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Friday, March 30, 2012

Secret Agent Obama to Russia: "After the election, I'll bend over and take it up the butt for America"

Actually, Obama told the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that after his presumed reelection, he'll have more flexibility. I assume the headline is what he plans on doing with that flexibility.

Former UN Ambassador Bolton accuses Obama White House of leaking Israel's plans to attack Iran

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Canada equiped to deal with Islamic radicalism?

Three of Canada's most knowledgeable intelligence analysts had a public discussion on March 28 about Canada's ability to deal with Islamic radicalism coming out of the middle east and from a public security standpoint, the prognosis was less than encouraging.

Ray Boisvert, Assistant Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and Doug Best, the RCMP's National Security Section Head both expressed the fear that "radicalization" was Canada's greatest national security concern. As senior members of government agencies and being consummate professionals, both men had to be circumspect about their language and neither mentioned  "Islam" once. Fortunately, the Mackenzie Institutes's John Thompson was also on the panel assembled by Advocates for Civil Liberties and The Atlantic Council of Canada for their "Canada and the New Middle East" conference in Toronto. Thompson observed that as a private citizen, he did not have similar constraints limiting him to the politically correct and proved that point quickly by saying, "if you look at the history of Islam, they've managed to pick a fight with everyone they've met."

Boisvert and Best reiterated the concern of "lone actors," individual terrorists who act by themselves or in small group being difficult to predict or track. But in a nod to multicultural sensitivities,  Boisvert equated Anders Breivik, the Norwegian mass murderer who acted on his own based on his own psychotic self-idealization of his being a Knight Templar with Mohammed Merah, the Jihadist murderer of three Jewish children in France earlier this month. The difference that the CSIS official didn't note is that Merah was not acting out a fantasy involving a centuries-dead Crusader Order but of a very much contemporary Islamic philosophy of terrorism in the name of religion. Far from being  independent, Merah travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to study how to actualize this ideology of murder under the tutelage of a well-structured system.

One of the challenges Canadian multiculturalism faces was articulated by Thompson's observation of a facet of Islamism that Canada has not seen from other communities. Where other communities and cultures have worked towards integrating with Canadian society, Islamists work within their community to try to prevent integration.

Yet the silver lining to all this is that while Islamism presents Canada's greatest security threat, RCMP Superintendent Best noted that eighty percent of the cases where police thwarted Canadian terror rings, the information that foiled them was provided by members of the community. In other words, Canadian Muslims are our best asset in fighting domestic Islamic terror. Thompson provided the explanation for this apparent paradox; mosques are centres of radicalism due to their being controlled and funded in a great many instances by Saudi extremists . The disconnect between Canadian Islamic leaders and the majority of Canadian Muslims is encouraging, but that trend is not absolute and radicalization at mosques does occur.

One of the disappointments encountered by young Canadian Muslims who do become recruited to radical causes abroad is that the reality of being a Islamic fighter is starkly different than the portrayal of an exciting, noble adventure that they are being sold. CSIS' Boisvert compared it to the famous South Park cartoon episode where, after watching the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, Eric Cartman and his friends went off to join Somali pirates, only to find their swashbuckling fantasy bore no resemblance to the depressing, grotty truth of their situation. Unfortunately, in the case of radicalized Canadian Muslims, by the time they find what they have gotten themselves into, they are usually past the point of no return.

Let us hope Canadian multiculturalism has not yet reached the point where we cannot find solutions to the ongoing threats posed by Islamism inside our borders.

Coming soon: How new energy finds will change Canada, the middle east and the world, creating new hope and new conflicts.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Reason TV saw at the Reason Rally

Reason.tv headed down to the National Mall for the Reason Rally (no affiliation!) in Washington, DC. The March 24 event was billed as the "largest gathering of the secular movement in world history" and drew a several thousand-strong crowd of damp, enthusiastic unbelievers (and a few protesting believers) .

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Belladona Rogers: 8 Mistakes Men Make About Women

Or, more reasons why it's amazing the human race hadn't become extinct eons ago.


Personally, I would have added "rabid" to that description..


B. If you ask a woman a question, don’t interrupt her response by saying, as you impatiently tap your fingertips on the nearest table, “Get to the point.” The point you don’t get is that our intricate narratives — interlaced as they are with our multi-layered interpretations, embroidered with the richness of our subtle observations, and enhanced by our exquisite cascades of details that might well have entirely escaped your notice, and without which your understanding of life would be the poorer — are what an answer is to us. As Walter Cronkite used to say, “And that’s the way it is.”

There's plenty more of this very amusing and possibly informative (what do I know?) piece at PJ Media

Mulcair won. What next for the NDP?

Leadership contests are, by their nature, extremely divisive contests. They force parties to highlight their own divisions and in the process, provide ammunition to other political parties that they can save for elections.

The NDP is conscious of that and for the most part, the leadership convention that just elected Thomas Mulcair with over 57% of the vote was a restrained process. The one candidate who faced the harshest criticism from rivals was the one who emerged victorious.

