Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Who's at Table 45? Recommended read of the day...

But it's not just prudery or populist distaste for fancy risottos that turns the public against lobbying: It's the deep venality that makes possible jokes about senators being bought like lunches. It's the debasement of politics from a matter of persuasion to one of money and connections. And it's because the capital's main journalistic watchdog seems perfectly content to see politics made into a kind of financial transaction—so content, in fact, that the paper's publisher planned dinner salons that would apparently have put the Post itself on a partial pay-to-play footing.

Thomas Frank writes about the love triangle between Democrats, the WaPo, and lobbyists. Do read the whole thing.

Israeli Rocket Victim Faces-Off with Goldstone at the UN

Dr. Mirela Siderer suffered serious, disfiguring injuries when the Ashkelon clinic where she works was a hit by a rocket fired from Gaza in 2008. Yesterday she appeared at the UN, with the help of UN Watch, and gave a powerful statement during which she asked Judge Goldstone why he ignored her testimony in his "fact-finding" mission.

You can watch the video of Dr. Mirela Siderer's statement here.

Here is the text of her testimony (SMW added bold):

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.
Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients -- including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.
On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.
Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, "Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission's fact-finding activities."
But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.
Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.
Why are there only two pages about Israeli victims like me, who suffered thousands of rockets over eight years? Why did you choose to focus on the period of my country's response, but not on that of the attacks that caused it? Why did you not tell me that this council judged Israel guilty in advance, in its meeting of last January? Why did you not tell me that members of your panel signed public letters judging Israel guilty in advance?
Judge Goldstone, you, too, signed such a letter, saying you were "shocked" about Gaza. But where were you when Gaza attacked my medical clinic, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law? Where was this council? Why were you all silent?

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

80% of Alcohol Purchases Made by 30% of Population


Drinking Culture. Broken Britain. And people have to ask why?

Monday, 28 September 2009

CFPA facing increasing opposition

Kevin Hassett (a former advisor to John McCain) has written an commentary for Bloomberg about the CFPA in which he points out that even Barney Frank spoke out against the CFPA - saying that its reach would be too big. "When Barney Frank thinks that you are too liberal, you better check your medications," writes Hassett.

Make no mistake - Barney Frank still wants to create the CFPA - he just wants to tweak what it can control. One example is that he wants non financial businesses to be exempt from CFPA oversight (and that should give you an idea of how incredibly broad the CFPA's powers would have been had it passed as is). Frank wants the vote to happen in November - but many doubt that it will even take place in 2009.

Are the wheels coming off the CFPA bus? Not sure, but it sure is getting to be an interesting ride.

SMW is back....

Arrived back in London late last night and am busy getting myself back on top of things. No doubt you are all aware of the circus in New York last week (otherwise known as the UN). If you were checking out any of SMW's recommended reading I'm sure you already know all about it.

Islam on Capitol Hill was a flippity-flop. Pamela Geller posted pictures of the dismal turn out. Still, approximately 5000 people is nothing to laugh about.

The CFPA vote never happened on the 23rd. It has been facing some serious opposition and now it looks like the vote will not happen until sometime in November. More on that in a minute.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Getting away....oh and Isreal and UK to boycott Ahmedinejad's UN speech

SquareMileWife will be away starting tonight. I will be back on Monday.
For some stimulating reading check out:
Jawa Report
Closet Conservative
Sultan Knish
Wall Street Journal

Important dates:
23 September - vote on CFPA
24 September - Ahmedinejad speech on UN - which Israel will boycott and British officials are now also saying they will walk out of
25 September - Islam on Capitol Hill

To do: If you are a woman and you live in London (UK)...why not swing by the Ahava store in Covent Garden this weekend to pick up some great skin care products. While you are in the area check out the brand new Bare Escentuals boutique (just opened last week, also in Covent Garden), which just opened and carries products otherwise only available in the States. Two of my favourite stores!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Rusty has more on astroturfing and health care....

Rusty writes:
If this wasn't about politics, then why was a self-described (note to Bim I never said you "ran" a huge PR firm) "Senior Associate" for a subdivision of one of the world's largest PR firms involved in the call? A PR firm which specializes in "grassroots organization", "issues management" and "crisis communications"?
Bim isn't an artist. He's a political consultant.
And I'm pretty sure the White House is in "crisis mode" on health care right now. Who better than the professionals that handled Exxon's PR after the Valdez disaster to handle the health care PR debacle?
Why was he involved if not as an expert trying to get the artists to take the White House's message and make it appear to be a spontaneous "grassroots" effort?
Again, look at the date at that last twitter. I'll note that Bim has been twittering since July 28, 2008. Between his sign up date and a year later he only twittered 19 times. None of them political.
One year, no political tweets.
After the NEA conference call he's twittered 38 times. Almost all of them political tweets

Read it all here. Do it.

Dear Christians, Where Are You??

It seems every time I browse the usual blogs, I come across a story about Christians being persecuted somewhere in the world. In Somalia they are getting beheaded. Their churches are being bombed in Iraq. In India a pastor was attacked and nearly beaten to death on Sunday.

Here in the UK a nurse faces losing her job because she wears a necklace with a cross pendant, and now a Christian couple is facing criminal charges after they "offended" a Muslim guest of their hotel. And about all these things the Christian world is seemingly.....silent.

Now I know there are many Christians who do care about what is going on, but where are the rest of you? I appreciate the fact that Christians do not threaten to cut off someone's head or riot in front of embassies every time a person or government does something to 'offend' them - but is it too much to ask for a little solidarity?

This does not have to come from the pulpit - and it probably should not. Pastors do not need to insult the intelligence of their congregation by telling them how to vote, what to lobby for, or what 'causes' to adopt. However - it would be nice if someone would tell Christians what their fellow believers are facing around the world - and in their own country (think CHRC in Canada).

So many churches seem to have bought into this "Social Justice" movement, where people are convinced they are doing their Christian duty by eating organic food (another topic for another time), and saving the world by drinking Fair Trade coffee. Perhaps when someone gets that warm fuzzy feeling, believing they are saving the world, drinking a Fair Trade Grande Mocha Latte and using cloth shopping bags - it is just too disturbing to think that a few thousand miles away their fellow believer is having their head cut off. Is this why nobody wants to talk about it, it's just too unsettling?

I have sat through many Thanksgiving services where everyone talks about how thankful they are to live in a country where you are free to go to church. But how long will Christians be free to express their beliefs, and what about Christians in other countries who are persecuted because they go to church?

Some churches in Canada are so busy trying to delegitimize Israel they clearly do not have time to worry about fellow Christians, but what about the rest? Are they too busy building mega churches? Are they afraid that standing up for their beliefs will make them look crazy? Is it because most Christians honestly do not know the extent of what is going on?

SquareMileWife wants to know. I would love to hear from any of my Christian readers on this subject.

Hundreds detained as police clear illegal immigrant camp in Calais

Most of my readers are North American - and friends if you have not heard of this story yet it is time to tune in. It is important.

Across the Channel in Calais there have been hundreds of illegal immigrants living in a shantytown for several years, hoping to one day sneak into England. News reports often refer to them as asylum seekers - but this is not really the case - as members of the British government themselves have said - if they actually qualified for asylum they would be here claiming it (it's not hard to do). Many of these people have been moved by the European equivalent of coyotes (human traffickers) to the shantytowns in Calais, and now many of them have disappeared so that they continue their quest to enter Britain illegally. The police are clearing this camp and arresting those who refuse to leave - good for them.

