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Monday, November 30, 2015

Toronto's notorious "Islamophobia" case turns out to be something else entirely

It's not Islamophobia when two hijab-wearing women get called terrorists after they call a couple of black kids "monkeys." But Toronto is a city filled with people anxious to signal how "progressive" and virtuous they are, as long as it doesn't involve thinking, or any more real work than posting on social media. So it's little wonder that they lapped up an opportunity to be manipulated.

Insulting Muslims for who they are is vile. But there are some activists within the Islamic community who want the religion of Jihad to be perceived as a perpetual victim, even when it initiates violence and oppression. So little PR stunts like the one we saw in Toronto are not totally uncommon.

Despite all we hear about the dire state of Islamophobia, it is a vastly exaggerated phenomenon in Canada. Statistics Canada indicates that blacks are more than five times as likely to be the victims of hate crimes than Arabs, and that hate crimes against Jews are three times the number of hate crimes against Muslims. That statistic is all the more striking considering there are almost four times as many Muslims in Canada as there are Jews.  Odd how we never hear about these figures in the media.

Considering that Muslim-majority countries in the middle east are notoriously anti-Semitic and racist towards blacks, we may see these trends increase along with Canada's new cultural dynamic.

Funny how reality and the media narrative frequently don't line up, isn't it?

Charts from Statistics Canada

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oh, Henry! Kissinger finds his chronicler

This attentive, magnificently written, and profoundly researched biography of Henry Kissinger before he took office is stunningly good, and stuns as much for what it does not say as what it does. Earlier Kissinger biographers have tried to comprehend him, not quite in order to forgive his crimes but to share with others—usually Adolf Hitler—the blame for them. Hitler stung Kissinger at a tender age into his amoral realism, and caused him to lure us into a foreign policy that history has proved was unnecessary. Walter Isaacson’s 1992 biography ends with the triumph of the West in the Cold War in spite of realpolitik. Kissinger’s machinations came to naught because the Cold War was more like a TED conference than a life-and-death struggle: Victory came to us because our values “eventually proved more attractive.”...
Niall Ferguson is 15 years younger than the midcentury baby boomers like Isaacson, Christopher Hitchens, and me, whose fathers were Kissinger’s contemporaries. Facing not an effortless Cold War victory but a victory squandered, Ferguson is free of the presupposition that both he and his reader are Kissinger’s moral superiors. Instead, using Kissinger’s thought and early career as his vantage point, Ferguson writes a marvelously capacious and dramatic history of American foreign policy during the Cold War’s first generation...

Pompeo, Cotton Poke More Holes in Iran Nuke Deal

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R – Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R – Ark.) have a lot in common. Both are army veterans and both are graduates of Harvard Law School. And both have been doing a great job of exposing aspects of the nuclear deal with Iran that the administration would rather keep quiet.

This week it was reported that an inquiry from Pompeo got the State Department to admit that the nuclear deal was never signed and is not “legally binding.”...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Not Criminally Responsible: The case for forensic psychiatry in reintegrating people with mental illnesses

                     My new piece for The Walrus:

IN SEPTEMBER, a forensic-psychiatry patient at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health absconded during a scheduled outing. Thomas Brailsford had been found not criminally responsible for cutting off his mother’s head in 2010, so the news of his escape created, to put it mildly, some apprehension among the public.

During the twenty-four hours or so Brailsford was on the loose, media sensationalizing transformed Toronto into a modern-day Sleepy Hollow, with panicked Ichabod Cranes trying to evade a ghoulish headhunter. Quite naturally, many people wondered why Brailsford was left in a position where he could so easily vanish—it was the second time he’d gone AWOL from the centre within twelve months.

In the decade I worked at CAMH and its predecessor, the Queen Street Mental Health Centre, up until 2004, I saw some of the workings and causes of this type of dilemma...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The New York Times has it wrong - there are plenty of powerful women in Hollywood and it's not sexism that's keeping them out

Maureen Dowd's "The Women in Hollywood Speak Out" article in The New York Times asserts that pervasive sexism is preventing women from directing blockbusters and running studios.

There may be a very small element of truth in that, but the crux of the article suggests both a lack of understanding about how Hollywood works and a pretty large heap of sour grapes.

In the first place, there are lots of women in powerful positions in Hollywood. Sherry Lansing ran Paramount for years, there are big time women producers cluttering Hollywood. I know some of these women, and they are very good at what they do, which is why they were able to be in a position to do it.

The main thing to remember about Hollywood is that despite the not entirely unfair caricature of Hollywood being filled with horny old men who get into show business to bed sexy young actresses, these days, that's mostly a sleazy fringe of a major industry. Hollywood's movie business is a business. Like any other business, money and good PR drive it. Studios are actually looking for more women directors because they know it reflects well on the organization. But, despite Hollywood's big players liking to look like they're vanguard of progressivism,  they're actually quite conservative when it comes to their business ledgers. No studio head is going to hand a $300 million budget to a director unless there's a high level of confidence that the investment will turn into a profit.

