31 December 2007

Listen up, DotComrades...

It's your last chance before 2008 -- to get in on the action over at SDA...

Syncro rolls the dice...

1. Jason Cherniak announces he's transsexual and moves to the NDP... sadly this isn't a wise career move.

2. Warren Kinsella announces his own irrelevance... nobody listens and Warren becomes irrelevant squared.

3. Canadian Cynic converts to Islam and learns the Farsi term for C*nt. Hilarity ensues.
And another personal fave...
"Following his argument that the West must lead by example, David Suzuki gives up all his houses and vehicles and goes to live in a mud hut in the mountains of Columbia."
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FROM THE COMMENTS: The erudite, eloquent left...
"in 2008, try & be a little more clever than jeffy bug boy -- happy new year prick"
Oh, Jeffy... I'm actually embarrassed for you.

Maybe you should pour that last one in the sink and head for bed, huh?

*


Moderate Canadian Muslim community...

Seems to be keeping an extremely low profile this holiday season...

Ms. Bhutto had not yet received a proper burial before the attacks on her character started appearing. The vice-president of the Canadian Arab Federation circulated an article lambasting Ms. Bhutto, mocking her as stooge of the West.

If attempts by Islamic writers to disparage Benazir Bhutto were distasteful, the conspicuous silence of Canada's Islamic organizations was equally disturbing. Seventy-two hours after the news of her assassination, neither the Canadian Islamic Congress nor its cousin CAIR-Can had uttered a word on the subject.
A rather informative article by way of DMB.

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RELATED: Somedays... there's just no winning...
The next time the world needs saving they should call Greenpeace.


You know what Lloyd?

Call me crazy, but MAYBE ANGER IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE RESPONSE to disproportionate violence and totally senseless lifetaking...

Lloyd Johnson, a councillor and friend, hung an eagle feather, a symbol of the Creator's presence, on the entrance of Bernard's small home located just metres outside the Millbrook First Nation's boundary.

"It's one of those situations that is unexplainable. It's hard to describe ... other than hurt," Johnson said as he struggled to keep his composure.

"Anger, no. Hurt, yes."
Good grief... this is the first I've heard of this woman... and the senseless violence of this attack leaves me fuming.
Police in Truro, N.S., confirmed Monday they have charged the grandson of native rights activist Nora Bernard with first-degree murder in connection with her death last week.

Police described trauma to her face and stab wounds to the upper part of her body around the neck area.

The murder weapon is believed to have been a knife but it hasn't been found, police said.
*


The NDP always talks a good game...

So how about we send Jack bin Layton to Kenya... to negotiate some democracy?

-- NAIROBI -- Kenyan police battled thousands of opposition supporters enraged over President Mwai Kibaki's allegedly fraudulent re-election, opening fire on protesters in violence that has killed at least 103 people, officers and witnesses said.

Soon after the results were announced, the government suspended live television broadcasts and the slums, home to tens of thousands of opposition supporters, exploded into fresh violence.


Crappy New Year

A new reality demands recognition...

Traditional New year's Eve fireworks in the Belgian capital Brussels have been cancelled because of a security alert.

"We are still facing a potential threat," a spokesman for the Belgian capital said.


Todays word is aibohphobia

The irrational fear of palindromes.
*

Dude 1: Hey, what's your name?
Dude 2: Bob.
Dude 1: AAAAAAAAAAH! *Runs and hides behind sofa*
Bob: Wow.
Dude 1: AAAAAAAAAAH! *Runs away and falls down stairs*
*

Courtesy of the Urban Dictionary.


30 December 2007

Leftosphere loses its mind...

Over hiring of conservative columnist...

The New York Times has hired one of its most virulent critics, prominent right-wing pundit William Kristol, as a columnist.

Times' editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal defended Kristol's hiring in an interview with politico.com, criticizing liberal bloggers who have been up in arms over the move.

"The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected conservative intellectual — and somehow that's a bad thing … how intolerant is that?" said Rosenthal.
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FROM THE COMMENTS:

My newest fan Sparky is really anxious to get his message out... so here it is...
"I just wanted you to state that you're a lying, ignorant prick with no moral certitude whatsoever. Hell, I was even meeting you 'in the middle' by changing your demonstrably false claim to a more truthful one..."
Never let it be said the Halls aren't about free speech.

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UPDATE: 2 Jan 2008 - Sparky's back with another essay

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The Heir Transparent

Here's how to choose the next leader of a socially fractured, nuclear armed nation -- step one... take a freshly minted high school graduate...

NAUDERO, Pakistan, Dec 30 (Reuters) -- Benazir Bhutto's party named her son and husband on Sunday to succeed the slain opposition leader but doubts grew about whether a Jan. 8 poll aiming to transform Pakistan from military rule would go ahead.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, an Oxford law student who is now heir to the country's most powerful political dynasty, said:

"While I am at university ... my father will take care of the party. When I return, I promise to lead the party as my mother wanted me to."

His father then stopped reporters from asking further questions.
And what do we know about dear old dad?
Nicknamed “Mr. Ten Percent” by Pakistanis because of allegations about kickbacks from his wife’s time in power, Asif Ali Zardari, 51, has gone from playboy to villain and now to grieving political widower.

“Zardari has a very tainted record. He may not consider himself suitable for the party leadership,” Masood said.
Yup... nothing to worry about here.

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RELATED: Pakistani-Canadians demand action
Liaqat Malik of the Pakistan People's Party of Canada says the Canadian government needs to do more than write statements about Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
Well, Liaqat... we do have all those troops right next door.

*(note to Dumbass Dave @ the Galloping Beaver... it's a joke, son)


Maybe he can take it...

To the Afghani Human Rights Commission...

-- KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A key Taliban commander reportedly kicked out of the militia believes the dismissal order is a conspiracy against him and has not been signed off by Taliban leader Mullah Omar, his spokesman said Sunday.

A spokesman for Dadullah said Sunday that Dadullah has refused to accept the dismissal order, which he called a conspiracy.
*


Stand by for the wailing...

And gnashing of teeth... from the Opposition benches...

A Canadian soldier died Sunday and four others were injured when their armoured vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

The military identified the dead soldier as Jonathan Dion, 27, of Val D'Or, Que. He was based in Valcartier, Que.
He will be remembered.