Of course the UN has been doing useless meddling in this case, as have a number of activist nutjobs who were there yesterday chanting: "No border, No nation, No Deportation". One woman visited the camps in the past, trying to "gain the trust" of those living in the "jungle" so she could report on their situation. Things did not end so well for her.

Apparently these illegal immigrants also want no laws: Omar, a 26 year old from Kabul told reporters "The police can try to stop us as much as they like, but nothing will stop us getting to England." So he said, just before he was arrested.

Let's review: Over in Calais there is a group of hundreds of mainly Muslim illegal immigrants, who are determined to get to the UK and flaunt all laws. They are being supported by activist nutcases who one could argue also do not care about laws, borders, or authority. The UN is meddling. The camp was allegedly run by human traffickers. French authorities disperse the camp and bulldoze it. Police arrest a few hundred illegals who refuse to leave. According to Le Monde, there were 700-800 people living in this camp - and only 278 were arrested, the others disappeared before the police got there. Disappeared to......?

Michelle Malkin on the ACORN probe

A DOJ inspector is running an internal probe, but will it be enough? Will they investigate the three "must investigate" items that Michelle posted over the weekend?

And you shall know the truth....
I hope so.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Astroturfing craziness

Rusty over at Jawa Report uncovers the link between the advertising firm that ran the astroturf campaign to discredit Sarah Palin (Winner & Associates), and the Obama administration's plan to use the National Endowment for the Arts to push the president's agenda. Don't expect to read about this in the MSM.

Things are gettin' mighty weird.

CFPA Update

Democrat Rep. Walt Minnick is floating an alternate plan which scraps the CFPA.

“We’re trying to come up with something that will achieve the objectives of what the White House is asking us to do without creating a new stand-alone federal regulator,” Minnick told POLITICO.

Very interesting indeed.

Andrew Walden writes about Islam on Capitol Hill

SMW wrote about this event, scheduled for September 25th, here and here.

Andrew Walden has written an article for Front Page Magazine about the who's who and what's what of the Islam on Capitol Hill event. Check it out.

I don't have a problem with people praying - to whomever - but let's take a close look at who is putting this event on and what motivates them. Please have informed, rational discussions about this event - do not fall into hysteria and emotional jibberjabber - you have lots of facts. Lots of them.

Christian nurse told to remove cross necklace or lose job

Freedom of religion.

In a country where police play dress-up by donning hijabs and burqas, a nurse has been threatened with her job because she wears a necklace - with a cross pendant. Some of you may recall a similar case where a British Airways flight atttendant lost her battle to be able to wear a similar necklace on the job.

The nurse's employer introduced a policy last year which banned all necklaces as a health risk, however they do make religious exceptions. Well, is it a risk or not? If it was truly a risk there should be NO exemptions from the policy.

Staff are allowed to wear hijabs, which for some reason people believe is a 'requirement' of the Muslim faith.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Meanwhile in Toronto...

While SMW was uploading pictures of anti-Israel protesters at Ahava, Canadian blogger Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy (who I learned of via BCF) was documenting the Al-Quds day gathering of Isarel haters in Toronto. You can see some of her pictures here and here.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Ahava Targeted by Anti-Israel Groups

Welcome BlazingCatFur readers and LumpyGrumpyFrumpy people.
*Updated below*

Today was the International Day of Action Against Ahava (see previous related posts here), as declared by CodePink, JBIG, the PSC, BIG and a few other splinter groups. I would like to say it was an epic failure as there were at most 20 people supporting the boycott - however I cannot discount the fact that these people were able to handout fliers promoting their lies to dozens of shoppers passing by.

This morning I went to Ahava and picked up a birthday gift for my mother-in-law. A security guard was posted outside the store as well as a van full of police. The staff inside told me that yesterday a few people came inside the store and laid down on the floor, "occupying it," but Ahava remained open and was able to conduct business despite the major disruption. The occupiers claimed that Ahava profits "finance and support war crimes by the Israeli state."

At one point I wondered if todays protests were going to happen - but they did. Pictures and details below.

This was the "crowd" that showed up to protest Ahava. Hehe. However, what they lacked in numbers they made up for in lies, lies, lies. The "crowd" was pretty friendly - especially in comparison to other anti-Israel events I have covered [and by that I mean nobody threatened me with physical harm or death] - but it is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Can I call this a blood libel? Notice he is carrying an Oxfam bag.

Pretend Jews.

The barricades were empty as the protesters were few. Instead those who came lined the street and handed out flyers full of lies to people passing by.

Flyer front.
Partial text: You can't be 'soothed and smoothed' by Ahava's creams and cosmetics. They are produced by a firm complicit in the theft of Palestinian land and livelihoods. Ahava is an Israeli company with a factory and visitor centre in Mitzpe Shalem near the Dead Sea. This is one of the illegal Iraeli settlements in the occuped Palestinian West Bank. Since 1967 Israel has moved over 260,000 settlers into the Occupied Palestinian Territories, flouting international law and dozens of UN resolutions, and forcing Palestinians off their land."

Flyer back.
Partial text: "Palestinian farmers have lost over 40% of the West Bank to the illegal settlements. Palestinian workers in the settlements are exploited and child labour is used. Scarce water resources are often confiscated by Israel and used for settler houses and swimming pools and to irrigate settlement produce for export to UK, whilst Palestinian farmer are losing their crops through lack of land and water. Settlements harshly obstruct the daily lives of Palestinians. Movement is restricted through an Apartheid system of separate roads, hundreds of checkpoints and the illegal Apartheid Wall. Palestinians also face violence from armed settlers. Palestinian producers face huge difficulty reaching export markets hwile ISraeli illegal settlement produce easily reaches the UK. Palestinians in Gaza have suffered death, destruction and war crimes from the Israeli attack. They are facing a humanitarian crisis; over 80% are dependent on food aid under the siege imposed by Israel. Ahava fraudulently benefits from customs duty exemptions under the EU-Israel Trade Agreement - by labelling its settlement produce as from Israel. ....
This call for a ban on illegal settlement produce is part of a campaign to boycott all Israeli goods - the BIG campaign, until Israel abides by international law and respects human rights."

What a crock.

Oh man. Stay classy.

They also stood across the street handing out their trash. Apparently nobody told the man that M&S sells Israeli produce. Wolf in sheep clothes.

God bless this man who showed up to show his support for Ahava and Israel. He had a nice handout put together which I have posted below.

Partial text: "Those who are seeking to boycott Ahava products are seeking to make the West Bank a Juden-frei zone by attempting to deny Jewish Israeli businesses (specifically) the ability to earn a living in areas they have lived for generations, where their ancestors have lived for millennia. ... The misguided stance of the boycott movement is comparable with the boycott of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. In furtherance of their boycott their movement is holding their demo' on the Jewish New Year - a cynical attempt to avoid counter demonstrations that adds insult to injury. ... Please do NOT support this bigoted, complicitly and politically antisemitic boycott of Israeli Jewish businesses."

There's no beauty in anti-semitism.

Ladies in mud, who believe Ahava is a 'dirty business.' You know what actually is a dirty business? Spreading lies and anti-semitism.

It was nice to see two young men go into the store, stock up on Ahava products - and then take the time to stand and hold the Israeli flag outside the store on their way out. People were shopping in Ahava despite what was going on outside.

