iranian which was their response to Canadian inquiries about the death of Zahra Kazemi.

This is beyond outrageous and every city and province should condemn it:

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham rejects Iran's comparison of the death of an Iranian teenager in Vancouver (actually, Port Moody) to the killing of a Montreal photojournalist in Tehran, but said he is willing to hold an investigation into the death.
(Emphasis added)

This is so wrong. The Vancouver police are perfectly capable of holding their own inquiry, and "Screeching" Bill Graham (TM Paul) presumes to not only butt in but to implement measures in the inquiry:

Establishing a homicide investigation Putting the officer involved on leave Results of investigation will be reported to Crown attorney to see if charges should be laid Holding a public coroner's inquest into the circumstances of the death The opportunity for Iranian officials to be present during the investigation The body of the victim has been returned to Iran
I need a drink. No, really. Words of anger and outrage are choking me but I can't get them out and, after all, how does one sputter indignantly from a keyboard?

I wanted to be wrong when I wrote last Thursday in Counter Punch from Iran that Canada would meekly agree to an investigation.

Anytime a police officer is forced to shoot and kill someone there is automatically a local inquiry held, right? Such inquiries do not, however, fall under the auspices of the Federal government but under the local governments where the use of force occured.

I'm repeating myself because it is an important point; the Vancouver police will doubtless go along because of the international implications, but would it have hurt the Feds to tell Iran that they can attend the inquiry that the Vancouver police will hold? Would it have hurt the Feds to affirm the integrity of Vancouver? Are they really so stupid that they don't recognize that they have just maligned Vancouver?

Canada has just slapped Vancouver in the face by giving the impression internationally that the Feds have to get involved to ensure justice. Arrogant, say-anything-to-appease-at-all-costs idiots.

How do you say "Sell-out" in Canada?

Now for that drink before I get really angry.

Headline and link via Neale News

Posted by Debbye at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

I thought I was finished

I thought I was finished for the day, but this must be seen to be believed: lgf: Naked Arab Hypocrisy on Display.

This post links to a Reuters report "Arabs Shocked by TV Images of Saddam's Sons".

(via Daimnation!)

Posted by Debbye at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

Iran calls Canadian account of

Iran calls Canadian account of Iranian's death "incomprehensible".

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's foreign minister dismissed Canada's account of the killing of an Iranian near Vancouver as "incomprehensible," in an escalation of the row between Ottawa and Tehran over the death of an Iranian-Canadian journalist after her arrest here last month.

Kamal Kharazi called for Canada to provide a "convincing explanation" of how the man died and the prosecution of those responsible for what he called the "murder."

"For the Canadian foreign ministry to draw a parallel between the death of Ms. Kazemi and the murder of Keyvan Tabesh is incomprehensible to us," Kamal Kharazi was quoted as saying on state-run television.

It was Iran that linked the two deaths, not Canada. But this is a propaganda war, right? And it will be difficult for Canada to argue its case with the Iranian people as long as Cuba is jamming the television signals from the Free Iran people in the USA.

Nevertheless, it is important for Canada to stay on track with this and keep pushing. So long as the eyes of the world remain in Iran, the journalists and dissidents now in Iranian jails could be safer than if they were just forgotten.


The controversy continued to simmer Friday with a leading Muslim cleric trying to minimise the political fall-out from the affair.

Mohammad Imami-Kashani, standing in for the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni at Friday prayers, said: "A journalist has a problem, this is the sort of thing that happens, but then when the foreign media hear about it, they start going on about human rights.

"Our government has said it is going to hold an inquiry and, quite simply, it will do so, but you are looking for a conspiracy everywhere."

Nobody is looking for a conspiracy. The situation is about as clear as it can get, and it is the duty of free people everywhere to keep up the pressure on Iran.

(Via Neale News)

Posted by Debbye at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

Smug Canadian has a link

Smug Canadian has a link which refutes the half-baked theories on global warming It's a bad year for Lefties and this observtion:

It seems to me that increasingly the greatest hazard to democracy and capitalism is created by its own generation of wealth - and I don't mean "that's why they hate us". At no other time in history has the human race been able to afford institutions that support busybodies by the thousands.

Posted by Debbye at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

French Libertarian in Quebec has

French Libertarian in Quebec has this Congress releases 9/11 whitewash report by Robert Lederman which is a call for different action in the War on Terrorism.

I see he mentions the Afghan oil pipeline without scare quotes, but I still think anyone who would try to construct a pipeline though such mountainous terrain and Pakistan to the sea would need a quick review of the difficult task of protecting existing oil pipelines in Iraq and Columbia from saboteurs.

Furthermore, the 24-hour a day campaign must be taking place in a country other than the US because the media are definitely not supporting Pres. Bush.

There are a lot of conspiracy theories around why the US hasn't targeted the Saudis yet, including the Cheney-Haliburton one, but I think there are a few other things going on.

First, until the export of oil from Iraq is stable, it would plunge the world into economic chaos if the Saudis were targeted.

Second, the Saudis may seem to speak with one voice, but that is far from the reality. I don't think the Saudis themselves have the faintest idea on how to deal with their self-imposed problems but I like the thought that they are arguing with each other. There is a lot of bitter rivalry in that ruling family, and if events are exacerbting those divisions that is to the good.

Does anyone else remember former NYC Mayor Guiliani refusing a sizeable gift from a Saudi prince? I think (without evidence) that he refused after consultations with the White House.

I say we should use the Saudis for whatever intelligence information we can get out of them until we're good and ready to confront them.

I'm looking at the War on Terror in military terms, and that means a different set of strategy and tactics than the State Dept. is competent to handle.

My son always complains that Americans communicate by what we don't say as much as by what we do say. The fact that everyone knows that the blacked-out portions of the report referred to the Saudis tells me a lot, but it's strictly conjecture and possibly from another planet.

Posted by Debbye at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

The Canadian has several good

The Canadian has several good posts up today about the state of Canada especially this item "Why Canada has no foreign policy" which is especially good timing considering how ineffective our Foreign Affairs office has been in dealing with Iran over the beating death of Kazemi.

I envy him -- he can log onto the National Post repeatedly without his computer crashing.

Posted by Debbye at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

>From the The Globe and

>From the The Globe and Mail.

Nothing new is in this report except Iran has appointed yet another (does this make 3?) person to oversee the investigation into the death of Kazemi:

Tehran — A veteran judge has been appointed to launch an independent inquiry into the controversial death of a Canadian photojournalist who died in police custody, an official at the Tehran Prosecutor Office said Friday.

And Iran seems to be winning the propaganda war:

In a separate development Friday, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi demanded a thorough investigation into the July 14 shooting death of an Iranian by police in Port Moody, B.C.

Of course he doesn't know that such an investigation is routine in all such deaths.

Keyvan Tabesh, 18, of Burnaby, B.C., was waving a machete and running toward a plainclothes police officer when the officer killed him. Mr. Tabesh was an Iranian citizen with landed immigrant status who had lived in Canada for about two years.

"The Canadian government has failed in its diplomatic responsibility to report this case to the Islamic Republic of Iran quickly," Mr. Kharrazi said in remarks carried by state-run Tehran TV.

I didn't know it was up to Canada to report the deaths of landed immigrants to their former countries. I must tell my family in case anything happens to me to ensure that the Canadian government complies with this.

A Foreign Affairs spokesman in Ottawa said Iran could send observers to Canada to oversee the police investigation into Mr. Tabesh's death. (Emphasis added)

I don't see any mention that Canadian observers will attend the hearings in Iran for Kazemi. Will they request it?

Posted by Debbye at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

Even The Globe and Mail

Even The Globe and Mail is paying attention to the Australian-led mission Order returning to Solomons.

Honiara, Solomon Islands — Order is already returning to the Solomon Islands, a day after an international peacekeeping force arrived in the South Pacific archipelago, Australian officials said Friday.

Heavily armed warlords have terrorized the nearly bankrupt government, which pleaded with its Pacific neighbors earlier this month to help reinforce its weakened grip on power.

Australia agreed to lead a force made up of 2,000 troops and 300 police with contributions from New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

The multinational forces, which arrived Thursday, has had joint patrols with local police and began protecting Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza.

"From the moment we arrived things really did change," said Nick Warner, an Australian diplomat who is in charge of the operation.

France had volunteered to join the force but were told by Aus. PM Howard that he felt it would be better for the neighbouring countries to help restore order in the Solomons.

Posted by Debbye at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

It looks as though the

It looks as though the USA is getting ready to insert troops in Liberia Bush OKs sending force to Liberia coast - Jul. 25, 2003 which will mainly support trooops from neighbouring countries.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush has ordered positioning of "appropriate military capabilities" off the coast of Liberia to support a West African peacekeeping force that will be deployed to the region, the White House announced Friday.

It was not immediately clear how large a force would be sent.

"The U.S. role will be limited in time and scope as multinational forces under the United Nations assume the responsibility for peacekeeping and as the United Nations arranges a political transition in Liberia," the White House said in a written statement.

The immediate task of the West African peacekeeping force, being put together by the Economic Community of West African States, is "to reinforce a cease-fire and begin to create conditions where humanitarian assistance can be provided to the Liberian people," the statement said. "As the United States has said before, Charles Taylor [president of Liberia] must leave."

Taken together with the Australian-led intervention in the Solomon Islands, I hope a new wind is blowing which asks neighbouring countries to be, well, neighbourly.

In the meantime, in the Congo: Congo swears in rebel ministers:

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Reuters) -- A new coalition government meant to end Congo's civil war took a step forward Thursday when it finished swearing in rebel ministers after resolving a dispute over the oath they had to take.

Ministers from the country's two biggest rebel groups signed a written oath after boycotting a previous swearing-in session attended by other members of the new government last Friday.

The government was officially inaugurated on July 17 to share power between the government, rebels, political parties and civic groups and guide the former Zaire to its first elections since independence from Belgium in 1960.

But the administration hit its first snag a day later, when rebels from the large RCD-Goma and MLC rebel groups refused to take an oath that they said pledged loyalty to President Joseph Kabila, a man they have fought for years.

Posted by Debbye at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

>From The Sun (UK) Saddam

>From The Sun (UK) Saddam bodyguards held:

US FORCES in Iraq have captured several of toppled tyrant Saddam Hussein's personal bodyguards.

The men were seized during raids in the south of Tikrit following a tip-off from an informant yesterday.

Up to ten of the 13 people arrested in the swoop are believed to have been part of the former Iraqi President's top security team.

The CNN confirms this report CNN.com - General: U.S. captures Saddam bodyguards - Jul. 25, 2003

Posted by Debbye at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) MPs postpone publication of Gilligan's evidence.

The Commons foreign affairs select committee last night postponed plans to publish secret evidence from the BBC journalist at the centre of the David Kelly affair after a confidential appeal from the corporation's chairman. (Emphasis added)

Sure glad the BBC has nothing to hide.

Donald Anderson, the Labour chairman of the committee, said it had "reluctantly" decided to withhold the transcript of Andrew Gilligan's appearance, which was supposed to be released this week.

The decision, based on what he said was a "private communication" from Gavyn Davies that "has to remain confidential", fuelled speculation circulating at Westminster that the BBC is concerned about Gilligan's state of mind. (Emphasis added)

And playing the sympathy card! Based on deep guilt, no doubt. It's not that his career, not to mention the BBC's reputation, is in tatters because he did exactly what he accused the Blair government of doing: sexing up his report.

These guys are shameless.

Posted by Debbye at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

>From Australia: How Saddam beat

>From Australia: How Saddam beat US in Baghdad (July 26, 2003) (please note date and remember that pesky International Date Line):

A bodyguard of Uday has broken a three-month silence and consented to be interviewed:

The cousin was the friend of an Iraqi friend who felt sure that, with Uday dead, the bodyguard could be convinced to talk about his years with Hussein's fast-living scion. And Iraqi customs make it hard to refuse someone who comes as a guest with your relative.

During a three-hour interview in a house in a town an hour northwest of Baghdad – an interview given on condition that neither the town nor the 28-year-old's name be revealed – the bodyguard said Hussein and his sons had remained in the capital throughout the war, convinced they could hold the city.

When the first bombs fell on a house in a southern suburb, where the Americans believed Hussein and his sons were meeting, he and Uday were on the other side of the city in one of dozens of safe houses belonging to trusted friends and relatives through which the three men were to pass in the weeks to come.

The bodyguard said the Americans' next "decapitation" strike came a lot closer, and that Hussein survived only because several safe houses had come under attack and he suspected there was an informant in his camp.

Hussein asked the suspect, a captain, to prepare a safe house behind a restaurant in the Mansour district for a meeting. They arrived and left again, almost immediately, by the back door. "Ten minutes after they went out of the door, it was bombed," the bodyguard said.

Hussein had the captain summarily executed, while the Pentagon was claiming that the strike had probably finished off Uday and his father.

When Baghdad fell on April 9, the three men were in separate houses in Adhamiya, a Sunni neighbourhood full of loyalists, where Hussein did a televised walkabout two days before.

Hussein is either in Syria or Russia, and probably the former. Will he break his silence to acknowledge his sons' and grandson's deaths?

Posted by Debbye at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

The BBC is finally coming

The BBC is finally coming under closer scrutiny as MPs become aware (gasp!) that these state-funded agencies seem to report the news slanted with their own politcal agendas. Australia's ABC also has some accounting to do although Labor (who else) is trying to defend it: Obsession on ABC review: Labor (July 25, 2003).

[Please note: that's how they spell labour!]

THE Federal Government was today labelled obsessive over its plans to set up a new panel to review complaints against the ABC.

The Government is considering setting up an independent panel after the national broadcaster's own review rejected allegations of bias and anti-Americanism in the ABC's coverage of the Iraq war. (Emphasis added)

Gee, why would anyone feel less than confident in an in-house review?

Communications Minister Richard Alston said a new review process would instill public confidence in the ABC.

Opposition communications spokesman Lindsay Tanner called for Senator Alston's resignation, saying his relentless war against the ABC was reaching embarrassing proportions.

"His obsession with the ABC is distracting the Government from the huge challenges in his communications portfolio which go to our nation's very future as an information economy," Mr Tanner said.

I suspect it is that very future which is at stake, i.e., that the ABC must begin to serve as an information vehicle instead of an active proponent of the nanny state.

Here's a link to a recent entry in Tim Blair's excellent blog Get In Touch With Your Feelings for a current example of why I contend that the Australian Broadcasting Corp. is no different than our very own CBC.

UPDATE: Australian columnist Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun weighs in on the ABC's High price of bias.

Is anyone at the CBC paying attention to the ongoing taxpayers' revolt against the BBC and ABC? Probably not, as the Liberal Party seems firmly in control of Canada right now, but it never hurts to look toward the future.

Posted by Debbye at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

The events leading up to

The events leading up to the shooting at New York City Hall is getting odder as more information is released: Dead man told tale as an anonymous source reveals what Askew told the FBI when he telephoned them earlier that day:

NEW YORK -- Hours before he gunned down Councillor James Davis, Othniel Askew told the FBI that Davis offered him $45,000US to give up a primary election challenge and threatened to hurt his family if he did not, a law enforcement source said yesterday. Askew also claimed Davis, 41, offered him an additional $15,000 a year and a no-show staff job, the source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

First: beware of anonymous sources. Adopt "grain of salt" rule.

Furthermore, [...] Davis, a former police officer, was carrying a holstered gun Wednesday, but did not draw the weapon. (Emphasis added)

Second: beware of hypocrisy from liberals. Coun. Davis was a strong gun control advocate and had even persuaded his local Toys R Us store not to sell toy guns.

How many guns are allowed into City Hall? Have these people already forgotten the San Fransisco killing of Mayor George Moscone and Coun. Harvey Milk by Dan White (infamous for the "Twinkie", i.e., diminished capacity, defense)?

The capacity for stupidity by my fellow citizens is of unceasing wonder.

Posted by Debbye at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

Count on Reuters to express

Count on Reuters to express subtle and not-so subtle doubts about the identity of those killed in Mosul Reuters Sees Baghdad Bodies, Faces 'Rebuilt'.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Officials from the U.S.-led administration in Iraq showed journalists two corpses on Friday that Washington says it is sure are the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons.

U.S. officials said morticians had touched up the faces of Qusay and Uday to repair damage sustained in a gunbattle with U.S. troops on Tuesday in which they were killed.

"I've been shown the bodies and they do appear to be those of Uday and Qusay," Reuters correspondent Andrew Marshall said from an air-conditioned, tented U.S. military morgue at Baghdad's international airport.

A U.S. military official said they had undergone some post-mortem facial reconstruction -- standard practice they said, not an attempt to deceive the Iraqi people. There was no sign that either of them had committed suicide, they added.

The faces appeared to be in better condition than in photographs issued on Thursday by the U.S. military. Those had been taken in the aftermath of the battle on Tuesday in Mosul in which U.S. troops said they killed the brothers.

It was reported on Wednesday that they might clean up the bodies.

"The two bodies have undergone facial reconstruction with morticians putty to make them resemble as closely as possible the faces of the brothers when they were alive," a U.S. military official said.

Qusay's uncharacteristic beard, visible in the original American photographs, had been shaved off but a mustache, which he normally wore, had been left.

A gaping wound in Uday's face, also visible in the earlier pictures, appeared to have been repaired but a hole in the top of his head was still visible to reporters.

U.S. officials say they are certain their troops killed the hated brothers in rocket strikes on a villa in the northern city of Mosul. It is keen to convince Iraqis they no longer have any reason to fear the former ruling family but many say they remain unconvinced by photographs.

It seemed that little short of putting the bodies on public display in Baghdad will convince some Iraqis. Decades of fear and lies under Saddam and deep suspicion of American motives in occupying their country made them a tough audience.

Be sure to get that editorializing in! And who is more suspicious than Reuters about American motives (I said more, not just as)?

Nevertheless, the fact that the bodies are sufficiently recognizable should convince anyone who questions the length of the gunbattle that the primary aim was to either capture them alive or have the remains be in good enough shape so as to be recognizably the Smothered Brothers (TM Jon Steward).

Power cuts and broadcasting difficulties permitting, Iraqis had a chance to see photographs of brothers Uday and Qusay's bloodied heads on satellite television on Thursday.

Ooh, another shot at the US! How about taking a shot at the saboteurs that keep bringing the power lines down? And I mean that literally.

These pictures were taken by the U.S. military, however, so Friday was the first time independent journalists had seen the bodies. U.S. commanders have said four former aides, including Saddam's influential former presidential secretary, had identified the bodies. They also had perfect or near perfect matches on dental records and surgical X-rays.

Members of Iraq's interim Governing Council, a fledgling self-rule body appointed by the occupying authorities and comprising respected community leaders, were also shown the bodies on Thursday.

Iraqi newspapers were not available in Baghdad on Friday morning as local people attended weekly prayers at mosques. But editors said they would publish the photographs on Saturday.

One of the American pictures appeared to show the bearded, shaven-headed Uday, a feared and hated rapist and torturer, with a gaping wound obliterating part of his nose and upper lip. Another seemed to show Qusay, Saddam's heir apparent, also uncharacteristically bearded, his mouth hanging open and with blood trickles congealed inside an ear. (Emphasis added)

Military officers said Uday appeared to have been killed by a bullet in the head, but it was not yet known whether he had been shot by U.S. soldiers or had committed suicide.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he ordered the release of the pictures -- despite questions about its morality and accusations of hypocrisy -- to help convince frightened Iraqis that Saddam's reign was truly over. (Emphasis added)

What did I tell you Wednesday? I watched the DoD briefing with Secy. Rumsfeld yesterday, and sure enough the press questioned him about the morality of showing the "gruesome" pictures because, you know, young children routinely log onto CNN and might see those pictures, and hypocrisy because the USA doesn't show pictures of dead people and protested when al Jazeera showed our dead and PoWs during Gulf War II. [NB: I also learned during that briefing that the Pentagon has its own dictionary. Really!] Secy. Rumsefeld confirmed that they made the decision after much thought (heh) and that he made the ultimate decision.

Many Iraqis, no matter how deeply they loathe Saddam and his family, find it hard to believe anything the Americans say and conspiracy theories are rife across the Arab world.

A second mention of Iraqi suspicion toward the Americans. Reuters, no matter how deeply they loathe [shouldn't that be past tense?] Saddam and his family, find it hard to believe anything the Americans say and conspiracy theories are rife in their press offices.

"We will believe they are dead when Uday's and Qusay's bodies are tied to cars and dragged through the streets so everybody can see them," said Muhammad, a Baghdad engineer.

I'm with him. I've read the Iliad you know.

Businessman Khalil Ali said photographs meant nothing.

"They should have been hung up on poles in a square in Baghdad so all Iraqis could see them," he said.

After they are dragged through the streets, of course. Funny nobody has mentioned plastic shredders yet.

Secy. Rumsfeld often reminds us that the Pentagon is a building, not a person that can be quoted, but nevertheless I'm sticking with the common usage and telling the Pentagon to turn the bodies over to the Iraqis and let them decide what to do. We can defend that decision quite easily because who did the Smothered Brothers (TM Jon Steward) hurt? The Iraqis. Who should decide the disposition of their bodies? The Iraqis. Case closed.

Instapundit reports that Rueters has been caught tampering with the truth and that CNN may still be in the business of supressing news.

First CNN, then the NY Times and the BBC, and now Reuters? These guys just don't learn.

Posted by Debbye at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

Scroll down to read "A

Scroll down to read "A Chill Wind Keeps Blowing From the Left" and "Update: The Wages of Defending Oneself in the UK" by The Dark Avenger at The Canadian for the bad news about some good news: Tony Martin, who's been jailed for protecting his home from burglars, is out now and in a safe house. The bad news, however, is really bad.

This story has major implications for Canada, the gun registry here and the relentless logic of where this country is heading.

Posted by Debbye at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2003

This transcript of Dep. Secy.

This transcript of Dep. Secy. Wolfowitz's briefing is up DoD News: Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Briefing on His Recent Trip to Iraq
(via Instapundit. Follow the link to read Andrew Sullivan's comments which are, as always, worth reading.)

Their morale is high. They're committed to the mission. And their obvious commitment to getting the job done right is having a positive effect on the people of Iraq. They understand that helping the Iraqis build a free and democratic society will help make our children and grandchildren safer.

That last seems to me to be self-evident, and when I hear or read people argue that we should pull out now I wonder if they have a firm grasp on reality (particularly given the Afghan example of the dangers posed by failed states) or if they know exactly what the stakes are and actively want that outcome.

...Fighting what has been sometimes called a guerrilla war. It's only a guerrilla war in certain similarity of tactics. But even at the tactical level, I believe this will go down as the first guerrilla tactic in history in which contract killings, killings for hire, going out and soliciting young men for $500 to take a shot at an American, was the principal tactic employed. (Emphasis added)

Something that hadn't occurred to me, and that makes it less of a patriotic resistance movement in Iraq to thugs being hired to murder.

After the briefing the press asked questions including this one:

Q Secretary Wolfowitz, could I just also ask you, what did you really mean when you said people in the Middle East will believe almost anything?

