Thursday, December 22, 2011

Terrorism in Canada


Section 83.01 of the Criminal Code of Canada (enacted in 2001) defines terrorism.  As far as I can see, everything defined as "terrorism" has already been criminal for a long time. It is not new, and in fact nothing has changed, including the desire of executive governments to find excuses to subvert the rule of law.  Murder is murder, mass murder is murder, conspiracy to commit murder is still conspiracy to commit murder.  No new legislation was required to prosecute the Air India Flight 182 disaster in 1985.  The Anti-Terrorism Act seems to be distinguished only by modification of existing legislation. Some of that modification - like Section 38.01 of the Canada Evidence Act - adds nothing to public safety in my opinion, but does add horrendous opportunities for the Canadian government to subvert the democratic process, as was seen in the Kafka-esque machinations against Richard Colvin.





Terrorism is a very small problem.  As George Orwell said:

"Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers."

And...

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

"'While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.'"

"The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find -- this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify -- that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better."

Emphasis added.

As the United States Department of Fear would have it:  Ignorance causes fear.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My American Cousin



 Republican Dalek 

THE DALEK MODEL OF TIME: TIME IS AN INFINITE SERIES OF INTERCONNECTED LUMINOUS STRINGS OF INDESCRIBABLE BEAUTY. THEN WE SNUFF THEM OUT.



 InfoAlerteBot 

NOW THEY CAN PUBLISH EDITORIALS RANTING ABOUT CBC'S "EXCLUSIVE, INCESTUOUS, ACCESS"! EVEN BETTER! RT: No PMSH for Sun. Weird.



 Republican Dalek 

@ 
  OH SURE, DON'T BELIEVE THE CITIZEN OF A TYPE IV CIVILIZATION ABOUT TIME UNLESS HE USES NONSENSE WORDS LIKE 'TIMEY-WIMEY'


 InfoAlerteBot 

@ 
 BESIDES, IF THEY DON'T LIKE THE DEAL, WHAT'S THE WORST THEY CAN DO, SEPARATE?



 Republican Dalek 

 ENORMOUS SUBSIDIES TO GET FARMERS TO CONVERT SOME OF THE WORLD'S MOST VALUABLE FARMLAND INTO MAKING THIRD-RATE SUGAR



 InfoAlerteBot 

IS THERE ANY WAY WE CAN MOVE FOR TIME ALLOCATION ON FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL HEALTH CARE NEGOTIATIONS? 




 Republican Dalek 

*SHOOTS TYPING AUTON IN THE FOOT* FOR EACH TYPO YOU LOSE ANOTHER LIMB, STUMPY! 



 InfoAlerteBot 

HOW IS THIS CONTROVERSIAL? WE DON'T WANT OUR ELITE SPIES BEING INFECTED WITH CHINESE NANOBOTS FROM TAP WATER!  
etc. To be continued....

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Omar Suleiman is alive and well and living in Cairo


Reuters

"Grave Disorder" on House of Commons Night in Canada


46. In case of grave disorder arising in the House the Speaker
may, if he thinks it necessary to do so, adjourn the House
without putting any question, or suspend the sitting for a time
to be named by him

British House of Commons Standing Orders
~

Hansard  HC Deb 22 November 1920 vol 135 cc38-43

Mr. DEVLIN May I ask the Prime Minister why it is, when a question is put to himself and the Chief Secretary to recite all the horrible occurrences that have taken place last Sunday in Dublin, that we have heard nothing about the appearance of the military forces at a football match. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] At which ten people were killed. [HON. MEMBERS: "Sit down!"] I will not sit down. I want to know from the Prime Minister why the House of Commons has not been made acquainted, in the recital of these other things that have occurred, with the onrush of the military into a football field, with fifteen thousand people, indiscriminate shooting, and ten men killed. Why was the House not told that when the other story was being told? May I ask for an answer?

Sir H. GREENWOOD I was never asked that question referred to by the hon. Member, but I am prepared to answer it now.

Mr. DEVLIN rose to put further supplementary questions, amid loud shouts of "Sit down!"

Grave disorder having arisen, MR. SPEAKER suspended the Sitting under Standing Order No. 21.

Sitting suspended at Five minutes after Four o'clock, the public galleries being also temporarily closed.

