Monday, May 31, 2010

Glick Sees the Flotilla Mess as Yet Another Israeli Failure

As always, Caroline Glick offers much needed clarity, this time on the meaning and ramifications of the flotilla mess:
...Given the months-long build-up to the NPT review conference, and the weeks-long build-up to the Turkish-Hamas flotilla, that surprise cannot be attributed to a lack of information. What it points to rather is a cognitive failure of Israel's leaders - from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu down - to understand the nature of the war being waged against us. And it is this fundamental failure of cognition that has landed six soldiers in the hospital, Israel's international reputation in tatters and Israeli spokesmen - from Netanyahu down - searching for a way to describe a reality they do not understand and explain how they will cope with challenges that confound them.
The reality is simple and stark. Israel is the target of a massive information war that is unprecedented in scale and scope. This war is being waged primarily by a massive consortium of the international Left and the Arab and Islamic worlds. The staggering scale of the forces aligned against Israel is demonstrated by two things.

The Hamas abetting Free Gaza website published a list of some 222 organizations that endorsed the terror-supporting flotilla. The listed organizations hail from the four corners of the earth. They include Jewish anti-Israel groups as well as Christian, Islamic and non-religious anti-Israel groups. It is hard to think of any cause other than Israel-bashing that could unite such disparate forces.

The second indicator of the scope of the war against Israel is far more devastating than the list of groups that endorsed the pro-Hamas flotilla. That indicator is the fact that at the UN on Friday, 189 governments of 189 countries came together as one to savage Israel. There is no other issue that commands such unanimity. The NPT review conference demonstrated that the only way the international community will agree on anything is if its members are agreeing that Israel has no right to defend itself. The NPT review conference's campaign against Israel shows that the 222 organizations supporting Hamas are a reflection of the will of the majority - not a minority - of the nations of the world.

This war against Israel is nothing new. It has been going on since the dawn of modern Zionism 150 years ago. In many ways, it is just the current iteration of the eternal war against the Jewish people...
If we are to win the current phase of the eternal war, we're going to have to be a lot smarter than our enemies and think of ways to not hand them these PR victories on a silver platter.

Update: Then again, Claudia Rosett is a pretty smart cookie, too, and she has a slightly different take on the matter:

The real crisis here is not the fate of the Gaza Terror Flotilla per se, whose organizers have now got the headlines they wanted. The blood is on their hands. The real crisis involves the profound unwisdom of a democratic world that finds it easier to criticize and condemn Israel than to face the mortal threats proliferating in the Middle East. While the headlines, the political grandstanders and the UN Security Council now focus on this propaganda coup prepared by supporters of Hamas, Hezbollah is rearming in Lebanon, Turkey is engaged in a dangerous shift from its old alliances with the West toward new partnerships with Syria and Iran, and Iran continues its march toward the nuclear bomb. Does anyone in the West really believe that the threat here is to Israel alone? In this latest clash over the terrorist enclave of Gaza, the real question that wants answering is why did no democratic country send its ships to Israel’s aid, to make common cause against this terror-loving flotilla? Or – with the blessings of the UN, Turkey and armed “peace activists” — are terrorist-run enclaves such as Gaza, dedicated to the extermination of entire nation states, now to become an accepted feature of the international system?
I have a bit of a problem with the word "become," since it implies that the transition--from terrorist-run enclaves not being accepted to their becoming accepted--has yet to occur. In reality, that acceptance has been plain ever since Yasser "That's My Baby" Arafat addressed the world sporting a gun belt and the by now all-too familiar crapola about the colonialist, imperialist Jews usurping Arab land.

NYT Scribbler Perplexed by Women's Struggle

A dhimmi dhummy writing in New York Dhimes notices an "odd" phenomenon--Saudi women are demanding more "rights" than sharia allows them. What's so odd about that, you may well ask? Well, the scribbler doesn't understand why this of all issues would surface in the Magic Kingdom since women there have virtually no public life:
JIDDA — Roughly two years ago, Rowdha Yousef began to notice a disturbing trend: Saudi women like herself were beginning to organize campaigns for greater personal freedoms. Suddenly, there were women asking for the right to drive, to choose whether to wear a veil, and to take a job without a male relative’s permission, all using the Internet to collect signatures and organize meetings and all becoming, she felt, more voluble by the month.

The final straw came last summer, when she read reports that a female activist in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, Wajeha al-Huwaider, had been to the border with Bahrain, demanding to cross using only her passport, without a male chaperon or a male guardian’s written permission.

Ms. Huwaider was not allowed to leave the country unaccompanied and, like other Saudi women campaigning for new rights, has failed — so far — to change any existing laws or customs.

But Ms. Yousef is still outraged, and since August has taken on activists at their own game. With 15 other women, she started a campaign, “My Guardian Knows What’s Best for Me.” Within two months, they had collected more than 5,400 signatures on a petition “rejecting the ignorant requests of those inciting liberty” and demanding “punishments for those who call for equality between men and women, mingling between men and women in mixed environments, and other unacceptable behaviors.”

Ms. Yousef’s fight against the would-be liberalizers symbolizes a larger tussle in Saudi society over women’s rights that has suddenly made the female factor a major issue for reformers and conservatives striving to shape Saudi Arabia’s future.

Public separation of the sexes is a strongly distinctive feature of Saudi Arabia, making it perhaps a logical area for fierce debate. Since women have such a limited role in Saudi public life, however, it is somewhat surprising that it is their rights that have become a matter of open contention in a society that keeps most debate hidden...
In fact, it is not in the least surprising. Had this scribbler even half a clue (which, clearly, she hasn't), she might have noticed that, around the world, it is Muslim women (and ex-Muslim women) who are in the forefront of the fight against sharia for the simple reason that they are dissatisfied with the built-in inequities of Islamic law. Sounds to me as though she'd prefer not to see this reality, and is siding with the male oppressors.

The Battle Cry of Flotilla 'Activists'

You may not hear about this in the mainstream media because it doesn't gibe with their "Israel is eee-vil" narrative, but those tender-hearted flotilla "activists" were shouting an age-old jihadi war chant when they were boarded by the Jews. The chant wasn't quite as catchy as the Homos for Hamas "Butch. Femme. Bottom. Top. etc.," but it's every bit as heartfelt.

Update: CAIA puts the call out for an "emergency picket" to stick it to the flotilla-busters.

Update: A buncha Muslims kill and injure scores in Lahore: ho hum. A buncha Jews put the chill on a flotilla: let the UN "discussions" begin.

