Monday, 7 August 2017

NAFTA renegotiation may be good for Canadian consumers

Megalomaniac U.S. President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. He's even threatened to terminate the agreement if he doesn't get what he wants. Yup, sounds like Trump. But believe it or not, renegotiating NAFTA to make it more favourable to U.S. business interests may actually be a good thing for Canadian consumers.

For example, Trump wants Canada to open its dairy sector to U.S. competition. I didn't know this until recently, but Canada has a very tightly-controlled dairy market that relies on supply management. And unbeknownst to many if not most Canadians, supply management is the reason why Canadian consumers pay higher prices for dairy products than we would be paying if the market was more open to competition.

Another economic sector in Canada that Trump is demanding greater U.S. access to is the telecommunications sector. You know, TV, cable, satellite, wireless service and so forth. It's no secret that Canadians pay a lot more for internet and wireless than people do in other jurisdictions. So would it hurt to allow American companies to come into Canada and provide services that are now mostly provided by the oligopoly that we call Rogers, Bell and Telus? No, I think it would help. The inevitable result would be lower prices for Canadian consumers. I am well aware that government has tried time and time again to create regulations to prevent the gouging of Canadians. But these regulations have had little impact, if any, on what Canadians pay to use the internet or a wireless device. What we really need is more choices and more competition, which Canadians will have if the folks in our federal government would get off their protectionist asses and let the American companies in. 

Now I know there are many people out there among my fellow Canadians that will say we need to protect our industries to protect Canadian jobs. I think it's just the opposite. I think we have to open up our economy more so that Canadians have access to more markets, both across the border and overseas. Closed economies never work. They never have and they never will. If you want to see what it's like to live in a closed economy, then I suggest you hop a plane and travel to North Korea, or get a time machine and go back to the days of the Soviet Union. But trust me, you won't like what you see. 

Do The Regimes of Iran and Turkey Have a Plan to Divide the Middle East Amongst Themselves?

Both Turkey and Iran are ruled by despotic, Islamist regimes. But they, of course,  do have their differences. Turkey is overwhelmingly Sunni and Iran is overwhelmingly Shiite. Aside from this religious difference, Turkey is still, at least in theory, an ally of the United States and the West. It remains a member of NATO, but I'm not sure how much longer its membership in the alliance will last. In contrast, Iran is a sworn enemy of the U.S. and has been since its Islamic Revolution in 1979. So what do Turkey and Iran have in common other than the fact that they are ruled by dictators professing an Islamist ideology?

Well, one thing that unites the two countries is an intense hatred of Israel and the West. Another is the desire on the part of both countries' regimes to assert a kind of hegemony over the Middle East region. Neither Iran nor Turkey want the role of regional hegemon to go Israel, Saudi Arabia or any other country. But of course, neither of them want the other to be the region's primary superpower either. This can only mean that the two will inevitably conflict, right? Yes, at least to some extent. Both states, for example, support different sides in the Syrian civil war. While Turkey backs the rebels fighting against Syrian dictator, Bashar Al-Assad, the Iranian regime supports Assad's forces, along with Vladimir Putin's Russia, another power trying to make inroads in the Middle East. But believe it or not, the fact that the autocratic regimes of Turkey and Iran support different sides in the Syrian conflict has not led to a significant strain in relations between the two dictatorships. Why is this? Perhaps because Turkey's Erdogan and Iran's Islamist regime have a long-term agenda to divide the Middle East between themselves, with the former gaining dominance over the region's Sunni states and the latter taking control over Shiite-majority territory.

A Dual Caliphate?

I believe that the ultimate goal of Turkey's dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is and always has been the creation of a new Ottoman Empire. In the short run, he wants Turkey's sphere of influence to cover all of the Sunni-ruled states in the Middle East. In the long run, he wants complete control of these states, just like the Ottoman rulers had. Don't think for a moment that Erdogan does not fancy himself as the caliph of a new, Turkish-dominated, Sunni Muslim empire. Furthermore, I think everyone should know that the ultimate goal of the Iranian regime is a caliphate of its own. A Shiite caliphate under the control of the Iranian mullahs.

I believe that rather than compete with each other to see who will create and rule the next Islamic caliphate, the dictators of Turkey and Iran will settle for creating two separate caliphates between themselves, simply because both of them hate the U.S., its Western allies and Israel a lot more than they hate each other. There is a historical precedent for this kind of arrangement. Before World War II broke out, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin agreed to divide Europe between themselves. This was the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the end result of which was the invasion of Poland by both dictators in addition to the Soviet invasion and conquest of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. So, if my theory is correct and history repeats itself, the dictators of Turkey and Iran will agree to divide the Middle East between themselves with Turkey taking control of the Sunni states and Iran taking control of Shiite-dominated territory in places like Iraq, Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia.

The first indication that such an arrangement could be taking shape may be a peace agreement in Syria that gives Assad control over Latakia, Syria's Shiite majority region, while handing the rest of the country to groups with strong ties to Turkey. We'll have to wait and see. I certainly don't want the Middle East to be controlled by the dictators of Turkey or Iran. I don't think the leaders of Israel and the Sunni Arab states want it either, so my suggestion to these leaders is to put aside their differences and engage in measures of collective security before the tyranny of the Iranian and Turkish regimes encompasses the whole region.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Overt Racism, Hidden Racism and the Negation of Canadian Values in Favour of "Accommodation"

This past week, a video surfaced of a woman in Mississauga demanding that her son be seen by a white doctor. I think that most Canadians would agree with me that this woman's behaviour was absolutely disgusting and has no place in our society. But inasmuch as we would like to condemn her racist rant, perhaps we should take a deeper look at ourselves, because I think we'll find that many of us are guilty of the same kind of prejudice that she was extolling.

Why do you think, for example, major Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have so many so-called ethnic neighbourhoods? The simple reason is that many if not most human beings feel more comfortable being amongst people who are of a similar ethnic, racial, religious or linguistic background. This is especially true of people who are newcomers to a country. In fact, for new immigrants to Canada, so-called ethnic neighbourhoods help these people make a smoother transition to Canadian life, although I would argue that sometimes they can do just the opposite when members of those communities ghettoize themselves and refuse to inter-mingle with the rest of society. It's just basic human nature. People often want to be with other people who they view as being more like them. And it's not just about where you live. It's also about who you work with, where you shop and who you choose to provide you with certain services. Yes, we may all want to chastise this rude woman in the aforementioned video, who went into a racist tirade demanding to see a white doctor, but how many of us have doctors or other professionals who we choose to serve us in part because they belong to the same ethnic, racial, religious or linguistic group that we do? Let's be honest, folks. At some point or another, we would all rather be with the people we call "our own". Does that make us racist? Yes, it does. Hence, the only difference between the woman in the clip and most other people is that she chooses to make her racism explicit and public, whereas the rest of us try to hide it and pretend it isn't there.

