Saturday, April 28, 2007

Contributions Needed . . . .

It's Saturday and gorgeous, so I'm off to enjoy the outside.

Here's a little humour for you this weekend - You may have seen this previously, but it is still amusing, IMHO.

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam going into downtown Chicago.

Nothing is moving north or south. Suddenly a man knocks on his car window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened, what's the hold up?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped President Bush! They are asking for a $10 million ransom.

Otherwise they are going to douse him with gasoline and set him on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "On average, how much is everyone giving?"

"About a gallon."

Heh, Heh, Heh . . . .

Friday, April 27, 2007

steve and Danny In a Bit of a Snit . . . .

From today:

N.L. premier casts Harper as wily deceiver
'Steve' is no buddy of mine, furious premier says
Last Updated: Friday, April 27, 2007 | 7:29 PM NT - CBC News

Calling the prime minister "Steve," a furious Danny Williams lashed out at Stephen Harper Friday as an untrustworthy chameleon trying to pull the wool over Canadians' eyes.

During a scrum with reporters, Williams referred to Harper as "Steve," eschewing a more formal — if not respectful — reference.

"His buddy [U.S. President] George Bush calls him Steve, so, you know, I can call him Steve. I'm not a buddy of his," Williams told reporters.

"By the same token, I have to basically treat him with the same disdain that he's treating [residents of Newfoundland and Labrador]."

Don't get between these two. Sounds like they may be scratchin' each other's eyes out or pullin' hair soon . . . .

Thursday, April 26, 2007

George vs. george . . . .

Compliments of

Slam dunk' comment on Iraq distorted, Tenet says

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A former U.S. spy chief accused President Bush's administration of ruining his reputation by misusing a "slam dunk" comment he made during a White House meeting ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Former CIA Director George Tenet told CBS Television's "60 Minutes" that the administration leaked his comment as opposition to the war grew when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq


"You don't do this. You don't throw somebody overboard just because it's a deflection. Is that honorable? It's not honorable to me," Tenet said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

Perhaps Mr. Tenet might have to return the Medal of Freedom to mr. bush ? ? ? ?

More Wise Decisions . . . .

From the Tyee today - Entire article available here.

Barred from US:
BC psychotherapist denied entry after border guard googled his work. By Linda Solomon

. . . . Then Feldmar disbelievingly listened as he learned that he was being barred from ever entering the United States again. The officer told him he could apply to the Department of Homeland Security for a waiver, if he wished, and gave him a package, with the forms.

The border guard then escorted him to his car and made sure he did a U-turn and went back to Canada.

As I've said before, the damage that has been done to the US the past six years will be around for decades.

Hopefully, our train north is leaving soon . . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Next Train to Canada, Please . . . .

H/T to Crooks and Liars for this heads up:

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps - By Naomi Wolf

If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

You can read the entire article here at the Guardian-UK.

Now can you see why we would like to vacate the US ASAP ? ? ? ?

Missed the Birthday Party . . . .

While meeting with MSEH of Two Moms to Canada in Victoria a couple of weeks ago, she mentioned her blog was just celebrating it's 1st birthday. It seemed odd to me, as I thought her blog was older than that.

Yesterday I got to check out the Moving to Vancouver blog history, and discovered we missed our own 1st birthday on April 16th . . . .

Belated "Happy Birthday", MTV! :)

Overseeing Condescending . . . .

It would be my guess that the bush administration is probably not used to having someone actually look at what they do while in office. Now it looks like condescending rice may get to answer a few questions about her actions in the lead up to the Iraq fiasco. Thanks to Henry Waxman's committee in Congress, bushco's actions might actually have consequences. What a novel idea!

Break out the popcorn one more time.

This is getting better than HBO . . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

bush and shrub redeux . . . .

It fit into my "busy" schedule today to catch most of CPAC's broadcast of "Question Period" in the House of Commons.

While listening I began
comparing the
relationship between
bush and
Attorney General
al gonzales
with that
of harper and his
Defence Minister
david o'connor.

Opposition members and leaders spent most of the time asking shrub to demand his defense minister's resignation or fire him. Even in light of the
apparent prisoner abuse in Afghanistan, shrub showed no desire to do that . . . Not unlike bush's spirited defense of his attorney general yesterday.

Can you say "state of denial" ?

The shrub is growing into a fine replica of the bush . . . .

