Monday, March 31, 2008

woman is nigger of the world-John Lennon

Survival Sex

As a result of the Iraqi invasion many Iraqi girls have fled the violence to Syria. In order to survive and support their families many girls resort to prostitution.

peer pressure makes others more likely to conserve

another reader left this link to an interesting story, something I had touched on in my rant.
thanks for it!
conforming is key

Questions, however, do arise when it comes to getting Americans to actually engage in such energy-saving behaviors. But that problem may be closer than ever to an answer, thanks to simple psychology. In the battle to get Americans to conserve energy, one researcher has found, it seems a most unlikely tactic works best: peer pressure.

Robert B. Cialdini, a social psychologist and Regents’ Professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University in Tempe, has been researching relationships between psychology and pro-environmental action since the early 1990s. He addressed the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Science Education last week with some of his recent findings.

Cialdini pointed to a pair of studies that he conducted that began with a simple survey distributed to about 3,000 Californians. It asked respondents to select which of four factors would best motivate them to conserve energy: conserving because it saves money; conserving to preserve the earth; conserving in order to be a socially responsible citizen; and conserving because most others in the neighborhood were conserving.

“They indicated that their neighbors’ behaviors would be of little impact on their own,” Cialdini said of the survey’s respondents. But when he looked at what they did, compared to what they said, “the only factor that had any significant impact on whether they conserved energy was their perceptions of what their neighbors were doing.

good news for Basra

As reported in Bloombergs. This seemed to be one of the few American press pieces that acknowledged that Maliki had in fact attacked Sadr supporters/ malitia. I noticed many of the news reports out of the US had spun the news ,to make it seem ,as if it was Sadrs' malitia that had started the melee in Basra.
Still I am sure the majority of the population can breathe a sigh of relief for how long , I don't know? A number of points demonstrated by this incident. Maliki is no Prime Minister of Iraq. He a is puppet for the US. Clearly the Iraqi troops realize this as they had no loyalty to their new government. Lastly as Maliki faced a real challenge to his power, he dropped the tough talk and entered diplomatic negotians.

Baghdad Curfew to Be Lifted After Fighting Kills 90, AFP Says

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- A curfew in Baghdad will be lifted today after almost a week of fighting between U.S.-backed government forces and Shiite militiamen in the Iraqi capital left at least 90 people dead, Agence France-Presse reported.

The curfew will be lifted at 6 a.m. Baghdad time, the news agency said, citing state television.

A ban on driving vehicles will remain in force in the Baghdad neighborhoods of Sadr City, Kadhimiyah and Shuala that have been most affected by the fighting, AFP said.

Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr yesterday ordered his fighters off Iraq's streets and demanded security forces stop arresting his followers. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who ordered an offensive against Shiite militiamen in the southern city of Basra last week, said Sadr's move was a ``step in the right direction,'' AFP reported.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

thanks for a thoughtful response, and if I may...

Blogger Matt said...

I have heard a lot of people recently pawn of the new green trend in marketing as just being a fad.

I personally think we should be welcoming this. Regardless or who has been environmentally conscious in the past, a mainstream trend toward environmentalism is not only good, but necessarily. We need the biggest business to want to be green, because they produce the most stuff. And the only way to convince them is to convince them they can make money by being green, not in spite of being green. If that means we have corporate logos on all sorts of "green" items, so be it--as long as something is being done.

Maybe this trend is still not enough, and much more is needed to be done to have a more "environmental" economy. But I want to put forth the idea, that we are heading in a positive direction, and we should thank God that this is finally happening.

Matt, you made some great points!
I agree we need a mainstream trend towards environmentalism, and I think it is a great idea, one I agree with you is long overdue.

We do need the biggest business's to be green, and to want to be green, of course because it is profitable. But, also because they should anyway. They should and do have as much interest , as anyone else, in being green. It is a great selling point for themselves, good corporate citizen and all.
I am certain you are aware though that being green is about more then producing "green" items for us to buy. A corporation should be green in it's method of production, reduction of waste, reduction of pollutants etc.,
If, for example a corporation is not green, in it production method, what is the difference if the product they sell is labelled green.
I am not even sure what constitutes the ability to label/market something as green?

If a product itself is touted as green , but is not really green what good is that?
I am thinking of ethanol, with the above statement.
While ethanol may be cleaner, it consumes far more energy in production, then ethanol is actually able to produce itself.
Plus the fact that grain prices have increased, because of it , which is leaving people world-wide in dire straits.
In other words being green has to make sense.

Maybe this trend is still not enough, and much more is needed to be done to have a more "environmental" economy. But I want to put forth the idea, that we are heading in a positive direction, and we should thank God that this is finally happening.

I agree with you again, the trend is not enough and more needs to be done, and I hope we can not only head in a positive direction, but sustain that positive direction and the momentum needed to keep it going. I just don't see a business driven agenda being the way to go, especially if it is unprofitable, as profit is the driving motivator for business.
I infact see it the other way, in that people have to force the hand of business that they clean up there act, be accountable to more then just the shareholders.
The best way , I think one can do that is to vote with your dollar.
Look at where you are spending your money. Spend it in ways that are more environmentally friendly. Spend it at business's that have solid environmental standards and goals.

thanks Matt!

A hopeful sign?

Iraqi officials in talks with Sadr group to end fighting

Representatives of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Iraqi authorities have begun talks to end fierce fighting between security forces and Shiite militiamen that has killed several hundred people, an aide to Sadr said on Sunday.

"Negotiations between the Sadr movement and an Iraqi government delegation started last night (Saturday) and are going in the right direction to solve the crisis," Salah al-Obeidi, Sadr's spokesman in the shrine city of Najaf, told AFP.

