Author: Kate

Court Rules Against First Nations Adoption Policy

CBC

A Saskatchewan Queen’s Bench judge has struck down the provincial government’s policy on the adoption of First Nations children. Under the policy, the Saskatchewan Community Resources Department would not put First Nations children up for adoption without the consent
of their band.
In a recent case, the Surgeon Lake band had refused consent for the adoption of five children on the grounds it didn’t want them adopted by non-aboriginal parents.
The band was concerned the children would lose their connections to their culture and community. However, Prince Albert Justice Jacelyn Ann Ryan-Froslie ruled the existing policy left some children in foster care “limbo”. It can result in children being shuffled through numerous foster homes with a “far-reaching and devastating” effect, she said.
“There is no reason why children cannot have a permanent, stable and loving home through adoption and still be guaranteed a connection with their family,” Ryan-Froslie wrote in her 50-page decision. The judge also said the current policy violates the children’s constitutional rights to equality, liberty and security of the person.
Debra Parker-Loewen, Saskatchewan’s Children’s Advocate, wouldn’t comment directly on the court decision, but said it’s time for a new approach on adoptions.
“I don’t think there’s one answer for every child,” she said. “I think there’s many answers just like there are many different kinds of family constellations and many different ways of sorting out what’s in the interests of children.”
Parker-Loewen said the current policy was a well-meaning attempt to help First Nations children keep their culture. However, she said, that can still be done even if they are adopted into non- native homes.

Good news.
update – Be sure to read what Raskolnikov has to say in the comments. And then, go read this first rate rant.

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?

(updated)
Fred Dejarlais is, and I can’t say that I blame him.

It was New Year’s Eve and Desjarlais had just finished his shift at 7 p.m. Instead of catching the shuttle back to the camp facility (temporary residence for workers) he decided to jog the three kilometres. Along the way he heard something and glanced back just as the animal crept out of the ditch and walked toward him.

“He was taunting me, (walking) in a circle around me,” Desjarlais said. “I looked around real quick and thought, ‘I hope he’s alone.’ He was as far as I could see.”
Desjarlais hollered and tried to scare the animal off but then it lunged at his head. He jumped to the side and dodged it but the wolf came back.
“That’s when I knew he meant business,” said Desjarlais, who eluded a second lunge but the wolf quickly spun around and got to the man’s back, biting into his shoulder area.
Fortunately, Desjarlais was wearing several layers of clothing which prevented the bite from breaking the skin, but it did leave significant bruising. The wolf then turned its attention to Desjarlais’ lower body and ripped into his jeans, biting twice around the pelvic area.
“He knew he was in deep trouble so he jumped on the wolf’s back and tried to subdue it,” said Barker.
They both fell over and got back up. When his chance came again, Desjarlais made good. He locked onto the wolf’s back and threw his arms around the animal’s head, putting it into a headlock.
“I pulled him down the way you would take down cattle (for roping) and I dropped onto his head, pinning him there,” said Desjarlais, who held on 30-40 seconds before coworkers returning to camp on the bus spotted the pair.
“He was pretty much at the end of his string. His strength was draining,” said Barker.

More here

The Riot Act or Plan Of Attack?

The New York Times is reporting that supporters of Kofi Annan held a private meeting recently with Sec.General in an attempt to “to save Kofi and rescue the U.N.” (registration required)