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RELATED: Bear in mind... while Steffi goes apeshit...
In 1996, with the help of others working in the same area, they formed the Canadian Agriculture Injury Surveillance Program. (CAISP) The team's mandate was to look at the occurrence of work-related farm injuries, which resulted in death specifically between the year's 1991 and 1995.

By looking at records and statistics from a number of different agencies, CAISP reported a total of 503 deaths on the farm in that time period.

Farm injuries are the fourth leading cause of death by occupation in Canada.
*


Hooked on a feeling

Sounds like Brits may be ready for a bit of a change...

The Conservative campaign is resonating with the public and the government must adapt in order to survive, a senior Cabinet minister has warned.

The admission by Justice Secretary Jack Straw comes as Gordon Brown used his New Year message to say 2008 will see "real and serious changes" in the UK.
You know you're in a bit of trouble when you find yourself playing "catch-up."
In his message, Tory leader David Cameron pledged to set the 2008 agenda.

In a rare admission by a senior minister, Straw acknowledged Mr Cameron may have benefited from the government's recent woes and that his messages appear to be "resonating" with voters.
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Forget about the FBI...

The Fiberals would send in their crack investigative team... from the CBC...

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, who also attended the ceremony in Toronto, said the various reports surrounding Ms. Bhutto's death are sufficient for Canada to push the United Nations or the Commonwealth to launch an international inquiry into the matter.

“I mean you've got the government saying one thing and you see other things in the news.”
.
Oh, man... it's so confusing.

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RELATED: Hey, Jim... here's a few other things.
The expansion of Pakistan’s own militants, with their fortified links to Al Qaeda, presents a deeply troubling development for the Bush administration and its efforts to stabilize this volatile nuclear-armed country.

It is also one that many in Pakistan have been loath to admit, but that Ms. Bhutto had begun to acknowledge in her many public statements about the greatest threat to her country being in religious extremism and terrorism.
Of course, in fairness to the Liberal's own Sherlock Holmes... the militants have denied that they had anything to do with Bhutto's assassination...
“Neither Baitullah Mehsud nor any of his associates were involved in the assassination of Benazir, because raising your hand against women is against our tribal values and customs.”
Well... that settles that.

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LAST WORD: Speaking of martyrdom... and the CBC
"We accept that you are not the only, or even the first, Canadian political party to use CBC News as a whipping boy for fundraising purposes."
*


29 December 2007

To understand how Pakistan works...

You have to get the lay of the land... from their map...

In Pakistan, the military has its own forms of graft; nonetheless, it remains the least corrupt institution in the country and the only force holding an unnatural state together.

In Pakistan back in the '90s, the only people I met who cared a whit about the common man were military officers. Americans don't like to hear that.

But it's the truth.


A little executive downsizing?

Maybe he just wasn't bloodthirsty enough... to actually make his quota...

Taleban leader Mullah Omar has dismissed one of his top military commanders, Mansoor Dadullah, accusing him of not following orders.

A Taleban statement did not say how Mansoor Dadullah had disobeyed orders. But it said his associates should carry on with their duties as usual.
Associates? Duties?

Give yourself a shake, fellas... this isn't Home Depot, it's Murder Inc.

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RELATED: Speaking of business as usual
-- JERUSALEM, Dec 29 (Reuters) -- Israel said on Saturday it had recently seized a truck carrying chemicals used to make explosives hidden in bags marked as European Union aid for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The army said 6.5 tonnes of potassium nitrate were in bags marked as sugar from the European Union for Palestinians in the coastal enclave.

"We are looking into this report," said an EU official in Israel.

"If it is found to be accurate, this is an illegal act that should be condemned."


Gotta wake up, folks...

And smell the species...

At present, a democratic Pakistan is likely to be a brief prelude to the long, dark night of a Taliban-style tyranny.

Bhutto, as it turned out, lived only as long as Musharraf's emergency measures lasted. When he lifted them under renewed American pressure, she died.
You've just gotta love the loony left.

Various leftbot bloggers are losing their minds over George Jonas suggesting that Pakistan may fall into screaming chaos without Pervez Musharraf's rigid hand on the tiller... while simultaneously crying about the United States removing bloodthirsty dictator Saddam Hussein... and plunging Iraq into chaos.

You can't have it both ways, dummies.

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RELATED: What about democracy... Lebanese style?
The speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, has postponed for the 11th time the election of a new president.

The pro-Western ruling majority and pro-Syrian opposition have agreed on a compromise candidate, but are divided on the make-up of the new government.

They are also yet to finalise how to amend the constitution to allow the candidate, armed forces chief Gen Michel Suleiman, to be elected.


28 December 2007

It must have been...

The principle of the thing...

"It may have started over something as stupid as an argument over a set of keys."

"It ended in a bloodbath that left two young people dead, another suffering stab wounds and a fourth man hit with new murder accusations
."
Well... she sure won't do that again, huh?

**********

FROM THE COMMENTS:


One of my anonymous progressive friends... after perhaps a little too much to drink... decides to parade their utter lack of comprehension...
"stupid,insipid piece of shit"
Hey, dumbo... it's a very specific commentary about the homicidal sociopath who hacked two people to death... apparently over nothing.

Are you really that dense?

**********

MORE FROM THE COMMENTS:
"A heads-up neo, I've been over at the "The Right is WIA" blog having a few guffaws with Ol'Red and the Cdn. Cyntie Round Table crew and now Ol' Red has a viagra hard-on that it's you posing as a sockpuppet under various nic's."

"The above "anony crappola" may increase as Ol' Red has sworn some sort of retribution upon you."
Well... I guess it was only a matter of time before all the pinko trolls got together to try wreak a little havoc.

I can't wait to see what the ugly offspring of "Red Tory" and noted feminist "Canadian Cecilia" look like.

**********

UPDATE: My anonymous rager above is a Galloping Beaver

If you're a fan of unintentional irony... check out the picture that accompanies the Beav's post.
"Here’s the comment I posted on the site. Wanna make a bet it never sees the light of day for more than 24 hours?"
Hey, Cheryl... I'll take that bet.

