Friday, August 24, 2007

Another reason to be the proud Islamist

Another excellent article from the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz, on how Islam and Muslim identity are being slowly criminalized.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A dark Day, I say.

Dr. Brian Day, president-elect of the CMA today received a standing ovation for his inaugural address, according to CBC radio.

The speech can be read in its entirety here, on the CMA site. It is largely hot air, doublespeak, and straw-men of the proponents of truly universal care. It is infuriating to see the president of the CMA whine about how there is a doctor shortage. . . the cartel has done its part to keep the supply low, and the price high.

Reforming hospital funding to provide "incentives" for excellence sounds good, but how do you define hospital performance? Is the best hospital the one that treats the sickest patients for the longest? Or is it the one that sends its patients home the fastest? These ideas sound good in a speech, but I don't know if Dr. Day has any plan or motive to get them implemented.

More interestingly, Day's own website gives a better indication of what the man truly believes, on his "Health Care Quotes" page. It contains some morally repugnant distortions of the situation, and some indications of how the man feels about his job.

Here are my least favourite two.

"...our noble tradition that no sick person of any age, sex, race or religion whatsoever, shall ever suffer for need of medical care on account of poverty or any other cause...should be based on our willingness to give, and should be construed as an act of our charity. It should not be exploited: nor should it be assumed as a God-given right by way of its beneficiaries. Least of all should it be a right-of-way for needy and penurious governmental and administrative bodies."

- Dr. J.H MacDermot Osler lecture (1939)

Disgustingly arrogant self-righteousness.

Then there's this rubbish:

"In fact, the Canadian health care system is perhaps the most rigid and oppressive (to physicians) within the free world."
- David J. Dandy, Vice President, Royal College of Surgeons of England

Aww, the poor Canadian doctors. My heart goes out to the poor dears. They have to drive Lexuses and Acuras, while their American friends drive Porsches and Benz's. My heart goes out to them, so oppressed and powerless. . . .

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. . . but this IS very interesting

It seems absurd to even consider it. . . the authorities should not behave like this in Canada.

Yet 5 compelling things in this video compellingly suggest that it DID happen. While the Quebec Surete told CBC that they do not do this, the RCMP refused to comment. See if you can spot them.

This is a still that shows something very odd about the "protester"s' footwear.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"A lot of it isn't very interesting."

So says Harper about the SPP.

Well then you wouldn't mind putting it on CPAC, now would you? Honestly, its summer, there's no QP in the House and no committee spectaculars to broadcast.

Despite the fact that all the country's corporate media and the CBC seem to be focussed on the "food-colour dyes" aspect of the agreement, these people think its interesting enough to get out into the streets for on a Monday.

So maybe we are just seeing the usual left-wing freakshow, the same kind that told us that the WTO would result in unfair penalties on developing economies, that occupying Afghanistan would drag us into an endless war of attrition, and that the invasion of Iraq was downright evil.

Even so, the question remains, why the combination of fanfare and secrecy? And why does the Canadian Council of Chief Executives get a seat at the table?

If it is just niggling bureacratic details, those don't require tripartite discussion between heads of state. Customs and DFAIT officials deal with such changes on a day-to-day basis, not requiring even so much as a rubber-stamp from the PM.

On the other hand, who exactly voted for Stephen Harper on the SPP agenda? I don't remember this having been an issue, do you? And yet it's important enough for Filipe Calderon, whose election experiences eerily resemble Bush's 2000 win, to head to Montebello Quebec right before a Category 5 Hurricane hits his country.

Whatever was decided in Montebello, the decision did not involve the will or interests of the Canadian people. If it had, someone would have asked us. The PMO issued a statement yesterday, arguing that since the SPP is not a treaty or agreement, but a "dialogue," parliamentary discussion and input are not required.

This is yet another Bush administration tactic borrowed by Harper - the unilateral declaration that ones decisions are not constitutionally required to be put under oversight from any branch of government. The gap between Western governments and their publics is growing.

I predict that it will get wider.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Why "Two-State" Won't Work Part Deux

Christian Knesset Member Azmi Bishara has written a great article that lays out another aspect of the argument against the "Two-State" solution.

The One Clear Solution

Bishara has been run out of his homeland on "treason" charges, but claims that he intends to return. Those on the Zionist right were obviously delighted, since Bishara vocally opposed the national ideology.

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More Firepower, Less Security

So we are "supporting the troops" in Kandahar some more, now with some Leopard 2's that we are, pathetically, leasing from Germany. This won't be a rant on how Canada isn't living up to its military potential, it will be one on how it is misusing what little it has.

Nobody is going to get up and say "Hey we hate troops. Gosh darn it, I want them to run face-first into machine gun fire, buck-naked!." Everybody is going to wave the flag, support our fine young men and women, and swear that our boys (and girls) deserve the best of the best of the best. Somebody, meanwhile, will make a lot of money on the contract, and the debate about why exactly we are sending them to the other side of the world to, paradoxically, defend ourselves, will be conveniently forgotten.

So we got them these new toys.

But according to the men on the ground, the new Leopard won't save many lives from roadside bombs - after all, there are only 20 of them, and they aren't busses. Canadians are still going to be riding around in lighter, less armoured transport vehicles, i.e. the kind that Afghan fighters usually ambush anyways.

On the other hand, according to a tank commander in Kandahar whose soundbyte has been airing ad nauseum on CBC radio and television, what the new weapon system will allow, is more firepower and better accuracy - a "show of force" as one Canadian Press article put it. According to the soldier, the tank's 122mm cannon can place a shell "to within centimetres of the enemy from kilometers away."

