Monday, May 18, 2009

Immaculate Mary v. the president

I dare any practicing Catholic to watch the arrest of Father Norman Westlin at Notre Dame University and not feel a deep sense of shame for this once great Catholic institution of learning.

As Father Westlin is arrested he sings that great Catholic hym Immaculate Mary. As he is handcuffed

"Why would you arrest a catholic priest for trying to stop the killing of a baby? Use your mind. You got it all backwards."

Indeed father we do.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


(Hamas Rocket Heading for Israel, AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

I've been reading a fair amount about the Israeli military assault on Gaza this week. Amid Christmas celebrations and family time here in my comfortable Canadian home I watched as the crisis escalated. Among the articles I read, was a piece in today's Sun newspaper chain, by Eric Margolis, called A Mess in the Making.

While Israeli F-16 jets dropped tons of bombs on tiny, 360-sq.-km Gaza -- the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel -- Israel's Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, asserted, "We have totally changed the rules of the game."

He was right. By blitzing Hamas-run Gaza, the world's largest outdoor prison, packed with 1.5 million Palestinian refugees, Barak presented the incoming U.S. administration with a fait accompli and neatly checkmated the newest player in the Mideast Great Game -- that other "Barack," Barack Obama -- before he could even take a seat at the table.

I wouldn't worry too much about Obama. There is nothing he can't do. But "the world's largest outdoor prison" .... ? Does Margolis think Gazians live in fields? It must have something to so with closed borders and restricted access to a larger adjacent country. If so, he may he may be on to something. I think someone ought to complain to the United Nations about that big wall the Egyptians erected along their shared border with their fellow Arab brothers and sisters in Gaza.

Thanks to that wall, Gazians, such as Abu Ali, (h/t to via the Drudge Report) are reduced to digging tunnels to Egypt to carry out their smuggling operations.
The Israeli Defence Force, of course, is aware that these tunnels are conduits for weapons along with foodstuffs and other smuggled contraband materiel. Accordingly, their air force is attacking the tunnels as I write. But fear not:
Abu Ali vows that once the war in Gaza ends he will quickly repair his tunnel under the frontier with Egypt, one of the many underground links used by Palestinian smugglers that have been blasted by Israeli warplanes.

"Life cannot go on in Gaza if the tunnels are destroyed -- they're our only opening to the outside world," he said, speaking inside the Palestinian enclave that has been blockaded by the Jewish state for more than two years.

Hundreds of tunnels have been carved out beneath the Gaza-Egypt frontier, providing a vital conduit to bring basic needs into the territory which has suffered an increasing stranglehold in the past 18 months.

Foodstuffs, building materials, medicines and electric equipment are all brought from Egypt through the passages -- as well as weapons, notably rockets, and ammunition.

Such contraband provides smugglers with a profitable business. It is also a source of income for Hamas, the Islamist movement which has been the sole ruler in the Gaza Strip since June 2007.

The movement levies taxes on the smugglers' income from the tunnels which are linked to the territory's electricity grid with the blessing of Hamas.

I'm told those triple P, public-private sector partnerships are the wave of the future in public policy circles and here it is in action in Gaza. Go Abu go. But I digress. let us return to Margolis.
Israel believes its mighty information machine will allow it to weather the storm of worldwide outrage over its Biblical punishment of Gaza. Who remembers Israel's flattening of parts of the rebellious Palestinian city of Jenin, or the U.S. destruction in Falluja, Iraq? As Stalin liked to say, "the dogs bark, and the caravan moves on."
Actually, I remember a wee bit about Jenin. I remember terrible tales told of a Israeli massacre there in April 2002 back in the good old days of the heroic Intifada. It was claimed that over 500 Palestinians were slaughtered in the refugee camp, many crushed by Israeli tanks. Marie Colvin's April 2002 reportage in the Free Republic was common.

Images of this man-made earthquake zone have flashed around the world as evidence that the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is responsible for another war crime in Jenin on a par with the massacre of Palestinians in the Chatila and Sabra refugee camps in Beirut 20 years ago.

Israel has responded that the devastation was the consequence of a pitched battle against entrenched terrorists.

What really happened? Tragedy doesn't necessarily breed truth. The propaganda war had begun before the white dust settled over Jenin.

