Friday, October 24, 2014

Paying silent tribute to our fallen soldier... Corporal Nathan Cirillo

Cirllo Memorial 20141023
Vancouver veteran stands guard in honour of slain soldier

Retired Cpl. David Ward, an Aboriginal Canadian Army veteran, stands guard at the cenotaph in Vancouver’s Victory Square Thursday.

VANCOUVER -- David Ward finished his night shift at a Vancouver security firm, donned his old khaki green Canadian Army combat jacket and braved the pouring rain all day Thursday to guard the cenotaph in Vancouver's Victory Square.
The retired corporal felt it was the least he could do to honour slain Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the 24-year-old Canadian soldier shot to death Wednesday in Ottawa while guarding the National War Memorial.
"I'm soaked through but I'm here to honour the young corporal who was murdered yesterday and to support all my brothers and sisters serving in Canada and overseas," Ward said in the straightforward, no-nonsense style of a former military man.
His impromptu vigil was repeated by military veterans at cenotaphs all across Canada. They stood at attention for hours at war memorials in almost every town as the country came to grips with a new terrorist attack on Canadian soil. Many of the veterans were WWII, decorated heroes.
"We're not going to hide and we're not going to back down," said Ward. "Some people say you shouldn't wear your medals or make yourself known, but if they want me, they know where to find me."
"We're proud to be Canadians and proud to serve in the Canadian military," said Ward.
"This (attack in Ottawa) shouldn't have happened but now that it has, Canada has joined the real world."

         Right across the country, on the opposite coast of Canada,  Sgt. Roland Lawless stood vigil at the cenotaph 
                                       in Grande Parade Hailifax. He too braved the rain for many hours.

Ottawa Shooting Memorial 20141022
Ottawa Shooting Soldier 20141023
Ottawa On Alert After Shootings At Nation's Capitol
Cirillo Memorial 20141023
Tributes and flowers were also left  at Nathan Cirillo's home in Hamilton Ontario where his dogs peek sadly from
 under the gate.  Cirillo, 24, was a reservist with Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, based in Hamilton,

View image on Twitter

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spike in Islamic State-related Online Chatter...Following Ottawa Attack

On the left, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and on the
right, the man he killed, Cpl Nathan Cirillo.
The shooting took place before Zehaf-Bibeau
entered the parliament buildings

A counterterrorism source tells Fox News that there was a spike in Islamic State-related online chatter focusing on Canada in the days leading up to the shooting Wednesday in the capital of Ottawa.
A gunman, later identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, stormed the Canadian Parliament complex on Wednesday, shooting a soldier at the War Memorial and spraying as many as 30 shots inside the government building.

The counterterrorism source said the increase in chatter leading up to the attack, focused on Canada's decision to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS -- including threats that the "day of reckoning" is coming.
ISIS followers also have taken to Twitter to comment on the Canada shooting. One translated tweet provided to Fox News said: "soldiers of #Islamic_state who are everywhere around the globe declared war on the coalition countries"

Zehaf-Bibeau had a “very developed” criminality, but did not set off any alarm bells when it came to national security, the RCMP said Thursday. RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had a history of “violence, drugs and mental instability” before he killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and stormed inside Parliament’s Centre Block Wednesday.
 He was a devoted Muslim and kept in touch with a group of Canadian Jihadists. Although police are now investigating Zehaf-Bibeau’s “radicalization process,” the 32-year-old was not on the list of so-called “high-risk travellers” being tracked by the government, Paulson said Thursday.

Zehaf-Bibeau had applied for a passport to travel to Syria but his application was under investigation and police were doing background checks, Paulson said.
“The RCMP did not possess information at that time that would reveal any national security related criminality,” Paulson said. Although it’s not exactly clear what motivated Wednesday’s attacks in Ottawa, Paulson said the “passport issue was central to what was driving” Zehaf-Bibeau.

When Zehaf-Bibeau initially applied for a passport, it seemed that he had wanted to travel to Libya, Paulson said. But his mother told investigators Wednesday that her son wanted to go to Syria.
Zehaf-Bibeau’s father is Libyan and his mother is Canadian. He may have had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship, Paulson said. The RCMP are also investigating how Zehaf-Bibeau obtained the rifle used in Wednesday’s shootings. He was legally prohibited from possessing firearms

The beige car Zehaf-Bibeau used on Wednesday was purchased the day before, Paulson said.
Paulson said the suspect had “intentions” for the car. “What those were, we aren’t sharing at the moment.”

His mother, Susan Bibeau has not appeared publicly since the attacks, but spoke briefly with The Associated Press by telephone Thursday. She said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.
"Can you ever explain something like this?" she said tearfully. "We are so sorry."
In an email to AP, Bibeau said she spoke with her son over lunch last week, but had not seen him for more than five years before that.
"So I have very little insight to offer,” she wrote.

