My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why is this man being released?

Again, this is totally outrageous.
Two years after a man went to jail as a young offender for the deadly beating of a gay man, a judge freed him Wednesday and urged the victim's family to try to forgive the killer.

Judge Valmond Romilly of provincial youth court said the 21-year-old man now needs help to salvage some of his life as he enters adulthood.

"The sole preoccupation at this stage should be to help the youth, who committed a terrible offence, while still a youth,'' Romilly said.
If he had raped a girl, god forbid, he would have been sentenced as an adult, no?

More on Homolka...

Now, here's a judge that should be fired. Quebec Superior Court Judge Brunton lifted ALL restriction on Homolka saying there was NOT ENOUGH evidence to justify them.
"The possibility that Ms. Teale (a surname Homolka has gone by) might reoffend one day cannot be completely eliminated," wrote the judge. "However, her development over the last 12 years demonstrates, on a balance of probabilities, that this is unlikely to occur. She does not represent a real and imminent danger to commit a personal injury offence."
This should be appealed, and is there anyway to remove this judge from the bench?

Nice article on Martin's Democratic Deficit...

This is one area in which Paul Martin has no interest in at all. Actually, he a keen interest in the democratic deficit...not in fixing it.
Reviewing the list of Liberals appointed to plum patronage posts, it would appear that `who you know in the PMO' remains the prevailing culture in Martin's Ottawa.

A slew of former Liberal MPs and ministers have gone to their reward: Stan Keyes (consul general in Boston), Allan Rock (United Nations ambassador), Yvon Charbonneau (ambassador to UNESCO), Art Eggleton (Senate), John Harvard (Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba), Sarkis Assadourian (citizenship judge) and Karen Kraft Sloan (ambassador for the environment), to name only a few.

Any number of Martin's political allies have been similarly rewarded. Francis Fox, Martin's former principal secretary, Dennis Dawson, one of Martin's inner circle of advisers, and Grant Mitchell, former Alberta Liberal leader and Martin leadership supporter, have all been appointed to the Senate.

But one of the most egregious examples, as far as the opposition parties are concerned, was the appointment of Glen Murray, former Winnipeg mayor and defeated Liberal candidate in the 2004 election, as chairman of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

MPs on the Commons environment committee rejected Murray's appointment, but Martin went ahead with it anyway, despite his vow to open up the appointment process to parliamentary scrutiny.

A ridiculous election slogan...

I just had to blog this. The NDP candidate in my riding has a slogan on his signs:

Your vote is your say.

Really? I thought it was someone elses.

A Belgian terror ring....

We've written before out a terror ring in Belgium. Now some arrests.
Belgium authorities raided homes Wednesday and detained 14 suspects with links to a terrorist network that sent volunteers to Iraq, including a Belgian woman who allegedly carried out a suicide attack in Baghdad.

French police in the Paris region also arrested a 27-year-old Tunisian man suspected of having contacts with the Belgian cell, judicial officials said.

Belgian authorities "want to dismantle this network, which we knew was on our territory and which aimed to send volunteers for the jihad to the battlefield," federal police director Glenn Audenaert told reporters, referring to an Arabic word which among extremists can mean holy war in addition to its definition as the Islamic concept of the struggle to do good.

What about Jews?

This just in from Rome...
ITALIAN bishops gave warning yesterday against Catholics marrying Muslims, citing cultural differences and fears that children born to mixed marriages would shun Christianity.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the president of the Italian Bishops Conference, said: “In addition to the problems that any couple encounters when forming a family, Catholics and Muslims have to reckon with the difficulties that inevitably arise from deep cultural differences.”

A new bureaucracy?

Stephen Harper today proposed a Director of Public Prosecutions today, which would independently take over responsibility for all federal criminal prosecutions. While many may welcome this - and indeed who wouldn't like to see more Liberals go to prison, do we really need a new bureaucracy.

Look at what's happened with special prosecutors in the US. The tend to investigate for years (remember Whitewater) and then they find crimes that may be totally unrelated (look at the current investigation of the Plame leak). Is this what we truly want?

Is our desire to punish the Liberals so intense that we have to set up a permanent inquiry? Let's think twice about this one.

Karla Homolka freed from some restrictions...

Totally bizarre and unfortunate. I mean, now she is allowed to consort with criminals, and to even contact the families of her victims. She can now associate freely with people younger than 16.

I can't speak to the legalities. But, it's unfortunate that we have allowed this to happen. She should never have gotten her deal - and that deal should have been revoked when she lied.

Now, we all to live with the consequences. Shame on our legal system.

The good news of global warming....

I don't believe global warming is human-induced. But, even so, aren't you ever surprised that we never hear about the good things that might happen because of global warming?
But most sinisterly, I fear that the drought apocalypse scenario fits into an environmental reporting paradigm that says it is the responsibility of journalists to cover up any doubts about the validity and meaning of global warming. The papers discussed above presented evidence that in many parts of the world -- the U.S. Midwest, India, parts of Africa -- some cataclysmic damage could occur if the rain/snow cycle changes significantly.

But likely not here.

Here we're going to get longer growing seasons and more rain; here, according to global warming scientists' own projections, our agricultural production should go up if the planet warms a reasonable amount.

However, reporters are told they can't say global warming will be good for anywhere or anything.

Another useless suvery of sexual harassment...

75%, c'mon..that's just silly. How can we take sexual harassment seriously when they keep on publishing these spurious studies.
Three-quarters of high school students who participated in a bullying survey said they had been sexually harassed at least once by their peers, as the taunts and jeers of schoolyard tormentors take on a sexualized tone in adolescence.

The survey of 3,000 youths in eight high schools in Toronto, Kingston, Ont., and Montreal was conducted by psychology professors at Toronto's York University and Kingston's Queen's University.

The type of behaviour ranged from unwanted sexual remarks and sexual jokes to comments about someone's appearance. Brushing up against classmates in a sexual way and sexual rumours spread by Internet messaging were also reported by the students.
Jokes about appearance? sexual jokes? My god, when will we start taking this seriously?

Going too far on smoking....

I agree with Stossel - sometimes we go too far.
I once interviewed the mayor of the tiny community of Friendship Heights, Md. He got his town to pass the most stringent anti-smoking law in America. It banned cigarette smoke outdoors.

"We're elected to promote the general welfare, and this is part of the general welfare," he told me. After I interviewed him, he was arrested for touching a 14-year-old boy's genitals in a bathroom at Washington National Cathedral. The village council finally repealed his law. Finally, we know what it takes to get an anti-smoking law repealed.

Unfortunately, the busybodies keep running for office and, once elected, keep imposing new restrictions on our freedom.

So far, they haven't prohibited smoking entirely. So far. But Tom Constantine, who ran the Drug Enforcement Administration under President Clinton, once told me: "When we look down the road, I would say 10, 15, 20 years from now, in a gradual fashion, smoking will probably be outlawed in the United States."

That is the road we're moving down. New York and California already ban smoking in restaurants and bars. All but two counties of West Virginia have some sort of anti-smoking law. Two cities in Georgia have, like Friendship Heights, banned smoking in public parks. This week, Chicago's city council may ban smoking in most public places.
Shouldn't smkers have a few bars?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Election in Gaza postponed...

If they can't hold an election, how can they run a country?
The ruling Fatah Party today canceled elections in the Gaza Strip at the end of a full day of voting after gunmen disrupted balloting at several polling places, firing in the air and stealing some ballot boxes.

The violence underscored Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ inability to fight chaos in Gaza - or even in his own party - as Fatah tries to fight off a strong challenge from the Islamic Hamas group in parliamentary elections on January 25.

The vote was part of the first-ever primary election held by Fatah, a democratic reform considered crucial to removing the taint of corruption from the party. Many young Fatah activists, long frozen out of power by entrenched party leaders, insisted that transparent primaries determine the party’s legislative slate rather than secret back-room negotiations.

Even before the voting began, problems emerged. Technical glitches forced voting in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and areas of central Gaza to be postponed until Wednesday, Fatah officials said.

At some of the roughly 190 Fatah polling stations that did open across Gaza, many voters found that their names were not on the registration lists or that they had been mistakenly registered at the wrong station. Fatah officials said it was their first experience holding a primary, and they only had a short amount of time to compile lists of the 200,000 eligible voters in Gaza.

Some militants lost patience. In one station in a village in eastern Khan Younis, a group of about 15 Fatah gunmen, angry at not finding their names on the list, began shooting in the air, witnesses said. Officials then closed the poll for about 45 minutes.

Polling stations in the towns of Beit Hanoun and Deir el-Balah were also closed after similar incidents. Fatah gunmen barged into a polling station in the Sheik Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, took 16 ballot boxes into a yard, poured petrol over several of them and set them on fire, witnesses said. At least seven polling stations were closed because of problems with gunmen.

I'm glad they are going bankrupt...

