Thursday, June 26, 2008

"North Polar Ice is Melting" - Story is just Ice Station Hysteria

Here we go again. The Arctic Ocean is clearing just in time for Canada Day and the media is encouraging us to freak out. We Canadians have seen this story before. I think we won't let it rain tears on our July 1st festivities. We news junkies deserve the indigestion we endure from consuming crap news. Why did take a last look at the Net before bidding adieu to my day? My reward was stumbling over this stinker from the INDEPENDENT.

"Exclusive: No ice at the North Pole Independent, UK By Steve Connor, Science Editor. It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole ..."

I also checked for news contagion on the Web and I see that the story is proliferating. Even Mr. Bourque of Ottawa, Canada's favorite news blogger, immediately jumped on the bandwagon, ranking it his top story tonight. Bollocks!

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum - shown early September 2007 (NASA Graphic). NASA has been posting these Polar Minimum shots for years, and also offers sophisticated animations of the event as an online service.

If you can spare ten minutes, the mystery of Ice Station Hysteria is solved for you in an excellent science article entitled THE TOP OF THE WORLD.

Open water at the North Pole is nothing new. Among contributing factors to consider, the sun shines 24 hours a day in the summertime. British and American submarines wash their bowplanes in the North Arctic puddle every summer.

The UN Gang - Vancouver's graveyard dawgs

Is the UN Gang out of business? Unlikely, but at least its leader is buried in a holding cell down in Seattle. As widely reported by Vancouver media, Clayton "Clay" Roueche was scooped up in a slick three way operation mounted by U.S., Mexican and Canadian law enforcement. Roueche is fond of foreign travel and his ability to organize gang R&R activities offshore. He tripped up on a recent junket to Cancun Mexico, where he was to attend a wedding. The attendees included twenty UN Gang members, their wives and girlfriends. His mistake was in thinking there was safety in overflying the United States. Millions of dollars worth of close surveillance and wiretapping paid off, and he was coolly diverted into U.S. custody.

A bonanza of personal material including bank records and private photographs of gang activities were seized when police raided his house in Coquitlam, B.C. It's a tantalizing preview of what was in Clay Roueche's personal scrapbook. A copy set of the Intelligence booty was provided to the Americans and a small sample was offered by federal prosecutors in Seattle at Roueche's arraignment on June 9, 2008.

Several events led to police capture of Roueche. One key development was arrest of Jong Ca John Lee, who is believed to have been the armourer to the UN Gang. Lee's highrise Vancouver apartment was stormed by Vancouver police on June 9, 2007. (Local TV broadcast a police display of automatic weapons and drugs seized. It included a German MG42 belt-fed machine gun). Lee had no previous criminal record but pleaded guilty in September 2007 to 10 counts, including possession of 3.5 kilograms of ecstasy (estimated value $400,000) 900 grams of marijuana, an arsenal and three stolen Canadian passports. He is now in prison.

Criminal yearbook photo - seventy members of the UN Gang formed ranks for a recent photo. Note some wearing sweatshirts or T's with their "UN" logo. The boss, Clayton Roueche, is currently in U.S. custody.

Clayton Roueche, sporting a custom embroidered hoodie, makes his way to the graveside to burn joss for a fallen UN soldier.

Roueche, born and raised in Chilliwack and Abottsford, B.C., is a devotee of Asian martial arts and enjoys all the trappings, including gaudy insignia and Buddhist ceremonial.

This grave of a UN Gang member boldly proclaims him to be a "Warrior of the United Nations". The stone and burial were paid for by gang leader Clayton Roueche.

Another key factor was the fallout from the Apt 1505 murders in Surrey B.C. Public outrage over the fact that two of the six men executed were innocent bystanders, led to an intensified investigation. Police task forces received rare cooperation from gang associates who had previously maintained steadfast loyalty to Roueche, and were thus able to mount the tri-nation operation which culminated in his arrest. It remains to be seen if Roueche's lieutenants will successfully hold the distribution territory in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver suburbs which their boss assembled hit by hit.

