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.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Keeping WikiLeaks Afloat

Dang! It can be so irritatingly inconvenient when you're famous. On the other hand, it can also be useful. A new cross-Canada poll taken at year-end seems to put Julian Assange top of mind when it comes to breaking news. That's certainly the opinion of those in the news business; reporters who, musing over Mr. Assange's runaway success in alerting the world to the secret lives of diplomats and politicians speaking what they really think, deem him their newshound hero.

Julian Assange finds himself in elevated company, with the likes of Justin Bieber and our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper for example, all three of whom have elevated the discourse, or demeaned it, depending on whose ox is being gored and your personal aesthetics. Discounting the amount of news and noise politicians are capable of mounting, consider those like Mr. Assange and Master Bieber whose bigger-than-life egos place them on a stage of their very own making.

Justin Bieber was relieved of personal responsibility in a dust-up between boys-will-be-boys, with the decision that he was not really the aggressor, simply the unfortunate recipient of a bit of jealousy-riven aggression - er - something of that nature. Julian Assange, on the other hand, has elevated muck-raking to the nth degree, in the honoured tradition of those who insist the truth must be told. And he's the one to do it, ta-dum!

Truth is also that it most certainly appears as though Sweden is distorting the reality of a few sexual encounters Mr. Assange enjoyed with several willing participants who had second thoughts and whom the authorities encouraged to have third thoughts about. Bedding down with a member of the opposite sex for the purpose of having sex can be a complicated matter in Sweden.

Celebrities enjoy their celebrity. They feel they have worked hard to attain that status. They also, notionally, feel they should be able to manage their celebrity. Sometimes that status takes on a life of its own and become unmanageable, but however the news media confounds what public relations dictates, all news is good news, even the perturbing kind.

Except when it reveals details that appear to the celebrity to be inconvenient at the time of their revelation. As, for example, really embarrassing tidbits one would far prefer to keep to oneself? But no mind, the revelatory details of purloined documentation that have titillated the world while revealing very little of real substance that hadn't been in the public realm previously are still viewed as enough of a threat to have Mr. Assange labelled a threat.

And, as a threat to confidentiality and private assurances in a world that has increasingly eschewed the private and the confidential, he may yet pay the price should push come to shove. On the other hand, the United States of America is not yet Russia which can and does with impunity arrange for assassinations of irritating newsmongers, and judiciary-supported jail terms for those who oppose the current political system.

Mr. Assange and his lawyers may be livid with indignation that details have emerged over his legal woes, but they are doubtless more than a trifle satisfied with the rather munificent $1.7-M book deal which Mr. Assange won "under duress", according to the Guardian. "I don't want to write this book, but I have to", moaned Mr. Assange.

In support of his brainchild, WikiLeaks, and of course his own recourse to self-defence in a politically hostile world that has officially held him to account by the outraged governments whose egg he has smeared all over the news media of the international community. Besides, it gives this painfully shy man the opportunity to write his autobiography, at an admittedly tender age, and get paid handsomely for it besides.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Live With Parents: Do Not Consume Alcohol

Young men from good families, behaving like louts. Drunken louts to be specific. Behaving that way because that is precisely the condition they were in.

In their mid-20s, might it be too much to expect that they would be imbued with some common sense? That the kind of thoughtless bravado and juvenile pretensions to being tough guys might have given way to a little bit of intelligence? Of course, a state of inebriation does not result in intelligent conclusions.

So a group of friends, all of whom had indulged beyond the point of intelligent decision-making exited a bar and felt like having a rip-roaring fun time of it. Into a rented truck they piled, with the driver demonstrating his driving skills, ripping around the parking area in circles, tearing up the asphalt, grinding the wheels, smelling the burnt rubber and roaring with good humour at their clever antics.

That's clever, taking the wheel of a vehicle, stinking drunk.

How many times have people thought to themselves they wouldn't mind if people who hadn't the sense not to drink and drive injured only themselves, not other innocent people who share the road trusting to the good sense of others to drive sensibly and in full control of their vehicles. It's their potential threat to others that make them so reviled.

If they want to kill themselves, another story.

Of course their parents don't think it's another story. It's their offspring who endanger themselves and who, in the event of an accident fuelled by drink and sluggish responses will leave them a life of anguished longing for their dead children. It seems no one is immune from stupidity.

The son of a former provincial premier and his coterie of friends out for a night on the town.

Christmas, a time of celebration and jollity. And they were celebrating and they were certainly jolly. Until John Tobin and his friends went a little haywire. And the result is one dead, many in shock, and one at least charged with a number of offences.

How about impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and driving over the legal limit?

How about the fact that his brilliant idea and his brilliant driving skills led to the death of his best friend? How about the parents of the young man Alex Zolpis, left with memories instead of a living son? This young man who is now out on $100,000 bail, ordered to live with his parents until he is brought to trial, has had previous driving incidents, too many in total.

The thing of it is, why must it be that the lesson is brought home at such a dreadful expense?

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Turkey Unbound

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan must be possessed of a truly sardonic sense of humour. He appears enthralled with the prospect of turning truth inside out so that blatant untruths may be construed as reality. His reality is the kind that accuses Armenians of co-opting history to reflect their version of historical events. "In 1915 and before that, it was the Armenian side that pursued a policy aimed at exterminating our people which led to hunger, misery and death. There is no genocide in our civilization", he trumpeted in a speech glorifying Turkish military victory in World War I.

Thus no need for Turkey to feel obligated to take ownership of the Armenian genocide they perpetrated against a helpless Armenian population driven from the geography consecrated to Turkey.

Mr. Erdogan has no patience for the lies on the world stage accusing his great good friend in Sudan of another genocide attempt in Darfur. The simple and honest answer to all such charges is denial, for Muslims do not engage in genocide. Islamic regimes are always mindful of human rights and careful to obey the letter of Islamic law. Islamic Republics are well known for their civilizing respectfulness toward others.

On the other hand China is prepared to commit genocide in dealing with its Uighur Turkish population. And Israel most certainly inclines toward genocide in its relations with the Palestinians.

Where the international community sees Iran as a threat to world peace; most certainly as a threat to peace in the Middle East, Prime Minister Erdogan sees a deliberately, maliciously misunderstood Islamist regime being scapegoated by the West. As for Syria's reputation in the West as a safe haven for terrorist leaders, and a supplier of weapons to terror militias, Hezbollah and Hamas too have been unfairly labeled as terror groups, where in reality they are simply warriors of Islam.

The sacrifices that these warriors have willingly made on behalf of Islam mark them as blessed martyrs to undying whom gratitude is owing.
"Martyrdom for us is our school, our ideology, our heart and our prayer. It allows the continuation of Islam. The blood of the martyr revitalizes our religion. Mullah Hassan Ali Ahangaran, Martyrs Museum, Tehran...In the Hot Zone, Kevin Sites
The once-proud Democratic Republic of Turkey teeters now on the cusp of falling into an extremist Islamic state. The country's secularist politics and society are in deep danger of succumbing to fundamentalism. The Turkish military which until recently was the keeper of the faith with Kemal Ataturk's vision of a secular Turkey has been targeted and neutralized through its senior officers accused of treason and imprisoned. The Turkish judiciary has fallen into line, the press is complicit through state pressure, and the secret police know to whom they are obligated under this government.

The new Islamist-oriented Republic of Turkey has broken with its 15-year accord with Israel, ostensibly outraged over the Jewish state's maltreatment of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, accusing Israel of embarking on ethnic cleansing. While in Northern Cypress a process of ongoing colonization is proceeding, operating within an occupied zone, where a wall dividing the island ensures that Greek Cypriots are denied entry to Northern Cyprus, guarded by Turkish troops to ensure Cyprus remains divided and Greeks do not re-gain their territory.

In the face of all of this, Turkey demands that Israel issue an apology and restitution for its having halted an 'aid flotilla' that set off from Turkey bound for the Gaza Strip to break the blockade that Israel has instituted to attempt to control the materials and goods that reach Hamas in Gaza. During the commission of the boarding of the lead ship armed Turkish 'activists' attacked the boarding Israeli sailors, leading in the ensuing battle to the deaths of 9 of the Turks.

Video footage clearly shows the sequence of events where Israeli sailors, taken by surprise, were surrounded and attacked with prepared militiamen using weapons, culminating in the Israelis fighting back and killing 9 of their attackers.

For Turkey to demand, for the restoration of normal relations with Israel, an apology and compensation appears breathtakingly arrogant. The government of Turkey knew very well that a terrorist group which they supported had a group of their men on board the Mavi Marmara, and they approved and encouraged the blockade-busting tactics. To pretend hurt innocence, demanding compensation and apology is just another level of hypocrisy the new Islamist leadership has become adept at.

