Thursday, June 30, 2005

Iranian Lawmaker thinks Condi Rice’s boots are made for walking

Hell has no fury like a scorned woman US Secretary of State according this Iranian lawmaker quoted in Iranmania:
Perplexed by the vitriol of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's attacks on Iran, one lawmaker believes he has uncovered the secret of her enmity -- that she was spurned by an Iranian boyfriend at college, according to ISNA.

"The reason that the US secretary of state attacks Iran is because she had her heart broken by a young man from Qazvin while they were students," a confident Shokrollah Attarzadeh was quoted by the ISNA agency as saying. Somewhat mysteriously, he added: "This is the result of an investigation by a woman MP, who cannot be named."

Qazvin is an unremarkable city 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Tehran, hitherto not known for playing a major role Iran-US relations, which have been frozen for a quarter of a century. Attarzadeh did not offer any other details on the alleged affair or, for that matter, any interesting new proposal on how ties between the two arch-enemies could be warmed up.

I just hope it is not too late for the Marines to organize an airlift to drop teams of psychiatrists into the region.

(tipped off by Israellycool)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What does a terrorist group do when Arafat is not around to agitate for them anymore?

Ha’aretz is reporting that Hezbollah terrorists attempted to infiltrate the Mount Dov region of Israel today:
At around 4:45 P.M., a force from the IDF's elite Magellan unit spotted a group of five Hezbollah fighters crossing the border into the Har Dov region, in an area where there is no perimeter fence. The IDF soldiers opened fire on the Hezbollah cell and an exchange ensued, resulting in the light wounding of a Magellan officer. One of the Hezbollah fighters was killed in the exchange, while others may have been wounded.

After realizing that the cell had been spotted, other Hezbollah fighters began firing mortars at IDF positions in the area in an effort to provide cover for their retreating comrades. The mortar barrage left one Golani soldier at the Dalia outpost dead. Two more Golani soldiers sustained light injuries in the mortar attack.

The IDF responded immediately with artillery fire aimed at Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, thus allowing the casualties from the mortar attack to be evacuated to the foot of Har Dov and from there by helicopter to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed. At the same time, IAF fighter jets and helicopters attacked five Hezbollah positions in Lebabon. There were no reports from Lebanon of casualties. The exchanges of fire caused panic in Kiryat Shmona, and the city opened a number of its bomb shelters.

The head of the IDF's Northern Command, Major General Benny Ganz, said last night, "It is still too early to assess how far things will go with this incident."The IDF has lodged a complaint about the Hezbollah action with the commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, for its part, said that the organization was responding to an Israeli violation of the border arrangements. "One of our forces spotted Israeli soldiers crossing the blue line [the international border] and responded," said Sheikh Nabil Qauq, a Hezbollah leader in South Lebanon.

So who do you believe? My money is on the Israeli’s holding the higher ground and not for all the obvious reasons but because there is simply no strategic purpose to be served for attempting to infiltrate Lebanon and risk an escalation of violence while the IDF prepares to expel Jews from Gaza. That’s the cutting your nose to spite your face military thinking that has never characterized the IDF command ethos. But it would be in Hezbollah’s interest to escalate the violence and provoke a military response from Israel in order to prove the relevancy of Hezbollah’s continued armed existence in Lebanon especially if the rumours are true that anti-Syrian opposition leaders Hariri and General Michel Aoun have formed a coalition which effectively allows them to oust control from the pro-Syrian forces of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud’s party.

The Innate Folly of Leaving Genocide up to the Jews

I concur with Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna – this ranks as the best Quote of the Day taken from an article by Julia Gorin in Jewish World Review:
The hope is that if Israeli "genocide" of Palestinians (or "terrorist attacks and slaughter" as Ms. Wold terms it) is cited often enough, it will bring international peacekeepers in to tie Israel's hands and be at the mercy of the world. Why else would everyone get so angry when two or three Palestinian civilians are killed in the course of military responses to massacres? It's the agonizingly slow pace of this genocide! The displaced Arabs started out with 400,000; they screamed genocide and became four million. This is what happens when you leave genocide up to Jews.
Here’s the link for the whole article.

It’s official; everything in Canada will now be rendered unto Caesar

So the Liberals have passed their same sex marriage bill and once again have proved that that if there is a right way or a wrong way to do something they will choose to go ass over tea kettle every single time. I have maintained all along that the government should have legislated civil unions for all and leave marriage for the religious among us. That is the only way to have safeguarded the rights of the religious and still have allowed same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights and benefits that opposite sex unions have under the existing legislation. Though, let me be frank; if your union needs government sanction to be legitimate than you are in way over your head and you have far more issues than any legitimate government can even begin to adequately address or to legislate for in the first place.

But then again, no one asked my opinion and so the next battleground will be an overt attack on the religious among us who’s right to freedom of religion, speech, conscience and association will now be challenged. Lord knows, the Canadian Liberal government should not began to contemplate what constitutes legitimacy of religious belief or doctrine for the religious but as sure as the sun rises they have now put themselves squarely in the position where they will have to legislate what beliefs in G-d and religious doctrines are legitimate and what are not in Canada. Furthermore, I have never yet met a liberal who would pass up the opportunity to legislate for the “common good” or who didn’t want the opportunity to play Moses coming down from mountain with the law.

According to this Globe and Mail article Stephen Harper will fight on and vows to make this an issue in the next election. Here’s my two cents: don’t. It’s a pig’s breakfast, and instead, wait for the attack to come against the religious communities in Canada and then become the champion of the rights of the religious for free speech, conscience, belief, and association.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Canadian Trade, Tourists & Foreign Aid enable this Police State to make all this and more possible

The Globe and Mail is carrying a cautionary story of a Cuban-Canadian woman, Onelia Ross who made the mistake of traveling to her native Cuba with two friends for a vacation just like a half a million Canadian visitors did last year. Upon entry into Cuba presented Ms. Ross presented her newly issued Cuban passport as per Cuba’s entry laws and was promptly thrown into prison for a bureaucratic mix-up by the Cuban Embassy in Canada for failing to put the appropriate entry permit in her passport
"They held me for five days while they investigated the case and they didn't let me call a lawyer," Ms. Ross said from her Ottawa home. "It was an undignified way to be treated over essentially a bureaucratic mix-up. When you're in Cuba you have no rights whatsoever." She also said she was manhandled by her jailors and suffered bruising and scrapes. But worst of all was the psychological trauma. "This is what a police state is like."
They detained her for four hours, and then told her they were transporting her to Havana where she would be placed in an immigration detention centre. On board the plane, Ms. Ross says she bribed a security guard into allowing her to call her family in Havana when she landed. At the detention centre, she was searched, and her money and belongings locked up. "They didn't let me take a change of clothing or a bar of soap, nothing," she said.

She shared a cell with a Cuban-American who also lacked the proper entry documents, and a Mexican woman engaged to a Cuban. The Mexican woman had been denied entry because officials didn't believe her relationship with her fiancé was genuine. "The jail was dirty and there was no water. I slept on a metal bed. Written on the walls were the telephone numbers of all the foreign embassies and notes about how much the prisoners had suffered," Ms. Ross said.

