Monday, May 30, 2011

Send in the clowns....

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Stephen Sondheim

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bibi and the Yo-Yos

Delusions of NATO

About Afghanistan, Hil[l]ary Clinton said both Pakistan and the United States want safe and stable Afghanistan, which is not a source of ins[e]curity for its neighbours. The US is supporting Afghan led process that seeks to split Taliban from Al-Qaeda and reconciliation with those insurgents who will renounce violence and accept constitution of Afghanistan. For this reconciliation to succeed, Pakistan must be a part of the process. She acknowledged that Pakistan has a legitimate interest in the outcome of the process and its interests need to be respected and addressed.

Pakistan Observer, May 28, 2011

President Obama rallied U.S. troops and pledged continued partnership with Afghanistan during a previously unannounced trip to the country Sunday.

Speaking to about 2,000 U.S. and allied troops at the major U.S. base in Afghanistan, Obama said, "Those folks back home are relying on you."

"I know it's not easy," he said. "You're far away from home. You miss your kids, you miss your spouses, your family, your friends." But he added, "If I thought for a minute that America's vital interests were not served, were not at stake here in Afghanistan, I would order all of you home right away."

Afghan war remains 'absolutely essential,' Obama says
CNN March 28, 2010

When we were young reporters in Vietnam in that period -- '62, '63 -- and the generals would tell us how they were winning the war, we thought they were lying to us. We considered these statements of fatuous optimism to be insults to our intelligence. We thought that they regarded us with contempt because we were reporters. We thought they had a grip on reality. When I got the Pentagon Papers, I began to realize that, just a moment, maybe these people believed these delusions. And then when I began to research the book, I discovered that it was absolutely true. I got the secret records of those strategy conferences in Honolulu, and here were these men, sitting in a guarded room under top-secret circumstances, and they were more optimistic than they had been with us in a press conference in Saigon! And it was, I don't want to use that slang phrase, but it was mind boggling in a way. I mean, it was like an explosion going off in your mind, because you realized, "My God, they believed in these delusions." We had a military and political leadership at that period which was genuinely deluded.
Neil Sheehan
Conversations with History
Interview with Harry Kreisler

Delusional disorder is an illness characterized by the presence of nonbizarre delusions in the absence of other mood or psychotic symptoms, according to the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR). It defines delusions as false beliefs based on incorrect inference about external reality that persist despite the evidence to the contrary and these beliefs are not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture.

Nonbizarre refers to the fact that this type of delusion is about situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, being loved, having an infection, and being deceived by one's spouse.

Delusional disorder is on a spectrum between more severe psychosis and overvalued ideas. Bizarre delusions represent the manifestations of more severe types of psychotic illnesses (eg, schizophrenia) and "are clearly implausible, not understandable, and not derived from ordinary life experiences".

On the other end of the spectrum, making a distinction between a delusion and an overvalued idea is important, the latter representing an unreasonable belief that is not firmly held.

Additionally, personal beliefs should be evaluated with great respect to complexity of cultural and religious differences: some cultures have widely accepted beliefs that may be considered delusional in other cultures.

Unfortunately, patients with delusional disorder do not have good insight into their pathological experiences. Interestingly, despite significant delusions, many other psychosocial abilities remain intact, as if the delusions are circumscribed. Indeed, this is one of the key differences between delusional disorder and other primary psychotic disorders. However, the individual may rarely seek psychiatric help, remain isolated, and often present to internists, surgeons, dermatologists, policemen, and lawyers rather than psychiatrists. Despite this, their prognosis, while not good, is not as bad as other more severe disorders.

Delusional Disorder - Overview

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is it possible to guard your yacht from Somali pirates?

There are many pressing problems in our time; like, Fukushima just to pick an example at random. And yet, the BBC is concerned that many of us, cruising in our yachts off the Horn of Africa - an invitation to disaster - might be insufficiently prepared to deal with pirates.

As Christine Lagarde - hot favourite to replace DSK at the IMF, said of the collapse of Lehman Brothers: "Holy Cow!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Something wicked this way comes."

