Featured Post

How To Deal With Gaza After Hamas

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Archaeologists are using CT scans to study the plaster casts of victims of Mount Vesuvius

...In 1974 four people were discovered in voids under a flight of stairs leading to the House of the Golden Bracelet’s garden. Using the technique pioneered by Fiorelli, casts were made of the bodies, revealing them to be a man, a woman, and two small children who had likely died on the eruption’s second day, killed either by the collapse of the staircase or by the pyroclastic flow. The casts have now been moved to a lab in Pompeii as part of an ambitious project to study and restore 86 of the 103 that have been made, including the four people from the House of the Golden Bracelet. Some casts are more than 150 years old, and their surfaces have become marred and pitted. Iron rods used for reinforcement have rusted and expanded, cracking the casts, and preserved bones have decayed. Even some of the newer ones (the most recent was made in 1999) have shown need of immediate care. “We decided to undertake this project now because we need to maintain the casts’ structural integrity. It will also bring the story of Pompeii’s destruction to those living now, and to future generations,” says Stefano Vanacore, the director of the lab in Pompeii. None of the casts has ever been restored, presenting the team with a huge challenge. “There was no experience of how to restore the casts, and no single way to do so because they were made over such a long time using many different materials,” Vanacore says. “For example, Fiorelli used very high-quality plaster reinforced with wood, so his casts are in much better condition than those made later with poorer quality materials.”...

Pompeii Casts Family
(Pasquale Sorrentino)
Casts of the man, the woman, and the two children found in the House of the Golden Bracelet

Netanyahu and the Israeli Arabs: The Untold Story

If there is one thing liberal pundits in Israel and America seem to agree on, it's that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu doesn't like Israeli Arabs and wishes them harm. The outcry over his remarks—ill-judged at the very least and inflammatory at worst—regarding Arab voters being brought in buses to vote against him helped cement this suspicion. But a close look at Netanyahu's actual record on Israeli Arabs, as opposed to this or that public remark, reveals a very different story.

For a start, affirmative action policies initiated under Ehud Olmert were accelerated during the Netanyahu administration. These prioritized economic development, including allocating funds for joint industrial parks in Arab and Jewish towns. Subsidies helped firms hire Arab labor and expanded transportation infrastructure, which allowed Arabs to reach employment sites. These ventures were so successful that the government began setting up industrial parks and employment offices exclusively in Arab towns. In addition, the Israeli government developed a five-year plan for improving Arab education and established a special unit in the prime minister’s office to promote economic development in the Arab community.

Despite the opposition of Palestinian nationalists, more and more Arab communities began to cooperate with government agencies, particularly those that were aligned with Hadash. At the same time, educational and occupational initiatives began to improve the possibilities for Arab women and their labor participation rates increased substantially: for women 30 to 39 years old, it increased from 24 percent in 2005 to 34 percent in 2010...

Two of my favorites together! Andrew Klaven and Mark Steyn

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The scientific consensus is that climate change is good for the world

...There are many likely effects of climate change: positive and negative, economic and ecological, humanitarian and financial. And if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today — and likely to stay positive until around 2080. That was the conclusion of Professor Richard Tol of Sussex University after he reviewed 14 different studies of the effects of future climate trends.

To be precise, Prof Tol calculated that climate change would be beneficial up to 2.2˚C of warming from 2009 (when he wrote his paper). This means approximately 3˚C from pre-industrial levels, since about 0.8˚C of warming has happened in the last 150 years. The latest estimates of climate sensitivity suggest that such temperatures may not be reached till the end of the century — if at all. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose reports define the consensis, is sticking to older assumptions, however, which would mean net benefits till about 2080. Either way, it’s a long way off.

Now Prof Tol has a new paper, published as a chapter in a new book, called How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?, which is edited by Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, and was reviewed by a group of leading economists. In this paper he casts his gaze backwards to the last century. He concludes that climate change did indeed raise human and planetary welfare during the 20th century.

You can choose not to believe the studies Prof Tol has collated. Or you can say the net benefit is small (which it is), you can argue that the benefits have accrued more to rich countries than poor countries (which is true) or you can emphasise that after 2080 climate change would probably do net harm to the world (which may also be true). You can even say you do not trust the models involved (though they have proved more reliable than the temperature models). But what you cannot do is deny that this is the current consensus. If you wish to accept the consensus on temperature models, then you should accept the consensus on economic benefit.

Overall, Prof Tol finds that climate change in the past century improved human welfare. By how much? He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025. For some people, this means the difference between survival and starvation...

The giants of Labour's past would be appalled by Jeremy Corbyn

...It looks as if the warnings were right all along: the Corbyn coup was never about winning an election – how could it have been? – nor about truly testing the popularity of an authentically and unapologetically socialist programme at the polls. Instead, the plan was to drain the Labour Party of any kind of electoral potency, to kill it as either a serious opposition or a government-in-waiting, with all the compromises these entail, and to reduce it to a cadaverous shell fit only for conspiracy-theorist cranks and sinister Jew-baiters.