Turkey will have to make up its mind precisely where it wants to position itself. It has pretty well severed ties with former ally, Israel, at a time when it still aspires to membership in the European Union. It has established close ties with clear and declared enemies of Israel, both Iran and Syria, and championed Hezbollah as a legitimate political party in Lebanon, and Hamas as its own political legitimacy, handily overlooking the agendas both terror groups favour; the destruction of Israel. Under the aegis of Iran, this is the formula.

Turkey is conflicted between its aspirations; on the one hand its celebrated (within Arab countries) new alliance with other Islamic countries, on the other its long frustration with the European Union insisting it must strengthen its human rights record before admission to the EU is seriously contemplated. It is entirely possible that France and Germany will never be convinced that Turkey's place is within the EU.

It is clear that Turkey is having second thoughts about its decision to be outraged with Israel on weak pretexts. The level of hypocrisy within Turkey has reached legendary heights. Quite in keeping, however, with the Islamist government's orientation.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Priceless Reasoning

"Opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad cannot only channel energy and engender a concern for others, but also take the glamour out of the al-Qaeda narrative and increase appreciation of Western citizens for the rights granted in their own countries." Demos
It comes across as too precious to believe. A British think-tank, of all sources, preaching to the Western world that more work must be done to lead impressionable and vulnerable young Muslim men away from the allure of signing on to violent jihad, and substituting attractive alternatives, like enticing them to allow themselves to be recruited for good works, volunteerism, altruistic pursuits that would better fill the boredom gaps for them.

And save the world a whole lot of grief. Why didn't anyone think of this wonderful solution? It stands to reason that appealing to the better nature of restless young men nursing a grievance and learning to really get into the hate-thing, enjoying themselves immersed into the nitty-gritty of learning how to conduct themselves in a soldierly fashion at Pakistani-based jihad training camps, would save these young men from themselves.

And save us from their bigoted, racialized, quasi-religious, ideological-political violent initiatives. Guess we suffer from an abysmal lack of practical imagination. The British think-tank Demos, however, is to be congratulated for arriving at a formula that would serve to attract and move young Muslims into the direction of good works to salve their irate sensibilities, reacting to "Islamophobia" being exhibited by the world of infidels.

The Edge of Violence, the report issued by Demos, appears to be rife with brilliant ideas. It makes good sense, does it not - to encourage young men who have grown up in Western communities, taken advantage of all the freedoms and opportunities within, inclusive of university education - to appreciate those experiences. Question: why might it be necessary to point out to them how privileged they have been to begin with?

Since homegrown radicalization was pioneered in Britain, and later seen in fewer but still alarming incidences elsewhere, while Britain still remains champion of these emerging jihadists, it puzzles the mind why these delightful solutions are not being put in place there. Why is this think-tank bruiting their solutions toward Canada, Denmark, France and the Netherlands, without first experimenting in the United Kingdom?

Of course the very question of why Muslim youth find violent jihad so appealing should be first addressed. And perhaps the answer is as basic and elemental as youth eternally turning to the forbidden, the excitingly alluring with just the right edge of danger to excite their hormonal passion for adventure. And perhaps, just perhaps, the 'right values' were simply never engrained in them through the home environment.

Mind, it helps when the youth in question are not overburdened with too many brains at birth, and they might have been bypassed by normal genetic endowments leaving them somewhat sociopathic by character. Aided by the fact that for some, the familial atmosphere is conducive to illicit activity and resentment of the prevailing culture in which they find themselves.

Violent extremist groups which solicit recruits in fairly public fora are not all that hard to find. They seem to feel they can operate with impunity as hate mongers and conduits to groups more than willing to train callow youth toward mature terrorists, functioning at a level deemed satisfactory for all concerned.

The researchers whose message is that government and its institutions may not be fully capable of apprehending these activities and protecting the public and the state, may have taken their cue from the British experience. The recommendation that individuals, organizations, communities, must become involved in weeding out, identifying, and offering alternatives to violence-prone youth might be useful to the Muslim community itself.

Which begs the obvious question: why must the Muslim community be instructed in this kind of harm-reduction, rather than see it in and of themselves as their duty and obligation both to their 'vulnerable' youth, and to their communities, and above all, to the country which has given them refuge and the opportunity to live decent lives?

If vulnerable immigrant populations value in any measure whatever the opportunities opened to them by their migration to Western countries, and their place within them, it should be in their vested interest, and an automatic response to firmly eschew the values that are at obvious odds with those of the West. A firm hand should be taken as a matter of course, in directing their youth toward norms that honour the social contract.

Those Muslim groups and communities which benefit from life in Western countries and raise their young to take their place within the larger communities as equal citizens, equally deserving and desiring of all the civil freedoms and opportunities of all other groups, have an especial obligation to identify and counter those groups that espouse other values.

The ignorance with which conspiracy theories are accepted and used to nurse grievances which feed into the general atmosphere of "us versus them", is one that the leaders of Muslim communities must take seriously and make every effort to counteract. The one practical recommendation - that Muslim imams pass language proficiency tests, and an increased deployment of Muslim police officers - seems potentially useful.

And then, in the Canadian context, one ponders on the peculiarities of a revelation that two young Muslim men wanted on murder charges, one of whom escaped the country thanks to the assistance of two other young Muslim men charged as accessories, were enrolled in academic police training classes with the intention of becoming police officers.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Recruiting For Armageddon

Well, there's a revelation. As though no one had suspected. Which is to say that North Korea's brilliant nuclear scientists have been travelling to and fro, and trading secrets with Iran. Brethren in nuclear ambitions, albeit not completely altruistic. Since Iran did dispense with some of its oil-wealth toward the economy-starved North Koreans.

Still, it's news of a sort, that Iran actively recruits for nuclear scientists to work on its program. When it would doubtless prefer to be able to boast that it has no need of foreign scientific brilliance to augment its own. It did benefit from some Russian technical nuclear know-how. And of course without recourse to Pakistani-based nuclear expertise to begin with, would any of this have been occasioned?

North Korea is happy to oblige its Iranian friends with advanced technology and its scientists. A steady flow of North Korean military and engineering staff so enthusiastically welcomed by Tehran in a wholesome exchange of long-range ballistic missile technology and uranium enrichment expertise.

Truly novel, this type of thing. Ingenious; starve the people and build bombs. Each country intent on 'securing' its security, power, prestige. For the benefit, needless to say, of the elite; the people can be left to their own desperate devices. Both countries are hard pressed economically as a result of the economic sanctions placed against them owing to their international outlier status.

Iran sees the pinnacle of its power and status attainable with the assurance of mastering nuclear bomb production, and using the resulting arsenal for its threatened purpose. Bomb Israel and that would result in an object lesson for its Arab neighbours to get their priorities straight and recognize Iran as the predominant power in the Middle East; for starters.

North Korea has amply demonstrated how it is possible and even practical for it to blackmail the West and South Korea to provide energy and food, freeing up whatever it has left over for further covert investments in nuclear installations, giving impetus and inspiration to Iran. Both countries excel at 'surprising' Western experts at the ease with which they have been able to build 'secret' advanced nuclear installations.

While Iran threatens its neighbours, (atheist) North Korea fulminates and delivers its bellicose message about prosecuting a 'sacred war' against South Korea. North Korea's Kim Jong-il has not hesitated to mount military attacks against its neighbour, something Iran has not yet done directly. Hamas and Hezbollah however, have direct access to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and await his orders.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the inside track to Allah, something no one should forget. The passion with which he and Ahmadinejad await the appearance of the Hidden Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, to bring about the Apocalypse, enlighten the world and bring it out of its state of chaos into one of universal peace under the universal Caliphate, may also, many fear, explicate their lack of caution in proposing to use a nuclear device.

In the end, the chaos and destruction that would ensue would bring the hidden imam to reveal himself in all his messianic glory and save the world for Islam. Of course, Iran would be right up there, front and centre, and commanding the new world order. It might, just might, allow North Korea to dominate in its sphere of the world.

Much to China's chagrin.

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How Perfectly Jolly!

The worst of all possible worlds; Britain has long attracted and gone out of its way to support and give haven to individuals and groups whose brand of Islamism is ferociously out of whack with what its followers claim it to represent, as a religion of peace. The Islam that the mullahs and imams and other clerics who comfortably settled in Britain - to speak at its many mosques, in Arabic-speaking fiery speeches denouncing the very country that gave them haven, exhorting young Muslims to violent jihad - is the one front and centre in the world of terror today.

What is astonishing is the very fact that official Britain has been so avuncular about the presence of those ferociously fulminating clerics for so long. Long enough to ensure that more than one generation of Muslim men has been tainted with the compelling need to enlist as martyrs for the universal Islamist cause leading to the Caliphate they are so devoted to. Young Muslim men, born in Britain, educated there, seething with discontent and anger at the West and its values, sufficiently at home in the country to form university student unions recruiting for jihad.