Not that there's an immense double standard in effect or anything.

Update: Jeanette Pryor writes:
...From start to finish, the Humanitarian flotilla was a textbook operation in the chief war against Israel, the war of global opinion. Those who organized the convoy were well aware that, arriving in proximity to Gaza, they would be stopped by Israeli Defense Forces. The purpose of the convey was to choreograph another drama in which Israel would be obliged to choose between being cast on the international stage as the evil starvers of innocent, trapped women and children, or avoiding the censure by allowing ships, possibly carrying weapons and warriors, into Gaza.
For Israel to survive, she needs the moral and physical support of the United States. The Leftist strategists trying to sever this support are using lessons learned about us during the last wars we have fought; wars are won or lost by the microphone and the camera. A still-shot of “heartless” Israelis denying food, clothing, and Kleenex to a camp population is Oscar Worthy and is more lethal than the rockets stowed under the bandage rolls. It is an image stolen from real occupation, an image intended to confuse the victims with the perpetrators and provoke universal outrage against innocent Isralis and extort pity for people who elected genocidal terrorists to run their government.
The Israel Haters Club will howl and get their poignant video footage from Al Jazeera, who, as always, just happened to be on hand. The knife-brandishing doves will have purchased at the cost of lives they hold so cheaply another opportunity to wail the Occupation Narrative...
Update: Here's CAMERA's post

Update: As the flotilla feeding frenzy continues and has yet to peak (Heaven knows that that won't happen for some time) ShalomLife notes that while this was a lose-lose proposition for Israel, the "peace activists" aren't exactly the choir boys they're being made out to be:

While the world watches the fallout of the mission, they are rarely informed of the facts surrounding this provocation. As Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said this week, “If the ships reach Gaza it is a victory; if they are intercepted, it will be a victory too.” They were fully aware that Israel has no means of succeeding in this mission outside of their own personal security concerns. Regardless of the outcome, Hamas could claim victory. As Israeli Minister Danny Ayalon said, “Allowing the illegal flotilla to reach Hamas would have opened a corridor of smuggling of weapons to Gaza and resulting in civilian deaths,” yet blocking the flotilla from arrival will result in continued bad PR and a reason to condemn Israel in front of the rest of the world.
To further their cause, those onboard were well aware of their end result and their violence was preplanned. They were armed with knives and metal bars and greatly outnumbered the IDF soldiers, even though Israel sent in hundreds of soldiers to minimize the violence. As each soldier boarded the ships they were attacked by a mob of extremists who, contrary to their claim, had no peaceful intentions. These extremists brought small children on board with the intention of violating international maritime law, and garnering further sympathy in case any of the children are harmed during the raids. As Al-Jazeera reported, previous to the departure of the flotilla, those onboard were chanting intifada songs and praising martyrdom:
The problem, of course, is that Zionhass, the Judeophobia of our era and the successor to the racially-based Judenhass of Hitler's time, is so intense that the truth, the facts, have long since ceased to hold any significance for the Hate-Israel crowd. In our morally unhinged world, optics are what count and what have the most impact. And Israel's enemies have so arranged it that the optics of this flotilla thing and really, really bad. (Not that it's terribly difficult to make Israel look bad when the world is predisposed to want to see it that way.) The only way it could have been worse is if Rachel Corrie had been on board and killed in the crossfire.

Update: Hey, ho, BHO/Killin' civillians with your unmaned drones. The rank hypocrisy of it all is, well, rank.

Update: That lunatic Norman Finkelstein tries to pin the "l" label on Israel.

What's Sauce for the Jew is Sauce for the Shikse

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal has taken note of an official Jew's befuddlement over L'affaire Shikse (h/t BCF). Opines Taranto:
But can Farber argue with a straight face that an act of vandalism is a hate crime if it's motivated by disapproval of non-Jews' dating Jews but not if it's motivated by disapproval of Jews' dating non-Jews? "The shikse incident" makes hate-crime laws look absurd either way.
Not only can he argue it with a straight face, he is arguing it with a straight face. Which I must say has blasted the silliness into the stratosphere.

Bat Ye'or, Sam Solomon in Canada

Bibi spoke the truth on Sunday. These two will be in T.O. to speak the truth on Thursday. Details here.

Multiculti Policing

Yesterday an intrepid feline has a run-in with a die-hard Israel-loather. Evincing the type of exquisitely sensitive sensibility that would make Ontario "human rights" Commissar Barbara Hall squeal with delight, the constabulary overseeing the "protest" told the Cat (the injured party) to run along now and not make any fuss. Comments Mark Steyn re the cops' M.O. in T.O. and the rest of the mush-brained West:

The enforcers of the modern "tolerant" "multicultural" society will tolerate the explicitly intolerant and avowedly unicultural, but they won't tolerate anyone pointing out that intolerance. From Rushdie to van Gogh to the Motoons, law enforcement has guarded the thugs and harrassed those who draw attention to the thuggery. This is PC policing: There are identity groups who merit the solicitude of the constabulary, and there are the rest of you who don't. Mass Muslim immigration will impose severe strains on the Euro-Canadian welfare states in the years ahead. In increasingly fractious societies, the police will be out in force - upholding not the law but the dopiest fatuities of the multiculti delusion.
Too true. One of the dopiest of which is that the "Nazis" pose a grave threat. Thus, if you uncap your Sharpie and scrawl a scary swastikie of doom inside a public lavratory stall, the cops will be on your case quicker than you can say Pierre E. Trudeau. The "reason" being that mass Muslim immigration adds much-needed colour and spice to our glorious multiculti smorgasbord (think of all the delectable samosas and shawarma you can scarf down), but uncapped markers? Those things could lead to a Holocaust.

Update: The die-hard Israel-loather and Cat-threatener will be a "guest" on today's Michael Coren Show.

Star Gazing

The paper version of the Toronto Star has a photo of bewhiskered black-hatters Neturai Karta, who were among "more that 200 demonstrators" (including government-funded eliminationist Palestine House types) at the anti-Netanyahu protest yesterday. The Star's headline: "Rabbis, refugees united in protest"--which tells you exactly where the paper's (bleeding) heart and (mushy) mind is at. ("Refugees"? Give me a break.)

Me? I would have headed it "Neturai and naqba nutters united in Zionhass".

Update: No Neturai nutjobs on the Globe and Mail's inside page. Merely this header: "Critics see Harper support for Israel as pandering to religious right".

