Tuesday, February 28, 2006

THE OTHER WAR

One GI dies in Afghanistan fighting and two are wounded.

The death toll for American troops in Afghanistan is 266 since the invasion of the country and numerous others have been wounded in both conflicts.

There are an estimated 765 American troops wounded from Afghanistan.


Izzy

TRAGIC UPDATE

Two British Soldiers Die From A Roadside Bomb In Iraq which puts the tally at 103 for that country.

There have been more than 1300 Iraqi deaths
since the Golden mosque bombing in Samarra.


From one article I read (and I barely got through it without losing dinner),morgues have the dead piled in cages where the bodies wait until claimed. The process is basically automated with the deceased being photographed and the pictures identified through a computer base regardless of the state of the corpse.


There is no, in the midst of this civil war between Sunnis and Shiites, any exit strategy now for the United States except one that involves turning tail and running like the nation's whipped dog of its foriegn policy.


---Izzy

Monday, February 27, 2006

NO SURPRISE

In more setbacks for the Bush administration,another U.S. soldiers dies, and some Sunnis and Shiites make friendly overtures to one another against the American and British occupation. But you could see this one coming for a long time. Before anything else, a foreign power that has invaded a country and is building four super bases is a threat to a nation's identity.

The United States is not a liberator to the Iraqis, but a conqueror that is increasingly a target for homegrown insurgence. This war will end in a shameful end for America because there is no love for the country in the Middle East. Even the arch conservative, William F. Buckley has conceded the Iraq war has failed miserably and there is no honourable way to disengage from the morass.

---Izzy

Sunday, February 26, 2006

THE FEARLESS LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD

Our Great Commander-In-Chief, George Walker Bush, got in a bit of biking scrape last year.

Where is Chevy Chase for the satire when you need him?

---Izzy

MORE SENSELESS DEATHS

Two U.S. soldiers killed by roadside bombs.

I hate blogging. This is painful. Prayers for the family

---Izzy

HISTORY GIFT

Occasionally on these pages, Radio Free Canada will post a random History Gift from one of the Commonwealth countries.This Gift is from Scotland.
Enjoy!

---Izzy

IRAQ UPDATE

Another dead soldier (noncombat) and ID of previously killed.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

COPYCAT

Well, isn't that special....

The Religious Right, in one of its responses to the soaring popularity of gay films in the Oscar nominations, has created a ripoff t-shirt that uses the breaking of the Ten Commandment tablets on Mt. Sinai as Brokeback Mountain.

While it is flirting with copyright infringement of the movie, this garment idea from Second Coming Clothing company is also not very creative. The appropriate word here is "tacky". I wouldn't be caught at the Rapture wearing it. Even Heaven has standards.

Recently, shirts from the Brokeback filmset were auctioned for $100,000 to benefit a childrens' charity . Unlike the 'me-too!' tawdriness from the Christian company, the Brokeback shirts are an authentic part of movie culture.

---Izzy

Thursday, February 23, 2006

PATRIOT GUARD

The Patriot Guard continues to shield families from Rev. Fred Phelps and his mongrel interpretation of Christianity. Yea, Patriot Guard!

---Izzy
ABC CAMERAMAN UPDATE
Bob Woodruff continues to heal from the IED attack while ABC cameraman Doug Vogt is on his way home.



Here's to the continued recovery of both men.



Meanwhile, the war in Iraq continues to be bloody with seven soldiers killed by IEDs Wednesday, bringing the death total of American troops to 2287 dead and 9007 wounded.

All our prayers to Woodruff, Vogt, those in Iraq and their families.



---Izzy

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

JESUS, IS THAT YOU?

According to some sources, the New Tribes Mission has been inciting peaceful native people in Venezuela to violence by giving them guns.

Whatever happened to the idea of Jesus as the Prince of Peace?

---Izzy

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

VP ASSASSIN UPDATE

VP Hunting Victim Recovers.


Pity.

----Izzy

SAGO MINE SURVIVOR IS RECOVERING

The sole survivor of the Sago Mine disater is recovering.
REPORTER UPDATE
Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt continue to recover from the IED attack in Iraq.


Happy Birthday to Alan Rickman.



60



Born on this day in 1946.



Cheers from all your fans.



---Izzy

TRUE HEROES

“The Reverend” Fred Phelps and his fellow Westboro Baptist Church members are touring the country to protest at solider funerals. Phelps’ claim is that IEDs (improvised explosive devices) are killing American military personnel in Iraq because God is punishing the United States for permitting homosexuality, among other so-called sins.  

