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Monday, April 30, 2007

Justice and judges

Here's my latest "Face to Face" debate column in the Tri-City News. And here's Mary Woo Sims' counterpoint. We're digging into the recent Strategic Counsel poll (which does not appear to be on the company's site yet) which found that almost two-thirds of Canadians support the election of judges.

Neither MWS nor I support the direct election of judges, but I do suggest that major reforms are needed to the advisory committees which cobble together the short lists from which the minister of justice (aka the PMO) appoints all federal-court judges and senior judges in the provinces--reforms that go beyond what most experts are suggesting.

Watch for my major piece in an upcoming Western Standard on the big issue of the public's growing discontent with the judiciary.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 30, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Granting the Communists the Olympics has made them more repressive

Check out the details here, plus the latest silliness from Taiwan's political opposition, Canada's decision to block grain shipments from Communist China, etc.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 30, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Muslim opposes "Christophobia" and the religion of secular nationalism

Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish journalist and advocate of rapprochement between Islam and the West, responds, here, to torture and murder of Christians in Turkey.

Akyol distinguishes between the teachings of the Qur'an and Sharia.  He insists that the Qur'an teaches the toleration of Christians and Jews:

Although the Qur'an decrees no punishment for a person who leaves Islam and chooses another religion, traditional Sharia, which is a post-Qur'anic body of law created in the early centuries of Islam, brings a horrible sentence: capital punishment. According to this view, anybody who abandons Islam can be rightfully killed — a punishment which the Afghan convert to Christianity, Abdur Rahman, barely escaped last year thanks to the intervention by the international community.

  The reason that Islamic jurists decided to punish apostasy by death in the Middle Ages was that they saw religion and polity as inseparable. Thus, a defection from Islam was regarded as treason to the Islamic state. These concepts have no meaning in today's world, of course, and they are actually against one of the basic principles of the Qur'an: “there is no compulsion in religion.” (2:256)

That the Sharia was an innovation on the teaching of the Qur'an.  Akyol also points to an edict of 1856 in contemporary Turkey's predecessor regime, the Ottoman Empire:

It is also worth noting that the ban on apostasy was abolished by the Ottoman Empire by the Reform Edict of 1856. “All forms of religion are and shall be freely professed in my dominions,” proclaimed then the Sultan. “No subject of my empire shall be hindered in the exercise of the religion that he professes.” Unfortunately, some parts of the Islamic world, and even some Muslims within Turkey, are tragically backward when compared to the Ottoman mindset.

Akyol suggests that the most recent instances of radical Islam were incited by dogmatically secularist Turks.  Where once they stood in staunch opposition to Islamization of Turkey, now they turn their sights on a feared "Christianization" of Turkey as Christians distribute Christian Bibles:

“'Christian missionaries infiltrating our country! Islam is slipping out of our hands!' These words represent the epitome of a very hot debate in Turkey in recent weeks. What made them more surprising than ever was that they belonged not to a conservative Muslim, but to Rahşan Ecevit — the influential wife of Bülent Ecevit, Turkey's former prime minister and long-time guru of left-wing, secularist ideology. Nobody had heard Mrs. Ecevit worrying about the future of Islam before; instead, she used to speak about the ‘threat' of it.

"Actually, Mrs. Ecevit is not the only secular Turk who is furious at Christian missionaries, whose only ‘crime' is distributing free Bibles on Turkish streets and opening small, in-house chapels for the tiny Christian community in Turkey. In recent years, the hyper-secular circles who are defined by their attachment to ‘Kemalism' — the hard-core nationalist ideology claiming to represent the views of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk — are engaged in a concerted effort against the imagined plot to ‘Christianize' Turkey. Even Doğu Perinçek, a veteran Maoist and committed atheist, is rallying to the forefront of the anti-Christian crusade.”

Finally, Akyol locates this latest attack as symptomatic of "Islamo-nationalism" that cares more about "Turkishness" than Islam.  That its targets have included Muslim Kurds as well as Christians.

Is it "un-Turkish" to be Christian?  Un-Persian or, even, un-Arab?

And, um, is it "un-Canadian" to be an evangelical?

(Cross-posted from Burkean Canuck).

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 28, 2007 in International Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

I have seen the light

The Tory brains trust thinks that they can just pass an eventual ban on incandescent light bulbs, and all will be well. But, such things have a practical impact that MPs may not consider before they pass legislation.

Let's see what will happen at my home when the ban on these light bulbs takes effect in 2012.
There are nine light fixtures in the ceiling and walls of my home.  A few months ago, several of the bulbs went at once, and I decided to try some of the new long-lasting florescent bulbs. Imagine my dismay when I found that only two of the nine light fixtures would allow me to use these bulbs. (I could use naked bulbs without a shade, but I have been told that that may not be good for your eyesight.)

When the ban is put into effect, I will have to call my landlord to hire a handyman to replace the fixtures. I doubt that the handyman will be riding a horse to my house, so we can assume that he will burning greenhouse gases on the several trips that he needs to do this chore. I also doubt that he will be using old fashioned hand tools or working by candlelight, so we can assume that quite a bit of electricity will be required as well.

Multiply these renovations thousands of times. I wonder if anyone has put a dollar figure on that.

Surely, an environmental surcharge on the old fashioned bulbs would be a smarter idea. You could require florescent bulbs in all new construction and renovations, and make this transition much less costly.

I have

Posted by Rick Hiebert on April 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (57) | TrackBack

Jason Kenney demands action from Stephane Dion

Dion Needs to Denounce or Fire Violent, Extremist Liberal Candidate

EDMONTON – Jason Kenney, Conservative Member of Parliament today demanded that Stéphane Dion denounce or fire Farhan Mujahid Chak as the nominated Liberal candidate for Edmonton – Mill Woods – Beaumont.