And the fact is, there aren't few women directors who have demonstrated that they can generate those kinds of revenues with their films. Hollywood is also not a place where a lot of original thought occurs on the whole. There are some brilliant visionaries there, and many of them are women. But as in any other field, most people have average capabilities and follow trends. When I worked at a major Hollywood production company, people occasionally asked me whether the lack of female directors was due to sexism. My response was to say that if a duckbill platypus directed a movie that had an $80 Million box office weekend, you can bet your life that on Monday, there would be planeloads of Hollywood executives flying to Australia to try to sign the first duckbill platypus they see to a directing contract.

Women tend to make movies that appeal to women's sensibilities. That's great, but the money is in watching aliens from outer space trying to annihilate the Earth and having comic book superheroes save us from certain death.

Indicative of Dowd's article, and demonstrative of my point, is this complaint from Leslye Headland:
Headland made this fall’s ‘‘Sleeping With Other People,’’ a raunchy rom-com starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, in 25 days for $5 million from a script she drafted in two weeks, chronicling her obsession with a ‘‘lame’’ ex-boyfriend. ‘‘Quentin Tarantino can make ‘Pulp Fiction’ for $8 million and you can slap him on any magazine,’’ Headland said. ‘‘He’s the poster boy. He was for me. I want to be that guy even though he looks like a foot. God bless him, and he can do whatever he wants to my feet. But with a female director, you’re just not celebrated the same way.’’
Pulp Fiction was a huge hit that revitalized the careers of Bruce Willis and John Travolta, made stars out of Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and inspired dozens of imitations and iconic cultural touchstones, like Jackson and Travolta's conversation about "the Royale with Cheese, " and "bring up the Gimp." Most people have never heard of Sleeping With Other People, and fewer still have seen it or could name anything memorable about it.

Pulp Fiction grossed $213 million dollars on an $8 million dollar budget in 1994. Sleeping With Other People grossed $814 thousand on a $5 million budget in 2015. You don't have to have to be an expert in either economics or gender studies to figure out that the reason Pulp Fiction's director Quentin Tarantino is celebrated and Sleeping With Other People's director Leslye Headland is not has nothing to do with sexism.

Track record matters in Hollywood. You don't just get to walk into a studio and have them hand you the next Spiderman or Star Wars. You have to show them you could make a successful action movie on a much smaller scale. And the idea of men being able to walk in and be handed a big budget project by mere virtue of their sex is preposterous. It's not a competition between men and women. It's a competition between a director and every other director in the business, male or female. If women want to have more power in Hollywood, then they're going to have to do it the old fashioned way, by working their way up and showing they can do the job. Those women who can make money for a studio will have no trouble getting more responsibility and power in a town that only loves winners.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frankenworms Grow Heads and Brains of Other Species

Credit: International Journal of Molecular Science
Call them Franken flatworms. Scientists have created worms with the heads and brains of other species just by manipulating cell communication.

The research is an example of how development is controlled by more than genetics alone.

The researchers did not alter the flatworms' DNA in any way, but instead manipulated proteins that control conversations between cells...

How to Beat Donald Trump

...The goal of convincing a Republican primary electorate that Trump is personally unequal to the job of president is unlikely to succeed. They’ve seen Donald Trump dominating and commanding all the other Republican presidential candidates (except Carly Fiorina) in one-on-one personal confrontations on the debating platform. They know, or think they know, that Donald Trump built a gigantic business empire. They have watched as a network “reality” television show portrayed him over 14 seasons as America’s supreme problem-solver and team leader. Now the same party leaders who insisted that Sarah Palin could do the job of president, if need be, want to persuade the rank-and-file that Trump can’t? Good luck with that.

Attacking Trump on national-security grounds will be especially challenging. Many Republicans see immigration as itself a national-security issue, arguably the paramount national-security issue...

Steve Paikin: Is deranged criticism the newest political phenomenon?

The first time I heard about this new political phenomenon, it was directed at former U.S. president George W. Bush.

The gist of it was Bush’s opponents were so furious at him that they had become unhinged in their criticism. Bush wasn’t just a bad president: he probably stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, he may have even been warned by the Saudis about September 11, his decision to attack Iraq may have been partially motivated by the influence of the American logging industry – even though much of Iraq is desert – and so forth.

Bush was such a bad president, and his views were so illegitimate, normal criticism wouldn’t do. A much more hyper critical, over-the-top response was required. The phenomenon became known as “Bush Derangement Syndrome.”

As with many American phenomena, if you wait long enough, it’ll come north, and this one now apparently has.

In Canada, my liberal friends have been suffering for several years from “Harper Derangement Syndrome.” They hate the man so much personally, and despise his agenda so viscerally that they’re incapable of discussing his record rationally...

Barbara Kay: Bill Maher 1, Chrystia Freeland 0

Maher went on to blast multiculturalism: “this idea that somehow we do share values that all religions are alike is bullshit, and we need to call it bullshit.” That galvanized Freeland who “now more than ever” called for respect for “diversity,” because — here’s where she lost the thread — “we in Canada are not going to say Muslims are worse than Christians, or are worse than Jews, or worse than atheists.” Maher shot back, “Not as people, the ideas are worse.”