So the first order of business under such circumstances is always to consolidate the victory. The fact that it took four ballots for Mulcair to win means that he will want to shore up support. That in turn means that there will be no drastic changes in the short term. To hammer home that point, Mulcair, in his first major interview as NDP leader, told the CBC's Peter Mansbridge that he will retain Vancouver East MP Libby Davies as Deputy Leader.

The relations between Davies and Mulcair could be described as toxic. Many sources indicate the rotund Health Critic Davies despises Mulcair as a "neo-liberal" Blairite, while the Outremont MP is contemptuous of Davies, whom he considers an unintelligent, radical fanatic that is a liability to the party's ability to reach beyond its base. Davies launched vicious proxy attacks against Mulcair  through rabble.ca. That radical website is published by Davies' same-sex spouse, Kim Elliott. Mulcair is keenly aware of the rabble/Davies connection and he was the only one of the NDP leadership candidates who refused to be interviewed by that neo-Marxist online outlet.

Once Mulcair's grasp on the party tightens, look forward to Davies being consigned to the back benches within two years. The decline will be gradual, with her first being shifted out of the Deputy Leader and Health Critic positions to a lesser portfolio. Depending on her ability to refrain from a major blunder, a degree of restraint that Davies has seldom exercised for long, she may hold on to a job as Critic of a minor Ministry., But just as likely, once Davies, who frequently behaves like a petulant child in public, contradicts and criticizes the new leader, she'll be roosting up in the Opposition bleachers.

The interesting developments will be where people like Nathan Cullen end up. His surprising 3rd place performance in the leadership race means that he has party support, but despite Cullen's expressed desire to move the party to the centre, his policies are even further to the left of Jack Layton's, suggesting the bald man from British Columbia is not someone to be trusted.

The next general election isn't likely to be before late 2015, so in that time, the NDP caucus who can act like centrists and behave intelligently will be moved closer to the top. Look for more of a say from the Quebec caucus, who though fresh now, will under Mulcair's tutelage show more gravitas and leadership. Whether the NDP and its new leader have the talent and skill to give Canadians confidence in their ability to govern depends largely on whether the party purges the Davies faction and shows it is finally being run by grown-ups.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What fear does Stephen Harper share with Judy Rebick? That Libby Davies will be shut out of power under Mulcair

Frumpy and hysterical, prone to "eat the rich" and "politics of oppression" style rhetoric, Vancouver East MP Libby Davies is a walking caricature of 1970's style radical politics that has rendered the New Democratic Party unelectable and non-credible among an overwhelming majority of Canadian voters.

But the antiquated, white, middle class, neo-Marxist faction of the NDP Davies personifies is the core of the activist base that has been at the centre of the party for the last four decades. With the Quebec breakthrough the party had in the 2011 election, there may be a coming  marginalization of the radicals who continually look to re-fight old victories like abortion and health care, and to push divisive, unappealing policies like cozying up to Islamist radicals and 9-11 conspiracy theories rather than looking ahead to forming responsible economic policies.

And so that, in a nutshell, sums up the current angst faced by the old-school NDPers like Ed Broadbent and Judy Rebick, who are seeing their treasured, ineffective values threatened by the modernity represented by current leadership frontrunner Thomas Mulcair.

One aspect of the race and the potential loss of Mulcair's leadership bid is the possibility that the NDP's support in Quebec could totally collapse along with it. As Chantal Hebert wrote in an article in the Toronto Star earlier this week, no one is hoping for a Mulcair loss more than Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois, who sees Mulcair as being a force for federalism in Quebec and someone who could grow federal support in the province.

Conversely, a Mulcair loss would be seen as a slap in the face to Quebec and would almost certainly create an anti-NDP backlash there.

Interestingly, that fact was acknowledged by the ancient lefttist radical Judy Rebick in an interview on CBC Radio`s The Current a few days ago. But Rebick`s main area of concern is not for the future of the NDP as much as it is for maintaining the influence of Libby Davies` extremist brand of politics within the party.

Rebick who has been actively pushing an `anyone but Mulcair` ticket said her greatest fear is that Thomas Mulcair will shut Libby Davies out of the NDP.

Coincidentally, that is probably Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Bob Rae`s greatest fear too. Because by so doing Mulcair would make the NDP a viable, credible party in the eyes of the broader Canadian electorate.

UPDATE: Mulcair is consolidating his victory, but is it a matter of time before Davies is relegated to obscurity within the NDP to limit the damage she can do to the party?

Bizarre Baylor prof accused of sexual harrassment to give anti-Israel speeches in Canada

Baylor University's Marc Ellis is a very strange man indeed. Ellis' supporters,and reportedly he himself  claims he has a "prophetic voice." Whether that was the voice he used during his alleged sexual harassment of one of his graduate students remain unknown. What is known is that he is currently undergoing dismissal proceedings at Baylor.

Ellis, a Jew whose anti-Semitic statements like "Put simply, "Jewish" has taken on an imperial and colonial flavor" are more suggestive of his being a prophet of Karl Marx than Jehovah. "The great exemplar of social justice" are the actual words Ellis has used to describe the author of The Communist Manifesto.

