First off, CUPW is the most progressive union in Canada. It has been at the forefront of many progressive struggles. It was the first national union to pass a boycott, divestment and sanction resolution against the state of Israel for its illegal occupation of Palestine. CUPW was also the first Canadian union to pass a boycott resolution against South African apartheid. It has also taken stances against the Iraq war and the Afghan war as well as taking stances against NAFTA and the FTAA. CUPW is also a major reason that maternity leave exists at all in Canada. In 1981, as a result of a 42-day strike, CUPW successfully negotiated 17 weeks of maternity leave paid at a rate of 93% of wages. This was a major breakthrough for all workers as the government and other major employers were forced to provide maternity leave and improve on it.
The defeat of the postal workers would be a major blow to the Canadian labour movement which is also facing huge jobs cuts on the federal level. If the CPC were victorious other major employers would implement many of CPC's rules regarding sick leave and wage rollbacks and two-tier workplaces. This would be disastrous for all workers, whether they are unionized or not.
The CPC and the Harper government want to privatize our postal system. The CPC over the years has been whittling down the services provided by the postal system. They have reduced rural service, replaced door-to-door service with community mail boxes and have gotten rid of banking services. An expanded postal service would create more jobs and provide more services in our communities.
Our society has become more and more unequal. As the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives', Linda Mcquaig and others, have noted, the top-earning 1 per cent of Canadians almost doubled their share of national income, from 7.7 per cent to 13.8 per cent, over the past three decades. Things are only set to get worse under Harper. Workers, both unionized and non-unionized face a future of precarious job security and working conditions. Migrant labourers, women and people of colour will be facing even worse conditions as the Harper government will cut services, increase the security apparatus and institute a regressive regime that will police borders, bodies and dissent with the utmost cruelty.
This will be done in the service of a system, capitalism, which serves only those who already have power and wealth beyond the wildest imagination of most people in our society.
We are facing a choice in our society. Do we want to live in a place where managers and bosses aim to squeeze out as much profit from our labour and our communities just so a few people can have a third home and a second yacht? Or do we want to live in communities based on social solidarity, where if someone is down and out we help them out as equals and we look out for one another?
I prefer living in the former, thanks very much, because the latter is a nightmarish Marxist "Utopia" where only a select few at the very top of the heap get all the perks, whereas in a Capitalistic system everyone has a shot at making their own money and their own way in the world.
On the way home from school yesterday, my son, who's in the seventh grade, regaled me with one of the day's lesson. It was an exercise in Social Studies (itself a rather dubious subject) wherein he and his peers were presented with the following situation: Aliens have landed on Earth, and you suddenly find yourself forced to leave your home. That's right--you're a refugee. Now, what ten things would you bring to your new digs, a refugee camp?
Yes, folks, that cockamamie exercise is actually on the Ontario's Grade 7 school curriculum.
My son told me that the teacher took this exercise very seriously indeed. Some of the kids, on the other hand...not so much. One boy was expelled from the room when he included "a Samurai sword and costume" on his "I packed my bag for the refugee camp" list; another kid, a girl, was sent out for saying she'd take a Vietnamese women to do her nails (clearly, a most practical child, but one who could not get in sync with the excruciatingly sensitive multiculti/lefty/PC-ness of it all).
My son wasn't quite as cheeky (for a change). He said he'd probably take along video games and some books--to keep himself busy during what would likely prove to be a long stretch in detention. The teacher didn't think too much of that idea, pointing out that he'd probably be too busy trying to survive and would have neither the time nor the wherewithal to waste time in idle amusement. She also told him one thing he and the other refugees would for sure need is a passport--because no one can go anywhere (even, apparently, to an Alien-built refugee camp) without a passport.
My husband noted that the teacher (and the curriculum) is obviously unfamiliar with the way the refugee system in Canada actually works; how, in fact, if you want to claim refugee status, you want to get rid of your passport and any other official papers, and arrive here sans documentation. Whereupon I opined that the whole "lesson" is stupid, pointless, teaches nada abut the real world and was probably put together by the kind of lefty who gives money to Amnesty International or some other outfit that's big into the rights of the "indigenous," including "indigenous" Palestinians.
In her earnest spiritual seeking, Ms. Winfrey gave platforms to some rather questionable types. She hosted the self-help author Louise Hay, who once said Holocaust victims may have been paying for sins in a previous life. She championed the “medical intuitive” Caroline Myss, who claims emotional distress causes cancer. She helped launch Rhonda Byrne, creator of the DVD and book “The Secret,” who teaches that just thinking about wealth can make you rich. She invited the “psychic medium” John Edward to help mourners in her audience talk to their dead relatives.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” made viewers feel that they constantly had to “sculpt their best lives,” Dr. Lofton writes. Yet in her religious exuberance Ms. Winfrey gave people some badly broken tools. Ms. Winfrey nodded along to the psychics and healers and intuitives. She rarely asked tough questions, and because she believed, millions of others did, too.
And lest we forget, she also gave the people this tool.
U of M law professor Karen Busby said there are several initiatives underway at the university to complement what the museum plans to do.
"We have more than 160 experts in human rights at the U of M," Busby said. "The exhibits at the museum are just the tip of the iceberg. Good museums do research and they do books. We can help them."
