Thursday, August 31, 2006

Not only older white males can be bigots

Some time ago a Chinese-Canadian friend of mine said something very offensive. I immediately said to him, "Do you have any clue as to what a racist statement that is?" Without pause he responded with complete seriousness and conviction: "Ummm, what do you mean? I can't be a racist, I'm not white."

I wish I were making that up.

Fast forward to the "Dear Prudie" piece I just read. I've posted it below. Any regular readers of my blog know that I have very strong opinions, especially about the serious political issues of our modern age. They're not inflexible though. But they are the result of a lot of reading and a lot of thought. More often than not though, I'm ostracized in social situations in the Left Coast Canadian City where I reside, should I dare to voice my opinion.

Now take a look at the question & answer:

Dear Prudie,
My partner and I are having our condominium remodeled. We have worked well with one company and asked them to bid a second phase of the job. The person who showed up to bid the job wore a cap with an angry bald eagle on the front with multiple American flags sewn onto the rest of the cap. When I was obviously startled at the hat, he acknowledged, "Guess I should have worn my company hat." I replied, "I would be more comfortable if you had because I can't support much of what the country is doing right now." This led to his reply, "Just so we all support America." My partner and I are gay and feel assaulted by the right wing. We are also horrified by the war in Iraq and so many other issues that our patriotism is very low. That hat was a sickening reminder of my childhood in rural America. I feel that perhaps my money should be spent in a more socially conscious fashion, but I don't relish starting my own campaign of reverse discrimination. Am I making too much of this incident? The company has done a good job for us so far.

—Uneasy Remodeler

Dear Uneasy,
When did an American flag come to mean, "I want to assault gay people"? You know nothing about this man's views except that he feels patriotic. Since you are the one who provoked the discussion, do you really want to require that the person building your breakfast nook pass your political litmus test? (And yes, if I were to get a letter saying, "I went to a potential construction job this morning and the owners of the condo were obviously gay. I think homosexuality is abnormal and I hate the idea of gay marriage. I don't know whether I should go ahead and submit a bid," I would find that letter just as objectionable.) We are lucky to live in a society in which one doesn't have to belong to a government-sanctioned party or avow a list of beliefs in order to make a living. I know too many people who say they could never be friends with people who have different political views from theirs, and that's unfortunate. But the economy will crash if every service person is required to agree with their client's world view. Do you know how lucky you are to find a remodeling company that does a good job? Let the guy with the American flag cap get to work.


I fully understand why some Americans do not support their current administration. But the hypocrisy of a gay American making the comment s/he did is so thick you could spread it on toast from a thousand foot long loaf of bread! It sickens me that such a person doesn't bother to acknowledge that "Mr. Baseball Cap" is exactly the kind of American who has fought in countless wars to ensure that they can be openly homosexual in a free society. This "take it for granted" mentality is surely destroying us!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Remembering Geometry

Between 1990 - 1994 I worked for the Canadian mining giant, Inco, in Sudbury, Ontario. I developed software for their 250+ mining engineers, geologists, and surveyors. My speciality was customizing the marvelous drafting program, AutoCad, using a programming language called AutoLisp.

Though the programming itself was nowhere near as sophisticated as what I do now, often the math & geometry was. One time I even had to use Calculus, something I don't think I've used since university or afterwards.

Well, as often happens in life, things have come full circle and once again I'm doing some AutoCad programming! This evening I had to figure out how to calculate the maximum height of a drift (tunnel) cross-section, no matter how it was oriented in space. This involved a quick Google search of the sine, cosine, and tangent geometry functions and soon after I had a solution!

Back to the Future, baby!

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Slow-Pitch Kind Of Day

Yesterday I woke up early so that I could babysit two kids at a baseball game. Sounds like the plot of a comedy film, right? Nah, just a day in my life ... and it was actually a very good one! I'm not much of a softball player but I agreed to babysit the 4-year old and 2-year old of a buddy of mine so that he and another fellow could help out a corporate team. It was a gorgeous day and we all had a lot of fun.

