Monday, March 30, 2009

The book PETA doesn't want you to read...

And finally for today:

The Book HSUS and PETA Don’t Want You to Read

The Consumer Freedom interview with Redemption author Nathan Winograd.

Nathan Winograd is a Stanford Law School graduate and a former criminal prosecutor. He has also presided over America’s two most successful experiments in what’s become known as the “No-Kill” animal shelter movement. At SPCAs in San Francisco and Tompkins County, New York, Winograd showed that No-Kill animal sheltering -- the brand of hands-on animal care that deep-pocketed animal “rights” groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) ironically oppose -- can work.

In his book Redemption, Winograd argues that the idea of pet overpopulation in America is a myth. PETA cites this “overpopulation” as the reason it
kills nearly 90 percent of the dogs and cats it takes in. And the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) literally wrote the book on a system of animal sheltering that seems resigned to killing healthy pets out of sheer laziness, instead of looking for alternatives.

After we read Redemption, we had some tough questions for Winograd. And he graciously agreed to answer them.

CCF: Right on the cover of your book, you call the idea of pet overpopulation in the United States a "myth." Are you saying that there are enough homes for every healthy, unwanted pet?

Winograd: Yes. Based on the number of existing households with pets who have a pet die or run away, more homes potentially become available each year for cats than the number of cats who enter shelters, while more than twice as many homes potentially become available each year for dogs than the number of dogs who enter shelters.

Put another way, every year more families are potentially looking to bring a new dog or cat into their home than the animals that enter shelters. And the market of homes (the number of homes which do not currently have a dog or cat but will acquire one) is expanding rapidly. If shelters increased their market share by just a few percentage points, we could be a No Kill nation right now. But we are far from it.

As a movement, the humane community has accepted the idea that the best shelters can do for homeless animals is to adopt out some and kill the rest. To try to avoid criticism for this, to justify a paltry number of adoptions, these groups have perpetuated the myth that there are simply more animals than homes, something that is patently false (even though most people believe it).

Redemption offers a stunning indictment of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Why does such a wealthy animal rights organization appear so disinterested in saving the lives of cats and dogs?

HSUS is the wealthiest humane organization in the United States. Since its founding in the mid-1950s, it has grown in scope, size, and influence. It claims the support of some 10 million members, while its conference which caters to shelters is currently the largest nationwide. Given that, one would predict, expect and hope that it would be at the forefront of the No Kill movement, leading the way to ending the systematic killing of dogs and cats in U.S. shelters. But instead HSUS has been one of No Kill’s fiercest and most obstinate opponents.

One of the fundamental downsides of bureaucracies is their focus on self-preservation at the expense of their mission. Agencies like the Humane Society of the United States have ignored No Kill success and put the interest of animals -- indeed their very lives -- aside.

What would HSUS stand to lose if American animal shelters all moved toward a “No Kill” philosophy tomorrow?

Other than a few employees with a deplorable history of supporting the unnecessary killing of dogs and cats in shelters, and perhaps some longstanding relationships with shelter directors mired in killing, absolutely nothing. In fact, they would be hailed as pillars of compassion by the American public. That is what makes their position on this issue (historical and presently) so disturbing.

If you had HSUS's resources ($200 million in the bank and $150 million of income this year), how much progress could you make toward reforming our nation's animal shelters? What would you do first?
More money isn’t necessary to end the killing of savable dogs and cats in shelters. In fact, most of the programs and services necessary to save lives would actually cost these shelters less than what they are currently spending to warehouse animals and then kill them.

For example, adoptions generate revenue, they generate good will (which could be leveraged for future donations), and they lead to greater word-of-mouth publicity which leads to more adoptions and more revenue. Killing animals, by contrast, not only costs money (to end an animal’s life and dispose of the body), but it also makes the public less satisfied with the job a shelter is doing, especially as the shelter blames that same public for the problem. These are the people a shelter needs to embrace (in the form of adopters, volunteers, and donors) if it’s going to save animals’ lives.

Volunteers and foster homes also provide subsidized services, in which private individuals and rescue groups care for shelter animals at no cost to taxpayers. It is a cost-free way to save a great number of dogs and cats. But too many shelters turn these people away at the front door -- while the animals they are trying to help go out the back door in a body bag.

In short, animals are not dying because of lack of money in the vast majority of U.S. cities.

Take the municipal animal shelter in Austin, Texas for example. In 2000, its budget was $2.9 million. Now it’s $4.8 million. But the number of dogs and cats killed in Austin increased during this time. PETA spends around $30 million every year, but claims it can’t save 2,000 dogs and cats. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Americans donated over $32 million to the Humane Society of the United States, specifically to help the dogs and cats trapped in New Orleans.

They spent only a fraction of that money on the problem. What did they do with the rest?You have a pretty blunt assessment of PETA's long-standing habit of killing animals instead of working to place them in adoptive homes. Why should the public believe PETA's line about saving pigs and chickens if it's not willing to start with dogs and cats?

This, to me, is the great betrayal in PETA’s position. If groups like PETA openly champion the killing of dogs and cats in shelters, if they do not take the position that killing dogs and cats is inherently unethical and should be condemned, how do they expect to convince the public that pigs, chickens, and other animals -- with whom Americans do not have a close relationship -- should have more protections?

If the animal rights community, which claims to be the standard bearer for what our relationship with animals should be, approves of the idea of killing millions of animals in shelters, doesn’t that undermine their ultimate goals? The old adage “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” could not be more true.

What's beneath the surface of PETA's apparent hypocrisy here? Why do you think the group doesn't endorse a “No Kill” philosophy, or at least stop tasking its employees with killing pets?I can only think of one possibility. PETA’s founder, Ingrid Newkirk, previously worked at the Washington Humane Society in Washington, DC, a shelter that has historically been the subject of public criticism for high rates of shelter killing.

In fact, at a time when Stanford University was having great success with its program to save homeless cats on its campus, the Washington Humane Society opposed my effort to create a similar program on the Georgetown University campus. In the end, Georgetown sided with the Washington Humane Society, which embraced a campaign of extermination.

Few animal activists who follow PETA’s lead on the companion animal issue are probably aware that its founder’s former job was to kill homeless dogs and cats in a shelter that had a poor record for saving lives.

Isn't it a bit hypocritical for groups like PETA and HSUS to be front-and-center in the Michael Vick story?

Nobody with half a brain supports dog fighting, but isn't killing dogs out of sheer convenience just as nasty?

The thought of what those poor dogs went through is personally very painful to me. If the public pressure created by these groups led to Vick’s suspension from the NFL, a positive thing has been accomplished. If it leads to greater penalties for people who do this, again that is positive. And as a former Deputy District Attorney who prosecuted animal cruelty cases, I believe that if Michael Vick is found guilty, he should be punished severely.

But while PETA applauds the prosecution of Michael Vick, it fought similar efforts by a prosecutor in North Carolina who went after PETA employees for needlessly killing animals and dumping their bodies in supermarket trash bins.

And while PETA condemns Michael Vick for killing Pit Bull-type dogs, PETA itself is on record saying that each and every Pit Bull entering a U.S. animal shelter should be killed as a matter of policy -- including healthy and friendly dogs. By its actions, words, and deeds, PETA is condemning hundreds of thousands of dogs annually to death.

HSUS is no better. HSUS once called the mass extermination of alley cats the only “practical and humane” solution. Why is the needless killing of millions of cats “humane,” especially in the face of non-lethal lifesaving alternatives?

