Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

In Canada, the end of the Terrible 20s are here today

You can look at what has happened to the Royal Navy in the last 10 years and you can benchmark what is happening to the Royal Canadian Navy as well if you want a view of a possible future if we don't get our navalist game-face on now.

If we do not have a maritime renaissance and can sell to Congress and the American people that the greatest guarantor of our economic, political and national freedom is at sea - Canada provides a boutique preview of where we will be after what we have been warning of here for the last decade - The Terrible 20s.

Via MacLean's Nick Taylor-Vaisey;
Even when the destroyers are operational, they’re more than 40 years old. The supply ships are about the same age, and the government’s not sure if it’s worth repairing the hobbled vessels. Canadian-made replacements are years away, mired in the morass of government procurement. Meanwhile, a punishing federal austerity program that has military spending firmly in its crosshairs is only adding to the challenges for a Navy that prides itself on accomplishing any mission asked of its sailors—even when it means doing more with less.

It’s leading some, including the man who ran the Navy until last year, to warn that Ottawa’s military priorities are increasingly out of touch. “I believe that we are currently out of balance, and we need to look very hard at ensuring the maritime side of that sea, land, air, special-forces equation is protected,” says Paul Maddison, a vice-admiral when he retired. He says his former colleagues deserve a bigger chunk of funding, certainly more than the 12 per cent of DND spending the Navy received when he was at the helm. “I think it’s time for a fundamental re-look at how that pie’s being carved.”

Maddison says the Canada First Defence Strategy, a Conservative vision conceived in 2008, is outdated, and insists that Canada’s national interests are “increasingly challenged in the maritime domain.” No longer should the dusty deserts of landlocked Kandahar, where Canadian military priorities lay for more than a decade of brutal fighting, rule the day. Countries on the Pacific Rim are shifting resources to the water and building bigger navies. Meanwhile, other conflicts, including fighting in eastern Ukraine, have the Navy’s attention. HMCS Regina is now patrolling the Mediterranean with NATO’s mission in the region. As well, the lingering threat of climate change has the potential to turn Canada’s Arctic waters into a shipping superhighway and raises issues of Canadian sovereignty. “This is not 2006, this is not Afghanistan,” Maddison says. “This is 2014. The world has changed.”

As it stands, the Navy is on the brink of losing its oldest ships for good. The destroyer Algonquin may never sail again, while its counterpart, Iroquois, could also be retired, and the supply ship Protecteur is nearing the end of its usability. The feds could inject millions more into repairs of the decades-old warhorses, but the several months of extended life may not be worth the cost.
This is what happens when you don't maintain your industrial base;
The Harper Conservatives tried to provide a fix when they launched a $36.6-billion shipbuilding strategy in October 2011. The program could eventually replace virtually every vessel in today’s Navy. The plan includes new Arctic patrol ships for frigid northern waters, up to 15 warships meant to replace the current destroyers and frigates, a pair of joint support ships that would take over from the existing pair of supply ships, and a gaggle of smaller vessels. The glaring problem in Canadian shipyards is just how unprepared they are for such an urgent and costly job. “There’s not much experience anywhere in government, and even across Canada in the industry,” says David Perry, a senior defence analyst with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.

A generation has passed since Canada took on the construction of frigates. All the prep work required at Irving Shipyards in Halifax and Seaspan in Vancouver is costly. The Parliamentary Budget Office has cast doubt on the plan to locate all the construction on home soil, reporting last December that the feds could save $690 million if better-equipped American shipyards built the supply ships. Doing it all in Canada from start to finish is a complex process, says Perry. “When you’re doing a design-and-build project, you need to have a different relationship with your suppliers than you would if you were just buying aircraft off the assembly line,”
...
It all adds up to a fleet that features “essentially lower availability than they had in roughly 20 years,” says Perry. “The Navy right now is at a pretty fundamental transition point,” he says. “This is going to be the absolute low point right now for the Navy, in terms of having operational output.”
Sober reading.

This final point I didn't catch until the second reading. As regulars are aware, I have been chaffing for a long time against the "1,000 Ship Navy" the "Cooperative Maritime Partnership" or the "Global Network of Navies" - or whatever we are calling it now. In essence, because we are not investing in the navy we need - we are going to try to find a way to get others to do our job for us. Well, ...
Not having access to those types of vessels would hamper the Navy’s ability to carry out missions without depending on foreign allies.
So, if all of our allies are hoping that someone else will do their mission for them, as we are hoping that they will do missions for us ... which naval force of unicorns is going to poop out ships like so many skittles?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Boring Sounds Pretty Good Right Now

There there was a political party that came from the grassroots. They were called radicals and loons - dismissed. Then they started winning. Then they merged with and took over and existing but brain dead party.