But, couldn't you see these guys in a television series???
A Jewish charity whose bearded, skullcap-wearing volunteers rush to the scene of every suicide bombing in Israel is facing bankruptcy following the decline in Palestinian terrorism.

Members of Zaka were among the first to arrive at every atrocity, sifting through wreckage to gather the body parts of victim and bomber alike, in accordance with Jewish law.

Television pictures routinely showed Zaka members at work, which was so thorough it was often used to help forensic experts.

Their coverage of Israel was so extensive they became known as "The Fourth Emergency Service" after the police, fire and ambulance services.

But the de facto end of the Palestinian intifada earlier this year has led to a crushing reduction in charitable donations.

Men and airplane seats...

Qantas and Air New Zealand do not allow men to sit next to unaccompanied chilidren. Is Canada next?
Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro's judgment of all men by the worst example is a suitably juvenile tribute to her portfolio.

Her assumption that men, by definition, are potential child abusers is one she shares with (and for which she praises) our main domestic airlines, which ban men from sitting next to unaccompanied children.

In ensuring the safety of minors in their care, Qantas and Air New Zealand choose (as airlines are obliged to in all other matters) to err on the side of caution.

Is Harper doomed?

I really wish he hadn't brought this up. This is very disappointing and very troubling.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper launched his election campaign Tuesday by steering it straight into the electoral turbulence of gay marriage.

With the starting gun kicking off the eight-week race still echoing in the air, Harper went out of his way to reopen a politically noxious debate, pledging to restore the traditional definition of marriage - provided Parliament supports the idea in a free vote.

"It will be a genuine free vote when I'm prime minister," Harper said.
How on earth can you make it a genuine free vote? Can he force the other parties not to enforce party discipline?

Another terrorist gets into Gaza...

Why am I not surprised?
Only days after the Rafah border crossing was reopened, another senior Hamas operative who previously lived abroad crossed back into the Gaza Strip.

Fadel Zahar is the first high-ranking Hamas official known to return to the Gaza Strip since the border crossing was reopened last Friday. His brother, Mahmoud Zahar, is the top leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Fadel Zahar was deported from the Gaza Strip in 1991 along with three other top Hamas operatives: Imad Alami, Mustafa Kanu, and Mustafa Liddawi. Since then Zahar has been living in Sudan and Syria, where other Hamas leaders are located.

Iran cuts off right hand, left foot of prisoner...

This is just sickening.
Iran’s Islamic judiciary cut off the right hand and the left foot of a prisoner in the volatile town of Ahwaz, southwest Iran, state-run dailies reported Tuesday.

The individual was identified only as Adel A. and had been charged with armed robbery. An Islamic court in the town of Mahshahr handed down the sentence of amputation of Adel’s right hand and left foot in public.

Iran’s State Supreme Court upheld the sentence, which was carried out inside Karoon Prison in Ahwaz.

Feminist scholarship...

Is there such a thing? Mike Adams has an in-depth look at one feminist paper.
These days, feminists are having a hard time figuring out why the only people who take them seriously are other feminists. But I think I know the answer. I just read an article called “Animals, Women and Weapons: Sexual Boundaries in the Discourse of Sport Hunting.” It has changed my life forever.

The lead author is Michigan State University Sociology Professor Linda Kalof. Kalof’s co-authors - Sociology Doctoral Students Amy Fitzgerald and Lori Barakt – may deserve even more of the blame for this exercise in feminist irrelevancy since they are not tenured and, hence, should have some cause for concern about public exhibitions of supreme stupidity.

These three feminists - who were outraged by the release of a cheap porn video, which featured naked women being hunted down and shot with paintball guns – were inspired to present this recent exhibition of feminist rage as form of legitimate scholarship.

After reminding us that contemporary feminist theory has long connected hunting with sex and women with animals, the authors claim to have found “clear evidence of the juxtaposition of hunting, sex, women, and animals in the photographs, narratives, and advertisements” from a random sampling of “Traditional Bow-hunter” magazines published over a twelve year period. They emphasize “random samplings” in order to remind us that feminist sociologists are real scientists, too.

My favorite part of the paper is its rejection of traditional sociology’s moral relativism as the authors conclude that “moral outrage at the degradation of women might be targeted best at widely read newsstand periodicals that serve as popular culture precursors to videos that celebrate hunting naked women.”

Lamenting the “paucity of information on sexuality in hunting periodicals,” the three authors are forced to review a limited amount of literature on the relationship between hunting and the degradation of women, such as the feminist classic “The sexual politics of meat: A feminist-vegetarian critical theory.”

A case study of the how the Liberals attack the 'democratic deficit'...

The story of Michael Ignatieff's candidacy in Etobicoke-Lakeshore is told in today's Ottawa Citizen, and it is not pretty.
The melodrama began Friday when the sitting Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP, Minister of State Jean Augustice agreed to step aside for Mr. Ignatieff. Ron Chyczij, president of the Liberal riding association, was told late Friday that anyone interested in the nomination had until 5 PM Saturday to file papers.

But when he tried to deliver his nomination papers Saturday, the doors to the Liberal office were locked and those inside wouldn't respond to his knocks on the door or phone calls. He finally slipped the papers under the door.
He was then told that his application was rejected because he failed to resign as riding president before seeking the nomination.

Democracy in action!

Wise advice for Stephen Harper

Some wise words from Adam Daifallah in today's Ottawa Citizen.
Instead of harping on same-sex marraige, why not promote the virtues of marriage and family, no matter whether they be straight of gay? Everyone can agree that strong families are the foundation of our society. Mr. Harper should talk about the need to encourage more marriage, less divorce and more chid-rearing. Let Paul Martin try to characterize that as extreme.
Yes, indeed. I would add one more item to that paragaph - equal parenting for children in cases of divorce. Too many children are raised without a father these days.

Wind power is not the answer...

The Financial Post has a nice comment by Terence Corcoran on wind power. You might be hearing a lot about wind power from the Conference on Climate Change in Montreal. Yet, it's not really the answer to our problems.
One of the big German power distributors, E.ON Netz GmbH, reports that while Germany's wind power capacity of 14,350 megawatts makes it a world leader, the operations generate massive downstream supply and transmission problems. By law, E.ON Netz pays about 9 cents a kilowatt hour to windmill operators. But then the system must deal with the fact that the wind generators, on average, operate only 15% of the time. Even more uncertain, is when they will operate.

To cope with uncertainty, the German system must enter the twilight zone of energy policy. To cover the unpredictability of wind power, the system needs extra capacity to offset the risk of shortages. "Operational experience over the past few years has shown that reserve capacities in the order of magnitude of 60% of the installed wind capacity must be kept for wind balancing in the years when wind levels are normal," said EON Netz in a report.
In other words, if you build 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity, you need an additional 600 megawatts of coal or gas capacity.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Iran says Fuck You....

As I expected earlier, Iran has rejected the Russian compromise.
Iran rejected late Monday European requests that it move parts of its nuclear enrichment program out of the country and allow enrichment of uranium to be carried out in Russia.

The EU-3 – France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – which suspect that Tehran’s nuclear program is for military purposes and are negotiating with Iran to reach a solution, had suggested that the Islamic Republic carry out uranium enrichment – the precursor for the development of an atomic bomb – in Russia to alleviate international fears that it was developing a nuclear weapon.

In a major concession, British, French, and German Foreign Ministers – Jack Straw, Philippe Douste-Blazy, and Frank-Walter Steinmeier respectively – recently lifted their objections to Tehran’s resumption of enrichment-related activities in its Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan, central Iran, in the hopes of getting Tehran to return to the negotiating table. Since September, negotiations between the EU-3 and Tehran had stalled after the latter unilaterally breached their agreement by recommencing work at Isfahan.

On Monday, however, Hossein Entezami, the spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), told the state news agency IRNA that the “entire process of uranium enrichment must be conducted inside Iran”. The SNSC is the body in charge of Tehran’s nuclear negotiations with the West.

“The country's high-ranking officials intend to have the full cycle of nuclear fuel production in our own soil, in other words, they want Iran to join the world nuclear club”, Entezami said. “When we talk about the entire cycle of producing the nuclear fuel inside Iran we mean all stages of enrichment need to be conducted in this country relying on technical knowledge of Iranian experts”.
Isn't time for the international community to act???

Are white men wanted anywhere?

It's not just the Canadian Government who discriminates against white males. Look at the UK.
A police force was warned yesterday that it may have acted illegally by rejecting 186 job applications from white men in favour of those from women and ethnic minorities.

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, accused Avon and Somerset of positive discrimination in a recent recruitment drive. It claimed that the force turned down some strong candidates on grounds of race or gender.

A spokesman for the force said that all successful applicants had undergone the "same rigorous selection process".

When the recruitment process opened last summer, 242 white men were put forward, 40 per cent of the total, with the rest from under-represented groups, including women, people from minority ethnic groups and disabled men and women.

