Archive for August, 2011

Libyan Civil War – Almost Over?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Libyan Civil War – Almost Over?

The remnant of Gaddafi’s forces have gathered in the town of Sirte. It is the last stand of the war. Will there be a battle, a siege or a quick surrender? It is too early to tell. There seem to be reports coming out that the rebels, that hodgepodge group of malcontents, have begun to kill some of those who have been captured. After all, the conflict was primarily of a tribal nature and not political. It is like the conditions that existed in Iraq under Hussein. One tribe holding most, if not all, of the power. The Sunni Muslims against the Shia Muslims and other disenfranchised groups.

We in the west think that there is a move afoot to bring true democracy to that repressive regime. That the removal of the dictator will usher in a time of peace and prosperity. If Iraq is any example we should expect a greater sectarian divide. We should also look forward to the increased persecution of minorities within their borders. After all, under the new Iraqi regime, the Christian population was harassed, beaten, bombed and killed with impunity by the new light of understanding that flowed from above. The Christian population has dropped from two million to about five hundred thousand as many flee oppression. Are other groups also suffering? I do not know for the voices are most likely silenced.

Oh, there will be an election in Libya, eventually. A new constitution will be drafted which will include Sharia Law as its foundation (even more than it is now). In time women will be demeaned. Christian, Jews and others will be given second class status. The region will come firmly under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Another building block of the Caliphate will be cemented into place. The West will be placed in a more precarious position. This is just one possibility.

This possibility was not a sure thing while Gaddafi was in power. Dictatorships do not like the Muslim Brotherhood. They are resisted by every government where power flows from one individual. To think that replacing one dictator, while at the same time laying the foundations of a one world Islamic government, is foolhardy and short sighted. The establishing of this one world government, this Caliphate, is the prime objective of the Brotherhood. Its system of rule is Sharia. It is anathema to any freedom loving people.

Our nation and the coalition of the willing, those NATO countries that have joined into a pact to guarantee peace and safety to their freedom loving populace, have entered the war in Libya. They have launched 20,000+ sorties of which 7,000+ were strike sorties. These were done to enforce an arms embargo, establish a no-fly zone, and protect civilians from the threat of attack. Yet the rebels were being supplied with munitions and expertise. Nothing was stopping the West from flying and bombing Gaddafi’s forces. Even when Gaddafi’s troops were withdrawing they didn’t lift a finger to stop civilians/fighters being killed by the rebel forces. This action by NATO, under the political cover of the UN, was not neutral. It had no prospects of peace being negotiated between the grieving parties. It was and is the act of war against a declared enemy. It is not a civil war. It is not a police action. It is a “world war” in miniature.

This war will soon be over and by winning this war we may have shot ourselves in our own foot. Will democracy flourish in Libya? Nothing that we would recognize in our own country. It will be a Muslim Brotherhood vision of Islamic supremacy. Some day we may have to fight that very democracy. Why? Because at their core, their very heart, they want the world under the coming Caliphate and they will take whatever actions are necessary, to bring the conditions about, to make it the reality on this planet we share.

My prayer is that men (and especially women) of courage will stand up in the weeks to come and fight for the establishment of a true democracy, with protections for all and for the equal treatment of all.

If they can muzzle the Muslim Brotherhood then there will reason to hope for a better future.

Hello Irene, Veil of the Hurricane

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Hello Irene, Veil of the Hurricane

I am sitting at my desk office in my home. As I look outside the blue sky is partly hidden by a light veil of clouds. It is the temptress/tempest called Irene. Her eye is upon the east coast and has been wandering/wending slowly on her journey. She reminds me of another Irene, a girl full of fury but disorganized. She had much less impact than first predicted, both the girl and the hurricane. A big storm but not the monster the US feared. By no stretch of the imagination can it be compared to that murderer/destroyer called Katrina. Already some people are patting each other on the back for all the preparedness. Yet their skills are not truly being tested by the storm. It is a good practice run though for when a real monster comes ashore in the future. Then we will know how well they have prepared. How well they have learned their lessons from Katrina.

