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, September 29, 2010

Ahmadinejad's wacky week in New York...

He had dinner with Louis Farrakhan....
It was a strange week for the loony strongman from Iran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's six nights in New York featured a secret sit-down with militant minister Louis Farrakhan, heckling in a hotel bar, and a fear of being rubbed out that bordered on paranoia.

The president shared a hush-hush meal with Farrakhan and members of the New Black Panther Party Tuesday at the Warwick Hotel on West 54th Street.

The meeting of the podium smackers took place in a banquet room, where the fiery leaders presumably exchanged theories on what's wrong with the world.

On Thursday night, Sudanese diplomats trying to get in to see Ahmadinejad at the Hilton Manhattan East, on 42nd Street, squared off with security and a pushing match ensued. Two well-dressed women in their 40s came in, sat at the hotel bar and ordered drinks.

One of them caught the attention of the president's security detail, which had set up a station in the hotel lobby. She was soon surrounded by eight angry Iranians, who ordered her to leave. She refused.

A manager tried to calm things down. Suddenly, the woman stood up and pointed at the Iranians, yelling, "You stoned my sister! You're murderers!"

Paranoia was on parade at the Hilton the moment the president checked in on Saturday, Sept. 18. His team took six floors to themselves in the hotel's south tower, overlooking Tudor City, about 90 rooms in all. More than 20 were just for security.

Still, Ahmadinejad, who wore the same tacky suit and shirt all week, took every precaution. He never set foot in the lobby. Bulletproof glass was installed over room windows. When he left for meetings at the Iranian Mission, on Third Avenue, or the United Nations, he departed by an employee entrance, the path covered in a white tent -- a veritable tunnel to his vehicle. His head was covered with a white cloth. No one saw him on the street.

Arafat ordered Hamas attacks in 2000.....

Always suspected that he ordered terrorist attacks after Camp David...
The late Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat had instructed Hamas to launch terror attacks against Israel when he realized that peace talks with Israel weren’t going anywhere, Mahmoud Zahar, one of the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, revealed on Tuesday.

“President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish state after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government then had failed,” Zahar told students and lecturers at the Islamic University in Gaza City.

Zahar did not specify when and how Arafat instructed Hamas to launch the “military operations” – most of which were suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.

However, it is believed the reference is to Arafat’s response to the failure of the Camp David summit in 2000.

This was the first time that a senior Hamas official disclosed that some of the Hamas suicide bombings during the second intifada, which erupted 10 years ago, were ordered by Arafat. Until now it was widely believed that Arafat had only ordered his Fatah militiamen to carry out terror attacks on Israel.

According to various testimonies, Arafat ordered the armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, to launch terror attacks against Israel after he realized that the government of then-prime minister Ehud Barak was not going to meet all of his demands.

Zahar claimed that Arafat’s decision to negotiate with Israel was one of the factors leading to his “assassination.” He said the decision was a grave mistake and a tactical error on Arafat’s part.

Zahar urged PA President Mahmoud Abbas to pull out immediately from the talks with Israel.

He claimed that the PA’s security coordination with Israel has resulted in the elimination of a number of Hamas men in the West Bank at the hands of the IDF.

He added that Hamas now was better able to smuggle weapons and other military equipment into the Gaza Strip in preparation for the next confrontation with Israel.

Zahar said that a growing number of Palestinians were now convinced that the armed struggle was the only way to deal with the Jewish state.

Why can't refugees be integrated into the West Bank???

Why are they kept in camps???
A few years ago I briefly visited the Balata refugee camp with its 20,000 residents. The camp is inside the West Bank city of Nablus—that is, within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority (PA). It is where many of the Arabs of Jaffa settled when they fled the armed conflict that flared up immediately after the November 1947 UN partition resolution dividing Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. Most of Balata's current residents are the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the original refugees. Thus, a new baby born in Balata today is still designated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as a refugee dislocated by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and hence entitled to substantial material benefits for life, or at least until the conflict is settled. That infant will grow up and attend a segregated school run by UNRWA. In UN schools and cultural clubs financed by American tax dollars, Balata's children, like the children in similar camps in Gaza and neighboring Arab countries, are nurtured on the myth that someday soon they will return in triumph to their ancestors' homes by the Mediterranean Sea.

While awaiting redemption, Balata's Palestinian residents are prohibited, by the Palestinian Authority, from building homes outside the camp's official boundaries. They do not vote on municipal issues and receive no PA funding for roads or sanitation. As part of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's "economic renaissance" and state-building project, a brand new Palestinian city named Rawabi is planned for the West Bank near Bethlehem. But there will be no room at the inn for the Balata refugees. Sixty years after the first Arab-Israeli war, Balata might accurately be defined as a UN-administered, quasi-apartheid, welfare ghetto.

This historical and political absurdity—unique in the experience of the world's tens of millions of refugees displaced by modern war and political conflict—helps explain why Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walked away from the best deal his people have ever been offered. It happened in November 2008, when Ehud Olmert, then the prime minister of Israel, presented him with a detailed map of a future Palestinian state that, with land swaps, would constitute close to 100 percent of the territory of the West Bank and Gaza prior to the June 1967 war. Olmert also offered to divide Jerusalem, enabling the Palestinians to locate their capital in the eastern half of the city. The only thing he would not agree to was a right of return for Palestinian refugees—for the obvious reason that this would mean the end of the Jewish state.

As I have reported elsewhere, Abbas, promising to come back for further discussions, took the map to his Ramallah office for his aides to study. But he never returned with the map, and this was the last time the Israeli and Palestinian leaders met. The reason, I believe, is clear: if Olmert's offer had ever become the basis of serious negotiations, Abbas would have had to admit to the residents of Balata and the other refugee camps on the West Bank that their leaders had lied to them for 60 years and that they were not returning to Jaffa. Among those leaders was Abbas himself, who in his 2005 campaign for the PA presidency declared repeatedly that he would never bargain away the Palestinian refugees' right of return.

Today, two years later, face-to-face meetings, brokered by the Obama administration, are again being held between Abbas and an Israeli prime minister. But just like the Abbas-Olmert meetings, the current talks will go nowhere until Washington recognizes that the official Palestinian stance on the refugees presents a far more serious obstacle to Middle East peace than the issue of construction within Jewish West Bank settlements. The latter is no more than a complication, while Palestinian insistence on the right of return is a deal breaker.

Why not, at long last, break up the awful refugee camps and encourage their residents to integrate themselves into West Bank civil society? The rationale for doing so is not merely political expediency. There is an overwhelming human-rights imperative to deal with the issue now. For the past decade, an array of peace and human-rights groups has been protesting Israel's "brutal" West Bank occupation and the military checkpoints restricting the movement of innocent Palestinians. Now, many of the checkpoints have been closed, and Palestinians are building their economy and policing their own cities. In these circumstances, where are the human-rights advocates demanding that the Palestinian refugees be freed from their crowded camps, allowed to build their own homes anywhere on the West Bank, and permitted to send their children to regular Palestinian schools? Why aren't peace demonstrators marshaling outside the Balata refugee camp with signs saying, "Mr. Abbas, tear down this wall"?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Now, I have to throw out my Pink Floyd Records...

Shame on Roger Waters...
An American Jewish organisation has become embroiled in a row with the lead singer of British rock band Pink Floyd.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) has criticised Roger Waters for “crossing a line into antisemitism” after it emerged that he will use a planned concert to juxtapose a Jewish symbol with the dollar sign.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mr Waters revealed that during his forthcoming tour he will be performing in front of a projection showing Israel dropping bombs in the shape of stars of David, followed by the dollar symbol.

The animated scene, a condemnation of Israel’s security fence, will form the backdrop to performances of his 1979 hit Goodbye Blue Sky.

Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, criticised the singer for what he described as an “outrageous” action.

He said: “The use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money.

Mr Foxman said that while musicians had “every right” to express their beliefs through music, the singer " should have chosen some other way to convey his political views.”

He added that this was “playing into and dredging up the worst age-old antisemitic stereotype about Jews and their supposed obsession with making money.”

Mr Waters, 67, is a longtime critic of Israeli policy. During a 2009 concert in Israel he said he hoped that the security fence was “destroyed soon.”

At the Big Chill festival in August Massive Attack performed in front of a screen featuring slogans about Israelis' wealth and troop numbers.

Anti-Zionist Mayor re-elected in Malmo...

They love him there...
Malmo mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who has been accused of indifference to a sharp rise in antisemitic attacks in his city, easily won re-election last week.

Some believe that the Social Democrat mayor was so popular he played a key role in allowing the left to cling to power in Sweden's third largest city. The red-green coalition, made up of the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party, secured a narrow win.

