This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As Their Ancestors Did

Reason enough for the government to be exercised about the latest news out of Attawapiskat. No government enjoys being held feet to the fire in public opinion and by the opposition in Parliament over perceived failures in supporting the most basic of human needs for Canada's aboriginals. These isolated communities of hugely financial-dependent reserves represent as cesspools of human degradation and misery.

It seems that it matters little how much public treasury is poured into the reserves for housing, medical attention, education, and financial support for the 80 to 90% who are unemployed, the results are always the same. With the exception of a relative handful of reserves which have distinguished themselves by becoming proudly independent and progressive, and wealthy in the bargain through exploiting opportunities available to them through proximity to cities and their own natural resources, most reserves are examples of sad and sorry failure.

Having doled out $90-million in federal funding alone in the past five years, just for Attawapiskat with its 2,800 registered members - let alone other funding that reaches them through provincial coffers and other sources such as the Casino Rama gaming facility near Orillia, there is little of value to show for it. Funding is not the issue. Mismanagement most certainly is.

Governments have not carefully followed where the funding is being spent. Native groups, after all, take huge umbrage at being under the perusal thumb of government; it interferes with their notion of sovereignty, although the constant hand-outs do not. They wish to be independent of oversight, but not independent of receiving tax-funded assistance to enable them to exist.

Twenty years ago a friend of my younger son, after graduating from university took a job teaching at Attawapiskat. He liked the people, liked the thought that he might be doing something useful; he was an idealist. Eventually, his idealism soured, and although he still liked the people among whom he lived as a teacher, he was disgusted that they saw no value in being responsible.

For their part, they thought it was hilarious that people off reserve had to struggle to earn a living to pay rent or buy a home and to pay all the bills that normally arrive when one strives to live a decent life with all the needed amenities. My son's friend simply got fed up with the casual attitude toward anything, including the requirement to attend school and pay attention to lessons and offer respect to one another.

In Attawapiskat last year, the acting chief was paid a salary of $71,000. For overseeing a community of fewer than three thousand people. The technical services manager of the reserve received $87,000. The acting band manager spent $68,000 in two months' time for travel expenses. A 'round-the-world, all-expenses-paid trip to see how others live and bring his report back home?

Wages, employee benefits and administration were represented by $14.4-million in one year for a reserve of less than three thousand souls. Where normal home repairs were neglected, and where children's welfare also has been neglected, but where a small handful of the favoured are given employment and generous salaries while the rest of the reserve suffers.

But the national organization of aboriginal chiefs have their kingdom. And they like things to be done their way. And their way includes persuading Canada's most at-risk populations that they must respect their heritage and continue to serve the land, and live as their ancestors did.

And they do.

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Diplomatic Niceties Gone Amok

Iranian students have had plenty of practise in exercising their sovereign right to upturn the Vienna Convention on the practise of diplomatic protocols and sanctity of foreign embassies. They have as example the siege of the American embassy in 1979 when the Islamic Revolution of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was in its infancy and U.S. diplomats were held for 444 agonizing days of stand-off.


Inspired by that glorious event signifying the wonders of sovereign determinism, and spurred on by Britain's decision to increase sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, by isolating its banking system, a mob of students set up by their Basiji masters, engaged in full frontal attack on the British embassy in Tehran, as well as the staff compound.

Most Iranians are proud of their country's success in establishing a nuclear program, irrespective of their support for the regime. Among them those who deplore the current regime, whose mass protests for liberalization after the tainted re-election of Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought about the "green revolution" that revolved nowhere, simply sputtered in the face of violent regime repression.

The British flag was burned, along with that of the United States and Israel, just so that no one might err in misunderstanding the extent of the rage at the reaction of the international community to the latest release of information from the IAEA. Of course police were present. They witnessed the carnage that ensued as students entered and ransacked the British embassy, destroying documents, carrying off souvenirs. Nothing of this kind could conceivably occur without the support, however silently given, of the Ayatollahs.

Terrified diplomats sought safety from the mob in safe rooms reinforced for just such purposes. They were held there, effectively prisoners, under the circumstances, for hours. Until the regime finally gave approval for the police to clear away the protesters. The enthusiasm with which the police performed that duty could be estimated by the fact that the mob was able to re-enter the embassy to continue their rampage. They were said to be merely a hundred or so in number, hurling rocks, petrol bombs and other tokens of goodwill.

In the Iranian parliament some of their members were heard to have called out "Death to England", as though the student mob required additional inspiration, as they replaced the Union Jack with the Islamic flag, chanting "Death to England". This is Iran, led by fanatics who flame the emotions of nationalism and Islamism among their brain-washed youth, anxious to prove how faithful they are to Islam and the Prophet. So anxious that they are not entirely disinclined to offer the supreme sacrifice.

Martyrdom figures large in the passion of this faith of submission. Those whom they view as their deadly adversaries would not necessarily mind these faith-engulfed psychopaths ending up as martyrs as long as they didn't take anyone else with them. There can be no reasonable debates of ideology or appropriate social relations between such people. So the mystery is that Western democracies even bother to install diplomatic missions in Tehran at all.