Mr. SPEAKER resumed the Chair, at Twenty minutes after Four o'clock.

Major MOLSON I wish to apologise to the hon. Member for the Falls Division (Mr. Devlin), to you Mr. Speaker, and to the House. I am afraid that I allowed my feelings to get the better of myself, and I forgot myself.
~
RON MACLEAN
Welcome to a special holiday edition of House of Commons Night in Canada, continuing with our focus on the apparent decline in standards of debate in our own House of Commons.  I'm Ron MacLean here with Don Cherry.  Don, there's been a lot of interest over the last few weeks in how Canada's House of Commons conducts itself.  Aaron Wherry quoted the Ottawa Citizen as saying, and I'm gonna read this out:
Minority or majority, the constant is the lack of honour and civility in Parliament. What hasn’t changed is the reduction of the role of elected members to bit players in hackneyed political theatre. Every MP, of any party, who acquiesces in this must answer for it to his or her constituents.

DON CHERRY
Yeah, I think this is an important thing to talk about, especially for all the kids out there watching.  I went and had a look on the internet about this - I'm starting to get the hang of this internet thing, although I still don't get Twitter...

RON MACLEAN
You definitely need a Twitter account.  I'm imagining @HNIC_Grapes...

DON CHERRY
...Forget it...but I can see the attraction of looking up stuff almost instantly.  So I went looking for unparliamentary language in the Mother of Parliaments...

RON MACLEAN
...that's the British House of Commons...

DON CHERRY
...right, where we were tuned into the toe-to-toe debates in the summer, and hey, presto, there's a lot of good stuff.

RON MACLEAN
Such as?

DON CHERRY
For instance the front benches of the British House of Commons are two sword's lengths apart, because MPs could carry side-arms into the Commons!

RON MACLEAN
So, not very different from the NHL.

DON CHERRY
Absolutely!  And then I discovered Wikipedia that had a whole section on "Incidents of grave disorder in the British House of Commons..."

RON MACLEAN
And are they going downhill as well?

DON CHERRY
That's the interesting thing!  The Brits seem to be getting better not worse.  One of the more recent incidents was of Michael Heseltine, a Conservative MP, who on May 27, 1976, in the context of a vote on the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act, seized the Mace and waved it in a threatening fashion at members of the Labour Government who were singing a song at him.

RON MACLEAN
Sounds like Alan Eagleson.  Justin Trudeau looks like a model of restraint.

DON CHERRY
It gets better.  In 1920, during some of the Irish difficulties, an MP in what is now Northern Ireland wanted to know why the government was concerned about the killing of members of the British military in Ireland, but neglected to mention the random killing of  Irish spectators at a Gaelic football match at Croke Park....

RON MACLEAN
The subject matter sounds a little dangerous but not out of control.  I don't recall any random killing of spectators at a hockey game in Canada...

DON CHERRY
Yeah, well what happened next was that Devlin was attacked by a Major Molson (no relation) - physically - and hauled over his desk.  One of the other Honourable Members in the Government was heard to shout "Kill him!" (as reported by The Times) after which the Speaker adjourned the House because of "grave disorder."

RON MACLEAN
Well, it does make Justin Trudeau seem like a model of restraint...

DON CHERRY
...and then Molson came back and apologized, just like Trudeau did.

RON MACLEAN
So no lives were lost.

DON CHERRY
My point exactly.  A lot of feeling got aired, there was a frank exchange of views, and then the business of the House went on as before.

RON MACLEAN
So, in your opinion, there's no cause for despair here in Canada?

DON CHERRY
Absolutely not.  It's the game of parliamentary democracy.  You have to let 'em play.

RON MACLEAN
And until the New Year, that's it for us on House of Commons Night in Canada.

DON CHERRY
Do you like my new suit with the Winnipeg Jets logo on it?

RON MACLEAN
It's very elegant, particularly with the Art Ross tie.

DON CHERRY
Yeah, well, he played for Brandon.






Friday, December 16, 2011

P.J. Crowley channels Strom Thurmond


"The Pentagon has learned nothing, and forgotten nothing."
 - famous quote, maybe by Talleyrand


 Philip J. Crowley 

The essence of the  case is, if every soldier gets a vote on national security policy, the military ceases to function.


