31 March 2007

Arrivederci Tony

So on Jan. 10, 1999, Chase, with help from then-fledgling HBO, introduced them to Tony Soprano, a beefy, baggy-eyed anti-hero afflicted with a lot of the same midlife psychological neuroses as Chase himself.


Islam is a one way street

The Islamic world does not regard itself as a "big tent" type of religion.

Anyone who is not a Muslim is unequivocally an infidel... but even being a Muslim is no guarantee of safety. As we see in Iraq, different sects of Islam murder each other in appalling numbers on a daily basis.

Apparently there is no equal precept in Islam to, "If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to you." It is, instead, "their way, or the stairway"... to heaven, that is.

Canadian David Frum weighs in...

Under the laws of war, captured soldiers are guaranteed religious freedom. Even the unlawful combatants held at Guantanamo are granted Korans, prayer mats, and prayer times.

Yet Iran has compelled one of its 15 British captives to comply with Islamic religious codes. Significantly, that one is the woman, Faye Turney, who has been required to submit to hijab.

Granted, this last is very far from the worst of Iran's many atrocities.

But it is a reminder again that extremist Islam's determination to subordinate applies to all women, not just Muslim women.
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UPDATE: Canadian Cynic is back here yet again

I've told him repeatedly I'm a happily married man... but CC just loves to flirt.

This time he says there's no difference between the Islamofascist terrorists in the Middle East... and the Christian Conservative movement in North America.

You know, CC... you're so right.

If I read about just one more fundamentalist Christian slaughter in North America, I'm gonna be sick.
In Florida, a car bomb outside a hospital in a Baptist stronghold killed five people and wounded 22, police said.

Four people were killed and 20 wounded by a car bomb in the Protestant city of Durham, north-west of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ok, ok, I confess... those things actually took place in Islamic Iraq... between the Sunnis and the Shias... but don't you just see it happening here with those fanatical, homicidal Christians?

CC does.

It's his usual simplistic bullshit, but... to be honest, I'm just glad he didn't get all homo-erotic on me this time.

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Bagging the bad guys

Killing is their business... and business is good.

-- KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- NATO forces are zeroing in on the Taliban command structure in southern Afghanistan, killing or capturing more than 10 insurgent leaders and key people in March alone.

The tactic is disrupting the insurgents, affecting their ability to fight, plant roadside bombs and organize suicide bombers in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
RELATED: Spring Offensive, my ass

UPDATE: EU has a new plan... "don't be cruel"
I’ve got to admit, that even a war-mongering rightwing codger like myself wouldn’t come up with a plan of action this bold, this creative … this sweeping.

The plan - Simply eliminate terror from the vocabulary:

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

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Fighting Homegrown Terror

Is a good and necessary thing.

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THE DOCUMENT: What it says...

"The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited aims."
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-- OTTAWA -- Radical natives are listed in the Canadian army's counterinsurgency manual as a potential military opponent, lumping aboriginals in with the Tamil Tigers, Hezbollah and the Islamic Jihad.

Stewart Phillip, the Grand Chief of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said, "It's a complete attack on our political rights."
Well Chief, not everybody is gonna see it that way... remember Oka?

What about Marcel Lemay's rights? You wanna explain your "political rights" to his widow and two kids?
Thirty-one year old Corporal Marcel Lemay of the Surete du Quebec was shot in the face and died a short while later, leaving behind a two-year-old daughter and his pregnant wife.
Aboriginal murderers... surely that's not possible? They seem like such fine young men...

Pte. Patrick Cloutier, a 'Van Doo' perimeter sentry, and Mohawk warrior Brad "Freddy Krueger" Larocque, a University of Saskatchewan economics student, face off.
Who could possibly think of aboriginal people as a threat?

Mohawk warrior Ronald "Lasagne" Cross tries to provoke a 'Van Doo' perimeter sentry while surrounded by media.
With any number of aboriginal blockades going up around the country, it's a pretty prudent idea to have a plan in place... in case the shooting starts up again.

And we need to restore the rule of law.

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UPDATE: Natives plan rail blockade
"The Conservatives have united First Nations across the country," said Terrance Nelson, chairman of the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Chiefs, which represents nine Manitoba First Nations. "They have pissed off one hell of a lot of chiefs."

"If the federal government wants a fight with First Nations it is a very stupid thing to do and we will prove it."
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UPDATE 2: It takes more than two weeks?!?!

WTF is up with that?

The cops let a bunch of armed criminals walk away from the scene of the crime only to arrest them seventeen days later?

Oh, they're aboriginal... that explains it.
Three men have been arrested and charged in connection with an armed protest that blocked an important western Quebec highway for almost two days earlier this month.

Quebec provincial police arrested the alleged protest leader Guillaume Carle and two other men Thursday after investigating the circumstances surrounding their blockade on Highway 117 on March 12 and 13.
Try this yourself some time... get a bunch of your buddies AND their deer rifles and TRY blockade a four lane highway for a couple of days.

One caveat though... if you're a middle aged white guy with a regular job and a family... the local SWAT Team is gonna drop you like a crazy girlfriend if you don't immediately disarm and assume the position.

RELATED: Following the money
The federal government tabled this week its plans and priorities for aboriginal funding.

Figures from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) show that federal funding for aboriginal communities has increased about five per cent per year in the last three years, from $8.8. billion in 2004-05 to a projected $10.2 billion in 2007-08.

About $2.2 billion will be for Metis, Inuit and First Nations people living off reserve.

Per capita federal spending for the 426,578 aboriginal peoples living on reserves will be about $15,871 this year, said INAC media relations person Patricia Valladao.

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30 March 2007

France: It ain't all stinky cheese...

And insufferably haughty waiters...