Maher and his other guests were keen to talk about those ideas, but Freeland just couldn’t bring herself to go there. You could almost see alarm bells ringing in her brain: “Offensive to Muslims! Abort! Abort!” It was as though an automatic pilot had overridden her manual controls. Unable to engage, she remained doggedly on script: “it is incredibly dangerous, and very wrong, to … say there is something wrong with being a Muslim,” which nobody on the panel had said; in fact, both King and Domenech spoke sympathetically of Muslim victims of jihadism...

...Clearly Maher (as well as King and Domenech) and Freeland were talking past each other. The American panelists, intellectually marinated in First Amendment rights, understood that while it is wrong to defame any faith group collectively (like, say, “Muslim men hate women”), it is impossible under U.S. law to demonize an idea ( “Sharia law is misogynistic”). But Western progressives, splendidly represented by Freeland, no longer grasp the distinction. They have internalized the pernicious, anti-democratic, dangerous notion of “Islamophobia” — the very concept was invented and promoted by stealth-jihad strategists — which interprets as defamation criticism of Islam itself...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Amazon's Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin succeeds at creating a reusable space rocket

Read about it HERE

Thomas Sowell: The survival of the left

BIOLOGISTS EXPLAIN how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment. The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country.

In the humanities, for example, the test of deconstructionism is not whether it can produce any tangible results but whether it remains in vogue. So long as it does, professors skilled in its verbal sleight-of-hand can expect to continue to receive six-figure salaries.

You might think that the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe would be considered a decisive failure for Marxism, but academic Marxists in America are utterly undaunted. Their paychecks and their tenure are unaffected. Their theories continue to flourish in the classrooms and their journals continue to litter the library shelves.

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it...

D'oh! CAIR, Glenn Greenwald & MSNBC's 'No-Fly List Is Islamophobia' Poster Boy Arrested in Turkey as Part of ISIS Cell

A man, who just two years ago was the poster boy for the far-Left media's attacks against the U.S. government's no-fly list for "unfairly" targeting Muslims, finds himself and several family members sitting in a Turkish prison -- arrested earlier this month near the Turkey-Syria border as members of an ISIS cell.

It's a long way from 2013 when Saadiq Long's cause was being championed by MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Glenn Greenwald, and Mother Jones, and was being represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front.

His story got considerable media attention when his CAIR media representatives here pushed the story that Long wanted to return to his native Oklahoma from his current home in Qatar to visit his ailing mother but couldn't because he was on the TSA's no-fly list. They said his case represented institutional "Islamophobia."...

Bret Stephens: Radical Parents, Despotic Children

...For almost 50 years universities have adopted racialist policies in the name of equality, repressive speech codes in the name of tolerance, ideological orthodoxy in the name of intellectual freedom. Sooner or later, Orwellian methods will lead to Orwellian outcomes. Those coddled, bullying undergrads shouting their demands for safer spaces, easier classes, and additional racial set-asides are exactly what the campus faculty and administrators deserve.
In other words, the radical children who grew up to run the universities have duplicated the achievement of their parents, and taken it a step further. In three generations, the campuses have moved from indulgent liberalism to destructive radicalism to the raised-fist racialism of the present—with each generation left to its increasingly meager devices. Why should anyone want to see this farce repeated as tragedy 10 or 20 years down the road?...

Canadians pay 42% of income in tax — more than they spend on food, shelter, clothing combined

Canadians shell out more on taxes — federal, provincial and local, and indirect — than they do on food, shelter and clothing combined, says a report by the Fraser Institute released Monday.

The Canadian Consumer Tax Index compares how much the average taxpayer forks out today, compared with 1961, posing the question: Are Canadians getting enough bang for their bucks?

It finds taxes have grown more rapidly than any other single item of expenditure for the average family. Last year, that added up to 41.8% of income, compared to 33.5% in 1961.

Given the sheer number of indirect levies  – such as the taxes on sales, property , fuel, vehicles, imports, alcohol and tobacco  – it’s hardly surprising people don’t realize how much they actually pay.

But with such a hefty chunk of income being eaten up in this  way, Charles Lammam, co-author of the report, said taxpayers should ask whether they’re getting value for money...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Canada's government will spend millions of your dollars to be virtue-signalling social justice warriors

High on the new Liberal government’s agenda is an comprehensive inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls. But there seems little point — we already know what it will say.

We know because the ministers responsible have told us. It seems odd to have the verdict before the trial, especially if devoted to “evidence-based decision-making.” But Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett already denounced the previous Tory government for pointing out that the killers were largely aboriginal men because “it was appalling in terms of blame. I think it doesn’t deal with the effects of colonization. It doesn’t deal with the effects of child abuse.”

Likewise, Canada’s new justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former prosecutor and former Assembly of First Nations’ regional chief, whose department will help plan the two-year, $40-million inquiry, says it must “get at as many of the roots causes of why this situation has been enabled in the first place, issues that are reflective of the colonial relationship that exists, root causes like poverty and marginalization and inequality.”

