Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Topical Take 

Another shocking shooting in Toronto:
Toronto police have renewed their plea for help from TTC passengers to find the men responsible for shooting an 11-year-old girl and a man on a city bus Sunday.

Although about 40 people were on the bus at Jane St. and Wilson Ave., only one of the six people who have so far contacted police was a passenger, Inspector Bernie Power told reporters this morning.
Although in truth, these are becoming common enough that we shouldn't be shocked any more. In a healthy community it would indeed be astounding for 40 people to witness a shooting in a bus and have essentially no cooperation with the police.

But liberal crime and immigration policy means that many or most of these people have
a) questionable immigration status themselves, possibly ignoring a deportation order,
b) legal troubles of their own,
c) been intimidated by neighbourhood gangs that the police are too politically correct to confront for fear of being called racist,
d) no trust that the criminals would be put away if they helped anyway.
I posted earlier on Toronto's gun crime problem here:
Even a casual observer from another province can see that the crime problem in Toronto is not so much the sheer numbers, but the changing nature of the violence.

In the last few years we’ve seen people getting hit by stray bullets while sitting in their living room watching TV, standing in line to pay at a store, and getting randomly shot while sitting in the car in rush hour traffic. And we’ve seen another aspect totally unheard of in decades past – the changing relationship of the populace with the police. In decades past the police could count on active participation in investigating gun crime by bystanders and witnesses, whereas in certain neighborhoods police can now expect a stony silence at best, and getting pelted with rocks and bottles at worst.
The media have not seen fit to tell us much about the man who was shot, but anyone willing to bet that he was not black and of Jamaican origin should contact me for attractive odds on the matter. As for the perpetrator, The Star, with great reluctance, tells us this:
The gunman had a silver handgun. He was black, about 20, possibly Jamaican because of an accent, and about 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3 and very skinny.
Possibly Jamaican because we have a revolving door immigration policy that keeps re-importing Jamaican gangsters, you mean. As Gary Breitkreuz wrote two years ago:
One need look no further than the Jamaican gang shootings in Toronto recently - some provoked by little more than an insult - to realize how easy it is to acquire handguns. In Jamaica, gang and political shootings are almost a cultural quirk. [...]

Breitkreuz has turned up another oddity about homicides in Canada last year: 65% of accused killers had a criminal record, as did 51% of their victims. Most from both groups, perpetrators and victims, had convictions for violent crimes.
If we find out who was responsible for this shooting I would bet we'll also find he shouldn't have been on the streets in the first place.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Welcome, Mr. President 

No doubt you will notice the hordes of barking moonbats making your arrival in Ottawa not particularly welcome. And then outside of official circles there are likely to be demonstrations, too.

So allow me to welcome you to our capital region, and note that you have supporters here, too. While your arrival for dinner in Gatineau is likely to greatly snarl my commute, may I extend a warm welcome nonetheless.

Personally, I wish a routine visit from a close friend and ally did not cause such a stir among the moonbats among us, but rest assured you have friends and supporters here, too.

This letter at Peaktalk speaks for many of us:
Opening a front with Al Qaeda was a scary line to cross and Bill Clinton wasn’t about to fire up the Arab world and ruin fun times at home, let alone turn himself into a potential target for assassination.

The task of crossing that line fell to George W. Bush, and once he stepped over the line with the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq - all hell, as they say, broke loose. The Iraq attack in particular, in the eyes of many liberals was the act of an idiot. To others, it demonstrated tremendous courage and a willingness to defend the United States at any price. The jury is still out, debating the final verdict. As Jacques Chirac recently remarked ..."history will judge". Of course, it’s easy to play the proctor when you are comfortably ensconced on the sidelines sipping a pernod.

The first Advent 

Curt comments on the first Advent at NorthWesternWinds which I should have noted yesterday.
Large Table Advent Wreath

A fugitive at large 

But the Saudi police are on the case:
Police are searching for a man with a motorbike who took a woman for a ride in Taif, Al-Watan reported. People in the street were shocked to see the teenage man carrying a woman behind him on a motorbike, her abaya blowing in every direction. The police were so shocked that they failed to react quickly. When the police chased the man, he drove into narrow streets where the police could not follow.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Timely Medical Alternatives 

I am delighted to see a service like this start up in Canada to deal with the massive waiting lists that plague us. Now what I'd like to see is a private insurance plan that covers access to their services.

Minister for the Promotion of Vice 

I tend to be Libertarian-minded when it comes to getting the government involved in policing society's many vices. Taliban and Saudi governments create Orwellian police forces for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue which turn into cruel, totalitarian abominations. But one thing that can be said about them is that at least they don't actively promote vices in society, unlike Minister for the Promotion of Stripping Judy Sgro.

I don't think strip clubs should be outlawed, and if Canadian women voluntarily decide to earn a little income in these dens of exploitation that's their choice. (Actually, it is somewhat debatable about who is exploiting whom in these places.) I've resigned myself to the fact that some Canadians will indulge in their vices, be it riding a bike without a helmet, eating junk food with nasty trans-fats, smoking, gambling, drinking, strip clubs, and voting for Liberal governments. One might prefer they didn't do these things that are either sinful or that they know are bad for them, but I don't think banning them is the right response. (But if enough Liberal mob and corruption links turn up through the various ongoing inquiries I might be persuaded that banning Liberals might be necessary.)

But if we're not going to ban vices is it too much to ask that the government not promote them, either? Suppose some sleazoid wants to open a strip club but finds he can't hire enough Canadian women to work for him? That sounds like something to be celebrated, no? Whether you're a feminist against female objectification or a moralizing Christian crusading against sin, either way this sounds like societal progress. While I don't expect such an event anytime soon, I'd be quite pleased if every strip club in the nation had to close due to women deciding to earn a living in other ways.

