Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Blue Tooth was a Viking!

The name Bluetooth is derived from the cognomen of a 10th century king, Harald Bluetooth King of Denmark and Norway from 935 and 936 respectively, to 940.
He is known for his unification of previously warring tribes from Denmark (including Scania, present-day Sweden, where the Bluetooth technology was invented) and Norway.
Bluetooth likewise was intended to unify different technologies like computers and mobile phones.
The name may have been inspired less by the historical Harald than the loose interpretation of him in The Long Ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson, a Swedish best-selling Viking-inspired novel.
The Bluetooth logo merges the Nordic runes analogous to the modern Latin H and B: (Haglaz) and (Berkanan).
The logo is similar to an older logo for Beauknit Textiles, a division of Beauknit Corporation. That logo, using the obvious connection of a reversed K and B for Beauknit, is wider and has rounded corners, but is otherwise the same.
From the Wikipedia

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A soldier's Christmas

A Soldier's Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear"
Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire's light
then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night"

"Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,
"then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.
"My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.
"Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

more rant

I have an excellent book here in my library called "How Real is Real". It was one of my wife's Pscychology Textbooks. It seems that what is "Real" is more fluid and slippery than you think I.A.! This is not just philosophy of the "Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus" type of thought. Reality consists of Loyalty, Patiotism, Fervor, (none of which is "real" in that you can touch or bottle it)and a host of other things. Party platforms, Official policies, racial hatred, religious distrust and Peer Pressure can be VERY real. Maybe even more "real" than Human Rights and Human Dignity. (or so says an elderly friend of mine who still carries the tattoos from Auchwitz on his thigh) Two people witness a great football game. Witness one says "it was a great game...boys mixed it up pretty good, coach rotated the players well, good strategy throughout." Witness number two says "It was a bloodbath...from the first smashed nose to the last twisted ankle, the poor youngsters were forced to hurtle their tender bodies over and over into a tangle of limbs." Yet both witnesses saw the SAME GAME! The "Reality" is not somewhere in the middle, the "reality" is in the perceptions of the individuals. Which witness would you want to control the funding for your football team? In my chosen profession, I do a LOT of acting, a lot of role playing. (I make suits of armour, and swords, and you can rent me to be a Knight for your grand opening! Yeah..really!) Many of the people I hang with have their reality blur...they start to believe that they are actually "Lord High Muckymuck" or whatever, and start acting that way in their day to day life. Actors who buy into their own media hype are more common than you think! The actor who played the Jesuit Priest at St. Marie Among the Hurons told me that playing the part of a priest affected him materially! Carl Sagan was appalled that twice as much money was spent in North America on Astrology than on Astronomy. The money IS certainly real! My friend Joan feels that money spent to elect the Liberal Party of Canada is just as well spent! (she is a rock solid Tory!)
So, MY reality is way different from YOUR reality. You don't have to believe something to be affected by it,(Auchwitz then and Iraq now) so it behooves one to be very cautious around those that do!
This is different I think from Jennifer's feeling that the God of her childhood seems to have changed materially, perhaps even vanished from her life. That God still exists for thousands of people (as she aptly points out) and their BELIEF can still affect her in countless ways. Although I don't know it for sure, it seems to me that withdrawal of support from church and family members would be only natural, and could be devestating if she was dependant of that support. Their reality has remained unchanged. Theirs is certainly the same unquestioning belief in God as a four year old has in Santa Claus. Stop believing in Santa Claus, life unfolds as it STILL get the prezzies. However, stop believing in God, and your church kicks you out. So believe in reality all you want. So what is real?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Rant

If you accept me into your heart you shall never die". This I believe in. All else is suspect.

The Santa Claus we know in the shopping malls was not invented by the Coca Cola company (red and white? Hmmmm.....) but it was certainly perfected in Atlanta.

Santa Claus is a "secular" figure, no more religious than Jay Leno. Maybe its the idea of believing in something that is not real bothers people who think you should only believe in "real" things. Like Daniel, or Nebechadnezzer, or Paris Hilton. Heck, I once laughed at a mother who was ragging on me for crucifying a smurf outside my campsite. (long story...grin). Apparently I traumatized her precious kids who believed that small blue people lived in the woods. My response would be much the same nowadays...albeit a bit more diplomatic...and that was "quit lying to your kids."

