Monday, December 31, 2012

New York Subway Murder: What is this world coming to?

Image from surveillance video released by the NYPD shows a woman wanted
 in the subway push death of a man in Queens on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. / WCBS

It is staggering that there are such people out there, people capable of such hatred and cruelty. A woman shoved a man onto a subway track in New York City because, as she stated, she hates Muslims and Hindus because of 9/11 (of course no Hindus were involved in 9/11 and Al Qaeda represents a tiny tiny fraction of Muslims).

This woman's ignorance and hatred is unbelievable.

It is actually unclear if the man killed was Muslim - he was from India - so may have been Hindu or Christian.

You can click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Sunday, December 30, 2012

India: Tragic Cases of Gang Rape

Two gruesome cases of gang rape in India have received international media attention. Symptomatic of longer standing problems, they have shed a light on the poor state of women's rights in India - both the mistreatment women face in public places - glaring and groping by men are very common on buses and in public places - and the dismal lack of recourse for these women.

In one tragic case police pressured the woman to drop changes against those who gang-raped her, asking her to marry one of the rapists. In response to this appalling suggestion, she committed suicide.

Another gang-rape victim was severely injured from accompanying beatings, and has died in hospital.

This is not acceptable, there needs to be a change. Women in India need to be able to walk outside, take the bus, do basic everyday things, and feel safe. Also, they need to be able to seek proper recourse.

This is a very bad state of affairs.

Recommend this post

Friday, December 28, 2012

Harper's Not Done Selling Canada to China

President Hu Jintao: Steve, sign right there.

So Harper wants to sell more Canadian natural resources to China. What happened to all this "one-off" talk regarding the earlier tar sands deal?

Harper wants the Chinese to come in on open pit mines in Nunavut, in an area that is a breeding ground for caribou, an important part of the Aboriginal economy. This puts the Idle No More protests in perspective, given Harper's narrow-minded focus on natural resource extraction, disregard for environmental protection, and disregard for the rights of First Nations.

Maybe there are  potential jobs benefits from the mines. However, there needs to be proper environmental reviews and oversight, as well as respect for the rights of First Nations, to determine if the project should go through in the first place. If it does go through, then proper environmental protections and respect for First Nations must be continue to be central.

However, it is hard to trust Harper on the environment and First Nations rights given his track record so far.

Recommend this post

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Harper Government removes report on killing of Canadian soldier by Israel

Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener and three other United Nations
 observers were killed in 2006 when the Israeli military 
targeted their small outpost with repeated artillery barrages
 as well as an attack by a fighter aircraft. (Photo: Courtese CTV)

How far is Harper's blind obedience to Netanyahu going to go? He's willing to disregard the life of a Canadian soldier for fear of making Netanyahu mad? Do Canada's interests matter or is our country just a subsidiary of the Israeli rightwing?

Regarding the removal of the report on the killing of a Canadian Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener by Israeli forces, the soldier's widow stated that:
"They don’t want people reading about it. It's embarrassing to the Israelis and, as we know, Prime Minister (Stephen) Harper has given his unconditional support to the Israelis."

What happened to democracy, accountability, and transparency? What happened to honouring and supporting our troops? Harper's subservience has gone too far yet again.

Recommend this post

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Can a woman be fired for being too attractive?

According to Iowa Supreme Court the answer is yes. Where are we headed culturally? Following video explains the case.

Recommend this post

American Santa

American Santa

Gun violence is pervasive in the United States, with the highest rates of gun violence among western countries. In light of the tragic shootings in Connecticut, the answer of the NRA is NOT sensible gun control, but armed guards.


What is inhibiting common sense in American gun control policy? How much more tragedy has to happen? Also, with Harper abolishing the long-gun registry, rolling back gun control, is this same potential opening up in Canada?

Recommend this post

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Huffington Post: Interesting Headline

