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Monday, May 31, 2004
How about a little discussion? Seeing as we're coming up on the anniversary of the D-Day invasion, it got me to thinking about our adversaries then (the SS) and now (Muslim extremism).
I know the their ideology isn't the quite the same, but how different are Osama Bin Laden's Muslim fundamentalists from Kurt Meyer's Hilter Youth of the 12th SS? In my opinion not all that different, but feel free to give me your opinion, I'd like to hear some more opinions.
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Let's start things off by giving you a quote from Paul Martin,
"You can have a country like Canada. You can have a country like the United States, That's a choice you can make. But you cannot have a health-care system like Canada's ... [and] social programs like Canada's with taxation levels like those of the United States."Let's follow that up by giving the amounts the two countries spend on healthcare per capita, America $2,180 per capita, compared to Canada's $1,986. Wait a sec, the Americans spend more on healthcare than Canada, are we being mislead by our Prime Minister?
Sure the Americans spend less on welfare than we do, but they also spend way more than us on defence, so wouldn't it be possible to lower our taxes and also fund heathcare appropriately? Is Stephen Harper on to something, lower taxes and heathcare, sounds good to me.
[ Via Nealenews ]
I am totally baffled by the entire campaign waged by the media and our government encouraging young people to vote. I find the concern people express for low voter turnout, especially among youth, amusing at best and politically manipulative at worst.
Now simply having a few commericals encouraging people to vote are fine... its just that I start to worry when the CBC starts doing 'specials' on the subject. Once the CBC has a show on a subject its only a matter of time before a bunch of do-gooders start lobbying for government money to solve the problem.
So is there a problem? Well the 'evil conservative political operator' in me says no. That's because as Winston Churchill said:
Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conversative, has no brains.I'm sure most of us would agree that Winnie had it right on the mark. So the 'evil conservative political operator' in me thinks the Conservative Party should do everything possible to suppress the 'youth vote'. I'm not talking about violence or anything like that. Maybe some light mocking on voting day... 'Hey loser what are you doing here? Don't you have a girlfriend or something? Are you a total loser? What's wrong with you?...' That sort of thing.
This tendency of the young voting more left can be seen by where our political parties lay on the spectrum and how much they go on about the youth vote. There is a direct co-relation.
Is low voter turnout really a problem? Well some people think it obviously is. I really get a kick out of the shows where they interview the, oh so very rare, disgruntled youth voter. The first thing out of their mouths is always something like 'Dude... none of the parties address the issuses that concern me'. What issues concern them? Usually the first one they mention is the cost of education. Note to 'idiot youth voter': your education is free you twit! Plus you're university education is a total steal unless of course you take 'english, arts in general, or basket-weaving' then your on your own. Considering how much of his schooling is covered by someone other than themselves I find it astonishing that they claim no one cares about this issue. JACKASS!
Most of the other issues that concern youth voters involve pimples, BO, and getting a date for the prom. What can a national political leader do about these issues? Nothing!
You spoiled little brats think the world revolves around you. Well you know what? It doesn't. Not a flying !/3@). Grow up already. The only person who thinks your opinion matters is your mother and that's only on the good days.
My suggestion to young voters is to go and talk to your parents and grand-parents about voting. I'm sure most of them has lots of experience with the process.
Some will tell you that a politician never delivers on their promises. This may be an exageration but you'ld be astonished by how many people believe it. Plus your family will be able to tell how politicians only want to get into office so that they can funnel some cash and business towards their family and friends. Your family will also be able to tell you about every vote that they ever wasted which in most cases will have been all of them.
Listen long and hard and maybe you'll decide to be like the rest of us where politicians promise to address our concerns and then after we vote for them they turn around and stab us in the back.
Maybe the kiddies are onto something?
What else have we found online today. Well via Nealenews we have Why Hollywood Hates Christians. We also have They Had It Made describing a plot between the Liberals and Joe Clark's pals to rig the election results of 2000. My belief that Clark was a closet Liberal is being proven correct. This is a huge story though... whether it has legs or not we'll have to see.
We also have this reminding us that Stephen Harper is the only 'normal' person out there running for PM.
For those who doubt that the media is biased in their coverage of the news then check this out.
Also Bill Cosby rocks the boat and I love it.
P.J. O'Rourke tells us how the world would look if America became isolationist:
...P.J. kicks ass.
America will enjoy cleaner air and less traffic congestion as oil goes to $200 a barrel due to chaos in the Middle East. A U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East will cause chaos, of course. Then again, a U.S. intervention in the Middle East has caused chaos already. And, during those periods of history when the U.S. was neither intervening in nor withdrawing from the Middle East, there was . . . chaos. The situation is akin to the famous complaint women have against men: failure to acknowledge that not every problem can be fixed. Sometimes the best thing is just a little sympathy. America had everyone's sympathy after the World Trade towers were attacked. We can get that sympathy back if we limit our foreign policy objectives to whining.
One thing to whine about will be the fate of Israel. Without American safeguards that nation is certain to be militarily attacked. To judge by previous Israeli wars, in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, the result will be serious headaches for Israelis as the Knesset furiously debates the status of Jewish settlements outside Damascus and on the west bank of the Euphrates.
The threat of nuclear proliferation will abate as dangerous stockpiles of atomic weapons are quickly used up. The loss of life will be regrettable. But this will be counterbalanced by the welcome disappearance of long-standing international flashpoints when the India-Pakistan border is vaporized, Tehran disappears in a mushroom cloud, and whatever is left of the Korean Peninsula becomes reunited.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Well seeing as Dana gave us his predictions for who will win in his riding of Ottawa South, I'll give you mine in my riding of Egmont, PEI. I'm not going to get nearly into the detail that Dana did because its going to be a blowout, plain and simple. No fun at all.
Incumbent Liberal Joe McGuire is going to have Conservative Reg Harper (no relation to Stehpen) for lunch. I would say McGuire is going to get at least 60% of the vote, Harper will grab about 30% and the rest will go to the NDP Regina Russell, and the Green party will get about 17 votes, what ever percent that works out to be isn't important.
So there it is, McGuire may have one of the widest margins of victory on election day, not because he's loved but because of the lack of a quality candidate to run against him. Many of the people I've talked to in the last couple of days have said they have no intention to vote McGuire but the Conservative (Harper) is not very popular in the area either, I predict a low voter turn out in Egmont for lack of anybody worth voting for. Sad but true. If you like exciting races, stay away from Egmont.
Charles Moore has an interesting article about his perceptions of America during his childhood and how the process that created those perceptions is still at work today:
The BBC did not preach to me about the Soviet threat with the same ardour that it preached about racial prejudice. I therefore thought that America was very violent and very backward, and I could never quite understand why such a country was by far the most powerful in the world. If I asked people why, they would say, "Oh well, it's because it's so rich," as if wealth were something that simply descended upon you without the contribution of human effort. As a result, I understood very little about America.
Today, we are presented with a similar narrative - so powerful that I find that 90 per cent of people here believe it, even those who think of themselves as conservative. The narrative is that America is bullying and naive about the outside world. It is very keen on killing people. George W Bush is taken to embody these characteristics, since he wears cowboy boots and is inarticulate and prays a lot. (Fine for Muslims to pray, not for Christians.)
