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 (

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yasser Abbas?

Is this all deja-vue?
Several Fatah operatives in Jerusalem were surprised over the past week when they received phone calls from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warning them against running as independents in next month's parliamentary elections.

The threats came at the peak of the power struggle in the ruling Fatah party, which saw jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti forming his own list to contest the vote together with "young guard" activists.

"Anyone who dares to run as an independent will be kicked out of Fatah," Abbas's aides reportedly told the Fatah activists. "We will also see to it that dissidents don't receive jobs and money."

One of the activists who received such a phone call from Abbas's office later commented: "These threats remind us of the methods that were used by Yasser Arafat and the former regime to suppress critics. Abu Mazen [Abbas] is proving to be exactly like Arafat."

Indeed, an increasing number of Palestinians in general, and Fatah activists in particular, have begun noticing behavioral patterns in Abbas reminiscent of those of his predecessor. They say that the split in Fatah, fears of Hamas making a strong showing in the parliamentary election and growing chaos in the Palestinian territories have taken their toll on Abbas's performance.

"The man is in an unenviable state," said one of Abbas's top aides. "He's under attack from all directions - the old guard and the young guard [in Fatah], Hamas, Israel, the US, the European Union and many Palestinians who hold him responsible for the ongoing anarchy."

Yes, the RCMP is on a wild goose chase...

Here's my prediction: No charges will be laid for this so-called leak.
Who knew what and when, just before Finance Minister Ralph Goodale announced that income trusts would remain free of corporate tax and that dividend taxes would be cut?

It was common knowledge that a statement was imminent _ and nobody expected Goodale to do anything unpopular ahead of an election.

So an RCMP probe into possible insider leaks could turn out to be, as one Bay Street veteran sees it, "a wild goose chase.''

Goodale made his announcement on Nov. 23 after the close of a stock-market session marked by unusual trading of many income trusts and dividend-paying shares.

That morning's newspapers had reported his promise the previous day to give the trusts issue "the greatest degree of certainty that's possible'' before the defeat of the Liberal minority government in a non-confidence vote set for three business days later.

The minister's move cut short a consultation he had launched in September into the tax treatment of trusts, a process that had been intended to go on until the end of the year.

A story on an inside business page of the Globe and Mail of Nov. 23 called this "a sudden change of timing that experts believe could pave the way for a politically popular dividend tax cut.''

The Mounties, who on Wednesday disclosed a criminal investigation into complaints by opposition politicians of possible insider trading, "are blowing in the wind, quite frankly,'' Ross Healy, president of Strategic Analysis Corp., said Thursday.

"They admitted themselves that they don't have anything and I am baffled as to what they think they're going to get,'' Healy said.

"This just strikes me as being a wild goose chase... I don't think there's anything there to find.''

New documents showcase UK's anti-Israel attitude...

New documents show that the Foreign Office was concerned that Margaret Thatcher was too friendly with Jews and with Israel.
However, newly released government archive documents, show that her closeness with British Jews was not seen by the foreign office to be totally positive after she became leader of the-then opposition Conservative party, a position which thrust her into world prominence.

Manuscripts released by the government to the National Archives in Kew, West London reveal details of conversations in 1975 between Lord Carrington, the shadow foreign secretary and the British ambassador to Jordan.

The files include comments on the meeting by Michael Tait, an official at the British embassy in Jordan.

In them it is illustrated how the British embassy saw it “in the national interest” for Thatcher to sever links with the Jewish community for fear of upsetting the Arabs.

Tait said that the ambassador believed that Thatcher’s Jewish communal connections “would inevitably do much harm in the Arab world” and “should if at all practicable be severed.”

In the stunning documents, Tait continued: "Carrington agreed that Mrs Thatcher might most painlessly and with some justification get herself off the hook by resigning from all constituency obligations of this sort on the grounds of the rather wider obligations she has now to assume.

The foreign office also, apparently, took issue with the group of “pro-Israeli MPs”.

Tait wrote: "Such a stratagem might resolve the problem in Finchley but if Mrs Thatcher is indeed a prime mover in a wider parliamentary grouping of pro-Israeli MPs, then the difficulty would be trickier to bypass."

He continued: "While we as government and not opposition officials may have no particular brief on Mrs Thatcher’s behalf, it is presumably in the national interest to do what we can to counter Arab fears and suspicions that the leader of HM opposition is already a prisoner of the Zionists."

The problem with the conservatives...

I think John Moore hits it on the head, although I still cannot vote Liberal.
A Red Tory has nothing to fear from the Conservatives except that it's clear they're as cravenly desperate for power and as intellectually bankrupt as the Liberals. Nothing makes this clearer than the promise to lower the GST. Economists appreciate why consumption taxes are superior to income taxes. But since there are probably about 10,000 economists and 30 million consumers in Canada, the promise to knock two points off the GST is a great cheap sell. Most galling is that the measure was proposed by Harper, who is an economist.

This election is Stephen Harper's to lose and lose it he may. Red Tories, appalled by the cronyism that comes with long-term incumbency and the lavish spending that naturally arises from the prospect of banishment from power, are seeking safe harbour. Sadly, the Conservatives, unsure of their ability to attract centrists on merit, have become the political equivalent of strangers with candy.

There is nothing to the Income Trusts so-called leak....

I've worked on Bay Street in the past and I've worked on Wall Street in New York. It's hard to believe that Ralph Goodale or Paul Martin had anything to do with a leak about the taxation of income trusts. This sort of thing happens all the time in the financial markets - stocks rise right before a merger attempt. No matter how hard you try to keep things totally secret, you just can't. In this case, the fact that Goodale was making an announcement might have been enough to trigger the market.

Certainly the timing of the announcement leaves much to be desired. I guess the RCMP wanted to signal how they want people to vote.

No question, it's good new for the Conservatives. But, sorry, I just don't think there is anything to this story.

Friday, December 30, 2005

What to make of Kwanzaa?

I don't often quote from Ann Coulter, but she's crack on about Kwanzaa.
It is a fact that Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a black radical FBI stooge, Ron Karenga, aka Dr. Maulana Karenga. Karenga was a founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers and a dupe of the FBI.

In what was probably ultimately a foolish gamble, during the madness of the '60s the FBI encouraged the most extreme black nationalist organizations in order to discredit and split the left. The more preposterous the organization, the better. Karenga's United Slaves was perfect. In the annals of the American '60s, Karenga was the Father Gapon, stooge of the czarist police.

Now we know that the FBI fueled the bloody rivalry between the Panthers and United Slaves. In one barbarous outburst, Karenga's United Slaves shot to death Black Panthers Al "Bunchy" Carter and Deputy Minister John Huggins on the UCLA campus. Karenga himself served time, a useful stepping-stone for his current position as a black studies professor at California State University at Long Beach.

Kwanzaa itself is a lunatic blend of schmaltzy '60s rhetoric, black racism and Marxism. Indeed, the seven "principles" of Kwanzaa praise collectivism in every possible arena of life -- economics, work, personality, even litter removal. ("Kuumba: Everyone should strive to improve the community and make it more beautiful.") It takes a village to raise a police snitch.

When Karenga was asked to distinguish Kawaida, the philosophy underlying Kwanzaa, from "classical Marxism," he essentially explained that under Kawaida, we also hate whites. While taking the "best of early Chinese and Cuban socialism" -- which one assumes would exclude the forced abortions, imprisonment for homosexuals and forced labor -- Kawaida practitioners believe one's racial identity "determines life conditions, life chances and self-understanding." There's an inclusive philosophy for you.

(Sing to "Jingle Bells")

Kwanzaa bells, dashikis sell

Whitey has to pay;

Burning, shooting, oh what fun

On this made-up holiday!

Let's not go insane over blogs...

Yet another blogger has resigned over so-called inappropriate comments.
The campaign manager for Conservative Party member Peter Goldring stepped down Friday, after writing a blog posting that called for Alberta's independence.

Gordon Stamp, who posts under the pseudonym "Psycho," wrote on Free Dominion: "I honestly see no benefit for Alberta to remain part of Canada. Seriously, there is absolutely nothing that Canada as a nation offers me."

He goes on to compare Alberta to "a battered wife who has not yet realized that being divorced is better than staying married." While he allows that the statement could be politically incorrect, he writes "that's how I feel."

Peter Goldring issued a statement about the post Friday.

"This evening I learned about comments posted on the Internet by Mr. Gordon Stamp, who has been serving as manager of my campaign in Edmonton East," Goldring said.

"I was deeply disturbed by these comments, which in no way reflect my views or those of the Conservative Party. To the contrary, I have spent my entire adult life fighting for a united Canada, and, in fact, was drawn into public service to fight for Canada as a united federation."
Is this going to be part of a larger trend - politicians will now have staffs that spend their time going through blogs and internet forums for any comment that can get someone in trouble.

I come down on the side of free speech here. Some bloggers have tried to tie various people to the rantings of Liberal MIke Klander...but only by loose association. We're going down a dangerous road here.

Syria threatened Hariri...