Damn ! ! ! !

From today's Congressional Quarterly Midday Update:

Cheney’s Health Prompts Kucinich to Delay Impeachment Drive

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich today put off efforts to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, citing reports that Cheney was being treated for a blood clot in his leg.

It's surprising to me that there may be blood in the man's veins. I assumed it was ice . . . .

As a follow up, if dickhead is well enough to jump all over Harry Reid, he should be up to impeachment . . . .

Further Follow Up:

Apparently Dennis changed his mind . . . . You Go, Boy!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Going Up ? ? ? ?

While in Vancouver one of my pastimes is attending Realtor Open Houses in the neighbourhood. "drf" and I have a tiny strata (condo) in The West End, but feel like a larger unit may be in order when we are living here on a full time basis. Two adults and one four-legged child may be quite cramped in the current "cozy" digs.

This past weekend I had my route all planned out to attempt to view 6 separate units in the obligatory 2:00 - 4:00 pm time period, with the last one actually open from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. This last unit was the second unit to be viewed in the same building - different floor and different floor plan. All was going quite well until the last unit viewing . . . .

The perky and bubbly Realtor-lady arrived a few minutes late and there were obviously others who had the same idea I had: Hit both units at about 4:00 pm to save time/travel, etc. So, the agent takes us all into the lobby to catch the elevator to the 6th floor. During the afternoon someone was moving into the building so one of the elevators had been utilized for that purpose. Since there were so many of us - 13 including the agent - the concierge allowed us to enter the "moving elevator" to facilitate us all getting upstairs quickly. BIG MISTAKE !! Bubbly agent waves her security key fob over the elevator control and pushes the button for #6. Elevator proceeds up and promptly jerks to a dead stop, with the indicator light reading "2". Long story short: 30 minutes later we finally depart the cramped elevator after becoming much more familiar with each other than any of us had planned on, I'm sure. At least now I have no qualms about possibly having claustrophobia - If it didn't affect me then, I doubt it ever will. (Unlike one woman who was having issues, poor thing!) Luckily, the building I was previewing was right next door to a Vancouver fire station. Even more lucky was we got stuck between floors and the hunky firefighters had to heave us out of the elevator . . . Yuuummmm!!

(If you're interested, we all opted to walk up the four flights of stairs rather than wait for the other elevator!)

PS: The unit and building were quite nice, BTW, with the exception of the elevator issues . . . .

Bloggerpalooza, Volume I . . . .

Yes, it happened - It really happened!

Lotus Land bloggers met in The West End and
as Dave mentioned, the number involved could have doubled as a slow pitch softball team. The pitches involved at the table, though, were anything but slow! This group is as quick and witty in reality as they are in virtuality on the "internets".

Alison, Dave, David, Dana, Laura, Ross, Ian, Declan and myself all had a great time eating pizza and enjoying a few liquid refreshments. The best part was being able to put a face to the posts we've enjoyed for some time. (Sorry, due to a few bloggers in attendance publicity agent's restrictions, no photos of the participants are available. Royalty rights involved, you know. I was planning a "Match the Face to the Blogger" contest - with a million dollar prize - but that was nixed by the legal restrictions. Lawyers . . . . )

All in attendance had a good time, and a future gathering seems to be in order. Hope I'll be in town when it happens.

Many thanks to Alison for arranging the event, and special thanks to Ross for his table-top entertainment. The pizza pan used as a tambourine will be forever etched in my mind . . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore". . . . Thank Goodness!

So, once again the wrong-wing christians show how understanding and forgiving they are:

Infamous Anti-Gay Group Plans To Picket Va. Tech Funerals

The families of those killed in the Virginia Tech massacre may not be able to grieve in peace at the funerals of those they lost. An anti-gay religious group known for protesting at the funerals of American soldiers killed in Iraq is planning on appearing at services for those killed on Monday as well.

The Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), which is not affiliated with any national Baptist organization, announced plans to protest at victims’ funerals only hours after 32 people were killed in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. They also may protest at other events on the Virginia Tech campus.

The organization, founded and led by Fred Phelps, believes the United States has condemned itself to destruction by accepting homosexuality and other “sins of the flesh.” Phelps’ daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said the Virginia Tech teachers and students who died on Monday brought their fate upon themselves by not being true Christians.