They've got a few other irons in the fire.

-- The conservative candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to create a ministry of “immigration and national identity” that would require newcomers to embrace the secular values of the republican state.

-- The Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal, wants every French citizen to memorize “La Marseillaise” and keep a French flag in the cupboard for public display on Bastille Day.

-- The far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, of the National Front party, chortles that his rivals have stolen — and therefore validated — his message of “France for the French.”
Which, of course, brings us inevitably around to... shssssshhh...
For the past few years, France has struggled with economic and cultural issues related to its immigrants.

One is shared by much of the rest of Europe: how to stop the influx of illegal immigrants who drain a country’s economy and social services.

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Yeeeeeeeeeeouch!!!!!!!!!!!

That's gonna leave a mark.



Some answers to the question...

If a federal election were held tomorrow, which one of the following parties would you vote for?
A month's worth of humiliation from Angus-Reid.

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RELATED: Of course, taxpayers get burned too
Former prime minister Paul Martin, a millionaire in his own right, will receive a parliamentary pension of $166,439 a year, according to calculations the Canadian Taxpayers Federation did for the Ottawa Citizen on the pensions for 18 outgoing MPs.
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UPDATE: Revealing the Party of Pork

Even comparing a year of Conservative appointments to ten months of Liberal largesse, guess who comes out with cleaner hands?
The Conservatives made substantially fewer patronage appointments to federal boards during their first year in government, compared with the previous 12 months under the Liberals.

Appointments of directors, tribunal members and jobs of a similar type slowed by 40 per cent under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, a Citizen review of cabinet orders shows.

The number of Liberal appointments covers only about ten months, as cabinet made no patronage appointments during the two-month long federal election through December 2005 and January 2006.

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This Brave New Nuclear World...

Isn't bad news for everybody.

Japan began deploying its first advanced Patriot missile defense system Friday near Tokyo, part of an effort to accelerate missile defense capabilities following North Korea's missile and nuclear tests last year.
So if you're always on the lookout for hot stockmarket tips -- and judging from my email inbox, who isn't? -- make sure you load up on Lockheed.
Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., which makes the PAC-3, said in January that it expects to expand its ballistic missile defense business overseas in the next few years as regions such as Asia face growing missile threats from North Korea and other hostile states.

Lockheed officials said South Korea and Taiwan have expressed interest in buying the latest version of the Patriot missile. India and some countries in the Middle East may also eventually buy the program, the company said.

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Another good reason...

To start seriously kicking Iranian ass...

-- BAGHDAD -- Shi'ite militiamen, who melted away from Baghdad when U.S. and Iraqi troops began their security crackdown seven weeks ago, are rolling back into the city with fresh Iranian training, Iraqi and other officials said.

"This is a special group, used for special operations, not controlled by Muqtada al-Sadr. This is a secret army," said the Iraqi, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

"They work for Iranian intelligence. They have good weapons, good salary."
UPDATE: What's old Mookie up to, anyway?
-- BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is calling for an anti-American protest in the Iraqi city of Najaf on April 9, the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.
Kooky Mookie takes a break...
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says the Shia militia known as the Mahdi Army has stopped its activities on the orders of its leader, Moqtada Sadr.

But it came as officials said a bombing last week was Iraq's deadliest ever.

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Libs still stalling crime bills...

While civil society burns to the ground.

TORONTO — Six teenagers are charged with first-degree murder in the brutal killing of a 17-year-old boy last summer in Toronto.

Omar Wellington was swarmed in a park northeast of the downtown core, then stripped, beaten and repeatedly stabbed.

The attack took place in broad daylight as dozens of witnesses watched.
It's the law of the jungle in Flemingdon Park, but nobody deserves to die like this.

Meanwhile, Steffi and the Fiberals are mindlessly chanting, "Move along now... nothing to see here."

UPDATE: Young Offenders get soft ride
"I feel happy the investigation is moving forward," she said after eight months of agony, frustration and anger ended with the announcement that six teens, aged 14-17, were charged with the brutal first-degree murder of her son, Omar, 17.

"It's disappointing to know, though, that as young offenders they will be able to walk away," she said.

Sources said the accused appear to have ties with a local gang called the Little Rascals and that Omar may have been associated with them. Two other gangs also share the area, the Stick Up Kids and the Flemo Boys.

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Second Sailor jumps ship

While many Brits are known for their stereotypical tendency towards "understatement", the Iranian regime obviously does not subscribe to the theory that "less is more."

A second member of the Royal Navy crew captured in the Gulf has apologised for "trespassing" in Iranian waters, in a broadcast on Iranian television.

The crewman, who introduces himself as Nathan Thomas Summers, says: "I would like to apologise for entering your waters without permission."
Seaman Turney meanwhile, wearing that stylish Islamic chapeau, is apparently continuing her letter writing campaign...
A third letter allegedly from LS Turney was released on Friday in which she said she had been "sacrificed" to the policies of the UK and US governments.

It also demanded an end to "oppressive behaviour towards other people", including prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.
There is no denying the hostages are feeling increasingly isolated and abandoned as time goes on. On the other hand, this is one of the harsh realities of a military life.

Being held prisoner by a hostile enemy is just one of the tougher tests of whether one is ultimately suited to a warrior's life. Like experiencing combat, it either tempers the steel... or it breaks it.

Prime Minister Tony Blair reacted to the latest round of Iranian "kabuki theatre" by stating...
"I really don't know why the Iranian regime keep doing this. All it does is enhance people's sense of disgust at captured personnel being paraded and manipulated in this way.

"It doesn't fool anyone. And what the Iranians have to realise is if they continue in this way they will face increasing isolation."
The reality is that Iran could hardly be more isolated than they are at present... but as long as they continue to pump crude oil, they will always have fair-weather energy friends like Russia and China in this increasing unprincipled world.

