Put your money where your mouth is

Pamela Anderson has joined the growing list of celebrities condemning Canada’s seal hunt, which now includes Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Brigitte Bardot and others.

They believe that the hunt is cruel, that the furs it produces are unnecessary, and that poor communities in Newfoundland and Labrador ought to have better ways to supplement their income.

I agree. Where we differ is that they’re rich, and I’m broke.

Sir Paul, in fact, has a net worth of $1.5 billion US. Anderson is worth millions at least, although I can’t seem to find out how many exactly.

In 2004, the seals killed in the hunt were worth $16.5 million CDN to the Eastern communities that participated.

If these entertainers-turned-activists really want to stop the seal hunt, I suggest they put their money where their mouths are, and invest in these communities.

Of course, after McCartney and Morrissey compared the hunt to the slave trade and the construction of gas chambers for the Holocaust, respectively – which, I suppose, means the hunters are like slave traders, the SS, or perhaps a mixture of both – the communities might not be too welcoming. But that’s what PR is for.

I’m sure the Canadian government would consider matching any investment dollar for dollar. And if these self-aggrandizing stars needed any extra motivation, they could always get their name stuck on the project.

I can picture it already: The Anderson Institute for Silicone Prosthetics in St. John’s.

Perhaps you can come up with some other worthy projects.


The Seal Hunt: Canada’s Auschwitz?

First Paul McCartney compared the seal hunt to the slave trade. Now Morrissey has announced that he will be boycotting Canada in his next tour, making a truly jaw-dropping comparison between Canada’s seal-hunting and Nazi Germany’s Final Solution:

The Canadian Prime Minister also states that the slaughter is necessary because it provides jobs for local communities, but this is an ignorant reason for allowing such barbaric and cruel slaughter of beings that are denied life simply because somebody somewhere might want to wear their skin. Construction of German gas chambers also provided work for someone – this is not a moral or sound reason for allowing suffering.

What an appalling thing to say. What a disgrace to the memory of the millions who perished in the Holocaust.

Are these self-important aging rockers really so ignorant of history, or so contemptuous of human beings, or both, that they think a comparison between the seal hunt and the Holocaust or the slave trade is appropriate?

They certainly aren’t doing the opposition to the hunt any favours. I’m starting to think Morrissey’s absence from Canada is worth a few dozen dead seals at least.


Second Response

I received my second response on Friday afternoon to my search for answers on what Canadian forces do with people captured in Afghanistan.

From the office of the Chief of Defence Staff:

Dear Mr. Duyzer,

Thank you for your letter of 1 March, in which you enquire about Canada’s policy on people detained by the Canadian Forces (CF) in Afghanistan.

As you can appreciate, due to operational security reasons, some of the information you requested cannot be released. However, I can provide general information on the policies and agreements surrounding the handling of detainees by the CF in Afghanistan.

In December 2005, the CF signed a new arrangement with the Government of Afghanistan regarding the transfer of detainees from the CF to Afghan authorities. It is the intent of the CF that detainees it captures by transferred to Afghan authorities, as this supports one of the Government of Canada’s objective [sic]: to support Afghan authorities in strengthening local capacity and good governance.

As part of this arrangement, the detainees are treated humanely in accordance with the standards set out by the Third Geneva Convention (the Prisoner of War convention), and all transfers are pursuant to international law.

Again, thank you for your letter, and for your interest and concern for the Canadian forces.


R.J. Hillier


Vice-Presidential Downtime

The Smoking Gun has published Dick Cheney’s “Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements”, which outline how his hotel room suites ought to be set up.

Among such items as “Temperature set to 68 degrees”, “All lights turned on”, and the one item I always demand, “Private Bathroom”, is one particularly revealing instruction: “All Televisions tuned to FOX News”.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Dick Cheney watches Fox News, but for some reason I thought that in spite of being ideological mirrors of each other, as the vice-president he would actually want to get real news.

The Bush administration spoon-feeds propaganda pablum to Fox News and Fox News turns around and feeds it right back to them.

This is remarkably similar to the formerly widespread practice of feeding cattle processed parts of other cattle. The result was mad cow disease.

Suddenly, it’s all starting to make sense.


Data Insecurity

Raise the Hammer is out with another issue, and it includes my fourth Digital Kayak article:

Secretive American agencies are monitoring vast amounts of this voice and data traffic. They are already directly – and illegally, or at least extra-legally – spying on thousands of Americans, and monitoring the communications of millions more. There is nothing to hold them back from spying on you.

Interested? Read the rest of Data Insecurity.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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