Wednesday, November 30, 2005

What will happen when the lights finally go out in Jerusalem?

Much has been made of Israel being the only democracy and the only bastion of freedom in the Middle East, and I have long admired the Jewish state, but increasingly more and more of the following kinds of stories are coming to light concerning the plight of those who oppose the politics of Sharon et al, and I truly wonder how much longer or further the state of Israel can travel down this road without losing all that has made it previously a beacon of hope and inspiration for so many.

Caroline Glick highlights the sad case of Avri Ran in her most recent Jerusalem Post article:

Case in point is the continued incarceration of Avri Ran. As I noted in a column last month, Ran, who owns and runs the Eternal Hills ranch in northern Samaria, was indicted last March for aggravated assault. Ran was arrested and indicted after punching, on March 20, a trespasser who had entered his cultivated field with a tractor with the intention of destroying his crop.

Although Ran has never been found guilty of any crime and although the action for which he is under indictment was clearly motivated by the context in which it was enacted (that is, Ran's desire to protect his property), the state prosecutors have demanded since the day of Ran's arrest that he be jailed pending trial due to his "ideology."

When Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut ordered Ran's incarceration pending the completion of his trial last month, she too noted his "ideological zealotry" as a justification for his remand to custody. Hayut, like the state prosecution, never attempted to clarify what, if any, connection exists between an individual's political beliefs and his desire to protect his property from trespass.

Today Ran has been removed from his ranch and separated from his family for eight months on charges for which he has yet to stand trial. His trial was set to begin on October 11. The police prosecutors arrived at Kfar Saba's Magistrate's Court on the appointed date only to announce that they were not yet ready to begin a trial for which they had had seven months to prepare. Without hesitation the judge postponed the trial until December 1 - sending the untried Ran back to jail for another six weeks.

According to Ran's Nir, Ran has become psychologically depressed as a result of his long incarceration and his depression has led to a loss of appetite. He has lost more than 20 kilos and now weighs some 50 kilos. On November 19, Ran's family and friends held a vigil outside Ayalon prison, where he is being held. His 10 children spoke to their father through a megaphone and told him how much they miss him. As his children spoke, prison guards entered the Torah wing of the prison and took Ran into solitary confinement. The next day he was told that he would be even more severely punished if his family and friends repeated the vigil in the future.

Amazingly, the state has apparently not limited its abuse to Ran. His son Daniel was set to be inducted into the IDF on November 14 and begin basic training in the Golani Infantry Brigade. At the beginning of the month Daniel received a letter from the IDF informing him that his military service had been cancelled. All attempts by the family to discover why went unanswered. Finally, he was informed that he had to appear before a military psychiatrist if he wished to be inducted into the army. Daniel has no history of mental illness and no criminal record.

And in other news today, Shimon Peres said, “Ariel Sharon is the only leader who can lead Israel to peace” and formally announced that he will be leaving his convictions at the door of the Labour party after 61 years and joining the Sharon coalition in Kadima.

Gods & Artists

Credit has to go to Candace at Waking Up at Planet X for finding this newbie blogger - Johnny Pockets @ Gods & Artists.

Normally, a real newbie would just go on my mental watch list with a note to "watch and read" for a couple of months, but I have to hand it to Johnny Pockets for creating the Libscam Wiki entry detailing the Liberal misdeeds since 1993.

The list is well over 100 and it is only detailing the period from 1993 to October 2005. Only #1-79 covers the Chrétien years – which strikes me, as a little thin, but maybe not all the sleeping dogs are awake yet. Martin’s tenure goes from #80-199 and there is still time to keep the numbers growing. Frankly, reading the list from 1-199 caused my right eye to start twitching by number 96. I figure that if Martin's -re-elected with a majority government I'll go blind.

Carnival Of Liberty XXII

For some strange reason the tribe has decided that my computer is the only fit one to do homework on. What that means is that my access to my computer has become rather limited lately, unless I am prepared to do what they won't which is bite the bullet and go back to dial-up. So I missed posting this link yesterday for the Carnival of Liberty XXII hosted by Below the Beltway.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

There is no joy in this election for me.

I was listening to Fox News this morning and discovered that the “MAR – TAIN” government of Canada has fallen. I guess the anchor thought the Paul Mar-tin couldn’t possibly be an Anglo or that is what the Fox anchor believes passes for an English pronunciation in Canada.

I find myself strangely apathetic to the news. Oh, I am not in any doubt who I will vote for. I know who I would like to see form the next government out of the choices available to me. And I will do exactly what I did last election. I will hold my nose and vote CPC. This time round I have actually met the CPC candidate for Toronto-Central and I like the man, but I am uncomfortable with the party as a whole. There is no question that it is long past the time for the Liberals to end their stranglehold on what passes for the mechanism of government in Canada. Their tenure has been far too long already. Adscam is not only proof of that but the logical consequence when one party’s tenure at the helm goes unhindered or unchallenged.

Maybe the problem lies in that I am waiting for a Canadian Goldwater moment or at the very least a Canadian equivalent to “morning time in America”. I want our own version of Reagan or Thatcher, and instead, I get a conservative version of Jimmy Carter. Not a fair trade by any means.

Monday, November 28, 2005

To be or not to be

I blog anonymously per say. My last name does not openly appear on my blog but if you really wanted to discover it I doubt it would take more than a little effort and the right search engine to discover my full legal name. I expect anyone with enough determination could do so easily enough.

When I first started to blog in May 2004 it was a dialogue between my daughter, the Last Amazon, and me. In time that dialogue expanded to include not just my daughter but other people’s daughters and sons, their parents and often grandparents as well. I keep two email addresses for my blog. One that it published on the sidebar and the other I use when I correspond with other bloggers. In either email address I do not hesitate to use my own name.

In the beginning I didn’t really spend any time contemplating whether I should remain anonymous or not. Generally, in conversations with my daughter the occasion never arises for me to use my first and last name, though in fairness, I should say that once in a while I have used her full name in conversation – usually to express some form of displeasure.

After I received my first hate email in my first full month of blogging I realized that some souls would take great offense at not just my opinions but by my very existence as well. I have kept all my hate email. Some of it most definitely violates not only Canada’s hate speech laws but the criminal code. I have never acted upon the death threats rather than to keep them on file in case some deluded individual decides to go the extra mile from spewing threats and crosses the line into action. It was those early emails that made me glad that I had not run the blog openly under my full name.

I have been stalked in the real world and it was certainly is not a life lesson in security that I would wish on any young woman and it has made me cautious in my dealings. My stalker crossed the line from voyeurism to action. One particularly warm night I woke to find him cutting the screen on my first floor bedroom window and in the act of coming through the window with a knife. I had just enough presence of mind and time to jump up and slam the window down on him before I fled to a neighbor’s apartment.

After that night, the Last Amazon’s father came to sleep in the kitchen of my two-room flat. He appeared every night for the next three months and when he couldn’t come he had another come in his place. He spent most of the night rooting about in my fridge eating anything he could find. Eventually, I had to make a choice between feeding a professional offensive lineman full-time or taking my chances. I was poor and felt sufficiently safe to tell him that his services were no longer needed as the police believed they had caught the man who came through my window when he was apprehended doing the same thing at my next door neighbors – a single woman and her teenage daughter.

That being said, I only cloak my full identity for security’s sake rather than a desire to keep myself hidden for any nefarious purpose. I no longer have just myself to protect but three young people as well. This time there is no offensive lineman eating in the kitchen. Any opinion I express on this blog I am well able to do so in a public forum but if you are going to get in my face I want to know what yours looks like so I can see who’s coming.

I have some rules that I use about my blogging. I do not use my children’s full names, or the name of their schools or activities that would identify their whereabouts at any given time. I do not blog about my work or my employer. I do not knowingly use false information and comment on it as truth. Once during the last US election I used a story reported on an online magazine that turned out to be false. As soon as I discovered the essential untruth of the matter I took the original post down and blogged the reasons why in its’ place.

Those are my reasons for blogging anonymously, I recognize that others who blog anonymously do so for a variety of other reasons but it does not necessarily mean their privacy is worth less than mine or that to blog anonymously for other than security’s sake is somehow nefarious. Around the World in 80 Days has an online post that should be a cautionary tale for all anonymous bloggers concerning a Minnesota blogger who another Minnesota blogger is attempting to out publicly under the guise of what I would consider frivolous lawsuit. I remain divided on this issue so I am not coming out and endorsing any side. I comprehend MDE’s wish to keep his privacy intact. I personally would take great offense at any attempts to bully or browbeat me into submission but I am not sure this is the way I would fight the battle. I am enough of a street scrapper that I would probably supply the information myself with words – bring it on, but that's just me.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Somebody has been watching way too much Stargate

I’ve been trying really hard to ignore this report but now not only is Drudge linking to it, Fox just carried a recap of it in a broadcast. Taken from Yahoo:
November 24, 2005 -- A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.”

