The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
A mournful News of the Day
The China e-Lobby lost a friend this weekend:
Americans make war, Canadians keep the peace
It’s all about the symbolism stupid! Daimnation points to an article in the Globe and Mail which questions the results of last weeks poll (Wake up! This is our war, too) on sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan. Sixty two percent said they didn’t support it but is there more to it?
But what if Strategic Counsel’s question had been phrased differently? “If you were a member of Parliament, would you vote to send Canadian peacekeepers to Afghanistan?” I suspect the results would have been very different, primarily because the word “peacekeeping” triggers a series of powerful memories and positive images in the Canadian mind: Lester Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize; a Canadian soldier in a blue helmet interposed between warring factions; the peacekeeping monument in Ottawa, and the widely believed mantra that, while Americans make war, we Canadians keep the peace.[…]
Let me be clear: Canadian peacekeeping was a useful role for this country to play. Canadians did important work after the Suez crisis of 1956, in Cyprus, on the Golan Heights, and on the Iran-Iraq border after the 1988 peace between those two nations. The problem is that peacekeeping has largely disappeared, replaced in the new world disorder by much more robust operations run by the UN or other organizations. The Afghanistan deployment, soon to be controlled by NATO, is just such an operation. We might call it peace support or peace enforcement. Our grandfathers would have called it war.[…]
Friday’s poll, however, suggests that Canadians might prefer to stay home. If so, Canadians need to consider what they want their military to do in the 21st century. The war on terror is a reality and Canadians are targets, no matter how we try to convince ourselves that the world loves us. It doesn’t. Our superpower neighbour, the nation to which 87 per cent of our exports go and on which our security depends, has been attacked and is still under threat, but somehow Canadians have not grasped that they are involved. We are. The Canadian troops in Kandahar are working to prop up a democratically elected government that is under attack from fundamentalist Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists. Participation in that operation is in Canada’s national interests, and it is very much in the interests of democracy.
But why did those who responded to the Strategic Counsel poll not grasp this? The reason, I believe, is that Canadians see Afghanistan as an American war, a direct response to the al-Qaeda terror attacks of 9/11. That may have been correct in 2002, when the aim was to drive the Taliban government that sheltered al-Qaeda from power. Today, the goal is to assist an elected government in establishing itself in the face of attacks from Taliban remnants. Unfortunately, that difference doesn’t appear to matter to Canadians. Afghanistan is still the Americans’ war, George W. Bush’s war, and, automatically, large majorities of Canadians believe it must be wrong.
Canadian anti-Americanism is at a record peak in 2006, and this strong feeling colours every question. (The Americans have noticed, too. During our recent election, The Washington Post’s Anna Morgan, shocked by the tone of the campaign she discovered here, reported that “the United States and all its evils” were a “familiar demon” being employed “to heat Canadian voters to a frenzy.”)
A mature nation cherishes its history and builds on it. But a mature nation also understands reality and faces it and acts to protect and advance its national interests. Peacekeeping is a cherished part of our past and, even if it has dwindled in utility, it might once again become important. But the reality now is one of terror attacks on the democracies and those struggling to build free societies. Canada’s national interests demand that we employ the Canadian Forces to help the new democracies and protect the old. It is long past time for the Canadian public to recognize what is at stake and to support their government and their soldiers in advancing their country’s — and the world’s — interests.
Canada has taken command of coalition troops in southern Afghanistan today. Whether we like it or not we are there for the long-haul and its time to face reality.
Curling on the Radio?:
BC & Team Canada, Thursday morning
There is no live mainstream media coverage of the morning draws from The Scott Tournament of Hearts,. However, Thursday morning, at 6:30am (MST), the match between Team Canada (from Manitoba), skipped by Jennifer Jones ,and British Columbia, skipped by Kelly Scott, will be broadcast via streaming audio over the internet by CHRWRadio. The announcers will be Doc Palmer and Alan Adamson, who are blogging continuously from The Scott with commentary and photos: see here.
And for audio clips of interviews with some of the curlers, see here.
These posts just write themselves
It seems that the good folks at McNally Robinson, righteous defenders of free speech everywhere, are having a little party this week:
Attached is the McNally Robinson Media Release for February 27, and below are some highlights.
Welcome to Freedom To Read Week! Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
McNally Robinson is hosting four events celebrating and supporting our freedom to read.
Chris Crutcher will be in the store on Wednesday, March 1 at 7:00pm to read from The Sledding Hill. Crutcher was named a Celebration of Free Speech & Its Defenders honoree in 2005 by the US National Coalition Against Censorship for his tireless work in defense of free-speech.
The 2006 Freedom of Expression Award will be presented on Friday, March 3 at 7:00pm. This award recognizes a distinguished Albertan for their contributions to the freedom of speech and the freedom to read. The event is organized by the Calgary Freedom to Read Week Committee and the Writers Guild of Alberta and hosted by past winner and QR77 News anchor Tony King.
We will also be launching our first ever 24 Hour Marathon (runs from 9:00pm Friday to 9:00pm Saturday). For 24 straight hours a variety of readers will contribute their voices to keeping a continuous string of words in the air to support Freedom To Read Week.
On Saturday, March 4 at 8:00pm we wrap up Freedom to Read Week by toasting the many readers who kept words alive and aloud during our 24 hour marathon. The marathon closes with a final hour of readings from some of the best-known challenged and banned books of all-time.
Events and Publicity Coordinator
McNally Robinson Booksellers Calgary
120 8th Avenue SW
No word on whether Ezra Levant will be presented with the 2006 Freedom of Expression Award.
Make sure you stop by the event to show your support for free speech.
And shop Amazon.ca
(media release sent via reader email)
Monday, February 27, 2006
Ha Ha Ha America
This is hilarious, I LOL'd throughout the whole thing. I've forgotten most of my high school Mandarin, but thankfully can still string together:
"Wo shi Jianada ren, Wo ai Zhangwao(sp?)"
Upper House update
On the same day as Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces the official appointment of Michael Fortier to the Senate (the release has been e-mailed to journalists, and it should be up on the PM's website, here, soon), comes word that Harper has told Alberta Premier Ralph Klein to expect Senate elections this fall.
CP reports: "Harper also promised to give the next available Senate seat [presumably a seat from Alberta -- ed.] to Bert Brown, one of four senators-in-waiting chosen by Alberta voters in the 2004 provincial election, Klein said."
Still unclear, though, is whether the new senatorial election process will be a provincial or federal affair. As I noted last week, three of Alberta's four senators-in-waiting are pressing for the former.