Yes, because if you stand up for the Jewish State, the Middle East's only true democracy, you must be doing it to "pander" to scary religious Christians (booga booga) and not because you believe Israel has a right to exist and to defend that existence:

The Globe highlights "critics" whose dander
Has risen due to Harper's "pander".
They lob plenty of zingers
'Bout "scary" right-wingers--
A brand of candor? No. Grand-standing slander.

Update: Ezra Levant on "The McCarthyism of the Left" (are you now or have you ever been a right-wing Christian?).

Savior Downgraded to Extraordinarily Human

Go figure--turns out he can neither walketh on water nor cureth the scrofular. Heck, he can't even plugeth a leak and save the land like a famous wooden-shoed tyke once did.

What can he do? He can give speeches. Lots and lots (and lots) of speeches.

Update: Does Obama need an Oil Spill Czar?

Blame it on the Danes

It couldn't possibly be because mere days before the event, someone at East Anglia U, the repository and source of much climate change "wisdom," spilled the beans about falsified scientific data; to admit that (the obvious) would be to own up to an awareness of the scam. No, if the UN's highway robbery conference in Copenhagen turned into an embarrassing debacle, it must have been due to something else--say the wording of the Danish document. From the Guardian:
Drip by drip, the full story is emerging of last December's global diplomatic debacle in Copenhagen, when instead of setting the world on a new low carbon path and tackling climate change, 130 world leaders ended up with a weak deal and no prospect of a binding agreement for another 18 months.

The latest revelations come from the man at the very heart of the debacle, UN climate chief Yvo de Boer. Normally the model of a discreet and guarded international bureaucrat, his confidential letter of explanation to his colleagues, written only days after the meeting ended, displays a mix of bemusement, clarity and exasperation. "How could several years of negotiation and high level diplomacy be allowed to end up this way?", he asks. The letter appears in a new Danish book by journalist Per Meilstrup.
His letter puts the blame squarely on Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and his presidency of the summit. He identifies the war which had been going on between Rasmussen's office and Danish climate chief Connie Hedegaard's team in the energy ministry. Hedegaard stood down halfway through the summit.

The key event, he suggests, was Rasmussen's draft text. This, known widely as the "Danish text", was due to be wheeled out just when the talks reached a deadlock, as they were bound to do. The trouble was, implies De Boer, the text was clearly advantageous to the US and the west, would have steamrollered the developing countries, and was presented to a few countries a week before the meeting officially started.

De Boer, the experienced diplomat, could see the Danish text it would be a disaster and says that the UN tried desperately to stop it but failed. Within days the worst had happened. The text had been leaked to the Guardian, put on the internet and had outraged the 157-odd countries who had not seen it. From then on, the meeting was polarised.

"[the Danish text] destroyed two years of effort in one fell swoop. All our attempts to prevent the paper happening failed. The meeting at which it was presented was unannounced and the paper [was] unbalanced," wrote De Boer...
As if the whole eco-Robbing Hood deal (pilfer from the undeserving rich; give to the deserving poor; save the polar bear's planet) predicated on cooked books, including a graph that looked like a hockey stick, was "balanced".

Israel Taunted Into Boarding Flotilla, 15 'Activists' Dead

Count on this one becoming the next Jenin.

Update: Honest Reporting sets the record straight re flotilla "activists".

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Nice Alternative to 'If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put a Ring on It' and 'Sunrise, Sunset'

Allahu Akbar ringtones!

Blooming Insane

Mayor Mike thinks those 'twin mosques' are grand
Even tho' near Ground Zero they'll stand.
There's no point in combattin'
Islamists in Manhattan
Sez the dopiest mayor in the land.

Flotilla Magilla

Enough, already. (Why can't you ever find a ship of Somali 'pirates' when you need one?)

Dear President Obama: You Can Take Your 'Historic Guarantees' and Stick 'Em Where...

...the light of day won't ever reach 'em.

Brits Wimp Out, Let 'Radical' Imam In

And the question on everyone's lips is: Why? From the timesonline:
THE home secretary, Theresa May, is facing a stiff test of the Conservative party’s claims to oppose radical Islam after her officials chose to allow a misogynist Muslim preacher into Britain.
Zakir Naik, an Indian televangelist described as a “hate-monger” by moderate Muslims and one Tory MP, says western women make themselves “more susceptible to rape” by wearing revealing clothing.

Naik, who proselytises on Peace TV, a satellite television channel, is reported to have called for the execution of Muslims who change their faith, described Americans as “pigs” and said that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

In a recent lecture, he said he was “with” Osama Bin Laden over the attacks on “terrorist America”, adding that the 9/11 hijackings were an inside job by President George W Bush.

In opposition, David Cameron and other senior Tories led criticism of the Labour government for allowing radical preachers into Britain to stir up hatred on lecture tours. While in opposition, Cameron also campaigned to get Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian radical, banned from Britain.

Cameron and May now face a political test over Naik, whose inflammatory comments have led some moderate Muslims to call him a “truth-twister”.

One well-placed insider said: “Zakir Naik is a nasty man who makes al-Qaradawi look like a participant at a teddy bears’ picnic. He shouldn’t be allowed into the country to stir up hatred.”

The Home Office indicated that it was not planning to ban Naik, however...

Incendiary Feline Takes One for the Team

While I was inside the Ricoh Centre listening to Benjamin Netanyahu give a real rip-roaring speech to Walk With Israel Walkers (thanks, Bibi), BCF was takings his licks from a notorious 'Slamolefty "protesting" "war criminal" Netanyahu's visit.

Quote of the Day

From the New Criterion:
(T)he U.N. is a noxious combination of lofty “progressive” rhetoric and redistributionist schemes fired by mind-boggling incompetence and staggering corruption.

