Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Iran-Venezuela Axis



Chavez has been a familiar face in Tehran for a decade now. This week's visit will be his ninth since 2001, when he stated during his first trip to Iran that he intended “to prepare the road for peace, justice, stability, and progress for the 21st century.” Ties between the two countries only grew stronger after Ahmadinejad was elected in May 2005.

From the very beginning, the main thing that united these two populists was their shared condemnation of what they describe as “U.S. hegemony.” Chavez has been a staunch supporter of Tehran’s controversial nuclear projects and in 2008 declared Iran has a legitimate right to develop its nuclear program. At the same time, he said Venezuela is also “interested in developing nuclear energy.”


.. In May 2008, an Israeli website published a dossier purportedly drafted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that detailed Iran’s activities in South America. Among other things, the dossier asserted that Venezuela has been supplying Iran with uranium. It also alleged that Tehran has set up Hezbollah cells in northern Venezuela and on Margarita Island.

More at Radio Free Europe

Happy Halloween!



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Voter McIntimidation: McDonalds franchise employees told raises and benefits tied to Republican win

When I first saw the headline about McDonalds attempting to intimidate voters, I thought it had something to do with Mayor McCheese trying an electoral bid in Philadelphia, but the actual story is below:


The owner of a franchise in Canton, Ohio enclosed a handbill in employees' paychecks that threatened lower wages and benefits if Republicans don't win on Tuesday.

"As the election season is here we wanted you to know which candidates will help our business grow in the future," reads the letter. "As you know, the better our business does it enables us to invest in our people and our restaurants. If the right people are elected we will be able to continue with raises and benefits at or above our present levels. If others are elected, we will not. As always, who you vote for is completely your personal decision and many factors go into your decision."

The note ends with a list of candidates McDonald's believes "will help our business move forward." It names Republicans John Kasich for governor, Rob Portman for Senate, and Jim Renacci for Congress.

read the full story here at The Huffington Post

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eddie Greenspan's evening of Law and Laughter (and my evening of strangeness and fun)

Last night, a gathering of 400 or so of Toronto's esteemed citizens celebrated the career, philanthropy and public service of Canada's most famous criminal defense attorney, Eddie Greenspan. In the ornate 2nd floor ballroom of the soon-to-be demolished Yorkville landmark Four Seasons Hotel, guests and presenters included Lieutenant Governor David Onley, PostMedia's Paul Godfrey, and the one of the most famous lawyers in the history of the profession, F. Lee Bailey. Somehow I got invited (possibly the same way Peter Sellers' character got invited to the party in the movie of the same name) to this evening of our city's venerable citizenry's bestowing richly deserved accolades on one of Canada's champions of human rights and supremacy of the rule of law.

The event itself was the 5th annual ORT Hero's Dinner. ORT is a charitable organization that provides educational opportunities for deserving young people in a number of countries in Europe, Latin America and throughout the world. (In case you're curious, ORT is an acronym of the Russian words for this 140 year old charity's name. No one I could find at the dinner, including the organization's Canadian head, seemed to be able to pronounce, much less translate what those words actually mean. Greenspan told me that George Jonas wrote it out phonetically for him to say, but he still couldn't quite get it.)

Greenspan made it clear that he does not see himself as a hero, and in a evening billed as "Law and Laughter," his partner Todd White hilariously pointed out that Eddie is as far from a superhero as a person could get. Unless you consider a hero to be someone who has tirelessly worked to ensure that the death penalty is not restored in Canada, who has provided critical legal assistance to those who couldn't afford it without fanfare, who has been an invaluable source of education to generations of law students, and  who has made great personal and financial contributions to a number of charities. So that's the kind of hero Eddie Greenspan is.

Greenspan's lovely and witty daughter Juliana spoke, and then, a man who Greenspan considers a genuine hero was one of the main presenters last night. The renowned American criminal attorney F. Lee Bailey. Bailey, who is now in his 80's, was sharp, funny and looked in fantastic shape. He told a few amusing anecdotes including one where he allegedly hypnotised a young Eddie Greenspan.

The best part of the evening, for me, was to hear first-hand what I've been told by others who know Greenspan personally; that's he's amazingly funny.

Greenspan regaled the audience with a greatest hits parade of funniest comments heard in court during his legthy career. My consumption of whiskey throughout the evening has rendered me unable to recount them all, but some included:

Opposing Counsel: "What was the distance between the cars at the time of collision?"

Greenspan: "Your honour, my client couldn't possibly be guilty of forgery, he's semi-literate and barely capable of writing his own name."   Judge: "It's not his own name he stands accused of writing"

Opposing Counsel: "You say you have memory problems and frequently forget things."  Witness: "Yes."
Opposing Counsel: "Can you provide an example of something you've forgotten?" Witness: "No."

Witness: "My husband's a liar and untrustworthy. He's been unfaithful to me."
Greenspan: "What makes you thnk that?"
Witness: "For one thing, I'm pretty sure he's not the father of my children."


One of Eddie's funniest lines from the night was his recounting of asking his beloved wife Suzy if, when they first got married, she would have imagined, in her wildest dreams that Eddie would receive this type of honour. Eddie said that Suzy replied, "Eddie, you're never in my wildest dreams."

It was a fun evening filled with laughs and weirdness.

The weirdness came when I and a few friends went from The Four Seasons, where the ORT dinner was held, over to the bar at One Hazelton, the tony new(ish) hotel in Yorkville.

I'll save that part of the story for part 2.

Save the Kitty!! Blazing Cat Fur being sued for linking to a website!

From blogger Blazing Cat Fur:

"About 18 months ago everybody's favourite Ex-Canadian Human Rights Commission employee Richard Warman launched one of his many, as in very many, SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation] suits against yours truly for, among other dastardly deeds, linking to the "far-right web site http://www.steynonline.com/". Sheesh everybody knows Mark Steyn is controversial...


It gets better. I'm also being sued for linking to a web site while specifically referring to "the allegations" against Richard Warman.."

If you feel acts like this are an attack on free speech in Canada, you can go to the link below and help out BCF with his legal defense with a Paypal donation through his "Feed the Kitty" link.

Blazing Cat Fur: Richard Warman Sues Blazingcatfur For Linking To "Far Right" Mark Steyn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ari Fleischer talks about Obama and Israel

The intolerance of the tolerant in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden


A very interesting column in Open Democracy argues that contemporary intolerance of Islam in certain European countries is paradoxically, but actually a measure of those countries' overall tolerance. The reason being that Islam, as practiced by the new wave of immigrants, is incompatible with western liberal values and democracy:

..findings indicate that the “former” bastions of tolerance in fact are still tolerant - just not toward Muslims. Moreover, in this particular intolerance toward a religious group they outdo generally less tolerant other European countries. Why?

A possible explanation, counterintuitive as it might seem, is that it is because of their overall social tolerance - rather than despite it - that these countries have become among the most openly Islamophobic.

The logic of the argument is threefold: relating to nationalism, conformism, and tolerance itself.

