Ignatieff Is Scary

August 18, 2009

October 6 2006

Michael Ignatieff is scary and I know why.  If he had been Prime Minister in the spring of 2003, Canadian soldiers would be dying in Iraq today.

I didn’t support going to Iraq because I knew a lot of things Ignatieff didn’t seem to know.

I knew these same neocons that now inhabit the White House had plans to invade Iraq to secure its oil reserves long before the 9/11 attack.  I knew because they said so in a document called The Project for the New American Century.

I knew that Hans Blix, the United Nations head weapons inspector, said he had discovered no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq but would need a few more months to know for sure.

I knew retired weapons inspector Scott Ritter said that 95% of the weapons had been destroyed and the rest, if there were any, would have deteriorated over time or have been destroyed by the Operation Desert Fox bombing of Iraq.

I knew that in 1982 President Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.

I knew that when Saddam Hussein was at his bloody worst, the U.S. was supplying him with chemical weapons.

I knew because the U.S. senate Riegle Report said so.

I knew as well that Donald Rumsfeld was in Iraq in 1983, just after Saddam Hussein had gassed the Iranians, presenting him with a set of golden spurs from Ronald Reagan.

Why did I know all these things and Michael Ignatieff didn’t?  There is one other possible explanation.  Maybe he did know all these things and wanted to invade Iraq anyway.

Now that’s really scary.

Baseball Rules

August 18, 2009

There are two rules in baseball that I think need changing.

They are the infield fly rule and the dropped third strike rule with a runner on first and fewer than two out.

The reason I don’t like these rules:

(1) They needlessly give an unearned out.

(2) Both rules are there to protect the offence but some times help the defense

My suggested changes:

The infield fly rule:

When there is a fly ball that the Umpire judges can be caught with ordinary effort by an infielder, with less than two out, and with runners on 1st and 2nd, or 1st 2nd and 3rd.  The Umpire shall shout, “Infield fly.”  If the ball is not caught the ball is live and the defense will be entitled to attempt to get one force* out on the play.  All runners ahead of the force out can advance safely to the next base and may be played on if they attempt to advance farther or overrun the base. (Ball is live- no time called)

* Tagging a runner who is forced to run is a force out.

The dropped third strike rule:

A batter becomes a base runner if the catcher fails to catch a third strike.  If first base is occupied the catcher may attempt to get one force out on the play. All runners ahead of the force out can advance safely to the next base and may be played on if they attempt to advance farther or overrun the base.


Infield fly rule

If the bases are loaded and the force play is made at 2nd base, the runner who was on 2nd can go safely to 3rd and the runner on 3rd can go safely home. (Because we are guarding against a double play.)    If the runner who goes to 3rd attempts to go beyond 3rd, he can be played on.  At first glance it looks like we are awarding a base too easily, but we are not.  If the fielder thought he had time to get the lead runner at home he would have thrown the ball there.  The only reason he would have taken the out at 2nd is because he thought he didn’t have time to get either the runner going to 3rd or home so these runners would have gotten their bases anyway.    If the fielder makes a mental mistake and makes the play at 2nd when he probably had time to get one of the other runners, then he made a bad decision and it was his fault.  We don’t need rules preventing mental mistakes.

The only reason for my rule change is because there will be times when the fielder will not get one out, and because there is no automatic out he will not be rewarded for making an error. It is true that this rule is not all that important in the major leagues, but rules are made for all baseball players. (There are some exceptions).  Infield flys are dropped all the time in amateur or sandlot ball, if they do, they should be able to pick up the ball and get one out.  The point is they often don’t. I think they should have to make the out and not get it automatically. This would make the game more interesting when a ball is not caught.

I can recall games where the umpire forgot to call, “infield fly.” The infielder dropped the ball and all three base runners advanced.  The coach called time and reminded the umpire that it should have been an automatic out and the umpire called the runner on first out.  The rule is there to prevent the fielding team from getting an intentional double play.  They didn’t get any outs and yet were awarded an out.  I think if I had been the umpire I would have said  no, the rule is not there to help you it is there to protect the offense against an intentional double play.

