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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Here's how crazy the left can be....

These days you can see some of the loopiest ideas of the left in Sweden. Here's the latest...
The Left Party has proposed abolishing homework for children up to the age of 16, saying that it wants to compensate for differences in pupils' backgrounds.

Scrapping homework is one of the proposals put forward in the party's program for 'equality at school', which was presented on Wednesday.
I'd like to know what other proposals were included.

Anti-semitic march in Paris!

I'm speechless. This is indeed shocking.
French Jewish leaders are holding meetings with government officials following an anti-Semitic march in Paris. Last weekend, some 30 young men armed with sticks and bats marched down the street of a Jewish quarter yelling “death to the Jews” and other anti-Semitic insults. The men were seeking a confrontation with members of the Betar youth movement and the Jewish Defense League. Police who arrived on the scene rapidly defused the situation. No arrests were made. The men are believed to belong to Tribu K, a group of extremist blacks known to police for their racist rhetoric against Jews and whites. Its website has become a forum for racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. The group has been disavowed by mainstream black organizations in France.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Palestinian Justice!

A mother of 4 children were killed by a group that included her brother.
Palestinian gunmen said they shot dead a man and a woman accused of collaborating with Israel in the West Bank on Tuesday.

Abu Ala, a local commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Nablus, said the two were killed in separate shootings in the city.

Gunmen killed Jafal Abu Tzrur, 24, in a refugee camp and the woman, 27, outside a hospital. Abu Ala said the two were lovers.

"We carried out the death penalty after we were sure they were both collaborators with Israeli military intelligence," Abu Ala told Reuters.

He said the couple passed on information that enabled Israel Defense Forces soldiers to kill three Al Aqsa militants in the Balata refugee camp in March.

The gunmen said Tuesday that they handed the woman, a mother of four, to her family. They said she was killed by a group that included her brother on grounds that she shamed her clan.

What the hell are they going to talk about?

Yes, they want more talks....on absolutely nothing...we all know they aren't going to stop their nuclear weapons program.
Iran's foreign minister said Tuesday that Tehran is ready to restart negotiations with the European Union on its nuclear program, but he ruled out direct talks with the United States.

"I announce that Iran is ready to respond positively to the call" made by the Nonaligned Movement "for resuming the negotiations on Iran's nuclear issue without any preconditions," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.

"Accordingly, I would announce our readiness to restart immediately the negotiations with the EU Three to resolve the issues," he said, referring to Britain, France and Germany.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Iran has supplied Hezbollah with new rockets....

Shouldn't this be discussed at the Security Council?
Iran has equipped the Lebanese-based radical Islamic group Hezbollah with long-range rockets capable of hitting targets up to 200 kilometers away, putting all of Israel's major urban centers - including the southern city of Be'er Sheva - within striking distance.

The solid-fuel rockets lack an independent guidance system and their accuracy is questionable but they can still cause considerable damage.

According to intelligence estimates, the rockets are meant to strike non-specific areas, such as towns and cities, and carry a warhead estimated to weigh 600 kilograms. This latest development doubles the range of weapons previously in Hezbollah's arsenal.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Shame on CUPE Ontario....

They have voted to support a boycott against Israel.
Ontario's largest public sector union has voted to back an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

Delegates at the Canadian Union of Public Employees' convention in Ottawa voted to support the campaign yesterday, saying they would do so until Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.

CUPE Ontario, which represents 200,000 public sector workers, is joining a campaign that started last July and is supported by 20 Quebec organizations. A CUPE Ontario news release cited the success of boycotts in ending apartheid in South Africa as a sign the strategy would work.
Gee, they have it all backwards. It's the Palestinians who want to deny Israel's right to exist, no?

Polish chief rabbi attacked in Warsaw....

Doesn't sound like hooliganism to me.
Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, was attacked in downtown Warsaw Saturday by an unknown man, but escaped without injuries from what police said may have been an anti-Semitic attack, an official said Sunday.

"We're treating this as a possible anti-Semitic provocation, although it may have simply been an act of hooliganism," said Interior Ministry spokesman Tomasz Sklodowski.

The young man, who attacked Schudrich with his hands, fled and is being sought by police, Sklodowski said, adding that the attacker's portrait, drafted with the help of witnesses, has been sent to all police patrols in Warsaw.

"The fact that it happened just as the pope is visiting Poland and going to Auschwitz means the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive, that it was meant to tarnish the image of Poland," Sklodowski said.

Schudrich told the Apcom news service he was walking when a man stopped him and, after asking him a few questions, hit him. He said the attacker yelled "Poland for Poles.

"That's a well-known pre-World War II slogan which basically means 'Jews, get out of Poland,' and I didn't like hearing it, so I approached the gentleman to ask him why he said such things and his reaction was to punch me in the chest," Schudrich told The Associated Press.

"I was going to hit him back, but before I had a chance to hit him he sprayed me with some kind of spray, maybe pepper spray."

Where are the feminists?

I guess the feminists won't be protesting this....
A leading Iranian pro-democracy and women's activist, who was jailed on trumped-up charges last year, has revealed how the clerical regime cynically deploys systemic sexual violence against female dissidents in the name of Islam.

Roya Tolouee, 40, was beaten up by Iranian intelligence agents and subjected to a horrific sexual assault when she refused to sign forced confessions. It was only when they threatened to burn her two children to death in front of her that she agreed to put her name to the documents.

Perhaps just as shocking as the physical abuse were the chilling words of the man who led the attack. "When I asked how he could do this to me, he said that he believed in only two things - Islam and the rule of the clerics," Miss Tolouee told The Sunday Telegraph last week in an interview in Washington after she fled Iran.

"But I know of no religious morality that can justify what they did to me, or other women. For these people, religion is only a tool for dictatorship and abuse. It is a regime of prejudice against women, against other regimes, against other ethnic groups, against anybody who thinks differently from them."

Miss Tolouee's account of her ordeal confirms recent reports from opposition groups that Iranian intelligence officials use sexual abuse against female prisoners as an interrogation technique and even rape young women before execution so that they cannot reach heaven as virgins.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Teaching Johnny about Islam....

You might have missed this a couple of days ago...but a scary ruling by a judge in California.
In our brave new schools, Johnny can't say the pledge, but he can recite the Quran. Yup, the same court that found the phrase "under God" unconstitutional now endorses Islamic catechism in public school.

In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."

Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."

Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially "becoming a Muslim" for two full weeks.

Parents of seventh-graders, who after 9-11 were taught the pro-Islamic lessons as part of California's world history curriculum, sued under the First Amendment ban on religious establishment. They argued, reasonably, that the government was promoting Islam.

But a federal judge appointed by President Clinton told them in so many words to get over it, that the state was merely teaching kids about another "culture."

So the parents appealed. Unfortunately, the most left-wing court in the land got their case. The 9th Circuit, which previously ruled in favor of an atheist who filed suit against the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, upheld the lower court ruling.

Shame on Chapters/Indigo!

Indigo caves in to the Islamists. Shame on them!
The largest book retailer in the country has pulled all copies of the June edition of Harper's Magazine because it reprints a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, according to a media report.

Indigo Books and Music said in a memo that it decided to take the magazine off the stands because it may be offensive to Muslims.

The June edition of Harper's features 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that were originally published in September 2005 in Denmark and were reprinted in other European papers last winter.

Memorial Day in the US

One Monday it's Memorial Day in the US. Christopher Hitchens has written a terrific essay on honouring our war dead.
Since all efforts at commemoration are bound to fall short, one must be on guard against any attempt at overstatement. In particular, one must resist efforts to ventriloquize the dead. To me, Cindy Sheehan's posthumous conscription of her son (who fell on Memorial Day) is as objectionable as Billy Graham's claim, at the National Cathedral, that all the dead of Sept. 11, 2001 were now in paradise. In the first instance, we have no reason to believe that young Casey Sheehan would ever have supported, and in the second instance we cannot be expected to believe that almost 3,000 New Yorkers all died in a state of grace. Nothing is more tasteless, when set against the reality of death, than the hollow note of demagogy and false sentiment. These things are also subject to unintended consequences. When Dalton Trumbo wrote his leftist antiwar classic "Johnnie Got His Gun," he little expected that it would be used as a propaganda tool by pro-fascist isolationists in the late 1930s, and that he would be protesting in vain that this was not what he had really meant.

"Always think of it: never speak of it." That was the stoic French injunction during the time when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been lost. This resolution might serve us well at the present time, when we are in mid-conflict with a hideous foe, and when it is too soon to be thinking of memorials to a war not yet won. This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hamas uses its favorite word - NO!

Everybody keeps hoping that Hamas will change its position and recognize Israel - but they consistently say NO.
Hamas' leadership in Damascus has rejected Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' threat to call a referendum on a plan that would implicitly recognize Israel.

"Hamas will not submit to blackmail and will not compromise its principles," Mohammad Nazzal, a member of the movement's exiled leadership said Friday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday vowed the Hamas-led government would make no concessions despite Abbas' threat.

"We will not make political concessions," Haniyeh told worshippers at a Gaza mosque in response to Abbas's surprise ultimatum for the militant group to back the proposal for Palestinian statehood or face a referendum on the issue.

"Even if they besiege us from all directions, they should not dream that we will make any political concessions," added Haniyeh.

Latest from the mail bag....

Here's an e-mail I just received:

I'm a gay kiwi and I haven't really read your blog site. I couldn't. I visited the site with a degree of hope. . . an expectation of intelligence, openness and absence of prejudice. Alas it was not to be. . . . in fact the site an disturbed me. It disturbed me to realise that the arrogance of your arguments (in the sense of refusing to admit the rights of palestinIans) makes me wonder why I'm botheing to respond. Probably becos i have a niaeve belief that gay people have a potential to make a differencce, becos we are different -- to make a more positive analysis . . one that recognises that there are other points of view. . . other ways of being.

Sadly your partisan views demonstrate that we (ie homosexuals) are not special or sensitive, but merely mortals subejct to, and advocates for, the prejudice of generations past.
My god! Gay people are NOT special. We are just ordinary people, like anybody else.

As for Palestinian rights - well, I want them to live in peace side-by-side with Israel. Unfortunately, they have not chosen that path. They could have had their independent state 6 years ago at Camp David, but they couldn't even come up with a counter-offer to Ehud Barak. Instead they launced a suicidal war against Israel that has left them impoverished. Only when the Palestinians decide that they love their children MORE than they hate the Israelies, will we have peace.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Could we send Maude Barlow and Naomi Klein there too?

Perhaps there is a tree they can live in Canada too....
Singer song-writer Joan Baez lent her voice to a new cause Wednesday, as she moved into a tree to protest the planned demolition of a Los Angeles farm.

"I don't know how long I'll be here," Baez said. "I'm not pretending this is a long tree sit."

The 65-year-old Baez was joined by Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who spent more than two years living in a redwood in California so loggers wouldn't cut it down.

Hill left the tree in 1999, after reaching a settlement with Pacific Lumber Co. to leave the 26-meter redwood standing.

Hill told The Associated Press the two would live in the Los Angeles tree in shifts, along with other protesters.

The sitters have two platforms in the tree, while supporters have set up a camp on the ground.

Iran's new suicide garrison...

At least the announcement will take place in a cemetary.
Iran will launch a new suicide-bombers garrison on Thursday, according to the head of a group affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Mohammad-Ali Samadi, spokesman for the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers, told the state-run news agency Mehr on Tuesday that the group planned to officially announce the existence of the new garrison in a ceremony in Tehran’s largest cemetery on Thursday afternoon.

The new garrison will be named after Nader Mahdavi, an IRGC naval commander who died in a suicide attack on an American naval vessel in 1987, Samadi said.

The report said that more that 55,000 “volunteers for martyrdom-seeking operations” had been registered so far by the organisation, which also calls itself “Estesh’hadioun”, or martyrdom-seekers.

In February, the group launched a new recruitment drive for suicide bombers in Tehran to fight against “Global Blasphemy”.

Why I hate the Da Vince Code....

I decided last week to read the Da Vinci Code. Besides the incredible inaccuracies, there's one thing that really bugs me - and that's the ridiculous feminism. Yes, the book is full of anti-male feminism. Check out this paragraph from chapter 28:
The days of the goddess were over. The pendulum had swung. Mother Earth had become a man's world, and the gods of destruction and war were taking their toll. The male ego had spent two millenia running unchecked by its female counterpart. The Priory of Sion believed that it was this obliteration of the sacred feminine in modern life that had caused what the Hop Native Americans called 'koyanisquatsi' - "life out of balance" - an unstable situation marked by testosterone-fueled wars, a plethora a misogynistic societies, and a growing disrespect of Mother Earth."
How's that for blaming everything on men????

