July 31, 2006

Blog Sugar

My humblest apologies to the legions (and by that I mean dozens) of people who have noticed I’ve been blogging Iggy-style these days. But fear not, my hiatus is coming to an end! I’ve got renewed energy, purpose, and commitment to excellence in blogging thanks to some seriously inspiring Young Lib caucuses.

As for my inaugural return, I’d like to do a few quick shout-outs to some kick-ass blog postings that remind of why I suck at blogging.

Froglady has done a ”Where’s Iggy” contest looking for best explanation as to his disappearance. Even though I’m not into candidate bashing, and I completely think that all the candidates are overworked and in serious danger of exhaustion, you’ve still got to admit that there’s some pretty good one-liners.

GK youth have a funny travel blog that chronicles the exploits of Atlantic caucus. Because of the theme of our hospitality suite, I again want to remind you all that Stéphane Dion does not endorse pirates or their renegade, vigilante justice ways. Nor does he endorse the ways of Turkish Crusaders, Pike.

CG has a brilliant online competition for Best Prime Minister We Never Had . Although there's one glaring oversight in the contest, I'm still going to participate. Maybe I'm blinded by my love for him, but I know that if we offered him the job of PM, Rick Springfield would CLEARLY move to Canada. I'm just saying. It's not like his music career is keeping him all that busy...

The ever-hilarious Kelly Nestruck stands up on behalf of all central and Atlantic Canada for their right to access Old Dutch Potato Chips. Looks like for once the East wants in.

And July 26th saw one of the best fuggings of all time. Although it’s hard to see the direct link between Kim Cattrall’s orange newsboy cap and the regular Fuddly-duddly diatribes, I think I’ve found a way to justify linking to this COMPLETELY self-indulgent internet addiction I have for GoFugYourself.com.

At FuddleDuddle we blog about Canadian politics >> Kim Cattrall is Canadian >> Kim Cattrall has probably voted in some Canadian election sometime >> Kim Cattrall is a part of the Canadian political system.

Voilà

July 30, 2006

Israeli Air Strike Turns Canaa Water into Blood

The real miracle here is if Israel will be able to get away with this one. The Israeli airstrike in the biblical city of Canaa sent shockwaves through the international community and for me, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. A targeted air strike at a refugee shelter killed over 50 innocent people this morning almost half of them children.

Israel’s defence of the bombing: the refugees should have left, we told them we were coming. Blaming 25 children for not leaving is very classy Ehud. Steve will continue to tow the American line on this. I can see the poll numbers in freefall. When our foreign policy is made in Washington, Canadians usually don’t like that very much. At least there will be no majority.

Hezbollah is now almost as popular as Paul Martin was. 85% of Lebanese people now support a terrorist organization. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons, is the definition of terrorism. hezbollah is definitely guilty of it. Bombing 25 children because they didnt leave did not help the cause of the IDF. Can Israel use terrorism to defend itself? Is it already? Discuss!

July 28, 2006

Special K

I see my friend James Bowie has replaced Joe Volpe on his list of candidates with Jim Karygiannis. Although we will have to make sure to tell Albina Guarnieri to hide, that little tidbit of information has put a smile on my face when it definitely was in dire need of one.

Thanks Bowie

The Aftermath…

Well I regret it now don’t I? Some people have been helpful. Jason Cherniak sent me one of his former University essays where he explained Canada’s position during the creation of the state of Israel.

My views have changed slightly in regards to the creation of the state itself. I reiterate that I, at no point in time, said that the state of Israel should not exist.

I still believe the United Nations and Great Britain failed miserably in preventing violence from breaking out in the region. That set the tone for the past 60 years of bloodshed and violence.

The creation of a state specifically for a certain religious group of people is very difficult to do without displacing a group of people who already may have been there. Some insist the Palestinians left the territory so it was fair game. I still believe the uncertainty surrounding the entire affair caused people to panic. Both sides were guilty of provoking fear among their opponents’ civilian population.

Creating a state exclusively for the purposes of a religion can also be dangerous for the minorities who must inhabit the new state. The Arabs in Israel do have many rights which they would not have in other states. However, the exclusion of those same Palestinians on the other side of that barrier is troubling.

A Palestinian state with the present territory would have more Muslims in it than Jews. Up until 1975, Lebanon showed that a pluralistic society with two major religions can co-operate peacefully. Jason’s essay outlines how a combined was a possible option advanced by Canada but eventually rejected.

As for the recent Israeli action, destroying what Lebanon has spent the last 15 years rebuilding because two soldiers were kidnapped borders on insanity. Yes, Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. The ETA was a terrorist organization and so was the IRA. Great Britain never bombed Dublin because some of their politicians supported Sinn Fein. When Sinn Fein elected members to the house of Commons, there was no retaliatory airstrikes in Belfast or Dublin.