There are good Americans who, again, come from the north-east and never talk about religion. You can tell they are good because they are not "unilateralist". Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, is, ex officio, a good American. But the bad Americans, with guns and money and a white God, are in charge.
Friday, May 28, 2004
The NDPs first campaign pledge was that if elected they would raise our taxes. Not exactly a vote getter even in the Great Socialist North.
The NDP never to be outdone by the pledges of the other political parties have outdone even themselves today. In another brilliant show of political gamesmenship they've pledged to make it easier for Quebec politicos to split the country apart.
A week ago I thought that Jack Layton was a smart political operator. That has totally gone out the window with his performance over the past week.
First the tax increase. Note to all you socialists out there: DON'T TELL PEOPLE YOU ARE GOING TO RAISE THEIR TAXES. Nobody wants to pay more taxes. Alot of people think it is OK if OTHER people pay higher taxes just don't give them any reason to think you are eyeing their wallet. Stalin wouldn't have been stupid enough to think that would make people love him.
Now he proposes to eliminate the federal Clarity Act. Exactly who's vote does he hope to gain by this position? Someone worked up enough by the Clarity Act to support this position is not going to vote for the NDP. They already have a party to represent their interests... its called the Bloc.
And really is anyone, even in Quebec, opposed to the Clarity Act? Even if you are a separatist I can't imagine why you'ld care about it. I'm just an anglo though so what would I know?
Prince Edward Island historian David Weale has been collecting quotes from Islanders for years, recently he has been running them in the local newspaper on a daily basis. Today's quote is very fitting seeing as its election time and we are being promised so much by our beloved politicians. Here it is,
"Give a man five dollars and he'll be grateful. Give it a second time and he'll appreciate it. The third time he'll expect it, and by the fourth time he'll demand it."Does that sound familiar?
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Its my birthday today, I've entered mid-life. If you feel bad for not getting me anything just drop me an e-mail and I'll give you my address so you can send me something. Don't worry either if you think its too late, I'll except late gifts up to 12 months from now. Joe you know where I live so you have no excuse for not having a gift here tonight, cheap bastard!
If you would like to know why Al Gore looks like he does in the picture Dana posted, then read this article by John Podhoretz, he explains Gore's recent behavior beautifully.
[ Via Nealenews ]
Liberal fearmongering on PEI has been taken up a notch be ACOA (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) Minister Joe McGuire. Yesterday McGuire said that he thinks Stephen Harper and the Conservative party are going to to shut down ACOA, then starve the Atlantic region so that we will all have to move to Alberta or Ontario.
"He (Harper) thinks the only way to do it is to starve us out of the region so we'll all go to Alberta or Ontario."This of course is a gross exaggeration by McGuire that seems to fit into the current Liberal election strategy. Harper has only said he wants to "refocus" and "depoliticize" the agency (ACOA), which would make sense.
For a Liberal incumbent like McGuire, who in my opinion is going to be reelected very easily, you'd think he would take the high road in his campaign, not fearmongering and resorting to negative messages as a first resort, that is unless he is just following orders from the top in Ottawa, to demonize the Conservatives at all costs.
New Brunswick MP and Conservative critic for ACOA, Greg Thompson has come to the defense of Harper,
"Stephen Harper is a trained economist and he understands regional development and he understands the roles of those agencies and he never once suggested that he was going to take the wrecking ball to them,"It is true that Harper has been critical of ACOA, but that doesn't mean he's going to starve the Maritimes as McGuire suggests. Harper only wants to change the direction of the economic strategy in the Atlantic region currently used by the Liberals, which we all know is not perfect. Harper has said he would work with the provincial governments to develop and put into working practice an ACOA that is more productive than the current model, doesn't that sound reasonable, not at all like the Liberals make it out to be?
Harper furthers his views here,
"I don't believe in direct subsidization of economic development, I think we need to create a lower tax regime and that will create more jobs over time."Many of us already know that direct sudsidies don't work long term in business, you have to look no further than the fish plant industry in Newfoundland for an example. Here Thompson adds this critic as well,
"We will not use it as our personal piggy bank as the Liberals have done, I think there is some evidence that suggests that they've done that in violation of the mandate that ACOA was given, often bypassing the board and just simply making political decisions to benefit them and no one else. That will definitely end, there is no question about that."For a party that has been in power for as long as the Liberals have been, you would think they would be able to run on their record alone, without having to take the low road so early and often in this election campaign, I guess the Liberals aren't that confident in their record, I sure know a lot of Canadians aren't.
We all know how the sweeties over at Moveon.org love calling Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, etc... Nazis.
Who looks more like a Nazi to you?
Or this man?
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Jack Layton today unveiled the NDPs platform during a stop in Toronto. The article title in The Globe And Mail seems a bit harsh though. Is it necessary for 'moderate' to be put in scare quotes? Why not just 'NDP's platform heavy on taxes'? Anyways I'm drifting here.
I'm actually quite surprised that the NDP came out with a platform that was so tax heavy. The NDP has spent the last couple of years trying to convince people that the party would be fiscally responsible. In a strict sense, raising taxes in and of itself, does not prove that you are fiscally irresponsible but it will be very hard for the NDP to convince the public of it regardless. In short if you raise taxes you obviously don't know how to handle the nations money. It may not be fair but most people would instinctively agree with that statement.
So what have the NDP accomplished with their platform? Not much as far as I can tell. An election platform for a party that has no real chance of winning should accomplish one simple goal... to allow the party to play the spoiler and/or to win as many seats as possible. This basically means that though your 'base' may not be large you intend to 'steal' as many votes as possible from the larger parties that have a more established base.
I guess I could give credit to the NDP for being upfront about raising taxes. In a sense it is quite refreshing. But the sceptic in me says that though the NDP are telling me that they'll raise my taxes 'just a little bit' that they may be trying to pull one over on me. Though I was too young when the provincial NDP parties came to power in Ontario and BC I suspect that they didn't go out of their way to warn people that they intended to economically ruin their provincial economies.
The NDP has to shake the past that its provincial parties has given it. This budget won't do that. I suspect that national support for the NDP has just fallen a few percentage points.
Jeffrey Simpson has a nice roundup of how Canada's obsession with healthcare is affecting our budgets and the political process.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
As you may already know, the CBC is planning to give Don Cherry the axe after this year's NHL playoffs. In a related story, my secret source deep inside the CBC has obtained a short list of the 5 candidates the CBC are considering for the position of replacing Cherry on Hockey Night in Canada.
Of course the reason for getting rid of Cherry is because he is not politically correct enough for the CBC anymore, so keeping that in mind, all candidates must fall in line with the CBC strict views, following the company line mindlessly is very important. Here are the 5 in random order.
Paula Abdul - Yes, Paula of America Idol fame, she loves everybody good or bad, all you have to do is show up and give it your best and that's enough for her. The CBC thinks her sunny personality would fit right in at Hockey Night in Canada.
Ben Mulroney - Everybody loves Ben Mulroney, wait a sec, they don't. I guess the CBC messed up on this one, count him out.