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Palestinians linked to Egypt bombing....

It all comes home to roost, ultimately.
Authorities said Tuesday that two Palestinians had helped fund and train members of an Egyptian terrorist group blamed for bombings in Sinai.

An Interior Ministry statement said that a Palestinian it named as only Abu Suleiman provided the Egyptian group with money. Another Palestinian, identified by the statement as Maged al-Deri, trained members of the group in the use of explosives and firearms in the Gaza Strip.

The statement described Abu Suleiman and al-Deri as Muslim extremists, but did not elaborate. A third Palestinian, Tamer al-Nasserat, was planning to come to Egypt to carry out attacks, it said.

It was the first time that Egypt made such a specific link between the Sinai bombings - which killed 120 people, including foreigners, and targeted tourist sites - to militant Palestinians in the Gaza strip.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Latest from Amir Taheri on his Iran story....

Amir Taheri stands by his story.
Regarding the dress code story it seems that my column was used as the basis for a number of reports that somehow jumped the gun.

As far as my article is concerned I stand by it.

The law has been passed by the Islamic Majlis and will now be submitted to the Council of Guardians. A committee has been appointed to work out the modalities of implementation.

Many ideas are being discussed with regard to implementation,

including special markers, known as zonnars, for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, the only faiths other than Islam that are recognized as such. The zonnar was in use throughout the Muslim world until the early 20th century and marked out the dhimmis, or protected religious minorities. ( In Iran it was formally abolished in 1908).

I have been informed of the ideas under discussion thanks to my sources in Tehran, including three members of the Majlis who had tried to block the bill since it was first drafted in 2004.

I do not know which of these ideas or any will be eventually adopted. We will know once the committee appointed to discuss them presents its report, perhaps in September.

Interestingly, the Islamic Republic authorities refuse to issue an official statement categorically rejecting the concept of dhimmitude and the need for marking out religious minorities.

I raised the issue not as a news story, because news of the new law was already several days old, but as an opinion column to alert the outside world to this most disturbing development.

Canadian funds misused by the Palestinian Authority....

Here's some spending that must be stopped by the newe Conservative government.
The Palestinian Authority daily reported this week on an event that was part of a project funded by CIDA - the Canadian International Development Agency - entitled "The role of civilian institutions in protecting the Right of Return."

The Palestinian term "Right of Return" is their claim to the "right" to resettle in Israel millions of Arabs who are now living in refugee camps. In recent years, the term has been commonly used as the politically correct way of packaging the call for Israel's destruction under the guise of a humanitarian issue.

While CIDA and other international donors are trying to support progressive projects in the Palestinian Authority, this is yet another example of money from well-intentioned donor countries being used for projects that are political and that actually prevent reconciliation with Israel. The Palestinian position of never having peace with Israel until Israel accepts the "right of return" is the greatest hindrance to peace, and may very likely prevent a future peace agreement.

The following is the translation of the item in the PA daily:

"The Ta'awon [co-operation] Youth Forum, in co-operation with the "Badil" Center for Refugee Rights, held a discussion in Hebron under the heading "The role of civilian institutions in protecting the Right of Return".

"The convention took place in the framework of the youth inner discussion project, funded by CIDA the Canadian International Development Agency." [Al-Ayam, May 15, 2006]

A Hezbollah sleeper cell?

I don't know how accurate this report is....but it seems consistent with Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas.
Hizbullah may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up, according to a New York Post report Monday.

The FBI and Justice Department have launched urgent new probes in New York and other cities targeting members of the Lebanese terror group.

Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The New York Post that about a dozen supporters of Hizbullah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York area.

Sources said FBI counter terrorism agents were monitoring the activities of these New York-based operatives as part of a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror strike if the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program spins out of control.

Additional law-enforcement attention is being centered on the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.

The latest Saudi textbooks..

Despite assurances from the Saudis that they have cleaned up their textbooks, lots of exambples of hatred remain.

" Every religion other than Islam is false."

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."


"True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."


"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."

"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."

"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion."


"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."


"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

"God told His Prophet, Muhammad, about the Jews, who learned from parts of God's book [the Torah and the Gospels] that God alone is worthy of worship. Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery. In doing so, they obey the devil. They prefer the people of falsehood to the people of the truth out of envy and hostility. This earns them condemnation and is a warning to us not to do as they did."

"They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied [with them]."

"Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship the devil, and not God."

"Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."


"The clash between this [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills."

"It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgment]."

"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him."


The 10th-grade text on jurisprudence teaches that life for non-Muslims (as well as women, and, by implication, slaves) is worth a fraction of that of a "free Muslim male." Blood money is retribution paid to the victim or the victim's heirs for murder or injury:

"Blood money for a free infidel. [Its quantity] is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, whether or not he is 'of the book' or not 'of the book' (such as a pagan, Zoroastrian, etc.).

"Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel."


"The greeting 'Peace be upon you' is specifically for believers. It cannot be said to others."

"If one comes to a place where there is a mixture of Muslims and infidels, one should offer a greeting intended for the Muslims."

"Do not yield to them [Christians and Jews] on a narrow road out of honor and respect."


"Jihad in the path of God -- which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it -- is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God."

Was the Iran story a trial balloon?

Iranian jews are thankful for the outcry.
A leading spokesman for Iranian Jews is thanking the world for its outcry over a report that the mullahs were readying legislation that would require Jews and other religious and ethnic minorities to wear distinguishing markers.

While the legislation considered in the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, so far does not create a dress code for Iran's Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians - an echo of Nazi laws that required Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, and communists to wear distinctive armbands and badges - the spokesman, Sam Kermanian, said yesterday that he suspected early reports of this kind may have been a trial balloon.

"I am not sure if we have the whole picture. The person who originally reported this, Amir Taheri, is someone with fantastic credibility. In my heart, I think there must have been something that triggered this," Mr. Kermanian said.

Mr. Taheri, for his part, is sticking to his story. In a May 20 dispatch for the New York Post, Mr. Taheri wrote that the new Iranian law would envision separate clothing guidelines for ethnic and religious minorities, to "enable Muslims to instantly recognize non-Muslims so that they can avoid shaking hands with them by mistake."

An Iranian-American anti-regime activist living in New York, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, said the formal legislation does not contain language on the special insignias, but added that Mr. Taheri was correct in saying this measure is being discussed and considered.

