Saturday, January 31, 2015

Baroness Tonge's Latest--and Most Sickening?--Feat of Zionhass

Have you heard about Baroness T.?
She's as hateful as she can be.
Wants Jews to denigrate
That "wicked" Jewish State.
A bee-yotch to the enth degree.

Where to Celebrate 'World Hijab Day' in Toronto

FYI, it isn't just for Muslimas, don'tcha know?:
ANNISAA Organization of Canada in partnership with Sakinah Community Centre presents World Hijab Day Celebration, an open invitation to both Muslims and Non-Muslims to wear the Hijab for a day.

An event for Muslim and Non-Muslim women from various backgrounds, age groups, and cultures to connect, to develop personal and professional contacts, and to get personal and career advice and guidance. While there are similar events within the GTA for women, they are limited in terms of their emphasis on the importance and beauty of the Hijab, obligations of the Hijab, requirements, lack of emphasis on Muslim women's Hijab, and lastly the absence of an active mentorship component. This event will serve as an opportunity for Muslim and Non-Muslim women and young girls to hear about it and join the initiative as a mentor or mentee. 

DATE: Sunday, February 1, 2015
LOCATION: Sakinah Community Centre, 1430 Birchmount Road (Lawrence Avenue and Birchmount Road)
TIME: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Er, you can get someone to be your "hijab" mentor?

Sounds like da'wa in disguise to me.

Why Is Obama So Damned Mad at Israel?

According to this, it's because Israel has foiled his plans to be the American president who ushered in the nation state of Palestine.

"If It Is True, There Can Be No Excuse"

So says Andrew Klavan re the accusation(s) that his childhood hero, Bill Cosby, drugged chicks and raped them while they were unconscious.

What's Behind the Danish Claim To Be the "Happiest" People in the World?

Conformity. Low expectations. A society that frowns on kvetching.

That's pretty much it.

One Person's Euphemizer Is Another Person's Obfuscator

Via Robert Fulford's column in the NatPo, we learn which words have been deemed unacceptable by a Qatar-owned news organization:
A leaked memo from Carlos van Meek, the chief journalist at Al Jazeera English, was published this week by the National Review. Meek instructs writers and reporters to avoid certain “key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.” He says “Terrorist,” “Islamist” and “jihad”  should usually be avoided. 
“One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” Meek writes, echoing an ancient saying. Apparently that eliminates “Terrorist.” He’s decided “Islamist” is a “simplistic label,” therefore “Do not use.” There are exceptions, however: “Guests will use the word Islamist. It is absolutely fine to include these answers in our output. There is no blanket ban on the word.” 
What about the Arabic word “jihad”? It terrifies many and inspires some. Meek explains that “Strictly speaking, jihad means an inner spiritual struggle, not a holy war. It is not by tradition a negative term. It also means the struggle to defend Islam against things challenging it.” 
His reasons aren’t crazy but students of Al Jazeera will realize that it’s owned by the government of Qatar, whose leaders would be almost certain to endorse every word in his memo. “We manage our words carefully around here,” Meek says. True, but not always for purely linguistic reasons...
Meek--what an absolutely perfect name for a dhimmi.

Since the meek one doesn't like "terrorist," "Islamist" and other such simplisms, might I suggest a word that I coined in my first post of the day: Caliphatist.

Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Subsidized Cowboy Poets Roam

Reuters alerts us to a tale of rugged--and versifying--individualists in the Old West:
(Reuters) - When long-time bronc rider Paul Zarzyski needed to rest his aching bones after an adrenaline-charged stint on torquing horseflesh, he often turned to the last thing most people would associate with cowboy life: writing poetry. 
“I kicked that bucker crazy, now I’m laid-back lazy,” the Montanan writes in his poem “Riding Double-Wild.” He has left the rodeo circuit behind, but not the poetry, and it turns out lots of cowboys are just as fond of verse as he is.  
Zarzyski is one of scores of writers gathered this week for the annual Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada, nearly in the middle of nowhere, which is just how the locals like it. 
The ramshackle town with casinos, the Stampede Motel and coffee shops that play Hank Williams Jr., is sprouting an unusually large number of raw-boned guys in ten-gallon hats who call women “ma’am.” 
Both veteran poets as well as newbie rhymers are welcome at the festival, which features open mike nights, live music, and workshops on Western crafts and skills, including silver-smithing, ranch cooking, and making pulled-wool saddle blankets...
The festival ropes in local ranch families as well as city slickers from hundreds of miles away seeking that Western soul expressed in poetry.  
“The spirit of the West is alive. It comes from the wide open spaces that still exist out here,” said Zarzyski, who calls the festival the “cowboy Woodstock.”...
"Cowboy Woodstock"--that's like "jumbo shrimp," no?

No matter. The Reuters article twigged a memory I had about reading a Mark Steyn piece a few years back about the abovementioned festival, and how, rather than being representative of the Old West--self-sufficiency and all that stuff--it was actually more in keeping with the government's modern approach of spending money like, well, a drunken cowboy. This Cowboy Poetry Festival was thus a simulacrum--a Potemkin village?--of the good old days, rugged individualism being deader than a tumbling tumbleweed in the Nevada desert. Anyway, here's what Steyn had to say in '11:
How mean-spirited are House Republicans? So mean-spirited that they would end federally funded cowboy poetry! Last Tuesday, Harry Reid, the majority leader, took to the Senate floor to thunder that this town ain’t big enough for both him and the Mean-Spirited Kid (John Boehner). 
“The mean-spirited bill, HR 1 . . . eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Senator Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy-poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”  
“Tens of thousands” would “not exist”? There can’t be that many cowboy poets, can there? Oh, c’mon, don’t be naïve. Where there are taxpayer-funded cowboy poets, there must surely be cowboy-poetry festival administrators, and a Bureau of Cowboy-Poetry Festival Licensing, and cowboy-poetry festival administration grant-writers, and a Department of Cowboy Poetry Festival Administration Grant Application Processing, and Professors of Cowboy-Poetry Festival Educational Workshop Management at dozens of American colleges credentialing thousands of cowboy-poetry festival workshop coordinating majors every year...
Oddly enough, none of them get a shout out in the Reuters piece.

