Monday, July 31, 2006


Averill Baker's article: The minister should be educated about foreign fishing

Averill Baker
The Packet

I almost drove into the ditch when I heard our Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister say: "Those 19 foreign nations fishing on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap have every legal right to be there. Those foreign nations have an historic right to fish on our Continental Shelf and we must respect that."

So said the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Loyola on Randy Simms’ Open Line Show on a Thursday morning in sunny July, 2006.

What a lot of baloney.

What a lot of unmitigated blarney.

Those statements are falsehoods, lies and unrepeatable insults to every living and deceased Newfoundlander who lives or lived on our coastline. I am not calling the Minister of Fisheries a liar. No, he is not guilty of lying because he does not have the mens rea.

"Mens rea" in law means the guilty mind. In other words, in order for the minister to be guilty of lying, in repeating this falsehood, he would have to have the state of mind of knowingly stating a lie. In this case he does not know the difference.

In law, the telling of the lie is called "actus reus." That he did do. But he did it unknowingly and that frees him from the guilty mind, the state of mind necessary for me to call him a liar.

He is repeating what the lawyers in Fisheries and Oceans and Justice and Foreign Affairs tell him. He is repeating what he was told in his briefings. He is repeating what is in his briefing notes. So, we can’t blame the minister.

He is telling lies unknowingly.

The lawyers in Justice, DFO and External Affairs in Ottawa have as their client the Federal Government. They work for Ottawa. Ottawa pays them and they present the position in law that Ottawa wants. They have solicitor-client privilege.

If those 19 foreign nations have historic rights, as the minister claimed, then why did the United States only join NAFO in 1995, Ukraine in 1999, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in 1992? In fact, not one of the foreign nations belonging to NAFO, under the law today, especially the Law of the Sea, have any right to fish on our continental shelf. Not one of them.

Why was the Republic of Korea given quotas for the first time in 1992? The speculated reason was because Kim Jong Il became the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army in that year and as a 60th anniversary present to the KPA, one of the things he did was ask all foreign nations to give his people fishing rights off their coasts. Canada and the other nations in NAFO agreed.

So, the question for the Minister of Fisheries becomes: Is ignorance of international law really bliss and, if it is, should it be allowed to continue?

If ignorance truly is bliss, then everyone at DFO in Ottawa must be in a continual state of sublime happiness.

"Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise," said the English poet Thomas Gray.

Knowledge then, must be an impediment to happiness in Ottawa.

Knowledge about the Law of the Sea, knowing that those foreign nations have no rights whatsoever to fish on our Continental Shelf, would bring about a depression — almost a clinical illness — to a Newfoundland Minister of Fisheries.

To realize that people from Japan and 18 other foreign nations have more rights than Newfoundlanders to fish on the Continental Shelf is depressing.

I mean, to a Newfoundlander, it’s enough to drive you crazy. It’s enough to make you go to the doctor and ask for one of those drugs that will shut down the area of the brain that makes you unhappy.

Is there an alternative?

In this case education is the answer. It will open up a whole new world for the minister. DFO would become an exciting place to be and everyone who becomes educated with the knowledge that these foreign nations have no rights at all and could and should be kicked off our Continental Shelf under international law today, all of those educated people would be anxious to do something about it.

Read this and other very informative articles by Averill Baker by visiting Atlantic news net.

Minister Hearn responds with a letter to the editor.

Loyola Hearn
Dear editor

I would like to respond to the column entitled, Fisheries minister needs to be educated, by Averill Baker that appeared in your paper on Aug 1.

I would suggest that Ms. Baker get her facts straight before accusing a minister of being misinformed.

Foreign nations do have a qualified right to fish in international waters in the Northwest Atlantic. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea recognizes this right - as well as the interests of coastal states. In the case of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Canada is the most relevant coastal state.

NAFO was established by treaty to manage fisheries. While there are currently 13 members of this organization, the European Union is one such member and several EU countries fish in the Northwest Atlantic. The Baltic States became NAFO members in their own right in 1992 when they were liberated upon the break up of the Soviet Union. From 2005, the fisheries interests of the Baltic States and Poland were represented by the EU.

Not all NAFO members enjoy extensive fishing rights; the United States and South Korea, for example, have minimal quotas.

And, to correct another error made by Ms. Baker, Kim Jong Il is the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, which is not a member of NAFO. They did not therefore get fishing rights in NAFO.

My department would be happy to provide all the facts to Ms.
Baker on NAFO, overfishing, and international law before she pens her next opinion piece. She may also want to check out our overfishing myths and realities at

Certainly seems like a lot of symantics and nit picking going on here. Not much substance other than to try and justify why Canada hasn't challenged the UNCLOS 200 mile Economic Giveaway zone as is allowed by UNCLOS for continental shelves which extend out past the 200 mile.

Very telling indeed that. The fact that they would rather expend their energy spreading propaganda and lies to curb a growing rightious rebellion within their own borders than demand what is rightfully ours.

As for the facts and myths if they come from another Kanukistan propaganda fisheries/Foreign affairs document which I recently read not much odds.

The real issue at hand is finally starting to see the light of day it isn't so much the giving away of our fish through quotas and bycatch which are directly correlated from our own catch? Which if you believe what the Department of Foreign affairs Officianados tells us the stocks on the nose and tail are separate stocks from inland waters thus allowing them to continue perpetrating the greatest giveaway in history to the detriment of NL and the betterment of UPPer Canada's manufactring industry and foreign affairs.

They are even now floating the idea that the stocks on the Flemmish cap are a separate and distinct stock to hedge their bets and protect their foreign affairs giveaways incase the natives get to restless and they have to end the charade that is called straddling stocks.

Just to much cow towing to foreign interests here iMHO and not enough if any at all of protecting Atlantic Canadians interests.

Just another example of how Kanukistan is a systemically flawed country with little or no equality for the colonies of Ontario and Quebec.

What is best for Canada isn't what is best for Atlantic Canada Loyola and you should either quit your post or come clean.
At least Efford was in there a year or two before he became a yes man to the Ontarians. I realize you are outnumbered but if you ever want to live in this province again I suggest you stop buying into this propaganda charade and start doing what you said you were going to do.

GUNS for GUI's

How do you find a Taliban?

The same way you find a stolen car GPS, Global Positioning System.

How about we start a program of GUNS for GUI's Graphic User Interfaces (Computers)

Now since alot of under developed countries don't have access to reliable or electricity period. I would recommend the newly developed lap tops for under developed countries 100$ Lap Top. These lap tops are designed to run on crank or solar power.
Oh a must for these would be GPS senders as well. Maybe passworded but that would negate the GPS idea.

Keyboard is mightier than the killing machine. By providing the Arab and muslim world with a ways and means to express themselves and their feelings of marginalization and downtroddenness you eliminate the need for violence as a ways and means of expressing themselves.

Just put GPS senders in the things that the Taliban steal from the locals like the hand held radios our troops are handing out and voila you will be able to track the Taliban.

This GPS imbeding would have to be kept secret hush hush because if the Taliban find out they will well you know.

By knowing where the Taliban are we will be able to locate them in their caves and start a scorced earth plan to eliminate these caves and hide outs. As well we would be able to track their movements across the Pakistan border. The intel alone would be worth more than another brigades on the ground.


Bubble wrap blimp

I've been kinda kicking around the idea of how do you make a UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehichle that has more air time steady platform for optics and is cheap and easy to use and deploy.

Personally I figured some sort of blimp would be the best option but the draw back with a blimp is it's succeptibility to ground fire and fire itself. As well as the majority of blimps utilize only one main compartment so one hole would render the blimp useless.

What if Bubble wrap were used to make a blimp and instead of using air to fill the bubbles use something lighter than air like helium. Now the problem with lighter than air once again is it's flammability but if the packaging material is flame retardent and the volume of the helium is contained in small separate compartments like what bubble wrap uses the threat from ground fire would be minimal and the threat of fire would also be minimal.

Oh I can see it now the boys will be using the helium filled bubble wrap for matresses. Talk about a good nights sleep LOL.

Skylark Remote/Control Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Model airplane to be used by Canadian Troops in Afghanistan.
Skylark manufacturers site.
Review by defence site.