My folks did their best to raise me as a God fearing kid, and they never lied to me. There is NO tooth fairy, there is NO Santa Claus, there is NO trustworthy Republican government, there is NO safety in going home in a strange adult's car, and there is NO way we can afford that new bike! Now they didn't say that in order to further some sort of fundamentalist master plan...nah, it was just that they didn't believe in lying to their kids. Playing dressup on Halloween was fun, but hardly the grave yawning events that spawned the practice.

Ragging on Santa Claus for not being a religious figure is stupid...OF COURSE he is not a religious figure...he sells Coca Cola! Me, I think those cute little elves he has helping him are kinda neat...little Kobolds rather than true elves though. (Elves are demigods in their own right...kobolds make toys and are not immortal.)

Besides, I seem to remember that the whole thing was a way to beat the Pagans at their own game by stealing their Winter Solistice ceremony. Beat the Pagans...thats the TRUE meaning of Christmas! Oh, here's a good excuse...the birth day of our founding prophet. Good, we'll use that! Doesn't matter that its really in July...And ever since, it has been a never ending fight to "beat the pagans". Always that Charlie Brown special about the true meaning of Christmas! Always the insidious creeping of Christianity into our political and social institutions in defiance of the principle of Separation of Church and State. Always this great outcry about the "commercialization" of Christmas. Well, you think it is just Pagans who are crowding the malls today?

Oooooh. My.

What a great rant!

I feel much better now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ben Stein

.....a lawyer by training, has also served as a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon, has to date authored sixteen books (both novels and non-fiction efforts), and continues to write editorials and columns for a number of prominent publications. He is perhaps best known to the world at large, however, for his in-front-of-the-camera work as the dreadfully dull economics teacher in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off (and his similar role as the monotonic science teacher Mr. Cantwell on the TV series The Wonder Years) and as the keenly competitive host of the Comedy Central game show Win Ben Stein's Money. Mr. Stein currently offers occasional commentaries for the CBS Sunday Morning news program, and the item quoted is based on one such commentary, entitled "Confessions for the Holidays" and delivered by Mr. Stein on that program on 18 December 2005, one week before Christmas. However, the version widely circulated via e-mail includes some transcription errors and modifications that were not part of the piece as originally aired. Here is the full version as broadcast, taken from a CBS News transcript of the program:
CHARLES OSGOOD, host: We all have our own thoughts about the holidays. Here's Ben Stein with his.
BEN STEIN: Here at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart. I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. (Footage of People magazine; Us magazine)
STEIN: I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I'm buying my dog biscuits. I still don't know. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores who they are. They don't know who Nick and Jessica are, either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they've broken up? Why are they so darned important? (Footage of People magazine)
STEIN: I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I don't care at all about Tom Cruise's baby. (Vintage footage of congressional hearing)
STEIN: Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I'm a subversive? Maybe. But I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young? Hm, not so bad. Next confession: I am a Jew and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish, and it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautifully lit-up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. (Footage of Christmas trees)
STEIN: I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are — Christmas trees. It doesn't bother me a bit when people say 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they're slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. I shows that we're all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me one bit that there's a manger scene on display at a key intersection at my beach house in Malibu. (Footage of manger scene; menorah)
STEIN: If people want a creche, fine. The menorah a few hundred yards away is fine, too. I do not like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat. Or maybe I can put it another way. Where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and aren't allowed to worship God as we understand him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we used to know went to.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dear Tech Support, part 2.

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I installed Husband 2.0 over top of Boyfriend4.7. Since then several of my applications have stopped working. Of course, I fully expected Cook and Clean to be written over, they never really worked well anyway, but I was a little disappointed at the sudden and inexplicable loss of PickupUnderwear 2.1 and SaturdayShave 3.3. Although Lawnmow 2.1 and Fixcar 3.2 are working as well as expected, I don't think the expense of Husband 2.0 is worth the replacement of NeighbourhoodKid 3.2 and LocalMechanic 2.2. (and does LM2.2 HAVE to come with "creepy1.5", there MUST be a workaround?)
I was hoping for the affiliated application of Orgasm 7.1, but like everything else about this program, it doesn't work as well as advertised. Of course I really don't want to do anything to fix this, but it helps to talk to somebody about it.

