Archive for Canada

CORRECTION

It looks like you might have to apologize to the Mennonite community, Aggie.

Looks like the Canadian jihadist might have had other religious leanings:

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau has been identified as the shooting suspect at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday. One soldier who was shot and rushed to hospital later died of his injuries while three other shooting victims remain in hospital.

Canadian police are investigating Michael Zehaf-Bibeau after two U.S. officials said that U.S. agencies have been advised that the shooter was a Canadian convert to Islam. One of the officials said that the man was from Quebec.

The gunman was reportedly dressed in all black and had a scarf over his face.

I wouldn’t call the evidence of his Islamic affiliation iron-clad, but suspicions are justified:

Long before the attack took place, Canadian intelligence experts were assessing the possibility of a terrorist assault, IBT reported. Indeed a report by NBC News, published in early October, said that the country’s top officials were investigating at least 90 people suspected of being involved in terrorism activities.

”Intelligence officials tell NBC News that Canadian authorities have heard would-be terrorists discussing potential ISIS-inspired ‘knife and gun’ attacks against U.S. and Canadian targets inside Canada,” the network reported.

”Both U.S. and Canadian officials fear the beheading of an innocent person in a public place, or the slashing of citizens on a crowded street until police arrive to shoot and ‘martyr’ the terrorists.

”Canadian officials are weighing increased security around public buildings in coming days, government officials there say.”

A day too late, I’m sad to say.

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Terror Attack In Canadian Parliament

Several shooters, apparently

Multiple gunmen stormed the Canadian Parliament complex Wednesday, shooting at least one soldier and spraying as many as 30 shots inside the government building in Ottawa and leaving the nation’s capital on virtual lockdown just two days after a terror attack in Quebec, officials said.

Where have I been? I missed the terror attack in Quebec entirely.

The drama unfolded just before 10 a.m., two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies. And on Tuesday, Canada had raised its domestic terror level from low to medium due to “an increase in general chatter from radical Islamist organizations like ISIL, Al Qaeda, al-Shabab and others who pose a clear threat to Canadians,” said Jean-Christophe de Le Rue, a spokesman for the public safety minister.

BTL, did you know about this? Anyone? Back to Ottawa right now:

More shootings were reported less than a mile away from Parliament Hill, near Rideau Centre Mall, but police did not know if the incidents were related and said no arrests had been made.

“Most of downtown Ottawa is in lockdown,” said Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy.

Amazing. Is this another case of Mennonites Gone Mad™?

– Aggie

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Put This in Your Pipe and Smoke It

Aggie posted a story about free crack pipes a couple of weeks ago.

The fad is catching on:

In an effort to curb the spread of disease among drug users, Vancouver has become home to Canada’s very first crackpipe vending machines.

Installed on the city’s Downtown Eastside, the machines offer Pyrex crackpipes for only 25 cents.

‘For us this was about increasing access to safer inhalation supplies in Downtown Eastside,’ said Kailin See, the director of the DURC.

Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney said he disagrees with InSite’s mission only supporting treatments that end drug use entirely and ‘limiting access to drug paraphernalia.’

‘Drug use damages the health of individuals and the safety of our communities,’ he said. ‘We believe law enforcement should enforce the law.’

InSite argues that studies have shown harm reduction strategies lead to overall decreases in the infectious disease rates and make addicts more likely to get treatment by introducing them to health professionals.

‘This is one piece of a larger puzzle,’ See said. ‘You have to have treatment, you have to have detox, you have to have safe spaces to use your drug of choice, and you have to have safe and clean supplies.’

See argued that as every new HIV or hepatitis case could cost taxpayers up to $250,000 in medical treatment a mere 25 cents for a new pipe was a bargain.

This is an extension of the argument for free needles to addicts of intravenous drugs—and I don’t have an answer for either one. I take the side against the distribution of drug paraphernalia on the grounds that society shouldn’t encourage such destructive (self and otherwise) behavior. But I can’t dispute the other side. Giving addicts clean tools to poison themselves slowly (and cheaply) rather than slowly (and expensively) makes sense (and cents). My moral indignation feels powerful to me, but looks awfully puny next to a full-blown case of AIDS. Or even to the possibility of getting clean. What is my self-righteous condemnation compared to human potential to heal?

