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    Friday, September 30, 2005

    Wookie Ball

    Stardate 4634.7

    Great form. Chewie threw the first pitch in a Jays/Red Sox game to promote an exhibition at the Museum of Science... The Jays won 7 to 2, not that it matters since they have totally sucked for the last month.

    Crooks Get Severence Packages Too...

    Stardate 4633.0

    David Dingwall resigned from his post as the president of the Royal Canadian Mint after allegations that his enormous expense account wasn't all for business. This guy had a salary of over $200,000 a year, and charged up his Golf Club fees to the Mint. He charged up a lot of stuff to the Mint. He and his aides spent a TON of money for meals, travel and just about everything, that us taxpayers have to cover. This is over and above his salary. Now, they are ironing out the details of a severence package.

    I am dumbfounded. Of course, if there is an investigation, and the guy is shown to be innocent, then by all means, give him some slack. But if the allegations of his spending are true, then how can they even think of giving him a severence package? He should be paying back what he charged up...

    Pump Price Watchdogs and Alternatives...

    Stardate 4632.8

    CBC - Ottawa wants to create a new agency to watch gas prices at the pump and increase the use of alternate sources of energy.

    This idea, proposed by Industry Minister David Emerson, will go to cabinet next week. This could increase the ability of the federal competition watchdogs to monitor prices and create some relief for low income families in the area of heating costs.

    This proposal coincides with the release of Hugh Mackenzie's report yesterday.

    Could be a good idea as far as I can see, though in the long run, it may cost much more than it is worth to actually put this into operation. Regulation may be a far simpler solution. Gas prices are already regulated on Prince Edward Island.

    Alternate sources of energy and perks for using them are possibly the best solution I can see however. Perhaps the Federal government could give incentives to people towards purchasing Smart cars which are much more environmentally friendly in both use and production. I have only seen a handful of these in Alberta, but to me, it makes sense to drive one. They appear to cost about $15,000 US so some form of grant or help would possibly make many more people interested in them. Not only do they use minimal fuel, but the much smaller size helps with traffic congestion, especially in large cities where the shear volume of traffic and polution is huge.

    There is always the age-old car pool as well. Public transit, pools, they can all help ease the consumption and use of fuel.

    Thursday, September 29, 2005

    Dagon? Not Quite But Still Amazing...

    Stardate 4629.0

    I always remember the tales... 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and others. I have been fascinated with squid, octopi and many other cephalopods for a long time now. Perhaps it is the absolute alien nature of their appearance, communication and habitat, or maybe something else like the inherent intelligence shown by many of the smaller species of cephalopods. This picture is classic, and induces the fear of the unknown depths of our largely unexplored oceans into the hearts of seamen everywhere. It also makes for some pretty exciting reading or movie watching. Legends of giant squid hundreds of feet long, devouring not only the crews, but the entire ships of olde. One of my favorite authors, H.P. Lovecraft, has explored many deep-sea creatures, and went as far as to base a complete mythois off of many existing creatures and deities. The Ancient Old Ones like Cthulhu and Dagon may have come from the stars, but they most certainly live in the darkest depths of our own oceans. But this is all the stuff of fantasy and dark myth. Or is it?

    Some of these real life Architeuthi have been studied, but always, they are either dead and washed up or dying in a deep-sea fisherman's nets. Never have they been witnessed in their natural habitat until now.

    Yahoo - Scientists capture giant squid on camera...

    This news and the pictures have been floating around the weeb for a few days now, so I thought I would post about it too,since really, it is just so darned cool. These monstrous beasts have been measured up to 18 meters or 59 feet in length, and there have been some sightings and photos of them prior to this. However, this is the first time that scientists have studied the Architeuthis hunting and attacking (bait) in it's natural environment. It is obviously very difficult to study these creatures, especially locating them to begin with. The amount of specialised equipment needed is amazing.

    The scientists were surprised by how aggressively the Architeuthis attacked the bait. I am not sure I would be so surprised. They seem to be built to kill and considering their size, and the amount of food they would require to propel their monstrous bulks around the highly pressurized deep sea, they would need a lot food indeed. Imagine the pressure the Architeuthis could exert with it's tentacles, which can exceed 6 meters in length! These creatures are often eaten by large whales, and one can only envision the terrifying battles between such deep sea monsters.

    These pictures were taken approximately 900 meters below sea level in the North Atlantic. Other pictures have been seen showing these beasts, both alive in the ocean as well as the many of them on beaches and even in labs, but not feeding in their natural environment like these. This is new, and will likely lead to further exploration and study of these massive, ominous creatures.

    This old picture was taken when an Architeuthis was found in Norway in 1954. Of course, back then and even earlier there was no equipment available to attempt to track and study these creatures. There were parts of them on display in museums as early as the 17th and 18th centuries, but they were never listed in official Zoology texts until 1857. Imagine the terror in the 17th century if one of these was found on the beach! Nowadays, with television, movies and all other forms of media, we are exposed to more horrific creatures every day, both real and fantastic.

    This is a CGI representation created by ARL but still quite a cool and accurate image in my opinion, not that I am an authority on Architeuthi by any means...

    Gasoline Price Gouging? Perhaps...

    Stardate 4627.8

    CTV - We have seen a brutal increase in the price of gasoline over the last month or two. In Alberta, we are lucky (I say this tongue in cheek) as the price has only gone from around $0.85 as high as say $1.15 or so a liter. In other parts of the country however, the price has been much, much higher.

    There has been some action taken though! A report due out today could confirm what so many unhappy motorists suspect; that oil companies are gouging us at the pump, based on fears of gas being in short supply.

    The price of crude has gone up by $10 a barrel since June. According to some economists though, the price reflected at the pump is far too high. For every $1 increase in the price of oil, gasoline should only increase by 0.8 cents a liter, even after taxes, so simple math shows that a $10 a barrel increase would only be about an 8 cent difference. The price should not have gone over $0.95 cents a liter....

    But until the report is released, we can only speculate.

    *** UPDATED ***

    Hugh Mackenzie's report is HERE in pdf format. Thanks Jim.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    WWdN: In Exile

    Stardate 4624.8

    Well it would appear that nanites or some such nasty evilness has invaded Wil's site.

    Go HERE to read his posts until he has exorcised his gear :D

    Dingwall Resigns Over Expense Probe

    Stardate 4623.8

    CTV - David Dingwall, a former Liberal cabinet minister and the president of the Royal Canadian Mint has resigned following the release of documents showing that he and his top aides charged up expenses of over $740,000 last year alone.

    The documents show that he and his aides spent $130,000 on travel, $14,000 on meals and $11,000 on hospitality. Apparently, Dingwall charged $1,400 worth of golf club fees and other Society membership dues to the Mint.

    According to CTV's Rosemary Thompson, "he was not only charging for expenses like travel, he was also charging for things like chewing gum, water and newspapers..." He maintains that all of his expenses are key to his position as president of the Mint.

    Since he was appointed, the Mint went from recording losses to profits for 22 straight months now. So he was doing a good job apparently, but his salary of over $200,000 a year wasn't enough to cover everyday things I guess. Of the massive expenses, much of it seems to be legit, but in one case, an aide, Gloria McArter, charged up $5,300 for one meal!

    Now maybe I simply don't understand the upper class fuddle-duddle but for $5,300 she had better have fed several hundred people! When people like this start charging up meals like that, and their gum, water and newspapers, the next thing will be cigarettes, school fees and the rest of the stuff that normal folks like you and me pay for every day! And my salary is no where near $200,000 a year. In fact, i wouldn't dream of charging my measly $40 slo-pitch ball dues to my company, so how does he figure the Mint should pay his Golf Club fees?

    DeLay Indicted...

    Stardate 4623.4

    Washington - A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

    House GOP rules require any member of the elected leadership to step down temporarily if indicted...

    “I have notified the Speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority Leader pursuant to rules of the House Republican Conference and the actions of the Travis County district attorney today,” Mr. DeLay said.

    This is something that he had tried to change some time ago in the House, where they would not have to step down if indicted, but this was quickly overturned.