Dear User, We have received your error report and will submit a formal report when we figure out which sales vehicle informed you that Husband 2.0 would actually "altar" boyfriend 4.7. The app is normally unchanged by the addition of WeddingRing 1.0, though of course by the time Wedding Ring 2.0 and3.0 are installed, the app tends to become unstable. If you run Football 4.2 as a background app, Husband 2.0 will stay comfortably in your operating system.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More tattoos

click on the images to see them full size.

These fellows have to live with this every day! Go figure!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

20 years from now....

click on the images to enlarge.

Photos from

Friday, August 04, 2006


Alas rotasIyari Feria.
-21 de Mayo,
Rendida sobre un lecho de rosas:
con las espinas clavadas en mi serLa sangre se derrama por mi rostro,
Las lágrimas son charcos en mi piel
Evoqué el recuerdo de algo que no pasó
Evoqué mis letras de doloruna
noche de locura..
un desquiciado temor..
Pieza por pieza, la remembranza de aquel día
Yo, con mi gemido de ansiedadTú,
que lo opacaste, con tus frases de amor.
Susurraste, apesadumbrado, un 'Te amo
'Suspiré.. te miré
"¿Por qué ya no te creo?
Eso duele.."
Un silencio te invadió
una lágrima escapó.
Confesaste con pesar:
"El corazón me has arrancado.."
Callé y temíNegué con la cabezala
desesperación sentí
"¡No era esa mi intención!"
Pero mi grito se apagó..
Todo se hizo tinieblas
Todo se volvió humedad
me sumergiste en azul
y mi aliento se marchó..
Ahora sólo hay frio
Tú, mis alas rotas
Tú, mi muerte deseada
Tú, mi anhelo diario
y los sueños esfumados...
Tu, río de mi tristeza..Y allí donde los pájaros...
transitan a la hora de su muerte sin
donde predico mi auxilio
donde me embriago de pasado y delirios
yo aguardaré por ti.
The above poem was lifted in its entirety from this blog site. This is not to rip anything off in any way, but is actually intended as a tribute. I found this to be a beautiful and powerful work, and I am very impressed by it. If the owner (Iyari Feria) wishes me to take it down, I will, however, I will continute to direct people to the site.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The truth is out there!

I am a Canadian, and a former military member. One thing which really pisses me off is when somebody poses as a soldier when they are not. Happens a lot, surprisingly enough. This is an interesting story I ran across on Malkin's blog. Tell me what you make of this jackass!

(cut and paste follows....)

Another fake soldier tale debunked May 24, 2006 by Michelle Malkin Meet "Jessie MacBeth." He's the latest cause celebre of the anti-war Left -- a "former Army Ranger and Iraq war veteran" who accuses his fellow troops of committing a litany of atrocities against innocent civilians. Anti-Vietnam War veteran John Kerry and the Winter Soldiers cast a long shadow. In his 20-minute Internet video interview at, which promises that watching the video "will change your life," MacBeth (who also claims to have served in Special Forces) says: -- Superiors told him "our job over there is to strike fear in the hearts of the Iraqis . . . to be brutal and to not feel" and that "the Geneva Convention doesn't mean crap." -- He would "do night raids, pull people out, on their knees and zip-tied," and if a man didn't answer the way he wanted him to, he "would shoot his youngest kid and keep going." -- "By my hand alone . . . almost 200 people were taken out by me. That's just a rough estimate. A lot of them at close range . . . they would actually feel the hot muzzle of my rifle on their forehead . . . we'd do stuff that would scare them first . . . beat 'em up or kick 'em or hit the wife . . . slaughtering 30-40 people a night sometimes, women and children . . . I was trained, you know, in all the Ranger school, 18 months of that crap . . . I got disappointed in my country . . . but I didn't say anything because I would have been locked up." -- "Other things they told us to do, man, we were ordered to go into a mosque. This really hurts me a lot. My nightmares come mostly from this . . . we infiltrated the mosque . . . a couple hundred of people of all ages were praying . . . we started slaughtering them, we started shooting them, started taking them out . . . we would burn their bodies, hang the bodies from the rafters . . . after a while, it's just sickening to think that I took part in that . . . " -- "Kids threw rocks at us before and the guard command officer told us to take them out . . . Our job was just kill, kill, kill." -- "I'm so disappointed in my country. I'm ashamed to have actually served in Iraq."