Mr. Wolfowitz: It's a -- here's what I mean. And thank you for giving me a chance to clarify. It's a comment on how we are seen as a country that can do anything, that can restore power overnight. Sometimes it's nice to have the reputation for being almost godlike, but frankly, I think it produces this phenomenon that if something isn't happening, it must be because the Americans don't want it to happen; and they begin to invent the most elaborate reasons to explain it. And the fact is -- you know it -- we often just make mistakes. We do stupid things. And then people spend years and years afterwards with elaborate explanations of not, "Gee the Americans are stupid," but, "There must be some very ingenious plot here."

It gets back to the tin foil hat brigade that somehow forgot that X-Files is fiction and that we are just fallible humans who can't predict with more than a degree of certainty what is likely to happen.

Def. Secy. Rumsfeld concisely summed up what we do and do not know: known knowables, unknown knowables, known unknowables and unknown unknowables. That pretty much sums up all of human knowledge.

Posted by Debbye at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

Iran 4, Canada 0

July 24 - Iran understands how to play the game by Canadian rules: Iran accuses Canadian police of killing Iranian:

Wire services cited Iranian state radio accusations that police in Vancouver had 'attacked' three young Iranians on Tuesday, and killed one of them identified as Keyvan Tabesh.

A young Iranian emigre was, indeed, killed in Vancouver - although it occurred several weeks ago. Port Moody police say that a young man identified as Mr. Tabesh was shot dead by an out-of-uniform police officer as he ran at the officer waving a machete.

Mr. Tabesh was shot dead after his car was followed into a dead end by a police officer responding to a radio call. With no escape, Port Moody spokesman Constable Brian Soles told The Globe and Mail, two of the occupants of the car jumped out and ran at the policeman. Constable Soles said the officer fired his gun when he felt he was under attack.

Family members have apparently been told that the officer who shot Mr. Tabesh was off-duty; police have conceded that the man was not wearing his uniform and was not driving a marked police car.

"There may be an issue about whether the police officer identified himself," Constable Soles said. "He has a responsibility to do it, if he is able to."

In any case, he added, Mr. Tabesh was about to attack someone.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Tehran suggested that there is a lack of freedom in the Canadian media, saying that controls are imposed by the Canadian government and that "the strong censorship of this story creates more ambiguities." (Emphasis added)

The spokesman called for "an explicit and transparent and satisfactory explanation" and the punishment of those responsible, a near-echo of Ottawa's demands in the Kazemi case.

I would say that the Iranian government has effectively employed four of Canada's biggest Achilles heels: the substitution of red-herrings and unsubstantiated accusations for political debate, a weak foreign affairs department, news blackouts in criminal justice proceedings and the attitude of Canadian media toward police agencies.

Even though the deaths of Zahra Kazemi and Keyvan Tabesh are linked only by the fact that both are Iranians killed by police, this accusation turns eyes back to Canada. Canada appears to be the pot calling the kettle black. A nice diversionary tactic!

Iran 1 - Canada 0

The Iranian government has just launched a propaganda war against Canada, and its up to the Foreign Affairs Dept. to mount an effective response. Since the only foreign government it routinely criticizes is the USA, do they have the tools and cajones to respond effectively or will they use Old Europe's model on how to deal with countries other than the USA? French Pres. Chirac just went on vacation but maybe he can be persuaded to lend his expertise in this matter.

Of course, Canada could try to enlist the support of American-based Iranian exiles to broadcast the facts of the Vancouver affair back into Iran, but Canada's good friend Cuba is jamming signals into Iran.

Iran 2 - Canada 0

Unlike American press (heh), information and testimony before and during trials is often blacked out to protect the privacy of the accused. This pious stance conflicts with openness in the judicial system and many Canadian journalists do feel that the suppression amounts to censorship and have stated such.

Iran 3 - Canada 0

The politically correct media and police oversight boards often take the approach that when the police use deadly force it was because they failed in some way to subdue a suspect. They don't, or can't, take into account the frame of mind of someone who is determined to avoid capture, wants to go down fighting, or is blinded by the desire to kill.

I'm betting Canada is going to meekly promise to look into this.

Iran 4 - Canada 0

It has gone international. From Reuters Iran Accuses Canadian Police of Killing Iranian:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran accused Canadian police on Thursday of the "criminal" killing of an Iranian, ratcheting up a diplomatic row that began with the death in Iranian custody of a Canadian journalist this month.

Iranian state media said Canadian police in Vancouver had attacked three young Iranians, killing one and injuring one of the others. It identified the dead man as Keyvan Tabesh and demanded those responsible be brought to justice.

Iran and Canada are at odds over the death in Tehran this month of Zahra Kazemi, 54, a Canadian photojournalist of Iranian descent. Canada recalled its envoy to Tehran over the incident and said it would review its ties with Iran.

"Why have Canadian police, who should safeguard the security of the people, committed this disgraceful crime which scared Iranian citizens living in Canada?" it quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying.

There was no immediate comment from Canada. (Emphasis added)

We should cut Canadian Foreign Affairs office some slack here given the difference in time zones. The Globe and Mail story was posted online at 6:03 a.m. EDT.

Iran's state media said the Vancouver incident happened on Tuesday. But Canadian media have reported that Tabesh, 18, was shot and killed by a policeman in the Port Moody suburb of Vancouver on July 14 after an apparent road-rage incident.

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper in a July 18 article said Tabesh's parents, who live in Vancouver, had strongly criticized police for the shooting of their son. The newspaper said Tabesh was brandishing a machete when he was shot.


The official IRNA news agency quoted Asefi as saying Canadian media had censored the Vancouver incident. "The strong censorship of this story creates more ambiguities," it quoted him as saying.


Posted by Debbye at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

Wednesday's CNEWS - Reader Poll

Wednesday's CNEWS - Reader Poll asked the question:

Who would have the best chance against Paul Martin in a general election.

Total Votes for this Question: 3541

37% voted for Don Cherry
26% voted for Ralph Klein
12% voted for Brian Mulroney
12% voted for Ron MacLean
6% voted for Ed Broadbent
4% voted for Ben Mulroney
2% voted for Matthew Coon Come
2% voted for Kim Campbell

Posted by Debbye at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2003

ScrappleFace can always be counted

ScrappleFace can always be counted on to see the absurd and the sublime. Today he has two that musn't be missed : Quagmire Index Revised to Reflect Death of Saddam Sons and
Saddam to Offer Eulogy at Sons' Funeral.

Posted by Debbye at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

After several hours of intense

After several hours of intense consultation, the Dept. of Defense finally made the right if not only possible decision Rumsfeld: Uday, Qusay photos will be released.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Photographs of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay will be released, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

The pictures, taken after the brothers died in a firefight with U.S. troops on Tuesday, are described as "graphic."
The picture of Uday apparently shows he has a shaved head and a bushy beard. Aside from the wound, he appears relatively unscarred, Pentagon officials said.

Qusay's picture shows he has less of a beard and appears badly bruised and scarred, a Pentagon official said.

Autopsies will be performed and the bodies could be re-photographed after they have been cleaned up, a Pentagon official said. (Emphasis added)

I didn't make that last part up. File under "The ways of the Pentagon are mysterious to mortal man (and woman)."

I don't want to infringe on Frank J's territory, but In My World, Secy. Rumsfeld didn't need any consultations to know what to do but appearances had to be kept so that when the inevitable international scrutiny, second-guessing and inevitable outrage at the barbarity of displaying the bodies spews forth he and others can say that it was a difficult decision reached after long discussions and deep introspection.

Posted by Debbye at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

Hurrah! Bill Whittle has got

Hurrah! Bill Whittle has got an short essay up about the demise of the two in Baghdad over at Eject! Eject! Eject!: LITMUS TEST.

There was a time – I can remember it clearly, though it seems a lifetime ago – when “liberals” were people who fought for humanity and human rights, people who despised murder and torture. Now, wherever we look, the people who call themselves the most “liberal” seem to be the sole remaining defenders of murder, rape and torture.

What the hell has happened to those people?

What he said.

Posted by Debbye at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

>From the Globe and Mail:

>From the Globe and Mail: U.S. captures senior Republican Guard official.

Baghdad — U.S. troops captured a senior Republican Guard official Wednesday, one day after killing Saddam Hussein's elder sons Uday and Qusay, but the guerrilla campaign against American forces persisted with two more soldiers killed.

Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition forces in Iraq, said the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein would be a "turning point" in the war but could result in a temporary "spike" in attacks as Hussein loyalists take revenge. (Emphasis added)

(I'm emphasizing that last sentence because I want to be able to find it easily when somebody says trimphantly "See! The killing hasn't stopped". I like to plan ahead.)

In all the unabashed joyousness that Udai and Qusai are now Dead and Deader I hadn't thought about who else was with the two when they were dispatched to hell so was glad to see this:

The head of the Special Republican Guard, Barzan Abd al-Ghafur Sulayman Majid al-Tikriti, was seized at an undisclosed location in Iraq, Gen. Sanchez told reporters in Baghdad. He was 11th on the U.S. list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis.

If my conjecture is right, Udai and Qusai were together because they were co-ordinating the guerilla campaign and it is probable that the head of the Special Republican Guard was their liason with those carrying out the attacks.

On the streets of Baghdad, some residents said they wished American forces had taken Mr. Hussein's sons alive. Of the most-wanted Iraqis, 35 have been captured; only two — Uday and Qusay — were killed in an arrest raid.

"We are happy for this, but we hoped that they would have been captured instead of killed so that they could have been tried by the Iraqi people," said Jassim Jabar, a 22-year-old tailor. "I hope Saddam will face the same fate soon."

Except that there are actually people out there who somehow doubt that the Iraqis are capable of conducting such a trial. So I vote for that we go for a hat trick and make Saddam Deadest.

One of the nice things about being a known American is that no one really expect you to be subtle or nuanced.

Posted by Debbye at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

Councilman James Davis is the

Councilman James Davis is the name of the victim being telecast Shooting reported in N.Y. City Hall and the name of second man, either another victim or the shooter, has not yet been released. But the question everyone is asking is "How did a handgun get inside City Hall?" If this is Code Red, give me strength. Or body armour. Body armour is still legal in Canada, right?

NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already stated "this isn't terrorism" according to CNN Live, but I don't know on what evidence he makes that claim. (I may have missed the memo that states terrorism is only perpetrated by Islamic fanatics, though.) It sounds like one of the phrases like "fire investigators don't suspect arson" and we all nod and wait until they finally announce it was arson.

Don't mind me, I'm grumpy when I have to watch the awful CNN because CBC Newsworld sucks and Fox is unavailable (legally) in Canada. I'd love to be able to watch FOXNews so I could bitch about it too.

Posted by Debbye at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Mark Steyn on Kazemi

July 23 - Mark Steyn has a new column at his website just for us in Canada SteynOnCanada. His latest is called "Playing Both Sides: The Western Jihadi" and includes:

A couple of weeks later, a Montreal photo journalist, Zahra Kazemi, was arrested by police in Iran [CORRECT] (sic) and wound up getting questioned to death. She had done what my wife recommended - contacted the Canadian Embassy in Tehran - and a lot of good it did her when she was arrested for photographing a student demo and beaten into a coma. By the time her son, frustrated by his government's unruffleable equanimity in the matter, got the story out to the media, it was too late. On hearing of her death, the Canadian Foreign Minister expressed his "sadness" and regret".

Would it have killed him to express a little anger and disgust? ... With a straight face, he passed on to reporters the official Iranian line that it could be just an "accident". According to Reuters, the unfortunate accident has "marred previously harmonious relations between Iran and Canada".

(Via Right On! Blog)

Posted by Debbye at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

>From the CTV website (via

>From the CTV website (via Neale News), Canada recalls ambassador from Iran over Kazemi.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham has recalled the ambassador to Iran and is ready to take further action after Tehran ignored Canada's demands to return the body of a Montreal photojournalist who died in police custody.

"What has just recently occurred is that our ambassador (Philip MacKinnon) left the foreign ministry just a few minutes ago in Tehran, having been officially informed of the burial of Madame Kazemi," Graham told CTV's Canada AM.

"We absolutely protested that of course."

But I was a bit disappointed to read further:

MacKinnon is reportedly being recalled for consultations. No date has been set for his return.

Graham added that Prime Minister Jean Chretien is willing to personally call Iranian President Mohammad Khatami himself to ensure the remains are returned to Canada.

Are they that uninformed about how things work in Iran? Aw hell, asked and answered.

Reports of her burial is sure to stir controversy in Canada, where her only son, Stephan Hachemi, has been working since her death in early July to have her remains returned.


Posted by Debbye at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

Blast! Now The Canadian is

Blast! Now The Canadian is making me feel badly for my opposition to US intervention in "Liberia: Hell on Earth."

He's right: watching and talking while this happens is really sad.

Posted by Debbye at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

The only thing somewhat new

The only thing somewhat new in this report Hussein brothers assault included TOW missiles - Jul. 23, 2003 is

Still photographs of the Hussein brothers' bodies were taken in the aftermath of Tuesday's raid, according to Pentagon officials, who said the pictures show badly shot bodies that were still clearly recognizable.

A senior Pentagon official told CNN the U.S. military is considering releasing the pictures to try to convince skeptical Iraqis of the brothers' deaths.

Cut the BS consideration and consultation show already. The bodies should have been put prominently on display yesterday (our time) and the photos should be all over the Arab world by now.

We did it for Jesse James, John Dillinger, et al.!

The only question, as I stated yesterday, is what to do with the bodies. Bury them, or turn them over to the Iraqis for, ahem, disposal. (It's not my fault you kids don't read the Iliad and other classics in school anymore.)

Posted by Debbye at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

>From Reuters: Canadian Buried in

>From Reuters: Canadian Buried in Iran Against Ottawa's Wishes

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A Canadian journalist who died in custody in Tehran was buried in her birthplace in southern Iran on Wednesday against the wishes of her son and the Canadian government who wanted her body to be returned to Canada.
But despite calls from the European Union and Canada for Iran to prosecute those responsible for her death, officials in the Islamic Republic have yet to say whether Kazemi was hurt deliberately or who may have caused her death.

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham told Canada's CTV that Ottawa's envoy to Tehran had lodged a formal protest with Iranian authorities about the burial.

According to Canadian officials Kazemi's mother, Ezzet Kazemi, had recently ceded to her grandson's wishes for the body to be taken back to Canada.

Graham said he hoped to speak to his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi soon. "When I speak to the foreign minister I'm going to say to him 'Look, you told me it was the mother's wishes that would prevail in Iranian law'," Graham said.

C'mon, Ottawa, take the gloves off! Send in Screeching Bill Graham (TM Paul J.) and show them our resolve!

You invoked international human rights law yesterday, so hit them with an international warrant, send in the international police and arrest them to stand trial before the international court!

(Nobody who reads this site should require sarcasm tags.)

Posted by Debbye at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

John Manley's departure from the

John Manley's departure from the Liberal leadership race seemingly confirms Paul Martin's status as heir apparent which leaves some discomfort among those who worry about the state of democracy in Canadian elections.

Today's CNEWS Poll (scroll to the bottom of the page) asks the question: Who would have the best chance against Paul Martin in a general election?

Although it's all in good fun, the results won't surprise most Canadians, especially the second runner up (although the West hasn't finished weighing in yet so the vote could change.)

Posted by Debbye at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Toronto Sun Tories

>From the Toronto Sun Tories tout tighter border:

Ontario's Public Safety and Security Minister Bob Runciman vows to toughen Ontario's immigration system. Runciman told Sun Media yesterday that he will promote Ontario's idea for a North American security perimeter with officials from 10 states at a Vermont meeting of U.S. security directors today.

Included in that plan is the governing Tories' platform pledge to take over some aspects of the province's immigration system from the federal government.

"We have to put a stop to queue jumping under false pretenses," Runciman said. "We shouldn't be admitting people who have falsified or deliberately destroyed their IDs."

Nobody respects people who cut in front.

Runciman said the immigration plan could also control the number and type of immigrants in order to meet the province's specific needs.

Hopefully, that means that the credentials of immigrants to Ontario will be respected. Right?
"Ontario has a critical interest here," Runciman said. "Ninety-three percent of our trade is with the United States."

You were doing fine until you cheapened it by playing the trade card. I'm an American, but I'm also an Ontarian.

The American in me wants to know if you are interested in protecting North American from terrorist attacks and shutting down the terrorist support structure on this continent.

The Ontarian in me wants to know if you are proposing these measures because you support the War on Terrorism or only to placate the Americans in order maintain Ontario's economy.

I guess the bottom line is that I would like to see Ontario and Canada propose and implement measures for the sake of Canadians because that is true sovereignty. You owe it to me because I live here, and you owe it to my kids because I want them to be proud of Ontario and Canada.

Posted by Debbye at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Toronto Sun Help

>From the Toronto Sun Help sought finding killer:

The gunman who bound Rodney Guppy's hands and executed him outside his Scarborough home opened fire immediately as a car unexpectedly pulled up to the scene, police said yesterday. Guppy, 28, was identified yesterday as the victim of the Sunday night shooting. The 32-year-old male driver remains in hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest. He is expected to survive.

What will it take to end the bloodshed on Toronto's streets?

It seems increasingly clear that Toronto is beset with warfare between individuals known to the police and, as the violence tends to happen in waves, we can expect more killings in the near future.

It's easy for me to speculate on why potential witnesses don't come forward: given the lenient sentences our courts discharge, any witness has to wonder how long they or their families will live if they do come forward. And that's the real crime.

Posted by Debbye at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) Circus acts told to wear hard hats under new EU law:

Trapeze artists with one of the world's most famous circuses have been told to start wearing hard hats to comply with new EU safety rules.

Jugglers, tightrope walkers and other acrobats with the Moscow State Circus, which is currently touring Britain, have also been instructed to don safety head wear because of European regulations covering workers employed at heights greater than the average stepladder.

The circus's insurers have warned the performers that they now risk losing their cover if they are injured in the course of their work without the protection of safety hats.

"It is bureaucracy gone mad, with a lot of help from the current compensation culture," said Paul Archer, general manager of the circus.

What he said.

Posted by Debbye at 07:22 AM | Comments (0)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK)

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) Regime 'inflates' Liberia death toll:

President Charles Taylor's allies issued what appeared to be inflated casualty figures yesterday as the troubled Liberian regime stepped up its campaign to draw foreign peacekeepers into the country's civil war.

Aid workers and hospital sources said about 100 civilians were killed by mortar shells over the past few days, but said they could not give reliable figures.
The office of the UN high commissioner for refugees said the situation in Monrovia was becoming "horrific".

Leaders of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy rebel group blame Mr Taylor's fighters for the breakdown of recent ceasefires, and claimed yesterday to have ordered their men to exercise maximum restraint to observe another truce.

In Dakar, Senegal, where West African military leaders were meeting to discuss their options, Nigeria said it would move into Monrovia only when a lasting ceasefire was in place.

This is the whole sticky mess in a nutshell. Why doesn't Taylor just leave? If even the neighbouring countries are hesitant about getting involved, what hope does the US have of actually being able to instill some peace?

I hate reading about civilians getting caught up in the crossfire but doing something for the sake of looking like we're doing something is just not a viable option. I heard a report last night that children are warriors on both sides of this conflict, and have to wonder how on earth we are going to expect our troops to kill children, even children with guns, and still expect them to sleep at night.

Will the world really cheer US forces after they land in Liberia? Yeah, right. Anyone killed will be blamed on us without questions or investigation. Every breakdown in law and order will be our fault.

Just an idea, but Liberia could use some human shields right about now. Hmm?

Posted by Debbye at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Former POW Lynch returns home:

Former POW Lynch returns home:
Now back home in West Virginia, Lynch thanked her rescuers and said those soldiers quoted her correctly when they reported that her first words to them were that she was also a U.S. soldier.

"I'm proud to be a soldier in the Army. I'm proud to have served with the 507th," she said Tuesday, adding she was glad to hear some of the soldiers she served with in her company returned to the United States alive. "And it hurts that some of my company didn't."
She thanked everyone for encouraging letters and donations that helped her family join her in Germany, the first stop for treatment after she left Iraq. She also thanked those who donated time and money to remodel her family's home to accommodate her needs. Volunteer workers have built an addition to the family home, financed by local and national businesses.

Maybe you have to have lived in a small town to really get how folks feel about "their own".

Odd how the same people who scoff at Smallville USA also complain about their feelings of isolation and lonliness in the Big City.

Posted by Debbye at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

>From Reuters Tehran Row Deepens

>From Reuters Tehran Row Deepens Over Probe Into Canadian Death

An initial government inquiry, commissioned by pro-reform President Mohammad Khatami and released on Sunday, failed to pinpoint how Kazemi was hurt and said further investigation was needed to identify who may have caused her death.

The head of the judiciary named Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi to lead the probe -- an appointment that incensed reformist lawmakers.

Mortazavi closed scores of liberal newspapers and jailed many journalists in his former post as a court judge.

"Mortazavi's background is questionable... Without doubt this appointment makes a mockery of legal and fundamental issues," reformist MP Hossein Ansari-Rad was quoted as saying in the liberal Yas-e No daily on Tuesday.

Judiciary officials did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment on the criticism of Mortazavi's appointment.

Several MPs have already called for Mortazavi's resignation over the Kazemi case, because of his role in her arrest and initial interrogation on June 23. They also accuse him of being responsible for an initial government announcement that Kazemi had died from a stroke.

(via Frozen in Montreal)

Posted by Debbye at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

The Canadian has a good

The Canadian has a good post and links on "How Saudi Arabia spreads terrorism and hatred of the West". A lot of people have been impatient for Washington DC to face up to the reality that the main influence on on terrorism and the ayatollocracies (TM Paul J.) is Wahhabism.

It's taking time -- people are dying for no good reason meanwhile -- but slowly and surely the threat is becoming identified. This does not bode well for Saudi Arabia and quite frankly, after watching that slideshow mentioned in the last post, I don't give a damn!

I'll go buy a horse if I need to get around. One thing is certain -- I don't forgive them and their big oil bucks for what they were complicit in.

It would be a good time to scroll down for the link to a "Fantastic Slide Show" to remember why we are so angry and so determined to win this war.

Posted by Debbye at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

The 101st Airborne, aka the

The 101st Airborne, aka the Screaming Eagles, continue to stand tall after a 4-hour firefight in Mosul that brought about this welcome news Saddam's Sons Confirmed Dead (from Fox).

One U.S. official told Fox News that "they were shot up" so much that it is difficult to make a positive identification of the bodies.

There is much rejoicing in my household.

Posted by Debbye at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

>From the Baltimore Sun Arundel

>From the Baltimore Sun Arundel couple accused of abuse after carrying 2 boys in trunk:

An Edgewater couple accused of driving 20 miles with their 12-year-old son and his friend in the trunk of their car face child abuse and other charges in what their lawyer at a bail-review hearing yesterday called a "stupid" mistake on their part.

Sheesh, I was thinking it was some poor, beleaguered parents trying to enforce some quiet in the car, like saying "if you can't settle down we're going to put you in the trunk" and then the kids calling their bluff. Been there, didn't do that, but I can sympathize.