I should also add that whereas most of us think of someone explicitly demanding to see a white doctor as being offensive behaviour, many Canadians don't seem to mind when someone insists on seeing a male or female doctor because of their religious beliefs. In fact, rather than characterize this kind of insistence as sexism, we call it accommodation. So basically, respecting and accommodating someone's different beliefs means negating gender equality, which is something that I would consider to be amongst Canada's fundamental values. And this is just one example. How about when public schools are used as prayer spaces where males and females are segregated? Or, when we allow a woman to take a citizenship oath while wearing a veil over her face in deference to a sexist religious doctrine that dictates that women must cover their faces while men don't have to? My point is that in attempting to accommodate other people's differences, we fail to adhere to some of the fundamental values that are supposed to define Canada. Demanding to see a white doctor due to a racist bias is offensive, but demanding to see a male or female doctor based on sexist religious doctrine isn't!? I just don't get it.    

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Trudeau's Refugee Policy: It's All About the Votes

Toronto Sun columnist, Candice Malcolm, has used some of her latest columns (which can be found at the bottom of this post) to hammer Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his reckless policy as it regards bringing refugees into Canada. And I'm behind her one hundred percent. At least someone has the courage to overcome political correctness and hold our federal government to account for their incompetence.

The Trudeau Liberals won the last federal election in part thanks to their seemingly compassionate response to the plight of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war. Indeed, during the election campaign, the Liberals promised to bring in more Syrian refugees than any of the other federal parties. But Trudeau's refugee policy, not to mention his immigration policy in general, has never been about compassion, regardless of what the Liberals and their friends at The Toronto Star or the CBC would like you to think. Rather, it's been all about the votes. How do I know this? Because as Candice Malcolm reveals in her Toronto Sun columns, the feds don't seem to care how well the recent refugee arrivals integrate into Canadian society. That's why they have preferred to take in government-sponsored refugees over privately-sponsored ones, even though privately-sponsored refugees are more likely to find work, more likely to have basic knowledge of English or French and more likely to find suitable housing. After all, government-sponsored refugees will be eternally grateful for the assistance that Trudeau Jr. and his bunch give them, as meager and as haphazard as that assistance may be. And that gratefulness will no doubt translate into votes for the Liberal Party from the refugees who become citizens and from their respective communities. So why should the Trudeau government care whether or not the refugees find jobs, learn our official languages or find decent housing, so long as they and their communities will vote Liberal come election time? The simple answer is, they don't care. They just care about the votes.

Hell, they don't even care if the refugees they bring in may be a security risk, which is why, as Candice Malcolm has also revealed, the screening of refugees from Syria has been lax to say the least. Meanwhile, anyone who sounds the alarm about the potential hazard of having refugees and other newcomers to this country who can't find work, can't speak our official languages and who may even be a threat to this country's security, is usually labelled a racist by the country's liberal media. The same goes for anyone who dares to speak of the notion that Canada is a country of values that are worth protecting. You know, things like democracy, free speech, gender equality and the rest of that good stuff. I'm just glad that there are still people like Candice Malcolm out there who are willing to challenge the obscene doctrines of political correctness and multiculturalism without limits.

Candice Malcolm's Latest Columns:

The real legacy of Trudeau's Syrian refugee program (June 16, 2017)

Syrian refugee process bungled by Trudeau (June 14, 2017)

Trudeau policy causes major backlog of private refugee sponsorships (June 13, 2017)

Refugee background checks may have been flawed (June 12, 2017)

Privately-Sponsored Syrian refugees More Likely to find work: Document (June 12, 2017)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kurdish Independence Long Overdue

During a recent news conference, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi, criticized the decision by leaders of the country's Kurdish Autonomous Region to hold a referendum on independence in late September. He was quoted by Al-Arabiya as saying that, "The referendum at this time was not opportune." In other words, it wasn't the right time to hold a vote on Kurdish independence (see: Iraq PM Abadi says Kurdish referendum untimely). You know what? He's absolutely right. Such a referendum should have been held a century ago!

In fact, after the First World War ended, the Kurds of the former Ottoman Empire were promised a referendum on independence in the Treaty of Sevres. But of course, that referendum never happened. Instead, the Kurds were given no state of their own and were forcibly included into the new European constructs of Iraq and Syria, as well as the new Republic of Turkey. To their credit, however, the Kurds have never accepted the injustice that befell them after WWI and continue to fight for independence in several Middle Eastern states to this day.

In Iraq, the Kurds won autonomy after the Gulf War in 1991 and managed to consolidate that autonomy after the American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. In the last few years, the Iraqi Kurds have led the struggle against the so-called Islamic State, liberating Kurdish territory from the grip of the genocidal terrorist group. They are now in a stronger position than ever before, which is why I'm not surprised that they would push for independence now. And I support them 100%!

Kurdish independence, not only in Iraq but also in the other parts of Kurdistan is long overdue. It's a hundred years overdue! Yes, I understand that the idea of an independent Kurdistan has a lot of people trembling - people who now occupy the presidential palaces in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, all of which are occupying powers on Kurdish land. I say let them tremble. Let them be scared, for the day of Kurdish liberation is drawing nigh.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

End the Arab Occupation and Genocide in Darfur

Well before the Syrian civil war began grabbing headlines, the most talked-about part of the world in which genocide was being committed was a place called Darfur, an arid region located in the west of the Republic of Sudan. For well over a decade, the Sudanese government has been brutally murdering the indigenous African inhabitants of Darfur, punishing them for rebelling against their Arab overlords. The Sudanese president, Omar Al-Bashir, has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, but right now there is little chance that he will face justice. Indeed, efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur have been severely curtailed by the same people who protect Syria's Bashar Al-Assad. I am referring of course to the dictatorial regimes of Russia and China. 