That's a 122mm cannon. It might come in handy in a tank battle . . . if the Afghans fighting us actually had tanks.

So what's the other use? As an artillery piece, of course - in WWII terms, 122mm is on the high-end of land-based artillery. So what are we going to be doing with this thing? Lobbing shells at "suspected Taliban positions," as the euphemism goes.

Suspected of being Taliban? Or suspected of being there?

Then, when the shell kills 20 members of a family near one of these "suspected Taliban" positions, GWB and his Canadian Konservative lackeys will wring their hands and say something like:

"Coalition forces operate within the tightest constraints to prevent loss of innocent life. The blame for this lies on the Taliban and their terrorist allies, who were using those people as human shields."

After all, firing high-explosive rounds from a distance into a populated area at an uncertain target in a country on the other side of the world takes a lot of courage. After all, these things are necessary when your enemy is so cowardly.

And when their family members get angry, get guns, and start shooting at the white men who, once again, have brought war to their country, what will we decide to call them?


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And the new minister of Defense is:

A giant wiener.

This man is probably the most despicable, unprincipled, male chauvanist, treacherous, opportunistic person in Canadian politics today. The fact that he was gushing with "admiration" for Condoleeza Rice when he first met her is very telling.

From his underhanded dismantling of the Progressive Conservatives and the lies he told about it, to his shameless and hypocritical milking of his relationship with Belinda Stronach, to his ignorant, wannabe-imperialist policies towards the Middle East and the Muslim world, he has left a trail of disasters for Canadian politics and Canadian policy through his career.

I suppose it's good that he is no longer in charge of Foreign affairs.

In the government of Emperor Harper, however, who models his administration so closely, in tactics (a controlling, secretive PMO), rhetoric (if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops), and policies (take your pick) after the Republican one to south, it doesn't look like this will make much of a difference. As with the Bush administration's sales pitch over the "War on Terror," Harper won't change his policies - he will just change the way they are sold.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Why "Two State" won't work

I have spent a long time trying to convince as many people as possible why the so-called "Two-State" solution for peace between Israelis and Palestinians won't work. At the end of the day, Zionism has more in common with Apartheid that in would like to admit, and if there is to be peace, it will have to go the same way.

This article from Ha'aretz is more evidence for why two-states can't work, even if its author is a believer in such a solution.

Bottom line: The IDF can't remove the settlers, and won't abandon them. Consequently, the only viable outcomes are the perpetuation of Apartheid, or the end of Zionism in the form of a multi-ethnic state between the Jordan and the Mediteranean in which Arabs and Jews both receive equal rights.

There are many reasons why a Two State agreement will never be realised, but in a nutshell, it is because Israeli's can't afford to have a genuinely free and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, and Palestinians won't accept a state of any other kind. Resources and security are important pieces of the puzzle, but so are the colonists (which are often mis-named as "settlers").

The question is, how many more people will die before Zionism, at least as it is known to Israelis, dies its necessary death?

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Just and Merciful God

. . . That's what I believe in.

I went on a long drive the other day, and once my hand(s) on the steering wheel had become one with the pavement, zooming by as it was, I occupied my ears with the various radio stations whose range I was passing in and out of. Pop, rock, ethnic channels, and of course the CBC. I have recently come to the conclusion that we can stop funding most Humanities courses at the first and second-year level in Canadian universities and just make the kids listen to CBC Radio. They'd probably get a better education, and the savings would more than make up for the lack of advertising revenues that CBC radio wisely abstains from generating.

There is another type of radio station that is ubiquitous, sometimes coming over the border from Mordor, and sometimes from here in Canada - Christian Radio.

I love listening to these channels and will tune into them over Avril Lavigne overplayed glory any day. Sometimes they are genuinely educational - Bible scholars give academic lectures on the Old Testament - take it with a grain of salt, but even if you don't believe it, hundreds of millions of people do.

The rest of the time it's pure demagoguery, with a pinch of hatred. This time a couple of hosts were having a conversation (never a debate, because that implies disagreement, which implies independent thought), on Christian denominations which accept the validity of other spiritual practices.

Their conclusion? They are BADBADBAD! And they're lying about Jesus (peace be upon him). Which makes them BAD!

They argue that Jesus in the Bible tells his followers that none can attain Salvation except through him alone, and that if one does not accept that Jesus has paid for one's sins, then eternal damnation is the only alternative.

The implication is that billions of their fellow human beings, hundreds of millions of whom would have never met a Christian, have all be created only to be damned to eternal hellfire, for failing to accept a choice that was never presented to them in the first place.

This defies any human concept of Justice or Mercy. If billions are consigned to eternal damnation without even a fighting chance, then we cannot call this merciful. The God of Born-Again Christian radio is neither Just nor Merciful

Chauvanism is just an expression of pride. Pride is a sin. Unfortunately, there is a lot to go around.

What is more saddening than this is that it is not just Christians. Far too many of my Muslim brothers and sisters believe in this kind of nonsense as well. I asked one, one day, where he thought all the Jews and Christians who had died in Canada had gone. He said, almost hesitantly, as if he knew I would not like the answer, that "they are in Jahannam."

I handed him the Qur'an, opened to a relevant verse.

He had spent far more time reading it than I had. Nevertheless, I think I gave him a great deal to consider that day.

The Qur'an is clear - God sent prophets all over the earth, to every people, with a message of guidance towards the Straight Path. They all preceded Muhammad (peace be upon him), some by millenia, and so they didn't bring revelations in the same language as he did. They didn't all pray the way I do. But, as it says at the end of Surah Baqara, we make no distinction between them.

There is more than one way to salvation.

Muslims believe in a Just and Merciful God. The sad part is that so many of us don't know it.

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