People make bad choices, to be sure, and sometimes those choices are beyond our fixing. Sometimes, people will die of their bad choices, and we can only watch (see Philip Seymour Hoffman). But what if we can buy them another day? I would guess that most addicts already know without our moralizing that what they are doing is wrong. But our moralizing ignores medical science if it does not acknowledge the chemistry behind addiction. Breaking the speed limit is wrong (not just against the law, but unsafe), but I do so routinely on the freeway. When I see a Statie, however, I can peg 55 mph for miles on end like an old lady from Poughkeepsie. No one seriously believes an addict jonesing for a fix (also unlawful, also unsafe) can make the same choice. Condemning such a person to die of a preventable disease (not before spreading it to others) seems a petty sort of moralism.

I seem to have made a persuasive argument against the position I hold. Maybe because I’m not sure; maybe there’s a compromise.

Untitled

Maybe there’s room for moralizing and free (or cheap) crack pipes. A vending machine may protect addicts’ immune systems, but it gives up on their souls. Where’s the humanity in that? What if, instead, we sell ‘em cheap crack pipes and needles, but they have to ask for them from another human being? The answer will always be yes, but they have to present themselves and ask. We acknowledge their powerlessness over their addiction; they acknowledge their responsibility in their own health and safety. Might not that be the first step toward a cure? Isn’t that more hopeful than crack pipes next to Skittles, needles next to Diet Coke?

If we are to be truly human, there must be room for both moralizing and understanding. People will still die of bad choices, but the right choice should be available until the end. “Choose Life” is never a bad motto.

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Dispatches From the Front Lines of Socialized Medicine

Avis boasts that as the number two car rental agency, they try harder.

Britain’s NHS puts that car in neutral and just coasts:

Jeremy Hunt said that the NHS was failing to “challenge low aspirations” and that a large number of hospitals, although meeting minimum standards, were not excelling.

In his speech in Dorking, the Health Secretary will warn that mediocre hospitals risk “failing” like those run by the scandal–hit Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. “Imagine for a moment that the main objective for our Olympic athletes was not to win but to ‘not come last’,” Mr Hunt will say. “It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

But today I want to suggest that too much of the NHS is focused on doing just that.

“Not on achieving world–class levels of excellence – the gold medals of health care – but meeting minimum standards, the equivalent of ‘not coming last’.”

He will add: “Coasting can kill. Not straight away, but over time as complacency sets in, organisations look inwards, standards drop and then suddenly, something gives.

“The lesson of Mid Staffs is surely that we need to understand why they fail in the first place, which means tackling mediocrity and low expectations before they turn into failure and tragedy.”

Good luck with that. What happens when they find that mediocrity and low expectations are not bugs but features?

I’ve been wondering, meanwhile, about Canada’s public health care system. We’ve heard anecdotally through Mark Steyn and others about criminally long wait times for abhorrently bad service, but next to nothing of that appears in the press.

Until today:

Steadily but stealthily, we were putting more money into health-care at the expense of spending on other government programs, and the politicians were afraid to talk about that shift. I was also aware that if you do not benchmark a program, you don’t know where you are, which in turn allows all sorts of mythologies and errors to creep into the public’s mind; as in Canada has the best health-care system in the world, whereas in fact, according to all the international evidence I could find, we have a middle-of-the-road performer, nothing better, despite being among the world’s biggest spenders for health. Since we weren’t having an informed debate about health-care as it is, as opposed to myths about it, I thought maybe a serious, balanced book could inch us towards a better understanding of where we are and where we need to go. All authors have their conceits; that was mine.

Sounds like mediocrity in socialized medicine is a contagious disease!

What’s worse, in their ignorance (on this matter, anyway), Canadians are happy to double down on the mythology.

Polling data repeatedly show that people do not want to pay higher taxes, and certainly do not want to pay from their own pockets to access the system, as with user fees. The Quebec government proposed user fees tied to income, with no fees at all for low-income citizens. The government withdrew the idea after the finance minister said that the “Quebec political culture” was not ready for this initiative. He could have been speaking about all of Canada.

