Friday, March 30, 2007

How to Resolve the Iran Crisis over the British Hostages?

I found an answer over at Hugh Hewitt... He interviewed Newt Gingrich and Newt proposed the following...
I think there are two very simple steps that should be taken. The first
is to use a covert operation, or a special forces operation to knock
out the only gasoline producing refinery in Iran. There’s only one. And
the second is to simply intercede by Naval force, and block any tankers
from bringing gasoline to Iran…
You can read the whole thing here...

But what exactly are that chances that such a thing will in fact occur? slim to none anyone??

Here's Mark Steyn's take from NRO...
But even to hear Newt propose it reminds you of how unlikely it is
anyone in Teheran is getting that kind of talk from the British Foreign
Office or the Americans. A great power is as great as its credibility.
Right now, it’s Britain that’s cratering.
Read it all here...

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Lying Liars??

Steve Janke has a great post on the ongoing story around the confidential papers that were kept by the Liberals and then brought out for the media...
Here's an excerpt...

Conservative Party MP Scott Reid stood in the House of Commons
yesterday and took the extraordinary step of calling Mark Holland,
Marlene Jennings, and by extension, the entire Liberal Party caucus,
thieves and liars.

The Speaker's response? He let it stand, and wants to hear a report from Mark Holland and Marlene Jennings.

Read the whole thing here...

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Canada's Covenant with the Provinces

I just read a piece over at Jack's Newswatch which actually speaks to Canada's history and the covenant which created the country between Upper and Lower Canada and the Feds...
Here's an excerpt...
At the time of the “original deal” the federal government had no taxing
power. If the federal government needed a few bucks, “Upper and Lower
Canada” would kick in to help out. All that changed with the advent of
the First World War and a federal goverment hamstrung by war
costs begged for a “temporary federal tax”. It was allowed and that
tax (without a word to the general public) became permanent.
Read it all here...

I say we go back to that covenant and keep those things federal in the hands of the feds and those things provincial in the hands of the provinces. We'll be better off as a country if we can get the provinces responsible for their own economic well being while letting the feds deal with the foreign policy, defence and related matters.

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Daycare Raised Children MORE Disruptive- NYT Article

For all of you who put your kids into a daycare, pay attention to the excerpt from the post linked below at Angry's blog.
So a high-priced private facility or an expensive universal system --
it doesn't matter. Children raised by parents or close relatives fare
better, on average, than children raised in non-familial group settings.
Read the whole thing here...

This study is fairly damning of daycares regardless of the quality of the daycare. It just goes to show that a parent's or grandparents' love goes a long way. Perhaps the child is more stable emotionally as a result of family being there consistently to provide care, nurturing and discipline? Makes you wonder what it is about left wing ideologues and their insistence on big social programs, such as the former governing Liberals daycare plan??

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Child Killer Convicted

Here's a case of a child killer, Nelson Hart, supported in court by his wife from what the story makes out, who was ultimately convicted, in Canada.... an excerpt from the Vancouver Sun...
Hart, who said he learned that social workers were planning to take
away his children, explained that he felt bad doing it but couldn’t
bear the thought of his brother raising his children.

What kind of reasoning is that? Kill them so your brother doesn't raise them???

Read it all here...

A life sentence with no parole for 25 years is what he got. Bill O'Reilly always goes on about a Jessica's Law to protect kids, I think that it's reasonable that anyone committing murder or rape and related crimes against children should get a minimum of 25 years. Anyone involved in the creation of or profiting from child porn should get life with no parole. Go and rot in jail.

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Europeans Killing Their Own Children

At NRO, Mark Steyn talks about what is happening in Germany. Women are killing their babies in the most horrible ways, why? because apparently they are being left to raise the child themselves by their 'boyfriends'....
Here's an excerpt..
Why, in a land of socialized health care and lavish welfare, are mothers sodesperate? Feckless boyfriends seem to play a part. But then Germany has one of the lowest marriage rates in the developed world. Its getting harder not to conclude that parts of Europe are evolving into a kind of post-human society.
Read it all here...

This is where secular left wing progressivism leads I suppose, if you consider that the boyfriend can't be expected to stick around for something that's considered traditional, ie: taking responsibility for your actions, in this case your child. Lefties are all about being liberal with their mores and against anything that requires some sense of duty, obligation, or anything else that would impinge on their ability to 'revel in the moment'. Why would a woman who buys into the 'feminist' leftie thinking, and dates similarly 'progressive' men, not realize that if she were to get pregnant, and have a baby with such a man, with such a 'progressive' belief system, that he would not necessarily stick around for the 'not-so-fun' part of raising a child??

I mean to say if he is such an indoctrinated individual, why should he, if he doesn't have a moral compass based on a belief system that speaks to taking personal responsibility for his child? Maybe he's in fact questioning whether it's his child in the first place? Maybe he doesn't want to change his lifestyle? Maybe, just maybe he told her to have an abortion and if she doesn't that's HER choice to have a child and not his. Perhaps he being a progressive euro-male metrosexual sufficiently pliable to feminist values, exercised his ''woman's' right to choose'. Just a thought.

What a sad state of affairs. Perhaps there is more than enough evidence now for a few of the left wing progressives to conclude that things have just gone too far. The question then becomes, 'what are they going to do about it?'. More importantly, what are YOU going to do about it in your life?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Child Killers Should Get The Death Penalty

I just read a story that highlights the height of human stupidity. It also highlights the complete lack of Sikh religious education in Punjab. It is against Sikh religion to commit infanticide in any form.

Here's an excerpt...
Rajinder Singh, accused of strangulating
his 11-year-old son Arshpreet to death inside Dalima Vihar Gurdwara in
the wee hours of March 23, allegedly "sacrified" his son to cure his
ailing wife.
Don't believe for a second his wife didn't know about it either... Are people so stupid that they can actually believe that someone, anyone on this planet can be saved by murdering someone else?? This story just goes to show how superstitious, ignorant and gullible people in India really are, not to mentioned depraved - killing your own child ranks right up there as the worst crime anyone can commit against God and man.

Read the whole story here.

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Quebec Election Analysis

I was going to post on the Quebec election, but saw something that for the most part pretty much encapsulates what I was thinking already. It's a comment a reader made at the small dead animals blog.  Here's an excerpt...

Coyne's analysis around his claim that Charest was Harper's man, "and make no mistake" about it, is completely flawed. The Charest vote is a one-for-one federal liberal vote which, as things stand, is a vote for Dion. Moreover, every single anglo Quebecker would understand this to be self-evident.

If one excludes the anglo population, the fracophones are pretty evenly devided between the left and right. And I don't mean Coyne-type pseudo "conservatives", but the real freedom-loving types, like they have in Texas. If these right wing fracophones have voted PQ in the past, it's probably because they found Quebec's leftist anglos and the Coynes of the ROC so bloody offensive.

Harper's man in this election was in fact Mario Dumont. Indeed, every single Dumont vote was already a Harper vote, and is certain to be one for the foreseable future. I'd say that right there is Harper's majority.

