These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ~~~ Thomas Paine, 1776
McJ's picture

No Surprise Here - Canadian Commons votes to extend Afghan mission to 2011

Canadian PM Stephen Harper will have good news when he attends a Nato Leader's Summit in Bucharest, Romania this April. On Thursday, after 30 hours of debate over a period of five days, the Canadian Government voted by a 197 -77 margin to extend the Afghan mission to 2011.
From the Vancouver Sun

OTTAWA -- As a chorus of protest rang out from Parliament's public galleries, the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to extend Canada's military mission in Afghanistan to 2011.

Though the result was never in doubt, the outburst of more than two dozen anti-war protesters chanting, "End it, don't extend it," from the public galleries added a poignant dramatic twist as they were peacefully escorted out by security guards.

Both the minority Conservative government and the Liberal opposition heralded the vote as a historic compromise that set aside partisan politics and advanced Canada's international interest, as they easily passed the motion by a 197-77 margin.

...The NDP and Bloc Quebecois opposed the motion but lacked the numbers in the Commons that would have toppled the government and plunged the country into a federal election.

Apparently, the cost of our excellent adventure wasn't much of a concern to the MP's who were busy discussing the "high political ideal of why we are in Afghanistan". Considerations of costs didn't enter into the debate until it's waning hours when "MPs began to consider the question of financial cost, with published reports that the war was $1 billion over budget".
From The Canadian Press

...Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, head of the Senate security and defence committee, says MPs paid too much attention to the high political ideal of why we are in Afghanistan.

They often failed to ask substantive questions, he said, such what the ramifications might be on both the federal treasury and a military that increasingly relies on reservists and equipment under stress from continuous combat.

"This war is going to take a lot more money than this government is prepared to admit," said Kenny.

...It was only in the waning hours of debate that MPs began to consider the question of financial cost, with published reports that the war was $1 billion over budget. The Defence Department countered that the figures were only projections until 2009 and that estimated costs beyond that had not been made final.

...Thursday's vote ended the most extensive and wide-ranging debate in Canada's Parliament since it began sending soldiers to Afghanistan. Contrary to the compressed 48-hour debate that preceded the last vote in Parliament in May 2006, this current round unfolded over five days beginning on Feb. 25. The May 2006 vote extended the mission by two years to February 2009 by a slim 149-145 margin.

This 'historic' debate couldn't have been of much interest to the "20 Liberals [that] didn't show up, including such notables as chronic absentee and former prime minister Paul Martin, whose government made the initial call to deploy troops to the Kandahar danger zone" but then as noted "the result was never in doubt".

The vote is good news for Harper who now has "the clear political mandate he wanted heading into a meeting of NATO leaders in Bucharest, Romania, early next month". And thanks to the "historic compromise" of the governing Conservatives and the opposition Liberals, Canadians won't be going to an election over our continuing mission in Afghanistan.

From the National Post

Before this mission's next end date in December, 2011, another 12,500 soldiers will decamp from their families in bases across Canada, some doing a second or third rotation, and head into war.

If current casualty rates continue, more than 150 will not return -- a horrifying one-in-80 chance of dying for their home country and a foreign one with a history of chronic conflict and unbeaten insurgency.

...Far from pulling out of combat and leaving Canadian troops armed with shovels and good intentions, the decision essentially endorses the status quo with a preferred emphasis on training and humanitarian work.

So just in case the Taliban are reading this, let me translate: Bomb or shoot at Canadian troops and our soldiers will shoot back, aiming to kill, for at least another three years.

McJ's picture

Vatican Adds A New 'Social' Component To The Seven Deadly Sins

#'s 4, 5, 6 & 7 should pretty much take care of the PTB's.
I wonder if they have a figure in mind for #6.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Vatican updates seven deadly sins
Barney Zwartz
March 11, 2008

People who don't pick up their dogs' addition to the environment in the park may be risking more than a fine - they may be putting their souls at risk of damnation, according to a new Vatican list of seven deadly sins for the 21st century.

As the seven ancient wonders of the world were matched by seven modern wonders, the seven deadly sins have been given a modern version for a globalised world, announced by a Vatican official yesterday.

Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth.

Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, responsible for absolving Catholics from their sins, named the new mortal sins in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, yesterday.

He did not spell out details but said the original seven deadly sins had an individualistic dimension, while the new seven had a social resonance and showed worshippers that their vices affected other people.

"New sins have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation," he said.

God was offended not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife but by ruining the environment, conducting immoral scientific experiments and genetic manipulation.

Traditional Catholic doctrine divides sins into mortal and venial (lesser) and holds that mortal sins, if unrepented, lead to eternal damnation. The Catholic catechism says "mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law", while venial sin allows charity to subsist but offends and wounds it.

Mortal sins are not officially listed, but include murder, abortion, perjury and adultery. They can be absolved after confession, and Monsignor Girotti has acted to make this more palatable, launching a course to teach priests to be less aggressive in the confessional booth.

He wrote in the newspaper last week that many Catholics found it hard to be open about their sins to their priest, and the new course would help priests to be ministers of reconciliation.

