Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Tales From the...


These ones are not so horrifying, just hilarious. And actually, these are tales about school - mostly.

One is from the one room school with the little brown shack out back.  Actually there were two little brown shacks, one for girls and the other for boys.

One day I had to go during class hours so, as any good little girl would do, I put up my hand and asked to be excused. After doing my business in the little brown shack, I got it into my head that I had been out there too long and if I went back into the school I would probably catch heck from the teacher, so I decided to stay outside. Before long, the whole school and the teacher were outside looking for me. I was so embarrassed.

Another one from the family: My parents went on a holiday out to British Columbia, to visit my Dad's brother, who lived in Kamloops.  I was sixteen.

I believe that's the first holiday they had taken since their honeymoon in the great metropolis of Winnipeg, so it would have been something like twenty years without a break. Because I was sixteen and my older sister had already flown to coop to attend university, I was left in charge of the younger siblings. My youngest sibling had never experienced any time without mom and dad around. She must have been feeling very vulnerable, because while they were away, she had nightmares - vivid, frightening and oh, so weird. She dreamed she was being chased by giant string beans carrying knives. To this day we still tease her about it and she still gets mad at us when we do. But what an image!!

On another occasion, my younger sister (who for some reason had a hate on for me -  sweet, innocent me???!!!) threw an orange at me. The only trouble is, she was outside, peering in through a window and I was inside, peering back at her.  The orange went through the window.

Another window smashing event occurred when my older sister and I were in our bedroom horsing around on one of the beds, which just happened to be right beside a window. I put my foot through the window. Oops.

I have many fond memories of events at the school, which was less than a minute or two away from our house (still managed to be late a few times.)

The school went from grade one to grade nine, and the social structure amongst the students was big kids (grades 6 or so, to 9) versus little kids (grades 1 to 5), and boys versus girls.

On one occasion the "big kids", of which I was a member, built a hut in the bush behind the school, out of twigs and straw. This was a private clubhouse for big kids only. We wouldn't let the little ones in, but one day they got their revenge. They climbed up on top of it, jumping up and down until the thing collapsed. Served us right, I suppose.

In the girls versus boys war, every winter, behind the bush that was behind the school, some massively large snowdrifts accumulated on the river banks. (The Qu'Appelle River ran right beside the school.) Building tunnels and caves in these snowdrifts was an annual rite for the big kids.

One winter the boys built a massive tunnel, a bunker really, into which only boys were allowed. One day, my cousin, Fred, poked his head up through the roof of the boys-only bunker, and as he pulled his head back in, the whole shebang collapsed on their heads. Har. Har. Justice!!

This same cousin and his sisters lived a short distance down the road from where we lived. They used to ride horses to school. The school had a barn and the horses were kept in the barn during school hours. One day, he sauntered into the school yard in the morning, with a big, goofy grin on his face.

"My horse died", he told us. We didn't believe him, but sure enough. Apparently the horse just dropped dead, as he was riding it to school.

Other memories from the one room school - cleaning the blackboard and the brushes after school. Cleaning the brushes involved taking them outside and banging them together until most of the chalk-dust had been knocked out of them. It was a job every kid coveted.

Then there was the time my brother feigned sickness so he could go home and watch dad butchering a pig or a steer.  As soon as he got home, he told mom he wanted to go out to the barn to witness the slaughter. My mother knew then that he wasn't sick and sent him right back to school. LOL!!  It was through incidents like this that we learned the value of education.

And then there were all the country school games that only country school kids would have learned: Anti-I-Over, Harbours Down, Flag, Red Rover-Red Rover, Prisoner's Base, Blind Man's Bluff.  I couldn't tell you how to play them now, but they were fun, and it didn't matter whether you were a "big" kid or a "little" kid, 'cause all got to play.  In the winter, or at special school parties there were indoor games like Mother, May I or What Time is It, Mr. Wolf.  And, outside, Fox and Goose.

We also had games days (mostly baseball) with other nearby schools. One of the schools close by was populated with big boys. The one-sidedness of the outcomes got so bad that we eventually amalgamated the pupils and picked sides so that the big boys were more evenly distributed.  It was during one of these matches that the same cousin - Fred - had a wild pitch land on the roof of the school. Much laughing ensued.

We had one teacher who let us listen to the World Series on the radio each year. He had one pupil posted guard in the girls cloak-room to watch, to make sure the Superintendent wasn't coming. On the blackboard he'd put a big chart where the progress of the game was tracked.

I also remember picking gooseberries in the bushes behind the school and taking them inside to fling around at each other during class hours.  And the little wood burning stove that provided heat for the classroom and on which some kids used to fry potatoes for lunch during the winter. I can't imagine that being allowed today. Fire hazard and all.

Later on a furnace was installed in the basement and a large hot air vent fed the warmth into the classroom. Occasionally, some kid's wet mittens, which had been hung on the vent to dry, would fall through the vent and burn up. Sometimes smelly socks, too. Peeeeuuuuuu!!

And the special parties, at which parents put in an appearance - Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc., etc. One year my mother grew a massively large pumpkin which she gave to the school for Halloween.

Dodge Ball and Tag could be played indoors (in the basement) or outdoors. Spelling and Geography matches (where each person had to name a place on the globe that started with a particular letter) were a favourite indoor activity. Awe. Memories. (How can you tell I'm an old fart now?)

Oh. And did I tell you about the X rated chalk drawings in the school attic?  Only the big kids got to see that, and I'm betting most of us had no idea what we were looking at.

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New study predicts future droughts

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the weeds have overtaken my flower beds (again) because IT WON'T STOP RAINING!!!!!!!!

FOR 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS to put it euphemistically.  Some drought!!

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Monday, July 30, 2012

So. Who You Gonna Believe?

Amount of ice in Bering Sea reaches all-time record

Greenland's massive ice sheet melting

Oh ya. The ice sheet on Greenland thing? That happens about every 150 years.
"Even Greenland's coldest and highest place, Summit station, showed melting. Ice core records show that last happened in 1889 and occurs about once every 150 years.

Three satellites show what NASA calls unprecedented melting of the ice sheet that blankets the island, starting on July 8 and lasting four days."
What was that about settled science? NASA, I'm calling your bluff.

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Another Grand Old Institution...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Thought This Stuff Only...

The Horrifying Tale of the Sewer Monster...

..and three terrified children

Following the current theme of relating personal and family experiences, I will now start a short series of tales from my childhood and that of my siblings. There are a few stories that we continue to tell when we get together and the more embarrassing it is for one or two of us, the better. So right at the top, is the Tale of the Sewer Monster:

Much to the relief of my poor overworked mother, we finally got electricity and hot and cold running water in the house in the early 1960s. One of the first things we got was a bathroom with a flush toilet!!!! Dad built a small bathroom just off the kitchen (stole a bit of space from the dining room, but no matter). Plus, in the kitchen, a kitchen sink with hot and cold water taps was installed!!

Needless to say, with dirt being the norm on the farm, and five kids, there was lots of bathing, and lots of clothes to wash, as well and all that fluid had to go somewhere. So, at the same time, a big hole was dug behind the house and a concrete septic tank was installed.

Septic tanks fill up and the contents have to be pumped out. Soooo, under the ground, leading from the septic tank out to the corner of the homestead yard, a pipe was laid and a motor run pump installed. The pump was set to automatically start up when the contents of the septic tank reached a certain level. Way out in the corner of the homestead plot, the pump spewed its load out onto the field. The only things out there were a few trees and a cultivated field. The pump made a loud gurgling sound when it was doing its business and boy, did those trees grow fast, tall and sturdy.

One day my three youngest siblings were playing outside by themselves and they came running into the house, absolutely terrified. Their faces were as white as snow, they were so scared. They had heard some monster and were certain they were in great danger so came running in.