Their leadership adjusted, matured, and then won a national election. They brought in sound, steady, center-right economic policies. Threw away the worst low hanging fruit of decades of leftist politics. Ignored the establishment harpies and kept on - in fits and starts - but pressed on to bring their nation back to a sound footing for future generations.

They are a nation blessed with sound government structures, Common Law foundation, and an educated people. In many ways, there is no other nation that is more like the USA than this nation.

What just happened there?
Canada's Conservative government looks set to comfortably balance its books in 2015 or even sooner, its latest budget showed on Tuesday, with cuts in spending on the public service more than offsetting a series of modest new expenditures.

The low-key spending plan leaves Prime Minister Stephen Harper well-positioned to offer tax breaks and other initiatives in the runup to an election scheduled for October next year.

"Some people will say this budget is boring," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters ahead of the budget speech. "Boring is good."
...
Germany is currently the only G7 country running a surplus, but Canada's ratio of debt to GDP is substantially less and it is one of a handful of countries with a triple-A rating from rating agencies.
If we would elect the right people and follow the Canadian model - so much good would be done for future Americans. As it stands right now, we are following the Argentinian model - we voted for it and we are getting it good and hard.

Oh Canada ... indeed.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

NATO in Afghanistan, on Midrats



Lost to many whose news sources in the USA consists of the major newspapers and the standard networks, for most of the last dozen+ years, the conflict in Afghanistan has not been a USA-Centric battle; it has been a NATO run operation.

When the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force has been an American 4-star, the visuals can be misleading.

For most of the last decade, American forces were dominate in only one region of Afghanistan, the east. Other NATO nations from Italy/Spain in the west, Germany in the North, and Commonwealth nations and the Dutch in the south.

More important than the actual numbers involved, it was the Rules of Engagement, caveats, and the fickle nature of national politics that drove what effects those forces had on the ground.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of modern coalition warfare was all in view for all in Afghanistan, but outside small circles, has yet to be fully discussed.

Our guest for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Stephen Saideman author of NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone.

Stephen holds the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict and For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres) and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald), and other work on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations. Prof. Saideman spent 2001-02 on the U.S. Joint Staff working in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate as part of a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. He writes online at OpenCanada.org, Political Violence at a Glance, Duck of Minerva and his own site (saideman.blogspot.com). He also tweets too much at @smsaideman.

Join us live if you can with the usual suspects in the chat room and offer up your questions for our guest, but if you miss the show you can always listen to the archive at blogtalkradio.

Listen to internet radio with Midrats on Blog Talk Radio

Friday, November 08, 2013

Fullbore Friday

As we watched this week the belly-lint of democracy - the poorly elected by the ballot box - parade around our TV screens (this time the crack smoking, blackout drunk of a mayor of Toronto, Canada), some may have noticed that round thing on his collar.

Most here, I hope, know that is a Poppy. Sadly a lot of people think that Veterans Day is Memorial Day, or the other way around. Most don't really know why it is always 11 November. Fewer would understand "The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month."

For those who have lived in or served with Commonwealth nations; Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc - you know the story well. The Great War, World War I, is still a huge shadow over those nations.  They take 11 NOV much more seriously.

Especially in Canada, this is a serious time. Part of it has to do with an event before the USA had forces on the ground in the conflict. Vimy Ridge.

Get a cup of coffee, put the phone to voice mail and close the door.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Look who got a job

Well ... does he get to keep his US passport

I guess he will have to take up curling or sump'n.
Kevin McCoy, the recently appointed president of Irving Shipbuilding Inc., addresses a briefing at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013.
From NAVSEA to the Great White North. Good luck and wear a lot of wool.





Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Can't vs. Won't and the Canadian Conundrum

If you ever see a foreign designed ship that you wish we had in our Fleet, you always get a Tourette like response, "You can't build a foreign designed ship here... "

Don't be silly, of course you can - we just don't want to for mostly reasons of ego; the Canadians are - via David Pugliese at Defense News;
Canada has selected the German Navy’s Berlin-class design for its new fleet of supply ships, setting in motion the eventual construction of two vessels that are critical to maritime operations.