For example, Busby said some sociology and English professors are already working on a project to see if people will empathize with atrocities when exposed to them, while in the school of art they're working on programming to explore human rights.
Er, isn't that something the mausoleum should have looked into before it decided to go with a "Mass Atrocity" zone? And if, post-project, it's determined that instead of eliciting empathy, exposure to said atrocities elicits, say, numbness/indifference or even delivers a perverse jolt of pleasure to some, does that mean mausoleum powers would consider shelving the zone?
It's Memorial Day in the U.S., an occasion that for me sparked memories of--of all people--Archie Bunker.
If you're of a certain age (as I am) you must remember Archie. He was a fixture on TV back in the 1970s in Norman Lear's All In The Family.
Remember what a dolt he was? What a male chauvinist? And so bigoted, too. Remember how he always came out second best in screaming matches with his flagrantly leftist, perpetually P.C. son-in-law, whom he "lovingly" called Meathead (because he said he was "dead from the neck up")?
The reason I thought of Archie, though, is because he was also, memorably, a veteran of "the big one"--double-U-double-U-two. And when I think back on it, his having served his country in that war was never spoken of with respect, or admiration, or awe. Rather, in that era, when memories of Vietnam were still fresh, Archie's service to his country and to the cause of freedom was derided, disparaged, and there was nothing funnier than seeing old Archie the working class Republican from Queens, New York, don his now too-tight uniform and spew his bigotry.
Back then no one thought it shameful to treat veterans so shabbily and with such disdain. Ah, but that was well before books such as The Greatest Generation made it respectable to appreciate them once again. Looking back, I can't believe it was once considered the height of sophistication to make fun of a WW2 veteran for his service, and for his pride in that service. But, shockingly, it was. So, on the occasion of this Memorial Day, and on behalf of all WW2 veterans, I'd like to say, retroactively, shame on Norman Lear for his meatheadness. And shame on us for ours.
Here at home in America, we continue to enjoy Gazan Intifadas on our campuses. For example, the people are getting ready to party in the streets when, on June 3, 2011, City University of New York gives playwright Tony Kushner his honorary doctorate. In my view, they are feting Kushner, not so much for his art but rather for his celebrity and for his obsessively harsh views of Israel. The playwright has not led any campaigns against genocide in Sudan or against real gender and religious apartheid in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Like the “Queers Against Apartheid,” Kushner also scapegoats Israel for the crimes of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The LGBT “queers” had threatened to storm or “surge” into the Center if they did not receive official approval for their group meeting.
“Surging” and “storming,” Arab street mob behavior, is a vision and a tactic that has been recommended by none other than journalist Tom Friedman, long adopted by international “Free Gaza” activists; it reminds me of Nazi Brownshirt behavior. Think Kristallnacht. Civilians and men in uniform breaking Jewish shop windows, breaking Jewish bones, burning Jewish books, eventually burning millions of living Jews.
But, you must understand: The German Nazis felt “victimized.” They had lost World War I and were humiliated because they should have been triumphant; they had also been unfairly economically penalized. Kushner and his supporters claim that the genuine dissent of one CUNY trustee, Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, somehow “victimized” their views because their views are supposed to triumph, not Wiesenfeld’s. His pro-Israel view is not supposed to exist and, in their view, is not protected by academic or free speech rights. Only the anti-Israel views deserve such protection.
One thousand six hundred and eighty people signed a petition to the Center on behalf of “Queers for Palestine.” Like Tony Kushner and his CUNY supporters, the aggressors first claim victimhood and protest the denial of their free speech rights; then, they “surge” forward as a mob (on petitions, on the Internet, on the streets, on other battlefields), to either murder Jews or to honor those Jews who hate Israel, and to silence gay Jews who are pro-Israel.
This is what happened at the LGBT Center last night...
Oddly enough, none of the hedonistic "Queers for Palestine" is racing to vacation at the Club Med Gaza as a "guest" of Hamas (perhaps because it has same "check out" policy for queers that the Nazis had).
A lewd photo of a penis that was posted on rookie PC candidate George Lepp’s Twitter account on Sunday was not of his own “family jewels,” the communications director for the provincial Tories told the Star after a Toronto Sun article was published online.
The Sun article reported that the photo was taken by Lepp’s BlackBerry when it was on camera mode in his front pant pocket. The information was attributed to Tory communications director Alan Sakach.
“That’s incorrect. I have no idea how the photo was taken,” Sakach told the Star.
Lepp was pickpocketed outside the Dixon Rd. convention centre Saturday as he was leaving the party conference, Sakach said. Lepp’s son noticed the “very unusual Tweet” on Sunday and removed it immediately, Sakach said.
“I know he was pickpocketed and somebody posted a link to a pornographic photo,” Sakach said. “Obviously it had nothing to do with George. It’s something he is very upset about.”...
Sounds like the pickpocket may have taken a shot of his own equipment. In which case, it shouldn't be too hard to identify him if ever he's caught.
The Toronto Star reports that there's a whole area in Mississauga where women and kids from Pakistan are warehoused in high rises while their menfolk are AWOL in the Magic Kingdom or the oily emirates:
Ilmana Fasih was at a wedding in Mississauga when she suffered an emotional meltdown.
