Monday, December 26, 2005

Truly Thankful


This is it folks, this is what a peaceful, democratic, multi-ethnic and religiously-tolerant Iraq looks like. The Western media's myopic focus on Baghdad and Arab Iraq means it's missed a quarter of the story, the northern quarter, where five million people are building the Middle East's first indigenous democracy from scratch. Every day Kurds thank me, believing I represent all Americans. They thank me for freeing them from a murderous tyrant. They thank me for saving their lives and their families' lives. They tell me that they understand we went to war for many reasons, some quite bad. Still, they say, no American has died in vain here, for even if there were no weapons of mass destruction, even if Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11, there is at least one good reason to fight and die in Iraq.

In fact, there are five million.

Merry Christmas, America. Merry Christmas, Iraq.

--David Axe

Stanley Cup Ring to the Nashville Predators? How 'bout a Knoxville Law Professor?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Coming out of the Woodwork

Just in time to say Merry Christmas to everyone.

Now back to your regularily scheduled non-blogging...


Monday, December 19, 2005

Quick Note

From President Bush's speech last night:

He was given an ultimatum -- and he made his choice for war. And the result of that war was to rid a -- the world of a murderous dictator who menaced his people, invaded his neighbors, and declared America to be his enemy. Saddam Hussein, captured and jailed, is still the same raging tyrant -- only now without a throne. His power to harm a single man, woman, or child is gone forever. And the world is better for it.


It is also important for every American to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done. We would abandon our Iraqi friends and signal to the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word. We would undermine the morale of our troops by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed. We would cause the tyrants in the Middle East to laugh at our failed resolve, and tighten their repressive grip. We would hand Iraq over to enemies who have pledged to attack us and the global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever before. To retreat before victory would be an act of recklessness and dishonor, and I will not allow it.

To hear a speech such as this, and then to listen to the party "leaders" here in Canada, causes me to despair. Compare those strong, resolute words with "pancake" Harper's comments last week,

"If I were prime minister, we would not be involved in Iraq. I would encourage the Americans and hope they're successful, but our government would not be there." Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, Dec. 13, 2005 at a press conference in Trenton, Ont.

Just what in the blue hades is he trying to do here? This is going to do anything to prevent further "hidden agenda" talks. He certainly isn't going to win over the hippie/leftist/pacifist/anti-war crowd in Vancouver, Toronto, etc. And now he has given his conservative base another reason to roll their eyes. You picked a position, Stephen, now you are flip-flopping and pandering and it makes no sense.

Is it possible to elect a leader in Canada whose spine does not consist of raspberry Jello?

And this is the best candidate for the job. Ergh.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Candidates

The Liberal candidate for Skeena-Bulkley Valley is Gordon Stamp-Vincent. Stamp-Vincent is a relative unknown in the political arena. As the article points out,

Winning the nomination was his first taste of political life. He only joined the Liberal party in August, and began thinking about running as a candidate five or six weeks ago.

Perhaps his being a political novice explains this statement about why he decided to seek the Liberal nomination,

“I don't know whether it was a moment of insanity,”

Well imagine that, there is truth in politics after all. One would certainly have to be insane to be a Liberal.

Aboriginal issues are also a big concern. Mr. Stamp-Vincent said Canada currently has one of its lowest-ever unemployment rates - but aboriginal communities aren't sharing in this trend. The MP has a large role to play, he said, in finding out what First Nations communities want and helping them achieve it.

We all know how much concern the Liberal Party of Canada has for aboriginal issues. And in case you have been hiding under a rock for the past... oh, forever, I am sure Darcey and the gang at Dust my Broom would remind you of their track record with "...finding out what First Nations communities want and helping them acheive it."

The Terrace Standard has a bit more background on Stamp-Vincent. As of today, he hasn't got a website I can post a link to. Neither does Mike Scott, the Conservative candidate for this riding.

Incumbent Nathan Cullen (NDP) has a website that can be found here.

Christian Heritage Party Candidate Rod Taylor's site is here.