Update: There are 88--count 'em, 88--Cowboy Poetry Festival videos on YouTube.

Update: In the following cowboy poem, the "vad" in Nevada rhymes with "mod":

There once was a man from Nevada
Who spent money as if it was wada.
For his keen cowboy rhymers
To act like Old Timers
He needed the cash--a whole lada.

Absolutists and Beheadings

The Climate Change mullahs climb aboard the Caliphatists' decapitation band wagon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Did You Know That There's a "Coexist Foundation"?

"Coexist"--as in that well known bumper sticker via which one can publicly display one's interfaith bona fides.

Also one's cluelessness.

Here's Mark Steyn on the darkly comic role a Coexist sticker played in the brothers Tzarnaev story:
The Tsarnaev brothers had spent most of their lives in the United States, and lived the diversity dream. They seem to have had a droll wit when it comes to symbolism: Last year, the younger brother took his oath of citizenship and became an American on September 11. And, in their final hours of freedom, they added a cruel bit of mockery to their crimes by carjacking a getaway vehicle with a “Co-exist” bumper sticker. Oh, you must have seen them: I bet David Sirota has one. The “C” is the Islamic crescent, the “O” is the hippy peace sign; the “X” is the Star of David, the “T” is the Christian cross; I think there’s some LGBT, Taoist, and Wiccan stuff in there, too. They’re not mandatory on vehicles in Massachusetts; it just seems that way.   
I wonder, when the “Co-exist” car is returned to its owner, whether he or she will keep the bumper sticker in place. One would not expect him to conclude, as the gays of Amsterdam and the Jews of Toulouse and the Christians of Egypt have bleakly done, that if it weren’t for that Islamic crescent you wouldn’t need a bumper sticker at all. But he may perhaps have learned that life is all a bit more complicated than the smiley-face banalities of the multicultists. 
At least one bloke has yet to learn that lesson, and is using the "coexist" bumper sticker as a marketing tool:
Tarek Elgawhary remembers noticing the blue COEXIST bumper stickers on the Clara Barton Parkway three years ago while driving from his Potomac home to his office in Georgetown. Raised in Gaithersburg, Elgawhary had been in Cairo when the sticker’s jumble of religious iconography—the C a Muslim crescent, the X a Star of David, a Christian cross for the T—spread across post-9/11 America’s bumpers.
The sticker was a little granola for his taste: He often saw it crowded next to a peeling NADER OR PRESIDENT and almost always, he recalls, on a Prius. But Elgawhary, CEO of the Coexist Foundation—which works to bridge cultural divides by promoting understanding—agreed with the sentiment. What’s more, he saw an opportunity. There, on hundreds of cars, was a ready-made advertisement for his organization.
So like any sensible businessman, Elgawhary tracked down the man who owned the rights and licensed it. 
The Coexist Foundation now hawks the blue stickers for $10 on its website, under “swag,” along with bumper magnets and window decals; a coexist guitar decoration is $5. Elgawhary admits he doesn’t sell many stickers, but owning the design is great branding for Coexist’s more profitable businesses—shade-grown coffee raised on a farm in Africa and organic clothing manufactured in India. Wherever he goes, says Elgawhary, strangers already have an idea of what Coexist stands for. “They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re the bumper-sticker people!’” Since buying the design, he simply says yes. “That’s worth its weight in gold.” 
It would be easy to mistake 35-year-old Elgawhary, who talks with ease and purpose, for an entrepreneur. A polished speaker with a communications background, the philanthropist likes to name-drop, mentioning he’s been chatting with Madonna’s charity advisers or that Ashton Kutcher name-checked his bumper sticker on Two and a Half Men.
Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, eh? Wow, that is impressive.

Funny thing about the Coexist Foundation website, though. It prominently displays the face and words of Henry Ford: 

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
— Henry Ford
FYI, Ford is the person most responsible for introducing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to Americans, and he inspired one Adolf Hitler because his pathological Jew-hate was fully in synch with his.

Hard to see much "coexist" in that.
That's Henry Ford in the center, "coexisting" with Nazis.

According to a New Survey, North Korea Is the Nation Most Despised By Britons, With Israel Running a Close Second In the Opprobrium Sweepstakes

They will claim, of course, that there's nothing anti-Semitic about hating the world's only Jewish state and the Middle East's only democracy. It's pretty clear, however, that, manifesting such a skewed view is a function both of the British media--and first and foremost, the Beeb--having spewed pernicious, pathological Zionhass for many decades, and a hatred of Israel being more or less de rigueur for British elites and Muslims alike.

The Language Police Get Busy at CUNY, Doing Away With Supposedly Archaic, Sexist "Mr." and "Mrs."

This bit, from the body of the article, made be chuckle:
Free speech advocates worry that policies like the one at CUNY lead to a slippery slope that intrudes on academic freedom.
Gee, ya think?

CUPW to Take Part in Scary-Sounding "World Social Forum"

Reps from Canada's Zion-loathing postal union will be jetting off to Tunis--an in Tunisia--come March. They will take part in something I've never heard of before that sounds somewhat threatening, in a "Workers of the world, unite" kind of way:
The World Social Forum is a vital space for social movements which struggle to preserve people’s dignity, so that they remain masters of their own destiny, able to fight for and acquire new economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, and able to construct alternatives to the neoliberal world order.
I can think of several alternatives to "the neoliberal world order"--none of them good ones.

"I Want My Markie Steyn!"

It just goes to show you, if you give the people what they want they'll flood into your store with nary an inch to spare. (Good thing no one shouted "fire" in that crowd scene, eh?)