The “Momentum Kids” plan – providing childcare and, presumably, indoctrination for a new generation of deadheads – gave the game away: a long-term, Hamas-style construction of an extra-Parliamentary social movement. Completely potty, deeply un-British. 
The Corbynites claim to walk in the footsteps of the “real” Labour tradition, but the great patriots of, say, Attlee’s Cabinet would have despised them. Michael Foot, for all his political flaws, was a serious intellectual – Corbyn cannot speak and think at the same time, while his backroom team cannot efficiently carry off the most basic tasks. They are not just wrong, they are rubbish.

It will be fascinating to pick apart the numbers on June 9. The hard-Left claims to have the interests of the poorest, the most vulnerable, the working class, at heart. Yet these people, if they vote at all, will overwhelmingly vote Tory or Ukip in the south, and SNP in Scotland.

Labour’s support will come largely from the kind of fervent social justice warrior who has enough spare time and cash to patronise his social inferiors in the name of class war – and there just aren’t that many of them. The Tories will have a landslide majority not just to deliver a Brexit of whichever stripe they fancy, but to continue the domestic austerity agenda and to shape the future economy as they see fit. They will be able to do it all unopposed, for years to come. In this light, the scale and consequences of Labour’s betrayal are breathtaking...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Andrew Lawton: 30 years ago, a professor predicted the ‘closing of the American mind’ — how right he was

Organizers pulled the plug on a planned lecture by author Ann Coulter at the University of California, Berkeley this week. This is only the latest example of speakers — generally conservatives — being shut down by riots or the threat of violent protest.

It was only in February that Berkeley was literally aflame after hundreds of “anti-fascist” protesters took to the streets in opposition to Milo Yiannopoulos.

The conduct was reprehensible, but so was that of the 100 faculty members who called on Berkeley to cancel the event, citing the offensive nature of Yiannopoulos’ schtick.

Many of these professors have tenure, protecting their right to be controversial. Not as important for others, apparently.

Universities were once bastions of free speech, but genuine dialogue has been replaced by vicious shouting matches and conformity enforced by mob rule. This is particularly sobering at Berkeley, given its long-standing support of free expression.

Anyone caught off guard by this incursion of censorship hasn’t been paying attention: We were warned...

All 100 senators sign letter asking for equal treatment of Israel at the U.N.

All 100 U.S. senators signed a letter released Friday asking U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body.

The unanimous message notes that the United States is the largest contributor to the United Nations but does not threaten the withholding of U.S. dues. Still, it uses strong language to insist that the United Nations rectify what the senators said is unequal treatment of Israel on human rights and other grounds.

“Through words and actions, we urge you to ensure that Israel is treated neither better nor worse than any other U.N. member in good standing,” the letter said.

The letter was obtained Thursday by The Washington Post.

“As both the U.N.’s principal founding member and its largest contributor, the United States should insist on reform,” the letter read. “We are deeply committed to international leadership and to advancing respect for human rights. But continued targeting of Israel by the U.N. Human Rights Council and other U.N. entities is unacceptable.”...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Student ‘glares’ at peers, gets reported as bias incident

...According to a university document obtained this week by The College Fix through a public records act request, here’s what happened, according to the complainant:
There was a white female student that kept making glares at me and another student. She would glare at both of us and then continue to proceed on her phone. This proceeded for 2 hours. Both me and the victim were Asian American women. I don’t know if race plays a part in it. Though this event was small and seemingly insignificant, it made me and the other victim feel unsafe, uncomfortable and paranoid. We did not approach this person.
The incident location was reported as a campus library. The complainant seems unaware that the woman with a piercing stare might be deep in thought as she studies, or is troubled by something she is reading on her phone.
Nevertheless, she reports to campus authorities she is downright traumatized.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LGBTory went to a rally to protest anti-gay persecution in Chechnya and got harassed by 'social justice' fascists

...In recent months, some 200 gay men have reportedly been detained by Chechen authorities in six concentration camps where they are being tortured, according to Russian journalists. Three men have reportedly been murdered. LGBTory has been speaking out against this atrocity (read our statement here), and we have been urging the Canadian government to immediately rescue these men. We have publicly encouraged people to support the work of Toronto’s Rainbow Railroad, an organization working hard to get these vulnerable men out of Chechnya.

The rally was organized by Rainbow Railroad and the Glad Day Book Shop. We met at Barbara Hall Park where we joined approximately 100 people at the rally, where speakers included LGBT people like Bernard from Cameroon who himself was a recipient of a Rainbow Railroad sponsorship.

We received blatant hostility right away when we unfurled our LGBTory flag. Many in the crowd were verbally abusive to us, haranguing us about everything from carbon taxes to trans issues...

On University Safe Spaces by John Clapp

Toronto-based artist John Clapp sent me this drawing called On University Safe Spaces.

I think it describes the situation well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Liberals Are Amazed That Campus Free Speech Outrage Gets So Much Attention. Here's Why It Matters.