An anti-Israel group calling itself  The Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation of Canada is presenting this anti-Semitic Jew on a 3 city lecture tour next week on Canadian universities with endorsements from the usual cast of Jew-hating, terror-supporting suspects.

Maybe his tiny audience will get to hear some "prophetic" comments about the article from New York Magazine regarding his alleged gross abuse of authority:

The details of the charges against Ellis have not been fully disclosed, but the events under investigation date back nearly a decade, to when the complaining witness was Ellis's graduate assistant, a fortysomething Ph.D. student who became a “close friend of Marc’s," as Ellis's lawyer, Roger Sanders, puts it. After completing her Ph.D., the woman came aboard as a Baylor faculty member. According to a letter sent to Starr by the American Association of University Professors, in March 2011 the woman filed an EEOC complaint of sexual harassment against Ellis.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jack Layton: A political failure, but a master of "Raffi Socialism"

Toronto Life has a harsh assessment of Jack Layton's dubious legacy written by Stephen Marche:

Raffi socialism is not wrong; it’s much worse. It’s content in its impotence. Its constituent parts are feel-good, conventional, childlike ideas about how the world should work, substituting bike lanes or an empty critique of capitalism for practical policies that would actually improve the lives of Canadians. Today’s left-wing leaders, following in Layton’s footsteps, like to whine—about whether the head of the CRTC is bilingual or not, or about why we don’t have more bike lanes, or about the need for a hockey concussion registry.

Raffi socialism is downtown Toronto’s cheerfully useless contribution to national politics, born from the dysfunction of city hall. To become a councillor or mayor, you have to win a lot of votes, and then when you do, you’re only one decision maker out of 45. The OMB and the province make all the substantial decisions anyway, so it’s quite easy to praise public transit and parks without ever having to go to the trouble of finding the money to build them, and it’s equally easy to shout your respect for taxpayers and commuters while doing nothing to alleviate congestion. Rhetoric, alongside basic constituency business, is the job; the innovators of city hall invent new modes of political symbolism. As a councillor, Layton mastered Raffi socialism. Ford is inventing gridiron conservatism.

The Conservatives loved Layton; they loved his tireless impotence. No doubt Harper would like Layton’s legacy to live forever. The Conservative prime minister, elected with barely 40 per cent of the vote, faces no real Opposition caucus.

The importance of attack ads in our political process

A silly debate that never disappears from the political scene is whether "attack ads" should be allowed.

Aside from the free speech component of the matter that make attack ads constitutionally protected, the motives of people opposed to them is rather transparent. It's because the candidates they support are vulnerable to them. The previous two Liberal leaders were particularly harmed by attack ads in Canada's last two national elections.

Stephane Dion was the target of a very effective Conservative ad campaign leading up to the 2008 election that portrayed him as "not up to the job" of being a leader. Michael Ignatieff was similarly harmed in the 2011 election by being successfully characterized as an elitist who was "just visiting" Canada for the sake of  personal ambition.

The raucous nature of political campaigns are really about pointing out not just the advantages of one side, but the deficits of the other. This relatively minor test of fire is an important element of the election process for a very basic and obvious reason. If a candidate who wants to lead a country is incapable of dealing with an attack ad from a fairly benign domestic political rival, how could they possibly function as a leader on the world stage, dealing with potentially hostile foreign interests?

In that sense, attack ads are the most basic test someone who wants to be put in a position of power and responsibility should be able to overcome. If they can't, they have no busness asking millions of Canadians to entrust them with that responsibility.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Emotionally unbalanced Jews aggressively campaign to have NDP reject Thomas Mulcair

A group founded by a 9-11 conspiracy theorist and comprised largely of emotionally unbalanced Jews is aggressively lobbying the NDP to reject the front-running candidate, Thomas Mulcair, at its upcoming leadership convention because unlike his rivals, he is a supporter of the Jewish state.

Independent Jewish Voices was founded by Diana Ralph, who has argued that the September 11, 2001 attacks perpetrated by Muslims belonging to the al Qaida terror organization was actually a US government 'inside job.' The group itself is mainly made up of white, middle aged, bitter, childless Jews desperate for attention.

The way they have chosen to feed their narcissism is to try to "stand out from the herd" by being Jews who publicly declare their hate for the Jewish state and anyone who supports it. Independent Jewish Voices lets anti-Semites in the Marxist and Islamists movement use them as cover to deny their desire to see the destruction of Israel is a manifestation of Jew-hatred. In exchange,  the useful idiots of Independent Jewish Voices welcome feigned adulation from people who are secretly contemptuous of them.  But any sort of attention is welcomed by such people whose unimpressive talents would otherwise not afford them notice of any kind

Not coincidentally, this group of Jewish socialists has chosen to make their announcement at rabble.ca, published by the spouse of Israel-hating NDP MP Libby Davies, herself a supporter of Brian Topp, one of Mulcair's rivals for the NDP's top spot.

UPDATE : The "progressive" Jew-haters that Independent Jewish Voices serve at rabble.ca are upset that the murder of 3 Jewish children in France is being "privileged" above other deaths this week. Employing an insidious moral relativism, the Libby Davies Fan Club ignores that three very young, innocent children were specifically targeted and executed by an Islamic radical expressly for their religion. As is not uncommon for them, these radicals tied to the far left of the NDP have descended into outright anti-Semitism.

