Author: Kate

Homeland Insecurity

Choice tidbits from the Calgary Herald story:

About 25,000 passports lost or stolen each year never appear on border watch lists, and 4,500 airport employees with “possible criminal associations” have access to restricted areas, Fraser said.

“The government as a whole failed to adequately assess intelligence lessons learned from critical incidents such as Sept. 11 and systematically follow up on needed improvements,” Fraser wrote in the most stinging line of her report.

Well, hello? Who was in charge, again?

Chr�tien said the Western world is “looked upon as being arrogant, self-satisfied, greedy and with no limits. The 11th of September is an occasion for me to realize it even more.” Chr�tien said he told Wall Street business leaders last year the West mjust not exercise its power so as to humiliate other countries and peoples. “When you’re powerful like you are, you guys, this is the time to be nice.”

(“Western World”… wink wink, nudge nudge…)

Last week, McLellan announced additional measures to create a government-wide communications system in anticipation of the embarrassing accounts in Fraser’s report about gaps in intelligence-sharing.
There was the time, for example, when a federal agency failed to circulate a terror alert from a foreign ally.
And in another case the government’s top-secret messaging system sent a response to the wrong address, and the sending agency waited a month to follow up and check whether the message had ever been received.
“Fortunately, (that) alert turned out to be a false alarm,” Fraser wrote in her typically dry prose.

$7.7 billion just doesn’t buy what it used to.

A Day In The Life, Pt. 2

Following up on yesterday’s work

After laying out the major blocks of color, work continues with the addition of stronger colors for depth, and outlining and detailing with black.
This is the front, at the same stage – black added.
A couple of hours later, the artwork is finished and highlighted with white. This rear quarter is complete, but unfortunately the photo of the bird with white added did not turn out well enough to post here.

The finish is still flat in these photos, because iti’s still in base coat – the shop owner was getting the car ready for clear coating when I left. One looong day for everyone involved. Holding an airbrush for hours on end, results in cramping of the hands, and as mentioned yesterday, an inability to focus for a time afterwards. Couple that with crawling around on a concrete floor all day and I’m really rather tired.
I also got a start on the helmet and have both it and another small job to go back to in the morning, so I should be able to get some photos of the car with clear coating. The transformation that happens with clear is amazing – lines sharpen, some of the overspray melts and colors become about 30% more vibrant.
update – The finished job

RCMP Anti-Terrorism Arrest Suspect

No name has been released, but the home the warrant was issued for was owned by one Mahboob Khawaja, author of the book Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Resolution.

Globe And Mail – Dr. Khawaja has also written several essays disapproving of U.S. foreign policy and the war on terrorism and commenting on “corrupt Arab leadership” and “American-Zionist political encroachment in the Middle East.”
He was once listed as policy adviser and a member of the international affairs, politics and religions faculty at Syracuse University in New York.
There was no answer at the home last night.
Neighbours said the owner lives in the house with his wife and four adult children and that he is a university professor who works overseas.

Hole In Ground Successfully Completed

“On time, and on budget.”

The $18 million cost of the project was shared by city, provincial and federal governments, and Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale says it is a good example of how all three levels of government can work together.

dig.jpg
Another installment for the Wide Open Future campaign – “Experience Saskatchewan – Endless Blue Horizons, Colorful First Nations Culture, the Synchrotron and Free Bags of Goose Shit.”

Goodale also marvelled at the size of the project, which he describes as, “1.3 million cubic metres of earth, moved by 200 workers and a massive amount of equipment, all in the dead of winter, working 24 hours a day.”

$13.84 a cubic meter. Second reaction – does this qualify them to fill holes?
Thousands attended the ceremony. No, really. Thousands.

Protein Wisdom

Jeff Goldstein –

“Here’s how you know your politics have pitched a bit to the right: you’re enjoying a plate of Gino’s Pizza Rolls, watching an early episode of “M*A*S*H,” when suddenly you realize that just about everything Larry Linville says makes sense — and that, given the opportunity, you’d happily bend Alan Alda over a butcher’s table and thwack his self-satisfied ass about a thousand times with a rolled up poster of Douglas MacArthur.”

If Protein Wisdom isn’t on your daily read-list, it should be.

Day In The Life

I’ve been holed up in a bodyshop all day, painting a drag car. After staring for 7 hours at airbrushed lines, which are fuzzy, your eyes forget how to focus, so reading is difficult for a time afterwards. So, some pictures. I do this every so often for my commercial website – today I decided to share the step by step process here.
To save page loading time, only the first three are on this page. The rest are in the expanded entry.

