Saturday, May 28, 2005

Protesting Koran Desecration

Here is an image bound to increase devotion to Islam. This was taken last Friday in London. All around the world, after mosque on Friday, protests were held against the alleged desecration of the Koran by American military personnel at Guantanomo Bay.

As soon as I find any balanced comment on these protests by any leader of the 'peaceful' religion of Islam, I will update this post.

King Faud Reported Dead

Washington Times via Roger L. Simon.

If true, watch for Bin Laden to make some dramatic moves during the ensuing period of instability. Opportunities such this are rare, and control of Saudi Arabia has long been a goal OBL.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Verbal Reports that Fadhel Nazal Al-Khalayla (Zarqawi) Has Died

via Hammorabi:
The Jordanian thug Fadhel Nazal Al-Khalayla (Zarqawi) 38 years has died.

He received treatment from Arab doctors who were not very experts and lacking intensive care equipments which he needed for his puncture in the right lung. His wounds infection gets resistance to the antibiotics. He had what is called septicemia which is according to doctors an infection of the blood resulted from infected wound. Zarqawi's systems started to fail including his kidney and liver.

He died and now in the hands of the Keepers of the Hell in its worst level.

His family in Jordan preparing and expected to do Fataha (funeral for him soon).

Jordan again put itself in the opposite front of the civilized world and with the terrorist.

The Iraqis and all other civilised people should protest strongly against any funeral events for Zarqawi in Jordan

This news verbal and is yet to be confirmed [...]
I will stay on the alert for confirmation and post it here as soon as I get it.

UPDATE: AKI has this report:
The family of injured Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - al-Qaeda's pointman in Iraq - is already preparing his obituary, the Saudi daily al-Watan said on Friday, quoting sources close to the family. Al-Zarqawi's close relatives, all of whom live in the Jordanian city of Zarqa, are reported to be in state of high tension over the conflicting reports circulating over his state of health, and are only waiting for officials to confirm his death before releasing the death notice.Jordanian security forces have surrounded the Ramzi quarter of Zarqa where al-Zarqawi's family lives, al-Watan said. Relatives have confirmed that al-Zarqawi's wife and four children fled to Iraq in secret six months ago.

On Thursday, Iraq's defence minister confirmed that al-Zarqawi had been injured, but would reveal no further details. This followed a message on Tuesday, which al-Qaeda posted to a website often used by the terror network, calling on Muslims to pray for al-Zarqawi, and saying he had fled to a neightbouring country after his injuries to his right lung.


UF6 Centrifuges a Ruse - Iran Can Already Assemble Plutonium Weapon

via Jihad Watch:
While European negotiators focus on Iran's development of enriched plutonium, U.S. intelligence officials say Tehran already has completed all of the elements required for an atomic bomb.

The news has stunned President Bush, according to Geostrategy Direct, an intelligence news service led by national security reporter Bill Gertz of the Washington Times.

"It's an incredible piece of intelligence that overshadows everything we thought we knew on Iran's nuclear program," one U.S. intelligence source said.

Geostrategy says the intelligence information asserts North Korea this year transferred components to Iran to assemble a plutonium-based nuclear warhead.

The components were believed to have originated in Pakistan.

Iran insists its nuclear program is only for generation of electricity. But Washington contends Tehran's intentions are not peaceful, pointing to an enrichment program hidden from U.N. inspectors for nearly two decades before it was officially declared in October 2003.

The CIA has been tracking for the past two years Iran's efforts to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon, Geostrategy reports.

All of the agency's assessments were based on how much technology and enriched uranium Iran had obtained for its first nuclear warhead.

While dismayed by Iran's efforts, the CIA believed Iran needed at least another three years before it could assemble an atomic bomb.

"Instead, the entire Iranian uranium enrichment effort appears to have concealed a much more immediate aim," Geostrategy says.

Meanwhile, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, praised Iran for its decision Wednesday to continue suspension of its enrichment program and to continue talks with the EU-3 -- France, German and Britain.

In exchange, the Europeans will present plans for economic and political incentives that will become part of a final deal.

Also, the World Trade Organization rewarded Tehran for its decision by opening membership negotiations...

In late 2004, says Geostrategy, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps tested a command and control network that would permit a nuclear weapons warhead to be placed on an enhanced Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile.

The CIA believes Iran could immediately assemble several nuclear warheads for the Shihab-3 arsenal.

"This means that U.S. forces in Iraq and southern Europe are under immediate Iranian threat," Geostrategy says. "Israel and Saudi Arabia are already under Iranian nuclear threat."

The CIA first obtained reports in 1994 of Iran obtaining plutonium components from North Korea.

The latest information, however, comes from a new and far more reliable source, Geostrategy says...
more at WND

Official Colours of Canada: From the Crusades

I have to admit that I have recently developed a very un-Canadian trait: I have grown intolerant of being told "as a Canadian" what I think or want or don't want by our rogue government and its sycophantic press.

The rogue government's democracy-withering actions of late have inspired me to undertake a review of our traditions. Following our rogue government's lead, it is time to call into question everything traditionally Canadian.

Where better to start this journey to discover what is and is not "Canadian" than our rogue government's official websites?

So, in the interest of equality, diversity and respect, I share with you some of my findings.

Here's one - I didn't know this until today! Canada's official colours are explained at an official Canadian government website:
History records that in the First Crusade Bohemund I, a Norman lord, had red crosses cut from his mantles and distributed to the 12,000 crusaders, who wore them as a distinctive badge on their garments.

In subsequent crusades, each nation was distinguished by a cross of a different colour. France long had a red cross on its banners while England used a white cross. Time and again in history red and white are found as the colours of France or of England.
Red and white - the colours of the Crusades! Of course! Remarkable that a country which embraces diversity and respect, and also has a fast-growing Islamic community alludes to the Crusades in explaining its official colours (parenthetical side note for additional research: aren't these Crusades colours also the official colours of the Liberal Party of Canada?)

Here's another: how about our national anthem? The official lyrics are online as well.
O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
"In all thy sons command"? Wait a minute, what about "all thy daughters"? Patriotism is not just for fellows, is it? It's blatantly sexist!

"God keep our land"? We're excluding the aetheists and the secular humanists! And how about our aboriginals that don't worship 'God'? I'm sure Allah is not very pleased about being passed over either. This line has to go!

Since traditions don't mean much in Canada anymore, thanks to the fine example set by our rogue government, can we now dispense with the old, formal English 'thee and thy'? It sounds, well, so King James Bible-ish. Too religious. Too Christian. Too scary.

That's it: our national athem is sexist and scary. While we are gutting the country of inconsequential traditions, such as holding or observing the result of non-confidence votes in Parliament, let's give the toss to a sexist, and scary national athem. And those colours. For God's sake, choose something other than colours of the Crusades!

More "Biting Canadian Satire"

Order Yours Today !!!

"Judy Cakes"
... keep your urinal smelling sweet ...

Better examples of "Canadian satire" can be found here.

The Hidden Agenda: No Fun

(or, "How to Get Elected: Offer More Fun")

There you have it, the ocean has been boiled and the result produced: the hidden agenda is to take away your fun.

A political party that is pro-fun will be rewarded with the most votes. A party that would inhibit your fun will be spurned. And of course, everyone knows that Christians have no fun, especially Catholic Christians. So if the pro-fun party can connect the neurons in the voter's collective mind that equates conservative with Christian, then the fear mongering is complete, the correct branding established. Us - more fun. Them - less fun.

And what is fun? Fun is anything you define it be - it's highly personal. Discovering what is to be on your personal inventory of fun is a lifelong quest. The more expansive the domain of possibilities, the greater the opportunities to discover your own personal sources of fun. An environment where anything goes offers the widest scope for expanding one's envelope of fun. A very good reason for embracing diversity in all its respects - more fun to be had by all, because in a truly diverse culture, anything goes.

Let's go right to the core of the matter: sex. Great fun indeed. Apply the diversity principle, and every whim of desire can be satisfied. By establishing a social contract in which I agree to bind you to no rules, then, in equal consideration, no rules will apply to me. I am free of all restraint in my pursuit of fun. Do your own thing. Whatever floats your boat. Sounds like fun to me.