Citizens do not favour the public system dropping any services, although a few provinces have done this to save money. Nor, of course, does the public want less money spent on other programs. No new taxes. No fees or private payments. No fewer services – indeed, more if possible. No cuts elsewhere. All the painful options – the ones politicians are reluctant to outline – have been pushed off the table. Politicians are left to resolve health-care dilemmas by pursuing the easiest one to articulate and the hardest one to achieve – the dream of efficiency gains.

You mean, like taking the blue pill or the red pill, instead of having surgery?

I still think the most telling fact is that the Canadian press is mute on the issue. No wonder Canadians are ignorant about the true state of their health care. They’re on the mushroom diet—kept in the dark and fed BS.

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The Doctor Will See You… Uh… Doctor…? Doctor…? [UPDATED]

Physician, heal thyself:

The United States will require at least 52,000 more family doctors in the year 2025 to keep up with the growing and increasingly older U.S. population, a new study found.

The predictions also reflect the passage of the Affordable Care Act — a change that will expand health insurance coverage to an additional 38 million Americans.

“The health care consumer that values the relationship with a personal physician, particularly in areas already struggling with access to primary care physicians should be aware of potential access challenges that they may face in the future if the production of primary care physicians does not increase,” said Dr. Andrew Bazemore, director of the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Primary Care and co-author of the study published Monday in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Stephen Petterson, senior health policy researcher at the Robert Graham Center, said the government should take steps — and quickly — to address the problem before it gets out of hand.

“There needs to be more primary care incentive programs that give a bonus to physicians who treat Medicaid patients in effort to reduce the compensation gap between specialists and primary care physicians,” said Petterson, who co-authored the study with Bazemore.

That’s right, the answer to government interference is more government interference. Isn’t it obvious? Just ask us:

These problems loom even larger considering the aim of the Affordable Care Act to provide all Americans with health insurance — and with it, more regular contact with a primary care doctor.

Perhaps the best known example of this approach has been Massachusetts, which since 2006 has mandated that every resident obtain health insurance and those that are below the federal poverty level gain free access to health care. But although the state has the second-highest ratio of primary care physicians to population of any state, they are struggling with access to primary care physicians.

Dr. Randy Wexler of The John Glenn Institute of Public Service and Policy said he has concerns that this trend could be reflected nationwide.

“Who is going to care for these people?” he said. “We are going to have problems just like Massachusetts. [They] are struggling with access problems; it takes one year to get into a primary care physician. Coverage does not equal access.”

But we feel so much better about ourselves! Beat that, wingnuts!

Most experts encourage consumers to challenge the current system, hold political leaders accountable, insist that government officials demand change in health care system design, policy, and reimbursement, along with medical school admissions and residency position allocations.

I tried holding Harvard Medical School accountable, but I got escorted off the premises.

So I tried holding a political leader accountable—but he’s been in the hospital for almost a month:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino suffered another setback and will remain hospitalized indefinitely as doctors try to determine what caused a fresh surge of pain in his ailing back.

Speaking Tuesday at a press conference, two of Menino’s physicians said they could not give any estimate when the mayor might be released from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was admitted almost three weeks ago.

Menino, 69, was initially diagnosed with a viral infection and a blood clot. While hospitalized, he sustained a compression fracture in one of the vertebra of his spine.

Who breaks their back lying in bed? This fat goof, that’s who. And who stays in a hospital for weeks on end for an infection? See above.

Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to wait a year just to get into a PCP’s practice. Welcome to Massachusetts, everybody. You’ll get used to it if you drink enough.

UPDATE
Welcome to Quebec, the Massachusetts of the Great White North:

he Montreal Gazette reports on how this works out in a country where everyone has insurance courtesy of the government:

Surgery wait times for deadly ovarian, cervical and breast cancers in Quebec are three times longer than government benchmarks, leading some desperate patients to shop around for an operating room.

But that’s a waste of time, doctors say, since the problem is spread across Quebec hospitals. And doctors are refusing to accept new patients quickly because they can’t treat them, health advocates say.

