Friday, September 30, 2005

Some Svends Never (Ever) Change

Volume XXX, Part XXX is here.

Volume XXX, Part XXXX is here.

The adventure just never ends with this guy.

(tipped off by Neale News)

All the Known Verse

I have much to say but the truth is I can’t get my head around anything today because all I really care about is that the tribe and I are going out to the black.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Terrorists for all seasons; Popular Resistance Committees

It is not often that I read something that makes me goes “ahuh” rather than “duh” but this article from Stan Goodenough at the Jerusalem Wire service did just that:
Expect to hear, in the coming weeks, a decrease in Hamas’ claims of responsibility for acts of terrorism, while its leadership creates a higher profile in the political realm. Expect to hear Hamas leaders soften their stand on the irrevocability of their charter. Expect, too, that where there are attacks, responsibility for them will increasingly be claimed by the Popular Resistance Committees – the group that accepted accolades earlier this month for killing former PA security chief Moussa Arafat.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) is set to become one of the main bad boys in the Israeli-Arab conflict. It is already being counted among the “extremists,” the “fundamentalists.” Like the Tanzim and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the PRC is ensuring that it will be labeled an “enemy of peace.” As this happens, Hamas will become one of “the more moderate,” winning favor or at least a nod from the nations spearheading the Arab-Israeli peace process, who will increasingly pressure Israel to negotiate with the Islamist group.

The elections will see Hamas and the PA form a coalition, which together will push forward the “Palestinian” political struggle – with their combined overwhelming popular support securing them further legitimacy in the eyes of the international community, clinching their drive for a state. What leads us to make such a prediction? The track record of the PLO.

The PRC is only one of the latest creations of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In fact, the PRC was purposely propagated by the PLO in order to create that oh-so-effective division of labor for which the grandfather of terrorist organizations has become so well known.

It was conceived, as we shall likely soon see, for the express purpose of carrying out more attacks on Israelis in the immediate future, thereby serving to:

1. Feed the Arab street’s insatiable appetite for Jewish blood and so fuel their belief in their ultimate victory over the whole Jewish state, and

2. Cast the Hamas in comparatively respectable light as more of a political and less of a terrorist organization.

Goodenough goes on to establish his case based on past performance in the Israeli/Arab conflict. Read the rest here.

Remember this when reading statements such as this one taken from the Jerusalem Post issued by Mahmoud Zahar stating that Hamas would stop firing rockets into Israel.
In the first criticism of its kind, the Islamic Jihad organization said on Monday that it was "unhappy" with Hamas's decision to stop firing rockets at Israel. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar announced on Sunday night that his movement would stop firing rockets at Israel. The announcement came hours after Israel killed Muhammed Sheikh Khalil, a senior Islamic Jihad operative in Gaza city. "Hamas declares an end to its operations from the Gaza Strip against the Israeli occupation, which came in response to the assaults by the enemy," Zahar told reporters in Gaza City.

From this report we can note that Islamic Jihad is not on board and presumably has its’ own stockpile of weapons to launch attacks with. You can bet the rent that Hamas’ change of heart will never amount to rounding up members of Islamic Jihad and turning them over to the Palestinian civil authority for trial.

Palestinian Authority Deathwatch Continues

This time the Palestinian Minister of the Interior narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on his home in the Gaza Strip reports the Jerusalem Post:
Tawfik Abu Khoussa, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry, on Sunday night escaped an assassination attempt when unidentified gunmen opened fire at his house in Gaza City. No one was hurt in the attack which, according to eyewitnesses, was carried out be a group of masked gunmen who fled in a car.

Abu Khoussa, a former deputy chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, last week angered Hamas by issuing a number of statements stating that Islamic movement, and not Israel, was responsible for the explosion in Jabalya refugee camp which killed 19 people and injured more than 120. In recent weeks Abu Khoussa has also come under attack by other armed groups, including the armed wing of the ruling Fatah party, after he held them responsible for the ongoing state of anarchy and lawlessness in PA-controlled areas.

Condemning Sunday night's shooting attack as "a cowardly and irresponsible act," the spokesman refused to point a blaming finger toward any of the armed groups in the Gaza Strip. "I don't accuse anyone, but our people know who's behind this attack," he said. "The assassination attempt is aimed at driving a wedge between the Palestinians and triggering internecine fighting." However, PA security sources said they did not rule out the possibility that the assailants were members of Hamas. The attack, they noted, was the second of its kind in less than three weeks

The attacks just keeping on coming.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I always suspected Mennonites & Quakers were not to be trusted.

The TimesOnline carries the result of this European study:

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

Now I know why my ancestors were so happy to leave Europe.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Red Ensign Standard Volume XXVlll

It’s tradition for the host of the Red Ensign Standard to write a personal introduction but since this is my second time up on deck I thought that I try to write more on a theme instead. I struggled for the last two weeks trying to define in my mind what a Canadian is in 2005 and still came up with naught. It should be easy, but really isn’t. Since my teenage years, 30 years ago and the rise of Trudeaupia in the land, all discussions of Canadian nationalism begin with defining what we are not, which leaves very little room or inclination for what we are. We are probably the only nation in the world who does this. Can you imagine our American or Mexican neighbors beginning a discussion of American or Mexican nationalism and start by saying; “Well, we aren’t Canadians.” In 2005, we are still struggling with new Canada.

Fifty years ago, school children in Canada could have told you what it means to be a Canadian but the parameters have changed so radically that I fear we are in danger of losing not only our place in the world but our national will. Regionalism threatens all the ties that use to bind us. And sorry, I cannot rally around our healthcare system and do not see waiting patiently in line for years for a hip replacement or an MRI as a value that I want to pass onto my children.

We live in a land whose geography leaves its imprint upon our character early in life, and we were a nation forged and tempered by war; from the Plains of Abraham, to Vimy Ridge, to the beaches of Normandy. Freedom meant something beyond an existential definition which is all the value we place on freedom today. Here’s the new Canada’s truism; I am less free today by law than I was in 1985. In 2005, freedom is now measured by the quantity of law and by-laws that weighs down and restricts our daily existence.

The new Canada denies our warrior past and says we are a nation of peacekeepers with blue helmets. Frankly, I’ll take Vimy Ridge and you can keep Rwanda and the helmets. For there will be no peace to keep if our leaders have lost the will to fight to keep the peace for freedom’s sake.

We claim tolerance as a national virtue and yet we have Hate Speech laws. Tolerance in the New Canada seems to mean; think as I think, do as I do, speak as I speak, rather than allowing individuals the freedom to speak what they think or even reason - if that speech could potentially create division or dissonance in this new Canada. Our national tolerance seems a very shabby fragile thing.

We have embraced the virtues of multi-culturalism so wholeheartedly in this new Canada that when my children claim they are Canadian their teacher’s teach them to call themselves Jamaican-Canadians, and yet, not one of them has ever left to find a home in Jamaica.

In discussions, I have often been told if I do not like this new Canada then I should leave my native land, and go to another where I might feel more comfortable and free, and I would, but the land ties me to it. What is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh and I will not give up this land or my children’s place in it to live freely from sea to shining sea without a fight; against all odds and all comers if need be. That is what defines and makes me a Canadian. And so, I begin the Red Ensign Standard Vol. XXVlll, where my compatriots and friends will have many contrary opinions.