The Latest News of the Day
Today's Canada file:
Canada file - Communists looking for more Canadian resources: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is "eyeing a takeover of a major Canadian oil company - possibly Husky Energy Inc. or Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. - to gain a stake in Alberta's oil sands" (Globe and Mail). The Communists have acquired pieces of Canada's natural resource wealth before (fourth item). Since then, however, the federal government holding out the welcome mat was turfed by Canada's voters (Alberta's welcoming provincial government is still in place). How the new government reacts remains to be seen.
For the rest of the News of the Day, see here.
Rogers Cable hates you
Has anyone else in Ontario recently discovered that they've lost Fox News on their cable lineup? A week ago, right before I left Ottawa for Toronto, I called up Rogers to unsubscribe from their magazine subscription, which had become a separately billed item (Negative billing, nice, jerks). I got back last night and discovered I'd lost FNC, which was one of ten digital channels I had chosen for my cable package. The others were all still there. Today I call up Rogers, and they tell me I've never been subscribed to it (I've had it since it aired in December 2004 - after the free trial ended, I dropped MSNBC and asked for Fox). I ask them to list the ten channels I have, and #10 is "Razor", which I've never even heard of. I tell them there's been a mistake, and to drop Razor and put FNC back. She says you can't individually choose Fox News like other channels; it's only available as part of the $8/month News Package. So what else is part of the News package? CNN, CBCNW, ROBTV, CNBC, etc which are all included with the base-analog sub, and MSNBC and BBC World. But, I already have BBC World as one my 10 channels! Why is Fox News getting a special "forbidden unless you cough up extra" status over the other news channels?
First, this bothers me because they're being dishonest. Second, because they're suggesting that I'm insane for thinking that I have actually been subscribed to FNC for the last year. Third, because they're pushing this News Package as some sweet deal when it's all already included on the mandatory analog base, like I'm supposed to be happy.
I hate Rogers and am thinking of cutting them out of the $138 I give them every month. I already left evil Rogers AT&T for Fido, then had Fido bought by Rogers (Ugh! They didn't fail, first month under the "new & improved billing system" and I'd been robbed - another post), but now I'm thinking of ditching @Home (which I'm happy with) for Bell and ditching their TV for DirecTV (still have the dish mounted).
Anyway, I thought you'd all be interested to know of the special status Fox News has been given, placed in a special category over BBC World, etc. If this has also happened to you, I'd be very interested to hear about it.
The Islamic bomb
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
The "Islamic bomb" is not nuclear, but totalitarian.
Even before the Islamic suicide terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (the Pentagon!) on September 11, 2001, the U.S. Government was concerned at the prospect of a nuclear capability in the hands of the secularist, crypto-Marxist Ba'athist regime of Saddam's Iraq or the radical Shia regime of Iran.
Iraq's regime was Arab, dominated by Ba'athist Sunnis and a few Ba'athist Chaldean Christians, and appealed to Muslim sensibilities and anti-Americanism when it was politically convenient or advantageous. Iran's regime is Persian, and features Islamicization and anti-Americanism as core values. The Arab Shia Muslims of Iraq, however, have found the late, Persian version to be aberrant -- not true to the teaching of the Twelfth Imam.
Since Saddam's regime was overthrown, the minority Sunnis are no longer in charge of Iraq, and in a rep-by-pop regime, Iraq would be dominated by the majority population, the Twelfth-Imam Shia Muslims. The leading Arab Shia Imams of Iraq have consistently adopted a position both desirous of political peace and a speedy exit of the Western soldiers from Iraq. They have frequently countered the less measured pronouncements of the Persian Shia Mullahs. Meanwhile, the Wahabist Sunnis and, presumably, the secular Sunni Ba'athists appear to be doing everything they can to sabotage the institution of a stable regime in Iraq. They appear to be supported and supplied both by elements in the remaining Ba'athist regime in Syria and by the Persian Shias of Iran.
What the Persian Shias, the Wahabist Sunnis, the Ba'athist insurgents of Iraq, and the Ba'athist regime of Syria have in common is that they have all given in to what Jean-Francois Revel called "the totalitarian temptation." All want to defeat dissent and a plurality of institutions' exercising authority and power in society. All want to centralize control of public culture and discourse in the hands of the state. All want to defeat cultures which tolerate and defend dissenting discourse and which encourage a culture of plural institutions.
Increasingly, there is a "modernist, secular liberal bomb," too, as adherents to a version of this world view endeavour to enforce it and defeat dissenting Christian discourse in the public square and the authority and power of Christian institutions. This is a soft, and sometimes not so soft, totalitarianism. It's pursued in attempting to silence Christian views in public discourse and in preventing Christian institutions -- schools, churches, and fraternal organizations -- from, say, holding events and renting facilities so as to be consistent with Christian teaching and conviction.
The push to universalize a certain, modernist, secular liberal world view is a distortion of the careful "modus vivendi" that was achieved by the West, building on some 1500 years of Christian political thought about "dual authority," "evangelical freedom," and others (see this thread). The constitutional consensus achieved in 17th and 18th-c. England and her colonies was remarkable, albeit not perfect. Its great achievements were to allow dissent, to not insist that all think alike, and to channel agonistic struggle away from violence and into discursive debate and peaceful protest.
But when certain modernist, secular liberals censor discursive debate by Christians and when they disqualify Christians from political institutions, they are upsetting the "modus vivendi." They are giving in to the totalitarian temptation.
That isn't a nuclear bomb, but it's no less a bomb than the Islamic bomb, and not different in kind from Islamic totalitarianism.
Ars gratia artis
Rumour has it that the Globe and Mail is sending their cartoonist to be re-educated here.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
A lot of folks are, to put it at its mildest, indifferent to Jews. In 2003, a survey by the European Commission found that 59 percent of Europeans regard Israel as the "greatest menace to world peace." Only 59 percent? What the hell's wrong with the rest of 'em? Well, don't worry: In Germany, it was 65 percent; Austria, 69 percent; the Netherlands, 74 percent.
Nope! The survey in question didn't ask anyone which country is the greatest menace to world peace. It didn't even use the word "menace", despite Mark Steyn's quotation marks. Rather, it asked the following (in amusingly stilted English): "For each of the following countries, tell me if in your opinion, it presents or not a threat to the world?"
Still, 74 percent of Dutch people should not think that Israel is a threat to the world, and that's what gets me — the numbers are disturbing enough as they are. When people like Steyn and David Frum misrepresent statistics, they are essentially sabotaging their own writing. It's weird.