Sudan is a textbook example of Arab, Muslim occupation and oppression of indigenous populations. The country is ruled by an Arab-dominated Islamic Fundamentalist government. Like all the Arab-ruled states of North Africa, Sudan has a large population of indigenous peoples, who lived there long before the Arab, Islamic conquests took place. Darfur is one of three regions in the country chaffing under the Islamist, Arab rulers based in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. The name Darfur literally translates as house of the Fur, who are one of the indigenous, non-Arab, African peoples currently rebelling against the central government. The other two regions are the Sudanese coast, largely populated by the Beja, another indigenous, non-Arab, African people, and northern Sudan, largely populated by the Nubians, whose territory is split between the Republic of Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Sudan's Islamist Arab government also once controlled what is now the Republic of South Sudan, home to an indigenous African population of largely Christian and animist peoples. But six years ago, after decades of bloody struggle, the people of South Sudan finally gained independence and the Islamist Arab occupation of their land ended. It can end in Darfur, too.  

I would argue that ending the conflict in Darfur does not just mean ending the genocide. It also means ridding the region of the Khartoum-based, Islamist Arab oppressors who are responsible for that genocide in the first place. The indigenous African people of Darfur deserve no less than what the people of South Sudan got - Independence.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Israeli Communities in Judea and Samaria: Build, Build and Build Some More!

Prime Minister Netanyahu has once again reaffirmed his commitment to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, the so-called West Bank. And I'm behind him 100%, as should all Israelis be. My message to our leaders is simply this: Build, build and Build some more! Let know one tell us, the Nation of Israel, where we can and cannot live in the land of our forefathers. The international community wants so much for us to ghettoize ourselves in the territory that falls within the pre-1967 armistice lines. But as we mark the 50th anniversary of Israel's great victory over the petty dictators of the Arab states, I say that we must never waver in our commitment to resettle all of the Biblical Land of Israel.

Critics of Israel call our presence in Judea and Samaria an occupation. They say that we wrongfully stole the land from the Palestinian Arabs. Nothing could be further from the truth. We didn't steal the land that comprises Judea and Samaria. We took it back! We reclaimed what was rightfully ours. That which was stolen from us by a series of conquering powers. I would actually contend that the Palestinians are the occupiers and we the Jewish people are the occupied. The Palestinians are as a matter of fact descendants of the Arab and Muslim conquerors who swept through the Middle East and North Africa from the seventh century onward. The way I see it, they've been illegally squatting on Jewish land and it is our right to reclaim this land from them.

Now of course, no one among us who is of rational thought expects the Palestinians to completely vacate the Land of Israel. Indeed, ethnic cleansing runs contrary to Jewish values and anyone who advocates such an idea deserves no hearing. We reclaim our land in a just manner by resettling it. By building homes, businesses, schools, roads and everything we need to live and prosper. Hence, I would not call Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria the "settlement enterprise", but rather the resettlement enterprise, because we are not settling it as if we were new to the land. We are resettling the land in which we were the original inhabitants. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Immigrants Must Integrate, But Not Under the Threat of Bigotry

I just saw a video someone took on his phone that was shown on a CTV News Toronto broadcast. In the video, which you can view here, a woman is seen berating Chinese employees at a food market because they didn't speak English, telling them, "Go back to China!" My stance has always been that any immigrants who come to Canada and want to live here need to do their best to integrate into Canadian society. Part of that integration means learning to speak English or French, depending on where in the country you live. I really resent the fact that there are some people who come to this country, live here for years, and still can't communicate effectively in either official language. That being said, what this woman in the video did was way out of line.

For one thing, she appears to have been looking for a confrontation, assuming witnesses to the whole thing gave an accurate account of how everything transpired. Still, the video itself doesn't lie, and judging by that alone, what she did was unbecoming of a Canadian, at least in my opinion. Telling people who don't speak your language to go back to their country of origin doesn't help anyone. If anything, it makes things worse for people who are trying to integrate into Canada, because a new immigrant who encounters racism may become discouraged from taking steps to integrate and retreat into isolation within his or her own community.

There are a lot more constructive ways of promoting the successful integration of immigrants into Canadian society and they certainly don't involve berating people for not speaking English. For example, instead of yelling at employees in a grocery store and telling them to "go back to China," perhaps the woman in video should instead protest our federal government's easing of language requirements for potential new citizens. Whereas the old rules required people aged 14 to 64 wanting to become Canadian citizens to demonstrate language proficiency, the Trudeau Liberals have shrunk that group to people aged 18 to 54. This recent change means that more immigrants to Canada are going to become citizens without even being able to speak either of the country's official languages effectively. Now how can we blame immigrants for not integrating when we have a government that discourages them from integrating in the first place?

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ah, the Joys of Parenting!

Today, I read a news story about a 9-year old girl in New Brunswick who was hospitalized after drinking vaping fluid called "Unicorn Milk", believing it was candy. Now the child's mother wants government regulations to ban the use of "child-friendly" names on such products. My first reaction to this was to ask, why didn't the mother think to keep her vaping fluid out of the reach of her young child? Many if not most product-makers already have labels on their products advising buyers to keep them out of reach of children. I obviously don't know if this "Unicorn Milk" had such a label, but even common sense tells me or any other rational person that you shouldn't keep such a potentially harmful product within the reach of a young child. Now of course, no person is perfect and parents make mistakes like any other human beings. But my sense is that this mother needs to be more careful in protecting her child rather than asking government to do it for her.

Now just to be fair, I'm not a parent. I have no children of my own, so it's very easy for me to tell parents how they should go about looking after their children when I don't have any myself. Nevertheless, I was a child once too, just like every other adult in the world. And I was fortunate enough to be raised by two loving parents, so I know what it's like to be parented. We live in age where it seems that more and more parents are demanding that governments at all levels do more to protect their children when they as their children's parents are the ones that should be doing the protecting. For example, some streets have a seemingly endless number of speed bumps and stop signs because of parents concerned about speeding cars hitting their children. This is certainly a legitimate concern. I've heard too many stories about children being hit by cars and sometimes killed. At the same time, however, I think that some parents need to do a better job of making their kids streetwise. I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I was taught to look both ways before crossing the street. I was also forbidden from crossing the street alone when I was young. Perhaps if parents drilled these rules into their kids' heads a little more, we wouldn't need so many speed bumps and stop signs that when overused can result in traffic jams that lead to road rage, which could ultimately end catastrophically with an angry, frustrated driver accidentally running over a small child.