Unfortunately I was not able to stay until the end of the protest, but I was so glad to see people there to support Ahava. Please continue to show your support for Ahava by purchasing their products and shopping at stores who carry them. The numbers today may have been small but you cannot underestimate the influence or reach of these anti-Israel groups. They will not give up - and we cannot give up either. Stand up for Israel and shop Ahava.

Update: A reader emailed to say that shortly after I left 3 other Israel supporters arrived to stand with the Israeli flag in front of the store. Woo hoo! Please continue to shop Ahava - anti-Israel groups are targeting Ahava at various events September 18-28 and specifically going after Ahava kiosks in the West Midlands on September 26th. Shop Ahava.

SquareMileWife is syndicated!

Don't get too excited now - but you can now subscribe to SquareMileWife via that little syndication button thingy on the top right of the page. Hurray!

He speaks with eloquence.....

Chris Matthews complains: "There’s so much right-wing crap on the best seller list these days. It’s great to see a book that you might want to put on your shelf and let your respected friends see you actually reading."

Currently sitting in the NYT's top ten hardcover non fiction books are the following authors: Kathy Griffin, Michelle Malkin, Malcolm Gladwell, Ronald Kessler, Mark R. Levin, Tracy Kidder, Christopher McDougall, Bill O'Reilly, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor.
Oh and Glenn Beck's 'Common Sense" is sitting at number one on NYT's current top ten paperback non fiction list.

I'm surprised Matthews didn't come right out and express his shock that conservatives know how to read.
Well if you happen to be heading to the bookstore this weekend you might consider picking up some of this crap and proudly displaying it for your 'respected friends.'

Friday, 18 September 2009

Harper Government Stays, Canada Avoids Election


To my Jewish readers....

May G-d bless you and your families in the year ahead.

Shana tova!

Ahmadinejad: Holocaust is "mythical"

This is far from the first time Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust, or said that it was a pretext for the creation of Israel. Maybe he was mad about the protests. Maybe he is brushing up his talking points for when he visits New York and drops by the UN National Assembly this month.

Jay Leno produces Acorn ad....

Friday morning smile.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Oh man: Iran can make 'the' bomb and is working on delivery

It really seems to be bad news everywhere you look today.

This morning Barack Obama made clear the US is ending its missile defense program in Europe, leaving Poland (and others) feeling more than a little squirmy.

Now the IAEA has come out saying that Iran is capable of building a nuclear weapon and is working on a delivery system.

Brace yourselves.

*Updated* UK Trades Union Congress votes to boycott Israeli goods

UPDATED - see below
The union, which has 6.5 million members, voted to boycott goods coming from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

To see which unions are part of the Trades Union Congress you can click here. Not really surprise to find that the National Union of Journalists belongs to the TUC. Also a member of the TUC is the Professional Footballers' Association. Hmmmmmmmm. Very interesting.

Show your support for Israel and shop Ahava, who will be the target of anti-Israel attacks from other good-for-nothing groups this weekend.

UPDATE: OyVaGoy has the Zionist Federation's response to the TUC's bigoted move. It's a zinger!

Ignatieff flips out over bodybags sent to reserves...

Health officials are preparing for a pandemic - the Native community in Canada was already hit hard by H1N1 this spring - but of course sending protective masks, gloves and body bags to Native communities is raaaaaaaaaaaaaacist.

What about nursing homes and other cities bracing for more flu outbreaks? Age discrimnation? Urban discrimination? SMW is waiting for someone to tear up the race into a thousand pieces and burn it. (Not holding my breath).

Puleeze. I thought things in the Liberal Party might look a wee bit better when Dion's leadership ended - apparently not. When will Ignatieff go back to the States?

Judge Goldstein slept through testimony from Israeli victims of Hamas rocket attacks

Gerald M. Steinberg's Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal illustrates the utter uselessness of the U.N's "fact finding mission" on Gaza. Steinberg points out many important flaws with the report including:

-Judge Goldstein was photographed sleeping during the testimony of Israeli victims of Hamas rocket attacks
-"The committee condemned every Israeli response to the 8,000 rockets fired by Hamas, but its recommendations did not include any steps to end this aggression."
-Not once is Hamas condemned in the report

These are but a few examples, click on the link above to read the full Op-Ed.

The most comprehensive round-up of information on the 'Goldstone Mission' and the blatant anti-Israel bias of those running it can be found at UN Watch.
Get something warm to drink, get comfy, read it all and be ready to defend Israel when you hear others treating this 'report' as credible.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


President Obama to appear on FIVE news programs this Sunday as he tried to push his health care reforms.

Networks: ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Spanish language Univision.

On Monday he will be the only guest on David Letterman's show.

I really do not miss having a tv.

Ahava featured TODAY on Home Shopping Network

The Ahava-thon continues!!

A reader emailed me to say that today at 5AM, 7AM, 1PM, 5PM EST the Home Shopping Network is going to be spotlighting Ahava products and offering special deals.

How exciting is that? SMW could not have planned it better herself.

UN Watch's Hillel Neuer takes on Naomi Klein

Hillel Neuer of UN Watch stands up for the truth and takes on Naomi Klein in this Op-Ed appearing in Canada's National Post. Neuer outlines Klein's hypocrisy, the lies she has told about Israel and the Jews, and the myths she has created about herself.

"Klein's singling out of Israel -- particularly its most liberal city and cultural sector -- has no rational basis.
This should come as no surprise. For while Klein's statements and writings on Israel pose as sober analysis, the truth is that she has always acted on this subject out of intense emotion, hysteria and anger, rather than rational thought, facts or logic."
(SMW added bold)

Further to this - in their newsletter (which you can subscribe to at UN Watch has the full text of a 1990 article Klein authored in which she wrote that "Jews made the shift from victims to victimizers with terrifying ease." Klein also wrote:
"By far the most disturbing development in Israeli men’s misogyny towards Israeli women is something known to Israeli women as “Holocaust pornography” where images of emaciated women near ovens, shower heads, cattle cars, and the like are used to sell clothing and other products: “Jewish women are sexualized as Holocaust victims for Israeli men to masturbate over..."

I was looking for another excerpt to post from Klein's article - but it contains so much hatred that to truly appreciate her "intense emotion" you should probably click the link and read it for yourself.

If you are not familiar with UN Watch please check out their website. They do good work.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Obama's credibility disappearing fast...

Sultan Knish has written an excellent piece discussing the rapid decline in President Obama's credibility. [Things are not looking so hot when the best thing he's done all week is call Kanye West a jacka**, and even that was supposed to be off the record. Anyway back to the Sultan...]

When Obama began his presidency many Americans were avid supporters, and some American were fiercely opposed. There was another large group of Americans who, even though they may not have voted for Obama, rode the wave of goodwill and wanted to give Obama a chance, despite having reservations. It is with this third group that Obama is rapidly losing credibility. The feelings of goodwill have all but disappeared. The administration is wrapped up in and surrounded by its own rhetoric, as the media echos White House talking points for anyone who will listen. This is one of their greatest mistakes. Nobody in the White House seems to grasp or understand how their actions are viewed by the American public.

Via Sultan Knish:
Yet the left is stuck in war mode, gleefully recycling their campaign tactics, without being able to realize that their campaign ended at the White House. Governing by attack may work in Venezuela or Russia, but that requires having your own secret police and being able to murder protesters and political dissidents. In a Democracy it simply makes you look shrill, incompetent, and yes controversial. And the public is less likely to support policies that are seen as controversial, and more likely to begin reading the fine print.