Rafi Laderman, a personable Israeli reserve major, emerged from the battlefield and made the rounds of the media in his rumpled green uniform. His clear plastic spectacles signalled his real job as a marketing consultant.

Laderman insisted that all the buildings in the refugee camp had been destroyed by explosive booby traps set by the terrorists, or levelled by Israeli bulldozers because they "presented additional engineering difficulties" that could endanger civilians. He himself had stopped the fighting to lead Palestinian civilians to safety.

All that seemed disingenuous. Equally unlikely were Palestinian claims that the Israelis had killed 500 Palestinians in cold blood, most civilians, and buried them in mass graves under the rubble after running them over with tanks. Israel said about 70 had been killed.

Terje Roed-Larsen, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, cut through the propaganda by stating the obvious: "No military operation can justify this scale of destruction. Whatever the purpose was, the effect is collective punishment of a whole society."

He and his family received telephone death threats from Israeli callers for his pains.

In May 2002, Richard Starr, managing editor of the Weekly Standard wrote this.

The Big Jenin Lie

PRECISELY A MONTH AGO, on April 8, the Palestinian news agency Wafa was reporting that Israel had committed the "massacre of the 21st century" in the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin. "Medical sources" informed Wafa of "hundreds of martyrs." This was a lie, concocted not only for local consumption--to keep the Palestinian people whipped up in a patriotic, Israel-hating frenzy--but mostly for export to the West.

That same day, you could hear breathless reports of the supposed Israeli atrocities in Jenin being spread by Palestinian sources on NPR, CNN, and elsewhere. Typical was the hysteria of Nasser al-Kidwa, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations, on CNN: "There's almost a massacre now taking place in Jenin. Helicopter gun ships are throwing missiles at one square kilometer packed with almost 15,000 people in a refugee camp. . . . Just look at the TV and watch, watch what the--what the Israel forces are doing. . . . This is a war crime, clear war crime, witnessed by the whole world, preventing ambulances, preventing people from being buried. I mean this is an all-out assault against the whole population."

No, this was an all-out assault on the truth. There was a pitched battle in Jenin. But the "hundreds" of martyrs were a cynical invention. The death toll was 56 Palestinians, the majority of them combatants, and 23 Israeli soldiers.

What sparked the battle in Jenin where the Israeli army fought a vicious house to house battle against a few hundred Palestinian guerrillas? A suicide bomber blew up 28 innocent Israeli civilians. The bomber was trained in the Jenin camp.

No suicide bombings, no Jenin. No rocket attacks into Israel, no Israeli military incursion into Gaza. Simple really.

So why does Hamas continue to provoke war that it knows will result in large Palestinian casualties? That's the essential question for you to contemplate.


The disinformation campaign to discredit Israel is in full swing for the current military operation. Go to Little Green Footballs to learn about a propaganda piece purporting to show a gruesome Israeli attack on civilians. Not so, it seems. It was a 2005 Hamas rally at the Jabalya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip, in which their own damn Qassam rockets exploded, killing 15 people, injuring dozens - including children.

I simply do not trust media reports showing civilian casualties. There are civilian casualties, to be sure, but the media is simply not very trustworthy on this matter.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Polar bears and scrambled eggs

(Large white pig carnivore looking for pigs at Churchill garbage dump -

From Randy Boswell of CanWest News Service we learn the following horrible news.

Canada's vulnerable polar bear population could survive the effects of climate change by switching a significant part of their diet from seal meat to scrambled eggs, according to a new U.S. study that suggests snow geese nests along the Hudson Bay shore may become a key feeding site for the iconic Arctic mammal.
This is outrageous. Will no one move to save the snow geese young? Does no one care?
The latest study of the Arctic's "most visible and charismatic predator" highlights the energy-rich attributes of geese embryos but cautions that egg eating benefits for bears "will depend on the increasing temporal overlap with the nesting period and on the foraging behaviours of individuals eating the eggs. It is likely that other food sources will also have to play a role if the polar bears are to persist."
Temporal overlap? I think I've heard of that - t'was a central theme of a number of Star Trek episodes, wherein Wesley Wark fell in love with a anarchistic alien lizard ..... or something like that. Just because I'm lighthearted doesn't mean that the polar bears can be. Their traditional way of life rummaging in northern garbage dumps for leftover tuna tins is at stake here. Anyway, I am surviving. Not the least of why is because my nesting period does not overlap my temporal whatever.