While it's evident that the MSM are factually challenged and wildly biased with regard to Harper and conservatives, many Conservatives take the MSM's "facts" about Quebec without question. Consider that 'Quebec separation' is an idea that both the federal and Quebec provincial Liberals are desparate to keep alive; it's the clan war of which they are half. The leftist Quebec media, both english and french, also owe their existance to the clan war; it's the only narrative they know.

Read the whole thing here...

The one point I would add is that this result plays well for the Conservatives federally and basically, scare the Libs, BQ, and NDP shitless! The reason being is that Harper and co. are going to emboldened by the results and can push more of their political agenda federally. No one in the opposition wants an election now, knowing that the Quebec electorate basically slapped the Libs and PQ in the face and went for the ADQ in such a big way. The island of Montreal is swimming against the tide and frankly reflects the Anglophone colony in Francophone Quebec.  With Quebecers ready to move to the right, perhaps Harper and co. will arrange for their own defeat in parliament on an issue such as crime, immigration, or something else that will play well in rural Quebec.

Personally, I think now's the time for Harper to try and push through strong anti-terrorist legislation on the back of an enhanced immigration system that makes it more difficult for people to immigrate to Canada without some significant advantage accruing to Canada. Given that the opposition recently killed the earlier act from being renewed, I would suggest Harper may it a confidence vote. 

On the immigration front, perhaps a combination of selective immigration,such as allowing landed immigrant status only for the truly needed (entrepreneurial class??), and offering temporary worker visas with no hope of landed immigrant status for those jobs Canadians don't want or can't do (picking fruit & vegetables, skilled trades, IT workers, etc...). 

Couple the above with refugee status only to those being oppressed for bonafide political dissent, or religious persecution, with the caveat that the people we let in sign off on our Charter of Rights and repudiate any beliefs they have that would contradict our Charter or cause them to act out against Canadian society.

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Insane Chinese Public Safety System

You remember the story that was out there about the cats dying as a result of contaminated ingredients from China?? Namely wheat gluten??

Well it seems that not all is well in the Middle Kingdom according to Steve Janke at Angry's blog when compared to the system we have in Canada...

here's an excerpt...

Given this attitude towards managing dangerous substances, the focus on profits, and the lack of oversight, it might be that Chinese authorities might have trouble figuring out what just what was being used as a rat poison.

Makes you wonder about just how safe any food import is from China.

Funny, isn't it. One cow in Alberta is diagnosed with Mad Cow, a disease that still puzzles scientists as to the cause and how it is spread, and the entire industry shuts down as no one is willing to import as much as a hamburger patty from Canada. And the only reason the case was discovered was because Canada has robust inspection system managed by people who put the public good over the financial interests of any sector of the economy. I wonder what the reaction will be if it is conclusively determined that this Chinese wheat shipment was poisoned by the deliberate act of officials spraying some kind of mystery rat poison directly on the food.

READ it all here...

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Update on Iranians Act of War and Taking Brits Hostage

Read the following on why the Iranians may have done this.... Here's an excerpt...

In an earlier day, what Iran has done would have been universally regarded as an act of war. It was a premeditated act, carried out only hours before Britain voted to stiffen sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program in a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution. Iran captured a smaller detachment of British forces in the same waters in 2004, claiming they had strayed across the Iranian border. It beggars belief--as well as an eyewitness account of the incident reported by Reuters--that the British would make that mistake twice, assuming they made it the first time.

Read the full story here.

Here's an excerpt that provides additional possibilities, from Belmont Club, which discusses the issue in more detail.

It is related to the ongoing intelligence war between Iran and the West. Iran may want hostages it can trade for agents who have been captured by the US or who have defected to the West.

Read the whole thing here.


Just saw this article at GlobalSecurity.Org, which discusses the US response to provocative action on the part of the Iranians in the past. Here's and excerpt..

During a two-day period, the Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force units of Joint Task Force Middle East destroyed two oil platforms being used by Iran to coordinate attacks on merchant shipping, sank or destroyed three Iranian warships and neutralized at least six Iranian speedboats.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Is This an Act of War??

It'd be really interesting to see just what the Iranians would do if the Brits treated this as an act of war...

Here's an excerpt from the BBC news site,

Fifteen Royal Navy personnel captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces had sailed into Iran's waters illegally, its government has insisted.

Tehran had made a "firm protest" about the "illegal entry" in the Gulf by the UK personnel, an Iranian official said.

The UK maintains the eight sailors and seven marines had been carrying out routine duties in Iraqi waters.

The personnel, who are thought to be unharmed, were seized at 1030 local time after boarding a boat in the Gulf.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Case for a Separate Quebec

Mark Steyn reviews a book that makes what he calls the most "rational case" for separation of Quebec that he's come across.... here's an excerpt below,

"If Quebec is (as Mr Harper insists) a nation, then it could use a nationalist movement. It's a poor reflection on the eternally non-separating separatists that the best case for a Quebecois nation is that made by Reed Scowen in his book Time To Say Goodbye, a new edition of which has just been released to coincide with the election. Mr Scowen is not a "Westmount Rhodesian" or an angryphone, but a genial bilingual public official who's served his province at home and abroad. Back when he was Quebec's Agent-General in London, I happened to find myself seated next to him at an expatriates' luncheon. Scowen was a very relaxed and affable fellow, which is a sadly rare quality among Canadian and Quebecois diplomatic figures, who often seem somewhat twitchy and oddly insecure. Between the soup and entrée, he delivered a lovely evocative paean to his backyard and the lie of its land – the Townships and the Beauce and the old bootlegging country of the North-East Kingdom of Vermont and New Hampshire's Indian Stream Republic. And sometime between the entrée and dessert, he casually mentioned that he thought it would be better for all concerned if Quebec and Canada went their separate ways."

Read the whole review here.  Pay particular attention to the last couple of paragraphs where he talks about what the Frenchification of the ROC has meant. Personally, I find it, Quebec progressivism, very destructive towards folks who have a more 'traditional' viewpoint.

Part II - Sikh vs. Muslim Society in Britain - A Commentary on a Comparative Study

This is the second part of Stanley Kurtz's summary or commentary on the work of "British South Asianist Roger Ballard".  Take a read, of the full version original post by Stanley here. I've only posted the excerpts relevant to Sikhs below...

"The practice of cousin marriage among Pakistani immigrants has significantly slowed Muslim assimilation in Britain. Muslim cousin marriage has also facilitated a process of "reverse colonization," in which large, culturally intact sections of Pakistani Muslim society have been effectively transferred to British soil. These conclusions emerge from the work of British South Asianist Roger Ballard — particularly from his path-breaking paper "Migration and kinship: the differential effects of marriage rules on the processes of Punjabi migration to Britain ." In the first part of "Assimilation Studies," I laid out the background necessary to follow Ballard's case. Here in Part II, I'll run through the core of his argument. I'll also explain why highlighting the significance of Muslim cousin marriage is such a difficult and controversial enterprise.
Reverse Colonization
So what exactly is Ballard explaining? What differences did Ballard find between the two big groups of British immigrants from the Punjab: Muslims from the Mirpur district of Pakistan, and Sikhs from the Jullundur district of India? Although both of these groups share a broadly similar social and cultural background, their patterns of assimilation have been strikingly different.