Dilbert-Like Quotes

A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life Dilbert-type managers. These were voted the top ten quotes in corporate America:

"As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks."
(This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond WA)

"What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter."
(Lykes Lines Shipping)

"E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business."
(Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

"This project is so important we can't let things that are more important interfere with it."
(Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule."
(Plant Manager, Delco Corporation)

"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."
(R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."
(Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me."
(Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

"We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees."
(Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wooden Boat Festival

Granville Island is one of the venues for the annual Wooden Boat Festival. It was quite a sight to see so many beautiful wooden boats, both large ones in the water and small ones on display up on land.

Choo Choo!

This railroad crossing is at Fir & 5th in Vancouver, near Granville Island. It's a remnant of the defunct Arbutus Corridor rail line that used to take streetcar patrons out to Steveston in Richmond. Nowadays the land beside the line serves as individual vegetable and flower gardens.

The UN Deployment in Lebanon

And so it begins ... in the next phase of the Middle East conflict, thousands of UN troops - mostly from Europe - are heading to Lebanon to act as a buffer zone between Hezbollah and Israel. This is definitely a good thing and one I was skeptical of even just a week ago.

But no one should have any illusion that Syria and Iran want them there. I greatly fear therefore that in the future, probably within the next year, a massive attack against the UN troops will occur. It'll likely appear as an attack from "unknown assailants" but we'll all know from whom it came.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Vancouver Sunset

Though I don't have a powerful telephoto lense on my camera, I took these photos a few hours ago. The colour of the sky was absolutely magnificent!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vancouver Panhandling Cartoon

This cartoon, from talented cartoonist Graham Harrop, perfectly describes the situation in Vancouver these days!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Panhandling in Vancouver

I wonder if we've finally reached a tipping point with the panhandling in Vancouver, which has clearly been out of control for the past several years. This afternoon I saw two policeman having a stern talk with a panhandler (and frequently high drug addict) in the South Granville area where I live. This is the first time I have ever seen this in my neighbourhood.

As I walked by them, I distinctly heard one officer say to the fellow, "he is now focused on stopping panhandling in the city". I don't know who "he" is, but as long as it's the police chief or higher then perhaps things will finally change.

On the weekend there was a front page story in the Vancouver Sun illustrating how bad panhandling has become. I'd long known that one could not relax outside of most coffee shops without a person sitting down beside you and hassling you for money. This has happened to me several times. Some don't take 'No' for an answer. But more recently some tourists have been approached in the restrooms of 4-star hotels!

Picking up on something that Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun columnist said on Bill Good's show last Friday, if you feel the need to give money to one of these people then instead donate it to one of the numerous charitable agencies around town. Otherwise, you are just incentivizing them to continue begging for money, which is clearly driving away valuable convention business from the city. Furthermore, and this is strictly my opinion, you are just feeding their addiction. You can pretend you're not by saying, "I don't know for sure where the money is going", but face the facts that in most cases that's exactly what you're doing!

There's an old expression about word-of-mouth communication whereby you tell two people and then they tell two people and so on. Information can spread very quickly like this. I think that many in Vancouver are in denial about the bad reputation our city has obtained when it comes to the panhandling problem. Recently I was contacted by the Wilson Quarterly, a publication of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. They're considering running a story on the streets of Vancouver and wanted to use this photo of mine. I truly hope that strong and consistent (not flash-in-the-pan) enforcement of the Safe Streets Act is carried out. It's long overdue.

When the expected response against enforcing our laws comes from such people as my NDP MLA, Gregor Robertson, they should simply be ignored. I'll never forget the time I asked him what he was going to do to protect people like my 74-year old mother from beligerent street people, he tried to turn it around by saying that she should have more empathy for the young men hassling her.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Steve Winwood: While You See A Chance

In recent weeks I have seen a growing number of links to YouTube. They all seemed to be goofy/funny videos, the kind that we all get e-mailed on a regular basis. But today I discovered that a number of music videos are also present on the site.