At the gathering, Secretary General Kofi Annan listened quietly to three and a half hours of bluntly worded counsel from a group united in its personal regard for him and support for the United Nations. The group’s concern was that lapses in his leadership during the past two years had eclipsed the accomplishments of his first four-year term in office and were threatening to undermine the two years remaining in his final term.
[…]
Their larger argument, according to participants, addressed two broad needs. First, they said, Mr. Annan had to repair relations with Washington, where the Bush administration and many in Congress thought he and the United Nations had worked against President Bush’s re-election. Second, he had to restore his relationship with his own bureaucracy, where many workers said privately that his office protected high- level officials accused of misconduct.
[…]
The apartment gathering on Dec. 5 came at the end of a year that Mr. Annan has described as the organization’s “annus horribilis.” The United Nations faced charges of corruption in the oil-for-food program in Iraq, evidence that blue- helmeted peacekeepers in Congo had run prostitution rings and raped women and teenage girls, and formal motions of no confidence in the organization’s senior management from staff unions.
Just days before the gathering, Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican who is chairman of a subcommittee investigating the oil-for-food program, had brought criticism of the United Nations to a boil by calling for Mr. Annan’s resignation.
[…]
The meeting was held in the apartment of Richard C. Holbrooke, a United States ambassador to the United Nations under President Clinton.
Others in attendance were John G. Ruggie, assistant secretary general for strategic planning from 1997 to 2001 and now a professor of international relations at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard; Leslie H. Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations; Timothy E. Wirth, the president of the United Nations Foundation, based in Washington; Kathy Bushkin, the foundation’s executive vice president; Nader Mousavizadeh, a former special assistant to Mr. Annan who left in 2003 to work at Goldman Sachs; and Robert C. Orr, the assistant secretary general for strategic planning. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, was invited but could not attend.
“The intention was to keep it confidential,” Mr. Holbrooke said. “No one wanted to give the impression of a group of outsiders, all of them Americans, dictating what to do to a secretary general.”

The meeting occured nearly a month ago. That details this extensive have been released suggests the organizers aren’t convinced that Annan is taking them seriously.

In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Annan said he felt the session had been “supportive and helpful,” but said it was just one of many such meetings he had been holding. “I’ve been talking to lots of people here and abroad and within my own organization planning ahead for the next two years,” he said. “It was part of that process. We did discuss how to improve relations with Washington.”

Then again, I’m not sure some in the group takes them seriously, either. This quote near the end of the article is revealing;

The speakers also faulted the United Nations for the state of its public communications. “Throughout the building there is fairly low morale, which stems from the lackluster way in which the institution and the secretary general’s office have responded to the oil-for-food charges,” Mr. Ruggie said.
He continued, “The attackers of the U.N. for too long have had a free ride in exaggerating the magnitude of the problem [emphasis mine – ed], sometimes deliberately distorting the facts, escalating their accusations and demands for his resignation, and frankly the response on the part of the U.N. has been inept.”

2Slick, Redeployed

This is disappointing, but I suspect his readers will understand.

Many have asked what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be living and all that- the truth is I just don’t know. I’m sure I’ll find something great out there, but it’s really not something that anybody needs to be concerned about. As I’ve said before, this blog was never meant to be about me (today is just an anomoly)- it’s supposed to be about the troops who are deployed, who have been deployed, and those who will be deployed. If I can use my combat experience and things I’ve learned on Active Duty to help debunk fascist mythos or help people understand what’s going on over here, then I’m honored to do so. Mostly because I know that it will ultimately help those who chose to answer the call- as well as those who care enough to support them.
Thanks to all of you for making this last “mini-deployment” so much more enjoyable (and rewarding) than it otherwise would have been…

Don’t stay away too long, Citizen 2Slick.

The Toyota Taliban

Joe Katzman finds this quote on the origins of the term “Toyota Taliban” at UN Insider;

In a letter from Kabul, British satirical biweekly Private Eye reported on the private life of international community members in the Afghan capital. It claims that only 16% of the $4.5 billion pledged at the Tokyo conference goes to the government; the rest in the hands of NGO; a term used to refer to “the well heeled” international staff of the U.N. and aid organizations who reportedly spend time shopping for wide screen tvs and laptops at a new Sony Centre. “Most other shopkeepers only ever glimpse them as they are driven past in one of the $75,000 Toyota Landcruisers most of them owned by the U.N. — known here as the Toyota Taliban,” the letter says, adding that the cruisers ferried them from office to restaurant to guest house. It continues: “There’s a swimming pool at a central U.N. compound and regular parties and barbecues. Memories of a party held by the DHL courier group last November, when an opium pipe was passed around by U.N. staff, are still fresh. If boredom strikes, aid workers might also sign up for Tai Chi and Argentinean tango lessons.”