By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that may now be visiting Earth. On September 25, 2005, in a startling speech at the University of Toronto that caught the attention of mainstream newspapers and magazines, Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."

Mr. Hellyer went on to say, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something."Hellyer revealed, "The secrecy involved in all matters pertaining to the Roswell incident was unparalled. The classification was, from the outset, above top secret, so the vast majority of U.S. officials and politicians, let alone a mere allied minister of defence, were never in-the-loop."

Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."

Hellyer’s speech ended with a standing ovation. He said, "The time has come to lift the veil of secrecy, and let the truth emerge, so there can be a real and informed debate, about one of the most important problems facing our planet today."

You cannot begin to imagine how hard it is to be me in this country.

Where’s the Love?

I am a day late and a rap short on the ban the 50 Cent Massacre Tour from Toronto but I do have two bits to say. Is it too much to ask that self-proclaimed liberals and progressives remain idealogically consistent? 50 Cent is a former gangbanger and drug dealer who seen the light and mended his ways. He now only raps for his daily bread.

Last time I checked musician was a legal profession in Canada. Frankly, I thought that liberals and progressives were all gung-ho for the concept of rehabilitation of criminal offenders. 50 Cents should be your natural poster child. Embrace the man and reclaim your tolerance.

Furthermore, he’s proof that there is a pay-off for being legit. He now makes more money for the glamourization of the gangsta lifestyle and extolling the virtues of pimping and drug dealing to your children in song. Isn't it progressive not to confuse the man with the message? So what if his concerts are often marked by violence. He ain’t dealing that play, he’s just there to collect. Clean-up is your issue - not his.

Talk about a burning desire to nail one’s butt to any cross

Do US Presbyterians really believe that Jesus would have met with Hezbollah and then praised them? I admit that I am ignorant of the differences between the various protestant Christian denominations, but that being said, why did the US Presbyterians actively seek to meet with leaders of a terrorist organization? I can’t make up my mind if they are being willfully ignorant or just in denial of Hezbollah’s long tortured history of “interfaith” relations with Christians in Lebanon? Somehow I don’t think this falls under the “rending unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” but I have to ask; who will they seek out to meet and praise next?

(Tipped off by reader Larry R.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Iran to float a loan to Iraq for reconstruction & security issues!

I really enjoy reading the Lebanon Daily Star for a variety of reasons and I make a habit of reading the paper online at least once a week. Where else would I have learned that Iran is going to float a $1 billion loan to the aid the Iraqis with reconstruction and security issues?
Iran has pledged to give Iraq a $1 billion loan and help with tackling insecurity, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said at the end of a ground-breaking visit to the Islamic state.


Talabani's three-day visit followed heightened accusations by Western and some Iraqi officials that Iran was linked to insurgent attacks in Iraq. Iran has repeatedly denied such accusations, "we are very sorry for what is happening in Iraq at the moment, and we hope that the establishment of a sovereign state in Iraq comes quickly," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, asserting Iran was "thanking God that our brothers in arms are now holding high positions in Iraq."

Talabani stressed the improving political and commercial ties between two countries which fought a bitter 1980-1988 war in which hundreds of thousands died. "All the officials I met said there are no limits to Iran's support for the Iraqi nation," he told reporters. "Iranian officials openly said they want the establishment of security in Iraq ... They said: 'Your security is our security,"' he said.

Talabani added that Iran had pledged to give Iraq a $1-billion loan and $10 million in aid to help with reconstruction efforts. He gave no details and Iranian officials could not immediately be reached to elaborate. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Talabani on Tuesday that foreign troops were the cause of violence and that Iraqi authorities should demand a time table for a pull-out.

I have no idea if the money really is forthcoming or not, but if it is, I can’t help speculating that we will then see an upsurge or escalation in insurgent activities in Iraq from its present level. I have to say that with friends like the Iranians - who needs enemies?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

John Bolton shows his nettle and muscle at the UN

On Monday, while some of us were busying reading and talking about Ariel Sharon’s new political party (tentatively named National Responsibility) the IDF & the IAF were shouldering the burden of national responsibility when Hizbullah’s launched an unprovoked attack on IDF positions in Northern Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports the UN Security council has issued an “unprecedented condemnation” of Hizbullah’s unprovoked attack:
Following intense US pressure, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel. This condemnation - slamming Hizbullah by name for "acts of hatred" - marked the first time the Security Council has ever reprimanded Hizbullah for cross-border attacks on Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt to get a condemnation issued on Monday, the day of the attack, when Algeria came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement.

When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton," a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement. The condemnation expressed "deep concern" over the attack, and called on Lebanon to exercise its sovereignty and authority in the south according to relevant Security Council resolutions.

Security Council Resolution 1559, which led to the withdrawal earlier this year of Syrian troops from Lebanon, also calls for the dismantling of the militias in the country, as well as a call to the Lebanese government to extend its control over the entire country, including the Hizbullah dominated south.

Israeli officials expressed satisfaction that the statement did not include any attempt to "balance it," referring to Israel's response to the Hizbullah attack, and that for the first time ever it placed full responsibility for the violence on Hizbullah's shoulders.

I couldn’t find a reference to the UN Security council condemnation in the The Toronto Star as of writing this, but they were carrying a brief report of the IDF rescuing an Israeli civilian who was hang-gliding in northern Israel when he was inadvertently carried by strong cross winds into Lebanese territory.

Oddly enough, the Lebanon Daily Star carried the same report but made no mention of the UN Security Condemnation of Hizbullah either:
Hizbullah and Israeli sources said that the clashes began near the border village of Meiss al-Jabal when Israeli troops tried to rescue an Israeli paraglider who had drifted from the border town of Manara.

Eyewitnesses in Meiss al-Jabal said they saw the pilot urged by Israeli soldiers to creep back across the border. "The Israeli combat planes had to help cover his withdrawal under heavy firing from Hizbullah's heavy and medium machine-guns," one eyewitness said. There was also a dispute over the parachutist's identity, with Hizbullah telling AFP he was a soldier and Israeli military sources insisting that he was a civilian. The paraglider managed to return back to Israel through a fence opening created by soldiers. He was arrested by Israeli police for questioning.

According to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, "the incident started around 3 p.m. when the parachutist took to the sky near the Manara cliff and was blown by strong winds into Lebanon. "The man was spotted upon landing by three Hizbullah militants, who began moving toward him. Meanwhile, the man sprinted through a mine field in the direction of the nearby Manara outpost. "Hizbullah opened fire at [Israeli] troops who rushed to open the gate to let the man back in to Israel. The parachutist arrived unharmed and was handed over to Kiryat Shmona police." "The soldiers saved me," the parachutist told the press. "If it were not for the [Israeli Army], I would now be in Lebanon and I don't know what would have happened to me."

But the Lebanon Daily Star did mention the latest intrusion by the IAF into Lebanon airspace today:
In a separate development, Israeli combat aircraft intruded into Lebanese airspace and flooded the capital and other districts with thousands of leaflets. In the southern town of Tyre, police said three Israeli helicopters ejected large packets of the pamphlets that floated down on parachutes.

The Lebanese Army said that "Israeli combat planes at dawn dropped propaganda leaflets on Beirut, Mount Lebanon and the South, to incite Lebanese against the resistance." Signed by the State of Israel, the leaflets warned of the dangers Hizbullah posed to Lebanese people.

"Hizbullah brings a strong prejudice to Lebanon. It is an instrument in the hands of its Syrian and Iranian masters. The state of Israel is watching over the protection of its citizens and sovereignty," the leaflets read. Addressed to "Lebanese Citizens," the tracts asked: "Who is protecting Lebanon, who lies to you? Who throws your sons into a battle for which they are not prepared? Who wants the return of destruction?"

Indeed, who does?

$300,000 For Prime Minister Dithers Life?

I cannot imagine a Canadian who would shell out $300,000 in cold hard cash for the life of then Paul Martin, Finance Minister. Nah, that’s one bill of goods that I just can’t buy and it's just stretching the bounds of credible cocaine psychosis a little too far.

(tipped off by Neale News)

Gaza Refugees in Israel

Caroline Glick, one of my favourite columnists at the Jerusalem Post (even when I disagree with her) has her new column up on Gaza Refugees:
The Quartet's envoy and former World Bank president James Wolfensohn is reputed to be quite a deal maker. One of the deals he made as the Quartet's envoy to the region was the purchase by wealthy American Jews of greenhouses owned by the Jews who were expelled from Gaza this past summer and their transfer as a gift to the Palestinians. Unfortunately, while the greenhouses were indeed abandoned by the Jews as the IDF threw them off their land, and they were transferred to the Palestinians, the Jews have yet to receive all their money. According to the farmers, the World Bank has deducted the value of the property looted from the greenhouses after they left Gaza from their payments.

