Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Bureaucratic Bulls**t

It has been almost a year since I retired from a full time job in the Army, so I figured it was about time to see about a second career. I have been told by just about everyone I know that I would make a good teacher and, since I find the job appealing, today I finally went to the University of Alberta to see what needs to be done.

The trip was disappointing to say the least.

Since I already have a degree in History, I would be looking at an after degree program. This program is 2 years long. Other programs, such as in Ontario, are only one year. I spoke to some teachers in the Edmonton system to ask about this, and the consensus answer seems to be that the U of A wants to squeeze more money out of its students. Bah.

I was hoping to lower this time by getting some credit for past courses. It is unlikely that any of my past degree can count, since it was used towards another degree. This is not really surprising and makes sense, However, the U of A program is not about teaching you to teach. Fully half of the credits in the 2 year after degree program are electives which are similar to courses taken by any arts student, and are not related to teaching. Do I really want to take 1st year psychology again?

In addition, credit is very rarely given for past teaching experience. I have taught on numerous courses in the army, and spent about 2 weeks in April teaching on a course where I got about 40 hours of experience. Is this a lot? Not really, but it is something. I find it incredible that I am told that receiving credit for past experience is so rare that it is safe to say it does not happen. The woman at the Faculty of Education even gave me the example of a person who finished a practicum at the University of Calgary and transferred to Edmonton where they did not get credit for the work because "the programs are so different".


Teaching is teaching. There are only so many ways you can impart knowledge to others. I recently spent some time in an Edmonton high school and I did not see any lasers, Direct Knowledge Transfer Devices (DKTD's) or any other sci-fi type stuff.

Here is another good one. The U of A requires you to take 3 credits in a computer course if you have not taken one in the last 3 years. Well, I consider myself very computer literate and I cannot imagine what a course would be able to teach someone who has been using and interested in computers since he was 15 years old. Heck, I had a 300 baud modem for my Commodore 64.

The Faculty of Education at the U of A seems to be in the business of making money off of people and not graduating teachers. This wouldn't be so bad if there was some competition in the industry.

I am seriously reconsidering my desire to be a teacher. The U of A seems absolutely unwilling to even consider special cases. I am not keen to spend half of 2 years taking a bunch of courses I took 10 years ago.

There are other drawbacks as well. Part of the reason I got out of the army was I could not take the bureaucratic nature of the system. The education system seems very similar, except in the army a war comes around every once in a while, clearing out all the bureaucratic types. Education is not blessed with a similar "housecleaning".

Also, you have to join the union. I am not a fan of unions. There may have been a time, 100 years ago, when 5 year old children were working 18 hours a day in the coal mine with not even time off to watch Sesame Street, but those days are long gone. I would rather opt out and sell my teaching skill to the highest bidder.

I hear that some schools in the US are so desperate for teachers that they will take anyone with a degree, no teaching certificate required. Unfortunately the pay is not so good.

If anyone knows of a good job for an ex-army officer with 10 years experience, particularly in management, personnel administration and some budget management, let me know.

I am off to search Monster.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Update to a post

An update to my post on France and their national interests.

The Diplomad has a good post on the French and how they operate on the national stage. This is the same point I make, but they say it better and have the right experience to give their thoughts legitimacy.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Is there any intelligent life out there?

Are there any serious, intelligent left wing bloggers out there?


post by Captain Flynn at Against All Flags entitled "The 7 Hates of Stephen Harper" add more ammunition to my personal belief that the left cannot put together a coherent argument to support their own policies or refute those of the right. All they have is lies, misrepresentation and personal attacks.

In the army, we would study our enemy's tactics to be better able to defeat him. I have tried to take this to the political blogging world and have failed. The other side seems to have sent out their retarded children to fight against men. If anyone can point me towards and intelligent, well considered blog dealing with left wing ideas, it would be much appreciated.

A blog fitting this description would be the exact opposite of Robert at
My Blagh.

We are adults and we want to play our game against a team that can give us a run for our money.

Update: Maybe this is a vast conspiracy of the left to put up the most incoherent people to lull the right wing into a false sense of security and dull our intellect. On the battlefield, the enemy is your teacher. If he is a poor teacher, you will not reach your potential as a student.

Maybe they are smarter than I thought.

