This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting Away With Murder

"They recover, get out of hospital, drive drunk again and escape prosecution and conviction. It doesn't take them long, which is exactly why the conviction rate has to go up. Ghere needs to be more intervention to get them off the roads."
Dr. Roy Purssell, Vancouver General Hospital
A study in the B.C. Medical Journal creates an interesting and highly disturbing picture of the subterfuges available to sociopaths who have committed murder but manage to get away with it. It is as though we cannot get our minds around the rational understanding that if people choose to drink and drive under the influence of alcohol and in the process of doing so, cause accidents that maim and kill people, they are responsible for their actions.

Even when many of those people have been involved in a series of drunk-driving accidents. Society views them with disgust, but does nothing useful to ensure that their harmful behaviour does not persist, because for some truly amazingly stupid reason we don't invest them with the responsibility of making those dangerous choices of their free will. Their damaging criminal activity is shrugged off as unfortunate.

People are killed, or seriously injured in a way that will deleteriously impact their quality of life for the duration of their lives and those who are responsible are simply not held to account in full justice of a law applied as it should be. Laughably inadequate prison sentences are meted out to offenders, which, with automatic reductions through parole and statutory release laws, sees them serving little time for their offences.

Neither society nor Canadian courts appear capable of viewing quite how serious these crimes are, when habitual drunk drivers, despite having previous convictions, despite having their driving licenses suspended, despite knowing of their casual disregard for the safety of others, can get away with a literal slap on the wrist. If these drivers know they will never be held to full account for their choices, what is to stop them from repeating their offences?

The study published in the B.C. Medical Journal, authored by B.C. doctors and Ontario law professors, outline the legal challenges faced by police in collecting evidence from blood alcohol readings from impaired drivers who have been injured. They are intoxicated, drive their vehicles, cause accidents, and when they too are injured they are taken to hospital. Once there, police are unable to acquire evidence because of medical ethics protecting patients' privacy.

As a result, hospitalized injured, impaired drivers are rarely convicted of impaired driving because the evidence cannot be collected. Only 7 to 11% of such drivers eventually face justice. And a hefty proportion of these drivers simply continue driving while intoxicated. They haven't been held to account, and haven't suffered the inconvenience of having to pay the piper.

What the study pointed out was that even those drivers responsible for killing and maiming other people through their drunk driving episodes eventually go on to face additional drunk driving charges. "Follow up over a 4.5-year period indicated that 30.7% of the injured impaired drivers were engaged on subsequent impaired driving, notwithstanding that they injured or killed someone in more than 84% of initial crashes.

"These studies suggest that our emergency departments may have become safe havens for the worst drinking drivers, those drivers who are involved in fatal of personal injury crashes", according to the study led by an emergency room doctor at Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. Roy Purssell.

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"Director [Jim] Judd ascribed an 'Alice in Wonderland' world view to Canadians and their courts, whose judges have tied CSIS 'in knots', making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad. The situation, he commented, left government security agencies on the defensive and losing public support for their effort to protect Canada and its allies."
Canadians are so invested in a vision of ourselves as meritoriously just we cannot envision the malignantly violent tumour we're permitting to invade our body politic. We are so enamoured of ourselves as an accepting, even-tempered, blase society. So prepared to view the customs and values of other cultures and religions as worthy of unquestioning acceptance and respect, even when they run counter to the verities of our social compact, our tried-and-true values.

When those whom we elect as lawmakers and those whom they entrust to guard our freedoms and security make a heroic attempt to save us from ourselves by apprehending those within who have entered the country in the guise of trustworthy future citizens while conspiring to bring to this society customs and tribal antipathies and values that insult our own, while bringing harm to others, we reproach them for over zealousness.

The newly-revealed existence of diplomatic notes indicating that the former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Services informed his American counterparts of the difficulties facing CSIS in pursuing its assigned tasks to safeguard Canada and its citizens tells a compelling story. One that the current head of CSIS has also repeated. And which we ignore at our peril. Yet we do.

In the very real face of ongoing threats against the stability and security of the country, there are groups who assemble in support of those whose covert activities reveal a purpose that intelligence has been alerted to, intending to harm the country, yet the formidable opposition of left-liberal groups and the equally left judiciary create a quandary of miring the intelligence service in a bog of inaction.

At a time when our security agencies should be meeting serious threats with serious solutions they are constrained by the negative reaction of rights groups who align themselves with the very groups who conspire to create threats to the country. CSIS is well aware of the presence of members of groups deemed terrorist in nature and outlawed by the government, but these groups comprised of Hamas and Hezbollah members move freely within Canada.

They march in protest rallies in support of the Palestinians, shouting scurrilous accusations against Canada, the United States and Israel, and enjoy the support of church groups, academic and trade unions. The predictable outcry against the government's lack of interest in repatriating Omar Khadr, the defence of suspected terrorists by members of the public along with a number of parliamentarians, all reflect phlegmatic Canada's unwillingness to believe it is in danger.

It's almost miraculous that Momin Khawaja was eventually found guilty of conspiring to bring harm to an ally of Canada in a terror plot to bomb Britain. The guilt findings against the remaining 11 of the original Toronto 18 terror plotters resulting in sentences not quite commensurate with their plots to harm the country, along with justices permitting bail for suspected other terrorists bespeak an absurd failure of justice.

Another revelation, hardly surprising, and reflected in the current judicial proceedings in the extradition request by France to have Lebanese-born Hassan Diab stand trial there on evidence gathered implicating him in the 1980 Paris bombing of the Copernic synagogue, refers to Canadian court judgements "that threaten to undermine foreign government intelligence-and information-sharing with Canada".

"These judgements posit that Canadian authorities cannot use information that 'may have been' derived from torture, and that any Canadian public official who conveys such information may be subject to criminal prosecution. This, he [Jim Judd] commented, put the government in a reverse-onus situation whereby it would have to 'prove' the innocence of partner nations in the face of assumed wrongdoing."

And this is precisely what we see playing out in the requested extradition of Hassan Diab. The same groups that protest against CSIS leaning too heavily on terror groups openly defying Canadian government designations of such groups as having no place on Canadian soil, support and invite belligerent provocateurs like George Galloway to speak at university campuses, spouting his hatefully vindictive spiel about Zionist apartheid.

Canadians are complicit in bringing vicious aspirants to mass murder and destruction of a democratic foreign country into our midst, supporting their agenda in the guise of compassion for an 'occupied' people, in the process encouraging an escalation of bloodshed, and inviting it into the Canadian parlour as cherished guests.

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Blazing Cat Fur: To Stand On Guard - A Security Strategy for Canadians from the MacDonlad Laurier Institute

Blazing Cat Fur: To Stand On Guard - A Security Strategy for Canadians from the MacDonlad Laurier Institute

Blazing Cat Fur: Tarek Fatah: The Jews are not our enemy (or, Why We Hate the Jews)

Blazing Cat Fur: Tarek Fatah: The Jews are not our enemy (or, Why We Hate the Jews)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Threat Plans

"I'm not suggesting the government has ignored issues, but ... we haven't put the big picture together. We haven't identified enough of what we see as the overall strategy to deal with threats, whereas if you go to the U.K. or the U.S., they have articulated a grand strategy and they've tried to make sense of the bits and pieces. The gap makes Canada an "attractive haven" for terrorists and criminal organizations." Paul Chapin, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
The United Kingdom, no less the United States, has been well infiltrated by volatile, incendiary, determined Islamists. From the mosques and community centres where messages of hatred and exclusion are routinely received by Muslims living in both countries, to the acceptance of Muslim scholars in academia whose messages of conciliatory prose mark them as 'moderate' while their agenda is secretive and managed, to the lawmakers who present as reasonable and trustworthy.

And both those countries have been severely impacted by monumentally traumatic terror attacks, costly in lives and in self-confidence in the ability to protect themselves from terrorists. Canada has thus far been fairly successful in apprehending planned attacks before they could be carried out. Mostly due to the lack of professionalism and organizational skills of the amateurish jihadist attempts, to date.

A slow but steady normalization of the Islamic presence within Western society, which began with welcomes and pledges to honour diversity and the expectation that despite differences a gradual melding would occur and all would live together in equanimity and mutual respect. And then the realization that what was parochial was meant to become mainstream, that those Muslim academics and scholars and lawmakers felt entitled to have the established social compact altered to suit their plans, and this was just and anticipated, in good will.

The greater Muslim community, the ummah, is prepared to go along with what their entitled and elite peers prescribe, for what do they know other than what they are encouraged to accept? A relatively few outspoken and courageous members of the Muslim community who find it possible to honour their heritage and religion, while cleaving with passion to their new countries' values fight a rearguard action of hopeless denial.

