The people of Spain marched in the streets on Friday.
Then they crawled on their knees into their voting booths on Sunday.
I spoke with a friend in Ontario today, whose company has just struggled through a difficult period, and now, is being subjected to yet another audit.
It turns out this audit is on a reassessment they came up with during a previous audit. I’ve lost track of how many times this company has been subjected to federal or provincial tax scrutiny. They have never been found guilty of any misdeeds and on at least one occassion, claimed a substancial refund.
I not so jokingly suggested she tell them where to shove it, until they’re finished with the Liberal Party of Canada.
And then I suggested that if Ontario decides, yet again, to vote the bastards back into power, it’s time for a separation movement in the West.
No, not this separation movement.
Environment Canada radar map for Saskatchewan. Spring is officially postponed.
There’s a small padded room in my mind where I imagine the theories of the daft: OMG Bushitler did this, it’s part of a campaign to make us “afraid,” it’ll only get worse. That’s one take, from the foil-chapeau brigade, a decided minority. Then there’s the schadenfreuders: well, Spain supported the war in Iraq. Payback’s a bitch, eh? As if there was some sort of epiphany in the terrorist community: whoa, Spain is assisting the Crusaders now. I know it’s going out on a limb, but I propose adding Spain to the list of Western Christian polyglot democracies to destroy. All in favor, say aye. Of course one can say that the jihadists attacked Spain for its role, but to suggest that Spain earned this atrocity means that the two causes are morally indistinguishable.
To some, they are. To some, the act of “resistance” has such a romantic pull they cannot possibly renounce the use of flamboyant violence – until they find themselves in a train station on an average weekday morning, ears ringing, eyes clouded, looking down at their shirt, wondering why it’s so red all of a sudden.
I’m starting a new category here at SDA. I’m calling it the Insufferable Twit Watch. For my inaugeral entry, I feature a local radio personality – Saskatoon’s 650 CKOM program director, Kurt Leavins.
Leavins has an afternoon show, informally known as the Anti-American Bush-Bashing Hour. Leavins does not take calls, so he’s got free reign to spout off with whatever canard-de-jour is floating through the CNN headline banner. I do email him from time to time, when he says something particularly egrarious. To his credit, he always replies, but he never, never admits an error or corrections on air. (I’ve included one such email exchange in the expanded entry)
Yesterday, Leavins offered his thoughts on the train bombings in Madrid. He mentioned that Al Queda had taken responsibility and then, in his usual “I told you so” voice, reminded we memory-challenged listeners of Spain’s involvement in the Iraq war;
[Paraphrased quote] — Don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry that this happened, but you know — given Spains involvement in the Iraq war — “you had to see it coming”.
Memo to Kurt Leavins:
The war with Al Queda was not initiated by George W. Bush. It did not commence with an invasion of Iraq, or the toppling of Saddam Hussein.
Perhaps you slept in on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps you haven’t heard.
At about 9 am that morning, Al Queda launched an attack using hijacked airliners that destroyed both towers of the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon, while a fourth plane crashed short of its target in a field in Pennsylvania. Prior to this, Al Queda and its islamofascist affiliates had a long, sordid history of attacking military and civilian targets around the world.
And perhaps you haven’t been reading the papers.
Canadian troops are currently serving in Afghanistan – the same Afghanistan that harboured Bin Laden and provided safe haven for Al Queda training camps and a launching point for terrorism. For our efforts, Canada has been added to the list of official targets for Al Queda retaliation.
I hope that when the day comes that it is the CN Tower lying in a pile of flame and broken bodies, or the Parliament buildings hoplessly contaminated through a dirty bomb attack, you’ll remember those words and remind us, too, that “we had to see it coming”, so that we can be properly reflective and humiliated by our error in backing the American fight against terror and tyranny.
Congratulations, Kurt Leavins – SDA’s Insufferable Twit for March 12, 2004.
