Monday, May 23, 2011

Richard Emmerson, Mary-Ann and I

These events occurred almost 30 years ago. I had all but forgiven the offending parties but recent events have caused me to feel offended again. My name is being used and dishonored to prevent someone from facing the truth and to save face. I can forgive the sins of old, although I will never forget those events. It's the current lies that are causing me offense.

I will relate the story here for anyone interested in the truth and as a way for me to heal. I am fully prepared to defend these words in court should the need arise.

As I said, it was almost 30 years ago. I was living with my then girlfriend, Mary-Ann, while attending Carleton U. I had cause to feel that I was being lied to so I watched and discovered that my girlfriend was seeing someone else, Richard, while living with me. That weekend, in the middle of the night came a knock on the door. It was Richard, who immediately attacked me. An attack that included a knife. I still bear that scar although I prevailed in the battle. Eventually the police arrived and we all got to go to the hospital for treatment, except Mary-Ann who was unharmed. The police informed me that Mary-Ann, in her statement, had said that Richard had called her earlier in the day to tell her of his intentions. In order to avoid a difficult conversation with me, she decided that he was bluffing and decided not to inform me of his intent. The police called it attempted murder for him and conspiracy for her. I told them I would not co-operate with them in any charges against her so they didn't charge her and lowered his charge to assault with a weapon. I was also informed that under the circumstances, I would have been justified in a much more severe and final reaction than I had taken. I restrained myself because she was right there the whole time, and almost paid with my life.

She eventually married this guy and we all moved on. I have met her several times over the years and she has always been cordial although not always honorable. Seems, she never learned much from it all, and really never learned anything about me. Again, no harm, no foul, as it didn't make much difference to me or my life. Until recently that is. I have come to believe that the truth of the matter is being avoided and my name is being dishonored to prevent some possibly interested parties from learning the truth of that day. This I find quite disturbing and unacceptable. She could have simply just avoided the subject if she chose not to be honest, I wouldn't care about that. Lying about me and my honor.... That I do care about and have taken steps to set the story straight. The life of her husband, and his children, are the direct result of my grace and honor that day. My honor remains. Any falsehoods regarding the story do far greater dishonor to the teller than they do to me. Anyone interested can comment and I will reply.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mohammad and Abraham

There is a fundamental truth which evades me. Many times I have contemplated this question but a logical answer just doesn't come to mind. So correct me if I'm wrong. According to my understanding Muslims are considered the sons and daughters of Mohammad and Jews are considered the sons and daughters of Abraham. Abraham and Mohammad were brothers. So if I'm not mistaken, this family feud has been taking untold numbers of lives for a very long time.

I can't help but wonder what Abraham and Mohammad might say about this today. How would they react to their personal responsibility for all these deaths resulting from their feud? In the face of all this slaughter might they not choose to end their fight or not even start it in the first place if the knowledge was foresight? I wonder.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Martial Arts Teachers

Honorable martial arts instructors do not teach their students how to fight, they teach them how not to.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Own Take on a Terrible Time, The Death of a Family Man

I have just finished reading the final post from a man who has died of cancer. He sounds like he was an exceptional man. I couldn't help but to be reminded of another man I once did not know.

That's right, I didn't know him. Many years ago, I had cause to work as a psychiatric sitter in several hospitals in the Ottawa area. One a children's hospital, another an adults. My job was to prevent people who were either dangerous to themselves or others from acting out on those tendencies without having to put them in a rubber room, so to speak. The people in question were almost always great people who at times might just lose it a little bit. By far the majority of the time I was just their friend. I mental demands of this job caused me to eventually leave it behind. The man in question was not my assignment. Mine was the senior citizen bedded across from him and who had tendencies to become distraught and violent. I had cause to be there during some days and some nights. On those days I witnessed this man across the room get visits from his beautiful wife and 2 adorable young kids. He was the very picture of a wonderful father who loved his family and wife very, very much.

I was also there to witness late at night, when he couldn't sleep,as he wept quietly to himself. The man was dying from cancer. I wasn't there when he died but was there to look at his empty bed.

I didn't know this man,
didn't even know his name
I didn't know this man
yet I knew him all the same.
I didn't know this man,
yet was there to see his pain
I did not know this man
but I loved him all the same.
I didn't know this man,
from so many,many years ago,
yet to this day I mourn him, all the same.

Cancer is one of the most devastating things that can ever happen to a human being. I didn't know the man in BC but I celebrate his grace, and mourn his passing, all the same.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Do We Even Need the Police and Military Anymore?

I have read an awful variety of opinions on this question in the recent past. Opinions from every different corner of the political spectrum. There are a great many who view the police and military with the greatest disdain and mistrust. I have to admit, there a many valid reasons for it. They have both grown to be symbols of a very broken system and world. They have both come to represent a system of repression and very much a direct opposition to freedom and democracy. In North America this has become more direct than at any time in the past. Combine this with the overwhelming dishonesty of our elected officials and we have the seeds of complete chaos. I only know one serving police officer and have tried to engage him in this conversation. I have been completely unsuccesful. I have absolutely no idea why he is so reluctant to discuss the issues but it disturbs me to an incredible degree. If I can not even get so much as one officer to enter into this debate with me, what hope do we have in getting law enforcement back on the side of the people?

