Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Breast Feeding, Literacy and Stupidity
A few days ago, Saskboy posted a rant about this rant by the producer of the John Gormley Show, Tammy Robert. Robert was ranting about the newly appointed leader of the Saskatchewan Greens, Amber Jones and her appearance, with baby in tow, at a political event staged at the legislature. I just finished reading Robert's rant and I got a lot more out of it that just an "outdated opinion on breastfeeding". It seems to me that right in the Robert's rant there is a phrase which sums up her point, namely that Amber Jones was using the baby as a prop to score political brownie points via the media and that as such, she was engaged in exploitation. Hence, the Greens are no more holy than any other political group.
You gotta wonder about whether these lefties can really understand anything that they read or do they just want to sweep the obvious under the rug all the time so they can cherry pick what might be useful for pumping up into phony outrage. Demanding an apology because someone said something politically incorrect!! Where have we seen this before? Next thing you know, there will be a complaint filed with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Whither the Deportation Order?
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
"If you are going through hell, keep going."
. . . . . . . . . . . .Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
A home-grown 'Champion of Islam'
"The 23-year-old fundamentalist's on-line logo combines the black Taliban flag and the outline of an AK-47 above the Support Our Troops slogan.Yah? Ya' think? What the hell is our government doing about this??!!!???!!!
...Mr. Khan explained that he is a supporter of the Taliban, as well as other armed Islamic groups.
"'Support our Troops' means supporting the mujahideen [Muslim soldiers of God] who are fighting for their freedom and rights against illegal occupation in many, many places over the world like Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine and Somalia," he said later in an e-mail.
Views like these are becoming increasingly common in Western countries, Canada included, and they are worrying to governments concerned about radicalism and violence."
Over at Catprint in the Mash earlier today I waxed despondently about the long spate of humdrum prime ministers we have had since Pierre Trudeau. I know it's tantamount to treason for a westerner to actually admit to admiring PET, but damnit, that man had balls and a spine forged of iron. Who cares if he spat on whiny westerners. We so desperately need another one like him.
In fact, Tony Blair reminded me of PET. Very similar character. Strong. Braced by the courage of his convictions. A brilliant orator. Willing to walk through the darkest hours without flinching. In short, a statesman. And both men reminded me of Winston Churchill.
Rural Restructuring: A Response to Saskboy and Northern Farmer
"Why does a village of 75 people need a municipal council?"
"It's called democracy Louise, you should learn to love it; it's here to stay if I have anything to say about it. There's nothing democratic about some wonk in Regina determining how someone a 3 hour drive away ought to chlorinate their private well, pay for policing that doesn't happen, or tell them they have to close their school and pay more for busing than what it cost to run the school."Well, Saskboy, the "wonk" would not have to drive from Regina, unless, of course, the municipal office is in Regina. Only about 30 to 40 miles at the absolute maximum, give or take, from the closest viable town would be required in the vast majority of cases. No one said anything about obliterating all municipal entities altogether.
To follow your argument to its logical conclusion, why doesn't Regina have 4 municipal councilors for each 75 of its citizens? If you believe so passionately in democracy, you should be disturbed by that glaring discrepancy and you should be fighting right now for the installation of another 9800 city councilors down at City Hall. It's called economies of scale, and although there are critical differences between major cities and rural areas, such as distances between communities, the discrepancy is something that seems absurd on its face, wouldn't you say? I mean you can vote in municipal elections in Regina regardless of whether you live in the Cathedral district, Uplands or North Central. It's all one city as far as governance is concerned. But that doesn't stop you from also participating in neighbour activities that are political in nature, or joining local organizations that work on local projects and having some influence on what happens in your parks and on your streets.
You may know that when the Municipal Act was created it set population benchmarks that a community had to reach in order to gain city status, town status or village status, if it chose to apply for such status. That legislation is 100 years old. Well, 99, actually, but you get my point.
The vast majority of towns and villages that were created under that Act have dropped below that threshold, thanks to continued rural depopulation over the past 60+ years. But population patterns aren't the only thing that has changed since the Municipal Act was created. Technologies of communication and transportation have also changed, as have a lot of the technologies used in rural economies. We don't drive horses and wagons around any more to get into town. Farming isn't done with horse drawn plows.
Not only that, but for two generations now the kids have left the farms and haven't come back. Not only that but the average family size today is only about half or less than what it was in the 1950s. Because of that, the average age in most rural communities is far older than the average age of the population in Regina. That's why schools are closing. There are fewer and fewer young people standing ready to take over in the role of municipal governance, whether elected officials or paid employees.
