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 (

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Iran holds illicit nuclear document...

I'm glad that Iran has been referred to the UN Security Council...but, do they have the stomach to really do anything?
A document obtained by Iran on the nuclear black market serves no other purpose than to make an atomic bomb, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday.

The finding was made in a report prepared for presentation to the 35-nation IAEA board when it meets, starting Thursday, on whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which has the power to impose economic and political sanctions on Iran.

The report was made available in full to The Associated Press.

First mention of the documents was made late last year in a longer IAEA report. At that time, the agency said only that the papers showed how to cast "enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms."

The agency refused to make a judgment on what possible uses such casts would have. But diplomats familiar with the probe into Iran's nuclear program said then that the papers apparently were instructions on how to mold highly enriched grade uranium into the core of warheads.

In the brief report obtained Tuesday, however, the agency said bluntly that the 15-page document showing how to cast fissile uranium into metal was "related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Suicide and Gender...

Here's an article about suicide in the US. The data is similar to Canada.
n a recent column about a UC Davis freshman who shot himself, I included a statistic from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Boys commit 86 percent of all adolescent suicides.

Eighty-six percent.

The number floored me, particularly as the mother of a son. Yet not a single e-mail, phone call or letter about the column mentioned the striking statistic.

It occurred to me that if 86 percent of adolescent suicides were girls, there would be a national commission to find out why. There'd be front-page stories and Oprah shows and nonprofit foundations throwing money at sociologists and psychologists to study female self-destruction. My feminist sisters and I would be asking, rightly, "What's wrong with a culture that drives girls, much more than boys, to take their own lives?"

So why aren't we asking what's wrong with a culture that drives boys, much more than girls, to take their own lives? Even in academia, where you can find studies on the most obscure topics, there is little research explaining why boys are disproportionately killing themselves. The Center for Adolescence at Stanford, a nationally recognized clearinghouse on teen behavior, has no one on its long roster of experts who can speak on the topic. Neither does the American Association of Suicidology, an organization dedicated to suicide prevention since 1968.
The same is all true of Canada...nobody really wants to talk about why men commit a disproportionate number of suicides.

Europeans dither on Hamas...

Once again, the Europeans are going to wait and wait.....
The EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels earlier in the day were somewhat less adamant, making it clear that they would give Hamas some time before cutting off aid.

In a statement released after the meeting, the foreign ministers said: "Violence and terror are incompatible with democratic processes and urged Hamas and all other factions to renounce violence, to recognize Israel's right to exist and to disarm."
How long will the Europeans wait until they realize that Hamas won't do any of the above?

Hamas victory shows what the Palestinians want...

Jeff Jacoby argues that the election of Hamas is good news.
Well, put me in a third camp: I think the sweeping Hamas victory is by far the best result that could have been hoped for.

I say that not because Hamas is anything other than a blood-drenched terrorist group responsible for killing or maiming thousands of innocent victims, but because its lopsided win is an unambiguous reality check into the nature of Palestinian society. And if there is one thing that the West badly needs, it is more realism and less delusion about the Palestinians.

Some of that delusion was on display at the White House on Thursday, when President Bush painted the Palestinian election as a "healthy" and "interesting" exercise in civic reform:

"Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush explained. "The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find healthcare. And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories. . . . There's something healthy about a system that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting."

Please, Mr. President. If a slate of neo-Nazi skinheads swept to power in a European election, would you say that the voters were seeking "honest government" and "services"? Palestinians are not stupid, and it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of "Mein Kampf," what they're *really* after is better healthcare. Islamist extremism isn't needed to fix Palestinian hospitals any more than Fascism was needed to make Italian trains run on time in the 1920s. If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it's a safe bet that the hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Boycott Israel forum held in London...

Fortunately, only 60 people attended...but this is very offensive.
A forum entitled "Why we must boycott apartheid Israel" was held at the University of London's student union to tie in with the trial at Uxbridge Magistrate's Court of seven activists accused of blockading the UK offices of Agrexco, an Israeli agricultural export company, in 2004.

Dr. Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian writer and academic living in London, told the audience of about 60 people that a boycott and sanctions against Israel must focus on attacking support for Israel.

"Israel must be a pariah until they learn to be civilized," she said at the forum, which was hosted last week by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, a pro-Palestinian non-governmental organization.

Introduced as an expert witness at the trial, Dr. Uri Davis, academic and author of the book Israel: An Apartheid State, called for a boycott.

"We must boycott and disinvest in Israel until the rogue government submits to the values of human rights, international law and UN Resolutions 181 and 194," he said.

Did the Palestinians get democracy?

The election of Hamas is a disaster - how long before the western democracies start demanding that Israel deal with them?
Wednesday's Palestinian election, hailed by the world for passing without incidents of violence, was not the same as democracy, Likud Knesset candidate Natan Sharansky told The Jerusalem Post outside the Knesset on Sunday.

Sharansky, who wrote the influential bestseller The Case For Democracy, said that there should have been a process of democratization in the Palestinian Authority that culminated with an election, instead of holding an election that he said came instead of real democratic reforms.

"Democracy isn't hocus-pocus; it's a process," Sharansky said. "An election between a terrorist organization that wants to destroy the state of Israel and a corrupt dictatorship that does not care about helping its own people is not democracy. The results of the election were clean but it has nothing to do with democracy."

Sharansky blamed the Israeli government for not doing enough to encourage the development of Palestinian democracy. He said there was never any pressure from Israel for the Palestinians to democratize.

Political correctness gone crazy....

Isn't the freedom of assocation one of our basic rights?
A UNIVERSITY Christian Union has been suspended and had its bank account frozen after refusing to open its membership to people of all religions.

The Christian Union, an evangelical student organisation, has instructed lawyers and is threatening court proceedings against the Birmingham Guild of Students.

The Birmingham Christian Union has more than 100 members who attend meetings regularly and has been functioning at the university for 76 years.

Members claim the actions have been taken against them after they refused on religious grounds to make “politically correct” changes to their charitable constitution, including explicitly mentioning people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.

The Christian Union was advised that the use of the words “men” and “women” in the constitution were causing concern because they could be seen as excluding transsexual and transgendered people.
My god, excluding transsexuals??? I say let's give them the freedom to associate with whom they wish.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

An interview with Hamas...

We now have two regimes dedicated to the destruction of Israel - Iran and the Palestinian Authority.
Sa'id Ghazali a Palestinian journalist in Jerusalem put a series of questions to Yasser Mansour, a spokesman for Hamas in Nablus, to see if the world could expect any more miracles.

Can Hamas convince Europe and the US to pay 58,000 Palestinian security people and 70,000 civil servants?

If Europe and the US refuse to pay, then Hamas will seek financial assistance from the Arab and Islamic world. Hamas has its own resources.

Will Hamas be committed to all the accords that former Palestinian governments signed with Israel?

No, Hamas does not recognise the Oslo accords and the other accords, including the Road Map.

Will Hamas dismantle the Al-Aqsa martyrs brigades and Islamic Jihad, and incorporate its own military wing, the Ezzeddin al Qassam brigades, into the security forces?

Hamas will form a national army, comprised of all these military wings.

Will Hamas order the PA security forces to fight the Israeli army when it raids Palestinian cities and villages?

We have not reached this situation. We should consult with other PLO factions. We will make a decision later.

How will Hamas secure the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails?

The release will be a pre-condition for renewing the truce with Israel.

Can Hamas form a coalition?

Hamas will try to make a coalition government with Fatah. If this is not possible, it will make a coalition with other PLO factions and then with independents.

Will Hamas recognise Israel?

No, we cannot recognise Israel. We cannot recognise the occupation. We are prepared to make a long term truce, based on full withdrawal to 1967 borders.

Only in Malaysia...

I was living in Singapore when Anwar was sacked.
Malaysian dissident politician Anwar Ibrahim on Friday sued former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for defamation after Mahathir refused to apologize for calling him gay.

