30 September 2006

In war there are casualties


Like the 3,598 Canadian soldiers who died in the battle that finally took Vimy Ridge, this soldier paid the ultimate price.

Pte. Josh Klukie, a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, which is based at CFB Petawawa near Ottawa, died Friday after triggering what may have been an improvised explosive device (IED) on a road in Afghanistan's Panjwaii district.
He will be remembered.

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Gotta love the Liberal Party

There isn't anything they can't put a price on.

Veteran Liberal MP Joe Volpe's leadership campaign has been fined $20,000 by the party for improperly recruiting members in the race to become party leader.
I'm not sure signing up dead people is altogether properly covered by the benign phrase, "improperly recruiting members".

Instead of Lib bigwigs disavowing Joe Volpe and his campaign team after catching him breaking the rules yet again... they simply have a tax on dishonesty.

No wonder Chretien could fiddle with campaign finance laws... there must be a huge slush fund from this type of financial penalty within Lib ranks. And it's not a first offence.
Volpe's bid for leader initially sparked controversy this spring after it was revealed that his campaign received donations from minors. A total of $27,000 in donations was subsequently returned.
Which begs the question... just what do you have to do to get booted from this scandal ridden organisation?

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I'm back.

My apologies for the two day absence... domestic duties. Had lots of fun putting a new toilet in the downstairs bathroom.


28 September 2006

What's next, catering & laundry service?

Apparently, the only thing Dalton McGuinty isn't doing, for the protestors in Caledonia... is tucking them in at night and singing lullabies.

The Liberal government is being accused of being weak by paying for hydro and water into the Caledonia housing site occupied by natives.

The charge was levelled yesterday in the Ontario legislature by Conservative MPP Bob Runciman after Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Ramsay confirmed it has been footing the power bill for about 10 half-built homes on Douglas Creek Estates since the province bought the site off the developers for $16.5 million.

"It is my understanding the power is still on," Ramsay said during Question Period.

The minister also noted the power was kept on into the houses after natives took over the site at the end of February.
This is nuts.

Never mind John Tory and the Conservatives... I'm thinking Sharon, Lois & Bram would put up a tougher & more principled stand here.

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Iggy is the biggie

As I wrote previously, if Bob Rae is elected federal Liberal Leader, Stephen Harper will be dancing on his desk.

Confirmation of this comes in an assessment inked by Conservative national campaign chief Doug Finley, that was subsequently leaked to the Toronto Star.

Addressed to the CPG, or Campaign Planning Group, the memo assesses the Liberal leadership race from a Conservative campaign perspective to determine "which leadership candidate would be most formidible."
So what's their take on Rae?
Rae has "real problems" with potential Liberal-to-Conservative switchers, 35 and over. People think he's a "nice guy" but always come back to his record as Ontario premier.
It seems the Conservatives have Iggy on their minds.
Finley, a key Tory war-room strategist in the last federal election, says Ignatieff "worries me most." However, a hand-written margin note by an unknown person adds: "Puts his foot in his mouth too much. Will be problematic (for Ignatieff)."
What do the Libs themselves think?
"Ignatieff represents the greater potential but also the greater risk," said one Liberal strategist.
SIDENOTE: Paul Wells thinks CPG leak is disinformation
There's a really good book about Canadian politics coming out this Halloween, and one of the points it will make is that when Doug Finley writes something down, his goal is to have it leaked. When he actually means something, he does it on the phone or face to face.

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Auditor General backs Harper

OTTAWA -- Canada's auditor general came to the defence of the Stephen Harper government's centrepiece accountability bill yesterday as it undergoes the slow scrutiny of a Liberal-dominated Senate.

Sheila Fraser countered the criticism of information commissioner John Reid that the proposed Federal Accountability Act is regressive by blocking public access to draft internal audit reports and audit working papers.

"With respect, his position reflects a fundamental lack of understanding of the audit function," Fraser told the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs.
Geez, who would be interested in blocking a bill that makes government more accountable?
The committee has spent 70 hours and interviewed 100 witnesses while examining the bill, prompting the government to accuse the Grits of deliberately stalling the bill in Senate.
Oh, right... those guys.

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27 September 2006

Bill Graham is a whiny little girl

Bill Graham must see himself as some kind of super-ninja... lecturing Pakistan about their failings in prosecuting the War on Terror.

"I think that's a very legitimate point for us to make, and I don't think that's appropriate to come back and say we're moaning," Mr. Graham said.
Oh, you're so right Billy, that Musharraf is really a meanie.

I noticed Mr. Graham came out in full flight defending Belinda's extra-curricular activities as well.

Hey Bill, you really wanna be helpful, why don't you stick to telling us everything you know about extra-marital affairs. Even the moonbats over at rabble.ca aren't impressed with ole Bill.

UPDATE: Scientist weighs in on
Lib infidelity
Liberals were far more likely to have sexual dreams about strangers and a variety of partners, while liberal women showed a greater tendency towards same-sex fantasies than their conservative counterparts (24 versus four per cent).

"Especially for liberal women, there was a far greater variety in sexual partners and incidents of homosexuality," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Liberals tended to show a greater willingness to experiment with different things."

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Not ready for Prime Time

Paul Martin today tried to climb back up onto the porch with the big dogs, nipping & yipping about the armed forces doing more aid and reconstruction, instead of, you know... all that nasty fighting.

The Prime Minister calmly lifted his leg and took care of Doggie Dithers...

"The fact Mr. Martin is incapable of sticking by his decisions explains why he is no longer the prime minister of Canada," Mr. Harper said."
Oh man... that's gonna leave a mark.

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Who's that girl?

It's the weekend. What's the heiress to a multibillion dollar fortune gonna do? No, I'm not talking about Paris Hilton... although there are similarities.

Asked bluntly about her sex life, Stronach responded: "Let's face it. I don't sit at home and knit on Friday nights."
Belinda sweetie... unless you're looking for your own tv show, that's way too much information.

SIDENOTE: Domi no dummy? A reader writes...
Domi's got the last laugh,, so many treating him like a big ape,, and meanwhile his real job is merger and acquisitions

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26 September 2006

Why I love Harper - Part XIV

I knew this was a really significant thing when I first heard it, but TrustOnlyMulder breaks out the numbers.

This 13.2 Billion paydown at a modest 4% interest rate means that our interest will drop by about a half billion a year. That means 500 Million more dollars to put towards social programs, tax cuts, new equipment for the military or paying down the debt even further next year...
I hear people call Stephen Harper a policy wonk (like it's a bad thing to be smart) but most people forget he also has a Master's degree in Economics.