Chak was also Stéphane Dion's Edmonton Campaign Manager for his 2006 Liberal Leadership Campaign.

In 1993 a Farhan Mujahid Chak, then 19 was arrested for firing a shotgun into a popular Edmonton nightclub.

"Stéphane Dion should show some leadership and come clean about the background of Farhan Mujahid Chak," said Kenney. "Has Stéphane Dion ever raised questions about the background of Farhan Mujahid Chak?"

In 1999, Mr. Chak wrote a letter to the Edmonton Journal accusing India of "grotesque human rights violations." The next year, he claimed that India is not a free country.

In 2000, Mr. Chak referred to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as a "butcher", accused Israel of "terrorism, massacres and savagery" and even "the pillage, the rape and the enslavement of an entire population."

In a 2002 article for an American Islamic publication, Mr. Chak suggested that terrorist attacks within France were not committed by Algerian Islamists, but rather by "unseen hands" including "such co-conspirators as the French government."

Last year, Mr. Chak even threw baseless charges of "exclusiveness, racial superiority, injustice and arrogance" at the new Conservative government in a local Polish publication. Mr. Chak added that Canada was "trying to destabilize Poland" through its foreign aid programs.

"Erratic behavior and extremism have no place in Canadian politics, and yet the Liberals have nominated an individual who appears to be guilty of both," said Kenney. "It's time for Stéphane Dion to come clean and tell the Canadian people whether or not gun violence and political extremism have a home in the Liberal Party of Canada."

Posted by Steve Janke on April 28, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (68) | TrackBack

Friday, April 27, 2007

Christian "terrorist cell" makes trouble; Muslims respond

Spiegel Online International offers extensive reporting of the torture and brutal murder of a German Christian missionary and two Christian, Turkish citizens by a band of young men who had expressed interest in and attended a Bible study organized by the Christians.  Links to other reports may be found, here. The most gruesome details of the torture are included following a letter addressed to "The Global Church" from "the Protestant Church at Smyrna" which I have posted without alteration.  The description below the letter requires a strong stomach -- you have been warned.  (For more of Christian "terrorist cell" makes trouble, go to Burkean Canuck).

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 27, 2007 in International Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (102) | TrackBack

The headline says it all

"China denies poisoning pets, and promises not to do it again" - a perfect post title by Steve Janke.

You can also access it via my post, which includes another call to close the border to ChiCom foodstuffs, Olympic rumblings, and a few other things.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 27, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Farhan Chak: Poster boy for Liberal gun control platform?

From 1993:

A 23-year-old employee of Barry T's, 6111 104th St., was stabbed in the thigh during a fight between several men about 3:15 a.m. Saturday.

As bouncers tried to remove the men, a shotgun was fired over their heads into a doorway.

Farhan Mujahid Chak, 19, has been charged with aggravated assault by endangering lives, use of a firearm during the commission of an offence, pointing a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Is this the same Farhan Chak who was Stephane Dion's campaign manager in Edmonton, and who used that connection to secure a nomination in Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont?  The same Farhan Chak who thinks Islamic fundamentalists are a myth concocted by Western intelligence agencies?  Who thinks that Palestinian violence is justifiable defence against Israeli aggression?  Same age, same name, same town.

If it is, would that make Farhan Chak a poster boy for Liberal gun control?

Elect us, and we'll make sure we don't let us get our hands on guns!

Expanded story at Angry in the Great White North.

Posted by Steve Janke on April 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Is Liberal candidate Farhan Chak a nut with a gun?

Western Standard alumnus Kevin Libin, now writing for the National Post, takes up the story of conspiracy theorist and Liberal Party candidate for Edmonton-Mill Wood-Beaumont, Farhan Chak.

As you might recall, Farhan Chak believes that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are racists looking to destabilize Poland, that Palestinian violence is an entirely justified defensive response, and that "Islamic fundamentalists" are a fiction created by Western governments to hide the terrorists violence that they themselves are responsible for.

Chak's response?  "As time goes on, you develop your views."

Some people wonder how someone with Chak's baggage would win a nomination.  Well, it helps to have friends:

Mr. Chak had strong backing from the Mill Woods Muslim community, [losing nominee Sital Nanuan] explains, and was popular because he was Edmonton campaign manager for Stéphane Dion's Liberal leadership bid. "You think they'll listen to me? Because he says, 'I have been working with Dion,' so the whole committee, they wanted to help him out."

Chak might be a nut, but at least he's a harmless nut.  It's not like there is any reason to believe he would do something crazy like shoot someone:

And there are questions around a 1993 shooting incident at a local club in which an Edmonton man named Farhan Mujahid Chak, then 19 - which would make him the same age as the Liberal candidate - was charged with use of a firearm during commission of an offence and possession of an illegal weapon. (After cutting short an interview, the candidate did not respond to requests for clarification on the charges.)

Right then.

The entire Kevin Libin article is reprinted at Angry in the Great White North.

Update: The article is also online.  Missed it the first time.

Posted by Steve Janke on April 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (85) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Terrorists Coming

Persian language news outlet "Iran Press News" reports that two notorious IRGC commanders have been dispatched to Europe as Military Attaches of the Iranian embassies. These two are Brig. General Saeed Ghasemi, head of intelligence at IRGC 27th mechanized division, and the other one is infamous Ansar-hezballah militia leader Brig. General Hossein alah-Karam who is also known for his brutal suppression of students and political activists in late 1990s. The former's posting is not mentioned but the latter seems to be posted to the Iranian embassy in Croatia.

Gen. Ghassemi, aka Haj Saeed, is the one who started recruiting suicide bombers a few months ago. Iran Press News says these two are posted to hit US interests in Europe.


Posted by Winston on April 26, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Can Man’s Best Friend Also Clothe Him?

