Friday, June 30, 2006

The Baby's Video . . . .

Here's a short video of the favorite - and only - child . . . . .

(Press > button above.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wish this was our Letter to the Editor of The Vancouver Sun

Chinese head-tax redress opens door to a better Canada

I joined the Canadian family last week, becoming a citizen on June 21. During the ceremony, a sense of deep emotion overcame me thinking of my welcome into this new and great country; a country abounding with opportunities, great freedoms, and peace. I felt honoured as a member of my new country when the judge exhorted us to work toward making this a better place, to get to know our neighbours and to accept other cultures.

In the midst of all of these good feelings, I have been distressed by Canadian citizens who have not only voiced concerns over the Chinese head-tax redress, but have even rejected the opportunity for reconciliation.

I asked myself, why would someone be upset with apologies and making things right? A simple look at Canadian history depicts the horrid treatment of Asians, even up through the 1940s. What a stark difference this is from the welcome, the blessings and the exhortations I received last week.

So why wouldn’t we put in some effort to make things right? I’ve read how some people have resisted this redress because “Once we begin apologizing for one thing Canada did wrong, we have to apologize to all sorts of other ethnic groups.”

Quite true. There certainly are a lot of apologies that should be addressed. But is that a good reason to not apologize? If I had 10 friends whom I betrayed, would it not make sense to begin a process of reconciliation, beginning with the one whom I treated worst?

Ignoring our history is one way to silently and devastatingly fragment a population. I see this in the United States, where I grew up, and I do not want to see it here.

I believe in caring for our neighbours. I have Filipino neighbours, Mexican neighbours, Europeans and Asians. The only thing keeping us from getting know one another is ourselves. We need to open the doors of our lives to others and to a future of living together. This requires reconciliation with the past.

I invite all Vancouverites on Canada Day to join together downtown and march in a Parade for Reconciliation. We will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday at Victory Square (Cambie and West Pender) and march into China town. This is a grassroots way of symbolizing a reversal of the ransacking march that was made 100 years ago.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Hard" times for Rush . . . . .

This should bring a smile to progressive faces everywhere!! Enjoy . . . . . .

Viagra threatens Limbaugh plea deal
Prescription was not in Limbaugh's name, authorities say

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) -- Rush Limbaugh could see a deal with prosecutors in a long-running prescription fraud case collapse after authorities found a bottle of Viagra in his bag at Palm Beach International Airport. The prescription was not in his name.

Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at the airport after returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.

Customs officials found the Viagra in his luggage but his name was not on the prescription, said Paul Miller, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators confiscated the drugs, which treat erectile dysfunction. Limbaugh was released without being charged.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Check out this link for an animated version

Saturday, June 24, 2006

You Go, Girl . . . . .

Yes, I'm aware we seem to be in a political rant/rut the past few posts, but there is absolutely no updated immigration information to report. Therefore, hope you will indulge and appreciate this article by the "Grande Dame" of the Washington press corps . . . .

Democrats need a new script

Friday, June 23, 2006


WASHINGTON -- When are the Democrats going to get their act together?

Surely, they are not going to let President Bush's political guru, Karl Rove, snooker them in the mid-term November election campaign as he did in the past two presidential elections.

What is he going to pull out of the hat? Soft on terrorism? Gay marriage? Flag burning? 9/11?

Are the Democrats going to be such easy prey again, neutralized by phony wedge issues and neglectful of the real issue, which is the administration's flagrant use of falsehoods to justify a war of choice?

It could happen again. The leaderless Democrats, speaking in a cacophony, are being outgunned by the conservatives and members of their own party representing the Democratic Leadership Council who are at heart "Republican lite."

There are a handful, including Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a Vietnam veteran who is calling for a speedy U.S. pullout from Iraq. He also took a swipe at Rove on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday for pushing the war while "sitting in his big air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside, saying 'Stay the course.' "

He was responding to Rove's speech in New Hampshire last week in which Rove attacked Democrats for what he called "that party's old pattern of cutting and running."

Rove -- who prides himself on being a history buff -- obviously did not remember when President Ford ordered U.S. troops out of Vietnam in April 1975. They departed -- some clinging by their fingertips to helicopters -- as North Vietnamese forces advanced on Saigon.

At that time Ford said at Tulane University: "We, of course, are saddened indeed by the events in Indochina.

"But these events, tragic as they are, portend neither the end of the world nor of America's leadership in the world."

Summing up, he added: "The fate of responsible men and women everywhere, (meaning the South Vietnamese) rests in their own hands, not in ours."


Polls show that the American people -- including many Republicans -- are beginning to turn against the war.

In addition to an endless war for no known U.S. objective, there are a host of other issues that Democrats should embrace to hit home to every American

They could shout from the rooftops against the chipping away at the Bill of Rights and expansion of presidential power.

Bush has asserted the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on any American without a warrant in the name of fighting terrorism. He has asserted presidential power beyond stated constitutional rights and there is no Republican gutsy enough to call his hand.

The administration also has detained hundreds of suspected terrorists in limbo without charges or trials.

And then there are the shameful alleged secret prisons abroad where prisoners may be subjected to torture under interrogation.

The fact that millions of Americans lack health insurance is a theme Democrats should campaign on. The Democrats should support universal health care. When the administration lays down the law in the prescription drug program that drug prices are not negotiable, who is it working for?

Another rich target for Democrats: Bush and the Republican Congress cut taxes for the richest people in the country while fighting to keep the 10-year-old minimum wage at $5.15.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., said last week that the "divide between rich and poor in this country has reached outrageous proportions." He urged passage of Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy's bill to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in three stages.

And how about the cuts in homeland security funding for vulnerable New York and Washington?

The Democrats also could hit upon our diminished image around the world and loss of credibility.

