Saturday, December 3, 2016

Farzana Hassan: Let's Not Turn Our (Public) Schools Into Mosques

One would think that that one's a no-brainer. But as Hassan points out, the schools-as-mosques agenda is currently making inroads in Mississauga(stan).

Insane At the UN

The United Nations General Assembly, the Golan, and Theater of the Absurd

Insane In the U.K.

New Poll: More British Muslims Blame Jews for 9/11 Terror Attacks Than Al-Qaeda

Surely (and Yea, Verily), Sean Pean is an Apologist for a Brutal Dictator

Spicoli, who's having a really hard time with the Trump business, weighs in on CNN's "biased" coverage of Castro's passing:
Surely, in any revolution, in any fog of war, there will be those who suffer unfairly. Surely it was not only the elite collaborators of the dictator Fulgencia Batista, his corruption, and oppression who would suffer in the settling fog of the Cuban revolution. Surely atrocities and tragedies occurred whether directly or indirectly attributable to Castro or the revolution. Just as certain are the nuances of military and economic interventions and acts of terrorism against Cuba that arguably sustained a continuation of tragedies and atrocities. It is in regard to these nuances that the objective among us have the highest responsibility.
Ah, yes--"those who suffer unfairly," "atrocities and tragedies," and, last but not least (no, never least with those who share Penn's worldview), "nuance".

Re all of the above, I think another now-dead Communist mass-murderer said it best when he observed: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

Update: The CBC offers a glimpse into everyday life in Fidel's "nuanced" utopia:
Five days a week, 22-year-old Daniela heads off to school in Havana, where she instructs six- and seven-year-olds on the basics of math and Spanish. 
The work may be rewarding, but the pay leaves something to be desired. 
And so at least three nights out of the week, the young schoolteacher and mother of two puts on a short, tight-fitting dress, goes out into the city very late and tries to sell herself to tourists for sex. 
"It's the only way I can survive and help my kids." 
Daniela is not her real name, and she did not want to be photographed. The fact that she must turn to the streets for money bothers her "mucho," she says, sitting in the bar of a quiet, clean-looking Havana hotel that offers rooms for some prostitutes and their clients. 
"Hopefully something happens in the future, [like] the government raises the salaries," she says. 
Daniela's been a sex worker for about a year, and she says the majority of her friends are also in the trade. 
She refuses to say what she earns moonlighting, but it's a safe bet that even during slow weeks, it's more than the 20 Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUCs) — roughly 25 Canadian dollars — a month she makes as a teacher...
And there you have it. Unless you're part of the ruling cadre, you have to sell yourself to the tuuristas just to survive. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

"Vigilant Empathy"

It's what Howard Gordon, co-creator of TV series Homeland, says he's trying to manifest in an effort to not succumb to the "xenophobia" inherent in a TV show that deals with, well, terrorism in our time. In furtherance of that desire, Gordon describes a current plot point--a case of the big, bad government trying to entrap a mouthy but likely harmless lad who is merely trying to exercise his First Amendment right to free speech:
For instance, this year, the beginning of it involves the sort of big business of prosecuting entrapment. It actually tests thethe edges of free speech. How can someone express their discontent with American policy — even a reckless kid who might express his views that may be sympathetic to enemies of America, but still is not, himself, a terrorist, but is being set up to be one by the big business of government?
Yes, that is a thorny question. Here's another: what's the point of having a show about contemporary terrorism if you're not prepared to make the jihad/jihadis the villains?

Isn't that moral relativism taken to absurd--even dangerously suicidal--extremes?

Not according to Gordon. He thinks that acknowledging the reality that jihad/jihadis are bad (my words, not his) is to be avoided at all costs. It's his way, he says, of
being very conscious about not wanting to be a midwife to these base ideas [that some Muslims are terrorists; that Islamic terrorism is something to fear]. We’re all affected, unwittingly, by who we are and how we see the world. It requires creating an environment where people can speak freely about these things.
Oh, you mean like, say, calling a jihadi terrorist attack on an American military base an instance of "workplace violence"?

You see, when it comes to "vigilant empathy," Barack Obama's goes waaaay back.

Another way of looking at it is this: what Gordon sees as exercising "vigilant empathy" is what those who prefer to truck in the truth would call being a "useful idiot" for jihad.

Collector's Item

Newsweek's 'Madam President' Issue Has Become a $10,000 Hit on Ebay

Thursday, December 1, 2016

John le Carré In His Heyday Couldn't Have Come Up With This One

Here's one of your stranger non-fictional spy yarns--the Germans recruited a former gay porn performer to spy on their behalf only to discover that the man had "reverted" to Islam and is suspecting of becoming a double agent in order to assist the jihad.

At the moment it isn't clear to these German Clouseaus at what point the man reverted--before or after he was initially recruited-- and what impact that would have had on his, er, spying.