Robocalls hysterics do their opponents a favor every time they open their mouths

Jon Allen was one of the main organizers of a clownish rally demanding new elections and a Parliamentary inquiry on the basis of robocalls made during Canada's 2011 election campaign, which evidently did not prevent a single person from casting a vote. The allegations of callers misrepresenting themselves as Elections Canada officials suggests a crime which merits police investigation. But the ridiculous hysteria of people like Allan, while professing devotion to "democracy," is clearly motivated by nothing other than an intense hatred of the Conservative government and conservatives in general.

And how do we know that? Because they tell us so.

Sun TV host Michael Coren and Allan have become embroiled in a war of words in the last couple of days, in which Coren mocked Allan for his histrionic idiocy of suggesting the robocalls were the beginnings of a fascist Canada.

Allan responded with a facebook posting that while meant to refute Coren, actually helps reinforce the conservative pundit's case. Aside from a dispute over the numbers where Allan inflates the attendance of his gathering by a factor of about 3 times the actual amount, the real meat of the dispute comes from the perceived value of rally co-organizer Zafar Bangash. While accusing Coren of "mental disabilities" Allan praises Bangash, a fierce advocate of the Holocaust-denying Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as "an exemplary citizen." Some of Bangash's exemplary citizenship includes implicitly threatening the lives of Jews in Iran, his racist reference to American President Barack Obama as "this black man in the White House," his call for war and the imposition of Islamic law in Israel, and his support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

While he might be able to credibly profess ignorance about Bangash, since ignorance is obviously an area in which Mr. Allan excels, his claim that his wishes are for "democratic accountability, regardless of the party in power" are undermined by his inability to keep himself from making statements revealing his partisan biases.

In response to one of his online cheerleaders in his posting's comments, Allan replied, "I hate Sun media, and I hate that they;re (sic) buying up all the small town newspapers in Canada because now they are propagating this filth to the small towners... no wonder the Conservatives are gaining support."

Aside from betraying an astonishing contempt for the intelligence of small town Canadians by assuming their political leanings could be so easily affected, Allan conveniently lets anyone interested know that his real motivation is hatred of the Conservative party.

Mr. Allan is not unique in his dissembling. This profession of concern for democracy, which he paradoxically wants manifested in the form of the rejection of a valid election because of the objections of a few radical activists, is a position shared by the partisan LeadNow organization. The difference between Allan and LeadNow's intelligent Executive Director Jamie Biggar is that the latter is smart enough not to publicly boast about his more obvious motives.

h/t Blazing Cat Fur

Newt Gingrich tries to prove that conservatives can be as humorless as liberals

WASHINGTON - In a country that asked itself just four short years ago if it was ready for its first black president, a joke by famed actor Robert De Niro at a star-studded Manhattan fundraiser for U.S. President Barack Obama has caused a curious stir.

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now, do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?" the actor said to roars of laughter from a crowd that included Michelle Obama.

When someone in the audience yelled: "No!" DeNiro continued, "Too soon, right?"

But in a nation where hot-button race issues loom large, Obama's re-election campaign team was quick to distance itself from the remark while Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential hopeful with a fondness for hyperbole, demanded the president apologize for it.

"We believe the joke was inappropriate," Olivia Alair, campaign press secretary to Michelle Obama, said in a statement.

Gingrich went much further, calling it "inexcusable."

"On behalf of my wife and on behalf of Karen Santorum and on behalf of Ann Romney — I think that Robert De Niro's wrong," Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Louisiana. "I think the country is ready for a new first lady and he doesn't have to describe it in racial terms."

...De Niro's publicist, meantime, said the actor had no intention of responding to the criticism, calling his remarks "obvious satire."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Natasha Fatah: Allah in the Classroom

Gender segregation may happen in mosques in this country, but the idea that it was happening—and going unchallenged—in a place of education appeared to be a violation of the Education Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The furor over the cafeteria prayers was all the louder because it was perceived as a slippery slope, part of a pattern of controversial accommodations of Muslim culture and religion in this country.

At Valley Park, the school’s administration had entered into a simple deal with Muslim parents and students. It never anticipated an explosive reaction.

h/t Scaramouche and Sanwin

The people pushing the "robocalls" scandal have their own credibility issues

From a small office in Vancouver,  rented in a shared space with the Canadian branch of PBS station KCTS, Jamie Biggar and the people behind LeadNow.ca want to undo the decision reached by almost 15 million voters in Canada's 2011 election.

Biggar, LeadNow's Executive Director,  is a thoughtful, personable young man who was once the Chairman of the Sierra Club of British Columbia, the provincial branch of a US-based environmental group. In a talk last week,  Biggar pointed out that his organization is not partisan in that it doesn't endorse any particular political party and its goal is to hold the government, any government, to account for its potentially destructive policies. The goal, he said, is to serve the interests of democracy.

However the campaign to have democratic elections undone based on conjecture and unsubstantiated allegations would not appear to support those goals.