Perhaps fun is best experienced with fun-enhancers. Can't control your use of fun-enhancers? Congratulations, you have been elevated to the status of victim. Victims that lose control over their fun-enhancers experience reduced levels of fun. Rather than have state controls that might reduce everybody's fun, it's far cheaper to help the victims. Sometimes the right answer is to supply the victims with legitimate fun-enhancers, which neatly tucks them away in their own fun-space, allowing unfettered access to fun by the majority.

Unexpected offspring as a result of fun? Can't have the burden of consquences diminishing fun, so better have the state eliminate those, so the pursuit of fun can continue. Family responsibilities weighing you down? Getting in the way of earning the income that funds ever more fun? No problem, the state will step in so you can more fully concentrate on life's real purpose: personal pursuit of fun.

Like the matter, anti-matter twins, there is fun, and anti-fun. War is anti-fun. It's so anti-fun that there is no longer any reasonable basis on which to pursue this last recourse. A better, more enlightened strategy is to convert those against whom we would otherwise wage anti-fun to the joys of embracing diverse, uninhibited fun. Who cares if they won't buy it? It will be fun trying. Religion is anti-fun. It's nothing but rules engineered by old men that use an invisible God as a box to keep our fun contained. Anti-fun, and fun-haters, must be ridiculed at every turn, unless, of course, religion can be used to promote diversity, which allows more unrestrained pursuit of fun.

Did someone violate a few rules while servicing our quest for fun? Easy to overlook, because the other alternative is less fun. We're addicted to fun, so it doesn't matter if the needle is dirty, we need our fix.

Hence, I reveal the true hidden agenda: remove all barriers to fun for everyone as the means of removing one's own barriers to fun. And the party offering the most fun is the one best attended.

Keeping the Word 'Blog' Out of the Toronto Star

A few days ago, I posted this, which linked to posting by a blogger tracking the story on alleged attempts to bribe opposition MPs.

If one reads the linked-to post, it contained an explicit allegation of a criminal attempt to bribe an MP by a highly placed official. The allegation appears to have been completely ignored.

What do we make of this? Does it mean that awareness of the blogosphere has not yet reached the loftiest political circles? Or, does it mean that the blogosphere is considered subatomic, irrelevant or dismissed as noise?

Or, does it mean, as I suspect, that there is a great fear of raising curiosity about the blogosphere, of giving it publicity, of creating greater awareness? And why might that be?

I hypothesize that the last thing the Liberals want is a big story splashed all over the Toronto Star that contains the word 'blog' a hundred times, or even worse, a URL. Therefore, even though a very public, very direct, unambiguous allegation of a criminal act has been published in a global forum, no action will be taken lest it bring the masses to the blogs, where they are encouraged to think for themselves in an environment where the spin of one individual carries as much weight as the spin of an entire government.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Tape That Keeps on Giving

autonomous source has been posting on the Coyne column that launched a lawsuit. At one point, this blogger writes:
"[...] is the man whose voice is heard clearly on a tape (transcript - audio) offering a bribe to a Conservative MP. [...] he doesn't appear too concerned about this proof of his guilt in a serious crime being available on the internet [...]"
It's there for anyone to read - an explicit allegation of a bribe being offered to an MP.

According to CTV:
The Criminal Code says it's an offence to offer a reward to an MP for a vote [...]

Wait for Gomery, Wait for Ethics, Wait for Healthcare, Wait for Court, Wait for Liberty

This report includes this paragraph:
It has been a year since the Canadian Supreme Court heard the case, a rare delay that is raising eyebrows in legal circles. Scholars studying Chaoulli's challenge say that the court is either badly divided or waiting for the appropriate political moment to release a bombshell.
The Supreme Court is supposedly apolitical.

Chaoulli, a family physician, is arguing that the current public healthcare system violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Specifically, regulations that create long waiting times contradict the Charter's guarantee of life, liberty and the security of the person.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Belinda: We Have to Wait for Ethics

Thought I would drop over to Belinda's new web digs and see if anything worth reading was yet being offered. I was not disappointed. I share a pearl of political wisdom from Belinda Stronach (my choice for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada):
Only when the people of Canada have renewed confidence and faith in the systems of government can we return to ethics and civility.
Forgive me, I am having a bit of a problem with the circularity of this fortifying gibberish. It was the lack of ethics that caused me to lose confidence and faith in our system of government.

Belinda, the ethics come first. Consistently. The confidence and faith will follow.

What Say You N.O.W.?

Is cultural prejudice alive and well? For instance, isn't it just obvious that it is men that commit violence against children?

Keith Thompson challenges such thinking:
[...] "Women commit the majority of child homicides in the United States, a greater share of physical child abuse, an equal rate of sibling violence and assaults on the elderly, about a quarter of child sexual abuse, an overwhelming share of the killings of newborns, and a fair preponderance of spousal assaults," writes feminist author and crime journalist Patricia Pearson in her book "When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence."
Does the very act of even considering that there may be reason to reconsider some widely held myths render one a scary right-wing wacko? Or is that in itself another widely held myth?

Reading Room

"Thousands of men were led out of the [Nanjing International Safety] Zone, ostensibly for labour battalions, and lined up and machine-gunned. Sometimes groups were used for bayonet exercises. When the victors grew bored with such mild sport they tied their victims, poured kerosene over their heads, and cremated them alive. Others were taken out to empty trenches, and told to simulate Chinese soldiers. Japanese officers then led their men in assaults to capture these "enemy positions" and bayoneted the unarmed defenders."--Edgar Snow, Scoched Earth, London (1941), p. 62.

Bayonetting POWs and captured civilians.

Two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai and Iwa Noda, held a competition of beheading Chinese. They denied the accusation as "imagination" but were confronted with the above evidence published in Tokyo Nicinichi Shimbun. They were executed in 1947 in Nanjing.

Postcard sent back to Japan

For those with sturdy hearts, there is this confession of vivisection.

A Prediction on Blogging in Canada

A prediction I made a week ago, edited, but left lying around as a draft:
"In the not too distant future there will be a crackdown on bloggers that express dissenting opinion. It will be subtle, cleverly crafted and orchestrated, but effective."
Who thinks I'm wrong?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Semper Fi ("Always Faithful")

Principles. Marine Colonel Bob Chase:
We can never replace a fellow Marine or best friend but I can attest that he died doing what we all hope to be doing as Marines, they were advancing, leading, and setting the example - they were being MARINES! It may not matter in the grand scheme of things to anyone but us, but we are singularly proud that we have and know Marines that fought and died like these. We remember and memorialize them and keep them alive every single time we put on this uniform — we are just honored to wear the same eagle, globe, and anchor as these warrior/heroes. We don’t make policy, we don’t decide on the fight, but we do fight and win. And when we win, it is because every one of these Marines fight with us in sprit - and we will not, we cannot let them down. To we Marines, Semper Fidelis is more than a motto - it was to them, and to us who were privileged to fight with them, a way of life.

The US Marines have a long tradition of defending democracy with their lives. Canadians that are willing to overlook and excuse the recent trampling democracy received in Parliament should reflect on the Marine tradition, and motto.

Friday, May 20, 2005

BS for PM

BS demonstrated true Grits and vision to make her leap.

BS for leader of the LPC!
BS for PM!

Seriously! It's just what the country needs. Think about it.

If, like me, you think that ambition and ego overcame logic and loyalty, then it would benefit us all to stroke that ego. Praise in any form, faux or otherwise, is probably hoovered up like baguette crumbs. Win or lose, either the LPC or BS will get what they deserve.

So drop her a note, let her know she is the one. Pump her up.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Beautiful View From the Alps of the Caribbean

'Related party disclosures'
Bank Austria Cayman Islands Ltd., Georgetown, Grand Cayman Islands c 100.00

exotic German online forum
[...] and the supervisory board boss of the bank Austria, Gerhard Randa [...] [translated from German - always a special surprise]

Google cached HBV Group holdings document
Bank Austria Cayman Islands Ltd., George Town
BA-Alpine Holdings, Inc., Wilmington
What's it all mean? I thought the disclosure thing was kind of eye-catching. Expect we'll be seeing more disclosures sooner or later - and you never know what language they'll be in - so, for a warmup, I thought I would give the nifty Google German-English translation feature a test drive. A bit loose on the corners, but fairly decent performance in the straightaways.