Thousands of Japanese people have recently paid $1600 each for sheep that they thought were poodles; animals that cost $3200 in Japan.

The Japanese movie credited with uncovering the scam was very surprised that her poodle would not eat dog food or bark. She was shocked to find out that her pet was not a dog at all.

Posted by Jonathan Goldfarb on April 26, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Ontario's environment minister parodies vulgar behaviour

Broten_flickoff When I first saw this photograph I thought it was just poor advance work by a staffer -- letting Ontario's environment minister be photographed in front of what looks like profanity.

Turns out that the situation was much worse than that.  This was no accident.  It was quite deliberate.

Ontario's government is part of a new coalition that parodies vulgarity in an effort to "reach" young people.

They chose FLICK OFF to sound like you know what, with the artwork deliberately designed so that LI looks like U.  The website encourages people to "FLICK OFF" and "GO FLICK YOURSELF!" and asks rhetorically, "ARE WE FLICKED?"
This is a conscious effort to be "relevant" to young people.  Apparently the only way that Ontario Liberals can think of to be relevant is to crawl into the linguistic gutter.
So in trying to be hip and au courant in an effort to model good behaviour (energy conservation), Broten has chosen to parody bad behaviour -- in fact, vulgar behaviour.  Nice.
It's important to be relevant to young people in order to reach them, but most adults recognize that being relevant is no excuse to forget the difference between right and wrong.
Parents trying to raise our own kids understand that.

Posted by Guy Giorno on April 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (73) | TrackBack

Indulge a vice and ease your conscience

You can just see the overheated marketing minds at work on this one, calculating all the cross-promotional benefits, the product positioning, etc., etc., ad naseum:

The news is that the B.C. Lottery Corporation [and surely other provincial lottery corporations too] has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to unleash a "Save Our Polar Bears" scratch&win card. Top prize in the game is $25,000, but the featured prize is -- wait for it -- "a polar bear Adoption Kit" worth $40.

"The kit will contain a stuffed polar bear [this year's leading, wide-eyed mammalian icon for the preservationist movement] made of environmentally friendly materials [naturally!], an adoption certificate [how cute and how utterly useless!], a sticker and an information brochure explaining why polar bears are threatened [no they aren't!] and how WWF-Canada is working to save them [that'll be the day!]."

I suppose that since the Lottery Corp is in the business of selling daydreams, it's only natural that it team up with an organization whose livelihood is peddling myths.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 26, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Bricklin blows it again

Take a look at the MSNBC story on Chery Auto, to which I refer here.  You'll find that not even Communist China was able to make a deal with Malcolm Bricklin.  This article by Kevin Steel should explain why I found that so amusing.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 26, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 25, 2007



National Post newspaper has the complete story on "recent crackdown on women" and this is somehow good news for those of us who expect the world media to pay attention to what's going on inside of the country. This is also a great sign and it is appreciated so much by all of us. Any sort of publicity is welcome when it comes to expose the evil regime of Iran and evil things the mullahs do to the Iranian people on a daily basis.


Posted by Winston on April 25, 2007 in Current Affairs, Media, Religion | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Taiwan can beat back a Communist invasion

For those of us who are worried about this scenario becoming a reality, this is excellent news.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 25, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

An inclusive B.C. Legislature

B.C. MLAs voted 68-3 in a free vote yesterday to destroy a series of four historical murals on display in the B.C. Legislature. Aboriginal leaders have long complained that the works of art depict native Indians in a negative way, but the murals' dwindling number of defenders have countered that the depictions are historically accurate.

The Vancouver Sun's short story on the decision was buried in its second section this morning, but can be read here. Although it glosses over the issues involved, the story does contain a rather moving description of artist George Southwell's granddaughter, said to be "in tears after watching the debate from the public gallery in the legislature."

Interested readers can get a good grasp of the issues by reading the Hansard record of yesterday's debate here. It's noteworthy that no one -- not even the three MLAs in favour of retaining the murals -- likened the politically motivated destruction of unfashionable art to the Taliban's destruction of non-Muslim religious sculptures in Afghanistan. I guess that would be going too far, wouldn't it?

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 25, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Steyn is nominated

We at the Western Standard have just learned that our back-page writer Mark Steyn has been nominated in the Best Columnist category of the National Magazine Awards. It's our first NMA nomination, and we're simply delighted with the recognition. Good luck to Mark and all the other finalists!

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 24, 2007 in Media | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Choice at sea

Europe is in a demographic death spiral, so what does a Dutch group, called Women on Waves, want to do? Why, send a floating abortion clinic on a cruise around the continent, of course.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 24, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (141) | TrackBack

The Beijing boycott campaign hits Britain

Well, sort of.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 24, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Vice-regal target

When even the establishment-friendly Globe and Mail torches the governor-general, you can bet that the troubles at Rideau Hall are profound.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 24, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Taking guns to class

Check out the CNN piece, accessed through the LA Times website here, about what's going on at the University of Utah. Apparently, upwards of 500 students are known to be packing handguns to the Salt Lake City campus. This fact shocks the sensitive types who believe that the university should ban all guns. But, of course, a level-headed assessment of the situation will lead to the conclusion that, if such a ban were in place, the only ones carrying guns into classes would be crazed gunmen.

The anti-gun crowd can't see it, but it seems clear to me that the defensive-minded, gun-toting students in Utah will ensure that there will never -- never! -- be a Virginia-Tech-type massacre at their university.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 24, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sneak preview

Here's a sneak preview of our new issue, just off the presses this morning: cover; column; story.

Normally we hold back on publishing to the Internet so that our home subscribers get the good stuff first. But this is a special case: one of the subjects of our cover story, an MP named Mark Holland, has threatened us with a lawsuit if we keep talking about him and the Liberal theft of Conservative personnel files. That's called libel chill -- an attempt to bully journalists (including bloggers) so that they stop talking about things.