The force confirmed the majority of the rejected applications were white males.

Paul Hazel, Avon and Somerset's head of personnel and training, said: "The majority of those deselected were white men because the force's workforce is over-represented by white men."

The magic number for the Conservatives

Well, the election is now on. GayandRight will be covering the election in detail, and I'll be trying hard to find the quirky stuff that nobody else notices.

As you probably know, I am hoping for a Conservative victory. But, there is one set of numbers that are super important, even if the Conservatives don't get the most amount of seats.

Consider this: It is vitally important that the Liberal and the NDP seats add up to less than 50% of the 308 seats up for grabs. I want to take away any opportunity for the NDP to hold the balance of power. But, should the Conservatives and the Bloc get well above 154 seats - for instance, if the Bloc gets 61 seats (up 7) and the Conservatives go up 5 seats to 104, the two parties would have 165 seats - 22 seats above the Liberals and the NDP. This would make it possible for perhaps Stephen Harper to become Prime Minister even if the Liberals have more seats.

Tonight, Stephen Harper looked like a Prime Minister. Let's hope he runs a flawless campaign.

Liberal promises now almost $25 billion...

Just when you thought the spending binge couldn't go's now up to $24.5 billion. Just think how much higher it will go during the campaign. Here's an excerpt from a press release from the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation.
“Announcing $24.5-billion in spending over 23 days works out to more than $1-billion per day or $44-million every hour,” observed CTF federal director John Williamson. “With the federal government budgeted to spend $163.7-billion on all programs in fiscal 2005/06, $24.5-billion represents 15 per cent of the entire fiscal year’s planned expenditures.”

The CTF estimates that half of these announcements represent new spending not included in either the 2005 Budget or the 2005 Economic Update released on November 14th. Further, most of the spending is being announced in swing ridings where the Liberals are vulnerable and where the electoral battles are tight between government members and the opposition parties.

Some of the spending gems include:

$332,528 for assisting Quebec’s blueberry industry.
$139,000 for fish harvesters skills promotion in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
$276,000 for the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Ontario.
$361,666 to put synthetic turf on a soccer field in Longueuil, Quebec.

A new Iraq...

The National Post today reprints a speech by Christopher Hitchens delivered in Toronto on November 16th.
One of the results of regime change in Iraq is that the Iraqi embassy in Ottawa -- which was once run by the envoys of Saddam Hussein's psychopathic cabal -- should now be occupied by Howar Ziad, an old comrade of mine. Ziad was a real insurgent in Iraq, fighting against Saddam Hussein's regime at a time when the West was not. He also happens to be a man of wide-learning and culture --including an appreciation of the works of Leonard Cohen. From an accumulation of such small details, one can sense what change in Iraq really means.

I was once asked why I wanted to become a journalist. I replied that it was because I didn't want to rely on the press for information. And to personally meet people like ambassador Ziad; or Jalal Talabani, the first elected President of Iraq; or the men who led the guerrilla war against Saddam in Iraq's southern marshes for 18 years -- to speak with such people is to feel very humble.

Also, in my case, very angry: Because when I read The New York Times or the Washington Post, or, indeed, some of the Canadian press, it's as if these people did not exist. You would not know that Iraq were now governed by its own people, with a parliament and six television channels and 21 newspapers.

One must remember that just three years ago, possessing a satellite dish in Iraq would invite death -- not just for you, but for your whole family. Remember, too, that the country's ancient marshes, home to a civilization that's remembered from Biblical times, were drained and burned by Saddam Hussein to destroy a Shiite people he loathed. The fire from that atrocity, considered by UNESCO to be the greatest environmental crime ever committed, was so intense that it could be seen from an orbiting space shuttle.
Please read the whole's well worth it.

Nancy Greene Raine's Statement

Well, it's Kyoto time. Over the next couple of days, you'll be bombarded with dire warnings of ecological disaster - the 11th Conference of the Parties of Kyoto is in Montreal this week.

Lorne Gunter of the National Post has written a nice opinion piece today. Former Olympic gold medal skier Nancy Greene Raine was asked to contribute a statement to be used to spread the word on the impending disaster.

Fortunately, Raine decided to provide her own script. Here is her statement.
Scientific discoveries in the years since the Kyoto Protocol was signed have rendered it out of date. It is time to re-evaluate Canada's position....The Kyoto Protocol is not in our best interest, and will not prevent climate change. The billions being wasted trying to stop this natural phenomenon should be diverted to solving real environmental problems that we can control.
Of course, with such a Statement, the powers that be decided not to film Raine.

The culture of martyrdom...

Why suicide bombings are not OK.
This culture is embraced by people who ought to know better. The Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a frequent visitor to London, finds it difficult to condemn Palestinian suicide bombers. Various prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain have condemned suicide bombing elsewhere but have supported its use in Palestine.

Their argument is simple. The sheer helplessness and despair of the Palestinians justify the use of the human body as a weapon. They have little else to fight with. And killing civilians in a bus or a restaurant is also considered OK - the Palestinians are only taking revenge for what is done to them.

I have four things to say to those who, however reluctantly, support suicide bombings in Palestine. One, if suicide killing was a viable weapon of a just war, however conceived, then the Prophet Muhammad himself would have used it. He had ample opportunity to do so. Two, a Muslim community cannot really be in a state of despair - however bad its situation. Indeed, despair in Islam is a cardinal sin. As classical Muslim scholars have repeatedly pointed out, despair signifies rejection of God's mercy and abandonment of hope. The very raison d'etre of Islam is to provide hope. Three, suicide is also a cardinal sin in Islam. Life is the ultimate gift of God: nothing signifies ingratitude more than taking your own life - whatever the cause. According to Islam, suicide is one thing that God may never forgive. Four, taking one innocent life is, according to the Koran, like murdering all humanity. Indeed, even in a fully fledged state of war, killing innocent women and children is forbidden. You can fight only against those who fight against you on a battlefield.

The great and good scholars who support suicide bombings in Palestine know all this better than I do. Which makes their position even more perverse. They practise double standards: it is OK there but not here. And they provide legitimacy for the likes of Khan to take an inductive leap - from Palestine to London to everywhere.

Khan, as many Muslim leaders in Britain have rightly pointed out, is an anomaly. But the only way to prevent recurrence of such incongruity is to stand up unambiguously against all suicide bombings everywhere - in Palestine as elsewhere. And to denounce, loudly and clearly, the vile culture of martyrdom. Suicide bombers are not heroes but murderers, pure and simple.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Protests in Iran...

Source: Iran Focus.

Nice to see students protesting...
Several anti-government student protests erupted in the Iranian capital on Sunday in response to an increasingly harsher government crackdown on campus activists.

Students at the University of Tehran refused to attend classes in the morning and gathered outside the campus library to demonstrate against the appointment of a cleric as the new chief of the university. Ayatollah Amid Zanjani, a notorious religious prosecutor in the 1980s, was installed on Sunday as the new university chancellor. His predecessor, an academic, expressed surprise at “the unprecedented haste over the transition”.

Time for Cindy Sheehan to shut up...

Just how low will she go? I'm surprised the anti-war left haven't told her to stop yet.
If you harbored any lingering doubts as to the motivation of Cindy Sheehan, grieving mom turned Mother Peacenik, harbor no more.

Sheehan's latest nerve-scraping -- an Internet-posted open letter to Barbara Bush -- reveals her in all her politically motivated glory. She sheds her usual passive-aggressive drivel and goes for the throat.

"(My son) didn't want to go to Iraq, but he knew his duty. Your son went AWOL from a glamour unit," Sheehan writes.

Childlike in her vitriol, she attacks Mrs. Bush for failing to raise a decent human being. And she accuses the president of killing her son, Casey, who died in Iraq.

"Did you teach (the president) that killing other people for profits and oil ALWAYS is wrong? Obviously you did not. ... Casey's beautiful mind was ended by an insurgent's bullet to his brain, but your son might as well have pulled the trigger."

But read between the lines: It takes neither a rocket scientist nor a doctorate in psychobabble to unearth the true intent of her missive; Sheehan has developed a pattern of clues that even the daft can dissect:

This very public saga no longer is about her son. This is no longer about peace. This is Bush-bashing at its worst.

Human rights abuses are Ok..but mistreat an animal....

Human rights abuses don't concern McCartney.
Paul McCartney has angrily denounced China and vowed never to perform there after seeing 'horrific' undercover film of dogs and cats being brutalised and then killed for their fur.

The former Beatle condemned images of the animals being killed in a fur market in the Guangzhou region of southern China, adding that he intends to stay away from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He and his wife, Heather, a committed animals right supporter, also urged people to boycott Chinese goods, which drew a sharp response from the Chinese embassy in London.

Blogs are an important part of democracy....

They'll never be able to stop bloggers...
Iran is fighting a constant battle against dissenters who are using the internet to voice criticism of the Islamic Republic and to push for freedom and democracy.