So colonization did it. If we already know that, why spend two years and $40 million to say it again?

One possible answer is to find solutions. And both Bennett and Wilson-Raybould are rightly determined to do so. But again, what can the inquiry possibly say about solving problems like colonization, poverty, marginalization, inequality and other such root causes that has not already been said?...

Orwell's words about pacifism could apply today to the fight against Islamism

Just substitute "Islamist" for "German" and "Japanese" and George Orwell's essay on pacifism applies every bit today as it did 75 years ago:
Pacifism. Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

I am not interested in pacifism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

One of the Americans abandoned by Obama during nuke talks is sentenced to prison in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian state TV reported Sunday.
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary, announced the punishment in a statement on the TV station's website.
"In brief, it is a prison sentence," he said. The verdict is "not finalized," he added, referring to an expected appeal.

Liberal Party claim of inheriting deficit from the Conservatives turns out to be a lie

Trudeau's Liberals lied to Canadians. Get used to hearing that line a lot over the next four years.

During the election campaign that ended last month, the Conservatives boasted about creating a budget surplus for the coming year.

Only a couple of weeks into office, the Liberals said that the Conservative surplus wasn't there and it was actually a deficit. Entering government in that state would necessitate them continuing with deficit spending, as Justin Trudeau has suggested during the campaign.

However upon a not very close look, it turns out that if the Liberals had continued spending at the projected rate, there would be a surplus. The newly projected deficit is only because the Liberals plan an enormous spending increase.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The spirit of Mao and the Cultural Revolution is being kept alive by fascists at Smith College

NORTHAMPTON -- In an effort to create a safe space free from potential insensitivity from the news media, activists at Smith College barred reporters from covering a sit-in Wednesday that drew 300 to 500 students.
The demonstration, organized in solidarity with students at the University of Missouri, was held from from noon to 12 a.m. Thursday in the Smith College Student Center.
The activists' goal was to establish a place where students -- prioritizing students of color and black students -- could share their thoughts, feelings, poems and songs related to a rash of racially charged episodes this fall at Mizzou, as well as personal experiences of racism.
An event that draws so many people, especially one that concerns a topic of magnitude such as civil rights, is customarily covered by media outlets. But reporters who arrived at the sit-in were met with a clear message: Keep out...

Bill Maher to Chrysia Freeland: "People like you are the problem because they close off a debate that we need to have"

Liberal Cabinet Minister Chrystia Freeland uses banal talking points to try to argue that cultures in which a substantial number of people believe in honor killing and executing apostates is on the same moral plane as ours. She does not come off looking very smart at all.

Get ready for some massive screw-ups from the Trudeau government in the very near future

Even the Conservative-hating Toronto Star is now begrudgingly admitting that Stephen Harper was not the devil incarnate, barely a month after Trudeau's election victory.

The Syrian refugee crisis is nothing like the Holocaust

...The threat to the West and the United States in that era was nothing like the one we face today. The danger to America and other democracies came in the form of the conventional armed forces of the Axis, not terrorism. The Jews seeking entry to the U.S. were being singled out in their countries of origin for persecution and death. That is true of Christian and other religious minorities in the Middle East, but not for most of the people who have fled Syria. Yet the mere suggestion that those minorities should be given more favorable treatment by the U.S. has been shot down as religious prejudice by the president and his liberal cheerleaders.

More specifically, no faction of the Jewish people had declared themselves at war with the U.S. and its way of life. To the contrary, their plight illustrated the stark differences between the democracies and their Nazi/fascist adversaries. While most of the refugees may be innocent victims of the war, a significant portion of their population is openly hostile to the U.S. and sympathetic to some of the same forces that are carrying out atrocities. It is only sensible that the U.S. strengthen its clearly inadequate vetting procedures before proceeding to let more Syrian refugees in...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Roberto Benigni receives honorary degree at University of Toronto's 2015 convocation

Snowden leaks helped terrorists responsible for Paris attacks according to ex-CIA Director

A former CIA director says leaker Edward Snowden should be convicted of treason and given the death penalty in the wake of the terrorist attack on Paris.

“It’s still a capital crime, and I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted,” James Woolsey told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday.

Woolsey said Snowden, who divulged classified in 2013, is partly responsible for the terrorist attack in France last week that left at least 120 dead and hundreds injured.

“I think the blood of a lot of these French young people is on his hands,” he said.

Woolsey, who served as the head of the CIA from 1993 to 1995, said the Snowden leak was “substantial.”...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bill Maher With Stephen Colbert On Late Night

If Islamist terror is due to Western imperialism, why isn’t South America and Sub-Saharan Africa pumping terrorists into the world?

Again I hear talk everywhere that Islamist terrorism is a reaction to Western imperialism.  It’s supposedly got nothing to do with radical Islamists.  I have to wonder if why Korea and Vietnam didn't start pumping terrorists into the world as an aftermath of the horrendous wars there, why oil producers in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa didn't start pumping terrorists into the world in reaction to western meddling there.

