18 May 2009

Europe waits for Germany to come to the rescue | Anatole Kaletsky: Economic view - Times Online

I heard on TV yesterday, in an interview with a Brit journalist with an American socialite, that the world financial crisis is the fault of the USA – as the presenter put it, “you lot”. It has seemed to me from the start that the EU is a fundamentally unstable construct and my observations overseas has been that they have tried to emulate the conspicuous consumption of the Americans without the elevated productivity of the American economy.

Now, I have finally seen an analysis from within the EU that confirms my beliefs, despite the rhetoric blaming the US for all the ills of the Old World. Apparently:

“Last Friday the European Commission published what were arguably the most catastrophic economic statistics produced by any official institution in the capitalist world since 1945…What these statistics confirmed is that the credit crunch has been a far greater disaster for Germany and most of continental Europe than for the US and Britain. In fact, it is Europe that faces a genuinely unprecedented economic crisis, whereas the recessions in America and Britain are broadly similar in scale to the ones of the past three decades.”

Europe waits for Germany to come to the rescue Anatole Kaletsky: Economic view - Times Online

Essentially, the powerhouses of the EU economy have been buoyed up by bad loans from wealthy Europe to developing Europe. As the fictions of these loans becomes apparent a credit crunch causes crises in many of the European “provinces”. This can usually be dealt with by instituting draconian economic and fiscal policies but that is no longer possible because everyone now uses the common Euro. Unless Germany bails everyone out there will be a crash beyond the memory of everyone alive. The only ones who will be cushioned against it will be Britain because they did not jump headlong into the Euro.

God bless the Euro-sceptics! and thank goodness someone is willing to speak with honesty. Let’s just hope that those who are trying to scapegoat the USA don’t push for revenge for their failed economy.

12 May 2009

Christ's Two Great Commands

The Bible is the Word of God:

Mt 22:36 “[Jesus], which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, ’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

The only problem is that the Word of God was written by men. Let’s assume that all of the Bible was inspired by God. It was then proclaimed and taught by prophets who were men and who had men’s prejudices and agendas. It was then written down by other men with men’s prejudices and agendas. It was further edited by other men with men’s prejudices and agendas.

In the end, we have a God who “hates” gay people.

You know, I don’t think God “hates” gay people. I don’t think God “hates”. I also think that God made gay people the same time he made straight people. I don’t think God screwed up. I think that people who took the Word of God made it say that God “hated” things that were not conducive to the survival of tribes when there was a pressure to increase populations. Gay people don’t normally do that.

So, how do we figure which parts of the Bible are true expressions of the Word of God? Look at the Two Great Commandments and use them as a filter for the rest of the Bible. Jesus himself gave us the key to this when he articulated the Two Great Commandments. Passages that speak of what and whom God “hates” does not pass that test.

We are told of a lot of things and people that God “hates”. I believe that Jesus’ words have a very significant consequence to such interpretations.

17 January 2009

One Small Step for Mankind

Finally!!! The Canadian Ministry of Justice has been directed to review Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. This has been used to shut down Freedom of Speech for a long time contrary to its intended purpose. Albertan Reverend Stephen Boissoin has a lifetime ban on speaking in public about his beliefs about homosexuality (recall that he is a clergyman supported by scripture). The same post discusses the CHRC's determination that true invective by an Imam is not worthy of censure.

The nature of Section 13 is vile. If people feel the need to spout hatred then it should be the obligation of all people to challenge and shame them. To have the State silence them is an act of political and social laziness and drives them underground where they attract the most violent adherents.

Cudos to Prime Minister Harper. Let's hope it works out.

11 January 2009

Democracy in Action

It has occured to me that an election is, primarily, an opportunity for a people to take responsibility for what is done in their name.
It has often been said about the American hypocracy regarding the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territories. Apparently the fact that the Palestinians elected them is supposed to give them legitimacy that overrides their pledge to annihilate Israel. When they declared themselves absolved of all agreements and treaties with Israel the Palestinian people were still supposed to see the benefits that depended on those treaties - like the taxes and tarifs collected by Israel for the PA.
No. When a people elect a terrorist organization that doesn't recognise the right of Israel to exist that doesn't legitimize the Hamas terrorists; it delegitimizes the Palestinian people themselves. They laid down with the dogs and were surprised to find that they have fleas.
I, For one, hope the fleas bite hard and make the Palestinians act like adults next time. I'm not, however, holding my breath.

Sent from my wireless handheld device / Transmis de mon appareil portable

08 January 2009

NO!!!!!! Not the UN!!!

Bert Raphael, in the Globe and Mail, praises Lewis MacKenzie for an insane idea:

Finally a voice of reason and logic from someone who has been there and knows the facts on the ground: I refer to the article by retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie suggesting that a solution to the Israeli-Hamas war is the deployment of a strong and armed UN force in Gaza (What Is The UN Waiting For? Deploy A Strong Force To Gaza - Jan. 6). If the United Nations gave the force the power to disarm Hamas and ensure that only humanitarian goods and not guns entered Gaza, the current problems would be solved.