We don't react well to libel chill over here at the Western Standard -- not from the Libranos, not from rioting anti-cartoon radicals. The proper response is to make sure our facts are accurate and our comments are fair, and then publish freely. Hence our cover story. Read it and tell us what you think. Feel free to post a comment. You, too, Mark.

Posted by Ezra Levant on April 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (58) | TrackBack

Poisoned food from Communist China enters human food chain

Kudos to Steve Janke for staying on top of this already huge yet still growing scandal, which is now looking like a deliberate move by food processors in Communist China to risk loss of life to make grain exports look more nutritious (and more valuable) than they really were.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 23, 2007 in International Affairs, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Crackdown On Women

Read about recent crackdown on Iranian women:

It is now the Shiite version of Taliban that hates every thing.

Posted by Winston on April 22, 2007 in Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack

Friday, April 20, 2007

No - Why don't YOU leave?

In the post directly below, it's instructive to read the first few comments.

They include (so far)

1) The conspiratorial repeating of the ridiculous and baseless allegations that Navdeep Bains was somehow behind the defeat of the anti-terror legislation.  Someone with half a brain would realize that villainizing Bains on this issue is entirely irrational...  but this was a post for another time.  It should also be noted that the investigative hearings were designed to prevent terrorism, not to investigate it.  Even so... I didn't personally have any objection to either of the two sunseted provisions.

2) Claims that Canada is a joke because of "ethnic factionalism" and that liberty can not reside in such a place.

3) Claims that Sikhs don't do anything besides "shoveling shit in rural BC"

4) Paranoid ramblings about how these "terrorists" should all deported and a fear that more of them will be elected to Parliament.

Why are you people still in Canada?  If you hate it so much here, why don't you guys just leave?  I guarantee you the majority of the country doesn't want you here and you're obviously intolerant of  just about anything that you can make yourselves intolerant of - so just do everyone a favour and move to the Southern US.  Oh wait, isn't the southern US being overrun by Mexicans?  Where will you people ever go?  Europe?  NO!  Can't go there either!  Too much government (an actual concern I'd agree with) and too many Muslims, right?  I guess you guys are just out of luck in our quest to find a purely white and intolerant country to call your own.  And you poor grumpy intolerant xenophobes should also know that you'll never EVER have any actual influence in this country - so just resign yourselves to that fact for the rest of your lives, okay?

On to the substantive points in the post below:

1)  The Khalistan movement is more or less dead.  As someone who personally wishes to see a Sikh state established someday, let me tell you that those who hold this view hold it in the same way that a practicing Jew thinks of Israel - meaning that they're usually perfectly loyal to Canada and their nationalist ambitions back home at the same time.

2)  You can find a few exceptions here and there like you can everywhere, but the remaining portion of the movement is non-violent.

3)  I don't know a single Sikh who doesn't think that a)  The Air India disaster was a horrible unspeakable tragedy and b) that it hurt the Sikh cause immeasurably.

4)  There was no float honouring Parmar.  That is a lie.  There was a picture of his and while having his picture up is at best debatable - he was never convicted of the Air India tragedy, and so those who show his picture do not believe he was responsible for the bombing.  It would be much different if they put up his picture KNOWING that he was a mass-murderer.  This was not the case.  It's also false reporting to suggest that everything at the parade was somehow centrally coordinated.

5)  As for the ISYF vests:  this was a parade of over 100,000 people according to estimates.  What're you supposed to do?  Forcefully prevent these people from showing up?

Posted by Japnaam on April 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (84) | TrackBack

Proud to be terrorists

B.C.'s Sikh community is proud of its contributions to the development of the province, and rightly so. They're some of the most industrious farmers in the Fraser Valley, for example, and they're also eager and successful players in the political arena, to name just two notable areas of their success.

But, of course, the community also continues to stagger under the weight of a reputation for violence, including violence in past years in support of an independent state in India. One would think, then, that Sikh community leaders would do everything possible to ensure that a Sikh group, branded as terrorist by the federal government, would be shunned by the general community. However, as the Vancouver Sun first revealed, some participants in the Vaisakhi parade in Surrey earlier this month were openly supportive of pro-Khalistan (the hoped-for independent Sikh state in India) terrorist groups and leaders.

Among the items spotted at the festivities were: a float honouring the suspected mastermind of the Air India massacre, Talwinder Singh Parmar; photographs honouring the two men who assassinated Indian prime minister Indira Ghandi; students wearing vests with crossed assault rifles; and people wearing shirts with "International Sikh Youth Federation" printed on them--the name of a banned terrorist group in Canada.

The Province reported earlier this week that India's consul in Vancouver is outraged over what transpired at the parade. And a spokesman for B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says he wouldn't have attended the parade had he known suspected terrorists and known terrorist organizations would be honoured (see link to Sun story, above).

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 20, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (73) | TrackBack

Reports of forced abortions in Communist China

I know the abortion debate is much more heated down here than up there, but the one thing that usually brings both sides of the debate together is mutual disgust at Communist China's hideous "one child" policy, with its history of forced abortions and infanticide.  Sadly, the cadres are at it again.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 20, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

The Kyoto 'crash course'

Green guru David Suzuki plans to deliver a petition to Environment Minister John Baird today, warning that it would be a crime against future generations to ignore global warming. But the way it was explained by Baird yesterday, it would be a crime against current generations to meet Kyoto targets, because the economic costs would be far too high.