*


The Globe and Mail...

Seems to think this is the story...

"Both Dustyhorn and the woman shot Thursday are aboriginal."
Now, call me wacky... but I'd probably have gone with...
"Both Dustyhorn and the woman shot Thursday were armed and dangerous."
But hey... that's just me.

*


I'm calling it... "The Dion Effect"

You know, like when... instead of actually DOING SOMETHING that will create a net positive result... you do something totally useless, or even worse... COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE... like renaming the family pet in the supposed pursuit of environmentalism.

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MEMORY LANE: Driving Miss Steffi

While the Liberals signed the Kyoto accord in 1998 and ratified it in 2002, not only did our emissions go up by 24.2% compared to 13.3% for the U.S. from 1990 to 2003 -- which the media did report -- but that left us with the sixth worst record among the world's key industrialized nations.
*


Just when you thought it was safe...

To get up in the morning.

*


Well, Abdullah, I hope your god...

Is pleased with all of your recent handiwork...

Iraqi officials say a car bomb in central Baghdad has killed at least 14 people and wounded at least 64 others.

They say a woman and a child are among the dead from Friday's blast in a crowded market.
I mean... what's a little murder and mutilation... as long as you're doing HIS work?


27 December 2007

A dignified, intellectual Opposition

Meet the man who thinks he should replace Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Mr. Sharif arrived at the hospital and sat silently next to Ms. Bhutto's body.

“Benazir Bhutto was also my sister, and I will be with you to take the revenge for her death,” he said. “Don't feel alone. I am with you. We will take the revenge on the rulers.”

He rebutted suggestions that he could gain political capital from her demise, announcing his Muslim League-N party would boycott the elections and demanding that Mr. Musharraf resign.

“The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of Pervez Musharraf,” he said.

“Musharraf is the cause of all the problems."
C'mon, Nawaz... seriously?

You don't think "taking the revenge"... figures into the equation anywhere here?

Oh well... carry on.

*


Besotted Animal Farm

"I don’t do anything that I say others shouldn’t do,” she told the daily TAZ.

“On the contrary, I’m fighting for a society in which everyone can afford to eat lobster."


Yes... please... don't stop now...

Tell me what a horrible, screwed up, systematically violent, corrupt and racist country Canada is... I dare you.

Ms. Bhutto's family is no stranger to violence.

Apart from her father's execution, both of her brothers died in mysterious circumstances and she had said al Qaeda assassins tried to kill her several times in the 1990s.

Intelligence reports have said al Qaeda, the Taliban and Pakistani jihadi groups had all sent suicide bombers after her.
**********

RELATED: Aljazeera has some background
What ever else the mind-numbing killing of Benazir Bhutto in Thursday’s suicide attack will mean for Pakistan’s future, there is little doubt that politics in this south Asian country will never be the same again.

Bhutto's death was like a chronicle foretold. She had escaped a bigger suicide attack upon her return from exile in Karachi two months ago - a manifestation of the threat to her life, which extremists had pledged to carry out before her arrival.

The extremists were annoyed with Bhutto for her unqualified support to the US 'war on terror' and her willingness to play ball with the Bush administration.
**********

UPDATE: The grieving process begins

STAGE ONE -- Take to the streets... go absolutely apeshit... set everything on fire...
-- ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan put its paramilitary forces on "red alert" across the country on Thursday after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto sparked violent protests by her supporters.

Reports said security was deteriorating in Karachi, where thousands poured on to the streets to protest. At least three banks, a government office and a post office were set on fire, a witness said.
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LAST WORD: Apparently, the CBC is "shocked."

Mark Steyn has a somewhat different take... on the situation.
The State Department geniuses thought they had it all figured out.

They'd arranged a shotgun marriage between the Bhutto and Sharif factions as a "united" "democratic" "movement" and were pushing Musharraf to reach a deal with them.

That's what diplomats do: They find guys in suits and get 'em round a table.

But none of those representatives represents the rapidly evolving reality of Pakistan. Miss Bhutto could never have been a viable leader of a post-Musharraf settlement, and the delusion that she could have been sent her to her death.
*


26 December 2007

Deck the Halls...

And head for cover... or, "How multiculturalism works in other countries."

"When everything is finished, the destruction is done, houses have burned, churches have burned, Christians are killed, they implement the rules and all that."

On Wednesday, the national Hindu newspaper described the area as a "virtual war zone," which is now under indefinite curfew.
**********

RELATED: Peace on Earth...

Just not so much... in Rexdale
Toronto's latest homicide victims were killed on Christmas Day but their bodies were only discovered last night after a 16-year-old boy turned up at 23 Division in Rexdale with knife wounds, police said today.

Nana Yaw, the 27-year-old common-law spouse of one of the victims, is charged with two counts of second degree murder, one count of attempt murder and one count of forcible confinement, Det. Sgt. Gary Grinton of the homicide squad told a news conference this morning.
*


Less activism... more parenting

Now, I'm no actuary, but if... in a city of 2 million people, two of your children are murdered, in totally separate incidents... you might want to take a closer look at your parenting strategy...

Regent Park gunshot victim Karim Rashid Ata-Ayi is the second son Toronto activist Patricia Wynters has lost to gun violence and police are working overtime to put his killer in handcuffs.

Police said Ata-Ayi is well known to them and was charged in connection with an August 2000 shooting at a Regent Park barbecue and in the shooting of 16-year-old youth.
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FROM THE COMMENTS:
"Let's all calm down and wait for the Star to tell us what to think and who to blame."
and...
"it takes a village to raise a child when the parents refuse to do it - that's why we have 'corrections canada'"
**********

LAST WORD: Everybody relax... there's a proclamation

Save us... oh wise and wonderful Star.
"This day is going to help me personally start my journey of healing knowing there are other people who care and knowing that we are taking the initiatives to help to eradicate the ulcer of gun violence in our community," Wynter told the Etobicoke Guardian in 2004 after Mayor David Miller proclaimed a day of non-violence in Toronto.
Obviously we're gonna need a little more proclaiming.


Here's hoping...

This is simply more blatant, manufactured partisan CTV hogwash... because the only other explanation... is that this doofus is too stupid to be let out in public by himself...

