Sunday, September 28, 2008

The New Cold War is Hot Again

The new cold war is hot again.

While we were all watching Islamic terrorists and state sponsored terrorists attempt to spread their hate in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Britain, the United States of America, North Africa, Canada, and Spain the Russians were using their new found oil wealth to recover their pride and determination to be a world power once again.

Almost like the rise of the Nazi’s between WW I and WW 2 whereby the German people who were suffering greatly due to the very harsh and in some cases punitive penalties that were applied by the Allies and The League of Nations (the failed precursor to the UN). They were in a horrible depression and turned towards a lunatic that offered them hope by blaming the Jews for their problems. What rose up out of Hitler’s rhetoric was a country that recovered its pride (in a wrong way) had old scores to settle with its neighbors and searched out and supported similar likeminded regimes in other parts of the world (Spain and Argentina).

In the case of Russia, oil has paved the way for an economic recovery, while President Putin really moved from a traditionally democratically elected leader towards the benevolent dictator status that he holds today. The Russian people are regaining their pride in exchange for their freedoms. Their neighbors and previously separatist provinces have been put in their respective places through the use of brutal force (Chechnya and Georgia come to mind) and now the Russians are looking for likeminded regimes in other regions.

Recently they began to reach out to their former brothers in arms in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Bolivia is moving quickly into the Russian camp too.

Why is the rearming of the armies in South America a threat to America you ask? Well simple, what do rouge nations that hate the US do with their old weapons? They sell them at bargain basement prices to terrorist movements and use their own import / export laws and national institutions to get around the various International laws governing the sale and shipment of weapons. As we saw recently when a cargo ship carrying 33 T-72 Russian tanks with ammunition and Russian training crews on board was hijacked off the coast of Somalia and the ship full of Chinese weapons that tried to deliver weapons slated for the Zimbabwean government a few weeks back and the enormous amount of Chinese weapons found in Sudan, nation states are again beginning the old cold war practice of propping up dictators and thugs.
Russia and China are again rearming the developing war under the cover of America’s focus on the War on Terror and within four years will have completed a refit of several nations within spitting distance of the US and their allies in South America. The world remains a very challenging place and sadly our next President (during Friday’s debate on Foreign Affairs) doesn’t seem to notice that the new cold war is again heating up.

While a Russian fleet exercises in Western waters for the first time in almost 30 years the candidates only mentioned Russia once, in relation to their respective responses to the Russian / Georgian conflict. I guess I should cut them some slack in that the debate was highjacked for the first 40 minutes or so by the so called economic crisis so perhaps they didn’t have enough time to talk about China’s incredible spending on military expansion or Russia’s efforts to rearm South American governments that will threaten other friendly democracies in the region.

At the end of the day I really doubt they would have gotten around to any substantive issues regarding the numerous threats that face the US over the next 10 years and that does not serve the American public well.

Friday, September 26, 2008

American Voters are Just Plain Stupid

American voters are just plain stupid.

But before you all get together and put out a hit on me let me confess that Canadian voters are just as stupid. In 1993 the Liberal Party of Canada released their party’s platform in a book that became known as the Red Book because of its fire engine red cover (also the traditional color of the Liberals in Canada and the UK). It was a brilliant document that laid out several major pieces of policy with a check box next to them, the leader Jean Chretien told voters that we could judge him by his actions and that when elected he would tick off each box as a commitment was made good.

What were the major issues you ask, well number one was NAFTA which had only recently been signed by the government, another was a Goods and Services Tax (GST) which had been brought in to replace the Manufactures’ sales tax which was hidden tax levied on all manufactured goods to the tune of 12% while the GST would apply to all goods and services except essential food items at 7%. These two issues were never really popular and the Liberals promised to abolish the GST and to renegotiate NAFTA or get rid of it. They also advocated for a federally funded National Day Care program.

The Liberals destroyed the governing Conservative Party and won a sweeping majority. Four years later it was time to do it again and we saw the Red Book Part 2. I don’t really remember what it promised because the GST was still standing, NAFTA was still as it was and the National Day Plan wasn’t even yet a plan so you would think with three major boxes left unchecked it would be a no brainer but guess what?...Yup you guessed it a larger majority for the Liberal government. Three years later we did it again, still no checks in the aforementioned boxes and another majority government. In total Jean Chretien governed for 13 year and as you well know the GST is still here, NAFTA has been expanded to include Mexico and the National Day Care program never came into existence.