The talks began hours after Sadr ordered his followers to defy a call by prime minister Nuri al-Maliki to lay down their arms in the southern port and oil hub of Basra, the flashpoint of the brutal clashes.

"These are the first direct negotiations between the two sides to try to resolve the crisis," said Liqa al-Yassin, a Sadrist MP.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Is it just me thinking about this?

Tonight is the great global darkening, or whatever it is being spun as?
I keep thinking, why is it I find this all so contrived?
I am calling it mass conformity, spanning the globe.
Turn off your lights and what?
Pray and hold hands
What will it change?
What awareness will really arise from this?

Now don't get me wrong I have been green as long as I can recall. Long before all the lingo hit the language awareness of the masses. Such as reduce your global footprint and all that.

I have reduced, recycled, composted, for the better part of the past 20yrs!
Long before it was trendy.
I shut off lights when I am not in the room, because it is wasteful and it is expensive.
I don't drive to the corner store, and have been known to ride my bicycle , almost 2000 km's a year.

I managed all this without a global advertising campaign, and a "special day" to spend an hour in the dark with candles lit. Oh yeah, I burn candles because I like the ambience they create!

Lately I have noticed being green is so "trendy". But, this trend is feeling like on big advertising campaign. One that was created and thus encourages consumers to go out and consume new "green products"!

Products that are "green" are all the rage. Like all those shopping totes, that we are being "encouraged" to buy everywhere we go. I was standing in line at a local store, and I overheard this man say to the gal he was with, as she was buying more reuseable tote bags, "How many of those do you need"? She didn't answer and bought them anyway. These shopping totes are of course full of logos. Which is advertising for the business, you buy the bags from. All the stores have them. You buy them, with your money and then you walk around with them and advertise, for that business, pretty smart isn't it? Well for the business it is!
But all these totes are "green" products.
Heaven forbid you take a plastic bag provided to you by a local retailer!
But, by all means continue to buy the ones that line your garbage cans. Glad (don't get mad , get glad), is really glad that you will do just that. Be sure to do your part and use your logo covered tote bags, for your shopping, where everyone can see them!

But how many of these people , with there "green " totes, are really being environmentally friendly. How many of them make choices all the time, that are earth friendly, that improve the environment, for themselves and their neighbours?

Like I said, this latest drive to be "green" feels more contrived and more mass marketed then anything else. It doesn't seem to have any real objective, other then the promotion of mass conformity & consumerism.

oh look Maliki is crying " Al Qaeda"

Al Qaeda, the imagry is vivid, the emotional pull, substantive! Take note of Maliki's language in this recent news article.

Maliki says Sadrist foes "worse than al Qaeda"

* Maliki says Shi'ite militants "worse than al Qaeda"

*"We used to talk about al Qaeda. Unfortunately it seems there are some among us who are worse than al Qaeda," Maliki said in a televised meeting with tribal leaders in Basra, where he has personally overseen the crackdown since Tuesday.

Is the use of this language directed at the western world?
It certainly seems so.
To paint a picture of a "victimized" Iraq, at the hand of alleged militants, who are alleged to be even worse then the global boogey man.?
Of course further justifying continued and sustained western intervention.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Or is this cause of the upheaval in Basra???

In Basra, Elections, Oil Drive Conflict

The eruption of violence comes on the heels of the Iraqi presidential council's approval of the "provincial law," which clears the way for elections within Iraq's 18 provinces. Maliki's decision to order troops to Basra may well have been prompted by the law's passage Monday, as it sets the ball rolling for a decision on whether Iraq will be partitioned or remain a unified state, according to Raed Jarrar, Iraq consultant to the American Friends Service Committee.

"It's a reaction to the provincial law," Jarrar told Truthout. "Separatist Shiites want to make sure nationalist Shiites won't win the election - by killing them. In other places, the candidates use TV advertisements. But this is an election, Iraqi-style."

The separatists - allied with the Maliki government and the Bush administration - support the partitioning of Iraq, the privatization of oil and a continued US presence in the country. The nationalists - including the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr and much of the Iraqi Parliament - support a unified, sovereign Iraq. Jarrar compares the split to the two sides of the US Civil War - with the notable exception that the US was not under the influence of an occupying force.

Under the new law, after provisional governments are elected, those representatives will vote in October on whether to join one of three "regions" (partitioning the country) or remain a separate province, part of one united country.

Maliki has initiated fighting, in part, to marginalize the Sadr movement as much as possible before elections begin, according to Dahr Jamail, author of "Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq." Public opinion in Iraq reflects that view, according to Ali al-Fahdily, a correspondent from Baghdad and Fallujah. Fahdily told Truthout that, despite the American press's portrayal of the conflict as a push against terrorists and militants, many Iraqis see it as a partisan battle to "establish a firm base before the elections."

As the voting draws closer, Jamail says, the conflict will continue to build, with the cease-fire disintegrating.

"This is just the beginning - we should expect this to be the kick-off of hostilities," Jamail told Truthout. "There's been a long series of Maliki provocations of the Sadr movement. It's been an ongoing battle for months and months, if not years. Now the jig is up."

So , does the violence in Basra have to do with the withdrawal of the British troops, oil or the potential break up of Iraq?

Or is it simply "killing two birds with one stone"?

Basra, what is going on really?

Why is this going on in Basra? What is going on behind the scenes?

I had come across a news story today in which Moqtada Al Sadr, had claimed that the Iraqi government, was intentionally provoking a breakdown of the ceasefire.

One of the possibilities that had entered my mind was the withdrawal of the British troops. The withdrawal of the troops was quite a disappointment to the US. It was reported in Sept/07, that General Petraeus , was going to Britian, to discuss this very issue with
Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, and Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff. The US Senate had seemingly suggested that the British had abandoned Basra, a charge denied by the government of Gordon Brown.