These are young men who know the country fairly intimately. It has, after all, been the country of their birth, if not in the end the country of their birthright. That would only come to pass when Britain does truly succumb to Islamism and adopts universal sharia law. That's some atmosphere to be certain. That the country's counter-terrorism agencies are on constant guard now against the carefully determined plans by home-bred Brits whose religious conversion to deadly violence poses a threat to stability.

Given that Scotland Yard has admitted it is currently giving high-alert attention to one hundred terror cases, thirty of which are considered to be 'pressing', while approximately ten are classified as 'urgent' or 'imminent'. That's shaving it pretty close, isn't it? Islam4UK is kind of snappy too, is it not, as a hopeful sloganeering mantra of Muslim youth devoted to the downfall of the government of the country, determined to mount one of their own in due time, in tune with a new judiciary.

It is certainly instructive how fundamentally attractive men like Anwar al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden are inspirationally to bored young men avidly seeking the adventures of their lives. Exciting adventures are just what the doctor ordered to banish those insipid boredom-diversions of petty crime from the near horizon in favour of not-so-covert activities conducted right under the eyes of slow-moving intelligence agents.

The latest to be arrested in Britain, young men of Bangladeshi origin - if it's not of Pakistani origin; geographic neighbours withal - are said to have been influenced by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. They were affiliated with a banned group, which makes things all the more attractive, doesn't it? A Police Commission spokesman described the arrests as being "intelligence-led" on the suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism.

Terrorism? Actually, not; holy war. As opposed to the kind of unholy war being waged in Afghanistan, for example, by British troops within the NATO command. These were young men accustomed to standing on street corners handing out leaflets promoting holy war. Furthermore, some of them fit right into their neighbourhoods. Neighbours spoke approvingly of them as "...a very nice family, the dad always says hello, he's very polite."

And at another house where arrests were made, observant neighbours had their own impressions to relay to the curious news media: "He has a lot of people coming and going in the early hours of the morning - it's very odd - and you can often hear religious chanting and singing coming from the house." So, they're quite jolly, quite British, quite stiff upper-lip about it all. After all, this is the land of eccentrics.

British terrorists? Just another brand of eccentric Brits.

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"It's Been Awful For Her"

There are some news stories to which people are drawn as though to a magnet. These are the stories that defy human imagination, in outlining how people who appear on the surface to be perfectly normal harbour deep within them a malignancy so vividly evil that the disbelieving public reads all it can relating to the sordid events in an attempt to understand just how seemingly ordinary people can in reality represent the troublingly extraordinary.

In some societies malevolent psychopaths attain positions of power and wield that power to great effect, destroying peoples' lives and populations' hope for a decent future. Those are the malefactors of ill repute like dictators and tyrants who manipulate their societies to reflect their values, disentitling any who protest; arresting, incarcerating, torturing and murdering them. These are obviously not advanced civil societies, but backward, tribal societies.

In advanced, free and democratic societies we can usually weed out personalities who are overtly anti-social and prevent them from achieving high political office. In these societies people whose orientation happens to be sociopathic and who succumb to psychotic behaviour are the criminal class, although there are also those who have become skilled in successfully shielding their sociopathic tendencies from public scrutiny.

Those like mass murderer Clifford Olson, Paul Bernardo and former Trenton base commander Russell Williams whose deep and fundamental downward spiral into the sadistic pleasures they derived from inflicting pain on helpless victims drove them to careers in multiple-murders, are thought to be just like anyone else until their arrogant carelessness betrays them and they are apprehended.

All of these men were married. All of these men, finally caught through incontrovertible evidence implicating them in merciless killings of helpless victims, lived seemingly normal lives on the surface, complicated by savagely distorted desires. In Bernardo's case, he was paired with a woman whose horrible fantasies complemented his own. In Olson's case, his wife seemed content to have her husband extort money on her behalf from the RCMP (taxpayers) to reveal where his victims' bodies might be found.

In the case of former Trenton commander Russell Williams, his wife appears on the evidence available, unwilling to allow her personal life to be too severely discommoded by her husband's revealed activities, and his subsequent murder sentence. What emerges from the brief public outline of Mary Elizabeth Harriman is a sketch of a not very engaged person. Is it even remotely possible for two people in a long-term intimate relationship not to know one another?

What emerges from what little public profile Ms. Harriman has allowed is a sketch of a very private person who hugely resents her private life made public. Any intrusion in the way of news coverage into her persona is unwelcome and understandably so. Yet there is an unmistakable outline of an entitled woman unwilling to proffer any public statement, and on the record inordinately concerned about her financial future.

This is not a woman who has been left bereft of a loving husband whose career supported her socially and financially. Ms. Harriman has her own career which is more than capable of sustaining her well into the future. The picture we have is that of a woman angry that her prize dream of a perfect home setting has been disturbed. In the police investigation that followed her husband's arrest for murder, she is irritated that scratches appear on the hardwood floors of her new home, insisting in tax-paid repairs.

A survivor of one of her predatory husband's horrible assaults on vulnerable women is in the process of suing her husband and by extension, herself. To protect her financial investments she colluded with her husband to transfer ownership of property to her name. She is now in the process of seeking a divorce from her life-sentenced husband, thus further separating their financial investments and shielding her from potentially being absorbed into the compensation that might arise from the lawsuit.

Her lawyer has requested of an Ottawa court that a sealing order be brought down to protect her client from the"voluminous" national media attention that revelations of a personal and financial nature as required by the proceedings for divorce may attract. Ms. Harriman's lawyer characterizes the proceedings as a "purely personal matter" between her client and her client's husband.

Appearing to overlook the reality that there is a consuming public interest in her husband, once a highly trusted member of the Canadian Armed Forces, on the fast-track to an elite command position at an even higher standing than his previous command. A man so highly respected that he was trusted discretely as an air force pilot to safely ferry diplomats and high-ranked politicians.

It is exceedingly difficult to have sympathy for Ms. Harriman's wish to be thought of as anonymous, for she is anything but that. Attention is given to her as the wife of a psychopathic murderer, someone who preyed savagely on woman and children for years. Perhaps it is possible for a woman to be oblivious to the inner mind and proclivities of her husband, but it is exceedingly curious.

So the "undue" interest that her lawyer alludes to her client having been subjected to is anything but undue, given the circumstances. And it is hardly surprising that a "lot of media has focused on her". And that it has "been awful for her", may be incontestable, but one has a tendency to focus rather on how awful it must have been for her husband's victims to plead for their lives unavailingly.

It is more than natural for people to muse on these circumstances and differences in those circumstances, and to feel that as a compassionate, concerned human being Ms. Harriman has come out looking quite wan indeed given her personal focus and seeming disinclination to demonstrate any manner of sympathy for her husband's many victims.

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Blazing Cat Fur: Funny he doesn't look...

Blazing Cat Fur: Funny he doesn't look...

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Laughing Ourselves To Death

There are some people who are simply invested in fomenting hatred against others. It is not hard to imagine they are anything but malevolently psychotic in temperament as evidenced by the ferocity of their vile imprecations against those whom they have identified as their hate objects.

Not surprisingly, given the history of Jews and their place in society from time immemorial, it is most often that group of people who have been singled out as different, invested with unspeakable traits that represent the target of racists.

It is more than likely that psychopaths who spend their lives destroying what others have built, who present as the very social dregs of abysmal human behaviour are simply fulfilling their purpose as human beings bereft from birth of normal human emotions leading to empathy and compassion for others.

Society is rife with sociopaths and psychopaths whose inability to construct emotional attachments to other people is legendary. These are people for whom normalcy in human relations is utterly foreign. Such individuals burn with an entirely different kind of passion than those whose genetic endowments have not short-changed them in the balance of emotions.

They are not merely people who have lost faith in humanity. These are people who do not recognize humanity as other than a great amorphous mass of people whose existence represents a nuisance to them personally. People readily disposed of should they become too great an impediment to whatever the desires of the psychopath happen to be.

From this psychically maladaptive cauldron of failed human beings come the haters, the cruel manipulators of humankind, the tyrants and the despots incapable of, and disinterested in caring about the well-being of others. From their distorted imaginations come visions of destruction on a mass scale.

These are the genocidal murderers of innocent populations, the volatile war-mongers who lay waste to civilization. When these individuals are identified for the monsters they are they have already committed their unspeakable crimes.

Some are called to the International Criminal Court to be judged on behalf of humanity, and they laugh derisively at the human construct that would hold them to account for their monstrous behaviours. Most of these monsters consider themselves impervious to human justice and indestructible in their power-hungry appetites.

