Archive for January, 2010

Yes it is, thank goodness, Re: Is it already over for Obama?, Toronto Globe & Mail, January 29, 2010

Friday, January 29th, 2010

There was only one real question going into the State of the Union address in Washington. The question was-can Obama change and save his presidency? The answer is a resounding, unequivocal no.

Obama is a self centered ideologue without the ability to recognize that his policies and methods are harmful and unacceptable to America and the rest of the free world or the courage and political skill to change them even if he wanted to. He does not have the gravitas or experience to be a successful President and is nothing more than the creation of a facile, fatuous media.

There was some hope that he would modify his domestic policies and be more forthright and realistic on the foreign policy and national security fronts because of the battering he’s been taking for the past year and because he has demonstrably failed in all three areas but it is obvious that we are simply in for more of the same until he leaves office….more divisiveness, more rancor, more voodoo economics, more arrogance, more flying by the seat of his pants, more hasty, poorly thought out decisions, more distortions of the truth and more incompetence and stupidity.

It is also obvious that he will be a one term President and that he will go down in history as a dismal failure. It’s a pity but it really is his own fault. He tried to govern from the far left, ran into unremitting opposition and found out that this was virtually impossible in the United States and refused to alter his thinking and behavior because of his overweening faith in himself and his ideas. He’s like a bull in a china shop, except that China would never let a guy like him get anywhere near the shop.

Can’t blame anyone else for that can you Barack?

Vive la France, Re: France report backs face veil ban, BBC News Website, January 26, 2010

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hopefully the recommendation of a partial ban on women wearing Islamic face veils in public by a French parliamentary committee is a precursor to a full public ban in the foreseeable future. It is a very welcome first step. The veils have no place in an open, secular, egalitarian society and are a rejection of French values and culture. They are symptomatic of creeping Islamization in France and the rest of Europe, a phenomenon which has already been disastrous in many respects and which can only lead to European countries becoming more and more Islamic and eventually losing their national characteristics and identities.

Whether wearing the veil is done ostensibly by choice or whether it is a religious or cultural requirement is completely irrelevant. Covering one’s face in public is simply not compatible with western mores and the French can only be congratulated for taking this action to defend their way of life and the principles it rests upon. With any luck a full public ban won’t be far behind and other countries in Europe will follow suit as well. Islamization is not a good thing and this move by the French will definitely help to stem the tide.

Put it together with the Swiss ban on construction of new minarets and a possible acquittal in the Geert Wilders trial in the Netherlands and perhaps there’s reason for optimism after all. Who knows, maybe even the British will come to their senses.

Islam versus freedom of expression in the Netherlands, Re: Dutch MP on trial for ‘hate speech’, Al Jazeera English, January 22, 2010

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

When the final verdict comes down in the trial of Geert Wilders it will be a watershed moment in the history of western civilization. Mr. Wilders is being charged with inciting discrimination and hatred towards Muslims. Each charge carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 19,000 euros.

If he is found innocent it will be an affirmation that freedom of expression, free speech in this case, is a vital requirement of an open, secular, democratic society and that anyone or anything can be exposed, criticized, ridiculed, satirized or even skewered. Nothing can be out of bounds, including Islam, the Quran and Islamic figures past and present (even the Prophet Muhammad) because if limits are placed on what is acceptable freedom of expression no longer exists. An innocent verdict also affirms that exposing, criticizing, ridiculing, satirizing or skewering someone or something is not ipso facto an incitement to discrimination or hatred-it is holding a point of view and making it known to others, which individuals in a free society have every right to do.

An innocent verdict means that freedom of expression remains alive in Holland. It also means that attempts to undermine and remove it via the courts in other European countries will be far less likely to succeed because of the precedent that has been set. Democratic nations everywhere else will take notice as well.

Conversely, a guilty verdict means that the Dutch can no longer call themselves a free people because they will have lost the ability to mention Islam or the Islamization of their society except in the most innocuous way for fear of being hauled before the courts. Terrible as that is, it’s only the beginning. If it is not permissible to expose, criticize, ridicule, satirize or skewer Islam or Islamization pretty soon it won’t be permissible to do the same to anything else either. Speaking out about anyone or anything will be construed as inciting discrimination and hatred….after all, if the law applies to Muslims and Islam it applies to everyone and everything else too. The light of freedom in the Netherlands will be well and truly extinguished then. After that the rest of Europe could easily follow. Precedents mean a great deal and the precedent of a guilty verdict will have every bit as much impact as the precedent of an innocent one. That won’t be lost on democratic nations outside the continent either.