The Obama Administration has sought the authors of their own failure in some "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy", without grasping that the source of the stench of failure is in themselves. The Obama Administration squandered its credibility early and often, failing to connect with the concerns of the average voter, and using promises about jobs and the economy as window dressing for Van Jones' loony green jobs plan for destroying capitalism and as payoffs to contributors and supporters. And right when the public was most desperate for results, Obama and his Oompah Loompahs instead rolled out a massively expensive health care program that was exactly not what the American public wanted to deal with right now.
Read it all. It's worth it.

Ahava-thon shopping tips...

Just in case anyone has forgotten - this week is the Ahava-thon. Above I have posted a picture of what SMW likes to call the holy trinity of Ahava products. I love all of these.
The Purifying Mud Mask is great for deep cleaning your face - you can feel it working and it does not dry out your skin.
The Mineral Body Lotion is a great light feeling moisturizer. It has a rather ladylike smell so I would not recommend picking this up if you are a men - unless of course you are buying it for a woman!
Uplifting Butter Salt body scrub in Mandarin Cedarwood: If you were buying only one Ahava product I would tell you to get this one. It is absolutely incredible, feels completely luxurious and has the most soothing smell.
Now get out and Shop Ahava!

The government has "sold its soul"

The Chairman of the Police Federation lashes out at UK government over deals made with Libya, after it was revealed that the British government secretly agreed not to extradite the killer of Pc Fletcher (who was shot to death in front of the Libyan Embassy in 1984).


Think tank examines idea that British landowners could be forced to give their land to others for gardens.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Obama's speech to Wall Street met with Silence

According to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama's speech to Wall Street executives was met with silence. Obama suggested that bailouts for banks are no longer on the table - on this we agree. Many of these large bailouts should have never happened in the first place. The President also plugged the CFPA (reminder - vote scheduled for September 23) which will give the government massive controls over consumer lending.

"Mr. Obama's remarks had the tone of lecture and were largely met with silence by an audience composed of Wall Street executives, members of Congress and high-ranking government officials."

After the speech, Rep. Barney Frank said that "it's not that important if these CEOs listened."


The "Toronto Declaration" (puleeze) and the counter...

BlazingCatFur has all the details on the anti-Israel festivities in Toronto.

London Simmers

Recent protests in London by the English Defense League, along with the Quds Day rally yesterday, have sparked a great deal of discussion across the web and news networks. To some extent SMW thinks alot of the reaction is over the top, but the events do draw attention to points of concern.

Leading up to September 11th, I knew that certain groups (ie. Stop the Islamification of Europe) were planning to 'protest' outside mosques and an Islamic centre in Harrow. These groups have held protests before, and received little media attention, so I did not think much of it. Saturday morning (the 12th) I was surprised to find all the plasma tvs at my gym showing multiple news networks covering these "riots." Listening to the typical, overhyped, British media one could have easily believed that Hitler was about to take over England. "Right-wing," "facism" and "race riots" were being thrown around amidst cries that Britain is about to travel back in time to the 1930s.

Before I continue, let me say that SMW absolutely condemns protesting outside of and/or targeting ANY place of worship. Period. SMW also thinks that using September 11th as an excuse to target a mosque is pathetic. Yes, 9/11 was carried out by Muslims - but not members of the masjid in Harrow. In fact - it is in Finsbury Park (not Harrow) where 9/11 has been celebrated in the past. If you truly want to honour the memory of those who died why don't you have a quiet, peaceful vigil outside the US Embassy? Ok back on track now...

It is difficult to decide which better illustrates the enormous problems England is facing; the fact that these "riots" have taken place, or the media's coverage of them. I have yet to read/see a media report of Friday's events which mentions the radical Islamic chat forums where members were discussing and preparing for confrontations (read: violence). The tone reminded me of football hooligans setting up a brawl - except these events have greater consequences and reach. Based on the tv reports one might believe that thousands of anti-Islam protestors showed up - but in fact the Times reported that 2000 SUPPORTERS OF THE MOSQUE vastly outnumbered those who came to protest at it.

Another group in the spotlight is the EDL - which had a counter protest to the Quds Day rally Sunday in London. As far as I am aware, I do not know and have never spoken to any member of the English Defense League, but the impression I get from reading their website and other reports is that the EDL comprises mainly working-class Englishmen. This seems to be confirmed after seeing the EDL apparel on their website, and reading reports that members were singing Millwall FC songs at one of their protests (for my North American readers: Millwall FC is a soccer team in London whose supporters are notorious when it comes to hooliganism). When I visited EDL's website, the video below of Pat Condell was posted on their homepage:

Many of the sentiments expressed by Pat Condell in this video resonate with Brits who feel their country slipping away from them (for a variety of reasons - not just Islam). There is a void in British politics - no mainstream politician or political party seems willing to address the legitimate concerns of constituents. Filling in this black hole are parties like the BNP (yikes), and now groups like the EDL. People who would not normally get involved with groups like the EDL are now turning to them out of frustration and this is a scary prospect.

Last year thousands of Hamas supporters gathered in the streets of London, police officers were attacked, shops were destroyed and although the events received some news coverage it was nothing compared to the coverage that Friday's events garnered. I hope I am not the only person who sees that as a problem.

Finally - the Quds Day rally yesterday in Piccadilly Circus. The media's attention again has been on the supposed clash between EDL members and Hamas supporters. It seems to be a minor detail to the British press that there were hundreds of terrorist supporting idiots gathered in Central London to wave the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah while chanting "Israel is a terrorist state" and throwing stuff at the police.
SMW was in Piccadilly Circus yesterday - although I have to admit I forgot it was Quds Day and did not have my camera with me. My husband and I were shopping on Regent Street and we literally walked into the middle of the hoopla. I have been to many pro Hamas rallies in London and this one was small (relatively speaking). There were actually not THAT many people there - probably a few hundred - and a multitude of police officers to control the crowd. As for the "disruption" caused by the EDL - I saw about 10-12 guys who appeared to be the 'official opposition.' I wouldn't exactly call that a newsworthy clash - but hey, I am not the British press and apparently 'race riots' sounds alot sexier than 'terrorist sympathizers.'

London is not 'boiling' over as the news reports you may have read suggest - but it is simmering and I fear that if something does not change soon it will explode.

Tea Parties and Truckers....

Bluto put this lovely video of various Tea Parties and Town Hall Happenings, and posted it over at the Jawa Report.

Convoy (one of my all time favourite songs) + Tea Parties is a combination SquareMileWife could not resist. Yes, I do own a CB and yes I do drive to black tie dinners, wearing Stuart Weitzman stilettos, in a cab and a half pick-up fully equipped with CB Radio and Echo box.

Let them truckers roll...


My computer got very sick over the weekend and had to go in for repairs. Just walked back in the door with it now. Getting myself up to speed....everything will be back to normal asap.

Shop Ahava.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Census Bureau dumps ACORN

Michelle Malkin has the details.

This is a must read if you have a vote in the States, or if you are interested in American politics.

Saturday Morning Deliciousness...

My favourite Banana Bread recipe:

1/2 cup butter (soft)
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas (medium to large)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grease the loaf pan. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, bananas, flours, baking soda, vanilla and if you want throw in some chocolate chips or nuts. Mix it all together and pour it in the greased pan.

Bake at 300F for an hour or until brown.
It's soooo good.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Today We Remember

Raising the Flag at Ground Zero, taken by Thomas E. Franklin

Today, around the world, we remember mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives. We remember colleagues, neighbours, friends, and lovers. We remember brave men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty.
We remember those who were left behind.
We remember. We will never forget.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Countdown to Ahava-thon...

