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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Trump should crack down on UNRWA, finally end fiction of Palestinian ‘refugees’

As the UN General Assembly voted to reject America’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a stern warning: We’ll remember this the next time you come calling for more hard-earned American taxpayer dollars. Most nation-states called her bluff, leaving many to wonder what comes next.

If President Trump wants to use his financial leverage at the United Nations to strike at the heart of the anti-America, anti-Israel institutional infrastructure, he should look no further than the agency responsible for Palestinian refugees: the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

By most definitions, refugees are those forced to flee their country because of persecution, war or violence. Nearly every refugee in the world is cared for by the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, whose ultimate goal is repatriation, resettlement and integration. The exception? Palestinian refugees.

Arab states insisted on a different definition for Palestinian-Arab refugees of the Israeli War of Independence — and a different agency to care for them. Today, millions of people are referred to as “Palestinian refugees” even though the only home they, and in many cases even their parents and grandparents, have ever known is either a refugee camp or an Arab host nation like Jordan.

Rather than use the billions of dollars of international assistance provided since 1950 to resettle and integrate Palestinian-Arab refugees — just as Israel successfully resettled and integrated Jewish refugees from the Middle East, North Africa and the Soviet Union — UNRWA’s mandate has always been to keep Palestinians as perpetual refugees...

The rise of the terror amnesia industry

2017 might prove to be the year we caved in to terrorism. The year we accepted that the occasional act of Islamist barbarism, the occasional mass stabbing of Saturday-night revellers or blowing apart of girls at an Ariana Grande concert, is just something that happens, like bad weather. It was the year in which our response to terror was not anger, far less ‘Blitz Spirit’, but a collective sad-face emoji. ‘Don’t look back in anger’, we said after the horror in Manchester, perfectly capturing the defeatist, self-silencing, emotion-policing nature of our attitude to terror today.

In 2017 we witnessed the rise of the terror amnesia industry – an informal but effective effort by the political class and opinion-forming set to shush serious discussion about terrorism; to tame strong emotions post-terror; to make people forget, in essence, the latest bloody destruction of their fellow citizens, or at least stop thinking about it. ‘Don’t look back…’

This Orwellian encouragement of forgetting, this cultivation of emotional passivity in response to radical Islam, this top-down demonisation of concern about Islamist terror as a species of ‘Islamophobia’, is the reason why even something as horrific as the Manchester attack, the targeting of our next generation, of girls, does not live in the collective memory in the way it ought to. The speed with which the Manchester horror evaporated from the national consciousness was one of the most disturbing political events in Britain in 2017...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Death Rattle of Obama’s Reputation

The members of Barack Obama’s administration in exile have become conspicuously noisy of late—even more so than usual. Former CIA Director John Brennan accused Donald Trump and his administration of engaging in “outrageous,” “narcissistic” behavior typical of “vengeful autocrats” by threatening proportionate retaliation against countries that voted to condemn the United States in the United Nations, as though that were unprecedented. It is not. James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, all but alleged that the president is a Russian “asset.” Perhaps the most acerbic and incendiary series of accusations from the former Democratic president’s foreign-policy professionals were placed in the New York Times by Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice. In her estimation, America has abdicated its role as a “force for good.”

It’s no coincidence that these overheated condemnations accompany abundant evidence that the Trump administration is finding its legs. As the last administration’s undeserved reputation as sober-minded foreign policy rationalists is dismantled one retrospective report at a time, its jilted members are lashing out...

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Rex Murphy: The real fake news of 2017

...When the majority of the American media failed in their coverage of the presidential election, they had to find some excuse for their massive incompetence. The New York Times, with all their resources, and after two full years of daily coverage of the campaign, was nonetheless projecting Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory at a full 92 per cent on election night itself. That was at least better than the pathologically anti-Trump HuffPost, which had Hillary’s chances set at a modest 98 per cent! Such was the state of American journalism, these companies barely allowed for the mere possibility that Trump could win. Under their professional eye, he was just a sideshow, even in the very hours before he actually won.

These two—the Times and HuffPost—can stand for a large set of the American press, both traditional and online. Their reading of the American election was the greatest journalistic failure—the largest act of group incompetence—in decades. This failure fostered the need for some excuse for how they got so much so wrong.    

They couldn’t just step out honestly and say: “Hey, we despised this guy so much that it really warped our thinking and twisted our coverage, blocked out what we didn’t want to see. We were so mad at him we could not see.” That would have been the truthful and honourable thing to do. So, obviously, it was not adopted. Instead, the answer they did come up with, quickly and conveniently enough, was Fake News...

Friday, December 22, 2017

Republicans seek answers on Obama actions around Hezbollah

Congressional Republicans on Thursday demanded action and sought more information following a POLITICO report that the Obama administration derailed a law enforcement campaign against drug trafficking by the terrorist group Hezbollah as former President Barack Obama sought to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) urged President Donald Trump to reinstate a task force to combat illegal activities by Hezbollah in the U.S., and he called on the Justice and Treasury departments to investigate the matter.
Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), both members of the House oversight committee, called for the Department of Justice to hand over by Jan. 8 all documents related to interference with law enforcement efforts against Hezbollah. They also asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to brief the oversight panel's staff by Jan. 12.
The POLITICO investigation found that a campaign dubbed Project Cassandra was launched in 2008 to monitor Hezbollah's criminal activities after the Drug Enforcement Administration discovered evidence of drug and weapons trafficking and money laundering by the group. But participants in the task force said the Obama administration created roadblocks, saying officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed or rejected requests for approval for some investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions...

