9/25/2006

Playing the Race Card

"Don't hate me because I'm Italian," says Gagliano.
Continuing to fight his life-time ban from the Liberal Party, Alfonso Gagliano said Toronto MP Joe Volpe should stay in the party's leadership race since he is the victim of the same kind of anti-Italian sentiment that brought down the former public works minister...
"History repeats itself. Whenever an Italian-Canadian tries to go up and succeed in politics, somebody tries to do something to bring him down," said Gagliano, comparing Volpe's troubles to his own as outlined in his recently-released book. "When I got to the top, that's when my troubles began."

It kills me. Anti-mob and anti-corruption are, in this warped man's mind, equivalent to anti-Italian sentiment. Great. I am sure Italians everywhere are thankful for that clarification Gagliano.
"Media reports on the weekend said that at least nine party members in Montreal were signed up by the Volpe camp without their knowledge or without paying the $10 fee and even, in two cases, the signed-up new members are dead. Earlier in the campaign, Volpe refunded money raised from donations from teenagers in wealthy families in what appeared to be an effort to skirt the $5,400 donation limit. Party rules require that all members personally sign and pay for their membership in the party."
Signing up dead guys? That's really sad. What is this? If you can't get enough living support, try the departed?
I am sure that support from a mobster will help clear Volpe's tarnished reputation. Gagliano's support ought to make him look loads better. He is furiously denying any wrongdoing of course.
Dead guys?
What dead guys?
We followed up.
Campaign spokesperson Corey Hobbs said that while field workers may have contacted members by phone asking them to support Volpe, they followed up with door-to-door visits where members signed and paid for their cards...
One can only imagine how those two visits went.
"Mr. Caretaker, we just need to take a look at plots 627 and 628. Their Liberal Party memberships have been approved."

Dear Ms. Jean

Please, don't listen to people like Henri Brun. You did the right thing in supporting our troops in Afghanistan.
From the Canadian Press, reprinted at Canada.com:
MONTREAL (CP) - Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean was wrong to speak out in favour of Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan, says a constitutional expert.
Henri Brun, a professor in constitutional law at the University of Laval, called Jean's statements about the Afghan mission "incorrect" and out of line with Canada's political tradition.
In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Jean defended Canada's role in Afghanistan as necessary to remove the Taliban and rebuild the war-torn country.
But Brun said it is "difficult to reconcile the political incursion with her functions" as the Queen's representative.
"It is disappointing that Ms. Jean, after only a year in her position, doesn't have a better knowledge of her functions," he said.
Brun added that within the Constitution, the monarchy is not accorded any political powers.
He also said that public opinion in Canada wouldn't be affected much by Jean's statements.

You know what's disappointing Mr. Brun? That you foist your opinions as to what the GG should be doing on the rest of us. That she has no political power has no bearing whatsoever as to whether or not she can make statements of support for our troops.
What is even more disappointing is that the press even covered this "story." You should have been ignored for the bag of hot air you are!

9/18/2006

The Pope Apologizes and...

What sort of a reaction does he get?
"That's not an apology."
"Be more clear."
"Please issue another apology."
Meanwhile, 2,000 Palestinians protested, churches have been bombed, a nun was killed in a hospital in Somalia and Muslim leader in London is calling for the Pope's death.
Great.
Real peaceful guys. Real peaceful.
One of these days, the world is going to run out of sympathy for these nutbars. It will be like the boy who cried wolf. They will blame the "West" for one too many things that are not its fault, they will protest one too many times and take things one step too far. Then, people will just give up, ignore them and let them sit and stew in the mess they created for themselves.