They Love Him in Mauritania

Elsewhere in the Arab world, according to a Gallup poll, Obama's outreach/ingratiation/endearment schemes ain't exactly slaying 'em.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Xtra's Ad Hominem Attack

Gay rag Xtra does a hatchet job on Martin Gladstone, the gay mover and shaker who got "Israeli aparatheid" thrown out of the Pride parade. Interestingly, Xtra uses Jonathan Kay's contentions about B'nai Brith anti-Semitic "hate crime" stats to try to discredit Gladstone, here demonized as a "right-wing" trouble-maker:
...Enter Martin Gladstone, who at least is gay, (his website tells us he lives in the upper beach with his partner and their two dogs).
Gladstone, who seems to have done a quick study of basic propaganda techniques, whipped out a video camera and produced his movie. Whenever the QuAIA contingent is shown, menacing music is played. The sound of chants is distorted so that Gladstone can substitute his own version with subtitles, and to mask the cheers heard from the crowds as QuAIA passes by. His film obsesses on a single anti-Nazi T-shirt (showing a crossed out swastika) worn by one marcher, that he has alternately characterized as “Nazi memorabilia” or an accusation that Israel is a Nazi state. (The right wing media has now distorted that T-shirt into a veritable army of pro-Nazis.) But central to the movie’s strategy are interviews with people who recount how frightened QuAIA made them feel.
One interview, however, unwittingly gives the game away: Justine Apple, ED of Kulanu Toronto, a Jewish LGBT social group, recounts how she received a call from the police Hate Crimes Unit before the parade. “The tension in my heart just increased as soon as I received phone calls from the Toronto police…these people who were holding these anti-Israel messages in the parade suddenly had been built up in everyone’s heads, that it was a serious thing that they might pose a security risk, that there might end up being violence, and that’s why it led to a lot of tension and fear.”

Gladstone, like B’nai Brith, created a threat where one never existed. There were never any problems between QuAIA and Kulanu, and we posed no threat to anybody in the parade. But because of Gladstone, the Jewish social group was terrified and Pride was forced to waste money for extra police; and then these facts became talking points in his ongoing campaign with the city to cut funding...
In its zeal to defend Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Xtra has conflated--and grossly misrepresented--two separate things: BB's "hate" stats, and Gladstone's activism. For while the BB stats may indeed give a false picture of Canadian Judeophobia, obsessed as they are with capturing every last swastika scrawled on buildings and in public washrooms, the fact is that Queers Against Israeli Apartheid do pose a threat--a real one, and a big one. They are the tip of the iceberg and emblamatic of the Judeophobia of today, the hate that focuses obsessively and irrationally not on the "Jew" (because that would be bigoted) but on the Israel, the Jewish State, and the Jew of nations.

That Xtra outright refuses to acknowledge this threat is an indication that its leftist world view has fatally compromised both its integrity and its judgement.

Sex and the City 4?

Carrie's wearing suphose; Miranda's a grandma; Charlotte's traded Cosmos for prune juice; Samantha's in the retirement home (and hitting on the male attendants); and the gals get together every so often for an early bird special, but no one's going to Abu Dhabi.

The Best De-Fence

Toronto police were pretty useless when it came to protecting "Zionists"; during a high-spirited "protest" of Israel's Gaza incursion, police told a small group of counter-protesters across the street from the main event to flee for their lives lest the seething mob break through police barricades and, you know, stampede/throttle the Joooos. That should be concerning for those counting on cops to keep order during Toronto's G20 next month. Don't worry, though. They'll have plenty of money at their disposal and plan to build one of those whatchamacallem "apartheid fences" to keep the anarchists/anti-globalists/eco-freaks/assorted crazies under control. (H/T CBA)

They Come in 'Peace'

Saudi Arabia permits no infidels to visit its two holy mosques, the ones over which its king claims to be "custodian". (The position may sound janitorial, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't entail His Highness having to do any actual mopping up.) Nor does it permit other religions to construct houses of worship. It also spends oodles of shekels around the world, making sure its Wahhabi message is taught in schools, preached in mosques and maintains many departments of many Western universities in its thrall. Despite all this, it is considered to be "moderate," and gets to participate in shmancy international conference where the high-faluting language touting bogus achievements runs fast and thick--as thick as an oil spill off a non-Arabian gulf coast. From Arab News:
RIO DE JANEIRO: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah highlighted the efforts of Saudi Arabia to foster peace and end clashes in the world in the Alliance of Civilizations conference currently being held in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva opened the two-day conference of the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), an offshoot of the United Nation, in Rio on Friday.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and many world leaders are attending the conference.

The UNAOC mobilizes concerted action toward reaffirming a paradigm of mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious backgrounds. It aims to bridge the world’s divides and to build trust and understanding across cultures and communities worldwide.

On behalf of King Abdullah, Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal headed the Saudi delegation to the conference and read out the king’s speech.

“This third forum of UNAOC has a special significance in the light of the ongoing crises and conflicts in the world. It needs our concerted efforts to counter the violence and terror caused by extremist groups who raise a language of hatred,” King Abdullah said in the speech read out by Prince Saud.

Saudi Arabia has been consistently promoting a policy of dialogue of civilizations in order to strengthen peaceful coexistence and understanding in the world. It strives to spread humanitarian values. It seeks to replace confrontation with harmony as a means to defuse tension and achieve peace, the king’s speech said...
Allow me to translate for those trusting souls who take this malarkey at face value: "humanitarian values"=sharia; "peace"= the quietude that will be in place world-wide once sharia is in the driver's seat.

Multiculti Feeds the Croc

Salim Mansur sounds the warning about the greatest peril of our time. No, not the jihad: that we can handle, have we will enough. It's the squishy, feel-good social doctrine, borne of liberal guilt, that befogs our brains and that, by coincidence, came around at exactly the right time for the resurgent jihad. If we allow it to--and there's every indication that we will (hello, twin mosques hunkered down near the twin towers site)--this unicultural phenomenon (it holds no sway in Dar al Islam) will likely be the death of us:
In the post-9/11 world, the threat to freedom emanates from tyrants and closed societies armed — or seeking to be armed — with weapons of mass destruction while colluding with terrorists.
But for democracies in the West, the strategic urgency to think geopolitically is greatly undermined by the politics of multiculturalism.
The practitioners of the politics of appeasement jeered Churchill in his time as he warned his country about the impending peril from Hitler’s Germany.
In our time, it is multiculturalism greased by liberal guilt of past wrongs and excessive faith in the workings of the UN that increasingly place democracies and freedom-loving people at a disadvantage against the forces of tyranny and terror.
Churchill would never have made it in politics in our time. He would have been accused of colonialism, imperialism, racism--all the buzz words so beloved of progressive "human rights" types--been hounded out of office and likely taken up the only position open to him--host of a conservative talk radio show. Oh, he could have still railed against Hitler and issued dire predictions about what happens to those who "feed the crocodile," but, with no actual political power, he would have been unable to do much of anything to prevent the reptile from gobbling up the civilized world.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today in Ceej History...

