Thursday, August 31, 2006

Air Canada - Brokeback Airlines?

The crew of an Air Canada passenger jet was forced to break down the cockpit door in mid-air after the pilot locked himself out when he popped out for a minute to use the toilet at the back of the Air Canada Jazz aeroplane. The bizarre incident occured with 30 minutes to go of an internal flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg.
Hmmm. And it seems, aside from being funny, a little troubling. Apparantly this pilot was talking on an internal microphone to the First Officer IN the cockpit during the incident.
Hmmm again. Couldn't the First Officer have simply unlocked the door? Were they angry at each other? Was the First Officer afraid of the pilot? Why wouldn't he open the door? Was the First Officer having too much fun steering?

Pilot - "Let me in, Bruce!"
First - "No, you never let me steer."
Pilot - "Just open the door."
First - "Sure sure, you're always nice when we're alone, but in public, oh no, you ignore me then."
Pilot - "I won't ignore you anymore, just OPEN THE FRIGGIN' DOOR."
First - "If you're going to swear at me like that ...."
Pilot - "Bruce, this is embarrassing, the passengers who aren't terrified are laughing."
First - "So I'm a laughing stock am I?"
Pilot - "Sheeeez .... Anybody got a screwdriver?"
First - "You won't find one, they're not allowed. Terrorists could use them."
Pilot - "Bruce. please open the door."
First - "No, you could be a terrorist."
Pilot - "Just undo the lock, I promise I won't be mad."
First - "I can't reach it, I'm busy steering."
Pilot - "We'll say the lock got stuck. I'll let you land. "
First - "Promise?"

The troubling thing is that Manon Stuart, spokeswoman for Air Canada, when explaining the 'event' said, "We investigated the incident and the crew followed standard operational procedure."
What? They have a procedure for when the pilot locks himself out of the cockpit? Is it in a manual somewhere? Rule 5A? Just under Parachuting?
I'm not sure if it's funny or not?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hushmail - Hooray for integrity!

During the pursuit, enticement and capture of John Mark Karr in Thialand to bring him to Colorado to answer for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, the US investigators asked a Canadian company, Hush Communications to reveal private emails from a Hushmail client that could have implications in the case. Hushmail refused to give out any information without a Canadian court order.
As we now know, the Boulder DA's office had nothing at all to even charge the delusionary Karr with the crime, they were fishing for info.
In America, the US goverment can go into your email, your ISP company, collect information about you and the Homeland Security Act prevents your ISP company from even telling you that they have given out information about you.
In Ottawa, there are talks going on within our own government to further mimic American sneakiness. Prey it doesn't happen.
Kudos to Hush Communications for resisting the pressure.

Hushmail offers secure and private email accounts. Some are free. Check it out here ...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quotes apropos to the times

Vegetius - c. 375
.... Let him who desires peace prepare for war.
De Rei Militari

Adolf Hitler - 1889 - 1944
.... The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.
Mein Kampf (1933)

Sir Winston Spencer Churchill - 1874 - 1963
.... The British Empire and the United States will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affairs for mutual and general advantage.
House of Commons (1940)

Christopher Dawson - 1889 - 1970
.... As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
The Judgment of the Nations (1943)

Osama bin Laden - 1957 - 2004?
.... We are seeking to incite the Islamic nation to rise up to liberate its land and to conduct jihad (holy war) for the sake of God.
al-Jazeera, (1999)

Pope John Paul II - 1920 - 2005
.... Social justice cannot be obtained by violence.Violence kills what it intends to create.
Address to workers (1980)

Senator Robert M. La Follette
.... Before the war is ended, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly.

Theodore Roosevelt
.... Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official...

.... It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Dick Cheney
.... There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
.... The next war ... may well bury Western civilization forever.

