March 05, 2005

Al Qaeda's "Ethical" Dilemmas - Iraq - Gomery: Greg Weston's Details - Dingwall - Hourly Rates for Lafleur - Flags - Chiarelli - Sun-Drenched MP's

Al Qaeda-The Ethical Dilemma of Terrorists


March 4, 2005 -- [. . . . ] But al Qaeda also exists on the Internet, where Sunni religious authorities answer doctrinal questions of aspiring terrorists and their supporters.

"For example, one of the most important questions was whether it was permissible to kill 10 million people with a nonconventional bomb if it meant that Muslims would be among them," Zeevi said. "The answer was, 'Yes, it is permitted.' "

[. . . . ] "According to the Koran, in order to achieve the goal, a Muslim world, that would be a mitzvah, a good deed," he said. [. . . . ]

What have the Americans ever done for us? Liberated 50 million people... Gerard Baker, Mar. 4, 05

ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?” he asks.

“Well, there’s . . . ,” [This is funny. Don't miss.]

[. . . . ] I can’t help but think of that scene as I watch the contortions of the anti-American hordes in Britain, Europe and even in the US itself in response to the remarkable events that are unfolding in the real Middle East today.

Little more than three years after US forces, backed by their faithful British allies, set foot in Afghanistan, the entire historical dynamic of this blighted region has already shifted. [. . . . ]

Read the enumeration. I realize opium poppies are thriving but somewhere, yesterday, I read where growing asparagus has replaced whatever drug came out of Indochina, perhaps Vietnam or Cambodia, on at least some farms. I forget the details -- but if you need a dose of hope, search. It is incredible that they can make more with asparagus than whatever they grew before but isn't it wonderful? I suspect the wonders of modern air transport might have helped to get the product to the areas where it will bring in more $$$.

'That sounds totally bizarre' Greg Weston, Mar. 3, 05, Sun Ottawa

Finally, amid the Gomery inquiry's depressing daily feed of waste and greed comes the magical story of David Dingwall, a tale of good fortune sure to warm the hearts of taxpayers everywhere. [. . . . ]

It's the details that add up here -- and JC is going to try to remove Gomery? No wonder!

Chiarelli must go - to NCC March 3, 2005, Susan Sherring, Ottawa Sun

Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin: Sorry to bother you Mr. Prime Minister. I know this is a busy time for you, what with you being up to your ying-yang in all sorts of trouble. [. . . . ]

Lafleur defends $536G flag bill March 3, 2005, Stephanie Rubec, Parliamentary Bureau

[. . . . ] "It seems easy today, but even just going to the stadium, that's a lot of work."

Lafleur's own financial reports, released by the commission yesterday, show he billed a total of 296 hours at $275 per hour and his son Eric billed 300 hours at $245 and another 119 hours at $150 to manage the Expos sponsorship. [. . . . ]

Moxie? Chutzpah? Cara dura?

It would be a hoot if it were a report from . . . . . oh, any place in the world where Canadians don't send money. Is there anywhere?

Taxpayers fund MPs' sun-drenched trip March 3, 2005, Kathleen Harris, Parliamentary Bureau

John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, sees the trip as a "thin excuse" for a vacation.

"It's funny how these trips also coincide with the cold weather in Ottawa," he said. "It's France in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter. You'd have to be a fool not to make that link."

Liberal Convention Week -- Crucial CBC Omission in Mother's Statement -- "Our laws go to pot" -- Time to Call Your MP -- Liberals Fiddle-Canada Burns

Conveniently Omitted from CBC National's Nightly News? Why? -- This is the week the Liberals Convene and Discuss Marijuana Laws . . .

Would CBC Allow a Grieving Mother's Truth in Canada Onto the Airwaves? Never!

Statement from the mother of Const. Brock Myrol CP, Mar. 4, 05

[. . . . ] It is time to take our liberal-minded attitude to task.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, we depend on you and we expect you to change the laws and give the courts real power. Give the power back to the police. Take the power from the Supreme Court and give it back to the House of Commons.
[. . . . ]

In the case of the shooting deaths of four RCMP officers and the CBC news last night, was there any mention of the alleged shooter's homosexual pedophilia? I did not notice any and I am sure CBC would not have been aware of what might cross people's minds -- what came to my mind, at any rate.

Mention of the words "homosexual" and "pedophilia" in the same phrase might hurt the Libersla by causing Canadians to take notice of the Liberal youth wing's concerns at the Liberal Convention this week. Why? Do read an excerpt below, "Liberals Fiddle While Canada Burns", for the pressing concerns of Liberal youth.

Maybe you would never think of the above but . . . Spare me another term of Liberal government.

A Reminder:

For those who want action instead of hollow words............

Emails can be sent to the MP's (just click their names and their email addresses will come up.)

Check this site; the RCMP have a book for those who wish to send their condolences.

RCMP: a book for those who wish to send their condolences

Alberta shooting latest to rock RCMP
CanWest News Service

To the families of the victims, I extend my condolences. What a loss of youth, decency and effort! And the training!

It is a loss to all Canadians; they did a job we do even know as we sit home in comfort. We have sent these young men into danger and our government must pay heed to what is remiss that this carnage is occurring now in Canada. Our words probably are of no comfort to their families who suffer. It should be a wake-up call to this government.

Marijuana Grow-ops -- "Unbiased" News -- Only in Canada

Police call for crackdown on grow-ops March 5, 05, CanWest

In Ottawa, Chief Vince Bevan — a consistent critic of lenient marijuana laws and an advocate of tougher gun laws and the need for a competent gun registry — pulled no punches when pinpointing blame for Canada’s spiralling scourge of illegal grow-ops.

"This is a serious problem not being adequately dealt with by Parliament," he said. "Through sentencing and legislation, we are not treating grow-ops seriously."

[. . . . Peter] Zaduk also dismissed as nonsense suggestions by police and Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan that grow ops are run by violent members of organized crime groups. "These are mostly franchises, run by people who hire others to do the wiring for them. There is an element of organization, but not organized crime in the traditional sense," said Zaduk. "There are no triads," he said. [. . . . ] .

Left unmentioned the week the Liberals at their convention discuss decriminalization and / or legalization of marijuana is the bona fides of Mr. Peter Zanuk. I searched his name and this is what appeared. Canada Renews Plan To Decriminalise Pot Possession

... operation was detected by police flying overhead with thermal infrared equipment. Peter Zaduk, a Toronto lawyer who has defended scores of grow-op charges, predicted that police forces will silently ... New Drug Bill at Odds with Court Case

... cream. It is not illegal," as a result of the Superior Court decision, explained criminal lawyer Peter Zaduk....

You may link to the rest of these yourself and decide whether his connections should have been mentioned. If I have missed the inclusion of this important connection or misread because I had too little time, I apologize.

The Toronto Sun -- Several articles have details.


The victims:

[. . . . ] Brock Myrol, 29, Lionide Nicholas Johnston, 32, Peter Christopher Schiemann, 25, and Anthony Fitzgerald Orion Gordon, 28 [. . . . ]

Search: cop concerns

Excellent Editorial -- The joke's over -- a "must read"

Our laws go to pot

Nothing will happen unless people call their MP's

Tale of anger and violence -- ROSZKO EVEN SEXUALLY ATTACKED RELATIVE Alan Cairns, Toronto Sun

TOP COPS and police unions across Canada yesterday paid tribute to the four slain RCMP officers, while at the same time demanding harsher laws and sentences for marijuana grow house operators. While some cops want the Liberals to bring in tougher sentences for all types of marijuana offences, those resigned to pending decriminalization legislation say the new laws should at least have significant minimum sentences for large-scale weed growers.

The pending laws would increase maximum sentences, but it is unlikely judges would impose them because of low sentence precedents. [. . . . ]

Search: "Tony Cannavino, president of the 40,000 member Canadian Professional Police Association", bikers, Don Sinclair, Paul Hamelin, Julian Fantino, Gwen Boniface, Monte Kwinter, Bruce Miller, Michael Boyd.

And the government's response is.........? Politicians won't provide the necessary resources

Deportees hangin' in -- COPS SAY THOUSANDS STAY AND COMMIT CRIMES Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun, Mar. 5, 05

MORE THAN 30,000 immigration lawbreakers in the Toronto area -- and 54,875 nationwide -- were ordered last year to leave the country, government statistics show. And Ontario police estimate 10% of the violators may never leave Canada and end up being arrested for crimes. [. . . . ]

Unless voters call their MP's . . .

Read what the police, themselves, say must be done:

Killings have cops steamed -- DRUG OFFICERS CITE DANGERS OF GROW-OP RAIDS Rob Lamberti, Toronto Sun

AN OPP drug officer says he wasn't surprised by the killings of fellow officers in an Alberta drug raid. But Det. Staff-Sgt. Rick Barnum was rocked by how many were slain.