"...it's wrong to say that this fixation on the current state of higher education in America is unwarranted. Liberal arts undergrads may not have the nuclear codes, but they are spending lots of money and years of their lives in pursuit of the most prestigious credentials in the world—the college diploma—and the power it buys. The graduates of Berkeley, and Middlebury, and Michigan, and Mizzou, and a hundred other institutions enduring similar moments of illiberalism, will go on to become business leaders and political leaders and activists and inventors and doctors and lawyers and artists and writers. They don't have their fingers on a button that could destroy the world all at once, but their ideas do matter, and will shape society in the long run.

The question is this: do we want the society of the future—the one built by Berkeley graduates—to reflect a sustained commitment to free speech and other liberal, Enlightenment norms, or not? If the answer is yes, then what happens at Berkeley should matter..."

Would you believe... Don Adams doing stand up

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cuba Gooding Sr. died

This is sad - Cuba Gooding Sr., father of the Academy Award winning actor and who had a huge hit with The Main Ingredient singing Everybody Plays The Fool, was found dead today.

Nikki Haley shifts U.N.'s Israel-bashing to turn spotlight on Iran & its terror proxy, Hezbollah

Barbara Kay: How academics portray Islam as a’ victim’ of oppression — even as they defend violent Islamists

...Does M-103’s “Islamophobia” mean expressed hatred of people — the West’s normal definition of hatred — or hatred of a belief system, normally a protected category of expression here, as religious Christians know to their chagrin? Canadians have no idea if their right to express distaste for Islam would still be protected in a bill premised on the recommendations of this “study.”

I therefore contacted Jasmin Zine, who teaches race, ethnic, gender and postcolonial studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is a regular — and ideologically representative — participant in the Berkeley Islamophobia conferences, including this one.

I asked her to define Islamophobia for me, which she promptly did: “Islamophobia is a fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims that translates into individual, ideological and systemic forms of oppression.” This is quite an insidious, though admittedly clever, definition. Note that it puts “fear and hatred” of Islam, not Muslims, at the centre of the phobia. And the word “translates” is a masterstroke.

Under this definition, if I write publicly that Islam is inherently Christophobic and anti-Semitic according to its own texts, and a Muslim declares himself “oppressed” by my statement, who would be the interpeter for the alleged “translation”? The courts? Iqra Khalid? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

As one can see from her defined area of study, Zine is an intersectionalist, who sees the world in Marxist tropes of power and powerlessness, with white imperialists and their issue holding the power, and all disadvantaged minorities, into which category Muslims are now tucked, as the systematically disempowered.

It takes a certain chutzpah to hold that Islam, given its history of conquest of indigenous peoples, sexism, homophobia and violence against Christians and Jews, is equal in victim status — given their respective histories — to blacks, native Americans, gays and Jews. Yet that is the basic narrative thrust not only of Zine’s work, but of all the “scholars” promoting the Islamophobia blasphemy-law agenda...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

No good deed goes unpunished - Gaza sisters smuggled explosives on way to Israeli hospital

JERUSALEM — Two Palestinian sisters from Gaza were caught trying to smuggle explosives hidden in medicine containers into Israel as they were headed for cancer treatment at a Jerusalem hospital, authorities said, accusing Hamas militants of trying to use the women to carry out an attack.

In a statement, the Shin Bet security agency said the women had entry permits to Israel for medical treatment. It said they were caught Wednesday...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

LGBTQ police officers' group calls it 'unacceptable' for city to fund Pride

The head of the city's police union delivered a letter to the mayor's office Wednesday that calls it "unacceptable" for Toronto to sponsor this year's Pride Festivities when the Toronto Police Service has been excluded from participating.

Mike McCormack read the letter for reporters Wednesday morning after walking into the mayor's office at city hall to deliver a copy.

Pride is slated to receive a $260,000 city grant this year.

The letter, from the force's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Internal Support Network Executive Committee and addressed to McCormack, says that "we, as city employees, would feel completely devalued and unsupported by our employer should they fund this event at this time.

"How can we possibly feel appreciated by our employer while they sponsor an event that its own employees have been disinvited from participating in as full, equal, and active participants in their role as city employees," the letter goes on.

"We can think of no examples in Canada where either a public or private employer has been a lead sponsor for an event their employees were asked not to participate in."...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Of course the Allies knew about the Nazi death camps before 1945

News has come out that secret files reveal that allied leaders know about the Nazi death camps and Hitler's plan to exterminate the Jews as early as 1942.

Except it isn't news.

Americans such as the Dulles Brothers, John Foster, who was a Secretary of State, and Allan, who headed the CIA were well aware of Nazi extermination plans. The Dulles brothers were war profiteers who made deals with Nazis and with Ibn Saud for oil revenues. They wanted as many dead Jews as possible in order to prevent them going to Palestine to establish a Jewish homeland there.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Muslim panel leads fight against Motion 103

“The real threat to Canada is not Islamophobia, it is radical Islam and Islamofascism,” said Muslim activist and panel member Asif Javaid, at a groundbreaking event that brought Muslims together who oppose a Liberal MP’s motion to condemn Islamophobia. They packed the hall in a Mississauga venue.
The motion passed in Parliament in March and many there fear it will lead to a bill that would muzzle free speech and be a slippery slope to Sharia law. In a statement on the flyer advertising the event, it states, “On April 9, join Muslims Against M103 to protest the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami agenda in Canada’s highest corridors of power, the House of Commons.”

