Sunday, December 31, 2006

Back for today...

We had an unexpected death in the family during the holidays and both of us have the flu. Sorry for not posting lately. I should be back in a few days.

Monday, December 18, 2006

If you expected anything else, you're playing dumb...

With everything that has been happening in Palestine, the fighting and supposed civil war, it surprises me that some people make out like it actually is a surprise. What else did anyone expect the outcome of all this created chaos to end up in? Happiness? Utopia?

If you expected anything less than chaos, you are either playing dumb or playing along. The sad thing is, the players aren't the ones who have to live it. They get to sit back and look at it like it's some video game they had a hand in making, or they continue to ignore it. It's not their family or friends, so why should they care? It's real. People are suffering. It isn't a game.

Do you want in on the reality? Here are just a few things I've taken from What Really Happened

EU to Israel: Stop violating int'l law: "The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those agreed by both parties,” the statement said. Link

Ex-soldiers break `silence' on Israeli excesses: "We provide the tools for people to understand the deeply woven moral corruption and numbness of what we do (in the Occupied Territories). It's like a slide; once you start going down, you keep going down." Link

Evacuation of settlement outpost in West Bank delayed: "Evacuation of the illegal West Bank settlement outpost of Migron, which was built on private Palestinian land, is likely to be delayed for another half year, according to a government brief submitted to the High Court of Justice on Sunday." Link

UNICEF 2006 One of The Worst Years for Palestine Children: United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that 123 Palestinian children have been killed since outbreak of hostilities, more than double the 2005 figure., adding that some 340 children remain in detention facilities. Link

Israeli soldiers tell of indiscriminate killings by army and a culture of impunity: "The reason why I am telling you this is that I want the army to think about what they are asking us to do, shooting unarmed people. I don't think it's legal." Link

Here is an article from Filasteen: An Introduction to the Israel-Palestine Conflict. Link

From The Truth Will Set You Free:

I Swear...: "However, for the past month or so, I have been filling out some schools' applications. Most of them are American. It gets easier by time to repeat what you first have trouble in articulating and then jotting down. All follow the same pattern, yet not when it comes to the nationality part. Of course, "Palestine" is never provided as an option. It crushes one's feelings to find out that you are not considered what you believe you are. It is like hallucinating while the whole world mocks you." (As an aside, this article has a beautiful picture of Palestinian students graduating from University, and believe it or not they actually look like you and me! Yes, they really are normal people! A_R Imagine That!) Link

Collective punishment, through a child's eyes: Together with another 5,000 or so residents of Gaza, who have also been waiting in recent weeks to return to their homes, she was crammed with her toddler for hours in an endless line at the crossing. "Elbow to elbow, like cattle," is how she describes this in her blog, until being pushed back in shame once again. Link

(I could go on all day with this list, but if that doesn't give you an idea about why this is happening, nothing will. And thanks to Mr. Harper, Canadians have a hand in this. I don't know about you, but it doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, it makes me feel like Canada has turned their back on doing the right thing. It makes me feel like this Government should be voted out as soon as possible. A_R)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

So, who looks at your blog?

I was reading Saskboy's (one of my favorite bloggers along with the dawg bloggers) and read his excellent post on how to get traffic to your site. I knew that I wouldn't be a big hit. First, I'm not really into politics, I've always been more of a political by-stander. I don't always know who is who, or even what they do. I joined Prog Blog for two reasons, I found I liked reading what the people on the list had to say and that they were from various backgrounds and parties. I was out to learn all about the inner workings of the government. 2nd, I wanted on a list to have some readers.

But, since I'm not as educated or savvy, I'm not a big hit when it comes to getting traffic from the Prog Bloggers. Who visits my site? The government. From the US State Department to the Canadian House of Commons. Infact the Trade Dept and International Foreign Affairs were here looking at my list of 5 things Feminism has done for me this week. I get a lot of hits from them. The remainder comes from google. I had the most hits from my Paraguay article because someone mentioned it in a Harvard forum. You'll get hit everytime you write about a corporation, mine or stock.

I needed a place to store all the news articles I had saved and wanted to look into further, and my computer was getting over run. So, when I started this blog, it was mainly a storage bin. Then I thought I'd like to write about stuff the odd time. I'm not good at it, but that has never stopped me from doing anything else. :)

The novelty wears off from time to time and I have to force myself to keep posting. The are certain issues I have that are very important to me and for that reason alone I will persist in keeping this blog alive as long as I can. I'm not as interested in having a large audience anymore, because I know if some is interested in a subject, they will google it and find me. And that is what I want. The people that want to know more about the things I have posted about things don't always make it to the big media and might otherwise have a hard time finding it.

I'd hardly complain about having a larger audience, but then that would put pressure on me to do a better job, and write more often than I do. To actually get serious about my blog. When I have to get serious about something, that's usually when I lose interest. I don't like schedules or being pressured. I am one of those people other people complain about because I won't be nailed down to anything, be it when we'll get together or if I'll make them a piece of jewelry. Which is why I don't sell it. I give plenty away, but never sell a piece.