"Parliamentary precedents are clear"

Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. Last week it was in serious doubt, when the Liberals ignored Parliamentary precedent and failed to dissolve Parliament after being defeated, and failed to table an unambiguous motion of confidence shortly after the defeat.

However, tonight, when it suits their purposes,
"Parliamentary precedents are clear," the veteran Speaker said. "The Speaker should vote, whenever possible, for continuation of debate."
Now back to enjoying watching the Liberal Party turn on the Gomery spit, while it lasts.
"Responsible government denotes a system wherein the members of Cabinet are collectively responsible to the elected House for the actions of the executive. If they lose the confidence or support of the elected House, they must resign or seek a new mandate.

Conventions and precedent remain to this day the basis of responsible government in Canada.

[thanks for the quote, Habamus Rodentum]
We continue in a state of dictatorship.

I am only one voter, but I have dinner every night with 3 voters-soon-to-be. I've made sure that they understand exactly what just happened.

Dumber Than A Garden Rock

Just saw an interview on Global. Man on the street in Toronto. Relieved that the budget passed, because he was worried about the threat the Bloq posed of causing Quebec to separate.

I have garden rocks that are more intelligent. God help us.

Prediction on Blogging in Canada

A prediction I made a week ago, edited, but left lying around as a draft:
"In the not too distant future there will be a crackdown on bloggers that express dissenting opinion. It will be subtle, cleverly crafted and orchestrated, but effective."
Who thinks I'm wrong?

Antivenin to Inject into the Ontario Bloodstream

Bill over at Strong World captured a comment made elsewhere by reader gwgm, and it is worth hoisting. Read Bill's post on this. I think he is spot on.
Here it is:

"A recent poll of Quebecers concluded that 75% of them (+) said they would be more likely to vote to separate from Canada if the Liberals are re-elected.

"In recent months, it has become clear that many senior members of the Liberal Party of Canada have been engaged in a long-running, organized enterprise to steal millions of taxpayer dollars through a variety of illegal schemes.

"These crimes have humiliated and embarrassed the proud and honourable people of Quebec. In fact, Quebecers have been more horrified and disgusted than anyone to see what the Liberals have been up to for the past dozen years.

"In the wake of these disgusting revelations, Quebecers have made it very clear that they've had it with the Liberals.

"In years past, the Liberal Party of Canada was a solid option for voters who wanted Canada to remain unified and strong. Based on what the people of Quebec are saying, this is no longer the case.

"You may not know it, but if you vote for the Liberals, you are sending a very negative message to the people of Quebec. You are telling them that you endorse the Liberals' humiliation of Quebec. You are telling them that you don't care if they go.

"Is that the message you want to send to Quebecers? Are you willing to vote Liberal even though it may well cause the break-up of Canada?

The choice is yours."

NOTE: (+)... If this poll hasn't been commissioned by the CPC yet... they need their heads examined. Is Stockwell Day still really in charge of this party?

Posted by: gwgm 5/16/2005 8:39PM.

Just Seen Outside 24 Sussex Drive

The 'W' Word

Those who are flinging around the 'w' word fast and loose should consider this: if the citizens of Canada allow their votes to be bought (with their own money), then they have just become one themselves.

Enough with this 'w' stuff.

On Bribing MP's

119 (1)Every one who...(b) gives or offers, corruptly, to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted by him in his official capacity for himself or another person, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. [ed - bold mine]
This is why the PM should have respected the conventions of the Westminster system and either dissolved Parliament, or tabled an explicit motion of nonconfidence in the House last Wednesday.

CCC s. 125

habamusrodentum has lately been in the practice of leaving some very good comments around the blogosphere. He left this one over at Coyne's on 'the smoking tape':
I also want to point out what procure is: "to obtain by any means"

an excerpt from tape:

"Murphy also says that it is a "bad idea" to "have any kind of commitment that involves an explicit trade."

procurement doesn't need to be explicit.


125. Every one who

(a) receives, agrees to receive, gives or procures to be given, directly or indirectly, a reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for cooperation, assistance or exercise of influence to secure the appointment of any person to an office,

(b)solicits, recommends or negotiates in ANY MANNER [my emphasis]with respect to an appointment to or resignation from an office, in expectation of a direct or indirect reward, advantage or benefit, or

(c) keeps without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him, a place for transacting or negotiating any business relating to
(i)the filling of vacancies in offices,
(ii)the sale or purchases of offices, or
(iii) appointments to or resignations from offices,

is guilty of an indictable offense and liabled to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. R.S., c C-34, s. 114

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Need for Democratic Renewal Admitted

“will assume responsibilities for democratic renewal and will help guide the implementation of the recommendations that flow from the Gomery Commission’s final report.”
"Democratic renewal"? Why, whatever would we need that for? Mr. Slithers, what democratic problems do you see calling out for democratic renewal. Really. Look right into the camera and tell us. What are the problems you are talking about that need democratic renewal?

Why Canadians Do Not Want An Election

with a grateful acknowledgement to Kate at SDA.

UPDATE: this sign is on the next block

"This has nothing to do with Thursday's vote"

On camera yet, before witnesses, who laughed.
Bald faced.
Apparently, it's not the misdeeds you do in plain view that are frightening.
Cancel opposition days. Ignore non-confidence vote. Openly lie on camera. Mislead about Gomery.

The constitution needs to be changed to prevent this from ever happening again.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"She Will Be Responsible for Implementing Gomery Recommendations"

Oh, and let's not forget about "getting to the bottom of it", "punishing those responsible", and "returning the stolen money".

Personally, I equate allowing the Liberals to implement democratic reforms to allowing the prisoners to reform their prison. You have to blind, ignorant, drugged, too damned busy, or live in Ontario not to see the folly in this.

Lawn Sign Gadget

Kate at SDA is one talented and funny gal. Check out her sign generator. Here's a sample of what it can do:

"Spending your future now so you won't have to"

Reloscam: A New Committee to Re-evaluate Bids?

A source claiming to be close to the matter has recently informed me that:
[...] The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) has agreed with Envoy's complaint and Recommended(ordered) PWGSC to re-evaluate the bids using a BRAND NEW COMMITTEE [...]
My source further claims that this information came to him directly from Envoy.

The makeup of such a committee will be worth blogospheric scrutiny, cross-checked with the Unofficial Elections Canada Database lookup tool and board memberships on public websites.

Recall that the relocations contract was previously rebid without, apparently, so much as a whimper from the incumbent contractor. It's a long read (to be thorough) but at the end are some interesting facts - here.

One of the names in post at the above link is making news today. Watch your back, Steven!

How to Celebrate The Seventh

For our seventh full day of living under a dictatorship...

the traditional way to celebrate is by seducing your neighbour's spouse.

Shaken's Field Guide to Liberal Cabinet Ministers

"a cunning stunt"

Foreign Investment in Canadian Politics?

Recall this article penned by Glen McGregor in the Ottawa Citizen last Tuesday, November 04, 2003
[...] Another avenue the opposition may choose to explore is the links between the new prime minister and his legions of political donors, who have contributed an astounding $11 million to fund Mr. Martin's leadership campaign. The donor list reads like Who's Who of Canada's corporate elite, with Bay Street entrepreneurs such as Gerry Schwartz and Miles Nadal, and blue chippers such as Joe Rotman. There are loyal Liberal backers like Toronto developer Elvio Del Zotto and Senator Leo Kolber, and craven right-wingers, like Hal Jackman and the Stronach family of Magna Corp. Vancouver billionaire Jim Pattison gave from the west coast and the Irving family from the east.

The donors' list shows that Mr. Martin's support from the business world is transnational, with Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing and Hong Kong airline operate David TK Ho donors to the Martin leadership campaign, through Canadian companies. [...]
Do we need to be concerned that our national security might be for sale?

"I grew up in this house"

... when it was far more civil...

VisaScam Reprise

You all remember VisaScam a few years back, don't you?

This morsel out in cyberspace caught my eye
[...] "This document does not present theories but indicators of a multi-faceted threat to Canada's national security based on concrete facts drawn from the databanks of the two agencies involved, classified reports from allied agencies and various open sources."

Later in the next paragraph, it says, "It should be reiterated that this report presents concrete facts, not just ideas or speculation."

Let there be no doubt in your mind that the [...] report does nothing to dispel the fundamental criticism and allegations made by the people who worked on [...].