So what does Judy Sgro do?
Sgro concedes she has little enthusiasm for the program, which allows strippers into the country on special visas, but says the exotic dance industry can't find enough native talent and has the right to ask for imports.

"They say that they have lots of customers and that they need the people to work in their establishments, it's a labour market need," she told reporters.

"It's an industry that is in Canada. You have to recognize that it is, otherwise you'd have to wipe out the whole industry."
You have got to be kidding me. How can Paul Martin stand behind someone as idiotic as that?

I tend to support decriminalizing marijuana, but then they'll probably start an immigration program for drug pushers.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Time for a Kofi break 

Personally, I'd prefer to see all the serious countries of the world just pull out of the UN and leave it to be a meaningless collection of thirld world kleptocracies and France. But since that isn't likely to happen and we'll have to put up with this anti-semitic den of corruption for a while, it's worth supporting Vaclav Havel for Secretary-General.

With the experience of unwinding a communist government in Prague he deserves a chance to clean out the corruption, sex crimes and miscellaneous deadwood currently being overseen by Kofi Annan. Seeing as the Oil-for-Food corruption appears to extend to Kofi's own family, it's really time to usher him out the door.

Bruce at Autonomous Source has more on the growing movement to recruit Vaclav Havel.

Friday, November 26, 2004

So, do any of you women strip? 

Here's Paul Martin in Khartoum, demonstrating his commitment to diversity out personally recruiting the next generation of Liberal campaign workers/table dancers.

Perhaps he had CIDA establish a pole dancing skills development centre to develop a pool of strongly qualified recruits.

Now, we see the Liberal vision of Canada's place in the world. Providing a place where young attractive women of the world can come strip for us.

And here are some fine young women studying for a Canadian immigration exam and getting their resume polished for the next Liberal campaign. They may not be quite ready yet, but I'm sure they'll be ready in time for the next election.

If you haven't been following the stripper immigration scandal, read here for background. Give us your tired, your poor, your table dancers.

Update: See Canadian comment on Liberal Exxxonomics, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Obviously, the course of history must be changed 

Well, even The Star is finally at a loss for words on aboriginal policy. Under an editorial titled Ottawa fumbling First Nations file they outline the usual litany of problems that underline the total failure of the paternalistic Trudeaupian catastrophe that they've been living under and then come up with this startling admission:
The problem is not the classroom, nor is it drug controls. It is a sense of hopelessness rooted in almost every government program and policy applied to Canada's aboriginal peoples over many years. It is systemic and its solutions cannot be found in any auditor's report.

That is not to suggest we know of solutions. We don't.
Translation - for decades every time this issue has come up we've thundered for the government to throw money, welfare, social workers at them and embrace them in the crushing paternalistic Big Government hug while hurling charges of racism at any dissenters. And the government listened, followed our advice completely and now decades later even we realize it was an utter disaster and don't know what to do.

Well if Liberal policies have been proven not to work, I suggest we give conservative policies a try. Tom Flanagan has outlined an excellent starting point in his book First Nations, Second Thoughts:
Over the last thirty years Canadian policy on Aboriginal issues has come to be dominated by an ideology that sees Aboriginal peoples as "nations" entitled to specific rights. Indians and Inuit now enjoy a cornucopia of legal privileges, including rights to self-government beyond federal and provincial jurisdiction, immunity from taxation, court decisions reopening treaty issues settled long ago, the right to hunt and fish without legal limits, and free housing, education, and medical care as well as other economic benefits [...]

In First Nations? Second Thoughts Flanagan combines conceptual analysis with historical and empirical information to show that the Aboriginal orthodoxy is both unworkable and ultimately destructive to the people it is supposed to help.
So how about stop calling him a racist, read the book and start putting the policies into place.

For that matter Jean Chretien's 1969 White Paper was probably his finest piece of work of forty years in public service. Too bad it was abandoned, it would have at least broken the pattern of sticking to policy proven to be a disaster. Thrity-five years later I don't think there's any need to change a single word from the introduction:
To be an Indian is to be a man, with all a man's needs and abilities. To be an Indian is also to be different. It is to speak different languages, draw different pictures, tell different tales and to rely on a set of values developed in a different world.

Canada is richer for its Indian component, although there have been times when diversity seemed of little value to many Canadians.

But to be a Canadian Indian today is to be someone different in another way. It is to be someone apart - apart in law, apart in the provision of government services and, too often apart in social contacts.

To be an Indian is to lack power - the power to act as owner of your lands, the power to spend your own money and, too often, the power to change your own condition.

Not always, but too often, to be an Indian, is to be without - without a job, a good house, or running water; without knowledge, training or technical skill and, above all, without those feelings of dignity and self-confidence that a man must have if he is to walk with his head held high.

All these conditions of the Indians are the product of history and have nothing to do with their abilities and capacities. Indian relations with other Canadians began with special treatment by government and society, and special treatment has been the rule since Europeans first settled in Canada. Special treatment has made of the Indians a community disadvantaged and apart.

Obviously, the course of history must be changed.