For now, I'll be happy with a minimal amount of readers. 6 months from now that could change, or I could stop blogging all together. Who knows?

Anyway, I've had one glass of wine too many, my company has just left and I think I'll curl up on the sofa with a good book. If you feel inclined to share where your readership comes from, please do.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Harper hired ex-con as an advisor

and NDP ethics critic Pat Martin questioned whether Harper knew about Carson's past when he was hired, but stressed that people deserve a second chance in life.
"Having a past offence in your record I don't think precludes you from having a position of confidence, as long as there was full disclosure along the way," Martin said. Link

typical government stuff...

CPR has plans to expand to take advantage of busy Asian trade

Say good-bye to any hopes of seeing more "made in Canada" stamped the products we buy. Link to article.

Canadian victims of terrorism may one day be able to sue foreign states that sponsor or harbour terrorists.

Couldn't that be almost every country in the world. Who gets to say who are the terrorists? It seems to me they are everywhere! Supposedly even Canada has some. So does that mean the Canadian Government can be sued? Anyway, here is the link.

North American Union: Treaty and Treason

A good article I stumbled across. You can also keep up to date on the Border Trade Alliance here

Friday, December 15, 2006

Farewell John Bolton

"American democracy is truly a wonder, not because of its own self-inflated glory and rhetoric of its greatness, but because, contrary to that, of its shallowness and lack of democratic processes that put some of the most powerful people in the world into positions for which none of them have been elected. Further, they are mostly people who have not been elected by anyone at all for anything." Continued here.

Residents in Quebec file an $8.4-million class-action lawsuit to fight the province's privatization plans for provincial park.

The two residents spearheading the legal fight are descendants of donors who bequeathed money or land in the early 20th century to create the park and preserve the green space. Link

5 articles that made me think WTF!

WTF #1. This one had me seeing red!
VRA EXPANSION IN DANGER... As gov’t shies away from sovereign guarantee for $215m Link

WTF #2. A school in Perth will register children for lessons by scanning their fingers when they enter a classroom at the start of a lesson. Check out what they had to say: "As far as we were concerned, it wasn't necessary for us to seek parental consent in this. It's a system that has been approved by the DfES and it's supported by Capita SIMS." Link

WTF #3. John Bolton and former diplomats from Israel and Canada called on the United Nations yesterday to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide. BUT THEY CONTINUE TO IGNORE THE STARVATION, KILLINGS, DEMOLITION OF HOMES, THEFT OF LAND AND INHUMANE TREATMENT OF PALESTINIANS. Link

WTF #4. Peacekeeping Centre assured audit wouldn't be rigorous. Link

WTF #5. Africa in the middle of U.S.-European biotech trade war Link

Friday Little Bits

Introducing Friday Little Bits. Every Friday I will post 10 quick headlines in one post. Things I've saved over time that I think others might be interested in...or not.

#1 - On November 7th, 2006, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (SWP) announced through the media its intent to take over Agricore United through a share exchange. They are calling it a merger. It isn't. It is a hostile proposal. Link

#2 - The Ohio House yesterday voted 81-5 to jump-start a bill designed to give eight states and two Canadian provinces the power to prevent diversion of increasingly valuable Great Lakes water. Link

#3 - Lawmakers' hypotheticals stall effort to protect Great Lakes. Quebec and separation enter US political debate: "What happens if Quebec secedes from Canada and becomes its own country?" Rep. Bill Seitz asked the bill's sponsor, Rep. Matthew Dolan, in one recent memo. Link

#4 - The government is selling the logic of raising the current mining royalty to Canadian gold mining companies operating in Tanzania. Link

#5 - Plains All American Pipeline, operator of about 15,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. and Canada, plans to build a $77 million terminal in Illinois to increase access to U.S. and Canadian markets. Link

#6 - GMO : Independent Scientists Demand A Ban on GM Food & Feed while All GM Crops Are Tested Link

#7 - The Bush administration is clamping down on scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy. Link

#8 - The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission foresees a "massive" increase in oil prospecting and drilling once a border dispute with Suriname is resolved, Guyana's government reported. Link

#9 - Save The USA (a website I stumbled across) Link

#10 - Could the global trend toward the breakup of states reach a Latin America pressed by conflict, inequality, and regional fissure? Link

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Come on people, we have to help this guy!!!!!!

There has to be some way we can get a digital camcorder in this guys hands. Someone has to know someone who can donate, give one wholesale, or even one they no longer use. He's been in the news, it's not a scam, and he is a great activist, people love him! He's on a fixed income and would never be able to afford one.

Please leave a comment or contact Charles himself if you can help in any way. Let's get Charles live blogging!

Mexico ambassador: We need North American Union in 8 years

In a panel discussion on U.S.-Mexico relations at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Enrique Berruga, Mexico’s ambassador to theNations, said a North American Union is needed.

