Monday, March 31, 2003

Thank you Duncan!!!!

MY BLOG has been ad-neutered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See? Thanks to Duncan and his magic plastic card... no more adds flashing at the top of my site? Isn't he a doll? I am sooooooo excited! It looks great! Thank you thank you thank you!

Duncan, you ROCK!

Pro WAR or Pro AMERICAN? Anti IRAQ? Do you know where you stand?

I am getting really tired of all this war crap.

I mean really, are you pro war.... or pro American... because there is a difference to be found within this definition. It is one thing to support troops, or want to show support for close allies/trading partners.... but its something all together different to support a war - a war in which people (and I mean civilians and CHILDREN) are being killed, in a country that did not attack it's current aggressor.

Regardless, I am getting tired of hearing it really.... it's like a bunch of whining.... if you want to go to war - GO! No one is stopping you. Frankly I would love to see all these placard carrying "war supporting" people made to pick up rifles, quit their jobs, leave their families and head off to a little desert country with no gaurantee of ever coming home. Let them put into action what they preach. It's way too easy just to say it, especially if it is not you who has to go personally (it's funny how these people have no issue with commiting others to go in their place). I read in the paper today (Calgary Herald) about Ibrahim Abu Zedwan, a 40 yr old Jordanian farmer-turned soldier, who when repelled by the images of dead children killed in the Shula Market in Baghdad, he said "That's it, I'm going". He grabbed a gun, got on a bus and went to Baghdad to protect the children, because that is what he believed was important. Now that's action. That's conviction. Thats respectable.

Because that is the reality. I have to guage for myself if I believe in things enough to pick up a gun and kill someone, guage if my beliefs are that strong that they warrant ending the life of another human being. And I served in the army for six years, so I know what that means. There is no glory. Who are these (rich, christian, middle/upper class, white folk -opps did I say that out loud?) people who think this war is good? What do they base it on? War is never good. No one wins.

I assume that the Headlines tomorrow will be how recruitment for the Canadian Armed Forces has jumped to an all time high as all these "upstanding" people enlist in order to carry out what is good and right for world peace..... But, in case those headlines don't materialize, you can entertain yourself with a previous CNN news story that reflects the "humble beginnings" of this conflict. I found the archive for you... click here to read it.

On March 11, 2003, Lilly Wonka posted the following questions on her blog/website for reader consideration. Here is (verbatim) the post from Lilly's site:


In my email this morning from the wonderbar Cat from down under in Melbourne, Australia. Can anyone answer all of the following questions correctly? Some of you may be surprised at the answers. And then again, maybe you won't.

This was in MX Talk (Readers Letters) this afternoon 11/3/03. (For those that don't know MX is a free afternoon paper at train stations in Melbourne, Aus.)

It's time to test your knowledge of global politics with a quiz:

1. Which is the only country to have dropped bombs on more than 20 countries since 1945?

2. Which is the only country to have used nuclear weapons?

3. Which country was responsible for a car bomb which killed 80 civilians in Beirut in 1985, in a blotched assignation attempt, thereby making it the most lethal terrorist bombing in modern middle east history?

4. Which country's illegal bombing of Lybia in 1986 was described by the United Nations Legal Committee as a "classic case" of terrorism?

5. Which country rejected the order of the International Court of Justice to terminate its "unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua in 1986 and then vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?

6. Which country was accused by a United Nations-sponsored truth commission of providing "direct and indirect support" for "acts of genocide" against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala during the 1980's?

7. Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December 2001?

8. Which country renounced efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brought an international conference on the matter to a halt in 2001?

9. Which country prevented the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at a small arms conference in July 2001?

10. Aside from Somalia, which is the only other country in the world to have refused to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

11. Which is the only western country which allows the death penalty to be applied to children?

12. Which is the only G7 country to have refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, forbidding the use of landmines?

13. Which was the only G7 country to vote against the creation of the International Criminal Court in 1998?

14. Which was the only other country to join Israel in opposing a 1987 General Assembly resolution condemning international terrorism?

15. Which country refuses to fully pay its debts to the UN, yet reserves its right to veto United Nations Resolutions?

I think these are excellent questions, and more voting age Americans should consider the answers very carefully. USA is a democratic country, meaning the people of America vote for a Government and provide them with a mandate to make these type of foriegn policy choices. These choices have repercussions and consequences and perpetuate a cycle of violence that can only get worse. Think about it.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Sustaining our Future (and having fun doing it)!!
Red Deer PC AGM and Convention

Blogging after the fact always leaves a danger of forgetting something – and I had so much fun this weekend that I don’t want to leave anything out so I will try hard to remember everything! I enjoyed myself immensley (especially Saturday evening), met lots of cool people, made friends, partied and celebrated a “holiday” with Duncan!

Friday’s trip to Red Deer was pleasant but mostly uneventful. It should be noted that Duncan was elected as the Regional Director for Calgary North for the PC Youth at the youth AGM on Friday. The term is for two years. Congrats Duncan!