The Ceej dredges up this one from the history vault--as if it's something to be proud of:
This Day in CJC History

May 28, 1994

Ottawa: CJC held a conference entitled "NGO's (Non-Governmental Organizations) in Canada: Partnerships in Human Rights", at the Railway Room of the House of Commons. Justice Minister Allan Rock was the keynote speaker.
Allan Rock--isn't he the dude who went from politics to academia while retaining his Lefty cluelessness throughout? Why yes, yes he is.

Illegitimi Non CARborundum Est

Remember when cars had tough, macho names--Mustang, Maverick, Corsair and, yes, even Cordoba (with "reech, Coreenthian leather")? Well, nothing says "2010" more than the name of Nissan's new electric vehicle. It's called--wait for it--the Leaf.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for other car names that would be in tune with the times:
  • the Ford Diversity
  • the Honda Dhimmi
  • the Chrysler Mini-Wimp Van
  • the Subaru Gore
  • the Hyundai Grovel

A Hoped-For Hook Up

In the grand tradition of The Three Stooges Meet the Monsters, how about The Gaza Flotilla Meets the Somali Pirates?  

Now, there's an encounter I'd be willing to plunk down good money to see.

Update: Speaking of "pirates," Rizwan Jabbar explains in a letter to the National Post that the yo ho ho-ers in question take to the high seas because they have no other option:
Re: They're Terrorists, Not Pirates, letter to the editor, May 26; What Do You Do With A Captured Pirate, Anne Applebaum, May 25.

The letter writer and Anne Applebaum fail to provide insight into why piracy started in the first place in the Horn of Africa. Somalia has about 3,330 kilometres of coastline that has been pillaged by foreign vessels. The United Nations noted in 2006 that Somalian waters have fleets from around the world that have illegally plundered Somali fish stocks, depriving Somali fisherman of their livelihood. The waters also became a dumping ground for waste products as there was no enforcement around this largest coastline in Africa.

And now these impoverished Somalis living by the sea have been forced to become pirates; plundering the same vessels and the nations that exploited them out of their livelihood. And I do agree with your letter-writer that we should prosecute the nations that took advantage of Somalia's waters and resources illegally; I bet most of them were not Muslim.
Touché, Rizwan. Of course, there's another, more obvious explanation. They turned to piracy for the same reason that Willie Sutton purportedly gave for turning to bank-robbery: because that's where the money is.

Naqba Nutters Organize a Seethe-a-Thon

The usual "you are the brothers/products of monkeys/pigs" crowd can be expected to turn out for the May 30 "protest" against "war criminal Netanyahu." Hope LGF is there with her trusty camera to capture the festivities on film.

Update: The Jews'll be there, too.

Spencer on the Oakley Show

Robert Spencer will be sharing his thoughts about twin mosques near Ground Zero on the John Oakley Show in roughly ten minutues.

Update: Spencer's on-air parting shot: Islam is not a religion of peace. It is the only religion "mandating warfare on the unbeliever and their subjugation."

Watch it, Robert. Here in Canada, those sorts of words got a Christian pastor tossed in the slammer and sent to an Islamist imam for "re-education."

Queers Still Singling Out Israel

In gay rag Xtra, a queer activist explains why he and others refuse to take the ban on the "Israeli apartheid" banner lying down:

Tim McCaskell, a long-time gay community activist and educator who did attend the protest, and who also participated in Toronto’s earliest Pride marches, vehemently disagrees.
“Any kind of human rights violation affects queers directly, and those struggles have always been present at Pride,” he says.

“If Pepsi can march in Pride, if the Bank of Montreal can march in Pride, if the Canadian fucking military recruitment office can march in Pride, why can’t these queer people with a political agenda – whether you agree with it or not – march in Pride?” says playwright Brad Fraser, spokesman for the newly created Pride Coalition for Free Speech. “Shutting down QuAIA leads to someone else getting shut down next.”
In that case, why are they only protesting "human rights violations" in Israel and not ones in any part of the Muslim world (including those that directly affect queers--and not in a good way--due to Draconian sharia)?

Update: How about protesting the deadly  intolerance/human rights violations in Pakistan, Tim?

Section 13 as Dead as the Wicked Witch of the West?

Pundita unpacks the latest twist in state censorship whereby Section 13 is effectively mothballed until the Supreme Court can get around to ruling the sucker really most sincerely dead.

Obama's S.O.B. (Sycophant On Board)

Ralph Peters is scathing on the subject of John Brennan, the kooky Obama sycophant who, as part of Obama's foreign policy initiative (which Peters points out is less actual policy and more purty speechifying), is being trotted out to try to defang "jihad" and sanitize Islam. The point of it all? Who can say, really? It seems to be another Oprahfied, dhimmfied attempt to make the Muslim world can feel good about itself so that we can feel good about the Muslim world. From FrontPage Magazine:

...But Brennan, in full tin-foil-hat mode, was downright scary. Speaking on Wednesday, he even praised the administration’s response to the BP oil disaster. Jeez…sycophancy should have legal limits.
Brennan was prepping the pundits on the terrorism side of the NSS. Except that it’s not really terrorism, you see. And it’s certainly not Islamist terrorism or a jihad. Brennan spent an alarming amount of time on indirect apologies to Muslims. As in:

“Nor do we describe our enemy as jihadists or Islamists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.”

What? Does this administration really believe that it gets to re-define jihad? Sounds like one of its pet Muslim “experts” worked on the speech. But trust me: When Osama says al-Qaeda’s waging jihad, Muslims believe him, not White-Bread John Brennan.

And by the way: Jihad in Islam usually means aggressive holy war to kill and subjugate infidels. Check the Islamic texts (you know, the ones Muslims read). And there’s no pope in Islam who gets to give claims of jihad a thumbs up or down. If the local yokels declare a jihad, it’s a jihad, boys and girls.

Don’t facts matter at all to this administration? I guess the 9/11 terrorists were just purifying themselves and their community...
Facts? Who cares about facts--petty, irrelevant details--when you can have reality as Obama sees it?
Call it ObamaTruth.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time to Bid Adieu to the Big Lie (One of Them, Anyway)?