Exactly how high? The Fraser Institute weighed in today with a precise figure: $3,500 a year, per Canadian, for several years. Either that, or $30 billion to purchase offshore credits. “Any attempt to meet Kyoto through a crash-course plan over the next five years will result in unacceptably high costs, and little benefit in terms of developing a flexible, long-term policy,” report author Nicholas Schneider says.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 20, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (84) | TrackBack

Islam's "Third Wave," the West, and their stories

Bernard Lewis, the celebrated Islamologist, writes about Islam's "Third Wave," here. In the essay, Lewis rehearses the history of Islam's previous two waves. The first wave began as Muslim Arabs ventured out of the Arabian peninsula, conquering the Christian Middle East, Christian north Africa, the Christian Iberian peninsula, and Christian southern Italy, even crossing the Pyrenees into France. The second wave was led by first the Mongols who converted to Islam in the 13th century, and later by the Turks and Tartars who conquered Christian Anatolia, portions of Christian Europe including half of Hungary, and the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. They laid siege to Vienna twice -- the last time in 1683 -- two years before the birth of J. S. Bach and thirty-five years following the Peace of Westphalia.

Lewis argues that for most of its history, Islam has not permitted Muslims to settle in non-Muslim countries and to live their lives under the rule of non-Muslim regimes. Muslims were required to move to Islamic jurisdictions as soon as possible. Now, as Muslims move to Western countries, some expect to be granted the ability to live in polygamous marriage and family arrangements, to educate their children in Muslim schools, and to live according to Shari'a law in respect of, mostly but not limited to, what is known in the West as "civil law." Lewis notes the appeal of Muslims to both the West's left -- mostly predicated on "liberal guilt" -- and the West's (far) right -- mostly predicated on a shared anti-Jewish orientation. According to Lewis, Germany's Turks have (ironically) exploited German guilt about the Holocaust to subvert assertions of German identity of the kind unfolding in France, The Netherlands, and, now, Britain.

Lewis points to the confidence of Muslim identity and of Muslims in the Islamic narrative. Compare this to the loss of an informing narrative in most of the West.  (For more of "Islam's 'Third Wave,' " go to Burkean Canuck).

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 20, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mendacious Moore

When even a usually-left-wing journalist, Terry Glavin, writing for a usually-left-wing online magazine, The Tyee, slices through Michael Moore's lie-filled canon with such gusto and effectiveness, you've gotta believe that the mendacious American faux-umentarian has, thankfully, finally run out of steam.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 19, 2007 in Media | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

John O'Sullivan book launch in Calgary

The Western Standard is pleased to welcome British author John O’Sullivan to Calgary, to promote his book The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister.  We’d like to invite everyone to participate in the event, taking place Thursday, April 26th, from Noon til 1:30p.m. 

O’Sullivan is a prolific journalist currently presiding as editor-at-large of the National Review.  His new book, subtitled “Three who Changed the World”, describes the lives of Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher.  Drawing on his own personal interviews, O’Sullivan brilliantly captures the unlikely ascent of each character, focusing on the schism between a ‘liberating’ counterculture and their own personal convictions.

The Standard will be co-hosting the event with McNally Robinson Bookstore at their Stephen Avenue location (120 8th Avenue S.W.)

Posted by Patrick McGee on April 19, 2007 in Books, International Politics, Western Standard | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Farhan Chak -- Liberal Party nominee and conspiracy theorist

Farhan Chak on Stephen Harper's evil plot against Poland:

Two paths, two destinies - the Canadian Polish community should passionately engage themselves in the political process or risk terrible consequences. More clearly, the Conservative agenda conflicts directly with the cherished wishes of the Canadian-Polish community by discontinuing the development of civil society in Poland through the work of CIDA. Together, we can prevent the right-wing Conservatives from further trying to destabilize Poland.

Farhan Chak on the myth that Islamic fundamentalists were behind the massacres in Algeria:

Noam Chomsky, in his insightful foreword to the book, collaborates this damning reality with the testimonies of defecting secret agents, who insist that not only were the massacres in Algeria organized and undertaken by the Algerian army and secret services, then attributed to the "Islamic Fundamentalists," but so were the bombings in Paris in 1995, with the covert collusion of French authorities. Clearly then, although the belief that the "GIA, Groupe Islamique Arme, an Islamist insurgent group, is widely accepted as responsible for the bloodbath, this belief will be shown to be actually false (B. Izel, J.S. Wafa and W. Isaac, "What is the GIA?")

And who is Farhan Chak?  He is the nominated Liberal Party candidate for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont, and a supporter of Stephane Dion's leadership campaign.

Quick, someone ask him what really happened on 9/11.

[A detailed examination of Farhan Chak's views on Islamic fundamentalism (it's a fiction created by Western intelligence agencies to hide their violent attacks on foreigners and on their own people) is available at Angry in the Great White North.]

Posted by Steve Janke on April 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Sun not so bright in Winnipeg

The editorial page editor of the Winnipeg Sun raises his profile among the coveted basement-dwelling, tinfoil-wearing, conspiracy-theorizing moonbat demographic:

In a truly stunning display of ignorance, the editor of the Winnipeg Sun, John Gleeson, has penned a column that is as equally laughable as it is disgraceful. Trotting out as many thoroughly discredited myths as he can cram into one column, Gleeson attempts to give some credibility to the so-called "9/11 Truth Movement"

Rob Breakenridge lays a convincing beating on this disgrace to the journalistic profession.

(via small dead animals)

Posted by Rob Huck on April 19, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Huseyin Celil will not be executed

It's not all good news. Celil was sentenced to life in prison by the Communist Chinese regime, which refuses to acknowledge Celil's Canadian citizenship.  Let's all remember that the Libs would rather Canada's government focus on trade issues, and push the fate of the imprisoned Celil on the backburner.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 19, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Cho Seung-Hui’s nom-de-plume (Ismail Ax) means we have a whole new (old) problem

Courtesy of Tech Central Station and ABC News, it looks like we may have a new-old rationale for the Virginia Tech killer: radical Islamic terrorism.