This story is one of many that were never reported in the aftermath of the expulsions. Those expulsions, and the withdrawal of IDF forces that followed have enabled Gaza to be transformed into a new base of operations for global jihad. But aside from the foreseen strategic consequences of the withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza, the expulsions have caused a humanitarian disaster for Israeli society. Hundreds of families have been living in hotel rooms in Jerusalem for the past three months. The largest group of refugees - some 350 families with another 150 on their way - lives in the temporary city of Nitzan.

If anything, the ongoing lives of the Gaza Refugees provide a cautionary tale proving that once one consignee’s one fate to the government, any government, you become merely a bystander in your own life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The National takes a look at Poundmaker

Tomorrow, I will break my rule and watch CBC’s The National (at approximately 10:20pm EST) because for once the CBC will be covering the one story that should have been receiving national profile and support all along.

The CBC will air a report on the Poundmaker First Nation’s disreputable state of band governance and a group of individuals (the Poundmaker Working Group) who literally banded together with virtually no outside support to fight back against the entrenched corruption and poor governance within their band.

It’s a story that Darcey at Dust My Broom first brought to my attention and that I have been following ever since. The fact that the Poundmaker Working Group has gotten as far as it has proves that evil will not triumph as long as good men and woman take a stand and act on principle.

Here is Darcey’s tag so that you can bring yourself up to speed.

Carnival of Liberty XXI

A few months ago a number of bloggers whose blog’s I read fairly regularly started to sport this cool Life, Liberty & Property icon on their sidebar. I wouldn’t call myself a “libertarian” per say, but life, liberty and property are concepts that I don’t have any intellectual nightmares about getting behind or supporting.

Politically, I am still evolving, and as of the here and now, I am a cross between a Thatcherite Conservative and a Classical Liberal (not to be confused with a Canadian Liberal which deserves is own section in the Canadian Criminal Code and is commonly referred to as “Fiberal” in Ontario). To make a long story short, I applied and was accepted by the LLP blogs and now I, too, have that same icon on the sidebar. Consequently, I have discovered a number of new blogs that are challenging my assumptions and giving me new food for thought or just making me laugh. But LLP blogs do make it easy on the reader by having a host compile a Carnival of Liberty weekly.

This week’s Carnival of Liberty XXI is hosted by Left Brain Female who definitely posseses a brain worth picking and I can only say I am in wow.

International Rules of Manhood

Darcey found this list of International Rules for Manhood at Right-Wing of the Gods:

23: Never allow a telephone conversation with a woman to go on longer than you are able to have sex with her. Keep a stopwatch by the phone. Hang up if necessary.

This rule was actually my favourite and I can wholeheartedly recommend endorsing this one because this is what I want for Christmas, but (sigh) I know I won’t get it.
27: The girl who replies to the question “What do you want for Christmas?” with “If you loved me, you’d know what I want!” gets an Xbox. End of story.

I have already have an Xbox but I would like a 360 – is that really too much to ask for?

Israel didn't survive the cut

Who would have thought that there was one enemy list that Israel didn’t even rate a place on or a mention? The Jerusalem Post carried this report:
The Paris-based, international organization Reporters without Borders marked the World Summit on the Information Society - which took place in Tunisia under the auspices of the UN - by publishing a list of "The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch."

The countries the organization defined as "enemies" were those that condone Internet crackdowns, censor-independent news sites, opposition publications and bloggers, and harassing, or even imprisoning Internet users. The countries included in this category were Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, Libya, The Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

In addressing Syria, the Reporters without Borders report stated: "The regime restricts Internet access to a minority of privileged people, filters the Web and very closely monitors online activity. A Kurdish journalism student is in prison for posting photos on a foreign-based site of a demonstration in Damascus.

I am surprised that Egypt didn't make the enemies list and Russia didn’t even rate a mention on the "countries to watch" list but ironically enough the United States and the European Union did make the “countries to watch” list.

There is a reason why Peres has never won a National Election

I had an email from a reader (in Europe) taking me to task for suggesting that if Shimon Peres joined the new Sharon political party it would be the political kiss of death for Sharon. But I stand by that. If Peres joined Sharon’s new party how on earth would Sharon convince any Israeli voters that he did not intend wide scale withdrawals from the current West Banks settlement blocks or even not give away Jerusalem?

If I was running the Likud campaign I make commercials and print ads utilizing pictures taken from the Gaza withdrawals of soldiers evicting settlers from their homes and suggest that if you vote Sharon your turn will be next. In the commercials, I would use a voice over of Sharon in the last election condemning and ridiculing Labour’s plan to withdraw from Gaza. Actually, if I was running the campaign whether Peres joined or not, I would still do that and ask, “How could you live with yourself if you voted for any party that would make your mother homeless?” Or how about, “Do you really think peace will be possible when your mother is homeless?”

But then again, I have been criticized as being a little too blunt for the mainstream and I really like my mother.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Bulldozer is the Israeli equivalent of the Energizer Bunny

After a year of rumours, Ariel Sharon has finally done it. He has left the Likud to create a new “centralist” political party - as if Israeli politics wasn’t confusing enough, now this. You have to give the 77 year old credit. He has made a career out of upsetting apple carts and he will probably go to his place in the world to come by kicking a cart or two along the way.

He really had no choice if he was to remain relevant in Israeli political circles. His own Likud party is deeply divided and when half your membership despises you anew every time another new story comes to light about the plight of the (former) Gaza settlers and your son is convicted for corruption in campaign financing for your own candidacy – you are in trouble.

How will the Israeli electorate re-act? Who knows? It will also depend on who will be joining the new party. There are rumours suggesting that Shimon Peres is considering leaving his own Labour party to join Sharon’s new “centrist” party. It wouldn’t be surprising, since Labour delegates just handed Peres the political slap in the face when they rejected Peres for the leadership of the party, and instead chose to hand the reins to Amir Peretz as the new face of the Israeli Labour party. Personally, I wouldn’t see that as anything but the electorate kiss of death for Sharon. Peres, the Nobel peace prize recipient maybe revered outside Israel but inside the country he has been commonly described as an Oslo war criminal.

What will be the mission statement of this new political party? The party will not survive more than one term - if that. If its' only rationale for being is simply to act as a safety net to save Sharon an electoral defeat from within the Likud party. Political parties require a strong base for success at the polls. Does Sharon have the infrastructure in place at the grassroots level to carry his party to victory? Again, it depends on the quality of candidates that Sharon will attract to his new party of disillusioned old men.

Palestinian Authority to disarm citizens - I will believe when I see it.

Here’s the latest Palestinian Authority feel good story reported by the Jerusalem Post:
Palestinian police began confiscating stolen Israeli cars in the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday and have beefed up their forces to crack down on growing lawlessness. The police informed Palestinian terrorist groups, which oversee theft rings and possess illegal weapons that they also intend to start collecting unlicensed guns, police said. The factions were told, in the meantime, to obey a recent order to keep their weapons out of the open, the police said.

This is your classic PA story, but if you read on you come to this caveat buried near the end:
Police would not say when they would start collecting the unlicensed guns, an operation likely to set off tensions between the security forces and militant groups.

No doubt announcements like this send the right kind of message even if the words spoken are only sincere until the sound bite ends. I would take the PA stated intentions of disarming the local populace seriously, if the PA were to actually go about it in a realistic and concrete way. Establishing a weapons for cash program with a sliding scale payout for the type and number of weapons could go a long way in getting the “illegal” weapons out of the hands of the general populace.

Palestinian Authority controlled areas are incredibly poor places with unemployment often running well over 60%. Offering enough cash could go a long way to hold off the hunger pangs of a Palestinian family or could even motivate a neighbor to tipping off the security forces to another neighbor’s larger weapons cache. It could potentially make a significant dent in helping to impede the various and sundry competing terrorist organizations within the West Bank and Gaza by hindering their ability to launch attacks against Israel or the PA itself. You can’t have a Kassam attack without the Kassams.

Furthermore, the official Palestinian Authority security forces have been claiming that they are running out of guns and ammunition since the beginning of the year and it could go a long way in restocking their allegedly empty arsenal. No doubt the Palestinian Authority could easily entice the European Union to bankroll this initiative.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

When you are not safe at church from gunfire - where can you possibly be safe?

The Globe and Mail is reporting this:
Toronto — Police say a teenager shot dead at the Toronto funeral for another teen was apparently targeted by his killers. The 18-year-old was gunned down at a church in the city's northwest end this afternoon, sparking panic among 300 mourners in the building.

The funeral was for a 17-year-old boy who was slain by gunfire last week. Toronto police Chief Bill Blair says he believes the two murders are connected, noting the victims were friends.

When I first read the news release from the Toronto Police Services I thought the way the program was initiated was rather daft. In light of the fact that to be eligible for the amnesty you must call police to arrangements for the police to come and safely pick up the firearm you wish to surrender. Maybe it is a failure of imagination on my part, but I just can’t see your typical gang-banger calling the cops and having them come out to their home to pick-up their gun. I am willingly to concede that the Police know these people better than me, but I just can’t see how it is going to work in any appreciable or measurable way to end the killing on our city streets.