But the timing of the ships’ delivery to the fleet is still in question, since the shipbuilder is also on the hook to build icebreakers for the Coast Guard and can’t build both ships at the same time.
...
The Royal Canadian Navy had been examining two designs for its Joint Support Ship (JSS) program. One was an original design from BMT Fleet Technology of Ottawa, while the second was of the Berlin class from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada, also of Ottawa.

Finn said the final selection was based on operating capability, affordability, cost and risk.

“Across those areas, the Berlin-class came out ahead,” he said.
What a radical concept. So where will it be built?
A contract will be negotiated with ThyssenKrupp for the design, which will then be turned over to Seaspan/Vancouver Shipyards of Vancouver, British Columbia. Seaspan will build the two Canadian vessels, and Finn said he expects a contract for that to be in place by 2015.
There is the issue. The present ships are 40-years old ... and Canada has not quite kept her industrial base in shape ... so as Tim Colton points out;
... the crazies in Ottawa want to build some at Vancouver Shipyards, a company that hasn't built a self-propelled vessel in 20 years and then only a tugboat. Oh, lawdy, what a disaster in the making. And if you don't think it will be a disaster, just click on the link to what the Navy calls a "Backgrounder" and scroll down to "Next Steps". Aaaaaaah! Why don't they just buy some ships from the Germans? They'll cost less than half as much and take less than half as long.
There's your cautionary tale.

There are worse things than building a foreign design.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CBDR Pierside

So which line is this on the OOD in port PQS? Where is the OPREP binder?
The Royal Canadian Navy says it is assessing damage after a collision between the warship HMCS Winnipeg and a fishing vessel that happened at about 8 a.m. Tuesday in Esquimalt Habour on Vancouver Island.

A Facebook page called Maritime Forces Pacific posted a message explaining the Winnipeg was alongside a jetty from Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt when the collision occurred.
Watch the video the Royal Canadian Navy's Maritime Forces Pacific FB Page. Warning - Canadian potty-mouth.

Hat tip Nick.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'll trade you my Hawaiian for your guy from Toronto


Sigh. To have a guy who can fix thing like Harper has ...
Yet for all of Obama’s coolness he is hardly a man of substance and that is where Harper has the anointed one beat, hands down.

Where Obama talks about fixing the U.S. economy, Harper has actually taken steps to strengthen Canada’s. The Canadian employment rate is 7.3% right now compared to 8.1% in the U.S., although as Harper himself and several economists have noted, if the Americans measured unemployment the same way we do they would be in the double digits.

I still argue the Harper government spends too much and should balance the budget sooner, a point on which Harper disagreed with me. “Our first objective is not balancing the budget, our first objective is to make sure the Canadian economy keeps growing,” Harper said.

Fair enough, that’s a point we could debate. What can’t be debated is that for all of Canada’s economic problems, the U.S. is much worse off. The U.S. federal government debt is worth more than the entire U.S. economy and neither Obama nor his allies in the Senate, which the Democrats control, have passed a budget in three years.

That’s not serious stuff.

Harper is also outshining Obama when it comes to foreign policy.

The Obama administration’s first reaction to the attack on their embassy in Cairo was to apologize for any hurt feelings Muslims may have had to a made-in-California movie with a negative portrayal of Mohammed.

Even after the White House backed away from that, Obama gave the idea that the riots sweeping the region are driven by a YouTube video few had seen, and he did so as he read a statement on the death of Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Obama has been effusive about the so-called Arab Spring from the get-go and thought his good wishes could sweep away dictators and bring about liberal democracies in a region that has never experienced that form of government.

“One should be very cautious about our expectations,” Harper said Thursday. “Mob rule is not democracy and just because there is a popular overthrow of a dictator does not mean the next regime will be based on democratic norms.”

Comparing the two men based on their actions and not their words can only lead to the conclusion that when Harper and Obama meet, Harper is the adult in the room.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What an Adult Government Looks Like

Elections have consequences. In Canada's case, they elected adults - and the Canadian people seem to be acting like adults too ... at least on balance.
Canada's center-right government called for the retirement age to be raised and for major public service cuts Thursday, in an austerity budget that aims to balance the books by 2016.

Tackling unpopular measures that many industrialized countries are being forced to consider as their populations age, the Canadian government said its budget would help the country move a step ahead.

"Other Western countries face the risk of long-term economic decline. We have a rare opportunity to position our country for sustainable, long-term growth," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the House of Commons.

"Looking ahead, Canadians have every reason to be confident," he said presenting what was dubbed a budget for "the next generation."

Under the plan, Canada will cut its deficit this year through "moderate" spending cuts, as the economy grows by 2.1 percent, Flaherty announced.