Vast numbers of the small villages and towns do not have a viable retail sector so most people have to travel to the larger centers just to pick up their groceries or their mail, let alone see a doctor, if the town can find one, or get a prescription filled. You talk about the absence of policing service. Well, you know, someone has to pay for that. Without a population base sufficient enough and capable of paying taxes, who is going to pay? That's the rural reality and it has been driven by forces far larger and remote than local or even provincial governments can control, such as technological advances. Bill Gates doesn't live in Saskatchewan. MRI machines weren't invented at the University of Regina, but we've all adopted those technologies into our daily lives.
But, all is not lost. Thanks to those technologies, those 75 people living in that village can participate in the governance of their jurisdiction just as easily whether they live in an incorporated entity or not. I'm saying that dissolution should be mandated if a community drops below a certain threshold, but I'm not saying that people should or will lose the capacity to participate in decision making. Teleconferencing and computer connections make that possible.
Saskboy, you might want to think a bit more about complexity and change and how democracies must and should deal with that ever present reality. If change does not happen, democracies stagnate and stagnation leads to rot. It's time to take another look at the legislation and it's time for a big shakeup. Reducing the numbers of municipal entities substantially could very well have the added benefit of reducing the size of our provincial civil service, since they deal with municipal governments and institutions on a daily basis. If they have substantially fewer municipal governments to deal with, I would think that we don't need so damned many of them. We could also transfer much of their legislated mandate to the regional authorities. I think most rural folks would appreciate that. I know I would. What I'm really talking about is genuine revitalization of rural life and bringing control back closer to the grassroots. That means that teensy tiny governments must go as well as big huge bureaucracies. I'm salivating at the possibilities but I'm betting civil service rich populations such as the city you live in, Saskboy, will not allow it happen.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Progress in Iraq
Iraq Oil Deal Could Ignite Investment
Mahmudiyah Hatchery Receives First Egg Shipment
Grants help rebuild Iraqi street (Baghdad)
Iraqis Displaced from Homes Now Returning in Droves
Mucky's family disowns him!!
And putresence in Iran:
Iran Leads the World in Executing Children
Iran Leads the World In Executing Gays
75 Iranian Youths Arrested For Immoral Acts
Let's Ditch Ethanol
You can stop berating yourself for buying that Spanish clementine or New Zealand lamb. Although lists of "what you can do to save the planet" include eating locally—buying food that is grown nearby—to reduce your carbon footprint, the calculation is more complicated than counting up your food's frequent-flier miles. If the local tomato comes from a greenhouse that gobbled up electricity produced from coal and was trucked in via an 8 miles-per-gallon pickup, and a long-distance one was grown in sunny fields and transported by a 400mpg train, you'll leave a smaller carbon footprint if you opt for the latter. Each calculation depends on the food and where you live, but studies find that dairy products imported by Europe from New Zealand leave half the carbon footprint as local ones, while imported New Zealand lamb (which is pasture-raised) leaves one quarter the carbon footprint as local kinds that rely on energy-intensive feed.
The Turning MSM Tide
Speaking of Hatred...
Well, I'm an equal opportunity blogger. So today I'm going to provide another example. Listen to the April 25 and 26, 2008 Hugh Hewitt show. He plays recordings of the infamous sermons of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's preacher. Warning. It's liable to induce vomiting.
Barack Obama sat through this crap every Sunday. Sorry folks. This is not a man you want in the Oval Office. He either believes this visceral hatred or he has no spine. Either way, he is not fit to lead the most powerful democracy in the world.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Another View from Europe
Interested in European blogs that focus on the same issue? Try Barce Pundit (the English version) by a Spanish blogger; Down East Blog, the infamous Belgian who frequently calls himself the Outlaw; No Pasaran, from France; Free Thoughts from Italy (warning: she has some lovely but nonetheless annoying music that plays on her site, which is distracting if all you want to do is read) and Davids Medienkritik from Germany. Free Thoughts has a long list of blogs from all over the Western blogosphere. Some day I'm going to check out a few of the ones I've never visited. Ahh. So many blogs. So little time.
In the meantime, I hope Europe snaps out it soon. It's sad to see a great civilization, whose ascendancy defined the second millennium, now paralyzed by its own political correctness induced denial. Some day I'll write more about that phenomenon.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Which is Worse?
This is good
"But the move to reassign him to Central Command may help emphasize the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, which members of Congress, analysts, and military officials believe is suffering from a lack of focus. General Petraeus has earned a reputation as an expert in fighting insurgencies, and that expertise is much needed in Afghanistan, analysts say."
Again with the Rumours!!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Update on Mooky
"Iraqi soldiers swooped on the Mehdi Army’s stronghold in Basra. Iraqi officials said they now controlled the bastion, known as the Hayaniya district.
The dawn raid by government troops there was backed by a thunderous bombardment by U.S. warplanes and British artillery."
Iraqi Political Spring
"During his meeting with Rice, al-Maliki said the government assaults in the southern city of Basra represent a strong blow to all lawbreakers, showing the determination to confront the militias, according to a press release by the prime minister’s office.