"It was really surprising to hear Iran singled out so strongly by the defence minister as a country that is contributing to the harm of Canadian troops," Oliver told CTV Newsnet.
How is it, exactly... that all the Iran-suckers have such short memories?


Back in circulation?

If you've recently found yourself... as a friend of mine has... back on the dating circuit... you might wanna make sure you don't go skydiving without your reserve chute.

-- LONDON, ONT. -- When rapid HIV testing expands next month across Ontario, officials will be watching closely to see if the results mirror an abnormal and dramatic cluster of positive tests recorded this fall at a London clinic.

Options Clinic – the only anonymous test site in the city and the only Ontario site besides Toronto's Hassle Free Clinic doing rapid HIV testing – has seen seven positive results in 139 tests conducted since Sept. 1.

Of the seven, three are heterosexual women, two are heterosexual men and two are homosexual men.
Not reassuring at all, huh?
Based on 2005 figures, it is estimated that almost 25,000 people in Ontario are living with HIV, about 34 per cent of those undiagnosed.

London has the third-highest HIV rate in the province, behind Toronto and Ottawa.


25 December 2007

The Spirit of Giving

Who is it exactly... that are putting their money where their mouth is?

"For too long, liberals have been claiming they are the most virtuous members of American society. Although they usually give less to charity, they have nevertheless lambasted conservatives for their callousness in the face of social injustice."
*


Look who's coming to dinner

Peter Mackay and General Rick Hillier drop in for a little Christmas cheer.

-- KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- Defence Minister Peter MacKay served up turkey and tourtière to the Canadian troops in Afghanistan on Christmas Day, but also took the opportunity to dish out a stern public warning to Iran and Pakistan to stop the flow weapons and explosives to groups targeting NATO forces.


Peace on Earth, huh?

Yeah, right... give yourself a shake.

-- BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber exploded a pickup truck outside a residential complex belonging to a state-run oil company north of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 22 people and wounding at least 50, local officials said.

Local authorities said that victims were still being pulled from the rubble of two destroyed buildings and that the death toll was expected to rise.

At least three children were killed in the blast, which came amid a downturn in violence in the country.
That's some Religion of Peace you've got there.

**********

UPDATE: When one bomb just isn't enough
-- BAGHDAD, Dec. 25 -- Two bombs in separate Iraqi cities ripped through crowds of people Tuesday, causing some of the worst carnage in the country in recent weeks and revealing that -- despite the relative calm of recent months -- insurgent groups remain capable of devastating attacks.
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LAST WORD: In other Christmas spirit news
-- NOUAKCHOTT, Dec 25 (Reuters) -- Mauritanian police have detained several suspects in the murder of four French tourists who were gunned down after refusing to hand over money when they stopped for a roadside lunch, officials said on Tuesday.

The head of the family, a man in his seventies, was shot in the leg and was taken to neighbouring Senegal for treatment. His two sons, his brother and a family friend were killed.

The use of automatic weapons in the shooting initially raised speculation that al Qaeda militants might be involved. In September, al Qaeda's second in command urged north Africa's Muslims to "cleanse" their land of Spaniards and French.


The fire is stoked...

For many years now... our son has insisted on having a treasure map... to help him find his Christmas presents. So, every year, the last thing that Mrs. Neo and I do before heading off to bed... is hide the presents around the house and make up silly, rhyming couplets that point to The Boy's loot.

We also... without fail... have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast on Christmas Day.

Some day in the future, we hope to have some similar sort of ritual... with our grandchildren.

Merry Christmas to all... time to catch some zees.


24 December 2007

In Toronto's Regent Park...

It's way better to give... than to receive...

Four people were in custody last night after a gunman left his victim lying in a pool of blood just steps away from a neighbourhood playground yesterday.

The murder, in broad daylight and just two days before Christmas, was the city's 82nd homicide of the year, pushing the city further past the 80 killings recorded in the Year of the Gun in 2005 and inching it closer to the 1991 record of 87 homicides.
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UPDATE: Where everybody knows your name
Police today identified the victim as Karim Rashid Ata-Ayi, who was shot to death outside 14 Blevins Place in an open area surrounded by highrise apartments and townhouses.

Ata-Ayi, who was known to police, did not live in Regent Park but did spend time in the area. It's been reported that Ata-Ayi was charged in 2000 with a shooting that happened at a community barbeque in Regent Park.


Tali-weenies

Both the booby-trapped corpses and the possible female bomber are being taken to reinforce the idea that the insurgents have been forced to adopt passive tactics because they can't fight NATO soldiers head-to-head.
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RELATED: Flee, flee... run away
-- KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Canadian soldiers joined the renowned Royal Gurkha Rifles Sunday in a battle to eliminate the source of rocket fire that targeted two Kandahar military outposts.

But when the coalition forces showed up, insurgents hiding out at a compound near the Pashmul district shied away from a fight.
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LAST WORD: GUNS... in their streets
Officials have tightened security at churches, malls, and tourism sites as Christians prepare to celebrate Christmas in Indonesia, a secular nation with the world's largest population of Muslims.


The politics of smoking

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

-- OTTAWA -- The lack of any visible concern from police or governments is causing Canadian smokers to falsely believe it's legal to buy cheap cigarettes on native reserves, a Health Canada public opinion research survey concludes.

The survey's findings leave the government with two obvious, but politically unpalatable, courses of action.
So, once again... we're more concerned about optics... than enforcing the law of the land.
Ramping up enforcement of tobacco laws on reserves raises the possibility of confrontations between police and aboriginals, for which politicians will ultimately be held responsible.

Slashing tobacco taxes – as was done in 1994 to address the previous rise in illegal cigarettes – would likely reduce demand for illegal cigarettes. However, such a move is sure to draw the ire of health groups who believe high prices are the best tool to reduce smoking, particularly among youth.
**********

RELATED: In other native news

You too, can be a member... of Canada's most exclusive club.
The world's last Huron-language speaker is a white man teaching at Humber College.

Earlier this month Steckley published an authoritative Huron-English dictionary, the first such volume in more than 250 years. Laval University also just received a $1 million federal grant to develop Huron-language teaching materials, drawing on Steckley's expertise.


23 December 2007

Look how useful and illuminating...