Thought on Blimp. Delta wing from PVC corrugated plastic Correx Corro plast SPAD Simple Plastic Airplane Design with channels filled with helium and top of wing covered with solar panels to power high efficiency electric engines. Could fly all day would be relatively impervious to ground fire. Helium would allow for heavier pay loads and night time observation with little or no power.

Something for the soldier who has everything

In this handout picture made available Tuesday Oct. 28, 2003 by the Israel-based Cornershot Co. in Tel Aviv, Israel, a rifle is seen composed of two parts; the front, that can swivel from side to side, containing a pistol with a color camera mounted on top, and the back section which consists of the stock, trigger and a monitor. According to a report by the Israeli daily 'Maariv' newspaper, the pistol, produced by the Florida-based Cornershot Holdings, is being tested by the Israeli military...

One could say the Corner Shot gives a whole new meaning to the idea of "shooting video".

Money the root of all evil in Afghanistan

Artwork from Lauras art web site.

In order to get the full picture of some of the pitfalls constraints and political/financial challenges facing our troops in Afghanistan you will need to read all three of these articles. I just pulled partial excerpts from each to try and tie them all together, but to fully comprehend the issues and situation on the ground you will need to read all three articles.
Afghan soldiers are being mocked by Taliban fighters, because the Taliban are getting paid three times more than the soldiers. Drug gangs are major sponsors of current Taliban operations. Then there is cash from wealthy Islamic conservatives in the Persian Gulf. This means that Taliban gunmen are getting up to $400 a month. Police and army commanders are also being approached, to see if they are willing to screw up, while pursuing Taliban gunmen, in return for thousands of dollars in cash bribes.

Operation Peacemaker is, among other things, a military manhunt. The Canadians are on the trail of the elusive Mullah Tahir and his notorious henchmen. Tahir is believed to be the brains behind the terrorist training camps that supply Al Qaeda. He's one of Osama Bin Laden's senior commanders.

For 20-year veterans like Master Cpl. Tom Cole they're well-oiled coping skills kick in.

"You don't try to think about the really super dangerous things. You just look at how to complete the mission without failing it," says Cole.

They pile into the tightly packed light armoured LAV-III vehicle and then it's outside the wire beyond the security of the base.

Thirty minutes down the road, however, the Afghan police force, who are supposed to provide an escort on this mission, prompt an unscheduled stop. Canada's commitment here includes training them and there's a lot to learn. The police have already run out of gas.

After a quick refueling Charlie company is back on the road but five hours into the journey lunch creates another complication. The fledgling Afghan police force tells Capt. Ryan Jurkowski they don't want food they want money.

"There is no negotiation," Jurkowski explains. "There is no money to give you."

Despite snacking on Canadian food rations the police insist they still want money so, with no money coming forward, they pull out and are not seen again for days.

The Canadian convoy has little choice but to push on alone but soon, the terrain presents the next pitfall, a flat tire. The soldiers keep a watchful eye on the horizon for the next hour as the 163 kilogram-tire gets changed.

NATO says Afghan aid too slow
Afghan army soldiers

By Mark John

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The failure by major donors to follow through on aid pledges to Afghanistan could undermine its efforts to quell an insurgency in the impoverished Muslim state, NATO warned on Thursday.

A crucial part of NATO's strategy is to provide protection for development projects aimed at wresting local support away from the Taliban, but the alliance raised concerns that cash pledges to fund those projects were not coming through.

"We are putting a lot of people's lives on the line," said NATO spokesman James Appathurai of the plan to double troop levels of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force to some 18,000 by the end of the month.

"It makes no sense to invest very heavily in the military resources for peace but not put in the civilian resources to make that peace stable," he told a news briefing.

Dozens of international donors pledged some $10.5 billion (5.6 billion pounds) for Afghanistan reconstruction over the next five years at a conference in London in January. But Appathurai said they appeared to be dragging their heals on delivering the cash.

"Disbursement of funds has not been implemented as quickly or as effectively as we hoped," he said.

Appathurai said NATO was looking to supply Afghanistan's poorly-resourced national army with weaponry such as small and medium arms, and called on other organisations such as the European Union to do more to help train local police.
Afghan Police Kill 7
Comrades - Defect To Taliban

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Five Afghan police shot dead seven fellow officers as they slept, before defecting to join Taliban guerrillas fighting in southern Afghanistan, a provincial official said on Monday.

So what is the solution or at least a pathway to a solution?
Well money would seeem to be the root cause for some of the short falls for the fledgling Afghan military and police. That combined with expertise, training and equipment. Because if the Afghan Police and Army aren't nursed and supported to do this on there own we will never get out of there and hence the world and the Afghan people will be that much worse of because of our/their failure.

If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
Think back to All Capone and the organized crime of the time. They were defeated not because of increased policing but rather by a combination of the IRS and the court systems in conjunction with policing.

The same could be said for Prohibition which was fueling funding AL Capone and organized crime at the time. Legalizing and regulating booze not only removed organized crimes funding but it aided in funding the IRS, courts and policing which eventually destroyed the organized crime element of the time and help return the rule of law.

Legalized/regulate Opium growth for the pain killer market. Codine morphine like the Senile Think Tank suggested.

Afghan/Pakistan and the world needs to prosecute and confiscate monies gotten from the illegal drug trade. We can't blame Afghan for our own weakness and societal problems with regard to drug use. We need to deal with that problem on our own and stop blaming someone else Afghan has their own problems.

The reason I propose not only cutting off the Talibans funding but increased funding for the Afghan Army/Police is because money alone won't solve the problem, but it is apart of the problem according to these reports.

Some other articles along these lines.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


World map of Happiness

Mr White analysed data published by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR. It will be published in a psychology journal this September and will be presented at a conference later in the year.

The 20 happiest nations in the World are:

1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. The Bahamas
6. Finland
7. Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada
11. Ireland
12. Luxembourg
13. Costa Rica
14. Malta
15. The Netherlands
16. Antigua and Barbuda
17. Malaysia
18. New Zealand
19. Norway
20. The Seychelles

Other notable results include:

23. USA
35. Germany
41. UK
62. France
82. China
90. Japan
125. India
167. Russia

The three least happy countries were:

176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
177. Zimbabwe
178. Burundi

The main characteristics of the happiest countries are they're all small -- and pretty. White said that people in small countries have a sense of "collectivism," or being involved with each other's lives. And it never hurts to have a good view!

World MSM fueling world tension and conflicts

I'm always amazed at the amount of spin and sometimes outright lies being put forth by the different sides of conflicts through the Main Stream Media (MSM) on different sides.

Now you might say well it is up to the individuals to check and cross check for different view points of each and every story. But what you forget is not every media source is available to everyone, and people take what is in print and on media outlets as gospel for the most part unless they have experience with the world outside their own little world.

When you read news coming out of the middle east from the Arab side it is easy to understand why they think and feel the way they do because there it is in print or on MSM outlets telling you their reasoning.

You may look at the Lebanese being evacuated out of Lebanon and wonder why they aren't being more gratefull. Well when it is affecting you personally it is hard to see the other side of the story all you know is you are being displaced and your loved ones are either in danger or dead. But it runs deeper than that these feelings and emotions are further cemented because of the spin the local MSM puts on the stories.

Sure you might say well check other MSM news outlets for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Unfortunately not everyone has the time or the inclination to bother checking several MSM news outlets from the different sides involved. If they even have the ways and means to do it.

Then there is the language issue. The masses in general speak only their native language and in these countries where there are ongoing conflicts alot of the time they can't read or write so the radio and prerecorded tapes are the only means the news is available to them.

Even if well educated Arabs have the ways and means to search out the other side of the story unless they can read english the universal Internet language they aren't able to read the other side of the story. Unlike us English speaking infidels who have at our disposal translation services from every language into english if there isn't already sites available in english.

What the world needs is an impartial MSM service available world wide. Something to debunk the different view points and try and tell it like it is.

World media service, Radio, Prerecorded tapes, Short Wave radio, Newsprint local languages, United nations news media service. Just the facts board of editors from each of the differing view points.

When I do a review of the differing view points I am totally amazed at just how slewed and different the same story can have depending upon who and where it is.

Here is a listing of some of the different world news services. All in english so arabs will only bombarded with their view of world events.

Then there is the generic News wires which everyone receives and regurgetates without so much as reviewing the content.
I don't think I know of one case whereby the news media has been taken to task for distributing false or skewed news in an effort to promote their countries own agenda. Look at CBC it is pro Canadian all the time, Aljezeera is pro Muslim anti American all the time and so on and so on.