Monday, December 18, 2017

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.
The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.
Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.
They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.
But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The documentary about 'transgender kids' the CBC was too cowardly to broadcast

The documentary discusses the perspective that goes against politically correct orthodoxy that states that kids who are too young to cross the street by themselves and can't yet tie their shoelaces can determine their gender identity when it conflicts with their sex.

There may be extreme cases where it is merited, but in most cases, pre-pubescent medical intervention in these cases is a result of the politicization of medicine, and is a type of child abuse.

CBC was going to broadcast it, then chickened out.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Vast Failure of the United Nations - an IdeaCity Panel with Aurel Braun, Geoffrey Clarfield, John Robson, & Rev. Majed El Shafie

This panel critical of the UN was based on an idea I proposed to Moses Znaimer.
After it was over, someone I know stormed out, muttering about it being a talk by "right-wing fascists."
Which is ironic, since the promotion of genuine democracies and decrying the usurpation of the UN by dictatorships was the whole point of the discussion.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Palestinians say Trump told Abbas he intends to move US embassy to Jerusalem

(CNN) President Donald Trump outlined his intentions to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in a call with President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday according to Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

The Palestinians said that Abbas warned Trump in the call against the dangers of such a step and added that he would continue reaching out to world leaders to prevent it from happening. Neither the White House nor the Palestinians offered details on the timing of an embassy move, which previous administrations have delayed indefinitely.

Despite strong pushback from US allies and concerns about the safety of US military and diplomatic personnel in the region, Trump is insisting that he fulfill campaign promises about Jerusalem...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The politicization of Psychiatry at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health jeopardizes patient health

An extensively researched and  detailed account of how Trans identity politics is placing people at real risk at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Heath by Jesse Singal:
On paper, Dr. Kenneth Zucker isn’t the sort of person who gets suddenly and unceremoniously fired. For decades, the 65-year-old psychologist had led the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), in Toronto, one of the most well-known clinics in the world for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria — that is, the feeling that the body they were born with doesn’t fit their true gender identity. Zucker had built up quite a CV during his time leading the clinic: In addition to being one of the most frequently cited names in the research literature on gender dysphoria and gender-identity development, and the editor of the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, he took a leading role helping devise diagnostic and treatment guidelines for gender dysphoric and transgender individuals. He headed the group which developed the DSM-5’s criteria for its “gender dysphoria” entry, for example, and also helped write the most recent “standards of care” guidelines for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health  —  one of the bibles for clinicians who treat transgender and gender-dysphoric patients.

An impressive career, yes, but it’s doubtful any of this gave him much comfort on December 15. That was when he was called in from vacation for an 8:30 a.m. meeting with his employer, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one of the largest mental health and addiction research hospitals in Canada. Given the long-brewing investigation of his clinic by the hospital, it’s unlikely Zucker was feeling optimistic about what awaited him in downtown Toronto.

The GIC, which operates out of CAMH, pronounced “Cam-H,” had been standing firm against a changing tide in the world of psychological treatment for children with gender dysphoria. The “gender-affirmative” approach, which focuses on identifying young transgender children and helping them socially transition — that is, express their gender to others through their everyday clothes, name changes, or other means — has been on the rise in recent years, and has become the favored protocol of many activists and clinicians. GIC clinicians, who saw clients between ages 3 and 18, had a much more cautious stance on social transitioning for their younger clients — they believed that in many cases, it was preferable to first “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies,” as they often put it, since in the GIC’s view gender is quite malleable at a young age and gender dysphoria will likely resolve itself with time.

Many activists see this approach as a rejection of young children’s transgender identities, and Zucker as its regressive standard-bearer. As a result, the GIC had been tarred for years as a “conversion” or “reparative” therapy clinic — terms which conjure images of outfits operated out of backwoods shacks in the Bible Belt. Responding to what felt like a surge in this line of criticism from activists, CAMH had agreed in February of 2015 to commission an External Review that would evaluate the clinic’s operations, and possibly, Zucker and his staffers knew, determine its future. CAMH had already taken actions suggesting that that future might be dim: In June of 2014, the hospital closed the GIC’s approximately 80-family waitlist (for being too long, administrators said), and about two months before Zucker’s vacation was interrupted, the clinic’s only other full-time staffer, the psychologist Dr. Hayley Wood, was laid off on her first day back from maternity leave. (Wood declined to comment for this article.)