905 Tory
905 Tory comments briefly on Canada’s preparedness for war, and posts an editorial cartoon reflecting Canadian compliancy with high taxes and asks the question with was Trudeau high when he included this in the Canada’s Charter?
A Chick Named Marzi

One of the more intriguing things I discovered when I first started to read blogs is how so many of rightish leaning bloggers either are/or were punks. It just astounds me that so many of us who started out so radical; ended up so right. All of which brings me to A Chick Named Marzi, a conservative punk chick who manages to tie in a Steinfeld episode with Cindy Sheehan and tells Robin Wright Penn what to do with her stand-by-your-man moment but she doesn’t stop there.


Rue runs Abraca-Pocus. When Rue first joined the Red Ensign Bloggers I surfed over to check her out and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to think of her or even if she was really my cup of espresso, but I decided to reserve judgment and lurk about. I am glad I did. This woman cooks and keeps a tradition alive that while many of us might not have had an official Strega in our background, the archetype of Strega is still very familiar and somehow comforting for those of us who had an Eastern European grandmother or two in our childhood. One day I must have a discussion about “tiki’s” with Rue. She is runs Radio Free Pocus and has finally stepped back on the come back trail from a summer rut which also happens to coincide with toddlers who now sleep through the night. Rue also shares with us how she wishes to count down the days in 2006.

Absinthe & Cookies

Ith at Absinthe & Cookies ruminates on the personal ramifications of an avian flu outbreak and I understand exactly what she means by circling the family wagons. She also blogs a Little Price is Right in guessing the price of this home in her neighborhood – needless to day I will not be moving to her neighborhood and tells us what is on her bookshelf.

Angry in the Great White North

Let there be no doubt, Canadians can do anger. This man must have a laptop surgically attached to his lap because his daily output is at a blog prodigy level and he is impossible to keep up without multiple check-ins a few times a day. That being said, I would ask that you focus your attention to the conservative hatchet woman Carol Jamieson, the appointment of a radical Palestinian to Canada’s Immigration and Review Board and how CAIR-CAN peddles a bogus story of how a Canadian Sikh became a victim of a hate crime


Dirt Crashr at Anthroblogogy is faced with the modern man’s dilemma; Bosch, DeWalt, or Porter-Cable or what's gonna cut the flooring? Posts on Momma’s Fish house and has a picture of the sweetest T-Shirt known to man; KALASHNI KITTY. Anyone know where I can get two?

Babbling Brooks
The Babblercracks a joke to fill the void of humourous Canadian blog content. The problem is there is more underlying truth than humour in a country where the weasels are named Martin.

Blue Perspective

Ryan at Blue Perspective brings attention to two articles in the local national papers and musing on what the feisty Brian Mulroney might have said when his copy of Peter C. Newman’s biography on him was hand delivered and the discusses the Manning Centre. He also concurs with the suggestion that the national federal sales tax be lowered which all goes to show that not all Canadians enjoy our high tax status.

Bound by Gravity
Andrew at Bound by Gravity is Canada’s own number 1 linker and raises Canada’s political hacks all-time favourite (and seemingly endless) debate in the Leadership Question, he musings on the Chickadee Code and posts on a Pattern of Corruption. Andrew blogs at the prodigy level but far more importantly to my mind he has undertaken a far more valiant task (with the help of others) and created a new blog dedicated to those Canadians who possessed uncommon valour as a common virtue.

Huck at BumfOnline shares some thoughts on the best you can do without a plan and reminds us all that there is a Canadian connection to the victims of Hurricane Rita that has nothing to do with the rising price of gas. Furthermore, no one can ever accuse Huck of holding back his politically incorrect thoughts on a former Canadian Prime Minister, - his son - or Peter c. Newman for that matter.

Canadian Comment

The Dynamic Duo of the Red Ensign Bloggers, (aka Bob & Dana) have recently returned after a summer hiatus and really the fun never ends with these two. From posts ranging The Trudeau Family - Supporting Murderers And Tyrants Since 1973 to the pitfalls of Social Darwinism and BBC broadcaster Harold Evans to Canada’s official Hide and Seek team.

Canadianna’s Place
Canadianna takes time to rouse herself from the demands of life outside the blogsphere to lament the decline of justice in Canada and deconstructs our institutions.

ChrisCam loves Peggy Noonan and for the same reasons I do and he posts his thoughts on competency at a local level.

Castle Argghhh!!!
John D. has a post Winning Work and Losing Friends and he illustrates what greets him at the door of the Arsenal when he stays too long from home in an extended entry. All I get is dead mice. He posts in Food for Thought that perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to re-think some realities on the ground as needs and times change. John D asks what’s unusual with this picture?

I am really not sure on what learning to love football and abstinence have in common but Rebecca at Doxology does find a way to tie it together. She has also issued an open call to all Catholic Converts and Reverts. She also offers the suggestion to all those who are inclined to take a closer walk who are not currently reading Peter Kreeft to give a little time to listening instead.

Dust my Broom
Darcey runs Dust my Broom and he also happens to be who I usually start my blog reading day with. He’s another Canadian blog prodigy and one of the treats of Dust my Broom is you never know who will show up at the Broom on any given 8 Days or at Gramma’s House or on Parliament Hill for that matter.

ERS Musing
Steve enters from the right and posts Proving multilateralism Works, muses on the common ground of the anti-war right and left, and he owns up to crying. What more could one ask of a blogger?

GEN X at 40
Alan at Gen X at 40 is not my favourite leftie and is hardly a model of civility nor honour. That being said, he ruminates on Baseball Anxiety, the CBC Lockout and the potential for a major world leader to be a pill popper.

Aaron has the scoop on an Idaho weatherman who thinks the recent hurricanes plaguing the Gulf Coast have a sinister, rather than, a natural origin. He also has an open call out to all Canadian bloggers and readers to give his academic progress at hand and finally he muses if Alberta were Norway.

Hammer into Anvil
James at Hammer into Anvil, takes a stand on the tendancy of Swedes to be on the cutting edge of social concerns in Cohabitation, I do and has the fruit of limp Liberal crime legislation. He notes that in Hamilton, Ontario, it doesn’t take much to offend some people.

John the Mad
John the Mad finds another Liberal he wouldn’t welcome at his dinner table though I suspect this gentleman would not be welcomed either.

Just Between Us Girls
Glenda of Just Between us Girls has returned to the roost after a summer hiatus and promotes a gathering of people who were inspired by the power of positive linking to take the plunge and run their own businesses. Then she indulges in the virtures of confession when she didn’t get the expected results and notes on the mounting tension down on the Farm.

Minority of One
Keith at Minority of One says Au Revoir to his love and comments on the Engine of the Hun Parliament. Of course, that is after reading now I know why my brain is bigger than yours.

mk braaten
m.k. braaten has blogged the sequel to our own homegrown Watergate scandal known in Canada as Adscam (without the outrage, senate hearings, or tapes). m.k. also proposes a rather novel idea for Albertans on what to do with the surplus oil revenues but the question he hooked me on was; did the Prime Minister, Paul Martin’s company take Iraqi bribe money?

Jason struggles with the same issues I have with the Bush Administration and blogs on Clarification and Donna Brazile. Oddly enough, I came to a somewhat similar conclusion but by a different route. He muses on the inconsistent consistency of scientific studies to prove or disprove anything.

Chris is just one of our blogging Canadian expats who is now based in the People’s Republic of China. I am happy to report that living in the land of Uncle Mao hasn’t stopped Myrick from voting in the BBC Who Rules Contest or posting Batman of the East or offering his take on Canada’s being number 2. He also double blogs by hosting Asia Pundit, our newest Red Ensign Member.

North West Winds
Curt at North West Winds finds a pro-Darwin site that tries to play fair with the religious among us. He also posts his thoughts on The Exorcism of Emily Rose and finds Sex, Pravda Style. He also posts his thoughts on the Good Wine.

