Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A message from Sir William F. Butler to George Bush

'The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man', Butler wrote,' is liable to find its fighting done by fools and thinking by cowards.'

McCourt, Edward; Remember Butler; Mclelland & Stewart, Toronto 1967

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Homeless join the construction boom

Take a walk along River Road opposite the Billy Miner Pub and step on to historical Haney Wharf for one of Maple Ridge's curio-cities.

A fleet of things that float - they defy description - are tied up or busy being built up by one the the Fraser River's nomadic tribes.

Visitors come daily to gape at this phenomenon. District of Maple Ridge officials, both staff and council, say their hands are tied and are very happy to have the new city growing at the foot of 224th Street. They are happy too to provide electricity and water free of charge to the new community. The new community was established around the the time of the previous year's pink salmon run and also around the time when the only official tenant of the Distirct, a log salvage operator, used to occupy the water front now occupied by the waterborne vagrants.

To date there have been no fatalities of any kind, but with summer on our doorstep this could change. Authorities say that the Vancouver police department and other agencies are so effecient in driving the homeless out of East Hastings ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics 'clean up' operation that we in the valley can expect our homeless population to soar.

There have been reports that a prostitution ring and a drug retail operation is based at the waterfront - the ton of garbage found daily on the wharf and in the general area seems to confirm the presence of a 24 hour substance abuse fest. It would be interesting to do a dive near the new floating city to study the amount of shopping trolleys anchored to the bed of the river. No doubt divers would find more than shopping trolleys.

This reflects and way the Fraser Valley is maturing. With population comes so many other things, housing being just one. Maple Ridge, unique as ever, has solved the probelm by allowing the development of its own Riviera just west of the Port Haney Wharf. A charming corner of the Fraser. Who knows, one day we might see our own version of the Cannes Film festival in Maple Ridge with a red carpet running down to the wharf and celebrities sipping Kokanees and rye on the patio of the Billy Miner - yummy. Now that would be something to crow about.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"American" is the official/national language of the US.

Do ya think George could sorta get the border straightened out, capture Old Sims Allah Bin Lay Low and extricate himself from Eye-Rack, stop calling Quatar "Cutter", win the war on "ter", fix medicare and fix the levees in New Orleans before being overcome with the need to retrain 300 million people in the art of the English language?

There must have been overt tittering and suppressed mirth in the halls of Oxford and Cambridge today when the world learned that the Whitehouse was to declare English an official or perhaps more racially, a national language.

Hey, buddy, you lost the war on English a long time ago. Just stick with the wars at hand. The US declaring English as its official language is like the pot calling the kettle ........well, maybe not. Now that would be racist.


"I saw this fellow standing around in only his underpants. He had no vested interest."


May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stephen Harper needs to stop. Think.

Canada's decision to re-commit to the insurance of a democratic Afghanistan is at once admirable and nerve wracking. Admirable in that certain characteristics seem common to the people of Canada and Afghanistan, nerve wracking in that one of the characteristics that we do not share with our Afghani brothers is perhaps the acceptance of death in battle. I say ‘perhaps’ because I do not truthfully know.

The history of conflict down the decades and centuries in Afghanistan is as tragic as it is heroic. Like so many countries in the mid-east it seems from this distant latte-filled latitude and languishing-longitude that there exists no hope at all for the warlords and their most humbled servants in states such as Afghanistan.

Is the decision to send our rag-tag troops to this country wise? The loud cry I heard from the Conservatives when campaigning was that Canada needed to beef up its military machine. Given the short time that we have had under a Conservative government it is hard to believe that Canada is already prepared for a role in Afghanistan. In addition, as a people, war is not in our nature. Nor should it be in anyone’s. Our meaning is no doubt Honourable, other than the political motivations of course, but can we achieve anything more than succour to the man in the street in Kabul?

The Liberals may have much to answer to in their financial shenanigans and total disdain for Canada in their arrogant behaviour, but declining the invitation to enjoin with the US in the Iraq fiasco was an act of true Canadesque. The Conservatives would have been well-advised to take at least this one leaf from the Liberal book when contemplating our country’s role in Afghanistan. Choosing not to do something can be quite as powerful an implement as choosing to engage. This is lost of course on our neighbour to south, but fortunately not lost on the majority of its peoples. Iraq will come eventually to a trundling halt as one of the biggest military mistakes ever. It is worrying therefore to see this newly-minted and largely inexperienced Conservative cabinet flirting, if ever so coyly, with a similar fate.

