Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Guffaw of the Day

If you're an adult aged 18 to 64, it'll cost you fifteen bucks to get in to Canada's "human rights" mausoleum in Winnipeg. However, there is a far pricier tour on offer at this shrine to victimhood, one that'll hit you up for more than twice the admission fee (in addition to regular admission):
Mikinak-Keya is a unique cultural experience exploring rights and responsibilities from a First Nations perspective. 
 Visitors will spend approximately 90 minutes with the Museum’s Indigenous program interpreters, exploring how the symbolism in the building’s architecture profoundly relates to the Seven Sacred Laws and the teachings of Grandmother Turtle.
This cultural experience has been created in partnership with a group of seven Elders representing Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota nations. 
Program interpreters will make several stops throughout the Museum, however this program does not tour the galleries. Instead, the program explores the relationship between First Nations concepts of rights and responsibilities and elements of the Museum’s architecture and design. The cost is $39 per person. 
Please note that entry to the Museum is not included in the Mikinak-Keya purchase price. To visit the Museum galleries between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., please purchase a general admission ticket.
Nearly 40 bucks extra to hear about the teachings of Grandmother Turtle?

Er, no thanks.

Medical Inovativeness in Iran

"Virginity" suppositories.

Harpoon Siddiqui 'Splains/Blows Smoke Re What's "Really" "Stoking Terrorism"

As the Toronto Star's in-house mouthpiece for the Islamic perspective 'splains, it isn't the jihad. It's the West's efforts to counteract the jihad.

In other words, knock it off and let the jihad roll right over you, infidels.

Roger L. Simon Sticks It--But Good--To Obama Fart-Catcher, Jeffrey Goldberg

Simon has riotous fun at the expense of Jeff and his suckuppery (which, if it isn't a real word, should be):
Fee fi fo fum.  Big bad Bibi is coming to DC town — and Barack is VERY angry.  Not only that, and possibly worse,  Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic may be equally as angry. The journalist insists Netanyahu making a speech to Congress at the speaker’s invitation is a “disaster” or — in the words of my grandmother — “not good for the Jews.”  And Jeff should know.  He’s an important guy, I am told.  He gets to talk… to Barack.
Goldberg accuses Netanyahu of electioneering (a rare thing indeed for a politician) and not showing the proper “RESPECT” for our president (cue Aretha), who always demonstrates so much respect for the Israeli prime minister.
Excuse me while I rend my clothes.  Meanwhile, lost in Goldberg’s posturing, and the funfkeying by such great State Department intellects as Jen Psaki,  is the subject of Netanyahu’s putative speech. What was it?   Oh, yes… Iran.  Now I remember.  That country that has its hand in nearly every piece of  Islamic mayhem from Buenos Aires to Sanaa...
Jen Psaki "a great intellect": now, that's hilarious!

Update: Whaddya know? It is a real word.

Update: Another of the White House's towering intellects 'splains that the Taliban is not a terrorist entity.

Ben Shapiro's Eulogy for the First Amendment

It's Official! Iran Is Now the Lowest of the Low

Iran calls for the assassination of Netanyahu's children

Haredi Jews and Muslims in London's Stamford Hill Get Along Swimmingly

Before individuals go and tout this as a "model" of interfaith amity, they should consider why they get along so well:
Munaf Zeena admitted that maintaining neighbourly relations sometimes meant agreeing to disagree on divisive issues, such as Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands. Yet, he said, when local Muslims raised money for the victims of Israel's assault on Gaza last year, a substantial donation was made by the Jewish community.
Dare one call it a jizya? Also, how many of the Haredi Jews in this area are anti-Zionist, believing that Israel should only come to be when "Moshiach" comes?

Update: Time to take off your rose-coloured specs, people. It's worse than you think.

A Clash of Perceptions on Display at Last Night's Heather & Markie Show

Those of you of a certain age may remember the cheesy TV show Osmond siblings Donny and Marie used to have back in the late 70s. One of their recurring shticks alluded to their supposedly incompatible musical styles: she was "a little bit country"; he, on the other hand, was "a little bit rock and roll." Thus, she would warble ghastly faux-C&W ballads like "Paper Roses" while he would essay, say, a Jackson 5 tune.
 
The only reason I bring this up is because last night I caught Mark Steyn in conversation with Heather Reisman at Heather's Manulife Centre book store location. And, well, let's just say that à la Donny and Marie, their preferences weren't exactly in synch. For while Heather was a little bit--and sometimes a lot--left of center, Mark was shake, rattle and rolling on the opposite end of the political spectrum. And because the crowd was there to see and hear him, not her, his stylings were greeted with hoots and whoops and warm applause, while hers...not so much.
 
One rather felt sorry for her. Not only because this was sooo not her crowd, but because, to put it charitably, she wasn't as nearly up to speed on a number of subjects as most of the people in the room were. Then again, they--we--were die-hard Steyn readers, while she strikes one as someone who dips a toe or two into his works, but never fully dives in. A case in point: she opened the proceedings by asking Mark to read an excerpt from a piece about the funny names of authors of books featuring Christmas projects, a piece she said made her "laugh out loud." And, yes, it was amusing, in that trademark Steynian way. At the same time, however, one could see that this was the sort of Steyn column that most appealed to her--light, comical and devoid of anything un-PC, or, indeed, anything political at all. For me--and for many of the Steyn fans I know--that is a mere appetizer. A tasty but insubstantial hors d'oeuvres. What we want is the meatier fare--the Charlie Hebdo/free speech stuff, the "Allahu Akbar!" antics, the Toronto public school mosqueteria--right from the get-go. Oh, sure, Heather got around to those subjects--eventually. But when she did, well, let's just say that it seemed as though she was trying to get up to speed on subjects which the audience had long since mastered. An example of what I mean. Anyone who has followed Steyn for any length of time would surely have come across his observation that a society that tolerates the intolerable (specifically, practices such as honour killings, FGM, the subjugation of women, etc., which are antithetical to our Western values) is signing its own death sentence. For Ms. Reisman, however, it came across as something utterly new. So much so that she made him repeat it, so she could take it in s-l-o-w-l-y.
 