Nicholas at Quotulatiousness, never gets stuck on stupid and who would never in a million years commit this gaffe that certain French Foreign Minister is alleged to have committed. And without Nicholas, how else would I have known that Canadians had a military medical research program?

Raging Kraut
Our fearless Brigade Commander, Ray of Raging Kraut shares a story from his university days On doing to them what they do to us and introduces us to Ace who shares not only raging duties at the Kraut but shares his memories and thoughts of New Orleans with us.

Raging Ranter
Ranging Ranter is on a roll all over Liberal media bias in Canada even thought the CBC staff has been locked out for approximately 6 weeks. See here and here.

Ravishing Light
Paul at Ravishing Light curses Lieks, and rightly so. I read this and thought some really lucky young person is going to get a truly wonderful man. Smart, humorous, hardworking, besides, he cooks real food! If only I was much younger and not three husbands down already. Paul has his own thoughts on what it means to be at year 4 in the War on Terror.

Rhetoricking with Myself
Rhetoricking with Myself has been on a somewhat extended hiatus with just a brief foray here and there into the blogsphere but he does surface in September just in time to bring attention to Neil Strauss’s new book: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. Who knew Chapter’s now has a “Men’s Sections”?

Robot Guy
Robot Guy advises that hell has frozen over and brings attention to a few of those who still dare to dream big and he offers a brief rundown of Nasa’s exploration systems architectural roadmap for the mission to the Moon, Mars and Beyond with a promise to flesh it out in full later for the non-cybergic inclined among us. He also weighs in on the economics of gun control in Canada.

Shiny Happy Gulag
Shiny Happy Gulag almost makes it as a famous Canadian slacker of note but he still finds the time to post once or twice a month so that is just enough to keep him out of the Red Ensign Slacker’s Gallery or in other words; he means well.

Stephen Taylor
Stephen Taylor aka Unofficial Conservative Party of Canada Pundit takes on a noted Trojan Tory, and proves that contrary to Liberal party hacks, conservatives do party and shows us how Dalton spends our tax dollars.

Taylor & Company
Chris at Taylor & Company follows up on the Air France 350 crash at Pearson International Airport in Front Office Politics. He remembers the passing of the Hero of Louisbourg on September 13th , and then he walks a mile in another’s shoes and ponders the implications of the question of Who Will Be Saved if a disaster hit Toronto?

The Conservative Hipster
Double-D at The Conservative Hipster took the quiz on which Historical General Are You and came out the same general as I, though I scored higher is wisdom and ruthlessness but he beat me in guts. He posts his bit on revisionistic Canadian history and asks the $64,000 questions in relation to the Trojan Tory.

The Freeway to Serfdom
Jay weighs in on a jackal moment on the potential penalties for making voting in Canada compulsory in “Big Fricking deal”. Takes on the “Sharia hysterics” in One Law for All and mourns his wheeless state in Sigh.

The High Places
Mr. Cheevus waxes poetically in his explansion of the idea of conservativism returning to its rural roots, and adds a bright and early post to the blog. He also invokes an emotive theme (with a dose of reason) that Canadian pensioners should rate a higher financial priority to Canadian taxpayers than refugees. Quite frankly, I had no idea that refugee’s received such high levels of taxpayer largess.

The London Fog
Mike takes a satirical stab at possible alternative future political realities but I am not convinced that Mike isn’t a bona fide paid up member of Psychics R Us. Who knew there was a provincial minister in Ontario responsible for democratic renewal? I certainly didn’t. Lisa does a readers survey to The solution to Canada’s Troubles, and examines, if Jack’s our man?

The Meatriarchy
The Meatriarchy comments on George Galloway’s recent visit to Canada in Acorn of Wisdom, provides the commentary on the Canadiens vs. Leafs exhibition game, and that’s not enough hockey for you: keep scrolling down.

The Monarchist
The Monarchist is currently the home of where Britannia still Rules the Waves in honour of the 200th anniversary of Horatio Nelson’s stunning victory at Trafalgar. The Monarchist introduces Nelson as the countdown to victory begins, chronicles Nelson’s journal, and last walk, as the lead-up to the Battle at Trafalgar looms large ahead. Beaverbrook notes the smallness of the Napoleonic mindset.

The Files of the Phantom Observer
Victor writes of the changes a year of blogging has brought, and brings attention to a Stephen Harper statement that an election may all be up to the Oddfather to decide and suggests that Simon Wiesenthal may have gone to his rest but his war lives on.

The Tipper has returned to the Canadian fold and grapples with the ins and outs of the Better Way, cheers on the Prime Minister’s never ending public search for his balls, and if that is not enough, she manages to effectively tie in a Leap of Faith with free ipods and $400 cheques.

Toronto Tory
Toronto Tory calls attention to progressive bloggers who have taken a progressively angry and angrier stand towards blogging conservatives. He’s also committed himself to blog the liberal corruption one month challenge and has one idea how the CBC can boost their ratings.

Turning 30 and a half
Canadian Sue posts on Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, and on the deportation of a street racer In reaping what you sow. She has also put together a little slideshow of Katrina pictures which she entitled Wake me up when September’s Over which is no doubt what many are wishing.

West Coast Chaos
Temujin has bought himself a camera and thinks he is on to something new which shall be henceforth called “photoblogging”. He asks that he be given full credit. (This is my lame attempt at Temujin humor.) He took his camera along when he went on a business trip and when he and some friends endulged in what use to be a Canadian tradition before we had waiting in line for healthcare as a national value.

Red Ensign Great Canadian Slackers Gallery:

All AgitProp, all the time or Frozen in Montreal
Paul’s last message to all of us was posted in June 2005. It was a plea for God’s help for all of us in Canada. I hear you Paul, and Amen to that.
Is temporarily offline. And list all the members of the Blogging Tories but not Red Ensign Bloggers. What’s up with that?

It seems Candepundit came across an internet video of a beheading and he hasn’t been up to posting since.

Has gone Blog-WOL.

Musings of a Canadian Slacker
Dr. Funk at Musings of a Canadian Slacker; We're everywhere.

Right Jab
Right Jab commented on Harper’s less than shining image in June and we haven’t heard from Right Jab since though Harper is still out there slugging away.

Skeet, Skeet, Skeet
Comes up with a drinking game for watching Canadian MP’s in action during question period in June and has not been heard from since.

Striving Against the Opposition
He mentions something about the need to catch up with life, tunes and videos in Black in Back now that school ended for him in April and promises regular blogging to resume shortly. I think he misled us with the year.

The Green Baron
The Green Baron is not a typical slacker and he has a better excuse than most as he was based in New Orleans. He did take the time to let us know that he managed to get out of NOLA alive.

And finally we come to Trudeaupia who is not really a slacker at all but is on indefinite hiatus. I blame all those Saudi goat stories.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Slept in - So Go Jump to the Broom

Nor have I had enough coffee to get myself in gear. Subsequently, I have nothing new to say this morning. However, there is something serious going on at Gramma’s House.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Ph’d in Holocaust Denial sure comes in handy when you are Chairman of the Palestinian Authority

Now that Gaza Strip, (henceforth known as the site of the largest weapons dump out side of Iraq), is under “official” Palestinian Authority control, it didn’t take long for Abbas to find his backbone and issue this statement in response to Quartet appeals that he disarm the terrorist groups. Taken from the Jerusalem Post:
The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday rejected an appeal from the Quartet to dismantle armed militias and called on the international community to stop meddling in the Palestinians' internal affairs. Ministers of the Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union – said in a joint statement Tuesday that following Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians needed to "dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructures."