It’s not like the police did not have a relatively successful model to base the current gun amnesty program on. Operation Safe a Life which ran from October 4 -14th in 2000 offered $50 bucks for every unwanted firearm or illegal gun given to police to a maximum of $100 per person. Approximately 1,753 guns were turned in, but of course, that was a different time and a different Police Chief.

Maybe it is time for some enterprising reporter to ask Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to give an accounting on just how many guns have actually been turned into police to date under this current Gun Amnesty initiative while there are still 11 days to turn this program around.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Forget Bill Cosby

Tasha Henderson is my new role model.

A big THANK-YOU for the Meatriarchy for posting this.

The Last Amazon Sniper Initiative

Darcey at Dust my Broom tagged me in this utter time wasting exercise. I am suppose to find my twenty-third post. Pluck out my fifth sentence. Then write a short fictional piece with the sentence as the first one in the piece. And tag five more people in the blogosphere.

I only had time this morning to find the post and the sentence.
In order to be better prepared to follow Sweden's lead I suggest that the next election platform for the Fiberals and NDP should be an immediate increase in funding to accommodate the need of "Super Jails" to house the Christians.

If I had the time to write a short fictional piece using this sentence as a lead in - it would center around the Last Amazon taking the initiative to train the Sisters of St. Joseph in effective sniper techniques to protect St. Paul’s Basilica from the Fiberal/Dipper rabble.

Since I was last choice there is no one else that I know of to burden with this. Drop me a comment if you haven’t been picked and I’ll update this piece later today tagging you. Or let it die - your choice.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Right Proper Liberal Pharisee

According to this CTV report the current Prime Minister of Canada is duly warning the three opposition leaders that a failure to keep to his time table of when an election should be called is to risk offending religious groups by calling for an election during their religious holidays.
PUSAN, South Korea — Prime Minister Paul Martin warned the three opposition leaders today that they could offend religious and ethnic groups by forcing an election over the holiday season.

Martin told reporters en route to this port city for an Asian Pacific summit that the timetable he set for an election in March or April would allow Christians and Canadians of other religious faiths to celebrate their religious holidays without interruption from politicians knocking on their doors.

"When you are talking about the holiday season, there are also other religions that have different New Year's at different dates and their holidays at a different date and I think we have to be respectful of that -- the orthodox churches, for example," he said. "It's up to the opposition. I don't want a Christmas election."

Collapsed Catholic that I am, even I know that calling for a March/April election meanings campaigning in the midst of the holiest days of the ecclesiastical calendar for both the Roman & Eastern rite churches, and I would suspect the same would be true for the protestant churches as well.

I can’t claim to know who taught Paul Martin his Catholicism but obviously he failed to grasp that Lent through Easter triumphs Advent and Christmas. Though it is a pity that it is only after the Prime Minister has rammed his gay marriage legislation through parliament that he found concern for the religious sensibilities of others.

(Tipped off by Neale News)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is nothing sacred anymore?

And continuing in the vein that some things are just wrong, I read in the Globe and Mail today that James Kudelka has remounted his 1999 production of Swan Lake, which was far better consigned to the historical dustbin of extremely poor and bad ideas.

Here’s an excerpt from the Globe and Mail article on how the dancers see their roles in Kudelka’s Swan Lake:
In most versions, the first act is a celebration of the prince's 21st birthday, filled with pretty dances. In Kudelka's version, the birthday guests are lusty knights returning from a bloody hunt. As the alcohol flows, things spiral out of control, and the lone female, a serving wench, is the victim of a gang rape.

Both Antonijevic and principal dancer Guillaume Côté, who perform Siegfried, are adamant that the prince is so distanced from this violent world that he is unaware of the rape. He is also harried by a domineering mother who insists that he must marry. "When Odile comes to the ball," says Côté, "it is the happiest moment of the prince's life. After being passive for so long, he makes a stand and tells his mother he will marry this stranger."

Côté mentions Siegfried's relationship with his friend Benno, viewing the latter as the prince's gay counterpart. Kudelka has given the two a provocative duet with homoerotic undercurrents. There is also Siegfried's enigmatic and questionable relationship with Rothbart.

As Côté points out, the prince's adoration of the swan could be like the gay world's fascination with iconic female celebrity divas, and Rothbart could represent homophobia. "It's significant," says Côté, "that James pumped out as much testosterone in the knights' hunting scene as he could to put Siegfried, and the more conforming Benno, in greater contrast to the others in that macho society."
And not to be outdone by the homoerotic overtones in Kudelka’s Swan Lake, the Feminist Lamentation has not been forgotten either explains soloist Stephanie Hutchison:
It's about feminism: "It is a society that renders women as meaningless chattel," says first soloist Stephanie Hutchison, "or objectifies them into unattainable ideals." In fact, from the gang rape of the wench onward, you could call Kudelka's Swan Lake feminism expressed through misogyny. Take, for example, the harrowing experience of the four princesses who appear in the third act, potential brides for the prince, who are made to perform enticing dances to a leering male audience.

Equally misogynistic are the menacing female black swans who do Rothbart's dirty work. They represent women at the beck and call of men who forego the duty of sisterhood. "In these two competing worlds -- the castle and the lake -- the women are no better off with Rothbart," says principal dancer Jennifer Fournier. "A secondary theme could be James making a statement about the objectification of the ballerina and the female image in ballet."

Call me a black swan if you will, but now you know why tonight I will be curling up on the sofa with the tribe watching Battlestar Galactica instead of shelling out $200+ to take the children to ballet and watch how Swan Lake has been hijacked by a culture that has run amuck.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No matter who sings the PA song - the emperor still has no clothes

In light of the US brokered deal by US Secretary of State over the Gaza-Egypt border crossing this article at the Jerusalem Newswire caught my eye:

PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas will be too busy during the coming two-and-a-half months in the run up to Palestinian Authority parliamentary elections to honor his commitment to disarm terror groups engaged in the murder of Israeli Jews.

As soon as the January 26 election is behind him, Abbas promised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday, he would start fighting the Islamic terrorism that emanates from territories under his control. “After the elections in January we will totally prevent terrorist organizations from holding weapons, and anyone who carries a gun will be considered a criminal,” he said when the two met in Ramallah Monday afternoon.

Just yesterday the Jerusalem Post reported on two separate incidents within the Palestinian Authority’s domain:
Masked gunmen opposed to next January’s parliamentary elections on Monday stormed the offices of the Palestinian Authority’s Central Elections Committee in Rafah and demanded the cancellation of the vote. Armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and hand grenades, the attackers, who identified themselves as members of a previously-unknown group called Islamic Army, ordered the employees to close the offices immediately.

“They threatened us with their guns,” said one of the employees. “There were eight of them. The gunmen fled shortly before PA policemen arrived at the scene.” The attackers left behind a flier signed by the Islamic Army in which they claimed that the elections were being exploited by “collaborators” to ignite a civil war among the Palestinians. They also warned that the group would severely punish anyone who helps Israel in driving a wedge between the Palestinians.


In a separate development, dozens of gunmen occupied the headquarters of the PA local offices in Khan Yunis on Sunday night in the fifth incident of its kind in recent months. Eyewitnesses said at least 70 gunmen participated in the raid. They said the gunmen, all members of Fatah, were protesting against the PA’s failure to incorporate them into its security forces. Under pressure to end lawlessness and anarchy, the PA announced that it would launch major security operations in Nablus and Tulkarm on Tuesday to restore law and order. Residents of the two cities had repeatedly complained against various gangs roaming the streets and imposing a reign of terror on the local population.

All of which begs the question: what's the real difference between Abbas and Arafat? It’s certainly not the depth or complexity of the duplicity. In reality, with or without the January elections, Abbas has not garnered the enough support from the various and sundry fractions to exercise the most basic security for citizens in not just Gaza, but the West Bank as well. What is interesting is why the Bush Administration remains steadfast in their support of a naked emperor.

Monday, November 14, 2005

From where I sit, Alberta has never looked so good

Bob at Let It Bleed has suggested that conservatives need to take a closer walk with municipal politics and points to a pay hike by Toronto Councillors, but if you needed another compelling reason, the Toronto Star gives one up:
New taxes on tobacco, bar drinks — even tickets to entertainment events — will be available to Toronto councillors trying to balance future city budgets, the Toronto Star has learned. The new taxing powers would be part of a new City of Toronto Act being hammered out by Queen's Park and the city. If approved, the transfer of powers would give Toronto the ability to raise millions in new revenue annually, and provide council with much greater powers to regulate development. It would also give councillors a much stronger hand in deter- mining the look and feel of the city.

The changes are proposed in a confidential report — Building a 21st Century City, written by top staff at Queen's Park and City Hall — that will be released this week. "We are recommending a dramatic departure from the status quo," the report says. "We are recommending ground-breaking change." The new powers will benefit both levels of government and the people they serve, it adds.