Canada's 41st Parliament

Apology to Ken Kaminesky


SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches

First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

Canada's Conservative government is evil. It has an evil record.

As Dennis Edney said: "There is nothing about this Canadian government that I trust."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

House of Commons Night in Canada 41.0

So it's me, Ron Maclean, here with Don Cherry on House of Commons Night in Canada. Don, tomorrow's a big day, Harper is announcing his new Cabinet in a majority government, what's your take on that?

Luongo's trying to kill me.

You've been saying that for a couple of years but you're not dead.

He wouldn't still be trying if I was already dead.

But I think we're getting ahead of ourselves to the San Jose/Vancouver matchup tomorrow night. Before that though, we have the new Cabinet starting line-up. What's your prediction?

I mean, it was a tape to tape pass, Luongo to Thornton. Who would believe such a thing if it wasn't to kill me?

You seem pretty fixated on Luongo.

I can feel the hate.

But if I can drag your attention for a moment back to Parliament, who do you think will be Harper's starters?

Well he's a bit short on Quebec players, even though he's got a majority, so I see Mad Max getting the call.

That would be Maxime Bernier, former Minister of National Defence...

...until he got undressed in front of NATO...

...and sent back to the minors. So do you see him back at Defence?

No, there'd be a riot in Brussels. I see him as Minister for Biker Affairs and Snowmobile Development.

I didn't know we had one.

We don't. I got the idea from InfoAlerteBot.

What's that?

I don't know, but it's well informed.

So what's your call for Defence?

I think it'll be MacKay again. He looks good at NATO photo-­ops, and is smart enough to keep his mouth shut.

Is that the job description for Defence Minister?

That and connections to German arms dealers.

So maybe we should move along to Justice...

I'm going with "Honest Rob" Nicholson who's been in the job for 5 years despite not knowing about obstruction of justice.

And Finance?


There's no new blood here...

So I'm going out on a limb and suggesting Chris Alexander for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

He's a rookie.

So was Dryden. Alexander's already proved himself in Afghanistan. He's just as delusional as anybody in NATO.

So we'd better leave it there...

Did you see my camouflage suit?

It was hard to miss.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wagging the Beaver

Department of National Defence wants to make foreign policy?

Photo: Sojourns in Nature

From Greg Weston @

"McCallum's former chief recalled a bitter internal battle over whether to pull the Canadian ships out of the Gulf altogether to avoid any confusion.

"'For a long time, the [Canadian] military pushed really hard not to be in Afghanistan, and instead be part of a full-blown boots-on-the-ground Iraq invasion,' Lang said."


"While the revelation caused a ruckus in Parliament, it all sounded relatively innocuous at the time.

"But Lang, defence minister McCallum's chief of staff, says military brass were not entirely forthcoming on the issue. For instance, he says, even McCallum initially didn't know those soldiers were helping to plan the invasion of Iraq up to the highest levels of command, including a Canadian general.

"That general is Walt Natynczyk, now Canada's chief of defence staff, who eight months after the invasion became deputy commander of 35,000 U.S. soldiers and other allied forces in Iraq. Lang says Natynczyk was also part of the team of mainly senior U.S. military brass that helped prepare for the invasion from a mobile command in Kuwait.

"The Department of National Defence refused to comment on Natynczyk's role, if any, in the invasion of Iraq."

...only, it's on his web site.

Previously published cable 03OTTAWA747

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Other Khadr

Ontario Court of Appeal explains rule of law to Attorney-General
(who, with his American client, seems unclear on the concept)

United States of America v. Khadr, 2011 ONCA 358

On appeal from the stay of extradition proceedings of Justice Christopher M. Speyer of the Superior Court of Justice dated August 4, 2010, with reasons reported at (2010), 258 C.C.C. (3d) 231.