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the appeal, saying the Palestinians knew how to handle their own affairs. "With regard to the issue of the armed Palestinian groups and our dealings with them, this is an internal affair," he told reporters during a tour of Rafah. "We know more and are more capable than others of dealing with our brothers."

Abbas called for an end to the presence of armed militiamen in Palestinian streets. Terror groups have, however, promised Abbas to end all military parades after Saturday, a Hamas official said Wednesday. The official, Said Siam, said the groups made the commitment in a meeting with Abbas in Gaza City.

Of course, Chairman Abbas knows best on how to handle his terrorist brethren. I give it less than nine months before the Gaza Strip becomes the premier staging ground for attacks on the Israeli state. If this report is even half-way accurate, how long before Hamas, Islamic Jihad or even Fatah meets a SAM-14 Strela anti-air missile that it wouldn’t fire at an EL AL jet? Brings new meaning to the calls for next year in Jerusalem doesn’t it?

Delusion and Denial

The problem with mid-east politics is that it is fraught with delusions and denials from the so-called political classes. Case in point, the Jerusalem Post duly reports on the efforts of King Abdullah 11 to bridge the divide by speaking to US Jewish group during his recent tour of the US on September 20, 2005.
King Abdullah II of Jordan is set to speak with a group of American rabbis today, as part of his ongoing effort to build bridges between Muslims, Jews and Christians. In the event, slated to take place in the capital, Abdullah is expected to lay out his vision of inter-religious respect and of promoting a tolerant Islam, as opposed to the interpretation used by terror groups. The Jordanian monarch also believes that Islam can lead the Arab world towards modernization, and is advocating stronger relations with the West.
During his visit to the US, Abdullah and his wife Queen Rania met with many groups of young Jews, Christians and Muslims, and called for moderation and for keeping an open dialogue between faiths.

Sounds promising till one learns what's going on back home in the Kingdom and read the statements issued by the Kingdom’s Royal Commission on Jerusalem Affairs(taken from a Jerusalem Wire Service article) on September 21, 2005:
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has responded with outrage and farcical counterclaims to Jewish assertions of a historic and religious right to the city of Jerusalem.

Last week, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the United Nations General Assembly Jerusalem is the “eternal undivided” capital of the nation of Israel, and a city the Jews have always held most dear.

On Monday Jordan's Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs blasted both Sharon and the UN over what it called “a statement full of lies and falsehoods.”“How could this world organization allow a war criminal to review lies based on false claims and biblical legends in Palestine,” the committee wondered in an official statement released to the press.

According to the experts who chair the committee, “historic, demographic and religious facts” as well as “archaeological discoveries” prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that “the land of Palestine and Jerusalem have been inhabited by Arab Canaanites for over 5,000 years.”

So much for interfaith dialogue with delusionals.

Humpty Dumpty's are just all falling off the walls

Another Fatah Central Committee member just misses biting the dust in Nablus yesterday reports the Jerusalem Post:

Hani al-Hassan, a former interior minister in the Palestinian Authority, escaped an assassination attempt on his life Tuesday night when a group of masked men fired several shots at him during a visit to Nablus. Hassan, who is a member of the Fatah central committee, was not hurt. Sources in the city said the assailants belonged to Fatah's armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigades. Hassan had arrived in Nablus to discuss preparations for next January's parliamentary elections. The attack took place as he was preparing to meet with local Fatah leaders to discuss the vote.

Last week Gen. Moussa Arafat, (cousin to the Arafat) bite the dust in a bold raid on his home. This week al-Hassan and next week – who knows? Abbas must be getting very, very nervous. I know I would be. If I was Abbas, I would be doing some seriuos speculation as to where Kaddoumi is about now. Kaddoumi has promised to finally return to the Gaza Strip and bring some friends once the Israeli's left. He certainly doesn't need Israeli permission to enter Gaza as there is nothing stopping him from crossing over the beyond porous border with Egypt into Gaza.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Geeze, who would have guessed? – We are No. 2 again!

I saw this article from the National Post at Neale News and all I have to say: is there any Canadian business man/woman who had any doubts? Hell, is there any Canadian who can honestly said that they are surprised by this finding from the C.D. Howe Institute?

Mr. Dither’s goes a wishful thinking

The Globe and Mail quotes Prime Minister, Paul Martin, from a speech given yesterday:
The federal sponsorship scandal cast a shadow over both elected politicians and members of Canada's civil service, but the program's problems were "unacceptable aberrations" and not the norm in an otherwise talented and committed public sector, Prime Minister Paul Martin said Tuesday.

"The issues related to the Gomery inquiry, issues that have reflected on both those who are elected and those who are professional public servants — these are unacceptable aberrations in a public sector that is honest, talented and committed to Canadians," Mr. Martin told a group of senior civil servants in Gatineau, Que.

If only it were so and not the norm. Think gun registry, HRDC boondoogle, CIDA, Volpe’s meals and Pettigrew’s chauffeur and Shelia Copps with her flags that would not fly and that’s just off the top of my head without even flexing my memory. Start your own lists.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Gee, colour me so very unimpressed.

I am continually struck by the innate differences between Canadians and Americans.

American Martha Stewart committed neither theft nor fraud but was punished by a five month jail term, 5 months of house arrest, 2 years probation and a fine of US$30,000 for obstructing justice and lying to security commission investigators.

Meanwhile, one of Canada’s own Adscam bagman, Paul Coffin, pled guilty to 15 counts of fraud and received a conditional sentence of two years less a day (which is to be served in the community), and has agreed to give public lectures on Ethics in Business, as while as returning $1 million to the federal government from the $5 million he made in federal advertising fees for his company.

Liberal crime pays in Canada.

"He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted."

Years ago my grandmother told me that only the lucky grow old. I suspect that Simon Wiesenthal would agree with her. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Simon Wiesenthal has died.
Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor who helped track down numerous Nazi war criminals following World War II then spent the later decades of his life fighting anti-Semitism and prejudice against all people, died Tuesday at the age of 96. Wiesenthal died in his sleep at his home in Vienna, Austria, according to Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust," Rabbi Marvin Hier said.

According to Hier, "When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He did not forget. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the history's greatest crime to justice."

"There was no press conference and no president or Prime Minister or world leader announced his appointment. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted," he concluded.

"For years, he was all by himself. He was even forced to close the center several times in the past because he didn't have money. He once received a tip that Eichman was in Argentina but was unable to afford the trip at the time, " Rabbi Meir told CNN.

Do you really want to trust your children's future to the good will of the Mullahs?

Ha’aretz is reporting that Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, gave a speech in New York yesterday and made this assertion:

His comment contrasted with a recent assessment by the authoritative, independent International Institute for Strategic Studies that Tehran is at least five years away from producing enough fissile material for a single bomb, and 15 years was a more likely timeframe.
"The question is not if they are going to hold that bomb in 2009 or 2010 or 2011, the question is when they will have the full knowledge. According to our people, security and intelligence, they are very, very close. It may be only six months before they will have that full knowledge."
Shalom warned that if the IAEA hesitated in reporting Iran to the Security Council, it would be very difficult to do so in future, and it might be too late as the Iranians were pushing ahead with their nuclear research.

"They have some technical problems recently," Shalom said, but he added that they were continuing with experiments to complete their research. He declined to give further details or discuss the source of his information.

"That's all the information that I can give," he told reporters. "That's our assessment, that the Iranians are very close and it might be only six months before they will have the full knowledge to develop this nuclear bomb."

So who are you going to believe. Israeli FM Shalom or International Institute for Strategic Studies?