In Europe, a population that pledged to itself that it would never again lower its social character and self-regard to reflect the paranoia of xenophobia finds itself drowning in a stifling atmosphere of startling unfamiliarity with its passing scene, and mourning the loss of its nativist culture, its indigenous values, viewing its landscape suddenly become exotic, not as it is fondly recalled and belatedly mourned.

Canada, congratulating itself on its ability to entice, encourage and engage immigrants to transform themselves into Canadians, while assuring them that they are expected to proudly retain all aspects of their original culture, heritage, ethnic and tribal values, suddenly finds itself faced with disparate enclaves of antagonistic cultural-religious-social groups that find Canadian mores and customs unsuitably degrading to their personal tastes.

If there is any one single reason for Canada, like the examples of the U.K. and the U.S., to put into place a national threat plan, a security strategy, it is self-evidently on the basis of our own experiences in radical nationalism that have entered our shores. With Sikh Khalistan, and Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers.

But above all, with the very real and everpresent threat mounted against this country as with all free democracies by radical Islamism which aspires to create, through violence or steadily quiet, covert 'diplomacy', a new universal Caliphate. Occasional threats come Canada's way through the importation of violence from Sikhs and Tamils, but they have been subdued.

It is largely from the immense geographical presence of Islam and specifically fundamentalist, violence-prone Islamists that threats and atrocities are seen all over the world. Largely in the numbers of incidence, targeting the Islamic world itself, as tribal and clannish and sectarian viciousness plays itself out in an unending spiral of blood-letting.

But directed too at the jihadi-hating vestiges of a Western presence on Muslim soil. Where Christian communities in majority-Muslim atmospheres are increasingly at risk. And more vehemently at the democracies of the world whose values and systems of governance represent as anathema to a people schooled from birth in the rigidly authoritarian ideology of Islam.

The recommendation in the newly-issued report on security in Canada, and its lapses, points the need for a bilateral strategy with our neighbour. It stresses the need for the establishment of a foreign-intelligence service, which would "investigate the intentions of other countries": (e.g. spy network). Canada's lack of security and intelligence gathering, the report and its author claim, makes the country attractive for terrorists and criminal organizations.

We certainly see his claims in reality, with the installation and comfort of the Italian Mafia in Quebec and Ontario. And Asian drug-running gangs in British Columbia. And the ease with which the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated various parts of the country, installing more innocent-sounding groups as fronts to forward the elements of their mission.

Above all, the finger of lax attention to the needs of the country points at the dysfunctional refugee-determination system. It should also point unerringly to the immigration system which fails to accurately determine which people from which countries represent as most likely to adjust to the norms, the values, priorities and political-civic concerns of Canada.

"Once people are here we have to do something to promote citizenship and an appreciation for the Canadian way of life to protect them from people in their community or outside who seek to exploit them for one reason or another", explains Mr. Chapin. And he is quite correct. Which translates as a need to divest ourselves of that unworkable multiculturalism tradition.

To that add a need to exclude those clearly not representative of good citizenship material.

Canadians, as Mr. Chapin points out, are "comfortably convinced" that what happens elsewhere has no impact on Canada. Events occurring regularly within the country prove otherwise. Particularly when ethnic nationalism is concerned, and when regional conflicts are in play, and migrants from countries where both are a concern, bring their cultural and social and traditional conflicts to Canada.

"We're needlessly running a risk when we don't have a plan that would be a pretty good insurance policy", he says, and he's right.

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'Lack of Insight' - Whose?

Justice Fletcher Dawson excoriated Steven Chand, one of the Toronto 18 terrorists for his 'lack of insight' into his own character, his free will exercised to make the choice to join a group of Islamist jihadis, to help them to the best of his considerable delusion-heavy abilities to achieve their goal of wreaking carnage on the Canadian scene.

The plans were ambitious enough, planning to bomb targets in downtown Toronto, at CSIS headquarters in Ottawa, to launch an attack on Parliament, with special plans for the Prime Minister. They'd show those Canadian kuffirs that you don't mess with fanatical Muslims, and that there is no reason for Canadian troops to be engaged in Afghanistan.

"Mr. Chand was ideologically committed to the cause... He was serious", as an integral member of the terror cell's "inner circle", commented the Judge. His job manifold; to assess recruits at their training camp, to raise funds, to train, to find a safe house, to acquire the assault rifles they would need to perfect and perform their plans for chastising Canada.

"I strongly feel I've been misunderstood in many ways, but there's only so much I can do and say to correct other peoples' view of me", this predicament-laden young recruit to violent jihad explained petulantly. "I have no intentions ... to participate in anything that has even a hint of terrorism", he pledged.

He recanted the "corrupt and misguided mentality" of his former associates. Which he found to his liking only four years earlier when they all engaged frenetically in plans to acquit themselves as befits martyrs to their common cause of inflicting as much damage as possible within the country that gave them refuge and educated them and offered them a future.

Presenting himself as innocent of plans to disrupt society, to help his colleagues in their terror-inspired aspirations, he continued to deny he had done anything 'wrong'. He was, quite simply, the wrong person in the wrong situation at the wrong time. Holding no brief for what his friends were planning, just being a companionable sort of guy.

Judge Dawson spoke despairingly of Chand's "shocking lack of insight" in refusing to own his responsibility in the plans hatched by the group of 18 and to which they were all dedicated. "Mr. Chand presents as an enigma .. He [appears to lack] both remorse and insight", the judge concluded.

And then he handed down his sentencing decision, ostensibly to match the seriousness of the charges brought against this man. It's difficult to determine which is more shocking, the sentence that both the Crown and defence advocated for, or the sentence that the judge finally decided upon.

The sentence deemed by Judge Dawson to be 'adequate' in response to the two separate offences of terrorism for which Steven Chand was found guilty, was ten years. The eight years recommended he dismissed out of hand as "inadequate". So for counselling the commission of fraud for the benefit of committing terrorist acts, and participating in the group's actions, the judge deemed ten years to be an adequate reflection of society's risks and benefits.

And under Canada's system of justice, taking into account time already served while awaiting trial and sentencing, and enhanced credit, he is likely to be freed within seven months. The maximum term for one of his convicted offences was stated to be life imprisonment. Which seems adequate to ensure that the country is saved from further offences on his part.

Yet our justice system is simply incapable, on the evidence of this and other judgements handed down to terrorist suspects, tried and as-yet-untried, of taking these offences seriously. It is as though Canadians cannot get their heads around the reality of the volatile, vicious determination of demented Islamists to mount murderous assaults on Canadian soil.

Justices in Canada appear unwilling to bring well-earned punitive and meaningful sentences to the fore even while they deplore the dreadful plans apprehended, and the atrocious attitudes of those whom they sentence. The punishment meted out in no way resembles what the public and what their government deems adequate.

The punishment is most definitely not commensurate with the severity of the crime. Canada's justices at every level display a shocking and deplorable "lack of insight".

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Unethical, Immoral, not Illegal?

"If you have money, you live; and if you don't, you die."
That's the kind of matter-of-fact statement reflecting the hard life realities in impoverished countries of the world where medical treatment can be obtained but not by the vast mass of the population, only those who represent the elite, the entitled, the moneyed class. And of course health-tourists who travel to countries like India where they can obtain expert surgical procedures not recognized in Canada.

Thank heavens, we live in Canada. Where universal access to timely and state-of-the-art medical intervention is not only possible, but a matter of life. Life defeating death. We are indeed fortunate. Of course there's been a creeping incidence of private, for-profit interventions that we mostly decry; clinics and medical specialists who've opted out of our universal health care system.

But the universality of Canada's public health care system is an enviable one. Particularly when it works. And often enough it does. Occasionally it slips up and people are left untreated on the brink of expiration, cautioned to be patient and simply await their turn, and then there occasions a tragedy and that patient no longer needs to wait for his/her turn.

Now, we learn of another, odious practise recently revealed that appears to be common in Quebec. Where skilled surgeons supplement their comfortable incomes (which they claim, as people are wont to do, that those incomes do not reflect the value they give to their communities) display an unwonted venality. Accepting thick envelopes padded with thousands of dollars to expedite individuals to the top of the waiting list.

Alternately, agreeing to perform the surgery themselves rather than delegate it to an inferior-skilled practitioner or a junior surgical professional.
"I've learned that it's current practise ... everyone within these hospitals knows about it. It's systemic, and it's been so for a long time now."
This is a narrative through the mouth of a high-ranking physician with experience at a number of Montreal-area hospitals, explaining that obstetricians regularly deign to accept cash from families anxious to ensure that it is the contracted obstetrician who will show up at the hospital for the delivery, not whichever doctor happens to be on call at the hospital at the time.
"We wanted to have the operation done by (someone) who we know is the best. I gave it to him discreetly and he took it. He knew what was in the envelope. He took the money and never showed up."
That was one plan that went awry, when the surgeon quietly took possession of the cash-stuffed envelope and somehow a member of his surgical team managed to conduct the surgery, not he. A formal complaint is in the planning stages. Who will they complain to, the surgeon who forbore to act on his part of this sleazy bargain?