Another article from this site:
Port San Antonio, Lazaro Cardenas and Free Trade Alliance Conduct Second Corridor Marketing Visit to Southern China . Link

Unions upset about oilsands and overseas contracts

The decision Synenco Energy and SinoCanada Petroleum Corp.’s to contract more than half of its oilsands mine construction to China, Korea and Malaysia will hurt local jobs.

Opti-Nexen’s Long Lake and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s Horizon also exported the contracts to Asia.

They want government take some action but premier-designate Ed Stelmach says he has no intention of intervening. Link

Canada signs production agreement for F-35 fighter

ain't war grand?

Marine Brig. Gen. David Heinz, deputy director of the F-35 program, last week told Reuters that Canada -- which has already contributed $150 million to the program -- would sign the memorandum on Monday, followed by Australia on Tuesday.

The remaining partners on the $276.5-billion project to develop and build a new family of radar-evading warplanes, including Britain, Italy, Turkey and Denmark, are due to sign the agreement by the end of the year, Heinz said.
(End) Link

Who pays? Who gets to stuff their pockets? Democracy (Western style), you just have to love it.

Another article:
"Aerospace industry to get access to $8B in industrial opportunities" Link

Book Tag

The instructions:
Find the nearest book. Turn to page 123. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog. Name the book and the author.

""Major problems arise for the Bolivarian (as for most other Latin American) countries in the area of urban growth. Migration to the cities have been continuous since the beginning of the century. Because of this, together with the high fertility rate, the capital cities are growing at an annual rate of more than 7 percent, and will double in size in ten years."

Goals for Mankind
(A Report to the Club of Rome on the New Horizons of Global Community)
Ervin Laszlo et al.

Consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Money Is Too Important" To Trust With Central Bankers!

I wonder if by some sudden unknown reason the Canadian dollar and the American Dollar will become equal. Dollar for dollar. Hmmmmmm Well come on, isn't that the plan? The great hype for the adoption of the "Amero"

Anyway, here is the link to a great article that has nothing to do with my little conspiracy rant above.

ThermoEnergy Gets $1.5 Million to Build Plant in Canada

I only put this up because I wondered why they are building it in Canada and not in the States.
Anyone have an answer?

Canadian mining companies are well behind other mining nations when it comes to disclosure on social and environmental issues


and then go check out this story that mentions another Canadian mining company:
Tanzania: Secret Contracts, Public Headache

What's Up (rather down) with the Canadian Dollar?

(Quip from this article)

the Canadian Dollar is tracking the anemic U.S. greenback southward. On Friday, December 8th with the large rise in the U.S. Dollar, the Canadian Dollar did virtually nothing. Seems we cannot get a break here, good or bad.

From a fundamental basis, the reason we see for the decline and the short-term (we hope) predicament for the Canadian Dollar is due to the recent proposed changes in the Canadian income tax laws with respect to all Canadian Royalty Income Trusts. However, the major impact is on the oil and gas sector. Many investors, Canadian and U.S. and others) have been thrown into shock at the decline in value of their trusts and are currently in a dilemma in terms of what to do. This we feel is the basis of the problem with the loonie over which we as investors have no control.

Canada's international grain customers express concerns over government approach to the Canadian Wheat Board

Quips from the article:

CWB president and CEO Adrian Measner and elected director Allen Oberg will addresses the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry tonight at 7 p.m. EST and will relay messages from buyers in China, Singapore, Mexico, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada.

With our concern over the position of Adrian and the Board in general, we feel that we would be ultimately forced to look elsewhere in the world in order to confidently ensure a continued supply of high-quality wheat,” wrote Brett Warburton, executive director of the United Kingdom’s Warburtons.v

From Mexico, Grupo Altex president Roberto Servitje wrote: “We would hate to see you adopting the U.S. model where we have to deal with the large trading houses that always try to take advantage of both farmers and clients like us and very seldom, if ever, deliver what they promise.”

In another of the letters, now posted on the CWB’s Web site at , China’s COFCO buying agency expresses “astonishment” at the pending termination of Measner.

Other CWB news

Canadian Wheat Board to Use Winnipeg Commodity Exchange Western Barley Contract. Link

Lockheed building high-tech system with North America's SuperCorridor Coalition

...with sensors along a highway running from Texas to Canada. This article is just loaded with information about this Super Corridor / NAFTA Super Highway. We are going to be soooooo screwed people. And we can't say we were taken unaware. this has been common knowledge for sometime. But no one is doing anything about it. When it is finished, and tax dollars have been spent, and people finally clue into how they were duped, they will whine and rant. It will be too late. I'm sure that is what they are counting on.

And people in Ontario were fuming about how we got screwed by the 407 deal! Has anyone looked into just how big a deal this new "Corridor" is?

This is going to create major job losses for many people in America and Canada, thousands of land owners will be affected.

The only political party that had the guts to talk openly about it is the Canadian Action Party. Either the other parties have no balls or they agree with it. Because pretending not to know about it, won't work. Pretending that it ISN"T what it IS, won't work. And if they don't take action to protect Canadian interests, instead of corporate interests, they should not be running our Country. There are more "we the people" in Canada. WE are the majority. They are supposed to represent the people.