In a previous column, I explained the presence on the [...] committee of Bob Rae, former Premier of Ontario and brother of Jean Chrétien's campaign manager, John Rae. But there is another member of that committee whom we need to have a peek at.

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Take The Dr. Wu Challenge

I Can't Taste A Difference, Can You Taste A Difference?

Sip green tea while you browse the Chinese Swaztika Newsletter

** warning ** very offensive material, but you need to know this stuff is out there

Milblogs, Window into Iraq

If you haven't had a glance at the milblog ring, it's worth the trip.

Who's your Bahgdaddy will get you started.

MSM Meltdown

via Instapundit

I suggest as an act of atonement to the American people and those innocents that died as a result of their malfeasance, that Newsweek moves its headquarters to Kabul.

Green Eggs and Spam

A few weeks ago I sent the Green Party an email asking for information on its position on a certain question. I did not authorize the Green Party to send me unsolicited email. I never did get the answer to my question.

I just received another unsolicited newsletter from the Green Party of Canada.

The Green Party of Canada is now spamming me.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Happy Sixth to You

Today begins our sixth full day of living under a dictatorship.

Last night I burned some money in my backyard to celebrate the fifth. In celebration tonight, I am going to promise my wife that I will donate to her favourite charity - a promise I secretly intend never to keep.

The True Meaning of 'Beyond the Pale'

I wish this blogging facility allowed me a special area for posts like this one.

What price the life of a boy?
POLICE in Tanzania arrested two men accused of killing a nine-year-old boy and selling his skin for 20,000 shillings (£10) to make magical charms, an officer said yesterday.[...]Human skins are used by witch doctors, especially in southern Tanzania, to make charms or potions designed to make their users rich.
Do we have to respect every ancient tradition in every culture? It should be a serious crime to create or possess these 'charms' and 'potions'. There should be no such market.

I'm horrified.

this belongs in the same category

Immunizing Against Camels

The Times Online:
SCIENTISTS will today unveil results from the first large-scale human trial into a vaccine for nicotine which could see people immunised against addictions to smoking within the next five years.[...]
The article goes on to explain that the mechanism employed is to incite the creation of antibodies that are receptive to nicotine, forming a combined molecule that is too large to cross the blood/brain barrier.

What an elegant idea. Stay tuned. There are about to be some announcements.

Saddam Going to Write Memoirs

For some political and business leaders around the world, apparently, Saddam Hussein is going to write his memoirs while imprisoned.
Reportedly, overthrown Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has decided to write his memoirs in prison[...]Saddam aims to trouble the great powers, which used him as a tool against Iran after the revolution in 1979 for a period of time, by writing down his memories. It is claimed that Saddam will specifically disclose how France and Great Britain betrayed him by helping Iran during the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988.[...]
Oil for Food. Pages for Extra Exercise Time.

Reloscam: From Rubec's Cube

Stephanie Rubec was on Reloscam at the Sun a while back, and left us some bread crumbs along the trail. here:
A real estate company is accusing the federal government of rigging a lucrative contract and failing to follow rules that would have handed it to the lowest bidder. Bruce Atyeo, owner of Envoy Relocation Services, questioned how he lost a contract to move defence department staff and soldiers, even though his bid was $8.6 million lower and offered more than the minimum requirements.

"How can you be that compliant and lower in price and still not win. It just flies in the face of common sense, let alone good purchasing practice," Atyeo said in an interview.

The contract to move public servants, and a separate one to relocate soldiers, were yanked from Royal LePage Relocation Services in 2003 under allegations the federal books had been cooked in its favour.


Federal officials reopened the bidding, and a new $154-million combined contract was awarded to Royal LePage last April.

During the last competition, bureaucrats decided to have price count for only 25%, and the remaining points went to the bidder's computer system, relocation system, management team and training program.

Atyeo has appealed the contract award decision to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the Federal Court of Appeal.

He said, since Royal LePage's system was already in place, it was guaranteed a perfect score. It got 99%.

"We scored 919 points out of 1,000 possible points, we were over $8 million cheaper and we still lose because, of course, the incumbent is going to score almost perfect," he said.
and here
By STEPHANIE RUBEC, Ottawa Bureau, Winnipeg Sun

Public servants accused of cooking the books when awarding a $1-billion federal contract were asked by an internal investigator to take a polygraph test. The highly unusual request was included in the notes of Public Works investigator Michel Genest, obtained by Sun Media under the Access to Information Act.

Genest grilled each member of the selection committee responsible for picking Royal LePage Relocation to move 12,000 soldiers and RCMP officers annually, and asked if they'd be willing to take a lie-detector test, according to the documents.

[Heavily edited report]

Their answers were deleted from the handwritten notes by Public Works' access officers who cited privacy reasons. They took more than one year to release the report.

The selection committee came under fire when it was revealed some of its members accepted gifts ranging from sweaters to a free cruise from Royal LePage Relocation before handing the real estate giant the lucrative $1-billion contract.

Genest's probe wrapped up last fall as the Canadian International Trade Tribunal ordered the feds to re-open the bidding on the contract, ruling that public servants had played favourites.

A source familiar with the investigation said when the department re-evaluated the bids for the 2002 five-year contract on the instructions of the Trade Tribunal, Royal LePage was not the clear winner.

From the Unofficial Elections Canada Search Engine over at Bound By Gravity:
Brascan Corporation 2002 Business Liberal Party $7,563.02
Brascan Corporation 2001 Business Liberal Party $5,916.52
Brascan Corporation 2003 Business Liberal Party $5,889.00

(no entries for 2004 found)
Royal LePage Relocation Services 2003 Business Liberal Party $1,000.00
(no entries for 2004 found)
J. Eyton 2003 Individual Progressive Conservative Party $2,525.50
J. Hon. Eyton, 2001 Individual Progressive Conservative Party $1,402.22
J.T. Eyton 2002 Individual Progressive Conservative Party $1,311.98
J. Trevor Eyton 2002 Individual Liberal Party $1,000.00
Christopher Eyton 2003 Individual Progressive Conservative Party $695.29
Sarah Eyton 2004 Individual Conservative Party (CPC) $400.00
Anthony Eyton 2004 Individual Conservative Party (CPC) $200.00

Links to yesterday's post here. (more links there)

UPDATE: I have harvested a bit more information, including records of requests for information cataloged at an American site (which I will post later).

Other relevant links:
Treasury Board Policy Notice
[...] 4. Prior to the expiry of the IRP contract with Royal LePage Relocation Services (RLRS), Treasury Board Ministers also authorized the Treasury Board Secretariat to initiate a tender process for a new contract. This was done in accordance with Government of Canada contracting policy, and with the assistance of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC). A number of organizations expressed interest in bidding for this contract. Following an evaluation of bids received, Royal LePage Relocation Services was identified as the successful bidder. The contract is for 5 years, with a possible extension for another two years. [...]
It sounds as though, from the reading of Hansard, that after enough disquieting facts emerged, a retendering process was undertaken before the end of the existing contract (I have posted the Hansard excerpts elsewhere). If indeed the contract was retendered unilaterally, then did LePage mount an effort to hold the government to the contract, and if not, why not? It was a substantial piece of business (a billion or so?), apparently retendered before expiry without much of a fuss by the incumbent. I'm mystified.

Contract awarded news bulletin

PWGSC: Minister Brison Announces Relocation Contract

NOVEMBER 2, 2004 - 15:24:36 ET

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 2, 2004) - Two competitive
contracts were awarded to Royal LePage Relocation Services in the amount of $154,263,000 for relocating government employees across Canada and abroad. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Scott Brison, Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

"The awarding of these contracts to Royal LePage Relocation
Services was done through a competitive, open and transparent
process," said Minister Brison.


- The contract for National Defence is estimated to be valued at
- The contract for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and
Government of Canada employees will have an estimated value of


It is anticipated that the work period for both contracts will commence on December 1, 2004 and run until November 30, 2009. Each contract has an option to extend the contract period for one additional two-year period.

Royal LePage Relocation Services will administer the relocation process, which includes taking advantage of volume purchases and providing advice to relocating employees and their families. The use of the department's Integrated Relocation Program is mandatory for members of the Canadian Forces and the RCMP, public service executives, deputy ministers, Governor-in-Council appointees and Public Service employees represented by unions. In 2003, there were 14,772 moves under the Program.