The hospital, which will deny that such a practise exists? The province which underfunds its health system, even as it continues to extend its grasp of another province's equalization hand-outs? This blackest of black markets is representative of another type of two-tier system we hardly imagined exists in Canada.

It helps immeasurably to know that the head of the Quebec Association of Specialists considers the phenomenon to be "disgusting, scandalous and indefensible", and that "It makes me very sad". All is not lost thank our lucky stars; the Quebec College of Physicians condemns any form of kickbacks.

Of course they deny knowledge of any complaints about the practise.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Competitive Lunacy

"The nuclear power and missile research institutes in the North and Iran are effectively one body. North Korean nuclear and missile scientists are in Iran and Iranian scientists are in the North. They share everything."
This is testimony related to a conservative newspaper in Seoul, South Korea, the Chosun Ilbo, by a defecting North Korean official. It cannot come as a surprise to anyone. But it does not represent good news. Merely confirmation of what has long been theorized. And it took no great stretch of the imagination to do that, either.

Iran has been funding North Korea in that country's advances toward nuclear enrichment. And North Korea has been assisting Iran in its more fumbling attempts at nuclear enrichment. Each of the countries happen to be outlier nations, belligerent and impressively averse to freedom and human rights, particularly for their own populations.

Hunger and deprivation is present in both countries, although clearly not as rampant in Iran as it is in North Korea. Iranians are deprived of their freedoms, they live in a fundamentalist Islamist theocracy where every aspect of their lives is circumscribed by ruling Ayatollahs, and much is proscribed. While North Koreans exist under the baleful thumb of a secularist totalitarian, careless of the desperate state of the deprived population.

The diverse ideologies, one political, the other religious-political, still have much in common. Irredentism for one commonality, violent aggression in word and in deed against their neighbours. Above all, a determination to succeed in attaining nuclear power status for themselves, as rogue powers unsettling the world at large by their leaders' egomanaical neuroticism.

Just as Pyongyang so recently proudly revealed its production success in a new hitherto-unknown nuclear enrichment installation, so too has Iran done likewise, although not voluntarily disclosed. The duplicitous assurances given to the concerned international community of peaceful use of nuclear energy does not truly equate with the incendiary attitudes of the two countries against their neighbours.

The American nuclear scientist, Siegfried Hecker who recently revealed his shock at inspecting North Korea's unsuspected installation at Yongbyon is alarmed at the risk of North Korea exporting weapons materials to Iran. "What we saw, 2,000 centrifuges, that's about twice what Iran has done so far. I worry about co-operation with Iran."

He has gone out of his way in his concern, this former head of the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory, to attempt to convince Washington it must set three red lines for North Korea: 1. no new bombs; 2. no bigger bombs; 3. no export of nuclear material. Just how might that be enforced? Particularly with China's avuncular support of North Korea?

What a collaborative effort: Iran's engineers helping to design and build the North Korean centrifuges, and North Korea's scientists eagerly proffering some of the end result to Iran, which is experiencing no little amount of difficulty in enriching uranium.

One hell, two devils.

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The Odious Durban Declaration

Opinion: Here it Comes, Durban III
by Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein, MP OpEd: Here Comes Durban III

The UN never ceases to amaze. Just when we thought we had become immune to all the poisonous concoctions that get dished out, once again, ten years down the road, we are being offered a remake of the notorious "Durban 1", the UN conference against racism which—to everyone’s horror—was transformed into a racist conference against Israel and the Americans. At that time, incredulous after the speeches by Mugabe, Fidel Castro and Arafat, who condemned in chorus the colonialist West and racist Jews, the Canadians, Americans and Israelis walked out. Later on, in 2009, when the UN organized "Durban 2" in Geneva, the Italian government, which had learned its lesson, refused to send a delegation. And, in fact, our entire parliament, from left to right, voted a resolution rejecting any anti-Semitic and anti-West sideshow. The protagonist this time was Ahmadinejad who took the opportunity to repeat his denial of the Shoah and promise to exterminate all Jews. Backing him was a plethora of NGOs who, undaunted, assisted the UN in its “anti-imperialist” campaign, as they had done with the violence in Durban in 2001.

So here we are again. According to the UN schedule, as Anne Bayefsky in "Eye on the UN" warns us, today the Third Committee of the General Assembly must vote on a resolution proposed by Yemen specifying all the details (including the date set probably for September 21, 2011, namely the day before the General Assembly annual opening in order to have the greatest number of heads of state) of a decision already passed by the General Assembly in 2009. It provides for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Durban 1 and reconfirms its extremely violent platform. In 2009, Italy voted against it, as did Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, the Marshall Islands, the Netherlands, Palau, Poland, Romania and the United States. But a majority of 128 countries, backed by the entire Muslim world, non-aligned countries and a good number of African countries, kicked again the ball toward the net, through the "Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration" which, having met in Geneva October 11-22, decided that this General Assembly will bring back the epic of Durban.

It is a saga that, as journalist, I remember well, as I covered the conference in South Africa in 2001. Those were just the days before the attack on the Twin Towers and never was a hate scenario better laid. Durban was the premise to Ground Zero. While from the podium speakers heaped on the US and Israel all the sins of the world and demanded that they pay the penalty, Jews wearing kippahs had to protect themselves against the demonstrators touting portraits of Bin Laden (which at the time I saw and reported on) and hounding the Jews. The Jewish centers in the city were stormed and closed and the press conference of the Israeli delegation was violently assaulted and interrupted. Israel was compared to Nazism and accused of apartheid in order to claim, particularly in South Africa, its lack of legitimacy. At the same time, Americans were demanded to handsomely recompense Africa for damages from slavery. The fact that, for centuries, the Arabs were cruel slave traders who deported Blacks from Africa, had become a memory denied and forgotten.

The Durban declaration that they now want to resurrect and celebrate again, singles out Israel as a racist state, without naming any other country in the world. The myriad types of ethnic and religious discrimination that infests the world, for the declaration does not exist and it doesn't even say a word about the thousands of massacres that have bloodied the globe for reasons of the color of one's skin or beliefs: not the 165,000 Christian victims per year, for 80% in the Muslim world, are mentioned; not the tragedy of the Tutsi in Rwanda nor that in Darfur and not that of the Uiguri or Kurds, let alone the persecution and discrimination of Jews in numerous Eastern countries and the growing anti-Semitism now being seen again in the West. Re-approving the Durban document means rekindling, with the elephantine power of the UN General Assembly, a whole series of institutional initiatives giving rise to cultural and economic boycotts, discrimination against athletes, artists and scholars and proliferating the accusations of war crimes to any Israeli official in sight. It means reviving manifestations of hate in which the swastika and the Star of David overlap and the hunting season on Jews is declared open, the result being an exponential growth in anti-Semitic incidents. This makes many people happy, very happy.

Above all, it means dragging the UN into cultural and political disgrace, making any real possibility for anti-racist initiatives even more remote. Who could imagine this organization fighting against ethnic and religious discrimination if the opportunity to do so is used to persecute Israel and satisfy the enemies of the West? We can only hope that Yemen's resolution will be voted down, but we’re not counting on it. In the meantime, in any case, Patrick Ventrell, spokesman for the US delegation to the UN, said that the United States is against the proposed date, September not being “an appropriate time”.

Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein
Vice-president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chair of the Committee for the Inquiry into Antisemitism
Italian Chamber of Deputies

As published online at ArutzSheva.com, 28 November 2010

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Once Again, Into The Fray

Out of a population of one million people, a crowd of 900 eagerly flowed into the Ottawa Bronson Centre to witness and hear one-time British politician George Galloway speak his tedious piece on relations between the civil world and Islamist terrorists. This vain, pompous, self-aggrandizing oaf took his demagogic yapping assault on democratic values to an audience that cannot get enough of this kind of ideological claptrap; the mushy left blundering alongside fascist Islamist bigots and war-mongers.

Galloway is beside himself with enthusiastic joy over the reception he has earned from those decrying NATO attempts to secure the decent futures and human rights of Afghanistan's women and children. He sneers at Canada's vision of a free and just country where the rights of all its inhabitants can be assured; the freedom to be free, to worship as they wish, to make a future for themselves and their children. The Taliban are much preferable in their past reign to Galloway, it would appear.

He chuckles with self-satisfied glee that he is enabled, as an invited guest to this country, given the freedom to spout his venomously spiteful spleen on Canada, its government leaders, and Israel, whom he enjoys accusing of totalitarian brutal rule in the Palestinian Territories. In defence of Hamas, an internationally acknowledged terror group, which he recognizes as a legitimate governing body, he sends his loving support in cash and in kind.

