Friday, March 31, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Fanged Fish Drugs Attackers with Heroin-Like Venom
Fang blennies — colorful Pacific region fish — in the Meiacanthus genus may be small, but they pack a very serious bite.
There are five genera of fang blennies, and all sport large, hollow canine fangs on their lower jaws, which slot neatly into holes inside the upper part of their mouths. But only species in the Meiacanthus genus have fangs that are grooved, connected to special glands and capable of delivering a dose of venom.
In a new study, researchers analyzed venom samples from the fishes' tiny fangs. They found a chemical cocktail loaded with opioid peptides that perform like morphine or heroin, making blenny attackers dizzy and sluggish when bitten. The cocktail is unique to the fang blenny, the researchers said. They added that the compounds, which are recognized for pain-inhibiting properties, could be used to develop novel painkillers...
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
...“You can dislike the fact that Trump was elected, yes, definitely, and yet still understand and accept ultimately that he was elected this time around. Or you can have a complete mental and emotional collapse and let the Trump presidency define you, which I think is absurd. … If you are still losing your s— about Trump, I think you should probably go to a shrink and not let the bad man that was elected define your self-victimization and your life. You are letting him win.”
“Barbra Streisand says she’s gaining weight because of Trump. Lena Dunham says she’s losing weight because of Trump. Really? You’re blaming the president for your own problems and neuroses?” Ellis said...
...“Liberalism used to be about freedom but now is about a kind of warped moral authority that is actually part of the moral superiority movement. This faction of the left is touchingly now known as ‘The Resistance.’ Oh yes, the resistance. What is this resistance? There are posters all over my neighborhood in West Hollywood urging me to resist, resist, resist,” he said.
“But some of us, who did not vote for Trump, and who located exactly who he was decades ago … some of us have been wondering: Resist what, exactly? And who is telling us to resist whatever? The people who voted for the candidate who lost — I’m supposed to listen to them? Is this a joke? … Well I’m certainly resisting the childish meltdowns I’ve been witnessing at dinners and on social media and on late night TV and too many times in my own home.”...
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
There is a move underway by several city councillors to have Pride Toronto denied city funding because of its decision to exclude the Toronto Police Service from this year's festivities, CBC News has learned.
Coun. John Campbell (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre) has drafted a motion, which he says he'll present at an upcoming council meeting, that asks city staff to withhold Pride's $260,000 grant "pending Pride's reaffirmation of its core value of inclusivity."
...Campbell said he's had verbal expressions of support for his motion from five other councillors: Mark Grimes, Justin Di Ciano, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Stephen Holyday and Jon Burnside.
Burnside, who represents Ward 26, Don Valley West, was a police officer from 1991 to 2001. He told CBC Toronto he has participated in the Pride parade several times as a police officer and later as a politician.
"If Pride wants to exclude the police, it's absolutely their business," he said Monday. "But part of my job is to decide on funding, and I think that [the ban on police] not only sends the wrong message, it's counter-productive."
Campbell said he'll present his motion when Pride's funding request gets to council, likely in April or May...
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Canada's government must be Islamophobic. 95% of its listed terror groups are Islamic terrorists. https://t.co/j50Qbwrrq5#M103 #CDNpoli— Richard Klagsbrun (@KlagsbrunTO) March 24, 2017
...For the motion itself, and the politics that attended it, have not been without contention. The questions raised on its wording were legitimate. Why the particular focus on Islam? Why not a motion, as some have suggested, speaking out against prejudice against all religions?
There is also concern that the motion will, in some manner, chill valid criticism of Islamist terror, or will not make allowance for legitimate criticism or analysis of Islam. Such criticism would now be forced to wear the degrading mantle of Islamophobia. Given this welter of mixed impressions and varied understandings of the very point of the motion, how effective can it be?
There is the key term itself, Islamophobia. As I have suggested in an earlier piece, this recent coinage, Islamophobia, is itself a contested term. The minister piloting the motion sees Islamophobia as “the irrational hatred of Muslims that leads to discrimination.”
That’s not as clear as at first glance it might seem. If the fear is “irrational,” then the ambition to reduce it by means of a distant parliamentary motion is a curious if not a wild response. Irrational fears are by definition those not subject to reason. We eliminate those only by therapy or medicine. We do not argue them away. Hence, we have never had a motion deploring claustrophobia.
The cruel deeds, by a terrorist, at the British Parliament this week give sombre point to these concerns. Should we not have some moderate response of caution and concern after London? Is that irrational? There is nothing irrational in having a reasoned or limited fear towards a group publicly committed to terrorism, and self-declared perpetrators of it, in the name of Islam. Nor is there bigotry, Islamophobia, in seeing the declared connection with Islam in these kinds of terror acts. If there is an Islamic connection, and it is declared ,even insisted upon, by the actors themselves, it is surely not phobic both to see the connection, and heed the declaration.
Then too, there is the rhetorical or forensic deployment of the term. A person who criticizes Islam, or who reasonably makes a connection between current terrorism and certain groups within Islam will, in some circles, very quickly be labelled Islamophobic...
Friday, March 24, 2017
Canadians, regardless of their political affiliation, should stand firmly against M-103, the motion by liberal MP Iqra Khalid that urges among other things the government to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” M-103 is not a bill, but its natural evolution could be a law criminalizing any speech, opinion or action that promotes so-called Islamophobia.