"I'm no longer sad, I'm angry," Barnum, of the Huronia Combined Forces Drug Unit, said yesterday.

"Whether it's government, courts, whatever, (they) won't listen.

[. . . . ] 'IT WAS AN AMBUSH'

Note "charges dismissed"

Was Roszko a psychopath? See Bud Talkinghorn's article on psychopaths "The coming of the teeny psychopath". It will be posted today.

Liberals Fiddle While Canada Burns

Life of the party ... and of the Liberal party -- Youth wing spurs the old guard to back hot-button issues -- Key to majority could be encouraging young adults to vote Andrew Mills, Ottawa Bureau, The Star

[. . . . ] Some of the most contentious resolutions up for debate at this weekend's policy convention — legalizing marijuana and prostitution, supporting same-sex marriage — are on the agenda because the Young Liberals pushed hard against the party's older members to get them there.

[. . . . ] "And if the giant photo on the Young Liberals' website — of two gorgeous women in a passionate kiss — is any indication, the Liberal party of tomorrow is certainly not going to be your parents' Liberal party."

Drugs pile up in Peel raids

PEEL REGIONAL police believe the Greater Toronto Area was being used as a transfer point to the United States for one of two large, illegal drug shipments seized recently. About 373 kilos of "B.C. bud" in half-kilo bags inside five large shipping crates was trucked from Vancouver to a Mississauga shipping depot on Feb. 28, Det.-Sgt. Gerry Conroy, of the Peel morality squad, said yesterday. The marijuana was worth $7.5 million, police said. [. . . . ]

Top Ontario cops in Holy Land for talks Laura Czekaj, Ottawa Sun, March 3, 2005

Ontario cops will get the chance to learn about the latest techniques and equipment used by the Israeli law enforcement organizations, which are recognized as world leaders in anti-terrorism measures.

There is more -- on funding and the participants. It seems to me as though they went to exactly the right place to learn something. I still think they should stop in Europe -- Amsterdam, for example -- to learn even more about what is coming to Canada and what they should be doing now. Politicians, meet with these guys and take a lesson in reality. Liberals, retire.

Bud Talkinghorn: The coming of the teeny psychopath

While crime in North America has fallen over the last decade, teenage crime has increased. What is doubly worrying is not just the numbers of minor crimes, i.e. shoplifting, but the severity of their offenses. Harris and Klebold's rampage in Columbine was simply the apex of viscous teenage murders. There had been psychopathic mass slayings before that by kids as young as 13. On CNN there was a case of a 14 year old who shot a female bus driver to death in front of a bus load of students. The rationale was so trivial that we shake our heads in disbelief. It seems she had reprimanded him for chewing tobacco. There has been an on-going series of these senseless murders. What sticks out in my mind is the recurring description of the teens' complete lack of remorse. The thrill killing by the teens Leopard and Loeb in the 30's of one kid was so shocking that it dominated the world's headlines. Today, it wouldn't even make the front page. The body count was too low. Also, there were no female teen killers until of late. The murder of Reena Virk by a gang of girls was sensational, but would have been ho-hum in the States, where it is becoming much more common. A case on the Oprah show, profiled a grade 11 lesbian and her lover accomplice luring another girl out to a shack. They brutally beat her, shoved a tire iron up her rectum and left her dying. On the way home, they realized that she might live to inform on them, so they bought a can of gas and set her on fire. Then happy with the day's work, they went to a Burger King for some snacks. The dead girl's offense? A mistaken belief that she was trying to seduce one of their lesbian pals. The movie "The River's Edge", which portrayed a teenager who killed a female classmate, then took other students on a daily tour of her decomposing body, was based on a true story from California. None of the visitors turned him in at first.

While teachers in the past encountered a few students who exhibited the classic traits of the psychopath, their numbers were small, relative to today. Also they never considered that punishing them would trigger a disproportionate revenge attack. Today that would be a consideration. Two years ago in Alberta there were 70-some odd accusations by students about sexual abuse by their teachers. Thorough investigation disproved all but three. Many of the accusers admitted that they did it to avenge poor marks or some other minor slight. When told how they had damaged their teachers' reputations forever, some showed indifference.

I don't know what the answer is for how to stop these monsters. Prison psychologists I have talked to or whose work I have read don't believe they can be cured. According to Dr. Robert Hare, a Vancouver authority on psychopaths, there is little we can do except identify them and mount vigilance against their predatory methods. Possibly criminal psychopaths (not all are, but all are dangerous "trust bandits") should be labelled dangerous offenders, without hope of rehabilitation. Dr. Hare's checklist of psychopathy is used worldwide to identify them. A few of his main characteristics may help you spot them, for they live amongst you.

--Glibness/superficial charm
--Need for constant stimulation/easily bored
--Pathological lying
--Lack of true remorse or guilt
--Shallow affect
--Lack of empathy
--Promiscuous sexual behaviour
--Criminal versatility
--Early behavioural problems
--Cruelty to children or animals
--Parasitic lifestyle (excerpt from High Risk: Children without Conscience, by Dr. Ken Magid and Carole McKelvey)

These are not all the characteristics but they constitute the main ones. Hare, in his own book, Without Conscience, stresses that having a few of these does not prove psychopathy. For instance, a child who is irresponsible or a behaviour problem, might simply suffer from poor parenting. It is only when at least eight or more of these symptoms show up, that you should start to worry. Torturing small animals without any remorse for their suffering is a major red flag, though. To conclude, I ask you to keep your eyes open, for these ruthless predators dwell amongst you. The non-criminal ones might be your friends, but only until they have abused your trust thoroughly, or more frightening, you might work for one. One told me that, on discovering that his father had died while he was in New York City, rather then fly directly home, he stayed on and picked up two hookers, to fullfill his "shower fantasy". When I asked how he could do such a thing, he replied, "The old man was a loser. Period". He later seduced and impregnated one of his employees, then abandoned her. His punishment? He kept advancing up the administrative ladder. Scary.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Bud Talkinghorn: When thugs are allowed to roam free . . .

"When thugs are allowed to roam free . . . " From the Book of Shadows by Don Paterson

If only poets and novelists could be translated into musicianhood--even for a few seconds, then we could see that, within a few notes, at most a bar, what a bunch of desperate scrapers they are--without a tune in their heads, or the rudiments of technique. God, the time they'd have saved themselves.

There are writers for whom no form exists: Too clever for novels, too skeptical for poetry, too verbose for the aphorism; what is left to them is the essay--the least appropriate form for the foiled. They all end up as critics.

He was a writer of such wide-ranging ignorance that his work had real depth, subtlety, and reach.

Other aphorisms that have the ring of truth:

The ranks of the prosecutors are always replenished from those of the persecuted.

In dreams, all butchers are artists.

Where people can no longer freely convey their true thoughts to others, no other liberty is secure--William Hocking

The man who anticipates his century is always persecuted when living and is always pilfered when dead--Benjamin Disraeli

Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism--William James

The law of self-preservation is a surer policy than any legislation--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somewhere along the line we in Canada have lost that esential truism. Our courts set free violent psychopaths after little prison time, while our soppy liberal juvenile delinquincy courts mandate that the maximum sentence for kid murderers be three years. Illegal immigrants and refugees, who slowly, slowly wend their way through court appearances, continue to scam the welfare system, or worse, commit crimes. Even when given final deportation orders they are allowed to slip away. At least 36,000 are currently on the lam. The National Post (March 1) reported that nine Hondurans 'refugees', who were arrested by Vancouver police for selling crack, are back on the street after less than a month. Two of them have already been deported once but slipped back in somehow, while another had a deportation order pending. Besides the frustration of the police and the court time wasted, there is the growing perception amongst members of the public that the law has become criminally lax. When self-preservation is seen to be trumped by some elitist version of legal political correctness, a fatal cynicism arises. People stop reporting crimes, because they feel that the criminals won't be punished; on top of that, they might be victims of these same gangsters' revenge. Perhaps a poster I saw years ago best sums up the current situation. It showed an old lady fearfully staring out from behind her barred windows. The caption reads: "When thugs are allowed to roam freely; who than is the prisoner?" I am not suggesting a 100 lashes and transportation to an Australian penal colony for stealing a loaf of bread; however the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. Let's set the old lady free at least.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Bud Talkinghorn: P. J. O'Rourke makes funny again -- "Weaponization" and "universal bureaucrats"

In his book, Peace Kills, P. J. O'Rourke again skewers the foilbles of the left. He picks apart the declaration of a bunch of Nobel Prize winners that has the hallmark of all left-wing thinking. The answer according to them for world peace is always "multilateral action" against the tears of the world, with a large dollop of wealth levelling. This tribunal would have to consist of the world's major Marxist/socialist luminaries of course. It would by necessity have to be composed of members of numerous failed states, who have bludgeoned their own people into total submission. But, using the rhetoric of the 'dispossessed' and that favourite phrase 'the traumatized ex-colonials', they would gain the moral highground. The oppressors do have a role. As a first downpayment they get to bankroll the whole shebang. They have been doing this for decades in the UN, so they are used to it.