His adoring audience comprised of supporters of vicious anti-Semitism, wait with bated breath to hear his provocateur-ideological spiel, glorifying all that Hamas and Hezbollah and others of their ilk stand for; violence, hatred, threats of annihilation, while posing as a champion of peace. Triumphantly leading the gulled and the righteous on a march to Parliament Hill to register their indignation that Canada is committed to battling the oppressors of the world.

In defiance of the country's disinterest in his message, and the appeals of decent people to keep poltroons such as he out of the country, he has declared he will be returning again and again and again - to challenge the government's refusal to grant him entry in 2009 for an earlier speaking engagement, which a federal court overturned. So he is here, and we suffer his presence.

Canada is a country of over thirty million people. George Galloway has managed to speak to some eight thousand of those millions in a series of speaking engagements in Canadian cities. A paltry number of disaffected Canadians sympathetic to the 'cause' of the Palestinians who prefer to continually victimize themselves through their functional inability to reach a peace agreement with Israel, preferring instead to mount Intifadas, and suicide attacks.

Just as Hamas's charter states its unequivocal intention to destroy the State of Israel, so too does the political wing of Fatah, which governs the Palestinian Authority reflect a similar philosophy. The Fatah Revolutionary Council voted to "affirm its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal" as its Ramallah convention.

"The Council also renews its refusal for the establishment of any racist state based on religion in accordance with international law and human rights conventions", the council further stated at its convention conclusion. Which folds right into the United Nations' anti-racism conference, Durban-redux.

Little wonder that George Galloway speaks with such supreme confidence, drawing on the conventions brought into the United Nations by the Arab and Muslim bloc, the non-aligned countries of the world, Africa and Latin America, all nicely aligned in their vendetta against the only democratic nation in the Middle East where all religions are protected, unlike the Islamic Republics where no other religions have status or protection.

Galloway will continue his noxious engagements, thrilling those parts of Canadian society represented by trade and academic unions, peace-adoring church groups and fanatical Islamists within the country, a compendium of bizarre ideological and social constructs that find fulfillment in defying reason and rationality by welcoming and supporting the enablers of hate, war and slaughter.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Durban III - Canada's Initiative

"Canada will not participate in this charade any longer. We will not lend our country's good name to what has widely been characterized - indeed across party lines here - as a hatefest." Statement by Canada's Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney
Canada has no illusions left in a United Nations-led process whose purpose was stated as the need to combat racism, but which ultimately degenerated into a tainted process that led to the condemnation of a democratic liberal state, whose founders, steeped in a history of persecution led them to the conclusion that only such a state established for the distinct purpose of providing a safe haven for Jews would save them from potential annihilation.

Zionist-centred Israel is now a country whose existence relates to a Jewish homeland. Any Jew, living anywhere in the world, is free to 'return' to their historical roots in the Middle East, to become a citizen of Israel. Yet Israel is also a country dedicated to human rights, extending those freedoms and protections to all its citizens equally. A quarter of whom are not of Jewish origin, comprised of Arabs, Kurds, Christians and Muslims.

Despite which its enemies, and they continue to be legion, have no problems equating its establishment as a homeland for world Jewry with discriminatory apartheid. And since, from its very creation as a distinct, sovereign and singular state, it has met with violent resistance to its presence by all of its neighbours, it has never been able to relax its vigilance, to safeguard its existence.

While the many wars that Israel's Arab neighbours waged against it unsuccessfully proved the country could and would defend itself, the enmity its presence in the Middle East has engendered has never been lifted. The large and influential Arab and Muslim political bloc within the United Nations, supported by countries chiefly in Africa and Latin America has ensured that Israel has never been anything but an uneasy fit in the UN.

A reflection of which is the hugely disproportionate number of censuring votes against Israel that have emanated from the United Nations.

A process and procedure that culminated in the UN's formation of its Jew-venomous Human Rights Commission, and in its series of anti-racism conferences which focused singly upon Israel as representing a genocidal, human-rights-abusing state, accused as such by those very countries of the world whose records on human rights were horribly blemished.
"We obviously continue to believe in the United Nations as an important multilateral forum. But we are able to make basic distinctions between good and bad." Jason Kenney
Canada will remain involved in those aspects of the United Nation's activities that have a sound purpose for the common global good. Such as the World Food Program, UNICEF, and offering safe haven to the countless ethnic, displaced migrants of the world, living in UN refugee camps. Many of them refugees from the very Arab, African and Muslim countries that sit in implacable censure of Israel.

But Canada, once again leading the way, has announced its resolve to have nothing whatever to do with a reprise of the original World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, ten years ago. A conference spear-headed by the most malignant human-rights-abusing countries of the world whose agenda was simply to isolate one country alone.

In which process that one country - Israel - was held up for display as the one country whose existence and place on the world stage, and policies and politics and social structure exemplified racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, neatly fitting into the raison d'etre of the conference, giving it meaning, and a reason for jubilant exultation that it had exposed Israel to the censure that the censuring countries themselves deserved.

That Canada's official decision to withdraw its presence from the atrocious proceedings posing as a legitimate venue in support of human rights goes across party lines in support of Israel and denial of the hate-fest that the conference represents, demonstrates aptly the moral fibre of the current government, reflecting admirably on Canadian-held values.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Bare and Bear It

Well, Canadians don't have to worry. Those really heinously annoying, hair-bristling pat-downs that U.S. fliers are having to contend with won't be repeated in Canada. Nope. Canadians aren't like that; we're polite to a fault, and handling someone else's private parts is simply a no-go.

On the other hand, it will put a definite crimp in a lot of Canadians' plans in their usual vacation-time pursuits flying to destinations in Florida, California, Texas. Or not, as the case may be (see above).

What a choice, opt either for the full body scan and get a whack of radioactive contamination, or select instead another kind of intimate intrusion with some loutishly officious hireling insisting you explain that urology bag strapped to your mid-section, or why the hell you'd want to have nipple piercings to begin with, and snap them off, quick, if you want to board that plane.

People just shouldn't get so excited and upset about trifles. So what if you feel so possessive and protective about your junk? Everyone's got the same junk. Honestly, it's just a fact of life. If your junk is just like everyone else's, what's all the fuss about? Just bare and bear it. After all, you've got a destination you're anxious to get to, and there are no other alternatives, right?

Take it from an authority, a gentleman who has been around, and who, in his line of work, as gad-about reporter, cosmopolitan book author, conference-attending academic, and now political jouster on the go, is always embarking on a trip to some exotic location. From Croatia-Serbia to Germany, Britain to Ukraine, Kurdistan to Canada, the U.S. to Russia, he's been there. And back.

"If you're in my business, you live in an airport. So I have people touching my private parts all day long, and all I have to say is...that's what we have to do to keep us safe", enthuses Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal party of Canada. And here we were, the electorate, wondering what this man does all the time. He has casually enlightened us; he entertains privacy-fondlers. Fondly.

Well, we're assured that if Michael Ignatieff doesn't mind, the rest of the air travellers, far less confident than he, far less important than he, shouldn't mind. We may have something else in the works to give us second pause; that federal authorities are considering the utility of arming airport border guards so travelers can be greeted on their international arrival flights by armed guards.

What a treat.

Not only that, those who are getting those intimate little junk-shakes can now enjoy them privately, not within transparently screened areas where the show is public as trousers drape on the floor, but "We're going to put those privacy screens in place and that's going to help with on-the-spot-privacy", promised Transport Minister Chuck Strahl. None of those "provocative" American-style feel-abouts, either. Damn.
"Canadians obviously have a right to expect to be treated properly and respectfully at airports, and CATSA has an obligation to do that." Damn.
"But I can also confirm that while the Americans have instituted a more intensive, if you can call it that, pat-down technique, that's not happening in Canada. CATSA's not doing that. They have no intention of doing that. It's a completely separate system. So what you're seeing on YouTube is American examples of, you know, a pretty provocative type of pat-down that doesn't exist in Canada."
And that's re-assuring? Damn.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family Owned Business

"The petition is an attempt to get some clarification as to how the chief and council are being compensated, and then to discuss what we should do about it." Brian Smith, Glooscap First Nation band member
Now that the screeching cat is out of the bag, members of the Glooscap First Nation reserve in Nova Scotia are feeling rather hard done by. Particularly the large number of band members who are unemployed and who are reliant upon the band council's good will to release to them the wherewithal for shelter and food. Knowing full well that if any hint of criticism of the family-operated reserve is suspected, all assistance will be cut off to them.

The Glooscap First Nation reserve is a proud family-operated enterprise. There was a recent death in the reserve council, and there will be a by-election held to fill that vacancy. Five candidates are in the running, all but one of whom just happen to be family members of the chief of the band, and the existing councillors.

Chief Shirley Clarke and the current three councillors have munificently granted themselves salaries in excess of $209,000 free of taxes. (One can only surmise that the country's many reserve chiefs and council members who earn modest annual salaries must be scratching their heads over this supreme inequity. They might also be feeling rather annoyed at what these revelations unveiled by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is doing to their reputations.)

