Friday, January 30, 2004

WE DON'T HIT



Here's two children who will grow up not being threatened physically by their parents in any way. We have a zero tolerance on hitting in our home, and they deserve that to be extended to them as well. They have a right to grow up in a safe environment, and We love them enough to give it to them. It would probably be easier just to hit and send them to their rooms crying, but I am prepared to put in the efforts required to help them become disciplined productive citizens who can deal with their emotions appropriately.

You know whats funny? Our kids are wonderful, happy, caring, well adjusted children who do well in school and usually recieve commendations for helping other kids in need. It's always the kids who are misbehaving, talking back, yelling and bullying other kids that are being hit and demeaned at home. Wonder where they learnt that behaviour from?

It's spanking ridiculous

I can't say how disapointed I am in this ruling. Nevermind how disappointed I am in parents or caregivers that willfully hurt and demean children by hitting them. We're not even allowed to hit our dogs for crying out loud!

What I can say is this: ANY adult who uses "minor corrective force of a transitory and trifling nature" against my children should be expecting a response from myself using "reasonable" force. AND I will be the one determining at that moment what amount of force is reasonable in protecting the health and well being of my children.

"This case is about the right of children not to be hit, a right that in a modern, 21st-century democracy should be unquestioned," said lawyer Paul Schabas when he argued the case before the Supreme Court. But the federal government argued Section 43 should stay in place, saying the law strikes a balance between the needs of parents and the rights of children.

Regardless of the rules that the Supreme Court puts in place to draw the line between abuse and punishment, the real issue should be what type of parent could hurt their own children? What type of parent believes that teaches them anything at all? Except that hitting is an OK way to deal with your emotions? Legally, in Canada, this makes the parent/child relationship the only one where we are allowed to hit each other.

Well, except kids aren't allowed to hit back. Go democracy. Go human rights.

Fahrenheit 9-11

Michael Moore'snext film, Fahrenheit 9-11, is due for release late this summer. It's a showcase on terrorism, and attitudes towards americans gathered from around the world. I am looking forward to it!

"You know the question a lot of people were asking after Sept. 11 [was] `Why do they hate us?' The question I want to ask is, 'Why DON'T they hate us?' — and then take my camera around the world a bit and show what's done in our name," Moore says.


It's getting warmer!



Today it is only -24°C ( FEELS LIKE -33°C ). In the grand scheme of all things weather, it is actually warming up towards the predicted (and highly anticipated) highs of -3°C for next Thursday... That day I think I will wear a dress with my boots and show some skin. It will be nice to dress sexy again and not feel like the Michelin Tire Man!

I don't think I have worn so many layers in my life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Comments left on my Post:


There are too many "what-ifs" surrounding this story. No proof he was THROWN. I certainly don't believe he'd jump or anything like that, but I'm leery or ruling out an accidental death - in that there was a scuffle, he lost balance etc. Too hard to tell at this point. It should also be noted that one of the guards - so they say - did try to grab Young to save him. Secondly, the Y.O. that heard the bangs, said the last bang shook his cell, not the first few.

I'm a journalist in Lloydminster with an extensive background covering crime. I'd really like to see the findings of the investigations before more speculation circulates. Findings - whatever they are - offer little comfort though in what is a horrifying way for a 16-year-old to die.

Ian
(no webpage or email address left)

I love it when people leave comments on *MY* Blog stating "I'm a Journalist..." in order to illicit some form of authority over my opinions. Ha. Ok, ok, so it only happened this once, but I still got a kick out of it.

"What If's"??? I do think there is enough information to justify speculation occuring in my own personal blog (thanks anyway for the "admonition"). I am allowed to be angry here, that's the purpose of it, and it's a place that I don't need to maintain my journalistic integrity if I prefer to rant. I would write much differently if it were a news story of mine, but I would still highlight the statements of the elevator company explaining the extent of the damage done to the doors, and the witness who saw the boy being THROWN into the elevator doors repeatedly before they opened. Oh wait, I already did! Look at that.

Anyways, I don't think he was "thrown", as in I don't believe the guard's intentions were to throw him down the shaft. I don't think the guards even meant for him to die. But I do think they made some very poor choices in their behaviour and I don't want them getting off the hook. And I don't want to accept this as an "accident" - because it wasn't. It may have been a mistake, but that doesn't make it an accident.