A leading Montreal gynecologist said that these days, she cannot look her patients in the eye because the wait times are so shocking. Lack of resources, including nursing staff and budget compressions, are driving a backlog of surgeries while operating rooms stand empty. The latest figures from the provincial government show that over a span of nearly 11 months, 7,780 patients in the Montreal area waited six months or longer for day surgeries, while another 2,957 waited for six months or longer for operations that required hospitalization.

The worst cases are gynecological cancers, experts say, because usually such a cancer has already spread by the time it is detected. Instead of four weeks from diagnosis to surgery, patients are waiting as long as three months to have cancerous growths removed.

This War on Women is turning into a rout! They’re all dying off! We take no prisoners, women!

PS: Don’t you just love the phrase “government benchmarks”? I think that’s going to be my epitaph.

Here lies BTL, victim of a government benchmark.

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Mr. Dithers

Old-timers might remember Dithers as Dagwood’s boss in the old Blondie comic strip.

Doggone if he hasn’t made it to the White House:

THE POINTLESS kerfuffle in Charlotte over whether the Democratic Party platform would contain a reference to Jerusalem obscured the fact that the Obama administration and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu continue to have a real and dangerous difference of opinion. The issue is not the location of Israel’s capital — President Obama’s position is identical to those of previous Democratic and Republican presidents — but the question of what to do about Iran’s nuclear program.

The acuteness of the differences was reflected in comments this week by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, who said he witnessed “a very sharp exchange” between Mr. Netanyahu and Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, during a Aug.?24 meeting. “It was very, very clear that the Israelis had lost their patience with the administration,” Mr. Rogers said in a radio interview.

[I]f Mr. Obama really is determined to take military action if Iran takes decisive steps toward producing a bomb, such as enriching uranium to bomb-grade levels or expelling inspectors, he would be wise to say so publicly. Doing so would improve relations with Mr. Netanyahu and deter unilateral Israeli action — and it might well convince Iran that the time has come to compromise.

Meanwhile:

Following is a statement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued late yesterday afternoon (Friday, 7 September 2012):

“I would like to commend Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for taking a step that showed leadership and daring and which sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world. One week after the display of anti-Semitism and hatred in Tehran, the government of Canada is taking a moral step of the highest order. Canada’s determination is very important in order for the Iranians to understand that they cannot continue their race after nuclear weapons. This practical measure needs to serve as an example of international responsibility for the global community. It is important that the international community join in this pressure by setting Iran clear red lines.”

Canada listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism and closed down its embassy. It’s also kicking out all Iranian diplomats.

While Mr. Dithers… dithers.

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Canadians Now Richer Than Americans!!

Thanks, Obama!! Hope-n-Change!!! You Didn’t Build That On Your Own, Your Voters Did!!!!

Remember all those brain-dead lefties that threatened to move to Canada after Bush won in 2004? I bet they wish they did.

For the First Time, Canadians Now Richer Than Americans

For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American, according to a report cited in Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

And not just by a little. Currently, the average Canadian household is more than $40,000 richer than the average American household. The net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, compared to around $320,000 for Americans.

If you’re thinking the Canadian advantage must be due to exchange rates, think again. The Canadian dollar has actually caught up to the U.S. dollar in recent years.

“These are not 60-cent dollars, but Canadian dollars more or less at par with the U.S. greenback,” Globe and Mail’s Michael Adams writes.

To add insult to injury, not only are Canadians comparatively better-off than Americans, they’re also more likely to be employed. The unemployment rate is 7.2 percent—and dropping—in Canada, while the U.S. is stuck with a stubbornly high rate of 8.2 percent.

Besides a strengthening currency and a better labor market, experts credit the particularly savage fallout from the financial crisis on the U.S. economy and housing market, which torpedoed home values and gutted household wealth. According to the report, real estate held by Canadians is worth more than $140,000 more on average and they have almost four times as much equity in their real estate investments.

In a column for Bloomberg View, Stephen Marche traces the increasing wealth spread between the two countries to America’s “struggles to find its way out of an intractable economic crisis and a political sine curve of hope and despair.”

“The Canadian System is working,” Marche writes, crediting Canada’s cautious, fiscally conservative society. “[T]he American system is not.”

