Sunday, August 27, 2006

Summer draws to a close

I've had a busy summer - albeit that little of it has been devoted to writing. With the upcoming municipal elections, I plan to be writing more in this space.

Today, I thought I'd pen a few thoughts on the happenings in the larger world. The biggest story of the past few months has been the 'war' between Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah that has ensconced itself in southern Lebanon. Here are some of my observations:

Disgust - Aside from the initiation of hostilities by Hezbollah, the most disgusting thing has been the attempt by the Liberals to make a domestic issue out of this. To try to score domestic political points from a conflict is unconscionable - which meant various prominent figures in the federal Liberal party ploughed right in and did so.

The claim that supporting Israel's right to defend itself was spoiling Canada's good name as an 'honest broker' is completely spurious. Canada is no broker at all - we couldn't even get a modicum of justice for the Canadian journalist who perished in police custody in Iran. I'm sure the terror groups are cackling quietly at these useful Liberal idiots.

Amazement - I ventured into a few online discussions on the Globe and Mail's board (i.e. the one that the editor enable son some stories and columns.) I was amazed at the ignorance and vitriol by some posters against Israel - akin to what reared its ugly head in the Liberal Party a week or so ago. One poster actually claimed that Syria hadn't attacked anyone in 500 years. I guess her fogot about 1948, 1956 etc. when Syria attacked Israel. hmm - I guess like Syria, he didn't recognize Israel.

Winners and Losers - Many of the pro-Hiz posters are ready to pronounce that Israel 'lost' the war. My take is that there was no winner and loser in the immediate conflict. Too much is made of the fact that Israel didn't finish off Hezbollah. Perhaps they would have been better off following the 1982 strategy of simply occupying South Lebanon - but perhaps not.

Some commentators were cheering the Israeli losses in the lost offensive. In fact, the casualties were low considering the risky natire of the operations: commando raids and infantry advance my helicopter.

Israel won the following:

1. Managed to get a larger multinational force (at least promised) in South Lebanon
2. Destroyed quite a good proportion of Hezbollah's existing armaments.
3. Showed that it was prepared to retaliate against agressors with force. In fact, the retaliation was certainly in proper proportion to the threat - seeing that Iran has been threatening to incinerate the place.
4. Managed to get the Lebanese to move troops to the south - which apparently hasn't been as difficult as they protested at the start of the conflict. (The Lebanese appear to have the same disease as many in the Arab world - that being rampant duplicity.)

Israel lost the following:

1. The PR war - but it would have probably lost this no matter what.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Liberals - the Seinfeld government

In the latest news on the the fallout from the Chretien-Martin Regime, we find out that the plan an legislation that was supposed to help supply poor countries with better access to AIDs and other medicines has in fact delivered ZERO drugs.

The Toronto Star - Aug 3 2006 - Canada Breaks AIDs Pledge

This should hardly be surprising - given that the Liberals:

1. Signed up for Kyoto - but made no progress in meeting the targets
2. Created the sponsorship program - which seems to have produced nothing but a scandal
3. Apparently (per Bill Graham in The Globe and Mail yesterday) had a policy of buidling bridging between adversaries in the Middle East. No such Canadian built bridges seem to exist.

It's clear that the Liberals think of Acts of Parliament as play acting. I guess someone forgot to mention that they are supposed to be real. The Liberal emporers had no clothes - and it wasn't a pretty sight. The Liberals - a government about nothing!

A review of TTC streetcar air-conditioning

I must admit that Steve Munro is a truly dedicated transit enthusiast: to wait around for a specific streetcar vehcile to come around. In this case, this is the TTC 1st air-conditioned streetcar - recently returned from Howard Moscoe's buddies at Bombardier with a new box on top.

Well, Munro is honest enough to point out some significant problems with the experiment - unlike other transit boosters who'll sing the TTC's praises not matter how badly it performs.

Concludes Munro:

If this is an example of what we’ll get on new or rebuilt streetcars, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Perhaps the TTC will go back to the drawing board - but I'm guessing that they wont. They have the habit of calling a failure a success: streetcars in general, and the Spadina "LRT" specifically. Moscoe and his TTC will do anything to avoid getting political egg on their faces - the riders be damned.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Woe is the Order of Canada

Now that former Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg has been named to the Order of Canada, I can only say that OC is henceforth a honour to which I'll no longer aspire. Landsberg's columns betrayed unequalled levels of ignorance, bias and plain bitterness.

I remember Landsberg complaining about suburban politicians and city staff in the most bitter and twisted way. At a time when Toronto needed to come together as the 'Megacity', Landsberg was bitterly divisive. Do we want bitter divisive people garnering such honours in our fair land? Well that's what we are getting. I guess being married to Stephen Lewis might have helped. Did she ask for the OC so that it would match his? (I at least respect Mr. Lewis.)

In one of Landsberg's later columns, she conjectured that the US was only de-Talabanizing Afghanistan so that it could build a pipeline. It's astonishing that anyone could write such dribble - and all the more get it published in a major newspaper.

Thankfully, Landsberg's column no longer appears.