Broadcaster Tahir Gora was concerned about the mixing of politics with religion. “Most politicians supported it for their short term political gains. They can’t understand the magnitude of damage that Muslims in Canada would face.”

A impassioned Tarek Fatah, columnist and author, proclaimed, “The target of this M 103 has been Muslims who stand up to the jihadi agenda and fight for Canada’s treasured institution of freedom of speech that this initiative tries to stifle.” Because of his unbridled criticism of Islam, he has a bounty of one million rupees on his head in Pakistan.

Furthermore, they agreed, there will be a backlash of segregation and polarization of Muslims , which will incur more discrimination and more violence. “Please don’t politicize our faith. Please don’t segregate Muslims,” Javaid pleaded.

Dismissing Islamophobia as a “myth” they pointed out that there are eleven Muslim MP’s sitting in Parliament – the highest ever. The Minister of Immigration is a black Muslim. The highest number of refugees coming to Canada are Muslim.

“They don’t want to go to Muslim countries. The real enemy of Muslims are Muslims”, said Fatah. “They have been killing each other since the Prophet died. No Muslim wants to seek refuge in a Muslim country.”...

It Turns Out Alex Jones Is Just Pretending

Infowars’ Alex Jones is just pretending when hosting his show, where he frequently espouses conspiracy theories and recently challenged actor Alec Baldwin to a fistfight.

That’s what his lawyer, Randall Wilhite argued at a recent pretrial hearing, the Austin-American Statesman first reported. Jones is currently battling his ex-wife in court over custody of their children. His case will depend on convincing jurors that Alex Jones the Infowars host is different from Alex Jones the person.

“He’s playing a character,” Wilhite said, according to the Statesman. “He is a performance artist.”...

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Mark Steyn Show: Talking with Jordan Peterson about fighting language wars with politically correct leftists

Because of badly written Canadian laws, foreign entities can buy Canadian elections

As long as they funnel the money through Canadian '3rd party' organizations, which are only sightly more difficult to set up than a lemonade stand in your front yard, foreigners can put unlimited amounts of money to use to purchase Canadian election results.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trump opponents are dismayed that most Trump supporters aren't dismayed by his inconsistencies

...They knew all along that they were not voting for a man with concrete convictions. And they continue to see that lack of rigidity — his preference for the transactional over the dogmatic — as a quality they want in a chief executive.

So while much of the country sees the swerving on policy as another sign of White House dysfunction, many conservatives shrug it off as esoteric jockeying over foreign alliances, currency manipulation and economic policy. They are focused more, they say, on what they see as a litany of recent victories.

Illegal border crossings are down sharply, a development that Mr. Sessions promoted in a visit to Arizona this week. The Department of Homeland Security just closed its process for accepting bids for construction of a border wall. A new Supreme Court justice adored by conservatives, Neil M. Gorsuch, joined the court this week. And Mr. Trump signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood...

More at The New York Times

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Your baby is an evil racist

I've met Kang Lee and discussed his research into the lying behavior of children with him. Dr. Lee and his team are the only redeeming element at OISE, because, aside from his brilliance, his seems to be the only area there which hasn't become heavily politicized. Yet.

U of T Professor Kang Lee says two of his recent studies indicate that racial bias may arise in babies as young as six to nine months of age.

Lee, a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, says that lack of exposure to other races may be the cause.

He and researchers from the University of Toronto, the U.S., U.K., France and China, show that six to nine month olds demonstrate racial bias in favour of members of their own race and racial bias against those of other races.

In the first study, published in Developmental Science, Lee  showed that six- to nine-month-old babies begin to associate faces from their own race with happy music and those from other races with sad music.

In the second study, published in Child Development, the researchers found that babies as young as six months were more inclined to learn information from an adult of his or her own race, rather than from an adult of a different race.

“The results show that race-based bias already exists around the second half of a child’s first year,” said Lee, a Canada Research Chair in moral development and developmental neuroscience and lead author of the studies. “This challenges the popular view that race-based bias first emerges only during the preschool years.”

He believes the results of these studies are important given the issues of widespread racial bias and racism around the world.

“These findings thus point to the possibility that racial bias may arise out of our lack of exposure to other-race individuals in infancy,” Lee said. “If we can pinpoint the starting point of racial bias, which we may have done here, we can start to find ways to prevent racial biases from happening.”...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh: It’s time to ramp up the pressure on Iran — it’s more fragile than we think

A consensus has developed in Washington for some “push back” against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Democrats and Republicans would be well-advised to learn from the Cold War: don’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control. We should contain and roll back Iran and its growing army of proxy militias. We should target the clerical regime’s Achilles’ heel — popular disgust with theocracy. Human rights ought to be a priority for American Iran policy.