Two regimes right now, Iran and Syria, are openly showing how dangerous they are...when is the world going to act?
Embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad was dealt more bad news Friday night after former Syrian Vice President Abed al-Halim Khadem said that Assad "could have prevented the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri."

Khadem also acknowledged that Hariri was threatened by Syria months before he was assassinated.

He quoted the Syrian president as telling Hariri, months before he was killed: "You want to bring a (new) president in Lebanon. ... I will not allow that. I will crush whoever attempts to overturn our decision."

After the warning from Assad, Hariri left with "high blood pressure and his nose bleeding," Khadem said.

Even a Toronto Sun columnist says Same-Sex Marriage is here to stay...

My sentiments exactly, in this opinion piece by Rachel Giese.
My dad and I don't agree on a lot of things, but we agree on a lot more than we used to. We've both mellowed as we've gotten older. My dad used to tell me that I'd get more conservative as time went by. What's that quote? That a person who isn't liberal when they're young has no heart, but a person who isn't conservative when they get old has no brain? The funny thing is, it's my dad who's gotten a little more liberal.

My dad's political views have been shaped by his life experience. He lived the Canadian dream and could be the poster child for old-fashioned Progressive Conservativism.

When he was 18, he immigrated to Canada with no money and very little English. He worked as a gardener and handyman, over time improved his language and eventually became an electrician. From there, he worked his way up to partner in a small business.

His success was due to a combination of hard work, intelligence and circumstance. Canada had opportunities and he seized them. He saw both his children graduate from university -- something he wished he could have done himself.

My dad likes no-nonsense politicians -- he was once a supporter of former Ontario premier Mike Harris -- and in another time, he would have voted Conservative in this election.

Like a lot of people, he's fed up with the Liberals, angry at their corruption and arrogance. He'd vote NDP, in a pinch, but he doesn't like his local candidate. And he won't vote Conservative. Why? Because of Stephen Harper's insistence on reopening the issue of same-sex marriage.

Last election, my dad told me he wouldn't vote Conservative as long as the party took an anti-gay marriage stand. He said it would be a betrayal of me and my partner and our son. I think it also feels to my dad like a betrayal of the values that Canada has come to embrace: Tolerance, diversity, plurality, compassion, and moderation.

Of course, they fled to Israel...

This shows how unstable this border crossing really is.
European monitors said they were reopening the Rafah border crossing Friday afternoon, hours after a group of angry Palestinian police forced them to close the border and flee.

Julio De La Guardia, spokesman for the European monitors, said the situation at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing was under control and the border would be opened for two hours. It was to reopen at 3:15 p.m.

Palestinian policemen angry over the killing of a fellow police officer stormed the Gaza-Egypt crossing Friday, firing in the air and forcing European monitors to close the border and flee, Palestinian and European officials said.

About 100 policemen entered the Rafah compound and took up positions alongside border patrol officers at the customs section of the crossing, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.

The European observers - responsible for monitoring the crossing and ensuring the terms of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are upheld - fled to an IDF base near the Gaza-Israel border, fearing the situation was spinning out of control, the officials said.

The takeover is the latest in a rash of armed kidnappings and takeovers of government buildings that underscore the lawlessness in Gaza and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' inability to bring order to the coastal area following this summer's pullout.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Al-Qaeda takes reponsibility for rocket attacks...

You might have noticed that Israel is now facing rocket attacks from Gaza and from Southern Lebanon.
Al-Qaida in Iraq, headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on Thursday took responsibility on their website for the Katyusha attacks in northern Israel on Tuesday.

The announcement claimed that the organization launched ten rockets into Israel.

On Tuesday it was reported that six Katyushas landed in northern Israeli cities, including three in Shlomi and three in Kiryat Shmona, where two apartments took direct hits.

This was the first time that Al-Qaida took responsibility for attacks on Israel taking place from Lebanon.

Slurs from the left...

Look at the recent flap over the Klander web site here in Canada - there was a liberal making homophobic jokes.
Nothing brings out racist slurs like an ambitious black man who doesn't know his ''place." So when Maryland's lieutenant governor, Michael Steele, announced his candidacy for the US Senate recently, the bigots reared up. On one popular website, The News Blog, Steele's picture was grotesquely doctored, making him look like a minstrel-show caricature. ''I's Simple Sambo and I's Running for the Big House," read the insulting headline accompanying the picture.

This wasn't some white supremacist slime from the right-wing fringe. The News Blog is a liberal site, and the reason for its racist attack on Steele, a former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, is that he is a conservative. Specifically, a black conservative. As far as too many liberals are concerned, blacks who reject liberalism deserve to be smeared as Sambos and worse.

''Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael Steele . . . are fair because he is a conservative Republican," The Washington Times reported. ''Such attacks . . . include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an 'Uncle Tom,' and depicting him as a blackfaced minstrel."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chavez cuddles up with Iran...

Chavez has visited Iran four times so far in his term as President.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas on Tuesday praised the concepts and guidelines of mullahs' regime supreme leader mullah Khamenei.

During a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Caracas Ahmad Sobhani, the president said he will never forget the wise remarks of the mullah Khamenei on the power of morality and example set by rulers to their nations.

How's this for a headline?

From the Winnpeg Sun:

Duceppe predicts minority.

Wow...he's really going out on a limb with that prediction.

The abuse of restraining orders...

Here's a good case study in how restraining orders can be abused.
On Dec. 15, Santa Fe District Court Judge Daniel Sanchez signed a temporary restraining order against CBS late-night host David Letterman, requiring him to keep his distance from Colleen Nestler.

According to Nestler, for more than 10 years Letterman has been sending coded messages over the airwaves that communicated his desire to marry her. (Nestler has also accused TV personalities Regis Philbin and Kelsey Grammer of communicating with her through televised code.) Letterman says he doesn't know the woman.

Nestler's TRO may be ludicrous, but it highlights a no-nonsense debate on the possible misuse of restraining orders.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Of course, the real story is ignored...

Here's the real story the media should have been covering about Bethlehem.
With Christmas services here drawing far fewer tourists than in the 1990s and the town's Christian population now at an all-time low, many world leaders and hundreds of major media outlets this week blamed Israel for Bethlehem's decline – often citing false information – while a simple talk with the town's residents reveals a drastically different picture. They say Muslim persecution has been keeping Christians away.

"All this talk about Israel driving Christians out and causing pain is nonsense," a Bethlehem Christian community leader told WND. "You want to know what is at play here, just come throughout the year and see the intimidation from the Muslims. They have burned down our stores, built mosques in front of our churches, stole our real estate and took away our rights. Women have been raped and abducted. So don't tell me about Israel. It's the Muslims."

The truth about Bethlehem....

You might have seen many stories in the press about how the Israeli security fence is harming tourism in Bethlehem. Well, here is the Boston Globe's take on the situation.
A resurgent crowd of pilgrims and foreign tourists flocked to the traditional birthplace of Jesus to celebrate Christmas this weekend, braving whipping rain and near-freezing temperatures.

The thousands of visitors brought a boost to Bethlehem's fragile tourist economy, still barely recovered after more than four years of fighting, and at least partly assuaged Palestinian worries that a new Israeli barrier of concrete blast walls and wire fences around Bethlehem would chill the tourist trade.

"I have to be honest. There are many tourists," said Adnan al-Korna, the proprietor of King Solomon Bazaar, a shop packed floor to ceiling with carved olivewood Nativity scenes, pottery, and religious souvenirs.

It was 1:30 a.m. yesterday, after the Christmas Eve midnight Mass, and Korna was trying but failing to sound upset about the condition of the tourist trade in Bethlehem as a result of the security barrier and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A busload of American tourists was bargaining over icons and carved camels.

''Please, if you'll excuse me, this is my time to make some business," Korna said, reluctantly ending an interview to serve wine and mint tea to the shopping pilgrims.

The estimated 30,000 pilgrims and tourists who came to Bethlehem this Christmas weekend was the highest number since 2000, reflecting an increase in tourism during a period of relative quiet this year.

Hitchens on Iran...

I agree with Hitchens...where exactly is the Bush administration on Iran?
If you want to know what the Bush administration policy is toward Iran, you will have to keep asking (and if you manage to find anything out, please let me know). After almost five years in office, there is no "go-to" person or department, no strategy in common with allies or with the United Nations, no agreed-upon approach of any kind. One gathers that military options have been excluded, for either regime-change or disarmament, but then one could probably have "gathered" that for oneself. This appears to leave only two options: either a Nixon/China-style initiative that would try for state-level rapprochement and simultaneous economic and cultural openings, or an aggressive policy of helping internal opposition to the regime. The two might not be mutually exclusive. Millions of Iranians have satellite dishes and relatives in the West; there is a large and restive Kurdish minority that has been much encouraged by developments in Iraq; feminist and other dissident movements are extensive. It is sometimes argued that such groups do not want to be seen or painted as agents of the U.S. government. Very well, then, here is a great project for American human-rights and pro-disarmament and "civil society" groups to undertake. Whatever the case, it cannot be that such a despotic and arrogant regime feels that it can meddle everywhere without any cost to itself.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The CBC and Hanukkah...