Stephen Harper, if the tales we hear in the press are even vaguely true, may already be displaying some of the autocratic dementia with which the United States has suffered these past two terms under bow-legged Bush. It is a fair bet -make that a sure bet- that Harper is way more intelligent than Bush. And if Harper can resist his natural tendencies for being a one-man show then as a side-bet it is probable that he will endure past the next US election and in all likelihood his new counterpart will be a Democrat; a woman perhaps. In the meantime Harper would be well-advised, even if it is he advising himself, to quit emulating George Bush behaviour patterns. It does not sit well with Canadians. And it does not sit well with the world.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Today's word.


Farming is an industry that ruins the natural environment?

What an outrageous headline
There seems to me to exist a certain delicious irony in one or two interest groups proclaiming in so shrill a manner that industry and commerce threatens the rural life in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows when agriculture itself is a destroyer of the natural environment, both land and water bound. Frankly, if ruralists were honest with themselves (that is probably asking too much of them), those who wish to protect the farmlands of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge would be better engaged fighting for the dismantling of the dykes so that nature can go about its business unhindered by the threat of artificially created farmlands. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but I suspect that the same groups who fight for farmlands of Maple Ridge would probably, if asked vehemently oppose, for instance, clearing forests in South America and Asia for the purposes of agriculture. When it comes to double standards
the environementalists seem to know no bounds and happily continue ripping pages from the books of the very people they abhor.
"Holland meets rural England in the Vancouver, B.C., suburbs of Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, bedroom communities surrounded by three rivers, forested parks, coastal mountains and a 30-mile network of dikes built by Dutch settlers in the 1950s." That is what the brochures say.

Part of the Lower Fraser River Valley, this area is an easy day trip from Vancouver but budgeting extra time for an overnight yields some nice surprises. Among them: a riverside B&B, a British-style pub and a free, five-minute cruise across the Fraser.

Unique to the area are the dikes — long stretches of raised earthen mounds surrounded by the rural Pitt Polder, a 217-acre low-lying mix of farmland, marshes and mudflats.

Dutch dairy farmers settled in the area after World War II, reclaimed the land along the Pitt, Alouette and Fraser rivers and, using techniques perfected in the Netherlands, built the dikes as a method of flood control.
Today, locals use the embankments as hiking, biking and horse-riding trails.

Protect farmland or farmers?

Are we protecting the business of farming or farmland? "Both" I hear on my left. "Neither" I hear on my right.

Maple Ridge is commonly quoted as having some 230 farms. These farms are scattered throughout this small community located on the northeast fringe of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (“GVRD”) and operate under GVRD regulations and guidelines.

Of the many bodies that function within the GVRD to control socio-economic and environmental issues, the Agricultural Land Commission (“ALC”) which was set up as the custodian of the Agricultural Land Reserve, finds itself at the centre of an ongoing and contentious public debate. The arguments for and against vary little, yet the areas vary geographically within the confines of the GVRD, from municipality to municipality.

Naturally enough big arguments seem to attract big statements. Farming is a waste of land, one side argues. Farm land must be protected at all costs, the other side argues. It is tempting to leave those two statements in that pure form and simply take a vote them. Alas, there’s more.

Here is an example. Of the 230 farms operating in Maple Ridge how many did so profitably or could simply be said to have been of a community benefit, irrespective of viability? Someone out there will have an answer to that question.

Perhaps that same someone has the answer this question. Was the ALC formed to protect farm land or farms? If farm land is not being protected for farming then for what purpose is it being held in reserve?

Maple Ridge in its brief history since
1860 at the time of Proclamation of the Pre-Emption Act in January, allowing for the registration of land in British Columbia; the first pre-emptions are at Albion, Chilliwack and Sumas, has followed a path of subdividing itself into urban sprawl to the point where it now finds itself. With each subdivision the threat to agricultural accelerates.

Environmental purists argue for the protection of every centimeter that is green, including the farmland that was wrested from the natural environment by the imposition of dykes on the flood plain. What developers find troubling perhaps is that the environmentalists make no differentiation between a 5, 10, 15, 20 or 100 acre piece land that falls within the ALR. Put another way, how big is a farm? Or what constitutes a farm? Someone, someone in the Maple Ridge Planning Department, knows exactly how many sites exist within the ALR that will nary see a farm operating on them today, tomorrow or ever. A cynic may describe these marginal sites as “rural trinkets” maintained only for the pleasure of environmental purists. A landowner for his part may view them as a nest egg.