The Green Revolt, which erupted in Iran in 2009 after a disputed presidential election, may be a faded memory for many in Washington, but it continues to haunt Iran. Contrary to the accepted wisdom of the Obama administration, the disturbances of that summer posed a serious threat to the Islamist order. In a speech in 2013, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei admitted that the Green Movement brought the regime to the “edge of the cliff.” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, has similarly described the post-election period as a “greater danger for the system and the Islamic revolution” than the Iran-Iraq War. “We went to the brink of overthrow in this sedition,” Jafari stated. The regime’s security services proved unreliable. Dissension spread even within the guards. Khamenei had to dismiss several commanders. The ruling elite, which had perfected the strategy of staging large pro-regime demonstrations, dared not bring its supporters out for more than six months. Every commemoration day became an occasion for protest.

The Green Movement has altered the relationship between state and society. The Islamic Republic of Iran was never a routine authoritarian regime as it offered the people a voice through controlled elections. The possibility of reform through the ballot box offered a safety valve to the ruling elite. Enterprising intellectuals and activists clung to the hope for peaceful electoral change, even after the regime crushed the Second of Khordad Movement, imprisoning, torturing and exiling many of those who’d made a cheerful, mildly reformist cleric, Mohammad Khatami, president in 1997. But the repression that followed the 2009 election trashed the regime’s remaining legitimacy, brutalizing beyond repair the “loyal opposition” — the first- and second-generation revolutionaries who had cherished the promise of a less authoritarian Islamic state.

The regime’s survival is now dependent on unsteady security services and the power of patronage, which ebbs and flows with the price of oil. Iran’s continuing stage-managed elections and colourless apparatchiks, including President Hassan Rouhani, a founding father of the feared intelligence ministry who mimics reformist slogans, have failed to convince much less inspire. Today, the Islamist regime resembles the Soviet Union of the 1970s — an exhausted entity incapable of reforming itself while drowning in corruption and bent on costly imperialism.

If Washington were serious about doing to Iran what it helped to do to the U.S.S.R, it would seek to weaken the theocracy by pressing it on all fronts...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fly the friendly skies

Trump Has a Strategy for Destroying the Islamic State — and It’s Working

Defeating the Islamic State was candidate Trump’s top national-security priority, one of the few policy issues on which he was consistent. While his claim to have a secret plan — and that keeping it secret was good strategy — was risible to national security experts, his policy goals were and are consistent. American effort should focus on fighting the Islamic State. Regime change to push Bashar al-Assad out of power was not only a lesser objective, but counterproductive to a stable end-state for Syria that prevents terrorism and too costly given Russia and Iran’s support for the regime. Stability is to be prioritized over humanitarian relief or democracy promotion. Russia is to be palliated, their interests supported.

He proclaimed that “we are going to convey my top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.” While strictly speaking that deadline has passed without apparent formal approval, the Departments of State and Defense have indeed been prioritizing defeating the Islamic State. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his first big international event the gathering of the coalition fighting the Islamic State, reinforcing the president’s twin messages that it is the administration’s top national-security priority, and that “the United States will increase our pressure on ISIS and al Qaeda and will work to establish interim zones of stability, through ceasefires, to allow refugees to return home.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis met early with Middle Eastern partners and has taken a number of decisions that look to strengthen forces in the fight: increasing the number of American servicemen and women in Iraq and Syria, reinterpreting the advise-and-assist mission to put U.S. forces closer to the front, parachuting U.S. forces in to sever routes around Mosul, getting presidential approval for greater delegation of authority for operations, and further delegating that authority to commanders...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls for regime change in Syria

Syria is a client-state of Iran, the world's top state-sponsor of terrorism.

Iran is the real root of the Syria problem, and Iran needs Syria to feed weapons to its proxy in Lebanon, the terror group Hezbollah.

Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for regime change in Syria.

That will take more than words. It requires the commitment of soldiers and military resources.

Will Trudeau contribute more than just words to ridding Syria of the dictator Bashar al-Assad?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot remain as leader, and he must be held to account for perpetrating war crimes against his own people, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today.
Speaking to reporters at Juno Beach in France, Trudeau said the international community must work in "unity, solidarity and firmness" in response to recent chemical weapons attacks carried out by the Assad regime against civilians. He said Assad is not part of a medium or long-term future for a peaceful Syria after committing "bloody actions."

"There is no question that anyone who is guilty of the types of war crimes against innocents, against children — that Assad and his regime are — needs to be held to account, and we need to move as quickly as possible toward peace and stability in Syria that does not involve Bashar al-Assad," he said.

Trudeau said Russia and Iran must play a role in ending the conflict. He didn't rule out further sanctions against Russia.

"Countries that have been supportive of the Assad regime bear some of the responsibility for the chemical attacks on innocents, civilians, on children last week," he said...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The New Jacobins: Where Israel Is Involved, the Suppression of Campus Speech Is an Old Story

...Something is clearly amiss on North American campuses, and this recent spate of disrupted events has brought to the forefront a troubling phenomenon on campuses that supporters of Israel have been experiencing for more than a decade already. Anti-Israel campus activists have conducted an ongoing campaign to delegitimize and libel Israel, and their tactics include a concerted and blatant attempt to shut down dialogue and debate—anything that will help to “normalize” Zionism, permit pro-Israel views to be aired, or generate support for the Jewish state.

