Friday, July 28, 2006

Freedom and Democracy, Afghan Style

This is just Marvelous! Another example of what G.W. Bush calls Freedom on the March : the Globe and Mail is now reporting that President Hamid Karzai and his Afghan government plan to reinstate the infamous Ministry of Morality, aka the Vice-and-Virtue department, aka the Be-Nice-or-Torture department.

These are the guys who, under the Taliban regime, used to roam the streets of Kabul and beat up men whose beards were not long enough, or better still, flog women who dared to venture outside without a male relative.

How nice. What a model of democracy we are helping to create.

Is this what our Canadian soldiers are fighting and dying for in Afghanistan??

I think not. Do you? How about you, PM Harper?

Read the whole thing

Two tails down,
Your favorite Terrier, Dudley

Monday, July 24, 2006

Yaffe Agrees with the Alter Boys: Stéphane Dion is The Man!

Meanwhile, back in Canada...

Great piece by Barbara Yaffe on Stéphane Dion in the Vancouver Sun (July 22, page C04). Yes, we do get the paper in Montréal! But sorry, can’t link to it: got to subscribe. But here’s the jist of it:

"Charming Dion will take the Liberal helm"
"I'm going to go out on a limb to make a brazen prediction: At December's Liberal convention, the compromise leadership candidate who will come from behind to unite all forces opposing Michael Ignatieff, and win, will be Stéphane Dion."

She then goes on to state the obvious: Dion has got the best resume, he’s the most experienced and qualified candidate, he’s charming, he's got a clear agenda, and he says what he means-means what he says. And he drinks his beer straight from the bottle to boot!!

The Alter Boys bark: 3 woofs for the Alpha Dog: Stéphane Dion.
Wag on,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Middle East: Java Wants to Know

Our very own little sister Java, now 8 months old, is starting to ask embarrassing questions about the situation in the Middle East.

Why is that lady Condi Rice saying that the root cause of the conflict is Syria’s and Iran’s support and financing of Hezbollah?” barked Java.

Well…I…I…was all I could muster.

Isn’t the USA supporting and financing Israel? Just this morning I read in the New York Times that the USA is rushing new missiles to Israel.”

Yes, but…, then I went barkless…

Why is support and financing sometimes good and sometimes bad?”

Then at a loss for words, I quoted Orwell: “All support and financing are equal. But some are more equal than others”
I don’t know for the life of me where little Java had read Animal Farm, but somehow she got my point.

Wag on lil’ Java.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kyoto and Stéphane Dion spotted in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

In his latest posting on this very blog, my friend Jules mentioned that Kyoto, a canine acquaintance of his, spent Canada Day in Québec City. I would like to report that Kyoto and his very own personal Human, Liberal leadership candidate Stéphane Dion, were spotted campaigning in the beautiful Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region two weeks ago.

Reached earlier Today on his cell phone, Kyoto had this comment: “Everyone had a woofing good time! Stéphane and I got a bark of a great reception in Alma and Saint-Félicien. We’ll try and go back "Au Lac" as soon as possible!”

Kyoto added that he travels with Mr. Dion whenever his schedule allows it.

You can read the whole report in
L’Étoile du Lac
Wag On,

Le Retour de Jules: Liban, Pluie et Nouveau Gouvernement

La situation au Moyen-Orient, dont parle abondamment mon copain Dudley ces jours-ci, me force à rompre mes vœux de silence. En effet, suite à des pressions faites sur nos colocataires humains (je soupçonne entre autres le facteur et le laitier…) je me suis abstenu d’exprimer mon mécontentement de façon trop vocale, à la maison comme dans le cyberespace. D’autant plus que mes activités politiques me tiennent plutôt occupé depuis quelques mois et entre les courses dans le jardin, les siestes et les repas, il ne me reste pas beaucoup de temps pour écrire!

Mais là c’en est trop! Devant la piètre performance du « Nouveau Gouvernement » du Canada et son impuissance à s’occuper de façon adéquate des citoyens canadiens qui sont pris au Liban et qui subissent les attaques de l’armée et de l’aviation israéliennes, je me dois d’aboyer mon indignation!

Cette situation déplorable était à l’ordre du jour d’une de mes nombreuses réunions politiques l’autre jour, lorsqu’un de mes bons amis nous a admis qu’il n’était pas surpris de voir que les conservateurs brillaient par leur absence lorsque qu’une situation se corsait un peu trop à leur goût. Pour illustrer son propos, mon ami Kyoto, puisque c’est de lui qu’il s’agit, nous rapporta ce dont il avait été témoin à Québec le 1er juillet dernier.

Alors qu’il accompagnait Stéphane Dion dans une de ses tournées pour la campagne au leadership du Parti libéral, ce sympathique Husky assistait aux cérémonies de la Fête du Canada dans le Vieux Québec et à la Citadelle : levée du drapeau, hymne national et coupe du gâteau d’anniversaire étaient donc à l’ordre du jour. Mais, fait à souligner, M. Dion était le seul représentant du gouvernement canadien à ces quelques activités. Voyez-vous, à cause de conditions adverses absolument épouvantables, la représentante du parti ministériel ne pouvait pas être là! Vous comprendrez que Mme Verner, la ministre responsable de la région de Québec, a du rester à l’abri dans sa limousine … CAR IL PLEUVAIT MESDAMES ET MESSIEURS!! Même l’usage du parapluie ne semblait pas être une option pour faire face à cette catastrophe!!!