Think of the South Asian guest workers who began to pour into Britain during the boom years of the 1950s as being connected to their Punjabi villages of origin by invisible bands, stretched taught across the globe. At first, Punjabi Sikhs and Muslims alike lived physically in England, yet remained spiritually tethered to their South Asian homeland. Working double shifts through the night for extra pay left little time for interaction with Britons. The plan was to save as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, and return home. Wives and children were left behind in Punjab. If marriage for a worker or his child was to be arranged, it would be with someone at home.

In time, however, the paths of Sikh and Muslim workers began to diverge. By the late 1950s, the bands that tied Sikh immigrants to their Punjabi home began to stretch, weaken, even break. Sikh women and children joined their husbands and fathers in Britain, while many Sikhs shifted out of manual labor to start businesses of their own. With economic success came a move to the suburbs, where a generation of Sikh children grew up learning English from their British neighbors. This new cohort of relatively assimilated young Sikhs had a record of high academic-achievement, and they increasingly saw their marriages arranged with Sikhs living in Britain or North America, rather than with villagers back in Punjab.

Mirpuri Muslim workers, on the other hand, took decades longer to bring their wives and children to Britain. The common pattern was for a laborer to spend years working double shifts, accumulating savings, and then to return to Mirpur for an extended rest, perhaps using his new-found wealth to finance lavish weddings for his children. The rest period was followed by a return to Britain, with the cycle repeated several times. So the bonds that held Muslim Mirpuri migrants in Britain to their home villages in South Asia remained unbroken.

Even in the 1970s, when Mirpuri Muslim laborers finally did begin to bring their wives and children to live with them in Britain, ties to Pakistan were sustained through "chain migration." With immigration regulations in Britain reflecting a lesser need and desire for foreign workers, villagers back in Mirpur could obtain visas only by marrying Mirpuri migrants already in Britain. Children of these couples, in turn, married and brought to England yet another generation of Mirpuri villagers, with each link in the chain of marriage migration insuring that the process of adjustment to English language and culture would begin again from scratch. These relatively unassimilated Mirpuri marriage-migrants were largely confined to the inner-city — to neighborhoods that recreated, insofar as possible, the linguistic and cultural conditions of Pakistan itself. Given their limited contact with English-speaking neighbors, Mirpuri children in these ethnic ghettos continued to have problems in school.

So, even when Mirpuri migrant men finally did reunite their families in Britain, it was less a breaking of the bonds that linked them to Pakistan than an effective transfer of a South Asian village society to Britain itself — a sort of "reverse colonization" — with marriage-driven chain migration keeping the ties between the "reverse colony" and the Punjabi homeland as strong as ever. In combination with the original post-war labor inflow, marriage-driven chain migration has now succeeded in transferring well over 50 percent of Mirpur's original population to Britain. "We don't cultivate wheat here any more," one of Ballard's Mirpuri informants commented, "we cultivate visas instead."

Women and Funeral Rites
Ballard quickly realized that it would take more than materialist explanations to make sense of all this. In the end, he identified three cultural-religious variables that account for a large part of the difference between immigrant Sikh and Muslim paths of assimilation: marriage rules, mortuary rites, and gender rules.

When it comes to the treatment of women, Punjabi Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims share a good deal. While Muslims famously seclude women, Punjabi Hindu and Sikh women also behave with modesty before men — for example, keeping their faces covered by head-scarves in the presence of senior male relatives. So it's all the more striking that the stricter, specifically Muslim rules of female seclusion have had such a substantial impact on divergent Sikh and Muslim paths of assimilation.

While Punjabi Sikh and Hindu women are permitted to move with circumspection around the village and into the fields when there's work to be done, Mirpuri Muslims expect their women to avoid public places and to cover themselves almost completely when traveling.

Given these strict conventions of female seclusion, Mirpuri guest-workers, dismayed by what they viewed as the corrupting influence of British mores, were far slower to risk bringing their wives and children to live with them abroad. And when Mirpuri women finally did arrive, they were kept confined at home. In contrast, many Sikh and Hindu female immigrants to Britain took jobs that put them in touch with the language and culture of the society around them.

While admittedly not a major factor, Ballard notes that the contrast between Muslim burial practices and Sikh and Hindu cremation rites has also helped tie Mirpuri immigrants to their Pakistani base. The ashes of cremated ancestors can be immersed in any river — the Thames is much favored by British Hindus and Sikhs. Mirpuri Muslims, on the other hand, travel back to Pakistan to bury their parents in the graveyard of the patrilineage — a symbol of the unity of the in-marrying clan.

Yet according to Ballard, of the several cultural factors shaping divergent paths of immigrant assimilation, marriage practices are the most important. Although Punjabi Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims all organize themselves into patrilineal descent groups (clans), and commonly form joint families, with sons and their in-marrying wives living together under parental authority, there is one key difference. Whereas Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus must marry outside of the patri-clan, Punjabi Muslims prefer to marry fellow clan members — especially first cousins. One effect of this difference is that the wives of Jullunduri Sikh immigrants have long been more eager than the wives of Mirpuri Muslim immigrants to join their husbands in Britain. Here's why.

Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs marry outside the clan, but they must also marry inside the caste. In Punjab, members of a patrilineal clan tend to live together in the same village. This means that eligible marriage partners of the same caste, but a different clan, can only be found in another village. So the rule of clan exogamy forces Punjabi Hindu and Sikh brides to leave their home villages to move in with husbands who live elsewhere. Hindu and Sikh brides therefore enter their husband's joint family as strangers. The early years of married life for a Hindu or Sikh bride are thus famously stressful, since she is not only living with and learning the ways of strangers, but also works under the difficult and unfamiliar authority of her new mother-in-law. Over time, Hindu and Sikh brides often press their husbands to leave the joint family and strike out on their own.

In contrast, when Muslim brides are cousins to their husbands, they remain in their home village, living with relatives, and often working under the supervision of a mother-in-law who is also a beloved aunt. One of the reasons Muslim cousin-marriage helps cement such intense in-group solidarity is that it builds upon and magnifies the already immensely powerful emotional bonds of early family life.

So it's not surprising that the wives and children of Sikh laborers came to join them decades before Muslim families reunited in Britain. Even under ordinary circumstances, Sikh brides have only a limited interest in maintaining family jointness. Given the fact that these brides were working under mothers-in-law, without the protection from poor treatment commonly provided by resident husbands, they were more than willing to detach themselves from the joint family and move in with their husbands overseas. Many Muslim brides, in contrast, would have welcomed the prospect of remaining in Pakistan with a family of beloved aunts and cousins, rather than moving into conditions of lonely seclusion in Britain.