    England gets 3 years with the blame game defense

    Stardate 4622.8

    Fort Hood, TX - PFC Lynndie England was dishonourably discharged and received 3 years in prison for her part in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses. Her excuse didn't get her off the hook, but then should it have? No freaking way. I think 3 years is a joke as it is. Considering the rammifications of her actions, and the other soldiers who were already charged in this affair, 3 years seems pretty darned lenient. She has both directly and indirectly helped fuel the anti-war sentiment in not only the US but all over the world, as well as redefining the treatment of prisoners everywhere, thus endangering the lives of peacekeepers, US troops, and in fact any troops that are captured in conflict.

    But I digress... She succumbed to peer pressure. Her big, mean, probably quite hairy, domineering boyfriend (who got many more years than her) made her do it. The smiles, grins and laughter were all a front, put on just to titillate his senses. This is no different than the teeager who falls in with the wrong crowd... You know, the kid who smokes pot because his buddies do, or starts drinking to hang out with the cool guys under the bleachers at the football game... or sells her body to buy the heroin she got into with her boyfriend...

    It's a sad tale that society has dealt with forever. Fact of the matter is, it should NOT be an excuse. It is all part of the big blame game that society has taken on as the solution to everyone's mistakes. Why not blame it on her parents? Her upbringing? Her boyfriend?

    Why not just take responsibility for your actions? That is what people REALLY need to do.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    Bush Photo Op; The Caption Game!

    Stardate 4619.7

    I found this picture on My Visions...

    How about playing the CAPTION GAME!!!!! or Bush's rebuttal...

    Star Trek, Origins to Cancellation, Which is Your Favorite?

    Stardate 4618.0

    For years I have been a fan of Star Trek. Some shows were very special to me, and hold precious memories of when I was growing up, and some were merely filler in the spaces of humdrum that sometimes fill small segments of our being. However, the phenomenem known as Star Trek endures, and even now, with the cancellation of it's last incarnation, Enterprise, the show will live on in immortality on syndicated television and computers everywhere.

    It began for me, when I was very young. Perhaps 4 or 5, but the memory is sketchy at best back then. The original series was now syndicated in the early '70s and every day, I could watch my heroes battle Klingons and barbarians and nazis while Mom cleaned the house. I would quiver with aniticpation as a child, when the opening credits began and Kirk would start his intro... "Space, the final frontier..." For years I watched the shows religiously, and later on, I would tape what episodes I could and I still have those old casettes today. Of course, there are the torrents and many other places to find them in beautiful hi-res detail now, so there is never a worry about missing them again. Some of my fondest screen memories can be found in the likes of "The Squire of Gothos", "Who Mourns For Adonais" and "City On the Edge of Forever"... Considering the time this show was produced, and the budget it had, the feel of each set was amazing, and many of the special effects were truly remarkable.

    The Next Generation came out much later. I was older and had watched a good deal of classic sci-fi shows, like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Space 1999, but none compared to the original Trek. Next Gen began with a somewhat shaky start. Elements of the show were really lackign for me, such as the lady that cried on the bridge, Wesley (sorry Wil but I know YOU don't care...), bad jumpsuits... crummy drama as opposed to the all-guns-blazing route many old shows took. It took me many years to warm up to the Next Generation series, and even then, I shudder at some of the first episodes. The Next Gen offered up the most fearsome enemy *any* series good guys had to face, the Borg. These bad guys were so cool, I couldn't wait for more appearances from them.

    Deep Space Nine was kind of unique in that it started while Next Gen was in it's hay day and there was enough cross-over to make the series interesting. I didn't like the lack of exploration that wasn't present untillater int he series, but a few of the characters were pretty good. When Worf made the change over, the show got really good, but for a stand-alone Space Station drama, I much preferred the newer Babylon 5. Again, I shunned the series at first, but later, many aspects grew on me. Doctor Bashear was an endearing character, and the Ferengi, though rather annoying, had some redeeming qualities about them that made their interaction with humans quite, interesting.

    Voyager had all of the promise of being something very cool. The last series lacked the "boldly go" that was the punchline of the previous two series, and with a ship getting lost a zillion light years away, there was promise fo great explorations and encounters. After stumbling through a few shows however, I quickly found that the characters were far too in depth. What I mean is that there were not a small group of in depth characters and then a bunch of secondary characters, it seemed more like each character was too important for their roles. Watching an entire episode about Kim (second rate character) and an ex-girlfriend he thought was dead was the nail in the coffin for me. The excitement was missing, and each show was soem sort of personal drama for one of the characters. No grand scheme, no kick ass action. I did like the Hologram Doctor a lot. Cool character...

    The final blow to the Star Trek franchise in my opinion was the highly anticipated "Enterprise". The first mistake they made here was getting Scott "Quantum Leap" Bacula to be Captain. His attitude was less than military, and I can't help but envision him at the start of "Leap" wearing the pink frilly dress... By this time, even though the show was taking place in a timeframe set before the original series, they had run out of fresh ideas. All they could do was rehash old adventures it seemed. This began with Voyager, but carried on quickly until the show was cancelled. Even Jolene Blalock as a spray on clothed Vulcan couldn't save the series. All I could say is good riddance.

    So now the meat of the matter.... A new poll! What is *your* favorite series?

    PS I have left out mention of the Animated Series and the Motion Pictures.

    Which STAR TREK series is your favorite?
    The Original Series
    The Next Generation
    Deep Space Nine
    Not a Star Trek fan

    Hmmm. Weird formatting on the poll, but it is in the sidebar on the main page... so there. :)

    Monday, September 26, 2005

    Cindy Sheehan arrested outside White House

    Stardate 4613.7

    No link yet, but MSN just reported that Cindy Sheehan was arrested outside the White House.


    Washington - Sheehan and several dozen other protesters sat down on the sidewalk after marching along the pedestrian walkway on Pennsylvania Avenue. Police warned them three times that they were breaking the law by failing to move along, then began making arrests.
    Sheehan, 48, was the first taken into custody. She stood up and was led to a police vehicle while protesters chanted, "The whole world is watching."

    Gee whatever happened to "the right of the people peacefully to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    "Silent Majority" Pro-War rally in Washington a flop

    Stardate 4613.3

    I was reading Tom Harper's "Who Hijacked Our Country" this morning, and he had written the answers to something I was wondering about all weekend. As we know, Saturday was a day of massive demonstrations againt the War in Iraq, with what coul dbe up to 200,000 people marching peacefully on Washington DC. Now the consensus amongst a lot of Republicans and Conservatives is that the War is actually a good thing, and the number of people who support the US invasion greatly outnumber he number against it. Common messages include "Cindy Sheehan is a terrorist" and "anti-war activists are traitors"... and so on. Well it seems that the "Silent Majority" as they are eloquently titled, wasn't going ot be shown up by the anti-war demonstrations, so on Sunday, they organised their own pro-war rally. I often wondered about the education level of some, but it would seem that the "Silent Majority" was outnumbered approximately 200,000 to 400 or 500 to 1!

    Tom also points out that among the rally's organizers, many of the websites don't even sport links to Army enlistment information. They are simply marketing tools to sell "slogans, tshirts and bumper stickers"... Now I am not one to suggest that pro-war folks should run out and enlist, but the fact is, at a pro-war event, you would think the army recruiters would be represented in full force. Both on the sponsor's sites, and their own.

    So for now, it would seem that the "Silent Majority" has indeed spoken. And they remain silent. With silence like that, I wonder how Bush ever won the election...

    Do we have a Wodgah? We will welease Wodgah....

    Stardate 4612.8

    MSN - Abu Ghraib, Iraq - The U.S. Military began to relese 1000 Iraqi detainees at the request of the Iraqi government to honor Ramadan. The first 500 were loaded onto busses and driven out today. The rest will follow later on this week. Last month another 1000 detainees were released as well.

    Apparently, Arab governments tend to release non-violent offenders during Ramadan, but these releases seem to be geared towards encouraging the Iraqis to come out and vote in the October 15th draft constitution referendum.

    The U.S. government said it only releases detainees who are not guilty of serious, violent crimes -- such as bombing, torture, kidnapping, or murder -- and who have had admitted their crimes, renounced violence, "and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq."