So I decided to post a link to this one, a 1980 release by Steve Winwood. This is one of two songs that I distinctly remember listening to on the first day I drove completely on my own, at the tender age of 16. I dropped off my dad at work and ventured out solo for the first time!

I've always loved this song ever since, consistently citing it as my favourite song of all time. In contrast, the video accompanying the song has got to be the bizzarest of all time!! So just close your eyes and enjoy the music. :-)

FlugTag Vancouver 2006

Yesterday I attended what clearly had to be the zaniest event in this city in recent memory. It was called "FlugTag" which is German for "Fly Day". It involved dozens of participants launching all kinds of "flying machines" off of an elevated barge. None of the crafts that I saw had a hope in hell of flying any further than a person jumping off at the same speed - ie. gravity did all the work: kerplunk! But there was always that lingering hope in the crowd that one of them might just sail a little further than expected. It was great fun on a hot summer day.

You can see the full collection of photos, and a few movies, by clicking here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Liberty For All vs. Prevalent World Opinion

I often refer to my country of Canada as "Kanuckistan". Why? Because the prevalent opinion of my fellow citizens seems to be exemplified around these tenets:

  • America is evil and the cause of more problems in the world than anyone else.
  • It's much better to be like Canadians and stick our heads in the sand, pretending that there's no evil in the world.
  • If Canadians don't offend anyone then nothing bad will ever happen to us.
  • Why are some people upset with Hezbollah sympathizers marching in the streets of Montreal? After all, they were only labelled a terrorist organization because powerful Jewish groups pressured the government into doing so. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
  • Fidel Castro is not a bad man, just a misunderstood one.
  • China is a benign country that will never cause any harm to anyone. Well, there was the issue of Tibet but I've long displayed a "Free Tibet" sticker on my car so I'm doing my part to help them.
  • Israel is the root cause of all the problems in the Middle East. Those poor Palestinians. Isn't that horrible the way Israel has oppressed them. You know, Israel is an invention of the West and shouldn't really exist anyway.
  • What's so wrong with Iran developing nuclear weapons? Israel and the U.S. have plenty of them. Iran getting them would be no different. They just need them to protect themselves from those crazy neocons.
  • The violent actions of those Muslim militants aren't nice but such suicide actions are simply the only weapons they have to fight back against the horrible oppression brought upon them by Western nations. It's really our fault. Well actually, it's really George Bush's fault.
And on and on and on it goes. I hear such comments on the radio, at dinner parties, on the street, and in coffee shops. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. It's as if I missed some critical civics lesson on the importance of moral equivalency and Western guilt. When I hear such things, I just scratch my head and wonder what is driving such thought:
  • Naivety?
  • Lack of history lessons?
  • Guilt, pure & simple?
Such mindsets are going to get us all killed. These same views were clearly present in the West in the 1930's and 40's too. History shows us that Hitler had an insatiable desire to rule the world, yet such voices of appeasement existed back then too. They definitely were in Britain until September 3, 1939. They definitely were in the U.S. until December 7, 1941.

One of my favourite writers, Mark Steyn, is currently down in Australia on a speaking tour. In recent articles and interviews he is railing against the notion that all cultures are equal. The [false] premise goes something like this: "If you're standing in a room with say 2 Frenchmen, 4 Iranians, and 3 Chinese then your opinions about what is right & wrong and what is moral & immoral are completely wrong if the others disagree with you. For if the overall 'vote' sides with oppression and/or hypocrisy then they must be right and you must be wrong."

I vehemently disagree with this notion yet it clearly is the prevalent one in Kanuckistan these days. Maybe people will wake up after a Canadian city or airplane is attacked. Somehow I doubt it though; the apologists will still win the day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

BC's Legislative Buildings

The provincial government of British Columbia sits in a building that itself resides in one of the most picturesque locations anywhere. These photos were taken earlier this week when I was over in Victoria with my Chicago friend, Kristi.