It was squish city (room-wise, not political allegiance-wise) Wednesday night
at Indigo's flagship store as folks lined up for hours to see their guy, Mark Steyn.

"There Is No Israel For Me"

That's the "money" line in the new Houellebecq novel. It is spoken by a non-Jewish Frenchman to his Jewish girlfriend who has decided to run off to Israel because life in France has become intolerable. As a non-Jew, he doesn't have that option, and for him there is no escape. The statement underscores "The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris."

"The Obama Administration is Unusually Petty and Sophomoric"

No kidding. Also petulant, thin-skinned and extraordinarily jejune.

Arms and the Men

Lee Smith has had a brainstorm (he thinks):
The answer [to the problem of ISIS and those it inspires], say Western policymakers and pundits, is that Muslim moderates need to step up and rescue their faith from the fanatics who’ve hijacked it—an answer that has the advantage of avoiding hateful bigotry toward hundreds of millions of peaceful, believing Muslims who often form the majority of their communities both in the Middle East and in the West. The invocation of Muslim moderates seeks to rescue both the humanity of the community that is most often targeted and victimized by Islamist terror and of the Westerners who wish to deal with the threat of Islamist violence in their own societies without tearing those societies apart. Those are virtuous aims. The problem, of course, is that what sounds virtuous isn’t necessarily what works—and when virtuous-sounding solutions fail, the obfuscation that follows often makes the problem worse. 
So, maybe Western policymakers and pundits need to find a way to reframe the problem. Maybe the issue isn’t about religion or reinterpreting Muslim scripture at all. Maybe it’s about power politics and actually arming Muslim moderates to kill Muslim extremists.
Well, that's a plan. A flawed, and probably unworkable one which gives rise to manifold difficulties. The first of which is: who gets to define was a "moderate" is? Us? The self-declared "moderate"? Because, frankly, we have seen what can happen when we arm ostensible non-extremists. Either they turn out to be extremists after all (hello, Taliban circa Charlie Wilson's War) because we know nada about Islamic supremacism and jihad. Or else, spurred by the desire to be on the winning team/riding the stronger horse, they become extremists. Or else, being "moderate," and therefore lacking the same zeal and motivation as their holy warrior brethren, they turn out to be feckless in the field of combat (despite being armed up the wazoo by us infidels).

To me, Smith's argument sounds a lot like, "Hey, let's reframe the problem and arm the 'moderate' Germans to kill the Nazis."

That would have won the war, right?

I say forget about depending on the "moderate" Muslims. At this stage of the game, it makes far more sense to arm the Jews.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Guffaw of the Day

If you're an adult aged 18 to 64, it'll cost you fifteen bucks to get in to Canada's "human rights" mausoleum in Winnipeg. However, there is a far pricier tour on offer at this shrine to victimhood, one that'll hit you up for more than twice the admission fee (in addition to regular admission):
Mikinak-Keya is a unique cultural experience exploring rights and responsibilities from a First Nations perspective. 
 Visitors will spend approximately 90 minutes with the Museum’s Indigenous program interpreters, exploring how the symbolism in the building’s architecture profoundly relates to the Seven Sacred Laws and the teachings of Grandmother Turtle.
This cultural experience has been created in partnership with a group of seven Elders representing Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota nations. 
Program interpreters will make several stops throughout the Museum, however this program does not tour the galleries. Instead, the program explores the relationship between First Nations concepts of rights and responsibilities and elements of the Museum’s architecture and design. The cost is $39 per person. 
Please note that entry to the Museum is not included in the Mikinak-Keya purchase price. To visit the Museum galleries between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., please purchase a general admission ticket.
Nearly 40 bucks extra to hear about the teachings of Grandmother Turtle?

Er, no thanks.

Medical Inovativeness in Iran

"Virginity" suppositories.

Harpoon Siddiqui 'Splains/Blows Smoke Re What's "Really" "Stoking Terrorism"

As the Toronto Star's in-house mouthpiece for the Islamic perspective 'splains, it isn't the jihad. It's the West's efforts to counteract the jihad.

In other words, knock it off and let the jihad roll right over you, infidels.

Roger L. Simon Sticks It--But Good--To Obama Fart-Catcher, Jeffrey Goldberg

Simon has riotous fun at the expense of Jeff and his suckuppery (which, if it isn't a real word, should be):
Fee fi fo fum.  Big bad Bibi is coming to DC town — and Barack is VERY angry.  Not only that, and possibly worse,  Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic may be equally as angry. The journalist insists Netanyahu making a speech to Congress at the speaker’s invitation is a “disaster” or — in the words of my grandmother — “not good for the Jews.”  And Jeff should know.  He’s an important guy, I am told.  He gets to talk… to Barack.
Goldberg accuses Netanyahu of electioneering (a rare thing indeed for a politician) and not showing the proper “RESPECT” for our president (cue Aretha), who always demonstrates so much respect for the Israeli prime minister.
Excuse me while I rend my clothes.  Meanwhile, lost in Goldberg’s posturing, and the funfkeying by such great State Department intellects as Jen Psaki,  is the subject of Netanyahu’s putative speech. What was it?   Oh, yes… Iran.  Now I remember.  That country that has its hand in nearly every piece of  Islamic mayhem from Buenos Aires to Sanaa...
Jen Psaki "a great intellect": now, that's hilarious!

Update: Whaddya know? It is a real word.

Update: Another of the White House's towering intellects 'splains that the Taliban is not a terrorist entity.

Ben Shapiro's Eulogy for the First Amendment

It's Official! Iran Is Now the Lowest of the Low

Iran calls for the assassination of Netanyahu's children

Haredi Jews and Muslims in London's Stamford Hill Get Along Swimmingly

Before individuals go and tout this as a "model" of interfaith amity, they should consider why they get along so well:
Munaf Zeena admitted that maintaining neighbourly relations sometimes meant agreeing to disagree on divisive issues, such as Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands. Yet, he said, when local Muslims raised money for the victims of Israel's assault on Gaza last year, a substantial donation was made by the Jewish community.
Dare one call it a jizya? Also, how many of the Haredi Jews in this area are anti-Zionist, believing that Israel should only come to be when "Moshiach" comes?