Empowering its capital city will ... position Ontario to successfully compete in a globalized economy and provide a quality of life for its residents that is second to none," the report promises. The report, which goes much further than just new taxing powers, calls for fundamental change in the way municipal government has functioned in Canada since 1867. For the first time, Toronto would not be just a child of the provincial government, bound by restrictive legislation, but free to make its own decisions on most issues within its boundaries.

The scope of the powers proposed to be granted to city hall are not only vast but wide ranging:
• Passing bylaws on just about anything that lets the city run better. Right now, if the city isn't specifically given the power to do something by the province, it can't.

• Regulation of store hours. The city could, for example, decide to let stores stay open on statutory holidays, like Christmas.

• The power to promote development in underused areas by forgiving property taxes or other city fees.

• The ability to hold developers to architectural and urban design standards to improve the look and feel of the city.

• Preventing conversion of rental housing to condominiums to protect affordable housing and set minimum densities for new buildings to encourage intensification.

• Establishing a business owned by the city to meet a defined goal. The city could, for example, start a business to provide cheap Internet access to poor neighbourhoods to improve life there but couldn't open a factory to make designer clothes.

• Powers to implement taxes and fees, which could include taxes on parking, sidewalk snow plowing, additional car registration fees and road tolls.

These are incredibly intrusive powers for a municipal government to weld and are ripe for abuse. In light of the recent municipal scandals it should make your blood run cold while giving any business new reasons to leave Toronto. Not only is Alberta looking better than ever – so is the Western Separatism movement. The question becomes how long will I suffer before I pull up stakes and be Alberta bound myself?

Friday, November 11, 2005

How to undermine the War on Terror: Bankroll the Terrorists

Caroline Glick in her Column One: A World Gone Mad raises a very valid point that I simply cannot answer in any rational way:
It would seem that the world has gone mad. Israel's security is being systematically undermined by its own government and the US-led international community. At this point it seems that the Sharon-Peres government is engaged in a perverse competition with the Bush administration to determine who can come up with the most deranged counter-terror policy.

Last week it was reported that the US has given the Palestinian Authority $4.4 million dollars to pay the salaries of terrorists from Fatah's Al Aksa Brigades. For its part, the terror group showed its gratitude to the US by becoming the first Palestinian terror organization to publicly endorse Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad's call for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Surely the Bush Adminstration is not attempting to pick up any financial slack from the Mullahs & Company, and is it really necessary to offer Al Aksa Martyr’s Brigade bomb-gap financing? If one truly believes that one can buy off the terrorists why not offer Osama bin Linden a job as Islamic Liaison Outreach Coordinator to the United States?

Remembrance Day

On the 11th hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month it is presumed to be the time that we as a country take a moment to honour our veterans of wars great or small. What is so often overlooked in our remebrance is that the day includes all our citizen soldiers. We expend all our energies on the dead and fallen but we often overlook those who freely choose to continue the tradition of sacrifice on our behalf in service to our nation and are willing to lay down their lives today, tommorrow or next year.

One could argue that all war is immoral and one would not freely choose to enlist to become a soldier of this nation and that is one’s privilege. But let us not lose sight of the fact that that privilege was paid for in the blood, sweat and tears of others, and for everyone who would not take up arms to defend the interests or freedom’s of a nation there are those who freely chose to continue to toil so that others can continue to posture freely without ever having to burden their backs or sully their hands with the grit of soldiery and the horror of war.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Now this is encouraging sign even if it is 35 years late

Jerusalem Post is reporting that a Lebanese poll published Tuesday reported that 72% of Lebanese want the Palestinians in Lebanon disarmed:

A poll published Tuesday in Lebanon showed the great dissatisfaction among Lebanese with the armed Palestinian factions in their midst. According to the opinion poll conducted by Statistics Lebanon Ltd. and published by the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, 72 percent of the Lebanese want Palestinians in Lebanon disarmed. The poll surveyed 400 Lebanese from a cross-section of the population of Beirut, Mount Lebanon, the north, south and the Bekaa valley, according to An-Nahar.

The results are in tune with recent efforts by the Lebanese government to tighten the reins around Palestinian factions. Following the release of a UN report stating that Lebanon was facing an "increasing influx of weaponry and personnel from Syria" to Palestinian militia groups, the Lebanese army moved troops and armored cars around bases of seven Palestinian groups. Two were run by the PFLP and five by the PLO-Intifada, reported

The Palestinian factions have carved out areas of southern Lebanon as no-go zones for the Lebanese army. On October 27, PFLP leader Ahmed Jibril reportedly said that his group was holding six Lebanese soldiers captive. "We detained six Lebanese soldiers, one of them an officer, after they approached one of our positions in Kfarazabad on Wednesday," Jibril was quoted as saying in an interview with the Beirut daily An-Nahar. "We notified the Lebanese army... and maybe we will be able to settle the issue in the evening [Thursday]."

For those with poor or short memories, Yassir Arafat and his PLO henchmen were the flame that lit and fanned the fuse of the 25 plus years of civil war that divided Lebanon along strident sectarian lines. Not good guests by any stretch of imagination, but now that the Gaza Strip has been turned over to Palestinian Authority control, why has there been almost zero action on the part of the PLO controlled refugee camps in Lebanon to move their people into the newly vacant land in the Gaza Strip? Surely, its time to go home?

Divided Houses

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Palestinian Authority Chairman has received official notice from a large group of PA security forces warning him that the forces are tottering on the verge of collapse:
The letter, the first of its kind since Abbas was elected earlier this year, reflects growing resentment among the various branches of the PA security forces. It also contradicts claims by Abbas and senior PA leaders that they have taken practical steps to reform the security forces.

The timing of the letter coincides with the first anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat and is seen as an attempt to embarrass Abbas by portraying him as a weak leader who has failed to deliver. In their letter, the officers said they rejected pressure from Israel and the US to crack down on local militias.

"We are the soldiers of the homeland, not [US security coordinator] General William Ward," they wrote. "We are neither a branch of the Israeli Shin Bet nor members of a hired gang serving certain centers of power." But what is perhaps most worrying, as far as Abbas is concerned, is the fact that the officers went on to stress that their weapons would be used only against Israel and suspected "collaborators."

Addressing Abbas, the officers said: "We urge you to get acquainted with what's really happening inside the security forces, which have begun disintegrating because of corruption, mismanagement and placing private interests above the national interests of the people, especially with regard to the state of lawlessness prevalent in the Palestinian territories."

The officers also scoffed at the PA's efforts to consolidate the security forces by reducing their number from more than a dozen to three and retiring veterans. "These measures have led to dissent among the security forces," they said. "Unless you [Abbas] start paying attention to the situation, the Palestinian security forces will collapse, only to be replaced by armed gangs which the Palestinian Authority won't be able to control."

PA security officials here told The Jerusalem Post that they were not worried by the letter "because it was written by a group of disgruntled officers who had been retired or dismissed."

Sounds like Abbas really was on to something with his plan of incorporating Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade into the heart of the Palestinian Security Forces. The two groups appear to be a natural fit but it is not only the security forces that are verging in collapse. Check out this dispute reported among the diplomatic corps of the Palestinian Authority.
In another challenge to Abbas, some of the PA's ambassadors in different countries are refusing to give up their posts to newly appointed envoys. The PA Foreign Ministry recently decided to replace most of its ambassadors as part of a comprehensive plan to reform the diplomatic corps. Some of the ambassadors, who were appointed by Arafat, have been serving for nearly two decades.

But the move has been openly challenged by veteran PLO leader Farouk Kaddoumi, who is based in Tunis and who regards himself as the real foreign minister of Palestine.
Until recently, Kaddoumi was in charge of all the embassies around the world in the capacity of his job as director of the PLO's political bureau. Kaddoumi sent a letter to the ambassadors instructing them to ignore the new appointments and to remain in their posts.

"I wish to inform you that [PA Foreign Minister] Nasser al-Kidwa does not represent the PLO and, as such, he does not have the power to make changes in the diplomatic corps," he wrote. Two ambassadors have already announced that they would not step down - Tahsin Mikati, ambassador to Qatar, and Abdel Shafi Siam, ambassador to Mauritania. Their decision has seriously embarrassed the PA leadership, which is now trying to persuade the hosting countries to deport the two.

This situation actually has been going on for several months and I have touched on it before but what is interesting is how little of the very public feuding among the Palestinians groups actually makes it into main stream media in the West.

About time

It took 11 years but Argentinian authorities have finally identified the suicide bomber of the Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires reports the Jerusalem Post:
Jewish civic leaders welcomed what they called a breakthrough by prosecutors in identifying the suicide bomber who destroyed the Jewish community center here in 1994 as a 21-year-old Lebanese terrorist from the Islamic group Hizbullah. Late Wednesday, prosecutors confirmed that the suicide bomber had been identified as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen, whom they suspect of driving the explosives-packed van that destroyed the Jewish center, killiing 85 people and wounding more than 200. Investigators made the identification after talking to relatives of Hussein Berro in Detroit, Michigan. Luis Grynwald, the current president of the AMIA Jewish center, which was flattened 11 years ago and later rebuilt on its downtown Buenos Aires, hailed the development as a major advance in the case.