Dropped third strike rule:

I am more concerned with the dropped 3rd strike rule, because this happens quite often in the majors.  With a runner on first, (with fewer than two out) the batter swings and missed a third strike that get past the catcher and rolls to the backstop.  Under the current rules the batter will be out even though he could easily have gotten to 1st.   I think the batter should be able to run whether 1st is occupied or not and let the catcher attempt to get only one out on the play, just as he has to do if there is two out.

If there are runners on 1st and 3rd and the catcher drops a third strike, he could get a double play if he tags the runner coming from third and then throws the ball to either 1st or 2nd for the other out. Again he only got one force out and he got it because the runner on 3rd elected to run not because he was forced to run.

Some argue that a catcher would purposely let a third strike drop in order to get a fast runner off the base. This is not likely because it might be a foul tip that he might have otherwise caught and the batter would get another swing. I have heard the same argument with the infield fly.(get a fast runner off the bases)  if this is so why don’t players do this all the time with only a runner on first base?

Support our Troops?

August 6, 2009

A Response to a “Support the Troops” email.

I am sure those who put, “Support the Troops” ribbons on their vehicles, do so with good intentions. I also have reason to believe that those who support the troops in this way know very little about the Afghanistan invasion. If they did know, they would not be in favor of keeping our troops in Afghanistan to kill and be killed. If they really want to support the troops they would be demanding, as I do, they be brought home and apologized to for the lies we have told them.
I believe the facts below are indisputable. I have given references to be checked.

As I said, I believe the people who support the troops in this way do so with good intentions. I believe that most of them are honest and objective. I also understand how they could have these opinions, given the compliant media in Canada and the United States.

People live in a work-a-day world and most don’t have time to search though the alternate press for a dissenting opinion

So, I ask you to read the short history below. If you disagree with it, I would be delighted if you would tell my why. If you agree with it, then ask you to use your talent and your time to put an end to this senseless illegal war and send this article  to all of the ones you sent your letter to.

Every reason given for the invasion of Afghanistan has been a lie. What is the invasion about?  First let me say what it is not about.

It is not a UN authorized mission. (1)

It is not about a response to terrorism. (2)

It is not about bringing Osama bin Laden back dead or alive. (3)

It is not about bringing democracy to Afghanistan or rebuilding the country. (4)

(1) Walter Dorn is Associate Professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and the Canadian Forces College, and in the last year has been an outspoken critic of Canada’s abandonment of UN peacekeeping. This is what he had to say about the UN.

”The US has not sought and did not receive UN authorization for its war on terror or the operation designed to carry this war out, “Operation Enduring Freedom” (OEF). Unlike ISAF, OEF has no UN-sanction. Yet Canada entered Kandahar under the banner of OEF and from that moment on, we could not be labelled as impartial or objective or having the population’s interest foremost in mind. We have become increasingly identified with the global perception of the US around the world as seeking to find and defeat enemies in its national interest. We became one of the conflicting parties and we remain so to this today, even though we are currently serving under NATO.”

(2) Richard Clarke was the Whitehouse antiterrorist terrorist advisor. In his book, “Against all Enemies” Clarke makes it clear that Bush had no intentions of invading Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 attack. He writes, “*Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq. Since the beginning of the administration, indeed well before, they had been pressing for a war with Iraq.” “I thought I was missing something here,” I vented. “Having been attacked by al Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor.”

Later in the day, Secy. Rumsfeld complained to Clarke  that there were no decent targets for bombing in Afghanistan and that we should consider bombing Iraq, which, he said, had better targets. Clarke said,  “At first I thought Rumsfeld was joking. But he was serious and the President did not reject out of hand the idea of attacking Iraq. Instead, he noted that what we needed to do with Iraq was to change the government, not just hit it with more cruise missiles, as Rumsfeld had implied.”  Clarke continued, “He (Bush) looked like he wanted something to do. He grabbed a few of us and closed the door to the conference room. “Look,  he told us,”  ‘I know you have a lot to do and all, but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he’s linked in any way.’ I was once again taken aback, incredulous, and it showed. “But, Mr. President, Al Qaeda did this.” ‘I know, I know, but – see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred of evidence.’