Biggar acknowledged that the much vaunted "31,000" number of complaints to Elections Canada were not actually people complaining about receiving calls misdirecting them to non-existent poling locations. That number, which has now grown to over 43,000 is merely automated messages of pre-written "concern" that are generated from LeadNow's website with the ease of clicking a "send" button. As we now know, the actual number of complaints to Election Canada about 700. But more significantly, not a single one of those complaints, on the basis of which LeadNow suggests new elections should be held, alleges that they did not cast their vote because of those calls.

In fact, LeadNow's campaign to delegitimize the 2011 election is based entirely on stringing together a bunch of ifs, could-haves, and maybes, without a solitary piece of solid evidence of wrongdoing by the Prime Minister of any senior Conservative Party member. One such piece of so-called support that Biggar referred me to was a report produced by Simon Fraser University Professor Anke Kessler which is based entirely on guesswork, corollaries and false postulations, such as the figure of 31,000 complaints being from people having reported receiving the robocalls rather than the actuality of that number only being LeadNow generated emails of "concern."

If one is going to make reasonable guesses based on corollaries, something more indicative of reality can be inferred from the people involved with LeadNow. Biggar was adamant that media reports of financial involvement from far-left activist funders like George Soros and the Tides Foundation were not true.

But LeadNow's Advisory Board reads like a who's who of vociferous enemies of the Conservative government, who have been known to become hysterical in their opposition to not only almost anything the Harper government does, but its very existence.

Zafar Bangash speaking at
robocalls rally in Toronto
(photo by Blazing Cat Fur)
People like Judy Rebick, who founded the fanatical website rabble.ca, which is financed almost exclusively by public service unions and NDP-linked organizations, Ian Capstick, a former top-level NDP backroom fixture, Jim Stafford, an economist in the employ of the Canadian Auto Workers union. The LeadNow-inspired rallies decrying the government over the robocalls issue went so far as to involve people like Zafar Bangash as organizers. Bangash is a Khomeinist propagandist and notorious hatemonger who advocates Sharia-Law and supports the Iranian dictatorship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One of the many absurd ironies that the robocalls hysterics have produced is a criticism of Canadian democracy supported by the radical left coming from one of the most brutal, undemocratic regimes on earth. That came in the form of Rebick's rabble.ca republishing a report from Iranian state-owned Press TV condemning Canada's so-called election fraud.

Whilke LeadNow may not be dishonest in any outright, planned way, their zeal and hatred of the Harper government has made their commitment to honesty highly suspect and what they purport to be facts to be false. As an investigation proceeds into the robocalls matter, LeadNow's efforts to damage the credibility and validity of the Harper government may just have the reverse effect and discredit LeadNow and those associated with it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Royal Ontario Museum paleontologist discovers dog-sized triceratops relative

Way to go ROM!

The oldest and smallest horned dinosaur in North America finally gets a name after decades of research.
The little horned dinosaur (Gryphoceratops morrisoni), measuring 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) long, lived about 83 million years ago.

The new study, published in the journal Cretaceous Research on Jan 24, also details another newly named species of horned dinosaur: Unescopceratops koppelhusae, which lived 75 million years ago, in what is now Alberta, Canada.

more, including video, here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Little Shop of Horrors

Roger Corman's camp horror classic, in its entirety.

Look for a hilarious cameo by Jack Nicholson (in a role played by Bill Murray in the musical remake)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Crime and Punishment in Gaza

From Vice TV:

Part 3 is a particularly interesting display of the abysmal state of women's rights in Gaza

And from the exciting world of marine biology, scientists think evolution has given giant squids excellent eyesight.

The streamlined giant squid (various species of Architeuthis) and the much chunkier colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) can both grow to more than 10m long, as measured from the tip of the body to the end of their tentacles.

The colossal squid especially is equipped with a fearsome arsenal of weapons, including barbed swivelling hooks.

Scars on whale believed to have been caused by Giant Squids
Scars on the bodies of sperm whales indicate that they regularly do battle with the colossal squid, at least in the Southern Hemisphere waters where it lives.

And the number of colossal squid beaks found in the stomachs of sperm whales indicate that the latter often win.

Though colossal squid are encountered remarkably rarely by people, they are thought to make up about three-quarters of sperm whales' diet in the Southern Ocean.

Whereas the whales can spot squid using sonar, the squid can deploy nothing except vision - which suggests there would be a powerful evolutionary pressure towards developing effective eyes.

More at BBC News

SPECIAL UNDERSEA BONUS: Octopus uses coconut shell as protective shelter-

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brian Topp's top NDP endorser Libby Davies says, "Free the Sea Hitler!"

Libby Davies, a 9-11 conspiracy theorist who is the most vociferously anti-Israel MP in Canada's parliament, wants Prime Minister Stephen Harper to tell Israel to release the impounded Canadian Gaza boat (aka The Sea Hitler).

She is joined by another of the New Democrats' lesser lights, rookie MP Alexandre Boulerice, who had first endorsed the Sea Hitler, but after a word from Thomas Mulcair and the late Jack Layton, cowered away from his earlier position and retracted his endorsement. Now that he, like Davies, has endorsed Brian Topp for the NDP leadership, they apparently have hopes to shift their party to more extremist policies should their candidate emerge the winner in the March 24 leadership contest.