But much deeper cuts, including the laying off of 19,200 government staff, or 4.8 percent of the federal workforce, are planned for the coming years.

Flaherty said old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits worth up to a total of Can$15,000 and now paid out at age 65 would be offered only at age 67, starting in 2023.
We will have to do this one day as well - the sooner we do the less pain there will be.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What Was That Little Brother?


Often if you want to find out where you are in life - you have to rely on the opinion of others. The best opinions are from those friends and relatives who are close to you so they know you well - but also care enough for you to be honest.

I think Canada fits that bill. A Canadian think-tank has their strategic paper out with an interesting perspective on their big brother to the south.

I'm pondering it over at USNIBlog. Come visit and ponder with me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Canada Rediscovers its Heritage


More and more good news is coming from Canada (where I vacationed, again, this summer FYI).

First the Royal Canadian Navy is back, and now this good news from Ezra Levant,
For 34 years, Canada has had a disgraceful censorship law that violates our human rights.

In 1977, Pierre Trudeau rammed through the Canadian Human Rights Act — an Orwellian name for a law that actually destroys real rights.

The entire law is a corruption of justice — it creates a kangaroo court, run by non-judges, that does not follow the same rules and procedures of real courts, but has massive powers to punish and fine people who aren’t politically correct.

But the worst part of the law is Section 13, the censorship provision. Section 13 creates a word crime — the crime of publishing or broadcasting anything that can cause hurt feelings.
...
In February of 2006, I published a magazine called the Western Standard. We reported on the major news story that month — riots around the Muslim world purportedly in response to some pretty banal Danish newspaper cartoons of Mohammed. Those riots killed more than 200 people, and we wanted to show our readers what all the fuss was about. But a radical Muslim imam in Calgary named Syed Soharwardy complained to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

He said I violated his human right not to be offended. He wanted to ban the cartoons, and his hand-scrawled complaint even bitched about the fact that I dared to publicly defend my right to do so.

I laughed off that little nut-bar. I mean, get a life — you’re in Canada now, not Saudi Arabia. But to my surprise, the Alberta Human Rights Commission took his complaint and ran with it.

The Alberta government, using its provincial version of Section 13, prosecuted me for 900 days, with no fewer than 15 government bureaucrats and lawyers. It spent $500,000 prosecuting me, before dropping the case — and leaving me with my $100,000 legal bill. But sometimes freedom wins a round.

Last week, the federal justice minister, Rob Nicholson, stood up in the House of Commons and answered a question about Section 13.

The question was about a private member’s bill, put by Brian Storseth, an MP from northern Alberta. Storseth has introduced a private member’s bill, C-304, to repeal Section 13. But private member’s bills have little chance of passing without the endorsement of the government.

But Nicholson did endorse it. He called on all MPs to support it, too. Bill C-304, Storseth’s bill, is now effectively a government bill. And with a Tory majority in both the House and Senate, this bill is as good as done.
If you want to know what consistent, moderate and principled fiscal conservatism can bring you - look to Canada's recovery.

Prime Minister Harper and his government - and the Canadian people who have put them there - deserve a lot of credit for the example they have set. We would be so lucky.

Bully on Canada rebuilding a great Commonwealth almost destroyed by some of the worst of Anglo-Saxon leftism.

Hey, that reminds me - time to update what I'm drinking. It is from my vacation. It must be rationed - its what for desert.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fullbore Friday


A little different FbF this week. I want to take a moment to give a nod to our little brother up North - the Canadians.

We fought two wars against them, then created the largest demilitarized border in the world with freshwater seas free of warships. We fought side-by-side often since.

When it was time for the West to stand, there were few nations that went in relatively caveat free and ready to go; Great Britain, Canada, The Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia and a few Special Operations force contributions by Norway, New Zealand and a few others. Those who went North, West, and Center - only partial credit.

Some, like the Poles, did come in stronger later - but when it counted in the beginning; Canada was there.

They have a lesson for us - not just in their economy - but in what they learned from their experience in Afghanistan. I invite you to poke around a bit at The National Post. It is a little too much on the "all vets are damaged, let's have a good cry" POV for me - but it is what it is.

Mercedes Stephenson's article is worth a full read. In part:
Canada leaves the Kandahar mission with a reputation for having the best small army in the world. Canadian soldiers are respected around the globe for their battle-hardened professionalism, innovative application of counterinsurgency doctrine and holding their nerve in Kandahar, while other NATO allies cowered on heavily fortified bases munching lobster instead of fighting insurgents. The Americans, who lead the mission, have noticed: Jon Vance, a Canadian general, was entrusted to command thousands of American troops when the U.S. surged into Kandahar last summer.