They were doing something wrong.

This is Canada. There is a certain way we believe (as citizens) that people should be treated, and that extends to while in custody as well. I would even go so far as to predict the expectation of those standards might be a little higher when dealing with a youth in custody. We aren't supposed to throw people against anything (a 123 pound boy handcuffed AND shackled against two grown men with Security Training?), let alone doors that might freakishly open, causing someone to fall to their death. Something's are just not acceptable. There are something's I don't have to sit back and passively accept.

Misjudging the anticipated outcome of your intentional actions does not equal an accident, nor does it provide an excuse. The boy falling/slipping into the shaft is likely a direct result of him being thrown around in the first place (meaning it would not have occurred if he were being treated properly), something that is still very very wrong. Real world consequences occur from most endeavours, I guess that's why we don't walk around shoving people into walls on a regular basis.

As adults society expects us to take responsibility for our actions. I believe it is even expected that we consider the outcomes of our actions before we make a choice to do something. As a parent I expect adults that encounter my children to treat them with respect, dignity and to act within the law. As a parent, if my child were involved in the justice system I would expect that they were treated with respect in a safe environment that allowed the due process necessary for them to experience the real world consequences of their actions.

I don?t consider being thrown against the walls, let alone being permitted to slip into an empty elevator shaft, to be due process, or even an acceptable consequence for what Kyle Young was accused.

I am not in favour of the death penalty.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

It's the Great White North, eh?

For the record, "FEELS LIKE -50°C" actually feels like my skull is going to crack open. It's a new experience, but not one I am fond of continuing for too much longer. The good news is, the Meteorologists predict the worst is yet to come...

Contradictions Haunt Kyles Mom

Differring stories from the EPS and the Elevator Company are reportedly tormenting Kyle's Mom, who buried her son yesterday after he was killed in an Edmonton Courthouse.

"Somebody is hiding something," said Lorena Young.

In the collective ass covering ensuing Kyles tragic death there is still no hint at the results of the ongoing investigation into the circumstances of his demise.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Weapons of Mass Deception

(Via CBC News)

"I don't think they exist," said David Kay (outgoing chief U.S. weapons inspector) after nine months of searching Iraq for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

When asked whether President George W. Bush owes the U.S. an explanation following Kay's findings, Kay said: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people."

Ahem. What about the Iraqi people?


Current Conditions: Edmonton, Alberta

-32°C
Overcast. Light snow.
FEELS LIKE -46°C
Tonight: -37°C

Tuesdays High: -37°C
FEELS LIKE -50°C

(Via The Weather Network)

I don't know about you, but my definition of "high" doesn't include anything below zero, let alone temperatures like -32°C and -37°C. Tomorrow looks like a day for staying in bed...

UPDATE: Severe weather wreaks havoc in Canada

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Gravity Sucks

But the Gravity of this situation sucks even more.



I can't get Kyle James Young (the 16 year old Edmontonian child who was killed, while in custody, in an Edmonton Courthouse this week) out of my mind.

I have quite a bit of experience working within security and policing agencies (including the military), so I have seen the good, the bad AND the UGLY. And this is ugly. Ugly enough to make me sick to my stomach - because I think I already know how the story ends.

Every Security Agency I have had the pleasure of working with have been professional organizations, with the exception of one. I only worked there for a few weeks, but the time I spent there was an education I didn't neccessarily need. I couldn't believe how much those people got away with. From my perspective, most of them were over zealous cowboys who continually escalated situations unfairly, often ending them in the worst way possible for the person involved, just because they could.

I have little or no tolerance for the Security "Guard" who relentlessly provokes somebody into a response and then turns around and squeals "Assualt, Assault". But there are lots of them in the industry. Freaks, cop-wannabes, all on a power trip. People who hide behind their uniforms and organizations. People who distort lines so much there eventually aren't any. People who spend copius amounts of creative energy to come up with stories to cover their asses, or the collective asses of thier buddies.

But what happens when something so big happens that no story, no matter how creative, can cover your ass?

How does a 16 year old boy, handcuffed, shackled and in custody, end up dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft?!?!

