"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

But would he meet with the new Premier of French Columbia, Heywood Jablomi?

So Fred Thompson finally took part in a Republican Canadiates debate and it didn't make much a difference It was all very ho-hum, though Mitt Romney and Rudy Gulliani took a few shots at each other. But what caught my eye was this bit from the CNN story on the debate:

"The former Tennessee senator survived a gotcha question, correctly identifying the prime minister of Canada as Stephen Harper."

A gotcha question? He wants to be president and asking him the name of the leader of one of the G-8 nations, the U.S. partner in Norad and NATO, the country's northern neighbour is a gotcha question? Talk about lowering the bar. What's next? Will they ask John McCain to name the three branches of government? or Gulliani how many states there are? May they'll ask Mitt Romney if he can find Utah on a map.

And another thing: This is typical of the double standard of the So-Called Liberal Media. Hillary Clinton is expected to put forth a universal health care system that will ensure absolute and total coverage for any and all ailments for every single American without it costing more than a couple of Big Macs a year and the plan must be handed in to the media in triplicate, double spaced and footnoted or she's failed to live up to expectations and is considered unworthy to lead. Barrack Obama, by virtue of the fact that he is half-African, is expected to solve or at least explain any and all issues connected to race in the United States or he is dodging the issue - oh and he has to be "black enough" to win over African-American voters without being "too black" and scaring off white suburbanites. John Edwards has mentioned poverty, but he's a wealthy self made man, so unless he has a ironclad plan approved by a panel of Republican economists to make everyone millionaires by the Thursday after election day, he's just a pretty boy who pays too much for haircuts. And since they all oppose the war in Iraq, they better all have a surefire plan to win the war, bring peace and prosperity to Baghdad and release terrorist-eating unicorns that shit gold bars throughout the Middle East otherwise they are siding with Osama Bin Laden.

Fred Thompson on the other hand drives a shiny red truck, can talk tough as a crime-fightin' lawyer on TV, knows the name of the country's next door neighbor and looks like every Middle American's dad. Now that's presidential!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On the other hand...life is good

Given the tenor of the previous post, you might think I'm depressed, pissed off, and annoyed with life in general. Nothing could be further from the truth, because I have finally realized my life-long goals of:

A) playing hockey (at least fictionally) for Team Canada

B)Being immortalized as a superhero in a comic book.

One of teachers at my son's after-school day care center has created a series of short comics featuring my kids and their friends. My son Nicholas has been portrayed as every hero from Spiderman to Zorro, but the latest edition features me.

More as soon as I get a chance to scan the whole thing in and get it translated, but the main title reads: "Nicholas's Family Battle" (sic) with the smaller text panels reading : "Canadian Ice Hockey" and "Whoops!!!"

Stay tuned!

Why we drink
This purpose of this post is partly to vent (isn't it always?) partly to inform, partly to show off my behind the scenes knowledge of big media, and partly to provide Dave (no, not that Dave, the other Dave) of photographic evidence of the fact that if it is drinkable (and sometimes even if it isn't) you can buy it in a can in Japan.

I had one of those "What the fuck am I doing here?" kind of days at the office today. What it comes down to is that I'm just plain getting tired of watching reality and the truth get slapped around the office like a pair of red-headed stepchildren who went on to become cheap crack whores. (oh yeah, one more purpose -- to see if my boss is spying on me)

We had a lengthy piece in the paper about the activities of the Japanese Navy, I mean the Maritime Self Defense Force (article 9 of the constitution says Japan can't have a navy, so all those AEGIS destroyers and the new pocket carrier are part of the Self Defense Forces, NOT the navy). Concerns are being raised by various peacenik NPOs and other "obvious troublemakers" intent on disturbing the national wa, that the MSDF may have broken the law that authorizes them to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

This is kind of a big deal in Japan, because despite their military alliance with the U.S. the government's interpretation of Article 9 is that while Japan has the right to collective self-defense (as all nations do under the UN charter) the constitution forbids the nation to exercise that right, just as it forbids the nation from maintaining armed forces.

let look at that pesky section of Japan's basic law:

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
第九条 日本国民は、正義と秩序を基調とする国際平和を誠実に希求し、国権の発動た 戦争と、武力による威嚇又は武力の行使は、国際紛争を解決する手段としては、永久にこ を放棄する。
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
二 前項の目的を達するため、陸海空軍その他の戦力は、これを保持しない。国の交戦権 、これを認めない。

Here's the short version: Japan's Anti-Terrorism Law, passed in the wake of 9/11, empowers the SDF to provide logistical non-combatant support to Operation Enduring Freedom AKA the anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan. They are doing so by providing fuel to the multi-national naval flotilla that is engaged in an interdiction mission near the landlocked nation to ensure that Osama Bin Laden doesn't sneak out of the subcontinent in a zodiac or something like that.

The MSDF has pumped a lot of gas, much of it into supply ships belonging to other nations, which then went on to refuel combat ships belonging to those other nations. Japan is so scrupulous in observing the constitution that it will not permit the fighting ships of other nation to guard its tanker while it refuels other ships, which is why Japan has also sent a destroyer as part of the flotilla, which is only allowed to guard the other Japanese ships from the non-existent naval threat from landlocked Afghanistan. The thing is, one of the US supply ships "may have" gone on to refuel the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk which then went on to engage in the early stages of the War in Iraq.


Forget for a moment that Japan sent non-combat troops to Iraq for a couple of years to show its loyalty to the United States to provide reconstruction aid in Southern Iraq under the (one-way) protection of the Dutch and later Australians and British. Apparently pumping gas for war is a no-no.

Now, I know what you are saying to yourself: "Aren't the MSDF pumpng gas for war in Afghanistan?" After all, Canada is part of that multinational naval flotilla in addition to having ground troops fighting and dying in Afghanistan--isn't there a war on there? Isn't Operation Enduring Freedom the Pentagon's name for the the War on Terror in Afghanistan? Isn't the civilized world at war with Al-Qaida and the Taliban?

Not according to the people I work for. As it was explained to me, the MSDF cannot take part in a war and since the MSDF is taking part in the international action against terrorism in Afghanistan, it cannot be a war.

Which bring us back to our title and the reason for my two little travelling companions on the train ride home.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It takes a noble man to win a Nobel Prize
Al Gore and Canada's own Sheila Watt-Cloutier are being touted as possible winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, but if it were up to me, it would go to Pete Seeger. Click here to sign the petition.