And now, the meeting: According to a source close to Zucker, he was met at CAMH by Christina Bartha, executive director of the hospital’s Underserved Populations Program. She gave the psychologist a three-ring binder: the long-awaited External Review. Bartha instructed Zucker to read it in her presence, and to offer up any comments he had about it. Not far into the report, Zucker told Bartha that he had noticed a factual error. Bartha responded that the review would be posted on the hospital’s website that afternoon, as-is — no changes. Zucker continued reading and saw that the reviewers had interviewed a handful of activists and clinicians who had claimed that the GIC was engaging in conversion therapy; that photos were taken of patients without their consent and then disseminated; and that former clients said they felt traumatized and ashamed as a result of their time there. Then, Zucker got to a truly bizarre allegation: A former patient, at the time an adolescent transitioning from female to male who was seeking a sex-reassignment surgery referral, said that Zucker had asked him to take his shirt off, laughed when he had done so, and then told him, “You’re a hairy little vermin!” The incident had never happened. Zucker looked at Bartha and, in disbelief, said something like, “So, you are going to post this on the website?” Yes, Bartha responded. Meaning that in a few hours, Zucker’s many detractors would read about how he had cruelly mocked the body of a young trans person.

Zucker told Bartha there was no point in continuing the exercise. Sometime around 9:00 or 9:15, Bartha left, and she was replaced by a human resources staffer who informed Zucker that he was fired, effective immediately. He was told it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to retrieve his coat and keys from his office — someone would grab them for him. Zucker was presented with materials on how to find a new job, and that was that. (Zucker’s attorney, John Adair, confirmed this account of his dismissal, while a CAMH spokeswoman and Bartha didn’t respond to a request for comment. Through Adair, Zucker otherwise declined to comment for this article.)

For transgender activists in North America and around the world, the ouster of one of their biggest enemies in the field of mainstream sex research was a spectacular victory. Sweeter still, they found out later that day that CAMH would be “winding down” the GIC entirely, with an eye toward eventually retooling and reopening it with input from its critics. Years of activism, years of hearing and telling stories about what Zucker’s clinic did to vulnerable, gender-questioning young people, had finally paid off. The activists had won what seemed like a satisfying end to a simple, sad story. “Infamous Reparative Therapy Clinic For Transgender Youth Set To Close” trumpeted ThinkProgress. “Hooray! A Big, Bad Conversion Therapy Clinic For Trans Youth In Canada Is Shutting Down,” went the MTV headline. Good prevailed over evil, in other words. Those innocent children would never suffer again.

Zucker, his colleagues, and their many allies in the world of academic sex research see things differently. To them, the real scandal here is how CAMH responded to a sustained campaign of political pressure: by allowing a vital scientific question — vital not only to gender-dysphoric and transgender young people, but to anyone who is a parent or will one day become one — to be decided by activists on the basis of flimsy, anonymous allegations. They think the activists’ claims about the clinic are unfounded, and argue that the controversy has more to do with adult agendas than with genuine concern for gender-dysphoric children and youth. As Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist with a research focus on gender-identity issues, explained in an email, this fight resembles many other culture-war battles: “[C]hildren serve as proxies for the competing value systems of adults.” Indeed, some parents of GIC patients feel that as a result of the clinic’s closing, their children have been cut off from a place that was — despite rumors to the contrary — a safe, nurturing environment for young people to explore their emerging gender identities.

The External Review, Zucker’s allies believe, was just a sloppily executed pretense for submitting to political pressure...

More at THE CUT

Trump administration fights racism against Asians in American universities

The US Justice Department finally is confronting Harvard University and other elite colleges that blatantly discriminate against Asian-American applicants with a quota system.

To get into Harvard, students of Asian heritage have to score hundreds of points higher on competitive exams than non-Asians with similar or even inferior academic records.

That’s why the Trump administration’s Justice Department is demanding Harvard’s admissions records and launching an investigation. No surprise Harvard is stonewalling. It has plenty to hide...

Monday, November 27, 2017

Iran bans women from riding bicycles in public

Victorian England was the epitome of modern feminism and
liberalism compared to 21st Century Iran

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa declaring that women are forbidden to ride bicycles in public, Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on November 26.
In response to a religious inquiry, Khamenei also said it is prohibited for women to ride bicycles in the presence of strangers and those who are not their immediate family...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Some people's thoughts about censorship and harassment

...Forced apologies come perilously close to a contradiction in terms, the point of an apology being the willing recognition of a genuine wrong and sincere regret for having caused it. Rather than, as in Laurier’s case, a desperate hope to pacify angry donors and reel back the good will of an outraged and astonished public.

May I summarize the points so far by saying that my positionality on their apologies is problematic and my problematics on their positionality is profound.

The real mess here, however, is that they are choosing not to see the full problem at all: that their dealings with Shepherd are but a particular of a general phenomenon, a parable, if you will, of a collapse in the understanding of the university, what education is, and how it is being delivered.

Here’s what is not in the apology. That this is not some one-off incident, but rather an egregious illustration that some humanities courses at all universities (mainly with the tag “studies”) function not as educative undertakings, but as commitments to a narrow, predestined ideological viewpoint. That such studies are enclosed universes of fixed thought, or intellectual predisposition. That wedding any course to a pre-chosen political goal — social justice, identity studies, oppression studies, feminism — turns it into a sophisticated vehicle of indoctrination and propaganda. Such courses inculcate doctrines, disoblige inquiry, abhor dissent, and are the reverse of an educational exercise...

Niall Ferguson in The Sunday Times:
 yet it was not a professional feminist who exposed the allegations of rape and sexual assault against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but the male broadcaster Ronan Farrow. And he cannot have foreseen, when he published his devastating j’accuse in The New Yorker last month, that it would unleash a cascade of accusations fatal to the reputations of such erstwhile darlings of New Yorker readers as the comedian-turned-senator Al Franken, the actor Kevin Spacey, the comedian Louis CK, the political journalist Mark Halperin and the interviewer Charlie Rose.