Their lawyer, Mark S. Chandlee, argued at the bail review that the Duthoys were guilty of nothing more than terrible judgment. He said Frederick Duthoy, 12, and his friend, James Patrick Wright, 11, had asked to ride in the trunk and were "wrestling and playing" during the 20-minute trip. (Emphasis added)

(via Neale News)

Posted by Debbye at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

This just in: CNN.com -

This just in: CNN.com - Pentagon: Saddam sons likely killed - Jul. 22, 2003.

(Okay, I have CNN on. But why, oh why, does this come in when the idiotic Wolf Blitzer is at the desk?)

If they are dead, the only question will be how to display the bodies?

Posted by Debbye at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

Today's editorial in The Sun

Today's editorial in The Sun Newspaper Online,

THE judge probing Dr David Kelly’s death will seek answers to ten key questions.

Belfast-born Lord Hutton will be relentless in his pursuit of the truth about the tragedy which has rocked Tony Blair’s government and the BBC.

The Law Lord — one of 12 — cut his teeth in Northern Ireland during the height of the Troubles.

He went on to become Lord Chief Justice of the province for nine years.

The 72-year-old judge will want to know:

1. Why did the BBC gamble its hard-won reputation for impartial broadcasting with a war against Downing Street over one sensational story by a controversial journalist?

2. How soon did BBC director-general Greg Dyke and chairman Gavyn Davies know the identity of the source for defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan’s claim an MI6 dossier was “sexed up”.

3. Why did BBC news chief Richard Sambrook claim after Gilligan’s report sparked uproar that it came from a “senior and credible source in the intelligence services”?

4. Why did the BBC reject repeated Downing Street attempts to put the story right?

5. Who leaked Dr Kelly’s name to The Times — before it was confirmed by a senior Ministry of Defence spokeswoman?

6. Was Dr Kelly threatened with action for breaching the Official Secrets Act by talking to Gilligan and was he told his pension was at risk only months before he was due to retire? (Emphasis added)

7. Did Dr Kelly give one story about his relations with Gilligan to the Foreign Affairs Committee of MPs and another in secret to the Intelligence and Security Committee?

8. Did Gilligan make notes of his conversation with Dr Kelly during their lunch in London on May 22 and will they be subjected to tests?

9. What clues were available on Dr Kelly’s home computer about his state of mind before he took his own life?

10. Why did the BBC not apologise to Dr Kelly’s family for failing to confirm he was their main source when he was still alive and able to defend himself?

There are (surprise, surprise) many who want the inquiry to focus on whether the claims made by Andrew Gilligan of the BBC were true, a despicable act of opportunism of anti-war factions to twist this tragedy to serve their own political goals. Sadly, the Tories are jumping on this bandwagon too.

Posted by Debbye at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

Reading between the lines, it

Reading between the lines, it seems clear that the BBC hadn't taken any lessons from the recent Jayson Blair scandel at the NY Times. >From the Daily Telegraph (UK) Colleagues cautious over Gilligan.

It was "extraordinary", John Humphrys told The Telegraph two weeks ago, but he had not encountered a single BBC colleague who was not "solidly behind us" on the Iraqi documents row with the Government.

Increasingly, however, the BBC's attempts to maintain a united front are being challenged as the corporation faces an unprecedented onslaught. Even if they had not said as much to Humphrys, the Today presenter, it had been clear since it started that there were some within BBC News who had doubts about the corporation's handling of the row.

There were claims yesterday that these cracks had started to widen as staff came to terms with the fact that the late Dr David Kelly had indeed been the main source of the BBC's story.

Although one newspaper's claim that corporation bosses faced a "staff revolt" appeared exaggerated, there were signs of disquiet in some quarters. Some executives were said to feel the BBC had been too aggressive in its defence of the story and had allowed "political considerations" to influence its stance.

But do such mutterings go beyond the inevitable rivalries between journalists only too pleased to see each other discredited?

The Today programme and its defence correspondent, Andrew Gilligan, in particular have certainly aroused considerable animosity among other BBC journalists who disapprove of what they see as its newspaper-style obsession with breaking stories.

"The general feeling here is one of bemusement," admitted one senior BBC journalist. "There have always been mixed views about Andrew Gilligan. Various people have been saying we've got to back up the BBC but we wish it hadn't been over him."

Resentment of Gilligan and what he represents - he is a former newspaper journalist recruited by Today to provide "exclusives" - will certainly have coloured the views of colleagues more deeply rooted in the BBC's tradition of extreme caution over breaking stories.

One BBC journalist said: "It's hard to see how this can be conclusively resolved but what would be really damning is if an e-mail now turned up from Kelly saying something like, 'I hope this guy had sources other than me'."

Meanwhile, insiders at News International - which owns The Times and The Sun - yesterday speculated on who has directed the group's trenchant support for the Government in the row, which emerged over the weekend.

It is understood that on Saturday afternoon political journalists on the News of the World, another News International title, had been preparing to write a critical piece on the Government.

That afternoon they were suddenly informed that the opposite was now required.

That last paragraph is not explained in the article.

Posted by Debbye at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

Dame Edna awarded law degree

Dame Edna awarded law degree

THE University of Melbourne honoured one of its most successful, and flamboyant, drop-outs Tuesday by awarding an honorary law degree to Barry Humphries -- alter-ego to the wisteria-haired gadfly Dame Edna Everage.


Posted by Debbye at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

Australia is set to deploy

Australia is set to deploy it's renowned military to the Solomon Island in response to a request from that government but PM braces nation for casualties (July 22, 2003).

PRIME Minister John Howard warned there was a risk of Australian casualties when the 1700-strong force is engaged in the Solomon Islands from this Thursday.

The force for Operation Helpem Fren, Solomon pidgin for "to help a friend", will comprise 1500 defence personnel, 155 federal police officers, and 90 staff from the Australian protective services.


Mr Howard said Operation Helpem Fren was a partnership between Australia and other nations in the Pacific.

"I want to thank Fiji and Tonga and Samoa and Papua New Guinea and New Zealand for their contributions," he said.

This kind of military response, coordinated with neighbouring countries, is similar to what the US is seeking before committing US troops to an intervention in Liberia.

"This is not some kind of colonial hangover exercise by Australia, it is a response to the request of a friend."


In a related story, Solomon militants go underground,

THE hotels are full and the bar queues are long, but today there were few other signs that Honiara was about to play host to a 2000-strong Australian-led intervention force.

Police and diplomatic sources in the Solomon Islands said militants and criminals had gone underground to sit-out the early stages of the deployment.


Sound familiar?

God bless this Coalition of the Willing, and godspeed.

Posted by Debbye at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Canada "asks" for inquiry into Kazemi's death

July 22 - At last, the kitten (TM (The Canadian) meows at the tiger:

Inquiry called into photojournalist's death:

OTTAWA (CP) - Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham called on the Iranian government Monday to take swift action against those responsible for the apparent beating death of a Canadian photojournalist after her arrest in Tehran.

"Those responsible for this horrific act must be prosecuted," Graham said after an Iranian government report said Zahra Kazemi, 54, had complained of punishment from her guards before she eventually died of a fractured skull.

"The treatment of Ms. Kazemi, as detailed in this report, was a flagrant violation of her rights under international human rights law and a breach of obligations that Iran owes to the international community," Graham said. (Emphasis added)

"We now ask the Iranian government to take the next step and proceed with the full and swift prosecution of those responsible." (Emphasis added)

Ask? ASK? Oh, that's right, it's a kitten talking to a tiger.
Kazemi died in hospital July 10, nearly three weeks after she was arrested for taking photographs outside a Tehran prison, the report said.
When was the Canadian government notified that she had been arrested, was being detained, and taken to hospital?

Would we even know about this if her son, Stephan Hachemi, not gone public?

After her arrest, she was interrogated by police, prosecutors and intelligence officials for 77 hours, then was taken to the hospital, the report said. She spent 14 days in the intensive care unit of Baqiyatollah Azam Hospital before she died. The hospital is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, a hardline security force. (Emphasis added)
Would that be the same leather-clad motorcyclists that have been disrupting the demonstrations and kidnapped 3 students after they met with government officials? The ones even the civilian police fear?
She died from a "fractured skull, brain hemorrhage and its consequences resulting from a hard object hitting the head or the head hitting a hard object," said the report.

A translation by Canadian officials said there were no other signs of physical abuse and that the cause of death was a "blow to the head by a hard object and no sign of assault and battery."


Graham expressed frustration over delays in repatriating Kazemi's body to Canada, despite the "agreed-upon wishes of the family."

I'm so glad he feels empowered to express his feelings. Frustration is a feeling. So is outrage. How about a little outrage, Graham?
On Sunday, prominent reformist legislator Mohsen Armin accused government security agents of beating Kazemi to death, echoing accusations from her family and friends.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Monday any decision on whether the body should be returned to Canada will rest with the court.

This news report was filed Monday, July 21. The decision was made yesterday, or won't be made until July 28? Since CNN carried this story (without Graham's milquetoast response) on Sunday Report: Canadian photographer died after 'physical attack', I think they mean July 28.
Kazemi's son Stephan Hachemi, who lives in Montreal, called for an autopsy in Canada.

"There's no reason at all to keep the body," Hachemi said on Monday.

"Unfortunately, my mother has been detained while she was alive and now they still detain her while she's dead."

Posted by Debbye at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2003

At least someone is paying

At least someone is paying attention: In yesterday's Washington Times editorial, Ignoring Iran's abuses:

While American news outlets fixate on the 16 words spoken by President Bush about Iraqi efforts to acquire uranium during the State of the Union address (three months after Congress voted to authorize the use of force), they have largely ignored a far more important story from that region of the world: the efforts of the people of Iran to overthrow an oppressive dictatorship, and the regime's brutal efforts to hang on to power, which now may include the murder of a Canadian journalist by Iranian security forces. (Emphasis added)


What's remarkable thus far is how little attention the democracy protests and the abysmal human rights situation in Iran have received from the three major networks: From the beginning of June through Thursday night, ABC, NBC and CBS evening news programs devoted less than nine minutes of air time to the human rights situation in Iran — a mere 11 seconds a night. Given the huge geopolitical implications for the United States, it surely deserves more serious, comprehensive coverage. For more information on the Iranian pro-democracy protests, see the Web site: www.daneshjoo.org.

Or click here

Posted by Debbye at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

David Warren takes on today's

David Warren takes on today's solution for everything -- counselling -- in his essay Not talking.

I have often thought this kind of thing a joke -- though not "funny ha-ha", but rather, "funny sick". For human beings recover from disaster in quite a variety of ways; as they handle stress quite variously. You would really have to know the human in question quite well to anticipate what his reaction might be. And while "surgical trauma" is one thing -- requiring less talk than objective medical intervention -- the psychological sort of trauma is another. Human minds are much less predictable than human bodies.

And thus he points out the obvious drawback: Someone counselling a stranger has to adopt a "one size fits all" approach and which, because it defies individuality, might do more harm than good.

Posted by Debbye at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

French Libertarian in Quebec takes

French Libertarian in Quebec takes on Ted Blyfield of the Edmonton Sun in Letter to the Edmonton Sun disputing Blyfield's assertion that the Supreme Court of Canada oversteps its bounds and legislates rather than judiciates. Good, thought-provoking reading.

Posted by Debbye at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

The Canadian is keeping an

The Canadian is keeping an eye on the mind-boggling cost overrun of the Feds pet project, the gun registry in Put the gun registry out of its misery.

Remember when the blame for the staggering costs was blamed on Canadians who were trying to fight the registry? Right . . .

Posted by Debbye at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Zahra Kazemi (cont.)

July 21 - There are overtones in this article about Stephan Hachmi's quest for justice for his mother, Zahra Kazemi (Son: 'Take action' in Iran killing) about the lack of government action that I find very disturbing:

MONTREAL -- Increasingly frustrated and impatient, the son of a Canadian journalist who died after she was beaten while in police custody in Iran said yesterday the federal government is being too passive about helping bring Zahra Kazemi's body home. "I don't like their strategy," Stephan Hachemi said in Montreal.

"I'm criticizing but I've gotten no results. That's the problem. They're saying, 'We're going to have justice', 'The prime minister is going to make justice.' Yes, bravo. I say ... I want them to walk the walk, they just talk the talk. Take action, take measures."

Hachemi, Kazemi's only child, said he's tired of being told by Canadian officials to be patient and to stop being so vocal in the media.

He accused the government of wanting the issue to fade from the public spotlight.

"All I'm asking for is for my rights to be defended," Hachemi, 26, said. "I'm still alive and it's my right to have my mother's body brought back and (the Canadian government) won't defend it. That's what a Canadian means to them. That's how they defend our rights."

Is Chretien worried that making a fuss will hurt his plans to become A Very Important Bureaucrat at the U.N.? Because there certainly aren't any valid reasons for not pressing this issue as hard as he can.

Zahra Kazemi is a photojournalist who was killed in Iran. The fact that she is a Canadian is an opening for this government to push for the human rights of all the journalists now in Iranian prisons, and since, according to the previous article in the Toronto Sun Online Next stop: PM at UN cites

The prime minister's efforts to push a plan tying foreign aid for African nations to their records on human rights and democracy has won him friends on that continent. (Emphasis added)
Chretien's shamlessness is blatant, and I deeply resent the fact that this self-serving hypocrite tars all the good and decent people in Canada.

Posted by Debbye at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

This has long been a

This has long been a source of speculation in the media Next stop: PM at UN?, but there is a further development that puts Chretien beyond Bill Clinton's self-promotion and will probably cause many to wonder just who is running Canada:

He will also be keeping a close, but silent, watch on his successor. Chretien will break with recent tradition by staying in Ottawa after he steps down, and speculation has him moving into a posh condominium a mere block away from Parliament Hill.

That kind of proximity might make him, as well as his likely successor, Paul Martin, ill at ease.

"He has to look over his shoulder and see the man in his job is very likely going to be Paul Martin, who is, of course, the man he didn't want to see in that job. This makes it uncomfortable for him," says Martin. [Lawrence Martin is a journalist and Chretien biographer.]

Any relationship the two might have built after their bitter 1990 leadership tussle was shattered by Martin's ouster from cabinet last year.

Chretien won't be able to exchange ideas or offer advice to Martin, and he'll be worried that his successor will be working to "tarnish" Chretien's reputation by undoing some of his legacy projects, his biographer said.

Henry Jacek, a political scientist at McMaster University in Hamilton, says he expects Chretien's "irrepressible" personality won't allow him to stay out of the limelight completely.

"He may speak out, but in a positive fashion. I don't think he'll do it with any bitterness and rancour."

I don't want to be impolite, but since when does Chretien speak out in a positive fashion without rancour?


Chretien's refusal to support the U.S.-led war in Iraq has also placed him in a position to play "honest broker" once he leaves office, former aide Warren Kinsella said.

Because he couldn't play honest broker while he was in office, right?

Posted by Debbye at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

Alas, I was prepared to

Alas, I was prepared to laugh at what is promoted as a User's Guide for people who take medicinal marijuana, but the reality is not so funny according to this article from the Toronto Sun Feds print a pot-boiler.

Health Canada is set to release a user's manual this week for a drug it has long opposed: Marijuana. The unprecedented move has been triggered by the courts, which compelled Health Canada this month to begin distributing government-certified marijuana to a group of patients who take the substance to alleviate symptoms.

The department must also release a manual on how to use its dope -- but a draft version of the document shows patients will get little practical advice about ingesting marijuana and lots of warnings against using it at all.


"We're not recommending, in fact, that marijuana be used," said Suzanne Desjardins, a Health Canada scientist who helped produce the manual.

"If people want to use it, then we're saying, well, don't use it by smoking it ... There's no study that demonstrates (in) what form it should be used."

Why not legalize hashish and publish recipies for brownies? Oh, right, chocolate BAD.

The manual advises against administering marijuana to children up to 16 years of age or to those 65 years or older because "the potential for harm is likely to outweigh benefits."

The document, titled Information for Health Care Professionals, warns users who choose to smoke that "smoking should be gentle and should cease if the patient begins to feel disoriented or agitated ... naive smokers should take great care and be supervised."

I get to ask "What are they smoking" because I have never, ahem, heard that marijuana causes people to become agitated. I hope the document also includes the standard warning about driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence.

Posted by Debbye at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

>From Australia (Keep the international

>From Australia (Keep the international date line in mind when you see the date, right?) : Release rapist or we'll shoot: gang (July 22, 2003)

GOULBURN court is on high alert over reports a gang is working to break pack rapist Bilal Skaf out of the Super Max prison.

Skaf, jailed for 55 years for his role in gang rapes, is due to appear in the Goulburn court on September 12.

Via google: Racially motivated crime and punishment which is actually a fairly balanced look (despite the title) at how the crime has been used by everyone for their own purposes.

He is charged with sending a white powder-laced letter to Correctional Services Commissioner Ron Woodham and has pleaded not guilty.

It is rare that prisoners housed at Goulburn's high security Super Max unit get beyond the prison gates.

But armed police and extra sheriffs have been deployed to the courthouse following a telephone threat to police in the early hours of last Friday.

The caller threatened to shoot court staff if Skaf was not released within three days, sources said.

It is understood the man said he was from W2K, Willing to Kill – the gang which plotted the foiled escape of political assassin Phuong Ngo.

Google turned up this link The Phuong Man about legal efforts to overturn the 2001 conviction of Phuong Ngo for the 1994 assassination of Cabramatta MP John Newman.

Magistrate Robert Rabbidge, who is due to hear the charge against Skaf in September, was sitting at Yass yesterday.

The District Court judge who sentenced Skaf, Judge Michael Finnane, has been alerted to the threat but is currently on leave.

Goulburn court registrar, Bob McDonald said the threat had not disrupted proceedings at the court.

"Mr Rabbidge is doing his normal circuit, it hasn't disrupted what he's doing," Mr McDonald said.

"All I can say, is yes, there have been threats against staff here and security measures have been taken."

Goulburn Crime Manager Michael Handley said police were investigating the threat but declined to comment further.

Skaf, 21, was charged in March with "sending an article with the intention of inducing another person to falsely believe that the article would explode or be harmful to themselves or property".

Police allege that he left the letter, threatening to "bomb and attack the people of Australia", in unit nine of the Super Max unit.

The threat comes after Corrective Services confiscated five obscene drawings in Skaf's maximum security cell.

The pictures depict his ex-girlfriend being raped and shot.

State Coroner John Abernethy proceeded with a routine inquest at the court yesterday.

Mr Abernethy is examining the death of Goulburn inmate, Mark Ford.

He told The Daily Telegraph it was "business as usual" in his court. "They haven't made any threats to me.

"I know nothing about it. I'm sitting here, I'm happy to sit here and so are my staff," Mr Abernethy said.

He was not aware of any increased security measures at the building.

The Daily Telegraph

And we think we have problems.

Posted by Debbye at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

Jeff Jarvis does a good

Jeff Jarvis does a good round-up of the reactions of the Guardian (UK) and other media BuzzMachine... by Jeff Jarvis and concludes by responding to Andy Marr of the BBC who characterizes everyone who is expressing their anger at the BBC are just opportunists who are long-time enemies of the BBC:

Wrong, Andy boy, wrong. The people making angry accusations are just angry.

Via Instapundit.

Posted by Debbye at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

It's been a very depressing

It's been a very depressing morning. I made the mistake of going to the Daily Telegraph (UK) first and their lead story online is about a poll blaming the government Voters pile blame on Blair which is good headlines for those still playing the Blame Game, but is still just partisan politics.

By the way, when you link with the Daily Telegraph a very annoying ad defies your pop-up blocker but goes away if you hit "Refresh."

Sky News was a little more restrained Kelly Probe to Be Public but the "Hey kids! Let's hold a public inquiry" is almost sick humour as Dr. Kelly's death came about following his testimony before a public inquiry, so are they really saying there will be an inquiry about an inquiry? The man heading the inquiry is said to be determined to keep it on track, but given the media frenzy and political nature over coverage of Dr. Kelly's death I wish him luck.

The BBC has a spot about how they are under attack (sniff, sniff) Papers pile pressure on BBC and gives a nice little round-up of how the British press is responding.

Most of the papers are being cautious in their approach. Is it just me or are they closing ranks to duck questions about the validity of stories that come from "unnamed sources"?

The BBC does quote from the Sun (UK) editorial, but skips over the fact that the editorial raises questions about the validity of the story when they cite Dr. Kelly was the source, and only says

The paper says the corporation should have come cleaner sooner. Instead, it accuses the BBC of watching from the sidelines as Dr Kelly was torn apart by a committee of MPs.

The Sun (UK) editorial actually says:

HOW can we ever trust the BBC again?

Its behaviour over the Dr David Kelly tragedy has been disgraceful.

It should never have broadcast Andrew Gilligan’s flimsy and offensive suggestion that Alastair Campbell had made up claims about Iraq’s weapons capability.

The BBC ignored its own rules on checking stories to broadcast the smear.

When Downing Street issued angry denials, the BBC — which is meant to be impartial — sneered at them and implied that the Prime Minister and Mr Campbell were nothing but liars.

When Dr Kelly came forward as someone Gilligan had spoken to, the BBC callously refused to acknowledge him — and watched on the sidelines as Dr Kelly was torn apart by a committee of MPs.

Now, three days after Dr Kelly’s suicide, the BBC says Dr Kelly was indeed a source for Gilligan — although it is clear that Gilligan completely distorted what the scientist told him. (Emphasis added)

At every turn, the BBC has displayed a total lack of judgment, bad faith, hypocrisy and low standards — all motivated by an absurd desire to prove it was bigger than No 10. (Emphasis added)

Today, a decent family man lies dead. The BBC is in the gutter.

The Sun has said it is important to remember Dr Kelly took his own life, and it is unfair to pin blame for his suicide on others.

But the BBC should have come cleaner sooner. If it is right that director general Greg Dyke wanted to go public with the truth, it was wrong of chairman Gavyn Davies to stop him.

Tony Blair has rightly asked for an end to accusations until a judicial inquiry is complete.

Yet last night the BBC and Gilligan accused a dead man of lying, which can only heap more heartbreak on Dr Kelly’s widow and three daughters.

Earlier the BBC had expressed its condolences to the family.

It should now make a full apology — to the whole of Britain.

The irrepressible and unpretentious Sun (UK) hasn't lost sight of the real issues and hits those who seek to capitalize on it in by proclaiming on their front page You Rat: BBC man sinks to new low by calling dead doc a liar. Ha! They hit the nail on the head (again.)

BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan last night tried to save his job by branding suicide victim Dr David Kelly a LIAR.

Weapons expert Dr Kelly killed himself after denying he was the main source of Gilligan’s “sexed-up” Iraq arms dossier story.

But yesterday BBC bosses and the defence reporter both issued statements insisting the doc WAS the principal source.

Desperate Gilligan who is now fighting for his career, said: “I want to make it clear that I did not misquote or misrepresent Dr David Kelly.”

Before he died, tragic Dr Kelly told friends that Gilligan’s report on the Radio 4 Today programme did NOT reflect a conversation the two men had at a London hotel.


Time to check out the rest of the media. I might even look at the Toronto Star. Or not.