Last night while driving home from Christmas dinner at my boyfriend's parents home, we caught the late night BBC news. They had the Pope's Christmas message for peace, and the Queen's Christmas message as well. When it came ot Hanukkah, all they could talk about was Ariel Sharon telling Israeli's not to eat too much over the holidays. Fair enough..but then they ended their news with a short sentence that Sharon was about to crackdown on Palestinians. Why on earth could the CBC have not broadcast something nice about Hanukkah? For instance, they could have noted the Hanukkah service at the Great Wall of China? But no, they had to add a sentence about cracking down on the Palestinians.

By the morning, that sentence was gone.

Hey, they're just nice guys, you know....

Clearly the Stockholm Syndrome at play here...
A former German hostage who spent 24 days in the hands of unknown captors in Iraq said her kidnappers were not criminals and had demanded humanitarian aid for Sunni Arab regions.

Speaking to Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Susanne Osthoff said her captors told her not to be afraid as her kidnapping was "politically motivated."

"Do not be afraid. We do not harm women or children and you are a Muslim," she quoted them as saying.

"I was so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of criminals," she said.

Osthoff, a Muslim convert and fluent Arabic speaker, said her captors demanded German humanitarian aid for Iraq's Sunni Arabs and stated clearly that they did not want a ransom.

"They said we don't want money... Maybe we want from Germany ... hospitals and schools in the Sunni triangle (area northwest of Baghdad), and they would like to get money in the form of humanitarian aid," she said.

She described her captors as "poor people" and that she "cannot blame them for kidnapping her, as they cannot enter (Baghdad's heavily fortified) Green Zone to kidnap Americans."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Happy Hanukkah at the Great Wall...

and a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody...
The flame of the Hanukkah candle crossed roads for the first time in its millennia-long tradition Sunday evening with the symbol of a second ancient cultural symbol: the Great Wall of China.

Some 200 Israelis and members of Beijing's Jewish community gathered at the Mujianyu site of the wall outside the Chinese capital to light the first candle of Hanukkah against the backdrop of the winding wall.

The Israeli Ambassador to China, Dr. Yehoyada Haim, hosted the ceremony, saying at its onset, "This is an historical moment where two great and ancient civilizations come together."

Beijing's Chabad Rabbi Shimon Freundlich conducted the candle-lighting ceremony. The rabbi invited the vice president of the China Great Wall Society, which helped coordinate the event, to light the Shamash.

Following the gathering around the large Menorah in the blistering cold, participants ate traditional Hanukkah donuts and latkes together with hot soup, and sand a round of all-time favorite Hanukkah songs.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Norwegian county to boycott Israel...

We've been watching anti-Israel activity for quite some time in, this is not surprising, but still is disappointing.
A Norwegian county parliament voted last week to boycott products from Israel, because of the country’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories. This new law has outraged local Jewish groups.

The county of Soer-Trondelag voted on 16 December to boycott Israeli goods, making it the first Norwegian region to cut economic relations with the Jewish state.

Torill Skaerseth, a board representative from the far-left Red Electoral Alliance, said she hopes the boycott will be taken over by other Norwegian provinces.

"We see Israel as an occupying force that could be compared with the apartheid regime in South Africa," she told the regional newspaper “Adresseavisen”. "We also want to campaign for the people of Soer Trondelag to also boycott."

The truth behind Munich...

I haven't seen Speilberg's Munich yet...but here is a good look at the fiction in the movie.
In Munich, a hastily assembled covert assassination team is gathered by Golda Meir and given a list of targets—the men responsible for the attack. There are 11 Palestinians (a convenient match to the 11 dead Israeli athletes) who must pay the price. It didn't happen that way. Israel did authorize and empower a counter-terror assassination campaign in Munich's wake (more on that below), but no list of targets was ever given to an assassination team. Indeed, there was no "one team" charged with carrying out any sort of ongoing revenge operation. Specific targets were identified and then approved for assassination by top Mossad officials, and ultimately by the prime minister, as evidence grew in Israeli eyes that these individuals were likely to plan further attacks. Palestinian operatives, including many who had nothing to do with the Munich Massacre, were sentenced to death on a case-by-case basis. The list of targets was constantly changing. Assassination teams were sent out, mission by mission, as evidence and opportunity warranted.
As Klein says in his article,
Revenge was the atmosphere—but preventing future attacks by networks that Israel saw as threatening its citizens was the goal.

Iran and Syria cooperating on WMD?

This disturbing report was in Janes Defence Weekly.
...a diplomatic source has said that Damascus is nevertheless pursuing what they describe as "an innovative chemical warfare [CW] programme in co-operation with Iran".

The essence of this co-operation, the source told JDW, "is Tehran's contractual commitment, made to Syria a few months ago, to provide Iranian CW technical assistance to facilitate Syria's CW programme".

Utilising this assistance, they said, Syria hopes to reach an independent production capability of precursors for producing CW agents, which it has so far been unable to achieve.

According to the source, Iran will assist Syria in the planning, establishment and pilot operation of about four or five facilities throughout Syria for the production of precursors for VX and Sarin nerve agents and mustard blister agent.

"This project is unprecedented and millions of US dollars have been allocated to implement it," the source said.

"The project includes building major facilities, including advanced equipment to produce tens to hundreds of tonnes of CW precursors per year that are sufficient for CW industrial manufacturing pilot production."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Does the holocaust need to be clarified?

Could you imagine the committee they would put together?
An Iranian official on Friday called for the establishment of a committee to clarify the real extent of the Holocaust, the news agency Fars reported.

"(Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad wants European governments to allow Western scholars to publish their research on the Holocaust," Mohammad-Ali Ramin, head of the Society for defending the rights of Muslim minorities in the West, told Fars.

"Ahmadinejad should therefore propose establishment of an international committee for clarifying the real extent of the Holocaust," the official added.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just a firebrand?

Jonah Goldberg also wonders when the world will wake up to the danger posed by Iran's President Ahmadinejad.
Among the proud recipients of Time magazine's fluffy end-of-year "People Who Mattered" feature, is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Here's how it begins: "He is an unlikely firebrand: the soft-spoken son of a blacksmith who still sometimes drives a 30-year-old Peugeot. But Iran's new President doesn't shrink from controversy. After winning a disputed election, he said…. " Now, before I finish that sentence, let's at least note that so far Time is using the same tone it might use to talk about John McCain, Joe Wilson, George Clooney or some other "soft-spoken" "unlikely firebrand" beloved by the media.

So, does Ahmadinejad have a wacky blog? Did he admit on "Larry King Live" that he voted for Ralph Nader in 2000? What makes him such a charming rogue?

Let's pick up that sentence where we left off and see: "After winning a disputed election," Time reports, "he said he would continue Iran's nuclear program, called the Holocaust a 'myth' and pledged to destroy Israel. Even some of the nation's ruling clerics are nervous about what he will do next." So even some of Iran's terrorism-supporting theocratic dictators are "nervous" about this guy.

What, one wonders, would it take for the editors to get really rough? Perhaps if Ahmadinejad offered a deeply negative review of "Brokeback Mountain"?

Time describes Pope Benedict XVI as perhaps "too polarizing a conservative." But for Ahmadinejad, who declared that a member nation of the U.N. should be "wiped off the map" and that the touchstone moral horror of modernity was nothing but a "myth" … well, let's make sure to bring up that he drives an old Peugeot. That's a crucial fact. If only we could find out what kind of tree he would be if he could be a tree. Maybe next year.

He shouldn't resign for this....

His joke was so truthful that he just couldn't get this job.
When asked on a form he was filling out if he had a disability, former Oregon state Sen. Neil Bryant wrote: "white/male."

It was meant as a joke, but the notation was written on his nomination form to serve on the board of Oregon Health & Science University, a position for which Gov. Ted Kulongoski had recommended him.

Bryant has now withdrawn his name from consideration and apologized.

"I sincerely and profoundly apologize for any discomfort I have caused," the Bend lawyer wrote in a recent letter withdrawing his name. "No one is to blame but me."
The ony discomfort he caused were to people who don't want to think about the harm being done to white males through political correctness.

More holocaust denial...

This virus needs to be eradicated...but who in the Arab world is going to step forward and tell the truth?
The leader of Egypt's main Islamic opposition group said Thursday the Holocaust was a "myth," and he slammed Western governments for criticizing disclaimers of the Jewish genocide.

The comments by Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Mahdi Akef — made on the heels of his group's strong showing in Egyptian parliamentary elections — echoed remarks made recently by
Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which sparked international outrage.

"Western democracies have slammed all those who don't see eye to eye with the Zionists regarding the myth of the Holocaust," Akef wrote in a weekly article meant as a directive to the group's followers on its official Web site.

In Israel, the director of the Israeli branch of the Nazi watchdog group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, warned, "There's no question that a very ugly wave of Holocaust denial is sweeping the Arab world."