When she tabled her motion, Khalid cited her childhood experience. “ When I moved to Canada in the 1990s, a young girl trying to make this nation my home, some kids in school would yell as they pushed me, ‘Go home, you Muslim’ — but I was home. I am among thousands of Muslims who have been victimized because of hate and fear,” she said.
I sympathize. Living in Saudi Arabia as a young Christian boy, I was called an infidel by Saudi children, and made to feel inferior. We were not allowed to exercise our faith. In my native Egypt, millions of Christians live under systematic discrimination and widespread intolerance. Christianity, not Islam, is the most persecuted religion in the world today. My wife recently lost two second cousins, beautiful young women, the only children of their parents, in the recent bombing at the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo. I understand the pain of ignorance, hatred, prejudice, discrimination and intolerance. But I don’t call it Christianophobia, because it isn’t. It is ignorance, hatred, prejudice, discrimination and intolerance. In fact, here in Montreal, I experience denigration of my Christian faith daily by Quebecers who use the holiest religious terms routinely as expletives.
Ignorance and insensitivity are not phobia, however. Phobia is a medical term, denoting a pathological and irrational fear. The proper definition of Islamophobia is not irrational hatred of Muslims, but irrational fear of Islam. Hatred of Muslim Canadians, or any other group, is always wrong. Incitement to discrimination or violence against any group is illegal and always should be.
But let us not confuse the issues. On the same day Khalid tabled her motion, an e-petition with nearly 70,000 signatures was tabled that called on the House of Commons to recognize that “extremist individuals do not represent the religion of Islam,” and to condemn all forms of Islamophobia.
Extremist individuals? We are living in an age where depraved terrorist armies, who cite a unifying explanation for their actions in Islamic texts and doctrine, occupy large swaths of entire nations. Even if we dismiss these hundreds of thousands of extremists, and instead examine mainstream Islamic societies, what do we find? We find nation after nation where apostasy is a crime punishable by death, indigenous minorities are robbed of equal citizenship and religious dissent is considered treason. A charge of Islamophobia is used to silence, marginalize and imprison the few liberal Muslim thinkers who are attempting to reform Islam from within, and the weapon to subjugate and humiliate minorities. Who, then, represents Islam?...
One of the strangest turns in the story of Russia and the Trump campaign has been the recent outrage from Democrats over politicization of the investigation.
This all centers on Chairman Devin Nunes, the Republican who is leading the House Intelligence Committee's investigation. He was an adviser to the Trump presidential transition. The White House asked him last month to talk to a reporter to rebut news stories that alleged Trump associates had many contacts with Russian intelligence officers. On Wednesday, Nunes briefed the president about new information he had regarding dozens of widely disseminated intelligence reports on the Trump transition. He did this before he briefed his committee's Democrats.
All of this has prompted an outbreak of high dudgeon from the party of Clinton. Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, says Nunes must choose whether he wants to lead a credible investigation or be a surrogate of the Trump White House. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Nunes is a "stooge."
Nunes on Thursday gave a half apology for all of this to the minority members of his committee. He told me: "The bottom line is I know it hurt some people's feelings, but I had a judgment call to make and I did what I felt was right. The commitment remains to keep the committee bipartisan." He added, "I appreciate their concerns, but I had to do what I had to do." Translation: The chairman loves your passion, Democrats.
So why would Nunes brief President Donald Trump before Schiff? The answer is that the entire Russia-Trump investigation by Congress from the beginning has been a partisan fight. Leaks about who may be a target of the probe, press conferences on "what we know so far," pushback from the White House and other Republicans -- it's all evidence that the Trump-Russia probe is a political football.
So both parties have tried to spin the investigation for partisan advantage...
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Here's where the Ryerson fascist imbeciles burst in on the speech:
Venezuela, Socialism, and awful people like Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis who want to bring it to Canada all suck
Last place finish by Venezuela on "world happiness index" shows preference for enjoying socialism, rather than responding to foolish surveys— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) March 23, 2017
US Intelligence Agencies Monitored Trump's Personal Communications Then Improperly Spread Information
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's personal communications were picked up by U.S. intelligence operations that were monitoring foreign espionage targets, a top Republican said Wednesday in a major twist in the real-life spy drama unfolding in Washington.
The senior congressional watchdog on U.S. intelligence agencies, Devin Nunes, made that announcement to the news media, then went straight to the White House to brief the president on what he'd found.
Nunes said he had seen dozens of intercepted communications from November, December, and January between the Trump transition team and foreign targets who were under U.S. surveillance by legally obtained security-court orders.
But he suggested the material was then improperly spread...
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Fucking Gavin McInnes. After me spending all that time complaining about how he isn't very funny the other day, he puts out this today, which is pretty funny:
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
You'll learn some things if you watch this all the way through:
Monday, March 20, 2017
Morris Dees is a born salesman who was a committed capitalist before he entered elementary school. “When I was 5, I bought a pig for a dollar. I fattened it up and sold it for $12,” he once told People magazine. “I always had a feel for making money.”
When his mother sent him a fruitcake his freshman year in Tuscaloosa, Morris and classmate Millard Fuller wrote other students’ parents offering to deliver freshly baked birthday cakes. Soon they were selling 350 cakes per month. By the time they left law school, they were making $50,000 a year—$400,000 in today’s dollars.