Sergio Burstein, a member of a group of relatives of victims of the bombing, told the newspaper La Nacion in its online edition that the breakthrough is "critically important" in providing authorities with new leads in the case, Prosecutor Alberto Nisman said Hussein Berro "belonged to Hezbollah" and drove the van rigged with explosives that leveled the seven-story Argentine Israel Mutual Aid Association on July 18, 1994. The building was a symbol of Argentina's more than 200,000-strong Jewish community.

Argentine investigators had faced domestic and international pressure to make headway in the case. But some critics said that Nisman was breaking little new ground in identifying Hussein Berro, who was named as the suspected bomber, in a resolution passed by the US House of Representatives in July 2004, urging a solution to the case. The House resolution said that Hussein Bero reportedly had been in contact with the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires. Local news reports said questions about Hussein Berro had been raised as early as 2003, prompted by Israeli intelligence reports.


The Jewish center bombing was the second of two major attacks targeting Jews in Argentina during the 1990s. A March 1992 blast destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people in a case that had also been blamed on Hezbollah. Hezbollah has denied responsibility for both bombings. Leaders of Argentina's Jewish community have accused Iran of organizing the AMIA attack. Tehran repeatedly has denied that. Nisman said Wednesday that suspicions of Iranian involvement in the attack were among several lines of investigation, telling a news conference that he would follow all leads in the ongoing probe. Investigators believe the attacker entered Argentina in the tri-border region at the joint borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, a center of drug smuggling and alleged terrorist fund-raising, Nisman said.

Apparently, Iran has no comment.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

HBC does Zellers

Hudson’s Bay Company has unveiled its Olympic retail sportswear for Canada reports

Today, Canada's oldest retailer unveiled the first phase of the Olympic uniform re-design, rolling out their "Olympic leisure wear" line; designs for uniforms to be worn during the awarding of medals, formal nights, and opening and closing ceremonies, have yet to be unveiled.

Bay representatives say colours for the newly designed Olympic-wear incorporate colours from the Olympic Rings, which coincidentally, resemble the colours of the company.

Here’s my verdict - Low Rent Roots. Personally, I'll not be replacing my Roots 2000 Olympic beret this winter - still looks like new 5 years later, but then again, that's Roots.

Global is running an online poll – go vote.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Canada does not stand up for traitors

Thanks the heavens for small blessings, and as a Canadian, I am more than a little okay with that. It won’t affect my sleep in the slightest but what sends me around the bend is how our media continues to give this woman a platform for her delusions. Today, Elsamnah Khadr, is once again, lashing out at the Canadian government in what she perceives is Canada’s failure to stand up for her son Omar Khadr reports the Toronto Star:
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Maha Elsamnah lashed out at both Washington and Ottawa over the detention and treatment of her Toronto-born son, Omar Khadr, 19, who faces the death penalty if convicted by a special U.S. military tribunal.

“The Americans are gods now,” Elsamnah said from her east-end Toronto home. “The Americans can do anything. They make the law. Nobody can tell them anything. Nobody can disagree with them.”

Khadr was just 15 when he is alleged to have thrown a hand grenade that killed an American soldier and wounded another during a firefight with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2001. He arrived in Guantanamo Bay as a 16-year-old, the youngest enemy combatant detained there, and has been held at the base on Cuba amid accusations from supporters that he has been tortured. “The Canadians have not been trying anything,” said Elsamnah.

Forget Cindy Sheehan. Cindy Sheehan has nothing on Elsamnah Khadr. Why this woman has not been charged with abusing her children is beyond me and the fact that she hasn’t and is still allowed to roam around freely sprewing her hateful bile against our country while living off the fat of the land should be an affront to all Canadians.

I first wrote about Elsamnah Khadr back in February 2005 when she was demanding justice for her son Omar. Nothing that has transpired since has changed my opinion from my position. Omar is still a traitor.

A Mother Calls for Justice "

As a mother, I beg every Canadian mother and father to help me get justice for my son and bring him home," says Elsamnah Khadr as reported by the Toronto Star. Elsamnah Khadr’s son is 18 year old Omar Khadr who is currently being held as an enemy combatant in Gitmo Bay, Cuba.

The innate issue with the Toronto Star's article is that the focus is on the effect and not the cause that lead to then 15 year old Omar being held as an enemy combatant. The Toronto Star article serves no other purpose than to act as blatant attempt to create sympathy in the Canadian public for the now 18 year old Gitmo detainee. In fact, the Toronto Star article only alludes to Omar’s activities and subsequent capture with two brief sentences scattered throughout the article.
The 18-year-old, whose late father was a close associate of al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, was arrested by American military forces in Afghanistan almost three years ago after he allegedly killed a U.S. soldier.

The U.S. military also accuses him of killing an American army medic with a grenade.

To give the Toronto Star its due, the article does tell us that US Forces shot and badly wounded Omar in the fire fight that lead to his capture. Of course, US Forces freely gave Omar the medical treatment he so sorely needed for his injuries; and consequently, Omar has lived to breathe another day unlike Sgt. First Class Speer.

For those with short memories, Omar Khadr is a Canadian national who fought on the side of the Taliban against Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. He was ultimately captured after a fire fight in a remote village in Afghanistan against US Special Forces but not before he threw the grenade that killed Sgt. First Class, Christopher J. Speer, Combat Medic, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer was not only a beloved son and brother, but the beloved husband of Tabitha; and beloved father of Taryn and Tanner.

Omar’s lawyers claim Omar has been abused as a detainee in Gitmo Bay. Omar has been made to stay handcuffed in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time, he has been subjected to interrogations by intelligence agents, he has been threatened with rape, he was once used as a "mop" after he urinated on the floor. Omar’s lawyers complain that the government of Canada has failed Omar in two distinct ways; by failing to halt Omar’s interrogations and for not obtaining his release from Gitmo Bay. Hence, the Canadian government is complicit in his alleged "torture".

Furthermore, the lawyers for Omar are petitioning in Federal court for an injunction against any futher interrogations of their client in Gitmo Bay as well as damages for the amount of $100,000 for violating Omar’s "constitutional rights."

Well, as a Canadian, and mother of many, I too, second Elsamnah’s pleas for justice for Omar. I would heartily support and lend my voice to Omar’s mother call for justice and request that the Canadian government petition US authorities for Omar’s release to the Canadian Armed Forces in order to facilitate his trial for Treason under the Canadian Code of Military Justice, and if a guilty verdict is rendered; I would ask that the court seek the maximum penalty for Treason be imposed and carried out post haste.

Elsamnah, while you taught your sons to fight beside those who seek to imprison and enslave others; my son shoveled snow from the walkways of his elderly guitar teacher’s home. While you allowed your sons to wander the hills and valleys of Afghanistan bringing death and destruction, my son risked his life to save a toddler from an on-coming car. While your sons were shooting at the defenders of freedom, my son was fighting on the school playground to save a female classmate from a beating at the hands of an older male student. While your sons were shooting at Coalition Forces; mine was giving up his lunch to two South Asian female classmates who had nothing to eat because he cannot bear to see females or younger children suffer. While your son willfully lobbied the grenade that killed another woman’s beloved son, mine dreams of one day standing in his place and championing the rights of others who cannot defend themselves. The day you allowed your son to pick-up arms and fight against the soldiers of his native land he forfeited all rights to walk and live freely upon his native soil.

What soldier-type are you?

Ever wonder what kind of soldier I (of the Last Amazon)would make? I found this quiz from the Armorer at Castle Argghhh!

You scored as Combat Infantry. Your a combat infantry soldier,a grunt, a dogface, a footslogger. While some say your common, your a really a disciplined person who realizes the importantce of working in a team, and in reality you and your comrades get most of the work done. This country needs more people like you. Your a brave selfless person. And I salute you.


Combat Infantry


Special Ops








Support Gunner






Which soldier type are you?
created with

Wiping Israel off the Map: Plan A

Last week the Iranian President was quoted as saying that Israel should be wiped off the map. This week the Iranian government submitted the plan to the UN that would guarantee that Israel would be. Taken from the Jerusalem Post:
Barely a week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki declared Monday that his government was planning to propose to the United Nations a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to Mottaki, the proposal was to be based on the ideas of Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini. Khameini said last week that the solution to the conflict involved, "a national referendum in which all true Palestinians would participate, whether they are Muslims, Jews or Christians, including Palestinian refugees throughout the world," on how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

No doubt to decline the plan would allow the Mullah’s to wash their hands and say they tried all peaceful means but their efforts for a peaceful resolution was rebuffed. Therefore the Mullah's can move on to Plan B with a clear conscience.

