October 10, 2006

Oct. 10, 2006: Various

I have added an update to "Oct. 6, 2006: What is behind this concern?" re: Senator Serge Joyal -- "The Senate: Motion to Urge Government to Reconsider Decision to Discontinue the Court Challenges Program".

I understand the Court Challenges Program has been used liberally by francophones, though, under Liberal governments, Canadians were not privy to who / which groups received money for which challenge nor how much taxpayer money was given to these groups. No wonder Senator Serge Joyal appears to be having a fit of pique over an end to the sluicing of money to ... his concerns. Make no mistake about what are his primary concerns, as mentioned in the update.


A must read article if you own or are in the long process of paying for your own home

Identity thieves target condo -- Shocked owners hit with $250,000 mortgage -- Bank says it's a victim too, refuses to wipe out debt , Harold Levy Oct. 7, 2006, The Star, via newsbeat1


One of Canada's largest banks is locked in a legal battle with a North York couple who lost their condo to identity thieves and are faced with a $247,860 mortgage the thieves put on their home.

The Toronto Dominion Bank acknowledged in a document filed in Superior Court last month that Seyed Aboulgasm Rabi and his wife Shohreh Shafiei are "victims of a sophisticated fraud." But the bank says it too is an innocent victim and, while it has not tried to collect on the mortgage, the couple is still legally responsible for it. [....]

"The bank is here (in court) because the (bank's) insurer refuses to pay, saying it's a valid mortgage," Cooper told the court. "They are making a bet that my client may get public money to pay this mortgage." [....]

One Laptop Per Child

I feel apprehensive about this. What a way to get children used to someone else's control, the control not already Microsoft's. It reminds me of Maurice Strong and network's ManyOne ... or is it OneWorld network?

Laptop project may aid security , Brian Bergstein, AP, Oct. 7, 06


[....] The One Laptop Per Child project, a nonprofit begun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, aims to improve education by giving children bright-colored, hand-cranked, wireless-enabled portable computers.

Governments are to buy the laptops — beginning in 2007 with up to 7 million machines in Thailand, Nigeria, Brazil and Argentina — and hand them to kids for them to own.

... the free Linux operating system, flash memory instead of a hard drive and a microprocessor that is slow by today's standards but requires minimal power.

[....] unnecessary ... anti-virus software.

[....] "a walled garden" ...

[....] One particularly thorny potential problem is that the laptops can communicate with one another in a "mesh" network, sharing data and programming code. A computing Web site reported this week that Krstic had described that setup to the ToorCon security conference as "very scary."

Search: code-sharing , whenever the machines get in wireless range of the children's school

Statism isn't Liberalism , George Jonas, NatPost, Oct. 7, 06


[....] Certain errors (as I've written in a different context before) require high IQs.

What errors? The first was the belief that the enemies of liberalism were all on the right side of the political spectrum. Liberals thought that -- as the French saying has it -- "there's no enemy on the left." This made them vulnerable to the influence of socialist-type statism. They tried to be better than fair, which is like trying to be straighter than vertical. Eventually, they bent so far backwards looking for social and economic justice that they just toppled over.

Liberals tried to cook a dish by keeping the ingredients raw and separate: multiculturalism. They tried to balance one injustice with another: affirmative action. They abandoned the individual as the focal point of humanity's quest for liberty and justice, and focused instead on the group. Rather than equality for each person, they sought parity for every racial, sexual or ethnic aggregate.

Liberals lost sight of the fact that, while equality is a liberal idea, capable of fulfilment in a free society, parity is an illiberal notion that requires coercion to achieve. Guaranteeing opportunity is liberal; guaranteeing outcome is illiberal. It's as simple as that, but they didn't see it.

Death of the woman who shamed Moscow , Oct. 8 06


RUSSIA’S most famous investigative reporter, Anna Politkovskaya, was gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment block yesterday in an apparent contract killing.

A fearless opponent of Russia’s wars in Chechnya who once described President Vladimir Putin as a “KGB snoop” and compared him to Stalin, she was shot as she returned home from a shopping trip at 4.30pm. A pistol and four bullets were found near her body.

She was the most prominent of dozens of Russian journalists murdered in the past 10 years and her death has dealt a serious blow to the country’s reputation.

[....] Dirty War, her book on the conflict in Chechnya, provoked fury in the security forces. In Dirty Russia, another book, she claimed Putin was rolling back democracy and clamping down on media freedom.