The Sea Hitler boat that attempted to break Israel's arms embargo of Hamas-controlled Gaza.was an attention-seeking, politically-motivated stunt  promoted by Canadian groups with close ties to Iranian government interests. Prior to its sailing, the Canadian government explicitly warned the Sea Hitler not to embark on its journey, calling it "a dangerous provocation." The Sea Hitler extremists ignored their government's warning, and their vessel was impounded by the Israeli Navy last November and its occupants deported back to Canada.  Gaza's ruling party, Hamas, is an Iranian proxy that is listed as a terrorist organization by the Canadian and US governments, along with those of the European Union, and is committed to the destruction of Israel  and the killing of Jews in its founding Charter.

Davies proudly messaging from a Sea Hitler support rally in Paris attended by notorious anti-Semites

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Empty-headed McGill University "Equity Officer" censors pro-Israel group while sanctioning "apartheid" lie

Barbara Kay wrote in the National Post of a gross abuse of authority by an anti-Israel bigot embedded in the "Equity Committee" of McGill University's radical Student Society, which has the ability to impose its will on other student groups:

Perhaps it was disgruntlement over IAW’s lacklustre performance in 2012 that motivated an aggrieved student (supposedly anonymous, but some clues point to a well-known IAW activist) to formally complain to McGill’s student-society Equity Committee about the mildly satiric title of a recently held fundraising event for McGill Students for Israel (MSFI) — “Israel: A Party.”

In fact, an Equity Committee Officer already had directed MSFI to change the title, threatening, by email, “possible consequences such as suspension of club status” if they refused. Her rationale was that even such gentle mockery trivialized the word “apartheid” and the experiences of many of the world’s oppressed people, citing as well the indignation of “various colleagues and personal friends” regarding Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

h/t Blazing Cat Fur

Werner Cohn on Titles and Other Ornamental Self-Descriptions

Some sixty years ago I wrote a letter to Albert Einstein. I disagreed with a statement he had made that seemed to me too indulgent of the Stalin regime. Within a week I had a reply, assuring me that he, Einstein, fully shared my own views of Stalin. He signed this note “A. Einstein.” No more, no less. Now here is my question to all the self-styled “doctors” and all the self-styled “Ph.D.’s” of our time: would Einstein have been more impressive to me, or to you, dear reader, had he signed “Dr. Einstein” ?

In the course of my travels, I've met a few people with Ph.D's who insist on being called "Doctor." None of them has the skill to remove a wart or turn on a TARDIS, so their use of the title was a sign of either pomposity or insecurity.

Read the rest of Werner Cohn's very insightful piece HERE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Huxley explains to Orwell why Brave New World is more prescient than 1984

From the marvellous site Letters of Note we have
Aldous Huxley's letter to George Orwell complimenting him on 1984 but explaining why his own novel, Brave New World, was more likely a better prediction of the future..

The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual's psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World.

Eccentric Congressman Walter Jones wants to introduce Bill to impeach Obama if he bombs Syria

3rd District Republican Congressman Walter Jones has introduced a resolution to Congress that would make it an impeachable offense if the President were to commit military force without approval by Congress.

The current law allows the President to merely give Congress 48 hours notice prior to committing troops to action for 60 days, followed by a 30 day withdrawal period. For any longer engagement, the President requires Congressional approval.

Jones' Resolution seems designed solely for the purpose of preventing the President from using force against the terror-supporting regime of Syria's Bashar al Assad. The maneuver is unlikely to get much support from either Democrats or his fellow Republicans, other than isolationist extremist Ron Paul.

The friends and mentors of Obama chose Farrakhan and hate over Martin Luther King and Equality

Obama ally and House Committee on Homeland Security member Danny K. Davis accepts award from Communist Party

Brietbart TV exposes US Congressman Danny K. Davis accepting an award from The Communist Party of America. He also reveals the inside term "progressive" is really code for communist.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Racist Nation of Islam Fuhrer Louis Farrakhan mocks Asians at Berkeley U and gets standing O

Lil' Nasrallah meets Lil' Hitler

NASA: We laugh at your Mayan apocalypse

Arab Spring Update: Egyptian Clerics say "when we make our children loathe the Jews, it is a form of worship of Allah"

The new Egypt continues to show itself as a backwards cell pool of ancient hatred and stupidity:

Egyptian cleric 'Alaa Said: The [Jews] are treacherous. Allah, who created them, told us so. We must be resolute and fill hearts with hatred and loathing. By Allah, the hatred and loathing of Jews is a form of worship. When we make our children loathe the Jews, it is a form of worship of Allah. These are people hated and loathed by Allah.

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sawi: I want our children to be raised on this notion. When I give a child a toy, I give him a gun, not a football. Enough with the football. I give him a gun and tell him: Shoot, but don't shoot your brother. Shoot the Jews.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Toronto Robocalls 'outrage rally' a big fail, no matter what the media tells you

At the height of the gathering at Dundas Square
Not exactly a massive outpouring of support
A rally of the usual suspects in the anti-Harper left failed to mass much of a turnout in Toronto this afternoon.