A witness statement alludes to a struggle - he said he heard repeated bangs so loud they shook his cell. The sound of guards pushing an unarmed child into the doors of an elevator to teach him a lesson?



The elevator company says an inordinate amount of damage was done to the elevator doors before they opened.



And then a boy is thrown down an elevator shaft.

Regardless of lack of intent to murder this can not be called an accident.

Don't insult us. People take elevators, safely, every day. How does a 123 pound 16 year old child, handcuffed with feet shackled, escorted in complete custody by two guards, "fall" down an elevator shaft, plunging six stories to his death?

Who knows what happened? I'll admit everything is speculative at this point, and we might never know all the facts. And answers won't change the situation anyway, but perhaps closer scrutiny of the people we trust to handle these types of situations will bring some positive results when the industry purges itself of these bullies.

My heart goes out to his Mother.

There are certain things we trust in when we raise our children in Canada. And one of the most important things is that a person in uniform is a safe person.

Even bad kids deserve to grow up.

I had to laugh...

Joel has a way of just saying things like they are. And it makes me laugh. This was on his blog today:

Fuck you, Bush, and all of your pathetic, inbred type. I hope we all find out that the Egyptians were the only ones who had religion even close to right and that Anubis doesn't give a crap about how much lip service you paid to Jesus' puckered anus. Buy your way out of that, asshole.

To get the entire jyst of his comments you should read the entire post.

This is what got me moving this morning...

Badgers (Badger, badger, badger, badger. Mushroom, mushroom! Snake!)

Thanks to Joel!

Friday, January 23, 2004

Who decides what's farking newsworthy these days?

It's not news, it's FARK!

I love FARK. I often can't get enough FARK, which is good because FARK just keeps on coming. With a sense of webminded humour and from within a culture of "Farkisms" - the news is presented in the most enjoyable method I have ever come across. Lord knows, with the news these days, one needs some creative comic relief to get through it. A day without FARK is tantamount to a day without coffee.

Here is a selection of stories I found on FARK today (via FARK)

Elephant Makes Daring Escape from Zoo
Soviet Army fought UFOs
Pensioner run down by dog driving milk float
Chasing Elk Part of Airport Manager's Job

Go FARK yourself today!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Maestro! Applause card, please!

Being busy at work these past couple of days has prevented me from blogging about the SOTU, like I had originally intended to do on Tuesday. But to tell the truth, I found it boring and nothing, well maybe only a couple of things, even grabbed my attention. I was uninspired.

Be Afraid, blah, blah, ideal family, (Applause) blah blah, look out for the evildoers! I'm boy wonder, we did good,(Applause) blah, blah, blah. Reform, tax relief, (Applause) pariahs! Delivering justice, blah, blah, god, (Applause) good american girl, etc... (Applause.)

Bush's SOTU in this election year was pretty straight forward rhetoric that left much to be desired. Certainly nothing like the Axis of Evil comments that sparked my all time favourite Political Satire: The Axis of Just as Evil.

I agree with Boing Boing that the best part of the whole speech was this:

GW Bush: "Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year."

Audience: [Applause]

GW: [Frowny face]


And I loved veryveryhappy's critique (via Rooks Rant) which you can read HERE. It sums it all up much in the way I would have liked to.

May the Overly Christian God continue to bless america. (Applause)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

State of Anticipation...

Soon to provide countless hours of fodder for blogsophere discussion... but until then, you can ask the White House Communications Director anything you want... well until 2:00 ET, so get cracking.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Dressing with style

Talking to Dawn, my Matron of Honor, on the phone right now. We are talking about dresses for the wedding. We have come to the conclusion that we need something nice, not too expensive, stupid and poofy. I am leaning towards Platinum as a color.

Although, I suddednly realize if I pick terrible dresses for them, I will look all that much better...

Cue maniacal laughter...

Just another Manic Monday...

In the paper we read on the bus this morning there were a few articles bemoaning the fact that the day was Monday and therefore another work week had begun. It got me thinking. I am usually a pretty happy person, so Mondays don't get me down. Don't get me wrong, I love Fridays and I adore the weekend... But I guess I realize that it could always be worse, lots of people in lots of places are having a worse day then I am.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Guest Blogging (across the Blogosphere)

This 'fictional' story written for me by Joel to cheer me up some. Thanks Joel. You're so talented I am jealous!

