February 28, 2008

Latimer on Parole -- Finally

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Robert Latimer was convicted in 1994 of killing his daughter who was born with severe cerebral palsy. Latimer claimed that his actions were a mercy killing, that he was sparing his daughter any more pain. The case sparked a debate about mercy killing across the country.

He was convicted of second degree murder with the jury recommending that her serve only one year instead of the minimum of ten called for under law. The judge granted a constitutional exemption and sentenced him to two year, a decision overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada, which applied the minimum ten year term. He was denied parole in December on the basis that he had not show 'sufficient remorse' for his actions. -- read more

February 25, 2008

Obama's Life Expectancy

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Yeah, I really did write that title. As I've watched with some curiosity as Obama gained steam in his bid to become US President, actually the first black President, the thought has crossed my mind to wonder how long he'd be allowed to live during the quest. Face it, our American neighbours to the south do have a bit of a history in that regard.

It's a question I have been loath to ask. It has been a generation or two since someone assassinated a prominent political leader in the US. It is possible that attitudes down there have changed and even the hard core revolutionary types can figure ways to fight other than through political murder. After all, Bush managed to get through his two terms without anyone taking a shot at him. -- read more

February 24, 2008

Tory Staying as Provincial PC Leader -- Damn!

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
At the provincial Conservatives convention in London this week their leader, John Tory, received 66.9% support of the voting delegates. It is the same amount of support that Joe Clark received almost 20 years ago. Clark was decisive enough to decide that 2/3 wasn't a clear vote of support and immediately triggered a leadership race that eventually saw him depart as leader of the federal Conservatives.

Not Tory, who couldn't even manage to win his own seat in the last election, he announced first he'd have to think about it and then that he was staying. That says a lot about his style of leadership, he has displayed a dithering style so often that for him to be decisive and actually mean it would likely shock people. -- read more

February 23, 2008

Hillier Calls for Clarity ASAP

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Apparently I wasn't really making a broad leap earlier this week when I speculated that the three suicide bombings in Kandahar province, one clearly targeting Canadians, may be as much about the Taliban terrorizing and killing as it was about them trying to influence politics back here in Canada:
I suspect that the timing is not coincidental. In addition to unnerving the Afghans and generating questions in their mind if they are better under the Taliban or the Afghan and international forces the Taliban is not unaware of the debate here in Canada on the future of Canada's role in Afghanistan.
Making a similar connection yesterday Canada's top soldier, -- read more

February 22, 2008

Finally, Some Non-Partisan Action

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Looks as though Harper is determined enough to have the mission in Afghanistan continue that he was willing to meet Dion more than half-way in order to come up with a motion that would pass the House.

The government yesterday revised the motion on the mission to include most of the language that the Liberal counter-motion the week before included. There is one main which is, instead of the mission in Afghanistan ending February 2011 it would end in July 2011 with a full redeployment by the end of December. The motion doesn't specify that the troops will be completely out of Afghanistan, just that they will be moved out of Kandahar province. It also doesn't rule out combat action after February 2009 which the Liberals had originally demanded. -- read more

American Politics

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
I don't normally pay much attention to American politics. I get a bit tired of it being spread all over Canadian media while our politics rarely grace the papers or airwaves in the US. I guess you could say I have a bit of a tit for tat attitude toward their politics. I have to admit though, this race between Clinton and Obama has caught my attention to a degree. -- read more

February 21, 2008

Canadians Need to Speak Up!

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Charles Roach's ongoing objection to swearing an oath to the Crown aka Her Majesty to be a Canadian citizen lands in the Ontario Court of Appeal today. Roach, a lawyer, is trying to move a class action suit forward to have the swearing of the oath to the Queen declared unconstitutional.

The Trinidad born Roach has waged this battle for many years. Back in 1987 he fought against the oath when the Law Society of Upper Canada required all lawyers to be Canadian citizens and that is part of the swearing in of a new Canadian. He likens asking blacks to swear an oath to the Queen to asking Jews to swear an oath to Hitler. -- read more

February 20, 2008

Computers, Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em!

Posted on: Ides of May
Well, it does appear that once again there has been a gap in postings. In the interim, I have been rebuilding the hard drive on my laptop as I had to replace it. What a bloody pain installing the software all over again! Remembering all those must have pieces of software that were on the original drive is damn hard.

Then, when it appeared that I had almost reached the end of the job, my internet satellite connection decided that it wanted to mess up. See, around the time that I was busy rebuilding the drive we had some nasty winter weather which involved some very high winds. My house is rather heavily insulated so, it takes a lot to actually cause me to hear the wind in the house. This time, the wind was heavy enough that Dawn, my cheeky young cat, was spooked by it. -- read more

Time Marches On For Castro

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
In a surprising nod to the march of time, Fidel Castro resigned as President of Cuba yesterday. Castro and Cuba have just always been in my life. I was just four months old when he wrested power and became dictator of the island.