Forging the Chain
So Muslim cousin-marriage, in combination with the seclusion of women, helps explain why Sikh families were united in England, decades before similar reunions were seen among Muslim Mirpuris. Yet why, even after these family reunions, have Mirupuri Muslim immigrants continued the practice of marriage-driven chain migration, whereas Jullunduri Sikhs have not? Once again, Muslim cousin-marriage goes a long way toward explaining the difference.

As Muslim and Sikh immigrants gradually adjusted to life in Britain, it became increasingly evident that marriages arranged with villagers from back home tended to be riven with conflict. Cultural differences, the language gap, and the wide divergence in general social competence between British-raised youth and their spouses from South Asia frequently made for trouble and strife. So when the parents of British-born Sikhs were faced with the offer of an arranged marriage with a villager from Punjab, their children invariably opposed the match. In doing so, these young Sikhs had the advantage of knowing that their parents were under no obligation to accept any particular proposal of marriage. Given the Sikh practice of clan exogamy, every marriage is arranged from scratch with an outsider. In short order, therefore, the new generation of British-born Sikhs successfully pressed their parents to arrange marriages with British-born (or perhaps even North American-born) Sikh partners.

The situation was very different for children of Mirpuri Muslims. Among Mirpuris, it's taken for granted that cousins have a virtual right-of-first-refusal in the matter of marriage. Even in the absence of immigration, it would have been entirely expected that the children of Mirpuri migrants would marry their cousins. How much more so was this the case when a marriage meant a British visa, and a vast increase in wealth — all redounding to the honor of the patriclan? Many Mirpuri migrants had only made it to Britain in the first place with economic help from a brother back in Pakistan. This practice of sharing of resources within the joint family created a powerful moral obligation to repay that financial help by arranging a marriage (and a visa) for the child of the brother who remained in Pakistan.

The British-born children of these Mirpuri Muslim migrants were perhaps a bit less apprehensive than their British Sikh counterparts about the idea of marrying villagers from back home. After all, these young Mirpuris had gotten to know their cousins on those long visits to Pakistan, and some affectionate attachments had developed. Yet the chronic problems of transnational marriages did indeed call forth opposition to such matches from many young Mirpuris. In contrast to the situation among immigrant Sikhs, however, the hands of Mirpuri parents were largely tied. To refuse a marriage with a relative back in Pakistan, when customary rights, financial obligation, and family honor were all at stake, would have been tantamount to a repudiation of siblingship itself. Such a severing of ties could bring retaliation in the form of efforts to blacken the honor of an immigrant and his family — a particularly severe sanction among Muslims.

So while Sikh immigrants increasingly broke the links of marriage-driven chain migration, the practice of Muslim cousin-marriage insured that assimilation itself would virtually begin again from scratch with each new generational infusion of Mirpuri spouses. The result has been economic stagnation and the literal transfer of more than half of Mirpur's population to an archipelago of "reverse colonies" in the heart of Britain.

The Big Picture
Ballard is clearly concerned to avoid confirming the notion that Muslim religious or social practice is in any way closed-minded or illiberal. The solution, says Ballard, is to link Muslim cousin-marriage to the issue of assimilation only through a series of very specific mechanisms. So Ballard finally attributes the contrasting paths of Sikh and Muslim migrants to what he calls "a whole series of minor differences" — namely, funeral rites, the seclusion of women, and the many implications of divergent marriage rules.

Isn't it interesting, however, that this whole series of "minor differences" somehow adds up to a very major difference indeed — a difference upon which the fate of Europe and the West may now hinge? Is it really the case that we can find nothing of systematic significance in a practice that transforms what might otherwise have been successful assimilation into "reverse colonization"? For Ballard: "Just why conversion [to Islam] should have precipitated such a radical change in marriage strategies [i.e. the shift to cousin marriage] is unclear." It seems to me that Ballard's own work suggests an answer to this mystery.

As I argued in "Marriage and the Terror War," cousin marriage tends to wall off Muslim society from outside influences — heightening internal cohesion and insuring cultural continuity. The Muslim practice of cousin marriage stands in a reciprocal functional-relationship with Islam itself — with both sides of that relationship reinforcing a social strategy based on in-group solidarity. If several very particular aspects of cousin marriage have tended to reinforce social solidarity among Muslim immigrants in Britain, that is no coincidence; it is merely a powerful illustration of the broader tension between the organization of Muslim society and the structures of modernity.

No doubt, there are many complexities and exceptions here. Muslim society is diverse, and marriage practices are by no means uniform over the entire range of worldwide Islam. There are also similarities — even overlap — between seemingly distinctive Muslim social practices and aspects of non-Muslim cultures. Having said all that, it would be a mistake to downplay or deny the significance of the broader social pattern here. Cousin marriage tends both to reinforce in-group solidarity and to set up barriers to cultural exchange. Clearly this has huge advantages in certain social contexts. No doubt because of practices like cousin marriage, Islam has maintained enormous internal coherence and strength over huge stretches of history. Yet it must also be noted that the very pattern that yields such impressive social advantages can sometimes appear closed-off, even illiberal, by the standards of modern, Western society.

The implications in all this for Europe and America are huge, and I shall continue to explore them in this ongoing series of pieces on Muslim marriage practices.

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. "

Federal Budget Overview March 2007

For anyone who missed it, here's a nice link to an overview of the budget.  So instead of reading 500 pages, just check this out... Overall, you couldn't expect much else from a minority conservative government.  My own take is that PM Harper is exercising a small 'c' conservative style in the hope that he can help shift the unprincipled Libs and the leftie NDP more to the right over time. Policies that promote the family versus the individual are bound to do that coupled with tax breaks.

Check Out What Halal Really Means

I saw a link to this crazy video on a blog I read... This is NOT for the faint of heart, it is barbaric. If you see the word Halal, this is what it means ...

or this...

There are bunch of videos like this on YouTube and GoogleVideo, etc..., the bottom line is the animal is still ALIVE as they SLOWLY cut at its neck or chop off its tail, or whatever it is that they are doing while praying to their God doing this animal sacrifice.

Halal meat is essentially the result of an animal sacrifice in the cruelest manner.

Slaughterhouses in Canada and the USA have to follow laws and regulations in order to be humane towards the animal during slaughter so that it doesn't feel the pain. Those slaughterhouse operators that don't follow the law should be punished as that kind of activity is NOT sanctioned by society. The animal sacrifice in the videos I linked to shows full acceptance and sanction of the CRUEL method of slaughter while the animal is alive and no doubt SUFFERING a SLOW and PAINFUL death.

Those imams, maulvis, etc... who kill these animals while chanting prayers are fully SANCTIONED by their religion and followers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How Safe Are You in a Canadian Hospital?

It is mind boggling that simple steps to prevent deaths and disease can't be completed competently in Canadian hospitals.  I found this at

"Alberta health authorities have closed a Vegreville hospital to new admissions and must do blood tests on four years' worth of patients there due to twin revelations of a staph-infection superbug and a history of not properly cleaning hospital equipment. The poorly cleaned devices mean a "very low risk" of hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV in unknown dozens of east-central Alberta patients served at St. Joseph's General Hospital."