This guy has accomplished more in mere months, with a minority government no less, than Teflon Jean did in a decade.

And the word is spreading.

h/t to PTBC

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Apparently it's not just Volpe...

From the comments...

This is a version of the infamous Canary Trap used by the CIA. I love it!

The Liberal leadership contest is now a Tom Clancy novel.

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25 September 2006

One smart cookie

Here's what I'm looking forward to tonight on the "Hungry Eye".

On September 25 TVO launches its new flagship current affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. The show will practise what Paikin calls "long-form" journalism. Each program will tackle no more than two topics, and often no more than one.

"We are going to be out there giving people what they've been telling us they want: more intelligent analysis, and more robust, thought-provoking debate and discussion among newsmakers and experts," Paikin says.
Anyone who has seen Steve Paikin on TVO's Diplomatic Immunity has great expectations for this show.

Break a leg, Steve.

UPDATE: 26 Sep 2006
No more CTV propaganda for me. Lloyd Robertson is to Steve Paikin, what addition & subtraction are to particle physics.

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Volpe tactics are nothing new

Joe Volpe has always been a dirty fighter. And he doesn't just play hardball with the other parties.

Ask Roland de Corneille, the sitting Liberal MP Volpe torpedoed in 1988.

More than 4,000 people packed a hall in a Toronto airport hotel to settle one of the year's biggest local Liberal disputes. Mr. Volpe addressed the meeting first. His supporters went to the voting booth en masse as Mr. de Corneille headed to the podium.

"He cued everybody. He organized everybody to get up and block the voting booths, so only his people could get in there," George Berger, who was then Mr. de Corneille's constituency assistant, said of Mr. Volpe in an interview. "If you have 2,500 people waiting in line before you, you're going to say 'the hell with it, I'm going home.'
"
Even his own staff are a little bit wary of his insatiable ambition. He's not known as much of a team player... it's all about Joe.
"Joe's a bit of an 'I fought for this my whole life, and I want to keep it to myself' kind of guy," said one former aide. "But the way to build power in politics is to share it."

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Harper caught dancing jig on desk

Stephen Harper's RCMP bodyguards were startled to hear shouting and clapping emanating from the Prime Minister's office this morning. Upon entering the room, they were transfixed by the sight of the normally unflappable Stephen Harper tap dancing on top of his desk.

Bob Rae has emerged as the leading candidate in the Liberal leadership race, according to a poll of party members in Ontario and Quebec released today by the Toronto Star and La Presse.
Officials in the PMO were quick to talk the Prime Minister back onto solid ground, now that falling and breaking his neck appears to be the only impediment to a future landslide Harper majority government.
"The race is far from over, but Rae has a significant edge over the other candidates at the moment," said Graves, adding Rae has "a non-trivial advantage."

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Hey Jack, negotiate this

Jack Layton thinks we should negotiate with the Taliban.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Two gunmen on a motorbike killed the provincial director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs outside her home Monday in apparent retribution for her efforts to help educate women, officials said.
Her crime against the Islamofascists?
In Kandahar alone, she had opened six schools where almost 1,000 women learned how to bake and sell their goods at market. She had also opened tailoring schools for women, and clothes made there found their way to Western markets, Mr. Khan said.
Hey Jack, I thought you were against capital punishment.

What's that you say? Only in Canada?

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24 September 2006

Maher Arar wants Stephen Harper to apologise

Maher Arar is the unfortunate man arrested and deported to Syria as a suspected terrorist a while back. If like me, you're thinking, boy... that seems like it happened way before Stephen Harper was elected, you'd be right.

It actually happened three and a half years before Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister, but apparently there are people who think that's not all that important.

Not too surprisingly, some of these people are former members of the Liberal government of the day, in particular, the people formerly in charge of, well... will you look at that; National Security and Foreign Affairs.

Ann McLellan, former minister in charge of the RCMP, said she is surprised and disappointed that Zaccardelli hasn't made any public statements and says she can't imagine that he's chosen to muzzle himself.
Apparently "Landslide Annie" is not surprised and disappointed enough, though... as Zaccardelli's former boss, to offer any explanations herself. She's just disappointed enough to demand explanations from the Conservative government four years after Mr. Arar was deported to his native Syria, where incidentally, he also holds citizenship.

So in September 2002, Mr. Arar was arrested by the FBI in New York. The RCMP stands accused of breaking their own rules by supplying unproven information, linking Arar to terrorist groups. No doubt they will be called to account for this.

After spending nearly a year in jail, Mr. Arar was finally freed by the Syrians.
By July 2003, Chrétien's office sent a letter to Syria demanding Arar's release. But that was 10 months after his arrest and 3 1/2 months after officials first proposed a letter. That was a long delay for a man facing torture.

The foreign ministry also bungled. In 2002, ministry officials passed a statement the Syrians had extracted from Arar on to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP which "heightened suspicion" that he was linked to terror. The ministry did not warn that the statement was likely obtained by torture, and hence unreliable.

And before and after Arar's return to Canada in 2003, unidentified officials leaked information to smear Arar and protect their own interests.
In October 2003, former Foreign Affairs Minister and present Liberal Party Leader Bill Graham didn't seem too perturbed about the time it took to get Mr. Arar released.
Talking to reporters in Ottawa that Sunday, Graham brushed off criticism that the federal government failed to put enough pressure on Syria. "I don't think it would have been done any more quickly by screaming and yelling," he said.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Arar suffered as a result of all this.
My reputation has been tarnished, I've suffered tremendously, my family has suffered tremendously over the last couple of years, I expected him to apologize without delay. I'm still waiting. And every day I wait I'm suffering more and more."
Of course, an apology is not all Mr. Arar is looking for.
There is speculation the Tories want to hold off while they try to settle a lawsuit Arar has filed claiming millions in damages against Ottawa.
Despite all of this, I'm hard pressed to see any reason why Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, who were not in power when Mr. Arar was arrested (hell, they weren't even in power when he was released almost a year later) should be made to apologise for this matter.

This is all about Liberals.

Liberals like former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, former Security Minister Anne McLellan and former Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham. They should be the ones falling to their knees and asking Maher Arar for forgiveness.