Of course, in a world where size does not count, any argument that would permit ALR land to be excluded simply because it is not now nor ever will be viable seems not to matter. Or does it? Would the lives of the politicians and bureaucrats (not to mention the many interest groups) not be simplified if it were possible to better define that land which is truly of agricultural value and that which is simply an adornment? Or would such a suggestion only deepen the complexities?

Old Macdonald had a farm - he owes he owes he owes

A key component to “how the community will look 20 and 50 years from now” within the framework of a “solid vision”.

Winning back the farmlands of Maple Ridge

Some initial thoughts and concepts

First three months of the next three years = devise a plan

Formula for success: Planned + Coordinated + Sustained = implement the plan

Definitions, glossary and terms of reference

During casual discussions between the Mayor, council, staff and the public we all use terms to describe the components. Nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs fly hot and heavy during, for instance, the debate over the OCP. The 2005 summer public hearing was an excellent example of broadly used terms that were meant as one thing spoken, but heard as another, often opposite meaning. Probably the best example of this is the use of the terms “agricultural”, “conservation”, “open space”, “park”, “community forest”, “research forest”, “forest reserve” and “greenway.”

The terms above are taken directly, and in order, from the Official Community Plan Schedule B dated revise April 29 2003 and one which the public and Planning Department currently use for reference when dealing with Zoning applications and other planning matters.

An obvious and glaring omission to the informed, will be the fact that nowhere on the OCP Schedule B, will the reader find the words “GREEN ZONE”. Considering the attention that these two words received during the OCP hearings and more recently at the all candidates meetings this omission seems odd. More odd yet is the fact that nowhere on what we refer to as our “Official” Community Plan is there any reference to the phrase “Agricultural Land Reserve” or for that matter “Agricultural Land Commission.” How is that the most important single document in the District fails to describe the most often referred to areas of contention in the community? It is understood that the OCP itself refers often and clearly to ALR, Green Zone and the ALC and the prescribed process for handling applications for exclusion, but no one casting and eye over the April 29 2003 map would be struck by any of the implications that underlie these issues.

Add to the above the fact that proponents and opponents in every debate use the various description terms to suit their own points of view and often transpose meanings with one another, it would be advisable to include in any future planning or attempts at visionary or long-term planning exercise terms of reference that are agreed by all members of the Planning Department, Council, Committees and Commissions.

Before leaving this subject of definitions, we need to clarify what is meant by GREEN ZONE and perhaps more important we need definitive legal opinion on who is the final arbiter of what is known as the GREEN ZONE. A basic question may be: “Is there a GREEN ZONE?” If the answer is “yes” should there not be a line notated as “GREEN ZONE” on the next OCP?

In his inaugural address Mayor Robson refers to the need to “re-examine the ALR and Green Zone” as, in his words, these tools are only ways of “delaying the inevitable”. Most significant is Mayor Robson’s idea that we, the community, must decide what the “end product must look like.” We should pause right there. One might, rather than use the words “end product” substitute the word destination. With a long term (20 to 50 year) destination in our collective mind, it becomes necessary to set out on this “visionary” journey with some navigational tools, way points and a map. The terms of reference and how they are defined are the only tools we have and so need to be commonly understood by all the players and stakeholders.

Sticking with the Mayor’s address we should immediately be aware of his reference to “public lands”. The Mayor will be looking for a plan that supports the “permanent retention” of public lands. Any committee, commission or work group involved in developing a scheme that will meet the Mayor’s expectations would be well-advised to seek clarity on the technical and legal meaning of “public lands” by today’s definition and any anticipated changes to the definition which may be required to meet the 2006-2009 council’s expectations. Public ownership comes with unique rules which need to be addressed separately from the OCP in the first instance and then re-introduced into the OCP context subsequently, once the rules are clear. EXAMPLE: Public Lands could for instance, mean Municipal acquisition and title to farmlands with the express goal of ALR protection. Just as an example the concepts below hint at some likely complexities and questions that need to be addressed in order to explore the realities of such an idea:

Primary Tasks
This is not an academic exercise – it is aimed at finding a practical solution to a planning issue.
Yet data and research are critical to its successful outcome