It's been so far...

"We need to know exactly what happened. We need to go to the bottom line. And a public inquiry may be done properly, it doesn't need to be a mess and awfully costly."
It's the gospel... according to St. Steffi.

**********

RELATED: Compare and contrast...
"We'll keep trying to bring forward some tough-on-crime legislation, but at some point, if the opposition won't pass it, they'll have to answer to the Canadian people." -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper


What's a little Stalinism...

Between friends?

"We knew they were illiterate, arrogant twits over at 'Law Is Cool'."

"Now we know they're dishonest, too."
*


Three more lives...

Swallowed up by the Grandravine Triangle.

-- TORONTO -- While police wouldn't confirm the victims' identities pending autopsies on Monday, reports say Diane Simpson, 35, her eight-year-old daughter and four-year-old son died early Saturday in the three-alarm blaze in a townhouse in the northwest part of the city.

This was not the first tragic incident for the family. The father of the four-year-old boy who died, Leroy Whittaker, 46, was shot in the head and killed by a bullet that flew through his apartment door in a gang-style murder in July 2005. No arrests were ever made in his slaying.
This is a very unlucky place.

But don't take my word for it.

**********

UPDATE: Looking like self-inflicted injury

Who hasn't pulled the batteries out of a smoke detector after burning something in the oven? The difference here... apparently... is that this alarm was never hooked back up.
Mr. Fisher says the mounting bracket and the wiring for the smoke detector on the main floor were there but the unit itself had been removed.

He says the Toronto Housing Authority had inspected that townhouse in February 2006 and there was a working smoke alarm then.

It's not known who removed it.
Well... it's really not that much of a reach... but I guess nobody wants to speak ill of the dead.

**********

LAST WORD: Let's play Grandravine Roulette

Lotta MSM argle-bargle about proposed mandatory installation of sprinkler systems in people's homes... but very little talk about the fact that the hardwired detector on the main floor (which would have tripped the other units in the house)... had been removed.

And not just in this one unit.
Since the three-alarm blaze, fire crews checked other units in the townhouse complex to ensure their alarms were working. They found about eight units also had their alarms deactivated.


The Good Old Days

Shortly after my son was born in 1996, my wife and I spent an obscene amount of money on a high end analogue hi-8 camcorder. It has a superb picture quality... but over the years we have watched with dismay... as the price of digital video cameras, most recently those with internal harddrives... dropped to rockbottom low prices.

Strangely enough... it seems we may have inadvertently made the smart choice after all.

To begin with, the hardware and storage media — magnetic tapes, disks, whatever — on which a film is encoded are much less enduring than good old film. If not operated occasionally, a hard drive will freeze up in as little as two years.

Similarly, DVDs tend to degrade: according to the report, only half of a collection of disks can be expected to last for 15 years, not a reassuring prospect to those who think about centuries.
Funny how that works out sometimes.

**********

RELATED: A kinder, gentler time...

When we didn't poison our children.
“Every time there was a story about a toy recall, I got flooded with orders,” Mr. Voake said. “This year stacks up as preposterous. I’ve never had a year like this, and I hope I don’t have another one.”

Mr. Voake said he had made more toys this season than at any other time in his 34 years in the industry. Some holiday orders will not be ready until March.


22 December 2007

More murder, please

I've always been curious... what exactly, do you think Jack Layton would have to say to these guys... when he drops in to negotiate his "peace settlement"?

-- CAIRO, Egypt -- The leader of al-Qaida in Iraq called on militants in a new audiotape Saturday to kill Sunnis who have joined forces with the U.S. to battle extremists in the war-torn country.

The message was posted on the Internet on the final day Eid al-Adha, a four-day religious holiday for Muslims marked by the sacrifice of cows, sheep, goats and bulls.
Religious holiday, huh?
In the 47-minute audiotape, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi called on militants in Iraq to kill members of the Awakening Councils — mostly Sunnis who once fought against the U.S. but have since turned their guns on extremists — instead of slaughtering animals to mark the holiday.
Holy day, human sacrifice... who couldn't get jiggy with that?


Hey Steffi...

The primary purpose of any military force is to break stuff and kill people... what part of that... do you not understand?

-- OTTAWA -- Canada's Afghanistan mission must dramatically scale back troop size and shift to training and other non-aggressive roles if it's to win Liberal support for an extension, says Leader Stephane Dion.
And he's not alone.

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A warm welcome to readers of Canadian Cecilia... all three of you. Apparently, warm fuzzy-bunny 'CC' has her nose out of joint... yet again.

Anyway, let's take a look...
ar·my [ahr-mee]

1. the military forces of a nation, exclusive of the navy and in some countries the air force.
2. (in large military land forces) a unit consisting typically of two or more corps and a headquarters.
3. a large body of persons trained and armed for war
.
Now, pottymouth 'CC' seems to think a standing army is some sort of Christmas ornament... you know, nice and sparkly... but please don't touch. A nice accessory when you're having a parade... but what the hell are you doing giving them guns?!?
Anyway, when CC's not pissing all over the mother of a dead Canadian soldier... she's got way more important stuff to talk about.
Good grief.

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UPDATE: The French step up
Nicolas Sarkozy, the first French president to visit Afghanistan, signalled that French troops would not pull out of the country any time soon. He told Mr. Karzai that France has a long term political and military interest in Afghanistan, Mr. Karzai's office said in a statement.

"We did not want to give the signal of a withdrawal, which would have been a detestable signal at a time when we see the ravages that terrorism can do to the world," Mr. Sarkozy said on France-Info radio.
And Australia's in as well...
"We will be, as I said before, in this country, Afghanistan, for the long haul, and it's important for us to be here in partnership with countries from NATO," he said. He said he would be encouraging other countries to continue or expand their commitment to Afghanistan.
Hey... better late than never
-- KABUL, Afghanistan -- Echoing pledges by the leaders of France and Australia, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi emphasized his county's long-term commitment to Afghanistan in a meeting with President Hamid Karzai on Sunday, the presidential palace said.


One job posting I've just gotta see...

"The city is also planning to form a monkey squad that will rush to..."
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21 December 2007

Is nothing sacred?

Apparently... if you're a jihadi... the answer is no.

-- RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Police arrested a group of men planning to attack holy sites around Mecca during the just-completed annual Muslim pilgrimage, the Saudi Interior Ministry said Friday.

“Security forces have foiled a plot to carry out a terror attack on holy sites outside Mecca with the aim of confounding security forces,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki told The Associated Press.


Capitalism 101

There are rewards and there are pitfalls...

I started a small cash business on the playground, and was doing quite well for myself until the dreaded parent-teacher conferences brought some slight discrepancies to light.

It seemed that some little assknob had decided to cut in on my action with his own red pen.


Religion of Piece(s)

Ringing in the holy day Eid al-Adha.

-- SHERPAO, Pakistan -- At least 50 people are dead in Pakistan today after a suicide attacker detonated a bomb packed with ball bearings and nails amid hundreds of holiday worshippers at the home of Pakistan's former interior minister.

The bomber was praying in a row of worshippers when he detonated the explosive, provincial police chief Sharif Virk said.

Authorities say at least 100 others were injured in the blast.
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RELATED: Those wacky Iraqis
Residents said the bomber parked his car outside one of the two dozen liquor stores in the area and walked away before setting it off, apparently using a timer or remote control.

A passing Chevrolet Suburban took the full impact, and its passengers were likely to be among the three dead or the 27 people wounded, according to the Iraqi
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LAST WORD: Europe not immune from terror
-- BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Fourteen Muslim extremists were detained Friday on allegations they sought to free an al-Qaida sympathizer imprisoned for planning a terrorist attack on U.S. air base personnel, Belgian authorities said.

Security was heightened across the capital, at airports and subway stations out of precaution, officials said.


20 December 2007

Taliban Jack has a plan

Canadian troops have started to severely kick Taliban ass... so, of course... Jack-be-nimble thinks we should ramp up the charm offensive...

Layton said the new direction should be attaining peace through negotiating a ceasefire with all sides, and that Canada should be focusing on aid and reconstruction.
Boy Jack, there's a strategy.

These guys are settin' boobytraps to kill Canadian soldiers... and all you can come up with, is... "Why can't we be friends?"

Amazing.

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RELATED: Hey Jack, negotiate this...
Among cases reported in the document are:

· The "castration" of the former Afghan president, Najibullah in 1996. The Taliban "dragged his body behind a jeep for several rounds of the palace and then shot him dead".

· The 1998 massacre of 600 Uzbeks in the province of Faryab. "Western aid workers... said civilians were dragged from their homes, lined up and shot."

· After the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 the Taliban indulged in the "frenzied killing of shop owners, cart pullers, women and children shoppers". Women and girls were raped, and 2,000-5,000 civilians, mainly ethnic Hazaras, were massacred.

· The public execution in Yakaolang of at least 170 civilians, mainly from humanitarian organisations. "According to Amnesty International, eyewitnesses reported the deliberate killing of dozens of civilians hiding in a mosque."

Other reports include accounts from refugees and human rights groups of the beating of infants, killing of children and hanging of bodies from lampposts.
I say... let's stick with what's working.


If I'da known how easy it was...

I'd have created my own religion a long time ago...

"To put that in perspective, the cultural gap between Senegal and Kenya is as dramatic as the chasm that separates, say, London and Tehran."

"Imagine singing 'God Save the Queen' in Farsi, and you grasp the enormity of the gaffe."
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RELATED: Hey, what about Pastafarianism?
"Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster."

"It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him."


More religious booga-booga...

Which, surprisingly... has absolutely nothing to do with cartoons or soccer balls...

"Coca-Cola uses all these Orthodox symbols in a blasphemous way by placing images of Coca-Cola bottles inside the pictures," the complaint said, according to Russia's Ria Novosti news agency.

"Some images are deliberately turned upside down, including the crosses," it said. An inverted cross is considered to be one of the symbols of Satanism.
Good grief, people... could you not just say a prayer... and move on?

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UPDATE: In local news... a decision from on high

Alrighty... let's spark up those bonfires.
After yanking The Golden Compass from its library shelves for review, a Toronto-area Catholic school board has decided to make the removal permanent.

A committee struck to review The Golden Compass had proposed moving the book to the young adult section of school libraries, but the trustees rejected that proposition and approved a ban instead.
For those who missed the original brouhaha... a little background.
Published in 1995, Pullman's The Golden Compass has returned to the public eye because of the new blockbuster film adaptation of the fantasy tale that hit theatres this month.

The book, voted the best children's book in the last 70 years by readers around the world earlier this year, has drawn high praise and condemnation.

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19 December 2007

Paging Phil Fontaine

Every year, the United Nations ranks countries around the world using the Human Development Index, a measure that compares life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living.

The index typically ranks Canada near the top.

But after hearing comments from aboriginal leaders that Canada's high ranking ignored the plight of their communities, Cooke and his fellow researchers decided to use the index to get a rough idea of how the gap between aboriginals and non-aboriginals has changed between 1990 and 2001 -- and how Canada compares internationally.

They found that not only did Canadian aboriginals score the highest of the four countries studied, they were virtually tied with New Zealand for making the most progress in catching up to the mainstream during the study period.
Today, meanwhile, in the never-ending race to reaffirm that... violent protest is a legitimate political solution... the Ontario fiberals bent over and grabbed their ankles, yet again.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant... today summed up the Liberals entire philosophy of his government's dealings with the native community... by handing over Ipperwash Provincial Park to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.

Said Bryant... "We're all in the same canoe."

Geez, Michael... you really think so?

You might just wanna ask the townspeople of Caledonia how they feel about that.

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RELATED: Of course, let's bring race into it...
Mr. Simon, and all of his fans, would like to hear an apology, especially since it smacks of stereotyping," added the National Chief.
I love it... the guy who "kicked somebody with a skate"... has hurt feelings.

(h/t reader John)


C'mon guys...

What were you thinking?

"I was stressed from exams and looking for something to give everyone a laugh," Lee said.

"I did it in the middle of the night. It lasted a couple of days. Someone pushed it over but I rebuilt it. Then they sent a bulldozer..."
You've gotta keep this sort of thing where it belongs... in the classroom.
"Visiting lecturers will address technical aspects of flogging, restraint, and role-play."