As of today, it seems possible the withdrawal of the troops may be in jeopardy.
Will the British stay to fight on? Will the withdrawal stop? The withdrawal of the troops really had more to do with British domestic politics, a new Prime Minister , an unpopular war, and those often broken election promises.

If the Prime Minister of Iraq cannot get Basra back under control, with Iraqi forces, whom by the way, it is being reported, these very forces , trained by the British in part, are defecting!! What choice then will Britian have? The government of Gordon Brown may have to stop the withdrawal, and aid the Maliki government in the fight.

This is exactly what the US government, would like to see happen. They didn't want the British troops to withdraw from Basra. The provocations at this time by the Maliki government in Basra, seemed to have been the action needed, to address the problem of the withdrawal and garner the right solution.

In other words , problem , reaction , solution.

this will make you think terminator!

bigdog robot

with funding courtesy of DARPA, this is an interesting, kind of creepy robot.

a turn for the worse in Basra

US jets drop bombs in Basra

BAGHDAD - U.S. warplanes carried out at least two airstrikes overnight in Basra for the first time since clashes between Shiite militias and Iraqi security forces erupted in the southern oil port this week, a British official said Friday.

Shiite militants also clashed with government forces for a fourth day in Iraq's oil-rich south and sporadic fighting broke out in Baghdad, despite a weekend curfew in the capital.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised "no retreat" in the fight against militias in Basra despite growing anger among followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army.

The crackdown has intensified Sadrist anger over recent raids and detentions. They say U.S. and Iraqi forces have taken advantage of their seven-month-old cease-fire to target the movement.

Al-Sadr on Thursday called for a political solution to the burgeoning crisis and an end to the "shedding of Iraqi blood." But the statement, released by a close aide, stopped short of ordering his Mahdi Army militia to halt attacks.

a refresher on the toronto terror ring

On June 2nd and 3rd/2006, the police and security agencies , made arrests in the greater Toronto area, that resulted in charges being laid against 16 alleged terrorists. Another suspect was arrested 2 months after the intitial raid in Toronto. So a total of 17 people appear to have been arrested, including 5 youths.

The authorities claim, that internet exchanges were instrumental in leading investigators to these men. I don't know exactly what is meant by this, but here is what was said.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said Web surfing and e-mail among the suspects led to the start of the probe in 2004.

Some time between the start of the probe and the arrests, the ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) was alleged to have been sought by the men.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police itself delivered three tons of potential bomb-making material to a group that authorities said wanted to launch a string of attacks inspired by al-Qaida
I do not think at anytime the chemical fertilizer was actually, held in possession by any of the men arrested.
How from this exchange of e-mail and web surfing , amongst the arrested, we get to the point that we have allegations of terrorist training camps and chemical fertilizer being provided by the RCMP, remains to be seen.

These men, all adults appeared in court soon after their arrest
The 5 minors, names are not known.

Since the arrests, 3 persons have had all charges stayed.

A preliminary hearing had begun June 4, for 14 of the suspects. This was halted by the Crown Attorney on September 24, 2007. The case was to proceed directly to trial. The move (called a preferred indictment or a direct indictment) meant the defence counsel could not hear the balance of the testimony of the Crown's key witness,a police informant who was in the middle of testifying. The informant? Mubin Shaik.

The move on Sept 24/07 was an unexpected if not a startling move made by the Crown attorney. Since the purpose of a preliminary hearing is:
* To see if the Crown has enough evidence to justify sending the case to trial.
*It also gives person accused and their defence lawyer a chance to hear the details of the case against the accused.
During a preliminary trial if there is enough evidence presented by the Crown, the judge will send the accused to trial. If not, the charges will be dropped.

So why at this time did the crown chose this option?
Of course we can't know what or why the crown chose this option, right in the middle of the testimony of there key witness Mubin Shaik.

Here's what two of the defence lawyers said at that time.

"Tactically, the only inference available is that the Crown is afraid of the evidence being tested," said defence lawyer Michael Moon. "They're afraid for the actual evidence to come out that would establish the innocence of most, if not all, the accused."

Raymond Motee, when asked why the Crown would move to do this now, wondered if the government was worried that "a few of them (the accused) would be discharged" at the end of the preliminary hearing, including his own client.
For the Crown , the option of the preferred indictment, meant that all original charges were stayed, and a new proceeding against them will begin.
After this action was taken, all the suspects were re-arrested, including two who were out on bail at that time. Some charges were dropped and new ones were added.

The trial does have a publication ban.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Toronto 18 terror trial?? which was the Toronto 21 wasn't it ??

So that "terrorist training camp" near Toronto, is looking like a bad comedy about military training. Interestingly, the only person to provide live ammunition and teach the campers how to shoot was a police informant. This informant is Mubin Shaikh Oh that is interesting isn't it?

Also an alleged chilling video of a person threatening jihad, was dismissed as theatre. The document submitted states that the suspect in the video "has been described as 'blowing smoke' by ... a primary officer on the file, and without 'two cents to rub together' by (the police informant)."

Let's take a look at Mubin Shaikh, then we can get a good idea of why he was recruited and how, in my opinion he set these young foolish dupes up.
Mubin Shaikh, lets call him opportunistic agitator. He of the alleged undercover type, recruited for what? He offered his services to the RCMP , for another unrelated incident. Why the RCMP used him for this operation, it seems uncertain? Anyway he decides to go public , an undercover informant, in what is alleged a dangerous terrorist ring and he spouts off to anyone who will give him an ear, or a microphone , or his name in print. I find that odd.