Focus here folks. The study is clear and authoritative. It was done by academics.
"It is likely that other food sources will also have to play a role if the polar bears are to persist."
What other food sources? Once those damn furry ice flow foragers have developed a taste for scrambled eggs, can back bacon be far behind? (Note to American readers - back bacon is what you republican revolutionaries call Canadian bacon.) If so, pigs are now endangered. Now this may serve the theological purposes of certain strict bearded Wahabbist mullahs in caves in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but I like my back bacon. Crisp and tasty.

And once those beached arctic landfill foragers get a taste of back bacon they will pillage existing stocks of porkers and hunt them to extinction. They are now empirically proven by American Museum of Natural History biologist Robert Rockwell et al, to be insatiable once they fix their minds on what to eat.
The authors themselves witnessed a young bear as it consumed eggs from about 200 eider duck nests near Manitoba's La Perouse Bay.
The horror! The horror! Al Gore, are you listening? There is celebrity life beyond the narrowing circumfrence of current global cooling. Save Porky and the poor suffering eider ducks from the big bad bears! You'll be a hero - to the bearded mullahs and the little ducks, at least.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bob Rae figures out democracy

(Ignatieff and Rae)

All weekend, I'd been hearing rumors about this, but today I was really surprised to read press reports about various MPs moving for an immediate vote to elect our Leader next Wednesday, in the Commons caucus.

I thought I'd seen a lot of politics over 30 years of public service, but this one really came from left field.

The idea of taking away the vote from tens of thousands of grassroots activists in every part of Canada, and reducing the franchise to just 76 men and women seems so out-of-step with the modern world.[bolding is mine] It makes you shake your head. Here's just a quick, off-the-cuff list of things that struck me as wrong about this idea:

  • The activist base of the party would be unable to vote. As an MP, I'm enormously and profoundly grateful to the volunteers who sustain my political career in my riding. I cannot imagine rewarding their tireless work by removing their say in the leadership.
  • Significant portions of the country that didn't elect a Liberal MP would be unable to participate. What about the voice of rural Liberals, of almost all of Western Canada, of Quebeckers outside Montreal? All of these folks would be silenced.
  • What about the Senate? These great Liberals, distinguished Canadians from inside and outside of politics, would have their votes taken away after lifetimes of service.
  • What about the Party Constitution? The party is preparing a perfectly viable, constitutionally valid plan for holding a one-member-one-vote ballot electronically in mid-January. That's just a few weeks away, and gives us time to prepare for the Conservative budget. It's timely, legal, workable, low-cost, and constitutional.

It's up to us to put a stop to this hasty, ill-considered idea for electing our leader. I am raising my voice publicly for your right to vote. Please help me by raising yours as well.

Ah yes, Mr. Rae is the champion of the right of people to vote for Liberal party leader. But as for the right of you and me to vote for which political party forms our government, well ..... that's not on. Here's what the Toronto Star had to say about Bob Rae's involvement in the formation of the coalition.

There is no doubt that Jack Layton is the brain behind the anti-Harper coalition and Stéphane Dion is the funny salesman who tried to sell it to Canadians. But the person who sold it to the Liberals was Bob Rae.

When the first rumours about the coalition surfaced last week on Parliament Hill, few people gave them much credence. Many Liberal MPs wouldn't feel comfortable with Dion leading the Christmas Parade in Vaughan, and Michael Ignatieff and his supporters were against it.

Then former prime minister Jean Chrétien got involved and one MP told me that "now it's clear that Bob Rae is behind this." He also said that Rae's move "trapped" Ignatieff, who had to support the deal because otherwise "he is going to be seen as the person who kept Harper in government."

Why confine democracy to Grits, Mr. Rae? If it's good enough for Grits, it's good enough for all Canadians.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A miserable coalition

(Poisoned chalice drawing by Riddel - of The Guardian)

Let see now. The Conservatives should be thrown from office because Mr. Harper was mean about withdrawing public funding from political parties.

Why was that mean? Many like me think abolishing public funding for parties is a principled stand.