First, in all three countries tolerance was closely associated with a negative attitude toward ethnic nationalism and a self-perception of being that unique thing, a “non-nationalist nation”. In part because of the particular way the countries dealt with their experience of the second world war, nationalism was linked almost intrinsically with Nazism and the Holocaust. Hence, ethnic-national discourses (let alone racial ones) were suspect, and shunned by all but the ostracised extreme right. So, whereas radical-right parties in countries such as Austria, Belgium, or France could relate their anti-immigrant struggle to more broadly shared national narratives, this option was not available in Denmark, the Netherlands, or Sweden.

Second, most everyday citizens in these countries self-identified as tolerant, and would in any case self-censor where this was felt necessary; but in addition, their elite had a special weapon in its struggle to keep politics “politically correct” - conformity. After all, northern Europe is as well known for its conformity (which traditionally includes a high trust in state actors and institutions) as for its tolerance. The often genuinely pro-multicultural elites were able to keep the immigration issue off the agenda, because the most intolerant people were also the most conformist (this is shown in the case of the Netherlands by Paul Sniderman & Louk Hagendoorn, When Ways of Life Collide: Multiculturalism and Its Discontents in the Netherlands (2007).

Third, the countries under scrutiny (Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden) and their close neighbours have traditionally been - and still are - among the most tolerant in Europe, particularly regarding issues such as women’s rights and gay rights. In addition, they are now among Europe’s least religious societies, with a dominant secular majority and formerly influential religious interests now politically marginalised. In this context, it is easy to construct Islam both as a threat to the national way of life, and to liberal democracy as it is understood in these countries.

read the entire article here at Open Democracy

Time to Topple Keynesian Economics


Wherever we look, the economics profession in government service appears to have been hijacked by interventionist Keynesian economists. Politics is part of this but it is by no means the whole. Some so-called economists are left-wing ideologues. Most, however, are simply victims of someone described colourfully by Thomas Woods in Meltdown as “one of the twentieth century’s crackpots”: John Maynard Keynes.
Crackpot or not, Keynes has spawned generations of economists and politicians who think that spending money is the same thing as making money. You might recall Michael Douglas’s character in War of the Roses saying to his wife (played by Kathleen Turner): “It’s a lot easier to spend it than it is to make it, honeybun!” Well, not according Keynesian economists, it isn’t.
Keynesian economists believe in the spurious and curious notion that economies are driven by spending rather than by making. To them spending is an economy’s driving force.

Read the Peter Smith's whole article here

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Revisionist Vatican says Jesus nullified Old Testament divine promises. Says Jews are not "God's Chosen People"

A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood.

Propeller Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.

"The Holy Scriptures cannot be used to justify the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of the Palestinians,” Bustros said at the close of a two-week conference in Rome, Italy, “to justify the occupation by Israel of Palestinian lands.”

The Archbishop then questioned the biblical idea of a “promised land” set aside by a specific group of people.

"We Christians cannot speak of the promised land as an exclusive right for a privileged Jewish people,” Bustros continued. "This promise was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people – all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people."


More here

The Toronto Mayoral Election Post Mortem in Brief

There is a much being written about Rob Ford's election on the day following his win. The Toronto Star is  both petulant and in shock, a lot of media is attributing Ford's win to "voter anger."

Ford's win is very easily and simply explained.

Ford's message throughout the campaign was "Respect for taxpayers." It was a positive message that all the people of Toronto, and not the narrow political class and a few special interests like civic unions and arts grants recipients, should have a say in how their city is managed.

The main opposition to Ford was George Smitherman, whose only message was one of fear-mongering and arrogance in what appeared to be a sense of his own entitlement to power.

Voters chose the positive message of Ford over the negative message of Smitherman.

And Joe Pantalone, who ran on the idea that David Miller did a good job and his legacy should continue, was trounced, receiving only about 11% of the vote. The message is clear there too. Toronto did not feel David Miller performed well in his job.


UPDATE: In a decisive rebuke to the fear-mongers who tried to smear Ford by suggesting he was a racist because he said Toronto needs to focus on its own needs before taking in more immigrants, the last poll before the election showed Ford was the clear favorite among Torontonians born outside Canada. For that group, Ford's "margin rose to 51.7 per cent, over Mr. Smitherman’s 30.1 per cent."

Distorting Israel’s Loyalty Oath, and the Reality Behind It

Read the rest at Pajamas Media
Is Israel becoming a fascist country? Seemingly that question would only be raised by someone hostile to Israel or ignorant. The ignorant could, for example, be informed of Freedom House’s high rating of Israel as a free country, or of the fact that this year Israel was accepted into the exclusively democratic OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). 

Yet an article posted last week on ynetnews.com — an English portal closely connected to Israel’s largest daily, Yediot Aharonot — is called “Fascism in Jewish state?” At the top it features a photo of two well-known fascists. One is Mussolini, the other … guess who?

The article, penned by leftist journalist Uri Misgav, goes on to quote mostly far-left Israeli academics who confirm that … yes, fascism is just around the corner in Israel. Israeli readers of Yediot, where the column first appeared in Hebrew, know that Israeli academia, particularly humanities and social-science departments, is a hotbed of far-left views. In Israel’s 2009 elections, the party representing such views, Meretz, won all of three Knesset seats out of 120.

Ynetnews.com’s readers from all over the world, though, may well not know those things.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I hope all the people who said they would leave Toronto if Ford is elected keep their promise

Do you think they'll keep their word?  I wouldn't count on honesty from people who supported Smitherman. And the Pantalone backers are prone to meaningless hysterics..


ROB FORD IS TORONTO'S NEW MAYOR!

Ford wins in landslide. His numbers add up to more than rivals George Smitherman and Joe Pantalone put together!

The Toronto Star, which advocated an 'anyone but Ford' approach, is stunned by its irrelevance!

UPDATE:  Ford is the victor. Latest results, with most polls in, have him above 47%.

Watch Toronto's election results in real time

The electronic, automated voting system lets you review real time results right here.

Klaven on the Culture: The Extremists are coming!

More funny stuff from PJTV's comedic cultural observer.

Smitherman launches election day fear-mongering last-ditch effort

Today's last-ditch, fear-mongering email from George Smitherman:

Today is decision day.  A day of two very different visions for Toronto.  You can choose a city of fear, anger and exclusion or you can embrace a man with a plan.  A man with the vision and values that reflect a Toronto you can be proud of.  A man that wants to be the mayor of a Toronto that includes everyone and celebrates diversity.  That man is George Smitherman.  George Smitherman is a man of passion and purpose, consensus and commitment.  George will get it done.  But first we need you to get out and vote.  Every vote counts and in this election, your vote will make the difference.


Smitherman keeps telling us he has a "plan." A plan to keep things the way they are at city hall with CUPE running the city and establishing the amount of wasteful spending taxpayers have to endure?

Smitherman a man of "vision and values"? (eHealth, party drug addiction, multi-million sole source contracts to former associates)

Halloween would be scary enough without this





to look forward to all year!
 

It's Voting Day in Toronto

There are two realistic choices for Torontonians today.

Rob Ford

or

Anti-Israel Group launches co-ordinated "Letters to Editor" campaigns to vilify Israel

Does it seem that whenever a story about Israel gets printed in a major publication, a group of the same online posters combined with usual suspect letters-to-the-editor writers get a control message to go into action and use a familiar litany of spurious talking points to malign the middle east's only democracy?