In the rest of the country, the Social Democrats achieved their worst results ever in the Swedish general elections on September 19. But in multicultural areas of Malmö, such as the district of Rosengård, which has 22,000 residents from 111 countries - a large proportion Muslim - the Social Democrats had better results than anywhere else.

Members of the 700-strong Jewish community are concerned about the so-called "Ilmar effect". They are disappointed with Mr Reepalu's response to the surge in antisemitic hate crimes, ranging from verbal threats to desecration of a Jewish cemetery and arson at a shul. Most attacks are believed to have been committed by Muslims, who make up an estimated fifth of Malmö's population of nearly 300,000.

Earlier this year, when asked what he made of the situation of Malmö's Jews, Mr Reepalu said it was an understandable consequence of the Israel-Palestine conflict. He suggested that the community should openly oppose Israel's actions in Gaza.

Ahmadinejad to throw rocks at Israeli border....

You can't make this stuff up, can you???
"Iranian president plans to speak at Second Lebanon War battle sites, makes time in Lebanon visit for stone-throwing.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to throw a rock at Israel to demonstrate his hatred on his planned trip to Lebanon, London-based paper Al-Quds al Arabi reported on Tuesday.

Ahmadinejad plans to meet with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, as well as other Lebanese officials, on October 13. During the two-day visit, the Iranian president will participate in events near the Israeli border."

Another terror attack foiled against Danish Newspaper....

Gee, they keep trying, no???
A Danish newspaper was shocked Tuesday at revelations of a new plan to attack its offices after it published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad five years ago, its chief editor said.

Norwegian police announced earlier Tuesday that an Iraqi Kurd in custody in Norway admitted to plotting an attack on Denmark's largest daily, Jyllands-Posten.

"This is not a case we have heard of before," editor in chief Joern Mikkelsen said on the newspaper's website. "As with previous revelations of terror plots against Jyllands-Posten, this is very shocking for the paper's employees and their families. Nonetheless, we feel we are in very good hands with the police and the security police."

The head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) said it was collaborating with the Norwegian investigation, adding that Denmark was a prime target for terrorist attacks.

"This is the second time in a very short period that the public has learned that [newspaper] Jyllands-Posten has probably been the target of organized terrorist acts," PET head Jakob Scharf said in a statement. "This naturally illustrates that, among Islamic militants, it is a priority objective to lead terrorist attacks against Denmark and symbols related to the caricature case."

The suspect, named by Norwegian police as Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, 37, was arrested in Germany on July 8 where he was on holiday with his family. He holds a Norwegian residency permit.

His two suspected accomplices, Mikael Davud, a 39-year-old Norwegian citizen of Chinese Uighur origin, and David Jakobsen, a 31-year-old Uzbek with a legal residence permit in Norway, were arrested the same day near Oslo.

The three men, who were remanded in custody, were suspected of preparing one or several attacks on targets that, until now, police believed to be in Norway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finally, we now know why the Americans orchestrated 9/11...

Ahmadinejad has all the answers, no??
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, decrying “the altar of Zionism” and saying that the September 11th attacks were orchestrated by elements within the US government in order “to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.”

They can't even play chess against an Israeli....

This is just so pathetic...
A Yemeni chess team backed out of a match with Israel at an international competition because of political reasons, officials said Wednesday.

Aviv Bushinsky, chairman of the Israel Chess Federation, says the Yemen delegation didn't arrive for the first-round matchup with Israel on Tuesday at the Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. He said Israel was awarded an automatic 4-0 victory as a result of the forfeit.

In the Yemeni capital of San'a, the deputy youth and sports minister, Moamar al-Ariani, dismissed the automatic win awarded Israel as a "Jewish trick that aims to ruin the reputation of Yemen and Yemeni sport."

He also praised Yemen's chess team, saying it had lived up to its responsibility.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Lives of Others...

The Lives of Others will be playing at the Free Thinking Film Festival 2010.

November 13, 2010, 3:30 PM
Library & Archives Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007

The horrifying, sometimes unintentionally funny system of observation in the former East Germany. In the early 1980s, the successful dramatist Georg Dreyman and his long-time companion Christa-Maria Sieland, a popular actress, are big intellectual stars in the socialist state, although they secretly aren’t always loyal to the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more...

Surprise, surprise, UN Human Rights Council says Israel broke international law...

Well, everybody predicted no surprise...still always disappointing to see stuff like this from the UN...
A report by three UN-appointed human rights experts Wednesday said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla killing nine activists earlier this year.

The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that the naval blockade of Gaza was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate.
And, what would have been proportionate??? Is there really a humanitarian crisis in Gaza? If so, shouldn't Hamas accept all agreements between the PA and Israel? Aren't the borders shut because Hamas won't abide by past agreements???

Everybody in Gaza is under suspicion...

McCarthyism reaches the Gaza strip...
A secretive Hamas campaign to catch Palestinians spying for Israel has ensnared some prominent Gaza residents, drawn unusual criticism and highlighted the Islamic militant group's deep fears about being penetrated by agents of the Jewish state.

Though action against accused collaborators is always popular in Gaza and tensions are hardly new in the seaside strip — a crowded and impoverished place that endures a three-year blockade that has kept key supplies scarce and made travel out for most people virtually impossible — this time seems different.

There is widespread shock at some of the well-respected names among those thought to be detained — including two prominent physicians and a respected engineer, alongside members of Hamas itself.

And mostly, there is concern about the extreme secrecy surrounding the arrests. Hamas refuses to say who has been arrested, a policy that has sparked a furious rumor mill since the arrests began earlier in September.

"Everybody in Gaza is under suspicion," said Mukheimar Abu Sada, a Gaza-based political scientist widely known for his independence, describing an atmosphere of fear in Gaza, where collaborators are widely loathed and the preferred method of their punishment is death — either through the courts or vigilantes.

Hamas feels "the government has been completely infiltrated, that Israel knows more about Hamas than what they know of themselves," Abu Sada said.

The Iranian-backed militant group seized control of Gaza from the rival Palestinian Fatah movement in June 2007. Hamas' initial crackdowns were political, targeting Fatah supporters but eventually the net widened, absorbing lawless tribes, human rights groups and extremist Muslims opposed to Hamas' rule.

Along with the crackdowns, Hamas has steadily imposed its strict Muslim lifestyle on traditionally conservative Gazans — banning women from smoking water-pipes, warning cafes not to allow men and women to mix in public, and pressuring women to wear the Muslim headscarf.

Human rights workers who are in frequent touch with security officials estimate that more than 20 low-level Hamas operatives have also been rounded up as suspected collaborators in the September arrests. Detainees have been denied access to lawyers or family visits.

Japan takes Ontario to WTO over Green Jobs...

We might have to re-think some of our energy policies...
In what may be an ominous shot across the bow for green jobs advocates, Japan on September 13 submitted a complaint to the World Trade Organization alleging that a Canadian renewable energy law violates WTO non-discrimination rules. [1] At issue are a set of domestic content requirements built into Ontario’s landmark green energy law, [2] which are designed to guarantee that local producers – and local jobs –supply a minimum percentage of the technology used to meet the province’s ambitious goals for renewable energy generation. [3] While Japan’s “Request for Consultation” with Canada does not formally initiate a case before the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), it nevertheless sets the stage for a high-stakes showdown between the two countries, with potentially global repercussions for energy and industrial policy linking renewable power to high tech employment opportunities.

On the one hand, Ontario hopes to spur investment in homegrown clean energy jobs by guaranteeing favorable feed-in tariff (FIT) rates for power generators who purchase solar panels and other equipment produced locally. [4] On the other hand, Japan – already home to many of the world’s leading solar PV producers – seeks to maintain its sizable lead in renewables manufacturing.

Claudia Rosett has an idea on what to do with Ahmadinejad....

A great idea....
Early in this game, in 2006, when Ahmadinejad was making his second trip to the General Assembly’s annual opening in New York, there were various suggestions for how to handle it. Some said, arrest him. Some said, expel him. My view was that the best compromise would have been to simply move the UN – lock, stock and perorating Ahmadinejad — to Iran. Let the Iranian government pick up the tab, save American taxpayers billions in the process, and Ahmadinejad could declaim there daily, to his heart’s content.

Obviously that’s not going to happen. The UN isn’t going anywhere, especially with U.S. taxpayers now picking up the lion’s share of the tab for the UN’s current $2 billion-plus renovation. But maybe there’s another way to address Ahmadinejad’s evident affinity for the place. Don’t let him leave. Keep him at the UN. Just keep him there, year round.