After graduation, Dees and Fuller hung out a shingle and practiced law. But the real money came from their mail order business, peddling everything from cookbooks to tractor cushions. In 1969, Dees sold the direct-mail firm to the Times Mirror Co. for $6 million. By then, Fuller had cashed out, given away his money, and with his wife gone to live a Christian life building homes for the poor—efforts culminating in the creation of Habitat for Humanity.
Dees also started a nonprofit, which he named the Southern Poverty Law Center. But he gave up neither the high life nor the direct-mail business. He lives in luxury with his fifth wife and still runs the SPLC, which has used the mail-order model to amass a fortune. Its product line is an unusual one: For the past 47 years, Morris Dees has been selling fear and hate.
The business model is simple, albeit cynical, and best illustrated by its most famous case. In 1987, a Dees-led legal team won a $7 million judgment against the Ku Klux Klan in a wrongful death suit on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, the mother of a 19-year-old kid murdered by members of the racist group. But the defendants’ total assets amounted to a building worth $52,000. That’s how much Mrs. Donald, who died the following year, received. But Dees reaped $9 million for the SPLC from fundraising solicitations about the case, including one showing a grisly photo of Michael Donald’s corpse.
Today, the center boasts a treasury of more than $300 million, the richest civil rights group in the country.
But with the Ku Klux Klan literally out of business, how was the SPLC able to frighten people into still donating? That’s where the AEI’s Charles Murray reenters our story, along with many other mainstream conservative groups. Scaring the bejesus out of people requires new bogeymen, and lots of them.
In recent years, you can find yourself on the SPLC’s “hate map” if you haven’t gotten fully aboard on gay marriage — or the Democratic Party’s immigration views. In other words, the Dees’ group classifies individuals and organizations as purveyors of “hate” for holding the same view on marriage espoused by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton until mid-2012...
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Obama did send around $80 Million to the city for it’s late woes, however he waited until the last waining months of his presidency, whereas Trump is jumping on the issue right away, providing a lot more support, and promising a lot more to come.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Protesters threw glitter, blew horns and tried to shout down University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson Friday as he spoke about free speech and political correctness at McMaster University.
“This was by far the most contentious event that I’ve been to,” Peterson said. “They did everything they could to shut it down.”
Peterson — who was invited to speak at McMaster — has sparked controversy by refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as ze and zir, and by denouncing political correctness run amok in post secondary institutions.
Hadhy Ayaz, a third-year student at the university and director of Overcome the Gap McMaster which organized the event, said most of the crowd came to hear the professor speak but about 15-20 protesters crashed the room, blew air horns, played loud instruments and threw glitter onto Peterson.
“They were shouting slurs at Dr. Peterson,” Ayaz said. “We weren’t able to run the event at all as intended. It’s really disappointing.”
He said students had made a point of telling people they were welcome to protest peacefully outside.
Peterson spoke for about half hour and then went outside to address students...
It's a great response, and it does highlight the hypocrisy of the leftists who jumped on McInnes.
Having said that, I still stand by my post on the subject where I wrote: McInnes' flaw is not that he's a Jew-hater, which he most certainly is not. It's that he's not great at comedy.
Having said that, I still stand by my post on the subject where I wrote: McInnes' flaw is not that he's a Jew-hater, which he most certainly is not. It's that he's not great at comedy.
Friday, March 17, 2017
The insistence that gender differences were and are immaterial to the proper functioning of a free society has been a feature of our common conversation since the 1970s. It was the key to “second-wave feminism,” the political and social movement that took women’s liberation beyond issues of suffrage and wages and employment to the question of how a just society orders itself.
By the close of the 20th century, however, the insistence that gender differences be treated as inconsequential had ossified into orthodoxy precisely at the moment when the biological sciences were uncovering differences between the sexes that had hitherto been unknown. An ongoing tug-of-war has resulted between scientists who investigate sex differences and activists who oppose such research. This battle over theory has had horrific real-world consequences. The minimizing of sex differences in areas of health and medicine in particular has led to sweepingly harmful and often fatal results, especially for women.
Consider the following fiasco. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was slashing the recommended dosage of the sleeping pill Ambien in half—but only for women. The FDA had known for 20 years that women metabolized the active ingredient, zolpidem, more slowly than men, but the dosage for men and women had been exactly the same since the drug had been on the market. In 2014, neuroscientist Larry Cahill told 60 Minutes:
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Let’s start with the law.
The president of the United States has power to bar “any class of aliens” both as immigrants and as nonimmigrants and to impose on their ordinary comings and goings “any restrictions he may deem appropriate.”
That’s the language of the U.S. Code, the law of the land as enacted by Congress, under Congress’ own constitutional power over immigration and naturalization.
Presidential power is never absolute, of course. It’s always subject to the Constitution. Many have argued that Trump's ban is unconstitutional because—as the president himself has repeatedly said—it’s intended to ban Muslims, and should be regarded as prohibited religious discrimination.
But here’s the problem for those making the argument: It’s firmly established U.S. law that the rights of the Constitution belong only to Americans. The U.S. Army can strip enemy combatants of weapons without offending the Second Amendment right to carry firearms. It can billet troops in private dwellings overseas without offending the Third Amendment. The NSA can intercept foreign communications without regard to the Fourth Amendment. The U.S. courts do not hear cases from foreign nationals who complain their due process rights under the Fifth Amendment somehow been infringed. And so through the gamut.