Nice work...

If you can get it...

Police have charged a Toronto convenience store owner with fraud in connection with a $5.7-million “insider” lottery prize win.

Hafiz Zulqarnain Malik, 60, of Mississauga, Ont., is charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of theft over $5,000.

He was released on $60,000 bail after a court appearance Wednesday, then refused comment on the case.
It looks like this sort of thing is a lot more common than you might think.
Lotteries across Canada have been under scrutiny ever since a scathing ombudsman’s report blasted the OLG for not cracking down on retailers who collected “tens of millions” of dollars in jackpots between 1999 and 2006.


And you thought...

"Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots" was a pretty cool Christmas gift...

The disc - part of an Egyptian-made series - is on sale in West Yorkshire, where three of the July 7 bombers lived, and is aimed at youngsters from the local Muslim community.

Introduced by a cute cartoon chicken, it contains three songs in Arabic which are illustrated with a video story.

But any impression of its being an innocent music DVD is immediately dispelled by a song with English subtitles about two children who lose their mother when she blows herself up in a suicide bomb attack.
(via DMB)

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RELATED: Israel says...

"You like it rough... yeah, sure...we can do that."
Hamas offered Israel the truce a day after 13 Palestinian militants, including two top commanders, were killed in a wave of Israeli air strikes in Gaza.

Israel launched the raids in response to daily Palestinian rocket attacks.


Short and sweet

I just received (and I'm guessing this is some sort of mass-mailing) a Merry Blogmas email (well, a strange picture) from the Honourable Garth Turner.

He obviously doesn't read my stuff.


Gonna find out...

Who's naughty or nice...

"The security officer at the mall said Santa Claus has been sexually assaulted," police Detective Lt. Thomas Michael said of the weekend complaint.

Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, was charged with sexual assault and breach of peace. She was released on a promise to appear in court on January 3. Police quickly found and identified Lamy because the woman was described as being on crutches, said Capt. Bob Myles.
(via reader Mike)


Note to Lunatic Left

Be careful what you wish for.

-- WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg police say an officer was forced to shoot and kill an armed man when efforts to subdue him with a Taser were unsuccessful.

One of the officers fired his Taser, but for some unexplained reason it did not work properly. An officer was then forced to use his service pistol.
More details from the Globe and Mail.
So far this year, Winnipeg police have pulled out tasers 160 times: 65 times the suspect complied after seeing the taser, 50 times a suspect was hit with the taser's probes, and 45 times it was touching the body and used in stun mode.

They do not keep statistics on the number of times a taser fails to work.


I'm from the government...

I'm here to save you...

It is the sort of question politicians dread but, under Japanese rules, are unable to ignore. A member of the opposition asked the government what its policy was to deal with UFOs.

The document revealed that Japan has not yet planned what to do should aliens arrive here.
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RELATED: Speaking of alien life forms

(via DMB)


Cops bag Xmas Card Killer

It's official... Kitchener Police have charged the suspect they arrested, for an earlier, separate assault... for the brutal murder of an elderly man.

-- KITCHENER, Ont. -- A Kitchener man has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of 74-year-old Hunter Brown, who was killed Saturday as he delivered his Christmas cards.

Several hours after releasing details of a similar assault Monday on a man who was shovelling snow just a few streets away, police arrested and charged a suspect in that assault.

On Tuesday evening, Waterloo Region police charged the 22-year-old with murder.

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18 December 2007

Yeah, let's lock up Latimer...

For a decade... but this fruitcake's gonna get a hospital vacation... while they tune up his meds.

-- KITCHENER, Ont. -- Police in Kitchener, Ont., have arrested a suspect in an assault on a man shovelling snow, which may be linked to the killing of a 74-year-old man delivering Christmas cards.

Hunter Brown was attacked on Saturday afternoon with what police describe as an “edged weapon” and was left to die in a neighbour's driveway next to a pile of Christmas cards.

Police say a similar attack took place Monday, in which a man shoveling his driveway was approached by a man who made a "negative reference" to God.
Not too many details yet... but this is starting to sound like a very familiar story.

If you're mentally ill and you need medication to function safely in the real world, then somebody... parents, family or a social worker... should have to step up and be legally responsible for making sure you take your meds.

If someone can't guarantee that one simple fact... people who can't distinguish fantasy from reality, just shouldn't be out in the larger world.

It's not worth the life of a single Hunter Brown.

It's that simple.

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RELATED: Or a single Brian Smith
Ontario's Conservative opposition leader took the government to task Thursday over the release of a man found not criminally responsible in the shooting death of Ottawa sportscaster Brian Smith in 1995.

Leeds-Grenville MPP Bob Runciman called on the province to re-evaluate the release criteria of the Ontario Review Board, the panel that gave Jeffrey Arenburg an absolute discharge, citing media reports that said the board found there was a 24-per-cent chance Mr. Arenburg would reoffend.

Mr. Arenburg, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, is under arrest for allegedly assaulting a U.S. border guard last week.
Not criminally responsible?

How about we rename this not socially capable?

Because somebody... sure as shit... has to be criminally responsible here.


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Somebody explain this to me

Thank you, National Parole Board...

Mr. Latimer has served seven years in jail for the second-degree murder of his severely handicapped daughter, a killing he has steadfastly described as an act of mercy.

Meanwhile, on the same day, another panel of the parole board met and agreed to release a violent offender whose random, unprovoked attack left a young woman, Ji-Won Park, permanently brain-damaged.
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FROM THE COMMENTS:
One of my twin daughters is severely mentally disabled such that it is unlikely that she will progress beyond the mental age of a one month old baby.

Although only 15 months old, she is already having medical problems such as severe curvature of her spine and one hip which will likely dislocate itself over the next few years.


It isn't news anymore...

It's some sort of poorly written puppet show...

"The next time your script includes a tour stop for the Spice Girls, fire somebody."
I despair, these days, of learning anything useful from the television news cycle. Too often Lloyd, or Lisa... is dramatically laying out some tired, old dog of a story... that hit the blogosphere days, or even weeks ago.

The recent "storm of the century" nonsense was especially maddening.