The odds are not with us. I believe that we require our law enforcement people. I believe that along with teachers, they should be among our most honored members of society. This, however, completely relies on our ability to get them back to being agents of the people, not agents of a very select portion of our society. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to meet with some very sociopathic people in my lifetime. Some of them upstanding members of society. Some of them serving members of our military. Perhaps this has been the result of different types of brainwashing, perhaps not. I'll leave that to more expert testimony than my own. The bottom line is the fact that they exist, both here and abroad. The world can be a very dangerous place. I chose not to live my life in fear of that, but I can never completely ignore it. The experts can, perhaps, explain the origins of these types of people. We, as a species, may even be able to all but eliminate the underlying causes of their creation. The fact remains that we have them now. There are human beings committing horrors to rival anything we might ever see in the movies. We seem to be very creative that way. I won't even begin to list them here. I don't think I have to for anyone to see this reality. I think it must be obvious that we will need our law enforcement officials until such a day comes when any man, woman, or child can walk down any urban street with total safety, at anytime of the day or night and with the full confidence that should they need it, every single able bodied member of our society would run to their aid.

Until such a days comes, we better figure out a way to get our enforcement personnel to serve everyone's needs, not just the disguised needs of the rich.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Where do I go from here

Over a thousand posts, although it's been some time since I felt inspired. I guess I got to the point where I felt I've pretty much said all I had to say. A lot of people are saying pretty much the same things as I, many if not most, with more eloquence and raw facts to back up their points than I will ever have. Far from being depressed by that fact, I find it heartening. People are starting to face on mass that the system is broken. I think the vast majority would vote socialist if they weren't so scared that it would descend into another USSR or China.

Perhaps we might start with something simpler, basically another Bill of Rights, or whatever else we might choose to call it. A statement of a set of basic rights and goals that we as a society can all agree on. There are a great many basic ideas that all socially ethical humans can agree on regardless of race or religion. The concept that people should not be thrown out of there homes by banks, they should all have food and clothing, education and health care, all the basic amenities of life. One human should never be able to profit from the suffering of another. I think coming up with an agreement across all portions of society, other the the filthy rich, should be fairly simple.

I think a revolution on a global scale is coming. What form it takes remains to be seen. The alternative is to stand back and watch as the human race self-destructs and take the planet along with us. If we act now, we can control the path of the future before the inevitable chaos which is sure to come if we don't. We can no longer wait for our self serving politicians and their financial sector controllers to decide our fate. We must assume personal responsibility for what is to come. None of us can afford to sit this one out.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Change is Slow, but There Is Still Hope

I haven't posted anywhere near as much as I used to. The reasons are varied but have a lot to do with the nature of my posts. After having ranted on about practically everything for a few years, I found myself getting a little to negative for my own good. There remains in the world pretty much everything that I have raved about before but there are signs that all is not bad.

In Arizona, the story of the little girl of Liberian descent who was raped and then reject4ed by her family for having shamed them is drawing the world's attention. My first re-action was to call for the expulsion of the family members from the U.S. for having shamed the country. The current President of Liberia has shown more wisdom in her re-action. Across America the offers to help the little girl are pouring in. Maybe, we're not all bad.

For years, the Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures have been portrayed with ignorance and fear among western media. The result has been the establishment of many false ideas concerning them. The radicals among Islam would have us believe that an Islamic culture of the past is tantamount to returning to the dark ages. Yet there are signs of change. I watched a program on Discovery a couple of nights ago which went into detail about some of the ancient discoveries by the likes of Al Jazarri( spelling?). The man was creating double suction pumps hundreds of years before western society had thought they existed. What's more is the fact that he was expanding on the work of men from a thousand years before. It is clear that the Middle Eastern societies had technology far more advanced than had been previously thought and literally thousands of years before us. The engineer in me just loved this program and I remain in awe of these people's accomplishments.

The fact that this program was created, that shows like " Little Mosque on the Prairie" are being made, are being shown and well received here in Canada makes me think that perhaps there is still hope for us ignorant few. That fact that in polls socialism is on a major rise here in the west suggest a higher level of consciousness may be coming for us. Perhaps more of us are starting to see the light and envision a world of peace and justice, a world of knowledge and wisdom not only for our sons, but for our wives and daughters as well.

A strange anniversary: On July 1st 1975, my family, and I left Colo. Springs returning home to Canada. I just learned that that was also the day that Kelsey Grammars' sister Karen was abducted and killed there. Her killer is up for parole. He should never get it!!!!!! We can't bring her back, but the monster who did that to her should never get the chance to do it again. He forfeited that right the day he killed that young woman. I don't care if he has since found Jesus. I don't care if Allah himself appeared to him to forgive him. The way I see it, that's between him and his God. As far the rest of us, Let Him Rot!

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Little Warm Out

I haven't written anything about the environment for a while. Mainly because I figure it get's a little tiresome after saying it a hundred times. But once again we seem to be upping the ante. The Arctic ice is melting at an unbelievable rate. Some scientists believe we have already reached and passed the tipping point. We really must hurry!!!