Piggybacking on Toronto's St.Patrick's Day Parade, they were still unable to accumulate more than 1000 people, despite the organizers' inflated claims of three thousand being in attendance.

Some "average Canadians" outraged
about the Robocalls
What was striking about the rally was not who was there, but who wasn't. Other than a handful of curiosity seekers and media, there was no indication of interest from any normal, mainstream Canadians in the manufactured outrage that opponents of the current government are trying to inflame.

The crowd was made up exclusively of members of the International Socialists, some unkempt burned-out pseudo-hippies who were ejected from the Occupy Toronto encampment a few months ago, union activists who have a pro-Islamist bent, like Ali Mallah, and some pro-Iranian Islamists like notorious hatemonger Zafar Bangash who employ radical leftists as their useful idiots in their efforts to harm the pro-Israel government of Stephen Harper.

Ali Mallah chats up some Harper-hatin' 'sisters'
Rally co-organizer Bangash mounted a pick up truck sporting an AL QUDS vanity plate owned by the recently defunded terror-apologists at Palestine House to deliver a heated speech. He denounced Harper and threatened that Canada's Prime Minister would "end up in a cage" like Egypt's recently deposed Hosni Mubarak. Another of the organizers suggested that Harper is a fascist,  failing to understand that if we actually were living under fascist rule, rallies of the type he was speaking at wouldn't be allowed to occur.

The rally itself was less impressive than the anti-Harper rallies that were initiated by the far left and NDP activists prior to the last general election when the Governor General prorogued Parliament at the Prime Minister's request. The public also saw through the AstroTurf political movement behind that hyperbole. At the time, the Conservatives had a minority government, and if the outrage expressed by the Liberals and NDP wasn't fake, they had only to pass a non-confidence motion to force another election as soon as Parliament resumed. They failed to do that, and when they finally mustered the initiative to bring down the Harper government with a motion finding it in contempt of Parliament, the resulting election gave the Conservatives a solid majority.

The media to protester ratio was extremely high
The "robocalls" issue is a serious one and deserves police investigation for the possibility of election fraud. But LeadNow.ca is behind the manufactured outrage that is preposterously suggesting that the government itself was responsible for misleading automated phone calls they claim invalidates the last election. One only has to look at who is involved with LeadNow to get an accurate idea of what the "outrage" is really about.

Lead Now's advisers read like a who's who of the Looney Left, with Judy Rebick, NDP advisor Ian Capstick, Canadian Auto Workers economic advisor Jim Stafford,  and a host of other fellow travellers who are lending their hand to a political manipulation machine.

Not quite the 3000 people the organizers claimed
Not by a long shot
Combined with characters like pro-Iran shills Bangash and Mallah, the fake movement to stir up anger at the government over the robocalls will end up as just another tiresome exercise in bias confirmation for a handful of radical leftist fanatics and their cheerleaders in the media. For the rest of Canada, it's just another yawn.

UPDATE: a picture of the massive anti-Harper Robocalls rally at Parliament Hill in Ottawa today at THIS LINK. There aren't enough people to get the group discount seating rate for a Blue Jays game.
Another 'typical Canadian' expressing her disdain for the government...
or practicing her hula-hooping skills
(Photo by BCF)

Blazing Cat Fur has a report and pictures

All photos in this post © 2012 Eye on a Crazy Planet
unless otherwise indicated

Tonge's flapping lips causes baroness to get boot from Britain's Liberal Democrats

Jenny Tonge, a baroness and member of Britain's House of Lords who had previously expressed her sympathy with murderous suicide bombers, was finally kicked out of the Liberal Democratic Party by its leader Nick Clegg.

At an "Israeli Apartheid Week" hate rally at Middlesex University, Lady Tonge pronounced, ": "Beware Israel. Israel is not going to be there forever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America's aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough. Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown."

Her speech was filled with inaccuracies about Israeli policy which betrayed an ignorance about an issue in which she has become a fanatic.

Liberal Democrat Leader Clegg demanded that Tonge either apologize of leave the Liberal Democrat grouping in the House of Lords. Tonge chose to resign her position as Liberal Democrat Whip.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Idiotic Jewish Voices (IJV) are out to demonize the NDP's Thomas Mulcair

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), a group comprised mainly of emotionally unstable Jewish radicals whose primary purpose appears to be to dispel the stereotype that all Jews are smart, is outraged, outraged that supporters of Israel are geting behind the NDP leadership bid of Thomas Mulcair.

They are a single-issue group of Jews whose only clear goal is to vilify the Jewish state and anyone who doesn't want it destroyed.

Members of this organization that has aligned itself with anti-Semitic forces from Iran and the Muslim middle east who want to eradicate the Jewish presence in Jerusalem, object to being called self-hating Jews. While as a matter of accuracy, they are right to object to it. They aren't self-hating, it's other Jews that they hate. But that's just another demonstration of their deficiencies. The bigots of IJV, had they the capacity for intelligent self-reflection, should hate themselves, yet they have too little insight for that to be likely.