But there it is, $209,000 in salaries. To expertly operate a reserve of just over 300 people. And this is a reserve, as it happens, where fewer than 90 of its members actually live on the reserve. Tough work, administering that number of dependents, doling out the taxpayer-funded reserve funding that keeps coming along regular as clockwork.

This is the also, by the by, the reserve that boasted a councillor whose hard work merited a $1-million annual salary, last year.

The reserve's by-laws allow for a band members' meeting, if 20 members sign a petition for such. Thus far, fifteen members have signed such a petition, asking for a meeting. At which meeting, should it come to pass, the members will presume to enquire of their chief and council the wherewithal and reason for that generous self-awarded salary standard.

The petition is led by a band member by the name of Brian Smith, a former banker and currently director of operations for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. Which happens to be an independent Vancouver-based organization whose purpose is to train native leaders on how to operate functional, good reserve governments.

Now he can look closer to home and do some ameliorative work right there. If he can also manage to win the open council seat in the upcoming election, he will also be able to put theory into practise.

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Durban III, Abomination-in-Waiting

UN to Hold Another Durban Conference; Anti-Semitism Expected
by Hillel Fendel UN to Hold Another Durban Conf.

By a 121-19 vote, with 35 abstentions, the UN General Assembly resolved to launch what has been called another “global anti-racism hatefest,” known as Durban III.

The conference, known as the World Conference against Racism, commemorates the 9th anniversary of the first such conference, held in Durban, South Africa just 10 days before the 9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. That conference was described by the ICEJ as a “concerted effort by nearly all the Muslims of the world to denounce and de-legitimize the Jewish state of Israel; an awful verbal forerunner much as the one the Nazis sent before launching the Holocaust of the expunging of Israel as sovereign Jewish state from their Arab Muslim midst.”

Though the vote in favor of Durban III was overwhelming, a majority of the world’s democracies either voted against or abstained. Among those who voted against were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as most of the countries that knew Nazism at very close range: Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

The upcoming conference is to be held in New York City just ten days after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, in September 2011.

Conveniently Scheduled

Human rights scholar and activist Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, commented that most heads of government avoided Durban I, and the only one to attend Durban II was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and therefore “for Durban III, the UN decided to ensnare most heads of state and government by scheduling the event to coincide with the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, when they are all present in New York anyway.”

Israel, the U.S., and others have expressed their opposition to the UN vote. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “unfortunate there are those who want to deflect from the fight on racism for anti-Israeli propaganda purposes.”

John Sammis, the U.S. Deputy Representative to the UN’s Economic and Social Council, stated that the vote “risks undermining the relationship we have worked hard to strengthen over the past few years between the United States and the UN.” In addition, he added, the U.S.is “deeply troubled by the choice of time and venue for the 10th anniversary commemorative event [just days after] we will have honored the victims of 9/11… [We] regret that this resolution contains elements that require us to vote no…”

Calling on Obama

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY, D) said, “We all witnessed how extreme anti-Semitic and anti-American voices took over Durban I and Durban II, and we should expect the same thing to happen with Durban III… I appreciate the Obama Administration’s strong statement opposing yesterday’s resolution, and urge it to again withdraw from the event and encourage other nations to do the same.”

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Obama administration to “announce publicly, right now, that we will stay away from Durban III, deny it U.S.taxpayer dollars, and oppose all measures that seek to facilitate it. And we should encourage other responsible nations to do the same.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was very critical of the UN resolution, calling it "outrageous and shameful." ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman issued a statement saying, “The 2001 Durban Conference is permanently tainted as a notorious vehicle to promote anti-Semitism and incite hatred against Israel… [It] represented a colossal failure of the international community to prevent the perversion of a UN conference designed to address the scourge of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of intolerance. Each commemoration or review of the 2001 conference is an outrageous and shameful reminder of the harm perpetrated by an automatic majority of member states who allowed the Durban conference to become the symbol for expressions of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate...”

Published online at ArutzSheva.com 25 November 2010

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


"The document provides an inaccurate perception that we are unjustly overpaid for the limited work we do on behalf of our community. Unlike non-Mi'kmaq politicians, we do not receive vehicle allowances, pensions, benefits, insurance or dry cleaning reimbursements.
"It is unfortunate that once again, the public is too easily entertained by inaccurate, negative publicity once again focusing on the Mi'kmaq.
"The issues of compensation for chiefs and council in Atlantic Canada is complex at this time. We don't fully agree with the conclusions that have been reached." Glooscap First Nation Chief Shirley Clarke
Three hundred people registered on a reservation in rural Nova Scotia. And Glooscap first Nation has a modest number of politicians in their band council to govern that small band. Nothing, however, modest about those who govern the reserve, and certainly nothing modest in the nature of their tax-free take-home pay. According to recently-revealed records one band councillor made a whopping million dollars, tax free.

Like the overpaid CEO of a transnational corporation. Chief Shirley Clarke is furious about this public light of discovery being shone inconveniently on their shy little community. Moreover, with respect to First Nations salaries, it's no one's business. She speaks of the public revelations and the surprise it has generated as "inaccurate, negative publicity". Glooscap First Nations deserves better.

Yes, they do. But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's release of those federal documents requested for the purpose of unveiling a rather scurvy situation that does no good whatever to the band members while grandiosely embellishing the lifestyles of those whom they trust to work for the good of the band is a reality. One that Canadian taxpayers are fundamentally interested in largely because they foot the bill.

Now the general public has evidence of what so many have suspected for far too long. That hundreds of reserve politicians are earning rich salaries that cannot be justified, let alone tolerated. Salaries, honoraria, travel per diems, all adding up to unconscionable expenses that detract from the economic and social functionality of the reserve. Obviously short-changed in the questionable equation.

Glooscap First Nations Chief Shirley Clarke and three councillors each took home a salubrious $209,000 in tax-free salary, honoraria and travel expenses. And one councillor earned $978,000, as nosy newshounds discovered. This Mi'kmaq reserve with 304 members, is governed by not only Ms. Clarke as chief, but her sister and their cousin, all handsomely remunerated.

Interestingly, but not particularly surprisingly, band members had no knowledge of such payment for the governance of their little community. They expressed feelings of shock. In fact, only 87 members of Glooscap now actually live in the community. A community that consists of a store and gas bar, video lottery parlour, band office and a health centre.

One woman on the reserve who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal - since entitlements are meted out to those who 'deserve' it, through quiet acceptance of the status quo - said her reserve, like so many others, is operated by a small group of powerful families - who do very well for themselves, while most residents remain unemployed and on welfare.

The times they should be changing.

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Stalwart of Peace and Disciple of Christ

His nobility of purpose and presence is palpable. That is, toward and as perceived by a very specific audience. That would be those within Canada who remain invested in the belief that Israel has wrought unspeakable carnage in the Middle East, and presents as a threat to the world order and above all, international peace. They are a quite specific audience, comprised of Islamists and Arabs who have gravitated to Canada to live in peace and freedom and security and from that distance maintain their stake in the unrelentingly grim and unforgiving politics of the Middle East.

Supported most enthusiastically by the liberal-left contingent of Canadian society, the trade and academic unions, university student councils and academic staff, and churches like the United Church, the Quakers, the Unitarians and the members of the public who see great moral utility in helping to sabotage Israel's reasonable desire to remain in the geography of the Middle East as a nation dedicated to the welfare of world Jewry in the full knowledge that the world will never be engaged in ensuring the welfare of Jews.

He is, on the other hand, viewed as a grinning imbecile clownishly lapping the limelight, by those who support the right of Israel to exist even as an embattled state in a geography which has always been hostile to its presence and prepared to push it into the sea, if they could. Where once Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan did their best to accomplish just that, an uneasy truce now exists. In the place of the Arab kingdoms and dictatorships, proxy militias attempt the same destiny for Zionists who dare blemish the landscape by their presence.

In the service of those who have invited him to speak at venues across the country, to impart his great wisdom on the solution to the intractability of Israel's presence among Muslim neighbours, George Galloway is only too happy to expansively broaden his slanderous censure of Israel to include Canada whose current government is a staunch supporter of its right to exist. Curious George revels in all the coverage he has garnered, proudly brandishing his right to practise freedom of expression.

Canada, among other NATO countries, is ripe for condemnation for intruding on the affairs of Muslim countries, notably Afghanistan. And Canada's current Prime Minister and his Cabinet represent the forces of dark and evil neo-conservatism. Deservedly shut out of the UN Security Council because of its unwavering support for Israel, deliberately making enemies of Arab countries intent on opening international skies to predatory pricing, and bringing Lebanon to the brink of civil war by rank interference.

Mea culpa.