Surely Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon can find Ahmadinejad a UN sinecure — preferably one he can’t refuse. Perhaps the UN could build him his own special stage, and put him on display, daily, as one of the talking exhibits featured in the UN Guided Tours — “Early 21st Century Messianic Despot: Discovered Intact at the Hilton Hotel, 2010.” It might bore the visiting schoolkids silly. But think of the endless interview opportunities for CNN, ABC, and MSNBC! If Ahmadinejad insists on becoming a fixture of the UN stage, well, the least we can do is extend a helping hand. I’d wager a lot of Iranians back home would be delighted with the new setup.

Recycling is a waste.....

How much does your municipality waste on recycling????
Most of the stuff we throw out — aluminum cans are an exception — is cheaper to replace from scratch than to recycle. "Cheaper" is another way of saying "requires fewer resources." Green evangelists believe that recycling our trash is "good for the planet" — that it conserves resources and is more environmentally friendly. But recycling household waste consumes resources, too.

Extra trucks are required to pick up recyclables, and extra gas to fuel those trucks, and extra drivers to operate them. Collected recyclables have to be sorted, cleaned, and stored in facilities that consume still more fuel and manpower; then they have to be transported somewhere for post-consumer processing and manufacturing. Add up all the energy, time, emissions, supplies, water, space, and mental and physical labor involved, and mandatory recycling turns out to be largely unsustainable — an environmental burden, not a boon.

"Far from saving resources," Benjamin writes, "curbside recycling typically wastes resources — resources that could be used productively elsewhere in society."

Popular impressions to the contrary notwithstanding, we are not running out of places to dispose of garbage. Not only is US landfill capacity at an all-time high, but all of the country's rubbish for the next 100 years could comfortably fit into a landfill measuring 10 miles square. Benjamin puts that in perspective: "Ted Turner's Flying D ranch outside Bozeman, Mont., could handle all of America's trash for the next century — with 50,000 acres left over for his bison."

Nor do modern landfills — which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency — pose a threat to human health or the environment. They must be sited far from wetlands and groundwater, thickly lined with clay and plastic, covered daily with fresh layers of soil, and equipped for drawing off the methane gas created by decomposition (the gas, in turn, is collected and purified for sale). Eventually they are capped, landscaped, and turned into public parks or other open space.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Turkish book on the Mavi Marmara...

Some interesting insights...
1. Several books about the flotilla incident have been recently published in Turkey. One of them was written by Şefik Dinç, a reporter for the popular Turkish newspaper Habertürk, who was on board the Mavi Marmara during the last flotilla. Şefik Dinçcaptured images of the violent confrontation between IHH operatives and their supporters on one hand and IDF soldiers on the other, concealed his photographs from the Israeli security forces, and managed to smuggle them into Turkey.

2. Şefik Dinç's account is fairly balanced, giving considerable weight to events that he personally witnessed and experienced. While the IHH narrative is given at length, the author does not hesitate to expose the extreme violence used by IHH operatives against the IDF and criticize the Turkish government for not stopping the flotilla. “Let’s face it: the Mavi Marmara crisis was a calculated gamble,” writes Dinç in the foreword to his book. “People on the street said that Israel would not let the siege be broken. The Turkish government, by not preventing the incident, and the IHH, by insisting on entering Gaza, led to a harsh, non-compromising reaction from Israel, destabilizing the Middle East region again”.

3. The photographs and verbal descriptions match the plenty of information, according to which IHH operatives had made a well-designed plan to conduct a violent confrontation with the IDF. The author photographed IHH operatives beating IDF soldiers with iron bars and clubs (taken from a secret stash), kidnapping three of them, beating injured IDF soldiers after they were kidnapped, and trying to throw one of them into the sea. The journalist, who had earlier heard IHH leader Bulent Yildirim say in an interview that the resistance would be passive, witnessed and documented so-called “passive resistance” turning practically into violent behavior.

4. The author’s description clearly shows that IDF soldiers did not open fire until after other soldiers were attacked and taken hostage. He also quoted Bulent Yildirim’s deputy Hüseyin Oruç as saying that there had been no attempts from the Turkish government to recall the ships or prevent the flotilla from sailing.

5. Following is a selection of photographs and descriptions from the book concerning the preparations made by IHH operatives and their supporters for the confrontation, giving the reader a good idea of the extreme violence they used against IDF soldiers. In some cases, we chose to verify those descriptions against the information we have on the confrontation.

6. In his book, Şefik Dinç mentions that the volunteers on board the Mavi Marmara held lively discussions about the possibility of Israel attacking the ship. The operatives were ready for any scenario and even expressed their readiness to die, as long as the “siege” was broken (pp. 23-24). That description matches the information we have collected, according to which seven out of the nine people killed had declared themselves one way or another willing to die as shaheeds prior to the violent confrontation (see our July 12, 2010 Information Bulletin: “According to well-documented information, seven of the nine Turks killed in the violent confrontation aboard the Mavi Marmara had previously declared their desire to become shaheeds (martyrs). Eight of them belonged to Islamist Turkish organizations and not one of them was a peace activist or human rights worker”).

7. While waiting for the confrontation, some operatives began training for a potential Israeli attack. They practiced using fire hoses to thwart possible attempts by IDF soldiers to board the ship; they were instructed on the use of gas masks and told how to resist Israeli soldiers. They were also told that, as soon as the ship entered Israel’s territorial waters, additional guards would be deployed and passengers would be given a warning signal. Each person in charge of passenger security was given a specific location to report to when the alarm sounded (pp. 36-37).

8. Once contact was made between the Mavi Marmara and Israeli navy boats, the ship’s passengers were woken up by IHH operatives and their supporters, who gave the passengers lifebelts and gas masks and prepared them for a confrontation with the IDF soldiers. When everyone who had been assigned a task reported to their (pre-determined) stations, clubs were taken out of a hiding place. “In addition to the wooden clubs I’d seen earlier, there were now iron bars as well”. “They were made from the railing around the ship” (p. 43).2 Şefik Dinç’s description matches a great deal of reliable information we have in our possession, and strongly contradicts Bulent Yildirim’s remark (made at a press conference called during the flotilla’s voyage) that “we don’t even have one pocket knife” (p. 39).3

9. “According to what I saw,” says Şefik Dinç, “resistance to a possible boarding attempt by Israeli soldiers is not going to be that passive” (p. 43).4 From time to time, the leader of IHH was seen giving terse instructions. As it turned out, “there was some discrepancy between the passive resistance [mentioned by Yildirim] and the preparations for [active] resistance that were taking place at the time.”5 It was in that setting, writes Dinç, that journalists took their cameras and started documenting those moments and sending them back to their newspapers (p. 43).

Turkey allows Iran to get around sanctions...

The US needs to step up pressure on NATO allies over Iran...
Turkey and other U.S. allies have been allowing Iranian banks with suspected links to Tehran's nuclear program to do business within their borders, frustrating Western countries trying to put a financial squeeze on the Islamic Republic, Reuters has learned.

An examination of classified reports and interviews with Western diplomats, government and intelligence officials underscore that Turkey and others have resisted international pressure to make it harder for Iran to finance its uranium enrichment program.

"Turkey's blossoming financial-economic relationship with Iran provides Iran with a gateway to the entire European financial system," according to an intelligence report on Turkey and Iran provided to Reuters by a diplomat. "The fact that Turkey is allowing itself to be used as a conduit for Iranian activity via Turkish banks and the Turkish lira is making it possible for Iranian funds in Turkish guise to make their way into Europe."

Turkey, a NATO member that looks to join the European Union, has enjoyed growing economic and financial relations with neighboring Iran. Trade between the two nations reached $10 billion in 2008 and could triple in five years, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told a group of businessmen he met together with Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi last week.

Much of that trade is legitimate, but if Turkey becomes a virtual safe haven for Iranian banking activities, it will be easier for Tehran to dodge sanctions, according to diplomats.

Operation Embarrass...

New information that Britain in WWII blew up Jewish refugee ships...
A new book to be published next week entitled MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by the distinguished British historian Keith Jeffery, reveals the existence of Operation Embarrass, a plan to try to prevent Jews getting into Palestine in 1946-'48 using disinformation and propaganda but also explosive devices placed on ships. Nor is this some speculative spy story that can be denied by the authorities: Dr. Jeffrey’s book is actually, in their own words: “Published with the permission of The Secret Intelligence Service and the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.”

It's shameful that Britain blew up humanitarian flotillas after the Holocaust, but now condemns Israel for halting politically inspired flotillas to Gaza.

When on June 1 this year the British government denounced as “completely unacceptable” the way that the Israelis landed troops on the Turkish flotilla to Gaza we did not know that its predecessor had done much the same, actually blowing up one ship and damaging two more vessels of a genuinely humanitarian flotilla that was trying to bring Jewish survivors of the Nazi death camps to their people’s ancient homeland.