To be an Indian must be to be free - free to develop Indian cultures in an environment of legal, social and economic equality with other Canadians.
I say we try it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Health tip of the day 

From our ever-helpful friends in our favourite Kingdom: Locusts won't cure diabetes
Saudi locust hunters who believe the insects hold a cure for diabetes were warned yesterday they could be crunching on a poisonous snack. The official Saudi Press Agency quoted Ghazi Hawari, head of the desert Kingdom’s anti-locust center, as saying any swarm which crossed its borders would be sprayed with insecticide. It said Hawari “warned against catching locusts and eating them in the belief that they are a cure for diabetes and stressed the danger of eating them after spraying operations”.
Pick your poison, I say. I note Bruce has picked his. Unlike trans-fats contaminated junk food here in Canada, it doesn't appear the Saudis have banned consumption of locusts, though. They appear to trust the good sense of their subjects to exercise the appropriate judgement.

God Keep our Land 

And His Copybook. Allow me to introduce the latest edition to the blogroll, Gods of the CopyBook Headings:
By focusing on the subjects of History, Politics, Economics and Philosophy, roughly in that order, we intend to promote the idea that man is an individual, quite capable of independent thought and action, and of using his rational faculty to understand himself and the world about him. [...]

Our enemies are ignorance, superstition, irrationalism and the collectivist premise. We will, at every turn, battle their ideological manifestations: Religion, Socialism, Determinism, Mediocrity, Nationalism and other branches of those most rotten trees.
I'm a little unsure about that battling Religion part, but we'll see how that unfolds.

And now a Quote of the Day:
In his 1975 year end television interview, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau - a man who so admired the Third World that he apparently aspired to have his country join it - announced that the "free enterprise system" has not worked "in more than thirty years."
You don't have to post unflattering things about the legacy of Pierre Trudeau to get on the blogroll here, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Potential miscarriage of justice 

I'm sure everyone recalls the sensational case of the British au pair convicted for the death of an infant from shaken baby syndrome. Well, that conviction was probably legit because there were other signs of trauma but part of the conventional wisdom of Shaken Baby Syndrome was that a baby could suffer an internal brain injury purely from shaking, without impacting anything else.

People were convicted on this basis even though there were no external signs of trauma, such as chest, neck or spinal injuries. It turns out that that conventional wisdom may have been false. This study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons suggests a typical man or woman simply isn't capable of shaking a baby hard enough to cause that type of injury, and in any case there should be visible signs of neck or spinal injuries accompanying such a vicious shaking.
It is significant to note that whereas this (prior) experiment showed, qualitatively, that rotation alone could indeed produce intracranial injury, it was not shown quantitatively that human beings could generate the required rotational acceleration by manual shaking.

Nonetheless, this critical omission was not addressed until 19 years later. At that time it was shown quantitatively that impact was required to generate adequate force. Guthkelch, Caffey, and others either were not aware of, or disregarded, this critical missing piece of information. In the intervening years, and even up to the present, numerous references are made to infants sustaining inflicted brain
injury by manual shaking. Yet no laboratory proof of this possibility has ever been put forth. In fact, the available experimental evidence, beginning as far back as 1943, addressed directly in 1987 and reproduced in 2003, seems to indicate the contrary.
In other words what was conventional wisdom was really just an untested hypothesis. A hypothesis that may very well be false and be responsible for putting innocent people in jail.

If what this study says is true, it means a shaken baby's head would have to actually hit something solid to sustain the types of injuries currently understood as Shaken Baby Syndrome. So any conviction where there was no sign of external bruising on the baby's head or neck may have been mistaken. It's possible that the baby must have died of something else entirely.

Now, obviously I'm not excusing anyone tempted to shake a baby. Other serious injuries are still very likely, but it appears some of these deaths may have been falsely attributed.

The Diplomad 

Hat tip to Peaktalk for this find, a group blog called The Diplomad of conservative diplomats who have experience in the hostile habitat of places like the UN. Check out this post on the UN:
The UN as an institution is the purest of pure bureaucracy: it is the thirty-year single malt of bureaucracies. We refer you to the UN website for details on careers there, but suffice it to say that if you want a job that is VERY well-paying, has lots of perks (first class travel; a generous pension; right to retire almost anywhere you want; tax free), and involves little actual work, the UN bureaucracy is for you -- unfortunately, if you're an American (or Israeli) you'll have a hard time getting it given the solid anti-Americanism (and anti-Semitism) of the UN Secretariat. The UN bureaucracy must have served as inspiration for a sci-fi story we vaguely recall about an ancient civilization that builds an elobrate machine that continues to operate even after the civilization itself has died. Subsequent generations -- in this case, in Europe and the boardroom of the NY Times -- have no idea what the machine does, but don't tamper with it, and, in fact, begin to worship it.
I'll definitely have to add this to my regular reads.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Further proof Academia has gone insane 

Some universities are now engaging in affirmative action for boys:
Today, many colleges, particularly selective residential schools, face a dilemma unthinkable a generation ago.

To place well in influential college rankings, those schools must enroll as many top high school students as they can — and most of those students are female. Administrators are watching closely for the "tipping point" at which schools become unappealing to both men and women. They fear that lopsided male-female ratios will hurt the social life and diverse classrooms they use as selling points.

Despite employing the same tactics used for years to lure ethnic minority students, few colleges say they give admissions preferences to boys. But high school counselors and admissions experts say they believe it is happening.

"At some schools, it's definitely a strategic advantage" to be male, said Chuck Hughes, a former Harvard admissions officer who is now a private admissions counselor and author of "What it Really Takes to Get into the Ivy League and Other Highly Selective Colleges."

Vincent Garcia, a college counselor at the Los Angeles prep school Campbell Hall, said liberal arts colleges, especially, can be "more forgiving of the occasional B or even a C" from a boy. "Sometimes the expectation is a little bit less" than for girls, he said.
I wouldn't be surprised if the top schools start being dominated by Asian women soon. Will they finally conclude that affirmative is wrong if they start applying it to white males?