On the website, to which anyone can contribute, a profile of MacBeth claimed he had three basic combat jumps, service in Afghanistan as well as Iraq, and several awards including a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. There's just one problem: According to Department of the Army spokesman Paul Boyce, there is no record of "Jessie MacBeth," a.k.a. Jesse Adam MacBeth, having served in either the Rangers or the Special Forces -- or in any part of the Army at all. Boyce told me Tuesday that a check on MacBeth's credentials came up empty. "At a minimum, this appears to have been concocted" and "some sort of hoax," Boyce said.

Special Operations Command and the State Department have been alerted. MacBeth's story started to crumble after my colleagues at the Hot Air blog ( called attention to the Peace Films video interview and asked military bloggers about MacBeth's appearance and claims. Harnessing the specialized knowledge of the blogosphere, military bloggers debunked a photo purportedly showing MacBeth in his official uniform (with his beret backward, incorrect flashes and tabs, and missing wings). The Army's Boyce told me the uniform issues were a major "red flag" -- as were MacBeth's incredible claims to have entered the Army at 16, served as both a Ranger and in Special Ops, sustained various stabbing and shooting wounds, and exited at age 20. Not to mention all those unsubstantiated, slanderous smears against the Army Rangers (who suffered similar attacks by another lying anti-war veteran poseur, Micah Wright, in 2004).

Anti-war zealots initially defended the bogus soldier's tale, but are now moving quickly to cover up the MacBeth stain. The video was yanked Tuesday afternoon. But not to worry. I hear former CBS producer Mary Mapes, champion of "fake but accurate" journalism, is interested in publicizing Jessie MacBeth's tall tales. Michelle Malkin is a syndicated columnist and maintains her weblog at She has also authored books such as Unhinged and In Defense of Internment. Submitted by Rocky

Reference URL:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Conservative Agenda

I can't believe this new government! The budget just came down, and if I ever saw a budget designed to buy votes with our own money, this is it! Here is a list of some of the things I would like to see them get into, instead of the stupid, trough wallowing list of half baked initiatives. Let me know if there are any problems with it, and if there is anything I left off! I know there are several things I didn't even cover, but this is a start!

This post was originally a comment on the self styled "Conservative Blog of Canada". Its not worth the read, normally, but it had a list of things the guy would like to see. Like "a job for everybody" and "Jean Cretien should be in jail". Yeah, pretty lame. I think I can do better.

Give farmers an even playing field.

Increase the number and training of food testing inspectors, and create a Canadian FDA.

Demand that contractors have a federal license and that they post a bond to ensure responsibility.

Create a regulatory board which works with the unions to ensure that homeowners don't have to call in Mike Holms to fix their deck. (They do that now with electrical and gas...)

Change the building code to require better insulation, site orientation, ventilation and fire resistance. (U of Man standards, the R2000)

Build a better and more complete Codis, Afis, and firearms registry with serious safeguards against unauthorized hacking.

If you can't use the firearms registry to prevent crimes, than scrap it. (Personally I would like to see the banning and destruction of all short arms including police. Then arm the police with seriously good shotguns, not cheap modified hunting guns. Then anybody with a pistol is automatically charged with carrying a prohibited weapon. But thats just me being reasonable.)

Bring in federal initiatives to get cookie cutter environmentally sound small scale ethanol plants spaced all around the country. Owned and operated by municipalities who will get the profits that they can use for local initiatives. Use the same model as water purification plants.
I think it is too draconian to pass laws demanding oil companies MUST install 70% ethanol pumps, the way Brazil did, however if they drop the federal tax on such fuel, market demand will do the rest.

Re-vitalize the railroads. Increase ridership. Use a fraction of the money we spend on building roads to create more light rail. Better advertising, better marketing.

Reduce the tax burden on small business, and make grants and subsidies available for small business to start up, and more importantly, suceed against the drag of paperwork, taxes, and municipal bureaucracy.

Demand to all provinces that they issue driver's licences that have a box to be checked if the owner does NOT want his organs to be used in a transplant in the event of a death. In this day and age of the internet, I would love to see a web site where a doctor could key in your driver's license number, and read the living will you left there as a condition of getting your licence.