Has anyone spoken to the people that lead their party about this? I'd be curious to know what actions other parties have taken. Talk is cheap. It means nothing.

Until then, bend over, because you are being screwed by the people you are supporting. You are nothing but a vote to them. Nothing more. If you think you are special, you are deluded. You are the pencil that marks the X on a piece of paper. That is what you are good for and that is all. But are they really looking out for Canada, for the people? Can you really believe it when NOTHING is even being brought up about it?


Monday, December 11, 2006

The federal equalization program may not be legally enforceable, it may even be illegal!

And guess who said it?

One guess....

Bet you get it right

Find out here.

None Dare Call it Conspiracy

Full text of the book can be found here.

Three Palestinian Children Killed in Gaza Shooting

Gunmen opened fire on the car of a senior Palestinian intelligence official, killing three of his children and the driver as he was dropping them off at school.

Hat tip to The Truth Will Set You Free

Israel has blocked a UN fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip

Desmond Tutu was to investigate the killing of 19 innocent Palestinians in Beit Hanoun but has not been given the necessary clearance.

Hat tip to What Really Happened

Appointment of President and Chief Executive Officer of Export Development Canada

David Emerson announced the appointment of Eric Siegel as President and CEO of Export Development Canada (EDC).

I did a search on the EDC and Mr. Siegal and came across a few articles of interest:

"'Bottomless hypocrisy' demands scrutinyEconomist calls for royal commission" Link

"interim auditor general on Tuesday criticized the Export Development Corporation on how it reviews the environmental impact of industrial projects it supports." Link

"How Canada's hidden loan to Amtrak sealed deal for Quebec firm; Export Development Corp. bailed out U.S. giant while Liberals slashed VIA Rail funding" Link

`This is a race to the bottom': Crown agency spends billions secretly backing environmentally destructive projects others won't touch Export Development Corp. `will do anything,' critic says; EDC VP insists agency `routinely' turns down projects that are environmentally `risky' Link

I can't sleep and I'm addicted to Flickr...

I had a few days off and ruined my sleeping pattern. Now I'm wide awake and have to work in about 6 hours. So I'm pulling an all nighter. I guess I'll sleep well tomorrow. :)

I recently opened a Flickr page where you get to upload pictures. There's a story behind that. I was reading Matthew Good's blog and he was showing a picture of an unfinished ceiling in his apartment. He was asking what he should do about it. I wanted to comment on it but had to have a Flickr account to do so. So I opened one. And I still couldn't figure out how to leave a comment! If anyone knows the trick, let me in on it. Yeah, I know...I'm just not up to date with all this tech stuff.

I went through all that hassle to leave a comment, and never succeeded. So now I had a Flickr account. But it turned out to be a good thing because I had all those photo's from Iraq that I was going to post on this blog. Instead, I put them up at Flickr. See? Sometimes frustrating things happen for a reason.

Now I'm addicted. I put up a few scenic photo's that I'm sure nobody besides me would be interested in. Then I thought, "Maybe I'll put up a few photo's of the jewelry I've made." I get out my camera, that has so many settings and buttons and I don't have a clue how to use it properly, (I usually get my husband to deal with that part of it) and start snapping pictures of some necklaces.

So here I am, when I should be up in bed, uploading pictures to my Flickr page. I think I'll put on a fresh pot of coffee, pop in a Christmas CD and try to forget how miserable I am going to be at work when this all catches up with me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

First CNG ship approved, RFID parking meters and Satellites can put the brakes on your car

Little News Bits:

I have added a few photographs on my Flickr page taken on a road trip to B.C.
Lake Louise, a Mountain scene and a Grain Elevator in Saskatchewan.

The world's first compressed natural gas ship has been approved for construction.

Parking meters and RFID. Now we know where you have been and when you left. And don't you dare try to get away with speeding because now they can stop you by satellite. What happens if you have to speed to avoid an deer on the road or your water just broke and you are speeding to a hospital?

Some African lake levels dropped six feet in the past three years

"The outflow through two hydroelectric dams at Jinja is part of the problem — a tiny part, says the Uganda government, or half the problem, say environmentalists."

"An extreme example lies 1,500 miles northwest of here, deeper in the drought zone, where Lake Chad, once the world's sixth-largest, has shrunk to 2 percent of its 1960s size. And the African map abounds with other, less startling examples, from Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, getting half the inflow it once did, to the great Lake Tanganyika south of here, whose level dropped over five feet in five years.
"All these lakes are extremely sensitive to climate change," the U.N. Environment Program warned in a global water assessment two years ago." Link

Brookings Hosts an Ethnic Cleanser Mr. Lieberman Comes to Washington

"Lieberman is welcomed by members of America's so-called pro-civil rights, pro-minority party and their institutions. The hypocrisy of the Democrats ­ who are lined up against ethnic cleaning in Darfur, but support it in Palestine ­ is revolting."