The nanny state in Oz 

Sometimes I think Australia is less nannied than we are, then I read items like this:
The sweat-stained felt hats worn by Australian cowboys, as much a part of the Outback as kangaroos and sun-baked soil, may be heading for the history books. They fail modern industrial safety standards.

It all stems from the death of a cowboy, who suffered massive head injuries after being trampled in a fall from a horse while mustering bulls in July 2001. His sole protection was the tattered hat provided him for shading from the sun.

The New South Wales state government brought charges against the ranch owner, who employed 23-year-old Daniel Croker, convicting and fining the company $72,000 last month for breaches of safety, including failure to provide the horseman with an equestrian helmet.
Lord help us, they're nannying cowboys now.

Support the military 

The NCC is running a campaign to get Canadians to Support the Military. To which I say, please support the NCC in their efforts if you can. And speaking of the military, I must say I admire Catherine Bell in a uniform.

Though I must say it's not just the uniform. I just know she would want you to support this campaign. So chip in your buck oh five for her.

And if this post offends anal retentive hyper-PC academic feminists, I suppose I can live with that. I wouldn't really expect those who post pictures of women nursing puppies to be a self-appointed arbiter of good taste in blogging, but then I don't work in academia. I'm glad I don't have to put up with a university environment anymore.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Can banning churches be far behind? 

Now that governments are banning things like trans-fats in doughnuts and cookies just because they are not exactly health food, headlines like this surely must give one pause: Church air is 'threat to health'
The researchers say that December, with churches lighting up candles for Christmas, could be an especially dangerous month for the lungs.

It is now believed that respiratory health is increasingly at risk from so-called "indoor pollution" in the home, workplace and other enclosed spaces.
I never especially thought that the burning of incense was designed to enhance my health, actually. Now that you've warned us there's no reason to ban churches or Christmas. Really. But then I never thought doughnuts with trans-fats were health food either, and they somehow feel the need to ban them.

War Crimes 

I suppose everyone has seen the video where the Marine in Fallujah finishes off a wounded jihadi in a mosque. Before people convict him of a war crime perhaps we can consider the experience of those before. Here's the story of Sgt. Etienne Lanthier of the Regiment de Maisonneuve as they finished up a battle near Xanten, being the first Canadians to enter Germany itself in February 1945. I'll omit the main battle at get right to the aftermath:
Lanthier sent one man to the rear to bring up vehicles and stretchers for the wounded. Then, at the head of the platoon, he set out for the grove.

Two Germans, their hands up, awaited them. Searching a concrete shelter, Lanthier found the wireless set that had been used to direct the artillery.

In the undergrowth a soldier found a second dugout, perfectly camouflaged between two trees He fired into it. Out came a yelping German, slightly wounded. He got free of his captor and assumed a proud attitude, like a wrestler at a fair. As Lanthier asked him a question in English, he spotted the man's SS insignia. The German called Lanthier a Schweinhund, then spat in his face.

Holding his Sten gun by its sling, Lanthier crashed it down in the German's face and knocked him to the ground. Then he stuck the barrel of the Sten against the German's stomach and pressed the trigger until the magazine was empty. The body gave a start and for several moments it was hideously convulsed. Then it was still...
I don't know if Sgt. Lanthier survived the war or not, but if he did he surely returned home a hero, not a war criminal. Back then no one would be daft enough to consider the idea of trying soldiers like him for war crimes, as they knew from bitter experience what to expect from the SS from the previous months of slogging from Normandy to the Rhine.

Of course, back then then adult population consisted of adults and not even the media were SS sympathizers, hard as that is to believe these days.

One can see from the story that the Sgt. is perfectly willing to take prisoners and treat the wounded. Though there were exceptions, the regular Wehrmacht soldiers fought like soldiers and were given full Geneva convention protection when surrendering. But the SS had already demonstrated their utter disregard for all rules of war, massacring Canadian POWs, firing on surrendering soldiers Wehrmacht and Canadian alike, and generally being as welcome as rabid dogs. They were also very dangerous even as prisoners, as they would sometimes lunge for a weapon or grenade in a last suicidal effort to kill even after being taken prisoner. As a result many were put down like the rabid dogs they were. As Wretchard also points this was hardly a rare occurrence:
American troops who arrived in Dachau were so disgusted by what they saw they executed hundreds of SS guards on the spot.
That's the thing about the Geneva conventions. They offer protection to soldiers who also follow them.

That jihadi was not in a uniform, was fighting from a mosque and supposedly feigning death rather than surrendering. It would be legal to summarily execute the bunch of them.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Surprising restraint from the Supreme Court 

Colby Cosh has a good write-up of the Auton decision. Read his backgrounder on the case and current comments if you aren't familiar with it.

Being a frequent critic of the Supreme Court overstepping its bounds it is only fair that I congratulate them on making a sound decision on what is surely an emotionally charged situation. Who can be against autistic children getting the best therapy?

No one, of course. But in a surprisingly robust 7-0 decision the Supremes have decided against "reading in" the universal right to unlimited government-funded therapy of your choice whether the provincial ministry has approved it or not. I am indeed surprised at their decision.

Many will criticize the Supreme Court for not granting the desired treatment for autistic children, especially the parents. But it is not the Court's role to make up rights that simply don't exist in the Charter, and nor should it be the government's exclusive responsibility to fund these things.