Of course the hostility of the British establishment toward Jewish immigration into Palestine since long before the notorious 1939 White Paper on the subject is well-known—even King George VI wrote that year to say that he was “glad to think that steps are being taken to prevent these people leaving their country of origin”—nonetheless this is the first indication of the violent lengths to which post-war Britain was willing to go in order to appease the oil-rich Arab states of the region. For it now emerges that in late 1946 the Labour government of Clement Attlee asked MI6 for “proposals for action to deter ships masters and crews from engaging in illegal Jewish immigration and traffic,” adding, “Action of the nature contemplated is, in fact, a form of intimidation and intimidation is only likely to be effective if some members of the group of people to be intimidated actually suffer unpleasant consequences.” Among the options contemplated were “the discovery of some sabotage device, which had ‘failed’ to function after the sailing of a ship,” “tampering with a ship’s fresh water supplies or the crew’s food,” and “fire on board ship in port.” Sir Stewart Menzies, the chief of the SIS, suggested these could be blamed on an invented Arab terrorist group called The Defenders of Arab Palestine.

Operation Embarrass was therefore launched after a meeting held on February 14, 1947 between officials from MI6, the armed services, the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office, the last represented by William Hayter, the head of Foreign Office Services Liaison Department, a high-flier who later became ambassador to Moscow. I knew Sir William Hayter in later life, but needless to say he never breathed a word about this operation. In his defense, it must be said that Hayter did order MI6 to ensure that arson “must be arranged, if at all, when the ship is empty.”

The Operation Embarrass team was told that “the primary consideration was to be that no proof could ever be established between positive action against this traffic and His Majesty’s Government [HMG].” A special communications network, codenamed Ocean, was set up with a budget of £30,000 ($47,000), a great deal of money in 1947. The operation had three aspects: direct action against refugee ships, a “black” propaganda campaign, and a deception scheme to disrupt immigration from Black Sea ports. A team of former Special Operations Executive agents—with the cover story of a yachting trip—was sent to France and Italy with limpet bombs and timers. If captured, “they were under no circumstances to admit their connection with HMG” but instead claim to have been recruited in New York “by an anti-Communist organization formed by a group of international industrialists, mainly in the oil and aircraft industries,” i.e. to lay the blame on rich, right-wing, unnamed Americans. They were told that this cover “was their final line of defense and, even in the event of a prison sentence, no help could be expected from HMG.”

During the summer of 1947 and early 1948, five attacks were undertaken on ships in Italian ports, of which one was rendered “a total loss” and two others were damaged. Two other British-made limpet mines were discovered before they went off, but the Italian authorities did not find their country of origin suspicious, “as the Arabs would of course be using British stores.” Operation Embarrass even considered blowing up the Baltimore steamship President Warfield when in harbor in France, which later became famous in Israeli history as the “Exodus” ship that “launched a nation.”

A Canadian take on the tea party...

Gerry Nichols went to work in a US's a terrific report on what is wrong with American politics...
Late last year, I was recruited to work for a Republican Senatorial candidate in New Hampshire named Bill Binnie. On paper, he was a near-perfect candidate. The son of immigrants, he came from humble beginnings. Through hard work, he went on to became an extremely successful businessman and global entrepreneur. He had truly lived the American Dream.

More importantly, thanks to his business background, he knew how to create jobs, balance a budget and generate economic growth. And those are exactly the kind of skills Americans need in the United States Senate to help turn their troubled economy around.

Certainly, Binnie was not lacking in resources. A multi-millionaire, he poured nearly $6-million of his own money into the campaign. Polls consistently showed he would have easily trounced the Democratic Senatorial nominee in the November general election.

Yet when the election dust had settled on Primary Day last week, my candidate finished a distant third, garnering only about 14% of the vote. What happened?

Unfortunately, there was something about Binnie that made him unpalatable to many Republican voters: He was a social moderate. More specifically, when it came to abortion, he was pro-choice. This made Binnie a target for social conservatives, who regarded him as an ideological enemy.

To them, my candidate's pro-choice views meant he was simply not a "true Republican"; he was, as they liked to put it, a "RINO" -- a Republican In Name Only.

It was an odd description for a man who was in reality a Ronald Reagan-style fiscal conservative. Binnie wanted to cut taxes, reduce government spending and end the bail outs. He was also strong on national defence and fiercely opposed to "Obamacare."

Nevertheless, despite his staunchly conservative views, elements of America's social conservative movement became obsessed with defeating Binnie. And when the polls showed Binnie was a serious contender who stood a good chance of winning the Republican primary, they took action.

A social conservative group from outside the state spent hundreds of thousands of dollar on a multimedia negative ad campaign, which labelled Binnie "shockingly liberal." Their ads grossly distorted his views. They even claimed he was pro-choice because he wanted to "avoid the expense of disabled children."

Meanwhile, others jumped into the fray. The New Hampshire Union Leader, an influential newspaper with strong socially conservative leanings, hammered Binnie almost daily, both editorially and in the news section.

And Sarah Palin, the standard-bearer of American social conservatives, not only endorsed his opponent, but dismissed Binnie as a "self-funded millionaire running with an R next to his name."

It's hard to take that kind of pounding in a Republican primary. So, not surprisingly, Binnie, who at the end of July was close to being a co-front-runner in the primary race, began to steadily fall in the polls.

Monday, September 20, 2010


A Conservative Cultural Space...

This is a cross post from my friend Rightchik!
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard conservatives (of all stripes) lament the distinctly leftist agenda of all things cultural. From movies, to TV, to music, to books and everything in between there is a vast wasteland of Michael Moore's and Oprah wannabes waving their fingers at the right.

Have you attended a festival or any other artistic event that wasn't left leaning? If it is creative it is probably wagging a finger at you and tsktsking your conservative/libertarian beliefs! I don't know about you but I decided not to put up with this anymore.

I am supporting The Free Thinking Film Festival. Okay, full disclosure, I am the Vice Chair of the Free Thinking Film Society and came on board as Event Planner with Fred over a year ago. Three years ago Fred started the society because like me (and you I am willing to bet) because he was frustrated. He wanted to create a cultural space for conservatives and libertarians. The society "celebrates the efforts of risk taking documentarians whose work espouses the values of limited, democratic government, free market economies, equality of opportunity rather than equality of result, and the dignity of the individual all underscored by a healthy and patriotic respect for Western culture and traditions."

Sounds good doesn't it? Here's the thing though. Conservatives need to support this event. That means buying weekend passes. Don't live in Ottawa or you are away that weekend? No problem, buy anyway and donate it to the University of Ottawa or Carleton University Conservative Clubs - they would be very appreciative of your generosity and kindness.

Perhaps you are on the board of an organization that promotes conservative or libertarian values - well, not only should you buy passes but you should rent a table. Email to get the details.

Do you have a business? Have you thought about sponsorship? Currently the Festival is being sponsored by Heritage Brewing and County Cider Company. Their support and generosity is greatly appreciated! Yours would be too.

Free Thinking Films is a registered non profit organization that has taken no government funding. Your support is needed. We have great volunteers and are getting a lot of positive feedback but let's cut to the chase, we need people to pony up a few bucks.

One of my biggest pet peeves are people who complain about government but don't vote. If you are conservative, this is probably a sticking point with you too. Well, this is pretty much the same thing. Don't complain about the lack of conservative cultural events if you are not willing to support the only conservative film festival that is happening in Canada!

The left understands how important cultural events are to promoting their agenda. It is that understanding and strength that got Obama elected. It is because understanding of how culture and artistic endeavour influence public policy and public opinion that the seal hunt is almost extinct, that once a year at "Earth Hour" millions of people willingly shut off all electricity, that children are encouraged to rat out their parents for being not environmental. There are just so many examples of how the left has used music, movies, literature and celebrities.

Just say no to Michael Moore, Bono and Sean Penn and say yes to The Free Thinking Film Fest!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Palestinian Authority says death penalty to anybody selling land to Israelis...

Could you imagine if Israel did the same to Palestinians???
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday reaffirmed the death penalty for any Palestinian found guilty of selling land to Israelis.

The decision came in response to a ruling by a Palestinian court according to which such acts were only a “minor offense.”

PA Prosecutor-General Ahmed al-Mughni appealed against the ruling to a higher court, arguing that the sale of land to Israelis was a “major offense” punishable by death.

The appeal was accepted.

That verdict considering such offenses a major offense is aimed at reminding Palestinians of the PA law that prohibits selling land to Jews, Mughni said.

Elizabeth May to debate Ezra Levant....

Yes, Elizabeth May will debate Ezra Levant on the tar sands at the First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival 2010!

The debate will take place on Saturday, November 13th at 4:00 PM at the Library and Archives Canada. Seating will be limited, so precedence will be given to people with Festival Passes.

The First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival runs between November 12-14th, 2010 in Ottawa. It will feature 3 Gala events and over 19 films, speakers and panel discussions.

