‘Orange Is the New Black’ on bookburning

You know that something is part of ‘the culture’ when it keeps showing up in pop culture.

Personally, I enjoy watching Netfix – and one of their shows is ‘Orange Is the New Black':  a show about a posh girl who, while young and ‘experimenting’, had crossed some lines and now has to pay the price in prison.  It is a fun show, based (loosely, I presume) on a real life story, that makes us re-examine the whole ‘drug war’ and related issues.

OK!

Another thing I like is binge-watching shows:  so, the Netflix ‘thing’ of releasing a whole season of a show at once pleases me beyond explanation.  Perhaps it is the Aspie in me, but, I have a difficult time going from one world to another.  So, when a show paints an alternate world for me (like, say, fictionalized life in prison), it takes me hours to transition from that world to my reality and vice versa.  Which means that it only makes sense that I should watch all the episodes back-to-back!

Right?!?!?

Alas, the real world tends to intrude….which is why it was not until tonight that I saw this particularly salient line in the show…

Background:

The women’s prison celebrates ‘Mother’s Day’ with particularly open visitation from the babies/children of the inmates.  As a direct result of the families’ visits, the women’s prison becomes infested with both scabies and bedbugs.

In order to combat the infestations, the prison burns all possibly infested items:  from mattresses to prison uniforms to…the books in the library.

The pertinent line:

All the books in the prison library had been burned, as they had all been infested with bed-bugs….except for one book – the book that nobody had dared to burn!

The prison had been left with a single, bed-bug-infested book:  a copy of the Koran….

Political Correctness – Janet Albrechtsen

Draw Muhammed Day – so, what next?

It has been two weeks since my failed attempt to hold a Draw Muhammed Day event on Canada’s Parliament Hill.

To read what had transpired then, please see my posts on the topic.

In the aftermath, everybody wanted to know what was I going to do next?

To be honest, my failure had taught me just how naive I was when it came to this issue.  Yes, I knew I had to DO something – but I didn’t want another failure.  So, the first thing to do was to learn.

In the last two weeks, I spoke and corresponded with many peoples:  some passionate, some intelligent, some knowledgeable – and most a combination of the above.  I got a lot of suggestions and a lot of advice.

One neighbour of mine asked me why I would bother with this – when I could be gardening or doing something else fun.  I pointed out I had kids and could not leave the country in a worse shape for them than it was when I came here.  He just shook his head and drove away.

Another neighbour, whom I had considered a friend, ‘jokingly’ suggested that perhaps I should move, so that her house does not get shot up by accident when ‘they’ come for me…

But most people were actively supportive and gave me some constructive criticism and good advice.

One suggestion I got from a large number of people went something along the following lines:

  • freedom of speech is guaranteed as our Constitutional right
  • so is freedom of assembly
  • Parliament Hill is a public area – perhaps THE public area and as such, it belongs to all of us Canadians
  • therefore, don’t get any permits and just show up with a group of people and do your thing

While I agree with this in principle, there is more to it that just the principle…

You see, there is an organization that is in charge of the activities on Parliament Hill.  It’s some kind of a committee – of course…how else can the bureaucrats avoid individual responsibility – but, it exists for several very practical reasons.

It is necessary to co-ordinate the various events, for simple logistics reasons.

And it is also their responsibility to, through the RCMP, provide security on The Hill (or, in their shorthand, PH).

So while I reject any suggestion that they have the right to judge the substance of the protests in PH  (and their multi-page guide to the use of PH indeed does reserve this right – down to who will speak and what they will say and to limit this to what will ‘fit their image’), I do understand the practical necessity of crowd control and event co-ordination.

In addition, it seems that if I am deemed to trespass on PH, this organization has the right to get me arrested.  And while I think freedom of speech is a worthy issue – worthy enough to go to jail for – I am not certain if getting arrested for ‘trespassing’ has the same impact.  (Which, of course, why this loophole is there…)

So, this is not the course of action I plan to take right now.

Others have urged me to go the Texas route:  to rent a private venue and private security to hold the event.

And while the Garland, Texas, event was a success story (yes, a couple if ISIS goons showed up, but security dispatched them quickly and nobody besides the terrorists got killed – so, despite the media negative spin, this WAS a success story), it feels too much like trying to hold a free speech event in an unmarked basement room with nobody really knowing about it.  And a sign on the door saying ‘beware of the leopard’…

Yes, I am exaggerating – but with my highly limited media reach (I’m no Pamela Geller), I’m not exaggerating anywhere as much as I’d like to.

So, for now, that is also not a preferred course of action.