I would suggest that rather than haranguing the Court or even the provincial governments they set up a fund for people to voluntarily contribute. I, for one, would be very open to the idea of contributing to such a fund and would encourage others to as well. People should shake off the idea that the only way to get anything delivered is to extract it from government. Government care will always have limits and shortcomings and we should look to other sources to cover the gaps.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Interview these guys, Alexandre 

If Macleans can pull Alexandre Trudeau away from singing revolutionary songs with Bosheviks in Russia for a while maybe he should interview this Cuban dance troupe, all forty-four of whom decided to defect from Uncle Fidel's tropical tyranny:
A Cuban troupe of 44 dancers, singers and musicians starring in a show in Las Vegas sought asylum in the United States on Monday in one of the largest mass defections by Cubans performing abroad.
Members of the Cuban troupe who perform as Havana Night Club said they decided to seek asylum only after Cuban authorities made it clear their show would be shut down when they returned.

"This brave and bold action was taken in sorrow but firm resolve," Nicole Durr, the show's creator and director, said after the entertainers submitted asylum petitions at a federal courthouse.

"The Cuban government had made it very clear that if they tried to return to Cuba, they would not be able to continue their art, so they had no other choices."

A spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the bureau as a matter of policy could not comment on specific asylum applications.

Cuba's communist government, facing international publicity over the case, reluctantly gave the company permits to travel in August to perform at the Stardust Casino after the troupe defied its orders not to apply for U.S. visas.

But the entertainers were told they would have no future as performers when they returned to Cuba, said Durr, a German who was expelled from Cuba in August.
He could try starting up some hymn's to Che but I'm not sure these people will appreciate the gesture.

Not surprised 

Pierre Trudeau was a communist fellow traveller who admired Mao and Castro. He wasn't appalled in the slightest at the gulags, re-education camps or other tyrannical methods. So why be surprised that his son Alexandre goes off to Russia to the Hammer and Sickle Cultural Centre, drinking vodka and singing revolutionary songs with the Bolshevik Party?
Over dinner, I learn that in the '70s and '80s Victor Ivanovic was a correspondent for ITAR-TASS, the Soviet news agency, in Latin America. While communism was failing in Mother Russia, in places like Nicaragua he was in the hills with ragged dreamers, all ready to die for the ideal of universal health, education and justice for all.

Several vodka shots later, we are all wholeheartedly singing Latin American revolutionary songs. Most of all we sing to the fallen hero, Che Guevara.
The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Bob has more on this pathetic spectacle at Let it bleed.

Saudi goat-blogging 

I know what you're thinking. It's been ages since we've heard any news about the sacrificial goats in Saudi Arabia. What with Eid and all there must have been quite the bloodletting, you say. Indeed there was:
Thousands of heads of livestock are slaughtered across the Kingdom during the Eid holiday. The government has established locations on the outskirts of each city manned by butchers and veterinarians for the safe slaughter of these animals but many people ignore these areas. People say that the slaughterhouses are too far away from their homes or that they want to feed and care for the animal before they personally take the knife to its throat.
I admire self-reliance like that. No sense taking the car to a garage if you can fix it yourself.
Ameen Ali, a 27-year-old butcher from Mukallah, Yemen, stated that he will slaughter up to 350 goats over the Eid Al-Fitr holiday. [...]

Ali no longer has any difficulty in slaughtering goats on his own. He said that with what’s going on in Iraq and Palestine and the number of people being slaughtered there, the killing of an animal for food seems insignificant. He did insist that the act must be done quickly and accurately.

“Use a sharp knife and handle the animal firmly but with kindness,” Ali emphasized. “Don’t be cruel.”
"Don't be cruel." That's good advice. It certainly would be nice if that sentiment spread to the head-choppers in Fallujah. But it's good to see a certain type of kindness is extended to goats.

Meanwhile, certain European expats aren't impressed with this type of self-reliance in goat slaughtering, though Dr. Laura doen't express an opinion on the head-chopping of infidels:
Dr. Laura Ebing-Broen, a veterinarian with experience in the European livestock industry was distressed to hear about the unhygienic, unsupervised slaughter of some local livestock. She advised that this poses a threat to public health. [...]

Eating meat without veterinary inspection is a risk that we no longer need to take in modern society.
Ah, but we're talking about our favourite whacky Kingdom here, Dr. Laura, not a modern society.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Blue State Refugees 

Let's hope some of these folks escaping from the crushing conformity and intolerance of the blue states make their way to Canada:
A first generation Asian-American, Cheung says he was drawn to the group by their acceptance of minorities. "Hell, I kept tellin' all my family and teachers I wanna play fiddle, not violin," he explains. "The 'Necks accept me the way I am."

African-American Kwame 'Joe Don' Harris agrees. "Just because I'm black, teachers were always pushing me to go to Spellman to study Langston Hughes and Thelonius Monk," says the 17 year old. "These ol' boys here never laugh at my dream to be a crew chief for the Craftsman Truck Series."

If there is one aspiration that unites them all, it is the dream of moving to Branson, Missouri. Long famed for its laid-back attitude toward religion, country music and the military, Branson has become a Mecca for radical young Neckies seeking an escape from the stultifying conformity of their coastal hometowns.
Read the whole thing, it's hilarious.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Another French humiliation 

Rampant Louisiana crayfish threaten future of French frogs:
Transatlantic relations reached a new low yesterday amid reports that a species of voracious giant crayfish from the United States is nibbling away at the French coastline.

The humiliation, for France, is compounded by the fact that the crustacean abomination - Procambarus clarkii - hails from Louisiana, the former French colony which France sold for a trifle in 1803.

The invader delights in preying on delicate French frogs and defenceless tadpoles,

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Maj. John McCrae (1872-1918)

I don’t much care for Remembrance Day as it is generally observed in Canada, and I see I’m not the only one. If you’re looking for more respectful thoughts I suggest checking out Chris Taylor’s site.