    I am just glad that many of these people are being released. I imagine many are not guilty of anything, and hopefully, the ones that were actually guilty hold no grudges against the US occupiers. Yeah right...

    Ironically, the previous 1000 released prisoners were mostly Sunni Arabs however, the Sunnis are calling for a no-show at the polls for the referendum. Oh and the title is inspired by Monty Python... as the Mighty Woman Empire weleases pwisoners to demonstwate it's gweatness.

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Photo-Radar Gets Trashy

    Stardate 4608.4

    I am the kind of person who doesn't need to speed. I think speeding on Alberta highways is out of control and speed is a major factor in most collisions and fatalities. I am of the mind that photo-radar should be a lot more prolific than it is, and if the fines are high enough, it may help put a damper on some of the ludicrous driving out there now. 150km.h is NOT a safe speed for highway driving. These people think they are Andretti but sadly, they are not.

    A friend sent me some pictures of a new location for photo-radar and I must say, it is both extremely sneaky and welcome in my opinion... as long as it slows people down.

    The Fuzz, examining what appears to be a garbage can along the road...

    Oooh, look at that bad boy...

    Another "garbage can" on the road side...

    Things are not always as they seem...

    I believe these pics are from either Calgary or Edmonton. I am not sure.

    Saturday, September 24, 2005

    Peace and Impeachment...

    Stardate 4603.5

    CTV - Thousands of demonstrators converged on the U.S. capital today, in just one of the many anti-war marches planned for cities across America and Europe.
    Organizers predict as many as 100,000 people will gather in Washington D.C. to take part in the day of protest and remembrance that will include a march past the White House and culminate in an 11-hour folk concert featuring Joan Baez.
    The coalition of anti-war groups organizing the day's events say their unifying message is simply: "bring the troops home.''

    Rallies were also planned in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Brussels, Florence, Rome, Paris and Madrid.
    In London, thousands of protesters took to the streets calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

    Naturally, Bush will tuck tail and end up thousands of miles from any of this. Wouldn't want to ruin his weekend with hundreds of thousands of his citizens saying "Stop the war in Iraq!" now would we... Seriously, Rita has been downgraded to Category 2 now, and President McChimpy is going down there to oversee stuff in Colorado and Texas...

    However, this day is monumental in the fact that all over the US and the world, people are standing up peacefully and saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The war has gone on long enough, and the human cost is far too high for the continued occupation in Iraq.

    The time is now to pull out the troops and save as many lives as possible. The time is now to Impeach Bush for misleading his nation and others into this miserable failure of a "liberation"... More people will die, as I write this, and as the Peace marches go on throughout the day. More people will die when the marches are over. More people will die while the President has dinner tonight. No-one died when Clinton lied... Thousands died when Bush lied.

    The voices started by Cindy Sheehan and others are getting so loud that eventually they will become a shout and the President and his regime will no longer be able to ignore them. IT SEEMS AT TIMES, THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION FORGETS THAT THEY ARE THERE TO SERVE THE PEOPLE NOT VICE VERSA. Bring the boys back home. Take back your freedom and democracy. Impeach Bush...

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Canadian Progressives Support Stephen Harper

    Stardate 4599.0

    As a liberal supporter and a Progressive Blogger, I have come to realise that we must all support Stephen Harper as the leader of the Conservative party. He is undoubtedly the correct man to have at the top of the Conservative ladder, thus ensuring that they will never gain control of our government. If everyone supports Harper, it is a win win situation. He wins by staying in control of his party, and we win by keeping his party out of office. I say, bring on the Summer '06 BBQ tour. Please stop by my town, so we can talk burgers, Iraq and missile defense.

    Thanks to My Blahg for the linkage...

    "Staying the Course" is a Death Sentence For Troops and Civilians

    Stardate 4598.2

    I was scanning the news headlines this morning as always, and something jumped right out at me. One headline says "Bush dismisses calls to abandon mission in Iraq" and directly above it, the headline "More U.S. soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq". Now maybe the link between these isn't obvious to a lot of people, but to me, the second headline always appears, every day, like clockwork. In fact, every time Bush says "Stay the Course", the second headline comes up even more frequently.

    With the quagmire that is post Hussein Iraq right now, and the insurgent violence occuring every single day, I seriously question whether the people and the country are better off now that they are "liberated" than when Hussein was in charge. Many aspects have changed for the better, such as the fear of getting gassed by your own government, but of course now, you could get blown up instead. The old rape rooms are gone, but of course, there have been stories of such things happening since the occupation began. There used to be power, and now... well, there's power if your lucky.

    So if, in fact, the people are no better off than before, why stay? Halliburton's massive NO-BID contracts? Okay, there's a good reason. To save the embarrasment of waging a war based on lies, changing the story to suggest liberation of the people and then being impotent in dealing with the inevitable insurgency afterwards? Another good reason. That being said, are these reasons good enough for all of those devoted and decent soldiers to get killed for? What about the civilians? Before you say, wait a minute! All those terrorists and Al Qaida guys are the ones blowing these people up... think about it. There wasn't a large, organized Al-Qaida presence in Iraq until after the US invasion. The insurgents wouldn't be there if there wasn't an occupying army in every corner of the country.

    Let's see what Wikipedia says about "Insurgency"... (emphasis added)

    An insurgency is an armed rebellion by any irregular armed force that rises up against an established authority, government, administration or occupation. Those carrying out an insurgency are "insurgents". Insurgents conduct sabotage and harassment. Insurgents are usually in opposition to a civil authority or government primarily in the hope of improving their condition.

    So let's get this straight. In World War II, the French Resistance was an insurgency. To say anything different is preposterous in my opinion. They fought secretly against the German occupation to free their land and return the way of life they had to their people. These men and women were hailed as heroes by the West, and used ANY means necessary to destroy the German presence in their country.

    In modern era Iraq, the insurgents are doing the same thing. They may not be heroes to the west, but they are trying through every means possible, to remove the occupying army from their country. Now, the stakes are much higher however. Every anti-American terrorist organisation in the Middle East has a new presence in Iraq, and are helping these insurgents fight against the US. I will not say there were no terrorists in Iraq before the invasion, but the number has likely increased at an amazing rate since. They will use the occupation to their own ends and it is showing up painfully on the news every day.

    As long as the occupation continues, the attacks will continue and most likely increase in both frequency and intensity. As long as there is an American presence in Iraq, more and more *real* terrorists will jump the borders from neighboring countries. Until the US gets their army out of Iraq, more and more US soldiers are going to die. More and more civilians are going to die.

    Save lives. Get out now.

    Frosty Wosty Bobosty...

    Stardate 4597.7

    Yeah. I will not suggest winter is here yet, but it is definately time to say summer is over. Today was the first morning this year that I had to scrape my windows off. It was -4 celcius :( So since we had a brief bit of snow in JUNE, the only real months here that are not wintery in their clime are July and August? Jesus, why do we live in Alberta??? Oh yeah, we have pie-eatin' Ralph :P

    Palmeiro Fingers Tejada To No Avail

    Stardate 4597.6

    MSN - Palmeiro has said it was Miguel Tejada that gave him a vitamin B-12 shot and that the shot was responsible for his test result. As it turns out, the substance Tejada used was indeed vitamin B-12 and is totally legal for use. He gave Palmeiro the B-12 shot "a long time ago" and has been quickly cleared of any wrongdoing by Baseball's testing body.

    It looks grim indeed for the Sports Moron of the Year, as the Orioles' manager Sam Perlozzo has suggested that if Palmeiro tries to implicate a teammate, it is probably best for him to not return to the team to play this year.

    “If in fact that was true, then it probably would not be a good idea” for
    Palmeiro to return, Perlozzo said. “It’s all speculation as far as I

    Well, see you later Raffi :) Maybe they could use you in Kansas City.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Palmeiro; Sports Moron of the Year

    Stardate 4594.0

    MSN - Rafael Palmeiro has decided to blame a teammate for the substance found in his body. Not so long ago, Palmeiro had sworn under oath almost vehemently, that he had never taken steroids in his career "period".