Update: Time to take off your rose-coloured specs, people. It's worse than you think.

A Clash of Perceptions on Display at Last Night's Heather & Markie Show

Those of you of a certain age may remember the cheesy TV show Osmond siblings Donny and Marie used to have back in the late 70s. One of their recurring shticks alluded to their supposedly incompatible musical styles: she was "a little bit country"; he, on the other hand, was "a little bit rock and roll." Thus, she would warble ghastly faux-C&W ballads like "Paper Roses" while he would essay, say, a Jackson 5 tune.
The only reason I bring this up is because last night I caught Mark Steyn in conversation with Heather Reisman at Heather's Manulife Centre book store location. And, well, let's just say that à la Donny and Marie, their preferences weren't exactly in synch. For while Heather was a little bit--and sometimes a lot--left of center, Mark was shake, rattle and rolling on the opposite end of the political spectrum. And because the crowd was there to see and hear him, not her, his stylings were greeted with hoots and whoops and warm applause, while hers...not so much.
One rather felt sorry for her. Not only because this was sooo not her crowd, but because, to put it charitably, she wasn't as nearly up to speed on a number of subjects as most of the people in the room were. Then again, they--we--were die-hard Steyn readers, while she strikes one as someone who dips a toe or two into his works, but never fully dives in. A case in point: she opened the proceedings by asking Mark to read an excerpt from a piece about the funny names of authors of books featuring Christmas projects, a piece she said made her "laugh out loud." And, yes, it was amusing, in that trademark Steynian way. At the same time, however, one could see that this was the sort of Steyn column that most appealed to her--light, comical and devoid of anything un-PC, or, indeed, anything political at all. For me--and for many of the Steyn fans I know--that is a mere appetizer. A tasty but insubstantial hors d'oeuvres. What we want is the meatier fare--the Charlie Hebdo/free speech stuff, the "Allahu Akbar!" antics, the Toronto public school mosqueteria--right from the get-go. Oh, sure, Heather got around to those subjects--eventually. But when she did, well, let's just say that it seemed as though she was trying to get up to speed on subjects which the audience had long since mastered. An example of what I mean. Anyone who has followed Steyn for any length of time would surely have come across his observation that a society that tolerates the intolerable (specifically, practices such as honour killings, FGM, the subjugation of women, etc., which are antithetical to our Western values) is signing its own death sentence. For Ms. Reisman, however, it came across as something utterly new. So much so that she made him repeat it, so she could take it in s-l-o-w-l-y.
Anyway, my friend Laura Rosen Cohen took extensive notes on her computer throughout the "you say eether/I say eyether" (you say the Second Amendment rocks/I say guns are bad for people and other living things) chat. (I was feeling lazy, and merely listened.) She promises to post her thoughts later today. In the meantime, here's the photo she took:

Update: LRC's post is up.

Land Lords

Being a registered Canadian charity is apparently so lucrative that it allows one to snap up pricey real estate in desirable neighbourhoods. And when your stated mission is to "establish an Islamic presence in Canada that is balanced, constructive, and integrated, though distinct" (a distinctness that allegedly entails siphoning moolah to the likes of Hamas), buying as much property as possible is an excellent way to fulfill your goal:
MONTREAL -- A Muslim umbrella organization that allegedly funnelled money to a Hamas-linked charity is buying up property from Quebec to Alberta. 
QMI Agency conducted land-register searches that show the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), based in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, has bought at least 11 buildings in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta since 2006. 
They're being converted into mosques, community centres and schools as the group's financial dealings catch the attention of the RCMP. 
The group was named in a search warrant related to Project Sapphire, a probe into terrorist financing. Warrants indicates MAC sent nearly $300,000 in the 2000s to IRFAN-Canada, a group that raised millions for Hamas. 
The Canadian government considers both IRFAN-Canada and Hamas to be terrorist organizations.
The Muslim Association of Canada remained a registered charity as of this week, having reported $16.1 million in revenues, and a nearly $5.8 million payroll, in 2013...
[MAC has bought] more than $30 million of land and buildings across the country...
Montreal is home to its most grandiose purchase,
 a six-storey, $4.7-million building in Montreal's financial district that will house the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization.
The deal was closed last May and the institute will feature a library, a museum and "the largest mosque in downtown Montreal," according to its website. 
And guess what? Donations to the Institute are tax deductible.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

David Matas Makes the Case for Censorship--Again

In the Canadian Jewish News, "International Human Rights lawyer" David Matas tries to argue that "blasphemous" speech should be allowed but "hate speech" should be prohibited. Thus, Charlie Hebdo should be allowed to publish 'toons that may be perceived as "blasphemous" by some Muslims. At the same time, however, French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala should not be allowed to say hateful things about Jews because that incites the majority to feel hateful toward a minority. A crucial part of Matas's argument also had to do with "hate" being an emotion unlike "blasphemy" which, um, is not.

The problem with Matas's spiel--and I'd urge to read it yourselves because I can't possibly simulate the circuitousness of its prose, which twists this way and that in an effort to arrive at logical conclusion (which it never does)--is that one individual's "hate speech" (which Matas says must be verboten) is another one's "blasphemy" (which he says must be permitted). For example, many Muslims see Charlie Hebdo 'toons as "hate speech." On that basis, going by Matas's argument, they should be censored. For non-Muslims who believe in free speech, however, the 'toons, though crude and rude, do not constitute "hate speech." On that basis, therefore, they should not be censored. So to whom to we give the power to decide what is--and isn't--"hate speech"? To Muslims? To Jews?
To "human rights" bodies? To the courts?