Remember that the Iranians insist that their oil rich country needs nuclear technology to meet their country’s need for electricity but what is even more troubling is how far the hardline Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is prepared to go in sharing nuclear technology with his Islamic neighbors according to this YnetOnline report:
Iran is willing to provide other Islamic nations with nuclear technology, Iran's hard-line president said Thursday.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments after meeting Turkey's prime minister on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons, IRNA reported. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need." Iran has said it is determined to pursue its nuclear program to process uranium and produce energy, despite European attempts to limit it. The United States accuses Tehran of secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Meanwhile, diplomats and government officials in Europe said a U.S.-European drive to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council is encountering fierce opposition and could be postponed despite deep international concerns about Tehran's nuclear agenda.

It is said that Nero played while Rome burned.The UN will bicker and dither while the bombs go off. Same shit, different day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Perhaps if we did, my Amazon wouldn't be among the last.

Last week The Toronto Star (registration required)reported that the “equity boss” of the Toronto District School Board wants to establish a pilot project for an all black school in Toronto for at risk black youth:
The new equity boss at Canada's largest school board says he's in favour of creating a black-focused school as a pilot project for black teens on the brink of dropping out.
Lloyd McKell, newly minted "executive officer of student and community equity" for the Toronto District School Board, says city schools don't do enough to make students of all backgrounds feel valued.

"I would like to see principals holding community meetings before there are complaints about suspensions. I'd like to see an adult at every door greeting each student with a handshake and a guarantee that they'll do everything in their power to make the student feel part of the family," said McKell, 60, whose new job is believed to make him the most powerful equity watchdog at an Ontario school board.

"We know there are whole groups of students who are not doing as well as others — and I understand many families' impatience about this. We need a clear, focused plan of action."

McKell says he believes a black-focused pilot school for students who are too alienated to remain in the system would be helpful, offering more black teachers, an Afro-centric curriculum and a more nurturing environment.

But he doesn't support expanding beyond that to a separate system of schools for black students, preferring to keep public schools for students of all backgrounds. "We have to start creating a positive attitude; a sense of family in our schools," he said. "And family members don't turn their back on each other."

The Premier has chimed in with a definitive “No”.

My knee jerk reaction is “Hell no, my children won’t go.” My mind automatically rejects the idea of a race based school and segregation education. I am not reassured with the feel good quotes from the equity boss about schools being families and a nuturing environment. Most of my conflicts in the elementary school environment have revolved around teachers who opted to attempt to pass on their values to my children rather than reading, writing and mathematics. I have yet to neither perceive the colour of mathematics nor comprehend what would make science Afro-centric.

But that’s the knee jerk reaction and if I am honest there was a great deal in the early childhood of my children when it was very afro-centric; from the dolls special ordered from the US, to the books we read to the children, to the magazines that were brought into the home and the movies we viewed. Every year we still bring out the black version of The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve to read and my preschooler’s version of the bible was illustrated with only black people. Now that the youngest child is a tween and the other two have both officially entered adolescence the afro-centric focus is gone not because I lost interest or motivation but because their own focus has broaden to extend the wider world and culture around them.

The Last Amazon entered into the provincial public education system in junior kindergarten. Before the first day of kindergarten the Last Amazon knew how to write her first and last name, about ten or fifteen other words and was reading simple picture books. By her first report she was “failing to develop” in junior kindergarten. The teacher refused not only to meet with me to discuss my daughter’s progress but she never returned my telephone calls. All attempts to set up a meeting were exercises in futility.

By the second “failing to develop” in all areas report card we decided that our child would be transferred to a local Catholic school in our neighborhood. It was always our intention that once the children reached grade 1 we would transfer them to a Catholic elementary school though not necessarily to one in our downtown neighborhood. The reason the Last Amazon was in public school was that her very excellent daycare (which was located quite far from our downtown home) only escorted children to public school.

On the last day of elementary school her teacher finally called me. She advised that since the LA was leaving to attend a Christian religious school she would meet with failure and a hostile academic environment if I did not dissuade my daughter of her notion that Jesus was a black man. I was literally floored and could not think of anything to say but a puzzled “Wasn’t he?” The teacher promptly hung up on me.

We were in a bit of a bind. The only way to remove the Last Amazon from an out of district public school was to send her to the local Catholic School in our the downtown neighborhood. We thought at the time that a big disadvantage would be that that our local Catholic school was also a feeder school to three of the toughest housing projects in the city but we consoled ourselves with the fact it was also a pre-dominantly black school (70%) with the balance of the students from Asian backgrounds and less than 5% white. The bias we felt she had experienced in public school would be less likely in an environment where children of minority ethnic backgrounds were in the majority.

Mid-way through grade 1 the Last Amazon had won her first Canada-wide essay contest and the school did their best to keep her engaged even when her classmates academic achievements were not operating in the same zone as the Last Amazon. I credit some remarkable older teachers who viewed teaching as a calling and not a job, a lovely common-sense principal, and the Sisters of Saint Joseph volunteers for picking up any slack. The thing about this particular school is that it consistently scores low on both the provincial EQAL and CAT tests but it also has a large percentage of both gifted and academically and behavioral challenged students.

But the school hasn’t been good just to my daughter. My oldest son had many problems initially with language. It did not help that he had a remarkably poor memory for the names of not just people, but things too. So the “See and Say” method that was all the rage in teaching language at that time did not work for him and the other programs offered by the board never fit my son’s learning issues. One of those remarkable older teachers advised me about a learning system that was used primarily in the US utilizing a phonics based system using Orton phonograms. I started initially on my own and then shared our progress with the school. The principal did the necessary work to institute this system in the school special education class and two years later my son was out of special education classes and not only the top of his regular class in math and science but language as well - even if his penmanship still looks like he’s writing in ancient Egyptian. Would the principal have been so receptive to my suggestions if he was not the principal of a school that did not have such an ethnic mix and have to travel each day to a school whose location showed so graphically the consequences of academic failure? I just don’t know.

My youngest son showed a gift for mathematics early and one of the Sister’s of St. Joseph’s started to work with him and by 7, he was multiplying double digits. I should note that for whatever reason the Sister’s have mostly left the school now and it seemed to coincide with the retirement of my favourite principal and our local priest, and I do think the school is poorer without the sisters’ influence and aid. To this day the children think my characterization of nuns of belonging to Sister Mary Elephant mold is a product of my imagination and not experience.

But is not just academically the children have thrived in this environment. One of the issues that my children have had to face is to resist the pressure to “be Black” via the MTV and New Jack City culture that is so pervasive and insidious within the Black community. As the Last Amazon so succinctly puts it; black is something she is, not something she has to work at being.

The Last Amazon never aspired to be somebody’s “hoochie momma” or wear gangsta fashion, or speak in Patois, and she decidedly loses patience with me when I met friends from the Jamaican community that want to pass the time about the goings in JA and I slip into Patois. She doesn’t listen to rap and hasn’t nothing but contempt for those young men who think that gangsta culture is the key to capturing her eye or holding her attention.

My son Montana has never fussed much with his clothes but he can’t bear the idea of walking around with the crotch of his pants hanging down around his knees or the hair of his head braided in corn rows. His idea of dress clothes is a US Marine dress uniform. He refuses to go out with his friends in public if anyone insists on wearing what he calls gang clothes. He fell in love with Johnny Cash, Hanks Williams, and opera. Oddly enough, he is not shy on sharing that knowledge or love with his peers. He judges people by their acts alone and he has developed a rather discerning habit when faced with young teachers with exceeding liberal views who insist on sharing or attempting to influence his thinking philosophically by advising them that they wouldn’t say that if he wasn’t a black - which does work as a sure conversation stopper. I have had more than a few rattled teachers who felt compelled to call home in order to explain to me that they aren’t a racist and share their non-racist bona fides with me - which usually amounts to rhyming off how many race based sensitivity workshops they have attended and the naming of all the ethnic backgrounds of their friends.