(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)
Bush Lied People Died
A]s late as 2000, Saddam can be heard in his office talking with Iraqi scientists about his ongoing plans to build a nuclear device. At one point, he discusses Iraq’s plasma uranium program — something that was missed entirely by U.N. weapons inspectors combing Iraq for WMD. This is particularly troubling, since it indicates an active, ongoing attempt by Saddam to build an Iraqi nuclear bomb.
All you can ask is “what if”. It’s no secret that I was against the Iraq war, mostly because of Colin Powells embarrasing transparent Powerpoint presentation to the UN Security Council. Maybe there was more to it and maybe I was wrong. If this plays out at least I’m not alone. H/t Bits Blog
Death in Mexico
My cousin and her husband were staying one hotel over and didn’t hear anything about the two Canadians killed in Mexico until they got back home. A bit of a holy shit took place. Explanation:
Interviewed on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said: “This is a key tourist area. They don’t want to have any sense that there’s danger in their own country.
No kidding, h/t Jack’s Newswatch
You Couldn't Make This Stuff up
According to the BBC:
Extremists have been blamed after a cartoon featuring the prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban was put up in a housing office in Oldham.
Yes, because only an extremist would put up something as threatening as a cartoon. If the BBC is anything like the CBC -- and I believe it is -- aren't "extremists" also what they call people who strap dynamite to themselves and walk into pizza parlours in Tel Aviv, and malls in Netanya?
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
Is There Something in the Water in Australia?
Something good, I mean. And if so, can we bottle it and import it? As though Australia's Prime Minister weren't amazing enough, what with his having a spine and all, listen to what that country's Treasurer says:
Anyone who believes Islamic sharia law can co-exist with Australian law should move to a country where they feel more comfortable, Treasurer Peter Costello says.
All Australian citizens must adhere to the framework in society which maintains tolerance and protects the rights and liberties of all, he said.
Huh? An elected official talking sense? Can you imagine any Canadian politician suggesting such heresies? Our new crew in Ottawa are as pitiful and gutless as those they replaced. And if ever any of them do get some cojones, you know they will be accused of racism and hauled before the human rights commission, pronto.
Read the story, and weep with envy.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
My latest, at the Star, about missile defence.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
I can't remember reading a more troubling column than this one.
I think that, uncorrected, Canada is ten years behind Holland and France, which are fifteen years behind Nigeria.
On the cartoons and terrorist hypocrisy (the short version)
Since the controversy over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons may never go away, I thought I'd bring up (again) a point that has been largely lost in the discussion.
At present, we are being led to believe that the "Muslim world" (keep in mind, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not allowed to speak at all unless it serves the purposes of the ten-cent general, overly powerful political hack, or fatwa-addicted cleric that has the nation in which he or she lives locked in a despotism) is speaking out against the cartoons because of the offense to Islam. This is giving certain apologists the opportunity to mention Iraq, Palestine, and other supposed crimes of the planet's non-Muslims against the faith.
Yet the Chinese Communist Party - a regime that specifically places itself in Muhammed's place as Allah's last prophet, has occupied a Muslim nation for over 56 years (East Turkestan), and has killed over 210,000 Muslims within that occupied nation through open-air nuclear tests (yes, you read that right) - gets a pass. Osama Bin Laden and his fellow terrorists have demanded the Israelis evacuate Palestine, the Americans leave Iraq, and the Spanish abandon Spain, but they have said absolutely nothing about Communsit China's atrocities - which also include shooting political prisoners, razing mosques to the ground, and banning all East Turkestani children from attending any mosques still standing.
So why would a bunch of violent killers claiming they murder in Islam's name try to remind everyone of the medieval Crusades while staying silent on an occupation during which more Muslims have died than during all eight Crusades combined?
If your answer had something to do with the Communists' aid to terrorists, you're right.
The CCP doesn't want the democratic world to know this, but it is the largest supporter of terrorism on the planet. Among the Communists' beneficiaries are the Iranian mullahcracy, the Syrian Ba'athists, Saddam Hussein, and al Qaeda itself). No wonder the terrorists keep their mouths shut on East Turkestan, and scream only about actions taken by or in European and North American nations.
So what does this tell us about the supposedly devout Muslim terrorists? It tells me their "faith" is nothing but a cover for their hunger for power and complete lack of respect for human life. There as Muslim as Hitler was Buddhist (that was the faith that saw its swa-stika twisted by the Nazis).
I've said it before, and I'm saying it again: for Osama bin Laden, Ayatollah Khameini, al-Zawahiri, al-Zarqawi, and all the rest, there is no God but the Chinese Communist Party.
Cross-posted to the China e-Lobby
Saturday, February 25, 2006
New Straits Times caves
Upon the Western Standard's publishing the Danish cartoons Ezra Levant made a telling point as to how innocuous were the cartoons published by the godless Danes. Who knew the Danes had a sense of humour? I guess I shouldn't be surprised . . . the Danes are just being true to their Lutheran heritage of humour inaugurated by Luther himself, as I pointed out, here.
But getting back to the Western Standard publisher's point about "innocuousity" . . . and his follow-up point, here: how vehement are the pronouncements of some Muslims and how restrained is the reaction from Western modernist, secular liberals, in stark contrast to their reaction over such as the innocuous cartoons.
I wonder . . . How innocuous could a cartoon be and still provoke
outrage from Muslims and modernist, secular liberals? How over-the-top,
inciting-to-hate-and-violence could a pronouncement from an Islamist be
and still bring forth only a blase response from those same modernist,
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck)
Multiculturalism in Eurabia
This is a fascinating interview with Dalil Boubakeur, France's most influential Muslim leader:
"There is no formula for co-existence between Islam and Europe," says Mr Boubakeur. "All idyllic, unrealistic visions of laissez-faire permissiveness are no good. All overly authoritarian visions are no good either. Islam in the west is a real political problem."
The UK, in particular, has made a "serious error" in "encouraging and accepting" multiculturalism. "The London bombings last year were a brutal wake-up call," he claims.
"We must separate religion from politics at the level of the state. But with a true secularity, not a hypocritical secularity."
Until religion is truly "a private affair" and Muslims are not subjected to discrimination in much of society, divisions will remain. "To break down the suspicion between the two societies, we need true incentives in business, employment and education, to give true equal opportunities."