Anwar's counsel, Sankara Nair, filed the suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, setting the stage for yet another legal battle between the two who were once close friends and colleagues but became bitter foes after a fallout eight years ago.

Mahathir, who retired in October 2003, reiterated late last year that he fired Anwar as his deputy in 1998 because his alleged sexual orientation made him unfit for office.

"I cannot have a sodomizer in my Cabinet ... Imagine a gay P.M. ... nobody will be safe," he told reporters in September. Sodomy is a crime in this conservative, mostly Muslim Southeast Asian country.
I doubt this will get to trial. Mahathir used to give speeches accusing the Jews of being behind the Asian currency crisis in the late 90s.

Friday, January 27, 2006

When are they going to reimburse men???

Fine to pay this women...but in reality there are thousands of men who have been victimized by false accusations.
A woman who says Memorial University damaged her reputation more than 10 years ago by accusing her of sexual abuse is entitled to keep more than $800,000 in damages, the Supreme Court ruled today.

Stephen Harper needs to meet with the gay community...

The Financial Post today had a very good article by Lawrence Solomon about how Harper can shed his image as a sexual throwback. Stephen Harper has reached out to virtually every minority group - Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Chinese, etc -- except for gays. He needs to talk to the gay community - they might not like what he has to say, but he should be the one to explain his position. For instance:

1. What is his concept of civil unions?

2. He has stated that civil unions for gay people should have 'similar' rights and privileges to marriage. Is 'similar' the same as exactly???

3. Assure the gay community that if a free vote to even re-consider same-sex marriage fails, the Conservatives will NEVER bring it up again.

And, yes, I believe he should march in the gay pride parade in Toronto.

New info on Iraqi WMD....

Yet another source saying they were taken to Syria....
The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

No one wants to stand up to China..

Oh yes, working with the Chinese will be so much more effective. NOT.
The internet company Google was facing renewed criticism yesterday after it launched a Chinese version of its search engine that helps the Beijing authorities to block access to pro-democracy websites.

The media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, described the move as a "black day" for freedom of expression.

However, Google, whose company motto is "do no evil" believes it can play a more useful role by working with the Chinese government. The Chinese authorities devote huge resources to restricting access to the internet. Many sites, including the BBC's news service and Amnesty, are unavailable in the country.

Google's old search engine was subject to blocks from the government's sophisticated computer servers - known as the "great firewall of China".

However, in order to launch its new search service,, from computer servers based within China, the company has agreed to actively help the government limit content. Google argues that it would be more damaging to pull out of China altogether and says that in contrast to other search engines, it will inform users when access is restricted on certain search terms.

Sensitive topics are likely to include independence for Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, as well as human rights in China generally.

OK, Let's have that free vote on Same-sex marriage

Somehow, given the makeup of the new parliament, I have a s suspicion that many Conservatives will prefer to wait on a vote on SSM until they have a majority in the next Parliament. Stephen Harper has said that if they lose the first vote on SSM (to see whether Parliament wants to re-open the issue) then it's over forever.

Well, at least two new Conservatives are supportive of same-sex marriage: John Baird and Garth Turner. There might be more. The Montreal Gazette notes that the new independent Andre Arthur has no interest in the issue, so he might also be a NO vote againt re-opening.

The Marriage Vote tracks votes on same-sex marriage, and right now they're at a dead heat. However, they don't have the voting intentions of a lot of the new MPs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A great campaign...

I have to tell you...I had the time of my life during the recent election campaign. I worked for several months for Keith Fountain, who was running for the Conservatives in Ottawa Centre. Unfortunately, Keith didn't win - although he did improve the Conservative share of the votes from the last election, while the other major candidates dropped.

I had been looking for a Conservative candidate to work with for a while. In my riding (Ottawa-Vanier), the Liberals have held the seat longer than the Soviet Union was a country. So, I wanted to find a candidate close by that I could really believe in.

Last May, I got an e-mail from a friend telling me all about Keith. At about the time same time, Keith sent me an e-mail through this blog. I was pretty impressed that a Conservative Party candidate was reading, I was eager to meet Keith. It didn't take long to realize that Keith deserved to be in Parliament - he was bright, a libertarian in many regards, and he was passionate about how government could be improved. And, he had no problem with gay people!

I started helping distribute literature and then I took Keith out to a gay bar to do some campaigning. How many Conservative Party candidates campaign in gay bars? And, while he was there he was met several friends and colleagues from work.

Over time, I became his media person, his scheduler, and I drove him around to campaign events. The more I worked with Keith, the more I knew he was the future of the Conservative Party (or at least I hope so).

It was a hard and long campaign. Now, that it's over, I'm a little sad. I met a lot of terrific people working for Keith - all of them passionate about the future of this country - and all of them putting in tremendous amounts of time to help the Conservative cause. Admirable people -- all of them. I will miss working with them.

I hope Keith continues in politics. I hope the Conservative Party noticed what a great candidate he was. Canada needs more people like Keith.

I wish Stephen Harper the best! I hope he can prove that he can govern competently. However, I do know one thing. Some of the best Conservative Party candidates aren't in the House of Commons.

Why I limited blogging during the election....

As you might know, I worked for Keith Fountain, Cosnervative Candidate in Ottawa-Centre as his media and communications manager. Unfortunately, Keith did not win - but he did improve the Conservative vote from the last election, while the Liberal and the NDP vote both declined.

Anyways, in early January, I received a call from CBC Television. Seems that they had received a complain about my blog - and in particular, about my posting about Kwanzaa on December 30th. People were complaining that my post was racist.

I had a long talk with the reporter from the CBC. He personally thought there was nothing to the complaint, but he was told to investigate. Clearly, somebody from the Liberals or the NDP had called the CBC.

Fortunately, they decided that there was no story.....but, I decided to limit my blogging until the election was over. The last thing I wanted to do was to potentially hurt Keith - no matter how trumped up the charge.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Iran continues its nuclear program...

The gathering storm.....this is from the Sunday Telegraph.
Iran has secretly extended the uranium enrichment plant at the centre of the international controversy over its resumption of banned nuclear research earlier this month, satellite imagery has revealed.

Seven buildings have been erected around the concealed centrifuges which Western governments fear will be used to manufacture weapons-grade uranium at the Natanz site, 200 miles south of Teheran.

The discovery has heightened fears that Iran is stepping up the pace of its suspected weapons programme, in breach of international agreements, since it removed International Atomic Energy Authority seals on nuclear equipment at the site 10 days ago.

Western intelligence agencies are focusing on alarming similarities in satellite imagery of Iran's nuclear sites, which the regime claims are for civilian purposes, and atomic facilities in Pakistan used to make the raw materials for nuclear weapons, as they try to identify the purpose of the Natanz construction spree.

What the Liberals really fear from Stephen Harper...

The Liberals aren't really worried about same-sex marriage; and, they're not worried about a women's right to choose....what really scares them about Stephen Harper is that he might turn out to be a competent prime minister. To a Liberal - that's really scary, no? If Stephen Harper turns out to be competent, then the Liberals will actually have to start, at some point in the future, campaigning on ideas and policy. For some Liberals, that must be a scary prospect.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The 'final war' between Muslims and the West?

More indications of how President Ahmadinejad thinks.
Hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told senior leaders of a radical Palestinian group in Damascus on Friday that the Middle East conflict has become “the locus of the final war” between Muslims and the West, Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, reported.

Ahmadinejad, who was speaking on the second day of his two-day trip to Syria, told the leaders of Hamas, “Today, victory in Palestine has become a matter of life and death for the Islamic world and for Global Arrogance (the West)”.

The Iranian president urged the Palestinians to reject moves such as Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.

“Some point to the withdrawal of the occupiers from parts of Palestine, but this event has already been greatly detrimental to Muslims”, Ahmadinejad said.

“If the occupiers stay on even one inch of Palestinian soil, the goal of Palestine will not be realised”, Ahmadinejad told Hamas leaders, who included Khalid Mash’al, the head of the group’s political bureau.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Iranians moving assets...