I'll quote from another article here :
" Mubin Shaikh, decided to go public. Now you can't shut him up. He's been interviewed by the Star, the National Post, the Los Angeles Times, the CBC and most recently the BBC.
A former army cadet, Shaikh says he is the man who ran the alleged Washago terror training camp. In spite of the publication ban, he's been happy to tell the world everything he knows and much that he doesn't – including his opinion of one of the alleged ringleaders ("an effing time bomb").

In one interview, Shaikh claimed the alleged plotters planned to start a Chechen-style Muslim resistance movement in Northern Ontario, a region of the country with few Muslims and even fewer Chechens."

Yet Mubin Shaikh, is the same man who wanted sharia law and lobbied, for it.

He is also the dope smokin' high school cool guy:

Shaikh attended public schools in Toronto and as a teenager lived a typical high school life, he said.

"We were just the coolest guys in school. The cheerleaders were our girlfriends, and so the sportos, they hated us, the jocks, because we're the potheads out on the corner there," he said.

Then there was his arrest for assault?
The star informant in the most high-profile terrorism case in Canadian history has been charged with assault, after allegedly shoving and threatening two Grade 7 schoolgirls.Mubin Shaikh, 31, was charged by Toronto Police on April 3 with two counts of assault and one count of uttering threats against the girls, according to court documents. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on June 22.

Ok are you getting the "need for attention vibe" yet. This guy wants it all, the money, the glory, the starring role. He hardly seems to be a devout Muslim, really?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

re: sadr stand down and the "surge"

Alot of people may not have realized, that Moqtada al-Sadr, had called a six-month truce, last year, it started roughly around late August /07. The US at the time welcomed the truce. Why? The truce coincided nicely with the much touted surge. The surge that allegedly reduced the violence in Iraq, or at least as reported in the US press. The troop surge announced by Bush in January reached its full capacity in June/07 with about 162,000 troops.

As recently as February /08 , Moqtada al-Sadr had been threatening to end the truce. Just recently the US has acknowledged the truce had been quite helpful, saying it is a major factor in the estimated 60 percent decline in violence in the country in the second half of 2007.

It begs the question, would the surge been as successful , as it is alleged, with out the six month truce?

Given the events of the last couple days? It seems pretty safe to say, the much touted surge, would have been a failure.

Take a look at what has been going on in Basra? There has been heated battle, an oil pipeline was bombed, and Basra is not the only place where violence has risen. There have also been clashes in Kut and the capital, Baghdad. In the capital, of Baghdad, thousands of Sadr supporters gathered in Sadr City, to demand Prime Minister Maliki's resignation
One Sadr City resident was quoted as saying "We demand the downfall of the Maliki government. It does not represent the people. It represents Bush and Cheney"

It's an interesting turn of events, and it does not bode well, I think, for anyone.

Is Iraq going to move down in rankings??

Sadr militia battle troops in four Iraqi cities

BAGHDAD - Moqtada al-Sadr's militiamen battled troops in four Iraqi cities on Tuesday, including the capital, as the hardline Shiite cleric threatened a countrywide campaign of civil revolt

Heavy clashes broke out between Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters in the southern oil city of Basra, killing at least seven people and wounding 48, and in Kut and Hilla, both south of Baghdad, officials said.

As evening fell, Mahdi Army fighters fought with Iraqi and US forces in their Sadr City bastion in eastern Baghdad for the first time since last October, a security official and witnesses told AFP.

Troops had surrounded the sprawling impoverished neighbourhood of two million people and armed Shiite fighters were roaming the streets, a witness said.

Sadr had stood his army down, last fall, in time for the "surge". He had been recently saying the stand down was over. If it is , then the casualties will increase greatly, for everyone.

Iraq more stable then Afghanistan??

Iraq seen as more stable than Afghanistan: report

- Iraq has emerged as a more stable country than Afghanistan, thanks to lower violence, the presence of a large U.S.-led international force and high oil prices, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The report by the British-based Jane's Information Group ranked Afghanistan as the world's third most-unstable country after the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Somalia.

By contrast, Iraq was at No. 22 where it appeared among several African countries including Niger, Nigeria, Burundi and Equatorial Guinea.

The report, titled "Jane's Country Risk Ratings," was the first of its kind for the publisher and contained no comparison figures. But a June 2007 ranking of failed states by Foreign Policy magazine called Iraq the world's second-most unstable country with Afghanistan at No. 8.

Meanwhile, the United States failed to rank among the top tier of the world's most stable countries in the ratings, which measured 235 countries, territories and entities according to two-dozen stability factors.

it leaves one wondering just how bad is Afghanistan?
Is this why we hear very little about Afghanistan?
Why are Canadian troops there? still?
Why were they ever there?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

old lady in the shoe, updated for the war on terror

There was an old lady,
who lived in a shoe,
she never went any further,
she was far too frightened to!

Just between the toe and heel,
her entire world was contained.
She wouldn't pass the laces,
not even to peek,
out from between the spaces.

This poor old lady,
just stayed in her shoe.
She didn't see her kids,
they didn't know what to do!

They brought her some food
and tried to coax her out.
It was all to no avail,
for she would just shout.

"I can't come out there,
it is no place for me
there are terrorists, everywhere,
as far as I can see.

On the tv, it is on all the news.
Terror and fear!
I've got to watch out
The best place for me is here!

So it was that way,
it was fear, that kept her inside,
where she felt safe,
safe in the confines ,
of her very limited space.

This is most certainly NOT a good sign.

Mounties zap details from Taser reports as firings soar across Canada

The RCMP is stripping crucial details about Taser firings from public reports as use of the controversial stun guns skyrockets across the country.