Lebanon has just finished sending off Syria in a quiet peaceful Cedar revolution. Eliminating Hezbollah is now impossible for this Lebanese Prime Minister. What will Israel do if Lebanon elects Hezbollah? They will be indirectly responsible for it. The IRA was disarmed through effective policework and co-operation of authorities to arrest the radicals as well as promote the doves within Sinn Fein. Same for ETA. Catalan separatists have been part of the Spanish government on several occasions. All we had to do was give Lebanon time. What Israel has done is used a bazooka to swat a fly. The destruction of Lebanon and the spirit of the Lebanese people is collateral damage. Who feels better now?

July 27, 2006

The Israel Rant

Some naysayers of the most recent incursion into the sovereign territory of another country that it is a violation of international law; they should know better, there is no such thing as international law.

My views on Israel are mixed and extremely controversial. Therefore, up until now, I have kept them for myself. During the hoo-ha at Concordia, I stayed neutral, because I believed both sides were behaving like spoiled children; the Palestinians with outright defiance and the Jews with manipulation of school rules in order to provoke the outright defiance.

After the Second World War, the UN wanted to help prevent war from breaking out in the Holy Land where Zionists were attempting to create the state of Israel. In 1948, while the UN was trying to work out a 2-state solution, Israel unilaterally declared sovereignty. It had the necessary means to defend itself, plus the backing of the United States and most of the Western World, what was the worst that could happen?

So Israel was suddenly a state recognized by the International community after completely disobeying them. International law was broken once again. International law is like jaywalking, everybody violates it, it is only punished when police want to send a message, and it is always the innocent bystander who gets screwed.

When Zionists arrived in the area, they moved onto land that was purchased from wealthy landowners who lived in Beirut or Damascus. The population that inhabited the land were serfs, similar to the ‘habitants’ in New France, who gave their excess production to a Seigneur, these people and their families had worked that land for centuries. So when Europeans moved onto their land and evicted them, they had nothing in their name, and nowhere to go. Surprisingly, they got mad. The refugees went to the cities, mainly in Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. Who did these people think they were? I can’t call them Israeli at this point because the state did not exist before it was carved up in 1948. The Kurds and Armenians must have been hitting themselves over the head when they saw this. Legitimate nations with no states were watching as European Jews were buying themselves one.

For those who say this conflict dates back 5000 years, they are wrong. When Muhammad’s armies entered Jerusalem in the 8th century, not a single sword was drawn. Muhammad’s descendant, Abu Bakr and the Jewish Patriarch of Jerusalem had worked out a peaceful agreement which would allow the religions to share the city.

The trigger for the beginning of the conflict was the creation of the state of Israel. We are not going to uncreate the state. The International community made its bed and must now lie in it. The descendants of the evicted Arabs and those bombed by Israel in 1982 swell Hamas and Hezbollah’s ranks.

Where did Israel screw up? What we are learning now in the Middle East is that if you want democracy, you live with the result. Zionism and the Zionist movement is inherently exclusive and by default. Before y’all go calling me an Anti-Semite, I suggest you look up the word. Most Israelis came from Europe and many of their descendants are Slavic (edit) and therefore, not Semitic. Palestinians, or the people the Zionists evicted, are Semitic as they are from the Levant. Europeans who bought land in the area and came and evicted the current tenants, forcing them to leave their ancestral home as refugees with nowhere to go, simply because they were not Jewish, is well, Anti-Semitic. It is downright racist. Questioning the motives of Zionism is a violation of the Israeli constitution and I could be arrested for making the previous statement. Accept government propaganda or be arrested...where have I heard that before?

What would have worked would have been to include these people in the present state of Israel, make Arabic an official language, and govern the country together. This could have happened if Israel did not rush to declare sovereignty in 1948. Two religions can share a country; we saw it in Lebanon for a very long time. But Antonio, then the Arabs would outnumber the Jews. Ah my friends, this is what we call democracy. But it is not convenient for the Zionists, ah well, when you want democracy, you get what the people voted for. Gotta give credit to those Palestinians, they sure know how to make babies.

Now the West Bank and Gaza will become a sovereign state. Hopefully Jerusalem will become an international city-state, possibly governed by a UN mandate. Some people want this conflict to end. Too many mistakes have been made. Too much blood has been shed. The two parties can no longer sit down and negotiate peace. The international community must step up, stop treating Israel like a spoiled child, and get it right the second time around.

Note: For all those who want to call me Anti-Semitic and racist, I would ask you to think twice. I am questioning the actions the Israeli government took in 1948 and the method by the Zionists chose to migrate to Israel. The readers of my blog how much I stress equality of EVERYBODY, this also applies to everybody. I am FAR FROM condoning the actions of Hamas and Hezbollah. Senseless violence breeds senseless violence. I am simply looking to find the root of senseless violence. It takes two sides to perpetuate a prolonged violence. Eliminating Hezbollah and Hamas would be better achieved by persuading the respective Lebanese and Palestinian populations that violence is not necessary to achieve their goals. That means violence and endorsement of violence by the United States and the Western World must stop. Blowing up their cities and killing their leaders only galvanizes them, and has gotten them democratically elected. Clearly the methods that been used thus far have not been successful.