The thuggish Iranian regime is counting on it.

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29 March 2007

Hostage crisis in Iran...

Should have been avoidable.

After several similar incidents previously occurred to other NATO vessels, it seems that force protection should have been adjusted to deal with this type of possible confrontation.

Australian vessels have had several tense incidents with Iranian gunboats in the area.

On December 6, 2004, crew from HMAS Adelaide were sent to check a cargo ship run aground at the mouth of the Shat al-Arab, but once the Australians boarded the vessel they were surrounded by six heavily armed Iranian gunboats.

Following a long and tense stand off, all members of the boarding party were winched into an Australian helicopter and to safety.
It doesn't speak well for tactical planners that no one thought to have constant helicopter overwatch on all NATO boarding parties.

It's too late for Faye, but I bet they do now.

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It's a dirty job...

But somebody's gotta do it...

Durex has launched its first UK recruitment drive for thousands of condom testers.


Captive female sailor...

Calling for Brit withdrawal in Iraq?

A second letter allegedly written by a UK sailor in Iranian custody has been broadcast on Iranian state television.

In the letter, the sailor calls for the withdrawal of British forces from Iraq, according to an al-Hurra report in Arabic, saying that "the time has come" for a UK withdrawal.
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RELATED: Who is Faye Turney?

Well, in her own words...
"I love the satisfaction of being able to walk away from a job and know that I have coped and completed the task just as well as a man would have done it."
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UPDATE: The UN is here, crisis over

The Brits were looking for the UN to "deplore" the situation... but after hours of debate, had to settle for "grave concern."
"Members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the capture by the Revolutionary Guard and the continuing detention by the government of Iran of 15 United Kingdom naval personnel and appealed to the government of Iran to allow consular access in terms of the relevant international laws," the statement said.
How's that for getting medieval on their ass? I guess there really is something more useless and expensive than the Canadian Senate.

Maybe this whole situation would be less worrisome if the UN was in charge of dog licences and not, say... policing up rogue nuclear weapons.
-- VIENNA -- The United States and key allies are pressing the UN nuclear monitoring agency to find Iran in violation of its commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty over Tehran's refusal to allow remote monitoring of its underground uranium enrichment plant, diplomats said Thursday.
We are so screwed.

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Ontario: Looking for a doctor...

Looks like you're out of luck...

Nearly 3,000 doctors in Ontario received their licences in 2006 - a record for certificates issued in a single year by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Of the 2,961 licences issued, 63 per cent went to doctors from outside of Ontario.

According to the college's annual report, entitled "Small Triumphs, Big Challenges," 42 per cent of certificates of registration went to international graduates and 37 per cent went to Ontario graduates.

This is the third year in a row where licences for international graduates have exceeded those given to Ontario graduates.
Apparently, the Ontario government is more interested in providing doctors to the rest of the world.

So where does that leave Ontarians?
The report also showed that just 9.6 per cent of doctors in Ontario were accepting new patients in 2006. This is a strong decline from 1999 where 39 per cent of family doctors were taking new patients.
Worse off than ever before, I'd say.

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Somebody's got the balls...

To say it.

It is never a waste of time to drop in on Kathy Shaidle.

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter / Planner / Funder / Enabler / Apologist, You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you.

You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe
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Vote Kathy... for Prime Minister of Britain.

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Tony Blair needs to take notes

You know you're in serious trouble, when, in comparison, even the French start to look tough...

Riots at a train station in the French capital, Paris, have become an issue in the upcoming presidential election. About 100 youths clashed with police at the Gare du Nord station after a dispute over a train fare.

Rioters smashed windows and attacked vending machines and shops, after objecting to the treatment of a man arrested for jumping a ticket barrier. Transport officials said the man punched two ticket inspectors who asked for his ticket as part of a routine inspection.
Does this mark the start of Car-B-Q season?

Anybody?

Nicky, help me out here...
The government's candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, said police were justified in arresting an alleged fare dodger - the action that sparked the riots.

"I want to tell the French that I will not be on the side of fraudsters, cheats, dishonest people... those who think that in order to be heard, they must demolish a train station and break public equipment paid for by taxpayers."
Jeeeezuz... get me 500 cc's of testosterone and the defibrillator... STAT!

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Iran to UK -- Nyah, nyah...

We fooled you...

Iranian state television reported Leading Seaman Turney would not be released "for the time being".

The head of Iran's supreme national security council, Ali Larijani, was quoted as saying: "It was announced that a woman in the group would be freed, but this development was met with an incorrect attitude."
The Iranians may have been encouraged in this further bout of international mischief by the spokesman for, not as you might be tempted to guess, Miss Manners... but Prime Minister Tony Blair...
"We are not seeking to put Iran in a corner. We are simply saying, 'Please release the personnel who should not have been seized in the first place'."
Meanwhile, back at Crazy Central, demonstrations at the foreign ministry are calling for the Brit hostages to be executed as spies.

Oh yeah, that whirring sound you just heard... that's Winston Churchill... maniacally spinning in his grave.

UPDATE: Iran's turn to whine
-- BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Iranian consul in Basra said Thursday that British soldiers had surrounded his office in the southern city and fired shots into the air.

Britain denied the allegation.
RELATED: Like making sausage...

Nobody really wants to look too closely, at how "diplomatic solutions" are actually put together.
The UK was also playing the game, intimating a desire to internationalize the crisis while taking no concrete steps in this direction, conducting "behind-the-scenes" negotiations via Middle East countries known to have close ties to Iran.

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28 March 2007

Female "swabbie" scuttles career

Well, at least she didn't convert to Islam.