The membership of this group of privileged, aged Marxists is engaged in a desperate search for relevance and meaning in their worthless lives. I have seem members of that group become literally apoplectic when their prejudice and ignorance was challenged by simple questions of fact by a Toronto City Councilor. The tunnel-minded members of IJV who continually congratulate themselves on their supposed "critical thinking" skills are only comfortable speaking unchallenged to like-minded souls. They are intellectually unequipped for anything else.

So indeed, rather than self hate, they should consider self-pity. They would excel at that, since they are already trying to paint themselves as martyrs who are being robbed of free speech merely by their being criticized. That is more evidence of their dearth of insight. Criticism is not deprivation of free speech. If they really want to understand what deprivation of free speech is, they have only to look at their allies who support the tyrannies of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, who do not criticize people for  saying something they find objectionable, they kill them for it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ontario's Ministry of Education is failing both students and parents

The purpose of education is to provide children with the skills they need to become productive members of society. For each of us,  'productive' may have a different meaning, and it is very much in the interests of the public to ensure that their concept of the word is the same as that of the people who decide what type of education Ontario's children receive.

The curriculum and guidelines for schools are not formulated at the local level. They come from the Ministry of Education. Anyone familiar with the civil service and nature of government knows that while the Minister is a politician who bears the responsibility of decisions and policies that emanate from their ministry, they personally do not create those policies.  Frequently, the Minister may not even fully understand them. Policies are created by policy advisers who are usually full-time civil servants.

In the case of Canadian Ministries of Education, many of those advisers were gathered from places like the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), which is a hotbed for radical forms of social engineering that they are imposing, by stealth, on the general population.

We live in a world of innovation where huge segments of the workforce are employed in technologically-based occupations that didn't even exist a generation ago. The skills needed to succeed in a competitive global environment are to a large extent technological ones, requiring understanding of mathematics, physics, biology, and the like. All subjects which are culturally neutral and where solutions to questions aren't subjective but can be demonstrably proven.

Yet the Ontario Ministry of Education, its Minister and its policy advisers are a nest of social engineers, who appear more concerned with imposing their social values on future generations than with providing them the education they need to live successful lives.

OISE programs like Sociology and Equity Studies and other of the institutes's programs with their focus on subcategories like Gender Studies, Queer Studies, and their fixation on a neo-Marxist concept of social values have produced graduates who have been absorbed into the Ministry of Education. They have used their positions to promulgate those ideas from the elementary level upward.

They are even going so far as to try to indoctrinate children with these ideas in mathematics, where OISE professor Indigo Esmode, who sports rings in her nostril and lower lip,  (because as we all know, nothing demonstrates a commitment to intellectual development and promotion of social values like the willingness to stick pieces of metal through your face) is being financed to promote instillation of "social justice" in math class. While that may not sound frightening on its surface,  the concept of social justice coming from an institute where open admiration of Che Guevara is de rigeur may not be those with which the average Ontario parent wants to  have their child indoctrinated. In fact examples of Social Justice in Math that OISE has already promoted, such as the idea that the world's social problems would all go away if the US military budget were used to address them, betrays a frightening ignorance of history geo-politics, and international conflicts. It is that type of foolishness that undermines any confidence in their ability to either promote values that are in the best interests of society or to teach basic math properly.

The Ministry of Education, through the Toronto District School Board, is even promoting a conference featuring a radical American polemicist named Tim Wise, who under the guise of equity, makes a living promoting racial differences between people and wants more focus in race in schools. To compound that, Education Minister Laurel Broten is effectively endorsing the conference which also features a proponent of the use of Islamic Sharia Law in Ontario's Family Court system.

There isn't nearly enough public awareness of what goes on in school classes, both in terms of  the curriculum, or the messages that are being sent to children through their design. Teachers are the front-line workers who interpret the government's dictates in schools. For the most part, Ontario's teachers are dedicated, outstanding individuals. Most of them are smart enough to ignore some of the sillier dictates that come from above. But like in any profession, there are quite a few who are substandard or have simply lost interest. The price that all of us, as a society, pay when students are subjected to idiotic policies delivered by those incompetent practitioners is not one that we should have to bear.

Comedian Steve Bridges dies at age 48

The annual White House Correspondents' Dinner has a tradition of being an opportunity for the President, whomever it is at the time, to let his hair down and show that he has a sense of humor.

The funniest speech ever was more of a performance of George W. Bush along with impersonator Steve Bridges, providing Bush's 'secret thoughts'. Sadly, Bridges died Saturday at the age of 48.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Free event! Salim Mansur and Aurel Braun at York University panel tonight

Remember, if you can make it, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center panel about the obsession with Israel is at York University's Vanier College tonight at 7.

Having Aurel Braun, Salim Mansur and Bahij Mansour there will make it a fascinating talk.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A fascinating talk in Toronto tonight with Tarek Fatah, Michael Coren, Carole MacNeil and Jonathan Kay

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center presents Media Perspectives on the Middle East

at the Sandford Fleming Building, Room 1105

10 King's College Road at the U of Toronto's St. George Campus