Gather the discrete facts (data) and create and information library by organizing the data into reports for the study of the “The Problem”
Research various methods that have proven successful in finding solutions to the conflicts arising from the effects of sprawl on agricultural land reserves.
The problem
Urban Sprawl
Extended thoughts
The solution
A 50-year plan to protect agricultural land
Make the ALR inviolate.
Alter the role/relationship of ALC/Maple Ridge Council
State goal

1000 Friends of Maple Ridge Example
“To preserve the rural character and community spirit that contributes to the quality of life in Maple Ridge” 1000 Friends of Maple Ridge (CA note: this message is not as strong as it could be )
Protect the ALR
Establish a permanent urban boundary
Ensure all development contributes to quality of life
Preserve and celebrate environmental qualities
Acknowledge natural heritage
Insure direct resident involvement in planning process
Monitor performance
1000 Friends of Maple Ridge Draft
Define a process
Charrette, public information/hearing

Communications Committee
Who talks to GVRD, Province, Real Estate Board

Expect law suits from owners of ALR who want it excluded.
First Pro most likely the first to file a claim?
Compensation Plan Proposal
Establish land costs based on what – adjust tax base to make purchases fair and possible.

What is assumed about developers, farmers, the public, Victoria, Ottawa, taxes, transport etc?
How does one turn assumptions into discrete data and then assemble data into manageable information?
Taxes, subsidies and the agricultural economies
The emotional desire to protect farmland may not be matched to the systemic and political realities.

What are the founding
Long-term sustainability
(maximum 6)

Devise Plan

Build list of proponents and opponents

Third party support

UBC (Patrick Condon) David Suzuki etc.

Look for models in other jurisdictions.
Philosophical and philanthropic support
James Pattison + Milton Wong

Political Support
Carole Taylor, David Emerson


Community Charter

Legal mechanisms for excluding lands from the ALR are counterbalanced by legal mechanisms for protection of arable and grazing lands.
Assemble technical papers
Provincial, UBC, Golder, Envirowest, World Farming Organizations
Many farmers and economist agree that farming the soils of Maple Ridge is not viable. Were it not for the fact some of the land was staked (freely gifted) during the early days of settlement the land would today be built on.

Countering this argument is the notion that ALR must be protected no matter what the $ cost may be as the cost of losing the ALR is too high in terms of environmental and community.
Assemble economic data
Economic Development Department to gather financial data
Comparative studies need to be done that will show how the manner in which a farm comes into being (how it is paid for, for what its purpose is etc) will determine the attitude of the farmer towards exclusion.
Demographics and Psychographics
Age, marital status, number of children (mal/female), level of education, social standing, social mores play a combined role in determining a farmer’s reaction to the prospect of exclusion or protection.
Similarly the make-up of the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows community is constantly changing. Many people move to this area in the hope of cheaper housing, more green space and a better lifestyle for their children. Some of them are disappointed to find that Maple Ridge may soon be indistinguishable from Burnaby, New Westminster or Richmond. On the other hand some of these newly arrived residents are delighted to find the prospects of Maple Ridge growing to become a replica of these other communities (that is to say, all the amenities at a lower cost – Big Box shopping etc).

Why are we thinking of embarking on this journey?
Are we driven by the trend to environmental protection which may be traced back to larger issues such as Global Warming, Kyoto, Globalization, fossil fuel emissions, reduction in ice cap mass, famine in Africa, instability caused by US military presence in the Mid-East etc?

Or does Maple Ridge simply want to “be different”?

How do we prepare and how to we make it happen?
First we find out if it is legal. If it is not legal we attempt to change the law. Law by definition is an amendable and flexible mechanism. It is only “law” until such time that it is changed by consensus within the democratic framework.

If it can be legally achieved, we need to ask the community if it is what the community wishes? Does the community want a 100% built out Maple Ridge – over time this would be the logical result of creeping loss.

Or does the community seek balance.

Or does the community feel that “creeping loss” can be replaced with “creeping gain” of the ALR.
Reversing a trend is what the real aim is
Loss by creep replaced by gain by creep.

The legacy Maple Ridge would leave on the Fraser Valley is that it reversed creeping loss by introducing creeping gain through the introduction of specific bylaws whose intention was for the sole purpose of protecting further depletion of the ALR.
Notes: from Livable Region Strategic Plan.

Review the plans in relation to OCP and Area Plans – look for conflicts.

The urban Reserve – does it meet with realities of 2005 as it was established in the 1980s.