UPDATE: 28 Sep 2006 - Zaccardelli takes one
for the team
RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli publicly apologized Thursday to Maher Arar, calling his deportation by U.S. authorities and subsequent torture a "terrible injustice" and vowing to do everything in his power to ensure such an event never happens again.
So when will the Liberals "man up" and take their share of the blame?

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Volpe initiative gathering momentum

Liberal leadership candidates are starting to panic. Volpe juggernaut "just can't be stopped", says one Lib insider.

"He understands that an inclusive society has to look past small differences.

Differences like whether you have a heartbeat or not", he continued, "It's not just about race or religion or language, you know."
UPDATE: Alfie Gags cries foul
MONTREAL - Continuing to fight his life-time ban from the Liberal Party, Alfonso Gagliano said Toronto MP Joe Volpe should stay in the party's leadership race since he is the victim of the same kind of anti-Italian sentiment that brought down the former public works minister.

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Supporters rally for Volpe

Gathering in the dead center of town.

SIDENOTE: Speaking of the dead.

Not a single respondent chose Fry. "There were over 3,000 opportunities for people to pick her (as first, second or third choice)," said Graves. "She literally got zero. I have never seen that in over 20 years of polling."

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23 September 2006

Coyne on dual citizens

Is it time to do away with dual citizenship?

Here's a statistic guaranteed to set your teeth on edge: Of the 15,000 Lebanese citizens evacuated from Beirut by Canadian Forces during last month's war -- the largest such operation this country has mounted since the Second World War, at a cost of $85-million -- some 7,000 are reported to have returned home. Home, as in Lebanon.
h/t to nat newswatch

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Libs, Dippers are MIA for Karzai speech

In a blatant show of disrespect for our soldiers and for the Afghan President, many Liberal and NDP MP's boycotted Hamid Karzai's speech to Parliament.

OTTAWA -- A Conservative MP has blasted the "total disrespect" shown by Liberal and NDP MPs who skipped yesterday's address in Parliament by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

At least 40 Grits were no-shows for the speech, in which Karzai expressed gratitude for sacrifices and contributions Canada has made to his country. Many Grit and NDP seats were filled with political staffers.
Seems the loony left were afraid to show up and hear that Afghanistan both needed and appreciated our involvement in Afghanistan.

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How many 12 year olds?

The Liberal association in Montreal's Papineau riding filed a complaint after they surveyed new members recruited by Mr. Volpe's campaign and found a significant number said that they had not paid their own membership fees, according to riding president Luc Cousineau.

In some cases, the members said they had not filled out a membership form, he said in an interview. "We noted that there were people who said that they had not paid and there were people who did not know they were members."
Note that it's the Libs themselves who are targetting Volpe. And it's not the first time that his campaign has come under scrutiny.
Mr. Volpe's campaign surprised competitors at the July deadline for recruiting members eligible to vote for leadership-convention delegates when they submitted a larger number in Quebec than any other campaign.

Mr. Cousineau said Mr. Volpe's campaign submitted about 550 completed membership forms for Papineau -- three times more than any other candidate.
UPDATE: Liberal Party can raise the dead.
The membership lists also included problems with:

Sebastiano Sperduti, who has been dead for 17 years and was unlikely to have been a Liberal party member. He had a stroke the day after he arrived in Canada in 1979 and died in 1989, at 67.

Marcello Palmieri's parents, Michele and Antonia, received cards in the mail recently, telling them they were members in good standing in Ahuntsic riding. He didn't know whether his mother wanted to join, but his father died last December.

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To be confirmed

PARIS, France (CNN) -- French President Jacques Chirac said on Saturday he would investigate the leak of confidential French defense ministry documents containing a report that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead, and said that report has been in no way confirmed.

The leaked information was first published in a French regional newspaper Saturday. The article said that a French foreign intelligence document dated September 21 quoted a "usually reliable source" as saying that Saudi Arabian authorities were trying to confirm reports that bin Laden died of an acute case of typhoid in Pakistan August 23.

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22 September 2006

Suddenly McGuinty's in control?

UPDATE: Details on MARCH for FREEDOM
**************************

TORONTO -- Six Nations protesters are calling on the province to stop a rally they say could spark a “volatile situation” on the former housing development aboriginals have occupied in Caledonia, Ont., since February.
Sure, maybe David Peterson can work some of that old black magic that, well... accomplished bupkis. That underwhelming result was due no doubt, in no small part, to Mr. Petersons reputation for fairness and impartiality.
David Peterson, who the province appointed to begin negotiations in the dispute, said he doubts anyone will take the rally seriously. “There are a lot of wackos in society,” he said. “It’s important not to give them too much credibility.”
Meanwhile, back at the disputed land, cultural dissonance is the undisputed king. Apparently white society's concept of irony has no aboriginal equivalent.
Hazel Hill, spokesperson for the aboriginal occupiers, said the governing Liberals need to step in and stop the rally before it creates a “volatile situation.”

“They have to deal with it,” she said. “This isn’t public land . . . It’s not optional to have rallies.”
Oh Hazel... stop please, yer killin' me.

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That seems pretty clear

Parliament hears directly from the Afghan President.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke directly to the Canadian people Friday, thanking those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in his country and assuring Canadians that their efforts have made a dramatic difference.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Karzai – who was greeted with standing ovations before and after his remarks – also praised Canada as a model to the rest of the world and extended his condolences to the family and friends of troops who have died working to ensure the security of his nation.
President Karzai goes on to state that Canada's presence in Afghanistan has been a watershed event in it's often violent history.
“Thanks to Canada's contributions, Afghanistan today is profoundly different from the terrified and exhausted country it was five years ago,” he said.

“Today Afghanistan has the most progressive constitution in our region, which enables the Afghan people to choose their leadership for the first time in their history through democratic elections.”
Funny, this seems to be a fairly positive reaction to Prime Minister Harper's decision to hold the line in Afghanistan.

It definitely doesn't have any of the melodramatic foreboding of the "KARZAI BURNS HARPER" post at Pinko Central which states...
Karzai says: “Bombings in Afghanistan are no solution to the Taliban. You do not destroy terrorism by bombing villages. You do not destroy terrorism by launching military operations in areas where only the symptoms have emerged.”—Afghan President Hamid Karzai, speaking at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, CBC Newsworld, 21 September 2006
Now the blurb above intimates that President Karzai is really upset with Canada... akin to the NDP motion calling Canadian soldiers "terrorists". That got me wondering, "Is the President of Afghanistan schizophrenic, or is this quote twisted out of context."