"This type of government-wide purchasing is part of our strategy to
generate best value for taxpayers in existing initiatives, such as travel modernization. It will become more and more important as we move forward with our "smart buying" initiative to better manage purchasing for the government," added Minister Brison.

This re-tendering process stemmed from a ruling by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and allegations of conflict of interest received by the department in March 2003 relating to the earlier awarding of this contract. An internal departmental investigation, which probed these allegations, concluded there was no actual conflict of interest.
So, an internal investigation concluded that the initial contract awarding process was just fine - which, logically, one would expect to have been the position of the contractor all along.

There was a communication, available here that announced that it was business as usual until the contract rebidding was complete:
Message from Brent DiBartolo
September 25, 2003

Sent on Behalf of Brent Di Bartolo
Assistant Secretary

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) have made the decision to re-tender the contract for the provision of relocation services to the Federal Public Service, the RCMP and the Canadian Forces.

Until the new process is complete, and a new contract is awarded, Royal Lepage Relocation Services will continue to administer the current contract and provide the relocation services specified in the NJC Relocation - Integrated Relocation Program Directive.

If you require further information, please contact the Project Authority, Ram Singh at (613) 957-9139.

Michel Bonin

Someone else was curious about what might Mr. Singh may have communicated with the contractor. I found the following requests for information filed, in all places, at a site in New York tracking such requests:
SVC2003000378 - Public Works and Government Services Canada Date received: 2003-09-29


DND2003000771 - National Defence Date received: 2003-10-16

All records relating to the Military Police investigation pertaining to the Aug 03 decision made by Public Works and Government Services Canada and/or the Department of National Defence, Treasury Board, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to cancel and re-tender contract number 24062-020006/B (Royal Lepage) See A-2003-00670 and 671

TBS2003000131 - Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Date received: 2003-10-02

Access to e-mails sent back and forth between D. Ram Singh and any
officials at Royal LePage relocation services between January 1, 1999 and October 2, 2003.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

#3 Man of Al Qaeda Killed Today?

There are reports that Haysam Al Yemeni was killed today:
[...] Haysam Al Yemeni, who is said to be the number three man of Al Qaeda, was killed by a missile sent from a an unmanned predator drone belonging to the CIA [...]
There is chatter that the US is hot on the trail of Osama Bin Laden in the tribal region of Pakistan, but Pakistan is urging the US to push across the border out of Pakistan - to not kill or capture him on Pakistani soil. The concern is the stability of the Pakistani military and its leader.

Syria Military Buildup Along Iraq Border

Zaman hot news:
Syria launched a military build up on its Iraq border after the American Army began a wide-ranging military operation in a region in Iraq near the Syrian border.

Eyewitnesses in this area reported that they heard canon, warplane and bombing sounds coming from Al Kaim Township and its surroundings.

Local inhabitants reported that Syrian armored vehicles went to the border region with soldiers in them. Eyewitnesses noted that the tension in the region is quite high, and they added that they are anxious due to heavy American bombardment in the Ak Kaim region and Husayba Town.

Syrian villagers in the region said that they cannot sleep at night due to the noise of exploding bombs and warplanes.

The American Army launched a large-scale operation on May 7 near the long Syrian border with Iraq in order to prevent the infiltration of men coming to support Jordanian Abu Musab Al Zarqawi's activities in Iraq.

Reloscam: They're Colleagues Now?

New information is at the bottom of this post. Some background for those interesed:

Loyola Hearn, MP for St. John's South, has some history kept on his website related to the Royal LePage affair here:
Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC): Mr. Speaker, government officials have confirmed the public works department's fraud investigation unit was involved in probing the circumstances surrounding the Liberal cruise for contracts policy and the $1.4 billion relocation contract for Royal-Lepage.

The Solicitor General has admitted the RCMP has been called in to investigate. Will he now table the internal audit which led to the investigation and can he tell us if there are other departments involved in this $1.4 billion scandal?

Ms. Judy Sgro (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are not aware of any RCMP investigation in this file.

Issues were raised and the minister and the department have re-tendered the contract.

Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC): Mr. Speaker, this investigation goes beyond what government is willing to admit.

Will the minister confirm that eight other members of the evaluation committee, representatives from the Department of National Defence, Treasury Board and the RCMP attended various Royal LePage sponsored golf tournaments at no costs to themselves?

Has the RCMP investigation it branched out to include other government departments?

Will Public Works re-evaluate the way contracts are tendered, to ensure this practice is discontinued?

Ms. Judy Sgro (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I indicated previously, we are not aware of any RCMP investigation into this particular contract.

Issues were raised to the minister and he felt it was better to turn around and re-tender this contract.
and here:
Mr. Loyola Hearn: Mr. Speaker, when we hear that the whole country is very excited, now we have proof of it.

Like the infrastructure throughout the country, the Royal LePage scandal only gets worse by the day. Allegations of officials accepting gifts from Royal LePage involved more than one department.

Will the Minister of Defence tell the House if an internal investigation launched by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service into the matter is complete and if so, what were the findings?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, both the Minister of National Defence and I are concerned about this matter. When issues came to the attention of the other bidders in the process, they took the proper steps before the CITT. When particular allegations were drawn to my attention, I had my department investigate them thoroughly and on the basis of that, the whole process was re-tendered in order to protect the public interest.

Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC): Mr. Speaker, several departments have been tainted by the allegations that some of their employees may have accepted gifts from Royal LePage. These include Public Works, Treasury Board, DND and the RCMP.

Would the Solicitor General tell the House if the RCMP conducted an internal investigation into these allegations and if so, what were the conclusions of that investigation?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, all deputy minister and departmental heads responsible for this matter are conducting the appropriate investigations. I have every confidence that they will indeed take the proper decisions in order to make sure that the appropriate consequences flow where they should.
Today I received a communication today from a source that claims to be close to this story, containing the following words:
I called Hearn's office to ask for an update on the file and Curtis Beers, Legislative Assistant to Hearn told me quote "Mr. Hearn is not prepared to do anything that might embarrass his colleague, Senator Eyton" unquote.
Not sure what to make of that. Odd.

Senator Eyton? tell me more about him. A director of Brascan Corp? that provides
"Commercial and residential brokerage services through wholly owned Royal LePage"

new post: Reloscam: From Rubec's Cube

Links to previous Reloscam posts:
Reloscam: Scene 2, Take 1
a brief(?) rebriefing;
from Hansard

Reloscam: A Brief Rebriefing

A news release from John Williams, MP:
[...]John Williams publicized Elections Canada records that indicate the Royal LePage Relocations, the company at the centre of the ongoing conracting scandal at Public Works has donated thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party of Canada.

"The billion-dollar contract originally awarded to Royal LePage Relocations by Public Works seems to follow what the Auditor General has already said about this government, that 'public servants have broken every rule in the the book',", said Williams. "The fact that the contract is going to be re-tendered and that a new set of public servants will make the decision on the contract says volumes[...] In addition, its parent company Brascan Corp. has donated $80,424 to the Liberal Party in the last five years.

Archived over at Being American in T.O. is this snippet from a story run in the Toronto Sun:
The unusual decision comes one month after the Canadian International Trade Tribunal determined that public servants evaluating the bids for the lucrative contract drew up the criteria to favour Royal LePage Relocations.
We are reminded in this little refresher of a familiar set of players: the Public Accounts Committee, and Public Works. Again, some eyebrow-raising Liberal Party contribution patterns were reported involving Brascan and Royal LePage Relocations. So, under a cloud, the contract was taken to bid again. How proper was the contract rebidding? Seems there is a question about some cruising that took place.

For the inquisitive among you, a quick glance of the Branscan Corporation Board of Directors quicly reveals this bio:
Senator Eyton has served as a director of Brascan since September 1979. A resident of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he is a Member of the Senate of Canada and a director of Noranda Inc., Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and General Motors of Canada Limited. He is also Chairman of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and a Governor of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Junior Achievement of Canada.
Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance pleaded innocent to any wrongdoing regarding the issuing of contracts. He said that all the rules throughout the process were indeed followed.

How then can he account for the secret internal letter sent to him by his colleague David Dingwall stating that the minister's department had demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance with and avoidance of Treasury Board guidelines?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the specific letter that was referred to was one dated in March 1995 that talked about a certain polling activity that needed to be done in relation to the budget and the activities flowing out of the budget in the spring of 1995.