Where do foreign nationals then acquire their supposed First Amendment right to enter the United States without religious discrimination?
The answer offered by Judge Derrick Watson’s opinion is a judicial reach of a kind that might sound clever to the student editors of an academic law review—but that should worry all Americans in real life...
On Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, The New York Times posted a video by its media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, in which he declared that political journalism in America is broken.
"Mainstream journalists who were covering this race and cover politics," he said, "really didn't understand the anger and … how many people held that anger toward the status quo – how widespread that was in the country. And it comes after we missed Brexit. It shows that the global media is having troubles keeping up with the changes in the world."
All of the foibles of Mr. Trump that drew so much media attention, Mr. Rutenberg concluded, "drew us away from the other part of the story, which was how some large percentage of this country thought about the way things are going."
There is a big warning here for Canadian media commentators and the country's political elites in general who are currently lecturing Conservative Party leadership candidates about fuelling populist anger and dismissing as ignorant, small and mean the perturbations of their supporters who are expressing fear and resentment over how Canada is being run.
Those supporters are real people – and there are a lot of them. Dismissing them and their concerns, however crudely they may be stated at times – as the U.S. media did with Americans who flocked to Mr. Trump's standard – is frankly more likely to increase their numbers and more deeply entrench their anger and their (justifiable) sense of being held in contempt by the mainstream media and political establishment...
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The Rebel, The Walrus, and how Gavin McInnes is a crappy comedian, but that's not quite the same as being a Nazi
As far as I'm aware, my friend Michael Coren and I are two of only three people to be published by both The Rebel and The Walrus, which are close to being at opposite ends of the Canadian political spectrum. Indeed you can go further right or left, but that would take you, respectively, dangerously close to the insanity of James "Dimitri the Lover" Sears' Nazi-leaning Your Ward News or the demented neo-Marxist website, rabble.ca.
I'm acquainted with both The Rebel's founder Ezra Levant and The Walrus' Editor-in-Chief, Jonathan Kay, who have an odd public 'frenemy' relationship. I find them both to be charming, clever, and in their own ways, devoted to improving public discourse regarding the most important political issues facing the country.
The Rebel and The Walrus are both frustratingly biased in their overall coverage, and yet are important contributors to Canada's media landscape in that they delve into areas most mainstream media neglects. Although it's been a long time since I've bothered to submit anything to either, that's why I continue to read both often and feel both a sense of pride and embarrassment at having my name in some small way associated with them. This week, insofar as The Rebel is concerned, the embarrassment is significant.
Rebel contributor Gavin McInnes made some comments on another website that, on their surface, sound borderline Nazi-like. I've followed McInnes' material to some extent and I don't believe he is a Nazi or genuinely antisemitic. McInnes clearly sees himself as a comedian who offers social commentary. The problem is that, while he sometimes hits the mark, for the most part he's neither very good at comedy nor shows vast insight in his social commentary.
The first piece I wrote for The Rebel was titled Should Comedy Have Boundaries? At the risk of giving away the gist of the article, the answer is a qualified No. But at the time, I wrote that a particular problem that can occur: "when a comedian keeps making the same type of unfunny joke over and over, is that it can lead the casual observer to the natural conclusion that it's not actually a joke, and the joker is just an asshole. "
McInnes' frequent forays into White Identity Politics are often as shallow as the Identity Politics one hears from anyone else, and which have done nothing but divide people in the name of equity. By doing it as comedy, it doesn't make his insights any more poignant, but I suppose it gives him some deniability as to his intent.
McInnes' controversial comments indicate he thinks that the Holocaust isn't unique among 20th Century genocides. He's wrong. While all genocides are deplorable, the Holocaust is unique in that Germany singled out Jews alone for their religious identity and waged war with the intent to exterminate all of them them. Mao and Pol Pot's 's murders of millions of their countrymen was monstrous, but those were not attempts to eradicate an entire ethnic group. They were political acts of violence. Even Stalin's murder of millions of Ukrainians was not designed to annihilate a whole people but to force a nationality of people under his control into submission. It was, at its core, political terrorism.
Even in regard to the shameful history of religious persecution in history, the Holocaust remains unique. The Spanish Inquisition persecuted Jews, to be sure (although unbelievers, 'heretics,' and Muslims were treated far worse by the Inquisition). But in that regard, Jews could avoid the Inquisition by leaving Spain or converting to Christianity. In contrast, the Nazis didn't care if a Jew practiced Judaism or Christianity. Merely having one Jewish grandparent was enough to qualify someone for Hitler's Jewish extermination policy in any country the Nazis conquered. Even in the waning days of the Second World War, Hitler and Himmler diverted resources that could have gone to the German war effort into rounding up and murdering Jews. It was a pathological, deranged, yet systematic attempt to kill off any trace of a whole group of people. The world has seen nothing like it before or since.
Saying stupid things meant to be taken ironically doesn't necessarily make someone a Nazi. McInnes has said that the comments he made were taken out of context, and to his credit, he has denounced actual Nazis and White Nationalists like the odious David Duke and Richard Spencer. In no uncertain terms, McInnes made it clear he supports Israel and that the antisemitic tropes he joked about were not true. An actual Nazi would have stood by them. Again, McInnes' flaw is not that he's a Jew-hater, which he most certainly is not. It's that he's not great at comedy. Maybe he should see if he can find a Jew to help him with that. I understand there are some good comedians among the Chosen People.