Ever wonder why they all sound so similar?

There's a reason for that.

The so-called "Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East," (CJPME) an anti-Israel group whose board includes Canadians Osama Abu-Shihab and Louay Jabry, wants you to be on stand-by to join their team of "media responders". Your job is to badmouth Israel and you don't even have to have a command of the facts that you're going to claim to find objectionable.

Can't think of what to write, or what to say? Incapable of thinking for yourself? No problem!  The CJPME will do that for you. In the words of their own promotional videos below, their Media Centre will allow you to "respond effectively without even having to locate a newspaper or magazine." Talk about convenient! Any semi-literate half-wit could participate (and from the looks of things, quite a few do).

These people are also sponsoring ex-professor and admirer of mass murderer Mao Zedong, Norman Finkelstein, on a speaking tour of Canada this week. Finkelstein is a seemingly anti-Semitic Jew, so expect a coordinated letter campaign saying what a "heroic" figure we have in that slimy supporter of terror-organization Hezbollah.






Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fisking Ward 21 Councillor Joe Mihevc: "The St. Clair Streetcar fiasco wasn't my fault" (or words to that effect)

Joe Mihevc issued an 11th hour press release before tomorrow's election. Now for the Fisking of Joe:
Also, it is important to remind everyone about St. Clair’s cost and construction timeframe because misinformation is being spread about this too. The streetcar line’s original budget ($64 million) [ The Toronto Sun reported, " In 2004, the 6.8 km of dedicated streetcar track, between Yonge St. and the Gunn’s loop, was to cost $48 million and take three years.] did not substantially increase; the fact is that the scope of the project increased. [The Toronto Star: The report, which will be presented to the TTC on Wednesday, notes it was never clear whether the transit company or the city was in charge of the project, with both making design changes almost as "an afterthought" after the work had started, escalating both the cost and period of time the street was in upheaval.]  Two major additions to the scope were burying the Hydro lines (because the businesses asked for it [The cited Sun article reports, " the city decided to put hydro wires underground along St. Clair"]  and the lines were due to be replaced in five years anyway) and replacing the water pipes (because of the higher standards demanded by the Walkerton water report). This cost about $40 million and increased the timeframe of construction. Further, the start of construction was delayed 18 months because of a failed lawsuit against the city and the city allowed Enbridge to take the opportunity to replace its cast iron pipes with PVC. The construction of the streetcar line and the new streets and sidewalks in Ward 21 only took about 8 months! 
[Toronto Sun: "The St. Clair streetcar right-of-way was a disaster because of changes to the plan, a lack of leadership, too many small-time contractors, a lengthy legal battle, and an overly sympathetic province, according to a report by transportation experts Len Kelman and Richard Soberman."]

Anyone who has been to St. Clair knows the street is more vibrant than it has ever been, with many of our old favourite shops and restaurants and many new businesses and patios. Both Business Improvement Associations (BIAs) in Ward 21 are supportive of the streetcar, and have worked closely with me on many shop local initiatives over the years.  ["We told them all that – there was no clear manager; it was like renovating a house without a general contractor," said Connie Lamanna, owner of the Ontario Fashion shop on St. Clair W. and chair of the Corso Italia Business Improvement Area, which opposed the project.]

TTC statistics show that peak time ridership on the 512 St. Clair streetcar route today is up about 50 per cent from 2009 before the new line opened (it is up 25 per cent from 2005 pre-construction). Further, during peak periods, travel time has been reduce by 14 per cent and during off-peak times the service is up to 25 per cent faster. The route is providing much-improved service and people are responding positively by using the route more often.
[The Toronto Star: "With no clear boss, constantly changing plans and too many small contractors crowding the job site, Toronto's controversial St. Clair streetcar line cost more time, money and local anguish than necessary, says an independent review requested by the TTC."]


This is from the TTC Commissioned Report:


“Getting it Right”



Lessons from the St. Clair Streetcar for the Implementation of Transit City


Les Kelman and Richard M. Soberman


7 January 2010
 
 
Reconstruction of the St. Clair streetcar route is intended to improve service reliability and enhance urban design features of the local streetscape. In September 2004, City Council approved a capital investment of about $48 million to proceed with the project, subsequently amended to $65 million as a result of a more through analysis of estimated completion costs.



According to the 2010-2014 TTC and City budgets, the estimated total expenditure for St. Clair is now $106 million. The most recent estimate of project completion (June 2010) results in a total implementation period of more than five years, considerably longer than anticipated.


These additional costs and delays have raised concerns about the ability of the City and the TTC to deliver projects, on budget, in a timely manner. Delay in project completion is also one of the reasons why this project has generated a general perception that unnecessary hardships were created for residents and businesses.


More from Joe here 
 
What was that about misinformation???

Anti-Gay, anti-Smitherman ad turns up on Tamil radio

It's not clear who placed this ad on a Toronto Tamil radio station,

According to Xtra,  "Adrienne Batra, head of Communications for the Rob Ford campaign, says the Ford campaign itself is not responsible for the ad. Batra says the campaign is "appalled" by it, and compared the reference to Smitherman's homosexuality to disparaging comments made about Ford's weight. "We have no idea where this ad came from. They're alluding to his lifestyle choices and no one feels ill-feelings for his choice." UPDATE: @RobFordTeam (the official Twitter account of the Rob Ford campaign) wrote: "I do not condone the recent Tamil Radio ad. I support diversity & have no issue with others' lifestyle choices. #voteTO"

(Note: Recent science suggests that homosexuality is an inherent, genetic designation rather than a "lifestyle choice", but Ford's heart, and tolerance, is in the right place.)

Rough Translation:

1st Person: Mani Anna, Who you voting for in the Mayoral Election?

2nd Person: [Laughs] What kind of question is this? I am Tamil. We have a religion and culture. Take Rob Ford for an example, his wife is a women. That's not only it, he said will reduce land transfer taxes and other taxes.

1st Person: What about Immigration?

2nd Person: [Laughs] That's a federal government issue. So, the white people can get our vote.

1st Person: I am also going to vote for Rob Ford.

DISCLAIMER: This is a paid Advertisement




There are plenty of reasons not to vote for George Smitherman, such as his demonstrated lack of competence as a manager of large governmental budgets, his lack of trustworthiness, and his pandering to whatever audience he's in front of. But his sexual orientation in irrelevant to all this. I'd vote for Quentin Crisp (with whom I once had a very interesting telephone conversation) as mayor, if I thought he would cut the waste and entitlement that characterizes Toronto's city hall (and if he were still alive).

That's why I'm voting Ford.

UPDATE: The Smitherman campaign has unearthed some pictures that turned up in the east end of Toronto pandering to religious Muslim homophobia. This last bit of news is hardly surprising. Conservative members of the Islamic community tend to only express tolerance for those Gays who condemn Israel, but otherwise, have denounced homosexuality in the strongest, most bigoted terms.