Venezuela Says Police Cut Off Chavez Speech, N.Y. Post Reports

But they disagree with his statement. Officers cordoned off the area around the satellite equipment so that people wouldn't be exposed to its harmful radio waves, the paper said.

Ummm......oh, forget it. Why bother? The reply speaks for itself.

Canadian mining companies reap the benefits but people in Congo aren't seeing any

and "profits from the Democratic Republic of Congo's mines are being used in campaigns for this month's polls, says a report by lobby group Global Witness."

The working conditions are terrible and the people in Congo see the profits leaving the country while their standard of living stays the same.

"But it is companies in China, South Africa and Canada that have reaped most of the benefits from the ongoing trade."

Australia is too concerned with environmental and social issues surrounding mining activities

This is an article I saved back in April. Can you believe it? Too concerned? That is what managing director of uranium developer Paladin Resources Ltd John Borshoff had to say.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Weekend catch up Part 2

Continuing on with the dumping of my saved articles old and new:

Grain Millers Canada President Rick Schwein Elected NAMA Chairman. His bio includes: president of La Crosse Milling Company, a 16 year career wtih General Mills, immediate past chairman of the former American Oat Association, former member of the Chicago Board of Trade as well as the Minneapolis Grain Exchange and he served on the Trade Rules Committee for the National Grain and Feed Association.

Back in October Iranian Police accused Kurds of blowing up a section of a pipeline carrying natural gas to Turkey.

Davis Monthan AFB will conduct a nuclear weapons accident simulation from December 4-14, 2006. NORAD activities during VS 07 will take place at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, the Alaskan , Canadian and U.S. Continental NORAD Regions.

"Do certain income trusts deserve special treatment? Energy trusts in Calgary believe they do, and they're asking for a meeting with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to discuss their reasons." Link

Legislation to ensure personal information in Nova Scotia isn't disclosed under the US Patriot Act is proclaimed.Link

Massacre at Beit Hanoun: How Can We Allow This to Go On?

"PetroWorth brings unnamed Chinese multinational into P.E.I. drilling program"

"The mayor of Port Hawksbury, N.S., says the National Energy Board is ignoring the stability of the entire region by ignoring the effect of a high-speed natural gas line to the American border on rival projects in Nova Scotia"

"Foreign workers program worries labour group"

"LUKoil plans to refine Venezuelan crude in Canada"

"FBI Ordered to Disclose Details of 9/11 bin Laden Family Evacuation"

Speaking at an energy conference in Oran, Algeria, Holleaux said Sonatrach could have access to new North American markets by using GDF facilities scheduled to be built near Rabaska in Quebec, Canada.

"Top court asked to quash Canada's first terrorism prosecution."

"Retired Bell Aliant workers are upset that the Newfoundland and Labrador government will put $15 million into a new fibre optic network to connect the island with mainland Canada.
The provincial government announced last week it will invest in the $52-million network, which is being developed by Rogers Communications, Persona Communications and MTS Allstream."

If you had to pick one Christmas Song what would it be?

I have to admit I love Christmas songs. I love decorating the house and baking goodies. We don't buy gifts and give money for the younger ones to pick something on their own. Which they like because they actually get to buy something REALLY wanted. Let's face it, to get a gift for teenagers now, it runs into the hundreds for one item. This way they pool the money and are able to have the more popular items on their list. Most of the time we share great food with the family and play games with little prizes for the adults. By agreeing to leave consumerism aside, we have had less stress during the holidays.

We aren't religious but "Jesus" really is the reason for the Season. That is why there is Christmas. Somehow, Santa took the spotlight. Well, Santa and corporations. So when I look for Christmas music I tend to avoid songs that are filled with cartoon characters and the like. Everyone already has CD's filled with them, why bring more of the same? It gets a little repetative. One problem I have is finding the older songs that express the true meaning of Christmas being sung by newer artists. The ones sung by unknown artists and choirs don't go over well with the children in our family.

Does anyone have suggestions? What is you favorite Christmas Song? I don't often listen to Country music but mine is "Mary Did You Know" by Reba McEntire. No one sings this song better than Reba. You can check out a sample of it here.
Oh, and that one "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas." I don't know who sings it. It's a little kid who really does sound like a brat. It's a cute song. Lyrics are here

Weekend catch up

I keep saving things I come across thinking I'll post them another day. Another day comes and goes and the list piles up again. I think it's my excuse not to switch over to the other computer. As long as I still have "all this stuff" to finish up, I can keep on using this old machine, even though it freezes up, I can't even install the software for my new camera and I get the "insufficient memory" box popping up on a weekly basis.

So over the next few days I am going to do a one stop shopping post with all these news bits that I just cant seem to let go of, even though they might be old news or things most people won't even be interested in. I don't recall the reason I saved half of them! But this computers' time has come to be "back benched."

Just a reminder to those interested in my photographs of Iraq from 1918, I have posted them at my new Flickr page. I'll be posting other photographs from time to time.