In your book, you mention briefly the connection between shelter adoption rates and retail pet sales. Can you flesh this out a bit? Does this indicate that there are plenty of homes for adoptable animals?

When San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to save all healthy, homeless dogs and cats, and was effectively talking to the public about pet adoption, there was not a single pet store left in the city selling dogs and cats. It didn’t start out that way, but that was the result. Why? Because they couldn’t compete with the SPCA.

Americans want to do the right thing, and they saw shelter adoption as a way to save lives and bring the joys of animal companionship into their homes. By contrast, when you look at cities with high levels of shelter killing, you also tend to see large numbers of pet stores.

This tells me that the animals in these communities aren’t dying because “there are too many dogs and cats, and not enough homes” -- as the shelter directors want you to believe. If that were the case, you wouldn’t see so many pet retailers. They exist because there’s a market demand for dogs and cats. And because the shelters are doing a lousy job at adopting to the community.

You make a pretty convincing case that whatever pet "overpopulation" exists in the U.S. is the fault of poorly run shelters, not the public that typically gets blamed for creating the problem. But surely there's something the public can do to help reverse the current situation. What's your bottom-line advice for John Q. Consumer?

We need to reclaim these institutions. The agencies that the public expects to protect homeless pets are instead killing more than five million of them every year. Lifesaving alternatives have existed for decades. But too many of these agencies remain mired in the “kill” philosophy of the past, unwilling to explore and adopt methods that save lives. This is a breach of their public trust.

We need to reform animal shelters through lobbying, by making demands at the local government level, and by withholding contributions until they change. We need to hit them right back for advocating killing by using a tactic they understand: the boycott.

Do not donate to HSUS or any other shelter or agency which refuses to embrace a No Kill philosophy. Let them know that when they decide to do right by the animals, you will be ready to open your checkbook.

In the end, there may be an overpopulation problem in the United States, but it is not the one we traditionally define. What we are actually suffering from -- what is actually killing a high number of animals -- is an overpopulation of lazy and complacent shelter directors.

A culture of lifesaving is not possible without wholesale regime change in shelters, and in national animal protection groups. So the most important single act -- and the crucial first step -- is to fire the current leadership of shelters across the country. That is what the public should demand.

Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America is
available online from and other retailers. Every copy sold is guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of the wrong-headed activists who run PETA and HSUS.

HSUS activists torture seal...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

HSUS Activists Torture Animal For Promotional Video

© By Othmar Vohringer

Members of the Humane Society of the Untitled States (HSUS) were caught on video by Pro-seal hunt filmmaker Raoul Jomphe as they contributed for hours to the suffering of a badly injured seal for a promotional video. According to the Ottawa Citizen:

“…the animal rights activists pulled the dying seal out of the water as it tried to escape, and continued filming their promotional video. It is not known how the seal was wounded.” Raoul Jomhe said.

"If I had been on the ice with my family and kids, I would have told them to turn around, and I would have killed the seal myself, because it was disturbing for me to see that. "To me this is just another piece of evidence of what I have known all along. Animal rights activist groups such as the HSUS and PETA are hypocritical. While they try to maintain the cuddly animal loving face in public behind the scenes they are among the cruelest animal abusers.

This is not the first documented case of animal rights activists purposely abusing animals to gain promotional film footage that they than use for their knee jerk propaganda. To learn more about the animal rights and their continued animal abuse I recommend these two reliable resources. (Exposing the animal rights movement) and PETA Kills Animals an affiliate organization of the equally recommended

Updated by Othmar Vohringer on March 30, 2008

It seems that the above event is not a first for them either. They staged an identical event 4 or 5 years ago. In another example they had an article written that appeared in several papers wailing about the record slaughter of seals that year, describing the horrors they had seen, the blood, the cruelty. The problem? There hadn't BEEN one. The event was canceled and postponed. They didn't know, hadn't been there. The article was made up. In another case, footage of sheriff department and vets darting tigers in a trailer was edited and a voiceover stated it was a "canned hunt". HSUS again. Want to bet this footage turns up soon on network and cable TV?

Without a mention of it being staged?

(I'd bet my life on it... - Crypt.)

YES, the HSUS kills puppies...

HSUS, PETA Hypocritical on Animal Cruelty
September 11, 1997

St. Paul, MN -- Fur Commission USA has blasted the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and another national animal rights group as "hypocritical and highly selective in their condemnation of cruelty to animals." The criticism is in response to HSUS demands that three 18-year-old boys in Fairfield, Iowa be sentenced to up to ten years in jail for killing stray cats.

"Animal cruelty is a serious matter wherever it occurs," said Commission President Skip Lea. "But the HSUS has been hypocritical and highly selective in its condemnations. More than 5,000 mink have been killed by animal rights criminals attacking fur farms in the U.S. We've heard no calls for jail time for the perpetrators of these crimes. Where is the HSUS outrage over these animal deaths?"

Lea said animal cruelty is unacceptable, regardless of the source. "When animal liberationists drive farm-raised mink to a bloody death on a busy highway or between the jaws of a predator in the wild, they are guilty of an unconscionable act of animal cruelty, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he declared.

As an example, Lea cited the death of 500 adult female mink and 2,000 newborn kits after an ALF raid on an Oregon farm in May. According to a June 2 Associated Press report, a sheriff's deputy at the scene said, "We're kind of upset just because of the destruction of the animals and the carnage. One officer couldn't handle it. He had to be excused."

Leading animal rights groups such as HSUS and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have failed to condemn such actions, Lea noted. PETA materials have described the ALF as an "army of the kind." In fact, PETA's 1994 tax returns show a $45,000 contribution to the Rodney Coronado Support Committee in Tucson, Arizona. Coronado is a convicted ALF arsonist now serving a five-year sentence in federal prison for animal rights crimes. "If that doesn't imply support for animal rights crimes, I don't know what would," Lea said.

Most states have laws that prohibit animal cruelty. Many have statutes to protect farms and research facilities from animal rights terrorism. Lea said both types of laws are being invoked to prosecute animal rights criminals who remove furbearing animals from farms.

"The bottom line is that animal rights terrorism is cruel to animals and humans alike," Lea said. "Animal rights criminals have proved that they don't really care about animals at all. Their goal is to inflict maximum economic damage, no matter the cost to animals or people. After seeing the horrific consequences of ALF raids in the U.S., no rational person could continue to believe this movement is about animal welfare.

"If PETA and HSUS are truly concerned about animal cruelty, they should strongly and publicly condemn any ALF actions that result in the death of animals," Lea concluded.

© 1998-2009 Fur Commission

Hypocrite is as hypocrite does... (PETA)

Here is just a little something uncovered today in the news. Oh, it's not new by any means and if truth were actually known, you'd find that this is just a fraction of the tip of this particular iceberg...

Posted On March 25, 2009:

PETA Killed 95 Percent of Adoptable Pets in its Care During 2008

Hypocritical Animal Rights Group’s 2008 Disclosures Bring Pet Death Toll To 21,339

WASHINGTON DC – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008.

Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the animal rights group kills an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, VA headquarters.

According to public records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 2,124 pets last year and placed only seven in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 21,339 dogs and cats have died at the hands of PETA workers.

Despite having a $32 million budget, PETA does not operate an adoption shelter. PETA employees make no discernible effort to find homes for the thousands of pets they kill every year. Last year, the Center for Consumer Freedom petitioned Virginia’s State Veterinarian to reclassify PETA as a slaughterhouse.