"The problem is that so far in the Arab world, very few leaders are willing to tell their own people that they have to understand that the Holocaust did take place," Efraim Zuroff said.

One more issue the Conservative won't touch...

Road Hammer had a good comments on my post yesterday on the '7 Issues the Conservatives won't touch'. Agricultural subsidies and our supply management programs need to be debated. Our various supply management boards (for poultry, eggs, milk, etc) all tend to keep prices way too high, stifle innovation, and force farmers to deal with one vendor. I'm not an expert on supply management, but it seems that this is one area where there should be a debate - certainly, there is huge disagreement in the west on the use of these marketing boards.

Can we give Gilles Duceppe less attention, please?

I'm rather sick and tired of seeing Gilles Duceppe debating with the other party leaders. And now Stephen Harper wants a one-on-one debate with Duceppe. I wish it was the other way around. Let's NOT invite Duceppe to the debates, and please, let's not engage him at all. He revels in this sort of attention.

National Unity is a huge issue. Yet, we have Paul Martin and the Liberals turning it into a farce. First, they 'used' the one program to keep Quebec in Canada for partisan political affairs (the sponsorship scandal). Gee, they could have stolen money from fisheries. Nope, they had to use a National Unity Program. This is tantamount to treason, no? Now, Paul Martin has elevated National Unity to a stage play, where he can pretend to be an actor delivering lines in English, but not French. Please, spareme the theatrics.

Not to be undone, Stephen Harper then goes on to tell us that the solution to keeping the country together is to weaken the federal government - give more money back to the provinces, and allow Quebec to represent itself at international conferences. In effect, he is telling Duceppe that he has been right all along.

This is a dangerous game, and Martin and Harper should both be ashamed.

New guidelines on the use of the word 'terrorst'...

Why on earth does the BBC hate the word 'terrorist'.
"The guidelines do not ban the use of the word. However, we do ask that careful thought is given to its use by a BBC voice. There are ways of conveying the full horror and human consequences of acts of terror without using the word 'terrorist' to describe the perpetrators.....We should use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as 'bomber', 'attacking', 'gunman', 'kidnapper' 'insurgent' and 'militant'

Some ideas for aboriginal policy...

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation has 8 sensible recommendations for aboriginal policy. Shouldn't the Conservatives be stealing some of these ideas?
Recommendation 1:

The Canadian government must abolish the Indian reserve system. Thus allowing individual native Canadians the freedom to choose how and where they wish to live.

Recommendation 2:

If native communities are to become economically self-sustaining, the reserve land which is now held by the Crown should be transferred to individual natives living on-reserve, and to band members living off-reserve. It will be up to natives themselves to decide if they want to transfer the land into a communal arrangement or allow for the property to be owned and managed individually.

Recommendation 3:

The tax exemption now provided for natives living and working on reserves is a provision of the Indian Act, not the Canadian Constitution. The Indian Act is like any other piece of legislation, capable of being amended and/or abolished at any time. Taxation at all levels (municipal, provincial, federal) should be phased in for natives over a period of 10 years. As it is now, an artificial competitive advantage for native businesses has emerged.

Recommendation 4:

In order to increase the level of accountability on reserves, the payments currently transferred to native band councils should be re-directed to individuals. The money necessary for native governments could then be taxed back by the local native government.

Recommendation 5:

A system of independent annual financial audits and operational audits of Indian governments – similar to how the federal and provincial auditors conduct their audits of government departments and programs – should be implemented. Expansion of the current Auditor General’s mandate to include native bands is imperative for improved accountability and transparency.

Recommendation 6:

The Indian Act does not sufficiently address the concerns of native Canadians. As an interim measure to ensure native Canadians receive appropriate redress, an Ombudsman for Aboriginal affairs needs to be established.

Recommendation 7:

Municipal-type governments successfully manage small communities all over Canada. This model should be implemented for native reserves rather than a constitutionally protected "third order" style of government. In addition, the development of individual property rights must be established and protected in order to generate the wealth needed for a self-financed municipal-style of government.

Recommendation 8:

Non-natives living on reserves and paying taxes in their local communities must be granted the democratic right to participate in the local political community by being granted the right to vote. In addition to a right to vote, non-natives living on reserves must be given the opportunity to serve as elected representatives on band councils.

For too long the Indian Act and Aboriginal policy in Canada has segregated native Canadians from Canadian society. Aboriginal issues are a growing area of public policy and perhaps the most important moral dilemma facing Canada. If the recommendations illustrated above are implement, native Canadians living in native communities will be empowered and the entire system of Aboriginal affairs and the Indian Act will soon cease to exit.

Stop harping about domestic spying...

A nice, short column by Dick Morris on why the democrats should stop harping on using the NSA for spying on terrorists.
For example, in 2002 the federal government tipped off the New York City Police Department that there was a lot of chatter about the Brooklyn Bridge. The resulting police tactics stopped the attack and eventually led to the apprehension of the would-be bomber.

What warrant could the anti-terror investigators have gotten to allow such a search? They had no name, no phone numbers, no idea of what to look for. But a careful analysis of the data averted a massive tragedy.

Politically, the left is making a big mistake in focusing on the issue. Bush is well-served by bringing the terrorism debate home. Isolationists — about 40 percent of the nation, divided between the two parties — will not back him on a war in Iraq but sure will support him against attempts to handcuff homeland security in the name of privacy or civil liberties. By raising this issue — and the concomitant issue of the Patriot Act renewal — the Democrats are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Iraq is a winner for the left. Homeland security is a loser.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Is there a deal between the US and Syria?

I hope not....
Lebanese politicians have said they fear a compromise has been reached between the international community and Syria. Those politicians based their worries on the fact that U.S. top officials, including President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have recently decreased their statements on the need to support Lebanon's march toward the establishment of freedom and sovereignty.

They noted a transformation in the U.S. position due to disagreements between the Lebanese over several crucial issues.

Moreover, the Beirut Donors' Conference, which was supposed to be held this month, has been adjourned to next year, without setting a definite date.

The politicians also believe that UN Security Council Resolution 1644 did not meet their expectations and impose sanctions on Syria for its failure to cooperate fully with the international investigation committee into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The second report issued by the investigation committee, headed by German Prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, was also less coercive and, according to some politicians, reflected the compromise between the international community and Damascus.

Consequently, the question everyone is asking today, is if there was a deal between the United States and Syria, which explains the decrease of pressure and harsh criticism against the latter?

Zarqawi is the new terrorist leader...

This is the man we should all focus on...and it baffles me that the Europeans haven't figured out that they need to be helping out in Iraq.
A wave of arrests across Europe has thrown new light on a European terrorist network being developed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most prominent insurgent in Iraq.

A growing number of terrorism investigations in Britain, Germany, Bosnia, Denmark and most recently Spain and France are linked to the man who has masterminded countless suicide bombings in Iraq, personally beheaded hostages and bombed three hotels in his native Jordan.

Some of the suspected networks appear to be involved only in supporting his operations in Iraq. But counter-terrorism officials are worried that Zarqawi could be planning to use his base in Iraq to start attacking Europe.

Security officials are particularly worried by indications that he wants to recruit white extremists who will be more difficult to detect than Arabs or Asians.

"Zarqawi thinks he is bigger than Iraq," a British source said. "He is spreading his tentacles in Europe. There is a sense that attacks are inevitable.

"Even before the invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi had a network in Europe that provided funds and recruits. The same pipeline will sooner or later pump the other way, from Iraq to Europe."

Qassam rockets still being fired into Israel...

An interesting statistics. Since Israel left the Gaza strip, a total of 239 rockets have been fired at Israel - of which 160 actually landed in Israel. This is worrying for a couple of reasons. First, the Palestinians are bound to improve their technology in these rockets, and second, they now can launch them closer to Israel after the withdrawal.

This sort of provocation must stop, and where is the condemnation from the International community???

7 Issues the Conservatives won't touch....

Last April, I blogged a post that while Conservatives were giddy with election fever, there were several topics they would avoid discussing. Here's the original seven issues that I listed last April:

1. The science of global warming.
2. Immigration.
3. Divorce settlements and child custody.
4. Multiculturalism and Political Correctness
5. Bilingualism
6. Cooperation with the Americans
7. Native Policy

Well, now that we're in the middle of an election campaign, I think I have been proven right. The Conservatives won't touch these issues. Let's look at each one of them:

1. The science of global warming
It's bad enough that the Liberals passed Kyoto. Even worse that they have been hypocritical about it. But, the Conservatives don't like to discuss Kyoto. Harper thinks it is a 'flawed' agreement, but won't really open a debate on global warming. Personally, I believe that pollution is a problem - but that CO2 emissions are not a source of pollution. The Conservatives could come up with market-based solutions to the environments, but they won't.

2. Immigration
How on earth can we have a debate on immigration when both parties are busy pandering to immigrant groups? Look, I am not anti-immigration. I just believe that we need to understand some of the implications of large-scale immigration to our bigger cities. The gun crime in Toronto can probably be linked to immigration from Jamaica. Shouldn't we understand which immigrant communities have the best chances of success in Canada? Don't look for the Conservatives to touch this issue.