Al Franken - Franken is looking for work in the liberal bias field and the CBC is the right fit for him. He's funny, smart and will tackle anyone who believes in anything that he doesn't, a real live wire.
Rick Mercer - Come on its the CBC, Rick Mercer has to be up for the job. Mercer's CBC special showing how ignorant Americans are towards Canada is really the type of message the CBC is trying to get across to Canadians. He may be the front runner.
Joe Clark - Joe is the dark horse in the field, he has been sucking up to the CBC lately by bad mouthing Stephen Harper and the Conservative party which has opened some doors for him at the CBC, there is a method to Joe's madness after all, keep it up Joe, there's hope for you yet.
There you have it, the top candidates for the open position at Hockey Night in Canada. All 5 are great candidates, may the best one win.
Well since the election has officially been called I figure it would be a good idea to give a rundown of the situation in my home riding of Ottawa South.
Well the chart below gives the results from the election of 2000.
The NDP is fielding Monia Mazigh wife of Maher Arar who spent a year in a Syrian prison because of suspicions that he was in some manner connected to al-Qaeda. Either way I seriously doubt that her running will have any significant effect on the level of NDP support in the riding. Still, given that Paul Martin has taken the federal Liberal Party slightly left in relation to the policies of Jean Chretien, I suspect NDP support here will increase in proportion with that of the national party.
NDP 2004 % = 15%
I suspect that support to other 'frindge' parties will trend along the lines seen in 2000. Sorry to anyone included in this total, no insult is intended.
Other 2004 % = 3%
The remainder of the vote will be split between the Liberals and the Conservatives so the analysis of these two parties will be done together since anything that will affect one obviously has an effect on the other.
The totals from 2000 had Liberal support at 51% with the Canadian Alliance/ Progressive Conservative merged total being 40%. The most significant change in 2004 will of course be that the two 'conservative' parties here in Canada have now merged. I suspect that this won't have a significant effect in and of itself to affect the combined support for the new Conservative party. I say this because I suspect that the merged party would tend to attract a few more supporters. The principle of 'they have a hope' appling here. I figure that this would ammount to 1% or less of the total electorate. This slight increase though would probably be offset by some of the 'progressive' members of the old Progressive Conservative party moving to the Liberal or NDP camp.
The second change to have a major effect on the race in Ottawa South is that John Manley will not be running in 2004. Now I am personally very conservative in my politics but even I'll admit that John Manley wasn't all bad; in many ways I actually liked the guy. Regardless I suspect that many other closet conservatives felt the same way. The loss of John Manley will probably affect Liberal support in Ottawa South with a loss in the range of 2-4%. Four percent may seem high but it will be impossible to replace Manley's name recognition.
The third change to have a significant impact here in Ottawa South is that the Liberal nominee is David McGuinty, brother of Ontarians favorite Liberal, Premier Donald McGuinty. As many of you are probably aware, the provicial Liberals have just raised taxes here by a significant amount. This naturally does not bode well here for David. Kind of like putting on a 'deer suit' and then going for a jog in the woods. Not good.
So how do I see it all shaking out in Ottawa South. Well given the problems the federal Liberals have been having, plus the major factors affecting Ottawa South that I've mentioned, I feel comfortable predicting that the Conservatives will claim the seat for Ottawa South.
Conservatives 2004 % = 45%
Liberals 2004 % = 37%
Of course this can all change will major developements on either the local or national scenes in the weeks to come. But I suspect that with the Liberals getting squeezed from both the 'right' and the 'left', a change in Ottawa South is quite possible if not outright likely. Remember that if the Liberals shed 3-4 percent from its left and right leaning bases of support, the race will become a statistical dead heat.
The only real unknown that I see in my analysis is that NDP support may not increase as I suspect. If a significant number of NDP supporters vote Liberal solely to prevent a Conservative win than that of course would change the dynamics of the race. I'll feel a bit more confident with my NDP numbers in a week or two. There is a general feeling out there that NDP support is bound to increase in 2004. Jack Layton has done a good job sounding like a reasonable politician but the key is if he can keep it up. If the NDP reverts to its old habits then things could quickly unravel for them.
Anyways, that's it for today.
Good luck to all the canadidates... now release the hounds!
If you are in need of a good laugh, go and check out this list at Right Wing News. John got it from IMAO, its one of the many satires from Frank J. Its title is "The Top Ten Suggested Lines For Bush's Iraq Speech Last Night" , here are a couple of examples,
5. "France was really opposed to us invading Iraq, so you know some good would have to come of it."
4. "I assure you that Iraq will become a full-fledged democracy instead of a quasi-dictatorship like Canada."Any check out the whole thing, its pretty funny, of course pretty near anything is when it involves making fun of France.
Early on Monday, Paul Martin arrived on Prince Edward Island to address his followers at a campaign rally in Stratford, near Charlottetown. If this stop on the campaign trail is any indication of how Martin intends to run his election campaign, then expect him to use scare tactics and half-truths as his strategy to attack Stephen Harper and the the Conservative party.
Through out the rest of this post, I'll give you some of Martin's quotes from the Monday rally on the Island, then I'll follow that up by giving you what I think of them.
"You can’t have a health-care system like Canada’s, you can’t have social programs like Canada’s with taxation levels like those in the United States.”First of all, without cutting out government pet projects and by stopping the Liberals wasteful ways, no you can't expect to lower taxes below the current level. But maybe we could cut down on government fluff and excess, then see where that gets us, its worth a try, isn't it? Then lower taxes could very well be possible.
Secondly, at the very same time that Martin promises closer ties to the Americans and George W. Bush, he is using the "America is evil" strategy to scare voters away from the Conservative party, hopefully voters will see though Martin's two-faced strategy.
“This campaign, make no mistake about it, is about the kind of Canada that we want. It is a clear choice. It is a choice that matters. Never has the differences between the political parties been so stark.”Martin hit the nail right on the head there. In this federal election we get to choose between to very different parties indeed, one (the Liberals) wastes millions of our tax dollars so they can't give us any tax breaks, while the other one (the Conservatives) want to tighten spending in nonessential areas so they can give us a tax break, not a vary hard choice in my book.
“Stephen Harper says he can do it all, he says he can protect health care, increase transfers to the provinces, he can eliminate debt, he can cut taxes. I’ll tell you something, his numbers don’t add up. They’re not even close.”Martin's right again! Except for one tiny problem, Martin is using the Liberal spending formula (not the Conservative one), which makes it impossible to do all of the above. The Liberals would rather have the Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson or Quebec Liberals spend your money, instead of letting you have it.
“You can have a country like Canada. You can have a country like the United States. That’s a choice you can make,”That statement is fear mongering on Martins' part, he is only taking advantage of the anti-American sentiment in Canada, playing on people's fears. Vote Liberal or Stephen Harper will turn Canada into the next America state, voting Liberal is the only way to save Canada! Have the Liberal party no shame?