(3)   After Bush said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, the president was asked, in a March 13, 2002, conference in the Whitehouse ‘Where’s Osama bin Laden?’ “He said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t really think about him very much. I’m not that concerned.’ We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.’

It is also well known that the United States, through the CIA had a cozy relationship with Osama bin Laden long before 9/11. Both the CIA and bin Laden trained and financed the Kosovo Liberation army in Kosovo and in the eighties both the CIA and bin Laden  trained and financed the Mujahideen in their quest  to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan


(4)  Before the invasion of Afghanistan (Oct 07/01) Bush, realizing he could not go directly to Iraq. made two speeches to justify the evasion of Afghanistan. In neither speech did he say anything about bringing democracy to Afghanistan. The closest he came was a couple of short paragraphs in each speech. In the first one he said, “At the same time, the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets, we’ll also drop food, medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan.”

And in the second speech, “Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
The United States respects the people of Afghanistan — after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid — but we condemn the Taliban regime.” Nothing was said about bringing democracy Afghanistan.

Commenting on the Manley Report, Eric Margolis writing in the Toronto Sun (January 27, 2008) had this to say.

“The report’s claim that Afghanistan’s U.S.-imposed regime is “democratic” is absurd. CIA “asset” Hamid Karzai was installed by Washington and is kept in power by U.S. troops and a stream of cash payoffs to drug-dealing tribal chiefs. His rigged “election” was supervised by U.S. troops and bought with $100 bills.

What is the invasion about?

We know from number (2) above that it was about using Afghanistan as a springboard to invade Iraq.

It is also about having a compliant government in Afghanistan that would allow a pipeline to cross the country. The pipeline was planned long before 9/11.

The next two + paragraphs are found in, “Creating A Failed State”  “The US and Canada in Afghanistan.”

A book by John W Warnock.  (p 83)

In June 2001 Chokila Iyer, the Indian foreign minister, reported that the United States and Russia were planning a military attack on Afghanistan through the borders of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  They planned to back the warlords of the Northern Alliance in an effort to overthrow the Taliban government.  The Indian government agreed to “facilitate” this military action.  This planned attach on Afghanistan was widely discussed at a July 2001 meeting of the G8 countries in Geneva.

The United Nations has been hosting a series of meetings in Berlin between the United States, Russia and the six countries that border Afghanistan, known as the “Six –plus-Two negotiations.  The eight governments agreed that what was needed was the creation of a new Afghanistan government of national unity that would be fallowed by international economic aid and the building of the pipelines.  Naif Naik, the Pakistani foreign minister reported that the US government threatened the Taliban at the meetings, telling them if they did not agree to this proposal the United States would initiate “a military operation.”  Naik reported that US officials told him that the military action against the Taliban would begin in by the middle of October 2001.

Then came the events of September 11, 2001, which provided the rational for the military attack that had already been planned.

Family Structure

August 6, 2009

September 16, 2003

Alliance MP. David Anderson is quoted in the press (Sept. 13) saying, “Every culture that has fallen has disintegrated when the family structure was torn apart either by internal war, outside pressures or by immorality.” The chasm between Anderson’s lofty statement and his actions should not go unchallenged.

Last March in his “Ottawa Report,” Anderson asked his constituents to join the Alliance party in its quest for the invasion of Iraq.  Anderson and his Party ignored the voices of reason that said the zeal for this war was based on a tissue of lies. This has now been confirmed but, instead of an apology from the Alliance for this misadventure, it has remained silent.

Imagine the “disintegrated” families of the six thousand innocent Iraqis and the three hundred and fifty Coalition soldiers killed in this war.

Anderson would be wise to spend some time mourning the “family structure‑‑‑‑torn apart,” by him and his ilk that supported this immoral, illegal invasion of Iraq.

Canada in Afghanistan

August 6, 2009

September 29, 2007

I am always pleased to find pamphlets in my mailbox from my MP David Anderson. Perhaps it is because he confirms my belief that he has no problem being careless with the facts.