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HP Photosmart M437 Camera: a Review

3 Words: What a Mistake!!!!

The Story:

I bought the M437 last November as a Christmas gift for my daughter. She didn't open it until Christmas morning. I helped her set it up and immediately noticed that it was quite difficult to get the battery cover to close properly. I put it down to newness and thought it would get easier as the camera was used. I was wrong. One month later she showed it to me with a small piece missing from the battery cover. The missing piece was the part that had the locking grooves for the cover. The camera was now useless. I went back to Circuit City where I bought it and they informed me that I had to deal directly with Hewlett Packard. Fine! I went on the computer and got a service number and called. Things went swimmingly until we got to the part where he asked for the address to send the camera too. OOOppps! The number I had called was the American service number so he informed me that I must talk to the Canadian office. No problem... He would transfer the file and my call over and it should all take a few more minutes. The Canadian office person took an entirely different approach. He said that the damage was accidental in nature and therefore was not covered under warranty. I replied that he was mistaken and that I could quite easily prove it. Firstly: My daughter's best friend got the same camera for Christmas and hers did the exact same thing in the exact same place. Second: An externally applied force and an internal stress fracture leave a significantly different pattern on the plastic and this can be viewed under a microscope. They could confirm my conclusions quite easily enough. Alas, all was to no avail. The guy wouldn't budge.
I am left with several options. A lawsuit would be easily winnable but is it worth it for such a small item? I have since bought another camera and will absolutely never buy another HP product in my life so the only thing that I would gain would be justice and satisfaction by starting a lawsuit. By the way, when asked they refused to provide me with an address of service, the place to send the court notice! More expense would be needed to find out where in Canada to send the thing.
All this over an eighty dollar camera. So, buy at your own risk. Or if you require a beautiful, brand new boxed camera to use as a book holder. I have one just like that!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Camp Medway, Nova Scotia and Whale Watching with Mariner Cruises

We just got back from spending a week at Camp Medway at Port Medway, Nova Scotia. I can't help but to say a few things about the place. The cottage was simply stunning! I'm not sure which of the owner's friends or family built it, ( pictures in the cottage) but the very obviously took great pride in their work and possessed considerable talent and craftsmanship. Add to that the unbelievable quality of all the amenities and it adds up to something that just can't be beat. i can't even begin to list everything, but suffice to say we didn't want to leave. Not the least of which was Maggie's( the owner) suggestions for fun and scenery. One of the things we experienced at her recommendation was the following.

We took the suggestion to go to Brier Island on the coast of the Bay of Fundy. Their we got onto the boat of the highly respected Mariner Cruise Service. Captain Roy ( decorated for bravery by the Governor General in Ottawa) treated us to the most spectacular experience of my life as we came literally face to face with humpback whales and even the extremely rare North Atlantic Right Whale. Even a Sperm Whale. This tour is a must for anyone who has the opportunity.
The above picture was a baby humpback who, along with three adults seemed to play around our boat for about twenty minutes until the Captain moved us away so we wouldn't disturb them too much. The baby would keep swimming on it's back while waiving it's flippers. This was one of many groups we saw that day!

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It's Been Awhile

Haven't had much time over the summer to post. I will try to be a little more regular in the future. A lot has happened from our vacation to homefront. More about all that to follow

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

New York's Governor's Sleaze

It's bad enough being the winner of America's hypocrite of the decade award. What I don't understand is why he would further submit his wife to humiliation by having her appear with him during his big apology speeches. "I'm so sorry America, I never expected to get caught". I really can't understand why the wives always seem to stand by the side of these guys. I would expect them to say rather, " you got yourself into this shit without me so you can get yourself out of it without me". It seems that they never do.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Canada, The U.N. and Global Warming

The U.N. is starting to really speak with one voice concerning global warming. It's getting harder and harder for opponents to argue the effects, which few are. Now nay-sayers are admitting to the fact of the warming but are still arguing that it's because of the natural pattern of warming and cooling. Big tip.... the rates are all wrong for the natural explanation.

Meanwhile, in a sign of things to come, Canada is stepping up patrols in the north. I'm certain we are going to hear a lot more about this one as then Arctic continues to warm.

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Is America ready for a Black President?

I was watching "The Daily Show" the other day. They had this series of clips from a variety of stations asking this question in connection with the coming election. What is amazing to me is the fact that none of them realize that the very question is offensive and extremely racist. The color of the skin isn't going to make any difference only their relative score on the idiot meter. Why is it always very white people with extremely white teeth that are asking this question? While it's obvious that I may be a little outspoken at times, I was quite surprised by the number of clips that were played. It actually sounded like something out of the sixties or before. Of course America is ready for a black , white, Chinese, female, or any other classification that we would choose to put on them. Personally, I think that being a politician is reason enough to hate them.... ha, ha. I mean come on... if your going to fill your heart with hatred , at least hate everyone equally!!!!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