But would the children have felt the same freedom to be different and to excel in an environment if they spent their early years where they were a distinct minority? I don’t honestly know and I can’t answer. I do know that academic failure is not created solely in secondary school and has its roots firmly established in both the home and elementary school. Or it could be that the faith-based school offered a viable rationale that united these visible minority children to the wider world around them that was not based on race, ethnicity or class but a core belief in God. Or maybe not.

What I am sure of is that for an ever growing percentage of black students; graduating from High School is not a goal, and the wider implication of that is frightening. Perhaps the time has come to put our fears and bias aside and try it for those at risk students and see what happens.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Silly quiz time.

This one comes courtesy of Candace’s at Waking Up on Planet X

Your Political Profile

Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

This is for this guy who I met at the last VRWC gathering. He insisted that I was too afraid to call myself a conservative.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

All Sharia, all the time; its all good to some

The debate over the 1991 Ontario Arbitrator Act and Sharia Law goes and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. The debate is like a slow moving train wreck that never runs seems to run out of rail. Strangely enough my position on the Arbitrator Act leaves me standing in a corner somewhat all by my blogsome. Lucky for me, I learned early in life that I can take a few shots to the head and still rise to my feet for a few more.

The 1991 Ontario Arbitrator Act was a piece of horrendously bad legislation and violated the principle of separation of Church and State and equality before the law for all. The Act essentially paid religious tribunals to rule and enforce their judgments utilizing the coercive power of the Secular State (where necessary) in matters of family or civil law providing that both parties were consenting adults and willingly gave up their secular family and civil rights. It made multiple systems of justice in the areas of family and civil law.

The initial rationale for this piece of legislation was one of those mushy-feel good multi-cultural moments and much was touted at the time as both a cost and time saving piece of legislation. It was to allegedly going to lighten the load on the overburden Ontario family and civil court system beyond our ken.

Marina Jimenz had a rather informative article in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday where she contended that rabbinical courts in Ontario are rarely used, and in fact, in the last year alone only two cases were resolved using the faith-based rabbinical court to settle a dispute.
Meredith Cartwright, a lawyer and lecturer in religion, law and sexuality at the University of Toronto, says the small number of family law cases rabbinical courts arbitrate illustrates that most couples resolve disputes over custody and child-support payments in civil court or in private arbitration that is not faith-based.

Jewish groups have said they are considering a constitutional challenge to Premier Dalton McGuinty's recently announced ban on such tribunals.

"Proponents of faith-based arbitration are misleading the public in pretending there is widespread use of this mechanism," Ms. Cartwright said. "On this basis, they are asking for a new incarnation of faith-based arbitrations with government oversight and funding, which completely erodes the distinction between religion and state."

Rabbi Reuven Tradburks, secretary of the Beit Din (rabbinical courts) of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis of Toronto, conceded that the number of cases involving family disputes is small, but would not comment on the exact number. He said the principle underlying the right for Jews to go to rabbinical courts to resolve civil disputes is significant, however, and that settlements should have the imprimatur of the state.

But the Rabbi is somewhat misleading. Even before the 1991 Ontario Arbitration Act there was nothing in law that prevented two or more parties of consenting adults from resolving any dispute before a mediator of a faith-based tribunal. Once the law is repealed there still will be no law restricting any consenting adults to seek a resolution to any family or civil dispute using a faith-based tribunal. What will be missing is that after this horrendously bad law is repealed is any ruling from the faith based tribunal will not have the "imprimatur" of the state’s coercive authority nor will the faith-based arbitration be overseen or funded by the state. In simple English, it will be completely an out of pocket expense borne solely by the parties involved. I ask you as a taxpayer, why should you be compelled to fund and oversee multiple religious systems of family and civil courts of justice?

For Sharia law to be accepted and have an Islamic religious tribunal funded and overseen by the state with all the coercive power of the state to enforce its judgments would require significant amendments and safeguards added to the 1991 Ontario Arbitration Act. Bad law always means well and always requires constant revision. But, of course, to the critics of McGuinty’s decision to repeal the Act against all faith-based tribunals, all Sharia, is all good, all the time. I would challenge the pro-Sharia fraction to point to one country where Sharia law is the law of the land and move there post haste.

For the record, I would rather take my chances with the bombastic Michele Lansberg and the more than tedious Margaret Atwood than stand with the likes of Dr. Muhammad Al-Hajj, noted Sharia expert on the appropriate sized rod to beat your wife with, and the exceedingly dry Dr. Mohamed Elmasry. At least with the old broads, I could get a drink when I wanted one and they wouldn’t be discussing what sized stick to beat me with when I was busy being disobedient on principle.

Country Commits Suicide while Soft Power Diplomacy Rules

The Globe and Mail is reporting that China Tops Canada in Exports to US:

Canada can no longer call itself the world's No. 1 seller of goods to the United States. China has edged out Canada for the first time, taking top spot in exports to the United States in July, according to international trade data released this week. "This is perhaps the wake-up call that people need," said Nancy Hughes Anthony, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. "We have to take it very seriously and be prepared to compete."

In July, Canada sold goods worth $20.6-billion (U.S.) south of the border, down from $24-billion in June. China, meanwhile, drew $21.3-billion for its exports to the United States, up from $21-billion a month earlier.

Stephen Taylor blogged earlier this week concerning a question that Helen Guergis, CPC’s Canadian Critic for International Co-operation raised publicly:
Why is Paul Martin still giving Canadian Foreign Aid to Communist China?"

Well? Personally, I have been waiting for an answer to that question since Paul Martin’s predecessor was in power, and frankly, I am damned tired of seeing my tax money going to supplement the lifestyle of both domestic and foreign miscreants. When is enough finally enough?

In the interests of bringing attention to the kind of business practises the Communist Chinese government indulges in; I would like to draw your attention to a post that the Lost Budgie has up regarding a Guardian Unlimited article that uncovered what some might say are rather novel or innovated products that a Chinese cosmetic firm has incorporated into their ingredients for their beauty line products offered for export, and do take note on who supplies them with this ingredient. I concur with Lost Budgie’s judgment in this matter.

Perhaps the most disturbing element to me was the statement accredited to the Chinese cosmetic company’s agents when confronted with the results of the Guardian Unlimited investigation:
Agents for the firm have told would-be customers it is developing collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments from skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot. The agents say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is "traditional" and nothing to "make such a big fuss about".

Liberal soft power diplomacy - really kicking ass!

Just another regret to add to the list

Geeze. I am just kicking myself. If only I had got my driver’s license and joined the Liberal Party but who knew there were such perks for being a Liberal MP's chauffeur?

First I lost out on the envelopes, now this. Shesh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

September is the kindest month to looters

This won’t be considered the investment of the year if this SF Gate report is accurate:
Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.

Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said."We need at least another 70 soldiers. This is just a joke," said Taysir Haddad, one of 22 security guards assigned to Neve Dekalim, formerly the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza. "We've tried to stop as many people as we can, but they're like locusts."
The greenhouses are a centerpiece of Palestinian plans for rebuilding Gaza after 38 years of Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority hopes the high-tech greenhouses left by the Israelis will provide jobs and export income for Gaza's shattered economy.

During a tour of Neve Dekalim, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia implored Palestinians to leave the structures intact. "These greenhouses are for the Palestinian people," he said. "We don't want anyone to touch or harm anything that can be useful for our people."