There is no trust whatever between the regime and the representatives of foreign countries. The Iranian government elite consider the foreign presence of diplomats in their country as akin to hosting iniquitous dens of espionage-tasked enemies of their state. There may be some truth in that, since all foreign embassies are staffed with personnel skilled in interpreting and conveying vital statistics and information useful to their home governments.

With that well understood, all civilized communities and social orders recognize the imperative to offer security and respect to the representatives of other countries within their own. And they accordingly treat the embassies and living compounds of foreign visitors as is required; as though they represent the soil of those foreign countries; they are sovereign areas that must be protected and respected.

Unless, that is, your own sovereign nation is represented by a clique of maniacal fantasizing paranoids who imagine themselves answerable to no laws but their own.

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Right To Know

There is nothing wrong and everything right with the public being able to access information that will inform it of the salaries paid to public figures out of tax dollars. Because they are public figures, and most certainly because their employment is meant to serve the public in one way or another, and for these services they are remunerated out of tax-paid dollars, it should be seen as the public's right to know.

That a Conservative Member of Parliament has tabled a request that the salaries paid to top CBC on-air personalities is reasonable enough. Why should we not have that information made available to us? But why stop there? And although the New Democrats are up to their usual mischief when they counter such a request with one that would have disclosure of pay for senior staff in the PMO, that too is a good idea.

It does represent a matter of public curiosity salved, to have that information available for those who would like to be aware of it. Salary figures paid to such media luminaries as news anchor Peter Mansbridge and comedian Rick Mercer. In fact, why not list everyone and anyone whose employment gains them over $100,000 yearly in recompense?

The Province of Ontario has disclosed those names and figures for quite a while. The sky hasn't fallen in, although there are those among the tax-paying public who now know how much CTV employees earn, and Ontario Hydro employees, the Ontario Provincial Police, and other provincially-paid staff. And look skeptically askance at the results.

The request from NDP MP Tyrone Benskin is reasonable enough:
"The employment agreements with each of these individuals in terms of (i) salary, (ii) vehicle allowance or provision of car and/or driver, (iii) expense account for food, drink, alcohol and hospitality, (iv) out-of-town accommodations for the individual; (b) in each of the years between 200 and 2011, how much did each of these individuals expense for (i) food, (ii) travel, (iii) hotels, (iv) hospitality, (v) drink, (vi) vehicle use."
Pranks aside, which the NDP are notorious about practising, it makes good sense for all these details to be available at a special online site where the curious and the seriously investigative could readily have access to such data. It's called public accountability.

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Introducing Baby To Dog - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Guest writer - Karen Rosenfeld, Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Tuesday, 29 November, 2011



Has he/she ever showed any signs of aggression towards anything?

If the answer is no then you have nothing to worry about - you just need some help in understanding dogs a little - which I will provide you with below.

Having said that the biggest mistake people make is being nervous, anxious, fearful or expecting/anticipating problems.
I am going to give you a few articles to read. Please read them as it is critical that you understand how dogs communicate and how we unintentionally communicate to them. And below I am going to coach you on introducing your dog and baby in more detail. Also, the same methodology can and should be used when introducing your new dog to your toddler, or older children.

Here are the articles and then I will continue with an explanation below. You can either read them now or continue on and read them after - but to read them is a must!

First I want to share this with you...when my daughter was a toddler strangers would criticize me for leaving her in the car with Shanny (my first German Shepherd x Malamute) while I stepped into the pizza place to pick up the pizza I had called ahead to order. Shanny would have done anything and everything she could to protect my daughter if the need ever arose. Shanny would never have harmed her - I had nurtured Shanny's balanced state of being and enabled the best attributes of a dog. I had respected her as a dog and as a non-human person. I had every reason to trust in Shanny. Not only did Shanny never let me down, but she often astonished me with her kindness, instinct, intuition and great intelligence.

When I was in the hospital, having just delivered my daughter into this world, I took one of the little hats that she wore on that first day and gave it to my Mom to take home (while I was still at the hospital) so Shanny could meet my daughter for the first time - not in actual physical presence - but instead by her scent on the little knitted hat. This is of great importance to the dog - it should be allowed to meet the baby by scent first. (If you are introducing your new dog to children rather than baby, you can skip this step!).

Now I would have had no trepidation about my Daughter and Shanny meeting in physical presence first, but because I was still at the hospital, I wanted to send Shanny something to let her know what was going on. If you can do this first it is a wonderful way to start.

Why the nose first...well please read this to understand...

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE with babies, children and dogs
I end up with quite a few clients who retain me to help because their dog has become child reactive. This is so easily avoidable, but people in not understanding how and what they communicate create this situation, which gets exponentially worse if allowed to continue and then results in aggression. So let’s make sure you do not accidentally create this situation.

How does this type of behaviour start? Well, when a child's parents are nervous of their child being around a dog...the dog learns that when children are near, people are nervous, anxious and/or fearful. Dogs look to their humans for leadership…if you are uncomfortable it tells your dog that it should be on guard. So the dog learns to associate children with tension and fear and eventually this turns to aggression. The dog does not create the situation of aggression - people do!

This has nothing to do with training your dog - it has everything to do with training yourself. What this is about is the psychology of humans and the psychology of Dogs.

Reading the articles that I provided links to above, will ensure that you can get a good understanding of what follows below…but read on and then you can go back to the linked articles after.

