Archive for July 2011

Norwegian fundamentalist

July 27, 2011

Anders Breivik a pathetic Islamophobe who simply could not get used to the fact that not all Norwegians were named OLAF any more. A sad,broken narcissist,replete with military insignia convinced he was saving “Christian” Europe from the Muslim hordes. Every country sports these fundamentalists , shattered by the new world and looking for a pure, uncontaminated abode to live in. Norway had gone to the dogs.Canada may be next in the Muslim takeover.What horseshit.How many Muslims do they know?

These fundamentalists come in many stripes. Unable to deal with modernity and a world shattered largely by right wing economic greedsters, Ayn Rand disciples like Greenspan and Friedman, they do not know where to turn to assuage their confusion and anger.The brown people will do as handy scapegoats if you please.

Catholicism is rife with these fundamentalists.Convinced that the centre is not holding, they grab on to the barque of Peter and engage in popolatry so they will not have to think anymore. They are unable to cope with any anbiguity, any whiff of pluralism, a multi hued world etc.

In the middle are the confused and confusing surfers of the Internet hoping to find some wisdom they are unable to find in religion.And thy pass on to unsuspecting friends Islamophobisc rants, not too distant from the racist antisemitism of 50 years ago. Maybe this will give them pause from forwarding such demeaning crap about the vast majority of Muslims.
What has happened to the world we knew, where everybody in Toronto looked like McNeil.It must be the Muslims.

And into the confusion steps people like MacLean’s Mark Steyn and the Murdoch papers so quick like Fox news to quickly assume another Al Qaida maniac was loose this time in Norway.

Wrong.More like that ex-altar boy Timothy McVeigh.

Christian? Enough to make the nonviolent one weep.

The spear carrier for the Pax Americana

July 24, 2011

Can there be any public figure more pathetic than Tony Blair?
Like Clinton, he will come and speak to your group for $100,000 and up.

Shamed over kissing American culo over Iraq, he is now outed in the Murdoch scandal.It is reported his first trip on winning the premiership was to hike off to Australia to genuflect to the Dirty Digger. Murdoch, a man totally devoid of principle, never cared what party he bought and Labour was just fine with him.

He who pays the piper etc and Murdoch managed with Blair to turn the Labour Party into the mushy middle like Clinton’s Democrats. Money as we know corrupts everything.

Perhaps the greatest joke of Blair’s pathetic “international statesman” role was that of Middle East envoy, in fact only Washington’s envoy in this boiling cauldron of festering injustice to the Palestinians. The craven Blair was nothing more than a shill for Israel, almost as bad as Canada’s Stephen Harper.

The brilliant Lebanese reporter Rami Khouri put it best: “Appointing Tony Blair as special envoy for Arab-Israeli peace is something like appointing the emperor Nero as chief fireman of Rome.”

A real pilgrimage to Israel

July 21, 2011

This from a present pilgrim in Israel

Our next stop does not appear on any tour guide’s list of recommended stops. But we are not a group of sight-seers. We are pilgrims looking for the holy people and the holy places of this land. Tucked inside Bethlehem’s oldest refugee area, Ida Camp, we found both. Ida Camp once had the main road connecting Jerusalem and Hebron as it ran through Bethlehem. Today, the annexation fence, a stone wall towering ten meters high, has sealed in the Palestinians like a modern day Warsaw Ghetto, an irony not lost on the locals, whose beautiful graffiti adorns their side of the wall with messages critical of the Israeli government’s treatment of the people. One message, scrawled in simple black font, reads: “You Survived The Holocaust To Do This?”

The wall itself follows no practical border, but instead, gerrymanders in such a way that it seals off the most Palestinians in the smallest possible area. One area of the wall speaks to the ridiculousness of the route, where the stone surrounds a Palestinian home on three sides. The house, also a pair of shops, is home to two families. Their front doors open onto what used to be the main street. Now, the only view is the graffiti on the wall and the puzzled looks of tourists as they wonder what dead end they’ve come to. But inside one store, thirteen year old Danny and twenty-two year old Christine happily run back and forth inside the small shop, checking prices, selling hand-carved figurines, postcards and garments. They have adapted to the suppression and in many ways, risen higher than the walls that encircle them.

The group walked through Ida Camp and made their way through the same checkpoint that every day, thousands of Palestinians must go through to get into Israel, a humiliating stretch of crowded walkways where the guide rails look like the paths of a cattle pen. After snaking our way through the metal maze and passing through turnstiles, one by one, we approached heavy bullet-proof glass where Israeli troops waved us through a metal detector while our belongings went through an X-ray machine. Above us, on catwalks, guards armed with machine guns patrolled, scanning the Palestinians below. Children looked up but were not surprised by what they saw. This was just another day for them.