On the other side of the scale, Jon Kay suggested that if McInnes were a Muslim who said the sort of things he did at a mosque, the right-leaning media would be all over him. That comment suggests a distinct lack of perspective. McInnes did a terrible job of comedy on his own website. Yet even assuming he was serious about what he said, being an Internet comedian babbling online is a very different proposition than issuing religious edicts to hate and kill people in the name of Allah. Someone as smart as Jon Kay surely should understand the moral, if not the actual difference between the two.
So far, I've heard very little from The Rebel to indicate that they are interested in clarifying this controversy. That's probably a mistake as Conservatives like Chris Alexander are rushing to distance themselves from The Rebel. Leaving matters with only slight clarification creates the damaging impression for Ezra Levant's media creation that it enjoys flirting with the 'alt-right' while trying not to skate over the line into being part of it.
If that really is the case, I'm going to have to continue to be embarrassed by my Rebel past while still secretly being glad they're exposing the more flagrant and awful aspects of left-wing extremism and Islamism that have insinuated themselves into Canada's political establishment.
Of course, if I'm embarrassed, imagine how poor Jon Kay must feel. Barbara Kay, one of Canada's premier journalists, and Jon's mother, is that third person who was published by both The Walrus and The Rebel, where she remains a regular contributor.
UPDATE (March 18): Ezra Levant and The Rebel respond:
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
If you want to understand the role of Trump's America in the world today, it's summed up in this 2 minute speech from 2004's Team America. We have the assholes of Islamic extremism and North Korea still plaguing the world, and the pussies who want to appease them. Now the pussies have even taken to wearing pussy hats. History again repeats itself, right down to Alec Baldwin...
Monday, March 13, 2017
Three Canadians out of four believe immigrants to this country should be tested for “anti-Canadian” values, a survey conducted for Radio-Canada suggests.
The findings of the survey, carried by the CROP polling for the French-language service of the CBC, indicate that despite criticism from the media and within political circles, the controversial position taken by Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch that immigrants be tested for an appreciation of “Canadian” values has traction with 74 per cent of Canadians. Inside Quebec, support for testing immigrants stood at 75 per cent.
The poll also suggests that 60 per cent of Canadians — and 67 per cent of those polled in Quebec — believe immigrants should put aside their own cultures and adopt that of Canada once they settle here.
The online survey of 2,513 respondents — 1,024 of them in Quebec — was conducted between Jan. 27-30, a time frame that in a grim coincidence includes the Jan. 29 attack on a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead.
The poll also suggests that nearly one out of four Canadians (23 per cent) would favour a ban on Muslim immigration to this country, a level of support that rises to 32 per cent in Quebec...
Doc Holliday's derringer gun is bought for $84,000 by the town of Glenwood Springs where the legendary gunslinger died
A famous Old West gun is finally returning home to Colorado after a museum bought it in the hopes that it will bring tourism.
The Glenwood Springs Historical Society pulled the trigger and authorized the $84,000 purchase of Doc Holliday's derringer.
The derringer is one of the few items that is believed to have been in the Hotel Glenwood room where the notorious gunslinger died on November 8, 1887...
The Trump administration’s budding efforts to establish a new Middle East diplomatic process are about to run into some stiff headwinds at home. Many in Congress want to cancel all U.S. aid to the Palestinians because of payments made to militants who attack Israelis. President Trump will soon have to decide if confronting the Palestinians on that terrorist incitement is more urgent than pursuing a pathway to peace.
Trump conducted his first phone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, and White House Israel affairs adviser Jason Greenblatt is headed to the region this week. On Greenblatt’s agenda will be whether the U.S. and Israeli governments should raise the pressure on the Palestinian Authority to stop paying the families of Palestinians imprisoned or killed after attacking Israeli or American civilians, a practice both governments believe incentivizes violence.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are pushing legislation that would cut off all U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, more than $300 million in fiscal year 2016 , unless its chief political counterpart, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, ceases rewarding the families of attackers. The bill is not new, but its sponsors believe that Trump’s victory bolsters their cause...
Sunday, March 12, 2017
This item from Australia shows the foolhardiness of the Canadian Liberal Party's divisive anti-Islamophobia Motion 103.
Evidently there is such a thing as 'Menstrual Activism,' and with that, I give up on the survival of western civilization
Another for the file of stuff too crazy for me to have made up:
|From the Menstration Matters website, |
on which things are posted periodically
What is Menstrual Activism?
Menstrual activism—or social activism that works to upset, challenge, and reverse impulses to silence and shame menstruating women—has many goals, tactics, and styles. It takes as its central premise the fusion between menstruation and anarchy (some call menstrual activism “menarchy”) and targets a wide range of social and political problems: the toxic substances in tampons and commercial menstrual products; increasing diagnoses of “premenstrual dysphoric disorder” (PMDD) and “premenstrual syndrome” (PMS); negative depictions of menstruating women in film, television, music, and popular culture; over-medicalization of menstrual cycles, including menstrual suppression; double standards in imagining women’s bodies as “dirty” and men’s bodies as “clean”; men’s attitudes about menstruation and menstrual products; early menstrual education and messages of shame and taboo embedded in such messages, and a variety of other problematic aspects of contemporary menstrual culture.