You can buy Festival passes here.

Ahmadinejad wonders when he was anti-semitic!

What, who me???
When asked about Fidel Castro’s recent comments, in which the Cuban leader told Ahmadinejad to stop attacking the Jews, denying the Holocaust and being anti- Semitic, Ahmadinejad said he is not an anti-Semite.

“We’ve never been anti- Semitic – when was I anti- Semitic?” he said. “The Jews live in Iran, like every other person who lives in Iran freely.”

Anti-semitism in Holland reaches record high...

Gays and Jews are targets in Holland..
The mushrooming number of anti-Semitic incidents in in the Netherlands in 2009 – a 48 percent increase over 2008 – may be “just the tip of the iceberg,” Ronny Naftaniel, the head of The Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, said on Thursday.

Many anti-Semitic incidents are not reported, Naftaniel said in a statement.

According to Dutch police statistics, the 48% increase represented 209 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.

That accounted for 9.4% of discrimination- based incidents in the Netherlands, although Jews constitute only 0.3% of the country’s 16.6 million people.

In 2008, the police registered 141 anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-gay attacks rose 13% in 2009 when compared to the previous year, and amounted to 35% of all discrimination-based incidents.

There were 428 anti-homosexual incidents in 2009; in 2008, 308 incidents were registered.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel said in its statement that “In January 2009 alone, CIDI – an independent watchdog organization – documented 98 attacks against Jews. This figure included nine physical assaults. The remaining incidents were threats and hate speech.

“During the whole of 2009, CIDI documented 167 anti-Semitic incidents – constituting an increase of 55% compared to CIDI’s 2008 report. Out of these, 35 were serious incidents, involving violent attacks or threats of violence, damaging synagogues and monuments and anti-Semitic graffiti of Jewish- owned buildings.”
But, Elder of Ziyon went to the police report and found that
At the same time that the number of anti-semitic incidents ballooned by 48%, the number of anti-Muslim incidents in 2009 went down by 17%, from 116 to 96.

This means that the average Jew in Holland is more than 450 times likely to be the victim of a hate crime than the average Muslim there.

Beach club torched in Gaza because.....

Men and women were mingling...yes, they were mingling...
Masked gunmen on Sunday set fire to a Gaza beach club that had earlier been ordered closed by the territory's Hamas rulers, an owner said.

Alaa al-Araj, one of the owners of the "Crazy Water" club and a former Hamas minister, said about 40 gunmen had tied up and blindfolded a nightwatchman before setting fire to an administrative building and restaurant overnight.

"The fire engulfed different parts of the club, including an administrative building, and then spread to the main restaurant and cafeteria, which is three storeys high," he said.

He said the club had been ordered to close for three days last month by the Hamas-run government because it had hosted parties in which men and women mingled.

Did Hezbollah test-fire Iran's new missile???

An ominous sign...
Special Hizbullah units in Iran have successfully launched and tested a new Iranian missile "Fatah 110," according to a report over the weekend by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, Channel 2 news reported.

According to the report, the Iranian missile, which was displayed with great pride in Teheran less than a month ago, has a maximum range of 200 kilometers. This means it is capable of reaching Jerusalem and Ashdod if it was to be launched from the Israel-Lebanon border. The Kuwait newspaper said the test launches took place in Iran since such an event could not take place in Lebanon.

"The test was successful and part of the units which participated returned to their bases in Lebanon," unidentified officials told Al-Rai. Hizbullah has formulated a "bank of targets" in Israel such as "power stations and sensitive institutions" across the country, the sources added.

According to figures publicized in August in an Iranian broadcast in English, the missile is 9 meters in length and weighs 3,500 kilograms. It is powered by solid fuel propellant and is the third version of the missile, which has existed for several years within the Iranian military.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Is teaching human rights contrary to Islam???

Yes, that' the position of Hamas....
Islamic Hamas movement is unhappy with the United Nations teaching human rights to students in the Gaza Strip as a contradiction with Islamic rules and laws.

According to the deposed Hamas government, which rules the coastal enclave of 1.5 million people, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) exceeded its role by adding the rights subject to the curriculum without having the government's approval.

The statements that appeared this week, the first week in school year, indicate a new crisis between Hamas and the UNRWA, which cares for nearly three-quarters of the entire population who are registered as refugees.

The UNRWA "doesn't have the right to add a new subject that the ministry's curriculum doesn't include," said Mohammed Asqoul, Hamas' Education Minister.

The human rights subject "violates and harms Islamic faith by talking thoroughly about personal freedom and encourages people even to select their religion as if they are selecting from a food menu," said Hossam Ahmed, the head of refugees' department in Hamas movement.

Ahmed also said the new course includes a section about the Holocaust "in a way insisting on showing the Palestinian students that Israel was the victim."

Thus, the human rights subject "and other UNRWA's acts harm the Islamic faith and culture that the Palestinian people in Gaza cling to and seek to make a change in the principles of conflict with Israel," Ahmed concluded.

K's Choice - go out and buy their CDs...

Here's a band I can support...
For the second time in four months, Belgian band K’s Choice traveled to Israel for two shows, despite boycott calls.

Back in May, the band’s bass player Eric Grossman referred to English singer Elvis Costello as a "douchebag" for calling off his concerts in Israel. Grossman wrote on his Facebook page: "Well done. You're an idiot. Ditto to Santana, Bono, and all the other self important ego-maniacs, who think the Israeli people don't deserve their presence."

Playing to a sold-out crowd in Tel Aviv Tuesday night, Singer Sarah Bettens said the band resisted calls to boycott the latest shows, and vowed to return to Israel in the future. The concert featured several unique moments highlighting the band’s great affection for its Israeli fans.

Bettens opened the show by declaring that band members enjoyed their May trip to Israel so much they immediately decided to return this time. In a sign of things to come, she wished the crowd “Shana Tova” in Hebrew, drawing great cheers.

Later on, Bettens declared that the local audience was “the best crowd in the world.”

“You probably think I say this wherever we perform, so to prove it I will post it on our Facebook page tonight,” she said.

Hebrew birthday song

Bettens explicitly addressed the boycott issue later in the show, making a brief statement during an interlude between songs.

“We were asked to boycott this show, but we’re a band, and we’re here to play for our fans,” she said, drawing more cheers. She later said the band will “definitely” be back in Israel. Bettens and other band members seemed to be in high spirits, maintaining a warm interaction with the audience throughout the night.

In another special moment during the show, Bettens told the crowd the band’s soundman was celebrating his birthday Tuesday. She then asked the audience to sing a birthday song for him, in Hebrew, prompting the entire venue to erupt in song for what must have been a once-in-lifetime experience for the surprised soundman.

Will anybody stand up to Hezbollah???

Will the world let them torpedo the Hariri tribunal???
Political tension is mounting in Lebanon as Hezbollah and its allies ratchet up pressure aiming to discredit a UN-backed tribunal expected to implicate the powerful militant group in the murder of ex-premier Rafik Hariri.

The latest salvo came on Thursday when Hezbollah deputies and their allies refused to approve Lebanon's share of funding for the tribunal, charging that the court was politicised and part of a US and Israeli ploy.

The measure was largely symbolic, however, since parliament is expected to give its approval and most of this year's 40 million dollars in funds have already been disbursed by the government.

But it was seen as a further bid to chip away at the credibility of the tribunal and discredit any of its decisions, at least on a local and regional level.

"As far as Hezbollah is concerned, if the Lebanese government decides that the tribunal is null and void, that would be an important step in the right direction," said Hilal Khashan of at the American University of Beirut.

Palestinians threaten to return to violence....

A member of the Palestinian negotiating team threatens that violence is still an option...
"A Palestinain state will come by negotiations or by armed resistance," the official said, adding that the current peace talk team was committed to the political process, and had already discussed some of the core issues of an eventual state with Israel.
This doesn`t sound like commitment to the peace process, does it...

Friday, September 17, 2010

The futility of talking peace....

A great article by Khaled Abu Toameh...
The US Administration, which just forced Israel and the Palestinian Authority to enter direct peace negotiations, seems to have completely forgotten about the Gaza Strip. Perhaps Washington is deliberately sticking its head in the sand; and perhaps we should all stop dreaming?

The peace process is going nowhere and everyone is just pretending: it is important to remind everyone of what they want to conceal or forget.

The Americans seem to be ignoring Gaza: Possibly -- even though the Gaza Strip is back in the news as rockets and mortars are again being fired into Israel -- they do not want the grim reality to spoil the Peace Process Party.They know that for now the Gaza Strip is a lost cause, so they pretend the problem does not exist.