    I look at this case in a funny way now. The guy was going to the Hall of Fame, and undoubtedly was a great player in the game. After the Congressional hearings, his fate was somewhat dubious, but then he had adamantly denied ever using steroids. Recently, he was busted with stanozonol in his system, a steroid that simply cannot be accidentally injested.

    He was suspended for 10 games, and upon his return was heartily boo-ed to the point that he had to wear earplugs his next at-bat. His Hall of Fame induction is in tatters and I am starting to suspect he wants to end his career with everyone involved with the Orioles and their fans hating him. He told the baseball arbitration panel that a teammate gave him an unknown substance.

    Alright, even if that excuse washes, (which it shouldn't since I highly suspect his teammate didn't knock him unconcious and force the unknown substance into his system through whatever means necessary) the fact that the guy is taking something that he doesn't have a clue what it is puts him up for the Sports Moron of the Year award...

    Hey, at least he's rich and has a lifetime supply of Viagra.

    Hurricane Rita Grand-Daddy of Storms

    Stardate 4593.6

    CTV - Hurricane Rita, now a Category 5 storm, is poised to smash into the coast between Texas and Louisiana. Over one and a half million people are fleeing so far before it hits land. Some of the winds are as high as 280 km/h and this could be one of the biggest storms of all time according to Steve Miller from the Canadian Hurricane Center.
    "The central pressure is stronger than what I saw with Katrina when it was in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico."
    Hopefully everyone gets out before it hits, and there are adequate safeguards in place to deal with the aftermath immediately!


    It has been downgraded to Category 4 again at lunch today...

    Red Shadow the Monk

    Stardate 4592.6

    I have finished a new miniature for a friend's D&D campaign in Calgary. He represents Red Shadow, a monk Player Character. He is not a competition quality piece by any means, but very nice playing piece for sure! He is 28mm scale.

    "Red Shadow is a young monk of growing renown. He lost his memory and his body hair at a young age, although he can remember a few fractured memories of time with his parents when he had hair. Found lost in the wilds, a short succession number of creatures (a Dragon, a human ranger, an elven bard and finally a monestary) took pity on the exceptional boy and raised him to survive in the harsh lands of Greyhawk. Surviving the massacre of his monestary only a few months ago, Red Shadow is already developing mastery of the Steel Fist and Snake Fist styles. His will and overconfidence are both incredible and frightening to behold, and his trademark symbol is the Rune of Pursuit..."

    There are more pictures of him on my site...

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Lynndie England to Fight Charges of Prisoner Abuse

    Stardate 4589.5

    Remember this? This is Lynndie England with a detainee at Abu Ghraib prison. According to one soldier, this picture was meant as a training aid.

    "This is how you drag a naked and beaten prisoner around with a dog leash..."

    Well now, Army PFC Lynndie England, one of the last junior enlisted soldiers to be dealt with in court for Abu Ghraib abuses is going to fight the charges. Two other soldiers have been convicted and another six cut plea deals and received prison sentences of up to 8 years.

    How is she going to fight this you may ask? I am glad you did, because her new strategy is to use her history of mental health problems as an excuse for this atrocious inhuman behavior. Obviously, since she is mentally ill, she was easily seduced by Private Charles Granar, the supposed "ringleader" of the abusing soldiers into carrying out these unspeakable acts. He is also believed to be the father of her young son...

    She had already plead guilty in May to conspiracy, maltreating prisoners and committing an indecent act for a cap of 11 years in prison on her sentence but the judge threw the deal out and now they are back at it again. Back in January of 2004, she had already implicated herself in the abuse scandal. In my books, it's a done deal. She has admitted to the crimes, and has even plead guilty already. I seriously hope the judge does the correct thing and locks her up for a long time.

    So how does someone that has such obvious deep-rooted mental illnesses actually get into the army anyways?

    Let's Get the "G" Out of Whine

    Stardate 4588.8

    When did someone who mispelled something have such an impact on the world? I mean, it is listed in Wikipedia even.

    When did whining about something become whinging about something?

    Sorry, just whinging I guess...

    *** UPDATED ***

    Thank you for the awesome and quick responses! I had no idea it was from Britain. I just see it all of the time and thought it was very strange that so many people use the term (I will not say misspell) as it is.

    You learn something every day :D

    Klein to Give Albertans $400 Each From Surplus

    Stardate 4587.8

    CTV - Ralph says each Albertan will receive $400 from the massive unbudgeted energy surplus. I think this is great personally, because it is always a battle to keep gas in the cars now, and our heating bill is going to be outrageous this year. Another $2.6 Billion will go to Infrastructure projects and other things.

    Ralph - The pie was this big... and I was terrified

    Now as much as I would like this money, I am really thinking that we could have used it for buying medical equipment or putting it into education. I read that the Calgary Chamber of Commerce wanted Coporate tax cuts, but I disagree with that. All that is doing is giving the rich more of a break. After all, we are Albertans, not Texans, so the money could be better spent elsewhere.

    As it stands though, I will wait with pleased anticipation for my cheque.

    More Distress for Harper

    Stardate 4587.8

    CTV - There is another call from one of his own for his resignation now. Last week, 4 Tories from Quebec all stood up to say he would never win an election and should resign, and this week, Carol Jamieson from Toronto is doing the same. She is the vice-chair of all Greater Toronto Conservative councils and has a very strong following in the Toronto area.

    In her letter, she writes: "The time has come for Stephen Harper to stop dreaming that his destiny is 24 Sussex Drive. That day will only come if one of its residents invites him over because they are looking for a stick-in-the-mud dinner guest."
    Harper seems to be involved in a Koboyashi Maru scenario all of his own. He thinks he could win an election if there was one right now, but his own party doesn't and wants new leadership. Perhaps he should call for a leadership election first...

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    On Racial Profiling and Hijackings...

    Stardate 4583.5

    Wikipedia defines Racial Profiling as "the use of race as one consideration in suspect profiling or other law enforcement practices".

    The question of the day seems to be whether or not current trends take this too far. Perhaps a police officer can use racial profiling to a certain degree alongside other factors when stopping suspects. For example, just because a person is Vietnamese doesn't mean he is in a Vietnamese gang, however, if he also sports certain tatoos, or other signifiers, then the use of profiling enhances the police officer's ability to apprehend gang members. If the police officer simply stops everyone who is Vietnamese, then the profiling is going to far. Not only this, but the police officer is not doing his job the way he should in my opinion.

    Using such profiling techniques at airport security is the issue at hand. Now it may be a given that the majority of airline hijacking is done by muslim extremists or so they say. A search shows that of recent hijackings, many were done by various other groups, including, East Indians, Japanese, Africans, Americans and Chinese. Most of the hijackings prior to the 1990 listing in this article were done by Lebanese or Palestinians (likely due to the ever present conflicts with Israel). So now, finally, an attack occurs with hijacked planes on US soil. This time, the hijackers are mostly from Saudi Arabia. Arabs. Or are they Muslim extremists? What you call them is not important. However, the fact remains that there was no profiling to the extent there is now, before these attacks. I would also suggest that just as many hijackings were done by other ethnic and religious groups, even Americans!

    So now let's go back and look at the airport security issue. Some people want every Arab searched like he was entering Fort Knox even though 99.9% of them are absolutely innocent of everything except being an arab. This sounds a lot like discrimination to me. It goes back to the police officer not doing his job. He should have research, surveillance, contacts... espionage. This goes for government agencies and airport security. They are taking the easy way out, and an entire ethnic group (if not more than just arabs) is paying the price with their equality.

    Historically, certain events have happened similar to this. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese people in California were forced over 200 miles away from the coast for national security reasons, and every piece of land and property was seized (The Alien Land Law). This put national security ahead of the great American democratic ideal of racial equality and in the end, long after the war, reparations were made to the displaced American citizens. The law says that in times of War, racial discrimination is justified in the name of national security.

    Currently, the US is not officially at war with any nation. The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with the Saudi-led attacks of 9-11 and the "War on Terror" is only a war in name. In fact, it is becoming one of the great paradoxes of the 21st century. The longer the "War on Terror" goes on, the more attacks will come, and the stronger the resolve of the muslim extremists...

    So if the US is not at war, they should not be using racial discrimination to profile people. The numbers show that of recent (since 9-11) hijackings, most were done by non-arabs.