The course includes instruction on "special cases", such as divorcees and homosexuals.

The seven social sins are:

1. 'Bioethical' violations such as birth control
2. 'Morally dubious' experiments such as stem cell research and genetic engineering
3. Drug abuse
4. Polluting the environment
5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor
6. Excessive wealth
7. Creating poverty

The original deadly sins:

1. Pride
2. Envy
3. Gluttony
4. Lust
5. Anger
6. Greed
7. Sloth

newjesustimes's picture

A few site updates

Construction is ongoing here and plans continue to develop.

Here are a few recent changes:

  • changed the front page to list the most recent blog posts instead of my initial welcome message.
  • enabled avatars (if you have an account, click "My account", then "edit" to upload your avatar. If you don't have an account, well what are you waiting for?)
  • enabled italics and font tags, for more customization of posts, comments, signatures, what have you
  • added the custom favicon (that little "WP" in your browser's location bar)

And future changes:

  • At some point i bet the spambots will find us; at that time we'll need to turn off unfiltered anonymous posting.
  • Rules. So far only friends have posted here. If and when that changes, we'll need to establish some rules.
  • Development of the Forums into an R&D area for specific topics and articles, so we can pitch in and help research & develop new & useful material - we'll see how this goes.

Have fun and don't be afraid to experiment!
Any suggestions for a default avatar to use with Anonymous posts?

Overt WARNING to Dissidents?

March 2008 -- Pentagon Ray Gun
CBS 60 Minutes Video Clip

Correspondent David Martin conducts a biased review of the Pentagon’s Ray Gun.
Check out video at 1:38 – Is this an overt warning to dissidents?

[Picture] Ray Gun Targets

Southern Beale - 60 Minutes Shills for the Pentagon

"Watching 60 Minutes National Security Correspondent David Martin introduce the Pentagon’s “Active Denial System” as the best life-saving advancement since the invention of Kevlar was nothing short of surreal. I actually had to watch the segment twice because I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears the first time.

... David Martin and 60 Minutes Producer Mary Walsh must be either incredibly stupid or on the Pentagon’s payroll. “End The War” and “World Peace” placards are a scene from Iraq? Really? This looks less like a scene from Iraq than a scene from America.

This certainly tells us everything we need to know about who the Pentagon views as the enemy. And it speaks volumes about the incurious stenography offered by 60 Minutes reporter David Martin and producer Mary Walsh.

Martin and Walsh seem particularly clueless about any moral or ethical issues which a crowd control device of this type presents. They spin this story as a tale of government bureaucracy holding up a really wonderful life saving device. "

~~more at Southern Beale link above~~~

Read more about the “Ray Gun” in these articles:

September 2007

Run away the ray-gun is coming : We test US army's new secret weapon
[snip] … here's how it works in the field.

A square transmitter as big as a plasma TV screen is mounted on the back of a Jeep.

When turned on, it emits an invisible, focused beam of radiation - similar to the microwaves in a domestic cooker - that are tuned to a precise frequency to stimulate human nerve endings.

It can throw a wave of agony nearly half a mile.

November 2007

Military Zips Lips on Pain Ray Accident

August 2005 --

Alternet – Rumsfeld’s Ray Gun [ADS – Active Denial System]

[snip] … Long Term Problems

Aside from thermal injuries like blindness or burns, could a protestor who got zapped by an overzealous ADS controller eventually wind up with disease such as cancer? Another way of stating it: Do millimeter waves at the frequency of 95 gigahertz cause long term biological changes unrelated to heat?

The military says no. Others aren't so sure. And these things are often hard, if not near impossible, to prove.

In 2004, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization report on non-lethal weapons raised warnings. "The long-term physiological effects of the microwaves received by an individual are still being studied (maximum acceptable dose, cumulative effect of successive exposures)," the report states. "The absence of definitive results is the main obstacle to the use of radio frequencies."

The report goes on to note that "excessive power levels can have serious consequences for human targets."

Leveraging whatever it is ...

I've been thinking about ways in which we can use this site to leverage whatever it is that we have going for us. Here's one possibility:

I've got research for half a dozen stories partially finished, but not getting anywhere. For reasons I can't get into here, nothing will happen with any of them unless I can recruit some assistance. So here's your chance!

If you're interested in throwing some time and energy into one or more of these projects, any of which could wind up being really depressing, speak up.


Hey!! I'm in! I'm a member! I'm number 6!! Rock ON!! That's so cool!!

Many thanks to NJT for setting up this site -- which opens up some really interesting possibilities! -- and for all his support, here and elsewhere. And thanks to everybody else who has been supportive in one way or another -- helping me to hang tough in difficult times.

But number 6 is so cool! That was my number when I was in spy-school. As you probably know (but may not realize), I could have been famous; but I got there too soon. Yes, yes, it's a little-known fact: I was in line just before Bond -- James Bond! And I was depressed about this for a while (many years, in fact), but it turned out that some things are more valuable than fame and fortune! Who would have guessed? Anyway, I am thrilled to be number 6 here. How about that? Will miracles never cease??

Bring on the evil creeps so we can flay them! And best wishes to everybody else.

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