“The evidence is they were not Christian. God does not do that to his servants,” Phelps-Roper said. “You don’t need to look any further for evidence those people are in hell.”

Somehow the term "Turn the other cheek" comes to mind . . . . I've got a couple of cheeks I'd like to turn to these a _ _ holes . . . .

Bloggerpalooza ! ! ! !

(This post will remain at the top of blog 'til after the event - Newer posts follow)

Compliments of Alison @ Creekside:


When : Noon on Sunday April 22
Where : Olympia Pizza at Denman and Nelson in Vancouver's West End.
Who : Ross from The Gazetteer, Dave and Dana from The Galloping Beaver, Bob and David from Moving To Vancouver. and me. So far....

So if you're a lotusland blogger and would like to come, leave me a message here or e me at alisonmatdowcodotcom and I'll update as needed.

If you're reading this, you need to be there.

Hope you can join us . . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2007

When You're Smilin' . . . .

After al's "performance" in front of Senator Pat Leahy's Juciciary Committee today, it seems I can't keep a smile off my face . . . .

Ain't it just grand ? ! ? !

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Go, Dennis, Go . . . .

At this point in the US campaign for President, Congressman Dennis Kucinich is the only announced candidate from either party that consistently takes positions closest to ours.

Now, he's taking a stand that is truly commendable: Filing papers to impeach dickhead cheney . . . .

"You Go, Dennis!"

Please, Please, Pretty Please ! ! ! !

If we all think positive thoughts, maybe it will happen . . . .

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sun Running . . . .

Yesterday was the annual Vancouver Sun Run through downtown and The West End.

This year over 54,000 participated, and according to a local news report is the largest sporting event in Canada.

I was a spectator . . . .

Sunday, April 15, 2007

He's Got a Book ! ! ! !

The question is, how do you write a book with no obvious intelligence - designed or not - displayed?

(He's celebrating his 80th birthday I hear . . . . whoopee.)


Benedict XVI, in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation — but stopped short of endorsing intelligent design.

And to think there are millions of "believers" around the world that look to this person for guidance.

Amazing . . . .

Lee on Leadership . . . .

Excerpt: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

This guy makes a lot of sense . . . . Will anyone listen?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

condescending's Cunundrum . . . .

So condescending rice is "disgusted" by Don Imus' comments . . . .

Rice calls Imus' on-air slur 'disgusting'
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, shown here on April 12, blasted radio host Don Imus.


-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the highest-ranking black woman in government history, said the racist, sexist comments that got radio shock jock Don Imus fired were "disgusting."

In her first public remarks on the controversy, Rice said Friday that Imus had insulted not only female athletes but all young black women by referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy headed hos."

"They're 18- and 19-year-old women," she said. "And what were they doing except showing that they're really fine athletes, playing under extraordinary pressure in which for them was a dream season.

"And it gets ruined by this disgusting -- and I'll use the word 'disgusting' -- comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to," Rice told talk show host Michael Medved.

Why then, does she express her disgust to Michael Medved who has shown to be on his radio program anti-Hispanic, and appears to condone homophobia?

It appears the bush administration is in dire need of a PR agent. They obviously have no forethought before they make these blunders. At the very least they should employ an entity to follow behind them and clean up the mess . . . .

Southern Hospitality . . . .

Ya' think this is getting a little out of hand ? ! ? !

Immigration law cited as Canadian jailed over minor traffic violations
'I'm not a terrorist,' 23-year-old tells Ottawa paper

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Published on: 04/14/07

Authorities in South Georgia forced a Canadian tourist to strip naked, shower and spend what she called a harrowing night in jail last weekend for minor traffic violations.

The treatment of Cheryl Kuehn, a graduate student from Ottawa, has sparked outrage in Canada and investigations in Georgia. And Friday, immigrant advocates said it raises new questions about how local authorities are interpreting Georgia's sweeping new immigration law.

Kuehn, 23, was driving to Florida to visit in-laws Saturday when a Georgia state trooper pulled her over in Brunswick for speeding and running a stop sign. The trooper took Kuehn to the local jail to post a cash bond, as is customary for ticketed motorists with a foreign driver's license.

But Kuehn, who was traveling with her husband and two others, ended up spending more than 11 hours at the Glynn County Jail while authorities ran an immigration check on her.

Kuehn's father, Randy Durksen, said he received a distraught call shortly after she was booked.