 Glenn Greenwald 

@ 
. Actually, the "essence" is: when the gov't does everything of importance behind abusive secrecy, democracy ceases to function


Testimony July 16, 1973, by former Major Hal Knight, USAF,  at Hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ninety-Third Congress, on bombing in Cambodia - particularly regarding falsification of records of  B52 targets - page 44

Mr. Knight.  Frankly, sir, I felt that the Senate Armed Services Committee was deceived.  On this side of the House, if you go up through the military chain, I don't imagine that anybody was deceived.


Senator Thurmond.  It was your duty to act within the military channel and to pass on anything to higher headquarters which you felt was improper, wasn't it?

Mr.  Knight.  Yes, sir, but I didn't take an oath to support the military, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution.  That goes beyond strictly military channels.

 (emphasis added )


"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

So really, the question is what happens when an oath to defend the Constitution conflicts with an order from the President of the United States and his appointed officers, particularly when the order is unlawful.

So that takes us back to Nuremberg, and the Charter of the International Military Tribunal agreed in London, August 8, 1945, in particular Article 8:

"The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires."

There you go.  Keitel was hung at Nuremberg.  The majority of his crimes had nothing to do with the Holocaust, and everything to do with violations of international humanitarian law as it then existed.  For example: 

"When, on 8th September 1941, OKW issued its ruthless regulations for the treatment of Soviet POW's, Canaris wrote to Keitel that under international law the SD should have nothing to do with this matter. On this memorandum in Keitel's handwriting, dated 23rd September and initialled by him, is the statement:" The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare. This is the destruction of an ideology. Therefore I approve and back the measures." Keitel testified that he really agreed with Canaris and argued with Hitler, but lost. The OKW Chief directed the military authorities to cooperate with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in looting cultural property in occupied territories."
...

"In the face of these documents Keitel does not deny his connection with these acts. Rather, his defense relies on the fact that he is a soldier, and on the doctrine of "superior orders" prohibited by Article 8 of the Charter as a defense.

There is nothing in mitigation. Superior orders, even to a soldier, cannot be considered in mitigation where crimes as shocking and extensive have been committed consciously, ruthlessly, and without military excuse or justification.

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds Keitel guilty on all four Counts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Proud ignorance as Canadian government policy



Canada's government makes a point of not knowing anything. Policy flows from ideology, ideology takes no account of truth, so why cloud policy with inconvenient evidence? Canada spent some $5 million on upgrades to the Sarpoza Central Prison in Kandahar following the Great Escape of Friday, June 13, 2008. Subsequently,a mass escape was engineered on April 25, 2011, via a tunnel dug under the noses of the Afghan prison authorities Canadians had "mentored." As the Canadian mentor-in-chief said nostalgically, on March 28, 2011, before leaving (and immediately before the second prison break): "[Ian]Chinnery says such problems will have to be addressed by the Afghans and a small group of U.S. mentors, because the three remaining Canadian correctional officers are heading home over the next few months. "Still, he said he believes the prison has largely conquered its biggest troubles."'We are pretty proud of how far we've come with this place,' Chinnery says. "'The Afghans now need minimal assistance to run it. But leaving here is like watching your kid get on the school bus for the first time. You know he's going to be fine, but it's still hard to let go.'" 


"Police said they were looking for men without shoes - many escaped barefoot." Prime Minister Stephen Harper's subsequent comment was, apparently without irony, "we'll just keep plugging away." 

Five million into the black hole of Kandahar, and effusive videos about Canadian "mentoring" for the Afghan prison system, failed to alert Canadians to the irony of the remedy, or possible total futility of the remedy, or even more likely, government bullshit about the remedy, for a "problem" framed completely in western European Crusader terms: Afghanistan has to be rendered safe from future terrorist havens. The obvious conclusions that the only people interested in a "mentored" Afghan prison system or the future safety of western civilization from crazed Afghan terrorists, are white guys from NATO, and that a significant percentage of the Afghan citizenry are actually on the side of the inmates of the Sarpoza Central Prison, seem literally unthinkable hypotheses for the Canadian government or its ISAF functionaries tucked up on the blvd Leopold III in Brussels, Leopold II of course having been a savage monarch in the time of Belgian oppression in the Congo. 