Make sure you are not tense, stressed or anticipating reactive behaviour (what you probably think of as aggression) from your dog. Your dog has absolutely no reason to be aggressive - unless you create the aggression! To lead by example you must be without any such emotions. You must be (calm) and have confidence in yourself and in your dog. Your state of calm confidence will set the framework for your dog’s state. If your thoughts and body language are relaxed and confident you indicate to your dog that you are confident with the situation - this allows your dog to relax and normalize the experience of meeting your baby. Dogs are naturally good with children and babies - it is only when the human creates tension and bad associates, when the human has failed to enable balance in their dogs that dogs are aggressive to children.

I am going to ask that you also read about Leadership and debunking the Alpha Myth here - a whole understanding is very important as it will foster a relaxed and informed state for you!

Encourage your dog to use its nose to greet your baby. A dog’s sense of smell is acute. In its natural state, dogs greet each other by smelling each other - not by jumping all over each other in an excited state. Excited greetings occur because the human has taught the dog that greeting (a human - child or adult) requires excitement. This is not a dog’s way. It is a human’s way. To teach this type of greeting de-normalizes the experience for a dog. Make the greeting normal and comfortable.

RELAX AND ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL MEETING - by doing so you will make it what it should be.
So train yourself to control your thoughts, your emotion and direct your focus. Only then can you properly support your dog. Remember, you communicate with your state-of-mind, and hence your body…not just by the words or tone you use to speak.

If your dog is truly a little too eager/pushy you need to disagree with your dog’s behaviour. For instance your dog places his paws on the baby with a little too much energy or wants to lick the baby’s face too much. Touch your dog and say 'no' and then say 'gentle'. Touch gets his attention, 'no' to indicate the behaviour is not appropriate and 'gentle' to provide the right direction. This is coaching/mentoring. It is all your dog requires. As long as you do so from a calm and confident state your dog will understand. It is really simple - the energy behind what you do is everything and has an immense impact on creating a positive, normal, happy greeting and future relationship!

I cannot state enough how important it is to be relaxed, calm, confident and patient - it is everything!

This meeting should be enjoyed, it should be beautiful - and not infused with stress, tension and nightmare scenarios in your mind. Remember, it is the human who creates the situation, good and bad!

I have had to rehabilitate too many dogs who have become aggressive to children simply because they were not socialized using all of the methods I note above. Instead of socializing and normalizing them to greeting and being with children - the people fear from the get-go and lock the dog in another room or never allow the dog to greet a baby. Well guys, what do you think will happen - of course you make the dog aggressive. You make the dog frustrated and confused. Dogs are highly intelligent, sensitive animals - take advantage of their natural nature, work with it, don’t destroy it.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Heritage Past

It is really hard to believe that aboriginals cling so determinedly to the past, to their heritage, to their love of the land, that they choose to live in isolated, inaccessible communities. Their separation from the opportunity to advance culturally and socially and materially as a nation apart from the greater social conformity is a puzzle that can be unravelled only by themselves.

It is their huge ancestral respect for their history, their storied past, that has them clinging to the territory they claim to know best, that resonates with the ways of their forebears, that has true meaning to them and value far exceeding anything that modernity might compensate them with should they move elsewhere and become consumed by the larger culture.

Yet they do not live as they did in the past. The hunter-gatherer society that once expressed a way of life for aboriginal Canadians is no longer feasible, nor even truly sought out by native Canadians. They have, in its stead, become willing and unhappy dependents of the state. It is puzzling in the extreme to determine where the value is for them in living on handouts.

Gainful employment is not possible in isolated communities, other than as employees of the band council. Those opportunities are acutely finite. There is a breakdown of community within the community as crime escalates, alcohol dependency is endemic, drug dealing steals pride, children are neglected, and violence is visited upon the unfortunate among them, while predators stalk women.

Huge installments of federal and provincial tax funding is expended on a continual basis for housing, education, medical attention, but it is absorbed and none of what it pays for appears to come close to representing the needs of an indigent, listless and values-lost society. Band chiefs and councillors grant themselves handsome remuneration for overseeing the reserve's business.

Yet they fail to take action that is needed to ensure a modicum of social normalcy, too busy entitling themselves to a majority share of the funding that comes into the community while neglecting the primary needs of that same community. As for the community itself, living on the avails of what amounts to charity, having no obligation to work, or to expend any energy in normal home maintenance, everything rots around them.

Children who are not well fed and taught discipline and respect for themselves and for others, are also not taught the necessity of attending school, of extending themselves to become educated, to have ambitions for higher education. They are left to their own devices by absent parents, alcoholic or drugged care-givers, and life has little meaning and quality for them.

But the Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations decry the paternalistic oversight of the federal and provincial governments and the funding emanating from those sources as inadequate and the programs insubstantial to the purpose required. While insisting that life on reserves is a requisite for the pride and honour of those whom they serve.

And various levels of government institutions and the executive branches of government feel trapped in a system meant to serve the needs of these dependent and frail communities, whose failure remains a living rebuke to us all.

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The Smiting Hand of God

That's the destructive hand of the Almighty that the Islamic Republic of Iran contends is raised on their behalf. For Allah has decreed that His favoured regime and his newly-chosen people, the Persian Empire, must master the secret formulae to engineer and perfect ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. This, in any event, is what the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamanei trumpets to the world at large.