Well, of course, there was no monster. It was just the septic tank pump cutting in and making it's gurgling sound.

Being older, and so much wiser (not to mention meaner), my older sister and I have used that story and retold it time and again. Not long after that, the term "sewer monster" became well known in the family, and to this day, we still use it and derive some perverse pleasure out of retelling the story of the sewer monster and three terrified little kids.

Stay tuned. I've got more stories.

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I'm Making Popcorn

This is gonna to be fun.

First Nations outraged by B.C. premier's Enbridge pipeline 'Sales Pitch'

Betcha it won't take long before BC's First Nations have Christy Clark in bed with them. She is a Liberal, after all. That'll be just before BC's provincial election. Should be right royally entertaining.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Interesting Interview

Friday, July 27, 2012

Love It!

PETA and Other...

...assorted wing-nuts will now go absolutely apoplectic. Poor Omar will have to move over.

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You Go Harper!!

Trade to top Canada-Germany leaders' meeting
"Canada's efforts to wean itself off its largest trading partner -- the US -- will move ahead next month when German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes her first bilateral visit here.

International Trade Minister Ed Fast said when Merkel meets Prime Minister Stephen Harper Aug. 15-16, they will discuss the "most ambitious trade agenda Canada has ever had."

"Canada's direct investment in Germany increased 8.9% last year; German investment in Canada increased 15.6%," Fast said."
Screw you, Obama!!

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Shit You Just Can't...


How did that get there?
"Until this week, proof of a sunken Nazi submarine in Labrador was confined to old rumours of dark shadows in the Churchill River.

The stories go back decades, suggesting that German U-boats had snaked along the river bottom and deep into Labrador.

Now newly released sonar images depicting a mysterious submerged shape near Happy Valley-Goose Bay have generated excitement among those who believe the old tales and skepticism among those who don’t."
I wonder if there are/were bodies in it.

Wouldn't that be something!? Would they be left where they are or taken home and given a burial on German soil?

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Down at the Lake

Further to my entries about my dad, I thought I'd do one about my mom.

The entries about my dad were lifted from a family history book. There's also a book about Lake Katepwa which contains recollections and descriptions from folks who lived in the Qu'Appelle Valley close to Lake Katepwa as well as a bit of general history of the area.

We had a cottage on the shores of Lake Katepwa. Our farm abutted the east end of Katepwa Lake so my mom authored one of the entries in that book. It's about 2 1/2 pages long. She talks about the cottage we had on the shores of Katepwa Lake, among other topics. On page 185, she writes:
"It was the thing to do as Linda (my older sister) and Louise grew older, to spend a week alone at the cottage with five or six (eight, one year) of their friends. There were not enough beds, so they spread out on the floor."
Oh, Mother. If you only knew! (Maybe she did. Gasp!)

Further down the shore, a quick walk from our cottage, there was another cottage full of boys. We used to have some good parties at one cottage or the other. I remember a poor neighbour standing out on his deck around 4:00 AM yelling at us to STFU so they could get some sleep.

On another occasion, one of the girls' parents, along with our own mother, were due to come down to the cottage, the day after one of the wild parties. We had to get up relatively early, load all the empties into the row boat and take them out onto the lake, about 30 or 40 yards out, and fill the empty bottles with water and let them sink to the bottom.

If the lake ever dries up some future archeologist will have to theorize how those brown bottles got to the bottom of the lake.

PS: When I lived and worked in Brandon, Manitoba, many years ago, my boss's husband was an archeologist employed at Brandon University. According to him, sites where broken brown glass were found in abundance were called the Brown Bottle Culture, so there's already a name for this strange tribe with strange customs.  But at the bottom of a lake???

PPS: Not far away from where we grew up and across the lake from where our cottage was situated, there was a lovely, sandy beach. It's now a Provincial Park.  Was then, too, actually.

We always wanted to go to "the beach", but we rarely got to go, having a cottage on the same lake and all.  But the bottom of the lake at the spot in front of our cottage was covered with rocks and sharp stones. Not nearly as good as at "the beach".  Bummer!

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Rolling Back the Nanny State...

...one case at a time:

I grew up drinking raw milk. The only processing done to it was when my mother put it in the separator to separate the cream from the rest of it. She used the cream to make her own butter. The cream, and the milk, were put into sterilized bottles, capped with a small cardboard cap and stored in a wire basket lowered down into a well, where it kept company with lizards and bugs of all descriptions, until there was enough to use to make butter. And I'm still alive, in case you haven't noticed.

I also like to make my own yogurt. Can't do that with pasturized, homogenized milk.

When I was in highschool, our French teacher, who was a real live French woman, took over the Home Ec. class one day and taught us how to make homemade yogurt. Yum!

She also taught us how to make French bread, you know those long skinny loaves. Mine turned out as hard as a baseball bat, but that's another story.

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Un-Freakin' Believable!!!

Are you telling me this child was in a worse place than the one they put him in????

Man with 85 priors pleads guilty to death of foster child placed in his care

I once knew a woman who fostered children. By the time they get into foster care they are already massively screwed up. This woman was an angel sent by God. She had the patience of Job and was as loving and caring of those children as anyone could be. Still, they have a hard time finding suitable foster parents, but really! Take them out of one hell hole and put them into another. There has to be a better way.

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Gotta Love...

...those Olympics:

This woman makes a crude joke and is expelled from her team, but do you think we can have a moment of silence for murdered Israeli olympians. Oh no. Can't do that.

I wonder what other hi-jinks we'll see before the games are over?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Dad - Part III

Part IPart II

From the family history book under the heading:

"The Close Calls and Other Escapades of Gordon Skinner"

"Long ago when gathering hay with a dump rake pulled by a team of horses, Gordon bounced off the seat and fell under the rake. He tumbled along underneath for some time before making good his escape!
"From Buzz: 'Remember the shot gun hole in the middle of the ceiling in the summer kitchen? We were cleaning guns after duck hunting and Gordie was showing how he brought down a duck in flight. He pulled the trigger whilst doing so, that sure brought mother on the run!'

Gordon was hauling hay and hit the big gate post at Uncle Ernie's with the loaded wagon and rake pulled behind. The gate post was very solid and he pretty well wrecked everything, except the post, and of course, the horses ran away home without him.

And yet another runaway story: Gordie was coming down Uncle Ernie's hill with an empty water tank on the wagon when the horses got away on him. They were moving too fast and missed the left turn at the barn. Instead, they carried on straight ahead, through two fences right down to the flats. Kenelm claimed you could hear the tank rattling a mile away. No one could remember if Gordie jumped or rode the wagon to the bottom!

In 1945 while serving in France an armor piercing shell came through at ground level, as Gordon stood in a doorway. The shell missed his leg by only two or three inches. "Touch wood."

Gordon has a reputation for having runaway horses. Joyce (my mom) recalled that 'the first winter we were married, Gordon and I had gone to town for supplies with the team and sleigh. On the way home we had to stop and fasten the gate at the top of Peltier's hill. Gordon hadn't tied the horses tight enough and they took off down the hill, full speed ahead! Realizing the danger, I soon got out from under the robes, figured out what to do, got the horses stopped and waited for Gordon who was running his fastest trying to catch us.'

Remember the shed that was a chicken house and tractor garage? One day, while getting the tractor out, Gordie put it in the wrong gear and went right through the wall into the chicken coop on the other side. There were feathers flying - but he didn't break one egg or run over a chicken!

And of course, there was the day Gordie caught the grain auger on a power line guy wire when coming down the hill by the creek. He pulled the pole out of the ground but amazingly the wire didn't break, although there were a few sparks.