Media insult us with leadership coverage overkill , John Robson, Ottawa Citizen October 6, 2006, p. A12, via Jaeger at smalldeadanimals.com


[....] Rotting infrastructure: now there’s a story. So read James Gordon’s Structures or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. Especially the bits on cement. And if you must stare in horror at politics, try Friedrich Hayek’s 1949 pamphlet The Intellectuals and Socialism, with its still-relevant warning that “it is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs and the consequent absence of first hand knowledge of them which distinguishes the typical intellectual from other people who also wield the power of the spoken and written word.” Say, Pierre Trudeau. Or Michael Ignatieff. Or Stéphane Dion. Or Bob Rae ... [....]

The UN: ethical lodestar of the liberal left

UN staff claim school fees for phantom offspring , David Leppard, October 08, 2006, via newsbeat1


STAFF at the United Nations headquarters in New York claimed tens of thousands of pounds in school fees for non-existent children, one of its most senior auditors has revealed.

Hundreds of employees also defrauded US tax authorities by claiming refunds for mortgage interest and property taxes that should have gone to the UN.

These are just two of the scams to be revealed in a book by Edwin Nhliziyo, chief auditor of the UN’s peacekeeping division until his retirement.

His account aims to expose how the UN is losing hundreds of millions of pounds through corruption and fraud. [....]

Search: one of the first auditors to examine the Iraq oil for food programme , cash bribes of up to $160,000

BREAKING THE IRAN N-IMPASSE , by Amir Taheri, Arab News, Sept. 30, 2006


Could Russian incompetence provide an unexpected way out of the impasse over Iran's nuclear program?

The question is seriously raised in both Tehran and the major Western capitals as both sides seek a way to prevent the total collapse of the negotiating process. The man who brought up the question is none other than Assistant to the President and Director of the Islamic Republic's Nuclear Program Ghulam-Reza Aqazadeh. He was in Moscow last week, trying to get "some clear answers" about the fate of Iran's first and so far only nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

The plant was initially due for completion in March 2004. That was later postponed to March 2005, a date chosen to allow the then President Muhammad Khatami to leave office with a bang. When that did not happen, the newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set a new inauguration date: Feb. 11, 2006, which marked the 27th anniversary of the revolution.

Last month, however, Aqazadeh informed Ahmadinejad that the new inauguration deadline could not be met. A team of scientists sent by Aqazadeh to inspect the plant discovered "hundreds of problems" and came up with questions that "need to be addressed before we accept delivery."

Denial and the Frog , George H. Wittman, Oct. 6, 06


George H. Wittman, a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, was the founding chairman of the National Institute for Public Policy.

Denial, the theme of Bob Woodward's recent book, should not be limited to the Bush Administration's view of Iraq. Denial is an equal opportunity state of mind and those who want a swift exit of U.S./U.K. forces from Iraq also choose to ignore reality.

It is uncontested that the Shia are well on their way to gaining control of the military and security apparatus of Iraq. Upon the departure of American and coalition forces within the next year or so, the Shia hierarchy, aided by well-armed militia and well-organized death squads, clearly would have the ability to dominate Iraqi political life and thus its economy.

The price for acquiescence of the Kurds has always been autonomy and sharing in control of the oil industry in the Kirkuk and Mosul areas. Already increasingly fearful, Turkey would view a new oil-endowed autonomous Kurdistan as

For the frog reference, you'll have to read to the end.

Patterico’s Exclusive Interview with a Man Who Has Spoken to the Terrorists at Guantánamo (Part Four: The Treatment of the Detainees) , Oct. 5, 06


[This is Part Four of my exclusive interview with “Stashiu,” an Army nurse who worked at Guantánamo, and who spoke on a regular basis with detainees with psychological and/or behavioral problems. Part One can be accessed here. Part Two is available here. Part Three is here.

As before, these posts represent Stashiu’s opinions and experiences, and are not meant to represent anything or anyone else, including the opinions of the U.S. Army. Stashiu wants me to make it clear that nearly everything discussed here has been officially released. As to those parts that are based on his personal experience, he has been careful to respect operational security and confidentiality.

In today’s entry, Stashiu talks about the United States’ treatment of the detainees at Guantánamo — and the detainees’ treatment of U.S. personnel. If you read to the end, you might also learn who has been abusing Korans at Gitmo.]

I asked Stashiu how he felt detainees at Gitmo were treated. He said:

As humanely as possible. Many times with more respect than was deserved based on their behavior. Taking things personally or retaliating against something a detainee did was not only against the rules, it was frowned upon. [....]

Well worth reading to the end.

A man of straw no more? , October 6, 2006, via newsbeat1


[....] It is in itself a commentary on how far the British have already slid into cultural servitude that asking someone politely if they wouldn’t mind removing the black shroud from their face before having a conversation should have provoked such a storm of controversy over whether or not this was an infringement of personal and religious liberty. We communicate with each other not merely through speech but by looking at the other person’s face. People expect to be able to see others as people, not depersonalised shrouds with eyes. Such concealment diminishes the sense of human community, the feeling that we share the world with other beings like us. It creates a profound sense of anomie and unease.

