Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mid-Week Post

A quick recap of the world's wackiness.

An Indonesian minister balks at shaking Michelle Obama's hand:

A conservative Muslim government minister admits he shook hands with first lady Michelle Obama in welcoming her to Indonesia but says it wasn't his choice.

Footage on YouTube shows otherwise, sparking a debate that has lit up Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the blogosphere.

"I tried to prevent (being touched) with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me (so) we touched," Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring told tens of thousands of followers on Twitter.

While Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, the vast majority practice a moderate form of the faith. But Sembiring has flaunted his conservatism and says he avoids contact with women who are not related to him.

Normally, I would understand but really, the Islamofascist paradise of Indonesia (cradle-school of the current president) is just that- an Islamofascist volcano zone where women belong under the heel of the man. Do not make friends with this country, is my point. Not even the president's spouse gets deference.

Hamas burns down a water park:

All is quiet on this autumn morning at the Crazy Water Park, a couple of kilometers south of Gaza City. There are no children splashing around in the shallow kiddie pools, no men cheering as they shoot off the slides into the deep end of the pool. Wives and mothers are also missing from their usual spots under the umbrellas, where they normally sit, fully dressed, chatting and watching their children and husbands play in the water.

The Gaza Strip's only water park opened last spring but -- thanks to around 30 members of Hamas -- it was shut down in late September. One night at 3 a.m., these men appeared out of nowhere, tied up the park's 10 security guards and got to work with gas canisters and lighters. 

The ensuing fire consumed the café and the building housing pool-related equipment. The stand where pool-goers could rent water pipes was a particular target. After a few incidents of modern-minded women openly smoking water pipes on the park's grounds, Hamas had issued the Crazy Water Park two warnings. When it happened a third time, an angered official from Hamas, the radical Islamist organization which controls the Gaza Strip, ordered more drastic measures to be taken. Not long later, the flames engulfing the water park's buildings could be seen from as far away as Gaza City.

Really? A water park? Children's summertime amusements are "unIslamic"? I'm sure there are those who would vehemently disagree.

Dalton McGuinty wants to be voted out of office:

Since Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced 75 new scholarships for foreign PhD students in China last week, paying their way has turned into a provincial battleground.

The initiative will cost the province $20-million over the next four years, supplemented by $10-million more from universities.

It is Mr. McGuinty’s latest attempt at a precarious political balancing act: driving an outward-looking innovation agenda while trying to soothe rattled voters ahead of an election next year.

Why is he coaxing the Chinese octopus? Surely, there must be at least one Canadian student in need of grants? Not even one? Or, like Kent Brockman, is Mr. McGuinty looking for others who will toil in underground sugar caves?

Sarah Palin enters the ring:

The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Stressing the risks of Fed "pump priming," Mrs. Palin zeroed in on the connection between a "weak dollar—a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market"—and rising oil and food prices. She also noted the rising world alarm about the Fed's actions, which by now includes blunt comments by Germany, Brazil, China and most of Asia, among many others. 

"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings," the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee said. "We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track."

It was a cage match. An awesome cage match.

"White privilege"? Please. Instigators much?

A group in Edmonton is promoting an end to racism by promoting racism.

Well, that’s how some are interpreting a campaign by a group paid for by the city, local police and the federal government.

From the Edmonton Sun,

“Controversy is brewing over a city-sponsored anti-racism campaign that calls on Caucasians to recognize their “white privilege”....

A spokesman for the Conservative government thinks the campaign has it all wrong as well.  Alykhan Velshi, director of communications for immigration minister Jason Kenney denounced the language of “white privilege.”

“It’s jejune, sophomoric, retro class warfare. Do you want to know how generations of immigrants have succeeded in Canada? They worked hard and played by the rules. They didn’t blame “white privilege” and “whiteness” for any setbacks they might have experienced,” Velshi said.

Why don't we stop muddying the meaning of racism or padding special-interest groups' wallets with public money? We have racism of soft expectations, racism felt by groups other than white people and we couldn't care less about Third World countries' cheap labour. Who feels guilty about that?

A woman in Pakistan is sentenced to death for "blasphemy":

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination.

Where is the UN? Where are the women's groups or special-interest groups? Are we too cowardly to face an injustice like this?

Unsung heroes:

During both World Wars and the Korean conflict, Indians and Metis enlisted in numbers far greater than their treatment merited. Educational requirements prevented many from joining the RCAF in the Second World War as did a regulation -- quietly dropped early in the war -- barring those from commissions who were not of "pure European descent." The Royal Canadian Navy had a more sweeping restriction. Among its prerequisites for service in any rank was a condition that an applicant "be a British-born subject of a white race." Until that regulation was rescinded in February 1943, the Navy seemed content to limit things native to naming its Tribal Class destroyers after Indian bands. 

Most native Canadians served in the infantry. They fought exceptionally well, suffering heavy casualties and earning the lasting respect of their comrades.

And now for something completely different.

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