3 Shot And Killed In Mich... 18-Year-Old Shot Multiple Times, Dies... Man Kills Wife, Teen, Himself... Man Shoots, Kills Own Son... Cops Shoot Teen Dead... Man Gunned Down In Parking Lot... 5 Dead In Spate Of Shootings... 2 Murdered In Philly... 2 Kansas Cops Shot Dead... Shooter Killed... 4 Die In Apparent Murder-Suicide... Ga. Cop Dies From Gunshot... Argument Leads Teen To Shoot Friend... Man Shot To Death...Teen Dies After Being Tied Up, Shot... Man Shot Dead In Street... Drug Deal Leads To Shooting Death... Mother Of 2 Killed In Road Rage Shooting... Man Shoots, Kills Intruder... 1 Killed In Coney Island... Man Dies From Gunshot Wounds... Cops Investigate Gun Death... Shooting Victim's Body Found On Bike Trail... Man Charged With Shooting Own Brother Dead... Man Dies After Being Shot In Chest... Body Of Shooting Victim Found In Pickup... Teen Arrested For Robbery Shooting Death... Man Carrying 2-Year-Old Son Shot Dead... Man Fatally Shot Near Home... Parolee Dies In Shooting... 1 Killed In Buffalo Shooting... Man Shot Dead In Apartment Complex... Street Gun Battle Kills Grandma Bystander... Man, Woman Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide... Woman Shot Dead By Intruder... 14-Year-Old Arrested Over Fatal Gun Attack...Man Found Shot Dead In Parking Lot... Woman Shot In Face By Ex-Boyfriend... 1 Woman, 3 Men Shot Dead... 2 Die In Attempted Robbery... Army Reservist Shot To Death In Alley... Man Shot To Death In Bodega... 2 Shot Dead In Burned House... Man Shot During Break-In... Man Fatally Shot... 20-Year-Old Gunned Down... Man Shoots Self During Police Pursuit... 1 Killed In Baltimore Shooting... Cops ID Shooting Victim... 60-Year-Old Man Shot Dead... Shot Man's Body Found In Vacant House.... Woman Shot And Killed Outside Her Home... Shooting Victim Was 'Trying To Turn Life Around'... Slain Shooting Victim Found In Street.... Driving Altercation Leads To Shooting, 1 Dies... 3-Year-Old Dies In Accidental Shooting... Man Turns Self In After Allegedly Shooting Wife... Man Shot Dead Outside Home... 3 Slain In Separate New Orleans Shootings... Cops Investigate Shooting Death... Man Shot Dead In Ohio... Teen Shot To Death... Man Dies After Being Shot Multiple Times... Man Charged Over Son's Shooting Death...Cops Find 2 Men Shot Dead... 1 Dies In Shooting... Man Charged Over Gun Killing... 1 Shot Dead In Confrontation... Man Charged With Murder Over Shooting... Motel-Owner Shot And Killed... Husband Shoots Estranged Wife Dead... Suspect Arrested Over Deputy's Shooting Death... Police Probe Fatal Shooting... Cops Kill 2 Suspects In 3 Shooting Deaths... Man Killed Fighting Back Against Robber... Man Killed In Home Invasion.... Nightclub Shooting Kills 1... Child Brain Dead After Drive By Shooting... Man Charged Over Shooting Of Ex-Wife...Body Found In Vacant House... Teen Fatally Shot...

And that is the example Harper wants to follow when it comes to gun control.

Recommend this post

Friday, December 21, 2012

So... the World hasn't ended

I was watching a documentary on CBC, I couldn't finish it. It was too nonsensical. The documentary was on the supposed end of the world predicted for 2012. About people who actually believed it was going to happen, and were "preparing" with bomb shelters and other measures.

How can people be so gullible to believe this? It's unbelievable. The 2012 doomsday hype is a commercial industry, books and other excuses to sell. The gullible are being preyed upon.

The end of the world has been predicted throughout history. In medieval Europe, a widespread belief was that the world would end in the year 1000. It didn't. Y2K was all the hype, world was still there.

We should be worried about real threats to our world - war, poverty, nuclear weapons, environmental degradation. More time and attention should be focused on tackling these issues, not hyped up doomsday predictions.


                                          The first victim

This is for real. GOP is in shambles. Boehner “Plan B” failed. He could not control his own GOP caucus. This was a top heading in the Huffington Post, both in the Canadian and US editions.

"WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) failed to muscle a controversial fiscal cliff fallback through the House Thursday night, suddenly pulling the bill after spending almost a week on a plan that Democrats called a waste of time."

Click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Richard Engel: Freed from Syria along with NBC News Team

NBC's foreign correspondent Richard Engel is a great journalist. Dedicated to getting the story from overseas war-zones, with even-handed reporting. Though I think he needs to slow down a bit - if anything for the sake of his family. The story of his - and the NBC team's - captured in Syria is a harrowing one - blind-folded, facing psychological torture, not knowing if they would be executed. Engel describes the experience as traumatic. I'm glad he and the crew escaped (they were able to bail at a check-point), though maybe this will give him some pause, to want to take fewer risks. You can click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Monday, December 17, 2012

You Have to Register Your Car, But Not Your Gun

Stephen Harper abolished Canada's long gun registry, considering it an infringement on gun rights. Harper wants to follow the American model it seems - where there are lax restrictions on gun ownership and purchase.

However, is that the model we want in Canada? Gun violence is a serious problem in the United States, something brought home by the tragic Connecticut shootings, where young children were killed in a rampage by firearms taken from the perpetrator's mother.

Will Harper continue on this path of lowering gun control? The tragedy in Connecticut shows the need for restrictions and controls on firearms.