I think.

Even if the Royal Navy is willing to accept this behaviour as being coerced by the Iranians, this woman will never be respected, or, I'm guessing, even spoken to by any other member of the British military forces... for the rest of her life.

Leading Seaman Turney, 26, said they had been seized in the Gulf because "obviously we trespassed" in Iranian waters - something the UK disputes.

There was separate footage of Leading Seaman Turney -- wearing a black headscarf -- and speaking.

"They were very friendly and very hospitable, very thoughtful, good people.

"They explained to us why we had been arrested. There was no aggression, no hurt, no harm. They were very, very compassionate."
Whatever happened to name, rank and serial number?

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UPDATE: Damn you, infidel science!!!

Perhaps Ms. Turney and her newfound Iranian pals were a little too eager to point fingers...
The British evidence was based on a GPS read-out of the position where an Indian merchant ship was boarded by a British inspection party on Friday.

Iran at first offered a different co-ordinate and then, when it was pointed out that even this was in Iraqi waters, another reading was given, this time on the Iranian side.
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RELATED: Politically correct argle-bargle falls flat

From the Andrea Dworkin School of Journalism...
Speaking to her local newspaper last year, she spoke of her pride at being a woman in the navy. "You can't just sit back just because you're a girl," she told the Plymouth Herald.

"I love the satisfaction of being able to walk away from a job and know that I have coped and completed the task just as well as a man would have done it."
I especially love the part in the much publicised propaganda letter to her family, where she talks about bringing home gifts from the Iranian people.

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How is Iraqi mass psychosis...

The fault of the American government?

The real problem in Iraq is culturally induced insanity.

-- BAGHDAD -- Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in Tal Afar on Tuesday went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents in the northwestern town Wednesday, killing as many as 60 people, officials said.

The hospital official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns, said the victims were men between the ages of 15 and 60, and they were killed with a shot to the back of the head.
Let's face it... this isn't an isolated incident. These people slaughter each other, every day, more casually than you or I wash our cars.

More importantly, they see it as a good thing. And that, by itself, is the very definition of sociopath.

If Islam is truly the "Religion of Peace"... where is the condemnation for all this senseless slaughter. The problem is, Islam is an integral part of all this violence.

One religious faction in Iraq just happens to believe its beads are holier than the other.

And they're willing to kill, to prove it.

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I love these kids...

Don't make me kill them...

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UPDATE: Children released unharmed

-- MANILA -- A man who took a busload of children and teachers hostage from his day care center in Manila Wednesday freed them after a 10-hour standoff that he used to denounce corruption and demand better lives for poor children.

Ducat and an unidentified second gunman taped a handwritten sheet of paper to the windshield, saying they were holding 32 children and two teachers and were armed with two grenades, an Uzi assault rifle and a .45 caliber pistol.
Now take away all his grenades and lock this crazy fucker up.

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-- MANILA -- Gunmen hijacked a busload of day-care students and teachers and drove them to Manila's city hall Wednesday to demand better housing and education for the children.

The hostage-takers scribbled in large letters on a sheet of paper, taped to the windshield of the bus, that they were holding 32 children and two teachers and were armed with two grenades, an assault rifle and a pistol, officer Mark Andal said.

They said they were demanding improved housing and education for 145 children in a day-care centre in Manila's poor Tondo district where the incident appeared to have begun.

“I love these kids; that's why I am here,” one of the hostage-takers, identifying himself as Jun Ducat, told DZMM radio by cellphone.
What is it about hot, third world countries that makes so many people so crazy?

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27 March 2007

Relax Mahmoud, we're just practicing...

To squash you like a grape.

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UPDATE: Iran just shit its drawers

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki discounted the possibility of an escalation in the crisis, suggesting the British vessels may have made a mistake.

This is a violation that just happened. It could be natural. They did not resist,” he said.
Manouchehr Mottaki had a bad dream last night about being chased all the way to paradise by a snarling pack of cruise missiles.

Hey Manny, you want terror, we'll show you terror.

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Of course this exercise is totally co-incidental.

Understandably though, if having two of the world's most powerful aircraft carriers and 10,000 plus men on hair-trigger alert just off-shore is making anybody nervous... maybe they could stop behaving like chimpanzees on crack and pay some attention to international law.

If that happened, I can just about guarantee it would all go away.
The US Navy has begun its most extensive manoeuvres in the Gulf region since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but denies sabre-rattling aimed at Iran.

Two aircraft carriers, plus their strike groups, have sailed to the region and have begun war games involving as many as 100 US war planes. Each US strike group incorporates an aircraft carrier, a submarine and four or five frigates or destroyers.

The exercises involve more than 10,000 US personnel on warships and aircraft making simulated attacks on enemy shipping with aircraft and ships, hunting enemy submarines and finding mines, the Associated Press reported.
Even the French were quick to pooh-pooh the notion that this "exercise" had anything to do with Iran's bellicose behaviour.

Heck... who doesn't believe the French?
Also in the Arabian Sea is a French carrier group, led by the Charles de Gaulle, which is flying missions to Afghanistan.

France is part of the European troika that has been pressing Iran to halt uranium enrichment - a plea it has rejected.

However, Lt-Cmdr Bertrand Bonneau, chief of press for the French navy, said the deployment had "nothing at all" to do with exerting pressure on Iran.
There... you feeling better now?

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No whore like...

Sounds like Slick Willie isn't the only slippery chameleon in this family.

-- “Some days she sounds like a total hawk, and other days she’s saying, ‘I’m against the war and it’s been mismanaged,’ ” said Jonathan Tasini, who ran against Mrs. Clinton for the Senate Democratic nomination last year on an antiwar platform.

