Friday, June 29, 2007

Time For Brits to Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

So, the British seemed to have lucked out and stopped an attempted terrorist double bombing shortly before hundreds of people might have been killed and maimed. And, it seems as though it was little more than luck, with ambulance drivers attending a call outside a nightclub noticing smoke coming from an abandoned Mercedes which led to the discovery of the first bomb and prompting a police search leading to the second.

The scenario was a perfect islamist type attack pattern, very similar to the attacks in Bali several years ago, also in a nightclub district, that killed some 200 tourists, more than half of them Australian. The idea is that as people flee the first bomb they stumble right into the second, inflicting maximum terror and carnage on those who would have just a few minutes earlier been enjoying a night of revelry.

It seems likely this was meant to put new British PM Gordon Brown on the defensive, particularly as he vacillates over Britain's commitment in Iraq. The islamists are not stupid; they learned from their efforts in Spain that Europeans can be easily cowed in this day and age. They learned Americans can not nor can Australians. The jury remains out in Canada where we have yet to suffer such an attack so the reaction to same cannot be measured, and hopefully never will be.

At least one British official, with no evidence whatsoever, announced it the work of foreign terrorists. I'd be willing to give him odds - though I have no more proof as I write this than he did - that precisely the opposite will prove true. I'm betting this was the work of some more British homegrown jihadis.

One wonders if the Brits will ever learn. They have bent over backwards to accommodate islam. They have allowed all kinds of shenanigans that no reasonable people would put up with, agreeing to bigger and bigger mosques, radical clerics in their midst and societal changes to avoid "offending" muslims. Further, they are historically and currently anti-Semitic, from the halls of their governments to their media to their academic circles. Perhaps the average person on the street thinks differently but I have my doubts.

Yet, for all of this, the British have now been targeted at least three times in the past two years with the successful Tube attacks of July 7, 2005 about to mark their second anniversary.

The lesson is that the more we accommodate radical islam, the more its adherents will attack, the more ferocious those attacks will be and the less able we are to stem them. If the British want to be around in 50 years in any recognizable form, they'd best stop ignoring the wake up calls.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Democrats Back the Nutjob

It is difficult to define how moronic Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Richardson sounded today when they urged continued dialogue with Iran.

"In this vacuum, Tehran continues its progress toward developing nuclear weapons and increasing its influence in the region," Clinton told the Center for a New American Security. "After initial talks with Iran and Syria on Iraq, the administration says it isn't sure that we need any more discussions with either of them. I think we should keep talking."

Richardson was even more ridiculous. According to AP: Richardson, who served as U.N. ambassador for Clinton's husband, said that instead of lecturing Iran's leadership, the United States should talk with them without preconditions. And instead of using inflammatory names, such as "Axis of Evil," the U.S. and its allies should seek and find common ground, particularly with moderates unhappy with the current leadership.

What is showing here is their appalling ignorance in the face of facts and a partisanship that more than matches the Bush White House's for shrillness.

In fact, had either Richardson or Clinton bothered reading or listening to the news today, they would have learned that Iranians were rioting over new gas prices and rationing. If either of them had more than oatmeal for brains, they would have known that Iran has been increasingly intolerant of its dissidents and is cracking down hard, has sent its religious police into the streets to crush any sign of non-islamic behaviour and is seizing and holding foreigners including British sailors and, at the moment, 4 Americans.

There is plenty of dissatisfaction in Iran right now and today's actions only brought some of that to light. The pressure, exerted by US-led sanctions, is working. If Iranians rise up and throw the crazy bastards out of power before the crazies get too close to building nukes, it would be the best possible outcome.

Richardson also doesn't seem to have listed any common ground that the US currently shares with Iran. Let's see: one is a secular democracy and the other is a madman-run theocracy. One extends protections to all its citizens, the other is run by decree. One wants to wipe out another nation, the other is a close friend of that nation. One supports Lebanese democracy, the other wants to hand it over to Syria...etc, etc. There is no relevant common ground for Iran and the US at the moment and Richardson's rhetoric doesn't change one iota of that very basic fact.