9/15/2006

Pope Benedict vs. Islam

There is much in the news this morning about a speech the Pope gave and some comments he allegedly made about Islam.
Apparently, he decries Islam as being inherently evil.
But, I have to ask, did anyone reporting on the speech actually listen to what he said? These people who are decrying the Pope's statements and begging him to apologize to all of Islam, do they know what he said?
Catholic World News has the full text of the speech, which I strongly encourage everyone to read before jumping to the same erroneous conclusions that most of the press has. The offensive passage is supposedly this:
Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
I can see how someone might be offended by this. However, it is critical to examine the full context of the statement. Backing up a paragraph or two...
I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on-- perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara-- by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian.
Ah. So, this is a portion of a conversation between Manuel II and an unnamed educated Persian. They are discussing the differences between Christianity and Islam. In particular, The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. With regards to theactuallyy quote taken from the discussion, the Pope says [the point is] rather marginal to the dialogue itself-- which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
So, the quote is only marginal to the recorded conversation. However, an important question is asked on the nature, more particularly the rightness, of violent conversion. In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.
But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war.

We then have a line or two more, and then the infamous quote... or rather, misquote, since without a context the paragraph could mean something entirely different. The Pope then summarizes some more of the conversation and then provides another quote.
God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...
From these quote, the Pope briefly discusses violent conversion and then moves on to other behaviours seen in the world. He poses the question Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? It is this question that is the focal point of his speech, and not the nature of Islam. The Pope discusses the secularization of the world and the forced separation of reason and religion. He talks about the recent aversion of the West to questioning things, particularly cultural and religious things. He rightly points out that this will only do harm.
The great Western liberal "mind" now begs the Pope to "apologize" to Islam. No one understood the true point of his message: that this aversion to dialogue, the bending over backwards for nothing, is EXACTLY the problem. No one listened to what he said and I doubt very many have actually read his speech. Instead, everyone is tripping over themselves, trying to cover up some non-existent offence.
I should also point out that those who are violently protesting the Pope's speech are doing so while claiming to be a "people of peace." Irony at its finest. You can't make this stuff up.

9/14/2006

Scott Brison: The "Generous"

Scott Brison's "plan" for young Canadians includes a tax cut. He is promising to make the first $25,000 earned in 12 years tax free.
Read that again.
$25,000 in 12 years.
So, basically, the average young Canadian will get out of their first year of taxes.
I laughed out loud when I read the "twelve years" qualification. Why even say it? It doesn't take Joe Average Canadian 12 years to earn $25,000. It takes one... sometimes it takes even less than one.

9/12/2006

Happy Birthday To You

Today is my daughter's first birthday.
It's amazing how much she has grown.
But, honestly folks... what kind of mom schedules a vaccination on her kids birthday? I definitely did not think that one through.

9/11/2006

9/11 and a Reflection on Martyrdom

This morning I have been thinking about the "martyrs" who crashed their planes into the World Trade Centre Towers. I have been thinking about jihadist martyrs in general, and how differently they compare with Christians. There are good things, but there are also bad. On the one hand, I am comforted. On the other, ashamed.
It comforts me to know that God did not demand that we actively seek martyrdom. We are not to arrange our own deaths in the false belief that killing infidels will gain us entry to Heaven. However, should the greatest sacrifice be demanded of us, we may rest in the knowledge that not only will God give the faithful strength to endure, but that we are doing the right thing and walking the path trod by so many before us.
And yet, even as I think of this, I am shamed. How many of us do walk in the footsteps of our forefathers? Do I? Do we live our faith to such a degree that should martyrdom be required, we would have the strength to endure? Do I? Do we shun all evil? Do we condemn something as big as blasphemy?
Or do we say that "It's ok. It's only a joke?"
Do we shun the lascivious lifestyle of the world, or do we crave to be fashionable to the point of immodesty? Do we give all we can to the poor and the service of God, or are our investments, careers, houses, vehicles and a million other creature comforts more important to us? Do I? Do we truly recognise that since "the earth is the Lord's and everything in it" and we are "the work of His hands" that His truth must be taught everywhere, especially the science classroom? Or do we remove Him from those domains we falsely believe to not be His?
Muslims have no room for separation of mosque and state in their religion. Truly, the separation of God from the state is not a belief espoused anywhere in the Bible, and yet how many Christians wrongly argue for it?
Many.
It is my fear, fellow believers, that the Muslim and especially the "extremist" Muslim may stand to condemn the believer. We hold the truth and yet neither live it nor fight for it. We state what we believe, but we need much more than mere statements. They cling to a lie with such fervency and passion that they die daily. We do not have even a tenth their drive, and it is a sad thing.