The Protest That Just Keeps On Not Giving.

"For the three hundred and sixtieth year running, protestors at the University of Alberta have hauled their sorry bones out in front of the administration building in order to ask that the people who they pay to help them out."

"'I just keep laughing when I look at these sorry bozos,' chuckles Ace Holdemall, President of the University, 'I mean, what are they going to do? Go work at McDonald's for the rest of their lives?'"

"'Oops, wait. Yes they are.'"

"Student Union President Simon Schmuck, who organized the "Dress Like A Tree" protest for this year's round of obligatory price gouging disagreed with the President's assessment of the lazy, disaffected student body.”

"'Not all of us are doomed to a life of inadequacy, failure and disappointment. Some of us have quite rich parents.'"

"School officials persist in claiming that tuition hikes are the result of inadequate support from the provincial government. Currently, approximately some percentage of tuition fees are subsidized by the poor and lower-middle class families who can't afford tax attorneys."

"'Why no,' responded a shocked Holdemall, 'my six digit income has little if anything to do with the state of tuition. Some of it comes in the form of kickbacks from parents who need personalized attention for their students yet who can't afford buildings.'"

"Despite the recent balancing of the provincial government's budget by the party in power, there has been uncontrollable growth in budget deficits being run up, not only by post-secondary institutions, but also local school boards, public libraries, and pretty much anyone else who depends on the provincial government for a handout."

"'Pardon me?' asked an only slightly drunk Premier Klein when asked about this state of affairs while hiding in a public toilet. 'I'm sure you have mistaken me for someone else. Besides which, it's all Kyoto's fault."

"School administrators have revealed several plans for the new money that the tuition increase will bring. Some of these include replacing the twist of duct tape that prevent students in the science building from inhaling natural gas while sitting in room 102A and hiring a team of lawyers to hamper faculty association demands for a living wage."

"'We also intend to purchase a decommissioned airliner in order to fly a team of skilled illegal immigrants in each day, to fill part-time jobs on campus' confided Holdemall after the hike announcement. 'Students may need the money, but the faculty is finding it more and more difficult to cope with the half-assed jobs that those drunks tend to do."

"Despite the autocratic nature of the tuition hike process, with no actual input into the process from anyone who doesn't stand to get a pay raise if it goes through, student representatives remain optimistic."

"'I got myself elected into this job by saying that I could do something about tuition hikes,' Schmuck indicated, 'and I intend to foster the illusion that student reps can do something about them so that my buddies on the council can get elected to the next position up next year after I am gone.'"

"'After all,' continued Schmuck, 'if it weren't for this job, I would be stuck working at the A&W and I hear that those guys are way tougher about drinking on the job than student council is.'"

"Splashy, ineffectual student protests are planned for the entire week of the 19th. The Dress Like a Tree protest will be the kickoff, with other events including Paint Yourself Orange Tuesday, Whine like a Bitch Wednesday, the traditional Running of the Nerds out at Engineering A on Thursday and, finally, Get Drunk and Forget About it Friday."

"Students interested in wasting their time by throwing their bodies into the mighty gears of governance in order to be crushed into paste are encouraged to visit the Student Council website at www.hotdrunkcollegesluts.com.

Read more Joel at Watch without a Watchman !!


Saturday, January 17, 2004

Dying to tell the story

"There are some who feel like, that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is: Bring them on. We got the force necessary to deal with the situation." - President George W. Bush


Today the american casualty numbers reached beyond the milestone of 500 dead, bringing the total to 501 dead american soldiers.

Since the american led invasion of Iraq started March 20 2003, there have also been 56 British soldiers, five Bulgarian soldiers, one Danish soldier, 17 Italian soldiers, two Polish soldiers, eight Spanish soldiers, two Thai soldiers and one Ukrainian soldier, killed in the war (current as of January 16, 2004).

And how do we even begin to count the Iraqi civilians killed in this invasion/occupation/conquest? 9000? 10,000? More? The world has questioned these actions in Iraq repeatedly, isn't it time for americans to say enough is enough? How many more years are the american people prepared to die and kill in Iraq? Another Presidential term? Until all the oil is gone? Until they aren't afraid anymore?