As Bush prepared to visit Europe this week, Die Zeit, a German weekly, declared that Americans have "lost their moral credibility in Iraq."

The newspaper also said "America's entire Iraq policy is out of control."

That's what the Democrats should be saying.


Helen Thomas is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers. E-mail: Copyright 2006 Hearst Newspapers.

© 1998-2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Separated at Birth??

Excerpts from an article in today's VANCOUVER SUN:

Liberals compare PM’s softwood claim to Bush’s ‘mission accomplished’


Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s April declaration that his government has settled the softwood lumber trade dispute is akin to President George W. Bush’s ill-fated “mission accomplished” speech in 2003 celebrating “victory” in the Iraq war, opposition Liberals charged Wednesday.

But International Trade Minister David Emerson insists negotiations haven’t fallen apart, and dismissed a letter obtained by The Vancouver Sun this week that the Liberals have said is further evidence the deal is unravelling.Emerson didn’t directly respond to the challenge from Liberal trade critic Dominic LeBlanc, who suggested Harper’s April 27 declaration is comparable to Bush’s famous 2003 speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln where he declared victory in front of a huge “Mission Accomplished” banner. More than 2,500 Americans have died in Iraq, the vast majority since Bush’s announcement of an end to “major combat operations.”

“The softwood lumber discussions are proceeding extremely well. Provinces are very supportive,” Emerson responded Wednesday in the House of Commons. “The so-called letter that is being referred to was an undated, unsigned letter. It has no status whatever in the discussions that are ongoing on softwood lumber.” However, critics have pointed out that the original April 27 term sheet between Canada and the U.S. that prompted Harper to say the lumber war is settled, was also unsigned.

When he rose in the House of Commons April 27 to announce a settlement, Harper made no mention of the need for subsequent negotiations over contentious legal issues that have now raised questions about whether the “framework” accord will survive. “I am . . . pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement which will put an end to this dispute,” Harper said to loud cheers from government MPs.

(We think Mr. Harper may want to re-assess putting too much faith in Mr. Bush's "agreements" . . .)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006

Immigration News Today

Two separate items in the Vancouver Sun newspaper are rather disturbing . . . . Hope these aren't an indication of the Torie's policies for us . . . . . Let's hope bush's repuglicans aren't successful in slowing our efforts to get out of bushland . . . . .

Canada should end immigration until security fixed: Congressman
Indiana Republican also says border should be shut down in event of another terror attack

Canadian Press

WASHINGTON — A U.S. congressman who says Canada’s in denial about terrorism is applauding as “sound advice” the idea of shutting out immigrants and refugees until the country fixes its security risks.
Indiana Republican John Hostettler, who held a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill, also said the House of Representatives shouldn’t agree to delay strict new border identification measures in light of Canada’s sweeping anti-terror arrests last week.
“We do not want to have to worry about a neighbour that has a very different attitude than we do about terrorism,” Hostettler said after the meeting.
Americans, he added, would demand the Canada-U.S. border be shut down in the event of another terrorist attack like the one on Sept. 11, 2001, even if Canada played no role.
He accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of “laughing off” an alleged terrorist beheading plot when he quipped last week that he can “live with all these threats as long as they’re not from my caucus.”
And Hostettler, who chairs a judiciary subcommittee, had nothing but praise for the views of David Harris, a Canadian security analyst, who used to be with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Harris told the legislators that Canada’s immigration system is a big part of its terrorist problem, noting the country takes in double the number of immigrants and three or four times the refugees as the United States.
He suggested a moratorium on newcomers and opposes extending a deadline requiring a passport or high-technology identification card at land crossings beyond Jan. 1, 2008.

Solberg under fire for comments about Asian immigrants
Immigration minister says they have more difficulty learning English and French

Montreal Gazette

OTTAWA — Federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg came under fire Thursday after he suggested immigrants from Asian countries have more difficulty learning English and French than immigrants from European countries.
“To make that kind of statement and to label people is clearly bad,” said Liberal MP Denis Coderre, a former immigration minister. “This is the ministry of Canada, for God’s sake. You’re supposed to be inclusive. You’re not supposed to make those kinds of statements.
“It’s a slippery slope when you try to talk like that ... to say it is because of your ethnicity whether you learn fast or not.”
“It’s absurd,” said Bloc Quebecois immigration critic Meili Faille, whose mother hails from Taiwan. “It makes no sense.”
Faille said the Immigration Department is doing the right thing in investing more money in language courses for immigrants but Solberg’s comments showed a lack of leadership.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Canadian Border Problem - Or Is It??

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

The unflinching arrogance of the Bush Administration is prompting the exodus among liberal citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O'Reilly. Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal-rights activists, and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.

"He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. "Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk"

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though."

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.

Liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. "If they can't identify the accordion player on 'The Lawrence Welk Show', we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.

I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?"

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said. "We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out."

Originally published:
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
By Joe Blundo

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Two More Days . . . .

Well, only two more days of enjoying Vancouver and then back to the Three "H"'s of Florida: "Heat, Humidity and Hurricanes", although this year we have been sending out positive vibes to the universe to direct the hurricanes to another coastline . . . We in the Gulf Coast have had more than our share the past few years - it's time to spread the "joy". Hopefully all activity will be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and won't affect anyone's property. Cross your fingers!

While walking around our West End neighbourhood (Have to start using "Canadian English" spellings . . . .) I can't help but notice the cultural diversity in this city . . . . An elementary school across the street has a melting pot mixture of students of European, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian and African descent. All playing and learning together with no apparent regard for race or ethnic background . . . . Maybe we should draft all of them to handle diplomacy for our current world leaders . . . . Couldn't hurt!

Looking forward to being able to remain in Vancouver soon without having to return south . . .