Everyone near Katepwe knows about the milk cow whose name was Bluey. She was easy to milk and gave lots, but she was also big, liked to kick the milkman and slap him with her tail. There as a board to keep her from pulling back, a rope around her hocks and another tying her right hind leg to a support post. Quite a to-do for a pail of milk.

Then there's the time when backing the old Dodge truck out of the north end of the barn, Gordie leaned out of the door to see where he was going and fell out of the truck! Anyway, the truck got all the way to the road before he caught up with it -no damage done. Thank goodness for the deep ditch.

Did the man have nine lives, or what?"
Perhaps that explains why he was so patient with us kids. I remember a few occasions when I got into some serious fixes while operating the tractor. On one occasion I turned around too sharp and wrapped a big steel wire (part of the implement I was pulling) around the rear tire of the tractor, completely wrecking the tire and the rod-weeder the wire was attached to. God knows how much it cost him to fix both, but he never got mad at me. Same thing when I was operating the swather. I got too close to one of the granaries and took a big slice out of the side of it and moved it off it's foundation. No problem, as far as my dad was concerned. Whew!!

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Wow!! That Was Close

We interrupt this series on my dad to bring you a weather report:

I was asleep on the couch this afternoon and woke up at about 6:30 to news on the radio that tornadoes had been sited in several communities just north-east of here. There were warnings of possible tornadoes for the Indian Head area! Yikes!!!

A few minutes later, they announced that the warnings had been lifted. Right now there is heavy rain and strong winds blowing ominous black clouds across the sky.

I'm still here. Power must have been out because clocks in both bedrooms were blinking.

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My Dad - Part II

Part I

More stories from the family history book:
"During the winter Gordie's job was to haul water and manure while Buzz hauled straw - each wishing he had the others job!

As twins, Gordon and Buzz had an advantage in that they always had a playmate. They loved to play pranks on each other and anyone else who came along. For instance, they both remembered that one winter:
"...a Mr. Salter came to the house selling stuff. He had cases of dried prunes, peaches and other fruit which he left in his sleigh out in front of the old log stable. We got into the dried fruit, taking out the goodies and replacing them with dry horse turds".
They claimed it was Jeff Vidal's idea.....poor Mr. Salter never came back.
Buzz joined the R.C.M.P. in 1931 and Kenelm (an older brother) married in 1935 making Gordon the only single man on the farm. In 1936, their 30th birthday, he wrote in Buzz's autograph book:
"Thirty years upon the plains,
Thirty years a twin,
Thirty snows and thirty rains,
And thirty years of sin.
And may we have many more."
Truer words were never written.

A few years later my dad, was on the front lines, slogging through The Netherlands, helping to liberate the Dutch from German occupation.

In one of his letters home, he wrote:
"As I write there are jerry shells whizzing around and landing quite close. About five minutes ago, just as I was finished writing to Punch (another brother) one the few remaining doors was knocked off by shrapnel. The windows are, of course, all blown in and there are several holes in the roof. Before we came in the old man and old lady (between 70 and 80 years old) were both killed in the house, they chose not to evacuate and that was the result. All of the civies have evacuated, quite a few dead jerries lying around.
We have a grandstand view of the battle up ahead. We have wonderful artillery barrage and swell support from the typhoons and Spits of the R.A.F and R.C.A.F. They sure make a grand sight with their rockets, bombs and cannon."
"Had a lively time in Belgium a while ago: between street fighting, constant shelling and the odd four hour pass into Antwerp, there was never a dull moment. Antwerp is some joint. Lots if American movies, cabarets, street cars, wine and women. Ice cream joints and brothels for those who want them....back in N.E.France we got a lot of eggs off the farmers for a can or two of bully or a package of cigarettes. One could get anything there but not so here, we have to stay pretty close to our digs and anyway the farms, and the chickens, are all looted and smashed up."
No wonder he had nightmares for years afterward. Mom told us about his kicking and yelling in his sleep. This was long before there was such a diagnosis as PTSD, but I'm pretty sure he must have suffered from it. I am amazed he could remain so up-beat in his letters home. But I guess that's why they were known as the "Greatest Generation".

In the next post, stories from my Dad's civilian life, prior to the war, highlights from those "thirty years of sin".

Part III

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My Dad...Part 1

...Last night I curled up in bed and read a section of a family history book that was written in 1988. I was especially interested in the sections about my dad, Gordon Skinner. Some of them are downright hilarious. Take this one, for example:
"Gordon was the last arrival in the Fred T. Skinner family, and he always claimed that his twin, Nelson, because he came first, got all the cream while he (Gordie) was left with just the skim milk!"
It's true. I remember my Uncle "Buzz" (Nelson) being a big bruiser of a man, while my dad was short and slight. Those two got into some mighty interesting mischief when they were kids. Some of the stories in the book describe their various (mis)adventures.

There were these two stories, for example:
"He (my dad) remembered clearly their first day of school at old Katepwe:
"The teacher's name was Miss Bennett and she put her arms around us a gave us a hug. Boy was I scared.""
"Then there was the 'Hide and Seek Incident':
it was early December and the twins were playing upstairs. One of them discovered, hidden behind the winter coats, two brand new sleighs. They looked at each other in disbelief and said, "There's no Santa Claus."
I remember my own "There is no Santa Claus" incident, which also involved my dad. I attended school in a little one room school. The annual Christmas Concert was the highlight of the year. The concert always ended with an appearance of Santa Claus, who passed out bags of candy to all the kids. For some reason, my dad disappeared shortly before the end of the concert. A few moments later in would come Santa. One year, I recognized Santa's big black boots and knew instantly that the man in the red suit was my father. I remember deep disappointment mixed with a bit of a thrill because I was on to an adult secret.

But I kept my mouth shut. I wanted the candy, I suppose. Sometimes it's better to feign innocence.

Part II; Part III

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Liberals Doing...

...what they've always done:

Sticking their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

You Could Try....

...tamping down the arrogance a bit:

Why America isn't the Greatest Country in the World

To which I might add, where were all those law abiding gun owners who are supposed to protect you all from this and this and this and these two and this and this and this and this and this and this? Among many, many others.

I know you are not the only country to have mass killing sprees. We've had our share. You're murder rate is far from the worst in the world, but, I doubt by any metric you could say we're as gun crazy are you are and the consequences show in the stats. So sorry, you're not so special.


One Week Away...

...from the 20th Olympiad, and the politics has already begun. Some are calling for a moment of silence in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered in the 1972 Olympics, by, of course, Palestinian terrorists. But, so far, it looks like it will be business as usual. Of course, this won't stop athletes from individual countries from making a statement of one kind or another. I hope Canada's team will be sporting Israeli insignia, flags, etc. as well as Canadian ones while they are there.

And remember the good old days, when the Soviet Union used to send male athletes to compete in female events, you know those husky women with the five o'clock shadow of their faces and rather unusual body shapes for women. Well, it looks like perhaps the Saudis are going to have to do the same thing.
"Saudi Arabia’s pledge to send women to the London 2012 Olympics might fail because the country has little prospects of finding athletes who meet international standards.

According to a Saudi newspaper, what slim prospects the nation had of qualifying women are gone and Saudi Arabia will only send men.

“We are still trying to find women to qualify,” an embassy official told the BBC today. “The problem is finding women to meet the minimum criteria. This matter is being negotiated now between the (International Olympic Committee) and the Saudi Olympic committee.”"
Betcha there will be lots of female athletes among the Israeli Apartheid (cough, hack, hack) Team (/sarc) though.

In the meantime, look for the Olympic Committee to lower its standards so the Sauds can participate.

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That's a Lotta ...

... turtles:

Turtles flee farm in Chattooga County

Betcha they took the train:

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Khadr's Can Kicked...