Now, please note that I certainly would not advocate some rampant holy war in the name of Christ. This is certainly not a favourable direction. I would, however, encourage all to shed the worldliness that so easily entangles us. Surely, we are not the first Christians to be beset by such things. History is filled with countless examples of those who have had to fight the world's many lures.
Today, many will be mourning the loss of loved ones. Many will be reflecting on a tragedy. What a perfect opportunity to show them Truth: that God commands and controls all things; that not a soul is lost without His knowing it; that not one man, woman or child is anything without Him.
We must preach the whole Truth. We must tell the lost of their sin, but also of God's grace. Many will not wish to hear it. The unrepentant will scorn the Truth and praise a lie. Many will mock. That which massages only the ego will be labeled "mature" while the truth is labeled as "intolerant" or "hardline." But labels are not death and nothing to be feared. We must proclaim the truth with boldness. If we cannot do it while the times are easy, we cannot expect to die for our faith or stand boldly when the times grow hard.
We will not have had the practice.

September 11, 2001

Today is the five year anniversary of the tragic events of 9/11.
There will be many memorials held across the world for the victims of this horrific and very sad event. I would like to offer my condolences to anyone who lost someone.

9/06/2006

Air Canada: Doesn't Have a Prayer

My husband sent me this article from YNet News this afternoon.
Passengers on an Air Canada Jazz flight from Montreal to New York claim that a fellow passenger, an ultra-Orthodox man, was removed from the plane after he began praying, Canadian news site CBC reported...
Following up with the CBC, I found this article on the subject.
No freedom of religion for you, not if you live in Canada. That goes double if you're Jewish.
"He was clearly a Hasidic Jew," said Yves Faguy, a passenger seated nearby. "He had some sort of cover over his head. He was reading from a book.
"He wasn't exactly praying out loud but he was lurching back and forth," Faguy added.
The action didn't seem to bother anyone, Faguy said, but a flight attendant approached the man and told him his praying was making other passengers nervous.
"The attendant actually recognized out loud that he wasn't a Muslim and that she was sorry for the situation but they had to ask him to leave," Faguy said.

Wow.
They kicked him off the plane for praying, claiming that it was making other passengers nervous. I'd love to know which passengers he was making nervous, especially since the article also says that he wasn't bothering anyone. Both can't be true folks! What kills me most is the description: "some sort of cover... a book... lurching..." You moron! That's a prayer shawl, likely a Torah and the lurching is how Orthodox Jewish people pray. Comparing him to a muslim??? Could you be any more ignorant? One wonders how that conversation even went.
"Sir, we know you aren't a Muslim, but would you mind not praying? The captain's an atheist and he's afraid God will hear you."
Yay Canada.
True north strong and...
free?
I love the B'Nai Brith's offer of sensitivity training. I say a good old fashioned size twelve to the rear ought to do it.

Bloggers in the News

Congrats Stephen Taylor, on making the National Post.
A note to the NDP, never put anything on the web that you don't want people to see... especialy your looney draft policy statements.

Irony: Palestinians vs. Hamas

Ha ha ha.
Take that, suckers! This is what you get with a democracy: ingrates who need to do basic things like eat... which is hard to do when you don't have money to pay for food.
Palestinian security officers went on a rampage in Gaza City Tuesday to demand back pay from the cash-strapped Hamas-led government, while Israel pressed ahead with its offensive against Hamas militants, killing four.
Several thousand Palestinian security officers fired rifles in the air and assaulted the parliament building, the first time armed forces have joined the workers' protests over back pay...
"We aren't against the government, even if we disagree with it. But for seven months we've suffered without salaries," said Nidal Khader, a security officer who helped organize the protest.

Ah! Hamas is getting it's first taste of what a democracy is really all about. If you don't make sure your people are fat and happy, it doesn't matter how much anti-Israeli rhetoric you spout. The bottom line will always be that the masses do not care about fancy shmancy ideologies.
They want food.
The Palestinian government has been in a financial crisis since Hamas took over in March after winning parliamentary elections. Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel, has refused international pressure to renounce violence and recognize the Jewish state. In response, western donors cut off aid.
Without the foreign funds, the government has been unable to pay salaries to its 165,000 workers for months, giving them small, sporadic stipends instead. Seeking a way out of the crisis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been calling for Hamas to soften its positions and form a national unity government.