"The most successful war seldom pays for its losses."
- Thomas Jefferson


Bring them home now!

Friday, January 16, 2004

All I can say right now...

Bad GSA President. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Thats all I can say right now. I will say more later.

Update: For all the curious; today, like I mentioned previously, was the tuition decision at the U of Alberta. Yes, the tuition was raised again, but that was expected. It was also expected that the Graduate Students President might (even likely) vote for the increase (grad students get more funding indexed to potential tuition increases)... however it was not expected that SHE WOULD ACTUALLY MOVE THE MOTION. Bleck. Bad politics. She didn't have to go that far; and it's not like the vote was ever in danger by one vote. She sold herself out today - and I doubt whoever she was trying to impress respects her at all for it, especially now that they have exactly what they wanted. No, she didn't make any friends today. Oh well, what does she care?

In other news, my new job has been loads of fun. I have been busy, but the environment is entertaining, enjoyable and there is little to no stress. I missed working on campus so I am happy to be back; and I get to meet Duncan for lunch, as well as running at the University track (also something I miss). I am tired though, and I am glad the week is over. So far this year feels like it has been its own year all together.

We deserve a weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2004

generation debt...

Among other things happening in our lives this new year, something that has occupied our time considerably has been the issue of Tuition Hikes. Duncan has been working hard to help his organization formulate an argument against repeated tuition hikes. Every year the University puts tuition up yet again (since 1993 tuition in Alberta has tripled - next years students will have to pay over 5000.00 in tuition/fees). And it just seems to go on and on. Tomorrow morning is the decision at the U of A.

After work today, I put on my journalist's hat, and went on over to the Rally to report on the events taking place. I interviewed Raj Pannu, 1 raging granny, 2 students and the SU President, Mat Brechtel. While they all gave me great materials for my article, my all time favourite quote today came from the Students' Union Executive Comunications Officer:

"Help me go and get the Post Cards, and I will get you time with the President. There's a world where that would mean something, you know... Hey, what are you writing down?" - Duncan Wojtaszek

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Gilgamesh, where art thou?

Just started reading Kubler-Ross' Death: The Final Stage of Growth. A few tidbits to share...

"Victor Frankl has written: 'Let us now consider what we can do if a patient asks what is the meaning of his life. I doubt whether a doctor can answer this question in general terms. For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day, from hour to hour. What matters therefore, is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment.'" (xvii)

"The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death." (1)

First Day of Work Today

And I am tired. I know this is a cop out, but Wil Wheaton has a great post. That is all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

An election year, perhaps?

Getting a Man on Mars will Need More Than Just Rhetoric !

You can check out the adventures of Rover, Spirit and Opportunity on NASA's Mars pages. Interestingly enough, conspiracy insinuations have already begun to crop up across the web. I don't have anything to say about that. Yet.

It's Tuesday today

We soldier on through the daily rush of feelings and life goes on. We are rediscovering the world around us. I start working at my new job tomorrow, at 8:30am. Did I mention thats 830 in the morning? Laughs. It's a good thing.

I spent the afternoon updating the home pages, updating the DVD movie lists, fixing my photoalbum links and making another page. I am not all entirely finished, but getting there. Its really just housekeeping stuff.

Today I read that our Armed Forces are finally getting new jeeps to replace the Iltis. Being a previous soldier with a DND driving permit in an infantry regiment, I obviously have many "fond" memories of the Iltis. Well, "fond" might be an exageration, but I did learn to drive a standard transmission and cross country in that beast. However, my favourite memory was this one message that came in to the unit regarding the safety of this particular vehicle (probably in 1993). The purpose of the messsage was to inform us that the Iltis could not be driven over the speed of 80km an hour. The message further stated that if speeds were to exceed the maximum limit that it was possible that the front axle would snap, propelling the driver backwards into the rear seat of the vehicle. It finished with a warning to us that if this occurred, the driver may lose control of the vehicle.

My only thought at the time: "MAY lose control?"



Monday, January 12, 2004

Guess I will have to try harder...

50%
There's a 50% chance that I'll win a Bloggie™.
What's Your Chance to Win a Bloggie™?