If the Obama administration is hoping that apeace deal might prompt the Hamas and the residents of the Gaza Strip to seek a similar deal, they are they are being naïve; on the contrary, such a deal would only increase Hamas's determination to step up itsefforts -- with the help of Syria and iran -- to scuttle the peace process.

The first and most important question that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton need to ask themselves is whether the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, would ever even be able to implement a peace agreement in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas and his Fatah faction fled the Gaza Strip just over three years ago, handing it over to Hamas. As soon as Hamas started shooting in the summer of 2007, Abbas's forces and loyalists either surrendered or ran away.

They gave Hamas everything, including security headquarters, weapons, and government offices.

The handful of Fatah policemen and militiamen who chose to put up a fight were swiftly crushed by Hamas.

Since then, Abbas has not been able to set foot in the Gaza Strip. He is not even able to visit his private residence, which was seized by Hamas.

The Palestinian president is not a fool and he is acting properly by following the advice of his security advisors not to even consider the idea of visiting the Gaza Strip.

Abbas's seaside headquarters, once an important symbol of the Palestinian Authority's control over the Gaza Strip, has been turned into a Hamas detention center, where many of the president's loyalists are being held and tortured at the hands of the Islamist movement.

Have Obama and Clinton ever given a thought as to whether the Palestinian president has the power to enforce a peace agreement in the "southern part of Palestine" - the Gaza Strip?

Any peace agreement Abbas reaches with Israel will apply only to those areas in the West Bank that are under the jurisdiction or control of the Palestinian Authority.

By being forced out of the Gaza Strip, Abbas lost direct control over some 1.5 million Palestinians, roughly half the Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories.

Why is Switzerland helping Iran???

Switzerland has a long history of acting pretty badly...
The European Union and the U.S. have passed tough sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, but Switzerland’s Social Democratic foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is trying hard to undercut these effort to secure Middle East peace and Western security.

The Swiss daily NZZ reported on Sunday that Swiss government officials in the Economics Department believe Calmy-Rey is too “careful when dealing with the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” They have also criticized her for snubbing American security interests. Calmy-Rey grounds her opposition to EU sanctions on Switzerland’s “neutrality and impartiality,” which she hopes will “open doors for us in Tehran and Washington” and help Switzerland economically. While Switzerland is not technically a member of the EU, Calmy-Rey is practicing a phony, obsolete notion of neutrality.

Her opposition to American security interests and her indifference to the rights of women in Iran are longstanding. In 2008, Calmy-Rey traveled to Tehran to help seal a massive €18 billion gas deal between the Swiss energy giant Elektrizitaets-Gesellschaft Laufenburg (EGL) and the state-owned National Iranian Gas Export Co. While euphorically embracing Ahmadinejad during the visit, Calmy-Rey donned a head-scarf.

EGL’s gas contract with the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) would deliver 5.5 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas to Europe per year over a period of 25 years. The NIGEC is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Gas Company, which was placed on Britain’s Proliferation Concerns List in February 2009.

Swastikas again....

They are determined get them to remove the billboard...
A mural of famous Israeli basketball player Omri Casspi was defaced Thursday with a swastika for the second time in a little more than a week.

Police reported that the mural was found defaced just a week after the the Sacramento Kings player discovered a swastika drawn onto his forehead in a billboard photo in the California city where his team play.

Confronting Tariq Ramadan...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Terrorists fire phosphorus bombs at Israel....

Where's the outrage on this????
Two of the nine mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Tuesday were actually phosphorous bombs, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed.

Militants in the coastal territory also fired two Qassam rockets into Israel, yielding an Israel Air Force strike in response that led to the death of one Palestinian working in a smuggling tunnel on the border with Egypt.

One of the rockets fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the industrial zone just south of Ashkelon. There were no injuries or property damage. The nine mortar shells struck an open area in the Eshkol region near the Gaza Strip.

We replaced bracelets with weapons....

Lomborg talks sense on global warming....

The press tried to claim he had changed his mind on global warming...which was not true at all...
My reputation among climate activists worsened in 2008, when the Copenhagen Consensus Center, the think tank I founded, published the results of a wide-ranging cost-benefit analysis of solutions to 10 of the world's most pressing problems. We assembled a group of top economists and asked them to assess which solutions to which problems would deliver the most bang for the buck. In addition to global warming, we considered issues like malnutrition, unsafe drinking water, malaria and terrorism.

The main global-warming solution our experts analyzed was the carbon-cutting approach advocated by Al Gore and endorsed at the 1997 global climate summit in Kyoto. We found that compared to solutions to other problems, direct carbon cuts were woefully ineffective. For example, while every dollar spent on fighting malnutrition would yield nearly $20 in benefits, every dollar spent on cutting carbon would avoid much less than a dollar of global warming damage. When we published our list of investments we thought should be prioritized, cutting carbon was near the bottom. Once again, I was pilloried for being a global warning denier.

The Kyoto approach is not the only way forward. In 2009, we convened another group to look at a variety of potential solutions to climate change beyond simply cutting carbon. Our experts (including three Nobel laureates) identified a number of other approaches to the problem that were economically feasible and likely to have a quicker and more powerful impact.

The most promising involved massive increases in R&D funding for green energy technologies and geo-engineering. I spent a good part of last year and most of this year advocating for this sensible approach to solving global warming, which is "one of the chief concerns facing the world today," as I said in an Aug. 31 interview with the Guardian, the British newspaper.

What happened next was startling. The Guardian reported my commonplace observation as evidence of "an apparent U-turn" by "the world's most high-profile climate change skeptic." This set off a media stampede; news organizations around the world scrambled to report my so-called change of heart.

I tried to explain that I had always considered climate change to be a problem. The only thing that had changed was that we finally had some good solutions to consider. Some people took the point, but just as many didn't. As far as the latter group was concerned, I had finally seen the light, and that was that.

I suppose I should take some comfort in the fact that I've been accused of being both a denier and a warmist. But the polarized nature of the global warming debate is no laughing matter. Limiting the debate to only two valid positions—for or against—makes a constructive discussion impossible. If we truly want to make progress on climate change, we must acknowledge a middle way—one that recognizes that while we do need to deal with the reality of global warming, solutions based on worst-case scenarios will actually do more harm than good.

The smart middle path means making green energy so cheap everyone wants it. There's nothing confusing about it.

Syria and Iran will ruin any peace talks...

Nice to talk peace, but the reality is that both Iran and Syria will do whatever possible to ensure there is no peace...the latest from Khaled Abu Toameh.
As Israel and the Palestinian Authority prepare to launch direct talks, the enemies of peace are stepping up their efforts to thwart any attempt to reach peace in the Middle East. No “moderate” Palestinian leader will dare make any concessions for peace as long as Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran are continuing to issue daily threats against “traitors.”

The major threat to the peace process is not an Israeli checkpoint or a new housing project in a West Bank settlement, but the threats coming from the evil forces in the Gaza Strip, Damascus, Beirut and Tehran.

Together, they are making every effort to sabotage any peace effort. They are opposed to peace because they believe that Israel has no right to exist and should be wiped off the map. As long as the U.S. administration and its Western allies continue to turn a blind eye to these real threats, Israel and the Palestinian Authority leadership will never be able to make any progress toward peace.

Hamas, for example, has openly declared that its goal is to foil the U.S.-sponsored direct talks that were recently launched in Washington. In the past few weeks, the group has resumed terror attacks in the West Bank, killing four Israelis. The radical movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, has also resumed rocket attacks on Israel. Last week, a tragedy was avoided when Hamas rockets fell near two kindergartens shortly before they opened in the morning.

But Hamas is not alone in seeking to destroy the peace process. Syria continues to play host to several radical Palestinian terror groups whose declared goal is to prevent the signing of any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These groups have armed cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that are ready to launch terror attacks against Israeli targets.

The Palestinian “rejectionist” groups are under the control of the Syrians, who use them to advance their own interests the same way they have been using Hezbollah and other terror groups in Lebanon for decades. If Washington wants to ensure any kind of progress in the current peace talks and stop these radical groups, it should put pressure on the Syrian dictatorship to rein them in.

The Iranians have also made it clear that they intend to do their utmost to scuttle efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. Not only does Iran, through its nuclear ambitions, pose an existential threat to Israel, but they are the number one suppliers of weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.

It would have been better had the United States and its allies first focused on combating the anti-peace forces in the region instead of exerting pressure on the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hamas shuts restaurant down because a woman smokes a pipe....

Horror of horrors...
Hamas leadership has shut down a hotel restaurant in Gaza for three days after a woman was caught smoking a water pipe on its premises, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

In July, Hamas announced a ban prohibiting females from smoking the tobacco water pipes - also known as "nargile" or "shisha" - while in public.

"The police have decided to ban women from smoking water pipes in open, public places because it is against our customs, traditions and social norms," Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein told AFP at the time the ban was announced.