On to the news:

Ghana will receive 480 million Canadian support yearly.

"Canada-Azerbaijan Friendship Group set up in the Canadian Parliament."

"Burnaby city hall is applying for funding for three projects under the new Canada-B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, including the proposed dredging of Burnaby Lake.
As reported in the NewsLeader last August, Burnaby qualifies for funding under the program because it defines “rural” as communities with populations of less than 250,000 people. Such communities will receive at least 80 per cent of the program funding." Wow! That is one large "rural" community!

In trading news "Canada has avoided the options-backdating scandal in the United States, but a forthcoming academic study suggests backdating could be prevalent north of the 49th parallel."

"Canadian property developer plans Dh200m tower in Dubai Business Bay."

"Chase Paymentech Solutions Becomes First Canadian Acquirer Approved by MasterCard to Process Chip Transactions."

I don't know what date this occured but it is from the Hansards about Transborder Issues. Something in it obviously made me a little "miffed."

"U.S. Sustainable Energy To Acquire Controlling Interest In Alcar Chemical Group"

SCOTTISH Parliament presiding officer George Reid was in Canada meeting the speakers of the legislative assemblies of Ontario and British Columbia to discuss with Canadian parliamentarians the issues of e-democracy, citizenship and wider public engagement.

"EU agency finds data transfers to U.S. by Swift illegal."

"FSA and ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, have announced that they will cooperate to provide thought leadership opportunities for the microelectronics industry. The first project in this collaboration will be a conference, "Creating a Robust IP Ecosystem in Microelectronics," which will be held in Ottawa in February, 2007."

Government of Canada And Aga Khan Sign Funding Agreement For Global Centre For Pluralism.

Stay tuned for more....

Friday, December 08, 2006

NAFTA Highway, Fibre Optics News

A 300-hectare industrial park located to the north of Querétaro City at the intersection of Mexico's most important highway, Highway 57 (the NAFTA Highway), and the by-pass to Mexico City.

The new $50 million industrial park marks the first major investment in Mexican real estate development by U.S.-based pension funds. The first phase of the project, a $20 million investment involving 120 hectares of 300 total hectares to be developed, includes a four-kilometer rail spur connecting to Mexico's major north/south rail line, a new electrical substation, a natural gas distribution network, a fibre optic communications system, a Factory Mutual-standard fire loop, and a state-of-the-art sewage treatment facility. Link

Fiber Optic Systems Technology or FOX-TEK, a provider of patented fiber optic sensor systems, today announced it is supplying a major North American Gas Transmission company with fiber optic slope indicators for ground movement monitoring near critical pipelines in Western Canada. FOX-TEK recently began commercially supplying non-intrusive fiber optic sensing systems for applications in the Oil & Gas sector such as pipeline bending and internal corrosion monitoring. Link

In the red: Canada's deepening trade deficit with China not a big issue

Stefane Marion, National Bank's Financial economist estimates "Chinese shipments to Canada have quadrupled in the past four years — rising at a much faster pace than Chinese sales to the rest of the world, and 60 per cent faster than Chinese exports to the U.S"


``In our opinion, this development argues for more downsizing in Canadian manufacturing,'' he added.

This isn't an issue? It should be.

Ecuadorans accuse Canadian mining company of hiring gunmen

The Ecuadoran government gave the mining company the grant to use the land without the consent of the locals and they aren't happy. Link

Canadian Governor-General announces investment for McCains plant in South Africa

A R500m investment. BUT it's success will depend on the "local authority's ability to extend its water, electricity and effluent management infrastructure" AND "black ownership in SA was not an option." The article goes on to say: "The problem of introducing black managers to the company was that McCain would be competing with everyone else for a pool of engineering and management personnel."

McCain 's had "started a potato seed project which will be handed over to black farmers after five years." and in "Lichtenburg, in North West, most of the 10000 tons of potatoes supplied from the area would come from black farmers by next year."

I changed my mind

Instead of posting all the photo's on this blog, I opened a Flickr account. I'll try to get them all up ASAP. So check back for new ones.

Here is the link. Some of the photo's were only 2x3 and many of them were poor quality. But I put them up anyway because it's history. Isn't history all blurry anyway? :)
If you click on them you can view a larger image.

I have also put a link to "My Flickr Page" on my links list on the right side panel of this site. I might eventually put up some of my beadwork as well and anything else I come across in my travels that might be interesting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The story behind the photographs

If you want the scoop from an earlier post about how I obtained these photographs. Click here.

I'll post one from time to time, but I thought maybe I would list all the photographs that are in the album and if you are interested in a particular one, just ask and I'll put it up.

So here is the list:

-Mesopotama 1918 Ezra's Tomb
-2 people walking down a Baghdad Street
-A Mosque in Baghdad
-Water Drawing in the Euphrates Hillah (2)
-Procession in Arab Festival Hillah
-Coolie on roof of Fort
-A picture of buildings taken from the Tigris during a second visit Aug 1918

The pictures below are taken in Basra Spring of 1918
-Arab Coffee Shop
-Camels at Ashar
-Kurds at Migil
-People at Ashar Creek
-Date Palms near Basra
-Ford cars going to Hillah
-Ship on the Tigris, Mahala
-there are 18 more with no written description. All sorts of actvities.