But what if God prefers a different alliance altogether? One that equally proudly points to ancient scripture attesting that Israel is God's chosen? Proof of which is their peculiar ability to withstand onslaughts that such a small nation beset with violence from large and plentiful neighbours has ably proven it is capable of fending off? In the process, acquiring its own nuclear capability.

The world shudders at the prospect of balefully belligerent Iran, which oppresses its own and threatens others, perfecting ownership of nuclear proficiency. So concerned about the potential that rumours have been rife in the corridors of diplomacy and the military that while diplomacy will continue to wedge itself into the picture, the might of thunderous attacks may be employed.

But what if airborne missiles and bunker-busting bombs are seen to be expressive of an earlier time and not necessarily representative of newer methods of interruption and cessation? Attacks by stealth and at arm's length which have gradually diminished the threat by forestalling its dire imminence? In reflection of technological advances, a program-destructive worm like Stuxnet.

And the clever, carefully covert placement of newer-generation explosives, detonated at a distance? By some mysterious chance, Iran's atomic scientists and ballistic experts have been expiring before their biological due date. Targeted for assassination, abduction, de-briefing. And a number of explosions at delicate installations have taken place, one last month destroying the lives of 30 scientists and members of the Republican Guard.

Iran Nuclear

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visits the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility south of the capital, Tehran, Iran. Source: AP

Iran strenuously denies any such occurrence, as it usually does, explaining that the huge blast a month ago that killed a top ballistics missile expert was simply the result of an accident in the testing of a system meant to target Israel for annihilation. A second explosion yesterday has the informed speculating that Tehran's military along with its sensitive atomic sites might just be under attack. Not from the skies, through Israeli warplanes overflying Saudi Arabia, but in a most arcane manner.

Satellites have picked up confirmation of the blast that struck the city of Isfahan's uranium enrichment facility. Something was certainly destroyed; the huge blast and billowing smoke was responsible for alarming Iranians living in the vicinity who corroborate something truly unusual had occurred, shattering their windows.

Despite the regime's denials of an Isfahan-area nuclear-site blast, caused instead by a military exercise carried out in the area, according to the city's governor, Tehran insists no explosion had taken place whatever. Commenting archly on the issue, Israel's Intelligence Minister, Dan Meridor stated: "There are countries who impose economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat."

Clearly, Israel has more to lose with Iran's success in mastering nuclear-weaponization than any other concerned nations of the world. And, as Major-General Giora Eiland, Israel's former national security director claimed, the blast at Isfahan was no accident.
"There aren't many coincidences, and when there are so many events there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it's the hand of God."

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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Irrepressible Tyranny of Pure Faith

The Arab world is turning itself inside-out. Like a snake in season, shedding its skin. And what is found beneath the shed skin of the snake re-inventing itself? Why, goodness gracious, another skin. The new skin, needless to say, accommodates a larger snake.

The traditional tyrants that have oppressed and suppressed the various countries' populations of the Middle East and North Africa are finally being toppled. The people are speaking. Not necessarily with one voice, but they are united in their anger and their antipathy toward those who have maltreated and abused them for so long.

They want change. At least those among them who are gathering and creating a revolution. They are by no means necessarily the majority of those populations, but they are those who have assumed the audacity of the crowd, having discovered that loud, belligerent demands have gained legitimacy in a new world where communication is open and everywhere.

Regimes, even resolutely and bitterly nasty ones, do not appreciate being embarrassed on the world stage. Their pretense at liberal and kindly attention to the needs of their own cannot be upheld when evidence to the contrary is electronically conveyed through the news and social networking systems' worldwide tentacles. Condemnation sits poorly on their self-esteem.

And the free world, peering in from the outside, amazed at the events that steadily unfolded and continue to do, has voiced its approval and its remote support for whatever it is that the burdened are engaging in to produce something that looks similar to participatory democracy. Even within totalitarian regimes. Whose response is swift, harsh and uncompromising.

The world's most powerful country had two of its presidents, by turn, address the issues of liberty and human rights in the Muslim and Arab world. Both had the temerity to recommend the acquisition of human rights and the ascension of liberty for all. Former President George W. Bush claimed: "Democracy does not threaten Islam or any religion. Democracy is the only system of government that guarantees their protection."

He was feeling fairly confident about the U.S. involvement in Iraq, overturning the abysmal tenure of a brute, and helping to usher in a state of democracy in a country whose inhabitants were mired in tribal, ethnic and sectarian hatred whose passions were unleashed by the removal of their personal tyrant. Resulting in nightly bloodbaths as Sunni butchered Shia and Shi'ites murdered Sunnis.

And then, the biracial miracle of the new President Barack Obama, representing the mountain visiting Muhammad, to deliver his Cairo speech to the world of Islam, that America had no mission but to inspire trust and reconciliation between itself and the world of Islam. A democratic Middle East would find no interference impeding its progress by the United States of America.

And he extended his friendly hand to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it was spat upon, a clenched fist the response. For Iran had already transited to democracy without the intervention of the U.S., and under the auspices of Islam itself, and the Grand Ayatollahs fumed at his impudence. President Mubarak, listening to Presidents Bush and Obama, held his counsel to himself.