A digital rough layout of the design, slapped together on the computer, over a photo of the customer’s car.
Before. The shop has painted the base color, which was then clearcoated and resanded. Good boys. Did my taping for me.
After spraying over the existing deep maroon paint with a light dusting of white, the background colors are set up.

Continue reading

Saskatchewan Budget

From a source inside the government – the budget coming down ain’t going to be pretty. Saskatchewan (pop 975,000 and dropping) has been running half-billion dollar deficits and now has an accumulated debt equal to the highly criticized “Devine years” of the 1980’s.
The difference is that the Grant Devine Conservatives had an revenue-poor economy to deal with in which potash, oil and grain prices were in the tank, coupled with drought and sky-high interest rates. Plus, they had inherited the Blakeney legacy of hostility towards investment and private development – the nationalization of the potash industry, the despised “Land Bank” government purchases of farm land, and gas/oil royalty structures that crippled development of the resources.
Romanow, to his credit, faced the music, and the deficit was brought under control, though the province still fared miserably when it came to economic development. Old socialist economic theories and entitlements die hard – especially when your political base consists of unionized labour and “Tommy Douglas” seniors who respond to “Mediscare” campaigns.
The Calvert NDP have managed to dig us back into a very large hole despite record revenues and lowest interest rates in a generation. It didn’t stop them from campaigning on a spending platform and pledging to preserve “public ownership” of the sacred Crown Corporations – of which the government owns around 70. The only jurisdiction in North America with more government ownership of the economy outside Saskatchewan is Cuba.
Bottom line? The government may fall over this budget. There is real concern that some on the government side of the benches will not vote for it, and with the current 50 – 50 split of NDP to conservative SaskParty members in the legislature – it won’t take but one defection.
Interesting times ahead.

Best Hate Mail Contest

About a year or so ago, I got into an online spat with a moonbat in the yahoogroup Global-M, that prompted my adversary to Googlehunt my name. She thought she was really onto something when she found an old page for a flamewars group that I had belonged to. She posted her find to the list and linked to it with an “Aha! Look what I found!” – I believe she thought I’d be embarrassed….
Mensa membership is no guarantee of intelligence. Apparently, Ms. Hsu had not considered the possibility of a page edit. When list members clicked on her link, this is what they found;


Quote of the Day
“I am a big fat idiot. I should have never linked to this site. It was a mistake to spend all night on google searches. I should have gone to bed. I should have put down the bourbon. My deepest apologies. –Tanya Hsu.”

For whatever reason, it seems she didn’t recheck the page after making the post, so remained blissfully unaware of the change. Then, a few months later, Tanya’s new employer did a Googlehunt on her name….
This prompted an email exchange, which she crossposted to her groups, cc’d to an unidentified lawyer (who remained curiously silent) . She demanded that my Mensa membership be revoked. It finally culminated in this:

Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 14:09:31 -0400
From: Tanya C. Hsu
To: Catherine McMillan
Subject: Re: Flamer Rips Mensan
You stupid fool. You stupid stupid fool.
I work with a government department in Washington DC. You have *no idea* of what and who can make life very difficult for you.
You ought to rethink fast.

The black sedans are still parked outside my house.
And so, this brings me to the purpose of this post – What is the best email threat or hate mail you’ve ever recieved? Use the trackback feature to link to this post, or share it the comments. You may also enter over at Wizbang where I’m doing a bit of guest blogging. I promise an appropriate prize for the winning entry.
Even Tanya can play if she likes.

Fiamma Nirenstein

“In the contemporary world, the world of human rights, when you call a person a right-winger, this is the first step toward his or her delegitimization. ”

But I soon noticed that I had lost the innocence of the good Jew, of the very special Jewish friend, their Jew: I was now connected with the Jews of the State of Israel, and slowly I was put out of the dodecaphonic, psychoanalytic, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Freud shtetl, the coterie that sanctified my Judaism in left wing eyes.
I have tried for a long time to bring back that sanctification, and they tried to give it back to me, because we desperately needed each other, the left and the Jews. But today’s anti Semitism has overwhelmed any good intention.

The Left blessed the Jews as the victim “par excellence,” always a great partner in the struggle for the rights of the weak against the wicked. In return for being coddled, published, filmed, considered artists, intellectuals and moral judges, Jews, even during the Soviet anti- Semitic persecutions, gave the Left moral support and invited it to cry with them at Holocaust memorials. Today the game is clearly over. The left has proved itself the real cradle of contemporary anti-Semitism.