Clearly, they are worried about sanctions. Don't they realize the west doesn't have the balls to do anything?
Iran is moving foreign exchange out of European banks in advance of a possible referral to the
United Nations Security Council and imposition of economic sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Ebrahim Sheibani, Central Bank governor, told reporters on Friday that Iran would "transfer the foreign exchange reserves wherever we consider expedient" and confirmed a shift from Europe had begun.

Mr Sheibani refused to give details or to say where the funds were going, although ISNA, the semi-official Iranian news agency, said the destination was southeast Asia.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Vote for Keith Fountain in Ottawa Centre

People in Ottawa Centre are very lucky. The Conservative candidate, Keith Fountain, has that rare combination of intelligence, experience, and forthrightness. In a certain sense, Keith embodies what I would call ‘urban conservatism’.

First, Keith is libertarian on many issues. He supports same-sex marriage, pure and simple. He is very comfortable around gay people, and his campaign has advertised in Capital Xtra – probably one of the only conservatives in the country to advertise in a gay newspaper. But, this speaks to his ease in working with many people from many different communities – be them Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Gay, etc. I like that.

Part of the reason that Keith is so comfortable with people is that he has extensive experience in living and working overseas. He has lived in Poland, Malaysia and Pakistan, and he opened the Canadian embassy in Afghanistan. This foreign experience means that Keith has a good appreciation of what is good in Canada and what can be improved. He also has some good insights into other cultures. Shouldn’t more candidates for public office have spent some significant amount of time in other countries?

Secondly, Keith has some good ideas on how to make government work a whole lot better than it is now. He wants to bring in more market-based mechanisms to help the environment. He wants to lower taxes across the board, so that people have more choices in their lives. He wants government to tackle real issues – like smog – instead of just talking about (and doing little) about CO2 emissions.

Lastly, Keith is a regular guy. He’s not a lobbyist. He’s not a lawyer. He’s just a guy who has already worked hard for Canada through 15 years experience in the Foreign Service. And, that’s why he’s so comfortable talking to people.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Ottawa Centre, then please vote for Keith. Canada needs more MPs like him, and the Conservative Party can use another bright light in the House.

My election prediction....

Well, I think it is time to review...I mean, change my election prediction. On December 3rd, my prediction was that the Liberals would win 120 seats and the Conservatives 102. Well, I've sort of flipped the prediction. I'm not changing the number of seats for either the Bloc or the NDP.

Here is my new prediction:

Conservatives: 118
Liberals: 104
NDP: 26
Bloc 60

I still believe that the Conservatives won't win a seat in Quebec, but we shall see.

I was right...more gay couples are tying the know...

As I said: Caterers get ready....
Gay couples across Canada are rushing to the altar, worried that a possible Conservative government will reverse the legalization of same sex marriages.

David Lockwood and Jason Cass got married Wednesday in Toronto.

"We decided Saturday night (to get married) Wednesday afternoon. The election is Monday. We wanted to do it before Monday," Cass said.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper said at the beginning of the election campaign that he would allow a free vote on the issue if the Conservatives form the next government.

Pastor Mickey Wilson in Edmonton is scheduled to marry five same-sex couples in 10 days.

Toronto's city hall wedding co-ordinator, Louise Code, said there are 10 same-sex marriages booked for Friday.

"We've noticed a considerable surge in same-sex weddings that wish to be performed," she said.

So has Winnipeg wedding planning company Pride Bride.
As I said earlier, even if the Conservatives voted agaisnt same-sex marriage, they would still recognize currently-married couples. That would create three classes of 'marriages' - traditional, same-sex, and the new civil unions. Does anybody really think the Supreme Court would accept three different classes of marriage?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A conservative victory would be a boom to the gay marriage business....

They'll be a huge number of gay weddings in the next few months if the conservatives win.
Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman is one Canadian who doesn't want to turn back the clock on gay marriage.

Smitherman said he and his gay partner may move up their wedding date if Harper wins the federal election.

"The reality is for some Canadians who currently possess certain rights, these rights seem to be . . . put at risk by a Harper election," he said.
Caterers: Get Ready!

Couple goes to jail over Wendy's scam...

We blogged on this when the story first came's the final outcome.
A California couple who planted a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili in a plan to extort money from the food chain were sentenced to prison terms of nine and 12 years.

Anna Ayala, 40, who claimed she bit into the finger last March, got a nine-year sentence, while her husband, Jamie Plascencia, 44, was sentenced to 12 years.

"Greed and avarice overtook this couple," said Superior Court Judge Edward Davila during the sentencing in San Jose.

Ayala and Plascencia pleaded guilty in September on charges of conspiracy to file a false insurance claim and attempted grand theft with damages exceeding $2.5 million.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jack Layton shows his ignorance....

You can download an interview conducted with NDP Leader Jack Layton held with represenatives of the Canadian Jewish Community. Here are his answers are current politics in the Palestinian Authority.
Marc Gold
Thank you, Ed. This is a question returning us to the Middle East and it is with regards to the upcoming election in the Palestinian Authority. As you know, the elections for the Palestinian legislative council are scheduled to take place in late January of this year, assuming that they are not deferred as some have speculated. Do you believe that Canada should engage in dialogue with Hamas candidates who are participating in the elections and may in fact become part of the Palestinian government, yet as members of Hamas remain committed by virtue of their charter to the destruction of Israel?

Jack Layton
I didn’t know that that was under way. I would like to do a little further research on that particular question and get back to you, because I’m not clear on precisely what you are proposing might be taking place and I would like to know more. We certainly are all of us thinking very much right now today and at this very moment about the circumstances of security in the Middle East, in Israel. Let me take this opportunity to express at a very personal level our feelings and Sharon. We are focusing very much on his family and those close to him. We are hoping that there is somehow good news soon.

On the broader question, this is a time for all parties to pull back, for political advantage, absolutely not to be taken and anything that we can do to be helpful in that regard in a small way, certainly anything that Canada can do to help ensure that the political temperature which is difficult at the best of times is not elevated in any way in this period anywhere in the Middle East. It is certainly going to be a top priority. I think all of us are very very concerned.

Marc Gold
Thank you, Mr. Layton and we are – the entire community appreciates your latter comments, but just as a follow-up, the elections for the Palestinian legislative council which are scheduled will have running in those elections members of Hamas and Hamas, as you know, neither renounces arm struggle nor accepts the legitimacy of Israel. It calls for its physical destruction. Do you believe that a group like Hamas becomes a legitimate player in a political process simply because it fields candidates in an election?

Jack Layton
Well, we are opposed absolutely and unalterably to terrorism, to suicide bombing. We have taken actions in the House in support of that and to us, a democratic process is anathema to terrorism and violence and these would be the principles that we think should govern relationships. In terms of the specifics of what level of engagement Canada might have with particular candidates or parties in these elections, I’m going to have to say I will have to get back to you because I’m not aware of the level of connection or involvement that you are talking about here.
It's clear that Jack just doesn't know what's happening in the middle east - this is the leader of a national party and he is professing ignorance. This should be a national story.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Polygamy in Canada???

Opponents of same-sex marriage are now clearly saying - Told you so - now that a study has come forward recommending that Canada legalize polygamy. However, the study says that the challenge to the charter would come under the freedom of religion section. This really has nothing to do with same-sex marriage at all.

How low can Galloway sink?

This is pretty low, but knowing Galloway he probably could sink lower.
George Galloway plumbed new depths when he pretended to be a cat as part of a task set for him during his appearance on the television show Celebrity Big Brother.

The Repect Party MP, who last year lambasted the United States Senate over the war in Iraq, crouched on all fours, purring and licking imaginary milk from the hands of the actress Rula Lenska.

She then rubbed the "cream" from his "whiskers" and stroked his head and behind his ears before he put his head on her lap.

Mr Galloway, 51, faced an immediate backlash from residents of his Bethnal Green and Bow constituency, east London, who voted for him last May.