Recommend this post

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Adam Lanza:Tragic shooting in Connecticut

In the United States, while there is more violent crime in the city, there are more mass shootings - including school shootings - in the suburbs. Gun violence is a problem across the board in the United States, no one - rich or poor - is immune.

What happened in Connecticut is a tragedy - young lives lost, the individual who carried out the shootings was highly disturbed. In photos, he looks like a regular person, and he's from a well-off family. This is further evidence of the pervasiveness of gun violence in the United States, it's not just the "poor ghettos" where it is an issue.

Gun violence in the United States is far higher than in other western countries. Gun control laws are lax in the United States. It does not make any sense that semi-automatic weapons are so readily available for sale. There needs to be a serious discussion about gun control in the United States.

On twitter, CNN host Piers Morgan put it well:

"America has more gun murders a DAY than Britain has a YEAR. We banned all civilian handguns after Dunblane, what will America do?"

What's further appalling, politicians and the NRA in the United States are suppressing research on gun safety. The quote below from the article in the link summarizes things well.

"Indeed, gun violence is the second leading cause of death for young people after car accidents, but the federal agency responsible for researching ways to stop it has had its hands tied. No other research topic has been singled out in this way. 'We've got a huge social problem that causes a very substantial amount of premature mortality and by and large, we have invested scant resources studying it. And the reason is politics,' Teret said"

This is a time for mourning for those young children in Connecticut, but it is also a time to talk about how to prevent another such tragedy from happening, about the need for real gun control in the United States.

Emilie Parker (Family photo) -one of the victims

Recommend this post

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Adam Lanza: The Killer in Connecticut

Adam Lanza

Does this geeky kid look like a killer? He looks harmless. Looks can be deceiving. He was also a very bright student. 28 dead and 20 of them children and 8 adults including Adam Lanza. Simply incredible. I may write more on this subject matter later on.

Recommend this post

Friday, December 14, 2012

NASA: World won’t end on December 21, 2012

So take a long breath, exhale and relax and keep shopping for Christmas and look forward to 2013.

Recommend this post

Fox News reporter dances during commercial break

Do you blame the poor lady? It must be terribly boring to read the news from the teleprompter - news that make no sense.

Recommend this post

Santa: Secret revealed

Santa no longer uses reindeers and chariot to fly. He uses commercial planes like rest of us. :) Here is the proof.

Recommend this post

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Senator Julian Assange?

Assange's plans to launch a political party are "significantly advanced" as he is looking at a run for the Australian Senate. Could we be seeing Senator Assange? What would this mean for Wikileaks?

Click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stephen Harper in His Christmas Uniform

Stephen Harper: A Scrooge for Canada but a Santa for China.


Tar Sands: A source of wealth for China but a source of more pollution for Canada.

Recommend this post

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gwynne Dyer - on Netanyahu

Gwynne Dyer is great at looking behind the headlines, providing in-depth analysis of issues in international politics. This column by Dyer provides excellent insight into the motives behind Netanyahu's newest wave of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Settlements, the idea of which, are not so new, but rather part of a longer-term plan designed to cripple the potential for a Palestinian state by dividing the West Bank into two.

There is a widespread consensus in the international community that a two-state solution - one state for Israel and one for Palestine - is what is needed. This was what many progressive-minded Israeli leaders want. Unfortunately, the Israeli right, those like Netanyahu, are against any constructive approach to peace, any recognition of the rights of Palestinians.

Despite this treacherous game by Netanyahu, endangering any chance for peace, thwarting any chance of a state for the Palestinians, Harper and Obama support the Israeli prime minister unconditionally.

H/T to Mound of Sound for posting this story.

Recommend this post

Christmas Shopping: Stephen Harper and Friend

These two have finished their Christmas shopping - nice winter coats. What about you?

Recommend this post

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Egypt's President Trying to Make Himself a Pharaoh

Morsi, the Egyptian president, was doing well after negotiating the cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, showed he and his country were playing a constructive role in the region. Though, after that, he seemed to think he was Superman, that he could do anything. He made decrees, tried to overturn the will of the Egyptian people and make himself dictator. This has not worked.

Now, he's in deep trouble himself. The people are speaking out as protests have erupted across the country. Hasn't Morsi learned from Tahrir Square and the protests that saw the ouster of Hosni Mubarak?

Click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Chinese Takeover of Tarsands

NDP MP Nathan Cullen remarked via twitter that: "In Ottawa they call it 'taking out the trash' announce it on a Friday 5 pm. You judge. Chinese takeover ok for Harper."

In his own press conference - one of the few times Harper has talked to the press unrestricted, he seemed uncomfortable, trying to justify the deal - only this one time, only this much, he was saying. It sounds like a bad deal to me, a State Owned Company in China taking over tarsands operations in Canada.