Information stripped from the forms includes details of several Taser cases the Mounties previously made public under the access law. In effect, the RCMP is reclassifying details of Taser use - including some telling facts that raised pointed questions about how often the stun guns are fired and why.

A joint investigation by The Canadian Press and CBC found the Mounties are now refusing to divulge key information that must be recorded each time they draw their electronic weapons.

As a result, Canadians will know much less about who is being hit with the 50,000-volt guns, whether they were armed, why they were fired on and whether they were injured.

read entire article at link.

Think-tank calls for United States of Great Lakes

more NAU preparation

A report from a prestigious U.S. think-tank released Sunday argues that Canada and the U.S. should work together with the aim of creating a common market for commerce and labour by 2030 for the states and provinces in the Great Lakes basin.

The Brookings Institution, in a paper entitled the Vital Connection, Reclaiming Great Lakes Economic Leadership in the Bi-National U.S. Canadian Region, notes that even though the manufacturing base of the region has eroded in recent years, it is still a heavyweight.The report wants both countries to get cracking.

It urges that by 2010, two initiatives should be underway. First, a bi-national innovation strategy and second, a plan to redevelop what it calls "North America's freshwater coast."

It notes that states and provinces in the basin have too narrow a perspective. "States, provinces, and localities all have parochial and unconnected economic development plans to capitalize on their waterfronts. Existing bi-national organizations charged with Great Lakes stewardship are either focused solely on water preservation or too hamstrung by their particular organizational history and politics to focus on regionwide water-based economic development," it says.

"Governmental structures within each country and between the United States and Canada are not necessarily aligned to facilitate strong cross-boundary economic development planning and decision-making. A comprehensive proposal to leverage the natural and environmental and historical amenities of the entire Great Lakes region could garner a critical mass of political support and provide needed scope and attention to these precious assets."

But the report admits that could be a challenge, politically.

"Such a program," it states, "requires a politically charged enabling authority, a mandate, and resources to organize and create strong incentives for regional water-based economic development."

The institute notes that since 9-11, increased security along the border has been an impediment to the flow of goods and people.

It urges Canada and the U.S. to establish a panel of experts to formulate a strategic and operational plan for the border.

'Seamless border'

Under this plan, by 2015, Canada and the U.S. should have mutually recognized credentials and identification to allow for the secure and unhindered movement of people across the border. As well, within seven years, the report envisages what it calls "seamless border pre-clearance of U.S.-Canadian goods transported as part of a comprehensive North American customs clearance system or fully compatible national systems."

Part of that process, the report argues, is for the president and prime minister to strike a task force to eliminate such transportation bottlenecks as the Ambassador Bridge.

As well, the report urges high-speed rail links between key cities in the Great Lakes basin, although it doesn't mention any by name.

The environment also gets its due in the report with recommendations that include clear regional standards for greenhouse gases and a bi-national cap-and-trade system for carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases.

By 2030, the Brookings Institute recommends, both countries should have what it calls a "next-generation NAFTA."

mututally recognized for seamless and unhindered, to make it easier to keep track of our whereabout, seamlessly. Like cattle and produce.

Monday, March 24, 2008

must listen 2 part series.!!!!

thanks to the CBC for this excellent look at: The Surveillance Society. The New Authoritarianism. The Age of Paranoid Politics.

grim milestone, "green card" or otherwise

Overall US death toll in Iraq hits 4,000

Last year, U.S. military deaths spiked as U.S. troops sought to regain control of Baghdad and surrounding areas. The death toll has seesawed since, with 2007 ending as the deadliest year for American troops at 901 deaths. That was 51 more deaths than 2004, the second deadliest year for U.S. soldiers.

The Associated Press count of 4,000 deaths is based on U.S. military reports and includes eight civilians who worked for the Department of Defense.

Gosh and here I thought that much touted surge was working, but , no, 2007 ends as the deadliest year for the American troops.

technology in unusual places

Last call: Japanese tombs link up with cell phones

- Bereaved Japanese will be able to keep in touch with their loved ones beyond the grave by using mobile phones to scan bar-coded tombstones and view photos and other information about the deceased.

In tech-savvy Japan, the square black-and-white codes are already widely used to load maps on to mobile phones, and are usually printed on business cards or restaurant brochures.

Ishinokoe, a Japanese tombstone maker, will place the codes behind lockable stone doors on the tomb so only relatives with a key can scan them.

green card soldiers

There has been little discussion concerning the recruitment of soldiers, from poor nations to fight in the Iraq war. It seems not to many Americans want to fight in Iraq. Really who can blame them? But the issue of foreign nationals being actively recruited hasn't been , one we have seen screaming from the headlines. It certainly does not play into the portrayal, of the patriotic American fighting for their countries "freedom". No ,that is most certainly not suitable war time propoganda. Hence the under reporting of this type of activity.

The estimates for the amount of non citizens fighting on behalf of the US are as high as nearly 40,000 individuals. These soldiers are knows as "green card soldiers". They are citizens of countless other countries, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatamela to name a few.

How is it that the US was able to get these largely impoverished foreigners to fight and die for a country they weren't born in, and were not citizens of?
The lure was an opportunity at citizenship, US citizenship. The imagined holy grail for the young, the poor, the hopeful. President Bush had signed an executive order, making these foreigners eligible to apply for citizenship as soon as they enlist to fight.

The issues surrounding the green card soldiers are many. Should non-citizens be fighting for a country , they have no perceived loyalty to, no allegiance, one could say? Should the promise of citizenship be used as means of recruiting such individuals?

What if they die, in service to America, without gaining there citizenship?