So I zipped over to the Council on Foreign Relations website and lo and behold, there's an article on President Karzai's speech that night.
Karzai stressed the importance of tackling the root sources of terrorism—the madrassas [Muslim religious schools] and training camps, many of which lie outside Afghanistan’s borders in Pakistan and other neighboring states—rather than simply targeting young Taliban fighters. “Bombings are not the solution,” he says. “You do not destroy terrorism by destroying villages.”

“Terrorism,” he continued, “has only enemies and knows no boundaries. The only course is to kill it. You cannot train a snake to bite someone else.” His comments appeared to be directed at Musharraf, with whom he has exchanged veiled barbs all week over the growing violence in Afghanistan.

Geez... it has nothing to do with criticising the Prime Minister or Canada at all.

It's just another case of taking a single remark out of context and twisting it until you can make it suit your purpose. It's low and deceitful... and not that different from the rest of this guy's propaganda.

Update:
Blogosphere's Big Pink off his meds again

You could kind of see it coming when he started thinking that calling the Prime Minister "PMS" was humourous.
Anyway, it seems to me Jack Layton accomplished more during his brief conversation with President Karzai than PMS has over the past 8 months. It’s also clear that both men have quite a few ideas in common when it comes to what Canada should be doing for Afghanistan.
Yep, it's just incredible. Idealogically they're like identical twins.

FURTHER: BBC spanks Taliban Jack

If you're gonna be a dufus, might as well be a world famous one.
The BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto says Mr Karzai will not be meeting the leader of the New Democratic opposition party, Jack Layton, who has called for Canadian troops to be withdrawn from their combat role in Afghanistan.

Mr Layton said that despite repeated attempts to set up a meeting with the Afghan president, none was scheduled.
Layton pleading finally pays off.
Earlier in the day, Karzai skipped a speaking engagement to sit down with Layton, who has been calling for Canadian troops to be withdrawn from southern Afghanistan.

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The pitfalls of circular reasoning

How not to make an argument.

There's a good bit of sloppy thinking out there on the net. Let's take an example from someone blogging current events in Canada.

According to the right whingers, by calling for our withdrawel from the mission in Afghanistan Jack Layton is endangering the troops and getting more of them killed. So if this is true it must mean he’s just a patriotic Canadian who is helping to build a better military.
Here my fellow blogger, let me help you understand this apparently much too complicated statement.

Unlike Afghani society, in Canada much of what our leaders decide to do is influenced by public opinion. We also place a very high value on the lives of our citizens as individuals (as opposed to members of a tribe, or a religious movement). If the Taliban feel that killing our soldiers in Afghanistan will rapidly weaken public resolve and thus place pressure on the government to withdraw them, they will redouble their cowardly suicide attacks to inflict these casualties.

With me so far? Good.

Now when Jack Layton makes a very public call to withdraw our soldiers, it makes the Taliban think they are accomplishing their goal of forcing Canada to withdraw from the conflict. They will, like the proverbial lab rat, keep on modifying their behaviour to achieve this end, in this case making more suicide attacks. That is how Jack Layton is endangering the troops.
“At the same time, I can tell you it’s certainly engaged our military. It’s, I think, making them a better military, notwithstanding, or maybe in some way because of, the casualties.”–[PMS]
This quote by Stephen Harper… again not too hard to understand if you really concentrate. The Prime Minister isn’t saying that having your soldiers killed makes your military a more formidable fighting force (obviously less soldiers in any unit diminishes overall combat effectiveness), but that, despite grieving for their comrades, it makes the remaining soldiers more determined than ever to meet the enemy and defeat them. This is what I hear and read and see whenever the soldiers themselves and not, for instance, members of the NDP, are questioned.
But Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister, said she thought the remarks were clear. The military gets stronger when casualties occur, she said, because it means more money is put into equipment and recruiting.
I have no idea who this Carolyn is and this isn’t the first interpretation I would have made for the Prime Minister. Nonetheless, it is a fact that the Harper government, after seeing previous casualties (like with the Iltis jeep, for example) have reinforced our troops, first with better armoured patrol vehicles and again just recently with a squadron of tanks. We learn from our mistakes.
This also must mean that anyone who does not support Layton’s call for withdrawel is weakening our military. So why do right whingers want to weaken our military?
You may want to take another look at this sort of circular reasoning. It's sloppy and embarrassing.

I remember when I watched “I Love Lucy” as a kid. Despite her best intentions, Lucy would always end up messing up pretty badly. I always felt so bad for her. This is how I feel for you.

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21 September 2006

Ooooh, I guess you've got me there, fella.

Mr Anonymous is back.

Now I know most people just say ignore the trolls, but this one is trying so hard. It's kind of fun seeing him take those first few baby steps, confusing childish name calling & sweeping generalisations with rational discourse... what we in the adult world sometimes call Myblahg 101.

Here, I just have to share his latest zinger...

I have a problem debating with right wingers more so then debating with left wingers. Left wingers actually are intelligent, they're just mis-guided. Right wingers are actually not that well educated and lack Honest Moral Values.
OH SCORCH, buddy, did you show me! I have just a couple of suggestions for your next screaming flamer.

Call me a stickler, but you might try spelling misguided without the hyphen. And I'm guessing the only people who would capitalise "Honest Moral Values" would be Jim and Tammy Bakker & friends.

Actually, on second thought, even perfect spelling and grammar ain't gonna put a shine on this jalopy, but hey... c'mon back and try again. Unlike most of the lefty blogs I've seen, I don't preview or censor comments. It's a free country and you get to say whatever you feel.

SIDENOTE: Mr A argues (above) that all left wingers are eggheads. If you go this infamous moonbat site, he has a liitle trouble spelling too. Maybe he'll be able to fix it after Mr Anonymous tips him to it, but the last time I checked, "withdrawel" was actually spelled withdrawal. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was a typo, but he spells it wrong both times he uses it.

Say, are you guys related? Robert... are you being a naughty boy?

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Well that settles it

Tie Domi really is a tough guy.