Victoria Shines

Victoria really is a lovely city, especially in the summertime!

Hanging Out With Yasmin

While over in Victoria, Kristi & I stopped in to see my friend, Yasmin. She is one of the funniest ... or is is funnest people ... I've ever met!

Is Something Horrible Going to Happen on August 22nd?

From different sources, I keep hearing that next Tuesday, August 22nd, something very, very bad is going to happen. Apparently this has been predicted by an Iranian cleric. I just pray that the officials in Iran don't help tempt fate.

France & the UN: Poseurs Both!

n. One who affects a particular attribute, attitude, or identity to impress or influence others.
n. a person who habitually pretends to be something he is not

Some people I know often wonder why I constantly have nothing good to say about the United Nations. If the UN actually did what it was conceived to do then I would support it wholeheartedly. But the reality is that the UN has devolved over the decades to nothing more than a debating club. They talk & talk & talk but rarely, if ever, accomplish anything. And, as was clearly shown with the Iraq Oil for Food scandal, many of the UN officials are worse than the most corrupt politicians in terms of padding their own pockets rather than doing something for the betterment of all.

Now look at the current situation in the Middle East. Israel agreed to stop fighting based on the clear promise that UN forces would move into Southern Lebanon to form a solid barrier between Israel and Hezbollah. Listening to the BBC World News this morning, I was not surprised to hear that France has refused to step up to the plate to offer anything more than a token group of 200 engineers. Huh? France is perfectly suited to provide the bulk of the large force necessary to stop future violence. But being the poseurs that they are, they're not being the responsible world citizens they claim to be.

Imagine having a friend that acted like France. They would be the life of the party but also irresponsible, flakey, and two-faced. It wouldn't be too long before I would dump their sorry ass.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Good Uses of Technology and then there are . . .

While searching for information on Vancouver's SeaBus I happened across this website: I don't even want to contemplate what geniuses thought up this completely useless "advance" in Internet technology!

The Downside of Trying to Help Others

As regular readers of this blog know, last Christmas I founded an organization that gives refurbished computers to needy families throughout the Province of British Columbia. This doesn't just happen effortlessly but rather through the hard work and dedication of a number of people. There is no exchange of money in our organization. Everyone volunteers their time completely.

Most people we deal with are quite appreciative and grateful. But sadly, not all. We do have a screening process in place that begins with this simple plea on the application page:

The focus of our organization is on helping people bridge the proverbial "digital divide". Our mission is to provide the opportunity to get a computer to those who would otherwise not be able to afford one.

Many hours of work are donated by volunteers to make available computers that are in perfect running order. Those volunteering their time and those donating the equipment are doing so on the implicit trust that the designated recipients truly can't afford to buy a computer on their own.

We encourage you to think very carefully about this before you apply. For there are truly needy people out there who do need our help.

Seems obvious, right? For you & I perhaps but if the major traits in your personality are selfishness and entitlement then you might tend to ignore such a message and apply regardless. We received an application from an older man up north. Let me share with you my response to him, which should shed some light on the problems we detected with his application:

Dear xxxxxxx,

I am currently reviewing the applications from yourself and your neighbour, who also applied for a computer. Something I do not understand is why you are applying for a computer from us. You clearly have a Shaw e-mail address and state that you already have high-speed access. Thus you already have a computer. With countless families in our province without even one computer, why is it that you feel you should have two?

Robert Werner
BC Digital Divide

I thought I was being polite and to the point. Apparently he thought otherwise. He ignored my e-mail directly and instead contacted another one of our volunteers, thinking he'd get a more compassionate ear from her. He told her that I was rude and impolite and how dare I ask him such questions. He has since written her again, threatening to "investigate us" to see if he can get our government funding pulled. I take great pleasure in him wasting countless hours of his time investigating funding that does not exist.