Le poil de Kyoto se dressait encore sur son dos à la seule pensée de ce manque flagrant de respect. Nous étions tous atterrés autour du banc de parc où nous étions réunis. Pas étonnant donc que le gouvernement Harper ne fasse pas son travail au Liban ces jours-ci et qu’il s’abstienne de faire quelque reproche que ce soit au gouvernement israélien: il faudrait que notre Premier ministre et son cabinet se mouillent!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Stephen Harper: Dereliction of Duty

The first and foremost responsibility of any Canadian Prime Minister and its Government is to support, serve and protect Canadian citizens. Whatever the situation in the Middle East or anywhere else on the planet, Canada must put Canadians first. Period.
So get our people out of Lebanon NOW!

When Canadian civilians are killed in a foreign conflict, Stephen Harper’s job is not to lecture us on what he considers to be the roots of said conflict. His job is not to make apologies or play mouthpiece for one side or the other. His responsibility is to ask questions, protest and make sure this doesn’t happen again. His job is not to take sides. The Canadian Prime Minister is supposed to be on one side: Canada’s. Period.

Harper is in no way responsible for the deaths of 7 Canadian citizens in southern Lebanon. But I’ll bet many Canadians will remember that their Prime Minister stood Today on a St. Petersburg podium, shrugged, and said “The first victim was Israel.”
No Sir, Canada’s first victims were Canadians.
Two Tails Down.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meanwhile, back in St.Petersburg

It's 11 O'rock pm in Montréal, so President Steve (Formally known as the Canadian Prime Minister) must be getting out of his cosy St.Petersburg bed just about now. Hope that someone at the US State Department prepared his statement, re: at least 7 Canadian Nationals killed in southern Lebanon. Hope it's a "measured statement". We'll wait and see what Condi thinks...
p.s.: This just in! Our very own Peter Mackay announced that he'll paddle his canoe all the way to Lebanon to evacuate Canadians. He hopes to make it before Christmas.
Tails down.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Ségolène for President

And now, on to a lighter topic! Just saw an interesting bit on BBC World’s Reporters programme. Ségolène Royal, the most likely Socialist candidate in the upcoming French presidential elections, seems to be the talk of Europe. Good for her. And I like her too.

Here’s the (not so funny) bit: Her parents had eight children. But apparently, Ségolène Royal’s father, described as being a "conservative catholic soldier", has been heard claiming that he had 5 children and 3 daughters...

No wonder she turned left.

Wag on.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Veto? What Veto?

They died and died and ... Meanwhile, back at the UN ranch...
The US, playing the usual "honest-broker" and "proportional response" cards, vetoed the latest UN resolution re: the Israel/Palestine question. What else is new.
Read the whole and really comprehensive story here at Liberal Catnip
Why blog it if you can link it, right?

A Very Normal Life

And meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Northern Israel coastal towns of Nahariya and Haifa were bombed Today, most probably by Hezbollah missiles (as of Tonight’s reports).
Just saw the CBC bit. Say Nahariya citizens: “we’re scared; we can not live a normal life.”
I sympathize.
Now, just imagine how sweet it must be to “live a normal life” in the Gaza Strip.
Wag on,

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's Only Words - For Now

Semantics - what a quaint little concept, don’t you think? For years now, the U.S. Government honchos and assorted hacks hammered us with the “America is at War” shtick. Yet, according to same honchos and hacks, no way were the Gitmo military detainees (and those countless ones imprisoned around the World that we don’t know about) “Prisoners of War”.

Until Today. In a laconic press release, the White House just announced that the Gitmo detainees were now “Prisoners of War”, i.e. protected by the Geneva Conventions. So, the official semantics has shifted. But somehow, I have the feeling that the 450 Guantanamo Bay detainees’ daily life will not change overnight. Until further notice, it’s only words.

And that “shift in policy” certainly doesn’t change the fact that these detainees have been held for over 4 years without trial nor indictment.
For the whole story: BBC News

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Random Bites

A couple of nibbles to chew on:
1. Jean Charest à Paris.
Yesterday, we barked a few barks concerning the media treatment of Jean Charest's comments on Québec's independance. In this Sunday edition of La Presse, editorialist André Pratte stated the obvious: there was nothing new, nor newsworthy, about Charest's comments. Which leaves us with this absurd, yet haunting question: why, then, did La Presse and other assorted media outlets put that non-news on their front page?
2. Freedom on the March!
Page one of George W Bush's bedtime story book about Irak reads as follows: "We're Making Good Progress!". Page two of the same fairytale is the ever popular "Freedom is on the March!"
The news of the day: "At least 62 Irakis killed on Sunday". Must be nice to be free when you're dead ... Have a nice day.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Keep Your Shirt On !

Jean à Paris.
Here goes nothing: Premier Jean Charest visits Paris and answers the obligatory silly French question.
Q: “Is an independent Québec viable?”
A: “Of course, the province has the means to go it alone. BUT IT IS NOT IN OUR BEST INTEREST!”

As usual, just like Pavlov’s dog (and we at Alter Boys know a few things about pups), the media hyperventilated and got overly excited. They picked up on the first part of the answer and, of course, barely mentioned the essential: It’s not in our interest! (Full disclosure: nous, Jules et Dudley, sommes de bons canadiens français de Montréal. So we know our best interest!)

Et La Presse de titrer : « Le Québec a les moyens de devenir indépendant »
The Toronto Star: « Québec could go it alone, but won’t »
Bourque (sorry Pierre!) really went overboard: « Major Charest Blunder »

Sorry guys. No blunder. No nothing. Just a No News Day (NNDtm).

Our thanks to The Gazette’s Hubert Bauch (July 8, page A12) for putting the whole thing in perspective: It’s been said time and time again - Yes we could. It does not mean we should or will.

Of course, we pups have the means to go it alone. We could live in the forest and feed on what Mother Nature provides. But does that mean that it is in our best interest?
So, please ladies and gents of the media: keep your shirts on. No need to get your shorts in a knot. Nothing new. Nothing to get excited about. Jean Charest just stated the obvious: We could do it, but we won’t – Why should we?
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