Mr. Domi has recently brushed aside questions about the persistent rumours he was romantically linked to Ms. Stronach. But it was confirmed yesterday that he is indeed in a relationship with the Liberal Member of Parliament.
Belinda's no lightweight, she's been around the ring a few times.
Ms. Stronach has been married twice and has two children from the first marriage. She also had what appeared to be a serious relationship with Peter MacKay, now Minister of Foreign Affairs, which ended abruptly when she quit the Tories. The tabloids have tried to link her to former U.S. president Bill Clinton, but the two insist they are just friends.
UPDATE: 23 Sep 2006 Tie gets whistled down.
Ms. Domi, who has been married to the hockey player for 13 years, says in the 20-page document filed in court this week that she believes her husband and Ms. Stronach have been involved in an "intimate sexual relationship" since he "began working with her on her political campaign in January, 2006."
UPDATE: 26 Sep 2006 BENCHED!
In the document filed last week, Leanne Domi alleges her husband offered her a $2.5 million home and cash offer if she would keep Stronach's name out of the proceedings.

The 20-page filing alleges Tie Domi's affair with Stronach may have begun in January when he began working on her political campaign. Leanne Domi wrote that she found his involvement unusual since the ex-NHL enforcer had "little to no interest in politics."

She also alleged that her husband threatened her with "financial extinction because I did not buy into his agenda. It is reprehensible and wrong."

The allegations have not been proven in court. Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach have refused to comment.

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20 September 2006

"Honour killing" in Ottawa

UPDATE: Suspect surrenders to police.

Hasibullah Sadiqi, 20, brother of slain Khatera Sadiqi, entered the police station at 474 Elgin St. at around 8:50 a.m. and was arrested without incident.
**************

CJOH, the CTV affiliate in Ottawa aired a story on the late news tonight implying that a double shooting appears to be an honour killing. They had a soundbite about "honour killing" included in their report. There was nothing further on the CJOH website.

The bare bones of the story were in today's Ottawa Sun.
A 20-year-old Ottawa man is wanted in connection with the shooting at an east-end mall parking lot early Tuesday that left a woman dead and another man seriously wounded.

Police are looking for Hasibullah Sadiqi, of Ottawa, who is considered armed and dangerous. He drives a grey two-door, 1992 Mazda 323.
Hasibullah Sadiqi is the alleged shooter and the dead woman is his sister.
Khatera Sadiqi, 20, who was in the driver's seat suffered a gunshot to her head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Feroz Mangal, 23, who was in the passenger seat was shot about four times and was virtually lifeless, but paramedics were able to bring back his pulse en route to hospital. Family members said the pair were engaged to be married.
CJOH is reporting that the shooter was apparently upset that his sister was engaged to Feroz Mangal, who is currently in hospital in critical condition.

UPDATE: 21 Sep 2006

The Ottawa Sun tiptoes around the issue with quotes from Feroz Mangal's brother and by saying the local Afghan community were talking about the couple's "upcoming marriage".
Hameed Mangal said he heard Hasibullah Sadiqi had issues with the relationship. "He wasn't happy because they were engaged," Hameed, 24, said.

The possibility of Khatera Sadiqi's death being related to an honour killing baffled Hameed as he tried to relax in the hospital's emergency room last night.
CFRA reports Thursday morning.
Major Crime Investigators have been unable to determine a motive for the shooting.
CBC zips up tight.
They are not commenting on the possible motive for the crime.
The Ottawa Citizen is similarly discreet.
Ottawa police Const. Steven Desjourdy said a motive for the shooting is not known. Police say the suspect is to be considered armed and dangerous.
Ottawa Citizen now talking motive...
A brother's anger about his sister moving in with her fiance and his family is believed by police to be the motive behind a shopping mall shooting that left Khatera Sadiqi dead and her future husband, Feroz Mangal, critically injured.
Family of critically injured fiancee snubbed by shooter's family...
Mangal's family was absent from the funeral because they didn't know about it. "She was like my sister," Hameed Mangal said, noting his family learned about the funeral later in the afternoon. "I don't know why we were not informed."

"I was quite upset," he said. "Everyone's upset in the family."

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Take me out to the...

... penitentiary.

OTTAWA -- The federal government is preparing three-strikes-you’re-out legislation that would make it easier to label criminals as dangerous offenders after a third serious conviction.
I can't wait for the howls of outrage from the Libs & the Dippers. This is why I vote Conservative.
The bill — part of the Conservative anti-crime package — will be tabled this fall, says Justice Minister Vic Toews. He says that after three convictions for violent crimes, people would have to prove to a judge why they’re not dangerous — which is a reversal of the traditional innocent-until-proven-guilty principle.

Toews says criminals should be presumed guilty — not innocent — after three such convictions.
Anyone who has committed THREE VIOLENT CRIMES is a menace to society. I have no problem with tax dollars being used to make the country a safer place.

And for all you fans of Taliban Jack, don't gimme some tear jerker about root causes.

The first duty of a civil society is not to pander to predators & sociopaths... it is to protect law abiding citizens.

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Remember Gilad Shalit?

He's one of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers that kickstarted the conflict in Lebanon.

Lab tests have confirmed the authenticity of the letter purportedly written by kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit and sent last week to his father, Israeli officials said Wednesday.

The officials also confirmed that Egypt was mediating a swap in which Israel would release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Shalit, who is being held by Hamas terrorists.
Israel is quietly working on a deal to get him back.

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19 September 2006

How scary is Iranian nuclear threat?

Plenty. And the plan for dealing with it is no walk in the park either.

Tactical nuclear weapons would be required to penetrate the defenses Iran has constructed around its nuclear facilities, according to Col. Shlomo Mofaz.
What's really significant is that it ain't just the Great Satan Bush and the Israelis sounding the alarm. Even the usually over the top, blustering Egyptians are crapping their pants.
The Post has further learned that in high-level talks with Israeli officials, senior Egyptian officials close to President Hosni Mubarak have given their discreet support for international efforts to stop Iran's race to obtain nuclear capability.

The Egyptian officials told their Israeli counterparts that according to their estimates, Iran will obtain a nuclear bomb within five years and must be stopped.
How far are the Israelis prepared to go to stop the threat? Well, knock me over with a feather, it sounds like, "all the way."
"The Iranians have invested a lot of money to hide their weapons and infrastructure underground. The most sensitive items are below the surface," he said.

"American experts have said they are not sure that conventional weapons would be able to infiltrate these sites," he said. "Based on information from public sources, any attack should use tactical nuclear weapons."

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Being Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Time magazine sits down with the Madman and to no ones surprise, despite not showing us his 'Bush is Satan' tattoos, he continues to delight his fans.

TIME: You recently invited President Bush to a televised debate. If he were sitting where I am sitting, what would you say, man to man?