The world didn't know of jihad till after WWII when it became evident that future security of states would henceforth depend on the security of their oil supplies, whether to power their economies or to fuel their militaries. There is oil all over the world and there has been competition and conflict to secure that oil, but only the oil of the Middle East drives global terrorism. The cause is Saudi Arabia, which has used its oil revenues to drive fundamentalist radicalization of Muslim societies all over the world, infesting them with mosques and seminaries that disseminate Saudi scripted fundamentalist, hateful perspectives. Every major Muslim terrorist organization in the world is connected to a web in the center of which sits Saudi Arabia. This social re-engineering and radicalization of Muslim societies by the  gold-laden, oil-drunk Wahabbis is so successful that even the liberals of the West run to blame their own governments entirely for the rise and spread of Islamist terrorism.

So many Muslims died in the Iran/Iraq war, but the slaughter of Muslims by Muslims is never mentioned by the Chomskyites. They go straight to, and only to, the American involvement...

Seriously, what else did you expect? After Obama/Trudeau meeting, US President treats Canada like an immature child

Canada will soon sign onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama said, going further than the country’s new prime minister has committed.

Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Thursday in Manila after their first bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. In his remarks, Obama seemed to cast the Pacific trade agreement as a done deal, while Trudeau has declined to take a position other than to say it will be reviewed in parliament.

“We are both soon to be signatories of the TPP agreement,” Obama said. “That’s another area we can continue to have important discussions,” he said.

“I know Justin has to agree with what’s happened, but we think that after that process has taken place, Canada, the United States and the other countries that are here can establish the high-standards agreement that protects labor, protects the environment, protects the kind of high value-added goods and services that we both excel in,” Obama said...

See also:

Unscripted response of rookie prime minister garners his worst week in the press since before campaign

...From a Canadian perspective, it was on tone that an unscripted Trudeau most came up short.

He may have denounced the Paris attacks in strong terms in private but, in his public communications, he did not rise to the occasion.

There was a glaring disconnect between Trudeau’s quasi-dogmatic insistence that it was business as usual on the refugee and the war on ISIS fronts and the public’s sense that the attacks were a watershed event that deserved a fuller airing.

He seemed to shrug off the well-intentioned concern of many of his provincial and municipal allies as to his refugee timetable. When federal reassurance was needed, it was offered on a piecemeal basis and usually short on specifics.

Against the backdrop of the carnage in Paris, some otherwise endearing features of Trudeau’s political persona, starting with his willingness to pose for selfies on demand, turned into liabilities. There are times when glamour is the opposite of gravitas.

Media reviews of Trudeau’s post-Paris week were particularly scathing in Quebec, the province whose links with France are the strongest. Cartoonists had a field day at his expense...

Terry Glavin: Whose side are we on?

...Allegiances are shifting. The bloodthirsty, creepy Vladimir Putin is ever more strenuously insinuating himself into NATO’s military and diplomatic circles. U.S. President Barack Obama is appearing increasingly feckless even to his senior advisers, so many of whom have jumped ship or resigned in exasperation. The French and the British have pretty well had it with Obama, and appear to be hedging their NATO bets on what is suddenly seeming to be the more reliable mutual-defence guarantee available in the European Union Treaty.

ISIL’s Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, meanwhile, is giving every indication of having shifted gears from ISIL’s founding, schismatic monomania, which insists on the allegiance of the world’s Muslims to a crackpot territorial caliphate within Dar al-Islam – the land of Islam. Al-Baghdadi is now increasingly dispatching his lunatics in a full-metal hyperdrive of the Al Qaida doctrine from which he emerged, which stipulates a religious obligation binding all Muslims to wage a global jihad against “Crusaders and Jews” by way of bloody terror in the land of war – Dar-al-Harab.

ISIL has been dropping what you might call rather broad hints about its insistence on the duty of slaying kuffars in Dar-al-Harab for quite a while. More than a year ago, ISIL blowhard Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani singled out the French, Canadians, Australians and Americans as ripe and proper targets for mayhem. Lone-wolf jihadists should turn on any available infidel, “smash his head with a rock,” run over him with a car, “destroy his crops,” or poison him.

Within weeks, Martin Couture-Rouleau murdered Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Quebec and Rouleau’s fellow Muslim convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau went on a shooting spree in Ottawa, murdering Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial and barging into the Parliament Buildings where he was finally cut down in a barrage of bullets. At the time, it was fashionably comforting to the NDP and some Liberals to insist that the pair were merely listening to voices in their heads, and not the voice of Sheikh Al-Adnani...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Perhaps the West will now finally adopt Israel’s anti-terror strategies--and better understand Israel's position

...France, the United States and the rest of the West are now grappling with many of the anguishing dilemmas we have lived with for years. How do you maintain your liberties, the West is asking itself, while tackling enemies who abuse all freedoms? What kind of laws need to be enacted? Who do you allow across your borders? Under what circumstances should preventive arrests be made, and suspects held without trial, and the internet surveilled, and incitement constrained? Not easy, is it?