At the pre-trail hearing in Seattle Roueche's lawyer offered a raft of testimonials including a statement from his family which claims he is a dutiuful father of three girls. A Buddhist temple in Langley, B.C. (a registered charity) provided a reference letter written by its President, Savath Homsab, which claims Roueche "regularly volunteered in fund-raising and doing all variety works to build up our temple." Roueche's father, Rupert, also provided a letter of support. The UN Gang leader is said to be his "only son," a good boy who in 1993 graduated from Sardis Secondary School in Chilliwack. Roueche put his son Clayton in Tae Kwan Do classes at age 12, with no thought of him using that discipline for criminal purposes.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Football Summer - Taiwan Documentary Drama Will Steal Your Heart

Submitted for your viewing pleasure: My Football Summer
(2006). Now on DVD. 103 minutes, English subtitles.

Last night I took in the opening reception for the 2nd Annual Taiwanese Film Festival, now running at the Vancouver International Film Center. The festival opener was a warmly engaging feature length documentary entitled MY FOOTBALL SUMMER. It's a doc I had not heard of, but which I am grateful to have seen. The film offers us a privileged window into the energetic lives of a group of young friends, the football team at Mei-Lun Junior High School in Haulien County. But it's more than just another sport documentary. These boys are from impoverished families living in the mountainous east coast, some of them aboriginal. MeiLun is a boarding school with a devoted staff, who adore their team, and who understand the emotional struggles of youngsters facing a limited future. Onscreen we witness the boys bravely facing up to the challenges of a modern education, but their school also offers a brief glorious life on the soccer field. They are proud of their scars and broken bones, awards they will treasure as adults, though perhaps consigned to careers as "professional weed pullers". The Mei-Lun team becomes their everything, their "Heaven", and it's a very compelling story.
I think it was very astute choice of the TWFF committee to lead with MY FOOTBALL SUMMER. It's a great audience pleaser and we are told that in 2006 the film out grossed several prominent feature films in Taiwan. That's a rather remarkable accomplishment for a "local" documentary about a Junior High School soccer team. (I had a chance to chat with Kai Ling Xue, a young Vancouver film maker who told me she is from Haulien, the setting for this film.) There was some great news for the TWFF committee. Spokesmen for China Airlines and the Taipei Economic Office, the anchor sponsors, informed the audience that the festival will enjoy their continued patronage.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SHONENKO - the Taiwanese boys who built Mitsubishi aircraft as Japan's defences crumbled

Most elderly Taiwanese live with sad memories of W.W.2. Even though Imperial Japan surrendered before the Allied forces were required to mount an invasion of Taiwan (code named OPERATION CAUSEWAY) a ferocious Air War had been fought over the Japanese colony. Formosa was bombed and strafed continuously between 1944 - 1945 and when I lived in Taipei in the mid-1980s, I was sometimes conscious of the fact that unexploded U.S. bombs sleep in the mud deep beneath the teeming city.

I first understood the power of these living memories when I took some of our Taiwanes relatives on a tour of the aviation museum in Seattle. I recall assuming that only my kids would get a thrill from the visit, but I was wrong. I parked our van close to an outdoor exhibit - a B29 bomber glinting in the hot sun, and the two Taiwanese ladies began a highly animated conversation. My wife offered me translation; her auntie's encounter with the Boeing B29 Superfortress had triggered a flood of memory. She was reliving the afternoon when a U.S. bomber was shot down near her home in southern Taiwan. Auntie described the crash and the contrasting images of a spread of white parachutes floating down, while acrid sooty smoke ascended. She knew that another B29 had dropped the atomic bomb in 1945, thus saving her family from forced participation in any last ditch effort by the Japanese Army to defend Formosa.

Liang-Yin Kuo is a young film maker with a proven talent for recording compelling stories. Among her documentary films are SEARCHING FOR THE DISAPPEARED JAPANESE ZERO (2002) and SHONENKO (2007) which have been broadcast on Taiwan and Japan television.
Many proud Taiwanese film makers have found inspiration in the fabulous history and rich folk culture of their country. Liang-Yin Kuo took her film training at U.S.C. in California, (she has a Masters in Film and Television Production) and returned home to begin her career. After a string of projects on Taiwan heritage she has found a niche for herself. One of her early films was inspired by "grandfather stories". Following the Japanese surrender hundreds of warplanes became available for scrap. Her grandfather recalled that in 1946 he got his start in business by breaking up a Japanese Zero fighter and using the aluminum to make bowls. Intrigued, Kuo partnered with a Japanese classmate at U.S.C. and together they investigated the story.