She remembers loud, lively music, table upon table of mouth-watering food and people chatting, cracking jokes. “I just started crying,” Fasih says. “I was feeling terrible that my husband wasn’t there . . .
“There were all these families while I felt so incomplete.”
That moment a year ago marked a new low in her life, concedes the 44-year-old, her voice breaking.
Fasih, who trained as a gynecologist in her native India, lives in Mississauga with her two teenaged children while her husband, Syed, works in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
They have been apart for more than two years, communicating mainly by phone and reuniting just twice a year.
“My husband is lonely and frustrated . . . (and) so am I,” Fasih says. “It’s a pretty bad situation we are in.
“Yes, I am one of the Begumpura types,” she notes wryly.
Begumpura is an Urdu expression (literally, “where women live”) used for the GTA’s “colony of wives” — some half-dozen neighbourhoods in Mississauga where hundreds, perhaps thousands, of South Asian women, most of Pakistani origin, live with their kids while their husbands work in the Middle East.
Many immigrate to Canada as families, but the men, unable to find work in their professions, eventually move to the Middle East. Others, already living in the Persian Gulf region, where the men hold high-paying positions, move to Canada to give their children a more promising future.
In most Gulf countries, children of foreign workers aren’t eligible for citizenship and there are few opportunities after Grade 12.
Mississauga’s colony of wives is dispersed among highrises near Square One and the Sheridan Mall. Some women work while others get regular remittances from their husbands.
They all struggle with the challenges of loneliness, single-parenting, long-distance marriage and the fear of spousal infidelity, a foreign bureaucracy and a new culture...
Every year an Australian outfit called the Institute for Economics and Peace (the word "peace" in any organization's name is a good indication of where it's coming from, i.e. from the left--or from Islam) ranks the nations of the world from most to least peaceful in its "Global Peace Index." Guess what? The U.S. of A. is waaaay down the list:
Iceland is the “most peaceful” (okay, maybe) country and Somalia is the “least peaceful” (I get it). And the good ol USA? We rank #82. That puts us below Egypt (major killings and internal conflict anyone?). We barely beat out….Bangladesh which weighs in at #83. Cuba does better than we do…as does Laos, Vietnam, China, and Sierra Leone.
The wackiness of this becomes clear when you examine the “peace indicators” that the group uses to determine how “peaceful” a country is. Some of the factors make sense, like “deaths from conflict (internal)” and “number of displaced people.” (I bet we do pretty well in those areas.) But then the Leftism of the whole operation becomes clear. Equally important “indicators” are “armed services personnel,” ”military expenditures,” “military capability/sophistication,” “number of heavy weapons,” and “arms exports.” (We do well here, too, but no doubt that hurts us in the rankings.)
Since when is the size and number of the armed forces an indication of a lack of peace? Excuse me, but the armed forces are a tool. I think that a large miltary, in the right hands, actually preserves peace.
The other problem with this sort of exercise is how you define “peace.” Cuba may be more “peaceful” than other countries because it oppresses people and throws political opponents in jail. But “peace” is not just the absence of war and conflict; a totalitarian society could theoretically be very peaceful. Freedom and respect for individual human rights should be a factor, too.
Indeed. What's needed is a Global Peace Index that takes such factors into account. Or, better yet, a Global Freedom Index. Oh, wait. It appears there already is one.
Egyptian leftist news portal Al-Badeel reports that a group of Egyptian activists will form a Nazi party for upcoming elections. The Egyptian Nazi group claims it will bring together prominent figures and ex-military officers, to promote fascist single-party rule.
Founding member Emad Abdel Sattar summed up the group's belief in single-party rule. The party "believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully," and within the party "preparations are under way to choose the most competent person to represent the party." The appeal of authoritarianism comes from recent chaos in the streets, burning Coptic churches by Salafi Muslims, and random violence against civilians, according to the report.
Members are "increasing at an unexpected rate, and several people came to ask about the nature of the party and its plans," it says. The group has an ambitious plan to rapidly advance development in Egypt, in a single year, and rejects the "marginalized liberal parties, which are like dead bodies."
Nazis aren't the only group in the country that rejects long term democracy. Salafi Muslim groups support the reestablishment of the Caliphate, starting in Egypt, while the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party has sent mixed messages.
Not so mixed, really, since the Ikwan's mission statement, crafted by founder Hassan Al Banna back in the 1920s and still in effect today, couldn't be plainer:
Allah is our purpose, the Prophet our leader, the Quran our constitution, jihad our way and dying for the sake of Allah our supreme objective.
The preconditions for democracy are lacking in the Arab world partly because Hosni Mubarak and other Arab dictators spent the past half-century emasculating the news media, suppressing intellectual inquiry, restricting artistic expression, banning political parties, and co-opting regional, ethnic and religious organizations to silence dissenting voices.
But the handicaps of Arab civil society also have historical causes that transcend the policies of modern rulers. Until the establishment of colonial regimes in the late 19th century, Arab societies were ruled under Shariah law, which essentially precludes autonomous and self-governing private organizations. Thus, while Western Europe was making its tortuous transition from arbitrary rule by monarchs to democratic rule of law, the Middle East retained authoritarian political structures. Such a political environment prevented democratic institutions from taking root and ultimately facilitated the rise of modern Arab dictatorships.