Sharpe J.A.:

[1] This appeal raises fundamental issues concerning the appropriate judicial response to a violation of the human rights of an individual sought for extradition on terrorism charges. The United States of America paid the Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (the “ISI”), half a million dollars to abduct Abdullah Khadr in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2004. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was suspected of supplying weapons to Al Qaeda forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Following his abduction, Khadr was secretly held in detention for fourteen months. He was beaten until he cooperated with the ISI, who interrogated him for intelligence purposes. The ISI refused to deal with the Canadian government but did have contact with a CSIS official. The American authorities discouraged the CSIS official's request that Khadr be granted consular access, and the ISI denied access for three months. The ISI refused to bring Khadr before the Pakistani courts. After the ISI had exhausted Khadr as a source of antiterrorism intelligence, it was prepared to release him. The Americans insisted that the ISI hold Khadr for a further six months in secret detention, to permit the United States to conduct a criminal investigation and start the process for Khadr's possible rendition to the United States. When Khadr was finally repatriated to Canada, the United States sought to have him extradited on terrorism charges.

[2] The Superior Court judge who conducted the extradition committal hearing concluded, at para. 150, that “the sum of the human rights violations suffered by Khadr is both shocking and unjustifiable”. The judge granted a stay of proceedings on the basis that to permit the proceedings to continue in the face of the requesting state's misconduct would constitute an abuse of the judicial process.

[3] On behalf of the United States, the Attorney General of Canada appeals to this court, arguing that the extradition judge had no jurisdiction to grant a stay, and that even if he did, this case did not qualify as “the clearest of cases” warranting a stay.

[4] I would dismiss the appeal. There is no appeal against the extradition judge's finding that the human rights violations were shocking and unjustifiable. Because of the requesting state's misconduct, proceeding with the extradition committal hearing threatened the court's integrity. Responding to that threat was a judicial matter to be dealt with by the extradition judge, not an executive decision reserved to the Minister. The extradition judge did not err in concluding, at para. 150, that “[i]n civilized democracies, the rule of law must prevail”. Moreover, the remedy of a stay of extradition proceedings did not, as the Attorney General submits, allow “an admitted terrorist collaborator to walk free”. Khadr is liable to prosecution in Canada for his alleged terrorist crimes. The stay granted by the extradition judge does not impair the Attorney General's ability to exercise his lawful powers to commence a prosecution in Canada.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The trail stays warm....

The reasons all this matters were thoroughly discussed at Nuremberg and resulted in a body of International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law - all of which Canada has signed - that can't arbitrarily be set aside by NATO, Rick Hillier, or anybody. See for example, the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000. Whether or not Canadian soldiers meant well in carrying out their assignments in Afghanistan is irrelevant if the assignments themselves were illegal.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The F-35 Asphalt Burner II

This advanced strike fighter is made entirely of natural materials lovingly crafted from the Alberta tar/oil sands. In this new "disposable fighter" concept, the heat generated on takeoff melts both the runway/carrier deck and wing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eeyore on Acid - coming down

Further apology to E.H. Shepard

Apology to Simon Fraser University

The flash-backs will be brutal.

Monday, May 2, 2011

OK, I take it back - less than 23% of the electorate voted for Harper

That makes more sense. I can accept a quarter of the country living in outer space.

The real story of this election then is that desptie the hype, publicity and effort, even fewer people turned out this time than last time. The conclusion is that the greater the apathy the more likely is fascism, no?

"At the end of its lifespan, the Compact would be condemned by Lord Durham as "a petty corrupt insolent Tory clique"."

Canada votes for stupidity, ignorance, magical thinking, fascism, and the abuse of power

Conservative Base (revised)

The good news is that according to Elections Canada, 57.3% of the eligible electorate voted 39.3% of the popular vote for Conservatives which is less than 23% of eligible voters.

Bring on the F-35's, prisons, stacking of the courts, strip-mining of Alberta, destruction of science, and sovereignty-association with the United States.

Thank God for the NDP, Quebec, and the CBC. May they all survive the Forces of Darkness. To the barricades.

Headline of the 21st Century



Sunday, May 1, 2011

Go, Canada, Go!

High Noon at the North-West Angle
and Why Treaty 3 Short Circuited Manifest Destiny

Because Mawadoponess was a very smart guy. Everybody should vote.