The Arab and Islamic voting bloc is not to be trifled with. Putting Hezbollah in a questionable light is intolerable; they should be free to assassinate those whom they will, since they will in any event and it is no other countries' business. George's friends in odd places, like Iran, Syria and Lebanon are not amused at the nosy interference of Canada in their affairs. It makes perfectly good sense for a failed British politician in bad odour at home to spread libellous slanders about a political and social ally in Canada, but it is intolerable for Canada to have any part in judicial investigations within the United Nations.

Afghanistan's prime minister Hamid Karzai is described as corrupt and unreliable, and the ISAF-NATO attempts to bring a 19th-Century sensibility and law and order and security and social advancement to the country deplorable, leaving the indelible impression that the Taliban and their reign of terror were perfectly acceptable and they should be allowed to get on with their business of fanaticism and human misery. Al-Qaeda's presence and security within the Taliban apparatus is simply the way things are done in that part of the world - and get used to it.

George Galloway is effusive in his praise for brave Palestinians under a dread occupation, and delighted to deliver his message of Israel-as-Zionist-apartheid-occupier. The wall separating suicide bombers from innocent civilians is condemned as representing a truly inconvenient human-rights abuse; that it has saved innumerable lives is irrelevant since they're the wrong lives. The Gaza defensive by the IDF was indefensible because not enough Israelis died as a result of the rockets fired across the border and too many members of Hamas did, as a result of the Israeli response.

Back to noble George, a modern-day Don Quixote, tilting at the windmill of imperialist Zionism and Canadian perfidy, for he states, from the heart, that "I am trying to bring about an end to all of this, to bring peace to the Holy Land. And the price of peace is justice for the Palestinians as the Prince of Peace would surely have recognized." Does he shudder at the thought of Christ's Jewish heritage, or simply overlook it as yet another of life's inconvenient little factoids?

Should we care?

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reserve Compensation

"When the money doesn't come from the pockets of people on the reserve, when it instead comes from other taxpayers via Ottawa, there's really no reason to rein in salaries." Mike Milke, director, Fraser Institute's Alberta office, author of Incomplete, Iliberal and Expensive: 15 Years of Treaty Negotiations in B.C.
People on the reserve don't pay taxes to begin with. And the people of Canada who do pay taxes are generally in agreement that their tax dollars should go to reserves as the preferred traditional places of abode for First Nations who insist that reserve life is the only one they will consider, unlike their peers who take their opportunities for advancement in education and the professions living in urban areas, and who do pay taxes.

And the Canadian taxpayer foots the almost-$8-billion annual hand-over in support of the operation of the country's reserves. Canadian taxpayers feel themselves morally obligated to do this without question. On the other hand, they reserve the right to feel that this funding be spent wisely and allocated to benefit the infrastructure and social needs of Canada's aboriginal populations.

Psst! Those assurances have been lacking.

A politician is a politician is a politician. Regardless of their constituency. And traditions must be upheld; above all the traditions that insist the Assembly of First Nations has a distinct and deliberate purpose beyond which no one should question their utility. Chief of the Assembly, Shawn Atleo, presents himself no differently than his predecessors. Brooking no interference in the work of the Assembly, and certainly no criticism of the traditions of First Nations reserves.

Access to information requests have lately informed the Canadian public through the research done by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation that far too much of those yearly allocations are being applied to cross-purposes; benefiting the few at the expense of the many. The ordinary reserve aboriginal is getting short shrift; the services they anticipate due them are not forthcoming.

There is nothing particularly new about this. It has always been assumed that reserve chiefs and their band councils generously apportion to themselves the lions' share of funding meant to improve the lives of their bands. Perhaps it's the extent to which the band councils and the chiefs have improved their lives and those of their immediate families at the expense of those whose interests they are presumed to represent that is so hard to fathom.

The Assembly of First Nations is invested in keeping the reserves intact. They persuade their members, the country's aboriginal populations, that this is the best way to honour their ancestors, by living as they did, on the land in the traditional time-honoured way. This is a monumental hoax, but a profitable one for band councils.

The reserves may be squalid, life boring, unemployment rife, education and health poor, but it is traditional.

And in the meanwhile, there are First Nations chiefs whose tax-free salaries exceed the after-tax income paid to the country's provincial premiers. The records released at the request of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, while not naming names, show individual salaries can be sky-high. Sixty of the 577 chiefs across the country were remunerated at an annual $90,000 tax-free.

More than 700 reserve politicians earned over $100,000. On one reserve of 304 souls the chief 'earned' a total tax-free salary of $243,000; the councillors on that same reserve each took home a handsome $200,000 in salaries, travel per diems and honoraria. One council member really stood out, hauling home $322,103 in "other" remunerations.

This is not particularly pleasing to band members themselves who don't particularly dote on their band councils, and find much fault with them. Principally their princely remunerations. While reserve infrastructure crumbles into decay and services are too costly to maintain adequately. They are, understandably, resentful, and feel they deserve better. And they do.

As for National Chief Shawn Atleo? He is incensed with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, characterizing its campaign to release data "an insult that paints First Nations leadership as overpaid, unaccountable local bosses, uninterested in the challenges faced by First Nations citizens."

And aren't they?

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Upending Canadian Values

The world has altered itself immensely in the last four decades. That is, the liberal-democracies have turned the faces of their various countries' absorption with heritage and culture and social values and mores inside out and upside down. As enlightened nations of the world they saw the light and they acted upon it so that their humanitarian impulses were richly rewarded with the results of the world they knew becoming intimately peopled with those unlike the original inhabitants.

Most economically and socially advanced European countries have invested themselves in the haloed convention of annual generous refugee quotas, and along with that, an open-door policy for immigrants coming from all the disadvantaged corners of the Earth. The make-up of their populations now resemble one another, colourful with the introduction and absorption of that quaintly named "people of colour" demographic.

On the way to all this generosity in population dilution from the originals to a brave new world of mixed-culture-and-ethnicity populations, everyone on the receiving end of hordes of applicants seems to have forgotten the historically-proven utility in shared values, priorities and systems of social justice.

Where at one time in the past, when far fewer exotic-origined migrants were absorbed into indigenous populations there was a gradual merging of cultures and social mores; this is no longer the case and it hasn't been so for far too long. For with the growth of a universal social conscience, so too grew an aptitude to accept people for what they represented.

In this new mosaic of pluralistic attitudes that everyone is of equal value and all their cultural and heritage and religious baggage is to be given equal regard, instead of a melting pot and a shared system of values and mores, we've ended up with distinct ghettoes where cultural practices offensive to the home majority and illegal in many instances are the norm.

In other words, receiving countries have, over time, sacrificed far more than they bargained for. The costs related to absorbing, settling and easing people into their new countries were foreseen, but not the costs associated with a country taken aback by the sudden deterioration of all they hold dear, with alien cultures insisting their values take precedence, as is their due.

So what is their due? Traditionally, when immigrants humbly entered foreign shores of nations that had agreed, however reluctantly, to accept them in much smaller numbers than currently occurred, those immigrants understood it was up to them to settle themselves in to their new country, to adapt themselves to its cultural values and in that context make a new place for themselves and the futures of their children.

Those immigrants and the succeeding generations managed to find their way of their own accord, and to mesh into the greater society. There was no special accommodation to ease their way through government hand-outs and hand-ups. The struggle to succeed somehow made the immigrants understand that they were offered a privilege, to begin anew, and it was up to them to succeed on their own initiative.

This is no longer the case, as governments go out of their way to sensitively prostrate themselves and their treasuries to ensure that new immigrants feel comfortable and secure and entitled. And that entitlement and feeling of security living within the cozy confines of a liberal democracy has resulted in frustration for the original population faced with newcomers who demand their due.

The most obvious, visible immigrant populations who have made inroads in overturning the original cultures they have invaded remain quite specifically Muslim. Where special dispensation is given by governments not quite understanding what they've let themselves in for by graciously acceding to all the requests and demands.

France now has had decades of 'problems' integrating its large Muslim populations who tend to be low on the socio-economic scale and confine themselves to banlieues where French police risk life and limb to enter as a result of sullen and angry pay-back from disaffected Muslim youth unable to advance within society where racism plays a part. France has outlawed the wearing of burqas in public.

After the recently-concluded 2010 Conference on Combatting Anti-Semitism held in Ottawa, Norway's representative spoke of her country's problems in confronting the very real threats to the country represented by its immigrant Muslim population unwillingness to assimilate. Sweden and Denmark have also taken steps to diminish the deleterious influence of fundamentalist Islam. Switzerland took the peculiar step of outlawing minarets atop mosques.

It's quite one thing to see elderly immigrants dressed in the unique costumes reflecting their heritage and backgrounds. It's another entirely to see their grandchildren being cooed and coerced into wearing those same costumes. Little girls in Britain, for example, wearing full body coverings, along with a niqab, so only their eyes are revealed in public.