President Jalal Talabani told Rice, “We are living in the Iraqi political spring.”
In the northern part of Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi troops have stepped up security operations in Mosul, believed to be one of the last urban strongholds of al-Qaida in Iraq."
The head of the Kurdish self-ruled region, Massoud Barzani, has offered Kurdish troops to help fight al-Sadr’s militia.
More significantly, Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi signed off on a statement by Talabani, a Kurd, and the Shiite vice president, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, expressing support for the crackdown in the oil-rich city of Basra.
Al-Hashemi is one of al-Maliki’s most bitter critics and the two have been locked in an acrimonious public quarrel for a year. Al-Hashemi has accused the prime minister of sectarian favoritism and al-Maliki has complained that the Sunni vice president is blocking key legislation.
Republicans and the Ku Kluk Klan
Democrats fight back.
"For decades after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party. Klansmen murdered hundreds of Republican activists and office-holders, including U.S. Representative James Hinds (R-Arkansas).
On this day in 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed and the Republican President, Ulysses Grant, signed into law the Ku Klux Klan Act. The law banned the KKK and other Democrat terrorist organizations. President Grant then deployed federal troops to crush a Klan uprising in South Carolina.
Eleven years later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned most provisions of the Act. Though legalized, this original version of the Ku Klux Klan faded. Why? Because as Democrats regained control over southern state governments, they could oppress African-Americans openly, without need of white sheets."
Tarek Fatah Crosses Over
"Religion has a huge role to play in our society. Our imams, rabbis, pastors and pundits perform a crucial and significant function taking care of the religious and spiritual needs of their congregations.[snip]
But it seems that at this critical juncture in our history, when competing religious ideologies are forcing their way into the political mainstream and trying to re-establish themselves as the primary purveyors of good citizenship, the NDP is opening the way for fundamentalists to find a new home inside one of Canada's political parties."
"In my view, the left in Canada, and to a certain degree in the UK, has, in the words of author Kenan Malik, "shamefully swapped secular universalism for ethnic particularism.Now, I don't particularly agree with his portrayal of George Bush as being driven by religious fundamentalism, but I guess I can cut him some slack. Having been an NDPer for a long time and having grown up under the thumb of Third World dictators who would have crammed anti-American rhetoric into his head via school curricula and state run media, I can understand that it may take a considerably more disillusionment with "the cause" than would be required to abandon even the Liberals. After all, the Liberals are the architects of Multi-Culturalism in Canada and there's no sign yet that they are willing to do significant surgery on their own baby.
A week before my decision to tear up my NDP card, I interviewed Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae for my CTS-TV Saturday night show, The Muslim Chronicle. He talked about Afghanistan, the Middle East, the trade union movement and the NDP with ease and comfort. He said working as George Bush's junior partner is not what Canadians want.
Later, on Monday, July 3, I read Rae's op-ed piece in the Toronto Star. One section caught my eye. Rae wrote that "investing in and promoting the values of common citizenship in our schools and communities... is absolutely essential. We can't content ourselves with merely repeating old formulas when isolated pockets of our citizens somehow feel justified in plotting terror against fellow Canadians.
Here was a politician not mincing his words, and challenging the status quo around multiculturalism that has contributed to the building of sometimes prosperous ghettos and 21st-century tribes in Canada."
Apparently Fatah has written a new book - Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State (reviewed here by Ali Eteraz) - in which he articulates a very important voice on behalf of moderate Muslims. For this, I can also forgive him his leftist leanings. Perhaps he will be a good influence on the Liberal Party and his work with them will help to put the NDP permanently out to pasture. As they used to say, back in my day, the world is unfolding as it should.
(Sorry, I couldn't find a sound recording of Trudeau's version of Desiderata. LOL!! But for all you young-uns out there and, especially you young lefties who are still full of yourselves and haven't yet found grace, this will do. It's the original recording made famous in my youth. In my inner child there's still an old hippy that WILL NOT DIE!! It's part of the eternal spirit that graces almost every life. When you are young, you should be hot to trot out to change the world. When you are older you should be mellow and at peace. The world and its people are forever evolving and that is what makes it sooo interesting.)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Caracas is more dangerous than Baghdad
"April 15 - During the last weekend, a total of 77 persons were murdered in Caracas.
From Friday to Saturday, 26 people were murdered; another 25 from Saturday to Sunday and 26 more from Sunday until Monday morning, which thank God signaled the end of the weekend and also the bloodshed.
This was just an average weekend. Nothing special was going on.
The population of Caracas is 4.7 million, including neighboring cities around the Capital District.
Venezuela is not at war. No one has invaded it. These are Venezuelans gangs and crooks killing innocent Venezuelans.
Baghdad has a population of 7 million, almost twice as many as Caracas. It is a nation at war.
Still, you have a better chance of surviving in Baghdad, than in Hugo Chavez's Caracas.