ABC got the ball rolling with this bombshell:

A cryptic writing — an inscription of "Ismail Ax" in red ink — was found on Cho's arm. The same words, "Ismail Ax," were signed at the bottom of the disturbing note Cho left in his dorm room.

What, exactly, might "Ismail Ax" mean? Jerry Bower at TCS has a frightening answer (emphasis added):

This morning I read that the Virginia Tech shooter died with the name Ismail Ax written in red ink on his arm. The mainstream press doesn't seem to have a clue as to what this might mean. To quote Indiana Jones, "Didn't any of you guys go to Sunday School?"

The story starts with a man named Abraham. He is the father of the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians. He was born in Iraq, the son of a wealthy idol manufacturer. He came to believe that there was only one true God and, according to tradition, took up his ax and destroyed his father's idols.

Eventually he left Iraq and moved to what is now known as Israel. He had a son with his concubine whom she named Ishmael. The Muslim world prefers the Arabic spelling of the name: Ismail. Eventually Abraham had a son by his rightful wife and named the son Isaac. Ishmael and his mother were disinherited and sent out into what is now Saudi Arabia. Isaac became the heir.

Eventually, God decided to test Abraham by telling him to kill his son, Isaac. Abraham took up the knife, but God stopped him at the last moment. Isaac lived and eventually became a man of great wealth. Ishmael became a desert warrior chieftain.

The Jews are the descendants of Isaac, the Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael.

In the 7th Century, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, re-wrote the story, claiming that Ismail was the true faithful descendant of Abraham and that it was he, not Isaac, who God told Abraham to sacrifice. Ismail was the one saved. For Muslims, Ismail (not Isaac) was the true 'Son of Sacrifice.' In the original version of the story, Abraham used a knife, in some of the later Muslim versions, he used an Ax.

Flash forward 1,400 years: a sullen, angry young man who rages against rich people and apparently against Christians, writes a play in which a mother and son try to kill his step-father, but in the end the boy (age about 13, the age many think Ismail was when he was exiled) is murdered by the step-father with 'a deadly blow'. Father issues?

Yeah, I think so.

Cho Sueng-hui cum Ismail Ax hated the American society to which he had been brought 15 years earlier. His play McBeef (a poor pun from an English Lit major on Macbeth) is one endless screed against the corruption of American culture. A cheesy re-telling of Shakespeare's Hamlet, it involves a young man abused by his step-father, a former NFL football player. The son, throws epithets at his father calling him a 'Catholic priest'. And makes derisive comments about McDonald's. It seems that none of the foundational structures of Western Civilization, Christianity, capitalism, family, are spared his rage.

As I've said before, this fellow may very well have been a madman just looking for reasons to kill, and he had lot from which to choose. However, we now have reason to believe he was happiest with column A - is in Al Qaeda. So now, amidst everything else, we are forced to ask: did the WBK War just hit Blacksburg?

Cross-posted from the Right-wing liberal; "WBK War" is my term for the War on Terror - an explicit, albeit abbreviated, reference to our enemies: Wahhabists, Ba'athists, and Khomeinists

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 19, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (148) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Alberta's new elected Senator to be

Stephen Harper announced today he will appoint Bert Brown to replace Senator Harry Hays who will depart his Senate post in June. I apologize for this second post on the subject but I will leave mine up because of the other information I provide. Ialso apologize for the irregular spacing though I tried to straighten the columns out.

I have included the names of the six sitting Alberta Senators, their party affliation, when they were appointed and by which Prime Minister. Note five of six are Liberals. The tabulation of numbers of senators for each province against population shows how hugely they are out of whack. It all tells you why the Liberal Party of Canada is so  desperate to stop any change.

Alberta’s 6 Senators for a population of 3,153,700

Name Political Affiliation Province / Territory Appointed on the advice of Term (yyyy.mm.dd)

Banks, Tommy  Liberal Party of Canada  Alberta  Chrétien, Joseph Jacques Jean  2000.04.07 -

Fairbairn, Joyce  Liberal Party of Canada  Alberta  Trudeau, Pierre Elliott  1984.06.29 -

Hays, Daniel  Liberal Party of Canada  Alberta  Trudeau, Pierre Elliott  1984.06.29 -

McCoy, Elaine  Progressive Conservative Party  Alberta  Martin, Paul Edgar Philippe  2005.03.24 -

Mitchell, Grant  Liberal Party of Canada  Alberta  Martin, Paul Edgar Philippe  2005.03.24 -

Tardif, Claudette  Liberal Party of Canada  Alberta  Martin, Paul Edgar Philippe  2005.03.24 -

                                                  Population                    Senators

Newfoundland and Labrador –   519,600                  6

Prince Edward Island                     137,800                  4

Nova Scotia                                        936,000                10

New Brunswick                                 750,600                10

Quebec                                               7,487,200              24

Ontario                                            12,238,300               24

Manitoba                                          1,162,800                  6

Saskatchewan                                    994,800                   6

British Columbia                            4,146,600                  6

Yukon                                                      31,100                    1         

Northwest Territories                       41,900                   1

Nunavut                                                 29,400                    1

(Figures last modified 2003-11-06)

Posted by Bob Wood on April 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Bert Brown to the Senate

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government still have a long way to go before satisfying the demands of Western Triple-E Senate reformers. But the PM has taken a big step towards that goal today by announcing that he will appoint long-time "senator in waiting," Bert Brown of Alberta, to the Senate.

Harper, who has come under fire of late for moving the Tories to the centre, will surely be counting on this bit of old-Reform handiwork to fend off some right-of-centre critics.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 18, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack

Stephane Dion and the messy hotdog

What does Stephane Dion and Mr Pitt from Seinfeld have in common?  Besides a spooky resemblance, I mean:


Neither like to get their fingers dirty with common food:

“If this gets out, it could mean the end of the Liberal Party of Canada,” warned a local politico, requesting anonymity.