Then there were those who said that any form of blasphemy is ‘not nice’ and that it is an abuse of the freedom of speech to use it for the purpose of blasphemy. (These are the same people who say “I am for freedom of speech, BUT…”)

To you, I say that without the freedom to blaspheme, there would be no freedom of religion!

Yes, truly!!!

If I were not permitted to blaspheme most Christian’s belief that Jesus Christ was/is the son of God, born of a human woman, who was crucified as a human sacrifice of his corporeal self to his divine self to atone for the sins of humanity – then I would not be free to worship as a Muslim.

If I were not permitted to blaspheme the Muslim belief that Jesus was fathered by a human and did not die on the cross, I would not be free to worship as a Roman Catholic and many Protestant sects.

If I were not permitted to blaspheme the Hindu belief in many deities, then I would not be free to worship as a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or any other forms of monolatrism/monotheism.

And that is barely scratching the surface!

It is no coincidence that religious books/teachings are exempt from hate-speech laws, because they all hate-speech each other!!!  Which, of course, leaves atheists and ignostics (I do consider myself an ignostic more than anything else) at a bit of a disadvantage:  if everyone else is free to blaspheme and even hate-speech each other’s religion, why are we not allowed to even civil-ly criticize any of them?

NO – blasphemy is not only good, it is absolutely necessary for freedom of religion – and freedom from religion – to exist!!!

Which still leaves me with the question…

What to do?  What to do?!?!?

First thing on my list was a bit of self-education.

If the reason my original event was cancelled was due to ‘security concerns’, then I had better educate myself on this topic in particular.

OK, perhaps picking the International Draw Muhammed Day was not the best for security’s sake.  Perhaps I should pick a less inflammatory date, like, say September 11th – but I jest!

The next item on my list was to learn a little bit about security, public spaces and events and both the theory and how to in that.  I was in luck!

As it so happened, yesterday, 3rd of June, 2015 (exactly 2 weeks to the day when I had intended to hold my failed event), the International Security Conference & Exposition was held in Ottawa – just across the street from the big RCMP building!!!  What luck!!!

Of course, I could not miss an educational opportunity like this!

In my usual bumbling manner, I asked for directions at a hotel nearby the convention centre – and got very exact ones from a nice lady at the front desk.  I followed them to the letter and soon found a room.  Seeing people within, I boldly entered….only to find out that this was ‘the speaker’s lounge’!

Eventually, I found the registration desk, got my badge – and soon found the room with the seminar I knew I could not miss:  ‘Securing Public Spaces’.

It was awesome,

A moderator from The Hill Times (a sponsor) had three most esteemed panelists:  David Harris, Director, International and Terrorist Intelligence Program INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc., some Commie prof from Carleton U who kept insisting that policing causes income disparity (and boasted of helping Greece organize their policing…really, I’m not making this up) and a lady from the City of Ottawa who is in charge of emergency stuff.

The moderator and two thirds of the panel were most excellent!

Joking aside, I really learned a lot about both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of policing public areas.

So, I feel that with my newly acquired knowledge, I might be better able to co-operate (I will NOT ‘collaborate’ – where I come from, collaborators are lined up against the wall and shot – and I am most definitely against violence of any sort) with the powers that control PH.

Perhaps with a different date – one that will work for them and not be so provocative – we can still succeed in having this equal-opportunity blasphemy event on PH.

So, my next step will be to re-contact the power that be and see what hoops I need to jump through to get this event happening!

James Grant: The Forgotten Depression

A while ago, when the Canadian government abandoned the ‘long form census’ and stopped collecting unnecessarily intrusive information about us, the citizens, this simple act generated great controversy.

Not just in the media – inside my family, too!

You see, my father-in-law is a Keynesian…

It is a difficult admission to make, but, alas, it is true!

My father-in-law and I love each other very dearly – and truly respect each other as professional adversaries – but, when it comes to individual freedom versus central government control, the two of us just don’t agree…  And every chance we get (much to the chagrin to the other adults in the family), we battle for the souls of the next generation of our family!!!

Especially my children – his grandchildren.

And whatever else he may be, my father-in-law is brilliantly eloquent and very, very persuasive.  Neither of which traits I posses:  rather, I counter simply with the ‘deeply uncharismatic’ reason.

So, back to the time when the mandatory (as in – you’ll go to jail if you don’t reveal to the government your innermost secrets) ‘long form’ (i.e. constitutionally – none of the government’s business) census was controversially being cancelled.

Did I mention that my father-in-law, while a student of Economy and Political Science (sic) at Ottawa U wrote an essay deeply critical of Lester B’s economic policies?  Little did he know that his prof was Lester B’s drinking buddy…and mocked him with my father-in-law’s essay.