Canadian soldiers now experience the alien sensation of being on the receiving end of allies’ envious glances, coveting Canadian equipment — top of the line, brand new kit bought for the mission. No more making due with duct tape and borrowing from big brother America.

In short: We’ve come a long way, baby. The Canadian Forces are back. The army, especially, is a far cry from what it was when Canada sent troops to war nearly a decade ago.

As Canada entered the war, experts warned the Canadian military was on the brink of collapse. They predicted that ancient equipment, anemic spending and the bleeding of experienced personnel would produce a exponential and nearly irreversible decline. Canadian troops deployed to Afghanistan wearing bright green camouflage poorly suited Kandahar’s ubiquitous brown dust. Ill-equipped soldiers were forced to drive around in open-air Iltis jeeps that most Canadians wouldn’t feel safe in on a major highway, let alone around a war zone. Strategic airlift capability, long written off as an extravagant expense by previous governments, suddenly became an obvious necessity.
...
Deep cutbacks during the Chrétien years had left us unable to live up to our international obligations and, worse, the expectations we held as a country convinced it always punched above its weight.

The cost of these cuts — disarmament by neglect — resulted in an increased risk to our soldiers and decreased operational effectiveness on the ground in Kandahar.
...
We can’t forget that, or accept arguments suggesting that the Canadian Forces no longer need the public’s support or continuing modernization. Even in these times of budgetary pressure, the one thing that we truly cannot afford is to forget the lessons learned in Kandahar.

Nickel and diming ourselves into another decade of darkness will exact too high a price: the blood of Canadian soldiers in future conflicts. Putting the military on the back burner means death on the battlefield — a cost no Canadian or Canadian government should be willing to pay.
As we enter our own arguments about budgets - we should accept the wisdom of our Canadian friends - and thank them for their work in AFG.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It takes a Canadian

Ummmm, yep. Rex just about nails it.
In the main, the establishment American media abandoned its critical faculties during the Obama campaign — and it hasn’t reclaimed them since.

Much of the Obama coverage was orchestrated sycophancy. They glided past his pretensions — when did a presidential candidate before “address the world” from the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin? They ignored his arrogance — “You’re likable enough, Hillary.” And they averted their eyes from his every gaffe — such as the admission that he didn’t speak “Austrian.”

The media walked right past the decades-long association of Obama with the weird and racist pastor Jeremiah Wright. In the midst of the brief stormlet over the issue, one CNN host — inexplicably — decided that CNN was going to be a “Wright-free zone.” He could have hung out a sign: “No bad news about Obama here.”

The media trashed Hillary. They burned Republicans. They ransacked Sarah Palin and her family. But Obama, the cool, the detached, the oracular Obama — he strolled to the presidency.

Palin, in particular, stands out as Obama’s opposite in the media’s eyes. As much as they genuflected to the one, they felt the need to turn rottweiler toward the other. If Obama was sacred , classy, intellectual and cosmopolitan, why then Palin must be malevolent, trashy, dumb and pure backwoods-ignorant.

Every doubt they hid from themselves about Obama, every potential embarrassment they tucked under the blanket of their superior sensibilities, they furiously over-compensated for by their remorseless hounding of Palin — from utterly trivial e-mails, to blogger Andrew Sullivan’s weird speculations about Palin’s womb, musings that put the Obama “Birther” fantasies into a realm near sanity. (We are now seeing an echo of that — with a new book promoting all sorts of unconfirmed gossip about Palin, including her alleged sexual dalliance with a basketball star.)

As a result, the press gave the great American republic an untried, unknown and, it is becoming more and more frighteningly clear, incompetent figure as President. Under Obama, America’s foreign policies are a mixture of confusion and costly impotence. It is increasingly bypassed or derided; the great approach to the Muslim world, symbolized by the Cairo speech, is in tatters. Its debt and deficits are a weight on the entire global economy. And the office of presidency is less and less a symbol of strength.

To the degree the press neglected its function as watchdog and turned cupbearer to a Styrofoam demigod, it is a partner in the flaws and failures of what is turning out to be one of the most miserable performances in the modern history of the American presidency.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Could the Red Ensign be Next?


One can only hope, but probably not. That being said - this is a good sign for Canada (and I say that as a small "r" republican).
The Liberals removed the "royal" designation in 1968 when they amalgamated the branches of service and called the military the Canadian Forces.