Harper has also responded to the low blow by Martin and his election team by saying,
"The Prime Minister suggests we are un-Canadian because we want lower taxes - if you can believe that. Tax me, I'm Canadian. Waste my money, I'm Canadian. Well, let's send them some pretty clear messages: waste, mismanagement and corruption are not Canadian values."Later in the rally, Liberal incumbent Shawn Murphy jumps on the fear mongering bandwagon,
“(Conservatives) don’t appreciate Atlantic Canada and, of course, Stephen Harper has been very critical in the past about Atlantic Canada and the people who live in Atlantic Canada,”Nothing like beating a dead horse, Harper was only being honest about the situation in Atlantic Canada, he wants the Liberals to end the government created environment of dependency, not such a bad idea if you ask me. If the people of Atlantic Canada don't like the truth and honesty, then vote Liberal because Stephen Harper isn't your man.
The only close election in years and the Liberals come out with this type of campaign, using scare tactics and spreading fear, this tells you something about the character of our government doesn't it. When the going gets tough, the Liberals get nasty and childish, very telling isn't it.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Don Cherry is at it again. And this time he's gone too far. On Wednesday, Cherry called a cop killer 'a little creep' causing outrage and concern among CBCs executives. To clarify the situation for the huddled masses the CBC released the following statement:
This senseless tragedy has been a source of profound sadness for us all, and Don Cherry was very passionate about this in his segment on last night's Coach's Corner. Given the passion of the statements made last night, we want to confirm to our audience our shared belief in the presumption of 'innocence until proven guilty.'Thanks for clearing that up for us. From Don's comments I thought the 'innocent until proven guilty 'thingy ma jib' had been tossed out the window. Thank heavens that's been cleared up.
I'ld also like to know where the CBC got the idea that it was necessary that they remind us that they still believe in a fair trial? And what's with the scare quotes around the 'innocence until proven guilty'? Was that in the original statement or was it added later?
Thursday, May 20, 2004
I always get a kick out of how many people in Canadian politics keep pushing the 'compassionate' European model of social organization.
Due to France's wonderful social security system their elderly are commiting suicide at an alarming rate:
The French government is to punish families who fail to keep in touch with elderly relatives after being shamed by statistics which reveal that its suicide rate among its pensioners is the highest in Europe.If a country has to pass laws that 'force' people to care for their parents then what long term prospects does it have? Apparently the people of France aren't as socially compassionate and caring as they would like us to believe.
In a country that prides itself on traditional Catholic family values, elderly people left to fend for themselves are committing suicide at a rate of 62 a week, according to the figures released last week.
Under French law, adult offspring are already required to provide for ageing parents who do not have the means to look after themselves. Article 207 of the Civil Code states that children have a legal obligation to "honour and respect" their parents, as well as pay them an allowance and provide or fund a home for them. A judge may set the sum, with non-payers facing prison or a fine.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
I know that writing another post complaining about the Khadrs will bring the wrath of Al-Qaeda to Canada's shores, but what the hell, Osama if you're reading this, KISS MY INFIDEL ASS!
Anyway back to the reason for the post, today Zaynab Khadr was trying to get across to us that she and her family are not terrorists, despite the fact that her father died fighting with known terrorists in Pakistan, her brothers trained and fought in Afghanistan and were taken to Guantanamo Bay. And lastly, Osama bin Laden was a guest at her wedding. I wonder why people suspect that they are terrorists? Full story here.
She goes on to make her case by defending what Bin Laden believes,
"We were ordered by the Prophet that only Muslims should reside in that part of the land. Osama didn't say that Americans should evacuate America or else we'd kill them. He just said this is our country and we would like you to leave, and I think he has a right."Point taken, I especially like the "this is our country and we would like you to leave, and I think he has a right", part. So if this type of reasoning applies, then why is she mad at Canadians for wanting to deny her brother access to Canada's taxpayer funded medicare?
We are only exercising our rights as Canadians, by making our feelings known that we don't like people who support our enemies abusing our heathcare system at our expense. These are our rights, why does Osama get to exercise his twisted view of his rights, and we Canadians don't get to exercise ours, eh Zaynab? You have the right to speak your mind in this country, so why not the rest of us? That's the beauty of Canada, we are all free to speak our minds.
Also, if you expect to support Bin Laden at the same time he threatens Canada with violence and not have people resent you, you are welcome to leave the country, to go live somewhere more to your liking, its your right you know.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
The Ontario budget has come down today. My choice for best sound bite of the day goes to Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton for this gem referring to the new health premium tax:
This is a tax which will hit every modest and middle-income family. The government is literally picking the pockets of the wrong people.I would have thought that picking the pockets of anybody would be wrong. At least he doesn't beat around the bush. And at least Hampton is clear on where he stands and what he would do if his party won.
The Liberals on the other hand just broke every election promise they made last year. Now I'll admit that most governments fail to live up to some of their election promises... but ALL of them... in ONE year? Amazing.
Taking American troops out of Iraq before the situation is stabilized would only make the problem worse, America should not cut and run from Iraq. If this happens, I am quite sure we will be looking at a civil war in Iraq, this must be avoided at all costs.
A civil war in Iraq would be very similar to the one that took place in Lebanon in the 70s, only much bigger and bloodier, which we all know is not a good thing. Lebanon lost many of its functions as a financial, cultural, and communications center in the Middle East as a result of the civil war. By the time the war ended, the country was only a shadow of its former self.
Many of Lebanon's top businessmen (and women), bankers and community leaders choose to emigrate as a direct result of all the fighting. The sacrifices that they would have had to make would have been too large, leaving the country and starting a new life elsewhere was the only option for many. Losing all these talented people had a very bad effect on Lebanon as a whole.
Iraq cannot afford to lose its leaders and brain power, these people are essential to leading Iraq out of its fog. The terrorists know this fact all to well, we must not let them succeed in destroying Iraq's future.
Much of Lebanon's infrastructure, everyday life and almost all economic activity were also destroyed as a result of the war. It would be catastrophic for Iraq to suffer the same fate as Lebanon did.
Many internal and external factors played a role in Lebanon's demise and many of these same factors (clan rivalries, foreign influence, religious strife) are present in Iraq today. If America leaves Iraq without a strong government in place and a stable population, many of these same factors could very well lead Iraq into its own civil war, a scary thought.
Lebanon has yet to recover from its civil war, and that was 30 years ago. There are also no indications that would lead me to believe that Iraq would recover from one any better. The Middle East cannot afford any more large set backs, especially one as big as an Iraqi civil war.
Prince Edward Island MLA Andy Mooney has finally said what so many people in the private sector have thought for years. Mooney has called on all seasonal workers in the region to be more willing to take full time jobs instead of just settling for a 13-week make work project run by the government.
"The private sector should not have to compete with the government."Moony has been applauded for his courage to speak the truth about a very touchy issue here on P.E.I. He has received many phone calls of support and has gotten only one negative response so far.
"They all said my statement was words so many think but nobody has the courage to come out and say."Just recently a call center in the Western end of the province had to close its doors because they were having a hard time hiring workers. Management at the center said that they were able to only employ about half the number of workers that they had hoped for. This is not because of a lack of population in the area, its because people with government benefits have no incentive to work full-time.
A lot of people don't need to work full-time, its that simple, the government enables them to work only 13-20 weeks of the year by offering EI enhancing programs and make work projects so people can live comfortably doing as little work as possible.