Posted by Debbye at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2003

>From Winds of Change, a

>From Winds of Change, a well-documented essay Amnesty International -- Ally of Tyranny, Enemy of the USA about Amnesty International and other NGOs including how and why they operate, their lack of financial accountability and what, if anything, they achieve.

It's worse than we think.

Posted by Debbye at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

The Candadian says I'm not

The Candadian says I'm not a Libertarian, I'm just sane (thanks!) but after I scrolled down and read "Bring On Them Bible-Thumping, Gun-Toting, Flag-Waving, Ass-Kicking Rednecks" I followed the link and whooped and hollared because friends and neighbours, I was home!

Bring it on Jeff Foxworthy: I'm a redneck, and I'm not ashamed of it.

Posted by Debbye at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

I just saw this on

I just saw this on the CNN webpage: Relatives: Ex-ruler of Uganda Idi Amin in coma.

(CNN) -- Former Ugandan ruler Idi Amin is in a coma at a Saudi Arabian hospital, and Uganda's government has rebuffed his family's request to allow him to be buried in his homeland, relatives said Sunday.

Amin, now 80, is overweight and has suffered from hypertension and fatigue in recent years, reported David Kibirige of Uganda's newspaper The Monitor.

Amin, a Muslim who rose to rule Uganda in 1971, received sanctuary in Saudi Arabia after his ouster in 1979, according to the CIA World Factbook. Amin's "dictatorial regime" was "responsible for the deaths of some 300,000 opponents," the factbook said.

Amin's wife, Medina, said the former dictator slipped into a coma Friday night and was being treated at a Saudi hospital, Kibirige told CNN.

"There are signs of improvement, but he is still unconscious," Kibirige said.

Kibirige said Amin's family has asked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to allow him to return home, but Museveni's government has said he still would face arrest there. If Amin dies, the government would not allow him to be buried there, Kibirige said.

Damned straight.

Posted by Debbye at 04:27 PM | Comments (0)

Frozen in Montreal has an

Frozen in Montreal has an interesting post on suspects of the armed Basque separatist group ETA being held in Mexico.

Have we only begun to uncover links between terrorist groups of different nationalities and aspirations? There have long been reports that charged that the IRA co-operated with Islamist groups and trained guerillistas in Columbia, and now we have these latest arrests.

Posted by Debbye at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

Scroll down to Intervention hope

Scroll down to Intervention hope kept alive by Chretien at The Canadian for a sober appraisal of how we could really help African nations.

Posted by Debbye at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

There has been a series

There has been a series of fascinating political discussions on the sites of three Canadian bloggers: The Canadian, French Libertarian in Quebec, and News Junkie Canada. They've been discussing their views on government intervention on things that should or should not be private matters like abortion, same-sex marriage and so on from their differing perspectives.

They are well worth the read including going into the archives. (Damned permalinks aren't working.) They are almost too thought-provoking, and have forced me to re-evaluate where I am on the political compass.

I always thought I of myself as a liberal, am registered as an Independent, and tried to vote for who I thought was the best candidate. I wanted society to have the compassion and wisdom to be willing to improve the lot of all citizens: to give a hand up, not a hand-out.

Then the War on Terrorism began. I welcomed that war. I have hated terrorism since the first airplanes were hijacked and could never buy into the weak rationalizations for those murderous acts.

I believe it requires a certain idealism to understand and believe in that war. You have to be willing to see unlimited potential in every human being. You have to be, you know, a liberal. But now it is apparent that liberals don't actually believe in that wonder I call the human spirit. They believe we are too stupid to think for ourselves and must be, you know, carefully molded and guided down the path to enlightenment.

They "understand" terrorism because, at heart, they think people are incapable of formulating a political response to events. I don't know how they explain the impact Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had on my country, but then they never really explain anything.

Then I read the credo on the left side of Bill Whittle's site:

You're a former liberal. Your worldview has been hit by heat-seeking reality and you're on fire and out of control.

You have only a few decades in which to react! Think fast!

Cool, soothing logic tells you it's time to get out.


So I admitted that I had ejected, my parachute worked, and that I landed safely BUT WHERE THE F--- AM I?

I believe the government should trust in the goodness and common sense of its people.

I believe that a fellow's rights end where the other fellow's nose begins.

I believe that everyone wants "elbow room."

You do the crime, you do the time. We have a contract with each other to respect one another's rights.

I believe one of the few reasons to have a government is to defend the citizenry by prosecuting criminals here and defending its citizens abroad. That is the nature of our contract with them.

I support age restrictions on, e.g., drinking, driving, sex and school.

My right to privacy includes the right to posses weapons without government interference, regulation or registration until I prove I an unworthy of that trust.

I believe cartels and insider-trading artifically impede the free market system which is why I support government watchdog regulations over them.

I reluctantly support the right of women to abortion, but don't see why both partners didn't use one, or better still two, of the readily available forms of contraception. Abortion should be a fail safe, not the primary line of defense.

I don't believe you have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded theatre.

I don't believe you have the right to burn a cross on someone's front yard.

I have definite views on where my tax dollars should go: defense, education and health care. The rest is up to individual citizens and the value of programs will be reflected by whether the citizenry gives financial support to them.

Maybe that makes me a Libertarian?

Posted by Debbye at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

How could I possibly resist

How could I possibly resist checking what spin the NY Times would put on Dr. Kelly's death? Blair Calls Weapons Expert's Suicide a Tragedy:
(N.B.: They wrote it before the BBC claimed that Dr. Kelly was their source.)

It's exactly what one would expect.

Here are the final two paragraphs:

News of the death came a day after Mr. Blair made a speech before a joint meeting of Congress in Washington that aides hoped might still the raging debate here over whether Britain manipulated intelligence files to justify the war in Iraq.

Instead, with Dr. Kelly's suicide, the focus of political debate has returned to the subject and to the aspect of it where polls show Mr. Blair's government is most vulnerable: a reputation for spinning information to its own advantage.

Posted by Debbye at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

Yesterday I put up an

Yesterday I put up an unforgiveably long post about Dr. David's Kelly's death, credibility in the news media, and my tendency to apply a "follow the money" rule when I look at who profits from leaking and filing news reports.

The BBC has been on the hot seat for weeks over a report filed charging that Alastair Campbell, PM Tony Blair's communication chief, coerced the Ministry of Defense to include the "last-minute" claim that Iraq could deploy WMD in 45 minutes in the dossier which laid out the case for war against Iraq.

Mr. Gilligan, the BBC reporter who filed the story, admitted that he only had a single source for the story, in itself a breach of BBC protocol, but BBC head honchos decided to go ahead with the story anyway.

Here's a whopping surprise from this morning's news from CNN: Kelly was Iraq source, says BBC.

The simple-minded conclusion would be that the BBC story was run in good faith. WRONG!

Citing Dr. Kelly does not prove the veracity of the story, nor does it prove that the BBC exercised integrity when they ran so explosive a story with a single, unreliable source.

The fact still remains that Dr. David Kelly did not have access to any last-minute information that would allow him to draw the conclusion that the report was doctored (and Mr. Gilligan knew it), and, if he was the source, it also means that he lied to the parliamentary committee set up to examine the credibility of the BBC story.

Facts are not likely to quiet those who will claim that the BBC story was true and I have no doubt that they will paint Dr. Kelly as a martyr who was hounded to death.

To quote Ari Fleischer, "Bull!" This is too freaking convenient.

Who profits by citing that Dr. Kelly was the source? The BBC. They can either continue to protect their real source, or conceal the fact that there was no source.

Who claims he was the source? The BBC.

Does the BBC have corroborative evidence that Dr. Kelly was the source, like a taped recording of his session with Mr. Gilligan? None has been offered yet.

You know how people are always yelling at the impropriety of the police investigating the police? This will be the same thing, except that Big Media will be reporting on Big Media. Who thinks they'll close ranks?

[DAMN! My Skepto-meter just broke. Maybe I need to recalibrate it.]

Posted by Debbye at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2003

Sorry for the length of

Sorry for the length of the next post. Maybe I should open another blog called "Long and Pedantic Musings" or something.

Anyway, I'm off to the park for baseball -- no, no, not professional MLB but REAL baseball played by teenagers who have a deep love for the sport and put every ounce of their guts into playing this wacky but beautiful game.

We sometimes run out of pitching during a tournament, but we handle it the old-fashioned way: collar a player who tried pitching when he was 10-years old or something and promise not to laugh at him.

Another perk is that they're old enough to razz after the game when they do something really dumb like swing at a pitch that's two miles over their heads (in a positive, supportive way, of course!)

I love summertime.


Posted by Debbye at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

"Freedom of the press" and "unnamed sources"

July 19 - "Freedom of the press" has long been interpreted to include the right of reporters to protect their sources. In turn, the public has to trust that there really is a source that has leaked sensitive material to a reporter, and, since Jayson Blair of the NY Times is only the latest in a series of reporters who have fabricated sources and stories, we are in a dilemma when it comes to trusting reports based on "unnamed officials".

In other words, "unnamed officials" is sometimes journalistic code for "I made it up."

I also try to remember that there is more than one possible explanation and that it is wise to wait until the facts are in before I jump to any conclusions. But, oh the temptation . . .

My desire to remain open-minded is further offset by my tendency to evaluate who benefits the most from sensationalist headlines and aim my suspicions accordingly (sort of a political application of "follow the money").

Having said all that, it appears to me that the BBC, the Conservative Party (UK), and the anti-war leftists have everything to gain by making Dr. David Kelly's death look as though he was either hounded to commit suicide or outright murdered by shadowy government officials. (I have yet to see the last in print, but I trust the Idiotarians to be, well, idiotic.) As all of them, but especially the BBC, gain politically from Dr. Kelly's death, I don't believe that they are going to keep open minds but that they will exploit this to an absurd degree.

I am already sure of a few things. The Tories in the UK are as stupid as the Tories in Canada, and may even be stupider than the Democrats in the USA. The UK Tories have everything to gain by forcing the BBC to be more accountable (as the Tories are often maligned by the BBC) but, like their Loyal Opposition counterparts in North America, they take the simple-minded approach of being the Opposition. That's opportunism, not leadership.

According to the CNN webpage report UK police confirm expert's death, UK PM Tony Blair was asked if Dr. Kelly's death was "in some way on your conscience", if government officials would be asked for their resignations, and at the conference's end a journalist shouted "Have you got blood on your hands prime minister? Are you going to resign?"

I think I am entitled to doubt both the objectivity and integrity of journalists so ready to implicate PM Blair's government in the tragic death of Dr. Kelly so my Skepto-meter needle is already in the red zone as I read reports on this matter.

Even though I enjoy reading the Daily Telegraph (UK), I don't forget that they tend to support the Conservtive Party. As for CNN, I don't know for a fact if they support the Dems but I do know that, with a few exceptions like Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty, they are deeply stupid.

On to the feeding frenzy:

>From the Daily Telegraph (UK) report (even the title is not objective!) Death of the dossier fall guy:

Tony Blair was plunged into the biggest crisis of his premiership last night after a leading Ministry of Defence adviser who became caught up in No 10's vitriolic battle with the BBC was found dead in woodland near his Oxfordshire home.

Dr David Kelly had been named as the likely source of the BBC allegation that the Government "sexed up" intelligence reports on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

His suspected suicide shocked Westminster and Whitehall as the Government faced up to the prospect that Dr Kelly could have been driven to his death by the attempts to identify him as the mole.

If they felt responsible, where is the quote that would support that contention? Could he have felt guilty for speaking out of school and causing such an uproar? After all, that's another possible explanation and, as there's no mention of a note, it's going to be easy to make a lot of assertions that are speculation rather than fact.

This article is from the same paper MoD official was not main source of Iraqi dossier story, says MPs filed July 16 which explains Dr. Kelly's involvement in this investigation and tends to exclude him as the leak:

They [the MoD] believe that identifying him will show that the BBC's story was unreliable, because Dr Kelly was not senior enough to have first-hand knowledge of how the final draft of the dossier was compiled.
That the MoD believes that identifying him will cast doubt on the BBC story is outright conjecture, not fact. What is a fact is that when anyone in the Ministry (or Department) of Defense of any country leaks information, that leak must be tracked and stopped. Some of the documents retrived in Iraq strongly implicated journalists and news agencies as being on Saddam's payroll [as opposed to paying bribes to stay in Iraq] as well as at least one Labour MP, George Galloway. PLUGGING THAT LEAK is of primary importance to security.

We engaged in a war against terrorism. I know that this isn't an everyday reality for a lot of people, but it is a truth that we mustn't forget. Terrorist's chief weapons are fear and surprise; our chief weapon is gathering intelligence from all departments and trying to connect dots. Loose lips sink battleships, etc.

Although Dr Kelly contributed to the document, he only wrote the historical sections, not the material based on up-to-date intelligence. Yesterday Dr Kelly told the committee that he confessed to his MoD bosses that he had met Gilligan because he thought he might have "contributed" to the story.
Gilligan is the BBC reporter who made serious charges against the veracity of PM Blair's case for the war on Iraq.
In particular, Gilligan said his source had told him that there was a 30 per cent probability of Iraq possessing chemical weapons. Dr Kelly said that was "the sort of thing" he might have said.

Gilligan said he was told by his contact that Alastair Campbell was to blame for the fact that the controversial claim that Iraq could deploy WMD in 45 minutes was inserted at the last minute. Mr Campbell, the Prime Minister's communications chief, strongly denies this.

Dr Kelly told MPs he discussed Mr Campbell's name with the journalist but, when Gilligan's exact words were put to him, he said: "I cannot recall using it in that context. It does not sound like anything I would say."

Although Dr Kelly was at times evasive, he insisted that he did not believe he was the "main source" of the BBC story.

He was more decisive when Richard Ottaway, a Tory, put it to him that he could not be the central source because he did not know that the 45-minute allegation was included late or that it came from a single source. "Correct," Dr Kelly replied. (Emphasis added)

It will be interesting how the independent investigation is reported by the international media. Or should I say predictable?

Posted by Debbye at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

You have to love the

You have to love the way these reports state the obvious with all the fanfare as if they just discovered life on another planet. In the Toronto Sun Report rips MPPs' actions

Coulter Osborne, Ontario's integrity commissioner, yesterday slammed the behaviour of politicians in the legislature as an embarrassment. In his annual report, Osborne joined House Speaker Gary Carr in expressing concern about the deteriorating state of debate among MPPs.

Ontario has an integrity commissioner? Ontario has a standard for debate in the House? Who knew?

"As someone looking from the outside in, it appears to me that the line between reasonable debate and partisan, personal attack is too frequently blurred," Osborne's report states.

What line? That presupposes there is actual debate somewhere. Certainly the personal attacks are not blurry: they are sharp invective and invariably irrelevant to whatever is supposedly being debated.

"Too often the product of what is passed off as discussion and debate is nothing short of a public embarrassment."

Please, politicians are immune to embarrassment.

We know there's a real lack of leadership. Why would it be a surprise that instead of leadership we get name-calling, instead of debate we get distraction, and whenever real policy changes need to be discussed we get disruptive tactics by some special interest groups afraid of losing their Insta-bucks?

Rumour has it that Coulter Osborne is going to hold a press conference tomorrow to reveal a revolutionary invention: The Wheel.

Posted by Debbye at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

Looks like a goofy headline,

Looks like a goofy headline, right? From the Toronto Sun Teen calls cops after her pot is stolen.

Hey, officer, can you help me get my dope back? A teen called York Region cops Thursday to report her marijuana had been stolen in a street robbery.

After my eyebrow came down, I realized that since grass isn't illegal anymore, so of course you should report its theft.

They said the case highlights changes officers have seen among youth since an Ontario judge ruled in May that there is no legal basis to ban simple possession of pot.

"They're right in your face about it," Const. Steve Morrell said.

The 18-year-old called police after she was robbed outside Thornhill Public School on Yonge St.

Is it legal to bring it into public schools? I wonder if the new laws will address this. I also wonder if she asked the police not to tell her parents.

She told police two men forced her to hand over pot worth about $20. One man told her he had a gun. (Emphasis added.)

Okay, now it just got very serious.

"She reported it (to police) just like it was a stolen bike or Walkman or purse," Morrell said.

Cops are looking for two suspects.

Posted by Debbye at 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

A man who escaped from

A man who escaped from the sickness that we call North Korea features in this story from the Toronto Sun PoW flees 50 years after war

SEOUL -- On Sept. 24, 2001, the South Korea army's "Tiger" Division gave Sgt. Kim a guard of honour ceremony, officially discharging him after counting him as killed in action for half a century. "I couldn't tell whether it was a dream or not," Kim, 75, who didn't want his full name used, said this week.

For Kim, it was a long journey home. When he escaped North Korea in 2001 after 50 years of captivity, he was one of the last Korean War prisoners to return from the North.

South Korea believes at least 400 PoWs from the South may still be alive in the North. Their fate, like the war that ended in an armistice signed 50 years ago, is unresolved.


As for American servicemen who may still be in North Korea, the U.S. government has never asserted publicly that there are any, although in 1996 a Pentagon analyst wrote that 10 to 15 "possible PoWs" were probably in captivity.

Kim's unit was guarding South Korea's westernmost front line when communist invaders poured over the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. Kim found himself "on my own, tumbling down the hills."

By mid-October, he was among 700 PoWs in an old colonial Japanese military camp.

"We only had one sheet of cloth we had on when we were caught. We fought over the few rice-straw mats thrown in," Kim recalled. "We starved and were so weak we had to crawl or take one step at a time leaning against the wall to go to the restroom."


After the 1953 ceasefire, 8,341 South Korean PoWs and 3,748 U.S. soldiers were traded for 83,000 North Koreans and Chinese. But North Korea refused to return thousands of other South Korean prisoners, calling them "liberated soldiers" who wanted to stay in the North. And so, Kim says, "I spent my next 50 years toiling at a brick kiln."

Must have been at one of those slave labour camps the North Koreans don't run.

In March 2001, a man came to Kim and said: "You are from the South and I know a way to get you there."

So-called "brokers" smuggle people out of North Korea, bribing border guards and getting help from human rights activists. Kim's brother in Seoul financed his escape.

Kim received about $450,000 from the South Korean government in back pay and pension, and spent about $63,000 to bring his wife out of North Korea in December.

This story is one of those things that I can't wrap around my brain. This regime is proud of the fact that they are evil and although my admittedly hawklike tendencies tend to favour uh, direct action, it is complicated by their claims of developing a nuclear arsenal and the fact that their neighbours would suffer most in the event of war.

I hope North Korea understands just how different Pres. Bush is from Clinton. The difference is literally life and death -- for them.

Posted by Debbye at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

Paul means business

July 18 - Frozen in Montreal has an update on the ongoing investigation into the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in an Iranian prison (or was it in hospital?) That's The Problem with Ayatollocracies..., they never bother to hire anybody to do decent spin ...

He also has an insidious plan that's guaranteed to make the regime tremble.

Posted by Debbye at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

Vigil to be held for Kazemi

July 18 - The CBC is keeping the beating death of Zahra Kazemi on the front burner. A report filed today headlines Canadian beaten with shoe before death in Iran and further notes that "A prayer vigil will be held for Kazemi in Montreal on Saturday night."

The report provides no details on the vigil.

Posted by Debbye at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

This has potential for the

This has potential for the sagging tourist industry in Toronto: Ananova - Tourists flock to see Beijing Sars hospital:

Thousands of people a week are flocking to Beijing's newest tourist attraction - a decommissioned Sars hospital.

More than 1,000 people in one day alone visited the Xiaotangshan Hospital, where most of the Chinese capital's Sars victims were treated and where many died...

Posted by Debbye at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

Terrorism in Canada

July 18 - RCMP: Suicide bombings here seem 'logical'. Isn't that just ... peachy. The article does convince me that Canada needs some kind of specialized unit that looks at integrating the intelligence gathered by different agencies like CSIS, the RCMP and local police departments to gain an overall view of how terrorists function here.

In a newly declassified intelligence report, the RCMP says it "seems logical' that migrants from regions where suicide bombings occur might import the deadly tactic to Canada.

"Canada is a culturally diverse nation, with sizeable populations from regions where suicide bombing is used by extremist elements (e.g. Middle East, Sri Lanka)," the report says.

"It seems logical that members of these ethnic/religious groups would bring their conflicts and tactics with them to Canada," the RCMP writes in Suicide Bombings -- Canadian Perspective.

The brief was distributed on March 18 by the RCMP Criminal Intelligence Directorate. A copy was obtained by the National Post under the Access to Information Act.

The report notes suicide terrorism is practised in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Algeria -- countries that are among the leading sources of migrants to Canada.

Although al-Qaeda and Palestinians use suicide terror, the "most prolific suicide bombers" are the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a Sri Lankan terrorist group also known as the LTTE or Tamil Tigers, it says.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has repeatedly asked Cabinet to outlaw the Tamil Tigers under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, but the Liberal government has refused to do so, leading to accusations Ottawa is soft on terrorists.

Maybe because the Tigers had received federal funds through Sheila Copps's many programs? (The funding was cut off after Sept. 11, and shortly after that the separatist Tamil Tigers began peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government. The timing could be coincidence, or it could mean that Canada was generating a lot of the funding for that civil war.)

Thousands of Tamil guerrillas have migrated to Canada, bringing with them such LTTE tactics they used in the jungles of Sri Lanka as extortion and intimidation, as well as weaponry, notably AK-47s and explosives.

The Post revealed in June, 2000, that up to 8,000 members of what police call "Tamil terrorist factions" were living in the Toronto area and that they had "extensive paramilitary training."

The violence and gunplay in the Tamil community have been blamed on gang warfare, but is the report indicating that there could be more to this? Consultations with the Toronto Police would be informative.

The migration of terrorists out of conflict zones such as Afghanistan, and the formation of international terror networks, has brought suicide terrorism to the Western world, the RCMP says.

"The suicide bomb is the poor man's cruise missile: it is a cheap, guided bomb that explodes at the target," the RCMP report says, adding the Sept. 11 attacks showed it could be done in North America.

"To date there has been no suicide bombings or attempts in Canada," the RCMP report says. But it notes that conventional terrorist bombings have long been used, although they have "primarily targeted property."

Sikh extremists in Vancouver blew up an Air-India flight in 1985 killing 329 people, while the left-wing Squamish Five bombed hydro-electric facilities in British Columbia and what they thought was the factory of a cruise missile subcontractor in Toronto, it says.

And a bomb placed in the luggage of another Air India flight exploded in Tokyo. That flight also originated from Vancouver.

The report concludes optimistically, saying most migrants from war-zones want to leave behind the violence of their homelands. Under the heading "Ways to Avoid Suicide Bombing" the report says Canada's democratic society makes such violent methods unnecessary.

That's why I was stunned that the Canadian government was so non-committal about supporting the War Against Terrorism. There are a lot of people here who have first-hand experience with the devastation of terrorist acts, and you'd think the government would strongly affirm that there's no way these murderers would be allowed to operate here. But instead we got "There are no terrorists in Canada" from PM Chretien.