George Soros' war against FOX News

Does George Soros have a bad case of Fox envy against media mogul Rupert Murdoch? Or has he decided the main reason Americans won't embrace socialism is Fox News? Either way, he's now buying the news. 
Soros, the billionaire speculator famous for bankrolling leftist causes, recently declared he was through with politics this election season because "I don't believe in standing in the way of an avalanche," referring to the likely GOP victory in November.
The 80-year-old leftist didn't earn his $14 billion fortune making bad bets. So although he's given "only" $53,100 in 2010 to Democratic candidates and causes (and his 24-year-old son has donated $73,000), it's worth noting that Soros has shifted his attention to influencing the media message, with his cash following.
On Oct. 18, Soros donated $1.8 million to National Public Radio to hire 100 new reporters for a project targeting state governments called "Impact of Government."


More here

Eye on a Crazy Planet Poll Results: It's a tie between Lightfoot and The Guess Who

The most recent Eye on a Crazy Planet poll asked which is the best Canadian Rock/pop group or musician of all time. Included were Anne Murray, Blue Rodeo, Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion and others, but in the finally tally, it was a tie between The Guess Who and Gordon Lightfoot.

So in honor of the winners we proudly present:



Hilarious ad from the director of Airplane! spoofing Senator "don't call me ma'am" Barbara Boxer

This could be the funniest political ad ever!

From The Hill:
The spoof is below:
"A well-known Hollywood producer and director has cut an ad against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) riffing on when the senator chided an Army brigadier general last year for calling her "ma'am."
David Zucker, the director of the 1980 comedy classic "Airplane!" who has worked on myriad films including the "Naked Gun" and "Scary Movie" franchises, directed the "Call Me Senator" spot for Right Change, a 527 and 501(c)4 organization "committed to supporting policies and candidates dedicated to fiscal responsibility and a strong national security for the United States, while upholding the principles of freedom, competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people."


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Juan Williams: "I was fired for telling the truth"

Yesterday NPR fired me for telling the truth. The truth is that I worry when I am getting on an airplane and see people dressed in garb that identifies them first and foremost as Muslims.


This is not a bigoted statement. It is a statement of my feelings, my fears after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by radical Muslims. In a debate with Bill O’Reilly I revealed my fears to set up the case for not making rash judgments about people of any faith. I pointed out that the Atlanta Olympic bomber -- as well as Timothy McVeigh and the people who protest against gay rights at military funerals -- are Christians but we journalists don’t identify them by their religion.


And I made it clear that all Americans have to be careful not to let fears lead to the violation of anyone’s constitutional rights, be it to build a mosque, carry the Koran or drive a New York cab without the fear of having your throat slashed. Bill and I argued after I said he has to take care in the way he talks about the 9/11 attacks so as not to provoke bigotry.


This was an honest, sensitive debate hosted by O’Reilly. At the start of the debate Bill invited me, challenged me to tell him where he was wrong for stating the fact that “Muslims killed us there,” in the 9/11 attacks. He made that initial statement on the ABC program, "The View," which caused some of the co-hosts to walk off the set. They did not return until O’Reilly apologized for not being clear that he did not mean the country was attacked by all Muslims but by extremist radical Muslims.


I took Bill’s challenge and began by saying that political correctness can cause people to become so paralyzed that they don’t deal with reality. And the fact is that it was a group of Muslims who attacked the U.S. I added that radicalism has continued to pose a threat to the United States and much of the world. That threat was expressed in court last week by the unsuccessful Times Square bomber who bragged that he was just one of the first engaged in a “Muslim War” against the United States. -- There is no doubt that there's a real war and people are trying to kill us.

Read the rest here at FOX News, where Juan Williams is now employed. It's a great read, because Williams reveals some of the thinking that characterizes the small-minded, politically correct bigots who call the shots at NPR.

Ever have an unwanted passenger in your car? Problem Solved: You can own James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger!

If you have a lot of money and can outbid everyone else who wants it.

But whatever it costs, it's got to be worth it for the ejector seat alone.

The "most famous car in the world" is going up for auction by RM Auctions and Sotheby's.

Check out the cool ad they put together for it and the car's stats and features here.

"The Social Network" screenwiter Aaron Sorkin: "Yes, The Social Network is sexist"

The critical consensus is that The Social Network is one of the best movies of 2010. According to a handful of voices, it's also one of the most sexist, populated by female characters who, in the words of The Daily Beast's Rebecca Davis O'Brien, exist only as "props, buxom extras literally bussed in to fill the roles of doting groupies, vengeful sluts, or dumpy, feminist killjoys...foils for the male characters, who in turn are cruel or indifferent to them."

Which, according to Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), was the whole point of the movie.

Read the rest here at The Atlantic

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ford: More transparency needed on donors list

The following Press release was issued by the Ford campaign. As noted last month in Eye on a Crazy Planet, Smitherman has been reluctant to release his donors' list.


Mayoral candidate Rob Ford announced today that if elected Mayor, he will ask Council to pass an amendment to the City of Toronto Act that would require all candidates to release their full donor lists before Election Day so that voters know who is financing the campaigns of potential Mayors.

“The voters deserve to know where the money is coming from. Every major candidate since 2003 has done this willingly, but with George Smitherman refusing to release his donors’ lists, it’s clear we need new rules to improve transparency and accountability,” said Ford. “It raises the question: what is George Smitherman hiding?”

George Smitherman has already been embroiled in multiple scandals involving the sole-sourcing of contracts to consultants that happened under his watch as Ontario Minister of Health. He is the only major candidate in the race for Mayor that has refused to release his donor list in this election.

“Are Mr. Smitherman’s friends at the Courtyard Group paying back some favours for all those sole-sourced contracts? We don’t know. George won’t tell us,” added Ford. “I believe strongly that Torontonians deserve to know before the election who is paying for Mr. Smitherman’s campaign, and that’s why, if elected Mayor, I will work with Council to change these rules.”



-30-


Adrienne Batra
Director of Communications
Rob Ford for Mayor Campaign

George Smitherman wants to be the conductor on the Gravy Train and only you can stop him!

Adam Vaughan, the councillor for Ward 20, came by my house the other day, campaigning for re-election and...

On a personal level, Adam's a nice, sincere guy. I think he's wrong about quite a few things in his political stances. His support for the despicable Krystin Wong Tam, one of the people behind Queers Against Israel Apartheid, is inexcusable. Adam is one of the councillors who appears content with the Miller status quo and from what I inferred, he thinks Miller's greatest failing is that he hadn't effectively communicated all the wonderful things he'd accomplished during his time as Toronto's mayor.

Vaughan doesn't appear to believe Toronto needs spending cuts and that a lot of our financial woes and the deterioration of roads and infrastructure not being properly addressed is because of the city's growth and the costs of transportation.

Some of those transportation costs being due to the incredible waste that happened during the St. Clair street car construction that cost than 300% of its proposed budget. Vaughan's leftist council colleague Joe Mihevc, as Deputy Chair of the TTC and a principle proponent of that mismanaged disaster, bears a huge measure of responsibility for that, and hopefully the electorate in Ward 21 will remember that and put in an alternative like Shimmy Posen.

The conversation with Vaughan took a strange turn. Vaughn has pretty much a lock on his downtown Trinity-Spadina ward. He's not facing any serious competition, so he seemed more interested in investing his time, not to advocate for himself in his ward, but to advocate voting against Rob Ford as mayor.