There is no incentive to work full-time, by the time you add up childcare, gas and up keep for your car to travel back and forth to work with, it just doesn't pay to work year around. It makes sense to stay home. The government should give people more incentive to work, by lowering income tax for low income families, make it beneficial to work all year around.
[Via Canadians are smug... via Baldilocks]
And some people say the West has gone soft...
The 800 odd US military deaths suffered since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom a year ago are less than the number who died in the Slapton Sands D-Day training exercise in 1944.No wonder bin Laden and his ilk think they can scare us into surrendering.
Monday, May 17, 2004
A co-worker of mine has been sending me articles about the 'oil peak' for the last couple of weeks. I'm been brushing him off as best as I could simply because I'm been so busy and plus the last thing I need is another reason to think we're all screwed.
Regardless my responses up to now have been the usual. Oil supply will diminish slowly and society will have the opportunity to make gradual changes to a more varied energy supply. Blah blah blah... more oil fields will be discovered so there is no need to worry about an oil shortage any time soon.
Anyways, I'm just bought a house and trying to determine a term for the mortgage got me thinking about the likelihood of the shit hitting the fan anytime in the next couple of years. Reading a few of these articles totally got me bummed out. Many of them are somewhat conspiratorial but put all together a few good points are made.
As an example. If radical Islamists really wanted to stick it to the world they would simply direct all their energies trying to toople The House of Saud. One well aimed shot and the world would be totally... well you know what I want to say. If Prince Abdullah was killed tonight we would wake up to a totally different world. First off, equity markets would fall faster than Wiley E. Coyote off of a cliff. If you think want happened in India yesterday was something you would be in for a surprise.
Add to this the added tensions due to countries trying to secure other supplies and we've got ourselves a very volitile world. China would most likely immediately try to grab supplies in central Asia and in the South China Sea. Of course Japan won't sit around waiting to be starved. There are so many other potential conflicts possible it isn't worth pointing them all out.
Plus the third world would be totally out on a limb. Most developement in the third world over the last decade has been due to developement of heavy industry and manufacturing both heavily dependent on cheap and stable supplies of oil. At least in the West we would still be able to spend more on energy and still be able to eat. The third world wouldn't have the luxury of making that choice.
Anyways every day gives me another reason to suspect the world is one tiny event from going ape-shit.
Thanks Tom. Much appreciated.
I can just see it now, Ken Dryden holds up summer recess for parliament with a 45 day, 13 hour, 34 second speech. Listening to Dryden is painful, he'll make a good Liberal. Full story here.
Today in Iraq a road side bomb exploded, no big deal right it happens everyday, this time though the bomb was made from a 155mm artillery shell filled with Sarin gas. The device was detonated as a U.S. military convoy passed, there was no serious injuries, only two personnel were treated for exposure. A field test was done to confirm which type of gas it was. Full story here.
Not very big news in my book though, seeing as WMDs weren't the reason I supported the war to begin with. Even if small amounts of WMDs were found in Iraq today, it wouldn't change anything, all of the people who are against the war wouldn't change their minds about it now. The countries that stayed away from Iraq from the start are not going to support it now by sending troops. WMD is a dead issue, it doesn't matter any longer. A successful Iraq is the only way to bring more countries into the fold, not proof of WMDs.
Stabilizing Iraq is what is important, giving Iraqis a chance to elect a government is what is important, WMDs are old news. If people won't support the U.S. and Britain in bringing democracy and a chance at prosperity to Iraq, well there's not much that's going to change their minds now. The only thing that is going to make people believe is a improving and stable Iraq.
If wishing for an Iraqis democracy is a bad thing, well then I'm as bad as they get, pure evil. Not just Iraqis either, some day I hope that Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Syrians.... all the people of the Middle East have real democracy too. Governments elected for the people by the people, the status quo was not working, dictatorships don't work, changes had to be made and that's what we are getting.
Making Iraq work is going to be tough, I never heard anybody say it was going to be easy. There will be ups and downs, but in the end through the will of the Iraqis and of those who have chosen to assist them in this great undertaking, Iraq will work, the human spirit always overcomes hatred in the end and this time is no different.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
So the guns have fallen quiet have they? According to Antonia Zerbisias they have.
Did she ever consider that some of us have shit to do? I'm getting married, just bought a house, and plus the weather is fit enough to allow me to spend some time enjoying the outdoors. I'm not sure about the other Canadian bloggers she is referring to but I have most certainly not lost faith.
Quite frankly I am sick and tired of repeating the same arguments justifying both the war in Iraq and the general war on terror. I still believe that both of these wars must be fought and more importantly that they both must be won.
No, the war party is over. There is nothing to celebrate any more. (Not that there ever was.) President George W. Bush's folly is a bloody, costly, tragic, world-dividing disaster that has led to more acts of terrorism by more groups.Where does she get off? More acts of terror? A recent study said that the last year had fewer terror attacks than any year since 1969. I guess those kind of details don't really matter though. Why would they when you can quote some American journalists who are critical of G.W.'s policies? I'm not sure what the quotes are supposed to prove but if it pleases Zerisias that some other journalists share her views than good for her.
Regardless, she can continue to spew the same tired arguments all she wants. I've got stuff to do and I'm not going to point out the flaws in her arguments over, and over, and over again.
Plus I guess that since she is a 'professional' writer that only she must be entitled to her 'oh so valued' opinion. Note to Antonia... we have jobs! I've gotta work 8-9 hours a day as it is. I can't spend the rest of my day responding to the same tired arguments from the likes of her.
When the status of the war in Iraq changes then I may find it worth blogging about. As it stands, the country is moving along quite in line with my expectations. Some people aren't happy in Iraq. Surprise! As it stands the U.S. forces are knocking off militants at a brisk pace.
Anyways Antonia we are still here. Just because some of us have other things to do doesn't reflect in the least on our opinions of the war.
I've never actually read any of Zerbisia's articles before but now I see what everyone finds so amusing about her. The exagerated language she uses is quite comical. I especially liked her comment about little green footballs:
Probably the most venomous of all is Charles Johnson. His site (http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com) is the toilet in which all sorts of misinformation and malice about Arabs and, in particular, Palestinians are dumped. Anybody who writes favourably — or even in a half-balanced manner — about them is slimed.The fact that she says this in an article dedicated to doing the same to those she disagrees with is... well beyond belief for someone who considers themselves a professional.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Does Yasser Arafat want peace with Israel? The answer of course is no, but we all knew that after Camp David. Arafat continues to call for the destruction of Israel time and time again, at the same time he pretends to want peace, for the benefit of the international community. The two sides of Arafat have reared their ugly face again. Full story here.
In a speech marking the 56 year anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, Arafat was his usual self, he repeatedly called for his people to be strong in their fight with Israel, which in it self not at all damning but after touching on his people's need to be stead fast in their struggle several times, then Arafat called for them to "terrorize your enemy".
To end his speech off, he quoted from the Koran,
"Find what strength you have to terrorize your enemy and the enemy of God,"In the Koran that line is finished with "if they want peace, then let's have peace", but Arafat leaves that part out. This is how radical Muslim leaders twist and turn the Koran for the benefit of themselves, they only take what they need to instill hate and anger.