Again, h/t Tim Blair
The mainstream media is generally anti-war. But when the prospect is a civil war in Iraq -- a civil war that would undermine the U.S. and its government's theory of spreading democracy and pursuing the war on terror -- the Left is practically handing out Improvised Explosive Devices.
You know when Rolling Stone magazine can't stomach the leftist glee, it's pretty bad:
Is it just me, or are some in the progressive blogosphere hyping the possibility of a full-scale civil war in Iraq just a little too eagerly?
h/t Tim Blair
This CP story about Rona Ambrose's Kyoto enthusiasm is troubling. And with Canada's Natural Resources minister being a trial lawyer from Vancouver Island, with no connection or experience in the industry, there seems to be no natural cabinet counterweight to Ambrose's burst of regulatory enthusiasm.
This is an important file to watch, and a key test will be whether or not the Tories repeal the scientifically absurd Liberal regulation that deemed carbon dioxide a "toxic chemical", as a prelude to their $200/ton carbon dioxide tax proposal.
It could be that this CP wire story is confusing the reporter's own ideas with Ambrose's; a careful look at her words does indeed show that she has big "plans"; but whether those plans are voluntary for industry, or whether they are Kyoto-style government regulations and taxes remains to be seen. The idea of "markets" to trade hot air credits is, of course, absurd -- it's an attempt to dress up government regulation in free market drag. There is no natural "market" for the right to exhale carbon dioxide, a harmless gas. It is not something that companies would naturally pay for. It's a forced carbon tax trying to get by under a different name.
I'm worried that Ambrose has more enthusiasm than judgment and experience in the Kyoto file, and will be be easily "managed" by ideological bureaucrats in her department, Peter MacKay-style.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Pot, meet kettle
This is a legitimate news story. And the point of view proposed by Mohamed Elmasry, while illiberal, censorious and dangerous, is something that should be debated.
But could someone please help me understand how Elmasry, who has stated publicly that any adult Jew in Israel is a fair target for a terrorist, can find the chutzpah to call for anti-hate laws?
No; scratch that. It is not hard to understand how such an illiberal person could make such a comment. To Elmasry, the laws of our liberal democracy are merely tools that a foolish and soft West grants him to use to undermine our liberal democracy.
No, my question is more properly: Why do David Rider who wrote this story, and most other Canadian journalists, give Elmasry a pass on his past anti-Jewish comments?
Had they been made by anyone other than a Muslim activist, they would have immediately and permanently marked that someone as outside the norms of our civil society -- someone to be shunned. (How many years, for example, did Jacques Parizeau endure being called "disgraced" or "controversial" for his milder comment about "the ethnic vote"?)
What we have here, paradoxically, is a prejudice against Islam. The media are holding Islam's self-proclaimed spokesmen to lower standards of moral conduct, excusing them for horrendous statements and whitewashing their true nature. That is a soft form of bigotry itself, as it implies that Muslims can do no better, that they are by nature less civilized. It is a cousin of the bigotry that says that Arabs and Muslims can't handle/don't want/aren't ready for democracy.
The fact that it strengthens these Muslim radicals, and suffocates true Muslim moderates, is an unhappy side-effect.
Armenian Protest in Ottawa
This morning dozens of Armenians, accompanied by many police, were on Albert St. in Ottawa with a big float with a figure on top, protesting the destruction of their historic cultural sites by the Azerbaijanis. They were protesting outside of the building housing Ottawa's UNESCO office, and then began to move their protest off to the Azerbaijani embassy.
News of the Day from Communist China
For those interested, the latest installment is up.
Quote of the day
After criticising both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.
Vatican prelates have been concerned by recent killings of two Catholic priests in Turkey and Nigeria. Turkish media linked the death there to the cartoons row. At least 146 Christians and Muslims have died in five days of religious riots in Nigeria.
"If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us," Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
U.S. Cartoonists Strike Back
A number of editorial cartoons drawn by U.S. cartoonists addressing the cartoon flap.
Peter Chamberlain, meet Neville MacKay
Neville Chamberlain, in the 1930's, criticizing anti-Nazi cartoons:
Such criticism might do a great deal to embitter relations when we on our side are trying to improve them. German Nazis have been particularly annoyed by criticisms in the British press, and especially by cartoons. The bitter cartoons of Low of the Evening Standard have been a frequent source of complaint.
Peter MacKay, in 2006, criticizing cartoons depicting Mohammed:
"I think it's dangerous to Canadian citizens . . . who are travelling abroad, where we have seen the reaction that is more extreme and certainly more violent," he said.
"It's also been noted that it may cause a danger to Canadian troops because of the elevated tensions that result from the publication."
"Knowing that there has been loss of life, attacks on embassies, very aggressive actions towards other countries . . . it's not as if anyone can say, 'Well, we couldn't gauge the reaction. We didn't know how the Muslim community would respond,' " he said.
"Respecting people's freedom of expression (is important) - but the danger here towards loss of life and violence clearly outweighs republication, in my view."
The Mad Doctor
In the midst of a decades-long struggle for independence, Palestinians have heroically embraced democracy in order to structure their political organizations, government, and even battle plans. The results of their democratic process have made the Western world including the Canadian government very uncomfortable. But why?
Oh I don’t know, maybe the daily missile launches and the influx of suicide bombers?
Imagine the outcry if Mexico was firing rockets into the United States daily. How realistic would it be for the American government to sit back and just watch has rockets reined down on Texas. Five Kassam rockets are shot into the Western Negev in Israel yesterday and 14 would be suicide bombers have been apprehended in the last three weeks by the Shin Bet (Israeli security forces)
Maybe it makes the “west” uncomfortable knowing that if they pledged support to a Hamas government and provided funding without retractions from Hamas to end the violence, we’d be funding terror. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred take an indepth look at Dr. Mohamed Elmasry.
Just because Hamas was democratically elected does not necessarily mean that they will have good government.
A new Supreme
The PM's press release, here.
Google News list of stories, here.
Osgoode Hall's clippings, here.
Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs dossier on Mr. Justice Rothstein, here.
Entitled to my entitlements
According to Greg Weston at the Ottawa Sun, the Liberals handed out 212 patronage appointments two weeks before the election was called in November. Some of them look to be pretty big time and incredibly notable is the mention of David Dingwall of entitled to my entitlements fame:
One that particularly caught our eye was cabinet approval of the next five-year corporate plan of the Royal Canadian Mint. That particular business blueprint for handling hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars over the next half-decade would have been drafted under the presidency of one David Dingwall, Liberal appointee and troughster extraordinaire, shortly before he left town with over $400,000 in severance. #
This one just raises a hell of a lot more questions doesn’t it? H/t Fighting for Taxpayers.