The first thing I hate is the tone - inevitably a forced, woeful sadness as if we were marking a great natural disaster that had befallen some helpless victims. Rather than appreciating the magnificent accomplishments of our veterans I find the event usually turns into a pseudo-pacifist feel-our-pain therapy session. I frankly find it difficult to accept the hypocrisy of those who show utter contempt for all things military every day except one. They give us the war-is-senseless-and-never-solved-anything-not-in-my-name-all-cultures-are-equal speech and then don a poppy and shed a crocodile tear for some old guys in uniform one day a year. Well, I don’t much care for it.

First, our war dead are not helpless victims of a natural disaster. The overwhelming majority who have ever served or died in Canada’s military volunteered. They chose to join and fight when fighting was what was needed and faced the consequences like the honourable men they were. I don’t think we do the fallen any favours with weepy sentimentality; we owe them respect, gratitude and remembrance, not pity. We should remember not just them, but also the evil they confronted and defeated.

Do we really do their legacy justice if we sneer derisively at the very concepts of honour, duty, sacrifice and freedom 364 days a year but hold a solemn ceremony on November 11th? Shall we remember them in words and ignore their legacy in deeds? The pacifism and moral relativism running amok in Canada today is hardly a worthy act of remembrance of their valour. The lesson they’ve taught us is twofold – there is a fearful cost to war and it should be contemplated only as a last resort. But they also knew that there is no moral equivalence between good and evil – between freedom and tyranny. And that all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

As the poem we all learned in school says:
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
Well, I do not believe we’ve caught the torch, and we’re certainly not holding it high. When the threat of tyranny arose they didn’t stand aside and leave it for others to deal with.

Tyranny and evil are still alive in the world, and we would remember the fallen properly if we preserved a culture prepared to confront it if necessary. Not just in words, but also in deeds, which would start with a genuine respect and support for those who serve today. Respect for them means not sending them on misguided missions with inadequate force trying to keep a nonexistent peace. But it also means standing up a properly funded and equipped force that can deliver a punch when called upon.

Friday, November 12, 2004

So who's shocked about this? 

Gerry Nicholls points out that the election gag law is being selectively enforced. The National Citizen's Coalition was charged for running a strictly issue-based ad, but the Canadian Wheat Board blatantly advertised to preserve its monopoly i.e., don't vote Conservative, during the last election. No charges. Michael Moore hasn't been charged either, in spite of a blatant violation. I have no doubt that if a multimillionaire Republican had come to Canada to help the Conservatives during an election campaign they'd be charged. Imagine Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh or an Evangical preacher coming to Canada for a public appearance and slagging the Liberals in the middle of a campaign. The media and Elections Canada would go apoplectic.

These laws should be repealed even if they were evenly enforced. But they are particularly offensive when only applied against conservatives.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Atta girl! 

Via Polspy we find this heroic teenage girl hasn't yet been socialized in passivity:
A hapless would-be thief got the surprise of his life Friday when he was chased and tackled in a downtown alley by a mad-as-hell teenage girl. Simsaland San, 15, is being credited by city cops with foiling a robbery attempt on the grocery store owned by her father, where she works. [...]

Simsaland said she was working the cash register at the Lucky Town Market, 10602 97 St., about 5:20 p.m. Friday, when a scruffy-looking man wandered up to her and asked her for change for the payphone.

"I opened the till, and he gave me a push and just grabbed at the cash," she said. "So I grabbed his hands and started screaming for my dad." [...]

"He was picking up the money from the floor. I jumped over the counter and chased him," she said. "We ran right through a red light, cars going everywhere.

"He started shouting at me, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,' and throwing the money at me. I could hear my dad behind me, yelling.

"I grabbed (the man's) left arm and he swung around and hit me in the nose. I didn't even feel it."

Now bleeding from the nostrils, Simsaland chased the thief into an alley off 97 Street and knocked him to the ground. They wrestled briefly before Kim arrived and pinned him to the pavement.

"He tried to get loose while we were waiting for police," she said. "He was yelling that he was having a heart attack.

"I didn't even think about it - it all happened so fast. I was crying so hard afterward. Now I wish I'd videotaped it."

Simsaland escaped with just a bloody nose and scraped knuckles. The money - about $160 - was recovered.

A city police spokesman praised her courage yesterday - and warned her to never, ever do it again.
I nominate Simsaland San for a Red Ensign Award for Courage and promise to buy her a beer as soon as she is legal. And whatever you do, Simsaland, DO NOT listen to the police's advice. However, you may wish to brush up on martial arts or have a weapon handy so that the next guy doesn't go out running through traffic.

Why the police are trying to breed a passive populace is a mystery to me. Are you on the thieves' payroll or ours?

Global Warming Hype 

The CBC is turning up the heat on their Arctic meltdown propaganda again, threatening to flood Florida with melting ice. They don't come out and say it's retribution for voting Republican, but I'm pretty sure they're thinking it:

The pace of the Arctic ice melt is accelerating, proving climate change is occurring more rapidly than previously thought, scientists say. The development threatens to raise global water levels and submerge low-lying regions around the world, including parts of Florida ...

For the record, we have these technical devices known as thermometers which measure temperature, as opposed to the internal workings of computer models. The temperature records for many places in the Arctic are publicly available and you can go look at the alarming warming for yourself here. But here is a sampling of what they show from Eureka:

Eureka_2Akureyri_2 And on the right is Iceland, where the current conflab is being held.  Now they just have to explain to us how our SUVs warmed Iceland so much from 1882 to 1940, before there was much of an oil industry, and not at all since.