Wednesday's restaurant closure is the first known enforcement of the ban.

Atomic Jihad...

Ahmadinejad’s Coming War for Islamic Revival and Obama’s Politics of Defeat...
Since its Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has been the undisputed leader of Islamism, the worldwide movement for Islamic revival. Islamism seeks to resurrect Muslim society from 300 years of decline by returning to its historic formula for success: Islamic law and government over Muslim lands. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has carefully laid out the Islamist view of the world for several years.

Atomic Jihad leaves little doubt that Iran is in the final stages of preparing a Coming War for Islamic Revival. Meanwhile, by seeking to appease Ahmadinejad with "change" in U.S. Middle East policy, President Obama is ushering in the Politics of Defeat for America. If successful in its nuclear program, Iran and its allies will finally possess the means to achieve their ultimate goals - the defeat of America and the return of Islam to past glory.
This film is part of the First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival 2010, which will be held in Ottawa between November 12-14, 2010. Hope to see you there...

Iran invests in Turkey's rulling party...

A wise investment, no??
Western diplomats say they are alarmed by reports that Mr Erdogan has negotiated a deal with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Tehran to make a substantial contribution to the campaign funds of Turkey's leading Islamic party.

Under the terms of the deal Iran has agreed to transfer $12 million to the AKP, with further payments of up to $25 million to be made later in the year. The money is said to be meant to help support Mr Erdogan's campaign for re-election for a third term in next year's general election.

The Turkish government denied having received the money from Iran.

Germans still breaking embargo on Iran...

The Germans love to deal with Iran...
A German bank is contributing to the proliferation of weapons by handling billions of dollars for Iranian banks, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The Treasury Department announced that it was sanctioning German bank Europaisch­-Iranische Handelsbank for "actively facilitating" business with Iranian banks that Washington says are connected to arms exporters in Iran.

The Hamburg bank is accused of working with Iranian financial institutions Bank Mellat, Persia International Bank, the Export Development Bank of Iran and Post Bank of Iran, all of which are the subject of Washington and European sanctions.

Stuart Levey, the U.S. undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that EIH was acting as a "financial lifeline" for Iran.

"As one of Iran's few remaining access points to the European financial system, EIH has facilitated a tremendous volume of transactions for Iranian banks previously designated for proliferation," he said in his statement.
And, just what are these sanctions against the bank???

More Palestinian TV...

Why can't the Palestinians simply condemn terror???

Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Medis Watch asks whether their problem with Hamas attacking Israelis is just a matter of timing...
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently spoke in Washington and publicly condemned the killings of four Israelis by Hamas terrorists near Hebron, it generated a feeling of cautious optimism: “What happened yesterday and what is happening today is also condemned. We do not want at all that any blood be shed, one drop of blood, on the part of the – from the Israelis or the Palestinians,” Abbas said.

After years during which glorifying terror and honoring terrorists has been a backbone of PA culture, was this statement heralding real change? Unfortunately, an examination of the internal PA responses to the attack, when not under the watchful eyes of Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and the world media, quickly erased hope that the PA had distanced itself from terror.

A comparison by Palestinian Media Watch of the PA response to the murders of four Israeli civilians to their reaction to the deaths during the flotilla confrontations, emphasizes that the PA’s response to Hamas’s attack was not a condemnation of terror or violence at all.

The central and recurring theme of PA leaders and PA-controlled media in response to Hamas’s attack was criticism of the timing of the attack because of the damage done to the Palestinian cause, and not criticism of the killings themselves. The PA’s central and recurring theme in response to the deaths on the flotilla was strong condemnation of what the PA repeatedly defined as “a massacre” and “a crime.”

The day after the Hamas killings, official PA media reported that “Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad said that the operation which took place tonight in the Hebron area and its timing, harms the efforts being made by the PLO to gather international support for the Palestinian position… He said: ‘We condemn this operation, which contradicts the Palestinian interests and the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to gather international support...’” [PLO news agency Wafa, Aug. 31, 2010]

Abbas, when he returned to Ramallah, like Fayyad, lashed out at his political rival, Hamas, for the timing of the shootings: “He [Abbas] said that the recent shooting operations in the West Bank did not constitute resistance: ‘… For why isn’t [Hamas] resistance happening every day, and isn’t happening at all, except on the day we went to negotiations?!… Why did resistance become legitimate only today?” [Al- Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010]

The PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in his Friday sermon after the killings continued this PA line as he condemned the timing, even accusing Hamas of trying to help Netanyahu: “What is the secret of the timing for carrying out armed operations in the West Bank? We want to know the secret of the timing… Suddenly! – the moment that President Abbas reaches Washington, the moment that Netanyahu finds himself in the corner, pressed, forced to adapt and accommodate himself to the international approach, suddenly there is a respite for Netanyahu, and the Palestinians are in distress [because of the attacks]…” [PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 3, 2010]

SO THE PA objected to the timing of the killings. Actually, were the PA sincere in their intention to condemn the killings, the attack in Hebron was a great opportunity for them to send a clear message to their people that violence is wrong and immoral. If it was violence that they wanted to condemn, timing could not have been better. Yet, none of the PA leaders seized this opportunity to condemn violence because it is wrong.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival 2010...

On November 12th, 2010, the Free Thinking Film Society kicks off the first film festival in Canada to celebrate freedom and liberty. The First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival will feature three huge Galas, and over 19 films, panel discussions, and lectures. In addition, festival attendees will be able to relax at Free Thinking Alley where they can browse the literature of our supporters, buy books and DVDs, enjoy a bite to eat, and meet other enthusiasts.

"There are a lot of courageous voices in the non-fiction film industry producing thoughtful pieces of art which reject cultural relativism and the 'blame America' bandwagon," says Free Thinking Film Festival President Fred Litwin. "But you wouldn't know it by looking at the listings for most art house cinemas. Our festival shows the kinds of films that some theatres seem to be afraid to show."

The Festival opens on November 12th with the Canadian premiere of "Kalifornistan," which follows the deranged leader of a terror cell called 'Glorious Jihad of Kalifornistan' as he plots to destroy Los Angeles with his 'mighty plutonium superbomb' - while being distracted by a beautiful dancer. The film was produced by Jason Apuzzo and Govindini Murty - who also stars in the film and who is from Ottawa.

The opening night Gala will also be a fundraiser for the Military Family Resource Centre - which serves the military population of the National Capital Region, which consists of approximately 6,100 military members and their families.

On November 13th, French reporter Philippe Karsenty, internationally known media analyst and founder of Media-Ratings, a media watchdog which monitors the media in France will lecture at the Archives. Karsenty exposed the false allegations that Israeli soldiers killed a 12-year old Palestinian, Mohammed al-Dura during a gun battle in Gaza in 2000.

The Festival will end with the showing of "The Stoning of Soraya M," an independent film, set in an Iranian village in the late 1980s, tells the story of a woman falsely accused of adultery, then put to death according to religious laws enacted after the country's Islamic revolution. Writer-Director Cyrus Nowrasteh will be in attendance to answer questions.

In between the 3 Gala events, the Festival will show 19 films like "The Cartel," a film about the power of unions in public schools; "Mugabe and the White African," a film about the injustice of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe; "Generation Zero," a film about the cultural roots of the global financial meltdown; "Atomic Jihad," a film about Iranian President Ahmadinejad's coming war for Islamic revival; "Mr. Conservative," a surprising look at the life of Barry Goldwater; "Do As I Say," a film about liberal hypocrisy; "For Neda," a look at the brave woman Neda Agha-Soltan who was murdered by Iranian militia during protests against Iran's fraudulent election; "Conflict: The Power of Propaganda," a Canadian film which looks at media bias against Israel; and "Outside the Great Wall," a look at 12 prominent Chinese intellectuals and artist fighting for democracy in China.
Please visit our website....

You can buy a festival pass here...

10 rockets hit Israel since start of Jewish New Year...

They're wishing us a happy new year!
A rocket fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip exploded in the area of the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council early Monday morning. Security forces were searching for the remains of the rocket, but believed that it was a Kassam-type missile. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack.

The firing of the rocket was the tenth such attack on the area since Rosh Hashana began last Wednesday.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

For Neda

On June 20, 2009, Neda Agha-Soltan was shot and killed on the streets of
Tehran during the turmoil that followed the Iranian presidential
contest. Within hours, images of her dying moments, captured on cell
phones, appeared on computer screens across the world, focusing the
world's attention on mass protests against the rigged elections in Iran.
Features previously unseen footage of Neda with friend and family, as
well as exclusive video of her recorded the day she died.

This film is part of the First Annual Free Thinking Film Festival. 2010

November 14, 2010, 5 PM
Library & Archives Canada
395 Wellington, Ottawa.

