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Monday, August 22, 2011

Gaddafi : One Cold Night Over Lockerbie

As the guns close in on Gaddafi, there is a sense of vindication for years spent battling terrorism, Mr. Gaddafi always situated at or near the top of the list, head of the class, numero uno.  Success battling terrorists is almost always, seemingly, rather obfuscated.  Yes, it's true that acts of terrorism tend to seem sparse, but when they occur, they are always quite traumatic and emotionally charged.

Witnessing the devastation of terrorism is difficult for all of us.  We are all witnesses to such harshness and heinous acts... it's called the evening news.  Knowing your own friends or your family members have suffered under the harsh fist of terrorism, that's a bit different.  My friends were among those who died aboard Pan AM Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  I was going to change my flight plans to fly back with them.  But for a whim, my life would have ended on that fateful day along with my friends from Syracuse.

I've always watched Mr. Gaddafi with a great deal of interest, perhaps the word scorn comes to mind, for I know of the countless murders he has arranged.  The killing was something he happily funded and orchestrated in the name of terrorism; for the sake of terrorism itself.  He didn't have a cause of nationalism to hide behind.  His actions were the actions of a state sponsor of terrorism. 

Gaddafi had only a mask to wear in order to sustain his power and control over the wealth of a nation.  To the extent he hurt or killed Libyans, to the extent he held them back and kept them suppressed emotionally and economically, I don't think it was or could ever be measured with any degree of accuracy.  The extent of his killing in international environments, again, poorly measured with little accounting of the mountains of misery Mr. Gaddafi has provided humanity across the globe.

Finally, as we stand on the verge of liberating Libya, I am relieved and hopeful the final blow to this cowardly regime shall be dealt soon.  It is time to end the nightmare of Gaddafi.  But there's one thing I hope for, perhaps with foolish optimism.  I hope Gaddafi will not be killed.  It is my most ardent wish that this person who has brought forth so much indignation, suffering, and desperate pain should have to endure the remainder of his life in an existence opposite his heretofore opulent lifestyle. 

His life as a virtual absolute monarch... those days are have terminated.  I detest the idea that he would somehow meet a sudden, quick, and painless death.  The notion that a round of ammunition might cease his physical thoughts and life without knowledge of violence or pain is unbearable.  I'd like for him to live, and under what conditions he should live, I dare say, should be determined at the pleasure of the Libyan people.  Yet I fear the story of a rogue bullet and a sudden liquidation of Gaddafi's life.

That they might forgive their master is unlikely, that they would grant him a swift and dignified death is equally unlikely.  That they might deal Mr. Gaddafi a life fitting of his unique brand of despotism could, in fact, be well in line with the teachings of ancient ways... May he come to know that his legacy, like all things examined under the scrutiny of light, shall be laid bare by the unrelenting course of truth and exposed for precisely what it is.  

The overarching goal should be that Gaddafi does not die waving a machine gun in the faces of opposition soldiers, lest he die with the thought that his was an honorable death, the way of the martyr.  For a man who built an empire of violence upon lies, deceit, and terror; no fate could be more horrific than to be denied martyrdom.

Consider the horror he might feel under the light of the truth.  Perhaps there will be justice for those who died when the Clipper Maid of the Seas was blown up one cold night over Lockerbie.  May change bring peace.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


AB-solutely Lovely!  What a great day we had in Devon today!  It was so much fun that I just completely forgot about mowing my lawn - I suppose it'll just have to be a bit overgrown for a few days.

Throughout the entire TSN Sports Centre broadcast event here in Devon I have purposely kept a low profile.  I wanted to sit back and be in the background.  Just making sure there were no wrong pathways being taken in the event planning process.  That was easy, the town and our volunteers did a great job from A-Z.  I went to all the planning committee meetings but I didn't say much.  Some meetings I'd just sit in the back and watch.  Before we got to the show business meetings, we had to win the vote.  I wasn't so quiet then... at the first meeting after we hit the list of finalists I showed up with a task list of 100 items forming the core of our municipal efforts and strategies to win.  But once we won, I got real quiet and let everybody taste the wonderful world of show business.

I loved watching them plan and execute a tremendous event here in Devon.  They were a great team, everybody contributed, and between all the kids, the municipal staff, the volunteers, and the keeners... WE DID IT!

Why was it so much fun for me to watch everybody else get into the middle of the show business action?  I wanted to see my fellow citizens get to taste it!  I got to see so many of our wonderful Devon residents relish their chance to be in the middle of the TSN national TV hubbub!  There's something special about watching people get into show business for a couple of hours or a few days even.  Show business is truly amazing.

I was so successful at staying in the background that when I tried to capture some raw footage backstage, I was run off by the contracted security guard.  I loved it!  He didn't know what role I played in securing the win (including a little vote trading action with other winning municipalities... shhhhhh).  Yep, the security dude didn't know me from a bar of soap.  I had accomplished precisely what I set out to accomplish, I was just another face in the crowd and the kids were on centre stage!  Devon was on centre stage, and show business was the order of the day! 

Since I arrived in Devon, we've managed to have major national and international level events here in our small municipality.  I've only lived here a few years and we have these events every year... I find this to be quite normal for Devon.  I don't know if it was always this way.  Our little gem on the Mighty North Saskatchewan river is second to none and we're getting better at show business every day!

I heard one person say they've never seen anything so spectacular.  Today, on national TV, I saw Devon, Leduc #1, Florida Pizza, Devonian Gardens, and lots of local bike riders.  I saw so many happy faces, a great afternoon in Alberta, and the results of years of foundational work that many people have contributed to. 

These things that happen are never gained in isolation.  The TSN broadcast was a result of a group of kids, a teacher, a municipality ready to listen, and the foundations that have been built over years by many people.  All of this was in place and ready to go.  That's why we won.  Not because of one person in isolation, but because so many people in Devon have volunteered their time over the years to build an environment where new and exciting initiatives can rise up, be nurtured, and brought into reality be leveraging our best asset... our people.

Great moments are always the result of teamwork, collaboration, and the best efforts of excellent people who realize, intuitively, that the greatest work of humanity is the work we do within our own communities.  For we can only be our best by working together.  This is the foundation of our strength and excellence.  It is at the very heart of the community spirit in Devon.  It is the Spirit of Devon that has taken the dream and turned it into reality.  And WOW - what a GR8 reality it IS!!!!