Well, Obama’s leftist approach is just working beautifully. Why should we be the richest and most powerful nation in the world? Why should our children go to school to study, say, how to be a middle school math teacher, and expect a job? Why shouldn’t they tend bar instead? Or become really awesome baristas? Don’t you hate it when your latte isn’t up to par? Me too. So, despite what you might think, this is a happy story. If you are a boomer or older, look at it this way. Do you want English speakers to clean your house, and eventually your bum as you sink into decrepitude? Why not hire your kids or their friends! Why should those little snots work on Wall Street or become fancy shmancey dentists? Better they should do our bidding all their lives! Hope-n-change, baby, hope-n-change. And progress. Indeed.

– Aggie

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They’ve Got to Get Out of This Place

If it’s the last thing they ever do. And it may be [hat tip Aggie, from the road]

A Canadian study released Wednesday found that many provinces in our neighbor to the north have seen patients fleeing the country and opting for medical treatment in the United States.

The nonpartisan Fraser Institute reported that 46,159 Canadians sought medical treatment outside of Canada in 2011, as wait times increased 104 percent — more than double — compared with statistics from 1993.

Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 provinces reported an average total wait time of 19 weeks between the time a general practitioner refers a patient and the time a specialist provides elective treatment — the longest they have ever recorded.

“In some cases, these patients needed to leave Canada due to a lack of available resources or a lack of appropriate procedure/technology,” according to the Institute. “In others, their departure will have been driven by a desire to return more quickly to their lives, to seek out superior quality care, or perhaps to save their own lives or avoid the risk of disability.”

Selfish bastards.

“[P]hysicians themselves believe that Canadians wait nearly 3 weeks longer than what they consider is clinically ‘reasonable’ for elective treatment after an appointment with a specialist,” according to the report.

In a related story:

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Hey Canada, I think you can get to Greenland via the Arctic Circle. That may be a better option.

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Save Moose Jaw!

Oh, all right, to be accurate, Moose Jaw is in Saskatchewan.

But the point stands: if fundamental rights are not protected in Medicine Hat (Alberta), they’re not protected anywhere:

The UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, opened its current session in Geneva this week with some Canada-bashing. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, ran down a list of human rights issues around the world that in her view were particularly pressing: Syria for crimes against humanity, a military coup in Mali, torture and summary executions in Eritrea, political prison camps and public executions in North Korea – and human rights in Quebec.

The only human rights issue Pillay described as “alarming” were “moves to restrict freedom of assembly,” and the only alarming instance she could summon up were restrictions in Quebec. The only issue about which she said she was “disappointed” was the law in Quebec. And the only specific concern she had with the violation of “freedom of association” anywhere the world over was in Quebec.

What’s behind her preposterous move?

Oh, I think I know! Pick me! Pick me!

Ahem. The UN, especially its human rights body, could never be seen as an instrument of white authority. Hence, it must ignore some of the most egregious violations of human dignity among Africans, Muslims, Asians, Hispanics, etc., and instead highlight “injustice” in the Great White North.

How’d I do?

A+!

Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, has long been familiar with this UN modus operandi. The Human Rights Council — created in 2006 as the new and improved version of the UN Human Rights Commission that once sported Libya as its President — has adopted resolutions and decisions condemning specific states for human rights violations. Forty-one percent of them have been directed at Israel alone.

By contrast, there has been no resolution about Saudi Arabia, which this week again beheaded someone for sorcery, witchcraft and adultery. Nor has there been a single resolution on China, where fleeing to the American embassy during a visit of the U.S. Secretary of State is the most viable option for a human rights activist wanting to leave the country.

Navi Pillay’s decision to target Canada in this go-round was, therefore, entirely in character. She is perhaps best known for having questioned the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden within hours of his death. She is also the lead champion of the Durban “anti-racism” declaration, and remained glued to her chair during the second Durban Conference — while diplomats from democratic states walked out en masse when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the veracity of the Holocaust.