Strikingly, Shariah lacks the concept of the corporation, a perpetual and self-governing organization that can be used either for profit-making purposes or to provide social services.
Islam’s alternative to the nonprofit corporation was the waqf, a trust established in accordance with Shariah to deliver specified services forever, through trustees bound by essentially fixed instructions. Until modern times, schools, charities and places of worship, all organized as corporations in Western Europe, were set up as waqfs in the Middle East.
A corporation can adjust to changing conditions and participate in politics. A waqf can do neither.
Thus, in premodern Europe, politically vocal churches, universities, professional associations and municipalities provided counterweights to monarchs. In the Middle East, apolitical waqfs did not foster social movements or ideologies...
"Apolitical"? Well, I dunno about that. Then as now in states which hew to Islamic law, mosque=state and state=mosque and it's Islam and submission or death. That's why no "counterweights" emerged--they would have been seen as blasphemous and un-Islamic and punished accordingly. (It would have been helpful had the Duke professor who wrote the piece put it as baldly as that, or said that Sharia is inherently totalitiarian and is therefore the antithesis of freedom and democracy as we understand and practise it, but I suppose that's expecting a tad too much in a NYT op-ed piece.)
It was 'splained to me today that the (complicated/convoluted) reason why Netanyahu got so many ovations in Congress was because America is a fundamentally fundamentalist entity, and Americans were applauding Israel because they see it as an outpost of their manifest "Manifest Destiny."
The American people, whose overwhelming support for Israel was demonstrated by their representatives in both houses of the Congress on Tuesday, also felt empowered, proud and relieved. Because not only did Netanyahu eloquently remind them of why they stand with Israel He reminded them of why everyone who truly loves freedom stands with America.
It is true that the American lawmakers who interrupted Netanyahu's remarks dozens of times to applaud wanted to use his presence in their chamber to send a message of solidarity to the people of Israel. But during the course of his speech, it became apparent that it wasn't just their desire to show solidarity that made them stand and applaud so many times. Netanyahu managed to relieve them as well.
Since he assumed office, Obama has been traveling the world apologizing for America's world leadership. He has been lecturing the American people about the need to subordinate America's national interests to global organizations like the United Nations that are controlled by dictatorships which despise them.
Suddenly, here was an allied leader reminding them of why America is a great nation that leads the world by right, not by historical coincidence...
"Partners in peace"?--what drugs you been smoking, Patrick Martin?
Update: My letter:
The idea that someone could even put Hamas (an organization whose Charter cites core Islamic texts in calling for the destruction not only of Israel but of Jewry) and "partners for peace" in the same sentence is so off the wall that it's on par with suggesting that the late Osama bin Laden was a devotee of Western democracy.
Note how Obama has undermined Israel’s negotiating position. He is demanding that Israel go into peace talks having already forfeited its claim to the territory won in the ’67 war — its only bargaining chip. Remember: That ’67 line runs right through Jerusalem. Thus the starting point of negotiations would be that the Western Wall and even Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter are Palestinian — alien territory for which Israel must now bargain.
The very idea that Judaism’s holiest shrine is alien or that Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter is rightfully or historically or demographically Arab is an absurdity. And the idea that, in order to retain them, Israel has to give up parts of itself is a travesty.
Now that an "Arab Spring-ified" Egypt has opened its border with Gaza, thereby easing the free flow of travelers (and weapons) into the Hamas-controlled strip, when will Canucki Gaza boatniks drop plans to "bust" the Gaza blockade?
What's that you say? They plan to go with their busting despite the fact that the border with Egypt is now open, and despite the fact that Israel has never denied the entry of genuine humanitarian supplies?
You don't think that's because the blockade busting was always more about the busters--their death wish/pathetic need to aggrandize themselves by demonstrating their "virtue" bona fides--than it was about the busting, do you?
Maybe now that the blockade is pretty much defunct they can turn the Tahrir into a commercial operation and book it for summertime parties on Lake Ontario.
On December 6, the Fourth Annual Holidays Event by York Regional Police (YRP) was held at Bruce's Mill Community Safety Village in north Toronto. Every year, YRP hosts an open-house type of holiday event to give an opportunity for the public to come and experience holidays from various faith groups. The Tabligh Committee of the Islamic Shia Ithna Ashari Jamaat of Toronto (ISIJ) was invited by YRP, and in particular Chief Armand La Barge, to participate in this year's event.
Alongside presentations on Jewish, African, and Hindu holidays, the Jaffari Islamic Center displayed a presentation concentrated on the concept of Eid. On one of the tables was a showcasing on how a Muslim family traditionally celebrates Eid: starting from Eid prayers, giving gifts to the kids, meeting up with family and friends, and of course, sharing delicious ethnic delicacies! Several short explanatory notes were put next to the display for people interested in more information.
With the Eid al-Adha celebration nearby, this was the perfect opportunity to put up a display on Hajj and its significance. The information available explained the basis of Hajj as it was started by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), father of the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity. One Shia Adhan clock, a beautiful picture depicting the congregation of millions of Muslims during Hajj, one miniature shrine, and several colorful prayer beads were among the items displayed.