And then, history was overtaken by the currency of the present, and President Obama oversaw, approvingly, the removal of President Hosni Mubarak. Who had done his utmost to repress fanatical Islamism and maintain trust with the United States, and peace with Israel. Tunisia, Libya, Syria, have all experienced their Arab Spring, and the winter of fundamentalist Islamism is impressively on tour.

Everywhere that women were accustomed to moving freely and with confidence, they have gradually been garbing themselves much as the women of Saudi Arabia, that great good friend and confidant of the United States, have been impressed upon to do. In fact, just as Iranian women must now also dress, for the culture of Sharia would have it so.

Those two fundamentalist Islamist states, one Sunni, the other Shia, each representing itself as the true gatekeeper of Islam, engaged in a struggle for supremacy. Saudi Arabia has possession of Islam's holiest sites, but Iran will soon be possessed of Allah's supreme weapon. Each have used their oil wealth to instigate violent jihad, to spread the word of Islamic superiority. On the way to a global Caliphate.

Farewell, tyrants of the Middle East. Welcome, ye faithful and pure Islamists. Tyranny has many faces and none so rigid and uncompromising as the righteously entitled.

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Egypt's Democracy Outcome...?

Egyptians - despite the apprehensions that people eligible to vote in the first elections assumed to be legitimately democratic and not stage-managed as they have historically been in an effort to appear 'fair and just', while manipulating the vote to result in a resounding (and wholly anticipated) victory for the ruling regime - are resolutely turning out in great numbers. The first round of votes took place in Cairo.

It's estimated that 50-million Egyptians are eligible to vote, including roughly eight million living abroad - if they have the proper enabling certification. Most eligible Egyptian voters are Muslim, while a minority proportion - anywhere from ten to 20%, are Coptic Christians. And they have lined up, patiently, and fully engaged in the process, to have their vote count for something. What it will, in the end, count for, is the question.

Political parties of various ideological stripes have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain, since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak and the promise of forthcoming elections. None of these various parties are really organized, nor were they capable of communicating their platform adequately, with the exception of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafist counterparts, who have had a long struggle in Egypt for legitimacy.

But they have done their work well, illegal or semi-legal, in infiltrating Egyptian society at the street level, while organizing themselves into a formidable underground political party whose ethos is fundamental Islamism. Of course, although the Muslim Brotherhood had its inception in Egypt in the 1920s, it has worked diligently to gain entrance and legitimacy as a movement to be reckoned with, throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, (Infidel!) for one, carefully and in detail wrote about their surge of influence in her native country, Somalia, and even in Kenya, among expatriate Muslims, where Christians are in the majority. They gained a reputation of trust; where corruption reigned supreme everywhere, anything the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in, banking, health care, social services, was seen to be above reproach.

And they built upon the already existent mistrust of Muslims regarding the infidels around the world, but mostly the despised Jews, whom they were urgently exhorted to hate even more and avoid at all costs having any truck with, and with Christians. And this brings us back to Egypt's own Christians, the Copts, who have a history in the country that far outstrips that of Islam.

A large community spread all over the country, with historic churches and a heritage of being among the original ancient Christian sects in the Middle-East-cradle of Christianity, faithful to their beliefs. The community has seen increased levels of conflict between the majority Muslims and minority Christians, as their houses of worship have been attacked, set on fire, and worshippers murdered.

Conflict between Muslims and Christians is not universal in Egypt, there exist many Muslims who respect and honour their Christian counterparts. But as the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood gain in strength and popularity and the prospect of their finally finding a voice of authority in government increases, Egypt's Christian Copts know that their future in their country is more fraught with danger than ever before.

"Some in the Brotherhood and some Salafis do not properly understand the Koran. They want to use religion to abuse people. They oppose freedom. When they see a woman uncovered, as Christian women are, they tell her to cover her head when it is none of their business." Now that's a generous, Christian view of the future, is it not?

Just as Jews have reason to be deeply concerned respecting the outcome of the vote, its final tally, and the resulting makeup of the new Egyptian government, so too do its Christians. They might consider seeking haven in Israel, if it was not a majority-Jewish country, had more geography to be generous with, and was not as it is, busy with other Muslim and Christian seekers-after-security.

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Misplaced Trust, Honourable Forgiveness

Nephew of Soldier Who Died at Joseph's Tomb Joins IDF
by Gil Ronen Nephew of Joseph's Tomb Victim Joins IDF

The nephew of a soldier whose death on October 1, 2000, is a painful chapter in the IDF's history, has joined the military and has entered the ranks of the Border Police, in which his late brother served.

Eleven years ago, Madhat Yusef, a Druze soldier, was wounded when an Arab mob stormed Joseph's Tomb in Shechem. The IDF did not mount an operation to rescue him, instead trusting assurances by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it would do so itself. The PA did not assist him, however, and he bled to death slowly, over the course of four hours.

Madhat's death is considered to be a stain in the annals of the IDF, and as contradicting the ethos of leaving no soldier behind on the battlefield. He was one of the first casualties of the bloody terror war that broke out in September 2000, which has come to be known as the Oslo War or the Second Intifada.