The work was absorbing and took them on a journey of discovery. In the process of producing the film Ms. Kuo learned much about the traumatic period in Taiwan's history when the Japanese evacuated, only to be replaced by Nationalist Chinese troops fleeing the Communist Revolution. In addition Kuo came to understand the status of the Zero Fighter as something of a cultural icon; only thirty still exist. The film went through several experimental cuts and was at one time 90 minutes in length. In final form it 30 minutes and is distributed as SEARCHING FOR THE DISAPPEARED JAPANESE ZERO. It won a Golden Harvest Award for Best Documentary and was broadcast on Taiwan Public T.V. in 2003.

Liang-Yin Kuo directs a shot for her 2002 film SEARCHING FOR THE DISAPPEARED JAPANESE ZERO. The documentary had its origin in the stories which her grandfather told her about his life during WW2. Taiwan was then a Japanese colony and in 1944-45 bombed and strafed by U.S. aircraft on a daily basis.

SHONENKO - Encouraged by the response to her film, Kuo chose another WW2 subject, and one which contributed to shaping of postwar Taiwan. The experiences of young boys separated from their family and friends, their memories of a sojourn in Japan punctuated by constant threat of being bombing, is a subject which had touched thousands of families across Taiwan and which was well received by modern audiences. For the film Kuo once again teamed with her U.S.C. classmate, Shuhei Fujita. They worked as co-Directors and Fujita assisted in getting doors to open in his country.

After the Japanese Navy lost the decisive Battle of Midway their government rushed the construction of a new naval arsenal, and the development of a fighter interceptor to defend the Home Islands. A program to recruit child workers from Taiwan (boys aged 12 - 14) met with success because families believed the official promise that their sons would receive a good technical education while working as Shonenko. Japan's ambitious plan to recruit 25,000 or more boys was disrupted by American Naval encirclement but in the end some 8,419 Taiwan boys found work building the J2M3 RAIDEN. At wars end more than 7000 boys were repatriated to Taiwan. The world forgot about the Taiwanese Shonenko until a book on the child labourers was published in 2001. Ms. Kuo read it and was quick to realize the possibilities for a film.

The Mitsubishi J2M3 - RAIDEN (Thunderbolt) was codenamed "Jack" by the Allied Forces. It was designed specifically to shoot down long-range bombers like the giant B29. Thousands of boys from Taiwan, aged from 12 to 14, were impressed as labour on the production of the RAIDEN. Now elderly men, the "Shonenko" maintain an active association.

Kuo's project received immediate funding and took four years to research and shoot. Over 40 of the surviving Shonenko were interviewed and Kuo chose eight of them to feature in the film. In addition she located still photos and useful wartime footage in archives in Tokyo and Washington. Kuo prefers to shoot with a Beta Cam and transfer her film to 16 or 35 mm when needed. The result is a film which is continuing to win awards in Taiwan and which is gaining an international audience.

Childhood's End - This photo was sent to worried parents back home in Taiwan. Here more than a hundred "Shonenko" pose in front of their barracks on the grounds of a Mitsubishi aircraft factory.

SHONENKO is a feature documentary at this year's Taiwanese Film Festival which runs at the Vancouver International Film Centre on Seymour Street. It will be screened on Sunday June 22 at 5:50 PM. Tickets are $7. A DVD is selling in Taiwan for NT390 but as yet is not available from Amazon. com.

If anyone knows a distributor in Canada for this DVD , please contact me and I will post the info. Cheers! R.J. Jack in Vancouver.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

THE CHILDREN OF HUANG SHI - movie whitewashes story of western paedophile in Wartime China

Critics of The Children of Huang Shi have trashed the new movie on its technical execution - bad script, bad acting, etc. But all agree that Chow Yun Fat steals the picture. I think the critics miss the point entirely. This isn't just a bad film. It's a patently dishonest suppression of historical events which shaped modern China. The film substitutes an orphanage and the rescue of innocents, for the reality - a school for incorrigible boys where pedophilia was a fixture.
Should we care? Well wouldn't we all howl if Canadian movie producers attempted to shoot a script set at the troubled Mount Cashel Boys Home in the 1970s, but was totally silent about the sexual abuse of kids? Wouldn't the media give the Director a hard time if he attempted a patriotic wartime drama with one of our Native Residential Schools as an establishing shot, but ignored what went on inside? How then does Ottawa born Director Roger Spottiswoode believe he can get away with travesty. In his Children of Huang Shi he whitewashed events in far off China which equate with the worst of Mount Cashel abuses.

