Saturday, September 3, 2016

THE BELLEVILLE SECRET - the Mackenzie-King funeral train stops for ice (July 27, 1950)


Ronald J. Jack
Blog Author and Publisher

"You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." - often attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

Canada's tenth Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, (the man on our $50 dollar bill), managed to outsmart his rivals and fool Canadian voters almost all of the time.   His three terms in office were from 1921-1926,  1926-1930, and 1935-1948.  With an M.A. and PhD. awarded by Harvard University, he remains Canada's most educated, and literary Prime Minister.  For twenty two years King was in control of this nation, and yet those millions he enjoyed governing knew very little about him. A man who died a virgin at age 75, King did not waste his energies on personal relationships.  His only project was his personal ambition and political career, and the thousands of days he saved by avoiding women, he invested in self promotion and in endless secret consultations with ghosts and spirits.  He was also careful to plan his own State Funeral, and when he died in July of 1950, his written  instructions were followed to the the letter.


The Mackenzie King State Funeral - Parliament Hill, July 1950
The body of W.L. Mackenzie King on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
It was July 25, 1950 and air conditioning was not yet installed.
Temperatures were seasonal,  and consistently warm.



King did not want to be embalmed, but he had the misfortune of
dying in July.  The OTTAWA CITIZEN was certainly tactful,
but one header was a bit awkward:  "Odor of Flowers Fills the Commons
When Mourners Set Out in Sunshine."  Say what?


Ottawa - Toronto temperature forecast for July 25, 1950
The temperature forecast for Ottawa during the historic 
Mackenzie King "Laying in State" was a balmy  81 Fahrenheit.


The Liberal politician Mackenzie King on our $50 since 1975
The Liberal politician has been on our $50 banknote since 1975.
The Conservative, Robert Borden, will soon be bounced from
the $100., but Justin will keep Mackenzie on the red bill.

The Overnight Train to Toronto


Mackenzie King's funeral train leaving Ottawa Station, July 26, 1950
The Mackenzie King funeral train, a C.N.R. Special,  is here seen just
leaving Ottawa Station.  It was about 6:15 P.M.,  July 26, 1950 and on the platform, 
crowded with onlookers, were an R.C.A.F.  and R.C.M.P. band playing dirges.


Mackenzie King Funeral Train, July 26 - 27, 1950 (Schedule)


Cart load of ice at Belleville Station, the Mackenzie King funeral train, 1950

When the train pulled in, some time after Midnight, the train station at Belleville was very quiet. There were very few passengers waiting for the first train of the day - the 2:53 A.M. into Toronto. The train remained buttoned up, and as a crew opened the rooftop and belly hatches on "BONAVENTURE", the King funeral car, the only men who stepped off onto the platform were a Black porter, a uniformed C.N.R. conductor and (I believe) one plain-clothes security officer. He is the man (above) in the fedora.  In a 12-photo sequence, the photographer was careful not to show his face.  All in all, it was an eerie scene.

Secret stop at Belleville Station for ice - Mackenzie King funeral train, July 27, 1950
The station at Belleville, Ontario  - midway between
Ottawa and Toronto.  Even though it was past midnight
the ice was was melting fast.  The station still exists.

A full dozen men were involved in loading the blocks of ice into the funeral car, likely a mix of C.N.R. employees and a Belleville ice company. The servicing was done in secret, and the Press who were travelling with the body kept the experience to themselves.  Yet, if we are to believe news reports - that the funeral train was carrying most of the St. Laurent Cabinet, and historians - that an impromptu Cabinet meeting took place onboard,  in which they discussed committing Canadian troops to the war in Korea -  this sequence is all the more bizarre. Is it not?

St. Laurent Cabinet decides on Korean War - Mackenzie King funeral train 1950

In this passage from his recent book. David Bercuson tells us that, "In a somewhat macabre twist of events, [Lester] Pearson informed cabinet members of Acheson's request [for Commonwealth ground forces] on 27 July while all were aboard William Lyon Mackenzie King's funeral train enroute to Toronto from Ottawa; King had died five days earlier."  Quite a club-car gathering was it not? A dead Liberal P.M., the sitting Liberal P.M. and a future Liberal P.M.  While those working men were stowing Mackenzie King's ice, powerful politicians were sitting behind closed blinds discussing taking Canada into an Asian ground war.

Late night passengers, Belleville Train Station, July 26, 1950

The photographer who took these fascinating images was composing a visual essay that was never published.  (Undoubtedly his editor realized it would be deemed offensive, and alienate many Canadian readers.) Though I do not use the entire photo-sequence in this blog, you can see how thorough the lensman was. For example, the C.N.R. sign board shows the schedule of East - West  bound trains for July 27, 1950.  Belleville, Ontario was the mid-way point the Mackenzie King funeral train, which was scheduled to arrive at Toronto at 10 A.M. on July 27.   It was past midnight and one of these women, probably the girl wearing pearls, is waiting for the first train of the day - the 2.53 A.M. to Toronto.