Jihad al-Wazir, the deputy Palestinian finance minister, said roughly 30 percent of the greenhouses suffered various degrees of damage. He said that after a "very heated meeting" with Qureia and other Palestinian leaders, the security forces appeared to be getting the situation under control."We expect the security to protect the assets properly," he said.

Al-Wazir said the greenhouses did not suffer structural damage, but that looters got away with irrigation pipes, plastic sheeting and most troublesome, water pumps. He said authorities were trying to recover the expensive pumps.

You know I am kind of glad that James Wolfensohn is a former World Bank President rather than the current president if this is what he puts in his personal investment portfolio. I am taking bets that the Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas won't make it through till the end of the month before he is making an international appeal that he needs more foreign aid to jump start the Gaza economy.

But you know it isn’t only the Palestinian Authority who is having a hard time policing in the Gaza Strip now that the Israelis have left according to this Khaleej Times report:
Egyptian troops, meanwhile, failed for a second straight day to control a rush across the Gaza-Egypt border, which had been heavily guarded by Israel. With the Israelis gone, Gazans dug under walls and climbed over barriers to get to Egypt, where they stocked up on cheap cigarettes, medication and food.

The chaos raised new questions about the ability of Palestinian forces to impose order in Gaza, and drew fresh criticism of Egypt. Israel agreed to turn over border security to Egypt as part of its withdrawal.“One would like to hope that what happened there was just a one-time failure by the Egyptian troops to do what is expected of them,” said Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Israeli officials said they were in contact with Egypt to resolve the matter.

This Debkafile brief is claiming that the Eqyptians have closed the border in a hope to restore order.

Dog Bites Man on the Butt

If you are a high ranking IDF officer now is not the time to visit England, Germany, and Spain (just to name a few European countries) if you do not wish to be arrested by those foreign governments and put on trial for alleged “war crimes” reports the Jerusalem Post:
International law experts warned Monday that IDF generals should not visit England, Germany, Spain and several other European countries since they are in danger of being arrested and being tried for war crimes.

On Sunday, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog – former OC Southern Command – evaded arrest at Heathrow Airport in London after he was warned not to disembark from an El Al flight because British detectives were waiting to arrest him. The arrest warrant had been issued on Saturday by the Bow Street Magistrate's Court at the request of a pro-Palestinian Muslim group. The warrant, reportedly the first of its kind issued in Britain on war crimes charges, alleged that Almog in 2002 had ordered the demolition of 59 Palestinian homes in Rafah.

Almog said in a Channel One interview that he and his wife were going to England to participate in a fundraiser for Alei Negev, an organization that builds homes for children with disabilities. Minutes after landing, he recalled Monday, a stewardess conveyed to him a message from the captain asking him to wait on the plane. The military attach at the Israeli embassy arrived after a short time and, following consultations with IDF Judge Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avi Mandelblit, Almog decided to remain on board and to return to Israel immediately.

"If an IDF officer goes to England today there is a chance they will be arrested," said Irit Kahn, former head of the Justice Ministry's International Affairs Department. "It depends on the country and their laws. Britain has a wide universal legal system similar to Spain and Germany. While not all countries are like this, one needs to be careful."

Maj.-General (res.) Doron Almog notes the irony:
"After returning to Israel and reading about what they had prepared for me, I know I made the right decision," Almog said, adding that the State of Israel needs to fight for him and other IDF officers. "My military service was not for me but for the State of Israel." Almog added, "Look at the paradox. On 9/11, I land in London and they try to arrest me, the same person who fought terror more than anyone. I was the first soldier in Entebbe. During my service there were 400 attempts to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza, but they all failed because I created buffer zones by demolishing the homes [in Rafiah]."

But the fallout has not ended with Almog’s safe removal from England reports YnetOnline:
The Yesh Gvul far left group announced Monday morning that its members have submitted complaints to a British court against IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz and former chief of staff Moshe Yaalon.

Yishai Menhin, spokesman of Yesh Gvul, said, “We have passed on to British lawyers the story of the attempted assassination of Hamas chief Salah Shahada in which a bomb weighing a ton was dropped in the heart of a Gaza neighborhood (in 2002), after we despaired of the High Court.”
“The minute that the High Court again froze dealings with the story last week, we began proceedings (in Britain). What matters to us is the claim that Dan Halutz and Moshe Yaalon took the decision to assassinate Shahada without giving thought to those who were innocent. We hope that, in the same way that the British judge decided to order an arrest warrant against Dron Almog, he will also decide to dispatch warrants against Halutz and Yaalon,” added Mehnin.

Meanwhile, the British Guardian newspaper has published a report Monday morning claiming that Daniel Machover, the lawyer who requested that an arrest warrant be produced against Major General Doron Almog, has demanded that a criminal investigation be opened against Israel’s ambassador in London, Zvi Hefetz, and the staff of the Israeli embassy, for helping Almog avoid arrest.
The Israeli embassy’s military attaché informed Almog that a British court had taken out an injunction for his arrest, and Almog immediately returned to Israel before British authorities had an opportunity to arrest him.

Daniel Machover, the lawyer acting on behalf of the Muslim organization behind the charges, demanded that the investigation focus on the question of who leaked the information to the Israeli embassy, and how an Israeli diplomat circumvented the various security stages in order to get to the El Al jet containing Almog, and inform him of the threat he faced.

Human rights group Amnesty International, also criticized British police for not arresting Almog. “He should have been arrested; according to British law there is no reason not to arrest him the minute he was on British soil,” the group in a statement.

The demonization and persecution of Israelis in foreign courts for the alleged “war crimes” of defending their country from terrorists to the best of their ability does not end with the Israelis but merely marks the beginning. How long before Cindy Sheehan and likeminded cohorts decide that a European court is the way to go to further their own political agenda?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Divine Intercession

Chantal Hebert in the Toronto Star writes on the need for an Act of God to save the Martin Liberal government from a winter election.
If Prime Minister Paul Martin is to be taken at his word, only an act of God could deter his government from holding a winter election. At a reception for the parliamentary press gallery last week, Martin left little doubt about his resolve to live up to his commitment to call a vote no later than 30 days after the final report of the Gomery commission next December.

Short of a federal leader being struck by a catastrophic illness, a national emergency or an unlikely government defeat at the hands of the opposition in the House this fall, it does seem that Canada will be going to the polls in a rare winter election. That already has observers of the Canadian electoral scene bracing for a record low turnout. By all past indicators, they have cause to worry. The last winter election, in 1980, resulted in a significant drop in voter participation.

Every winter, scores of senior citizens leave Canada for warmer climes. In normal circumstances, no age group has a higher election turnout. On average, more than 80 per cent of voters over age 55 exercise their franchise. (In Quebec those voters also make up the staunchest group of federalist supporters.)

An Act of Gomery has just saved Mr. Dither’s from a winter election. My cynicism towards liberal malfeasance has now reached no discernable limits.

The Globe and Mail Knows No Shame

There are far too many reasons for me to list why I refuse to pay for a subscription to the Globe and Mail but really questionable judgment makes the top of the list every time.

In today’s (dead tree) edition the Globe and Mail leads with selective quotes from a new book released by Peter. C. Newman, which takes up a good three-quarter’s of the front page. (Storming Norman Spectator has the pix up of the front page but I can’t guarantee it will be up all day.)

The day a book review trumps all news on the front page is the demise of Canadian’s National newspaper since 1844, and the birth of Canada’s National Tabloid.

Best Quote of the week – Colby Cosh

But if I can't have a libertarian paradise where state power defers to social power, or use recent events to urge others to the wisdom of such a state of affairs, I'm willing to propose a second-best for America: replace the three branches of republican government with permanent joint rule by Wal-Mart and the Salvation Army. Go on, tell me you could honestly do worse.