After several interviews, Cuban officials finally allowed her to contact the Canadian embassy for consular assistance. Canadian officials visited her in prison and made inquiries on her behalf. After five days she was released and put on a plane to Ottawa. Cuban authorities kept the $500 (U.S.) in cash that Ms. Ross was carrying, saying it covered the cost of feeding her for five days, and flying her from Holguin to Havana.
"It was an honest bureaucratic mix-up that could have been resolved," she said. Ms. Ross says the experience saddened her as she realized how terrorized Cubans are. "They are so scared of the government and are scared to talk to you. One of the guards apologized for treating us harshly, saying he would lose his job if he didn't." She said she is speaking out now because she wants the half million Canadian tourists who visit the Caribbean island every year to be aware of the country's dark underbelly. "Canadian tourists don't see what is going on in Cuba because they're only taken to the resorts. They don't see the reality," she said.

This socialist’s paradise thought nothing of incarcerating and physically harming a Canadian citizen for the incompetence of Cuban bureaucrats in Canada and then charges her US$500 for her forced stay in a Cuban prison.
When Canadians choose to trade or spend their dollars in Cuba they become nothing more than silent collaborators with a communist police state that makes this and all other forms of thuggery possible. Taken from the Seattle PI Newsource (Via Babalu Blog)
It was supposed to be a friendly baseball game. But hours before a neighborhood youth group was to play a team from the U.S. mission in Havana, Cuban security agents confiscated the baseballs, bats and mitts.

The agents charged into the home of activist Marcos de Miranda to grab the sports gear, family members said, in the latest and among the most bizarre in a long history of harassment targeting this family of dissidents opposed to communist President Fidel Castro, himself a well known lover of baseball. "It was to be a sports and cultural event - nothing at all political," de Miranda, 28, said in his family's crumbling apartment. "We're denied even the right to play our national sport."
The baseball equipment had been sent to de Miranda from an exile group in Florida. A bicycle, which he won in an essay contest from an anti-communist group in the Czech Republic, was also confiscated. According to the family, state security agents arrived at the apartment the afternoon before the game. Marcos de Miranda was not there, but his parents were taken to government offices for questioning.

Roberto de Mirando said he was threatened with jail if he didn't control his son's activities. He said he was told the baseball game couldn't take place because the Americans hadn't gotten permission. "I want them to leave this family alone!" said Rivas, the mother. "We are not going to change. Our ideas will stay the same. "Roberto de Miranda, who appeared weak from his ailments, said his family's resolve is unshaken. “They want to silence this family, but I don't think that's possible," he said. "And as a father, I cannot tell my son to retreat from the opposition - he's doing nothing wrong."

Last year a half a million Canadians visited Cuba (according to the Canadian Embassy’s Cuba website) seeking to escape the cold and snow by making Cuba the destination of choice. Cuba has sand, sun and surf as well as being one of the most affordable holiday Caribbean destinations available to Canadians.

A great many Canadians approve of their government’s special relationship with Cuba and Fidel Castro. Many Canadians take it as a point of pride that Canada does not side politically with their American neighbors over Cuba and has maintained not only friendly and trade relations but foreign aid as well.

Let me present you with this information found on the Embassy of Cuba'swebsite detailing the Canadian government’s largess with funds from the public purse:
Links of economic cooperation with Canada were resumed in 1994 with specific donations aimed to food programs and the public health care sector. Since 1996, two Canadian-International-Development-Agency-(CIDA)–founded programs have been developed; the first from 1996 to 2000 and the second from 2000 to 2004. Recently, a third program (2004-2009), the first long-term program, was agreed on, with a budget of 22.5 millions in Canadian dollars, independently of the resources allocated to other cooperation projects with universities, NGO’s and other institutions.

The first two programs of cooperation were centred in the fields of macro economy, health, food aid and security, environment, while in the present program, the fields of macro economy, community development, and health are developed on mutual basis. In the field of community development, the five eastern provinces are given priority.

In the year 2004, though it was the end of the second program and beginning of the third, a high level of operation was kept, with around 90 projects being developed by the end of the 2004. That year, a very significant contribution was the donation by the NGO Medical Equipment Modernization Opportunity (MEMO), made up by 11 40-feet containers of medical equipment and accessories for the National System of Health, worth 6,5 millions of Canadian dollars. Two hospitals, one in Placetas and another one in Santa Clara, Villa Clara province, were beneficiated by this donation.

It must be outlined that during the period 1995-2004, the NGO Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) has kept a steady relation with MINSAP (Cuban Ministry of Health) and MINVEC (Cuban Ministry for Foreign Investment and Cooperation), donating medical equipment and accessories, medicines, and vaccines, worth 30 millions of Canadian dollars, taking into account our priorities.

Cuba’s health care system is being funded directly by our tax dollars and as long as Canadians and our government choose to spend their trade, holiday or tax dollars in Cuba; you are collaborating and enabling the Castro government to continue to enslave its people.

(G&M story tipped off by Neale News)

Bulldozed on the 4th of July

Davids Medienkritik’s blog is reporting that the Berlin City Council has "decided to allow the razing of the Checkpoint Charlie Monument."
The monument, which consists of over 1,000 crosses adorned with the names of those murdered attempting to escape Communist East Germany for freedom, will be bulldozed on the 4th of July!

The Checkpoint Charlie monument scheduled for destruction July 4th in Berlin: Each cross has the name, and in some cases, photo of a victim of Communism murdered attempting to escape East Germany during the Cold War.

Apparently, an electric mix of socialists (Social Democrats) and former East German hard-line communists dominates the Berlin City Council. Davids Medienkritik has offered this explanation taken from Deutsche Welle:
"The Berlin Senate for Urban Planning, one of the project's main detractors, fears that the capital is fast becoming a "Disneyland" version of its former self and insists the wall monument is too reminiscent of the Holocaust project at the Brandenburg Gate. The authority stresses that the East German dictatorship cannot be equated with the atrocities of the Third Reich."

It really is worse than it sounds - go read the rest.

Only the lucky grow old

The demands of real life have overtaken the need to post anything on the blog. I have been busy readying the Last Amazon and her brother for their summer vacation at Nana’s house and have not much chance to sit down and read or write much of anything. I rose on Sunday at an ungodly hour even for me only to discovered the answering machine light flashing furiously. What I heard sent me rushing to read the online local papers.

I first met Suzanne when she was a teenager before the Last Amazon was born. Suzanne was present at the Last Amazon’s first birthday party and the Last Amazon was so taken with her that she named her first birthday doll for her cousin Susan. When a byline touches your life, blogging becomes irrelevant.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Blood Money

How would it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul in return? That’s an ancient question that a prophet asked in another time and place but the timelessness of the question makes it very apt for everyone who values their freedom to ask CISCO System, Alcatel and Juniper Network executives today.