Most, like Hitler, Stalin and Mao, will become admired footnotes in history that their would-be successors make every effort to emulate. Many, like Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mussolini, Nicolae Ceausescu, Omar al-Bashir and Osama bin Laden, damage society and eventually justice is seen to be done.

Their legions of admirers enlist in their deadly destructive games in an effort of social upheaval to reflect their chaotic values. There is nothing that society at large is able to do to extirpate their influences, to attempt to halt their progress, to limit the damage they inflict on society.

Now that the technological advances of the 20th Century gave birth to those of the 21st Century and accelerating rapidly to bring us to hitherto-unimagined levels of instant global communication, the messages that they convey and the ill deeds they promulgate appear to proliferate at lightning speed.

Web sites that declare their intention to annihilate great swaths of populations, and teach recruits how they may join in the conflagration abound. Representing in a viral way the genie that leaped out of the bottle that confined it when humankind first learned the skills of manipulating and controlling fire.

The fire that civilization is now learning to live with is that of incendiary hatred for one another. The divisions that separate us through ideology, politics, culture, religion appear to become wider, the gulf more dire between human connection than ever before.

The more readily we are able to communicate, the more incessant and dire the message: to reject and to spurn and to deride and to foster hatreds that will not be remedied by the good will of the hapless majority in fear of the unexpected that has proven to descend with no warning to stir terror in our hearts.

Nasty little viperous charlatans whose inability to adjust to societal norms strut about on the Internet in emulation of al-Qaeda's vile messaging. And the al-Qaeda offshoots take inordinate pride in their growing ability to initiate further contacts, encouraging others to promote terror.

Still there is hope.

A website that claims "Our web site does not advocate terrorism or genocide against any people. All information on this site is for informational purposes only" - when the site itself is totally given over to the hopeful destruction of Jews and the State of Israel, extending those good wishes further to include Western democracies such as Australia, Europe and North America as tools of the Jews - demonstrates that even monsters may possess a droll sense of humour.

And isn't humour both a weapon and a potentially useful emotion to be leashed for agreeable compromise? We may yet end up laughing ourselves to death.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wretched, Perfidious Albion

Well, that's Great Britain for you. Not so great in many ways. Let us count the ways; principles, morals, ethics, hypocrisy, prevarications, lies and more damn lies.

The once-great empire that dominated much of the world as an imperial powerhouse, one that ruled the high seas, was a force to be reckoned with. In its colonial past, while it raped much of the undeveloped world of their natural resources, it also left a heritage of social and political and judicial and bureaucratic excellence.

More latterly, Britain is a country that has itself become colonized by its former colonies. Which have inextricably wrought a deep and dense social, political, religious and cultural indentation in the country's original social, cultural and historical realization. Values, always readily corrupted for the right cause, are even more vulnerable to exploitation by the country's ruling class in a newly classless society.

The greatest value Britain ever recognized to its future and its socio-economic-political well-being was always trade. Trade and enrichment was what always propelled it, as well as Spain, Portugal and France into the unknown byways of seafaring opportunities to land in foreign and exotic countries and to despoil them of their riches. From Egypt to India, Afghanistan to Iran, Britain was there, and dominant.

Britain has never experienced too much of a social-psychological upheaval making pacts with the devil. And Britain's devil has always been hegemonic trade. More latterly, the highest institution in the country is not necessarily its Parliament, but rather its colossus of fossil fuel energy availment formerly identified as British Petroleum.

Britain saw fit to coerce the government of Scotland into releasing the unreconstructed Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi under false pretenses of humanitarian concerns for the man's purported descending state of health, nigh unto death. For this would ingratiate the government with Colonel Qaddafi and cement trade relations, as political manoeuvring demands.

That 270 innocent people died in the Lockerbie crash, including 3 Canadians and 189 Americans was unfortunate. That $1-billion in BP investment in Libyan oil extraction might be imperilled without consent to liberate the Lockerbie bomber from a Scottish prison was, however, catastrophic and could not conceivably be countenanced.
"The U.K. communicated to the Scottish government that there were significant national interests in expanding trade relations with Libya." U.S. Senate investigation.

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A Christmas of Fear

"We love Christmas but this year it feels bitter. You sit somewhere and you're afraid; you go shopping and you're afraid; you go for a walk and you're afraid. Iraq has become a hell."
Christians, needless to say in the Middle East, long pre-dated the introduction of Islam. Yet within the Middle East, Christians have become an endangered species. Like Jews before them, Christians have lived in various countries of the Middle East for millennia. And Jews and Christians lived among Muslims, albeit as second-class residents, for an additional thousand years.

There are now scant few Jews living anywhere in Muslim-dominated countries of the Middle East, despite a heritage of Jewish life in Arab countries. With the creation of the State of Israel, Arab states disenfranchised their Jewish populations, and exiled them, first taking possession of their worldly goods.

A roughly equivalent number of oriental Jews were forcibly removed from Arab countries furious with the establishment of a Jewish state in their geographic midst, to those Palestinians who were convinced they should voluntarily and briefly leave 'Palestine', until the combined Arab armies vanquished the new state and returned the land to Arab Palestinians.

The culturally rich presence of Jews in Arab countries with their long histories and heritage was extinguished in a paroxysm of rage at the presence of a majority-Jewish state. Now, Christians within Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East have gradually been pushed to the edge of non-existence. They have been viciously targeted as 'infidels' for whom death is appropriate.

In Iraq death threats and violence and death itself has been visited calamitously on the half-million Orthodox Christian communities. Which represents half the number of Christians that existed there a decade earlier. Church congregations have suffered violent invasions by bomb-wielding Islamists who have splattered the walls of their churches with blood and gore, murdering priests, women, children and helpless men.

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Kirkuk, in view of al-Qaeda-inspired threats against the country's Christian minority has stated: "The Christians of Kirkuk will not celebrate the feast of Christmas this year, except for masses, which will not be held at night but at 10 a.m., after myself and 20 other Christian personages received threats from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq."

The Christian Church in Iraq did not come to the defence of Iraqi Jews in their time of need. For those who could speak out and did not also viewed Jews as their enemies despite having lived alongside the Jews for thousands of years. Those who might have used their moral outrage did not because they felt no moral outrage.

Now the fate that transpired to overtake the destiny of Arab Jews in Iraq has turned in the direction of Arab Christians in Iraq. The lesson, however, is lost in the ephemeral shadows of history and humankind's inability to recognize its moral duty to one another.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Limp-Wristed Security

What precisely is it about Britain that has resulted in the country becoming a haven for brutishly violent Islamists? Well, the country's much-vaunted freedoms, for one thing. It seemed to occur to the British authorities in the last decade, that they really had no idea what the foaming-at-the-mouth Islamist clerics that entered the country so seamlessly were uttering when they preached violent jihad, and instructed Muslim youth in their duty to Islam.

There were, eventually, a few of these incendiary imams who were invited to leave the country and others who amazingly ended up in incarceration. By then, however, the die had been cast. Britain lent itself readily to the very forward-appearing leftist inclinations to allow diplomats, lawmakers and high-ranking military from countries which the leftists considered human-rights-abusers of Palestinians, to be summarily arrested. Israelis all, interestingly.

Writers whose books or articles were deemed to be offensive to the dignity of Islam would see their publications banned in Britain. And if they themselves happened to travel to England for business purposes, they could be sued on the basis of what they wrote being interpreted as defaming Islam. Britain was, and remains, ready and prepared to defend the rights and freedoms of Islamists to silence their perceived enemies.

Accommodating, understanding Britain has for decades been recognized as jihad-central. Which has not protected the country from quite successful terrorist attacks, regardless. It has, however, hugely encouraged 'restless' youth, 'vulnerable' youth, 'impressionable' youth, to believe that theirs is the right to destroy British society and help to make it over into an Islamic state on the way to a larger caliphate. Britain4Islam resonates.

The gestation period was long, but fruitful. Away back in 1996, jihadists were already establishing their British-Islamist credentials. And Britain appeared to be more than a little willing to entertain the possibility of extending sharia to its two million Muslims. Even the Bishop of Canterbury thought there was merit in the proposal, in the spirit of understanding and ecumenism.

Britain is so excessively tolerant,that it does next to nothing, even while its security agents know that terrorist recruiters stand openly in public handing out Islamist-terror tracts. Even while they spout loudly belligerent manifestos, and degrading descriptions of British troops fighting Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even while the outlawed groups still making their presence in and around London and environs loudly protest the bestiality of British soldiers and celebrate the "magnificent martyrs" represented by the 9/11 suicide attackers.

