Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stockwell Day – Minister of Public Security

After being muzzled during the federal election, Stockwell Day is back in the media spotlight with a roar. In the May 28 edition of the Edmonton Sun, Day is quoted as saying:

“I haven't seen the clerics order that the movie studios be destroyed or that the newspaper places be burned down," he said. "Isn't it great that the message of Jesus Christ is one of love and tolerance?”.

To put the quote into context for you, a little background. Day was speaking at a Prayer Breakfast in Edmonton last week and he was commenting on the controversy surrounding the movie and the book “The Da Vinci Code”. The quote above is making indirect reference to the behaviour of extremist Muslims during the recent cartoon crisis. Day’s obvious lack of knowledge of Islam and its tenets shines through when he makes remarks like this and yet he holds the position of Minister of Public Security. Worried yet? No? You should be. This man is obviously not aware of the fact that the cartoons played directly into the hands of the repressive Syrian and Iranian regimes and the protests in those countries where embassies were sacked and burned could never have happened without the approval of the governments.

If a man who is so completely lacking in knowledge and awareness, so utterly disdainful of the many religions and cultures that make up Canada is holding such an important position in government, what does that say about the government we have in power? Day’s bigoted views about women, ethnic minorities and the Native population are not unfamiliar nor are his brushes with the media over those views yet the Prime Minister still appointed him to the most important position in Cabinet. What does that say about the Prime Minister? Does that mean he agrees with his comments? Does he disagree?

For a Prime Minister who is controlling every aspect of media spin that comes out of Ottawa, Harper has failed miserably to keep Day on the very tight leash he so desperately needs. That is not a bad thing for Arabs and Muslims; it is good to know what the Minister of Public Security really thinks of us. It is comments like that by elected officials that tell us who to vote for and why. If the Prime Minister wants the Muslim vote, he better think very very hard about the type of comments coming out of the mouth of his Public Security Minister. Do Muslims and Arabs really want a government in power who has people that are so disdainful and rude about religions and beliefs that differ from their own? I think not and in the next election, perhaps we should be teaching the Conservatives a nice lesson they will never forget when we vote in droves for the Liberals, the NDP or the Green Party.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Freedom Defined

Question of the Month: Do we as human beings understand the true concept of Freedom or are we doomed to repeat the rhetoric of our forefathers?

What is Freedom? Is Freedom that elusive thing that George W. Bush spends countless hours extolling for other countries all the while limiting civil liberties in his own country? Is it that elusive thing that has our Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan instead of safe at home? Or is it the ability to think past the double speak of the propaganda that is shoved into our consciousness everyday?

Freedom is defined as “1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another” in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. The concept once defined is not so abstract as it would seem is it? In reality, freedom is a much more complicated thing than the dictionaries, poets, activists, writers and politicians would have us believe. An informal poll done by email received several different definitions of freedom. My good friend (and one of the smartest people I know) who we call Minx defined freedom as “…fully knowing and appreciating your capabilities as a person, and having nothing or no-one to impede or prevent you from growing and stretching them to their fullest extent”.

In essence, Freedom is being you, owning your actions and your thoughts. The word Freedom is used fast and loose today. It is being used to justify everything from promiscuity to war. People use it when attempting to justify a lifestyle that some may find objectionable and others use it to justify actions that are truly unjustifiable.

To look around today, one can see that the essence of what is true freedom has been lost in an avalanche of bastardization and propaganda. People are now following their “leaders” like lost little sheep. Right has become wrong and wrong has become the new right. Free speech is shot down as unpatriotic and free expression shot down as wrong.

When did people start allowing themselves to be led around by the nose? When did it become ok to NOT question a decision made by an elected official that affects everyone’s quality of life? When did everyone decide to just “go with the flow” and allow themselves and their needs to be subverted?

The question of the month was “Do we as human beings understand the true concept of Freedom or are we doomed to repeat the rhetoric of our forefathers?” It seems that we are in fact doomed to repeat the rhetoric as we have not reached the stage of critical thinking required to experience true freedom. So long as we follow like lambs to the slaughter, we are doomed to repeat the rhetoric of our forefathers.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Not Gone and Not Forgotten

In a move designed strictly to remind the Lebanese that they still exist, Syria has issued warrants summoning MP's Walid Jumblatt and Marwan Hamade to stand trial before a military tribunal in Syria for "inciting against Syria". A warrant has also been issued for Journalist Fares Khashan. This move is purely a muscle flex by an increasingly isolated Syrian regime. When your best friend is Iran and it's not-so-normal leader Ahmedinjad, you know you are in trouble.

It is in fact quite surprising that it took them this long to make a move. Bashar Al Assad while known for being fairly intelligent is not a political strategist of any merit. Had he been even remotely intelligent in political matters, Hariri would not be dead and Syria would still have an "open" presence in Lebanon. As it stands, they only have spies in the Presidential Palace and in the pro-Syrian block as well as in the rank and file of Lebanon's less patriotic citizens. For those of us who believe in a free and secular Lebanon, these people are the worst sorts of traitors. They are looked upon with scorn and derision.

For the Syrians to make this type of move in the game of international cat and mouse only signifies the pressure the Assad regime must be feeling. Here's hoping they crack under the pressure and soon.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Travesty of Justice.

The Moussaoui verdict came in today. Life in prison. This cretin who freely admitted that he knew about the attacks, who mocked the victims and their loved ones has been given life in prison.

What an absolute travesty. What a complete and utter miscarriage of justice. If anyone in the U.S. deserves the death penalty right now, Moussaoui does.