As Duncan had inadevertantly met up with his ex-wife during the Youth AGM, we got to do some shopping at the mall in Red Deer while we talked about what the poor guy had endured. We returned for the Premier’s speech that evening which was exciting and afterwards we were taken out for dinner at Moxies (Thanks Quynn!) and then we all spent the evening in hospitality suites, meeting up with other delegates and friends.

Saturday was likely the most exciting day of the conference… and even if it wasn’t it was the fullest. The Minister treated everyone to an early breakfast (Thanks Murray!), and then we all headed off into the sessions, where we discussed (and voted on) many resolutions within the topics of agriculture, justice, government services, learning and health. The highlight of lunch was sitting down with everyone and having a real chance to catch up, as the entertainment wasn’t that great and the food only so-so.

Duncan and I left the afternoon confederation debate early to go back to the hotel to have some alone time and to “get ready” for the evening’s entertainment, which was a dinner and dance (entertainment by the Kit Cat Club).

When Blake (PC Youth President) announced his new Provincial Executive during the dinner program and Duncan’s named was read out it was neat to see that he received the loudest applause and acknowledgement… as Murray said, his five minutes of fame for the conference.

Duncan had suggested the blue spring dress he bought me last year for the evening, and it ended up being perfect because the dance was 50’s – 60’s music (and it was a little 50’s replica dance dress). Loads of people commented on it, and there is no better way to feel special than being noticed (at the breakfast the next morning people were addressing us as the “dancing couple”)!

Saturday evening rocked. I drank lots of wine (Duncan was driving). We danced lots, and it was SO MUCH FUN (I love dancing with Duncan) – great music, great entertainment (the band was beautiful) and dancing with the most gorgeous and sexy guy in the world! How much better does it get? He really is perfect! We ended that night at the local Denny’s and finally crawled into bed together at 3:00am. Needless to say the next morning came a little too quickly…..

We arrived for Sunday breakfast after checking out of our hotel, and listened to Ralph Klien talk for an hour before the conference wrapped up. He said a great quote... "There is nothing wrong with Canada - just our Prime Minister". We found our other youth delegate, said our goodbyes, and packed into the van to head back to Calgary (mostly happy to leave Red Deer behind). Next years conference is in Banff at the Banff Springs Hotel (I am so excited!).

Luckily we made good time on the highway and arrived back in Calgary to enjoy our usual Sunday ritual of coffee and news in our local coffee shop. After some quick groceries we took the van back and Mike and Cindy invited us in for tea, which became four hours of tea, talking and chocolate. Mike drove us home but we had him drop us off at Pizza Hut for wings. Then we walked home, and when I finish blogging I am going to go snuggle with Duncan while I watch him play Zelda (which he missed whilst we were away).

In other news Wesley’s hockey has wrapped up with his spring tournament. His team did well and he had a lot of fun playing…. As he always does. Renee sent me a long letter from Belgium where she is enjoying her new husband and their pet project of restoring their 500 year old house. Maybe we shall go and visit them sometime soon...

Friday, March 28, 2003

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I was on a road trip once with my friend Cathy, driving across Canada.... and I think it was somewhere in Ontario where we passed the sign for The Yellow Brick Road. Most of you know I have a fetish for odd and interesting road signs, and even today I remain disappointed that I didn't stop to take a picture of it for my collection (any one who has driven across Ontario will be able to attest as to how overwhelming a task that seems at the time).

Anyways, that story was a lead in for the topic on my mind right now. Today Duncan and I are embarking on a (much shorter) road trip to the happening centre of Alberta - Red Deer!!! Well, maybe not so happening, but we are going to be there so watch out Red Deer! Friends of ours lent us their van (thank god for friends!) and after work today we will finish packing and get under way to the PC AGM and Conference. We are staying at the Black Night Inn, and planning for pleasure as well as business (lots of invites to many hospitality suites). The hotel sports an anamzing indoor pool, a whirl pool and a Health Club! I am so excited!

Yesterday I wrote my Psych Exams (three of them) for the Calgary Police Service. How many different ways can you ask the question "Do you hear voices?" I swear by the 400th question I was looking for the "No, I REALLY REALLY do not hear voices" box..... By the time I finished those 800 or so questions..... I was a little disillusioned (re human nature) and ready for a break!

Anyways, all is well with us..... I hope everyone has a great weekend! Thanks to everyone who has voted in my Online Poll! It's been fun having it there and soon will think of a new question. While you are here, go sign Duncan's Guestbook!

Banff Trip Pictures

Thursday, March 27, 2003

War brings out the worst in everyone

8000 Iraqi Troops surrendered? Basra liberated? Yeah Right.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Found some interesting new blogs and links today.... for the scoop straight from the soldier's mouth check out the Command Post, Blogs of War, and the Israeli Guy. Also bookmark The Kuwait Times and Islamic Headlines for some footage you won't see in American Media.

Lenny Kravitz released "We Want Peace".

Food for thought.

For all of you who are pondering this war and whats going on... the FBI defines Terrorism as the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. This will mean many things to many different people, so there is no need for commentary.