He further angered conservative Muslims, who make up the bulk of his support, when he told his housemates, including glamour models, entertainers and minor pop stars, that his favourite pursuits were sex and sunbathing.

James Sibthorp, 47, who runs a cab company in the constituency, said: "It is an insult to local people that we've got our MP acting like a fool pretending to be a cat. I hope he stays in there even longer so that people realise who they have voted for - a self-publicist with a big ego."

Friday, January 13, 2006

The real green agenda...

Earth is too crowded!

Chris Rapley, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, writes for the BBC News Web site, that the Earth is too crowded (currently at 6.5 billion). He writes that....
A scientific analysis can tell us what that optimum number is (perhaps 2-3 billion?)
How on earth do you get rid of 4 billion people?

Here's his bombshell quote:
With that number and a timescale as targets, a path to reach "Utopia" from where we are now is, in principle, a straightforward matter of identifying options, choosing the approach and then planning and navigating the route from source to destination.
Hat tip: Melanie Phillips

"A Hollywood Ignoramus.."

Kraithammer takes on "Munich"...
Spielberg makes the Holocaust the engine of Zionism and its justification. Which, of course, is the Palestinian narrative. Indeed, it is the classic narrative for anti-Zionists, most recently the president of Iran, who says that Israel should be wiped off the map. And why not? If Israel is nothing more than Europe's guilt trip for the Holocaust, then why should Muslims have to suffer a Jewish state in their midst?

It takes a Hollywood ignoramus to give flesh to the argument of a radical anti-Semitic Iranian. Jewish history did not begin with Kristallnacht. The first Zionist Congress occurred in 1897. The Jews fought for and received recognition for the right to establish a "Jewish national home in Palestine" from Britain in 1917 and from the League of Nations in 1922, two decades before the Holocaust.

But the Jewish claim is far more ancient. If the Jews were just seeking a nice refuge, why did they choose the malarial swamps and barren sand dunes of 19th-century Palestine? Because Israel was their ancestral home, site of the first two Jewish commonwealths for a thousand years — long before Arabs, long before Islam, long before the Holocaust. The Roman destructions extinguished Jewish independence but never the Jewish claim and vow to return home. The Jews' miraculous return 2,000 years later was tragic because others had settled in the land and had a legitimate competing claim. Which is why Jews have for three generations offered to partition the house. The Arab response in every generation has been rejection, war and terrorism.

An election prediction....

It seems like everybody predicts there will be a conservative breakthrough in Quebec. The Globe & Mail today published a survey predicting 8 seats for the Tories. Well, I just don't see it. With the Bloc at 48% in the polls, I find it hard to believe that the Conservatives and the Liberals won't split the federalist votes. So, here's my prediction. Zero seats for the Tories in Quebec. I certainly hope that I am wrong.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yad Vashem worried about Iran...

and rightly so....
Yad Vashem said yesterday it viewed with "growing concern" what it termed Iran's continued Holocaust denial, and called on the international community to act "to prevent genocidal intentions from becoming genocidal capabilities".

"Reports that the Association of Islamic-Journalists of Iran is convening an international conference of Holocaust deniers to `examine in depth this myth' illustrate how deeply entrenched Holocaust denial is in radical Islamic circles," Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said in a statement.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a series of remarks starting in October, has denied the occurence and extent of the Holocaust several times, at one point calling the Nazi genocide of Europe's Jews a "fairy tale." He said that if Europeans were responsible for the Jews' massacre, then they should relocate the Jewish state to their continent.

Some thoughts on the election so far....

I've had the privilege of attending several all-candidates are some of my comments:

o Shouldn't the Green Party merge with the NDP? What exactly is the difference between the two parties?

o Why do they include the fringe candidates in many meetings? In Ottawa Centre, there have been meetings with 7 candidates. It kind of makes it hard to have any sort of meaningful debate. I'd like to stick with the top contending candidates.

o If I hear the NDP say one more time that they 're-wrote the budget', I'll throw up.

o For the National debates, shouldn't there be a 1:1 debate between Martin and Harper? Not all of them, but at least one.

o Where has all the serious debate about foreign policy gone? Even on health care, we just seem to get one-liners. We eventually have to have a serious debate about the future of health care.

o Isn't it obvious that minority parliaments will be with us for some time? If so, all the parties are going to have to start to learn how to operate in that environment. We can't have elections every 18 months.

o And, what about proportional representation? I think we need some of it....certainly if the Bloc keeps winning most of Quebec seats, it will make it obvious that we have to change our system. As soon as this election is over, let's start that national discussion.

o Hey, a winter election wasn't so bad, afterall!

o Can you believe how bad the Liberal campaign has been? They claim they are champions of minorities - yet, they just piss people off. They need some time in opposition, no?

o Let's not have one debate next election just on Quebec (or two). Maybe every election we can have 3 national debates with the major parites, 1 debate with the two top leaders, and a full debate on just one topic (like health care...or whatever). I'd like to see the leaders get more specific...and really get into an issue.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A discouraging all-candidates meeting...

At the All-Candidates for Ottawa Centre tonight, held in the Glebe part of Ottawa, a little bit of theatre was quite disappointing. The candidates were discussing a serious topic - moving a parole office on elgin street that is right next to an elementary school. The candidate for the marijuana party saw nothing wrong with that - but then suggested moving the American embassy out of Ottawa. And, that got a huge amount of applause!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Crime in Canada....

Have you noticed that NONE of the political parties have mentioned fatherlessness as a source of crime in Canada?

The plain fact of the matter is that children who are fatherless are eight times more likely to go to prison; five times more likely to commit suicide, and twenty times more likely to have behavioural problems.

This should be a major election issue and is not even being mentioned!

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

Gee, Iran's move to resume nuclear research 'concern's the UK.
The British government has expressed concern at Iran's reopening of its nuclear research facilities.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw accused Iran of breaking UN agreements, saying the country was "pushing its luck" with the international community.

A Downing Street spokesman said there was a "growing recognition" that Iran was posing a "real problem".
A growing recognition???? WAKE UP!!!!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Notwithstanding clause...

Obviously, Paul Martin was desperate. So, all of a sudden he brings up a constitutional change. I think we can all agree that this sort of proposal deserves more than two weeks of debate.

Unfortunately, his proposal does nothing to help the most aggrieved minority in this country -- English-speaking Quebecers. Their language rights were trampled on (and still are) and he won't even speak up for them.

Ok, the election's over....

Finally, the poll that's really worth something.
If a beauty contest was held between Canada's four federal party leaders, Stephen Harper would win the crown, according to an exclusive national poll conducted for Sun Media by Strategic Communications Inc.

When asked which party leader is the most physically attractive, 19.9% of those surveyed said Harper.
Of course, I always vote the best looking candidate!

Better the Liberals than SSM?

Independent candidate John Pacheco is running in Ottawa West-Nepean and is trying to block a conservative candiate from winning because he supports SSM.
He feels so strongly, he says he'd rather see Liberal Lee Farnworth win than have John Baird and his support for same-sex marriage cause divisiveness within the Conservative party.

Pacheco wants to steal enough votes to prevent a Baird win.
I hope he's not successful. John Baird is an outstanding candidate in every way, and parliament would be a lot better with him in it.

But, the philosophy that we can't have a difference of opinion in the conservative party is frightening. Look, attitudes are changing. 25% of the delegates to the Conservative Party Policy conference voted in favour of same-sex marriage - as young conservatives come to the fore, this percentage will just increase. It's just a matter of time!

More infiltration into Gaza...

Iran is the big factor here...
Weapons experts in Palestinian terror groups who have undergone training in Lebanon, Syria and possibly Iran have recently infiltrated the Gaza Strip, a senior security official said on Sunday.

The official said that after Israel pulled out of Gaza, several Palestinians who had attended training camps run by Iranians and Hezbollah members entered the Strip, apparently from Sinai.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have invested a lot of effort during the last few years in assisting terror organizations in the West Bank and Gaza, helping them manufacture explosives and high-trajectory weapons such as Qassam rockets and mortar shells.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

My first gay wedding....