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, announced the decision to bring back the word "royal" for the official names of the two branches of the military in a memo posted on Monday on the military discussion site Milnet.ca.

The initiative to restore the names of Canada's former services "is aimed at restoring an important and recognisable part of Canada's military heritage," Gen Natynczyk said.

"These were the services that fought and emerged victorious from the Second World War and Korea and contributed to the defence of Europe and North America from the early days of the Cold War. These were also the services that paved the way in terms of international peacekeeping missions."
Your core is British; there's nothing wrong with that. Be proud, the British brought the modern world to us all, good and bad. Mostly good.

One final note; I don't know about you, but there are a lot of things picked up in the West circa 1968 I would love to throw away.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Well, Canada gets it ....

Their economy has not cracked like ours. The Loonie continues to rise. There are reasons for this ... and the Canadians know it.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives won a majority last night, putting an end to almost seven years of minority rule in the country.

The Conservatives fought off a torrid challenge from Jack Layton and the New Democrats, who finished second in the polls and became the official opposition for the first time ever at the federal level. The Liberals finished a distant third.

“Suffice it to say, markets prefer majority to minority, and known to unknown,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “All financial markets are likely to benefit, at least moderately.”

At the start of the campaign, investors contemplated one of two outcomes: a Conservative majority or a Conservative minority.

While in general markets like majority governments best, it was widely believed that a fourth consecutive Harper minority would be mostly positive for the loonie, stocks and other financial assets, particularly given how well Canada’s economy and financial markets have performed in the wake of the financial crisis.

Canada still needs to work on its freedom of speech, its quasi-Orwellian PC-codes, rebuild its military more as a % of GDP, and its health care system (talk to anyone in a a Tampa hospital what I am talking about) ... but ... our friends to the north are getting better and better, a nice self-correcting society.

Bully to you to the north.

A note to my countrymen. Early last decade, Harper and his "proto-Tea Party" Reform Party came out of the western provinces to much tut-tut'n about how radical they were. How dangerously right-wing they were, homeless on the street and old people dying in snow drifts etc. Sound familiar? Now look at what they have done for Canada.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crow tastes OK when wrapped in bacon


Then again, what doesn't?

Hmmm .... let me quote myself,
I won’t even start to discuss the UN route – as to get to that point is just too difficult and like Darfur, by the time someone can craft a deal, there will be no one to save. Anyway, really?
I still may be right, as the rebel forces are left mostly with Benghazi, and Gaddafi's forces ready to eliminate them.

But ... here we
go,
The United Nations authorised military action to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing "no mercy, no pity."

"We will come, zenga, zenga. House by house, room by room," he said in a radio address to the eastern city.

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a central square celebrating the U.N. vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolour flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades. Fireworks burst over the city.

Gaddafi had warned that only those who lay down their arms would be spared vengeance to be exacted on 'rats and dogs'.

"It's over. The issue has been decided," Gaddafi said. "We are coming tonight...We will find you in your closets.

"We will have no mercy and no pity."
You reach a point where everything is over but the killing - and the air battle may be done. The rest will be done how it always is - by a young man with a rifle taking land and killing opposition.
French diplomatic sources said military action could come within hours, and could include France, Britain and possibly the United States and one or more Arab states; but a U.S. military official said no immediate U.S. action was expected following the vote.

Ten of the Council's 15 member states voted in favour of the resolution, with Russia, China and Germany among the five that abstained. There were no votes against the resolution, which was co-sponsored by France, Britain, Lebanon and the United States.

Rebel National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told Al Jazeera television air strikes were essential to stop Gaddafi.

"We stand on firm ground. We will not be intimidated by these lies and claims... We will not settle for anything but liberation from this regime."
To do CAS right - someone on the ground has to the targeting - otherwise you are ineffective or messy.

This will need to be watched. The hour is late - the promise has been made - credibility is on the line - let's see the execution.

So far - looking interesting. Even the
Canadians are on the move.
"The Canadian government has made the decision late today that Canada will send six CF-18 fighter jets to join the Americans, the British and the French and other countries that will participate in imposing a no-fly zone," CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Thursday.

The jets will be based out of Italy and could be there as soon as Friday.
Again, the hour is late. I pray good leadership; good ROE; good follow-through.

Good luck to those going forward - we are stepping in to a dark room; again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Take THAT Canada!!!

First ... the better, because early-80s Chap demands it.



Then what started it all.



If you don't know why I am even posting this - then click here.

People need to get a hobby .... wait .... being
Mrs. Kravitz is their hobby.