"Get me out of here. Get me out of here," he recalled her saying. "They want me to strip and shower. The inmates are swearing at me."

Is it any wonder we want to get the hell out of there ? ? ? ?

Update to this incident here.

Where Will He Read About His "Legacy" ? ? ? ?

Even the Methodists don't want anything to do with him . . . .

Texas university faculty objects to Bush library

Southern Methodist professors, clergy fear the university will be
tainted by link to neo- conservative thinking and Iraq war

Agence France- Presse

DALLAS — Plans to establish a presidential library and thinktank for George W. Bush at his wife’s alma mater in Texas have come under fire from both faculty and the clergy associated with Southern Methodist University.

A vocal group of professors, concerned about how an institute billed to be “ inspired by the principles of George W. Bush’s administration” might affect the university’s reputation, have been working to block the library.

The faculty senate passed a resolution this week asking that the institute clearly states its “ independence and separation from SMU” and that it welcomes fellows with bipartisan views.

“ I’m concerned that we’re going to be judged by the things this institute does,” said history Prof. Benjamin Johnson.

“ These guys are so divisive, so unpopular, it seems to me really dangerous to go for an arrangement that could turn the face of your university over to them without any controls over them.”

The library and institute retain the support of a large part of SMU’s faculty and administration, who think it will raise the university’s profile and dismiss concerns that the institute will be packed with Bush cronies who will promote the rationale for war and other policies that the administration has fostered.

“ I think people are projecting their worst fantasies on to the institute. They think it’s going to be some sort of fringe, radical group,” said Matthew Wilson, a professor of political science at SMU.

The institute’s fellows will not be teaching classes or granted the status of faculty members, Wilson said, and the library will foster intellectual debate by attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and over 1,000 scholars every year.

Wilson said it’s wrong to see the library as a temple to Bush’s policies. “ It’s about history rather than politics and that’s something people have to keep in mind,” he said.

But 15 current and retired bishops who launched an online petition saying that the “ linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate” disagree.

The bishops are critical of the war in Iraq and the administration’s treatment of enemy combatants. The petition currently has over 10,000 signatures.

“ I am hesitant to see Southern Methodist University welcoming the institute of a Methodist who has been so contrary to the teachings of the Methodist Church,” said Rev. Joseph Sprague, a recently retired Chicago- area Methodist bishop who helped sponsor the petition.

“ It will do nothing but perpetuate the kind of neocon thinking of this administration which has taken both this nation and the world in the wrong direction.”

The criticism comes as university leaders enter final negotiations, which they say they hope to conclude “ within weeks, rather than months.”

Bush recently came to the defence of his library.

“ I understand there are some who have reservations, and my admonition to them, or my advice to them, is just understand that a library, an institute, would enhance education,” he said in the interview with the Dallas television station.

“ It would be a place for interesting discussion.”

Oh yeah, they can discuss topics such as his failed foreign policy, failed domestic policy, successful attacks on personal liberties, corrupt and deceitful members of his administration, etc., etc., etc.

There are all kinds of "interesting discussions" that could be held . . . .

This Group is Uncovering the Truth . . . .

With all the other news of the week, this one slipped by me . . . .

Government Files on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq Released

The Defense Department has gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human costs of war. But documents made public by the ACLU this week provide a vivid window into the lives of innocent Afghans and Iraqis caught in conflict zones.

Hundreds of claims for damages by family members of civilians killed by Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan were recovered through a Freedom of Information Act request filed in June 2006. The claims and related materials highlight the cost of government efforts to suppress information, through policies including:

  • Banning photographers on U.S. military bases from covering the arrival of caskets containing the remains of U.S. soldiers killed overseas;

  • Paying Iraqi journalists to write positive accounts of the U.S. war effort;

  • Inviting U.S. journalists to “embed” with military units but requiring them to submit their stories to the military for pre-publication review;

  • Erasing journalists’ footage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan, and

  • Refusing to disclose statistics on civilian casualties.
In Afghanistan in March 2002, then-head of U.S. Central Command General Tommy Franks said “You know we don’t do body counts.” Then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in November 2003, “We don’t do body counts on other people.”