My boyfriend and I went to our first gay wedding yesterday and it was terrific. There were about 55 people there - lots of good music and good food.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house when the couple took their vows. Including me! And, it really brought home the humanity of same-sex marriage, and why it's completely necessary for our society. The plain fact of the matter is that love is love - no matter your sexuality. The urge to bond with that special person transcends sexuality - and is a social good for society.

I can't wait until we can all put Same-Sex Marriage behind us, and get on with the real issues affecting Canada.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A case for tighter controls...

It's now urgent that we all take a look at the controls over these sort of materials...
British officials have allowed the export to Iran of a cargo of radioactive material that experts believe could be used in a nuclear weapons programme, The Observer can reveal.

The disclosure has prompted calls for an inquiry into how the international trade in such compounds is controlled.

On 31 August a truck carrying 1,000kg of zirconium silicate supplied by a British firm was stopped by Bulgarian customs at the Turkish border on its way to Tehran, after travelling 2,400 kilometres (1,500 miles) from Britain, through Germany and Romania, without being stopped. Zirconium can be used as a component of a nuclear programme. According to one expert, it is used in nuclear reactors to stop fuel rods corroding and can also be used as part of a nuclear warhead. The metal can be extracted from zirconium silicate. It is because the compound can be used for military purposes that its trade is usually tightly controlled.

Hitchens on Iraq...

An interview with Christopher Hitchens...
Q: What's your assessment of Iraq?

A: Well, it's a race between the idea of federalism and democracy and the ideas of partition and theocracy, and the United States is on the right side of the argument. There are only three things that can happen in Iraq: One, that it's ruled by one of its three constituent parts (Kurdish, Sunni and Shia), which in practice means absolute rule by a minority of that minority, of a kind that was Baathism. The other is partition, where they just separate and you get in effect three states, one of which would probably be invaded by Turkey -- the Kurdish one; one of which might well become dominated by Iran and the other, I don't know, it would probably be dominated by Saudi Arabia. The third alternative is where all agree that no one group, let alone any minority of one group, can govern the country, which means that they agree to some form of federalism and democracy. And though I don't think that's fated to happen, I think there are a huge number of Iraqis who want it. And as I say, I think American policy is designed to help that emerge. The other thing about Iraq is that it is the chosen battleground of the al-Qaida fundamentalists. They've decided, as I think they had after they were thrown out of Afghanistan, to make Iraq the next place they make a stand. So it's also a test in that war.

Q: A test for the United States or al-Qaida?

A: A test for everybody. It's a test for anyone who is not indifferent to the idea of a country of the size and importance of Iraq becoming Talibanized. That is not America's sole concern. I would like to think that no one could view that with indifference. But an amazing number of people do view it with indifference and/or take the other side -- and I spend a lot of my time trashing them.

Global warming is natural....

and not man-made...
HUNDREDS of thousands of years worth of climate records in ice cores show there is nothing unusual in a global warming trend over the past 25 years.

Marine geophysicist Bob Carter, a professor at Queensland's James Cook University and leading climate change sceptic, said the effects of human activity would barely register in the long-term history of climate change.

He told The Weekend Australian that ice cores from Antarctica "tell us clearly that in the context of the meteorological records of 100 years, it is not unusual to have a period of warming like the one we are in at the moment".

Dr Carter disputed the theory that human activity was making a current - natural - warm period hotter: "Atmospheric CO2 is not a primary forcing agent for temperature change." He argues that "any cumulative human signal is so far undetectable at a global level and, if present, is buried deeply in the noise of natural variation".

Good news for the women of Iran...

Gee, segregated idea whose time has come!
The government of radical Islamist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to segregate Iran’s pedestrian walkways on gender basis, according to Fatemeh Alia, a deputy in Iran’s Majlis (Parliament) and one of Ahmadinejad’s closest allies.

Since Ahmadinejad took office as president, new measures have been enforced to, in his words, “return the Islamic Republic to the days of the [1979 Islamic] revolution”.

As part of the government plan called “Increase the hejab (veil) culture and female chastity”, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has received orders to construct separate pedestrian walkways for men and women, according to Alia.

“This plan is the most advanced and complete plan regarding the hejab. In the next two weeks its final considerations will be complete and it will start to be implemented”.

Previously, when he was Mayor of Tehran, Ahmadinejad ordered all the buildings belonging to the municipality to have separate elevators for men and women.

One more thing to add to electoral reform...

Nobody has talked about it, but shouldn't we decrease the $1.75 that gets paid for each vote? I'd like to see a sliding scale that reduces that down dramatically over time. I think it would be to everybody's advantage if the amount of money for campaigns were reduced. Just think, fewer ads by all parties, and more reliance on individual contributors.

Norwegian minister calls for boycott of Israel...

I've blogged often about Norway - there seems to be an increasing anti-Israel attitude.
Norway's prime minister and foreign minister were busy with damage control tasks late this week, after one of their government's coalition parties called for a boycott of Israeli products. And just when Israel's own prime minister was lying gravely ill.

The Norwegian government has long supported Israel and has been active in years of attempts to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. That's what Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg tried to stress, when downplaying the boycott call by the Socialist Left party (SV).

Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen hails from the Socialist Left herself, and acknowledged her party's boycott call. She tried to distance herself from it, stressing that the boycott wasn't government policy, but the damage was done.

Amos Oz on Ariel Sharon...

Oz, no fan of Sharon, was amazed at what he saw the last 2 years.
And then two years ago a sudden change occurred. A mysterious metamorphosis. Sharon's rhetoric changed overnight. First his vocabulary began to sound like that of his rivals. As if he had switched overnight into speaking a different language. When Sharon said for the first time, about two years ago, that the occupation is a disaster for the occupied and the occupiers, I could not believe my ears. When he started to speak about two states for the two nations, I thought he must be joking. When he mentioned for the first time the rights of the Palestinians, I thought he was mocking the slogans of the peace movement. And when he first announced that he was going to evacuate the Jewish settlers and the Israeli army from Gaza, I thought it was no more than a cunning strategy.

Nevertheless he did it. They called him a bulldozer when he planted the settlements, and indeed he acted like a bulldozer when he uprooted them. The evacuation of the Israeli settlers from Gaza was a military operation. Sharon smashed the settlers in Gaza in the same blitzkrieg style in which he won his many wars. Not a single building in these settlements was left intact.

Hamas might form PA government....

And, what's the first thing they want to do? End the peace process!
During a visit to families of people killed or taken prisoner in the past five years of conflict with Israel, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar was asked if the atmosphere were ripe for Hamas to form a government that wouldn't deal with Israel, Hamas reported on its Web site.

"Yes. We are running for the Legislative Council to put an end to the vestiges of Oslo," Zahar said, referring to the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians of the early 1990s.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

From the mailbox...

Here's an e-mail I received from Ireland tonight.
Hi Fred,

I have just come across your interesting blog. I'm following the election campaign in Canada very closely but unlike you I am hoping for a Liberal victory along with stronger NDP representation.

It's clear from your blog that you have strong views regarding gay rights. That's clear from reading your eye opening posts on the outrageous human rights abuses perpetrated against gay people in places such as Jamaica and Iran.

But I can't understand how you can then support a movement and philosophy that has opposition to gay rights as a core part of its agenda. Do you not see the inherent contradiction in this?

I can understand a fellow gay person supporting a libertarian outlook where he/she combines a right wing position on economics with a left view on social issues.

But for me, a gay person supporting a conservative agenda across the board is troubling and a complete mystery.

Your own Conservatives are a prime example. How can you, as an out and proud gay man, support a party whose opening salvo in the election campaign was a promise to "review" the equal marriage law.

Stephen Harper is a homophobe who has shown nothing but contempt for gay people and our rights. As well as opposing marriage equality, he opposed including sexual orientation in hate crime laws, he insulted Svend Robinson with a homophobic slur and in a calculated insult to the LGBT community, he addressed religious groups on the day of Pride and talked about how their values were under threat.