Increased border patroling, particularly on the East Coast to stop drug smuggling. There is so much of it going on, and so much getting through, that it is a national disgrace. The North has the "Canadian Rangers". A good initiative, but hardly professionals. There are barely enough of them to be listening posts. As global warming takes its course, the North will become a more viable route for people, drugs, and foreign nationals looking to stake claims in the arctic. Right now, we have a dispute with Denmark over territory they claim which belongs to us. France is claiming the bulk of the offshore oil fields on the strength of two little islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The US is claiming that they can hammer through our sea ice with great "Manhattan" ice breakers carrying oil. Its time we started caring about our territory, or we will simply lose it.

Speaking of national there some way to get rid of that seal hunt? It takes in, what, the same as a medium sized MacDonalds'restaurant every year? Can we not find some gainful employment for seal hunters besides risking their lives on the ice for f-all?

A national federally funded mental health facility to a) take the pressure off the provinces, and b) to come up with ways to treat mental illnesses effectively. A centralized data base where medical records can be kept (again, with serious controls against unauthorized access or tampering) Associated with that would be doubling the number of mental health case workers on the "front lines". Don't think we need it? Drop into your local court house Monday morning around 7AM, and tell me again we don't need more case workers.

Federal laws against phishing and identity theft. You know, there are none right now! And it is getting to be a problem.

Federal monitoring and licencing of pharmaceudical products and drug marketing agencies to ensure that inferiour product is not shipped to other countries.

Increase the number of inspectors at container ports to watch for contraband. If Canada customs has to go through my socks when I come back from Columbia, then they should go through a container I have delivered to my house!

Require all auto manufacturers to add armour plates to the inside of doors of cars to prevent theft. Also, required anti theft devices to be built into all vehicles. There are too many to list here, but they exist. Too many vehicles are stolen, broken up, or shipped off shore to ignore, yet as long as the insurance agencies are allowed to increase their premiums to cover their losses, then why should they care.

Insurance reform....see above....but apply it to everything from auto body repair to roofers. And ask yourself why insurance costs so much.

There. This is a start. Conservatives are in power right now. Lets get started!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tai Chi Musings

(from the blog....
(click image to enlarge)
Form tuition

A few people have said that they particularly enjoy whole-class form tuition. This approach will be used on occasion but is not a sound teaching method as a general rule. Whilst it gives an overall sense of the sequence, it is not detailed enough. And for a new starter it is useless. If you are near the front, you see more, but near the back you are copying the line in front of you. This is Chinese whispers. If you can't see, you turn to look and in so doing, distort the form.

Also, there's the copying... You should never lean on your teacher and use them as a prop - it shows a weakness of character and is a sure sign that you don't really know the sequence. A copier is not necessarily learning.

Classes need to be broken into small groups that address a segment in detail, with one or two people wandering around offering personal corrections (when applicable). Most of your form time should be spent working it through for yourself. That way, it becomes your own form.

Great ultimate?
‘Tai chi chuan’ is sometimes translated to mean ‘Great Ultimate Fist’ and some people claim that this represents the superior status of the art. The term ‘great ultimate’ refers to the yin yang principle rather than fighting prowess.

No martial art can reasonably claim to be superior or inferior to another, and should only be assessed in respect to what the art sets out to do. How effectively does it perform its intended purpose? What are the pros and cons?When all values differ, how can you compare?Tai chi claims to offer health and self defence.

It also is said to be 'easy'. Assess tai chi on this basis.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

(click on image to enlarge that jellow map of....hmmm...what IS that a map of?)
My friend Piltdown Man ( complaing about how the little neighbourhoods in New Orleans were wiped out...that they have now lost so much. The small neighbourhoods which created NOLA Jazz, crab gumbo, blackened catfish... There are blogs from people ( who are IN New Orleans, and their attutude is a little different! Most seem to feel that some of the slums which got wiped out are better off gone. That possibly (horrible thought coming...brace yourself...) that people really didn't want to live there. And that possibly the fine jazz and good food had been replaced by gangsta violence, methamphetamine and crack use, and a crushing poverty.

He felt that the suburbs were soul-less, gasoline hungry carbon copy environments. Hard to argue with that. And gosh knows...when the great gasoline crunch comes, the suburbs will be mighty expensive places to raise your kids! I have always loved the idea of small neighbourhoods, villages in the big city so to speak. I have watched them change character over the years...usually they seem to go upward, but occasionally a nice little neighbourhood goes to hell in a handbasket. Below is the comment I put on Pilt's blog....