3. Divorce settlements and child custody
I said last April that you won't hear a word about this at all. And, I still believe that. Men are screwed by the current system - they rarely get custody, and they end up paying inordinate amounts of child support and alimony. Equal parenting is overdue. Where the hell are the Conservatives on this issue? I thought they were pro-family.

4. Multiculturalism and Political Correctness
Just before the campaign began, there was a big story in the National Post about Public Works not hiring white males. Of course, Stephen Harper was silent! Shouldn't the Conservatives be talking about the merit principle?

5. Bilingualism
I said last April that bilingualism is an incredibly failed policy that is hurting the bureaucracy. This should be a huge issue for the Conservatives. But, no just silence. Ask anybody who works for the government and they'll tell you some incredible stories about English speakers who are being discriminated against. And, many Conservative politicians will talk about this in private. Just not in public, please.

6. Cooperation with the Americans
This is a very important topic. And, look at what we have in this campaign. Just some harsh rhetoric from Martin, some rebukes from Harper, but no debate. Both are afraid of looking too, we just can't have a serious debate about this issue.

7. Native Policy
Well, the Liberals and the NDP will fall over themselves talking about solving this issue. How? Largely by spending billions of dollars. Of course that won't work. But, where are the Conservatives? Shouldn't they be talking about free enterprise, home ownership, assimilation into the mainstream?

Do you have an issue that won't be debated this election campaign? Please write me.

More nuclear activity in Iran...

Interesting - everybody was upset that Iran didn't have WMD - now, we have another horrible regime actively seeking WMD and nobody really cares.
Iran is building secret underground tunnels where it is carrying out undeclared nuclear weapons activity, according to an Iranian opposition group that has provided reliable information on Tehran’s nuclear program in the past.

Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) told a conference in London on Tuesday that the concealment projects were personally authorised by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to “urgently inspect the tunnels”.

“The purpose of the tunnels is to conceal parts of the Tehran regime’s atomic and missile programs. The tunnels are particularly used for hiding research centres, workshops, nuclear equipment, and nuclear and missile command and control centres”, Abedini said.

He said that the NCRI had thus far received information about 14 locations where such tunnels and underground facilities have been built near Tehran, Isfahan, Qom, and several other cities. He said that construction work on the tunnels was primarily under the direction of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Defence Ministry. “In the IRGC, the Khatam al-Anbiya headquarters, which is the headquarters of the IRGC Engineering Corps, is responsible for execution of the project”, he said.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Good news for freedom...

Gee, freedom really is on the march.
The number of democracies around the world has reached a record level, while there have been important improvements in civil liberties in the Middle East since last year, an international monitoring group said yesterday.

An annual report issued by Freedom House, a pro-democracy organisation, found that the number of electoral democracies had increased in the past year from 119 to 122. The new entries, all in Africa, are Burundi, Liberia and the Central African Republic.

Freedom House described 2005 as "one of the most successful years for freedom" since it started "measuring" political freedoms in 1972. Countries rated as "not free" declined from 49 to 45, the lowest in a decade.

The Middle East lags behind with 11 out of 18 countries ranked as "not free" and only Israel ranking as "free". But Freedom House said the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon raised its status from "not free" to "partly free".

It also noted elections held in Iraq, Egypt and the Palestinian territories, the introduction of women's voting rights in Kuwait and cautious liberalisation in Saudi Arabia.

Feminists try to dicate to women...

I like Cathy Young. She knows how to dissect feminists. Here, Brandeis Professor Linda Hirshman tells women choosing traditional roles are bad for society.
For one, the feminist movement is not a totalitarian regime. It has no power to mobilize women to follow the party line in their personal lives, as Hirshman wants. (Her script includes choosing a husband whose career is least likely to eclipse yours, and having no more than one child until the government coughs up day care.) And, if feminists start disparaging women's ''incorrect" choices, women will likely tell them to buzz off. Hirshman's tone is insufferably patronizing: women, she laments, think they're making free choices and never realize that their lives are shaped by traditional sex roles and by feminism's failure to revolutionize the family. Are there really many Ivy League-educated women who aren't aware of challenges and alternatives to traditional roles?

Besides, many intelligent people may not share Hirshman's notion that life as a high-priced lawyer or Fortune 500 executive is the best pathway to ''human flourishing." Yes, life with no significant activities outside one's intimate circle is incomplete. But Hirshman's disapproval extends even to part-time workers. And what about women (and, increasingly, men) who don't work for pay but are active in community work? Don't many of them meet Hirshman's standards for good living: making use of one's mind, having autonomy in one's life, doing good in the world?

In her simplistic analysis, Hirshman ignores the social impact of working women who don't follow a rigid model of success -- those who leave corporate jobs to start businesses or who work in social service jobs. She also ignores the flexibility of the modern marketplace. In 1998, Brenda Barnes stepped down as CEO of a PepsiCo division to spend more time with her family; six years later, she went back to work and now heads the Sara Lee corporation.

Should feminism strive for more flexible roles and more sharing of family responsibilities? Of course. But the way to do it is to expand options for both men and women, not to narrow women's options. And, by the way, to deride parenting as a demeaning task unworthy of an intelligent adult is not a good way to encourage men to become more involved fathers.

Does Iran have long-range Cruise Missiles?

A very disturbing report.
Iran recently acquired 12 cruise missiles with a range of up to 3,000 kilometers, according to OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi (Farkash) on Tuesday. He noted the missiles had the ability to carry a nuclear warhead.

Speaking at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for the last time before leaving his position, Ze'evi noted the missiles originated in a batch of 18 missiles shipped from Ukraine to Russia. Twelve of the missiles made their way to Iran, while the other six ended up in China.

He warned that Iran posed a substantial threat to Israel's security, and that the United States was "dragging its feet" in dealing with the situation. Still, the OC Intelligence head said that diplomatic pressure slowed the Iranian nuclear program, though it was still determined to produce an atomic bomb.

New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Men...

You can download their publication here.

When on earth are we going to have something like that here?

How about some fairness for men?

I'm glad to see more issues related to men being raised in the mainstream media.
Meanwhile, the publicly financed educational system is at least 20% better at producing successful female students than male, yet hardly anyone sees this as remarkable gender discrimination. While there is a vigorous national program to equalize male and female rates of success in science and math, there is not a shred of equivalent attention to the far more central practical impact of the sharp deficit males face in reading and writing.

There are countless thriving "women's studies" programs and only a paltry number of male equivalents. The graduates of such programs (which rarely pass the laxest test for gender diversity) staff the offices of politicians and judges, and assert the obligation of society to redress centuries of dominance by that gaseous overgeneralization--"patriarchy."

When it comes to health status, the disparity in favor of women is enhanced by such patterns as seven times as much federal expenditure on breast cancer as on the prostate variety. And no one is provoked into action because vaunted male patriarchs commit suicide between four and 10 times as frequently as oppressed and brainwashed women. This isn't simply carping about invidious comparison, or reluctance to support legitimate social responses to the needs of women as workers, parents, citizens and virtuousi of their private lives. It is solely about inequity in law, funding and productive public attention. There is scant acknowledgment that we face a generation of young men increasingly failing in a school system seemingly calibrated to female rhythms.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Like what?

If there hadn't been such an uproar when Mulroney wanted to buy those subs, this might not be a problem.
Prime Minister Paul Martin says the federal government will take the "necessary measures" to stop American submarines from passing through Canada's Arctic waters.

He offered no specifics but cast a wary glance at reports that at least one U.S. military submarine had recently patrolled the Arctic and likely passed through Canadian waters.
Isn't time for specifics?

Turkish Court says Iran is a terrorist nation...

The Israelis certainly know what Iran is capable the Turks know as well.
Following years of investigations based on intelligence reports, a Turkish court declared on Friday that terrorism is the instrument of Iran's foreign policy and that Teheran will not hesitate to use terrorism against its rivals in order to achieve its goals.

The Ankara court made public a key report detailing the parts played by nine Islamist militants in a long-running case over the murders of four prominent, pro-secular intellectual writers in the 1990s.

According to the report, neighboring Iran deliberately trained Turkish Islamist radicals and supported terrorist activities aimed at undermining Turkey's strictly secular order.

"Terrorism, which is an instrument of Iran's foreign policy, has been frequently used by that country against Turkey because Teheran sees Turkey as a major rival in the region," the court document said.

The court said that following the Islamic revolution in 1979, Iran became the center of international terrorism while Teheran promoted itself as the natural and spiritual leader of global Islamist revolutionary activities.

According to Turkish intelligence sources, the main suspect in the murders of the writers, Ferhat Ozmen, went to Iran in 1988, joined the so-called "Jerusalem Army" and was trained in assassination, use of weapons, radio-controlled explosives and bomb making.

The Turkish prosecution has described the Jerusalem Army as a group within Iran's Revolutionary Guards which works to export the Islamic revolution to neighboring countries.