It's Been a While

I can't believe I finally got the new blogger working properly... so far. I had pretty much given up in frustration quite a while ago. Alas I am back! It has been an interesting year of changes and travelling. Things are going quite well. My wife has moved into another house with the girls and my son has stayed with me. They ar eright next door and my wife remains, at the very least, my best freind. We get along better than ever. I completely understand her reasons for moving, I can be a little intense for most people at times. Not violent, or aggressive, just intense.
Besides, she's never been on her own and she really needed to have the chance for her own personal growth. I'm glad they are right next door so I can be here for them. Anyway, I am back and will try to post once in a while.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Global Warming and the North

It seems that finally, pretty much everyone is now accepting the concept of global warming and the fact that humans are mostly responsible for it. considering the fact that I first read about the idea back in the seventies. Now that everyone has gotten the idea, there are more problems to deal with. Many are reporting that the climate in the North will improve while the south declines. While the average temperature in the north may go up, this will hardly respresent an improvement. Insects and rodents will come with the increase, along with tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought in summer, and all varieties of extreme weather events. Growing seasons will become more unpredictable. All in all, not such a great improvement. To tell you the truth, I kind of liked it the way it was.

People talking about all the improvements that come with global warming can only serve to hide from the realities. There will be very little in the way of improvements to the climate. All of our efforts should now go into surviving what is to come and doing everything in our power to undo the damage, or at the very least decrease it. We are out of time.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

What Happened

I figured I'd give this another try. I can't explain it but it seems that I can post again. I'll try again tomorrow to see if I can continue to post. If so, than I will start to write articles again.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On That Canadian Justice Note

Following up on my post about the Canadian Justice systems lack of fortitude... A Canadian man has been given a 15 month sentence for putting a baby in a freezer. The guy said the baby had a fever and this was his way of helping out. The baby got frostbite and was lucky ( or unlucky in this case) to not have died. There you have it, Canadian justice at it's finest.

I have been trying for weeks to log in and post to the new Blogger format. All to no avail. I have a google account and have elected to change but still cannot post to blogger. I can log in but that's all I don't even get the post screen. Anyone have any suggestions? Very frustrating! I have no idea how to fix the problem. Nothing I try seems to work. It says I am logged in but no post screen comes up. Help!!!!!

By Blogger Wil Smith, at 11:28 p.m.  

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Muslim Conflict

There are many thing about the battles going on in the Muslim world that I don't understand. Probably the biggest one of these is the concept of going out and killing people and saying it's out of some belief in god. A special place in hell should be reserved for anyone who goes out and kills, deliberately, women and children and then use god as an excuse. Another thing I don't understand is the concept of Muslim killing Muslim. I read that the Sunni and Shiite conflict has been going on since the 8th century. 1300 years! That's a disgrace beyond all comprehension. All those deaths, and for what?

It may already be too late for the world to find peace and solve some of the problems that threaten the very existence of our planet's survivability. If it's not, then that point is coming fast. So long as we keep killing each other in the name of god, this will not happen. God doesn't make murderers, men do.

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American Justice Again

Once again the American's have set an example that the Canadian justice system would do well to take note of. In California, a child molester has been sentenced to 152 years in prison. I doubt he will ever be released with a sentence like that. I can't remember there ever having been a case in the Canadian courts where such a sentence has been handed down. Pity! Canadians are fed up with our system releasing these monsters back onto the streets over and over again. Our politicians should take note. It is not a matter of rehabilitation, that has nothing to do with it. It is a matter of responsibility to perform the mandate that the justice system has been given. That is to dispense justice and ensure that monsters like this never get the chance to do it again. It's great if they are rehabilitated, it's great if they find Jesus or whoever, that doesn't change the fact that they have forfeited their right to walk among humans in freedom by engaging in acts like this.

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Snoop Dog's " I Wanna Fu.. You Dirty"

My 12 year old daughter came home the other day with a new song loaded onto her MP3 player by one of her friends. The song was Snoop Dog's I Wanna Fu.. You Dirty. I was horrified. For one thing , she is ony 12. I find the very name of the song offensive. I've never said I wanna fu.. you to anyone in my life. There are a lot of these type of songs out there today. What ever happened to the concept of social responsibility? Don't any of these new artists recognize that there are many kids out there who will listen to this music? Don't any of them have kids of there own? Is this the kind of language and example they show their own kids? It's time the artists and their recording companies show a little morality and demonstrate just a little responsibility for the material that they produce. I can't help but wonder if they bothered to put any warnings on the packaging about the crude and offensive material that it contained. I've never had a problem with Snoop Dog in the past. That all changed the day that I had to edit my little girl's MP3 player.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Arar Thing Just Will Not Go Away

The Canadian government has settled with Mr. Arar for the role they played in his abduction by American authorities and subsequent deportation to Syria to spend a couple of years being tortured. I have no problem with this as he deserved to be compensated for having his rights trampled all over by our government. Now Steve Harper is demanding the Americans remove him from their watch list. The Americans are refusing to do so for unknown reasons. Here's my problem. I don't know why the Yanks are refusing but I don't have to. It is totally within their right to refuse any foreign national that they prefer to not have in their country for any reason they wish. We don't have to agree with their reason. Steven Harper is making a fool of himself to suggest any different.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yet Another North American Monster

There's one thing that Canada and the U.S. have in common. That is the incomprehensible number of monsters that our culture seems to generate. The latest is an American man who saw fit to decapitate his four year old daughter and leave her for his wife to find. I just can't understand how any father could do this to his little girl under any circumstances. I also can't understand why we seem to generate so many men ( and women for that matter) who can bring themselves to acts like this.

