Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Post

Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to all five charges, including the murder of an American medic:

Canadian Omar Khadr pleaded guilty on Monday to all five charges against him in the U.S. war crimes tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in a deal that could send him back to Canada to serve the rest of his sentence in a year.

Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan at age 15 and is now 24, admitted he conspired with al-Qaeda and killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan.

Terms of the Toronto native’s plea deal were not immediately disclosed, but lawyers had reportedly discussed an eight-year cap on his total sentence.

The United States agreed to support Khadr’s request to return to Canada in one year to serve the rest of his sentence there, Khadr’s lawyers told the court.

They said U.S. and Canadian officials had exchanged diplomatic notes, but that his return would ultimately be up to the Canadian government.

Vancouver lawyer John Conroy, who specializes in offender transfers, said that Khadr cannot officially apply for a transfer to Canada until after he is sentenced. The federal government then would have to show that Khadr is a “threat to the security of Canada” to deny him a transfer to a Canadian prison once it has been approved by the United States..... 
Khadr admitted he threw the grenade that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer during a firefight at an al-Qaeda compound near the Afghan city of Khost in 2002.

He also acknowledged the court’s jurisdiction to try him, admitted he conspired with al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks, and acknowledged making and planting roadside bombs targeting U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

I do not want Khadr back in this country. Personally, I find the sentence too lenient for one such as Khadr. If he is ever let loose in Canada, I believe he would be a threat to the security of this country. We've seen his sociopathic behaviour, his lying, his manipulation and, sadly, his wilful acts of terrorism. He should be lumped in with Olson, Bernardo and Williams as incorrigible murderers unfit to be released into society.

The ringleader of the Toronto 18 terrorist group was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison for masterminding plans to storm Parliament and to detonate powerful bombs in and around Toronto.

Fahim Ahmad, wearing a lime green polo T-shirt and thin-framed glasses, had no reaction when Superior Court Justice Fletcher Dawson announced the decision in a courtroom filled with his family and reporters. A woman sitting in a second room cried after the ruling was brought down.

Ahmad, 26, will be required to serve a total of eight years and three months of his sentence after being granted credit for time already served. He will be eligible to apply for parole in a little more than 3 1/2 years.

The Crown had asked the court for an 18-year prison term, citing mitigating factors, such as his youth and apparent remorse. Defence lawyer Dennis Edney painted Ahmad as a self-aggrandizing talker who lacked both the means and the willpower to carry out any of his plans.

Jusitice Dawson said he decided on a 16-year sentence because he believes Ahmad has a chance for rehabilitation once he is released. “I sincerely hope you change your views and show me that I wasn’t wrong,” he said following sentencing....

Ahmad, who was 21 at the time of his arrest, also placed the blame on a host of external sources, from his parents, who he said were never home, to religious leaders he turned to for guidance, to anonymous people he met online.

Someone who can be rehabilitated does not blame others for his behaviour. The chance to really throw the book at terrorists has been missed.

I read in a wonderful feature a few weeks, in the The Wall Street Journal, the Tea Party appears to be about “karma.” That is, there is no karma anymore and Tea Partiers want to live in a world where karma is action. If a company gets into trouble by making one lousy decision after another then tough when it goes under. The people, the government, should not be there with a bailout check. The government has taken away karma; there are no consequences for really bad behaviour.

That is what true freedom is about: you are free to do mainly as you please but do not start crying you are a victim the moment things go wrong. Pick yourself up and start all over again, as a free country allows you to do.

But why do Palin and Beck and the Tea Party members never say what is obvious: Americans were spending like drunken sailors for the past few decades, taking advantage of low interest rates and cheap imported goods from Asia. They continued to rack up debt on high-interest credit cards, took the equity out of their homes for loans, and refused to start saving for the future — a Biblical principle that a Christian nation should follow....
At some point in the next few months the Republican will take Congress. And it is possible that the Republican will walk into the White House in 2012. But even if that should happen, and even if the new government has the guts to follow through on plans to cuts taxes and practice real fiscal responsibility, life in America will still take years to change.

But what every American can change right now is to get their households in order. They should not expect the government to do it for them.

It wasn't capitalism that failed; it was materialism. There is a reason why greed is a deadly sin.

A rare rally demanding the removal of Vladimir Putin has been held in Moscow. Up to 500 protesters gathered on Pushkin Square to call for Mr Putin's resignation. "Our task is to free Russia from this awful regime," Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion turned opposition leader, told the crowd. The protesters, who began an online petition to remove Mr. Putin, said they were targeting him because he was the key figure in a political system that worked "only in the interests of a small group of officials and oligarchs and had led the country to a dead end." Sporadic chants of "Down with Putin" rang out across the historic square. Rallies are rarely allowed in Russia and are often broken up by force. But the event passed off peacefully with riot police looking on.

No dictator like Putin would let this pass.

And, without serious course correction, America is doomed. It starts with the money. For dominant powers, it always does – from the Roman Empire to the British Empire. “Declinism” is in the air these days, but for us full-time apocalyptics we’re already well past that stage. In the space of one generation, a nation of savers became the world’s largest debtors, and a nation of makers and doers became a cheap service economy. Everything that can be outsourced has been – manufacturing to by no means friendly nations overseas; and much of what’s left in agriculture and construction to the armies of the “undocumented”. At the lower end, Americans are educated at a higher cost per capita than any nation except Luxembourg in order to do minimal-skill checkout-line jobs about to be rendered obsolete by technology. At the upper end, America’s elite goes to school till early middle age in order to be credentialed for pseudo-employment as $350 grand-a-year diversity consultants (Michelle Obama) or in one of the many other phony-baloney makework schemes deriving from government micro-regulation of virtually every aspect of endeavor. 

So we’re not facing “decline”. We’re already in it. What comes next is the “fall” – sudden, devastating, off the cliff. That’s why this election is consequential – because the Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree made what was vague and distant explicit and immediate. A lot of the debate about America’s date with destiny has an airy-fairy beyond-the-blue-horizon mid-century quality, all to do with long-term trends and other remote indicators. In reality, we’ll be lucky to make it through the short-term in sufficient shape to get finished off by the long-term. According to CBO projections, by 2055 interest payments on the debt will exceed federal revenues. But I don’t think we’ll need to worry about a “Government of the United States” at that stage. By 1788, Louis XVI’s government in France was spending a mere 60 per cent of revenues on debt service, and we all know how that worked out for the House of Bourbon the following year.

That is why there is no more love for Obama (or, at least, one of the reasons). It's a reasonable assumption to make that a  man who campaigns on hype doesn't know or care how money is spent.

A sleepy bear wandered into a yard in the village of Fallowfield on Sunday, snacked on some fallen birdseed and then curled up for a little nap.  

Free-loading bears!


Anonymous said...

You know what bugs me the most abotu the Khadr case? Is how people are fighting to get him back into Canada, whne one of our citizens is being jailed, and likely will be killed later, for having the *nerve* to criticise Iran, and our government is doing nothing.

Such skewed priorities. Khadr should have his citizenship revoked, if for no other reason, than to send an example to the others who plant landmines and break what's called "The Ottawa Treaty." I guess standing up for our own ideals is also not a worthy fight.

~Your Brother~

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

No one cared about Zehra Kazemi who exposed the abuses in the theocratic dictatorship of Iran. Omar Khadr, a sociopathic little monster, is happy to have killed a medic, husband and father. Make sure Speer's widow knows where the Khadr family is so she can sue the holy living hell out of them.