With the closure of most independent newspapers and magazines in Iran, blogging - publishing an online diary - has become a powerful tool in the dissidents' arsenal by providing individuals with a public voice.

An Iranian blogger known as Saena, wrote recently: "Weblogs are one weapon that even the Islamic Republic cannot beat."

There are an estimated 100,000 active blogs written by Iranians both within the country and across the diaspora. Persian ties with French as the second most common blogging language after English.

Over the last year, however, Iranian authorities have arrested and beaten dozens of bloggers, charged with crimes such as espionage and insulting leaders of the Islamic Republic. Among them is Omid Sheikhan, who last month was sentenced to one year in prison and 124 lashes of the whip for writing a blog that featured satirical cartoons of Iranian politicians.

The press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders last week named Iran as one of 15 countries who were "enemies of the internet".

Terrorism of journalists in Gaza...

Gunmen ransack a newspaper in Gaza.

One wonders how the AP got this photograph.
A group of gunmen on Sunday went on a rampage inside the offices of the online newspaper Donia al-Watan in Gaza City, destroying furniture and equipment and threatening to kill the editor-in-chief, Abdallah Issa.

No one was hurt in the attack, the latest in a series of assaults on journalists and media organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Donia al-Watan is an independent newspaper that has been reporting extensively on corruption and lawlessness in the Palestinian Authority - issues that the PA-controlled media often tend to ignore.

Sources in the newspaper said the attackers were members of one of the Palestinian factions, but refused to elaborate. According to the sources, the gunmen were sent by the secretary-general of the faction to attack the offices and threaten the editor-in-chief following a critical report about him that appeared in the newspaper recently.

Palestinian journalists and political activists strongly condemned the attack as an attempt to silence the voices of the free media in PA-controlled areas.

"This is an assault on the freedom of expression," said a statement issued by the Palestinian National Initiative group. "This is also an attempt to silence the brave voices at a time when we are in need of the words of truth."

Aziz Matar, an engineer and columnist from Ramallah, described the assailants as "mercenaries." He added: "We must not allow our country to be dominated by a group of corrupt people and criminals. This attack won't force us to change our policy of unmasking all those who are corrupt and we will continue to oppose anarchy and lawlessness."

Imtiyaz al-Mughrabi, who writes regularly for Donia al-Watan, said the only way to deal with anarchy is by confiscating illegal weapons "that are being used against our children, women and elderly, as well as our writers."
I agree, the terrorists must be disarmed.

Look at what they now say about Ariel Sharon...

I agree with Mubarak. Of course, Noam Chomsky would disagree.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is the only Israeli politician capable of reaching peace with the Palestinians, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in an interview published on Sunday.

"Sharon, of all the Israeli politicians, is the only one capable of achieving peace with the Palestinians," Mubarak said in an interview with Spain's ABC newspaper.

"He has the ability to take difficult decisions, commit to what he says and carry it out," he said.

Gays arrested in United Arab Emirates...

I wish the gay community would start noticing the horrific oppression of gays in the muslim world.
More than two dozen people described by the government as gay have been arrested at what police called "a mass homosexual wedding" and could face Sharia court imposed male hormone treatments, five years in jail and a lashing, authorities in the United Arab Emirates told the Associated Press on Saturday.

The Interior Ministry said police raided a hotel earlier this month and arrested 22 men from the Emirates as they celebrated the wedding ceremony. It was the latest in a string of recent group arrests of suspected gay men.

The men are likely to be tried under Muslim law on charges related to adultery and prostitution, Interior Ministry spokesman Issam Azouri told the Associated Press.

Why does the press run this crap?

Look at this article on CTV's web site, entitled "Quebec shaping up as key election battleground."
Anticipating an imminent election call, NDP Leader Jack Layton says he is prepared to wage a heated battle for votes in the province of Quebec.

Looking ahead, Layton is optimistic Canadians' thirst for change will prove great enough to vote his NDP into government.

"We have excellent candidates right across the country," Layton told CTV's Question Period on Sunday. "We're going to offer a very positive alternative and we have a record of having shown that we can get things done in the House."
Let's be honest. Jack Layton's NDP is NOT going to get one seat in Quebec. The NDP will not be forming the next government. So, why does the press write this crap?

Here's one way to win in Iraq....

This is a great site...
The War on Terror has entered a new successful stage once the US field commanders began to force the enemy units to comply with the same government-imposed rules and restrictions that the US Army increasingly faces on a daily basis.

One man, identified only as a "Soldier for Allah" explained, "We were led into a classroom and had to sit in circles for what they called 'Collective Self-Attaining Support Sessions' where they lectured us on matters such as "Gender Awareness." "Multicultural Identity." and "Environmental Racism." For the love of Allah (peace be upon him and his messenger, the Prophet Muhammad), even in Saddam's prisons, I was never accused so often of being guilty!"

Trembling, he continued. "We had...had...gender role-playing. We had...had...non-dairy vegan diets. We had...had," at which point he broke down and cried, "You win, America! I had to write a 17-page memo explaining why my unit did not have an Hispanic presence! Please, you win!"

Yes, indeed....more negotiations...

The Europeans never tire of negotiating. They'll probably negotiate right up to the day when Iran announces it has a nuclear weapon.
Britain, France and Germany agreed on Sunday to hold talks with Iran on resuming negotiations which broke down in August about the country's disputed nuclear programme, a spokesman said.

"I can confirm that a letter has been written by the three foreign ministers offering to have talks about restarting the negotiations on the nuclear issue," a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said in Barcelona, where Blair was attending a Euro-Mediterranean summit.

Earlier Iran's official IRNA news agency said ambassadors of the so-called EU3 countries handed over a letter accepting a resumption of the talks in December, quoting a statement issued by Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

However, an EU official in Barcelona, Spain, said the Europeans had only agreed to exploratory talks to see whether there were grounds for resuming formal negotiations.
In the meantime, what exactly has happened to the Russian compromise?

Political correctness in Hollywood...

A terrific column by Mark Steyn.
The average multiplex is surely not long for this world. Already, 85 percent of Hollywood's business comes from home entertainment -- DVDs and the like. Suits me. Or so I thought until, on the way home from the hell of Harry Potter, I stopped to buy the third boxed set in the ''Looney Tunes Golden Collection.'' Loved the first two: Daffy, Bugs, Porky, beautifully restored, tons of special features. But, for some reason, this new set begins with a special announcement by Whoopi Goldberg explaining what it is we're not meant to find funny: ''Unfortunately at that time racial and ethnic differences were caricatured in ways that may have embarrassed and even hurt people of color, women and ethnic groups,'' she tells us sternly. ''These jokes were wrong then and they're wrong today'' -- unlike, say, Whoopi Goldberg's most memorable joke of recent years, the one at that 2004 all-star Democratic Party gala in New York where she compared President Bush to her, um, private parts. There's a gag for the ages.

I don't know what Whoopi's making such a meal about. It's true you don't see many positive images of people of color on ''Looney Tunes,'' but then the images of people of non-color aren't terribly positive either (Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam). Instead, you see positive images of ducks of color, roadrunners of color and tweety birds of color. How weirdly reductive to be so obsessed about something so peripheral to these cartoons that you stick the same damn Whoopi Goldberg health warning on all four DVDs in the box. And don't think about hitting the "Next" button and skipping to the cartoons: You can't; you gotta sit through it.

Revisionism and Rocket Richard...

A nice opinion piece in today's Ottawa Citizen by Janice Kennedy on the new Rocket Richard movie.
According to a new film biography - Maurice Richard, just released in Quebec this weekend in French, and set for broader release in English next spring as "The Rocket" -- our hero did not in fact belong to all of us. He belonged instead to those of us who a) spoke French and b) felt oppressed.

The film, directed by Belgian-born Charles Biname and starring Quebec actor Roy Dupuis, begins and ends with the Forum riot of 1955, sparked by Campbell's ignorant decision to suspend Richard for the playoffs. According to the Montreal Gazette's preview of the film, the incident is treated as the defining moment of modern Quebec history - a quebecois hero assaulted by the forces of les autres, a turning-point that could only lead to the true-bleu march for freedom.

The story quotes Dupuis, who was born three years after the Rocket retired. Says the actor of Richard, "He's the one who brought together the French-Canadian people who were, at the time, second-class citizens. That was the beginning of the fight. Before that, there was only submission and frustration. We were dominated. The bosses were Anglophones."

(Yeah, yeah. And Duplessis was part of the English conspiracy. The stifling rule of the Church was imposed by the sons of Wolfe.)

You can see there they've gone with this. They've taken one of Quebec's rare apolitical heroes and turned him into a sovereigntist lightning rod. Richard -- who was a federalist and mostly non-partisan, despite a brief fling with the Union Nationale - must be turning over in his grave.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

More Iran mischief....