In short this man and his backward party would be a disaster for gay Canada. A Tory victory would also be a huge blow to gays such as myself who are not Canadian but who point to Canada as a model for gay rights and equality in general.

What makes your support for them even more puzzling is that the alternative is hardly a raving socialist outfit determined to destroy freedom as we know it. Come on, the Liberals are a centrist party that tilts left socially and slightly right economically!

I don't mean to belittle your views and I support diversity within our own community. But I cannot understand the mentality of people like the Log Cabin Republicans in the States and other right wing gays who go out of their way to attack progressive politicos who defend our interests while at the same time trying to defend and justify the bigoted, homophobic views and actions of those on the right.

This is just not a credible position to hold.
Here is my reply:

Thank you for your e-mail. You know, I get 3 types of e-mail from my blog. First, I get e-mail from conservatives who are pissed off that I am gay; then I get e-mail from gays who are pissed off that I am a conservative; and then I got lots of e-mail from mostly gay conservatives (and others) who love the blog.

Look, there is no such thing as a liberal gene for gay people. I AM a conservative (small c). I believe in small government, lower taxes, free enterprise, a strong military, support for Israel, a end to preferenes for women in child custody and divorce, an end to political correctness, sensible environmental policies that target real pollution, not CO2, free speech, significant changes to bilingualism, a return to the merit principle in hiring, balanced budgets, a sane policy on aboriginals, etc. Oh, I also believe in complete equality for gays.

If you read through my blog, you'll notice MANY posts that are very critical of the Conservative Party. That being said, I prefer a conservative minority government to that of a Liberal minority government....largely because I want the corrupt liberals out of power...and I want a government that is more conservative.

The plain fact of the matter is that gay marriage is here to stay. First, there will NOT be enough support in Parliament to overturn it. It is clear that the conservatives will NOT get a majority government...and there are more Tories this time around who support same-sex marriage. Here in Ottawa, there are at least 2 Tories who strongly support SSM. And at the last Conservative party conference, 25% of the delegates voted to support same-sex marriage. This is huge progress...and more will come since younger conservatives are overwhelmingly in support of SSM.

Secondly, Stephen Harper has said that he will NOT use the notwithstanding clause to overturn SSM. This seals the deal, in my opinion.

You claim in your e-mal that you don't mean to belittle my views...yet you seem to do exactlly that. You seem to think that all gays have to vote for left-wing parties. Bah, humbug!

Islam ready to rule the world?

Well, yes, according to President Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Iran’s state-owned media and newspapers have been reporting the Israeli leader’s deteriorating health condition with evident glee. In a statement put out by state-run news agencies, the Headquarters for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement said “the death of Sharon brings joy to the hearts of Muslims”.

The ultra-conservative president told the radical Shiite Islamists, many of whom have come to Qom from different Muslim countries, that Islam did not restrict itself to geographical borders.

“We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It’s a universal ideology that leads the world to justice”, Ahmadinejad said.

“We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world”, he added.

Iranians snub IAEA

The Iranians are intent on continuing their nuclear research...and now a snub....
Iran is expected to resume testing machinery next week that can be used to make weapons-grade uranium in a move that appears calculated to scupper the prospects of a settlement of its long-running nuclear dispute with the west.

Senior Iranian officials yesterday snubbed Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, by failing to show up at a scheduled meeting in Vienna after the IAEA chief demanded an explanation of Iran's plans.

Earlier this week Tehran told the IAEA that it was resuming research into nuclear fuel which was suspended more than two years ago, but refused to supply details on what kind of research.

Iranian officials flew from Tehran to Vienna yesterday to brief Dr ElBaradei, but then decided against doing so in a move that baffled diplomats and IAEA officials.
Also, the Guardian reported that, according to European intelligence, Iran is trying hard to procure equipment and knowhow in Europe for its nuclear weapons program.

Shame on Vancouver fans....

I'm really happy that Canada won the Gold tonight at the World Junior Hockey Championship. But, it's embarrassing that Vancouvers fans booed US kids during the USA-Russia game. The fans chanted, "US sucks!"...and this is at 17-19 year olds.

As the National Post says:
And imagine the Canadian reaction if an American hockey crowd had chanted "Canada sucks!" Imagine the country-wide alarm! Imagine the CBC televised forum hosted by Peter Mansbridge on the crisis in US-Canadian relations, featuring the nationalist ravings of Maude Barlow!

The new anti-US axis....

A trinity of shame.
Bolivia's president-elect has boosted his reputation as an anti-US firebrand by making Cuba and Venezuela his first foreign stops since his landslide victory at the polls.

Evo Morales thus joined Fidel Castro and President Hugo Chavez in a trinity of unashamedly Left-wing South American leaders united in hostility to Washington.

"We join the mission of Fidel in Cuba and Hugo in Venezuela in answering the needs of the majority," said Mr Morales during his visit to Venezuela.

"This millennium is for the people, not the empire," he said, adding that Bolivia would join Latin America's "anti-imperialist and anti neo-liberal" bloc.

Mr Chavez, who never lets slip an opportunity to attack the Bush administration, embraced Mr Morales and said: "The axis of evil is Washington and its allies, who threaten, who kill. We are forming the axis of good."

Let's hope this doesn't come to Toronto...

Is this coming next?
A young Jamaican man plunged to his death off a pier in Kingston after reportedly being chased through the streets by a mob yelling homophobic epithets.

In a desperate attempt to flee his tormentors Nokia Cowan leaped from the pier into Kingston harbor. Unable to swim he died in the rancid water.

Whether Cowan actually was gay or not is known, but he became the third man to recently die as a result of homophobia in Jamaica.

JFLAG, the country's gay rights organization Wednesday called for a police investigation into the events that led to his drowning.

"Most importantly, we implore the highest members of government to clearly indicate that violence based on sexual orientation, both perceived and actual, is unacceptable in Jamaica," JFLAG said in a statement.

Last month, Lenford "Steve" Harvey who ran Jamaica AIDS Support for Life was shot to death on the eve of World AIDS Day. Support for Life provides support to gay men and sex workers. (story)

Police are looking for three men who broke into Harvey's home confronting him and his two roommates.

The armed men demanded money. "We hear that you are gay," the gunmen yelled at the trio. The two housemates denied it but Harvey apparently remained silent. The housemates were gagged and bound.

Harvey was ordered at gunpoint to help the gunmen carry valuables to his car. He was forced into the vehicle and kidnapped by his attackers.

Two hours later, he was found, shot dead.

Last year Brian Williamson Jamaica's most vocal advocate of LGBT rights was murdered.

According to Human Rights Watch: "Police actively support homophobic violence, fail to investigate complaints of abuse, and arrest and detain [men] based on their alleged homosexual conduct."

Gay sex is illegal in Jamaica, punishable by ten years in jail, with the possibility of hard labor.

Iran's campaign against gays...

We've blogged about this several's a fuller article. But, where are the demonstrations by gay groups?
Amir is a 22-year-old gay Iranian who was arrested by Iran's religious morality police as part of a massive Internet entrapment campaign targeting gays. He escaped from Iran in August, and is now in Turkey seeking asylum in a gay-friendly country. Through a Persian translator, Amir gave me a terrifying, firsthand account of the anti-gay crackdown.

Amir's first arrest for being gay came when police raided a private party. "The judge told me, 'If we send you to a physician who vouches that your rectum has been penetrated in any way, you will be sentenced to death'," says Amir. He was fined and released for lack of proof that a sexual act had taken place.

Later, an unrepentant Amir set up a meeting with a man he met through a Yahoo gay chat room. When his date turned out to be a member of the sex police, Amir was arrested and taken to Intelligence Ministry headquarters, "a very scary place," he says. "There I denied that I was gay--but they showed me a printout from the chat room of my messages and my pictures."