Conservatives actually raise enough money through voluntary contributions of individuals to support their party without the need for direct public funding and without corporate or union donations. Why can't the others? I think it was more tactically stupid, than mean, or in the alternative (as the lawyers are wont to opine) perhaps it was mean, but so what - give your head a shake - this is politics not a girl guide quilting bee. But let me grant you the argument for now. Mean I can take. Unprincipled coalitions I cannot.

Mean does not justify the response. The Liberal Party has now gone beyond the pale, by entering a formal coalition with Bloc Quebecois. M. Duceppe's signature is on the coalition document and the Bloc is committed to undertake certain things - They are most certainly a party to this miserable coalition, despite obfuscation to the contrary. It matters not that they won't be given seats at the Cabinet table. The price of their support will be demonstrated, should they succeed in wresting power from the Tories, in skewed policies towards separatist priorities in Quebec. Jacques Parizeau, the former Party Quebecois premier and leading separatist ideologue is thrilled with the coalition. Wonder why that might be?

The Liberals and NDP have made common cause with the separatists, which clearly will have a veto over government legislation including any budgets. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau must be howling in his grave in Westmount. His son, a much lesser newly elected member of the House of Commons supports the miserable coalition. When you voted six weeks ago did you contemplate such a scenario?

The miserable coalition intends to install an individual as PM who the country clearly rejected in mid-October (some 50 days ago) in a general election. All because Harper was mean? Was that intended by us voters?

Mr. Harper I remind you, already retreated on that funding proposal. Accordingly, it can't stand as the current causus belli, though it is clearly the reason for why we are where we are. A woman scorned apparently cannot match the fury of opposition parties denied public funding. The three coalition partners argue that they ought to be allowed to form a government without recourse to an election because the Conservatives have lost the confidence of the House of Commons and among them they control the majority of seats.

Constitutionally, this may be legal, but it ignores the political imperative inherent in the recent electoral result. The Prime Minister must indeed have the confidence of the Commons to govern. This is a bedrock parliamentary convention. Mr. Harper has clearly lost the confidence of the Commons. But there is a greater constitutional principle at play here. The legitimacy of parliament derives from the will of the people, not the will of members of parliament. There might be merit to the parliamentary "confidence" convention, were it not for the proximity of the election. Remember that? It was but seven whole weeks ago.

In my view, the Prime Minister has the right to ask the Governor General to prorogue parliament until January when the government can present its budget. Should the opposition oppose that budget, the Governor General should dissolve this wretched parliament and call a general election. The people of Canada did not vote for M. Dion to be Prime Minister, on an interim basis. They did not vote for a coalition government of the Liberals, limousine NDP socialists and separatist Bloc, only to be see a new unknown prime ministerial successor, once M. Dion resigns as promised in three months. The electorate did not vote for this miserable ragtag coalition or this ridiculous scenario.

Keep in mind that M. Dion specifically rejected a coalition during the recent campaign. According to constitutional convention, the Governor General must decide if the coalition can provide a stable government before opting to allow them to form a government. It cannot. It is inherently unstable and, given the results of the recent election, is profoundly undemocratic. If the coalition wants to govern Canada, let Canadians say if they agree.

That's called democracy and we forget it at our peril.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Three amigos thwart the will of the people

NDP leader Jack Layton, Liberal leader Stephane Dion and separatist Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe
Photograph by : Chris Wattie, Calgary Herald)

Here we have it folks. The three political party leaders prepared to thumb their collective noses at the electorate who rejected M. Dion in a resounding way a mere 48 days ago. You will recall that the Liberal Party received the lowest percentage of votes the party has received since Confederation. This low Grit vote was, if noting else, a clear repudiation of M. Dion, the Liberal leader.

Now the trio is proposing to have the Governor General of Canada appoint the rejected candidate to the office of Prime Minister. How will this be done? With the support of the NDP and the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Cabinet seats are to be given to the former and a great political victory and inordinate political influence over government policy to the latter. There's something for everyone but ordinary citizens denied their franchise.

If the Liberal Party really believes it ought to form the government let it go to the people. Vote a lack of confidence in the Conservatives and let the Prime Minister go to the Governor General to ask her to dissolve parliament and let's have another election. That's the democratic way.

Let the people decide if they want already rejected Liberal leader Stephane Dion to be their Prime Minister, propped up in a formal coalition by limousine socialist Jack Layton and separatist (and former Maoist revolutionary) Gilles Duceppe - a man dedicated to the destruction of the Canadian federation. Let the people decide.