"Canada has a long history of dealing with conflict in non-violent ways. In a society where access to the means of political influence are relatively open and there is little oppression of minorities, dissidents are largely prepared to work within legitimate avenues to achieve political objectives."

Not mentioned in the report, however, are instances where migrants to Canada have helped carry out suicide bombings in other countries, particularly Tamil Tigers front organizations in Toronto, which raise money that has financed suicide attacks in Sri Lanka.

Ahmed Khadr, an Egyptian-Canadian aid worker close to Osama bin Laden, is suspected of involvement in the 1995 truck bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. Abdulrahman Jabarah, a Kuwait-Canadian, was recently shot dead in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities said he was part of an al-Qaeda cell responsible for suicide truck bombings in Riyadh that left 29 dead. His brother Mohammed Mansour Jabarah plotted al-Qaeda suicide attacks in Manila and Singapore.

Ahmed Khadr was in a Pakistan jail, but PM Chretien intervened and got him released. His older son is in an Afghan prison, and his younger son, known by some as the "Toronto teen," is in Guantanamo. Mohammed Mansour Jabarah is in US custody and a very key figure in Southeast Asia terror cells.

According to Part 2 of a CNN report of Nov. 7, 2002 Uncovering Southeast Asia's jihad:

Intelligence officials say that just like Hambali, Khalid Sheik Mohammed has been busy setting up networks and plots across Southeast Asia.

He too is now in US custody. So is his laptop computer.

They say that just one day before 9/11, he sent Kuwaiti-born aide Mohammed Mansour Jabarah to activate sleeper cells in the region.

Twenty years old and holding Canadian nationality, Jabarah's links go to the top.

Shortly before he left for Asia, he met with Osama Bin Laden.

One intelligence report obtained by CNN spells out Jabarah's role:

"Jabarah, a personal choice of Osama bin Laden because of his mastery of the English language, was dispatched on 10 September 2001 by al Qaeda operations officer, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to assist in carrying out bombing activities in the Philippines and Singapore."

Referring back to the RCMP report:

A year before the 9/11 attacks, Jane's Intelligence Review warned that suicide terrorism was spreading globally and would likely "affect Western Europe and North America in the future."

Not unreasonable, especially given the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. attacks on our embassies in Africa, the attack on the Cole, kidnappings and random shootings, and the aborted Millennium bombing of LAX by a Canadian, Ahmed Ressam.

So how long is the Federal government going to dilly-dally on this? Will it take a terrorist attack on Canadian soil before they move to protect Canada and Canadian citizens?

Posted by Debbye at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

This is very weird: CNEWS

This is very weird: CNEWS World - Weapons adviser named as possible source for BBC story disappears, but in an article below from the Daily Telegraph on a meeting between a government committee and the BBC reporter David Kelly isn't mentioned.

LONDON (AP) - A Ministry of Defence adviser on weapons of mass destruction, named by the government as the possible source for a disputed news report on Iraqi arms, has been reported missing by his family, police said Friday.

David Kelly has admitted speaking to a British Broadcasting Corp. journalist who reported claims that government aides doctored intelligence on Iraqi weapons to strengthen the case for war. The government has asked the BBC to say whether Kelly was the unidentified official cited in the report, but the network has refused.

Kelly, 59, went missing from his home near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, at around 3 p.m. local time, Thursday, after telling his wife he was going for a walk, Thames Valley Police said. The family called police when he failed to return by 11:45 p.m. that night.

UPDATE: In the Daily Telegraph (UK), an article about a two-hour hearing yesterday doesn't mention Mr. Kelly MPs accuse BBC row reporter of changing story but there are vastly different accounts of the meeting:

The row between the Government and the BBC over claims that Alastair Campbell "sexed up" intelligence reports on Iraq reached new heights last night after a committee of MPs claimed that the reporter had changed his story.

The Labour chairman of the foreign affairs select committee, which is investigating whether the Government gave accurate information to Parliament and the public, said Andrew Gilligan provided "unsatisfactory evidence" during a two-hour private hearing yesterday.

But the claims by Donald Anderson were immediately denounced by Gilligan, the BBC, and a Tory member of the committee, John Maples, who was not present. They all claimed that Gilligan had been subjected to a deliberate "ambush" by Labour members.

Mr Anderson, flanked by Labour's Andrew Mackinlay and the Conservative Sir John Stanley, emerged from the hearing to say Gilligan had changed his account during his evidence.

In particular Mr Anderson said he had not been consistent about a claim he made in a newspaper article that Mr Campbell had insisted on including a statement that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes in an official dossier.

Mr Anderson told reporters: "In the view of the foreign affairs committee this was an unsatisfactory session with an unsatisfactory witness. Mr Gilligan clearly changed his mind during the course of his evidence, in particular in relation to serious allegations concerning Mr Campbell, the director of information at No 10, and any responsibility of Mr Campbell for the insertion of 45 minutes into the dossier of September 24 last year."

Mr Anderson said that as a result there was "a grave danger of unfairness in our judgment to Mr Campbell as a result . . ."

Gilligan issued a furious response that was swiftly backed by the BBC."I have not changed my story," he said. "I told the committee several times over that I stand by my reporting of every one of the source's allegations.

"This was a planned ambush by a hanging jury, with only one Opposition member present for the relevant section of the meeting. Donald Anderson has deliberately misinterpreted my evidence, and I have asked for the transcript to be published to make this clear.


Gilligan claims that he had several sources for the report on the Today programme on May 29 in which he asserted that the intelligence services had been unhappy with the way No 10 presented intelligence on Iraq.

But he said he had only one source for a subsequent assertion he made in an article in the Mail on Sunday that Mr Campbell had insisted, personally, on the 45-minute claim being inserted into a Government dossier last September. Mr Campbell has strongly denied this and demanded an apology. The BBC has refused to back down.

Mr Anderson added that the public could make up its own mind when minutes of the private session were published in the next week. He said after the hearing that the committee had not gone "quite as far" as saying Gilligan's story had collapsed. Nor was it demanding that the BBC should apologise.

It would be nice for a little clarity in all this, but as the BBC and the rest of Big Media have to cover allegations of their own wrongdoing there really is no agency that can be objective.

A recent column by Mark Steyn No flies on Bush

How do you feel about uranium from Niger? I was on a radio show the other day and some anti-war campaigner ...hang on, I should explain for visitors from Planet Zongo that, since the war in Iraq ended, the anti-war movement has massively expanded its operations. In advanced Western democracies, just because the war has stopped is no reason for the ‘Stop the War’ movement to stop.

It sure looks as though the media is trying to fight the war against the war. I wonder if the BBC's ratings are falling as drastically as are CNN's.

Most people are savvy enought to spot the difference between legitimate news stories and stories hyped by news agencies to fill the hours. There is an international sigh of relief everytime a judge rules that television cameras will not be allowed in courtrooms, and the sooner Big Media realizes that we are all capable of retaining skepticism when we read or hear the news the sooner they may drop the pretenses of journalism and go back to reporting.

UPDATE: This just got weirder. A body matching David Kelly's description has been found.

Posted by Debbye at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

Another pellet gun shooting in

Another pellet gun shooting in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) 2 boys hit in pellet shooting.

AJAX -- In another GTA pellet gun shooting, Durham police were questioning three boys last night after an 11-year-old was shot in the head and a 12-year-old in the leg. The pellet that hit the 11-year-old beside his right eye raised a bruise. His 12-year-old pal said the welt on his right leg "didn't show anything by the time I went to the police station."

Durham Regional Police seized three plastic and metal toy handguns when they took three people under age 16 into custody after the 4:40 p.m. shooting on Noble Dr., northeast of Hwy. 401 and Harwood Ave.

Staff-Sgt. Mitch Colling said the two friends suffered "injuries that were both very minor."


In an exclusive interview at 19 Division station, the father of a 12-year-old accused of shooting the younger boy said he has repeatedly told his son of the dangers of misusing the "toys," which were purchased in Lebanon for about $5 each.

"There was a mob mentality ... he was goaded into it," he said. "It's something (he) will have to live with and learn from. We're all humbled as parents when something like this happens." He was relieved "there was no pellet ... it's a plastic gun that shoots 20 to 25 feet." (Emphasis added)

He sounds like a very wise father. It is indeed humbling when our kids do something despite being taught better (and our kids humble us a lot!). His approach is far more mature than parents who take the "my little angle wouldn't do such a thing" route of denial, so his child actually may learn from this mistake.

The press acts like this is all (gasp!) new; these incidents are actually quite common but getting attention now because of the 5-year old that lost an eye early in the week.

Posted by Debbye at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

In the Toronto Sun: Casualties

In the Toronto Sun: Casualties expected

OTTAWA -- Canadians are prepared for casualties among their soldiers in Afghanistan and the government is prepared to sacrifice them to prevent another Sept. 11 from happening in Canada, Defence Minister John McCallum said yesterday. McCallum said he will tell the sons and daughters of departing troops tomorrow that the government will defend against terrorism "at all costs."


The first Canadian troops are set to leave CFB Petawawa tomorrow. The government has committed two six-month rotations of 1,800 soldiers apiece, beginning with patrols in southwest Kabul Aug. 21.

Does any group of people make us bow our heads with more respect and gratitude than our soldiers? They put it all on the line to keep us fools safe, yet the we often forgets the debt we owe.

God bless and protect them.

Posted by Debbye at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

>From The Toronto Sun Perv

>From The Toronto Sun Perv roundup:

Ontario police are calling for a U.S.-style roundup of convicted pedophiles and child molesters who are living in the country illegally and committing other crimes.

I guess this is good news, but why are such predators still here?

Posted by Debbye at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

According to Raymond Keene, writing

According to Raymond Keene, writing for The Spectator (UK) Saddam may be in Russia:

In Moscow on 19 March a press conference was held at the headquarters of the Interfax news agency announcing the results of a Muslim/Christian peacemaking trip to Baghdad, which had taken place over the previous few days. Among the returning dignitaries reporting on the outcome were...self-professed Buddhist, His Excellency Kirsan Ilumzhinov, President of the autonomous Russian republic of Kalmykia, who also happens to be president of Fidé, the World Chess Federation.


The new link between Baghdad and chess may, however, have more to do with petroleum than with pawns. Kirsan Ilumzhinov was born in 1962 in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. Before he was 30, he was elected a deputy of the supreme Soviet — a good start — but by 1993 he had rocketed sensationally to become the head of more than 50 companies, banks and bourses, both in Russia and abroad, was elected the first President of Kalmykia (a position he retains; election slogan: ‘Every shepherd will own a mobile phone’) and had almost overnight become a conspicuously consuming billionaire. The following year he was to add to his laurels the post of president of the World Chess Federation.


If you visit Kirsan in his embassy in Moscow, as I did two years ago, it immediately becomes apparent that Saddam Hussein is his hero. Pictures of the two leaders, locked in fraternal embrace, festoon the walls of his study, and it is glaringly evident that, at a time when the rest of the world regarded Saddam as a pariah after the first Gulf war, Kirsan felt nothing but the warmest of sentiments towards him.


There is no doubt that "colourful" Kirsan — after a very brief visit — flew out of Baghdad on 18 March on the final private jet before hostilities commenced. On 19 March he was still vigorously defending his friend Saddam in the Moscow press conference. Did Saddam smuggle himself and his family, and presumably several crates of gold bullion, out on his admirer’s jet; or is there some other rat-run between Elista and Baghdad that the world does not yet know of?

Given, however, the complete absence of any alternative indication of Saddam’s whereabouts, and also given the closeness of the relationship between Saddam and Kirsan, US intelligence could do worse than take a close look at the third castle from the right in chess city, Elista.

I would be a lot more inclined to dismiss this as a product of a reporter's fevered imagination BUT

There was that strange incident during the war when US Special Forces were said to have fired on a Russian diplomatic convoy which was headed for the Syrian border.

The Russians complained. Condaleeza Rice flew to Russia for the weekend. The Russians stopped complaining. Nothing more was said.

Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by Debbye at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2003

Link over to Frozen in

Link over to Frozen in Montreal All AgitProp, all the Time...: The PM wakes from his peaceful slumber... who reports that demands for answers is finally getting Chretien's attention:

Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, is demanding the return of the body of a Canadian journalist who died after being detained in Tehran.

Posted by Debbye at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

>From the July 18 Daily

>From the July 18 Daily Telegraph (UK) 700 on trial for suicide bombings in Morocco:

Seven hundred people will go on trial in Morocco next week in connection with the suicide bomb attacks that killed 44 people two months ago, the government said yesterday. (Emphasis added)

The trials, the scale of which astonished human rights groups, will take place in the capital, Rabat, and in Casablanca, where 12 suicide bombers blew themselves up in five almost simultaneous blasts on May 16.

"The trials will involve 700 suspects … some are directly linked to the attacks … others belonged to groups which have been preparing acts of violence in the country," Mohamed Bouzoubaa, the justice minister, said on state television.

The figure of 700 is four times the number of Islamist suspects estimated by Morocco's independent press to have been arrested in police raids throughout the country in the past two months.

It was thought that 187 had been held. The government has said some of the suspects have indirect links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda network.

At the weekend Morocco sent religious radicals an unequivocal message by sentencing 10 of them to death for murdering several people they thought had violated Islamic customs. The bombs in Casablanca and the prospect of radical Islamists growing in influence have raised the spectre of Morocco descending into a spiral of conflict, in the same way as its neighbour, Algeria.

This is staggering. 700 people? Are there really that many who are guilty of terrorist acts and/or plotting terrorist acts, or is there a bit of over-reaction? I don't know. I just don't know.

And yet we just had The MacKenzie Institute report "Overseas Wars: A Review of Overseas Terrorism in Canada which claims there are 10,000 terrorists in Canada, so maybe I'm being naive.

Posted by Debbye at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

Visit this website devoted to

Visit this website devoted to Project Free Iran.

There is information on the site about plans for an action to be held in Ottawa on Saturday, July 19.

Posted by Debbye at 05:48 PM | Comments (0)

Have you signed this yet?

Have you signed this yet? Regime Change In Iran By Promoting Human Rights, Freedom and Free Referendum Petition.
Via Winds of Change.

Posted by Debbye at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

Another column from the wonderful

Another column from the wonderful Mark Steyn No flies on Bush appears in The Spectator (UK).

Get thee hence!

Posted by Debbye at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

>From Reuters: HK's Tung Vows

>From Reuters: HK's Tung Vows to Stay, Promises to be Open:

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa, deeply unpopular and facing the territory's biggest political crisis in years, vowed on Thursday to remain in office but promised to be more responsive to the public.

A day after two of his publicly vilified cabinet ministers announced their resignations, a tired-looking Tung called a news conference and reiterated he would carry on.

"The public has reminded me I should adopt a modest, open and sincere attitude in order to win their trust and support," the Beijing-appointed leader said.

More than half a million people held a protest on Hong Kong's streets earlier this month to voice their anger at government plans to bring in a new anti-subversion law.

Tung postponed plans to present the bill in the local legislature but the protests have widened with demands for universal suffrage and people demanding the right to choose their own leader. Tung has been the focus of their anger.

They are the biggest protests in 14 years in the former British colony which was handed back to China in 1997. Hundreds of thousands of people came out on to the streets in 1989 in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing.

The article also notes that

China meanwhile pledged to remain out of the fray.

"The central government will continue to implement 'one country, two systems' and Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong," Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a news conference, referring to the formula under which the territory was handed back to China.

Tung has four years left of his term in office and most analysts said it was unthinkable for Beijing to let him go.

They said if Beijing were to withdraw support for Tung, it would be tantamount to admitting the failure of "one country, two systems."

Beijing is desperate to prove it works. It has long tried to sell the policy as a blueprint to Taiwan to reunite with the mainland.

"Although Tung's competence is in serious question, they won't ask him to leave, at least for now. Tung is the public face of the 'one country, two systems' and if he goes, it will be a huge blow to the policy," said Sonny Lo, a lecturer in politics at Hong Kong University.

Hong Kong, Taiwan . . . the Chinese government is being increasingly hard pressed to maintain it's monolithic front especially after the SARS crisis revealed that there was still a concerted effort to impede the flow of critical information.

Just an idea, but this crisis could be diffused quickly if all anti-subversive laws in China were repealed.

Posted by Debbye at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

Right On! points the way

Right On! points the way to a study in Salt Lake City, Utah, which indicates that the more time children spend in daycare, the more agressively they behave.

This is a touchy subject. A lot of women work because they have to and the last thing they need is a guilt trip.

On the other hand, I remember too well how dismissively I was treated when people learned I was a stay-at-home Mom. I began to reply that I was an Early Childhood Specialist when people asked me what I "did" for a living.

Posted by Debbye at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

Iran admits beating led to Kazemi's death

July 17 - From CBC News Iran admits beating killed Kazemi:

OTTAWA - Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi died of a fractured skull, but it may have been an accident, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said. "
OK, so there is a headline which contradicts the first sentence in the report. That proves I'm copying this from the CBC website, right?
Graham said he learned about her death in "an open and frank exchange" on the phone with Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, on Wednesday.
The dateline on this article is Wed., July 16. Did Graham learn about it a week ago or only yesterday? (Surely that bit of vagueness was unintentional.)
Graham, speaking from France where he is on vacation, said the minister assured him that the perpetrators, if any, would be prosecuted.

He's vacationing in France. Nah, too easy.

Graham said Canada must be satisfied that the Iranian investigation is open and transparent.
Or you'll do what?
"If crimes have been committed, we're pushing the Iranian government to punish those who committed the crime," Prime Minister Jean Chretien said earlier Wednesday. But "we have to know all the facts" before acting, he added.
Chretien wants facts, not proof. How many facts does he need before a thing is proven? He too is promising to act after we know all the facts, but what will happen if we don't know the facts? Since not enough facts means it will be unproven, does that mean we won't act? Is there a loophole here? Where's my aspirin?
Skeptical reporters repeatedly asked Graham how he could trust the Iranians, since democratic reformers led by President Mohammad Khatami are struggling with conservative Islamic militants.
Could some of those skeptical reporters possibly be from the CBC? (Not that I blame them for being actutely interested in this issue; any Canadian news agency should be alarmed at the limpid response of the Feds.)
Graham acknowledged there is a concern "whether or not the secret police and security services ... will follow the orders of the government," but Kharrazi left him with the impression that the government wants to ensure the law prevails.
NOTE: Ellipses! Did they Dowdize the quote? Heh.

We already know that there is an ongoing power struggle in Iran between moderate reformers and hardline Islamic mullahs. The elected, moderate reformers pass laws and the unelected mullahs strike them down. We also know that the hardliners have their own security forces which use weapons of fear and surprise, have fanatical devotion to the mullahs, wear nifty black leather jackets and face scarves, ride motorcycles, and kidnap people. Sheesh, even the Iranian civilian police are afraid to confront them.

Just how long has Graham been on vacation, anyway? I'll take Mel [mayor of Toronto] Lastman's rant at the W.H.O. over Graham's lily-livered, submissive behaviour any day. Mel may have been incoherent, but at least he was OUTRAGED.

Graham repeatedly said the Iranian investigation must be given time to run its course, which could take several days. If Canada is not satisfied, Graham said the government will act, though he didn't say what the government would do.
Again the ominous threat of unspecified action after an unspecified number of days/weeks/months/years.

Here's a simple question: where's the body? Despite repeated calls for Zahra Kazemi's remains to be returned to Canada for an autopsy, there have been conflicting reports as to whether she has already been buried.

Graham said the authorities have the body. Despite Iranian reports that the body will not be returned to Canada, Graham said "that's not what the foreign minister said to me."
So what did the foreign minister say to Graham? Either Graham doesn't say or the CBC doesn't report it.
He [Graham] said there appears to be a dispute between Kazemi's son and her mother. Hachemi wants his mother returned to Canada. His grandmother wants her buried in Iran.
Appears to be a dispute? How clear does the son have to be to make it clear that there is a dispute?
Graham said the body will stay with the Iranian authorities until the family works out what it wants done.
ASIDE: I feel cheated. There isn't a single death quote in the entire article. I wanted death quotes and ellipses.

Maybe Graham should read the CNN webpage which reports:

Kazemi's only son, Stephan Hachemi, who lives in Montreal, said Iran's government had acknowledged his mother had "been beaten to death."

Hachemi has demanded Iran return Kazemi's body to Canada and disputed a report from IRNA that Kazemi's mother, who lives in Iran, has requested she be buried in Shiraz.(Emphasis added)

"My grandmother wants exactly the same as I do, to have the body of Zahra Kazemi to be brought back to Canada," he said, adding that his grandmother was "under a lot of pressure" and was "forced" to make a "false declaration."

"It has been clear between us and all the members of the family that (Kazemi) won't be buried in the land of the people that murdered her," Hachemi said. "She belongs with me, her only child."

Well said! I doubt there is anyone in Canada who doesn't agree with him (what with Graham being in France and all!)

The CNN webpage also states:

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley earlier warned that the issue could be a "setback" for his country's neutral relationship with Iran.

What constitutes a "setback" in a neutral relationship? Is he saying that this issue could move Canada's relationship with Iran to something other than neutral, like maybe not-neutral? It's unlikely relations would become either hostile or friendly, right?

Paul Martin, who is in an undisclosed location, has been typically silent on this subject.

UPDATE: David Warren weighs in on the Zahra Kazemi case and points out the sad, sad truth about whether travelling under a Canadian Passport offers any protection:

I wish it did, but it doesn't. As long-time Canadian travellers know, if you get into trouble abroad, you go to the American embassy, or the British, or the Australian, whichever's nearest. The Canadian who uses his own embassy to do anything more than renew his passport, or perhaps collect mail, is inexperienced. He shouldn't be travelling in dangerous places.
No blogger in Canada (or the USA) should let the government off the hook on this.

The Canadian also adds his voice:

"The Bill Grahams in our government can huff and puff all they like but they are kittens amongst tigers - and the tigers know it!"

Posted by Debbye at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2003

Tim Blair writes that Britain’s

Tim Blair writes that Britain’s harsh catapult laws obviously aren’t working.

Posted by Debbye at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

French Libertarian in Quebec, Frozen

French Libertarian in Quebec, Frozen in Montreal and News Junkie Canada have some insights about the latest crackdown by the Language Purity Police in Quebec.

It's heartening to see people that are still determined to resist government intrusion in the private sector.

Posted by Debbye at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

>From Daimnation! It really is

>From Daimnation! It really is an axis of evil, isn't it?:

"The New York Sun reports that US-based Iranian-exile television stations, influential in getting Iranians to protest against their government, are being jammed by the Cubans."

By what twisted application of Marxist-Leninism does a "dictatorship of the proletariat" align itself with a theocracy, aka perpetuators of the "opiate of the masses"?

Posted by Debbye at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

>From Frozen in Montreal All

>From Frozen in Montreal All AgitProp, all the Time...: Jeebus...:

"MOSCOW, July 16 (AFP) - 10:09 GMT - More than 300 Russian military intelligence officers have died in Chechnya since war broke out with separatist rebels in October 1999, the department's chief said in an interview published Wednesday."