Forsaken Fortress Interior

Today's adventure was brought to you by the letter "B"... "B" for Banff! Cathy and I loaded three kidlets into the car this morning, packed a lunched, armed ourselves with cameras and headed out to spend our day in the Town of Banff! The Rockies are great in March, but most of the roadways and trails are still closed until May 1. But we managed to have fun anyways - we drove around the base of Tunnel Mountain, saw a mountain goat and some deer, checked out the still mostly frozen Banff Falls (where we ate our lunch), breezed by the Caves, played in a park and spent some time shopping in town. Wesley got a fur hat, Raven picked out a stuffed dog, I found myself a bear bell (for future hiking activities) and we all picked Duncan up some Jelly Beans from the famous candy store in Banff. But not just any Jelly Beans..... Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (not for the faint of heart)!!! Some of the flavours made famous by Harry Potter are; sardine, spinach, ear wax, and (ofcourse) vomit. mmmMmmMmmm.

The delicacies continued with a visit to COWS. From a selection limited by the winter season, we were able to choose Obi cow kenobi (Raven), Orange Pineapple (Wes) and I had Moo Crunch. mmMMmmm. It truly was a tad bit brisk to actually eat ice cream, but what is a trip to Banff without visiting COWS?

Eventually we had to leave Banff, but on our way home we made stops in Canmore and Cochrane (where Cathy's new and amazing house is to be built). All in all, a good, fun and relaxing trip!

We arrived home almost the same time as Duncan, who excitingly arrived with his long awaited and highly anticipated copy of ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER (gcn). Duncan and I popped out briefly to Walmart to have pictures developed and grab some Zelda playing food (aka chips/pop). Zelda is being played even now, and soon I shall return to dutifully watching my hero bravely battle all sorts of new foes!

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Coach's Cornered in Tyranny

So, he managed to will the game into existence alright, to the detriment of my expense account! But those green eyes of his... gets me everytime! Regardless, Wes and I enjoyed an afternoon of shopping pleasure while Raven and Duncan stayed home to play video games (beach volley ball and DOA3). We managed to come home witha gift for everyone!

Cathy came by today for coffee and the kids played while we talked the morning away. We have made plans for an adventure tomorrow, but the details aren't all planned out so I will likely fill you in after the fact!

In my limited amount of time spent on the internet today, I stumbled upon a little news site with no real current events, like an oasis within a media torrent. It's nice, because the war is starting to grate on me... I enjoyed the stories about the psycho cat and the lost beaver.

Well, we have taken a short break between watching movies (Back to the Future 2&3) - while two pokemon trainers furiously play pokemon - and I thought I would grab the opportunity to blog. Oh yeah, and BOO Don Cherry. Bad boy.

Monday, March 24, 2003

From a Distance... You Look like my Friend.....

And for any of you out there who would like a personal account of what life is currently like in Baghdad, please read Raed's Blog. It's a moving journal that puts a human face on an "enemy" that is often so dehumanized that we can't think of Baghdad as anything more then a target. (update: Since I posted this earlier today, Raed's site is down again. Given the amount of bombing in Baghdad right now it could mean any amount of different things).

CNN journalists on the spot in Iraq, for those interested.

So my friend Joel sent me this link to a flash movie illustrating one potential outcome of the War with Iraq. Given the instability of the region this is not an implausible prediction; it made me laugh at times, even if I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. WATCH IT NOW!!!

The kids are home on Spring Break now, for the next week. I have the next three days off work to enjoy them, and am trying to plan some fruitful events. I do believe that Duncan has created a monster (albeit a cute one) in Raven ~ she (oh girl who is 7), spent most of her day "studying" the DOA Xtreme Beach Volley manual (to discover what to buy the other characters) AND learning how to kick butt in DOA3! The X-Box controller is almost as big as her head, yet she doesn't skip a beat! Wesley desperatly wants Sapphire Pokemon (if anything could be willed into existance it would be this item... I will let you know if he succeeds), and as a method of manipulation he consistently declares he is bored. He is bored? Perhaps I should find an all year round school option for him!

Regardless, I need to get going. I have a President's forum to attend tonight - I am President of Varsity Community (Calgary) Block Watch Council, it's one of my volunteer positions. Regardless, I need to go and prepare, and Duncan is going to sit us all down to watch a movie (Back to the Future I believe - we rented all three for Spring Vacation). I may tell you a bit more about my Block Watch in a subsequent blog!

You have an entrancing kiss~ the kind that leaves your partner bedazzled and maybe even feeling he is dreaming. Quite effective; the kiss that never lessens and always blows your partner away like the first time.

What kind of kiss are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Game Diva: WINNER! I have both technique AND power

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
--Jack Handy Deep Thoughts

Sigh. As lots of you know today, being Sunday, is the day Duncan and I ritually attend our neighbourhood coffee shop to share breakfast and the news. I had tried (really I did) to not pay any attention to the war at all yesterday (and it was a gallant effort – we played video games and shopped and talked about anything but Americans and Iraq). But it was inescapable this morning and I have a reawakened awareness of the reality at hand.