Out of Britain come Pakistani and Bangladeshi and Nigerian and Saudi men who have grown up as 2nd generation Brits, had their education in the country, mounted their Islamic student bodies in the brotherhood of jihad in its universities, then go on to travel to Pakistan and Afghanistan and Somalia to train as mujahadeen for the cause.

Sometimes returning to Britain to wreak havoc there, and sometimes being apprehended before they reach success.

None of this is a secret, for British 'intelligence', although not perhaps their intellectuals, are well versed in the knowledge of underground and above-ground, furtive and audacious activities. The knowledge is there that the seething mass of humanity known as worshippers of Islam is also blighted with the youth who seem to gravitate toward lives of crime, quite aside from violent jihad.

Britain sees itself as responsible, in the sense that it has not been aware enough, kind enough, offering greater opportunities and understanding to the vulnerable to prevent them from wandering off the straight and narrow....

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Guilty of Impaired Driving, Guilty of Manslaughter

Yet again, a highly respected member of society, a woman whose husband is the head of a Christian denomination church, and whose members hold them in high esteem, is also a woman whose chosen entitlements have done grave, irreparable harm to society. This woman chose to imbibe alcohol, and then to drive her vehicle. In the company of another woman, she drove recklessly, under the influence of alcohol, struck a 16-year-old cyclist on his way home after his evening shift at a local grocery, and killed him.

She then kept driving, eluding her further responsibility to make an attempt to determine whether the boy who had been struck required help and medical attention. Her lawyer, however, insisted she had no knowledge of having struck the boy. She had driven on with her friend beside her, 'unaware' she had struck anyone with her vehicle which, in her inebriated state had become a lethal weapon.

She doubtless still has her defenders, those who will find excuses for her dreadful choices. Possibly because they would do the very same thing; drink and drive.

But the boy she hit with her vehicle on a rural stretch of Bank Street on September 9 can never recover his life. His family will have memories of the boy they loved all too briefly. They will live out their lives of pain, trying to stop themselves from imagining what life might have been like for him, with him, as he passed milestones of maturity and achievement in his future that was not to be.

What is even more shocking about this dreadfully fateful occurrence, is that the woman, Samira Mohamed Daoud, has had previous impaired-driving convictions.

A victim-impact statement from 16-year-old Alex Hayes' family will be entered at the sentencing hearing, along with other facts. Because she has pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death, the original charges of manslaughter, possession of a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of a collision and driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit will likely be withdrawn.

This woman had been arrested kilometres from the crash site, when the truck she was driving broke down. She was driving with a suspended license, relating to her previous impaired-driving conviction. The young boy's body was discovered after midnight, along with his destroyed bicycle, three hours after Daoud was arrested.

Is it too much to hope that this woman will face a penalty commensurate with her crime?

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Sincerely, Of Course

The more 'advanced' situations appear to become, the more they appear to resemble what preceded them. Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Perez, yet when he had the opportunity to make a final peace plan with Israel a reality at the urging of President Bill Clinton, he confided that he would be signing his own death warrant if he had the audacity to sacrifice the ongoing PLFP state of war for one of peace with Israel.

Currently, the PLFP, which is the militant tail that wags the Fatah dog that administers the Palestinian Authority has a similar mind-set, that it will not set aside its constant of a state of war against the Israeli "occupiers" of Palestinian land. It is not merely the West Bank settlements that they speak of, when they refer to land belonging to the Palestinians; but rather the entire geography once known as Palestine, inclusive of that portion upon which sits Israel itself.

This, of course, is the very live agenda that is maintained internally, not the one that is placed in the public sphere for international digestion. The peace talks that have gone nowhere, that continue to fizzle, while being portrayed as legitimate and sincere, are not quite meant to be the end of hostilities between Israel and the PA. The demands by the PA of a freeze on settlements has an authentic ring to Western ears, but it is a ploy, and a successful one.

Should the desire for peace be pre-eminent in the minds and plans of the Palestinians they would negotiate and bargain and come to the table with the purpose of achieving peace, but the simple fact is, the kind of peace they envision is one which negates the existence of a Jewish state, one in which a Palestinian Arab state encompasses what is to their way of thinking, a foreign Zionist entity within an Arab Muslim geography.

The West, through the sympathies extended toward the Palestinians as a stateless people in perpetual refugee status, has given great impetus to the legitimacy of the PA entitlements as they see them. The entitlement to insist that it is only just that up to 7 million Palestinian 'refugees' be allowed to return to the place of their ancestors, thus displacing the Jewish state for an Arab one. The entitlement that Jerusalem be divided to make way for a Palestinian capital. The entitlement that the Palestinians select their state borders preferentially.

The European Union, the United Nations membership at large, sympathetic to the demands of the Palestinians and deaf to the security and existential requirements of Israel, pushes the State of Israel to relent, to accept, to sacrifice, for it is not they who will stand on the cusp of extinction, but the Jewish State. The 'disillusioned' Palestinians are seen to be disadvantaged by the need to participate in honest negotiations where they should be expected to make sacrifices of their own.

"The peace process is in a deep coma", mourned Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath, but with some degree of satisfaction, withal. "I don't think anyone wants to continue this negotiation. There is no more credibility to this negotiation process. This is an exercise in futility - ridiculous." Yes, and why is that so? Because Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies insist that West Bank settlement construction cease and desist; beyond which no further discussions can take place.

The ten-month freeze was put in place for that purpose, but it was only in the tenth month before the freeze was finally lifted that the PA came to direct talks. Fitfully, half-heartedly, awaiting the lifting of the freeze, so they could re-commence boycotting any further direct talks, and finally declare that indirect talks too were futile. Mahmoud Abbas speaks on the one hand of deploring violence, yet he encourages it by declaring the violence to be the sincere efforts of 'martyrs'.

He knows very well that the PLFP is guiding what the PA does, and that a third intifada is in the offing. He is very well aware that in commiserating with the militants in Hamas and the PLFP offshoots he is encouraging further assaults against Israel. He is fully knowledgeable about the fact that during the Mount Carmel firestorm there were multiple incidences of Palestinian Arab arson, some 25 in number.

He is also aware that the Islamic religious authority in Jerusalem engaged in illegal excavations at the Temple Mount, destroying Jewish archaeological sites dating to the Second Temple, and where a new mosque was erected and is now in use. This kind of sabotage and vicious disrespect for other religions and others' sacred histories is typical of Arabs and Muslims who have made it a commonplace to build mosques over other religions' houses of worship.

The Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh warned a Jerusalem audience that they must never forget that the Israeli-Arab conflict speaks to "Israel's very existence in this part of the world", not the least bit about the provocation they claim the settlements in the West Bank represent. Toameh describes Mahmoud Abbas as "corrupt, discredited, weak", and without much actual power, warning that Hamas is prepared to take possession of the West Bank, should Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders as demanded.

Arab foreign ministers have made it clear to the United States administration that they feel the now-aborted direct talks will achieve nothing useful. That they are hoping the U.S. will make firm recommendations to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on borders that will encompass the new Arab state, should it come to pass. Not a unilateral declaration of statehood, as is being bandied about, then withdrawn, then returned to the fore. One which Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela and Bolivia have thus far committed to recognizing.

The Palestinians are past masters at posing as helpless aggrieved victims of an unjust, powerful state that seeks to dominate them and ensure that they never reach autonomous sovereignty. They revel in their victimhood, as the longest-reigning, United Nations-supported refugee group in the world. This has been more a matter of choice than one of unfortunate circumstances, because they excel in refusing anything resembling a fair settlement.

Compromise and authentic search for a peace settlement has never been seriously considered by the PLO, Fatah or the Palestinian Authority; all one and the same, and all so accustomed to considering themselves hapless victims, and portraying themselves as such to the wider world, that they are functionally incapable of acting in their own best, long-term interests.

Instead, they remain committed to destroying Israel, and once that has been accomplished, they will proudly lift themselves out of the sludge of helplessness in which they have mired themselves for so long, to curtsy to the world, in appreciation for its sympathetic and extremely useful support.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

"Respect of Worship and Belief"

So much for the civilizing atmosphere inherent in various cultures and religions making an attempt to be open and accepting to one another's values and sensitivities. Turkey, a large country whose geography places it on the cusp of demarcation between the worlds of the West and of the East, has long prided itself, thanks to its modern founder Kemal Ataturk, as a secular-governed country, while still a majority-Muslim country.

Before Kemal Ataturk decided that the only way for his country to meet modernity after its long history as a leading Islamic country following the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the country was in decline, social, political and economic. In the years since, with its Western alliances, it has managed to modernize itself. Its educational system, its justice system, are modelled on Western ideals.

After the reforms introduced in 1926, the Republic of Turkey became a secular, democratic state, its religious schools abandoned in favour of a national school system, and its legal system based on the Italian penal code. Head scarves for women were forbidden in public, in an attempt to persuade the population to become more modern and westernized in their outlook.