Posted by Debbye at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

Canadian photojournalist death due to beating

July 16 - Journalist was beaten:

TEHRAN (CP) - Iran confirmed Wednesday that Iranian-born Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi died of a brain hemorrhage due to blows she sustained.

Officials for Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham and his department also were unavailable for comment.

But Tanya Churchmuch, the Canadian president of Reporters Without Borders, said "an awful lot of lies were told over the last few days. It confirms what we really always knew."

Also Tuesday, Amnesty International joined calls by Iran's Islamic Human Rights Commission and other rights organizations for an independent investigation into Kazemi's death.

One would think Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham would at least comment on that if only to whisper his support for the investigation.
[President Mohammad] Khatami has said the closure of more than 90 newspapers without trial in the past three years and imprisonment of several dozens of writers and activists in mostly closed trials without jury by the hard-line judiciary were open violations of the constitution, but said he was "powerless" to stop them.
Zahra Kazemi was a Canadian citizen. That means her beating death while under detention is a matter for the Candian government to investigate and protest. The support of NGOs is welcome, but they shouldn't have to take the lead in this matter.

Posted by Debbye at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

Child rapist returns home

Isn't this infuriating? Child rapist back home:

PETERBOROUGH -- A pedophile who served more than five years for the kidnapping and rape of a four-year-old girl was released yesterday and ordered to live with his parents under one of 19 court-ordered conditions. Coulson Woolner, 28, was escorted out of court by four officers and declined comment as he headed for his father's car. "

Woolner underwent psychological assessment and was deemed an untreatable sex offender because of his refusal to take sex-drive reduction medication.

I feel outraged over the timid length of the sentence. This man broke into the bedroom of a four-year old, abducted her, forcibly confined and sodomized her. And he only gets 5 years total for these three serious crimes?

I don't really believe sex-drive medication is going to help this creep because I don't think these are sexually-motivated crimes, nor are any such crimes that involve an unwilling partner.

This is about control, sadism, and viciousness. The only reason we tolerate a state infringing on our freedoms is because we recognize that we need laws to protect the general public from predators like Woolner and Jacobson.

If the state won't protect us, what good are they?

UPDATE: The Canadian has me truly scared in a post that reminds us of the BC court decision that ruled child pornography was "art" and recent efforts by The American Psychiatric Association to reclassify pedophilia as "normal":

All that will be needed is some taxpayer money--the court challenges program--and a few hungry judges and activist, politicized judges and this too--pedophilia as lifestyle--will come to pass. Watch and see."

Posted by Debbye at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2003

Salem Pax writes about the

Salem Pax writes about the new interim government in Iraq for the Guardian (UK) Baghdad Blogger:

"Whatever, as one very wise taxi driver told me later, this is only temporary. When we get to choose, it will not be the same people we have up there now. This is really the first step and if we stumble, it is not a problem; we learn. What is really important is that this council can prove it is able to work together."

That really is the point about freedom, isn't it? The freedom to try, to fix, then try again.

via MommaBear On the Third Hand

Posted by Debbye at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

>From Reuters N. Korea Says

>From Reuters N. Korea Says it has Made Bomb-Grade Plutonium:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea has told the United States that it has finished reprocessing used nuclear fuel into bomb-grade plutonium and U.S. officials are seeking to verify the claim, the White House said on Tuesday.

In what amounted to another threatening move by Pyongyang in its standoff with Washington, North Korean diplomats at the United Nations informed their U.S. counterparts last week that reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods has been completed.

Analysts believe if those fuel rods were efficiently converted, they could produce enough plutonium for a half-dozen nuclear weapons. The CIA believes North Korea already has one or two nuclear weapons.

[Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said] "Let me just say: the situation with North Korea is a serious situation and it's something that we should take seriously. And it's a problem not for the United States, it's a problem for the world," he said.

That means Canada and Mexico, too. Radioactivity has a notoriously poor record when it comes to respecting borders.

U.S. officials were cool to a Chinese proposal on how to get Washington and Pyongyang back to the negotiating table after an April 1 meeting that went nowhere.

Washington wants multilateral talks while Pyongyang demands bilateral talks with the United States before any multilateral discussions.

Because bi-lateral talks and agreements worked so well before, at least for North Korea.

Interesting times.

Posted by Debbye at 05:33 PM | Comments (0)

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler this

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler this moving tribute to the men and women of the military WeSupportU.

Give it time to load and remember that, although it is about the US military, the statement it makes is equally true of all those exceptional souls who serve in the Canadian military.

We sleep peacefully because they stand on guard. Don't forget them.

UPDATE: The link is loading intermittently, possibly due to heavy demand. Keep trying.

Posted by Debbye at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

>From Australia New terror message

>From Australia New terror message threatens US:

"A DUBAI radio station has broadcast a message attributed to the al-Qaeda terrorist network threatening to attack US interests throughout the world.

'We are threatening US troops, and all those who support them, by intensifying our resistance operations and our jihad [holy war] and to strike at American interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere,' said the statement.

It was attributed to Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti-born spokesman for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

'We advise the United States to withdraw all its troops from the Arab and Muslim territory they are occupying,' the message continued, stressing that 'we are determined to strike [the United States] without respite'."

Not too long ago, David Warren wrote an interesting piece Flypaper in which he points out that al Quaida and other Islamists terrorist groups are following US design by targeting US military personnel instead of US civilians. It's an interesting theory.

The al Qaida spokesman is of particular interest because:

Abu Ghaith, born in Kuwait in 1965, was stripped of his nationality in October 2001 over presumed links to the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.

In June, the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television channel announced that Abu Ghaith was among a group of al-Qaeda members arrested in Iran.

Right. You have to be a student or journalist to remain in an Iranian jail.

UPDATE: The Canadian made a similar point about "Flypaper" yesterday! Great minds . . .

ANOTHER UPDATE: The authenticity of the audio-tape seems to be under question. Aren't they all?

Posted by Debbye at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

National Post commentary by Martin

National Post commentary by Martin Himel on a recent Global TV mocumentary about the ugliness at Concordia University This was not just 'ugly student politics':

Mr. Doyle (of the Globe and Mail) and Ms. Zerbisias (of the Toronto Star) are not impressed with verbal hatred exposed in the documentary. But the pictures, the recorded words, speak for themselves.

What is it with this willful blindness of Big Media when some Islamists utter hate speech? It's a specialized paternalistic racism: "they don't really mean it" and therefore we can all dismiss it.

Right. That just seems to familiar somehow . . .

Posted by Debbye at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

The first issue of PureCanada

The first issue of PureCanada (a tourist guide to Canada) notes the city of Charlettown but omits the land mass of P.E.I. A few things slipped through, leaves out the Yukon and several major Maritime cities, misspelt some names, outright misnamed others, and, given that it was funded in part by the Feds, might be seen to prove that they couldn't find the Maritimes on a map.

"She [Isabelle Des Chemes, spokeswoman for the tourism commission] said the commission chose Fodor's because it wanted to send a travel guide out with the magazine and the U.S. company's guide offered the most detailed information.

Right. There aren't enough jokes about Yanks driving to Canada in July with skis atop their cars; now they'll be coming to the theatre to watch Anne of Green Gables in wetsuits.

Posted by Debbye at 07:59 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2003

A post over at USS

A post over at USS Clueless "The UN Speaks" refers to the recent survey of private firearms owners which found that the US is the most well-armed country in the world and that Europeans (the little scamps!)are better armed than many thought.

What I didn't know before I read this post was that the survey is part of a "review of progress" for a UN-sponsored international treaty aiming to reduce private gun ownership.

I googled but couldn't find evidence that Canada was a signatory to this treaty, but I did find a statement made by Canada to the UN in 1996 Draft plan of action on the elmination of violence against women: Report of the Secretary General

24. Canada considered violence against women, within and outside the home, as a barrier to the full participation of women in society. It expressed concern about the "intergenerational transmission of violent behaviour", and stated that the prohibition and regulation of firearms, criminal harassment of women and sex tourism were major issues for Canada. ... (Emphasis added)

Now the government's stubborness over keeping the hapless gun registry makes sense: It's all about looking good at the United Nations.

Posted by Debbye at 07:14 PM | Comments (0)

Right On! raises some points

Right On! raises some points about "a widely misunderstood research paper" that disputes the causes of global warming and thus undercuts the rationale (aka poor scientific methodology) for the Kyoto Accord.

Posted by Debbye at 03:46 PM | Comments (0)

Good for ScrappleFace, who's always

Good for ScrappleFace, who's always unafraid to satirize the news with uncommon common sense: ScrappleFace: NY Times Asks Congress to Probe Its Errors

"2003-07-12) -- The New York Times today asked Congress to launch an investigation into all the errors The Times has made during the past 107 years. The request comes on the heels of a Times' editorial demanding an investigation into how a 16-word statement about uranium was allowed into the text of the President's State of the Union Address."

Posted by Debbye at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

There's a new blogger on

There's a new blogger on the scene. French Libertarian in Quebec gives an interesting history lesson on the evolution of the "separate but equal" doctrine that upheld the Jim Crow laws in many Southern states.

Understanding the origins of institutional racism is the only way to fight it. Great post.

Posted by Debbye at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

Scroll down News Junkie Canada

Scroll down News Junkie Canada to "Canada's First Muslim Terrorist" for a shocking disclosure:

"In 1999, The Toronto Star reported that Marc Lepine was born Gamil Gharbi to an Algerian mutual fund salesman who thought "all women were chattels." The article said Lepine's father beat him until he bled from the nose and ears and didn't allow his mother, a nurse and former nun, to console her son. It also reported that Lepine's mother was often "humiliated, smashed up against walls and beaten." Lepine changed his name in his teens."

News Junkie Canada reminds us that all Canadian men were tainted as being abusive and violent and therefore must register their firearms because of the actions of one man. (It was the killings in Montreal that led to Royal Commission on Violence Against Women which elicited calls for that unmentionable "gun registry".)

Let's take that a step farther. There have been a number of Muslim women who have pointed out that, even though they live in Western countries that proudly hail advances in women's rights, these governments do little to protect their rights in their homes and community because it would expose too many flaws in the much-vaunted "tolerance of cultural diversity".

In an article in The Observer Unlikely martyr who battled the mullahs forced to flee for her life Ayaan Hirsi Ali was forced to go into hiding:

... A political adviser to the Dutch Labour Party, she savaged what she said was the cruelty and abuse meted out to many Muslim women living in Western societies - and she did so on national TV.

Calling Islam a 'backward' religion, she claimed that orthodox Muslim men frequently indulge in domestic violence against women as well as incest and child abuse. To make matters worse, she added, such unacceptable behaviour is routinely covered up and never spoken about. And she launched a strong attack on the Netherlands' programme of multicultualism, which she said encouraged the isolation of Muslim women.

Granted, it is a thorny problem for the Liberal government as they wish to retain their voting blocks at all costs even to the point of sacrificing the rights of women who happen to be Muslim in the name of tolerance. Sometimes irony writes itself.

Back in the 70's we shouted "Sisterhood Is Powerful". The freedom to choose our own lifestyles is what propelled the women's movement, and it was to be freedom to choose without judgement. It wasn't about pro-choice or pro-life, it was about US AS INDIVIDUAL, UNIQUE WOMEN.

The real question is: Have feminists in Canada been so co-opted by the Liberals that they don't speak out in defense of their Muslim sisters? They have been exposed as hypocrites in the U.S., where defenders of Bubba Clinton overlooked the fact that his accusers were called liars, harassed and ridiculed. (Way to defend women who justifiably charge powerful men with sexual misconduct, sisters!)

That was not a shot at Hillary Clinton! Can I help it if people connect some dots?

French Libertarian in Quebec has a great post on this issue.

Posted by Debbye at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

>From the editorial section of

>From the editorial section of The Sun (UK) The Sun Says:

"Junk junkies

PEOPLE who stuff themselves on junk food get fat.

But maybe they can't help it.

New research in America has pinpointed chemicals and sugars in burgers, chocolate and fried chicken that are addictive.

If a test case succeeds against the American fast food chains, it will start a worldwide revolution.

There's no doubt improving our diets is good for our health.

And that could save the NHS [National Health Service] millions.

But will life still be worth living without cheeseburgers and chips?" (Their emphasis)

Posted by Debbye at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

>From trial of accused Bali

>From trial of accused Bali bomber Amrozi NEWS.com.au | Blasts did good, says Amrozi (July 14, 2003):

THE Bali blasts that killed 88 Australians had 'positive aspects' because they turned people back to religion and away from sin, accused bomber Amrozi said today.

Speaking in his defence for the first time, Amrozi said the explosions had also prevented the economy of the resort island from falling into foreign hands.

"With this incident, God willing, many people realised that they had forgotten God and neglected their worship and avoided places of worship so that mosques became empty, churches became deserted, monasteries and temples also became empty without occupants or visitors," he said.

Meanwhile, "places of sins" were all packed, he said.

"I am also not among those who are against tourists, and tourist arrivals should even be promoted but on condition that they follow disciplines," he said.

'They, as guests, should follow our rules and not us follow their rules just because of money.'" (Emphasis added)

Whose rules? Most residents of Bali are Hindus, not Muslims.

Amrozi, a village mechanic, is accused of buying a tonne of chemicals to help make the bomb that destroyed the Sari Club, killing 202 people.

The blasts dealt a crippling blow to Bali's tourist-oriented economy. Foreign arrivals fell by 42 per cent in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2002.

During his trial last month, Amrozi described foreign tourists as a threat to Indonesia's future and said violence was the only language they understood.

He described the Sari Club and nearby Paddy's Bar as "dens of vices", established as part of a US and Jewish plan to destroy religions.

Yep. Play the anti-American and anti-Semitic cards. Unfortunatly, it will work in some parts of the world. Earlier, he had defended bombing nightclubs known as popular Australian hang-outs because he wanted to kill Americans.

202 people, including 2 Canadians, died in the blasts to promote religion and morality. Many more were severely burned, one of the worst and most painful injuries humans can sustain. I hope that bastard dies. And then I hope his creator dispatches him to the fires of hell so he can endure for all eternity what his victims endured.

Posted by Debbye at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Shot

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Shot boy, 5, in coma:

"Doctors were last night fighting to save the life of a five-year-old boy who was shot in the face with a high-powered air pistol as he walked with his mom near the lakeshore. The child lost an eye and may have suffered brain damage, Toronto Police said.

"Officers found a "series of weapons" in the vehicle that Brookes described as "extremely realistic" replicas of police-issued firearms.

"A receipt for $454 found by police shows the weapons had been purchased only hours earlier.

"'They look like our Glock pistols,' Brookes said, adding the pistols use CO2 cartridges to fire the pellets under immense pressure."

Here's the kicker:

"A 17-year-old remains under investigation.

"Jake Joseph Mercure and Stephen Collins, both 18 and of Toronto, are charged with aggravated assault and weapons offences." (Emphasis added)

That's it? They shot at unsuspecting passers-by, caused a 5-year old to lost an eye, possibly suffer brain damage and may still lose his life and they get charged as though they were tussling in an alley?

They thought it would be fun to drive past a park and shoot at strangers. I wonder if they found torturing small animals too tame so wanted new prey. (That paragraph is sheer speculation, by the way.)

I just know that they will be sentenced to house arrest and therapy because they were just good boys who went astray.

And, having learned that justice is implacable when one crosses the boundaries, they will repent and devote their lives to helping the less fortunate.

UPDATE: Whoa! Right On! goes even further than I do.

Posted by Debbye at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Heat

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Heat rising in Hong Kong.

"HONG KONG -- Thousands of protesters yesterday held a pro-democracy rally critical of the territory's political leader, who was forced to back down recently over a planned anti-subversion law. "If there is democracy, the government will have to follow the will of the people," said K. Yam, 68, a retired civil servant.

"The demonstrators booed when the organizers played footage of Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa promising the territory's freedoms were not threatened by the anti-subversion bill that has thrown his government into a crisis.

"Protesters chanted "return power to the people" and sang pro-democracy songs."

Their courage and steadfastness is inspiring.

Posted by Debbye at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

I guess Americans will have

I guess Americans will have to scuttle jokes about how gay people who want to marry will learn the harshness of the term "divorce lawyer" because now a gay rights lawyer, Douglas Elliott, is advising American gay couples that flocked here to be married that Toronto Sun: NEWS - Gay divorce here may be tough.

"While there is no residency requirement to get married in Canada, a year's residency is needed to divorce here.

"That means a same-sex couple living in a country that won't recognize their marriage may not be able to legally separate unless one partner moves to Canada, "so it's a very serious commitment indeed," Elliott said in a recent interview."

Posted by Debbye at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

Jean Chretien is said to

Jean Chretien is said to be developing a process to facilitate international action to prevent genocide Toronto Sun: NEWS - PM unveils rights protection.

"We have to develop the process to be able to intervene when it's needed and intervene without creating the impression that you are intervening for your own personal interest," Chretien told a weekend news conference."

Of course Chretien would never be accused of intervening for his own personal interest.

Obligatory Chretien-bashing out of the way, this report will surely be treated with all the respect it deserves. The leader of a country who claims to be too peace-inclined to adequately fund and staff his own country's military is going to tell the rest of the world how their military should be dispatched.

That paragraph was too long. How about "cheap and hypocritical" s.o.b.?

Can we say: "Put your money where your mouth is."

Of course, I could be wrong about needing military intervention to prevent genocide. After all, there's always the option of engaging in dialogue with such people. After all, history is replete with examples of reasonable types who commit genocide, cultural cleansing and mass rape who just didn't know that it was evil and desisted once it was pointed out to them.

Plenty of people here would argue that the Liberal Party is guilty of waging cultural genocide on Canadians. This country once rightfully boasted both it's military and universal health care system and both are now in ruins.

Canadian history has been revised so often that it makes New Math look like a breeze if you try to help your kids with their history assignments. (I actually took a Canadian history course up here back in the Olden Days.) Canadian kids are only learning one thing in schools: Cynicism.

Too bad Chretien doesn't care as much about the state of affairs in Canada as he does his legacy. But with the Liberals writing the history books, maybe he doesn't think he needs to.

Posted by Debbye at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003

>From The NY Times The

>From The NY Times The Road Ahead in Iraq — and How to Navigate It, guest contributor L. Paul Bremer III, top American administrator in Iraq, writes:

"These shadowy figures are killing brave Iraqis working with us, attacking soldiers and civilians, and trying to sabotage the fragile infrastructure. The attacks have drawn concern worldwide. My coalition colleagues and Iraqi friends have noticed that the attacks are often aimed at successes in the renewal of this nation. A week ago, an American soldier was mixing with students at Baghdad University, which reopened on May 17. Their presence was testimony to the educational progress that is blossoming here (public schools have also reopened). But our enemies fear enlightenment, so one of them killed the soldier.

The day before, 250 Iraqi police recruits graduated, the latest success in re-staffing law enforcement. Tens of thousands of Iraqi policemen are now on duty. But the enemies of freedom correctly felt threatened by the cooperation and professionalism the day represented, so they set off a bomb that killed seven new officers. Before the war, women had to travel miles for propane. Now, local councils are establishing distribution centers that make the gas readily available to households. On June 18, one American soldier was killed while guarding a center. The June 24th explosion at an oil refinery in Barwanah is another example of political sabotage on Iraq's energy supply. "

Read the article (may require free registration).

N.B.: By the way, today al Quaida claimed responsibility for the recent attacks. Hmm.

Posted by Debbye at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

Guess it was only a

Guess it was only a matter of time before the ubiquitous "deck of cards" appeared in the electoral campaigns NewsMaxStore.com: Browsing The Deck of Hillary.

"Now NewsMax.com has the perfect antidote to the liberal media’s Hillary love fest: the Deck of Hillary.

That’s right – the Deck of Hillary is a set of playing cards that will not only make you laugh out loud – it also blows the lid off her lies and her new book."

Well, she did uncover the, you know, vast right-wing conspiracy

Posted by Debbye at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Oliver North, in a Washington

Oliver North, in a Washington Times commentary, Beyond the call weighs in on the sudden and somewhat dubious claims by the Dems that Clinton hadn't affected the military by slashing and gutting the defense budget.

"Liberals are, by nature, opportunists."

Heh. What he said.

Posted by Debbye at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Maybe I should read the

Maybe I should read the entire paper before I post! Bob MacDonald writes Toronto Sun: NEWS - U.S. Democrats wage own war

"Desperate U.S. Democrats tried their utmost this past week to turn the Iraq war into Watergate-type attacks against Republican President George W. Bush. At week's end, they were floundering -- but still threatening."

Exactly. The Dems are hoping to uncover another Watergate, the scandel that propelled Jimmy Carter into office in 1976.

Everyone who changed their mind about Iraq after they heard that Saddam was trying to buy uranium raise your hands.

I thought so.

Posted by Debbye at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)

Toronto Sun: NEWS - No

Toronto Sun: NEWS - No terror linkup: Spies: "WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush has largely dampened controversy over his claim of Iraqi uranium shopping in Africa, but critics are now pushing for proof of his alleged link between Iraq and al-Qaida terrorists. Before the war, Bush said Saddam was harbouring top al-Qaida operatives and suggested Iraq could slip chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons to the terrorist network. "

Say this with me slowly: Resolution 1441

Disarming Saddam, a maniacal, blood-thirsty dictator who had WMD and who had used WMD, was and is the primary justification for removing him from power.

The Dems might want to review the transcript from Colin Powell's address to the UN in which he talks about the "nexus" betwen terrorist groups, but they are too intent on partisan politics to remember that those nations which harbour and finance terrorists will be confronted. The mentality of terrorism must be fought wherever it exists.

UPDATE: The above paragraph could be read as implying that Powell's UN address re-stated the aims of the US-led War on Terror, which of course is wrong. I was saying that the Dems, by focusing on al Quaida, are overlooking the fact that the War on Terror is not limited to only one terrorist group but includes all who would use terrorism as a tactic and those countries which harbour and finance terrorists.

Saddam is no longer in power. The families of murderers who, for example, blow up innocent bus passengers no longer receive $25,000.

Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the Achille Lauro hijacking, is in U.S. custody. (May he rot in hell.)

It is a War on Terror, not a War on Al-Quaida. We must win that war no matter how long it takes because faith, optimism and humanity define us as human beings, and if the world surrenders to the politics of fear then we will return to barbarism.

Posted by Debbye at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2003

This is only the beginning:

This is only the beginning: SI.com - More Sports - Iraqi archery team to compete in New York, tour U.S. - Friday July 11, 2003 12:33 AM

"DENVER (AP) -- An Iraqi archery team will compete in New York next week at the world championships and then will head to Washington and California.

"The delegation, which will include at least six athletes among 11 people, was cleared by the U.S. State Department just in time for the World Target Championships in Central Park starting Monday.
"After the world championships, the Iraqis are expected to make an official trip to Washington, then head to an Olympic training facility in Chula Vista, Calif.
"Iraq also is expected to take part in swimming's world championships in Barcelona, Spain. The competition begins Sunday in what would be Iraq's first major international sports event since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
"Officials with USA Wrestling are working to bring a group of Iraqi wrestlers to the world freestyle championships this September in New York."

Because it was all about, you know, the oil.

Via the man of the house.