The tragedy of the contorted view of human rights applied by UN officials anxious to impress UN majorities — Pillay’s term was renewed just a few weeks ago — is that Canada is a true friend of human rights at home and abroad. Over the years, regardless of party, Canadian representatives have never argued that Canada is above reproach and cannot do better. Not only has Canada been generous with human rights-related dollars on many fronts, for decades it has taken the lead at the UN itself on central human rights issues ranging from freedom of expression to Iran.

It’s no coincidence that the UN has turned on Canada as its government turned conservative. Under liberals, Canada was a reliable Jew-bashing vote at the UN; under Stephen Harper’s government, Israel has no better friend.

In other words, Canada was asking for it.

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Allah-Cola

Proof, if any was needed, that living under a bizarre and warped religious cult for thirty-plus years is not healthy for a people:

Thousands of Iranians looked up at the sky in the hopes of seeing the Pepsi logo appear on the moon on Tuesday night, France 24 reported Friday.

According to the report, rumors that have gone viral on Iranian websites and social networks in recent days claimed that Pepsi Co. was going to shoot powerful lasers beams at the moon to display the brand’s logo on its surface.

Some web surfers perceived it as a joke, while others bought the hoax. But the fact remained that at the designated time, scores have gone up to their roofs to look up at the sky.

“We got fooled,” a Tehran-based journalist, Saed, told France 24. “I myself helped propagate the rumor and told people to check out the moon.

“Internet users in Iran are usually those who are the most educated,” she was quoted as saying. “I can’t believe this has happened once again, 33 years after people went out en masse to see Ayatollah Khomeini’s face on the moon.”

She said that during the Iranian revolution in 1979, before Iran’s current supreme leader returned from exile, thousands believed that his face would appear on the moon.

You know why they thought it would be the Pepsi logo, don’t you? What does Pepsi stand for: Pay Every Penny To Save Israel.

I tell you: these people are sick.

While Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper believes Iran is the biggest threat to world peace and security, some Canadian school kids taking Persian weekend classes, study from Iranian text books depicting Jews as “sons of apes”, Canadian network Sun News reported.

In an interview with The Source, Director of the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program at INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc. David Harris noted that textbooks issued by the Iranian Education Ministry have made their way into public Canadian schools.

“Ottawa Carlton Public School Board, a publically funded school board had until 2011 allowed its courses in Farsi on the weekend to use Iranian Ministry of Education textbooks.” Harris noted.

“These textbooks included hate literature that included the glorifying of a 13-year old child soldier who had strapped a grenade to himself and blown himself up under an Iraqi tank during the Iran-Iraq war. We’ve also seen multiple pictures of Ayatollah Khamenei.”

Harris noted that “these books were given to elementary school students, and even third graders,” adding that “Israel of course was vilified.

It’s still unclear to me how a mind can be so diseased to think Jews are little changed from apes (and pigs, too, frequently) yet are able to hoodwink and run the world. Whatever it says about those who believe such fantasies, what does it say about the rest of us schmoes?

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The Hungry Eh?

You know how I often say the UN is incompetent at best, malevolent the rest of the time? Well, anyway, I just did.

Here’s just another reason why:

“There is no food and no clean water, nothing,” Mahmoud, a 12-year-old boy from Homs, Syria, told Reuters Thursday. “There is no shop open and we only have one meal a day. How can we live like that and survive?”

According to the World Food Program, half a million people don’t have enough to eat in Syria. Fears are growing that the regime is using hunger as a weapon.

This is the kind of emergency which should attract the attention of the UN Human Rights Council’s hunger monitor, who has the ability to spotlight situations and place them on the world agenda. Yet Olivier de Schutter of Belgium, the “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” is not going to Syria.

Instead, the UN’s food monitor is coming to investigate Canada.

That’s right. Despite dire food emergencies around the globe, De Schutter will be devoting the scarce time and resources of the international community on an 11-day tour of Canada—a country that ranks at the bottom of global hunger concerns.

Yes, but there are excellent hookers in Montreal! Or so I am told by the Secret Service.

Anyhow, back to those gaunt Canadians:

I asked De Schutter if his time wouldn’t better be spent on calling attention to countries that actually have starving people.

“Globally, 1.3 billion people are overweight or obese,” he responded via his spokesperson, “and this causes a range of diseases such as certain types of cancers, cardio-vascular diseases or (especially) type-2 diabetes that are a huge burden.”