I do not belittle the deaths/damages caused by Irene. Loss of life still stings the souls of those who are left behind. Flood damage will take away some homes/businesses and animals/pets. Yet thankfully it is not a great loss of life or property. The US has been spared over the last few years the big killer storms. After Katrina the hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic have veered early and spent their power upon the open waters off the coast. Is Irene the forerunner of a new pattern, a new track, for the coming storms? Will the following storms of cat1 to cat3 take aim at the old hurricane alley of the seventies?

Right now the storm is north of New York. The New England States will have the remnants of Irene, now a tropical storm, with which to contend. She is losing her power to destroy and it cannot come quickly enough. Over night she may wash into Canada, finally to be spent, and we can say goodnight Irene.

Corelle Bowl Shattered

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Once in awhile things happen that can surprise you. Yesterday I was surprised. Here is what I wrote to Corelle on their form.


Not a question. Just comment about your product.

My wife and I have been using your dishware products for almost 30 years. Normally they bounce if dropped. At times they may get a small chip in them. If they ever break you could depend on them to break into large manageable pieces. Which has occurred on several occasions over the years. My wife bought a small replacement set to help augment our ability to serve a couple of more guests. It also helps to replace the four pieces that have broke over the years. However yesterday, while doing the dishes one of the bowls slipped from my hand. It fell about three and a half feet to a linoleum floor. I was surprised when it shattered into well over a hundred pieces. Some flew as far as seven feet from the impact area. It must have been a fluke bowl. This was unexpected. Just thought you would like to know that this has happened.

The bowl came from a set that was white with a double green stripe. Fortunately we still have seven bowls of that size left.


Being in my stocking feet, covered with small shards, and glass everywhere was not pleasant. Luckily everything was cleaned up without a scratch… almost.

Pretty Bowl

Shattered Little Beauty

They did eventually send a reply:

Thank you for contacting World Kitchen LLC.

Although Corelle is made of an extremely durable glass called Vitrelle, known for its strength, it is not completely shatter/break proof. We do offer a 3 year warranty against breakage, chipping, and staining under normal household use. This warranty does not include any breakage from dropping since that is not considered normal household use.

For further assistance, please contact our Consumer Care Center at 800-999-3436. Representatives are available from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday, EST, and will be more than happy to assist you.



World Kitchen Consumer Care Center

Warms the cockles of one’s heart… hah!

US Health Care Plan and the Lack of Job Growth

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The American economy suffered a setback as, Bush was about to leave office and it appeared that Obama was going to win the election. It started as a bank bust and many other banks had their necks on the chopping block. One TARP plan and the banks were saved. The US did not enter into a state of depression. Yet the collapse of the housing bubble continued and the country entered into a recession as, Bush left office and Obama took the reigns of power.

The plan worked out in this transition period, by both democrats and republicans, went into action. After so many job losses the bleeding eventually stopped, relatively speaking. More jobs were being created than jobs lost. However hope of a quick turn around was soon dead. Job growth was only about half of what was expected. It meant that the economy would take twice as long to recover, but it would recover.

Then came Obama Care. A health plan to insure all Americans. It was pushed through a Congress and a Senate that the democrats controlled. Even though most Americans rejected the plan, Obama covered his ears so he could not hear the outcry to stop. The following mid-term elections was a wake-up call to stop government growth, in size and spending, and a rejection of the health care plan. The wake-up call fell on deaf ears. The plan, the growth, the spending is going forward unabated. The result, a job growth so slow that it would take a decade or more to turn around. Even that assessment is too optimistic.

One would think that the problem of very slow job growth would be difficult, if not almost impossible, to turn around. Yet the collapse of the meagre job growth was not due to the increase in spending from the stimulus plans. The slow growth of jobs, reduced to a creep, came about from that single action taken by the government. That action, that act, was the passing of the health care plan. It is the great unknown facing every company, both small and large. How much red tape? How much will it cost the employer? How much will everyone’s cost for insurance increase, both business and personal?