Why is there so much violence in an oil country when there should be enough money for everyone, now that the barrel of oil is selling for $113?
Because Chavez has not tried to eliminate the rampant poverty in the country; because he keeps spending billions of dollars to "defend" the country from an "imperialist" invasion that will never come, instead of training and arming a professional police force to deal with the violence and because the police is as corrupt as the rest of the government and participate in many of these murders themselves.
Welcome to the Socialism of the XXI Century."
h/t Gateway Pundit
Kinda reminds me of what another blogger had to say about his native Iran:
150 Years Under Putin
And this is what the anti-war folks consider to be peace.
"What part of your brain controls your dignity, and how do they remove it when you become a car salesman?"
Pope Benedict's Approval?
Pope calls on UN to do more to stop abuse of human rights
"In his first speech to the international body, the Pope offered a strong endorsement of action by powerful countries to alleviate suffering. While insisting that diplomatic efforts to preempt conflict should be the focus of such efforts, he also suggested that military force, within the rules of the UN, could be justified.Does this mean the Pope approves of the invasion of Iraq? Both Blair and Bush cited the terrible oppression of the Iraqi people by Saddam Hussein as one of the justifications for the invasion, and I don't know how else one can "intervene' than to actually go into the country and use force.
“Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights, as well as from the consequences of humanitarian crises, whether natural or man-made. If states are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations charter and in other international instruments.”
The Pope insisted that national sovereignty could not be used as a defence by repressive states to prevent international action.
“The action of the international community and its institutions . . . should never be interpreted as an unwarranted imposition or a limitation of sovereignty. On the contrary, it is indifference or failure to intervene that do the real damage,” he said."
Friday, April 18, 2008
Forgive me, Soldier's Dad...
"There are only two Utopian Paradises…one called Snafu and the other called Fubar. Only those living in Snafu argue over whether they are really living in Fubar. No Snafuian ever immigrates to Fubar…Fubarians do all they can to immigrate to Snafu."Note to the younguns who might be reading. Snafu is short for "Situation Normal - All Fucked Up", which means essentially things are normally all fucked up. There is no utopia. Fubar, on the other hand, is Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, meaning a lot worse version of Snafu.
And to the lefties of what ever age who might be reading, in case you don't get the point, there are at least three, the first one of which has already been mentioned - there is no utopia. The others are:
1) people from all over the non-Western world clamour to reach Western shores, but not too many of us from the West are clamouring to reach all those lovely socialist dictatorships so many of you think are so abused and cheated by us Western meanies.
2) there is no perfectly planned and executed war. Iraq is no different than most wars of similar length, such as WWII, where these two acronyms originated.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Dishonoring a Profession
"China lodged a formal complaint against U.S. television network CNN and said it should make a sincere apology for what it called a vicious attack by one of its commentators who labelled Chinese as "goons" and its products "junk".If our citizens seem a might dumbed down, you need not wonder why.
CNN responded to China's initial criticism by saying there had been no intent to cause offence and that it "would apologise to anyone who has interpreted the comments in this way". It said commentator Jack Cafferty was offering a "strongly held" opinion of the Chinese government, not the people."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Read the whole thing.
Well There Goes Another of America's Alienated Friends
Italy: It's a landslide[snip]
"The big news is that the Communists are gone, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Really gone."
"The Greens are also gone. In fact, there are only six parties in the new Parliament, suggesting that Italy's well on the road to a two-party political system instead of the dreadful proportional electoral model that has destroyed virtually every country where it's been applied."[snip]
"...a lot of the credit goes to Veltroni, who created a real center-left party and refused to admit the old Left."(You hear that, Liberals? Quit yer slumming with the tired old NDP. But I digress.)
"And there's an even more annoying feature to these elections, as seen by the chattering classes: Berlusconi is an outspoken, even passionate admirer of George W. Bush and the United States of America. Reminds one of the elections that brought Sarkozy to the Elysee, doesn't it? Best to keep that quiet, or somebody might notice that hatred of America doesn't seem to affect the voters in Italy, France or Germany."[snip]
"At least Italy won't have to suffer with the likes of Massimo D'Alema any more. He's the former prime minister and recent foreign minister who proudly announced that major part of his time was devoted to protecting Iran from American pressure. He'll now spend more time on his proletarian yacht, usually based in Croatia..."
Monday, April 14, 2008
The United Nations is What It Is
Sunday, April 13, 2008
First of all, Iraq: I am listening right now to Dennis Prager's talk radio show, broadcast on April 8th. He is interviewing Douglas Feith, author of a new book:
War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism
Feith gives a very interesting account of the Pentagon's planning in the lead-up to the invasion and a rather unique but compelling take on whether or not Saddam Hussein had WMD.
My country is doing us proud. And at long last, France has seen the light and will be joining the sane world as we fight the good fight. Yeah, Sarkozi!!