I explained at that time that there was an urgent reason why the work had to be done so the program could be administered properly, and that when the whole process was completed, the program was reviewed and received a favourable report from the Auditor General.
Mr. Hearn was at that time in the Public Works critic for the CPC.

With some new information provided by a source close to the new relocation story, I have some checking to do at the Unofficial Elections Canada Database Query tool. Stayed tuned.

Reloscam: From Hansard

Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, over seven months ago, the government cancelled the $1 billion contract with Royal LePage. That relocation contract was one of the biggest contracts ever awarded. Today, despite the fact the government cancelled that contract, its friends over at Royal LePage are still getting paid. Again, it seems to be who one knows in the PMO.

Why is the company still getting paid seven months after the contract was cancelled?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this question has been answered once before. As people know, there has been a review of this, and the public works department will be issuing more information shortly.

Mr. Leon Benoit (Lakeland, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister keeps proving that Canadians simply cannot trust him. He said that he cancelled this contract seven months ago because it was not tendered properly, but here we are seven months later and Royal LePage keeps getting paid.

Does the Prime Minister honestly expect Canadians to believe that he has cancelled the contract when the company he gave the contract to is still getting paid?

Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, a complaint was filed to the CITT. There has been a re-tendering of the process. The public works department is presently evaluating it, and more information will be out shortly.

Martin, Be Gone. You Are A Danger to Our Country.

Michael Bliss writes:
Paul Martin had a constitutional and moral responsibility to ascertain the confidence of the House of Commons on Wednesday. When he failed in this responsibility he was thumbing his nose at the conventions of responsible government and modern democracy. His government continued to disregard their constitutional responsibilities on Thursday and yesterday, leaving a frustrated opposition to demonstrate its lack of confidence repeatedly by taking control of parliamentary affairs in one vote after another. A government that has been shown to be unable to govern has stated that it will continue to stand in contempt of Parliament for the first three days of next week, but will finally face an explicit test of confidence on Thursday.

The problem with this strategy is that the unconstitutional delay in scheduling the vote of confidence saps it of its legitimacy. If the ministry, which is also manipulating all the levers of power every day it clings to office, wins the vote on Thursday the opposition will have every right to cry foul and continue to contest the government's legitimacy. It will almost certainly paralyze Parliament. At the very least the government's strategy is creating parliamentary bitterness and distrust such as we have never seen in the modern history of Canada. At worst, we are creating the kinds of precedents involving the erosion of our Constitution that in other countries have been initial steps on the road to dictatorship...

Chairman Martin, you have passed the tipping point. Walk to Rideau Hall. Right now.

Pearson's Pennant

For those who were around when we took down the Red Ensign...

I remember seeing this flag flying in a plaza in Willowdale back in 1964 (when it was literally run up the flag "poll").

At least it wasn't the Liberal Party Logo we now fly.

To see what we should be flying now look here.

Truly Frightening

Michael Coren:
[...] Also frightening that people don't think, frightening that they speak in sound bites, frightening that they have lost the ability to question the status quo, to be offended by the abuse of their own money, to move out of their tired little political comfort zones.

It's frightening that they are so complacent, frightening that they still believe Canada is respected, frightening that they assume the Americans even care about this country. Frightening that they watch reality television while the reality of Canada increasingly resembles a downmarket soap opera.

Frightening. Publicly frightening. Public education, public health, public child care, public radio, public lunacy. What is actually frightening is how this great nation became this way.
We let them steal the cake a crumb at a time, that's how Michael.

Spot the Redneck


This Could Spread to Ottawa

From Globe and Mail:
A $6.2-billion pledge over the next five years for Ontario's universities and colleges comes with strings attached, Premier Dalton McGuinty warned yesterday.

"It is simply unreasonable to expect that we're going to flow that much new money into our postsecondary institutions and not demand higher accountability in return," Mr. McGuinty said.

The government proposes to extend the jurisdiction of the Freedom of Information Act to Ontario's universities. Also, Mr. McGuinty said that the provincial auditor will be able to go into colleges and universities "to make sure that we're getting a good return on our investment.
Bravo, for that last bit Premier McGuinty.

Similar reforms would go a long, long way to eliminating the black hole in Ottawa. We must not allow our governments to create facade agencies that spend without auditability.

Where is that tsunami-aid again? The $425m the Sri-Lankans are asking for? Can the auditor general have a quick peek at CIDA's books? Hmm?

Celebrate the Fifth

Today begins our fifth full day of living under a dictatorship.

To celebrate, I'm going to burn some money in my backyard tonight.

What is the Correct Left Position on This?

It may be Europe's most liberal city - but if you are gay, you had best beware
Herman Terbalkt, of the Amsterdam Tourist Board, said: “Gay visitors should be careful and alert. Some people in Amsterdam are not tolerant of other people. It is a social problem.”

Social tensions have permeated to the heart of Reguliersdwarsstraat, the main gay street, known simply as the Straat, lined with cafés, restaurants and bars. Paul Buckley, originally from Birmingham, who works at the Downtown Café, was recently chased down the Straat by a Moroccan youth shouting flicker — Dutch for “faggot” — at him.

“I had to run into a café and hide, and he stood outside shouting abuse and threatening us for five minutes,” he said. “It was horrible. A lot of Moroccan and Turks aren’t that tolerant of homosexuality. They stand around causing trouble.”
I will immediately post any denunciation of this violence against homosexuals in Europe by any Islamic religious leader. I am listening.

Reloscam: Take Two, Scene 1

CTV blows the whistle on yet another Librano scandal
A billion dollar contract to relocate civil servants across the country is mired in allegations of mismanagement and cronyism so serious that the parliamentary spending watchdog may send it to Canada's Auditor General for review next week.
"A senior executive at Royal LePage vacationed with the senior person responsible for the bidding process on a cruise ship. There was a relationship that went far beyond your normal client supplier relationship," says Bruce Atyeo of Oakville based Envoy Relocation Services.
Just how many suitcases did they take on that cruise?

Here's what I want to know - did this cruise and bidding process take place after Martin set up the Gomery Commission? Were they so cocky, so bold as to continue with questionable activites even after they were caught red-handed?

UPDATE: I have received information from a source close to this story, and have started another archeological expedition to develop the story. Here is the first result, from from Hansard.

UN Source of Damaging Gases

Friends of Science:
Myth 6: The UN proved that man–made CO2 causes global warming.

Fact: In a 1996 report by the UN on global warming, two statements were deleted from the final draft. Here they are:
1) “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.”
2) “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to ………–made causes”
Ask yourselves if you are willing to destroy your economy based on agendas established at the UN. I'm not.

Opportunity for Canadian Foreign Aid

France desperately needs unique Canadian know how:
[...] Should there be a parliamentary inquiry in France, Chirac could be in serious trouble [...]
Jacques: get on the hotline to Chairman Martin right away and to find out how to proactively set up a French whitewash inquiry to achieve the outcome you need.

Friday, May 13, 2005

DPRK From Space, At Night

view online

They are racking up those Kyoto credits like nobody's business!

What Is He Thinking?

I physically cringed when I saw this one.

Class Dissection Of Live Dog Outrages Parents, Students:
A biology class lesson in Gunnison, Utah involving the dissection of a live dog has outraged some parents and students, according to a report.

"I thought that it would be just really a good experience if they could see the digestive system in the living animal," Biology teacher Doug Bierregaard said.

Biology teacher Doug Bjerregaard, who is a substitute teacher at Gunnison Valley High School, wanted his students to see how the digestive system of a dog worked.
I think it would be a really good experience to see how this teacher's brain works.

Reuters Reports Liberal Government Will Fall

Reuters: Liberal minority about to fall
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's minority Liberal government, under heavy pressure over a corruption scandal, looks set to lose a confidence vote next week, government and opposition officials said Friday.

Prime Minister Paul Martin has proposed Parliament vote on his budget next Thursday and says he will call an election if he loses.

The main opposition Conservative Party wants the vote immediately but indications are that whenever it is held, the Liberals have a poor chance of surviving, even though the vote will be close.

"This government is finished," a senior member of the cabinet confided.

Add Another Name to the Roster of the Respectable

Ed Broadbent. A decent, principled man.

Ed, sorry you had to witness this spectacle. The trajectory must trouble you.