CCF Research Director David Martosko said: “PETA hasn’t slowed down its hypocritical killing machine one bit, but it keeps browbeating the rest of society with a phony ‘animal rights’ message. What about the rights of the thousands of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens that die in PETA’s headquarters building?”

Martosko added: “Since killing pets is A-OK with PETA, why should anyone listen to their demands about eating meat, using lab rats for medical research, or taking children to the circus?”

CCF obtained PETA’s “Animal Record” filings since 1998 from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members of the public can see these documents at
In addition to exposing PETA’s hypocritical record of killing defenseless animals, the Center for Consumer Freedom has publicized the animal rights group’s ties to violent activists, and shed light on its aggressive message-marketing to children.

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

For media comment, contact their media department at 202-463-7112 ext. 115

First ride...

Friday evening did not see me sweeping the roadway out front of my place. I took a little wander around the 'hood, checking out the condition and placement of the most aggregious dirt and gravel piles. I figured if I stuck to the centre of the roadway, I oughtta be good to go. I remembered the many gravel roads that I had travelled down over the years and reasoned that once you knew the stuff was there, the rest would not be a problem.

Saturday morning dawned with clouds racing across the sky, as I sat with my Honey, enjoying a cup of coffee. She was headed off to work fropm 0900 to 1500hrs and I was going to do some puttering around before I decided to head out. I threw a load of washing in, washed down the bike and took a shower myself, before trying to figure out what to wear for this season's first ride. It was 7 degrees out and would be climbing up to a high of 15 as the day wore on, or at least that's what Environment Canada was advertising. I finally settled on jeans and a light microfibre top, which produced incredible warmth. I would be wearing a set of black Joe Rocket ballistic nylon riding pants over the jeans and of course my matching jacket. The jacket does have a quilted liner but I still found myself wondering if this would be enough to keep me warm as I motored along the back roads. I decided to hit the pulleys and stretch out my arm for a few minutes, before heading out.

I had the battery tender hooked up to the bike as I busied myself with the various morning chores that I had assigned myself. I checked the tire pressure, front and back. Not surprisingly, the front tire was down by about 5 lbs. I topped her off and reinstalled the cap. I disconnected the battery tender and replaced the side cover. Following a last coat of Plexus on the windshield, it was time to get Baby packed for the road. Cell phone, camera, fanny pack neck wrap and ballcap were loaded into the port side saddlebag. Spare gauntlets and a Navy sweatshirt went into the starboard one. It was 1000hrs, time to go. I opened the garage door, straddled Baby and eased her out into the driveway, where I rested her on her jiffy stand. I dismounted, returned to the garage to lock the house up, don my jacket, lid and gloves and finally, close the garage door behind me. I mounted the bike and flicked her off the sidestand. Ignition on, jiffy stand up, thumb the starter and the throbbing of the big v-twin filled the air. I could feel a rush of excitement, anticipation surge through me. It never gets old...
I let her idle for a few seconds before backing her out into the street. I could feel the loose dirt and gravel underfoot as I back-pedalled her. Once in the middle of the road, I eased on the throttle and we were off. Sharp left, sharp right, sharp left... down to the first corner. Sharp right followed by yet another and we made our way up to Innes Road. The right-handed turns caused me a good deal of pain last year. This year? Nary a twinge. Things had gotten decidedly a lot better between then and now. I had to wait a few moments before making the sweeping left turn onto Innes. At this time of the day, the roads are filled with the Saturday crowds. Always a dangerous time to be anywhere near town. I couldn't wait to get out in the boonies.

I finally got my opening and found myself idling along in traffic. It felt really good. I knew that shortly I would be leaving the shopping throngs behind me and would have the relative isolation of country roads to look forward to. We made it to Mer Bleue, where I swung left at the light and headed South. I then took a right at Rigaud Road, which would lead me to the Anderson Road. This section of roadway was not the best. Still, I wanted to see how my shoulder would handle "less than perfect" riding conditions. By the time I reached Anderson Road, I decided to carry on back onto Innes and drop in to see my better half at work. I like for her to know if I'm out running the roads and where I might be headed. Kind of like filing a flight or sail plan. Should I fail to return, at least they'll know where to look.

We chatted for a bit and she wished me a pleasant (and safe...) ride. Wheeling out of her parking lot, I headed back to the Anderson Road. I kept the pace sedate, rarely straying past the 80kmh mark. We floated along quite content, the big mill purring beneath me and the pipes popping and burbling merrily when I rolled back the throttle. I dog-legged right onto Eighth Line Road, then left on the Ramsayville Road. Crossing over the little bridge, I decided I would take the Rideau Road this time. Might as well see how a bad road would feel...

Rideau Road was not as bad as I had anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised. I also marvelled how all the county roads were clear of gravel and other hazardous debris normally associated with early spring rides. Hitting the set of flashing lights halfway down the Rideau Road, I turned right onto County Road 19. This would lead me to the southern edge of the airport and eventually, Hunt Club Road. I had figured that I'd stop in at the local dealer's and see what was new as far as riding gear went. I had only one pair of dedicated, honest-to-God riding pants which fit me. The other pair (my trusty ICON Recon jeans...) had been cut off me at the OGH, after my unplanned get-off last July.

My remaining set of ICON riding pants are in a camo pattern and for reasons known only to civilians, my place of work has banned the wearing of clothing which is in a camouflage pattern. So it's not like they're banning the cut of the pants, or the style, or even the material they are made of... they're actually banning a colour. I know... Words fail me to describe this particular brand of mindlessness. You can walk in there wearing a pair of pink tights and someone's cock actually inside your mouth and nobody will say boo. BUT... you are not allowed to wear a fabric which simulates a military camouflage pattern. Civilians... God love 'em...

County Road 19 (also known as Limebank Road) proved to be almost more than what I had bargained for. There were a couple of instances where I was damn near jolted out of the saddle. I checked my speed, leaned forward in the saddle so that there was a generous bend in my elbows and made my grip on the bars feather light. This way, my entire body became one relaxed shock absorber, able to flow with the bike's motion as it bucked over the horrendously uneven road surface. This really gave my arm and shoulder a workout. I pulled into the Powersports parking lot, feeling more than ready for a rest. I remember telling myself how much of a jackass I was, as I dismounted. Ow-www.... I headed in and after trading niceties with the store manager (in my books, a punch in the arm is a nicety...), grabbed a can of pop and wandered around through the aisles.

There was certainly no shortage of good-looking, albeit scarily overpriced items, to look at. Their selection of riding jeans was embarassingly small, although they did have a very good sale on their riding overpants. 40% off is a good deal, no matter how you look at it. Still, nothing that turned my crank. No sweat... I knew that the local Suzuki dealer up the road (Ottawa Good Times Centre) always had a great selection of riding gear with more reasonable prices to boot. But I felt the back roads calling so I would put off my shopping for another day. I finished off my Coke and flashep up Baby. The sun was riding high by now and it was beautiful riding weather. We headed out of the parking lot and hung a left towards the lights at Hunt Club. I would take her down the River Road this time, right out to Timmie's in Manotick.

Befor I knew it, we were flowing along River Road. Traffic was non-existent and we had clear sailing ahead of us. We loped along at an easy 90kmh, the fluid curves of the road unfolding before us like a well-worn black ribbon. I revelled in simply being able to ride without pain. Not a care in the world. To be able to feel the wind and sun as we leaned and wheeled and swooped our way down the road. All too soon, we were pulling into Timmie's. I spied a couple of riders just removing their helmets as I turned in. I pulled in beside them and nodded as I leaned Baby over onto her jiffy stand. "Nice fuckin' day, what?", I smiled at them. They returned the greeting and we fell into an easy, familiar conversation about spring rides, the winter hiatus and our steeds themselves.