It truely is reallity that people are sheep and can be led around by the media and it's propaganda it spews forth brainwashing it's local inhabitants to think the way the powers that be want them to.

Then there are the countries who don't have freedom of the press I use that term loosely, but these countries are even more blatent in controling the message to suit their own agendas.

It is a sad sad world we live in when so few can control so much the message to suit their own agendas.

Don't think the internet is going to be the savior either because the internet has to be one of the easiest modes of communication to censor. Don't believe me remember Google capitulating to China to censor internet content going into China. While there is a glimmer of hope with the internet for debunking the different viewpoints. It pales in comparison to the audience of the MSM news outlets around the world.

The only hope would be internet through satellite this doesn't get relayed through local servers and broadbrand access. Now it is just the satellites that need to be uncensored in order to maintain at least a modicum of free communication.

Friday, July 28, 2006



Jerusalem- World heritage site
Jerusalem-Autonomous state like the Vatican

Music and movie copy right limit to 2 years

CAW in a conflict of interest with FFAW because continental shelf utilized for trade concessions to further CAW workers.

ESSO n/mobile 10,700,000,000 Billion Clear PROFIT in three months.

NL'ians discriminated against not allowed a Salmon bycatch unlike foreign destroyers.
Better still only allow targeted fisheries. Abolish indiscriminant fishery practices.

Canada's success not because of Ottawa but in spite of the Federallies.

FPI profits must be invested in NL if fish allowed to be shipped to china for processing. Win Win.
Aquaculture, Royal commission money not jobs.

Will Power

Government Got the Power but no will to do anything

Opposition got the will but no power to do anything

Lobster tourism
People like lobster traps as momento
Make own lobster trap go catch own lobster and keep own lobster trap.

Quebec Canada's whore bought and paid for with D-equalization and concessions

Government jobs savings by decentralizing to cheaper rent and pay locations. According to Dalton Mcgimmes analogy.

Cost living same everywhere exception being land prices. Due to national box stores prices for food and building supplies same nationally. North exception.

If Quebec can have a say in UNESCO why can't Newfoundland/Labrador have a seat at NAFO?

Afghan tourism in Spelunking (cave exploration), in combination with guerrila past wars historical.

High praise for Newfoundland Labradors brook trout

"If you're a dyed-in-the-wool trout fisherman, and you could take just one trip in your life, go to Labrador,"

According to Ware, the average weight of the fish he and his group caught was around five pounds, eight ounces. That's an average -- a pretty remarkable one when you consider that trout over five pounds caught in Maine last year could probably be counted one hand.

Many believe the next world record -- which currently stands at 141/2 pounds, from the Nipigon River in Ontario -- will emerge from Labrador. Imagine a 15-pound brook trout on the end of your line.

Ware recalls hooking a large brook trout around sunset one evening. It looked close to five pounds -- not huge by Labrador standards, but respectable. He played it almost to the net. As the guide prepared to land the fish, he looked down and the two of them watched as another fish that resembled a small torpedo swam by the boat, almost completely unaware.

Ware said it was easily twice as big as the 43/4-pound fish he had on the end of his line.

"Of course, I beat the water to a froth for an hour after that and never caught that fish. But it's just unbelievable what you see up there," Ware said.

Gas to Liquid may be solution for stranded Natural gas not LNG

Wikipedia: Gas to liquid or GTL is a refinery process to convert natural gas or other gaseous hydrocarbons into longer-chain hydrocarbons. Methane-rich gases are converted into liquid fuels via the Fischer Tropsch process. Using such processes, refineries can convert some of their gaseous waste products into valuable fuel oils, which can be sold as or blended only with Diesel fuel. This process will be increasingly significant as crude oil resources are depleted, while natural gas supplies are projected to last into the 22nd century.

But LNG gets complicated. Gas gets piped to mammoth plants in places like Qatar and superchilled down to a liquid state. From there it's shipped in special cryogenic tankers to fuel-strained Japan or the U.S., where it goes through a regasification terminal. By comparison, GTL, if it could be made to work, would be easy.

One way to turn methane (natural gas' main ingredient) into liquid fuel is to blend it with pure oxygen under heat and pressure to produce synthesis gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. With help from a catalyst, the synthesis gas is transformed into waxy hydrocarbons, which in turn can be cracked into smaller, diesel-like fuel molecules. This can all take place out in the gas field, after which transportation is a snap. Unlike diesel derived from crude oil, the synthetic version doesn't require you to replace or upgrade an engine and doesn't emit any sulfur, metals or many particulates when burned. Even the California Energy Commission loves it. Last May it released a report calling synthetic diesel the most effective alternative fuel, above biodiesel and all fuel cells."...more at that article link

Gas to liquid could be the answer for polluted world.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


The case for Direct Democracy

The Swiss have it, Canadians don't.
The Swiss can call their politicians to order at any time. They can challenge any policy or law simply by gathering the signatures of 1% of the registered voters on a petition.
This forces the government to hold a referendum, and the vote is binding on the government. If the people vote against the law, the law has to go. If they vote against a policy, the policy is scrapped.
If the people feel a new law is needed, all they need to do is to gather the signatures of 2% of the registered voters, and the proposed new law must be put on the ballot. If the majority vote in favour of the proposed law, it becomes the law of the land.

Direct Democracy has worked for 130 years in Switzerland, where the four different ethnic groups, German, French, Italian, and Romance, coexist. There are no separatist movements in Switzerland. When tensions arise, the referendum process is used to diffuse them.
The Swiss have maintained their historic policy of neutrality through two world wars; Swiss industry is owned by the Swiss people as opposed to Germans, French, Japanese or Americans; Switzerland decided not to join the European Union, against the advice of their business establishment and most of their politicians.
These tough decisions have been made directly by the people themselves, not by the politicians.

Sounds like what Preston Manning was proposing in the day.

Canadian Live fire no exercise

This is an email account of some of the recent battles our troops have taken part in recently in Afghan.
H/T: Andrew for writing it and Ann for posting it in the comments section over at Kates SDA.


Hey everybody! First off I apologize for the length of this email, as it contains two weeks worth of Afghanistan fun. I am doing well and brutally honest I have enjoyed this last couple of weeks. Seven years of training culminating in 14 action packed days. At first I wasn’t going to write a lot of detail about what happened, because some people might find it upsetting. However, when I got back to Kandahar Air Field (KAF) and read the deplorable media coverage that the largest operation Canadians have been involved in since Korea, I really felt I had to write it all down, to give you all (and hopefully everyone you talk to back in Canada) an appreciation for what we are really doing here in this “state of armed conflict” (lawyers say we can’t use the word “war”, I don’t know what the difference is except for it being far more politically correct.)

We received word while down at our Forward Operating Base (FOB) that we were going to be part of a full out three day (HA HA) Battle Group operation. This was going to be the largest operation Canada had undertaken since the Korean War. When we arrived back in KAF for orders we found out that we were rolling for Pashmul in the Panjawai District of Kandahar province. That was hard for my crew to hear, as that was the same town where Nichola had died and where Bombadier Chris Gauthier (a signaler in the party before I arrived) had been injured in an ambush. Participating in this attack were A, B and C Company (Coy.) Groups, both troops of artillery from A Battery, an Engineer squadron, two Companies of Afghan National Army (plus all of their attached American Embedded Training Teams – ETT), as well as a huge lineup of American and British Fixed and Rotary wing aircraft. Additionally, we had elements of the 2/87 US Infantry and 3 Para from the UK conducting blocks to prevent the enemy from escaping. From an Artillery perspective beyond the two gun troops (each equipped with 2 x155mm Howitzers and 4 x 81mm mortars) we had three Forward Observation Officers (FOO) and their parties as well as the Battery Commander and his party going in on the attack.