A Suggestion for Justice

Berlin memorial to holocaust vandalized already
BERLIN - Within hours of the opening of Germany’s national Holocaust memorial to the public, a vandal scratched a swastika into one of the 2,711 gray slabs, a spokesman for the memorial said Friday.

I suggest that the Germans build a microcosmic version of the worst concentration camp bunkhouses, diet and labor regime, and sentence perpetrators of these hate crimes to a sufficiently long stint that they get the message. Well, you get my point anyway.

Perhaps an alternative memorial can be built which is specifically designed to showcase the residual anti-semetism that exists. Don't erase the swastikas and insults: leave them in place, and point them out through interpretative signage. The message: it still exists within society - contain it.

On Requiring the Registration of Blogs

Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) freedom of conscience and religion;
b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) freedom of association.
"The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48"
Free Free (fr=e), a. Compar. Freer (-~er); superl.
Freest (-e^st). OE. fre, freo, AS. fre'o, frimac;
akin to D. vrij, OS. & OHG. frimac, G. frei, Icel.
frimac, Sw. & Dan. fri, Goth. freis, and also to Skr. prija
beloved, dear, fr. primac to love, Goth. frij=on. Cf.
Affray, Belfry, Friday, Friend, Frith inclosure.
1. Exempt from subjection to the will of others; not under
restraint, control, or compulsion; able to follow one's
own impulses, desires, or inclinations; determining one's
own course of action; not dependent; at liberty
1913 Webster

That which has the power, or not the power, to
operate, is that alone which is or is not free.
1913 Webster

2. Not under an arbitrary or despotic government; subject
only to fixed laws regularly and fairly administered, and
defended by them from encroachments upon natural or
acquired rights
; enjoying political liberty.
1913 Webster

End of Discussion

Darfur: Rebels Agree to Resume Peace Talks

Let's hope that this effort in Darfur succeeds.

Operation Matador, Hammer And Anvil

New York Post:
Terrorism revealed its soul: merciless, vindictive and in love with death itself. There's no strategic plan behind the slaughter of Iraqi workers in a marketplace in Tikrit or the butchering of other Sunni Arabs in Hawija. Suicide bombings in a Baghdad bazaar don't have cunning goals.

The terror attacks are no longer about changing Iraq. They're about punishment.

Embittered and on the run, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi realizes that the tide has turned decisively against him. He and his international gang of terrorists couldn't dislodge the United States military or the Coalition, but only chipped at its edges. Their violence couldn't stop Iraq's elections. They couldn't prevent the formation of a new government.

Now they have to watch as their former allies, Iraq's Sunni Arabs, defect to the elected regime and turn in the foreign terrorists in their neighborhoods.
Our Marines — who always do a splendid job — are wrapping up Operation Matador in Iraq's wild west, cutting smuggling routes on the Syrian border. Instead of full-scale combat in teeming cities, the Marines are cleaning out villages and hamlets. The fighting is still tough and deadly, but the reduced scale is an incontestable measure of progress.

A year ago, the Iraqi house was on fire. Today, the blaze has been smothered and we're dealing with termites. The terrorists and dwindling bands of insurgents can still create brief, local havoc. But they've lost Iraq.

And they know it. So they're determined to make the Iraqi people suffer.

Not reported on the MSM, but alluded to in the article above, is Operation Matador. This has been more or less live-blogged at The Adventures of Chester. While the MSM attempts to defeat the US in Iraq (because it thinks it can), the US quietly mops up along the border with Syria.

I believe the US military has the attention of the Syrian regime.

The Art of Kill the Kitten Politics

You've hired me to house sit your kitten for 2 weeks while you are away on a well-earned vacation.

Now that you are gone, I telephone you to inform you I wish to make your home my permanent abode. Agree, or I starve your kitten and slander you by decrying your abuse of small furry animals.

This is Chairman Martin's game with the budget. It's despicably low.

Don't believe Comrade Martin would do such a thing? a prominent Liberal thinks so:
There is much tut-tutting North of the Queensway, this morning, about Stephen Harper's anger that the Paul Martin regime may be delaying the confidence vote in such a way that it adversely affects the health of two Conservative MPs now undergoing cancer treatment. The Martinettes were immediately thereafter on a full media campaign, talking points in hand, all soberly declaring Harper's allegation "low," and so on. Is it?

Well, I recall one Friday evening, a couple years ago, when I almost quit the Liberal Party of Canada. It was the night that the Martin cabal took over the riding association of former cabinet minister Herb Dhaliwal, knowing (a) Dhaliwal was out of the country and (b) his wife was dying of cancer. I had witnessed a lot political thuggery, to be sure, but I had never before seen anything as disgusting, and as inhuman, as that. It was only a friend in Ottawa who talked me out of quitting.

May 19, A Magic Date?

Could this be the real reason for the stall until May 19?

Habamus Rodentum
Second, a caller into CPAC suggested looking at the length of time some Liberals came into power in 1985 with next week's May 19 'scheduled budget vote date'. She claims that "a rump of Liberals" are waiting for this date because enough time will have lapsed that they will get their pensions as they know the government will fall anyway.

Letter to the Governor General

I have sent the following email to the Governor General:

I cite the following:
And this enables me to introduce my second authority on this subject, a distinguished Canadian scholar, the late Dr Eugene Forsey, who published in 1943 his classic text, The Royal Power of Dissolution of Parliament in the British Commonwealth. For many years out of print, it was reprinted in 1968. Professor George Winterton of the University of New South Wales in a publication by Legal Books, Sydney, in 1990 brought together the respective books of Evatt and Forsey in that single volume I have just mentioned and contributed his own Foreword. The book contains Evatt’s own Preface, a Foreword to the first edition of Evatt’s work by a then prominent socialist, Professor Harold Laski of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the respective Introductions to both editions by Professor K.H. (later Sir Kenneth) Bailey and Sir Zelman Cowen. As something of a bonus it also includes a special Introduction by Dr Forsey entitled "The Present Position of the Reserve Powers of the Crown". Until he wrote that Introduction, Dr Forsey, apart from contributing an Epilogue to Sir John Kerr’s memoirs, Matters for Judgment, had only published on one of the reserve powers, the power of dissolution.

Turning now to those enumerated reserve powers, it is as well to say at the outset that the power to dismiss Ministers, to which Cowen has given pride of place, has been exercised in Australia twice and in each case it has involved an ALP ministry.
Your Excellency, it is the opinion of this citizen, that you both possess the power, and bear the duty to dissolve this Parliament.

This citizen requests that Your Excellent proceeds to dissolve this Parliament under the Reserve Powers of the Crown. My reason is this: on this day, we shall commit to history, and establish as a precedent, the means by which democracy in Canada was upheld, and the potential of tyranny thwarted.

We have heard testimony under oath of electorial irregularities. We have heard testimony that lives have been threatened. We have had the defeat of the government on a motion, the intent of which was clearly to establish the confidence of the House in the government - yet the will of the people, as expressed in their House of Commons, has been, and continues to be defied.

Your Excellency, if these are not conditions which move you to guard our nation from a rogue government, injurious to its citizens, then what are?

This is a moment that will be recorded in history. I pray that this record reflects on your term as Governor General one in which democracy was defended, and the rule of law upheld in the land. Let no other politician in this land, from this day forward, show such disdain for our country, for his fellow citizens, and for our freedom.

via email

UPDATE: I have received a very polite reply from Rideau Hall. Publicly, may I say thank you to the GG and staff for taking the time to reply.

The essence of this reply is that Rideau Hall does not feel it is appropriate to speculate on what the GG will or will not do, and that am advised to feel free to take the matter up with the Prime Minister, and I was provided with his contact information.

Of course, I did not receive the answer I was looking for, but I did not expect to either.

Your Excellency, thank you for listening, and the courtesy of your prompt reply.