Crew quickly stow ice under the Mackenzie King funeral train, July 27, 1950

You, the viewer, will form impressions of your own, but I have had these images for several years. My mind keeps coming back to the security aspect. Only hours before, in Ottawa, military personnel in their thousands and R.C.M.P. troopers were involved in the grand ceremonial, including an RCAF flypast - and yet not a single R.C.M.P. officer stepped off the funeral train at Belleville Station. The security detail do not even peep out from behind the drawn blinds. Even the Canadian Press (C.P.) and CBC  staffers accompanying King's corpse, remained hidden or perhaps asleep.  The man who stayed awake and took these photos was an American, and not at all beholden to the Ottawa power structure which shaped and preserved the image W.L. Mackenzie King insisted upon.  The photographer got the story, but it was never published.  As an American, he probably didn't care one way or another.  As Canadians, we should care.


CNR crew quickly load ice into the Mackenzie King funeral train, July 27, 1950


[text]

Mackenzie King funeral train, July 1950 - empty ice cart

SECRET  NO  MORE

The Ottawa newspaper  ran with saturation coverage of the State Funeral, as one would expect. Much of the prose was grossly overwrought, and would have readers believe that Canadians virtually worshipped Mackenzie King. Yet a few factual fragments slipped through the hagiography, including the names of the C.N.R. crew on the funeral train.  They were all from the town of Belleville, Ontario. My suspicion is that one of them made a telephone call when government officials ordered the train halted in their town. While the "BONAVENTURE" funeral coach was loaded with ice, there was time for a few Belleville residents to dress and rush over to the station.

C.N. crew members of Mackenzie King funeral train, July 25, 1950
C.N.R. - Belleville crewmen mentioned by name: 
McIlmoyle, Marshall, Burrows, and Secker.


This small clipping tells us that on the funeral train, as on Parliament Hill, flowers were used to mask the stink of death.  "The back portion of the coach, divided by a black mantle, was filled to capacity with baskets, sprays and wreaths of flowers in an overwhelming burst of colour and scent."  The curtains were drawn tight on the funeral car, and the gorgeous interior display was never photographed. The sweet flowers were for the benefit of ranking officials, including Liberal Cabinet Ministers, who accompanied the body on the long ride from Ottawa to Toronto.

The Mackenzie King funeral train, July 27, 1950 - disappointment at Belleville

RECLAIMING OUR  HISTORY - It matters
William Lyon Mackenzie King was a master at self-promotion and he was polishing his own apple long before the Liberal Party helped him secure the role of Canadian Prime Minister. Too much of what history tells us is varnished or redacted, and to leave matters as they stand is to indict us all for having a lack of passion for the truth.  An obvious example was King's meetings with Hitler, Goering, Hess and other Nazi Party leaders.  It is true that we now have faint acknowledgement of King's German episode in high school text,  but we are also now a visual culture, and modern Canadians do not read books.  The Third Reich prepared a set of souvenir photographs for King, so that he might remember Hitler with fondness.  When war came, he briefly overcame his vanity, and burned them.  

Mackenzie King meets Adolph Hitler - Berlin 1937

The point is not to portray King in a bad light, but to get us a little closer to who he really was. Should we have let Mackenzie King get away with such subterfuge?  Should not Canadian historians (especially teaching historians who are taxpayer funded) have left no German stone unturned, and located duplicate copies?   I am rather convinced that such evidence of King's graphic image still waits for discovery.  With today's photo-essay I hope to persuade you that digging into the soil of history may profit us more than reading books written by doting admirers of Canada's political elite.

Canada's Prime Minister Mackenzie King visiting Nazi Germany, 1937
One of four surviving Press photos of Mackenzie King's tour to Nazi Germany in 1937.
This one has appeared  in COUNTER POINTS, a Social Studies text published by Prentice Hall .

HISTORY MATTERS
The production of history articles and books in Canada is largely a voluntary effort, (few can earn a living at it) and for that reason the field is thickly sewn with ideologues.  As someone who has been reading our history for fifty years I can attest that the Socialist mindset won the battle for hearts and minds decades ago, and yet they refuse to stand down.  They still patrol the perimeters of our cemeteries, to ensure that the spirits of those they detest can never rise through the sod. A typical example was an attack article published by ActiveHistory.ca,  on the subject of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett, our P.M. from 1930-1935 who is flippantly dismissed as "Canada's millionaire prime minister".  R.B. Bennett Doesn't Deserve a Spot on Parliament Hill  In fact it is rather easy to take a hatchet to most of Canada's Prime Ministers, including the current fellow, but it is more fun to simply sleuth the hidden truth that they struggled to conceal.