On the night of the 7th around 2200 hrs local C Company Group (with yours truly attached as their FOO) rolled for Pashmul. As we arrived closer to the objective area we saw the women and children pouring out of the town… not a good sign. We pushed on and about 3 km from our intended Line of Departure to start the operation we were ambushed by Taliban fighters. At around 0030hrs I had my head out of the turret crew commanding my LAV with my night vision monocular on. Two RPG rounds thundered into the ground about 75m from my LAV. For about half a second I stared at them and thought, “huh, so that’s what an RPG looks like.” The sound of AK 7.62mm fire cracking all around the convoy snapped me back to reality and I quickly got down in the turret and we immediately began scanning for the enemy. They were on both sides of us adding to the “fog of war”. We eventually figured out where all of our friendlies were, and where to begin engaging. We let off about 20 rounds of Frangible 25mm from our cannon at guys about a 100m away before we got a major jam in our link ejection chute. We went to our 7.62 coax machine gun, and fired one round before it too jammed!! Boy was I pissed off. I went to jump up on the pintol mounted machine gun, but as I stuck my head out of the LAV I realized the bad guys were still shooting at us and that the Canadian Engineers were firing High Explosive Incendiary 25mm rounds from their cannon right over our front deck. I quickly popped back down realizing that was probably one of the stupider ideas I have ever had in my life J Eventually after much cursing and beating the crap out of the link ejection chute with any blunt instrument we could find in the turret, we were back in the game. The first Troops in Contact (TIC) lasted about two hours. The radio nets were busier than I had ever heard before and we realized that A and B Coys. as well as Reconnaissance Platoon had all been hit simultaneously, showing a degree of coordination not seen before in Afghanistan. The feeling amongst the Company was that was probably it, as the enemy usually just conducted hit and run attacks. Boy, were we wrong! We continued to roll towards our Line of Departure and not five minutes later as we rolled around a corner, I saw B Coy. on our left flank get hit with a volley of about 20 RPGs all bursting in the air over the LAVs. It was an unreal scene to describe. There was no doubt now that we were in a big fight.

We pushed into the town following the Company Commander behind the lead Platoon. This was not LAV friendly country. The entire area was covered in Grape fields, which due to the way they grow them are not passable to LAVs, and acres of Marijuana fields which due to irrigation caused the LAVs to get stuck. The streets were lined with mud compounds and mud walls just barely wide enough to get our cars through. After traveling about 300m our lead platoon came under attack from a grape drying hut in the middle of what can only be described as an urban built up area. The Company Commander then issued a quick set of frag orders and I was about to participate in my first ever Company attack. He signaled for me to dismount and follow him. It was an uncomfortable feeling dismounting from the turret, as the only way out is through the top of the turret. I was standing probably 15 feet high in the air with friendly and hostile rounds snapping and cracking in the air everywhere. Needless to say I got down quick. I went to the back of my LAV and banged on the door to signal we were dismounting. As the Master Bombardier opened the door he went pale as we were only 20m from where they had previously been ambushed and where Nich had died. Regardless, we soldiered on. We grabbed our radios and followed the Company Commander. We went into a compound that was actually the same one Howie Nelson had dropped a 1,000lb bomb on after the attack in May. We went up to a second story ledge on a mud wall, and the Company Commander pointed out a compound and said “can you hit that?” I lased the building and found out it was only 89m away. Back in Canada we never bring Artillery in much closer than a 1000m, so you can imagine what I was thinking. I sat down and did the math (those of you who know my mathematical skills are probably cringing right now!). I looked at him and said that in theory and mathematically we would be okay where we were, but I made him move one of the other Platoons back 150m. A funny story as I was doing the math, an American ETT Captain working with the ANA looked down at me and said “There are no ANA forward of us” I responded “Roger”, to which he said “good” fired three rounds and said “Got him”. I then realized that he had asked me a question and had not stated a fact (for some reason everyone seems to think that the FOO magically knows where all the friendlies are). Through all the gunfire I had missed the infliction in his voice. I looked at him and said, “Hey, I have no idea where your ANA are, you’re supposed to look after them!” Luckily it wasn’t a friendly he had shot at.

We started the Fire Mission with the first round landing about 350m from my position. The noise of Artillery whistling that close and exploding was almost deafening, the FOO course sure hadn’t prepared me for this! Master Bombardier and I debated the correction for a second and eventually agreed upon a Drop 200m, mostly because we needed to get rounds on that compound ASAP as we were taking heavy fire. The round came in and landed a bit left of the compound. We lased the impact and found out it was 105m from us. We gave a small correction and went into Fire For Effect with 50% Ground Burst and 50% Air Burst. The rounds came in 85m from us, right on the compound. Truly I did not appreciate the sheer frightening and awe-inspiring nature of proximity (the air burst rounds). I then had the worst moment of my military career as one of the Sections began shouting “Check Fire, Check Fire!” on the net, followed quickly by their Platoon Commander saying they had casualties and to prepare for a 9 Line (air medical evacuation request). It turned out the two events were unrelated but for a while I thought I had injured or even worse killed a Canadian. In actuality the Section that called Check Firing was actually the furthest of anyone in the Company from the shells and had panicked (which led to a lot of ribbing and jokes from their buddies afterwards who had all been closer). The 9 Line was for an ANA soldier who had been struck 5 minutes before. However unfortunate, I was definitely relieved to here all that.

Day one carried on with several more small skirmishes and me moving from compound to compound to set up Observation Posts (OPs), from which I could support the Company’s movement. I never thought that in my career I would literally be kicking in doors and leading a three man stack, clearing room after room to get to my OPs.

We ended the day, which had seen us in contact for 12 straight hours, by sleeping beside our vehicle in full battle rattle for about an hour with sand fleas biting us. They are the single most ignorant and annoying bug ever. The next morning started off with what seemed like a benign task. We were to clear the grape fields to the south of our objective area. Intelligence said there was nobody there and this would only take us a couple of hours. About an hour into the clearing operation we came under contact from a heavily fortified compound. Unfortunately we had a young fellow killed early in the engagement when the infantry tried to storm the compound. They met fierce resistance, far greater than expected. (I didn’t know the young soldier personally, but do recall thinking how fearless he was a week earlier when I saw him running around the Brit compound with a Portuguese flag right after England had lost in the World Cup. I was impressed by his peers and friends and how professionally they carried on after his death.) After the attempted storming of the compound, the Company Commander came to me and said “right, we tried that the old fashioned way, now I want you to level that compound.” As I was coming up with a plan for how I would do this, we had a call sign I had never heard before check in. It was Mobway 51. Ends up he was a Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle armed with a hellfire missile. I don’t know how he knew we needed help or what frequency we were using, and frankly I don’t care, he was a blessing. When the Company Commander asked me what the safety distance for a hellfire was I literally had to go to the reference manual I carry (J Fires Manual) because I had never seen one before and had no idea what it actually could do. I told him the safety distance was 100m. To which he asked how far we were from the compound – the laser said 82m. We debated the ballistic strength of the mud wall beside us and in the end he decided to risk it. Nothing like seeing an entire Company in the fetal position pressed up against a mud wall! The hellfire came in and it was the loudest thing I have ever heard. Three distinct noises: the missile firing, it coming over our heads and the boom. For about 30 seconds we couldn’t see anything but a cloud of dust. Then when the dust settled the Platoons started hooting and hollering. The compound barely even looked the same. (At this point our embedded journalist Christie Blanchford from the Globe and Mail had enough and left us, can’t blame her I guess.) The Company again tried to clear the compound but still met resistance. So we lobbed in 18 artillery shells 82m from us (even closer than the day before) and then brought in two Apache Attack Helicopters. On the second rocket attack (I actually have video of this) the pilot hit the target with his first rocket and the second one went long and landed just on the other side of the mud wall from us. It engulfed us in rocket exhaust, but thankfully no one was hurt. When the hellfire had gone off it had started a small building in the compound on fire and suddenly we started getting secondary explosions off of a weapons cache that was in it. Everything started exploding around us, and the two guys that had not listened to me to press up against the wall got hit with shrapnel, both in the legs. One was the Company Commander’s Signaler, a crazy Newf, who was cracking jokes even with shrapnel in his leg. The medic dealt with him and I went over to the American ETT Captain who was only a few feet from me and began doing first aid on him. He looked liked he was going into shock, until his American Sergeant came up behind me and said “Shit Sir, that’s barely worth wearing a Purple Heart for!” I was surprised how much first aid I actually remembered, and the only difficult part was trying to cut off his pant leg because American combats are designed not to tear, making them particularly difficult to cut! In the end we took the compound and captured a high level Taliban leader who was found by the infantry hiding in a sewage culvert, begging for the shelling to stop. As well, we found a major weapons cache, which the engineers took great delight in blowing up. Unfortunately the assault had cost us one killed, two wounded, a Section commander had blown his knee throwing a grenade and four guys had gone down to extreme heat exhaustion. We found out though that this was a Taliban and Al Qaeda hot bed and that they had been reinforced by Chechen and Tajik fighters (which I guess means we really got a chance to take on Al Qaeda and not just the Taliban).