Roger Spottiswoode, Director of The Children of Huang Shi in Chicago on May 23 to promote his film. The shameful and callous Australia-China co-production whitewashes history for the sake of making a buck. The true story of a Chinese school of horrors, run by a white paedophile and funded by western charities, has been oblitered by a Bio-pic gone very, very wrong. (Patrick McDonald photo)

In interview Spottiswoode claims that the gestation period for this film was eight years. Really? Then how in the hell did he get the story so wrong?
"I try not to make up too much and in some cases, I don’t make up anything at all. It is a balancing act in that you are trying to tell a story of things that really happened and are trying to stay out of the fiction business but at the same time, you have to make it as compelling as possible". The Spottiswoode treatment involves hanging a completely bogus story, and a cast of composite characters, on the shoulders of one man who actually existed. There certainly was a George Aylwin Hogg in China between 1938-1945, and he did work briefly for U.P.I. That is just about as biographical as this film ever gets. He did not witness the Rape of Nanking.
The real George Aylwin Hogg in a photo sent to the publisher of his China memoir. Hogg's book gave broad hints of the paedophilia he witnessed at the school run in Shensi by a notorious New Zealand pervert.

The Children of Huang Shi asks us to accept George Hogg deposited at an "orphanage" in war blasted Shensi province, left entirely to his own devices, and unable to speak Chinese. He is confronted by a feral pack of Chinese youths, all lice bitten war orphans emotionally crippled by their loss or else made prone to violent rages by the Japanese atrocities they witnessed. With patience and love George Hogg "Mr. Pig" performs a miracle. He wins the boys trust (and a Guinness record for learning to speak Chinese) and in a thrilling anti-war gesture he leads the orphans on an epic journey through the mountains, to save them from being drafted into the Kuomintang Army.

The truth is more harrowing, certainly to the careers of myth mongers worldwide. George Hogg had fallen in with Rewi Alley, a New Zealand born operative in a busy espionage ring run in Shanghai by Soong Ching Ling (the bitter widow of Sun Yat Sen). Madame Soong, Alley and their circle had set up a network of training centres, or Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (Indusco), which became the pet charity of Madame Roosevelt and Henry and Clare Boothe Luce. The C.I.C. was a mecca for western do gooders and George Hogg found a home.

Rewi Alley, a New Zealand Runagate of the first water. A productive member of Madame Sun's espionage network, the Chinese Communists allowed Alley to satisfy his taste for sex with boys in exchange for his total loyalty, his expertise in fund raising and his flare for propaganda.

In his memoir I SEE A NEW CHINA, George Hogg gave a few broad hints of Rewi Alley's pedophilia, while assuring readers that he was a great proletarian hero. "The main distinctive feature of Rewi's cave in Shuangshipu is exactly the same as that of his former house in Shanghai - that at any time out of school hours it is filled with boys. ... Boys doing gymnastics off Rewi's shoulders or being held upside down. Boys being given enemas, or rubbing sulphur ointment into each others scabies. ... Boys toasting bare bottoms against the stove (the scar across Rewi's own nether portions testifies to his own indulgence in this form of amusement). Boys pulling the hair on Rewi's legs, or fingering the generous proportions of the foreigners nose."

To Alley's delight scores of boys consented to sex and, like most predators, he managed to conceal his crimes. Or did he? Much was made, then and now, about the fact that seven "headmasters" in twelve months had preceded George Hogg's posting to the C.I.C. school at Shuangshihpu (the alleged abandoned orphanage in the movie). It is quite possible that some of Hogg's predecessors could not stomach Alley's urge to corner students and poke his hand into their shorts. One Rewi Alley biographer argued that he was just a homosexual and NOT a paedophile. Oh... O.K. then.

The "orphanage" created for Spottiswoode's by Chinese set designers simply never existed. And there were no orphans. I'll let Hogg tell it:

"The co-ops... sent their problem cases - usually semi-educated middle class boys who had failed to adapt themselves to worker conditions when their families fell on hard times after 1937. These boys were filled either with consuming self-pity or with burning ambition to use the school as a stepping stone toward long-fingernailed office jobs. ... Nobody quite knew what the school was for, but the boys and the masters themselves both grew to have a sneaking idea that it was some kind of badly organized foreign charity..." As far as I can determine, not a single word of Hogg's memoir is represented in this movie which purports to recreate his China experience. How's that for the claim "Based on a true story". Hogwash!