Are any of these documents amendable or are they meant to be “for life”
Define the differences between Green Zone and Agricultural Reserve. Highlight the differences between conservation, park, open space, community forest, research forest, forest reserve, and the extension to forest reserve, agricultural reserve (how do these areas relate to the so-called Green Zone? What is the Green Zone?)
Prove the economic argument.

Alternatives to population increases
Alternatives to sprawl

Think of sprawl as an addiction.
Sprawl is the GM and the Ford of urban planning.
Protective development is the Honda and Toyota of future urban planning.
Bring the pro-agri/green groups together.

Certain groups who may not agree on many things will have to agree on at least one thing – farm lands must be protected forever.
To do this one must change the way we look at the OCP and get away from the simple routine of pigeon holing the zones into convenient slots. A wider view of the problem is required.
Advocate brown/gray/blue fields for future absorption of population.

Use alternatives to the subdivision to act as blotting paper in absorbing population growth.
Saturate infill before contemplating any expansion of urban boundary.

Leave the argument for the north/south or east/west urban expansion debate for future OCPs not the current one.
Forecast food costs for growing and transportation

Federal Studies for coast to coast food demands.

Study European examples.


Create a higher model for our children’s children.

Look beyond 5 or ten year plans to 50 and 100 year plans.

Encapsulate in a 3-month draft plan – make it part of OCP?

Broaden and deepen the chapters on ALR in the 2006 review of the OCP.

The amalgamation question

(CA wants to draft a blended OCP)

Public ownership of farmlands.

How is it paid for? DCCs etc. SEE DIAGRAMS

The “M” word.
Are we talking moratorium on ALR – the “M’ word
Perhaps the real reason is to disprove that a moratorium is impossible.

What power does Maple Ridge District have as the “primary gatekeeper”?

(see page 9, 2002 Annual Report of Livable Regions Strategic Plan)
“Farmland is an important part of the Greater Vancouver landscape. It is a significant contributor to the regional economy, provides the region with a supply of high-quality, local foods, and it provides considerable green space for the benefit of humans and wildlife.

“Since 1973, agricultural land in BC has been protected by the Agricultural Land Reserve Act. The administration of this act is the responsibility of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC). HOWEVER, the primary “gatekeepers” of the Agricultural Land Reserve are individual municipalities.



The plan (OCP) may be more forthright in stating the developers must infill before outflow.

The ALR amendment to the OCP
If the bold print above is true and accurate (published in the GVRD’s own report) then one has to recognize that mechanism for protecting land within the Maple Ridge ALR is contained in one document and one document alone; the Official Community Plan. It is only when the researcher understands this as an irrevocable fact that the significance of getting the OCP right become clear. A poorly written OCP can have long-term negative effects on the future of Maple Ridge. A well-defined and clearly written OCP can have a positive long-term effect the future of the community.

The OCP is the effective DNA of the community’s future.

Given that the OCP is the sole responsibility of the Planning Department and its passage into law is the sole responsibility of council, it is understandable that the public, both pro-development and pro-environment, become highly agitated and extremely vocal during the times when the OCP come up for amendment through the amendment process.

It s highly probable that the 2006 revision of the 2005 OCP review may well result in a 2007 review, in the event that the OCP is seen by the public as failing to establish a vision for the next 10, 20 and 50 years.

The public have become acutely aware of the implications of the OCP and this awareness is not limited to the NIMBY groups, special interests or academic meddlers. 145 speakers from every corner of the community spoke out against the draft contents of the OCP in 2005. Council and staff took note. How they respond under the guidance of the newly elected council will be telling.

Can tax on open inner city lots be amended to encourage sale/development of neglected inner city sites?

Measure the resistance to the concept.
Public good v. Individual Rights.
Tax department prepares ratio analysis of open lot tax returns compared to built lots of similar size – what is the loss in $ to the District.