W.L.M. "Rex" King and the real King, Ottawa 1939


Blog "Circulation" Report:
It is gratifying to note that we have surpassed four million page views. (At Sept. 1, 2016 we were at 4,007,802)  Some of you may be aware of the fact that GOOGLE is imposing changes upon content publishers who use the Blogger platform.   For those of you who are also on Blogger and who may bewildering why your Page View display has disappeared, you should to the lower left-hand corner and click on "Blogger Classic" or on Google +  "Classic". Unfortunately, you may have to do it on a daily basis.


Ronald J. Jack - Blogger, Page Views at Sept. 1, 2016



Friday, August 5, 2016

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson - a Hound Dog and his Tale

Vancouver Mayor Robertson - and young Chinese girlfriend Wanting Qu

I don't often use the Blog to point readers directly to a news story, unless it contains something of strength to alter our perspective, or information that is certain to be suppressed by the media elites.   This one is important.  Vancouver has a mayor who, like many con-men who become pubic office holders, is adept at the art of misdirection.  A paragon of feigned virtue, he is a royal figure among Vancouver's political elite, and so the media never, ever digs.   More to the point, "his worship" controls the disbursement of millions of dollars in annual advertising and promotion fees,  and no media outlet will risk his revenge.

So when he started promoting his phone campaign against "Chinese Dirty Money" that was supposedly corruptly the virtuous Vancouverites, the media was in lock-step.  And when the B.C. Provincial Government  recently resuscitated that old racist measure known as the CHINESE HEAD TAX,  (imposing a 15 percent tax on "offshore" property buyers), the local White media was still in lockstep with the political class.


Christy Clark and "British Columbians First"
"British Columbians First"  - Just harmless wording?

So how is that different from "Americans Come First" ?

Americans Come First - Donald J. Trump


How interesting to learn that Gregor Robertson is dipping his dick in one of the deepest pools of illicit Chinese wealth that any White boy ever gained access to. Soon... because he's bedding a young Chinese, Gregor is no racist, right?  There is no racial dimension to the 2016 Chinese Head Tax, right?  Decide for yourself. We Canadians are carefully bred (schooled) to be politically correct, but we still maintain emergency statutes that will allow Ottawa to re-establish Internment Camps for any group that begins to frighten us, or threaten economic security.


The Toronto news magazine  MACLEAN'S has the story - Gregor Robertson, his pop-star girlfriend and a corruption trial.   The teaser line boasts: "The Vancouver mayor's relationship with Wanting Qu has largely escaped media scrutiny. Until now." The editors at Maclean's are deluded.  The story will gain no traction, and in fact after 24 hours it's already dead. And speaking of dead things, even if the Chinese Court did sentence Gregor's future Ma-in-law to death, and a Chinese rifleman actually put a bullet through her head, that profoundly ironic news will NOT be reported here.  The Chinese government is quite effective lately in investigating the professional money launderers and property fraudsters on their side of the Pacific, but Beijing has no brief for dealing with White-people's petty jealousies in the City of Vancouver.


LATER:   "Christy Trump"  -  That didn't take long.  Since Canadian's have adopted Donald Trump as their new pet hate, they will now label everything they hate as being "Trump" this or "Trump" that. Aaaah.  It's so, so soothing to relax and enjoy letting others do your thinking for you.  

Christy Trump - Trump the new Canadian epithet

Christy shouldn't have done it, but the racist property purchase tax has nothing to do with Donald Trump.  (And of course Terence Corcoran ignore the Canadian metaphor. We don't build walls, we build internment camps. All our government initiatives must create sustainable employment.) Christy takes the flak while Gregor Robertson continues to fuck-over Vancouver taxpayers, unscathed by a narcissistic local media that is content to bury us in info-tainment. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trump Made History Last Night - Canadians Should Take Heed

ARC de TRUMPH - Trump crushes  G.O.P. - SACDK cartoon, May 5, 2016
This editorial cartoon, by "Sack" was published in the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune on May 5, 2016.  It combines
pun with tasty metaphor, characterizing Donald J. Trump's
securing of the Republican Party nomination by literally 
crushing the elephant. (An elephant is the G.O.P. symbol.)

TRUMP - Let Us Enjoy the Moment
- Ronald J. Jack 

I am a daily news reader, doing my utmost to avoid broadcast television, but I simply had to watch the closing hours of the Republican Convention last night. The Internet had told me a leaked copy of the alleged text of Donald Trump's speech was circulating among the haters yesterday afternoon.  Early in the evening I caught Peter Mansbridge (Papa  CBC**) shepherding a sarcastic segment that assured Canadians Trump's speech would be short, and little more than a rehash of campaign rhetoric.  Peter is a dick, and no judge of character or veracity.  Undaunted, I watched the  G.O.P. convention and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
** DRUDGE REPORT 2016  links to the  BBC and ten U.K. newspapers.
     It does NOT link to Canada's government-owned  CBC. 