...further down the road.
"The Canadian government has balked at the return of the convicted war criminal and murderer until U.S. authorities turn over allegedly-damning video footage of psychiatrists' interviews with the Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

In a formal letter sent Thursday to both U.S. defence secretary Leon Panetta and Khadr's Toronto lawyer, John Norris, Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews states that in order to have Khadr sent back to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada, officials north of the boarder (sic) must be given access to sealed video footage of separate interviews with Khadr that were carried out by two psychiatrists during the lead-up to Khadr's trial in 2010.

Toews also stated complete reports from Dr. Michael Welner and Dr. Alan Hopewell have not been supplied to Correctional Service of Canada and the parole board, and that both are required to administer Khadr's sentence in Canada, according to sources familiar with the letter.

Welner - who interviewed Khadr for eight hours in June 2010 and spent "hundreds of hours" researching his history - charges Khadr has become an even more "dangerous" radical while serving time in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, mainly because of the hard-line jihadist prisoners that are around him, Khadr's continued connections to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, his loyalty to his radical-Islamist family and his celebrity among militant, anti-West jihadis.

"I came to the conclusion that Omar Khadr (is) highly dangerous because of the nature of his role in the community of al-Qaida and other Islamist terrorists," Welner said, adding the "street smart" Khadr, when he is eventually released from custody, will be "under tremendous pressure" from those around him to be a leader in radical Islam's war on the West."
"...a movement has been building in Toronto to keep Khadr out of Canada or have him charged with treason if he is returned."
Glad to hear that last little bit. In fact, maybe that's why Toews wants the videos. Evidence to present at Khadr's treason trial.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012


A video about the valley where I grew up.


Idiots got a couple of things wrong, though. They say the Town of Fort Qu'Appelle is situated between the Katepwa and Pasqua lakes.  Not so. Katepwa Lake is further downstream and Pasqua is further upstream. Fort Qu'Appelle is on a flat flood plain between Mission Lake and Echo Lake.

And the over-the-top romanticization of Native people is rather sickening, too.

I learned to skate on that river. Used to walk for miles along its banks and up the valley banks. Tobogganing down those valley banks in the winter was a blast, although rather dangerous, but we were invincible then. We were kids, after all.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Good News!!

Shawn Atleo 3 votes shy of re-election as AFN chief
"Atleo earned 318 votes on the second ballot out of 535 cast Wednesday in Toronto. He was far ahead of his closest competitor — Pamela Palmater, who got 107 votes."
The best part, though, is not that it looks like he's gonna win. No, the best part is who has already dropped out:
"Following the announcement of the results, Terrance Nelson, former chief of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation in Manitoba, withdrew from the ballot and pledged his support to Palmater. He received 25 votes in the second round."
So the loudmouth boor throws his inconsiderable support behind another loudmouth, who, even with the perhaps 25 voters who may now be going her way, is still way far behind the front runner.

And there's something to this:
""What's likely happening here is regional picks, which are very big in the AFN," CBC's Cam MacIntosh said. "The thing about the way this works is Shawn Atleo is from B.C., and B.C. has more reserves — and as a result more votes in this contest — than any other region in Canada."

Atleo's supporters had expressed confidence of having enough backing to earn victory on the second round of balloting. They came close, but a coalescing "anyone but Atleo" movement might have stymied them. MacIntosh said there is strong anti-Atleo sentiment from many of the AFN's Prairie chiefs."
I have to wonder what would happen if the rank and file on-reserve membership were allowed to vote. Prairie chiefs have been flogging an inflated, made up line about the so called numbered treaties for decades now, and it has netted the grass roots very little else but plenty of scandal, nepotism and graft. And at any given time, half the Aboriginal population on the prairies lives in cities anyway.

There's a very interesting comment attached to this story, to:
"Atleo will win hands down.
Was there ever any doubt?
But a word of caution...less money for the "leaders"...and more for the people.
These leaders need to understand that the people they represent are not very happy with what those who represent them have done so far.
They have a lot...and many have nothing.
Anyone who thinks otherwise has not spent enough time talking to the elders and those not so privilaged (sic) down on the rez.
Far too much of a gap between those at the top and the everyday people barely getting by.
No...they do not all have pick-up trucks,quads and fancy houses!
No more conventions in expensive resorts!"
Yup!! This is the flipside of all that confrontation, anger and phony bravado we've been treated to for the past 30+ years.

And then there's this one:
"One of the questions posed to all candidates yesterday dealt with the problems the First Nation peoples encounter with lawyers. Reference was made to one Band that was charged $73 million relating to a land claim. That is $73 million tax dollars.

Canadian taxpayers who are so concerned about misuse of our tax dollars in relation to First Nations would do well to follow the money trail - it isn't just some Chiefs that abuse the system and it is often lawyers who are filling their pockets as fast as they can.

For every First Nation child in care in a foster home, there is a file in a lawyer's office. Only the willfully naieve (sic) would believe that the time billed on those files accurately reflects the service provided."
So I'm not the only one who has noticed there's an industry and, although nothing seems to change at the reserve level, there are lots of folks, both Indian and non-Indian who are lining their pockets, using Indian misery to fatten their wallets. It is in their interests to keep it that way.

One final point. The story at the link at the top come from the CBC. If you read through the comments, it's amazing (well, no, it's not that amazing) how many comments they have deleted. I suppose those comments weren't politically correct enough.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012


...I think blond bimbos with phony boobs should be ended:

Pamela Anderson urges Alberta premier to end chuckwagon races at Calgary Stampede

I wonder if blond hair, big boobs and cluelessness all come together in the same gene? Mind you, I think the boobs had a little help (augmentation) courtesy of some surgeon. But, except in extreme cases, I think having breast augmentation surgery is, in itself, a sign of cluelessness.

(Read the comments under the article.)

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If Premier Wall can piss off a Democrat, he has my vote the next time. (Mind you, just the thought of the NDP getting back in power is enough for the Sask Party to secure my vote.)

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Our Tax Dollars at Work

Saskatchewan scientists discover key to drug-free hemp
"Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan have identified the process that marijuana plants use to create tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the active ingredient in pot that gets smokers high —and say it could help breeders create pot plants that contain no traces of the drug and can be freely used in fibres or pharmaceuticals."
Betcha they had a grand old time coming up with the secret of "tetrahydrocannabinol free hemp" too nor would they have had trouble finding students to assist in the lab.

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Climate Change

Okay. I've had enough change for now. Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain. Every frikken day for the past two weeks.

I've noticed my neighbour has some lumber laying beside his house. I expect to see him building an ark soon.

The weeds in my flower beds are ten feet tall. I'll have to take an ax to them, when (if) it stops raining.

I must be a farmer's daughter. Farm folk are known to complain about the weather all the time.

Speaking of which, I saw my farming cousin in the drug store just a while ago. He got his crops in before this rain started. He'll be happy about the timing and the amount, I think.

I wonder if my neighbour knows what a cubit is?

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Here We Go Again!!

This is absolutely outrageous. Using children. Indoctrinating them, and pitting them against their parents:

Sask. residents 'confused' about climate change, carbon capture
""We want to work with ... the science centres nationally (which) are very interested in terms of energy and the environment. We're taking about taking modules into the schools. Because when you talk to kids they go home and talk to their parents.''"
Commies and dictators like Saddam Hussein used to do that. There's a reason we call you freaks "watermelons".

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What the H&!!

UPDATED AND BUMPED: We have us a spittin' match.

We're badly outnumbered, though:

Windsor pop: 210,891
Detroit pop: 713,777

Watch for the Detroit River to overflow its banks.
..is going on here?

Bomb threat closes Ambassador Bridge; 2nd shutdown at border in 4 days

Probably one of those CBC types who like to hate America 24/7.

Or maybe not.
"Detroit police said a 911 call came in around 7:20 p.m. EDT to authorities on the U.S. side of the Ambassador Bridge "pertaining to a bomb on the bridge," police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said. She said the call prompted authorities in both cities to halt all truck and car traffic across the bridge."