 Now, Canadians are "training" Afghan troops who have a desertion rate of 50% per year. Right. The goal is that these "troops" will take over security functions from NATO - who can't provide reasonable security as it is - and that the training that has gone on for some 10 years without reaching some mythical figure of 200,000 that was a target at least 5 years ago and will somehow magically come to fruition in the next 3 years, seems to be not so much a fantasy as a hallucination. If the target is 200,000 functional Afghan troops to take over from NATO, and there is a 50% desertion rate per year, then 100,000 new troops will have to be trained every year to replace the desertions. 

None of this deters NATO or the ludicrous Bonn Conference, or even the Germans who sponsored the ludicrous Bonn Conference who otherwise seem to have a reasonable grasp of reality. The irony of having a conference on the future of Afghanistan in Crusader Europe - rather than say in south Asia - seems lost on all the participants except Pakistan who declined to attend. Meanwhile, the obvious sensible idea of having such a conference in Qatar seems radical beyond comprehension to the ideologues who don't have a clue.  Also, Karzai seems desperate to prevent any Taliban presence in Qatar from occurring for the purposes of negotiation.

It's just stupid. It would be a Pythonesque comedy were it not for the endless carnage, waste, and pain that is the responsibility of NATO and its complicit partners like Australia and New Zealand.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Further feverish intercourse in Canada's House of Commons




RON MACLEAN

So we're back on House of Commons Night in Canada with a torrid wrap-up to the current session, Justin Trudeau having called the Minister for the Environment, Peter Kent, "a piece of shit." That's pretty inflammatory language, Grapes, and we've talked before about respect in the game of Parliamentary Democracy, so what's your take on Trudeau and his apology.

DON CHERRY

He's got nothing to apologize for.

RON MACLEAN

But it's not parliamentary language, as Trudeau himself said, and apologized for without reservation.

DON CHERRY

Yeah, OK. So he wasn't Churchill, who could've got the point across in parliamentary language just as cutting, but not everybody can be Winston Churchill. The fact is that Kent's comment was the definition of - how you say in Yiddish - chutzpah. The government refused to let opposition members be part of the Canadian delegation to Durban, then Kent complains that they were't there.

RON MACLEAN

How is that chutzpah?

DON CHERRY

I read the definition of chutzpah is somebody who kills their parents and then complains about being an orphan.

RON MACLEAN

That's a pretty inflammatory statement all by itself.

DON CHERRY

Hey, I didn't make it up. It's like I said about Pat Martin: if I have to choose between bad language with honourable intentions, and smarmy PR language with evil intentions, I'm gonna take bad language every time.

RON MACLEAN

Merry Christmas.

DON CHERRY

Now you're the one being inflammatory.

RON MACLEAN

Moi?

DON CHERRY

Vouze.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Drones Fell on Manitoba...

... last night.



So much for plans to smuggle humans across the border disguised as the brass section of the International Peace Gardens Symphony Orchestra. It's time we launched anti-Predator Twin Otters armed with the LePage Glue Gun (both Canadian technologies):

Yossarian sidled up drunkenly to Colonel Korn at the officers' club one night to kid with him about the new Lepage gun that the Germans had moved in.

"What Lepage gun?" Colonel Korn inquired with curiosity.

"The new three hundred and forty four millimeter Lepage glue gun," Yossarian answered. "It glues a whole formation of planes together in mid-air."

Colonel Korn jerked his elbow free from Yossarian's clutching fingers in startled affront. "Let go of me, you idiot!" he cried out furiously, glaring with vindictive approval as Nately leaped upon Yossarian's back and pulled him away. "Who is that lunatic, anyway?"


Give us your Predators, your Reapers, your RQ-170's. We'll give you back more Justin Biebers, David Frums, and Mark Steyns. We have lots of them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bad Vibrations

Imminent failure of the American experiment



The best Congress money can buy passes the hideous National Defense Authorization Act that dispenses with the rule of law, habeas corpus, the American Constitution, all that. This brings to mind the extra-constitutional courts established in the Third Reich - the lovely Roland Freisler presiding - particularly Tony Scalia and the Guantanamo kangaroo courts.



Good night and good luck.