Just a friendly reminder that the Ahava-thon starts this weekend!

Chas Newkey-Burden of OyVaGoy is also on the Ahava wagon and SMW is excited by all the ahava (love) for Ahava.

Ahava products are great for Yom Tov gifts, birthday gifts, early Christmas shopping, care packages, just because I love you gifts, spa days, Thanksgiving presents (hey, why not?), pick-me-up shopping, bridal showers, and just making yourself look good.

If you are not sure where you can purchase Ahava products near you, drop me an email and I will let you know. Of course you can also visit the Ahava website:

Get ready to shop!!!

Obama makes millions of uninsured Americans disappear

He's magic!

Over at Patterico, Karl points out that last night President Obama referenced the 30 million people in America who do not have health insurance. That is pretty interesting since for most of this reform campaign Democrats have been insisting there are 47 million people in America without health insurance.

Are people uplling numbers out of hats?

Back in August HotAir did a pretty decent round up of the uninsured numbers. If you plan on discussing health care with anyone SMW highly recommends reading the link. Both of them.

A Jawa's Righteous Fury: NYT Reporter's Reckless Actions Cost Lives

I'm with Howie on this one.

Pathetic: Student fined for displaying Israeli flag

SMW cannot believe this.

You can't make this weirdness up....

A suicidal, criminal, drug addicted alcoholic, who apparently is also some kind of reverend, hijacked a plane in Mexico because he believed the country was in danger and he wanted to speak to President Felipe Calderon.

The man, Jose Flores, "threatened the crew with a fake bomb made from a red light affixed to three cans of hummus."

The plane landed safely and no one was hurt. The Bloomberg headline says he was "inspired by God," but I am wondering if he was inspired by Jim Bean, cocaine, and the voices that I'm pretty sure are in his head. Time for a padded room.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

15 Billion Euros....

Shaking my head about this one.

Drunk Driver Given Life Sentence in Canada

Roger Walsh was sentenced to life in jail for a hit-and-run in which he killed a woman. When I first read this it seemed Canada's justice system was really cracking down on drunk drivers - then this paragraph jumped off the page:

It was the 19th time that he had been convicted for impaired driving. He also has 114 prior convictions for assault, uttering threats, breaking and entering, as well as theft. -CTV

How long until he is on parole?

Laura Rosen Cohen slams TIFF boycott in National Post...

SMW wanted to stand up and cheer after reading this:

So here’s how it goes: when you try to boycott Israeli wines, we’ll buy out the store. When you boycott Israeli films, we’ll buy out the tickets. And those are just our economic victories. The forces that side with Israel and democracy and the Judeo-Christian way of life will always enjoy a better life than those who dance and romance terrorists and embrace utopian, murderous totalitarianism and their jihadist kindred spirits.

Read the whole thing.

And remember the Ahava-thon starts on Saturday.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Islam on Capitol Hill: Part Two - Updated

*Updated see below*

Yesterday, SMW took a look at some of the folks planning the Islam on Capitol Hill event. Today we continue. These posts are not meant to promote some of the hyper-reaction I have read on other sites where people are writing silly things. They are meant to provide information, which is readily available online, about the event and those organizing it. This is to help people have informed, reasonable discussions (and to make informed decisions) - not to fuel conspiracy theories and crazy talk. At some point SMW may publish an opinion about the whole thing but for now you just get details.

Who is organizing Islam on Capitol Hill?

The main mosque behind this event is Masjid Dar-ul Islam in Elizabeth, New Jersey. This is the mosque where Hassen Abdellah on the board. Also on the board is Saluhudeen Muhammad.

Is Saluhudeen Muhmmad on the board at Masjid Dar-ul Islam, Salahuddin Muhammed - the imam of Masjid Al Ikhlas (where two suspects in the Bronx terror plot were known) and state prison chaplain who converted to the Nation of Islam while in prison and then left it to follow Sunni Islam?

On 30 January 2009 Masjid Dar-ul Islam hosted a special speaker: Dr. Muhammad Al-Qatanani. Qatanani is an area imam who previously faced deportation after officials discovered his alleged links to Hamas. He was granted residency, but that decision is currently being appealed. Qatanani was the moderator of an imams meeting at an ICNA conference in 2001, since the event several participants have been arrested or deported on terrorism related charges. Qatanani allegedly admitted he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (if you believe Wikipedia as a reliable source). He also has encouraged supporting the children of suicide bombers, publicly prayed for Hamas linked defendants, spoken at conference hosted by the Islamic Association for Palestine - which for years was a central player in Hamas' U.S. support network. The Investigative Project on Terrorism also has an audio of Qatanani saying the land making up Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon should be exclusively for Muslims.
On the website for Masjid Dar-ul Islam, Qatanani is described as an "expert on the Arab world and in particular Palestine and Palestinian affairs."

Also cited as helping to organize the event is the Islamic Society of New Jersey, which appears to also be known as Islamic Society of Central Jersey. ISCJ advertising the event on its website. ISCJ lists Dr. Parvaiz Malik as its chairman. Malik is a well reputed MD and plastic surgeon who appears to be involved in extensive charity work. Malik has been involved in the anti-war movement and has spoken at peace rallies - including the "Peace Train" in the Newark area. He was also a speaker at a 2005 ISNA conference where he contributed to a session called "Doctors, Engineers, and Professionals for the Betterment of the World."

Another member of the board at ISCJ is Dr. Helmi Saud, whose wife Amaney Jamal is a professor at Princeton. Jamal is a respected professor - who has written extensively on democracy in the Middle East. Jamal also presented the Palestinian narrative in a panel discussion about Operation Cast Leat at Brandes University earlier this year. She said that casualties caused by Israel "can't be justified" and expressed her opinion that Hamas believed Barack Obama would force Israel to stop after his inauguration.

Jamal also authored a paper titled "Mainstream America's Silence: The Racialization of Arab Americans" in which she wrote:
A long history of misrepresentation and the promotion of violent
stereotypes mark the popular American media; Arab and Muslim Americans were portrayed as terrorists long before 9-11.5 Muslims and Arabs are consistently absent from
that desirable group of “ordinary people, families with social interactions, or outstanding
members of communities such as scholars or writers or scientists.” This process of
demonization, Akram goes on to say, “has been so complete and so successful that film
critics, most Americans and social commentators have barely noticed” (Akram, 2002). In
fact, since the 1960s the US has unofficially classified Arabs as terrorists and perceived
them as threats to National Security (Hassan, 2003).

In fact, Americans have come to know and learn about Islam and Arabs
through the prisms of terrorism and barbarism. It is no surprise that 42% of Americans in
the Detroit metro area believe that 9-11 was a result of a deeply rooted disrespect for
democracy, freedom, and the rights of women. A good percentage of Americans clearly
believe that there is a fundamental clash of values between “us” and “them.” Simply put,
the US was attacked because it is fundamentally “good,” while the other is fundamentally
” .....
Some Arab and Muslims have accepted racial profiling, claim to
understand lengthy interrogations as their children stand by at airports, and apologize
over and over for 9-11 because they feel this self-subjugation will win tolerance from
their mainstream counterparts. However, tolerance assumes equality and good faith in
interactions. It also assumes that dominant forces—media, religion, government, and so
on—are not operating to espouse intolerance against a certain population.