On the bottom left is the north coast of Siberia, showing a similar pattern:

Salehard_2 Amundsen_2 And if you're going to talk about melting ice the Antarctic is just as significant.  On the right is a graph of the recorded temperature at the South Pole since 1957 and the measured CO2 concentration since 1973.  Do you see the uncanny correlation between rising temperatures and CO2 concentrations?  Ok, I admit I don't either.

Friday, November 05, 2004

More crushing dissent 

Hey, I thought New York was the hip, enlightened place, unlike the Jesus freaks in the heartland. But what's this:
New York officials have been left red-faced after they discovered that clothing ads on city buses that appeared to promote reading suggested a love of books could be rewarded with oral sex.

The advertisements that ran on about 200 buses across the city in recent months carried posters displaying a suggestively posed woman in hot pants kneeling among a pile of books beside the snappy slogan "Read Books, Get Brain."

What unhip, unsuspecting local transportation officials did not know was that "get brain" is street slang for oral sex.
There go those old fogies stifling healthy, authentic youth street culture. Obviously a bunch of Jesus freaks that somehow wandered out of Jesusland by mistake.

Feel the love and tolerance 

After the Democrats' defeat I've been particularly touched the way they've shown their sensitive and tolerant side. Certainly if anyone is going to solve intractable problems in the Holy Land it will be these sophisticated, nuanced, tolerant people who respect their fellow man and show a deep appreciation of how faith affects their lives:
Jesusland, so concerned about Values and so often unable to live up to those Values, went to the polls in force to turn those born-again values into Law. They want their God everywhere, all the time. See, if Jesusland Law becomes Civil and Criminal Law, the residents of Jesusland will never have to think about anything ever again. (Many Jesusland people are so terrified of the outside world and its sweet, sweet temptations that they rarely leave their suburban mega-church.)
Yep, certainly if someone is going to reach out and heal the wounds in relations with the Islamic world it's this type of deep understanding of issues of faith that are required.

Have no fear, Ken. As part of the Islamic outreach healing process it won't be just Jesus' laws enshrined. Some of the Sharia ones definitely have merit, like stoning adulterers, fornicators and the other associated deviants. It will be a multicultural paradise of punishment.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Free Muslims congratulate Bush 

With all the terrorism, head chopping, and assassination of filmmakers in the news it's important to point out that there are indeed Muslims who condemn terrorism and are combatting extremism openly. I invite you to check out the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism. I don't know how large the group is, but they have an excellent Web site, and congratulated Bush on his victory:
President Bush has led the War on Terrorism with clarity and steadfastness. In the face of extreme criticism, President Bush never wavered. He continued to fight the War on Terrorism, despite political and personal risks. Since we formed, the Free Muslim Coalition endured criticism and attacks from all sides for our efforts in the War on Terrorism. We understand how difficult it is to fight the temptation to bend to constant criticism and stick to your principles, as Bush has done with confidence. President Bush is the leader we need to win this War and we are encouraged to have his courage and leadership.

We also thank John Kerry for running a vigorous campaign, and we congratulate the voters that showed the world that America's democracy is strong and vibrant.

Don't question their patriotism! 

A rally of American patriots who simply disagreed with the electoral choices of their fellow citizens gathered in San Francisco just after Bush's victory was confirmed. Zombietime has the full photos of the patriots in action, but here are a couple:

"Please don't kill me" 

Yes, Colby Cosh actually has that disclaimer at the head of his latest column. Naturally, that means he is attempting to address the topic of guess which religion.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The European quagmire 

I'm quite optimistic about the situation in Iraq now, due to the convergence of a couple of factors. First, the media won't be so anxious to hype the quagmire drumbeat quite so hysterically now that they aren't campaigning against Bush anymore. Having given up the ghost on that battle they just might even start doing some responsible reporting.

But the insurgency will experience a similar effect. They can't be under any delusions any more that just a couple more car bombs for the cameras might get the Americans to cut and run. And they know for the next year Bush is free to unleash the full might of his forces on places like Fallujah. I suspect that we'll see the insurgency peter out in the next couple of months, having tested the American will and found it solid.

Instead, I suspect we'll see the jihadists take on what they consider softer targets in the West, with attacks like the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Van Gogh. Pieter has the goods at Peaktalk. It's a story that deserves more attention, but has been getting swamped by the American election. Pieter has more here.

And for bloggers who want to know what a real fifth column looks like, well, that's what a fifth column is. For all the hysteria about fascist America I note that Michael Moore hasn't taken a bullet, nor is he likely to.

I don't know anything about this Dutch filmmaker, other than he got shot for saying something the Islamists didn't like. It sure would be nice to see the artists who were so agitated about some Dixie Chicks CDs getting stomped on show some sympathy for the guy who actually got assassinated for making a film.

Une Guele de bois en France 

It's nice to see Bush's re-election is having the desired effect in France:
Comme Hubert Védrine, le président de l'UDF a admis que l'"incompréhension" entre les deux rives de l'Atlantique ne relevait pas de la seule responsabilité de George Bush. "On vérifie aujourd'hui qu'en réalité cette orientation était soutenue par une majorité du peuple américain", a-t-il souligné.

Pour Henri Emmanuelli, un des chefs de file de l'aile gauche du PS, le vote en faveur de George Bush correspond aussi "à un glissement profond des Etats-Unis sur le plan idéologique", ce qu'il a jugé "catastrophique (...) pour le monde".
If you define le monde as France and her coalition of Arafat-ist tyrannies let the catastrophe commence.

It seems the socialists are upset and their solution is to strenghten Europe by sinking themselves into the quicksand of the EU constitution:
Le premier secrétaire du Parti socialiste, François Hollande, et le président de l'UDF, François Bayrou, ont pour leur part prôné la construction d'une Europe "plus forte", faisant de la réélection de George Bush un argument de campagne pour le "oui" au référendum sur la Constitution européenne.