Ahmadinejad: I gave some recommendations to President Bush in my personal letter, and I hope that he will take note of them. I would ask him, are rationalism, spirituality and humanitarianism and logic; are they bad things for human beings? Why more conflict? Why should we go for hostilities? Why should we develop weapons of mass destruction? Everybody can love one another.
Wow! Who knew the president of Iran was such a John Lennon fan? And he's also a student of history... mind you, with a bit of a Stalinist bent.
TIME: Have you considered that Iranian Jews are hurt by your comments denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust?

Ahmadinejad: As to the Holocaust, I just raised a few questions. And I didn’t receive any answers to my questions. I said that during World War II, around 60 million were killed. All were human beings and had their own dignities. Why only 6 million? And if it had happened, then it is a historical event. Then why do they not allow independent research?

TIME: But massive research has been done.

Ahmadinejad: They put in prison those who try to do research. About historical events everybody should be free to conduct research. Let’s assume that it has taken place. Where did it take place? So what is the fault of the Palestinian people? These questions are quite clear. We are waiting for answers.
Oooh, oooh, over here, I know that one! Ok, there's Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau... hey, Mahmoud, where you going?

Ahmadinejad is reputedly a university professor. Is he actually trying to say that the Holocaust, one of the most comprehensively documented events in modern history, is some sort of Zionist conspiracy? Is that what they teach in Iran? There's either some sort of quasi-taoist thing going on here... or this guy is dumber than a bag of hammers.

And this is the guy who's working on getting a nuclear capability?

Great.

h/t to lgf

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18 September 2006

Anti-terrorist fish

Here's something I could never have imagined.

San Francisco, New York, Washington and other big cities are using bluegills – also known as sunfish or bream – as a sort of canary in a coal mine to safeguard their drinking water.
They're so sensitive to contamination they beat the other sensors hands down.
New York City has been testing its system since 2002 and is seeking to expand it. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection reported at least one instance in which the system caught a toxin before it made it into the water supply: The fish noticed a diesel spill two hours earlier than any of the agency's other detection devices.

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Don't read this...

... if you want to sleep well tonight.

MJ.com: Apart from Russia, where else might terrorists get nuclear materials?

GA: First, Pakistan. We know that they have 50 nuclear weapons, approximately, and they’ve made material for another 50. Many people in the Pakistani military and intelligence services are very sympathetic to bin Laden. There’ve been two attempts within a second or second and a half, of killing Musharraf, the president, just in the past year. So Pakistan is a ticking nuclear time bomb.

Then there's North Korea, which has been producing plutonium every day now for the last year and a half. The U.S. has done nothing about it, hardly even noticed it. And then there are risky research reactors in about twenty developing and transitional countries like Uzbekistan and Belarus.
h/t to David Frum.

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This time it's personal...

RebeccaH is pissed.

I demand an apology from all of Islam for all the people who have been murdered in the name of the Religion of Peace.

I say Mohammed was a violent, thieving warlord out to consolidate political power with a made-up cult, and that’s how Islam was born.

There, I’ve insulted Islam and Mohammed. Come and get me, jihadi trash.

Cowardly bastards.

Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 09 17 at 10:50 AM
The rest at Tim's place.

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Why the Pope was right

William Rees-Mogg argues that no great religion should be immune from difficult questions.

The Pope’s actual quotation is not just a medieval point of view. It is a common modern view; even if it seldom reaches print; it can certainly be found on the internet. “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and then you shall find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Is it true that the Koran contains such a command, and has it influenced modern terrorists? The answers, unfortunately, are “yes” and “yes”.
Of course, there's every chance he'll be murdered for saying this stuff.

UPDATE: Ask a Muslim.
As a faithful Muslim, I do not believe the pope should have apologized. I've read what’s been described as his inflammatory speech. Actually, he called for dialogue with the Muslim world. To ignore that larger context and to focus on a mere few words of the speech is like reducing the Koran, Islam's holy book, to its most bloodthirsty passages.

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Cowardly murderers

They say they're gonna kill the Pope. They shot an elderly nun in the back. They blow up defenseless civilians. And they do it all for Allah. How much lower can these savages go?

An Afghan official said the bomber targeted Canadian troops handing out candy and other gifts to children. Reports said the explosive device was attached to a bicycle.
That's some religion.

Speaking of cowards, here's another reason Canada takes the brunt of the casualties.
"These governments tend to be reluctant to send their forces out into the field to confront the Taliban and control warlords and their militias. The result, in this view, has been that British and Canadian ... and U.S. forces ... bear a disproportionate share of the most dangerous tasks."
UPDATE: DND releases names of four Canadian Soldiers killed by suicide bomber.
Corporal Shane Keating, Private David Byers and Corporal Keith Morley of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Shilo, Manitoba, and Corporal Glen Arnold from 2 Field Ambulance based in Petawawa, Ont.

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17 September 2006

Still adjusting the medication

Evidently still in a delusional state, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has indicated he's going to throw a party celebrating Hezbollah's victory over Israel.

“I call on all of you to participate in this victory rally,” he said in a brief, televised speech broadcast on Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV station.
Unfortunately, Nasrullah himself, who has been cowering in a bunker at a secret location for a couple of months, may be unable to attend.
Mr. Nasrallah went into hiding on July 12, the start of the 34-day war, and has not been seen publicly since. He did not say whether he would take part personally in the rally.
This likely the same bunker where the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group spent his 46th birthday recently.

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The fact behind the statistics

The Liberals will try to tell you that the billion dollar Farmer Bob Rifle Registry saves lives.

That's just
not true.

Here's the real reason homicide rates in big Canadian cities aren't through the roof.

One had taken a gun blast in the head, others had gaping abdomen wounds, some oozed blood from their chest, and a number had limbs punctured by bullets. As of Saturday, none of the wounded had died but two remained in comas and were in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.
From the time Level III Paramedics scoop the victims, stabilise them and race for the ER, until specially trained trauma teams of doctors and nurses split open and repair the damaged bodies, these people get the best medical attention available in the entire world.

There aren't fewer attempted murders in Canada these days... simply more people being saved by skilled medical intervention.

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Kill the Pope... ongoing saga

Looks like everybody's piling on...

The New York Times:

He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.

It’s unclear how many people the Times will kill if their demand isn’t met.
Via Tim Blair

You know what they say... "practice makes perfect."
The nun, whose identify was not released, was shot in the back four times at the entrance to the Austrian-run S.O.S. Hospital in northern Mogadishu, said Dr. Mohamed Yusuf, a physician at the facility, which serves mothers and children.
Chalk up another kill for the religion of peace.