The ISIJ is producing a program called "Islam in Focus", which is being aired weekly every Saturday at 10 a.m. (EST). The "Islam in Focus" crew was also on site and covered the event. The program is aired on Rogers 129, Bell Express Vu 217, and Star Choice 348, although all shows are also available through an online portal at www.jaffari.org
York Regional Police Chief Armand La Barge was also interviewed, and he expressed his sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the efforts. He also thanked the Jaffari Islamic Center and presented the Tabligh team with a certificate of participation.
In view of La Barge's "sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the efforts" of folks who think Iran's Grand Ayatollah is peachy, it's hard not to conclude that old Armand isn't exactly the sharpest tack in the box or the shrewdest judge of character.
Update: La Barge, in major suck-up mode here. (H/T sanwin)
He was an ‘able, enthusiastic and popular’ religious education teacher who loved his job at an inner-city girls’ school.
But when a gang of Islamic extremists decided his lessons for Muslim girls were ‘mocking Islam’, they unleashed a sickening attack on Gary Smith, slashing his face and battering him with such force that his own mother didn’t even recognise him.
Akmol Hussain, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussein, 26, and Simon Alam, 19, ambushed the 38-year-old as he walked to work because they did not approve of a non-Muslim teacher giving lessons on religion to Hussain’s niece.
In a ten-minute attack, the fundamentalist mob smashed him over the head with a concrete block and iron rod and slashed his face from the corner of his mouth to his right ear with a Stanley knife. They punched and kicked him in the stomach, head and face, before driving away ‘praising Allah’ as they left their victim covered in blood and unconscious with a fractured skull and shattered jaw.
The Jihadi fanatics thought they had got away with it. But, following suspicions of a terrorist plot, the security services had planted a bug in their car that recorded them snarling: ‘This is the dog we want to hit, to strike, to kill.’
Despite the ferocity of the attack, Mr Smith was back in the classroom yesterday as his attackers were given an indeterminate sentence for public protection...
Smart move, but no doubt there are plenty more where these savages came from.
Israel's more militant supporters are thrilled by Mr. Netanyahu's hard-line approach. "Isn't it great that at least one world leader is willing to stand up to Islamo-fascism?" one reader told me. But the PM's rhetoric, however emotionally satisfying, is short-sighted. As I argue, the case for a strong Jewish state -like the case for its Palestinian equivalent -rests on a clear and coherent narrative tied to a particular moment in history. You can't just recite slogans about Israeli security -however heartfelt -and expect the world to agree with you.
Insofar as Israeli leaders and supporters (including this newspaper's editorial board) have stuck to the Green Line benchmark, they have had that coherent narrative, with the script going as follows: "We want a twostate solution, true to the spirit of what the world community originally intended more than six decades ago, and would be happy to hammer one out, but Hamas and the others want to destroy us instead." They also add in the fact that Palestinian leaders refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, teach anti-Semitism in schools and mosques, and distribute maps showing all of Israel as Palestinian territory. All of this is true and genuinely worrisome.
But since early 2010, I really have had no idea what script Mr. Netanyahu is arguing, or on what historical benchmark he is relying for his positions...
Um, I'm pretty certain he articulated what "historical benchmark" he's relying on--on a 4,000 year-old claim to this land, Jewish land.
All the other "benchmark" crap Kay seems to put so much stock in pales next to that. And unlike Kay, I totally get where Bibi is coming from. He is willing to play along with the negotiating/benchmark charade, but he knows for certain that there can never be progress until Palestinians and their abettors are able to come to terms with the reality of Jewish sovereignty over land claimed in perpetuity for Islam. (I get where Bibi is coming from. Jon Kay's provenance, on the other hand, is utterly baffling.)
The federal government would never give money directly to Hamas, a loony cadre of Islamo-Nazis intent on ridding the world of Juden, starting with the ones in Israel. The would contradict Stephen Harper's unwavering and singular support for the Jewish state and make a laughingstock of Canada's list of terrorist outfits, on which Hamas is a fixture. As Brian Lilley points out, however, the government seems to have no problem funding a dubious (not to mention ludicrous, not to mention downright wacky) "social justice" NGO that is involved with the Sea Hitler (that's what cheeky BCF calls it; the sanctimonious boaters prefer their own name, the "Tahrir"), which aims to break Israel's Gaza blockade. The effect of its blockade busting would be to give Hamas a leg up on Israel by allowing in weapons (from Hamas-fans in places like Iran) that can be turned on the Jews. Lilley 'splains how it's going down (the pick-pocketing, not the Tahrir, alas):
This time, instead of just having Canadians on the boat, a group called Alternatives International has a whole boat from Canada.
The Montreal-based Alternatives, which has received $5 million from the federal government over the last few years, is not what most people think of when they think of an aid group. They don’t feed the hungry or clothe the naked. They are political organizers.
According to their website, they “help the networking, building, and promoting of innovative initiatives in popular and social movements that are fighting for economic, social, political, cultural and environmental rights.
Now they are organizing radicals in this country to join radicals from around the world in taking on the only democracy in the Middle East. The only country in the region that gives rights to minorities, that respects the rule of law.