Turkey is a member of NATO, and has been trying to enter the EU for years, improving their human rights record to qualify for EU inclusion. Germany and France have been reluctant to give their assent to Turkey's admission to the EU, occasioning no little resentment. In the last number of years, an Islamist-style government has been elected, moving Turkey closer to its Muslim neighbours.

Official Turkey has strengthened its weak connections to Muslim countries like Iran, Syria and Lebanon, while engaging in newfound hostilities with Israel, its long-time associate in the region. And just in the last week an international incident has occurred through what is being termed a 'religious dispute', which puts a quite ugly stamp on relations between the country, its people, and the West.

A retired Canadian diplomat who had moved with his Turkish wife to Turkey on his retirement, died recently, and was buried in a Christian ceremony at a cemetery in Bodrum, after his family had obtained permission from the municipality for a priest to perform the ceremony. Hans-Joachim Himmelsbach, a retired trade commissioner originally from Vancouver, who spoke Turkish among other languages, was familiar with Turkey.

He was the former deputy director of the Central and Eastern European Trade Development Division of the Canadian foreign affairs department. When he retired a decade earlier, he lived alternately in Vancouver and Turkey. He was 65 when he died, and he planned to be buried in Turkey, close to where his wife now lives without him. He died of a brain blood clot, recovering from an operation, three weeks ago.

A local Sunni Muslim family of social and political influence took umbrage at the fact that Mr. Himmelsbach's grave was too close to their family plot. They undertook to insist that the grave be removed and placed elsewhere in the cemetery where it would not offend their sensibilities. Mr. Himmelsbach's wife and family were not informed; the grave was summarily moved to another, remote cemetery site.

"If they told me this incident was going to happen 30 years ago, I wouldn't have believed them. My husband doesn't deserve this. He moved to Turkey to make me happy", Ms. Himmelsbach informed the Hurriyat Daily News and Economic Review.

In response, Sinan Dayioglu, whom the newspaper described as a businessman, representing "one of Bodrum's leading families", had this to say: In the world, people having different beliefs are separated with walls or wires, even though they are in the same cemetery.

"This is for the respect of worship and belief."

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Canada-European Union Trade

Were Canada to sign a free trade deal with the European Union, it would certainly have its benefits. Of course the way that Canada subsidizes its farmers would become an impediment to establishing the kind of free trade that the EU is looking for on behalf of its 27 members. And Canadian producers of certain products would face new constraints, being forced through that union, to scale back on their use of product-place-names.

The European Union has enacted some pretty absurd regulations it insists all its members must follow in conformity with its vision of regularization. Not always well received by its many members, and appearing at times fairly ridiculous. But it is a giant bureaucracy, and this is what bureaucracies do; impose their regulating determination upon those dependent on their whims, posing as contractual obligations.

The truth of the matter is, Canada is in dire need of a trade escape hatch. Which is to say, another source of trade opportunities that might rival that of our two-way trade with the United States, our single largest trading partner. (NAFTA-Mexico trade far less so.) And a trade bully, which stands to reason given that the weaker partner in a binary relationship usually is forced to agree with the demands of the stronger. It's the way the world works.

An optimistic estimate of the potential of an economic boost of $12-billion on an annual basis is nothing to casually wipe off the slate of opportunities. Pierre Trudeau, away back when, attempted to branch Canada's trade out into Europe, with scant success. The current Canadian government has been seriously exploring the possibility and the EU has expressed interest. In the process Canada has had to swallow the indignity of the seal boycott.

A restructuring of Canada's agricultural tariff rate in protection of home-grown industries will be inevitable should the trade deal come to pass, and there will be plenty of outraged protests from invested poultry and dairy and cheese producers, among others. It would, in the final analysis, result in less expensive costs to the Canadian consumers of those products in a freer market, and a tightening of business practise for the affected producers.

Competition in an assured more open marketplace is always painful, but the successful producers will come through, and they will also see their markets expanding, as they will then be free to export to the European market with broader opportunities. It's not as though EU member countries don't have their own protected markets. It's a matter of negotiating and shuffling, and compromising.

Supply management won't be entirely dead in Canada, through manipulating to achieve a free trade agreement. There will be adjustments. Protected industries will see some hits but not to the extent that they won't still be opportunistically viable. The true dull note in the symphony of light melodic strains is the EU's intellectual property strictures, particularly with pharmaceuticals and patent protection.

That sounds a really sour note in the theatrical production of opening markets and expanding trade, and one that will hit Canadian consumers, who represent a population whose use of drugs for medical-health purposes is higher than the average.

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Luton's Open Recruiting

Does Britain know whether it's coming or going? Even as the country is alerted to the fact that another group of 12 jihadists planning Christmas Day attacks in central London have been apprehended, the phenomenon of recruiting ever more dissatisfied Muslim youth goes on unabated. Four homes were raided across the UK, with links to an extremist group.

London Police and MI5 undercover officers concluded their long-standing investigation by a timely intervention. The arrests were characterized as "timely" by the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and he should know, shouldn't he, given that there is less than a week left to the public Christmas festivities. Which represent the featured sites for attack in busily populous London.

Timeliness is a highly rated construct in such apprehensions. One needs to strike to avert catastrophe. Which makes the average non-intelligence-engaged mind wonder why so little attention appears to be given to the supposedly outlawed terror groups operating in Luton, where the suicide bomber who shocked Stockholm learned his stock-in-trade. It took ten years for Taimour Abdulwahab to become fully indoctrinated in Luton.

The Islamist group al-Muhajiroun operating out of Luton appears determined to shorten that indoctrination period with eager new recruits. And they're operating fairly brazenly. So much so that moderate Muslims in Luton complain that they've been violently targeted by the Islamists for their lack of support, while the authorities appear to be completely disinterested in their presence.

Led by a former inland revenue accountant, Ishtiaq Alamgir, who was behind the organization of an Islamist 'protest' against British troops hailing from Luton, after their Afghanistan tour, which erupted in violence and arrests, the man is comfortable enough in a sense of his own security to operate freely in town by actively recruiting and handing out jihadist screeds and directing young Muslim men to terror web sites.

Celebrating the wonderful achievements of the September 11 hijackers, jihadist supporters set up street stalls in open sight of the curious and the adventurous to distribute their literature and entice recruits, citing "the terrorist activities of Britain", in their efforts to turn young Muslims toward violent jihad.

Well infiltrated within British society, working for the public service, as legal counsels, and alongside progressive leftists who anxiously agree that the Islamists have a legitimate grievance and an open invitation to air their opinions, extending those opportunities to include recruitment to jihad, a lot more will have to be done to extinguish the fires of raging jihad in the country, beyond arresting the occasional careless group planning carnage.

Much certainly depends on it. Yet the British government seems to be having a difficult time getting truly serious about extinguishing those opportunists among its Muslim population who feel free to viciously disparage the government, its politics and its armed forces abroad in defence of Western values.

The holding pattern of attempting to remain abreast of the most pressing alerts to impending attacks may suffice only so long as the police and MI5 can assemble enough time and personnel. As soon as the number of jihadists and planned attacks accelerate beyond the point of no return, what then?

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Progress in Afghanistan

The long-awaited White House review of the situation in Afghanistan claims that the Obama-initiated 30,000 troop surge made all the difference, battering the Taliban and shoving them back from whence they came. Well, they came from Afghanistan, from various Taliban-held provinces in the country, since that's where they live traditionally, and it is where they still hold fast.

One truth that did finally emerge, however, was the unvarnished albeit reluctant admission that "progress has not come fast enough", thanks to the lack of co-operation from the Government of Pakistan. That, the lack of Pakistani co-operation in the battle against the Taliban has been a constant throughout the years; nothing whatever has changed there. Before President Asif Ali Zardai, it was General Musharaff.

The U.S. chose in its great wisdom to believe all the lies that General Musharaff, Pakistan's ISI and its National Army fed to the Americans, assuring them that they were on side. When, clearly enough,and well enough known to U.S. intelligence, they were not. They were arming, training, securing and guiding the Afghan Taliban to ensure a continued destabilized Afghanistan, which better served their purpose.

That aside, the claim that "al-Qaeda's senior leadership in Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001", is of questionable value. For the fact is the tribal NorthWest Provinces represent a secure sanctuary for both the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban, along with al-Qaeda. And from its safe aeyrie there al-Qaeda's affiliates, branches and associates take direction and comfort.

Somehow the upbeat assessment of the White House doesn't quite match that of aid groups working within Afghanistan. The International Committee of the Red Cross anticipates increased battles in the year to come: "The proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organizations to access those in need. Access for the ICRC has over the last 30 years never been as poor."