These are just the latest corporations to join the ranks of Western IT companies (Yahoo, Google, Microsoft etc.) who are willing to sell out the freedom of others for a larger slice of the bottomline. Make no mistake, I support free market capitalism but not at the price of appeasement for those governments who seek the enslavement of their population or to allow those government’s the tools to suppress dissent or the basic freedoms of Life, Liberty and the Individual pursuit of Happiness.

I wholeheartedly support a free market for those who can trade freely and of their own violation. I have argued for years against the expansion of trade with totalitarian governments as I have yet to see tangible proof that free trade with totalitarian governments has resulted in a freer society for those people subjugated. I defy you to show me how Cuba, Iran or Sudan have become freer societies because Canada trades with them. Exactly how long should one reasonably wait to see the alleged benefit of free trade begin to translate into an expansion of human rights in countries like Saudi Arabia or China?

Chris, my fellow Red Ensign Blogger from Myrick and group blog member of AsiaPundit sent an email to our fearless Brigade commander, Ray at Raging Kraut:

posted by: myrick
Location: Shanghai

Hi Ray;

This is off topic. I'm not above link-whoring but I wouldn't not
post this if the circumstances weren't somewhat urgent. China has
ressurected it's blackout of TypePad hosted blogs.


Pressuring the CPC is impossible of course, so I'm hoping to shame
the collaborators:


If you are reading this blog, or run your own blog, you are actively taking part in the right of exercising free speech. These companies are actively collaborating with a totalitarian regime to suppress dissent, knowledge and free speech in People’s Republic of China.

How many of us blog readers or bloggers would idly stand by as our government actively sought the technological tools to suppress our rights to free speech, expression or association? The people of China are no less human than us, and they deserve no less freedom. Individually, none of us can influence the Communist government of China, but as Chris points out we can influence and protest to those who seek would seek profit in the enslavement of others. And I would remind you of the words of Victor Davis Hanson whose creed is quoted in the banner of the Last Amazon, It is never wrong to stand on the side of freedom – never.

Please choose to make a stand for freedom today.

Are some Canadians more equal than others?

Maybe I just missed the news, as I have been somewhat distracted dealing with an ill child, but it seems to me that our fearless leader, Mr. Dithers, has yet to come forward to pledge support or aid to the people of Alberta who are dealing with a once-in-200-years flood to end all floods.

I remember the response to the Quebec ice storm or the appeal from the Mayor of Toronto for federal assistance when Toronto experienced a large sudden snow fall but the silence from the federal liberals just appears deafening to me. Someone tell me -am I only just hard of hearing?

A day late and a few bombs short

The Globe and Mail is finally carrying an article on the failed Palestinian Medical Centre suicide bomber. Yesterday, the only story carried in the dead tree version were two pictures taken from the video stills of Wafa Ibrahim al-Biss attempting to denote her bombs at an Israeli checkpoint.

The G&M in its article has failed to acknowledge that Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is the militant wing of Fatah – the political party of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and then offered up the justification that the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade planned the suicide mission in a medical centre as an attempt to derail the talks held yesterday between Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas on the upcoming Israeli disengagement from Gaza. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the Globe and Mail should know better by now.

Palestinian consent or assistance is not a requirement for the Israeli’s to disengage from Gaza. Furthermore, the Israeli’s are under no current Road Map obligations until the Palestinian Authority dismantles the terrorist infrastructure it has allowed to exist and flourish in the Territories since Oslo. Palestinian co-operation would be nice but so would be winning the lottery and neither is necessarily relevant to the Israeli disengagement in Gaza.

Furthermore, since the alleged Abbas “period of calm” that Abbas has negotiated with the various and sundry terrorist groups including those under his direct control (Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade) it has yet to produce even one single week period where all terror attacks have ceased against Israelis. From the rocket barrages on Israeli homes, sniper attacks on the highways, stabbings or stonings in the streets; the attacks have thundered on ceaselessly. There may have been only one successful suicide bombing in the alleged “period of calm” but that speaks to the overall competence of the IDF and the Shin Bet services rather than any gentleman’s agreement among terrorists.

There was just one purpose, one justification for the planned suicide bomb attack on an Israeli medical centre filled with doctors, nurses, the ill and their families in Israel, and it has nothing to do with occupation or land. The Nazi’s called it Judenrein but I know it as genocide. But maybe the problem for a liberal newspaper is that it is difficult to remain a sympathic supporter of a political party that can claim genocide as a political mandate and still hope to perceived as a credible source for information, news and analysis. Let’s face it, it’s a no brainer to use that old standby excuse that failed suicide bombings are attempts to sabotage negotiations rather than admit you have been backing the wrong horse for the wrongs races all along.

Here’s a question that begs asking and analysis - why after the capture and interrogation of Wafa Ibrahim al-Biss has the IDF chosen to target exclusively Islamic Jihad and not include Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade members as well? Recruiting among those who hold Israeli humanitarian visas to enter Israel in order to target Israeli medical centers for bombing should be deemed special enough for the additional scrutiny by the IDF.

There is nothing new under the sun

In other news from the Middle East, a psychologist from Gaza has received death threats for trying to establish a Party of Love. From the Jerusalem Post:
A psychologist from the Gaza Strip who announced his intention to establish the first Palestinian Party of Love has received death threats from many Palestinians, who are accusing him of promoting "immoral" values. Dr. Hassan Nurani, a resident of Deir al-Balah, first came to the attention of the Palestinian public earlier this year when he declared his intention to run for the elections to succeed Yasser Arafat as chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
Nurani's platform called for the building of a "civilized and moral society" free of corruption and gangsters. Now, six months after the election for the chairmanship of the PA, the psychologist is back in the news – this time with the idea of establishing the Party of Love to fight the "culture of death and hatred in Palestinian society." Nurani said the idea to establish the new party was formed in the wake of growing anarchy and lawlessness in the Palestinian territories. "Love is the only way to salvation," he explained. "Once love prevails among us, the signs of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, fear, death, corruption and anarchy will disappear."

Nurani distributed a statement in the Gaza Strip urging Palestinians to abandon violence and support his Party of Love. "The stupidity of death must be stopped," he said. "Love purifies our souls and enlightens us. Let's open our hearts and minds and declare the launching of the Party of Love." Nurani's statement, published in the Gaza-based Donia al-Watan magazine, drew sharp criticism from many Palestinians. "Some of the reactions to my initiative included death threats," he said on Monday. "Some people called on the armed groups to prevent the establishment of the Party of Love."

One Palestinian wrote to Nurani that his idea was nothing but an "American-Zionist plot." Another Gaza resident responded: "May God protect us against such weird and dangerous ideas. The next thing we will hear is that we need a party for gays and lesbians." A third Palestinian sent the following question: "Do you want to die soon, Dr. Nurani?" However, the psychologist said the death threats would not deter him from pursuing his plan. "These negative reactions have only strengthened my determination and belief in the idea of love," he said. "They also underline the need to confront the culture of hatred and death that has struck its roots in the minds and hearts of many of us."