Let's hope the Russians notice.
Iran is secretly training Chechen rebels in sophisticated terror techniques to enable them to carry out more effective attacks against Russian forces, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Teams of Chechen fighters are being trained at the Revolutionary Guards' Imam Ali training camp, located close to Tajrish Square in Teheran, according to Western intelligence reports.

In addition to receiving training in the latest terror techniques, the Chechen volunteers undergo ideological and political instruction by hardline Iranian mullahs at Qom.

Murder hits a record in Jamaica...

There's no question that Jamaica is extremely violent. So, shouldn't we have fewer immigrants from Jamaica?
So much for an island paradise. Fueled largely by the drug trade and gang turf wars, Jamaica's murder rate has hit a record 1,482 for the year - with more than a month still to go until the end of 2005, officials said.

Thirty people were killed this week in this country of 2.7 million people, police said, bringing the total to 1,482 as of Thursday. In contrast, as of Thursday, there had been 476 homicides in New York City this year.

Jamaican officials blame the high homicide rate on the booming drug trade. The Caribbean island is a major conduit for Colombian cocaine being smuggled to the United States and also is a big producer of marijuana.

Global Warming?

Source: The Guardian.

Now, I'm not saying that Europe's cold spell has anything to do with disproving global warming. But, we all know the opposite - a heat spell in summer is certainly proof of global warming, no?

Multiculturalism and the UK...

A nice, small piece on multiculturalism in the UK. But, you could substitute Canada for the UK, no?
The English patriot and maverick socialist George Orwell wrote in 1941, "England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their nationality. In left-wing circles, it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution." More than 60 years later, multiculturalism has provided the ideal vehicle for the left, which now predominates in civic Britain, to exercise its destructive influence. The neurotic official obsession with the politics of racial identity has destroyed any shared sense of national belonging. As the Asian writer Kenan Malik has put it, "The problem is not that ethnic minorities are alienated from a concept of Britishness but that there is today no source of Britishness from which anyone--black or white--can draw inspiration."

Britain is fast replacing nationhood with a hierarchy of victimhood, with different ethnic groups living in conflict, each trumpeting its own sense of grievance. Age-old liberties, like freedom of speech, are disappearing; a play in Birmingham was recently closed down because a mob of Sikhs threatened to destroy the theater, claiming to be offended by the content of the production. Meanwhile, the endless British accommodation of Islamic extremism, in the name of racial tolerance, has allowed terrorism to flourish in our midst. According to one recent survey, 13 percent of British Muslims support home-grown terrorism, a terrifying thought given that there are 1.6 million Muslims in Britain.

McQuaig comes out against development...

How would author Linda McQuaig fight so-called climate change?
Extracting oil from the oil sands is the single biggest contributor to the growth of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. And yet, Ottawa is fully supporting ambitious plans by the oil industry and the Alberta government to triple production there in the next decade, to 3 million barrels a day.
She'd stop development of the oil sands. This is the looney left at it's looniest.

This whole case is an outrage....

The authorities in Kansas are once again trying to punish a gay man more harshly for straights for consensual underage sex.
Matthew R. Limon, whose case resulted in the Kansas Supreme Court saying the state can't punish underage sex more harshly if it involves homosexuals, will be back in court next week on a new charge in the same case.

Miami County Attorney David Miller said he filed a charge Friday of unlawful voluntary sexual relations against Limon in the case that resulted in the high court's ruling last month. His first appearance is Wednesday morning before District Judge Richard Smith in Paola.

Miller said his goal is for Limon to be put on parole for up to five years, not to send him back to prison.

In 2000, Limon, then 18, was sentenced to 17 years in prison on a charge of criminal sodomy for performing a sex act on a 14-year-old boy at a Paola group home for the developmentally disabled.

Had one of them been a girl, Limon could have faced only 15 months under the state's "Romeo and Juliet" law allowing lighter punishment for teenage sex when the partners are of the opposite sex.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court ordered Limon resentenced as if the law treated illegal gay sex and illegal straight sex the same. It also struck the language from the law that resulted in the different treatment.

Because Limon had already served more than four years in prison, he doesn't have to serve any more prison time. But Miller wants Limon to be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, and he said, "That couldn't happen unless he was recharged and went through the judicial process."

Wrong-headed thinking on the cause of terrorism...

Last week in the UK, Muslim community leaders published their report on the bombings in London. They cited two reasons for the terrorist attack: poverty among muslims and anger over British foreign policy.

Amir Taheri looks at these two reasons.
The poverty argument as a justification for terrorism is too discredited to merit detailed refutation. Throughout history, terrorists have come from middle class and well-to-do backgrounds. The man who assassinated Caliph Omar was a wealthy Persian pearl merchant. Caliph Osman was assassinated by a group of Qureish aristocrats. Caliph Ali's murderer was the well-heeled leader of a political faction. Julius Caesar was murdered by a group of Rome's highest aristocrats. The Narodnik terrorists in Russia, the Anarchists in Central and Western Europe and, more recently, the Red Brigades and the Bader Meinhof terror gangs, all belonged to the upper middle classes.

We see a similar pattern in the recent history of Islamist terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Fedayeen Islam in Iran recruited their assassins from middle class families and were financed by wealthy merchants. The Al Qaida's central leadership, now disrupted, included at least four millionaires.

The second cause cited by the "Muslim community leaders" is even more problematic. To begin with the "leaders" cite absolutely no evidence that British Muslims disagree with any aspect of British foreign policy. The reason for this is obvious. British Muslims are as divided on issues of foreign policy as are their non-Muslim fellow citizens.

In any case Britain is a democracy with several political parties representing a rich diversity of views and policies. Any British Muslim opposed to this or that aspect of British foreign policy could join any of the opposition parties or, even, join one of the several anti-Blair wings of the governing Labour Party.

The report produced by the "Muslim community leaders" is dangerous because it implies that as long some British Muslims are poor and some British Muslims angry about foreign policy, terrorist attacks would be understandable if not justifiable.

The report creates an "us and them" dialectics in which British Muslims see their non-Muslim fellow citizens as "others". And from that to treating non-Muslim Britons as the kuffar (infidel), is but a short step.

A politically-correct story for our times...

Thanks to Tony for this story.

The Ant and the Grasshopper


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. So far, so good, eh?

The shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like him, are cold and starving.

The CBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper, with cuts to a video of the ant in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.

Canadians are stunned that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty.

The NDP, the CAW and the Coalition Against Poverty demonstrate in front of the ant's house. The CBC, interrupting an Inuit cultural festival special from Nunavut with breaking news, broadcasts them singing "We Shall Overcome."

Sven Robinson rants in an interview with Pamela Wallin that the ant has gotten rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share".

In response to polls, the Liberal Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti-Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant's taxes are reassessed, and he is also fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as helpers.

Without enough money to pay both the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The ant moves to the US, and starts a successful agribiz company.

The CBC later shows the now fat grasshopper finishing up the last of the ant's food, though Spring is still months away, while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain it.

Inadequate government funding is blamed, Roy Romanow is appointed to head a commission of enquiry that will cost $10,000,000.

The grasshopper is soon dead of a drug overdose, the Toronto Star blames it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity.

The abandoned house is taken over by a gang of immigrant spiders, praised by the government for enriching Canada's multicultural diversity, who promptly set up a marijuana grow op, sell their crop to the Hell's Angels, who then terrorize the community.

Iran and North Korea....

I don't know if this is true....
Iran has offered North Korea oil and natural gas as payment for help in developing nuclear missiles, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, citing unidentified Western intelligence sources.

A senior Iranian official traveled to the North Korean capital Pyongyang during the second week of October to make the offer, the magazine quoted the sources as saying. It was unclear what North Korea's response was, it added.

Diplomats and intelligence sources say Iran is pushing ahead with plans to enrich uranium in defiance of international pressure to stop developing sensitive nuclear technology to calm fears it is seeking nuclear weapons.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Is the BBC starting to come to its senses?

No mention here of what is going to happen.
BBC governors yesterday overturned the corporation's decision not to censure a correspondent who admitted on air that she cried at Yasser Arafat's departure from Palestine.

The decision comes in the same month that Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, had a private meeting with Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, after his government's sustained criticism of the corporation's Middle East coverage.

The BBC received more than 500 complaints last year over a dispatch on Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent.

Barbara Plett told listeners that when she saw the helicopter lift the "frail old man" out of his compound to take him to hospital in Paris, "I started to cry without warning".

The BBC's head of editorial complaints originally ruled that the report did not breach impartiality guidelines.

Iran officials discussed restarting enrichment...

Still no word on whether Iran is going to accept the Russian compromise offer.
Top Iranian officials met less than two months ago to weigh whether to restart their country's uranium enrichment program -- a possible pathway to nuclear arms, according to a confidential report cited by diplomats Friday.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, referred to a report being circulated among the 35-board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency citing an Iranian government source on his country's plans for enrichment.