The marauding, virtue-signaling bullies who were successful in suppressing the speech of conservative speakers whose views they had predetermined could not even be uttered on campus share a common set of characteristics with the campus activists who have led the assault against Israel and Jewish students who support it: it is they, and they alone, who know what it acceptable speech, what ideas are appropriate and allowed, which groups are victims of oppression and should, therefore receive special accommodation for their behavior and speech, which views are progressive (and therefore virtuous) and which views are regressive (and therefore hateful), which causes are worthy of support and which are, because of their perceived moral defects, worthy of opprobrium.

Repeatedly told by faculty and administrators that they need and deserve “safe spaces” where their sensibilities will not be offended, crippled with preconceived progressive fantasies about a world without conflicts where all cultures are equal, these students have become ill-equipped to defend their intellectual positions and therefore do not wish to inconvenience themselves by having to defend their views. Feelings, not ideas, are what count; emotionality now trumps rationality.

Ideas which are contrary to these social justice warriors’ acceptable worldview are dismissed as contemptible—not even worthy of being debated—or are neutralized by designations which characterize it as hate speech because it is, depending on the victim groups attacked, racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or homophobic. So sure of their righteousness and ideology are they that they do not even try to hide their preconceived notions and evident bias against ideas they have decided are beyond the pale or unworthy of being given voice. One telling example was a controversy involving The McGill Daily and its editors’ astonishing published admission that it is that paper’s policy to not publish “pieces which promote a Zionist worldview, or any other ideology which we consider oppressive [emphasis added].” 
The notion that a vocal minority of self-important ideologues can determine what views may or may not be expressed on a particular campus is not only antithetical to the purpose of a university, but is vaguely fascistic by relinquishing power to a few to decide what can be said and what speech is allowed and what must be suppressed; it is what former Yale University president Bartlett Giamatti characterized as the “tyranny of group self-righteousness.”...

Furey: The decline of history at schools is furthering the SJW madness

...“History, in short, is in trouble,” Ferguson observes after looking at how the enrolment numbers and courses on offer have changed over the decades. “History departments neglect the defining events of modern world history in favor of topics that are either arcane or agitprop, sometimes both. The result has been a sustained decline in history enrolments. The long-term effects on the elite who are educated at top American universities are unlikely to be positive. The ‘United States of Amnesia’ will get no better at learning from history if the people who end up running the republic know next to no history at all.”

The share of history and social science degrees has dropped from 18% of all undergraduate degrees at U.S. schools in 1971 to 9% in 2014. This doesn’t tell the full story either. Because the type of history being studied has changed alongside these declining numbers.

“The data reveal a very big increase in the number of historians who specialize in women and gender, which has risen from 1% of the total to almost 10%,” Ferguson notes. “As a result, gender is now the single most important subfield in the academy.”

The first and more obvious way this connects to Peterson is that if gender studies numbers are on the rise they’re, of course, going to see a professor who’s standing up to their racket as a threat and mobilize against him.

But it’s also telling that students are losing their grasp of traditional history. It makes contemporary events so much more relative to them. Students have less of a frame of reference from which to understand the world...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Fatal dissent: When a Hezbollah commander argued with Iran

Much has been said and written about Iran’s intended entrenchment in Syria and the way Tehran is investing extraordinary human and financial resources to help President Bashar Assad survive. Still, the story of the assassination of Mustafa Badreddine, the head of Hezbollah’s military wing, illustrates with rare clarity the determination on the part of Iran and Hezbollah not to let anyone interfere with Iran’s plans in Syria.

Badreddine, the successor and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh (who was married to Badreddine’s sister, Sa’ada), was killed last May, in a mysterious explosion near Damascus International Airport. Surprisingly, Hezbollah and its allies cleared Israel of any blame. Hezbollah officials said at the time that the circumstances of the assassination were being investigated.

This assassination could have caused an enormous commotion throughout the Middle East. Badreddine, after all, was second only to Hassan Nasrallah in the Hezbollah hierarchy, and was the successor of Mughniyeh, who had been wanted all over the world for the murder of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.

Yet the entire topic disappeared from the Syrian and Lebanese agenda within days...

Friday, April 7, 2017

Glavin: Trump's unexpected strike on Syria a first and 'hopeful' sign

The Kremlin is furious. The Khomeinists in Tehran are beside themselves. U.S. President Donald Trump’s alt-right fan base has joined leftish anti-imperialists in paroxysms of betrayal and outrage. Awkwardly, Chinese president Xi Jinping was Trump’s guest at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida when those 59 Tomahawk missiles were sent flying towards the Syrian airbase at Al Shayrat, 45 kilometres from the city of Homs, so he was taken by surprise, and didn’t quite know what to say.

