More and more, today's Canadian Forces is encouraging individual authority and responsiblity within a structured environment.
So what's the problem with personal kit?
Where left is never right.
Typically, when I once asked Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau how he rated national defence among his priorities, he shrugged: "Oh, about 14th, just behind pig subsidies."
What started a year ago with an Edmonton woman overhearing a disturbing conversation between two children ended yesterday with the Attorney-General of the United States announcing the dismantling of a large, highly organized child porn ring that swapped pictures and live video of children being sexually abused and raped.
More than 40 people were under arrest, at least 10 of them in Canada. Two "administrators" who allegedly helped run the Internet child porn trading post are from Canada, one in Edmonton and the other in Longueuil, Que., police and prosecutors said.
Others charged are from at least nine U.S. states, Australia and England, with other arrests expected, including several more in Canada.
The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) was developed by Microsoft Canada and law enforcement agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Toronto Police Service. The technology lets investigators spot trends and link pieces of information in, for example, child pornography cases, which often span borders and involve unknown perpetrators and victims. Also, CETS is accessible to multiple agencies and can be linked to systems used by law enforcement agencies in other countries.
The program had backing at the highest levels within Microsoft. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates instructed Microsoft Canada to work with law enforcement to develop CETS after he received an e-mail from Gillespie in January 2003. The Toronto Police detective sergeant told Gates that officers in his unit were falling behind sex offenders because they lacked the tools and training to properly investigate crimes on the Internet or penetrate shadowy communities of pedophiles.
"I sent the e-mail and about three weeks later I was contacted by Microsoft Canada. They wanted to know what they could do for me. To be honest, I thought it was people in my office playing a joke on me. When I sent the e-mail I really did not expect to hear anything back," Gillespie said. Following the first contact, Microsoft and Gillespie had several meetings, the collaboration ultimately led to the development of CETS.
By January, it became clear that one of the alleged ringleaders lived in Edmonton -- the same city where the investigation had started.
This user was an "administrator" for the site and was one of its most trusted members, authorities allege.
On Jan. 26, Edmonton and Toronto police officers raided his home in a lightning fast strike.
"With good planning we were able to take him out while he was logged on and we then assumed his identity," said Det. Krawczyk.
The man did not have a chance to disconnect, erase files or warn others; no one in the chat room knew he had been taken into police custody.
The investigators who had been monitoring him and analyzing him for months were then able to perfectly mimic him online in the chat room.
The undercover infiltration was so sound that the man's account was still active late yesterday, uncompromised and still getting responses online.
Harper rejects the need for a national visionary -- someone who will speak for and help coordinate the nation as we move forward on, all fronts. That is not compatible with Stephen Harper's provincialist agenda.
[After Meech Lake]...we fell back into the cartoon version of Confederation, in which war rages between trust in ourselves as a federation of varied provinces, and bitter rivalries between two levels of government that hold each other in mortal contempt.
Capt. Kevin Schamuhn, the commander who was leading the expedition, told CBC News that the Canadian troops had already visited several villages during the day to attend shuras, or meetings with village elders.
He said all of them had been peaceful events where they shared lunch or tea and introduced themselves.
Schamuhn said the last shura of the day started off well as the troops sat down with about 30 villagers, including many children.
We now come to the fourth and central constitutional principle of shura. It is important to make two observations here. The first is that the etymological form of shura, derived from the root shawr, or advice, means mutual consultation in its widest scope — a collective deliberation in which all parties are exchanging counsel. The term shura, as such, is to be distinguished from the term istisharah, which means one side seeking counsel from another, and from the term tashawur, which means mutual consultation but on a lesser scale than that envisioned in shura as a nationwide participatory political exercise. For instance, in my country, Oman, the present assembly was first named al majlis al istishari, and only several years later renamed as majlis al shura, thereby claiming a more democratic posture.
The second point to observe is that, in the context in which the term has been used in the Quran, shura consultation is predicated on equality among those consulting in order to arrive at a collective decision. This clear Quranic depiction of the shura as essentially a decision-making process among equals has to be distinguished from the notion that depicts shura as merely an optional exercise in the seeking of non-binding counsel by the ruler, acting from a superior position, from those of his subjects with whom he may choose to consult. This rather disparate version of shura, claimed by the rulers and conceded by the clergy has historically co-opted real shura, thereby condemning Muslim and Arab political life to centuries of despotic rule. However, current Islamic scholarship is showing increasing inclination to restoring shura to its full-fledged legitimacy in the Muslim public life. (Babbler's bold)
Britain and France finally signed the deal to build three new aircraft carriers. This followed several years of negotiations. What's surprising about all this is not the large size of the carriers (about 58,000 tons, the largest ships ever for both navies), or the unique cooperation (two of the carriers are British, one is French, and both nations will cooperate on design and construction, with the Brits taking the lead.) No, what is amazing about all this is the aggressive plans for automation. These "Queen Elizabeth" class carriers are planning on having a ships crew of 800 (or less) and an air wing complement of 600 personnel. Currently, you need a ship crew of about 2,000 for a carrier that size. The reduction in size of the air wing personnel is even more aggressive.
Warships have a lot of unique functions, like damage control, and manning many systems for high alert, and combat, situations. Some crew reduction ideas are pretty obvious, like installing conveyers to help move supplies when ships are replenished at sea, or even when in port. Many maintenance tasks can be eliminated by using materials that require less effort to keep clean, and are just as safe as those used in the past. It's also been noted that many maintenance tasks can be left for civilians to do when the ship is in port. Most navies has also not kept up on automation. There is still a tendency to have sailors "standing watch" to oversee equipment that, with the addition of some sensors, can be monitored from a central location. If there is a problem, a repair team can be sent. But in the meantime, thousands of man hours a week are saved, and another few dozen sailors are not needed.
No matter how comfortable people are inside our borders at the moment, they should realize that the world has become a much more dangerous place, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. You can stick your head in the sand and just not look at the problem, but you'll probably get your ass shot off. (Babbler's bold)
"Churchill, for example, crossed the floor twice. Nobody says anything terrible about Churchill," she said, adding later that "it's politics, and people do change parties."
Look, most of us living out here accept that the world economy is powered by hydrocarbons and will be for some time. We accept that we need to keep pumping this stuff out of the ground to keep everything going. But those of us who live in the communities where the oil and gas is being produced would appreciate it if people stopped bullshitting us about how safe we are. We see the damaged fields and pastures. We get sick every time the wind blows in from nearby flare stacks. We see the crap that gets spilled on the roads and in the ditches. We know better.
A little understood mindset in the Middle East is the view of government. Democracy in many areas holds no sway. A Bedou for example, whether he be Iraqi, Saudi or Omani is, first and foremost, a Bedou. While Bedouin tribesmen will take note of government, they view their independence and freedom to pursue their lifestyle as all important. The same can be said for urban Arabs in many cases. Government to most Arabs is the simple provision of services. Community leadership comes from local religious leaders. Some of the concepts being bandied about by the Bush administration are so totally foreign to the average Iraqi that they serve only to raise suspicion. Religious leaders see their authority being impinged upon and immediately choose the side of the fight that will leave leadership intact.