O'Rourke zeroes in on some of the key words that the laureates employ. "Weaponization" is one. That is a bad thing. After all, how could the Rwandans or the Sierra Leonians massacre each other if the West hadn't given them the weapons? If memory serves me right, they did it very effectively with weapons like machetes that pre-dated modern weaponry. The kiddies of the hacked-off limbs didn't have it done by rocket launchers. When the barbarians get their blood up, a make-shift club will do the trick nicely. Then there is the unspoken fact that Nobel, the author of their awards, make his money off dynamite. Considering the future applications of that invention, the question of 'weaponization' takes on an entirely different meaning.

O'Rourke also takes issue with the Laureates' demand for "the rule of law". They supposedly do not mean the apartheid laws of South Africa, the Jim Crow law of America, the Cultural Revolution laws of Mao, the 'Year Zero" laws of Pol pot's Cambodia, the Nuremberg laws of the Nazis, the 'subversive laws' used during Argentina's Dirty War, or Canada's gun registry laws. Scratch that last one, as that is exactly the kind of law they would espouse. Rather, they would like to have laws that regulate everything they disapprove of deeply. That the majority doesn't want these laws makes no differnce, because these elites know better what is good for you. So what if Stalin's laws to collectivize food production meant the deaths of millions by Siberian deportation or mass starvation, in the end it was a good thing for progress. No pain, no gain, as the commissars used to say.

O'Rourke sees these universal bureaucrats for what they would become; unaccountable, ideologically-driven judges. We already have that in Canada with the Supreme Court; we don't need a global version of it.

© Bud Talkinghorn--O'Rourke is much wittier than I have made his arguments out to be. Read the book.

Bud Talkinghorn: Ernst Zundel out, Fateh Kamel in

It is a tale of two crackpots. One wants to deny the Holocaust ever happened, the other one wants to kill all infidels. Kamel goes a bit further than Zundel, in that he considered, along with Ressam, the convicted al-Queda terrrorist, the bombing of a prominent Jewish area of Montreal. Bombing the Montreal metro was also a fleeting idea. Zundel never was granted Canadian citizenship, but Kamel stayed under the radar long enough to get his. Now, after serving four years (of an eight year sentence) in a French prison for terrorist activities, he has come home. To a hero's welcome by some of his sleeper cell buddies, I don't doubt. It wouldn't do for his cell mates to actually show up waving GIA flags of course. Bad form, old chap. Bless Peter McKay for demanding the revocation of Kamel's citizenship. His 'refugee' status admission surely was fraudulently obtained.

When Zundel was sent back from the U.S., the government was quick enough to jail him for the two years it took to extract him. Let the same 'threat to Canadian security' be applied to this really bad guy.. . . . and? I will be watching this case closely. I don't think The National Post will let it slip into the classic Liberals' "Let's see if this loses us votes in the Muslim bloc" slow response. However, I'm equally sure that the Toronto Star has already begun a spirited defense of this poor misguided, but fully rehabilitated man. Rick Salutin will be the point man for the Globe and Mail's rehab story. What the outcome of this case reveals will tell us much about the Liberals' war on terrorism.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Bud Talkinghorn: The health police are setting up their check-points again

Having had such success with driving tobacco into the shadows, their next target is demon drink. According to Terence Corcoran's editorial in the financial section of The National Post (Thurs. March 3) the Commons Health Committee is looking into forcing warning labels on alcohol. Presumably it will be akin to those on cigarette packages now. I'm sure that many of these warnings can be used for alcohol as well. The wilting willy and cancerous organs can be recycled. Of course, there will be some wags that will deface them with stickers showing an open-legged lassie, or a robust heart, just to show that alcohol has some redeeming qualities.

Bill C-206, a private member's bill introduced by Paul Szabo, a Liberal MP from Toronto, is being considered seriously by this health committee. The doctor and nursing shortages, the deplorable hospital emergency system and hospitals that are turning into plague houses do not seem to be quite the crises that alcohol presents. Mr. Szabo has furnished the committee with patently bogus statistics, such as "50% of the prison population suffers from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome", and the same percentage of hospital emergency cases are alcohol related. It turns out that Paul Szabo has an axe to grind, as his father died of alcoholism. As for The Health Committee, it has a track record of big brotherism. Nothing the Liberal/NDP like better than to create new regulations and prohibitions. And once they "solve" this alcohol problem with legislation that will be costly to the liquor business, they will pack up their tents and move on to food. Nothing cures obesity like a nasty picture that takes up half the package surface. Perhaps picturing some tubby kid forced to use a walker to alleviate his early on-set arthritis will stop Cheetos binges.

As Terence Corcoran sums it up: "With tobacco as the precedent, loaded with massive taxes and police-state controls on personal lefestyle, alcohol is the next frontier...Eventually, every food product and consumable liquid will have some garish warning that consumption might maim and destroy."

© Bud Talkinghorn

Bud Talkinghorn: Mired in the past -- & -- The buck stops here--and then disappears

Mired in the past--The crux of the bilingual debate

I wrote recently (disapprovingly) on the GO transport system in Toronto being forced to erect costly bilingual signs. So I was interested in the letter to the editor from Marie-Reine Roy, from CBC Radio Canada. Her rebuttal to the National Post's editorial about the waste reiterated all the old excuses for why billions are spent across Canada to placate a tiny minority outside Quebec. Her appeal to consider the withering of French as a national disgrace holds a thimble-full of water with the rest of us. Especially, as she is an agent of the Canadian government's largesse. Take away her millions in tax crutches for Radio Canada's programming and see how it plays even in downtown Quebec City.

Where is her concern for the half million English speakers, who have left Quebec because of its repressive language Bill 101? One English high school in Montreal once had 1,300 students. When it slipped below 500 they turned it into a condo. That decimation for her was probably a Martha "good thing" Anyway, the whole bilingual signage business is simply a trojan horse for eventually making sure that every public service has a 'bilingual' component. Translation: More unilingual English speakers lose their jobs, more French bilinguals take them. And why are the French more bilingual? Because the linga franca (an ironic term that today) of North America and most of the world is English. Even my francophone friends watch English programming on TV. The more travelled of them realize that when they go to Amsterdam or Rio, or Saigon, English, not French, is their passport to communication. They are not living in Paris and they accept that. The only language policy I consider more absurd is to spend money teaching Aboriginals Slavy or some other arcane language instead of standard English. What a cunning plan to keep them from progressing in our modern society. My ancestors used to be fluent in Gaelic; so what? They gave up that in the 19th century and suffered no lasting traumas. Forget the government-sponsored indoctrination and get on the 21st century bandwagon. But permit a touch of cynicism. If the Quebecois and the aborigines became fluent in English they might just leave their reserves. And where would that leave their politicians, who depended on a captive audience?

© Bud Talkinghorn--I noticed that Ms. Roy expressed herself very eloquently in English.

Some Quebec Liberals' motto: The buck stops here--and then disappears

That some wildly-popular TV series in Quebec features a bunch of welfare cheats and general scammers shouldn't come as a surprise. The Quebecois keep electing politicians who have, let's be kind, a relaxed moral code. Time after time, throughout the last four decades, the scandals continued to emerge out of that province. One culprit during the Trudeau era actually went so far as to blame the English media for reporting his financial crime. It made Quebecers look like a bunch of thieves, he complained.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Bud Talkinghorn: Give me that old time religion

Well, on second thought, don't. Unfortunately, our religious past is littered with bodies and incredible cruelties. I don't really want to bring back the Inquisition, the inter-sect prejudices, or heaven forbid, The Thirty Years War between Europe's Catholic south and its Protestant north--a war that per capita killed as many as the Second World War. While proponents will bring up the fact that certain Protestant faiths fought against the slave trade, they don't mention that they and the other faiths condoned it for over two hundred years. The Muslims do not get off scot free either. They ran the African interior slave trade for centuries and today, they comprise the last of the slave holding countries. The new era of world terrorism is almost entirely a construct of spiritual conflict.

Having said that, I find it hard to believe that the tenets of Christianity can be so bent out of shape that its basis can be disregarded. There is something faintly amusing about sacred hymns being turned into hootenannies. A poll from years ago might have pointed the way to this. It asked American Christians whether they belived in Heaven and Hell. Twice as many believed in Heaven as those in Hell. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. Once you toss out enough scripture and dogma you might as well call yourself a self-help group.