NOW Magazine scribbler Ellie Kirzner (Muslim chick, no?) says the refusal of Pride parade organizers to allow "my queer brothers and sisters" to march under the "anti-apartheid" banner is the latest loss for the "anti-occupation" crowd. She says it may be time to "lose the "A" word because--go figure--"pro-occupation" blabbermouths won't shut up about it, and because it doesn't seem to be working anymore for those who truly care about poor/starving/oppressed/occupied/victimized Gazans:
...It was scary enough last February when the Ontario Legislature voted to denounce Israeli Apartheid Week (with leftie Cherie DiNovo unfortunately in tow), but now the censorship beast is squatting right in our own grassroots organizations.
To appreciate how badly anti-occupation forces have been outmanoeuvred, consider the trajectory following that February vote. Immediately after, the Toronto District School Board forbade all Israeli Apartheid Week activities. And soon after that, Kyle Rae was writing Pride to review parade entrance requirements, citing the legislative vote and invoking city anti-discrimination policies.

But the snowballing didn’t stop there: next, reps for the city’s diversity unit were expressing their nervousness about whether some Pride participants would feel excluded by the anti-apartheid contingent and raising the issue of city funding for Pride. The implications of this are staggering: pro-occupation ideologues now have their mitts on the city’s fine diversity unit.

All of this makes my skin crawl. The space for allowable discourse shrinks, and now Pride’s great celebration is stumbling into a swamp of bitterness and recrimination.

There’s a lot at stake here. It’s not like there are hordes of groups out there defending the rights of hungry Gaza children, families whose homes have been demolished, Palestinian farmers who’ve had their groves destroyed and civilians strafed by Israeli air power.

Now the orgs that do exist are on the firing line of a relentless and apparently competent campaign to demonize and sideline them.

Things are not going well. In my way of thinking, the weakness of the “Israeli apartheid’’ formulation, quite apart from the interesting debate over whether Israel does or doesn’t practise classic apartheid, is that it allows detractors to claim it stigmatizes the whole of the Israeli people...
Yes, we wouldn't want to "stigmatize" the "good" Israelis, the ones who are just as keen to trash the Jewish State as are their non-Jewish "brothers and sisters."

To my way of thinking, the weakness of the "Israeli apartheid" formulation is that it's not really about Gaza at all. It's part of a plan, orchestrated by the OIC, working through the UN (hello, Durbans I and II), to brand Israel as an apartheid state as a means of justifying its destruction on "moral" grounds. That queers, of all people, would rally to such a cause, one which is Naziesque in intent if not yet in execution (emphasis on "yet"), does more than make my skin crawl. It makes me sick.

Is the 'Tea Party' Getting Set to Cross the Pond?

Could be.

Bureaucracy to the Rescue!

Good thing Mama Mia (Farrow) helped the Ceej figure out "a Jewish response" to Darfur. Too bad the response entails counting on the UN--the UN!--and Canadian government bureaucracies to stop the killing. (Um, I'm pretty sure we could have come up with that one all on our own, Mia). From CP via the Ceej site:
OTTAWA – Activists from the Canadian Jewish Congress and several other groups lobbied MPs and senators Thursday, urging stronger Canadian action on the issue of Darfur.
They want lawmakers to increase pressure on Sudan to end attacks on civilians in Darfur, and hold free elections and a referendum on secession of the southern part of the country.

They also would like to see Canada offer greater support for the UN mission in the troubled African country.

Benjamin Shinewald, national executive director of the congress, said that doesn’t mean Canadian troops.

”We are focusing today on resources such as transport units, a hospital, medical facilities, utility helicopters and that kind of stuff,” he said.

The delegates also prodded MPs to set up a sub-committee on genocide and crimes against humanity to monitor troubled areas around the world and keep Parliament informed.

As things stand, Shinewald said, vital issues can fall between the cracks of the committee system.

”It can fall to this committee or that committee, it can fall to Foreign Affairs, it can fall to Defence, it can fall to CIDA, it can fall elsewhere,” he said.

”By unifying genocide and crimes against humanity in one committee, it will create an accountability for parliamentarians and the government of Canada to ensure that we take all the steps we can . . . to end ongoing genocides.”...
A "unified genocide committee"--yeah, that should make all the difference.

Update: Ceej honcho BMF (who, for obvious reasons, doesn't read Mark Steyn unless his name happens to be mentioned) tweets about an Obama "achievement":
Obama Signs Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act Tamara Pearl (pictured) is an officer of CJC Pacific Region

And 'Kafir' Means 'Lovely Non-Muslim Friend'

John  Brennan, dhimmi, 'splains some of that confounding Islamic doctrine to us:
The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies.
During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms."

He repeated the administration argument that the enemy is not "terrorism," because terrorism is a "tactic," and not terror, because terror is a "state of mind" -- though Brennan's title, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, includes the word "terrorism" in it. But then Brennan said that the word "jihad" should not be applied either.

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

The technical, broadest definition of jihad is a "struggle" in the name of Islam and the term does not connote "holy war" for all Muslims. However, jihad frequently connotes images of military combat or warfare, and some of the world's most wanted terrorists including Usama bin Laden commonly use the word to call for war against the West...
A "struggle," huh? Wow. That's a new one on me. Thanks for the elucidation, John. Everything makes a whole lot more sense now.

Update: Robert Spencer cuts--through the crap and to the chase--re "jihad":
It doesn't just "connote" warfare. It juridically means warfare, according to Islamic texts and teachings. There is not a single traditional school of Islamic jurisprudence that does not teach, as part of the obligation of the Muslim community, warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.

"Security Through Peace"

Good luck with that one, Barack.

Who's Paying for the Ground Zero Mosques?

Apparently, Dar al Islam (including Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood?) is.

In Rush to Demoize Israel, Flaming Gay-Hate is Ignored

Hey, Homos for Hamas--I know you plan to show up at the next Pride parade, even though you won't be able to assemble under your usual "Israeli apartheid" banner. So here's one you could really get behind (if you weren't such clueless gits, I mean)--"YES to Elton; NO to Sharia." The Toronto Star has the pertinent details:
RABAT, MOROCCO—Elton John was the highlight of Morocco’s biggest music festival Wednesday evening despite calls by the country’s main Islamist party to shelve the British singer because of his homosexuality.
The public spat between organizers for the Mawazine Festival and the Justice and Development Party, or PJD, the country’s largest authorized Islamist group, illustrates the growing rift between Morocco’s Western-leaning authorities and the more conservative Muslim movements that are on the rise in the North African kingdom.

“This singer is famous for his homosexual behaviour and for advocating it,” said Mustapha Ramid, a leader and spokesman for the PJD, the biggest opposition party with 40 lawmakers in parliament.

“We’re a rather open party, but promoting homosexuality is completely unacceptable,” Ramid told Associated Press in a phone interview, saying homosexuality is against Muslim values. Ramid feared the singer would “encourage the phenomenon” and be a bad influence for Morocco’s youth.