So the point of that brief Canadian political history lesson was that while voters claim to demand accountability and results they are in fact stupid and willing to ignore promises and more often than not vote against the other guy who is demonized and framed during the election.
Canadian elections are, like the Brit’s, only about 35 days long so it’s all rather fast and furious and that plays well into the politicians and liberal media’s hands rather well. One misstep, one gaff or one wrong phrase and there’s no time to recover but American’s with their two year process don’t have the same excuses.

The idea that in September I’m still hearing people say, I’m not sure, I don’t really know much about candidate X is just stupid. Ignoring statements made during the primaries as internal politics is just stupid ignoring past relationships and deeds is just stupid. Listening to TMZ, John Stewart, the Colbert Report or any of the other night time comedians is stupid but poll after poll indicates that many American’s still do so as their primary source of political news.

NBC is in the tank for Senator Obama full stop, MSNBC its cable off shoot is worse yet while the remainder of the MSM not fully in the tank they’ve all got their wetsuits on and their toes amerced, yet the American people tolerate and reward the process by ignoring past failures, missteps and flat out lies.

When a politician makes a promise and then breaks it, don’t reward him/her with re-election. When a party shifts its platform mid stream beware, when a politician says one thing in one part of the country and something totally different in another beware. Study the issues, learn the truth about the candidates’ positions and ignore the partisan pundits that seem to drive the message and frame the candidates. Take responsibility for your vote and for God’s sake if you vote for or against somebody because of their gender, color, age, or religion you’re super stupid.

My message to all voters, Canadian and American…remember the famous quote from the movie Forrest Gump…stupid is as stupid does.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Folly of Making Predictions in the Middle of a War

I’ve written before about trying to properly analyze a war while in the middle of it which is what the MSM continually seems to demand under the guise of providing the public with accurate updates. Congress is no better as they make “fact finding” trips to the Green Zone, meet with staff briefing officers and diplomats and then “report” back to the people normally basing their briefings on their parties perspective of how they believe the war is going, for example if you’re Barrack Obama and you’ve declared the surge to be a failure you come out of your briefings ignore the facts you’ve been provided and say the surge was a failure. Or if you’re Harry Reid, you simply say the war is lost as if you’re a prophet and never go back to see if you’re prophesy came to pass.

I could just imagine a Senator showing up at General Eisenhower’s headquarters in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge and saying the war is going well because up to that point the Allies seemed on the verge of ending the war by Easter. In fact looking back now we know it was an offensive of last resort and doomed to failure but in January 1945 the men on the ground didn’t know that the German’s would soon run out of fuel ammunition and supplies and be quickly driven back a month later and the advance on Berlin would shortly thereafter resume and that by May Hitler would be dead and the war in Europe over. What they knew then was the Allies were falling back and being captured at rates not previously seen since 1942 and surely making those that were yelling home by Christmas look rather foolish.

I recently watched as President Bush hosted General Petraeus at the White House to celebrate his incredible feat in turning the Iraq war around, it’s not won but at least it’s now moving in the right direction by leaps and bounds in a military sense.

In one respect I must agree with Barrack Obama when he stated that the “surge was more successful than many could have imagined”. General Petraeus it would appear not only had to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq but also had to fight his chain of command as they seemed bent on tying his hands at every opportunity. It took a back channel ex-General named Keane who was Petraeus’ mentor to carry messages back and forth from the field to the White House to get things done. Was it because Petraeus was a shining star, sought out the media, supported the President and was successful on the battlefield or did they just think he was wrong? I think it’s far too early to tell and something worth our focus but one thing is for sure, the surge worked, continues to work and if Iraq fails politically it’s not because the US didn’t give them every opportunity for success.

Who could have guessed in 2006 when President Bush ordered the surge in forces that it would have such an impact on reducing the level of violence to the lowest levels since the war began, while ensuring that the Sunni’s and Shiites didn’t counter attack each other with every small slight or attack against each other’s community a la the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s of old.