I once attended an old-fashioned Pentecostal church meeting with my then-girlfriend. What with the Elmer Gantryesque preacher thumping his Bible, while a full-tilt boogie band played whup-ass music to invigorate him, and the congregation talking in tongues, we were completely caught up in it all. Two hours into the service, when the preacher started to denounce "painted women in tight clothes"--my girlfriend being the only one to fit that category--we still hung in for the finale. These people weren't about to sacrifice any of their beliefs or rituals to appear hip or inclusive. Their one concession was not to hiss "harlot' at the girl as we exited the tabernacle. I recently attended a Pentecostal ceremony and it was much tamed down--not even a hint of holyrolling down the aisles--and the sedate preacher could have been an insurance salesman. It was a bit of an anti-climax, but considering the zeitgiest, predictable I suppose.

© Bud Talkinghorn

March 04, 2005

Bud Talkinghorn: Losing the war on drugs

Losing the war on drugs

My heart goes out to the four RCMP Officers who lost their lives while raiding the grow-op. Their killer was a career criminal, possibly a psychopath [Note: one of the psychopaths as described in Bud's blog which will be posted tomorrow -- I am booked today. NJC.] There is the suggestion that marijuana was only one of his many criminal enterprises. However, Jonathan Kay, in his column entitled "Why the war on drugs can never be won" (The National Post, March 4, A-4) has stated the truth of the marijuana debate. Just as the various Prohibition movements did not stem alcohol use, but rather created a vast criminal organization to feed the appetite for booze, so too, the American "Zero Tolerance" initiative on marijuana production has failed. The best that can be said about our crackdown is that Canada has had the good sense not to cram our prisons with drug offenders, as the Americans have. Despite the DEA's zealousness, there is not a single state where marijuana is not grown and readily available. Their earlier billion dollar efforts to interdict shiploads of low potency grass from Colombia or Mexico merely led to home-grown marijuana of high potency. In a number of states it is now the leading agricultural product.

Kay neatly sums up the hypocrisy of allowing far more dangerous drugs to be legally sold. From my perspective, in years of attending parties where marijuana was used, often in conjunction with alcohol, I never saw a single fight break out. I can't say the same where alcohol was the sole drug consumed.

A bit of historical perspective is in order. In the U.S. during Nixon's presidency there was a large study done on marijuana. To stack the deck for prohibition, Nixon personally selected the top doctor/researcher who headed it. After a year of studying hashish and marijuana use around the world, they found that cannabis use, even in high potency/use areas like Jamaica, was essentially benign. Nixon fired his head man and appointed another. "Go back and study it some more" was Nixon's command. They did, and the final report said, "Legalize it." Nixon and his Attorney-General, John Mitchell, suppressed its findings. Mitchell admitted later in a Newsweek interview that the reason for the suppression was "It didn't reach the conclusions the administration hoped for." How's that for political honesty? Then Trudeau set up the LeDain Commission to look into the same topic. It also said, "Legalize it, or at the least decriminalize it." That report was published, but it was thought that the Western voters might not like it, so it was shelved. Finally, after marijuana useage had grown exponentially and the product was more potent, the Canadian Senate studied it. Their conclusions: "Legalize it."

Just as the foreign interdiction brought about the law of unintended consequences--more and better marijuana--so has the continued illegality of the domestic production. The criminal element sends its marijuana south and gets cocaine in return. What a trade-off! Finally, it is worth understanding why marijuana was ever make illegal in the first place. It was mainly at the instigation of Harry Angsinger, the U.S. anti-drug czar of the time. In the late thirties, he started a campaign that centered on racial fears. Rumours were started that blacks were going beserk under its influence and raping white women. The KKK must have loved that one. Angsinger then commissioned a film, Reefer Madness, to be shown as a movie trailer. The plot was absurd. A guy comes home to find that his wife has thrown away his stash, and of course there is nothing left to do except hack her to death. The supposedly drug-crazed actor is actually rolling his eyes as he is sentenced by the judge. Definitely effective in influencing the cornpone audience of its day, but today it is a comic cult classic to a generation. Hilariously absurd it might have been; nevertheless, it was incredibly effective. Thus began the real war against a drug that Queen Victorian took for menstrual cramps (tincture of cannabis--today's hash oil). So maybe it is time to play this controversy backwards and come to some logical conclusion.

© Bud Talkinghorn

Note: I do not necessarily agree with Bud for reasons which it is too late in the day to enumerate; however, I believe that views on controversial topics must be allowed so people may make up their own minds -- so I give you Bud's perspective. If only our MP's were allowed uninhibited debate and free votes on contentious issues, we might actually get good government -- but that would never do, so we have a powerful clique / claque of Members of Parliament led by the PM, along with leaders of some other political parties, deciding for MP's how they should vote; otherwise the strongmen apply pressure. I want MP's responsible to their constituents, not to the party, and voting accordingly. NJC

Four Young RCMP Officers Dead -- For those who want action instead of hollow words . . .

Four young RCMP officers are dead -- enough pious fraud and fabrication about "reviewing", "dialogueing" about grow-ops and "re-organizing".

The RCMP don't have the resources to protect Canadians, despite the Public Security Minister's constant reassurances. How many officers above the attrition rate have been hired with that $8 billion (over 5 years) they are supposed to put into security? It's an illusion like the $12 billion the military are getting -- in reality $500 million down and the rest on the "if come" basis four years down the road and after a couple of elections.

For 10 years the government has been BS'ing the public because the media have given them a free pass. The government has allowed the situation to get so out of hand it is now a $20 billion business which they have completely ignored. Why?

The murder of four young constables at one time giving their lives for their country is the last straw. One death is one too many, let alone four. Comments from the Public Security Minister such as "review" and "dialogue" on grow ops are just doublespeak for stalling and doing nothing. They've known for years the extent of the problem so there's nothing to review. Action is needed and that action is making sure the RCMP have the resources to protect Canadians. Right now they are short a minimum of 2500 officers. Prosecutors don't have enough resources; sentences are a joke. The Canadian government has provided major criminals an hospitable environment in which to operate. This is well known worldwide.

For those who want action instead of hollow words............

Emails can be sent to the MP's (just click their names and their email addresses will come up.)

Check this site in a few hours -- the RCMP will open a book for those who wish to send their condolences.

RCMP: a book for those who wish to send their condolences

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

RCMP: 4 Officers Slain -- Grow-ops, Major Organized Crime, Massive Amounts of Money bring Incomprehensible Violence

Shootings were inevitable, top drug officer says -- No 'ma and pa' operations: Most operators have criminal history, many of them violent Nicholas Kohler, National Post, with files from CanWest News Service, Mar. 4, 05 -- worth reading in its entirety.

[. . . . ] Insp. Nadeau, who heads the RCMP Co-ordinated Marijuana Enforcement Team in British Columbia, took pains last night to distinguish grow-ops from the "mom and pop" garden operations of the popular Canadian imagination.

In fact, the 4,500 grow-ops reported in B.C. alone each year are booby trap-ridden, gang-run dens of peril, where officers encounter the jolt of live electrical wires connected to door knobs, basement stairs descending into pitch black dark with missing steps and noxious chemicals either deliberately or accidentally left to simmer fumes. [. . . . ]

Search: amateur wiring, the operators, criminal history, residential districts

Also read the article by Jonathan Kay, Why the war on drugs can never be won

Grow-ops a 'plague' on society -- RCMP chief: 'Four of our own paid the highest price to fight this fight' Ian Bailey, with files from Lindsay Kines, CanWest, Mar. 4, 05

[. . . . ] Neil Boyd, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., who specializes in drugs and violence, said, "Most people involved in the marijuana grow-op would never contemplate killing four police officers or shooting at them. "It doesn't advance their interests. This is an abnormality."

However, he admitted that the larger the clandestine operation and the greater the profit at risk the higher the likelihood of violence. It's also not unheard of to have people armed with knives, guns and baseball bats on site to keep their illegal and lucrative product safe. [. . . . ]

[. . . . ] "This incident serves as a poignant reminder of the men and women in law enforcement across our country who risk their lives daily." - federal Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

[. . . . ] "We don't solve anything in society by legalizing things or by pretending they're not harmful to society." - RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, on the issue of decriminalizing marijuana.

4 Mounties slain in drug raid Bob Weber,
[. . . . ] "They were not going into a potential armed conflict," said Oakes. "They were guarding a scene."

Suddenly, two officers from the RCMP auto theft unit who had just arrived heard gunfire in the hut. The male suspect came out and fired at them, then retreated back inside. [. . . . ]

Search: Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan, "Nick Taylor, former senator and one-time leader of the Alberta Liberals.", key events in the fatal shooting, list of some of the other Canadian police officers known to have died on the job since 2000

Community reeling over shootings John Cotter, Mar. 3, 05

[. . . . ] Mounties from the Mayerthorpe and Whitecourt detachment are heroes to the boy, who suffers from bone cancer, said David Price.