I must now return this Chinese made DVD to the student who lent it for review. Mike Chuang, if you're sad I don't share your enthusiasm, forgive me! I did at least enjoy all that lovely Chinese scenery. Most of the reviews online are also very hard on the film, but for entirely different reasons. As Lavar Burton concludes on Reading Rainbow... "Don't just take my word on it."

Postscript - I visited the Children of Huang Shi Wiki page and inserted a link to this Blog article. It survived just two days before a brainless Wiki-crow deleted it. That is the fundamental problem with wikis - the dicks of the world, the academics as well as dropouts, post their jellied thoughts and then become full time wiki guardians, pouncing on any dissenting viewpoint.


UPDATE July 6 - I just read the comments left by a Rewi Alley supporter who believes I have been unfair to his Socialist hero. Alley was first and foremost a COMINTERN agent working in Madame Soong's network. His later involvement in Baillie schools allowed him to become a major fundraiser for the Reds, and to pass easily through military lines. The fact that he had a very dark hidden life as a rampant homosexual and child molester just added layers of deception to his makeup.

One of the few investigative biographies of the quirky Kiwi is FRIEND OF CHINA - THE MYTH OF REWI ALLEY . Here is a review written by Canadian author Douglas Brown.

My criticism of Roger Spottiswoode role as film director underscored his boast of having done exhaustive research on Hogg. That is a bogus claim. The fact is that Rewi Alley, working as a professional propagandist, constantly claimed the accomplishments of other Westerners in China as his own. The fact that Rewi Alley supporters, most especially his fan club in New Zealand, refuse to reference George Hogg's memoir I SEE A NEW CHINA in their promotions, shows that the cracks are at last beginning to widen. My Blog was a negative review of the film, which is why a dishonest Wiki crow kicked my link off the film's Wiki page. The fact is that a small clique of "Old China Hands" spent their latter years polishing their own Red apples, and relentlessly erasing better men and women from the historical record. That is a demonstrable fact, but beyond the scope of the Blog article.

The accusation made by "Mike" is that I was bashing Communism in my film review. If that was my motive I would have trashed a few of the "dramatic" moments of the film which were ludicrous. (Item - Chinese Koumintang army officers stuff their men into boxcars and lock all the doors. As the Japs begin strafing and bombing the station the cowardly KMT officers flee. A Red guerrilla officer chooses to ignore the strafing and unlocks the boxcars under fire, thus showing Red compassion for a bitter enemy. Eeeeyuck!)

LITTLE DEVILS - Item - in the movie Hogg's given motive for taking the "orphans" on the dangerous journey over the mountain was to deny their service to Chiang's army. In fact the largest intake of Siao Kuei or "Little Devils" (dubbed "Wild Boys" by the Shanghai press ) was by the Communists and not the Nationalists. The Eighth Route Army alone had more than 20,000 of them. Siao Kuei ranged in age from 11 to 16 and were noncombatants. By 16 they were deemed politically reliable and inducted as Red Fighters.)

Since Communism was vanquished from China almost two decades ago (it is now a fascist dictatorship of the classical model) it is a waste of my sweat to stir old "anti-Communist" rhetoric. I'm an honest Blogger and not a propagandist or film promoter.

I did find it amusing that Mr. Spottiswoode came back thinking the Chinese were in his corner. Even before a print of his new movie hit Canadian shores, Chinese were distributing the DVD here in Vancouver for $2 bucks. The DVD was high. It's the Canadian director's contribution which is poor.

Monday, June 9, 2008

2nd Annual Taiwanese Film Festival - June 20 -22, 2008

A rare treat is available to British Columbia film buffs who enjoy Asian cinema. Taiwanese student organizers are preparing to host the 2nd Annual Taiwanese Film Festival - showcasing a medley of drama and documentary titles. The committee members, all S.F.U. or U.B.C. students, have made arrangement with the Taiwan government office in Vancouver to receive a selection of recently produced films, all of them completed between 2005 - 2007, and recipient of national awards or nominations.

The Footprints of Youth is this year's festival theme. A detailed schedule and film list is posted on the TWFF Website.