Aligning his country with the Soviet bloc, Castro stood up to anything the US, and in particular the American CIA, threw at him. Of course, that was in the days before the fall of the Soviets and the era of making up excuses to invade countries to topple their leaders. Castro might not have fared well in today's world climate. -- read more

February 19, 2008

Violent Surge in Kandahar

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
On Sunday a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a dog fight event just outside Kandahar city killing about 100 people, including the anti-Taliban police chief of Kandahar province. The Taliban denied any responsibility for the attack, yeah right. The governor of Kandahar claims he warned the police chief several times that he was in danger but he was ignored.

On Monday, a suicide bomber apparently targeted a Canadian military convoy in Spin Boldak a busy town near the Afghan / Pakistan border. Four Canadian soldiers were slightly injured and about 38 Afghan civilians were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility and at the same time claimed that no civilians were killed, just security forces. -- read more

February 18, 2008

Earn What You Want on 5 Bucks a Day

Posted on: Hubpages
Some have said that “5 Bucks A Day Jr” is more a motivational book than a strategy. I’d say it is both. The motivation is that Dennis Becker not only has made the strategy work but he shares the good and the bad within the strategy. The pitfalls as well as the ‘ah ha’ moments.

He writes clearly on how to approach setting up and following this strategy involves both work and perseverance. He doesn’t try to suggest, do this and it will always work. He notes that there are, and in fact should be, times that efforts will fail. He emphasizes that the failures can be good and the faster they take place the quicker the reader can move on to what works. -- read more

February 4, 2008

Baby Steps -- Hopefully Forwarded

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
CanWest is reporting today that Poland is prepared to let Canada share two of their helicopters that they have in Afghanistan. In a speech in Ottawa this morning, their foreign minister declared that Poland is unequivocal in their support for the NATO mission. Poland has 1,200 troops in southeastern Afghanistan and eight helicopters. They serve without caveats limiting where they are deployed. The foreign minister also indicated as the Polish troops are withdrawn from Iraq more contributions may be made in Afghanistan.

I read some where else on the web today that France has over 700,000 men and women in uniform. Now I'm beginning to understand why much of the spotlight is on both them and Germany to provide troops to actually take part in establishing security instead of taking up residence in less volatile areas of the country. France needs to remember that the very countries they are leaving to struggle getting the job done were the ones who liberated them 60+ years ago. -- read more

Finally, No Memorials at the Top!

Posted on: Ides of May
Finally! For the first time since December 30th this blog doesn’t carry a memorial post at the top of the listings. That means that for the last 10 days no Canadian soldier has given his/her life in service to us. Our 2500 troops in Afghanistan have stayed safe and most importantly, we along the Highway of Heroes have not made anymore trips to the bridges. Continue to be safe guys and gals, you’re service is appreciated.

I spent yesterday at the Legion. We had our monthly brunch on which moved from brunch into an afternoon of an informal jam session in the clubroom. We had an unadvertised special featuring a hot roast beef plate for $5. The plate gave you a full dinner. Since we had to cancel the roast beef dinner on Friday evening, the meat was all cooked and we did up some potatoes and veggie to complete the plate and of coursed topped with beef gravy.-- read more

February 3, 2008

We Will Remember Him

In honour of our fallen CanadiansThey shall grow not old, as we who are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them

In memory of our fallen Canadian:

Corporal Etienne Gonthier – Afghanistan January 23, 2008

Always Caring — Always Canadian — Never Defeated

Support Our TroopsWear Red on Fridays

February 2, 2008

Groundhog Day Already

Posted on: Ides of May
Man, I’m not doing very good on my goal of 300 more posts on this blog by the end of the year. A month has gone by already and all that I’ve posted has been memorial posts for Canadians killed in Afghanistan. We’ve lost five Canadians since Christmas, there have been four trips to the bridge made for them.

I’m praying we get past today and tomorrow so I can finally release the last one memorial from the top of the page and not have to replace it with a new one. Like the flag at the Branch, the memorial posts stay at the top of my blog until ten days has passed since the soldier died. -- read more

Taliban Jack Wants to Bolt From Kandahar

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
Jack Layton the leader of the federal NDP party has long advocated that Canadian troops should be completely withdrawn from Afghanistan and brought home. Now he's stated his willingness to have Canada raise the white flag for the first time in our history. Great warrior and military analyst that Taliban Jack is, he's decreed that no international troops can win against the Taliban in that region, it is pointless to be there and our troops need to be brought home now.

His remarks were part of a speech he recently gave at the University of Ottawa. Geeze, that is the best the university can find to speak to our young people? The text of the speech is rift with lies and misrepresentations of the mission in Afghanistan which twisted his way to the conclusion that Canada should run while the running is good. -- read more

February 1, 2008

Black Focused Schools? Let's Have Canada Focused Instead.

Posted on: Out of the Shadows
You know, I usually make it a practice to sort of note what is going on in the city of Toronto and then put it promptly out of my mind. I don't live there, I do live within 90 minutes of the city and I do avoid heading to the place. My usually reason for crossing into the boundaries of the city is to cross them on my way to my sister's place in London.

I paid scant attention to the black focus school debate. My first thought on them was that it would segregate kids, particularly immigrant kids, who should be integrating and mixing with other races and those born here in this country. It would tend to strengthen young black's view of being apart, isolated in Canadian society. Most kids, and I don't care what colour or race they are, want to belong, to be included -- yet at the same time, kids tend to cluster according to where they attend school. -- read more