    2005 - 1 - Columbian - old man in a wheelchair and his son.
    2004 - 3 - China, Sudan (Eritreans from Ethiopia), Norway (mad axeman was a refused asylum seeker)
    2003 - 7 - China, Turkey (Guy wanted to see his girlfriend in Russia), USA (DC-3C; ethnicity not known), Turkey (guy wanted to fly to Germany to join his father), USA (Cuban), Australia (irate passenger), Algeria (wanted to fly to Geneva)
    2002 - 5 - Columbia (leftist guerillas), Ethiopia, Sudan (Saudi Airline), Turkey (denies hijack attempt), France (mentally ill patient claiming to be an Al Qaeda man)
    2001 - 0 - After 9-11.
    2001 - 5 - Before 9-11; Sudan (hijacker wanted to go to Saudi Arabia), Saudi Arabia (suspected destination of Afghanistan), Columbia (wanted to go to Spain), Bangkok, Djibouti (wanted to go to Iraq)
    2000 - 23 - UK (Left Kabul for London for political asylum), Columbia (armed prisoner), China (Wanted to go to Taiwan), Egypt (Destination Afghanistan), Papua New Guinea (robbers), Phillipines (robber), Jordan (political asylum), UK (political asylum), USA (demanded to go to Antarctica), Hong Kong, Turkey, Peru, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Iran (go to France), China, Jordan (political asylum), Spain (Nigerian man being deported), Iraq (men wanted to make political statement), Israel, Iran (23 hijackers demanded to be taken to USA), Congo, UAE...

    So we can see that since 2001, there has been a marked decrease worldwide in hijacking attempts, but I would submit this is because of overall increased security... Also, you can see that even without knowledge of the ethnicity of some hijackers listed, many, if not the majority were either non-arab or in other parts of the world like South America or China. All of this data is taken from the Aviation Safety Database. The listings may or may not be complete.

    So does the continued discrimination of Arabs or Muslims for that matter make a difference? Why not search Chinese people? Or Columbians? It would make sense to me. Better check out all of the passengers, since that is really what security is supposed to do anyhow...

    Hurricane Rita

    Stardate 4582.7

    Tropical Storm Rita is expected to develop into a Category 1 Hurricane and take a similar route to Katrina. Obviously, at present, it will not be anywhere near as powerful, but do you think they are ready this time? Mayor Nagin from New Orleans has halted a plan to bring some residents back to the sunken city, so at least some folks are preparing.

    I just hope it doesn't get any worse than Category 1. The people down south don't need anymore water than they already have...

    *** UPDATE ***

    By noon today, the Hurricane has been upgraded to Category 2. In fact, experts say it could easily become Category 3 or higher very quickly. God help those people. Nobody else will.

    Korean Nuke Deal Just Beginning...

    Stardate 4582.6

    CTV - North Korea has declared it won't dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the U.S. first builds it a light-water nuclear reactor.

    "The U.S. should not even dream of the issue of (North Korea's) dismantlement of its nuclear deterrent before providing LWRs."

    Just 24 hours earlier, there was a historic agreement between North Korea and the other nations involved, and now this demand has come up with no warning. However, this appears to be another case of North Korea's "dramatic" style of negotiating... This coul dbe bad news for the deal however as the US has been strongly opposed to this proposition since before the recent deal. According to the deal as it stood, talk of the LWR would only occur after the deal was signed...

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Liberals Set For a Majority?

    Stardate 4579.0

    CTV - The federal Liberals had the support of 40 per cent of respondents in a new poll - virtually the same level of backing they received in rolling to their majority government in 2000.

    So.... now is the time Harper wants to have an election? Really? Hmmm. That sounds like good, solid politics to me... It would seem the Liberals have bounced back from the Sponsorship scandal and the woes that bagged them the minority election. Couple that with the lack of leadership on the Conservative front, and it is looking good for a majority win.

    The same poll puts the Conservatives at 24%, the NDP at 15% and the Bloc at 13 %.

    PS This post is for Kellog... :)

    Avast Ye Briney Swabs!!!!

    Stardate 4578.2

    Johnny Depp... Nice beads :P

    Avast ye yeller bellied-swabs!!!! Today is the day that we must all talk like a Pirate... Garrrrrr. Break out those patches, unsheath the sabres, and let piracy reign!

    Frank Ney (Ex-Mayor of Nanaimo) was a Pirate :P

    Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
    Drink and the devil be done for the rest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    The mate was fixed by the bos’n’s pike
    The bos’n’ brained with a markin spike and
    Cookey’s throat was marked belike It
    Had been gripped by fingers ten and
    There they lay all good dead men like
    Break o’ day in a boozing ken__
    Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum

    Fifteen men of a whole ship’s list
    Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum
    Dead and be damned and the rest gone whist!
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    The skipper lay with his nob in gore where the
    Scullion’s axe his cheek had shore
    And the scullion he was stabbed times four and
    There he lay and the soggy skies
    Dripped all day in up-staring eyes at
    Murk sunset and at foul sur-prise
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    Fifteen men of ‘em stiff and stark
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
    Ten of the crew had the murder mark
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    ‘Twas a cutlass swipe or and ounce of lead or a
    Yawning hole in a battered head
    and the scuppers glut with a yawning red and
    There they lay aye damn my eyes
    All lookouts clapped on par - a - dise all
    Souls bound just con – tra – ri - wise
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    Fifteen men of ‘em good and true
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
    Every man Jack could ha’ sailed with old Pew
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    There was chest on chest of Spanish gold with a
    Ton of plate in the middle hold
    And the cabins riot with stuff un told As
    They lay there that had took the plum
    With a sightless glare and their lips struck dumb
    While we shared all by the rule of thumb
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    Fifteen men of a dead man’s chest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
    Drink and the devil had done for the rest
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    We wrapped ‘em all in a mains’l tight with
    Twice ten turns of a hausers bight
    And we heaved ‘em over and out of sight with a
    Yo heave ho and fare you well
    And a sullen plunge in a sullen swell
    Ten fathoms deep on the road to hell
    Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

    Robert Lewis Stevenson and Young Ewing Allison

    North Korea Nuke Shocker

    Stardate 4577.8

    I have written on this matter several times in the past. The thought of nukes in nearly anyone's hands is a terrifying prospect, especially when some of the biggest voices against small nations developing these weapons have the most massive stockpiles of these brutal weapons.

    It would seem that North Korea has decided to halt all of their projects however. In a stunning move, they agreed to give up all of their nuclear programs and rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty... In return, they will receive energy aid and security guarantees.

    The six-party talks started in August 2003, and have met with many a stumbling block, raising tensions and fears around the world... this breakthrough, however, is the brightest the light has been so far. The biggest fear for North Korea is that the US has nukes on the Korean Peninsula and wants to invade the North. Part of this agreement, that will see the halt of all programs and the admittance of IAEA inspectors, is a pledge that the US will respect North Korea's sovereignty and vice versa...

    The biggest problem so far is that there is no definitive timeline as to when the inspectors will be allowed inside, and there is no knowledge of any weapons they may have developed already.

    I believe that now, more than ever, these sort of talks between many nations are key to help stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. With the current conflicts in the middle east, and other areas of the world, smaller nations have to be able to feel secure in their borders, or fear attack from bigger countries... This has happened a lot lately, and it is no wonder they want to develop some form of deterrent.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    When Fear Becomes Racism; the Erosion of Human Rights

    Stardate 4564.3

    Empires need scapegoats. They unite the majority (or even sometimes the minority as was the case in apartheid South Africa) against common "foes" thus solidifying a country and it's citizens. It has happened many times in the course of history, and usually, it is based upon two things: religion or color.

    The germans under the watchful eye of such monstrous leaders as Himmler, massacred millions of Jews, who they claimed were a threat to the Fatherland. They herded them into camps, and gas chambers, and did unspeakable acts upon them. It united the German people, sure, but at what cost?

    It happens today in Europe and many other parts of the world. Israel and Palestine have been waging a war of stupidity on each other for decades. The Serbs were massacred, and even in our wonderful country, we herded the native Indians onto reserves and locked them away...