I left them momentarily to get a coffee inside. I met three more riders as I waited to get my double-double. Returning outside, another four had just pulled up. A Tim Horton's shop anywhere is always a magnet for riders. The one out in Manotick is no exception. We chatted about our rides and roads travelled, as I sipped slowly on my coffee. These spontaneous meetings are always a great bonus to the already rewarding world of riding. Baby loves all the attentiion she gets during these stops, but she was getting impatient. The road was calling and so having finished my Timmie's, we bade farewell to our new friends. I decided to wheel down Mitch Owens to rejoin the Ramsayville Road. I was tempted to strike out for Merrickville, but my Honey had warned me against doing so without her in tow. (She loves going there as much as I do...). That and I didn't have too much time left, if I wanted to be home to greet my working girl once she had finished her shift at 1500hrs.

I pulled into the driveway at 1445hrs on the nose. I felt good. I had pushed the envelope slightly by my choice of roads, but it had so been worth it. I'll probably be a little more sensible the next time out. We rounded off the evening by having supper at the Turkish Village restaurant on St.Joseph. Great Turkish food, served in a '70s kind of setting. The Turkish tea is a favorite of mine. A couple of movies topped off the evening, comfortably nestled in bed. All in all, pretty much a perfect kind of day...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On a good Urban Legend...

Just so we're straight on this, this story is an urban legend. The gentleman in question does actually exist, but this interview and the witty repartie, never took place. Still, it is a good story... :)

For those that don't know him, Major General Peter Cosgrove is an 'Australian treasure!'

General Cosgrove was interviewed on the radio recently. Read
his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and

Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love
this! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time.

It is a portion of an ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation) radio interview between a female
broadcaster and General Cosgrove, who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military headquarters.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Cosgrove, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL COSGROVE: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

GENERAL COSGROVE: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL COSGROVE: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL COSGROVE: Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one,
are you?

The radiocast went silent for 46 seconds and when it returned, the
interview was over.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tomorrow's the day...

I've always figured myself to be a reasonably patient man. We're now at the 27th of March (2 days away from my daughter's birthday and only one away from my Mom's, God love 'em both...) and I have yet to see the appearance of the first street cleaner of the year. Tomorrow they are calling for sunshine and a high of 14 degrees. I'll be good-goddamned if I don't have 'Baby' out for her maiden ride tomorrow.


So what all does this entail? Picture if you will, a madman armed with a large push-broom, stirring up a massive whirlwind of dust, cussing profusely, as he endeavours to clear a gravel-free path for him and his trusty iron horse. This will probably not endear me to my neighbours... notably those who will have gone out and had their cars washed to greet this fine weekend we have coming. They'll probably reckon I've lost my mind. Yet in truth, what choice do I have? Like I said, I'm patient. But only to a point, obviously. As Clint Eastwood once quipped in the movie Magnum Force: "A man's got to know his limitations...".

So once I do clear some sort of a path through the chicane that constitutes our street, what then? Well if I have any energy or motivation left, I may wash Baby down. I'll check her tire pressure and hook her up to the battery charging system overnight. I ought to check out my riding gear as well. Hopefully my Joe Rocket ballistic nylon jacket will still fit. My ICON Super-Duty boots will certainly serve me another season yet, I'm hoping. My lids are good to go, as are my many sets of gloves. I located my favorite mesh-type doo-rag last night and my riding shades are on standby. She'll have enough gas left for our first run together. Hmmm... where to go?

There are so many places which would be an ideal "first destination". Manotick, Merrickville, Brockville, Kingston, Almont... How to decide? Maybe I'll just take a cruise through the back roads to the dealership, stooge around for a few minutes with a Coke and figure what I want to do from there? True I only have until 1400hrs or so, due to prior commitments. But I can still get in some decent riding, just to work out the kinks and clear away the winter season cobwebs. I'm already looking forward to it...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the World Ecology and Paul Watson...

As you probably know by now, Paul Watson is not a hero of mine. I have an exceedingly low opinion of this man for a variety of sound and healthy reasons. There are those out there who would take exception with this viewpoint, either out of ignorance or out of despair.

Let me explain something to those of you uninitiated with things nautical and/or of the sea. There is a very old saying that would have it that: "there are none so wise as the newly educated". Like all good sayings, it is one which has stood the test of time, because it is as valid today as it ever was. Some folks believe that the knowledge that our ocean produces a huge amount of the oxygen created on earth, is news. Some folks believe that 15 minutes after discovering something on a website somewhere, they're qualified to teach and lecture people who have actually forgotten more than they'll ever learn. These are probably the same people who are startled to learn that our oceans are a major mitigating factor in the weather patterns around the entire globe. Suffice it to say, that the importance of the oceans to the survival of all life on earth, not just our own, is neither lost on nor is it news to me. It may come as a revelation to some dewey-eyed 20 year-old out there, but I've been around long enough to be able to sort wheat from chaff.

We can likewise all agree that the balance of life within these oceans is also a critical factor. Balance being an important word here. Just as there are no "bad" or "good" animals, there are no "ugly" or "cute" animals. These are strictly warped and dysfunctional human attributes that we try to foist on various species, because too many humans are incapable of accepting themselves or others for what they really are. So they do the same thing to animals. They try to humanize them and the manner in which we interact with them. They want to treat everything as a "pet", because they cannot relate in any other way to something which is not human. Animals are animals and humans are humans. Yet all of us, from whatever class of life on Earth we stem from, are not immune to the Laws of Nature. You'll find no greater champion for the sea or the species which inhabit it, than yours truly.

My concerns span the gamut from commercial whaling, bottom-trawling, longlining to shark finning. Yet this concern comes not with an absolute brainless amount of zeal, but an understanding that in all things, there must be balance. There is a right way and a wrong way to do anything. The very same applies to the welfare and preservation of animals and their use on this planet. That's right... I said "use". I don't give a rat's ass what you happen to think of yourself, but when it comes to humans, you're going to have to accept the fact that we are nothing short of apex predators. Of every domain. Land, sea and air. Problem is, we're also supposed to be gifted with 'intelligence'. I don't know of any other creature that would willfully destroy it's own habitat, it's environment or it's food source. Well... no other creature than ourselves, that is. We just can't seem to find that balance. Our own overpopulation will guarantee our demise.

For as much as there are bonafide animal-orientated organizations out there, and associations which truly champion the cause of marine and other animal welfare, there are others who operate under the banner of 'animal rights' organizations. And these have absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare as most intelligent people know and understand it. You can certainly add PETA and the HSUS amongst these hypocritical organizations.

Greenpeace itself has shunned Paul Watson, as they recognize that he is a liability to any serious, dedicated ecological group. And this with good reason. Paul Watson has no interest in the causes he apparently takes on. To him they are only a vehicle upon which he may continue to build his own legend. All Paul Watson is after if fame and notoriety. It does not matter what he has to do to get it, or what risks he exposes his young witless followers to. Paul Watson is a wandering clusterfuck, an accident waiting for a place to happen and a danger to all those around him. You'll notice that even his involvement with the cast and crew of the movie "Sharkwater" was limited and that he booked when things got hot, citing an 'emergency whaling intervention' as his excuse. I have actually had people tell me that Paul Watson was responsible for bringing the plight of sharks to the world's attention... Seriously?