UPDATE: I never said Israelis were not semitic. I stated that most jews who moved from Eastern Europe and Russia were in fact slavs, not semites. Semitic or not, every Israeli is entitles to equal treatment under the law. Descendance should not matter.

It should also be noted that Hezbollah will not discriminate between Semitic Jews and non-semitic jews. They want to kill all Jews. They should be disarmed. However, as we have seen with the IRA in Ireland and the ETA in Spain, we need peace first and retaliatory bombing is not the answer. We must let the government of Lebanon actively participate in the process. They just peacefully got rid of Syria. All they needed was time. Cooler heads should have prevailed. to quote the West Wing, In democracies, often times other people win (h/t Lauren).

Now Israel has bombed a UN convoy and has killed a Canadian soldier. A white flag was being waved and according to the UN, they had asked Israel 10 times not to bomb the outpost. Given that a laser guided missile executed the attack, the investigation into this should be interesting. If Israel is found to have deliberately bombed the UN, they should be immediately expelled. Commandant Steve will have some 'splainin to do...

July 25, 2006

International Law

International law is like jaywalking, everybody violates it, it is only punished when police want to send a message, and it is always the innocent bystander who gets screwed.

My International Law prof said he gave me an A only because of that comment. He now uses the quote in his class.

I am writing my long-awaited opinion on why I am not a big Israel fan. My jewish friends tell me what I am about to say violates Israeli law...I better be careful, they are known to disobey international law...HAHAHA

Ken Dryden et Jimmy Jim Karygiannis : une équipe de l'enfer???

Du moins, au Scrabble... Ils ont chacun deux lettres qui valent 10 points... Le K et le Y. Il est clair que les deux font la paire. Ils disent : qui se ressemble, s'assemble. Qui connaissez-vous qui a deux lettres dans leur nom qui valent chacune 10 points au Scrabble ?

Comme ces deux lettres sont KY, gageons qu'il n'y aura pas de frictions entre les deux...


Alex

July 22, 2006

Lebanese Evacuation Fallout has Potential to Explode

Lebanese Evacuation Fallout has Potential to Explode

I was away for part of the week so I didn’t catch the fact that Garth Turner made the most discriminatory comment since January 23rd. This is absolutely abhorrent. He said some Lebanese permanent residents should pay their own repatriation because they aren’t fully Canadian. WHAT! I nearly fell off my chair. That would be the equivalent of making some snowbirds pay for their own evacuation in the event a major hurricane would hit Florida while they were there.

The beauty of Canadian citizenship is that it is an equal citizenship. With Turner’s comments and the misstatement of Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn, who said permanent residents with close family in Canada are eligible to be evacuated, these Tories are taking something very small and allowing it to come back and bite them. Both should resign.

Word coming in from Beirut keeps shedding light on how bad this is being handled. Firstly, it is being handled from Ottawa, and the embassy officials have to run everything by Ottawa. This is confirmed by a Lebanese evacuee who has returned home to Montreal. My friend Tarek Assaf is still in Lebanon and is still furious that Harper takes less than 1% of Canadians in Lebanon on his private jet and claims success. The photo op was a success. Lebanese Canadians are furious.

Then there was the ferry ride from Beirut to Lonika. While every other country had covered boats that took 5 to 6 hours to cross the Mediterranean to Cyprus, the Canadan-rented ship took 15 hours to cross without covering its passengers leaving all passengers outside in the glaring heat. Furthermore, there were no medical supplies or water on board. My nonna tells me that reminds her of crossing the Atlantic in the 1961. However, SUCCESS is still the buzz word among Tories.

The story only keeps getting more “successful.” 90%+ of the evacuees are still in Lebanon.

July 21, 2006

Harper Survives First Crisis with Battle Scars

Now that over 1000 Canadians have managed to get out of Lebanon, the Conservative government is claiming complete success.

Let’s Recap:
Closing the embassy to Canadians and keeping them in the dark for 6 days is success…

Evacuating Canadians only from Beirut, forcing some to travel on highways that are being bombed by Israel is a success…

Standing side by side with George W. Bush saying Israel is justified to blow up Canadian civilians then flying to Cyprus for a photo op is a success…

Evacuating permanent residents only if they have close family in Canada, turning other permanent residents away at the Port of Beirut is a success…

In the meantime, thousands of other Canadians are still trapped in Lebanon. If that is success, I can hardly wait to see them fail.