In the Congo, UN tastes lean more towards Pimp My Ride;

the international operation in Bunia, home to about 16,000 refugees, threatens to become another monument to U.N. paralysis and failure. Investigators describe a “significant, widespread and ongoing” pattern of abuse at the camp–an astonishing conclusion given that many women are afraid to report sexual violence against them. At least one senior official in charge of security in Bunia is implicated in the scandal, and U.N. peacekeepers allegedly have threatened investigators with retaliation. According to the Economist, a U.N. probe is even considering the possibility that MONUC has been infiltrated by “organized pedophiles who recruit their friends.”

But neither have the panache of Kofi Annan – who eschews reality based transportation in favour of his own private Fantasyland ride.

Live Fatwa

Dhimmi Watch points to IslamOnline’s Live Fatwa page, and questions about aid to tsunami victims;

Question Can we give those afflicted people a portion of our zakah money even if they are non-Muslims? How about giving them charity?
Answer In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Thank you. The receivers of Zakah money are clearly mentioned in the Qur’an. Among them, the poor and needy people. Looking at the situation of those people who are afflicted, one can conclude that the Muslims among them fall under the category of needy people.
In this regard, those Muslims deserve to receive a portion of Zakah. As for non-Muslims, they might deserve donation or any other form of assistance but not Zakah.
Thus, Zakah should be given to poor and needy Muslims. Some non-Muslims may receive a portion of Zakah if there is hope that by giving them Zakah that might lead to their conversion into Islam. They would be then considered under the category of mu’allafati qulubuhun or those whose hearts are inclined to accept Islam.

Hat tip – Kathy Shaidle

Reader Tips

More blog awards – these for Islamic and Jewish/Israeli blogs.
It was tribalism that finished Rome, and it will finish Brussels, too.
More studies reveal that there are genetic differences between races, that render some medical tests and treatments inaccurate or inappropriate.
ABC NEWs has named bloggers “People Of The Year” – managing somehow to ignore Rathergate.
The CBC and plush toys. Warm and fuzzy.
Thanks to readers Charles MacDonald, JM Heinrichs, and Craig Brett and others.

The UN Springs To Action

The Diplomad has several good entries on the tsunami disaster relief, there’s no point linking to a single one. Just read all the way down. This bit though, cuts to the chase – in response to criticism of the US by former British International Development Secretary Clare Short that “Only really the UN can do that job, It is the only body that has the moral authority.”;

Do I really need to say anything more? “Only really the UN can do the job?” We have US C-130s flying in and out here dropping off heaps of supplies; US choppers arrive today; USAID is doing a knock-out job of marshalling and coordinating US and local resources to deliver real assistance to real people. The Aussies have planes and troops delivering stuff; even the Indians have goods on the way. The UN? Nowhere to be seen. OK, I’m not being fair. Last night they played host to a big “coordination” meeting of donors to announce that the UNDP has another large “assessment and coordination team” team arriving. Our USAID guys, who’ve been working 18-20 hrs/ day, came back furious from this meeting saying everybody would be dead if the delivery of aid waited for the UN to set up shop and begin “coordinating.” The UN types are upset with the US, Ms. Short, dear, not because we’re undermining them but because we’re showing them up as totally inept.

Which reminds me – any word yet from our Canadian 12-member “reconnaissance team” ?

It Takes A Baboon To Raze A Village

Norm Spector has been challenging the Toronto Star to produce a list of the 45 countries military psuedo-expert Gwynne Dyer claims to be published in.
Today, they quietly changed the tagline. Countries…. papers… what’s the difference, really?


“Gwynne Dyer is a Canadian journalist based in London whose articles are published in 45 papers worldwide.”

Dyer’s Dec.30 column advises that baboons hold the secret to world peace. It’s really very simple, actually. First – kill half of the male population. Be sure it’s the more aggressive half. Since the window of opportunity has long closed for death by food borne tuberculosis, that leaves the less aggressive half to do the killing, one presumes.
Second, let foreigners make decisions for you, you arrogant self-interested Americans warmongers. The ideal foreigners would be those victorious, passive baboons at the United Nations. There will be lots of noise and bickering, but eventually, we’ll be all one happy troup, with no need for independant states at all! As we all know, World War II was started by the League of Nations, and since the UN and their Peacekeepers arrived on the scene, there really hasn’t been a war of any great importance that lasted longer than 30 days.
It really isn’t any harder than that – and to think the secret to world peace was there all the time, right under our puffy red asses.