But more significantly – and [Jack] Straw did not say this – this type of veil is itself a direct threat to liberty. Clearly, it is a matter of debate within the Islamic world whether it – or, indeed, any type of veil – is necessary to satisfy the injunction upon women to preserve their modesty. What is beyond doubt is that the blackout veil is associated with most extreme interpretation of Islam, which holds that Islamic values must supersede all other values, including those of the secular state. Wearing this veil is thus a political statement of cultural and religious hostility to the British state. Objecting to it, therefore, is not an example of intolerance or religious discrimination. Religious garb should certainly be tolerated, even if it is outlandish; what people wear is their own affair. But this veil is not their own affair. It affects the rest of us because it is inherently aggressive and intimidatory. That is why it is unacceptable.

[....] The second was the disclosure by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Rose Fitzpatrick — responsible for ‘community integration’ — that the police were considering establishing a group of Muslims with whom to ‘share police intelligence’.

Can anyone imagine, at the height of the bombing campaign in Northern Ireland, the Royal Ulster Constabulary sharing intelligence about IRA suspects with a committee of representatives from the Bogside?

Lloyd Billingsley: Chile con Commies FrontPageMagazine.


[....] As part of operation TOUCAN, the KGB also forged a letter tying the CIA to an assassination campaign by Chile’s DINA. The World Was Going Our Way includes the entire letter, for which many fell, including columnist Jack Anderson. The volume also notes that, in 1976, the New York Times published 66 articles on human rights abuses in Chile and only four on Cambodia, where the Khmer Rouge killed 1.5 million out of that nation’s 7.5 million people. The authors find no adequate explanation for this “extraordinary discrepancy,” but there is one.

[....] Hernando de Soto’s “other path” of free markets is out of favor in Latin America, where the trend is leftward and anti-American. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez appears to be constantly channeling his inner Castro and Mussolini. The leftist Evo Morales has been elected in Bolivia, and left-leaning governments prevail in Brazil and Argentina. There is no longer a Soviet Union to intervene, but as history shows, Latin American leaders are perfectly capable of wrecking their own economies and confusing their friends with their enemies.

Memory Lane

Canada: Legalizing Pot Would Put Workers At Risk, Expert Warns -- Marijuana Use Associated With Fatigue, Inability To Focus, Scientist Says -- U.S. studies , Francine Kopun, 23 Nov 2004, NatPost


Legalizing marijuana in Canada would lead to a surge in inexperienced users who could be putting themselves at risk in the workplace, according to a workplace health and safety expert.

[....] The workers also reported more absenteeism, tardiness, accidents, worker's compensation claims and job turnover. They were more likely to report to work with a hangover, miss work because of a hangover and be drunk or use drugs at work, according to the findings of the studies, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Although medical research has found marijuana can relieve symptoms for people suffering from everything from chronic pain to nausea induced by chemotherapy or AIDS treatments, side effects can include short-term memory problems, and in some people smoking or ingesting marijuana can trigger hallucinations or paranoia. Some studies have shown it can also worsen or trigger pre-existing psychiatric conditions. [....]

Alcohol and such prescription drugs as tranquillizers and sleeping pills present a far greater problem than recreational drug use, Dr.Shain said. [....]

News of the Day (October 6), China-e-lobby


NATO Commanders in Afghanistan detail Pakistan's support for the Taliban: The military commanders reveal that the level of support for Osama bin Laden's former hosts in Pakistan ranges "from ISI-run training camps near Quetta to huge ammunition dumps, arrival points for Taliban's new weapons and meeting places of the shura, or leadership council, in Quetta" (Daily Telegraph, UK, emphasis added). ISI is a reference to the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Intelligence; Quetta is city in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, and it is also the source for "Hundreds of Taliban reinforcements in pick-up trucks . . . waved on by Pakistani border guards" (emphasis added). The information on the support from Pakistan - Communist China's fifty-plus-year ally - comes from Taliban members themselves, "many of them Pakistanis" captured in a recent two-week battle. The NATO commanders who presented the evidence are from the U.S., Great Britain, Denmark, Canada, and the Netherlands; these are the nations "whose troops have just fought the bloodiest battle with the Taliban in five years." One NATO chief put it thusly: "It is time for an 'either you are with us or against us' delivered bluntly to (Pakistani strongman) Musharraf at the highest political level." The Musharraf regime signed a peace deal with the Taliban last month.