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16 September 2006

A lesson for Benny

I don't get it. I thought the Pope would have had a little more grit, but at the first squawk from the Islamoweenies, he folds like a cheap suit. Now it sounds like he's gonna have to hunker down and hide.

Perhaps he should be more like Stephen Harper.

If I believed any numbers I wouldn't be prime minister today. You do what's right. And then the public will decide what the numbers actually are.
They're breaking it down over at the Broom.

UPDATE: Religion of Peace goes apeshit.

I'm trying to imagine the group of raggedy-ass rocket scientists who came up with this brainwave. "Ali, put down that molotov cocktail and hear me out. Why don't we kill the Pope? That'll fix everything."
As security was beefed up around Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday night, the Mujahideen's Army movement in Iraq threatened to carry out a suicide attack against the Pope in revenge for his comments about Islam and jihad.

On a website used by rebel movements in Iraq, a message posted by the Mujahideen's Army said members of the organization would "smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome."
I'm guessing Dale Carnegie hasn't been translated into Arabic.

UPDATE:
Captain Ed has questions.

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15 September 2006

Pakistan pissed at Pope

The Pakistani National Assembly has just condemned infamous scofflaw & troublemaker Pope Benedict XVI for allegedly telling an anti-Islamic anecdote. I say, good for them, you know you can't just let these outrages slide.

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's parliament on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution condemning Pope Benedict XVI for making what it called "derogatory" comments about Islam, and seeking an apology from him for hurting Muslims' feelings.
Of course, they also just voted to keep on giving rapists a get out of jail free card.
In Pakistan, rape is dealt with under Islamic laws known as the Hudood Ordinances. These criminalise all sex outside marriage.

So, under Hudood, if a rape victim fails to present four male witnesses to the crime, she herself could face punishment.
So, as long as the rape is only witnessed by three or fewer witnesses friendly to the victim, the perpetrator skates. Please note witnesses must be male, sharia law does not consider the word of a worthless woman.

Pakistan, despite possessing a nuclear capability, is still in effect, a feudal theocracy. It is a state where religion is the law. This may go some way towards explaining why the United States is having trouble apprehending Osama Bin-Laden... said to be hiding in Pakistan's tribal districts.

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Sweden lurching to the right?

**********
UPDATE: 18 Sep 2006 Sweden goes right.

The stock market reacted positively to the centre-right win. The Stockholm stock exchange rose 1 per cent, led by companies with large state holdings such as travel group SAS, telecom operator TeliaSonera and Nordea, the Nordic region’s biggest bank.
**********
One in five Swedes on the dole, some analysts say. Youth unemployment as high as 25 percent. There is rising resentment about immigration.
WILL this weekend mark the end of the Swedish dream?

Astonishing as it seems, it is just possible that on Sunday Swedes will throw out the centre-left Social Democrats who have governed them for all but nine of the past 74 years.

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14 September 2006

Who could have known?

I'm thinkin' maybe the pictures with the guns and the 10 inch bowie knife were a clue. Well, maybe that and his online journal.

Now that we have an id on the latest Montreal spree shooter, the MSM will be jamming the media sideshow into high gear. I can see it now... "Oprah talks to school custodian" and "Montreal madman never breastfed, film at 11."

In the background, I can also hear the shrill chorus from Kooky Wendy and her friends, "What if all the guns in the universe were melted down and turned into tractors to feed the third world?"

Unfortunately real life doesn't work that way.

Clifford Olsen managed to rape, torture and kill a dozen of our children just fine without a gun. Not having an assault rifle didn't slow up Karla and Paul for even a millisecond. Just this week there was some nutbag in Vancouver, running around slicing up homeless people like the amped up chef at a sushi bar, but hey, lets all just freak about rifles.

Come to think of it, no firearms for whatsisname either... oh yeah, Mohammed Atta and his merry band of 9/11 Islamotards.

The one thing that Kimveer Gill and all of the sociopaths mentioned above had in common... was that every last one of them was as crazy as a shithouse mouse.

My burning question... what I really wanna know... is why none of the people on the website where he posted his homicidal rants and pictures of himself with guns... reported him to the police. He's talking about dying and killing and with his pictures, proved he had the capability to carry out his demented fantasies.

This should not have happened. There was plenty of warning from Mr. Gill himself... not too different from the signals loudly broadcast by the 9/11 hijackers.

So if you're looking to blame someone here, instead of an inanimate object like a gun, (which curiously, in a cop's hand also ended up saving the lives of everyone else involved) try blaming all the aptly self-described freakazoids who visit, post on, or maintain the website "Vampirefreaks.com"

This isn't the first murderer who posted here... or even the second.

The site has been associated with violence before, according to Jesse Hirsh, president of technology services firm Openflows Networks Ltd. in Toronto. In a Toronto trial last year, the girlfriend of a youth accused of killing his younger brother and attempting to kill his stepfather was revealed to have had a profile and pictures on the site. A 23-year old man and his 12-year-old girlfriend, accused of killing a family of three son in Medicine Hat, Alberta, last April, were also reported to have had profiles on the site.
I see this place as a safe-injection site for social outcasts... and they're the ones who should've seen this coming.

UPDATE: GOTH website denies any responsibility
"The Goth scene is a very friendly, nurturing, non-violent community and we are very supportive of our users and do not condone any illegal activities," he added.
Of course, the next sentence reads...
The Montreal gunman, 25-year-old Kimveer Gill, had posted graphic photographs and comments on the Web site, including one where the barrel of a gun points straight at the camera, and he said loved guns and hated people.

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13 September 2006

Political Correctness, first concern

Police not releasing any useful information on Montreal shooting, but the "broad strata of society" message apparently has to be put out first thing.

That gunman is now dead, with police confirming they have no other suspects in what appears to have been a random incident.

"There is no racist connotation or no terrorist link as far as we know, we have no information that would allow us to believe that this is anything more than what we saw happen."
I'm willing to wait for the facts, Officer... please don't start revving up the PC spin machine and pretend you're telling me something.

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Who was Gamil Gharbi?

As news of another Montreal shooting incident breaks, there will be the inevitable comparisons to Gamil Gharbi.

Who's that, you say? Gamil who? It's not surprising that name doesn't ring a bell... the politically correct mainstream media in Canada wouldn't touch this fact with somebody elses ten-foot pole.

Marc Lépine (October 26, 1964 – December 6, 1989) was a Canadian mass murderer who killed 14 women in what is known as the École Polytechnique massacre.