The New York Times — which along with The Washington Post has been working the phones to keep the cascade going — is keeping score. To date, it reckons, 34 “high-profile men have resigned, been fired or experienced other fallout after accusations that have ranged from inappropriate text messages to rape”. Embarrassingly, it emerged last week that one of them was that newspaper’s very own Glenn Thrush.
It would be interesting to know what proportion of these people waxed indignant last year about Donald Trump’s confession — in a conversation recorded on a “hot mic” during an Access Hollywood appearance in 2005 — to being a serial sexual harasser. Rather a high one, I would guess. Here was Mark Halperin’s response on Twitter: “When people say some new Trump tape could have material that is WORSE than the @accesshollywood video, what exactly could be WORSE?!?”

Al Franken also commented. “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms,” he said in an interview on NBC. “I belong to a health club in Minneapolis . . . Our locker-room banter is stuff like, ‘Is Trump crazy?’”
Louis CK preferred to equate Trump with Hitler, the least of whose crimes was inappropriate behaviour towards women. On Stephen Colbert’s show in April, CK called Trump a “gross, crook, dirty, rotten, lying sack of shit”. Well, who’s gross now?

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Sexual harassment was supposed to be the kind of thing only Republicans did — inveterate sexists such as Trump or alleged molesters of underage schoolgirls such as Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. How very awkward that the majority of names in the New York Times list of top harassers are men of the left, not the right...

And a ridiculously inane bit of hysteria that relies on false characterizations and frantic, stupid equivalences of intellectual critique and exploration of ideas with "violence" in order to justify suppression of free speech - this from an idiot Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wilfred Laurier University named Greg Bird

...The brand of free speech being promoted in most of the articles is hypocritical. It is actually a silencing form of speech. Other than a few champions of free speech who are using this as an opportunity to advance their neo-conservative agenda, all other voices have been silenced. Two-spirit, transgender, and non-binary people have been left out of the discussion, again. Why have student and faculty organizations, community organizations, or notable thinkers, which represent these communities not been consulted by the authors? What is the significance of the complete erasure of these voices?

The tightly controlled framing of this story has helped to reaffirm the message of peripheral and extreme alt-right scholars like Jordan Peterson and his followers: that the voices of trans people do not matter. Sit silently on the side and wait for your turn, if it is ever presented, to speak up and defend yourself. Wait for those who question your existence to present their case first. Those who deem your very existence to be illegitimate are legitimate voices. Peterson's opinions have been given a carte blanche and thus validated. Now that this stage has been set, if you do speak out, you will face the wrath of the free speech campaigners. Bravo, this has been a well-orchestrated manoeuvre — there are few grounds left for trans people to defend themselves from. Are we debating about whether or not trans people have a right to express themselves, to receive support and protection from non-trans people, to be recognized as people who not only welcome but also to live without discrimination and harassment in our society? This is not a "neutral" conversation.

What are the impacts of this media frenzy? Given the widespread and firmly entrenched transphobia in our society, including alarmingly high rates of physical and sexual assault, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and a litany of other forms of attacks faced by members of the trans community, non-trans people should take a breath, pause, and think seriously about the broader set of problems that have not only been ignored but actually been granted a bigger platform. Many have already suffered greatly by the spotlight our media has placed on Peterson. Now that this circus show has turned up on our campus, more people are being hurt and our community has been deeply impacted.

On Tuesday, the Wilfrid Laurier University Rainbow Centre released a statement that they have received an uptake in transphobic and homophobic attacks and harassment, and they expect much more, as a direct result of the media's framing of this event. This was on full display in comments made about their statement on Facebook and Twitter. The fact that the only issue up for discussion in the media has been one of free speech, speaks loudly to how normalized transphobia is in our society. Is freedom of speech more important than the safety and well-being of members of our society? Do we want to be living in Donald Trump's America?

Universities are supposed to be spaces where students should learn, grow, and flourish. They are not supposed to be violent institutions that teach students to feel shame about who they are, to remain silent, and to repress themselves. This is a form of education that has already been employed in our country, in the residential schools. It is time for us to think seriously about how free speech is being used and abused in our institutions. Why is it being used, how is it being used, and who is using it? Is freedom of speech merely about exposing students to new ideas? This is a very shallow notion of learning, one that could be easily obtained by surfing the internet. Universities should be providing a lot more, but what exactly the more is, and how it can be realized, is an issue that we need to start thinking about.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

WLU apologizes for treatment of graduate student

..."The conversation I heard does not reflect the values and practices to which Laurier aspires," she said in a statement on the Laurier website.

"I am sorry it occurred in the way that it did and I regret the impact it had on Lindsay Shepherd. I will convey my apology to her directly."

Rambukkana also apologized in an open letter.

Shepherd is not impressed.

"It's not like they're heroes," she said.

"It was really their only option" after the barrage of criticism, she said.

Shepherd has received messages of support from all over the world and heard from many angry alumni who said they would stop donating to the university because of the treatment she had received...