Another board member at the ISCJ is Magdy Hagog. In 2003, acting as President of the ISCJ, Mr. Hagog expressed his regret when a court ruled that Muslim inmates in New Jersey State Prison did not have to receive halal meat. Like all other religious meals served in the prison - theirs were vegetarian.

Members of the ISCJ, and the school it runs, have repeated gone on the record saying "they are unfairly associated with Middle Eastern terrorism." One parent 'said terrorism comes from uneducated, unemployed youth who can be convinced the U.S. is the source of their misery.
By contrast, the Islamic Society of Central New Jersey comprises well-educated professionals with successful careers.'
According to ISCJ has issued statements condemning terrorist attacks, and their current president Aly Aziz says "we do not consider terrorists Muslims because Islam is a religions of peace."

Noor ul Iman, the school run by ISCJ, actively encourages its female students to participate in sports teams, as long as they wear the hijab, long sleeves and no shorts. They have a successful girls basketball team.

The Washington Post cites Shakoor Mustafa of New Jersey as someone who has made a financial donation towards Islam on Capitol Hill. Is this the same Shakoor Mustafa of New Jersey who, with the support of the ACLU, took the Newark Police Department to court over his religious right to grow a beard on the job? This Shakoor Mustafa won his case, and the city was ordered to pay him $5000.00. He is still working for the police - with a full beard - and also works as an imam.

Amaker and Porterfield Transportation is listed as one of the main sponsors of Islam on Capitol Hill. Julia Amaker Porterfield is the company's president, and was previously listed as a Democratic Offical in Ward 3 District 10, along with Rashad Shabazz. Ms. Porterfield's son-in-law Taheem W. Muslim (married to her daughter Twanda), and her daughter Yulanda Sistrunk (who is also listed as secretary at the company) are involved in a lawsuit against three members of the Plainfield Police Deparment. SMW has not been able to locate any details involving this case other than the Docket No. UNN-L-004469-07. Yulanda Sistrunk also runs the Eula Mae Amaker Family Life Center which helps people at risk.

That is it for now.

UPDATE: Atlas Shrugs has posted details about the two men leading the prayers on the 25th: Sheikh Muhammad Jebril and Sheikh Ahmed Dewidar. In an interview Dewidar gave to the Muslim Brotherhood's website he said: "The media - most of which is under Zionist control - has helped to spread this perception." Later in the interview he said that "the Jews" control the press. When asked, "What is the extent of the Muslim community's influence on American society?" He answered, "The Zionist community numbers only 3 million, but they control the government, the politics, the economy, and the media in the U.S."

What I hope kids took away from Obama's speech...

"Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. The truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject that you study. You won't click with every teacher that you have. ...At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities." -President Obama

I hope all the parents hyperventilating about Obama's speech will at least point this truth out to their kids. You may also want to tell them that just because you do not agree with someone, does not mean they have nothing to teach you.

You are responsible for your own success.

I know this is not supposed to be funny but.....

it is.

Merci Sam Hamad

Québec Employment Minister, Sam Hamad, is refusing to take part in an event on the Plains of Abraham called "Le Moulin a Paroles," because organizers are planning to read the manifesto of Le Front de Libération du Québec.

Mr. Hamad via The National Post:
"Our government doesn't want to have anything to do with this event. At first, it was supposed to be about poetry, but now with the FLQ manifesto, we are closer to bombs and assassinations," he told reporters in Quebec City.

The Bloc will be participating in the event.

Merci M. Hamad.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Islam on Capitol Hill, Part One *UPDATED*

Welcome Jawa and Atlas readers...


When I first heard about the “Islam on Capital Hill” event scheduled for September 25th I told myself to keep an open mind. After researching the event, my thoughts have changed. The readers of this blog are not sheep – you do not need me to tell you what to think or to draw conclusions for you. Below you will see the same information that I have been reading. You can draw your own conclusions.

Islam on Capitol Hill – in their own words:

The objective of this gathering is to invite the Muslim Communities and friends of Islam to express and illustrate the wonderful diversity of Islam. We intend to manifest Islam’s majestic spiritual principals as revealed by Allah to our beloved prophet Muhammad (PEACE BE UPON HIM) of Arabia. Likewise; we intend to inspire a new generation of Muslim to work for the greater good of all people. We shall serve all people, regardless of race, religion, or national origin. ...

The Anthan will be chanted on Capitol Hill – echoing off the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill …
Bonds of friendship will be formed
Muslim youth will experience tours of the Library of Congress and the Supreme CourtThe peace, beauty and solidarity of Islam will shine through America’s capitol


50,000 people are anticipated, according to the website and 500 busses are ready to go.

Who is organizing this event??

Hassen Abdellah, Esq

-Mr. Abdellah was the attorney for Faruq Brent, aka Mahmud Al Mutazzim who pled guilty to providing material support for Lashkar-e-Taiba

-Mr. Abdellah is the chairman of the board at Masjid Dar ul Islam Elizabeth

-Mr. Abdellah was the attorney for Mahmoud Abouhalima, who was charged in the bombing of the World Trade Center. During the trial Mr. Abdellah made this statement: Basically, the Government is going to put on trial the concept of Islamic fundamentalism, to prove that their beliefs are contrary to those of the jury and therefore that they bombed the World Trade Center. After the trial he said this: that Islam has many more virtues than tomorrow's
headline, “Islamic Fundamentalists Sentenced in the World Trade Center Case

-Mr. Abdellah is president of the Muslim Brothers Movement Inc and was inducted into the City of Elizabeth Hall of Fame in 2008

-Mr. Abdellah represented Numan Malafi who was convicted of making false statements to federal agents, according to this report from The New York Times: When the agents questioned him in 2003, he denied helping a Yemeni cleric who prosecutors said made a fund-raising trip to Brooklyn mosques in 1999.
Prosecutors said Mr. Maflahi, a gas station owner who lives in Little Ferry, N.J., had been the driver and personal assistant for Sheik Abdullah Satar, a former member of parliament in Yemen. They have described Sheik Satar as a fund-raiser with ties to Al Qaeda.”Yesterday, Mr. Maflahi's lawyer, Hassen Ibn Abdellah, told Judge Nina Gershon of Federal District Court in Brooklyn that her sentencing decision was a test of whether "this country could be fair to Arab-Americans

-Mr. Abdellah was briefly the lawyer of Mohamed el-Atriss, who was convicted of selling fake IDs to two of the 9/11 hijackers. Atriss did provide the fake IDs, but claimed he did not know what they would be used for. At some point during the case Atriss replaced Mr. Abdellah with another attorney.

-Click here to read an interesting article about the trial of the World Trade Center accused. That's the beauty of our system," Mr. Abdellah said. "There's no problem with the practice of Islam."
"That's also the problem that this case presents," he added. "You look at Ayyad," he said of one of the defendants. "He's an American. He can practice his religion and his way of life here. Why would he blow up the World Trade Center?"

-Mr. Abdellah made these statements about the Islam on Capitol Hill Event : Most of the time, when Muslims go to Washington, D.C., they go there to protest some type of event," Abdellah said. "This is not a protest. Never has the Islamic community prayed on Capitol Hill for the soul of America. We're Americans. We need to change the face of Islam so people don't feel every Muslim believes America is 'the great Satan,' because we love America."
In fact, it was President Obama's words at his inauguration in January, and then his speech in Egypt in June, that led Abdellah and an area imam, Abdul Malik, to begin discussing the idea, Abdellah said.
"For the first time in my lifetime," Abdellah said, "I heard someone of his stature speaking about Islam and Muslims not in an adversarial sense, but in the sense of being welcome and acknowledging we are integral citizens in the society -- that we're gainfully employed, we're educated."
"He said he had his hand open to the Islamic world," he said. "The Islamic world wants to open their hand and shake it." -
New English Review

Imam Abdul Malik, another event organizer

I highly recommend taking a look at Abdul Malik's Facebook page, and watching the video - during which he says many interesting things including: Polygamy is an American tradition.

