Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stupidity exacts toll from Montreal Skiers

News Item: Quebec skiers die in BC resort

The news has been chock full this week over how bad the RCMP are for not rescuing a Montreal couple fast enough. While I can't speak to their decisions regarding an SOS reported scratched into some snow, I can speak to the incredible stupidity demonstrated by this couple. The couple were incorrectly called experienced skiers. Nothing could be further from the truth. This pair defied posted warnings, crossed a fenced off area and headed into the back country with no food, no GPS, no compass, no map, no fire making equipment, no avalanche beacons or probes, no extra clothing, no route finding skills and most importantly, without anyone knowing where they were going or when they were to be expected back. Out of this list of 9 must-have essentials, even one of them could have saved their lives. You might as well jump out of an airplane without a parachute. I routinely travel in far more isolated mountain locations than this couple was "lost" in, but I equip myself with such supplies to ensure my safety and have a check-in procedure complete with intended route description. Traveling in the back country isn't a sneer at death, unless you make it so by taking no precautions or placing yourself in situations beyond your skill, experience and equipment.

The climbing bible for my neck of the Rockies, written by local legend Alan Kane says it best:

"Select a route within your level of ability and skills. If you don't know what your abilities are, maybe you don't have any."

Blaming anyone but themselves only excuses their stupidity.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bush to visit Calgary:legal authority to arrest him.

GW Bush is making one of his first newspeeking engagements in Calgary. Under Canadian law pursuant to international treaties, it seems we have plenty of legal justification to arrest him. With thanks to Observer151, Huffington Post:

Here's the relevant Canadian law on the matter - Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act. This Act incorporates the 1998 Treaty of Rome regarding war crimes, as well as the Agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, signed at London on August 8, 1945; and the Proclamation by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, dated January 19, 1946.

Read the section entitled 'Offenses Outside Canada'. Nothing in that section exempts Bush from avoiding arrest under Section 6 of this Act.

In fact, it appear that nothing in the Criminal Code of Canada precludes an ordinary citizen of Canada from making a citizen's arrest of Bush for crimes under this Act. Section 494 of the Criminal Code provides citizens with all the power they require.

Mandatory life imprisonment is called for where intentional death occurs as a result of the accused's actions:

2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (1.1)

(a) shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life, if an intentional killing forms the basis of the offence; and

(b) is liable to imprisonment for life, in any other case.

Monday, February 02, 2009

From the Albigensian Crusade to the Route4 Express

News Item: Atheist Ad Campaign on Calgary Buses

A PSA has arrived in Calgary after obviously stirring up controversy in the UK. To balance this campaign, the United Church with nothing better to do with their congregation's charitable donations, has launched a counter-ad saying "There probably is a god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
"Probably is a God"?? Christians spent 14 centuries torturing and killing people for heresy and blasphemy and now they've been whittled down to "probably. " Well, that's the United Church for you. No wonder Catholics think everyone is going to Hell. A brief survey of the Catholic Encyclopedia about the inquisitions yields such apologetic gems and outright lies as:

"St. Augustine, on the contrary, was still opposed to the use of force" (not true)

"opposite of historical truth to assert that the imperial edicts punishing heresy with death were due to ecclesiastic influence" (hilariously wrong)

"In short, no blame attaches to the church for her behavior towards heresy in those rude days." (OMG!!!!!)

Thankfully, the church is no longer slaughtering heretics by the tens of thousands as Pope Innocent III did (this period is the origin of the phrase, kill them all let God sort them out). As the world marks Darwin's 200th birthday this week, I will try to remember that now the church only psychologically tortures people by telling them how they descended from, and inherited Adam's original sin. The American numbers are too scary for me to quote but even in Canada a full forty percent either don't believe evolution or aren't sure.
Sorry Mr. Darwin, you'll have to sit at the back of the bus.