Apparently although crime pays, terrorism doesn't.
Fatah is loving it, of course.
Fatah, which controls many of the unions and dominates the powerful security forces, has openly supported the strikes, drawing accusations from Hamas that the stoppage is politically motivated.
Of course it is! What? Did you think that in a democracy everyone just gets alone and works for the good of the people? That the Opposition party supports the government in power? Hello! That's why we call it the Opposition.
Several men threw rocks at the Palestinian parliament building...
Ah yes. The rock. The official Palestinian weapon.
I have to be honest; I am having a hard time feeling sorry for Hamas. They should have been more prepared. Clearly, Ali-Average-Palestinian has been getting tips from their close friend and ally CUPE.

9/05/2006

Bomb Iran

The Toronto Sun has an itneresting article by Michael Coren. I have reprinted it below. What is most interesting in this article is the stance Coren takes against Iran in light of his opposition to the war in Iraq.

We should nuke Iran

By MICHAEL COREN


It is surely obvious now to anybody with even a basic understanding of history, politics and the nature of fascism that something revolutionary has to be done within months -- if not weeks -- if we are to preserve world peace.

Put boldly and simply, we have to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran.

Not, of course, the unleashing of full-scale thermo-nuclear war on the Persian people, but a limited and tactical use of nuclear weapons to destroy Iran's military facilities and its potential nuclear arsenal. It is, sadly, the only response that this repugnant and acutely dangerous political entity will understand.

The tragedy is that innocent people will die. But not many. Iran's missiles and rockets of mass destruction are guarded and maintained by men with the highest of security clearance and thus supportive of the Tehran regime. They are dedicated to war and, thus, will die in war.

Frankly, it would be churlish of the civilized world to deny martyrdom to those who seem so intent on its pursuance. Most important, a limited nuclear attack on Iran will save thousands if not millions of lives.

The spasm of reaction from many will be that this is barbaric and unacceptable. Yet a better response would be to ask if there is any sensible alternative. Diplomacy, kindness and compromise have failed and the Iranian leadership is still obsessed with all-out war against anybody it considers an enemy.

Its motives are beyond question, its capability equally so. It is spending billions of dollars on a whole range of anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-personnel missiles, rockets and ballistic weapons:

The Shahab 3ER missile, with a range of more than 2,000 km, and the BM25 and accompanying launchers, which are so powerful that they can hit targets in Europe. Raad missiles with a range of 350km. The Misaq anti-aircraft missile, which can be fired from the shoulder. The Fajar 3 radar-evading missile and the Ajdar underwater missile, which travels at an extraordinarily high speed and is almost impossible to intercept. The Zaltal and the Fatah 110 rocket, the Scud B and Scud C and the BM25 with a range of 3,500 kms.

Iran is also developing enormous propellant ballistic missiles and began a space program almost a decade ago that will enable it to bomb the United States. It is also assumed in intelligence circles that Tehran has Russian Kh55 cruise missiles stolen from Ukraine which are now being copied in large numbers by Iranian scientists.

Comparisons to the Nazis in the 1930s are unfair -- to the Nazis. Hitler had the French army, the largest in Europe, on his border and millions of Soviet infantry just a few hours march away. Iran has no aggressive enemies in the region.

Its fanatical leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, controls a brutal police state, finances international terror and provokes bloody wars in foreign countries. It is unimaginably wealthy because of its oil revenues and is committed, in its leader's words, to "rolling back 300 years of Western ascendancy" and wiping another nation, Israel, from the face of the earth.

A conventional attack would be insufficient because Iran and its allies seem only to listen to power and threat. Better limited pain now than universal suffering in five years.

The usual suspects will complain. The post-Christian churches, the Marxists, the fellow travelers and fifth columnists. But then, the same sort of people moaned and condemned in 1938. They were clearly wrong then. They would be just as wrong now.
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