Embrace Hollywood

“Democrats need to embrace Hollywood because this is where they need to come to learn how to tell a story.” – Michael Moore*

I don’t know where sorrow is anymore, its presence in the world has vanished, leaving behind greed and the false claims of democracy. I mourn for the victims of Tawid and Jihad, headless and hopeless and names forgotten, their lives used as bargaining chips between corrupt governments where the gangsters rule all. I must also grieve for Tawid and Jihad, that our actions led to their inestimable anger. I beat my chest and cry out hardest of all for our country, with its government so far from its people that most of us cannot see why anyone might want to harm us, take us hostage, fly planes into our towers, kill us and die trying. Most of us don’t even know why, which is the saddest fact of all.
We are like the headless corpse, confused and swiping at the air for clues, for understanding. As we bleed from our mortal wound we flail for mercy and answers with eyes and ears missing, cut off. We are removed from our sense of self, conscience, purpose, but it isn’t the fault of the body, slowly starting to slip away into death. We have lost our head, or it has been taken from us, along with our voices, our reason, our control. All that is left is dissipating strength and a heart that will soon cease to beat. – Margaret Cho, Comedian

(hat tip –Is This Blog On)

Truth And Its Consequences

Via James Joyner this preview of Donald Sensing’s upcoming book, tentatively titled Truth and Its Consequences.

This war is in fact a religious war all around, even though we of the West generally shun the idea. Unquestionably, though, our Islamist enemies know it, as do hundreds of millions of other Muslims who have not taken up arms against us. Even Muslim voices who counsel peace to their brethren understand what the real religion of Western people is, often more than we.
In the last several hundred years the West evolved a distinctive answer of what is truth and what is its authority. In contrast, Islam’s progress in that inquiry mostly stopped just as the West was shifting out of first gear. Until the last half-century, the divergence between the West’s and Islam’s theology and philosophy of truth was not a basis for contention. After World War II the divergence took on a character that unfortunately was much more adversarial than cooperative, and finally more violent than peaceful.
This history, later coupled with cheap technology, worldwide communications and increasing globalization of economies and politics, butted headlong into Islamic societies that were ruthlessly patriarchal, theocratic, tribal and anti-democratic, all antithetical to what the West had become. After a four-hundred year hiatus, armed conflict between the West and a powerful strain of Islam broke out again.
This book is an historical, philosophical and religious exploration of how America and the West came into potentially catastrophic conflict with a prominent strain of Islam. For that topic, everyone, regardless of religion, creed or nationality is intensely interested in questions about truth and its authority. Like Pilate, both we and our present enemies realize that some answers are very threatening and that not all answers can be reconciled with one another. Unless we improve our understanding of the deep roots of the conflict and what is really at stake, we can’t effectively discern what to do next.

Donald Sensing is a retired military officer and Methodist minister. Read more

Globetrotters

Paul Martin is cutting short (by a day) his vacation in Morocco. Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew was in Paris, and International Development Minister Aileen Carroll is returning from South America. Deputy PM Anne McLellan is in contact “by phone”…
Do Canadian politicians ever vacation in Canada?
Meanwhile, others do find our country appealing in the winter – none other than the leading candidate to take over from France’s Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy. Of course, the “Sagard” estate of Paul Desmarais ain’t exactly Waskesui.
Norm Spector passes along this observation from Konrad Yakabuski;

Mr. Sarkozy’s stay at Mr. Desmarais’ massive Sagard estate � so big it’s considered a pillar of the local economy � has the power elite in Montreal and Paris alike evergreen with envy. But it only confirms a universal truth: Whether your goal is 24 Sussex Dr. or the �lys�e, you need to know Paul Desmarais.