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Little Mosque on the Prairie

Had a chance to check out this show on Canada's CBC network last week. In short ... it was great. It is a very humorous look at a Muslim community's efforts to make themselves comfortable in Canada's west. It refreshing to see a show that highlights the racism of many Canadians in the west as well as diminishing many of the stereotypes applied to the Muslims. I enjoyed it very much and hope that the CBC lets this show have it's chance to really take off. Tip of the hat to the CBC for giving this one a chance, it's definitely worth it.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blogging Frustration

Have been having a hard time posting lately. It seems that after spending the effort to write a piece, I go to post it and I end up losing what I've tried to post. This is particularly frustrating when the post is a long one and it can't be retreived. Such was the case yesterday when I wrote something on the Idaho wolf cull. Very frustrating to say the least. So much so that I won't attempt to re-spend the effort already given to re-create that post. That's unfortunate because I think it's an important issue. The problem is that the second effort will never match the first because of that same frustration so I would rather not spend it. Bummer! I am contuing to experience problems with posting so I am reluctant to attempt anything to lengthy until I am sure that the trouble has been resolved.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Middle Eastern Justice, or Lack Therein

I have often had reason to question the logic, ethics, and justice behind the application of law in the Middle East. Most often this has to do with justice for women. Here's another case. A woman is on trial, her second, in Iran for the murder of a man who along with two others was trying to rape her and her young niece. She was 17 at the time. In Iran, she would have been punished no matter what she did. Don't fight and she receives 100 lashes. If married and doesn't fight she receives the death sentence. In this case she fought back and has already received the death sentence, but a new trial was ordered and she may again face the same sentence.

In many cases justice is something that just doesn't exist at all for women in the middle east. It seems when a man commits horrendous crimes against a woman, he seldom receives anything near what could be considered justice. No matter what the woman does, she can expect the most severe penalties, almost as if it was her fault that some animal decides that she just has to be raped or killed, burned or beaten. There are many Muslim women who are working hard to change this ugly fact of life. Many who risk their lives doing so, such as the Canadian journalist who was killed in Iranian custody. There are also many Muslim men who are taking the brave action of speaking out against this type of crime and the lack of appropriate legal response to it. The world needs more of both if it is to be stopped. Everyone must speak out about it, in fact, if the life of a 17 year old girl is to be saved simply for trying to protect herself from human monsters.

An excellent articel on the legal concepts and religious aspects is this one.

For Amnesty International's petition for the girl's safety go here.

It;s unknown if this petition will do any good whatsoever, but they have worked in the past. In any case, at least it's something.

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Art Teacher Fired

This one would be humorous if it wasn't for the fact that the guy was fired. Apparently, this teacher is an artist who uses his butt and privates to do his work in his off time. Word got out and he was fired. The school board says it was because he's expected to act in a proper manner while off duty. I'd have to say his rights are being violated in this case. Artists often use unconventional means to create their art. Many I find offensive. That doesn't mean their work deserves to be censored. In fact, this may actually be beneficial for his students to know because it may cause them to think outside the box when it comes to art, and life in general. Hardly a bad thing. Effectively, the man has been fired because this board is making a moral judgment over a pretty harmless activity. I don't think we would have to be psychic to see a lawsuit in this school board's future.

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Israel's Nuclear Plans for Iran

According to the report, Israel has created a nuclear attack plan for Iran. Hardly surprising considering the words coming out of the nutcase Iranian President's mouth since he came to office. I do have to consider the wisdom of this plan being leaked at this time however. The last thing Iran needs is more excuses to continue down the path they have been following of late.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

I can't say I Blame the Kenyans

Kenya has deported Somalian refugees and closed it's borders after helicopters mistakenly ( of course) bombed Kenyan positions while trying to stop fleeing Somaliians. Hard to fault them really although this one is a tough call. The situation in Somalia has been a mess for years. It's easy to understand why people would want to escape it. That being said, it's also easy to understand why Kenya would not want to import those same problems. If it is morally wrong to interfere with the internal politics of another nation, then certainly the neighbors of said nation have a right to prevent the violence from spreading to their country.

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Australia Protests U.S. Policy in Guantanamo

We knew that this one was just a matter of time. Australia has now added it's voice to the protests over the American's total disregard for international law in Guantanamo. This follows Britain, who managed to get their citizens released. Another recent development is France's Chirac pointing out that the American's disregard for those same laws has de-stabilized the entire Middle East and thrown Iraq into a full blown civil war. The politics in the U.S. may be changing, but it's the old case of maybe a too little, way to late. The damage to American credibility and influence in the world will be felt for years to come. I fact, they may very well have permanently surrendered their position of the voice of freedom and democracy in the world.