The four-page report cited the Iranian Foreign Ministry source as saying chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani met with members of the country's nuclear negotiating team in late October to discuss the timing of resuming the enrichment program, one of the envoys told The Associated Press.

I spent $4 billion and all I got was this coat....

Source: CBC News.

Paul Martin attends conference on aboriginals.
Government leaders are expected to announce a five-year commitment of more than $4 billion in spending on housing, education and health care at the end of the two-day gathering in Kelowna, B.C.

Is Stats Canada becoming Stats Canada for Women?

Here's yet another Stats Canada study that really just focuses on women.

And, just look at the headlines in newspapers like the Ottawa Citizen:

Most Sex Assaults Still Go Unreported: Stats Canada

The whole article in the Citizen is focused on women. But let's look at the reality. The entire Stats Canada study may have NOTHING to do with reality. They just ask people if they have been victimized. There is no attempt to try to validate any data - the plain fact of the matter is that you have no way of knowing if this study has ANY relevance.

For instance, it is well known that a significant number of REPORTED sexual assaults are bogus. That being the case, shouldn't we wonder whether a significant number of self-reported assaults are also bogus????

Lastly, may it also be possible that men significantly under-report actual assaults because of their very nature as men....and that perhaps women over-report for the same reason. I'm only asking - we certainly now know that there are significant differences between the sexes. But, shouldn't Stats Canada be asking these sort of questions?

Terrorist gets back into Gaza from Rafah...

is the new Rafah border crossing going to become Israel's worst fear?
Rafik al-Hasanat, a senior member of Hamas who has been wanted by Israel for more than a decade, on Wednesday night returned to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

The terminal was opened for a few hours on Wednesday to allow hundreds of Palestinians stranded on the Egyptian side to return home to the Gaza Strip. Hasanat is one of several Hamas fugitives who have returned to Gaza after Israel relinquished control over the Rafah border crossing.

A senior member of the armed wing of Hamas, Izzaddin Kassam, Hasanat fled to Egypt in 1993 after he learned that the IDF was searching for him because of his involvement in terror attacks. Since then he has been hiding in Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Jordan.

Hundreds of Hamas activists chanting slogans in support of the Islamic movement welcomed Hasanat home.

Sources close to Hamas said many of its activists, including top leaders, have managed to return to the Gaza Strip since the Israeli pullout. Last month one of the founders of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed al-Milh, returned to the Gaza Strip after spending 20 years in different Arab countries.

Liberals are now up to $16.5 billion....and counting.

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation is keeping track of Liberal spending promises.
The start gun for a federal election will go off sometime next week. The Conservative Opposition gave notice Wednesday that it will bring forward a non-confidence motion. This will trigger a mid-winter campaign if approved by a majority in the House of Commons, which is expected.

The governing Liberals are using every trick to improve their electoral fortunes. Their preferred tool? The government’s spending powers. Over the last three weeks, Prime Minster Paul Martin, cabinet ministers and Liberal backbench MPs have made pre-campaign spending commitments totaling $16.5-billion. This is equivalent to $785-million per day.

Tax money is being brazenly used as the Liberal Party’s own private political slush fund. Before Mr. Martin visits the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament next Monday or Tuesday, the spending total will surpass $20-billion.
Will it work? There does seem to be far more skepticism than ever before.

Hezbollah wants to abduct Israelis...

Hezbollah needs to be disarmed.
Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrilla group said on Friday it had a duty to try to capture Israeli soldiers and swap them for Arab prisoners in Israel, hours after Israel returned the remains of three militants.

"Our experience with the Israelis shows that if you want to regain detainees or prisoners ... you have to capture Israeli soldiers," Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told a rally in Beirut to mark the handover of the bodies.

"It is not a shame, a crime or a terrorist act. It is our right and our duty which one day we might fulfill," he told thousands of supporters chanting "death to Israel".

A chilling report....

A town in Belgium becomes a terrorist hub.
The phones at city hall began ringing nonstop one morning last year when several masked figures were spotted walking through the cobbled streets of this pastoral town. A small panic erupted when one of the figures, covered head to ankle in black fabric, appeared at a school and scared children to tears.

It turned out the people were not hooded criminals, but six female residents of Maaseik who were displaying their Muslim piety by wearing burqas , garments that veiled their faces, including their eyes. After calm was restored, a displeased Mayor Jan Creemers summoned the women to his office.

"I said, 'Ladies, you can be dressed all in Armani black for all I care, but please do not cover your faces,' " Creemers recalled. "I tried to talk to them about it, but it was impossible. They said, 'We are the only true believers of the Koran.' "

What the city elders did not know at the time was that the women came from households in which several men had embraced radical Islam and joined a terrorist network that was setting up sleeper cells across Europe, according to Belgian federal prosecutors and court documents from Italy, Spain and France.

Over the next nine months, Belgian federal police arrested five men in Maaseik, a town of 24,000 people tucked in the northeast corner of Belgium. Each was charged with membership in a terrorist organization, the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, a fast-growing network known by its French initials, GICM.

With each arrest, investigators uncovered fresh evidence that placed small-town Maaseik at the center of a terrorist network stretching across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The town had served as a haven for suspects in the Madrid train explosions that killed 191 people in March 2004, for instance, as well as an important meeting place for the GICM's European leadership.
Read the whole thing....

Some light on white phosphorus...

Michael Fumento tells us the truth about white phosphorus...
There are several accusations against our WP usage.

It’s allegedly outlawed by the Geneva Convention as a chemical weapon. Therefore its use puts us in the same category as Saddam Hussein – or so claims the hugely popular leftist blogsite Daily Kos. But according to the authoritative think tank, “White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory.”

Is it a chemical? Sure! So is something else you may have heard of. It’s called “gunpowder.” And those chemicals used in high explosives? Yup, they're chemicals too.

Another charge is that contact with WP can cause awful and sometimes fatal burns. But painless ways of killing and destroying such as Star Trek’s beam weapon phasers have yet to be developed. On the other hand, the vipers we cleaned out of Fallujah were days earlier sawing off civilian heads with dull knives. Sound like a pleasant way to die?

Fact is, the soldier’s weapon of choice remains high explosives. WP's best uses aren’t against personnel at all, but to the extent it is employed this way the most practical application is flushing the enemy out of foxholes and trenches where they can then either surrender or be killed.

It's also claimed that civilians were “targeted” with WP and the Italian video does display dead civilians. But how does this show they were the intended victims, rather than accidental casualties? It’s not like when terrorists detonate bombs in crowded marketplaces or at weddings, where the intent is rather obvious.

Regardless of the weapon, how can you possibly avoid non-combatant deaths when the enemy not only hides among civilians but hides as civilians – in total violation of the Geneva Convention, for those of you keeping track.

Further, the dead civilians in the video are wearing clothing. Both the film’s narrator and another of those defeat-nik “experts,” former Marine Jeff Englehart, try to explain this away by saying WP can burn flesh while leaving clothes intact. But true weapons experts, such as Director John Pike, say there’s no such black magic. “If it hits your clothes it will burn your clothes,” he told reporters.

As daily news reports illustrate in brilliant red Technicolor, the greatest threat to Iraqi civilians are the terrorists. If we want to save civilians, our soldiers must be free to use the best legal equipment available to kill those terrorists and to continue liberating Iraq.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Political correctness in New Zealand...

A needless expenditure.
Plans for a walkway high in the forest of Westland National Park have stalled over a requirement to provide access for wheelchair users.

South Island tribe Ngai Tahu is behind the $2 million treetop venture, a more than 300m-long looped walk, 14m high and against a backdrop of the Southern Alps' Franz Josef village.

Ngai Tahu Tourism acting general manager Rick Tau said providing electric or mechanical lifts to get disabled people up and over sets of steps built into the walkway would add more than $100,000 to the cost of the project.

"It could put the kibosh it," he said.

More than $50,000 had already been spent on design and planning. Electric lifts would require a power supply, and self-operated mechanical lifts could be a problem if people were severely disabled, Mr Tau said.

The tribe had asked the Department of Building and Housing for an exemption under the Building Act, but was turned down.

It's not the first time Ngai Tahu's tourism ventures had come up against disability laws, Mr Tau said.

"Some of it is idiotic. We have lodges that take two days' walking to get to, yet we have to provide wheelchair access to toilets."

Will the EU, US act on Iran?

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll....
The European Union will accuse Iran on Thursday of having documents that serve no other purpose than making nuclear arms and will warn it of possible future referral to the UN Security Council at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to a statement made available to The Associated Press.

The press statement, made available before planned delivery later in the day, was described by a diplomat as a summary of what Britain, France and Germany would tell a closed session of the IAEA board, which started meeting Thursday. It criticizes Tehran for possessing suspicious documents that "have no other application than the production of nuclear weapons."