Sometimes, however, I can't help but feel sympathy for people who are parents nowadays. The reason is that parenting isn't like what it was when I grew up. For one thing, it's a lot harder. When I was a child, families where one parent worked and the other stayed home did reasonably well in the economy. Unfortunately, that's not the case today. The economy of 2017 is one in which even when both parents work full-time jobs, they still might have trouble providing for their children and making ends meet. And if you're a single parent with kids, the odds are really stacked up against you. So if you're wondering why parents want government to do more for their kids, maybe it's because after a long, hard day at the office, they have a lot less time and energy to be parents.   

Terrorism is Terrorism, No Matter Where It Takes Place

Just over a week ago, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people. People all over the world expressed their anger, sadness and grief at this heinous act of terrorism all over social media. Some even held vigils for the innocent people that lost their lives in the attack. Fast forward to yesterday, when a terrorist blew up a large truck bomb in the centre of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, killing 90 people; a death toll more than four times higher than that of the Manchester attack. You would think then that the Kabul bombing would get at least just as much attention in the international press and social media as the attack in Manchester did. But you'd be wrong.

Whereas the attack in Manchester was front and centre in the press and social media for days, the attack in Kabul barely merits a mention only hours after it took place. I obviously don't see everything people post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, but I still have yet to see anyone post something conveying their solidarity with the victims of the Kabul attack. No words of condolences, no hashtags, no anything. Even Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, which are news outlets based in the Muslim world, seem to have relegated the Kabul massacre to the sidelines. Why is this?

Why is it that when Islamist terrorists launch attacks in the Western world, there's a huge outcry, but when Muslims kill other Muslims in great numbers, there's a deafening silence? The fact of the matter is that many people who post condolences and hashtags of solidarity for the victims of the Manchester attack won't do the same for the victims of the terrorist attack in Kabul. And I hate to say it, but I'm just as guilty of this double standard as many others are. It's time we ended this double standard and express the same level of support to all victims of terrorism, wherever they may be. Because terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it takes place.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Berbers Resist the Tyranny of Their Arab Rulers

A prominent leader of the Berber (Amazigh) community in the Rif region of Morocco was arrested today (see: Morocco arrests Rif protest leader Nasser Zefzafi). As the Aljazeera news story states, the people of the Rif region have a long history of resisting the control of their Arab rulers, namely the Alaouite dynasty that has ruled the country since the 17th century. Unlike the people of the Rif, who are descendants of the country's original population, the Alaouites are descendants of foreign Arab conquerors. Hence, the Alaouites are simply another part of the Arab occupation that spans North Africa and the Middle East.

As Aljazeera notes, the people of the Rif region were instrumental in getting the current king, Mohammmed VI, to give up some of his powers, but it's not enough. The Alaouites must be stripped of their power entirely. Only then will Morocco's native Berber inhabitants have any hope of regaining their freedom from Arab tyranny.

Update, May 30, 2017: Scores arrested in connection with Morocco Rif protests

Click here for video about Rif protests.

Morocco: What is fuelling unrest in the Rif?

Update, June 4, 2017: Authorities stifle women's protest in Morocco's Rif

Update, July 19, 2017: Morocco's al-Hoceima gears up for 'million-man march'

Update, July 30, 2017: Moroccan king pardons more than a thousand protestors

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Mideast and North African Ethnic and Religious Minorities Must Fight to Liberate Themselves From Arab Muslim Occupation

This past week, the so-called Islamic State terrorist group attacked a bus in Egypt full of Coptic Christian worshipers and killed nearly thirty of them. It was just another attack in the seemingly endless wave of assaults on the remaining ethnic and religious minority communities in North Africa and the Middle East. The Egyptian Copts are the direct descendants of the original Egyptian population, unlike the current Arab Muslim majority that rules the country today. They are the descendants of the Arab Muslim conquerors that swept through North Africa and the Middle East in the seventh and eighth centuries, exterminating many of the peoples, cultures, languages and religious traditions in these regions. The savage and horrific attacks by ISIL and other Islamist terrorists are just a continuation of the centuries' old campaign to purge the Middle East and North Africa of all non-Arab and non-Muslim elements once and for all.

So what are the remaining non-Arab, non-Muslim people in countries like Egypt to do? I think it comes down to two options. They can abandon their homes and their lands to seek a better life elsewhere. Or, they can stay and fight for their lands and their rights. Over the last century, the overwhelming majority have chosen the first option. I think this is very tragic and sad, because they're basically giving the Muslim Arab occupiers what they want - a region free of non-Arab and non-Muslim people. There is one notable exception - Israel - the nation-state of the Jewish people. Israel's existence proves that it is possible for a country's original inhabitants to take their land and their freedom back from the Muslim Arab conquerors. And I see no reason why the other communities that represent the original inhabitants of North Africa and the Middle East can't do what the Jewish people did. Hence, I don't see why it isn't possible for Egyptian Copts, Assyrians, or any other ethnic or religious minority to reclaim their independence from their Muslim Arab overlords. The Jews are not unique in their ability to overcome overwhelming odds. History is littered with examples of the weak defeating the strong and taking back what is rightfully theirs.

In fact, as I write this, some of the region's minority people are fighting back against Arab, Muslim domination and tyranny. The Kurds of northern Iraq, for example, have managed to gain a wide degree of autonomy for themselves. They are also on the front lines of the war against ISIL. I think it's only a matter of time before they gain full independence. Indeed, I sincerely hope that in the near future, the Kurds, Assyrians, (Coptic) Egyptians and Phoenicians (Lebanese Christians) will join the Jews as peoples who have regained their independence from the Arab Muslim occupation.

See also: End the Arab Occupation        

Friday, 26 May 2017

Don't Waste Your Time With Political Parties in Canada

The federal Conservative Party is electing a new leader today. And you know what? I don't give a damn. I actually used to be a member of the party, but thinking back on it, I don't know why I wasted my time with them. In fact, I wouldn't recommend that any Canadian waste their time with the Conservatives or any other political party in this country.

If there's one thing I hate about politics in Canada just as much as our first-past-the-post electoral system, it's the way parties operate in this country. Party discipline is more excessive in Canada than in any other modern, industrialized democracy that I know of. No MP or MPP dares criticize the leader of his or her own political party in public, lest they be turfed from caucus. This goes especially for MPs or MPPs who are members of the governing party, because here in Canada, every vote is treated like a confidence vote; ie. a vote that could bring down the government and force new elections. Everyone is expected to simply shut up and tow the party line, whether they like it or not. This makes for a very unhealthy democracy.