Good News

CBC: In a release, the U.S. Department Agriculture said it will now recognize Canada as a minimal- risk region for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the scientific name for mad cow disease.
Beginning March 7, Canadian producers will be able to start shipping live cattle under the age of 30 months, as well as beef products from animals over 30 months old. Ruminants such as goats and elk will also be allowed.

Update: You just had to know this was going to happen. A new case of BSE may have been found in a Canadian dairy cow. (It has yet to be confirmed). According to USDA spokespeople this morning, it shouldn’t delay the border opening (the expectation is for about a dozen BSE positives a year) . But it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

If Required

Reuters on the news conference by Bill Graham that already has our local radio news people crowing that Canada has pledged “more than the US” to tsunami relief:

Defence Minister Bill Graham, explaining why the ministers had not come home more quickly, told a news conference: “The scope of the tragedy, the scope of the damage that was done, took some time for us to absorb.”

Not to anyone who knows how to spell “Drudge Report”, Bill. Try it, sometime.

The government has faced repeated questions as to why it was not sending its Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), a 200- member military unit created precisely for this kind of emergency. Graham said it would cost C$15 million to C$20 million just to get it there and said it would not be able to arrive before next week even if required. He said the reconnaissance team leaving on Thursday for the region would determine if parts or all of the rapid response team were needed.

Graham: “This is an issue we look at in terms of whether it’s appropriate, whether countries need it and whether or not it’s worth moving it.”

The Diplomad is is at the scene. Mercifully, Canada stayed outside his line of fire today. He begins by quoting a UN statement;

As the United Nations system moves into high gear to identify the immediate needs of the countries devastated by the South Asian tsunami that has reportedly claimed nearly 70,000 lives and affected millions more, initial actions have been tailored to help each of the worst-hit nations.

He goes on to say,

The UN site then goes on to list all the “donations” that the World Food Program and other UN agencies are making to alleviate the suffering.

OK. We’ll make this short.

Let’s start with the last citation, the one from the UN. I can tell you, dear readers, that I am temporarily working in one of the countries that got slammed hard by the tsunami and while the UN effort might be in high gear, it must have its parking brake on. No sign of that effort here! Lots of bureaucrats flying in and out, but that’s about it.

And now to that Egeland character and the UN official site’s claims. Notice to the UN: The USA is BY FAR the biggest donor to the UN system. We pay for about 25% of the whole operation, BUT when you look at operations like WFP or UNHCR, we cough up about 40%. That wheat and rice that the WFP is bragging about? It is almost all from the USA. Notice to Mr. Egeland: if taxpayers want to give more they can do so without having the government reach into their wallets. Ever hear of charities? The American people are BY FAR the biggest donors to private charities — many of which are doing very fine work here in alleviating the suffering. Please note, they are actually on the ground, delivering goods and services, not flying about on first class tickets and holding press conferences in New York.

Now to that weird Post newspaper. Whom have you heard saying Bush is insensitive to the plight of the victims of this natural disaster? I haven’t heard that here in ground zero. I doubt you’ve heard it anywhere but in the MSM.

Well, whaddaya know? The German Chancellor has cut short his vacation! Now that’s gotta hurt a EUroweenie, huh? Giving up a day or two of the four or five or six months annual vacation EUrocrats get –boy that feeds and shelters a lot of people out here! They really appreciate it, Mr Chancellor! And those $4 million the ENTIRE EU has pledged, yeah, that’ll do it! I’m sure it will be a big help when some of it gets here in about six months.

One more note about the USA. The amounts listed in the newspapers as donated by the USA greatly underestimate the true size of the donation we make. We are moving huge numbers of aircraft, ships, and personnel to help out. We have carriers and even a MEU on the move. And guess what? We don’t charge the UN for that, and we don’t include those enormous costs in any “pledging conferences.” The only countries I see delivering goods and services where I am are the Aussies (who are terrific!) and us. The EU is only to be seen in press releases.

These lib-left people and their posturing make me sick . . . real folks are dying and the comfortable chattering lefties want little lip-biting gestures. I’ll take a C-130 any day.

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