Born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim immigrant Liess Gharbi and Québécoise Monique Lépine, he grew up in a poor and extremely dysfunctional household in Montreal.
Let's not forget that the whole "Farmer Bob Rifle Registry" was a 2 billion dollar Liberal publicity stunt concocted to surf the tidal wave of outrage caused by this sociopath murdering 14 young women in Montreal.

No matter that it was a total waste of money that demonstrably failed to prevent a single death since it's inception. The two things this boondoggle accomplished were publicity for the Libs and the transfer of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to Liberal friendly corporations.

It is almost too obvious to state, that the problem we have here is not about inanimate objects, but with criminals... damaged individuals who chose to inflict pain & death on others for their own twisted reasons.

As Licia Corbella wrote in an excellent article in the Calgary Sun, Gharbi/ Lepine was "Not one of us". He wasn't a hunter, farmer or gun collector, but the product of an abusive, misogynistic father. This so obviously affected young Gamil that, at 18 years of age, he legally changed his name, trying to erase the bad juju his father had inflicted on his family. Gamil's sister Nadia was similarly affected by her violent upbringing... she ended up dying of a drug overdose.

Those inconvenient details apparently didn't matter to the mainstream media or the Liberals. It's a lot easier to screech & wail about the object this psychopath used to commit the murders, than to examine the man himself. If he had chosen to run these women down with a car that night, would the Liberal Party have spent over a billion taxpayer dollars to try ban, let's say... Volkswagen Jettas?

They're loony enough, maybe they would have.

UPDATE: Cop craps on gun registry
Retired Montreal Police Det.-Sgt. Roger Granger said Gill's pursuit of legally registered weapons followed a similar pattern used by Marc Lepine, who killed 14 women at the city's polytechnic school in 1989.

Granger, who investigated that slaughter, said the federal gun registry, created by the Liberals under former prime minister Jean Chretien, is "totally ineffective."
SIDENOTE: Mark Steyn reprises Gamil Gharbi
M. Lepine was born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, whose brutalized spouse told the court at their divorce hearing that her husband "had a total disdain for women and believed they were intended only to serve men." At 18, young Gamil took his mother's maiden name. The Gazette in Montreal mentioned this in its immediate reports of the massacre. The name "Gamil Gharbi" has not sullied its pages in the 12 years since.

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War: Canadian style

Forget about getting military advice from those pesky Generals. Let's ask a guy who lectures university kids... what he thinks.

A Montreal political scientist said if there are casualties from Quebec, Stephen Harper and his Conservatives could pay a heavy price in political support in a province already deeply opposed to the war.
So, we're ok with having an army, maybe even sending them places... just as long as nobody gets hurt. Got it.

And let's keep the French guys at the back, just in case things get ugly. It's not like anybody's gonna miss a kid from Toronto or St. John.

Oh yeah, one more thing... let's try not to look too scary.
In addition, the grim appearance and destructive power of up to 15 Leopard tanks has the potential to further alienate Afghans already suspicious of foreign troops.
Ok, deep breaths, deep breaths, calm, calm.

Easy... easy.

Ok, here's what I think. If I came home from work and my house was on fire... who would I want running up that ladder to pull my kid to safety?

At that point I wouldn't be thinking SAT scores, or where anybody came from, or even gender... assuming that the woman who sprang into action was the biggest, strongest, most single-minded sonofabitch on the scene. I'd just want my kid safe on the ground beside me.

And that's what we need to do here.

As far as foot soldiers are concerned, tanks are the biggest, meanest kids on the block. If they have the potential to protect our guys and create big steaming piles of Tali-burger (and anybody with a room temperature IQ will tell you they do) then we have an obligation to send them into the fray. Piss on the optics, ignore the political fallout... just do the right thing.

Blood, sweat and tears, that's how wars are won... and I'll kick the ass of any political scientist who says different.

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12 September 2006

Thinking about thinking

Remember the nerdy guy who sat at the back of the class and knew all that weird, uncool stuff? Chances are, he's pulling some pretty big levers these days.

Nearly everyone is in favor of critical thinking. This is evidence that the term is in danger of becoming meaningless. Skeptics should spearhead the effort to clarify what critical thinking is-and what it is not. The stakes are high.
I mean, look at Bill Gates. It's the thinkers (or the brutal, driven sociopaths) that change the world. So, put down the remote control and the cheezies and put on your thinking cap.
I suggest that one of our major responsibilities as skeptics is to maintain a continuous exploration of fundamental questions involving critical thinking, including:

1. What are the essential components of critical thinking?

2. Are those who claim to be promoting critical thinking doing justice to the concept or corrupting it?

3. What is the value of critical thinking, and how do the benefits justify the undeniable costs of studying, teaching, and practicing it?
Oh crap, I'm getting dizzy.

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Dippers continue slide...

... into lunacy.

How do you top kissing up to the Taliban? Yesterday I would have said, "No way, can't be done."

"Every day we are subject to what I consider a kind of sadistic pornography. Now I know it sells papers but every day we pick up the Star or the National Post or the Globe and we see the picture of Karla Homolka on the front cover," the release quotes DiNovo. "... it allows us to create a scapegoat, remember Jesus was a scapegoat, and just pour all our hatred and frustration on this one woman. How sick is that?"
So, does this mean we can look forward to seeing Karla running for the Dippers?

UPDATE: Who is Cheri Dinovo?
"I shared how I had first experienced the United Church because I was fed for free at Fred Victor Mission, and that I used to make my living selling drugs."
And she's connecting with kids, huh?
There was this silence and then one kid put his hand up and asked, "What drugs did you sell?" And I answered, "LSD that I imported in hollowed out Bibles (the first introduction I had to the Bible) and back then it was the good stuff, not the kind of crap you kids do."
The good stuff? She's telling kids she only sold the "good stuff"? I guess that's no wackier than her post-grad work.
Her doctoral thesis was entitled "Queer Theology, Queer Evangelism".
Good grief.

UPDATE: DiNovo replies to Lib allegations
"It's an attack on my faith," DiNovo said yesterday. "The message in that sermon was a message of regret for all victims of any abuse," DiNovo said. "Obviously (Homolka is) a serious predator who has preyed on innocent people."
UPDATE: Dinovo wins
The loss of the riding marks a stunning defeat for the Liberals, who won just under 58 per cent of the votes there in the 2003 election. The NDP and Progressive Conservatives each won about 16 per cent.

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