It can’t be all the blame of the health care plan? Probably not. But with conditions the way they are, adding this huge unknown burden to business at this time, was a foolish step. The banks withhold money because of uncertainty. Businesses also are withholding jobs because of uncertainty. Nobody wants to buy… because of uncertainty. Look at the job creation stats. They were rising slowly prior to passage of the health care plan. After the health care plan passed and was signed into law the job growth stats levelled off. Sadly, the only reason the unemployment rate has levelled off is because people are falling off the grid. Kind of insane if you ask me. You measure the unemployment rate by those receiving benefits, and fail to include those who are still unemployed but no longer qualify to collect benefits. The unseen, not measured, blot on the economic picture.

Obama’s health care plan, and it is his plan with some modifications, is the major reason for the continuing problem of minimal job growth. Even a trillion dollars a year in increased spending can’t turn this young mule around. The roll of bureaucrats is increasing and miles of red tape are being prepared. Businesses fear two things: the cost of the program and the red tape that will accompany it. It isn’t the only thing that worries business, perhaps they could weather the storms of financial woes coming from overseas. They won’t be able to do that if they are tied down by greater expense and regulation at home.

It is the government minions trussing up the business Colossus. Remind you of anything?

a sketch of little people tying down the american economy

Wrapping with Care the Colossus

Ahem, Gulliver and the Lilliputians if you missed the reference.

Jack Layton Passes – Legacy?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Jack Layton Passes – Legacy?

It was sad news to hear that Jack Layton had passed away. It came as no surprise to those who watched him address the news groups saying that he was temporarily leaving as leader of the NDP to concentrate on fighting the resurgence of cancer in his body. I did not hold out too much hope that he would recover. He was an amiable enough fellow with the charm to touch others as well as the strength to lead them. He will be missed.

His Legacy? He left the NDP as the official opposition in the federal parliament. That alone is a major feat of accomplishment for a party that always ended up no better than third. The vast number of seats came from Quebec and was at the expense of the Bloc.

I always looked at Quebec politics as something from the left, a movement more reminiscent of the French Revolution than of the signing of the Magna Carta. Something that is willing only to tear down the powers that be, to build a new regime of repressive freedoms through unruly masses. OK, that is probably a lot darker than the reality but it is the spirit behind it.

On hearing the election results my first thought was, “finally a conservative majority government.” Thirty years ago I would have looked upon it as a left leaning Liberal win. Yes, party politics have slidden that far to the left where the old left is now the new right. Has the Quebec populous done the same thing in this past election. Knowing that they could never gain enough power to change Canada the way they want, have they come together to hijack their political cousins? Have the seperatists, knowing they can’t separate the country, made a play to gain enough power that would help them separate powers away from the federal and put it in the hands of the provinces?

The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel. Surprise! She was a card carrying member of two separatist parties: one federal and the other provincial. Is this only the tip of a French iceberg? How many others were elected in Quebec who are closet separatists? This is the question I asked myself that night when the results came across my television screen. That is why the news that Turmel was a card carrying separatist came as no surprise to me. I expected it. Was Jack making Turmel the interim leader of the NDP a political play to disqualify her from becoming the new leader? That I may never know.

While Jack was alive there was hope that he could have lead the party down a path that could have made the country a stronger player in the world. A country that could take care of its own people as well. With him gone a new leader will have to be chosen. Canada can only hope (and I suggest we pray) that the NDP will once again pick a stellar light to guide their party through this night of sadness, and through the future days of economic uncertainty.

Fear Silencing Dissent

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Fear Silencing Dissent

Recently Sun News Media did an interview with Margie Gillis. See my last blog entry: about my thoughts on the interview. What worries me is the actions taken by some members of the arts community and their supporters. They have sent in complaints to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunication Commission) and the CBSC (Canadian Broadcast Standards Council) to try and muzzle The Sun News Network. Perhaps even get them to loose their licence. This is no different than people or organizations using the Human Rights Committees to attack people with whom they disagree.

Why am I concerned? Simply put, I worry that I may say something that would offend an individual or group and the heavy fist of government would take aim to smash me. I am not rich but on a Canada Disability Pension. If I have to procure the services of a lawyer to defend myself against an accusation it would ruin me and my wife. It would not matter if the accusation was unfounded. The process itself would destroy us simply by starting. Unless of course I pay a fine to the government and damages to the aggrieved party before the process goes too far. I have heard that many take this option because it is cheaper than fighting. The little guy with a blog is never the winner once the machinery starts to grind.