And what, pray tell, has the Grits so up in arms? It seems that when Stéphane Dion touched down in Winnipeg last month, he and his entourage popped by North End mega-icon Kelekis for lunch. There, Dion shocked locals and his handlers by eating Kelekis’s world-famous hot dog with — gasp! — a knife and fork.

“It conjured images of George on Seinfeld eating a Snickers bar the same way,” said another witness who, for obvious reasons, also asked not to be named.

Whether Stephen Harper’s Conservatives use Wienergate to their advantage — at press time there was no word whether they’d be rejigging their official slogan to read Getting Things Done (Without Utensils) — remains to be seen.

As you might recall, Mr Pitt ate chocolate bars with a knife and fork.  Amusingly, there were some people who thought he was on to something and mimicked him.  Elaine Benes' response to those who liked Mr Pitt's ideas?

What's wrong with you people?!

Seems fitting.

[From Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on April 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack

Jim Laxer to the NDP: Bow out this round

Jim Laxer is a political scientist, an NDP strategist, and a life-long socialist who has advice for Jack Layton:

That is how the NDP should see the coming electoral contest. The party should make itself the vehicle of a national campaign, inside parliament and out, to expose the Harper government for what it is and to drive it from power. If things go well, the Liberals will replace the Conservatives in power, hopefully with a minority government. This does not mean that the long-term goal of the NDP is to elect Liberals, but rather to truly act as the tribune of the people, warning of the dangers ahead and advocating progressive alternatives.

Tribune of the people?  Sounds like a newspaper.  And if the NDP's job is to win this election for the Liberals in order to eject those evil Conservatives, I suppose the NDP should consider that as an option.  As a party offering the people of Canada another view of the future to vote for, it succeeds only to confuse them and let the Conservatives win.  But as the Tribune of the People (sounds like Pravda from the old Soviet Union), it can focus on rallying the people behind the Liberals (or whatever party is best positioned to defeat the Conservatives).  And by reducing the number of parties, the likelihood of the sort of mistake that allowed a plurality of Canadian conservatives see their vision of Canada become policy is dramatically reduced.

Hey, why not borrow a page from the Soviet Union, and just reduce the number of parties to just one.  No chance of mistakes that way.  I mean democracy is good and all, but by allowing any Jack, Liz, and Gilles start a left-of-centre party is just carrying things too far.  Voters who don't have the benefit of Laxer's intellectual skills are so easily confused.

[An expanded discussion, including Laxer's view of the Dion-May agreement on Central Nova and how that will hopefully hurt the NDP in the next election is posted at Angry in the Great White North .]

Posted by Steve Janke on April 18, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (44) | TrackBack

Together again

We know that former prime minister Brian Mulroney has been advising Stephen Harper since he became leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (and that Senator Marjory LeBreton has often been the conduit). But Canadians don't often get to see Mulroney and Harper together, at the same place and same time. That will change this evening in Ottawa, when PM Harper attends a banquet, organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, honouring Mulroney. The PMO has just confirmed that Harper will be at the shindig and will deliver a brief speech.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 18, 2007 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

When will Dion hit the ChiComs for their hollow words?

We all remember how the Libs ripped Prime Minister Harper et al for proposed greenhouse emissions targets that were set for 2050.  Dion and his cohort made clear such hollow words (in their view) would be unacceptable.

Well, the regime that by year's end will be the biggest carbon emitter on the planet - Communist China - has presented a "plan" that is genuinely hollow.  I await the recriminations from Stornoway.

But I won't hold my breath.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 18, 2007 in Canadian Politics, International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Nobody died"

Back when I went to school
Kids smoked and swore and broke some rules
But I mean, didn’t everybody . . . almost everybody . . .

Fake ID bought a quart of beer
Had the Devil’s Rock 'n' Roll ringing in our ears
And people said, “These kids got a problem here.”

‘Cause I’m not saying that they weren’t right
I’ve cried and tried to understand what I’m seein’ on the news tonight
I’ll admit we were young and foolish . . . totally irresponsible

But nobody died
We all made it home
Well we’d fussed and fight and made mistakes but life went on
There were broken hearts and dreams and wounded pride
But nobody died

Kids got bullied, picked on, and teased
But somehow we found our place in the scheme of things
And time heals everything . . . almost everything

When I look back on the things I’ve done
Some good, some bad, and I’m sorry if I hurt anyone
(I’m really sorry if I hurt anyone).

How’d we get from there to here
From Shakespeare and math and science to shots ringin’ in our ears
What’s it gonna take to get us back, get us back to where . . .

Nobody died
We all made it home
Well we’d fuss and fight and make mistakes
But life went on
There were broken hearts and dreams and wounded pride,
Nobody died . . .
Nobody died . . .
Nobody died . . .

-- From The Wilkinsons latest album, “Home.”  Transcribed from a performance aired on Canada AM, April 18th 2007.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 18, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shoot the messenger

Ousted Green Party candidate Kevin Potvin of Vancouver, the fella who admitted in print in 2002 to being secretly thrilled when the hijacked planes of 9/11 slammed into the World Trade Center buildings, has just posted some of his thoughts about the controversy that swirled around him last week. But rather than being reflective, his piece is deflective in its attempt to focus the reader's attention on the mainstream news media's coverage of the affair rather than on his own thoughts and actions during and following 9/11.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 17, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Peak to Peak

OK, so this isn't about politics or some burning social issue. But it is about something that for me (a skiier and long-time fan of the Whistler-Blackcomb area of B.C.) and probably hundreds of thousands of others is pretty darned exciting: the announcement today of the planned construction of a new gondola that will stretch from the peak of Whistler to the peak of Blackcomb. The developers say the gondola will set world records for both length and height -- quite the technological achievement -- and will be open well before the 2010 Olympics. See all the details here.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 17, 2007 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack


US General: Afghan arms made in Iran

When 8 Canadian soldiers died in recent Afghan suicide attacks, I thought to myself that this could be a signal Islamic regime of Iran is sending to Canada, via its Afghan proxies, for the hard stance that Canada has taken on Iranian nuclear and human rights issues ever since PM Harper elected to office almost 15 months ago. Now it is highly likely that Iranian regime has also declared war against Canada and they will do whatever they can to hurt Canadian troops in Afghanistan the same way they are doing it to coalition forces in Iraq.