Further update: Perhaps I was a bit hard on Captain Flynn. I was originally put onto his post by Mike at
Brock:On The Attack through this post. Reading of the comments of this post, Flynn comes off as much more coherent. I share Damian's frustration and wish that Flynn would put more of that in his blog.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Your vote does count

As I write this, the MLA for my riding is still to be decided. The last I heard there was a 9 vote difference between the PC and Liberal candidates.

Bet you wish you voted, instead of sitting at home because the election was "a sure thing" for Ralph and Company.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What is a Conservative Albertan to do?

Today is the Alberta Provincial Election, and what is a Conservative Albertan to do?

A Conservative cannot vote for the Liberals or NDP. If either of these parties were the majority party over the last ten years, Alberta would not be the only province out of debt and leading in most indicators of economic performance.

That said, Ralph seem to be taking us a bit for granted. A quick look at the PC website gives us some gems as a "sustainable" health care system and "an economic climate that fosters innovation, growth and investment".


A platform of mush worthy of a left wing party. It seems to me that Ralph has lost his fight.

What is the plan? The debt dragon has be slain, certainly due to Ralph, but I do not elect people as a reward for good work in the past, but rather on where they are going to take us in the future.

It seems likely the PC's will win a majority in this election, the question is by how much. Expect Ralph to take a hit.

For me, the debt has been slain, but I want more.

Today I will be sending Ralph a message by voting Alberta Alliance. The only real Conservative party left in Alberta.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

True Realpolitik: The French

I have long said take everything the Frech say with a grain of salt. During the run up to the 2003 Iraq war, the French were going on and on about human rights, illegal war, blahblahblah.

The French government care nothing for these things. The French will do what they think is in their best interest, and they do not care one bit what anyone else thinks.

I remember in the run up to Iraq, the French were insisting any war had to be approved by the Security Council. Then there was a little reported "incident" where France invaded an African country, I believe it was Ivory Coast, with no resolution, hint or anything of that nature. I had some great fun pointing out to my lefty friends the hypocracy of the French.

Here we go again. For all the talk about a US Marine shooting unarmed Iraqi insurgents/terrorists, check out these videos of French soldier shooting unarmed Ivory Coast civilians. Part 1 Part 2. Part 2 has the shooting.

Never listen to the French when they talk about human rights or the rule of law. Their only belief is in doing what is in their own best interests.

More proof of the state of Canada's military

Thanks to The Last Amazon for bringing this story to my attention.

Navy forced to use private helicopters

ABOARD HMCS ATHABASKAN - Canada's navy has hired a private contractor to fly civilian helicopters out to its ships at sea, as a way of reducing the flying pressures on the military's aging Sea Kings.

Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog is aware of my disgust at the way our military has been led and funded over the last ten years. I bring you this as another example. More ammunition for the truth.

What more can I say? It's been said already.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Senior Leadership and the Canadian Military

It was announced yesterday that General Ray Henault, CDS, is taking over a key NATO position (National Post or on the DND site). I have previously written about General Henault here and here.

Now, not being involved in the high levels of military leadership, I do not know the General personally. I have never met him or spoke to anyone who has. I am sure he is a nice guy, loves babies and puppies, excetera. Unfortunately, I can only judge him by his actions as CDS, and those have been less than impressive.

My military career began in the late Mulroney years. From that time until the present (and likely further into the future) I am sure future Canadian military historians will refer to as the "dark ages in Canadian Military history". Throughout this period there has been a serious decline in the size of the force, the quality of equipment, and a general failure to adapt to changes in the way war is fought. This is a direct result of Liberal government cutbacks to military spending.

Military officers are supposed to be above politics, but let's face the truth. At a certain level, definitely at the rank General Henault holds, it is all political. In my estimation, the rank of politician comes much sooner in the Canadian military, as we lack any large fighting formations. The last real leadership rank in the CF is Lieutenant Colonel, the rank at which one commands a Battalion or Battle Group. No viable fighting force exists above this level, so further ranks above it are really about politics, not warefare (a Battalion is about 800 men, a Battle Group is usually based on a Battalion with the attachment of other arms (ie. tanks and artillery), and will be slightly larger).

My point being is that General Henault is a politician, and has been for some time. I am not sure when he was promoted past the rank of LCol, but it is probably safe to say it was later than 10 years ago. Therefore, I think it is fair to say he has been a politician as least the last third of his career.