"I have spoken to quite a few people and it is a subject being discussed," she said. "This is about being able to decipher who is who, so they can pinpoint the dissidents who make trouble for the regime and determine what ethnic group they come from."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

European racism conference drops anti-semitism from agenda...

Under pressure from Arab countries, anti-semitism was dropped from the agenda.
Israel will boycott a European Union-sponsored conference on "Racism, Xenophobia and the Media" being held Monday in Vienna because the issue of anti-Semitism is not on the agenda, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said Israel's ambassador to Austria, Dan Ashbel, would not be participating in the conference, which was organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the European Commission and the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia.

Ashbel and representatives from the other states in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership - the 25 EU members plus 10 countries around the Mediterranean basin - had been invited to attend.

According to the diplomatic sources, this is to be the first time since the Barcelona Conference in 1995 that Israel has boycotted a conference held within the Euro-Med framework.

The Barcelona Conference launched the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, or Barcelona Process, which is a framework for political, economic and social relations between the EU and Mediterranean countries. It is unique in that Israel takes part in the forum's meetings alongside Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority.

Diplomatic officials in Jerusalem said that when the Vienna conference was first organized last year, it had planned to address racism in the media, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Although the conference was planned well before the public outrage in Muslim countries earlier this year over the Muhammad cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, that issue made the meeting more pressing.

The original description of the conference received in Jerusalem in March said that the two-day seminar, which would be attended by a number of media personalities from Europe and the Arab world, would deal with racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

However all references to anti-Semitism had been removed from an updated description that the Foreign Ministry received on May 11, while a report on Islamophobia in the press was still on the agenda.

Israeli diplomatic officials said that the decision to eliminate the discussion of anti-Semitism was taken following pressure from Arab countries.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

How low can al-Qaeda go?

This report is from the Times of London.
A SENIOR member of an Islamic organisation linked to Al-Qaeda is funding his activities through the kidnapping of Christian children who are sold into slavery in Pakistan.

The Sunday Times has established that Gul Khan, a wealthy militant who uses the base of Jamaat-ud Daawa (JUD) near Lahore, is behind a cruel trade in boys aged six to 12.

They are abducted from remote Christian villages in the Punjab and fetch nearly £1,000 each from buyers who consign them to a life of misery in domestic servitude or in the sex trade.

Khan was exposed in a sting organised by American and Pakistani missionaries who decided to save 20 such boys and return them to their homes. Using a secret camera, they filmed him accepting $28,500 (£15,000) from a Pakistani missionary posing as a businessman who said he wanted to set up an operation in which the boys would beg for cash on the streets.

Khan was observed driving from the meeting with a knapsack full of cash to the JUD headquarters at Muridke, near Lahore.

Are animal liberation terrorists coming here?

As the article notes, the UK is the centre for this type of terrorism.
British animal rights activists are planning to use a training camp next month to export their violent tactics to Europe and beyond.
Animal rights activists attend a skills weekend in 2004
Animal rights activists attend a skills weekend in 2004

The AR2006 camp will be held in an undisclosed location on the weekend of June 23 and will feature classes in potentially lethal physical techniques that are described as "self-defence".

The police National Extremism Technical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU), which investigates animal rights extremism, is aware of the event.

The camp is advertised on animal activist websites but police say there is little they can do against a private meeting of individuals.

"The UK is the centre for this kind of activism," said a spokesman for the pressure group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). "Everyone around the world looks to us for inspiration."

Friday, May 19, 2006

Iran set to label Jews and Christians....

Jews to wear yellow, and Christians to wear red. But, here's what is going to destroy the Iranian regime.
One aim of the new law is to impose a total ban on imports of clothes and dress designs from the West. The Majlis hopes that all jeans will disappear from the Iranian scene within five years. The boutiques selling haute couture Western gear for men and women will also be closed over the next few years. A total ban on designer items, marked by logos, will come into force by the end of the year.

"There is no sense in a Muslim man or woman wearing something that is, in fact, an advertisement for an infidel designer or clothing merchant," says Pourharandi.
No jeans? Boy, will that heat up the black market. I remember many years ago being on the trans-Siberian express and the Russians on board were just interested in one thing - Levy Jeans.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Europe has sprung a leak....

North Africans are getting into Europe through Spain via the Canary Islands...
Spain has issued its most urgent international appeal for help in coping with illegal immigrants flooding into the Canary Islands.

Madrid announced it will dispatch diplomats to several countries in western Africa, where the migrants come from, while a European parliament delegation will arrive next month to assess a problem that the Spaniards say is not just theirs but Europe's.

The calmer seas of early summer have seen a sharp rise in the numbers reaching the holiday islands, which are the closest European land to the west African coast. More than 1,400 arrived in Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the past week, while 2,000 have landed this month, mostly from Senegal and Mali, compared with 4,751 in the whole of last year.
And, here is why this is dangerous:
The immigrants look to exploit Spain's liberal immigration laws. Spain can hold them for just 40 days and can repatriate them only if it identifies their home country and has an extradition agreement with it. They are then free to travel to mainland Spain or take their chances in any other European country.

Congratulations! Two mounties to wed - and in red!

Nothing like a happy story!
In what may be Canada's highest profile gay wedding of the year two Mounties will wed next month in Nova Scotia.

It is the first same-sex marriage within the RCMP. and the couple will wear the distinctive scarlet dress uniforms the force is known for worldwide the Chronicle Herald newspaper reports.

Const. Jason Tree, 27, and Const. David Connors, 28, met while in high school. They've been a couple since their university days eight years ago.

In an interview with the Chronicle Herald Tee said they have never experienced a problem on the force. They are so well liked members of the force, also in their dress tunics, will form an honor guard at the wedding.

"This is a first for us," RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Skidmore told the paper. "Certainly, the RCMP welcomes a workforce that is representative of Canadian society, and that is the case here."

Gay refugees...

Many countries in Europe are deporting gay refugees...including Holland and the UK, where this article is from.
Lesbian and gay refugees who have suffered violent and sexual abuse in their home countries are being declared "failed" asylum seekers and scheduled for deportation by the Home Office.

Among those due to be sent back are gay refugees from violently homophobic countries like Cameroon, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, Jamaica, Iran, Palestine, Algeria, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Egypt.