But what galls me is the extreme righteousness of his conviction. He now fully understands that there are numerous people waiting to receive a computer, yet it is more important for him to receive an "upgraded one" from us to replace the perfectly functioning one he has. What on earth makes such a person tick I will never understand.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Those Crazy Men And Their Flying Machines!

This Saturday at 2pm the place to be in Vancouver is Science World, down by Quebec and Terminal. Why? Because this wild & crazy event will be held: FlugTag It should be an hilarious sight to see!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Vancouver Photo Request

The Internet has sure made the world one small place at times. Yesterday I received a message - out of the blue - from a periodical connected with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. They're doing a story on Downtown Vancouver and wanted to use one of my photos. Today, after seeing Kristi off at the airport, I decided to capture a bunch of new photos, some of which they may use. I thought some might like to see some of them here:

You can view many more shots of Vancouver here.

Kristi's Thoughts on Vancouver & Victoria

I just got back from seeing off my Chicago friend, Kristi, at the airport. I turned on CKNW and talk-show host, Bill Good, said that the final segment of his show was "open phones". So I called in and gave him (and his tens of thousands of listeners) a summary of Kristi's views of our part of the world:

  1. "Your public transportation system is excellent but does each bus driver have to treat their vehicle like a Ferrari sports car?"
  2. "Might you West Coasters be able to survive with one less Starbucks?!"
  3. "You obviously live in a beautiful place but the amount of graffiti and homelessness is clearly out of control."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekend VT Get Together

I just spent the weekend co-hosting a "VT Meeting" of several travellers from around the world. It was lots of fun, combined with good food and great times. Besides the numerous local Vancouver members, we also had visitors from: Chicago, California, Saskatoon, England, and Jordan.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Interesting Encounter

My friend, Kristi, and I went for Dim Sum on West Broadway. We then walked over to Granville to catch a bus to the North Shore. Just as we were approaching the intersection a man in an electric wheelchair rounded the corner. Without hesitation I said to her, "Let me introduce you to someone."

So I walked up to the man and said, "Mayor Sullivan, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Kristi, visiting from Chicago. Oh, and I'm Robert."

They shook hands and then I shook his hand too. She thought that I was joking around. After all, how on earth could she just walk up to the Mayor of Vancouver (it would never happen with Mayor Daley in Chicago) and how could the mayor possibly be a man in a wheelchair.

Only after several minutes, and me assuring her that he truly was our mayor, did it finally sink in! Then I realized that I didn't get a photo of the meeting!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Two Wonderful Ladies

I was a lucky guy today to have, not one, but two lovely ladies visiting me from the U.S. Jo Ann (L) is from San Jose, California and Kristi hails from Indiana, though is so close to Chicago that we just pretend she's a Chicago gal. They both arrived around noon yesterday, which gave me plenty of time to hang out just with them and show them around Vancouver.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Published on Mark Steyn's Site

A letter I wrote was just published:

I stayed up late here on Canada's Left Coast to listen to your back-to-back interviews on Radio Australia. Great stuff! Your "problem" is that you just make too much sense. At least here in Kanuckistan, it's clear that your views are shunned by most. Not all of us, though.

In the hi-tech industry where I work, there's an old saying: "To be early [with an idea or product] is to be wrong." I pray that you're not too early with the clear messages you keep repeating. Otherwise our children are destined to wake up one day, find themselves in a very unhospitable world and ask, "Why the hell didn't you see it all coming and actually DO something about it before it was too late?!"

Robert Werner
Vancouver, British Columbia

MARK REPLIES: That’s true in the columnar biz, too. It’s a reliable motto that you don’t want to be right too soon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Quote of the Day

"If you're the only sane one in a community full of insane people, does that make you antisocial?"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mark Steyn on Lateline TV (ABC Australia)

As you may have noticed, I've been closely following Mark Steyn's media tour down under. Here you can watch him on Australian TV, being interviewed by Tony Jones. He just keeps on making more & more sense!