The U.S. State Department, oddly enough, appears to have reached a radically opposite conclusion to that of the White House, daring to state not too obliquely that they doubt the "war can be won". That in and of itself is another kind of declarative revelation; that war represents an impediment to peace.

Of course the kind of peace that will reign in Afghanistan once Western troops finally pull out is anyone's guess. Afghanistan is as it has always been: fundamentalist Islamist, harsh, aggressive, corrupt. In lock-step with its neighbour Pakistan, now battling its own Taliban, and which country which simply cannot wrench itself away from its irredentist hatred of India.

That's quite the neighbourhood, in fact is it not, with Iran on one side, the "Stans" on the other, and China not too far away, leaving India the sole democratic symbol of a state dedicated to hope for the future.

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"When terrorists acting on Canadian soil are apprehended and brought to justice, the responsibility lies with the courts to send a clear and unmistakable message that terrorism is reprehensible and those who choose to engage in it here will pay a very heavy price." Ontario Court of Appeals
Finally. Finally the Canadian court system is reaching the conclusion that the Government of Canada arrived at years earlier, then spent frustrating years witnessing the courts trivialize. It will always be better sooner than later, but occasionally we have to accept better later than never. Canada has thus far been fortunate that none of the as-yet apprehended plans of jihadists have resulted in catastrophe.

Although we were not quite so fortunate with a terrorist attack that blighted this country through Sikh Khalistan separatists bringing their vitriolic terror from India to Canada, making a target of innocent Indo-Canadians and shattering the peace that this country accustomed itself to enjoying. Although that issue yet simmers, it is closely watched; alarmingly it is renascent in Canada, quiescent in India.

It is not the isolated, albeit deplorable and fearsome incidents such as the Air India bombing that now takes our attention, nor even the large Tamil presence within Canada, migrating from Sri Lanka and bringing to Canadian shores the unjust miseries and vicious antipathies that threatened to embroil this country within the unremitting civil war unleashed there, but a wider, more ferocious and all-encompassing threat courtesy of Islamists International.
"Terrorism in our view, is in a special category of crime and must be treated as such. When the terrorist activity, to the knowledge of the offender, is designed to or is likely to result in the indiscriminate injury and killing of innocent human beings, sentences exceeding 20 years, up to and including life imprisonment, should not be viewed as exceptional. That may not be the traditional approach to sentencing, but it is the approach we believe must be taken to repudiate and deter terrorism and denounce it for the insidious crime it is." Ontario Court of Appeal
The Sikh and Tamil Tiger groups had well defined targets, horrendous as their plans were. The jihadists who seek to foment terror and in the process slaughter innocent people who know nothing of their grievances and care little about their historical antecedents target the entire Western world, its governments, populations, infrastructure, social and cultural values, and justice system. Whatever speaks of the West reeks of abhorrent, degenerate values to Islamists.

Justice has been seen to be delayed within Canada with respect to the harbingers of terror, those who seek to impose it in all its variable forms within Canadian society. That Canada has finally aroused itself to witness the reality that its own home-grown jihadists have been spawned within the very social milieu that guarantees them freedoms and justice - spurning the social contract to light a conflagration of suspicion between peoples from various ethnic and religious backgrounds - has not resulted in instant rejection.

Instead, the 'social progressives' have found one intolerable excuse after another to have concerns about the well-being of those whose purpose it is to destroy Canadian society. They have been oppressed and humiliated by Western culture superimposing itself upon their cultural norms. Church, university and union groups hasten to understandingly support the efforts of militant Islamist groups whose mission is clear enough.

The steady infiltration into the political life of the country, its academic circles and union groups has built into a support network preparing the way for the larger society to accept that the disaffected fundamentalist Islamists have a legitimate grievance deserving of universal support. Was a society ever better positioned to surrender its traditions and values to those of a foreign influence demented in its existential purpose?

Can we finally take comfort that the Ontario Court of Appeals has seen fit to meet the challenge head on, not shrink from the confrontation of calling the threat what it is, and to exert the law of justice upon those who threaten a democratic and just and free way of life?
"Terrorism must not be allowed to take root in Canada. When it is detected, it must be dealt with in the severest of terms. With respect, the trial judge in the [Khawaja] case did not give sufficient weight to this concern." Ontario Court of Appeal
That sentence for Momin Khawaja has been increased substantially, as have sentences given to two of the men, Sad Gaya and Saad Khalid convicted in the Toronto 18 bomb-plot case. Yet the three suspects in the Ottawa-based terror group have been given bail, awaiting their hearings. And Mohammad Harkat may still appeal the ruling that has identified him as an ongoing al-Qaeda threat to the country.

It is now long past time we need concern ourselves with the 'rights', the fundamental freedoms, the infringements of religion, thought, belief, opinion, expression and association when balancing the rights of free people against those who would destroy those freedoms.

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Blazing Cat Fur: Muslim Attempts To Turn Montreal Into Nazi Shithole

Blazing Cat Fur: Muslim Attempts To Turn Montreal Into Nazi Shithole

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holocaust Diminishment

In the planning for quite some time, now, because there is seen to be 'undue' attention to the Holocaust, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights whose purpose is to chronicle human rights abuses in a larger perspective, but also focus largely on the Holocaust, has come under fire from an organization which states it represents German-Canadians. And it seems that umbrella organization, speaking on behalf of 90 German-Canadian clubs, churches and businesses across the country, has taken umbrage with that purpose.

"We shouldn't have a Holocaust exhibit as a permanent exhibit if no one else has one", according to Tony Bergmeier, national president of the German-Canadian Congress.

Oops, why not? In fact, there are many countries of the world which have built stand-alone, single-purpose Holocaust memorials. The Holocaust stands out as a truly impressive over-arching, government-sponsored, national and during a time of war, international determination in Axis and occupied countries to destroy all living traces of a single ethnic human community. During that time of war in a world conflagration, time, energy and resources were deployed for the singular purpose of destroying Europe's Jews.

With the success of the Axis countries in establishing the Thousand-Year Reich under German rule, there would have been an extension of the ghettoes, the death camps, in the vanquished countries of the free world. Feeding Jews into the death chambers that Nazi Germany planned and worked so efficiently to exterminate a people they claimed were inferior and deserving of wholesale destruction. The minute attention and details paid to accomplishing this grotesque scheme to rid the world of Jews is surely deserving of close attention...?

But Mr. Bergmeier claims his organization strenuously objects to permanent galleries edifying the Holocaust, and those dedicated to the plight of Canada's aboriginal peoples in view of the fact as he saw it, that no other human-rights violation of human suffering will receive permanent display.
"The way it is, (it's) one type of exhibit for the Holocaust and one for the native people, and separate types of exhibits for the rest of the world. ..That's not the proper way."

Oh. Perhaps, on the other hand, it is justified and does represent the 'proper way'.

As the distinguishing international example of man's inhumanity to man in the 20th Century there are many who have no problem whatever disagreeing with Mr. Bergmeier and those whose interests he represents. And as Canada's singular blot on human rights, shared by other Western countries in their similar historical casual dismissal of aboriginal rights, the permanent displays on native justice certainly qualifies.

Mr. Bergmeier, on behalf of all the groups he represents, is willing to lend his particular expertise to demonstrate the proper way. The website for his umbrella group states it is dedicated to preserving German culture and "defend(ing) human rights within the laws of Canada, and the human rights declaration of the United Nations". Denying that he or his organization are "holocaust deniers", he feels entitled to contact the Government of Canada to relay his concerns.

His concerns appear blatantly designed to keeping a lid on further revelations and spreading greater information within Canada about the Holocaust, a German-designed and -prosecuted wholesale execution of a people, quite amazing in its scope and technical focus, let alone the bestiality of its intent and immense success.

The Holocaust information will inform that the mentally and physically impaired, gypsies, homosexuals, political dissenters, religious protesters, also were incarcerated and met their dreadful deaths as did six million European Jews. This was a unique event in the annals of human atrocity. It encompassed all the Axis and occupied countries of Europe with the demand that they remit their Jewish populations for transfer to death camps.

The horrendous event became known to the international community which itself did precious little to aid desperate Jews to escape the inevitable, when that could still be arranged. The League of Nations, later the United Nations, had the Holocaust largely in mind when it issued its human rights declaration. Post-Holocaust, guilt lay heavy on the consciences of countries and their leaders, and among vast numbers of people who could not believe the extent of the carnage.

Most certainly, with no equivocation required, this sole event is deserving of illumination on the world stage, with its solemn pledge that such dreadful human rights violations, plans for and execution of genocide, never again be allowed to occur. Regardless of the fact that that very pledge itself, although heartfully declared and dedicated to humanity, would see its resolve falter and dreadful events re-occur.