Menstrual activism is both formal (e.g., Blood Sisters) and informal (e.g., individual women making menstrual art); it offers coherent, organized critiques and tactical interventions (e.g., working to pass a congressional bill on tampon safety) and it draws from organic and informal modes of communication and connection (e.g., women sharing first period stories on Facebook). It offers showy and artistic public displays (e.g., Spanish performance artists walking along public streets wearing pants stained with menstrual blood) and more private and subtle shifts of thinking (e.g., women embracing menstrual sex). It draws from the culture of punk and anarchy alongside the do-it-yourself aesthetic that arose in the early 1990s, just as it puts into dialogue diverse and sometimes painful social questions about bodies and identities. Chris Bobel (2010), whose work on menstrual activism stands out as exceptional, wrote of the possibilities of menstrual activism, “Menstrual activism helps us see what’s at stake in the spirited debates about what to do about gender and the ongoing struggles to engage a truly racially, ethnically, and economically diverse movement of social change advocates around a common issue” (13). Menstrual activism offers multiple, diffuse, tactical, and intuitive forms of resistance, many of which this book considers in detail. It builds upon what we already know about the benefits of resistance, as those who rebel through activism on behalf of any issue have better physical health and more enjoyment of life (Rittenour and Colaner 2012), fewer eating disorders (Peterson, Grippo and Tantleff-Dunn 2008), better mental health outcomes (Szymanski and Owens 2009), and more satisfying sex lives (Schick, Zucker and Bay-Cheng 2008). I argue that menstruation and resistance go hand in hand, that menstruating bodies are always already infused with the potential for activism, solidarity, defiance, feminism, and rebellion.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
By masking the truth, Chrystia Freeland made herself vulnerable to the sort of distraction Russia's Vladimir Putin has unleashed
It's clear from the scholarly work by Chrystia Freeland's uncle that her grandfather was indeed a Nazi collaborator who was Editor-in-Chief of a pro-Nazi, antisemitic newspaper. It also appears rather certain that she was aware of it, as she was a source for one of the papers.
Freeland is not responsible for the sins of her ancestors, but it does her no credit to have masked the truth. By doing so, she made herself vulnerable to the sort of distraction Russia's Vladimir Putin has unleashed.
Putin is responsible for terrible things in Crimea and in Syria that have contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Though Putin may be a despot, he's no fool.
|From John-Paul Himka's paper Krakivski visti and the Jews, 1943:|
A Contribution to the History of Ukrainian-Jewish Relations during the Second World War
...“Intersectionality” is the latest academic craze sweeping the American academy. On the surface, it’s a recent neo-Marxist theory that argues that social oppression does not simply apply to single categories of identity — such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. — but to all of them in an interlocking system of hierarchy and power. At least, that’s my best attempt to define it briefly. But watching that video helps show how an otherwise challenging social theory can often operate in practice.
It is operating, in Orwell’s words, as a “smelly little orthodoxy,” and it manifests itself, it seems to me, almost as a religion. It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained — and through which all speech must be filtered. Its version of original sin is the power of some identity groups over others. To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., “check your privilege,” and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay. The sin goes so deep into your psyche, especially if you are white or male or straight, that a profound conversion is required.
Like the Puritanism once familiar in New England, intersectionality controls language and the very terms of discourse. It enforces manners. It has an idea of virtue — and is obsessed with upholding it. The saints are the most oppressed who nonetheless resist. The sinners are categorized in various ascending categories of demographic damnation, like something out of Dante. The only thing this religion lacks, of course, is salvation. Life is simply an interlocking drama of oppression and power and resistance, ending only in death. It’s Marx without the final total liberation.
It operates as a religion in one other critical dimension: If you happen to see the world in a different way, if you’re a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative, if you believe that a university is a place where any idea, however loathsome, can be debated and refuted, you are not just wrong, you are immoral. If you think that arguments and ideas can have a life independent of “white supremacy,” you are complicit in evil. And you are not just complicit, your heresy is a direct threat to others, and therefore needs to be extinguished. You can’t reason with heresy. You have to ban it. It will contaminate others’ souls, and wound them irreparably...
Friday, March 10, 2017
Iranian official boasts of using immigration infiltrators to prepare to launch terror attacks within the U.S.
...In response to Trump’s updated executive order on immigration, former Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders released a statement saying the immigration pause was nothing but a “racist and anti-Islamic attempt to divide us up.”
In Canada, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair called the revised travel ban “racist.” Former Liberal candidate Bernie Farber wrote that Trump’s immigration policies show that “racism and bigotry have moved from the margins to the mainstream.”
For years, security experts have warned that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses lax immigration policies to thwart our national security and send terrorists and spies into North America.
There is now video evidence of a senior-ranking Iranian official discussing these very plans and operations...
A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.
Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.
“I mean it’s easy to prove a point when you remove all other sources,” Josephine said Thursday. “If she just gives you the ones that...the professor agrees with, then that’s basically brainwashing. It’s indoctrination.”...
Thursday, March 9, 2017
...they came to serve the cause of Islamofascism.
White youths in bandanas and facemasks roughed up Canadians, including their Muslim Canadian allies, who were protesting Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s “Islamophobia” motion, M-103.