For you socially retarded individuals out there, the man who made the movie is Rob Stewart. Not that raving fucking egomaniac Paul Watson. Talk about spitting in a man's face... Rob Stewart is the man who showcased the tragedy of shark finning and how rampant it has become as an industry. I would never make the mistake of lumping those two men into the same camp... ever.

There are many people out there who are concerned about our world, our oceans and the living entities we share this planet with. There are many who give freely of their time, their experience and their efforts, to advance the welfare of all of these. Paul Watson is not amongst them.

Hypocrites or what...?

Okay... so now we're right into the sealing season and of course, our brain-damaged children the seal hunt protestors are coming out of the woodwork. The Germans and the Scandinavians are in the forefront this year, having taken up the torch from the Italians and Spaniards of last year's hoopla.

When I employ the term "brain-damaged", it's because normal, rational thinking people would not send us the following type of absolute drivel:

Subject: Seal hunt accidents.

"To whom it might concern.

I would appreciate if I can get an answer to my question.

It's always said that the seals are killed the human way. I wonder about the meaning of 'killing in an human way'??

What is human killing (I would call it mass murder) young -just out of baby age - animals to for commercial aspects ?

If it is ok to kill animals for commerce I wonder why people are brought to justice for (accidentally) killing any person who threaten some body with violence.

I wonder what would happen if the seals ( ) are arraigning the humans for mass slaughtering their children.

Would we humans say, Sorry Mr Seal you have to accept what happens because the fishers needs an income.

If the seals are eating to much of our fishes ...

Would it be ok if they invade the kindergartens and schools of our specie because we -vice versa- steal their fishes ?

Are the fishes in the oceans the property of the human beings ?

What would we humans do if the animals invade our superstores and food stocks to get their food as we do by invading their territories - Fishers do each day and especially factory fishers are responsible for many endangered fish species.

Why does the Coast guard support mass murders ?? Because its the business of coast guard to protect and rescue humans whatever they do?

Not long ago it was legal to kill native Americans to get their territory.

I wonder how long it will take till it becomes illegal to mass murder innocent beings by invading into their territories. (Um-mmmm... take a look back between the years 1939-1945 - Crypt.)

I hope that many frenzied attackers will kill themselves by accident (good luck in humans point of view) And I also hope that many sealers will become fish food this year again (good luck in seal point of view) And last but not least.

I would appreciate if Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans will allow TV to log the seal hunt to show the truth about the seal hunt.

If the DFO has nothing to hide on that subject, then it has no reason to disallow medias reporting about the truth.

Yours sincerely,"

Niedervellmarer Str. 69
34127 Kassel

Now I think we can all get onboard with the fact that the Native North Americans got a royal shagging. The way they were treated was and is, a matter of deep national shame. She's reaching back a couple of centuries there to make a point, but good for her. I'm not even going to take the piss out of her over her 'pigeon English'. She has done remarkably well in getting her point across. But of course, it's her point that I take exception to. The analogies of seals taking a murderous stand against humans notwithstanding...

So I'm not going to tiptoe around the huge elephant in the room here. You know where I'm going to go with this, don't you? And I sure as Hell don't have to go back near that many years. What has it been...? 64 years, unless I miss my count. Only a German would have the unmitigated fucking gall to write anyone and launch allegations of mass murder... To say nothing of equating human life with animal life. Only some cerebrally-deficient, Teutonic moron with no sense of her own history, would have the nerve to accuse Canada of the same hideous crimes against humanity as her own country was responsible for perpetrating, not so long ago. Yes, we're all quite familiar with the German take on the 'sanctity of human life'...

I'm pretty sure if you painted some yellow Stars of David on a bunch of seals and let her loose with a hakapik, she'd pretty well break a leg in her rush to get to them. Give it a rest, Helga!

I know the Nazis were big on filming their opposition as they were being strangled with piano wire as well as other scenes too hideous to mention, but we tend to shy away from such spectacles. Besides, there ought to be (and there are...) plenty of good seal snuff films available online, so you can satisfy your craving for blood anytime you want. Film crews/activists jostling amongst flailing weapons and firearms being discharged on ice floes...? I may be the only one to see that there lies a perfect recipe for disaster, but then again what do I know?

Norway and Denmark? Please... These two countries, along with everyone's favorite bad boy Japan, still practise commercial whaling! Hello-ooooo.... Whales endangered... seals not... Do I really have to explain this stuff to you morons? Add to that the fact that none of these assholes are avowed vegans and more than likely wear leather products (if not fur...) and eat meat. Has your lack of sunlight for months on end affected your brains to such a degree, that you can't see the rampant hypocrisy of your so-called protests?

Yes, we deal with this particular fiasco every year. It's simply tiresome and it burns my grits how some mentally-deficient individuals feel they are in a position to dictate to another country. How 'bout you folks get a life? And for you guys out there, don't think we don't know that the only reason you're protesting the seal hunt, is because you're trying to get laid...

How pathetic is that???

Here's another gem from the same looney broad:

"To whom it might concern,

Imagine, you wake up tomorrow morning, and will find your city covered with blood, You will ask youself, oh my godness what happened.

I will tell you.

The nature fights back

Some adult seals took some clubs and went to Ottawa government center and did the same as Canadians are doing to them.
No it is not the same.
The seals won't get payed for slaughtering.

I am sorry for writing that but its what I hope.
I am pissed of those Governments who invades into peaceful living beings to mass slaughter their babies.
But what do I expect from humans.
They do not learn.
They did the same 600 years ago with the native Americans.
Slaugthered them, extincted them, just for profit.
I am ashamed to be a human."
So now we finally get to the crux of the problem. She's ashamed to be a human. Well, nobody can fix that for you, sister. Hmmmm... Maybe she does know a thing or two about her own national history.

Feel free to check out at any time... And thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On The Price of Sugar...

I viewed a movie last night entitled: The Price of Sugar. Released in 2007, it is a film made by Bill Haley and narrated by Paul Newman. Should you be interested in checking it out, you can access it via the link below:

There has been much written on this film since it's debut and it has garnered international support, as well as international outrage and opposition to the DR's Vinici Family, the undisputed Sugar Barons of that country. Turns out however, they not only own the plantations, but the government, the military, the police... The following review however, does a very good job of summing up the movie and the actual situation itself.

Haiti: The Price of Sugar.

Film Review. The plight of Haitian workers in the plantations in the Dominican Republic
by Ben Terral

Global Research, November 19, 2007

The Price of Sugar is a powerful documentary about the plight of Haitians toiling on sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic. These workers cross the border from Haiti to labor in conditions that the film's central protagonist, Father Christopher Hartley, calls "quasi-slavery." They are housed in sugar company towns called bateyes. Stripped of identification papers, they cannot legally travel elsewhere in the country.

Hartley is a Spanish priest who came to the Dominican Republic in 1997 and wound up advocating for the cane cutters in his parish. The film gives him plenty of time to voice a thorough, articulate critique of the system which exploits the Haitians. Hartley names the superrich Vicini family as controlling the bateyes; the Vicinis have taken legal action against the film to prevent it from being screened.

It is not surprising that elites profiting from such a system would want the information in this documentary suppressed. According to the 2006 U.S. Department of State Dominican Republic Country Report on Human Rights Practices, "Most bateyes lacked schools, medical facilities, running water, and sewage systems and had high rates of disease. Company-provided housing was sub-standard. Most sugarcane workers were Haitian or of Haitian descent." A worker says on camera that "you just watch your children die of hunger and you can't do anything about it."