Contrast this with Israel, the other democracy with which I am most familiar. In Israel, not only is political infighting commonplace, it is very widely publicized. No member of Israel's parliament keeps his or her views a secret, regardless of what the leader of his or her party thinks. And although each political party in Israel has a basic ideology, they don't maintain an ironclad party line that every party member must follow to the letter under threat of expulsion.

Canadian political parties could learn a great deal from how their Israeli counterparts conduct themselves. But as it stands now, Canada's political parties are ruled with iron fists. They're more like armies where soldiers march in lockstep behind their commanding officers. Take this country's excessive party discipline, combine it with an antiquated and undemocratic first-past-the-post electoral system that tends to produce majority governments without the accompanying popular support, and what you usually get is one-party dictatorships with term limits. This doesn't sound like real democracy to me.  

Monday, 22 May 2017

It's Not Warm Enough, So Put Those Shorts Away

I don't understand, why is it that once spring comes and the temperature squeaks just above ten degrees, some people are already breaking out the shorty-pants? Now of course, Canada is a democracy and people can wear just about whatever they choose to. Thank goodness for that. Quite frankly, however, I think that people who insist on wearing shorts when the weather isn't even warm enough to ditch your jacket are just plain silly.

Yes, I understand people who think winter is too damn long. I'm one of them. But just because the daytime high finally reaches double-digits doesn't mean it's time to break out the summer wardrobe. Have some common sense, people. Dress for the weather. Face the fact that it's not quite summertime yet. Otherwise, you're in denial. And you know you're in denial, too. That's why you're probably sporting a sweater and maybe even a jacket at the same time you're presenting your bare legs to the world.

Now I understand where you folks are coming from. Believe me, I want summer to come just as much as you do. It's my favourite season. But it's not here yet, so don't try and pretend it is. Unless you're jogging or working out at the gym, don't break out the shorts just yet. You're just making yourself look silly and you'll probably catch a cold.

Friday, 21 April 2017

I Want Bob Cole and Joe Bowen Back Calling Leafs Games on TV Again!

I just finished watching game 5 of the Leafs vs. Capitals first round playoff series. As a die hard Leafs fan, I was obviously disappointed with the result. But the Leafs' overtime loss to the Caps wasn't the only thing I was not happy about. Before overtime even began, CBC showed bonus coverage of game 5 between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators. And who was calling the game? None other than Bob Cole, one of my two favourite play-by-play announcers. This upset me because he doesn't do Leafs games anymore. In fact, he hasn't called Leafs games on a regular basis for years. I have very fond memories of listening to him almost every Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada. To me, he is today's Foster Hewitt (my apologies to those of you who don't know who he was). But now and for the last few years, Leafs fans don't get to hear Bob Cole call games featuring the blue and white. Instead, we have to listen to play-by-play announcers that are amateurs compared to him.

My other favourite play-by-play announcer is Joe Bowen. Thankfully, I and other Leafs fans can still hear him call Leafs games on a regular basis, but only on the radio. I was listening to him call the game as I drove home this evening. But it wasn't too long ago that he was also calling games on television. Why isn't he still doing it!? I just don't get it. As with Bob Cole, none of the people currently doing the play-by-play at Leafs games can hold a candle to Bowen. I don't know about the rest of you Leafs fans, but I want to start hearing "Holy Mackinaw!" on television again. I also want to see Bob Cole call Leafs games on Hockey Night in Canada like he used to. Why should Habs and Sens fans get the privilege of hearing Cole call their games and not us? Leafs fans are the best fans in hockey and we deserve the best play-by-play announcers.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Government Should Represent Average Folks, Not Just the Wealthy and Powerful

In a democratic country, leaders are elected by the people to represent them in government. Ironically, however, the people that often get elected to political office are not truly representative of society at large. It's generally known, for example, that women are underrepresented in the world's democratic legislatures, sometimes to a very significant degree. But do you know who I think is also underrepresented? Average people; the people who make up the majority of voters in a democratic society. Middle class people, working class people. In other words, people who aren't wealthy or powerful. You would think that it is these sorts of people who would make up the vast majority of representatives in a democratically-elected legislature. But you'd be wrong.

The best example of this irony resides on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Two years ago, the Net Worth of the U.S. Congress was estimated to be $7 billion, with the typical member of Congress earning over a million dollars! And this is just America's legislative branch, never mind the president or his inner circle. Clearly, the U.S. government is more representative of the country's rich and powerful rather than the bulk of American citizenry. Yet it is these kinds of people that millions of American voters put in to office each time there's an election. And then these average voters wonder why government policies haven't improved their lives. They ask themselves, why after so many elections and so many promises made by one politician after another are they still having trouble paying the bills? Why does the cost of living keep going up, but their salaries have barely budged in ages? Why do the rich keep getting richer while so many others still struggle to make ends meet? 

There's one logical answer to questions like these. To put it simply, people like to look out for their own interests, so if you put a bunch of millionaires and billionaires into office, they're probably going to do what's best for themselves and other millionaires and billionaires. In contrast, if average people would elect other average people into office, they would probably have a government that would enact policies favorable to middle and working class folks rather than the wealthy few. Over seventy years ago, a Canadian named Tommy Douglas said pretty much the same thing with his Story of Mouseland. Canadians also have the tendency to elect wealthy and powerful politicians, though I would say not to the extend that Americans do. Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, rounds out the Top Ten Richest Politicians of Canada, though he's actually a lot less wealthy than Tom Mulcair, who is now the leader of the federal New Democratic Party, the same party that the late Tommy Douglas founded. I guess it's no longer the party of mice anymore, is it?

So why do average people in democratic countries like the U.S. and Canada keep electing rich, powerful people to govern them when they would be so much better off if they elected other average people? The simple answer is that elections cost money. LOTS OF MONEY! And of course, it is the rich and powerful who have the money to pay for election campaigns. This is especially true in the U.S., where regulations on election spending are either lax or nonexistent. But even in countries like Canada, where there are controls on election spending, money still plays a significant role in determining who wins and who loses. And I think that as long as there's money, it will always play a significant role in how we cast our ballots. Now of course, I don't have a problem with the wealthy and powerful being represented in government. I am a staunch capitalist after all and I think every sector of society deserves representation. My concern is that those with money and power are over-represented in many cases, and that's just not fair to the multitudes of people who can't count themselves among society's well-endowed.