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Sock It to 'Em, Brad!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Obligatory Blog Entry On...

...the new stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders:

A couple of days ago, Premier Brad Wall announced the province will be kicking in some major moola for a new stadium for our football team. Rider Pride is a big thing in Saskatchewan.   Where else do fans paint themselves green and wear watermelons on their heads?

Nonetheless, for the past two days we've had nonstop whining and bitching about public funds being used for a professional sports facility, rather than going to basket case welfare recipients.

Normally, I would agree with the whiners, at least about the use of public funds for the benefit of a professional sports team, but not this time. The proposed facility will be used for all sorts of other purposes and should be a good thing for Saskatchewan as a whole. The old stadium was ancient and crumbling. Now, if they can just get into the Grey Cup and not do something stupid in the dying minutes of the game:

Next up? An NHL team for Saskatoon. After all, Saskatchewan has contributed enough hockey  players to the game of hockey:

NHL Players Born in Saskatchewan, Canada

All that pond hockey and our cold winters (and road apples) payed off. (I almost wrote played off.)

"If you're a Howe fan,
You've got the very best!"

Hell, if it wasn't for boys from Saskatchewan and Quebec there would be no NHL!

Gordie Howe, for those of you who don't know, grew up in a little town just south of Saskatoon.

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RIP Kitty Wells

She was 92 years old. I should live that long. I grew up listening to her and Patsy Cline. Creak. Groan.

No dear. They don't make music like that any more. Haven't seen one of those little Juke Boxes in a restaurant for a long time, either. /oldfartdom

And what do you think of them dresses??

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That Explains a Lot

Alzheimer's Disease: Exercise May Reduce 'Senior Moments'

I sit in front of this little boob-tube waaaay too much, and I suffer from "Senior Moments" all the time. Just walking from one room to another is enough to erase the gray cells that contain the purpose of my entering the room. I've taken to writing things down when I think of them, and taking the little scraps of paper with me when I wander into another room. Until now, though, I thought there must be some sort of force field that erases memory as one passes through a doorway.

I suppose I should take heart that global warming isn't being blamed. I'm sure there's a grant somewhere, for the taking, for anyone who can design and conduct research that finds a link.

I also suppose I should be grateful old age is still associated with treachery.

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I Have A Better Idea

Why don't we take you and cut your balls off.

Afterwards, you can slink around the hot city streets wearing a black cover-all sack and if you dare even look at a woman, we'll bury you up to your neck and stone you to death.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Very Interesting Take...

...on the Arab Spring and the difference between Libya and Egypt:

6 Reasons Why Islamists Lost, Liberals Prevailed in Libya Vote

I especially like numbers 2:
"It is likely that the behavior and performance of Islamists in post-revolution Egypt – which have been viewed by many as disgraceful and a prime reason for their ultimate drop in popularity – has made many Libyans think twice whether to vote in support of Islamic parties.

Social media, the Internet in general, and satellite TV helped spread the negative image of Egyptian Islamists to several Arab countries, including Libya."
and 6:
"It was U.S.-led multi-national forces – not Islamic organizations – that helped the Libyan people remove Gadhafi and end their humiliating suffering. Gadhafi soldiers were known to rape Libyan women in front of their husbands. The notion that mostly Western countries, not their Islamic counterparts, came to the aid of Libyans, could have been another factor in the meager showing of Islamists in the Libyan vote."
Only time will tell. But the power of new media cannot be underestimated. Throughout history, inventions and advances in science have always spurred social movements that have changed the course of events, sometimes very drastically. Consider the impact of the introduction of paper to the West or the invention of the printing press along with paper. New media is of the same order of magnitude.

And speaking as an old fart, I remember the role played by ham radio in communications with people trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Same thing.

Now you know why I'm Pollyannish.

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Who Knew?

Making a fashion statement at the Calgary Stampede is important. You gotta get it right:

Politicians judged on western wear at Stampede

And Boob Rae comes with ordinary shoes???!!! You'd think that one would be a no brainer.

And Lizzie may attends the Calgary Stampede??? The Greens won't like that.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012


I wonder if any of that is from Iraq? You may remember there being a theory that So-Damned-Insane moved his WMD material to Syria:

Syria has begun moving its chemical weapons stockpile out of storage, U.S. warns

No mention, though, of what Syria intends to do with them, although the assumption is on his own people. The Ba'ath Party has a history of that.

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And Some Stories...

...make you want to laugh and cry at the same time:

The fight for the soul of the AFN
"In the traditional politics of grievance, standing up for treaty rights is done by “pushing back” against the federal and provincial governments. “We need to make them understand they have no legal jurisdiction on our land,” said Bill Erasmus, the candidate from NWT.

For native leaders, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 is the bedrock of all negotiations – a deal with the British Crown that guaranteed peaceful co-existence but, according to First Nations, did not see them give up land title."
It's quite obvious these folks have neither read the Royal Proclamation, nor do they know anything about the times in which it was issued. It was, as the name implies, an proclamation, an edict, written by a king in which he refers to the lands occupied by Indians are "Our" lands. That's "Our" in the royal "we" sense. It was an order issued by a dictator. It was not a "deal" worked out with inhabitants of the land. It was basically an order to the occupants of New England and the Thirteen Colonies to stay put and quit gobbling up lands that still belonged to the English Crown.

Sorry. Not even close and certainly no cigar.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Some Stories Just Make You Go...

...aaah, the world is gonna be okay:

Chivalrous Quebec knight making stops in Saskatchewan
"A Quebec man who is riding across the country as a knight, promoting chivalry, has reached Saskatchewan and says he is feeling very comfortable on the Prairies.

Vincent Gabriel Kirouac, 22, has been in the province since mid-June, traversing the southern portion of Saskatchewan by following Highway 13.

"It's been going very good," Kirouac told CBC Radio host Craig Lederhouse on Thursday from Maple Creek, Sask. "Since the beginning I've never been sleeping outside. People in Canada have been very hospitable."

He said he felt especially welcomed on the Prairies and in Saskatchewan.

"I'm thinking maybe about moving to Saskatchewan after all of this," he said.

He explained that finding a place to stay has been as simple as riding into a farm yard and knocking on a door."
"He said he introduces himself by asking if they have heard about his cross-country project.

Most have not, so he explains himself and his goal which is to raise awareness about integrity, politeness and respecting people."
Gotta like some of the comments, too:
"Women must go crazy for him ... knight in shinning armor. Maybe he's doing this to get girls phone numbers."
"Once your mission is accomplished please return to Ottawa and slay the beasts that would enslave us and ruin all that is Canada !!!"
"hail good knight sir Vincent of la flor da leaf (sic)..... july 2012

let it be known..... that...

perhaps the way out of the mire is to be a light .... ie focus on the good and the green and the joys of the world..... lift with joy rather than despair.....

be well on your crusade good sir.....

and you and your mount stay hydrated in the swelter"
Indeed, with the heatwave we've been having, it must be awfully hot under that metal helmet and knight's attire.

And did you know that the very oldest still existing written version of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is in French?

Sir Galahad's Kirouac's website.

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Human History...

...that the Indian Industry will be sure to find fault with:

Old American theory is 'speared'

We're talking here of dating techniques that are accurate to within 40 to 50 years. We're also talking about the rapid disappearance of large North American animals, such as the mastodons and mammoths, at the hands of human predators.
"The timing of humanity's presence in North America is important because it plays into the debate over why so many great beasts from the end of the last Ice Age in that quarter of the globe went extinct.

Not just mastodons, but woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, giant sloths, camels, and teratorns (predatory birds with a nearly four-metre wingspan) - all disappeared in short order a little over 12,700 years ago.