You can read the full story here.

and here's another revelation from a Quebec hospital,

"Cutting four cleaning jobs had a huge impact on the hospital, with patients' rooms not disinfected on weekends and holidays and emergency room toilets cleaned only once a day, said Lise Lanno."

Read the full story here.

Sikh vs. Muslim Society in Britain - A Commentary on a Comparative Study

I saw the following in the National Review Online here and reproduced it below, have a read, it is an interesting study and may help you put the two communities in perspective.

On the issue of marriage discussed in the article, and a point the author doesn't make as far as I know, Sikhs (mostly the subcontinent) for the most part are not allowed by religious-cultural reasons to marry anyone with the same village ancestry or with the same clan (last) name regardless of which ancestral village they are from. As an example, someone who has the clan (last) name Bains from the village Talwandi would not be allowed to marry someone else with ancestry from the village Talwandi regardless of clan name, or anyone with the clan name Bains, regardless of village ancestry. Got that? Good.

"Assimilation Studies
Muslim and non-Muslim immigrants to Britain originating from the same region.

By Stanley Kurtz

A preference for marriage with cousins characterizes large sections of the Muslim world. In two previous pieces, " Marriage and the Terror War" and "Marriage and the Terror War, Part II," I've argued that the Muslim preference for cousin marriage (along with several associated social practices) helps explain why it has become difficult to reconcile Islamic social life with modernity, why Muslim immigrants in Europe have been slow to assimilate, and ultimately, why we are engaged in a war with Islamic terrorists.

Cousin marriage, I have argued, helps to create and organize a deep-lying bias in the Muslim world toward in-group solidarity—a social strategy that has the effect of walling off Muslim society from outside influences, heightening internal cohesion, and insuring cultural continuity. By no means do all Muslims marry their cousins. Yet, throughout much of the Muslim world, the cultural ideal and practice of cousin marriage helps to set and reinforce in-group solidarity as a leading social theme.


For a dramatic illustration of the social significance of Muslim cousin marriage, there is no better place to turn than the work of British social anthropologist Roger Ballard. Ballard directs the Centre for Applied South Asian Studies at England's University of Manchester. In addition to authoring numerous papers on South Asian immigration to Britain, Ballard is a frequent consultant on legal cases involving "forced marriage," "honor killings," and related cultural issues.

Although Ballard has written a great deal on immigration, his 1990 paper "Migration and kinship: the differential effect of marriage rules on the processes of Punjabi migration to Britain " stands out as a ground-breaking work. This single seminal paper has underwritten a small but burgeoning sub-field in which British anthropologists have begun to outline the impact of culturally distinctive marriage practices on the dynamics of immigration and assimilation.

I take a very different view of immigration-related policy issues from Dr. Ballard and his associates (about which I'll have more to say in a future piece). Yet no one can gainsay the intellectual accomplishment of Ballard's extraordinary 1990 essay, or the articles that followed. (Here I'll be drawing not only on Ballard's influential 1990 piece, but on "The South Asian Presence in Britain and its Transnational connections" and " Riste and Ristedari: the significance of marriage in the dynamics of transnational kinship.") It's a commonplace that Muslim immigrants in Europe have been slow to assimilate. In a general way, the public attributes this relative isolation to Muslim religion and culture. But if you're looking for a clear, powerful, and detailed account of exactly what it is that's been blocking Muslim assimilation in Europe, there is no better place to begin than Ballard.

Variation on a Theme
Before turning to Ballard's work, I need to note that the form of cousin marriage favored by the Pakistani Muslims who immigrate to Britain is a regional variant on the "parallel cousin" marriage favored by Muslims in the heart of the Arab World. (I discussed the nature and significance of "parallel cousin" marriage in "Marriage and the Terror War" Parts I and II.) While many Pakistani Muslims do in fact marry their first or second "patrilateral parallel cousins" (their father's brother's child), many others marry first and second cousins of other types. In contrast to Muslims in North Africa and the Arab World, Muslims in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan prefer marriage with any closely related cousin—not merely "patrilateral parallel cousins."

The details of this widespread Muslim variant on the classic pattern of Arab parallel-cousin marriage need not detain us. The point is that the fundamental principles I laid out in "Marriage and the Terror War" Parts I and II still hold. Although many Muslims who live north of the Arab heartland marry "cross cousins" as well as "parallel cousins," they do so with the aim of creating a tightly bound group of in-marrying relatives. While some societies use cross-cousin marriage to cement inter-group alliances, the "northern" pattern of Muslim cousin-marriage generally eschews such alliances and strives instead to create an exclusive group of in-marrying kin. (For more on the Pakistani Muslim variant of cousin marriage, see Veena Das, "The Structure of Marriage Preferences: An Account From Pakistani Fiction.")

Think of classic Arab parallel-cousin marriage as the ultimate expression of a more widespread Muslim tendency toward in-marriage, or "endogamy." Even in the core Arab area, parallel-cousin marriage is just one form of in-marriage—a cultural ideal that sets the tone for a more complex and varied range of "endogamous" practice. In the north-Muslim variant, parallel-cousin marriage tends to lose its special status (although not entirely), while a powerful emphasis nonetheless remains on a preference for marriage within the kin group, to cousins of all types. (For more, see Chapter Two of Carol Delaney's The Seed and the Soil.) In short, when Muslims marry cousins—of whatever type, they generally do so with the idea of creating and cementing the solidarity of tightly bound in-groups.

Natural Experiment
Part of what makes Ballard's 1990 "Migration and kinship" piece so powerful is that he has identified Punjabi migration to Britain as something like a natural controlled experiment, with cousin marriage as the key variable. Somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of all South Asians in Britain are Punjabis. The Punjab sits athwart the border of India and Pakistan and is home to substantial communities of Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. Muslims live almost exclusively in the Pakistani half of Punjab, while Sikhs and Hindus live largely in Indian Punjab. Whatever their religion, Punjabi migrants to Britain have a great deal in common. Most come from small, peasant, farming families, share basic cultural premises, speak a common language, and originally entered Britain intending to pocket savings from manual labor and return home. (In the end, many Punjabi guest workers remained in Britain.)

In family life, Punjabis of whatever religion organize themselves into patrilineal descent groups. Within those patrilineal clans, a "joint family" forms around a man, his married sons, and their children, with women leaving their natal homes to move in with their husbands. The family lives communally, sharing wealth and property, with grown sons under their father's authority, and in-marrying wives working under the direction of their mother-in-law. And whether Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh, the modesty of women in dress and behavior is a key cultural value for all Punjabis.

Despite these many similarities, the position of Punjabi Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu immigrants in Britain dramatically differs. Ballard focuses his comparison on two immigrant groups: Punjabi Muslims from the Mirpur region of Pakistan and Punjabi Sikhs from the Jullundur region of India. (Ballard frequently invokes Punjabi Hindus for comparative purposes as well.) Far from being obscure or isolated examples, it turns out that nearly three-quarters of British Punjabis are either Mirpuri Muslims or (largely Sikh) Jullunduris. With Punjabis making up the great majority of all British South Asians, Ballard's careful comparison is therefore telling us about two of the largest and most influential South Asian immigrant groups in Britain.