Among the bullied victims of the supposed anti-racist activists, who included communists and Arab Islamists, were Muslim Canadians who were pushed and kicked, their placards seized and torn, with close-up pictures of them taken by a counter protester.
“We fear our pictures were being taken to be passed on to the Pakistani Consulate in Toronto,” said Imtiaz Baloch, a small business owner who escaped Islamic tyranny three decades ago.
Said another protester named Ahmad: “I escaped Pakistan because of the jihadist threat there to liberal values. I never thought that the (jihadi) mindset I escaped, would chase me to Canada.”...
Idiots are reading 1984 to try to understand Donald Trump (and most aren't even managing to understand what 1984 is really about); smart people who want to understand Trump are reading The Art Of The Deal:
One thing I’ve learned about the press is that they’re always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better. It’s in the nature of the job, and I understand that. The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you. I’ve always done things a little differently, I don’t mind controversy, and my deals tend to be somewhat ambitious. Also, I achieved a lot when I was very young, and I chose to live in a certain style. The result is that the press has always wanted to write about me.,,
...I’m not saying that [journalists] necessarily like me. Sometimes they write positively, and sometimes they write negatively. But from a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks. It’s really quite simple. If I take a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize a project, it might cost $40,000, and in any case, people tend to be skeptical about advertising. But if the New York Times writes even a moderately positive one-column story about one of my deals, it doesn’t cost me anything, and it’s worth a lot more than $40,000.
The funny thing is that even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business. Television City is a perfect example. When I bought the land in 1985, many people, even those on the West Side, didn’t realize that those one hundred acres existed. Then I announced I was going to build the world’s tallest building on the site. Instantly, it became a media event: the New York Times put it on the front page, Dan Rather announced it on the evening news, and George Will wrote a column about it in Newsweek. Every architecture critic had an opinion, and so did a lot of editorial writers. Not all of them liked the idea of the world’s tallest building. But the point is that we got a lot of attention, and that alone creates value. . . .
Most reporters, I find, have very little interest in exploring the substance of a detailed proposal for a development. They look instead for the sensational angle...
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
...Students who try to shut down debate are not junior Nazis or proto-Stalins. If they were, I would be content to say that their antics will wind up on the proverbial ash heap of history. Alas, the downshouters represent something more insidious. They are, I am sorry to say, Marcusians. A half-century-old contagion has returned.
For Marcuse, the fact that liberal democracies made tolerance an absolute virtue posed a problem. If society includes two groups, one powerful and one weak, then tolerating the ideas of both will mean that the voice and influence of the strong will always be greater. To treat the arguments of both sides with equal respect “mainly serves the protection and preservation of a repressive society.” That is why, for Marcuse, tolerance is antithetical to genuine democracy and thus “repressive.”
He proposes that we practice what he calls a “liberating” or “discriminating” tolerance. He is quite clear about what he means: “tolerance against movements from the Right, and tolerance of movements from the Left.” Otherwise the majority, even if deluded by false consciousness, will always beat back efforts at necessary change. The only way to build a “subversive majority,” he writes, is to refuse to give ear to those on the wrong side. The wrong is specified only in part, but Marcuse has in mind particularly capitalism and inequality...
|Gay Iranian refugees at Toronto's Pride conceal their identities|
so their family's won't suffer repercussions from Iran's dictatorship
Canada’s federal immigration department has acknowledged it resettled fewer LGBT Iranians from Turkey, in order to make space for the late-2015 Syrian airlift.
The comments, made by a senior official at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, came on Feb 21, 2017, two weeks after an Xtra investigation found that Canada started referring LGBT Iranians to the United States for resettlement. Under the previous Harper government, Conservatives gained international praise for the program that brought hundreds of LGBT asylum seekers from Turkey.
“We never stopped taking LGBTQ Iranians. We had a large flow of referrals that involved Iranians. As we increased the number of referrals for Syrians, we decreased the number of referrals from Iranians,” says David Manicom, the associate assistant deputy minister for strategic and program policy...
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Being a woman didn't hurt Hillary Clinton. Being Hillary Clinton hurt Hillary Clinton:
After watching the second televised debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in October 2016—a battle between the first female candidate nominated by a major party and an opponent who’d just been caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women—Maria Guadalupe, an associate professor of economics and political science at INSEAD, had an idea. Millions had tuned in to watch a man face off against a woman for the first set of co-ed presidential debates in American history. But how would their perceptions change, she wondered, if the genders of the candidates were switched? She pictured an actress playing Trump, replicating his words, gestures, body language, and tone verbatim, while an actor took on Clinton’s role in the same way. What would the experiment reveal about male and female communication styles, and the differing standards by which we unconsciously judge them?
Guadalupe reached out to Joe Salvatore, a Steinhardt clinical associate professor of educational theatre who specializes in ethnodrama—a method of adapting interviews, field notes, journal entries, and other print and media artifacts into a script to be performed as a play. Together, they developed Her Opponent, a production featuring actors performing excerpts from each of the three debates exactly as they happened—but with the genders switched. Salvatore cast fellow educational theatre faculty Rachel Whorton to play “Brenda King,” a female version of Trump, and Daryl Embry to play “Jonathan Gordon,” a male version of Hillary Clinton, and coached them as they learned the candidates’ words and gestures. A third actor, Andy Wagner, would play the moderator in all three debates, with the performances livestreamed. Andrew Freiband, a professor in the Department of Film/Animation/Video at the Rhode Island School of Design, provided the video design. (Watch footage from a Her Opponent rehearsal below.)