How do you minimize the murderous threat to your citizens without getting too many of your soldiers killed? And without killing too many of the (often terror-supporting) civilians among whom your enemy is embedded? ...

Charlie Sheen's open letter on his HIV-positive diagnosis

An open letter from Charlie Sheen:
Roughly four years ago, I suddenly found myself in the throws of a seismic and debilitating three-day cluster-migraine-like headache. I was emergently hospitalized with what I believed to be a brain tumor or perhaps some unknown pathology. I was partially correct. Following a battery of endless tests, that included a hideous spinal tap, it was sadly and shockingly revealed to me that I was, in fact, positive for HIV.
The news was a "mule kick" to my soul. Those impossible words I absorbed and then tried to convince myself, that I was stuck, suspended, or even stranded inside some kind of alternate reality or nightmare, were to the absolute contrary. I was awake. It was true… reality.
Under the brilliant and perfect care of Dr. Robert Huizenga as well as "the" leading infectious disease expert in the known universe, I began a rigorous and intensive treatment program. Not missing a beat, a med dose, or one shred of guidance, quickly my viral loads became undetectable. Like every other challenge in my life, again, I was victorious and kicking this disease's ass. I wish my story had ended there. Unfortunately, for my family and myself, it had only just begun...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why Justin misses Stephen

...Air strikes and stripped citizenship were Stephen Harper’s policies. Trudeau campaigned against both of them. Having won, he still intends to reverse both policies.
He’s amply within his rights. Canada’s Prime Minister is no more obliged to emulate France’s president than he is to implement his own predecessor’s plans. But it’s a different proposition, isn’t it? The geometry of the situation has changed, now that Harper is no longer an unpopular prime minister against whom Trudeau can play the foil. And whatever happens in the wretched aftermath of the savage terrorist attacks in Paris, that new geometry will haunt Trudeau for some time to come.
Here’s the shift. When Harper was the prime minister of Canada and Trudeau was trying to rally the anti-Harper vote to the Liberal flag in a competitive race, “Stephen Harper” was almost always an excellent reason not to do something. This was most obvious in Trudeau’s speech to the Canada 2020 conference in Ottawa on Oct. 2, 2014, when he announced he wouldn’t support air strikes against ISIS.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Eagles of Death Metal, band targeted in Paris attacks, call anti-Israel creep Roger Waters "a motherf*cking, lowdown, asshole"

Despite the tragedy, and opposition from posturing, anti-Israel airheads like Roger Waters, the Eagles of Death Metal vow to return to Israel

Glenn Reynolds: After Yale, Mizzou, raise the voting age — to 25

In 1971, the United States ratified the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.
The idea, in those Vietnam War years, was that 18-year-olds, being old enough to be drafted, to marry and to serve on juries, deserved a vote. It seemed plausible at the time, and I myself have argued that we should set the drinking age at 18 for the same reasons.
But now I’m starting to reconsider. To be a voter, one must be able to participate in adult political discussions. It’s necessary to be able to listen to opposing arguments and even — as I’m doing right here in this column — to change your mind in response to new evidence.
This evidence suggests that, whatever one might say about the 18-year-olds of 1971, the 18-year-olds of today aren’t up to that task. And even the 21-year-olds aren’t looking so good...

Andrew Lawton: Searching for peace in Israel

TEL AVIV—Is it okay to stab Jews in the streets?
In the wake of a series of stabbings of Israelis by Palestinian terrorists in Jerusalem, that question was posed to viewers of a call-in talk show broadcasted in the West Bank last week.
As a talk radio host myself—always searching for questions that compel people to pick a side of a timely issue—it astonished me. I’m aware of the threats of terror under which Israelis live every day, but that there could possibly be two answers to that question reminded me how far away from home I am.
“Most said no,” assured the host, Palestinian journalist Maher Shalabi, who runs a television station in the West Bank and hosts the show ‘Transparent.’

Hillary Clinton's debate performance leaves trail of fodder for political adversaries

It was not a tricky question, but Hillary Rodham Clinton found a way to make it so. Toward the end of the latest Democratic presidential debate over the weekend, she was asked about the rash of campus protests and whether she would encourage more of them. Clinton, who had plenty of stories of her work with activists, decided to go with biography.

"I come from the '60s, a long time ago," she told moderator John Dickerson. "There was a lot of activism on campus."

Republicans spotted an opportunity. A spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) demonstrated just how easily a 44-year-old Cuban American could outflank a 68-year-old baby boomer.

"Debate recap," tweeted Rubio spokesman Alex Conant. "Clinton: 'I come from the '60s, a long time ago.' Marco: 'This election is about the future.' "

It was one of a series of potential missteps by Clinton that could become fodder for damaging attacks against her, both in the primary season and the general election...

See also:  Democratic Debate:Candidates So Different You Can Barely Tell Them Apart

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In the wake of Paris, University of Toronto's radical fanatics will gather Wednesday to support terrorists

With the carnage branded freshly onto our memories and the blood not yet all washed away from this week's monstrous Paris terrorist attacks, you might imagine that a gathering in Canada to celebrate terrorists who committed similar atrocities would seem somewhat ill-timed.