Mark Steyn Down Under

You can listen to an excellent discussion between Australian talkshow radio host, Alan Jones, and global columnist, Mark Steyn, by clicking here. There's an excellent quote from Steyn early on:

We [in the West] are a culture that no longer believes in ourselves. We don't put it that way. We don't put it as obvious as that. We simply say, 'We are no better and no worse than any other particular culture.' It doesn't matter who you have to be. If you wanted to devise an enemy that would be the least appealing to the Western, progressive, liberal thinking mind, you couldn't have come up with better guys than these Jihad guys. They build stone walls to collapse on gays. They treat women horribly, including physical mutilation. They treat them like property.

If you wanted to create the perfect enemy for the Western liberal progressive mind it would have been these jihadists. And yet, when push comes to shove, in the end, we say, 'No, no, no, their culture is just as valid as ours.'

And that, in a nutshell is why we in the West may very well lose this struggle. It is NOT a struggle between Muslims and non-Muslims. Rather it is a struggle between terrorists who happen to all be Muslims, along with their liberal supporters and apologists vs. the rest of us who enjoy living in the 21st Century and don't feel the need to apologize for it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Terrorist Supporters March Openly ... in Canada!

David Ouellette, of Judeoscope, just published a stunning series of photos about the recent pro-Hezbollah march in Montreal. While watching the video, please keep in mind that Hezbollah is a banned terrorist organization in Canada. That is a fact that is not up for debate. Don't believe me? Then please click here.

As Canadians, are we going to follow the laws of this country or are we going to decide for ourselves which ones we follow and which ones we don't?

If you're still in the pro-Hezbollah camp, then would your feelings be any different if a bunch of white neo-Nazis took to the streets, shouting, "Death to the Jews! Death to the Muslims! Death to the Blacks! Death to the Asians!" This would be exactly the same thing!

Moral relativity is a very slippery slope and the current Israel-Lebanon situation has added a lot of grease to that slope, at least in the minds of many Canadians. I fear that we're heading into very dangerous times.

Reuters, the new Propaganda Arm of Hezbollah

As the intelligent, thoughtful, well read person that you are, do you think you're immune from psychological manipulation? When you're watching, listening to, or reading the news, do you question the validity of the piece and contemplate the bias of the person presenting it? If not, perhaps you should start.

Reuters has just been caught red-handed publishing clearly doctored photos of various scenes in Lebanon. They were exposed by an astute reader of Little Green Footballs. Other phoney photos from Reuters are explained in depth here.

Mark Steyn has frequently said that journalism is not a profession, but rather just something that people fall into. This is further proof that much too often there's a lack of professionalism amongst so-called professional journalists.

Of course, the Hezbollah sympathizers will defend such actions as "just counteracting the Zionist controlled media". Once hate sets in, such emotions can easily be used to dismiss all reasonable logic and sense of fair play.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fireworks Night #4 - Mexico + Grand Finale

Last night I finally got down to the center of the action in English Bay to watch the fireworks. It was Mexico's turn, and their first time at the annual Vancouver fireworks show. Arriving just after 7pm, it was 3 hours before the show, but the beach was already quite packed. A quick stroll down Denman revealed thousands upon thousands of pedestrians had taken over the streets as well. Why some people still continue to try driving in such conditions is beyond my comprehension!

These young ladies were from HSBC, the main corporate sponsor. They were taking a picture, which one could download from their website later. After learning that they had a grand total of 10 minutes of training in how to take photos, I took one of them instead!

The police and rescue patrols were out in force. After it got dark no one was allowed to enter the water. This didn't seem to stop countless teenagers around us, many of whom were clearly drunk. A few men used the ocean as their personal toilet. Nothing quite so charming as doing one's business with 10,000 people watching from behind. I'm sure everyone watching thought, "I want to hire that guy!"

Anti-Israel Protest in Montreal

I just learned that today in Montreal a large protest march will be happening. Members of the Federal Liberals, the Parti Québécois, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP, and many trade unions will be marching against Israel. Of course they will couch it in terms of a protest against violence but there's something more insidious at work. Over the past several years, have you ever seen these same groups marching against the countless rockets and suicide bombers launched againg Israel? Of course not.