The coverage of the G.O.P. convention has been, all week, nothing short of smart-ass showmanship, led of course by the assholes working for CNN.  Many Canadian TV journalists (particularly CBC staffers) are equally breathtaking in their crass ignorance and make no attempt at all to disguise their hatred of Trump, and of the democratic process when it threatens to turn against received bias.  

I no longer vote in elections because Canada's political landscape is a blasted wasteland, and our Tax and Spend governments are run by faceless functionaries who drone on, bulletproof,  and totally oblivious to "democratic" electoral results... LIB-CON,  CON-LIB,  LIB-CON, CON-LIB.   The truth is we Canadians embrace a diverse bundle of values and beliefs, and no single political party sings a tune that we can recognize. Certainly the now meaningless 18th Century concept of a Left-Right political spectrum is an insult to our intelligence, and yet the pundits go right on don't they?  Insulting us.

I don't profess to agree with everything Donald Trump espouses, but I now believe it is not all rhetoric. Boldness is an effective strategy that is going to win him the Presidency, and I do agree that the American people would do very well to choose  an experienced businessman for a leader, rather than a career politician who exemplifies the stereotype of a "Lying Lawyer".  True, American does NOT need more weaponry and firepower.  America does NOT need more surveillance capability.  America does NOT need more police and incarcerations.  But America DOES need to build an impervious wall between itself and Mexico.  It does need to annihilate every Muslim terrorist it can reach. And America certainly DOES need to force its major corporations to restore millions of exported jobs, or be banned from bidding on U.S. government contracts.  The Clinton Democrats lust after power, but do not love anyone but themselves. They simply must be defeated or these years are truly America's last years as a successful nation.

William Jennings Bryan swallows the Democratic Party, PUCK  July 11, 1900

Some have suggested a Trump victory is analogous to the success of
William Jennings Bryan who is shown here in a cartoon published by
PUCK on July 11, 1900. Bryan is characterized as a great Anaconda
snake that swallowed the Democratic Party (The Donkey) whole. It is
a clever carton that makes a powerful point. The difference of course
is that Bryan failed to become President, while Trump will certainly win.

Need I emphasize that I do not have a penny invested in the United States, (although my wife does) and a Blog article is not a vote?  I have nothing at stake in the November U.S.  election, and have placed no bets.  For months though, I have been predicting dire consequences for our  Boy-Trudeau should Mr. Trump become President.  Not to make too big a deal about it, what I have predicted is that "Donald Trump will kick Justin Trudeau's ass over the North Pole."  It's a delicious thought.  So imagine my delight last evening when Trump declared on live television that after winning the Presidency one of his goals will be to "re-negotiate NAFTA".   That sounds very much like a warning to me. Kick-in-the-ass ...number one.    He will also lift the Federal embargo on exploitation of key domestic energy sectors (coal and oil) in order to create jobs and wealth for Americans.  That sounds like kick-in-the-ass ... number two.

Well gentle readers.. did you notice the BIAS this morning.? Our media brats mocked Trump but they didn't report what he warned about NAFTA.  No Canadian media mentioned the threat to NAFTA and Boy-Trudeau's ass.   Look again at the Bryan-Anaconda cartoon.  That is now Trump and the Republicans. His campaign rhetoric is becoming the Republican platform. Hee-haw!   This is going to be so entertaining.
  

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Diamond Reynolds - an astounding act of individual courage - documenting a murder despite the pistol muzzle in her face






Diamond Reynolds - survivor, citizen journalist, N.Y. Times page 1, July 8, 2016

A masterpiece of journo-Juxtaposition - on page 1 of today's 
NEW YORK TIMES. A montage of screenshots from Diamond 
Reynolds'  FACEBOOK page, documenting her encounter with 
a freaked-out  Minnesota police officer, is paired with a developing 
story from Dallas - of a Black U.S. Army veteran ("the active shooter") 
who was exacting BLACK revenge on WHITE  police officers.


Where to begin after another astonishing week of extreme barbarism and hatred in the good 'ole U.S.A.?  Americans seem forever determined to bury the world in their overflowing landfill of violent shit-culture, and yet, try as we might, it is nearly impossible for Canadians to turn away. Our neighbours are suffering intensely from their birthright - an addiction to self-inflicted trauma.  What Diamond Reynolds just demonstrated with her incredibly brave act of citizen journalism, (she streamed the murder of her boyfriend Philando Castile live on FACEBOOK), is that we had better prepare ourselves for an overpowering assault on our sensorium - by ultra-intrusive forms of video technology that will make us virtual participants in murder, mayhem and modern warfare.

Officer Geronimo Yanez - shot Philando  Castile to death
Officer Geronimo Yanez was the killer of Philando Castile.
He works for the Saint Anthony, Minnesota Police Department.