Posted by Debbye at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

Thank goodness Rick's Miscellany is

Thank goodness Rick's Miscellany is following the JJerry Springer campaign trail. JJerry deserves every bit of snark that this blogger can lay on him.

JJerry even has a blog! (Read the website title bar to understand my spelling.)

Actually, he would have been right at home in the Senate during the country's early days. Congressmen often behaved much as JJerry's guests do, complete with insults, fisticuffs and bashing chairs and desks over one another's heads.

UPDATE: They fixed the title bar. (sigh) Yesterday, as you probably inferred, it said "JJERRY".

Posted by Debbye at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

The Canadian has found a

The Canadian has found a new name for the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party : "Peter Pipsqueak."

It couldn't happen to a more deserving man.

Posted by Debbye at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

Bush good for Canadian nationalism: poll

July 12 - From The Globe and Mail:

"OTTAWA, July 12 -- U.S. President George W. Bush is the most unpopular American president in recent memory among Canadians.

"More than 60 percent surveyed have an unfavorable opinion of him, said a poll by Environics Research Group."

Sometimes I wonder at the near-stalker attitude towards the US exhibited by Canadian pollsters. It seems I am constantly reading this or that poll about how Canadians feel about the US. Don't they ever ask what Canadians think of the proposed United States of Europe or Australian-led intervention in the Solomon Islands?

Yeah, I get a little defensive about this. I have no doubt that Canadian tongue-waggers would scream bloody murder should US polls report unfavourably about Canadian domestic matters and rightly so because it would be none of their business.

"Relations between Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien have been strained over the U.S. decision to invade Iraq, among other issues, but most Canadians blame the U.S. president for the worsening climate, reported The Globe and Mail."

But here is the astonishing evaluation of what the poll means:

"'George Bush as president will probably be the best thing that ever happened to Canadian nationalism,' Leebosh said. 'He totally personifies the essence of the side of the United States that Canadians tend to dislike -- the anti-intellectual Texan in a Stetson, social conservative.'" (emphasis added)

Were that actually true, and I doubt it is, it would be pathetic. It would mean that Canadians can only nurture love and pride in their country so long as they maintain a hate-on for the US President.

Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper said "'Canadians' views about George Bush or other American figures, while interesting, I think should be irrelevant to Canadian government policy vis-a-vis the United States. Canadians don't vote in American elections,' he said."

This article was also picked up by UPI and printed in today's Washginton Times Canadians vote Bush least-liked leader

You just gotta know Pat Buchanan is furiously composing a response. Expect to see the phrases "Blame America" and "Soviet Canuckistan" in the very near future.

Posted by Debbye at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

A new column by Mark

A new column by Mark Steyn is up at Telegraph | Opinion | There was a European, a European and a European . . ..

"M Giscard explained that the creation of the new Single European Stereotype, or the "stEureotype", had been inspired by Robin Cook's claim that "the modern Europe is built on the rejection of ethnic stereotypes".

I think he's joking. I think.

Posted by Debbye at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Check out Frozen in Montreal

Check out Frozen in Montreal All AgitProp, all the Time...: This Asshole just had to be involved...

"You'll never believe who helped Liberia become the resounding success that it is today...

Jesse Jackson (President Bubba also deserves a share of the credit)"

This is astonishing. Read it.

Posted by Debbye at 06:36 PM | Comments (0)


July 11 - There seems to be new meme in the blogosphere that the only wars liberals want the U.S. to wage are the ones she can't win. As if to prove it, this report from Reuters:

"MONROVIA (Reuters) - Liberia's main rebel faction threatened on Friday to fight any peacekeepers deployed before President Charles Taylor steps down, casting a cloud over plans to send West African and possibly U.S. troops into the country."
Even though Taylor says he won't leave before troops are deployed? My "Beware: Huge Freaking Trap" alarm just went off. Again.

"Washington is wary after the humiliating and bloody retreat of U.S. forces from Somalia 10 years ago. The U.S. army is already stretched by complex and costly operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Liberia has little strategic importance."
Yep. The Unites States is a nation at war, and things like strategic importance do matter.
Foreign troops have been sucked into West Africa's brutal wars before. British soldiers in Sierra Leone and French troops in Ivory Coast have both had to confront -- and sometimes kill -- drunken, drugged-up fighters during missions to end wars.
Uh huh. And some of those are children.

I really want to help the Liberians. But I think we have to remember that there is a vast difference between what is happening in the city of Monrovia and what is happening in the rest (most) of the country.

Posted by Debbye at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)

The plot thickens: Document links

The plot thickens: Document links Saddam, bin Laden - Wednesday, 06/25/03 via Instapundit

Posted by Debbye at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

A nice inditement of CNN

A nice inditement of CNN in Canadians are smug: Vietnam is the last Vietnam. CNN has not only been silent on Iran and Hong Kong; they have shamelessly tried to force US intervention in Liberia without admitting that the problems in that country extend far beyond the relatively tame city limits of Monrovia.

It was noted during the war in Iraq that journalists "lack historical perspective" which is a polite way of saying that they're dumber than stumps. Let's be honest: CNN is no different than the CBC, BBC and all the other left-lib dominated BCs that selectively report the news to shape the public's perspective to their political bent.

I could do with a lot less journalism and a lot more reporting.

Posted by Debbye at 12:21 PM | Comments (0)

Read News Junkie Canada for

Read News Junkie Canada for a biting piece on "The Petty Concerns of a Really Small Man" about, who else? Chretien.

Posted by Debbye at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

We've always been grateful to

We've always been grateful to our beloved mutt, Blackie, because he was a full partner in raising our 3 (now adult) kids. Read this Toronto Sun Columnist: John Derringer unless you're afraid to cry.

As an aside, we never worried about home break-ins. Nobody was as watchful or ferocious if the kids were threatened than this third parent. He wouldn't even let them fight: he'd bark and look anxiously as if to say "He's your brother! You love him. Make-up!"

Posted by Debbye at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

Toronto Sun: Some pervs can't

Toronto Sun: Some pervs can't be cured


(Link may die soon.)

Posted by Debbye at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

Attempts to reopen the US

Attempts to reopen the US border to Canadian beef are being led by Stephen Harper Toronto Sun: Beef battle gets political who takes the case straight to those who actually influence such matters, i.e., Congressional committee members.

"The CA leader and three of his MPs were in the capital yesterday to meet with U.S. politicians, including senators and congressmen who chair agriculture committees."

Exactly: peer-to-peer meetings. Congress jealously guards its powers which means you have to go through the right channels if this matter is going to be resolved.

"But the situation has been complicated by the Japanese, who are insisting any beef it imports from the U.S. comes with a guarantee it hasn't been exposed to Canadian beef."

The fact that we aren't tracking our cattle is the root problem. What ever happened to branding them? (Go suck eggs, PETA.) Isn't that how you could quickly identify their origins and track their movements?

I'm going to hope that if the Japanese are indeed the only stumbling block that the Mexican, Australian and New Zealand governments have indicated their willingness to lift the ban.

Here's hoping.

Posted by Debbye at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

A temporary victory for the

A temporary victory for the people Toronto Sun: Perv back to jail but the sad fact is that some other poor community is going to be inflicted with this guy.

"The city's top cop [Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino] said he will direct his concerns about releasing sex predators such as Jacobson 'to the proper officials at Corrections Canada.' "

I am very concerned about releasing this dangerous pervert to the proper (read inept, error-ridden) officials at Corrections Canada. Most people keep better track of their pets than these officials do of those under their supervision.

Here's a silly idea; if we simply must let him out, why don't they put a tracking device on him?

Posted by Debbye at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2003

Influence of the American left on Canada

July 10 - The Canadian has been investigating the sorry state of the educational system in Canada and how the values being taught in schools are in contradition to traditional ones. He writes: "For over 40 years students have been hearing a left wing philosophy in this country that goes clear back to the Vietnam War and a 'stampeding herd' of pony-tailed Liberal 'profs' that thundered north to Canada rather than serve their country."

I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I'm not going to be too quick to dismiss it either. I moved here in 1974 to marry a Canadian so my relocation wasn't a rejection of the USA and I have no insight on those who came here for other reasons. I might be able to see it better if I knew during which years this migration peaked and how many came here.

I would tend to think that the drift to the left occurred much earlier than the 60's. The Soviet Union gained legitimacy when they became our allies during WWII. The crimes of Stalin were either ignored or went unreported because outwardly, at least, we (the Allies) downplayed our distrust of them in order to defeat Hitler. It was a hateful, necessary policy, and I think it a source of regret for many Western countries because the Eastern bloc countries paid the true price.

Skip forward to 1968 when Trudeau was in office. (Note please that Trudeau was in office so something must have already happened on the Canadian political scene.)

A lot happened in the world that year. Sen. Eugene McCarthy, a moderate peace candidate, did surprisingly well in the New Hampshire primaries. A very tired LBJ announced he wouldn't seek re-election. There was the Prague Spring and Dr. King was murdered. There was riots, and my high school in Berkeley, CA, walked out en masse the following day because if the Bd. Of Education wouldn't cancel classes we would. The 1968 Civil Rights Bill was finally passed (of added significance because Title VII outlawed discrimination against women but added a new charge, conspiracy, to those who traveled across state lines with the purpose of causing a riot intended, by the way, to be used as a tool against the KKK and their ilk.) There was the Tet offensive and a Jordanian who didn't like Robert F. Kennedy's stance on Israel murdered him. There were demonstrations in Paris over the peace talks between the US and North Vietnam. The student demonstrations in Paris led to a General Strike in France. The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City took place just after some violent demonstrations there, and the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia. The Democratic Party convention was held in the midst of rioting by, among others, anti-war activists, Yippies and Bobby Seale (of the Black Panthers.) There were student uprisings in Germany, Italy and Japan. In Canada there were massive anti-war demonstrations too (far smaller than the ones held to protest the Iraq War). It seemed as though the entire world was on fire except for Russia and China. (In retrospect, I should have thought about that more, but I didn't.)

I may have some of the events in the wrong order because the memories are gushing out. Even now as I read it I find it inconceivable that so much happened in the space of only one year, and I suspect I forgot a few things.

In some respects, Americans encountered her first major case of self-hatred that year most especially because two beloved and highly respected men were slain. We asked ourselves what kind of people we were that our heroes could be cut down like that. Grim anger set in, and there were no answers or light to guide us. Nixon vs. Humphrey? It was easy to explore alternative politics and many of us did.

How did each of those events impact, if at all, in Canada?

I guess all countries have reactions to events that they can't really share with outsiders (no offense). None of you will ever be able to understand how I feel about Dr. King's death. You may empathize, but that is light years away from deep-to-the bone knowing.

Now, by the same token, I will never be able to fully appreciate the shock and impact on Canadians triggered by the events in Quebec in 1970. I had lived under martial law a few times in Berkeley but I found it inconceivable that, up here, the entire country was placed under martial law. I remember reading about the FLQ and what happened up here, but it is not a part of my emotional memory.

But I don't think that those events in Quebec can be blamed on imported American subversives. I think you have to accept it as Canada's alone, and even if you blame De Gaulle you must allow that the ground was fertile.

The Canadian also states his belief that "Something really nasty is going on south of the border. It started when Chretien and his gang thumbed their collective noses at Bush and the USA (shades of those "feet get thee gone" profs that buggered off 40 years ago). NOW it is beginning to sink in as the Canadian cattle industry is in tatters, the softwood lumber file has become a disaster - and we hear today that our defence industry contributions are under the gun.

I don't believe that the problems with the softwood and cattle industries are entirely the result of the Liberal government's attitude to Washington but probably more due to protectionist lobbies in the US and a bureaucracy that is ponderous and weighed down with regulatory procedures that Canadians are all too familiar with up here. Separation of powers makes the President far less powerful than many Canadians realize.

As for the defense industry contracts, I am totally with the US Congress on this one. It comes down to one very simple fact: The US-based industries in the US are under the watch of the FBI and they are responsible to Congress. We are at war, and concerns about industrial sabotage and spying are on high alert for obvious security reasons.

Production facilities in Canada are under the watch of the RCMP and they are responsible to Parliament (or to the Minister assigned to that portfolio, I guess). The findings of the The MacKenzie Institute (if the report still isn't on their website, link to the National Post article) make it clear that terrorists are operating openly in Canada and that the Federal government is reluctant to shut them down. I regret the loss of Canadian jobs can't sanction endangering American lives to safeguard Canadian jobs.

The point is that this is not being done in revenge for Canada's refusal to join the US in Iraq or the rudeness of Canadian officials.

Please believe that Americans remember Canada's honourable role during the 1979 takover of our embassy in Tehran. We remember the down-home goodness of Newfoundlanders on Sept. 11. There may be some hurt feelings right now but there is not the degree of outrage that we feel toward the cough*French*cough and although many wonder what is going on up here most are content to let bygones be bygones.

Posted by Debbye at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

>From Reuters: " Iranian Vigilantes,

>From Reuters: "

Iranian Vigilantes, Police, Youths Clash in Tehran
Wed July 9, 2003 05:07 PM ET

By Jon Hemming
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Hundreds of Iranian hardline Islamic vigilantes, police and pro-democracy youths fought sporadic street battles near Tehran University on Wednesday, the anniversary of violent 1999 student unrest.
A witness said police fired tear gas at groups of youths near the campus and also fought hand-to-hand with plainclothes Islamic militiamen to prevent them from engaging in further battles with the pro-democracy youths."

Scroll upstream for yesterday's report from Reuters that they received a fax from the Iranian government advising the news agency to not attend (and, by implication, not report) any demonstrations that might occur.

This report differs in tone from that printed in today's Washington Post.

Note: CNN reprints part of the Reuters dispatch, but evidently did not have its own coverage.

Posted by Debbye at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

This city is still angry

This city is still angry over the murder of Holly Jones, so the timing of this story about a repeat sex offender 'Time bomb' arrives who is being released to a halfway centre in Holly's neighbourhood says it all about our nutty, compassion-to-the-criminal injustice system.

This is the kind of story that causes me to roar with implacable anger. Letting perverts like Walter Gary Jacobson out of prison is destroying our children's lives. As parents we are afraid to let our kids out of our sight and that, in turn, deforms their natural development as confident, self-sufficient adults. When society is producing a fearful citizenry it pays because it stifles energy, creativity and the drive that goes into building a strong, vibrant country.

We cannot rehabilitate or treat these deviants. They will re-offend. The courts know that, the police know that, you know that, I know that, and psychiatric healthcare professionals know that. So who doesn't know that? Nooobody! And, because real people are at risk, the justice system up here is a failure because it fails to do the one thing it is supposed to do: Protect Citizens.

To heighten the absurdity, our socially conscientious political society routinely excuses horrific behaviour because, you know, "he was brutalized and/or abused when he was a child" so our failure to remove these people from society perpetuates cycles of abuse.

I accuse the Liberal Party. I accuse the courts. Their indifference, not potato chips or video games, is killing our children. Remember this when you go to the polls next year.

Posted by Debbye at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

Blair vs. the BBC

July 10 - In The Daily Telegraph (UK) Why No 10's war with the BBC is far from over: is the latest in the fight between the BBC and 10 Downing St (the Prime Minister's residence).

I haven't been commenting much on the situation between the BBC and the Tony Blair because it hits a little too close to home. I have a very bad opinion of the CBC and would like to see it die a slow, painful death. (No, that's not true; I would like to see an instant death, but you know what I mean.)

But I can't resists this example of BBC arrogance:

"Certainly, BBC insiders admit they are at a loss as to Downing Street's gameplan. 'It has descended into farce,' said an executive. Another said Mr Campbell had 'hated Gilligan for a long time' and was determined to smear him."
Gilligan is the reporter who went with an uncollaborated report and accused the government of "sexing up" the intelligence dossier on Iraq. Mr. Campbell is the one who is accused of doing that "sexingup ". Who smeared who? Mr. Campbell fought back and has successfully disproved the allegations because he hated the reporter? Right; had he, you know, liked him he would have watched his career and reputation go down the drain.

(One of the nice things about the Daily Telegraph (UK) is that they provide refer-back links to stories from earlier issues giving both context and a history of what is happening. Check it out. )

Posted by Debbye at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

>From the unabashed The Sun

>From the unabashed The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selling newspaper: "GERMANY cranked up the row with Italy yesterday as Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder launched a battle of the beaches.

He cancelled a planned holiday in Italy after Italian tourism minister Stefano Stefani branded the Germans "hyper-nationalistic blondes" who invaded local beaches."

I love to read The Sun. They are so direct and their articles haven't the least bit of pretension or loftiness. They call a spade a spade, and I don't think we have any publication in North America that adopts their conversational tone. Anyway, further on the article states:

Mr Stefani wrote in a rightwing newspaper: “We know the Germans well, these stereotyped hyper-nationalistic blondes, who’ve been indoctrinated from the beginning to feel top of the class whatever the situation.”

He accused Germans of “loudly invading” Italian beaches and getting drunk.

His comments could prove costly to his country’s tourist industry.

Invading beaches and getting drunk! Whatever would they make of Wasaga Beach or Ft. Lauderdale? As charges go, that one is beyond lame.

It's is one thing to attack the Euro politicians of whatever nationality, but now it's gone to new depths when an entire nation is maligned.

What does make this intriguing is that there is a concerted effort to form a new country "The United States of Europe" which is being vigorously oppposed by the British even though the Labour government supports it.

Calls to put both membership in this new political entity as well as the adoption of the euro to the voters in a refendum have only been muted by the ongoing issue of whether the intelligence which fueled British participation in the War in Iraq.

Clearly there are still more issues that divide than unite Europe, and those who think that the European peoples are willing to surrender their sovereignty and national identities to one another are out of touch with reality.

Posted by Debbye at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)

According to David Von Drehle,

According to David Von Drehle, Washinton Post staff writer, in the analytical piece Among Democrats, The Energy Seems To Be on the Left":

Ten years after Bill Clinton proclaimed a centrist 'New Democrat' revolution, the left is once again a driving force in the party.
They do not call themselves 'liberals' anymore; the preferred term today is 'progressives.' But in other ways, they are much the same slice of the electorate that dominated the Democratic Party from 1972 to the late 1980s: antiwar, pro-environment, suspicious of corporations and supportive of federal social services."

The Watergate scandel propelled Jimmy Carter into the White House in 1972. I lived in Georgia when he was governor and remember him as a good, decent man. He was, however, a disaster as President. The Embassy takeover in Tehren was an early skirmish with Islamic fanaticism and the inability of the US and by implication the "progressive" wing of the Democratic Party to respond was a dark chapter in US history. I have to wonder at what suicidal impulses are driving the Dems to relive that era.

ASIDE: Thank you again to Canada for assisting our staff members who were away from the Embassy at the time of the takeover. We don't forget.

But for Democrats who remember the Republican landslides of 1972 and 1984, when liberal Democrats George McGovern and Walter F. Mondale led the party to humiliating defeats, the prominence of the left this year is an omen

I wish Mr. von Drehle would specify the omen or at least which entrails he is reading, but he meanders off to pull up the 2000 election asserting that if the Dems had been able to garner the votes that went to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader Gore would have won.

What always goes unreported is that if Pres. Bush had been able to garner the votes that went to the Libertarian Party, he [CORRECTION: I meant Pat Buchanan, of course. The Libertarian Party was the critical element in the mid-terms] too would have been elected without contest.

"The Democratic Party," Blodgett [a Minnesota democrat who managed the Wellstone campaign and now runs Wellstone Action] said, "is perceived as having lost its moorings, as being disconnected from the big values and the big vision of where to take this country and hasn't been projecting that. It turns out there is a large number of people around the country who are looking for ways to participate in the rebuilding of progressive politics."

Yes, these are the same people who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat after their poorly managed memorial service for Sen Wellstone turned into a anti-war rally resulting in the Republicans taking that senatorial seat. I always hunt up defeated generals when I want to run a campaign. Yep.

Why am I wasting your time with this?

Because the Democrats seem determined to destroy their party. We've seen how wonderfully democracy thrives up here in Canada when one party has uncontested control over the federal government, and I may be a Republican but I am very wary of the breakdown of the system when there isn't a strong, vigorous opposition.

Posted by Debbye at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

>From The Washington Post Iranian

>From The Washington Post Iranian Student Protests Are Mostly Peaceful:

"TEHRAN, July 9 -- The anniversary of student protests that rocked Iran four years ago passed relatively peacefully tonight, as leaderless, expectant crowds that gathered outside Tehran University and nearby parks found themselves facing riot police, plainclothes security officers on motorbikes and helicopters circling overhead.

No reliable information on injuries or arrests was available tonight. Witnesses reported some clashes between pro-government vigilantes and members of the crowd, which police broke up. Police used tear gas to disperse some groups, witnesses said, and one shopkeeper said he saw a group of young people rounded up and put in a van.

Iran's leading pro-democracy student group, Daftar-e-Tahkim-e-Vahdat, or the Office to Foster Unity, canceled a sit-in outside a U.N. office here in the capital because of concerns about security. Shortly after a news conference announcing the cancellation, three student leaders were detained by plainclothes security officers."

This is a somewhat different account than the one from Reuters posted downstream.

Posted by Debbye at 07:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003

The MacKenzie Institute's report "Overseas

The MacKenzie Institute's report "Overseas Wars: A Review of Overseas Terrorism in Canada" at the National Post 10,000 terrorists in Canada: report contained some deeply disturbing information and conclusions.

The institute's president, John Thompson, said in an interview that:

He blamed Canada's failing immigration policies, as well as a lack of enforcement of existing laws, for having allowed the country to become home to terrorists and their front groups. Besides being a refuge for former guerrillas, the study notes that 15 out of 80 identified international terrorist groups have significant supporters or members in Canada.

Although the threat of substantial terrorist violence in Canada seems low, it is only a matter of time before the country is attacked, the report warns.


Part of the problem, according to Mr. Thompson, is that front groups for such organizations have courted politicians on the federal and provincial scene, bringing them much- needed votes from ethnic communities. As a result, politicians are reluctant to act.

Part of the problem, according to Mr. Thompson, is that front groups for such organizations have courted politicians on the federal and provincial scene, bringing them much- needed votes from ethnic communities. As a result, politicians are reluctant to act.

Mr. Thompson said at the same time, these front groups accuse anyone who suggests there is terrorist infiltration of ethnic groups of being racist or holding "un-Canadian" views.

"'We have allowed the agents of the violence experienced in other nations to come here, mercilessly dominate their fellows from their home societies, and preach an Orwellian message that we must tolerate their intolerance, and that it is racist and condescending to question their motives and actions,' the report states. 'Worse still, some of our political leaders have accepted this message.'"

I'm removing some comments I wrote earlier in anger. Read the article and decide for yourself. Eventually the report will be published on the institute's webpage The MacKenzie Institute.

Still wonder why the US Congress wants defense contracts awarded stateside?

Posted by Debbye at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

CNN.com - Illinois man accused

CNN.com - Illinois man accused of being Iraqi agent - Jul. 9, 2003:
Some of the allegations fall into line with documents uncovered in Baghdad by David Blair of the Daily Telegraph (UK) (sorry, saved the article before I began blogging so haven't a link) which charged that French intelligence collaborated with Iraqi agents to disrupt and intimidate organizers of a conference intended to highlight Iraqi human rights violations.