Why is the war on terrorism often looked upon as a strategic problem that the world still must solve (look at the US war against Afghanistan and Iraq) and Israel is treated like a guilty defendant for fighting it? Is it not anti-Semitism, when you act as if Jews must die quietly? Why is Israel officially accused by the human rights commission in Geneva of violating human rights, while, China, Libya, Sudan, have never ever been accused? Why has Israel been denied a fixed place in regional groups in the UN while Syria sits in the Security Council? Why can everybody join a war against Iraq except Israel, despite the fact that Saddam has always threatened Israel with complete destruction? When sovereign states and organizations threaten death to Israel, why does nobody raise the question at the UN? Has Italy been threatened by France or Spain like those Iranian leaders who openly say that they will destroy Israel with an atomic bomb? And what is said when a large part of the world newspapers, TV, radio and school textbooks recommend kicking the Jews out of Israel and killing them all over the world using terrorist bombers? The international community doesn’t consider this a problem. Israel is an “unterstate”, denied the basic rights of every other state, to exist in honor and peace. The Jewish state is not equal.

Middle East Martyrdom Game

Converting bad leaders into dead saints

As everyone knows, the Middle East suffers from bad leadership. We have number of aging, corrupt and undemocratic leaders who represent extremist ideas. Until now, these gentleman have proven to be insuperable obstacles to peace, democracy, progress and improvements of the well-being of the populace. However, Middle East innovation and ingenuity have now come up with a solution. Any fanatic, illogical, corrupt or bloodthirsty leader can be instantly converted into a revered saint and martyr by assassination.

Go read the rest.

Sexual Healing

‘He’s worse than a snake,’ says one victim’s relative –

A self-described medicine man who told several girls and women he could cure them of illnesses by having unprotected sex with them has pleaded guilty to several charges.
Harold Mearon, known as “Lucky” in aboriginal communities near Hobbema, halted his trial in Wetaskiwin on Monday to change his previous not-guilty pleas.

Stifle that giggle. Sexual assault isn’t funny. This man is a predator, preying on the stoopid weak.

Hans Island Showdown

An international showdown is brewing. This time, it’s Canada staring down Denmark in a dispute over ownership of Hans Island.

Canada may be pulling back from overseas military commitments, but is planning to “flex its muscles” with an exercise on home soil by sending a warship, a squadron of helicopters and 200 troops to the high Arctic this summer.

Hans Island is like the Falklands…

The operation, code-mamed Narwhal, is the first time the military will have a joint naval, air and land force operating so far north.

without the sheep…

Colonel Norris Pettis, commander of the Canadian Forces northern area, told The National Post that the operation is about “sending a message that this land is important to us…that we can put troops, and aircraft and ships, on the ground to respond to whatever we might be called upon to deal with.”

or the people…

Both countries claim ownership of the barren and uninhabited island.

it’s about the size of a Home Depot parking lot.

A Danish warship sailed past Hans Island in 2002 and a group of soldiers disembarked and reportedly hoisted the Danish flag, an act Canada claimed was a violation of its sovereignty.

The bastards!

Canada has launched a five-year plan to increase its military presence throughout the Arctic, including satellite surveillance and far-reaching patrols of soldiers on snowmobiles.

A sleeping giant awakes.

Same Witch Hunt, New Witches

A new sexual abuse scandal has just surfaced in Saskatchewan. The scandal – as it came to pass in the Martensville and Klassen cases – is the overzealousness of the police and Social Services, and the ruination of another innocent family.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Social Services and the RCMP turned up at the family’s farmhouse without warning; took four of the children into care; conducted videotaped interviews with the kids that show leading questions were asked; asked one brother, aged 15, if he had witnessed or committed sexual assault without advising him of his legal rights; then charged two other brothers and the father with sexual assault based solely on those interviews, with no corroborating evidence.
Information presented at one of the subsequent trials shows that the decision to lay charges was made within hours of the police becoming involved: before the interviews had been completed and before anyone had even looked for other evidence.
The parents were not allowed to say goodbye to their children. Three of them were made permanent wards of the province and have been moved from one foster home to another ever since.
The charge against the father was stayed after 15 months, although only after the Crown prosecutor offered him a deal to plead guilty.
One brother was found not guilty and refuses now to live in Saskatchewan because of his experience. The second brother was found guilty, but had his conviction overturned on March 11 by Mr. Justice Gerald Allbright of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
The final injustice is that the family has been threatened with legal action if they take steps to publicize their situation.

This is a favoured tactic of prosecutors in Canada. Laws that were designed to protect “young offenders” and sexual assault victims from having their names publicized are being increasingly abused to hide misdeeds and mistakes of prosecutors and police. The courts place a publication ban on all evidence, charges are stayed, and only those directly involved are aware of the injustice and the damage caused.