    On September 11th, 2001, something profound happened in the US. The terrorist attacks hit home very hard, and made a lot of people realise that the mighty USA was just as susceptible as any other nation to these attacks. Of course, the people rallied under their glorious leader, Mr. Bush, and willingly, they plunged their youth into a war against the Taliban. Thus the "War on Terror" had begun.

    Realising that the attacks originated from Saudi Arabia, Mr. Bush made the next, logical move in attacking Iraq. Basically, he was now 0 for 2 in actually getting the people responsible for the attacks. Sure bin Ladin was hiding in Taliban ruled Afghanistan, but the funding and manpower had come from Saudi Arabia. Is it any wonder that Arabs and Muslims are pissed off now?

    So what happens next? Well, as with any Empire, a scapegoat is needed to unite the people, and bind them against a common enemy. Reading a recent article in The Daily Tar Heel by the now fired columnist, Jillian Bandes, made me realise how close this is to happening again, just like in Germany. She seems to have gone to the school of Ann Coulter fan-worship, and mixing that vehemence and narrow minded supremist attitude with the shock of Howard Stern, she opens her article with this:

    "I want all Arabs to be stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport.

    I don’t care if they’re being inconvenienced. I don’t care if it seems as though their rights are being violated."
    No, you wouldn't care. Even though you come back and list the people you do care about, like your own life, your family and friends, and the lives of Arabs and Arab-Americans you are privileged to know.... Next, she concludes that Arabs are part of an ethnic group responsible for most of the terrorist attacks against the West in recent times. So instead of solving this problem, namely terror attacks, and not Arabs, she decides that sadly, they should all be lumped together and strip searched no matter what.

    Further down the column, she goes on to say:

    "You can debate a lot of things about post-9/11 foreign policy, but one thing you can’t debate is that taking out terrorists — or blatant human-rights violators — is a good thing.

    You also can’t debate that of the 19 hijackers on those planes, all 19 were Arab.

    And you can’t debate that while most Arabs are not terrorists, sadly, most terrorists are indeed Arab."

    This stunned me for a second. After all, who has a whole boatload of people being held in prisons right now, with no charges, no lawyers, and no rights? Who has turned the rules around by twisting the truth, and making it all up as they go to justify the end? Why it is the good ol' boys in Washington. So by her own admission, the Bush administration should be taken out!

    However, it all comes back to Arabs. All of the 9-11 hijackers were Arab. So guess what? We had best conclude that Arabs are bad people as a general rule. No that isn't the truth at all of course, but it is what SHE is saying. By making every Arab at airports give up their rights and get probed, while all of the good white folk walk on by to board their planes secure in the knowledge that the brown guy next to them was cavity searched, she is saying that.

    Of course, her column gets even better...

    "When asked if she had a boyfriend, Ann Coulter once said that any time she had a need for physical intimacy, she would simply walk through an airport’s security checkpoint.

    I want Arabs to get sexed up like nothing else."
    Yeah... just like the ones at Abu Ghraib. They got sexed up really good. Most of those people (you remember the pics) had not been charged. They were just "enemy combatants" or "suspected militants" or any one of another handful of snazzy names. In fact, they were all brown though. And now that same mentallity strikes home.

    The US administration is faltering. Especially after the Hurricane, the President himself is in serious trouble in the polls. The people no longer believe in the President or their government's ability to protect them. The next logical step is to have a common enemy. Muslims, Arabs... they will do. Take away their rights and strip off their freedoms (and clothes) and the foundation of what the country was built on collapses. Well it is happening now. Some people, like Jillian Bandes, are so afraid of Arabs now, that they will be willing to do anything to protect themselves. Even if it means throwing away freedom and democracy and the rights of fellow men. What's next? Farms? Free lands to live on? Just go into that building to get cleaned up first, and we'll get you shipped off to the promised land. Don't laugh, it could happen easily.

    Naturally, racial profiling is not the answer. It simply cannot work. If arabs are all screened at the gates, why wouldn't Al-Qaeda send the white members in? Or other races? They can't be that stupid... and they surely have other non-arab members. So there is no point in stripping every arab at the gates. All it does is serve to erode Western society further, and this is likely the goal of the terrorists they are trying to stop.

    Thanks to Jesus General for the link...

    Garrrr, Mateys...

    Stardate 4563.0

    It is two and a half days until the official "Talk Like A Pirate Day" on September 19th... So get that cutlass sparkling and those pantaloons washed up!

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    The Decline of Western Civilization

    Stardate 4558.7

    The scavenged and raped shells of vehicles littered the expressway as far as the eye could see. Most were abandoned when their tanks ran dry, and some were dumped afterwards, when all the useful bits were taken. A thin column of smoke rises from the south. Somewhere, an engine fires, and staccato gunshots are heard. The thrum of the engine dies out and animated chatter could be heard...

    "Jim we gotta get this siphoned fast... before the Feds arrive."

    "Yeah. Those bastards will go to any length to hoard every drop available. How the hell are the generators at the camp gonna stay on if we don't get any at all? I mean, the hydroponic greenhouse system is already on the fritz and everything else needs the power supplied by the genset."

    "Remember the old days? Cruising this very route in your Avalanche? That was freedom. Man, now there is no hope of ever feeling that again... and just getting by is tough enough now."

    Suddenly, the whop-whop of a chopper could be heard. It was one of the new fusion powered ones the Feds use for patrolling.

    "Oh shit... we're too late!"

    Machine guns blazed and the two men slumped over their cart. One of the cart horses whinnied in astonishment, as the slugs ripped through it's flank. These men had no vehicles, though their own guns now lay on the ground beside them... There are a lot of guns, and there is a lot of death.

    You see, when the planet's oil reserves dried up, humanity was not prepared. Alternate fuel and power sources were the stuff of science fiction or ancient history. At first, the changes were slow. The cost went up. It doubled, tripled, increased 100-fold, and finally, after half of Europe, and North America went dry, the US declared the consumption of fuel oil by citizens an offense punisheable by death. There was no help from the Middle East. The continued war between the west had stretched what loose bonds that remained to the point of snapping. They were nearly out anyways. Transportation and economics ground to a halt. No shipping. No trains. No aircraft. No SUVs. No cars. With the demise of transportaion in both the private sector and for the purposes of trade, countries started becoming isolated very quickly. Some people had to move away, using what means they could to get their belongings and families to places that were more self-sufficient. A few smart cars were around, but these were quickly confiscated by the Feds. Emergency systems failed, as nobody had thought to prepare for the inevitable and create emergency vehicles powered by other means. Sadly, a dying man would die. There was no ambulance to get him help. Riots broke out, and soon, food was short. People huddled together in small enclaves, with weapons to fight, and what small crops they could grow for food. Power was controlled entirely by the Feds, and apart from the odd hidden reserve of fuel or secret generators, the world became a very dark, quiet and unfriendly place. Nothing is free after all, especially fuel and electricity... With the collapse of the economy, mankind was on the brink of death.

    New technologies were being developed by the Feds, to power their war machine, and try to restore their former power and wealth, but it was hard work. They had some nuclear power still, but repairs and maintenance were difficult. The Feds controlled everything except the people. The only way to control the people was with guns and fear. They had developed some fusion engines for helicopters, planes and vehicles, but the cost to produce them was immense. With the collapsed economy, the Feds relied on slavery for labor, and fear to control the rest of the population. In order to build a fusion engine, they had to confiscate what parts, fuel and manpower they could.

    Your average person was stuck though. No gas to heat dwellings meant burning wood or coal for survival. Eventually, there was no wood or coal left around the biggest settlements and transporting it from further away was difficult with the methods at hand, and the constant risk of piracy. Everyone was burning wood for heat and light. The smoke began to damage the atmosphere even more than greenhouse emissions from the past. Soon, the smog-like atmosphere all but blotted out the sun, rendering solar power nearly useless.

    There was hope however. Some parts of the world were still untouched by the dependance on fuel. Suddenly, they were like super powers. In Central Africa, countries began arming and fighting border skirmishes as people from the north and the Middle East began to move south for food and more propserous lands. Island nations kept to themselves. Apart from sailing, there was no way to reach anywhere, and being able to transport goods on a scale needed was impossible using such crude methods. Eventually, the atmosphere would repair itself. The CO2 from constant burning would help the rainforests... the planet would flourish again after centuries of healing.