The ACLU released a total of 496 files: 479 from Iraq and 17 from Afghanistan. Of those claims, 198 were denied based on an exemption for combat situations. The documents released by the ACLU are available online in a searchable database at:

In a separate effort, the ACLU filed a FOIA request in October 2003 for records concerning the abuse of prisoners held by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay. That request has resulted in the release of more than 100,000 pages, all of which are available online at: Litigation regarding that request is ongoing.

Since it seems to be difficult if not impossible for the government to "come clean" at times, thank goodness there are groups such as this around . . . .

Friday, April 13, 2007

Once Again . . . .

At least this time cheney got the bird rather than his friend.

Which begs the question:

Wouldn't we all like to give him the bird ? ? ? ?

Immigrant Bloggers in Victoria . . . .

The long-anticipated trip to Victoria to finally meet in reality vs. virtuality mseh of Two Moms to Canada and Mary and Diane of Our Journey towards Canadian Immigration took place yesterday.

For me, it started with a Translink bus ride (18 minutes) from our strata in The West End to Pacific Central Station

where I got on a Pacific Coach Lines motorcoach for the combination bus and ferry ride to Victoria. (Please no comments about a "fairy on a ferry", please!)

The travel time was 4 hours which included a little over 2 hours of water travel through the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia.

Now that I've completed this mode of travel to Victoria from Vancouver, it is my preferred choice: You don't have to bother with a car and the expense involved. The schedule and times were perfect and on schedule. You get to sit back in comfortable accommodations and enjoy the scenery while someone else worries about the traffic and avoiding other boats. All for $70 CA roundtrip. What's not to like???

mseh met me at the bus station in Victoria and she and I proceeded to "Nervous Nellie's " (Again, the obvious comments are not necessary!) restaurant to participate in her book project about US to Canada immigrants.

After that, we went to the Tourist Info Centre to meet Mary and Diane. We then progressed to a pub in the area and began to swap stories, info, horror stories, etc. Although only having met for a short time, it seemed like we had known each other for much longer.

All in all, it was a great day and the weather pretty much cooperated, with only minimal sprinkle-spurts. Now that we have all met face-to-face rather than keyboard-to-monitor, I think we will remain close for a long time.

A couple of regrets: One is that the rest of our blogger family couldn't have joined us . . . . Perhaps a national re-union is in order once we're all "north of the 49th", eh? An additional regret is that another immigrant couple, W & M, couldn't join us . . . Maybe next time.

As the day drew to a close, this shot summarized it quite well . . . .

bush's Bungling Banker . . . .

So, the same guy we posted about here and here finds himself in hot water again. What a pity.

By way of TruthOut:

Bank Staff Asks Wolfowitz to Resign
By Jeannine Aversa
The Associated Press -
Thursday 12 April 2007

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz acknowledged Thursday that he erred in helping a close female friend get transferred to a high-paying job, and said he was sorry.

His apology didn't ease concerns among the bank's staff association, which wants him to resign.

The growing controversy has overshadowed major development meetings this weekend and is raising fresh questions about whether Wolfowitz will stay on the job. The White House, however, expressed confidence in the embattled bank president.

At issue are the generous compensation and pay raises of a bank employee, Shaha Riza, who has dated Wolfowitz. She was given an assignment at the State Department in September 2005, shortly after he became bank president.

There's the added dimension of a cheney connection according to today's New York Times, as the girlfriend's immediate superior was elizabeth cheney, dickhead's daughter. According to CNN this morning, the World Bank's board of directors adjourned a meeting today over the matter, saying it would move quickly to decide how to proceed.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz meets with Ahmed Ibrhahan, Iraqi senior deputy minister of the interior, center, and Capt. Jeff Royer, 233rd Military Police Company, Illinois National Guard, during the deputy secretary's visit to the al-Jadeeda Police Station in Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 26. Wolfowitz praised the courage and commitment of Iraqi people defying what he calls the "bitter-enders" of the Saddam Hussein regime and moving their country toward democracy. Photo by Donna Miles

We all remember wolfowitz and his role as head cheerleader for initiating bush's Iraq war debacle. If nothing else, he is continuing the grand tradition of this administration which is:

Support and promote those individuals that are outwardly competent and "morally right" but, in fact, are basically swine feeding at the public trough . . . .

**Updates to this post here, here and here. (It looks like there's going to be enough information on this topic for a blog of it's own!)

These people really do have no shame . . . . "Oink, Oink!"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Visiting and Visitors . . . .