The headlines sure make it hard to ignore a war. Or atleast this war. Some of them even seem to comically exhibit surprise at what I would have thought no brainers…. like “Coalition forces meet Resistance.” Well, they are invading a country, afterall....

I had to laugh a bit at the news reporting that General Tommy Franks had stated that “he didn’t know where Saddam was.” I guess if he did, this would all be over heh?

To read the paper you might be led to believe the world has gone mad. Burning oil fields, dead Iraqi babies, Muslims upset everywhere (the US has a way of making friends) , stupid “accidents,” Soldier attacks own troops, Turkey capitalizes on Iraq situation (The Kurds wont have to worry about Saddam) , an american Patriot Missile shoots down British Plane, helicopter crashes, American Soldiers missing , Ambushes and fake surrenders, POW’s.....

Its not going to be an easy fight. I say that partially from my intuition and from my own previous six years of military training. I don’t doubt that the US will be able to “win” the fight for Baghdad, but I don’t think it will be the cake walk they expected (Peace through superior fire power?). They are going to have to want Baghdad more then the people who live there, more then the people who fight to defend their families, and more then the people who have everything, and nothing, to lose. These are a people who are used to war, used to having little or no resources, who are survivors. They are a people whose religion assures thema place in heaven if they die in this cause. I am not confident that the American's understand their enemy.

Anyone looking for some ideas on Creative Resistance to the war?

Adbusters Banner

"IN ORDER to achieve the final aim - which is one world, and not two hostile worlds - such a partial world Government must never act as an alliance against the rest of the world. The only real step toward world government is world Government itself…. The United Nations now and world Government eventually must serve one single goal the guarantee of the security, tranquility, and the welfare of all mankind." written October 1947, in an open letter to the UN, from Albert Einstein

For Duncan, and all those gamers out there - check out this old onion archived article I found!

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Game Diva: Critical Hit

We got DOA 3 Today!!!!!!

Are video games too sexy? Is there any such thing as too sexy??? The girls are pretty sweet (not quite as hot as DOA Xtreme beach volleyball, but good enough!), and who can ask for more when you have it coupled with two player smashingly good fighting fun?!?! The graphics are amazing, scenery enticing and there are 16 characters to choose from.

Was checking out my site tracking stats today - it is interesting to see where everyone come from and how they found our site(s). Mostly peeps have visited from Canada and the United States, but also Korea, United Kingdom and India. I am sure the novelty will wear off soon-ish, but since my website and blog are relatively young, I am still amused.

Harvard student Michael O'Neill (at a demonstration at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts) joined students and professors from schools throughout the state on March 20 in a walkout to protest U.S. attacks on Iraq. The sign he holds refers to the U.S. strategy of "rapid dominance," introduced in the military theory book "Shock and Awe."

Read "Waiting for the Bombs." An eyewitness description of life in Baghdad.

There are 31 Canadian soldiers on exchange with the American military and on site in Iraq. I want them to come home safe. I appreciate the job they are doing for Canada, and whilst I don't agree with this conflict (or the reasons given for it) I pray they do their job well and return home to their families.

In Wil wheaton's blog yesterday he manages to balance that sense of not wanting to support this war, but wanting to recognize the sacrifice that the service men are making. How do you support the soldiers whilst protesting the war? How do you support a war when children are being killed? It's an interesting read.

In Canada, we haven't yet come to any real peace in that regards. Minister Herb Dhaliwal summed up the disappointment most people are feeling when he said President Bush had let "the world down by not being a statesman" by not letting diplomacy work at the United Nations. "I think it is really regrettable and unfortunate that he has made this decision when the whole world is crying out for peace." I do too. But now that it is the plain reality, I hope that it is over quickly.

Andrew C Thomas described the source of this frustration in his column (March 21st). "If I may be allowed to oversimplify, the geopolitical problem is simple: In matters of foreign policy, America is a 6-year-old boy (and an overly large one at that). He sees what it wants and grabs for it, with little concern for long-term consequences, because he’s bigger than the other kids on the playground." I agree ~ the problem is we all share the same playground, and once Saddam is gone, who is next? Let the second age of American Imperialism begin....

It's pretty late at night right now, and I am going back to bed to crawl up beside Duncan. But I will leave you with a spat of humour (we still have to be able to laugh dont we?). Check out the Dept of Homeland Panic, parody on Homeland Security of course!

Friday, March 21, 2003


“A” Day in The Devil’s Playground

The headlines blare, in apparent defiance, from the newspaper stands as I walk by – they speak to me… they induce guilt in my soul. My life goes on, as normal as ever even. Everything around me seems to conspire in rampant denial of a war being waged. Silent Lucidity. It seems so surgical, so far away, so out of my control and influence. I hope it is over soon and some good comes of it. What an asinine, pathetic, thing to hope for from the comfort of my cushy life. How could something like this be good? When you are on the receiving end of a cruise missile I imagine life sucks.

The Student Newspaper had some good quotes this week, I will share them with you.