I say this to make the point that General Henault is a military politician and he should be judged as Chief of the Defence Staff as a politician, not a military officer. If I judge his as a military officer, I cannot hold him accountable for the state of funding in the military, as that is a political decision. However, since he has no fighting troops to command at his level, his job is all about politics. Therefore, he has failed miserably as the CDS.

To be fair, it is not all his fault. There were people before him who failed as well. However, he was in charge for the last three years and has done nothing that I can see to change the downward slide of the CF. In fact, here is my comment on something General Henault wrote in a letter to the editor of the National Post recently.

General Henault has done nothing to solve the problems in the Canadian Military.

Why would anyone think he can solve NATO's problems?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Let my people vote

Kudos to the United States for practicing democracy on the issue of gay marriage. Eleven states had a question about gay marriage on the ballot during the last presidential election. No matter which side of the fence you sit on this issue, at least Americans had the chance to speak. For too long Canadians have allowed unelected judges decide how our society is to be structured.

Past Liberal Governments have been the worst at this, particularly on this issue, but usually on any issue that has the potential to lose too many votes. This has led to the primacy of the courts in Canadian politics. What you can't get a majority of people to vote for, get the courts to do for you. We have seen this type of "political action" on gay marriage from the left, and now the right is getting into the spirit.

The Ontario version of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants to sue the Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty, for breach of contract for his health care tax hike and wants the courts to rule on whether he has broken the Taxpayer Protection Act. If he is found guilty, what happens? Does he just pay a fine and go on governing? Is there jail time? Does the government fall?Is this really in our best interest?

From an Ontario taxpayer's (which I am not) standpoint it may be, but for democracy, it isn't. The people should have primacy in a democracy, and this "stunt" further erodes the power of the people, especially if it works.

I believe that people should have to learn from their mistakes, and take a bit of perverse pleasure of all my left leaning relatives suffering in Ontario, particularly a certain loud, left leaning uncle of mine. Of course, he will probably blame the McGuinty promise breaking on the previous conservative government. Some people don't like to leave their comfort bubble.

I will be watching this story with interest. It is about a lot more than taxes.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Why I Hate Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is the one day each year when we remember those who fought to defend our freedom, and those that continue to serve in our armed forces.

And that is the problem. One day each year we remember. And the other 364 days we are more than happy to forget.

For the rest of the year we ignore the freedom for which so many Canadians died. We allow our government to waste our tax dollars and ignore its duty to protect our citizens. We fund our military at such a low level that 40 year old helicopters fall out of the sky, soldiers go to the desert to fight wearing green uniforms, and second hand submarines catch fire.

I hate Remembrance Day because it fills me with shame. Shame for how my country treats those that risk life and limb to defend our freedom.

Today, there will be Remembrance Day ceremonies all over this country, some with federal Members of Parliament from the government in attendance. How can they look the old vets in the eye? Or face presently serving members of our Armed Forces?

Perhaps I am judging them too harshly, for politicians are picked by the people, only doing their will. The present government has faced the people four times, has never changed its policy towards our defence, and has won the most number of seats every time.

The same people who complain about the “Damn Americans” are more than happy to let them defend our country. Freedom is not cheap. Ask any veteran. Unfortunately, Canadians are unwilling to pay even the least expensive part of that price, the portion paid in money, not blood.

When the next war comes, and it will, there will a price to be paid for our lack of preparation, and it will be paid in blood.

Actions speak louder than words. The speeches by our politicians every Remembrance Day purporting to honour the service of those in the military ring hollow. These are just words. It is their actions, the decisions they take with regard to preparing to defend freedom that speak to me. It is the true measure of how they view the sacrifice of those that fought. And it is an indicator of how they will view the future sacrifice of those who will fight and die for this country.

When the Prime Ministers’ plan to increase the Regular and Reserve Force fails to meet its targets perhaps it is because many Canadians already sense that their government does not value their sacrifice.

Soldiers fight for the man beside them, but they join for higher purpose. They join to defend their country, to defend those who cannot defend themselves, and to defend freedom.

Lest We Forget

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Religion. That should get the email flying

The GF and I are of different religions. This can make any type of wedding planning difficult, especially if one, or both are very religious. I consider myself a relapsed Catholic and she is United.

Yesterday I had to go to a funeral at a United church. I have become more interested in the United Church, since I am sure she will not convert and I want our children to have some sort of religious upbringing (there is another fight).

So at this funeral, the priest (not sure what they call them), kept talking about the Great Spirit of Life. I kept thinking, "Is she talking about God or did I just walk into a animist cult?"