How soon before they nail him to a cross?

Would your mother offer to let this woman your old room?

As any regular reader of my blog knows, I am a mother. I enjoy being a mother which came as a complete shock and surprise to me. My mother had long given up the idea of ever having any grandchildren and was resigned to introducing my dog as her only grand child. If I have any regrets about having children, it is that I was so a product of my early conditioning in Trudeaupia that I did not think that being a mother was a worthwhile goal to aspire to, and therefore, I got a bit of a late start on having children. If I knew then, what I have know now; I would have had started earlier and had at least 6 children.

One of the interesting things about having children; is that it connects one to the community in ways that are not really easily imagined in a pre-childless state. There are very few mothers that I can meet that I cannot sit down with and find a common bond or point of reference. That being the case what I cannot comprehend for the life of me is what these mothers are thinking in this article in the Toronto Star:
Strangers are stepping forward to offer Karla Homolka places to live and even financial support when she's released from prison in less than two weeks, says her lawyer, Sylvie Bordelais.

The offers of help are coming mostly from women, some of them mothers, who believe that Canada's most notorious female inmate deserves a break in starting her new life after serving the full 12-year sentence for her role in the slayings of teenagers Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy, Bordelais said in a wide-ranging — and rare — interview with the Toronto Star at her office in the northeast end of this city.

While not disclosing specific details about the would-be benefactors, Bordelais said some people are even offering to share an apartment with Homolka. It's expected that the 35-year-old St. Catharines native will go on welfare and live in Montreal.

I could comprehend it, if was Homolka’s mother. What mother would willingly want to believe that a beloved child would plan and participate in the rape of her other daughter or other people’s daughters’ for the sake of her husband’s pleasure? Any defense offered by a daughter who could commit such an act would be preferable than having to face that hard cold fact. Her own mother isn’t offering Homolka her own room back, so why on earth would anyone else’s mother? Talk about bringing a whole new meaning to coming home for Christmas. The article does not say, and I can only hope, that these women or mothers are either Quakers or members of the Salvation Army as the members of both these groups have made an art form out of forgiveness. Otherwise, how else could one sleep safe at night knowing that your own death may just be a few feet away?

Abbas is peeved when he got the memo; the buck is stopping

The Toronto Star reports that the Abbas-Sharon meeting in Jerusalem did not goes as well as the Palestinians had hoped and they are a little more peeved than the Toronto Star has reported if this report from the Jerusalem Post is accurate. To use the Dahlan quote from the Toronto Star “There was nothing, nothing.”

The Palestinian response to the demands of Sharon request that the PA take decisive steps to end the terror shows again a real disconnect with the reality on the ground. When the Israeli Shin Bet give you notice of a suicide bombing attack being planned by your militant wing; it is high time to act to stop the attack. If you do not take concrete action to stop that attack, you forfeit all rights to whine about a lack of concessions. The days of something for nothing are long over.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Red Ensign Standard XXlV

A Chick Named Marzi hoists the Red Ensign Bloggers Standard XXlV and I have to give full kudos to Marzi for being able to pull it together. There is no doubt in my mind that conservative punk chicks know opinions.

The Next Destination of Choice for Wannabe Suicide Bombers

Yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces manning a checkpoint into Israel nabbed a 21 year old female wannabe suicide bomber. According to this Haaretz online article the woman had a humanitarian entry visa to enter Israel to receive treatment for burns on her body she received when a canister for her cooking stove blew up last December. She was apprehended with 10 kgs of explosives attached to the pants she was wearing. She told Shin Bet interrogators that her destination for detonation was the waiting room of the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva. Let that sink in.

Wafa Ibrahim was recruited and sent on her mission of death at an Israeli medical centre by the Al Asqa Martyr’s Brigade which is the military wing of Palestinian Authority Chairman’s Mahmoud Abba’s Fatah party. Just in case you cannot connect the dots for the implications of this, Haaretz spells it out in no uncertain terms:
The Shin Bet received a tip that Fatah was planning to send Wafa Samir Ibrahim al-Biss, of the Jabalya refugee camp, on a suicide mission via one of the Gaza Strip crossings. Israel gave the Palestinian Authority and Chairman Mahmoud Abbas detailed information of the plan, Shin Bet sources said, but the PA did nothing.

Let that sink in and explain to me rationally why the West should continue to press Israel to lessen any security measures designed to protect the lives of its citizens from the scrouge of those who think that genocide is a legitmate tool of political expression.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Alberta Floods

Darcey at Dust My Broom, a recent ex-pat returned from California to Alberta made it home just in time for the cleansing and has pictures posted. Go leave a cheery comment on his impeccable timing.

Angry has the details on how we can help out our fellow Canadians in Alberta.

Palestinian Institutional hatemongering has silenced a blog

The Jerusalem Post attempted to host a blog run by psychologist, Mohammed K. Mukhaimar, a Palestinian living in Gaza. This is the JPost’s account of the experience after just one week:
Dear reader,

I regret to inform you that we have decided to terminate the blog of Palestinian psychologist Mohammed K. Mukhaimar following an urgent request by him to do so. approached Mr. Mukhaimar with a proposition to provide his thoughts and experiences to our readers on a regular web log (blog), and the blog was aired for the first, and unfortunately, last time this week Thursday.

Mr. Mukhaimar's first blog entry consisted of nothing more than a greeting and a short personal biography, with a promise of more to come. The responses to Mohammed's blog were not long in coming. Within minutes of publishing his blog, received hundreds of emails for Mohammed, most of which were extremely positive and encouraged him to continue providing a voice "from the other side" as it were. It seemed our readers were grateful for the opportunity to interact and connect with a personage so seemingly distant in geography, language, culture and ideology. Many had questions for Mohammed, many more just wanted to say "hello" and "thank you for being there", for taking that courageous step.

And therein lay the problem.

Several hours after his blog was published on Jpost. com, the website of The Jerusalem Post, a newspaper whose primary concern is the well-being of The State of Israel, Mohammed started feeling the creeping force of a largely radicalized Palestinian society. Mohammed called the staff at, and together with him, the decision was made to terminate the blog, for now.

I applaud Mohammed's courage and I respect him for his belief that one person, if he or she so wishes, can take actions that bridge the vast divides of hatred and misunderstanding between our two peoples, even if he is now forced to walk back along that bridge. The bridge is there Mohammed, you built it, and we, together with our readers, will wait with proud expectation for you to walk back on it at a time of your choosing.

Amir Mizroch
News Editor and Managing Editor - Internet
The Jerusalem Post

I had a friend who was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. You could not have met a more thoughtful or kind man than Michel. Never a careless word was uttered nor was a thoughtless deed committed by Michel. It was only when I learned the story of his first 25 years in the midst of a radicalize camp run by the PLO that I understood that, for him, kindness and courtesy were conscientious acts of defiance he chose to use to keep his humanity intact. A decade and a half later, the lessons that Michel shared with me, I taught to my children whenever they faced an injustice situation that they could not change. Not all injustices can be righted but what we can do is remember and if the opportunity arises that we are the ones in a position of authority whether it be the playground or in the street, we can conscientiously chose not to follow the example that was put before us in the past.