On the radio today, I heard Mike Scott's campaign is going to focus on jobs and job creation. Not bad, considering the projected growth in mining for this region, upgrades to the Prince Rupert port, with fishing, logging, and tourism all on the increase as well.

I hope he doesn't simply stick with this issue though. It's not the most important policy to be running on. Even New Democrat supporters like Alan see the renewal of our military and foreign policy as vital.

More to come on the Skeena-BV candidates as I hear it.

The 33rd Standard

Nick has done it again, raising the 33rd edition of the Red Ensign Standard.

Go Read. Go Click. Go Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Covering Temujin's Lazy Ass

If you've been visiting West Coast Chaos lately, you've probably been wondering what the hell happened to Temujin. It's all very simple . . . Temujin went away "on business", expecting yours truly to cover his ass with Pei-style blog-work. I warned Temujin that I would end up doing a half-assed job of this, but he didn't seem too concerned.

So I post today just for the sake of posting, and to fulfill a promise I made to Temujin out of one side of my mouth. I suppose when one has a complete lack of things to say, the most reasonable thing to do is to link to somebody else who doesn't have this lack.

So I decided to link to a theological journal that posts everything online, First Things. This article is particularly interesting, since it deals with the question of hell, and whether or not the Bible actually teaches its existence. Towards the end, the author (Avery Cardinal Dulles), gives an interesting explanation for why the Bible is so silent on the question of who is saved and who is "going to hell":

All told, it is good that God has left us without exact information. If we knew that virtually everybody would be damned, we would be tempted to despair. If we knew that all, or nearly all, are saved, we might become presumptuous. If we knew that some fixed percent, say fifty, would be saved, we would be caught in an unholy rivalry. We would rejoice in every sign that others were among the lost, since our own chances of election would thereby be increased. Such a competitive spirit would hardly be compatible with the gospel.

Anyhoo . . . go read the whole article, it's great. And for other interesting articles on the intersection of theology and politics, etc., for to the main page.

Nucks' demise, or the break they needed?

Isn't it a shame Dan Cloutier's gone for the rest of the regular season (and perhaps for the playoffs)? Now Canucks management might actually have to go out and do something they've needed to do for years now, namely, to actually acquire a legitimate number one goaltender.

It's a little more than bewildering to me how so many fans in Vancouver have continued to put their faith in Cloutier, despite the fact that he's practically been to blame for the Canucks' playoff failure over the last three seasons now. His playoff save percentage and goals against average have been dismal (the worst of all playoff goaltenders, in fact) in every year that he's participated. And just when you think he's going to put all that failure behind him, he comes down with an injury in the Nucks-Flames series of 2004.

And once again he's injured, and doubtless there are some blind fans out there who are still excited about the day when Cloutier will return. Well, as far as this Canucks fan is concerned, Cloutier need never come back. I'm hoping never to see Cloutier in a Canucks uniform ever again. But, knowing Canucks management, we'll continue to suffer with Cloutier's physical fragility and mental instability until Jesus comes back again.

(Temujin's Note, 7:11pm Tuesday December 13 - Jesus is not coming back.)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Explosions in UK


I'm amazed that no one got killed.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Leave it to the Canucks

Well, you gotta give Nonis credit. The biggest trade since the Hossa/Heatley one occurs, and naturally everybody begins turning to eye inwards. "Where was Nonis during this trade?", "When are we going to start making some improvements?", and "When is the Canucks management going to start looking like they care?"

And in the midst of these questions, Nonis takes a giant leap of faith, completely exonerating himself with a move like this. Here are some things you should know about Nonis' latest breath-taking acquisition:

Ouellet played with the Hershey Bears, Washington's affiliate in the AHL, and gave up five goals on 19 shots before being pulled from his only game.

And here's another nugget:

Ouellet was slated to back up Olaf Kolzig in Washington this season, but gave up seven goals in an Oct. 2 exhibition game against Pittsburgh [!!!], prompting the Capitals to claim Brent Johnson off waivers from the Canucks.

And finally, his AHL record:

He spent the NHL lockout playing for the Portland Pirates of the AHL, going 15-20-3 with a 2.89 goal-against average.