“The Syrian people? The Syrian people are very happy now,” George Sabra, the 70-year-old routinely jailed dissident and founding president of the revolutionary Syrian National Council told me in a telephone conversation from Istanbul in the hours after Al Shayrat was hit. “This should have been done a long time ago,” he said.

“This might push Russia and Iran and the Syrian regime and send them the message that they have to stop the open massacres that have been happening in Syria for six years now,” Sabra said. Trump’s out-of-left-field missile attack might send a message to Syrian president Bashar Assad that his days are numbered, “that there is no solution by war and by weapons.”

After having counselled a hardline isolationist policy going back several years, Trump’s abrupt about-face came after Russia and China threatened on Wednesday to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning the poison gas massacre of at least 100 people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province...

Fauxcohontas speaks with forked tongue

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) failed to acknowledge Equal Pay Day for the first time in her Senate career after it was reported on Tuesday that women working in her Senate office earned just 71 percent of what was earned by men...

John Robson: Jordan Peterson & the suppression of dissent by the left in academia

...Though not a household name among the general public or the smart set until last fall, Jordan Peterson has long been highly respected by his colleagues. He taught at Harvard for six years before coming to the University of Toronto nearly two decades ago.

He is not merely frequently published, he is frequently cited, an increasingly important distinction given modern academic trends. And he has a strong history of successful applications for grants including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC, or “Shirk” to insiders”) giving him its largest grant ever to a psychologist back in 2012. This time, my colleague Christie Blatchford notes, he was turned down by SSHRC for money to continue that same research. Blatchford adds that it’s his first-ever rejection for a federal research grant. Moreover this application was rated as rubbish. Whatever can have happened?

Well, last year he openly said he would not call people zhi or zher and warned that by including “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the Canadian Human Rights Code and Criminal Code the government was threatening freedom of speech. Naturally his university, a bastion of academic freedom and fearless inquiry, told him to shut his face because he was causing fear among the transgendered, genderfluid, genderqueer, questioning and shouting. And now SSHRC has suddenly decided his previously brilliant research is a load of dingoes’ kidneys.

Coincidence? Some say no, thinking the turning down of Peterson’s grant as soon as he spoke out against the sexual radical juggernaut was a feature of the process not a bug. But a spokesperson for SSHRC soothingly recited talking points about merit-based review and how “past funding is not a guarantee of further funding.”

Sure. Anyone might go from internationally renowned genius to crass pumpkinhead at any moment. Furthermore, the spokesperson insisted, the assessment mechanism is “a transparent, in-depth and effective way to allocate public research funds.” To right-thinking people, it goes without saying. The first rule of dissent suppression is, don’t talk about dissent suppression...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The great Don Rickles has died

The King of Insult Humor is dead. He was almost 91 years old. They won't make another like him.

If Rickles were starting out now, there would be protests and riots where he appeared, and idiot politicians and academics would line up to denounce him. He was one of the most influential comedians in history.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why Susan Rice’s Role In The Obama Spying Story Is A Big Deal

Since Donald Trump won the election for president in November, U.S. media outlets have received and eagerly published selective, damaging leaks about him from anonymous intelligence officials. The general effort, which appeared highly coordinated, was to delegitimize Trump’s election and paint him as a stooge of Russia or otherwise unfit for office.

The media outlets claimed their information came from very highly placed officials in the Obama administration. Even if they hadn’t claimed their anonymous sources were Obama officials, the information they were leaking, such as the name of a U.S. citizen caught up in surveillance by the Obama administration, would have been known only by highly placed intelligence officials.

As the publishers of the information that was illegally disclosed, many media outlets weren’t keen to make a story, much less a big story, about the leak campaign by Obama officials. This despite the fact that the same Obama officials who had run the infamous Iran Echo Chamber operation, in which reporters were duped into reporting the Obama administration’s spin on the Iran deal, had bragged that they’d continue a highly developed communications operation in the Trump era...

Steyn: Media Annoyed Someone Has Outfaked Their Fake News

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

1984 doesn't describe Trump's America nearly so well as it does Trudeau's Canada

A place where the government controls the media and news reports are all favorable to the official government policy of the moment.

A place where idiotic, contradictory slogans that are meant to condition the masses into complacency and support of their own oppression are parroted by bureaucrats and 'right-thinking' citizens. You hear them everyday, like "Freedom is Slavery" "Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech," and "Diversity Is Strength."

A place where the government can insinuate itself into every aspect of a person's life, even to the point of persecuting and imprisoning them for expressing politically incorrect ideas.

That was the dystopian society of Orwell's 1984, which was meant as a warning of what can happen under a Marxist dictatorship. But I have bad news for the throngs of vacuous people who are rushing to see the movie version of 1984 today, who see it as a parallel for what's happening in the America of Donald Trump's presidency. They've got their countries and their Big Brothers mixed up.

America has a 1st Amendment that guarantees free speech. If Trump is a fascist dictator, it's an odd kind of dictatorship where the media is continually demonizing him and literally no one is afraid to speak out against him in the most extreme terms imaginable.

We discovered this week that it's not Trump who was monitoring anyone's private communications, but he was the one being monitored.