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The Party of Prohibition

-- "I'm from the government... I'm here to save you." --

Join us as Kate from Small Dead Animals tears Liberal Attorney General Michael Bryant a new asshole.

"This means that the law continues, which means no more pit bulls in Ontario," contends Michael Bryant. "No pit bulls sold, bred or imported into the province of Ontario.
Of course, that's not the whole story...
An Ontario Superior Court Justice has struck down parts of the province's controversial pitbull law.

The court ruled two key parts of the law, including the definition of what a pit bull is, are unconstitutional. And the jurist found using a veterinarian to prove a dog's breed also violates the law.
Kate replies...
However, like gun laws, breed bans do little more than punish the law abiding for the failures of the irresponsible.

For the creative, experiments in cross-breeding will always be two steps ahead of any legislative attempt to define "dangerous" on the basis of size, appearance or registry.

Give me an Australian Cattle dog, an Akita and a Silky Terrier, and I'll make you a 25 pound wolverine that answers to "Fido".

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"We'll shut down the whole town"

Say Mohawks.

Yeah, yeah... "We're all shocked", reply law-abiding Ontarians.

Since Thursday, Mohawk protesters have occupied a quarry near Deseronto owned by Thurlow Aggregates.

The demonstrators have said they will stay until the quarry's licence is revoked and, if it isn't, the protest will expand to the town and surrounding roads.
Thank you very much, Mr. McGuinty.

BIG PICTURE: Who's in charge here?

RELATED: Let's play Kashechewan Roulette

First, you take $500-million dollars...
-- OTTAWA -- A beach on James Bay, a paint ball park, a ski hill, a swimming pool, a bowling alley, a hotel, a radio station and a movie theatre.

These are just some of the amenities the residents of the northern Cree community of Kashechewan think the government should provide for them at a new site 30 kilometres up river from the flood-prone existing location.

The community has pegged the cost of the move at nearly $500-million -- and that was before the extras listed above were added to the price tag.

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Chinese buying out Chrysler?

Well, if they can take over MG Rover, it's probably not beyond the realm of possibility...

-- Nanjing Automobile has unveiled the first MG cars to be built in China. It bought the bankrupt UK firm MG Rover for £53m ($104m) in 2005.

Nanjing Auto acquired MG Rover's assembly lines and engine technology. It plans to set up an assembly line in Oklahoma next year to supply the US market.

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Dalton McGuinty was betting...

You wouldn't find out.

Ontario government officials initially became aware of questions about retailers winning a disproportionate share of jackpots six months before the scandal at its lottery corporation became public last October.

"OLG has turned a blind eye to crime for many years," Mr. Marin said at a news conference. His probe concluded that about $15-million in lottery winnings was paid to "internal fraudsters."
UPDATE: They're called fiberals...

For a very good reason.
On Monday, following a damning report by the provincial Ombudsman, Mr. Caplan said he only learned of a disturbingly high number of wins by lottery "insiders" about 10 days before a televised news investigation into the matter was broadcast in late October.

It emerged yesterday, however, that Mr. Caplan's office fielded a request for information about insider wins six months before the broadcast.
RELATED: With political advisers like this...

Who needs enemies?
Top Liberal political advisers plotted damage control in the wake of a startling TV broadcast exposing an insider win scandal at the Ontario Lottery Corp., according to documents obtained by Sun Media.

Warren Kinsella, Jim Warren and others met four days after the Oct. 25, 2006, Fifth Estate program which revealed the story of Bob Edmonds, a 78-year-old lottery customer and cancer survivor who was ripped off of his $250,000 prize by a lottery ticket retailer, the documents show.

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26 March 2007

Quebec: Too many analysts...

Spoil the broth...

Let's face it... this particular contest wasn't about anyone's lofty statements of vision or purpose.

-- It was Mr. Dumont's campaign against "reasonable accommodation" that garnered the most attention, and dominated the headlines throughout the five-week campaign.

The question of whether sugar shacks should bake beans without pork to satisfy Muslim and Jewish customers generated more public debate than provincial debt, the healthcare system and cultural affairs combined.
It was a whole lot of people coming together and saying, "Enough already, this is Canada."

This is my home and it works just fine the way it is, thank you very much.

UPDATE: PQ's last gasp
Dumont on the weekend shut the door "completely" on the idea of a coalition with Andre Boisclair and the Parti Québécois.

"Mario Dumont and the ADQ as a party believes that Quebec's future is within Canada," he said. "We'll work night and day to ensure that everyone gets along within this federation."
POSTSCRIPT: Oh yeah, there's also this...
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's federal Conservative minority government also has an important stake in the outcome.

A victory for federalism, combined with a surge in conservatism in Quebec, could be the launching point for a federal election.

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Italian Prime Minister...

Facing defeat on Afghanistan vote.

The Italians, much like the French, don't have an particularly illustrious record of military achievement recently. They have a chance to polish that particular apple, but it looks as though the vote will be a squeaker.

Romano Prodi's fragile government faces another nail-biting vote on the Italian peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

It is barely a month since Mr Prodi lost a Senate vote on foreign policy and another defeat could spell the end for the prime minister.
Let's see if they can do the right thing.

UPDATE: Backing down yet again
-- BRUSSELS, March 27 (Reuters) -- NATO allies raised concern on Tuesday that Italy's handling of a hostage drama in Afghanistan could spark copy-cat incidents and some called for a pact banning deals with hostage-takers.

The United States and Britain had already denounced Italy's decision to release five Taliban last week in exchange for Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who had been held hostage by the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

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C'mon Drew... don't be shy

Just spit it out...

-- So did they use this incredible technology to go do something useful, like find bin Laden? Fuck no. They used it to get some killer animal snuff porn just for me.

