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Roland Garros-The French Open

delPotroServes (35K) eiffielTower (36K)

So the reluctant traveller set off to Paris to take in a bit of Roland Garros, a.k.a. The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments of the year.

My friend Ken had scored a pair of tickets to the quarter and semi finals on the internet. The available tickets sold out instantly but if you were on the internet at 4:00am Calgary time (the moment tickets went on sale) there was a possibility of a score.

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Holiday in Holland

dutchCouple (9K)

Today we begin with a new look that is a little easier on the eyes and probably much easier on the stomach. We still have a hint of orange because these pages are crafted in Holland, so expect some things to be viewed through orange tinted glasses.

The Dutch are have found other uses for sand besides growing tulips. Like the former financial masters of the universe, they are masters at building sandcastles.

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windmill1 (77K)

It's time for a windmill page. Holland and windmills simply go together. There are about 600 windmills remaining in Holland, many of them in good working condition. The tops rotate on some, and with others the whole structure can rotate to face the wind.

The lattice blades have sails than can be trimmed. Some have elaborate air foils on the blade edges for finer control.

The windmills were used for pumping water out of the polders and into the canals, or for milling grains. There is one in a museum Arnhem, still working, that washes clothes! It's a very big wash tub!

The inner workings of windmills, the gears and mechanical works, are mainly constructed from wood, which is really marvellous craftsmanship. If you have a chance to visit the inside of of working windmill, do take a look. Wonderful technology from the pre-industrial era.

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sandCastle2 (94K)

The Dutch are have found other uses for sand besides growing tulips. They are also grand masters at building sandcastles.

The sand for this kind of sculpture is computer selected for size and composition. A special glue is sprayed on after sculpting to help the work survive the wind and rain. Believe it or not, a sculpture like this can last for 2 months outdoors, providing no one kicks it down.

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The Iggy Coronation

iggycoronation (38K)

Andrew Coyne wrote a blog that appeared on the Macleans website a couple of days ago called On Ignatieff's Speech. It included this picture. I thought it was pretty funny.

The only specific policy commitment I could find was “a common national standard for employment insurance.” Otherwise, it’s just a laundry list of things it would be nice to have:

A Canada where every child gets an equal start!

Where every student who gets the grades gets to go to the best education in the world!

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Political Madness

Abdelrazik (2K) Harperstein (4K)

I can't stop blogging about the political madness in Canada. Over the last few days I have learned that donating airfare to a Canadian stranded and abandoned in the Canadian embassy in Sudan puts one at risk of being convicted of supporting terrorism.

We have a government that makes up new rules as it goes along. Canada signed an agreement with Israel that co-ordinates the exchange of national security information and border management policies.

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Canada and Human Rights

wienstein4 galloway3

I've been obsessed and distressed with the Canadian politics ever since the George Galloway controversy erupted in the news. I have scoured countless news and web sites for more information. I joined a Facebook group, signed a petition, done blog pages to protest, joined discussions, and posted many comments to newpapers. My opinions about Canada, Israel and Hamas have certainly changed in that time.

It saddens me to see this happening in Canada. George Galloway is a five time elected Member of Parliament in Britain in good standing. He is a brilliant orator and debater. He is a peace activist. He is a humanitarian.

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Canada High Commission's letter to George Galloway

JasonKenny (6K)

Here is a facsimile of the facsimile sent to Galloway's office informing him of his inadmissability to Canada. Note the reasons given here are very different from those published in Rupert Murdoch's trashy Sun tabloid that same morning, which is how Galloway learned of the ruling.

It is made quite clear in the letter, delivered 10 days before Galloway is scheduled to speak to an anti-war group in Toronto, that even if Galloway follows the procedures stated in the letter there is little chance he will be allowed in the country. The allegations are very serious.

I am guessing Mr. Robert J. Orr, of London's High Commission Of Canada, was biting his lip as he prepared this letter. It is rather unusual, after all, to bar a British Member of Parliament from entering Canada alleging he engages in terrorism.

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Manufacturing Consent: Made in Canada


Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was first published in 1968. Written by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, its thesis, in part, was how the media reported the news in a way that best served its masters, the corporate and political elite of the time. The authors compared the press coverage given to Vietnam and East Timor in the New York Times newspaper, tabulating the column-inches in the paper for each subject. Similar political events were happening in each region at the time, but there were American business interests in Vietnam and virtually nothing of the sort in East Timor.

The Vietnam war was first presented by the media and government in 1964 as an ideological conflict. Framed as a nation's effort to defend a noble cause, there was almost no opposition to this war when it began. By 1968, cracks were appearing in this facade as stories began to emerge of secret carpet bombing raids in North Vietnam and atrocities against civilians. The facade crumbled completely in 1971 when newspapers across the country began publishing excerpts from the top secret Pentagon Papers. An excerpt from the wikipedia page:

The most damaging revelation was that the US deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks - which had all gone unreported in the US.
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flowers1 (67K)

We live in Holland now and have discovered that the Dutch know a thing or two about flowers, gardens, and growing stuff. In Calgary, many of us who attempt gardening become highly skilled and experienced at watching plants die.

There are only two types of flowers on this page, which shows you how much we have learned since we arrived.

The flowers in the picture below are the very first to appear in spring, similar to the crocuses in Calgary. They spring up like dandelions; mainly in parks, boulevards and areas that are usually just grass.


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