    It was time for mankind to grow up and start over, or perish... Mighty Mother Earth was cleansing herself, and when it was all over, a new civilization would develop.

    This could be one of any number of Science Fiction movies or scenarios from modern writing. Science Fiction. But every day, we draw nearer to it's realization. Airlines are going bankrupt because of fuel prices. Shipping costs are increasing. Manufacturing costs are increasing. Even garnering other natural resources and foods costs more. Soon, the price will reach the point where average people cannot afford to drive to work, or heat their homes with gas.

    Is mankind capable of using methods from the past, such as steam and coal for production? Is mankind willing to do that? Can we sustain our current levels of needs with such crude methods? The population is much larger now than it was in the 8th or 19th century...

    It is science fiction now, but so was landing on the moon.

    The Great Canadian Blog Survey

    Stardate 4557.5

    I found the link to this survey from Grandinite...

    The Great Canadian Blog Survey

    Looks good except for the repeated question :)

    PS. Changed some links around here...

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Rudicus on "The Blog Armada"

    Stardate 4554.0

    Very interesting thoughts on blogging from the Rudicus Report. Here is an excerpt from his post:

    "One vote may do nothing. One protest may do nothing. But with a blog you get to speak your piece - make your case - tell it like it is. You can change someone's mind or make them see another way or consider a different perspective. If each blog could get one other person to think, imagine what 100 blogs could do or a 1000 or even a million.

    That could change the world."

    Read it all here:

    "The Blog Armada"

    Archiving........ Complete.

    Stardate 4553.3

    I have finished copying my complete archives from my old blog at MSN over here now. You can find everything from Carling, to my review of Star Wars Episode III... from Backwards Lyrics to Killing for Jesus...

    Some pics may be broken eventually, because frankly, it is a TON of work copying 300 entries, and after doing so many pics, many are still linked to MSN. Let me know if you ever stumble across any bad links... :D

    Hey! There's Still An Occupation Going On You Know!!!

    Stardate 4552.9

    MSN - Dozens of blasts erupted in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 152 people and wounding well over 500...

    This continued loss of humanity is terrible. The US should leave, as bruising as that would be to the Big ego. They haven't made anything any better there...

    With all of the world's focus on FEMA and Bush and Katrina, perhaps some folks forget that there is still an occupation and war going on in Iraq. This is a stark reminder of that conflict, and sadly, it may take the spotlight away from McChimpy's recent blunders and admission of responsibility...

    Time For Harper To Go?

    Stardate 4552.7

    Ottawa - A tiny band of Quebec Conservatives issued a call for their leader's head Tuesday, saying Stephen Harper should resign because he's doomed to lose the next election.

    Senior party officials dismissed the move as an insignificant push by only four Quebecers and said their leader will stay on to fight the Liberals.

    However, after his fairly recent photo op in Alberta where he was sporting his new, ill-fitting, backwards hat cowboy garb, I think there may be more than just a few who want him to step down.

    What boggles me, is that for a guy who's party leadership is in question, and reasonably, has but a slight chance of winning a Federal election, he seems to be pushing for a Federal election as soon as possible. The Liberal minority government is saying they will have one after the Gomery report is out early next year, but apparently Harper, in another political blunder, has decided that the inquiry is not important. I thought that his thoughts were that it is supposed to implicate the Liberal party and strengthen the Conservatives... but he must now think it will not finger the Liberals at all, rather get the individuals responsible. Why else woul dhe not wait for it?

    An election now... when your party is behind, and your leadership is continuously being questioned from outside and in, to me, sounds about like calling your career quits...

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Cool Visitors and Searches... I am the #1 Metal Blog \m/

    Stardate 4549.7

    I was checking some of my recent visitors and came up with a few coolios...

    Apparently, I had a visit from the US Department of Justice yesterday... Of course, they didn't stay long and the Technorati search was for Michael Brown articles... I laugh at the 800x600 resolution though MUHAHAHA.

    Speaking of Technorati searches... another recent visit was from this search (I am not sure exactly how the search was performed but who cares)...

    #1 HEAVY METAL blog. Rock on brothers... \m/ Heh, inspires me to write about my current efforts to record some songs featuring *real* guitar, and not simply electronic music. Stay posted for that. Maybe I can rig up a demo tomorrow... :D

    Bush - "I Take Responsibility"

    Stardate 4548.3

    WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday that he takes responsibility for any federal failures in dealing with Hurricane Katrina, adding that the disaster raised broader questions about the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters as well as terror attacks.

    “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government,” Bush said when asked about the federal response at a White House news conference with the president of Iraq.

    “To the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” he said. “I want to know what went right and what went wrong.”

    Why the hell does he have to continue to throw around the "terror" word. Give me a break. The "terror" deal is starting to grow very thin. You can continue to fool a few people but the numbers of sheep are dwindling.

    You failed George.

    You failed when you picked a guy with NO experience to do an amazingly important job. You failed when you redirected funds from the levee and coastline programs to Iraq. You failed when you placed FEMA under control of the Department of Homeland Security. You failed when you were playing guitar and eating cake instead of watching the painfully slow response and denial with the Katrina efforts. You failed when you said "I take responsibility" because it is hollow. It is hollow because as usual, when you lie to your country, nothing changes. What are YOUR consequences? If you "take" responsibility, then maybe you should do what your handpicked ex-FEMA boss did. Resign.

    Energy Dividends for Albertans?

    Stardate 4547.6

    Alberta's big business is oil. There is farming sure, and other commodities, but oil is the ticket. Now with the energy prices being as high as they are right now, it is projected that Alberta could have as much as a $7 BILLION surplus.... Sounds great really.

    Now I am not a big fan of Mr "Privatization" Klein but now he and the Finance Minister, Shirley McClellan are thinking they should spend and share some of this surplus.

    "When Alberta is doing well, then Albertans deserve to share in that prosperity,'' the premier said after the closed-door caucus meeting.
    So, it looks like we could be getting what amounts to an energy rebate cheque this winter, or at least a dividend cheque and tax break. I seriously hope it is a good number though, as the cost of gasoline and natural gas are going to break a lot of Albertans this winter. Of course, this will happen to a good many people in Canada and around the world, but then, I have always been of the feeling that since we produce so much oil and energy in Alberta, we should get a break at the pump at the very least...

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    FEMA's Brown Resigns

    Stardate 4543.7

    MSN - Michael Brown has resigned after his abyssimal efforts coordinating the Katrina Hurricane response. Remember the accolades?

    "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job..." - George W. Bush (less than 2 weeks ago...)

    Now he says he must step down... in the best interests of FEMA "and best interest of the President..." Like he'll cover your back too Mike.

    Parallel Universe Politics...

    Stardate 4543.2

    Found this lovely cartoon at Clay Bennett's Editorial Cartoon site. Funny thing is, those charts all seem to be correct, but many still don't get it.

    "Impeach Bush" Most Searched on Technorati...

    Stardate 4542.5

    "Impeach Bush" is now the most searched term on Technorati. Interesting.

    As it turns out, and reported on the Impeach Bush Coalition, a certain columnist for the Orlando Sentinal feels his livelihood and importance is somewhat threatened by bloggers, who tend to write sensible, witty and intelligent things for free as opposed to being paid like him... (I hate to actually link to his column to give him the attention he so craves)...

    Mike Thomas is fed up with the amount of blogs out there raving about impeaching the President. Guess what Mike, you are 100% correct.

    "The future is The Blog."

    Acoustic Dad has posted an in depth description of the Impeachment process as well as some valuable info on other aspects of the Bush Administration and wheels that are already in motion regarding their impeachment...


    After further reading and thought, I wrote an e-mail to Mike Thomas regarding his column...

    "Hi! I had a good laugh reading your article this morning on bloggers. The fact that you are in a position to make a difference and perhaps take on some of the big issues facing the world today is really cool, yet you squander the chance away by picking on small-time individuals who are merely adding their two cents to an already confused world. I think the least you could do is perhaps add to the discussion that so many people are already discussing. Yes, it is true, the term “Impeach Bush” rocketed to number one on Technorati’s search engine in a mere 2 days after the Impeach Bush Coalition was formed.