Like nearly all Arab and Muslim countries, Morocco is officially hostile to homosexuality. Homosexual practices are a crime punishable by fines and prison sentences of six months to three years. But in practice, such penalties are hardly ever applied, and Morocco has a long history of leniency toward homosexuality or other practices forbidden by Islam, such as drinking alcohol...
The problem with"anti-apartheid" queers can be summed up in a paraphrase of that old Elton ballad: Sharia seems to be the hardest word.

Flower Power, All We Are Sayin' is Give Peace a Chance, Jihad's Over If You Want It and Other Vietnam War-Era Anachronisms

Suppose they gave a jihad and nobody came? By the same (60s) token, the Bush Doctrine is bad for Americans and other living things, according to America's carnations-for-brains Lennonesque prez. From the National Post:
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's new national security doctrine will make clear that the United States does not consider itself to be at war with Islam, a top adviser said on Wednesday.

The White House on Thursday plans to roll out Mr. Obama's first formal declaration of national security goals, which are expected to deviate sharply from the go-it-alone approach of the Bush era that included justification for pre-emptive war and alienated many in the Muslim world.

Previewing parts of the document, John Brennan, Mr. Obama's leading counterterrorism adviser, said: "We have never been and will never be at war with Islam."

"The president's strategy is unequivocal with regard to our posture -- the United States of America is at war. We are at war against al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates," he said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Mr. Brennan's words dovetailed with Mr. Obama's outreach to the Muslim world, where the U.S. image under former President George W. Bush was hurt by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and his use of phrases like "war on terror" and "Islamo-fascism."...
Where have all the flowers gone? They're in the White House, every one. When will they ever learn?; when will they ever learn?

Update: In related news, all the sniveling and sucking up is paying off in spades as terror attacks against the U.S. are at an all-time high.

Summit Insanity

How much sense does it make to shell out a billion dollars to plunk down the G20 summit in the middle of downtown Toronto? Zero, zip, nada, goose egg, says Rex Murphy:
Summits are useless, expensive and potentially dangerous anachronisms.
Let's take the G20 summit, which will be held June 26-27 in Toronto. No one from the general public will be meeting with the world leaders--summits are not for mingling. So why are the leaders gathering in the middle of Canada's most populous city when the very idea of interacting with any of the city's population is absolutely impossible?
Once inside the summit venue the leaders -- and their insanely bloated retinues --will be almost antiseptically sealed off from every other bit of Toronto. It's all fortified meeting rooms and security-proofed hotels for them. Effectively, they will come to Toronto, stay behind a shield of impassable security and talk to leaders they've already met. It makes zero sense.

There's another objection. In older, less cynical days the leaders of the world enjoyed some genuine prestige. There was a sense that a city was receiving "an honour" when the leaders from other countries visited. Not now. In a world rocked by recession, terrorism and the threat of terrorism, there is not only no thrill to leaders visiting, in some cases there is palpable resentment.

World leaders are neither revered nor even, in most cases, seen as very interesting. Why do you think these summits so frequently drag in poor tired old Bono? To get a little second-hand celebrity sauce for an otherwise very flat meal...
This time around, we don't even get poor tired old Bono; the old scold is recovering from back surgery. I think I know, though, how they could have added some much-needed zest and pizzazz to the gruel: they should have held it in conjuction with our signature glam event, the Toronto International Film Festival. Think of it: Angela Merkel and Angelina Jolie--fodder for both People and the Economist.

In Deep Abu Dhabi Doo Doo

I could see this one coming a mile off, a tiny dot at the end of a vast desert vista, so why couldn't producers--the backlash against Sex in the City 2 for being insufficiently "sensitive" to Islamic mores (burkas, backwardness, sharia etc.)? Now cast members have been forced into damage control mode, and have ended up sounding both insincere and ridiculous. From the Hollywood Reporter:
...Despite the incongruous setting for the sequel, [Cynthia] Nixon said the movie highlights the common challenges of women from New York to Abu Dhabi, noting her character has difficulty getting promoted at her Manhattan law firm and Samantha finds a shared experience with menopause.
She said the film is not trying to say, "Women have all the freedoms in America and none of the freedoms in the Middle East, it is far more nuanced and complicated than that."

Other members of the cast hope the movie can be taken for the light-hearted entertainment it is intended to be.

"We are really talking about these girls from one culture inhabiting another culture for a period of time and the antics they get into," said Kim Cattrall, who plays Samantha. "But this a road movie, not a political thriller."

In the end, the movie hopes to celebrate women bonding whatever their culture. "Women would much rather be allies than adversaries," said Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie.
How true. And by that what she really means is that dhimmis would rather be allies than adveraries, and that since she and her castmates are more than willing to engage in the usual fluff, lies, evasions and sophistries of cultural relativism, she hopes this unpleasantness will go away before it affects the picture's bottom line: After all, it's not like they showed cartoons of Mohammed or anything.

Update: Writes Kurt Loder:

Since the position of women in traditional Islamic societies is famously, shall we say, constricted, there are issues to be dealt with here that are beyond the grasp of bubble-headed comedy. Miranda grows momentarily irate at the sight of so many Arab women wearing face-covering niqabs, but she can only respond with a very Western feminist gripe: "Some men really don't like strong women!" (As if she and they were victims of the same oppression.) We also briefly note that upon checking into the hotel, Charlotte drops her married name, Goldenblatt, in favor of her more goyish maiden name. This issue, too, is quickly shooed away.
Update: Debbie Schussel sees the film as "propaganda" for the Emirates and is outraged that it depicts Abu Dhabi as an oasis of sex 'n' sin when it's anything but: 
In fact, when the “Sex” hags began filming the half of their movie that is set in Abu Dhabi, UAE, their filming was shut down for being too lewd, and they had to fake Abu Dhabi elsewhere to finish the movie. And I just love how the movie shows star Sarah Jess-equine Parker finding her past love in the middle of the Arab Muslim desert. Because, hey, that always happens, right? Can’t find your long lost love from Jefferson High School . . . try looking in the Arab souk (market) on the streets of Abu Dhabi and the sands of its deserts. You can’t say “Jesus” or “Christ” or “G-d” in Abu Dhabi, but, hey, it’s a “liberal, Western playground” for these annoying aging sluts from HBO, right?
Also interesting is that, as you can see from the trailer, the movie promotes gay marriage. Hmmm . . . why didn’t they try shooting the gay marriage scene in Abu Dhabi, too? It’s a good thing they don’t know that Parker’s father was a Jew and that she doesn’t have an Israeli stamp in her passport, or filming there would never have begun in the first place. The whole movie is propaganda.
But what do you really think, Deb?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Move Over Shiksas and "Nazis"

