Thursday, March 30, 2006

Well, I said I wouldn't post anything more about Bob Woodruff but I have to note that he won the David Bloom Award for excellence in enterprise reporting. Here's to the continued best for Mr. Woodruff and his family.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Radio Free Canada is in hiatus on Bob Woodruff's condition. While there has been no more recent news, we can certainly hope he is progressing in his recovery.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The play My Name is Rachel Corrie is being put on by the Seattle Repertory Theatre in its new season.
And it should be like this. After all, she wasn't a New Yorker. She was a PNWer, one of ours.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Rachel Corrie reading at the Riverside Church, in New York on Wednesday, March 22, 2006.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Bush administration is attempting to implement regulations that would permit pesticide testing on aborted human fetuses despite the White House's proclamations about the sanctity of human life. It seems, to the Bush government, fetal life is sacred until pesticide companies need a convenient sacrifice for profit. Where the hell is the Religious Right or pro-lifers about this issue, that aborted fetuses can be used for corporate profit but not stem cell research? Why are the voices of the pro-life movement silent?

Too, why is there no outcry that the Bush administration would permit pesticide testing on orphaned, mentally handicapped, and abused children because they cannot give legal refusal to any experiments ? Such experiments include tricking people into thinking that they are taking vitamins while the testers are in fact feeding the test subjects massive doses of pesticides. This disregard for vulnerable populations, the mentally handicapped and abandoned children, is similar to Hitler's T-4 programmes where the Nazis murdered thousands of handicapped (babies, children, and adults) and orphaned children in gas chambers such as the Hartheim Castle.

After reading all that I did about the pesticides being possibly tested on children, I wanted to throw up and crawl into a fetal position. Here in Canada, the mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan, is a quad in a wheelchair and the University of British Columbia is thinking of offering college courses for Down's adults---basically auditing classes for people with LDs (learning disabilities). Unlike America, Canada walks the walk on the sanctity of life.

It is grotesque and morbid but not surprising that the Bush administration is following the same path as the Third Reich in targeting abandoned children, and the handicapped for experimentation and execution in the name of corporate profit. The world should turn and spit on the current American government for its callous disregard for the lives of the most sacred --- the children and the handicapped --- among us.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Please sign this petition about the play My Name is Rachel Corrie. Let James C. Nicola, artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop know that censorship is wrong. Thank you.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Vietnam war deserter Allen Abney has been released from a Marine prison with a discharge so he does not have a tarnished record. He will be back in Canada in time for his brother's funeral.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Today is the third anniversary of Rachel Corrie's death.
Meanwhile, in Palestine the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine kidnapped Mark Budzanowski and held him until they realized that he had a Canadian passport. They released him, saying "We love Canada!" while giving him a business card for the PFLP. Mr. Budzanowski has returned to doing humanitarian work in Palestine.
Bob Woodruff is now in New York and recovering in a health facility. Here's the best to him and his family.

Two U.S. soldiers killed along with twenty other people including young children.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Two more soldiers died in Iraq on Monday
Meanwhile, more American troops, 700 soldiers are being brought in from Kuwait to "temporarily" deploy in Iraq for the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion and for the Shiite holy pilgramge of Arbeen which commorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali.
Vietnam War deserter Allen Abney might be released later this week with an other than honourable discharge from the military. However, due to the time it takes to process the order, seven days, he may not make it home in time for his brother Gerry's funeral. Let's hope the American government expedites the discharge and sends Mr. Abney home soon.
A Canadian arrested for deserting the Marines in 1968 will probably be released next week.

I suspect the Bush government finally realised what a hot potato they had on their hands with this one (okay, the administration is a little slow...). and they should not use Mr. Abney as an example to present and future deserters when Bush's ratings are not only in the toilet but flushed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Four U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Sunday. Meanwhile, Bob Woodruff continues to recover.

James Watson, who helped discover DNA, wants to tamper with germ-line (ovum and sperm) genetics to build "smarter" and more "beautiful" humans.

Designer genetics do not always, and seldom, work. Consider the latest fad of "designer dogs". Many of the "new" dogs have potential problems with hip dysplasia and eye diseases because of the faults in their respective breeds. It is an unwise cruelty to tamper with any life's genetics for superficial characteristics such as "intelligence" or "beauty", because the outcome may not be safe nor effective.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Police in Idaho arrested a man with dual American and Canadian citizenship in Idaho on Thursday. Allen Abney deserted the Marines in 1968 during the long conflict in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, there is a reunion of Vietnam war resisters from July 6 to 9, 2006 in Brillaint, BC.