In other words, the hunger expert is not even that interested in hunger, but the opposite. Sure, we should all eat less fries, but do Canadians need a costly UN inquiry to tell us that?

What’s that, Mr. De Schutter? I can’t understand you with your mouth full of coq au vin and moules marinière.

But you thought I cited this article as an example of UN incompetence, didn’t you? Guess again:

First, consider the origins of the UN’s “right to food” mandate. In voluminous background information provided by De Schutter and his local promoters, there’s no mention that their sponsor was Cuba, a country where some women resort to prostitution for food. De Schutter does not want you to know that Havana’s Communist government created his post, nor that the co-sponsors included China, North Korea, Iran and Zimbabwe.

These and other repressive regimes are seeking a political weapon to attack the West.

De Schutter’s consistent argument is that if there is hunger, Western countries are to blame. His attacks on international trade are so ideologically extreme that even Pascal Lamy, head of the World Trade Organization and a member of the French Socialist party, criticized De Schutter’s approach for threatening to drive food prices higher and “exacerbating the negative impacts on poor consumers.”

Second, even when they visit the right countries, Ziegler and De Schutter reach the wrong conclusions. Ziegler went to Cuba, but it was a staged visit that hailed Castro’s policies as almost divine. De Schutter went to Syria—in 2010, long before the current crisis — and mentioned several problems, but his report took pains to repeatedly praise the Assad regime.

My experience is that when you hear the phrase “Special Rapporteur” you should put one hand over your wallet and the other over your testicles (sorry, ladies) because one’s about to get picked and the other about to get kicked. I’ve come to believe that the UN is so malevolent, it uses incompetence as a mere means to its baleful ends (awesome word from my online thesaurus!).

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Hating on the She-brew

You start to read this story, and your blood simmers if not outright boils:

An Israeli Muslim lesbian couple who claim they will be killed if deported to Israel due to their sexuality is being given a second chance to remain in Canada.

According to the Toronto Sun newspaper, Iman Musa and Majida Mugrabi who are currently living in Toronto, arrived in Canada from Tel Aviv in 2007 and filed unsuccessful refugee claims that were appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.

There goes Canada again—giving in to the prejudices against the Jewish state (in spite of their awesome Prime Minister, Stephen Harper)! Gays face no discriminated in the only Democratic state in the Middle East; Israeli Arabs are freer than any other Arabs in the region.

Huh? What’s that? Oh… okay. Never mind:

Judge Roger Hughes on March 8 granted the couple another hearing by an Immigration and Refugee Board based on new information that shows one of Mugrabi’s cousins confessed to the “honor killing” of his sister 12-years ago.

The couple in an emotional letter presented to the courts claimed they would be killed if forced to return to Israel for being a same-sex Muslim couple.

“We have a same sex relationship, which is forbidden back home,” the couple wrote. “We have dishonored our families by running away to try and start a life with each other.”

The couple, through their lawyer, Daniel Kingwell, said they were pleased by the court’s decision but still fear for their lives.

“As Muslim women, we don’t have any rights in our families,” the couple wrote. “The fact that we are lesbians does not help.”

The letter claimed Mugrabi’s grandfather is a Muslim sheikh, who “repeatedly threatened to kill her.” Musa’s brother, from Ramleh, has “threatened to kill her if she does not leave her lesbian relationship and marry a male,” the women alleged. “There are several police complaints regarding the threats of her brother.”

“Same sex relationships are not permitted or accepted in all Arabic countries,” they said. “There are many stories about honor killings and we are victims of this.”

There are several police complaints regarding the threats of her brother.”

Kingwell said the women will be killed if deported to Israel.

“The situation is not the greatest for gays or lesbians in some Arab countries,” Kingwell said on Saturday, adding many “honour killings” occur from family members who slay their same-sex or gay relatives.

“This couple face a real threat from Muslims in a Conservative country,” Kingwell said.

While Israel is known as a country highly tolerant of its thriving LGBT community, it is a well known fact that the Arab communities in Israel still hold an extremely conservative outlook and condemn the LGBT lifestyle.

Good job, Canada!

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