Reading Heather Mallick is a rancid idea...

Here she goes again, this time in the Toronto Star...repeating all the various lies about the Canadian government trying to interfere with the CRTC and getting a license for 'Fox News North'...
Fox News and I have a history, a painful sordid history with rancour on their side and disgust on mine. Now their rumoured-to-be illegitimate child, something called Sun TV News—“Fair and Balanced Eh” would be their slogan, I guess—wants to set up camp in Canada and I will have none of it.

Of course I may have to have all of it, given that their business plan is said by many to include the Harper government pressuring the CRTC to give Sun TV News a “mandatory” cable deal, which is an almost unheard-of status, particularly for a new specialty channel in the digital age.
Of course, there is no evidence of any pressure on anybody...but here is Mallick's evidence...
Although there is no corporate connection between Fox and Sun, there is a visceral one. In March 2009, CP has reported, Prime Minister Stephen Harper lunched in New York City with Murdoch, accompanied by Fox news president Roger Ailes and then- Harper communications director Tenycke.
Oh my God...Harper had lunch with Murdoch! Does life get any worse than this????

Mallick, like Margaret Atwood, wants to censor.
The argument that Fox News North will be fair and balanced, a hard-right antidote to the allegedly liberal CBC, is nonsense. A privately owned propaganda channel is not the equivalent of an underfunded non-profit public broadcaster stuck with the legal requirement to inform a huge fractured country on a factually immaculate basis. The CBC’s disastrous recent effort to make itself young, populist and silly notwithstanding, it really does try hard.
But, nobody has even seen the Sun News Channel, and so what if it is 'hard-right'??? Canadians cannot be trusted to watch what they want...and thankfully the Mallicks and the Atwoods are here to warn us appropriately.

And, as for CBC trying hard??? Factually immaculate??? Underfunded??? I guess she is saying that only when we fund CBC 'properly' should we even consider another private news service. And, even then I am not so sure - here is her last word...
Fox/Sun will be boring. But it’s still wrong.

Gay Saudi diplomat seeks asylum in the US...

And, he befriended a Jewish woman!
A ranking Saudi diplomat told NBC News that he has asked for political asylum in the United States, saying he fears for his life if he is forced to return to his native country.

The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman.

In a recent letter that he posted on a Saudi website, Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocatively of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S.

If he is forced to go back to Saudi Arabia — as Saudi officials are demanding — Asseri says he could face political persecution and even death.

“My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight,” Asseri said Saturday in an email to NBC.
Thanks to Vlad Tepes for sending me this...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

David Harris on that crazy pastor...and our ridiculous politicians...

As usual, David has some wise things to say...
What do Stephen Harper, Barack Obama, Gen. David Petraeus, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have in common?

They each need to get a grip on themselves the next time they want to whack a wacky pastor. Each sacrificed valuable resources to condemn and plead with once-aspiring Koran-griller, Florida Pastor Terry Jones, a bizarre fourth-string in the evangelical band. Congregation size: 50, on an inflationary day.

Yes, by now all agree: a nutty fringe leader was compromising social cohesion, foreign relations and military security with grotesquely silly, gratuitous and hurtful plans for a Koranic cook-off.

But this portrayal missed key considerations. In the extent and scope of their criticism of Jones' aims, senior U.S. officials, including Clinton and Gen. Petraeus, exceeded their constitutional remit in ways that could undermine future security and liberal-democratic ways. The same can be said of Harper and his defence minister.

Their warnings and beseechings raised immeasurably the stakes in this matter. Politicians risked the possibility that a government failure to apparently force Jones to stop -- a constitutional impossibility, in any event -- would produce more blowback than ever. Now that this pressure has forced Jones to climb down on his own, liberal-democracy's enemies at home and abroad will be emboldened. The outcome doubtless confirms their doctrinal belief in a soft West that is vulnerable to ever-increasing levels of terrorism and stealth-jihadic demands for endlessly-Islamizing "accommodation."

There is more to the political overreach problem. The package of freedoms for which the U.S. and Canada sacrifice in South Asia presumably includes the "first freedom" -- freedom of expression -- in Canada's Charter and the even more expansive U.S. First Amendment provision. As U.S. Supreme Court decisions remind us, this freedom even protects those wishing to burn the U.S. flag. It is unlikely any ostensibly sacred text could have outranked the flag for such constitutional purposes.

Brief government statements-of-position would have sufficed in the Jones case. Unfortunately, the extremes to which politicians went might encourage future officials to pressure for expanded crisis-driven, religion-based censorship, out of fear of "offending Islam." Worse, the recent hysteria requires that we ask whether posturing politicians and media are internalizing the Organization of the Islamic Conference's international objective at the UN of imposing Sharia blasphemy norms on Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide.

In all this, freedom's adversaries sense weakness. Look at the first declarations of Imam Feisal Rauf, the $100 million Ground Zero mosqueteer, upon returning from the Middle East. Presumably seeing how threats of Islamist violence get politicians to bend, Rauf invoked the logic of protection racketeers when referring to his critics: "if you don't do this (the mosque) right, anger will explode in the Muslim world. If this is not handled correctly, this crisis could become much bigger than the Danish cartoon crisis."

The latest craziness from student leaders at the University of Ottawa..

This is a cross-post from Rightchik...
Along with other half-wit student unions across the country, the socialist busybodies at SFUO banned selling bottled water on campus last year. Surprisingly, this applied not only to student union-operated businesses, but all businesses on campus, including Starbucks!

You can still buy bottled vitamin water, bottled mineral water, bottled carbonated water, and any array of other items packaged in plastic bottles on campus. Just not plain old regular bottled water. But that of course does not stop these morons from convincing themselves they have done something great for the environment.

The Campus Conservatives took notice of this idiot-logic and used the annual “clubs day” to draw attention to just how ludicrous it is. At their booth, they had a petition to allow independent businesses to sell bottled water, and handed out a free bottle of water to each person who signed it.

Around noon, SFUO VP Communications Paige Galette came out and engaged the Campus Conservatives in a calm, rational discussion about the merits of free market economics on campuses. Just kidding. She threw a hissy fit and started yelling at the people operating the booth, accusing them of doing something illegal, and got some of her comrades to form a human barrier (LOL) around the booth to stop people from getting access to the bottled water.

One of the people operating the booth asked to see the clause which states that it is illegal to give out water for free on campus. Galette escorted him into the student centre to show him the clause. After waiting for a few minutes, a different SFUO VP came and told him that there has been a misunderstanding and that only the sale of bottled water is banned on campus (duh) and that the club was entirely within their rights to give it out for free.

What we all need is a bit of silence...

The most telling thing we can do today is to have a minute (or several) to remember the victims of 9/11. I'm tired of that silly man in, silence today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I love this Jewish New Year Story....

Happy New Year to the people of Kaifeng...
Among the many Israelis and Jews around the world who will welcome the Jewish New Year are also 1,000 residents of China's oldest Jewish community.

"From here in Kaifeng, China, we want to send our best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to our brothers - the people of Israel," says Wang Jian, one of the members of the city's Jewish community.

Jian is particularly excited when talking about Israel. His son Yaacov made aliyah last year.

"Our ancestors have lived in China for over 1,000 years, and we are proud of our Jewish heritage and culture. We celebrate Rosh Hashana as the start of a new Hebrew year, and it is for us a very meaningful and important holiday. Like Jews everywhere, we dip apples in the honey, sing songs, and pray for a year of peace, health and aliyah!," he says.

The Jewish community of Kaifeng was founded in the 9th century, apparently by Jewish merchants from Persia or Iraq. The city's synagogue was built in 1163. At its height the community consisted of 5,000 Jews, many of whom were involved in Kaifeng's commerce.

All of Kaifeng's Jewish descendants belong to one of seven clans, each identifiable by its surname and family trees that stretch back for centuries.

Legend has it that when the Jews first arrived in Kaifeng, the Chinese emperor, unable to pronounce the Jews' Hebrew-sounding names, bestowed his surname and the surnames of six of his ministers on them.

These seven names - Zhao, Li, Ai, Zhang, Gao, Jin and Shi - were used by Kaifeng's Jews throughout the centuries. It is believed that the Li family's original Hebrew name was Levi, and the Gao family was Cohen.

The community was struck by disaster several times throughout the 19th century: The last rabbi died without leaving an heir, the city's synagogue was destroyed in floods never to be built again, and many Jews began assimilating.

There are approximately 1,000 descendants of the Jewish community living in Kaifeng, of whom about half are connected to their identity. In the absence of a synagogue, they will gather in their homes and celebrate the holiday with festive meals, eating the traditional apples dipped in honey. Members of the community will also gather to recite the traditional prayers and blow the Shofar.