Anyway, my friend Laura Rosen Cohen took extensive notes on her computer throughout the "you say eether/I say eyether" (you say the Second Amendment rocks/I say guns are bad for people and other living things) chat. (I was feeling lazy, and merely listened.) She promises to post her thoughts later today. In the meantime, here's the photo she took:

Update: LRC's post is up.

Land Lords

Being a registered Canadian charity is apparently so lucrative that it allows one to snap up pricey real estate in desirable neighbourhoods. And when your stated mission is to "establish an Islamic presence in Canada that is balanced, constructive, and integrated, though distinct" (a distinctness that allegedly entails siphoning moolah to the likes of Hamas), buying as much property as possible is an excellent way to fulfill your goal:
MONTREAL -- A Muslim umbrella organization that allegedly funnelled money to a Hamas-linked charity is buying up property from Quebec to Alberta. 
QMI Agency conducted land-register searches that show the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), based in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, has bought at least 11 buildings in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta since 2006. 
They're being converted into mosques, community centres and schools as the group's financial dealings catch the attention of the RCMP. 
The group was named in a search warrant related to Project Sapphire, a probe into terrorist financing. Warrants indicates MAC sent nearly $300,000 in the 2000s to IRFAN-Canada, a group that raised millions for Hamas. 
The Canadian government considers both IRFAN-Canada and Hamas to be terrorist organizations.
The Muslim Association of Canada remained a registered charity as of this week, having reported $16.1 million in revenues, and a nearly $5.8 million payroll, in 2013...
[MAC has bought] more than $30 million of land and buildings across the country...
Montreal is home to its most grandiose purchase,
 a six-storey, $4.7-million building in Montreal's financial district that will house the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization.
The deal was closed last May and the institute will feature a library, a museum and "the largest mosque in downtown Montreal," according to its website. 
And guess what? Donations to the Institute are tax deductible.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

David Matas Makes the Case for Censorship--Again

In the Canadian Jewish News, "International Human Rights lawyer" David Matas tries to argue that "blasphemous" speech should be allowed but "hate speech" should be prohibited. Thus, Charlie Hebdo should be allowed to publish 'toons that may be perceived as "blasphemous" by some Muslims. At the same time, however, French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala should not be allowed to say hateful things about Jews because that incites the majority to feel hateful toward a minority. A crucial part of Matas's argument also had to do with "hate" being an emotion unlike "blasphemy" which, um, is not.

The problem with Matas's spiel--and I'd urge to read it yourselves because I can't possibly simulate the circuitousness of its prose, which twists this way and that in an effort to arrive at logical conclusion (which it never does)--is that one individual's "hate speech" (which Matas says must be verboten) is another one's "blasphemy" (which he says must be permitted). For example, many Muslims see Charlie Hebdo 'toons as "hate speech." On that basis, going by Matas's argument, they should be censored. For non-Muslims who believe in free speech, however, the 'toons, though crude and rude, do not constitute "hate speech." On that basis, therefore, they should not be censored. So to whom to we give the power to decide what is--and isn't--"hate speech"? To Muslims? To Jews?
To "human rights" bodies? To the courts?

I say that unless speech is actionable under our laws of libel or slander,  or unless it calls for the murder of an individual or a group of individuals, it should--it must--be allowed.

As for Matas's exquisite display of hair-splitting of "hate speech" versus "blasphemy," it really amounts to an attempt to argue that "free speech" is for me not thee. And, as we know, that ends up biting the "mes" on the arse as the "these" avail themselves of the same restrictions. Matas should know how that works. After all, being one of Canada's foremost Jewish proponents of censorship didn't spare him from being on a receiving end of cockamamie "human rights" complaint--a prosecution that was to last for many years--launched by a Muslim who was offended (which, by the way is a feeling--you know, like "hate") by something he said.

Inclusion Me Out

It's "Inclusion Day"--my favorite day of the year--at York University (a campus which, go figure, isn't so "inclusive" when it comes to including the viewpoints of pro-Israel students). In conjunction with the day, there's an Inclusion Day Conference, of course. I thought that the invitation to attend the event, held under the auspices of the university's Centre for Human Rights, was so unintentionally amusing that I had to post it:

Inclusion Day Conference

The CHR invites you to submit a proposal for the attend the 6th annual Inclusion Day Conference 2015 
Theme: Past Histories & Present Stories: Finding Meaning in Human Rights
The conference, being held January 28, 2015, at the Keele campus, will explore the following themes:
  • How are human rights made real?
  • How are identities navigated/changed?
  • What are the new human rights battles being fought or are we still fighting the same issues from the past?
Some of the areas that proposals could focus on, but are not limited to:
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Intersectional identities
  • Race and racialization
  • Gender expression/expectations/identity
  • (dis)Abilities
  • Business, Science & Human Rights
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Knowledge production & pedagogy
  • Immigration/Refugee issues
  • Community leadership & mobilisation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Social Media & Human Rights
There's a crucial area that I doubt will be explored:  How to be open to debating with those whose opinion/political orientation differs from yours in that it is not the default leftism of academe and other societal elites.