Further, the whole situation is quite upsetting because The Spy Who Came Out Of the Porn (as I like to think of him) was thoroughly vetting prior to being hired:
According to DPA, the suspect had undergone a security check, and five references - including former supervisors and colleagues - were questioned. There were no concerns voiced about him taking on the position.
Five references, eh? Were their first names Mohammed, Mohammad, Muhamad, Mohammed and Angela, perchance?

TV Show Quantico's Magical Thinking: There ARE No Muslim Terrorists

Even thought the global jihad is still going like gangbusters, with the self-proclaimed caliphate luring scads of lads to fight the holy war in Syria and claiming credit for motivating the violent antics of the self-radicalized in America, the creator of TV show Quantico, an egregious and unabashed poseur, has made a solemn vow to avoid/ignore/wish away the clear and present danger of violent jihad (my bolds):
It's no secret that the current state of Muslim representation on TV is troubling, particularly as a post-9/11 culture oversaw the rise of the trope of the Muslim terrorist and as Donald Trump's proposed Muslim ban stokes Islamophobia. Quantico, however, won't be a site for such stereotypes, according to showrunner Josh Safran. Participating in a roundtable discussion for the New York Times, Safran revealed that one of the major rules for Quantico is that it never feature a Muslin terrorist, an edict to which it has so far held fast. He explained, "For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show. There hasn’t been one." He added that the show's current season came close, but only for the sake of misdirection. "This year we have the appearance of one — which is a spoiler. But it’s not true," he said. The guideline is just one of the ways Quantico is responding to the present political climate, according to Safran, who intends to significantly change the tone of the show. He revealed, "I called the network and I said, 'Can we change the show?' They said yes. We’re changing the show so that it can represent, in a dark time, more hope." Yes, in the darkest of times, there is always TV.
Hey, I get where he's coming from. In the darkest days of the Great Depression, Hollywood provided much-needed escapism in the form of preternaturally perky Shirley Temple displaying her dimples and curls as she tap danced her little heart out. In these darkest of times, why harp on the most insidious and most terrifying threat of our era, especially when doing so could provoke the Loch Ness Monster most dreaded of hatreds, "Islamophobia"?

As for the show's "hope" trope--as poet Emily Dickinson remarked, "Hope is the thing with feathers." And dare one say that in Quantico's case, it's a turkey, a ridiculous-looking bird with wings far too puny to make its ungainly body soar?

That said, what's the point of producing something that's supposed to be a true-to-life thriller when its creator is steadfastly committed to overlooking the elephant--or is it a camel?--in the room and on the set?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Did Justin Trudeau Skip Castro's Funeral Because of "Mean" Right-Wingers' Tweets?

This Toronto Star opiner seems to think that that's what happened--and isn't at all pleased about it. He complains that
Trudeau is being mocked on Twitter. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has chastised Trudeau for calling Castro remarkable. Conservative foreign affairs critic Peter Kent has accused Trudeau of being naïve. 
Even hard-right U.S. Republicans, such as Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have attacked the Canadian prime minister. 
That all of this is happening is not surprising. What is surprising is that Trudeau seems to care what these people think. 
His father wouldn’t have cared. Pierre Trudeau wouldn’t have snubbed Fidel Castro just to mollify social media, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. 
He would have gone proudly to the old villain’s funeral. 
And in spite of themselves, Canadians would have loved him for going.
First off, anyone who thinks Justin Trudeau gave Castro's send off a pass because of something Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz said is clearly out to lunch.

Second of all, if Walkom's such a huge Castro fan, why didn't he go to the funeral?

Toronto Star readers would have loved him for that.

UNGA Bunga

The UN beclowns itself (for the sake of "Palestinian" solidarity) yet again:
UNITED NATIONS — The president of the United Nations General Assembly wore a scarf with the colors of the Palestinian flag around his neck on Tuesday while addressing a special session of the 193-member assembly to mark Palestinian solidarity day.

The UN’s “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” in marked annually on November 29, the anniversary of the United Nations recognizing the Partition Plan that called for the creation of the State of Israel and of an independent Arab state. 
Donning the colors of the Palestinian flag as well as a black-and-white keffiyeh associated with Palestinians, Peter Thomson of Fiji, the president of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, said peace between Israel and the Palestinians was “fundamental to our efforts to realize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and to ensure that they are able to enjoy lives of dignity, opportunity, prosperity, and equality.” 
“However, the pursuit of peace has been mired by continuing terror attacks against civilians, and brutal acts of violence by both sides,” Thomson said. He did not note that the majority of the stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks that began last year — and have seen a significant drop in recent weeks — have been perpetrated by Palestinians.    
Dear Peter Thomson of Fiji: you, sir, are a useful idiot non pareil.

Now Seems as Good a Time as Any to Debunk the Myth That Fidel Castro Once Tried Out for the Yankees

Contrary what you may (or may not) have heard, it never happened.