And, absolutely NO Hava Negila....

I can always count on Ahmadinejad doing something crazy almost every day...
Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned Western music from Iran's radio and TV stations, reviving one of the harshest cultural decrees from the early days of 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Songs such as George Michael's "Careless Whisper," Eric Clapton's "Rush" and the Eagles' "Hotel California" have regularly accompanied Iranian broadcasts, as do tunes by saxophonist Kenny G.

But the official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of Iran's Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban Western music.

"Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official Web site.

Ahmadinejad's order means the IRIB must execute the decree and prepare a report on its implementation within six months, according to the newspaper.

Some good news for the Americans...

At least some hearts and minds are being won...
Released today, the poll commissioned by the nonprofit organization Terror Free Tomorrow and conducted by Pakistan's foremost pollsters ACNielsen Pakistan shows that the number of Pakistanis with a favorable opinion of the U.S. doubled to more than 46% at the end of November from 23% in May 2005. Those with very unfavorable views declined to 28% from 48% over the same period. Nor is this swing in public opinion confined to Pakistan. A similar picture is evident in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Again that's largely because of American generosity in the wake of a natural disaster. A February 2005 poll by Terror Free Tomorrow showed that 65% of Indonesians had a more favorable opinion of the U.S. as a result of American relief to the victims of last December's tsunami. If these changes in Pakistan and Indonesia influence thinking in other countries, then we could be looking at a broader shift in public sentiment across the Muslim world.

While support for the U.S. has surged, there's also been a dramatic drop in support for Osama bin Laden and terrorism. Since May, the percentage of Pakistanis who feel terrorist attacks against civilians are never justified has more than doubled to 73% from less than half, while the minority who still support terrorist attacks has also shrunk significantly. There's been a similar increase in the number of Pakistanis disapproving of bin Laden, which rose to 41% in November up from only 23% in May.

The important point is that direct contact with Americans on a humanitarian mission, including military personnel, has a positive impact on how Muslims view America. In Pakistan, 78% of those surveyed said that American assistance has made them feel more favorable to the U.S. America also fared much better in the opinion of ordinary Pakistanis than the other Western countries that also provided aid, or even local radical Islamist groups that made a much-publicized effort to provide earthquake relief.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Christmas Poem...

'Twas the night before the election, and all through the House, not a creature was stirring, not even a same-sex spouse.

The whistleblowers were hung out to dry with care,
In hope that integrity soon would be there.

The spin doctors were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar-coating danced in their heads.

Goodale in his kerchief with no spending cap,
And Layton settled down with a long fiscal trap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Belinda wanted another deal on a platter.

"If Harper wins I'll fly back in a flash,
"To be a Tory again and I'll give up my sash."

The moon shone brightly on Parliament Hill,
But who in the shadows hand his hands in the till?

When, what would my wondering eyes see out there?
A sleigh and eight Liberals, flying through the air.

With a little old driver, so sneaky and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Slick.

More rapid than tax cuts his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dingwall! now, Cariveau! now, Coffin and Brault!
"On Ouellet! on, Lafluer! on, Guite and Gagliano!
"To the top of the Peace Tower! to the top of the wall!
"Hide the cash away! cash away! cash away all!:

So up to the house-top the Liberals they flew,
With the sleigh full of blank cheques, and Paul Martin too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard them all linger,
The prancing and pawing of each greedy finger.

As I held onto my wallet, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Paul Martin came with a bound.

He was banged up and bruised but he didn't care,
'Cause Paul Martin had access to better health care;

A bundle of promises he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples so fun!
He said, "Vote for me, and I'll ban the handgun!"

There was no sign of children, they must have been hiding;
Or else they were being looked after by Minister Dryden.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
"Those bastard Americans, I'll sell them our beef;"

He had a broad face but his smile was fading,
When he learned all the rumours of insider trading.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
But they can't have my kids, I'll raise them myself.

They'll give nothing to parents, for they greatly fear:
We'll blow all the money on popcorn and beer.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
The thought of him winning brought nothing but dread;

He took out his golfballs, and went straight to his work.
And filled up Chretien's stocking, then called him a jerk.

He looked at his watch, and cried out "Oh no,
"I cannot be late, for my meeting with Bono;"

He gave his team a whistle, and a brown envelope,
And away they all flew on a sharp upward slope.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he left the Peace Tower,
"Merry Christmas to all - but please - keep me in power!"

-- written by Jeffrey Morris

An Israeli view of WMD in Iraq...

Virtually every intelligence service said there were WMD and Saddam himself told King Abdullah of Jordon that he has WMD.
And here is what he said about other intelligence services, including those of Israel: "When we made the decision to go into Iraq, many intelligence agencies around the world judged that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction." Indeed, many top intelligence and army officials in Israel still insist: "We said this at the time and we were not mistaken. The Americans are the ones who are making the mistake now."

Here is an interesting version that does not worry the public in Israel, in the absence of a public debate over the war in Iraq. These senior officials, who are intimately familiar with Israeli intelligence material, still believe that Iraq really did have weapons of mass destruction. Not nuclear weapons, of course. Israel never made this claim. The Americans indeed erred in inflating the insubstantial information on nuclear plans. But there were chemical and biological weapons. And if the Americans have decided otherwise, especially for political reasons, they are now making a second error on top of the first error.

Some of these officials have shared their views with their American contacts. "Why didn't we find the weaponry?" the Americans asked. The Israelis told them politely: because most of it was transferred to Syria before the war. Such suspicions have been openly published. All the intelligence services in the West are familiar with photographs of trucks sneaking across the border at night, accompanied by senior Iraqi officers. The problem is that the moment Israel turns an accusatory finger toward Syria, it is immediately suspected of ulterior, political motives. "They can think whatever they want," an Israeli officer says. "Perhaps it is impossible to change their opinion, but it is also impossible to change the truth. Material was transferred to Syria in the dark of the night, on the very eve of the war. Therefore, the Americans did not find it." And this, as suggested above, is the more polite explanation.

The other explanation is expressed in more intimate circles in order to avoid irritating the American friend. But in the course of two weeks, I heard it from three different Israelis who were in positions that had access to intelligence during the war. Some of them are still serving in such positions. "They simply don't know how to search properly," said one. "Do you know how they searched? The forces were sent to a certain location and went into the field without a serious intelligence escort. If there was nothing found under the rock at this location, they simply went home, without bothering to turn over the adjacent rock," another said.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Syria behind Hariri's murder...

This is a short tidbit from the London Sunday Times:
The chief UN investigator into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has said he was confident that Syria was behind the killing. It was the first time that Detlev Mehlis has unequivocally accused Syria of responsibility for Hariri's assassination since opening the UN probe in June. Asked by the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat if he was firmly convinced that Syria was behind Hariri's killing, Mehlis replied, "Yes."

More thoughts on Stephen Harper and Same-Sex Marriage

I watched the boring debate last night and fortunately, I didn't have to wait long for a section on same-sex marriage. Here are some of my thoughts on Stephen Harper and SSM.

1. Have a look at Stephen Harper's language on same-sex relationships:
Our party position is to support the traditional definition while supporting similar rights and benefits for all other equivalent relationships.
What exactly does similar mean? Exactly the same? Somewhat different? I would certainly like to have this clarified. Even before SSM passed in the House of Commons, gay people had all the sames rights and benefits as straght people except for one: Timing. All of the court cases on SSM were based on timing - the fact that straght people derive the benefits of marriage immediately after marrying. Gays had to wait. So, the court cases were fought over timing, more than anything else. So, Stephen Harper's statement is somewhat curious.

I would also like to ask Stephen Harper whether similar rights and benefits extends to having gay couples adopt children.

2. I firmly believe that there is no way for SSM to be overturned except via the notwithstanding clause. The reason is simple: Sexual orientation is a protected class under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. This means that gay people, under the Charter, CANNOT be deprived of any of the same rights as straight people. I actually beieve that Parliament, and not the Courts, must make law. However, we must recognize that if Parliament votes to take away SSM, it clashes with the Charter, and the Courts will overrule Parliament.

3. I don't understand the Conservative insistence that we have a free vote on SSM. The plain fact of the matter is that they CANNOT force the other parties to vote freely on this issue. So, if the Conservatives win the election, and there is yet another vote on SSM, it seems likely that Jack Layton will tell his MPs to support SSM, and Paul Martin will probably have his front bench support SSM as well. Are we to have a continuing series of votes on SSM because the vote wasn't 100% totally free???

4. Stephen Harper has said that if SSM is overturned, he would still recognize existing Same-Sex couples. This would mean we would have three clases of people - straight married couples, gay married couples grandfathered from the first passage of SSM, and gay civil unions. Does anybody really believe the Courts would support the existence of three different classes of 'marriage'???

5. Lastly, I doubt that the Conservatives will get a majority. That being the case, it is highly unlikely that the votes are there to overturn SSM.

Same-sex marriage opponents agree with me....