Further, how dare Clinton, who wouldn't even be able to show her face in public if she lived in Iran, support bolstering such a system with meaningless talks? Iran has not lived by a single condition set for it by the UN. Further, Mahmoud Ahmamadman has given no indications whatsoever that he would abide by any future conditions. And, the "vacuum" she speaks of that has led to continued development of nuclear weapons by Iran are the conditions set by China and Russia, not the US. Harsher sanctions may well have achieved their desired goal by now.

Sadly, some Democrat candidates have reached the point where they will pander to the worst human elements on the planet before they will agree with any of Bush's policies. It's a horrible mistake for them to be making but one I guess we've all become accustomed to and, hopefully, one that will come back to haunt them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Throwing Money Into the Abbas Abyss

So, once again the Israelis are releasing hundreds of prisoners and forking over millions of dollars to the palestinians while governments and organizations around the world rally to prop up another corrupt palestinian leader.

And, for what?

Is Mahmoud Abbas all of a sudden going to turn into a true leader? Is he going to end the corruption in fatah that helped get hamas elected? Is he going to crack down on terrorism? Is he going to change the palestinian school system, media and religious groups so that they stop creating a culture of hatred and death? Is he going to use the money to build the infrastructure the palestinians will need if they are ever to run their own country?

Don't be ridiculous.

Abbas, "the moderate", will be doing none of these things. At best, he will use the money to fight internal dissidents and hamas while continuing to operate an autocratic government.

Apparently, all Abbas has to do is not be hamas and he gets the support of everyone except Iran, Syria and al-Qaida. Nevermind that his new government was not elected - guess that isn't important anymore. Fatah's blood-stained hands don't matter anymore nor does its long history of misappropriating and misuing funding while the people who are supposed to benefit get nothing.

In fact, Israel, the US and the West are so thrilled with the new, improved Abbas, he's not being asked to do anything except open his arms to accept the mountain of cash that is about to drop on him.

Fatah's ass-kicking in Gaza is the best thing that ever happened to Mahmoud.

It shouldn't be. There's absolutely no reason to prop up fatah. They offer nothing in terms of peace with Israel and improvement for palestinians. The fact that they're not islamist, as hamas is, is irrelevant because both groups ignore human rights, accept and endorse violence and lack any plan for governance of a sort compatible with human progress.

This is merely another repetition of a historical pattern that seems set to go on indefinitely. And, in the end, it's a tragic joke on millions of people who should be better served by their leaders, both in the West Bank and Israel.

Friday, June 22, 2007


And, I can never not respond. There are few enough people who read this blog so I can't afford to upset them...

This one comes courtesy of Michael at olehmusings, one of the blogs I always make sure to check because he gives a really nice reflection of life in Israel from the perspective of someone who grew up in North America and because when he talks about his young children, it reminds me of when my own were that age.

1) Name your favorite band and singer. (The singer can’t be from the band)
Favourite singer I don't even have to think about: Neil Young. Favourite band is a little tougher but I'll take the Rolling Stones. One thing I love about the Stones is the wide range of musical genres they've tackled and how they've made them all sound good. Even country music is enjoyable when Mick breaks out on Dead Flowers or Girl With the Faraway Eyes.

2) Favorite historical politician (domestic)? (Historical = Dead)
I live in Canada so asking for one's favourite historical politician is kind of like trying to pick one brand of vanilla over another. I guess I'd go with John A. MacDonald (our first Prime Minister and legenday souse - at least we'd have a good time downing some brewskis).
On the other hand, I was born in the States so I guess I'm free to pick an American, too. I'd go with Thomas Jefferson; there have been attempts recently to besmirch his name but to me he still ranks as one of history's great Renaissance men and the person whose words set the tone for American democracy and the emergence of truly free societies.

3) Favorite historical politician (International)?

Well, could go with Jefferson again, lol, but that would be unfair.
I've always been fascinated by Golda Meir. There is no way she got where she got through anything but intelligence and sheer determination and she had such an incredible way of summarizing the Israeli/arab relationship.

4) You’re giving a Hollywood pitch (25 words or less) about your Blog — GO
It's about nothing (oh, wait, that's been done before).
So, I'll go with: "look, I'm a Jew. And we all know Jews run Hollywood and ZOG said you have to buy it no matter what it's about."