The Government of the Average Person:

Just for fun, I would like to outline who I would have as members of a government that I think would serve average middle and working class people well. First, the person who heads the government. Call him or her a prime minister, a president, whatever. He or she will be a person who always considers the interests of others before his or her interests. A person who values the lives of others over his or hers. He or she should be a person who has encountered great adversity in his or her life. Perhaps he or she lived through poverty or through disaster. Maybe a person living with a disability or chronic illness. In short, whoever heads a government of average citizens should be a person who is selfless, experienced, compassionate and empathetic.

Joining the head of the government will be a minister of finance. He or she will have been a single parent struggling to raise three children on social assistance. There will be a minister of education, who will be a recent university graduate who is now more than twenty thousand dollars in debt. Next is our minister of health, a person with a chronic illness that has spent his or her whole life dealing with the healthcare system, or perhaps a medical professional who has spent the bulk of his or her time looking after the well-being of underprivileged children in Canada's inner cities or on aboriginal reserves. The minister of agriculture will be the owner of a small family-run farm. The minister of housing will be a person who was once homeless, or maybe just a person who has spent the majority of his or her life working with the homeless. The minister of transportation will be someone who has been a regular user of public transit. Another minister will be in charge of the government's revenue agency. He or she will be a small business owner. I could mention other potential government portfolios and the kind of people who I would put in charge of them, but I think I've made my point. 

   

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Why I "Waste" My Time On Social Media

A few months ago, someone accused me of not doing anything to affect change and "wasting" my time on Facebook. I took great offense to this, because it's simply not true. In fact, I've spent the better part of my life trying to affect change, from attending rallies and meetings on various issues to joining a political party. But you know what? None of that seemed to make any difference from my perspective. The ultimate lesson that I've taken from years and years of trying to affect change by working within the Canadian political system is that it's not worth my time and effort and never has been. I actually find social media, like Facebook and Twitter, to be much more effective forums for airing grievances and making change.

In fact, I would argue that social media is the best forum for the average Canadian to make him or herself heard. I honestly can't believe that there are still people in this country who think writing to their local MP or MPP can make a difference. What a load of crap. Do you know what MPs and MPPs are? They're little more than drones or trained seals. In theory, the MP or MPP in each riding represents the people in those ridings. But in practice, they represent the political party to which they belong, unless they've been elected as independents, which of course is very rare. Their bosses aren't the voters, but rather the leaders of their respective parties. All they do is tow the party line. And if they refuse to do so, they're warned to shut up or get booted out of caucus. Your local MP or MPP can't help you get a law or policy changed, unless they happen to be members of the cabinet, where the real power is. But of course, if they are cabinet ministers, they probably don't have time for the average Canadian. So unless you happen to be the head of a lobby group or a sizable corporation, or perhaps a major donor to the party, you won't get any audience with a cabinet member. At best, you'll get to speak to one of that person's office staff, because cabinet members themselves just can't be bothered by the average Joe Canadian.

Now of course, at some point the folks in power do have to face the voters. If you don't like what the people in power are doing, make yourself heard at the ballot box. Simple, right? Not quite, especially in Canada where our electoral system is rigged to keep the same old establishment in power and keep those with new ideas out. Why is this? Because our elections don't accurately reflect the will of the Canadian electorate. Instead, it produces a political oligarchy in which two or three big political parties control everything and new players barely stand a chance of gaining representation in our federal or provincial legislatures. Kind of like how Canada's telecommunications sector is dominated by Rogers, Bell and Telus, resulting in the sky high prices for cable, internet and wireless services that we all have to pay. In essence, our elections have become equivalent to choosing a wireless service provider and getting screwed no matter who you pick. It should't surprise anyone that Prime Minister Trudeau Junior reneged on his promise to bring in electoral reform. He never intended to keep this promise. He lied! After all, why would he do away with an electoral system that has served him and the rest of the political establishment so well for all of Canada's 150 years?

So if your local MP or MPP isn't accountable to you and elections just end up substituting one group of fat cats for another, how else are you supposed to make yourself heard? I for one am sick and tired of going through the traditional channels of political power in Canada and getting absolutely nowhere. Therefore, I plan to "waste" plenty more of my time on social media, where I actually have a voice.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

One Country, Two Systems: Another Possible Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

I don't foresee the possibility of establishing an Palestinian state in the near future for the same reasons repeatedly elaborated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Such a state would be undemocratic and would undoubtedly be a base of operations for terrorists seeking the destruction of Israel. For proof, look no further than the current Palestinian Authority and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority continues to fuel hatred against Jews and incite attacks on Israeli civilians. Its president, Mahmood Abbas, repeatedly pays homage to the families of terrorists with the blood of innocent Israelis on their hands, even paying them cash stipends with the aid that the PA receives from the international community. And to top it off, neither Abbas nor the rest of the PA's leaders have any democratic mandate, having overstayed their terms in office by several years. Critics of the PA leadership are routinely arrested and even tortured.

Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip, the Islamist movement Hamas rules with an iron fist, using civilians as human shields in their campaign of terrorism against Israel; a campaign that has seen thousands of rockets launched against peaceful Israeli towns and villages. I am almost certain that if Israel were to withdraw from Judea and Samaria, or parts thereof, Hamas and other terrorists would soon take control of the territory, just as they did in the Gaza Strip. And before you know it, rockets would be falling on us in our eternal capital Jerusalem, not to mention cities, towns and villages in every other part of the country.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the international community continues to ignore the consequences for Israel should a Palestinian state be established and insists on implementing a so-called two-state solution. Now of course, Israel's leaders are not accountable to other world leaders.  They are accountable to Israeli citizens, the folks who voted them into office. Nevertheless, in the real world, one cannot ignore the international community inasmuch as we would like to. Therefore, I believe it is incumbent upon Israel to present an alternative to the two state solution. An alternative that may eventually lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, but not in the near future.

One Country, Two Systems

In a nutshell, what I propose is that Palestinians in the so-called West Bank and Gaza Strip be given Israeli citizenship, but without the voting rights that regular Israeli citizens enjoy. Instead, the Palestinians will have their own government, very much like the Palestinian Authority of today. Since they will not have voting rights like other Israelis, however, they will not pay the same taxes that regular Israeli citizens do.  Rather, they will pay all or at least the majority of their taxes to their own autonomous Palestinian government.  This is the situation that currently exists between the United States and Puerto Rico.  Puerto Ricans are American citizens, but have no elected representatives with voting rights in the U.S. government. Hence, they do not pay many of the federal taxes that other Americans have to pay and the bulk of their tax dollars go to the government of what is known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which is responsible for governing all internal affairs of the U.S. unincorporated territory.