Native Soldier With Mule Gharry (Photo 1918)

Click on photos for larger image

German Engine Captured on the Berlin to Baghdad RW (Photo)

This photo was very small. I haven't figured out how to enlarge photos yet. There are too many buttons and things. It will require a bit of reading on my part. I'm just playing around with it for now.

1918 Photo of Iraq Camp

Testing Scanner (B&W 1918 Photo of Iraq Fort)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

U.S. And Lebanon Sign Trade Deal

It just seems to go hand in hand.
Good for business I guess.

Contaminated Feed: bad for the animals but not for us?

An investigation on contaminated feed in Ontario and Quebec showed that there was just a low risk to animal health. The probability of BSE being in the feed was extremely remote. Probability! What is this Russian Roulette?

And why does this keep happening? How long has there been a ban on this type of feed? Where are the agencies that are supposed to be protecting us? Too busy going after the small guys and organic farmers? I don't know about you, but probably just doesn't cut it.

How much CO2 emission is too much?

I found this article quite interesting. Here is a short quip from it:

"One final note: most of the climate change community, steered by Kyoto and IPCC, limit the scope of their consideration to the year 2100. By setting up the problem in this way, the calculation of a safe CO2 emission goes up by about 40%, because it takes about a century for the climate to fully respond to rising CO2. If CO2 emission continues up to the year 2100, then the warming in the year 2100 would only be about 60% of the "committed warming" from the CO2 concentration in 2100. This calculation seems rather callous, almost sneaky, given the inevitability of warming once the CO2 is released. I suspect that many in the community are not aware of this sneaky implication of restricting our attention to a relatively short time horizon."

Can some help me understand this? (Mackenzie Gas Project Question)

I could be wrong, so that is why I'm asking. But from what I read the Mackenzie Gas Project is run by Esso, Shell, ConocoPhilips, ExxonMobil and the Aborigional Pipeline Group.

If that is right, and our Goverment doesn't own or is not making money from this venture why is it that Canadian tax dollars would be spent on it? The land it is running through is First Nations Territory and Ottawa has made a first offer of $104 million and some additional powers for 39,000 square kilometres of land. I don't know how it works, maybe only the Government can make land deals and then the company actually does pay?

Please tell me that I'm wrong here and that our Government has a stake in it. And if it doesn't have a stake in it, why should Canadian taxes pay for it? Why shouldn't the people who own the companies pay for it?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What does the average person think about politics?

What does the average person think? I hear that a lot. Most progressive bloggers are part of the political circle and have politcal friends. I read a comment somewhere that obviously only politcal people read or are interested in political blogs and news, and that they wonder about the average person, and what they think or care about.

Well, I'm about as average as they come, and so are my friends. So, I thought I'd share a few things that might surprise you.

I have been interested in the environment and the outright war on our food supply for many years. I had no interest in politics, how it was run, or even who was running it. All the same to me. All bad.

Then came Jean Cretien. I have to say, I liked him and I still do.

The war in the Middle East was when I started really into it. (and liking Jean even more) I was complaining to someone about the US and they said, why don't you take an interest in your own country? So I did. I started looking things up and the more I read the more I had to know. It hasn't stopped since.

The sponsorship scandal. Well, I can't say it shocked me. The spending habits, the bribes, the friends with benefits. Come on, nothing new. They just got caught. I'm not saying it didn't make me angry. I still don't care about it. I think they insult the intelligence of the average person when they think that kind of advertising works. I wish Governments would learn that people can appreciate and understand truth and bluntness. They should try it sometime. What pissed me off was who the money went to. Advertising agencies? They could have done something good for Quebec and the people in it with that money instead of blowing it that way. Also, had they been upfront and said we are putting this amount of money into Quebec to sway the vote, who would have argued? Not me. The sponsorship scandal, it's over and done with. No one I talk to was surprised by government corruption. That's the sad part.

I'd like Quebec to stay. I think there are outside influences that are at work in Quebec, and they have other interests than to make things better for "the average Quebecer." But, if in the end they decide to leave, well, that is thier choice. The only thing I have to say about it is, the Native Indians should have a say in whether thier land stays a part of Canada or not and if they separate, they do it fully. No more Canada Post, no help from our government. No health care. Nothing. You are on your own. No one I talk to even cares about it. I do.

Harper. Here is where it gets interesting. I haven't spoken to one person who likes him. And my job takes me all over. I met and work with different people every few weeks. People from every nationality, political stripe, and people who never even vote. No one wants us in Afghanistan. No one likes how things have changed. No one is happy about following the lead of another Country. The younger generation is even more vocal about this. Where all these polls come from that most Canadians support this Goverment and what it is doing is beyond me. I have yet meet, in person, anyone who has said that.