Border Police Commander Maj.-Gen. Yoram Halevy uncovered Tarwat's combat soldier's pin, newspaper Yisrael Hayom reported. "My father Salman served in the Border Police for 28 years," said Mahdi, Tarwat's father, at the ceremony in which Tarwat was sworn in. "The Border Police is our home. I am proud of my son Tarwat who decided to continue in the path of my father and Madhat, and to protect the security of the State of Israel."

While the Border Police force belongs to the Israel Police, it largely employs soldiers in the course of their mandatory tem of service.

As published online at ArutzSheva, 28 November 2011

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Striking Turkey

The news for the United States, that a dozen Central Intelligence Agency operatives were apprehended in Iran, was not good news. The CIA was, in fact, reeling from the reality that their assets in various countries have somehow been revealed. Earlier, Hezbollah had revealed they had rounded up dozens of spies they believed were working on behalf of the United States. Inside information is critical to spy agencies engaged in espionage to alert them to what their enemies are planning.

Given the likely disposal of these people seen as traitors to their countries, it will be difficult for the CIA to gain replacements. People so committed to a foreign country's interests rather than that of their own, that they will be prepared to risk life and limb to make themselves accessible as spies. Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah will no doubt make a ceremony of the summary sentencing of the alleged spies, and they will be publicly executed.

But these things work both ways. Iran, in particular, has seen a number of its elite scientists and military officials targeted for extinction by adversaries. Five Russian nuclear experts who had helped in the design of an Iranian atomic facility died in a mysterious 2010 plane crash. Fifteen Syrians and ten Iranians died in an explosion the same year, purportedly as they attempted to mount a warhead with nerve gas onto a Scud missile.

In 2008 an alleged Israeli spy who had supplied Iran with contaminated and defective electronic equipment was hanged. In 2010, a magnetic bomb killed an Iranian nuclear physicist in his car, and that very same day the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization was wounded by another magnetic bomb under his car. An Iranian quantum field theorist and elementary-particle physicist was killed by a remote controlled device, in his home.

More recently, in July 2011, a scientist working on a nuclear detonator for Iran was shot dead in Tehran by two gunmen on a motorcycle. And there have been other, more recent 'accidents' that have taken the lives of those working on perfecting rocket delivery systems, members of the elite Quds Guard. That, and the infiltration of worms like Stuxnet to slow down Iran's nuclear program.

The world is on edge, witnessing the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa over protests leading to regime change, and conflict between Shia and Sunni sects. And Iran sits, waiting, to assume its heritage role of power in the region; a non-Arab Muslim state of huge influence as a Shia Islamist Republic. Determined to assume its 'rightful place' in the vanguard of change and power - and the assumption of nuclear power.

The other Muslim states in the region, along with Israel, the European Union and the United States are hugely unsettled at the prospect of Iran becoming a nuclear power. Uneasy speculation about a possible series of strikes on Iran's nuclear installations have led to the country's Ayatollahs warning of repercussions. NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey will become a target, the country's Revolutionary Guard warns.

And this is a fascinating turn of events. That Turkey, a member of NATO, the link between Europe and the Middle East, and latterly a confidant of Iran, but now seen with suspicion as a result of its condemnation of the Syrian regime, is being threatened with an potential act of war. The warning, according to the head of the Guards' aerospace division, represents a new defense strategy to ward of the potential threats from the U.S. and Israel.

It will be more than a little instructive to observe Turkey's reaction to his turn of events.

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Assault and Injury

"If the government would pay us our money, we would have no reason to be in their house or anyone else's houses. My granddaughter, who hasn't even been born yet, is probably going to be standing in front of a judge in the same situation some day. Only it's not going to be Caledonia, it's going to be a different place, maybe Brantford." Blake Miracle, uncle of Richard Smoke
Richard Smoke is awaiting sentencing by Justice Alan Whitten, post conviction of the brutal beating of Sam Gualtieri. Mr. Smoke, a teen-ager at the time of the beating, was convicted of aggravated assault and break and enter. He left the 56-year-old Mr. Gualtieri, a local builder who was constructing a home for his daughter in the Stirling Wood subdivision, with seriously traumatic injuries.

As a result of that beating, which took place in the basement of the almost-completed house, Mr. Gaultieri was left brain-damaged. He had a broken nose, cheekbone and shoulder blade, after the attack. He experiences problems reading and writing. His savings have evaporated; his business has gone by the wayside; he is no longer physically or mentally capable of working at it.
"I pray for Mr. Smoke's soul and hope he can understand what he has done to me and my entire family. I forgive him because I have no choice."
The attack by Mr. Smoke on Mr. Gualtieri was yet another incident that resulted from a native occupation of a new housing development in Caledonia in September of 2007. The violence and the standoff that ensued between militant natives and the OPP was to no one's credit. The matter has still not yet been resolved.

Mr. Gualtieri had rushed to the house with a few of his building crew on hearing it had been entered and occupied. Mr. Smoke was found to be beating the-then unconscious Mr. Gualtieri with a piece of lumber. It was an attack that Justice Whitten at trial characterized as a "notch below culpable homicide".

The relatives of Mr. Smoke claim that he was driven to the attack as a result of the continual racial slurs he was accustomed to being on the receiving end of at his high school. Where, they testified, it was routine for native youngsters to be exposed to insulting comments from white classmates, to which the teaching staff did not respond, to end the conflict.