God Save the Queen, and Her Son
Nearly seven years ago, the Prince of Wales caused a stir by refusing to show at a state dinner where the guest of honor was then-Communist leader Jiang Zemin. During the ensuing row (as I believe the term is used in Britain), a good many people were surprised and pleased to see Prince Charles' political sympathies; most believed it was driven largely by his oft-professed admiration for the Dalai Lama.
In fact, the diary ("The Handover of Hong Kong or The Great Chinese Takeaway") reveals a far deeper and more well-rounded antipathy for the murderous regime that is the Chinese Communist Party. From his immediate concern over the fate of Martin Lee to his more perceptive notice of "the sneaking worry about creeping corruption and the gradual undermining of Hong Kong's greatest asset - the rule of law" (cited by the BBC), Prince Charles showed his instincts on the Communists were far better than more than most in high office - elected or otherwise - then or now.
I honestly don't know how the Prince of Wales is perceived on his home island or in Canada, but I am fairly certain he is better received there than here in the U.S., where memories of his late wife still run deep. Not to say those memories don't run deep in Britain and Canada as well, but the Prince has the added disadvantage of American suspicion of royalty that's been largely hardwired into the collective consciousness for the last two centuries.
Still, those of us who have tracked the brutality of the Communist regime should take a moment to offer thanks to His Royal Highness. However, the case turns out, the anti-Communist community needs all the friends it can get these days, particularly those as intelligent as Prince Charles has shown himself to be.
As I understand British royal custom, Prince Charles will not be able to speak as freely on this and other subjects when he becomes King Charles. As such, the longer he is free to comment on the "appalling old waxworks" (sixth item) in Zhongnanhai, the better it will be for all of us.
The West's Last Chance
I shouldn't have read it before going to sleep last night. It made me so angry - I nearly threw the book across the room! And that was only the first chapter.
Tony Blankley's The West's Last Chance infuriated me. His first chapter was a hypothetical - a worst case scenario - of life in Europe and America in 2007. Blankley was prescient when he wrote the book in 2005, because in his hypothetical, the instituting of Sharia law in Europe was a direct result of protest against 'religiously offensive art.' Wow. Seeing as the book went to print in July - before the cartoons first appeared in the Jyllends Posten - it's quite impressive that he included such a similiar idea as part of his opening chapter.
If I were a conspiracy theorist... but I'm not.
The results of these deliberations were presented as a reasonable series of compromises. Permanent, multi-denominational commissions were established to review current and proposed artwork in public venues, with a view toward removal of those considered offensive to the public taste, or to a substantial minority of the public. Many of the statues that had been removed from public streets for protective reasons never reappeared. In their place, municipalities put abstract statuary, including new works freshly commissioned from Muslim artists.
Most museums were reorganized so that Muslims could enter and view works of interest, such as landscapes and Islamc exhibits, wihtout being exposed to idolatrous or sacrilegious art. In the process, many seconday paintings, primarily of interest to scholars and connoisseurs, were simply never rehung or displayed. They quietly disappeared into storage, where only serious researchers were permitted to see them.
Some extremists remained unsatisfied with these measures. They pressed for further restrictions, with seperate days for men and women to attend museums and cultural events.
This is just a small part of it. I am eagerly awaiting my lunch break to devour not only a sandwich, but at least a couple more chapters of this intriguing book.
News of the Day on Communist China
A feature of my blog is a daily summary (with running commentary) of the news in, on, and about Communist China. Stories or features involving the Great White North become the Canada file, as seen here:
Canada file: Jason Loftus, Epoch Times, notes and comments on the battle over nine Communist television propaganda channels in Canada (rejecting them would be an excellent way for the new government to ease some anxieties).
The entire News of the Day post can be seen here.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
"A religion without a sense of humour is like . . . "
(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).
Pseudonymous Asia Times columnist Spengler points, here, to a key difference between the practitioners of Islam, and the adherents to Judaism and some followers of Christ.
Observant Jews and Protestant Christians both have traditions of humour. Spengler cites the following story from the Talmud, the ancient tradition of rabbinical commentary on the Torah:
Typical is the joke whose original is found in the Talmud, of the four rabbis debating an obscure point of law. Rabbi Feinstein is outvoted 3-1, and prays for a sign from above. A heavenly voice announces, "Feinstein is right!" The other rabbis shrug, "So now it's 3-2."
Spengler also credits Luther for founding a Protestant tradition of humour. I found the following in what is popularly known as Martin Luther's "Table Talk":
When one asked, where God was before heaven was created? St. Augustine answered: He was in himself. When another asked me the same question, I said: He was building hell for such idle, presumptuous, fluttering and inquisitive spirits as you.
In contrast, Spengler writes this about Islam:
Islamic humor is another thing altogether. Muslims do not joke about Mohammed, as casual newspaper readers now know, the way that Jews joke about Moses. Muslims joke about themselves, sometimes mercilessly.  The best Muslim jokes, which ridicule religious megalomania, date back to the 9th century and are recounted today only with caution (on this see Why Americans can't laugh at American culture , December 16, 2003). But Muslims do not tell jokes to Allah. Unlike the Judeo-Christian God, Allah is not a lover, but a sovereign. One does not risk lese-majeste before such a monarch by making bad jokes at him.
One of my favourite Moses and Jesus jokes is about an evangelical Christian and an observant Jew who see a billboard that reads, "Jesus saves." When the evangelical points out the sign, his companion merely observes, "Ah, yes. 'Jesus saves.' But Moses invests." Then there was the plaster-of-Paris bust of Jesus a seminarian painted in a certain way and gave as a parting shot to his professor of pastoral care and counselling which he entitled, "Effeminate Jesus." Whole books have been devoted to the humour of Jesus in his sayings recorded in the Gospels. And in respect of Catholics and humour, Spengler may have missed the letters of Abelard and Eloise, for one.
Now, as I've already blogged, here, I'm not a fan of the modernist, secular liberal distortion of free speech (discourse) into "free expression" where "anything goes," and which is used to justify a certain school of art, the same that produced "Piss Christ." But humour in the Jewish and Christian traditions has long been a means of dissent -- a means of gently chiding those who have gotten a little big for their britches, or issuing a challenge to the status quo.
So, I gotta ask: Where are the Muslim stand-up comics?
As my contribution to the canons of humour, I invite commenters to complete the following: "A religion without a sense of humour is like . . ."
Hockey Canada selection meeting, Fall, 2005:
"We're almost done picking the Olympic team, Kevin, so let's get this job done", said Wayne Gretzky, the smartest man in hockey.
"Sure thing, Gretz," said Kevin Lowe, shuffling through a mound of player scouting reports and statistics.
"First thing, we need leadership, leaderhship, leadership."
"Gotcha, Gretz," said Lowe. "We've got no less than a dozen captains or associates on the roster so far, plenty of leadership to go around."
"That's not enough," said Gretzky. "We also need experience. Is Foote on the team?"
"Yes, but he was looking slow back during the 2004 World Cup, let alone this past year."
"I don't care. He's a proven winner. Not only was he the third best defenseman on the 2001 Stanley Cup winning team, he was also key to Colorado's championship team in 1996. Fantastic. Who's next?"
Lowe shuffles his papers. "Uh, you have Kris Draper on your list. He's not having an exceptional year, you know."
"What? You're crazy! Draper won three Stanley Cups plus a gold medal four years ago. Experience, Kev! Experience!"
"Sure thing, Gretz," said Lowe. "What about Bertuzzi? He's been sluggish this year and, to be honest, he's more of a small rink-type of power forward. Plus, he's prone to bonehead penalties during key moments of the game."
"Ah, Bert's harmless. That criminal charge and $19 million lawsuit haven't affected him whatsoever. He's tough, talented, experienced ... well, he has no international experience, but still. He's in."
"What about Staal?" asked Lowe. "He's, like, third in NHL scoring right now."
"Big deal," said Gretzky. "He's what? Twenty-one? I led the league in scoring when I was 18 years old. The guy needs more seasoning."
"Same thing. Wasn't he in the Q last year? When I was his age, I already had a Hart Trophy." Gretzky continued, "I would have had an Art Ross too if it weren't for that porky Frenchman down in LA."
"Yeah, that jerk."
"Right. And I see you have Bouwmeester on the taxi squad," said Lowe.
"What about him?"
"He hasn't scored a goal yet this year."
"So he's due."
"What about 'leadership'?"
"Look, I'm picking my guys. I didn't stop playing hockey in order to sit around and not have my way nor anyone to care what I said about this or that. I don't care that my coach hasn't won any championships aside from the 2006 gold medal. I don't care if the defense is slow and unsuited to the big ice. I already dropped MacInnis and Yzerman. What more do you want?"
"I just think that we can't rely on what was successful four years back," said Lowe. "Things have changed since then and I think maybe we ought to look outside the box a bit."
"Hey, I got endorsements. I got to make a living. I don't have time to, quote, scout players, or, quote, look at statistics. I got to pick this team and it's got to be done now. Are you with me?"
"Yes, yes I'm with you," conceded Lowe. "I just wish you would take a look at who is hot this year and at who is not. We had a squeaker in Salt Lake. We can't afford to pick players only on hunches."
"Relax, Kev," said Gretz. "I'm the Great One. What could go wrong?"
It's your fault!
The Liberals are not taking responsibility for anything:
Former finance minister Ralph Goodale, who is now the Liberal House Leader, repeated his party's position that the Tories should not count on them to prop up the government.
Mr. Goodale said it will be up to the Bloc and the NDP to play that role because those parties joined with the Tories to defeat the Liberal government.
It includes fighting to maintain the Liberal deals with the provinces on child care and the Liberal cuts to personal income taxes, even though the Tories promised to scrap those items to pay for a $1,200-a-child tax credit to parents with children under 6 and an immediate one-percentage-point cut to the GST.
[Mr. Goodale] said the NDP should have kept the Liberals in office if they wanted a national daycare program.
"The NDP can't have it both ways. They have to assume their responsibility. They've made their bed and now they have to lie in it," he said.
You could take issue with the NDP tactics and strategy leading up to the last election, but for the Liberals to claim that it was the NDP's fault that we don't have the Liberal's nationalized daycare seems to ignore that there was indeed an election!
If Canadians wanted the Liberal program, the Liberals would be in power today.
Instead, Conservative policies, a new one announced every day for the first two weeks while the Liberals dithered, impressed Canadians with their common sense approach. Lower GST. More money for parents to spend as they see fit. A stronger military.
The Liberals were unable to fight against that, not while under multiple investigations.
Perhaps Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale needs to be reminded about the nuclear-powered bombshell that most observers claim delivered the killing blast -- the announcement that the RCMP was opening a full criminal investigation into the possibility that a leak had occurred in the finance minister's office on the day of the income trust taxation announcement.
The finance minister's name? Ralph Goodale.
But then I guess that would explain trying to blame everyone else.
The National Post steps up
Last week, the Calgary-based Western Standard newsmagazine published eight of the 12 Danish cartoons that allegedly blaspheme the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Some Muslim groups responded by demanding the magazine be charged with hate crimes, and by applying to have its senior staff hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission. In the interest of protecting freedom of expression, both Alberta's Department of Justice and the province's rights investigators must reject these demands summarily.
We have disagreed with the Standard over the need to reprint the cartoons that first appeared last September in Copenhagen's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. But the magazine's decision was certainly defensible: Its publisher and editor argued the best way for their readers to place the images in context was actually to see them.
If the legal actions against the Standard are successful, it will send a dangerous message: that any group in society can use mechanisms of government to censor views it disagrees with. The result would be a media environment that is timid and bland. Even those who disagree with the Standard's editorial stance should support it in its campaign to uphold the principle of free speech.
The editorial board at the National Post gets it. This is about sovereignty, and about the duty of the media to defend it. We have our rights and freedoms, and they have theirs. We live by a set of standards, and the media acts as the watchdog, calling out when we fail to live by those standards, or when those standards are threatened. It can be a dangerous role to play, but that is why the media garners so much respect (or used to).
Our standards are for ourselves. People in other nations don't have to like them, but then they have their own countries in which they implement their own standards.
And maybe that's the real difference between us and the rabid crowds screaming their fury over the cartoons:
We don't demand that those living in other countries live by our standards. On the other hand, they are demanding we die by theirs.
The media needs to make that clear. Part of that is not cowering in the face of the mob about the cartoons. And for those media outlets like the National Post that have decided not to print the cartoons, they have to be unequivocal in defending those who do.
You can't pick and choose which rights you want to defend and when to defend them. The media needs to remember that. Otherwise the mob will attack when while we dither and wring our hands.
Feed a fever...