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wilfred Laurier University students are being taught by censorious idiots who would have shocked Orwell

A teaching assistant named Lindsey Shepherd tried to introduce ideas currently in debate in Canadian society to her students.

The result is that she was brought before and persecuted by an Inquisition of Imbeciles who are Professors at Wilfred Laurier University:

One of the most disgraceful aspects of this sham is that the idiot, neo-Marxist professors at Wilfred Laurier are too stupid and conditioned to understand the difference between actual violence and words that offend them.

Canadian universities are in serious trouble.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sky Penis Draws Ire of Navy Officials

...Officials with the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Wash., confirmed to KREM 2 News that Navy pilots were responsible for the drawings.

“The Navy holds its aircrew to the highest standards and we find this absolutely unacceptable, of zero training value and we are holding the crew accountable,” Navy officials said in a statement...
I think there's some training value to it. Drawing cocks in the sky over your enemies probably has some demoralizing effect. And you'd think if anyone would be in favor of working dick into a military exercise, it would be the Navy...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tarek Fatah: 'Anti-Islamophobia' motion taking more fire

A professor of linguistics at the University of Ottawa, commenting on the so-called anti-Islamophobia motion, M103, has urged the Trudeau government “to start an international Commission on how to handle the violence in the Qur’an,” which, he says exists, without doubt.

Professor Karim Achab gave his presentation on Nov. 8 to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage regarding the motion on systematic racism and religious discrimination, which focuses on “Islamophobia.”

Using a PowerPoint presentation, Achab, who is of North African Amazigh (Berber) ancestry in Algeria, said “Islamophobia” is an inappropriate, unjustifiable word.

He then focused on the definition of “Islamophobia” offered by many Islamist activists: “The irrational fear or hatred of Muslims that leads to discrimination or actual acts of harassment or violence.”

Achab suggested the word was an example of “academic lexical creation” and, even though people have the right to create such words, they should have no place in parliament or law.
Dissecting “Islamophobia,” the linguistics professor told MPs, “phobia (is) a medical term referring to one type of mental disorder.” And yet, he noted, no one speaks of Coptophobia, even though, “Copts are slaughtered daily in Egypt.”

Alluding to anti-black racism and the genocide of the Yazidis by Islamic State, the professor asked why there were no words for “Blackophobia” or “Yazidiphobia”? 
If the clarity and explicit language of Achab gave the Liberal MPs and their NDP wingmen heartburn, what was to follow left them gasping for a politically correct response...

What’s so scary about free speech on campus?

...The philosophy of "social justice," that now prevails on campus is in fundamental conflict with traditional liberal values of truth-seeking. As social psychologist Jonathan Haidt points out, these sets of values can't be reconciled. According to Mr. Haidt, the patron saint of social justice was Karl Marx, who believed "in changing the world in part by overthrowing power structures and privilege." For social-justice advocates, true diversity of thought is dangerous, and words can be as dangerous as weapons.
The concept of words as weapons that can inflict damage on people's equality rights is a staple of feminist legal thought. It is also widespread on campuses today. At UBC, it is articulated by Mary Bryson, who as a member of the working group that devised the draft explained to The Globe and Mail: "Balancing on the one hand, the right to freedom of expression, and on the other hand, freedom from discrimination, I think that is an important move to take. It's important to recognize that there are unique threats to freedom faced in particular by minority students, staff and faculty."

Prof. Russell disagrees. "When I was a child, the old adage was 'sticks and stones may break my bones,'" he says. People made a sharp distinction between physical violence and threats, and language that was merely abusive and offensive. Today, that distinction has been dangerously blurred.

For all their talk about diversity and inclusion, universities have become monocultures of thought, where unpopular ideas are often regarded as downright toxic. Just ask Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She's a teaching assistant for a course called Communications Studies 101. Last week, she showed students a YouTube video of a debate between controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson and another professor, Nicholas Matte. The clip, in which Prof. Peterson objected to the use of non-gendered pronouns, was meant to spark discussion, and had already aired on TVO's The Agenda. Somebody complained, and Ms. Shepherd was promptly hauled on to the carpet by the university's Gendered and Sexual Violence Prevention and Support office, where she was accused of being "transphobic." She was informed that the video was not suitable for classroom viewing, and that by exposing her students to the noxious views of Prof. Peterson, she had violated university policy.

"Universities are no longer places where ideas may freely circulate," Ms. Shepherd told me in an e-mail. "They are places where if you even bring up the 'wrong' ideas, you are labelled as some sort of public enemy."...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Black Lives Matter group is dictating Toronto Public School policy and making schools less safe for staff and kids

The Toronto District School board (TDSB) exhaustive review of the popular cops in schools program was a complete “sham,” Toronto’s police union boss charged Tuesday.

“The outcome was already dictated,” says Mike McCormack, questioning what criteria TDSB officials actually used to recommend putting the School Resource Officer (SRO) program out to pasture.

The cowardly, largely union-backed, Toronto public school trustees had already put the program on hold at the end of August pending the so-called review.

“They are ignoring the overwhelmingly positive results from their own survey,” McCormack says.

He finds it “frightening” that the TDSB is willing to thrown solid evidence of the success of the program “down the tubes to fulfil an agenda.”
In fact, the review results — which will be discussed at a planning and priorities meeting Wednesday afternoon — show that 57% of the 15,500 students surveyed between mid-September and the end of October believed the presence of an SRO in their schools made them feel safer.