There is little question that uncivil social racism is a common element that impressionable young kids are exposed to, even in a country that prides itself on its respect for the concept of equality and social respect. And there is little question that it is long past time for the government of Canada to come to terms with and finally settle outstanding land claims.

But there is little question also that we are all responsible for what we do, and we all make choices and our actions have consequences. Because of resentment and a violent reaction some people have a tendency make rash judgements and commit themselves to a series of actions that they should not, that have the result of victimizing someone.

In this case, Mr. Gualtieri was an innocent victim of a vicious assault. And the young man who visited such long-lasting harm to another human being is guilty of hugely diminishing the prospects of continued health and enjoyment of life of someone who was a stranger to him. Conflict of interest is not always avoidable, but brutal, violent conflict can be avoided.

It is a choice that intelligent, well-balanced-emotionally people make, to work out their aggression in other, more suitable and useful ways.

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Fundamentally Unsound Practises in Ottawa

It just does not pass the smell test. And that being so, it should be set aside. "It", being the hiring of a consultant who simply has too many fingers in too many pies, all of which look intriguingly as though preferential treatment is given him in acknowledgement of his insider-knowledge status, at the same time permitting him the kind of influence in decision-making that wafts a foul odour.

The man is described as a senior executive at Plasco Energy Group. One who has companionable collegial and business ties with Mayor Jim Watson and provincial Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli. He is a familiar figure as a consultant at Ottawa City Hall. And has been negotiating over a long-term contract with Plasco Energy to dispose of city garbage.

Brian Guest, through his Boxfish Group consulting company, has been involved in OC Transpo, giving advice on the route changes, on changes to the light-rail plan, and on the city budget. His sister is employed as a senior aide to the City Manager. And her husband is an aide to the deputy city manager. Who just happens to oversee the city's garbage collection and disposal.

Conflict of interest? Heavens, what makes you draw that conclusion? Mr. Guest has a long-standing contract with Plasco, about six years, all the while it has been exploring the potential for "plasma gasification", turning waste product into energy. And a deal is on the cusp of being struck with the city.

Plasco's chief executive, Rob Bryden, describes Mr. Guest as part of his company's "senior executive team". Yet he also has consulting contracts with the City of Ottawa, revolving around this very subject; the city's disposal of waste collection, and the feasibility of turning it into an energy source through Plasco's gasification capabilities.

Sensible heads on City Council should recognize a conflict when it is so readily apparent. The city manager does acknowledge the potential for perceived conflict of interest. "It's a unique confluence of roles and timing that can present the potential for a perceived conflict of interest, but I'm confident that one in fact has not existed."

This man has been hired to act on behalf of the taxpaying public of the city, who pay his salary, whose taxes, a burden too heavy to casually dismiss as an issue, also pay for the consulting salary of those whose self-interest can be enhanced through such conflicts. And while it's touching that he feels confident that there is no conflict of interest, despite the obvious setting for one, that's simply not good enough.

The intelligent decision would be to make a choice for a change in consultants, to exclude the potential for real or perceived conflict of interest. City council is reliant on the intelligent judgement and professionalism of city employees, particularly those who have the elite positions of operating vital municipal structures.

And they should themselves take the responsibility that the elections impose upon them to represent the best interests of the municipality and those who support it with their tax dollars.

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Muslim Brotherhood Aspiration

Muslim Brotherhood Holds ‘Kill the Jews’ Rally on Election Eve
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Muslim Brotherhood Holds ‘Kill the Jews’ Rally

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which expects to win at least a plurality in Monday’s legislative elections, held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo Friday.

Thousands of supporters attended the pre-election rally at a mosque on the Muslim Sabbath, promising to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.”

The demonstration was held on the anniversary of the United Nations’ proclamation of the 1947 partition plan that established the State of Israel and which was immediately followed by a pan-Arab war aimed at annihilating it.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which generated the Hamas terrorist organization, has drawn the anger of leaders opposing the provisional military regime, staying away from the Tahrir Square protests last week that resulted in deadly classes between soldiers and protesters.

Smelling victory, the Brotherhood is suddenly promoting itself as a party that favors non-violence rights for women, but it boasts its hatred of Jews and Israel.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood party is widely hated by liberals, its image of a defender of Egyptians is likely to catapult it into the dominant political force in Egypt this week.

"The Muslim Brothers really screwed this revolution. They've done everything possible to monopolize and hijack the revolution," said Democratic Front Party member Wael Nawara, quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune.

"The Muslim Brotherhood (is) very opportunistic. They don't care about the Egyptian blood. ... They only care about taking power," said Azza Kamal, a political activist.

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Dawgs Eating Grass - Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Guest writer - Karen Rosenfeld, Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer

Wednesday, 23 November, 2011


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Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Religion of Polygamy

Well, although not everyone is completely satisfied by B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman's 300-+-page carefully-considered explication in defence of his ruling in defence of Canada's polygamy law, as opposed to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing freedom of religion, it does represent a logical decision, one that reflects Canadian values.

There has been a slow erosion of such values with the introduction through immigration of people coming from sources in Africa and the Middle East, knowingly introducing 'extended family' members such as purported cousins or sisters or other relatives to the country, who are in actual fact, part of a polygamous family situation.