To be more succinct, all the territory from Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea will be one country known as the State of Israel, but Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will govern their own internal affairs.  The Israeli government will remain responsible for the external borders, customs, defense and monetary policy. The rest will be responsibility of the Palestinian government.

Borders, Immigration and "Settlements"

Under the plan that I envision, the Israeli government will be in charge of all external borders, including maritime borders. In other words, Israelis will determine who gets in and out of the country, including the autonomous region of Palestine.  This will guarantee that people and goods dedicated to destruction of Israel do not enter its territory by using Palestine as a gateway.

The borders of the autonomous region of Palestine itself will consist of the entire Gaza Strip and most of the so-called West Bank. The borders will exclude the large Israeli communities inside of Judea and Samaria, which the international community and most of the media like to call the major "settlement blocs".  These will be annexed to Israel proper. Palestinians that reside within these annexed territories will be given Israeli citizenship with full voting rights, in contrast to their countrymen in the new autonomous region of Palestine who will not have the right to vote in Israeli elections. Israeli communities not located in the major "settlement blocs" will remain under full Israeli sovereignty as enclaves within what becomes Palestine, but will not be able to expand their communities outside of borders mutually agreed upon by representatives of Israel and the Palestinians prior to implementation of this peace plan, unless the Palestinian government authorizes such expansion.

No Israelis will be allowed to work or reside in the autonomous territory without the consent of the Palestinian government. At the same time, no one will be able to enter Israel proper from Palestine without the consent of the Israeli government. Palestinian refugees will be allowed to reside in the new autonomous region and will be given the same type of Israeli citizenship as Palestinians of the region, allowing them to vote in Palestinian elections but not in Israeli elections. The Palestinian government will determine what constitutes a Palestinian refugee, but the Israeli government will reserve the right to refuse entry to any refugee that it considers a threat to its security. This arrangement will effectively ensure that Israel proper remains Jewish while the autonomous region of Palestine remains Palestinian.

Jerusalem 

Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel in accordance with Israel's Basic Law: Jerusalem, which means that the Old City and the Israeli communities built in parts of the city after the 1967 war will not be part of the future autonomous region of Palestine.  However, this does not discount the possibility of including some of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods or its Arab suburbs as part of the future Palestinian capital, to be known as Al-Quds.  This is hardly a new idea. In fact, a similar arrangement was discussed during the failed Camp David summit in the year 2000.

Israel as Guarantor of Palestinian Democracy

I stated above that my plan envisions Palestinians running their own affairs with the exception of borders, external security and monetary policy over which Israel would maintain control. I also believe, however, that inasmuch as the Palestinians should have the right to govern themselves, Israel should have the responsibility of guaranteeing Palestine's nascent democracy so that events like the Hamas takeover of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 do not happen again. I believe that only with Israel's help will the Palestinians be able to establish a strong, genuine democracy. Without Israeli supervision, any Palestinian-controlled entity, whether an independent state or not, will undoubtedly become a bastion of dictatorship, tyranny and terrorism.





  


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Toronto Needs More Subways, Not More Boondoggles

There's a proposal before Toronto City Council to make a part of King Street more friendly to mass transit, pedestrians and cyclists. Okay, everyone who's ever been on King St., especially during rush hour, knows what a mess it is. Well now our incompetent politicians are going to make a bigger mess by taking away lanes that cars use, forcing drivers to use other nearby streets that are already bumper-to-bumper most of the time. What our leaders should be doing is building subway lines downtown so that traffic doesn't have to idle constantly behind those annoying streetcars.

But of course, who's going to find the money for that? Certainly not the folks who run this city now. They're too busy enriching their friends in the various special interest groups with what little money is available. Hell, even if there was money for new subways, our leaders would squander it as they always have. Just look at the red ink flowing from the subway extension to York University, or the price for the extension to Scarborough that keeps going up and up. Not to mention the fact that these extensions are going to add even more riders to our already overcrowded subways. And it's not like the stiffs who run the show in Toronto haven't had the chance to build new subway lines downtown before. Instead, they built the boondoggle we now call the Sheppard subway. You know, the subway to nowhere. Never mind the fact that there are more people that ride the streetcars on King St. than ride the Sheppard stub-way.

To make a long story short, the folks responsible for governing this city made bad choices and continue to make bad choices. When is it going to end? 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Line 2 TTC Riders Deserve Respect

Toronto City Council intends to spend another $80 million more on transit in the upcoming budget. In a column published by the Toronto Sun yesterday, Mayor John Tory specifically mentioned signal upgrades on the Line 1 subway, among other things (see: Keeping our city on the move). Indeed, the Yonge-University-Spadina line seems to be getting all of the attention these days. Folks on that subway line get to ride new, modern trains and will soon be reaping the benefits of automatic train control and trains running closer together.

In contrast, folks on Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) still have to make do with old, klunky trains and are not going to see significant service improvements any time soon. Most people on Line 2 would probably settle for working air conditioning on trains so that they don't have to go through another summer of the hot subway, never mind yearning for fancy new trains or automatic train control. It's time for the mayor and City Council to start showing riders on Line 2 some respect.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Electoral Reform in Canada is Wishful Thinking

Supporters of electoral reform held a day of action yesterday to protest Justin Trudeau's decision to scrap plans to change the way we vote in federal elections. First off, everyone should have known that junior was lying when he said that the 2015 vote would be the last one that would be held under the first-past-the-post system. After all, no one here in Canada lies better than a Liberal, or should I say, a Lie-beral.

Second, demonstrating against Trudeau the younger is futile, because neither he nor the rest of the cronies in his party will listen. They don't have to listen, because they have a majority government, which gives them 100% of the power when they just got under 40% of the votes in the last election. And no, they won't have to listen when the next election comes around either. You know why? Because the other parties won't produce a leader that can overcome Justin Trudeau's ability to woo gullible voters with selfies and speeches that are high on charisma and low on substance. Hence, junior will most likely be re-elected with another fake majority government.