In my lifetime I have watched with (I confess) only modest discomfort as hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.  I am not exaggerating.  Not at all. As a military historian and a "news junkie" to boot, I have viewed an endless stream of barbarous acts recorded on film, video tape, and digital recording devices - and now I truly wonder what my life would be like if I had never willingly exposed myself to recorded atrocities.  A few select killings still give me the chills, especially the earliest I viewed, because I wasn't yet trained to depersonalize the victims.  As a child I watched news coverage of the war in Bangladesh (1970) - witnessing rows of tightly-bound prisoners being bayoneted for the benefit of foreign newsmen...  I recall war in Rhodesia (1970s)  - the cameraman ducks but a rifle bullet smashes the head of a black soldier, who slumps in a heap and turns his lifeless eyes toward the lens...  In 1968 a Saigon a police general executes a Viet Cong assassin, and the head sprays a stream of arterial blood.  But that was just the beginning. For forty years I have been watching the carnage but not considering the psychic cost of all that viewing.


OZ magazine, No. 10 - The Pornography of Violence
Violent image etched in my  boyhood memory - a Vietnamese General executes a 
Viet Cong sapper, in front of a group of American TV and newspaper reporters.

I thought I had literally seen it all.  A foolish hope. As the arms merchants and even the WALMART Super-centres continue to market the latest generation of lethal gadgets, it is a certainty that all of the ensuing carnage will be recorded and streamed into our homes.  America is a culture in chaotic decline, and this new wrinkle in documenting urban crime, watching both civilians and cops as they are being executed in the streets, is only the beginning of a more violent chapter in American history, and I think our collective sanity is at risk.  Early this morning the enraged Dallas Police used a robot to kill the cornered gunman - Micah Xavier Johnson.  [One columnist has suggested the robot was offering Johnson  some food or a telephone, as a ruse to get close enough to kill him with the bomb.] There are more than 120 such wheeled robots on inventory with the F.B.I. in Dallas office, and the Dallas P.D. - all supplied by Homeland Security. Soon robot technology will be hunting humans more actively, and we humans will witness their machine-executions via live video feed.

Micah Johnson - U.S. Army Reserve, the Dallas sniper - July 2016
  Micah Xavier Johnson in 2009. He was then 18 years old.
President Obama described him as a "demented individual".
but the Dallas Police Chief claimed the opposite - angry, but sane.

Diamond Reynolds -  A new breed of Citizen Hero:
You have to marvel at the insanity of conflicted values and attitudes that reside in the minds of the average American.  They profess to being inclusive and  freedom loving, and yet they are constantly at war with foreign cultures they consider scary or simply unwilling to embrace Star-Spangled modes of living. They profess to being patriotic and fair-minded, a yet they are clearly divided by racial, political and economic  fault-lines.  "Civil War" is openly discussed, and indeed it was the screaming headline of one New York tabloid paper this morning.  Private Micah Xavier Johnson was "proud" to serve his country in a foreign war, but he was equally proud to avenge "his people" by waging war on the Dallas Police.  Philando Castile was obviously a model-American with an unblemished record, but a nervous cop was feeding off of stereotypic images and paramilitary machismo, when he pulled the black couple over.  (The old "busted tail light" gambit. Sidewalk witnesses have stepped forward and posted video proving that both tail lights were functioning.)  Castile was managing food services at a Montessori school, and was trusted enough to be issued a concealed-carry permit for a handgun. The cop saw only skin colour and style of hair, and though he made the usual demands that all armed policeman expect to be complied with (if you want to live) he wasn't in the world of the rational.  He was prepared for combat... and he engaged the target. Four shots into the body of a man who complied, but still died.  Fortunately for us, and very sadly for the victim, Diamond Reynolds remained calm and bore witness to the murder, thereby saving her own life and the life of her four year old daughter in the back seat.   

There is an essay which I can almost recite from memory, because I have been teaching it for years. It is Brent Staples', "Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders his Power to Alter Public Space" (1986) in which he describes a lifetime of encounters with nervous white people, frequently using psychology to defuse dangerous situations where they might actually hurt him. He wrote, for example, "I whistle melodies from Beethoven and Vivaldi" to convince nervous New Yorkers that he is not a potential mugger.Virtually every Canadian between the age of 20 - 40 has seen Michael Moore's BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, so we know well his oft-stated thesis that the U.S. media actively promotes a fear of American Black men. Several recent dash-cam and cellphone videos have documented extreme over-reaction of police officers, especially when their victims are not instantly cowed by "lawful authority". Well we have just been exposed to extraordinary evidence of a rogue cop in action - a recording that I believe is of permanent and historic significance. Diamond Reynolds' ten-minute FACEBOOK video contributes to a visual-history of her country, and it equates to the 8mm Zapruder film that documented President Kennedy's murder in Dallas in 1963.  