George W. Bush
.... Our enemies ... never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some things make ya just wanna throw up

Well the Bank of Montreal, trying to disguise itself as BMO, announced their THIRD QUARTER profits - 704 million dollars.
TD, not mentioning that they are the Toronto Dominion Bank, with a straight face mimicked BMO closely with a 790 million dollar third quarter profit.
RBC, which some of us old timers used to know as Royal Bank of Canada, before they got so embarrassed by their profits, grinned in the finest greed tradition as they rose to 1.18 BILLION dollars in profit. Also for only ONE quarter of the year.
I'm not waiting for Scotia Bank or any others. (Excuse me a moment, I have to run back into the bathroom)
One wonders how Canadian banks still fend off American banks coming into Canada for a competitive share, perhaps because the government gets paid off somewhere?
Sickening, isn't it? And this is only one quarter of the year!
Who's got their hand in YOUR wallet?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Survivor - playing the race cards

The 13th season of the reality tv series "Survivor", filmed on the island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands - will start with teams split according to race. The host of the CBS show, Jeff Probst, said that being on the show was a social experiment and this will "add another layer" to the experiment. They will be Black, White, Hispanic and Asians. Against each other.
Another layer! Are you serious?
Anthropologically speaking, there are three races, the Caucasoids, the Negroids and the Mongoloids. Hispanics would usually be classified as Caucasians. Well whatever.
So does this mean if I am black, I can now cheer for my team, the Blacks, to murder dem bums the Whites? Can Asians yell at the ineptitudes of the Hispanics with glee as gai jin dumbells? What will those good ol' boys from Texas be calling the black people? "Come on Caucasoids, win the game against the Negroids! Jolly goood shot there White man, right between the eyes."
I think not. This is going to go way past the Marquis of Queensbury rules.
The slang dictionaries don't even start to list the terms available, and now, with this TV show of race against race, those who watch can legitimately cheer the 'sport' on while innocently shrugging at their own terminology. Or terminological inexactitudes, as Richard Nixon might have put it. I decline to ponder the possibilities for team names.
So we're having a segregation of races now. No token blacks on the white team. No whites in Harlem. Hispanics stay out of the Forbidden City.
The potential for race war is endless.
But wait, it's only a TV show. Set up, written and choreographed for sure. Why else would people pick the 65 year old school marm over the Navy Seal to kill the alligator? And they have 300 people on set location for the shoot. And rehearsals. And alligator wranglers. And Kraft services just out of camera range ... oops, you're not supposed to know any of this.
"CUT! Now Billy-Bob, you can't call him a F%@#$ N*&$%!, and Chang, NO Machettes on set, you've been told that. Alejandro, what are you smoking now? Can we roll again? No that's not what I meant!"
A social experiment.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


All those who will never buy a Sleep Country Canada mattress no matter how much they advertise, put up your hands .....

Friday, August 18, 2006

Astronomers - be fair, be fun

As International Astronomers meet to redefine our planets this week, some are worried about the status of our tenth planet.
Officially designated 2003 UB313, it was originally discovered in October, 2003 by Caltech's Michael Brown, Chad Trujillo from the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, and David Rabinowitz from Yale University.
They are also deciding if Pluto is to remain classified as a planet. Recent addition 2003ub313, now more affectionately named Xena, is slightly larger than Pluto. Xena's sidekick moon has been dubbed Gabrielle.
If Pluto stays in, then Xena must be included. The scientists are thinking that Pluto's satellite moon, Charon, might also be classified as a planet, even though it is small enough to be a 'Pluton'.

Well we need fairness in your decision, Messrs Astronomers, and a little lightness and fun in our immediate galaxy. If Pluto stays in, and Charon adds in, then Xena and Gabrielle MUST stay in.

There are thousands of amateur skywatchers here on Earth, peering into the glinting blackness above, who couldn't bear to have Xena and Gabrielle parted again. A single orbit takes those two worlds 560 earth-years! It's not about mimicking a tv show, it's about imagination and putting a little fantasy into science to make it more interesting and perhaps enticing to casual observers.

I, for one, would feel better if the names become official and knowing that Xena, the Warrior Princess and Gabrielle, her loyal companion are out there together .... forever.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Safe Injection Site

Isn't keeping our Safe Injection Site open a no brainer?
Why is the Conservative government waiting to see if they can get away with closing it without losing politically?
There are now fewer people going to detox, fewer people likely to acquire AIDS, fewer people likely to die of overdoses, fewer people likely to be shooting up in your lanes, fewer people will drop needles for children to walk on.
The test of this idea is overwhelmingly successful. There have been over 4,000 referals for counseling. It has been watched with interest all across North America. It is NOT funded by the federals. That happens locally and it is endorsed by the Vancouver Police.
So what's the problem?
Keep it going.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Picton trial