What's worse, all the secrecy around this deal - there is much we don't know, that is not being disclosed. While online polls are not scientific, an online Power and Politics poll on CBC showed more than 80% against the deal, that is a huge margin.

Click here to read the story.

Recommend this post

Friday, December 07, 2012

Verizon - When You Watch TV, TV Will Be Watching You

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This is Big Brother, your own TV spying on you to serve big corporations so they can hawk their wares in advertising. This is really scary, Big Brother is a reality. I'm sure people like Vic Toews will be very happy, you will not be able to watch TV without being watched. This is one invention we don't need, and I don't think it should ever be used.

Recommend this post

Thursday, December 06, 2012

John Baird finally says something about Israeli settlements

John Baird and the Harper CONS had been trying to outdo Netanyahu on the UN vote recognizing Palestine, threatening to cut off ties to the Palestinians showing incredible indifference to their plight. Now, an about-face... at least to a degree.

While it is commendable that Baird is finally speaking out against the Israeli settlements on the West Bank, one cannot help but wonder if this is a face-saving measure in light of earlier behaviour.

Click here for the story.

Recommend this post

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mike Duffy swimming in taxpayers’ money

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy  has claimed more than $33,000 in living allowances intended to defray senators’ costs of maintaining a second home in the National Capital Region, even though he is a long-time Ottawa resident.

The quarterly expense reports that senators are legally required to file show that Duffy spent almost $159,000 on his office between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012, which included salaries for staff and equipment.

This is over and above the base annual salary of $132,300.

If this does not boil your blood then what will?

Recommend this post

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Noam Chomsky on Israel and Gaza - A Must Read Article

An old man in Gaza held a placard that read:
“You take my water, burn my olive trees,
destroy my house, take my job, steal my land,
imprison my father, kill my mother,
bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all,
but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back

This article is a really great examination of the situation in Israel and Gaza by Noam Chomsky.

h/t to Mound of Sound for posting this.

Recommend this post

The Denigration of Canada's Peacekeeping Heritage

A United Nations peacekeeping soldier from the Canadian Battalion, part of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH), gives first aid to an injured boy in Port-au-Prince in 1997.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Great article by the CBC's Brian Stewart, for all the eagerness by the federal government over the Afghanistan war, the traditional role of peace-keeping - something dating back to Lester Pearson who pushed for the creation of peace-keeping forces in the first place - has fallen by the wayside. This is something which Canada has been renowned and praised for.

Stewart writes that:

"The irony in all this is that Canada — with our military's eager blessing — has ditched the alternative international role our soldiers were long renowned for: peacekeeping."

He talks about the denigration of peace-keeping by military leaders and pro-military politicians.

Harper wants to transform Canada, into a more militaristic state, I guess for him, peacekeeping does not fit in. Of course it was a Liberal government that escalated involvement in Afghanistan in the first place.

Here is another noteworthy quote from Stewart:

"What degraded peacekeeping here was the mindset that used Afghanistan as a way to seek a full revival of a 'warrior nation' ethos through support-our-troops campaigns and media messaging that seemed determined to crush all that was allegedly squishy about our past internationalism."

Peacekeepers play an important role in saving lives and are an important part of Canada's foreign policy legacy, why are they being denigrated?

Recommend this post

Sunday, December 02, 2012

What is Justin Trudeau up to?

I was a supporter of Pierre Trudeau - he was one of our country's great prime ministers - bringing official multiculturalism, giving Canada a strong independent foreign policy on the world stage, and repatriating the Constitution with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I participated in the consultation process around the Charter - advocating for individual rights in addition to group rights - something which is a distinct strength of the Charter.

As for Pierre's son Justin, I'm puzzled by him. He's taken some very unusual positions in this leadership race - against the long gun registry (which he voted to save) and in favour of the tar sands and a Chinese take-over of a company there.

Recommend this post

Brad Woodside, Mayor of Fredericton, is a fan of Clint Eastwood

Woodside likes to talk to an empty chair just like his role- model Eastwood. Woodside is very unhappy with beer prices. He is very angry with the Premier of New Brunswick for beer prices,” "Mr. Premier, your beer prices are too high,” he said.

Recommend this post

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Mike Duffy's Proposal of Maritime Union, Not Going to Happen

What is wrong with Rob Ford Mike Duffy and these Conservative Senators? Talk of Maritime Union has been going on since pre-Confederation, too many hurdles and supposed benefits are not proven (would not Nova Scotia - or even Halifax itself - just end up dominating?). This is nothing but a distraction. What magic bullet does Mike Duffy think he has that those of generations before did not?

The Premier of Duffy's own province, Prince Edward Island, put it well, saying these Senators have not done their homework and do not know what they are talking about.

Recommend this post

Rob Ford is at it again!

This time shouting during a council meeting.
What a bizzaro!

Recommend this post