    I also find it funny that someone with such a narrow spectrum of readers (realistically limited by geography as no-one else in the world would ever read your Orlando paper) could even possibly say something like you did when many popular bloggers have worldwide readership. Not only that, but your column in it’s online incarnation is exactly the same as any other blog in my opinion.

    I am very happy that you have a great job writing. But frankly, your opinion is no better nor is it more important than anyone else’s."

    Sunday, September 11, 2005


    Stardate 4538.8

    September 11th, 2001

    Four years ago, today, terror struck at the heart of New York. Many people lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon. Today is a day to remember those events, and those people. Remember.

    My recounting and thoughts were posted a while ago, but I share some of them again now.

    "It was about 6:45 am on a sunny September morning. In fact, it was a tuesday and looking to be a great day. I had just started a new job the previous thursday, and finally I was out of the physical labor force and into something more technically challenging and much more personally rewarding. I had no idea that one of the most profound events of my lifetime was about to happen. With my first cup of black coffee, I turned the news on CTV Newsnet, as I always did in the morning, and I sat and watched a building burning. People shouting. Chaos. No-one knew what was happening. Then there were reports of "a plane" crashing into the first of the Twin Towers of the WTC. I thought to myself, "Holy smokes... some poor bastard flew a Cessna off course or something." As they continued to try and piece together the information, my son, then 8, woke up and sat with me. "Shhhh... Something bad has happened, "I said to him when he began to tell me about his dreams or school.

    It was then that the second plane came in. Live. On tv. I know it pales in comparison to the people that were there, but no-one expected it. We sat together and watched a commercial jetliner full of people smash into a giant building, also full of people. My GOD! I couldn't believe it. The people on tv couldn't believe it. Nobody knew what was happening... It seemed somehow surreal, like a clip from a movie, or a video game. This sort of thing just didn't happen. The boy laughed somewhat timidly. I don't think he grasped what had just happened. Of course not... it was absolutely insane. I chastised him lightly, and said "It isn't funny, a lot of people were just killed." I still don't think he understood.

    I had to get to work. My mind was suddenly a maelstrom of thoughts. When the normal pace of life is disturbed by something so insane and unrealistic as this, it can be very difficult to grapple with normal thoughts and reality. At least for me it was. I went into the bedroom and in what must have been a mishmosh of gibberish, told my girlfriend that someone flew planes into the WTC. I said that I thought the boy was okay and I had to go to work, but she should definately put the news on the television...

    I had a 50km drive to work ahead of me. Far too much time to think inthe morning, especially when reality has been replaced with some sort of psychological horror. I kept looking up at the skies, half expecting to see 747s bearing down on Red Deer.

    "Who did it?"


    I looked at every face that morning. At the lights. On the highway. Did they know? Did they see it like me? Do they even care? I got to work and the place was a buzz. I phoned home right away, to make sure everyone was okay. Already, a television had been set up in the lab in the back. As news came in, there was a bigger and bigger crowd forming to watch. The 3rd attack on the Pentagon came. The 4th plane crashing in Penn... The buildings collapsing. People crying. It was terrible.

    Somehow, we all made it through work that day. Maybe it was the endless speculation and discussion that helped us. Maybe the fact that we were all safe.

    That night, I called my Dad. I was still wrestling with the events of the day, and fighting back the tears caused by so much tension was difficult all day, as it is now, trying to recollect that morning and the vision of what I saw happen on television. He had similar experiences. Once in a while something so mindnumbing and profound happens, that you never forget it. I can't even remember what he told me, but just talking about things really helped me out.

    As the days went by, more information was coming in. The casualties and missing, the endless task of searching and helping. So many people gave so much those days, that they are truly heroes beyond compare."

    The complete entry can be read here.


    Friday, September 09, 2005

    Impeach Bush... Time For Action!

    Stardate 4529.8

    Surfing around my links, I found that the Bulldog Manifesto has got something together that is looking very good. Everyone writes and bitches about this, or that, and the whole point I think, is to tell George W. Bush that the job he is doing is not good enough. In fact, it is getting to be one disaster after another. It is time to unite as bloggers and say ENOUGH is ENOUGH. His ratings are down and more and more newspapers and media outlets are finally voicing their discontent at his job.

    Check out Bulldog's entry above, and join the growing list of bloggers ready to say Impeach.

    The Bulldog Manifesto hereby calls upon every blog, from large to small, from Eschaton to Spontaneous Rising, from Daily Kos to Martian Anthropologist, from Crooks and Liars to Bring it On, from The Rude Pundit to The Talking Dog and EVERY BLOG IN BETWEEN!

    The Bulldog Manifesto hereby calls upon every activist, from the national activists to the pissed off mothers, from the local politicians to the military families, from the school teachers to the student, spread the word, it is time to IMPEACH BUSH NOW. Cut and paste this post and email it to friends and family, write letters to your senators and congressperson, start your own impeachment blog, sign the Impeach Bush Petition, just do something! It begins with ALL OF US!

    It doesn't matter whether the House of Representatives consists of a Republican majority, we cannot wait around until 2006 for that to change. We can no longer afford to wait. Impeachment begins NOW, with all of us!

    So far, blogs on board (as of Friday, 4:03pm):
    Janeane Garofalo
    Martian Anthropologist
    Jackington Viego
    On The Left Tip
    The Talking Dog
    I Am Not a Number
    Who Hijacked Our Country?
    Rosee's Rest Stop
    Reading Between the Lines
    The Invisible Writer
    Bring it On
    Viki Babbles
    Take it Personally
    Religious Wrongs
    The Truth is Out There
    The Immoral Minority
    Where We're Bound
    Ryvr Scrawl
    Mint Car
    Nicole Mart
    Cleveland Sucks, Richomnd Rocks
    Janeane Garofalo Board
    God of Dust
    Red Independence
    NeoHippie Ramblings
    Still Crazy After All of These Years
    Naked Wisdom
    Zaphod's Heads

    So join up today. If you are truly fed up with the lies, deceipt and incompetence of the Bush Administration, help out by doing your part now! Check out the Impeach Bush Coalition, now on-line!

    How Did Michael Brown Get His Job at FEMA?

    Stardate 4528.5

    TIME - How Reliable Is Brown's Resume?

    It's funny, that a guy who seemed to have no idea how serious the Hurricane was, or that there was violence and chaos erupting in a large, drowning city for days after everyone else (except Bush and a select group of other elite people) on the planet did, gets kudos from the President ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job..."). It is also funny that he got his job in the first place. I mean, he had no *real* previous experience and suddenly, he is in charge of the Nation's Emergency response outfit...

    The TIME article goes into detail but a few points found on Brown's resume as listed on Findlaw and his profile at FEMA seem to be in contention with the facts...

    • His bio claims he was "serving as an assistant city manager with emergency services oversight." The White House press release from 2001 stated that Brown worked for the city of Edmond, Okla., from 1975 to 1978 "overseeing the emergency services division." In fact, he was an assistant with no authority over anyone, basically an intern.
    • He is cited as "Outstanding Political Science Professor, Central State University" when in fact, he was only a student and an adjunct instructor there.
    • Claimed to be a director at the Oklahoma Christian Home, but a veteran employee there says Brown "was never director here, was never on the board of directors, was never executive director. He was never here in any capacity. I never heard his name mentioned here."

    Now, I cannot blame Brown himself for being unsuitable for the position. After all, Bush is the guy who nominated him for the job. But how do they figure he is the best guy for this job? He doesn't have ANY experience pertaining to the monumentally important job he was given, and the fact is, he parted ways with the Arabian Horse Association on less than amicable terms, based on his performance there. Even his references to legal related work are sketchy at best. I am just as qualified as this guy to lead the country's Emergency Response organization...

    This guy should be canned now.

    WOW! Just as I was about to post this... MSN reports he has been removed from his role in the Katrina efforts... Of course, he will be the most convenient scapegoat for everyone else involved as well. Let's not forget about how long it took Bush to activate the armed forces... As I previously posted, the special team from Vancouver got there 5 days before the US army.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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