Look who wants to learn to build a security fence/wall now

And guess who they want to show them how to do it. From the Jerusalem Post:
The Russian government is mulling the construction of a security barrier along the border with Chechnya similar to Israel's West Bank security fence as part of its efforts to combat Muslim terror, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra met on Monday with Dmitry Kozak, head of counterterrorism in Chechnya and the Kremlin's envoy to southern Russia, for talks on the effectiveness of the security fence and Israel's overall success in fighting Palestinian terror.

The talks, Israeli officials said, focused primarily on the construction of a security fence. Kozak told the participants he would bring the issue up back in Russia and recommend it as a viable means to fight terror. Just last month, a small army of Chechen fighters launched a massive attack on police and army in the town of Nalchik in Russia's turbulent Caucasus. Dozens were killed in the attack.

"They want to learn more about fighting terror," former Israel Police chief Shlomo Aharonishky, who is serving as a consultant for the Russians, told the Post. "Kozak has been assigned to prepare a plan on how to fight terror and it will include the construction of a security fence. His visit here is to learn from us how to build the fence and how to do it."

Aharonishky, who stepped down as police commissioner in August 2004 and has established a security consultant company called National Security Project (NSP), arranged for Kozak's visit to Israel and has already visited Russia per Kozak's request. Kozak, Aharonishky said, has also visited Belfast and France as part of his work to prepare an effective Russian plan to fight Chechen terror. "He will recommend back in Russia the construction of a fence in certain places," the former police chief said. "There will also be other ideas including how to deal with the [Chechen] leadership and the people who are sent to carry out the attacks."

If the Russians go ahead with their security fence, I say the odds are pretty good that no one will bring them up on charges at the International Court of Justice. Who knows, if the curfew doesn't work out for the French, they could always send a delegation from Baghdad on the Seine to Jerusalem.

In an unguarded moment MPP shows his true colours

You have got to wonder about an MPP who calls the Ontario Association of Optometrists terrorists just because they are looking for funding to cover the cost of primary tests for children and seniors or withdraw their services for those groups. Taken from the Toronto Star:
Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman has apologized for calling some members of the Ontario Association of Optometrists "terrorists" after a party fundraiser last week. Association president Shirley Ha wrote a letter to members quoting Smitherman as saying optometrists are "a bunch of terrorists, and I don't negotiate with terrorists." Ha said it appeared to be a reaction to the association's Preserve Your Sight Grassroots Advocacy Campaign, which is appealing for funding for primary vision care.

"The minister regrets his remarks," David Spencer, a spokesman for Smitherman, said Sunday. "He's already conveyed his apologies to the association for his poor choice of words. He recognizes his comments were not helpful in the overall approach to this issue." Spencer said the comments were made in response to some optometrists who suggested they might withdraw some services because of concerns about fees.

If optometrists are terrorists, what does Smitherman think dentists are?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Right Hand meet Left Hand

Taken from the Jerusalem Post:
The armed wing of the ruling Fatah party, Aksa Martyrs Brigades, on Sunday became the first Palestinian group to publicly endorse Iran's call to eliminate Israel. In a leaflet distributed in the Gaza Strip, the group voiced full support for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's statements in which he said that Israel "must be wiped off the map."

Ahmadinejad also warned Arab countries against developing economic ties with Israel in response to its withdrawal form the Gaza Strip, which he dubbed as a "trick." "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," he was quoted as saying. "Any [Islamic leader] who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world."

The leaflet by the Fatah group is the first of its kind since the Iranian president's speech. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are believed to be receiving financial aid from Iran, have refrained from reacting to the call to wipe Israel off the map. "We affirm our support and backing for the positions of the Iranian president toward the Zionist state which, by God's will, will cease to exist," said the leaflet. "Recognizing Israel's right to exist means underestimating the Palestinian people, who are making daily sacrifices to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem."

The Fatah group also hailed Ahamdinejad's appeal to the Palestinians to unite their ranks so they would be able to destroy Israel. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah told the Jerusalem Post that the leaflet does not reflect the stance of the PA or its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas. "We strongly condemn the leaflet," said one official. "We believe it does not even reflect the position of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades."

All of which begs the question just who is running the Palestinian Authority?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

When is enough, enough?

In the course of my life out side the blogsphere I met by chance a CEO of oil and natural gas company based out west. We struck up a conversation as were we both waiting for our appointments. I asked him who he was waiting to see and after he told me I made a glib remark that he would be entering what I nicknamed “the badlands”. He asked me if I was from out West. I told him no, but if the West separates they have to take me with them. There was no way I was going to be left behind to have the very marrow of my bones sucked dry by the pencil lickers in the Confederation. What ensued next was a conversation concerning tax rates in Canada.

Now I am still outraged that I had to come up with tax shelters and strategies for a 12 year old child that was not legally old enough to work and never had, all because she won a scholarship to a private secondary school, and because it was a secondary school, she was not allowed to utilize all the same deductions that a post-secondary student can. It wasn’t always this way in Canada but you know the Liberals. They are quite content to ensure that the public purse stays fat even if that means its on the backs of our children. In my particular case, I was surrounded by some very astute acquaintances that pointed out the tax implications long before the school year started for her so that I did have time to plan and wasn’t hit with a surprise horrendous tax bill come April 30th, unlike many other families of exceptional children in this country.

Mr. X. commiserated with me and said if it was any consolation his accountant had determined that in the course of his lifetime he had ponied up and shelled out more than $10 million in taxes but what he wanted to know was when was enough, enough?

And that’s the real question. When is enough, really enough? I can hear the howls now. If he was able to generate the income necessary to pay taxes totaling $10 million he should not be whining but you know not every one can do that. He started out at 18 with a high school diploma and a dream and it takes a special combination of talent, determination and hard work to make a dream an ongoing reality. In the course of Mr. X pursuing his dream he created the environment to help countless thousands of others survive and prosper. Why are we punishing him? The man deserves a medal and a life time exemption from taxes for reaching $10 million. And unlike other Canadian businessmen I could mention his corporate locations all fly a Canadian flag proudly.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Who will risk a screwdriver in the liver to safeguard the parking meters of Paris for an hour?

Asked Theodore Dalrymple in his article The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris in the autumn of 2002, which in retrospect seems strangely prophetic:
But there is another growing, and much less reassuring, side to France. I go to Paris about four times a year and thus have a sense of the evolving preoccupations of the French middle classes. A few years ago it was schools: the much vaunted French educational system was falling apart; illiteracy was rising; children were leaving school as ignorant as they entered, and much worse-behaved. For the last couple of years, though, it has been crime: l’insécurité, les violences urbaines, les incivilités. Everyone has a tale to tell, and no dinner party is complete without a horrifying story. Every crime, one senses, means a vote for Le Pen or whoever replaces him.

I first saw l’insécurité for myself about eight months ago. It was just off the Boulevard Saint-Germain, in a neighborhood where a tolerably spacious apartment would cost $1 million. Three youths—Rumanians—were attempting quite openly to break into a parking meter with large screwdrivers to steal the coins. It was four o’clock in the afternoon; the sidewalks were crowded, and the nearby cafés were full. The youths behaved as if they were simply pursuing a normal and legitimate activity, with nothing to fear.

Eventually, two women in their sixties told them to stop. The youths, laughing until then, turned murderously angry, insulted the women, and brandished their screwdrivers. The women retreated, and the youths resumed their “work.”

A man of about 70 then told them to stop. They berated him still more threateningly, one of them holding a screwdriver as if to stab him in the stomach. I moved forward to help the man, but the youths, still shouting abuse and genuinely outraged at being interrupted in the pursuit of their livelihood, decided to run off. But it all could have ended very differently.

Several things struck me about the incident: the youths’ sense of invulnerability in broad daylight; the indifference to their behavior of large numbers of people who would never dream of behaving in the same way; that only the elderly tried to do anything about the situation, though physically least suited to do so. Could it be that only they had a view of right and wrong clear enough to wish to intervene? That everyone younger than they thought something like: “Refugees . . . hard life . . . very poor . . . too young to know right from wrong and anyway never taught . . . no choice for them . . . punishment cruel and useless”? The real criminals, indeed, were the drivers whose coins filled the parking meters: were they not polluting the world with their cars?

Another motive for inaction was that, had the youths been arrested, nothing would have happened to them. They would have been back on the streets within the hour. Who would risk a screwdriver in the liver to safeguard the parking meters of Paris for an hour?

I am transfixed by the reports of riots gripping Parisian cites or suburbs, if you prefer. I was reading reports right after the first night of rioting in the overseas papers while our media overlooked them. I waited daily for the reports to reach our shores. Here is the Toronto Star’s account of night eight.

AULNAY-SOUS-BOIS, France - Rioting youths shot at police and firefighters today after burning car dealerships and public buses and hurling rocks at commuter trains. France’s government faced growing pressure to curb the violence, fuelled by anger over poor conditions in suburban Paris housing projects.