The statement offered the option of new negotiations, meant to defuse tensions over Tehran's insistence that it be in full control of uranium enrichment, a possible pathway to nuclear arms.
Of course, always more God, appeasement is alive.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Michael Jackson's anti-semitic slur...

Gee, I thought he was all about love.
The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday demanded that Michael Jackson apologize for allegedly calling Jews "leeches" in a private telephone message that was recorded two years ago and has now surfaced in connection with a lawsuit against the pop star.

"Michael Jackson has an anti-Semitic streak, and hasn't learned from his past mistakes," said a statement issued by Abraham H. Foxman, the league's director. "It seems every time he has a problem in his life, he blames it on Jews."

Jackson infuriated Jewish groups in 1995 when his song "They Don't Care About Us" included the lyrics "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me."

Jackson apologized, saying the lyrics were meant to demonstrate the hatefulness of racism, anti-Semitism and stereotyping. He then changed the lyrics.

On Tuesday, ABC's "Good Morning America" aired portions of a 2003 voice message that Jackson allegedly left for a former adviser, Dieter Wiesner, in which he allegedly accused Jews of leaving performers penniless.

The message was among about a dozen released by attorney Howard King, who represents Wiesner and another former adviser who are suing Jackson.

A transcript of the message provided Wednesday by King's office quotes Jackson as saying: "They suck them like leeches ... I'm so tired of it. I'm so tired of it.

"They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars and everything and end up penniless. It's a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose."

Unbelievable claims...

This report from the UK is so ridiculous as to be laughable.
Women are suffering "crisis levels" of rape, domestic violence, sex abuse and harassment, campaigners say. Protesters took their demands for action to Downing Street yesterday and handed in a dossier warning that violence affected women of all backgrounds in every part of the country. They said almost half of women had been hit by their partner, had suffered a sexual attack or had been stalked. And they accused ministers of being in disarray over the problem and lacking a co-ordinated approach to combatting violence.
Half of all women? Please give me a break. We know that both sexes suffer from an equal amount of physical abuse...and we know that about three-quarters of murder victims are men. Doesn't violence against men count too?

I told you it wouldn't die...

It keeps rising from the dead.
Angela Merkel, the new German chancellor, set the stage for a tense meeting with Tony Blair in Downing Street today when she called for European leaders to revive the EU constitution.

In a statement that will alarm Mr Blair, Mrs Merkel said during a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels: "Europe needs the constitution… [we] should not give up the constitutional treaty."

She said the rejection of the constitutional treaty by the French and Dutch in referendums in the summer was not the end of the matter.

Gee, again we're fighting....

First, it was the gang that couldn't shoot straight and now it's infighting.
Klein said while he views Harper as a "bright, articulate individual, perhaps he's seen as too much on the right."

Two weeks ago, Klein was offering to stump for Harper, saying "I'll do whatever he wants me to do. I don't think I'll door knock, but certainly I'll speak, and I'll speak on his behalf."

"He said he was going to be helpful. This is not helpful," federal Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay said.

Asked how internal disputes and too candid remarks should be handled, MacKay said "well, duct tape."
I hope this is not a preview of the campaign.

Finally, some good news....

Hey, score one for the good side.
Following intense US pressure, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel.

This condemnation - slamming Hizbullah by name for "acts of hatred" - marked the first time the Security Council has ever reprimanded Hizbullah for cross-border attacks on Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt to get a condemnation issued on Monday, the day of the attack, when Algeria came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement.

When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton," a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement.

The condemnation expressed "deep concern" over the attack, and called on Lebanon to exercise its sovereignty and authority in the south according to relevant Security Council resolutions.

Scaremongering with AIDs...

Check out this Toronto Star article. It just scaremongers - perhaps the UN got incorrect data. But, look at this:
While the number of annual AIDS cases has dropped in Canada from 1,776 10 years ago to 237 last year due to antiretroviral treatments, a growing proportion are among black and aboriginal Canadians, the report says.
Yes, true, but so what? It's still a very small number. And, there were only 60 deaths.

And take a look at this:
Almost 58,000 people in Canada have been diagnosed with HIV, a 20 per cent rise in the past five years, with women accounting for a quarter of new cases, the United Nations says.
Where on earth did they get the 58,000 number from? Well, if you go the Public Health Agency report, you'll note that there have been 57,674 positive HIV test reports from 1985 - 2004. This is 20 years of data!

Some optimism in Iraq?

Not everybody is as pessimistic as journalists.
Yet in a survey last month from the U.S.-based International Republican Institute, 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse.

American soldiers are also much more optimistic than American civilians. The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even more impressive than the Pew poll is the evidence of how our service members are voting with their feet. Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits — no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq — reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations. Veterans are expressing their confidence in the war effort by signing up to continue fighting.

Unanswered questions about Kyoto...

Michel Kelly-Gagnon of the Montreal Economic Institute asks some good questions about Kyoto. Here's one for Environment Minister Stephane Dion.
2. On February 15, 2005, in the House of Commons, you said: "We will decrease megatonnes of CO2 and we will make megatonnes of money with it." You have made similar boasts elsewhere. Do you truly believe there are such grand economic opportunities and benefits associated with reducing emissions? Why then have so many reports from inside and outside government warned that implementing Kyoto would, in fact, cost billions of dollars? And if emission reductions are so profitable, why are regulations even needed to force businesses to undertake them?

Toronto gun violence and racism...

The Jamaican community blames the violence on racism!
"We are a community of people who have faced systemic racism, anti-black racism," said Sandra Carnegie-Douglas, president of the Jamaican Canadian Association. "It's an underlying cause. It's an underlying problem."
This is outrageous. It's not racism. This is a cultural problem within the Jamaican community, and while we should assist them any way we can, the answers have to come from within.

Air Zimbabwe runs out of fuel..

A small piece in the paper today about Air Zimbabwe. Turns out their entire fleet is grounded because they have run out of fuel. Of course, it's not like there are any tourists who need to fly.

PETA portrays dads as killers...

There's the cover of the latest PETA leaflet reminding kids that their Dads are killers.

Gee, I think I'll cook up some fish tonight.

Europe falls behind...

Walt Williams looks at how Europe is doing....not surprisingly, not too well.
....New America Foundation senior fellow Joel Kotkin's findings in "America Still Beckons," published by The American Enterprise magazine (October-December 2005). Kotkin says that Europe has weakened considerably. "Since the 1970s, America has created some 57 million new jobs, compared to just 4 million in Europe (with most of those in government). For the last quarter century, the United States has enjoyed consistently higher rates of economic growth and productivity than European countries, and the gap has been widening. The United States is now at the forefront in many critical global industries, particularly finance, technology, and entertainment." Europe's "portion of world GDP dropped from 34 percent to 20 percent between 1913 and 1998, while the United States held its own at about 22 percent of global GDP."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Time for a real debate?

Good article by Christopher Hitchens on the shallowness of the debate on Iraq.
No, there are two absolutely crucial things that made me a supporter of regime change before Bush, and that will keep me that way whether he fights a competent war or not.

The first of these is the face, and the voice, of Iraqi and Kurdish democrats and secularists. Not only are these people looking at death every day, from the hysterical campaign of murder and sabotage that Baathists and Bin Ladenists mount every day, but they also have to fight a war within the war, against clerical factions and eager foreign-based forces from Turkey or Iran or Syria or Saudi Arabia. On this, it is not possible to be morally or politically neutral. And, on this, much of the time at least, American force is exerted on the right side. It is the only force in the region, indeed, that places its bet on the victory and the values of the Iraqis who stand in line to vote. How appalling it would be, at just the moment when "the Arab street" (another dispelled figment that its amen corner should disown) has begun to turn against al-Qaida and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, if those voters should detect an American impulse to fold or "withdraw." A sense of history is more important than an eye to opinion polls or approval ratings. Consult the bankrupt Syrian Baathists if you doubt me.

But all right, let's stay with withdrawal. Withdraw to where, exactly? When Jeanette Rankin was speaking so powerfully on Capitol Hill against U.S. entry into World War I, or Sen. W.E. Borah and Charles Lindbergh were making the same earnest case about the remoteness from American concern of the tussles in Central and Eastern Europe in 1936 and 1940, it was possible to believe in the difference between "over here" and "over there." There is not now—as we have good reason to know from the London Underground to the Palestinian diaspora murdered in Amman to the no-go suburbs of France—any such distinction. Has the ludicrous and sinister President Jacques Chirac yet designed his "exit strategy" from the outskirts of Paris? Even Rep. Murtha glimpses his own double-standard futility, however dimly, when he calls for U.S. forces to be based just "over the horizon" in case of need. And what horizon, my dear congressman, might that be?