These are children groomed from the cradle to reflect not the dominant culture and its values and social mores, but those of an imported heritage, ethnicity and religion reflecting a tribal inheritance. Moreover, these same children, like those in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian Territories for example, are taught stringent religious dictums; to remain separate from apostates, non-Muslims and Jews.

In his book, Blood and Belonging, Michael Ignatieff wrote of the difficulties Germany encountered when it repatriated Russianized Germans from Ukraine in their hundreds of thousands; ethnic Germans who had no memory of Germany, no language proficiency, no cultural underpinnings. "They have to be taught to flush the toilet", he quoted a German social worker in a settlement house for Russian Germans.

Now Europe can look back with nostalgia at the passage of time when their only concerns in settling immigrants were to introduce them to modern conveniences. Ironically, when post-war Germany, a country whose economic well-being relied heavily on manufacturing and export, brought Turks into the country as cheap labour, they little realized that generations of Turkish children would be reluctant to leave the only country they knew.

In the United States which experienced the first of a wave of traumatic suicide attacks, followed by Britain and Spain, Muslim support for Iran's proxy militia Hezbollah is openly defiant with their flag in plain sight along with images of Hassan Nazrallah. Recently an Al Quds (Arabic for Jerusalem) rally vociferously protesting Israel's stewardship of the Old City of east Jerusalem came complete with claims that the 9/11 attacks represented a Zionist plot "in order to justify to occupy the land of the Muslims..."

In Canada, an Environics poll conducted a few years ago found 10% of Canadian Muslims feeling empathy for the Toronto 18, that they were somehow justified in attempting to attack the country to express their dissatisfaction with Canada's role in Afghanistan. That represents tens of thousands of Muslims living in Canada who feel similarly, but who have not - yet - acted upon their feelings as did the Toronto 18.

"Mainstream" Muslim and Arab associations and their publications continue to guide their followers in directions decidedly contrary to the values, aspirations and needs of most Canadians and the country at large. These Islamic groups tend to be fundamentalist in nature, and they celebrate the very same antipathies toward others that their forbears did historically.

Among Canadian Muslims there exists a troubling degree of affinity with the aspirations of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. These are issues and complex matters of history and geography that should have little resonance within the Canadian context. Even if we can assume, as we should, that the great majority of Canadian Muslims have no interest in fanatical Islamism, those that do invite guest speakers from abroad to speak favourably of violent jihad to Muslims born and educated in Canada.

Because their purpose is also to recruit to their cause, and because there is a groundswell of rejection of that cause lacking from within the Canadian Muslim population, young Canadian Muslims are attracted to the messages they can readily access through Internet sites, through local madrassas, and mosques and community centers.

Just a snapshot of the manner in which Western society has benefited from the generous invitation to 'come and abide with us' proffered toward the migrants of the world heavy on dissatisfaction with their native countries, with the misery of living under the heavy heel of totalitarian governments, anxious to escape the clutch of religious extremists.

And their whole-hearted appreciation of the wonderful privileges of living in a free society. Where they are free to speak their minds openly, free to live as they wish to, free to demand that the welcoming society prepare to make special, obligatory concessions to allow the introduction of a way of life unreflective of Canadian values.

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Blazing Cat Fur: Bumped: BBC Panaroma Video - British Muslims taught about Jews as Apes & Pigs

Blazing Cat Fur: Bumped: BBC Panaroma Video - British Muslims taught about Jews as Apes & Pigs

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dastardly Plots Happily Foiled

Depends on how you look at it. And there are enough who look at it rather askance. Yes, when terror plots geared to bring death and destruction to their targets are apprehended through sheer good fortune, or good investigative work, or good contacts imparting reliable information, there is reason to cheer. For no lives were lost, no huge damage incurred, no discernible waves of fear circulated within the target population.

Of course when the occasional terror plot has reached a successful conclusion what occurs is a collective rage of disgust and hatred toward the perpetrators. Whose respect for human life is acknowledged to be entirely absent in their dementedly dire dedication to wreaking carnage in the name of terror. A terror in service to a fundamentalist view of a world religion whose violent warriors have dedicated themselves to reap a harvest of corpses to place before the divine alter of Islam.

There is more than one way to strike terror into the minds of those whom jihadists despise. If blood cannot be shed because plans go awry, and buildings do not collapse because the bombs fail to ignite, it isn't quite true that some level of success has not resulted. For each of these attacks leaves behind its own residue of fear - of the prospect of future and further attacks that will strike when no one suspects they may.

Insecurity, uncertainty create an aura of destabilization invaluable to the plans of the jihadists. They take comfort from attacks that have not succeeded materially because they know they have succeeded on another, introspective, deeply-embedded level of inner consciousness. They celebrate each of these incidents as a success because incrementally they represent fear and terror resplendent in their favour.

The al-Qaeda-linked and -centered cells that promulgate hated, revenge, violence and death encourage any and all manner of attacks, from relatively modest single-combatant assaults to group efforts, as long as they are well planned, executed in a timely manner and the assailants are adequately armed to produce maximum effect.

Minimum effect will do, if all else fails. From the needfully enhanced security imposed upon the attacked parties, to the more elaborate and costly attempts to provide protection against those attacks, and the disturbed-mind syndrome that such attacks elicit from among the insecure, even failed assaults have their usefulness.

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Reformation of Afghan Aid Mechanisms

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has long agitated for international funding to go directly to his government. It would, after all, make sense for international donors to directly fund government initiatives, giving it more credibility with the population once the government is seen to be fulfilling its role in adequately governing. As matters stand, international funding is funnelled primarily through international groups set up within the country to provide needed services, and the ISAF countries fund their own programs, permitting relatively modest amounts to go directly to the Afghan government.

At the recently-concluded Lisbon G20 meeting which Hamid Karzai was invited to attend, he made yet another sincere pitch for direct funding, recommending that at least 50% of pledged international funding go to his government. Prime Minister Stephen Harper had other ideas and did not shirk from directly addressing the topic. He made it quite clear that he and his government had no intention of directing funding to the Karzai government at this time. Due consideration would be given to the request when Mr. Karzai was able to prove that he has finally tackled his country's endemic corruption.

More to the point, the corruption that exists within his government, within his cabinet and his parliament, let alone the civil service and encompassing every aspect of government services. It is a conundrum, a never-ending, roundabout of frustration. The state of Afghanistan is in a tenuous position, the population has no firm reason to trust a government that cannot deliver basic necessities of which security is the first element. Without security the country is unable to advance toward fulfilling the other needs of the populace.

It would make good sense for the Karzai government to be given direct funding aid, if it could be relied upon to use the funding wisely and trustfully in a manner that does justice to the needs of the country. For far too long however, the machinery of state has played second fiddle to the kleptocracy that Mr. Karzai assembled around him from his brother, to tribal chieftains, and warlords, and those heavily engaged in drug profiteering which generally encompasses most of those in positions of power and influence in the country - including the Taliban.

Aid continues to be delivered through the well funded auspices of international aid groups who can be relied upon to do the job, while government figures simply have a tradition of pocketing whatever they can, and whatever is left over is dribbled into government programs. The government has been starkly ineffective at governing, at administering needed civil and development programs. It simply is not yet feasible that they be entrusted with developing a budget and implementing and controlling most projects. And while they are emasculated in this manner there is no reason for the population to respect them.

If there is a strategy that no one has yet thought of, neither the UN nor NATO nor the United States, no one appears any the wiser with respect to a workable approach. How to expunge the traditions of corruption in the country and infuse the lawmakers with an enthusiasm to work on behalf of the country and its people, without resorting to spiriting away funding for themselves? Yet until and unless the government is finally deemed capable of responsible apportioning of international aid funding, and dispersing it and controlling it successfully nothing is achieved to give them legitimacy in the eyes of the Afghan population.

There are no reliable, working Afghan government operations to give credibility to the government and assurances to the population. There is the Taliban always in the background, and sometimes in the foreground, depending on the provinces being viewed, repositories of a fanatically stringent ideology prepared to restore itself to power - and with the help of neighbouring Pakistan - as soon as the international community lets its guard down. Which it is anxious enough to do in a sense, eager to depart the troubled country to let it get on with its own future.

In the meantime, the tedious and cumbersome work of trying to persuade the Karzai government that it must determine its own fate by cleaning up its disreputable and nation-harmful corruption to earn the right to take full control of international funding must be a goal to advance before all the international groups finally decamp. Concerned international groups can demand accountability, and emphasize the need for the Afghan government to be responsible to itself and to the country but it is the government itself of Afghanistan that must commit itself to its future.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fundamentalist Predators

"Women in polygamous marriages suffer increased psychological, physical and sexual reproductive health harms. They also face material harms including economic and educational deprivation... women in polygamous unions suffer increased family stress, depression, jealousy, low self-esteem, feelings of disempowerment and an increased risk of physical and mental abuse.