You're well aware of the douchebags at PETA, the People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals. You know who's not for the ethical treatment of animals?

ANIMALS. They fucking want each other dead.

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Just got raped at the gas pump?

Well, you can thank an Iranian.

I guess this is sort of a tutorial on supply and demand -- operating on the premise that there's an increased probability that someone, somewhere... might be tempted to turn Tehran into the world's biggest ashtray.

Oil prices rose to their highest level this year on Monday amid fears that tensions over Iran’s detention of 15 British naval personnel and Tehran’s nuclear programme could escalate into a wider confrontation.

The benchmark US crude future price gained 66 cents to $62.94 – a rise of 13.5 per cent over the past week. Analysts said the price could reach $70 later this year.
On the other hand... in the wake of a cataclysmic event, the rest of the hyenas might prove to be a lot easier to deal with.

To-may-to, to-mah-to.


UPDATE: 27 Mar - No big surprise...
In after-hours trading, U.S. crude oil futures Tuesday spiked more than $5 (U.S.) per barrel to briefly top $68 (U.S.) – the highest mark since last September – after rumours surfaced of military action over Iran's seizure of 15 British marines and sailors.

After the initial surge, prices settled back to $64.50 a barrel, up $1.59 from Monday's close.

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Career Day... Waziristan style

I've heard of aggressive recruiting at school job fairs, but this one takes the cake...

A Pakistani policeman and an Islamic militant leader have been killed in a shoot-out at a private school in the north-western town of Tank, police say.

Another militant was said to have been arrested, while a third was wounded in the clash at the Oxford Public School.

Police say firing broke out after the militant leader, Ehsan Barqi, threw a grenade at them when they tried to stop him addressing students at the college.
Most folks have heard of "Freedom 55."

I guess these guys, just had to show off their centrepiece retirement plan... "Virgins 72".

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25 March 2007

Does saying, "It's a rumour..."

Get you off the hook?

Now I'd be the last person in this country to defend celebrity life partner and uber-pinko Member of Parliament Olivia Chow from the slings and arrows of outrageous bloggers... but isn't self-celebrated lawyer and new media consultant Jason Cherniak pushing the envelope of civility and indeed legality, with his unsourced, so-called rumour?

Says Cherniak...

The rumour around TO (Let me be very clear; I am not suggesting that the rumour is true. I am only stating that it is out there.) is that Olivia Chow won because NDP supporters from across the city voted early and often at different polling stations in Trinity-Spadina.
I guess the disclaimer is his inner-lawyer talking.

Regardless, I'd like to see Jason "man-up" and tell us who, besides himself, is spreading, without a shred of evidence to prove it, this malicious rumour.

UPDATE: Civitatensis finds more "weenies" at the roast
The rumour around the internet (Let me be very clear; I am not suggesting that the rumour is true. I am only stating that it is out there.) is that Jason Cherniak sexually harrassed a female member of the Liberal Party by threatening to ruin her reputation after she refused to go out on a date with him.
HOLY SHIT: It's officially out of control
cycles2k Says:
March 25th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

There is a rumour that McClelland has a secret crush on Cherniak and that is why he cannot stop talking about him. (Let me be very clear; I am not suggesting that the rumour is true. I am only stating that it is out there because I just made it up).
LAST WORD: Cherniak climbs down... sort of

No apology for Olivia Chow, just Trinity-Spadina.
So, to be clear, I am sorry for using Trinity-Spadina as an example in my initial post. However, that does not change the fact that I made the mistake in good faith.
And it's not libel, it's, well... a mistake.

CLARIFICATION: Cherniak's not sorry at all

It's actually the fault of his unnamed high-level sources and the rest of the dumbass blogosphere...
Sorry, but I would not have posted this if I had not heard it from credible people.

Frankly, though, I didn't realize that so many bloggers were so clueless about the rumours out there.

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Where religion and security collide

I've gotta say, I have a tad more sympathy for a religious sect with a proven history of... pacifism.

Of course, that isn't really the point.

-- HUNTSVILLE, Mo., March 24 (AP) -- The grocer, the butcher, a cabinet maker and several other members of this town’s Mennonite community are planning to move to Arkansas over a Missouri requirement that all drivers be photographed if they want a license.

The Mennonites, a plain-living sect whose members are similar to the Amish but typically more worldly, say the 2004 law conflicts with the Biblical prohibition against the making of “graven images.”
Should the government accommodate an issue like this, that has obvious security ramifications in other parts of the country?

Or are exemptions just a slippery slope?

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Those uncivilised Albertans

CALGARY — Four bouncers at a Calgary bar were stabbed and one was hit by a vehicle as they tried to break up multiple fights outside the establishment at closing time.

Calgary police say two of the bouncers at Jimmy Dean's Bar had to undergo surgery for their wounds.

The third had minor wounds and the fourth bouncer was protected from injury by a stab-resistant vest.
We've just gotta do something about these cowboys...
Robel Sium, 21, is charged with assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace.

Abdalla Hussein, 19 is charged with dangerous driving, hit and run, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, driving while suspended and failing to stop for police.

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Spring Offensive, my ass

They're getting pretty good at sneak attacks that kill and dismember innocent bystanders, but every time these death-donkeys go head to head against actual soldiers... they get their asses handed to them.

You'd think maybe somebody would notice that.

-- KABUL, March 25 (Reuters) -- Afghan and NATO troops killed 12 suspected Islamist insurgents overnight when they tried to attack a military base in a southeastern province on the border with Pakistan, the coalition said on Sunday.

Fighting between the Taliban rebels and troops has escalated with the end of winter in Afghanistan in what is expected to be a crunch year for both sides.