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Brazilian Model and You-Tube

This one is interesting. A Brazilian model is taped having sex on the beach. A Brazilian court first orders you-tube to remove the video and when it is re-posted orders you-tube removed from the Brazilian internet. The interesting part is this..... They were having sex in a public place. If it were you or I then we not only would not get this verdict but we might possibly face prosecution for public lewdness of indecent exposure. In this case, the judge orders you-yube shut down. As I see it, if you choose to have sex in public and it gets taped and put on you-tube, you have no-one to blame but yourself. It would be altogether different if you were in private and someone taped you without your knowledge. This is obviously not the case here.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

On a More Personal Note: A Warning to Prospective Landlords

First a little background. Several months ago my wife and I decided to separate after 15 years. We have been getting along great since, strangely enough. I traveled to Canada's far Northwest for work to make things a little easier. She knew a woman from work who told her of her own separation and her need to find a place to live. My wife is an exceedingly trusting, giving, and caring person. The kind of person who can't see wrong in others, only the good. I met this woman and had serious misgivings. I felt that she was not all she appeared to be. In any case, my wife chose to rent the lower half of our large house to her anyway. I supported her in this decision as I have chosen to support her in any way that I could following our separation for the good of all involved, especially the kids. Suffice it to say, all has not gone well. My wife asked me back for Christmas but she said that I would be shocked by the changes. That was an understatement. It seems that shortly after my departure the woman brough her self-described guard dog to the house. She had agreed with my wife to put the dog in a kennel that had been acquired for that purpose. Suffice it to say that the woman decided after the dog and kennel were here that she just couldn't bear to put the beast into it. She called this 150 pound vicious animal her " silly little puppy". Her silly little puppy destroyed 3 separate rooms of the downstairs unit. It tore through the bathroom door and casement, shredded the doorknob, ripped apart the sheet flooring, shredded the carpet in another room, and fouled the carpet in a third. That's just the start. Her rabbit left excrement in 2 other rooms and her birds in a third. The entire downstairs had just had 30,000 dollars in renovations in preparation for the sale of the house so my wife could buy a much smaller place that she could handle in my absence. When my wife went down one day and discovered the damage to the property, she immediately told the woman that the dog had to go outside as she had agreed to and that she could then start to make the repairs. The woman went nuts and absolutely refused to put the dog outside as she had agreed. This even after the dog went after my daughter in the stairwell. My daughter made it up the stairs before it got her but she is still now terrified of dogs one month later. The total damage exceeds 10,000 dollars. All this in less than 2 months. I am not so nice as my wife. Once I arrived and had been informed of the situation and my wife's now terror of this irresponsible and dangerous woman and her pets I took immediate action. It took me 12 days to get her out and that only because she still refused to put the dog outside. It would have taken me longer but she decided to bolt before the total of the legal filings had arrived. I only managed to get the first one filed before she fled. There are many more to come. My wife informs me that she left her job after receiving another summons from her previous landlord not 2 days after I had arrived. I understand that their damage exceeds 20,000 dollars and includes every room in their entire house. Every carpet and floor in that house has to be replaced. My wife has now decided that she is simply not mean enough to be a good landlord. She was just trying to help this woman and now all her plans have been put back significantly if not destroyed all together. It will take an immense effort to clean up and repair the damage. I must return North shortly so it will take me time to return and continue with this task. My wife's Christmas was all but ruined by this. I am fortunate that I know a fair bit about tenant laws in Ontario as well as the Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act. It also doesn't hurt to have a sister who is a licensed paralegal in Ontario. In any case the expenses will keep mounting in our attempts to track, serve, and collect from this woman. I feel like telling my wife I told you so, but i just can't be that cruel to her after all that she has endured since I left. Landlords or potential landlords be warned. One tenant and a couple of months could very well destroy your life for years to come unless you are firm enough to handle the problem head on and do the proper background checks prior to letting anyone enter into your property.

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Canadian Justice System or Lack Therein

I've written many times about the farce that our justice system has become. Here is another example of how it should be done. In this case it's Thailand that has shown the proper response to a vicious crime. A man has murdered his Canadian wife while in Thailand. In Canada we might expect to see him walking the streets in as little as 10 years, less if he was convicted of manslaughter. In Thailand the sentence was 34 years. Now that's a lot more like it. Canada might take note of it and similar sentences in the U.S. when some monster gets convicted of this type of crime. Canada's justice system does very little to punish those it convicts in the majority of cases and miserably fails in it's responsibility to the people to make them safe from a repeat of this type of crime from the same person. The case of the Peterborough man convicted of contracting an undercover officer to kill his wife is a great example. He even asks the officer about the sound her neck made when breaking. He got four years. He will likely be out in two and a half. Where the hell is the justice in that? It's all fine and dandy to want to rehabilitate. That logic fails when it comes to things like this. The law has a responsibility to the people that goes beyond this concept. The laws first responsibility should be to prevent that person from ever getting the chance to do it again. We can't stop the person from doing it once but we sure can prevent them from doing it again. When we fail to do this the responsibility becomes ours.