Tomorrow is the big day when I take the bus and ferry to Victoria to visit with online friends. Myself, mseh of Two Moms to Canada and Diane and Mary of Our Journey towards Canadian Immigration finally get to meet in reality instead of virtuality. No doubt there will be many questions and answers from all involved. Wish the rest of our US-to-Canada immigrants and immigrantwannabees could join us - It promises to be a good time.

This morning there was a visitor to our "large balcony" - as our Realtor referred to it, anyway. Gilda or Gregory Gull - couldn't determine which - decided to pay a social call.

Thank goodness our four footed child wasn't with me on this trip. She would not have been amused by such a large bird invading her domain . . . .

Somebody Didn't Get the Memo . . . .

A tale of two Senators:

McCain Assails Democrats on Iraq

By Michael D. Shear - Washington Post Staff - Writer Wednesday, April 11, 2007; 12:27 PM

LEXINGTON, Va., April 11 -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) sought to reinvigorate his foundering presidential campaign Wednesday with a robust defense of the war in Iraq, declaring that President Bush and the conflict's supporters are on the right side of history in the struggle against terror and extremism.

Biden Says Bush's Iraq Policy Doomed
By Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza - Washington Post Staff Writers - Wednesday, April 11, 2007; 5:25 PM

Delaware Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D) said today that the Bush Administration's surge strategy in Iraq is doomed to fail and criticized Army General David Petraeus for offering what he called an overly optimistic assessment of the situation on the ground.

Wonder which one has a more accurate analysis?

(Hint: It's not the former driver of the "Straight Talk Express" . . . . )

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Justin's a Future Daddy . . .

What perfect timing! A new baby to round out the picture perfect political family.

We wish them well . . . .

Nothing to Report . . . .

Nothing to report . . . . .

How 'bout some skyline/cloud action?

Enjoy your evening . . . .

Monday, April 09, 2007

Chances Are . . . .

AlterNet excerpts from Blue Grit by Laura Flanders:

Laura Flanders: To Beat the Right, Clinton and Obama Need to Be Clear About Supporting Gay Rights

By Laura Flanders, AlterNet. Posted April 9, 2007.

Democrats will keep getting attacked on sexuality, marriage and abortion for as long as they dodge the discussion.

In 2004 it was Swift Boating. In 2008 will it be gay-baiting that skewers the Democratic candidate? It's not too late for Democratic contenders to start thinking about the so-called culture wars. Indeed they'd better do more than think, if the campaign so far is any indication of where it might be headed.

Ann Coulter's not going anywhere. There was tut-tutting in the media when she told the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that she couldn't talk about John Edwards without using the word "faggot," but the crowd in attendance roared. I suspect her trial balloon's not burst yet.

When General Peter Pace, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Chicago Tribune that homosexuality was immoral and should be prosecuted, the response of the Democratic front-runners was worse than weak. Asked to respond to Pace's assertions, both of the Democrats' lead money-raisers prevaricated.

Is homosexuality immoral, an ABC reporter asked Hillary Clinton point-blank: "I'm going to leave that to others to conclude" she answered. When asked by Newsday, repeatedly, if same-sex relationships were immoral, Barack Obama changed the subject: "I think traditionally the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman has restricted his public comments to military matters...That's probably a good tradition to follow."

Both candidates' spokespeople tried to massage those messages in the hours that followed, to little effect. A few days later, Senator Clinton released a third statement, in writing: "I disagree with what he [Pace] said and do not share his view, plain and simple," said Clinton.

But nothing Senators Clinton or Obama has said so far is anywhere near as simple as a "no" to the question of whether homosexuality is immoral. Or as plain as a plain-old "yes" to the notion that this nation's constitutional protections are supposed to apply equally to everyone. Only John Edwards seems to have learned that a direct answer isn't fatal. Asked by Wolf Blitzer "Is homosexuality immoral" he answered "I don't - don't share that view."

The reality is that national Democrats rarely speak plainly about anything to do with the so-called culture wars. To the contrary, Democrats running for a president typically run for cover when any gay related topic comes up. Worse, having utterly failed to tackle the topic with anything resembling principle (or panache) they blame the victim when homophobes win the day.

And later in the article:

"The compromise strategy doesn't work," Bill Lofy, communications director for the campaign training group Wellstone Action, told me. "For two reasons. If people are given the choice between a Republican and a Republican, they'll choose a Republican every time. And people are craving leadership that is real."