Evidently, the University of Toronto Student Union's "Social Justice and Equity Commission" disagrees with that premise.

In what might be a fertile recruiting ground for al Qaeda, this Wednesday, November 18, at University College, a radical subset of students, along with U of Toronto extremists calling themselves, "Students Against Israeli Apartheid," are effectively having a solidarity with terrorists meeting.

Let's leave aside for the moment the warped lie of characterizing the only country in the middle east that has free speech, respects gay rights, and enshrines enfranchisement for all its citizens regardless of race, gender, or religion as "apartheid," though their libel is an insult to common sense.

Even more of an insult, with the echoes still ringing from the merciless mass-murders in Paris perpetrated by ISIS, is the paean to terrorism implied by the U of Toronto gathering.

Describing it as a "Solidarity with Palestine" meeting, the agenda does not outline any effort to arrive at discussing rational dialogue and means at finding secure, mutually-respecting Palestinian and Israeli states living in peaceful coexistence. They do, however, say: "A new generation of Palestinians is marching on the footsteps of previous generations, rising up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old system of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid."

The current Palestinian "rising-up" to which these student fanatics refer is, on a one-by-one, day-by-day basis, every bit as horrific, bloodthirsty, and inhuman as the Paris attacks were en mass.

Egged on by their corrupt, racist leadership that depicts Jews as "apes and pigs," Palestinians have embarked on a new wave of brutal terror stabbing attacks against Israelis, making no distinction between civilian and soldier, child or adult, man or woman, young or old.

In case there's any confusion over whether some of the "Solidarity with Palestine" meeting's organizers are opposed to the lethal terrorism used by ISIS in Paris, on their "Israeli Apartheid Week- Toronto" facebook page, they make their sympathies abundantly clear. On that page, they honor one Khalil al-Wazir, a.k.a. "Abu Jihad," as a martyr. The Toronto group's laudatory post calls al-Wazir a "hero, a founding and central member of the Palestinian Revolution, who planned many operations against the Occupation and whose leadership helped keep together the thread of Palestinian unity during his lifetime. "

What were al Wazir's "operations" with which the University of Toronto's "Students Against Israeli Apartheid" and "Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid" are so enamored?  Khalil al-Wazir masterminded the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, in which a civilian bus was hijacked and 38 innocent people, including 13 children, were slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists.  
From  the "Israeli Apartheid Week-Toronto"  facebook page praising
the terror "operations" against civilians

When we talk about the need to counter extremism and the need to de-radicalize vulnerable, impressionable youth, a lot of focus is placed on mosques and the Internet. But the other side of that equation is that most Canadian Muslims are peaceful and appalled by terrorism, and indeed the majority of terror plots in Canada have been foiled in part due to cooperation from upstanding Canadian Muslims.

However we also seem to be working at cross-purposes with our publicly funded universities, where there are factions that take an entirely different view of terror than that held by the rest of the civilized world.

Wesley Wark: Canada's new reality after Paris

...If Canada is truly going to be “back” on the global stage, whether in dealing with terrorism or any of the other myriad issues that beset the world, Canada is going to have to ramp up its intelligence capabilities. Even good intelligence services, of the sort that France possesses, can miss big attacks and plots. The weaker your intelligence capacity, the more likely you will suffer the same fate, quite apart from harming your ability to be a smart power.
The Liberal government will also have to ask itself, in the aftermath of Paris, how it can be “back” on the world stage if it follows through on its promise to end the Canadian contribution to the combat mission against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
The issue came up immediately in the aftermath of the Liberal election victory, in Justin Trudeau’s conversation with President Barack Obama. Of course, the new prime minister had every right to reiterate to the president a prominent campaign promise. But that promise now looks extraordinarily untimely and ill-conceived in the aftermath of Paris.  Already Islamic State propaganda has tried to make some hay out of the Canadian promise to end their bombing campaign, suggesting that the alliance of the crusader states was starting to fray. Do we really want to walk away from the use of air power against ISIL now?
However hard it might be for the Liberals to step back from a campaign promise, however divided Liberals might be on the issue, the Paris attacks should force a rethink. At the very least the Liberals need to hit the pause button on that one. Justin Trudeau’s gut instincts have not served him well on this file...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Rex Murphy: University Administrators and real professors should take note: every brain needs a spine

The most recent reports say there is a crisis in child services in the United States. The cost of daycare spaces has reached absolutely astronomic levels. Placement at the University of Missouri, for example, easily breaks the $40,000 threshold. And if your toddler is lucky enough to squeeze into Yale, which has some of the most craven caregivers, the most swaddled cocoons and safe spaces on the continent, it will set you back a minimum $60,000. But hey, if you want the very best day care for the intellectually infantile at any of the top Institutes of Higher Whining, that’s why God gave you noses — so you could pay through them.

Parents are rightly grieved. “The fees are unbelievable,” said one parent. “And then there’s the cost of bubble wrap, organically-sourced pacifiers, printing out the tidal surge of trigger-warnings, the personal grievance manual (Why I’m Angry and Acting Out, Today) and the escalating costs of updating the daily identity politics kit. And of course the helicopter rides to check on little Brent or Stephanie, they really hit the home budget.”