Update: Think I’m being harsh? Leavins just announced the topic for his “Afternoon Show” today – “Did They Bring This Bombing Upon Themselves?”
Hitchhiking on the Beltway Traffic Jam.
Hockey was part of my growing up. Going to a hockey game when I was a kid meant cheering the Arcola-Kisbey Combines – which escalated into a (mostly) verbal blood feud if the opponant was the despised Carlyle Cougars, from the rival town to the east.
One end of the rink had a large lobby for the little kids and seniors who preferred to stay warm, the glass looking onto the ice surface protected by chain link. A hard shot could stretch the chain link enough to break a window, though that didn’t happen very often. When it did, the player responsible was legend for a month.
Most watched from the stands, in the cold – elbow to elbow, on 4 rows of wooden bleachers, drinking hot chocolate or coffee, shifting weight from leg to leg in a vain attempt to keep toes from freezing, yelling encouragement, insulting the enemy, cheering the goals.
Watching from the bleachers meant staying sharp and never taking your eye off the game – the wooden boards had no plexiglass, and you had to be ever ready to dodge a 60 mph puck. The reckless older boys stood against those boards, leaning over as far as their torsos would allow, to catch the action when it was at the other end of the rink – ducking and scrambling when the play returned to their own, and players body checked and thrown halfway over, sticks flying.
The moisture from our breath froze in the air and rose to the roof to form hoarfrost. The sound of skates carving ice, body checks, cheers and taunts echoed in the cold.
Sometimes there were fights, and nearly always they were fair, square and honorably fought. And sometimes there were injuries, but absent a freak accident, they were minor – the players had jobs, families or school to go back to in the morning. They were not paid. They kept the sticks down.
Between the periods, you waited as players first made their way off the ice and into their dressing rooms, and then you followed the rest of the crowd, shuffling politely into the warmth. You lined up for a home cooked burger and fries drenched in vinegar, salt and ketchup.
No one was paid for anything. Volunteers served as time keepers and referees, took in the gate, made the pies, served in the kitchen, cleaned the bathrooms, chaperoned the kids. Volunteers scraped the tortured ice with hand shovels and reflooded the surface in preparation for the next period. Many decades earlier, volunteers had built the rink. (They still do. When the rink burned down 2 years ago, volunteers raised the money and rebuilt it.)
That was hockey.
I haven’t been to a game for years. Not since they put the plexiglass up.
Saskatchewan wins a prize…
RE: CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I AM MAKING THIS CONTACT ON BEHALF OF MY ORGANIZATION, THE AMERICAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR PROVINCE HAS BEEN CHOSEN FOR OUR PRESTIGIOUS AWARD – THE AMERICAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE FOR 2005.
MY AIM OF CONTACTING YOU IS TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING THE SUM OF FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ONLY (US$450,000) OUT OF SASKATCHEWAN AND INTO OUR TRUSTED BANK ACCOUNT ABROAD, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROMOTING YOUR BEAUTIFUL PROVINCE’S CULTURE.
IS REST ASSURED THAT THERE IS NO RISK INVOLVED SINCE I HAVE TAKEN CARE OF EVERYTHING HERE IN SPAIN.
I WANT YOU TO IMMEDIATELY INFORM ME OF YOUR WILLINGNESS IN ASSISTING / CO-OPERATING WITH US ON MY E-MAIL ADDRESS SO THAT I CAN SEND YOU FULL DETAILS OF THIS TRANSACTION AND LET MAKE REARRANGEMENT FOR A MEETING AND DISCUSS AT LENGTH ON HOW TO TRANSFER THE SAID FUND. FINALLY, I AM TRUSTING ON YOUR FULL UNDERSTANDING OF THE ABOVE AND HOPING THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR ABSOLUTE CONFIDENTIALITY.
AWAITING WITH INTEREST YOUR RESPONSE AND HOPING TO DEVELOP GOOD BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.
AMERICAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Vancouver Canucks general manager Brian Burke is giving a news conference. He isn’t happy with the NHL… and is complaining that the media has kicked “the crap” out of his player.
“Shocked.. shocked at the size of the fine”
“There’s been so little analysis of anyone else’s blame… all you guys have done is crucify my player”.
He claims he accepts responsibility as general manager, and recognizes that Todd went over the line .. then, he goes on to question when Moore’s injury happened – during the cheap shot, or during the pile-on afterwards – and follows up with medical details to imply that the severity of the injury has been exaggerated. Nice move, Brian. That’ll win ya some sympathy.
“We get into a Murphy’s law game, the incident happened, and people say it was premeditated.”
Burke denies that the management had directed Bertuzzi to take out Moore, defends Canucks coach Mark Crawford (who laughed after the hit) and pointed out that there are other players whose job it is …. and that the notion that the Canucks would use a star forward like Bertuzzi for enforcement purposes is ridiculous.
I think the American media is going to have a field day with this.
(The NHL announced this morning, after a 10 minute hearing, that Bertuzzi is out for the remainder of the regular season – 12 games – and the playoffs, and the case will be revisited before he is reinstated. The Canucks recieved a $250,000 fine. Bertuzzi will lose a half million in lost salary.)
Addendum: Hockey guru Liam McGuire reminds us that it wasn’t always this way.
It used to be worse:
Hall-of- Fame defenseman Doug Harvey once speared George Sullivan so severely in a game that Sullivan was administered last rites at the hospital. Rocket Richard broke three sticks over Hal Laycoe, not one, not two, but three and in between he dropped Cliff Thomson, the linesman. Gordie Howe was suspended three times for attempt-to-injure and on numerous other occasions he committed some of the most vile acts imaginable including splitting Brad Parks tongue in half and sucker punching Stan Mikita sending him to the dressing room. The stick fights were out of a movie. People today would not be able to comprehend the NHL pre 1970. Ted Green and Wayne Maki in 1969 during an exhibition game in Ottawa hit themselves in the head with their sticks as hard as they possibly could. Green needed a six hour operation to save his life and has had a permanent plate in his head since that time. Eddie Shack during a game in Toronto in 1967-68, told Larry Zeidel that if he came after him again he was going to hammer him with his stick. Zeidel came after him and Shack swung his stick down on Zeidel’s head as hard as he could. Same thing with Bernie Geoffrion and Ron Murphy, a stick fight the likes of which the fans of the game today would curl up into a little whining ball, rolled up fists to teary eyes crying for their momma’s ..
Point taken. We do have short memories.
As if pissing away 2 billion on a failed gun registry in Canada wasn’t enough.
CANADA HELPS AFRICANS PREVENT AND RESOLVE VIOLENT CONFLICT
March 9, 2004 – A $4.5 million contribution by Canada over three years to the ECOWAS Peace Fund will support conflict prevention, crisis management and peacebuilding activities, and will contribute to a scholarship fund that will enable West African civilians and military personnel to benefit from training for peace support operations at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, in Ghana.
Well how about that… Annan was in Ottawa the day this was announced … what are the odds?
The project will also help ECOWAS establish a unit that will work to stop the flow of small weapons into and across borders in these countries.
Eh, so what does that last line mean, in practice? Well, basically, it means they’re going to purchase guns from the criminals. Apparently, firearms are a finite resource, and if they just buy them all up, people won’t be able to shoot one another. Our tax dollars at work.
Did anyone point out to ECOWAS Canada’s success in controlling the flow of illegal firearms to the African-Canadian community?
But if you want the short tame proof this is nothing new, consider this quote: “Howard Stern is Dead Man Talking. Remember where you heard it first.” And where and when did we hear it first? From Michael Harris, in Ottawa, Tuesday, November 18, 1997.
“Live by the tit, die by the tit”.
Wish I’d come up with that.
PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. – There may have been human remains in meat processed for human consumption from a B.C. pig farm at the centre of Vancouver’s missing women case.
Investigators have found D.N.A. at the farm site that has been matched
to several women missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Farmer Robert Pickton faces 15 counts of first degree murder.
The Crown Prosecutor said earlier that Pickton will be charged with at
least seven more counts.
We need the death penalty back in Canada. And we need it yesterday.
CBC backgrounder on BC’s missing women case
Why they continue to promote themselves as deranged extremists doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There isn’t a lot of evidence that the organization is controlled by clueless idiots, (not to be confused with the clueless idiots who fund them with donations) so why do they insist on creating and then stepping into the wacko animal rights stereotype?
update On a less serious note – Wizbang is reminding us to commemorate Eat An Animal For Peta Day
I’ve thought about the sweet prospect of the current civil war creating a formal split in the Liberal Party….Sean, at Pol:Spy goes one better. He has a plan
Conservatives need to find a way to start a new party that will attract disaffected Liberals. It would be after the Warren Kinsellas and Sheila Copps of Canada. It would be incredibly left-leaning, promising a new and improved Nanny State, and free government handouts for everyone. Of course, the party wouldn’t win – it’s not supposed to. However, it would siphon Liberal votes from the other Liberal Party (along with a strengthened NDP) and put the Conservatives right up the middle.
Just as you fight fire with fire, you can fight Liberals with Liberals. The entire Reform/ Alliance/PC fustercluck proved this and then some.
Evan Solomon of the CBC interviews Kofi Annan
EVAN SOLOMON: Ok. Let’s talk about relevance of the US [sic] itself. Famously, the president of the US said the UN risks irrelevance if it did not back the war in Iraq. It didnt. There have been, as you know, tensions between the US and the UN. Tell us, tell Canadians why Canada ought to spend the scarce dollars that we as a country have on UN operations? Why the UN is actually relevant?
|“Get yer ya-ya’s out”.|
A computer game addict in western China collapsed and died at his screen after playing the popular online game Saga non-stop for 20 hours, a news report said today.
The 31-year-old began playing the game regularly at an internet cafe in Chengdu, Sichuan province, three months before his death, according to the South China Morning Post.
An employee at the cafe said he would play for more than 10 hours a day and was found dead on Saturday morning after a marathon 20-hour session, the newspaper said.
Pre-meditated “payback” for a legal hit on Vancouver Canuck captain Markus Naslund during a game Feb. 16.
Bertuzzi came up behind Moore, grabbed the back of Avalanche player’s sweater and delivered a round-house swing with his gloved right hand that struck Moore’s head. Moore fell head first to the ice under the weight of Bertuzzi, who came down on top of him at the 8:41 mark.
A pool of blood formed around Moore’s head as he lay motionless on the ice. A stretcher was wheeled out and after a delay of nearly 10 minutes the 25-year-old native of Windsor, Ont., was taken off for medical attention.
Moore had regained consciousness by the time he was off the ice, but some news agencies are reporting that he may have a broken neck. Bertuzzi has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL.
He should be in jail.
Update Moore’s neck fracture and concussion confirmed, and Bertuzzi is under police investigation for assault.
Doctors have grown the world’s first embryo from frozen human ovary tissue, raising the strongest hopes yet that the technique could be used to restore fertility in cancer patients whose treatment would otherwise damage the ovaries irreparably.
The patient was aged 30 and newly diagnosed with breast cancer when the tissue from the ovary was frozen, and 36 when it was replaced into her abdomen. Within three months the transplanted tissue began producing eggs again. An egg was harvested after stimulation with IVF drugs and mixed with her partner’s sperm to create the embryo, said Kutluk Oktay in the medical journal The Lancet.
Although the embryo did not result in pregnancy, its creation represents a big step in the quest to refine the technique, which has previously been successful only in animals.
This is certain to be welcome news to young women who are cancer patients. I’m not so sure it’s a good thing.