This years Bloggies will soon be announced... anyone holding their breath? I know I nominated some of the people who visit here... cross your fingers!

The Price of Loyalty

"Going after Saddam Hussein was U.S. President George Bush's top foreign affairs priority when he took office in January 2001, says his former treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill."

This doesn't come as a surprise to anyone outside of america. Just add it to the pile of lies.

Dear Mr President...

In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.

Mr. George Bush president of the United States of America,
Mr. Tony Blair prime minister of the United Kingdom,
Mr. Jacques Chirac president of the republic of France,
Dr. Adnan Pachachi president of the Interim Governing Council,
Mr. Paul Bremer American civil adminstrator of Iraq,
Mr. Kofi Anan general secretary of the United Nations,
The Director of the Red Cross Organaziation,
The Director of the Human Rights Organization,

Dear Sirs,

I write to you in a very distressed state of mind and that may burst my emotions and passions because of the weighty calamity that struck me and my husband after losing our oldest son who was at the tender age of nineteen years. He was looking forward with eyes full of hope and optimism to a bright and eventful future, especially after being engaged to marry a relative of his very recently. He moved forward with all his energy to build their future life with firm and confident steps. But Fate stood in his way and seized him unexpectedly leaving a bleeding wound in the hearts of his parents, his fiance, and his friends and family. Please allow me to tell you my story...

On Saturday the 3rd of January 2004, my son and his cousin were travelling back to our residence in Samarra, they were driving a small cargo truck belonging to a third party from which they earn their livelihood in a country torn by wars and sanctions. Yes, they were back from Baghdad yet misfortune followed them from the beginning, their car broke down on the road which caused a delay in their arrival to Samarra when the curfew hour was just about to start in the city...And this is where the first chapter of the tragedy takes place. An American army patrol stood in their way, and after they went through the whole procedure of searching my son and his cousin, and inspecting the cargo load, they tied them up both and led them to an area about three kilometres from the scene and...in front of one of the gates of the Tharthar dam where water flows at its strongest rate and to my son and his cousin's horror, they ordered them to jump into the water, it was midnight and the cold was unbearable, when they hesitated, they were pushed by the soldiers. Unfortunately my boy cannot swim, even though swimming at this time of the year wouldn't have helped. Yet my sons cousin survived miraculously after he got stuck in a tree branch to give us his account of this tragic event which could have went untold. He tried saving my son, but the water current was stronger than him...After days of search we found my sons jacket floating with the stream, it shall remain with me as a memory and a symbol of the injustice brought against him by soldiers of the United States of America's army, who came to our country under the banners of human rights and democracy only to send my son to his demise on his wedding days...

To document the incident, my son's name is Zaydun Ma'mun Fadhil Hassun Al-Samarrai, born in the 1st of June 1984...Yes, they killed him and they broke my heart, try to imagine that dear sirs and ask your wives how hard it is for a mother to see her fruit ripen only to be thrown by sinful hands and to be swept away without any mercy or humanity. Those soldiers have turned everything America has ever stood for into one big lie. I was a victim, and there are and will be many more.

And that is why I turn to you all and to your respected ladies. And especially to Mr. President George Bush to look into my case and order an investigation of the event. I know that anything you may do will not bring me back my boy, but I wish that the procedures may put an end to the suffering of Iraqi mothers, we are reaping misery every day from actions of American soldiers with no regard to our human life, our dignity, and our culture and values. Maybe the procedures will help me trust (again) the validity of those banners and mottos that fly high in American skies, those which we do not perceive in our country, but instead find their opposites. Maybe such an investigation will support the power of law and justice so that day may not come when the conscience of one of the murderers awakens and confesses to its deeds, which will make it then a responsibility on your great nation.

I am assured that you know terrorism and what is regarded as a terrorist act. Pray tell me have you ever seen or heard about a terrorist act that is considered any uglier than this crime, which was followed by crushing the car and levelling it to the ground by American military vehicles?

This is a question I put to you all and to the international community, and I await a peremptory answer.

Yours sincerely,

In grievance for her son,

The mother of Zaydun Ma'mun Fadhil Hassun Al-Samarrai.

Samarra, Iraq.