Hookay… so someone in Kansas forgot to take their meds this morning. Gays aren’t allowed in the military so why should God bother with that particular sector of society? The claims of Mr. Phelps and his followers that God is targeting  soldiers and miners is somewhere off in an imaginary land similar to that inhabited by people like Jennifer Giroux of Women Influencing the Nation. At the time of the Southeast Asia tsunami, Ms. Giroux pronounced that the disaster occurred because America is sinful.  Obviously, she did not pay much attention in geography class. Asia is a different continent than North America and they don’t have similar cultures. More to the point, there is no cause and effect between someone enjoying Brokeback Mountain or Capote   in Vancouver or San Francisco, or TransAmerica in Seattle and an insurgent planting an IED in Baghdad. There again is a continental and cultural divide.

Furthermore, sin is in the eye of the beholder. I do not think homosexuality to be any type of sin Worrying about gays being evil is ridiculous when there are 37 million people in poverty in the United States. A starving child is a far worse crime in any decent religion.

The Phelps protests are causing much grief to the families of the slain soldiers and, more recently, to the miners who died in mining disasters. However, a group of champions has arisen to protect those in mourning. A group of bikers, the Patriot Guard, shields mourners from hate mongers like Phelps at funerals. As the descendant of the first Revolutionary War hero at the Battle of Point Pleasant in West Virginia , I bless these bikers for their honourable conduct in times of grief

---Izzy

Friday, February 17, 2006

DON'T BANG YOUR BUTT ON THE DOOR

In Washington State, Tim Eyman  is challenging the civil rights bill for gays and lesbians via the initiative process.

Mr. Eyman is known by all civil people in Washington State as a greedy opportunistic skink who at one point defrauded voters of political funds during anti-tax initiatives. Each initiative that he files is not to open discussion to the serious issues of the day but to line his own self-serving and unworthy pockets.

He poses as the champion of the taxpayers but, in fact, his shenanigans cost valuable resources for frivolous avarice. This money should be going to help the less fortunate in our communities. Instead, the initiative process pads his miserly wallet.

The voters of Washington State should disregard the latest attempt by Mr. Eyman to enrich himself at the expense of others and send him packing like any other carpetbagger.
---Izzy

Thursday, February 16, 2006

FOOTNOTE

A follow up to my blog on Vice President Dick Cheney’s shooting of his hunting partner. It seems from some reports, that the VP was a little, um,impaired.
A man with his health problems should not be out hunting, or being the second in command to the President of the United States.
---Izzy

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

STATUS QUO

According to the latest issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, same-sex marriages improve gay and lesbian well-being by reducing drug problems in homosexuals. Gay marriage also helps stem the progression of AIDS in individuals that are in committed relationships.  (Note here: this link has a cute picture of Sir Elton John and his partner, Canadian David Furnish. I’m embarrassed that Radio Free Canada forgot to congratulate the lucky couple on their wedding in December. Good luck to the two of you.)

These findings are also consistent with the American Psychological Association’s endorsement of same-sex unions last year where the organization stated that such arrangements benefit not only the couples but the community as well.

Canada should keep same-sex marriages for the health and social benefits that they bring to the community.

---Izzy

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Alan Rickman and Rachel Viner have won three Theatregoers’ Choice Awards for the playMy Name is Rachel Corrie.The play is about the former Olympia Washington resident Rachel Corrie and what motivated her to leave her home in Washington to take up the Palestinian cause in Israel.
Although I never knew Ms. Corrie, I lived in Olympia as a child in the seventies; I went to Evergreen State College for a stint before completing my Lit degree at another university, and resided in Oly for several years as an adult. The only memory I have associated with Rachel Corrie was after her death.

Every year in Olympia there is a celebration near Earth Day, called theProcession of the Species where the beauty of the earth is honoured and cherished. In the festival, anyone who wants to participate will dress up as one of the Elements: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. Some people costume as animals, others as geographical entities such as lakes or volcanoes, et cetera. The police block off the streets and the revellers parade around downtown for one to two hours. The celebration also acts as a food drive where the fee for the experience is donations for the local food bank. The Olympia Procession is the founding Procession of similar festivals around the world.

After Ms. Corrie’s death, many of the participants dressed as peace doves in her memory since signs are not permitted in the parade. It was a fitting nonverbal memorial to one of ours, a Pacific Northwesterner.

---Izzy

GO FIGURE


When I went to Northern Voice I got a tshatshke, another T-shirt. Almost immediately, I looked at the care label. However, instead of being made inNicaragua like the previous T-shirt, the clothing that I got in Canada was a sweatshop free item made in Los Angeles. Odd, that.
---Izzy

Sunday, February 12, 2006

HOORAY FOR HUGO

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has kicked the New Tribes Missions out of his country. The New Tribes goal is to convert indigenous peopleto Jesus before the First People are reached by 'civilization'. The New Tribes is an evil group because they require the tribes’ conversion to Christianity or the First Peoples will not receive food and medical aid from New Tribes.