A new member for the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Welcome to the CBFA, Boycott 2008 Communist Olympics. [ boycott2008games.blogspot.com/ ] [....]

Memory Lane

Olympic legend Sir Matthew Pinsent has been left stunned by the treatment of young gymnasts in Beijing. , Nov. 17, 2005, "Pinsent shocked by China training"


The four-times gold medallist assessed China's preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games for BBC Radio Five Live.

Pinsent, who described children in pain while training and claimed a boy had been beaten by his coach, said: "It was a pretty disturbing experience."

[....] Pinsent, a former IOC and current British Olympic Association member, felt children were being pushed beyond acceptable limits in pursuit of excellence.

[....] The choice of Beijing to host the Games has been condemned in some quarters because of the country's poor human rights record. [....]

I'm sorry ...

... for the terrible crimes committed by Muslims
, Toronto Sun, 2006-09-30, Salim Mansur. Posted on 09/30/2006 2:06:49 AM PDT by Clive on Free Republic


[....] Muslims and non-Muslims often point to the fact there is no Vatican in contemporary Islam -- no figure like the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury who authoritatively represents the Muslim world.

This is only partly true, for the lack of a Pope-like figure among Muslims does not mean an absence of an institutionalized setting operative in the Muslim world. [....]

Worth reading

Why would Syria torture Arar -- You know what I don't get about the Maher Arar fiasco? , Peter Worthington, Sept. 22, 06, via Free Republic


[....] Maher Arar has always maintained he was never linked with al-Qaida and not remotely connected to terrorism -- a view supported and then some, by Mr. Justice Dennis O'Connor's detailed report that damns the RCMP for reckless behaviour in forwarding unsubstantiated allegations to the Americans about him.

All that is straightforward and understandable.

What I don't get -- and have never gotten from the start of this weird miscarriage of justice and accountability -- is why the Syrians would imprison and torture Arar if the Americans (and RCMP) thought he was an al-Qaida or any other sort of terrorist?

Since when have the Syrians -- big supporters of Hezbollah and a sanctuary for anti-American fighters from Iraq -- been torturing people suspected of seeking to undermine Americans?

A number of us don't get it; then we think of the word dissembling and how Middle Easterners manage to travel from country to country (Khadr) without money and/or passports ... but they are able to travel anyway ...... Money seems to travel outside the regular banking system ....... False documents? ...... Buying documents? I'm waiting for the sequels. I'm sure Mr. Arar will be compensated but he's asking for compensation from the wrong groups. There may have been mistakes but no Canadians nor Americans tortured him. However, he knows he wouldn't get a cent for torture out of anywhere but the West. Who are the fools? I've read too many lies to accept this as the last chapter. The lies and hatred so readily spouted out of that area of the world dispose me toward cynicism.

A must read article

Enough with the ideological tribalism , David Asper, National Post, October 07, 2006


This week's attacks by interim Liberal leader Bill Graham against Darrel Reid, who has been designated as chief of staff to Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, are as telling as they are petty. [....]

As for the current Liberal leadership contest, every candidate should answer a basic question: "Do you agree that social conservatives have the right to express their views without fear of being humiliated by your party?" [....]

Let us imagine that the Liberals were applying the same intolerant attitude to a different group. Say, for example, they were picking on a group of aboriginal Canadians who embrace native creationism and rely on that view as part of their rationale for asserting land claims. Imagine that the Liberal party put out a press release mocking the Creator, reincarnation and multiple spirits as nothing more than modern-day paganism. Imagine the uproar.

Of course, this would never happen: To some Liberals, this category of victim would be politically inappropriate. (In other words, they could not get away with it.) But Mr. Reid is an evangelical Christian. [....]

Gallery scraps art, fearing Muslim rage -curator -- or here



PARIS (Reuters) - A London gallery has decided not to show some works of art because it fears they would upset Muslims, a curator said on Friday, a week after a German opera house canned a Mozart production for the same reason.

The director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery decided to remove works by surrealist artist Hans Bellmer from an exhibition the day before it was due to open, one of the museum's curators, Agnes de la Beaumelle, told Reuters.

[....] Last week, Berlin's Deutsche Oper reignited a heated debate in Europe over free speech and had to fend off charges of cowardice after it cancelled performances of Mozart's "Idomeno", fearing they could enrage Muslims and pose a security risk.

Self-censorship ... out of fear of Muslim fanatics. It is time to do the exact opposite.

Hans Bellmer in The Art Institute of Chicago: The Wandering Libido and the Hysterical Body , Sue Taylor, Department of Art History, The University of Chicago, pages 1-4.

Skim these for your own reaction:





Russia v Georgia -- re Putin , via starboardside on PuntedPosters Forum




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