The next day, my father-in-law got a phone call:  “Belaire!!!  So, you don’t think I know how to run this country?!?!?”

And – he offered my father-in-law a job.  On the spot.  As his special economic advisor!

Needless to say, my father-in-law accepted.  He advised Lester B on economy while he was the leader of the opposition – and penned the wording much of Lester B’s laws – especially anything even remotely dealing with the economy, while Lester B was the Prime Minister.

And he advised and briefed many of Lester B’s ministers:  from PET through Chretien to Martin and many, many others. And, he mentored many subsequent top civil servants…some of whom tried (unsuccessfully) to rope me into what eventually turned into the sponsorship scandal…but that is a different story.

(Must state:  when it came to this scandal, my father-in-law was even more idealistic and naive than I…100% blameless, as he was well retired by then…but some of his past civil servant mentees tried to ‘repay’ him by trying to draw me in to the schemes so I could benefit financially…big time…until they saw I was totally not into corruption and that given proof, I would ‘blow the whistle on them’, at which point they kind of black-listed me…  Honesty is what my father-in-law and I share and the root of our mutual respect, despite our ideological differences.)

My mother-in-law still has a scrap book of all the political cartoons that included my father-in-law – from all the main stream media publications of those days.  And yes, when PET came to power and refused to heed my father-in-law’s advice (which, surprisingly, was actually reasonable) regarding Alberta’s oil-sands, my father-in-law could no longer take the Liberal corruption and resigned.

As he says: he used to be a classical liberal – but he held on to his morals while ‘his party’ drifted away from him.

Of course, he and I disagree most vociferously about which time period is best descriptive of ‘classical liberal’ – we both seek that title, yet each of us understands it to mean a very different thing…reflecting a different ‘era’ of what either of us believes constitutes a ‘classical liberal…

OK – I’m ranting – I beg your indulgence.

Back to the issue of the ‘long form census':  we were up, at a cottage in northern Quebec, with the dog and the rabbit curled up by our feet, arguing over the benefits vs evils of the ‘long form census’.

DSC_2553

And, being the eloquent/charismatic one, my father-in-law was winning the argument – winning my babies’ minds over to the dark side!

That is – until I asked my sons what do they think the government was going to DO with all this information.

Which is what turned the tide…

Why bring up this story now?

Well, it is necessary for the young people in our society to understand what the proper role of the government ought to be – and just how easy it is for the self-appointed technocrats to usurp the decision-making process and subvert political  decision making to their pet ‘models’ and untested hypothesies…

The following video contains very strong empirical evidence for the benefit of denying governments the type of information they are most likely to seek, which would give them excuses to justify interventions in areas they have no right to intervene and interfere in!

Like, say, economy…

Eric Brazeau breathes fresh air again!!!

My dear readers,

the 17th of April, 2015, was an important day in Canadian jurisprudence:  Canada’s honest to goodness political prisoner, Eric Brazeau, was released on bail!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, there is a ton of restrictions on his freedoms.

But…

Eric walked out of the Ontario Court house at 361 University Avenue and is breathing the fresh air, basking in early spring sun, and no longer caged as a criminal!!!

Forgive me for being so brief in my report – I just got home from a 26 hour road trip in which I traveled to Toronto for the Appeal hearing, enjoyed first Timmies and then a couple of beers with Eric and some of his supporters, and capped the evening off by taking part in a JDL counter-protest against terrorist-organization Hamas supporting silly bunnies in front of the Israeli Consulate.  They shouted hate at us, we danced happily in response:  it drove them bonkers!

Then I got a bite to eat and went home back to Ottawa.

All around – about a 26-27 hour adventure, which I will be glad to recount to you in superfluous details once I wake up…in a day or two!  With pictures and videos!!!

Good night, my dear readers, good night!

Eric Brazeau in court plus a JDL counter-protest

Eric Brazeau, Canada’s honest-to-goodness political prisoner, will be in court appealing his conviction on the morning of Friday, 17th of April, 2015, at the Ontario Courts on 361 University Avenue in Toronto (I think).  At least, that is where I’m going to try to see this.

Later on that same day, there will be another important event, as per BlogWrath.

JDL-Canada is going to hold a counter-protest in Toronto:

Friday  April 17th at 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
Israel Consulate, 180 Bloor Street West, Toronto

It is in response of an event organized by the supporters of the terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who are holding a protest at the Israeli Consulate in Toronto on Friday April 17th at 6:00 pm. 

Read the rest here.

The 4 waves of feminism

OK, I found this on reddit:  but thought you folks might enjoy it!

http://i.imgur.com/jdp4oJp.png

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