So what's the difference between Jullunduri Sikhs and Mirpuri Muslims? Quite simply, Jullunduri Sikh's have moved relatively far down the road of assimilation, while Mirpuri Muslims have not. Now largely middle class, many British Sikhs have abandoned manual labor to start their own businesses, have moved from the inner city to the suburbs, and currently see their children performing academically at the same level as other middle-class Britons. British Mirpuri Muslims, on the other hand, move between unemployment and manual labor, are still largely confined to poor, inner-city ethnic enclaves, and rear children with a limited grasp of English and a notably low level of academic achievement.

Given the broad social, cultural, and linguistic similarities between Mirpuri Muslims and Jullunduri Sikhs (and Hindus), how are we to account for the radically different trajectories of these immigrant communities in Britain? Can religion explain the difference? In a sense, it can. Yet the key barriers to assimilation aren't always religious in the strict sense. The factors that inhibit assimilation have less to do with Muslim beliefs per se than with the distinctive, non-textual practices that organize Muslim society.

In particular, the practice of cousin marriage has served to create a culturally insulated community of Mirpuri Muslims in Britain. A process of "chain migration," in which generation after generation of Mirpuri immigrants wed cousins back in Pakistan, has reinforced Muslim cultural continuity by keeping a continuous stream of unassimilated immigrants pouring into Britain. Before describing the impact of Muslim marriage practices, however, Ballard needs to deal with an obvious alternative explanation for differential rates of immigrant achievement and assimilation.

Don't Follow the Money
The simplest way to account for the different levels of economic success and assimilation found in Mirpuri Muslim and Jullunduri Sikh British immigrants is to note that Jullundur's local economy has long been in much better shape than Mirpur's. When it comes to economic development, Pakistan has been far less successful than India. And Jullundur is one of the most prosperous areas in one of the most prosperous states in India. Mirpur, on the other hand, is situated in an economically stagnant section of Pakistan. Immigrants from Jullundur therefore tend to have better educational and technical skills than immigrants from Mirpur, and this clearly accounts for a significant part of the differential economic and cultural success of the two immigrant communities in Britain.

Of course, although it may no longer be fashionable to raise the issue, these pre-existing economic differences could themselves be rooted in cultural differences. Ballard leaves this point largely unexplored, yet many aspects of his account are suggestive. Ballard notes that Mirpur's economy is hampered by the need for connections (no doubt chiefly kinship connections) to the administrative and political elite. Ballard also highlights the inhibiting effects that Mirpuri notions of honor have on land sales, as well as the negative economic effects of the flight of Mirpur's overwhelmingly Sikh and Hindu middle class during the partition of India and Pakistan. So we at least need to consider the possibility that cultural differences might have played a significant role in the divergent economic histories of Muslim Mirpur, on the one hand, and Sikh-Hindu Jullundur, on the other.

In any case, even after granting the significance of pre-existing economic differences, Ballard stresses that in this case, a materialist explanation can only be very partial. That's because the relative failure of British Mirpuri Muslim immigrants to assimilate is clearly linked to their distinctive pattern of family life. While post-war, immigrant, male, Sikh workers in Britain brought their families over to join them as early as the 1950s, Mirpuri Muslims men didn't begin to transfer their families in Britain in large numbers until the late-1970s. That means it took decades longer for many Mirpuri Muslims even to begin the process of learning English and accommodating to British culture. And when Mirpuri Muslims finally did bring their wives and children from Pakistan to join them, they forged a set of inward-looking social networks that effectively insulated the Muslim community from the surrounding British culture.

After noting that economic factors can have only limited explanatory value in this case, Ballard goes on to highlight the influence of marriage practices on patterns of immigrant assimilation. Ballard suggests that the Muslim practice of cousin marriage may account for the formation of "far more in-turned and all-embracing" kinship networks than we find among British Sikhs, thus helping to explain the two groups' divergent patterns of economic achievement and cultural accommodation. However, before Ballard details the inhibiting effect of Muslim social practices on the process of assimilation, he pauses to express some hesitation. This passage is worth quoting in full:

Could cultural—and more specifically, religious—variables be a partial determinant of such differences? [i.e. differential rates of economic success and assimilation in Sikh and Muslim immigrants] It is, after all, quite frequently asserted that Islam is more 'authoritarian,' and less 'open-minded,' than either Hinduism or Sikhism; and there clearly is a correlation between patterns of family and community organization on the one hand, and religion on the other. Could the relationship be causal? It is an argument that I find myself approaching with great caution, for the dangers are clear. Any explanation which rests on sweeping, and inevitably stereotypical, assertions about the allegedly 'conservative' or 'liberal' character of the two religious traditions must be rejected as unhelpful and unilluminating. Nevertheless, I have become increasingly convinced that there are some very significant issues at stake here, which are indeed broadly associated with religion; however, if the analysis is to have any validity, and stereotypes are to be avoided, all arguments must show, in a very specific way, just how difference has been precipitated.

Ballard's desire to avoid unjustified generalization is admirable, as is his determination to tie any cultural explanation to specific mechanisms. Yet we can't help but wonder whether the forest might get lost in the trees. Will Ballard's concerns about ethnic stereotyping prevent him from drawing legitimate connections between the mechanisms that block Muslim assimilation in Britain, on the one hand, and large-scale features of genuine importance in many Islamic societies, on the other? In any case, exactly how does Ballard use cousin marriage to explain the relatively slow pace of Muslim assimilation in Britain? We'll find answers to these questions, and more, in Part II of "Assimilation Studies."

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center."

Is Thailand an Oppressor Too?

Mark Steyn discusses the situation in Thailand and what may be in store for the UK here.

Slavery in the 21st Century, Are You Kidding Me??

Check this out, from Robert Spencer, unbelievable..., well no, it is actually believable... but unbelievably despicable...

Where is the Feminist Outrage Over This Crime?

I just read this over at Western Resistance... How is it that this type of thing doesn't make the news??

Four Part Series on Traditional Islam

I just came across this series on YouTube, after reading a post on Proud to be Canadian blog... you may want to check it out to get a better understanding of world events that are taking place today, and took place in the past... Especially in the greater Punjab region...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Another View of Sikhism

I came across the following and thought it was an interesting perspective from a non-Sikh on his experience at a Gurdwara in Boston...

"If you go to enough temples and holy buildings, you start to see patterns and commonalities between them all. But this is actually a helpful thing, because being aware of the similarities makes you hypersensitive to all the differences. And let me tell you, upon entering the Gurdwara, my temple-sense was more than just tingling, it was hitting every alarm it knew."

You can read the whole thing here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Iraqis happier now than under Saddam?

The Belmont Club: Through a Glass Darkly

Interesting how Iraqis think things are better now than under Saddam. Kind of takes that arguement away from lefties now doesn't it? Oh, most Iraqis also don't believe there is a civil war underway. Interesting...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Here's what Public Healthcare Will Get You...