The latest incident took place near Fire Base Tillman in Paktika Province, and the attackers were repulsed with small arms fire, backed by air support and artillery, a statement from the coalition said.

Two coalition and two Afghan soldiers received minor wounds, it added.
Watch for the much vaunted Spring Offensive to revert to more roadside sneak attacks and cowardly suicide bombings.

Because that's who they are.

UPDATE: 27 Mar - Backstabbing cowards

Like I said...
Units from the Gagetown, N.B.-based battle group have been reporting a spike in roadside bombs and random rocket attacks this week in the Zhari, Panjwaii and Maywand districts.

One soldier suffered a badly broken arm and was to be transported to Germany for treatment. The other soldier suffered minor injuries.

Capt. Allen said his soldiers, members of 6 platoon, Hotel company, bounced back quickly from the ordeal. He cited the performance of the two injured soldiers, who didn't report they were hurt until after the attack.

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Iranian quid pro quo...

May blow up in their faces.

As Iran demonstrated so clearly when it seized the American Embassy back in November of 1979, the Iranian regime has absolutely no respect for the rule of law.

The seizure of British sailors this week was obviously retaliation for Iranian operatives previously captured and held by American forces in Iraq.

Up to 50 Iranian "spies" have been captured and imprisoned by British troops in secret operations in southern Iraq in the last four years.

Now Government officials are having to consider setting them free to save the eight sailors - one a woman - and seven Royal Marines held by Iranians.

The revelation came as the sailors were interrogated by the Iranian secret service after reportedly being moved to the capital, Tehran.
UPDATE: Iran raises the stakes
Fifteen British sailors and marines arrested by Iran's Revolutionary Guards off the coast of Iraq may be charged with spying.

A website run by associates of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, reported last night that the Britons would be put before a court and indicted.
This is, of course, the same sort of trash-talk the Iranians are used to spewing every time they turn around.

They have a similar regard for the truth.
The British embassy in Iran said it had sought Sunday's meeting to demand the release of the sailors.

However, reports on Iranian TV said it was Iran's foreign ministry that summoned the ambassador, to receive a protest about British actions.

The Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said the UK had requested a phone call with him later on Sunday.
By this time, even the Iranians are fully aware that if anything does happen to any one of the British captives, Madman Ahmadinejad and his Islamo-nutbag inner circle will be checking out Waziri want-ads for nice, snug ratholes in far off Bin-Laden Acres.

My guess is there's any number of SAS teams all over this thing already.

And Allah knows, those boys play for keeps.

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24 March 2007

Would you give up toilet paper...

For Al Gore?

Mix one part eco-freak, with one part shameless self-promotion...

-- Isabella Beavan, age 2, staggered around the neo-Modern furniture — the Eames chairs, the brown velvet couch, the Lucite lamps and the steel cafe table upon which dinner was set — her silhouette greatly amplified by her organic cotton diapers in their enormous boiled-wool, snap-front cover.

A visitor avoided the bathroom because she knew she would find no toilet paper there.
Yup, that's all I need to know. I'm out.

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Mohawk blockade up again...

In Deseronto.

So here we go again. Another illegal aboriginal occupation of private property.

Where is Dalton McGuinty on this one?

-- DESERONTO -- Painted school buses and a simmering wood fire now mark the entrance to Thurlow Aggregates on Deseronto Road.

The interior of the property is now a campground for about 50 aboriginal protesters, who worked through the night Thursday to prepare the site to be there for “as long as it takes,” said spokesman Shawn Brant.

The Mohawks are protesting the operation of a gravel pit on lands they say were wrongfully taken from them in 1832.

"Every year, 10,000 trucks of gravel are being shipped out of here," Brant said. "It’s an affront and an indignity to our community."
This whole thing has gotten me thinking. Maybe I can dig up some beef my ancestors had with the Crown 175 years ago.

Maybe I can cash in too.

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More CTV bias

It would almost be laughable... if their anti-Harper bias wasn't such a constant, overriding theme at CTV.

I just watched CJOH, the Ottawa CTV affiliate and saw David Akin emphasize how "mean" the Prime Minister was to Stephane Dion this week. It's two grown men in a rough and tumble business... and Akin tries conjuring up an image of a schoolyard bully. It's ludicrous.

Akin then went on to talk about how, during a visit to the grave of his wife's great uncle who died in World War I, the Prime Minister looked like, "as much of a human being", as well... this otherworldly monster, or perhaps an alien... could be.

Their reporting is a joke.

RELATED:
Of course, I am immensely cheered at the thought of another ill-considered CTV poll gone bad.

The poll question, "Should Muslim women be required to show their faces while voting?" is currently running at 87 percent yes to 13 percent no.

Make sure you drop by and vote.

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23 March 2007

New York, New York

The recent tragic fire in the Bronx, is shining a light on a previously hidden social issue in the African immigrant community... the prevalence of polygamous marriage.

-- The city’s mourning for the dead — a woman and nine children in two families from Mali — has been followed by a hushed double take at the domestic arrangements described by relatives: Moussa Magassa, the Mali-born American citizen who owned the house and was the father of five children who perished, had two wives in the home, on different floors.

“I know a lady who lives with her husband and another woman in one room, a two-bedroom, with 11 kids,” she said. “I tell her, she has to move — it’s not a life.”

And her own husband? His second wife is 23 now, with three children. And recently, Ms. Kante said, he married a third.
If, as in Canada, the courts are willing to throw out the "one man, one woman" definition of marriage, how on earth can you deal with culturally entrenched polygamy?

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Iran wants to get up on the porch...

And play with the big dogs.