It was bizarre. First Vaughan started making comparisons between Ford and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Obviously the comparisons were meant disparagingly and I interrupted Adam to point out that he was making a big assumption to posit that I shared his views about Limbaugh and Beck. (While I find neither  to be exceptionally profound individuals, I don't find their positions so outrageous as to share the socialist "progressives" assessment of their being devils incarnate.)  Adams' response suggested he wasn't taking me seriously. It appeared incomprehensible to him that an intelligent person couldn't feel the same way. Particularly an intelligent person who lived south of Bloor Street.

As I said, the conversation was a bit bizarre. Adam made some very cogent points about Ford's council record being less impressive than his campaign would suggest, and then he undermined his arguments, in my mind, by trying to suggest I shouldn't vote for Ford because of Ford's father's record as an MPP when Mike Harris was Premier.

Adam then proceeded with an argument that may play well with some of his constituents, but struck me as the ultimate in political cynicism. He brought Ford's having lied (or forgotten about) his DUI/marijuana incident 11 years ago in Florida and his drunken outburst at a hockey game. The cynicism of harping on those matters is that it suggests Annex voters are more concerned with image than substance. My concern is with having a mayor who is determined to get our roads fixed, our municipal costs down, and who isn't in the pocket of detestable unions like CUPE Ontario. I told Vaughan I don't care if Ford smokes joints during council meetings, as long as he can cut the waste at city hall.

Ford is still preferable to councillor who spends $13,800 on their website or one who launches libel suits at the taxpayers' expense.

As far as I was concerned, the conversation reached its nadir when Adam told me "Ford is like George Bush, he tells you he's smart, but he's not."

It became apparent then that I was speaking with someone so blinded by their ideology that it was impossible to recognize or acknowledge any truth beyond it. George Bush was the president of the United States for two terms. In debates, he bettered supposedly more intelligent opponents like Ann Richards and Al Gore. You may disagree with what he did, but one of the reasons for his successes was that he was faced by adversaries so arrogant that they refused to concede the fact that someone who disagrees with them might actually posses some intellect. And he mopped the floor with them.

Adam conceded that Smitherman is not someone people could bring themselves to vote for. That part of the conversation was like his tepid Smitherman endorsement. I like Joe Pantalone in the same way I like Adam. I disagree with him, but at least I know that I'm talking to someone who is communicating what they honestly believe. Vaughan's endorsement of Smitherman is not based on any enthusiasm for Smitherman but on an all-consuming abhorrence of Rob Ford.

The 'strategic voting' endorsements of Smitherman by Mihevc and Vaughan should be instructive to voters. Smitherman has lately been talking about himself as a "progressive" candidate. Those paying attention need no reminder that "progressive" is also a code word that Marxists and radical socialists use to describe themselves.

Is Smitherman a Marxist or a radical socialist? Absolutely not. But he appears to be someone who will make shady deals and talk out of both sides of his mouth to achieve power. He's a McGuinty Liberal. The "progressive" who is going to cut taxes and waste? Don't hold your breath.

Yesterday the Globe and Mail endorsed him. It was the least enthusiastic endorsement I have ever read from a newspaper.

Here is some of the Globe's "endorsement" of Smitherman:
"Mr. Smitherman is vague. The risk in supporting Mr. Ford is what he might do as mayor, the risk in supporting Mr. Smitherman is what he might not do. The latter of the two has failed to articulate a vision or a strategy of his own, and he could easily end up as a second David Miller..He is essentially a professional politician, an office-seeker with a taste for managing, but not for transformation."
One of Eye on a Crazy Planet's readers provided this rendition of what we could look forward to if Toronto doesn't have the sense to reject Smitherman



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pro-Ahmadinejad news websites warp the truth

No shock there. But this story is funny in how they warp reality:

"Combing through Iran news today, I came across an article in one of the pro-Ahmadinejad websites. The title was 'Israeli Women Sell Their Bodies: [Pictures Included]' and the first paragraph said:


'In a blatant act of decadence and social moral corruption, women are displayed for sale in shop windows throughout Israel's major chain stores'. The article quotes several Israeli papers to back up its claim for this depraved social perversion which is gripping Israel and ends with a paragraph which says:

'Each woman has a price tag, which also displays her age, weight, size and her country of birth. The pictures below show modern women slavery in Israel, a country which claims to have democracy!'

So the message to the people of Iran is clear, democracy will lead to women being displayed in shop windows as sex commodities, is this what you want?"

.. sure enough, the truth is nothing like what the pro-Ahmadinejad sites are claiming .. It was in fact a protest to highlight the problem of human trafficking for the sex industry and the protesters were calling for people who pay for sex to be prosecuted too."


Read more here and here.

Iranian Police Chief Targets Women Cyclists, Roller-Skaters

October 20, 2010


The new police chief of the Iranian city of Esfahan says it is a crime for women to cycle or roller-skate in public, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports.

The two were among a range of women’s activities deemed criminal by Hassan Karami in an announcement on October 18.

Further criminal activities include singing near Esfahan’s famous Khajoo Bridge and playing volleyball in public. Karami also said that it is a crime for either sex to play cards in public parks.

Karami said police will “severely prosecute” offenders. He added that the number of police stations and patrols in Esfahan should be increased in order to combat crime in the city.

 Full story here

Thursday's This Vs That: Christianity vs Judaism

Not a cage match, a comparative chart prepared at The Resource Center Blog.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fidel Castro's Diary - October 20



Dear Diary:

Getting old sucks. Lenin had the right idea. He doesn't look like he's aged a day since 1924. Perhaps a few hours a day in formaldehyde could help me preserve my youth too.

But then there's also the lack of energy. It was only a few years ago when I could give seven, eight hour speeches to my adoring people and it would seem like no time went by at all. Now I can barely speak for two uninterrupted hours before I get winded. What's the point?

I wonder if anyone is ever going to realize that the reason for my lengthy speeches was to watch the crowds sit there, and after a few hours, see them need to have to urinate, but be afraid to walk out and risk the trip to the Combinado del Este by incurring my displeasure. Ha! That was such a laugh! I know they used to wonder how I could go so long without needing to pee. They'll all admire me the more for my fantastic sense of humor when they find out I wore diapers during my speeches. I'll save that bit of information for my memoirs which I'll have published posthumously.

I better call Raoul this afternoon and make sure he hasn't screwed up anything today.

Still no call from Obama. I don't understand it. The Tea Party keeps saying he's a socialist and I know he's interested in health care reform, so who better to ask for advice than me? Under my rule, Cuba has more doctors per capita than any other country on earth! We send doctors to Brazil for weapons, we export doctors to Venezuela for oil. During the last food shortage, we were able to use a few for emergency ration meat and no one noticed. If anyone knows about providing medical care to the poor, it's me. It's easy, you just make sure everybody in the whole country is poor, including the doctors!

Phone's ringing. Got to go.

Who is it? ..

Ahmadinejad? Shit. Him again? I better take it. I hate the bastard, but they have oil. Good thing the crazy Iranian maricon has a crush on me. I'll try to talk him into toning things down, like the crazy mother will listen. He's the kind of guy who gives totalitarian dictators a bad name.