Oil For Food: Volcker Inquiry Funded with $30m

Claudia Rosset
Citing interviews with Saddam’s former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, and an unnamed former senior Iraqi official, the Senate report says that Iraq's Baathist regime, in doling out rights to buy cheap oil through the U.N. program, “gave priority to foreign officials, journalists and even terrorist entities.” Ramadan, Saddam’s former vice president, told Senate investigators that such oil allocations were “compensation for support.” According to the report, the list of terrorists named by these Iraqi officials as engaging in this quid pro quo includes “the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Abbas, and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq.”
Citing interviews with Saddam’s former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, and an unnamed former senior Iraqi official, the Senate report says that Iraq's Baathist regime, in doling out rights to buy cheap oil through the U.N. program, “gave priority to foreign officials, journalists and even terrorist entities.” Ramadan, Saddam’s former vice president, told Senate investigators that such oil allocations were “compensation for support.” According to the report, the list of terrorists named by these Iraqi officials as engaging in this quid pro quo includes “the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Abbas, and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq.”
(That U.N. commission totaled $1.4 billion, from which U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan last year plucked $30 million in residual funds to cover the U.N.-authorized independent inquiry led by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who has yet to provide the kind of insight offered in this Senate report)

Take Back the Hill (link - click me)

The Modern Miracle of an Electronic Hansard

from Hansard:
Antonio Nicaso, a well known organized crime specialist and author, has said that Canada has become one of the world's most important centres for global crime syndicates in part because of federal regulations and laws. He has stated that prior to Bill C-22 it was harder to import cheese into Canada due to the restriction of the minister of agriculture than it was to import a suitcase full of money.

The RCMP commissioner has said recently that for the first time there are signs of criminal organizations which are so sophisticated they are actually focusing on destabilizing certain aspects of our society.

No kidding.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Encourage the Liberals

I did say in my blog description that you could expect a twist or two. Here's one...

In a strange sense, the greater the resistance of the Liberal hegemony to seeking the confidence of the people to govern, the better. Let all of its grotesque tentacles make their appearance. Let's see the whole form of this hideous beast. The more visible the horrible reality of this parasite is to the whole population, the greater its apparent scope, the more thorough will be our efforts to disinfect our democracy.

Twisted as it may be, I am gratified to see each new revelation of the machinations of the Liberal Party - it is confirming the dire reservations I have had about this gang for my entire adult life.

The press is reading these blogs. Television media are reading these blogs. Radio personalities are reading these blogs. Politicians are reading these blogs. These blogs do not exist in a vacuum. The bloggers keep working, collaborating, thinking, exposing, and defrocking. Immune to Liberal spin, we can assimilate, integrate and leverage information at a rate never before experienced. The blogs are an organism.

The Liberals act as though they are safe within their fortress walls, comforted by their tried and true weapons. The blogs are to the political scene as the aircraft was to warfare - a permanent paradigm shift.

We have access to information in a manner never before available. We never sleep. We move at the speed of light. We have no single point of failure. We have no shape. We have an indelible and inexhaustible memory. We have expertise in every human endeavour. We are equipped with a complete recollection of human history. We are motivated.

Paul Martin committed a grave political blunder by ignoring his defeat in Parliament. It was this act of defiance of the Canadian people that will mark the turning point in the history of the Liberal Party. It was the first universally tangible, recognizable glimpse of its true nature through the growing cracks in its friendly media barricade.

Each new grimace and twitch of the Liberal Party as its fingerhold on power loosens brings into clearer definition the degree to which this parasite has invaded its host - in the judicary, law enforcement, media, unaccountable agencies, academia - in every vital organ of the body politic. Martin has succeeded where previous Liberal leaders have failed - to present a simultaneous galaxy of symptoms that alarms the patient, finally, into seeking heroic remedy.

This is no mere tender scratch. But we don't have yet a raging fever. Once the condition of the patient has grown dire enough to not be denied, we can finally stop skirmishing with bandages and ointments, and have an all out, life or death battle, followed by a proper cleansing. Let the Liberal hegemony launch its fullest assault, expose itself fully and raise that alarm far and wide.

Go ahead, Paul Martin - take your time to seek the confidence of the house. Show us what you are really made of.

UPDATE: I am noticing more and more newcomers to the blogs. I found this newbie's comment post over at Captain's Quarters:
I am new to this sort of thing, not really much of an activist. I am so disgusted with this Liberal Government and their NDP cohorts, Volpe and his KKK comments, Valeri saying how they still run the House, Paul Martin out there buying all the MP votes he can and throwing loads of cash appeasing all the special interests. 19 NDP votes $4.6 million, David Kilgour $160 million and how many Canadian Armed Services Personnel. Democracy? In what country could you stifle the Opposition and cancel Opposition days and get away with it. If this was done to any of these two Parties there would be such a fuss. I am by no means extreme right, I am I would say a Progressive Conservative who has compassion for the less fortunate. There are lots of us and need to awaken to the fact that unless we start to care what is happening to this country it will be too late and every special interest group will be taking there piece of the pie and we will be footing the bill. I am so disgusted with this attitude that all politicians are crooked, there has been some patronage before but never the level of corruption and outright theft of public funds as being disclosed at the Gomery Inquiry. I am going to call the Riding Association where Volpe is going to run and Volunteer there. I live in Bulte riding but would love to help unseat that******* Volpe. The silent majority has to get off it ass before it is too late.

Chairman Martin Dispenses With Parliament

While the CPC and BQ have the house shut down, Chairman Martin proves to the nation that Parliament is an anachronism:

National Post:
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper called on Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson to step in - although she can't force an election on her own.

However, the Governor General can summon the prime minister to Rideau Hall and advise him to dissolve Parliament and call an election.

''We've now demonstrated three days in a row (that) the government does not have the confidence of the House,'' Harper said.

''It could go on until the government or the Governor General is forced to admit that the government's lost its mandate to govern the country.''

Prime Minister Paul Martin suspended a cabinet meeting as his ministers scurried down the Centre Block staircase to take part in an adjournment vote.

The government lost 152-144.

Martin responded with a new $170-million aid package for Sudan which he cited as proof his government is still functioning.

But the Conservatives will fight the Liberal plan to delay the votes until Thursday. They want them by Monday at the latest and say they will vote against any motion to schedule the confidence showdown Thursday.
For the Governor General's latest comment on our constitutional crisis, read here

With the support of the House in question, non-obligatory spending of public money should cease. Allow democracy to take its course.

Air France flight to US diverted over suspect passenger

Bienvenue au Bangor
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States ordered an Air France flight from Paris to Boston diverted after a passenger whose name is on a terrorism watch list was found to be on board, US security officials said.

Flight AF-332 was told to go to Bangor in the northeastern state of Maine [...]

Air France said there were 169 passengers on board and that it was "cooperating to the fullest extent with US authorities".


French authorities did not detect the person on the watch list when the passenger boarded at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, said a TSA official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

After takeoff, Air France relayed the passenger list to US authorities as usual. US security officials then found that one of the passengers' names was on the watch list. They contacted Air France to have the plane diverted, the source said.
Would "co-operating fully" not include checking the list before takeoff?

Meanwhile, In A Branch, Far Away

Who knew? This from my visitor's log:
May/12 4:26 PM Costa Rica San Jose Toronto Public Library

No More Mounties, No More Moose - No Decision Yet on Beaver

It's a strange universe indeed when you see two articles like these published on the same day.

Calgary Sun:
Nice day for a gay wedding

They may not have won the Amazing Race, but Lynn Warren and Alex Ali are winning the game of love. The popular gay couple from Amazing Race 7, has accepted an all-expenses-paid invitation from a Canadian radio station to tie the knot in Ottawa on June 1.

Warren, 30, and Ali, 22, can’t legally be married in their home state of California, so they jumped at the chance to jump the broom in Canada.

The ceremony may draw a few protesters, but Rob Mise, Operations Manager at HOT 89.9 FM, says the station feels most Canadians are in favour of gay marriage.

With same-sex legislation before the House of Commons, Mise says the location, overlooking Parliament Hill, is perfect.

“We are inviting all the leaders (of the federal parties) and we expect most of them will come — that is except for (Conservative leader) Stephen Harper,” he says.

CTV plans to broadcast parts of the ceremony. Several major entertainment and news shows such as Entertainment Tonight have confirmed their attendance.

The couple is set to arrive in Ottawa on May 30th.

Globe and Mail:
The Canadian Tourism Commission is sidelining the "Mounties, mountains and moose" it has relied on for decades to attract foreign tourists.

It's part of an extreme makeover the commission is giving to the "Canada" brand, after market research found Canada has lost much of its appeal as a destination.[...]

Anyone want to bet on what the new marketing plan will look like?

Just so you all know, I have no problem with civil unions, but I guess I am not like 'most Canadians'... I will always maintain a traditional definition of marriage.