By all signs, a future franchise player.

Now, I'm not saying that Ouellet's not going to end up being a good goalie some day. Who knows? Maybe he'll be our next number one if Auld doesn't get his crap together. But then again, its the uncertainty of the trade that makes it so frustrating. While the Sharks are out making their team quantifiably better, the Canucks are taking a predictable back seat, doing just little enough to make us all wonder whether anybody actually did replace Burke. For some reason, Nonis is assuming that the "core" that we have now is going to surprise the whole world at playoff-time (I think most would agree that the team as it's currently playing would have difficulty getting to seven games in the first round). Well, "Earth to Nonis: The team sucks! We need to shake things up. Trade somebody and get something substantial in return! But just please, please, please do something!"

Friday, December 02, 2005

Don't you dare

Too many good blogs have bitten the dust recently.

Don't you dare.

The Danton Epic: The story of a boy who became a man and then did something he shouldn't have

"You'll see, you'll see and it's a much bigger story than you think," Frost tells the fifth estate. "It's because the FBI lied. They lied."

So says David Frost in defence of the man who those with the most knowledge of the case suspect of having plotted Frost's murder. If you want to be further dazzled by Frost's mastery of the English language, go here. Or, you can just take my word for it that he's a boob.

Here's what U.S. District Judge William Stiehl had to say about the case:

"I do not believe in over 18 years on the bench I have been faced with a case as bizarre as this one."

If you've been paying attention to this litte story, you'll know that it's very difficult not to hate every character involved (with the possible exception of Danton's mother, Mrs. Jefferson, who has been pretty much mute to this point). You have a psychotic former NHLer who has admitted to plotting somebody's murder; you have his hynoptist-of-an-agent hatching grand conspiracy theories involving the FBI (which, it would seem, couldn't possibly have anything to gain in all of this; but what do I know, a lowly student in Vancouver?); you have Danton's maniacal father, who has suddenly become the violent pursuer of a man he once publicly lauded as his son's saviour . . .

Basically, you have the makings of a number one blockbuster, except that you're missing the chief ingredient . . . a protagonist to cheer for.

Again, I would go with Danton's mother. You could make her the innocent bystander witnessing the unravelling of a family whose overbearing father elicits the scorn of his son as the latter slowly gives himself over, body and soul, to the preying coach, whose pubescent cult following's naive responsiveness slowly contributes to an increasing self-confidence that eventually sees the raptorial coach adopt delusions of autocratic sexual ownership. Having experienced no genuine model of adult guardianship, "the boys" vulnerably submit until a day when one of them finally sees the fundamental depravity of the whole situation. His mind already mostly gone, having found itself subject for most of its existence to the caprices of two very sick men, the boy, by this point a man, conceives of a plan of which he almost immediately repents. But no amount of repentance proves enough to undo the effects of the weakness (and sincerity) of a moment, just as no amount of evidential weight will stand in the way of the predator's ongoing attempts at controlling his victim's life and circumstances with telephone romance and public counter-claims.

And, of course, the ending has yet to be determined. Maybe the wife/mother will win the lottery and get the hell out of there. Or maybe it will end with some mass Shakespearean genocide. Either way, it's a strange story.

That peccant we call Conrad

They're really hyping this case up. Here's to Patrick Fitzgerald kicking some former-Canadian-megalomaniac-ass.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cullen's Webmaster

Someon really needs to update NDP MP Nathan Cullen's website.

You have to scroll to the bottom to find his thoughts on the non-confidence vote, and there is nothing in his events calendar (although this is somewhat understandable because his itinerary has probably changed quite a bit).

Come on NDP webmaster, get cracking!

And the Conservative candidate for Stikine-Bulkley Valley is doing no better. Where's the website, Mike?

Candidate: Man without a Face

The Liberal Party Candidate for Stikine-Bulkley Valley.

Perhaps they realize they have no chance of winning in this riding.

Bwa hahahahaha!

Fellow in need

Watch though, as we stop to pick up the poor fellow we just booted out of the car.

He'll get back in the car, but I'm really hoping he ain't in the driver's seat.