But in the Canada of Justin Trudeau, things are very different.

There is a government-owned media, the CBC, which overwhelmingly publishes obsequious praise of Canada's head of government, Justin Trudeau and his policies.

Canada has institutionalized its misnamed Human Rights Commissions, which in true Orwellian fashion exist not to give people rights, but to deprive them of free speech if they venture into what the government decides in 'hate speech.' Canadian government functionaries frequently denounce those it deems thought criminals.

With the endorsement of their government, Canadian Marxists have effectively taken over the public education system and are brainwashing children into repeating slogans like "diversity is our strength." Diversity is neither a strength nor a weakness. It is a facet of things that can either be beneficial, harmful, or contain elements of both. It comes from the same Latin root meaning disagreement and division, which are not, of themselves, elements that strengthen societies. They are only strengths if societies learn how to effectively manage them, and in that Canada has had at best mixed results.

In Orwell's 1984, Ignorance is Strength was one of the slogans that The Party used to mollify the masses. The ignorance of those who think that 1984 applies to 2017 in the United States while championing the Orwellian manipulation employed by Canada's government are proving the contempt Orwell expressed for the great masses of people in his novel was justified.

‘An opportunity to make their displeasure known’: Pronoun professor loses government funding

TORONTO — University of Toronto psychology professor Dr. Jordan Peterson has had a federal research grant application denied for the first time in his long and distinguished academic career. 
And he’s certain that the rejection from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the government agency that supports post-secondary research, is linked to the controversy surrounding his stand on gender-neutral pronouns such as “zie” and “zher,” and the modern notion of gender as being fluid.

That his application was also rated so poorly is telling, he said, meaning that if the proposal had just missed the mark, it might have been a credible critique, but the proposal failed abysmally.

Julia Gualtieri, spokeswoman for the council, said in an email Monday that grants are awarded through a merit review process, and that “past funding is not a guarantee of further funding.” Names of the peer review committee members will be publicly posted once all applicants have been fully notified, she said.

Peterson sparked a free-speech furor last fall with YouTube videos about the dangers of the then-looming (and now law) federal Bill C-16, which included “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code.

He was immediately warned by the university “to stop repeating these statements” because they were purportedly inciting fear in the transgendered community.

And at the time, Peterson said he knew he was most vulnerable to attack in two areas — his grant funding and his licence as a clinical psychologist.

“I think that it’s (the controversy) provided someone with a convenient opportunity to make their displeasure with what I’m doing known,” he told Postmedia in a recent phone interview...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Will the Trump Administration reverse Obama's Title IX Madness?

The Title IX regulations brought into effect by the Obama Administration have created embarrassment after embarrassment, and turned Universities into kangaroo courts ruling on sexual harassment charges which they are completely unqualified to adjudicate. 

The result has been chaos, unjustly destroyed lives and many lawsuits.
...In the spring of 2014, Yale convened a hearing panel to consider a formal complaint filed against this young man by a female classmate. In accordance with the Obama administration’s sweeping reinvention of Title IX in an April 2011 directive, Yale restricted Doe’s due process rights. In early June, the panel determined that Doe engaged in sexual intercourse with the complainant without her consent—a statutory definition of rape—and should be suspended for two semesters. That is a serious punishment carrying lifelong consequences but outlandishly lenient for so grave an offense.

After the panel issued its findings, Yale Law School Professor Jed Rubenfeld agreed to serve as Doe’s adviser. A leading scholar of constitutional law, privacy, the First Amendment, and criminal law, Rubenfeld wrote a detailed letter on June 11 to then-Dean of Yale College Mary Miller, a professor of art history, before she issued her decision based on the panel’s findings. Rubenfeld advised Miller that Yale’s handling of Doe’s case exposed the university to “potential legal liability as well as detriment to Yale’s ongoing efforts both to deal with the very real problem of sexual assault on campus and to respond fairly and effectively to claims of sexual misconduct.”

Yale’s fact-finder, Yale’s hearing panel, as well as both the complainant and Doe agreed to the “core facts,”...

Obama's National Security Adviser Sought Names of Trump Associates in Intel

White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."

The National Security Council's senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice's multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel's office, who reviewed more of Rice's requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations -- primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.

Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on Monday morning...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

How SpaceX's Historic Rocket Re-Flight Boosts Elon Musk's Mars Plan

Elon Musk's Mars-colonization vision just got a step closer to reality.

On Thursday (March 30), Musk's company SpaceX successfully launched the SES-10 communications satellite to Earth orbit using a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket whose first stage already had one spaceflight under its belt.

The mission demonstrated the type of technology that could help make Mars settlement economically feasible, Musk said.

"There needs to be at least a 100-fold, if not perhaps a 1,000-fold, reduction in the cost per ton to Mars — actually, maybe 10,000-fold," he said Thursday during a postlaunch teleconference with reporters.

"And reusability is absolutely fundamental to that goal," Musk added. "So this, I think, is a very helpful proof point that it's possible, and I hope people start to think of it as a real goal to which we should aspire — to establish a civilization on Mars."