Day three was uneventful for C Coy. and we prepared to go back to our FOB. Which would have been good because I had come down with a cold… not what I needed in combat (umm, I mean state of armed conflict!) Unfortunately that was not to be. A British Company from 3 Para had been isolated and surrounded by Taliban in the Helmand Province in the Sangin District Center. They were running out of food and were down to boiling river water. They had tried to air drop supplies but they ended up landing in a Taliban stronghold (thank you air force). C Coy. was tasked to conduct an immediate emergency resupply with our LAVs. We headed off to what can only be described as the Wild West. The Company (B Coy) of the Paras that was holding the District Center had lost four soldiers there and was being attacked 3 to 5 times a day. We rolled in there after a long and painful road move across the desert. When we arrived in Sangin the locals began throwing rocks and anything they could at us, this was not a friendly place. We pushed into the District Center, and during the last few hundred meters we began receiving mortar fire. They never taught me on my LAV Crew Commander course how to command a vehicle with all the hatches closed using periscopes in an urban environment. I truly did it by sense of touch, meaning as we hit the wall to the left I would tell the driver to turn a little right!! We resupplied the Brits and unfortunately it turned dark and we couldn’t get out of there, so we had to spend the night. We were attacked with small arms RPGs and mortars three times that night, I still can’t believe that the Brits have spent over a month living there under those conditions. They are a proud unit and they were grateful but embarrassed that we had to come save the day. And as good Canadians we didn’t let them hear the end of being rescued by a bunch of colonials!!

We left Sangin again thinking we were headed home. We made it about 40km before we were called back to reinforce the District Center and help secure a helicopter landing site. As we sat there we received orders that we were now cut to the control of 3 Para for their upcoming operation north of Sangin. This was turning out to be the longest three day operation ever!!! Enroute we were engaged by an 82mm mortar from across a valley. I engaged them with our artillery, it felt a lot more like shooting in Shilo as they were 2.8km away as opposed to the 100m or less my previous engagements had been. We went round for round with them in what Rob, the Troop Commander firing the guns for us, called an indirect fire duel. In the end he said the score was Andrew 1 Taliban O and there is no worry of that mortar ever firing again. We rode all through the night (with my LAV on a flat tire) and arrived right as the Paras Air Assaulted onto the objective with Chinook helicopters. There were helicopters everywhere. It was a hot landing zone and they took intense fire until we arrived with LAVs, and the enemy ran away. It was a different operation as we were used to a lot more intimate support tanks to shoot the Paras in. It was impressive to watch them though, they are unbelievable soldiers.

We left the operation about 25 hours later (still3 going on no sleep) and thought that for sure we were now done this “three day op”. But as we were withdrawing to secure the landing zone for the Brits (under fire from 107mm rockets and 82mm mortars) we received Frag orders to conduct a sensitive sight exploitation where the Division had just dropped two 1000lbs bombs. Good old C Coy. leading the charge again!

We drove to the sight and saw nothing but women and children fleeing the town. I thought, “here we go again.” Luckily this time I found a good position for observation with my LAV and did not have to go in on the attack. The Company quickly came under attack from what was later estimated as 100+ fighters. For about 15 minutes we lost communications with the Company Commander and a whole Section of infantry as they were basically overrun. The Section had last been seen going into a ditch that was subsequently hit with a volley of about 15 RPGs; I thought we had lost them all. I had Brit Apaches check in and they did an absolutely brilliant job at repelling the enemy. The only problem was I couldn’t understand a word the pilot was saying because of his accent! Luckily I had the Brit Liaison Officer riding in the back of my LAV. I ended up using him (a Major) as a very highly paid interpreter to help me out. After about an hour long fight the Company broke contact (but lived up to the nickname the soldiers had given us, “Contact C”) and we leveled several compounds with artillery. Somehow we escaped without a scratch, truly amazing.

We were again ordered back to the Sangin District Center with 3 Para and spent the next few days fighting with the Paras. For four days I did not get a chance to take off my Frag vest, helmet or change my socks, etc. We were attacked 2-3 times a day, and always repelled them decisively. I also discovered during this period that exchanging rations with the Brits is a really bad idea. Not only were they stuck in this miserable place but their food was absolutely horrible!

After saying our good byes to our Brit comrades (the enemy learnt their lesson and finally stopped attacking the place), we again prepared to go back home. Alas, it was not to be again. We were ordered South to take back to towns that the Taliban had just taken. Luckily this time after 11 straight days in contact, C Coy. was the Battle Group reserve. We headed to the British Provincial Reconstruction team (PRT). We rolled into the town to the strangest arrival yet. This was coalition country. The locals (unlike Kandahar and even more so in Sangin) were excited and happy to see us. We had kids offering us candy and water instead of begging. There were no Burkhas. The women were in colorful gowns with their faces exposed. The town was booming with shops everywhere and industry flourishing. We went to the PRT and it didn’t even seem real. I took off my helmet, Flak vest and I had a shower and changed my clothes for the first time in two weeks. I ate a huge fresh meal (until my stomach hurt), and then went and sat on the edge of a water fountain in garden and watched a beach volleyball game between the Brits and Estonians. I laughed as I had supper and watched the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) which was reporting that we had taken back the towns, but H Hour was still 2 hours away, so much for the element of surprise. After what we had been through it was hard to believe this place was in the same country. I slept that night (still on the ground beside my LAV because they did not have enough rooms) better than I think I have before in my life. The next couple of days were quiet for us as they did not need to commit us as the reserve. On day 14 of our 3 day op we conducted the 10 hour road move back to KAF, literally limping back as our cars were so beat up (mine was in the best shape in the entire Company and we had a broken differential … again).

Things look like they will be quieter for us now, and I will be home soon. Sad news from the home front, our little Yorkie, Howitzer, was in an accident the other day and didn’t make it. It won’t be the same going home without him, he truly was one of our kids (furkids!). We had three great years with him though and my only regret is that I wasn’t there to comfort Julianne who has been through so much lately. But she has some great friends their who have looked after her. To those of you who have been with her through this and the events of the last few months, I am forever indebted to you.

There are more stories I could tell of these last two weeks but this email has become long enough as it is and if I did that I would have no war stories (I mean state of armed conflict stories) to tell you when I get home. I will end by saying that I have truly enjoyed this experience. Combat is the ultimate test of an officer, and on several occasions I did things that I didn’t know I was capable of. I am so proud of my crew and the entire Company Group, we soldiered hard and long and showed the enemy that messing with Canadians is a really bad idea. We accomplished something in the last two weeks that Canadian soldiers have not done since Korea. The Afghan Government, elected by the Afghans, requested our assistance and we were able to help. We were the equal, if not superior of our allies in everything we did. I hope that I gave you all an appreciation of what these young brave men and women are doing over here, and even if the media can’t find the time or effort to report what we are doing and the difference we are making, hopefully you can pass it on. I will see all of you real soon. I hope all is well with all of you, and please keep the emails coming, I read every one and enjoy hearing from you, even if I cannot respond individually.

Take Care


Just a point for reference 100 metres is the distance between two telephone pole spans. Thats some good Forward Observer Ops.

Planet Arc Seals invade Portugal

LISBON - A baby seal has been found near a beach south of Lisbon on Friday, after it swam thousands of miles from the north-Atlantic in search for food.

"The two-month old seal must have jumped in the ocean somewhere in Canada or Greenland to look for food and got lost," said Elio Vicente, who is treating the seal at Zoomarine, a water theme park in the south of Portugal.

The hooded seal, named after its large elastic nasal cavity, suffered minor injuries from the trip and should be sent back to the cold waters of the north-Atlantic as soon as she recovers, Vicente said.

Another baby seal was seen adrift in the Portuguese islands of the Azores recently but has not yet been caught.

Yep we let the Potugese come over here and scrap the bottom of the Nose, Tail and Flemish cap of our continental shelf as well as inside the 200 mile Econonomic trade off zone so much so that the seals have to migrate to their continental shelf to eat.