In his last pamphlet (fall 2007) one page is titled “Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.”  Here Anderson wastes no time getting down to misleading his constituents. His first sentence is “Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of their democratically elected government.”  This is not true.  A few Canadian troops were deployed in Afghanistan as early as Oct. 2001 but most of them were deployed in early 2002. Afghanistan is currently led by President Hamid Karzai, who was elected in Oct. 2004. So, Mr. Anderson, what were the Canadian forces doing in Afghanistan for three years, while they were waiting for the invitation from this “democratically elected “ government?

His very next paragraph is another whopper.  Here he says, “Canada has joined the United Nations-sanctioned mission in Afghanistan …..”  This is not true either.  There are no UN resolutions authorizing the United States to invade Afghanistan.  There are several UN resolutions related to Afghanistan that were passed after the invasion, but this is just another example of the UN trying to deal with the mess caused by the illegal  invasion.

In his next paragraph Anderson says, “Helping Afghanistan continues the Canadian tradition of taking an active role to bring lasting peace in a part of the world that has seen turmoil and upheaval.”  Does Anderson not know that a big part of the turmoil and upheaval in that part of the world was (is) caused by our friend and ally the United States of America?   Has Anderson forgotten that his party supported the US illegal invasion of Iraq? Does he not know that the US is now threatening to attack Iran?  Has he not figured out that our having troops in Afghanistan has freed up more US troops to do their dirty work in the very part of the world Anderson is concerned about?  Does Anderson know that in the past the United States has allied itself with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban—the very forces we are fighting in Afghanistan?

The pamphlet also lists the good things Canadians are accomplishing in Afghanistan in areas such as health, education and clean water etc. This should be put in perspective. These things have come at the cost of over 70 Canadian lives and many more seriously wounded. It has also come at the cost of tens of thousands of Afghani civilians killed or wounded.

There are financial costs too. In August 2006, the Polaris Institute estimated that the counter‑insurgency mission would cost Canadian taxpayers around $4 billion over two years. That is $2 billion per year. This compares to the $1 billion, over ten years that Canada is providing for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.  This works out to $100 million per year ‑‑ or five per cent of what we’re spending on the military mission. So for every $5 we are spending on reconstruction in Afghanistan we are spending $95 fighting.  There are many countries where we could reverse this and spend $5 to put $95 towards aid and development and we could do it without having some one trying to kill us for our troubles.

The Accountability Act

August 6, 2009

Letters to my MP

September 8, 2008

I thought our Conservative government in Ottawa would not want to draw attention to its record on government accountability.  I was wrong.
The last pamphlet that I got from my MP David Anderson had this little gem in it.
“Accountability- We promised to bring more accountability to the federal government.  We delivered.  The Accountability Act was one of our biggest priorities.  We’ve brought good, accountable government to Ottawa.”
According to Democracy Watch (http://www.dwatch.ca/) the Conservative Party of Canada had the best accountability policy. It promised 57 reforms. So what did the Conservatives deliver?
The Accountability Act (Bill C-2) when it was introduced kept only 30 of the 57 promises. But wait; there is still one of the 30 yet to be implemented.  So the government has kept 29of its 57 promises, or 50.8%.  Still Mr. Anderson says, “We delivered.” On the other hand maybe 50.8% is about all we should expect from this government.

Illegal Invasion of Iraq

August 6, 2009

September 16, 2003

Alliance MP. David Anderson is quoted in the press (Sept. 13) saying, “Every culture that has fallen has disintegrated when the family structure was torn apart either by internal war, outside pressures or by immorality.” The chasm between Anderson’s lofty statement and his actions should not go unchallenged.

Last March in his “Ottawa Report,” Anderson asked his constituents to join the Alliance party in its quest for the invasion of Iraq.  Anderson and his Party ignored the voices of reason that said the zeal for this war was based on a tissue of lies. This has now been confirmed but, instead of an apology from the Alliance for this misadventure, it has remained silent.

Imagine the “disintegrated” families of the six thousand innocent Iraqis and the three hundred and fifty Coalition soldiers killed in this war.