Besides the attack on freedom of expression there are two other aspects of this trial which are particularly bothersome. The first is the role that Islamization in Holland, and by extension the rest of Europe, has played in it and the second is the implicit idea that truth is not a defense in law-that a person can be charged, convicted and punished even though what they expressed is true.

Islamization in Europe has been disastrous on any number of levels. The impact it has had is clear and very well documented. Without exception, wherever it exists it has led to discord, violence, intolerance, increased crime, self imposed religious ghettos and attempts to change the fundamental nature of host societies. The essence of Islamization is that Muslims insist that their hosts have to change and adapt to them. Their religion and culture is all important and must be preeminent regardless of the consequences. European governments have been very slow to recognize and appreciate the threat it poses to their people’s way of life and have exacerbated the phenomenon by failing to take serious measures to curb it. They have been most accommodating and this accommodation of Muslims and Islam no doubt played a significant role in the decision to lay charges in the first place. That is very bothersome indeed and proponents of Islamization must be very encouraged.

So too is the idea that truth is not a defense in law, which of course will be the case if there is a conviction. Not one single thing that Wilders has said is untrue and he is being prosecuted despite this. Put another way, everything that he has expressed is demonstrably true and he is being prosecuted anyway. That threatens to obliterate one of the basic principles western civilization is built on. A guilty verdict would do exactly that. Proponents of Islamization would be more than encouraged if this happened-they would be positively ecstatic.

No, it is not an exaggeration at all to think that it will be a watershed moment in the history of western civilization when the verdict comes down. If the verdict is innocent you will remain free to express yourself on any subject as you see fit. If the verdict is guilty I could be prosecuted for writing an essay like this and you could be prosecuted for agreeing with it and having the temerity to say so.

Best of luck Mr. Wilders, best of luck.

Obama placed on notice-let’s see if he listens, Re: Obama reeling after Senate defeat, The Guardian, January 20, 2010

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The American people have just told Barack Obama that he will be a one term President unless he achieves results on the issues that matter most to them. They have also told him what those issues are.

That is the real message of the Republican victory in Massachusetts. It is far more than a repudiation of Obama’s efforts to reform health care in the United States. While the provision of improved health care resonates with Americans and Obama’s failure in this area was certainly a major contributing factor in the Democrat’s defeat it is also clear that his handling of national security, economic and foreign policy issues was repudiated as well and that national security concerns in particular played a decisive role in the election loss.

This can be extrapolated to the entire country, especially since the Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race comes on the heels of gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey and in the face of presidential approval ratings that have been plummeting for months and are among the lowest in history. It wasn’t just the people of Massachusetts that sent a message to Obama, it was the people of America. They said he won’t be returned to office unless they are safer from terrorist attacks like the Fort Hood massacre and the attempt to blow up the Northwest Airlines flight in Detroit, unless the economy improves and people can start working again and unless America’s role as leader and protector of the free world is restored. Improved health care is important but it is not the primary issue.

That is the message. The question is whether or not Obama has the wisdom, strength of character and political acumen to recognize and accept it, rectify the mistakes he’s made and use the remaining three years of his term to show the American people that he is worthy of being elected again. Rhetoric, promises, threats and ascribing blame won’t do it. He’ll have to achieve tangible results in these three areas, at least, and the only way to do that is by changing his policies, tactics and style. Personally, I don’t think he can because of his lack of humility and flexibility and because there’s already too much water under the bridge. I hope I’m wrong though…the country and the world would be exceedingly hard pressed to stand another three years of ineptitude.

We’ll know next week when he gives the annual State of the Union address. By then he will have had time to digest the election results and formulate a considered response. If he bows to the will of the people, puts health care on the back burner and takes viable measures to deal constructively with national security, economic and foreign policy issues without violating the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and general democratic principles his presidency might well be saved. If not, it won’t.

We’ll see. Tune in again after the speech.

No it isn’t, Re: Gaza blockade is collective punishment, Jerusalem Post, January 17, 2010

Monday, January 18th, 2010

It’s not collective punishment it’s collective security made necessary by the Palestinian’s collective zeitgeist, which can only be described as hateful, idiotic, backward and self-defeating.

Duh.

Targeted aid welcome development, Re: Canada elects to fund PA justice system, Jerusalem Post, January 13, 2010

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Canada’s decision to redirect the aid money it gives to the United Nations Works And Refugee Agency (UNWRA), the UN agency that operates Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, is most welcome and long overdue. Instead of the aid being deposited by UNWRA into general operating funds in the Palestinian Authority treasury it will now be committed to specific projects in the PA with clearly defined goals and objectives. Most of the aid money for the next few years will be directed toward developing a functional criminal justice system but that is really beside the point.