The desperate suffering of lesbians and gays who have fled from homophobic regimes, and their abuse by the Home Office, is the theme of today's protests in the UK, which mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). Worldwide, IDAHO is being celebrated by events in more than 50 countries, from Nepal and Poland to Uganda and Venezuela.

Asylum adjudicators nearly always turn down gay refugee claims, even when the person has presented evidence of imprisonment, rape and torture. Adjudicators often acknowledge their brutal maltreatment but advise claimants that they will not be at risk of repeat persecution if they go back home, change their identity, stop acting effeminately, never have sex and move to a remote part of the country where no one knows them. That way, says the Home Office, nobody will realise the person is gay and therefore they will not suffer persecution.

From my day-to-day work with asylum seekers, I hear first hand shocking stories about homophobic abuse and inhumane conditions inside the UK's asylum detention centres, including allegations of homophobic insults, beatings and sexual assaults. Frightened refugees, who have narrowly escaped death and seen their partners murdered, are treated like common criminals. Some are detained for six moths or longer, even though they have committed no offence. A person charged with murder or rape has more legal rights than an asylum detainee.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gays being targeted in Iraq....

Another reason why we need to end the insurgency....
Hard-line Shiite militias in Baghdad have issued a blanket death sentence for homosexuals, lesbians, prostitutes, liberal professors and booksellers.

Ali Hili, who ran a gay nightclub in Baghdad but fled to Britain this year after receiving death threats, told The Times of London he knows of more than 40 men killed in recent months.

Hili claims Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered spiritual figure in Iraq, provoked the slayings by saying on his Web site in April last year that homosexuals should be killed in the "worst, most severe way."
Ending the insurgency would limit the ability of these militias to operate....

We'll huff and we'll puff and we'll huff and we'll puff....

The Europeans keep trying appeasement...and it's not working!
In a one-two counter-punch, Iran's president said on Wednesday that taking European incentives to suspend uranium enrichment would be like trading gold for chocolates, and the foreign ministry spokesman, in a mocking turnabout, offered the Europeans trade incentives from Tehran.

European nations said they may add a light-water reactor to a package of incentives meant to persuade Tehran to permanently give up enrichment, or face the threat of UN Security Council sanctions.

But in a nationally televised speech before thousands of people in Arak central Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast scorn on the proposal.

"Do you think you are dealing with a 4-year-old child to whom you can give some walnuts and chocolates and get gold from him?" he said. Ahmadinejad's comment prompted immediate support from the crowd. "We love you Ahmadinejad," the crowd shouted.
What will it take for the Europeans to get serious?

Arafat used foreign aid to buy weapons....

No big surprise....
Former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat ordered millions of dollars, taken from international aid funds, tax money transferred by Israel and from Arab countries, to be used to purchase weapons and ammunition, it was revealed on Wednesday

These weapons were then provided to Palestinian terrorists from the Tanzim and al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades.

The information came from the interrogation of Fuad Shubaki, the Palestinian official who was arrested by the IDF two months ago in a raid on the Jericho prison where he was held together with the assassins of former tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi. Prior to his imprisonment, Shubaki served as the finance chief in the Palestinian security forces.

Shubaki estimated that some $7-10 million were used every two years to purchase arms for the Gaza Strip, and another $2 million were used to fund the West Bank weapons, the Prime Minister's Office said. He added that when money was in short supply, then weapons purchases would be reduced.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Saudi Arabia puts freedom on women on hold - now scheduled for 2750

Gee, I thought the new 'glasnost' towards women couldn't last.
Saudi Arabia has postponed plans to replace male sales staff in lingerie shops with women.

The move had been its first cautious attempt to bring more women into the work-place.

But even minor reforms have incurred the wrath of ultra-conservative religious leaders, such as the Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdel-Aziz al-Sheikh, who has denounced them as "steps towards immorality and hellfire".

Boy, did she piss them off!

The Dutch establishment never liked her....
Holland's most strident critic of Islam, the Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is today expected to announce she is quitting politics and moving to America, amid allegations that she lied to gain asylum.

Miss Hirsi Ali faces penalties up to and including the potential loss of her Dutch citizenship, after a leading member of her own political party, the VVD, pledged a formal investigation of her actions.

The Dutch immigration minister, Rita Verdonk, who is running for the parliamentary leadership of the VVD, said she would order a probe of her colleague's case, saying: "Laws and rules are valid for everyone".

Miss Hirsi Ali, 36, lives under constant police guard, after receiving death threats for her criticisms of the treatment of women in Islam (her own religion), a stance that won her many fans in Europe and America.

A film she scripted about abuse of women, Submission, led to the brutal murder of its director, Theo van Gogh, in 2004, by a Muslim extremist.

The MP has in fact long admitted lying to the Dutch authorities in 1992 about her name, her age, and the fact that she did not flee directly to Holland from Somalia.

She presented those omissions as necessary lies to obtain refugee status. Asylum seekers are expected to seek shelter in the first safe country they come to, and she would have been automatically deported if she had owned up to spending more than a decade outside Somalia, in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and, briefly, Germany.
There's no place that has the free speech of the US.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Noam Chomsky meets with Hezbollah leader....

And, of course, they found common ground - hatred of Israel and the US.
Radical American thinker and MIT professor Noam Chomsky met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut today and branded the U.S. a terrorist state.

"I think that Nasrallah has a reasoned argument and a persuasive argument that they (the weapons) should be in the hands of Hizbollah as a deterrent to potential aggression and there is plenty of background and reasons for that. So, I think his position, if I am reporting it correctly, and it seems to be a reasonable position, is that until there is a general political settlement in the region and the threat of aggression and violence is reduced or eliminated, there has to be a deterrent. The Lebanese army cannot be a deterrent."


"There is a meaning to the word terrorist, in fact you can read a definition of term terrorist is the U.S. code of laws. It gives a very clear, precise, adequate definition of the word terrorist. have been writing about terrorism for 25 years always using the official U.S. definition [of the word "terrorist"], but that definition is un-usable, and the reason is that when you use that definition it turns out, not surprisingly, that the U.S is one of the leading terrorist states, and the other states become terrorist or non-terrorist depending on how they are relating to U.S. goals."


"The regional superpower Israel is threatening to attack it [Iran], the U.S. is threatening to attack it. These threats alone are outright violations international law and of the U.N. charter. Iran is in difficulty. Iran has been trying for some years to negotiate settlement but the U.S. just refuses."

Al-Qaeda threatens Norway, Denmark and France....