The citizenship is granted postumhously, but , that can be a bitter pill for the remaining family members. More then 100 soldiers , so far have been granted citizenship, after death.
Was citizenship worth such a high price?

As Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, who oversaw the burial service, of a green card soldier."There is something terribly wrong with our immigration policies if it takes death on the battlefield in order to earn citizenship."

I would agree and disagree with Cardinal Mahony, yes there is something wrong with the immigration policies of a nation, that require peoples to fight and die, to gain citizenship.
I disagree in that is not the only problem with this policy, it is also the use and abuse of poor people,of all ethnicities to do the bidding of an imperialistic nation.
A nation that chose a war for plunder, then further plunders from and exploits the poor uneducated world citizenry who are looking for a chance at getting ahead.

In death there is no opportunity.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

re: clean water

I was chatting today, with a family member, and we were talking about water.
While we were talking, I had mentioned a conversation I had with a local politician.
Over the issue of fluoridating the water.
Or I should say reinstating the fluoridation of the water.
Well this local politician and I spoke at great length about water fluoridation and my own numerous concerns about it. Which I will regurgitate in another post. While debating the fluoride issue I mentioned to this politician that my greatest concern lies in clean water, free of drugs, free of pollution, and that I had infact written to numerous other local politicans about this issue. I told this local politician during the course of our conversation , as I had told the others , that we need to keep our most precious resource not only clean, but affordably clean, not just for now but for future generations.
Well he agreed!
I told him ,I felt water was going to be the next "big issue" and he agreed.
Though in the end, we had to agree to disagree on the fluoride.
We both agreed that water, clean affordable water, was extremely important.
At least we agreed on one thing!

more on water, a vital resource.

Drugs found in drinking water, affecting wildlife and humans

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation show
How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. Unused drugs also are flushed. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

Research shows pharmaceuticals in water could impact human cells

Troubled by drugs discovered in European waters, poisons expert and biologist Francesco Pomati set up an experiment: He exposed developing human kidney cells to a mixture of 13 drugs at levels mimicking those found in Italian rivers.

There were drugs to fight high cholesterol and blood pressure, seizures and depression, pain and infection, and cancer, all in tiny amounts.

The result: The pharmaceutical blend slowed cell growth by up to a third — suggesting that scant amounts may exert powerful effects, said Pomati, who works at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Clean water is so vital to our lives, it is life, and unfortunately, we have abused this resource in a shameful way.

march 22, world water day

what is Canada up to??? No good , I am afraid, no good at all!!

"The Canadian government is at it again."

That was the opening line in an urgent email we received this week from an international NGO working to promote the right to water at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Centre on Housing Rights and Eviction (COHRE) had just participated in a session where the Canadian government had undermined a key resolution tabled by Germany and Spain at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on March 10 that calls for water and sanitation to be recognized as a human right. The resolution, which will be voted on within the week, is currently being debated at the UNHRC session in Geneva that ends on March 28.

*Canada has presented numerous objections that have been echoed by the United States.

*As it stands, Canada and the United States are the only two countries to go on record at the United Nations to oppose the right to water.

In a nutshell, there was a report, by Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stating that "specific, dedicated and sustained attention to safe drinking water and sanitation is currently lacking at the international level"

and recommending that access to safe drinking water and sanitation be recognized as a human right.

Yup water is definitely a human right ! You'll get no arguement from me on that, and anyone who argues that is either 1. not living, or 2. is a really stupid ,greedy ,corrupt and inhumane living being. Scratch the first one, cause anyone not living , couldn't possibly argue that water is not a vital human right. So it leaves us with only option number 2.

and where is Canada standing on this?

* Canada is working to weaken the resolution by demanding that references to the right to water and sanitation be removed and that the scope be reduced.

* Canada wants the proposed position of "special rapporteur" to be downgraded to "independent expert" serving for only one year instead of the proposed three years.

* Canada is also opposing visits by this expert to individual countries and the granting of a mandate enabling them to clarify the content of the right to water and sanitation.

* This is the third time in six years that member nations of the UN have pushed for recognition of the human right to water. On each occasion, Canada has rejected the efforts to have water recognized as a right.

* At a 2002 meeting, Canada stood alone among 53 countries by voting against the appointment of a special rapporteur on water.

* More recently, Canada reacted negatively to an October 2006 resolution of the UN Human Rights Council to conduct a study on the right to water.

Oh Canada, why are you doing this?

The reality is the resolution would be at odds with the North American Free Trade Agreement, which defines water as a good and an investment. The real issue is that the Liberals, like the Conservatives, refuse to reopen NAFTA to remove water. They would rather deny Canada and the world the right to water.

In other words Canada wants to be able to make water into a commodity, as agreed to with the US. In other words Canada along with the US, does not want to recognize the absolute human necessity of water, for LIFE.
No instead Canada, wants to recognize bogus 'trade' agreements and the rights of corporations to exploit a necessary, vital , human resource, instead of recognizing water for what it is.

Water is Life!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

insightful quote

Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.

~ Henry Kissinger

hey GW, where are your daughters?

a new Bushism?

or how stupid does this man think people are??

"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."

"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.

well this man has two daughters , both old enough to have this "fantastic experience", that is "exciting" & "romantic". His daughters can make history too! They can make papa proud.

another thought............................

“I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.” — Stephen King

hell, there is alway's that option for George Bush's girls?

Iraq- the most deadly war for journalists

bearing witness

Friday, March 21, 2008

Canada makes a big mistake.

Canada recognizes Kosovo

big mistake!
in a nutshell

Canada formally recognized the breakaway republic of Kosovo on Tuesday, a decision Serbia said was a major mistake that could encourage separatists in the province of Quebec.