I'm not sure what is more dizzyingly ludricous: suggesting that the UN would pass a resolution to protect Israel against Hamas when their man on the ground is Richard Falk , or anyone with a memory longer than a week would suggest that the son of Oil-for-food would be a good idea.

MacKenzie notes that:

Hamas makes no secret that, aided and abetted by Iran, it is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Any idea of a ceasefire in the current fighting leading to a change in Hamas's dedication to Israel's elimination is naive to the extreme.

and he is right but what is also extremely naive that an organization that would put 17 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the 47 Member Hunam Rights Council has no true mandate to represent any solution leading to peace in the Middle East and will certainly not make any effort to guarantee the continued existance of Israel. MacKenzie is right on one point and his article would have been adequate if he had left it at:

"The UN Security Council and member states should be ashamed."

CUPE Ontario Embarasses Themselves Again

Sid Ryan has shown himself, again, to be a true idiot and Arab apologist by proposing a ban on Israeli scholars in Ontario Universities.

"In response to an appeal from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, we are ready to say Israeli academics should not be on our campuses unless they explicitly condemn the university bombing and the assault on Gaza in general," said Sid Ryan, president of CUPE Ontario.

He further illustrated his bigotry by making the standard Islamist comparison between the Israelis and the Nazis (that one never gets old):

"Attacking an institution of learning is just beyond the pale," CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan said last night. "They deliberately targeted an institution of learning. That's what the Nazis did.

What Sid forgot is that the Nazis also banned people from working who did not pledge allegiance to their chosen dogma - which interestingly also included a hatred of Jews. Sid notes that the ban would not include people who were born in Israel and emigrated, just visiting scholars. So, presumably he is not concerned if one of your grandparents on your mother's side was a.... One thing he did not include was if the ban included Israeli Arabs who did not explicitly condemn the university bombing. Hmm...something to think about.

Sid did eventually did apologize for Nazi thing. Apparently, “(i)t was never (his) intention to hurt or cause offence to anyone. (He) was attempting to draw attention to the terrible bombing of a learning institution. (He) got caught up in the emotion and the comparison (he) used was hurtful and completely beyond the pale.” He still wants to ban the Israeli scholars who don't explicitly condemn the Arms Factory Bombing.

Apparently he still feels it is important for Israel to stop trying to prevent Hamas trying to push the Jews into the sea. I suppose that is why Sid was awarded the Canadian Arab Federation's Social Justice Award.

I would fight for his right to believe and say that. I do not, however, believe that Sid has the right to be heard or to continue to be supported as the President of CUPE Ontario. It disgusts me that the people who maintain him there have access to our young people and the ability to pollute their minds with their vile invective.

06 January 2009

How Dare the Israelis Bomb a Mosque

Because it was a Munitions Depot!!!!

Islamic University of Gaza

Why would the Israelis target an institution of higher learning in a supposed operation against Hamas?

This is the type of question asked by Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Akram Habeeb, who tells us "that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities".

This is where kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl Gilad Shalit spent months before being relocated. Fatah themselves reported that in February 2007 the Palestinian Presidential Guard stormed the university and "confiscated weapons and ammunition. Palestinian TV aired footage of dozens of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rockets, and assault rifles, as well as thousands of bullets, that Mr. Abbas’s officials said had been found inside the university."

Far from the war crime that it has been painted in The Nation with groups of students being hit trying to find a way home from the University (Note that "There were no casualties, as the university was evacuated when the Israeli assault began on Saturday" was reported by a BBC Jounalist in Gaza though reference to that statement seems to have disappeared from the BBC Site) the IUG is an established arms factory and depot and is an obvious military target.

And let's talk about that The Nation article by the cretin Richard Falk, but later...

04 January 2009

Proportional Response

I have just decided that I need to change my position on "Proportional Response". I have, until now believed that Proportional Response would be a totally irresponsible policy for Israel that would be equivalent to trading death for death until only one side is still standing. I realized today that proportional response is nothing like that and it is reasonable with the following guidelines:
  • Base "proportional" on the inverse of Article 7 of the Hamas Charter (related by al-Bukhari and Muslem): "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Cedar tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."
  • End the "proportional response" when the inverse of the Hamas goal (expressed by Hamas leader Fathi Hammad in Gaza on 2 January  2009) is met: "We will not rest until we destroy the Zionist entity"

This was expressed well by (nom de plume) Higgs Boson at Daniel Pipes site (responding to Pipes "Israel's War on Hamas: A Dozen Thoughts" as:
Proportional Response --
  • Hamas' stated goal : Total destruction of Israel and death of all Jews.
  • Israel's stated goal : Total destruction of Hamas
/ Q.E.D.