Targeting aid like this makes it much easier to hold the recipient accountable and to ensure that the money is actually spent in the manner intended. It dramatically decreases the possibility of corruption and of aid money being used for nefarious purposes and allows donors to demand that concrete results are achieved. Specifically, it means that Palestinians will have to be responsible and spend the money donated by Canada within clearly defined parameters for fear of not getting any more in the future.

This is a stipulation that donors haven’t really made or adhered to in the past. This laissez-faire attitude has helped to foster a sense of entitlement among Palestinians and virtually ensures that much if not most of the aid money donated by the international community either disappears or is spent entirely inappropriately. It has done them no favor at all because it has precluded the development and implementation of proper institutional financial controls and helped maintain a culture of helplessness and victimization. Prior to this latest development Canada was just as bad as everyone else but nevertheless this sea change is to be applauded…. it is significant and noteworthy and bodes well for everyone, especially Palestinians. It insists on responsibility and accountability and that is very positive indeed.

Let’s hope that the international donor community follows Canada’s lead. Even though there will be some feathers ruffled and short term adjustments everyone will benefit in the end.

Let’s also hope that this insistence on responsibility and accountability spills over into other areas of Palestinian’s life as well and that it is accompanied by a denunciation of some of the more damaging and odious aspects of their society. The anti-Israeli and anti-semitic bilge that is constant and all pervasive comes to mind.

Everyone will benefit from that too.

Can Palestinians change?, Re: Tel Aviv Cluster, International Herald Tribune/New York Times, January 12, 2010

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The contrast between Israel’s economy and the economy in Gaza and the West Bank could not be more striking. Israel has weathered the global recession very well, all things considered. Barclays analysts have written that Israel is “the strongest recovery story” in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The country’s economy is flourishing and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to flourish for some time to come, even though Israelis constantly have to deal with the threat of war with their neighbors or others in the Islamic world and the possibility of being maimed or killed by Palestinian terrorists.

Israel’s economic strength has obviously had a very salutary effect on it’s people’s standard of living, which is among the highest in the world.

The economy in Gaza and the West Bank is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Both areas are very poor for the most part and the people could not survive without significant amounts of aid from the international community. Very little is produced which can be sold internationally and the human and financial capital to create and foster a vibrant economy does not exist. There is continual infighting and the culture punishes rather than rewards forward thinking and entrepreneurship. This is nothing new. Throughout history people living in these areas have been impoverished without the willingness or wherewithal to improve their general economic well being. It is not Israel’s fault and never has been.

Palestinian’s economic weakness has just as obviously had a deleterious effect on their standard of living, which is among the lowest in the world.

Two questions arise from this. First, why is the Palestinian economy so weak and second, can it be changed….can there be a Palestinian economic miracle to match the Israeli economic miracle?

The answers aren’t difficult. In order for Palestinians to have a strong economy they must change their attitudes and behavior so that they can emphasize and concentrate on economic affairs. Their society is consumed by anti-semitic and anti-Israeli hatred and their culture is atavistic, misogynistic, intolerant, narrowminded and insular. An attitude of victimhood prevails and there is a general unwillingness to accept responsibility for their own malaise. Violence is rife and their culture, including their religion, is firmly rooted in the seventh century, not the twenty first. Thugs, villains and terrorists are everywhere and people of good heart and modern views dare not risk stepping out to any great degree for fear of being ostracized at best or tortured or murdered at worst. All of this is soul destroying and time consuming and precludes the development of a viable economy.

Can this be changed? Can there be a Palestinian economic miracle, along with all the concomitant benefits for everyone, including Israelis? Absolutely. Unfortunately however the nature of Palestinian society and culture is so deep rooted that they are unable to make the required changes on their own within any sort of reasonable time frame. The international community will have to either coerce or force them to do so. There are any number of actions it can take and the sooner it starts moving the better off Palestinians will be.

And the sooner they’ll have their own state as well.