5) Other then where you live now, what city do you like?
Sydney, Australia.

6) Favorite modern politician? (In office now)
It's too early to tell but I'm hoping it will be Nicholas Sarkozy in the near future. A France that's engaged in world events and protecting freedom would be much better than what they've been giving to the world for the past several decades.
I can't think of too many politicians who've done much to earn my respect in recent years.

7) Are you a Wilsonian Idealist or Nixonian Realist in foreign policy?
Michael at olehmusings wrote he was a Reaganist: challenge your enemies and force their hand. I liked that response.
I prefer Wilson's foreign policy to Nixon's but I don't align myself with either. Idealism is ridiculous in our world but so is pandering to dictatorships for monetary gain.

8)Favorite obscure movie?
My favourite movie of all time is Harold and Maude. It's pretty obscure.

9) What is your favorite restaurant?
I don't even know the name of it but I had dinner in a restaurant in Washington, D.C. once where you ordered crabs by the bucket and that's what they brought you: a bucket full of crabs and a wooden mallet to crack them open with. And, when you were done one bucket, they brought you another. The whole experience was just a hoot.

10) Choose a music video on YouTube. Why that one?
I don't often click anything on YouTube. But I saw one the other day where people from countries like Ethiopia were talking about the contributions of Israel to helping them in times of need while Bob Dylan's Neighbourhood Bully played in the background. It was a good reminder that Israel takes way too much crap even as it lends assistance whenever and whereever asked.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Rare Nugget From UN official

According to the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, there are now almost 10 million displaced people on Earth with a 14 per cent increase recorded in 2006.

The figure does not include the palestinians, which should be because they're not refugees but is actually due to the fact the UN has a special refugee department, the UN Reliefs and Works Agency that does nothing but suck up to the palestinians.

Anyway, the head of the UNHCR is naturally very concerned about this situation and predicts more and more people will become displaced and that economic and environmental refugees will join the more common class of refugees created through armed conflict.

What is amazing is that Antonio Guterres actually understands why, which is the UN equivalent of a blind pig finding a truffle.

"What is worrying is that this is happening in the absence of international capacity and determination to respond," Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal was quoted as saying.

Exactly. The situation is worsening because organizations like the UN have failed, miserably failed, to get the world determined to respond to anything. And, what's worse,but which Guterres doesn't say, is that in many cases, the UN is absolutely complicit in allowing all kinds of human rights violations occur on a wide scale, leading to, among other things, displaced persons.

The EU is also complicit. NATO less so, but not entirely innocent. The Chinese, the arab league and a hodgepodge of other countries or groups even more so.

What we need to learn is that in order to prevent such abuses, we need to tie aid and largesse to human rights improvements and a cessation of mindless violence. It does not serve the average person in most nations receiving aid at all to prop up dictatorships and oligarchies with large infusions of cash. The cash doesn't reach the people; it gets diverted into luxuries and bank accounts. If we're going to spend our money, let us use it to buy some freedoms.

Guterres' comment isn't going to get much play but it should. Because it's got a germ of the idea of what's happening. Common sense is sadly lacking in UN and diplomatic circles and should be promoted and augmented whenever found.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Khelad Meshaal and the Great World Conspiracy

It actually took longer than it should have but one of the palestinian "leaders" finally got around to blaming everyone else for the palestinian civil war.
Predictably, he had a special shout out for Israel.

According to hamasshole head honcho Khelad Meshaal, speaking to AFP from whereever it is he's hiding these days (Syria, I think):

"We attribute to the international community, which has kept silent about the crimes of Israel, the primary responsibility for our internal crisis, although we acknowledge that we ourselves also have part of the responsibility," he said in an interview to Al-Jazeera television.

"We reject the division of the nation. The problem is not with Fatah or with brother Abu Mazen (Abbas)."

Palestinians, you see, are tossing people off buildings, summarily executing them with a bullet to the head or riddling their entire bodies with bullets, because Israel makes them do it.

Oddly, it doesn't seem to have stopped hamas from celebrating its takeover of Gaza with great joy and more killings. I guess when palis celebrate, Israel must be making them do that, too.

Sadly, Meshaal was not the only delusional arab today, just the most delusional one. The Saudis, for instance, implied Israel was behind all of this as well.