If Arafat really cared about the Koran or his people, he would have a state for them years ago, but because of his ego they live in terrible conditions and will continue to do so until someone on the Palestinian side has the courage to make peace with Israel. We can only hope that its sooner rather than later.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
In a recent interview the Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, said that Iraqi prisoner scandal is worse for America than 9/11.
"The torture? A more serious blow to the United States than Sept. 11. Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves."In response to this totally insane statement from the Vatican, New York Republican Peter King had these harsh words for Lajolo,
“If there’s anyone in the world who has no right to speak on sexual abuse, it’s the Vatican, this is the height of hypocrisy.”
“Whatever the United States has done to prisoners in Iraq is nothing compared to what priests and nuns did to Catholic kids for decades while the Catholic hierarchy covered it up,"
"Think of the thousands of kids in the U.S. and Ireland who were abused by priests and nuns — you wonder where the Vatican’s moral compass is.”President of the Catholic League, William Donohue added to King's statements by adding that the Vatican's views on this matter are, “singularly irresponsible, insulting, and anti-American.”
To add to that, since when did sexually embarrassing prisoners become morally equivalent to beheadings and executions or are we not supposed to hold America's enemies responsible just because you don't expect them to behave any better than they do? America should have very high standards when it comes to human rights but why should its enemies get a free pass by the international community to do what ever inhuman thing they like?
[ Via NealeNews ]
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Who was the candidate that you most wished would have lost their seat?
What would be the worst possible outcome of the election?
Who is in the greatest need of being mentally commited?
Where does Joe Clark live?
Who is the cause of all the problems in the Middle East?
How do you react when the weekly poll doesn't change for 4 straight weeks?
When you see or hear a news story do you trust that it is accurate?
Who will you be voting for in the upcoming federal election?
How evil is the Liberal Party of Canada?
[Via Andrew Sullivan]
This is too good not to reprint word for word. From Iraq The Model:
My young cousin is a religious Sunni who goes to the mosque and listens to the cleric there every Friday and believes whatever he says, as he’s still young. My uncle always teased his son about this but never prohibited him from doing that. We were talking about different stuff; the kids’ needs, clerics, Americans and the increase in the average income of most Iraqis. My uncle had some unusual sense of humor that didn’t fit quite well in his somewhat religious family. He winked at me and turned to his son and asked him "What do you think of the Americans?" His son answered, "They are occupiers". "So you think we should fight them?" his father asked. Ibrahim said "No, but I don’t like them". My uncle said, pretending to change the subject "Do you like your new computer that no one shares with you?" "Yes of course dad". "Ok, are you satisfied with the satellite dish receiver we have or do you need a better one?" "This one is fine but I heard there’s a better one that gets more channels" "ok I’ll get you that next week". Then he said, "Is there anything else you’d like to have son?" "No dad I have all that I need". "Ok but how about a car?" Ibrahim was astounded and said "Really? a..a CAR.. for me!?". "Of course for you! I’m too old to drive now and my eyes are not that well and you are the older son. So whom else would it be for!?" "Oh, dad that will be great! When will that happen?" "Just finish you’re exams and you’ll have it". "I will dad". "Are you happy now son?" "Yes dad, sure I am!" "Then why do you hate the Americans you son of a b***h!? I couldn’t get you a bicycle a year ago, I could hardly feed you and your brothers and sisters. You didn’t know what an apple or a banana tasted like, I couldn’t buy you a damned Pepsi bottle except in occasions, and now you can have all that you wish, and a car of your own! Who do you think made that possible!?" My cousin’s face turned red and didn’t answer as we laughed and I said "What do you think Ibrahim?" He said, "Well it’s true but it’s our money. They are not giving us a charity" and I said "Of course it’s our money, so let’s forget the Billions of dollars they are giving to rebuild Iraq and the efforts they are doing to cut down our debts and lets talk about our money. Why didn’t your father, I, my brothers and all the Iraqis have anything worth mentioning before the Americans came?" He said, "Because Saddam used it to buy weapons and build palaces". "There you have it Ibrahim, but Americans are not touching our money. Can you tell me who’s better; the ‘occupiers’ who are helping us or the ‘patriot’ who did all that you know to us?" He said in a faint voice "They are better than Saddam but still they are not Muslims". "So do you want them to be Muslims?" "I wish they were." "Will you fight them to that?" he said, "No, of course not. I don’t like fighting." We didn’t want to pressure and embarrass him further and didn’t go further, as he’s still young but he’s smart and good-natured and will get it soon.
John Derbyshire reads the news at NRO. Very good stuff.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
For those of you who think that the recent events in Iraq are proof that America should not be there, I have one thing to ask you. Do you know who you are supporting against America in this fight? Thugs, murders, terrorists and religious zealots, that's who.
With your calls for American's withdrawal, you support, Moqtada al-Sadr, a small time tyrant who has no popular support outside of those, who his band of thugs can't force to follow him. The so-called Iraqi resistance, which has more and more links to Al-Qaeda daily, who behead captives who are trying to rebuild the country, talk about anti-productive. This is who you support against America and the U.K., a real smart choice.
What do this gangs of criminals, terrorists and thugs offer Iraq? Are they rebuilding hospitals? Are they rebuilding schools? Are they rebuilding industry? Are they setting up elections? Are they providing billions of dollars in aid money? Are they offering a chance for a brighter future? No they're not, so why are you supporting them in their quest to destabilize Iraq, which in turn hinders reconstruction.
The quickest way to rid Iraq of Americans is to work with them, stabilize the country, elect a government, rebuild Iraq's army, create jobs and provide security. If these groups don't want those things, then what good are they to Iraq and its people? Absolutely nothing that's what! Is it that hard to see who offers Iraqis the best chance at a better future because that's what is really important, not your personnel bias or tainted opinions.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Canada's crackdown on foreign fishing vessels has continued, with the news that another Portuguese ship has been cited today. Its good to see the crackdown continues on ships that are fishing illegally just off of Canadian waters. The offending ship was using nets that had mesh that was too small according to international laws. The small mesh size doesn't allow the smaller fish to escape from being caught.
Jan Woolford, a spokeswoman for the fisheries department had this to say about Canada's concern on the subject.
"It's a further indication that our concerns about illegal fishing by some foreign fleets continue."If the continued crackdown doesn't deter foreign fleets from raping our waters, then I suggest we start to impound some of these foreign ships by taking them to the nearest Canadian harbour, then keep them there for a while. Make it not worth their while to come over here and break international fishing laws. Maybe that would make them think twice about what they are doing and make them follow the proper fishing methods. Its about time they learnt a lesson.
As it turns out, Paul Martin's election strategy of painting conservatives as religious zealots has not only backfired as a whole but also in his own Liberal party. Liberal MPs have urged Mr. Martin to stop the "inapropriate" and "hypocritical" election tactic, seeing as many members of their party are also religious as well.