I had an english teacher in University who taught a course on the bible as literature. An excellent course, but this guy was a bit off. A few years before, he missed a few weeks of classes, went crazy and bought 7 luxury cars, none of which he could afford. This is what the head of the department told us anyway.

One day during this Bible as Literature course, we were talking about Christianity and different religions and he told us that his church had recently split from their main church. Someone wanted to put up a statue or something, he and about 10% of the congregation thought it was worshipping false idols, so they split. He was very matter-of-fact about it. I was a bit taken aback, since my religion burned people or excommunicated entire countries for such things.

United seems a bit too laid back and wound too tight. Not enough control if people can just split anytime they want, but a bit too worked up if they split over a statue. Principle is important, but it's not like the people were going to bow down before it or anything.

Which leads me back to the Great Spirit thing. I assumed she was talking about God, so why not say God? Is it no longer politically correct to call the omnipotent being in the sky that the vast majority of people on Earth believe in "God"? I did not hear the word God come from her mouth once.

A lot more people are marrying outside their religion in Canada than in the past.

The GF told me a good Catholic joke when we were talking about this:

Little Johnny was having trouble in a number of subjects, particularly math, so his mother decided to send him to Catholic school even though they were not Catholic. She thought the discipline might do him some good.

A month later Johnny got his first report card and his D's had become straight A's.

Surprised and delighted, Johnny's mother went to Little Johnny and asked, "Johnny, you did so much better at your new school. Why are your grades so much higher?

Little Johnny replied "They don't fool around there, Mom. Every day you walk through the front door and there is some guy, nailed to a plus sign!"

Friday, November 05, 2004

A Night at the Movies

The GF and I saw Team America:World Police last weekend.

When I first saw South Park I could not believe how warped Stone and Parker are. Seeing Saddam and Satan as gay lovers with Satan as the sensitive one, that is something that stays with you for a while. Being a Canadian, I really enjoyed "Blame Canada". So seeing TA:WP I thought these guys could not really shock me again. I was right, sort of.

There is nothing in the movie as shocking as Saddam and Satan, but there is enough to keep you on your toes. It is funny, especially if you are right wing. the Team America heroes are the stereotypical ignorant Americans, so lefties will like it, but the best stuff is saved for the left leaning celebrity socialist, represented by the Film Actors Guild (or F.A.G. for short).

Best parts of the movie: The Team America theme song (especially the slow version), XXX rated puppet sex, and the top half of Janeane Garofalo's head being shot off.

My biggest complaints: I am not 15 years old anymore, so gratuitous use of the f-word gets a bit tired. Also, I think Stone and Parker has some unresolved homosexual issues, what with all the gay oral sex.

Overall: Good movie, funny, worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

More Election thoughts

Lots of moonbat rants out there. Here is one of my favorite.

Hidden Assumption/Bias from the Talking Heads

Watching CNN during the speeches, I came across another stupid assumption by the MSM. The comment was regarding how, in this election, many US citizens were voting against their best economic interests, and along social issues. The theory being that the rich, by voting Democrat, were voting against their economic interests (Bush tax cuts) and for social policy (gay marriage). The poor, rural types, by voting Republican, were voting against their economic interests (tax cuts for the rich) and for social policy (traditional marriage).

Interesting theory, but Bush tax cuts are for everyone, although the Dems make it seem that the rich are the only ones benefiting. If you make $500k and get a 10% tax cut and I make $20k and get a 10% tax cut, we both get a 10% tax cut. Sure, you get $50k and I get $2k, but ten percent is ten percent. Why shouldn't you get more money back in absolute terms, since you pay more?

More evidence of Big Media swallowing whole the Dems talking points. However, based on the election results, maybe "the prols" are not as dumb as they think.

A few US Election thoughts


I feel much safer. I am confident the US will continue to aggressively fight the War on Terror. If only we could get the Canadian government to pull its weight.

Exit Polls

There was a lot of conspiracy theories on the left wing blogs about why the exit polls did not match the official results. This was also mentioned on the MSM, with various theories.

I have a theory for you.


People are pissed at always being bothered by pollsters, so they lie.

This is a policy that a friend of mine has taken to the extreme, particularly with telephone surveys. He tells the most outrageous lies to these people. Stuff like saying he is unemployed and makes $200+k a year. He claims to belong to the smallest minority group possible, such as being a Black, Satanist, lesbian, double amputee single mother who considers her defining election issue to be what the government is doing about illegal aliens. The ones from space.