July 16, 2006

Bob’s Wood Problem

Bob’s Wood Problem

I ran Bob Rae’s proposed idea of holding an election on the softwood deal by my mother…once again, it is worth reprinting

Me: Ma, would you accept the Liberals overthrowing the government on the bad softwood lumber deal?
Rosie: The only “soft wood” there is right now is the Liberal Party. They have no leader.
Me: (slightly perturbed my mother used the word wood in a non-kosher way) Ma, we are electing a leader in December.
Rosie: So until then don’t talk about elections. Who is the guy who came up with this?
Me: Bob Rae.
Rosie: Who?
Me: the former Premier of Ontario
Rosie: I thought that guy’s name was Peterson.
Me: No Ma, the NDP Premier of Ontario.
Rosie: Ah. Once a complainer, always a complainer, didn’t you say that?
Me: Ma we have to choose the best leader. We have to support whoever wins.
Rosie: Well Anthony, then tell someone to go hit him over the head with a piece of softwood before he throws the Liberal Party off a cliff.

Cassé

July 13, 2006

Dion Gender-Equality Plan is Political Bull-Shit

I call BULLSHIT on Stephane Dion’s gender equality plan. Am I against women? Of course not. I would love to see 154 women candidates or more on our next electoral slate. However, I strongly believe that democracy should prevail over affirmative action.

Last election, Quebec lost three fantastic women MPs who were doing a great job and were very active in the Liberal caucus: Eleni Bakopanos, Liza Frulla, and Francoise Boivin. I worked on Eleni’s campaign and I will fight extremely hard for her if she is challenged in her nomination meeting because I believe she is the best person suited to represent the constituents of Ahuntsic. She loved what she was doing and was so darn good at doing it. Having Maria Mourani there is simply a waste.

Why do I defend Eleni? Certainly not because of what she has between her legs. I defend her because I believe in her. I also believe we can find more women like her to run for us in the next general election. My only problem with this scenario is that there are only a certain amount of ridings where people can win in Quebec at this time, about 15-25. If somebody runs a great local campaign and sells membership cards and wins the nomination meeting, is Stephane Dion seriously prepared to boot out the legitimate winner because of their reproductive organ? Now I won’t talk nomination meetings because Dion never had one, and we all know how “fun” Ignatieff’s nomination was, I just think that this is all fluff and not the Stephane Dion that I have known for years.

Some of you expect Denise to throw something large and heavy in my direction as well. But I know as much as she does that merit should always trump gender, plain and simple. The party can throw their weight behind a female candidate in a nomination race, but should never subvert democracy just to meet a certain statistic to put in their electoral platform. It is utterly ridiculous. If the female candidate is better qualified and better organized, she will likely win. Besides, is it a step forward for women’s rights if the only reason a woman got the nomination was because she is a woman. I would argue it is a step backwards.

There is another group severely under-represented in caucus, young people. It is harder for us to run for office because we have to raise money, which is harder for young people than it is for women. Ask Brigitte Legault, who herself, is running for VP francophone of the Liberal Party. She wants to work hard to get women involved in the party, as well as young professionals. She will tell you that forcing nominations is hardly a solution. I support Brigitte’s plan far more than I would stand behind Dion’s. We need to bring more women into politics, which in turn, will have more women seeking to run for office. Stephane Dion, grand-master of principle, is suggesting suspending democracy for political correctness. What have his handlers DONE to him?

What differentiates the Liberals from the NDP is that we are about equality of opportunity and not equality of result. Next election, I want the 308 best possible Canadians. Stephane Dion should want the 308 best Canadians too.

July 5, 2006

Complete and Utter Mayhem

Complete and Utter Mayhem

Yesterday was complete and utter mayhem. Apparently, depending who you talk to, yesterday was the last ever day you could sign up to join the Liberal Party…

But if you were anywhere near St. Laurent Blvd, Jean-Talon Boulevard, Jarry Blvd, and Maurice-Duplessis Blvd, yesterday was the day to fête Fabio Grosso, yes the guy who “tripped” over the Australian guy last week, who won Italy the game in the 119th minute.

That’s right FOUR PARADES yesterday. Usually, the Little Italy one and the Saint Leonard one suffice but not yesterday as Italians took to the streets in the pouring rain to celebrate the Azzurri. Watching the game at my aunt’s house was like watching 20 people go to war on a soccer field. Germany played hard, but Italy outclassed them early.

Italy has 11 goals from 10 different players…you knew yesterday was special because in overtime, we took off a midfielder and put on a (GASP!) forward.


Italy scored at the last minute, well the second last minute of over-time. Arms went in the air. Joy erupted. We even caught my uncle crying. We were 15 but you would have thought we were 50. (me loud? NO. Imagine my family)

The parading lasted well into the evening.

If we win Sunday, who knows when the party will stop

Forza Azzurri