Just before Christmas, nine officers shaved their heads in support of Connor and to help raise $10,000 dollars so his family could travel to Edmonton to be with him when one of his legs was amputated.

"They rallied behind my son. The money was a godsend because I haven't worked in seven months," said David Price.
[. . . . ]

Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan will consider what MP Dan McTeague is suggesting -- mandatory minimum sentences for those involved in grow-ops. What does that mean?

Renewed debate over grow ops Sue Bailey and Bruce Cheadle, Mar. 3, 05

[. . . . ] The RCMP deaths are sure to inflame debate this weekend at the Liberal gathering, where two resolutions dealing with pot laws are on the agenda.

[. . . . ] marijuana legalized and taxed. . . . . stiffer sentences for those involved in grow ops.

[. . . . RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli] "The issue of grow ops is not a ma-pa industry as we've been saying for a number of years. They are major, serious threats to our society and they are major, serious threats to the men and women on the front line who have to deal with them. . . . major, organized crime in many cases is involved. . . . so violent it's almost incomprehensible

[. . . . ] "When you have people that are promoting the issue of 'safe' drugs, or that there are harmless drugs, I think that is something that we better understand is not the right way to go." [. . . . ]

Legalize pot, says Liberal Joan Bryden, Mar. 3, 05

One group at the Liberal convention in Ottawa wants to legalize pot and tax it which would remove the financial incentives to organized crime. Of course, there would still be the incentive to grow it illegally to transport into the US and to sell for cocaine. There is already legislation proposed to decriminalize small amounts.

[. . . . ] The legislation, reintroduced in November, would make possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana punishable by a fine of $150 for adults and $100 for minors.

It also proposes that growers caught with more than three plants face up to five years in jail, or 18 months plus a $25,000 fine. Anyone with more than 25 plants could face 10 years in jail and growers of more than 50 plants would face a maximum sentence of 14 years. [. . . . ]

Dangers of marijuana grow-ops

[. . . . ] Staff Sgt. Birnie Smith of the Southern Alberta Marijuana Investigative Team . . . .

[. . . . ] it's organized crime . . .

[. . . . ] we've encountered booby traps, not always intended for the police. There's also the hazards of the poor wiring and other dangers inside. It's a very dangerous kind of job to take on."

[. . . . ] "Once you're inside, we've encountered booby traps, not always intended for the police. There's also the hazards of the poor wiring and other dangers inside.
[. . . . ]

Liberal MP Dan McTeague said in Ottawa that one way might be to rewrite pot legislation currently before Parliament to include mandatory, minimum four-year sentences for marijuana growers.

That last suggestion is one our Deputy Prime Minister will "consider" but I doubt it will go anywhere. This government has been aware through several reports that the grow-ops are extremely dangerous for many reasons and that sentencing is generally inadequate. Criminals even operate here as opposed to in the US because the punishments are so inadequate -- sort of a cost of doing business.

"as many as 10,000 children are believed to be living in grow-ops in Ontario"

RCMP try to curb growth of marijuana grow-ops CanWest, Mar. 3, 05

[. . . . ] Often, the homes are left severely damaged with mould and rot because of the high humidity. Their reconfigured furnace vents create a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and illegal wiring can be a fire risk.

Repairing the damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars and officials at the Insurance Bureau of Canada say most policies will not honour a claim for damage caused by a grow-operation, even if the owner was an innocent party and the activity occurred without his or her knowledge.

[. . . . ] In some provinces, police are even instructing teachers to be on the lookout for children who may be living in grow-ops.

In B.C., it’s estimated there are 10,000 to 15,000 grow-ops in the province, with up to 3,700 children believed to be living in them, while as many as 10,000 children are believed to be living in grow-ops in Ontario, according to a 2003 Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police report titled Green Tide. Children are found in one of every four homes busted in that province. [. . . . ]

March 03, 2005

Mounties shot -- Burgeoning Grow-ops & You -- Justice in the Bali Bombing?

Mounties shot

There are about 50,000 grow ops in Canada -- realizing about $20 billion in operations -- most shipped to USA -- some to your kids

Mounties shot in raid on grow operation Mar 3 2005 02:27 PM MST, CBC News

Rochfort Bridge, Alta – An unspecified number of RCMP officers have been shot and wounded in a situation that is being described as "very serious and very tragic" in a rural area northwest of Edmonton.

Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko confirmed that a shooting has occurred and that police have been unable to make radio contact with four RCMP officers on scene.

[. . . . ] Few other details are being released but Cenaiko confirmed RCMP officers were executing a search warrant on a suspected grow operation when a shooting occurred near Rochfort Bridge, about 130 km northwest of Edmonton.

[. . . . ] Sgt. Rick Oncescu, with the RCMP in Calgary, said two SWAT teams were called into the area. [. . . . ]

This is the Reality in Realty -- Do you think grow-ops don't affect you? Think again.

Grow-Op Homes Added To B.C. Disclosure Forms Jim Adair, Real Estate News and Advice, Published: February 26, 2004

Landlords who unwittingly allow their houses or condominiums to be used as illegal drug factories will have a tough time selling those properties in British Columbia. Grow homes have been added to the province's Property Disclosure Statements, which means sellers must declare that the homes have been used to grow marijuana or to manufacture illegal drugs. For new homes and condominiums, home warranties are being suspended for grow-op houses.

The province's Property Disclosure Statement, introduced in 1990, is a standard form that must be completed by the seller when the home is listed for sale. It asks questions about the condition of the property to help potential buyers make informed decisions. The new question on the form asks if the seller is aware if the property has ever been used as a marijuana grow operation or to manufacture illegal drugs.

[. . . . ]

How can you tell if there's a grow-op house in your neighbourhood? The Delta, B.C. police say to look for these tell-tale signs:

The house does not look lived in or residents are seldom seen (garbage is rarely put out to the curb).

The house windows are always covered to prevent the escape of bright hydroponic lights.

Heavy condensation can be seen on the windows.

There's a strange odour emanating from the house (pungent and skunky).

Humming noises, such as those made by a fan, are heard.

There's excessive vehicle and/or pedestrian traffic day or night at unusual hours

Related Articles:

Marijuana Houses a Growing Problem in Canada
Jim Adair, Published: January 16, 2003

Last month, two Toronto-area Realtors were arrested and accused of heading up a $35 million marijuana grow house operation. It's alleged that the Realtors leased client's dwellings for the purposes of setting up hydronic marijuana grow operations. An additional 37 people now face charges, mostly for cultivating and caring for the plants, but police say the two real estate professionals arrested were the leaders of the operation.

Growing marijuana in a home can be very profitable. Police estimate that each operation can produce about 1,600 plants a year and generate $1.6 million in profit.
Across Canada, police say there are more than 50,000 active grow houses. Most of them are in residential areas and the neighbours have no idea about what is happening next door. That's a big problem, says police, because grow houses are a serious danger to their communities.
[. . . . ]

Police also say that because it costs operators $5,000 to $20,000 to set up a grow house, they often protect their investments by setting up "booby traps" to discourage intruders. [. . . . ]

You had better read the rest. There is plenty of information the average person would not even think of on this website.

Canadian Neighborhoods Threatened by Illegal "Grow Houses" PJ Wade

Ontario real estate professionals were cautioned in the July issue of the Ontario Real Estate Association newsletter, Realtor Edge, that they must "DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE, DISCLOSE!" when it comes to grow houses -- properties used in the illegal cultivation of marijuana. This warning highlights how much buyers and sellers have to risk in transactions concerning properties that will become, or have been, grow houses.

Recently, CBC News reported that grow house operations consume more than $500 million in stolen electricity each year in Ontario alone. These costs are added to the hydro bills of legitimate energy users
The Ontario Real Estate Association’s caution to its members should be understood by home buyers and sellers intent on avoiding hassles and legal complications when buying or selling real estate: [. . . . ]

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police estimates that the number of illegal grow-ops in this province has increased 250 per cent. Revenue could hit $12.7 billion

Switch off 'grow-ops' Electricity Forum News, The Toronto Star

TORONTO -- Indoor marijuana farms are sprouting like weeds across the Greater Toronto Area, requiring new strategies to root them out. Those strategies should include relaxing privacy rules that prevent electricity companies from blowing the whistle to police.

The public is at risk and the threat is escalating.

Indoor "grow-ops" pose a serious fire hazard. They fund organized crime. And the marijuana trade fuels gun violence in our streets.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police estimates that the number of illegal grow-ops in this province has increased 250 per cent. Revenue could hit $12.7 billion.