Zapruder film - JFK assassination - Jackie climbs back


On first viewing, I was of course immensely impressed by Ms. Reynold's handling of the situation. She didn't whistle a happy tune, but did work calmly and valiantly to dissipate the cop's rage, and thereby deny him any excuse to empty the rest of his clip into her face. (She also was communicating with family and friends - a posse of witnesses assembled online.)  Had the officer known he was on live-stream, he might have shot her too, and worked with his buddies to fabricate a cover story. What really made me angry, angry enough to want to go after that insane cop myself, was that AFTER he realized his criminal mistake (He screams, literally screams, "Why did you make me do that!") he did not holster his fucking pistol and attempt to give the victim first aid. Three more cops arrive and continue to treat the victim as dog shit.  Four men trained in first-aid were on scene, and they just let Castile bleed out.  How many times have we witnessed video of cops, swarming like hornets around a single target,  continuing to aim weapons at a body riddled by bullets, and even hand-cuffing the dead body?  

On the battlefield when the enemy has been overcome, they are entitled to medical attention, and most soldiers will honour the international laws regulating warfare.  Again and again we see evidence that Black men in the U.S. are often denied the same basic rights of an enemy combatant.  Micah Johnson, from Mesquite, Texas had served in Afghanistan, and when he came home he was disgusted by the hypocrisy of the American value system, and I am equally sure, the hypocrisy of a Black president who has done virtually nothing to alleviate the carnage on American streets.  He, Barack Hussein Obama, has presided over the arming of police departments big and small, with armoured vehicles, machine guns and surveillance drones - all of which will be used to monitor, control and frequently murder American citizens. Shame on him.  Legacy?  Another lying lawyer  come and gone.  


Dallas P.D. - robot used to kill armed suspect July 8, 2016
The Dallas P.D. adapted a bomb-disposal robot to DEPLOY
a bomb - killing their sniper suspect Micah Xavier Johnson.
Homeland Security funding is turning America into a battlefield.

Summer 2016 - Stay away from the U.S.A.
So where do we go from here?  Well, like most Canadians, I enter the U.S. at least once or twice a year, usually to shop for antiques (photos and heritage documents)  and share an interesting meal. For most of my life I put America up on a pedestal, openly praising its political system and its respect for rights and liberties.  All of that changed with 9/11, and certainly with the creation of "Department of Homeland Security".  All of sudden a simple trip into America is a scary proposition, even for a 9th generation Canadian with pink skin and a spotless record.  I am totally deaf in one ear, and sometimes misinterpret what is said to me, if their is background noise. I can easily imagine the fatal consequences of being pulled over by a heavily armed American cop, and failing to follow his threatening instructions - precisely and with exaggerated care.  This is going to be an exceptionally violent summer in the U.S.  and I plan to stay home on the sane side of the border. You should too.

SMOKING GUN - the Obligatory Update:


Saint Anthony, Minnesota Police - Servicing Falcon Heights


A website called HEAVY.COM has a recording made by a civilian who was monitoring Saint Anthony, Minnesota police radio calls, the night of the of the Philando Castile deadly shooting incident in Falcon Heights.   Television station KARE11 broadcast a report that lays a transcript over the audio recording:


Officer Geronimo Yanez reveals his motive to Police Dispatch

This  montage is assembled from audiovisual elements produced by HEAVY.COM  and KARE11  Television in Minnesota. 

Philando Castile shooting - audio transcript of police traffic

In the mind of Officer Yanez, motor vehicle operator Philandro Castile fit the profile of a robbery suspect, so he felt entitled to pull him over and point a heavy automatic pistol in his face. 

Philando Castile - audio of police check-stop in St. Anthony, Minnesota

Down in Mesquite, Texas, Private Micah X. Johnson, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, was already stewing over the most recent incidents of police brutality perpetrated on Black American men.  He snapped, and decided to go out for some bloody revenge.  What happens next?

Update 2:  via Live Leak   The body of Micah X. Johnson amid the debris, after Dallas Police detonated one pound of C4 plastic explosive carried into the garage by a Robot.
Body of Dallas sniper - Micah X. Johnson, after police detonated C4 bomb

BULLETPROOF  WARRIOR
There was an interesting piece in the New York Times today that describes "Bulletproof Warrior", a training seminar that officer Geronimo Yanez had attended. It pretty much explains how snap-shooting of suspects has become something of a conditioned-response for nervous police officers who are convinced they are in the "Front Line" of a war-equivalent situation.

Bullet Proof Warrior - an article in the New York Times

If you cannot access the New York Times article, try the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article, (JULY 12, 2016) which lead the investigation into the company (Calibre Press) providing combat training to law enforcement personnel.

Monday, June 20, 2016

EPITAPH FOR 14 GURKHAS - Canada's courageous leader condemns a "cowardly attack" in Kabul

Ah yes, Afghanistan.  The war we lost years ago, but still pretend to care about.   We Canadians do TOKENISM really well. Everything about our efforts in A-Stan reeks of tokenism. Take for example Justin Trudeau's response this morning to the most recent Kabul carnage - the murder of 14 Gurkha's of the Canadian Embassy security force:  

Justin Tweeted: "Today's attack on security workers in Kabul is appalling and cowardly. Our thoughts are with the victims as we stand with the Afghan people."

