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I’m increasingly concerned….

…about what we are going to see as an end game of the Ukraine crisis.

The States is upping the rhetoric, as is the UK. But other European leaders are remaining fairly quiet for fear of Russian repercussions – economic or otherwise.

Putin is in the regional expansion game for the long haul, kids. This isn’t going to just disappear. And I wouldn’t doubt for a moment that he wouldn’t be above shooting down one of his OWN passenger jets as an excuse to launch a ground and artillery attack into eastern Ukraine.

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Facebook is a great place to see sappy photos…

… and sentimental meanderings and gag-worthy non sequiturs.

This isn’t like that..

Taliban = Cowards.

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George Orwell’s 1984…

… was supposed to be a warning about police states.

Not an instruction manual on how to set one up!

The Canadian Border Services Agency told The Ottawa Citizen that unidentified sites at airports and borders are already equipped with audio-video monitoring to boost security. The audio technology, though installed, is not recording just yet.

“It will become functional at a later date,” a CBSA spokesman said.

When it does, the technology “will record conversations,” a CBSA said in a statement to The Ottawa Citizen.

Man… this is scary. Exactly how far is too far?

Why stop at airports? Why not malls? Buses? Coffee shops?

 

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Norway = steadfast

At a simple ceremony at Oslo’s cathedral, a characteristically austere building surrounded by flowers and candles left by mourners, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg seemed to express the country’s mood of defiant grief.

“You should know that we’re crying with you. We feel for you… I am proud of living in a country that has managed to stand up on its feet in such a critical time… We are still horrified over what happened. But we will never give up our values.”

Mr. Stoltenberg repeated his call to defy the terrorist’s anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism rage by reinforcing those very values: “Our answer is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity – – but never naivety,” he told the congregation.

I hope our fellow northern nation can resist the calls made by those who feed on and profit by fear. Don’t go down the path that we Canadians have been striding through lately. Stick to the values that have made you a respected nation in the international community. Do not abandon them in the face of fear.

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Roger Waters and Gaza…

Fitting in these times where international waters are home to a whole different kind of pirate…

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Security – how far is too far?

There is a lot of hubbub about the new security measures that have been put into place in the wake of the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound flight on Christmas day. Passengers bound for American destinations are being subjected to a lot more scrutiny at the point of departure – especially if you are unlucky to be travelling on a passport from one of 14 countries that the U.S. deems to be a threat.

Though I don’t really understand why poor old Cuba is on the list – and I thought Obama would have a different approach to Canada’s fave sun-spot!

But I digress.

Here’s the thing – the Americans have every right to set the rules with regard to flights that are over their airspace or that land in one of their ports of entry. It’s called “sov-er-eign-ty”. Yes, the full body searches are invasive and in 99.999999% of cases, completely unfounded and unnecessary. Yes, they are engaging in racial profiling, which most Canadians find objectionable. Yes, they are delaying the travel plans of millions – some with kids, with mobility problems, etc. And yes, I do think they are being overly paranoid.

So, here’s a thought for those who are offended by the American actions.

DON’T TRAVEL TO THE U.S.!

It’s a crazy notion but it just might work!

I mean, I know that some Canadians need to travel there for work purposes. I know that there are hundreds of thousands of folks on this side of the border who have family in the States who they would like to see now and then. Yeah, yeah – I get all that and you know what? You’ll have to put up with the new measures no matter how much you bitch, holler and scream.

But most Canucks CHOOSE to go to the U.S. for purely recreational purposes. They want the sun of Florida, the craziness of NYC or the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon. So you either choose to forgo all of this OR you resign to being subjected to the new security crap. Very simple.

I rarely go to the States. The last time I was over the border was about 7 years ago when my wife and I went camping in upstate NY. And I don’t have a driving need to go there anytime soon. On one hand, I can count the number of places in America that I would like to visit (Grand Canyon, New Orleans, San Francisco, NYC and Boston) but I wouldn’t feel deprived if on my death bed, I hadn’t gotten around to any of those places. I would much rather see the Pyramids, cruise the Greek islands, go to the Arctic, visit Peru… and the list goes on.

So, the bottom line, kids – you don’t have to like what they are doing down in da South der. But they have every right to do as they wish. And if you can’t accept that, then stay in Canada or travel to somewhere else.

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NATO slaps restrictions on Canadian media in Kandahar

I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised to see this headline, eh?

According to the Mothercorp, journalists have far less access to the world outside of their bases.

Grit  Denis Coderre said that “The media is not the enemy and this is a form of censorship — and it is unacceptable,”  “There is a public interest to know what’s going on in the field.” and he is correct. The idea of having journalists directly in the field during a conflict is to have the ability to provide unimpeded and unfiltered information to the Canadian people – the ones who are “funding” the mission.

And whose sons and daughters are dying for it.

This decision by NATO (note – this is not a Harper Directive – though I don’t see them making a big fuss about it… nasty media!) goes against this principle and pressure should be brought upon the organization to lift some of the restrictions.

Since coming into force in March, journalists even have to be escorted to and from the bathroom, for frick sake!

The new U.S. security team at Kandahar Airfield stopped issuing International Security Assistance Force accreditation to journalists in late February. Instead it gives them temporary base visitor passes, which restrict movements and require them to be closely monitored.

The reporters are also compelled to forfeit their passports to the military for the duration of their stay.

Even stranger still, U.S. journalists are not covered by these restrictions. “Some of the new rules do not apply to American journalists because the measures would violate their rights under the U.S. constitution.”

This is insane. Harper get Canada the the hell out of this stupid war. Guess Canadians are good enough to die there, just not good enough to know what’s actually going on.

1984warispeace_design

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Didn’t read new rape law, Karzai admits

President Karzai doesn’t take the time to read the legislation that he is signing into law.

Again – why are we there? Why are our brave troops trying their damnedest to help a people whose leaders are still in the Stone Age?

Why?

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