I use this post to further what I think should happen with the seal harvest.

The problem as I see it is the first come first serve quotas system.

-Quotas need to be allocated per sealer or boat.
-The entire seal needs to be landed so that
the rotting carcasses aren't left to starve the ocean of oxygen.
-By mandating that the entire seal be landed the unsightly blood guts and carcass will all be handled onboard the boats and remove the propaganda photo ops from the Pro Vegetarian Animal Right's Activists.
-Sealers won't be able to high grade by throwing back female seals in a bid to get only male seals for their valuable penises as the ARA's are now accusing our sealers of doing.
-By Mandating the entire carcass be landed inspectors can check all of the seals to ensure they were dispatched humanely.
-By eliminating the first come first serve quotas there will be no need for sealers to run around killing as many seals as possible as fast as possible.
-By Mandating that the entire carcass be landed we could develop a animal, fish, food industry for our mink farms, aquaculture and pet food industry.
-By allocating quotas to the sealers or boats the season could be extended hence making it harder for the ARA to protest and interfere with this legal humane hunt.
-By mandating that all of the seal be landed the seal will be pelted onboard the boat and hence the chances of a seal being pelted alive would be eliminated.
-By Alloting quotas per sealer or boat we won't get a repeat of what happened in the gulf this year where by they had a quota of 20,000 and ended up killing 90,000.

Also the rule which doesn't allow shot guns to be used should be eliminated since we no longer use lead shot which was the problem with shot guns for hunting.

delegitimization of good intentions the other side of the coin

By Max Hastings
Thursday, Jul 27, 2006,Page 9

Advertising Advertising
Morality in foreign policy is often subjective. The US administration is confident that it represents the forces of democracy and freedom, and thus feels free to do whatever it judges best to promote these fine things. Israel perceives Palestinians and Arabs committed to its destruction, justifying any action taken against them. Some in the Muslim world see no prospect of frustrating Western cultural, economic and military dominance on Western terms of engagement, and so choose other methods -- such as suicide-bombing -- that better suit their weakness.
Wow no one sided arguements here. Well at least not unfounded it would seem, but at least he makes a case for the other side without getting all blinded by politics, religion, social stature and the other baggage that comes along with road blocks to finding a compromising solution to the worlds affairs.
Don't burn your bridges you may need them to get back.

How do we appease the Muslim communities fears of increasing marginalization?
How do we disarm the extremists not in a military sense but in a political, cultural, and social sense?
This Muslim thing is bigger than regional conflicts and issues it is a global feeling amongst the Muslim communities of being marginalized and fighting for their very existance or continued existance.
Everyone thinks their way is the best way. Did we not learn anything from the master race mentality concept. We are stronger because of our diversity not because of the strong alone. Humility amongst the super powers is lacking and needs to be reinstilled in order to bring about an environment of understanding compromise and PEACE.

Now keep in mind even if some sort of solution were reached in order to quelll the ground swell of discontent and malaise leading to armed conflicts the message would need to be gotten out to the lowliest individual living in poverty trying his best just to survive with little or no time to follow politics. Let alone acces to the media that would inform him of the change in geopolitics. Radio, Newprint, keep it simple and use existng ways and means.

Food and Shelter

The world needs to ensure everone is capable of feeding themselves. Not feed but capable of feeding themselves. Give a man a fish he has food for a day teach a man to fish he will have food for life. Well except in the case of the Grand Banks where Canada, well you know.

Medicines for the entire world starting with Afghan pain killers from their Opium crop.

Shelter for most of the world would mean what you have in your back yard as a shed.

You know what Harper you can keep taxes high as long as they are going towards a better planet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Cpl. Brian Sanders - A Soldier's Diary from Afghanistan

Found this little gem in my travels . He does a pretty good job of giving insights into what our young men and women are up to in Afghan.

Oh In case you don't know IMP means individual Meal Pack.

More good news for Gander Light jet by Honda

Honda announces plans to market a light business jet. I guess it will be in that magazine gifts for millionaires.

But on the lighter side if I know Honda they have done their research and know there is a market for these.

More jets especially smaller ones like this means more airports especially strategically positioned ones like Gander. Mind you St John's, Stephenville, Deer Lake and Goose Bay could also benefit from an increase in private jets depending on their flight path and range for intercontinental flights.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Thar's Ni-Cu-Co-PGE in them thar hills

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - July 24, 2006) - Brilliant Mining Corp. (TSX VENTURE:BMC) ("Brilliant") has received encouraging results from a recent airborne magnetic and electromagnetic survey at the Company's 100% owned Michikamau Ni-Cu-Co-PGE Project located in west central Labrador. The geophysical results have confirmed and refined several distinct, high-quality nickel targets to be tested with an initial 12-hole 1,000m core drilling program planned for early August.
Images and details of the geophysical conductors can be viewed on our website at

About Michikamau Property

The Michikamau Property ("Property") covers 116.5km2 along the southern margin of the Michikamau layered gabbro-anorthosite (troctolite) intrusion. This intrusion is considered to be highly favourable for hosting Ni-Cu-Co-PGE mineralization and represents a conceptual and empirical exploration target for Voisey's Bay type mineralization. Twenty-seven (27) high to medium conductors have been identified on the Property, hosted in troctolite within the interpreted throat "feeder" zone. The largest conductive zone encompasses an 800m x 1000m area. The best exploration targets are near surface, shallow dipping, strong conductors with coincident moderate-high magnetic responses. The Property is proximally situated to existing infrastructure including the Churchill Falls hydroelectric facility.

The project is supervised by Rob Carpenter, Ph.D., P.Geo. a Director of Brilliant, and is the qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. All pertinent work permits have been approved. Lantech Drilling Services of Dieppe, NB, has been contracted to perform the drilling; InnuEx Resources Ltd., an Innu Business Partnership registered with the Innu Business Development Centre, has been contracted to provide logistical support to the project; and Apex Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB, has been contracted to oversee the drill program.

I just watched a show on TV where they were upgrading and completing the NWT highway. I've often wondered how they justified the expense of putting that road up there and now I know Diamonds.

I've often wondered why Voisey's bay and the communities that are situated around and in between the existing TLH and the Voisey's bay project didn't lobby for this kind of access to the mining site.

I'll be my own devils advocate here.
-At first the find was supposed to only have enough mineral to support 16 years of operation but since then additional findings have extended the life expectancy to something like 65 years at last discovery.
-The operations of the mine and transport of the ore can only take place seasonally due to the winter freeze up.
-Lack of cheap clean energy in this part of the country to make a smelter possible.
-The distance is to far 150 km in comparison to the distances in comparison with 2000+ KM Inuvik NWT.
-The people in the area didn't want year round access to goods, services and tourism opportunities?
-Seeing as the NWT road is apart of the NHS and was paid for in part if not whole by the Feds and the Feds are run by 60% Ontarians and Quebecers they wanted to ensure the smelters in Sudbury were ensured a prolonged life with this new find.
-The Newfoundland/Labrador Government didn't want to see any more infrastructure developed in Labrador and wanted to continue to have to pay for operating the ferry service to coastal Labrador.
-Nobody thought about putting a road to Voisey's bay and NAin?
-The Newfoundland/Labrador Government wanted to ensure the people of the Island portion of our province benefited from the discovery?
-People and communities of coastal Labrador didn't want access to cheap clean power from the Upper Churchill.

Just some food for thought and discussion.

The Story of Newfoundland

Here is one excerpt from The Story of Newfoundland. A great historical read and free online at

To understand that story a short account must be given at the outset of the situation and character of the island. But for the north-eastern side of the country, which is indented by deep and wide inlets, its shape might be roughly described as that of an equilateral triangle. Its area is nearly 43,000 square miles, so that it is larger than Scotland and considerably greater than Ireland, the area of which is 31,760 square miles. Compared to some of the smaller states of Europe, it is found to be [9]twice as large as Denmark, and three times as large as Holland. There is only a mile difference between its greatest length, which from Cape Ray, the south-west point, to Cape Norman, the northern point, is 317 miles, and its greatest breadth, from west to east, 316 miles from Cape Spear to Cape Anguille. Its dependency, Labrador, an undefined strip of maritime territory, extends from Cape Chidley, where the Hudson's Straits begin in the north, to Blanc Sablon in the south, and includes the most easterly point of the mainland. The boundaries between Quebec and Labrador have been a matter of keen dispute. The inhabitants are for the most part Eskimos, engaged in fishing and hunting. There are no towns, but there are a few Moravian mission stations.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Wells of Hope

I could never do justice with my words in trying to explain the GREAT work these people are doing, you'll have to visit and read for yourselves.