I hope the MSM continues to ignore Iraq as US casualties remain very low because without the American media acting like the 800lbs guerilla in the room the Iraqi’s may actually stop posing for the camera’s and might get to work on putting their country back together in a political sense.

I’m going to make one final (I always say that) trip to Iraq next week before finally growing up and getting a real job so I look forward to seeing the changes first hand since my last trip at the height of the sectarian violence, but unlike the politicians I’ll try to heed my own words and stop trying to make predictions about the final outcome in the middle of the war.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not So Reliable Sources


The media as a whole has been transformed by cable TV. It began with CNN being very middle of the road but when it began there was no competitor to drive CNN in either direction. Today with Fox News on the right of CNN and MSNBC far to the left, CNN has attempted to stake out the middle with some success, although I view them as a left of center news organization that tends to lean further left when pushed.

As cable news became more prevalent the mainstream nightly news organizations have begun to change with NBC really leading the way in taking a solid political position on the side of the far left wing of the Democratic Party. This has forced other nightly news organizations to compete with them for the left of center viewers.

To prove to you that I’m probably the most boring person on the planet (well at least according to my wife and kids) when I’m home I’ll let you know that with the help of my cable provider and recording device, I’m able to watch Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation, Meet the Press and This Week every Sunday morning with my coffee and Vanilla creamer (like the political shows a once weekly treat). I believe it brings me balance to hear all sides of generally the same issues. As fate would have it, I have one 30-minute blank period of time during which I take in the first half of the CNN media watch dog show Reliable Sources (a show I get when stuck watching CNN International on Sunday evening when I’m overseas). I’ve always found this show to be an excellent piece of information and entertainment that did a great job in looking at how the media is dealing with the week to week issues by brining on several guests of varying backgrounds but mainly from the most prestigious media outlets which is meant to bring creditability to the show and usually does.

When the media is too focused on Britney Spears or Anna Nicole Smith’s death Reliable Sources has stood up and harshly criticized their own, when they would go over the top in their one sided coverage of an issue typically the show brought back us back to balanced factual coverage leaving out the inflammatory speeches that come with political talk shows that bring on partisan pundits, but over the past two weeks I’ve seen a dramatic change in the tone to the show at least as it pertains to the election coverage, which is making me wonder about the host (Howard Kurtz) and his ability to avoid going down the same road as the typical daily or weekly cable news shows or even the nightly news broadcasts by the big three.

It really began last week with the focus on Governor Sarah Palin, I thought finally some factual coverage on the potential Vice President instead of the normal nonsense about what she’s wearing or whether or not she’s really the mother of her youngest child or if her son looked terrified before deploying to Iraq but what did I get? I got a panel of three journalists doing the exact same thing. Here were three journalists acting like partisan pundits, with the two female guests rallying against Palin and her stands on abortion and the male guest trying to point out that she’s a great Governor who would be a great VP. I was gobsmacked by the exchange and saddened that the host would allow this on his show. The point of the panel was to point out how the media were being distracted by fluff and away from facts but there they (the host and panel) were acting like partisan hacks.

I decided this week that I’d watch again to see if it was a blip but once again (on the coverage of the economic bailout and the candidate’s responses and how the media covered the events) the panel of three esteemed financial journalists were taking partisan positions on which candidate had a better record on regulatory issues and had responded better to the issues. Again it fell 2-1 against Senator McCain with both of those journalists acting like Senator Obama’s spokesmen while the third journalist was doing the exact same thing for Senator McCain tearing apart each sentence out of Senator Obama’s mouth without regard for context or facts.

I’m going to give the show one more week to get back to its roots before I tune out and continue my search for just one show amongst dozens that is not tainted by its own biases or the biases of the host / network. Can such a show exist in today’s partisan climate with voters almost equally split between the two parties?