It has been nearly 40 years since Mr. Abney's immigration to Canada. The Vietnam war is over. Now, someone in the Marines may be making a point about they are going to get tough with future deserters but this is what we call "a double-edged sword". Works great for hari-kiri propaganda to highlight that the war in Iraq is lost and anyone would be a fool to listen to a military recruiter.

Just lovely that the American government stepped in this one.... Squish!

Each week, I will be posting a random but selected site for the reader's information. This week I am posting DEFCONAMERICA.ORG, a site dedicated against the Religious Right.

ISAIAH 51:11

Iraqi hostage Tom Fox found dead.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Two U.S. soldiers died in Iraq today.

Meanwhile, the American military is experiencing a desertion rate of 8,000 personnel since 2003.

I have no problem with military deserters simply because the Bush administration is shafting vets by cutting their benefits to the number of $10.3 billion over five years, mostly slashing health care. Furthermore, the Bush administration is not adequately compensating its current soldiers. Essentially, according to a survey by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, military personnel are the lowest paid employees in America.

If the Bush administration endangers American citizens in not very well considered wars, there should be sufficient compensation for the military's trouble. To quote Sun Tzu's Art of War under the second chapter entitled Waging War: "There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare."


Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie's parents, will give a presentation about their recent trip they took to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This will be followed by a theatre piece about Rachel Corrie called Daughter of Courage at Consolidated Works, 500 Boren Ave N, 633-1086, 3 pm, free.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

As a Pacific Northwesterner from native stock, I am claiming the peragotive of critiquing the recent uproar about the cancellation of the Rachel Corrie play in New York.

Everyone take a deep breath and sit down. Valerian tea is under the cosy, if you need it. Hops and passionflower are optional. We all require a few good calming herbs, given the nature of the uproar but anything stronger would not be legal. Are all of you settled?

First, let's deal with Vanessa Redgrave urging a lawsuit against the theatre in question. Respectfully, I must ask Ms. Redgrave to sit in the corner and read Shakespeare's advice about lawyers in King Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene II. There is no need to throw bad money after good. Your anger over the censorship is justified but the principles involved are already being tried in the court of public opinion. And she is a bitch to reckon with, "...a sovereign mistress of effects", to quote the Duke of Venice in Othello, Act I, Scene III. More so than any legal trial.

Next, we come to Mr. Nicola. Your excuse about scheduling is not acceptable. Dayplanners are good things. Barring that, Yahoo! has an online calendar and for the technically literate, you can get Google Desktop which has nifty plug-ins like its Calendar. Furthermore, simply talking to a few of your Jewish friends does not qualify as going to that community in question.

Katherine Viner's complaint in The Guardian was on target and understandable. Any artist hates to see their work shunned because of baseless and quisling fears.

The best for last. Alan Rickman's outrage over the cancellation was very eloquent. Yes, no artist or activist lives in someone else's pocket or cowardly behaviour. Radio Free Canada hopes that My Name is Rachel Corrie does make it to the American stage.


However, I am writing this as a simple take on the nature of censorship. I do not claim to be proficient in Middle Eastern politics or to the circumstances of Ms.Corrie's unfortunate death of which I have read varying accounts. I think it is fair to write that the censoring of the play does a disservice to furthering the conversation about the Middle East or the conflicts between Jews and Palestinians.


A senior Iraqi army general was shot dead in Western Baghdad.

Meanwhile, ethnic and religious loyalties are threatening to tear about the Iraqi security forces.

Dana Reeve, tireless champion for the disabled,of lung cancer at age 44.

Bob Woodruff is speaking and walking according to ABC NEWS.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Photojournalist Toby Morris, a reporter for Zuma Press was shot today in Iraq. The injuries are not life-threatening.

In other news: The doctor who cared for Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt, Dr. Richard Briggs, has returned home to his Tennessee home. Here's to all the dedicated medical personnel in the middle of the Iraqi and other conflicts.
Fifteen people killed in Iraq including US soldier .

Meanwhile, in disrespect to soldiers who have died in Iraq, a a t-shirt company Carry A Big Sticker is listing the fallen in protest of President Bush without any relatives's permission to list their deceased family members on the garments in question. This is rude and unfeeling to the grief that families have when their loved ones die so tragically. Radio Free Canada does not mention any soldier by name in consideration of the families left behind. Instead I aggregate the information to show sorrow and dismay at the current administration's foreign policy.