Toronto MP John McKay is one of the ones who disagree with the Liberal strategy, here he makes his feelings known,
"Either we think that we have a inclusive notion of pluralism in this country where we accept people based upon their religion or we are hypocrites, I just think it has no place in Canadian politics and, in addition to being offensive ideologically, it is just plain stupid politics."Well said Mr McKay. The scary part of this whole thing is that Mr. Martin and his leadership team thought it was a good idea to use this offensive strategy in the first place. You would think that Canadian politicians would be above such bigotry, I guess not.
If you're interested to know if Iran's Ayatollah Khamemei has issued any new fatwas or anything lately, you can check out his new website at www.khamenei.ir. There are three language options (English, Farsi, Arabic) on the site, as well as bio information, speeches and many other things to check out.
Isn't it strange that Khamenei and other government officals have embraced the internet but at the same time restrict its use by a lot of the general public. I guess it just comes with the territory, its not good for the regular people to have all the information, its better to give them only what you want, its easier the control them that way.
In a recent poll 50% of Canadians thought that the federal government spent their income tax poorly, in the same survey, 39% believed it was spent properly. Full story here.
I going to give a wild guess here, but I think that in the same poll only 50% of those asked watched the news, while 39% doesn't watch the news at all. That would explain the small gap in the poll numbers. I can't imagine that many people would think the government is spending our tax dollars wisely. You'd have to be a die hard Liberal to not admit that our tax dollars are being wasted.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Now that Iraq is designing a new flag, I decided to go though all the world's flags and decide which ones are my most and least favorite.
6. South Korea
8. Dominican Republic
1. Antigua and Barbuda
3. Bosnia & Herzegovina
9. Sri Lanka
10. Marshall Islands
Saturday, May 08, 2004
Thursday, May 06, 2004
A new treaty nearly 10 years in the making, gives Canada the power to board and inspect foreign fishing vessels in international waters, that are suspected of over fishing. This is great news!
Canada exercised this right recently by boarding and inspecting five vessels. One of the vessels from Protugal received two citations, one was for fishing a species protected by an international ban. I hope the nail them to the wall, our fish stocks have been abused for too long.
Federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan goes on to say,
"It is our hope that harassing these international, modern-day pirates on the sea . . . will help keep them away from those . . . species."I agree 100%, its time we stood up against foreign fleets who are destroying a way of life for many Eastern Canadians. I hope the government doesn't let up on these rapists of the sea, its time to end their abuse.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
After all the footage that the CBC has given the anti-US protests and violence that has occured under Moktada al-Sard's watch, why did they not consider this news worthy?
Several Shiite leaders acknowledged that they had delayed issuing their statement until there were clear signs that public opinion among Shiites had moved strongly against Mr. Sadr. Reports in the past two weeks have spoken of a shadowy death squad calling itself the Thulfiqar Army shooting dead at least seven of Mr. Sadr's militiamen in Najaf, and several thousand people attended an anti-Sadr protest meeting outside the Imam Ali shrine in the city on Friday, according to several of the meeting's participants.Of course this doesn't fit with the quagmire script they've been running with for the last year.
Mr. Mahdi, from the Sciri group, which is close to Ayatollah Sistani, was blunt about Mr. Sadr's decline in popularity. "He's 100 percent isolated across most of the southern provinces; he's even isolated in Najaf," he said. "The people there regard him as having taken them hostage." He said Mr. Sadr had also been criticized by his most powerful religious backer, Grand Ayatollah Kazem Hossein Haeri, based in the Iranian city of Qum, who had urged Mr. Sadr to pull his militiamen out of Najaf and Karbala and to stop storing weapons in mosques.
In near 100-degree heat in the late afternoon, few of the Shiite speakers stirred much enthusiasm. But the strongest murmurings of the meeting came when Taqlif al-Faroun, a tribal leader from Najaf, said Shiites should give the American forces a green light to go after Mr. Sadr in the holy cities. "Najaf is not Mecca," he said. "The Americans don't want to go into the shrines. They want to get rid of criminals and thieves. So what if they enter the city?" Across the roof, dozens of men responded approvingly. "Yes, yes!", they said.
Only in the U.N. can a nation be actively taking part in "ethnic cleansing" and "major human rights violations" and still get elected to a third term on the Human Rights Commission. But Sudan has managed to do this very thing, Totally amazing! The U.N. has totally gone down the shitter. Full story here.
Well I finally got my first copy of The Western Standard yesterday. I must say that I was very impressed. It had a good variety of material from national, international, culture, business... a bit of everything. Plus I was pleased that it didn't focus exclusively on Western Canadian issues. Us Islanders from the east coast shouldn't feel left out now should we?
So what else is new? Well the
As well I got to catch CBCs 24 hour coverage of the torture situation and George Bush's interviews on Arab television. Once again Neil MacDonald took liberties to tell us what he thought G.W. was thinking during the interview. Once again odd language to be used by a reporter.
I am really getting a kick how the CBC is painting the torture revelations in Iraq to be somehow G.W.'s fault. Maybe they are just following the lead other international media outlets but either way it seems terribly slanted. When Canadian soldiers had killed the Somali a back during the nineties I don't remember them in any way trying to blame Chrietien for it. Once again though I'm not totally surprised.
Plus I love how the media keeps reminding us how outraged the Arab world is about the torture photos. I don't give a flying f@$> what the Arab world thinks! This may sound harsh but it's about time that the Arab world worries about what we think. Until then they can kiss any sympathy from me goodbye. A culture that encourages the subjugation of its women, holds fundraisers for suicide bombers, and names city streets after people who kill innocent people, has not earned my sympathy or concern.
During WW2, we bombed Dresden, Berlin, Tokyo, etc... into piles of rubble. Would I have felt sympathy for the individual women and children killed in the bombings? Yes. Would I have worried about how it affected their opinion of us. Absolutely freaking not! Same goes for the individual soldiers during WW2. Were some German soldiers executed after they had surrendered. Of course some were. Were some tortured. Yes again. Did any of that invalidate our efforts during WW2? Not in the least. A few men and women are not the measure of an entire civilization.
The same goes for Iraq. You don't have to agree with the reasons for the US invasion but it is plenty clear that Saddam Huissein and his regime were the bad guys. Were there good men who worked for his regime. Definitely. That such people surely existed doesn't mean the regime was good.
Anyways, enough of that.
So what else has been going on? Well In DC has a great post on the pro-abortion protests that took place a few weeks ago. I can easily say that nothing has disgusted me more than this post in quite a long time. I don't care what your position is in regards to abortion, if you don't find this stuff troubling then you are quite simply a total ass.
Hossam Shaltout's story of torture and abuse at the hands of the American army just got a little clearer today. It turns out that Shaltout travelled to Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion and ended up being an advisor to Uday Hussein. Yes that Uday, Saddam's mass-murdering son.
If Shaltout, a supposed peace activist, can buddy around with Saddam and Uday Hussein before the invasion of Iraq and not expect to get detained by the Americans once the Ba'athists were removed from power, then I don't know what world he lives in.
As for the claims of torture, I won't pass judgement until anything is proven, but it seems a little convenient to me. Seeing all the news coming out of Iraq last week. The same goes for the money, he claims to be missing, he better have proof he left the country with it, so not to confuse it with Saddam's money that was being passed around the country to family loyalists.