Another 60% of TDSB staff surveyed said the SRO makes their school a safer place and 70% want the program to carry on. Some 80% of parents with kids in schools that have an SRO felt the same way...

How to win the war on free speech by Debra Soh

The battle in favour of academic freedom has been a tumultuous one. In August, an event at Ryerson University, titled "The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses," was shut down after far-left group No Fascist T.O. harassed university administration.

The event was rescheduled for this past Saturday. As perhaps a testament to the public's frustration around being coerced into silence, the audience quintupled in size, from 300 to 1,500 attendees.

Contrary to how it was painted by activists, the event wasn't a hate rally promulgating white supremacy. Moderated and organized by former social worker, Sarina Singh, panelists included Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto professor who opposes gender-neutral pronouns; Gad Saad, an evolutionary behavioural scientist at Concordia University; and Oren Amitay, a sessional lecturer at Ryerson University.

Dr. Amitay stresses that parents need to be involved in what their children are being taught, even before they reach university. As a testament to how entrenched these loopy ideas are, the indoctrination process begins as early as elementary school – take, for instance, social justice lessons in phys-ed class.

We can take comfort in knowing that ideologues don't bother to hide their agenda – according to Dr. Peterson, if your child's teacher uses words like "diversity, equity, inclusivity," and "white privilege," these should tip you off that something is amiss. He suggests allowing your child to leave class, if you feel it's appropriate...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Toronto Star makes excuses for Jew-hatred in Canada

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, recently published a disgraceful article defending a Toronto imam who called for the genocide of Jews.

Ayman Elkasrawy is a former teaching assistant at Ryerson University and junior employee at his mosque, Masjid Toronto.

“O Allah! Count their number; slay them one by one and spare not one of them. O Allah! Purify the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews!” invoked Elkasrawy in a sermon in 2016. After video of his prayer surfaced, Elkasrawy backtracked, claiming that he misspoke.

The Toronto Star contends that Elkasrawy’s words were twisted.

“As for ‘Purify the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews,’ a more accurate translation is ‘Cleanse Al-Aqsa mosque from the Jews’ desecration of it,’ wrote the Star, quoting a supposedly more palatable translation of the Arabic prayer.

Apparently it’s okay to be antisemitic, as long as you’re not anti-semantic...

Monday, November 13, 2017

A last-minute college strike policy from Kathleen Wynne's government may have been to avoid exposure of another major scandal

In public relations and media, it's common knowledge that when you have an item you're obliged to publicize but want to give as little attention as possible, you dump the news release on a Friday afternoon. That way the press, already getting ready for the weekend, will give it short shrift, if they notice it at all.

It was last Friday afternoon at 3:30, just as Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development staff were packing up and leaving for the long Remembrance Day weekend that a press release from Minister Deb Matthews announced that she was requiring funds be set up with savings from the ongoing Ontario College staff strike.

Under normal circumstances, one would assume a policy that would alleviate hardship on the 500,000 students affected by the strike would be something that Kathleen Wynne's government would want to give the utmost attention.

The fund would utilize at least some of the savings the Ontario government incurred from not paying college staff over the last few weeks. However there is good reason to believe that this fund was created less to help students than to help the Wynne government avoid another major scandal.

The week before last a source, who has extensive contacts and experience with both the Ontario College system and the Ontario government, approached me with the information that the government was intentionally allowing the College Strike to be prolonged.

The government could have quickly put through legislation that would have forced the colleges and the striking union, OPSEU, into binding arbitration and classes could have resumed right away. As it stands, half a million college students are currently at risk of losing a semester.

The current "corridor funding" model transfers approximately $1.5 billion dollars from the Ministry to the colleges each year, the majority of which is used for staffing costs. The Ontario government is in massive debt and each Ministry within it is feeling financial strains.

The strike, which has already lasted four weeks, was saving the government, and in particular, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, tens of millions of dollars it did not have to use to pay striking contract staff.

Last Monday, I put my source's allegation to Deb Matthews for a response. On Wednesday afternoon, I received an email from the Minister's office with the following response:

“Through all of this, our focus is on students and their learning. We want to see students back in the classroom as quickly as possible to continue their education. I understand that the College Employer Council has requested a vote on the employer’s last offer through the Ontario Labour Relations Board. I know students are feeling the effects of this strike deeply, and I share their concern. However, I am unable to comment further on the process of the OLRB.”

Written in political-ese, it uses a lot of words to basically say nothing. But what's most interesting about Deb Matthews' reply is not what she said but what she did not say. She did not deny the allegation that the government was prolonging the strike to save funds.

I informed the Minster's Issues management and Media Relations Team Leader that I would be writing a piece about the matter to be published at the beginning of this week. It was with some surprise that I saw, on Friday afternoon, a new email from the Minister's Team Leader with a link to the hastily devised proposal to re-purpose the savings to help students in need.

I sent an email to the Minister's spokesperson asking if extra costs arising from the strike, such as the ensuing salary increases to staff, will be excluded from the funds to help students. At the time of the publication of this post, I have not received a reply.

