Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Night Febrile Episode

Yemeni woman arrested over bomb plots:

Yemeni forces Saturday arrested a woman suspected of sending mail bombs on two US-bound flights in an alleged Al-Qaeda plot that Britain said was aimed at blowing up at least one of the planes.

The arrest came a day after two packages containing explosives and addressed to Jewish places of worship in Chicago were intercepted on cargo aircraft in Dubai and Britain, triggering a massive international security alert.

"Yemeni security forces arrested a woman suspected of sending two parcel bombs," after the house on the outskirts of the capital Sanaa where she was staying was surrounded, Yemen's defence ministry said.

The woman was arrested along with her mother after her mobile phone number was found on the receipt for the parcel bombs, a security official told AFP.

She is a medical student at Sanaa university and her father is a petroleum engineer, the official added.

I await the usual "impoverished mass tangentally related to an otherwise peaceful religion" meme.

Thousands attend Mass honouring Saint Andre Besette:

Mike Budge of Ottawa arrived in Montreal after organizing 10 buses — about 560 people in all — from dioceses in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

"Most of the pilgrims said they couldn't sleep because they were so excited," Budge said in an interview. "I couldn't sleep." ...

Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, the archbishop of Montreal, read the homily and said he was celebrating the "Olympic medal of canonization."

"Saint Brother Andre, an impressive gathering from every origin has come to praise God as you join the company of the blessed and of the saints," Turcotte told the gathering.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper finds himself under attack for allegedly inflating the death toll of the Holodmor:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being accused of exaggerating this week the extent of the 1932-33 famine that was declared a genocide by Canada’s Parliament two years ago.

Mr. Harper indicated on both days of his first-ever journey to Ukraine that “almost” 10 million people died in what is known as the Holodomor — or “death by starvation.”

Critics, while stressing that the death toll of the famine caused by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s policies is massive and remains one of history’s great crimes against humanity, said the true figure is roughly a third of Harper’s.

“I find it regrettable that Stephen Harper and other leading Western politicians are continuing to use such exaggerated figures for Ukrainian famine mortality,” University of Melbourne historian and demographer Stephen Wheatcroft told Postmedia News in an email.

“There is absolutely no basis for accepting a figure of 10 million Ukrainians dying as a result of the famine of 1932-33. No reputable demographer accepts this,” stated Mr. Wheatcroft, who puts the figure at around 3.5 million.

Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Friday “nobody” can be sure how many died.
“To minimize this act of genocide by claiming exaggeration is quite sad because there are a number of published estimates,” Soudas wrote in an email.

Mr. Harper made two references to the famine while in Ukraine.

“Some 10 million people, up to 10 million people, and we’ll never know the numbers for sure, (were) killed, and killed through the deliberate plans of their own government,” he said at the joint news conference in the capital city of Kyiv while sitting next to President Viktor Yanukovych.

Starvation weakens the body leaving it vulnerable to any number of diseases. Factoring in diseases like typhus, typhoid fever and smallpox, it is not unreasonable to suggest a number like ten million or under. One must also consider the decrease of births and migrations, making the number three to four million also a valid estimate. Why historians chose to make an issue out of this in particular is intriguing to say the least. 


Freed from the clutches of the criminal justice system, David Chen has returned to his Lucky Moose market a little wiser and a lot more careful about how he deals with shoplifters, a constant scourge in Toronto’s Chinatown.

Less clear is what Toronto police will take away from the Chen case, which ended in acquittal for the shopkeeper and two employees, Qing Li and Jie Chen. The three men were cleared of assaulting and forcibly confining Anthony Bennett, a 52-year-old drug addict with a long record for petty crime. They chased, bound and detained Mr. Bennett in a van after he stole plants from the Lucky Moose in May of 2009.

Citing “reasonable doubt” about the events of that day, Mr. Justice Ramez Khawly told a packed courtroom he was forced to acquit the men, despite grave concerns about their actions and credibility.

But in his long, colourful judgment, Judge Khawly also highlighted a claim made at trial that he said was overshadowed by the more compelling narrative of Mr. Chen as humble-merchant-turned-crime-fighter: that police ignore minor crime in Chinatown, leading some to take the law into their own hands.

“Is Chen’s community sending a message of vulnerability in the face of perceived police inaction?” the judge asked. “However unfair or unfounded, is that not really what stoked the embers of this case?”

Citing the “broken windows” theory, by which communities lose faith in the rule of law when minor crime goes unpunished, the judge suggested Mr. Chen “tried to fill the void where the justice system failed,” and asked, “could Chen, after all, not be the canary in the coal mine?”

This verdict is an absolute miracle given how the system was stacked against Mr. Chen. Not only was Mr. Chen's store, the Lucky Moose Market, still a target for shoplifters, the witness against Mr. Chen, Anthony Bennett, was a incorrigible thief and liar. The police never charged him; they made him a deal if he would testify against the men who stopped him from robbing the store.

It baffles me to no end. Do the police secretly want people to take matters into their own hands or is this just as it appears to be- the police and the legal system are willfully impotent? It is as though people enjoy shooting themselves in the foot. Don't arrest the thief, get him to testify against a frustrated contributing member of society. Discourage vigilantism by doing absolutely nothing when criminals repeatedly rob and assault citizens whose tether for such vile treatment is increasingly getting shorter. The legal system is clearly missing a brain stem and the capacity for empathy.

Possible outcomes of releasing admitted murderer Omar Khadr:

Omar Khadr could be out from behind bars in as soon as 26 months under the terms of a plea agreement reached between his lawyers and the governments of the United States and Canada.

Earlier this week, Khadr, a Canadian citizen and Guantanamo detainee, pled guilty to a series of war crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Special Forces medic in Afghanistan, as part of a plea deal in which he will serve one year in Guantanamo and seven more in Canada.

However, due to the relatively lenient parole requirements in Canada, Khadr could be eligible for full parole in just 32 months, far before the end of his eight year sentence. According to the National Parole Board of Canada, Khadr could qualify for day parole, or be released to a halfway house, just 26 months from now.

Omar Khadr has been involved in killing and maiming American and Canadian forces since he was fifteen. He admits that his happiest moment was killing an American. His performance apology to Mrs. Tabitha Speer, his reading material, even his crying fits are stuff of pure melodrama. For all of this, he could be released. Who would release someone who affirmed that killing someone made him feel happy? 
I watched Christie Blatchford's interview yesterday. Even now, it makes me utterly furious that the government of Ontario could steadfastly refuse to protect the very citizens it robs. Yes, robs. If tax dollars go to the very thugs who threaten, beat, burn, vandalise and terrorise, then why pay them? Why do we owe allegience to a government whose policy for dealing with such criminals entails watching as they burn and destroy property and beat innocent people? What needs to be done before someone does what they are paid to do?
This is why it is important to repeatedly bring this up. Remind the cowards at election time. Either they can stop flirting with a populace whose idea of "social justice" is torching a bridge while putting a hand out for money or they can defend the rights of all citizens.
I suppose that is too much to ask.


Anonymous said...

This is not a "Welcome Back Khadr" situation. Poor thing's been crying. Doesn't he have any tissues in his purse to dab at his eyes? How ****ing sensitive was this dirtbag when he exploded the head off of a medic who was there to help people? Perhaps the U.S. should have been allowed to deal with this since his victim was an American. Then, the duration of sentence might not have mattered. Two words; General Population > the same place that Paul Bernardo belongs but isn't currently located solitary confinement.


Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Omar Khadr is a murderer and for reasons I cannot fathom, people feel sorry for this little piece of excrement.