It’s sad, but the Higher Whining and Advanced Fatuousness of American campus life takes a lot of mommy and daddy’s moola.

It is nearly impossible not to have heard of the intensely ridiculous and outrageous mischiefs currently being played out on some of America’s (deliriously self-described) institutions of higher learning...

Mark Steyn: The Barbarians Are Inside, And There Are No Gates

As I write, Paris is under curfew for the first time since the German occupation, and the death toll from the multiple attacks stands at 158, the vast majority of them slaughtered during a concert at the Bataclan theatre, a delightful bit of 19th century Chinoiserie on the boulevard Voltaire. The last time I was there, if memory serves, was to see Julie Pietri. I'm so bloody sick of these savages shooting and bombing and killing and blowing up everything I like - whether it's the small Quebec town where my little girl's favorite fondue restaurant is or my favorite hotel in Amman or the brave freespeecher who hosted me in Copenhagen ...or a music hall where I liked to go to hear a little jazz and pop and get away from the cares of the world for a couple of hours. But look at the photographs from Paris: there's nowhere to get away from it; the barbarians who yell "Allahu Akbar!" are there waiting for you ...when you go to a soccer match, you go to a concert, you go for a drink on a Friday night. They're there on the train... at the magazine office... in the Kosher supermarket... at the museum in Brussels... outside the barracks in Woolwich...

Twenty-four hours ago, I said on the radio apropos the latest campus "safe space" nonsense:

This is what we're going to be talking about when the mullahs nuke us.


That whether Hamas is a greater threat to peace than Israel is even debatable at Oxford is a sign of the broken moral compass in academia

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Peter Griffin goes skiing

Why Do Parents Hate Paying College Tuition? Meet Missouri Professor Melissa Click

video via Mark Schierbecker

Thanks to a student’s YouTube video, University of Missouri Assistant Professor Melissa Click has become of symbol of what many parents dread when they send their children off to college. From her bullying of students to her doctoral thesis on the whiteness of Martha Stewart and her classes in “visual literacy,” she crystallizes the view that tuition dollars are spent on nonsense, and sometimes worse. As Missouri high school students prepare their applications this fall, they are looking at paying over $25,000 for a year on campus and non-residents will have to pay over $40,000.

When the president of MU and the chancellor of the main campus in Columbia stepped down Monday following protests that they were insensitive to racial issues, Click and other members of the faculty went to work enforcing their self-created ban on the media. Click was captured on video harassing student journalists and calling in “muscle”  to prevent one from documenting the tent city that the protesters (known as Concerned Student 1950 for the year MU first admitted black students) had erected on the campus quad, a public space.

That an assistant professor of “mass media” in the department of communication was unaware of the instantaneous power of YouTube and social media is another reason for parents to wonder about the wisdom of spending their money on Click...

Washington DC police seek women who ass-aulted man by twerking on him

Police in Washington DC are on the lookout for two women, possibly hookers, who twerked their asses on some unsuspecting guy in a convenience store. The dude was just trying to buy something and leave, but the two classy ladies keep bothering him. It doesn’t seem like too big of a deal...

Doctors Without Morals

International law experts are blasting Doctors Without Borders for forcibly removing civilian patients from the aid group’s Kunduz, Afghanistan, hospital and replacing them with wounded Taliban fighters when the city fell to the rebel control in late September.

Alan Dershowitz, an acclaimed Harvard constitutional lawyer and authority in international law, said that he was not surprised that the group, known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, favored Taliban fighters over civilian patients, telling The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview that he regards Doctors Without Borders as “Doctors Without Morals.”

Dershowitz charged the group with having a long history of anti-Western political stances...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Top Republican candidates' TV coverage doesn't reflect their poll support

...There's no question that Trump has played the earned media game masterfully. We can quantify just how masterfully by comparing the news coverage data with polling data over the past year, as compiled by Real Clear Politics. It's clear from the data that TV news coverage over time tracks largely, but not entirely, with candidates' relative positioning in the polls. The better a candidate is polling, the more air time she or he tends to get.

Some candidates, though, get more coverage than their poll numbers suggest they should. Some candidates get a lot less. The outliers raise interesting questions about media fairness. Those questions go well beyond Trump; lately, he's not even the biggest overachiever on the air.

Also, Ted Cruz has real cause for complaint... 

After becoming the subject of international ridicule and scorn, and embarassing the University of Missouri, teacher who sought 'muscle' to block journalist apologizes

And I'm sure it was sincere...
The University of Missouri assistant professor roundly criticized for trying to block a journalist from filming an encampment during protests on campus Monday has apologized. 
"I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions," Melissa Click, who is an associate professor of communications, said in a statement Tuesday.

Click was seen on widely-circulated video telling a journalist Monday that he could not film an encampment, which was part of a protest that resulted in university president Tim Wolfe resigning over the handling of racial incidents on campus.
Click at one point asked others, "Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here."...