"I am very disappointed by this unwise decision that violates both international law and the territorial sovereignty of Serbia," he said in a telephone interview, saying the move could have implications for Canadian unity.

oh yes, it will encourage the seperatists in quebec.

I think that is exactly what the Harper government was going for with this move.
The pot is stirred, the wound is open.
Now this will occupy the minds and times and headlines of the Canadian press.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, the SPP, which is the prelude to the NAU, will forge ahead, unchecked, by the press and the people of Canada whose attention will be diverted by this divisive smokescreen.

Divide and conquer

This move fits that concept perfectly

This strategy can be undertaken, by a number of means, militarily , economic or politically.
Some typical elements of this strategy, that of course can be employed in numerous ways:

creating or encouraging divisions among persons, group of persons, or regions, that could potentially form alliances or unify in a manner that could challenge the "power"

Canada, you've just been divided, enabling the conquer.

an early easter, a long winter

Pity the easter bunny

This is the first year since 1913 that he'll be showing up so early and contending with the wintry weather conditions.
Easter in the Western world is generally celebrated in April, but there are the unusual years, like this one, when it occurs in March.
Easter is a movable feast tied to the cycles of the moon. It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full paschal moon, which appeared Thursday.
No one alive today will be around to see that happen again. The next time Easter Sunday will come so early in March will be 2228.
The last time it fell on a March 23 was 95 years ago.

Happy Birthday also, to a vip, well to me anyway!! Who just happens to be sharing a birthday with easter this year.

The ties that bind.

Hashim Thaci, the Prime Minister of the newly 'independant' country of Kosovo.
Kosovo of course , finds it's most stalwart support and immediate validation, with the US.

Who is Hashim Thaci , and why does his ascendancy, seem like one that we have seen played out before? On far more then just one occasion, actually one can say, it seems to be a commonplace scenario in US geopolitics.

Briefly, who is Hashim Thaci?

Born on April 24, 1968, a native of the hardline Drenica region of Kosovo, appears to have been educated abroad.
Upon return, Thaci becomes one of the senior figures of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Thaci had(s) been a leader in the KLA since 1993. The army emerged in 1997 to launch a guerrilla war for the province's secession, capitalizing on Albanian disappointment.

But did the KLA emerge, as an independance army in 1997? Just out of nowhere? As has been implied, as some type of urban legend? Or had they long been active, not as an independance movement, but as something else?

In 1997, the KLA was recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization linked to the drug trade. President Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, described the KLA as, "without any questions, a terrorist group"

Beside drug smuggling, there were also auto theft rings, prostitution and more.

It leaves one wondering, how a man involved with a group such as the KLA transitions from a recognized terrorist to freedom fighter, rather like a Contra in Nicaraugua.
Then transitions from freedom fighter to Prime Minister.

Is it because he is an opportunist, a man of no scruples, willing to bend to any master?
The master being the US, the first to endorse , their new creation.

The story of Hashim (snake) Thaci, is like the story of Saddam Hussein, Shah of Iran, Augosto Pinochet to name but a few. This is why this scenario is so familiar. All of these men seized power, in very questionable ways. Though murder loomed large in all of their profiles as it does in Hashim Thacis' . Murder and terrorism. Though they may have grasped power in different circumstances or by different means.
The one common thread that ties them all together is the backing and aid of the US.

In every case , Iraq , Iran , Chile and I am sure , it will be the same for Kosovo, this will be of no benefit to the people themselves. Though I am sure it will be enriching for Thaci !

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Condemned by a label

DNA database plans for children who 'could become criminals'


Primary school children should be put on the national DNA database if their behaviour suggests they will become criminals, a senior Scotland Yard expert said yesterday.

If there "behaviour" suggest they will be criminal?
Have a temper tantrum in pre-school? Oh he is sure to be a criminal!
Throw a toy! Well ya know, that one will surely bludgeon someone.
Hit another child! There's a perp!
He or she may still have an "accident", but hell, we already know that's a criminal!

Does this strike anyone as odd, way out there, or what the hell is that about??
Will this follow this child all through school ?
Is this rational? Or even healthy for child to labelled a potential criminal at such a young age?
Is it even realistic?
What parent would allow this?
There was a voice of reason

Chris Davis, of the National Primary Headteachers' Association, said Mr Pugh's suggestion could be viewed "as a step towards a police state."

He added: "It is condemning them at a very young age to something they have not yet done. To label children at that stage and put them on a register is going too far."

Doesn't this make home schooling look that much more attractive, and a way to save your children from excessive state intervention??

Let's hope sanity prevails.

Bush ok's supplying arms to Kosovo

Bush ok's supplying arms to Kosovo
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President George W. Bush authorized Wednesday supplying Kosovo with weapons, signaling the establishment of government-to-government relations after recognizing its independence, the White House said.
In a memo to the State Department made public by the White House, Bush said: "I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to Kosovo will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace."
The leader of Kosovo is a KLA terrorist
Up until 1998, the KLA was a recognized terrorist organization.
but then something changed?

"Prime Minister Thaci is a former ruthless KLA warlord who called himself "Snake" and the commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps is Agim Ceku, who made a notorious name for himself as a war criminal in Croatia."
and now the US arms the terrorist?

a quotation, in honour of the 5th anniversay of the Iraq attack

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lies + manipulation = war

So I understand that this month is the 5 yr anniversary of the attack on Iraq.
What a milestone.
For those of us who were not in support of the lusted after war, obviously this is not a surprise.
Sadly a great many of us were warning of just this happening.
Unfortunately the population was duped by the lies of the government.
Fear was used to conjure up a heightened sense of urgency, when there was no urgency.
Fear was used to impair rational thought, and reasoning.
Fear that turned the populace, nay, reduced it to a shadow of it's former self.
Fear that turned a country founded on idealistic principles , into a country cowering, at every fleeting movement.