"Children of polygamous marriages, meanwhile, "experience lower levels of socio-economic status, reduced academic achievement, and psychological problems... Early marriage and pregnancy have a number of negative, serious, long-term consequences on girls..." Attorney General of Canada
Canada does not have an indigenous culture, nor laws that recognize polygamy as other than an unlawful and societally unacceptable tradition of serial marriages. There are countries in the world that accept polygamy as a man's right to have as many wives as he wishes. And some religions condone, even encourage it, with the proviso that the man have the wherewithal to support many wives and the resulting children.

The country has for far too long turned a blind eye to the situation in British Columbia where in areas like Bountiful, a fundamentalist Mormon community, men take multiple wives. Even the Mormon Church no longer gives its blessing to polygamy. But the federal and provincial governments have maintained an attitude of non-interference. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms religious rights are guaranteed.

But is it representative of a religious rite of passage, or is it a relic of a tradition common to tribal patriarchies? It is illegal in Canada to practise female genital mutilation, and it is illegal to force female children into marriage. Both are covertly practised in Canada, along with polygamy. In some cultures and religions like Islam all three are considered normative.

A challenge to Canada's 120-year-old polygamy ban is set to get underway through a hearing officiated by Chief Justice Robert Bauman, with the Attorneys General of Canada and of B.C. presenting for the government and the challengers weighing in by an Amicus Curiae to argue Section 293 is not consistent with Canada's Charter.

A monogamous relationship between a man and a woman through a marriage contract has always represented the norm within Canada and within most Judeo-Christian-heritage democracies. Overturned only when same-sex marriage became lawful.

The social mores of the country are being challenged in support of a harmful practise that benefits men and victimizes women and children.

There are times when the prevailing social culture has the benefit of sound and accepted experience, and the intruding culture presents as a clear disadvantage to society. And the conjunction is where the latter should be stopped in its tracks.

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Cleansing Ceremonies

If it were that simple. As a gesture to bring closure, to thrust away the brutal reality by destroying artifacts once in the possession of a now-despised individual who at one time was thought to represent the sterling qualities of a man of high repute and a credit to the Canadian Armed Forces, it was a representative gesture.

Nothing will expunge the reality of former colonel Russell Williams' horrendous acts, however.

He is now situated at Kingston Penitentiary, not all that far geographically from CFB Trenton, but a world apart.

As a twice-convicted murderer, rapist, thief, pederast and tormentor of helpless victims, he will without doubt spend the rest of his life incarcerated. Far from his status of having been particularly selected for his leadership qualities as a future elite in the Canadian Armed Forces.

A wounded Armed Forces took steps to retrieve the equipment used by Mr. Williams to take it out of possible circulation, to gather it for disposal. His uniforms and tunics, anything and everything, including personal equipment allocated to him as a custodian of honour in the Forces, anything that reflected his years of steady advancement as a trusted and honoured senior air force officer. Incinerated.

The medals that were bestowed upon him gathered and set aside. For future disposal. If only the memory of what he had committed, the agony and suffering he caused, the families he left in deep mourning could be cleared away as painlessly.

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Two-State "Temporary Solution"

Majority of PA Arabs See Two States as 'Temporary Solution’
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu ‘Two States Now, Then One State’

A majority of Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza favor two states only as a step towards an Arab state of Palestine, by the use of violence, if necessary, according to a new poll by the non- profit The Israel Project.

The results of the survey were released on Friday, hours before Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat said that if Israel agrees to recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country based on Israel’s size being shrunk to the indefensible 1949 Armistice Line borders, the PA then would relinquish all claims to “historic Palestine,” which he said includes all of Israel from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Seas.

The Israel Project poll of PA Arabs shows that 60 percent favor direct negotiations with Israel for “two states” of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, but it also reveals that two-thirds agree that “over time, Palestinian must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state.”

Only 23 percent of the respondent agreed that “Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people.”

The option of armed violence still is a high priority for a majority of PA Arabs, 58 percent preferring “armed struggle” over “engagement with Israel.” A majority of Arabs in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria favor violence, with a higher percentage in Gaza.

On the other hand, Arab opinion was somewhat more conciliatory when respondents were given the option that an agreement with Israel would be based on 1949-1967 Armistice lines, once referred to former Israel Ambassador to the United Nations Abba Eban as “Auschwitz borders.”

Most of the PA Arab would like to see an end to the naming of public places after terrorists, but only a tiny minority of 12 percent agree that official maps, documents and school textbooks should show the name ”Israel.”

As in previous polls, the popularity of Hamas has declined, even in Gaza, where the rival Fatah party would easily win if elections were held today.

In contrast to another recent poll that showed PA Arabs as having a favorable view of Iran, most of the respondents in the Israel Project poll had negative opinions on Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Published online at Arutz Sheva, 21 November 2010

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Non-Tolerance of Racism or Anti-Semitism

Imagine, a university head threatening a religious cleric with a lawsuit. Presumably for defamation. With the purpose in mind of shutting down the free speech of a citizen of Canada. For stating the obvious. And even though it is obvious through the very candid actions of the individual threatening the lawsuit, it may also be somewhat uncomfortable to be publicly labelled as an anti-Semite.

But if the evidence is there, well - there it is.

Here is the absurdity of the situation: the president of an institute of higher learning which was established for the very purpose of opening any and all issues to scrutiny, discussion, examination, distillation and even discriminatory judgement, albeit supposedly objectively, threatening to bring legal action against an individual who has scrutinized, examined, discussed, distilled and made a judgement - fairly subjective given the circumstances.

Is that anomalous? But there it is, Rabbi Aaron Hoch of the Dan Family Village Shul in Toronto forwarded an email to hundreds of people on his community mailing list. The subject was the address at York University by former British Member of parliament, George Galloway. And the subject of the address was no mystery, for Mr. Galloway is a staunch supporter of a fanatical religious militia that has taken governance of Palestinian Gaza.

And Hamas - whom Mr. Galloway lauds and attempts to supply with funding and vehicles and other goods, while fully understanding the Hamas mandate to destroy the State of Israel - is a declared terror group, recognized by the Government of Canada as such. So here is a Canadian university which permits the annual launching of a slanderously pernicious event titled "Israeli Apartheid Week", where the vilification of Israel and the hounding of Jewish students is a celebrated event.

A university, moreover, that carefully selects its feature speakers. When another student body invited Daniel Pipes, intellectual, lecturer, writer, expert on Middle East affairs, to speak at York University in February, the event was shut down by the university. The usual explanation is that the university seeks to prevent incidents of violence occasioned by disruptive and message-disturbing guests.

Rabbi Hoch's sin was to describe the president of York University, Mamdouh Shoukri in a manner to which Mr. Shoukri took grave exception: "Mr. Shoukri has again showed (sic) his amazing tolerance for anti-Semitism and lack of vigilance regarding the feeling of safety for Jewish students on campus", an observation which formed part of Rabbi Hoch's email. In which email he also encouraged a protest take place at the time of the speech.

Which resulted in a letter from the general counsel insisting Rabbi Hoch "remove (the message) from your website and to direct your supporters to cease and desist the distribution of the poster". There was no poster. But there was an apprehended protest. And there is the indelible apprehension leaning heavily on experience that Jewish students at York University have been threatened and intimidated and placed in violent situations.

The same letter characterized the Rabbi's comments as "untrue". And that "We expect a retraction and apology forthwith." Meanwhile, it seems to be perfectly within the bounds of reasonable debate at a university to have Jewish students hounded and chased, threatened with violence, hearing a group of other students shout after them "Zionism is racism", and "Racists off campus".

In fact, the current president of York University's student federation is one of the members of the pro-Palestinian group that swarmed Jewish students in the past and barricaded them in their lounge while treating them to shouted racist slurs. Yet the letter to Rabbi Hoch from the university's legal counsel argued he was "encouraging disturbance and provoking others to disturb the peace".

So let's consider this: York University president Mamdouh Shoukri is complicit and comfortable with the presence of a former British MP (who was suspended from the British House of Commons for involvement in the illegal diversion Iraq Oil for Food funding), well recognized for his unalloyed support for a terror group, and his noxious opinions of a democratic nation, and will not countenance the speaking presence of another academic who supports Israel.

And the president of the university's student federation, Krisna Saravanamuttu, whose clear and venomous bias against Jewish student supporters of the State of Israel, states his support for Mr. Galloway, refuting the Rabbi's claims that the man is an "activist for terrorist organizations", claiming that assertion to be a "baseless accusation".

So freedom of speech and association is not compromised by shutting out certain speakers who deliver messages not well digested by the university president and its student federation president, but those who protest the clear discrimination are charged with "disturbing the peace".

Capped off by a university spokesman claiming York University "does not tolerate any racism or anti-Semitism on our campus." Course not.

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