Sunday, March 05, 2006


Well, I didn't come close to guessing the picks but the surprise to Middle America wasn't the gay themes of Capote, Brokeback Mountain, or the political themes of Good Night and Good Luck, nor even the award for best song about pimps. The greatest theme of the awards, and the one the Religious Right will miss in condemning Hollywood as being out of touch with most American morality was the celebration of imperfection in the human condition.

Look at the awards honoured. It was not a lack of ethics, instead it was an award for best actor, a man with a drinking problem who turned his life around. The best film and best song were about the racism that black people face everyday. The best director was for a man whose father fled to Taiwan after his paternal grandparents were executed by Communists.

In other words, the Oscars weren't about being white, male, and Protestant. The spectrum of human experience is what American culture should be. And what the 78th Oscars showed the world.


P.S. Bush's approval ratings are at an all time low.

British and Australian troops are expected to be pulling out of Iraq in May and there are rumours that the United States will be withdrawing its troops in 2007. If the Iraqi security forces can maintain order, a dubious supposition since the Iraqi police are rag-tag, corrupt, and without proper equipment.

Meanwhile,another US soldier was shot dead north of Baghdad on Sunday.



God is talking to Tony. At least that is what Prime Minister Blair has hinted in his recent interviews about Iraq and how he will be judged on his decisions regarding the conflict. Last year the PM said that history would judge him.

I think the term is called "grasping for straws" or to put it in Biblical language, he is messing with Leviticus 19:12, among other verses.

Personally, I would be worried about history because, once your mouth is shuttered by death, Clio the Muse of History is a harsh and fickle mistress.


Recently, the Alan Rickman/Katherine Viner play My Name is Rachel Corrie was cancelled by the New York Theatre Workshop. There are two versions of the story involving the cancellation. The first reason, according to the playwrite Katherine Viner, was the situation was too edgy with the recent elections of Hamas and Ariel Sharon's ill health to produce the play.

The second reason
from the New York Theatre Workshop's artistic director James C. Nicola was that there was inadequete time to prepare for the staging of the play. If anyone has a definite take on this, please e-mail me so I can update my information. Thank you.

Meanwhile, Vermont Bread and Puppet Theatre is producing its own version of the Rachel Corrie drama through Seattle's Consolidated Works arts center March 8-11. If you are in the area, you may buy tickets here.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Bob Woodruff is making good progress,according to a Newsday article. He is also sitting up and smiling after severe head injuries and broken ribs. This from the Detroit News.

We here in Canada are still rooting for him and cameraman Doug Vogt.



When Radio Free Canada writes about casualities in Iraq, I am deliberately leaving out Iraqi dead and wounded because I cannot keep pace with the amount of local mortality and injured. This is just an acknowledgement of all the tradegy.I feel the same sorrow for the Iraqis as I do those from Commonwealth nations.



Performance by an actor in a leading role
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
George Clooney in “Syriana” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line” (20th Century Fox)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Catherine Keener in “Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Howl’s Moving Castle” (Buena Vista)

Achievement in directing
“Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features)
Ang Lee

Best documentary feature
Alex Gibney and Jason Kliot
“March of the Penguins” (Warner Independent Pictures)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features) Gustavo Santaolalla

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Travelin’ Thru” from “Transamerica” (The Weinstein Company and IFC Films)
Music and Lyric by Dolly Parton

Best motion picture of the year
“Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics)
An A-Line Pictures/Cooper’s Town/ Infinity Media Production
Caroline Baron, William Vince and Michael Ohoven, Producers

Adapted screenplay

“Capote” (UA/Sony Pictures Classics)
Screenplay by Dan Futterman

Original screenplay
“Crash” (Lions Gate)
Screenplay by Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco
Story by Paul Haggis

We'll see what happens. Notez bien, I'm just doing the big awards.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Four British soldiers die from a roadside bomb attack.

Meanwhile,a third of all returning U.S. soldiers are seeking mental health care for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The war on terror isn't being won. In Iraq, it is descending toward civil war. The conflict is also being brought back in the hearts and minds of returning vets whose health care the Bush administration is slashing veteran benefits. America owes better to its brave veterans. It's time to pull the plug on this farce of a war.