News this week that a grow-op fitted with hazardous wiring had been set up through eight units of a Parkdale high-rise is only the latest warning sign. Police recently found Canada's largest indoor grow-op hidden in an old brewery in Barrie. [. . . . ]

Bashir guilty of Bali charges Mar. 3, 05, yahoo/The Age

Firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir could be free before the end of next year after being jailed today for conspiring with the Bali bombers ahead of the deadly 2002 attack.

The two-and-a-half-year sentence handed down by an Indonesian court disappointed Australia and the United States, which insist he is a dangerous terror chief.

With time already served through the trial, Bashir, 66, might be released before the end of 2006. His lawyers, who claim he is old and frail, say they will appeal the verdict. [. . . . ]

People actually expected him to get off; they 'prayed' for it -- if there is a god to answer that kind of prayer. How can you reason with that kind of mind? Impossible!

Justice? It reminds me of a situation in Canada that did not result in death, but the 'justice' delivered was a travesty of justice. A kid sets fire to a business and not only destroys the business and tries to do the same to the one next door, but he puts all the employees out of work. Guess what? A puff ball sentence -- house arrest! He's a teenager. He knows right from wrong -- and if he was never taught it, then jail the little %^&*%# and teach him the difference with whatever methods are necessary to bring an "I'm sorry" to his lips. For this kind of kid, military discipline with the hardest boiled sergeant would be a "good thing".

Breaking News RCMP: Shootings-Grow Op, Peschmann: UN CA's Prime Minister-Annan's #2, Al-Qaeda's Armies, Russia's Loose Nukes, Liberal Brand

Breaking news on CFRA after 3 pm Ottawa time -- A number of RCMP officers have been shot during a grow-op bust near Edmonton Alberta.

Marijuana is Harmless? The grow-ops obviously are not benign.

Canada's Prime Minister, the UN Secretary-General and Louise by Marinka Peschmann, Special to Canada Free Press, March 3, 2005

Marinka Peschmann is a freelance writer whose first book collaboration, the best-selling The Kid Stays In The Picture; was made into a documentary. She's contributed to several books and stories ranging from showbiz and celebrities to true crime and politics.

Canadian coincidences are piling up in the UN’s Oil-for-Food Program. Fox News reported on Tuesday that Annan's #2 Blocks Oil-for-Food Scrutiny.

Kofi Annan’s #2 is Canada's Louise Fréchette. Louise Fréchette served under Prime Minister Paul Martin when he held the title of Canada's Minister of Finance.

According to Fox News, "Four years into the seven-year Oil-for-Food program with graft and mismanagement by then rampant, Fréchette intervened directly by telephone to stop United Nations auditors from forwarding their investigations to the UN Security Council." [. . . . ]

Search: UN Anti-Corruption panel, Volcker Committee's Investigation, Martin and Fréchette

Do not miss the last two paragraphs.

FOXnEWS.COM - U.S. & World - Annan's #2 Blocks Oil-for-Food Scrutiny

George Russell is Executive Editor of FOX News. Claudia Rosett is a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

UNITED NATIONS — With U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) next up for review by Paul Volcker’s inquiry into the Oil-for-Food scandal, a crucial question is whether Volcker will expand upon information tying the scandal directly to the U.N. chief’s office — by way of Annan’s second-in command, Louise Frechette (search). [. . . . ]

Search: "Frechette had connections to a number of Oil-for-Food figures."

[. . . . This is the ]the pivotal human element of security. Good security is 20 percent equipment and 80 percent people, says Gen. Eugene Habiger, a former commander of U.S. strategic nuclear forces.

Russia's loose nukes James Holmes, Editorial/Op-Ed, Mar. 3, 05

James Holmes, a senior research associate at the University of Georgia Center for International Trade and Security, co-edited "Nuclear Security Culture: The Case of Russia," a major peer-reviewed report sponsored by NATO and the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

On Feb. 24, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Bratislava, Slovakia, to discuss a variety of issues. Defying predictions that they would accomplish nothing of substance, the two presidents inked an agreement on nuclear security. They vowed to "focus increased attention on the 'security culture' in our countries, including fostering disciplined, well-trained, and responsible custodians and protective forces, and fully utilized and well-maintained security systems." To describe this as a welcome move understates matters. To prevent nuclear terrorism at home, American leaders must look abroad — in particular to Russia, a country awash in the makings of nuclear weapons. [. . . . ]

The Saudi Buck Stops Here, March 3, 2005

[The State Department sharply criticized Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses in its annual report published last week. Nothing, however, is being said about Saudi Arabia's continuous funding of the spread of Wahhabism around the world. Wahhabism remains the major source of Islamist ideology and Saudi Arabia has never stopped funding its expansion. The Saudis don't like to hear about that, however, and so the Administration is keeping mum.

In an attempt to prevent exposure of how they fund terrorism, the Saudis have been suing those who attempt focus light on their crime in British courts. And they have been successful. Current detailed information on the Saudis' funding of international Islamist terrorism is extremely difficult to come by. Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, however, is making up for that deficit in her book, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It. The updated paperback has just been published in the midst of a legal battle to uphold the First Amendment, so that the US media can also report about the ongoing Saudi funds for terror, without fearing expensive libel lawsuits. The following is an excerpt from Funding Evil -- The Editors] [. . . . ]

Link and read.

Search: threatening to sue, Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz, named in all the 9/11 lawsuits, BCCI Group, Muwafaq Foundation, Golden Chain, Benevolence International Foundation, Prince Turki, the Saudi ambassador to London, handed a judgment

Al-Qaeda's Armies by Jonathan Schanzer, interviewed on, March 3, 2005

FP: What motivated you to write this book?

Schanzer: I first started thinking about Al-Qaeda's Armies when I came to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in September 2002. One year after the 9/11 attacks, analysts inside the beltway were spending countless hours researching al-Qaeda, but there was something missing. The primary target known as "al-Qaeda" had been oversimplified. As a result, many Americans believed that if the U.S. military simply captured Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the terrorist threat would dissipate. The Bali bombing and the attack on the French Tanker Limburg in Yemen that fall demonstrated to me that al-Qaeda's power and reach stemmed from a network of small and local groups that work as "subcontractors" for terrorist attacks all over the world, even as bin Laden and his top lieutenants hid in distant caves. In other words, the al-Qaeda network was able to be resilient because it relied not only upon its top leaders and clandestine cells, but also "affiliate groups," which are larger, homegrown, organic Islamist terror groups that became volunteer fighters for the al-Qaeda matrix. . . .

FP: Tell us how the affiliate groups give al-Qaeda its resiliency. [. . . . ]

FP: Could you discuss the sources you used for your research? [. . . . ]

FP: You interviewed one of Saddam Hussein's former intelligence officers. Can you tell us about that experience? [. . . . ]

FP: What it will take to successfully fight and defeat these affiliate groups? [. . . . ]

What do Liberals stand for? -- Not any one ideology, but a 'modus operandi, an unalloyed pragmatism' and 'a shameless appetite for power,' Andrew Cohen writes as the party begins its policy convention in Ottawa.

Liberal brand Andrew Cohen, The Ottawa Citizen, Mar. 3, 05

Andrew Cohen teaches journalism and international affairs at Carleton University. Email:

/'libr( )l/ -n. One that will run from the left and govern from the right, but has an uncanny instinct for finding the centre and holding it ...
- - -
As the legions of the Liberal Party of Canada gather today to talk policy, their real impulse is to celebrate power -- the enduring success of a political dynasty that has governed Canada for all of the last decade, much of the last generation, and most of the last century. [. . . . ]

And yet, as Liberals salute their success this week, some of them worry deeply about their party. If the land is strong, as they boasted in 1972, is the brand strong in 2005? [. . . . ]

This is well written -- worth reading -- cynics will enjoy it.

Budget 2005 -- Various Angles -- Defense -- Security -- Politics -- Foreign Policy -- Stelco -- UNSCAM Rot -- Financial Markets -- Tung Chee-hwa -- &

Less than meets the eye -- budget -- a closer look at backloading National Post, March 3, 2005

[. . . . ] Of the $13-billion in new defence spending promised by Mr. Goodale, only one-fifth will be invested over the next three fiscal years; the Forces will have to wait until 2009 and beyond for the other $10-billion. Until then, there will be no money for new helicopters, transport ships and planes, nor even a portion of the 8,000 new troops and reservists the Liberals promised during the federal election last year. Canadian Forces officials have even had to delay a planned pay raise for uniformed personnel, so unsure are they of how much new money their department will receive this year, and when. [. . . . ]

What Canadians voted for--some say out of fearmongering over the economy--and now have in a government is appalling; check for yourself.

There is an excellent article by William Watson in today's National Post on what the Conservatives predicted on the budget before the June 2004 election, what the Liberals said at the time, and the actuality today.

'Delivering on commitments'? Yeah, right

[. . . . ] Table 1.3 of last week's Budget Plan 2005, which you'll find on p. 27

[. . . . ] But check last week's budget (Table 7.6, p. 258, to be precise).