One can say it was 9/11 that changed the world,
that made the Iraq war a necessity.
For that is what many people thought , and probably still believe.
but, I daresay that is not true.

9/11 changed nothing,
the world has witnessed attrocities far worse then 9/11
It was not the day the world changed
It was in fact, just another day
like too many others,
in too many parts of the world.

The only thing that 9/11 changed, was the population of America
from people capable of rational thought
to people incapable of rational thought
to people who allowed themselves to be manipulated, so far along now
that more America citizens have been killed ,
fighting a war for plunder,
then were killed on 9/11

Not to say anything of all the dead Iraqis,
woman , old and young, children, grandma's and grandpa's
the torture , rapes and mowing down of innocent lives.
Houses and buildings destroyed.
No water , sewage in the street, disease, starvation.
Is that liberation?

The NAU hidden in plain sight.

Future of North America: Vancouver 2010, Coronation of the North American “Community”

Vancouver sounds like , an experiment in implementing NAU security, as opposed to Canadian security.

Including the use of three countries troops , American officers arresting Canadians?

All of a sudden that agreement signed, in secret, leaked to the Canadian media is looking that much more questionable.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Update: Tent City, California

Ontario, California residents only allowed in Tent City.

The BBC aired in their reporting, the had the population count for tent city wrong. Or had it already gone from 300 to 400 in such a brief period of time??

Many who had taken shelter at the camp -- which had grown from 20 to more than 400 residents in nine months -- lacked paperwork, bills or birth certificates proving they were once Ontario residents.,1,7073495.story

So they can be homeless in tent city, they just gotta be the 'right' kinda homeless!

Tent City USA- a trendy new enclave

Interestingly, the foreign press appears to be paying attention to the growth of Tent City, California.
The Australian press had reported that initially the population of tent city was 20, upon opening in July 2007. By Dec. 2007, the population had grown to 200, a ten-fold increase in just 6 months. The BBC has been the most recent media outlet to report on this growing enclave, who's most unique feature is an ever expanding population. As of March 2008 , Tent City has a population of 300 and growing. From zero to 300 in just 8 months!

Who are the residents of this growing new 'sanctuary'? Well some of them seem to have lost their homes in the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

One resident was quoted as saying It came down to "feeding my family or keeping the house", he said, "so I got rid of the house". The property he lost is nearby in Ontario, California offering a middle-class suburban dream - green lawns, wide pavements, and parking for 2 cars!

His former home is in an area of the US that has the third highest rate of foreclosure in the country.

BBC has some video footage available with their report.

Kosovo , Serbia, what's it all about?

Here is another fine mess, brought to us, largely by the US with the help of NATO,
can we all say "trans-balkan pipeline"?

Canada & US agree to use each others troops

Here is a story , that just didn't get enough coverage in Canada or the US.
though Canada and the US have cooperated previously on other occasions, the need for a formalized agreements, was never an issue.
So it leads one to ask, a number of questions......
Why didn't Prime Minister Harper or his gov announce it? Why did it only get leaked to the press through the actions of a citizens group?
Did Canadians in their democracy vote to have foreign troops on home soil?
Did the Americans in their democracy vote for foreign troops on home soil?
Aren't foreign troops on someone else's soil generally invaders? occupiers?
North American Union here we come?!
The integration of the use of the two militaries on each others soil could indicate that?
Or is it simply that the american soldiers not being our countrymen would have less of a qualm about shooting a canadian and vise versa?
Is this a way to get around POSSE COMITATUS?
What exactly constitutes an emergency?
Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spitzer's lynching and the big bankers' enriching

Elliot Spitzer, like so many other politicians frequents prostitutes, not all of them have such a spectacular fall from grace. Thinking of the guy with the diaper! This news story from BBC journalist Greg Palast certainly lends an interesting angle as to why him and why now?

The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an "escort" $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there's a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush's man Bernanke was using ours.

This week, Bernanke's Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks' mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers' bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

this is just a small portion of an interesting article read the rest here &share your thoughts

A saying of interest

The journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.

divide and conquer

One of the first things I would like to write about is the phenomena of "divide and conquer".
I call it a phenomena, but is it? Or is it a tactic that has been used so long on people, that people now impose it on themselves?

In effect this is how divide and conquer works. Here is a simplistic explanation. A "power" whatever that power may be, a kingdom, a government, even an individual. Here I use the term 'power' as a noun, as that which attempts to control and influence any other entity. the power utilizes strategies, that work to break up or prevent a challenge or potential challenge to their power.
This strategy can be undertaken, by a number of means, militarily , economic or politically.
Some typical elements of this strategy, that of course can be employed in numerous ways:
  • creating or encouraging divisions among persons, group of persons, or regions, that could potentially form alliances or unify in a manner that could challenge the "power"
  • aiding and promoting those people or persons that are willing to cooperate with the "power".
  • fostering distrust amongst the persons, or leaders who are not willing to cooperate with the goals of the "power"
why is this strategy an issue for so many of us?
How many of us are aware of the use of this strategy, in our everyday lives?
Can we identify the divisive components of our society that keep us divided?
We shall take a good look at this, in up coming posts.

why penny for your thoughts?

'Penny for your thoughts' is a saying that has been around for ages. It more or less means tell me what you are thinking? That is my intent with this blog. To tell you, what is on my mind, what I am thinking about. Also, though, with hopes others will be generous enough to share their thoughts in a constructive manner also! I like to comment and delve into the news, in particular, other topics of general interest. Since I am Penny, when I post, I am also having fun with double entendre!
So here we go!