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Showing posts from April, 2007

When Two Winnipegs Collide

How precious is that?

The Mayor (of South Winnipeg) Sam Katz is positively gushy about the Asper Museum for Human Rights in his monthly column in the Winnipeg Sun.

"This truly is one of the greatest visions, projects or events to occur in Winnipeg this century."

That said, how long will it be before Katz decides that $20 million of Winnipeg taxpayers' money isn't enough for this magnificence. What's it going to be? $40 million? $50 mil?

After all, swoons Katz, it's our "opportunity to showcase to the world our dedication as a city, our committment to breeding tolerance and acceptance, and our solidarity for the preservation and education of human rights. It gives Winnipeg the chance to offer hope to the world from right here at home."

Remember, he says, "Winnipeg's reputation as a rich centre for arts and culture, as a spirited community of humanitarianism and as a hub for fast-expanding economic opportunity doesn't always make national …

The War in Afghanistan 2007 Weeks 14 and 15

Even as the Canadian news media do their best to undermine the country's mission to Afghanistan, the past two weeks have been filled with signals from the enemy that NATO is winning.

The Analysis

Let's start with the pep talk Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar gave his followers last week. Taliban commander Mullah Hayatullah Khan told Reuters by satellite phone that Omar had contacted senior and regional commanders and congratulated them for carrying out "successful" attacks in recent weeks.

"Taliban mujahideen (holy warriors), through unity in their ranks, should continue and increase their guerrilla and suicide attacks on occupation forces and the infidels will soon run away," Khan quoted Omar.

Tough talk from two guys who spend their lives hiding in caves.

More importantly is that Omar, who almost never goes public, chose this time to pop up, namely when the Feared Taliban Spring Offensive has been such a complete disaster.

And if you need more proof, there&#…

What's worse, the election campaigns or the media coverage ?

Quick. Somebody call Hugh McFadyen and tell him THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

There really is an election underway.

So far the suffering electorate has watched an Opposition that appears to be making it up on the fly mumble and bumble its way around a scandal-wracked government that's demonstrated its incompetence over the past 8 years.

And we don't know what's worse, the campaigns or the coverage.

The provincial Conservatives have had a year under new leader McFadyen to design a strong, focussed election platform. He was supposed to be the brains behind a slew of successful campaigns for other politicians and now, reins in hand, he would bring the hapless Tories in from the political wilderness.

Handed a short 34-day campaign, McFadyen has so far delivered "the 5 R's", a hodge-podge of unremarkable goals that's about as memorable as Spirited Energy, a photo of himself kicking a soccer ball, and---wait for it---radio ads.

Whoo hoo, radio ads. How 1950's. Expec…

Reconstructing the Virginia Tech shootings moment by moment Part Two

The April 22, 2007, Sunday New York Times provided us with the last pieces of the puzzle.

Integrating them into our examination of the mass murder on the Virginia Tech campus by Cho Seung-Hui, permits us to offer the best reconstruction you'll see anywhere of what exactly happened.

We've made a few changes to Part One to incorporate better information that's come our way and to clear up the odd misunderstanding of events. Before picking up the story, we recap Part One including vital new information.

Picture the second floor of Norris Hall, or at least the shorter leg of the L-shaped building. ( Or go to the interactive page of the NYT athttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/17/us/20070417_SHOOTING_GRAPHIC.html )

There's a row of classrooms on either side of a hallway. On the right are four classrooms---Rooms 200, 204, 206 and 210. Nos. 200 and 210, at the outer edges, were empty. On the left are three classrooms---Room 205 opposite 200, Room 207 opposite 204, and Room 211 o…

Reconstructing the Virginia Tech shootings moment by moment Part 1

Classes at Norris Hall started at 9:05 a.m. A minute later the halls on the second floor would be emptied of students. Cho Seung-Hui knew this very well.

Erin Sheehan was in her German class in Room 207.

"It's a small class, about 25 people," she told the Collegiate Times. "And I would say no more than 2 people didn't show up, were absent."

The instructor was 35-year-old Christopher Bishop, called Jaime by everyone whose smile and shoulder length hair often worn in a ponytail had won the hearts of his students. Ten minutes into the class, there was a mild disruption. Cho opened the door and looked in. Two times.

"...he peeked in twice, earlier in the lesson, like he was looking for someone, somebody..." observed Erin.

"He peeked into my German class, a very small class, and no one usually shows up late. So it was very strange that someone was peeking in twice. And the teacher stopped because he was bothered by this twice, and we all thought it was…