Justin is wrong of course. He often is. The weekend attack wasn't cowardly at all but it was certainly cunning. Kabul is one of the most locked-down cities in any war zone, and a Taliban Kamikaze who manages to strike a military target inside that city has balls the size of B.C. apples.   The attack on our Embassy security personnel was precise and extremely lethal.  Latest word from Kabul is that several team-mates on staff are seriously thinking of quitting and going home. They should. Unemployment in earthquake ravaged Nepal, is preferable to taking a salvo of steel pellets from the next suicide bomber. Canada has set these brave men up to be killed, and the fourteen families deserve huge financial compensation.


14 murdered Gurkhas - Justin Trudeau Tweets


Packed like Tourists in a Mini-bus
The Ambassador herself, Ms. Deborah Lyons, didn''t go anywhere in Kabul unless her fanny was riding above armour plate and she was waving to the Afghan children through bullet-proof glass.  Why then would we ever cheap-out and transport the Canadian embassy security crews in rickety tour buses?  The very idea is grotesque and SHAMEFUL.  We would never put Canadian troops or RCMP officers at such risk, so which parsimonious Ottawa bureaucrat gave the O.K. to transport out Gurkha guard force  in vehicles that have the bullet resistance of a Coca-Cola can?

Kabul Suicide bombing, June 20, 2016

Look closely at these photos.   A few hours ago the punctured bodies of 14 Gurkha security officers (12 Nepalese  and 2 Indian) were pulled from those seats. Kabul firemen broke the windows with pick axes to  ease the extraction of dead and wounded.  Those who survived have pellet wounds to the head.  The Taliban suicide bomber was wearing a carefully manufactured explosive belt that rammed a high-velocity pattern through the windshield and into the faces of the passengers.  
     If our Gurkha security personnel had been riding in an armoured vehicle, not a single man would have been killed by that type of explosive belt.  So why weren't they?

suicide bomber - Canadian Embassy Kabul

I draw your attention, once again, to the photo evidence.  Not a single hole in the aluminum body of the bus. Not even a flat tire. The entire dispersion pattern is through the front windshield.  How much do you bet that the suicide bomber stepped directly in front of the bus, and that the passengers were craning their necks to look at him? In that frozen moment in time, most of those killed probably understood they were staring at death.  These "security workers" as Trudeau so stupidly labeled them, were all ex-military, with years of experience in war zones. All are veterans of the British, Indian or Nepalese Armies. These  were all employed by SABRE INTERNATIONAL, the private security company that currently holds the contract for defending the Canadian Embassy from Taliban insurgents. The requirements for Guard Force employment are six years of military or police service, of which two years must have been in "Iraq, Afghanistan or other high threat location". All of that professional training and experience for US$1200 per month. A really sweet deal for us, eh?



suicide bombing Kabul - 14 dead in mini-bus


Our Ambassador  on Vacation  - 
The Gurkhas were the Target 

The Canadian Embassy in Kabul is a very hard target, and it would be near impossible for the Taliban to take it out.  There are said to be 147 Nepali's on the payroll, and always a few dozen on home leave.  That leaves a total of 82 Gurkhas on the guard force, divided between two teams, working in three shifts. There are never less than twenty on the property. At the slightest sign of trouble the Ambassador is whisked into a self-contained bunker, and the gunships would be overhead before the assault team could breach the door.  But that wasn't the point.  The Ambassador, Deborah Lyons, is actually on vacation.  The Trudeau government has reassigned her to Israel, and she packed her green scarves away.  The Tweet attributed to her, earlier today, and from various Ottawa luminaries, is actually staff work. The Gurkhas are now responsible for guarding all the major embassies in Kabul, and the Taliban is sending a potent message.  So potent in fact, that some of the Gurkhas are sure to buckle, especially if cheapskate employers like Canada, persist in sending them  back to barracks each day in tour coaches.  

Deborah Lyons - Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan


The Canadian Government 
Squandered 14 Good Men
As a Canadian, I am sincerely ashamed that we set these men up for a brutal and needless death.  In fact it is my fervent wish that a Toronto or Vancouver law firm will take up the case of their grieving families, and negotiate a meaningful settlement... say a million dollars per family.  I didn't vote for Justin but I'd vote "Yes" for compensating Canada's most loyal employees in Kabul. Describing the dead men as part off the Embassy "family" (as was attributed to Ms. Lyons) is meaningless horse shit. At minimum she should be required to fly to Nepal to attend the funerals, and deliver the first compensation cheques to the grieving families.  