Kouchner says Pakistan must help Kabul end violence
Canada committed to training Afghan army, police: Bernier
French, Canadian ministers pledge Afghan support
And not to forget the brave men and women of the Canadian forces who are doing what they can to help Afghans meet their considerable challenges. Here is a story of one young soldier by the name of Chelsea Braybrook:
Canadian giving voice to the voiceless in Afghanistan
Of course, none of that prevents the CBC and others of trying to put the most negative spin they can on developments in that country. It's those base and evil Americans again!! They must be knuckle draggers, too. And we're sooo superior!!
Find the spin:
U.S. marines in Kandahar will follow same rules as Canadians: Hillier
Here it is again: Spin. Spin. Spin.
Joint operations: The pros and cons of teaming up with the U.S. in Afghanistan
And speaking of negatively stark raving mad spin, you can't top this one as an example snarling, snapping, spitting leftie spin. I think the International Herald Tribune might better be called Pravda, don't you think?
Steps to take in Iraq to help the next president
I'll bet you that's where all the old Pravda writers are now.
But let's return to Iraq and get an update on Maliki's new push against the Sadrist militias:
No stopping till Sadr City secure, says Iraq
Soldiers Weed Out Sadr City Terrorists
Baghdad slum calmer after intense battles
U.S. and Iraq Kill 13 Rebels in Sadr City
Iraq Dismisses 1,300 After Basra Offensive
Iraqi Cabinet approves measure barring parties with militias from elections
Oh. And for an update on the recently concluded battle in Basra, read this one: Maliki drafts in 2 extra brigades to gain traction after Basra battle – The Times
"In Basra the signs of the feared militia are slowly receding. For the first time in years alcohol vendors are selling beer close to army checkpoints, and ringtones praising cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are vanishing from mobile phones. Music shops are once again selling pop tunes instead of the recorded lectures of Shiite ayatollahs."My goodness. We can't have that, can we.
I linked to this story in an earlier post via Soldier's Dad. He was engaging in an interesting headline writing exercise, ala the MSM. Soldier's Dad also has an interesting take on booze in the Middle East, from which we can surmise what life under those religious zealots known as Islamofascists might be like. Read the comments.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Go Read Soldier's Dad
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I Am Mad About Jihad...
Joe Lieberman - A Democrat With a Brain
"Iraq's prime minister got a show of support from political leaders of both Muslim sects on Thursday as he moved to isolate anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers."[snip]
"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, convened the meeting of the main political blocs to discuss the Iraqi-led crackdown on militias that began March 25 in the southern city of Basra, triggering the current crisis.[snip]
But the notable absence of the Sadrists signaled that al-Maliki was making good on a threat to try to isolate the movement politically if its Mahdi Army militia is not disbanded."
"A marked reduction in casualty rates began around September 2007, and daily averages continued to decline throughout the rest of that year. However, since reaching a low this past January of 20 Iraqis killed per day, casualty levels have once again started to rise, with 26 killed per day in February and 41 per day in March, an Associated Press tally showed."[snip]
"The clearing of former insurgent strongholds also has led to the increasing discovery of mass graves. More than 30 bodies believed to have been buried for more than a year were unearthed Thursday by Iraqi troops at a house south of Baghdad, the military announced.[snip]
The killing of the American soldier pushed the average U.S. death rate to 1.8 per day so far in April, compared with 1.2 per day last month, according to the AP tally."
"But prominent Sunni politician Adnan al-Dulaimi, who leads the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, emerged from Thursday's meeting to say the operation was "a courageous step."Never mind all the non-sense about death rates. Apparently AP doesn't realize that when a battle ensues, death rates rise. In between battles, they fall. This is really, really good news. Once the Sadrists are defeated, look for Iraq to soar. Maliki finally developed some balls. Must be that election that's coming.
"We stand beside this government and support it. It was a good and blessed step to prevent militias in all provinces," al-Dulaimi said, adding his Accordance Front would begin discussions soon on ending its Cabinet boycott."
Next on the agenda: Iran
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
"A primary school in Amsterdam wished to provide its pupils with an understanding for other cultures. But during a visit to a mosque, the children were told they were dogs.
With a view to developing understanding and respect for other cultures among children, primary school De Horizon regularly organises outings to various religious organisations. The chairman of the El Mouchidine mosque told the children from group 7 (aged 10) and their chaperones however that non-Muslims are dogs."
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
And elsewhere in the Middle East....
Here's the transcript a great discussion about the battle in Iraq against the Mahdi army.
All Hail Talk Radio
Hewitt plays several clips from a speech by John McCain, while Prager interviews a British expert Phillipe Legrain (yes, French name, but he is English), author of a Washington Post article 5 Myths About NAFTA. Both are excellent programs.