“You can no more win a War than you can win an Earthquake” – Jeanette Rankin

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” – Albert Einstein

It's been one of those mornings, you know the ones where you are in a great mood but feel blissfully dazed nonetheless? So I treated myself to a large Mochachino in an attempt to compensate... hopefully the grounding effects of caffeine will engage me soon. The weather has been great and my life is beginning to be engulfed with the excitement of Spring Fever, it makes it harder to concentrate on the mundane... My walk to work was wonderful, but I daydreamed most of the way and was actually surprised when I discovered myself already in Mac Hall! Even now, tempted by the emergent sunshine, I don't feel completely in my body ~ sort of like when I was a kid, this would be the time when I was happily staring out the window, whilst my teacher, desperate for my attention would be like "Earth to Allie... Earth to Allie.....” Yes indeed. Earth to Allie.

Main screen turn on. It's you”.

Lots of things happening today – “A” Day begun, and it is the first day of Spring, but even more importantly:


Happy birthday Dawn! I miss you!!!!
Dawn has been my friend and disillusioned (innocent?) partner in crime since Jesus was a cowboy. Okay, so maybe she isn’t quite that old, but she has been my friend for 18 or so years! I am blessed with the most wonderful friends, and Dawn is defiantly one of them!

In other news, the students here at the University lost their tuition fight efforts today, in a dismal display by student leaders and apathetic university students (about 100 student’s protested). So much waste, so many misplaced priorities. That’s all I have to say about that.

Yesterday was a special day for Duncan and I, as we celebrated the male equivalent of Valentines Day. It’s become quite the tradition for us as a couple, and I had a wonderful Valentines Day, so I have been patiently waiting to reward him (of course I don’t really need an excuse to spoil him, but I don’t like to pass one up!).

After student led conferences at the kids school, the kids went to their Dad’s house and we went off for steak. We stopped via the University where much activity occurred AND I ran into the “Ex-Wife.” Most amusing… she glared at me from her disdainfulness as if I was supposed to be intimidated or upset by her mean-ness. I couldn’t help but smile at her until eye contact had to be broken as we passed each other. Duncan afterwards pointed out the humour that I was happily humming that kids song “Baby Beluga” by Raffi (we’d had a great time at the kids school and that song was stuck in my head) when I collided with her. She doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of OVER….. but at least she isn’t making death threats against my kids or us anymore.

Well, it’s Friday, work is over and I am off to Moose Maguires, our neighbourhood pub!!! Why don’t you check out this interesting blogI discovered while trying to avoid news of the stupid war…

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Silent Decapitation, War Crimes and Liberation

Breathe in Peace

War Tracker Page (Everything the American Govt wants you to know)

The Iraq Daily (currently the only online "Iraqi" paper)

Indy World News (they have people everywhere!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

And so it begins. Although the Pentagon is currently denying the report from Kuwaiti security sources that US troops (originally massed on the border according to CNN) have passed into the demilitarised zone straddling the Kuwait-Iraq border, sporadic reports of fighting are apparent, especially in indy media.

It doesn't have to be this way! Bring the Soldiers home! Allow the Diplomatic Process it's due!

Read Mr Bush's letter to Congress, sent today.

Here are some very important facts to be considered as the world watches the US embark on bombing a country (that has NOT attacked them), compiled by Ireland’s Labor party spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Michael D. Higgins TD. You can read the entire report here.

The war about to be launched will, according to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, have a catastrophic impact on the civilian population of Iraq – 46% of whose population of 22 million people are under the age of 15. This is a population weakened by twelve years of sanctions, which has left approximately 70% of the population dependent for food on the Oil for Food Programme. One child in four under the age of five is malnourished. Three persons out of four in Iraq live in cities. Baghdad alone has a population of between 4.5 million and 5 million people. In 1991 90,000 tons of explosives were dropped on Iraq. Fifty to seventy per cent missed their target. What is planned for Baghdad now is more than this assault over six weeks. Described as “shock and awe” by the military authorities, these actions are a moral outrage in their regarding of civilian life as dispensable.

The Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians and children at times of war would rule out the conduct of war in the conditions described above. For example, it is illegal to damage infrastructure required for “the protection and sustenance of children”.

In this war a United Nations document predicts 100,000 immediate casualties, 400,000 indirect, one million pregnant or lactating women will be at risk as well as two million children. In 1991 50,000 children (alone) died from malnutrition and infectious diseases related to contaminated water.

A response to "Shock and Awe" from Pakistan.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

A search for moral absolutes in uncompromising violence

When writer Ambrose Bierce said “War is God's way of teaching Americans geography“ I wonder if he realized the extent of what would come….

Like most of the world I was watching the American President George W. Bush address his nation yesterday.

In his speech he said many things, the nature of which could be considered disturbing. In spite of the well supported UN Resolution 1441 He has decided his nation will act alone to aggressively invade Iraq. Since this seems inevitable I want to hold him to these words:

Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near”.