Angry kin of C. difficile victims blame dirty hospitals

People who are so dogmatic and fundamentalist about defending public healthcare need to give their head a shake. With the lack of accountability in the public system, you can see the results with over 2000 people dying in Quebec alone from a lack of hygiene in hospitals by the medical/ cleaning/ support staff. 2000 dead since 2003, in ONE province, in CANADA. Counting 2003, that's 500 dead per year!!

People are clamoring for a withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan over the deaths of less than a hundred troops, yet are silent about the SENSELESS killing of Canadians in hospitals!! So much for the legacy of Tommy Douglas. The troops at least died defending the freedom and liberty of Canadians as part of their CHOSEN occupation, and have become Canadian heroes and martyrs for freedom as a result. What of the hundreds and thousands who've died across Canada in our medical system, due to a lack of hygiene and cleanliness? Are they just a statistic, or will the public realize that either a private or public/ private mixed system would be better than what we've got now??

When doctors and nurses are part of the problem, like they are in Canada, it makes you wonder about the whole system. Maybe having a few solid penalties awarded against them ala the US system would stiffen the workplace hygiene regimen. You'd only get that though in a private system, in the public system you get the "complaints" process or a coroner's inquest if you're lucky.

Personally I'd like to see the Singaporean model, with medical savings accounts and insurance policies paying for health services. Tax sheltered investments to provide basic care and catastrophe insurance to provide for major or catastrophic disease related healthcare costs. Private employers and the government could bolster the ability for all citizens to gain coverage. I'm no expert, but having been there, I'd much prefer the Singaporean model to what we have in Canada.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy New Year (Sikh)

Happy New Year! and Congratulations on Gurpurab (from - Sikh festival or special day is called Gurpurb, meaning "Guru's remembrance day").

For those who don't know it is the Sikh New Year today and Gurpurab (Gurgadi Guru Har Rai Sahib) when the 7th Guru of the Sikhs assumed leadership of the Sikh Nation.

The following is available on Google Video from the Tampa Sikh Sangat and which I received in an email....

Welcome to 539th Nanakshahi Sikh New Year

Description: Gurmat lecture : Beginning of 539th New Year as per Nanakshahi Sikh Calender - Historical background and Significance :By Dr. Bhai Sahib Mohan Singh 'Rattan' Principal , Sikh Heritage College at Gurudwara Sahib Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

So this is The Face of Canada

I just read an interesting post over at Damian Penny's blog Do the math: Who will be the Canadians of the future? Where will they live?

Click on the comments where I posted in the comments section based on a blog he references available here => mesopotamia west: The Face of Canada.

Basically, talks about the future character of Canada. I wrote the following at Damian's, "Comment by Kaptaan: So what are you really trying to say? Put it out into the open. Left wing liberalism and right wing red necks have created a situation where the immigrants have been able to sneak up the middle and pit them against each other, so that while they do battle the very character of the country is changing to the point where slowly slowly the immigrants will have a socially conservative country that is under their non-traditional ethnic Canadian thrall. "

Global Warming Scam and Scaremongering

From the Calgary Sun

Debunking global warming myths


The British documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle is, well ... great.

The program, which aired last Thursday in the U.K. to much buzz, has since been watched by hundreds of thousands of others around the world via the Internet. It exposes numerous lies and myths presented as fact by those who believe in the unproven hypothesis that human-created carbon dioxide (CO2) is the driver of the Earth's warming climate.

The same broadcaster -- Channel 4 in the U.K. -- that recently exposed the extremist ideology being preached in Britain's supposedly "moderate" mosques has now similarly helped to tear away the veil of lies and religious zeal surrounding the global warming industry.

The film features an impressive group of experts in the fields of climatology, oceanography, biogeography, meteorology, and paleoclimatology from reputable institutions such as NASA, MIT, The International Arctic Research Centre, the Pasteur Institut in Paris, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of Winnipeg, Ottawa, London, Jerusalem, Alabama and Virginia.

That should help top the claims there is a consensus of scientists who believe in man-made global warming.

Expert after expert in this film blasts craters into the theory that CO2 -- which only makes up 0.054% of the earth's atmosphere -- has ever driven climate. Ice core records, in fact, prove the opposite, that CO2 lags warming by as much as 800 years.

The main cause of warming is, not surprisingly, the sun.

"The analogy I use," says Dr. Tim Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, "is my car's not running very well, so I'm going to ignore the engine, which is the sun, and I'm going to ignore the transmission, which is the water vapour and I'm going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel which is the human produced CO2. The science is that bad."

The film starts off covering indisputable facts. There was a Medieval Warm Period that was warmer than today -- that led to incredible wealth in Europe when the bulk of the continent's great cathedrals were built and when Britain had thriving vineyards. Then came the Little Ice Age that started in the 17th century and was so cold London's Thames River would freeze so solidly festivals were held on it.

About 10,000 years ago, during a time known as the Holocene Maximum, it was much warmer even than the Medieval times.

Dr. Ian Clark, Prof. of Isotope Hydrogeology and Paleoclimatology at the U of Ottawa, notes polar bears (which have become the poster-animal of the global warming industry) survived that sustained warm cycle and that volcanoes produce more CO2 every year than all human activity.

What's more, prior to 1940 temperatures on Earth were rising long before industrialization took place.

Then, when carbon dioxide emissions rose markedly in the post-war economic boom period, temperatures fell for the next three decades, again, in direct contravention of the theory being espoused and believed by so many.

Ironically, in the 1970s, just as scientists started predicting another climate catastrophe -- an impending ice age -- the planet started warming again.

The documentary ends with a quote from Dr. Fred Singer of the U of Virginia.

"There will still be people who believe this is the end of the world, particularly when you have, for example, the chief scientist of the U.K. telling people that by the end of the century the only habitable place on the Earth with be the Antarctic and humanity may survive thanks to some breeding couples who move to the Antarctic. I mean, this is hilarious," he says with a chuckle.

"It would be hilarious, actually, if it weren't so sad."

See the film at:

So there it is... Global warming is junk science. Al Gore has perpetrated an intellectual fraud that has taken in every left wing closed minded fanatic that you can find between here and Tierra Del Fuego.

Now, how many lefties exactly do you think will recant their Global warming ideology? Just as I thought.... Instead, do you think they will now come up with some alternative fabrication to explain why they are telling the truth and those folks in the documentary are lying liars...

The other question I have for lefties, is the following: Why is Mars warming? presumably there aren't any humans or industrial economy strength life forms that we know of on Mars, or are the Neo-cons lying about that too??? then how about Pluto and Jupiter?? aliens are there globally warming them up too??? see this story for more.

The Torch: The Afghanistan syndrome: A great country or what?

The Torch: The Afghanistan syndrome: A great country or what?

See The Torch who first wrote about this story. While these thugs attacked a Canadian soldier in a bar, it speaks to the lack of respect for our soldiers, whether or not the thugs had a personal animosity towards the specific soldier involved.