A rapidly changing climate in North America is assumed to have played a key role - as is the sophisticated stone-tool weaponry used by the Clovis hunters. But the fact that there are also humans with effective bone and antler killing technologies present in North America deeper in time suggests the hunting pressure on these animals may have been even greater than previously thought.

"Humans clearly had a role in these extinctions and by the time the Clovis technology turns up at 13,000 years ago - that's the end. They finished them off," said Prof Waters."
Some people are not gonna be happy. Hell. They haven't even accepted the Clovis model. The "creator" put them here, you know. And what's this about "rapidly changing climate"?

And then there's this:

Americas 'settled in three waves'
""The Asian lineage leading to First Americans is the most anciently diverged, whereas the Asian lineages that contributed some of the DNA to Eskimo-Aleut speakers and the Na-Dene-speaking Chipewyan from Canada are more closely related to present-day East Asian populations.""
That's very interesting. In a previous life, I lived and worked on three different Indian communities in Saskatchewan. Two of them were Cree and one was a mixture of Cree, Dene and Metis. The Metis, obviously, were relative newcomers. (I guess we could expand that a wee bit, and say four waves.) But the Dene people in that community had what I could only describe as a north-western orientation in their day-to-day outlook on things, whereas the Cree seemed to look south and east when talking about the past or about closely related people. With the Dene, they had relatives and economic connections with communities in Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. They knew very little about the south. The same was not true of either the Cree or the Metis. It used to be that academics thought people like the Dene had migrated from the south and settled in the north. Looks like that just ain't so. The modern day Dene could be part of the second wave.

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Don't Know What ...

...to make of this:

Carleton University renegotiating $15M donor deal as teachers’ group slams ‘unprecedented’ terms

But I suspect there are some university professors who see the writing on the wall. They will no longer be able to use their positions to indoctrinate young minds and are crying foul.
"Carleton University says the $15-million donor agreement for its showcase school of political management, fronted by Preston Manning, does not reflect the university’s academic policies and will be renegotiated.

The concession comes as the Canadian Association of University Teachers, or CAUT, prepares a broadside at what it calls “unprecedented and unacceptable” provisions in Carleton’s secret deal with Calgary businessman Clayton Riddell.

The latest incident highlights what James Turk, CAUT’s executive director, called a worrisome trend in which some cash-strapped Canadian universities have given up their academic independence to the highest bidder.

A heavily redacted version of the donor agreement was eventually released following mediation; the case was going to arbitration when the university released the full document on the eve of a summer holiday weekend

“The integrity of what universities are is at stake,” Turk said in an interview."
"The integrity of what universities are is at stake." You say that, as if it's a bad thing!
"“As soon as you allow people to buy positions in the university through their donations — to influence who’s hired, what the curriculum’s going to be, what kind of research questions are asked, what kind of answers are come up with — then really the public would lose, and should lose, its confidence in what the university is and the university would lose its distinctiveness.”"
That's already happened, darling, on the faculty's watch.
""Private donor agreements within publicly funded universities have been making news of late over issues of academic freedom, corporate control and public policy manipulation.

This spring, the Canadian Association of University Teachers threatened to boycott Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo if they did not “amend the governance structure for the Balsillie School of International Affairs so that academic integrity is ensured.”"
"And given that the Manning Centre is proudly partisan, Turk said the decision to hand over control of the steering committee to Manning and Riddell’s proxies is perplexing.

“So the fact that the university then would agree to the governance of this program being in part given over to the donor just makes the whole program suspect. But in a more worrisome way it just makes the whole university suspect.”

While Carleton had argued its concern in releasing the document was over Riddell’s financial privacy, the redacted sections suggest otherwise.

Provisions blacked out by the university simply reveal the timetable for Riddell’s publicly announced $15-million donation, along with a provision that his foundation can assess the school’s performance after five years and withhold the final $10 million if it is not satisfied."
I do have a little concern about this, but, on the other hand, it's high time the left leaning curriculum and indoctrination generating machines were forced to concede some ground, and I'm hoping that what we're seeing here is just that. There's lots more to do, though. The faculty has far too much power when it comes to determining course content and offerings. And the public has been poorly served, as a result.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gored in the Nuts...

...How embarrassing!

Pamplona bull-runner gets tossed… his buddy gets perfect photo

I wonder if he'll ever sire some children? That's the risk you take, I guess, when you run with the bulls. They have bigger balls ... and horns.

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That's not what the Western media is telling us:

Taliban commander: We can’t win Afghanistan war
"One of the most senior Taliban commanders has admitted that it is unlikely the insurgents can win the war in Afghanistan, according to an interview published by Britain's New Statesman magazine."
""It would take some kind of divine intervention for the Taliban to win this war," the commander, who is referred to only as Mawlvi (mullah) tells Semple, according to excerpts of the interview on the magazine's website. "The Taliban capturing Kabul is a very distant prospect.""
""At least 70% of the Taliban are angry at al-Qaida," Mawlvi is quoted as saying. "Our people consider al-Qaida to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens. To tell the truth, I was relieved at the death of Osama.

Through his policies, he destroyed Afghanistan. If he really believed in jihad he should have gone to Saudi Arabia and done jihad there, rather than wrecking our country.""
""Any Taliban leader expecting to be able to capture Kabul is making a grave mistake. Nevertheless, the leadership also knows that it cannot afford to acknowledge this weakness.

To do so would undermine the morale of Taliban personnel. The leadership knows the truth — that they cannot prevail over the power they confront.""
Good thing India's press has English language websites. We'd never know stuff like this, otherwise.

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Man-Made Climate Change

"Climate change researchers have attributed recent extreme weather to the effects of human activity on the planet’s climate systems for the first time."

So, Guardian journalists. What planet have you been living on? First time, may ass.

I guess you haven't noticed that that vast sheet of ice that once covered your Island is, indeed, gone.

Interesting videos, here:

The Birth of Britain with Tony Robinson

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Newfe Jokes...


...to see how things turn out:

In Egypt: Will dialogue resolve the conflict?

The army and the high court on one side. Islamist theocrats on the other.

Not so defiant Egypt's parliament meets for 5 minutes

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Prince Chucky-Pooh Gets...

...a frog.

Bob Marley gets a....are you ready for this....this could be perceived as raaaacist...are you sure??????

...a blood-sucking parasite.

Frankly, I think Chucky-Pooh could have qualified for that one, too. At least Marley made good music.

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Monday, July 09, 2012


...are getting really, really interesting in Egypt:

Egypt parliament set to meet, defying army

State TV: Egypt's highest court says its ruling to dissolve parliament is final
"Egypt's highest court insisted Monday that its ruling to invalidate the Islamist-dominated parliament was final and binding, setting up a showdown with the country's newly elected president after he ordered lawmakers to return.

The announcement on state TV came a day after President Mohammed Morsi recalled the legislators, defying the powerful military's decision to dismiss parliament after the Supreme constitutional Court ruled that a third of its members had been elected illegally."
""The last of the two declarations, issued June 17, gave the military far-reaching powers after handing over control to Morsi on June 30.

The statement said the military would continue to support "legitimacy, the constitution and the law" — language that means the generals would likely oppose take (sic) the judiciary's side in its tussle with Morsi over the fate of parliament."
And moving with lightning speed.

I remember reading years ago, probably on one of the Egyptian blogs that I read religiously back then, that the Army is really popular with the country's common citizen, because just about everyone had a close relative in the armed forces, it being one of the very few sources of employment in the country.

If this is true, we are indeed in for an interesting summer.

In any case, the army is painting itself into a wee bit of a corner if it sites the constitution and a court ruling as the basis for their actions.
"Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) never resorted to taking "exceptional" measures during its interim tenure in power, the military council declared in a Monday statement, one day after parliament's lower house was reinstated via presidential decree.