This year the students' chosen theme is “The Footprints of Youth” and their festival will offer Taiwanese films which explore contemporary or historical aspects of Taiwan youth experience. For example two contrasting works, Love's Lone Flower (drama) and Shonenko (documentary), explore the lasting pain and disruption of the Japanese occupation period which brought WW2 down upon the Taiwanese. Among its many lasting effects the war shattered the lives of countless young Formosans and split thousands of families along generational lines. From those smoking ruins of a Japanese colony arose a vigorous and wealthy industrial nation. I will attend this festival with great interest and have already begun a feature length article on one of the films and its young director.

Venue: Vancouver International Film Centre, 1181 Seymour St.

June 20 - 22. Tickets $7 each.

SHONENKO (2006). "Shonenko" is the old Japanese term for "live in boy worker". The photo shows Taiwanese boys eating in their mess hall at an aircraft factory. Promised an education in Japan, they actually built fighter planes for a Empire which was preparing its "last ditch" defences.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

B.C. Judge throws Bacon to the Dogs

Astonishing. How else can you describe the actions of the B.C. Provincial Court judge who put Jonothan Bacon (age 27) back onto the streets of British Columbia? Bacon was in Abbotsford Court last Friday morning to face charges stemming from his arrest during a 2005 raid on an Abbotsford home. "Police found two machine guns, two handguns, silencers, hard drugs, 40 pounds of marijuana and nearly $100,000 in cash." Judge Donald Gardiner was dismissive of crown evidence and released the accused on a technicality. Two Bacon associates walked at the same time. They are Rayleene Burton and Godwin Cheng. The trio were justifiably jubilant at Gardiner's decision.

I think this is genius at work. I simply have to believe that Judge Gardiner has an ulterior motive. The Court must have decided to defer this travesty to street justice, because by releasing Bacon from custody he is effectively throwing him to the dogs. In September 2006 Bacon was shot in his own driveway, but survived. He's a tough lad but will not survive a second hit, and is he not capable of planning a preemptive strike to save himself? Who dies next? Currently the entire Bacon crime family is under round the clock police surveillance, due to existing underworld contracts on the life of Jonothan's two criminal brothers.

Much of what we know derives from the dogged investigative skills of Kim Bolan, ace reporter at THE VANCOUVER SUN. Last week law enforcement took the unprecedented step of warning the public, through the news media to stay away from James "Jamie" Kyle Bacon (age 22) and Jarrod Wayne Bacon (age 25) because they are certain to be gunned down soon. The younger brothers are temporarily in custody, facing multiple weapons offences stemming from an incident on May 9th involving a Bacon associate who was murdered in an ambush on a Burnaby street. The deceased was driving an armoured Porsche Cayenne registered to one of the Bacon brothers, and had the misfortune to be mistaken for one of them. The parents of the Bacon boys claim they are innocent. Their father David Bacon, an Abbotsford school employee, is now on paid leave and the Mother is Susan Bacon, a manager at Prospera Credit Union. Neither parent showed up at the court house, choosing wisely to protect their anonymity. We are allowed only the photograph of one family member - James.

James Bacon shown disarmed and under arrest in December 2006 at the Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford, B.C. Seven gang members were meeting in the park, four of them wearing kevlar vests and three armed with pistols. The Bacon's and other local gangs have limitless access to assault weapons. Yet legions of fools like Toronto's mayor and Burnaby's council have always targeted law abiding target shooting ranges. One brazen execution murder took place not so long ago on Canada Way in Burnaby, next to RCMP headquarters. L.A. gang bangers are punks compared to our local underworld.


A display of confiscated WW2 Bren guns and Sten guns (all former Canadian Army stock) as well as modern machine pistols and silencers seized in Abbotsford, B.C. in 2005. Other major arsenals have been uncovered in Burnaby (Eight Rinks) and Winnipeg. How long before an Abbotsford neighborhood gets sprayed by a full magazine of .303 rounds from a Bren gun? It's chilling to contemplate.

A small window (albeit a cracked one) offering some street level buzz in the Fraser Valley communities, is found in a discussion string, "Why the Bacon brothers are hated in Abbotsford". Two Bacon associates, one a female who calls herself "Sarah", do their best to stick up for their friends. It's a slice of unedited Canadian culture.