Sadly, there's nothing surprising to me about today's protest. The Liberals are just playing the numbers - who they can get the most votes from. The NDP are absolutely despicable on this issue. In fact, I've never understood why there's such disdain from "peace loving" socialists toward Jews. Can someone explain this to me?! You do see this view everywhere. In the U.S. my Jewish Democrat friends must be feeling great internal turmoil over what's happening. On the one hand they can't stand Bush (their de facto position) but yet they know that if Israel were to follow the appeasement line, there'd soon be no Israel.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Anti-Semitism Is Alive & Well in Vancouver

This evening on CKNW, Michael Smythe interviewed a guest named Greg Felton. What a hateful moron! You can read more about him here. Felton is the new breed of Neo-Nazi who is full of great blusterous rhetoric, making all kinds of false statements. At least he had the guts to admit a fundamental part of his truth, namely that Israel doesn't have any right to exist.

Several of Felton's fans called up, one of them an older woman who said, "It's too bad that the Europeans didn't finish off the [Jewish] monsters in World War 2." Please keep in mind that she was referring to Jewish prisoners of the German Nazis such as these:

Being half-German, I'm keenly aware of what can happen when people only focus on their own little lives and stop speaking out about what is obviously wrong. Everyone wishes that Israel didn't have to defend itself in the way it has. But anyone who says that they're deliberately attacking innocent civilians is either a liar or a fool.

Perhaps decades from now, historians will write the truth about how Iran is at the root of the current conflict, as well as much of the violence in Iraq. And maybe there'll be a footnote that many in Canada chose to ignore these facts, because it flew in the face of their pre-disposed hatred for America and Israel.

The Brink of Madness

Wherever your political allegiances lie, I implore you to read this important article from Victor Davis Hanson. He makes the STRONG case that the world has returned to where it was 70 years ago, just before the Nazi Party, then of Germany - now from elsewhere - was about to push the world into great turmoil.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Letter just submitted to the Vancouver Sun

Has a secret decision been made by the Vancouver Police to no longer enforce traffic laws? In the past week, I have seen examples of cars doing the following: U-turns in the middle of the street and the middle of an intersection, running through stop signs, excessive speeding, and more. Unfortunately there wasn't a cop there to hand out a ticket, right? Wrong! In each of these cases, there was a police car there but they did NOTHING. To close the open season on pedestrians and bicyclists, I would wholeheartedly support an initiative whereby each officer personally receives 10% of the amount of the ticket added to their paycheque. Maybe that would incentivize them to ... wait for it ... actually enforce the law!

Robert W.
Vancouver, BC

Update: It was indeed published here.

Interesting Quote About the Middle East

I heard something very insightful this morning:

"If the Arabs in the Middle East were to lay down their arms tomorrow, there'd be peace. If the Israelis were to do it, they'd be wiped out."

Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Inspiring Movie

This evening I got to attend a special preview of the upcoming Disney friend, Invincible. Set in 1975, it's the true story of Vince Papale, a 30-year old man down on his luck in South Philadelphia. He loses his job and then his wife. With nothing to lose, he attends Open Tryouts held by the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil. It's a very inspiring story, all the better because it is based on a true story. The filmmakers did a terrific job making everything look like it was back in 1975.

Entering the theatre, I experienced something new. Because this was a preview, the studio went to great lengths to keep the movie from being illegally filmed. They searched each of us with a metal detector and I [temporarily] handed over my camera, which I almost always carry with me. During the showing, one of the guards scanned the audience with a special device that detects operating digital cameras. They're doing this, of course, because of the rampant piracy of movies that later appear on sites like this.

Fireworks Night #3 - Czech Republic

This was the Czech Republic's first entry into Vancouver's annual fireworks show. I thought they were absolutely excellent, with some AMAZING synchronization between the music and the fireworks.