Sadly ~ we all know, especially since the USA has abandoned and betrayed the Iraqi people once before, that this is likely a pipe dream that will be shattered by the real horrors of war.

Small Iraqi boy in Baghdad

What has been the worlds reaction?

CANADIAN Prime Minister Jean Chretien reiterated that “if military action proceeds without a new resolution of the Security Council, Canada will not participate.”

In the UK senior cabinet minister Robin Cook quit on Monday, saying he “could not support a war without international agreement or domestic support.” Two junior ministers have also resigned in protest, and Prime Minister Tony Blair faces the potential collapse of his government for his support of the Americans.

In FRANCE, President Jacques Chirac states "This unilateral decision is contrary to the wishes of the (U.N.) Security Council and the international community which wants to pursue disarmament."

SPANISH Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar assures the world that "Spain will not participate in missions of attack or offense. There will not be Spanish troops in offensive attacks."

GERMAN Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder commented in a televised speech that “whatever the threat posed by Iraq, it did not justify the deaths of innocent men, women and children who would be killed in a conflict.”

In RUSSIA, President Vladimir Putin said “We have stood for resolving problems around Iraq exclusively through political means. Our position has not changed. I am convinced that any other solution would be a mistake. It would be a mistake which could lead not only to human loss and suffering, which we should not allow, but it would greatly destabilize the world situation on the whole."

CHINA’s Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said "We are not in favor of the use of force, we think the U.N. Resolution [1441] should be implemented while handling this case and also taking into account the views of people all over the world."

In IRAQ everyone is preparing for war.

We need to seriously consider what is going on in our world today. After all, this isn’t a game we are talking about here. This is WAR. PEOPLE will die. People will be Dead.

Links of Interest

Sometimes you need to see another side to things!

An online daily Blog of a war correspondant in Iraq
Iraq Journals
Stand Down
The Gutless Pacifist
Leftist Propaganda
The Pendagon

ANTI WAR – best site for news, viewpoints activities
Democracy Now!
US Dept of State IRAQ Update
Indy Media
Palestine Indy Media

US to invade even though
British journalist in Iraq
What then? An article about afterwards

Monday, March 17, 2003

Then They Came for Me

First they came for the Muslims, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim.

Then they came to detain immigrants indefinitely solely upon the certification of the Attorney General, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an immigrant.

Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a suspect.

Then they came to prosecute non-citizens before secret military commissions, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a non-citizen.

Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced "sneak and peek" searches, and I didn't speak up because I had nothing to hide.

Then they came to reinstate Cointelpro and resume the infiltration and surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn't speak up because I had stopped participating in any groups.

Then they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to America's enemies, and I didn't speak up because...... I didn't speak up.

Then they came for me....... and by that time no one was left to speak up.

- Stephen Rohde, a constitutional lawyer and President of the ACLU of Southern California, is indebted to the inspiration of Rev. Martin Niemoller (1937).

Onward Christian Soldiers......

The moment of truth? What truth? Can any of us handle the truth? Can rhetoric be sorted from propaganda or is it all relative anyhow?

What is this all about? Revenge? Oil? Power? Terrorism? Regime change? Racism? Protection? Does any of us really know?

I never really intended to quote Jean Chretien in my blog..... ever... but recently he said "[Resolution] 1441 does not talk about regime change, so I'm surprised. It is disarmament we are talking about. If you start changing regimes, where do you stop, this is the problem. Who is next? Give me the list, the priorities." It's the first time in a long time I agree with any sentiment my Prime Minister has uttered. I echo the query... who is next?

What can be said of our humanity? Who are we to think that we are not responsible, if only in some small way, if US bombs destroy Iraqi families? If they can not influence their governments, shouldn't we influence ours for them?

In Germany in World War II, anyone not with the state was against it (Sound familiar?). In 1937 Martin Niemoller was arrested for treason against Nazi Germany ~ he spoke out against the war and crimes against the Jewish people. Although initially given only a suspended sentence (perhaps due to foreign pressure brought upon Germany), he was almost immediately re-arrested on Hitler's direct orders. From then on until the end of the war he was held at both of the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps. Near the end of the war, he narrowly escaped execution.

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

- Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

Will history absolve us?

Top of the Day to you all!

Blognonsequitor: Broccoli aliens try to take over Townsville

On Saturday Duncan and I embarked on an adventure! What started out as random non focused ramblings, including a stop at our coffee shop (for coffee only... we were still stuffed from sushi the night before), at Roger's Video (we rented a whole slew of movies) and meanderings through Market Mall, emerged as the beginnings of an adventure! The weather was so beautiful (warm, sunny) I couldn't resist being outside ~ we walked past Market Mall into Bowmont Park... the view of the Rockies was captivating, the silence of the river alluring and the warmth of the sun inviting. It's amazing that in the middle of our city is this quiet place that you can go to, hold hands and walk and have all the time in the world to talk. We walked along the Bow River valley through Varsity Acres all the way through to Silver Springs. It didn't matter how long it took us because it seemed like time was completely non important and I enjoyed laughing and talking with Duncan immensley!