This is the verbal version of taking all your junk mail and stuffing it into the envelopes of other junk mail and sending it.

Occam's Carbuncle says "Resist much, obey little".

UPDATE: Sean at PolSpy has the same idea regarding polls.

Votes in our house

I tried to find out the GF's take on the election and who she would vote for. At first she refused to tell me. She usually doesn't tell me for Canadian elections, but I can't see the harm, since neither of us can vote.

Her reply to this was "I do not want to fight right now".

After assuring her that I was just curious and not looking to start an argument, she said " I cannot make an informed decision, because I have not been following the issues and I am getting all my information about the US election from you, and all you do is read right wing blogs all day."


I guess I should tone it down a bit.

When pressed a little more, she finally told she would probably vote for Nader.

Just to piss me off, I am sure.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The Left Should Pray for a Bush Victory

The Left around the world has been hoping for Bush to lose this election. Countless European polls show Kerry winning hands down if Europeans could vote. Canadians are no different. Even our government dislikes Bush, or at least the vocal Liberal backbenchers. It is quite obvious that many Canadians would be happy to see Bush out of the White House. But why? Is this in the Left’s, or even in Canadians, interest?

The primary issue of the US campaign is security. This issue should be especially of interest to Canadians, as we log ago gave up even the pretense of being able to defend ourselves. I have seen first hand ten years of military decline in Canada, and, even if the government had the will to fix the Canadian military, which it does not, it would be at least five years, and more likely ten before we would have a functioning military again.

With that in mind, let us look at the candidates for US President:

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind regarding George Bush’s resolve to fight the war on terror. He has not wavered or even showed the slightest flinch since 9/11, even under the most severe criticism. Another term, with no election at the end of it, will allow the Bush Administration to let loose the dogs of war. With a Republican victory on Nov 2, Bush will quickly move to intensify the war on terror and no amount of Mooresque bleating will move him.

Kerry’s statements on his resolve to defeat the terrorists notwithstanding, a Kerry victory will be seen as a victory by Bin Laden throughout the Arab world. Kerry’s statement of wrong war, wrong place, wrong time can only be interpreted as a pull out of Iraq as quickly as possible, repudiating the pre-emptive attack policy of the Bush Doctrine. If you have doubt, simply look at the supporters of Kerry. A Kerry Administration has to think about another election in four years and the big name celebrities and billionaires that bankroll his campaign would never allow an increase or even sustainment of the war on terror. If Kerry wins, bet on a retreat in the war on terror, something sure to embolden our terrorist enemies.

The prime advantage to Canada of the Bush Doctrine is its unilateral approach. Bush allows us to continue to ignore our own security, especially our military, because we know he will do it for us. Bush takes the fight to the terrorists, making it less likely we will be attacked in Canada, and he doesn’t even insist that we help to secure ourselves. Kerry’s retreat makes attacks more likely and his statements about getting more support from other countries means more pressure on Canada to provide troops for the inevitable US return to Iraq or Afghanistan after Kerry’s retreat. This means more military spending and more Canadians fighting and dying overseas. Expect many more of our soldiers coming home in body bags.

A Bush win means more of the same, with Canada quietly sitting on the sidelines. A Kerry win means an initial retreat and period of quiet, with terror attacks soon increasing in number and intensity, resulting in more US overseas military action and more pressure on Canada to participate.

Following this line of reasoning, the converse must be true and conservatives in Canada should support the Democrats. A Kerry win means Canada is forced closer to the United States, the probable result being an improved military. One would think so, but a longer, less intense war on terror simply means more casualties, something I am sure neither side would support. In addition, based on the past actions of our Liberal government, I would expect the absolute minimum required to get the military ready for future conflicts, the result being more casualties as soldiers are sent to fight with less than the best. I would question if we can even be ready in time, seeing that the real effectiveness of the Canadian Forces is so unknown to the public. The political cost of not deploying our military would be too high, so expect our soldier to go, ready or not.

Whatever your political stripe, left or right, pray for a Bush victory on Tuesday.

Cross posted at www.billymag.com

Monday, November 01, 2004

Left and Right

A great post on the differences between the left and right by Orson Scott Card.

Thanks to Canadian Comment for tipping me off to this.