Stephen Harper's pledge not to use the notwithstanding clause means SSM is here to stay.
Opponents of same-sex marriage say they're unhappy but undaunted by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's promise not to use the notwithstanding clause to overturn the law - even if he's doomed to fail without it.

Harper's declaration was "not appreciated," said Charles McVety, head of Canada Christian College and a founder of the Defend Marriage Coalition.

"But we do recognize it's a hypothetical position," he said. "You can never predict the Supreme Court.

"This is not the position that we would like Mr. Harper to take but we do recognize that he is running for prime minister and that he is seeking a compromise."
I'll be doing a major blog on this later today. If you listen carefully to what Stephen Harper is saying - there's not mistake: SSM is here to stay.

And people on the left want to go back to this?

The plain fact of the matter is that Geroge Bush and the Coalition freed millions of women in Afghanistan. And, you get the NDP talking about not sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan have executed a school teacher in front of his pupils for refusing to comply with warnings to stop educating girls.

The attack took place on Thursday at a secondary school in Nadi Ali district, Helmand province, the scene of many Taliban attacks in recent months, according to the police, who learned of the incident yesterday.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll huff and I'll puff and.....

The Europeans love to threaten sanctions....and then do nothing.
European leaders threatened sanctions against
Iran for its president's remarks about
Israel and the Holocaust, even as the regime's interior minister said Friday the widely condemned comments were "misunderstood" by Western governments.

Leaders at a European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, will adopt a statement Friday condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent comments describing the Holocaust as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

"These comments are wholly unacceptable and have no place in civilized political debate," the draft statement said.

EU leaders warned Tehran they will review the diplomatic options for possible sanctions because of Iran's recent "provocative political moves." The statement comes days before EU envoys resume talks with Iran on its nuclear program.
I mean, they still want to 'resume" talks with Iran on nuclear enrichment. They can't take NO for an answer.

Get set for a hard-line terrorist Palestinian Authority...

Coming soon, a Hamas-run Palestinian Authority - dedicated to the destruction of Israel.
Hamas swept 73 percent of the vote in the West Bank's largest city, Nablus, one of three major towns and cities in which it won local elections, according to preliminary results released Friday.

The victory deals a harsh blow to the ruling Fatah party just six weeks ahead of the January 25 parliamentary poll.

"We didn't think for a moment that Hamas would win so many votes," said Issam Abu Bakher, Fatah's chief in the Nablus region. "The earth shook under our feet, and this will have an effect on the parliament (elections)."
Arafat's Fatah party has now split in two....and this will allow Hamas to easily win.

Of course, my personal view is that Hamas should NOT be allowed to run. The Oslo Accords prohibited any political party with ties to terrorism running in elections.

Is Iran developing longer-range missiles?

Russia doesn't seem to understand the Iranian threat.
...the German Bild newspaper's Friday report that Iran is developing longer-range missiles with technology from North Korea and Russia. The report cited information from Germany's foreign intelligence service.

According to Bild, Iran has bought materials for 18 missiles from North Korea and is using technology from Russian submarine-launched missiles to extend their range to 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles).

"Germany and other parts of Europe could be directly affected by the Iranian missile program in the medium to long-term," the newspaper quoted from what it said was a new report from Germany's Federal Intelligence Service.

Illegal campaigning in Ottawa Centre...what would Ed Broadbent say?

I always respected Ed Broadbent, but he would never stoop to this.
Just got a voice mail from someone calling herself "Nora" campaigning on behalf of Paul Dewar, our NDP candidate here in Ottawa Centre. I only note this because she called using her government phone number during government hours on government time. A quick government directory reverse lookup produces the following information:

Nora J Balogh, Manager, Information Integration Services, Social Development Canada

She praised Mr. Dewar (any relation to Marion?) and told me that Ed Broadbent himself endorses the man and wanted me to be aware of that. Now I have a great deal of respect for Ed Broadbent. Indeed, until recently, I lived across the street from Ed and saw him frequently. I disagree with most of what his party stands for, but Ed himself is a terrific and highly respected Parliamentarian. I doubt he would endorse such tactics
Calls should not be made from government offices.

Our hypocrisy on agricultural subsidies...

A nice opinion in the Financial Post today.
Except, of course, that before his moving peroration, Mr. Peterson inserted one or two minor qualifications. "Canada's goals for this Round are clear. In agriculture, Canada seeks to rein-in subsidies and to achieve major improvements in market access. This high level of ambition can only be achieved if countries have some degree of flexibility to accommodate their different domestic policy approaches and sensitivities. Canada strongly supports both our supply-managed sectors and our broader community of agricultural exporters, including the Canadian Wheat Board."

In other words, we will achieve our ambitious goals only if we ... accept less-ambitious goals. We will batter down other people's protectionism, but our own prohibitive tariffs -- often more than 200% -- on milk, chickens, eggs, ice cream and other sensitive products will stay in place.

We are working toward a world in which countries' natural economic advantages determine who produces what. Except that in several of our own agricultural markets, we will simply not let others in. We will work hard so that arbitrary barriers don't block our competitive exporters' entry to other countries' markets. But we will defend to the last Cantonese lunch our right to keep our own arbitrary barriers.

The China threat...

It's always worth remembering that China is far from democratic....
The mainland fishing village of Dongzhou, not far from Hong Kong, was the scene of the fourth event. In perhaps the worse massacre in China since Tiananmen Square, police and locally recruited thugs shot dead up to 30 poor Chinese for protesting the government's confiscating their land for a pittance in order to build a power plant.

Official land grabs, common in China, are one of the main causes of popular protests against the Communist regime, along with corruption of party cadres. Bureaucrats count and report the number of protests -- they say there were 74,000 in 2004. But we don't know what actually happens in the vast majority, including how many people have been killed.

Thousands of police isolated Dongzhou as soon as word of the massacre reached Hong Kong, even denying recovery of bodies to family members, and the authorities cut off all electronic channels of information.

These events underline what we have learned about the Communist dictatorship in Beijing headed by Hu Jintao: its fanatical rejection of democracy and human rights; its single-minded drive to acquire the resources -- including Canadian oil and high-tech -- necessary for economic supremacy; its clear determination to become a military superpower; its unrelenting campaign to dominate other Asian countries; and its systematic brutality to most of the 1.3 billion people of China except party members. More than 50 million Chinese have been killed by Communist rulers.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Same-sex marriage is now safe...

Stephen Harper has said the magic words. He will NOT use the notwithstanding clause to eradicate the right to same-sex marriage. So, even if SSM is overturned by Parliament (which is unlikely), it cannot be overturned. As long as protection for gays is in the Charter of Human Rights & Freedoms, the Supreme Court will never allow a second-class status for gays on marriage. So, what Harper has done is historic - it really makes SSM firm, and it also shows that this is NOT an issue that he is willing to expend a significant amount of political capital on.

A great day for Iraq...

Source: Daily Telegraph

Wow! What a great day. A huge turnout. Very little violence. Even the Sunnis turned out to vote. How can you NOT feel optimisitic about the future of Iraq?

Would a father just get house arrest?

There's an article in today's National Post about an extremely abusive mother who sadistically beat her children for nearly 20 years. Her punishment: 2 years house arrest.
In court they [her three children] testified to daily abuse from as early as they can remember until their mid-teens.

They said their mother once put their heads in a vice, routinely locked them in a cupboard for hours, pushed them down the stairs, fed them inedible meals or not at all, abandoned them in parks for entire days without adequate clothing, and followed them to school to ridicule them in front of their peers.

If they cried, their mother would straddle their chests and cover their mouths and noses so they couldn't breathe.


I'll have to see it for myself, but I am expecting the worse.
Written by Zionism-hating screenwriter Tony Kushner, the film concerns a hit squad sent to assassinate 11 Arab terrorists in retaliation for the 1972 massacre.

One by one, the terrorists fall. And one by one, hit squad members suffer crises of conscience, culminating in one Israeli assassin crying out in agony, "All this blood cries back to us! Jews don't do wrong because our enemies do wrong. We're supposed to be righteous!"

Mercifully, he soon blows himself up.

Here lies the film's biggest flaw — and its greatest danger. "Munich" reeks of moral relativism. It puts the terrorists and those who respond to terror on even moral footing. It suggests that Israel must pay, one way or another, for vengeance.

In Time magazine, Spielberg reveals how Hollywood he's sunk. About the Israelis, he said, tellingly, "A response to a response doesn't really solve anything."

Wait! The unprovoked atrocity carried out by Arabs in Munich is a "response?" To what, exactly? To the existence of Israel

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I love it when greens fight...

She's right, the seal hunt is necessary.
A Green party candidate has withdrawn from the federal race in Labrador riding because her party wants to eliminate the seal hunt.

The party had nominated Jane McGillivray, a Happy Valley-Goose Bay medical doctor and environmentalist.

But McGillivray, who was only in the race for the Jan. 23 election for two weeks, has the left the campaign, saying a ban on the seal hunt would be unfair to people on Canada's East Coast.
"The party needs to mature in such as way that it reflects the fact that there are regional differences," she said.