What the New Tribes missionaries is doing is called cultural genocide. One of my ancestors went to an American tribal school to make him white, to strip him of his pride and dignity as a Chinook. This humiliation was something that the Bush administration completed when they delisted the Chinook as a band (tribe).

Hooray for President Hugo Chavez for getting rid of the spiritual vermin that would destroy untouched indigenous peoples and their cultures.


---Izzy

Thursday, February 09, 2006

LIFE IS CHEAP

The Sidney Coal Company is planning to hire non-English speaking Hispanic coal workers for their East Kentucky mines at the paltry wage of six dollars an hour. The average wage in Kentucky is $12.57 an hour and average wage for a miner is $15.89 an hour.

Now, you’ll read it here first: the Sidney Coal Company is owned by Massey Energy Corporation. That’s right; it’s the same company that was responsible for two miner deaths in West Virginia. What is the hiring of Hispanic labourers in the coal mines without the language to protest or to protect themselves against unsafe working conditions worth? Well, Massey Energy has racked up an 18 percent increase in their profits. One of their own is being tapped by the White House to head the Mining Safety and Health Administration.  Furthermore, one of theirs was also a former MSHA executive.

Something stinks. It isn’t the fumes coming from the mines but the rotting corpse of corporate nepotism that characterizes the Bush administration. In the next election, maybe it’s time to let fresh air into American government by cleaning out the (White) house.
---Izzy

Monday, February 06, 2006

SHOW ME THE MONEY

It would be fiscally irresponsible for Stephen Harper’s government to ban gay marriage in Canada. The vote to make same-sex marriage illegal again is close and only an economically insignificant religious right is lobbying for the change.

American gays and lesbians have a greater majority of passports than do other United States citizens. They also have more spending clout with $515 billion compared to the $5.6 billion  in the American Christian market. Canadian gays and lesbians have $75 billion plus.

Clearly, this kind of  gay and lesbian economic clout is not going to go away any time soon. A ban on same-sex marriage and further restrictions would make gay and lesbian tourists from America skittish. The domestic Canadian homosexual market is also not one to lightly dismiss. For the sake of financial prudence, same-sex marriage should continue in Canada.

----Izzy




It would be fiscally irresponsible for Stephen Harper’s government to ban gay marriage in Canada. The vote to make same-sex marriage illegal again is close and only an economically insignificant religious right is lobbying for the change.

American gays and lesbians have a greater majority of passports than do other United States citizens. They also have more spending clout with $515 billion compared to the $5.6 billion  in the American Christian market. Canadian gays and lesbians have $75 billion plus.

Clearly, this kind of  gay and lesbian economic clout is not going to go away any time soon. A ban on same-sex marriage and further restrictions would make gay and lesbian tourists from America skittish. The domestic Canadian homosexual market is also not one to lightly dismiss. For the sake of financial prudence, same-sex marriage should continue in Canada.
----Izzy

Saturday, February 04, 2006

OBITS

Betty Friedan

Coretta Scott King


Rest in peace and give light to new generations from your memory.

---Izzy

Thursday, February 02, 2006

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THIS.....

American soldiers fired on a Canadian diplomatic vehicle in Iraq.

FIDDLING WHILE AMERICA DIES

The death toll continues in the West Virginia mines. Wednesday, two miners died in separate incidents.
The White House response to the tragedies was to appoint Richard Stickler, a former executive at a subsidiary of Massey Energy in West Virginia, to run the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  Under Stickler’s watch as coal company manager for the Beth Energy Mines, the worker injury rates were more than the national average. In his confirmation hearings, Mr. Stickler argues that federal mining regulations are adequate and there is no need for further mining legistlation.   The Massey Energy Company, Stickler’s past employer, owns the mine where 2 miners perished on January 19th of this year .
There needs to be an accounting. The Canadians saved 72 miners from death by adequately insuring that the miners had safety rooms to go to during a disaster. These rooms are not required in the United States. It is not surprising that there is so little concern for ordinary Americans from the federal government since this is the same Bush administration that ignored the perils of Hurricane Katrina to the extent that Secretary of State Condi Rice was shopping for shoes in New York when that disaster hit. No one, according to the Government Accounting Office, was in charge at the federal level for ensuring public safety before and after the hurricane.
Furthermore, there are no plans coming from the Bush administration for the 2006 hurricane season.  

---Izzy