While big city news anchors were repeatedly pulling out their hair over the end of the world... people around here were making sure they had gas for the car and a fresh spark plug for the snowblower.

Before the snow had stopped falling, my neighbour... who also has a 700 foot setback from the road... had blown out his driveway AND MINE.

And that whole Karlheinz Shitbag farce... good grief.

If anybody actually has the goods on Brian Mulroney... and the Fiberals are making all sorts of noises like they do... charge the man and let him have his day in court.

I knew we had indisputably reached the apogee of assininity... when both CTV and Global (and no doubt other stations I missed) also ran big stories last night on " how to shovel your driveway."

That really is a pathetic commentary on how far this once proud country has fallen.

If we actually need step-by-step instructions on how to use our shovels... and that's the message we're being bombarded with on a daily basis... it is truly time to roll over and die.


17 December 2007

Break out the party hats...

And pour yourself another drink... and I'll turn on the Obituary Channel.

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Oh no, Canada

What... we don't have enough real criminals in this country?

Bruce Montague is a good, honest, simple man. He is persuaded that he is right and that, therefore, he must win under the law.

He is the sort of man Henry David Thoreau was talking about in his On the Duty of Civil Disobedience: those "heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men," who "serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part."
Go here to offer your help.

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RELATED: Both sides now...

The double-edged immigrant dream
Police have arrested a labourer from Ecuador in the killing of a Mississauga housekeeper this fall. Figueroa is originally from Ecuador but had been living in Toronto. He was planning to leave for South America in a few days, English said.

Jocelyn Dulnuan was found dead in her living quarters at a mansion on Doulton Place on Oct. 1. Dulnuan, 27, came to Canada in November 2006, seeking work to support her fiancé and child in the Philippines.
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Politically Correct Pablum

The gutless Globe and Mail tries to pretend the big story here... is a change to the way the votes are counted.

-- SOUTH AFRICA -- A compromise has been reached in which votes for the top six leadership positions (president and the rest of the executive) will be counted by hand and the other 54 positions on the ruling council automatically.
To find out what miniscule details the Globe chosen to omit... you have to click over to the Times Online.
From the outside it looks as if South Africa's miracle is over. Jacob Zuma, the former Deputy President who was charged with rape and may soon be charged with corruption, is about to become President of the African National Congress and is likely to be the next president of South Africa.

Thirteen years after the peaceful handover of power, the rainbow nation is threatened with a very nasty storm.
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RELATED: Education, education, education
-- WASHINGTON -- At an hour when most people here are sleeping or sinning, the worshipers of the Spiritual Warfare ministry gather in the cold sanctuary of a neighborhood church to battle evil.


He could always...

Make a case for it... the next time he appears on Oprah...

The actor Damon Wayans has been engaged in a 14-month fight to trademark the term "Nigga" for a clothing line and retail store, a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database reveals.

"While debate exists about in-group uses of the term, 'nigga' is almost universally understood to be derogatory," Boulton wrote to Wayans' attorney, William H. Cox, according to the application.

Cox and other representatives of the actor did not respond to interview requests about the registration.


Belleville's own answer...

To Howard Stern... CJBQ - 800am - The Lorne Brooker Show...

Poor ol' Lorne isn't having much luck stirring up public outrage over the unwillingness of doctors in the Quinte Healthcare area to perform abortions... so he's decided to go for a softer target...Brian Mulroney.

I thought I'd give Lorne a little feedback...

lorne...

where do you get off passing public judgement on brian mulroney?

not that i'm gonna defend anyone taking bags of cash for dubious purposes... but doesn't brian mulroney at least deserve the same sort of judicial process and protections as pig farmer cum homicidal maniac willie picton?

regards...

neo conservative
The answer I received over the airways was something like, "He's not guilty of anything... he's just a horrible liar"... which mostly sounds like a possible libel defense.

You've just gotta love how Lorne winds it all up...
"He's guilty of being Brian Mulroney... which some people might consider a crime in itself."
Good grief.

**********

UPDATE: Whew... that's a relief

Lorne has just announced on air that he isn't pleased with my pseudonymous communication (he's calling it a nasty email)... and by gawd, he wants names...
"It's not like I'm gonna send CSIS after him."
Geez, Lorne... you're the guy that chose to read the email out over the radio... it's not I was gonna send Luc Lavoie after you.

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Alrighty... looks like we're back onto the deplorable lack of abortions in the Quinte Healthcare area.
LB: "What would happen if a woman came in and needed an "emergency abortion"?
Well, Lorne, call me crazy... but I'm pretty sure the answer isn't...
"A group of doctors would stand around and watch her die."
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RELATED: Speaking of lefty outrage...
Whatever happened to Marion Boyd?
(via FFOF)

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Yet another chance...

For "the community" to step up and do the right thing... just don't hold your breath.

-- TORONTO -- Fitawrari Lunan was nervous and apprehensive in the days before he was tracked down and assassinated by two gunmen, and police need to know why if his killers are to be caught.

"He had some kind of baggage with somebody," Toronto Police homicide Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux said.

"Obviously, if he called someone and said, 'I'm worried because of X, Y, and Z,' I need to hear from them."


Having your "yellowcake"...

And eating it too...

The delivery of the nuclear fuel has removed one of the most significant practical sanctions against Tehran, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus.

Russia's foreign ministry said it had received assurances from Tehran that the fuel would not be used anywhere but at Bushehr. The foreign ministry statement urged Iran to stop enriching uranium, saying there was no longer any need.

But a senior Iranian official said his country would not halt uranium enrichment "under any circumstances".
Hey, Vlad... have you forgotten who we're dealin' with, here?

**********

RELATED: They want it all
Washington says Iran has no need to continue its own nuclear programme now that Russia has started delivering fuel to the Bushehr power plant.

But Tehran says it will not stop the uranium enrichment process despite the threat of further UN sanctions.
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16 December 2007

Timmy gets totalled

Where is your god now?

Canadian forces were involved in a major offensive Sunday that cleared Taliban insurgents and a weapons cache out of an area 40 kilometres west of Kandahar City.

No Canadian or coalition troops were injured during the one-day mission, called Operation Sharp Sword.

Officials confirmed that 41 Taliban insurgents were killed during the mission.