"I don't see the Green party standing up and banning feed lots in southern Ontario, which are clearly contributing to all sorts of greenhouse gases and in fact are very inhumane in terms of the way pigs are treated and cows are treated."
I really like the fact that the Green's are going free market (which has left a lot of Greens unhappy), but they still have lots of loony policies.

A new day in Iraq...

The election is a fantastic moment for the Muslim world.
At a time when American Democrats are adamantly proclaiming defeat (''The idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong" -- Howard Dean) and ''realists" deride the quest for Arab freedom (''You're not going to democratize Iraq" -- Brent Scowcroft), the optimism of the Iraqis is marvelous to behold. In a new poll, seven out of 10 Iraqis say their lives are going well; 69 percent expect conditions in the country to improve in the year ahead; three-quarters express confidence in this week's parliamentary elections.

Less than three years ago, Iraq was a place where dissent was crushed, freedom of speech unknown, and civil liberties nonexistent. Today it swirls and bubbles with democratic excitement. Thousands of Iraqis are running for office in this week's election. The sights and sounds of self-government -- political posters, passionate debate, radio and TV commentary, candidates pressing the flesh -- are everywhere. It is an extraordinary moment in Iraqi, and Arab, history.

''The tyrant will soon be gone," President Bush promised the Iraqi people in March 2003. ''The day of your liberation is near." Some cynics still sneer that it was really a war for oil, or for Halliburton, but Iraqis cannot afford such delusions. They know now what liberty means and will not willingly give it up.

Iran's murderous regime....

Nothing like having some murderers in your government.
ran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has packed his government with former security and intelligence officials responsible for serious human rights abuses, including the killing of thousands of dissidents in Iranian jails, a leading human rights group said yesterday.

After Mr Ahmadinejad caused renewed international outrage by calling the Nazi Holocaust of Jews a "myth", a report by Human Rights Watch, based in New York, took aim at his hardline cabinet - in particular the new interior minister, Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi.

Mr Pour-Mohammadi, a notorious former deputy intelligence minister, held the post from 1987 to 1999 at a time when his agents "systematically engaged in extra-judicial killings of opposition figures, political activists and intellectuals", HRW said.

The report, entitled Ministers of Murder: Iran's New Security Cabinet, links him to the murder of thousands of political prisoners in Iranian jails in 1988.

"The deliberate and systematic manner in which these extra-judicial executions took place may constitute a crime against humanity under international law," said HRW.

Hurray for Sweden....

Sweden has stepped up to do what is right....what about Canada?
The Swedish parliament will cut all bilateral ties with Iran in a show of solidarity with Israel, it was reported today.

Swedish ambassador to Tel Aviv, Robert Rydberg, confirmed a report by the Jerusalem Post.

But the decision by Swedish parliament speaker Bjorn Van Sydow to break bilateral ties is one of the strongest moves yet.

“Although being restricted by constitutional limitations to act in matters of foreign policies, I can assure you that I will use every opportunity I have to condemn such statements,” he wrote.

“I have made sure that we cease all bilateral contacts with the Iranian parliament. I am willing to defend the rights of Israel to exist as strongly as I defend the rights of my own country to exist,” he added.

Finally, a professional ad...

The first ads were very amateurish...but this new ad is good, very good.

Even the Guardian writes against Ahmadinejad...

Even they are disturbed.
Suddenly, the usual apologetics won't work. No one can say Iran's president was really complaining about Israel or Zionism, rather than Jews. No one can say he was talking about the west's colonial crimes. He was peddling, instead, one of the defining tropes of the racist hard right: Holocaust denial. It is a stance that seeks to deny Jews their history, their suffering, almost their very being. Like denying that African-Americans were ever slaves, it is a move made by those who wish only harm.

In this light, Ahmadinejad's previous musings look rather different. When, in October, he stood beneath a banner that promised "A world without Zionism" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map", many Jews felt a chill at what seemed an annihilationist fantasy. Cooler heads said no, this was merely the hyperbolic style of the region, deployed to press a robust anti-Zionist rather than anti-semitic case. What he wanted, they explained patiently, was a world without Zionism, not a world without Jews.

Well, now I'm done with the charitable explanations. A man who refuses to believe the historic truth is capable of anything. This is not an Arabic cable TV station or an obscure Egyptian newspaper. This is a head of government, the leader of a nation of 70 million - a country that aspires to lead the Muslim world. And, lest we forget, Iran has nuclear ambitions. So now it's not paranoid to worry about a president with annihilationist dreams - it's smart.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad continues to talk about the myth of the holocaust...

I guess he just can't help himself...
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday called the Holocaust a myth, sparking a flourish of international condemnation.

"Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the southeastern city of Zahedan.

He added that Europeans are responsible for any crimes that may have been committed against Jews, and that the "oppressed Palestinian nation" should not have to pay the price of land.

Ahmadinejad suggested that Canada or the United States give part of their land to the Jews to establish a state.

"This is our proposal: give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country," he said.
OK, we'll take California. Canada's too cold.

Gebran Tueni

Claudia Rosett has a terrific profile of Lebanese journalist Gebran Tueni.
At a rally of the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon this past March, among the chants of "Death to America" and the banners lauding Syria, some of the demonstrators brandished posters that threatened, in Arabic: "We are going to sweep Gebran Tueni from Lebanon."

That is what someone has now done, with the car-bombing Monday on the outskirts of Beirut that murdered the 48-year-old Tueni, who was Lebanon's leading newspaperman in the struggle for a free and democratic society. Tueni's assassination comes not only as a loss to the Lebanese, but a hideous affront to the free world. Coming within hours of the latest United Nations report from Detlev Mehlis's investigation into the February bomb assassination in Beirut of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, Tueni's death also underscores big questions about whether it is enough to wait upon the further findings of U.N. process--however admirably diligent that has been in digging into the affairs of the prime suspect, which is the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad. In the matter of Lebanon's afflictions, Tueni himself spent years telling us what the problem was, and the direction he pointed was not only Syria, but Iran.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Prosperous Iran...

Perhaps the best reason for us to get off of oil is Iran.
The following statistics will help explain the difficulty in imposing economic sanctions on Iran: In the beginning of 2006 the total trade between it and China will reach some $8 billion, and by the end of 2006 it will rise to $10 billion; the gas pipeline between Iran and India will cost some $10 billion, and is meant to provide a significant portion of India's gas needs; and Russia is set to sign an agreement to sell Iran $1 billion in weapons.

Iran, which is becoming transformed by world oil prices into an ever wealthier state and one that can pay for its deals primarily in cash, is economically prosperous. It appears that its leadership thinks its in such a good position that it can reject a Russian compromise proposal on the nuclear issue, and that it can depend on China to veto any sanction the United Nations may decide to impose.

Here's a lawsuit I support...

I hadn't noticed this until now - a class action lawsuit from Federal government employees regarding bilingualism.
On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Quebec referendum, civil servants are uniting to challenge Ottawa's new OFFICIAL LANGUAGES POLICY.

Many dozens of federal workers have put their name to a first - ever "Class Action" complaint to the office of the Official Languages Commissioner.

The 12 page complaint completes a lengthy process to draft a reaction to the commissioner's first annual report on the new 2004 Official Languages Policy in March of this year.

The complaint claims that the policy breaches the Canadian Constitution and the Official Languages Act by overstepping the intent and language in the statutes by fast-tracking mandatory bilingual job requirements for the civil service while at the same time drastically reducing language training. Statistics in the document show that senior unilingual civil servants and minority federal workers are now denied career opportunities until they speak a second official language despite being guaranteed work in the language of their choice under the Official Languages Act.

It is felt that this offends the very fundamental civil rights of Canadians. It is time for civil servants to stand up and be counted on this before it is too late.

The class action complaint document filed today, includes a confidential annex of names. The list will be enlarged and refiled regularly over the coming months with the office of the Commissioner while the investigation is active.

A ridiculous ruling...

I think he should be allowed to say what he thinks....but this ruling is absolutely silly.
When is the Mayor of London not the Mayor of London? When he is calling a Jewish reporter a concentration camp guard.

Ken Livingstone successfully argued yesterday that he was not acting in his official capacity when he made the comment as he left an official party he was hosting.

Lawyers representing him at a hearing into his conduct said that because he had left the function and was on his way home he was acting as a private citizen when he made the comment.

He was therefore not in breach of the Greater London Authority's code of conduct because he was not working for them at the time.

The mayor was appearing before the independent Adjudication Panel facing two charges of breaching the code by his "failure to treat others with respect" and "bringing his office or authority into disrepute".

Mr Livingstone's comments were made to an Evening Standard reporter as he left City Hall on Feb 8 this year after hosting a reception to celebrate 20 years since the first openly gay MP, Chris Smith, "came out".

During the exchange, the reporter, Oliver Finegold, asked if it had been a good party, to which Mr Livingstone replied: "What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?"

When Mr Finegold said he was Jewish and therefore offended by the comment, Mr Livingstone added: "Well you might be Jewish but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?"
I can't imagine them holding a straight face when announcing this ruling.