Islam does permit a man to marry multiple wives. And although Islam also decrees that such men should take on the responsibility of extending their families through additional wives and children with the proviso that the men must be able to afford to support such large families, it has been seen that men gravitate to the multiple-wife attraction and disregard the affordability nuisance.

Living in Canada, those who practise polygamy have learned to hide it, and in some instances, to manipulate the system of public services such as welfare, to fund separate living quarters for disparate wives and children. But of course, pre-dating the more recent incursion of Muslim polygamous relationships there has been the fundamentalist Mormon sect in British Columbia.

Which, although the parent Mormon Church set aside polygamy as socially inappropriate in the 19th Century, a few offshoots have embraced it. These are largely men who have pedophilic tendencies, men who enjoy dominating women, and who believe they have a right to acquire as many tender young wives as possible, fathering countless children in the process.

Young girls are victimized by their fathers being complicit in the process, offering them up for marriage as soon as they become nubile, and even before they can legally do so, to men far older than they are. These are the same fathers who themselves select for their sexual gratification other men's (who are loyal to the sect) daughters.

Although men like to feel that it is their divine right to own as many females as possible, women who are coerced through custom and their lives within a rigidly cultish, quasi-religious, isolated group, have little other yardsticks of normalcy to believe in, and they submit to the will of the patriarchy. Living their cloistered, abnormal lives.

For many, fear and loathing results. Fear of the oppressive lives they live, loathing of other female contestants for the attention of a sole husband and father to the many children that result. And the young boys who grow to maturity and who represent as potential suitors for the young girls as would occur in a normal society, discover that they are persona non grata.
"Women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychical harm. They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse. Early marriage for girls is common, frequently to significantly older men. The resultant early sexual activity, pregnancies and childbirth have negative implications for girls, and also significantly limit their socio-economic development."
Polygamy is an offence against social normalcy, against the normal maturation of the genders and their relationships. It represents an insult to the concept of gender equality. It is, above all, an offence against the children that result from these abnormal alliances, who grow up into a predestined lifestyle that curtails their most basic human rights.

Chief Justice Robert Bauman's ruling firmly set aside the notion that polygamy represents a perquisite of permissibility through religious right. It was the only decision he could have reached morally and in recognition of Canadian human rights values.

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Visas, Along Ideological Lines

Canada's immigration and refugee system received a hot blast of condemnation from the interim Auditor General, John Wiersema, who tabled the latest audit report in the House of Commons. Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada are insufficiently guided, trained, lacking adequate information to do their job properly. They are incapable, according to Mr. Wiersema, of properly ascertaining who should be allowed entry to this country.
"We've been reporting some of these problems with visas for 20 years, and I find it disturbing that these fundamental weaknesses still exist."
The two departments, according to the Auditor-General's report, focus too much of their attention and energy on defending cases where they have denied an individual entry into Canada. Which actually represents a small percentage of applicants who take the opportunity to mount a court challenge to their exclusion, rather than on the actual review of cases ultimately permitted entry.

Over a million applications, according to the report, were processed for individuals wishing to acquire temporary residence in Canada. Over 300,000 applications similarly processed for people who applied for permanent residence, in the year 2010. The information manuals available to visa officers are old, and haven't been updated to include fairly recent determining data.

Security checks are not extensively carried out to identify those who might present as a threat to the country. And health checks, relying on old criteria look only for two health problems, rather than the 56 that are seen as critical in protecting the population from exotic diseases emanating from foreign sources.

Obviously, there is a problem. The two agencies are under-staffed in relation to the huge numbers that are permitted entry to Canada. And there is no adequate follow-up available to ensure that those who enter the country regardless, leave when they are supposed to. Yet those who make their living off assisting and enabling visa entrants to Canada are screaming bloody murder.

Claiming that the judges who were appointed by the current and past Conservative-led Governments of Canada are ideologically weighted against overturning decisions by government officers and tribunals to deny refugee claims or deport non-citizens. The judges who were appointed by previous Liberal-led governments have proven far more likely to overturn decisions in favour of appealing claimants.

Little wonder visa officers are spending so much of their time preparing to defend their decisions; no one wants to be on the hot seat without a viable defence. And since there are here conflicting ideologies there's little wonder that those with a conservative bent rule differently than those with a liberal bent. As much as we should be objective in such rulings, we are subjective creatures of habitual thinking.

Female judges are noted to have upheld roughly half of the appeals and judicial review applications they rule on, compared to 39% of cases heard by male judges, so there's that dissimilarity in attitudes to consider, as well. And to further confuse the issue, judges from Quebec appear to rule less in favour of refused visa applicants than judges from the rest of Canada.

The problem here is that everyone wants to have it their way or no way. Criticism of the guidelines and procedures and human decision-making comes cheap. How to fix a system that may not need fixing at all, is another thing entirely. Canada is a sovereign country that can be potentially threatened by security issues arising from ulterior motives from those who have their own foreign axes to grind.

Maintaining security of law and order and what we pride ourselves for as a liberal, Western democracy, along with ensuring that health standards are upheld, represent a very large issue for which optimum effort is maintained. Despite which, there are cracks and fissures and some hisses about judicial unfairness from sources who stand to gain in their professional careers as immigration specialists.

Constructive criticism is always useful; criticism along ideological lines not so much.

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