Salvatore says he and Guadalupe began the project assuming that the gender inversion would confirm what they’d each suspected watching the real-life debates: that Trump’s aggression—his tendency to interrupt and attack—would never be tolerated in a woman, and that Clinton’s competence and preparedness would seem even more convincing coming from a man.
But the lessons about gender that emerged in rehearsal turned out to be much less tidy. What was Jonathan Gordon smiling about all the time? And didn’t he seem a little stiff, tethered to rehearsed statements at the podium, while Brenda King, plainspoken and confident, freely roamed the stage? Which one would audiences find more likeable?
...Many were shocked to find that they couldn’t seem to find in Jonathan Gordon what they had admired in Hillary Clinton—or that Brenda King’s clever tactics seemed to shine in moments where they’d remembered Donald Trump flailing or lashing out. For those Clinton voters trying to make sense of the loss, it was by turns bewildering and instructive, raising as many questions about gender performance and effects of sexism as it answered...
...Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is putting Muslim feelings above free speech. Without defining Islamophobia — a term often applied to legitimate criticisms of radical Islam — these motions tell Canadians that their government deems some types of speech off-limits. Americans may shrug off this legislative virtue signaling, assured of First Amendment free-speech protections. Canadians aren’t so lucky, however. Our 35-year old Charter of Rights and Freedoms — part of our Constitution — does afford us “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” — but only with a catch. The very first section of that charter sets out “reasonable limits” against which all of our supposed freedoms are measured. This caveat has given other arms of government carte blanche to curb allegedly offensive speech in the past decade.
Federal and provincial human rights tribunals have gone after authors, bloggers and radio hosts — the most notable of which is Mark Steyn — for “hate speech,” even when comments fall short of the criminal threshold, which requires incitement to violence and public disorder. Steyn and his then-publisher, Maclean’s magazine, faced a slew of complaints over publication of an excerpt of Steyn’s bestseller, “America Alone,” which Muslim groups said was Islamophobic (despite how prescient Steyn’s message was.) Ezra Levant similarly found himself in front of a human rights tribunal to defend his right to publish the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons in 2006. Both Steyn and Levant emerged victorious, but the process itself was the punishment. Both cases came about because the government had been empowered to enforce incredibly loose definitions of hatred.
Toronto Sun columnist Tarek Fatah said the anti-Islamophobia motions will target moderate Muslims like himself; he fears his criticisms of sharia law, radicalization and the Muslim Brotherhood’s widespread influence in Canadian Muslim organizations are effectively being stifled...
...SJWs believe in a world with “no boundaries” where “everyone is equal” -- free immigration, open access to healthcare and education, etc. -- but at the same time are obsessed with creating segregated spaces.
While they protest against the “fascist patriarchal state” they are, at the same time, fundamentally Statist, demanding that the government police language for them and punish their enemies. While SJWs claim to fight for human rights, they parade the symbol of the largest genocides in history -- the Communist flag. They are pro-feminist, and at the same time defend Sharia law.
Living-in-contradiction is similar to the “Love me -- I hate you” dynamic in Borderline pathology called “Splitting.” In splitting, everything is “all or nothing,” and the thing that was passionately idealized suddenly becomes an object of hatred. Traitors are everywhere. This was exemplified by the expulsion of gay men and “TERFS” -- “Trans exclusionary radical feminists” -- from LGBT+ groups by Intersectional feminists.
Along with splitting comes the symptoms of low-impulse control, histrionics, dysphoria, a pervasive sense of emptiness, suicidal ideation, and self-harming...
Monday, March 6, 2017
When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down President Trump's original executive order banning immigration and travel to the U.S. from a list of seven countries early last month, the president's opponents on the left cheered what looked like a victory for their side.
But what it really did was force the most liberal federal court in America and a bevy of advocacy groups to show their cards and give the White House all the information it needed on how to elude the most serious legal and political barriers to this immigration policy going forward.
On Monday, the Trump team used that information and cashed in.
When the new revised travel ban was rolled out by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the announcement clearly had the parameters set by the 9th Circuit in mind.
First and foremost, the court's objection to banning entry to people who already had visas to be in the United States was addressed by the fact that the new travel ban excludes those visa holders.
Even though conservative Constitutional scholars have argued that the federal government has the right to rescind those visas, the Trump administration didn't choose to assert that right. And in so doing, the most potent legal aspect in the appeal decision has been defused.
But the case has also been fought in the court of public opinion. And the anti-immigration ban forces wisely latched on to the plight of many Iraqi citizens and ex-soldiers who had fought alongside U.S. forces in the recent past.
The sheer number of those Iraqis is large compared to most other groups seeking asylum, and their stories garner a lot of justified sympathy in and out of the courts. And so, with that card revealed, the Trump team decided to exclude Iraqis from the new ban and thus eluding another problem.
None of this means there won't be new protests against the revised ban in and out of the courts. But the White House has an upper hand now. Its legal opponents will now have to come up with new objections that even the uber-liberal 9th Circuit didn't consider last month...