[. . . . ] But the overall impression the budget creates is the bad taste of having been had.

Search: fiscal black hole

Victor Salus: Liberal Defence Spending: More Smoke and Mirrors -- search And as it turns out, this initial spending will end up being less. A lot less.

CBC's budget bias Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, Canada Free Press, March 1, 2005

Search: "The CBC, of course has a conflict"

That one reference will leas to all you need to know about the CBC's reporting -- if you need more proof.

"The first duty of a government is to protect its citizens."

Defense Policy -- letter

Foreign policy, courtesy of Quebec -- "Re: Bush Won't Call PM, March 2."

Search: marginal, defence

What is a "national party", anyway? According to the mainstream media, conservatives have not had one. Well, I beg to differ.

I hesitated about drawing attention to this letter because I have been chastised a bit for how I write about Quebec and China -- probably rightly for the tone of what I write; I am rather blunt. However, I am more than the sum of my words. I am also my own behaviour and actions toward other ethnic or cultural groups and I don't believe that should be a problem for anyone. Some people have even agreed--or at least tolerated--my views because the subjects deserve debate.

If 250,000 immigrants and refugees enter the country per year, 99% become good citizens but that 1/2 -1% of 250000 = 1200 bad -- and they can cause a lot of damage to all Canadians. It is preferable to separate the good from the rest and go after the bad apples but the government lumps them in with the good and does basically nothing except to make sure the security forces / RCMP mind their manners.

I do want to draw attention to these few dangerous ones and to what I see as the control of all aspects of Canadians' lives, seemingly without concern for what the majority think or prefer. I am concerned about the current direction of our government in foreign policy and its push for business 'partnerships' -- where Canadians should read the fine print and check what has happened in the past. This needs more media scrutiny. I worry about Canada's security which is allied to immigration/refugee policies -- and, if you read past posts, you will know to what that refers. To anyone else who is offended, read the material to which I refer. They makes the arguments.

All this is why I decided against self-censorship and I have included the usual posts on whatever I find. We have had enough of self-censorship in the mainstream media.


Paul Martin's best friend Don Martin, National Post, Mar. 3, 05

This may be good advice to Stephen Harper.

For example, there's his curious preoccupation with Quebec, where he won't win seats in the next election, at the expense of Ontario, where he risks letting Conservative seats slip back to the Liberals [. . . . ]

Exposing the rot behind Oil-for-Food Claudia Rosett, National Post from The New Republic, Mar. 3, 05 -- finally -- but it tells only part of the story. For even more, look at the following.

Search Google: "oil for food, Canada Free Press"

Search Canada Free Press website: "oil for food" -- and, while there are other articles, do not miss one entitled Canada's global connections

Judi McLeod has done the research; you will learn much more.

Stock jumps after Stelco rejects bids -- Shares up 28% as steelmaker seeks new capital Peter Brieger, Mar. 3, 05, Financial Post

Stelco Inc. shares rocketed 28% yesterday after the steelmaker rejected all bids for the company and said it now plans to tap the market to raise fresh capital -- a decision that dissolves Russian steelmaker OAO Severstal's effort to buy the whole company. [. . . . ]

There is more, of interest to investors.

China, Europe gaining larger share of world's financial assets Jonathan Ratner, Mar. 3, 05, Financial Post

Global financial stocks were comparable to the world's GDP in 1980, at roughly $12-trillion. Since then, the expansion of stock markets, banks and other financial institutions has contributed to enormous growth in the capital available for lending and borrowing. World assets jumped to $53-trillion by 1993 and could reach $200-trillion by 2010, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute. Europe is gaining ground, as is China, where financial markets are expanding quickly, making them more relevant in the world system. Meanwhile, Japan is losing global share.[. . . . ]

A hopeful sign for Hong Kong or a Beijing crackdown? -- "Born in Shanghai in 1937, Mr. Tung was the son of a shipping magnate who fled to Hong Kong rather than live under Mao Zedong's communists."

Tung's term marred by fumbling of economy, uncaring attitude -- Beijing's man in Hong Kong had been criticized Kelly McParland, National Post

When China selected Tung Chee-hwa to run Hong Kong in 1997, it saw him as everything it could hope for: successful, steely, a wealthy businessman who could be counted on to stick to the line laid down by Beijing.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tung wasn't what Hong Kong had in mind, and after eight years of gaffes, missteps and plain bad luck he finally appears to have been eased out, according to reports in Hong Kong.

Mr. Tung was a successful shipping tycoon, just the sort of self-made man Hong Kong would normally take to, but his term as "chief executive" of the former colony went wrong right from the start.
[. . . . ]

Search: Tiananmen Square, crises, anti-subversion bill, Hu Jintao

Jonas on Zundel-IRPA, Schoolgirl Wins Right to Wear Muslim gown, Without Firing a Shot!

George Jonas -- Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)

The state's immune system, run amok George Jonas, Mar. 3, 05, National Post

I suspect 65-year-old Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel dearly wishes he were a security threat. Unlike Federal Court Justice Pierre Blais, however, I don't think he is. I think the obnoxious pamphleteer is just a contemptible crank.

But whether Judge Blais was right or wrong last week when he found Zundel a security threat isn't the important issue. The important issue is what's happening to the rule of law in Canada. [. . . . ]

This is another exploration of a very difficult topic -- when you consider what is in the balance, our security or individual rights. It must be discussed. I am tired of pronouncements from on high -- from the group which has stooped so low.

Search: lupus, evil-thinkers, today's exception, statism, Justice Blais

The finer points in running a politically correct society

What does costume signify? I have no problem with most silly costumes of youthful rebellion, the normal outrageousness, but I wonder if the message sent by some costuming is not outside the realm of youthful rebellion, even intentionally, and dangerously? If the rest have to wear a uniform, should not all be required to do so? Is some costuming more significant than others, anyway? Does it lean toward reinforcing activities carried to their logical extreme by what Al Jazeera so lovingly presents to the 'peaceful' as the triumphs over the infidels?

What to do about it? Even the thought flies in the face of what George Jonas has written -- and he makes sense. Muy complicado.

Schoolgirl wins right to wear Muslim gown Joshua Rozenberg, Mar. 3, 05

[. . . . ] Shabina Begum, 16, decided when she turned 14 to wear a jilbab, a full-length dress that conceals the shape of a woman's arms and legs. She said the decision of Denbigh High School, in Luton, to insist that she wore uniform was the consequence of an atmosphere in which Islam had been made "a target for vilification in the name of the war on terror". [. . . . ]

I might as well be killed for a sheep as a lamb; I have failed to find many redeeming qualities in the 'peacful' religion -- with the exception that the children within their families may have more respect for their elders--if that is always a good thing--and it appears they drink less--but do they partake of drugs less? I think of qat and marijuana and the areas where the poppy grows. I suspect many prohibitions are publicly proclaimed and affirmed, then privately flouted, as with most of these things. And of course, the life of women is . . . . . . something to be dreaded by Western women. Thus, I don't want to see more and more symbols of it -- and there was enough significance to warrant going to court over this costume. That tells me something. It was not parental strictures; the girl's parents are dead -- so who was paying for this? Who is 'guiding' her in this battle? Why?

Opium poppy production grows AFP, March 03, 2005

VIENNA - Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan soared to near-record levels in 2004, posing a threat to the country's stability, the International Narcotics Control Board said yesterday. [. . . . ]

Without Firing a Shot! -- The real war at your Door J.B. Williams, March 1, 2005

[. . . . ] Subversion is defined as "a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within". [. . . . ]

Applicable to the US and Canada -- wide-ranging -- marriage, judiciary, republic, capitalism, etc -- just read it.

Corporate Welfare Shell Game, Corporate Social Responsibility, Punishing Capital & Next Trust Threat

Corporate Welfare Shell Game -- & Social Responsibility

When I first saw this, I was so pleased for the university; then I read a the fine print.

Little-known university now a big part of GM design plan -- Cash infusion 'catapults us into the big leagues' -- University of Ontario Institute of Technology

[. . . . ] The Ontario and federal governments have each committed approximately $200-million toward GM's $2.5-billion upgrade plan, which will create 500 jobs in the southern Ontario communities of Ingersoll, Oshawa and St. Catharines. [. . . . ]

Search: Mike Harris Conservative government

Corporate welfare takes the wheel -- Automakers roll out the profits while Ontario's taxpayers foot the bill Tasha Kheiriddin and John Williamson, Mar. 3, 05, Financial Post

Yesterday, the Ontario economy hit the road to perdition. In the name of job creation and competitiveness, the provincial and federal governments committed $435-million to [. . . . ]

Search: "Corporate welfare is nothing but"

The bottomless pit of CSR policies -- Which will it be? Corporate social responsibility or return on investment for shareholders? Peter Foster, Mar. 2, 05, Financial Post

Corporate Social Responsibility is a proposition with which it is allegedly impossible to argue. If you question its multiplying meanings or its murky metrics, you are accused of espousing "irresponsibility," of wanting to outlaw philanthropy and trash the environment, of being a blinkered ideologue who believes employees, suppliers and local communities should be treated with contempt. This is all, to put it bluntly, baloney.