-- BASRA, Iraq -- Iranian forces seized 15 British Royal Navy personnel who had searched a merchant ship on Friday, Britain said, triggering a diplomatic crisis at a time of heightened tensions over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
They got away with this type of stunt once before.

If Iran has miscalculated this time, they may be headed for the geopolitical vet clinic... to be decisively neutered.
__________________________

Iran backs off UN visit
Iran's president will miss a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Saturday because the US delayed issuing visas, Iranian officials say.
Visas my ass... Ahmadinejad just blinked.

Former Royal Navy Chief Admiral Sir Alan West explains...
So we try to downplay things. Rather then roaring into action and sinking everything in sight we try to step back and that, of course, is why our chaps were effectively able to be captured and taken away.

If we find this is going to be a standard practice we need to think very carefully about what rules of engagement we want and how we operate. One can't allow as a standard practice nations to capture a nation's servicemen. That is clearly wrong.
**********

UPDATE: British reaction
The incident comes at a time of renewed tensions with Iran over its nuclear programme, which Western powers fear could be used to develop a nuclear weapon.

British Army Colonel Justin Maciejewski, who is based in Iraq, said most of the violence against UK forces in Basra is being engineered by Iranian elements.

Col Maciejewski said Iran was providing "sophisticated weaponry" to insurgents and "Iranian agents" were paying local men to attack British troops.
RELATED: Saturday vote on sanctions
The top UK diplomat at the UN has said a new Security Council resolution on Iran has been agreed and is expected to go to a vote on Saturday.

The draft resolution proposes a ban on the export of arms from Iran, a call for governments not to make new loans to Iran, travel restrictions on people involved in Tehran's nuclear programme, and a freeze on the assets of key Iranian leaders.

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Lloyd Robertson bleeds from eyes...

On national television.

Taken between March 20 and 21 following Monday's budget address, the Strategic Counsel survey for CTV News and The Globe and Mail asked: How would Canadians vote today?

* 39 per cent said they would vote for a Conservative candidate.
* 31 per cent chose Liberal.

According to the survey, the driving force behind the rising Tory fortunes is that the budget seems to have won over the most important voting block in the country: middle class voters.
UPDATE: New poll also indicates majority
-- OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harpers' Conservatives have surged to 40% in popular opinion and entered majority government territory, a new poll says.

The poll, conducted exclusively by Ipsos-Reid for CanWest News Service and Global Television after the Harper government delivered its new budget, shows the Tories have opened up an 11-point lead nationally over Stéphane Dion's Liberals.

"The big news is they hit the big four-oh," pollster Darrell Bricker said of the Conservatives' numbers. "They've hit the magic number. When you get to 40 [per cent], you can start talking about forming a majority government."
RELATED: Dion acting like a suckie little girl
As the Speaker called an end to Question Period, Dion stood and dramatically threw his ear piece down, stomping off like a child who had been refused his dessert.

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22 March 2007

Ya feelin lucky, punk?

He knew he was in for the fight of his life.

He had tried all his best moves... but his opponent was bigger, dirtier and seemingly oblivious to brute force.

But this time... it was personal
.
Personal hygiene.


Promises, promises

Remember, "I won't raise your taxes" and "shutting down all the coal-fired generating plants?"

I wouldn't let Dalton McGuinty walk my dog.

Conservative Leader John Tory lambasted the budget as a spending "buffet" that will leave the province "limping along when it could be running."

"Dalton McGuinty has increased spending by $22.4 billion since he was elected. That's $4,500 for every household in Ontario, but those households don't see the results," Mr. Tory said.

"Despite being awash in cash, Dalton McGuinty continues to push Ontario deeper and deeper into debt."
UPDATE: Leftbot idealogy costly, wasteful

I touched on this very subject last week. Dr. Paul Wong, the surgeon quoted at the end of the article, is the guy who "pimped my gimp."
Knee replacement proposal rejected by government would have saved enough to perform another 276 operations, critic says. "Judging by the minister's rhetoric, it seems to be driven by rigid ideology," Mr. Hudak said

Progressive Conservative finance critic Tim Hudak told the Ontario Legislature yesterday that the savings from the proposal by Don Mills Surgical Unit would have meant another 276 knee operations could be performed at the private Toronto hospital.

Mr. Hudak was responding to stories in The Globe and Mail that revealed how the Ontario government rejected a proposal to do 1,500 knee replacement operations at the private hospital for $5,800 each, which is $1,082 lower than community hospitals are paid per operation.

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Ok, so it COULD be worse.

In Canada, you probably eventually get what you paid for.

Reporters have used green tea to expose China's failing health service, in particular the widespread practice of charging patients for unnecessary drugs and treatment.

The reporters, working for the state-run China News Service, went to 10 hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, complaining of feeling unwell. When asked for urine samples, they handed over the cold tea.

When the "test results" came back, six of the hospitals diagnosed bladder infections and prescribed drugs.
RELATED: Of course, our system isn't perfect
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

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What would Jesus smoke?

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a First Amendment case involving a high-school student who was suspended for holding a sign that said "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

His provocative slogan turns out to have been little more than a ploy to get on TV.

But what do Christian groups really think about marijuana?
RELATED: Ok, so I have to fess up... I did inhale.

UPDATE:
Rethinking the War on Drugs
-- LONDON -- New "landmark" research finds that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than some illegal drugs like marijuana or Ecstasy and should be classified as such in legal systems, according to a new British study.

Heroin and cocaine were ranked most dangerous, followed by barbiturates and street methadone. Alcohol was the fifth most harmful drug and tobacco the ninth most harmful.

Tobacco causes 40 per cent of all hospital illnesses, while alcohol is blamed for more than half of all visits to hospital emergency rooms. The substances also harm society in other ways, damaging families and occupying police services.

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