Then, says Amir, the torture began. "There was a metal chair in the middle of the room--they put a gas flame under the chair and made me sit on it as the metal seat got hotter and hotter. They threatened to send me to an army barracks where all the soldiers were going to rape me. The leader told one of the other officers to take [a soft drink] bottle and shove it up my ass, screaming, 'This will teach you not to want any more cock!' I was so afraid of sitting in that metal chair as it got hotter and hotter that I confessed. Then they brought out my file and told me that I was a 'famous faggot' in Shiraz. They beat me up so badly that I passed out and was thrown, unconscious, into a holding cell.

"When I came to, I saw there were several dozen other gay guys in the cell with me. One of them told me that after they had taken him in, they beat him and forced him to set up dates with people through chat rooms--and each one of those people had been arrested; those were the other people in that cell with me."

Eventually tried, Amir was sentenced to 100 lashes. "I passed out before the 100 lashes were over. When I woke up, my arms and legs were so numb that I fell over when they picked me up from the platform on which I'd been lashed. They had told me that if I screamed, they would beat me even harder--so I was biting my arms so hard, to keep from screaming, that I left deep teeth wounds in my own arms."

After this entrapment and public flogging, Amir's life became unbearable. He was rousted regularly at his home by the basiji (a para-police made up of thugs recruited from the criminal classes and the lumpen unemployed) and by agents of the Office for Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice, which represses "moral deviance"--things like boys and girls walking around holding hands, women not wearing proper Islamic dress and prostitution. Says Amir, "In one of these arrests, Colonel Javanmardi told me that if they catch me again that I would be put to death, 'just like the boys in Mashad.' He said it just like that, very simply, very explicitly. He didn't mince words. We all know that the boys who were hanged in Mashad were gay--the rape charges against them were trumped up, just like the charges of theft and kidnapping against them. When you get arrested, you are forced by beatings, torture and threats to confess to crimes you didn't commit. It happens all the time, and has to friends of mine."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Shouldn't Feminists object to this???

Where are the feminists? Why aren't they protesting?
In the latest “acid attack” by radical Islamists on young women accused of ignoring the country’s strict dress regulations, two female university students had acid splashed on their faces in the town of Shahroud, north-eastern Iran.

The two women, aged 21 and 22, study geography in Shahroud’s Open University. Unidentified assailants travelling on a motorbike moved next to them in Ferdowsi Street and threw acid on their faces as they were walking. The attackers immediately left the scene and have not been arrested.

Radical Islamists operating under the umbrella of the paramilitary Bassij force and Ansar-e Hezbollah have stepped up their campaign against the “mal-veiling” of women and girls since the election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian President regularly addresses meetings of these Islamic vigilantes and praises their efforts “to purify the Islamic Republic of the vestiges of corrupt Western culture”.

Did the CIA help Iran?

This is an incredible story.
The claims about Iran are startling because of the scale of bungling that Mr Risen claims has taken place.

He highlights one operation, known as Merlin, in February 2000, when the CIA allegedly sent a Soviet-era defector to Vienna where, posing an unemployed scientist selling nuclear secrets, he was supposed to contact the Iranians.

The Russian scientist, who had previously worked as an engineer on the Soviet nuclear weapons programme, was given Soviet documents for a key bomb component.

These had been provided by another Russian defector and then doctored by the CIA. Had they used the documents, "instead of a mushroom cloud the Iranian scientists would witness a disappointing fizzle", Mr Risen writes.

But the Russian scientist immediately spotted the flaw and told his CIA handlers: "This isn't right." When told to go ahead with his mission, he apparently feared the Iranians would find the errors and decided to include a letter that alerted them to the flaws in the designs.

Mr Risen describes Operation Merlin as "one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA, one that may have helped put nuclear weapons in the hands of a charter member of what President George W Bush has called the 'axis of evil' ".

Mr Risen also claims that in 2004 a CIA officer mistakenly sent one of its agents some information that was used by Iran to "roll up" the CIA espionage network in Iran.

"It left the CIA virtually blind in Iran, unable to provide any significant intelligence on one of the critical issues facing the United States - whether Teheran was about to go nuclear," Mr Risen writes.

Ariel Sharon

It is not a happy day for peace today. Ariel Sharon has suffered a massive stroke, and nobody knows how serious this is. Let's hope for his recovery - and hope that he can re-enter politics. Sharon has shown some incredible resolve - resolve in facing up to Palestinian terrorism, and resolve in moving towards peace, and towards some painful Israeli concessions. He has surprised everybody by shwoing he is, indeed, a man of peace.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

NO surprise - the Media tilts to the left...

Check out this new UCLA study.
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

These are just a few of the surprising findings from a UCLA-led study, which is believed to be the first successful attempt at objectively quantifying bias in a range of media outlets and ranking them accordingly.

"I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican," said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study's lead author. "But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are."

Is this going to come to Canada?

This is from the Daily Telegraph. But, why do they say parents...shouldn't it be dads?
Parents who refuse to pay child maintenance could be electronically tagged under a curfew system being considered by ministers.

John Hutton, the Work and Pensions Secretary, confirmed yesterday that the Child Support Agency may be given powers to apply to courts to tag parents who failed in their obligations.

"I am very much in favour of getting tough with people who are not meeting their responsibilities to their children," Mr Hutton said.

Asked about tagging, he told Today on BBC Radio 4: "I have already said to the CSA that I wanted to get tougher with those dads who aren't paying for their kids and I am sure there will be a strong groundswell of support for such an approach."
Unfortunately, today Dads are typically seen as just walking wallets. You'll notice in this article, there is nothing about mothers who don't provide access to their sons and daughters.

Steyn on demography...

Mark Steyn has written a terrific article on the demography of the west.
....we fret about McDonald’s and Disney, but the big globalization success story is the way the Saudis have taken what was eighty years ago a severe but obscure and unimportant strain of Islam practiced by Bedouins of no fixed abode and successfully exported it to the heart of Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Manchester, Buffalo …
A very important point. If you have the chance, please read his article. I don't agree with everything that Steyn write about - certainly not his stuff on the so-called 'gay agenda', but he is crack on with the other stuff. By the way, I am not sure if the link is still working.

You know what's scarier than a Liberal government without policies?

It's a Liberal government with policies. Martin is now promising to roll out a bunch of new policies. If you want to talk about scary, that's it!

Conservatives go bonkers over Barbie..

A conservative group in the US, Concerned Women for America is going crazy over Barbie!
A conservative group claims that Mattel's popular doll Barbie is promoting gender confusion among children. Concerned Women for America says that because the company's website for the doll asks children their sex Matell is giving in "to the homosexual agenda".

"It’s the idea that well, maybe people aren’t born a particular biological sex, or they are but that shouldn’t determine their gender identity," said Bob Knight, the director of CWA's Culture & Family Institute. "And that’s a very big component of the homosexual activist agenda now."

"In other words, any kid who’s not sure about who he is, he’s fair game to try to persuade to have same sex acts," said Knight.

The Barbie Web site is free and the only area where children are asked to register is in an area called "My Backpack" where kids can sign up to receive birthday greetings.
Don't these people have anything better to do??? How on earth are they trying to persuade kids to have 'sex acts'?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Is Ahmadinejad good news?

Amir Tahier thinks so, and he has a point.
You may be surprised but I also regard the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new president of the Islamic Republic as good news. The reason is simple: Ahmadinejad has the courage, some might say recklessness, to cast aside the hypocritical mask worn by his two predecessors, both businessmen-mullahs, in a strategy of deception. He has eschewed taqiyah (dissimulation) and that, believe me, is welcome news. His presidency will force the people of Iran and the rest of the world either to come to terms with the Khomeinist revolution or challenge it in a meaningful way.
Unfortunately, I don't see any signs that people are ready to challenge it at all.

Hugo Chavez makes anti-semitic speech...