This letter was published by Healing Iraq, a new blog recently added to my blogroll. Our family also lost someone on January 3rd this year. Condolences can be sent to the family (zaydunsfamily@yahoo.com).

Saturday, January 10, 2004

In Calgary...

Well, the weather is gorgeous here in Calgary. Glory to the Chinook Gods. It's warm and gorgeous and I am heading out of the door for the first few brief minutes of peace I have had since arriving (it has been understandably busy). Our social schedule has been, and remains, full. It has been tiring but enjoyable to see everyone.

For the record, Duncan's Mom's service was beautiful. Her Pastor was amazing and Duncan wrote the most touching tribute I have ever had the privilege of hearing. I am so proud of him.

Well, just over an hour left of this amazing afternoon before we meet Duncan's Dad for dinner... so I am off for my outing.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

3.5 Minutes of your time for the greater good please...

I love Political Ads (requires Apple's free QuickTime software).



There is more to see at bush in 30 seconds.

Hat Tip to Today's Shoes!

Sometimes the ironies just write themselves

“While we acknowledge Brazil’s sovereign right to determine the requirements for entry into Brazil, we regret the way in which new procedures have suddenly been put in place that single out U.S. citizens for exceptional treatment that has meant lengthy delays in processing, such as the case today with a more than nine hour delay for some U.S. citizens arriving at Rio’s international airport."



Monday, January 05, 2004

She is Gone
By Anonymous

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.


Sunday, January 04, 2004

I don't know how I missed this...

Dec 4th issue of The Gauntlet (my old newspaper) at the U of Calgary ran an add on their sports page that has recieved worldwide attention.

There are few times in my life that I experience penis-envy... this might be one of them.

Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?

Yesterday Willie Nelson appeared at a concert in Austin Texas (benefitting Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich) and premiered his latest song, a song he wrote after watching the news on Christmas Day - and was horrified to watch the war in Iraq continue unabated.

"I hope there is some controversy. If you write something like this and nobody says anything, then you probably haven't struck a nerve," said Willie Nelson. Good for him.

I found the lyrics at CounterPunch.

There's so many things going on in the world
Babies dying, Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

We believe everything that they tell us
They're gonna' kill us, So we gotta' kill them first
But I remember a commandment
"Thou shall not kill"
How much is that soldier's life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we've been told from our birth
Hell they won't lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

So I guess it's just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
Is this what God wants us to do

Now you probably won't hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker's word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth

But don't confuse caring for weakness
You can't put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free


What ever happened to Christmas cease fire practises? Aren't we sopposed to get more civilized and not less? I guess there is no civilty in cases of recolonizations and aquirition of resources/control. I shake my head - I don't know whether to be sad or angry.

**********************

As many of you know, or have maybe guessed, we had a death in the family this year. It has been difficult, I apologize for not quite being myself lately.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

On top of everything else that happens...

Someone tried to break into my house last night. This morning I noticed my door handle hanging in its slot that it is usually very tight, with ice everywhere around it. WTF?

I only slept two hours this morning. We get four papers delivered so people opening my gate after 430 am doesn't usually peak my interest. Bloody Hell. Guess they are lucky they couldn't get in. I have a history of taking kitchen knives to intruders.

It is complete.

Do you believe in life after death? What do you believe will happen to you when your transition time arrives?

Last Page...

"And in that line now was a whiskered old man ... who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven: that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one."


- the five people you meet in heaven, page 196.

I can't sleep. I am waiting for the phone to ring.

The Journey

"It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginings. We just don't know it at the time."

- the five people you meet in heaven, page 1.

It is true that we are not usually ready for the story to end.

Friday, January 02, 2004

The Whirling Rainbow



I saw a very impressive Sun Dog today. I have seen them more regularily ever since the time of the White Buffalo began, always of verying degrees.

Today I could see every color of the rainbow vividly. They always fill me with a sense of awe, urgency and something else that is hard to put my finger on. Does anyone else notice them?


random Sun Dog picture


Mitakuye Oyasin, my friends.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The Noble Truths...

A River is a River
and
A Mountain is a Mountain



1. Life is suffering;
2. Suffering is due to attachment;
3. Attachment can be overcome;
4. There is a path for accomplishing this.

Sometimes the path is not easy to walk.