Insightfull and damning view of tourism in Newfoundland Labrador

Having never been to the Labrador portion of my fair province nor many parts of the Island portion mainly due to my economic refugee status at an early age I can only take these anecdotal accounts of tourism in NL at face value. But from what I've been reading as of late I can see the truth in this article and am very disheartened by it.

Some of the points made in the article were
Lack of signage on the TLH.
Lack of berths on Ferry
Lack of amenities and info at ferry docking facilities
Ferry traveling at night thus lessening the tourism experience with the Labrador ferry service.

Bit I regress read the article for yourself and see how visitors to our province view their experience.

I've always contended that the way forward for our province is through the development of the Labrador portion of our province's infrastructure.

I've never understood why people couldn't sleep in their cars or motor homes on the ferry. I'm sure some form of ventilation and emergency evac plan could be made up to accommodate this.
I once saw a bus in Germany in which the seats flipped up and folded down into a bunk bed set up. I was totally impressed and have searched the internet high and low for pictures of this to no avail.
They have hotels in Japan that are just a bunk in the wall stacked as high as 10. Saw a documentary once.
Remember that seinfeld show where the Japanese tourists stayed in Kramars bureau/dresser LOL.

This would be the perfect time to demand certain things from our ferries what with a call being put out by the Prov Govt for the design of two new ferries.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Emergency Vehicle status for Military convoys

I don't often blog about death and what not because I generally try and keep my blogging upbeat and along the lines of thinking outside the box positive alternatives etc. The few times I have I generlly do it with something to say other than news highlights anyway.

Two more fine young men Earthlings if you will not just Canadians but true world heros have made their mark in the history books as those who have fought and died for a better world community.

Corporals Francisco Gomez and Jason Warren

The thing is when a taliban soldier dies those that support their side for what ever reason unbeknownst to me and my realm of world knowledge also mourn their loss and highlight them as Martyrs according to what I know of the Muslim faith and Taliban. Especially when they are suicide bombers like in this case.

I've been pondering this suicide bomber thing for a while trying to find some sort of solution or course of action to combat or alleviate it as a threat to our world nation builders.

As I blogged before some of the solutions I mentioned were paint bal guns to warn of approaching vehicles, Thunder flashes along the same lines. Clearing and widening the sides of roads so that there is a dead man zone to make IED's harder to conceal. Dust inhibitors on the roads s ofields of vision can be maintained and disturbed soil highlighted.

But here is another one for you. What if we implemented a policy and educated the Afghan people that when our military convoys they are to treat them the same as you would an ambulance or fire truck? That is to say you must pull off to the side of the road and stop to allow for them to pass unhindered.

Now we might need to put sirens and lights on the lead and trail vehicle as well as a loud speaker explaining the expected response to the approach of a military convoy.

Our convoys could also act in such a fashion that this procedure has to be followed and adhered to or there will be consequences. By driving down the middle of the road and not yeilding to traffic our new policy of expecting traffic to pull over to the side and stop would become immediately apparent. Not sure what consequences would be appropriate but at least there will be some sort of expected and common rules for approaching military convoys that would mitigate any further suicide bombers.

It is either this or NATO may lose it's will to help Afghan so I can't see the Aghan people being to upset with this policy unless of course they want the infidel invaders gone?

I hope this or something else comes out of these deaths so that they are not in vain.


Instead of trying to shoot out any vehicles engine that doesn't comply with these new rules maybe some sort of carltrop dispersal system could be used to incapacitate any who don't adhere to the rules. No tires means they have to stop or at least lose control depending on their speed. At least it would be a non lethal method of getting the message out. They would need to be cleaned up by some local contractor once dispersed so as not to further impede traffic.


Tale of two moms on vacation in Newfoundland/Labrador

This recount of a holiday taken in Newfoundland/Labrador makes me realize how little I actually know of my homeland.

Custodial management, Overfishing, Straddling stocks, 200 mile EEZ are all a farce

Here is where WJM is getting his propaganda from

Bold my comments

There is a wide range of uninformed views, opinions and positions on the subject of overfishing in the Northwest Atlantic. The persistence of these, and the unproductive conclusions and unrealistic expectations they generate, requires some commentary. We have selected the following as the most representative examples of misinformed debate and conclusions regarding overfishing. We thought it important to articulate them and to respond to them.

Foreign Vessels Inside 200 Miles (10% cod By catch while indiscriminately DRAGGING for fish not pursued by Canadians) Some mistakenly believe that the foreign fleets which are overfishing are operating inside the Canadian 200 mile limit on the Grand Banks and, furthermore, that hundreds of vessels are involved. The facts are that the overfishing of straddling stocks takes place in those portions of NAFO Divisions 3LNO that are outside the Canadian zone and in the Northwestern parts of Division 3M (which also includes separate fishing grounds on the Flemish Cap). There are now less than half the numbers of groundfish vessels annually fishing in these areas than there were ten years ago ( They left because it is no longer economically feasible to fish Hence the 600 million subsidies Spain gives to it's overseas fishing fleets and the need to make side deals with Canada to be able to land like the recent one with Spain) (96 in 2003 compared to 213 in 1993. Parsons, 2005). Incursions into the Canadian zone have rarely occurred since the institution of armed boarding capability in the mid-1980s and the subsequent adoption of mandatory Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) by NAFO and the moratoria on several attractive straddling stocks.

Foreigners Out, Fish Back, Plants Re-Open Many believe that when foreign vessels are removed from the Grand Banks, the fish stocks will quickly recover and many inshore plants will re-open. (Please nobody in their right mind and certainly not the fishermen who know fish expect any such thing but doing nothing at all certainly won't help in the recovery)This belief is based on erroneous assumptions about the presence of foreign vessels on the Grand Banks, the recovery rate of fish stocks and the potential for plants to be re-opened. These assumptions produce unrealistic expectations. The first erroneous assumption is that Canada could legally exclude foreign vessels from the Grand Banks.(Why not it is our continental shelf just because Canada saw fit to allow foreigners to fish the nose tail and flemish cap by agreeing to a 200 mile EEZ and signing a side deal UNFA wit hforeigners when they knew full well the continental shelf extended out past this doesn't make it right nor does it change the continental shelf) A unilateral extension of jurisdiction by Canada would be in violation of international law and would be widely opposed by other states. (UNCLOS needs to be amended or have a clause include to ensure all continental shelves are identified not just those inside the 200 mile EEZ, fish don't know about lines on a map) The current law of the sea allows for freedom of fishing on the high seas, (High seas by it's very nature doesn't include the water above a continental shelf except on the grand banks?) unless fishing nations agree to be bound by the management measures of a RFMO. Even if foreign vessels were removed from the Grand Banks, it is by no means certain these over-exploited stocks will rebound quickly. (Quickly no but in the 14 years since the moritorium in 1992 yes, There is a clause in the UNCLOS agreement which allows for an EEZ outside the current 200 miles if a continental shelf is larger) The scientific community has emphasized that the cessation of fishing alone will not guarantee the rebuilding of some stocks. (But continuing to allow the unmitigated whole sale destruction of the bottom and indiscriminant fishing either outright or by bycatch will ensure no recovery) Furthermore, even if the fish did return, the assumption that all the fish plants in Newfoundland would re-open may also be false. ( this is bigger than the fish palnts this is about the fish) The plants that will benefit will be those operated by the holders of offshore groundfish enterprise allocations in these Grand Banks stocks. Over 90 percent of the Canadian share is held by two companies in Newfoundland and Labrador; the remaining portion is held in very small individual amounts by some five other offshore companies, only two of which operate in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Why are there quotas for fish being held by foreigners for the fish of our continental shelf) Moreover, the economics of the fisheries have changed in the last decade with significant implications for the cost effectiveness and competitiveness of processing whitefish in plants in Atlantic Canada. (So lets all throw our hands up in the air and ship everything of to China is what they are saying here OMG. China can't process fish if they don't have it and we have it)

Foreigners Out, Northern Cod Back The expectation that ending foreign overfishing would mean the certain return of the 2J3KL cod stock, is also based on a number of incorrect assumptions. As just outlined, the future absence of foreign vessels is unlikely and the current catch of cod outside the zone in 3L is so low, (less than 100 metric tonnes per year), that eliminating it completely would hardly influence the recovery of Northern Cod. There are so few fish now in the offshore areas of 2J3KL that zero foreign catches would have an irrelevant impact on stock recovery. Virtually none of the cod in all offshore parts of 2J3KL survive beyond age five; this is a far greater obstacle to recovery than an annual catch of less than 100 mt. in the NRA. ( Amazing the methodology being used here, really makes you wonder who's paying for this study and what the reasoning behind protecting foreign fishing really is.)