That's all for now, dear Diary.

Fidel

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today's Letter of Note from Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling and the idea that it's better to confront ideas by exposing rather than banning them

A Letter of Note brings to mind the abiding principle here at Eye on a Crazy Planet, best expressed by US President Woodrow Wilson:

"I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking."

Early-1966, celebrated journalist Alex Haley bravely entered the headquarters of the American Nazi Party in Virginia and proceeded to interview its founder - retired U.S. Navy Commander, George Lincoln Rockwell - for Playboy Magazine; to further intensify the situation, Rockwell, until then unaware of his interviewer's African roots, sat through the entire meeting within reach of a gun. Unsurprisingly, the resulting interview - available to read here - was published in April of that year to much debate.
One vocal supporter of the magazine's decision to grant Rockwell such an audience was Rod Serling, creator of, most notably, The Twilight Zone. He wrote the following fantastic congratulatory letter to the publication's offices soon after. Its message still rings true.

.."What is desperately needed to combat any "ism" is precisely what PLAYBOY has done -- an interview in depth that shows us the facets of the enemy. Yes, gentlemen, you may be knocked for supposedly lending some kind of credence to a brand of lunacy. But my guess is you should be given a commendation for a public service of infinite value. 
 Sincerely,

(Signed, 'Rod Serling')"
See the entire letter, the transcript and links to Alex Haley's interview with Rockwell here at Letters of Note

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you want to understand Smitherman, look at the people around him

Today Toronto city councilor and former Etobicoke mayor Doug Holyday endorsed Rob Ford as the best choice for mayor.

According to The Toronto Star, The Ford campaign has for some time been trying to land Holyday — an elder statesman on council’s right wing, known as much for his level head as Ford has been in the past for his hot temper. Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre) said he finally agreed because he’s convinced Ford’s main challenger, George Smitherman, is a tax-and-spend liberal running as a fiscal conservative.

Holyday said:  "You look at the people Smitherman has around him — (Councillor) Pam McConnell, (former Toronto mayor) John Sewell — it’s going to be more of what we got from Miller.  If the public wants more of the same, there’s a clear option for them. If they want change — I think Rob needs help, and there are those around him to help him do that.”

As noted in an earlier post, Sewell has recommended imposing a municipal sales tax and his single-term mayorship 30 years ago was best noted for the destructive conflicts he had with the Toronto Police Department.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Klaven on the Culture's Guide to The Elections

Funny video commentary from author Andrew Klaven at PGTV

Part 1: The Economy

Part 2: The War on Terror

The Globe and Mail sinks lower than imaginable on "Ford is a fatso" column

The Globe and Mail published, then attempted to scrape a disgraceful column from its website that went on and on about nothing but Ford's weight.

The remarkably immature tome of name-calling was written by a Stephen Marche, who, it turns out, is Robert Fulford's son-in-law.

The Ford campaign is using the column as a tool to show the depths to which his opponents would sink and the mentality and hatred that consumes the anti-Ford/Smitherman campaigns.

The column plays perfectly to the notion that the anti-Ford campaigners are a vacuous lot who are so overwhelmingly consumed with "image" that they have abandoned every other concern for the well-being of Toronto.

Despite the Globe's efforts to eradicate evidence of it, the article was archived elsewhere. Here is an excerpt:


The mounds of fat that encircle Rob Ford’s body like great deflated tires of defeat are truly unprecedented in Canadian politics. 
We have had chunky political candidates before, but the front-runner in Toronto’s current contest to be mayor is so fat that his belly is invariably the first thing you notice about him.
Yet far from harming his political image, his bulk is the key to his appeal. Neither intelligent nor sympathetic, Mr. Ford offers voters fat. And we want fat. In fat, we see ourselves.
Let no one confuse Rob Ford’s obesity with jollity. Every extra pound on Mr. Ford’s frame is an extra pound of rage. His angry fat is perfectly of our time.

You can read the whole, angry column here





h/t Blazing Cat Fur

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Muliticulturalism is dead" in Germany

In a speech to supporters, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that multiculturalism in Germany has not met with success. She stressed that immigrants must learn to speak German and integrate into German society.    

Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed," according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"This approach has failed, utterly failed," said Merkel, head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), in a speech to the party's young people's association in Potsdam on Saturday. She added that not enough was done in the past to support the movement. "The failures of the last 30 or 40 years cannot be resolved so quickly," she said.

The comments followed a similar speech from Christian Social Union (CSU) chief Horst Seehofer, sister party to the CDU, who on Friday evening declared his party's stance against multiculturalism. "Multiculturalism is dead," he said, to great applause.
read the rest here.

Poll results: If the NDP or Green party ever gets into power, buy distillery stocks

Actually, if the NDP gets into power, you might not want to buy shares in anything in Canada, since the stock market might collapse and there is a faction of that party that wants to do away with private ownership.

The most recent (highly unscientific) Eye on a Crazy Planet Poll asked "If the only two parties running in the next Canadian election were the Green Party and the NDP, how would you vote?"

The other two poll options were "don't know" and  "would stay home on election day and get drunk.'

While the Greens narrowly out-polled the NDP, both were dwarfed by the 80% of respondents who said that if those were the only choices, they'd stay home and spend election day getting plastered.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another "progressive" abandons principle and Pantalone

Downtown Trinity-Spadina Ward 20 councillor Adam Vaughan has joined Ward 21 councillor Joe Mihevc in abandoning his "progressive" ally on council, Joe Pantalone,  in favour of endorsing the strategic vote for George "Captain eHealth" Smitherman in Toronto's mayoral race.

The left wing on council must be terrified that Rob Ford will make good on his promise to cut council perks and expenses and are opting for whatever they think will keep their money flowing.

George Smitherman gets official endorsement from anti-Semitic 9-11 conspiracy theorists

Readers of Eye on a Crazy Planet may remember The Canadian Charger. It's provided us with many laughs, although purely unintentionally on their part.

That ideological cesspool is home to some of Canada's craziest bigots.

It's no surprise they have endorsed George Smitherman for mayor of Toronto.

See here: Blazing Cat Fur: Kiss of Death: George Smitherman Endorsed By Crazed Jew Baiters Ali Mallah & Mohammed Elmasry's Canadian Charger 911 Troofer Rag

New poll puts Rob Ford back on top in Toronto mayoral race

The poll was conducted on Thursday night, the day after trailing candidate Rocco Rossi withdrew from the race.

The poll shows support for each of the candidates as follows:

•Rob Ford: 44%

•George Smitherman: 38%

•Joe Pantalone: 16%

•Other candidates: 2%

•Undecided: 16%

It’s in contrast to an Ipsos Reid poll completed before Mr. Rossi withdrew and released on Wednesday that showed Mr. Smitherman with a narrow lead of 31%, followed by Rob Ford at 30%, Mr. Pantalone at 11% and Mr. Rossi at 4%.

It looks like enough people remembered that a vote for Smitherman is like an endorsement of Dalton McGuinty's mismanagement of the province and of Smitherman's incompetence as McGuinty's Minister of Health.