From the Wikipedia entry for fever:
An adaptive mechanism, fever is the body's reaction to pathogens; it attempts to raise core body temperature to levels that will speed up the actions of the immune system, and may also directly denature, debilitate, or kill the pathogen. Most fevers are caused by infections, and almost all infectious diseases can cause fever. When a patient has or is suspected of having a fever, that person's body temperature is measured using a thermometer. If successful in ridding the body of an invasive pathogen, fever is an important protective immune mechanism and should generally not be suppressed.
Sometimes, for various reasons, mild fevers are intentionally induced. Naturopath Paavo Airola claimed that, because cancer cells are known to die at lower temperatures than normal body cells, they can sometimes be fought with fevers.
That last point is contentious -- the evidence certainly does not support inducing fever as an effective means of treating cancer in the human body.
But there are many kinds of cancer:
Thousands chanted slogans and burned Danish flags in Pakistan and Iraq to protest Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Tuesday.
Witness accounts, meanwhile, confirmed a report by Italy's envoy, who said the violence that killed 11 people in Benghazi, Libya, last week was the work of both Islamic radicals and anti-government forces.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Muslim anger over the cartoons was being exploited by radical Islamists and other interests.
"I think it is evident for everyone that this crisis is no longer about the 12 drawings in Jyllands-Posten," Fogh Rasmussen said. "It's about everything else and different agendas in the Muslim world. It's obvious that extremist circles exploit the situation."
One thing is clear -- the cartoon riots are certainly flushing the radicals out into the open. You just know intelligence agencies and domestic security forces everywhere are taking special care to identify the mob leaders and the provocateurs. To file the information away for a rainy day.
The REAL reason the Emerson appointment was troubling
It may surprise some (if not all) that I'm bringing up the matter of Trade Minister Emerson now, but I think a very important angle of the appointment has been missed.
Down here on the south side of the 49th parallel, we see party-switchers (as we call them) more frequently than Canadians do; so, with all due respect to Vancouver, the issue of for whom or what a constituent votes is not what bothers me. The greater problem - and dare I say, danger - is what it portends for the current government policy, particularly toward Communist China.
David Emerson was no ordinary Liberal. He was a minister in a Cabinet that repeatedly drove the anti-Communist, pro-China-democracy community to apoplexy. In particular was the concern of the ChiComs worming their way into Canada's bountiful natural resources - including Albertan oil (fourth item, Edmonton Sun) and Saskatchewan's oil and uranium (Globe and Mail) - and Canadian held resources abroad (BBC). Emerson, as Industry Minister, appeared unfazed by this (Wall Street Journal via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
In fact, the performance of the late Martin government was the main reason so many from outside Canada paid attention to last month's election in the first place. We were hoping that the Conservatives in government would be as strongly anti-Communist as they had been in opposition (Epoch Times).
Now, to be fair, Stephen Harper has been Prime Minister less than three weeks. We have seen no budget, and thus we can still hope the amount of foreign aid going to Communist China from
Ottowa (UPDATE: whoops! Ottawa) is reduced to a reasonable number (i.e., zero). Furthermore, the appointment of Stockwell Day as Public Safety Minister could be terrible news for the Communist espionage network in North America (Hansard), and terrific news for its victims. However, when placed in the context of the Cabinet as a whole, we are presently, and sadly, closer to our worst fears than our best hopes.
Now is not the time to ask whether or not David Emerson "abandoned" his Vancouver constituents who voted Liberal. We should instead ask how much Harper et al sacrificed the interests of Canadians who - on this issue at least - voted Conservative.
Cross-posted to the China e-Lobby
As critics continue fretting about "politicization" with respect to the planned review, by an ad hoc parliamentary committee, of Stephen Harper's pending choice to fill the Supreme Court of Canada vacancy, Real Women of Canada has issued an insightful news release reminding Canadians of the overt politicization of court appointments under the previous Liberal government.
This timely news release does not appear on the the group's Web site yet, so I'll reproduce it here in its entirety:
P R E S S R E L E A S E
For immediate release February 22, 2006
Public Hearings of Judicial Appointments
When Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin warned against public hearings of Supreme Court of Canada candidates because she feared they would “politicize” the judiciary, she perhaps was not aware of the reality of the current system. For example, in the two-year period that former Prime Minister Paul Martin and his Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, were in power, the following individuals were given judicial appointments:
- Michael Brown, Mr. Cotler’s executive assistant and policy advisor;
- Yves de Montigny, Mr. Cotler’s Chief of Staff;
- Randall Echlin, the Legal Counsel to the Ontario Liberal Party;
- Rosalie Abella, (appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada), wife of Mr. Cotler’s close friend, Irving Abella;
- Marsha Erb, Alberta Liberal fundraiser, a close personal friend of Cotler’s former Cabinet colleague, Anne McLellan;
- John J. Gill, Co-chair of the 2004 Alberta federal Liberal campaign;
- Vital Ouellette, an unsuccessful Alberta provincial Liberal candidate in 1997 and 2000 elections;
- Bryan Mahoney, federal Liberal candidate who lost twice to federal Conservative MP Myron Thompson; and
- Edmond Blanchard, former Liberal New Brunswick Minister of Finance.
When recently retired Chief Justice of Nova Scotia’s Court of Appeal, The Hon. Madam Justice Constance Glube appeared as a witness on November 15, 2005 before the House of Commons Justice Committee which was reviewing the judicial appointments system, she acknowledged in her testimony that the judicial appointment system must be changed because the appointments were based not on merit, but rather on political considerations. This marked the first time that a chief justice in Canada has publicly challenged the appointment system of judges.
On December 1, 2005, Chief Justice McLachlin stated in a speech given to the law students at the University of Wellington, New Zealand that judges may render their opinions based on ‘unwritten’ Constitutional norms, even in the face of clearly enacted laws or hostile public opinion. She defined unwritten norms as those ‘essential to a nation’s history, identity, values and legal systems.’ Such norms, according to Judge McLachlin, could be properly understood and interpreted by appointed judges.
Under these circumstances, the introduction of public hearings of proposed Supreme Court of Canada judges is not only a reasonable procedure, but a necessary one in view of the authority and power now assumed by the Supreme Court of Canada over the lives of ordinary Canadians.
Still Babies After All These Years
It's good to know the election of the Conservatives hasn't changed Canadians one bit. We're still childish, whiny and self-absorbed. From Canwest today:
Canada is not getting enough recognition or appreciation for the work it is doing in Afghanistan, something Peter MacKay says he hopes to remedy.