Third and lastly, if proponents of electoral reform knew enough about Canadian history, they would know that this country has been resisting any change to its politics since before Confederation. It's no coincidence that the same two parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, have always been the ones holding the reigns of power. Do you really think that change will happen if you just substitute one group of elites with another? No, of course not. Furthermore, you can't expect these elites to do away with an electoral system that has served them so well throughout this country's history.

I think it is very unlikely that Canada will move away from its first-past-the-post electoral system. It's probably wishful thinking, just like an elected senate, an end to excessive party discipline and any other change Canadians would like to see made to this country's politics. Nevertheless, I will continue to advocate for these things, because sometimes dreams and wishes can come true.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

International Community Cannot Stop Jews From Reclaiming Their Birthright

Israel's usual detractors are now complaining about the so-called Regulation Bill, just passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament (see: UN Secretary-General denounces Regulation Bill, European Union adds to condemnation of Regulation Bill. The bill gives legal status to homes built in Judea and Samaria (aka, the West Bank). Israel-haters around the world would rather throw Jews out of their homes simply because they are Jews living in their Biblical, ancestral homeland. It doesn't matter to Israel's critics that the Palestinian owners of land on which some of the aforementioned homes will be given compensation ABOVE market value. Hell, even if Israel offered the Palestinians compensation at 1000% of the value of their properties, the world would still condemn us. The international community condemns anything Israel does that doesn't involve dispossessing Jews from their homes and their birthright.

No one in the international community made even a peep when Jews fled or were forced from their properties in the Arab world with NO compensation at all. And to this day, NOT ONE U.N. resolution has been passed demanding compensation or restitution for lost or stolen Jewish property in North Africa and the Middle East. Hell, the compensation that the Palestinians will be getting for their properties under the Regulations Bill is probably better than what your average big city, like my home city of Toronto, gives whenever it needs to expropriate land to build things like highways and public mass transit.

So let the U.N., the E.U. and the rest of Israel's critics whine all they want, because we the Jewish people have returned to our motherland and we're not leaving it again, EVER!

The Ideal Israeli

I am very proud of my Israeli heritage. Nevertheless, I would never pretend to present myself as an example of what I think constitutes an ideal Israeli.  For one thing, I don't even live in Israel. I honestly would like to, but my whole life is here in Canada and I can't take it with me to live somewhere else, even if that somewhere else is my ancestral homeland.

It would also be hypocritical of me to present myself as an ideal Israeli since I write in English and do not consider myself to be fluent in Hebrew, though I'm confident saying that I speak Hebrew better than most people who weren't born in Israel and/or never lived there for an extended period of time. My name is clearly not Hebrew, though like most Jews, I do have a Hebrew first name that I like to use whenever I'm in Israel. In short, I am not what I would call an ideal Israeli. So what is an ideal Israeli?

An Ideal Israeli Stays True to His or Her Semitic Roots:

I believe that the true identity of Israel lies not simply in being the homeland of the Jewish people, but also a Hebrew, Semitic state. The Jewish people are a Semitic people. We are not European or Western inasmuch as the rest of the world likes to think of us as being so. Yes, many of us, particularly Jews of European origin or Ashkenazim, do not look like Semites, but this of course is largely because of a historical injustice, namely the dispossession of the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland. When the Zionist movement began, we not only started building a Jewish state after two thousand years, but we also started taking back our heritage. Above all, we managed to restore Hebrew and make it a modern language to use in everyday life. There is now a thriving Hebrew culture, in contrast to just over a century ago when Hebrew was almost exclusively a language of prayer. No one can be called an ideal Israeli unless he or she has a mastery of the Hebrew language.

What bothers me, though, is that many Jews living in Israel are still holding on to too many non-Semitic cultural practices of our two thousand year exile. For example, although many if not most Israeli Jews have a Hebrew name, or at least a Semitic one, there are still some, including prominent Israeli leaders, who continue to have names like Rubenstein and Silverman. These are names that belong in the Diaspora, NOT in Israel! The same goes for Yiddish and other Diaspora Jewish languages. Many of Zionism's founding fathers viewed Yiddish as a corrupt jargon and so do I. May it be banished from Israel as a conversational language forever! We use it in Israel as part of our slang and that's as far as it should go. And as we relegate Yiddish to the dustbin of history, we should also discourage other antisemitic, anti-Zionist forms of Jewish culture in Israel, such as Klezmer music and that ridiculous-looking, medieval Polish garb that many Haredim wear. My opinion is simply this: If you want to live as if the Jews never left the shtetls and the ghettos of Europe, speak Yiddish and wear those big, black coats and black hats, then please, don't do it in Israel. To make a long story short, Diaspora Jewish culture belongs in the Diaspora, not in Israel, because Israel is where Jews go to be Yehudim, not Yids.  

Canadian Consumers Win With Superbowl Commercials

The bigwigs at Bell Media are whining like babies because for the first time, Canadians were allowed to see the always highly-anticipated American Superbowl commercials. For once, the CRTC listened to Canadian consumers instead of this country's corporate fat cats and Can-con lobby. Canadian consumers have said loud and clear for years that they wanted to see the Superbowl commercials and not have to watch the crappy, boring Canadian ads. So let Bell whine and complain all they want. This time, Canadian consumers have won the day!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

No New Canada Under Justin Trudeau

I hate to say I told you so. Prime Minister Selfie just confirmed it today. He will not change Canada's unfair and undemocratic electoral system. The Toronto Star, from which this article comes, proudly proclaimed, "It's a New Canada," on their front page after Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won the last federal election with less than 40% of the vote. After all, the Star led the cheerleading section for Trudeau the younger along with the CBC during the 2015 election campaign. What a bunch of crap!

This latest flip-flop by the former drama teacher turned prime minister proves once and for all that there is no new Canada, nor will there ever be a new Canada under Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. There will just be the same old Canada that there is every time the Liberals are in power. Once again, the Liberals have fooled Canadians into believing that they are true harbingers of change, when in fact all they do once they get into power is bring back the same old policies that the Tories get rid of every time they're in power.

Now I already hear the folks who support our fraud of a prime minister saying something like, "Would you rather live down south where President Trump rules the roost?" Isn't it interesting how the first thing supporters of the status quo will tell you is that it's worse somewhere else. You know why? Because they don't want you to believe that there can be something or someone better. But I say that surely we the Canadian people can find a leader that has more substance than just a famous name and policy ideas he stole from someone else's playbook. I sincerely hope we find that leader before the next election comes around.