After making it through the checkpoints, which took the group 37 minutes (one-third the time it normally takes since it was not the early morning when thousands head to work), we headed North on the bus to Galilee. It was a solemn, sad drive for most. We watched the streets become cleaner, the store fronts become more elegant, and an entire society ignoring one of the most atrocious violations of human rights of the Twenty-first Century.

The two hour drive brought a change in elevation, terrain and vegetation. We watched the desert bloom, as Date Palm farms and lush greenery burst by the windows, and finally arriving in the city of Nazareth, we found a bustling city-center.

The Pot and the Kettle

July 18, 2011

Conrad Black on Rupert Murdoch

“Although his personality is generally quite agreeable, Mr. Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company,” writes Conrad Black, former owner of Telegraph Newspapers, a competitor of News International. “He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; is an exploiter of the discomfort of others; and has betrayed every political leader who ever helped him in any country, except Ronald Reagan and perhaps Tony Blair “All (Murdoch’s) instincts are down-market; he is not only a tabloid sensationalist; he is a malicious myth-maker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of respected institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism … His notions of public entertainment and civic values are enshrined in the cartoon television series The Simpsons: all public officials are crooks and the public is an ignorant lumpenproletariat.”

As Bill Murray often said on SNL

I have to laugh.

The Ugly Face of the Occupation

July 13, 2011

First the state drove 750,000 Palestinian’s out in 1948,then took land in the 6 Day War (1967), now they attempt to make it impossible for Palestinians to remain. Here is Daoud’s story

Daoud’s 100 acre farm south of Bethlehem has been in the family through 4 occupations: Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Israeli. Israel has colonized the area with 5 settlements and is striving to drive all the Palestinians off the land and into the cities. Daoud’s Palestinian Christian family has refused to be moved and has been having legal battles in courts for 20 years. They are protected by legal ownership papers from 3 of the four occupiers. Offered millions of dollars, Daoud’s response was “We can’t sell the land, our mother.”

Besides the legal battles, Israel has used several other strategies to get them off the land. The road to their farm has been blockaded. They are granted no permits for construction, so they utilize caves and tents. Even the tents have demolition orders from the Israeli army. Israeli settlers have uprooted 350 of their olive trees. The nearby Israeli settlement has abundant water – enough for a swimming pool – while rain collected in cisterns is the only source of water on the farm. The Israeli settlement has electricity 24/7 but Israel will not permit the farm to be connected to the grid.
In the face of all this harassment, Daoud and family have developed a strategy of their own. They call it the “Tent of the Nations.” Rather than abandon their land, they are committed to developing it with help from many nations. German aid brought them solar panels to relieve the heavy cost of diesel fuel for the generator. Volunteers from many nations, living in the tents, have replanted the olive trees. Camps for Palestinian children are held all summer to re-introduce them to the land. And most important of all, bridges are being built between Israelis and Palestinians. Daoud says, “We refuse to be enemies!”

Iggy missed the wave

July 12, 2011

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

So saith the Bard in Julius Caesar

And poor Michael Ignatieff fell under the tide as did other notable scriveners like Richard Gwyn of the Star. When the moment of the Iraq War arose these men for whatever reason—career usually, chummy next to power—who knows.There was no moral cente which should have steered them away from war —always a defeat for humanity—as JP ll so wisely opined. These men had never lived war nor did the cheerleaders like Cheney,Wolfowitz, so quick to send the poor to die in imperial wars.

Ignatieff totally missed the moment when great men risk their displeasure of the emperor and the craven opinion makers.They came down on the side of emperor and empire. Ignatieff never recovered.There was little to choose between him and Harper—also a cheerleader for war.We knew that of Harper, an empire lover from the beginning but Iggy was supposed to be a public intellectual, a man who should have devoted himself to peace and the common good.

In the end, he was a sad hack, content to bow to power.

Ugly nationalism

July 5, 2011

We look at the bizarre antics of the Serbian coward Mladic
before the International Criminal Court and ask where has
the bravado gone, his strutting around the Balkans while
in charge of murder and ethnic cleansing.Now we see the
mad dog barking at the Dutch judge.

Such is the price of ugly nationalism, the evil orchestrated
by Slobodan Milosevic 20 years ago.

In times of crisis as Hitler proved, rational people lose
their centre, look for scapegoats and generally fall for
demagoguery. The United States is perilously close to this now.The appalling parade of Republican candidates ready to take on Obama is frightening.Where are the Bushes, Cheneys and Rumsfelds now? Lining their pockets as ordinary people struggle to pick up the shards of their broken lives,not
knowing where to turn.

Sheep without a shepherd.