As the new Foreign Affairs Minister leaves on his first trip overseas, he plans to push for kudos from Britain, NATO and European Union allies, some of whom have soldiers operating under Canadian command in Afghanistan.
"Our role ... is one that we should be very, very proud of and I know that it's sometimes appreciated, but it's not often expressed in a way that Canadians here at home and in the larger global community recognize just how significant that contribution has been," he said in an interview with CanWest News Service this week.
"I hope to reiterate this during my time in England that Canada's role be recognized and that there be value expressed ... for the increased role that we are playing."
I had so hoped, when the Liberals got the boot, that things would change. I hoped we would grow up, stop embarrassing ourselves and begin to participate like adults in the War on Jihadists.
So far...no good.
Still, what can we expect from Peter MacKay? I try to stay away from talking about politician's private lives (except when a filthy joke can be made), because it really shouldn't matter. But last year, when he put his private life on display, and pulled that simpering, "Poor me, look at me in my rubber boots with my dog," act, I thought, "Oh Lord, keep that man away from the halls of power."
Soldiers don't fight so that people will say "Hurrah for you!" And if they do, they're in it for the wrong reason. Yes, we should appreciate our military -- I am second to none in that appreciation. But all glory, as a somewhat famous soldier named George Patton once said, is fleeting. What isn't fleeting is freedom. That's what they're fighting for.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
Greetings From America
Afternoon to everyone.
For those unfamiliar with me, my name is D.J. McGuire, co-founder of the China e-Lobby, and President of the China Support Network. Before I begin in earnest, I just wanted to thank the good folks at the Western Standard for inviting onto the Shotgun an American who found Canadian politics far too entertaining for his own good.
I'll have my first post of substance up shortly.
No snorting, shooting up in public
Stop the presses: The Vancouver Police Department is actually going to enforce the law.
That's right. After a decade of turning a blind eye to rampant drug use on city streets, the city's finest have finally decided to crack down on blatant drug infractions with the same vigour that they crack down on, well, otherwise law-abiding folk who happen to be carrying an unopened bottle of wine with them during the annual summertime fireworks festival.
Now, let's see if this enforcement has a "broken windows" effect, and helps lower the city's terrible property-crime rate.
File under: Cryin' Shame!
CALGARY - Local Muslims are disappointed the Crown prosecutor's office has recommended no criminal charges be laid against two publications that printed cartoons they find offensive. [..]
Gordon Wong, Calgary's chief Crown prosecutor, said the Criminal Code requires there be an intent to incite hatred against a specific group, and his office had determined there was no intent in this case.
Chalk up a small victory for the few of us left, who balk at the bitter irony of this -- the proponents of a culture, who's defining activities of late have been the murdering of infidels, filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission under hate crimes legislation, because a magazine reprinted a cartoon which suggested perhaps Muslims had a propensity for violence...and they rioted!
Cox & Forkum presents Piglet's Revenge! Toonophobia. heh. And Burger King must be laughing now...
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Freedom to Read Week
I've just spent some time poking around the Freedom to Read website -- sponsored by the federal government, by the way.
I can't find a word about the cartoons. But, boy, they sure are standing up for freedom of speech with a planned public reading at -- where? The Danish consulate? The Western Standard?
No, silly. At a lesbian bookstore that many years ago had a squabble with customs about some pornography. I mean, if you're not even pretending to care about freedom speech anymore, why not keep your government grant, but at least shut down your website?
Another day older and deeper in debt
The B.C. Liberal government has just unveiled its "Balanced Budget" for 2006-07 and, wouldn't you know it, there are both targetted goodies and targetted tax cuts. Good news for everyone!
But while we're all being dazzled by this budget glitter, let us not forget to read deep down into the government's budget release, where we will find these lines:
"The three-year plan forecasts taxpayer-supported debt at $27.9 billion in 2006/07, $29.1 billion in 2007/08, and $29.9 billion in 2008/09, an average annual increase of 2.9 per cent. In addition, self-supported commercial Crown corporation debt is forecast at $7.9 billion, $8.6 billion and $9.5 billion over the same time period."
In other words, the budget may be "balanced," but debt is still rising. Read here for yourself.
God Forbid You Should Suggest...
...that men and women are different. There will be hell to pay, especially in academia.
Larry Summers will be stepping down from his post at Harvard. Well gosh, we shouldn't be shocked. After all, remember this?
Last year, Summers suggested that innate gender differences between the sexes might explain the few women in science and math.
The horror...the horror...
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.
A step in the right direction, I'd say.
I was getting a little tired of hearing about how "pragmatic" Ismail Haniya was, and how "pragmatic" Hamas could be, et cetera. For example, a quick Google search of headlines found the following five:
Hamas picks pragmatist premier
Hamas pragmatist appointed prime minister
Hamas' Choice for PM seen as pragmatist
Pragmatic Haniya Leads New Palestinian Cabinet
Hamas names popular pragmatist as Palestinian prime minister
I mean, to my mind, pragmatic means practical, and Hamas appear to be anything but. Let's look at Hamas' "problem."
Problem of Hamas: They live next door to a country they at once despise yet refuse to recognize. By committing acts of violence against the non-recognized country, they make the lives of their fellow Palestinians increasingly desperate and pathetic. Also, many of them die.
Okay, so, were they truly "pragmatic," surely this would be their solution: Recognize that hating neighbour has not stopped it from existing and even thriving. Remember Ben Franklin saying about insanity being doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Decide, however begrudgingly, to recognize existence of despised neighbour. Find way to co-exist, as many of us do on this planet, with neighbours we hate. For example, stop killing people and blowing things up. Watch as energy spent plotting destruction of neighbour is channelled into building businesses, infrastructure, et cetera. Watch as neighbour, now not routinely threatened with destruction, becomes more kindly disposed to you and helps you more and more. Watch as economy improves. Palestinian territories become less of a hellhole.
And so on.
Instead, the following has been their solution: Continue to threaten destruction of apparently non-recognizable/non-existent country. Continue to blow self and others up. Continue on path to hell.
So how "pragmatic" could they truly be?
Well, apparently very. I looked up "pragmatic" in my dictionary, and here is what I found:
Dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical.
Relating to or being the study of cause and effect in historical or political events with emphasis on the practical lessons to be learned from them.
Archaic -- Active in an officious or meddlesome way. Dogmatic; dictatorial.
Hmm. The archaic definition fits! Every day you learn something.
Back to the current definition, however, the folks at Honest Reporting have an analysis of just how "pragmatic" Haniya and Hamas truly are.
Cross-posted at Wonkitties.