Few of us here in the West realize the extent that the average Palestinian is brutalized and victimized by the PLO - generation upon generation, camp after camp. Because of Michel’s story and the stories of other Palestinians I have met in the safety and security of Canada I can understand the rise and appeal of groups like Hamas for the average Palestinian. Make no mistake; I am not absolving these groups of their acts of “resistance” or ideology based on the genocide of Jews for the salvation of the Palestinian people but I can comprehend the appeal. Hamas was born directly out of the tyranny and thuggery of the PLO.

Earlier in this week I posted a statement issued by the Palestinian Minister of the Environment accusing the Israeli’s of poisoning juice and toys imported into the West Bank and Gaza for consumption by Palestinians. As ridiculous and foolish as this statement is, make no mistake, the average Palestinian is so conditioned to not only accept them but believe them. I have no doubt that the Minister knows that his statements are false and he could not care as long as it serves his political end. This statement by the Minister of the Environment was not just a one shot deal. It represents an ongoing pattern of victimization that Palestinians have been subjected to for generations. But these statements are made not solely for the Palestinian people, but also for the larger Muslim community in the Middle East. Earlier this year I posted a story about 2 dogs that had wandered across the border into Lebanon from Israel. The reactions by the Lebanon villagers and soldiers to the "Israeli Infiltrators" are the logical consequences of the non-stop campaign of demonizing Israel. Many have despaired that a peace can be possible between the Israeli’s and the Palestinians but peace can never be possible as long as the Palestinian leaders and people hold on to their bigotry.

I applaud the decision of the Jerusalem Post to make the attempt to provide a direct dialogue with the “other” and I salute Dr. Mukhaimar for making the attempt to rise above those whose interests are in maintaining the state of bigotry, thuggery and tyranny in Palestinian society. It would do us all good to understand that not everyone wishes death to the Zionists but merely a place and a voice at the table.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Are these Kazemi images offensive?" asks Naomi Klein

I had to check yesterday whether the end of the world was at hand when I read an opinion piece by Naomi Klien in the Globe and Mail and I found that I was standing on the same side as her on this issue though I did not get there by the same route. Of course, the piece was co-authored with Aaron Mate, so maybe that makes the difference or what could even be more frightening - is that there are two hard core leftists and I standing on the same side. If that doesn’t qualify as mind apocalyptic, what is? For those of you without a subscription, do the google thingy.

This opinion piece centers around 5 pictures taken by deceased Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi (who was brutally raped, tortured and murdered by the Iranian state) that were recently exhibited at a Montreal community library. They were part of an exhibit of Kazemi’s work that drew the wrath of the local Jewish community. The library administration decided to remove the pictures from the exhibit after receiving a number of complaints. The Globe and Mail, to their credit, ran reproductions of the five pictures in their dead tree edition.

Briefly, theses five pictures show the following: Palestinian Children standing in rubble at a checkpoint in Ramallah, (West Bank) holding bullet casings, Israeli security forces at a check point in Jerusalem and Nablus, a road in ruins in Jenin after a battle and the ground after a clash in Ramallah.

I am not unsympathic to the Jewish community’s concerns. I can think of no people that have been under siege longer than the Jews, nor can I think of another country that has been more demonized than Israel but these pictures are not the problem. I see Israeli soldiers at a check point standing in body armor, their guns at ready and I am saddened. It did not have to be this way. This is the consequence of those who hold a political agenda of pushing the Jews in the sea. Note to all concerned: the times have changed after two thousand years - Jews do not go docilely into the sea and they rage against that dark night you offer as an alternative to the sea.

I see Palestinian children standing in the rubble of a check point holding bullet casing and pieces of shrapnel after a battle and I am outraged on their behalf that their elders so carelessly threw away their opportunities for statehood, freedom, peace and prosperity in 1948 or the failure of Palestinian leadership in not choosing to build the infrastructure of a civil society during the Oslo years which cumulated in a rejection of the offer of statehood again in 2000, and unleashed the senseless violence of the Intifada instead.

If a picture tells the tale of a thousand words do not be afraid of reading the tale to the end. These images are the consequences for those who chose genocide as a political mandate and should offer a cautionary tale for all those who are contemplating making their life’s work the death of the world’s only Jewish state. I find the act of censoring these pictures offensive. These pictures should serve as a catalyst for all those who seek to censor or silence the whole tale these pictures tell.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Virtues of a Catholic Education

After reading this at the Corner I decided to call home and ask the Last Amazon if she knew who Gloria Steinem is.

The Last Amazon drew a complete blank and asked me if her contribution was in science or pure math?

Nuff said.

Zionist Radioactive Toys & Death Juices

You cannot, I repeat, cannot make up anything more outrageous than what comes regularly out of the mouth of representatives of the Palestinian Authority but I duly note that it takes a communist internet daily to give it a voice internationally. From Xinhuanet comes publication of this lastest piece of dribble:
RAMALLAH, June 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Palestinian chief of Environment Authority Yousef Abu Safeya accused Israel Monday of glutting the Palestinian markets with carcinogenic canned juice.

"Such kind of drinks are specifically produced for the Palestinian consumers in the Gaza Strip." Abu Safeya told a weekly session of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). He pointed out that the Palestinian security services had recently seized a number of shipments, including canned juice containing a carcinogenic substance.

He added that the Egyptian authorities impounded two Israeli trucks carrying child toys polluted with carcinogenic and radioactive substances at the Rafah commercial crossing on the borders with Israel in March.

Xinhaunet may have a higher circulation with their captive audience than Newsweek has but I seriously doubt the editors of Newsweek have cause to worry yet.

(tipped off by Israellycool)

I am too busy to come out to blog.

Did I mention how much I love gamers who are also computer programmers?

The first PC game I ever played was Tombraider. I loved that game and enjoyed all the Tombraider games until Angel of Darkness - that one was the only one that truly sucked. One of the regrets I had in switching to Windows XP is that I would have to give up all my old PC games.

Saturday morning, I discovered that the truly fine human beings at Tombraider Chronicles have developed a patch that you can down load onto your XP that will allow you to play all your Tombraider games again.

Initially, I was somewhat hesitant with the idea that I would get the same level of satisfaction and enjoyment in playing the old Tombraider games as I did when I first started playing them in the 90’s. I thought the graphics would look too hooky and the movements would be far too awkward for it to hold my attention any more. I was wrong. This just goes to show that good game play is not all about pixels. Blogging will resume whenever I get bored of playing.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Poundmaker Working Group Protest Update

Lance at Catprint in the Mash has up a new post up on the Poundmaker Working Group Protest. Imagine a group of people who are refusing to tolerate corruption in their midst and are actively rising up against it in Canada. I must say - it does seem very unliberal of them.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Ultimate Chick Flicks

I have a confession to make. The Last Amazon and I are hooked on Bollywood movies. Initially, we were introduced to Bollywood with Monsoon Wedding and that made us want to see more. The males in the house can’t understand it and they try to ridicule us when we appropriate the living room TV to watch Bollywood movies. I have never been one for musicals per say and I will admit that Bollywood movies often go over the top with the actors breaking out in song every other scene but Bollywood filmmakers know how to carry a complex plot line with real baddies. The bad guys invite you to hate them and demand an emotion response from us where we are screaming NO NO NO as they go about their nefarious ways on the family TV screen but the movies usually end on an upbeat note. You know, the kind films that Hollywood use to make before it fell in love with narcissism and anti-heroes.