Isn't this what we thought?
The Willie Picton trial is about to commence by year end. They've dropped 20 murders from the list, choosing to prosecute only 6 at first. One can understand this tactic from the prosecution because if something goes awry in the first trial, they'd have backup charges. And they say the trial of 26 murders would be much too complicated for jurors to keep track of. Not to mention that the charges are first degree murder, which means the prosecution must prove Willie Picton, by himself, murdered those poor girls and had that intention when he lured them there. No one else is charged as an accomplice yet no one believes Willie carried out these horrific crimes on his own.
However, they are now discussing reasons for keeping the trial procedings away from the public. Secret. They SAY because the publicity could influence those future trials.
WE say it is a good way to keep it closed forever. The secrecy COULD be because someone may be desperately afraid of the consequences of the testimony of witnesses. Witnesses who COULD reveal names and information that COULD implicate certain prominent people who should never be mentioned in connection with the Picton party house and the tragic deaths of so many women.
It has been said that many visitors to that party house, which is allegedly said to have been full of drugs and prostitution were prominent members of greater Vancouver society; doctors, lawyers, executives, even policemen, judges and perhaps mayors? Speculation and rumours? Sure.
We hope media lawyers are strong on this one and argue for complete public access to the whole trial.
If it is conducted in secret it will be bad for truth in justice and can only lead to more speculations, rumours and suspicions.
Hell, we suspect already!

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's back!

The bubble machine is back at Thurlow and Davie.
Long live the bubble machine!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Some powerful and knowledgeable people have said we are in the opening stages of World War 3. There is turmoil and underground wars throughout the world. We are living in dangerous times.
Iraq is at the heart of the present problems. And all because George Bush wanted to avenge his father's humiliation at the hands of Saddam Hussein. The best thing that could happen today would be to reinstate Saddam and depose George. Not so silly. At least Saddam was able to control his own population. Perhaps he understood them.
We have the military might of the USA being defeated as we speak. Their generals are all of the same breed. Fighting an open war, tank against tank, soldier against soldier. Battlefield strategy, Patton style. The hierarchy clearly defined.
But that is not the kind of war that goes on today. These generals attend Senate committee meetings daily and their message/realization/outlook plunges into gloom. They can't figure out the enemy. The can't even identify the enemy! But these enemies of democracy have got it figured out. They learned the lessons well when the communist Viet Cong drove America from Viet Nam. America, in spite of the spin, seems to be losing in Iraq. With a far more dangerous Iran waiting to join in.
The American military has already been driven out of Lebanon. Yet they expect the Israelis to progress against Hezbollah. This kind of fighting is abnormal too, Hezbollah has no country, what ever they do in Lebanon they are winners in the minds of the people, most of whom hate America. And in general the consensus in the Middle East in that Israel must be obliterated.
In Afghanistan it is the same situation. A fight against a mysterious enemy who is slowly taking back their country in spite of the free world's efforts. The Russians were driven out of there.
Indonesia, Pakistan, India, the Phillipines, Africa, all face a similar plight.
It seems to many that the coming war is about Muslims against the rest of the world. WW III may be beginning, and the outlook for a world democracy is dim and bleak. The World Trade attack. The London subway attack. And who knows what lies in wait from insidious people already resident in the free democracies. Invisible people waiting for their call to arms. How do you fight against a citizen who walks up to you with a grenade in their belly and has just pulled the pin?
We cannot understand their thinking and motives. Because we live in a better world.
But we need to figure them out, and soon. Our better world is vulnerable right now.

UPDATE: Aug 7 - It seems that the Lebanese government has a major decision to make; that being whether they accept Hezbollah as their military arm or not.
If they do not, it is time that they made their intentions clear. They must condemn Hezbollah as a foreign organization making war within their borders. If it is not their intention to be part of that war they should join with the Israeli Defence Force in ejecting these foreigners from their homeland.
If they do back Hezbollah, as they seem to be tacitly doing, then it is time they accepted that they are at war with Israel and suffer the consequences without crying innocence. Those results might be the same as America inflicted on Iraq in the 1991 war, the complete destruction of their infrastructure.
Lebanon cannot play the fence sitter here. Either ask the UN for help in recovering their country or let it go completely to terrorists.
The option seems clear.