As it stands, Kathleen Wynne's government, which desperately needs the support of public service unions like OPSEU, which sees a prolonged strike as a way of getting the colleges to capitulate to their demands, has done nothing to legislate the strike to an end. That inaction places additional hardship on all of Ontario's college students as well as putting their academic year at risk.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11 - Remembrance Day

Today, exactly on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November, the roar of a four engine warcraft, flying only about 1000 feet above ground, passed over my home. It was a Remembrance Day reminder of the service and sacrifice of Canada's soldiers in times of war and peace.

It is because of the sacrifice of brave men who fought during the Second World War that I am alive.

My father was one of those who lived through the war only because American and allied soldiers freed his country from the occupation and atrocities of Hitler's Germany.

There were those at that time, as there are now, who thought that the free people of the world would be better off to ignore the conflicts among nations an ocean away. There were others then, as there are now, who thought that we should strive to make peace with a malevolent, implacable enemy who used negotiations as a means of conquest and saw compromise as a sign of weakness.

Without the service, the courage, and the sacrifice of the brave men who fought in Canada's wars, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy. Without the will to fight tyranny with might rather than weak words, we would be living under the chains of dictatorships.

Never forget.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Toronto Public Housing and Related Horror Stories by John Clapp

My friend, the amazingly talented Toronto artist John Clapp, has had some experience with Toronto's social service agencies. Some of the people who operate and work for these agencies are decent and well-intentioned, and some are Poverty Pimps, who exploit the vulnerable while making large sums of cash in the process. Unfortunately, there are too few of the former and too many of the latter. The Poverty Pimps claim to represent the interests of the underprivileged, while in reality only seek to profit off them.

John has written the following so that his fellow Torontonians can be aware of some of what is going on in the system that is ostensibly helping the underprivileged:

(How the TCHC [Toronto Community Housing Corporation], the SHSA [Shelter, Housing, and Support Administration] and the CCAC [Community Care Access Centres] victimize and neglect the vulnerable and marginalized people in their charge.)

I'm posting and sharing the anecdotes below in order to raise public awareness about the unethical and very likely criminal way that the administrations and staff of the TCHC, the SHSA and the CCAC treat their tenants, clients and patients.

Connie is a senior living in one of the TCHC's seniors' buildings. When she complained that the elevators and other important facilities weren't working and about multiple and varied forms of infestations (the usual rodents, roached and bedbugs), she apparently was bullied into silence by some of the other tenants, whom I suspect the administration of her building used as (unauthorized) "proxy enforcers" to keep tenants like her who complain and stand up for their rights "in line". One tenant even contacted her abusive ex-husband and gave him her address, clearly with the intent of putting her in danger of being a victim of domestic violence thereby.

Kierov who suffers from acute anxiety lives in a publicly funded so-called supportive housing unit on Tyrrel Ave with other tenants whose conditions range from intellectual disabilities to severe shcizoaffective disorders. When one of the more schizoaffective tenants pulls the fire alarm in the early morning hours, the woman running the house refuses to shut it off and lets it continue to ring for hours depriving the other tenants of their sleep, because as (I'm told) she put it in her own words: "she wants to teach the whole house a lesson.". I'm also told by the next door neighbor that she also seems to be using her (again) publicly funded authority to proselytize and promote her (likely Evangelical or Baptist Christian) religion.

Darryl suffers from advanced Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. before being admitted into the nursing home where he currently resides, I lived in a bedbug ridden apartment in a TCHC building near Danforth Ave. He was hospitalized multiple times for (as I learned eventually) because of infections in his catheter resulting from sitting in soiled diapers too long while waiting for CCAC worker to change them. In Oct. 2015, his infection was so severe, he had to be hospitalized for 3 months. At that point, Paul Mackle, Rev. John White (Retd), Mary Roufail and Patti Lennox (from the STOP) and I decided it was time to intervene on Darryl's behalf. So in Jan 2016, while he was still in Toronto East General Hospital, we started looking for a nursing home for him as that was the general consensus among all stakeholders including attending medical staff. during a visit soon thereafter, we were dismayed to say the least to learn that Darryl's CCAC worker had sent him back to his TCHC apartment. Five days after being sent back to his apartment, Darryl had to be readmitted again for an infection in his catheter from sitting soiled diapers waiting too long to be changed. 
Marcus was a multi year resident of the Cornerstone Men's Hostel at Winona and St. Clair Ave West, one of Toronto's most problematic and notorious shelters. In June of 2014, the residents thereof we're given about a month's notice that the property had been sold to a developer and that Cornerstone would be closing for about a year, while it made arrangements to move to Oakwood and Vaughan. Marcus was one of the few lucky enough to find a place to live in the general Wychwood area in that short span of time. Even after learning that Marcus had found accommodations in a rooming house, the Cornerstone's so called housing worker still tried to convince him to go to a shelter downtown. I suspect they took that tact because knowing that Marcus had friends and some work in the area, they knew also therefore that if he was still homeless, he would be more than likely inclined to resume residence at the Cornerstone when it reopened at its new location, and thereby securing for the org. $30,000/yr in public funds. By the way, the Cornerstone netted $3 million dollars on the sale of the property (it's prime real estate these days) and as 50 bed shelter receives at least $1,500,000/yr in public funds.