I say that unless speech is actionable under our laws of libel or slander,  or unless it calls for the murder of an individual or a group of individuals, it should--it must--be allowed.

As for Matas's exquisite display of hair-splitting of "hate speech" versus "blasphemy," it really amounts to an attempt to argue that "free speech" is for me not thee. And, as we know, that ends up biting the "mes" on the arse as the "these" avail themselves of the same restrictions. Matas should know how that works. After all, being one of Canada's foremost Jewish proponents of censorship didn't spare him from being on a receiving end of cockamamie "human rights" complaint--a prosecution that was to last for many years--launched by a Muslim who was offended (which, by the way is a feeling--you know, like "hate") by something he said.

Inclusion Me Out

It's "Inclusion Day"--my favorite day of the year--at York University (a campus which, go figure, isn't so "inclusive" when it comes to including the viewpoints of pro-Israel students). In conjunction with the day, there's an Inclusion Day Conference, of course. I thought that the invitation to attend the event, held under the auspices of the university's Centre for Human Rights, was so unintentionally amusing that I had to post it:

Inclusion Day Conference

The CHR invites you to submit a proposal for the attend the 6th annual Inclusion Day Conference 2015 
Theme: Past Histories & Present Stories: Finding Meaning in Human Rights
The conference, being held January 28, 2015, at the Keele campus, will explore the following themes:
  • How are human rights made real?
  • How are identities navigated/changed?
  • What are the new human rights battles being fought or are we still fighting the same issues from the past?
Some of the areas that proposals could focus on, but are not limited to:
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Intersectional identities
  • Race and racialization
  • Gender expression/expectations/identity
  • (dis)Abilities
  • Business, Science & Human Rights
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Knowledge production & pedagogy
  • Immigration/Refugee issues
  • Community leadership & mobilisation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Social Media & Human Rights
There's a crucial area that I doubt will be explored:  How to be open to debating with those whose opinion/political orientation differs from yours in that it is not the default leftism of academe and other societal elites.

When the Teacher Is a Clueless Squish, Students Rule

This teacher is a "progressive." So when one of her students dissed Malala (the student, originally from Pakistan, claimed the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and her family were getting all sorts of freebies from foreign governments while women in the student's village were getting targeted by the Taliban), the teacher didn't go to bat for Malala and her ideas. Instead, she lent credence to her student's specious argument, and, in an epiphany of sorts, decided that that should be her new teaching M.O.:
We are teaching and raising a generation that has the world in their pocket. Since my conversation about Malala, I have made two changes to open my classroom up to the world. “How is she helping Pakistan? I want to go back and help my country; that’s why I am getting an education here. She is not helping them. Why does she not ask Britain and the U.S. to give money to the Pakistan government for education?” This outburst turned into a productive conversation about the troubled relationship that the United States has with Pakistan — and with that conversation, a realization that I had been doing something wrong. 
I teach Civics — the structure, purpose, and history of American government. In several of my class sections, more than half of my students were born outside of the United States, and a quarter of them speak little to no English. I had been so focused on trying to give them the background to understand American culture, politics and government that I had neglected to leave room for their own backgrounds and experiences. 
I teach American government in a global classroom. My students come from five of the seven continents, and a casual count brings me to around 20 different countries of birth. My students spend half of their day on their phones, on Instagram and Twitter. My students know exactly what is happening in the world, as long as it is relevant to their friends, their parents or their news feeds. Although I am required to discuss American politics, if I do not address what drove my students from their homes and what their families are still facing, I leave half of my class in the dust. 
We are teaching and raising a generation that has the world in their pocket. Since my conversation about Malala, I have made two changes to open my classroom up to the world. 
First, I have stopped fighting the weird obsessions that my 8th graders bring into class with them — one day it’s the Illuminati, another day it’s an utter conviction that they will die from Ebola. Even though the standards and curriculum guidelines don’t seem to connect to global politics, I find a way to make it work. Which branch of government is in charge of health workers abroad during a global pandemic? Are conspiracy theories another tool that the media use to influence elections? 
Second, I am much more careful with choice in my classroom. Frequently, I will give students a selection of three to five different reading options: newspaper articles, textbook excerpts, whatever medium I can use to get content across. Now, instead of focusing on generic high-interest topics like football or Justin Bieber, I think about what my students have brought up that week. Maybe my West African student wants to read about hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, since he was asking me why people can’t afford food in some countries. Then again, he might still choose the article about sports but if I never give him the option, I’ll never know. 
In the crush of testing, standards and the pitfalls facing students in poverty, it is easy to lose sight of the incredible richness that our interconnected world can offer.
Au contraire. In the din of our interconnectedness, it's easy to drown out the sort of lessons which America used to depend on to turn immigrants into Americans. Alas, that's unlikely to occur in a classroom where the teacher takes her cues from her students, allowing them to steer her in the wrong direction; into a dark region replete with conspiracy theories and Ebola hysteria and Malala's "villainy."

My Gushing Fan Letter to Mark Steyn in the NatPo

Just in time for Mark Steyn's appearance in Toronto this evening--hope to see y'all at the Manulife Centre's Indigo book store at 7--the National Post published this:

Steyn got it right

Re: Free Speech Is The Right To Insult Islam, Steyn Says, Jan. 26.Mark Steyn reminds us of the similarities between jihadists and climate-change alarmists. Both are fanatical. Both hew to ideologies that brook no dissent or criticism. Both go ballistic — albeit in markedly different ways — when some “blasphemer” has the audacity to make withering fun of them and their orthodoxies. 
Most crucially, however, is the fact that both are control freaks who seek to micro-manage our lives, the climate-change alarmists via onerous environmental regulations, the jihadists via Sharia law. Thank heavens there’s a Mark Steyn around to shoot off his mouth and puncture the pomposities of the power-crazed. The world would be far better off if there were more of him — and fewer of them.