And by the way, I have hope for America AND IRAQ yet, if McCain wins.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Israeli Strike on Syrian Facility
This could explain why baby Assad's Ba'athist goons were so quiet following this strike. Wouldn't want to make George Bush look like he was right all along, now wouldn't we. I can hardly wait until more information comes out.
h/t Gay and Right
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Condi for VP? Hooray!!
Putting Us Knuckle Draggers in Our Place
Paul Thompson from Canada writes: One more conservative politician, despite the crocodile tears, reveals himself to be a buffoon, but his base will love him for it.
The Bubble from Canada writes: It's the religious right. They're hiding back there and this is symptomatic of what they really want. There was someone in Canada who complained to their local library to remove a book that used the word 'homophobia'. The person said that the word 'homophobia' made them feel like they had a psychological problem.
G. Veneta from Calgary, Canada writes: The public has a right to know what true beliefs lie behind the veil or political 'face' our politicians wear. No doubt his 'base' will rejoice but hopefully the majority will see it for what it is. This was not a young man at the time but around 40. Sorry but one has had enough time to become a bigger person by then.
It is truly frightening to see the constituency that makes up this brew of reform/alliance/nuconservative politicians. Wait until they get a majority. They can barely hold back now.
The Oracle from Caiman Islands, Canada writes: Face it. This is reflective of 90% of the Con. Party!
Canadian woman from Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Once a bigot always a bigot, we don't need bigots in our government.
Sweet Pea from Vancouver, Canada writes: This really isn't surprising. Harper has worked hard to put a muzzle on all his little worker-bees to keep their racist and homophobic feelings under wraps, but eventually their true feelings are revealed. Sadly, Lukiwski's thoughts are typical of the Conservatives and I am embarrassed to have them leading our country....Let's hope they aren't in power for too much longer.
Richard Hawk from Canada writes: The sad thing is many conservatives agree with his comments. In fact they are quite typical of the party.
He needs to be thrown out immediately. We can't have people running our country who are hate-filled bigots. What an embaressment this is to the conservative party. To not throw him out would be equivalent to publically saying they agree with his views, which would be political suicide.
Nice stuff, no?
But I do like what this guy has to say:
Scott McLean from writes: My leader is a total looser, my party's policies are a throwback to Pierre in his hay-day, and each time I turn on the t.v someone else is leaving because of the personal disgrace associated with being a Liberal. I guess dragging Lukiwski's 16 year old comment around like a dead gopher on a string behind my bicycle is about the best I can do these halcyon days being a progressive.Now there's a Liberal I could learn to like.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed!
Homosexuality, gay rights, knuckle draggers and all that.
1) I have known many gay people in my life. I've had very close friendships with some. I COULD NOT CARE LESS whether they are sexually attracted to others of the same sex. They are not pedophiles. They are not sex crazed and promiscuous, at least most aren't. They lead normal lives. Have normal jobs. Have normal views on a whole range of issues and across the full range of political perspectives. For the most part, if and when I learn that someone of my acquaintance is gay, it's pretty much a shoulder shrugger. So what. Who cares!! I don't.
2) Human sexuality is complex. It is not always joyful and pleasurable. It is not all about the sex act. It is often frustrating and the source of great pain. Witness the expression on the face of Mrs. Spitzer, broadcast all over the world as it was. I cannot imagine her pain or her strength in what she then and now has to deal with. I would imagine gay love, for most, is no different.
3) I recognize that there are many people in our society that are very uncomfortable with the existence of homosexuality and especially uncomfortable with overt expressions of it, such as gay marriage and, particularly, the ostentatious displays one gets to witness at gay pride events. I happen to sympathize a bit with the discomfort around the definition of marriage thing and I whole heartedly agree with the ostentatious display thing. I happen to find ostentatious public display of overt sexual behavior to be very cheap and demeaning to human sexual expression, regardless of whether it's gay or straight. It can destroy lives, such as the poor little tarts like Britney Speers who become nothing but sex toys for the media to play with.
4) I also recognize that gays are subjected to some pretty horrific abuse ranging from stupid remarks to actual beatings resulting in death. While stupid remarks are not illegal, most certainly no one should get away with any sort of violent behavior toward any gay person. I would say the same for any person who may be the target of stupid remarks or violent behavior. Violence based on hatred or contempt or a twisted kind of bullying is reprehensible, but is certainly not the only kind of value driven violence. By value driven violence I am referring to punks who think that it's fun and fair game to beat up on people because they happen to be different - Jews, gays, etc. - as opposed to emotion driven violence such as anger or hate that might characterize the relationship of the abuser to a battered wife. Neither motive is an excuse, but gay bashing is not based on intensely felt urges flowing from an emotional dynamic with a life partner. It is much colder than that.
So what do I have a problem with?
1) Intolerance of views that aren't in 100% compliance with the gay rights agenda. I'll expand on that below in an analysis of the gay marriage issue.