Prime Minister Unfit To Govern, Re: Concern over suspension of Parliament grows, poll finds, Toronto Globe & Mail, January 8, 2010

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Prime Minister Harper’s decision to shut down Parliament is an attack on Canadian democracy. While Harper broke no rules when he decided to prorogue (suspend) Parliament, he did exhibit a profound lack of respect for one of Canada’s most fundamental democratic principles i.e. that Canadians hold the federal government accountable through their elected representatives in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Suspending Parliament takes away their ability to do so. It is a terrible thing to do at the best of times, but is made even worse since it was done for crass political purposes, no matter what Harper’s protestations are. His decision tells us unmistakeably that he is willing to go to any lengths to remain in power by avoiding criticism, that he is willing to manipulate, subvert and override Canada’s democratic institutions and that he cannot be trusted to preserve and protect Canadian democracy as head of government. If he is willing to do this while leading a minority government what would he be willing to do if he had a majority….place restrictions on the press or curtail freedom of speech or other draconian measures? It’s entirely possible you know. Given his track record speculation like this is anything but idle.

The old aphorism “by their deeds they shall be known” holds very true in this case. Harper’s action shows us that he is unfit to govern because Canada’s democracy is not safe in his hands.

The sooner he goes the better.

The Terrorists President, Re: History is Knocking for Obama, American Thinker, January 6, 2010

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Islamic terrorists around the world must have rejoiced when Barack Obama was elected President. The more perceptive among them knew that his mentality, naivete and myopia would be great assets in their ongoing efforts to bring down western civilization, with the destruction of the United States and Israel being first on the agenda.

Obama’s record during the first year of his presidency has shown that they were absolutely correct in their assessment and that they have every reason to be encouraged and carry on with their murderous acts as he has proven incapable to date of taking meaningful steps to stop them. He doesn’t seem to know what, or who, the real enemy is, he hasn’t exhibited the strength of character or will to deal decisively and forcefully with matters and he doesn’t seem to have the humility to recognize or acknowledge that his policies and actions need to change dramatically because if they don’t more and more attacks on the U.S., Israel and other western nations will occur, more and more innocent blood will be shed and the demise of the free world will be that much closer.

Here’s some help Barack. For your information, the United States is at war and Afghanistan, Iraq, the Fort Hood massacre, the attempt to blow up the Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit, the murder of seven CIA members at Forward Operating Base Chapman, the attempted murder of the Danish cartoonist, Iran’s development of nuclear weapons and all other acts of terrorism in the name of Islam are connected. They are not stand alone phenomena nor are the perpetrators individual extremists. They all share a common philosophy, hatred of America and western civilization and everything both stand for and a common short term goal, to kill as many “infidels” as possible because they think that will bring them closer to a world wide Islamic Caliphate, which necessitates the death of the free world and which is what they are really after.

What does that tell you? It tells you that the real enemy is Radical Islam and that it’s leaders and soldiers are Islamic Jihadists. It also tells you that Radical Islam and Islamic Jihadists are present throughout the west, including the U.S., that their poison is spreading every day and that their capacity to wreak havoc, destruction and death is getting stronger as we speak.

What should you do? For a start, connect the dots, think of yourself as a President at war with an implacable foe, be honest with the American people about the predicament they’re in and place the country on a war footing, root out terrorists and terrorism ruthlessly at home and abroad, treat captured terrorists as war criminals not ordinary criminals, unequivocally support our friends and allies, use your rhetorical skills to rally America and the rest of the free world to the cause and harden targets around the globe, especially in the United States. Most important of all, stop mucking about as you are inclined to do and get on with it!

And no, you don’t have to threaten or abrogate our civil liberties to be successful either. While virtually all terrorists are Muslims the majority of Muslims are not and you do not have to single out or alienate the Muslim community in the U.S. or elsewhere, which is something that must be remembered. In fact, the majority of Muslims would be grateful to you for getting rid of the Jihadists in their midst.

People everywhere are hoping you can steel yourself and take things in hand. We’re all in extremely deep trouble if you can’t.

A good beginning would be destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities.

You’re welcome.

Boycotts no answer, Re: Boycotting Israel?, Al Jazeera English, January 4, 2010

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

No one who is seriously interested in peace in the Middle East would even think about boycotting Israel. Israel isn’t the problem and never has been. Palestinians attitudes and behaviour prevent peace from occurring, nothing else. Peace could come in very short order if they would recognize and accept Israel’s legitimacy and existence and stop their constant attacks on Israelis in an effort to maim and kill as many of them as they can and wipe the country off the map.

Unfortunately, none of this is going to happen in the foreseeable future because Palestinians are their own worst enemy and their society is consumed by anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli demonization and hatred…it has always been thus and they are not going to change on their own. They are not capable of that. If peace is to come the international community will have to force them to change. Otherwise history will repeat itself again and again, their lives will continue to be diminished and impoverished and the suffering on both sides will not end.

Boycotting Israel isn’t the answer. Forcing Palestinians to change is.