This money (if it were converted to tax dollars) could go towards securing agricultural lands on “lease-back” basis for public benefit for instance.
These are complex propositions which go to the fundamentals of the tax system.
In the United Kingdom and Europe, communities have established numerous Public Trusts

(Claus has been talking to one in Somerset for three years now).
Agricultural and Green Zone should be treated as “heritage”
Our past supports our future.
What does Bob Parliament think? Get support form Province and Ottawa?
When holders of small agricultural lots wish to sell they should be purchased by the District at fair market value and aggregated with other contiguous properties where this is possible in order to “win back agricultural “assets for the District.
The long way round.
The purchase by Victoria of certain lands from the Laity family for the purpose of constructing the “North Connector” along 128th Avenue requires that a “fair market” price be paid for the land. What is the formula for fair market price per acre and how can this formula be utilized in determining the cost of land in the future in the even that the district were to acquire ALR lands for protection?
The plan could be cross-border and

Pitt Meadows shares similar concerns about its Agricultural Land Reserve.
Joint committee formed and announcements made between Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
The District of Maple Ridge
The Community Charter
What are the District’s rights when it comes to placing moratoriums on specific zones?
Is the District entitled to make sweeping fundamental changes?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I object

"Ad exec Brault gets 2 1/2 years in jail"

That was the headline on Page 4 of the Vancouver Sun on Saturday May 6, 2006. Canadians spent months being treated through media to the spectacle of what was popularly referred to as the "Sponsorship Scandal" which, if we are to believe the accusations, involved the some $250 of government spending in an exercise to hold Canada together. We understand further that this was allegedly a top to bottom scheme which had its embryonic beginnings in the the office of the prime minister Jean Chretien, without the apparent knowledge of his then finance minister Paul Martin. In the gloom of numerous restaurants, board rooms and ministerial offices a plan evolved with collusion of a long list of ministers and bureaucrats, far too long to list here, to defraud the government and Canadian tax payers to the tune of $250 million. In order to make the plan work it would be necessary to enlist the help of outside agencies; advertising agencies to be precise.

The scheme came unglued, due in part to the bungling Liberal member of Patliament Alfonso Gagliano.

Outrage and fury filled the the public airwaves. How could this fraud have perpetrated? We all wanted to know. An inquiry was needed. Finger pointing and name calling ensued. Mr. Gomery walked us through the lengthy process, made his report and recommendations and now Jean Brault, not Jean Chretien, is on his way to jail. Chuck Guite, Paul Martin, Jean Pelletier and Alfonso Gagliano continue to ply their trade, in or out retirement. Gomery is content in the knowledge that justice has been done. One or two admen will be incarcerated to a few years.
A small price to pay for the loss of $250 million. The system and those who support can breath easily once more.

This has been as sinister a look at the inside workings of Ottawa as one could possibly wish for. The Conservative Party of Canada has been the benefactor of this scandal; some might argue that Canadians have benefitted in an odd and serendipitous way in that those mentioned above delivered the country to the more repsonsible management team under Stephen Harper. Be that as it may, the sentencing of one or two admen in this fraud should be regarded (though it clearly is not) as a failure of our judicial and criminal system.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Rumsfeld losing it on more than one count

"Rumsfeld heckled over war in Iraq

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was repeatedly interrupted and heckled by anti-war protesters during a speech.

One protester, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, accused Mr Rumsfeld of lying to the American people about the presence of WMD in Iraq before the war.
Mr Rumsfeld rejected the accusation and said the Bush administration based its assertions on existing intelligence. "

If Donald Rumsfeld's doctors were watching TV when when CNN treated the world to this incident it may have crossed their minds that their patient is in the early stages of dimentia, though some might argure that the symptons go back quite a while, perhaps decades. This fellow simply has no idea of what he said when and is unable to recall the simplest statements made publicly in earlier interviews. Statements, one should note, that could be considered of some significance. Statments regarding where WMDs were hidden by the Iraqi military. Statments he made pintpointing locations prior to the invasion of Iraq by the US. Statements regarding the likely outcome of the war. And so on - we've heard it all before.

When a student lies to his teacher about why he has not completed his or her homework. Or when an employee lies about why he showed up late for work. Or a child denies stealing cookies from the cookie jar, or a murderer denies being a the scene of the crime, body language and facial expressions are fairly obvious telltales that one is being hoodwinked. How is it then that this old geezer is able to stand up on the world stage and babble on in his demented way (he should be called "Rambling Rumsfeld") ? Why doesn't someone take the mike away from him?

Could it be that the reason is Bumbling Bush?

Losing his mind and losing his war at the same time is obviously taking its toll on Rumsfeld. Interesting how one crazed lunatic, Saddam Hussein, begat another in a country far, far away.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tomorrow's headlines

Washington recalls troops from Iraq to contain civil war in USA between illegal immigrants and US citizens
"How cool is that?" was all Saddam Hussein had to say.