A Dominican journalist interviewed by the filmmakers explains, "what the Vicini want, no President's going to deny them." As with a certain Australian media mogul and a network called Fox News, the sugar barons dominate TV and radio airwaves via adverstising dollars and direct ownership of outlets. Wealthy elites have used the mass media to spread divide-and-conquer demonization of Haitians, and the high-profile human rights advocate Father Hartley (who tells his parish that according to the second Vatican Council, workers have a right to strike). Poor Dominicans fall for that line, partly, in the words of Father Hartley, because Haitians are "a little bit poorer and a little bit blacker."

Given his humility and solidarity with the poorest of the poor, I suspect Hartley might be uncomfortable with his pre-eminent role in the film. He is certainly a worthy subject and is clearly serious about his commitment to solidarity with the poorest of the poor, and to speaking up for social justice.

But while the film shows Hartley's parents, sister, and brother discussing his childhood and path toward a life in the priesthood, it would have helped to have more context about where his Haitian parishoners came from. Instead, all we are told of Haiti comes via Paul Newman's voiceover narration, which explains, "Haiti is one of the most dysfunctional countries in the world, rife with poverty and violence."

As Haiti specialist Paul Farmer explains in thorough detail in his masterful book The Uses of Haiti, since Haitians defeated Napoleon's army in the only successful slave revolution in history, Washington has made sure that Haiti remained a "dysfunctional" state "rife with poverty and violence." In the late 1980s a grassroots Haitian peoples movement forced an end to the reign of the U.S.-backed father and son dictatorships of "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Liberation theologian Jean-Bertrand Aristide emerged as part of this movement and surprised the U.S. by winning the overwhelming majority of the popular vote in 1990.

The George H. W. Bush Administration subsequently backed right wing military and paramilitary forces behind the 1991 coup which forced Aristide into exile; in 2004 the George W. Bush Administration orchestrated (with France and Canada) a bloody coup against the second democratically-elected Aristide government.

U.S.-trained paramilitaries launched attacks that began the 2004 coup from safe havens in the Dominican Republic. An April, 2004 St. Petersburg Times article on the paramilitaries explained, "They enjoyed the tacit support of the Dominican armed forces. Ever since Aristide had done away with the military in Haiti in 1994, some Dominican generals were worried about their own job security. Without an army next door in Haiti, the traditional enemy of the Dominican Republic, calls were growing in Santo Domingo to slash the size of their own notoriously bloated and corrupt armed forces. The Dominican generals believed that recreating the old military threat next door would boost their relevance."

As with the 1991 coup, thousands of Aristide supporters were killed under the "interim" anti-Aristide government, and unemployment soared, driving scores of peasants across the border into the D.R.
In Aristide's 1992 autobiography, a passage on his first government's pro-poor agenda clarifies another reason why Dominican rightists wanted him gone: "we could no longer tolerate the unspeakable banishments, the flagrant violations of the most elementary rights that were the lot of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. The government of that country had to come to realize that the very recent era in which Jean-Claude Duvalier had sold Haitians like a gang of slaves had been overturned. Never again would our sisters and brothers be exported like merchandise, their blood changed into bitter sugar."

Pressure on the church succeeded in getting Father Hartley reassigned to Ethiopia in August of 2006. Anyone seeing this film will come away extremely concerned about what will happen to the destitute Haitians whose lives Hartley's high visibility protected while they campaigned with him for better conditions in the Bateyes.

Ben Terral contributes to

As a follow-up, I did manage to find some more recent articles, detailing how the Vinici Family has hired a prestigious law firm in Massachusetts to represent them, as they try to slap a "cease-and-desist" judgement on the movie itself, and have it hauled from cinemas. So far they've pretty much been told that since the US Constitution has something called the 1st Amendment (Freedom of speech and expression), there is no judge that would grant such an injunction. Their family is as terrified of bad press (read: loss of income) as their poor workers were of mistreatment, brutality and starvation. I think a little turnabout here is a very good thing indeed.

The US pays the Dominican Republic twice the world price for it's sugar. The major importer in the USA is the American Sugar Refining, Inc., who incidentally as it turns out, happens to own Redpath here in Canada as well. Who knew? I think I'm going to start looking for and buying 'Fair Trade' sugar products...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the anticipated demise of Paul Hellyer...

Who is Paul Hellyer, you might well ask? And why would ol' Crypt bother writing about him? Well children, lemme tell ya a story. Gather round while I recount the tale of a deed so foul, so ignominious, that there remain legions of us still to this day, who wait for this man to die. Why are we waiting for Paul Hellyer to die? The reason is simple. Because we will form a line that will extend for miles, waiting patienly as good military men are able to, until it is our turn to piss on his grave.

What's that? What could this man have possibly done to incur the undying wrath, contempt and loathing of so many military personnel? To any who have ever donned a uniform in the service of this country, his name is legendary. But only as far as really, really bad legends go... Paul Hellyer is the man who got the sudden rush of shit to the brain, which led to the Liberal government unifying this country's armed forces in 1966. This basically gutted the morale of our serving personnel and began a long downhill slide or marginalization, neglect and underfunding. A larger, more stinging insult to those in uniform, or indeed those who came before us and died in the service of this country, could hardly have been orchestrated...

Paul Hellyer is to our military, what 'Hanoi Jane' Fonda is to those who served in Viet Nam. And God knows that Jane Fonda should have been shot dead in the street like the traiterous bitch she was... She should NEVER, EVER be forgiven...

Hanoi Jane - Communist at Heart, Traitor by Choice. Seen here posing with North Vietnamese troops manning a AAA battery in Hanoi.

The account which follows, written by Dr. Wilf Lund pretty much sums up what led to and what followed this particularly dark episode in our military's history. It comes from the pages of the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum website:

Integration and Unification of the Canadian Forces.

By Dr. Wilf Lund.

In 1964 the Liberal government of Lester B. Pearson tabled its White Paper on Defence. The White Paper proposed an integrated administrative structure for the Canadian Armed Forces under a single Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The arguments for integration were plausible and the new structure was implemented and accepted with some reservations by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Then in 1966, a bill was introduced to unify the forces. Unification proposed abolition of the three traditional services, and introduction of a common rank structure and uniform. Unification was strongly resisted, particularly by the RCN, and resulted in the firing of its senior operational commander.

The Pearson government's White Paper stated that contemporary and future defence tasks required a reorganization of Canada's armed forces and a reshaping of the force structure. The government argued that the traditional organization of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), each with its own operational command structure and service chief, would not meet the challenges of the future. The White Paper proposed reorganization of the administrative structure of the three services into one Defence Staff under a single Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This would be the first step toward a single unified defence force for Canada.

Integration of the Canadian services was not a new concept. The first attempt to integrate defence activities began after World War I, but the experiment was abandoned before World War II. At the end of the war, a traditional organization based on the British Commonwealth model existed. Each of the three services was governed by its own legislative statute and had a Minister, Service Chief and Associate Deputy Minister. There was a Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), but there was no formal mechanism to coordinate activities of the three services. In 1946, the Liberal government launched a series of defence management reorganization initiatives. A single Minister of National Defence was appointed. The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee was given authority to coordinate interservice activities, including developing defence policy for consideration by the government, and a set of interservice "Joint" Committees were created. Also, a single Deputy Minister (DM) became responsible for non-operational administration of finance, supply, personnel, and pay.