2) Priggish, humourless sourpusses who cannot laugh at gay jokes. Joking is a great way of calming the waters and breaking taboos. How many stand-up comics use their craft to discuss serious issues such as racism, sexism, feminism, Aboriginal rights or any other politically polarized issue? Most people howl with laughter at this kind of humour and among those people are individuals who happen to be part of the supposed "minority group" that is the butt of the joke. And I don't buy the argument that jokes told by members of the minority group are fine, but when told by someone outside the minority group it becomes a capital offense.
3) I especially have contempt for priggish, humourless sourpusses who are NOT members of the targeted group, gay or otherwise, pretending to speak on the target group's behalf claiming they (the target group) find offense and there was plenty of that following the recent Lukiwski videotape scandal. That is an expropriation of the other's voice and in my view, it's reprehensible. It does not allow for the fact that members of the targeted group could very well be all over the map with respect to their views on the issue. And worst of all, it helps build the walls of political correctness through which no dissenting voice is ever allowed, not even ones from the targeted group. And that contributes to further oppression within the target group. In the not too distant past Aboriginal women were victims of this kind of muzzling. It is a consequence of the school of thought I call "victimology".
Now. To state my views on the gay marriage issue. I have no problem with gay couples choosing to sanctify their relationship and solidify their commitment to each other in a ceremony, whether officiated by an ordained member of the clergy or through a civil office.
What I do have a problem with is the notion that those who object to equating it to heterosexual marriage are homophobic. Simple biology dictates that heterosexual marriage cannot be the same as same sex marriage and I believe that those who point to the fact that one of the purposes of marriage is for the procreation, protection and raising of children should not be vilified for holding that belief. This is intolerant in the extreme. In the debate (that Harper craftily put to an end when he came to power, AS I KNEW HE WOULD, rather than reopening it) a compromise was offered, which gay rights fanatics rejected. There is a huge chasm between arguing over the precise definition of a word and being allowed to enter into a formal state-recognized relationship with someone you love. Quite frankly, bottom line, they are the ones who are the rigidly doctrinaire bigots. It was this issue that taught the rest of us that the term homophobe, just like the term "racist", has been over played to the point that it is now meaningless, and that means we can shrug it off every time it is uttered. And that is of far greater danger to gays, and to the rest of us, than whether or not their unions are called a "marriage".
As far as the NDP orchestrated feeding frenzy over Lukiwski's four second remark made sixteen years ago is concerned, well calling Saskatchewanites "knuckledraggers" is just fine, I suppose. If the media can jump to conclusions on the basis of four second sound bites, (CTV, I'm talking to you) why shouldn't they be able to extrapolate and paint us all with their "we're tolerant and you're not" sanctimony.
I'm beginning to sympathize with Western separatism.
Lowering the Flag
On November 11 only.
Only for our war dead from the armed forces.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Anything else dilutes the hallowed sanctity of their sacrifice and cheapens the ceremony.
Hats' off to the Parliamentarians who understood the real meaning of the Remembrance Day. November 11 is a day when the entire nation stops for a brief few moments to remember the great sacrifice our armed forces have made throughout our history, a sacrifice which helps to preserve our freedoms and protect the same for others throughout the world. It is not about the individual men and women who have given their lives. Indeed, we selection one mother who has lost a son to lay a wreath on behalf of all families who have given one of their children so that we may all live freely.
Peter Worthington has a great article about it on the Sun's website. Of note in the Sun article is the passage that the shows the usual suspects (ie. the NDP, Liberals and the Bloc) are up to their usual tawdry exploitation of the sacred and the painful. Way to go, Jackasses. As if you couldn't sink any lower.
Tom Lukiwski and the NDP
"I congratulate you on dealing with this growing issue so quickly. It is exactly what needed to take place. I understand you also spoke in the House of Commons Friday morning to apologize formally. You have stood up to the challenge and I appreciated your words. They came from deep within you.
This whole incident smells as bad as Limburger cheese does. What I mean there is. You were set up. Your privacy was invaded. It was done for political reasons and only those who produced these tapes know why.and links to a great article from the National Post.
Events that happened that long ago certainly pale to the man you are today. Stand tall and go forward."
"From watching the video, it's unclear whether Mr. Lukiwski was simply riffing on his own homophobic opinions -- or if he was attempting some sort of crude, ill-advised satire of someone else's homophobia, or of homophobia at-large. His subsequent suggestion that his views be distributed as part of Mr. Devine's "campaign literature" suggest the latter may be possible. (Editorial writers have been known to entertain running gags about putting this or that shocking comment into a published editorial -- the more outrageous the comment, the funnier the gag.)"[snip]
"In 1991, the Supreme Court of Canada had not yet recognized sexual orientation as a basis for equal protection under our Charter of Rights. And bald-faced homophobia was, if not accepted in mainstream society, often tolerated. In fact, many Canadians still regarded homosexuality as a lifestyle choice rather than what it is -- a hard-wired aspect of a person 's identity, little different from their race or sex."As I predicted on other blogs, this incident is going to blow up in the face of Patty Atkinson and her longtime friends, the purveyors of political correctness. It will generate a long overdue public debate about yet another one of those sacred cows that the left uses to beat people into cowering politically correct submission. (Speaking of which, I wonder how the apparatchik will deal with Bill Siksay, that despicable turncoat.)