Dear Paul Berman: It's the Islam, Mr. Smartypants

Paul Berman's analysis of the appeal of "the Islamist death cult" is good as far as it goes. Unfortunately, it doesn't go nearly far enough. Which is to say that Sayyid Qutb, the brains behind the Muslim Brotherhood--Berman, cleverly, calls him the Martin Heidegger of Islamism--didn't reinvent the wheel. He went back to the wheel--i.e. the source material of Islam's core texts--and dredged it up for a modern audience.

Berman's problem: he fails to locate the Islam in "Islamism," seeing the latter as a manifestation of 20th Century totalitarianism and therefore divorced from its source.

Update: CAIR Makes New Push to Get Media to Scrub Word "Islamist"

Dear CAIR: IslamistIslamistIslamistIslamistIslamistIslamistIslamistIslamist...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's Amazing the Things That Get People's Shorts In a Twist

A comely tennista's "twirl," for example.

Why the Road to Hell Is Paved With Progressives' "Compassion"

Quotation of the day:
A secularized empathy provides religion without deity or scripture. The new temple becomes the government building and its new bible is a million pages of ObamaCare regulations that no one reads.

Steyn on the Levant Show

Need I say more?

European Jewish Congress Backs Pan-European "Tolerance" Law

That should do the trick, don't you think? ;)

Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the pathological Jew-hate in Europe is worse than ever, married as it is to a hatred for Israel, the Jewish state despised by on-scene Muslims and infidel chattering classes alike. One understands the desperation of European Jews, but there's no way a "law," especially one that kneecaps free speech, can cure or even ameliorate the disease of Zionhass.

Update: LRC has no time for Official Jews who refuse to acknowledge the Islam implicated in the current round of pathological Jew-hate.

Update: Sir Ben Kingsley doesn't seem to get it either.

An Example of How Interfaithiness Turns the Brain to Mush: Islamophilic NatPo Letter Urges Us To Contextualize Those Koranic Passages Calling for Jihad

A letter in the National Post offers an overly sanguine view of the world religion:
Re: Examining Islam, letter to the editor, Jan. 24.
Letter-writer Jonathan Usher’s seeming rejection of the Qur’an (Letters, Jan. 24) because of some suras in it, looks like a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Yes, the Qur’an has problematic passages, but it remains the basis of belief and the foundation of faith for a billion-plus people. It inspired tolerant, inquiring and prosperous cultures like Muslim Spain in the past — cultures where original ideas and transmitted truths were passed on to us and are part of our heritage today. 
Isolating passages does not do justice to the whole of any scripture. One must look at context and circumstance. Fanaticism has a flair for fine-tuning specifics but ends up with a bunch of trees instead of a forest. Thus, interfaith understanding requires seeing the Qur’an through Islam, more than Islam through the Qur’an. Islam, like every world religion, is more than its scripture.
Doug A. Couper, Milton, Ont.
He's right, of course. Islam is more that its scripture. Islam is also the law--sharia--which, as Islam sees it, is supposed to rule uber alles.

As for "seeing the Qur'an through Islam"--that's an absolute crock. Why should non-Muslims see it that way when, clearly, that's not how practicing Muslims see it?

And re the alleged "tolerance" of "Muslim Spain": that's a function of ignorance and good PR. Here, for instance, is a more truthful account of those "golden" times, as cited by an expert on the subject, Andrew Bostom:
Expanding upon Jane Gerber’s thesis about the “garish” myth of a “Golden Age,” [36] the late Richard Fletcher (in his Moorish Spain) offered a fair assessment of interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain and his view of additional contemporary currents responsible for obfuscating that history: [37]
The witness of those who lived through the horrors of the Berber conquest, of the Andalusian fitnah in the early eleventh century, of the Almoravid invasion — to mention only a few disruptive episodes — must give it [i.e., the roseate view of Muslim Spain] the lie. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility. … Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (like the Moriscos five centuries later). … In the second half of the twentieth century a new agent of obfuscation makes its appearance: the guilt of the liberal conscience, which sees the evils of colonialism — assumed rather than demonstrated — foreshadowed in the Christian conquest of al-Andalus and the persecution of the Moriscos (but not, oddly, in the Moorish conquest and colonization). Stir the mix well together and issue it free to credulous academics and media persons throughout the western world. Then pour it generously over the truth … in the cultural conditions that prevail in the west today the past has to be marketed, and to be successfully marketed it has to be attractively packaged. Medieval Spain in a state of nature lacks wide appeal. Self-indulgent fantasies of glamour … do wonders for sharpening up its image. But Moorish Spain was not a tolerant and enlightened society even in its most cultivated epoch. 
One might say the same of the NatPo letter--that it is little more tha a self-indulgent fantasy that has next to no basis in reality.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free Speech in Canada? Don't Be Silly