This despicable political ploy may be constitutionally legal, but it is politically unacceptable in a democracy. It is repugnant to those of us who hold democracy dear.

Mr. Harper had already hauled down his battle flag, junked the political party financing proposal, withdrew the plan to temporarily strip civil servants of the right to strike and moved up the budget date to January with the promise of additional stimulus measures. As the casus belli diminishes, the opposition's lust for power grows.

If there is one sentence that can sum up the politically stupefying events of today it is this sentence penned by Kelly McParland of the National Post.
The Liberals apparently believe Canadians will buy into this: an unstable government beholden to a separatist party for its survival, led by a man who was repudiated by voters less than two months ago, who will be given the reins through a critical period in the national history and then replaced with somebody to be identified later.
Just so. Let the people decide.


Have a look at the Daily Bayonet for another fine commentary on this disgusting effort.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Morally grave reasons

John Bentley Mays

My copy of the The Catholic Register was awaiting me as I arrived home from the office. I read it as I munched my way through my left over supper warmed in the microwave (not at all as bad as it appears). I wish I hadn't (read it, not eaten it). One of the Register's regular contributors is well known journalist, John Bentley Mays. No surprise that Mays is a Catholic.

In his article Despite his pro-choice stance, Obama is the right man: Bentley explains how and why he voted for the man destined to be the 44th president of the American republic immediately to the south of the Great White North.

What follows is a numbingly depressing justification for voting for a man who is almost certainly the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run for President of the United States. Bentley Mays recites a number of reasons for his vote:
In the end, I decided to vote for pro-choice Obama for what I consider to be “morally grave reasons.” He is the right man to lead America through months, and perhaps years, of hard times, when thousands are losing their jobs and homes and businesses, and are in danger of losing their hope. He is the right man to counteract the poison of cynicism, greed, ignorance and fear that George W. Bush’s presidency has spread throughout American political culture. He is the right man to restore America’s promise and reputation as a force for good in the world. These were serious reasons to vote for Obama in this moment of crisis — one that is moral and spiritual, as well as economic and political — and they were among the reasons I did so.
He did so with some moral qualms.
But while I was leaning in the Democratic direction, I was fully aware that the Democratic Party backs virtually unlimited access to abortion — a position I do not and cannot share.

I knew that, should a Supreme Court vacancy occur when he is in office, Obama would almost certainly appoint a justice who will maintain the court’s historic 1973 decision in the case Roe v. Wade, which struck down the country’s last legal restrictions on abortion. These political realities were, or should have been, quite enough to give Catholics pause before voting for the Democratic ticket. They certainly gave me pause.
I suppose that pause may contain Bentley May's salvation. For his sake I hope so, but for the sake of millions of victims of abortion worldwide, including approximately a million babies aborted each year in the United States, I fear not.

Perhaps the most disingenuous thing in Bentley May's article is that he attempts to justify what he did by enlisting the support of [most of ] the Catholic Bishops of the U.S. in his cause.
In 2007 the U.S. Catholic bishops issued guidelines called Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States.
And what does Bentley Mays harvest from these guidelines?
Intrinsic evils,” such as abortion and racism, can never be supported, while seeking justice and pursuing peace must always be approved and backed. But the bishops foresee the most common problem for Catholics in the voting booth: There is rarely any candidate whose views either coincide exactly with Catholic teaching or explicitly contradict it in every respect. That would make the decision easy. In the real world, however, “Catholics may feel politically disenfranchised, sensing that no party and too few candidates fully share the church’s comprehensive commitment to the dignity of the human person.”

In considering how to vote under these circumstances, the bishops conclude, “there may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position may decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral interests, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.”
But Mays quotes selectively from the bishop's guidelines. Among other things He neglects to mention are the following quotes.
Human life is sacred. The dignity of the person is the moral foundation of any society. Direct attacks on any innocent person are never morally acceptable at any stage or in any condition. In our society human life is especially under attack from abortion. Other direct threats to the sanctity of human life include euthanasia, human cloning and the destruction of human embryos for research.
Barack Obama supports unlimited abortion. As a state senator he voted against a bill designed to protect babies that were born alive after botched late term abortions. He supports embryonic stem cell research that results in the destruction of human embryos as a normal part of research modality.