"L'Europe doit être forte par rapport à une Amérique, qui, de toute manière, essaiera d'imposer sa vision du monde", a déclaré François Hollande.
No doubt we'll see the vaunted French resistance against this American vision du monde.

Not to be outdone, the French Communists weigh in:
Pour le Parti communiste, la réélection de George Bush est une "très mauvaise nouvelle pour tous les peuples du monde", car "c'est le candidat de la surenchère guerrière, de l'unilatéralisme et de l'hégémonie américaine".

"Bush est un homme dangereux pour son pays et son pays est devenu dangereux pour l'ensemble du monde", a estimé le député Vert Noël Mamère. "Le régime de Bush est un régime autoritaire qui joue sur (...) la peur de la guerre et du terrorisme". Yves Contassot, porte-parole national du mouvement écologiste, avait parlé auparavant d'un "mardi noir" et d'un "jour de deuil pour la démocratie, la paix et l'environnement".
Well we can take comfort in the fact that it's a très mauvaise nouvelle for the commies in France, anyway. Good to see it's annoying the right people.

And now for some entertainment 

Well I'd say I'm mildly relieved at the American election results. Conservatives in Canada don't get to really savour too many victories at home these days so it's nice to see there's still heart in the heartland. And the sheer entertainment value of watching heads explode and the coming leftist infighting will be worth the price of admission all by itself.

I dearly hope someone records all the groveling world leaders as they call and congratulate Bush on his ringing new mandate. I especially want to hear the ones from Chirac and Spain's Zapatero. Please, please someone put these recordings out on the Internet.

But let us start by enjoying the recriminations. Here's Paul Wells with what sounds like an intriguing idea for democratic reform titled Democracy without Democrats:
The majestic Howard Dean coalition — youth, new voters, the "wired," the "disenfranchised" — remains the France of electoral coalition-building: genuinely useful, if only it would freaking show up for the freaking fight. Sorry, but I'm a bit bitter about this. Participation soared across every demographic, including the underestimated People Michael Moore Likes to Make Fun Of. But the young-new-"disenfranchised" set sat around and played Halo 2 on the X-box instead of, you know, freaking voting.
Give 'em a break, Paul. They were disoriented by a clever plan to bake their brains through global warming and render them incapable of voting through carefully calibrated administration of arsenic in their drinking water. What's the point of winning if not to put the EPA to work for your side?

Margaret Thatcher said her legacy should be judged not by what she accomplished, but by the effect on the oppostion. We know we're making progress when the leftists are mocking both France and the utility of a multilateral coalition that makes noise but is fundamentally useless. As goes the noisy collection of bongo-bangers at anti-globo events, so goes the UN and its utterly pointless, noisy, posturing whinging.
The president has the people of his country, on balance, behind him. This is a huge problem for (a) the Democrats, a party that stands shattered by tonight's events; and (b) most of the North Atlantic world, which manifestly does not understand the giant in its midst (nor vice versa, of course).
Well, it would be nice if the anti-American posturers can now drop the polite fiction that they aren't anti-American, they're just anti-Bush. A majority of Americans voters have listened to the full gamut of loathing - all the books, the crockumentaries, the unhinged rants, condemnations, condescending advice and pathetic bloviating about their president - and returned him with an increased majority. So enough of the fictional posturing, if you loathe them for it at least drop the charade of faux friendship. I prefer the honesty of someone like James Wolcott is honest:
But there's bitter clarity to knowing the worst. My wife has forbade me from going into the same depressive funk after this election that I did 9/11--"I couldn't take another 9 months of that again"--and I'm not depressed, being filled with far too much healthy loathing for millions of my fellow Americans to let myself droop.
And if many of the bien-pensants in Canada and Europe were honest I'm sure that's what they'd be saying too.

But we musn't gloat too much. Kerry was a guy who rubbed elbows with the Viet Cong in Paris, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and who seriously suggested that the way to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions is to offer them Uranium. That this guy got 48% of the vote, not in Europe but in America, is not a particularly comforting thought for conservatives.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Saudi goats, again 

In a sign that that Saudi shortage of sacrificial goats may be causing people to take unfortunate risks, two youngsters had to be rescued after chasing a goat to the top of a dangerous mountain:
Two Saudi youngsters were faced with an uphill task after they bought a goat in Hail. When the time came to collect the goat, the animal ran away to a nearby mountain called Aja, west of Hail. And it went right up to the top of the mountain with one of the youngsters in tow. He got stuck when he was on top of the mountain and could not get down. His friend went up after him to rescue him and he also got stuck on the mountaintop. Both men had to wait for the fire forces to arrive and rescue them after they had spent two hours on top of the dangerous mountain, Okaz newspaper reported.
All's well that end's well, though I note they don't elaborate on the fate of the goat.

A slow learner 

We learn the Queen of England is not amused. It appears there's a spot of trouble in those troublesome thirteen former colonies again. They are not taking sufficiently seriously the Royals' desires on certain policy matters climatological, to wit, the Kyoto protocol and related global warming myths. So what's a Royal to do?

US must act over climate says Queen:
The Queen has made a rare intervention in world politics to warn Tony Blair of her grave concerns over the White House's stance on global warming.

She is understood to have asked Downing Street to lobby the US after observing the alarming impact of Britain's changing weather on her estates at Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk.
Sorry to hear you're experiencing a wee spot of bad weather, dear old lady. But I think perhaps you have not understood fully the implications of the Declaration of Independence.

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