As Mark Steyn rightly proclaims in the National Post, "Free speech has to include the right to insult Islam." And Steyn says that as someone who was instrumental in getting rid of Section 13, the notorious censorship provision in our federal "human rights" statute. Unfortunately, as Barbara Amiel pointed out following the recent attacks in Paris, that didn't exactly make speech in Canada any freer:
For my money, the reason we don’t have a slaughter like the one at Charlie Hebdo is because no such magazine would ever be allowed in Canada. We save our Kalashnikovs for murdering free speech. First we had the human rights commissions who literally jackbooted freedom of expression. The case against Maclean’s centred largely on an article of Mark Steyn’s. The Canadian Islamic Congress didn’t like his piece on Islam and filed complaints with the federal as well as two provincial human rights commissions. Steyn’s work was vigorously defended by Maclean’s and Rogers Communications. Maclean’s and Steyn won. But the cost was high.  I speak from experience. When in 2011 I had the one and only column of my 37 years of writing for Maclean’s spiked, it was on Dutch anti-Muslim immigration politician Geert Wilders. I thought it was pretty milquetoast writing since I was automatically self-censoring and pulling my punches but I really couldn’t blame Maclean’s.  They were suffering from battle fatigue: nothing is more enervating and time-consuming than filling out the endless details and forms that human-rights complaints require. Not to mention the legal fees. “You’d win,” said one of my editors. “We know that. But we just can’t go there again.” In my view there is no media outlet in Canada brave enough to allow a full and proper discussion of Islam. 
After the imbroglio with Steyn, Prime Minister Harper gutted the HRC ability to monitor free speech.  The issue went by default to the Supreme Court—an inhospitable terrain for freedom. The jurists took on a case involving flyers written about a cow almost as sacred as Islam, namely homosexuality. The flyers written by “Christian Trust Activist” William Whatcott wanted to bring “sodomites” to Christ for redemption but not into classrooms as teachers on human sexuality. The unanimous judgment of Canada’s Supreme Court (overturning the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that had allowed the flyers) should have been reprinted in its entirety in a Canadian satirical magazine with cartoons of our jurists were such a magazine allowed in Canada, which, according to the Supremes’ decision, it would not. Yes, we have free speech, said the Supremes citing the Charter of Rights but that doesn’t mean we can say anything we like because free speech may be hate speech or at least hateful to some group. But a guarantee of free speech is not divisible. You can’t guarantee “some free speech” any more than you can be “a little bit” pregnant.
Amiel is scathing on the subject of our state broadcaster and its craven refusal to show the Charlie Hebdo 'toons:
As George Jonas pointed out in a 2013 column, human beings find a way of rationalizing their behaviour so that they can claim they are refraining from publishing or saying something not out of fear but because they don’t wish to offend. They convert the base notion of being scared into a noble weapon of seeing someone else’s point of view. In fact, this is one of the most insidious aspects of terrorism: we wash our brains and convert our fear into understanding. Example: the awful spot CBC put news host Evan Solomon in when reporting the Paris murders. He was given the job of reading CBC’s rationalization to explain why, although the motive for the Paris murders were Charlie’s cartoons of Muhammad and Islamists, the CBC would not show the cartoons in reporting the story. I didn’t tape his explanation, fascinated as I was by its maze of clauses, but the phrase “not to offend” made a cameo appearance. 
I would have had more respect for the Ceeb had it told the truth: "We have decided not to show you the cartoons because we're too afraid of being targeted by the jihadis."
In other words: a simple iteration of the facts, no maze of clauses required.

The Good News: The University of Chicago Reaffirms Free Speech. The Bad News: The Fact That Free Expression on University Campuses Is So Rare These Days That This Is News At All

Peter Berkowitz writes:
The good news is also news because, regrettably, the admirable position the University of Chicago has embraced on freedom of speech distinguishes it from a majority of universities in the land. Not every American college and university aggressively discourages debate and independent thought with restrictive speech codes that forbid the expression of opinions at which anyone might take offense. Yet rare is the university that clearly articulates the principles of free speech and proudly stands behind them.  
So when the president and provost of one of America’s preeminent institutions of higher learning appoint a special committee and assign it the task of “articulating the university’s overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community,” it is worth taking notice.
That's for sure. Let's hope its example inspires others, realizing, of course, that that's a long shot in view of the how wedded universities are universities are to their current hard-left/quasi-totalitarian orthodoxies--countering "micro-aggressions" and the rest.

Shia Fanatics See Recent Events, Including Death of Saudi King and Events in Yemen, as Signs of Their 12th Imam's Immanent Return

Ryan Mauro mentions some of the other "signs" indicating that the Mahdi is set for a return engagement. For some unknown reason, however, he leaves out a crucial one--the fact that all the Jews of the world must be eliminated before the Shia messiah shows his face. Then again, I have no doubt that Iran is interpreting Obama's willingness to cut it lots of slack, uranium-enrichment-wise, as a sign that it'll get to nuke the Jewish state sooner rather than later, thereby laying the groundwork for the Mahdi's return.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

If Only Bibi Wore Green Lipstick and Made Lame YouTube Videos...

Image by Dianny of All the Right Snark

Appeasement Deja Vu

Obama sucks up to Iran in an effort to "engage" it (and not because he's a Shia.) Meanwhile, Iran bloviates about the need to eliminate (exterminate) Israel.

Local Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi's Message of "Peace" (In the Islamic Sense of the Word)

I'm sure you're familiar with the assertion that Islam is a religion of peace. Listen closely, however, and you'll realize that what the imam is saying is that without Islam, there is no peace. Or, to put it another way, an adherence to Islam is the pre-requisite for peace. (Heck, they don't call 'em Dar al Islam and Dar al Harb for nothing.)

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Egypt's Al-Sisi backtracks on his call to "reform" Islam.

T. Dalrymple: Steven Emerson's Flub Provides a Convenient Excuse to Ignore the Real Problems

Problems such as the failure to assimilate Muslims and the enduring and growing appeal of jihad.

Update: No-go zones are the new no-go zone. "To even mention [them] is now considered akin to anti-Muslim racism."

Adopting Syrian Orphans Banned in Saudi Arabia

This sounds like a shocking lack of compassion/humanitarianism:
The Ministry of Social Affairs has prohibited Saudi families from adopting children of foreign or Arab nationalities and said the ministry is only concerned with taking care of Saudi orphans. 
According to Al-Hayat newspaper on Thursday, the ministry said the children who lose their parents in areas of conflicts such as Iraq and Syria are the concern of the international humanitarian organizations.
What goes unmentioned is that classic Islamic doctrine forbids adoption for reasons going all the way back to Islam's founder.