Allocations for Trade Deals There is a widespread misbelief that Canada has repeatedly given foreign fishing countries allocations of Canadian quotas (or condoned overfishing) in return for trade deals for industries in other parts of the country. This is one of the most often repeated, unsubstantiated and untrue convictions regarding the government’s approach to the presence of foreign fleets. Two of the most repeated examples have been allocations to South Korea for a Hyundai car plant in Quebec and to Russia for purchase of Western wheat. A more recent one was the claim of allocations being given to Spain (in the 1980s) for landing rights in that country for CP Air. The review of foreign allocation policy and bilateral fisheries agreements conducted for the Panel concluded that no such deals were ever considered, let alone concluded. (Gough, 2005). ( OK lets say there is some hint of truth to this, later on here they go on to say "Spanish officials threatened dire consequences for a pending sale by Bombardier but the deal proceeded anyway" So if Canada doesn't hand out quotas directly by allowing foreigners to continue fishing our continental shelf their inaction to stop foreign fishing on our continental shelf ensures trade carries on status Quo and sanctions aren't imposed against Canada Ontario's manufacturing industry. Half a dozen in one 6 pack the other it all amounts to the same thing our continental shelf is being used to garner trade concessions and protect Ontario's maunfacturing indusrty.)

Nonetheless, this idea is now so embedded in the collective consciousness of Newfoundland and Labrador that it has entered the category of "urban legend". The absence of evidence for its veracity will not deter those who believe; but it is such a serious "black eye" for the Government of Canada that we feel every opportunity should be taken to set the record straight whenever such allegations are made. (Propaganda to protect Ontario's Manufacturing industry to the detriment of Atlantic Canadians)

The closest that government policy ever came to using quota allocations to acquire commercial concessions was during the "markets access for allocations" period when bilateral fisheries agreements with a number of countries included commitments to purchase Canadian fish products in exchange for quota allocations. The commitments to purchase Canadian fish products under these arrangements were so unsuccessful overall that the policy lasted for only a very short period. In any event, they involved "fish purchases for fish allocations". Furthermore, Canada has never had a quota allocation agreement with South Korea nor have any allocations to Russia been tied to wheat purchases. The overall level of bilateral relations with Spain was so poor in the 1980s (even before its accession to the EEC) that a satisfactory fisheries relationship never developed. Indeed, during the Estai affair some Spanish officials threatened dire consequences for a pending sale by Bombardier but the deal proceeded anyway (Gough, 2005). Also, officials of the federal fisheries department, operating under the authority of the fisheries minister, negotiated all these various fisheries bilateral agreements; not foreign affairs or trade officials. All allocations of Atlantic Coast quotas to foreign nations ended in 1998 when no surpluses of any species could be identified in the Canadian zone (Gough, 2005). ( out and out lie because as they stated here earlier "Over 90 percent of the Canadian share is held by two companies in Newfoundland and Labrador; the remaining portion is held in very small individual amounts by some five other offshore companies, only two of which operate in Newfoundland and Labrador." So there are three foreign companies or individuals out of 5 which hold fish quotas. This probably doesn't take into account all of the foreign vessels which fly canadian flags of convienience to circumvent and hood wink Canadians into believing no foreigners are fishing our east coast continental shelf. Then there is the issue of quotas handed out for unprosecuted species and the 10% bycatch allowed due to indiscriminant and destructive fishing practices sanctioned by Canada inside and outside the 200 mile lie)

Custodial Management While custodial management is a concept that is neither clearly defined nor fully understood, it has widespread adherence nonetheless. The general view is that this unilateral approach can be easily taken by Canada but that the Government really does not want to act. There is a general feeling that this type of unilateral action must be taken; and that there are no good reasons as to why it should not be. The fact that this would be viewed as a clear extension of Canadian jurisdiction in violation of the law of the sea and in the face of widespread opposition is neither appreciated nor accepted as a reason for lack of action. (Hiding behind Canada's giveaway of our fish by not insisting the entire continental shelf be included in UNCLOS. Here in lies the problem a 200 mile limit should never have been agree too and Canada knows it because our continental shelf unlike most other continental shelfs extends out past the 200 mile limit. Fish migrate across the entire continental shelf so as long as there is one fish left it will migrate out past the 200 mile limit and be caught by the foreign fleets waiting for it to migrate into their nets hence there will never be any recovery of the fish until we controil our entire continental shelf and not just some arbitrary line drawn on a map to appease our foreign trading partners and protect Ontario's manufacturing industry.)

Perhaps the more pertinent point regarding this adherence to custodial management is the public perception that this arrangement would produce the ideal outcomes and results desired in the management of these straddling stocks, and the perception that it is the only way in which effective conservation of these fish resources can be achieved because all other efforts have failed. The Panel believes, however, as discussed later, that the same objectives can be achieved within the bounds of international law through the replacement of NAFO by a new RFMO. (A more detailed discussion and assessment of custodial management follows in Section 8.3.)
(In essence Canada doesn't have the political will or intestinal fortitude to protect Atlantic Canadians by abolishing UNFA and NAFO and demanding UNCLOS include the entire continental shelf and not just some arbitray 200 mile LIE drawn on a map. Fish know no boundaries other that those on the sea bottom. This isn't about man and his need to prosper it is about the fish and their need to survive. We have a obligation to ensure those Canadian fish share the same rights, freedoms and protection the rest of us observe by being apart of this country. Otherwise why be apart of Canada?)

Did you even read this WJM?
Stopping all fishing on the continental shelf won't allow for a recovery. These people who wrote this report must be on drugs my god where did they come up with this stuff.

Overfishing My god people Over fishing by foreigners isn't the issue it is fishing period on our continental shelf

200 Mile EEZ Fish don't stop at any arbitrary line draw on a map. Their boundaries are the continetal shelf.

Straddling stocks. It is all one continental shelf how can they straddle what they have always known as their migratory pattern. They go to the edge of the continental shelf and turn back how is that straddling?
I could see the term straddling stocks if a continental shelf were shared by one or more countries but the grand banks is the continental shelf of one country and one province within that country Newfoundland/Labrador.

Custodial management. Why would we need to be custodians of our own continental shelf it is ours we own it out right and are responsible for it as well as should be the only beneficiaries of it. It is our birth right by adjacency. If I was born in Spain Spains continental shelf would be my birth right.

Highs seas by it's very nature and the fact that it exists in a document which determins a continental shelf means the ocean other than that above a continental shelf.

By using any of these terms you are buying into the idea that the nose tail and flemish cap aren't apart of our continental shelf.

Nobody is saying we are going to starve the rest of the world by claiming what is rightfully ours just that well it is ours and we have to take care of our own. If that means war ships so be it. Nobody can dispute that the continental shelf isn't ours Canada just needs the intestinal fortitude and political will to do what is right by it's citizens.

Update: Page 68
In listing options to solve this straddling stock management problem, Sullivan re-introduced the term "functional management". He selected this option after rejecting multi-lateral co-operation through NAFO, bilateral co-operation with the EEC and appeal to the dispute settlement provisions of UNCLOS III as possible sources of a solution. He judged the NAFO route to be ineffective because the objection procedure allowed the EEC to legitimately do what it was doing in 3L outside 200 miles. There was no bilateral agreement at that time with the EEC; the multi-year agreement on quota allocations and corresponding tariff reductions under the Canada/EEC Long Term Agreement had not been renewed in 1988. The demands of the EEC for quota allocations could not be met at a time of declining resources, and the tariff concessions promised under the previous arrangements had not been fulfilled (Gough 2005). The provisions of UNCLOS III in respect of binding dispute arrangements were not in effect at that time, as the required number of countries had not yet ratified it.

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