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The Saddam Execution

Well, it's a doe deal now. He's dead. The butcher of Baghdad is gone. I wish this all had gone some other way, almost any other way then the way in which it has. We are now getting the reports of the dishonourable way that his execution was performed complete with taunts right up to his final moments. I remember the days leading up the Bush's great attack on the weapons of mass destruction and the terrorist base that he claimed Iraq to be. The U.N. inspectors were reporting that there efforts were working and that he had no such weapons. These reports were ignored, they didn't fit into George's agenda. Billions of dollars later, 3000 dead American soldiers, many more dead innocent Iraqis, and no end in sight to what has now become a full blown civil war, and all for Bush's political agenda. History will judge this incompetent fool very, very harshly I suspect. Rumsfeld is now gone, good riddance, but Cheney is still around. Thankfully the next elections are not very far away and Bush's time will come. The devastating mess in Iraq and the U.S. that is left will be paid for by the next generations, pity. It's an awful shame that the American leaders apparently learned nothing from Vietnam. The major lesson there was quite simple. You cannot force your ideals on a nation when a major portion of the population resents your presence. The only way that this could done is with a vast genocidal approach. Thankfully, the American people would no longer allow that to happen, even if they did during the campaign to seize control from America's first nations peoples.

Meanwhile, the reports are coming in about Saddam's execution. Opinions are going both ways as to it's merits. I've already stated my opinion, so I won't repeat it. The legal issues are also being discussed. This points to my major concern: the complete disregard for international law and the concept of a fair trial. Some are arguing that he didn't deserve any more fairness than those he exterminated. I disagree. We should always endeavor to rise above such pettiness and apply the law to all equally fairly. Should we fail to do so, than none of us is safe from the same treatment when the notion comes to our leaders at the time.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam's Execution Immanent

The gallows are ready and his death is expected within days. I can't say I feel sorry for the man, even if I don't believe in the concept of capital punishment. By all reports, the man is a monster. I don't believe in capital punishment for one reason above all. If it's wrong to kill other than in self-defense, then it's wrong for the state to do the same. My main problem with the whole Saddam execution is the trial he underwent. According to pretty much every international lawyer in the world, the trial was patently unfair and the U.S. has acted outside International law. This sets a significantly bad precedent which will very likely further undermine American credibility worldwide, not that they have much left. Seems to me that he could have been convicted easily enough had his rights been upheld and he be allowed a fair trial with an adequate defense. Alas, twas not the case. So the world may be rid of yet one more monster among many, but the negative effects of the manner in which it has been accomplished will be felt for years to come.

On a related note: American dollars spent on the war in Iraq $300 Billion
Number of WMDs found 0

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Iranian Military in Iraq

It has been suggested frequently that the Iranians have been involved in the ongoing insurgency in Iraq. It appears that the accusations have been correct. Iranian Military members have been arrested in Iraq. The Iraqi President is saying they were there at his request, which further complicates the mess that is Iraq.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pot Now Top U.S. Crop

I find this quite interesting. Pot is now the number one U.S. crop. This is quite amazing considering all the Bush accusations about Canada being the great supplier of pot in the U.S. because of our soft drug laws. There are far to many drug users sitting in jail in both our countries while violet criminals are being released for lack of space. The U.S. is now the world leader in the number of it's citizens who are behind bars. The a percentage of people that I am referring to. More than China, more than Russia, more than anyone. Now what was that about freedom? Freedom and democracy is not championed by poverty, imprisonment, crime, ignorance, and lack of faith. The U.S. must address all these failures before it can be a true bastion of democracy and freedom. There is still time. Start in the schools. Pay attention to what the rest of the world teaches it's kids in history class for one. It is a far different course that what's in the American history books which often more resemble fiction that fact. Is it any wonder that America has so little understanding of the views of everyone else.

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New Orleans Insurance Coverage

At least one judge has ruled that insurance has to cover the losses from the flooding in New Orleans. It's obvious that such a flood was going to happen considering the history of the city and the feds lack of taking the proper steps to prevent the disaster. This was not just a case of an Act of God. Negligence played a big part of it. Of course, the insurers can now sue the government for the levee failure. In any case, the building of New Orleans in the manner in which it was can only be described as irresponsible. It was a recipe for disaster as soon as they started to reclaim the swamps and develope them. To now rebuild it in the same fashion ensures that such a disaster will come again.

We seem to have this foolish habit of thinking only in the near future which has led mankind and our environment to the state it now is. We must start thinking of the future if we will be able to save anything worth saving.

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An Interesting Solution to Global Warming

Now there's one solution. That is to sue the people responsible for the pollution problem in the first place. Thirteen U.S. states are suing the EPA over its failure to follow the advice of it's own scientists in setting soot emissions standards. They say that these emissions are directly responsible for thousands of deaths in the US every year. We might take note here in Canada, although we are, as a whole, much less sue happy. If our leaders fail to listen to the outpouring of concern for our environment, then they might pay a whole lot more attention to an avalanche of lawsuits over their failure to respect their mandated task of taking reasonable precautions and steps to protect our safety.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Term is Cracker not Hacker

So a cracker ( hacker) has gotten into the UCLA computer database. Disturbing enough, for the people whose information has now been stolen, but it gets worse. The fine folks at UCLA are dealing with it by notifying those involved and giving them information on how to prevent identity theft. Too Late! The best way to prevent identity theft is to make sure your social security number doesn't end up on databases such as this!

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Ottawa Cop Wants to Keep Job?