I'm not going declare Shaltout guilty of anything at this moment, but his story is a little fishy and may not be the peace mission the Globe and Mail makes it out to be. Shaltout's intentions should be investigated further, I for one am going to keep my eye on this one. Hopefully more details to follow.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
In a post last week , I was wondering why Islamic fundamentalists can't seem to see the real reasons (economic, government, sexual equality, educational) why they are not as prosperous as people in the West. What I failed to realize was the reason why Islamic fundamentalists miss the obvious, and why they come to the conclusions that they do , instead of the mainstream reasons for the Middle East's under-development. After some thought on the topic, I think I know the reason.
The main reason why Islamic fundamentalists think they should return to the ways of the past, as a means to regain their lost greatness, is because when they look for answers on how to solve their problems, they only look at things from a religious stand point.
If one was to look at the problems in the Middle East from only a religious stand point, one may come to the same conclusion as the Islamic fundamentalists do, it makes sense when using only that one set of guidelines to judge things on. But there are many more important factors being over looked in the name of religion.
Islamic fundamentalists think that their present misery is a punishment from God, because they have diverted from the purest and truest forms of Islam. They reason that a return to the traditions of the past, when Islam was the greatest nation on earth, is the only way to get back in God's favor. Then and only then will God give them a renewed prosperity and return them to their rightful place as one of earth's great nations. So their reasoning goes.
In my view, this type of reasoning is fatally flawed but to the Islamic fundamentalist, no other answers present themselves as clearly in their religious reasoning. Religion makes up way to much of their decision making process. This may be a generalization but for the most part accurate. Large numbers of Middle Easterners believe that by practicing Islam in its truest and traditional forms will be way for them to rise above their present demise.
In today's Middle East, this is turning out to be major struggle, between those who wish to modernize and those who seek a return to the past. If the region is ever going to have a hope of ending its steady decline, the group who wish to modernize must win the cultural battle between the two camps. If the Islamic fundamentalists win the battle for the "hearts and minds", things will turn more ugly than they already are, scary isn't it.
The modernization of the Middle East needs to happen now. Enough time has already been wasted at the expense of the regions people. Dictators and monarchies have slowed or ended most of the much needed reforms, holding onto their own power is their only true concern. Its time that the world started to hold corrupt, inept and self-appointed leaders accountable for their self-preserving policies, which benefit them and only a small elite, not their vast populations. The changes must begin now, while there is still hope.
The BBC is reporting that 50 former US diplomats have written to George W. Bush critical of his support for Arial Sharon and his plan to withdraw from the territories.
This is quite amusing considering that many of the former diplomats that wrote a similar to Tony Blair critical of his Iraq and Israeli/Palistinian positions have turned out to be paid by Arab governments or other Arab interests.
Regardless, I hardly consider this news to begin with. How is a letter from former diplomats considered newsworthy. I'm sure you could find just as many former diplomats supportive of George W. Bush's policies but the BBC doesn't consider that newsworthy and I can imagine that it wouldn't print the text of such a letter.
The letter repeats the same tired lines typically critical of Israel:
We also are deeply concerned by your April 14 endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's unilateral plan to reject the rights of three million Palestinians, to deny the right of refugees to return to their homeland, and to retain five large illegal settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank.The authors of this letter of course ignore the fact that Bill Clinton had talks with Arafat discussing all of these matters and Arafat responded with the second intifada. Does history not mean anything to these people? They also give us this piece of wisdom:
This plan defies UN Security Council resolutions calling for Israel's return of occupied territories.
You have placed US diplomats, civilians and military doing their jobs overseas in an untenable and even dangerous position
It ignores international laws declaring Israeli settlements illegal.
It flouts UN Resolution 194, passed in 1948, which affirms the right of refugees to return to their homes or receive compensation for the loss of their property and assistance in resettling in a host country should they choose to do so.
A return to the time-honored American tradition of fairness will reverse the present tide of ill will in Europe and the Middle East - even in Iraq.Once again Clinton couldn't have been more fair to Arab interests and look where that got them.
Monday, May 03, 2004
"Victory is ours, say returning Fallujans", how's that for a headline? Who says that people don't respect power?
I'm not too sure what happened to the strong and proud Spaniard but it seems that they are few and far between these days. After the Madrid bombings of March 11th, many including myself concluded that Spain had surrendered in the face of terrorism.
Then after the Spaniards started making arrests we had the April 3rd bombing that took the life of Francisco Javier Toronteras when he and other officers surrounded the apartment where many of the suspects were hiding. Once again this is pretty standard when dealing with terrorists but at least it seemed as if the Spanish were serious.
But the lack of Spanish outrage to this is beyond explanation to me:
But just before sunrise on Monday, April 19, something happened that raised the possibility that Madrid and Europe generally are center stage in the war on terror. Unknown intruders broke into the cemetery where the policeman Torronteras was interred. With a pick-axe, they pried open the crypt where his body lay, smashing the plaque on which memorial verses had been written by his family. They removed the coffin, wheeled it 500 meters away on a hand truck, opened it, chopped off the left hand, doused the corpse with gasoline, and lit it on fire.What is wrong with you bloody people?!
Sunday, May 02, 2004
I'm not up to writing anything tonight so I'll just point you to this interview of Bernard Lewis in The Atlantic.
Since Saddam Hussein has been removed from power in Iraq, people have had more freedom in their daily lives and in turn more internet access. Which in turn leads directly to Iraqis starting their own web pages and blogs. These Iraqi bloggers provide tons of current and on location information daily, about all sorts of stuff happening in Iraq.
If you are interested in what these Iraqis have to say about current events taking place in their country, then you should check out Carnival of the Liberated. It has links to many of the blogger's sites, which in turn provide tons of info, check it out if you would like to know more about Iraq.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Muslims in Spain have appealed to the Vatican to be allowed to pray in the what was once the Great Mosque Of Cordoba.
Thats all fine I guess but how seriously would a Jewish request to pray in The Dome Of The Rock in Jeruselam be taken?
In an attempt to piss off the CBC many of my favourite blogs are encouraging people to vote for Don Cherry as 'The Greatest Canadian'.
So do you bit and go here to vote.
Steven McKinnon, Liberal spokesman says that the Liberals are only trying to bring to everyone's attention to the 'socially conservative views' of the Conservative party. The Liberals asked in a recent survey:
Would you be more or less likely to vote for the Conservative/Alliance if you knew it had been taken over by Evangelical Christians?I'ld like to know how he justifies such a question?
As well it gives me the willies to know that federal parties conduct polls in such a way. The Liberals are basically trying to determine what will have the most traction with the public. Once they find out what will win them votes they don't have to debate the issues anymore. Just start spewing out what the pollsters suggest and be damned with the truth or the issues.
A headline in The Globe and Mail today reads Higher Education Pays Off For Women, U.S. Study Reveals.
And as crazy as it sounds there are Canadian 'academics' who say the same is true in Canada. Be gone with you!
As a researcher or scientist do you think you would get any satisfaction out of this most profound and unexpected finding? Would your professional career be fulfilling if you spend your time proving what is obvious to anyone of 10 years of age? Just curious.