What has happened, in reality, is that what was always going to happen has happened. A palestinian civil war was a predictable outcome for years. Israel didn't need to do anything; the palis couldn't avoid this because they have been either brutally oppressed by their thuggish leaders and those leaders' security forces or they have gleefully joined in the bloodlust.

The taught and encouraged hate has to have an outlet. They built a society steeped in a message of death and destruction and now they are reaping the fruits of their labour.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You Have to Be Hunter S. Thompson to Understand the Palestinians

In order to make sense of the palestinians and the world's reaction to their actions, one would, I think, have to be on a combined cocktail mix of LSD, ecstasy and alcohol.

LSD to sort out the surreal behaviour that the palestinians display. Alcohol to experience the kind of rage they seem to display at each and every turn. Ecstasy to comprehend why any world government or organization still treats them as though they are worth our time - especially as so many other people live in squalor and misery that is not of their own making.

As anyone who reads or watches news knows, the palestinians have been busy beating the crap out of each other in Gaza for the past week. This has included killing women and children, gangland style shootings of captured enemies and other such activities such as dropping living people off rooftops and turning them into jelly.

Hamas has now overrun Gaza with the full intention of turning it into a typical islamic thugocracy backed by Iran and Syria, at least until Israel gets sick of Qassam rockets and Olmert grows some balls (which, sadly, might be never). Fatah is holed up in the West Bank. Both sides are issuing forth the usual arab assmonkey rhetoric that we are all so familiar with. There is no end in sight. Sadly women and children are caught in the crossfire. Gladly, many fatahdiots and hamassholes are being sent to Allah and the more of those, the better.

But, to hear the rest of the world, there is something salvageable about the palestinians. The US has backed Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, "the moderate" (LOL). Condi Rice, ever becoming more like Colin Powell by the day, has pledged the US will not abandon the palestinians and will work towards getting the peace process back on track (where it has not been since the Oslo Accord). The US administration is dreaming in technicolour - and it's, by far, one of the more realistic nations when it comes to viewing the palestinians.

It speaks volumes that most of the lefty groups haven't commented at all, despite the clear violations of every human right imaginable. The palestinians, of course, violate human rights more often than I blink, but this time they're doing it in full daylight. Yet, nothing...

Imagine the reaction if Israeli soldiers tossed a palestinian from a rooftop.

Personally, I say let them fight it out. The palestinians have been headed for civil war for months and the only real surprise is that it took this long to for it to begin in earnest.

Meanwhile, if I were Israel, I'd be eyeing Iran's nuclear facilities very closely right now. Get 'em while the rest of the world is at least partially distracted.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reagan Had It Right

I didn't realize it until I watched the Colbert Report this evening (and, boy, hasn't he surpassed Jon Stewart?) but this was the 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's famous "Mr. Gorbachev...tear down this wall" speech.

Within a couple of years of that speech, the Berlin Wall had, indeed, been torn down and the world was, for at least a short time, transformed.

Sadly, there was not a single mention of this on the news networks I watched or newspapers and Web sites I read today. It probably should have been front and centre in many of them.

It comes at a time when I'm reading Natan Sharansky's book "The Case for Democracy." In it, Sharansky pays a lot of attention to Reagan's speech; it marked a clear reversal from the policy of detente that allowed the Soviet Union to pretend to be peaceful while still funding violent movements and crushing civil rights internally. Sharansky, himself, at one time faced trial for a charge that could have brought the death penalty.

Sharansky argues that you cannot have peace without freedom, that the Western world should not yield its knowledge, economic advances and military capabilities to non-democracies without attaching conditions of demonstrated improvement in its external and, particularly, internal policies. The Soviet Union, he says, could have have been forced into collapse earlier by increased isolation and pressure from the West rather than the legitimacy it was offered through allowing it to remain a "fear" society.

I was in my late teens when Reagan came to office. I was young and naive and subject to the normal tendencies of people that age, believed Reagan was a nut who stood a good chance of getting us all killed by getting in the face of the Soviet Union. I was totally wrong and have known, without question, exactly how wrong I was since the start of the second palestinian intifailure.