In his 20s, Zehaf-Bibeau acquired a lengthy criminal record, with 12 convictions in Quebec between 2001 and 2011 for crimes including drug possession, impaired driving, weapons offences, assault causing bodily harm, theft, and possession of break-in tools.
The Canadian Press reports that, in Quebec criminal records, he appears under three names: Michael Bibeau, Michael Zehaf Bibeau and Michael Bibeau Zehaf. 
Well now have our own home-grown terrorists, including the ISIS sympathizer who ran down two soldiers in Montreal a week or so ago.  And lest we forget, ISIS did issue a threat of reprisal against Canada. It seems our own people are doing the job for them.

Wandering Soul

Remembered sunshine trickles down among my thoughts, summer fragrance, lazy, golden warmth.
Did I once live? Was it a dream? Have I left footsteps in the sand? The image fades; it is forgot. I glide away upon the moon's slipstream and cast no shadow on the land.
For I am nothing, I am no one, a breath of air caressing your cheek, a whisper of breeze that lifts your hair, murmurs softly, but cannot speak. Nor can I hear the echo of a voice once mine. Had I a name? I don't recall. These things are lost among the mists of time.
I am nothing, I am no one, but I am free to dance across the water's sheen, sail across the sky, admire a frosted, crystal moon, as it paints the earth with platinum light. I see the sunset melt the sky, spill down into the sea and turn the waters molten red. I feel the color flow through me.
Such splendor, the marvels I long to share, but I drift along a solitary plane. Of my presence, you are unaware. A mote of dust upon a sunbeam, the shimmer on a web, finespun, a reflection through a raindrop, I am nothing, I am no one.

The Genie

Ottawa Gunman Caught on Camera

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
In the past year, my mom has lost many of  her childhood  friends .
One lady died  of  cancer  and then her husband  died  a few  months  later . He had  been sick for  years . A woman  from my mom's  church had a heart attack . Then one of her  high school friends had a  car accident . The list goes on . I know  we should  expect  to hear of  deaths, given their  ages  ... my mom is  86, for heaven's sake  ... but it  doesn't make it  any easier  to know that they  are old . How  can I cheer  up  my mom ? She is healthy  and I'm worried  she  will get depressed .
Mom Booster
Dear Booster Mom ,
One tremendous  difficulty in growing  old  is seeing  your  loved ones  pass . Though  inevitable, it is  still hard  to experience . To help your  mother, keep her  active . If  you have children, make sure  she spends  lots of time  with them . Get her involved  in a senior  center  that includes  exercise  and activity . Help her  design  her days so that  she is  busy with  fun experiences. And make sure you spend more time with her to fill the lonely hours. You only get one mom and you won't have her forever.

Dear Maxy ,
I've  been in an abusive  marriage  for nearly 15 years  and I can't take another  day  My husband  has  never  hit me . It's all mental  and emotional abuse . He  calls  me  horrible  names in front  of  our  children . He  has constant  tantrums  where  he screams, throws  things  and threatens me , saying if  I leave, he'll kill me, destroy my life and take our  children  away . I have no access to money  and he has driven all my  friends away .
I have nowhere to go . There are no shelters  in my rural area  and I'm scared of what he  may do  when I leave . However, I'm determined . I've written  him a long  letter  explaining  why and promising  that I don't  want any money  from him  so he doesn't have to worry  about that . And I plan to give this letter to him  . I don't want to be sneaky  and leave the letter  and walk out the door . But I am  afraid .  I don't  have anyone to discuss these things with . My mother said  she doesn't want to hear it  and it is my problem .  Please  help .
Too Scared to Leave
Dear  Too Scared ,
Please  do not do anything  rash . Before you leave, you need to have  your  next step planned  and ready,  whether  it is  finding  a shelter, staying  with friends  or  relatives, or  leaving town . It would be unwise  to hand  your  abusive husband  a letter  and walk out the  door . I know  you want  to do the  honorable thing, but  your safety and that of your children is more important  right now .
I urge you  to call the National  Domestc Violence  Hotline  ( )  at 1-800-799-SAFE . Someone there  will  guide  you through the  process. Please take care,

Dear Maxy ,
My husband and I are retired  and live in upstate  New York  with our  son  and his  family . Our  son broke  his back and neck in an accident . He has  recovered , but now is addicted  to pain medication .
He has  no insurance . Is there any way  to get him  the help he  needs  to be a functioning adult  again ? He would give anything  to be better, but  can't afford treatment .
Desperately Concerned  Mom
Dear Mom ,
This must be a terribly difficult situation  for everyone, but the fact  that your your  son wants  to get better is encouraging . Please  look into state-funded  drug  and alcohol rehab centers  through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  Administration at ( ) or  call their  treatment  referral line  at 1-800-662-HELP . I'll be thinking of  you .

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Canada Under Attack....That just doesn't happen

A soldier has been shot at the Cenotaph in Ottawa on October 22, 2014.

Soldier shot at Ottawa War Memorial
Paramedics and police pull a shootign victim away from the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa.

   OTTAWA — A Canadian soldier was killed and two Parliament Hill security guards wounded Wednesday morning in a chaotic attack on the nation’s capital that police believe involved more than one assailant. One assailant was killed, the other is now being pursued by the RCMP and army special forces squads. These events follow a recent threat of reprisal against Canada from ISIS and are being treated as a terrorist attack.