They are partnering with radical Islam to attack an ally.
With your tax dollars...
Well, as "popular and social movements" go, Hamas is pretty innovative (albeit in a nasty, thuggish, Medieval sort of way). Then again, so was Hitler's, and we never funded it.
Many people and civil society organizations in Canada and Quebec are opposed to the blockade of Gaza imposed by the government of Israel and the unconditional support extended to Israel by the government of Canada. People want to demonstrate their opposition to such a situation.
It is in this background that the initiative to sail a Canadian boat in coordination with other similar international initiatives came into being. The boat will carry humanitarian aid for the Palestinians in Gaza.
Rigorous fundraising need to be undertaken to make this initiative a success. Alternatives and Alternatives International would be supporting this project by providing its administrative and financial management skills. All the funds raised in this campaign will be exclusively used on this project.
For reasons independent of the project, Alternatives will not issue any tax deductible receipts for the money donated.
In order to support a Canadian boat to Gaza please make an online donation now with Paypal.
Please don't. They're already getting enough--far too much--of our money as it is.
Update: A song for the Hamas-boosting boatniks:
Somewhere down on the Med Somewhere sick in the head Those boaters wait to try to bait And torment the Jews who'll be waitin'.
Somewhere down on the Med They're there waiting with dread. If they could ditch the Zionists Then straight to Hamas They'd go floatin'.
It's far, far from Quebec. It's dreck, beyond the pale. They know beyond a doubt They'll rout Jews who would thwart their sail.
They'll thrive and they'll connive, We know, cuz 'sakes alive They get our loot to boot To subsidize all their floatin'...
The stage is set for a provincial showdown between two strong personalities in the Jewish community vying to represent Thornhill.
Former Canadian Jewish Congress leader Bernie Farber has officially stepped forward as the Liberal party candidate in the Oct. 6 election with the backing of York Region’s former chief of police Armand La Barge.
He’ll be facing off against Tory incumbent Peter Shurman, a former broadcaster who is also Jewish and has held the seat for the past four years.
Mr. Farber is taking a five-month leave of absence from his post as CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) to take a run a Queen’s Park, something he said was a lifelong dream.
He kicked off his campaign at a press conference yesterday at the Dufferin Clark Community Centre with the help of Liberal campaign chair Greg Sorbara and the former police chief who described Mr. Farber as “my good friend”.
As a police officer for the past 37 years, Mr. La Barge said he was not able to publicly support any candidate but now that he, and his wife Denise, also a police officer, have retired, he said they are proud to be part of “Bernie’s team”.
Mr. Farber is a longtime friend and mentor, he said, and was an invaluable resource in his capacity as the executive and national director of the CJC, someone he called upon to lecture to criminal investigators, front line officers and senior managers about hate crime and anti-Semitism.
“Bernie’s ground-breaking work in this area has not endeared him with white supremists, Islamaphobes and anti-Semitic groups,” he said, but he “nonetheless stood tall in the face of threats.”...
Quite a ringing endorsement, no? One that's undercut, alas, not only by his equating "Islamophobes" (people who are critical of any aspect of Islam) with Nazis and Jew-haters (many of whom--surprise!--happen to be Muslim), but also by these photos, which tell you all you need to know about the cluelessly "interfaithy" La Barge. (My question: How come OHRC Head Commissar Babs Hall gets a clock while Armand only gets a buncha swirly things in a frame? Could it be because La Barge was retiring while Babs is still on the job, and the Khomeinists were unwilling to spring for the more expensive present for him?)
Update: Here's a photo of Armand with another Thornhill Liberal, Karen Mock (who lost to Conservative Peter Kent in the recent federal election). If that's what a La Barge endorsement gets you (i.e. plenty of nada), endorse away, Armand.
How nuts is this--Obama demands that Israel use the '67 lines as a starting point for negotiations with the Palestinians even as a matter of policy he props up Fatah partner horrible Hamas? Sol Stern writes re such lunacy:
Hamas's official 1988 charter calls explicitly for the replacement of Israel by a Palestinian Islamic state. Through its indiscriminate rocketing of Israeli towns, Gaza's ruling party has made clear that it means what it says. For Hamas, the 1967 line is of little interest; the struggle has always been, and remains, over the 1947 lines, set by the UN in the partition plan calling for a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian Arab one. To ensure that all Palestinians remain steadfast in that armed struggle, Hamas rapidly stamped out the last vestiges of freedom of speech, press, and religion, and consolidated its control over independent civic institutions.
And yet, despite its horrific human-rights record, the Hamas regime in Gaza has received nothing like the disapprobation and pressure for democratic reform directed by Washington against the far more moderate governments of Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain. Nor has President Obama ever suggested to its leader, Ismael Haniya, that he either move toward reform or move out. To the contrary: even as the administration hectors Israel to loosen its economic and military sanctions, it props up radical Islamist rule in Gaza by contributing hundreds of millions of dollars toward the salaries of Hamas officials. When it comes to the region's most totalitarian and war-obsessed regime, the President's newfound grasp of the linkage between political freedom and a more peaceful Middle East is nowhere to be seen.