There's a burgeoning--mushrooming, even--"victim group" demanding their "rights". Here's a media release outlining their deprivations and demands:
TORONTO, May 26 /CNW/ - Formerly and currently homeless individuals and housing advocates today launched a landmark legal challenge, asking the Superior Court of Ontario for a declaration that Canada and Ontario have violated their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by creating and maintaining conditions that lead to and sustain homelessness and inadequate housing.
"I was homeless when I was younger and I have lived for many years in inadequate housing," said Jennifer Tanudjaja, an applicant in the case. "Each month I fear that I won't be able to pay the rent and that my sons and I will end up in a homeless shelter. The government needs to respect the human rights of everyone who has been forced to live in sub-standard housing or on the street."

There are an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 homeless people in Canada and almost 4.2 million men, women and children live in homes that fail to meet federal standards for acceptable housing. Canada and Ontario have instituted changes to legislation, policies and services which have resulted in homelessness and have failed to ensure government programs effectively protect those who are homeless or most at risk of homelessness.

"Canada and Ontario are violating the human rights of homeless people and those living in inadequate housing, contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," said Tracy Heffernan, Staff Lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO). "To fulfill their human rights obligations, Canada and Ontario must implement effective strategies to end homelessness."

"The United Nations has been urging Canada to address homelessness as one of the most serious and widespread violations of human rights in this country," said Leilani Farha, Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation. "The UN has repeatedly recommended that both levels of government urgently adopt a strategy to address homelessness as most other developed countries have done. Homeless people should not have to go to court to get governments to protect their human rights, but when governments refuse to listen to the UN and fail to enact appropriate policies or programs the courts are the only option left."

Expert witnesses will testify that homelessness and inadequate housing harm people through reduced life expectancy and significant damage to physical, mental and emotional health. In Canada, groups protected from discrimination by the Charter including women, single mothers, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, racialized communities, youth and seniors are disproportionately affected by homelessness and poor housing.
Free housing in state-built concrete bunker-esque tenements for all (even those who aren't all together "there," if you catch my meaning, and who prefer to live al fresco)! Hey, it did the trick in the Warsaw Pact, right? (Is it just me, or is it becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between this "human rights" stuff and Communism?)

Gaza's Cup of Plenty Runneth Over

Despite the fact that Gazans have comestibles coming out the ying-yang, useful idiots have raced to the scene to "feed" the "starving".

A 'Pirate' is Just an Un-Mentored Somali Who Needs a Hug

Laura  Rosen-Cohen thinks it's time to knock it off with the "pirate" stuff (which makes 'em sound all dashingly Errol Flynn-ish) and start calling them what they are: terrorists.

Update: From the Independent:

Europe's first trial of alleged Somali pirates opened at Rotterdam District Court yesterday with conflicting accounts from the five suspects, a notable lack of physical evidence and a shortage of witnesses.

The men, who face 12 years in prison, deny seeking to hijack a cargo ship registered in the Netherlands Antilles.

Their boat was intercepted by a Danish frigate in the Gulf of Aden last year.

"If our children are hungry, who is responsible?" shouted one defendant, Sayid Ali Garaar, 39. The trial continues.
Ah, yes: the old "I'm depraved on account of I'm deprived" defence.

Multifrikkinculturalism in T.O.

Toronto Star columnist Joe Fiotito regales us with his taco-chomping adventures. Apparently, the greasy spoon he favours on the Danforth is emblematic of our glorious multiculti mosaic (which is growing more colourful and sharia-compliant by the day):
...I ordered one with chili, one with chicken, and a tortilla al carbon with guacamole. I have eaten flour tortillas filled with grilled skirt steak in San Antonio, and I do not ask for greatness here. Here, it’s great enough to know that the taco man was Chinese, and somewhere in the neighbourhood the muezzin calls.
In the interests of consumerism, I can tell you that the chili I consumed needs work, and I’d have the chicken taco again, but the pico de gallo — beak of the rooster to you — needs more pico for this gallo.

Kids streamed in, noonish, from the nearby high school. They came, they said, because the meat was halal, and they liked Mexican.

They did not add that the food is fast and filling and frugal. Nor did they — African, Indian, Asian-Canadians — think the multicultural mix noteworthy...
Everyone sing: "It's a small world, after all. It's a small world, after all..." (Or don't, since the kicker to Joe's story is that the halal meat is out and Chinese food is in--much to his dismay.)

In Current Days a Glimpse of Stocking... looked on as something shocking. It's thus best to cover up the offending limbs--even in "moderate" Indonesia.

Ground Zero Mosque Gets Past First Hurdle

From the New York Times:
After a raucous hearing, a Manhattan community board backed a proposal on Tuesday evening to build a Muslim community center near the World Trade Center.
Muslim Prayers and Renewal Near Ground Zero (December 9, 2009) The 29-to-1 vote, with 10 abstentions, followed a four-hour back-and-forth between those who said the community center would be a monument to tolerance and those who believed it would be an affront to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The board’s vote was advisory — it did not have the power to scrap plans for a center — but it was seen as an important barometer of community sentiment.

Middle school students and rabbis were among the more than 100 people who testified at the hearing, which was held a short distance from ground zero. Some carried pictures of family members killed in the attacks; others brandished signs reading “Show respect for 9/11. No mosque!”

C. Lee Hanson, 77, whose son Peter was killed in the attacks, said he opposed the center not because he was intolerant, but because he believed that building a tribute to Islam so close to the World Trade Center would be insensitive.

“The pain never goes away,” Mr. Hanson said. “When I look over there and I see a mosque, it’s going to hurt. Build it someplace else.”

Jean Grillo, 65, a writer from TriBeCa, said shutting out any faith undermined American values. “What better place to teach tolerance than at the very area where hate tried to kill tolerance?” she said.

The proposed center, called the Cordoba House, would rise as many as 15 stories two blocks north of where the twin towers stood. It would include a prayer space, as well as a 500-seat performing arts center, a culinary school, a swimming pool, a restaurant and other amenities...
What, no spa?

Anyone who thinks the folks behind this effort are well-meaning would be wise to question why they chose this of all names.