"It's me Bren Gun !" - A zany image of a movie bad guy ripping off a marijauna grow-op, using a Bren gun. It won't be funny if it happens on some farm in the Fraser Valley. [apologies to Guy Ritchie and Ska Films]

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Icelanders refuse to adopt Al Gore's GREEN gospel

Hey, can't a guy take a break? I had decided to give this Blog a rest for a few months and concentrate on other writing commitments. Then today I get an email from some American dude reminding me that I haven't "updated" the Blog for awhile and offering to buy my Blogspot name. "Updated?" Unlike a zillion other bloggers I actually research and write my own material and it does take hours out of my week. I do not have a vast legion of readers, but I enjoy the process of creation and have no reason to quit. So ... no thanks, buddy. Your $$$ I don't need.

Obama Fever. I've got it too.

I love the smell of burnt Clinton in the morning! I couldn't be more thrilled with the Barack Obama's triumph last night than if the man was my own kin. In one sense perhaps he feels like a brother in arms... and if I were an American citizen I would relish the chance to support the "Change" he proposes. I have been following the Clinton file since long before the dastardly duo secured the U.S. Presidency, and suspect I have at hand more reference material on their crimes than any other Canadian. I had long come to accept the dread reality that no man existed who could take them out. But I was wrong, and I will praise that handsome Black hero forever. It is a great public service Obama rendered his nation this week, slaying the Beast called Billary.


As per my blogging habit, I picked up on a news item this evening and let it take me to another land. In Iceland yesterday, police shot a 250-kilo male polar bear which had hitched a ride on pack ice and then swum ashore for some forage. It was the first bear to survive the crossing from Greenland in twenty years. Alas it was slaughtered within hours, all in the name of public safety. You can view the execution on an Icelandic news page, but you must sit through an ad for Icelandic Air. Watch four riflemen get shots on target and then rush to pose with their hapless kill.

If that isn't enough senseless slaughter to provoke disgust for Viking blood lust, consider this: Icelanders have a long history of scoping-out migrant bears and they kill every beast which manages to swim to shore. One British reporter testified that they "take a distinctly unsentimental approach to wildlife". Recall that only a year ago we Canadians were submitted to repeated and hysterical warnings that the polar ice was going to melt off and that polar bears might become extinct.
Well last year unprecedented flows off pack ice choked Icelandic fiords and harbours, putting many residents on polar bear watch. Before yesterday's kill, the last polar bear bagged by the Islanders was in 1993. Previous to that was a bear which swam ashore in 1988. Still further back, a bear made it ashore without a visa in the 1950s and was immediately liquidated. The trophy is now on display in a museum in Husavik. Just four polar bears in a half century and each dispatched without guilt. It seems certain, VANITY FAIR and movie stars aside, that those isolated Icelandic pagans are unwilling to entertain sermons from Green missionaries any time soon. The social gospel of the Reverend Gore has failed to rouse the good old burghers of Reykjavik.

But over in New York, Gore's pronouncements are scripture and Madison Avenue Ad factories are keen to soak up many millions of dollars delivered by acolytes of the handsomely financed Church of Environmental Science. As it happens my favorite magazine, VANITY FAIR, is a major exponent of the Gore movement. I won't hold it against them, as V.F. does far more good than harm, but I can't help bringing up their May 2007 issue. It takes on fresh relevance with yesterday's execution of polar bear number four. I assume that most people remember the silly spectacle of an entire European nation going nuts over a cuddly bear cub. Knut the polar bear is now the icon of the Berlin Zoo, and his fluffy white image was digitally inserted into the cover shot fabricated for use with V.F.'s "2nd Annual GREEN ISSUE". Juxtaposed with the reality of deeply entrenched Icelandic attitude, the arrogance of do good southerner's who are enrolled in a crusade to "save" the North, is truly remarkable.

A faked photo in support of an arrogant cause: In 2007 the image of Knut the Kraut polar bear was Photoshopped to position him at the feet of a mega-celebrity who endorses the Green Philosophy. Leonardo DiCaprio was flown to Iceland for some expensive propaganda work and VANITY FAIR was so proud of its cover they provided a series of production stills on the website.
This shot's not big enough for two celebrities. Knut the cuddly star of the Berlin Zoo couldn't make it. He was too busy with his Blog and TV show.

One of the four great swimmers who have been executed on Icelands shores since World War II. This big fellah guards the lobby of the Hotel Ranga.