"Progressive" rag NOW magazine puts things in perspective: what's the existential threat posed to Jewish Israel by jihadis intent on its obliteration compared to the prospect of a spangly, hedonistic exhibition being unable to go ahead? In NOW's world, obviously, there's simply no comparison, and divine decadence trumps the possibility of looming genocide every freaking time. Anyway, that mass atrocity stuff is suuuuch a downer. (As a general rule, lethal consequences associated with the life and death of human beings versus the not-so-lethal, not so life and death consequence of killing a parade always are.)
Rush's parodist has crafted an amusing take-off of "Welcome Back," which FFF posts here. I've taken the same theme--Obama ordering the Israelis to return to their pre-Six Day War borders--and done it up a la Madonna:
Something in the fibre of my being Won't let you be. I just gotta "solve" the "problem" Of the Jew's country. Stop balking at my words, Bein' such big turds. I know what's good for you. I won't give it a rest Until you past the test. Make "peace" that will be true.
Just try to comprehend I want this all to end 'Cause I'm the best, you see.
Borderline, '67 one's on my mind. And I'll keep on shoving Jews Back to that borderline. Borderline, Don't care if that line ain't fine. I'll just keep on pushing you Jews Back to that borderline...
Oh, no! Someone let Thomas L. Friedman return to the scene of his "Arab Spring" gushing--and thispredictably blinkered, imbecilic pontification ensues:
Being back in Cairo reminds me that there are two parties in this region that have been untouched by the Arab Spring: the Israelis and the Palestinians. Too bad, because when it comes to ossified, unimaginative, oxygen-deprived governments, the Israelis and Palestinians are right up there with pre-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia. I mean, is there anything less relevant than the prime minister of Israel going to the U.S. Congress for applause and the leader of the Palestinians going to the U.N. — instead of to each other?
Both could actually learn something from Tahrir Square. To the Palestinians I would say: You believe the Israelis are stiffing you because they think they have you in box. If you resort to violence, they will brand you terrorists. And if you don’t resort to violence, the Israelis will just pocket the peace and quiet and build more settlements. Your dilemma is how to move Israel in a way that won’t blow up in your face or require total surrender.
Actually, Tom, their "dilemma" is the same as it's always been: how to move Israel's Jews toward the direction of the sea--so as to drown them once and for all. Sorry if that conflicts with your "Spring" frenzy, but reality, as they say, is a bee-yotch.
In every way that really matters, Israel’s war is our war, and our war is Israel’s war...
Yet again and again we treat the “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict as if it is separate and apart from our own war against jihadists. We tell ourselves that Israel’s conflict can be solved by the right signatures on the right pieces of paper when we hold no similar illusions for our own wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There, we understand that the only prelude to real peace is victory over the jihadists. But when it comes to the Israelis, president after president — Republican and Democrat — works to stay Israel’s hand...
The Army honored a fallen hero of the Ft. Hood Jihad Massacre with a medal this week. Not, of course, that the Army describes the November 2009 attack in such meaningful terms. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan may have shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "Allah is great") as he killed 14 and wounded more than two dozen; may have been in contact with jihad cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and frequented jihadist websites; may have had business cards proclaiming himself a "SoA" (Soldier of Allah); and may have created and presented an Islamically correct PowerPoint brief outlining reasons for jihad by Muslims within the U.S. Armed Forces, but no matter. His actions remain a total mystery to the U.S. Army.
To wit: "Although we may never know why it happened, we do know that heroic actions took place that day," Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo said in presenting the Secretary of the Army Award for Valor to Joleen Cahill, widow of Michael Grant Cahill. Cahill is recognized as the first person to have tried to stop Hasan and the only civilian to have been killed by Hasan that day. "He will forever be a source of inspiration."
Alas, I have my doubts about the deputy commanding general of Ft. Hood. Despite overwhelming evidence that Hasan committed an act of jihad, DiSalvo -- like the Army, like the U.S. government -- looks the other way. "We may never know why" the Hasan attack happened, DiSalvo said without, apparently, turning red or rolling his eyes.
It's hard to overstate the impact of these words. In honoring the very last thing Cahill did on this Earth, the general pointedly chose to omit its significance. Like a potent spell, his words made all the context of the 62-year-old Cahill's valorous act -- charging Hasan with a chair as Hasan fired on the crowd -- disappear. Of course, the general's omission takes nothing away from Cahill's courage. It does, however, wrongly release the rest of us from our debt to Cahill. In treating Hasan's rampage as no more purposeful than a flood or a cougar attack, the general has also reduced Cahill's ultimate sacrifice to its most personal level; exemplary, admirable, but of no consequence beyond the scene, outside the circle. This is morally wrong. It was the general's duty to place Cahill's death in perspective, to impress upon both his loved ones and his fellow citizens that he died not only to stop a bloodletting but also in defense of liberty, then and now under jihadist attack...
You really can't blame the general, Diana. After all, he's merely following the lead of his C in C whose preferred and distinctly Barackian way of capturing such an event is to call it "a man-caused disaster" (which, come to think of it, also describes Obama's elevation to highest office).