I can only say that, thankfully, 19-year-olds can't be President unless it's of a frat house. Reagan, for whatever faults he had, helped bring an end to the Soviet Union which was a great boon for the world. If there was a candidate for '08 who would approach the current situation in Russia and China in much the same manner, it would be a good thing.

At any rate, the West really does need to stand up to tyranny and to tie its aid and support to nations that are striving to give their citizens a better life.

Unfortunately, that means a lot of people would have to stop acting like teenagers - believing that any sacrifice is too much sacrifice and that all people can be swayed by words.

There may not be that many things worth fighting for but our freedom is unquestionably one of them. And, if we act intelligently (ie. before a crisis), all we have to sacrifice is some of our economic largesse along with some diplomatic niceties.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Letters from Lefty Losers

Canada's far-left dingbats are at it again, this time boycotting bookstores and mailing letters to soldiers and their families asking them to desert instead of serving in Afghanistan.

In the case of the soldiers, letters have begun appearing at the homes of members of Canada's famous Royal 22nd Regiment (based in Quebec and known as the Vandoos - for those unfamiliar with French, 22 (Vingt deux) is prounounced roughly as Vandoo. 2,300 members of the Regiment are due to deploy next month to Afghanistan where they will be helping to rebuild a war-torn society now embarking down the road to freedom and democracy and protecting its citizens from the regressive, misogynistic, scumbags known as the Taliban.

This of course, isn't appropriate according to the anti-war group Guerre a la Guerre (War against War) who should rename themselves Guerre a l'Intelligence or perhaps Guerre a la Paix. Those serving in Afghanistan are doing a wonderful job and have helped restore Canada's international position as a country that has some backbone instead of being a euroweenie outpost.

According to Joseph Bergeron, spokesmoron for Guerre a la Guerre, "we believe we have a legitimate right to offer our opinion and information to soldiers," which, of course, they do.

But, isn't it ironic that the lefties can never see we have those rights because of our soldiers?

Does Mr. Bergeron think he would have that right if the nazis had won WWII or if the islamists such as those in the Taliban ran things?

Does Mr. Bergeron think Canadians should have those rights but Afghanis should not? Is it okay if Afghanis are murdered, the women treated like dirt and the country ruined economically while its people live in squalor and fear because they're in Afghanistan and not Canada?

Does Mr. Bergeron feel that it's okay for the Taliban to be a terrorist haven as long as the terrorists attack anyone but Canada?

Actually, he probably does.

What's surprising is that Mr. Bergeron has time to talk to the media at all because he's busy writing letters and probably picketing outside Chapters bookstores, as well.

For those who don't know: Chapters is a huge Canadian chain of bookstores, owned by - oh, don't you know it - some damned Joooooos.

And, it seems these Jews, Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz, support an organization known as the Heseg Foundation which gives scholarships to Israeli soldiers for post-secondary education. And, not just any soldiers but only those who have no family to help them.

That the money has no military application is irrelevant.

That the money might actually get a soldier out of uniform and into university - as surely any good left-wing peacenik would want - is irrelevant.

That Chapters has numerous left-wing screeds on its shelves and that the only publication it ever refused in recent memory was the Western Standard that had the Muhammad cartoons in it (deemed too offensive to Islam to carry) is irrelevant.

In Canada, the freaks are now picketing Chapters outlets because the freaks hate Israel. They will support every disgusting action by arab nations but never the right of Israel to defend itself against terror or of its right even to exist.

I sincerely hope these assholes come to my hometown. There's a Chapters just down the road from my house and I love shopping there. Nothing but nothing would give me more pleasure than to break their boycott, tell them all to go fuck themselves and come back out with about $500 worth of books.

Big, heavy books. Suitable for whacking far-left idiots over the head will be the opening salvo in my declared Guerre a la Stupide.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

What's in a Name

When I was a kid, I can remember reading with interest the most popular names lists that were released each year.

Each year it seemed, names that topped the list in the English speaking world were David, Michael and John, Mary, Lisa, Jennifer, etc. That stopped about 25 years ago when people started getting more trendy with names. If it was popular on TV, it would be popular for society.

When my wife was pregnant with our children, we enjoyed looking through the baby names book. We settled on classic Hebrew names that were known but not the most common.