Anderson would be wise to spend some time mourning the “family structure‑‑‑‑torn apart,” by him and his ilk that supported this immoral, illegal invasion of Iraq.

Curbing Crib Deaths

August 5, 2009

Curbing Crib Death

Swift Current – Thursday August 6, 2009 – by: Bev Currie


A New Zealand chemist believes he has solved the mystery of “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.” Also known as SIDS or Crib Deaths, in Canada, it is the leading cause of infant deaths.


The culprit is the crib mattress. Dr. Jim Sprott believes SIDS is caused by gaseous poisoning. The poisonous gases arise from the mattress where the baby sleeps. When the mattress is soiled, a common household fungus reacts with chemicals in the mattress to produce at least one of three deadly gasses. The danger rises as the mattresses are re-used from one baby to the next.


Prevention is remarkably simple. Dr. Sprott recommends all mattresses be fitted with a plastic cover. There has never been a crib death in New Zealand on a mattress that has been properly covered. Crib mattresses (and any other mattress that a baby sleeps on, including sheepskins) should be wrapped in thick, natural colour polythene (not PVC) sheeting. He says polythene is the type available in hardware stores. Only the top and sides of the mattress is covered, leaving the gases ( which are heavier than air) to escape harmlessly away from the baby. Commercial mattress covers are available for under $30. at www.kidalog.com. and more information can be found on Dr. Sprott’s web-site http://www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr/sprott/avoid.html.

.45 / 1,000

So, why isn’t this information more readily available in Canada? Our death rate from SIDS is .45 per one thousand births, all avoidable if Dr. Sprott is right.

Not in

Both Canada and Saskatchewan health web-sites offer advice on how to reduce the risk of SIDS but neither mention mattress covers. We should be demanding this information be given to all parents with newborns.

Nubile Women

August 4, 2009

It’s the tenth of July and lordy it’s hot.

And the boys have all gone swimmin.’

Me, I’m ridin’ to town.

To find me some nubile women.

It’s times like this I talk to my Pa.

He’s always free with advice.

When it comes to women he’s had him a fe.

Though he… uh…never had time for a wife.

When it comes to y’ur sexual preferences.

He says there’s a number of things you can try.

There’s y’ur hetro, y’ur homo and y’ur metro.

Y’ur A and y’ur trans and y’ur bi.

Now I’m findin’ this all real confusin’

It’s enough to boggle the mind.

So, I thought, I’ll get me to town.

To see what women I’ll find.

So here I was ridin’ old Dusty.

To find what the night life’s about.

I figured I’d take the old gelding.

‘Cuz his gender’s not really in doubt.

So I find myself lopin’ down Main Street.

And really hadn’t got all that far.

When I spied a bright light a flashin’.

From a sign hangin’ over a bar.

So I sidled in real casual.

Not meanin’ to be forward or bold.

Took time to look the place over.

Just the way I’d been told.

So I sat me down at a table.

And a pirate served me a beer.

I could tell by the hankie he had on his head

And the gold ring he wore in his ear.

When my eyes got used to the darkness.

I noticed two young women sittin’ near.

So I motioned the Pirate over and said,

“Bring them two gals each a beer.”

Now the Pirate gave me a sideways look.

And says, “You don’t understand,

Those two women are lesbians.

They love women, not men”.

So I mulled that over for a minute.

And I let ‘er sink in really slow.

And all the while I’m a thinkin’.

There’s two women I’m wantin’ to know

So I says to that there pirate.

“Bring us over three brew.”

“Cuz according to that definition,

By gar, I’m a lesbian too.”

A Very Strange Bird

August 4, 2009

A very strange bird is the Senator.

He sits in his chamber all day.

He sleeps while he works,

Enjoying his perks,

Pretending he’s earning his pay.

I long for the life of a Senator.

It would free me from worry and strife.

If they would just hire me,

And when they retire me,

Give me a pension for life.

But I know there’s no need for a Senator,

Though he is sober in thought.

I say don’t hire him.

I would just fire him,

For it’s all a capitalist plot.