When we reached Silver Springs we had coffee in a little cafe by the Police Station (laughed at the sign in the Police compound... it said "Drive like everyone is watching you... THEY ARE!") and then caught a bus round to Northland Mall Future Shop and Walmart to go movie shopping. When we got home we watched Rising Sun and then Duncan showed me the Simpson's Ten Commandment episode Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment.

Sunday was mostly spent watching movies (Legally Blonde, The World According to Garp, Demolition Man) but we also managed to go out (for our coffee date ofcourse) and Duncan took me lingerie shopping at Silk and Satin (which he got a real kick out of). I bought him Terminator, Terminator 2 and SHREK for St Patrick's Day gifting pleasures. We are preparing for Terminator 3.....

Anyways, I had a good weekend but I should get going to work! Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!!!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2003

mmmMMmmmMmmm... Sushi... Sushi real good!

Last night, after helping Duncan out at the office, we had a delicious evening spent at a wonderful resturant called Shabuzan which serves all you can eat Japanese Sushi and Korean BBQ (which you actually cook at your own table that features an in laid BBQ). So it was a remarkable evening full of affectionately teasing my Duncan as he cooked the meat for us, and discusion of our upcoming travels, politics, world affairs and sex (the Sex Shop is right next door). The sushi was outstanding and Korean BBQ is, as always, divine. I mostly had every form of salmon available on the menu - I love salmon.... I sometimes think I could live on salmon alone! We spent two hours there, eating way too much, but getting our money's worth out of all you can eat - considering that we had not really eaten anything for the past 24 hours or so. It's nice to leave a resturant satisfied and the weather was so beautiful we happily walked hand in hand all the way to the C Train station.

We got home late, had a bath together and then snuggled up in bed to dream of our upcoming trips..... Red Deer, Banff, and Jasper! I love to travel! It's been a while since we have gone anywheres - our last trip was to Edmonton in November (it was cold!). Cathy has hinted that there may be a road trip in the near future ~ road trips are the ultimate path to self discovery and re - orientation when life gets a little screwy...

Wow, the sun is coming up already!!! Sometime today we are going to go see a movie with friends..... hopefull we will see Gangs of New York, as we have been meaning to get around to that movie! If so, it means I get to go shopping at Chinook Mall cause thats the only place it is playing! Thats a big deal because Chinook is the largest mall in Calgary, sporting a plethora of shopping frenziness - including both of our favourite stores (Video Games and Books)!

Anyways I am going to go crawl back into bed with Duncan.... I hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

Well, I am at work right now..... but it's slow & I am taking a wee break. Reflecting upon my week lead me to realize I hadn't posted in my blog in a while. I am more then happy to inform everyone that my earnest petitions were well recieved by the Chinook gods who were obviously appeased and rewarded us by wonderful weather!!! Yay Chinook gods! That chinook arch (see picture of arch below) lifts my spirits and brings a smile to my face! That bout of cold weather was becoming too much - I am totally an outdoors person and I was getting a little squirrely with cabin fever. I seriously need spring to arrive.

Well this week we purchased DOA Xtreme Beach Volley Ball, a fantasy sports simulation game that appears to have taken over my entire family (even my 7 year old daughter who has never really played a video game for longer then five minutes!). It is an amazingly beautiful game, appealing to all ages with all sorts of activities (volley ball, games, stores, gambling and "pixel shaded bump mapping"). Sigh... I need a vacation! Duncan also got a Game Boy SP and Pokemon Ruby (to be delivered later this month) and Three Kings, which we enjoyed watching again.
I had my hair colored (red and blonde highlights) in honor of the approaching season of spring and admist much excitement, Raven's first adult tooth poked it's way into our world. I was soposed to have my polygraphexam yesterday but it has been delayed until my background check is completed. That was kind of an emotional up and down! But you roll with it as it comes!

I have pretty much got my website up to an acceptable standard, so check it out - Don't forget to pin point yourself on my guestmap! If you are using Netscape you won't be able to see it properly, so try Explorer. Also Duncan added a pictures page to his blog - you can check that out as well!

Anyways, I am at work, so I need to go and finish before I meet Duncan this afternoon!
Peace, Love and Light!

Sunday, March 09, 2003

OH! I almost forgot!

I got some pictures from Murray's Cantina (the mexican party we went to on March 1st). I don't have them all but I said I would post a pic when I got one, so here it is!

It's Duncan and our friend Qyunn ~ Viva la Fiesta!

It's pretty darn cold here in Calgary!

I enjoyed myself today, despite it being rather cold.... We found a site on the internet that said Calgary was -35 and that the peak of Mount Everest was only -39! I don't know why it is so cold here, but I am going to invest some time praying to the Chinook gods to end it. Like soon.

After coffee this morning we rented DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball (XBox) and then we shopped for some used books (50% off today!). We got quite a few books, all fiction... some Joy Fielding, Michael Crichton, Judy Blume, John LeCarre as well as bunches of books for the kids! Nothing spectacular, but good quick reads when one is needed, and books can never be a waste.