Do I write things that offend? It is hard to write something that wouldn’t offend someone, somewhere at some point in time. After I write I check my spelling. I check my grammar. I then spend more time trying to make my written offering as least offensive as I can while still trying to get the message across. I would do this without the threat that hangs over all who dare to express a politically incorrect opinion. Yet the threat is there! Sometimes I bite my tongue, I close the authoring program, I stay silent lest I should offend.

Why go silent? Fear! I would like to think that we live in a society that encourages discussion between differing ideas. I would be wrong. The freedom to dissent has been slowly eroding away for decades. How many pastors are afraid to take a firm stand on the issue of homosexuality? Politicians to speak about the potential dangers of Political Islam? Others to raise a voice on some hot political issue? Fear to be singled out. Fear to be ridiculed. Fear to be labelled as intolerant: Homophobic, Islamaphobic or any other mis-characterising label. The fear you might lose your ability (your right?) to express ideas through the internet, radio, television or print media. To lose your limited wealth. To lose your physical freedom.

Hate Speech? I am not talking about a “freedom” to incite hatred for an individual or a group, whoever they are, and seek to do them harm. That should never be allowed. Yet we must be able to express ideas and opinions that may incite anger in others. There can be anger toward the speaker/writer who offends the listener or anger towards a group who are the subject of that speech. Being angry with a person or group is not the same thing as hating that person or group. If something offends then perhaps that something should change. The things that anger some will never have a chance to change if we are too afraid to voice our concerns.

Are we sheep? We must not offend. We must be nice. That seems to be the mantra on the lips of those who are afraid to speak out. It is also on the lips of those who would silence dissent. What then arises from all this false peace? Bondage, of our thoughts, ideas and dreams. The way of truth will be lost in our journey of appeasement. We will lose our right to speak in schools, societies, churches/temples/synagogues and government… or the street corner. Too one degree or another it has already occurred. If we lose the freedom to speak the truth, no matter how distasteful the subject, then we will lose everything. Only those who truly hate will then speak. They will speak whether allowed or not. They will gain power. Those who would enslave us will stand un-opposed. The false shepherds will lead the flock to the slaughter.

Nice sheep… Quiet sheep… Dead sheep!

I want to quote the last verse of a poem I wrote:

Silently my soul bristles within
for common sense is replaced by false reason.
Satan’s laughter rings in the halls of power
as the errors are visited on this generation.
Where now are the voices of reason and insight
to call a people to repentance and prayer?
While it’s still day, before the waning light,
stand, stand, stand against the night!

Gillis, Erickson and the Sun…

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Wow, what an interview! (See below for links) It was an example of grace under pressure. Kudos for Gillis’ courage to go onto a station that sits firmly on the right of the political spectrum. I also want to give kudos to Erickson. Tenacious journalism! She laid the accomplishments and awards of Gillis right up front. She repeated these honours and accolades several times through the interview. She is also a tough journalist. She stayed on point to get an answer to a question I would have asked. The question? Why should she and her foundation receive arts funding from the government? Now some have pointed out that the CBC receives funding. Others also pointed out that big oil, farming, etc. have also gotten funding. It would not be wrong to ask those industries to give an account why they should receive funding. As someone who is on the right of the political spectrum I would rather let artists, farmers and big oil (and the CBC) fend for themselves. If in seeking answers things get a bit contentious, well that is what happens in a free society. Why is the Sun considered so bad when the arts community also seems to be attacking those who are not in agreement with them. We are adults, we are passionate and we want answers. If we have to struggle a bit to get those answers it shows we are alive and care… and that is a good thing for those on both sides of the political spectrum. To try and silence the Sun (through complaints to the CRTC and the CBSC) is much worse than what happened in the interview.

Part 1 of the interview

Part 2 of the interview

Reevaluating Islam, A Broader Look.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Reevaluating Islam, a broader look.