I really don’t know if they can but if Reliable Sources continues to Un-Reliable Sources it will have one less viewer each Sunday morning.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Northern Hate Exposed

On 05 Sept a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the federally funded national TV/Radio/Website) published one of the most hate filled opinion pieces that I’ve read in some time. Since we’re having a pivotal election here to which pits the current Conservative Prime Minster, Steven Harper against the Liberal leader Stephane Dion. It is eerily similar to the American election in that the PM (often compared with President Bush by his detractors) is a true conservative and the Liberal leader is often called an elitist left wing former professor who will destroy our economy to save the planet. He wants to redistribute taxes from the rich and the evil oil companies towards the environment and the poor, while the PM believes in lower taxes for both citizens and corporations to spur the economy…sound familiar?

Well this article could have easily been about our election but no this journalist choose to attack Governor Sarah Palin, yes this tax payer funded writer decided that the CBC and Canadians were best served by writing such gems as “she added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn’t already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America’s name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right”. Another gem “Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too”. Or when she complained that another journalist already coined the phrase “Alaskan Hillbilly” to describe the Governor before it was written in this column. Finally the attack turned to the Governors looks just to complete the personal attack by saying “Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favored by this decade's woman, the over treated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression.”

If picking on Governor Palin wasn’t enough this journalist decided to take on the entire Palin family too “Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the pramface” or “Husband Todd looks like a roughneck” or “Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified”.
While I think by now you’re shocked at these personal attacks it doesn’t stop here, the article goes on to attack the Governor’s parenting skills and values by saying “know that I have an attachment to children that verges on the irrational, but why don't the Palins? I'm not the one preaching homespun values but I'd destroy that ratboy before I'd let him get within scenting range of my daughter again, and so would you”. I could go on and on but I’m sure you’ve gotten the point by now.

I should also point out the CBC is also known by the moniker the Communist Broadcasting Corporation but by allowing this piece not only to appear but to stay up for two additional weeks seems to have gone too far by any reasonable standards. I would suspect that if this hyper personal attack was directed at Hillary Clinton we’d be having trouble finding this journalist or the article as the backlash would have been of biblical proportions but because it’s an attack by the left wing media on a woman that doesn’t fit the left wing feminist mold it’s free speech and clever.

Now I’m pretty embarrassed that my American friends may believe everybody in Canada is on board with this left wing craze but I should point out two things, one the Conservative PM is about 20 points ahead in every poll that has come out since the election was called 2 weeks ago and his lead is growing and more importantly you should never be afraid of the Ku Klux Klan when they’re wearing their robes, since they’re easy to identify and defeat, it’s the guys and gals who share those beliefs but hide amongst us. This journalist is hateful but easy to shout down and debunk so she’s not the one to worry about, it’s the MSM that choose their adjectives more carefully and say the same thing politely and through implication that we need to worry about.

Oh and did I mention that this journalist is named Heather Mallick. I guess I should thank her for proving the point of my last piece on why women will never run the planet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why women will never rule the planet

At 52% of the population you’d think that women would be better positioned to run the planet but the last two weeks has made it completely clear why I was mistaken and have come to the conclusion that women will never run the planet.

I suppose I should backtrack and give you some history to explain why I was so confused on the issue you. I was raised by a single Mom and an Aunt. My Mom had me at 20 yrs old. Shortly afterwards my father was missing in action so we began an interesting journey that saw my Mom go back to high school while my Grandmother looked after me, then she got a job as a front desk receptionist with the Canadian Federal governments unemployment insurance commission , over the next 30 odd years she would rise through the ranks to become a regional manager responsible for several offices and hundreds of staff during which she taught me many things about setting goals and doing what is necessary to achieve them. My Mom was also obese due to a thyroid condition which was another challenge but she continually used her brains to overcome people’s perceptions.

Again I learned some valuable lessons about the reality of equal rights, for you see she believed in choice, but not specifically what that word has come to mean today. She believed that women must be allowed to choose to stay at home, work, or do a little of both without barriers or feeling guilty. I agree, women should be free without question or guilt to do anything they want and balance it in the way that they believe best suites them and their families. Now my Mom was a unabashed liberal so I wonder what she would have thought about the attacks on Governor Sarah Palin? I know she wouldn’t agree with her policies but I have a feeling that she’d be pretty angry with those who want to question her right to run or her ability to look after her children and run.