He also has this quote posted on his wall (SMW has added the bold):

Democracy is not revelation, and democracy does not equal freedom, for in democracy you have apartheid, you have slavery, you have homosexuality, you have lesbianism, you have gambling, you have all of the voices that are against the spirit of truth; so no we don’t want to democratize Islam, we want to Islamize democracy. That’s what we want.

UPDATE: Andrew Walden has been able to confirm for me that the video below titled "Anti-Zionism" below is NOT the Abdul Malik involved in the Islam on Capitol Hill Event. The Abdul Malik below is from Masjid ul Islam in Oakland, California and as far as we can tell has no link to the Islam on Capitol Hill event.

I came across another video at this link titled "Anti-Zionism", which is quite, well, watch for yourself and decide.. The video is allegedly Imam Abdul Malik speaking at University of California Santa Cruz on May 11th 2006. Due to the image and sound quality SMW cannot say for certain that this is the Abdul Malik in question. UPDATE: As noted above, we have confirmed the man in this vidoe is NOT the Abdul Malik organizing Islam on Capitol Hill.

More to come....

Me, Me, Me: Text of Obama's School Speech Released

Today the text for President Obama's upcoming speech directed at students across America was released. This 'speech' sparked outrage among conservatives, many of whom see it as a form of indoctrination. While the fear and outrage surrounding this speech is understandable given the current political climate, people need to articulate why they have a problem with it. Previous presidents, including Bush 41 also gave nationwide speeches for students. It is not "the speech" that is a problem - it is everything surrounding it from the original lesson plans the White House issued to teachers (which have now been re-written), to the euphenisms, to the incredibly tense political climate in America at the moment.

The fact is this lesson does not end with kids watching Obama's speech. The "lesson" ends with teachers having the opportunity to put their own spin on what Obama said - and this is where the real chance for indoctrination is. I truly hope that teachers use this as an opportunity to talk to kids about their personal goals, and to reiterate that in America you can be whatever you want to be - no matter who you are or where you come from - as long as you work hard and never give up. Unfortunately for many this golden opportunity to push their own political agenda will be too great to resist.

Hot Air has the text of Obama's speech, in which he refers to himself 55 times, and to the United States 4 times. Me, Me, Me.

Sudan rounds-up supporters of Lubna Hussein

According to various reports, including this one, Sudanese police have arrested approximately 40 women who were protesting to show their support for Lubna Hussein - the Sudanese woman on trial for violating Sudan's indecency laws.

Hussein is on trial for wearing pants - ten other women arrested with Hussein have already been flogged.

President Obama has publicly stated he wants Muslim women to feel free and comfortable wearing the hijab - where is his statement supporting women around the world who are punished for violating "decency" laws?


I would ask where the feminists are, but I already know they are too busy writing love notes about the sexy burqa and hijab.

Venezuela agrees to export 20,000 barrels per day to Iran

Birds of a feather.

Ahmadinejad and Chavez, looking very friendly, smiled for the cameras and announced that Venezuela will be supplying Iran with 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day.

According to Forbes, Ahmadinejad also said the two countries will set up a bank "to help finance joint projects."

What kind of projects might those be....?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Venezuela's government ready to shut down "anti-Chavez" stations

Shutting down dissent.

Van Jones Resigns

Please, spare me the "I'm a victim" routine.

Gateway Pundit has everything you could possibly want to know about the resignation, and deserves some recognition for all his work on this story.

G20 kind of, sort of curbs bonuses

Blogging has been light, as I am at a conference this weekend.
The G20 has curbed bankers' bonuses. Well not exactly, the headlines are somewhat misleading. While the G20 did agree that caps should be imposed on a company's bonus pot, they did not agree to cap individual bonuses as France and Germany wanted. A number of people are suggesting that this will be very difficult to enforce - and I agree - especially after reading this:

In a separate paper produced alongside the communiqué, the G20 said that bonuses should be paid on a long-term basis, over at least three years, and that payments should be subject to an "effective clawback" if the bank's financial position subsequently deteriorates.

Paying out bonuses over three years limits incentive, companies know this and can find other ways to work around it. They can also take their business to other locations where these restrictions are not in place.

And now for the extreme quote of the night, from Alistair Darling:
"Every single banker has to realise that whether or not they received [direct] assistance they would not be here were it not for the efforts made by the countries, underwritten by the taxpayer."

Saturday, 5 September 2009

AP Ignores family's wishes, publishes photo of dying soldier

The AP has published a photo of mortally wounded Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, despite his father's request that the photo not be made public. Blackfive has a very detailed round-up of the whole situation here.

In a journal that she distributed to friends and colleagues, Julie Jacobson (the photographer who took the photo of Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard as he lay dying - with one of his legs blown off and the other badly injured) wrote this:

“I shot images that day well aware that those images could very possibly never see the light of day. In fact I was sure of it. But I still found myself recording them. To ignore a moment like that simply because of a phrase in section 8, paragraph 1 of some 10-page form would have been wrong. I was recording his pending death....."

Later in the same journal entry she wrote:
"I believe that is why I decided to send the photo in to the N.Y. desk despite what the media rules of engagement said, to start some conversation about it and hope that it will move out there."

(I have added my own bold).

I think those quotes speak for themselves.

Rest in peace Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard.

Friday, 4 September 2009

TIFF gets nasty

Alright I just put on my make-up and I am literally running out the door to have dinner with some Joooooos.

Harry's Place has a pretty good round-up of all news relating to the ridiculous Jew-hate fest that is brewing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).

Read it.

Oh and PS - get ready for the Ahava-thon.

Smoke and Mirrors and Canadian Elections

John Ivison's piece in the National Post is my recommended reading of the day for Canadian voters. Here is a little sample:

Anyone who takes a dispassionate look at the numbers will come away wondering why the Liberal leader is trying to start a political war over an economy that could clearly be in much rougher shape. As Mr. Porter concluded: "Timely and appropriate policies prevented a Great Recession here."
There is no polling evidence to suggest that a sizeable segment of Canadians blame the Harper government for the global downturn or for its response to the crisis.
Why didn't Mr. Ignatieff simply bide his time until the Conservatives started to come apart at the seams, as all governments do, and let the prize come to him?
It suggests not only arrogance, impatience, vanity and vaulting ambition but, more worryingly, economic illiteracy in a man who would be Prime Minister.

Cozy up and read the whole thing.

Comment of the day on British/American relations

This is a somewhat interesting read, but it is a few days old. Rachel Sylvester, of The Times, takes a closer look at the demise in the British/American rapport. She seems surprised to discover that many Americans think Britain has lost her way.

My favourite part of this entire piece was a comment I read below the article:

There is a fully grown perception in the UK , that the UK has lost not only it's way but the vehicle it was travelling in and the reason it left home in the first place .

Thursday, 3 September 2009

The Newsom-Christian Family Benefit Fund

Many people have been asking how they can show their support to the families of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, now I have an answer:

Three local firefighters have partnered with Suntrust Bank in an effort to support the families of Christopher Newsom, Channon Christian and other families of violent crimes in our area. The Newsom and Christian family members have missed countless hours of work, incurred travel expenses as well as other miscellaneous expenses in their pursuit of justice for their children. Our prayer is that this fund creates a clearer path towards healing for these families and our entire community be relieving some of their financial burden and empowering our community to truly support one another.
All tax-deductible donations will be accepted at any Suntrust Bank location during the month of September 2009 or via Pay Pal on this website. The total amount of donations will be dispersed to the Newsom and Christian families with a portion going to the East Tennessee Victims Rights Task Force in their names.

Please keep these families in your prayers as jury selection is underway for the trial of Lemaricus Davidson (one of several suspects being tried in this case).

Thank you to the three firefighters who established this fund so that people across the globe can show their support to the Newsoms and the Christians.

And people ask me why I won't have kids in the UK...

Well it's mainly because of bad health care and the terrible education system, but it's also because of stories like this:

Two young brothers today pleaded guilty to brutally assaulting a nine-year-old boy and his 11-year-old uncle, who were both left for dead in a former pit town near Doncaster. ....
The attacks in April left their 11-year-old victim fighting for his life at the foot of a steep ravine, his unconscious body bleeding from a slashing head wound and half-submerged in the waters of a former brick quarry
His nine-year-old friend and nephew was found wandering the streets of Edlington, a former pit-town near Doncaster, barefoot, dazed, covered in mud and bleeding from head to foot with a knife wound to his arm. Both boys had also been burnt with cigarettes. ...
They also admitted two counts of intentionally causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Guess how old the brothers who commited these horrific acts are? 10 and 12. And, surprise, they were in the care of social services when the crime took place.

In a typical case of criminals getting better treatment than the victims "special measures were put in place to make sure" the boys were not intimidated in court. You have to read the whole thing to believe it.

These are not a couple of kids who stole some candy at the corner store - they tortured and almost killed two little boys in the course of a robbery. If burning someone with cigarettes and beating them with a brick did not faze them I doubt seeing a guy in a wig would cause them any undue hardship.

Britain is doomed.

House vote on CFPA scheduled for September 23

The CFPA will give the government huge controls over the consumer lending industry - including credit cards, mortgages, and other financial products. There are already four oversight agencies "protecting" consumers in this area - what will an additional blanket agency do? This legislation will not protect stupid people from themselves, but it will restrict free enterprise, putting small and large businesses under even more regulations and restrictions.

Many of the groups pushing the CFPA are the same groups who lobby for banks to provide below-market-rate mortgages to low income homebuyers, and for legislation giving millions of dollars to homeowners who cannot afford to pay their mortgages. For these groups it is always the bank's fault and never the consumers. Owning a home is not a human right. When I worked as a credit analyst I frequently dealt with people who thought getting a loan (to buy stuff like new furniture, televisions and jewelry) was their right, regardless of their credit history. As I have said before there are plenty of places to spread the blame for the current economic situation - but to lay it all at the feet of banks is ridiculous.

These days banks are hounded until they agree to give people credit at below-market rates, people literally scream at the creditor until they are given a credit limit they should not have, and if people cannot get credit from their home bank they will go to a subprime or predatory lender. When many of these people can no longer make payments on purchases they insisted were their right to make, it is the bank's fault. Suddenly these people, who bought stuff they could not afford, are victims who did not understand what they were getting into - victims who need the government to protect them. How can the government protect people who do not understand the terms of a contract/service agreement? Are they going to send agents to sit with every individual seeking credit to ensure they are not making a bad decision? When will someone create the Agency to Stop Consumers from Buying Stuff They Can't Afford?

The vote is scheduled for September 23.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Square Mile Alert: *Updated* Euroweenies Want to Control Bonuses

UPDATED: see below

Sarkozy, Merkel, Borg and their G20 buddies are still pushing for government control of bankers bonuses.

“I don’t think the rest of the world will agree to those plans and efforts,” Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management AG said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Aug. 27. “Talents are just going to leave the industry and do their business elsewhere, so I don’t think it’s a workable avenue." No kidding.

Bonuses did not cause the market to nosedive, trying to cap them is an emotional reaction - not a smart one. The world is fluid. If you cap the salaries of the top talent here they will take their talent and their tax dollars elsewhere. Whether or not some people make ridiculous amounts of money is not the issue - goernments should not be telling private businesses how much they can pay their employees (well except for maybe private businesses which are now essentially owned by the government, but that is another story for another post).

How can you be sure the government will not wake up tomorrow and decide you make too much money?

Update: Well when he is right, he's right and I'm with him on this one. Boris Johnson and several other politicians from around the globe are in Brussels trying to stop, or hamper, the efforts for more government controls of the financial sector. Read the very interesting details here. It appears socialism is ruling the day at the EU, but that should not surprise anyone.

Canadian Judge says s.13(1) thought crime law is unconstitutional!!

I have been out body combating all day and just read this news.

In the meantime, Blazing Cat Fur has the full text of the decision and Kathy Shaidle has an excellent roundup of the whole story.

Excellent news indeed!! There are some people who have been working very hard to overturn these ridiculous "thought crime" laws. They include (in random order): Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury, Blazing Cat Fur, Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn. Many of them have also been sued and faced heavy legal fees as a result of their fight for free speech.

Since we can't buy them a drink to celebrate why don't you swing by and leave some money in their tip jars?

Update: National Post has a quick recap

Police focus on important crimes...

"Vegilante" patrols out to keep vegetables safe from violent assaults and attempted murder.

You can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The CFPA: We're from the government and we're here to protect you *Updated*

Updated: See below

Last week I wrote about the proposed CFPA, yet another agency the government is trying to create in order to "protect" American consumers.

Good to know I am not the only one who thinks this is a bad idea. Ed Lasky over at American Thinker writes:

The choking grip of power is about to grasp the necks of small businessmen. This Act may seem beneficial (the innocuous title no doubt was fashioned to make it seem so). In reality, it is a way to hammer business, both large and small. This type of catch-all Act will extend the sweeping powers of government throughout America. Every time a business, including a small business, extends credit to anyone Big Brother - nettlesome and dictatorial as ever, inefficient, incompetent, and unfair as ever - will be watching. This type of act is an open-ended assault on free enterprise.

Read it all.

Update: A reader from Toronto directed me to this video featuring Todd Zywicki (not to be confused with Sam Witicki), which discusses the CFPA in detail. Even though this legislation is for Americans it will have broader impacts if it passes. It is critical that consumers understand how the CFPA will impact the market and give the government huge control over this industry.

Watch it here.

Gaddafi to the West: Screw You

Rehearsals for a song and dance extravaganza to be held on the walls of Tripoli tonight will be crowned by a video of the Lockerbie bomber’s home coming. Last night, Gaddafi railed about his show of strength against American troops:

"When there were 4,000 American troop in Libya, I went to the gates of the base and told them I was a Libyan army officer but they said you can’t come in,” he told an assembly of African, Middle Eastern and Asian leaders. “I said ‘you will see about that.’ -The Telegraph

All this as Gaddafi prepares to for his little voyage to the United States.

"Europe's greatest cultural event"

Hahaha. I'm still laughing after reading this quote.

The police have to make pre-emptive arrests before it starts, people show up wearing bullet proof vests and carrying, and of course someone gets stabbed.

Sounds like a perfect description of culture to me. It kind of reminds me of Caribana...