Once again, this is all about the cartoons.
A new al-Qaida video on the Internet urges Muslims to attack Norway, Denmark and France for having published the caricatures of the prophet Mohammed.

"Muslims, avenge your prophet, it is our deep and fervent wish that the small state Denmark, Norway and France be hit hard and destroyed," said the Libyan Mohammed Hassan, on the video.

"Destroy their buildings, make the earth tremble, and turn them into lakes of blood," said Hassan, who appeared dressed in military garb, bearing an automatic weapon.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Canada on new UN Human Rights Council......


When human rights go overboard....

A fascinating essay in the London Sunday Times.
The case of the Afghan hijackers is to the point. In 2000 these nine men hijacked a plane full of fellow nationals and flew it to London. They and 50 others on the plane claimed asylum and were allowed to stay since deportation would have meant certain death. This decision was bizarrely reinforced in 2003 and 2004 despite Afghanistan by then having been “liberated” by British and other forces. The hijackers have since been allowed to live rent-free on benefits in London, incurring some £20m in various costs.

Last week Mr Justice Sullivan, a High Court judge, reasserted this decision, not because it was right but because the government’s refusal to fully implement it was wrong. He was scathing of three home secretaries in denying the hijackers proper asylum, including freedom to move about and earn a living. Blair in reply said that the failure to deport was “an abuse of common sense”. But all the case served to do was give human rights a bad name and invite ministers to pass a new law.

Of course, incitement against Israel is OK....

Yes, it's battle of the mosques....
In yet another indication of growing tensions between the two movements, Fatah sympathizers in the Gaza Strip have begun boycotting Hamas-controlled mosques, accusing the Islamist movement of inciting against their leaders.

New heroes to the anti-globalists...

However, they have to sit through speeches that last for hours - suitable punishment in my opinion.
The Che Guevara T-shirts and berets were out in force, as were the squads of Austrian riot police in case "la revolucion" finally kicked off.

Staid old Vienna, where rebellion doesn't normally go beyond the odd parking offence, smelt the whiff of revolution yesterday as thousands of anti-globalisation activists gathered to hear the wisdom of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivian ally, Evo Morales.

Fresh from scolding world leaders at Vienna's European Union-Latin American summit last week, the Left-wing crusaders were invited to address an "alternative" summit where their headlining act spread a buzz not seen since the Coldplay concert last year.

It is a long time since activists have been able to call on two such inspiring, crowd-pullers. Nelson Mandela is getting on a bit and Ken Livingstone - due to host Mr Chavez in London today - is not the firebrand he once was.

But there was one slight worry. In addition to their denunciations of globalisation, McDonald's and American cultural imperialism, Mr Chavez and Mr Morales are no fans of that other 21st century Western invention - the quick soundbite. They prefer speeches that go on for up to several hours.

"I heard Morales speak in Guadalajara and he did talk for quite a long time," said Brid Brennan. "He is a very entertaining speaker but he does maybe talk a little too long.

Weapons-grade uranium found in Iran....

Not that this will get anybody to act....
UN inspectors have found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian research center linked to the military, diplomats said Friday, which could strengthen US arguments that Tehran wants to develop nuclear arms.

The diplomats - who demanded anonymity in exchange for divulging the confidential information - cautioned that confirmation still had to come through other laboratory tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads.

Still, they said, further analysis could show that the find matches others established to have come from abroad. The International Atomic Energy Agency determined earlier traces of weapons-grade uranium were imported on equipment from Pakistan that Iran bought on the black market during nearly two decades of clandestine activity discovered just over three years ago.

Even then, however, the find would be significant.

Because Iran has previously denied conducting enrichment-related activities at the site, the mere fact that the traces came from there bolsters arguments that it has hidden parts of a program that can create the fissile material used in nuclear warheads. Additionally, the site's connection to the military weakens Iranian arguments that their nuclear program is purely civilian.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Actually, she's being amazingly honest!

Ambrose is a breath of fresh air!
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose will chair an international climate change meeting in Germany next week, even though critics are calling for her resignation after she revealed Canada won't be meeting its climate control goals under the Kyoto accord.

Ambrose told the Commons Wednesday that Canada is far short of the goals set by the previous Liberal government.

She said the only way to meet them would be to ground all trains, planes and automobiles in the country, which she added was not realistic.

The statement enraged environmental advocates who say Canada is reneging on its international commitments.

"There are 163 countries that are part of the Kyoto protocol, and right now they are all negotiating on how to strengthen the Kyoto accord on climate change, and what they need and deserve is a minister that is committed to the Kyoto process, and Minister Ambrose is not," Dale Marshall, of the David Suzuki Foundation, told CTV's Canada AM Thursday.

Marshall added his voice to those of six other environmental leaders who have called for Ambrose's resignation, arguing it would be dishonest for her to take a leading role when Canada has no plans to meet its own Kyoto goals.

"This party that's in power now campaigned about the dishonesty of other parties and on this issue of Kyoto, they couldn't be more dishonest than they're behaving right now," John Bennett, the chair of the Climate Action Network told a news conference Wednesday.
But, she's right...we can't meet our targets! I give Ambrose an A for honesty.

Is he admitting past negotiations were a sham?

Now, he says he is ready? What about the last two years of negotiations with the Europeans?
Iran's president said Thursday he was ready to negotiate with the United States and its allies over his country's nuclear program but he also suggested that any threats against Tehran would make the dialogue more difficult.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also intensified his verbal attacks on Israel, calling it a "a tyrannical regime that one day will be destroyed."
The Europeans have been talking with Iran for years now....with absolutely no results. Enough.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The UFO defense....

Probably not as bad as the twinky defense...but still...let's lock this guy up.
A British man accused of the "biggest military hack of all time" has lost the first round of his battle against extradition to the US.

Gary McKinnon, 40, from Wood Green in north London, faces more than 50 years in prison if convicted in the US of sabotaging defence systems.

His lawyers had argued that he could be sent to Guantanamo Bay as a terrorist suspect - despite claiming to have only accessed Pentagon computers to find information about UFOs.

Here's one European who gets it....

Of course, he's just one.....
European Parliament member Hannu Takkula of Finland has urged Europeans to prevent the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Germany for the opening of the World Cup in June.

In a reference to the Iranian nuclear threat, Takkula, who was speaking at a Europe Day event on Tuesday night said that never before had the fate of Israel and Europe been so inter-connected.