Tom Gross reports that Hugo Chavez gave an anti-semitic speech on December 24th. Here is what he said:
...the descendants of those who crucified Christ... have taken ownership of the riches of the world, a minority has taken ownership of the gold of the world, the silver, the minerals, water, the good lands, petrol, well, the riches, and they have concentrated the riches in a small number of hands.
You can read the speech in Spanish here.

Is this the earliest representation of a gay couple?

This might be the earliest representation of a gay couple.

The tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep has many scenes of two men in intimate embraces....and they were both manicurists. The tomb was discovered in 1964 and back then nobody thought anything about the illustrations. Now, Egyptologists are having a second look and many believe that they are, indeed, a same-sex couple.

Iran insists on uranium enrichment...

They keep on insisting on it, and we keep asking them not to. When will we take NO for an answer?
The spokesman for the hard-line government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted on Monday that Iran had a “right” to carry out uranium enrichment, the process that could lead to the development of a nuclear bomb, on its own soil, despite efforts by Russia to have it transfer the work to Russian soil to ease international concerns.

No freedom of the press in the Palestinian Authority...

An Israeli Arab looks at the lack of freedom of the press in the Palestinian Authority.
Three years ago I began writing a daily report for the Jerusalem Post. The irony is that, as an Arab Muslim, I feel freer to write for this Jewish paper than I do for any Arab newspaper. I have no problem writing for any Arab newspaper if it will provide me with a free platform and not censor my writing. My editors at the Jerusalem Post do not interfere with my writing.

When Arafat arrived in Gaza in 1994, there was a lot of hope that now Palestinians would have a free media like the Jews have. Unfortunately, the first thing the PLO did when they arrived was to order an immediate crackdown, not on Hamas or Islamic Jihad but on the Palestinian media. The result was that many local Palestinian journalists - including those who were working with Reuters, AP, those who had independent press offices - had their offices torched. Some of them were arrested, some were beaten, some had their equipment confiscated. It was even sadder to see how the foreign media did not really cover the story.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

And, this is what they called a truce!

Of course, these statistics will get no play in the mainstream media.
As Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and Fatah's Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades announced an end to their self-declared truce of January 2005, under which they pledged to refrain from attacking Israeli targets, an annual summary of terror activities for 2005 released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Sunday revealed that a total of 2,990 terror attacks were launched against Israeli targets. The attacks occurred after the truce was announced the report stated.

According to the report, motivation among all the terror groups to attack Israel remains high with the number of monthly terror alerts averaging 57.

There was a significant decrease in the number of Israeli fatalities stemming from terror attacks in 2005 with 45 Israelis killed, a 60 percent reduction from the 117 Israelis killed in such attacks in 2004. Twenty-three of the fatalities in 2005 were killed in seven suicide bomb attacks. There was also a 30% decrease in the number of Israeli casualties in attacks during 2005 with 406 Israelis wounded compared with 589 the previous year.

Yet, in 2005 there was a significant increase in Kassam rocket attacks on Israel with 377 recorded, compared with 309 in the previous year. At the same time there was a decrease in mortar shellings with 848 launched in 2005 compared with 1,231 in 2004. There was also a drop in bombing attacks with 199 recorded in 2005 compared with 592 in 2004. A total of 1,133 shooting attacks were carried out by terror groups in 2005 compared with 1,621 in 2004.

Iran's Nuclear ambitions...

Here's a look at the lack of international pressure on Iran.
But the hard-liners in Tehran detect an erosion in the international diplomatic pressure on them.

Aharon Zeevi, Israel's chief of military intelligence — whose efforts to monitor Iran's nuke program rivals Dagan's — said the lack of pressure is partly due to the Europeans.

"I had meetings with senior officials in Europe," he said. "And their position is, number one — why should we fear Iran's nuclear weapons? After all we lived under the nuclear threat after World War II?"

"Number two," he added, is the Europeans respond, "And besides, either you or the Americans will solve the problem."
Hat Tip: Shamthetoryman.

Criticizing the Liberals...

One of the comments on a recent post begged me to criticize the Liberals for once. Well, just this weekend I already blogged that I couldn'te vote for the Liberals no matter what. And, that's true. I don't see the huge need to criticize them - their corruption is well known. Not much I can add to that.

I'm much more interested in a conservative alternative. I want a conservative government for Canada. But, I want a conservative government that would respect the dignit of gay couples. A conservative government that is not afraid of speaking directly to the gay community. A conservative government that is not afraid of political correctness and can speak out to many of the issues I have talked about in this blog (see my post on the 7 issues the Conservatives won't touch).

Many people have suggested that I vote or join the NDP. Sorry, I hate socialism. I want lower taxes, a smaller Federal government, an end to bilingualism as we know it, equal parenting for divorced couples, a sane policy on aboriginals, an end to coddling Quebec, a return to the merit principle for hiring in the Government, a end to hate-crime legislation combined with more support for free speech, an end to supply management, etc.

Fortunately, the Conservative party has a big tent! But, I will keep pushing for support for the diginity for gay couples. It's an important issue for me...and I hope for you.

They can't even ban Iran from the World Cup...

Gee, if they can't even ban them from the World Cup..what can they do?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday she opposed banning Iran from the soccer World Cup because of controversial remarks by Iran's president, saying it would be wrong to punish the players for his words.

Responding to demands to ban Iran because its President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said Israel should be moved to Europe and suggested the Holocaust might never have happened, Merkel told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper she doubted the value of a ban.

"I'm sceptical about demands for a ban. One would have to reconsider if the World Cup were held in Iran. But the Iranian team can't influence the comments of their president. That's why I think it's difficult to punish a team by banning them."
Very European...they are all talk, no action.

More on 'Munich'

I haven't seen it yet, but I will...
Maybe it has something to do with Mr. Spielberg's depiction of the Palestinian targets. The Israeli team's first quarry is an elderly, evidently kindly man whom the audience first encounters reading from his Italian translation of Scheherazade. Target Two is a well-spoken diplomat and doting father. Target Three offers Avner a cigarette from across a balcony; Avner repays the gesture by having him blown to bits in his bed. Another target gives a moving speech about his longing for his homeland and the agony of 24 years of dispossession. There is nothing wrong with depicting Palestinians--even those involved in terrorism--as fully rounded human beings. Yet not one of these characters is seen performing the deeds for which they have been targeted, unlike the Israelis in the film, who perform dirty deeds by the dozen.

Musharraf needs to make good on his pledge...

Somebody has to put some pressure on Musharraf to expel these students - but then just how scared is Musharraf?
Radical clerics have ignored an edict to expel all foreign students from Pakistan’s madrassas, heightening fears that the Islamic schools will continue to be recruiting grounds for young Britons intent on pursuing jihad.

After the July 7 London bombings, in which three out of four suicide bombers were of Pakistani origin, President Pervez Musharraf pledged to the West that foreigners would be excluded from the schools.

Two of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammed Sidique Khan, are believed to have visited madrassas. Within three weeks of the atrocity, Gen Musharraf ordered all non-Pakistanis be expelled by the end of 2005. But he backed down in the subsequent battle of wills with Islamists and the deadline passed yesterday without the edict being enacted.

"A Tsunami of Anti-Semitism?"

This is a very serious warning.
Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, fears that a "tsunami of anti-Semitism" is threatening to engulf parts of the world.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme, to be broadcast today, Dr Sacks admitted he was "very scared" by the rise in anti-Jewish feeling, which had led to Holocaust denial, attacks on synagogues and a boycott of Jewish groups on university campuses.

He said: "I am very scared by [it] and I'm very scared that more protests have not been delivered against it, but this [anti-Semitism] is part of the vocabulary of politics in certain parts of the world."

Figures produced by the London-based Community Security Trust and the Israeli government show that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Britain. The trust recorded 532 anti-Semitic incidents in 2004, including 83 physical assaults.

Meanwhile, some groups opposed to Israeli government policy have organised boycotts of Jewish academics and student groups. Since 2002, Jewish student groups on 17 British campuses have faced the threat of expulsion from fellow students opposed to Israeli action.