Between 10 and 20 years ago I bought an English version of the Quran. For the time it was written it appeared to me to be an improvement on the religions in that area of the world. It contained several factual errors regarding Christianity. As regards the treatment of prisoners taken in war, if you were a people of the book, a Jew or Christian, you were treated better than those of pagan faiths. Overall the faith of Islam as written in the Quran is an improvement over most faiths. It certainly does not measure up to Christianity as written in the New Testament.

Since 9/11 my understanding of the Quran has been challenged. I wanted to believe that the acts of terrorism perpetrated by those Islamists were done by a fringe element. As time went on I have seen many interviews, from Christian and Muslim sources, that simply told me that the conception I have of Islam is incorrect. I began to read other sources that I hoped would give me a better grasp of the true nature of Islam. I was saddened by what I discovered.

I would hear of a terrorist attack. I would implore the local Muslim community to stand up and disassociate themselves from those who perpetrated those crimes. There was no backlash from the Muslim community, in general, against those criminals. There were apologists and most others remained silent. It appeared that there were only a handful of Muslims that said these Islamic radicals are wrong in their actions and in their interpretation of Islamic Scriptures.

What have I discovered?

I discovered that only the last revelation attributed to Mohammed is of any force. If the later revelation contradicts an earlier revelation, such as would be found in the Quran, then the later revelation cancels the earlier. Therefore if you truly want to understand the religion of Islam you must look to the later writings. These writings would be found in the haddith. You can also look into the writings that describe the life of The Prophet. As Christians look to the life of Jesus to see how the Scriptures are to come to life, Muslims must look to the life Mohammed to see how their Scriptures are to come to life. Christians look upon Jesus as the perfect man. Muslims look upon Mohammed as the perfect man.

The haddith and the life of The Prophet are a whole new set of revelations to me. It takes what is good in the Quran and debases it. It takes what is bad in the Quran and makes it far worse. How so? I always looked upon the Quran, first and foremost, as a personal, individual struggle to be the best man or woman a person can be. Secondly, there was a basis for law and government. The later writings turned this concept on its head. What is foremost is the establishment of world government under sharia law. It is the subjugation of the West and every idea that is contrary to Islam. It appears that the only peace the world can have with Islam is only a cessation of hostilities until the forces of Islam are strong enough to continue the struggle for world domination. It is even proper for a Muslim to lie to protect himself, family and or Islam.

Are these things true?

I don’t know for certain. I trust the sources that I have heard in interviews as well as the quotes and explanations from similar sources in writing. But how can I be certain that these statements, and the quotes taken from Islamic writings, are truly representative of the faith? I could read all of the haddiths and the life of The Prophet and come to my own conclusion. Yet even then Muslim scholars would say that I do not truly understand the writings because I have not read them in the original language. I do not have time, nor the inclination, to learn an entirely new language so that I could read a few books.

What is needed?

We must create new panels, new committees and greater opportunities for those with knowledge to share the truth. We must not be afraid to talk! Only with open dialogue can we hope to understand the true nature of Islam. We must not attack people for wanting to find out the truth. We should not arrest people for wanting to spread their perceived truth. It seems however in the West, in the heart of the politically correct establishments, that to raise objections against another religion or philosophy is tantamount to treason. Okay, a little hyperbole. Yet those who are on the religious right or secular right are always in danger of being ridiculed, marginalized or brought before a human rights commission.

Are we too afraid to talk? Is Islam a real danger? For some the answer is yes and yes. Of course for the rest the answer is no and no or some mix of the two. All I know is, if we can’t start talking openly and freely, we are the losers. It does not matter if the perceived dangers of Islam are true or false. Why? Because we would have already lost the struggle.

AVG 11’s Search_Shield -> bug for authors

Friday, August 5th, 2011

AVG 11’s Search_Shield -> bug for authors

I recently wrote to my webhost provider about a problem I found concerning AVG’s Search_Shield application. I decided to post it here as well. Some people who have Search_Sheild activated in their web-browsers have been reporting that their computer has slowed down, from a little bit to a lot. That is a related issue. The bug I found concerns those who are creating web page content and uploading it to the net. It may also affect a broad number of web host providers. Below is what I found.