The National Defence Act (NDA) of 1950 consolidated all purely defence-related statutes. The statute charged the Chairman, COSC with "achieving integration of functions and commonality in pay, regulations, service conditions and a code of service discipline." The Chiefs of Staff Committee, that now included the Deputy Minister as a member, was mandated to advise the Government on the full range of military activities including defence policy, strategy, inter-service training, plans and operations, and service rank structures. This committee operated by consensus and disagreements were referred to the Minister. The NDA (1950) confirmed and reinforced the independent authority of service chiefs for the administration and operation of their respective services and their direct access to the Minister. The Deputy Minister chaired a new Estimates and Review Committee consisting of the Chairman COSC, the Secretary of the Treasury Board, and the DM of Defence Production to ensure that only approved programs appeared in the budget estimates. Later initiatives included the amalgamation of the service colleges and integration of the medical, postal and chaplains' services.

In 1960, the government was concerned that spending by the various departments was out of control. The Department of Defence was particularly suspect because it was allocated 25% of the government's budget in direct spending, and had incurred large cost overruns in major acquisition projects. The Royal Commission on Government Organization (the Glassco Commission) was established to inquire into the organization and methods of all departments and agencies of the federal government. With regard to Defence, the Glassco Commission, reporting in 1963, noted that the "administrative tail" of the armed forces was growing, and "whether or not a case could be made for unification, there were strong reasons for integrating common elements of the three services." It also noted that there should be provision for the Chairman, COSC to exercise control over the common elements or functions of the armed forces. This meant that common administrative, supply, and other like functions conducted by the three services should be integrated

The Liberals were back in power in 1963, and the new Minister of Defence, Paul Hellyer, determined to make his mark, seized on the recommendations of the Glassco Commission. Hellyer took many of the Commission's recommendations further in drafting the White Paper of 1964 that signaled the intention to integrate the armed forces. A single unified force would follow. There would be a single Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). A new Defence Council consisting only of the Chief and Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff would replace the Chiefs of Staff Committee. The principle of "functionalism" would be implemented at headquarters, thereby abolishing the three separate service chiefs and their service boards. All personnel, operations, policy and materiel activities of the three services were to be combined into Divisions, each led by a Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral.

Bill C-90 "An Act to Amend the National Defence Act" was enacted on 1 August 1964 and the integrated headquarters structure under a CDS came into being. Within the three services there had been support for some aspects of integration to eliminate duplication, streamline the command structure, and create economies that would make funds available for capital acquisition projects. There also had been dissatisfaction with the existing tri-service committee system that proved unworkable and created administrative "gridlock" at headquarters. The government's promise of efficiencies that would free up funds to replace aging equipment was a strong selling point.

While the Canadian armed forces were struggling with the administrative adjustments of integration, suddenly unification was thrust upon them and created severe shock waves. In 1966, Bill C-243, the Canadian Forces Reorganization Act, was introduced by the government. It was hotly debated both in Parliament and the defence department.

Unification would abolish the three services, replacing them with generic structures called "elements". Traditional ranks and uniforms would disappear to be replaced by a common rank structure using army terms and a single "walking out uniform". Unification was greeted with hostility and strongly resisted by the services, particularly the RCN. The navy's opposition resulted in the firing of its senior operational commander, Rear Admiral W.M. Landymore.

The major flaws in the unification policy were that both its rationale and means of implementation were obscure. Its architect, Paul Hellyer, had not spelled out how unification would take place and left the defence portfolio at the most critical point of implementation. Hellyer moved to the Ministry of Transport in 1967, abandoning his unification project and leaving the armed forces to muddle through in chaos. He later left the Liberal party and disappeared from the political scene after losing to Pierre Trudeau in a bid to become prime minister. Many observed that Hellyer believed unification would help achieve his ambition to replace Lester Pearson.

The act came into effect on 1 February 1968. The services donned a common green uniform and were left alone to implement unification. This was not a success owing to a lack of policy direction from the government and latent internal resistance within the old services. Defence was a low priority for Prime Minister Trudeau and the minister's office was fitted with a revolving door to accommodate frequent changes. Reorganization followed reorganization.

The much vaunted financial savings never materialized and equipment rusted out. The armed forces languished and operational capabilities diminished. Separate service uniforms were reintroduced in 1986 and the service chiefs were reinstated and returned to National Defence Headquarters in 1997. In 2005, the CDS, General R.J. Hillier, announced an initiative to introduce a joint force management structure in the Canadian Forces to make them more "streamlined, integrated and effective." This had a familiar Canadian ring to it.

Rear Admiral Jeffry Brock, DSO, DSC, CD, RCN, was serving as Vice Chief of Naval Staff in Ottawa in the early 1960s when he was forced to retire over his opposition to unification. In "The Thunder and the Sunshine", the second volume of his memoirs, Brock gave a scathing account of the unification effort and criticized the Canadian public for its apathy:

" Canadian politicians are not and never have been interested in defence," he wrote, adding "the Canadian public cannot escape a share of the blame. Too many of our people think that all we enjoy was always there, was not fought for, will just continue, without our personal attention. We are no longer pulling our weight in international affairs. While some reasonable degree of freedom still remains for us under our form of government, we must face the fact that this freedom will soon disappear unless we exercise our rights wisely. We must take greater pains to ensure that we are well enough informed to choose wise leaders - perhaps, great leaders. "

Paul Hellyer currently resides in Toronto, ON. From a personal perspective, I find this fitting as he never was in touch with anything even remotely Canadian. I will patiently bide my time and indeed intend on designing a "run patch", meant specifically for those of us who will have made the pilgrimage to perform this final act of justice...

Practising alcoholics, we really are insane...

I just had a great call from a young lady in Ontario. She was calling us from the office of an MPP, with regards to one of their constituents. It seems this lad has had a judgement issued against him for DWI. He is now required to have a breathalizer device attached to his vehicle's ignition. This doesn't happen after a first drunk-driving offense. This lad has been in front of several judges for the same crime.

She wanted to know that since this lad also owns a pleasure craft, if the judgement carried over to his right to operate a boat on our waters. She mentioned that he had a boating license and asked if this was also affected. I quizzed her about this "license" and it turned out she was refrerring to the PCOC. I duly informed her that it was not a license, but rather simply the proof that he had taken a boating safety exam. I then stated that since it was in fact NOT A LICENSE, it could not be revoked. I also had to advise her that unless the judge's decision specifically made mention of the offender's boat, his right to operate it was not affected. The judge would either have had to specifically ban him from operating pleasure craft in Canada, or insist that he have the same type of regulatory device installed on the boat.

As sad as it is, I know where this is leading. The judicial system has left this sick, sick individual with an out. An out, I might add, that he is going to exploit to the fullest. Practising alcoholics are really that insane. Our sense of right and wrong is just not operational. We don't give a shit about anything. You'll probably read about this character in the papers this spring or summer. It'll be under an innocuous title regarding a boating mishap. We'll discover that he killed himself while operating his boat in an 'unsafe manner' and that 'alcohol is suspected to be a factor' in the incident. If we're lucky...

If we're not lucky, we'll read about how this asshole was responsible for the deaths of several innocent people, aided and abetted by a judge who failed to exercise some common sense and/or the teeniest bit of farsightedness.

The year's first robin...