Israeli Barber Creates "Magic Kippas" Made of Hair In Order to Fool EU Jew-Haters

It's so bad out there that it's come to this:
REHOVOT, ISRAEL—An Israeli barber has fashioned what he calls “magic” yarmulkes out of hair, designed to allow religious Jews to cover their heads without attracting unwanted attention from anti-Semites. 
Shalom Koresh said his skullcap, known as a yarmulke in Yiddish and a kippa in Hebrew, was inspired by rising anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. He said he has seen particular interest from buyers in France and Belgium. 
“This skullcap is washable, you can brush it, you can dye it,” Koresh said in his salon in central Israel. “It was created so people could feel comfortable going to places where they are afraid to go, or places where they can’t wear it and feel secure.”...
So a "magic" mini-toupee is supposed to keep you safe in scary areas? Won't it just encourage the Jew-haters/Zion-loathers to try to "scalp" you?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The UN Touts the Importance of...Light?

Yup, light. As in "turn on/off the...":
The United Nations (UN) proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. It is a global initiative to illustrate the importance of light and optical technologies. The opening ceremony occurred this week in Paris
Light plays an important role in our daily lives. Through photosynthesis, light is necessary to the existence of life itself. While light-based technologies, such as optical fibres, have revolutionized society through medicine, communications, entertainment and culture. And most importantly, these technologies support sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. The importance of light reaches far beyond life on Earth. Light has helped us to see and better understand the universe. 
It’s easy to overlook the significance of light. We are so used to having light in our daily lives. We’re also often not aware of how light-based technologies affect almost everything we do. It is in consumer electronics (barcode scanners, DVD players, remote TV control), telecommunications (Internet), health (eye surgery, medical instruments), manufacturing industry (laser cutting and machining), defense and security (infrared camera, remote sensing), entertainment (holography, laser shows) and much more.
I dunno, seems kind of silly to me. Rather like proclaiming an International Year of the Laws of Gravity, no? On the other hand, it is an inoffensive, "motherhood" sort of thing to tout; who, after all, is not in favour of light?

That said, it's rather ironic the Paris, the "city of lights" is a rather dark place these days, what with all those conspiring to make it Lights Out (the title of a book by Mark Steyn) in that city and others where freedom yet prevails, however tenuously.

"Experts" Will Be the Death of Us All

How well I recall back when the Ayatollah Khomeini swept into power in Iran that more than a few "experts" assured us that he wasn't going to be all that extreme.

Flash forwards to today, when Shiites in league with Iran have swept into power in Yemen, and we have this--"experts" who espy "signs of moderation" among this group of extremists.

So what's the deal with these experts? Are they delusional? Wishful thinkers? "Experts" sans insight?

All of the above?

There's Not Much That's "Multi" About the U of T Robarts Library's "Multi-Fath Room"

According to the University of Toronto website, the Robarts Library is one of nine sites on campus set aside for students belonging to different faiths who would like a quiet, convenient spot in which to pray or mediate. The Robarts "Multi-Faith" room is #7 on the list. It is
located on the 8th Floor of Robarts Library. The room is open for quiet mediation, prayer and other spiritual practices. Study spaces are available in other parts of the library. Food and drink are not permitted in this room.
Here's the photo of the room that's provided:

Web Updates

The thing is that, according to someone I know very well who works at the Robarts Library, this space serves more of a "Uni-faith" role in that it pretty much has been turned into a Muslim prayer room/mosque.

What was that cheeky line of SDA's Kate again? Oh yeah--the opposite of diversity is university. And a "Uni-faith" (formerly a "Multi-faith") room at a university is nothing if not an expression of that.

Update: The Robarts Library prayer space is apparently one of the newer ones on campus. According to an almost two-year old article that appeared in The Varsity, the campus rag,
The newly-renovated space will be an inclusive area for students of all faiths to pray, no matter what religion or practice they adhere to. A draft of guidelines is being formulated in collaboration with the Multi-Faith Centre for different groups to be able to use the space at the same time.
Funny that it hasn't exactly worked out that way.

Enough Already

Stop telling the Jews to "check their white privilege"

For that matter, knock it off with the "white privilege" stuff entirely. It's a function of the sort of liberal guilt than almost invariably paves the road to Hades, and is a manifestation of racism as practiced by those who mistakenly believe that only white people are capable of being racist.

I say we check the power of victimists--those who luxuriate in and purvey the victimhood narrative for fun, profit and personal empowerment.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Yemen Another Epic Foreign Policy Fail for Obama

Oh, well. He could always send John Kerry over to the troubled region to dispense hugs and 70s folkie tunes.

How about "Take It Easy" or "Running on Empty" this time?

Charlie Hebdo Gets Smackdown For Mockin' the Prophet

It was "an act of violence," fumes this dude:
Charlie Hebdo, like the Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten several years ago, did not simply publish images of the Prophet. That, on its own, would probably have occasioned little comment. The difficulty lay in the evident intention to mock, deride and wound. To portray the Prophet naked, or with a bomb in his turban, was not the simple manufacturing of a graven image. It was received, and rightly so, as a deliberate insult to an already maligned and vulnerable community.
Time for that "vulnerable community" to grow a thicker skin, pal.

Yemen Suffers Power Vacuum; Obama Schmoozes With GloZell, the YouTube Clown With the Green Lips

Sigh. It would be nice to have a grownup in charge when all hell was breaking loose. Alas, this is the guy we're stuck with for now.

Update: GloZell goes the White House. Begging the question: why?

Jews. Always the Jews

I started my day by reading Mark Steyn's delightful look at that American Song Book fixture, "It Had To Be You" (Sinatra Song the Century #5). It put a bounce in my step, a zing in my heart, and inspired me to put my own mordant spin on it. Hence the following, with apologies to all concerned:

It had to be Jews.
It had to be Jews.
They wandered around
'Til statehood they found
And now they get boos.
We give 'em the blues.
They say it's a ruse--
We "stole" all their land
Now they want us banned
And want us to lose.
Some haters I've seen
Pretend they aren't mean.
It's "justice" they seek,
For "refugees" weak
Who've stayed on the scene.
For nobody else do they execrate:
"If all Jews were gone, hey, that would be great."
It had to be Jews,
Always the Jews,
It had to be Jews.