Health Care. I haven't met a person who isn't totally pissed off at the thought of paying for it.

The Goverment is so out of touch with the average Canadian and has been for years. While I don't like where Canada is headed right now, I have noticed one positive thing about it. People are talking. And they don't like what they are seeing. If anything, it has raised the awareness that in order to put an end to corrution, scandals and things they don't like, they have to become part of the process. They have to voice their opinion, they have to get out there and vote. They can't continue to sit back and let the same people get away with the same thing year after year. You can't wait for the right person to come in and save the day. That only happens in the movies.

The reality of a United North America is setting in. Of course, it has absolutely no benefit to the average person. Unless you are in on the contracts or big business, it is bad news. It's no longer a conspiracy. Millions of Americans, Canadians and Mexicans will be hurt by this. Yet, our Governments continue to make tweaks here and there, under our noses, like we are stupid. Like we will never clue in.

Our environment is in shambles. We are headed for weapons in space. We are being lied to about our role in many of these things. Our soldiers are dying to protect oil pipelines and crops. It's odd to see the "politcal people" avoiding these issues on a daily basis, and yet this is what I hear from "the average" person everyday. And they wonder why people are not interested in politics. It's more watching like a bunch of children seeing who can get the last good "one-liner" in, who can make the best jab. But nothing gets done. Nothing that really counts. These people run our Country and it looks like they could care less that we are giving up control of our natural resources, that we are headed to in a very bad direction. They just continue playing the game. Where are all the real people who are working on behalf of the Canadian people? Where are the politicians that will take action? Talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

I think the next election will bring a few surprises. There will be many more voters. Voters who are sick and tired of the same crap that has been going on for years. And it may take a few years but there will be more support for grassroots parties. And if it took all this to make it happen, I'll look on the bright side. That people are finally paying attention. And it's not the people who support the big parties. I look forward to that day.

But I have to say that I am happy with the Dion win. And I hope that this new Liberal party will bring some credibility back into parliament. I'm open to anyone who wants the best for Canada. I guess we have to wait and see.

Let's Play Santa for a Gutsy Blogger

The blogger Charles Leblanc who made headlines in November and won when a judge aquitted him on obstruction charges, has been one person who has taken his blogging seriously.

I had heard from someone who donated a digital camera AND a computer to him that it would be great if Charles could get his hands on a digital video recorder. This guy covers so many things and is a true activist. And it costs money to get around and keep doing what he does.

I tried to pull some strings to get a DVC but had no luck, so I decided that I would at least send him a Christmas card with and and a little something to help towards the purchase one, or the expenses he has to keep running his site.

Then I thought maybe I could put this up and someone else might too. Or that there might be someone who has an old one kicking around, someone who knows someone who might donate a Digital Video Camera would be even better!

If you are interested in sending him a Christmas card, if you don't celebrate, maybe a letter?
Or if you know anyone who can help get a Video Camera into Charles' hands here is his address: (Well-Wishers Only Please) you can e-mail Charles at this is his site. Or you can leave a message here and I will get his mailing address for you.

I'd like to be as active as Charles and it would be great if he had the ability to have videos on his site. After what he has been through, it would be a great gift. Spread the word if you can. Thanks

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Thank Goodness!! Now I can breathe

I haven't given my 2 cents about the Liberal Leadership race because I'm not a Liberal and felt I didn't know enough about politics or the Candidates to have a say.

But now....

OH my Goodness...


I'll have to become more familiar with Dion. From what little I have read, he seems ok.

It feels like Christmas to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, December 01, 2006

Colin Thatcher now a free man

paroled after being charged with the murder of his wife in 1983.

(I'm right in the middle of the book right now. I guess I know how it ends)

Canada imposes sanctions on North Korea

"Canada is fully implementing the Resolution (1718), which is intended to bring North Korea back to the six-party talks and to encourage it to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a verifiable and irreversible manner," Peter MacKay said.

Are the 70,000 Pentagon Mercs in Iraq killing Shias, Sunnis?

The kidnapping of four American security contractors earlier this month in Iraq revived allegations that U.S. private security companies are involved in the current bloodshed in Iraq. Iraq war is not just fought by occupation armies and resistance fighters- private firms, consisting of gun-wielding ex-soldiers, are also involved.

That is what’s being said in Young Pelton’s upcoming book “Licensed To Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror” Link

I'm all caught up in this Liberal thing

This is a first for me, as some of you might know, I'm kind of new to this side of the political game. I never knew politics could be so interesting! I love being able to read the blogger reports live on the floor. It ALMOST, but not quite, makes me wish I were a Liberal, just to get in on this. I'm sure that will wear off as soon as the new leader is chosen.

Anyway, thanks to all the bloggers for making this interesting and taking the time to give their view on what is happening. That is what makes this so appealing. Being able to read about the different sides and what everyone is thinking.

A few years ago, I would never have imagined I would be scouring political blogs :)
My, how things change.