Updated- June 22 - Toll is now 15 Dead Security Guards. 
Canadian Embassy Kabul - Death Toll is now 15
   


Gurkha hero in Afghanistan terror war

The Gurkhas are of course a legendary breed of fighting men, and there is no need for me to rehash their battlefield accomplishments here. This single Internet scrape ("A one-man army") is illustrative of Gurkha valour - specifically as it pertains to Afghanistan.   


I did search today for some statement from the security contractor,  SABRE INTERNATIONAL, but did not find one.  Let us all hope that Ottawa, and SABRE, will now budget for some armoured transport for the remaining members of our Embassy security force.   I suppose buckets of hot blood may not be sufficient to effect change.  It will be up to Her Majesty's Official Opposition, supported by a few Ottawa journalists, to turn this ugly incident into a political issue.  Actually, I don't believe many Canadians will give a shit about dead Gurkhas, but Trudeau  has to because more will die unless we learn from this tragic blunder.     

Sabre International - Employment requirements, Ex military staff

WHY AWKWARD?
This story is going to disappear extremely fast simply because there are no photographs of the dead.  Canadian brains in the 21st Century don't register words. They only respond to images.  Unfortunately for the Gurkhas, the Kabul security forces were EXTREMELY EFFICIENT at the blast site, and the media cowed.  If  photos were taken of the carnage, not a single news agency has released any. All evidence of the gore was hosed away within a few hours, and the bus itself was secured in a compound with high walls. 

I close with an extract from a column in the TORONTO STAR today (June 20/16)

Gurkha rights - Canadian responsibility

UPDATE TO STORY:
NEPALI M.P. slams Canadian "negligence"... as he should.


Family members of 14 Guards slain enroute to Canadian Embassy


DO THE RIGHT THEING OTTAWA .   DON'T MAKE THEM BEG !

AFTERMATH - 12 returned to Nepal, 2 to India


Canadian Embassy Afghanistan - coffins of 14 murdered Gurkha guards

Nepal Airlines today returned the bodies of twelve Gurkha guards to their grieving families. The dead, all employed as security at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul,  were slain by a Taliban guerrilla who detonated a suicide vest in their faces.  In addition to the dead, 24  Nepalese from our Embassy guard force returned on the Nepal Airlines flight.


Grieving family members of Nepalese personnel killed in Afghanistan

A widow is comforted at the ceremony.  Each of the 12 coffins returned from Kabul was labeled (by the Kabul Police Forensic Lab)with a colour enlargement from their Nepal passport.  The coffins were transported from the airport to the gravesite in Nepal Army trucks.  All of the Canadian Embassy guards are ex-soldiers and entitled to full military honours.


Military funeral (June 21, 2016) for Gurkha guards slain enroute to Canadian Embassy Kabul


If these men were White Canadians, employed by our Embassy in Kabul, this service would be broadcast live on all television networks.  This IS a Canadian event, and we shouldn't turn our face away. As well, we must not turn our backs on these grieving families.

BANG !  Our Embassy loses Gurkha Guards


Nepal Government pulls security guards from Canadian Embassy, Kabul

KATHMANDU, June 23: Following the Afghanistan bomb attack which killed 13 Nepali citizens, the government has imposed a ban on employment for Nepali workers in the four conflict-ravaged countries of Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Iraq.
A cabinet meeting held at Baluwatar Thursday decided not to issue any kind of work permit to Nepali nationals in any of the four countries for the time being.
"Until the government takes another decision on the matter, Nepali workers will not be allowed to work in the four countries," Minister for Information and Communications Sher Dhan Rai said.
Likewise, the cabinet has decided to immediately hold talks with the Afghanistan government to seek guarantees for the security of Nepali workers still in that country.
"The meeting has also decided to make necessary arrangements to bring back Nepali nationals from Afghanistan who want to return home in the wake of the bomb attack," said Minister Rai.
According to Tourism Minister Ananda Pokharel, over 20,000 Nepalis may be working in Afghanistan both legally and illegally. Government records show that it has issued permits to over 8,889 Nepalis to work as security guards in Afghanistan.
"The government has also decided to ask the Afghanistan government to immediately investigate the attack and make the details public," said Minister Rai, who is the spokesperson of the government.
Likewise, the government has decided to ask the Canadian government for its official statement about the attack. The Canadian government has not issued any statement so far.
As many as 24 Nepalis, who returned to Nepal on Thursday along with the bodies of 12 of those killed in the attack, said the embassy had intelligence reports about the attack but did not caution them. As many as 147 Nepali security guards were providing security at the Canadian embassy in Kabul.
"The cabinet meeting also decided to provide Rs 1 million each to the families of the 13 Nepalis killed in the attack," Minister Rai said, adding that the government will cover the medical expense of six other Nepalis, who were injured in the attack. The injured are currently undergoing medical treatment at a hospital in India.
Ronald J. Jack
Burnaby, B.C.