"The evidence contained information about an agent code-named 'Sirhan' operating in the United States, the complaint said. "

Sirhan?! Robert F. Kennedy is viewed by many as the first casualty of Islamist terrorism and his assassin was a Jordanian named Sirhan Sirhan. If this was meant to be a taunt . . .

Posted by Debbye at 03:14 PM | Comments (0)

Protesters in Hong Kong demonstrated

Protesters in Hong Kong demonstrated peacefully today as reported by CNN Thousands call for Tung to quit:

"'We shall overcome,' the protesters sang Wednesday night, with their voices ringing into the Legislative Council chambers, where lawmakers were opening debate on a bill to legalize soccer betting.

That song still brings tears to my eyes. I remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's and those simple words remain inspiring.

The lawmakers had been scheduled to vote Wednesday on the anti-subversion measure, required by Article 23 of Hong Kong's mini-constitution. But the huge protest last week threw Tung's government into crisis and forced a delay that opposition leaders call their first significant victory over the administration since the handover. "

Posted by Debbye at 10:53 AM | Comments (0)

Link here On the Third

Link here On the Third Hand: July 09, 2003 to read "An Open Letter In Support of the People of Iran from the Weblogging Community." This is a reprint of an open letter written by John Weidner a year ago. Like most good things, it stands the test of time.

The text is also available in Farsi (if your reader is set up for Farsi (and/or Arabic) language support.)

Posted by Debbye at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

Dispatch from Tehran: Reuters: "TEHRAN

Dispatch from Tehran: Reuters: "TEHRAN (Reuters) - Armed Iranian Islamic vigilantes seized three student leaders on Wednesday as they left a news conference where they announced they had canceled protests to mark the anniversary of 1999 university unrest, witnesses said.
Authorities have banned off-campus rallies, closed campus dormitories, postponed summer exams and vowed to deal strictly with any unrest after arresting 4,000 people during 10 nights of sometimes violent protests across the country in June."
"After the news conference when some of our friends wanted to leave, armed plainclothes men in three cars attacked the students and kidnapped three members of the Office to Consolidate Unity," Matin Meshkini, a student leader, told Reuters.
Other witnesses said some 15 people armed with handguns and with the trademark beards, walkie-talkies and untucked shirts of Islamic vigilantes pushed aside uniformed police who tried to intervene as they bundled the three into waiting cars.
"We cannot call it arrest, it was a kidnapping," Meshkini said.

And we dare call ourselves brave when we take an unpopular stand in this benevolent country?

Reuters also reports:
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance told foreign news organizations not to go to any demonstrations.
"It is expected that you do not attend any possible illegal gatherings," a faxed statement said.

Kudos for reporting this last bit. Eason Jordan (CNN), take note.

Posted by Debbye at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2003

This from DoggerelPundit a wonderful

This from DoggerelPundit a wonderful take on those lovable idiots in the media from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance (via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller)

Posted by Debbye at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

More rumours of looting in Iraq

July 8 - From The Daily Telegraph (UK) Professor calls for looters to be shot:

"Looters are systematically stripping many of Iraq's 10,000 archaeological sites and should be shot on sight by coalition forces, an expert said yesterday."

and from the same article:

At least 10 per cent of the contents of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad are missing, Dr Nawalaal Mutawalli, its director, said.

If this is true, it is very bad. But I'm not taking it at face value quite yet.

Posted by Debbye at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

Looks like the fur is

Looks like the fur is still flying in that center of sophistication (aka Europe) according to The Daily Telegraph (UK): Schroder is OK for a German, says Italian politican:

"Efforts to end the row between Berlin and Rome unravelled yesterday when an Italian minister invited Chancellor Gerhard Schroder to holiday with him, saying he was 'not as bad as most Germans'."

I want to be mature about this. Honestly. But I haven't forgotten the vicious personal attacks on President Bush and PM Blair in the build-up to the Iraq War, and the treatment accorded to PM Berlusconi earlier this month was hardly polite.

The French and Germans need to learn the Golden Rule: If you can't take it, don't dish it out.

Posted by Debbye at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

NEWS.com.au | US 'most armed'

NEWS.com.au | US 'most armed' nation on Earth (July 9, 2003)

"THE United States is the most heavily-armed nation on Earth, with nearly one gun per person, according to a study released today at a UN conference on small arms.

The Small Arms Survey 2003 by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva found an estimated 238 million to 276 million private firearms in the United States, or roughly 83 to 96 guns per 100 people.

In comparison, there were 84 million firearms in the 15 countries of the European Union, 80 per cent in private hands.

'Citizens of most European countries are more heavily armed than they realise, with an average of 17.4 guns per 100 people in the 15 EU countries alone,' said Aaron Karp, a co-author of the study. "

No comment.

Posted by Debbye at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

You're coming to Toronto July

You're coming to Toronto July 30 for the AD/DC concert, right? (The Stones and Rush will also be performing.)

Wondering what to do during the days after the concert? Web logger Smug Canadian offers A review of the rollercoasters at Canada's Wonderland.

Well-documented, this should be read by those who are interested in other fun stuff (aka local attractions) in Toronto because we'd really like you to stick around for awhile to help us out of the doldrums caused by SARS and having idiots running the country.

An example of how informative this report is:

Not far away was "The Bat," which is obssessed with sending you backwards. You get towed backwards up a hill that looks benign while you are in the lineup, but in the second last car you feel your ass leaving the seat, which is unnerving. And then whoosh you whip through two long, screwy, symmetrical loops, then a straight loop and then you get picked up by an ogre made of compressed air who drags you to the top of another ramp, and drops you backward. Yep, you guessed it, a straight loop backwards and fast, and two long, screwy... you get the idea, backwards and fast. Worth the long wait, this one is.

How can you resist? I was a frequent flyer at Six Flags Over Georgia back in the day, but Canada's Wonderland has it beat. They even have this huge fountain in the center square, and the fine mist helps you cool down without getting little water sprinkles on your glasses.

It is super kid friendly, and by that I mean for kids of all ages. We went regularly when the twins when still in strollers and it was always fun for the whole family. Best of all, they conked out the minute they got into the car after we finally left. They are old enough to go themselves now (heck, they're old enough to drive themselves now) and do so regularly.

Of course, there is also the spectacular Toronto Zoo, Black Creek Pioneer Village, the Ontario Science Center and the Royal Museum of Ontario (it's got a new name now but I can never remember it.)

The federal government is doing an incredibly poor job of hyping Toronto in an effort to draw tourists up here. Although it is true that Canadians are a friendly bunch, what the promos won't tell you is how we revel in summertime.

Folks in snow-challenged areas (which include most of my family) simply cannot comprehend how we kick loose once the snow is gone and the warm weather comes. This joy makes for a population that has silly grins on their faces (if you don't already know about our lack of laws regarding marijuana you are hopeless) and knows how to party.

Posted by Debbye at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

The Canadian : "If you

The Canadian : "If you think I'm wrong just think about the reaction in Ontario when Mike Harris lit into the teachers...it's still going on. This is what 40 years of Trudeau style Liberalism has done to one province - the MOST POWERFUL province in Canada - and the teachers - the ones that have our kids for 8 hours every day - are the ones that are entrenching these beliefs in generation after generation."

This blogger makes some interesting connections between the boondoggle spending in Ottawa, the death throes of rewarding merit, the inability of the right to organize nationally, apathy by Canadians, and the education system. I read it twice and given my own kids' experiences in both public school and university, can't disagree with his conclusions, EXCEPT

I think I disagree with him on how successfully the education system has inculated liberal values in our kids.

Consider: The approach to violence and bullying in the schools boiled down to "Try to defend yourself and the weight of the system will land on you like a ton of bricks but if you are a bully we will treat you like a defenceless victim."

So smart kids quickly figured out that the price of liberalism is their personal safety. Factor in the challenges posed to Western nations since Sept. 11 and the relatively small numbers of Canadian demonstrators against the Iraq War and I have to wonder just what is swirling below the surface of those under 30.

When Number One Son was in 2nd grade he encountered bullying. He was angry about it, told us all about it, and I gave him the usual "Try to talk to them, work it out, yadda yadda yadda" spiel. His Dad let me finish, pointed out that it's always good to have a Plan B, and gave some lessons on ducking, parrying, footwork, etc. Heh. Guess which of us actually helped the kid solve the problem?

So I am not going to write off this up and coming generation yet. They might, however, be absolutely FURIOUS with us of the Older Generation, though, because they've inherited such a mess.

Posted by Debbye at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

In this Washington Times editorial,

In this Washington Times editorial, Justifying a Liberian deployment it is noted that: "Should Mr. Bush decide to send a U.S.-led peace-keeping mission to Liberia, he will undoubtedly remind the international community that, despite the criticism and wariness of U.S. military prowess, the world still looks to highly capable U.S. troops in times of trouble. And that may become part of Mr. Bush's campaign of diplomacy in Africa. Also, there is a fundamental difference between what would likely be the mission in Liberia, and the one in Somalia a decade ago. "

Since there never really was a clearly defined mission for Somalia, I don't know if the last sentence is good news or meaningless. And I doubt anyone has failed to understand that those in the international community who use phrases like "US leadership" mean that US military power should be run by them for everything except protecting US interests.

Did I say that clearly enough? The UN Security Council (or whatever poses as leadership in the international community) wants the American people to invest their money and their children's blood into a kickass military that will be at the beck and call of these bureaucrats whose home countries are far too moral to invest their money and their children's blood in the defence of whatever they decide must be defended. [Insert rude comment of choice.]

On the homefront, of course, it will be a different story. You just gotta know that the Idiotarians will be screaming because we've added another (gasp) continent to our list of the "Invaded and Oppressed" and furthermore, Liberia is too close to Nigeria which has, you know, oil and (conspiratorial whisper) we all know what that means.

The Haters of America will play it safe, of course. They will be semi-quiet, express their reservations, and be waiting until it all goes to hell before they take to the streets. The Democrats may show more decency if things goes south but all bets are off during an election cycle, so who knows?

Speaking of hell, what's happening in the Congo, huh? How is the disarmament of the warring factions going? Funny how it's been replaced on the news by the relatively calm situation in Liberia. The current UN mission in the Congo seems to be that one can merrily massacre so long as you give wide berth to the UN observers and are sure to hide the bodies (and stay outside of Bunia, of course).

Classic application of a Diversionary Tactic.

Anyway, despite my reservations, I actually haven't made up my mind about this yet. I am trying to be very, very careful about that altruistic part of me that wants to rush in and fix, you know, everything, and the more practical part of me that knows doing something half-assed is the 8th Deadly Sin.

I need a little information before I make up my mind:

What is the mission? How long will it last, and can we shoot back?
What are we committing ourselves to after we secure the peace?
How quickly can we leave?
If Christianne Amanpour is part of the press package, forget it.
Wolf Blitzer stays stateside too.
No more military operations until we can get FOX-TV in Canada.

OK, I'm just kidding about the last point.

Posted by Debbye at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

Jack Kelly on Liberia

July 8 - Jack Kelly in a commentary for The Washington Times writes Weighing risks and rewards in Liberia:

"Mr. Dean might not be so enthusiastic about sending troops to Liberia if he had read Ryan Lissa's article in the July 2000 issue of the New Republic, which documents Mr. Taylor's connections to al Qaeda. Liberals tend to support U.S. military action only when it is detached from U.S. security interests.

Liberals (by and large) supported military interventions in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq when Bill Clinton was president, but changed their minds about Iraq when Mr. Bush became president.

Much of this is mere partisanship. But many liberals really think that if U.S. soldiers risk their lives in conflicts in which U.S. security is at stake, the military intervention is for that reason illegitimate.

Many Americans, most of them conservatives, oppose putting U.S. troops in harm's way unless a vital national security interest is threatened. That's a sound principle. But, as Emerson said: 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.'

I opposed intervention in Haiti (where we replaced a corrupt, incompetent, pro-American dictator with a corrupt, incompetent, anti-American dictator), supported it in Bosnia, opposed Kosovo (though that has worked out better than I thought it would), and regret that we did not intervene in Rwanda. "
Thank you, Mr. Kelly. That is precisely my problem, too. I too remember Rwanda and Somalia. I even remember Vietnam.

How paranoid am I? Something about this whole thing is just too pat. It appeals to altruistic, feel-good sensibilities and is an indulgence that a country at war may not be able to afford.

The fact that the US administration is taking its time before charging in gives me hope that the right decision will be made for the right reasons.

Posted by Debbye at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

Again, according to The Washington

Again, according to The Washington Times, Hong Kong leader called on to resign: "The United States, the European Union, Britain, Australia and New Zealand raised questions about the bill. China accused them of improperly meddling. "

Good on us.

Posted by Debbye at 07:54 AM | Comments (0)

In this National Post article

In this National Post article Premiers aim to bypass PM on U.S.
Worried that Chretien is damaging trade, they plan alliances to lobby Washington
: " Richard Foot (CanWest News Service) reports:

HALIFAX - Canada's premiers plan to intervene more actively in Canada-U.S. relations -- including the possibility of taking trips to Washington together -- to bypass what they see as the failure of Jean Chretien and other federal leaders to maintain good cross-border ties.
Many premiers believe their friendships with U.S. governors -- as well as U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci, a former Massachusetts governor -- can help repair what they view as a strained cross-border relationship.
Ottawa's decision to stay out of the war in Iraq, as well as negative comments about Americans by Liberal MPs, are believed by some to have reduced Canada's standing in Washington."

Let's set the record straight, ok? It wasn't the decision to sit out the war so much as the negative, nay rude and vicious comments from certain government officials, MPs and Cabinet members that pissed off Americans. Chretien's visit to Mexico was seen as almost as destructive as Chirac's interference with the Eastern European (now officially known as New Europe) countries.

Most Americans are sensible enough to recognize that sometimes friends disagree. That isn't a problem, and we even have a cliche for such occasions: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

Given that there were "Friends of America" rallies in Toronto and other cities as well as anti-war marches, I think most Americans concluded (rightly) that people in Canada were as conflicted about the war as Americans were.

On the downside, the media up here plays the "trade card" very loudly which makes all statements of friendship and solidarity seem very mercenary and therefore dirty, immoral, and, you know, capitalistic.

The main reservation I have about the provinces dealing directly with the American federal government is that it violates all protocol as to how sovereign nations interact. It is bound to be resented in Ottawa, might be illegal, the Idiotarians are bound to think it was inspired, organized and led by the CIA, and I think in a way it does weaken bonds within Canada to the federal government.

The relationship between Canadians and the federal government is better discussed by a Canadian blogger downstream in "Ontario Kids Brainwashed" (scroll up, please; this whole blogger thing is already maxing out my capabilities) so I'll just leave it as saying something inoffensive like "Canada is in a period of transition."

That being said, since I am an American I am painfully aware that my instincts and political guts are those of an American rather than a Canadian, and one of those places where there are a lot of differences in our political systems as well as philosophies is the relationship between the federal government and the provinces.

For example, it is okay up here to put separation on the ballot and presumably, if it passed, it would be enacted as law. No American in their right mind should touch that one with a 10-foot pole.

Posted by Debbye at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

Peter Jennings takes up U.S.

Peter Jennings takes up U.S. citizenship: "Mr. Jennings first mused publicly about becoming a U.S. citizen last September in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he admitted feeling 'more American than Canadian.' "

I know what it's like to feel like an American and I know what it's like to not feel like a Canadian but I wish he clarified what he means because I am curious (although I also know it is none of my business.)

Posted by Debbye at 07:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2003

OK, so the latest UN

OK, so the latest UN ranking of countries for their quality of life dropped Canada to 8th spot, one place behind #7 USA, and the only questions pollsters can come up with focus on if Americans better off? Canadians say no.

Newsflash: Most everybody here already knows that (drum roll) there's no place like home. Tomorrow's question will be "Do you prefer being snowbound or taking a springtime walk?" Granted, some folks will claim they prefer being snowbound, as is their right. (Spare me your prickly hate mail. Alaska is a state, and so is Minnesota. I was in wintertime Minnesota once, but that's besides the point. Anyway, there's lots of snow in the USA too. It helps us ski.)

Question: why weren't Canadians also questioned about their perceptions of and comparisons to Australia, a fellow Commonwealth country, which ranked higher than both the USA and Canada?

2nd Question: what qualifications does one need to get paid for coming up with headlines? Does one get paid by the degree of distortion, and is snark quality evaluated quantitatively or qualitatively?

I would have written something snappy and impertinent, like Canada Numero Uno Despite UN Bureaucratic Slander.

Not to provide further unwanted perspective, but another quibble with this ranking is me wondering how Belgium, with its flourishing child sex-trade and child pornography industry, can possbly be evaluated as better than, say, a cockroach?

I swear, if I ever became omnipotent for a day I'd round up all Canadians, knock the chips off their shoulders, and let 'em experience 24 hours as citizens of a truly sovereign nature that has the confidence to view itself through it's own eyes. They will experience local and national news through newspapers, radio and television without gratuitous mention of or comparison to the USA even once.

Of course, the televison types will need to be compensated for all their unused smirks, but I can handle that.

"A new survey shows an overwhelming majority of Canadians believe their quality of life is better than that enjoyed by their southern neighbours in the United States, despite a new UN ranking that places the U.S. ahead of Canada."

AS THEY SHOULD, DUNDERHEAD. I believe in the absolute right (if not downright requirement) of people to consider their country is the best in the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said you can't be made to feel inferior without your cooperation. I'm not exactly advocating that Canadians take physical action with pollsters that frame questions to advance the Canadian Inferiority Complex however . . .

Posted by Debbye at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

Keith Bradhser reports for the

Keith Bradhser reports for the NY Times Hong Kong Delays Security Bill After Cabinet Member Quits.

The new proposed security bill has been put on the back burner for now, but the Civil Human Rights Front in Hong Kong announced they will proceed with plans for another demonstration on Wednesday, July 9, by the people of Hong Kong who are determined to express their opposition to the "stringent security legislation". The government said they want time to, you know, explain the bill.

July 9 is also the day for demonstrations in Iran.

Q: What risks do the people of Hong Kong and Iran run in taking to the streets?

A: Risks we'll never be able to comprehend.

Although I am concerned for these brave souls, I am always full of awe that the yearning for liberty can given rise to such events. We must support them. They are heroes in the truest sense of the word because they are taking stands against states that are capable of the kinds of human rights violations groups like Amnesty International are supposed to watchdog.

Posted by Debbye at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2003

So many Americans on both

So many Americans on both sides of the debate during the Iran-Contra hearings were impressed with this fine American soldier. In this column
Defending our independence he takes a look at those who are having kittens over President Bush's comment "Bring 'em on".

Even as I write this, I feel confident that someone out there is inputting the words "cannon fodder" in order to misrepresent the President's challenge to those still trying to revive the Ba'ath regime into a careless disregard for the lives of soldiers. Screw them. They will assiduously avoid rest of the quote: "Our forces are ready" because they are still trying to twist the facts to fit their perspective.

What kind of idiot doesn't understand why men and women enlist in the armed forces? THEY JOINED TO FIGHT, for crying out loud.

Who didn't understand the implications when the much vaunted fedayeen and Elite Republican Guard "melted away" during the taking of Bagdhad? If I really have to spell it out for the Press and Democratic Party, then I also have to question their ability to report events and lead us.

God bless our soldiers. They are engaging the enemy overseas to keep that enemy from our shores, and we owe it to them to keep faith. We also owe it to them to respect their capabilities, their training, and their readiness.

And we grieve as a nation for the loss of each of these brave souls.

Posted by Debbye at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

Briton facing US trial in

Briton facing US trial in Cuba was arrested by MI5

As I've expressed elsewhere, I have a deep affection and heritage-based gratitude to England that pre-dates Sept. 11 so I do regret the position they are in trying to straddle the Atlantic between the EU and the USA.

But come on, do they really want him back? Somehow I doubt that they want to have him back on their soil, in their custody, and facing their inadequate justice system.

Get this straight. There are actually terrorists who are way beyond redemption through understanding, tea and a group hug.

So the USA has to do the dirty work because nobody else will. What else is new?

Posted by Debbye at 02:58 AM | Comments (0)

According to this Sun (UK)

According to this Sun (UK) article, Male jab for women MPs

"FIVE women MPs are coping with the macho world of politics by secretly taking a MALE sex hormone."

Posted by Debbye at 02:42 AM | Comments (0)

Misunderstanding Americans

July 6 - It still amazes me how little the rest of world understands how angry Americans still are. It's easy to turn that into a complaint that they don't respect us, but I think it is closer to the mark to say that they don't understand the nature of a free people. They watch our (shudder) television shows and wear our baseball hats, but they don't understand the demands that living in a country with an armed citizenry makes on her citizens.

Our inherent right to bear arms places an incredibly deep obligation upon us. The defense of our country and our liberties is the duty of every citizen. We are a standing army. We are a thinking, standing army, and we have high expectations of ourselves and our government.

The rest of the world has got to try to understand that people who know they have the right to bear arms also know that they have the right and the means to defend themselves. That means we can refuse to be afraid.

We simply do not consider submission to the tyranny of terrorism an option.

It was an eye-opener to finally grasp that they don't get the depth of our hatred of terrorism because there is a values-gap. It offends our sense of values that some slimy bastard (or bitch) would deliberately target kids at a rock concert or people in a pizza parlour. It offends our belief that all men and women are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We hold those values as dearly as we hold our guns, and for the same reason. Because we believe in living boldly and with dignity.

Americans aren't dumb nor are we uneducated. We express ourselves in simple terms because we have the ability to cut through nonsense to see things with clarity and we have too much self-respect to engage in needless obfuscation. We feel that if you must obscure what you want to say, then give the world a break and shut up.

It is true. I never got James Joyce.

I know that the big problem is simply a lack of communication but usually it's because they don't listen to what we are saying but tend to hear what they think we are saying. They could just pay attention to the words we speak and write, but nooo, they simply must try to analyze and deconstruct. Fools.

President Bush said it best when he pointed out that we can disagree without being disagreeable. Of course, that would require having issue-based discussions, and that hasn't gone too well even back home.

So I admit it. I am at a point where it's hard to care if the rest of the world understand us. I try to be civil and use the soothing conversation-ender "we'll have to agree to disagree" but inside I'm just dismissing them because I've said what I have to say and others can take it or leave it.

But I can't not care. I live in Canada, and I feel I owe it to this wonderful country to keep trying to find common ground not because of the ubiquitous "keeping the border open for trade" but because we really are brothers and sisters, both descendent of Mother England along with Australia, New Zealand and other countries in the Commonwealth.

That of course brings up the whole sticky thing with Quebec, but I want to keep it civil and my solutions would be, um, not civil.

Posted by Debbye at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)

Doesn't it figure that once

Doesn't it figure that once the screen is up I can't think of a blessed thing to say? Of course, I can always think of really cool stuff when I'm away from the keyboard . . .

Oh well, the first post is probably the hardest. Until the second post comes along.

Posted by Debbye at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)