For far too long the Democratic Party has urged candidates to be what I call lip-synched liberals, cautious of speech, cut off at the heart. Hundreds of decent candidates have taken that advice -- to disastrous effect.

It would be nice if the dems would actually stand up for what's right rather than what's politically expedient. What are the chances of them doing it ? ? ? ?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

New Places, New Faces . . . .

In addition to spending some time at the VanDusen botanical gardens Friday, it was an opportunity to meet David of Loud Murmurs blog. David and Pam moved to Vancouver last year from Boston and received their Permanent Resident status recently. They had lots of good information on the area, the process and adjusting to the changes involved in immigration from the US to Canada.

"drf" and I hope to follow in their footsteps soon . . . .

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Travelling Contrasts . . . .

Checking in our fellow US-to-Canada-immigrant bloggers, I had to appreciate being here in Vancouver this week.

Between Laura's air travel incidents, and Tom's commuting incident it was a rough time to be in the States.

Perhaps it's because I've been spending a lot of time in Vancouver's Stanley Park

and VanDusen Botanical Gardens.

At any rate, the most confrontational species I encountered was a rather aggressive honey bee at VanDusen.

Maybe I was just lucky, or possibly it has something to do with being "north of the 49th" . . . .

Friday, April 06, 2007

Justice Department Meltdown . . . .

From today's New York Times online:

A top aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales resigned on Friday, becoming another casualty of the political storm that has rocked the Justice Department in the aftermath of last year’s dismissals of eight United States attorneys.

The aide, Monica Goodling, had helped to coordinate those dismissals with the White House, an episode that has provoked demands for Mr. Gonzales’s dismissal. Even Mr. Gonzales’s allies, including President Bush, say the dismissals were bungled from a public relations and political standpoint.

Ms. Goodling, who has been on leave as the Justice Department’s liaison to the White House, notified the Senate Judiciary Committee through her lawyer on March 26 that she would invoke her constitutional right not to testify in the panel’s inquiry about the dismissals — not because she had anything to hide, the lawyer said, but because she did not expect fair treatment in the current climate of political hostility.

In a three-sentence resignation letter, Ms. Goodling wrote to Mr. Gonzales, “May God bless you richly as you continue your service to America.”

Ms. Goodling, 33, was not widely known before her refusal to testify. She is a 1995 graduate of Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and received her law degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, according to many Web site postings. Messiah describes itself as “committed to an embracing evangelical spirit,” while Regent was founded by the Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson.

Once again, the radical religious zealots weave their web into US government positions.

Pity . . . .

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Guess I Forgot . . . .

Guess I forgot to tell you folks that I am here in Vancouver for the month of April . . . .

Enjoying the city, the weather and the culture.

I may not be posting as regularly with all the activities to partake of so available.
One big activity is a trip to Victoria next week to meet in "reality vs. virtuality" the girls from "Two Moms to Canada"and "Our Journey Toward Canadian Immigration". We're all looking forward to that!

Cheers . . . .

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

jesus + Food + Drink . . . . .

For cryin' out loud, first chocolate jesus and now Coke jesus . . . .

You would think it was the Easter season or something . . . .

This year's theme: Pass the food and drink, please.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Vancouver Accolades . . . .

From today's

Vancouver leads Canadian cities in world survey

Last Updated: Monday, April 2, 2007 | 10:43 AM ET - CBC News

Not only do Vancouverites live in the world's third-best urban centre, but they also enjoy the highest overall quality of life in Canada.

So says an annual international survey published Monday that ranked 215 cities around the globe, based on 39 criteria measuring such quality-of-life determinants as personal safety and social, economic and environmental conditions.

Vancouver — which tied with Vienna, Austria, at 107.7 points — fell just short of top-ranked Swiss cities Zurich (108.1 points) and runner-up Geneva (108 points).

But Vancouver was not the lone Canadian city to crack the top 25.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which conducted the survey, also included Toronto at 15th, Ottawa at 18th, Montreal at 22nd and Calgary at 24th. Every Canadian city scored better than all the U.S. cities surveyed. (Emphasis mine.)

Just more reasons for us to move to our future home . . . . Guess the secret's out, eh?

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Not really - Still not a peep out of CIC . . . . .

I just wanted to see what it would look like in the blog, and . . . . . .