To Netfirms Support:

I thought you may like to be informed about a bug I discovered about what happens when a customer that has AVG search-shield installed and enabled on their browser.

I have loaded several pages up to my site, both through ws_ftp and your upload file program, and discovered that when I did so an additional script was uploaded everytime on the page. It is a part of avg 11’s search-shield.

When I go to any site with search-shield activitated on my browser it automatically inserts this script and does a search of avg’s database to see if the site is safe before the browser takes me there. Unfortunately this may increase the bandwidth load a bit. It is enhanced web security with a minor slowdown of broswer connection. I don’t believe that this would impact your company’s bandwidth capabilities.


When I upload a page it contains this script in or near the header. Someone else comming to my site will automaticaaly download this script and may cause a delay in the download. This could slow down their viewing pleasure. It may also cause some bandwidth slowdown on your end. It has on occassion giving me warnings when I view my site. All users of your company who have avg 11 running on their browsers may have this problem. They won’t know they have this problem unless they view their code only through an editor with avg search_shield turned off.

The only way I had to fix this problem of uploading the script was to turn off search-shield before I use any form of ftp. The page will then upload without the script, leaving my html clean. This ftp problem is only for your customers who will have avg 11 with search-shield activated.

This is the script that will upload everytime with search_shield activated:

src=”/A2EB891D63C8/avg_ls_dom.js” type=”text/javascript”

I left the brackets <> off so that you could see the script

You may want to make this bug known to your users so that they don’t inadvertently change their html when uploading a page or when editing a page through file manager.

I wish you had something in your knowledge base about this. It could have saved me a lot of time trying to solve the problem. But the problem is new.

Check it out. Hope it helps.

Debt Crisis Averted?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

The deal is done! The debt crisis has been averted. At least that is what the left press are saying. Obama came riding on a white horse and reason prevailed. Hogwash!

The artificial crisis came about when Republican congressional leaders decided to use the increase of the debt ceiling as a tool to bring about change. There was much fear mongering among the left. This was made worse by pronouncements from Obama that Social Security checks would not go out if the United States defaulted on its debt. People were led to believe that if a deal was not struck before midnight of August 2nd the government would be in default. Not true. They would only be in default if they could not pay the interest due at that time and could not pay to redeem whatever bonds were not picked up again. There was enough cash flow to prevent that from occurring.

What then would have happened? There would have to be dramatic cuts in the budget so that they would not spend more than they were taking in. It could be done with some sacrifice. Those getting Social Security would more than likely get their checks in the mail. What would have to change is the size of the government that grew under Bush and more so under Obama. It is the expansion of the government that has created a huge debt burden. With the passage of the bill serious efforts to reign in spending can now be put off until after the 2012 elections.

But isn’t there going to be a dramatic drop in spending? I doubt that very much. They are talking about a savings of two trillion over ten years. That would mean that the debt during that same period will grow by at least eight trillion dollars. The crisis isn’t over. It hasn’t been postponed. It is being once again ignored. I remember the talks about the looming debt bomb back in the days of Nixon and every president since. Entitlement programs are grossly underfunded. Will the United States ever get the cajones to deal with this problem? Not until it is too late. In fact, it may be too late already.

A much bigger government. Stimulus plans that don’t work. A debt ceiling that is always raised. If that isn’t bad enough there is Obama care coming in 2012. The government will get even bigger. It will be bloated. I think of a carcass that has been in the water for too many days. This care package is the single greatest reason why the US economy hasn’t turned around. It is the great unknown liability and no one is willing to hire or expand until the full effect is known.

The Tea Party tried to stick to their guns. In the end they were not strong enough to change the course of the country. I know people are talking that it is the best deal under the circumstances. That is a sad comment about how serious elected officials are in saving their own country. It will have to be the main focus of the coming election. A stronger Tea Party faction in the House, more of them in the Senate and the presidency? Fiscal conservatives need to take the helm. They would be the most hated group of people ever elected if they truly want to redeem their country. If the next election is politics as usual, the sun will set and a long darkness will fall over the land. Who knows when the sun would rise again.