I first saw the billboards for Fashion Cares annual Aids fund rising fashion show at Yonge & Dundas billing the event as "Bollywood Cowboy" and thought how tacky. Now Bollywood is somewhat corny and cheesy, but it never gets to the crass level and that’s part of its appeal. Apparently, the ACT committee that organizes the event is in hot water with the local Hindu community according to this Toronto Star report.
In their zeal to cash in on the trendiness of all things Bollywood, organizers of Toronto's biggest fashion event have stepped into a cultural minefield, outraging thousands of South Asians worldwide. Hyped as a synergy of East and West — "Bollywood bling meets rhinestone cowboy" — the theme of this year's gala Fashion Cares has sparked an international protest among Hindus, who say the event appropriated their culture and was disrespectful to their religion.

About 5,000 people attended the annual fashion extravaganza organized by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) to raise money for AIDS prevention and treatment, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday. "The reaction is massive. It's not just locally people who are upset, it's internationally," said Tushar Unadkat, owner of a Toronto advertising agency. He said he has received thousands of emails from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and India since he posted a letter about the show on his website earlier this week.

The head of the Vishnu Hindu temple in Richmond Hill is organizing a protest to be staged in front of ACT offices. "It's totally despicable to present a nude exhibition of a goddess. Hindus are docile and laid-back people, and they (ACT) obviously took advantage of that, but we won't stand for this," said Dr. Budhendra Doobay, adding he wants a full public apology from ACT in the mainstream press.

ACT, which expects to raise more than $1 million from the event, has issued an apology on its website. "ACT regrets any offence that was caused. Our intention was to have a great event to raise money for a worthwhile cause," said Karim Karsan, an ACT spokesperson and board member. The cinematic genres of Bollywood and cowboy Westerns, both hot trends in fashion, inspired the theme, Karsan said.

"It didn't occur to us it would be offensive. ... I'm surprised it has blown up to this extent," he said, adding that ACT did not sanction the people dressed as gods and goddesses at the event, nor the distribution of postcards with Hindu deities.

Now the Flea weighs in here but I have a somewhat different take on it. To the local Hindu community of Toronto, I say: welcome and congratulations into making it into the mainstream of Canadian society where nothing is sacred and everything that passes into pop culture gets profaned. Protest all you want, but there’s a chair for you right beside the Christians and Jews. Personally, I hope to live to see the day in Canada where Fashion Cares decides to do 101 Nights with the Houris in Paradise and no one gets killed and the fatwas don’t get issued.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sex Tax

Ananova carries this report from a Romanian University that has discovered a new way to raise funds:

A Romanian university has slapped a 'sex tax' on students inviting their partners to spend the night with them in dormitories. The Alexandru Ioan Cuza Univeristy in Iasi charges £4 each time a boyfriend of girlfriend spends the night with one of the 1,800 people living on campus.

One dormitory manager said: "If they want to spend the night with their girlfriends or boyfriends then they should pay. This is not their home. And it is not such a high price to pay." He added that hundreds had already paid the charge with male students particularly keen to pay and saving the receipts to show friends.

Got to give the Romanians credit for being enterprising. I found this article while I was surfing the net. I was so startled that I linked into the article and was not able to backtrack to give proper credit to the blogger where it is due.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Go yea into the streets and byways of Jerusalem, and see, if yea can find an international reporter

I was reading Caroline Glick’s column in the Jerusalem Post and I was struck by how much of a free pass the Palestinian Authority receives in the international media. This incident is taken from her most recent column:
The newest victim of the PA's power grab is not an Arab at all, but the recently excommunicated Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Irineous I.

Since the PA was established, it has worked diligently to bring all the various Christian sects under its direct control. In the 1990s this involved terrorizing priests and nuns into submission. In Jericho and Hebron, the PA took control of the convents and churches of the White Russian churches and transferred them to the pro-PLO Red Russian church. In 2002, Fatah terrorists laid siege to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and held the priests hostage for weeks while ostentatiously desecrating the holy site.

Until the sacking of Irineous last month, the Greek Orthodox Church was the only church operating in Israel and the PA that retained its independence from the PA. Before Easter, Ma'ariv published a report that Irineous had committed the "crime" of leasing church property by the Jaffa Gate of the Old City to Jews. Seeing an opportunity, the PA immediately pounced on Irineous. As columnist Nadav Haetzni reported in Ma'ariv on Friday, PA ministers and militia commanders, equipped with Israeli VIP travel documents, descended on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and organized attacks against Irineous, who was immediately condemned as a "traitor" and a "collaborator."

Irineous was summoned for an interrogation by PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei. His lawyer's arm was broken and his financial adviser was brutally beaten. Under the gun of PA intimidation, the church's Holy Synod convened and excommunicated Irineous last month. The PA took over the church's finances and incited an international scandal which brought Greece's deputy foreign minister to Ramallah, where he apologized to Qurei for Irineous's terrible crime.

As all of this was happening, Israel's government sat quietly on the side and did nothing. The attacks against Irineous were organized by a PLO-sponsored Arab Israeli priest, Theodosius Atallah Hanna. Hanna has repeatedly glorified suicide bombers and, indeed, called for Palestinians to become bombers in interviews to the Arab press. He is positioning himself to become the first Arab patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church since the 16th century.

Aside from the fact that the current Arabization of the Greek Orthodox Church will signal the complete takeover of all Christian churches by the PA, it also has strategic significance for Israel's national security. The PA has now made clear that the prohibition of land sales to Jews extends even to foreigners. As well, the Greek Orthodox Church owns vast land tracts throughout Israel. In Jerusalem alone, the Knesset, the President's House and large swathes of Rehavia are owned by the church. With the church under PLO control, what will become of these lands when their current leases expire?

Caroline Glick was opining on the passivity of the Israel government but it extends further than that when an orthodox priest in East Jerusalem can be summoned to appear before PA prime minister to answer for the alleged crime of leasing land to Jews and "his lawyer has his arm broken and his financial adviser is brutally beaten" and not the slightest hint of this emerges from the international press. The Palestinian Authority has now effectively seized operating control of the finances for a Greek Orthodox Church and no one in the international press has dick to say about it. What times are these that we live in?

Monday, June 06, 2005


That is the headline from an Associated Press article at the Toronto Star OnLine and I had to give my head a real shake and then read it again.
JERUSALEM — Palestinians are recruiting thousands of police in the Gaza Strip to prevent attacks on Jewish settlers and soldiers during Israel's planned pullout from the area this summer, a security official said today, in a significant step toward co-ordination after months of deadlock and years of bloody conflict.