Francisco is a Mexican Canadian in his 90's who suffers from Alzheimer's and chronic incontinence and who had stayed at the Cornerstone Men's Hostel for about 8 months in 2011. I was volunteering in program development at Wychwood Open Door, when he came up to me with tears in his eyes, pleading with me to help him get out of the Cornerstone. He said that he had his wallet stolen and had been bullied multiple times by the residents there. He also reported that the shelter's bedbug problem was utterly out of control and the shelter staff made no real attempts to mitigate it. He also said the staff made no effort to address his (above cited) complaints. It should be clear to the reader, that Francisco was in need of a nursing home not a shelter, and yet for the entire duration of his stay at the Cornerstone, the staff made no attempt to help get admitted in such an institution that could care for him properly. Being somewhat overly idealistic at the time, I convinced my then landlords to rent him a 2nd floor room that had just recently become available. While he lived there, we contacted his daughter and with her help, arranged for him to be admitted into a proper nursing home. By the way, we didn't need $30,000/yr to do so. We just did it because it was the right thing to do.

(Sadly, there will be more such stories and exposure of likely criminal neglect and harassment from the above cited municipal public agencies particularly now that social media is becoming increasing accessible to the socio-economically marginalized.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Come celebrate the murder and oppression of tens of millions of people at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

The Russian revolution of 1917 led to a communist dictatorship that murdered tens of millions of people. Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the post revolutionary Soviet Union, created the world's first concentration and death camp system for political prisoners.

The Soviet Union expanded its control over Eastern Europe for decades after the Second World War and in addition to millions upon millions of murders that they committed, hundreds of millions were deprived of basic freedoms and consigned to lifetimes of oppression.

When the Soviet Union finally fell, millions took to the streets to celebrate its death.

But at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, they plan to celebrate the beginnings of that empire of murder and fear. This should come as little surprise to those familiar with OISE. It's ostensibly the leading education institution for Ontario's public school teachers, but in practice, it operates as a Marxist indoctrination centre.

Among others, John Clarke, the leader of the Marxist gang of union-financed goons called the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, and Mike Palecek, the Head Commissar of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, will be at OISE tonight to hail the glorious revolution that redistributed wealth from the hands of the few into the hands of another few and stole liberty away from generations of Europeans.

At least they're open about what they want to inflict on us in Canada.

h/t Jon Kay

Monday, November 6, 2017

Climate Barbie and Prince Bonehead want to manipulate you into thinking it's unacceptable to make their government look ridiculous

Criticism of, and insulting political authority is as old as the concept of political authority itself.

People frequently don't like the way they're being ruled, and the rulers are frequently ridiculous, malevolent, or a combination of both.

In totalitarian societies, criticism and mockery of the rulers is often something that can get a person killed. In democracies, being able to make sport of political elites is considered a right. It was, in no small measure, something that led to the American War of Independence.

Insulting politicians serves an essential role in democracies. The ability to do it reaffirms that the society in question is a democracy which respects free speech. Insults often are a short-hand way of reiterating some of the stupid, and in certain instances, evil things some politicians do, and taking down politicians a peg is a way of reminding them that they aren't absolute rulers.

But even in democracies, ruling political establishments have all sorts of means of establishing their authority. Striving to suppress the mocking of their authority is one of them.

One of the most blatantly manipulative schemes of political suppression occurred this week when Canada's Environment Minister, Katherine McKenna, demanded that Rebel Media cease referring to her as "Climate Barbie."

McKenna is a marginally adept Minister who has derided her critics as 'climate deniers', invoking the comparison with Holocaust deniers, and whose responses to serious questions usually take the form of vacuous talking points.

She is, in that way, an ideal reflection of the empty-headed government of Justin Trudeau, a.k.a Prince Bonehead.

Her argument that 'There are lots of girls that want to get into politics and it is completely unacceptable that you do this' is both spurious and is more damaging to the reputation of women in politics than any name-calling the conservative Rebel Media may send her way.

Politics is a tough game, and only people with thick skins can do it well. Male politicians get all sorts of vicious insults hurled at them as a matter of course. Canadian media took matters even further when Rob Ford was mayor of Toronto. In addition to tirades of insults about his appearance, outlets like the Toronto Star stalked and harassed the man, going so far as to have a reporter skulk around his home and follow him to see if he was cheating on his diet.

That's part of the business that politicians get into, and women from Margaret Thatcher to Hillary Clinton have endured insults as capably as any man.

But the message from Catherine McKenna, rather than taking an insult as one directed at her personally, as it was intended, is to sleazily try to re-craft it as an insult to all women.  In so doing, the implicit message Climate Barbie is sending out is that women are less capable of dealing with the realities of political life than men.

McKenna's preposterous claim that women with political aspirations won't be able to handle insults the way men can is of itself an insult to women. It's a way of saying women are weaker than men and need special treatment to accomodate them.

McKenna's demand that she be treated gently, and not have to endure insults, are in essence her saying that her brain needs a wheelchair ramp for her to be able to fulfill her role as a government minister.

As Harry Truman famously said, "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Shamefully, Catherine McKenna, who clearly can't take the heat, is saying that women who are trying to get out of the actual kitchen and into the political kitchen are doomed to failure.

But McKenna doesn't speak for all women. She only speaks for herself and Prince Bonehead's government. And in that, she is doing a typically poor job.