Later today, I'll do my bit to fight back by stating my position on the whole gay rights movement and particularly its lunatic fringes, which the left, of course, has embraced. Stay tuned.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Martin Luther King Jr. Forty Years On
Of course, among the things that makes a political leader an hero for so many is the self evident justice of his cause, but as George Bush has demonstrated, a just cause also needs soaring, exhilarating rhetoric to rally people around it. George Bush did not have the gift of oratory. Martin Luther King did. Great strides have been made on many fronts since then, because of his inspiration. But his violent death also ushered in a much uglier era that is still with us today. Leadership of oppressed people has become exploitation as the insidious "victim" psychology, which also has its roots in the 60s, has become the norm.
Would that we could get back that kind of hope for the future, shaped and emboldened as it was, by virtuous leadership, Christian leadership, I might add, for those hate mongers who relish a good Christian bashing fest. Considering the dirty politics at play over the homophobia fiasco, it's perhaps time to listen again to the words of Dr. King again. There are many available on the net and many being played on radio programs this week.
Here are a few, beginning with the speech he gave the night before he was killed:
I've Seen the Promised Land
Here are some others.
Picking at Scabs
Those who do it do so, so as not to allow healing, closure and moving on. These are the folks like Obama's pastor, the Reverend Wright with his vile hate-whitie rhetoric, like Jesse Jackson, and indeed, Michelle Obama, a graduate of Harvard who still thinks she is entitled to whine about how oppressed she has been due to her color.
Anyway, these past two weeks we have had a scab picking festival here in Saskatchewan unlike any I have ever seen. It started with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nation's decision to reinstate the hate-mongering David Ahenakew to the FSIN senate. This raised such a brouhaha that something had to be done about it. Presto!! A 16 year old film surfaced showing members of the then Conservative Party, featuring a now sitting member of Parliament, Tom Likiwski, and the now Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, with some juicy highly politically incorrect comments by them and several others.
A theory has been advanced by Lance (owner of Catprint in the Mash blog) that the disclosure of that film at this precise moment was to deflect attention away from the FSIN. If Lance is correct, then the so called homophobia (stupid word, by they way) of MP Tom Likiwski, assuming it's true, which is highly unlikely, pales by comparison.
The FSIN has spent the past thirty some odd years picking at scabs and they have no intention of quitting. The NDP has been with them every step of the way. They are partners in the crime of victimizing the rank and file First Nation person, pretending, as they do, that money from Ottawa or from Regina is needed to overcome the problems First Nations people face. But what the FSIN really wants is money they can use to further their own political careers. That has been shown time and time and time again.
My hope is that this incident will a) put an unmendable dint in the industry of political correctness; b) hasten the end of the political party that has promoted it for so many, many years; and c) be the end of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
The homophobia thing was a lovely red herring, but I'm not buying it. Not only is the argument trumpeted by the NDP pretty hollow, being, as it is, based on a stupid four second comment by a man who is half cut, but it's also a cheap shot by a cheap party that is pretty much a spent force. They have stooped so low that they, yes, the NDP, not the Conservatives or the Saskatchewan Party, are the ones dragging their knuckles.
When the day comes that the so called victims upon whose backs the NDP and the FSIN have stood while they pontificate their PC nonsense can actually speak for themselves and will no longer have politicians making excuses for them (all the while lining their own pockets), then and only then will First Nations people lift themselves - yes, that right, it's "themselves" - out of dregs and become whole again. Spiritual renewal does not require money. All it requires is a change of attitude and the death of the wretched ideology of victimology. In other words, a new political movement is long overdue and for that to begin, they have to topple the regimes that persist in PICKING THE SCABS!!!
As an aside, those who have knowledge of Canadian history will know that the very first socialist government in North America came to power right here in Saskatchewan. There's an old book called Agrarian Socialism, a long and boring tome, which nonetheless documents the rise of the socialist movement among farmers in Saskatchewan. It is now almost a hundred years ago when the beginnings of that movement stirred. It spread to other parts of Canada and now infests our media, which is why we still have to hear about knuckle dragging prairie folk on CTV. If and when this spent force known now as the NDP finally lies cold in its grave, then a great many other overdue course corrections will follow. Faster. Please!!
PS: an interesting discussion of this fiasco is taking place at John Murney's blog here and here.