That, in fact, there were previous horrible events like the Ukrainian Holdomor, like the massacre of Armenians by the Turks, like the atrocities of Pol Pot, like the Rwandan genocide, Russia's slaughter of intellectuals and professionals and China's "cultural revolution", prior to and following the Holocaust, serve as good enough reason to memorialize the Holocaust in the manner in which it is being done, to instruct and caution.

The kind of vested interest that German-Canadians have in muffling attention to the Holocaust is obviously self-serving, and their oppressive denials of reality would never see the light of day in Germany itself which continues to serve its penance in deploring what its Nazi past represents; the absolute descent into the deepest recesses of human-devised evil possible, on this Earth.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whose Fault Jihadist Lunacy?

Seems that everyone points fingers of blame at everyone else. The truth is no Western country knows how to react to the fact that their generous welcome of immigrants from countries, cultures and a religion so different from their own, has turned so sinister and fractious. The U.S., it would appear, argues through its diplomatic cables that the government of Britain is lacking in its approach to the issue of solving the issue of fanatical religious extremism.

A classic instance of one failure pointing to the failure of another, while failing to admit their own. But then, who could visualize, in Europe and North America, that a wholesale welcome of easterners whose devotion to a religion that dictates every facet of their lives would result in a gradual, seeping attempt at usurpation of prevailing social, cultural and political values that the West itself holds dear? The realization has finally struck, but the solution remains elusive.

One attack after another by recruits into radical Islamism, by passionately hateful young men who see the West attacking their sacred religion. In their passion they blindly accept because it suits their angry denial of reality, that the West is the primary aggressor, and that the security of what they think they hold in highest esteem can only be guaranteed with a solution of a global Caliphate and universal Sharia.

They believe themselves to be martyrs to a divine cause. That Allah and the Prophet Mohammed guide them toward their own salvation in the army of the faithful, that by destroying the kaffirs and their monuments they can hasten the triumphant ascendancy of global Islam, and defeat the enemies of Islam. Somehow bypassing the reality that their own Muslim brethren are busy massacring their own in paroxysms of sectarian rage.

Even Muslims in the majority who believe that the essential goodness of their religion will eventually persuade all others to bow to the supremacy of Islam, will not, can not, refuse to believe that there are those among them, Muslims like themselves, who reject passive patience in favour of violently impetuous atrocities. Family members of jihadists either jubilantly support the violence and celebrate their shaheeds, or they blame the West.

The family of the Stockholm suicide bomber seems convinced that Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly was a normal, law-abiding Muslim while living in Sweden, but became a wild-eyed assassin due to influences he was subjected to in Britain. They may be perfectly correct in their assessment. For all who knew him attest to his character and his values having been altered alarmingly, precipitously, during his British sojourn.

Is Britain responsible for what it has permitted to breed in ghettoized towns and cities across the land, placidly encouraging the proliferation of mosques to match the numbers of Muslim immigrants, encouraging Muslim youth to transform their hallowed halls of academe? As much as is Holland and Denmark and Sweden and France, most certainly.

As much as the United States, with its tolerance and encouragement of diversity is. And which now expends energy and treasury in guarding itself and its people and its monuments to capitalism against the fury of Islamists determined to bring the Great Satan to its knees. A need which brought it to the far reaches of the world to attempt to extinguish the fiery blaze of jihad.

As much as Canada, with its official blessing known as multiculturalism, eschewing the need for new immigrants to acknowledge and value Canadian law and culture. Whose own universities and trade unions and churches have been well infiltrated by those whose loyalties are otherwise than to Canada, its freedoms and its laws and its values.

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Global Warming, That's Why

Holy Cow, what's with the weather? The warmest year on record, we've been informed. Yes, it was a warm summer, although come to think of it, was it all that unusual? Hotter than usual, just slipped our notice. But summer is past, and we're heading toward winter, officially arriving on the 21st of December, the shortest day of the year, when we welcome the Winter Equinox. Oh, we don't welcome it? We're just stuck with it as a stubborn yearly event?

Because we anticipate welcoming Christmas shortly afterward and it must be white. And then the New Year, yes, of course.

Well, despite our groans about winter weather and impossible conditions for driving safely, and horrible heating bills, and all manner of existential challenges for warm-blooded creatures in a miserable cold Northern Hemisphere atmosphere, winter truly is here. We know, because the landscape has changed so dramatically.

The winds are cruelly whipping snowstorms into a frenzy of white-out conditions making it worth your life to embark on a trip without due consideration whether or not it's worth the effort.

Decidedly, it is not. Worth the effort, that is. Unless you're one of those hardy souls that welcomes adversity. Of the kind that has you stranded in the worst weather-driving conditions you've ever encountered, challenging you to survive the ordeal. Did you remember to pack along in the trunk of your winter-ready vehicle, a shovel, blankets, matches, flares, heavy-duty flashlight, full water bottle, munchies, and your cellphone?

Well, you most certainly should have. You should have paid the bucks it takes to avail yourself of the snowbound and icy road-worthiness of winter ice tires. Surely you did that, at the very least? No? I hate to say 'I told you so', but come on folks. Snow squalls that made visibility impossible and tested your driving abilities, stranded you along with hundreds of other hardy Canadian motorists along highway 402 near Sarnia, Petrolia and Western Lambton County.
No one, believe me, envies your experience. Waiting it out for over 24 hours for rescue. Hungry, thirsty, cold; utterly miserable and sick of being cooped up in your vehicle. And now London, Ontario targeted by that same miserable storm system that just doesn't feel like shoving off. People living in Eastern and Northern Ontario, who think they experience more than enough rough winter weather think of the London area as the Banana Belt. And it kind of is, in the summer.

Come winter, another story. Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, they get plenty of snow too. But this time your area of the province, thanks to the proximity of Lake Huron, and this year's La Nina, or is it El Nino, demonstrated the awesome power of Global Warming.

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Tax-Paid Perquisites

There's no entitlements quite like the perceived freedom to ransack the public purse. It's as though that big pool of money, extracted from taxpayers is depthless, representing an opportunity of ongoing self-availment. The political elites and those who have been appointed because of their support of those who have attained the status of power, seem to feel that anything goes. That further emoluments are their due, over and above the extortionate salaries they gift themselves with.

It hardly seems to matter which political party is in the ascendancy. Something about human nature kicks in, so that those involved acquire the perception that their work on behalf of the electorate represents their very own sacrifice; their talent, experience and expertise is so unique that nothing quite suitably repays them for their efforts on behalf of the public weal. They are, therefore, quite justified in grasping more of whatever they can, to sweeten their recompense.

The current Liberal-led government of Ontario, under Premier Dalton McGuinty as good a case in point as any. Under previous governments it was largely Ontario Hydro that presented as an object lesson in bureaucracy gone wild, drunk on its own power and profligacy. That was before the current government stepped in to righteously declare it would prepare the province for green energy sources and gob-smacked Ontarians with the highest energy costs in the country.

Since the Liberals took office in the Province of Ontario in 2003, annual government spending rose precipitously, and now stands at $125.6-billion, representing a whopping 68.5% increase, over the last decade. Under this government Ontario saw free-wheeling spending with little-to-no-return on investment. The failed medical eHealth records as good an instance of tax-funding thrown to the winds as any. Benefiting those tasked with setting up the failed system, certainly not the funders.

Mismanagement has been legendary under this profligate-spending government that comes up with brilliant ideas for the sandbox, not the provincial legislature. Since the 2008 downturn, Ontario's net debt has increased 51% to $219.5-billion. Every man, woman and child in this province 'owes' $16,612 as a result of the province's poor administration, living beyond its, and our means through the deleterious choices and directions government has taken on 'our behalf'.

In a feeble attempt to 'manage' the debt, the government of Dalton McGuinty has introduced some measures of restraint, meant to placate any voters finally beginning to rear their outraged heads in realization of just how catastrophic this government's decision-making has been. A 5% reduction in the federal civil service; cuts in government agencies, even while this government continues to create new agencies to service their agenda.

But we are to believe they are sincere in a newly-recognized mission to more carefully regulate and scrutinize government spending. Perquisites to the elite among the bureaucrats, like sport season tickets, gym memberships and golf club dues, the gold standard for entitled MPPs and bureaucrats alike, are to be tightened, perhaps no longer to be (visibly) paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Because, simply put, it can be somewhat embarrassing when the government auditor goes in and has a good, close look at how taxes are being utilized. Where mean-minded, well-heeled government consultants felt free to bill for tea and muffins because their earnings of $2,750 daily were not generous enough to allow them to splurge out of their own pockets.

And where the executives of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, felt justified in billing the taxpayer for their nannies and their household expenses. Eleanor Clitheroe revisited. Some things just never change, do they?

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