The atom bomb, observed Albert Einstein, "altered everything except the way we think." A globe-spanning war, declared and prosecuted against all Americans, all apostates, all Christians, all secularists, all Jews, all Hindus, and most Shiites, is not to be fought by first ceding Iraq and then seeing what happens "over the horizon." But to name the powerful enemies of jihad I have just mentioned is also to spell out some of the reasons why the barbarians will—and must—be defeated. If you prefer, of course, you can be bound in a nutshell and count yourself a king of infinite space and reduce this to the historic struggle between Lewis Libby and—was it Valerie Plame? The word "isolationist" at least used to describe something real, even "realistic." The current exit babble is illusory and comprehends neither of the above.

The UN in action!

Here's a good case study of the UN in action....
Hizbullah has denied Israeli warplanes attacked South Lebanon on Tuesday, saying an explosion heard in the area was caused by a previously unexploded artillery shell. Witnesses and Hizbullah television station Al-Manar earlier reported warplanes had fired at a suspected Hizbullah target just north of the Lebanon-Israel border.

The reports emerged after the UN Security Council failed to issue a statement condemning the attacks, due to a dispute between the U.S. and Algeria over the final wording.

After several hours of negotiations, Security Council members gave up trying to amend a statement, drafted by France, which would have condemned "military exchanges initiated by Hizbullah" as well as "Israeli violations of Lebanese air space."

The U.S. wanted the reference to Israel deleted and Algeria objected to putting the blame on Hizbullah.

A high-ranking UN diplomat told The Daily Star "Algeria did not approve of the draft statement because it said the violence on Monday was 'initiated by Hizbullah'."

According to the diplomat, "Aside from Algeria, everyone at the meeting was agreed on the fact that Hizbullah was the one who initiated the violence on Monday."
So, Hezbollah initiated the attacks on Israel; Israel planes did not attack Lebanon; and the UN is stymied in a condemnation becasue of Algeria!

Quotas in Canada

It's interesting that now the Department of Public Works has now said it was only kidding when it sent out an email saying that no white males could be hired. Sorry...we're just joking! Ha ha ha. Nice to see a sense of humour.

Unfortunately, there is a policy of discrimination against white males in the government. Martin Loney has a nice op-ed in the National Post today on the bogus case for quotas.
The origins of Canada's preferential hiring policies lie in the 1984 report of the Commission on Equality in Employment, which was headed by Rosalie Abella. But the report lacked empirical evidence of the discrimination in employment to which it recommended urgent remedy. Commission researcher Monica Townson observed that the lack of any agreed definition of visible minority "prevents any assessment of the 'social indicators of discrimination' for Canada's population of visible minorities."

Later, a review of 1986 census data by Monica Boyd -- an avowed feminist -- found no evidence of any earnings penalty for Canadian-born visible minorities.

What of the widely published claim that visible minority women are "doubly disadvantaged," experiencing discrimination by virtue of both race and gender? Ms. Boyd found visible minority women born in Canada to be more successful than their white counterparts. And more recently, reports from two University of Manitoba economists found little difference between the relative earnings of Canadian-born visible minorities and other Canadians.

The recent Public Works announcement reflects the 20% "target" set for visible minorities in public-service recruitment and promotion, which stemmed from the work of the Task Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service, chaired by Lewis Perinbam. But the key data on which its 2000 report, Embracing Change, based its recommendations was wildly inaccurate.

Perinbam claimed to be greatly troubled by the fact that while 30% of applicants to post-secondary public-service recruitment and 20% of general applicants were visible minorities, they secured only 13.9% and 4.1% of appointments, respectively. If true, these figures would certainly give cause for concern. But the Public Service Commission study of its 1998 post-secondary recruitment campaign -- from which Perinbam purported to draw his data -- actually reported that 22% of appointees were visible minorities, not 13.9%. (That report offered no evidence of discrimination, but observed that one reason for the lower success rate was that 16% of visible minority applicants lacked Canadian citizenship.)
Will the Conservatives have the stomach to actually campaign on the merit principle?

Meet Iran's new Director-General of the Interior Ministry...

He's a murderer.
A former senior official in Iran’s dreaded secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who personally oversaw the gruesome murders of two Christian bishops and a priest in Iran in the 1990s, has been appointed as the new Director General of the country’s Interior Ministry, Iran Focus has learnt.

Mahmoud Saeedi, who formerly headed the MOIS department in Isfahan Province, was removed from his position in 1999 under mounting pressure on the Iranian government after it became clear that his agents had carried out the brutal murder of three Anglican Church figures in Iran.

Tehran initially blamed the 1994 murders on the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK) and brought several former members of the group on television to testify that they were responsible for the killings.

But in the aftermath of the 1997 “serial murders” of dissidents and intellectuals in Iran, which for the first time lifted the lid on numerous killings by the Intelligence Ministry, journalist Akbar Ganji shed light on the murders, revealing that it had been an “inside-job” sanctioned on the orders of Deputy Intelligence Minister Saeed Emami and carried out by a team under the command of Mahmoud Saeedi.

The latest from animal rights terrorists...

These people are becoming a larger and larger threat.
Animal rights terrorists have won a battle in New York, and all it took was a few gallons of paint and a little trespassing.

On the evening of November 15th, according to a press release from the Animal Liberation Front, these thugs went to the home of Lloyd Harbor mayor Leland Hairr. They painted anti-hunting slogans across the home, gained access to the garage (the Animal Liberation Front says the garage door was open), and painted more anti-hunting slogans on both cars. Then they put a statement on the internet containing the mayor’s address and home phone number, adding, “His dog is more of a sweetheart than a watch dog, you all should know.”

What did Leland Hairr do to deserve this? He asked for, and received permission from the state of New York, to hold a deer cull in his village. The small community is overrun with deer. They’ve destroyed landscaping and vegetation throughout the town, while several have been hit by cars on Lloyd Harbor’s roads. There are too many deer in Lloyd Harbor, and Mayor Hairr wanted to thin the population by about four dozen.

Of course, what the Animal Liberation Front didn’t realize (or didn’t care about) was the fact that a Catholic seminary in Lloyd Harbor had already decided earlier in the week to stop the hunting on its property because of the protests by animal rights activists. After the seminary made its decision, the State of New York backed down as well, opting not to hold a hunt at Caumsett State Park. By the time the terrorists struck Leland Hairr’s house, the hunt had already effectively been cancelled.
There's more in the article...

Aboriginals must assimilate.....

Barbara Yaffe has a good op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen today on aboriginals and how they must integrate into Canada.
Simon Fraser University's John Richards recently drew a parallel between rioting Muslim youth in France and Canadian aboriginals, especially those on reserves. He laid out four stark truths that, one and for all, must be addressed.

1. Canadians suffer from "white guilt" stemming from past aboriginal policy. "This guilt has prevented for a generation honest discussion of the limits to aboriginal nationalism.'

2. On-reserve schools are "grossly inadequate," yet Ottawa lets band councils that aren't up the task, monitor school quality.

3. Ottawa's generous welfare system for aboriginals has left too many single-parent families on welfare, too many poorly educated young men with few skills or job prospects.

4. Aboriginal leaders exhibit "hostility to participation in a modern industrial economy."
For once, some common sense on aboriginal policy. Will our political leaders get the message?

Monday, November 21, 2005

EU, US decline to confront Iran...

As expected, Iran will NOT be referred to the Security Council.
EU powers and Washington will not refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council this week, so that Russia can pursue an initiative to ease a crisis over Tehran's suspected nuclear arms plans, diplomats said on Monday.

They said a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog this week would shelve a referral resolution in favor of a statement voicing concern about what diplomats said was a document received by Iran containing partial nuclear bomb-making instructions.

"There will be no resolution for sure. The Russians and Chinese oppose this," said a diplomat from the so-called EU3 -- France, Britain and Germany -- ahead of Thursday's governing board session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Here's my prediction. Iran will turn down the Russian compromise...and still, nothing will happen.

3 more gays executed in Iran?

Hard to say if these are gays...but no matter, capital punishment is abhorent.
Three men were hanged to death in the city of Kermanshah, western Iran, a state-run daily reported on Monday.

The men, identified only by their first names, Youness, Hossein, and Ruhollah, were hanged at dawn in Diesel-Abad Prison on Friday, according to the daily Iran Newspaper.

The men were accused of kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old man.

A follow-up to my letter to Stephen Harper...

I also posted my open letter to Stephen Harper on the forum (the one on Conservative Party issues). Lo and behold - before the issue could even be debated - someone else opened another topic, entitled "Gay Conservatives should leave the CPC". The debate on that topic and on my letter is still on-going.

You can join in the fun here.

There's certainly a lot of homophobic people on FreeDomionion. Too bad. Fortunately, as younger conservatives start to make up more of the party, homosexuality will become less and less of an issue. I am still heartened that 25% of the attendees at the Conservative Party Policy Conference voted to support same-sex marriage. Compare that 25% to the only 4 members of the 99-member caucus who voted to support SSM.