"The same forces that hate Israel, also hate Europe," he said, adding that Europe must remain true to its Judeo-Christian roots by supporting Israel.

What next? Women in Burkas???

This is a dangerous opens up the door to having women wearing burkas in their pictures...
Members of an Alberta Hutterite colony have won the right to carry driver's licences that don't carry their photographs.

The Wilson Colony, near Coaldale, 12 kilometres east of Lethbridge, took the province to court after the government introduced a new licence that must have a driver's photo on it.

The colony argued in a Lethbridge court that the government's rule violated its charter right to freedom of religion. Members believe the second commandment in the Bible prohibits them from willingly having their picture taken.

The province argued the photos were necessary to prevent fraud or identity theft. But a judge determined the Crown had failed to prove that this would likely be the case.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Chavez goes after oil companies....

This man is dangerous - and more left-winger Latin American governments might be on the way....
Venezuela's congress is expected to approve a proposal to double the taxes of foreign oil companies, generating another £720 million in revenue to help fund President Hugo's Chavez aggressive anti-US foreign policy in the region.

Mr Chavez announced during his weekly Hello President television show that he wanted to replace the current 17 per cent royalties charged on foreign companies with a 33 per cent extraction tax.

The president is using Venezuela's oil reserves, the largest outside the Middle East, to fund his radical social progamme, which he calls the ''Bolivarian Revolution'' after independence hero Simon Bolivar.

Last year some £5 billion was dropped into social spending schemes, including bringing Cuban doctors into the slums of Caracas and selling staple foods at prices subsidised by the government.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Germans deserve this...

I wonder if the muslim community is taking advantage of this silly law.
A German man is exploiting a loophole in the law to become the legal father of 1,000 foreign children so they can claim German passports.

Jürgen Hass, who lives in Paraguay, says it is a personal "act of revenge" against the state.

He has so far adopted 300 children from seven countries and plans to adopt a further 700 by the end of the year.

Under a law on children's rights dating from 1998, a man can become the legal father of a child as long as the mother gives her permission and there is no record of a birth father.

Once adopted the child can gain a German passport and have access to the welfare state as well as education.

Mr Hass, a former insurance salesman who lives in Paraguay on a £700-a-month pension, said he wanted to help the impoverished children to lead better lives, but that his main motivation was to exact revenge on the state.

Mr Hass, a former local politician for the Free Democratic party, was sentenced to three years in prison in 1987 for fraud. The 56-year-old claims he was wrongly imprisoned and "treated worse than a dog" while in jail. He still professes his innocence.

He described the adoption campaign as his "personal, private revenge".

"A family of eight in Paraguay can live off a single German child allowance very happily," he said.

The children he has adopted so far come from Paraguay, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and India.

It is not clear how many of them are living in Germany.

Authorities say they cannot act until the law is changed. They are aware of dozens of other cases in which German men are exploiting the loophole, including a Berliner who every year declares himself the legal father of around 10 children of single mothers from Bosnia and Vietnam.

He is alleged to receive €1,500 (£1,026) from middlemen for each child he adopts.

Once the children become German citizens their mothers have the chance to secure a residency permit and to claim social welfare payments for themselves and their children. The man is said to have so far cost the state about £345,000.

Animal rights activists continue their intimidation....

We've blogged on animal rights activists in the UK many times - here's more intimidation.
Animal rights activists threatened small shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company, with public exposure yesterday unless they sold their shares within two weeks.

Shareholders, many of whom are pensioners, were sent anonymous letters saying that their names would be put on a website unless the shares were sold.

The letters claimed that animal rights activists could drive the pharmaceutical giant to ruin because of its involvement with Huntingdon Life Sciences, which tests drugs on animals.

"Over the next two weeks every shareholder of GlaxoSmithKline will be receiving this letter," they said. "If you have any doubts over the effectiveness of this action then keep a close eye on the GSK share price and watch it plummet."

Many shareholders were left frightened and bewildered. "I have not been able to do anything all day," said a 73-year-old Berkshire pensioner. "It is blackmail. These people are worse than terrorists."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Israel thwarts attempt to assassinate Abbas....

I haven't seen this in the Israeli newspapers - this is from the London Sunday Times.
A HAMAS plot to assassinate Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has been thwarted after he was tipped off by Israeli intelligence.

Hamas’s military wing, the Izza Din Al-Qassem, had planned to kill Abbas at his office in Gaza, intelligence sources said.

Abbas, who became president of the Palestinian Authority last year after the death of Yasser Arafat, was formally warned of the danger by the Israelis and cancelled a planned visit to the territory.

The murder plan is the clearest sign yet of the tensions inside the Palestinian Authority between Hamas, which swept to power after elections in January, and Abbas’s Fatah movement.

Hamas leaders, who refuse to recognise the state of Israel, suspect Abbas of obstructing their attempts to govern, which have been hampered by a financial boycott from donor nations. “Hamas considers Abbas to be a barrier to its complete control over Palestine and decided to kill him,” said a Palestinian source who was an adviser to Arafat and is a close acquaintance of Abbas.

It is understood that the attack would also have targeted Mohammed Dahlan, Abbas’s strongman in Gaza.

Why I am against the death penalty....

This case is a real scandal.
A federal jury on Friday awarded $2.25 million to a Virginia man who claimed a police investigator fabricated a rape and murder confession that sent him to death row.

Earl Washington Jr., who came within nine days of being executed, had sued the estate of the state police investigator, Curtis Reese Wilmore, who died in 1994. Jurors awarded Washington damages upon finding that Wilmore deliberately fabricated evidence that led to his conviction and death sentence.

"I feel great — and happy," a smiling Washington said after the verdict.

Washington spent nearly 18 years in prison. He was pardoned in 2000 by then-Gov. Jim Gilmore after sophisticated DNA testing, unavailable at the time of the crime, linked a convicted rapist to the murder.

Singapore continues its anti-democratic ways....

A nice intro to a story from the New York Times.
As his party headed for a near certain crushing victory in an election on Saturday, Lee Kuan Yew, the man who created Singapore in his own severe image, had an unsettling glimpse into what could be the future of his country, and he did not like it.

In the newspapers, on the airwaves and in threats of lawsuits, the tough operators of his People's Action Party were doing what they always do: attacking and humiliating the opposition that Mr. Lee calls riffraff. In the last election, in 2001, only 2 of the 84 elected seats in Parliament were won by opposition candidates. If that number increases by even one or two this time, eyebrows will be raised.