It might very well be a wild guess to say Iranian regime is doing this to, particularly, Canadian troops in that country but given the history of regime and things they have done so far, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Iranian gov't was/is behind these recent attacks on Canadian troops.

Posted by Winston on April 17, 2007 in Current Affairs, International Affairs, Military | Permalink | Comments (56) | TrackBack

The Red-Green partnership?


Snickering heard at Angry in the Great White North.

Posted by Steve Janke on April 17, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Pat Buckley RIP

Pat Buckley, the influential, charming, witty and beautiful wife of conservative intellectual and National Review founder William F. Buckley, died Sunday in Stamford, Conn. at age 80. Today's Vancouver Sun reminds us that Mrs. Buckley was the daughter of Vancouver industrialist Austin Cotterell Taylor, and that her July 1950 marriage to the then- junior faculty member at Yale University was the social event of the year in Vancouver.

Here is the New York Post's fitting tribute to her.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on April 17, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Why I want Stephen Harper at the North Korea talks: Part VI

This is the reaction in Washington to North Korea's refusal to agree to its minimal requirements in what I call the Beijing surrender.  It is more evidence (for me at least) why the free world needs Stephen Harper, if for no other reason then to remind the President what it means to be resolute (Time via my latest post):

The Bush Administration is struggling to downplay North Korea's refusal to honor its agreement to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which is producing plutonium that the regime has used to make nuclear weapons. "You know, we have a plan," a senior State Department official told reporters almost plaintively, after Pyongyang missed the 60-day deadline that ran out Saturday. "We're just a little delayed in the timing here and we're going to try to work with the partners in the next few days to get it back on track."

"You know, we have a plan."  How reassuring.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on April 17, 2007 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, April 16, 2007

Anti-semitism and the Depression, and the myth of conscience-free capitalists

Charles Brunie reporting, here, on a conversation with his friend, Milton Friedman, in which Friedman suggested that it was J. P. Morgan, Jr.'s bitterness at the treatment of his father when J. P. Morgan, Sr. put up 100% of his net worth buying into the market in order to prevent a collapse in 1907-08 that led "Jr." to let the Bank of the United States fail wiping out the assets of its mostly Jewish depositors:

Milton once told me: “Anti-Semitism may have been a factor in causing the depression of the 1930s, especially the 1929–1932 part, when the money supply declined over one-third. One of the governors of the Fed kept a very gossipy diary,” Milton explained. “In it, he noted he had had lunch with J. P. Morgan, Jr. in the fall of 1930.” At that time, Milton continued, there were only two prominent Jewish banks in the country: Manufacturers, which catered to the rag trade around Seventh Avenue in New York; and the Bank of the United States, many of whose depositors were Jewish immigrants. With no deposit insurance, and with deflation approximating 10 percent per year, one could have made a very respectable real return during those times of adversity by pulling out of the bank and putting currency in the mattress. So there was a classic “run” on the Bank of the United States. The Fed governor asked Morgan, “Are you going to provide liquidity to the Bank of the United States, as you have done for some two dozen other banks in the past few years?” Morgan replied, “No, I’m going to get those Jewish b------s for what they did to my late father.”

The son reputedly believed in the power of the so-called “Jewish press,” and his anger probably stemmed from how embarrassed his father and family had been during the Pecora Investigation of 1911, a follow-on to the money panic of 1907–08. J. P. Morgan, Sr. had a bad case of rosacea, an inflammation of the face, which resulted in a particularly large red nose in his case. One of the papers had dressed a dwarf in a young girl’s dress; J. P. picked “her” up and put “her” on his lap. Whereupon “she” reached up and twisted his nose. Flashbulbs went off all over the place, and it was front-page news the next day.

In the absence of help from the younger Morgan, the Bank of the United States failed, the first major bank to do so. In a chain reaction, depositors in other banks began to withdraw their money, banks failed across the land, the money supply contracted by a third, and GDP shrank by the same proportion.

By contrast—and a very dramatic contrast, at that—at the end of the 1907–08 money panic, J. P. Morgan, Sr., who reputedly had the ability to stay awake for two or three days straight, had locked up 24 or so major money men and investors on a Sunday night in his magnificent library on 36th Street, off Madison Avenue. He said, in effect, “I’m putting up some money on the opening tomorrow morning, and none of you is getting out of here until you promise to do the same.” (When I moved into my current home in Bronxville, New York in 1968, my next-door neighbor—Jackson Chambers, then in his 80s—told me, “I was a banking examiner for New York State during that crisis. As I recall, J. P. Morgan said, ‘I’m putting up 100 percent of my net worth on the opening, and none of you is getting out until you pledge to do the same.’” Clearly, investing 100 percent is a world of difference from “putting up some money.”) That buying caused a bottom to the market and ended the panic. But because they were buying when the Dow was down over 50 percent in a bit more than a year, they were pilloried for “making money during adversity.” Hence (among many other reasons) the Pecora Investigation, which led to the creation of the Federal Reserve System, the imposition of a federal income tax, and the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on April 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack