Koenji, the world and elsewhere


Conservatives Take Commanding Lead, Can Sit Back and Relax

The federal Conservative Party of Canada has taken a commanding lead in a new poll conducted after the French language leaders debate yesterday.

Canadian Crime Minister Stephen Harper stood back and smiled as the other party leaders tore each other apart, assuring his party another five years of majority government.

With the assistance of Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe delivering ominous warnings of Quebec’s one hundred niqab-wearing women representing a greater threat than climate change, mass unemployment and unaffordable health care combined, Harper and his followers are set on cruise control to victory. They won’t even need a lot of their supporters to show up on Election Day.

So be thankful Conservative voters, you don’t really need to vote this year. Take the day off and relax. Fishing, hunting, church. Whatever! The day is yours.

fed poll

Leave a comment

Canada’s Niqab Distraction


Last year, long-time Canadian resident Zunera Ishaq postponed her citizenship when she refused to remove her niqab during the oath swearing portion of her citizenship ceremony. And now politicians and media folk alike are all over the story as though it was the quashing of the Second Amendment in America.

The most important question, as usual, is Why is this news? And Why now? Why has this story gained so much (dis)traction? At first glance it may appear to be backfiring against the Conservatives. With his advice for potential immigrants to “stay the hell where you came from“, Conservative MP Larry Miller is effectively taking a hit for the team. A small hit, mind you, that he returns with a jab for lasting effect. Like the trial lawyer who makes an inflammatory, prejudicial remark quickly followed by the opposition’s “Objection!”, the damage is done. The jury cannot un-hear the damning words. Nor can the electorate.

It is not Larry Miller’s crass comment that will sink in and take root. It is the divisiveness it abets. His comment combined with the plethora of other Conservative rhetoric, military actions, Bill C-51 and so on, further emboldens and strengthens the “Us and Them” dichotomy the Conservatives and their puppeteers aim to cultivate. Already, there are online polls (polling 0.0003% of the nation) in major media outlets suggesting such-and-such a number of Canadians oppose niqabs  at swearing in ceremonies.

They speak of Canadian values, such as freedom. While I am an agnostic who thinks religion often receives too much tolerance — it is only when that tolerance comes at the expense of others that I actually care. And admittedly, the niqab does strike me as an archaic, outdated, oppressive and sexist tradition. However, the argument can be made about women’s clothing standards in The West being similarly (and even more painfully) oppressive. Corsets, of course, but also high heels, tight skirts, bras and so on. It’s a more than fair argument. And whether I, or anyone else, think a religious tradition is stupid or not is inconsequential. Smoking and drinking are stupid, far stupider than wearing a face veil in the name of religion, but the Canadian government permits and taxes both. Even the wishy-washy, fear-mongering Justin Trudeau (who supports the fascistic Bill C-51) pointed out that the Conservatives are “liberating people from oppression by dictating in law what they can and cannot wear.”

They speak of security. Even though there is recourse for people to be fingerprinted under appropriate circumstances. I reckon this is more effective than a face check. Furthermore, the person at the ceremony, if an impostor, does not recieve citizenship just because they took the oath. It is not a magic spell. And it’s not like the end of a Scooby-Doo episode where they whip off her mask to reveal her true identity.

This entire affair is a distraction from what we should really be talking about. And no, it is not the economy. It is not jobs. It is definitely not the bogus threat of terrorism. The only thing to talk about is the environment. Earth. When you are laying in hospital with a potentially terminal illness you care about only one thing. It is not your medical bill. It is not what your nurse is wearing. It is not crime and punishment nor interest rates. It is curing that illness. All else is moot if you’re dead. And the Earth is dying. And in need of curing. Everything else is moot.

Leave a comment

When Is A Terrorist Not A Terrorist?

Apparently it is when he or she does not identify with a discernible non-Christian belief system, according to Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer Brian Brennan.

“I wouldn’t characterize it as a terrorist event. I would classify it as a group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens.”

He didn’t say what the beliefs were, other than that “they were not culturally based.”

– Brian Brennan, RCMP

So terrorism needs to be culturally based? It can’t be politically based? Interesting viewpoint, RCMP.

1 Comment

No Laughing Matter

I just watched a masked man militaristically execute an unarmed man laying on his back with his hands up on a Paris sidewalk. The man was arguably executed for his involvement in comics and satire. It is a sad world when this is the case.

I support free speech and I support freedom of the press and, well, freedom in general. I abhor religious fundamentalism just as I abhor racial fundamentalism, political fundamentalism and financial fundamentalism. I feel most people are generally against both religious fundamentalism and religious persecution.

I do not support organized religion. It has been proven to be at the root of a lot of death and persecution throughout history. However,it has also done a lot of good. How much is impossible to quantify. But some people need religion. However, blaming Muslims for the actions of Islamic Fundamentalists is like blaming Catholics for the actions of paedophile priests.

I won’t hate Muslims because that’s exactly what those thugs in black masks want me to do. They want to cause a divide between Muslims and Jews, Christians and Atheists. They want Religious War. They want to rid the world of Infidels and they will sacrifice millions of Muslims to do it. So as soon as you start blaming Muslims for the Acts of Assholes, you’re giving them what they want. You’re letting them win.