Don’t give him the Nobel – he’s right-wing!

Swedish leftists are outraged that Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for literature, because he isn’t ‘one of us’.

‘I am a bit angry’, said the Swedish literary critic Ulrika Milles during Swedish television’s broadcast of the announcement of the Nobel Prize in literature for 2010. It took the country’s cultural elite just seconds to realise that a mistake had been made in the Swedish Academy’s voting process: you see, Mario Vargas Llosa, the winner, is no longer a socialist. ‘I lost him when he became a neo-liberal’, complained Milles. Many others echoed her.

People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners – like Wisława Szymborska, who wrote poetic celebrations of Lenin and Stalin; Günter Grass, who praised Cuba’s dictatorship; Harold Pinter, who supported Slobodan Milošević; José Saramago, who purged anti-Stalinists from the revolutionary newspaper he edited – thought that the Swedish Academy had finally crossed a line. Mario Vargas Llosa’s politics apparently should have disqualified him from any prize considerations. He is after all a classical liberal in the tradition of John Locke and Adam Smith.

Read the rest here at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9776/

h/t Ghost of a flea

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canadian Conservative government's economic policies working: Canada ranks 7th in world on The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom

Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, which compiles the index with The Wall Street Journal, says the index defines "economic freedom" to mean: "You can follow your dreams, express yourself, create a business, do whatever job you want. Government doesn't run labor markets, or plan what business you can open, or over-regulate you."

Read the entire article here at reason.com

Seals with frickin' sensors attached to their heads map the Antarctic Ocean floor!


Fifty-seven elephant seals had electronic sensors placed on their heads to transmit information. The sensors fall off when the elephant seals moult and lose their fur.

The data of where the seals were going and how far they were diving were recorded every few seconds and sent back by satellite. While doing this, his seals also came up with a plethora of data on the depth of the waters surrounding the Antarctic.

I bet I know where they got that idea:


Halloween comes early!

It's still two and a half weeks till Halloween, but it's come early to the Toronto Star.

If you're brave enough to see something really scary, then click here. But don't blame me if you get nightmares!

Swan Lake on Bloor Street West in Toronto

These two guys were giving an interesting, traditional rendition of Tchaikovsky on Bloor West in the Annex yesterday.

They're called Ezra and the Survivors. There were only two of them, so I guess that means there's only one survivor?

video
It was a nice interlude.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Canadian TV theme nostalgia moment

Try as you might, it's hard not to sing along

From Eye on the Hill: "Canada lost at the UN and I ain’t losing sleep"

The Toronto Star is lamenting that Canada lost because we have abandoned our progressive ways. Here’s the opening of their lead editorial today.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been undermining Canada’s bid for a United Nations Security Council seat since he was first elected back in 2006. Our embarrassing loss to Portugal merely confirms that our image as a progressive, even-handed, nation has taken a knock on his watch.

Yes, that’s right we lost because we are not sufficiently progressive. Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and the rest of the rogues gallery that makes up the United Nations don’t really give a hoot about how “progressive” we are. At least not in the Toronto Star sense.
I couldn't agree more, which ties into yesterday's post about the need for a League of Democracies.

read the rest from Eye on the Hill here.

Who runs the TDSB? Predatory Union CUPE Funds TDSB School Board Trusties Election Campaigns!

TORONTO, SEP 13 Toronto taxpayers and public-school parents may be surprised to learn that a majority of incumbent Toronto District School Board (TDSB) trustees relied on union contributions to finance up to two-thirds of their election campaigns.

The findings were gleaned from an analysis of candidates' financial reports from the 2006 election (City of Toronto website). According to Neil Flagg, candidate for trustee in WARD 5 (York Centre), 15 out of 22 elected trustees (68%) received union donations during the 2006 election, and of the 15 incumbents, 12 are seeking re-election in 2010. If re-elected, these incumbents would constitute a majority (55%) at the Board.

read the rest at:

Blazing Cat Fur: Who runs the TDSB? Predatory Union CUPE Funds TDSB School Board "Trusties" Election Campaigns!

Obama's new National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon

Donilon is a protege of Warren Christopher, who was a realist as Secretary of State during Bill Clinton's first term. Christopher and Donilon pushed for America to remain aloof from the Balkans war. Donilon raised his eyebrows over Madeleine Albright's approach to foreign policy during the Clinton years. He is a believer in quiet diplomacy. Donilon, a seasoned operator and lawyer, who first worked in the Carter administration, will push for decoupling from Afghanistan and Iraq.
read the rest at The National Interest

One speaker at Canadian Union of Postal Workers sponsored anti-Israel conference admits support for terror, another heads organization that threatened South African Jews

One of the speakers at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers' increasingly anti-Semitic-looking "Montreal BDS Conference" is none other than Ewa Jasiewicz.

Jasiewicz was a participant in the recent flotilla aimed at disrupting Israel's sea blockade of Gaza. In public, the anti-Israel activists pretend that they are not there to help Hamas, but want to bring aid to the people of Gaza. But among themselves, they tell the truth. Watch her from the 7:45 point in the video at the end of this postJasiewicz admits that the purpose of the these "peace activists" is to help the "fighters" and the "armed resistance." It should be noted the "armed resistance" Jasiewicz speaks of is Hamas' random lobbing of missiles into civilian areas in southern Israel, an act described by the United Nations as a war crime.

A rather amusing part of the video comes at the 6:00 minute part when she is disingenuous to the point of being ridiculous by trying to explain that when Palestinians in Gaza say they want to "kill the Jews", they don't really mean Jews but just the "Zionists." (Those silly Gazans keep forgetting to use the code word in public!)  This preposterous dissembling from Ms. Jasiewicz is characteristic of the bizarre psychological contortions these alleged "peace activists" engage in to try to mask their support for bigots and violent fanatics.

There really isn't much more that needs to be added to her words. She reveals that these liars hiding behind the "anti-war" mask aren't interested in peace, but want to facilitate the murder of Israelis by Hamas, a group that the Canadian government has designated as a terror group.

Yesterday with regard to the appearance at the bigots' conference by notorious anti-Semite Bongani Masuku, Jonathan Kay, in the National Post, observed :

As of noon Tuesday, Mr. Masuku was featured on the conference web site under the heading of “keynote speakers” — along with CUPW President Denis Lemelin. By early afternoon, after Mr. Masuku’s participation has been highlighted on the blog Eye on a Crazy Planet, his name had been scrubbed in favour of other officials from his organization, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, known as COSATU.

The status of Bongani Masuku's participation remains unclear for now. But the conference still currently boasts the appearance of Sidumo Dlamini, Masuku's bigoted boss at COSATU, who invoked conspiracy theories reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with his claim that Zionism is "a version of global racist domination." Dlamini is the sort of bigot who leads an organization that decided to protest against Israel, not by protesting in front of the Israeli Embassy in South Africa, or at the South African legislature, but by marching (illegally) through a Jewish neighbourhood as a clear message of threat and intimidation.

These are the people that CUPW are sponsoring to speak in Canada. The same kind of people who are behind the CUPW-sponsored "Sea Hitler". The leadership of CUPW needs to be held responsible for what they are doing.