The new signs of co-operation, including a meeting of technical experts late Monday, came despite a confrontation at a disputed holy site in Jerusalem in which Israeli police hurled stun grenades to disperse hundreds of Palestinian stone-throwers.

The second reading sent me searching the Israeli papers in disbelief. Hey, this is the Associated Press and its not like they haven’t gotten a few things wrong. I quickly found this Haaretz Article:
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared on Monday that the army will collect the settlers' weapons shortly before the scheduled date for the disengagement plan. Mofaz warned the settlers that those who refuse to give up their weapons will have them taken by force. This initiative is to ensure there will be no armed settlers during the evacuation.

Mofaz's remarks touched specifically on the weapons that the Israel Defense Forces provided the settlers for self-defense, namely to security officers of the local authorities, security coordinators of settlements and members of on-call forces in the settlements. In mid-April, after a meeting with senior officers, Mofaz ordered the army to begin collecting weapons from settlers ahead of the evacuation. Mofaz told IDF officers that the collection was to be coordinated with settler leaders. The directive was postponed soon after due to fears that collecting weapons at that point would create a crisis of confidence in the army among the settlers.

In his appearance before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the defense minister said the IDF will collect weapons from the settlers only immediately before the evacuation planned for August 15. This way settlers will be able to defend themselves until their evacuation.

Mahmud Abbas has done his best to plumb out the ranks of the Palestinian Authority security forces with former Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists but according to this Yahoo News article there are a few disenfranchised gunmen running around Nablus that the Palestinian Authority overlooked:
Militants loosely affiliated to the Fatah party of Mahmud Abbas stormed public offices in Nablus under a hail of gunfire, accusing the Palestinian leader of failing to honour security promises. The band of 20 militants from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades barged into the local interior ministry office in the northern West Bank city on Sunday, opened fire and ordered everyone out, Palestinian security sources said. The gang then stormed the governor's office at the other end of town, ordered out all staff under gunfire and lightly wounded one man, they added. Nablus governor Mahmud al-Uol was in Ramallah at the time.

"We demand that the Palestinian Authority, especially Abu Mazen (Abbas), keeps their promises. He promised us jobs in the security services and that he would secure our safety. We have seen none of it," Al-Aqsa said in a statement.

I don’t see that Abbas has much choice but to give these guys the Gaza pull-out security forces gig after the events of the past week with the local Gaza security forces.

But let’s be up front and realistic. I can think of nothing more inspiring of a Charleton Heston moment if I was an Israeli living in Gaza than to know that the PA has my back and the IDF can have my weapon back when they pry it from my cold dead hand.

The Red Ensign Standard Rises over West Coast Chaos

Temujin at West Coast Chaos hoists the The Red Ensign Standard Volume No. 23 and ask the question:
Why do I care about the history of my country? It is because my nation has a proud past. Why will I take a moment of silence today to remember D-Day? Because something extraordinary happened on that day. The numbers I read state that that were 1074 fatal and non-fatal casualties in the Canadian Army on that day. Those men served honourably under the banner of the Red Ensign. They did so to free Western Europe from a tyrant, and prevent said tyrant from undermining the freedoms they held dear. Their efforts, and the efforts of the entire force of British, American, and Canadian soldiers on that day, secured a third front against Hitler. It effectively assured victory in Europe for the Allies. I will take a moment of silence today. And then, I will carry on with my day. I can do so because of what they did. I will not forget.

Here, here! Go forth and read the rest here.

One Hit Comments

Now this is both exciting and promising and makes me wish I had more than one life so that I could learn how to do what these researchers have done.

And in keeping with the scientific breakthrough theme Israel21c reports that Israeli scientists have located sarcasm in the brain.

I would also like to point out that Canada’s own Samuel Johnson aka Occam’s Carbuncle has published his lexicon online. My new favourite definition is for corruption:
corruption n. in government, the practice of transforming the merely blameworthy into the profitable

I have not blogged about Karla Homolka or commented on her imminent release from jail because I just can’t get my mind around the fact that she is still living and breathing while her victims aren’t. I fail to comprehend why as a society we are willing to play Russian roulette with Homolka. The debate should be on whether or not she lives; not on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on her liberty. It is high time that capital punishment comes back on the public agenda.

This weekend saw inductees added to the Canadian Walk of Fame. What I cannot understand is why Alanis Morrissette was inducted when she just took an oath of citizenship to the United States of America this year.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

No surprise here.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has decided to post-pone the July 17th upcoming Palestinian Legislative elections indefinitely.
Ramallah — Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas postponed upcoming parliamentary elections on Saturday, giving his struggling Fatah party time to fend off a growing challenge by Hamas. The Islamic group condemned the delay as a violation of a cease-fire agreement but stopped short of withdrawing from the truce. Mr. Abbas, who made the announcement in Ramallah, did not give a new date for the election, which had been scheduled for July 17. He said a date would be set after discussions with the Palestinian legislature and rival political factions, including Hamas.

The official reason for the delay was technical. Mr. Abbas has been at odds with the Fatah-dominated parliament over the voting procedure. He wants all candidates chosen on national lists, while some party members believe their chances for re-election would be better with voting by district. "This is for more consultation and for legal measures to take place," Mr. Abbas said in a televised address. "Time is short. Postponement was necessary to enable ourselves to finalize the legal measures and consultations between factions."

But the move appeared aimed at fending off the threat by Hamas, which is fielding candidates for parliament for the first time. Tapping into voter disgruntlement over years of Fatah corruption, the militant group has captured a number of key races in recent local elections and appears poised for strong gains in the legislative vote as well.

Hamas officials accused Mr. Abbas of stonewalling because of disorganization within his party. "This decision was taken unilaterally without any consultation with the Palestinian factions, and it came as a response for the conditions and the atmosphere of the Fatah movement and not for any national consideration," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip.

This comes as no surprise considering that the previous May municipal election result has yet to be officially finalized and that just a few days ago Palestinian Authority Military Intelligence forces were rioting for two straight days against the Abbas government, and in protest, seized the Palestinian Legislature Council building in Gaza and held all hostage for hours. Talk about a non-confidence vote but what bears watching is the reaction of Hamas to the indefinite post-ponement of elections that most mid-east pundits were predicting a strong electoral showing for Hamas.

At this point the "lull" that Mahmoud Abbas negotiated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad is now in jeopardy as the carrot he held out as one inducement for Hamas & Islamic Jihad to sign on to an agreement for a "temporary lull of hostilities with Israel" was the May and July elections.

Friday, June 03, 2005

PA Security Forces Riot against Palestinian Authority

Here's two stories that I did not see reported online in the major Canadian dailies. The Jerusalem Post carries the online story of Palestinian Security forces rioting for the second day in a row and at one point occupied the Palestinian Legislature building:
For the second day running, Palestinian Authority security officers demonstrated in the Gaza Strip in protest against PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's decision to reconstruct the dozen or so Palestinian security services. Thursday's protest turned violent when hundreds of officers belonging to the PA's Military Intelligence Force went on the rampage inside the Palestinian Legislative Council building and exchanged gunfire with policemen in Gaza City.