This one seems to be a no-brainer. He's caught stealing, threatens that he has a gun when caught by security, and still feels he should be a cop. That alone is one reason why he shouldn't be. He obviously doesn't appreciate the fact that cops need the public trust and must hold themselves above reproach. He can have neither. The excuses he gives for his actions are almost laughable if the case wasn't so serious. Those stated reasons might be enough to get him psychiatric assistance but should never allow him to keep his job.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

And Speaking of the Afghan Women

The suicides, and attempted suicides, continue. Is it any wonder why so many women in Afghanistan try to escape their suffering by attempting suicide. The mere thought of freedom can get them killed much less speaking out. Hopefully, at some point, the men of Afghanistan will find enough value in these women to treat them as humans, with respect and dignity. The result will be a better country for all. These women should be cherished, supported, defended, and honored. Anything less is a disgrace.

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Taliban Targets Women... Again

Afghanistan has a long history of developing strong warriors. That's only one of the reasons that the Taliban's actions are so reprehensible. Once again they have chosen to target women. One might think that such a strong warrior tradition would prevent the attacks against the defenseless, if for no other reason than because of the shame resulting from such an action. Do they not feel that shame or embarrassment over the fact that mere words uttered from these women would instill such fear that they would kill them? The fear of ideas, freedom, change, and women's rights is what drives these murders, and murder is what it is. I challenge the freedom fighters of Afghanistan to stand up in strength and challenge these cowardly attackers. Show the courage and leadership that the Afghani men have so long been known for. Do not let the actions of a few cowards bring shame down on all the men of Afghanistan, for shameful is what these acts are, nothing less.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A World of Financial Inequality

The vast majority of the world's wealth remains in the hands of a very select few. I world have hoped that this would have begun to change before now, but alas it has not. Capitalist democracies survive by perpetuating the myth and dream that this vast wealth is somehow attainable by everyone. This is quite simply not the truth. By far the majority of the world is far more concerned with basic survival than the pursuit of this wealth. While this situation remains, so will the basic causes of world strife and conflict as more and more people live with this disillusionment and must fight for their very right just to live.

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Speech Far From Free in China

China has made some gains along the lines of free speech and true justice in the last couple of years but this case shows they still have far to go. While an activist is being tried inside, his wife is being arrested outside. Yup, a long way still to go.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Canadian Airforce Vets angered over Display

The vets are angry about a war museum display regarding the bombing campaign in Germany during WW2. Essentially, the display states that the practice of bombing German cities was effectively useless. I would have to disagree. We must remember that Germany was involved in the Battle of Britain which essentially targeted London for almost a year. Hitler had promised the German people that no bombs would fall on Germany. The bombing of the German cities discredited Hitler in Germany. It also enraged him to the point where he kept up the bombing of London, which had the effect of keeping his bombers away from more strategic targets thereby allowing the British to rebuild their airforce and industrial capabilities. In other words, there was a point to the whole thing. It very well may have prevented Britain from being invaded. It was certainly a dirty tactic, fact is, there were a great many dirty aspects to that war, and pretty much everyone since.

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Cellphone Ban Creates Dilemma

I can understand why Quebec has banned the use of cellphones and cameras in the classroom following the posting of a humiliating video of a Quebec teacher on YouTube. My problem with the concept has to do with those teachers who violate the rules and ethics themselves. Cellphone cameras may be the only viable tool a student has to prove the accusations against such a teacher. It's true that the cameras may be misused, but I strongly worry that their lack might be even more dangerous. Perhaps a better approach might be to train teachers to better respond to the kind of taunting that created the embarrassing video in the first place as opposed to removing the proof of such.

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Canadian Peacekeeper in Africa

One of the officers who was a veteran of the disatrous Rwanda mission has returned to Africa as an instructor at one of the peacekeeping schools there. A noble task to be sure. After so many failures of then UN peacekeeping effort it would appear that they are finally learning something. The attempt to train Africans to act as peacekeepers is one example. What amazes me is that one of the Canadians who was witness to the horror in Rwanda would ever go back. The physiological damage from Rwanda almost drove Dallaire insane, as I'm sure it would almost any person who was sane to begin with. Major Lacine must be an extraordinary man to return at all. I highly doubt that I could. Perhaps this is, in part, his own therapy for dealing with the nightmares that must still haunt him.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

U.S. Army Talks

At least one army general is saying that they read a notice from Rumsfeld which approved harsh interrogation methods in Iraq. No surprise here at all. What is a surprise is the fact that a general would admit this openly. It should have been obvious by now that these methods had been approved at the highest level. The recent attempt to get torture legalized should have been enough to convince anyone still refusing to believe it.

There has also been the suggestion that without stopping the Islamic terrorists there would be a new world war. Unfortunately, I would have to agree with this one. In fact, it could be argued that we are already fighting a world war. The fighting and killing is going on in such a large portion of the world in one form or another that this appears to be the case. The problem is that any world war would not be caused solely by the terrorists but as much by out reaction to it. Iraq is a lovely example of this concept. There was no terrorist problem in Iraq before George Bush decided to try and convince us that there was and invaded in part for that reason. A world war is hardly inevitable. Bush is looking for a new strategy. He might try honesty and ethics, starting with his own citizens.

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