I don’t always agree with Colby Cosh, but if you aren’t reading him; shame on you.

Fences make good neighbors except if they have rockets

Jerusalem Post is reporting that another kassam rocket lands in Israel just as the official IDF presence ended in Gaza:
Palestinians fired a Kassam rocket at the Sderot area in the early hours on Monday morning, just as Israel was completing its final withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. The rocket landed in an open area, and no one was wounded in the attack, Israel Radio reported. OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Dan Harel called the attack a disruption of the Palestinians' commitment to ensure security. He emphasized that the IDF would not search out the terrorist or group responsible for the Kassams, but instead would place the responsibility on the Palestinian Authority.

Interestingly enough, the Palestinian Authority boycotted the Gaza handover ceremony because Israel did not destroy the synagogues in Gaza.
Following Sunday's cabinet decision against the demolition of synagogues, a Palestinian Authority official declared that the PA intended to destroy all the synagogues.

All remaining buildings in the evacuated settlements will be destroyed except for the hothouses, Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khoussa said. The PA – who claimed that the Gaza synagogues symbolized Israel's occupation – boycotted the ceremony marking the handover of the Gaza Strip earlier on Sunday, in what was widely viewed as a protest against the cabinet's decision.

The Jerusaelm Post is carrying a more in depth article on the PA boycott of the Gaza handover and Debkafile is carrying a rather cynical story on how it came about that the Sharon government opted against having the IDF destroy the synagogues in Gaza contrary to a high court ruling earlier in the week that supported the Israeli government's inital decision to destroy the synagogues.

No Sharia Law

According to the Toronto Star (registration required)Premier McGuinty, has finally stopped dithering and come to his senses and done the only sensible thing which is to repel the 1992 Arbitration Act and banned all religious tribunals in the family and civil court systems.
Ontario will not become the first Western jurisdiction to allow the use of a set of centuries’ old religious rules called Sharia law to settle Muslim family disputes, and will ban all religious arbitrations in the province, Premier Dalton McGuinty told The Canadian Press on Sunday.

In a telephone interview with the national news agency, McGuinty announced his government would move quickly to outlaw existing religious tribunals used for years by Christians and Jews under Ontario’s Arbitration Act. “I’ve come to the conclusion that the debate has gone on long enough,” he said. “There will be no Sharia law in Ontario. There will be no religious arbitration in Ontario. There will be one law for all Ontarians.”

McGuinty said religious arbitrations “threaten our common ground,” and promised his Liberal government would introduce legislation “as soon as possible” to outlaw them in Ontario. “Ontarians will always have the right to seek advice from anyone in matters of family law, including religious advice,” he said. ``But no longer will religious arbitration be deciding matters of family law.”
I am no lover of the McGuinty nor the Liberal party but McGuinty took the only course available to him if Ontarians were to uphold the principle of equality before the law for all.

Even once the act is repelled there is nothing to stop individuals from turning to a religious mediator to settle disputes and presenting the Ontario court Justices with a religiously negotiated settlement but there will be no official governmental standing for religious tribunals. It was shortsighted of the NDP Rae government to introduce this piece of legislation in the first place. No doubt it was thought of as a good idea at the time and the Rae’s government meant well. But bad law always means well.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I have no 9/11 post. I don’t think there is anything I really add to all the others who have written extensively on 9/11 today and have every year since Al Qaeda terrorists first attacked the United States inside the US homeland.

Either 9/11 made you stand up and pay attention or it compelled you to permanently affix your rose-coloured glasses to your face and you have move deeper into your cave. For those whose glasses are on, I hear Iran is nice this time of year. For the rest of us; let’s continue to roll.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Who’s the new Che on a Canadian Campus?

A little bird told me of an interesting incident that occurred today on downtown public street in Toronto and I have emailed the student activities council of a Toronto area university and asked for their comment on the incident, and furthermore, what is the official position on diversity of thought and freedom for political thought/speech on campus. It would also be informative to learn whether the student activities council endorses the principle behind the Academic Bill of Rights for Students.

I will give the group at least a week to respond but it just kills me to think that Lewis Reford is the new Che on campus – now that’s what I call a hidden agenda.

Whatever will they think of next?

The Toronto Star carries this report under the by-line of the dead tree edition, “To Serve and Connect” (registration required):
In an effort to make the police service more transparent and accountable, Toronto officers will soon be required to wear name tags on their uniforms to identify themselves to the public.

The police services board made that decision yesterday over the objections of union officials, who worry that name tags could jeopardize the safety of officers and their families.

"It enables the public to recognize us. And I think it puts it on a personal level," said Chief Bill Blair, after the board approved spending $142,000 to buy gold-coloured metal bars as well as engraving equipment. "The police do have to connect to the people that we serve." But Dave Wilson, president of the Toronto Police Association, called the spending unnecessary given that every officer's badge number is on the uniform's hat and shoulder epaulets.

How long will it take before the police are compelled when an officer hands you a ticket to ask if you want fries with that?

Grannies of Canada: Now is time to unite!

For some time I have had the feeling that the country was slowly seeping down the septic tank but I had not yet thought any provincial government would sink this low but Darcey at Dust My Broom has the scoop on just how low an NDP provincial government is prepared to go.

Now we all know what NDP policy wanks lay awake at night thinking about. Too bad they had to share, but it does make me wonder how long church rummage sales will be allowed to operative tax free.

Saintly Politics

Regular readers of this blog know that there rarely is a quiz that I can resist. I found this one via Curt of North West Winds:
You are Joan of Arc! You don't really want to hurt
anyone, but if they attack your friends or your
country and no-one else will stand up to fight
them, you head into the battle. Beware though,
conviction tends to get you killed.

Which Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I cannot count the times that the Last Amazon has suggested I come down from my cross but really - when you stop to think about it, who else could I be?

Biting the Hand that Feeds

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that the Palestinian Authority signs a deal to receive US$50 million from the Americans to assist with housing and infrastructure costs and then incites its “citizens” against the United States on state run television and radio.
The report mentioned texts of two sermons conducted on September 2. One was broadcast on PA television and in the presence of Abbas and Yusuf Jum'a Salameh, the PA minister of the Wakf and Religious Affairs: "We say to the dear, heroic Iraqi nation, turn this incident [the accidental death of 1,000 Iraqis] into an opportunity for resisting the [American] occupation, for uniting families, for unifying the forces and for opposition to the policy of dismantling Iraq and dividing it geographically."

On PA radio, Aksa Mosque Imam Ysuef Abu Sneina said"Anyone who watches closely the nature of our world today, can see that the heretical countries – first and foremost, the USA – have succeeded greatly in tearing our Islamic world apart by disintegrating and splitting up more than one Islamic state, intending to weaken it, disperse [its citizens] and plunder its resources It is terrorism, and there's no choice but to fight it.

"As regards Iraq, there is much to say about it. The USA has composed a draft of the Iraqi Constitution in a way that it will serve US interests and enhance the disintegration of Iraq's unity. The new constitution includes federal solutions, which are dividing Iraq into small countries...

"A federal government hides behind it; the seeds of a future civil war... The USA is planning to rule Saudi Arabia and disintegrate it, too, despite the close friendly relations between the two countries..."Is the USA going to fulfill its ambitions and aggressive plans? And, for how long shall the submission and surrender to the plans of the enemies of the [Islamic] nation?"

What I can't understand is how the Immans missed the opportunity to instruct their audience that America's ills are the direct result of associating with the Jooos.