On Wednesday, some 50 members of the same force blocked main roads and raided PA institutions in some parts of the Gaza Strip. PA officials in Ramallah accused the ousted commander of Military Intelligence, Gen. Musa Arafat, of standing behind the unrest. Gen. Arafat, a cousin of Yasser Arafat, was dismissed from his post two months ago. According to one official, Gen. Arafat has since been inciting his followers against the PA leadership. "He still hasn't come to terms with the fact that he was sacked," he added.

Eyewitnesses said at least 600 officers and masked gunmen belonging to the ruling Fatah party marched in the streets of Gaza City, chanting slogans against Abbas and his interior minister, Gen. Nasser Youssef. It was the largest protest of its kind organized by members of a Palestinian security force and Fatah gunmen since Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat as PA chairman, the eyewitnesses noted. They added that the protests over the past 48 hours could mark the beginning of a mutiny against Abbas's administration. The protesters were carrying various types of weapons, including rifles, pistols hand grenades and rockets. Many of them opened fire into the air, shouting slogans condemning Youssef as a "traitor" and "collaborator." Local journalists said the attackers exchanged gunfire for more than an hour with policemen guarding the PLC compound. No casualties were reported.
This illustrates the incestuous nature of Palestinian politics and I could speculate that the real rationale behind Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas’ decision to integrate Hamas terrorists into the Palestinian security forces was to save himself from being ground down into puppy chow by his own Fatah forces.

As a Canadian taxpayer I have to give the Liberal Government credit for finding new ways internationally to throw $12.5 million in aid down the proverbial drain.

In other news guaranteed not to make any sane person sleep safer at night, NATO announced Tuesday that it has granted Official Observer status to Palestinian Authority personnel reports the Jerusalem Post:
This is a very important decision as for many years European countries have only heard the Israeli voice in these groupings. For peace to become a reality and agreements to be fully implemented, we need to be able to tell our side of the story too," said Hassan Khreisheh, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian body and one of the two Palestinian delegates.
According to a NATO press release, MK Joseph Paritzky welcomed the involvement of the Palestinians and other Arab states in the work of the Assembly, which is made up of 248 delegates from 26 member countries. "This shows that we belong to the parliament of the most important and biggest defense union of the world, and the decision is highly appreciated," Paritzky was quoted as saying.

NATO has been seeking to expand its role in the Middle East. During a recent visit to Israel by current President of the NATO PA, Pierre Lellouche, the issue of Palestinian observer status was raised. The decision to grant the Palestinians observer credentials did not catch Jerusalem off guard. Nevertheless, officials in Jerusalem were disappointed with the timing of the move. "Played at the right time it could have given the Palestinians the encouragement they needed to take steps against terrorist infrastructure which they have yet to take," said one official.

Jerusalem questioned whether this was the right time for NATO to be handing out carrots to the Palestinians. Observers believe that the move could also been seen as an offset to warming relations between NATO and Israel.
What do you think the odds are that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will ask at least one Hamas member to join the Palestinian NATO delegation as a goodwill gesture?

Dry Docked in Hogtown:

The Toronto Star is reporting:
An estimated 50,000 members of Alcoholics Anonymous will converge on Toronto for a four-day convention Canada Day weekend, boosting the city's economy by about $46 million. It is the largest convention the city has ever had, according to the Toronto Convention and Visitors Association.

Close to 10,500 hotel rooms at 75 hotels across Toronto have been booked. And it is expected — based on figures from the last international convention — that at least 75,000 cups of coffee will be sipped, half a tonne of ice cream will be savoured and one tonne of French fries will be munched on.

Imagine the lines! What I want to know is - how will this effect the price of a coffee at Starbucks or Tim Hortons?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Book Blog Game

Lisa at the London Fog tagged me for this book blog game that is making the rounds and so, good sport that I am on occassion, I bit.

Number of Books I own: I haven’t the foggiest clue. I collect first editions and have a number of books for their investment value and then there are others for pleasure or knowledge. I have seven 6 foot bookshelves, five – 5 foot bookshelves and four – 3 foot book shelves that are all stacked double rowed and double deep in addition to four huge plastic containers full of books. My friends threatened to riot and burn my books if I moved anymore after we moved 4 times in 1 year, and so here, is where we have stayed for the last ten years.

Last Book I bought: The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield – no, this is not a work of non-fiction and if you have never read Steven Pressfield start with Gates of Fire - one of my all-time favourite books.

Last Book I Read: The Guide for the Perplexed by Rabbi Moses ben Maimondes aka The Rambam, though I am now more perplexed than I was to begin. The depth and breathe of this book had so completely captured my full attention that I discovered that I was unable to finish reading Chainfire by Terry Goodkind, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Intelligence in War by John Keegan, The Virtures of War by Steven Pressfield until I was finished reading the guide.

Books that mean a lot to me:

The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky - I first read this book at 18 and fell in love with it. I re-read it every few years or whenever I feel the need to fall in love all over again.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – What is there else to say?

The Dune Series by Frank Herbert (and I am not including the Dune books written by son & friend) even if he did cheat me by dying before he finished the series and I will never know who will triumph in the intergalactic war between the Reverend Mothers and the Honoured Matres. Twenty years later and I find that I am just as bitter over his death now as when it first happened.

Dante’s Inferno. I believe that future Canadian historians may describe my geographic location as the last level of Dante’s hell and for those who aren’t in the know - read the book to discover for yourself what sin would consign your soul to the lowest level of Dante’s hell. Reading Dante always makes me regret that I never learned to read in Italian.

The Exodus. I know it sounds it sounds cheesy and trite, but I think that everything one needs to know about the human heart & soul and the nature of freedom lies contained in this small volume but to fully appreciate the nuance and its’ meaning in full, DO NOT read the Christian version.

The final part of this game is to tag a few other bloggers. Here's who I want to know (that have not been tagged already that I know of) of my fellow Red Ensign Bloggers:

The Tipper at Tipperography. Any woman who can get down and dirty with catapulting pigs has earned inclusion in my list.

Alan at Gen X at 40 because Alan maybe a leftie but he's a good sport and an example of what a good leftie should be. Besides, I would love to see what influenced his thinking even if its only a cautionary tale for myself.

Rue at Abraca- Pocus. I picked Rue because I feel an odd sense of familarity with her. I had one Grandmother that made curse candles and hexed people, and another who claimed to have ability to talk to the dead. Both were fantastic cooks and would probably have enjoyed spending time in Rue's Kitchen.

I pick Glenda at Just for Girls because I am extremely curious to see if there is a reading parallel universe between the two of us.

Temujin at West Coast Chaos because he blogs on a variety of things, owns up to to not being a heavy drinker, and I love idea of sending an email to his chosen email moniker.