But there they were on live television three weeks ago, a forum of 10 polite young Singaporeans challenging Mr. Lee, who is 82, with a confidence and lack of deference that is rare among their elders here.

About 40 percent of today's eligible voters were born after Singapore became independent in 1965. Whether their elders like it or not, they are their country's future, and their vision now stands side by side with Mr. Lee's.

"What we want is a choice," Mabel Lee, 28, an editor and news broadcaster, said at the forum. "What we want is political vibrancy. What we want is a media that could reflect both the views of the opposition as well as of the ruling party fairly. What we want is to see that the opposition is being given a level playing field. What we want is fairness in the political sphere."

Mr. Lee argued back as if he had met, in this open-minded younger generation, his real opposition — interrupting, cross-examining and telling the panelists that they needed to be put in their place like his own grandchildren.

"Let me tell you this," said Mr. Lee, who holds the title of minister mentor and whose 54-year-old son, Lee Hsien Loong, is prime minister. "If what you say is a reflection of your generation, then I'm a bit sad."
I lived in Singapore for 3 1/2 years - and I saw just how anti-democratic Singapore can be. Election rules change at a whim; election campaigns are a short 2-3 weeks; there's no organized debates; and people are scared to run for the opposition.

Now, the paradox is that Singapore is extremely well-run. The government is competent - and you'd think they'd have a little more confidence in facing the people at election.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Australia tries to end male suicide...

At least the Australian government recognizes the in Canada upwards of 75% of suicides are male.
A NATIONAL suicide forum has ended in Sydney today with a bold plan to stamp out male suicide by 2030.

Research shows that every day five men take their life in Australia.

Of the more than 2000 suicides each year, 80 per cent were male.

The inaugural National Forum on Men and Suicide wrapped up with a commitment to tackle the tragedy of male suicide.

The Mental Health Council of Australia said that, with governments turning their attention to the mental health crisis, now was the time to address suicide prevention.

"The forum has laid the foundation for fundamental change in the way Australian society deals with men and suicide," said the council's chief executive, John Mendoza.

"The forum set out a clear long term-goal that by 2030 all Australians will know what actions to take individually and collectively to prevent suicide.

"The bold plan developed by the forum aims that, in one generation, suicide will no longer exist as a health risk for men."

Suicide prevention required an assertive, well-resourced, long-term campaign, Mr Mendoza said.

Professor Ian Webster from the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention said attention to men's mental health and emotional wellbeing was long overdue.

"Male suicide is one of the great tragedies of Australia today (and) that is completely unacceptable," Prof Webster said.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A chance to arrest Ahmadinejad?

I agree....Germany should arrest him if offered the chance.
Never mind the football hooligans. The thorniest political dilemma facing Germany as it prepares to host the World Cup is what to do about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s hardline president, if he insists on coming to watch his team play next month.

Germany is obliged to admit the head of state of a participating nation, and the tournament’s official motto is "A Time To Make Friends". But Mr Ahmadinejad has demanded Israel’s destruction and has repeatedly denied the holocaust - a crime in Germany.

By unhappy coincidence Iran’s first match is in the stadium on the Nuremberg complex used by Hitler for his mass rallies, and German neo-Nazis are planning a march in support of Mr Ahmadinejad. But Israel, Iranian exiles and leading German politicans are demanding that he is kept away.

"The question is whether Germany as host can prevent the visit of a head of state who has shown himself to be a repulsive and embarrassing anti-Semite," said Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister. "The spirit of the World Cup is in absolute contradiction to the spirit that he represents."

An angry editorial comment in the Jerusalem Post this week accused Germany of trading with Iran, and appeasing its nuclear ambitions, and continued: "Germany’s behaviour toward Iran is a clear sign that for all its Holocaust memorialising, for all its anti-Nazi legislation, and for all its protestations of friendship with Israel and the Jewish people, Germany has not learned the lessons of the Holocaust."

I wonder how often this happens in Canada....

This is from the Telegraph in the UK.
A man about to stand trial for terrorist offences was able to remain in Britain despite serving a prison sentence for armed robbery, it emerged last night.

Because of the seriousness of the offence the man should have been considered for deportation on his release in 1998.

The case will add to the pressure on Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, over mismanagement of foreigners in the prison system.

The Tories suggested the case was "as bad as it could be."

It will also generate further embarrassment for the Government because the suspect was granted British citizenship two years ago, despite his criminal record.

Sharia law makes more inroads...

Let's see if this goes into affect.
A draft law proposed by lawmakers on the tsunami-ravaged Indonesian province of Aceh will impose Shariah, or Islamic law, on all non-Muslims, the military and police, a local law enforcement official said Thursday.

Until now, it has only applied to Muslims.

Sharia took effect in Aceh, a predominantly Muslim region on the northernmost tip of Sumatra island, last year. It banned drinking, gambling, adultery and other behavior deemed immoral under Islam.

The latest bill, submitted to the national parliament early this year for debate, is expected to be adopted by the 550-seat house by the summer after facing initial resistance.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Our ridiculous gay press....

The latest issue of Capital Xtra, the gay newspaper in Ottawa, has a ridiculous article by Ariel Troster, a self-professed gay activist, on the war on terror. Here is a quote:
Both of my grandfathers fought the Nazis in the Second World War, and I wonder why their actions seem somehow virtuous, in comparison to the modern-day fight against terror where it's hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys.
Wow! She can't distinguish between Al-Qaeda and the Bush administration. She obviously thinks they are morally equivalent!

I'm speechless.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A teenager is a 'dream target'...

Can you get sicker than this?
Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager lying in a coma after being critically injured last week in a suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant, is the "best target combination we can dream of – American and Zionist," Abu Nasser, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the groups responsible for the deadly blast, told WorldNetDaily.

Wultz has been lying in a coma in the intensive care unit since the bombing, though he briefly was aroused earlier this week.

His story has generated extensive media coverage and has prompted a flurry of e-mails across the Internet asking people worldwide to pray for the young terror victim.

In a WND exclusive interview yesterday, Abu Nasser, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank, rejoiced in Wultz' injuries. Abu Nasser is part of the Brigades leadership in the Balata refugee camp suspected of plotting the attack.

"We are sorry there was not more of this stuff. American and Zionist – this is the best target combination we could dream of. This is the ideal target. He is a young American who came to encourage the enemy to continue his war against us," Abu Nasser said.