This past weekend certainly was a harbinger of better weather to come and many riders were out, getting in their first ride of the season. I'll admit to feeling a twinge of jealousy every now and then, as I watched them motor by our house. But I prefer to wait until they manage to clean up the roads some, before I take Baby out for her maiden voyage of the 2009 season. The sidestreets and many corners are lousy with pea gravel and dirt still, making for dangerous riding.

Why, already there has been a rider down that I know of in our neck of the woods, for this very reason. He was taking a corner in his subdivision and hit some gravel, losing the rear wheel and wiping out. Now he'll join the ranks of those with re-built shoulders and miss out on the entire season. It's just not worth it. That and there is always the unavoidable zones with run-off from snow melt. Hardly a danger but after killing myself getting her looking her best, the last thing I want to do is take her through dirty water. If it's pissing down rain, that's different. If I don't have to wash her all over again, that's even better...

Yet I digress... For as much as the recent appearance of hordes of my fellow riders heralds the coming of spring, this morning as I gazed out into our back yard, there perched atop our fence was the first robin of the year. He was big and fat and cheeky. He saw me standing in the doorway and chirped away merrily (or with some alarm, I'm never quite sure...). Couple that with the two Canada geese we saw while motoring along the Rockcliffe Parkway last weekend and I'd say it's a pretty definitive sign that spring is finally here. I felt positively giddy as I went into the shop to inform Baby of this on Saturday. I hauled her out twice over the weekend, to start her up and let her idle in the driveway.

She has some water spots on her chrome and some dust from her lengthy storage period, so it's time to start thinking of washing her down, waxing her paint and polishing her shiny bits. I'll check her tire pressure and apply some Plexus to her windshield. She'll be all ready for the first day I decide to say: "Well ya know... A man just might go for a ride today!" After all, I do still have to make that run to the Canex at CFB Kingston, to see if I can't get one of those 100th Anniversary Canadian Navy ballcaps...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Closer to Armageddon...

As a follow-up to another post I made on here some time ago, I discovered this article on Pakistan's website this morning.

My previous post can be accessed at the link below:

It seems as though the Pakistani government has not only failed to step up to the plate and take control of their own country, but has regressed into "deal making" with the Taliban and Al Qaida... This only brings them ever closer to the USA employing their pre-emptive strike option, which they would certainly call on, should they feel their safety is threatened by this ongoing situation in Pakistan. And truthfully... who the Hell could possibly blame them?

Taliban operate freely from Quetta: US
By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: The central nervous system for the next major terrorist attack on the US soil lies in Pakistan, say senior US officials and lawmakers.

Pakistan came under immense pressure at a US Senate hearing this week, as both officials and senators accused Islamabad of allowing terrorists to use its soil for planning attacks on the United States.

Two key US officials - director national intelligence and director military intelligence - told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Pakistan has allowed Taliban to operate freely from Quetta while the tribal areas have become a ‘central nervous system’ for al-Qaeda.

US lawmakers and officials also said that Lashkar-e-Taiba has the ideological commitment to replace al-Qaeda as the next major terrorist group in the world. They said that the Pakistani establishment and intelligence agencies had taken some measures against the Lashkar recently but were not cooperating fully with the United States in dealing with this threat.

The committee was also told that the Lashkar had supporters among the Pakistanis living in the United States who could abet its efforts to carry out a terrorist attack in North America.

‘The central nervous system for the planning (of an attack on the US soil) would emanate from Fata,’ said Senator Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, during a hearing on current and future worldwide threats to the national security of the United States.

‘Yes, sir,’ said Director of US National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair. Earlier, chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Senator Carl Levin, set the tone for the discussion on Pakistan, claiming that the Afghan Taliban forces under Mullah Omar operate with impunity from Balochistan, crossing unhampered into Southern Afghanistan while al-Qaeda is based in Fata from which attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan itself are launched.

‘I do not underestimate the challenge that this could present to Pakistan. I have doubts, however, as to whether Pakistan has the will or the capacity to make significant changes in the near-term,’ he said.

While responding to the chairman’s remarks, Director Blair said that Pakistan is taking control of its border areas, improving governance and creating economic and educational opportunities throughout the country.

He noted that in 2008, Islamabad intensified counter-insurgency efforts but claimed that Pakistan’s record in dealing with militants had been mixed. ‘A government is losing authority in the north and the west and even in the more developed parts of the country mounting economic hardships and frustration over poor governance have given rise to greater radicalization,’ said Admiral Blair.

Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director, US Defence Intelligence Agency, noted that while ‘strategic rivalry’ with India drove Pakistan’s defence strategy, al Qaeda was using Fata to recruit and train operatives, plan and prepare regional and transnational attacks, disseminate propaganda and obtain equipment and supplies.

Gen. Maples warned that while Pakistan has taken important steps to safeguard its nuclear weapons, ‘vulnerabilities still exist.’

Quetta Shura (Taliban council in Balochistan)

Senator Levin then asked both intelligence officials if the Taliban council in Balochistan, known as the Quetta Shura, operated openly, without interference from the government.

‘It’s true that the Taliban governing bodies operate quite freely in Pakistan,’ said Admiral Blair. The Pakistan approach to handling that threat was a combination of lack of capability and desire to combat the militants.

Gen. Maples was more direct, agreeing with the senator that ‘the Quetta shura is operating openly in Quetta.’ Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba for the latest terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, the Nov. 26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the subway killings in London.

She claimed that despite the Lashkar’s involvement in such major attacks, Pakistan was protecting the group and refused to help the US investigate its deeds.

‘I don’t think the picture with Pakistan’s cooperation is quite as bleak as you portrayed,’ said Admiral Blair. He noted that since the Mumbai attacks Pakistan had arrested Lashkar leaders and was taking steps to prosecute them.

‘So I think that that particular trend is positive, but it has a ways to go and it’s not a simple progress,’ he said. Senator McCaskill then claimed that the Lashkar had many sympathizers among Pakistanis living in Europe and the United States and was using them for planning attacks in these places.

‘I think on the particulars related to Pakistani-Americans and visa-waivers (Pakistanis living in European nations whose citizens do not need visas to visit the US), we’ll have to get back to you,’ said Admiral Blair. Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, claimed that the ISI had created the Lashkar and asked if the Lashkar was filling up the operational space denied to al-Qaeda.

Admiral Blair said the ISI or Pakistan government had changed its policy towards Lashkar-e-Taiba partially, but it had not become a force for good in Pakistan or in the region.

‘I don’t assess that it is replacing al Qaeda as a worldwide terrorist directed against Western American interests or shares the al Qaeda messianic ideology of a greater non-Islamic state,’ Blair replied. Gen Maples said he also believed that the Pakistani government had distanced themselves from LeT and had taken some very significant action since the recent past towards the organization.

Responding to a question on the Swat peace deal, Gen. Maples said the agreement had both some pluses and minuses to it. ‘From a judicial standpoint, the application of Sharia law in some form provides a more responsive approach to the citizens in the valley,’ he said. ‘And that’s how the Pakistanis see it.’

‘If you were a woman in Pakistan, would that be unnerving to you?’ asked Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Democrat.

‘Absolutely sir it would. And it is also unnerving to us from the standpoint of what that means to other militants,’ said Gen. Maples. ‘And we’re very concerned about that.’


From my simplistic point of view, if the Pakistani government is willing to give their country over to the Taliban and Al Qaida, there is no logical reason to suppose they would not do likewise with their nuclear arsenal. Seriously... It would be a grievious mistake to entrust them with the survival of our Western society. Women's rights be damned, when it comes to the Taliban taking over large swaths of Pakistan, the actual stakes are infinitely higher than that...