The SCAF went on to assert that its decision last month to dissolve the People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) had been based on a ruling returned by Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC)."
"The full text of the military council's statement is as follows:

Given recent developments, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces stresses the following:

The SCAF since assuming responsibility [power] has always been on the side of the people, and has never resorted to any exceptional measures, and has improved the institutional work of all state institutions, stressing the importance of the legitimacy of law and the constitution to preserve the status of the Egyptian state, and out of respect for its great people.

Decree number 350 for the year 2012, issued by the SCAF, came in accordance with the council's authority and represented the implementation of a verdict delivered by the High Constitutional Court, which declared the People's Assembly null and void since its election.

The Constitutional Deceleration (sic) issued on 17 June 2012 came as a result of the political, legal and constitutional circumstances that the country was facing. It ensures the continuity of state institutions and the SCAF until a new constitution is drafted. We are confident that all state institutions will respect all constitutional declarations.

The malicious accusation that the SCAF cut a deal [with the presidency] is an important issue that shakes the pillars of patriotism that we have always stuck to and respected.

The Armed Forces belongs to Egypt's great people, and will always fulfil its promises and be on the side of legitimacy, the constitution and the law for the sake of the people."
So, is the army asserting the rule of law or are they just looking after their own interests issuing more Arab doublespeak?

In any case, the people are mobilizing, yet again, in Tahrir Square. Lord knows how this will all come out in the end. Me thinks a civil war is a distinct possibility. The country seems to be divided pretty evenly - pro-Army versus pro-Muslim Brotherhood.

Another thing I know, from being a Middle East watcher since forever, Egypt is and has been for years and years, the leader in the Arab world. What comes down in Egypt spreads to the entire region. Call me Polly-Annish if you like, but I also see in this, a lot of Western influence, and I mean "influence", not interference. If the Egyptian Army can assert court rulings and a constitution as the bases of their decisions, they are reflecting Western ideas. And if they are reflecting Western ideas, they must think a substantial portion of Egypt's citizens want to adopt those ideas.

(For years, Third World hell holes, like Egypt, have been sending their best and brightest young folks to Western universities, many times for graduate degrees. I'm sure these folks return to their home countries with a much better understanding of how "Western" ideas, such as the rule of law and constitutional governments play out. Did you know, the Egyptian Sandmonkey, has an MBA from some university in the USA? Yup. It's true.)

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Morning Round Up

These two grievance industries have a lot in common.  A variation of the mantra from another grievance industry, south of the border, would be an appropriate mantra for both of them: "Keep hate alive."

Hah!! All it takes is some sneering, snot-nosed PETA types to bring 'em out:

Crowds swell, temperatures soar as Calgary Stampede sets daily attendance record

'Course, we all know the heat must be blamed on all that methane gas being emitted in downtown Calgary.

In your faces, assholes.

Ahhh. Those tolerant Muslims. Can't have science, now, can we?

Oh yes. The global warming scam artists are in retreat:

Climate change will mean new and larger tropical forests

That seems like a no-brainer to anyone but watermelons. More CO2=more plants.

And, finally, you just can't make this shit up:

Fisherman Catches Testicle-Eating Fish In Illinois Lake
"The pacu is native to the Amazon river basin, can grow to be three-feet long, weigh 50 pounds, has powerful jaws and teeth similar to a human, and feasts on a diet of nuts, snails and aquatic vegetation."
Okay. I must get to work now.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Cuteness in Yahooville

UPDATE: This morning the little bird is gone. There are a lot of cats in the neighbourhood. I often see them crouching on my sidewalk or driveway watching a bird. I was thinking last night that this poor little creature would be an easy catch for some hungry cat. I suspect it became some cat's evening meal.

Plus, having dropped out of a tree onto the pavement, it may have had some broken bones, making it very easy prey.


I'm such a sop.
I was just sitting outside on my front steps when I saw two little girls riding by on their bikes. They saw a little bird flopping around on the pavement on the street, close to my driveway. They stopped and picked it up and put it on the grass covered boulevard, right below a big tree from whence it had likely fallen. Shortly after, a woman in a van (perhaps a mother of one of them) stopped and moved the little bird further in, away from the street. A few moments later a bigger bird came up to it with a worm and gave it to the baby. I think it's gonna be alright.

It reminded me of an occasion when I was living in Saskatoon. My ex and I were driving home from downtown and we saw a little clutch of baby ducklings huddled against the concrete boulevard in the middle of the street, unable to climb up and make it the rest of the way. We stopped and rescued them and took them down to the riverside. I have no idea whether or not they survived, but at least we gave them a chance.

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Of Course

Larry Loudmouth Hubich would be against this.

The writing's on the Wall, Mr. Hubich. Your days as a loudmouth boor exploiting Saskatchewan's workers, living off union dues, using 19th century issues to rally early 20th century's lost causes are numbered. Good riddance!!

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Good Grief!!

Man falls to death from hospital window
""The (patient) had a psychiatric file,""
And you put him in the ninth floor??!!

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They Don't Call Calgary...

...Cow Town for nuttin'.

Advice for non-Calgarians: If you ever want to visit that rockin' city, ferget about finding a hotel room during the Stampede.


PETA and other wimpy types can shove(l) it.

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Awe. Too Bad. So Sad.

Police may be arresting marginal terror suspects to clear decks for Olympics says watchdog

Puts me in mind of PET and what he did during the so-called October Crisis. He had bleeding heart journalists and lawyers crying foul, too.

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Ever Thought...

...that the world is just like one giant soap opera? When the same people start doing the same things to the same other people (different actors playing the same old role, though) for the umpteenth time, all I can say is YAWN!

I started this blog years and years ago as a place where I could vent in response to a blogger (Catty Catnip) who had banned me. Then the Iraq war began and I focused on it. Now it's just the insanity of politics, whether local, national or international.

In my lifetime, only one earth shattering, history changing event has occurred, that I can tell, anyway. And that was the collapse of communism. Except useful idiots are still with us. To date, there's no sign that they're going anywhere soon. So it's just blah, blah, blah.

Can you forgive me for not wanting to believe we (Canada) have turned a corner? I'll have to live at least two more election cycles and see Conservatives or a reasonable facsimile elected before I'll believe our resident useful idiots are down for the count, but even then, that may not be long enough. History normally unfolds over longer periods of time than that. Think of the reformation and the counter-reformation; the era of European empire building; the industrial revolution; the scientific and enlightenment revolutions.  Did anyone living through those eras know it would lead to what we see all around us today?  Every once in a while, some major event happens that sends us off in a different direction, and none of us knows where that direction will lead or if, perhaps, it might even be stillborn.

Oh well. We older folks are supposed to leave a mess for the younger ones to clean up. It's always been like that. They'll do the same thing.

We all do the best we can with what we're given and hope against hope that when we're gone, the mess we made isn't any worse than the one we inherited.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all had crystal balls?  Or, for that matter, if we could learn the right lessons from the past.  Maybe George Santayana wasn't right. Maybe it doesn't matter whether we remember the past. We're condemned to repeat it, no matter what we do or what we think we know.

And remember. Never trust anyone under thirty.

Still, I'm glad I came of age when I did, even though coming of age in the 60's and early 70's meant I still had a lot of growing up to do when it became evident that we weren't gonna change the world. Or maybe we did? How the hell am I supposed to know.

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Friday, July 06, 2012

This Is The Town...

...in Northern Saskatchewan were I taught school years and years ago (must be about 25 years ago or more). I see nothing has changed.

Oh wait. They now have an RCMP detachment, right in town. Fat lotta good that's done.

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Place Your Bets...


You can't make this shit up!!!

Prince Charles turns into a frog

This is news???

I just hope no one in the realm (outside of Camilla, that is) kisses him.