Today, from Britain - if I remember correctly, the place where English evolved and was spread to the world - news came that, when you combine the 14 variations in spelling, the name Mohammed is the second most popular in the nation, second only to Jack but ahead of Thomas. If the trend continues, it will be the most popular boys name in Britain by year's end.

According to the story, scholars said the rise in popularity was the growing number of young Muslims having families and the desire to honour the prophet. I don't know why it would take a scholar to figure that out; any old shlub should be able to.

The demographics in Europe show the rapid increase in the muslim population and it's no exception in Britain. The rise in the use of Mohammed is only a small indicator of what's going on. It is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

The British have practised a polished version of anti-Semitism recently. It's present in its media and the censures against it from journalists - even as one of their own has been held for almost three months by palestinian terrorists - university professors and labour unions which are appalling in their bias. But, then that's nothing new for the British who have long had a vein of only half-concealed anti-Semitism in their society (Winston Churchill, God bless him, among those exempted).

The combination of British contempt cloaked in civility mixed with islamic hatred is very worrisome and one wonders how much influence it's already having.

If I were British, I don't think I'd be happy with this news. Sure, it's all well and good to bash around a bunch of Jews thousands of miles away but the day may come when Mohammed2007 has made it so Jack2007 can't live in his own country.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


You know things must be improving in Afghanistan when my morning paper has a story about how internet cafes are springing up like poppies in major cities like Kandahar - an area where Canadian troops have been operating heavily for the past several years.

Seems as if the Afghans have discovered on-line porn and they likee. Not that that's all they're flocking to cafes for. Many of them just want to find out what's happening in the world. As one can imagine, the Taliban did not look kindly on either.

One of the main goals of any incursion into a muslim or other type of thugocracy should be, without question, the exposure to the big world, and if that means complete with pornography, so be it. (And, before anyone gets all upset and calls me misogynistic or sexist, I will also point out that a recent Australian study showed at least one-third of those people who regularly view on-line porn are women.) Maybe pictures or videos of all the various possible sexual interactions shouldn't be tops on the list but it's a lot less dangerous than Taliban-style thinking.

Sadly, Afghanistan is in the minority. Much of the world seems to be going backwards. In the palestinian areas, internet cafes are now regularly firebombed even though their owners say they block sites that don't carry the proper Islamist message (I don't know how many sites that would leave, but it can't be many). In Egypt, bloggers are routinely jailed. In China, the government blocks endless numbers of sites and, unfortunately, major corporations like Google and Yahoo! go along for the ride.

The internet is an amazing tool - heck, for starters, it allows you to read my pearls of wisdom. Western nations should deluge nations like Iraq with computers and internet access because information will defeat the islamists much more convincingly than bullets. Sure, the internet is full of an amazing amount of bullshit and more lies than a stadium full of politicians, but it's the exchange of ideas that allows it to flourish and has made it into a tool for freedom.

And, if that doesn't work, throw some more porn at them. A sexually-drained islamist is more likely to fall asleep than chop a head off.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Natives are Restless, and for Good Reason

There has been a lot of talk in Canada recently about exactly what the Aboriginal population is willing to do to force government action on its issues and about exactly what the non-Aboriginal population owes them. Not dissimilar debates occur sporadically in the United States as well as Australia.

In Canada, the Aboriginal (which includes First Nations, Inuit and Metis) population has some very valid grievances. Perhaps most worthy of consideration is the number of promises made to Aboriginal communities or negotiating groups that have been broken over the years. Then, there were the policies that were meant to assimilate Aboriginals but that resulted in an alienation from both the "white" society and their own.

Sadly, many people in Canada think Aboriginals are demanding what they do not deserve. Yesterday, I read a letter in the National Post that implied Aboriginals were little more than North American palestinians. That lowers the Aboriginal population to a place they do not belong.

To whit:

A) palestinians were not forced off their lands. No matter what any anti-Zionist or arabphile says: the dispossessed palestinians fled Israel at the urging of their own arab brethren and British propaganda. Nor were they isolated as North American Aboriginals were on reserves. In fact, any "reserves" are those kept by the arabs for palestinians, such as the one in Lebanon currently infested with terrorists and besieged by the Lebanese military.