[. . . . ] Such a notion betrays a stunning misreading not merely of CSRs critics but of the nature and function of markets and profit-seeking companies more generally. It implies that the interests of investors and society are somehow alternatives, even natural enemies. [. . . . ]

Search: practical pitfalls

We must stop punishing capital March 2, 2005, Norma Kozhaya, Financial Post

Search: "Canada is one of the few countries in the world to employ a corporate capital tax", C.D. Howe Institute, Montreal Economic Institute

The next trust threat Jack. M. Mintz, Mar. 2, 05

I have found his work always to be worth reading.

The welcome elimination of the 30% foreign property limitation for pension plans and RRSPs in last week's federal budget could have a surprising impact on the popular $135-billion income trust market. It won't be because of a flight of capital to foreign markets, but instead will result from the possible surging growth of an alternative corporate organization -- limited partnerships, which have been included in the definition of "foreign property" under the now-defunct rule.

[. . . . ] The next trust threat -- Taxation of shareholder income is highly imbalanced, and the end of pension-RRSP foreign content limits heralds a climate for change [. . . . ]

Harvard: Academic Freedom, Feminists and Science -- & -- Winning Scientists in the Maritimes

Barbara Kay on Harvard Pres. Lawrence Summers, Academic Freedom, Universities, Mobbing -- Excellent! -- in the spirit of enquiry and free speech, a must read

Mob rule at Harvard Barbara Kay, National Post, Mar. 2, 05

As everyone by now knows, on Jan. 14 Harvard University president Summers opined that the low number of women at the pinnacle of math and science research might be due in part to innate differences between men's and women's cognitive abilities in those areas.

He didn't say that women are dumber, but that, on average, they are less likely to be either hypersmart or hyperdumb. What's more, the available data suggests Summers is entirely correct. [. . . . ]

Search the paragraph beginning "In a classic mobbing episode " and do read the "12-point profile Professor Westhues has developed to identify true mobbing"

Finally, read the last paragraph, advice Kay offers to Professor Summers. Another voice of common sense.

In the same spirit, the next time some neanderthal suggests I am a redneck, would Ms. Kay please give me a snappy comeback? -- Something other than "I am simply stating what I believe based on extensive reading and some experience, along with using my powers of deduction" -- which certainly lacks a certain je ne sais quoi -- perhaps zing. It won't be picked up as a media sound bite -- and isn't that what everyone wants?

Winner of AUPAC/2005 Prize is a Female in Physics--All are Winners -- APICS Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Conference, Saint Mary's University, Feb. 4 - 6, 2005

Would you not be proud if one of these students were yours?

For those who, like me, wondered about the acronyms, here it is: AUPAC (APICS Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Conference 2005).

AUPAC/2005 Prize Winners
Prize Winners
Best Poster

1st Place: Bobby MacDougall (Acadia)
Title: "Charge Density Waves in ZnXNb3Te4: Effects of Zn Interaction"

Best Talks (NSERC Atlantic Representatives Undergrad Student Awards)

1st Place: Heather Hickey (UNB)
Title: "Magnetic Resonance Measurements to Determine Oil and Water
Content in Model Starch Food Samples"

2nd Place: Aaryn Tonita (Acadia)
Title: "The Solar Neutrino Problem"

3rd Place: Roderick Chisolm (SMU)
Title: "Utilizing digital in-line holography to investigate polymer

APICS Undergraduate Science Communication Award
("best able to communicate a science topic to the general public")
as voted on by conference participants:

Markus Baker (Mount Allison)
Title: "Heavy Metal- It's Not About the Music"

Participating students by university and a list of presentations

All of these students--male and female, note--spent a weekend in Halifax for this this. Is this not heartening? Congratulations to all these winners!

Western Standard: Steyn, Robson, Byfield -- Voices of Intelligence

Mark Steyn: Brilliant as usual

Just read the beginning of We’re doomed

[. . . . ] what happens when an entire people lacks the will to rouse itself from self-destruction [. . . . ]

Do the math John Robson, 28 February 2005

we still understand many legal matters precisely that way: we do not think murder is wrong because it is illegal; we insist that it be illegal because it is wrong. But recently, positive (man-made) law has elbowed aside natural law in many areas, including family, so that statutes no longer reflect reality but, instead, create it. [. . . . ]

Fear of the ‘R’ word Ted Byfield, 28 February 2005

If anything characterizes New Canada (meaning the nation being manufactured by our judicial and sociological rulers in Ottawa), it is its fear of, and contempt for, the people on whose behalf the New Canada is ostensibly being created. Thus, if any single word evokes horror for the makers of the New Canada, it’s the word, “referendum.”

As this is written, five billboards are being raised in major cities, east and west, declaring: “Gay marriage? Let the people decide.” Since the billboard is signed,, an avenue is provided through which these five could spawn donations to erect scores more.[. . . . ]

March 02, 2005

Canada: Reaping What we Sow, Government Still Doesn't Understand Security - Rising Anti-Canadianism, Time for "O, Canada!", Hope-Syria & Lebanon

Reaping what we sow National Post, March 2, 2005

[. . . . ] last week's decision to opt out of the U.S. missile shield.
Recent developments in the United States will help make their case. It was little secret that our closest friend, neighbour and ally would be offended by our refusal to offer even symbolic support for its continental security initiative. Even so, the response from Washington has been surprisingly swift.

Most notable was the apparent cancellation of a mid-April visit to Ottawa by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- a decision that CTV news has reported was . . . . a NORAD surveillance project in Goose Bay, Labrador -- one that would enhance Canada's role in continental security while creating 340 short-term jobs and 100 permanent ones -- appears to be in jeopardy, with U.S. officials having cancelled a related information briefing following last week's announcement.

Response from the U.S. media has been equally disturbing. [. . . . ]

They still don't understand the concept of security yet

Paul Cellucci, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Canada, was a keynote speaker at the American Assembly, and he told the participants that "security trumps trade, while we must keep trade flowing."

The closer we get, the farther apart we are -- Report warns of rising tide of U.S. 'anti-Canadianism' Scott Stinson, National Post, Mar. 2, 05

Canada and the United States are at their most acrimonious point in recent history, despite being more reliant on each other than ever, an assembly of 70 high-profile citizens of the two countries warns.

"It is by now evident that Canada is losing influence in Washington," says the report, the product of the American Assembly, a series of meetings last month in New York. [. . . . ]

Remember Richler's title? "Oh Canada, Oh, Quebec" -- Well, it is time for "O, Canada!"

(If I have misremembered the title, I apologize.)

O, Canada! March 02, 2005, Fox News, John Gibson

What she [Condoleezza Rice ] is mad about -- and what I am mad about -- is that Canada decided it would pull out of the American-sponsored and American-paid-for North American Missile Defense Program (search).

This program involves the U.S. building a missile defense system and hopefully being able to shoot down missiles aimed at America -- presumably from some nut job nation like North Korea (search). [. . . . ]

Search: sovereign airspace

A Loosening Grip -- Protests in Lebanon give hope to two nations. March 02, 2005, Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Go to the website and read Farid Ghadry's qualifications online for being asked to take part.

[. . . . ] National Review Online: How big of a deal is the government resignation in Lebanon? Were you surprised by it?

Farid Ghadry: It is a huge deal because not only did it show that the peaceful will of the people can prevail in curbing despotism, but it also showed how weak Syrian Baathists are. And that is very important. The Syrians and Lebanese have lived the last 44 and 29 years respectively under fear from a powerful police state that is accountable to no one. The Lebanese experience with the killing of Hariri has demolished the concept that Syrian Baathista are all-powerful and they are accountable to no one. The Lebanese people are emboldened by the support of the international community and members of parliament like Ahmad Moufatfat and Walid Ido have warned high Syrian intelligence officers that they seek to bring them to justice if implicated in the killing of Hariri. [. . . . ]

NRO: How much of a risk is it for these people who are out in "martyrs' square" protesting? [. . . . ]

NRO: Is it realistic that Syria might wind up leaving Lebanon? [. . . . ]

NRO: Are the people in Syria liable to be seriously encouraged by the Lebanese? Or is the Baath grip too strong? [. . . . ]

NRO: What would a pragmatic U.S. policy toward Syria look like? [. . . . ]

NRO: What should Americans know about the people you talk to inside of Syria? [. . . . ]

Link and read his responses.