Rampaging for an eighth day, youths ignored an appeal for calm from French President Jacques Chirac, whose government worked feverishly to fend off a political crisis amid criticism that it has ignored problems in suburbs heavily populated by first- and second-generation North African and Muslim immigrants.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who postponed a visit to Canada this week to deal with the crisis, called a string of emergency meetings with cabinet ministers throughout the day. He told the Senate the government “will not give in” to violence in the troubled suburbs. “Order and justice will be the final word in our country,” Villepin said. “The return to calm and the restoration of public order are the priority — our absolute priority.”

The riots started last Thursday after the electrocution deaths of two teenagers hiding in a power station from police they believed were chasing them in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois. By Wednesday night, violence had spread to at least 20 Paris-region towns, said Jean-Francois Cordet, the top government official for the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris where the violence has been concentrated. He said youths in the region fired four shots at riot police and firefighters but caused no injuries.

When the first reports started to appear in the Canadian papers after day five of rioting I felt oddly disappointed that no one seems to want to address the issues inherent in this situation, nor draw the obvious parallels to our home grown situation in Toronto. Observing the Paris riots we are being allowed a glimpse of our possible future if the tide does not turn. If you think I have entered into twilight zone territory read Dalrymple’s observations of the French criminal justice system circa 2002.
The laxisme of the French criminal justice system is now notorious. Judges often make remarks indicating their sympathy for the criminals they are trying (based upon the usual generalizations about how society, not the criminal, is to blame); and the day before I witnessed the scene on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, 8,000 police had marched to protest the release from prison on bail of an infamous career armed robber and suspected murderer before his trial for yet another armed robbery, in the course of which he shot someone in the head. Out on bail before this trial, he then burgled a house. Surprised by the police, he and his accomplices shot two of them dead and seriously wounded a third. He was also under strong suspicion of having committed a quadruple murder a few days previously, in which a couple who owned a restaurant, and two of their employees, were shot dead in front of the owners’ nine-year-old daughter.

The left-leaning Libération, one of the two daily newspapers the French intelligentsia reads, dismissed the marchers, referring with disdainful sarcaèm to la fièvre flicardiaire—cop fever. The paper would no doubt have regarded the murder of a single journalist—that is to say, of a full human being—differently, let alone the murder of two journalists or six; and of course no one in the newspaper acknowledged that an effective police force is as vital a guarantee of personal freedom as a free press, and that the thin blue line that separates man from brutality is exactly that: thin. This is not a decent thing for an intellectual to say, however true it might be.

It is the private complaint of everyone, however, that the police have become impotent to suppress and detect crime. Horror stories abound. A Parisian acquaintance told me how one recent evening he had seen two criminals attack a car in which a woman was waiting for her husband. They smashed her side window and tried to grab her purse, but she resisted. My acquaintance went to her aid and managed to pin down one of the assailants, the other running off. Fortunately, some police passed by, but to my acquaintance’s dismay let the assailant go, giving him only a warning.

My acquaintance said to the police that he would make a complaint. The senior among them advised him against wasting his time. At that time of night, there would be no one to complain to in the local commissariat. He would have to go the following day and would have to wait on line for three hours. He would have to return several times, with a long wait each time. And in the end, nothing would be done.

As for the police, he added, they did not want to make an arrest in a case like this. There would be too much paperwork. And even if the case came to court, the judge would give no proper punishment. Moreover, such an arrest would retard their careers. The local police chiefs were paid by results—by the crime rates in their areas of jurisdiction. The last thing they wanted was for policemen to go around finding and recording crime.

Not long afterward, I heard of another case in which the police simply refused to record the occurrence of a burglary, much less try to catch the culprits. Now crime and general disorder are making inroads into places where, not long ago, they were unheard of.

We are not quite there yet in Toronto but the path ahead is clear and the road ahead is well lit. In my own downtown Toronto neighborhood we are overrun and held hostage but crack cocaine dealers and their clientele from late afternoon until dawn each and every day. They set up shop outside my living room windows and on my porch. It is hard for me to comprehend that the drug laws have not been repelled as they operate so openly and freely. My children have learned first hand the unique patois of the drug dealers and have on occasion played havoc with the scum who have taken up shop on my front porch in the late afternoon by running up the street calling out “6 6 6” which translates into “the police are coming” in order to clear a path up the steps to our front door.

I cannot count the occasions that I and a few others have called the police who do often exhibit a distinct apathy to our plight. I have even offered to lend them my home to stake out the thugs; up close and personal. And in fairness to the police every once in a while they do a take down and we come out and cheer but it’s a short lived joy because in less than 48 hours the thugs are back. And I am back to arguing with a junkies who believe they have an innate right to smoke crack behind the hedge and blow their smoke into my front window or with the crowd of young men who believe that my home is their store front and my time is wisely spent cleaning up the mess and stink they leave behind in their wake. I have worked in the criminal justice system in Toronto and have seen first hand the sob stories offered up as a defense against barbarity and the judges who lap it up as mother’s milk as they pass what passes for justice served but rarely includes any lengthy period of incarceration. Everyone has a sob story to cry a river with but most of us dammed ours up and do not see it as an excuse to wreck havoc on those whose lives cross ours - yet.

I have these thoughts rambling around, bouncing off the walls in the looney bin that I call my mind about the explosion of violence on Toronto’s mean streets. There is a lot of talk from the media and civic activists concerning the need to address the “root”¨ causes that allegedly perpetrate violent crime. This more than anything illustrates how deeply the Marxist theory of crime has penetrated our culture. The modern poverty pimp mantra for the new millennium is that racism creates poverty, which in turn gives birth to crime, whose afterbirth is the creation of a culture of violence and despair. Hence, the need for immediate increases in after school programs and increased funding for recreation centres.

Oh, how can I forget; we need immediate job training programs too. Otherwise, we cannot expect to scoop up all the potential thugs in training before the professional thugs have a chance to continue their recruitment drives among our youth. Though why job training programs are seen as a pancreas for people who have refused to take advantage of free elementary education, I’ll never understand. Let’s not fool ourselves. Without at least half a generation of remedial education of the kind (they mostly opted out of the first time it was offered) will only give them the most basic tools to needed to function at minimal level. And why should they? Where’s the allure? Selling crack they make a $1000 for a few hours of hanging around with other like minded souls. How much training is really needed to learn to smile, as you say, “Do you want fries with that?” Do you really think to find among the willfully thuggish lurks a budding scientist who only requires a job training program to turn his back on crime so that he can settle down and find the cure for cancer?

The Tribe and I come from a long line of poor people on all sides that faced horrendous discrimination and poverty. No kings, queens, or even famous adventurer’s in our background unless you count a few notorious black sheeps in their local communities. Truth be told, I am poor today because I have deliberately chosen to be poor. I chose to expand most of my energies when I was young in a low paying profession but even then, when I had opportunities to marry great wealth, I choose instead someone who was not much better off than myself. Then we chose more or less in a passive-aggressive kind of way to have three children which has always been a serious strain on the family resources after taxes. Even now, I could make considerably more money that I do but that would mean I would have to sacrifice my time with the Tribe. I have opted to make them rather than making money my top priority in life - for now. But I am not a thug and vast majority of our ancestors, though poor have chosen not to be thugs. How does account for the “why” of that - if racism and poverty innately breeds crime?

My mother spent the first 8 years of her education in a one room schoolhouse (weather permitting) and she somehow learned to read, write and do math well enough to graduate from high school without once every resorting to crime. No special education programs unless you count absolute fear of a “good”¨ caning. No after school programs, no drop-in centres, no subsidized housing, no welfare, no food banks and certainly no job training programs unless you count peeling pulp for 10 cents a tree.

I suspect the residences of the French cites and our own home grown “disenfranchised” poor have never lived so well, but despite that fact, violent crime is much higher now than in the Dirty Thirties when there were no special action groups and the only professional social activists were church ladies knitting socks, gloves, scarves and hats for the parish poor. There were no special tailored job training programs, no welfare beyond the bare bones of “Relief”, no subsidizing housing, no after school programs and community centres were run by various church groups - where they existed at all.

What has changed is that the culture of personal responsibility lies dormant in the social order. Every societal ill is now a question for the great bureaucracy of the government to fix, to regulate, to shelter and to feed. Free will is meaningless in the culture of victimization. Is it any wonder that the poor now feel an entitlement to your income, your property, your life? Remember that when the day comes and the City of Toronto establishes a “safe consumption” site for crack cocaine addicts in the house next door.

France is the jewel of government bureaucracy and socialization, and yet, the cites of Paris are in flames with no end in sight. Many already have been crying that the government has been ineffective in assimilating second and third generation of Muslim North African immigrants into the wider cultural mosaic and the only cure is for more government programs and largess to morph them into law abiding citizens of the French Republic. Not enough time, education, or job training programs have been created to alleviate this sense of entitlement and barbarity. Odd how half a world away in Toronto the professional poverty pimps say the same thing, but I say; when you consign your life to the government you become merely a bystander in your own fate.