Why can't "some" men (Tiger, Ah-nold, that French dude, etc.) keep it in their trousers? A piece in the NYT claims it's due to their being alpha males who get off on dominating chicks:
Make no mistake: Many men are faithful partners and remain so for life. Others would play the course like Tiger Woods if they had the opportunity and the chops.
But only a minority of men feel entitled to have their way to dominate others, to humiliate them if provoked. These guys usually know who they are, and the people around them sure do. They were grabbing waitresses or pulling the wings off flies well before becoming chairman of the board.
People are debating now whether some cultures even sanction this behavior. Yet if social science is any guide, arrogance generally precedes power, not the other way around. For all their professed suspicion of autocrats, people tend to cede authority precisely to those individuals who want it most. Studies of group behavior suggest that the overconfident, outspoken individuals are the ones who tend to become the leaders. And the experience of being at the top only reinforces the person’s sense of control and self-centeredness.
Maybe so, but I think whassup with these guys can at least in part be explained by the title of that famous "never the twain shall meet" book Women Are From Mars, Men Are From Penis.
Say what you will about Stephen Harper--that he is turning his back on conservative principles, that he isn't stepping up and ridding us of the scourge of censorship and our nutty "human rights" bodies. On the international stage, when it comes to Israel, he is literally without peer:
It was meant to be, as Barack Obama described it in London with his British counterpart beside him, another unified mission to storm the beaches of Normandy in the name of peace and democracy.
And the Western world’s leaders do plan to use the Deauville, France, G8 summit to present a united front on the conflicts and revolutions of the Middle East. But one of the rare sources of friction has turned out to be the renegade Middle East views of Stephen Harper.
Alone among G8 leaders, the Canadian Prime Minister refuses to embrace the U.S. President’s plan to begin peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis on the basis of a return to Israel’s de facto borders as they existed before its 1967 war with neighbouring Arab countries – a precondition, accepted by Arabs and by many previous Israeli leaders and Canadian governments, that would be necessary to get Palestinians back to the table.
Mr. Harper made his opposition to that position clear through a spokesperson shortly after Mr. Obama’s Middle East speech last week in a pre-G8 briefing, making him the lone leader in the G8 not to back the U.S. preconditions...
Such bravery in the face of this united front is as breathtaking as it is laudable. Mr. Harper, you are truly one of a kind!
Well, lemme tell you all the story Of a man named Bernie And a time in our history. On a Wednesday in May He strolled out of his office And he left the CJC.
But will he ever return? No he'll never return And his fate we soon will learn. He may run forever Thru the streets of Thornhill He's the man who never returned.
Now all day long Bernie buffs up his C.V. So his candidacy they won't diss. He shleps out his laurels And rests heavily upon them To impress the pop-u-lace.
But will he ever return? No he'll never return And his fate we soon will learn. He may run forever Thru the streets of Thornhill He's the man who never returned.
His campaign rolled on Through the riding of Thornhill, He was one of the Dalton gang. Said, "I feel your pain; I been doin' it so often That I've finally got the hang."
Chorus Oh, you Jewry of Canada Don't you think it's a "shanda" What they've done to the CJC? The Jew Co.'s now "Newco"-- It's a whole "new" ballgame With no place for our Bernie. But will he ever return? No he'll never return. And he's facing Peter Shurm'. (Poor old Bernie.) He may run forever Thru the streets of Thornhill He's the man who'll never return.
Canadian Jewish Congress Announces Change in Professional Leadership
Toronto- Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) President Mark J. Freiman issued the following statement today:
"Today, Chief Executive Officer Bernie M. Farber announced his intention to pursue a political opportunity. Canadian Jewish Congress, like other organs of the Jewish community, has always encouraged our professional staff to engage in public service, including by standing for election for public office. As is common in other Jewish organizations, our policies provide for leaves of absence to enable our professionals to take up such opportunities, and we have granted Bernie's request for such a leave. Bernie has dedicated much of his life to defending and supporting the Jewish community of Canada and for that we are grateful. At the proper time and place, we will recount in full all of Bernie's contributions to the Jewish community.
Irrespective of the personal political choices of our professional staff upon taking leaves of absence to run for public office, our organization remains resolutely non-partisan in its advocacy on behalf of Canada's Jewish community," said Freiman...
Rachel Carson has been on my mind lately. Maybe it's because we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. Maybe it's because I have been given the honor of receiving the Rachel Carson Award from Audubon. Maybe it because spring has finally come to New York, and the sound of birdsong makes me grateful for her work.
But there is another reason I keep thinking about Carson these days: the current efforts to discredit climate scientists look a lot like the powerful resistance that met Carson's warnings about DDT.
Carson was vilified by the chemical industry and the Agricultural Department. She was called "hysterical and unqualified." Her information was described as "oversimplified" and "filled with downright errors and scary generalization."
These accusations are eerily familiar to anyone concerned about climate change.
Rachel Carson was treated like Cassandra who foretold the fall of Troy: a zealot, a nutcase. We loved our DDT, and we didn't want to give it up. It multiplied our harvests and our profits in dizzying amounts. Why should we listen to one lady's doom and gloom?
Even after the chemical companies backed down, it took 10 years for Congress to legislate against DDT and other toxic chemicals that were seeping into our soil and water systems. Politicians don't like to respond to a Cassandra quickly...