UPDATE: And naturally, it wouldn't be an anti-Israel hate fest without the participation of Canadian tax-dollar leech John Greyson.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Log Cabin Republicans deliver on what Obama couldn't (or wouldn't)

The Gay Republican group, The Log Cabin Republicans, were one of two plaintiffs in a case calling for an immediate injunction so the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the US armed services could no longer be used against any U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world.

They were successful today when U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled in their favor.

She said the Log Cabin Republicans "established at trial that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Act irreparably injures servicemembers by infringing their fundamental rights." She said the policy violates due process rights, freedom of speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The League of Democracies: An idea that needs to be discussed

The UN was a wonderful idea that has turned into a dismal failure.

Its waste and corruption and paradoxical jokes like its having a "Human Rights" supervisory body containing countries like Libya, Cuba, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have largely undermined confidence in its usefulness throughout the democratic world. This body of 192 member states, many of whom are undemocratic dictatorships, makes decisions that reflect the will of their dictators and not their people.

Canada's recent unsuccessful lobbying for a seat on the United Nation's Security Council highlights some of the inefficiencies and hypocrisies that are inherent in the world's diplomatic amphitheatre.

It's time to get past the UN and Canada should lead the move towards establishing a global decision-making body that reflects responsible, democratic principles, rather than is subject to the whims of totalitarians in Iran and North Korea.

John McCain proposed a the formation of a League of Democracies 2 years ago. It's an idea whose time has come.

McCain wrote in the Financial Times:

"We need to strengthen our transatlantic alliance as the core of a new global compact – a League of Democracies – that can harness the great power of the more than 100 democratic nations around the world to advance our values and defend our shared interests.

At the heart of this new compact must be mutual respect and trust. We Americans recall the words of our founders in the Declaration of Independence, that we must pay “decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. Our great power does not mean we can do whatever we want whenever we want, nor should we assume we have all the wisdom and knowledge necessary to succeed.

We need to listen to the views and respect the collective will of our democratic allies. When we believe that international action is necessary, whether military, economic or diplomatic, we will try to persuade our friends that we are right. But we, in return, must also be willing to be persuaded by them.

The nations of the NATO alliance and the European Union, meanwhile, must have the ability and the will to act in defence of freedom and economic prosperity. "

Michael Medved: Why Is Obama Still Talking About 'Change'?

Obama can't credibly pose as protester rather than president.

But he keeps trying, nevertheless.

Just when you think al-Starzeera can't sink any lower they surprise you.

Blazing Cat Fur: Repugnant Toronto Star Blames Ford Supporters For Anti-Ford Ads

The Democrats put support from the Teachers' Union above students' interests

The new documentary Waiting For Superman has highlighted some of the problems in the American educational system.




The movie was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also helmed An Inconvenient Truth. A self-described liberal, Davis was resistant to the idea that the Teachers Union in the US was one of the major problems facing improving US schools, but as he investigated the issue, identifying them as a culprit became unavoidable.

The Teachers Union is one of the largest contributors to the Democratic Party, so US Democrats and President Obama have been reluctant to address the problem, as Tucker Carlson observes in the video below:


UPDATE: from reason.com "Waiting for Superman becomes Waiting for Godot" and Michelle Rhee, the reformist Education Superintendent in Washington D.C. who was one of the heroes of the film, resigned on Oct. 13.

Canadian Union of Postal Workers to sponsor anti-Israel conference featuring speaker found guilty of anti-Semitic hate speech

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers seems primarily interested in two things.

Ensuring the rights and good working conditions of Canadian postal workers and cooperating on providing efficient postal service to Canadians aren't either of them.

Fighting "Globalization" and inserting themselves into "liberation struggles" that have a remarkable tie-in to the interests of the Communist Party and the International Socialist movements seem to be their priorities.

CUPW, as readers of this blog will know, are co-sponsors of "The Sea Hitler" (the boat some Canadian Islamist and Communist groups want to send to interfere with Israel's Gaza blockade) and have allied themselves with some of the most virulent anti-Israel bigots in Canada.

But now the radical leadership of CUPW may have crossed the line into sponsoring outright anti-Semitism.

CUPW is co-sponsor of a conference set to occur in Montreal for October 22-24 called "Montreal BDS Conference". For those unfmiliar, BDS stands for "Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions" and these actions would be directed at Israel. The BDS movement is part of an ongoing campaign by Islamic and leftist radicals to try to deligitimize the middle east's only genuine democracy.

Canadian Liberal Party and parliamentary Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff referred to this phenomenon, when discussing the odious effort called "Israel Apartheid Week" which is closely tied to the is "BDS" movement as a "global campaign of proclamations, boycotts and calls for divestment, which originated in the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. Like “Durban I,” IAW singles out one state, its citizens and its supporters for condemnation and exclusion, and it targets institutions and individuals because of what and who they are — Israeli and Jewish.  [It] goes beyond reasonable criticism into demonization."

One of the speakers that CUPW is proud to present at the BDS conference is Bongani Masuku, South African labor union COSATU International Affairs Secretary, who was found guilty by the South African government's Human Rights Commission of anti-Semitic hate speech.

For information on Masuku, we have this from The Canada-Israel Committee's website:

What precisely did Masuku say that got him into so much trouble? Here are a few examples:

"We want to convey a message to the Jews in South Africa that our 1.9-million workers who are affiliated to COSATU are fully behind the people of Palestine… Any business owned by Israel supporters will be a target of workers in South Africa” [Source: Address at COSATU-Palestinian Solidarity Committee rally in Raedene, 6 February 2009].

"COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether it’s at Wits University, whether its at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm …" [Source: Address at public meeting on Wits University Campus, 5 March 2009]

The implications of Masuku’s statements were as clear as day, at least according to the South African Human Rights Commission:

In its findings, the SAHRC found that Mr. Masuku “surely intended to incite violence and hatred that was already potentially imminent amongst these two groups.”. The Commission also noted that other comments by Mr. Masuku were “intimidating and threatening” and noted that other comments made by Mr. Masuku could only mean that “unless South Africans agree with his views they should be forced to leave South Africa.”

In sum the SAHRC stated that “the comments and statements are of an extreme nature that advocate and imply that the Jewish and Israeli community are to be despised, scorned and ridiculed and thus subjecting them to ill-treatment on the basis of their religious affiliation. A prima facie case of hate speech is clearly established.”

By sponsoring Masuku, an advocate of  "violent liberation struggle" (read: "terrorism') CUPW is providing yet another example that bears out the truth of Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's assessment:, "so much of the criticism Israel faces is motivated by a dangerous form of anti-Semitism that tries to hide behind anti-Zionism and is represented by a coalition of the far left in the West with extreme currents of jihadi Islam that seek the destruction of the Jewish nation. They seem to believe that the Jewish people are the only people in the world that don't have a right to a homeland."

The vocal anti-Semite Masuku is the sort of individual that Denis Lemelin, President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, as a speaker and sponsor of this conference, is willing to be associated with. CUPW leadership and their descent into anti-Semitism is a disgrace and an embarrassment to its membership. They should be held responsible and called out for their bigotry.


h/t Blazing Cat Fur