B) Aboriginals have, in the most, acted with dignity and conciliation when dealing with the government. There have been only isolated acts of sustained civil disobedience and almost none of violent action. The palestinians base their entire philosophy not on justice but on destruction. An Aboriginal homicide bomber or rocket landing in a large Canadian city? Has never happened. The don't even touch on the type of "resistance" offered by many European groups such as the Basque or IRA.

C) palestinians were never asked to assimilate. Israeli-Arabs have their own traditions to themselves. The Aboriginal population of North America was forced to become something it was not. If anything, the rejection by arabs of the idea of assimilating or naturalizing their palestinian residents has only led to the continued misery (as planned by the arab nations and aided by the UN).

D) Aboriginal people are asking for equality. Get some in one area; give some in another. They do not want to destroy Canada or to kill whitey. They want an equal opportunity to succeed in one of the world's wealthiest and most advantageously-positioned countries. As someone from a family where many people, including myself, have worked with Aboriginal people, there are experiences of mistrust but hatred is not found.

I truly believe we have not done right by the Native populations. Much of that is the result of policies that we were not responsible for - the same way I don't hold today's Germans responsible for the actions of the nazis. But, there are still things that can be done.

It's not a question of simply throwing money or land at people. There is an issue of allowing Aboriginals enough of their own culture and ways of doing things that affords them a status of equality but not necessarily assimilation. In this country, we make allowances for all kinds of recent arrivals, yet we often refuse to do so for its most historical people.

This is going to come back to bite us if the situation is not dealt with. Young angry Natives may well look at the tactics of terrorists and the reaction from the west and think it could be successful. At the end of the day it wouldn't be, but I would like to see efforts to ensure that day never comes.

Friday, June 1, 2007

As God Is My Witness, I Shall Not Bear Witness

Over the past month, the two papers I regularly read have been full of commentary that I can only describe as The Atheists Strike Back.

People like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are getting a lot of ink with their assaults on religion and the belief in God. One column I found really interesting suggested this was a natural response to the rise of fundamentalist religions, particularly islamist behaviour and the evangelical US Christian-style.

Several people whose blogs I regularly visit are also ardent atheists. One of them (baconeating_atheistjew - one of the people I've corresponded with on the internet for years) posted a What Kind of Atheist Are You quiz a couple of weeks ago. Turns out I was 92 per cent Apathetic Atheist and 75 per cent Agnostic.

That sounds about right for me. I've never been convinced there is a God and I've never rejected the concept, either. I grew up in a very secular household with one parent who was an atheist and another who converted to Christianity after I left home and became a minister in one of the more liberal sects. I've always considered myself Jewish but more in the sense of trying to appreciate the culture and history and not so much the God (or should I write G-d) part.

What I most think people should do is leave each other alone. I understand why atheists are getting pissed off but they need to attack the core groups. The vast majority of people who profess a belief in God do so in a benign way.

If it helps them lead better lives, or even decent ones, that's great.

If it gives them comfort in the thought that there is something after death and that their deceased love ones are in a better place, that's terrific.

Even if it just gives them a sense of tradition, that's fine, too.

If they want to chop my head off or replace evolution in school with "intelligent design", well, then I'm with Hitchens. But, there's a lot more at play in geo-politics than religion and it certainly isn't religion that gave rise to the western apathy and accommodation that has landed us in a whack of trouble.

I don't think people who believe in God are wrong or stupid. The reason is: I just don't know. Believing in God is an act of faith. Not believing in God is a matter of extrapolating science; saying that because we've come so far in explaining so many of the universe's mysteries, we will eventually be able to pin it all down to a scientific explanation.

I've known people on both sides who were rational, good human beings. I know that in history, there have been many horrible things done in the name of religion and many others - including probably the greatest human rights violations (start with Communist China, Communist Soviet Union and nazi Germany) - that were not.

At the end of the day, it's very simple: live and let live. Believe what you want to but don't come looking to tell me about it.

I don't give a lot of thought to the spiritual side of the world. Generally, I'm too busy living in the day-to-day one. But, perhaps later in life, when I have time to reflect on what I've done and what I've learned, maybe I will. If so, I promise not to blog about it.