It is very disturbing that you can actually find people in Canada who don't understand the role of our military in defending our sovereignty and extending our power projection capability. Without a credible military Canada is just another pantywaist nation that carries no weight in any conversation of nation states. Do people actually believe any country will take Canada seriously in a non-military setting (ie: UN, offshore fisheries spat, Arctic rights) if they know we have no military capability to assert our rights and claims?

Left Wing Nutjobs? or Mainstream Leftists?

News & Opinion : Assassinate Stephen Harper? Canadian blogger (and would-be priest) learns his limits

Seems this guy considers himself to be sane and not so far left as to be considered outside the centre of the political spectrum. Maybe this guy is typical of the left wing in Canada. Personally, I think this guy should be arrested and charged with uttering death threats against the PM. In a democracy, like Canada, you don't whack the guy who gets into power just because your guy lost. It seems folks on the right act decently whereas lefties give vent to their intolerance by exposing their hatefulness and true colours. The idea that lefties have an "open" mind is exposed by people like this as being the lie that it is, in fact it is folks on the right who learn to live with the antics of the left without resorting to death threats and try to at least discuss the issues in a civilized manner.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

YouTube Serves A Consumer Need

Update: Google, YouTube hit with $1B copyright suit

I don't know about you but I like the idea of going to YouTube and finding something I missed on T.V. and watching it on demand. Sure it is IP (intellectual property) of the owner, and I don't advocate theft, but the consumer need is being unmet by traditional methods or by any new ones introduced by the market to date. Unless you count TiVO, but that only addresses programs that you missed and are catching up on after having set your time to 'record' them.

I'm talking about the South Park or Simpsons or Hockey clip you read about in the news (or on a blog) and decide you want to check it out. Where do you go for that?

If YouTube's idea is offensive and infringing according to the television/ movie studios, why don't they come up with an alternative that let's them generate revenue off of their own works utilizing new technology. Provide the consumer a palatable alternative. The dithering and delaying the music companies engaged in, led directly to the rise of the original Napster and follow on peer sharing sites to the detriment of the music industry's revenues. You'd think the movie and television companies would have learned a lesson and come up with a "YouTube" like portal on their own.

Instead they are seeking to sue Google and YouTube for creating and building out that which they couldn't, wouldn't build on their own. Well, it's too late to put that genie back in the bottle. Even if YouTube is taken out, others will fill the void to the lasting pain of the "industry". Insteading of suing Google/ YouTube they ought to be talking to them about a revenue sharing deal that puts their entire library out into the market for folks to watch on demand.

"Professionals" Being Checked Out

Criminal record checks to increase

So the politicos have decided to require criminal record checks for this previously 'protected' class of "professionals" in B.C...

The reality is that those people aren't any more infallible than anyone else who is put in a position of trust in society. Healthcare workers, allied health professionals and others should have regular checks done as they deal with the public in very private/ personal circumstances and have access to a lot of confidential information. Knowing some of the folks who enter those fields from my university days, I'd ask why this wasn't done sooner... :-)

Ensuring that some bad apples don't fly "under the radar" with criminal behaviour once they are hired is probably a good move, though it may result in scrutinization that could make some uncomfortable. With all the cases in the media of Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers and others engaging in unprofessional conduct, its about time self-policing was ended for these groups.

Personally, I'd like to see independent members outside of those constituencies form 50% of the disciplinary committees that the various professional bodies have constituted. I believe the public would be better protected as a result of having a check on medical, legal, or teaching insiders disciplining one of their "own".

Friday, March 09, 2007

Back In Action

Yes, yes I know I haven't been publishing. What, with family, work, and the other activities of life I let the blog slip, but now I'm back.

Polar Bears Prove EnviroFanatics Wrong

This just in, the way I see it, the doomsayers who drone on and on about the death and destruction of the world due to so-called "man made" global warming have one less thing to point to as validation for their "theory"....

Polar bear numbers up, but rescue continues

Don Martin in Ottawa, National Post

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Their status ranges from a "vulnerable" to "endangered" and could be declared "threatened" if the U.S. decides the polar bear is collateral damage of climate change.

Nobody talks about "overpopulated" when discussing the bears' outlook.

Yet despite the Canadian government 's $150-million commitment last week to fund 44 International Polar Year research projects, a key question is not up for detailed scientific assessment: If the polar bear is the 650-kilogram canary in the climate change coal mine, why are its numbers INCREASING?

The latest government survey of polar bears roaming the vast Arctic expanses of northern Quebec, Labrador and southern Baffin Island show the population of polar bears has jumped to 2,100 animals from around 800 in the mid-1980s.

As recently as three years ago, a less official count placed the number at 1,400.

The Inuit have always insisted the bears' demise was greatly exaggerated by scientists doing projections based on fly-over counts, but their input was usually dismissed as the ramblings of self-interested hunters.

As Nunavut government biologist Mitch Taylor observed in a front-page story in the Nunatsiaq News last month, "the Inuit were right. There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears."

Their widely portrayed lurch toward extinction on a steadily melting ice cap is not supported by bear counts in other Arctic regions either.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is collecting feedback on whether to declare the polar bear "threatened" under its Endangered Species Act, joining the likes of the rare red-cockaded woodpecker, the lesser prairie chicken and the Sonoran pronghorn, which are afforded official protection and species recovery management. The service held its first public hearing on the polar bear project last night in Washington D.C.

But background papers for the debate hardly justify a rush to protect the bear from extinction if its icy habitat fades to green.

The service identifies six Arctic regions where data are insufficient to make a call on the population, including the aforementioned Baffin shores area.

Another six areas are listed as having stable counts, three experienced reduced numbers and two have seen their bears increase.

Inuit also argue the bear population is on the rise along western Hudson Bay, in sharp contrast to the Canadian Wildlife Service, which projects a 22% decline in bear numbers.

Far be it for me to act as a climate- change denier, but that's hardly overwhelming proof of a species in peril in Canada, which claims roughly two thirds of the world's polar bear population.

Reading international coverage of the bear, it's obvious Canada has become home to the official poster species for extinction by climate change.

Everywhere you look, the "doomed" polar bear's story is illustrated with the classic photo of a mother and cub teetering on an fragile-looking ice floe, the ice full of holes and seemingly about to disappear into the sea.

"The drama is clear: This is truly the tip of an iceberg, the bears are desperately stranded as the water swells around them," according to a recent article in The Observer magazine carrying the photo.

Something's always bothered me about that photo, which has been vilified on the Internet as a fake.

Even if it's the real thing, the photographer was clearly standing on something solid not far from his forlorn looking subjects.

For a species that can swim dozens of kilometres to find a decent seal dinner, a few hundred metres to shore is a leisurely doggie paddle to safety. So much for the optic of a doomed global warming victim on ice.

Of course, tracking polar bear populations is an inexact science.

They roam about, which lends itself to double counting, and they're not easy to identify from any distance.

Besides, polar bears do live on ice and satellite photos show the sea ice is down 7.7% in the last decade. So something is happening up there.

But while Prime Minister Stephen Harper has embraced the religion of climate change and vows to combat it with billions of new dollars, the bear facts suggest the challenge facing our great white symbol may be more about too many bears than too little ice.

© National Post 2007