There is a perception that any nice little neighbourhood will turn into an isolated devalued introspective ghetto with little warning. Example...I watched a 9th ward resident complaining bitterly about how "those unemployed Vietnamese were coming in, cooking their fish heads and taking jobs away from po blacks." A telling example! So, people move the suburbs where housing prices are always on an upward curve, and it never becomes ghettoized. Example, Toronto's Chinatown. Example, Ottawa's Marconi road (the Italian Quarter if you will). People growing up in these tight little communities don't think of them as particularly dynamic...they think of them as restrictive, insular, run by moustache Pete's and old women who cook cabbage all day. Next thing you know, a couple of Pathans have moved in next door, and its "T'hell wit dis, Marta, we're going to the suburbs. Nice thing about the 'burbs is that it is always the don't get a bunch of "those people" moving in to threaten your daughters. You have a nice yard, a dog, 2.5 children, and the local shopping mall which will act as a surrogate village to raise your kids. How you gonna turn that around?

Thats a fair and valid question. How DO you turn it around? How do you bring the jazz and the blackened catfish back to a neighbourhood full of MacDonalds and Walmarts?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Softwood Lumber dispute? Get Real!

Was just on a nice fellow's blog site and he, a Conservative apologist, brought up the whole softwood lumber dispute... I believe that the whole softwood lumber dispute is all smoke and mirrors....a wild card designed to deflect attention away from issues of mutual national security and bad foreign economic relations. I know this is not a popular view here in Canada, but if you think about it, there are points of interest.
Point one...most of the major softwood producers in Canada are US firms like Wayrhouser and MacMillin Blodell (now wholey US owned). So the duties hurt US firms! How weird is that?
Point two...this problem has gone on for longer than the working life of any lumberjack in the forest today. They seem to be employed even with all the duties being levied. There is a lot of Canadian lumber going to rebuild New Orleans! So there is NO widespread unemployment as a result of US-Canadian fiscal policies. (Well, there is BSC, but thats another subject which does not really stand up under scrutiny...lets stick to one thing at a time here...)
Third interesting point....China is purchasing lumber companies and oil companies as fast as they can get their hands on them. (google search...I did!). The Conservative government is on record as stating that "Canadians should not just be hewers of wood and drawers of water"! Yet they have allowed industries which "value add" to our natural resources to collapse and languish. Steel mills close. Wire plants close. Beef cutting plants close. Sawmills close.

At the same time, crack and methamphetamines are flooding our cities, DNA samples from rapes are languishing in freezers awaiting funding to process, AFIS and CODIS are only gradually coming on line, illegal immigration is bringing thousands of children and girls into North America every year to face conditions of slavery, and people are having to advertise on the internet to get a kidney in order to beat the two year waiting list!

I think the new Conservative Government needs to have somebody give it some direction! Or at least give it some priorities!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Arar case dismissed by US judge

WASHINGTON (CP) - A U.S. federal judge has dismissed Maher Arar's lawsuit against American officials claiming he was deported to Syria as a terrorism suspect to be tortured.

I am just sick about this. As I see it, it is a clear indidication of power politics played out with people as pawns....admittedly something which has been done for centuries. Supposedly we were above that though.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Methinks she doth protest too much...

"Methinks she doth protest too much"....W. Shakespeare
NOTHING hurts more than to be ridiculed over something you would prefer to it sexual performance, a toupee over a bald spot, or exposing the lie that your religion is a peaceful one.
Imagine how furious you would be at an ex-girlfriend who was hanging with a bunch of your mutual friends and made comments about how poor your sexual performance was that night! (it was the booze dammit!) And then published cartoons about it. (ouch!) Or imagine somebody grabbing your toupee and waving it above the crowd as a big joke on you!
(Oh don't blow smoke and tell us alcohol didn't cause you to pass out one night before you could get it on!!!! Its happened to all of us! The point is about what comes afterwards...)
The idea of Islam as a peaceful religion is pretty much blown out of the was founded on powerful schisms, and military might. (A visit to Malta would illustrate this perfectly....143 miles of fortifications to stop a peaceful people?) But, like Goerings "Big Lie", it doesn't stand up to the daylight of modern journalism and global communication. So, like me getting pissed off at a kiss and tell girlfriend, Muslim leaders get pissed off at "kiss and Tell" cartoonists.
And please stop the bombings...we are running out of virgins!!!!