Oprahism

Jeff Jarvis takes a break from his crusade to save Howard Stern to rip a strip from Oprah.

Hypocrite. Oprah: You can’t act as if you don’t bear considerable responsibility for this. You brought sex to afternoon TV. Now I don’t think you should be fined for that and I don’t think you should be taken off the air for that; I just don’t watch you. But you’re doing nothing different from Howard Stern — except getting away with it. So cut your holier-than-thou disapproval of sex on the rest of TV. You are the Queen of Trash.

Jeff doesn’t mention her greater and more destructive hand in creating the “Culture of Victimhood”.
It began with countless shows about child abuse, especially child sexual abuse. The same juicy and shocking details, cloaked in weepy concern and repackaged as “public service”. The biggest fallacy of the time was cultivated by Oprah – “Children never lie about these things”.
Well, they do, and they did, and largely because of the myths that Oprah and her copycats fostered, innocent people – child care workers, parents, neighbors – were smeared, accused and jailed because it wasn’t appropriate to question the veracity of a child. Then we got countless more Oprah shows educating the mainstream about “repressed memory” – and more broken families and lives ruined, based on false accusations and true-believer therapists.
Victimhood was good for ratings. Child abuse. Spouse abuse. Substance abuse. Date rape. Disease of the Week. Oprah shifted gears effortlessly, from trash talk to trash thought, creating an afternoon sisterhood of victims and transforming unproven and sometimes ludicrous theories into mainstream “fact”. And the over-riding message – no one was ever personally responsible. There was always an underlying excuse. Someone else was always to blame – a monster in the past, an uncaring parent, a teacher who bullied. Society. History. Cultism. Racism. Sexism.
Now, we have an entire generation suffering the effects of “Oprahism”, and wonder why so many “dysfunctional” North Americans blame everyone but themselves.

Bomb Boy – The European Non-Story

Via Pol:Spy this – “Columnist criticizes foreign correspondents’ coverage of “boy bomb’ story; they respond

Gentlemen of the press: Peter Dudzik of German television ARD, Dietmar Schuman of German television ZDF, Jorg Bremer of the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, Gilles Paris of the French Le Monde, Patrick Saint-Paul of Le Figaro, our dear Charles Enderlin of France 2 television, Ms. Emma Hurd of Sky TV, Steve Farrell of the Times of London:
You are all respectable journalists who represent important news organizations. Colleagues.
Maybe one of you knows why, by Thursday morning, none of you had bothered to report to your millions of viewers or readers the story of the boy Abdullah Koran, 10 or 12, who was sent to carry an explosive charge through an IDF roadblock for five shekels by Palestinian “freedom fighters”? Is there no public interest in that story? Does it not have interesting details?
How is it, Ms. Hurd of Sky TV, that when the first missile fell on Gaza your network went into a ‘live” broadcast in prime time for about seven whole minutes (a television eternity), without having current footage (it showed Palestinian pedestrians), but passed over the story of the Palestinian child bomber? How do you explain the nearly complete disregard of the French media for that story? (I understand the Spaniards, who did report the story briefly; they had 200 terror victims to bury). The French news agency devoted a sentence and a half to it at the margins of something, while stressing it was a story whose credibility was problematic.
Well, gentlemen, it is not the credibility of the story that is problematic. It is your credibility that is problematic. The IDF roadblocks are a serious, distasteful reality. They should be covered and reported and so you do. As do we. Ask Gideon Levy. But the other side doesn’t have B’Tselem and Gideons. It has people who take a 10- year-old boy and send him with five shekels and a backpack full of explosives over to our side. To fully understand the roadblocks, from both sides, you have to report that. If you don’t report it, you are fooling your public and yourselves. If I had the authority here, you would all be on the plane on the way home. That might be the reason I do not have the authority here. Have a nice day.

Read the “responses”.

Frum Reviews Clarke

David Frum reviews the Clarke book causing this week’s furor.

Still, there are things that can be learned from the book. One is that for all the praise that Clarke pours on Bill Clinton personally, he presents an absolutely damning account of the terrorism record of the Clinton administration. Time and time again, he and his team agree that a course of action is vital – up to and including air raids against the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan (air raids not cruise missile raids – cruise missiles are slow and gave the Pakistanis time to tip off al Qaeda that the bombs were coming). And nothing happens. Either the bureaucracy refuses to carry out the order or the military drags its feets or (most typically) President Clinton rules out courses of action that carry any risk at all.

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