The bishop's document references another bishop's document, Living the Gospel of Life promulgated in 1998 in which the U.S. Catholic bishops state:
Abortion and euthanasia have become pre-eminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack human life itself, the most fundamental good and condition for all others (no.5). Abortion, the deliberate killing of human life before birth, is never morally acceptable, and must always be opposed. Cloning and destruction of human embryos for research and even for potential cures are always wrong.
The position of the Democratic Party, that won the presidency, and a majority of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate and therefore an untrammeled ability to enact its political agenda states the following:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
Bentley Mays is a Catholic. We are told 52% of Catholics in the United States voted as he did, no doubt for similarly "morally grave reasons."

Saint Matthew quoted Jesus as saying in the garden of Gethsemane (in Chapter 38 of his gospel):
My soul is sorrowful even unto death
I begin to see why.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vomitus in Extremis

Ezra Levant has resumed blogging about his travails with the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. As far as Canada goes, the term "human rights commissions" is a misnomer if there ever was one. These legislated star chambers (and if you don't know what that is, dear reader, your education is very, very sub-standard - try Googling it) are the antithesis of what ought to exist in a democratic and free society. Come to think of it, they are the very antithesis of what exists in a free and ..... hell you get the drift.

Alan Paton once wrote a book about South Africa called Cry the Beloved Country. Given what is happening with these commissions, Canada's version would have to be Vomit the Benighted Country. Extreme rhetoric you say? Perhaps. But consider the following: from Mr. Levant, referring to the latest "complaint" emanating from the wretched bowels of Rob Wells, who Mr. Levant describes thusly:
The complaint,which you can see here, was filed by Rob "Fred Phelps" Wells, an anti-Catholic bigot in Edmonton who has made a habit of harassing school children and little old ladies outside St. Joseph's Basilica. The fact that Wells is a CHRC complainant (he also filed complaints against Catholic Insight magazine and Rev. Stephen Boission) and not a target of a CHRC investigation shows the moral inversion at work at the CHRC. Then again, the CHRC is one of Canada's largest hate groups on the Internet, with its staff posting literally hundreds of anti-Semitic, anti-gay and anti-Black comments with impunity.
This in itself ought to be sufficient to shame the Canadian Human Rights Star Chamber, and cause self-respecting Canadians to rise up en masse and demand these commissions be abolished. In fact, it ought to be sufficient cause, in a free and democratic society, to have these diabolical, despicable, disgusting HRC dweebs run out of old Bytown and the respective provincial capitals, on a rusty rail, .... but I digress.

No, dear reader, the depth of moral turbidity has not yet been fully plumbed. Ezra Levant's statement of defence, the very document he relies upon to defend himself against his odious accuser was censored by a civil servant (I use the term loosely) and only then passed his statement of defence on to the star chamber commissioners.

If the commissioners find me guilty, they'll prosecute me before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. In the thirty years they've been prosecuting section 13 "hate speech" cases, they've never lost. Political prosecutors in Iran and China would be impressed.

But here's where Dagenais becomes a symbol of everything that's wrong with the CHRC and its censorship fetish: she blacked out portions of my defence before passing it on to the commissioners. Seriously -- she censored what I wrote in my own defence, before she passed it along to the people who will sit in judgment of me. She's only allowing me to say thing in my defence that she approves in advance. Look at the version of my letter she's passing on: several of my arguments are blacked out. You can read the full, uncensored version here (.pdf version here).

Lord love a duck! Is this what my father wanted to defend when he volunteered to become an air gunner in the Royal Canadian Air Force in WWII? Is this what my grandfathers intended to defend when they volunteered for service in the Canadian Army in WWII? My fraternal grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele for this? Is this what my maternal uncle, a Loyal Eddy, lost his leg in Holland for? I swore the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen of Canada and served as her commissioned officer to have this state of affairs? Thank God my father and grandfathers never lived to see this outrage.

What the hell? NO BLOODY WAY! NO BLOODY WAY! If we love freedom, we must not tolerate or submit to this as Canadian citizens. No one who loves freedom and democracy can tolerate this. No one. This is wrong. It is immoral. It violates the principles of natural justice. It cannot, and must not, be allowed to stand.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (died 1918)
Brigade-surgeon, First Brigade
Canadian Forces Artillery