I also think she’d be appalled at the fact that women are leading the charge when it comes to frivolous attacks on her wardrobe, her hairstyle, her lifestyle and her children while men seem to be sticking with issue based attacks. Now, I think all this nonsense proves my point, women will never run the planet because they love to destroy each other at every opportunity.

The hypocrisy is amazing as female columnists, pundits and politicians all talk about how with 5 children including a special needs baby she won’t be able to devote sufficient time to the VP job and if she does then her family will be left behind, some seem to believe that she’s already spent too much time as a politician since her oldest daughter got pregnant at age 17, yet these same women are for the most part successful career women with children…why is it ok for them to juggle their families the way they want but not ok for Governor Pallin? Perhaps it’s because these women are losing their collective minds because the first VP will not be a left wing feminist but a conservative feminist.

Governor Pallin is shaking things up and the polls have swung wildly toward the McCain ticket so you can expect a huge increase in the loony attacks from the left wing, with complete support of the liberal MSM. Sadly I believe women will continue to lead these attacks and set back both their cause and the true meaning of choice that my Mother taught me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I write for two reasons, one to attempt to bring a sense of fairness to an issue relying only on facts and sometimes history to prove points and put current dilemmas in perspective. I believed that if you left personal opinion and slant out of the writing it would raise the bar. I often failed to leave my own feelings out and a couple of times even slanted things my way out of anger or frustration but for the most part I believe I’ve upheld my first goal.

My second reason for writing was therapeutic in the sense that I would often rail against a report on TV or complain after reading an op-ed piece and complaining that the writing would often ignore the facts they didn’t like and slant the ones they did. By writing I was able to get things off my chest and hopefully feel like I was making a small difference in the debate.

The two above paragraphs are the fist I’ve written since June of this year. I’ve haven’t written in my journal and have only made two comments on line responding to stories I’ve read (both this week) about the Canadian election. Why you may ask, simple…I’ve failed and had come to believe that writing and speaking out was a waste of my time and energy.

A few days ago I accepted the offer of my mentor and friend to go for an ATV ride in the Rocky Mountains, it’s something he does regularly and I do once in a blue moon when our schedules match up. We spent the day riding hard and seeing some magnificent sights and during each break we talked politics (American and Canadian) elections (American and Canadian) and world events, which of course are three of my favorite topics. These days never fail to lift my spirits and allow me clear my head and enjoy myself immensely.

A couple of days later I went to his house to help clean up after our muddy adventure and he asked me why I stopped writing. When I told him that I was frustrated and disillusioned with writing I expected supportive guidance but got no sympathy. I was reminded that throughout my 20 year military career that I never quit anything, I may have failed a few times but I never gave up and there’s a big difference, he also reminded me that I’ve fought hard for my marriage and to move my family financially forward, he then asked again why I’d stopped writing.
I had no answer and after sleeping on it woke up to realize that I must apologize to those who have read and commented on my past pieces and apologize to those blog sites that have supported my work over the past three years for letting them down during such an amazing time in world history.

We have stunning mainstream media failures in reporting on American election issues, American politics and world events. We’ve watched as the MSM jumped onto the Senator Obama bandwagon and ignored his lack of experience, his lack of judgment and his extremist friends and now we are watching both the MSM and the tabloid press rip apart Governor Sarah Palin using her family and sex as the explosive material.

I stopped writing about the appalling lack of coverage of world events; about the Chinese using the Olympics in the same way Adolf Hitler used the Berlin games to demonstrate that the Nazi way of governing was superior to all other ways. I stopped writing about the environment and how the left, led by former Vice President Gore have hijacked an important debate and have skewed the scientific facts to support their positions and how the MSM have let them turn it into a dogma that cannot be challenged. I stopped writing because I believed that it was a waste of time and then was reminded what I’ve always known, you can’t make a difference if you don’t try and while you may fail you can look yourself in the mirror and say I did my best. I haven’t been able to do that for the past three months.

I’ve got a lot to say and have let it build up so I’ll give you fair warning that you’ll hear more from me in the coming days, probably more than you’d like. Hopefully in time I’ll regain your support again but if not I’ll understand and continue to write.