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Tears In My Eyes...


A story of life's lessons learned late in life, too late for some things, but not too late for the learning in the retelling and reminiscing.

Funny how that is. Yet so common.

Read the comments, too.  Although this is not truly a story about brokenness, it reminds me of the words of Ernest Hemingway:
"The world breaks everyone. But afterwards many are strong at the broken places."
What it is, is a story of what we may not learn at the time events in our lives take place, but what, nonetheless, remains to teach us when we are ready for the learning.  Or, more plainly, just an old fashioned youthful love story with some missing bits filled in much, much later. Poignant. Sweet. Universal.

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And Who Didn't See This Coming?

Heads will roll. Lawyers will get rich off of grieving people. And dead people under piles of rubble will still be dead.

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Life is Full of Bitter...


Motorist banned from driving Flintstones car on German roads

"Yabba, dabba, don't!" as the article says.

No evidence of mermaids, says US government

Trying to keep the US Navy focused on its business? Was it too much rum or not enough?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hats Off...

...to a fine neighbour (or should that be neighbor?) on your special day:

I want to thank you for taking our arsty-fartsy types off our hands. Please keep them.

I also want to thank you for all the nifty tech toys and amenities you have created, not to mention the ideas embedded in your founding documents. These have been a boon to us all. And an inspiration.

Happy 236th.

And did you know that today is also the 111th anniversary of the world's longest covered bridge? Google just served that up for we Canucks. It's in New Brunswick.

Ya' learn something every day.

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Okay. So They Think...

...they're closing in on the "God Particle", but as usual, that raises other questions, such as "Who or what created the God Particle"?

Seriously, every advance in science merely increases the mystery of how, and under who's direction, it all began.

My idea of God, and whether or not He/She/It exists is just that. The Great Mystery that we may get closer and closer to seeing/understanding/knowing, but, like the speed of light, we will never quite reach a conclusion.

All the religious interpretations that have been written down and preserved in sacred texts, whether Judeao-Christian, or otherwise, merely reflect humankind's attempt to explain the unexplainable, and as such they are products of the human imagination, which itself is a mighty wondrous thing.

But to declare you are an atheist just because you reject these bits of human imaginings, which include the great strides made by modern science, is to suggest that everything that can be known is now known, or will be, some day.

We will never arrive at the ultimate end of the human endeavour to understand creation and prove or disproved the existence of a Creator. Merely rejecting the products of the human imagination is not the same thing as rejecting the notion that there is a Creator. No. It is rejection of the capacity of the human imagination to arrive at the ultimate answer to the biggest question, which all of science endeavors to explore.

Ain't gonna happen. But, the human imagination, being what it is, we're gonna try anyway.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

That Should Help

It seems the NDP just can't help but step in it:

NDP launches 'radical' anti-pipeline website

After years and years of nearly uninterrupted NDP government in this province, I am very cautious about thinking we are at last free of them. But this lunacy should certainly help. I hope it helps at the Federal level, too.

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Monday, July 02, 2012

Further Thoughts...

..about living in Yahooville.


As the seasons progress and I continue to engage in front-step-sitting, I continue to be amazed at what I see in front of my house. More birds. Lots more. The robins have multiplied, or at least been joined by reinforcements. There's little birds and big ones.  Chirping and singing their various songs.

The other day, I caught a little yellow one, probably a canary, flying by.  A few weeks ago there was even a raven, squawking as it flew past. You don't often see them this far south. In the distance, nearly every day, I hear an owl.  And butterflies. Beautiful ones. Including Monarch Butterflies. And lots of bugs.

Best of all, though, is the little gaffer across the street. He's probably less than two.  In any case, he's growing like a weed. A few weeks back, he made me smile when I saw him running. It's amazing how those little people propel themselves forward, 'cause when they run their feet seem to be going straight up and down. At least they'd be able to have a tantrum.

Today, his parents were filling up one of those little plastic swimming pools for him. I think I'll go over and sit in it later today, when he's not looking.

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Blazing Hot...

..yesterday, followed by the obligatory middle-of-the-night thunder storm with strong winds. Everything is wet today, and it's still hot. Forecast is for more tonight followed by several days of blazing hot sun. I didn't need that sleep anyway.

The power was off twice last night, and of course, being me, I had to get up and reset the blinking clocks. Tonight, I think I'll just ignore them.

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Sorry About That...

...but we had to send it somewhere.

Seriously though, 22 dead is no laughing matter.

Mom Nature knows how to teach us she's da boss. I wish she wasn't so brutal, though.

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Joys of Home Ownership

The past several days I've been hanging pictures on my walls and, of course, have been having a hard time finding the studs. Just now I was reading up on how to find studs. There were several websites that mention that stud finder gismos don't work very well, but I can attest to the fact that the old fashioned method doesn't work too well, either.

And don't get me going on the other kind of studs. I wonder if that's what the gismos were designed to find?

All of which reminds me of Red Green's immortal advice to men: "If they don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

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These People Couldn't Organize...

...their way out of a wet paper bag:

Anti-Harper rally hits Regina

About 30 people. And it's not even winter!!

Notice how they live in the past (reference to the On-to-Ottawa trek, an event that took place 77 years ago) and they are so courageous that they won't give their last names, only an initial.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Keep it up, folks. You have every right to make fools of yourselves. We sort of expect it and appreciate the almost daily chuckle it affords.

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Canada Day, My Fellow Canucks

Here's a vivid description of this great land I call home.

And I know exactly what he's talking about, too. I used to live in Canada's Boreal Forest/Canadian Shield country in northern Saskatchewan. I've traveled through the Alberta badlands and the Canadian Rockies are magnificent. I've stood on the spot they call the Great Divide, from which all water flowing West ends up in the Pacific Ocean and all water flowing East ends up in the Atlantic.

I've seen the red earth of Prince Edward Island and viewed smoggy Toronto from atop the CN tower. I've walked in the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and dipped my toes in the Pacific Ocean. I even found my way through the City of Montreal by looking for signs that said Ouest and Toronto. (Yes. Even a thick tongued old Anglo can make it through Montreal with a smattering of French.)

All are spectacular, but I have to admit I'm a flatlander. I like to be able to see for miles and miles. No smog for me, thank you. And in the forest, I feel claustrophobic:
"Canada is an amazing place. Where else do you find a country where it takes 14 hours to drive from one province to the next?"
True enough. Once, many years ago, my ex's father came to visit and we took him out to Vancouver Island so he could dip his toes in the Pacific Ocean. He couldn't believe the distance we had to travel to get there. He thought we were going to the ends of the earth.
"From Pinehouse we drove through hundreds of miles of boreal forest. Then we spent hours traversing parkland. Finally we spent more hours exploring the Prairies, all the while gradually gaining altitude as we moved toward the Alberta foothills and the Rocky Mountains.

We drove until blood clots formed in our legs. We visited what seemed like dozens of gas station washrooms, some of which were also amazing in an alarming way. Sometime after midnight I dropped dad off in Drumheller, which sits in the middle of Alberta’s Badlands, itself a bizarre and wonderful place.

Today more than 80% of Canadians live in urban areas and it’s natural enough to associate Canada Day with Parliament Hill, fireworks, the Snowbirds, beer ads and pancake breakfasts down at the local park.

But Canada is also the second largest country in the world next to Russia and it’s the wilderness between the cities we live in, as much as anything else, that makes us Canadian.

I know not everyone will see it this way, but I am somehow strangely reassured by the fact that in most of Canada it is still easy enough to get mauled by a bear."
Although I'm not so sure about being mauled by a bear.

And back in the day, when I worked for a living, I really liked it when July 1st fell on a Friday. The Fourth of July would be on a Monday and that really made it feel like an extra long, long weekend.

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