This afternoon I got a special spa treatment a la Duncan, believe it or not.... I got a bubble bath, my hair washed (and conditioned) and then Duncan blow dried and brushed my hair whilst I sat there, eating strawberries and playing Beach Volley Ball on the XBox. It was divine! I sure felt special, isn't he great? Beach Volleyball is fun, I am sure it will become part of our collection soon, and Raven is really enamoured with it (there is shopping and all sorts of great stuff that appeals to a Raven).

The perogies at Grandmas house were also divine - thank goodness she sent us home with left overs! We had a great evening chatting - I always love hearing the family stories, getting to know everyone better and sharing memories with Duncan from his childhood. It is certainly something I miss from my own family....

Saturday, March 08, 2003

I had an awesome day today!

This morning started out nicely with Duncan and I watching Serving Sara when we woke up (since we were already beside the TV anyways), and then my wonderful friend Cathy came and took me out for birthday breakfast! Tonight Duncan and I braved -35 degree weather to venture out for a special birthday dinner..... we enjoyed fabulous Morrocan cuisine at this amazing resturant called The Sultan's Tent, where you sit at a brass round table on pillows in a tent like cubicle and eat everything with your hands. We spent three hours there, at a romantic table for two, (with a hot waitress who washed our hands before and after dinner) as we were served a six course meal comprised of tradition yummy morrocan fare and we left very satisfied and happy! Delicious!

I feel again like a princess. Wow, I sure have been spoiled this year for my birthday - Duncan says I deserve it but I think we may both be glad my birthday happens only once a year (wink wink, nudge nudge)! We are both ready to go curl up in bed now (the meal was huge) and watch an episode of the Simpsons while falling asleep. Tomorrow we are going for coffee and then getting ready for a big family perogy feast at Duncan's Grandma's house - she makes homemade perogies and I can't wait!

Duncan, my love, thank you - for the romantic evening and wonderful dinner tonight, for a great weekend, for all my gifts, for making me feel so special AND for being you - you are everything to me. Thank you!

Friday, March 07, 2003

Even more beautiful than the most perfect rose.... Life with you!


And I got spoiled - treated like a Princess!!!! I am soooo lucky. My birthday celebrations actually started last night when Duncan piled my presents in front of me just after midnight and insisted I open them... We had pulled the mattress downstairs to fall asleep watching movies/listening to music... he gave me 3 DVD's (The Road to Perdition, Shakespeare in Love, Apollo 13), the soundtrack for CHICAGO, The Sims (PS2), and an engraved pewter picture frame (Love is life's most beautiful mystery) for our picture together. We both had the day off, so we slept in, we lazed around, we watched The RING (Good scare!), we played the Sims and then went for a late breakfast. After a little bit of shopping we got the kids and are now just getting ready for friends coming over tonight (we are gonna light a fire, drink some spirits, order us all some Pizza and let the night go from there).

Duncan also wrote me an awesome story in honor of my (coff, coff, 31st, *ahem*) birthday, and you can read it on line! He's cute and talented too! He's all I really wanted for my birthday!

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Well, I had an incredibly awesome weekend - and what better time to make my first real blog post? Exactly.

On Friday Duncan had a really bad day at work. So I did what any good girlfriend would do and took him out to have hamburgers and cheer him up. I even took him shopping and bought him a book (Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, which he read in two hours!!!). Later that night we went out to see the musical Chicago, which I think we both really enjoyed.

Saturday we got to sleep in (one of my favorurite weekend perks) before heading out to grab some mexican clothes to wear to Duncan's boss' party (soon I will post pictures) that night. We ate mexican, talked with loads of people and got slightly drunk! Yay tequila! Duncan lamented throughout the evening that he wanted a vacation - and then he won a $500.00 gift certificate to any Fairmont Hotel!!!! Who says you don't get what you ask for???? The gift package also came with two beautiful bath robes, so obviously we rushed home, had a bath and enjoyed lounging in luxury while browsing potential vacation spots on the internet (I think we are favouring Jasper).

The Jasper Park Lodge, minus snow...

Sunday mornings we normally go for coffee, and this weekend we included our friend Quynn who was visiting from Edmonton. Friends make the time pass and soon we were off to downtown to meet up with Duncan's Dad and his brother Will to watch Daredevil, which I really liked (since Duncan has moved in he has really got me hooked on comic book characters and comic based movies). After Daredevil we got to shop around Eau Claire Market (where I bought some of my favourite incense) and browsed through China Town until heading for dim sum (yummy). After getting home we watched Life of Brian (Monty Python) and I even got chocolate (Allie's LOVE chocolate) when we ventured out to return the movie!!!!

The kids got home a little while ago, and have already gone to bed.... we are getting ready to settle down for the evening - and are watching the weather as this blizzard moves in to engulf us (the snow is very beautiful). My friend Cindy lent me The Poisonwood Bible to read, and I am looking forward to getting that started. I always wish weekends like this never end, but the great thing is that coming home to Duncan any day is like coming home to a great weekend. Bring on the week, I say, bring it on.