The shootings occurred at the National War Memorial and in the Hall of Honor in the Parliament buildings on Parliament Hill. Witnesses described seeing the soldier, who was serving as a ceremonial guard at the foot of the cenotaph, shot at point-blank range before the gunman ran off in the direction of Parliament Hill. Sirens blared and buildings in the area went under lockdown as police and soldiers continued the manhunt into Wednesday afternoon. The Ottawa Hospital said it has received three patients, two of whom are listed in stable condition.

As police cars and emergency vehicles clustered at the foot of the Peace Tower and the Centre Block was evacuated. RCMP warned that anyone in downtown Ottawa should stay away from windows and roofs. Police set up an ever-expanding cordon around Parliament Hill, shutting down streets and pushing pedestrians and journalists further back as additional police vehicles and officers flooded into the scene. A police command post was set up on Metcalfe St. across from Parliament Hill. Tens of thousands of public servants in buildings around Ottawa and across the river in Gatineau, Que., were told to stay where they are.
Witness Alain Merizier said one suspect was carrying a hunting rifle. The suspect had dark hair, was wearing civilian clothes and driving a black car, Merizier said.
Reporters and parliamentary staff reported dozens of shots in the hallways. It was caucus day for the federal parties, so members of Parliament and senators were locked down in the hallways near the Commons.

Spokespeople for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said all were safe and in secure locations.
A witness reported, “We didn't know where (the shooter) was or how many there were there, but it sounded like he was just down the hall.”
Toronto Liberal MP John McKay had arrived for morning caucus in Centre Block when he heard shots. Security staff evacuated the group to the rear of the building where they took shelter behind a monument. There he met an employee from the Library of Parliament who related how she saw a gunman outside the library in Centre Block. She said he was wearing a hoodie and was carrying a gun. He was in the corridor containing the meeting rooms where Prime Minister Harper was meeting with his caucus on one side and the NDP meeting on the other.

New Democrat MP Charlie Angus said he and his colleagues heard several rounds of heavy gunfire he said sounded as if it was coming from right outside the door. Angus said MPs and staffers tried to barricade the door with tables and lay down on the floor as they heard what he said was at least two rounds of gunshots followed by another few shots.
“People put up furniture. We put tables against the door. We lay down. If you’ve never been through this before, you don’t know what the routine is other than what you have seen in the movies, so we didn’t know if someone was going to try and get in,” Angus said.
“We were on the floor and then security came and they were very, very, serious,” Angus said by telephone from his office on Sparks St., after having evacuated the building. “They told us to run, to stay down and to stay along the walls.”
Angus said three NDP MPs — Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, Anne Minh-Thu Quach and Rosanne DorĂ© Lefebvre — were worried about their children, who were in the building, and did not want to leave without them. All children were evacuated safely.

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott says his staff was told by Commons security there were as many as three gunmen. Security staff quickly hustled the group out of the building through a tunnel to East Block. He said several of the group remain under lockdown in East Block.
A shaken Marc-Andre Viau, spokesperson for the NDP, saw the suspect run into the main doors of Centre Block, chased by a Mountie. Soon after he heard a volley of shots from inside the building.
“As soon as the police officer walked in, there were a lot of shots, multiple shots fired. There was a pause then I heard another round of shots,” Viau said.

At the time of this post, Mounties are still swarming the building for fear there are more gunmen in hiding. The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

The United States is very concerned. This, presumable, terrorist attack is pretty close to home, not far from our mutual border.
“Canada is one of the closest friends and ,allies of the United States and from issues ranging from the strength of our NATO alliance to the Ebola response to dealing with ISIL there is a strong partnership and friendship and alliance between the United States and Canada,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday in a news conference .
“The United States strongly values that relationship and that relationship makes the citizens of this country safe."
Very nicely said Mr Earnest but I feel the underlying message is ," tighten up security at the border Canada". Consider it done Josh. We have been far too complacent. We're the nice guys, nobody hates us. Time to change up our attitude.

UPDATE: The gunman who was shot down was a Canadian citizen  from Quebec. We have a home grown terrorist on our hands and a partner ( according to witnesses) who has yet to be found.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Four infant bodies found in Canada storage locker

A storage facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 21 October 2014

The bodies of up to four infants have been found in a storage locker in Winnipeg, Canada, authorities say. Police responded to a call from an employee at the storage facility on Monday and discovered the decomposed remains inside.
Tests on the unidentified bodies have yet to take place. Investigators are speaking with "a number of individuals", they say, but the remains do not appear linked to any infants previously reported missing. Police spokesman Eric Hofley told Canadian media the finding was "tragic beyond belief"

People stand outside a storage facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 21 October 2014

An employee stands outside a storage facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 21 October 2014

The bodies are said to be newborns or "of a very young age", he added. "[They're] certainly not children."
The remains were discovered at a Winnipeg U-Haul storage facility by an employee who contacted authorities. It is not clear how long the remains were in the storage locker before they were found.
Storing or concealing human remains is in itself illegal, said Mr Hofley.
"Until such time as the autopsies have determined what is the cause of this, we won't know what the full extent of the charges may or may not be."